Times Quick Cryptic 909 by Mara

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I’m covering the QC blog today following the changes at the Club which have sadly lost us the services and witty contributions of Galspray who will be missed around here. Let’s hope his absence is only temporary.

I found this straightforward and completed it in 7 minutes, however the grid may be a little unfriendly for less experienced solvers as it contains 4 x 13-letter answers and 3 of them are 13-letter words, which is a little unusual. If those clues are cracked early they can really open things up by providing lots of checkers and it’s then a matter of filling in the gaps with the shorter answers that should mostly be easier to find. But if they remain unsolved for a while they may prove a major impediment to progress.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

1 Match, perhaps, / easier to pick up (7)
LIGHTER – Two meanings
5 Fighting to swallow iron biscuit! (5)
WAFER – WAR (fighting) containing [to swallow] FE (iron)
8 Flimsy Italian buns thrown around street (13)
INSUBSTANTIAL – Anagram [thrown] of ITALIAN BUNS containing [around] ST (street)
9 Serious eastern winds (7)
EARNEST – Anagram [winds] of EASTERN
10 Support leader in bitter contest (5)
BRACE – [leader in] B{itter}, RACE (contest)
11 Little / bit of time (6)
MINUTE – Two meanings
13 Cooler close to cliff edge (6)
FRIDGE – [close to] {clif}F, RIDGE (edge). I struggled a bit to see ‘ridge’ for ‘edge but SOED mentions them both specifically as the junction of two upward sloping areas of a roof.
15 Written backwards in telegram, magical letter from Greece (5)
GAMMA – Hidden and reversed in [written backwards in] {telegr}AM MAG{ical}
16 Old article, quite shabby (7)
ANTIQUE – AN (article), anagram [shabby] of QUITE
19 Selfish Indian opener is a contender, surprisingly (13)
INCONSIDERATE – I{ndian} [opener], anagram [surprisingly] of IS A CONTENDER
20 Figure out, only about five (5)
SOLVE – SOLE (only) containing [about] V (five)
21 Mountain always is found in France (7)
EVEREST – EVER (always) EST (is, found in France)
1 French river, one entering mythology (5)
LOIRE – I (one) contained by [entering] LORE (mythology)
2 Descriptive of good food, ginormous starter massive (13)
GASTRONOMICAL – G{inormous} [starter], ASTRONOMICAL (massive)
3 Head of trade fit for the board (5)
TABLE – [head of] T{rade}, ABLE [fit]
4 Turn peeled potato into middle of tureen (6)
ROTATE – [peeled] {p}OTAT{o} contained by [into] [middle of] {tu}RE{en}
5 Strange brew in a drinking establishment (4,3)
WINE BAR – Anagram [strange] of BREW IN A
6 Within the rules, blonde/fuddy-duddy partnership? (4,3,6)
FAIR AND SQUARE – FAIR (blonde) AND SQUARE (fuddy-duddy) in partnership give us this expression meaning ‘within the rules’.
7 Ending in despair, two biblical characters help (7)
RELIEVE – [ending in] {despai}R, ELI + EVE (two biblical characters)
11 Birds take issue with pastry dishes (7)
MAGPIES – MAG (issue – magazine), PIES (pastry dishes)
12 Aintree desperate for apprentice (7)
TRAINEE – Anagram [desperate] of AINTREE
14 Dog — a figure following cat, initially (6)
CANINE – A + NINE (figure) following C{at} [initially]
17 This crossword setter supports the idea (5)
THEME – ME (this crossword setter) goes underneath [supports] THE
18 Competition level terrific at first (5)
EVENT – EVEN (level), T{errific} [at first]

15 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 909 by Mara”

  1. A lovely crossword, and nothing too taxing here. I came in at just over 16 minutes. I was a bit hesitant to put in LIGHTER for 1ac as I thought the “easier to pick up” bit was indicating a homophone. LOI was BRACE for some reason. Gribb.
  2. 12:42, close to a PB, I think. Made good progress after slotting in the 13 letter clues early. COD 2d.

  3. I, too, got the 13 letter words quite quickly which did indeed help. If I had spotted the anagram indicator in 9a instead of spending some time looking for a six letter word for winds to follow E then I would have been quicker than the 16:19 that I finished with. An easier puzzle I thought, but entertaining nonetheless.
    1. Exactly the same here – got the long answers quickly and then completely missed the anagram at 9ac. 28 mins in total. Invariant
  4. What a strange and wonderful language we have. Gastronomic and gastronomical (and there are other similar pairings): two words of identical origin, sharing many consecutive letters, meaning exactly the same thing – why?
    5 minutes dead with no great dramas – a bit like ITV.
  5. Some good long-uns which made this rather easy IMO.

    I was home in 5.50 mins

    COD 11dn MAGPIES


  6. Inside 11 minutes with no problems or hold-ups, despite a few distractions.

    Small typo in 11d Jack.

  7. 13 minutes here, on paper at work. I wasn’t helped by biffing FAIR AND something-I-can’t-actually-remember-but-made-sense-at-the-time so I took a while to sort out that quarter when I got CANINE then ANTIQUE and realised my word-that-wasn’t-SQUARE was wrong.

    FOI LIGHTER, LOI 17d, I think just because I’d overlooked it until then.

  8. Thanks for filling in jackkt.
    I thought this was going to be a struggle as I didn’t get my FOI until 15a, but then managed to solve reasonably quickly from the bottom up. LOI 10a, completed in 14 minutes with the imagery in 8a making it my COD.
  9. Thanks for filling in Jack. Yes, I miss Galspray’s contributions too. Today’s puzzle was nice and straightforward for me, taking just 5:49, which must be close to a PB for me too. FOI LIGHTER, LOI TRAINEE. I got the long answers quickly and that did indeed open up the puzzle. Thanks setter and Jack.
    1. We seem to be missing a lot of old hands recently. I was just wondering what’s happened to Tony Sever; I miss that cheery avatar popping up towards the end of the day on the 15×15…

      Edited at 2017-09-01 07:47 pm (UTC)

      1. Tony mentioned that he would be disappearing when the new site came live and the subscription to the club only vanished.
  10. Home late.
    Found this straightforward and finished in about 12 minutes.
    Last two were Brace and Relieve.
    Nice crossword. David
  11. …. and almost a personal best for me at 15 minutes, probably because the long words went in easily. My COD however has to go to 4d because I love the way the word is created. Thank you Mara and jackkt. MM

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