Times Quick Cryptic No 1273 by Orpheus

Comfortably inside 12 minutes for me, so at the easier end of the spectrum, and certainly nothing to frighten the horses here, unlike yesterday – which I found hard.  The Welsh name at 21a may give pause for thought, and parsing 5d cost me a few seconds, but all-in-all this was a very fair puzzle from Orpheus, who has charmed me with his neat surfaces.

My CoD and WoD go to MAYHEM.

1  Block benefit covering married pub employee (7)
BARMAID – BAR (block) and AID (benefit) covering (including) M{arried}.  I’m not sure of the modern political correctness of referring to BARMAIDs and BARMEN – shouldn’t they all be classed as BARTENDERS these days?
Soft sweet? An unsatisfactory compromise (5)
FUDGE – Double definition, the first referring to the sugary soft toffee-like substance, and the second to the deal that our PM tried to push through parliament last week.
8  Oddly cheery native’s tendency towards infidelity (5-4,4)
SEVEN-YEAR ITCH – Anagram (oddly) of [CHEERY NATIVE’S].  There has been no such tendency in the 48 years of my marriage – Mrs Rotter wouldn’t allow it!
Take over from magistrate, about 51 (7)
RELIEVE – The magistrate is a REEVE containing (about) LI (fifty one in Roman Numerals)
10  Eg Daphne’s quiet massage (5)
SHRUB – SH (quiet) and RUB (massage).  Daphne is an example of a shrub from the family Thymelaeaceae, which has an improbable number of vowels!
11 Maker of ceramicsHarry, possibly(6)
POTTER – Another double definition, this time the second definition refers to the main protagonist in the children’s books written by JK Rowling
13  One’s bound by others to put up a fight (6)
RESIST – I’S (one’s) bound by (contained within) REST (others)
15  Get bigger medal at last, but react gruffly (5)
GROWL – GROW (get bigger) and {meda}L (at last).
16  Clap a very quiet youth outside university (7)
APPLAUD – A (a) and PP (very quiet from musical notation) followed by LAD (youth) surrounding (outside) U{niversity}.
19  Marksman’s activity has quick-witted son in fits (13)
SHARPSHOOTING – SHARP (quick-witted) and S{on} and HOOTING (in fits).
20  Elegance of ancient writing-instrument (5)
STYLE – Another DD.  This time the second definition refers to a pointed instrument for writing on wax tablets.
21  Your’s truly’s supporter, extremely wacky Welsh girl (7)
MYFANWY – MY (yours truly’s) FAN (supporter) and W{ack}Y (extremely indicating first and last letter).  MYFANWY is a popular girl’s name in Wales derived from the Welsh word for ‘beloved’.

1 More infamous military HQ overlooking river (5)
BASER – BASE (military HQ) and R{iver}.
Possible Trotskyist doing the rounds? (13)
REVOLUTIONARY – Cryptic definition.
Girl primarily arranging nightly entertainment around N Ireland (5)
ANNIE – First letters of (primarily) A{rranging} N{ightly} E{ntertainment) around (containing) N I{reland}.
Make lower enclosure by river (6)
DEEPEN – DEE (one of the many rivers bearing that name) and PEN (enclosure)
Predict sound made by class in low stream (7)
FORESEE – I had trouble parsing this initially, until my penny drop moment.  It’s a homophone, sounding like class 4C, which would be a class in a low stream in any school in any book from my childhood, although I’m not sure that modern schools allow such derogatory terms and separatist notions such as streaming.
6 Resolve to put off motorway race (13)
DETERMINATION – DETER (to put off) M1 (motorway) and NATION (race – of people).
Show former husband one part of harness (7)
EXHIBIT – EX (former) and H{usband} with I (one) and BIT (part of harness).  I was worried initially that the H might have been double defined, but actually, EX works perfectly well for ‘former’ without having to define what is being referred to.
11  Winged horse in Winnipeg as usual (7)
PEGASUS – Hidden answer in {winni}PEG AS US{ual}
12 Overshadow East European absorbing extracts from films. (7)
ECLIPSE –  E{ast} and E{uropean} surrounding (absorbing) CLIPS (extracts from films).
14  Confusion getting woman on edge (6)
MAYHEM – MAY (woman) and HEM (edge).
17 Certification only initially accepted by senior academic (5)
PROOF – O{nly} (initially) inside (accepted by) PROF{essor} (senior academic)
18  Child’s word for pet, extremely gangly, with tail (5)
DOGGY – G{angl}Y (extremely) with DOG (tail – as in follow).

36 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1273 by Orpheus”

  1. 9 minutes but one error just discovered as I overlooked the apostrophe in 21ac a wrote in MEFANWY. I’ve heard the name spoken but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it written down before and have certainly had no occasion to do so myself.

