Times Quick Cryptic No 1088 by Mara

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
On the gentler side today from Mara. I came in three minutes under my target, with a bit of biffing and help from some familiar clues. There are a limited number of ways of clueing short clues like 6, 11, 17 and 23 across, while remaining accessible enough for a QC, but there was a good amount of originality elsewhere. “Slick stuff” at 5d, for example, along with lots of fun surface readings, such as the wailing YIMBY at 24ac, the mean-spirited pirate at 10ac, and some bonus political intrigue at 13ac and 4d – good stuff, many thanks to Mara!

1 Dash after fresh paper (9)
NEWSPRINT – SPRINT (dash) after NEW (fresh), newsprint being the specific word for the low-grade paper used for newspapers.
6 Fruit in vogue (3)
HIP – double definition – the first as in rose hip, say.
8 Knock back burgundy, one with cold drink (5)
CIDER – “knock back” or return the letters of RED (burgundy) I (one) C(old)
9 Small pebbles fractured leg, bone alongside (7)
SHINGLE – anagram (fractured) of LEG, SHIN (bone) going alongside. Etymology obscure, but possibly onomatopoeic, from the earlier chinkle.
10 Drunken pirate providing small drink (8)
APERITIF – anagram (drunken) of PIRATE, IF (providing). I must take exception to an aperitif being necessarily small.
11 Having run into infant, jog (4)
TROTR(un) into TOT (infant)
13 Belgians had turned Asian (11)
BANGLADESHI – anagram (turned) of BELGIANS HAD
17 However, those may be evens! (4)
ODDS – In betting, odds can be evens.
18 Old fogy making fresh inroads around university (8)
DINOSAUR – anagram (fresh) of INROADS around U(niversity)
21 Bird finding cold front in Norway (7)
BITTERN – BITTER (cold), N (“front” in Norway)
22 Cove in film alongside lake (5)
INLET – IN (in) ET (film) alongside L (lake)
23 Jack cheers Romeo (3)
TAR – TA (cheers) R (Romer)
24 One crying loudly, getting lift finally installed for tall building (4,5)
BELL TOWERBELLOWER (one crying loudly) getting T (lifT, “finally”) installed.
1 Sweet liquid Cretan stirred (6)
NECTAR – anagram (stirred) of CRETAN
2 Club where wife is on the brink (5)
WEDGE – W(ife) is on the EDGE (brink): wedge as in the golf club.
3 Breakfast time (8)
PORRIDGEnice and concise double definition, the second being stir or jail time. The OED’s first citation is from 1950 in Lag’s Lexicon: “when a Judge is giving heavy sentences, he is spoken of as ‘dishing out the gravy (or porridge).’ “
4 Iranian plot is surprisingly uplifting (13)
INSPIRATIONAL – anagram (surprisingly) of IRANIAN PLOT IS
5 Work taking little time, slick stuff? (4)
TOIL – T (little time) OIL (slick stuff / stuff wot makes a slick)
6 Keep to yourself: painting hard for painter (7)
HOGARTH – HOG (keep to yourself) ART (painting) H(ard)
7 Quite insignificant about first of results (6)
PRETTY – PETTY (insignificant) about R (“first” of Results)
12 Fellow into crime, pleasure-seeker (8)
HEDONIST – DON (fellow) into HEIST (crime). “Hedon” is Greek for pleasure, but I see it’s also a small town in Yorkshire, where bloody battles have been fought over the centuries between the godly and ungodly over whether the demonym is Hedoner or Hedonist, culminating in the terrible events of August 2000, when God smote the town, à la Sodom, with hailstones and a freak mini-tornado. But you won’t read that in the history books (or anywhere for that matter).
14 One studying another’s books? (7)
AUDITOR – Cryptic definition.
15 Group circling the globe to find frozen dessert (6)
SORBET – SET (group) circling ORB (globe)
16 Speaker welcomed by senator, a Tory (6)
ORATOR – welcomed into the letters of senatOR A TORy
19 Let everyone down at the centre (5)
ALLOW – ALL (everyone) OW (dOWn, at the centre)
20 Rosemary, say, in another bed (4)
HERB“in” the letters of anotHER Bed

19 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1088 by Mara”

  1. As our blogger says, gentle. AUDITOR was gentle to the point of being barely cryptic. I have a knee-jerk reaction to ‘fruit’ in a clue, immediately thinking HIP; worked this time, anyway. 4:56.
  2. Very enjoyable.

