Times Quick Cryptic No 89 by Dazzler

Solving time: Straightforward(ish)

This was an odd exercise for me. I looked at the puzzle on first reading and felt quite blank about it, but as I solved a couple of clues, everything just seemed to make sense. I sometimes wonder whether my crossword solving capabilities are linked to biorhythms. I have occasional days where I can compete with the big boys on the 15×15, and days like today where I almost struggle.

Nice puzzle for the new setters with nothing too complex. it just needs you to follow crossword solving rule 1. Read the bloody clue! Everything is there, and nothing is too complicated. Tiny grumble about 5 across, that has been said loads of times before. Favourite clue was probably 3 down, but they were all of a nice uniform standard.

Thanks to Dazzler for an enjoyable workout.

1 DRAWBACK – The definition is disadvantage. BACK (defender) goes after DRAW (tie, in sport).
5 RAPS SPAR (oops!) – These sorts of clues often cause contention among the serious crossworders, as you are unable to enter this without the checking letters, so in some eyes that make it unfair. Basically the clue is two definitions, one of which is a reversal of the other. The reversal indicator (back) is right in the middle. So we need a word that means hits which when reversed can mean to fight.
8 FACET – The definition is aspect. ACE (champion) inside (covered by) FT (paper).
9 RIOTOUS – Disorderly = definition. An anagram (drunk) of O (old) + SUITOR.
11 MALEFACTION – Crime is the definition. MALE (by blokes) + FACTION (group).
13 ABOUND – To be plentiful is the definition. A (applies, initially) + BOUND (sure to be).
14 POTION – Magical drink is the definition. PORTION (helping) minus R (right).
16 ISAAC NEWTON – An anagram (possibly) of NO SWEAT, I CAN gives you the name of the famous mathematician and scientist.
18 TRIESTE – Italian port = def. TRIES (taxes) + TE (extremely, i.e. the extremes or ends of TROUBLESOME).
19 IN-LAW – Relative -= def. IN (home) + LAW (rule)
20 RENT – A double definition clue. A word that both means a split and money due to a landlord.
21 JANE EYRE – Novel = def. A homophone of AIR (APPEARANCE) follows JAN (month) + E (second letter of YEAR).

1 DAFT – Silly is the definition. FAD (craze, reversed, upset) + T (first letter of traditionalist).
2 ACCOMMODATION – Double definition clue. Housing and settlement in the sense of accommodating someone.
3 BOTTLENECKS – Traffic jams = def. BOTTLE (guts) + NECK (cheek, as in ‘you’ve got some neck!’) + S (last letter of drivers)
4 CARAFE – Wine holder is the def. A F (a fine) inside CARE (worry).
6 PROVISIONALLY – For the time being = def. PROVISION (supply) + ALLY (def).
7 RESONANT – Ringing = def. E SON (English boy) inside RANT (verbal onslaught)
10 ONCE OR TWICE – A few times is definition. An anagram (wildly) of NOTICE CROW goes around E (middle of field).
12 CANISTER -Container = def. An anagram (engineer) of CERTAIN around S (small).
15 PESETA – Coin once (having been replaced by the Euro) is the rather nice accurate definition. It’s hidden backwards inside LATE SEPTEMBER.
17 TWEE – Too sentimental = def. TWEE(T) Short (i.e. last letter missing) posted message.

15 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 89 by Dazzler”

  1. A few seconds under 5 mins and a welcome relief after yet more struggles with the main puzzle. JANE EYRE was my LOI after PROVISIONALLY. This seemed more like what a QC is supposed to be.
  2. Bit of a plod for me, got there but took some time.

    Thought JANE EYRE was a clever clue (and quite tricky – pleased when I got it).

    LOI PESETA as I went down all sorts of rabbit warrens before spotting the reversed hidden. Either I’m slow on the uptake or this was a pretty neat disguise from the setter (and no, you don’t need to answer that one my friends…!)

  3. got around two thirds, some clever clues ‘spar’ – totally stumped on this!
  4. 12 minutes with time lost waiting for checkers in the long down answers. I tend to think of Sir Isaac as a scientist so the definition “mathematician” caught me a bit on the hop.

    If anyone knows the code number for Monday’s puzzle to go with 20140714 I’d be grateful as it’s my turn to blog and I’d like to prepare it in advance. Please send it to my LJ account (by clicking on my user name) rather than posting it here. Ta.

  5. Needed help to finish this. Got taps reversed = spat and could not get my mind off of it. Not sure about this clue where there are multiple answers. I am coming around to the fact that I do not have a crossword mind and at best will only get around 60% of the clues. I can only marvel at those who do it in under 10 mins.
  6. Ten minutes, so no marvel. Re ‘reversal’ clues such as 5a, I think one needs to take each one on its own merits rather than damning them all ab initio. With this one – Hits back in fight (4) – as in most others, the grammar of the clue points pretty unequivocally to the correct answer. In this case, ‘hits back’ can be parsed very easily as ‘reverse hits’; on the other hand, ‘back in fight’ can only with great difficulty be parsed the same way. Remember that the setters are pros – most problems I at any rate have with clues are resolved when I think a bit more carefully about my thinking.

    I notice that you’ve actually given the wrong answer in the blog!

    1. I agree, it’s clear in this clue which needs to be reversed and which is the answer, so I entered SPAT with complete confidence. Fortunately I reconsidered, unlike in the main puzzle.
  7. Plenty of distractions so no time today. Last one in MALEFACTION where initially I could not match male with blokes. Liked DAFT.

    Spent 40 minutes having a go at the main puzzle today and chuffed I got about half done unaided.

    1. Well done rubeculaw: if you managed half of today’s cryptic unaided, you’re well on the way to completing the big puzzle. Just keep sticking in and practising.
  8. I thought it was quite tricky today, a little harder than some recent offerings, but no complaints. I too put in SPAT to begin with, then struggled for a few minutes with that corner. 16 mins.
  9. Very short of time at the moment so have been awol for several months. Yes, “daft” was extremely nice, and in fact except for one or two rather too easy ones this entire puzzle wouldn’t be out of place in the “main event” on any given day.

    Nice blog. If you are club members, please do visit and comment on the Forum on the other side too – we could do with some fresh viewpoints. You will be welcome. Back end of day so forgot to watch the time – say 6 or 7 minutes.

    Edited at 2014-07-10 10:56 pm (UTC)

  10. As a relative newcomer, i was also exercised buy 5A, esp. as i was hoping it would help me with 7D. that said, it was a decent work out indeed.
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