Times Quick Cryptic No 1133 by Oran

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Well this felt different!  In the only previous blog I did for an Oran puzzle, I was somewhat smug about completing it in record time.  Perhaps this is Oran’s revenge?

I took all of 18 minutes here, and found the clueing and style slightly, and suspiciously, unfamiliar.  There were proper names all over the place, along with some unusual words and names in the grid, including two uncommon men’s names in 10a and 1d, and a new word for me in 23a.

There is also a NINA in the penultimate row, which combines with 1d to give the name of a prominent painter, sporting writer and magazine illustrator about a hundred years ago.  He was an alumni of King’s College London, where I currently work.  Coincidence?  It gets curiouser and curiouser as Alice said…

…trying another tack, resulting from the suspicion I referred to earlier, I looked again.  There is a definite football theme here.  ‘Coleraine star’ appears in a clue, as does ‘Eoin’ and ‘Oran’ himself.  Eoin Bradley (BRADLEY is the NINA) is a star player and striker at Coleraine Football Club, where the manager is Oran Kearney.  I can’t find any record of George Best ever playing for Coleraine, but maybe he played against them in his early days?  Certainly Aaron Burns is a Coleraine player, as is Darren McCauley (D McCauley a la 4d).  I’m confidant that I have stumbled here on the theme for Oran’s QC today – this is surely too much for coincidence?

I’m sure there are more connections out there if one plays with the names and words that are in the clues and grid.  Coleraine won the Irish CUP last season, they were CLOSERS and gave ORAN his first GREAT SUCCESS, something of a COUP.  You see what I mean.  Can anyone spot any more?  Whilst this is a perfectly reasonable QC, it is more a celebration of a small Northern Ireland football club’s fantastic season last season, and hopes and aspirations for their new season – starting tonight incidentally (although I am sure that it is anything but incidental), with the first qualifying round of the EUFA Europa League, when they play Spartak Subotica at the Karadorde Stadium in Serbia.  Let’s all wish them, and Oran the best of luck – we’ve been a bit short on football lately!  Incidentally, EXURBIA may be a sub-liminal and phonetic reference to SERBIA.

I haven’t yet found who CUTHBERT is – maybe the Coleraine mascot, or a founder or similar – answers on postcards please.  Moving on from observation to supposition – does this tell us anything about ORAN himself – born and bred in Coleraine maybe?

Back to the crossword. With plenty of anagrams, hiddens, double-definitions and cryptic clues, if one can avoid the mis-directions and distractions, I think there is something here for everyone, although I expect some of our newbies to struggle a little in places.  I will be very interested to see what you guys think of it.

Thanks Oran for an excellent work-out and very well constructed secret message.  TUBFUL is CoD and DINK is WoD.  Good luck tonight!

1  Trophy sealing Oran’s first great success (4)
COUP – CUP is the trophy, containing O{ran’s} first.
Copied one defeated at chess, capturing it (8)
IMITATED – I (one) MATED (defeated at chess) ‘capturing’ IT (it)
Drinks spilt: PE ruined (7)
TIPPLES – Anagram (ruined) of [SPILT: PE]
10 Man appearing in bazaar once (5)
AARON – Hidden (appearing in) {Baz}AAR ON{ce}.  My occasional gardener is called AARON, so I spotted this quite quickly.
11  Scottish Linesman is on fire! (5)
BURNS – A double definition (the first cryptic, referring to Robert BURNS, known as Rabbie, the bard (hence linesman) of Ayrshire).
12 Charlie can go back for brandy (6)
COGNAC – C (Charlie – phonetic alphabet) and CAN GO (all reversed – back).
14 How different colours mix maybe worried Coleraine star (4,9)
17  Lancashire football team mostly played very fast (6)
PRESTO – The Lancashire football team referred to is PRESTO{n}, dropping the last letter (mostly) to give the musical indicator for ‘very quick’.  PRESTO, I am told, is quicker than Allegro.
19  N Ireland footballer conserving energy in attack (5)
BESET – N Ireland footballer has to be George BEST, one of the greatest ever, and he conserves (retains) E{nergy} to give BESET.  I wondered about BESET = ATTACK.  Usually, BESET is more like surrounding with hostile intentions, to besiege, rather than to attack itself.  My on-line Chambers dictionary seems to agree with me, but the thesaurus allows the equation, so I shan’t quibble.
22  Find the netOne can be composed! (5)
SCORE – Double definition, the first referring to the act of scoring in football, hockey, handball, etc., and the second to a musical SCORE.
23  Uber taxi – not the first – out in area beyond city (7)
EXURBIA – This might catch a few out.  An obvious anagram (out) of [UBER {t}AXI], with the added complication of whether to drop the first letter of Uber or Taxi.  I admit I tried both before spotting, and entering, the most credible answer, which was previously unknown to me.
24  Performs better than president, at first, cutting costs (8)
OUTPLAYS – P{resident} (at first) ‘cutting’ costs – OUTLAYS
25  Cockney idol’s famous London statue (4)
EROS – Cockney idol’s would be {h}ERO’S, and EROS is the (common, but erroneous) name of the world’s first cast-aluminium statue that stands in Piccadilly Circus, as part of the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain.  Eros is more properly his brother Anteros, the God of selfless love.