    32 minutes held up by inlet, dinosaur, bittern, bell tower, hedonist, allow and LOI auditor, my profession! Had cribber in my mind.

    Hard to pick a COD, inspirational, allow, wedge, bittern, all good, but my favourite is sorbet.

    Edited at 2018-05-10 06:51 am (UTC)

  3. 8 minutes, delayed a little by not getting HIP at 4ac until I had both checkers in place. I usually start by entering 3-letter answers and it immediately undermines my confidence when they fail to fall easily. I had seen the ‘odds/evens’ thing in another puzzle solved yesterday so that was a bonus.

    Edited at 2018-05-10 04:39 am (UTC)

  4. Nothing too testing today but no less entertaining for it. I solved it fairly steadily until finishing in the NE with the sixes. Enjoyed 24a and our bloggers description of the town of Hedon, which made me laugh out loud. Completed in 13.12
    1. Bet I laughed even louder — I’m an inhabitant of said town! Reading this blog in it, in fact. And I’m DEFINITELY a 12D 🙂
      Ps. Roly, if you really want to know what Hedonists get irate about, it’s being called a “town”…I’ve been castigated many times by old folk for this. “We are a BOROUGH! Not a town!” Worth remembering in the unlikely event you ever find yourself here.
      1. Ha! What are the odds, eh?! So today I’ve learnt the difference between a town and a borough. At least, I think I have… I can imagine a long-winded discussion about the differences would be hedonism for a masochist – my sympathies if you’ve been embroiled in one!
  5. Another enjoyable solve. 12:40 after having revisited the NE corner a number of times.
  6. Agree not one of Mara’s harder puzzles. The two long anagrams opened it up for me and I finished in about 13 minutes. LOI was Auditor.
    I considered Hop at 6a but quickly found Hip better. David
  7. Inside my old target of 15m, but felt it should have been quicker than that. Still, done berfore Surbiton (dbs) allowed plenty of time for a start on the 15 x 15 which I found very accessible this morning. Worth a look for those of you on the learning curve.

    Thanks Roly and Mara

  8. 9:51 but with a typo due to rushing to get under the 10 minute mark. “AUDOTOR” Shucks! Was distracted by BAWLER at 24a and took BELL TOWER out again until I saw how it worked. Thanks Roly and Mara.
  9. I felt that this rook me longer than it should have done on reflection. The definition of a good challenge perhaps? Enjoyed PORRIDGE for its neat brevity and “slick stuff” = OIL. Not come across that before.
  10. I found this quite straightforward, finishing a couple of minutes under average. I liked the Belgians going East best.
  11. … a DNF. This seemed much harder than usual for me. NE corner especially with hip, Hogarth and shingle all unsolved but even before then some long pauses between answers.

    Thankfully another day tomorrow!

  12. 14:51, so a continuation of my run of sub 20 minute times. I’m even thinking of bringing down my target time to 15 minutes! That guarantees an absolute stinker tomorrow!
  13. Where does the IF come from in 10 ac?
    I only get pirate anagram but missing letters if ?
    1. It comes from the word “providing” in the clue. For example,”you can have a sweet providing you wash the dishes”
  14. Came to this much later than usual, after a hard day in the garden, but everything went in without too much bother in 25mins – really quick for me with Mara. Contemplated making it a permanent change, but I see from other comments that the consensus is Mara took pity on us today. Torn between 1ac and 2d for CoD, but lots of nice clues all round the grid. Invariant
    1. To me the perplexing thing about QCs is the chat which often ensues about variation in difficulty. It is the same, and usually always an issue, with The Guardian’s somewhat less consistent and sometimes very badly-written Quiptic, but I seriously doubt, despite recent (and also perplexing, not to mention anonymous) comments, that a Times QC has ever truly been more difficult than its accompanying daily.

      QCs for me are ALWAYS a great warm-up, and always enjoyable.

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