Times Quick Cryptic No 1283 by Orpheus

Another Orpheus puzzle for me to mull over – I seem to get a lot of Orpheus (not that I am complaining!).  This one took me 12 minutes and 34 seconds, so almost exactly in the middle of my target range.

There is some unusual vocab for a QC in both clues and answers (SCAD, ISINGLASS, EULOGY, TEMPI, PSHAW, LORIMER, ENCOMIUM and PROA to name a few), but I think they are all very fairly and generously clued.  Some of them will provide the sort of challenge for newbies that will stretch them somewhat, but it is good for all of us to be stretched occasionally.

I didn’t spot any repetition of the typos that plagued us yesterday, and my grid appeared to work flawlessly, so hopefully these things are behind us.

Thanks Orpheus for the challenge.  Please let me know how you all got on.  See below for my CoD and WoD.

Precise account given by member of clergy (8)
ACCURATE – AC (account) and CURATE (member of clergy).
5  Unhappy  eating cold fish (4)
SCAD – SAD (unhappy) eating C{old}.  SCAD is a type of fish similar to a mackerel, and sometimes called horse mackerel.
9 German city identified by odd characters in East Sheen (5)
ESSEN – Alternate letters (odd characters) in E[a}S{t} S{h}E{e}N.
10  Person taking holiday just before the fall? (7)
TRIPPER – Whimsical cryptic definition, close to a double definition.  An excursionist or person taking a holiday would be a tripper as would someone about to take a fall after a trip.  Can anyone see anything else in this?
11  Copy paper with edges cut off (3)
APE –  {p}APE{r} – with the edges cut off – i.e. remove first and last letters.
12 Gelatinous substance in abandoned sailing ship (9)
ISINGLASS – Anagram (abandoned) of [SAILING] and SS (ship).  ISINGLASS is a gelatine like substance obtained from, amongst other sources, a sturgeon’s air-bladder, and used in the clarification of beer.  Sailing is the anagrist (the letters to be manipulated as part of the anagram), and does not refer to the first part of SS – SS is rarely used to indicate Sailing Ship, and these days more often refers to Steam Ship or a Single Screw vessel, although I suppose it could be doing double duty – although that isn’t necessary for the cue or the wordplay.
13  Record kept in Brussels may finally produce encomium (6)
EULOGY – EU (European Union, hence Brussels, just in case you had forgotten about the EU) and LOG (record) followed by {ma}Y (finally).  Here is our Brexit clue of the day, linking Theresa May to one of her adversaries.  An encomium isn’t an old musical instrument (which is what it sounds like), but is a EULOGY or high commendation, usually for someone who has recently departed!  Do we think there is a hidden message here, and is it for our PM or for the EU in these fractuous and troubled times?
15  Report of officer in centre of Brazil? (6)
KERNEL – Homophone (report of) – KERNEL sounds loosely like Colonel, and is the fruit at the centre of a Brazil nut, for example.
17  Attendant admits fire-raising in priest’s residence (9)
PARSONAGE – Arson (fire-raising) surrounded or admitted by PAGE (attendant).
19  Old French coin originally spent on underwear (3)
SOU – First letters (originally) of S{pent} O{n} U{nderwear}.  A SOU was originally a 5-centime piece, or more generally, any small amount of money.
20  Part of skeleton?  That sounds funny (7)
HUMERUS – Another homophone, this time with the answer sounding like humorous (funny).
21  Speeds imposed at first on casual worker (5)
TEMPI – TEMP (casual worker) and I{mposed} (at first).  TEMPI is the plural of TEMPO meaning speed or rate.
22 Be employed in Hounslow or Kennington (4)
WORK – Hidden answer in {hounslo}W OR K{ennington}.  The latest Project Fear would have it that none of us will be so employed after a no-deal Brexit
23  Move towards chap swimming round Malay boat (8)
APPROACH – Anagram (swimming) of [CHAP] round PROA (Malay boat).  For those that haven’t come across this before, a Proa is a fast Malay sailing- or rowing-vessel with both ends alike, and a flat side with an outrigger to leeward.  Now you know!

