Times Quick Cryptic 891 by Felix – it’s a gas…

Four long answers look daunting but break down quite simply. With these in, the rest ought to follow reasonable easily. I took 12 minutes but spent some time chewing on some word play. I quite liked the gas clues and the pairing at 3 and 4dn. COD to 7dn for the bottled hidden.


1. Enterprising – showing initiative. Come in (ENTER), employing leverage (PRISING).
8. Derided – laughed at. Some lea(DER I DED)uced.
9. Xenon – gas. Cross (X), nobody’s turned back (NONE backwards).
10. Reign – Monarch’s control. Good (G) kept in check (REIN).
11. Open out – expand. Golf tournament (OPEN), in error (OUT – the calculation is out by 3%).
12. Erica – girl. ‘Am’ leaving am(ERICA).
14. Tuneful – pleasant sounding. Anagram (to play) of LUTE FUN.
15. Republish – put out again. One hundred (C) fleeing country (REPUBLI)c, call for quiet (SH).
17. Raw – unprepared. Fighting (WAR) backwards.
19. Ealing Studios – film company. Anagram (originally) of SLOGAN I USED IT.
21. Sugary – sweet. American (US) sent backwards, boy (GARY).
22. Inter (Milan) – Italian (football) team. At home (IN), most of the time (TER)m.


1. Elderberries – fruit. Senior figure (ELDER), homophone (when speaking) of buries.
2. Termini – ends (of lines). Anagram (unusual) of MERIT IN.
3. Radon – our second gas. Artist (RA), fellow (DON).
4. Radio – wireless. A good use of the ellipsis – taking the answer from 3dn but losing the last letter (endlessly) RADOn which pinches (takes inside itself) one (I). All very clever.
5. Sixteenth – a hole on a golf course (well, an eighteen hole course). Anagram (mended) of IS THE NEXT TO BE.
6. Nonconformist – heretic. Anagram (awful) of CONFRONT SIMON.
7. Instil – gradually introduce. Co(INS TIL)ting bottles.
13. Albania – country. Most of (ALIA)s protecting outlaw (BAN).
14. Thirsty – dry. A number (THIRTY) outside (S)helter.
16. Pilau – (rice) dish. Quietly (P), I (I), (L)ift, gold (AU).
18. Wiser – more sensible. Women’s organisation’s (WI’S), meeting queen (ER).
20. Uzi – weapon (a sub-machine gun of Israeli design – unknown but easy enough to work out). Found in r(I)t(Z) b(U)t turned backwards.

20 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 891 by Felix – it’s a gas…”

  1. Just over 30 minutes, with quite a few of those on my LOI trying to work out what on earth “gradually introduce coins tilting bottles” meant.

    Sixteenth took a while to work out what was going on.

    Couldn’t parse 4d, thanks for your blog I see it now, but I quite often miss those continuation clues, sometimes the dots mean something, sometimes they don’t …

    COD: 3 contenders, inter, elderberries and instil but I will go for instil as it was well hidden.

  2. Fortunately for me the 12-letter answer at 1ac was a write-in so I was off to a flying start with lots of first letters for Down clues to work with, though it was a shame that the 12-letter fruit starting with E at 1dn did not spring so readily to mind and I needed to wait for a few checkers to get that one out of the way. In the end I completed this in 9 minutes, though both UZI and INTER gave me a little pause for thought, as did the required meaning of OUT when it came to parsing 11ac which had to be understood before I’d allow myself to stop the timer.
  3. Second DNF in a row as I buffed Rodin for 3d without reading the whole clue. I might have been distracted by my aversion to linked clues or more likely it was down to carelessness.
    I was held up at the end by missing the anagram at 19a and trying to fit ‘or’ into 16d.
    Thanks for the blog
  4. 11:47, so one of my best ever times. Several long answers which went in quickly helped enormously.
  5. 10:27 for me. 1a went straight in, but like Jack I needed crossers to get 1d. Finished with EALING STUDIOS. Missed the link at 3d and 4d. As has been said, 7d was well hidden. Nice crossword. Thanks Felix and Chris.

    Edited at 2017-08-08 10:27 am (UTC)

  6. About 30 minutes, having made hard work of the 1ac/1d pairing. In fact, had to write the 1d checkers out horizontally before it became obvious. Invariant
  7. 138 seconds is an okay time for one of these, right? Makes up for me being a bit sluggish on the 15×15 today…
        1. I have just finished an excellent book called SCALE by Geoffrey West for those interested in maths and natural/social matters. I mention this because you are 5 to 6 times quicker than me on the 15 x 15 and ditto on the QC today. Congrats on 138 seconds which is how long it takes me to fold Times2 and take the top off my pen.
    1. V really should have been the next Time Lord. It’s good to see the Gods walking amongst us normals. Despite the daunting look of the puzzle I found this very straightforward finishing in a woefully bad 8 mins. I think 22a stretches things a bit but generally a fun puzzle. Always useful to think ‘berry’ when confronted with a many-lettered fruit. Thanks all
  8. Was out yesterday playing golf so did not get to comment on Wurm. I too had Cove for 16a. Rather tricky I thought.
    Today’s was much simpler but I had to solve online as my wife had gone off with the T2. As I subscribe to the all-embracing “Classic Pack”, I appear to have all the options.
    I much prefer solving on paper. However I did most of this quite quickly; was held up by Ealing Studios and Sugary. A couple of golf clues which I got quickly for once. Radon was FOI. Did not parse 4d so thanks for that. 20 plus minutes in total. David
  9. … I am usually against clues linked by ellipses, but here they work perfectly, linking one to the other as they should. Congratulations Felix for 3d and 4d.

    Well inside my 15 minute target, so Verlaine’s time sounds achievable. I’m convinced that he has a quantum brain which explores every possible answer to every clue simultaneously (and probably across every possible language in the universe). Well done V! Is that a record for you in the QC, or just a middling time.

    Thanks Felix and Chris.

  10. 13 minutes on the bus. Might’ve been ten but he was one of those drivers who believes that the brake and accelerator are essentially binary in operation. FOI DERIDED, LOI THIRSTY. Still a few misses off my current goal of getting a clean sweep across and then down in order.
  11. 8:09 Not sure why it took me longer than usual, as I don’t think it was that hard, but the SW corner did hold me up… SUGARY, THIRSTY and REPUBLISH my last ones in. Given my handle here, ELDERBERRIIES has to be my clue of the day.
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