Times Quick Cryptic No 1172 by Teazel

Teazel in the morning, Teazel in the evening, Teazel at suppertime; when Teazel’s on a puzzle, you can solve Teazel anytime! My second straight week of Teazel. I did this puzzle during a conversation with my wife and a houseguest, so I don’t have a time, but it probably took me around 10 minutes. Enjoyable and smooth like the scotch I unfortunately finished last night.


1 Dog I put down [as] fighter (8)
PUGILIST – PUG (“dog”) + I (“I”) + LIST (“put down”)
As in, “put down on paper”.
5 Venomous snakes’ power to inject donkey (4)
ASPS – P (“power”) in (“to inject”) ASS (“donkey”)
Couldn’t help snickering like a schoolboy at the wordplay here.
9 One in a suit / that digs (5)
SPADE – double definition
10 Fish in basic wrapper that is to be scanned (3,4)
BAR CODE – COD (“fish”) with (“in”) BARE (“basic”) around (“wrapper”)
11 Consume what vegetarians avoid? Not at first (3)
EAT – MEAT (“what vegetarians avoid?”) without first letter (“not at first”)
It’s perhaps worth mentioning the convention that ‘?’ may denote ‘for example’, and does so here.
12 Dismal fen spattered fine leg, perhaps (9)
FIELDSMAN – DISMAL FEN (“dismal fen”) anagrammed (“spattered”)
I’m more a snooker man than a cricket man, myself, but this chart of cricket positions is stupendous!
13 Was messing with the bandage (6)
SWATHE – WAS (“was”) anagrammed with (“messing with”) THE (“the”)
15 Flail? Success immediately (6)
WINNOW – WIN (“success”) + NOW (“immediately”)
Here ‘winnow’ and ‘flail’ both refer to threshing wheat, I believe. I found this solve immensely satisfying when the penny dropped, for some reason, perhaps just because I like the word ‘winnow’. But I wasn’t familiar with this definition.
17 Taxing porridge and fish (9)
GRUELLING – GRUEL (“porridge”) + (“and”) LING (“fish”)
19 Somewhere to sit? Not quite: it’s wet (3)
SEA – SEAT (“somewhere to sit?”) without the last letter (“not quite”)
Is a hot dog a sandwich? I’ll just leave this here: http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-water-wet.
20 Gathered leader of government wasn’t upright (7)
GLEANED – first letter of (“leader of”) GOVERNMENT (“government”) + LEANED (“wasn’t upright”)
21 Position of switch repeated, introducing current [for] bulb (5)
ONION – ON (“position of switch”) repeated (“repeated”), putting in (“introducing”) I (“current”)
22 Sound disappointed with uniform — of ballet dancer? (4)
TUTU – TUT (“sound disappointed”) + (“with”) U (“uniform”, on the radio)
Note the definition slyly refers to the word ‘uniform’, which only appears in the wordplay! If you have a hard time swallowing this phrasing, you can imagine it reads, “that of ballet dancer”, or something like that. I got hung up in that I thought the definition was ‘uniform of ballet dancer’ and the wordplay was ‘sound disappointed’, so I was looking in vain for a synonym of ‘disappointed’ that sounds like TUTU!
23 Grand relative permitted glove (8)
GAUNTLET – G (“grand”) + AUNT (“relative”) + LET (“permitted”)
I wondered how ‘gauntlet’ came to mean both ‘glove’ on the one hand (no pun intended), and ‘trials’ or ‘ordeals’ (as in ‘run the gauntlet’) on the other. It turns out this latter meaning comes from the Swedish ‘gatlopp’, and was simply confused with the word ‘gauntlet’ sometime in the 17th century.


