Times Quick Cryptic No 1199 by Tracy

Apologies in advance for any delay in replying to comments and queries – I bring you this blog from Marbella in Spain, where I am taking part in the Marbella Walking Festival, and have a 20km walk to do before coming back here. I found this a typically neat and concise crossword from Tracy today, with lots of gentle clues that should encourage our less-experienced solvers. Indeed, I thought 7A summed it up exactly. Lots of lovely clues to pick from. I enjoyed 9A but, mindful of where this is hosted, I have to say the highlight for me was the clever 21A. Thanks Tracy! I hope you all found it as much fun as I did and didn’t get snookered by the slightly trickier ones. How did you all get on? Oh, and if you care about times, this took me about 5 3/4 minutes.

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

7 Meticulous from beginning to end, assuming nothing (8)
THOROUGH – From beginning to end is THROUGH. Insert [assuming] O (nothing).
8 Every single fruit having penny off (4)
EACH – The fruit is a {p}EACH. Remove the P (penny off). So that would make my 4 for £1 at my local supermarket just 96p.
9 Unlawful act beginning to annexe part of Ukraine (6)
CRIMEA – An unlawful act is a CRIME. Add A{nnexe} [beginning]. Beautiful surface, referring to this act of the Russian Federation, perhaps?
10 First of bids in auction for a fur (5)
SABLE – Put B{ids} [first of] into SALE (auction). Hello to my fellow blogger Guy of that ilk!
11 Secure floor, right away (3)
TIE – The floor is a TIE{r}. Take the R away.
12 Fill in puzzle (6)
RIDDLE – Double definition. The first one is perhaps a bit of a stretch, but think “riddle me this”, meaning to ask someone to solve or explain something. Edit: Our erudite commenters have set me straight on this – thanks jackkt and others. It’s fill as in fill with holes like a gangster with his gun or woodworm in your wood… with “in” just as a, um… filling in linking word, perhaps?
14 Seafood affected is taken back outside (6)
SCAMPI – CAMP (affected) with IS [taken back outside]. A yes, I love a bit of Norwegian lobster.
16 Anxiety of rest working on board (6)
STRESS – If you are on board you might be in a ship, or SS. Put (rest)* [working] inside.
18 Unassuming ways associated with leader of team (6)
MODEST – MODES (ways) + [leader of] T{eam}. No 23A-ing here, please.
19 Likewise at solo, ignoring the odds (3)
TOO – Every other letter [ignoring the odds] of aT sOlO. Do people bet on solo whist?
20 In tearoom, I served penny-pincher (5)
MISER – Hidden word, in tearooM I SERved. I bet he didn’t leave a tip.
21 Instructions read initially, before piece cooked (6)
RECIPE – R{ead} [initially] (piece)* [cooked]. Another very neat surface, and a lovely semi &lit.
23 Boast made by head of broadsheet paper (4)
BRAG – Another decapitation… [head of] B{roadsheet} RAG (paper). Perhaps he/she needs to be more 18A.
24 About to put down extra for sword (8)
CLAYMORE – C (about) LAY (put down) MORE (extra). A scottish sword.

1 Check with painter, one in old working-class movement (8)
CHARTIST – CH (Check) ARTIST (painter). Chartism was “a working class movement, which emerged in 1836 and was most active between 1838 and 1848. The aim of the Chartists was to gain political rights and influence for the working classes.”
2 Streetcar has clipped hobo (4)
TRAM – TRAM{p} (hobo) [clipped] – i.e. losing the last letter. Keep off the tracks.
3 Copper to assess vicar’s assistant (6)
CURATE – CU (Copper) RATE (assess). Famous for being polite about a dodgy egg.
4 Research papers, original sheets (6)
THESES – [original] (sheets)*. And they had better be original. No plagiarism, please.
5 A pianist could play this essential sheet (8)
KEYBOARD – KEY (essentail) BOARD (sheet). Another sheet, and another bit of a stretch in definition, perhaps, but think “a flat insulating sheet used as a mounting for an electronic circuit”.
6 Continuous pain? One must ring hospital (4)
ACHE – ACE (One) outside [must ring] H (hospital). Just an ache? Ring 111 instead.
13 Groom ahead of time in equestrian event (8)
DRESSAGE – DRESS (groom) [ahead of] AGE (time).
15 Travel document graduate left (8)
PASSPORT – PASS (graduate – the verb) PORT (nautical left).
17 Small wagon hit (6)
STRUCK – S (Small) TRUCK (wagon). Hit what? Not another poor hobo, I hope.
18 Eel, new in, served with a cheese sauce (6)
MORNAY – MORAY (type of eel) includinng N (new) [in]. “Served with a” is just filling.
20 Horse from Durham area (4)
MARE – Another hidden word. DurhaM AREa.
22 Tease small company doctor (4)
COMB – CO (small company) MB (doctor). I hope that wasn’t some encouragement to be sizist to the vertically-challenged.

29 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1199 by Tracy”

  1. 7 minutes here, but I thought there were enough rather tricky bits to cause problems for less experience solvers. Words like MORAY/MORNAY, CLAYMORE, and tease = COMB , affected = CAMP for example. I’m not suggesting for one minute that these things should not be there, only that they may be obstacles that could prove insurmountable to some .

