Times Quick Cryptic No 818 by Tracy

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
A shade harder than average, I’d say, taking me 15 minutes (with one wrong). A couple of bits of obscurity, for me anyway, with 17d and 22ac going in with a shrug: the first I’ve no doubt seen before and forgotten; the second is more of a gap in knowledge. That left 3d and 13ac still to go at the 13 minute mark. Before I could get 3d I had to write it in the position one will assume following its administration, which is a convoluted way of saying “out in the horizontal”. I’ve seen this idea enough times that I really shouldn’t have needed to. Perhaps I was a bit slow today, evidence for which might be the last 90ish seconds being spent staring blankly at “IN_A_T” for “baby”, trying to think of a more plausible three letter word for cooler than CAN. Unable to do so, in it went: not “unlucky!”,  just not good. Apart from that, much enjoyed – many thanks to Tracy!

1 Easy to carry, wine and beer bachelor brought in (8)
PORTABLE: PORT (wine) and ALE (beer) with B(achelor) brought in.
5 A group of detectives, sharp (4)
ACID: A ; CID (group of detectives)
8 MC in saloon crashing with bus, losing this? (2-6,5)
NO-CLAIMS BONUS: &lit, with an anagram (crashing) of MC IN SALOON [with] BUS, resulting in the possible loss of the answer (not if it was the bus’s fault, of course).
10 Louts vandalised plant (5)
LOTUS: Anagram (vandalised) of LOUTS. Not a great deal of vandalism going on in this anagram, to be fair.
11 Returning once more, artist falls (7)
NIAGARA: AGAIN (once more) returning = reverse it ; RA (artist)
12 Ostentatiously stylish, like hotel described by pilot (6)
FLASHY: FLY (pilot) describing/writing about AS (like) H (hotel)
13 In cooler temperature delivers baby (6)
INFANT: IN ; FAN (cooler) ; T(emperature).
16 Judge a Republican, one using his teeth (7)
ARBITER: A R(epublican), BITER (one using his teeth).
18 Almost missing header at the start (5)
EARLY: nEARLY (almost, missing header).
20 Dutchman errs, sprinkling on fine condiment (6,7)
FRENCH MUSTARD: anagram (sprinkling) of DUTCHMAN ERRS going on/after F (fine).
21 Enjoy corresponding (4)
LIKE: double definition.
22 Two kings on board a majestic old flagship (3,5)
ARK ROYAL: R, K (two kings) on board A ROYAL (a majestic). The English flagship at the time of the Spanish Armada.

1 Piece of glass left in section of door (5)
PANEL: PANE (piece of glass) L(eft).
2 Soft cheese actor spread with it (7)
RICOTTA: anagram (spread) of ACTOR with IT.
3 Article on tasteful number? (11)
ANAESTHETIC: AN (article) on AESTHETIC (tasteful): number, a thing that numbs.
4 Celebrity raised in outskirts of Limoges, French city (2,4)
LE MANS: NAME (celebrity) “raised” in LS (outskirts of Limoges)
6 Dance in study with Georgia (5)
CONGA: CON (study) with Ga (Georgia).
7 Stand it, working far away? (7)
DISTANT: anagram (working) of STAND IT.
9 Egghead having drinks with ‘er: problem! (5-6)
BRAIN-TEASER: BRAIN (egghead) having TEAS (drinks) with ER.
12 Afraid, female, over reprimand (7)
FEARFUL: F(emale) over EARFUL (reprimand).
14 A pound, cash thus far (7)
ALREADY: A ; L (pound) ; READY (cash).
15 Slight earthquake in heart of Castries, revolutionary capital (6)
TREMOR: TR (heart of Castries) ; ROME (capital), spinning.
17 Cold and raw fish (5)
BLEAK: double definition, which could have been “cold ; raw fish” for all I knew. Nope, it’s just a small river fish.
19 Sing in Tokyo, delightfully (5)
YODEL: “in” the letters of TokYO DELightfully.

23 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 818 by Tracy”

  1. 28 minutes but I also had INCANT for that well known latin phrase I must have forgotten “to deliver a baby”, oh well, corrected and quite enjoyable today with lots of good clues.

    Particularly liked flashy, arbiter and COD 20a French mustard.

  2. Whilst I managed to bang the thing out online in 38 mins, I doubt I could have done it on paper.

    Why RK for two kings?

    Ah and number = thing that numbs…. well that explains it…. sigh.

    And already = thus far? Mmm not in my world.

    Fun puzzle though.