1 Artificial fibre in church gallery (7)
ACETATE – A (a) CE (church, as in Church of England) and TATE (gallery).  ACETATE is short for Acetate Rayon, an artificial fibre.
Class teacher initially involved in court action (5)
CASTE – T{eacher} (originally) inside CASE (court action).
Part of early motor carthe chairman’s responsibility? (7,5)
RUNNING BOARD – Double definition, the first referring to the footboard along the side of some early (and some later) automobiles, the second referring to one of the many responsibilities of our overworked chairmen, the board here being the Board of Directors.
Bantu-speaker expresses disapproval over island (5)
TUTSI – To emit TUTS is to express disapproval, followed by I{sland}.  The TUTSI are members of the Bantu people living in Rwanda and Burundi, where the Bantu language is widely spoken.
6 Officer liable to be taken in by murderer (7)
CAPTAIN – The murderer is CAIN of Old Testament fame, taking in or containing APT (liable).
Shoots game (5)
DARTS – A double definition following Rotter’s Law – two word clues are invariably DDs.
8  One digesting short records in small car? (6-6)
SINGLE-SEATER – SINGLES (short records) and EATER (one digesting).
14  See old poet? He would have made a bit once! (7)
LORIMER – LO (see) and RIMER (archaic spelling of rhymer, e.g. old poet).  A LORIMER was the maker of the metal parts of horse-harnesses, such as the bits themselves.  The cryptic definition part wins my nomination for CoD.
16 Unmannerly leaders of illegal sect in Irish county (7)
LOUTISH –  First letters (leaders of) I{llegal} and S{ect} inside LOUTH (Irish county).  Unmannerly wins my nomination for WoD.
17  Quiet playwright?  Don’t make me laugh! (5)
PSHAW – P (quiet) and SHAW (playwright).  PSHAW is defined in my Chambers app as ‘expressing contempt or impatience’.
18 Greek writer’s main upset over work (5)
AESOP – SEA (main) upset (overturned) followed by OP (work, as in OPUS).  AESOP nearly makes another appearance as a NINA in the 12th column.
19  Dance composed by a doctor in South America (5)
SAMBA – A (a) and MB (doctor) inside S{outh} A{merica}.  MB as a ‘doctor’ always troubled me until I looked it up a few weeks ago when blogging, to discover that it stands for Medicinae Baccaleureus (Latin) – or Bachelor of Medicine to you and I.

42 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1283 by Orpheus”

  1. I was surprised to find the sort of words The Rotter mentions here, and I won’t be surprised if some objections are raised. I didn’t know SCAD, but it seemed inescapable. I’d thought ISINGLASS was an obsolete word for mica (ODE gives the mica def as US, says nothing about obsolete). LORIMER I only knew from a 15×15 (I just now realized that I never parsed this). I think APPROACH was my LOI; I finally saw PROA post-submission. Bantu is not a language, but a (large) group of languages, a branch of the Niger-Congo family. The TUTSI don’t speak Bantu (no one does) but Rwanda-Rundi. 5:43

    Edited at 2019-02-07 06:03 am (UTC)

  2. I agree there is tricky stuff going on here and perhaps too much of it to appear in a single QC puzzle, however I completed in 9 minutes today which is better than quite a few of my recent solves. SCAD was my only unknown, or rather, forgotten, as it has come up on four previous occasions, twice in a QC both of which were set by Orpheus. If one speaks a Bantu language doesn’t that, in general terms, make one a Bantu-speaker?

    Edited at 2019-02-07 05:10 am (UTC)