1 Have son supporting law teams (7)
POSSESS – S (“son”) under (“supporting”) POSSES (“law teams”)
‘Law teams’ is a cute turn of phrase.
2 Admit Lincs town is out of ham (5)
GRANT – GRANTHAM (“Lincs town”) without (“is out of”) HAM (“ham”)
Wikipedia informs me that Grantham is a town in the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England.
3 Current situation Delilah often misrepresented (3,2,3,4)
LIE OF THE LAND – DELILAH OFTEN (“Delilah often”) anagrammed (“misrepresented”)
I’m a ‘lay of the land’ guy, myself.
4 Fur is a blessing, to some extent (5)
SABLEIS A BLESSING (“is a blessing”) contains the answer (“to some extent”)
6 Quiet woman failing [to be] exhibitionist (7)
SHOWMAN – SH (“quiet”) + WOMAN (“woman”) anagrammed (“failing”)
7 Small bird [is] back (5)
STERN – S (“small”) + TERN (“bird”)
The back of a boat or other craft.
8 How they might have financed the Severn crossing? (8,4)
BRIDGING LOAN – cryptic definition
A ‘bridging loan’ could be humorously thought of as a loan to help with ‘bridging’, ie building a bridge. On another note, don’t get between a Teazel and his Severn references.
14 A copper assay [is] most important (7)
ACUTEST – A (“a”) + CU (“copper”, on the periodic table) + TEST (“assay”)
16 Shelved stand that now is fashionable (7)
WHATNOT – THAT NOW (“that now”) anagrammed (“is fashionable”)
The anagram indicator is a bit of a stretch for me… I could get on board with ‘fashioned’, but ‘fashionable’?
17 Enlisted man obtained leg of mutton (5)
GIGOT – GI (“enlisted man”) + GOT (“obtained”)
18 Home help brought up [in] the country (5)
INDIA – IN (“home”) + AID (“help”) reversed (“brought up”)
19 Accidentally tip out second tablet (5)
SPILL – S (“second”) + PILL (“tablet”)

38 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1172 by Teazel”

  1. Blasted typo at 1 down gave me POSESSS and changed EAT to SAT. Otherwise 6:16. Should’ve proof read! Nice puzzle. Thanks Teazel and Jeremy.
  2. I, too, thought the expression was “lay of the land.” I’m not sure we can avoid the conclusion that “uniform” is doing double duty in the TUTU clue. Thanks for the history on GAUNTLET.
  3. 31 minutes, a bit tricky from Teazel.

    Didn’t know what winnow meant, or whatnot for shelved stand, or gigot.

    Other harder bits:
    posses = law teams.
    Put down = list.
    grant = admit

    COD Bridging loan.

  4. DNF; never heard of a BRIDGING LOAN. But it was slow going in any case–I threw in the towel at 10’+–although now I can’t remember where the problems were. Is TUT an expression of disappointment? Irritation, certainly, or disapproval, but. LIE OF THE LAND sounds like misguided hypercorrection to me; never heard or seen anything but LAY. I tend to agree with Jeremy about ‘fashionable’, especially in a QC.
    1. ‘Lie of the land’ is British English.
      ‘Lay of the land’ is North American.
      ‘Two countries divided by a common language’ – as I know to my cost having studied on both sides of the pond!

      Edited at 2018-09-05 08:59 am (UTC)

    2. Collins and Oxford agree with you. Seems like a bit of definitional sloppiness, or maybe an editor’s typo.

      I have heard of a ‘bridge loan’ which I assume is the same thing. (A short term loan.)

    3. You’re too young, obviously belonging to the generation that thinks lay is the same as lie, as in ‘I was laying on the beach’ etc. Dear oh dear. The phrase was always ‘the lie of the land’ when I was growing up. But then I don’t say ‘we was sat’ either.
  5. 6 minutes makes this my fastest solve since 2nd May. I’ve equalled that only 25 times since the QC began and bettered it with 5-minute solves on only 2 occasions*.

    I note one or two people so far had some difficulty along the way with this one and I can see there is some vocabulary that’s a little out of the ordinary – indeed I was only vaguely aware of WINNOW and couldn’t have said with any certainty exactly what it meant. But other than that, I appear to have been on the wavelength today.

    *For the record I don’t record seconds but round them up to the nearest minute. My times include the parsing of all clues.

    Edited at 2018-09-05 06:11 am (UTC)

  6. I forgot to say earlier that LIE OF THE LAND comes perfectly naturally to me. ‘Lay of the land’ might have unfortunate connotations, perhaps as the title awarded to the winner of a national competition.
      1. What’s wrong with a competition to find the finest short song designed to be sung by a minstrel?!
    1. Whilst there are examples to be found of both ‘lays and ‘lies’ in this expression the associated saying ‘see how the land lies’ is very widely used and is in Brewer’s which the alternative is not. I’m not saying that ‘lays’ is wrong, btw, (other than in the context of this grid, obviously) but I am defending the answer as it has led to some queries as to its validity.

