Times Quick Cryptic No 2499 by Pedro

Lots of deceptive trickery to enjoy in today’s Quick Cryptic from Pedro. There are plenty of places where you can be led up the garden path, as I was a couple of times with, for example, an answer that fits the clue but not the checkers for 8A. That one held up the NW corner. COD to 13A for the excellent surface, but there are many others too. LOI was the devious 25A. All finished in 5:51, which is nearly a minute over target, so I think some might find this rather Fridayish and be less than ecstatic.  But I thought it was great stuff. Thank-you Pedro!

Fortnightly Weekend Quick Cryptic. This time it is Sawbill’s turn to provide the extra weekend entertainment. You can find the crossword here. If you are interested in trying our previous offerings you can find an index to all 87 here.

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

1 Team’s backed favourite dodge (8)
SIDESTEPSIDE’S (team’s), PET (favourite) reversed -> TEP.
6 Unhappy, having to import new grains (4)
SANDN (new) in SAD (unhappy). Not grist to the mill but what you find on a nice beach.
8 Encourage reduction in gush? (4)
SPUR – All but last letter of SPUR{t} (gush). I was held up by entering the perfectly reasonable {s}URGE as the answer initially. Anyone else for that?
9 Coppers pursuing former partner in money business (8)
EXCHANGE – Yes. I fell for it, looking for a name for policemen. No it’s not that sort of copper… EX (former partner) CHANGE (coppers). They’re not needed in change much these days as prices tend to be a multiple of 5p.
10 Canal, say — unpleasantly raw and wet indeed (8)
WATERWAY – (raw wet)* [unpleasantly] AY (indeed).
12 Fine to abandon wind instrument and stringed instrument (4)
LUTE – {f}LUTE (wind instrument) without the F (fine).
13 Opening of concerto by aspiring, but not good, composer (6)
CHOPIN – First letter of C{oncerto}, HOPIN{g} (aspiring) without the G (good). Nice surface and my Clue Of the Day.
15 Seduce bloke, casting off initial reserve (6)
ENTICE – Easily biffed from the checkers but harder to parse. {g}ENT (bloke) without its first letter ICE (reserve). I wasted some time trying to make this ENTRAP.
17 Decline initially for everyone (4)
FALL – First letter of F{or} ALL (everyone).
19 Feature of engagement ring some gent waved about (8)
GEMSTONE – (some gent)* [waved about].
21 Company guy brought in excellent award (8)
ACCOLADECO (company) LAD (guy), in ACE (excellent)
23 Lean against brass instrument that’s overturned (4)
ABUT – TUBA (brass instrument) reversed -> ABUT.
24 Hold off, for example, seizing time (4)
STAYT (time) in SAY (for example)
25 Waste soldiers, bringing in northern soldiers, after reflection (8)
SQUANDER – My LOI with the U prompting the “where there’s a U look for a Q” rule of thumb. Second day in a row for that, so maybe you will all remember it in future. N (northern) in SQUAD, RE (royal engineers; more soldiers) reversed -> ER. Deceptive punctuation!
2 Disparage the writer’s excellent example (7)
IMPEACHI’M (the writer is) PEACH (excellent example). The second most common meaning of the word after the American meaning.
3 Eastern European country coming up strange (5)
EERIEE (Eastern), EIRE (European country) [coming up] -> ERIE. Sneaky Pedro. You need to separate Eastern European.
4 Youngster’s cropped top (3)
TEETEE{n} (youngster) without the last letter. TEE aka T-SHIRT
5 Painful day engaged in arrangement of hair for elephant? (9)
PACHYDERMACHY (painful) D (day), in PERM (arrangement of hair).
6 Has unusual amount to pay up for vegetable (7)
SHALLOT – (Has)* [unusual], TOLL (amount to pay) [up] -> LLOT.
7 Dark period close to end of plot (5)
NIGHTNIGH (close to) [end of] {plo}T
11 Swigs ale freely, clutching new drink container (9)
WINEGLASSN (new) in (swigs ale)* [freely]. An unusual container to drink beer from, although some stronger Belgian beers can be served in a glass similar to a wineglass. I’ll be trying my latest brew, a Belgian Tripel this weekend, although it probably needs a few more weeks bottle conditioning… but probably not in a wineglass.
14 Severely criticise medicine or remedy, ultimately (7)
PILLORYPILL (medicine) OR , last letter of remedY.
16 Swallow everything in ice-cream (7)
CONSUMESUM (everything) in CONE (ice-cream). Not ALL in the middle but Chambers has “The total, whole” and “The aggregate, whole amount” for the first two meanings of SUM, so I guess everything=sum is OK.
18 A person from eg Kelso racecourse (5)
ASCOTA SCOT (person from e.g. Kelso). Yes Kelso has a racecourse.
20 Prepare for succession (5)
TRAIN – Double definition, of which the second may not be so familiar.
22 One unable to fly, being stuck in the mud (3)
EMU – Hidden in thE MUd. Nice surface.

134 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2499 by Pedro”

  1. When I started blogging the QC a little over 6 years ago I was pleased to get as many as 30 comments on my blogs. To get over 120, as we have today, is amazing and a reflection of, I think, the growing popularity of the QC and TimesforTheTimes as a forum for discussing it. Thank-you to all for the contributions! I look forward to, one day, getting more than a twentieth as many comments on my Monthly Club Special blogs. Lol.

  2. Only started to tackle this tonight, but have abandoned after an hour with only half done. One of the most difficult ever set, in my humble opinion.

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