Times Quick Cryptic No 1232 by Tracy

This was a pretty straightforward puzzle, which I would have finished in under 10 minutes, if not for the GLOSSARY/YANK crossing. I didn’t know that a YAK was a domesticated ox, and somehow I couldn’t bring the word GLOSSARY to mind (INDEX? APPENDIX?). I put the puzzle down and put away some groceries and immediately came back to finish it up.


1 The French support party, Republican, [in] region of Canada (8)
LABRADOR – LA (“the French”) + BRA (“support”) + DO (“party”) + R (“Republican”)
5 Information about opening in Loire Valley (4)
GLEN – GEN (“information”) outside (“about”) first letter of (“opening in”) LOIRE (“Loire”)
8 Rabbit’s head found in food wagon (5)
TRUCK – RABBIT’s (“rabbit’s”) first letter (“head”) in (“found in”) TUCK (“food”)
9 Suffer [in] South American train, right away (7)
SUSTAIN – S (“south”) + US (“American”) + TRAIN (“train”), R (“right”) removed (“away”)
Tricky “lift and separate” with ‘South American’!
11 Gondola bore exotic citrus fruit (5,6)
BLOOD ORANGE – GONDOLA BORE (“gondola bore”) anagrammed (“exotic”)
13 Friendless individual living initially in outskirts of Londonderry (6)
LONELY – ONE (“individual”) + LIVING (“living”) reduced to its first letter (“initially”) inside (“in”) first and last letter of (“outskirts of”) LONDONDERRY (“Londonderry”)
14 Relatives legally joining son (2-4)
IN-LAWS – IN LAW (“legally”) + (“joining”) S (“son”)
A bit of a weak clue.
17 Rugby halfback is hard, unfriendly (11)
STANDOFFISH – STAND-OFF (“rugby halfback”) + IS (“is”) + H (‘hard”)
Jersey number 6.
20 Basic US rate confused English (7)
AUSTERE – US RATE (“US rate”) anagrammed (“confused”) + E (“English”)
21 Girl [showing] anger, one having lost face (5)
IRENE – IRE (“anger”) + ONE (“one”) without first letter (“having lost face”)
22 Pull domesticated ox round rear of barn (4)
YANK – YAK (“domesticated ox”, apparently!) outside (“round”) last letter of (“rear of”) BARN (“barn”)
23 Extremely healthy? / I agree (4,4)
VERY WELL – double definition


1 Departed, / not on time (4)
LATE – double definition
2 Biscuit [or] drink popular in the US (7)
BOURBON – double definition
Never heard of the cookie, but sign me up for the drink.
3 Recognise a Conservative has awareness (11)
ACKNOWLEDGE – A (“a”) + C (“Conservative”) + (“has”) KNOWLEDGE (“awareness”)
4 Working towards the same goal against team (6)
ONSIDE – ON (“against”) + SIDE (“team”)
I think I got this parsing right? If you lay a ladder on a wall, you lay the ladder against it…
6 Gain knowledge of Shakespearean king close to Regan (5)
LEARN – LEAR (“Shakespearean king”) + last letter of (“close to”) REGAN (“Regan”)
7 Knight and son seen dancing? How absurd (8)
NONSENSE – N (“knight”, chess abbreviation) + (“and”) SON SEEN (“son seen”) anagrammed (“dancing”)
10 Calm about drop, an unexpected piece of good luck (11)
SERENDIPITY – SERENITY (“calm”) outside (“about”) DIP (“drop”)
12 Alphabetical list [in] article editor finally put in magazine (8)
GLOSSARY – A (“article”) + EDITOR (“editor”) reduced to its last letter (“finally”) in (“put in”) GLOSSY (“magazine”)
15 A permit secured by the gymnast, perhaps (7)
ATHLETE – A (“a”) + LET (“permit”) in (“secured by”) THE (“the”)
16 Spent energy on fine garden party (6)
EFFETE – E (“energy”) + (“on”) F (“fine”) + FETE (“garden party”)
I usually think of the word as meaning ‘weak’, not ‘spent’, but a good definition. I also didn’t know FETE was an outdoor party specifically.
18 Beggars once covering this crime (5)
ARSONBEGGARS ONCE (“beggars once”) contains the letters of the answer (“covering this”)
19 Actual field of interest limited (4)
REAL – REALM (“field of interest”) without its last letter (“limited”)

