Times Quick Cryptic No 1169 by Rongo – Salad Days

A fresh and simple mixed salad from Rongo, the god of cultivated plants*, today. One or two crunchy bits, but nothing meaty, only a bit of fish. A good mix of clue flavours and nicely dressed with some smooth surfaces. Easily digestible, I’m expecting some fast times today from the experts – about 6:30 for me and I’m always slower when I do it online. I’ll leaf you to work out my Clue Of the Day! Thanks Rongo for the light summery fare, very fitting for the last day of August, and the subtle reminder to watch our waistlines. (I think I might just have imagined that – I’d better get my coat and get back to my refurbished hut). How did you all like it?
*No, I didn’t know that either until I looked it up as I wrote this introduction!

Definitions underlined in italics, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Pointed tool held by smaller criminal (7)
LAWLESS – AWL (pointed tool) inside [held by] LESS (smaller). I got the wrong end of the pointy-stick clue initially thinking the definition was “pointed”, but SAWLCON isn’t a word and neither is SAWLLAG,
5 Huts remodelled like this (4)
THUS – (Huts)* [remodelled]. Like this, not like that.
8 Loudly sing opinion of unfashionable waistband? (4,3)
BELT OUT – If your view of that thing around my waist is that it is passé your opinion might be that my BELT is OUT. As for the singing, a lusty choral society’s CAN BELTO is the very antithesis of BEL CANTO.
9 Practical joke is quietly disgusting (5)
PRANK – Our first, and quite simple, charade. P (piano = quietly) + RANK (disgusting). Not a noisy whoopee cushion then. What’s your favourite prank?
11 Be painfully affected by belt-tightening? (4,3,5)
FEEL THE PINCH – Cryptic definition. What’s this with waistlines today?
12 Concerned with short Welsh dog going around shopkeeper (6)
GROCER – You take RE (Concerned with) and add the Welsh dog CORG{i} without the last letter [short] and turn it all around to get the sort of shopkeeper a 10d might buy from.
14 Heard someone leaving Devonian town (6)
EXETER – Sounds like [Heard] EXITER (someone leaving). Perhaps the cream teas were too fattening.
15 US news magazine with a profit repeatedly (4,3,5)
TIME AND AGAIN – TIME (US news magazine) + AND (with) + A GAIN (a profit). Easy peasy, like a lot of other clues today.
17 Peevish complaint from Caucasian changing time to noon (5)
WHINE – A substitution clue. The Caucasian is WHITE. Change the T (time) to N (noon). And no complaining about this clue, please.
18 The man’s Conservative past (7)
HISTORY – Another simple charade…. HIS (The man’s) + TORY (Conservative).
20 Departs with ship full of animals that’s not light (4)
DARK – And another… D (Departs) + Noah’s ARK (ship full of animals).
21 Disorderly nit, impolite to enter uninvited (7)
INTRUDE – (nit)* [disorderly] + RUDE (impolite). Stay out of my remodelled hut!

2 Certainly dismayed, in part (3)
AYE – A hidden word – dismAYEd [in part]. Surely you all spotted that?
3 Ignited high explosive, showing flexibility (5)
LITHE – LIT (Ignited) + H.E. (high explosive). A bomb made from plastic explosive, perhaps?
4 Difficulty with speech, failing Turing test? (10)
STUTTERING – (Turing Test)* [failing]. An interesting surface. The Turing Test is a hypothetical measure of whether an Articial Intelligence is indistinguishable from a person. AI’s are pretty good with written text exchanges these days but conversational speech is more of a challenge. As evidenced by this voice-activated lift.
6 Drug English star (7)
HEROINE – HEROIN (drug) + E (English). I’d better say no more.
7 Absorbing nitrogen, censures nasty skin lotion (9)
SUNSCREEN – (censures)* [nasty] including N (chemical symbol for nitrogen) to give something to stop you getting burnt. A rare bit of clunky surface among the other well-done clues.
10 Eater ’aving bananas (or nuts)? (10)
VEGETARIAN – An outstanding clue, of the &lit variety, where the whole clue is both the wordplay and definition. It works like this… An anagram – (Eater ‘aving)* [bananas] or [nuts]. Strictly speaking, the (or nuts) is not needed, but it adds nicely to the surface. Lovely job!
11 Tried catching tuna, say, around vessel supplied (9)
FURNISHED – FISHED (tried catching tuna, say) [around] URN (vessel). Salade Niçoise is one of my favourites, although it’s not a salad a 10d would eat. As for the furnishing… maybe it’s for the remodelled huts at 5a?
13 Remover of dirt or carbon with less fat (7)
CLEANER – C (Chemical symbol of carbon) + LEANER (with less fat).
16 Sailor supporting a Liberal place of worship (5)
ALTAR – The sailor is a jolly Jack TAR. He is supporting (i.e. underneath) A L (Liberal).
19 Left-wing Republican editor (3)
RED – R (Republican) + ED (editor). About as primary a sort of clue as you can get.