    1. Well, yes, in the same sense that you and I are Indo-European speakers, or Germanic speakers, or that the French are Romance speakers (but not speakers of Indo-European or Germanic or Romance). This sense is, I think, enough to cover the setter’s proverbial, and I wasn’t objecting to the clue; I just wanted to make the point that Bantu isn’t a language (although it probably was; there was a Proto-Bantu once).
      1. Thanks for this. Perhaps another example of common parlance would be saying that a person ‘speaks Chinese’ without specifying a particular dialect.
        1. After all, as is generally pointed out in linguistics textbooks, the distinction between a dialect and a language is political not linguistic: as Uriel Weinreich said, a language is a dialect with an army and navy. Speakers of different Chinese dialects can’t understand each others’ speech, but one China, ergo one Chinese language. Speakers of German who live near the Dutch border can understand their neighbors on the other side, and vice versa, where they have trouble speaking with Bavarians. And so on. (I know a fellow–can’t remember if he’s English or Australian–who once found himself acting as interpreter between a London butcher and a Scottish customer.)
          1. A nice conversation about the niceties of linguistics, that went right over my head, having never studied the subject. My Chambers app defines Bantu as the name given to a large group of African languages and the people speaking them in central and Southern Africa. Thanks for the input though!
          2. A nice conversation about the niceties of linguistics, that went right over my head, having never studied the subject. My Chambers app defines Bantu as the name given to a large group of African languages and the people speaking them in central and Southern Africa. Thanks for the input though!
  3. Definitely at the hard end of the range for me. Almost all the words Rotter mentions caused me problems and did I’m afraid detract from the enjoyment but if I can remember them they may be useful in the future. Next!
  4. Way too hard, the 15×15 is easier today.

    Lorimer, rimer

    ? God help newbies

    1. I’ve got to disagree with you regarding the 15×15 today – by my standards, I found it quite tricky (see my blog when completed !)
  5. After 13 minutes I needed two: 8d and 12a. Once I got SEATER as the second word for 8d, I saw the rest. My LOI was the unknown ISINGLASS finishing in 17:15.
    As already mentioned, the obscurities made this difficult but the cryptics allowed them to be derived with a bit of luck and experience.
  6. Gave up after 25 minutes (the length of my morning train journey) – defeated by single seater, isinglass and kernel. Enjoyable nonetheless.
  7. 37 minutes, so almost double my target. There were also a total of five unknown words so without the Chambers app on my phone I would have been really stuck. There’s nothing wrong with adding to my vocabulary but five may be too many for one puzzle.


    Edited at 2019-02-07 09:06 am (UTC)

  8. Just shy of 30 minutes for me, so I was actually quite pleased with my time given the words everyone is mentioning. Much too hard for newbies though.
  9. I agree with the summary about the vocabulary and the clueing although I would be surprised if any of us have ever used pshaw or seen it written?? Today though I’m feeling miffed about my OED. I don’t know the word Scad but it looked likely. OED says another term for JACK – sense 11. Wouldn’t it have been just as easy to say marine fish see JACK. Similarly I didn’t know Lorimer but I remember the footballer. OED gave Loriner with no mention of alternative – Chambers more helpfully does give both.
  10. One thing you learn from having a vegetarian in the family is that lots of beers and wine are not suitable for vegetarians, because they have been clarified (“fined”) with ISINGLASS. So that one gave me no problem, unlike SINGLE-SEATER and TEMPI, which took ages and pushed me over the 3 Kevin mark (thus a Very Bad Day).

    The SCAD may look similar to a mackerel to us, but I can assure you from numerous fishing trips that a turbot can pick the difference a mile off: scad bait will catch you nothing!

    Thanks Orpheus, and Rotter for a very clear blog.


  11. Interesting mix of clues, some flying in, others involving head-scratching. LORIMER was unknown but more likely than LOHOMER, although I now have a feeling I have come across it (should be a word for that). NHO PROA, but answer fell in with checkers. Missed complete parsing of CAPTAIN, though CAIN is becoming more familiar as a murderer. KERNEL gets my vote for COD. Quite satisfied with 14.04 in the circs.
  12. This was really tough for a quickie, with some tricky surfaces and answers. I was finally home and hosed in 9:29, so just within my target. Thanks to Orpheus for the work out and to Rotter for the blog.


