Times Quick Cryptic No 1239 by Pedro

A nicely constructed and teasing puzzle with lovely surfaces from Pedro today, with several clues which made me stop and think a bit…. 3a describes what I had to do nicely! Largely it was due to Pedro giving us the chance to go astray… which I duly did. In the end, though, I wasn’t held up too much by anything and I still finished under an average time. So, I don’t think there is anything unfair or unreasonably difficult, but I’ve misjudged this before and I’m sure you will tell me if I’m wrong! Apart from the delightful, aforementioned, 3a I enjoyed the luxurious pigsties at 11a, the self-referential 23a, the erroneous vegans at 6d and the bonus of more money at 7d – I was handed a letter informing me of my annual salary increase only yesterday. But COD from me goes to the simple, but smile-inducing, cryptic definition at 16d for reminding me of my grandfather… who was one. So thanks Pedro for the entertainment. How did you all like it?

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

1 Sort of dive executed by fish? (4)
PIKE – Double definition. My initial thought was that we were looking for a type of dive and losing the first letter to get the fish. Nicely deceptive surface.
3 Think about cut in insurance (4,4)
CHEW OVER – If you have insurance, you have COVER. Insert HEW (cut) to get what I had to do with a few clues today.
8 Small thing I included in complete sports venue (7)
STADIUM – TAD (small thing)  I [included in] SUM (complete). I had to convince myself that sum = complete, but my Chambers dictionary has “whole” and “completion” as meanings, so fair enough.
10 Governess repeated names to absorb a youngster at first (5)
NANNY – She repeated the name three times – NNN. Take that and insert [absorb] A and add Y{oungster} [at first]. She should be able to remember him or her after that!
11 Our pigsties could become well-regarded (11)
PRESTIGIOUS – (Our pigsties)* [could become]. Referring to this, perhaps?
13 Stop including openings for university lecturers in consequence (6)
RESULT – Out walking, I somethimes “stop” for a REST. Include U{university} L{ecturers} [openings]. Yey. You’ve got it!
15 Good old weapon getting a quick look (6)
GLANCE – G (good) LANCE (old weapon). I did wonder, at first, whether an ANDER was a weapon, but it’s not… you aren’t doing the Mephisto here John! …and GANDER is not the required quick look.
17 Coarser mind misinterpreted country pastime (6,5)
MORRIS DANCE – (coarser mind)* [misinterpreted]. I left this 11-letter anagram until I had some checkers. 11!/2 is a large number of potential words. Did I get that right? My university maths student daughter thinks so.
20 Exhausted, having nothing more to pay? (3-2)
ALL-IN – Double definition.
21 Band backed trio appearing without one conductor (7)
MAESTRO – This is a little on the tricky side. The band is a SEAM, which didn’t leap out at me. You reverse it [backed] and add TR{i}O – trio without the I (one).
22 Police officer upset re agents (8)
SERGEANT – (re-agents)* [upset]. A favourite Flanders and Swann song springs to mind “…the police call-box is winking with a sergeant in her arms..” Oh, no. I’ve given myself an ear-worm now!
23 Limits to enraged guy expressing irritability (4)
EDGY – [Limits to] EnrageD GuY. Nice one Pedro – an edgy clue for edgy!

1 Father’s game: means to travel overseas (8)
PASSPORT – PA’S (father’s) SPORT. Of course you need some TRAN SPORT too to get overseas.
2 Jack, King — simple to discard one (5)
KNAVE – K (King) NA{I}VE (simple) dropping the I [discard one]. No I’m not going to discuss the missing diaeresis, a clue answer that was the nemesis of more than just myself at the crossword championship.
4 Silver brought into house for show of respect (6)
HOMAGE – AG (chemical symbol for silver) [brought into] HOME (house).
5 Gale: bird has to move gradually on part of building (6,5)
WINDOW LEDGE – WIND (Gale) OWL (bird) EDGE (move gradually).
6 One-third of vegans wrong to get upset about meat (7)
VENISON –  You take the first third of the six letters of VE{gans}, add SIN (wrong) reversed [get upset] ON (about). Interesting surface. Why might they be wrong to get upset, I wonder?
7 Beams, extra money being announced (4)
RAYS – A sounds-like clue…  i.e. RAISE [announced].
9 Inability to bear being hypnotised, interrupted by bullring cheer (11)
INTOLERANCE – When you are being hypnotised you are IN TRANCE. Interrupt this with “OLÉ “, the bullring cheer.
12 Church more upset over US city service (8)
CEREMONY – CE (Church of England) (more)* [upset] above [over] (this is a down clue) NY (US city – New York).
14 Corresponding mail is distributed on run (7)
SIMILAR – (mail is)* distributed above [on] R (run).
16 His place of work is mine (6)
PITMAN – Cryptic definition. Ho-ho!
18 Revolutionary study about part of Bible is well-known (5)
NOTED – The study is a DEN. Revolve it to get NED and put it about OT (Old Testament – part of Bible).
19 Graduate on ship sees fish (4)
BASS – A simple one to finish with. BA (Graduate) [on] SS (ship). It could equally, perhaps, have been clued as “Graduate on ship is singer”.

