Times Quick Cryptic No 1183 by Rongo

Apologies for the 14d blog this morning – I’m doing this in California separated from my usual devices and tools, which has slowed me down somewhat. This took me a little over 12 minutes to complete, and significantly longer to write this bare blog.

Thanks to Rongo for an entertaining puzzle. I particularly liked the device in 3D and the assembly of 8d.


1. Dote best, madly infatuated (8)
BESOTTED – Anagram of (madly) [DOTE BEST]
5. Following legislation is a mistake (4)
FLAW – F{ollowing} and LAW (legislation)
9. Teacher to express disapproval otherwise (5)
TUTOR – TUT (express disapproval) and OR (otherwise)
10. Widespread and rank (7)
GENERAL – Double definition
11. Amusing to go into children’s game, squeezing in twice (12)
ENTERTAINING – ENTER (to go into) and TAG (children’s game) containing (squeezing) IN and IN (in twice)
13. Citrus cultivated in the countryside (6)
RUSTIC – Anagram (cultivated) of [CITRUS]
15. An individual for each lad (6)
PERSON – PER (for each) and SON (lad)
17. NASA craft has gap closed with tile when one is missing (5,7)
SPACE SHUTTLE – SPACE (gap) SHUT (closed) and T{i}LE (when one is missing – i.e. drop the I or one)
20. Opposite of sweet name for a bird (7)
BITTERN – BITTER (opposite of sweet) and N{ew}
21. Originally seen in black and white days, yet rude in funny way (5)
BAWDY – First letters (originally seen) of Black And White Days, Yet
22. Behave like a twister in a gale (4)
WIND – Double definition, first a verb and then a noun.
23. Go grey, be upset? Indeed! (2,6)
BY GEORGE – Anagram (upset) of [GO GREY, BE]


1. Some celeb at home somewhere in Somerset (4)
BATH – Hidden (some) in {cele}B AT H{ome}
2. Occupied a chair, wearing shiny cloth (5)
SATIN – A chair that was occupied would be SAT IN
3. People with XY chromosomes after YYY said visitors from the east (5,4,3)
THREE WISE MEN – ‘YYY said’ gives us THREE WISE (sounds like), and people with XY chromosomes are MEN
4. Four score – important when opener is dismissed (6)
EIGHTY – Important is {w}EIGHTY (opener dismissed)
6. Misleading statements about old Rolls Royce vehicles (7)
LORRIES – LIES (misleading statements) about (surrounding) O{ld} R{olls} R{oyce}
7. Perhaps Mozart‘s predatory pack (8)
WOLFGANG – A WOLF GANG would be a predatory pack, and the composer was famously WOLFGANG Amadeus Mozart
8. Hard to absorb popular summary with scriptures omitting first book (12)
INDIGESTIBLE – IN (popular) with DIGEST (summary) and {b}IBLE (scriptures omitting first B{ook})
12. Peevish, formal greeting, showing arm (8)
CROSSBOW – CROSS (peevish) and BOW (formal greeting)
14. Excitedly ran past Leonidas for example (7)
SPARTAN – Anagram (excitedly) of [RAN PAST]
16. Tending to complain, interrupted by new horse’s noise (6)
WHINNY – WHINY (tending to complain) with N{ew} inserted (interrupted by)
18. Bring down one that goes “moo” (5)
LOWER – cryptic definition
19. Outwardly visible parts of priestly role in cremation site (4)
PYRE – Outside letters (outwardly visible) of P{reistl}Y R{ol}E

35 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1183 by Rongo”

  1. I stupidly flung in ‘whiney’ at 16d. Didn’t know that Bath was in Somerset, but fortunately for once I spotted the hidden quickly. ‘some’ is the basic hidden indicator; in the 15x15s it’s rare. 5:30, but.
      1. Bath is in (North East) Somerset. It came under Avon from 1974 following a reorganisation of local government but Avon was abolished in 1996 and the city was restored to its rightful county.

        The puzzle took me 7 minutes, the first time I have been within my target 10 for a whole week. My only wobble was when I saw ‘Leonides’ in the clue at 14dn as I had no idea who he was, but the anagram was easy to unravel with a couple of checkers already in place.

        Edited at 2018-09-20 09:18 am (UTC)

  2. This one flowed very quickly and I solved most of it from top to bottom. Thought I might be on for a PB until I was held up by my LOI 12d where I thought peevish was the definition. I particularly enjoyed 3d and completed it in 9.20.
  3. Managed most in double-quick time and was then stupidly held up by a few including Crossbow, Flaw (a weak clue in my view or just my blind spot) and Wolfgang (can’t explain my blockage on that one). Ended up as another 20 mins. Either I am losing it or this week’s set have been a bit harder than average. Roll on Friday. It seems ages since I have managed a sub 10 mins fir a QC. Not very happy with my performance. However, thanks to Rongo and rotter (who parsed a couple that I had biffed). John M
  4. My poor run of solve times continues this week with 16:05 for this QC. I started off quickly enough in the NW corner but slowed down when confronted with the 12 letter solves 8d INDIGESTIBLE and 17a SPACE SHUTTLE needing most of the checkers to solve them. My LOI was 12d CROSSBOW probably because I was fixed on elbow as part of the solve. Roll on Friday!
  5. Lovely puzzle, with some sparkling clues (2dn, 8dn, 14dn, 17ac). Terrific fun. Thanks Rongo. Finished in under 2 Kevins, a Good Day.