  13. This one had a sting in the tail. After about 10 minutes I had 13a, 14d and 12a left and eventually completed the puzzle in 23.55. I should probably have been able to work out EULOGY more quickly from the word play despite not knowing what encomium was and that would have allowed me to bif the unknown poet. It also took me way too long to realise that 12a was an anagram and then it was just a case of guessing which order the S and N went (INISGLASS looked just as plausible to me).
    Thanks for the blog
  14. The Vaux Brewery(RIP) in Sunderland was famous for its drays and cart horses, which I often used to see around the town(it wasn’t a city then) when I went to grammar school there. One of their brews was Lorimer’s Ale, so I got that clue without too much thinking. SCAD has cropped up recently, as mentioned by Jack, ISINGLASS was familiar, as my daughter and her husband are Vegans, and my brother is a home brewer. ACCURATE was my FOI and SINGLE SEATER my last. Nice puzzle with some words to stretch the less experienced. 9:18. Thanks Orpheus and Rotter.
  15. ….TUTSI goodbye.

    When I first graduated to “harder” cryptic puzzles some 40 years ago, one of the joys was learning new words which were gleaned entirely by breaking the surface of the clue. I’d agree that newbies might have found this a little daunting, but every clue was perfectly fair, and the unknown words were capable of resolution without a gargantuan effort. Witness my FOI.

    I was helped by there not actually being any words I didn’t already know (RUNNING BOARD had me thinking of those marvellous motors in the old gangster movies).

    TIME 3:13

    1. For the most part I agree with you Phil, certainly when it comes to SCAD, PSHAW, SOU and TEMPI but I had InIsGLASS as the anagram at 12a and 14d LORIMER was a third attempt at the answer with all the checkers in place. LO was fine but RIMER very much a guess.
  16. Lot of vocabulary I didn’t know here. New to me were TEMPI (fairly clued and seemed reasonable), LORIMER (which I knew as the surname of the great Leeds player Peter, so again seemed reasonable for some sort of artisan), RIMER (seemed a reasonable guess for an old spelling), PROA (simply couldn’t be anything else). So all in all, quite pleased at a fairly average time.
    FOI WORK (started at the bottom and worked up)
    COD EULOGY (encomium – wow, don’t see that everyday)
  17. As a newbie I have been either finishing or nearly finishing in the last week or two but today I barely got half. Lots of words I hadn’t heard of and without the checkers the easier ones are harder to solve. Never a bad thing to learn new words, though.


  18. I agree with flashman. This is not QC fodder. I started doing the QC on the crossword club but I had to abandon it once I realised I had spent 3 minutes and had only put in a guessed word SCAD and had come across the words Bantu and encomium which I had never heard of. I decided I needed the on line ‘check word’ button to aid me. So after 24 minutes and quite a few checked words I finally got the congratulations. The list of DNKs are SCAD, ISINGLASS, SOU, TEMPI (I had TEMPo), LORIMER and RIMER, PSHAW. I even mispelt KERNEL. Not a good day.
  19. I only remembered what an encomium was when I solved the wordplay and I’d forgotten what a LORIMER did. But otherwise no problems for me. COD to EULOGY. 4:05.
  20. I gave up after about 40 minutes. Some of these clues were too much for a QC and whilst I wouldn’t disagree that they were fair I think the same can be said of almost every clue in the 15×15 and thus it cannot really be fairness which differentiates between the 2 crosswords.

    I enjoy learning new words from these crosswords so have no objections to having new vocab but I felt 2 things made this unsuitable for a QC.

    1. The volume of unusual vocab (as listed above). 3 or 4 words of this nature are fair game for the QC but we had double that today.

    2. Sometimes these combined in the same clue – rimer (archaic) and lorimer. The spellcheck on this blog site doesn’t consider either a word….

    Of course this is just my opinion, and I do appreciate that it is a good thing to have harder QC’s as a bit of a step ladder to the 15×15 but I thought today was a bit too steep.

  21. I’ve been doing the QC for a couple of years (paper version ) and this was the hardest one I can recall . Much, much too difficult for a QC and frankly both irritating and dispiriting . Maybe enjoyable for those who can manage the main crossword but not for the rest of us . Don’t hurry back, Orpheus.
  22. This was right at the top of the ‘too hard for me’ category. Lots of resorting to aids with stuff I still couldn’t parse, even when I had the answer.

    I hope tomorrow’s is more approachable. Ho hum..