36 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1232 by Tracy”

  1. I found this quite straightforward, stating with LATE and finishing with AUSTERE. 7:23. Thanks Tracy and Jeremy.
  2. Biffed a couple, like BLOOD ORANGE and IRENE. I assumed that a STAND-OFF was something in rugby. 7:01.
  3. After a run of four consecutive “targets achieved” this one took me 13 minutes, overshooting by 3. SERENDIPITY and STANDOFFISH needed most of their checkers before the answers came to mind; SUSTAIN and ONSIDE were both considered early but I delayed writing them in the first time round; GLOSSARY jumped out at me but didn’t go in until I had cracked the wordplay which again required more than one visit to become clear.
  4. and probably a PB for me (c. 13 mins), do I still qualify for the SCC? probably …

    very straightforward and I suspect many will find relatively easy.

    agree ref. on and against and I didn’t parse sustain correctly either.

    COD: 1a (I liked the multiple construction)
    LOI: 12d (glossy took a while …)

    thanks to setter, blogger and all who contribute.

  5. Fast but careless for me. A shade under 16m but with two typos. Nonseese was down to carelessness with already entered checkers but serendipidy is just annoying – I know I can’t spell it and in my eagerness to press submit didn’t ponder long enough. If only I was on the train today, I’d have done it on paper and never known any different. Perhaps this time I’ll finally learn the spelling.
  6. 13:35 for me today. I progressed quite quickly but was held up a bit by clues I could not parse. My last two were IRENE and REAL, both unparsed. Thanks Jeremy for those and others.
    Overall not too difficult but if you did not know Stand Off in rugby you might struggle. And it took me a while to find my bourbon. David
  7. Like Jeremy I was slow to get glossary but once that was in yank was obvious. It would otherwise have taken ages for domesticated ox to summon a yak. Field of interest for realm was a bit obscure. 14.15.
  8. Whizzed through quite easily but couldn’t parse Glossary. COD Standoffish. Thanks Tracy and Jeremy. You should reward yourself with a couple of bourbon biscuits, best eaten in two halves saving the chocolate filling till last.
  9. The stand off doesn’t always wear jersey no 6, Jeremy – he does in rugby league, but in rugby union he wears jersey number 10!

    Another Very Good Day at 1.3 Kevins. I thought the clue for BOURBON was barely cryptic and could have come from the concise. I liked the surface for BLOOD ORANGE and that gets COD from me.

    Thanks Jeremy and Tracy.


    1. In our pub quiz last night, we had the question what number does the Fly Half wear in RU? and the answer was 10. We got it right and won the quiz as it happens:-)
      1. If your quizzing is of the same standard as your solving, I’d hate to have you in the opposition …
  10. I thought ‘well well’ was all very well for 23ac until SERNDIPI_L came along. By the time that was all sorted out the clock had clicked past 12 minutes. I agree with Templar that ‘bourbon’ is a really easy clue – but only if you look at it as a double definition. Once I started making the final two ‘IN’ for ‘popular’ I’d got tangled. When’s a crossword easy? When you see the clues straight off.
  11. … achieved a sub 10 with a whopping PB of 7.46. What a great word serendipity is. Looking forward to rejoining SCC tomorrow.
  12. Managed to put in BESIDE for 4d, which then meant I spent a good few minutes inventing fictional Canadian provinces such as LABRADBE 🙁

    Not being too au fait with my North American geography, would have much preferred 1ac to be a clue about a dog, but I guess you can’t have everything.

  13. Completed in 12 mins with my LOI 12d GLOSSARY. The SW corner in general took me over my 10 mins target. I struggled to rearrange the letters to solve 20a AUSTERE and failed to spot the hidden 18d ARSON until I had two checkers. 22a YANK was a write in for me but 17a STANDOFFISH was my penultimate solve and biffed.

    WOD 10d SERENDIPITY – a fortuitous accident and write in as it has long been a favourite of mine.

    Thank you Tracy and Jeremy

  14. ….as a canine magician might say.

    I was another who biffed “well well” and lost time in nailing SERENDIPITY as a consequence. Not too far over my 5 minute target though.

