Times Quick Cryptic No 2089 by Mara

We have, I think, a pleasant, steady, middle-of-the-road Quick Crossword from Mara today. It was only the SW corner that held me up a little taking me to just over the 6 minute mark. I liked 4D, 6D and 16D in particular. Thank-you Mara. How did you all get on?

Fortnightly Weekend Quick Cryptic. This time it is Sawbill’s turn to provide the extra weekend entertainment. You can find the latest crossword  here. Enjoy! If anyone is interested in our previous offerings you can find an index to them all here.

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Spicy beef finished, sheep ending in cannelloni (8)
PASTRAMIPAST (finished) RAM (sheep) [ending in] cannellonI.
5 Flower I get out of bed shortly (4)
IRISI RISe (get out of bed) without the final letter, [shortly].
8 Type of bread mine, thank you (5)
PITTAPIT (mine) TA (thank-you).
9 Artist accurately portraying subject is later trashed (7)
REALIST – (is later)* [trashed].
11 Man treating me has poison (4,7)
HOMO SAPIENS – [treating] (me has poison)*.
13 Perfect language (6)
POLISH – Double definition, but not with the same pronunciation.
14 By the sound of it, weapon flew high (6)
SOARED – Sounds like, [by the sound of it], SWORD (weapon).
17 Ancient cipher, sort I cracked (11)
PREHISTORIC – (cipher sort I)* [cracked].
20 Challenging Turkish official isn’t unusual (7)
AGAINSTAGA (Turkish official) (isn’t)* [unusual].
21 A duck fed very hard metal block (5)
ANVILA NIL (duck), outside, [fed],  V (very). A little sneaky. You need to be on your toes to split “very hard”.
22 Caught by eye, timorous beast from the East (4)
YETI – Hidden in, [caught by] eYE TImorous. This held me up looking for the reversal of a beast (from the East).
23 See other strange device for footwear (4,4)
SHOE TREE – (See other)* [strange].
1 Tube, first bit of pasta in dish (4)
PIPE – First letter, [first bit] of Pasta [in] PIE (dish).
2 Bag hidden in flowers at Chelsea (7)
SATCHEL – [Hidden in] flowerS AT CHELsea.
3 Second entry in assignment following study (11)
READMISSIONREAD (study) MISSION (assignment).
4 Sec wine, dark (6)
MOROSEMO (sec; second; moment) ROSE (wine). Nice surface. No the answer is not a sec, (i.e. dry), wine!
6 European river rising high in north Estonia, primarily (5)
RHINE – First letters, [primarily] of Rising High In North Estonia. Nice one. But, sadly, the surface is not geographically correct. As described hereLake Toma in the Swiss canton of Graubünden is generally regarded as the source of the Rhine
7 Shelved beach contains tidewater, initially (3,5)
SET ASIDESEASIDE (beach) [contains] Tidewater [initially].
10 Proper pocket (11)
APPROPRIATE – Double definition.
12 English drunk in happy moment of revelation (8)
EPIPHANY – E (English), (in happy)* [drunk]. The ambiguity of this held me up – I spent time looking for a word for “drunk” to put after E for english in a word for “happy” at first before I, em saw the light. Ah. that will be “epiphany” then.
15 Get back on top (7)
16 Uncomfortable pain: one might be running? (6)
STITCH – Double definition, second a cryptic hint (a running stitch)… and a nice surface.
18 True love’s last kiss, pretence (5)
EXACT – lovE [‘s last], X kiss, ACT (pretence).
19 Escape group of ships, briefly (4)
FLEEFLEEt (group of ships) without the last letter, [briefly].

42 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2089 by Mara”

  1. I also struggled with this one and needed 13 minutes to complete the grid. There was nothing unknown to me nor obscure but many of the clues required several re-visits as checkers were added, before I cracked them.
  2. All green in 14 after a slow start with only four going in on the first pass of acrosses. Lots of satisfaction in this puzzle — especially when I realised ‘duck’ doesn’t always equal 0 and when I finally saw that ‘drunk’ was an anagram indicator en route to EPIPHANY. Best of all though was MOROSE where the clue looked totally impenetrable on the first two visits.
  3. 22 minutes from FOI: PASTRAMI to LOI: EPIPHANY just after POLISH.
    I don’t think a duck would be very happy to be fed an anvil.
  4. One to savour and admire the setter’s skills. Nothing too obscure, the solutions to several were tantalisingly just out of reach or invisible in full sight. I assumed HOMO SAPIENS was probably a chestnut but not to me. Enjoyed MOROSE, ANVIL, SET ASIDE amongst others. A pleasant saunter into the club at the 25 minute mark. Thanks Mara and John.
  5. puzzle.