30 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1239 by Pedro”

  1. I was tripping merrily through this one until I was left with 9d, 16, 17a and 21a. I had the DANCE bit of 17a, but had to use pen and paper to extract MORRIS from the anagrist. I should’ve got 16d more quickly as my Dad was one, but it took a minute. I struggled with MAESTRO too, despite seeing the TRO at the end. Probably due to tiredness. That’s my excuse anyway. Eventually INTOLERANCE surfaced and I submitted at 9:23, but only saw the parsing post solve. I think it’s my COD. Thanks Pedro and John.
  2. I finally noticed that I’d misspelled SERGEANT, which made 9d and 14d possible. Reverse-engineered MAESTRO from the TRO, and MORRIS DANCE from the DANCE. 5:17.
  3. After a run of 6 consecutive QCs solved within my target 10 minutes, this one took me 2 minutes over the line. It started badly as I must have read at least half-a-dozen clues before an answer leapt out at me to give me a word on which to build. After that, progress was steady enough but there were at least 3 or 4 clues where I needed to pause to deduce how the wordplay fitted with the biffed answers.

    Unusually for a QC I had no idea until coming here how 1ac worked as after some deliberation I had assumed that ‘spike’ must be some sort of diving technique that I’d never heard of.

    Edited at 2018-12-07 06:05 am (UTC)

  4. Today’s mental blank was BINMAN. Couldn’t see past that for ages although it clearly didn’t fit. FOI was 1a but then there was a long and near panic inducing wait until GLANCE at 15a for the second one. After that things seemed to improve. Didn’t get to solve online yesterday and had a very tough time with pen and paper on the train – pleased to finsih this one in good time. See you Monday!
  5. Feeling a bit slow this morning after a long day at Twickenham for the Varsity match yesterday.
    This puzzle did not seem that difficult once each clue was solved but there were plenty of opportunities to go wrong. My first thought at 3a was MULL OVER -parse it later. The Over part was helpful. My big delay was 5d where I had all the checkers ,with one doubtful, and even with Ledge, I could not think of the answer. Trying to put Bird and Gale into an anagram did not help.
    So 21:14 in the end finishing with Chew Over. David
  6. 8.59 at Heathrow en route to Venice for rugby at Treviso tomorrow so 1dn was apposite. Held up by 16dn.
  7. Well, I make a complete mess of this. Painfully breaking down one complete blank after another. Appropriate, then, that I jumped at 22ac so quickly that I had a spelling error. Dnf – after 15 mins for what it’s worth.
  8. I was well under target at 22 minutes today. It would have been faster but I was held up on the dance anagram by putting ‘Roted’ for 18D – not quite biffed as I had ‘red’ for revoutionary and simply ignored ‘study’. Excellent puzzle and blog.
    By the way, a link to the Crossword Club appeared on my phone app yesterday, but it’s not there today- does anyone know what’s happening?


  9. Under my target ten minutes at 8:37 today.
    Some lovely surfaces, as mentioned above.
    Thanks to Pedro & John


  10. … Or with which to end the week, perhaps? Some great clues, not all of which I was able to parse until I read the blog – for which, many thanks, John. FOI was 10 across, LOI was 16 down and COD 3 across. Thanks, too, to Pedro.
  11. Nothing too scary for a Friday, unlike the 15×15 which I wouldn’t recommend to newer solvers.
    Thanks as always to setter and blogger.
  12. I thought 1ac was slightly iffy – the “executed” doesn’t seem to be doing anything. I parsed it as a bit of whimsy justified/signalled by the “?” and not as a double definition for what it’s worth.

    Rest of it an enjoyable and smooth solve, until I was left with 16dn … I was convinced that it was an anagram of “is mine” (indicated by “work” – “work is mine”) and since every checker fitted (i, m, n) it took me forever to shake off the thought and refocus! So a bit under 3 on the Kevometer, a Decent Day.

    COD to 17ac from me, with its clever nod to Hamlet’s vulgarity (“did you think I meant country matters?”)

    Thank you Pedro, and great blog, John! I’m not in a position to check your maths I’m afraid.