1 Fellow butcher somehow is on time (6)
CUTHBERT – Anagram (somehow) of [BUTCHER] and T{ime} to give an uncommon man’s name.
Superior meal, but no starter (13)
UPPER – The meal is {s}UPPER, with no starter – drop the first letter.
Dramatic work from D McCauley: I’m so excited (7,6)
MUSICAL COMEDY – Nicely disguised anagram (excited) of [D MCCAULEY: IM SO].  The use of a proper name in the anagrist may send you off in search of arcane general knowledge, but it isn’t needed!
5  At first they were all nervous; finally showing pluck (5)
TWANG – First letters of (at first) T{hey} W{ere} A{ll} N{ervous} and last letter (finally) of {showin}G.  TWANG is defined as the sound of a plucked string.
High wind that’s to sailors trouble (7)
TORNADO – TO (to) RN (sailors) ADO (trouble).
7  Child rising to embrace Eoin’s final, delicate touch (4)
DINK – KID (child) reversed (rising in a down clue) and embracing (holding) last letter of {eoi}N.  To DINK (as well as what people do to my car in car parks) can mean to gently hit a ball in a slow arc, with a delicate touch, rather than a slog, and is used in cricket and other bat and ball games, as well as in football.
8 Someone finishing on more intimate terms (6)
CLOSER – DD – someone finishing / closing a contract would be a CLOSER, and to be CLOSER is to be more intimate.
13 They’ll take throw-ins for those out of puff! (8)
ASHTRAYS – Cryptic definition with misdirection in this period of World Cup madness.
15  Complain nothing right in place for vehicle (7)
CARPORT – CARP (complain) O (nothing) RT (R{igh}T).
16  Total amount in VAT? (6)
TUBFUL – Cryptic definition, again with a hint of misdirection – not that kind of VAT.  My CoD
18  Pinch small duck (5)
STEAL – S{mall} and TEAL (duck)
20  Cry over queen’s grave (5)
SOBER – SOB (cry) on (over) ER (Queen)
21  Restrictive order upset job satisfaction, somewhat (4)
ASBO – Reverse (upset) hidden (somewhat) in {j}OB SA{tisfaction).  An ASBO is an Anti-Social Behaviour Order, a court order that places restrictions on a person who has been found guilty of antisocial acts.

31 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1133 by Oran”

  1. Well-spotted on the theme and Nina, both of which went way over my crossbar. I usually do the QC but don’t comment, should probably pop in here more often. I was wondering why this one came together a lot more slowly than the usual ones, 5:18. Two cryptic definitions in a QC I also thought was a little unusual.
  2. …so much was going on here. Oh, well, sports references in general go right by me, let alone those to European games. I also didn’t know ASBO or DINK (but got them right anyway).
  3. This was going well enough for me until I was left with only the two cryptic defintions which stumped me to the point of boredom so I gave in and looked them up as the half-hour approached.