    As yesterday, bumping up against the top end of target range.

    I liked HOMO SAPIENS and APPROPRIATE. MOROSE was my last, sec=MO clicked into place, but it still took a few seconds to get the wine, and the dark definition.

    PASTRAMI reminded me of my recent visit to Katz’s delicatessen in New York, where I managed to finish a Reuben made with pastrami. I had that around 11:30 a.m., then didn’t need to eat again.


  6. Started off at a rate of knots and was looking for a fast time but the SW put paid to that. POLISH and PREHISTORIC eventually revealed themselves, leading to and EPIPHANY and YETI, which just left the excellent MOROSE to parse.
    Finished in 9.12
    Thanks to John

    P.S. Thanks to Vinyl and his team for all of their efforts with regard to TFTT developments etc

  7. A nice one for the end of the week.

    18 minutes to solve this one. My last answer was SOARED, which took me a couple of minutes of head scratching at the end.

  8. Fifteen minutes, so mid-range diffficulty for me. Thoroughly enjoyed this. FOI iris, fourteen on first pass, LOI morose. Merlot didn’t fit with Homo sapiens so I had to scour the grey matter for an alternative. Then a PDM saw me through. All good clues. Thanks, John, and Mara, and Vinyl and the team for efforts to continue the blog in another forum.
  9. I have been doing the Times Quick Cryptic crossword since they started, and have gradually increased my completion times as I have gained knowledge and experience. This blog has proved a huge help and I look forward to reading the comments each day. I haven’t joined in before and have done so now as if the blog moves to a new platform I very much want to be able to continue to read the comments and who knows now that I have a log in I might post a few comments myself. Thankyou to you all. Simada
  10. A fat fingered end to the solve with LOI, WPIPHANY. Doh! 7:53, WOE. Thanks Mara and John.
  11. Finished in 11:49 but that was after quite a long delay getting my last two: AGAINST and EXACT. Both those clues forced me into a long think about what was needed. And Turkish officials are not my strong point.
    Otherwise a good quality QC with enough challenge for most I imagine.
  12. ….and I was on the right wavelength almost straightaway.

    TIME 3:50

  13. Just snuck in under 9 minutes, which wasn’t looking likely for much of the puzzle as the long answers needed lots of checkers. Shoe trees were new on me, I know them as lasts but that might be a different device altogether. Thanks John for a clear blog.
  14. … at 25 minutes my fastest solve for more than two weeks. I kept thinking I was about to get properly stuck, but on each occasion something occurred to me and momentum was maintained.

    I can’t remember where I started, but the SE was the first area to be filled. I saw most of the long clues fairly quickly (for me, at least), but my last two in (EPIPHANY and MOROSE) both required a short alphabet trawl.

    Mrs Random shrugged off the after-effects of her ‘removal of metalwork’ operation yesterday afternoon and finished in 20 minutes, right on the cusp of the SCC. She would also like to thank those who sent their best wishes yesterday.

    Many thanks to Mara and John.

  15. Around 10 mins, interruption so no exact time.
    Lots of nice clues, anvil, readmission, homo sapiens and epiphany.

    Only weak one was pastrami.
    Could have had: Spicy beef finished, rotted all my intestines at first!

  16. As expected, back down to earth after yesterdays success with an 19 min solve. But, as it was Mara, I don’t feel too bad about that.

    Some good clues all round, with my only query relating to what a “Shoe Tree” is. Is it like a shoe horn?

    FOI — 1dn “Pipe”
    LOI — 18dn “Exact”
    COD — 16dn “Stitch”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. A shoe tree is a device approximating the shape of a foot that is placed inside a shoe to preserve its shape, stop it from developing creases, and thereby extend the life of the shoe.” They wouldn’t help me… my shoes become end-of-life from wearing out the heels and/or soles.

      Edited at 2022-03-11 01:11 pm (UTC)

      1. Ahhh…I actually own some without realising that was what they were called.

        I had visions of it being a funky shoe stand, with footwear hanging off various branches — a bit like those naan bread stands you get in curry houses.

  17. Felt a bit of a clunky solve but happy enough with the time. Slightly embarrassed to admit I had no idea what was going in with HOMO SAPIENS having forgotten the possibility of a different language.