      Edited at 2018-09-05 08:04 am (UTC)

      1. Yes – I’ve often used “lie of the land”. According to Grammarian (I can’t link because it’ll be spammed) this is a transatlantic thing, with “lay” being US usage and “lie” being more British.
  7. 7.11. I appreciated SWATHE as a clue. GRUELLING last in because, though I’m familiar with Oliver!, I’ve never associated gruel with porridge and was looking for yet another synonym of prison. I couldn’t say what I thought went into gruel.
    GRANTham is famous for providing cot room to Margaret Thatcher, of course, for which half the country is deeply grateful, and the other half deeply resentful.
    Another fine, informative blog, PJ: hope your own cot occupant is settling well.
  8. Smooth progress until I was looking at my LOI, 1dn … the trouble was I misconstrued it as S at the bottom of (“Have son supporting”) a word meaning “law”, with the whole meaning “teams”. This was not a fruitful line of enquiry … I got there in the end, but well beaten by Teazel on that one. In the absence of a known quantity for Kevins today I was 2.5 jackkts.

    Could some kind soul please explain to me why “current” in 21ac is “I”? I don’t get it.

    Thanks Teazel and Jeremy. (How’s he sleeping?)


      1. Ah! I didn’t know that and read it as the “i” of “introducing ” was “current “. Now I geddit.
    1. I is the internationally recognised symbol for ‘current’ as in electric current, and appears in such famous equations as V=IR, where V is Volts (potential difference) and R is Resistance.
  9. Unusually I solved online today so I have an accurate time:11.44; although that included time for correcting letters for across clues which I thought were going down.
    Anyway very quick for me. No real hold-ups. I knew Winnow and LOI was Gruelling-and COD to that. David
  10. Taking Templar’s lead – this took 1.3 jackkts – finishing in the SE. The ‘is fashionable’ anagram indicator seeemd OK to me – as did lie of the land. This crossword does seem to have split solvers along the ‘wavelength line’ so congratulations to Teazel for that. Funnily enough, I accessed the same cricket fielding positions chart for the cricket-related blog this Tuesday.
  11. About 16 minutes for me this morning, interrupted by boarding the train, and finally held up un the NW corner where 1a and 1d conspired to resist. Once they had fallen, I admired 1d particularly.

    Being from the UK, I’m on the ‘lie of the land’ side, and I’m also in the 50% of the population that thinks Grantham did us a favour.

  12. I always like Teazel’s crosswords and today was no exception. Hard to pick a favourite but 14 down is super as is 8 in the same direction. I’m OK with “fashionable ” inasmuch as it can mean “capable of being fashioned. ” This was my last but one clue in, though. The actual last one was “fieldsman”. It really HAD to be that but being an ignoramus of cricket is a handicap sometimes… Thanks, blogger and setter.
  13. Apart from the parsing of 1 dn with law teams, this was a breeze within my time. Thanks to blogger and Teazel.


  14. Struggled with it today. Was slow on 1a, 1d and 16d. Dredged gigot from the depths somewhere and DNK Whatnot
  15. Never heard of GIGOT, or seen WHATNOT used in that context (LOI). Didn’t find “fashionable” a particularly helpful anagrind either (in fact just guessed it and never realised it was an anagram). FINE LEG was a bit of a gimme for a cricket fan and likely to be a foreign language to anyone else. Incidentally blogger, “cow corner” is more properly a deep wide mid-wicket. Those of us who specialised in cow shots would never describe them as such (although I did once put one into the top a tree).
  16. Thoroughly enjoyed this one and I had no quibbles with the lie/lay or fashionable debates. My troubles were self-inflicted around 12a where the answer was obvious but I was baffled by the parsing as I was reading TEN instead of FEN for the second part of the anagram fodder. Maybe it’s a sign that I need my glasses more than I like to think.
    Finished with the unknown 16d in 14.57 with CoD to 1d.
    Great blog Jeremy
  17. This clue took me ages. Think due to the fact as now known as Severn Crossing. I actually did the finance for the second bridge in the early nineties. It was project finance though I think the shareholders loans were bridged. John

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