    Edited at 2019-01-24 05:20 am (UTC)

    1. I did exactly the same and in 9 minutes as well. Hmph! Rotter – you’re unintentionally rubbing it in by including an extra apostrophe in the blog.
      1. Sorry for that – I don’t know where that extra apostrophe came from – repaired now.
  2. Biffed a couple–FORESEE from def, SEVEN-YEAR-ITCH from the enumeration and def. No biffing for MYFANWY, a name I’ve never come across. I was a bit surprised to see REEVE here, although there is of course his Tale. 5:38.
  3. Under 13 minutes but I too had Mefanwy.
    Shame it wasn’t clued:
    Welsh girl initially might yearn for another night with you.

    Couldn’t parse foresee.
    Don’t really equate hooting with in fits.

    Cod mayhem or exhibit.

  4. A lot more comfortable than yesterday. Back to breakfast time and all done in under 12 minutes which is about as fast as I go. LOI was Eclipse, I got fixated on excerpts even though it didn’t hit any of the checkers and didn’t fit the clue. Thanks to Rotter for the explanation of 4C, I was nowhere near parsing that.
  5. Just under 16 minutes with all parsed,but the computer did not like all my answers. I could not understand why not.
    Enter MEFANWY.
    A proliferation of female names today for some reason. This will favour Welsh solvers. David
  6. 18 minutes, so I was inside my new target of 20 minutes for the first time in what I’ve found to be a tough week until today. I got quite a few definition first, parsed second but I needed the blog to see FORESEE, so thanks to The Rotter.


  7. I join the ranks of those who put down MEFANWY and need the Rotter to sort out the parsing of FORESEE. Otherwise a quick solve, for me, in 14 mins. I enjoyed the surface of 18d. Thanks Rotter and Orpheus.
  8. Thanks Orpheus for a nice counterpoint to yesterday’s puzzle – it’s good to have the mix in my view – and was heartening to finish (relatively) quickly in 14 minutes today.

    I hadn’t parsed 5d at all and was my LOI – I’d biffed it earlier but wanted the checkers for security and to buy a bit more time to see if I could work out what was going on. I don’t think I’d ever have got there so thanks Rotter for clearing it up!

    I think such nomenclature conventions in schools have indeed changed to make this a relic of the Billy Bunter era. Most primary schools I’m aware of use the convention of the year number followed by the first initial of the teacher’s surname. I think secondary schools nowadays tend to continue the numbering on from primary so you get years 7-11 (or 13). Therefore a 4C class in this sense wouldn’t exist irrespective of streaming, which I think still goes on but is less explicit. I’m sure there are a raft of local differences and some older establishments may well have the old system, but as per the blog it ain’t common.

    Edited at 2019-01-24 09:19 am (UTC)

  9. A little under 3 Kevins today so a welcome improvement on my recent SCC efforts. LI were FORESEE and DEEPEN. There were a lot of biffable answers for me but I did parse them all. My CODs were MAYHEM and MYFANWY. Thanks to ORPHEUS for a good QC and to rotter for his usual concise and helpful blog. John M.

    Edited at 2019-01-24 09:41 am (UTC)

  10. Fortunately I guessed the correct spelling of the Welsh girl, but it was a bit of a toss up and the parsing of FORSEE defeated me. Other than that there were no hold ups and particularly enjoyed 19a. Completed in 9.54 with LOI DEEPEN.
    Thanks for the blog
  11. ….DOGGY in the window ? “Woof” is how I felt first thing this morning after an excellent session at Manchester Beer and Cider Festival. That won’t stop me going back for seconds tomorrow though !

    No problems with this nicely constructed and enjoyable puzzle.

    FOI BARMAID (quite apt !)
    TIME 4:05

    Edited at 2019-01-24 10:15 am (UTC)

  12. I thought I might be on for a pb with this (just under 20) as I was flying along and had most of it done in about 12 minutes. That went out the window as most of the rest took me just over the 20 mark, but I was still on for a good time. And then I just couldn’t see 13a and 14d. I got resist at about 44 and finally mayhem at dead on 49.
    With reference to the class 4C, as a supply teacher who has worked in both primary and secondary schools, though mainly the latter, I have come across just about every possible combination of letters and numbers for groups. Setting and streaming do still exist, though by no means universally, but often great efforts are made to disguise the fact so the lower ability pupils don’t feel stigmatised. So x, y, z are sometimes used and occasionally the numbers are reversed so that set 5 is the top and set 1 the bottom. My favourite is the one where the lower classes are called “Achieve” and “Excel”. It fools nobody of course.
  13. For some reason known only to me (and, to be fair, even I don’t know), I decided to reverse my normal approach of doing the QC as a warmup, instead using it as a wind down.

    Then the 15×15 hit me in all it’s torturous glory, and my poor frazzle brain couldn’t cope with the likes of FORESEE (which was a biff), and the Welsh girl, which felt a little bit non QCish, so ended up limping over the line in 4.38

    1. If only limping were an Olympic event you would certainly medal!

      It was more of a canter for me today at 4’15” with only the parsing of 5d causing any furrowing of the brow.

