Times Quick Cryptic No 413 by Felix

Morning all

Solving time: Fair to Middling

It’s gloomy and grotty here, but this brightened up my day somewhat. A nice friendly puzzle that contained some smile moments and one or two to make you scratch your head. The two long answers should give the newer solvers a good foothold on this puzzle.

It’s set me up nicely to get ready to tackle its Big Brother puzzle over lunch.

Thanks to Felix for an enjoyable solve, and I’ll see you next week.

1 JIGSAW – A word sum to start with. JIG (dance) + SAW (understood) = a type of puzzle.
5 SAMPAN – And another word sum. SAM (US uncle, the nickname for the country) + PA (dad) + N (new) gives the name of a Chinese boat.
8 NETHERLANDERS – An anagram (indicated by upset) of SLANDERER THEN leads to a word for people from Holland.
9 STEM – A double definition clue. A word that means to check or hold, as well as a part of a plant.
10 CUT GLASS – An old sword (CUTLASS) with G inside (shown by protecting) gives that name of a sort of vase.
11 CREDIT – A double definition, although it looks like one single definition at first glance. A word for an advance of money can also mean to buy as in to accept or believe something.
13 INSULT – A slightly trickier anagram. An anagram (shown by corrected) of UNTIL + S (first letter of Speech) gives a word meaning to slur someone.
15 GUARD DOG – This is a type of clue called a cryptic definition, these often have a question mark in the clue to indicate that you should perhaps think outside the box with this clue. Something that is man’s best friend and would keep watch.
17 RAPT – A double definition clue, with one of them a homophone of the other. A word meaning consumed, gripped can also sound like something that can be done to a parcel (WRAPPED).
19 THE WIZARD OF OZ – Again, punctuation is often helpful in a clue, and an exclamation mark is usually an indicator of an off the wall definition, or sometimes when the setter thinks he has written quite a clever clue. This time we have a double definition, the name of a musical, and a rather off-the-wall way of describing an expert from Down Under.
21 PRUNER – A word sum. PRUNE (fruit) + R (last letter, close to HARBOUR) gives someone who cryptically docks or cuts something.
22 TEE OFF – When I help my lovely grannies at the bridge club tackling the crossword, I often suggest getting a small exercise book, preferably an A-Z one and ruling each page down the middle. This can be used for storing all those odd little crossword phrases that frequently occur in puzzles, e.g. Flower = can mean river (something that flows). Here ‘swell’ almost never means to inflate but refers to a TOFF, an old meaning of swell. So TOFF (swell) has EE (a homophone, so to speak, of EASE) inside to give a phrase that means to start driving in golf.

2 ID EST – A word sum – IDES (Date to beware, as in Julius Caesar) + T (the sixth letter of August) = the Latin phrase that means ‘that is’.
3 SCHEMED – And again. SCH (school) + E (English) + MED (the sea)
4 WAR – Reversal of RAW
5 STARTLING – Another one for the Exercise book. Shy can mean reserved, etc. but can also mean to throw as in Coconut Shy. So here SLING (shy) with TART (prostitute) inside.
6 MODEL – An anagram (fix) of ME OLD gives something that means a replica
7 AEROSOL – Another anagram (refurbished) of LOOS ARE gives a type of spray.
10 COTE D’AZUR – And a third one. An anagram (indicated by unusual) of ZAC TOURED. gives a place in France popular with the jet set.
12 ROUGHER – A hidden answer. Something that means less accurate is hidden (shown by partly) inside THROUGH ERRORS.
14 SCROOGE – Quite a difficult one to work out I thought, though the definition is fairly straightforward. The name of a famous fictional miser is found by reversing (upset, often used as a reverse in a down clue) EGO (I) + OR + CS (gutless, i.e. without innards, COMPANIONS)
16 ROWAN – And one more for the exercise book. Men in Crosswordland can be an indicator for the word OR – In the army, basic soldiers, men i.e. not officers, are O.R. OTHER RANKS)
Here, RO (men, OR, climbing) + WAN (pale) gives the name of a tree.
18 PROOF – O (zero) inside PROF (academic) gives a word for evidence.
20 ROT – A word meaning bunk, or rubbish is found by taking R (last letter of Hosteller) + OT (books, the Old Testament).

Hope you made it through in one piece. See you next week.

12 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 413 by Felix”

  1. Steamed through most of this but my ageing brain seized up at the end with 13 and 14 unsolved for some reason. I got there eventually having increased my solving time from 10 minutes to 16. I’d already suffered a similar experience with the main puzzle where I spent about half-an-hour on the last two clues, so I suspect my problems here were more of a psychological nature than anything else.
  2. This puzzle took me a long time but I managed to parse everything including SCROOGE which I thought tough. Last in STARTLING and favourite, unusually, one of the 3 letter answers ROT.
  3. Finished apart from PRUNER. I don’t think I would ever have got this one, I looked at Prune in Bradfords and the penny still didn’t drop, and it didn’t come up in my checker app. I still had a few un-parsed at the end.
    I spent a long time in the SE corner before ‘prof’ popped into my head, and the rest followed.


    Edited at 2015-10-08 12:10 pm (UTC)

  4. I thought there were a few really difficult clues today, mixed in with the easy ones, so this was always going to be a struggle for me. In the end, the 14d 17ac combination defeated me – now obvious having read the blog. 1d was my favourite today. Invariant
  5. Unlike yesterday’s, I found I was on the wavelength for this and never got stuck – getting the longs ones straightaway always helps by giving plenty of checkers. I spotted an alternative anagram for 13a, but SUNLIT was clearly not right. Some rather pleasant clues. 2d and 19a my favourite. Great instructional blog, by the way!
  6. I think your suggestion is an excellent idea – may do that as I do play bridge but not an old lady or Man for that matter !!!
  7. An enjoyable puzzle today and,as mentioned, a comprehensive and informative blog (thanks). No particular problems today apart from old failings -not spotting a hidden answer for too long (ROUGHER) and not immediately spotting an answer on a subject I should know a lot about. After a career in accounting my last in was 11a CREDIT. I liked 1d in particular. David
  8. Good puzzle and excellent blog. The former kept me busy during a half hour in out patients. I am however puzzled about 10d, surely this should be coded as 4,1,4. Not 4,5. The d is an abbreviated de and therefore a separate word. Or do we observe some special rules in crossword land?
    1. Yes, indeed we do for apostrophised abbreviations. At least in The Times.

      Edited at 2015-10-08 06:17 pm (UTC)

  9. I found this one quite tough. I started slowly and then picked up pace until coming to a grinding halt with 21a – I couldn’t get past someone who works on the docks. Eventually gave up on this and then felt a bit dim when I read the blog. Like some others 1d was my COD

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