Times Quick Cryptic No 1132 by Teazel

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

A fine puzzle, but a ghastly solve — the perfect storm of difficulty and distraction: scrawling in answers to a very (~30%) UK-centric puzzle and simultaneously trying to prevent my two-year-old from burning the house down, all the while supervising the grandparents who are supposed to be watching the imp but who seem to require rather a lot of supervision themselves.

Forgive my terseness this week, but I think I hear a refrigerator falling over…


3 Sort of account [for] nervous anticipation (8)
SUSPENSE – double definition
I hadn’t heard of a ‘suspense account’, but I like Merriam-Webster’s definition: “an account for the temporary entry of charges or credits or especially of doubtful accounts receivable pending determination of their ultimate disposition”.
7 Shout in pain, [being] cowardly (6)
YELLOW – YELL, ‘OW’ (“shout in pain”)
8 [In] time, I lag dreadfully: a restriction on the old? (3,5)
AGE LIMIT – TIME I LAG (“time I lag”) anagrammed (“dreadfully”)
I usually think of this as a restriction on the young! I’d love to hear some choice examples of the other.
9 Cook[’s] agitated state (4)
STEW – double definition
10 Taking only starter in dinner, I am faint (3)
DIM – first letter of (“taking only starter in”) DINNER (“dinner”) + I’M (“I am”)
11 Two drinks before my card game (3,5)
GIN RUMMY – GIN, RUM (“two drinks”) + (“before”) MY (“my”)
13 Married in a church, one’s high point (4)
ACME – M (“married”) in (“in”) A (“a”) + CE (“church”)
15 Look around [in] centre of castle (4)
KEEP – PEEK (“look”) reversed (“around”)
I got stuck trying to put something in ST (“centre of castle”).
17 Community entertainment regularly rising and falling (8)
SINGSONG – double definition
In the US, I know the former as a ‘sing-along’, hence I spent a lot of time trying to put something in S_N_S_N_ relating to regularly rising and falling sine waves. 🙁
19 We’re disgusted — [and] some shrug helplessly (3)
UGH – letters in (“some”) SHRUG HELPLESSLY
22 [The] genuine side of Madrid? (4)
REAL – double definition, a reference to the football team (“side”), Real Madrid
23 No more room on satellite? It happens every month (4,4)
FULL MOON – double definition, the first humorously describing the moon (“satellite”)
24 Assassin was old lunatic (6)
OSWALD – WAS OLD (“was old”) anagrammed (“lunatic”)
Lee Harvey Oswald, that is.
25 Long-distance traveller, singular fast bowler (8)
SPACEMAN – S (“singular”) + PACEMAN (“fast bowler”)


1 Girl [is] to live very short time (8)
BEATRICE – BE (“to live”) + A TRICE (“very short time”)
And not BE + VER{y} + AGE, which as we all know is the full name of ‘Beverly’.
2 Plant [is] fine further down (6)
FLOWER – F (“fine”) + LOWER (“further down”)
3 Change, [putting] feet up (4)
SWAP – PAWS (“feet”) reversed (“up”)
4 Notes day is stormy: keep calm! (6,2)
STEADY ON – NOTES DAY (“notes day”) anagrammed (“is stormy”)
5 Puzzle in game resolved (6)
ENIGMA – IN GAME (“in game”) anagrammed (“resolved”; that is, re-solved)
6 Tin one penny? A bargain (4)
SNIP – SN (“tin”, on the periodic table) + I (“one”) + P (“penny”)
12 Features space to grow fast (8)
MUSHROOM – MUSH (“features”, as in one’s face) + ROOM (“space”)
14 People add up in their heads (8)
MENTALLY – MEN (“people”) + TALLY (“add up”)
16 But such a school is private (6)
PUBLIC – cryptic definition
This little paradox rang a bell, but after reading up on the etymology I still don’t quite understand it.
18 Son to go on all fours, [showing] bad hand (6)
SCRAWL – S (“son”) + CRAWL (“to go on all fours”)
‘Hand’ as in ‘handwriting’.
20 Persistently question origin of meat eaten by dog (4)
PUMP – first letter of (“origin of”) MEAT (“meat”) in (“eaten by”) PUP (“dog”)
Still sort of convinced this might be CUMR.
21 Soon a refusal from Paris (4)
ANON – A (“a”) + NON (“refusal from Paris”; that is, ‘no’ in French)

