Times Quick Cryptic No 1182 by Pedro

DNF, on account of 5 Down, in part because of US/UK usage differences, in part because of a foggy, sleep-deprived brain.

I thought this puzzle was superb. I don’t get around to the main puzzle too often these days, so I like a bit of bite in my Quickie. Great word choice, definitions, and wordplay all around. I especially thought the upper-half of the puzzle had some wonderful clues.

I’m interested to see if some of the newer solvers found this puzzle to be difficult, or if I’m just tired.


1 Sudden realisation: holiday finished (12)
BREAKTHROUGH – BREAK (“holiday”) + THROUGH (“finished”)
9 Very motivated to list first pair of comets (3-2)
CAN-DO – make a list of (“to list”) the first two letters of (“first pair of”) COMETS (“comets”)
That is: ‘C’ AND ‘O’.
10 City to remain in receipt of second great joy (7)
ECSTASY – EC (“city”, London postal code) + STAY (“to remain”), taking in (“in receipt of”) S (“second”)
11 Happy solver taken aback, beset by black insect (7)
BUOYANT – YOU (“solver”) reversed (“taken aback”), in (“beset by”) B (“black”, pencil hardness) + ANT (“insect”)
12 Those people having little energy [for] the topic (5)
THEME – THEM (“those people”) + (“having”) the abbreviation (“little”) E (“energy”, in physics)
13 One suffering pretentious visiting mister! (6)
MARTYR – ARTY (“pretentious”) in (“visiting”) MR. (“mister”)
Not sure what the  !  is there for.
14 I had to follow many round, [showing] little emotion (6)
STOLID – I’D (“I had”) after (“to follow”) LOTS (“many”) reversed (“round”)
17 Calls sailor over after first article’s dropped (5)
NAMES – SEAMAN (“sailor”) reversed (“over”) after first (“after first”) A (“article”) is removed (“‘s dropped”)
19 Scoundrel going to pub [and] cobblers (4,3)
HEEL BAR – HEEL (“scoundrel”) + (“going to”) BAR (“pub”)
21 Part of marshalling yard, Southern, is to suppress noise – good (7)
SIDINGS – S (“Southern”) + IS (“is”) taking in (“to suppress”) DIN (“noise”) + G (“good”)
22 Sharp [and] tart? That’s about right (5)
ACRID – ACID (“tart”) outside (“that’s about”) R (“right”)
23 Famous archer, familiarly, after period in prison? We’ll see (4,4,4)
TIME WILL TELL – WILL(IAM) TELL (“famous archer, familiarly”) after (“after”) TIME (“period in prison”)
Ba-da-dum, ba-da-dum, ba-da-dum-bum-bum…


2 Operated trial venue — no time [for] spite (7)
RANCOUR – RAN (“operated”) + COURT (“trial venue”), removing T (“no time”)
3 COs play recklessly with weapon [in] war film (10,3)
APOCALYPSE NOW – COS PLAY (“COs play”) anagrammed with (“recklessly with”) WEAPON (“weapon”)
4 Left during closing parts of latest contemporary score (6)
TWENTY – WENT (“left”) in (“during”) last letters of (“closing parts of”) LATEST CONTEMPORARY (“latest contemporary”)
What a gem of a clue!
5 Respond to provocation online, as it were? (4,2,3,4)
RISE TO THE BAIT – RISE TO (“respond to”) THE BAIT (“provocation online, as it were?”)
“Swim up to something provocative on a fishing line”, that is. Lovely double-definition-in-one! I knew the expression as TAKE THE BAIT, however.
6 Customary behaviour [in] the American era? (5)
USAGE – US (“the American”) AGE (“era”)
7 Rustic, say, rambling, gathering attention round (7)
HAYSEED – SAY (“say”) anagrammed (“rambling”), putting (“gathering”) HEED (“attention”) outside (“around”)
8 Second taxi [delivering] strike-breaker (4)
SCAB – S (“second”) + CAB (“taxi”)
13 Takes care of alien way of thinking (7)
MINDSET – MINDS (“takes care of”) + E.T. (“alien”, extra-terrestrial)
15 Generous representation of Braille (7)
LIBERAL – anagram of (“representation of”) BRAILLE (“Braille”)
That is, re-‘presentation’.
16 Church aisle reshaped without a woodworking tool (6)
CHISEL – CH (“church”) + AISLE (“aisle”) anagrammed (“reshaped”), removing A (“without A”)
18 Type of computer peripheral lines available in 2000 (5)
MODEM – ODE (“lines”) in (“available in”) MM (“2000”, in Roman numerals)
20 Regret about daughter [showing] bad manners (4)
RUDE – RUE (“regret”) outside (“about”) D (“daughter”)

26 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1182 by Pedro”

  1. I don’t know about newer solvers, but I found it difficult. NHO HEEL BAR, for one thing, although the wordplay was clear; I was thinking of the nonsense meaning of ‘cobblers’ at first. I biffed 4d and 7d, and didn’t parse 7d until after submitting. 5d is indeed lovely; the ‘as it were’ wasn’t necessary, and I expect wouldn’t have been in a 15×15, but is helpful in leading one away from trolling. 12ac: E=’energy’, as in Einstein’s famous formula; ‘little’ here simply to indicate an abbreviation. Again, the clue didn’t need the word: ‘having energy’ would have been fine. 7:12.
    1. Good point about “little“. I like to unpack the wordplay word by word, and I missed a golden opportunity there!
  2. Missed my target 10 again but at 14 minutes I was at least in my Amber zone today unlike yesterday’s and last Friday’s Red. 1ac and 4dn were the clues that retained their secrets for longest. We had the archer last week in a 15×15, clued a little more deviously (as one might expect) as ‘one of the Archers’, with the capital A hinting at a reference to the long-running radio soap of that name. Today’s ‘famous archer’ lower case and singular is more helpful perhaps for newer solvers as a direct reference to the Swiss hero.