    My COD 8a

    Edited at 2017-04-27 05:27 am (UTC)

  3. I was thinking ‘jail’ at 13ac, too, and it was only when I typed in INFANT, biffing from the checkers, that I saw it; we’ve had fan=cooler a number of times, too. I knew ARK ROYAL only from 15x15s. Although I know the various UK/US spelling variants (labour, oesophagus, etc.), my reactions are still slower when faced with, say 3d. 5:30.
  4. Finished in 20 minutes, but was unable to parse a few, namely 13ac, 12ac, 3dn and 17dn. We had ARBITER last week, I believe. My last two to go in were actually 5ac and 6dn. I had _ _ NGA for 6dn and was almost about to convince myself there was a dance called the denga! (study = den). Quite tricky today, but I actually got one of my better times for a while. Gribb.
  5. Really enjoyed this and all went smoothly except 14dn, which defeated me. Slightly dodgy definition?

    Favourite clue was 12dn, it takes a setter to see the earful in fearful

    Thanks to Tracy and blogger


  6. My first attempt at solving since returning from my state-funded vacation in sunny Luton was not very successful. I knew I had left behind some of what I went with but hadn’t thought it was part of my brain that had been taken out!

    Somewhat ironically it was 3dn and 9dn that gave me most problems, stretching 12 minutes for the bulk of the puzzle to 20 minutes total.

    1. Good to see you back and on the mend Jack – wishing you a speedy recovery. Hope you like snooker!
  7. About 35 minutes, mainly because I was completely taking in by number despite having seen the cluing devise before! Bleak was a guess for me too. I also spent ages thinking about chewers rather than the rather more obvious biter, mainly as I thought 17d had to be an obscure fish start with a c.
  8. Thought I was on for a personal best today as the top half went in without pause. The SW put paid to that with 16a (thinking the definition ‘one using his teeth’) and the unknown 17d (LOI). Had a major doh! moment when the parsing of 3d clicked and therefore it gets my vote for COD.
    Eventually completed in 14 minutes.
  9. The first few went in easily and then I seemed to accelerate – so threw caution to the wind a biffed away like mad. Most shots hit the mark but a couple were proved to be wrong with cross checkers. Surprisingly there was not much to sort out and all completed in 8 minutes 50. A safety caution for any beginners here – do not try this at home – it’s so easy to get into all sort of problems.
    DNK bleak=fish (thanks Roly), LOI infant (had the same trouble as others with ‘can’), COD 4dn.
  10. Started off at a cracking pace for the top half, then slowed down a bit, finally over the line at 10:03. I was mainly slowed by initially having TRASHY for 12a, but sorted it when 12d became clear. Liked 3d and 20a. Thanks Tracy and Roly, and welcome back Jack.
    1. …..oops just hit ‘go’ before finishing! I was going to add that I couldn’t parse 12a ‘flashy’ but it was obvious from checkers, so I shouldn’t feel too pleased with myself. Pexiter
  11. As with others, the top half went in quickly, but then things slowed down. Didn’t spot the anagram for 20ac until later, but at least that made me smile thinking about Dutch chocolate sprinkles, which are practically used as a condiment anyway over there. 3d caught me out (again) and a time of 40 mins confirms I’m slowing down a bit of late. Invariant
  12. 14 minutes for me; no major problems and LOI was Bleak on the assumption that there are so many fish in the sea (and rivers) that there’s always one I have not heard of.
    COD 1d.
    I have just started to read Bleak House so I’d better stop now; just another 800 pages to go. David
  13. Now that I’ve been doing crosswords for just over a year I immediately watch out for number=anaesthetic cooler=fan detectives=cid etc. So this puzzle is an excellent one for improvers. I was on the setter’s wavelength and happy with a finish in just over 10m. Thanks Slogger
  14. A straight read and tap today (ipad single digit style) finishing 15 seconds outside my PB in 4.41
  15. Good QC fare apart from the obscure BLEAK. The biggest ever caught in the UK weighed 4 oz, so it’s not surprising that they don’t get much press.

    I got a bit stuck when I got to the condiment but eventually had enough checkers so that I didn’t have to write the letters out. FOI CONGA LOI ALREADY COD LE MANS

    1. I wonder if there’s any competitive bleak fishing – nematode worms for bait, etc. I just checked Wikipedia there for nematode worm and there’s a quite incredible quote in the opening section…

      I only got round to your Easter crossword the other day, by the way. It was really good fun – great idea, thanks a lot!

  16. I found this a toughie and DNF as I could not get 3dn for the life of me. Not seen the “number” reference before, and was convinced tasteful number had something to do with “eight” = ate (taste) – but obviously barking completely down the wrong tree.

    I biffed 17dn also, but got 13ac has I recognised fan for cooler. I am sure we only had arbiter a few days ago, hence why 16ac seem to come a little easier.

    Why does Con = Study?

    FOI 1dn, COD 9dn


    1. I’ve never encountered “con” outside crosswords,but it does literally just mean study/learn/know – in fact comes from the same Indo-European root as “know”, with a couple of its more well-known siblings being “cunning” and “ken”.

      As for “number”, I think it would be pretty tricky to work it out from first principles – I certainly didn’t.

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