    I missed all the hidden football stuff (of course).

    TWANG! was a disastrous musical about Robin Hood (geddit?) which at the time (1965) was the most expensive flop in West End history. It effectively brought to an abrupt end the career of its composer, Lionel Bart, who up to that point had been the Golden Boy of British musical theatre.

    ORAN has given us 17 puzzles to date starting with QC35 in 2014. He set 2 that year, 3 in 2015, 4 in 2016 and 5 in 2017. There’s a pattern here which, if it is to continue, requires him to set 6 in 2018, but today’s was only his first.

    Edited at 2018-07-12 05:16 am (UTC)

  4. Made reasonable progress until badly gummed up in the SE. Exurbia, ashtray and tubful all holding me up. The A from the end of exurbia finally getting me to stop trying to make 13d end in “less”. I don’t think I’d ever have got the answer without all the checkers (throw-ins?). Knew tub was involved in 16d but didn’t think it would be all together at the beginning (amount IN tub – utterly fell for the setter’s trap).

    Enjoyed the puzzle but it was put in the shade by one of the all time best blogs – cracking stuff therotter! Hats off!

    Edited at 2018-07-12 06:31 am (UTC)

  5. Just over 19 mins for me. Spent a good 5 mins plus on 13 and 16 down. I’m on dangerous ground being critical but I’m not sure that I really see how the definition for 13d works. I’m not a smoker but does one really throw a cigarette end into an ashtray? I thought they were stubbed or placed?
  6. At 29:25 this has got to be my slowest solve in a good while. Anything football related is alien to me. I even attempted the 15×15 yesterday to avoid watching the England game but could guess the score from the hollers and howls in the other room.
    The SE corner troubled me most. DNK 23ac EXURBIA and my LOI was 16dn TUBFUL. Tough for a quickie.
  7. I was warned that this was tough so took it slowly and carefully and ended up, like others, struggling in the SE with 23ac, 13dn and 16dn. Exurbia came painfully after finally realising that it was the first letter of the second, not first, word which was missing. Then came tubful when I finally realised what was going on (and made this cod). Loi ashtray on 23mins which I entered with a ‘cor blimey’ on my lips.
    Rotter – you’ve out-Rotterred yourself today – a sparkling effort which has brightened up what’s now left of the day! As for Oran – what can I say – genius crossword setting.
  8. What a magnificent blog, well played sir! It had all passed me completely by. I noticed a football theme but assumed it was World Cup related (sob).

    My only additional spot is that EOIN appears as a Nina as well as in the clue for 7dn – it’s in the 4th row down, starting with the E in UPPER.

    Oh yes, the puzzle. Chewy, completed in exactly 1 Rotter today which I suspect could be on the thick end of 3 Kevins. We will see. Hopefully the quirkiness might slow him down a little.

    My COD goes to STEAL, which had an elegant simplicity.

    Thanks to Oran for what must have been a lot of work, and to the Rotter for unpicking it all.


  9. Any connection that it’s the Glorious Twelfth today – ORANgeman’s day?
  10. Possibly my slowest ever QC, with all the references passing me by. SE particularly hard, with TUBFUL and ASHTRAYS. Thanks for the blog, not sure how I can bring this newfound knowledge into conversation. Good puzzle!
  11. Good point and one that escaped me. As I said in the blog, I’m sure there is still more to reveal itself.
  12. This was pretty slow for me – 12 minutes with DENT LOI at 7dn, though not happy about definition, having taken ‘child’ to just indicate a shortened male name.
    Thanks to the rotter for explaining what this was all about – I had been wondering why today had been flagged on my calendar, so glad to have been reminded by kpc.
  13. Glad I wasn’t blogging this: I’d have been outed as an unobservant and unappreciative semi-moron, as I spotted nothing – not even the Bradley in the almost bottom line. Still and all, enlightened by the exuberant blog, I am moved to note that AARON Traynor is a defender for Coleraine.
    Unencumbered by all the remarkable eclecticism, but hampered by a dubious EXURBAN (doesn’t even match the anagram fodder) I completed in just over 10. Best wishes to Coleraine FC this evening!