    Edited at 2018-09-19 05:10 am (UTC)

    1. I’ve already forgotten the clue, but one could argue that ‘one of the Archers’, by virtue of the very capitalization, would warn a wary solver to look elsewhere than the soap.
  3. Well as one of the newer solvers but getting very old I thought this was a cracker. I really do think I am slowly improving and completed this in, to me a very satisfying, 23 minutes. Thank you setter and blogger as always. One dayI may even get out of the slow lane. If I should live long enough…
  4. An enjoyable puzzle which kept me busy for 9:41. No particular hold ups, but plenty to chew on and enjoy. Started with SCAB and finished with TWENTY. Thanks Pedro and Jeremy. Commiserations on the sleep deprivation!
  5. Back to normality, struggling through in 2.5 Kevins. Main hold ups were BREAKTHROUGH and HAYSEED – since our US contributors occasionally point out Britishisms, I think it is not unfair to observe that HAYSEED for a “rustic” definitely has a transatlantic flavour to it; I don’t think I’ve ever come across it except in Damon Runyon and my OED says “US colloq”.

    A super puzzle; my COD goes to BUOYANT which I thought was quite brilliant. Thanks Pedro and Jeremy (sorry about the sleep, Jeremy – if it’s any consolation one of my dogs had an argument with a fox at 1:30am …).


  6. Superb puzzle, as Jeremy says. Too many fine clues to list them all but I did like Rise to the bait, Hayseed, Breakthrough, Heel bar all of which held me back a little. LOI Buoyant. Overall, 19 mins despite a stupid typo (Ecstasy). Many thanks to Pedro.
  7. Great fun! Finished in about half an hour (unsure as postman rang bell while I was struggling with LOI, 4 down). Lots of chuckling as answers arrived in my head. Some great clues here, including 1, 11, 19, 23 across. I feel my time is regularly slower than it needs to be because, on a number of occasions, I biff it, know it must be right and THEN stop to work out why. Note to self: get to the end of the whole puzzle, record my time, and then do any necessary decoding! Even after completing and analysing, I’m not always sure how the clue works (e. g. 7 down today) so what a blessing the day’s blog is. I appreciate it so much! Thanks to today’s setter and blogger.
  8. I struggled to get started on this puzzle and twice looked to check I was doing the QC rather than the 15×15. Perhaps I just wasn’t on Pedro’s wavelength but the dearth of checkers caused me to take twice my usual solve time. LOI at 26 mins was 21a SIDINGS. Penultimate solve was 4d TWENTY because I was fixated on the alternative definition of score. DNK 7d HAYSEED but the wordplay was fair. Thanks Jeremy for the blog.
  9. Second very tough puzzle this week. Hopefully tomorrow’s will be a bit more beginner friendly. Nakrian kickiat
  10. Struggled with this one – sat on the sofa with Yeshallnotparse (a fellow millenial sapling) and, despite limping home over the last two QCs, managed a disappointing DNF with 1a, 21a and 7d outstanding. Teach us your ways Kevin!
    1. No doubt you know about the fellow who could tell you in an instant the number of cows grazing in a pasture; as he explained, it was quite simple: you just count the teats and divide by four. I hope that helps. In the meantime, what you do (what I did/do) is do the damn puzzles; it’s taken me ten years, and I still give up on some of these.
  11. I struggled with a lot of the clues, but I was happy to finish in 7 minutes over my 30 min target (after about 3.5 years of doing cryptics). It might have been quicker if I’d biffed in TWENTY as I wanted to first time round, but I was obsessed with including an L for left so it was my LOI, and needed the excellent blog for parsing.
  12. Hi there – new solver here, Scotsman living in NYC, loving the blog.

    I thought 23ac was a great clue, made me chuckle (or should I say I was buoyant) when I finally got it in.

    For 5d I had TALK TO THE HAND which actually fitted in perfectly before I got BREAKTHROUGH- my rational was that you use your keyboard to respond to provocation online…

    I don’t quite get why ODE is lines? Also, how long is Kevin ?!?


    1. Chris
      An ODE is a poem, and a poem has LINES.
      A Kevin is some sort of strange in-joke for the speed merchants.


      1. I was wondering that, too. I eventually plucked up enough courage to admit my ignorance and asked. if you check out the blog for September 11th week or so ago you’ll find the answer.


  13. Found this tough, taking twice the time as yesterday. Some answers put in from checkers and parsed afterwards. Thanks for the challenge. Elin & Ian.
  14. I got Apocalypse Now and Time Will Tell quite quickly, and at that point I thought this was all going to be fairly straightforward. . . 40 mins later, I put my pen down and had a cup of tea for inspiration. As usually happens, the last few answers then jumped out, with Rancour my loi. Quite a few ‘unusual’ clues, with 9ac Can Do sneaking over the line as my CoD, just ahead of 5d. Invariant
  15. It’s been a cracking week of QC’s so far and as with the previous two I found this quite testing in places, with 4d and LOI 11a proving particularly stubborn. 13d just gets my CoD, completed in 14.56
  16. I was tired after golf and driving when I eventually got round to this.
    Very good puzzle as people have noted. I started with Rude and finished with Buoyant after about 20 minutes. David
  17. Found this tough, taking twice the time as yesterday. Some answers put in from checkers and parsed afterwards. Thanks for the challenge. Elin & Ian.
  18. Apocalypse Now, Sidings, Rise to the bait and Heel bar make this another tricky and ” anything but quick ” day but manageable after dinner.


  19. This is the most difficult crossword I have ever attempted. Totally unsuitable for a quick cryptic.

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