Times Quick Cryptic No 838 by Teazel

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
A lovely puzzle from Teazel today, with pretty much every clue reading perfectly as a standalone sentence, and there were some lovely images of biased brunettes and crying schoolboys and short-skirted servants and the like. Hard to say how difficult it all was – I was all wrapped up bar 22ac by the 9 min mark, indicating slightly easier than average, but I did feel on the setter’s wavelength with some of the potentially trickier bits. Until 22ac – cue a couple of minutes of brain-deadery where all I could conjure up for “have a great time” was “go to moon”: a slightly less exalted experience than being “over the moon”, I suppose. The rest of the clue sort of fitted this as well, given that the sooner we can get those pesky carbon nanotubes sorted out, the sooner we’ll be able to build Arthur C. Clarke’s great dream of space elevators and call them “Up Trains”. Uh huh. So yes, I gave up on it in after a couple of minutes blank staring, meaning a DNF, but apart from that I found this a particularly satisfying solve – many thanks to Teazel.

7 Left a person unaccompanied (4)
LONE: L(eft) ONE (a person)
8 Hard rain disturbed shrew (8)
HARRIDAN: anagram (distrurbed) of HARD RAIN.
9 Biased, as brunette is? (6)
UNFAIR: cryptic definition – i.e., un-blonde.
10 Grating last of cheese on barbecue (6)
GRILLE: GRILL (Grating) E (last of cheese)
11 Right at the back in simple vessel (4)
RAFT: R(ight) AFT (back)
12 Sailor’s in the drink (8)
ABSINTHE: A.B.’s (sailor’s – AB = Able-bodied Seaman) IN THE (in the)
15 Be grabbing servant, resulting in bruise (5,3)
BLACK EYE: BE (be) grabbing LACKEY (servant)
17 Joker finally made payment (4)
WAGE: WAG (joker) E (Finally made)
18 Search wildly for another drink (6)
CHASER: anagram (wildly) of SEARCH.
21 Feeble attempt by friend (6)
PALTRY: TRY (attempt) by PAL (friend)
22 Take the up train and have a great time (2,2,4)
GO TO TOWN: double definition.
23 Sort of headless trunk (2,2)
OR SO: tORSO (trunk, without the head)
1 Cereal with everything in this corner of the country? (8)
CORNWALL: CORN (cereal) W(ith) ALL (everything).
2 Salesman sat out meal (6)
REPAST: REP (salesman) AST – anagram (out) of SAT.
3 Deficiency makes her goats go crazy (8)
SHORTAGE: anagram (go crazy) of HER GOATS.
4 British fund-raiser’s boast (4)
BRAG: B(ritish) RAG (fund-raiser)
5 Servant wearing short skirt (6)
MINION: with a “mini on” you are wearing a short skirt.
6 Complain furiously as fibber turns up (4)
RAIL: LIAR (fibber) reversing/turning up.
13 Son crying in comprehensive (8)
SWEEPING: S(on) WEEPING (crying)
14 Big increase in pay in this building? (4-4)
HIGH-RISE: cryptic definition
16 Actor’s spinning wheel (6)
CASTOR: anagram (spinning) of ACTORS
17 Sensation about sick bat (6)
WILLOW: WOW (sensation) about ILL (sick) – our sole cricket term for the day.
19 The round of house work? (4)
HOOP: HO. (House) Op. (work)
20 Fell, turning over in space (4)
ROOM: MOOR (fell) turning over.

21 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 838 by Teazel”

  1. Took more time than I should have to get my LOI, RAFT, so I’d better make that my COD as well.

    Not too many hold-ups otherwise. Thanks Teazel and Roly.

  2. Felt much better about this one than the others this week, although I didn’t care much for 10ac, especially as I spell the words the same; but in any case, adding E to GRILL to get GRILLE seems somehow lacking something. I have no memory of solving OR biffing WAGE; I wonder how it got there. Liked ABSINTHE and WILLOW, but especially OR SO. 3:28.
  3. 8 minutes on Tuesday, 7 on Wednesday and 6 today makes me wonder if I am due for that rare thing, a 5-minutes solve tomorrow. I’ve only achieved that twice so far. This one flowed along quite nicely once started but I did need to read four or five clues before writing in my first answer so there’s room for improvement there. I liked OR SO in particular.
  4. Glad to finish in 37 mins.