38 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1132 by Teazel”

  1. I hadn’t heard of suspense accounts either, but one definition is enough. And like Jeremy, I spent some time trying to use the ST of ‘castle’. DNK PACEMAN. In Japan, where there are no anti-discrimination laws, employers standardly specify an age above which one need not apply for a position. 5:20.
  2. In England, Public Schools are privately operated. Government-operated (thus, “public”) schools are presumably called other things.
    1. Perhaps I wasn’t clear: I know the answer, but I’m still not sure of how this naming paradox came to be.
      1. According to Wikipedia, they were called “public” because they were open to the public – that is, anyone who could pay.
    2. I have taken pleasure for years in, when asked, telling people I went to a public (Grammar) school. I have always referred to English Public Schools as Private Schools.
      They can’t have it both ways. Language has to move on…..
    3. I have taken pleasure for years in, when asked, telling people I went to a public (Grammar) school. I have always referred to English Public Schools as Private Schools.
      They can’t have it both ways. Language has to move on…..
    4. The general label for non-“public” schools is state schools; we have the state sector and the private (or independent) sector. The state sector used to be funded and maintained by Local Education Authorities but now it’s more often the case that schools in the shape of academies or academy trusts get funded directly from central govt.
    5. The general label for non-“public” schools is state schools; we have the state sector and the private (or independent) sector. The state sector used to be funded and maintained by Local Education Authorities but now it’s more often the case that schools in the shape of academies or academy trusts get funded directly from central govt.
  3. Well, I heard that there was a nude restaurant opening in London (Bunyadi) that was not going to admit anyone over 60, but I don’t know if they stuck to that policy (which, at 62 myself, I find extremely prejudiced!). A similar place in Japan, Amrita, backtracked on the age limit—as well as a weight limit!

    I thought SUSPENSE account was another of the several UKisms in this puzzle, until Vinyl informed me otherwise.

    Edited at 2018-07-11 03:02 am (UTC)

  4. I understand the Public School thing is UK derived, although it happens here in Australia too. (Interestingly, I went to a government school that was nevertheless a member of the Great Public Schools association!).

    But, what else in this puzzle is particularly UK? I wouldn’t have guessed singsong was a problem, I admit.

    1. Church of England, singsong, public school, steady on, mush, snip, paceman — off the top of my head. I also thought perhaps trice and suspense account, but maybe not.
      1. OK, got it. Thanks!

        There seems to be debate about the origin of the quip, England and America are two countries separated by the same language, but this illustrates the point!

        1. I’ve just checked the Macquarie Dictionary and confirmed my impression that in Australia MUSH meaning features is spelled MOOSH.
      2. Maybe your right as I found this all plain sailing and had my quickest quick for nearly 2 months… and I’m pretty UK-centric… or East Anglia-centric, to be more accurate.
  5. Top half was almost empty after I’d finished the bottom. Really struggled with PAWS for feet (time to get a new cat?) and so didn’t have the start of SUSPENSE making those two my last in, ahead of BEATRICE. Only just under half an hour – which some breakfast admin slowing me down.
  6. Delayed starting and finishing I went a little over my target and completed the grid as the clock approached 12 minutes. The delay at the end was the result of thinking change = SWAY at 3dn (as in sway/change someone’s opinion) and then trying to remember what ‘yaws’ meant to explain the wordplay. I couldn’t recall* but decided to do an alphabet trawl to see if anything fitted better and P comes quite late in the alphabet.

    I vaguely remembered MUSH meaning ‘face’ and associated it with Tony Hancock, but on reflection and after checking the dictionary I think he used it rather as ‘a familiar or contemptuous term of address’ (Collins). In either case in English it’s pronounced “moosh” as opposed to “mush”, the latter being reserved for other non-slang meanings.

    *it’s deviation from a straight course by a ship or aircraft or missile.

    Edited at 2018-07-11 04:59 am (UTC)

  7. Which slowed me down somewhat, finally inking in BEATRICE as LOI in 2.75 Kevins.

    I didn’t understand SINGSONG, and the blog just saying “double definition” hasn’t really helped me, Jeremy! What’s the second definition? Is the idea that songs regularly have higher and lower notes? If so, pretty feeble clue IMHO.

    I liked MENTALLY, MUSHROOM and ANON, which gets my COD. Let’s hope England are there on Sunday to create another French refusal. Fun puzzle, thank you Teazel, and thank you Jeremy for blogging your way through domestic distractions!