  13. Easiest of the week for me, with a number of particularly elegant surfaces. CHEW OVER took a while until the ‘V’ revealed ‘COVER’, as did MORRIS DANCE until the checkers revealed the DANCE. Enjoyed INTOLERANCE too. Saw the OLE but took a while to spot ‘IN TRANCE’. FOI 1dn. LOI and COD PITMAN for its elegant simplicity.
  14. I came to this after having a very unsatisfying session on the 15×15 (I felt like jumping off the WINDOW LEDGE at quite an early stage), and it restored my faith in the entertainment value of the cryptic crossword. Plenty to CHEW OVER, lots of humour, and it cured my INTOLERANCE of the bigger square today. Pedro ? On this showing MAESTRO !

    COD PITMAN, but honourable mentions to PIKE, STADIUM, and WINDOW LEDGE.
    TIME 4:36, which achieved my aim of a five-day sub 5 minute run, as mentioned yesterday.

    Phil Jordan

  15. Technically DNF today with tinman not pitman but close! 45 mins. It just shows that perseverance and practice are the key with the other 4 this week completed (with a cheat on sheep’s cheese pecorino which I dnk). And to think I started just idly reading the cryptic clues once and realising I knew the answer to one! Many thanks setter and blogger – I still usually need explanations of a couple or more, and life would be so much more unsatisfactory without them! Frankyanne.
  16. Had trouble with 16d – brought up in a coalmining family, but I’ve never heard of a “pitman”.
  17. Another sub 10 mins to complete a reasonable week of QC solves. My LOI was 17a MORRIS DANCE which required me to correct my bunged in and somewhat dubious RATED for 18d. I had ‘read’ as study and T for testament! I biffed MAESTRO and failed to parse it post solve, so thank you for the explanation John. 9:21 and I have finally broken into the top 200 on the Crossword Club leaderboard.
  18. There is a very good play called The Pitmen Painters.
    Per Wiki:”The Pitmen Painters is a play by Lee Hall based on the Ashington Group of painters. Following a sellout run at both the Live Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne in 2007[1] and its transfer to the Royal National Theatre,[2] it returned to the National for a limited season before heading out on a UK Tour.[3] A Broadway production opened on 30 September 2010 following previews from 14 September 2010 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre and played a limited run until 12 December 2010; it featured the original cast.[4] The Pitmen Painters opened in London’s West End in October 2011 at the Duchess Theatre.”
    I saw it in London. It was very good. David

  19. There’s also a group of North Eastern singer/songwriters performing song, poetry and anecdotes from the perspective of the sons of pitmen recounting the experiences of their fathers. One of them is Jez Lowe who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. https://www.thepitmenpoets.co.uk/
  20. The big horse race of the season at Newcastle, the Northumberland Plate, is affectionately known as “The Pitman’s Derby”. (Phil Jordan)
  21. This continued my run of just over 30 min solves, albeit slower than yesterday. I’m glad I could see 1d straight away, as that gave me 1ac, and getting those two always puts me in a better frame of mind for the rest. Some quite chewy clues – I kept on coming back to 9d (CoD) with each additional crossing letter, but I could only parse it once I had the answer. LOI was 16d, Pitman, which I considered on the first pass, but hesitated thinking it must be something more complex. Thanks for the enjoyment, Pedro. Invariant
  22. A bit of thinking required today but after a slow start it all went in fairly smoothly. The exception being the parsing of STADIUM, which eluded me. A very entertaining end to the week spoiled only by a careless typo at 22a, where I had an extra ‘a’. So a DNF to match my one from Monday.
  23. So it is. Thank-you. I’m not sure how I skipped 10! I’ll be blogging the real number 1249 in 2 weeks time.

    Edited at 2018-12-07 09:40 pm (UTC)

  24. Enjoyable solve last night, enjoyed many of the clues, notably window ledge and chew over, also liked the surface for 2d. My big mystery is “all in” – I’ve never heard this to mean exhausted, yet Collins have it as a common expression. Is it regional? In Yorkshire it was common to be “done in” after something physically exhausting, but none of us were ever “all in”.
    1. I guess I am more familiar with “done in” too, but I’m sure I’ve heard “All in” with that meaning too.
  25. Appropriate level of difficulty for a qc I thought and a nice change from some of the horrendous offerings of late. I do not attempt the 15×15 because I don’t appreciate: Dodgy definitions, random abbreviations, cricket, ancient Greeks and words that were last used by an Anglo Saxon Ealdorman in the 8th century. Thanks to blogger and setter as always
  26. Very late on this but can’t binman also fit the definition? His place of work is mine (as in my house, which is where he’ll empty my bin).
    1. Nice try. I like it1 But his place of work is more than just yours… unless you have the only bin to empty! The cryptic nature of the clue is to reinterpret the word – the coal/iron ore/gold/whatever else is dug up “mine” is the place of work.

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