    The clues I found tough were raft, chaser, go to town, or so, minion, castor, willow and hoop.

    Had to check the parsing for hoop and castor.

    For go to town, is the up train referring to an overhead railway?

    CsOD unfair or minion.

    1. This came up previously on a puzzle I blogged. Apparently trains travelling to London are referred to as “up” trains, those leaving London are “down” trains, regardless of any other geographical considerations.
        1. You can still see the signals at some stations saying “OFF UP” or “OFF DOWN”
    2. I think it works like this: to go to London is to ‘go to town’, and one goes ‘up’ to London. Perhaps a little old fashioned….JJ
  5. Another good day today. This cannot last, especially with Friday looming.
    Struggled with the drinks, bunged in ABSINTHE because it was the only drink I could think of that begins with AB, with an N in the middle. After I had written it in I spotted the ‘in the’ which made me smile so has to be my COD.
    LOI CHASER, even with the help of the anagram!
    Thanks to Roly and Teazel
  6. Badgers Mount to New Cross, so quite tough

    RAFT was LOI for me too. And delayed myself a bit in SW by putting “moor” instead of ROOM. Thank goodness 18ac was an anagram to straighten that out!

    Some slightly dated and peculiarly British usages like “willow” for bat and “up train” for going “to town” may hold up the international crowd a little.


  7. 23 minutes for me today so not too bad. I would have been quicker if I had known that castor was spelt with an o. I thought that spelling was reserved for the oil.
    Unlike others Raft went straight in. No accounting for how one’s brain works!
  8. Plodded along on this, and needed two sittings. Nothing really hard, although a few obscure ones for me, namrely HARRIDAN and CASTOR. You know you got up at 5am today for work when you thought it was “lier” and not LIAR, and so dallied over 6dn. I also initially put GO TO PLAN for 22ac, so this left me struggling with 20dn. I found 23 quite tricky, and was convinced it must be OH SO. Probably done and dusted in 35 in total, so double my time yesterday. Gribb.
  9. About 30 minutes, so average for me. As so often had most trouble with some of the 4 letter words ROOM, HOOP, WAGE. LOI was UNFAIR, maybe because I know I am biased but have never thought of myself as unfair (Hmm).
  10. A day off work, so I could go at this uninterrupted. Really, a DNF I suppose, as 22A eluded me. I do know that in the 30s, one went “up” to London regardless of starting point, so I was trying to think of capital-centric phrases…
    OR SO threw a spanner in my works, too. I had “so so”, which made WILLOW my LOI when I realised my mistake.
    I liked 18A and 12A – alcohol clues are my speciality, I’ve found! Thank you, Teazel and Roly.
  11. Took me 15 mins and raft was also my LOI, but a very enjoyable and satisfying crossword.


  12. I tackled this in the small hours just before retiring and was surprised to find I’d managed a PB at 5:27. It just flowed in. FOI was LONE, LOI was CASTOR. Liked MINION and BLACK EYE. Thanks Teazel and Roly.
  13. I had no problem with up train but did have the dreadery ‘brain-deadery’ few minutes on 17dn willow. Took ages to associate the wood with the weapon – not helped by having so-so in 23ac. Had to get willow before I saw LOI wage. 13 minutes – the last several being hard work.
  14. A typically elegant puzzle from Teazel today. Nothing too tricky apart from a failure of my brain to engage on 19d, my LOI. I thought the definition was work and spent 5 minutes staring blankly at it trying to justify putting in ‘hoof’, which felt very wrong. A quick break and the answer became clear. Completed in around 19 minutes.
  15. Slow and steady today, third one completed this week, only yesterday’s was a dnf!
    cod 12a also liked 15a.
    Regarding up trains, I always take train down to London ! Is that just me? or maybe just a Glaswegian thing!!!
    Cheers Teazel and blogger.
  16. 11 minutes to get everything bar 11a, where I came to a shuddering halt.
    After a long look I put in Last and then came here. The answer is obvious and simple -with hindsight! So my COD. David

Comments are closed.