    At 12 I wasn’t sure whether ‘in’ had to be part of the first definition or perhaps it’s just a linking word between the two. If the latter, it’s easier to think of examples of substitution e.g. “the body was riddled/filled with bullets”.

    Re the solo whist at 19dn, players make bids at the start of each hand according to the cards dealt to them. They would do this after weighing up the odds on being able to achieve their target. Betting as such doesn’t have to be involved but I seem to remember back in the day playing for a few coppers per round .

    1. 19ac not 19d!
      12 As in Riddled with ie full of.
      I thought this was one of the most straightforward puzzles in weeks with nothing too challenging and answers just dopping into place. Maybe I am finally getting the hang of it.
    2. Thanks, as always, for the helpful elucidation. I think you’ve got it right, and I got it wrong, on 12A. Amending blog accordingly.
    3. P.S. Red 19A.. Thanks for explaining how Solo Whist works. That there is betting involved makes it a great clue!
  2. I don’t see how RIDDLE could be ‘fill in’, and indeed I was not that happy about ‘fill’; to riddle being to make lots of holes in something. But looking at examples from ODE, it would appear that the meaning has been extended. Didn’t know a CLAYMORE was a sword; I just knew the mine. CAMP shows up a lot in the 15x15s, and ‘affected’ is often used to clue it. 4:20.
  3. 13 mins to solve but I was held for up a good 3 mins by three clues 12a RIDDLE which I thought of and dismissed until I had all the checkers, 24a CLAYMORE, a DNK and I was stuck doing an alphabet trawl with CxAxMORE and my LOI 5d KEYBOARD. If it hadn’t been for the checkers I would have never come up with BOARD as meaning sheet….bit of a MER moment. Thank you Tracy and John for the blog.
  4. Three Kevins, perfectly respectable. Found this slightly vanilla, no disrespect intended. Did enjoy CLAYMORE and RECIPE though. FOI THESES, LOI THOROUGH.

    I don’t think that in the “in” in 12ac really works – “riddle” does not mean “fill in”, and I can’t see how “in” works as a link word.

    Thanks to Tracy and John.


    1. As jackkt mentiones above, riddle is to fill or pervade = prevalent throughout = fill in.

      Edited at 2018-10-12 09:44 am (UTC)

      1. I had read that, obviously, but remained and remain unconvinced. I understand “riddle” as “fill” in the sense of “riddled with”. My house is riddled with dry rot. The corpse was riddled with bullets. But that simply is not the same as “fill in”.
        1. I agree. But I think Jackkt’s parsing is a better go at explaining this puzzling (or should that be riddling?) clue. Maybe it’s intended as an &lit? I’m still baffled, to be honest!
  5. The only clue that gave me pause for thought was 12a, RIDDLE, where I struggled to see the fill definition. I looked it up afterwards and now understand. Nice puzzle. 7:05. Thanks Tracy and John.
  6. Everything fell into place in this one but I was left with 12ac at the end. I went for riddle based on puzzle and came here to see how the ‘fill in’ bit worked. Having seen jackkt’s post and had a rummage through Collins, Tracy is exonerated. 6:39 – which is pretty quick for me.
  7. Done in 23 mins with no cheating. PB. Still needed the blog though for some explanations where I guessed, many thanks J.
  8. Not quite as easy for me as for some solvers above. Just over 15 mins at a steady rate apart from riddle (which is fine when you think about it) and a hiccup because I stupidly filled in Thesis instead of Theses in my haste. LOI Keyboard. A nice end to the week. Thanks to Tracy and john. John M.
  9. Thought SHEET = BOARD, and FILL IN = RIDDLE were both rather stretching the vocabulary, and needed all the checkers for both of them. Apart from that, all very straightforward. CLAYMORE took a while to spot, having been through the full gamut from Gladius to foil. FOI MISER (yes, it took me that long to get started!). LOI RIDDLE. COD SCAMPI ( for the off-beat use of ‘camp’).
  10. even some of the more obscure answers were easily parsed e.g. mornay, claymore and odd definitions were clear with a punt i.e. riddle.

    a clean sweep for me this week, so progress after a tricky month!

    COD: 6d often clued, but I’ve never seen it presented like that before.
    LOI: 5d followed by a long groan!

    thanks to the setter, blogger and all who contribute.

  11. I solved this top to bottom. Last two were an uncertain Comb followed by Mornay.
    Riddle caused me to pause but I was quite quick on this overall but had several interruptions so no exact idea how long it took me. COD to 5d.
  12. I seem to have found this a bit trickier than many. I got about half way through reasonably quickly and then found it slow going especially in NW (1, 7 and 12) and the SE (17, 24 and 22).
    Completed I in 16.11 feeling a bit frustrated at how fiddly I made the solve.
    Thanks for the blog
    1. A rather nice description, I thought. Probably better than “meticulous” as I referred to in the intro.
  13. Well it would seem that 12A is the bête noire among today’s clues. If you found it odd, don’t worry. I’m still not sure how it’s supposed to work, despite the helpful comments! Sometimes our setters defeat us all. Thanks, Tracy, for the extra entertainment!
    1. That sounds a feasible parsing, I guess, but I wouldn’t equate “onboard” with SS. Personally, I think it is a clear containment indicator. But only our setter will know.

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