    Thanks Mara and Johninterred

  18. Whilst I realise that this blog is TfTT, my own progress is measured by managing to complete the QC whatever time it takes! 3 out of 5 this week, would have been 4 if I hadn’t NODded off instead of DOSSing on Wednesday.
    1. Don’t worry, you’ve got me here for morale support with my atrocious times !!
  19. I completed, havng failed to parse MOROSE and ANVIL, the latter of which I thought was more than a bit sneaky for a QC, but the former was brilliant misdirection and would have been my COD if fully solved.
  20. All finished in 30m our target time. Loi 4d morose. Thanks Mara for an enjoyable puzzle and for the blog.
  21. Mon 1hr06, Tues 1hr, Weds DNF, Thurs 1hr19, Today 1hr08. Not a terrible week – seem to be get more clues without needing checkers and slightly reduced finishing times. Even so would be nice to have the occasional 20-30min effort which I have achieved a handful of times.

    Got going quite well with SATCHEL (FOI), RHINE, IRIS, FLEE, PREHISTORIC, YETI to have something everywhere.

    Then SHOE-TREE, ANVIL, corrected sea-shore to SET-ASIDE (COD), PITTA, RECOVER, REALIST

    Stuck for a while before sticking in the E for EPIPHANY which sorted POLISH (seen that somewhere recently) then EXACT.

    Struggled on 1A as think PASTRAMI was part of a clue yesterday, so was discounting it because brainfart was thinking that was part of 1D clue (pasta). Eventually sorted that struggle out by testing the P which gave 1D as PIPE.

    Slowly pieced together STITCH, AGAINST, READMISSION.

    Thought about morbid for MOROSE but only filled it inn when HOMO-SAPIENS became obvious as an anagram after trying to remember what the hem(p)lock poison was drunk by Socrates. Off on the wrong track thinking started with HE for man.

    Finally left with SOARED and APPROPRIATE (LOI) at 52mins which took another 15+ mins to reach the GC.

    Parsed everything except READMISSION

  22. Slowed by the long answers READMISSION and HOMO SAPIENS taking me over target, LOI AGAINST.
  23. First-time poster here — after 18 months of trying and mostly failing to get sub 30-min solves. Finally managed today thanks to this brilliantly helpful blog and all the various comments. I now complete 9 out of 10 of these so-called quickies in just under an hour . I occasionally fall asleep struggling to locate enough brain power to answer 1 or 2 of the trickier clues and then jolt myself awake in the small hours as my sleeping self miraculously puts it all together and comes up with an answer. This rather annoys my partner as I wake her up with my compulsion to write the answer in before I forget ( I always buy the paper version ) . Anyway just wanted to say thanks before this blog migrates somewhere that is beyond my limited tech capabilities to find . Ps: COD for me was Morose
    1. Good to hear from you.

      If we migrate elsewhere you will be notified if you have registered your email address in advance. Please send it to vinyl1@ earthlink.net (but with no space) along with your current user-id.

  24. Is there a link to the online interactive grid weekend puzzle?
    This link only displays a grid to print.
    “You can find the latest crossword .. here”
    1. That’s odd. You should see some text… “You can try and solve the crossword interactively here on MyCrossword or here on crossword.info. As usual you can download a PDF to print which you can find here. Alternatively you can copy and print the image below. Comments and queries welcome here or with the solution post (which also gives tips on some of the clues). I will react to any comments or queries there as soon as I can.” Do those links work for you? Blogger seems to be behaving slightly oddly at the moment… maybe it was a temporary issue.

      Edited at 2022-03-13 08:56 pm (UTC)

      1. Yes, the links you have posted in your reply work fine, just as they have always done in previous weeks.
        Peculiarly this week there was no text “You can solve the crossword interactively here on MyCrossword etc ” shown in your blog, only the link to the printed grid.
        I quote:
        “Fortnightly Weekend Quick Cryptic.
        This time it is Sawbill’s turn to provide the extra weekend entertainment. You can find the latest crossword here. Enjoy! If anyone is interested in our previous offerings you can find an index to them all here.”

        Maybe it is just my phone, assuming others found it without a problem. Thank you. Meanwhile I have printed out the hard copy to ponder!

        Edited at 2022-03-13 10:03 pm (UTC)

  25. Didn’t quite understand the comment on the Rhine. Surely Switzerland, although not in the EU, is still in Europe?
    1. I was referring to the surface reading of the clue (I.e. reading the clue as a standalone sentence) which says the river is “rising high in North Estonia”.

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