    18dn reminded me of the old Saki joke (“She’s going to Lower Seymour Street” “She will if she stays there long enough”).

    Thanks for your devotion to blogging duty, Rotter.


  6. Decided to solve this online and after 9 minutes I had just one left – 3d. Despite having all the checkers the answer did not leap out but I completed in 10:06, a quick time for me.
    I was also held up by Crossbow. COD to 3d for the interesting device in the clue. David
  7. Absolutely loved 3 down. Inspired! The whole puzzle took me 20 very enjoyable minutes. I flew through it until the final 3 clues : 20 across, and 12 and 14 down. These three took me ten minutes! My LOI was 12 down because I was looking for a synonym for “peevish”. And, I don’t mean to be peevish myself, but is the noun “crossbow ” really an “arm”? With weaponry, don’t you “arm yourself” i. e. use it as a verb? Isn’t there a mismatch here of word class? And, if there is, and I put the question sincerely, as a learner, does that matter in crossword land? Thanks so much to today’s blogger and setter.
          1. From Collins on-line: “arm in American 2
            (ɑrm ; ärm)
            any instrument used in fighting; weapon
            usually used in pl. see also small arms”
            The setter is therefore justified. As you say it’s usually used in the plural but not always.
  8. BATH was my FOI and I finished off with CROSSBOW in 8:38. Liked the 3WM and WOLFGANG. Thanks Rongo and Rotter.
  9. A neat fun puzzle that wasn’t too hard. Like others, I enjoyed the magi clue, but SPACE SHUTTLE my favourite for the clever reference to the famous problem they had with it. Thanks Rotter and Rongo. 4:45.
    1. I didn’t make the missing tiles connection – very clever. All done in sub-5 apart from 11a. All the checkers but not a clue! The scales finally fell from my eyes for a 7’30” completion.
      Thanks as always to setter and blogger.
  10. I found this a bit longer than my average, mainly held up by 8dn (LOI). Knew I was looking for a word meaning ‘summary’ but took a long time to come up with DIGEST. 3d is very imaginative (my COD). also enjoyed 17ac,22ac (simple but neat), 7dn, 12dn.
    Good fun.
  11. Just inside 20 minutes, would have been quicker if I hadn’t spent so long on Indigestible and Lorries. Thanks Rotter for explaining Entertaining which I hadn’t parsed. Very enjoyable.
    John George (by George)
  12. ……the clue construction. Now that I can (usually) solve these puzzles in less than half a day, after lots of practice, I can spend some time appreciating the clue construction instead of getting all flustered and angry that they are too difficult! Yes, hubris, I will probably find tomorrow a real stinker!
    Anyway, I thought the surface reading of 17a was spectacular, the construction of 3d was wonderful to behold and several others were very 11a. So thank you to Rongo for an excellent puzzle.
  13. 3rd time completing the puzzle without help, and the second time this week. Managed to do it in just over 20 mins (New St to Coventry plus a minute on the way home for the last 2 clues that had eluded me earlier in the day. LOI was 6D. COD was 18, which made me chuckle. Thanks Rotter for parsing 11A – I got the right answer but wasn’t sure why, and thanks Rongo.
  14. Much easier than the others this week though, at 26 mins, not a great deal faster. In my defence I should point out my times always include parsing (unless I get really stumped) and there were a few tricky ones to chew over today. One of these, 3d, is my CoD by a country mile – hadn’t got a clue what was going on to start with and then it was suddenly obvious: the sign of a good clue. Many thanks to Rongo (and Rotter). Invariant
    1. I can’t begin to judge my time in Kevins, but I very often match up quite well with Invariant. Your times vary (whatever your name!) quite a bit, but are usually roughly in keeping with mine (23 minutes today for me). So, if I find a puzzle tough, it makes me feel better if I come here and you have taken roughly the same amount of time. (Yesterday was not so good; you finished but I failed – stuck on HAYSEED).
      Your comments very often mirror what I am thinking too and today is no exception. I agree that 3d is brilliant.
      Thanks Rongo for an incredibly enjoyable crossword and to Rotter for blogging against all the odds. MM


      1. Thank you ! I’m flattered that someone actually reads my scribblings. Sub 10 mins remains a distant goal (13/14 is about my best so far), so like you I don’t see any need to use a Kevin scale just yet.
        My, shall we say, occasionally longer times are down to a mixture of inability and outright stubbornness, but I always try and mention a time, if only to encourage those who think this site is just for the speed merchants. It’s a friendly place and all should be (and are) welcome. Invariant
  15. As still very much a struggler with these, I found this one mostly straightforward. A couple of biffs but, in most cases, I could see the wordplay. Solved with no recourse to ‘aids’. Not often I can say that….

    Thanks to Rongo for the encouragement and the Rotter for explaining the ones I couldn’t.

  16. I think the parsing of 2d is SAT (occupied a chair) + IN (wearing)

    A good blog, nonetheless!

    Paul G

  17. Hi! I’m still a n00b to cryptics but eventually managed to solve this one in 47 minutes. Maybe this is just one of these things that is obvious to experienced solvers, but I thought it might be worth expanding on the explaination of 18D. I had no idea that “low” could be used as a verb meaning “to moo”! Mind. Blown.
    1. The second verse of Away in a Manger starts:

      The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
      But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.

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