    Liked the clue for NONSENSE.

  15. Well, I whizzed rhrough the top half with no hold-ups then came to grief in the bottom half, especially the SE. I ignored Effete, even though it fitted because I hadn’t realised it also meant spent. Finally got Athlete, Yank, Glossary, Austere, Real. Some quirky clues that obviously threw me and brought me to almost 3 Kevins. Still firmly in the SCC. Thanks to Tracy for another ‘suck em in and then kick em’ QC (in my case, at least) and to Jeremy for confirming some of my slow parsing. John M.

    Edited at 2018-11-28 12:04 pm (UTC)

  16. This has lost its originally intended meaning – the original tale of the ‘Three Princes of Serendip’ is about how they got useful information (about a stolen one-eyed camel) by reasoning from chance observations – a precursor of Sherlock Holmes, rather than a merely fortuitous discovery. (Note that ‘fortuitous’ means random, and should not be confused with ‘fortunate’)
    1. Thanks for that. I had no idea that that was the origin of serendipity. Seren means ‘star’ in Welsh and, without investigating it any further, I had always wondered if the origins of serendipity had something to do with that. Thanks for sharing.
    2. I confess that I first heard the word uttered in a Dr Who serial ‘The Green Death’. Jon Pertwee was Dr Who and I remember some rather large maggots. I was 10 and I remember looking the word up in a dictionary.
  17. I plodded along at a gentle rate, and finished (fully parsed) just shy of 30mins, with loi the tricky Austere anagram. Parsing 4d also took a bit of effort, as I initially had working giving on, but got there eventually. I enjoyed the simplicity of 21ac, so that gets my CoD vote. Invariant
  18. I was clearly off the pace today, as I took an age to get going at all. I think my first pass ended with 3 or 4 solutions. Eventually all came good. I thought ‘stand off’ was likely to be a bit tricky for non rugby fans,. I remain unconvinced by the parsing of ONSIDE, and thought ‘garden party’ for a FETE was a bit loose. I can’t imaging HRH describing her garden parties as a fete! FOI LONELY (yes I was that bad), LOI SERENDIPITY, COD SUSTAIN.
  19. Neat puzzle IMHO. Fete was recently in a QC clue where it was a charity event which I wasn’t sure about as well.


  20. Which was very welcome! There were a few I couldn’t parse – as always! – so the blog was invaluable as ever. Both “effete” and “glossary ” have featured in recent QCs so, initially, I assumed that they were unlikely to be the answers today – especially as I hadn’t read 12 down properly and kept trying to get “ed” into it. Thanks so much, Jeremy, for your super blog and thanks, too, to Tracy for a great crossword.
  21. 10 minutes for a tracy puzzle, is probably as quick as it gets for me. Also completing on a laptop again rather than my phone helped.

    cod sustain for the spinal tap memories.

  22. Previously the name of Sri Lanka. Only found this out listening to England’s latest test match series. Persian according to Wikipedia. Johnny
  23. Loads of words for this-

    Stand-off – English
    Fly-half- Welsh (in English)
    Out-half – Irish (not heard for years)
    First five-eighths (Aus&NZ)

    No wonder RU now refers to numbers

  24. A term I associate with the legendary Bill McLaren – for non rugby people a sadly deceased Scottish commentator with such a wonderful voice. L&I
  25. I had a different parsing for 4d, which while still pretty poor, makes a little more sense to me. In football (soccer), if you move towards your own goal you can render an opponent who was offside, onside. Hence working (moving) to the same goal, against side (opponents) become onside.
    It looks even more tenuous written down!
  26. Back to a more normal time of 15.17 today after a couple of sub 10s. I made the same mistake as chris91 by initially sticking WELL WELL in 23a, which made 10d tricky. I also struggled with SA for south American at 9a before seeing what was going on. My final minute or two was spent trying to convince myself that REALM could be an area of interest.
    Thanks for the blog
  27. Glossary and yank were last for me. Didn’t see realm for 19d. COD 1ac. This was my third successive finish – only the second time Ive completed 3 in a row in over a year of trying! Each puzzle still taking between 1 and 2 hours though and several sittings. So reaaly in awe of contributors to this blog!

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