29 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1169 by Rongo – Salad Days”

  1. Technical DNF today. All done in 7 minutes apart from 6dn where I had a complete blind spot. At 10 minutes I gave up and resorted to aids as I had other more pressing demands on my time. I had thought drug = H (short for heroin) and E = English but had decided I was looking for a star of the night-sky variety. My excuse is I’d already done my brain in with the 15×15, some of which is extremely hard today. I usually solve the QC first, and I shall revert to doing that in future.

    Edited at 2018-08-31 05:45 am (UTC)

    1. Well it is a Friday. Thanks for the warning about the 15×15… just about to tackle it and got plenty of coffee.
  2. I enjoyed the mix today tricky here and there (corgi) but nothing unfair:) Just to be pedantic Exeter is a city and city works just as well in the clue.
  3. Got into a complete muddle reading the clue for 1 across. Held me up at the end. Otherwise an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to all.
  4. I share jack’s blind spot concerning heroine. It brought me to a halt and was my LOI. I even considered ‘harmine’ – an alkaloid that has been used as a drug but it didn’t parse, of course. An easy CT with hindsight and I thought I was going to get much closer to my target today. I was surprised to see 14.16 on the clock at the end. I liked 11d. Not a day for the 15×15 in my case, I suppose. John M
  5. I’d started to think that the Friday puzzle was regularly more difficult than those on other days so I approached Rongo’s QC today with some apprehension. To my delight, that was utterly misplaced! I finished in twenty minutes which, for me, is a PB, practically warp speed. Particularly liked 11 across. Thanks so much, setter and blogger
  6. A steady solve after a slow start in 12:21. I skipped 1a and my FOI was 5a THUS. LOI was the elusive 1a LAWLESS which like others I overcomplicated. This was not helped by a late spot of 2d AYE. I also took a long while to sort the anagram at 7d SUNSCREEN and needed all the checkers. Thank you to Rongo and John for the blog.
  7. Rusty brain today 28 mins. Didn’t spot Turing test anagram. All fine clues though so must be me in end-of-week brain mode.
  8. For a change, I got the two long clues quite quickly and that opened up the grid. Even so, it still took me 20 mins, with Heroine and loi Whine holding things up at the end – I was plodding around Asia for a minute or two before the penny dropped. Several contenders for CoD, but 10d just beats 12 and 1ac for my vote today. Invariant
    1. Good to see you have a livejournal handle now! So you should get replies to your comments (like this) automatically now. I liked GROCER too and LAWLESS appears to be joint HCOD (hardest clue of the day) with HEROINE.
  9. Just over 7 mins for this with 1a last in (tricky clue). I thought Exeter was a city not a town? In general I thought this was a great example of a QC so thank you setter and blogger
    1. Thanks goodness. I got mysteriously banned for a day or two a few months ago (I think I was suspected of being a spambot!), which caused a bit of consternation over the blogging duties. Fortunately it was resolved before I had to resort to creating a new ID. I think it was because I hadn’t bothered to read my LJ messages on the site as I get them via email anyway, and I’d got to 100 unread messages. Hmm. Better read some now or it might happen again!
      1. I think you’re on the right track with spambot. Jonathan tried adjusting some settings for me, but while he was doing that, I logged in anonymously with a different browser and had to go through the Are you a Robot? pictures, after which it let me post as myself. I did the same with Chrome and now seem to be back to normal.
  10. I originally tried to post a couple of hours ago but found myself cast into the outer darkness. A bit of assistance from Vinyl1 seems to have sorted the issue:-) My FOI was LAWLESS and I proceeded methodically, finishing with VEGETARIAN, which is a somewhat less rigorous version of my younger daughter’s Vegan diet. Whenever she comes to visit, I let her buy the ingredients for our meals, as I can’t always read the small print on the ingredients labels. You’d be astonished at the number of things that are excluded from the said Vegan diet! 8:33. Thanks Rongo and John.
    PS. Said daughter wasn’t particularly happy about driving my car from Michaelwood Services on the M5 to Gloucester Hospital when I was incarcerated after a pulmonary embolism a couple of years ago. It has leather seats!

    Edited at 2018-08-31 01:09 pm (UTC)

    1. Just checking that I’m okay too. John_dun, you sent me a message privately about this which I have just responed to, but I see you are back in the fold.

      Edited at 2018-08-31 01:14 pm (UTC)

  11. Thank you, Rongo. Lots of wit and sparkle. Finding an anagram for the Turing Test is genius and gets my COD.

    Always disconcerting when Kevin hasn’t posted a time but I was sub-10 so I’m scoring that as a 2 on the Kevometer.

    I sent 10dn to my sons – the carnivore cracked it immediately!

    Thanks to John for the blog.


  12. I was flying along with this one until my last 3 clues, the excellent 10d, 8a and LOI 1a which eventually brought my time up to 14.20. I had to remind myself that it was about the experience not the speed and there were plenty of clues to enjoy along the way with my favourite being 4d.
  13. Thanks for all the comments and sorry for the unintended slight to Exeter. I’m usually careful to check city/town statuses but in this case I missed it.
    1. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. And thanks for all the great Quick Crosswords!

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