  23. Completed (just, guessing Lorimer) in just under 15 mins. I think our setter has delivered a brilliant puzzle for those aspiring to the 15×15. Trust the wordplay. I know some QCers say it is too hard, but just occasionally you have to stretch things. There are some 15x15s which I find off-the-scale, but you learn all the time. Nice blog too. Thanks all
  24. Quite a challenge with the number of unusual words, had to look up encomium, to check lorimer was correct and had forgotten isinglass, faint recollection from wine making days. Abt 35m which is just above our target. Thanks to Orpheus and Rotter.
  25. This was truly a BOAB in my opinion. I got there in the end but didn’t try to estimate my time for fear of being ejected from the SCC (in the other direction). On reflection, some of the clues were inspired (for a 15×15). I enjoyed ACETATE, CAPTAIN, ISINGLASS, EULOGY, PSHAW and thought the longer answers such as RUNNING BOARD and SINGLE SEATER were satisfying when they clicked (when I had enough checkers). Really too tough for a less experienced solver and probably disheartening for many. After the time-wasting grid problem plaguinging the app yesterday and the brain-hurt today, I am looking to restore my balance tomorrow… Thanks to rotter for a heroic blog and to orpheus for a thought-provoking (non-)QC.. John M.
    P.s. How anybody can finish a QC like this in under 5 mins is beyond me.

    Edited at 2019-02-07 04:43 pm (UTC)

  26. Quite a challenge with the number of unusual words, had to look up encomium, to check lorimer was correct and had forgotten isinglass, faint recollection from wine making days. Abt 35m which is just above our target. Thanks to Orpheus and Rotter.
  27. But we nearly finished it – 6 months ago we would only have got about halfway through. I agree that the wordplay generally helped but not if you’ve never heard of the answer. However no complaints as long as we’re back to normal tomorrow! L&I
  28. Well, that was interesting. A mix of the straightforward and downright obscure, with not too much inbetween. It was definitely a case of trust the cryptic in places – encomium anyone? Likewise, loi Lorimer had to be dragged from the far dephs of my mind ( …only a short rope needed). In the end I was pleased to finish in just under 30 mins, with 3d Running Board my favourite. Newbies have my sympathy. Invariant
  29. I have been doing the quick cryptic now for a few years and really enjoy them. I found this one to be the worst one of the bunch. As stated by many, the obscurity of the vocabulary was most off-putting. Clever word play and hidden meanings are great, but it does help to know the words in the first place.
  30. As someone still trying to catch the SCC after a couple of years, I read today’s blog with some interest. It took me a large Costa and another 10 minutes at home to complete this so that must be about 65 minutes. I had to check a few words with my Chambers apps to be happy with my deductions. However, it was all there in the cluing. There was plenty to mislead: for example 6d with C-P—- had me wondering about Cops…. I was slow to spot a coupe of regulars eg 15a Brazil usually leads to nut or kernel but the homophone indicator didn’t register until quite late on. Happily, I recognised in 23a PROA, while 13a 12a 17d 18d were entertaining rather than problems. I took a long time over 16d having carelessly put 21a TEMPS. I dredged up 14d from some recess of memory – not a common word these days but the poet + bit were very clear directions. Overall I can’t say this was as hard as yesterdays – still only half-finished, but hopefully that will be completed over the weekend. All the words were known and Chambers was able to reaffirm my recognitions as true eg 5a. All in all, I view this puzzle as eminently gettable from the word-play and surely that’s what it’s all about. Time isn’t important to me…the entertainment value over a casual coffee to wind the day down and exercise the old grey cells is what matters to me. A lovely puzzle from Orpheus and thanks to Rotter for the guide through.
  31. Ay caramba! That was tough, tough going although we (wife and I) actually conceded with only KERNEL (which we should have got) and ISINGLASS (which I remembered afterwards through the wine connection) remaining.
    Dedicated Patrick O’Brian readers will know their proas from their xebecs, hoys, cutters etc etc!
    LORIMER was biffed (Peter as mentioned elsewhere) and encomium I actually knew from somewhere, so it could have been worse (I suppose).

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