    1. 1.an accent, metre, or intonation that is characterized by an alternately rising and falling rhythm, as in a person’s voice, piece of verse, etc
      2. British
      an informal session of singing, esp of popular or traditional songs

      The Welsh accent is often characterised as ‘singsong’.

      Edited at 2018-07-11 08:00 am (UTC)

  8. Great puzzle. Challenging – I jumped around and was not alone in only completing the NW corner after the SW and NE. Lots of opportunities to biff and get the wrong answer. Beatrice was my LOI. Favourites were Scrawl and Mentally. Just scraped in under 3 Kevins so I’m slowing as the week progresses. John
  9. No hold ups for me today apart from a slight delay twigging my LOI, OSWALD. 7:25. Thanks Teazel and Jeremy.
  10. Most travel insurance firms have a cutoff age of 80 or 85, though I have found one which would accept me, if I did decide to go away again.
    No problems, but about 7 minutes, as I remembered to watch what I was entering (especially where entered letters are skipped) to be sure there were no typos – my record on the quickies has far too many with one error.
  11. Bang on 15 minutes for me, so at the slightly tougher end of the rotterometer. If I remember right, the wolf character in Road Runner cartoons often adopted a disguise as a salesman or insurance guy carring a bag with ACME on it, and I still think of it as an Americanism, although obviously, it is perfectly legitimate.
  12. Well I too thought it was more challenging than yesterday but my time says otherwise at 11:32. My penultimate solve was 3ac SUSPENSE which as a chartered accountant I thought was tough for a QC. LOI, like others, was 1dn BEATRICE. Enjoyed 14dn MENTALLY but ambivalent about 17ac SINGSONG….which I biffed from a single definition.

    I looked up the origin of ‘biffed’ in crossword land and found…

    ‘To biff is to enter a clue’s answer from the definition without fully understanding its parsing. The term originated in Jan 2015 as BIFD (acronym of Bunged In From Definition) in a comment on Times for the Times blog. BIFD later morphed into ‘biffed’.

    Not sure who used it first but I rather like the onomatopoeic quality of it.

    1. It was coined by Grestyman of this parish(the 15×15 branch) who hasn’t posted for a while…

      Edited at 2018-07-11 01:01 pm (UTC)

  13. 14 minutes to get to my last two -9a and 1d.
    I got Oswald without realising which assassin was referred to. And Suspense Accounts are very common in the worlds of banking and accounting so that was no problem; but they weren’t the first accounts I though of.
    It took me a minute or so to get Stew and then Beatrice appeared. So about 16 minutes in all.
    A bit harder than yesterday but fair I thought. David
  14. Straightforward with no real hold ups. BEATRICE my LOI and COD. I too always thought that MUSH in the sense of face was spelled MOOSH (based upon its pronunciation). Used to be used as an appellation as well as in “Oi Moosh..” etc. Didn’t think of Lee Harvey OSWALD, so just biffed that one (US-centric blogger?) Enjoyed REAL, clever DD.
  15. 7:37 – maybe I should QC whilst the tennis is on more often. 12dn had to be mushroom but I passed on without working out the mush=features part. I liked many clues but cod to loi 1dn.
  16. I must of been on the right wavelength today as it went with barely a pause. I hadn’t heard of a suspense account but the checkers and definition meant it couldn’t be much else. LOI an unparsed 17a and thanks to jackkt for the clarification of the parsing.
    Completed in 9.48
    1. I suppose I should comment that the decision of how much to elaborate on a definition is a bit of an art… obviously with something like ‘account’, and the answer is SUSPENSE, I feel like I should say a few words. But if the clue gives ‘regularly rising and falling’, and the answer is SINGSONG, there’s not much I can see to do other than underline it, since that is the definition.

      But I will make a better effort to try to give more example sentences or contexts for rarer words.

  17. Thanks Jeremy, my comment wasn’t implying that there was anything lacking in your blog, more that I was being a bit slow on the uptake
    Apologies if there was any misunderstanding
  18. a little bit harder than yesterday, I had to tease BEATRICE and STEW out, but other than that, a steady plough through the grid.
    singsong troubles a little, but nothing else was possible.
    similar to the rotter, acme sticks from road runner.
    25 mins.
    thanks Jeremy & Teazel.

Comments are closed.