      Many thanks to Orpheus for the puzzle and to the Rotter for the blog. Without wishing to speak out of turn, Mr Rotter may wish to reflect on the fact that 8a is by no means gender restrictive …

  14. I am very distressed by the lack of Under Milk Wood fans on here. No-one who has heard it, especially with Richard Burton as the Narrator, could forget Myfanwy Price, dressmaker and sweetshop-keeper, and her platonic boyfriend Mog Edwards (“I am a draper mad with love”).

    “Mr Edwards
    Myfanwy, Myfanwy, before the mice gnaw at your bottom drawer will you say

    Miss Price
    Yes, Mog, yes, Mog, yes, yes, yes.”

    The puzzle. Thoroughly enjoyed it (especially FORESEE), sub 10, 1 point something Kevins, an Excellent Day. Thank you Orpheus and thank you Rotter for a very smooth blog.


  15. About 8 minutes for this which I thought was a lovely puzzle. No problem with the Welsh girl as I knew one once. COD has to be 14 down. Thanks to Orpheus and Rotter.


  16. Something of a neutrino here with dead on 8 minutes, though it involved biffing/semi-parsing a few. Some recent tips and having a more regular crack at 15 x 15 may be helping (or not). Having recently retired from primary teaching, I can confirm Uncle Bulgaria’s analysis of form names. Sets based on ability exist still with friendly, non-judgmental titles, often in alphabetical order to help the teachers remember which is which. The children, ever smart, just call them top, middle and bottom.
  17. A most enjoyable puzzle which I zipped through in 6:16. I particularly liked 4C and MAYHEM. We also had a 4D at my grammar school. I paid particular attention to MYFANWY’s wordplay, as I wasn’t confident of the spelling, and came through unscathed. Thanks Orpheus and Rotter.
  18. Re 5d, biffed (but I always get confused as to whether there’s an ‘e’ after the ‘r’ or not. Would never have got near the parsing.

    As for the Welsh girl, I had MY… WY and wanted ‘bra’ for supporter. Then I twigged but thought it would be a ‘v’ rather than ‘f’. Van as supporter – maybe not.

  19. A welcome return to something more mainstream after yesterday’s puzzle (anyone who struggled with that should look again at Jeremy’s blog, now that he has added another one of his ‘how I did it’ explanations). 22mins here, with Myfanwy responsible for 2 or 3 of those at the end – I considered Mefanwy, but it didn’t look sufficiently Welsh. My CoD vote goes to 5d for the amusing parsing. Invariant
  20. 10 mins and a thoroughly enjoyable solve after yesterday’s struggle. My only biff was 5d FORESEE and even post solve I failed to parse it so thank you Rotter for the explanation. I agree with you that schools are unlikely to use such derogatory terms now. I used to help out, not so long ago, in my local primary school and streaming is still evident but not labelled as such. Within a class and subject dependent, children were assigned to a table of five or six pupils. All the kids knew which was top table and which was bottom table.
  21. Studied Under Milk Wood in high school in Wales, so Myfanwy was not a problem although my overriding memory is that the setting was the fictional village of LLAREGGUB or bugger all backwards.
  22. Biffed several in, like many others, including FORESEE, SEVEN-YEAR ITCH and RELIEVE (never heard of Reeve). I would never of parsed FORESEE. I was in class 4D at school, but I hasten to add that the letter was the teacher’s initial – I was in Ms Doorbar’s class (at least, that’s what they told me…) NEvertheless, finished (even with the correct spelling of Myfanwy – thanks Little Britain) in 20:09. Close to a PB, and annoyingly just over the 20-min mark. LOI DEEPEN
  23. Much quicker today, abt 20m which is good for us. Slowed down by 5d. Myfanwy no problem at all,with one half being welsh. It is a lovely song wellworth the trouble to look it up and listening to, particularly with one of the Welsh male voice choirs. Thanks to setter and contributors.
  24. 4C a low stream? What a cheek!
    I was in 4C – and 1 to 5C for that matter. We had 10 classes of at least 35 at my late 60s new Comp. The top four were Grammar streams. A was top, B more artsy and did extra language, C did extra science. Suited me as I ended up with 4 A levels, UCL and became a Chartered Engineer..
    Nice puzzle. Just over an hour.
  25. I haven’t tackled the TQC for over a year and was back in 7.55 mins.

    FOI 13ac POTTER

    LOI 18dn DOGGY



  26. No one will read this, I suspect, as I’m so late! Didn’t have a chance to attempt Thursday’s puzzle before now but, having zipped through the crossword in record time (10 minutes, a PB), and buoyed by success, I decided to write something here anyway, late or not! As a bona fide Welsh girl, Myfanwy was a no-brainer, diolch yn fawr iawn! And as a senior school teacher of several decades, I am proud to have taught several class 4Cs (aka Year 10s or LVs). Great fun. And so was the puzzle. Many thanks to today’s blogger – although even the parsing seemed effortless today (a huge crash awaits me on Monday, no doubt). And huge thanks to Orpheus who has put a smile on my face on this rainy Saturday evening.

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