    PS: turns out Lynsey CUTHBERT is a “fully trained and qualified Professional Integrative Counsellor, having studied Humanistic, CBT and Psychodynamics”. She works out of Coleraine. Coincidence?

    1. It’s better than that – as the Rotter spotted, AARON BURNS plays for Coleraine!

      So we have him in the answers, and EOIN BRADLEY in the across rows.

      We just need to crack CUTHBERT now …

  14. Who is Bradley? The name is spelt out second row from the bottom starting with the B in ASBO of 23 Down. This was tough
  15. Good grief! How did you spot that theme? Well done Rotter, and thanks to Oran for a remarkable puzzle! I spotted a football theme, but had no idea it was that clever. Has Lynsey Cuthbert worked with the team? I think we should be told. 2 minutes over average with TUBFUL and ASHTRAYS my last 2 in. RACE RELATIONS my favourite.
  16. At 11.05 my slowest QC time in memory, possibly ever. The theme passed me by completely but then they usually do.
    Random names are a bugbear of mine so I grumbled at CUTHBERT and AARON but I did like TUBFUL.
    So, a crossword setter with detailed knowledge of Coleraine FC. Who could that be I wonder?

    Edited at 2018-07-12 01:19 pm (UTC)

  17. Off to Serbia shortly 🙂 but just to say that CUTHBERT is not connected to Coleraine FC.
    I am mightly impressed at the info dredged up by various people here!
    D(ARREN) MCCAULEY, AARON BURNS and EOIN BRADLEY scored in the 3-1 Cup Final win on May 5, when football really did come home!


    1. Good luck in the match; hope the result gives you cause not to remain entirely SOBER (you could TIPPLE some COGNAC).

      Fun puzzle, thanks – but all kudos for spotting what you were up to go to our esteemed blogger du jour!


    2. Thanks for the enlightenment Oran, Cuthbert has been exercising my little grey cells all day, so I can put that to rest.

      Speaking for myself, I can say that I really enjoyed the challenges presented by today’s QC, and nice to see you drop by, and express appreciation of everyone’s effort.

      Good luck tonight!

  18. Great puzzle and a great blog. Thanks. Most enjoyable but one of my slowest for ages, though – half an hour…….. John
  19. I gave up after half an hour, about half of which was spent staring blankly at 13 and 16d. I can appreciate the cleverness of the nina but those two clues I’m not so sure about (or maybe that’s just sour grapes)
    Brilliant blog rotter, no idea how you figured all of that out.
  20. I enjoyed this football-heavy QC which I solved on the train on the way to see my mother;hence my late post.
    It wasn’t easy and after 30 minutes, I had one left -16d. The best I could get was TABSUB, having assumed that Vat =Tub, so one wrong.
    Very good to see Preston featured, one of the homes of football,with Best on the same line of the puzzle. I once saw George Best play at Deepdale against North End in the Cup;one of my most vivid football memories.
    I did check to see that in today’s fixtures Coleraine are playing Spartak. But I missed the NINA.
    Great blog Rotter. David
  21. I was on a tight schedule to get out on the golf course when I attempted this puzzle, so when I got to 18 minutes with 13d and 16d still unsolved, I resorted to aids. I’d worked out VAT was TUB, but got no further. Oran 25, me 23. Great puzzle, and well done Rotter for unravelling the puzzle and the theme!
  22. I suspect this is something to do with the crossword editor himself, as I have learned through the various blogs that he is a Coleraine fan. Quite a dense puzzle for a QC in my opinion, and interesting to see what the noobs thought.
  23. Coleraine drew 1-1 in the first leg in Serbia with the man from 4 Down scoring their goal. So Oran should be pleased, I’d expect, and there must be a chance of further progress in the competition.
  24. I’m a noob and I had to give up about 2/3 of the way through. Not my cup of tea I’m afraid. Excellent blog from the Rotter.
  25. No idea about the theme, but 13d, 16d, 23a took 3 nights prior to falling asleep before the pennies dropped. 8 minutes up till the SE. Thoroughly good puzzle. Thanks Oran.

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