Times Quick Cryptic No 938 by Juno

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
A very enjoyable puzzle, I thought. I crept in a minute under my target 10, having dithered a bit at the last bit of the Welsh town. So I learnt two things from my last two in (6d and 7d) – the 13th largest town in Wales, and a type of boat. There are seemingly endless words for boats, which made me curious as to just how many there are. A quick look online reveals a book called “A Dictionary of the World’s Watercraft from Aak to Zumbra”. “Many, many years in the making,” it was, for there are a lot – enough to make a good specialist round in Mastermind for a trainspotter wishing to broaden their horizons. You can guess how many if you wish, the answer’s below. Ditto for the population of the 13th largest town in Wales, if you’re really craving a Fermi question. Anyway, enough of that – a good mix of nice clues made this a very satisfying solve, so many thanks to Juno!

1 Motto I’m going by as much as possible (5)
MAXIM – I’M going by/alongside MAX (as much as possible)
4 Dried beef, cocoa, regularly, for girl (7)
REBECCA“regularly” appearing in dRiEd BeEf, CoCoA
8 African moved quickly, carrying stick (7)
RWANDAN – RAN (moved quickly) carrying/holding WAND (stick)
9 Poetry volume: the Queen’s English (5)
VERSE – V(olume) ER’S (the Queen’s) E(nglish)
10 Assume area staked out (4,2,4)
TAKE AS READ – anagram (“out”) of AREA STAKED.
14 In box, hid expensive leather (6)
OXHIDE – hidden “in” bOX HID Expensive.
15 Victory, with time short, in season (6)
WINTER – WIN (victory) with TERM (time, short a letter)
17 Characters with picnic baskets for Cockney and son (10)
AMPERSANDS – hAMPERS (picnic baskets, losing the h) AND S(on). For Victorian schoolchildren learning the alphabet, it finished: “x, y, z, and per se, and,” so ubiquitous was the symbol &. “And per se and” became corrupted by rote into the word we now use.
20 Yet these might be the odds (5)
EVENS – Cryptic definition, with evens being odds in betting.
22 I dreamt about this hotel manager (6,1)
MAITRE Danagram (about) of I DREAMT.
23 Job with island worker delivering letters (7)
POSTMAN – POST (job) with MAN (Isle of…)
24 In time, the Spanish slow down (5)
DELAY – Inside DAY (time) goes EL (the, Spanish)

1 Some wiseacre moaning about posh car (4)
MERC – “Some” of the letters of wiseaCRE Moaning, about/upturned.
2 Cross with boy revealing picture (1-3)
X-RAY – X (cross) with RAY (boy).
3 Len wrongly connected with Madrid: he’s from Birmingham? (9)
MIDLANDERAnagram (wrongly connected) of LEN with MADRID.
4 Was about to call newspaper’s boss (6)
RINGED RING (call) ED (newspaper’s boss)
5 Girl to live with Victor (3)
BEV – to BE = to live, with V (Victor, in the phonetic alphabet).
6 Escort vessel my inspector endlessly provides (8)
CORVETTE COR (my-oh-my!) VETTER (inspector, endlessly). Underscoring my ignorance of boats, a corvette is a small, fast warship – indeed, the smallest class of warship (and a much better name for a car than I gave credit). The dictionary is 676 pages with 5,600 entries. So now you know.
7 Sailor about to mount challenge in S Wales town (8)
ABERDARE – AB (sailor – able bodied seaman) ER (re = about, mounted) DARE (challenge). The 13th largest town in Wales has a population of roughly 32 thousand. 
11 Having undergone revolutionary process after washing? (4-5)
SPIN-DRIED – Cryptic definition, describing the last phase of a washing machine cycle. As for the surface? The epiphany that might follow a belated experiment with good personal hygiene. At least, that’s how I’m reading it.
12 Pen a poet ruined: say nothing! (3,1,4)
NOT A PEEP – Anagram (ruined) of PEN A POET
13 People who buy small jumpers (8)
SHOPPERSS(mall) HOPPERS (jumpers)
16 Cricketer losing heart becoming hero (6)
BATMAN – BATSMAN (cricketer) losing heart/central letter.
18 Examination of the mouth (4)
ORAL – double definition.
19 Tense: description of border area? (4)
EDGYdouble definition.
21 Everything, or just part, for an audience (3)
SUM or “SOME” (just a part), for an audience.

29 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 938 by Juno”

  1. I wondered about MAITRE D’ too, but not for long. MERC took me some time to remember–where I come from it’s (or was) a Mercury–and some more to see how it worked; always slow on hiddens. I always associated ABERDARE with Kenya, but at some point learned of the original. 5:38.
  2. A rare contribution from Juno who has set only 5 puzzles since her (?) first in June 2014 (is that why the name was chosen, I ask myself?). There was another one in October that year and she went on my list as perhaps the most difficult setter of that era as I needed 22 minutes for the first one and 24 for the second. The next came in November 2015 which was a lot easier at 8 minutes, then a break until June (again!) 2017 at 9 minutes, and 9 minutes again for today’s.

    To my mind a MAITRE D’ is a head waiter or restaurant manager rather than a hotel manager, but on checking the origin of the phrase I see that it is short for ‘maitre d’hotel’, so the clue is correct even though there must be many a MAITRE D’ who doesn’t even work in, let alone manage, a hotel.

  3. Finished with a quick time for me of around 20 mins but had fingers crossed for Aberdare as I couldn’t see where the ER came from. Luckily all welsh towns start with Aber !

    COD ampersands.

    For 20a, evens for odds is ok, but doesn’t the rest of the wordplay just give even or even so?

    Edited at 2017-10-12 06:02 am (UTC)

    1. I blogged a very similar clue a few months ago and became tangled in all sorts of knots trying to think it through and explain it. This time I just bunged in the obvious answer and moved on.
      1. I just took the wordplay as a description of a single-word oxymoron, with the yet providing a helpful nod in the right direction. I suppose another approach is to say yet = even, and, given more than one of “these”, they become evens… hmn, yes I see what you mean, Jack.
  4. I thought CORVETTE was a rubbish clue I’m afraid. Corvettes were the stars of Monsarrat’s “The Cruel Sea”, so a familiar word, but I thought the combination of my = cor + an abbreviation of “vetter” (hardly a word) was feeble in the extreme.

    Otherwise enjoyed it despite TWO “random girl’s name” clues. Especially liked BATMAN, EVENS andMAXIM. Since when has a Mercedes been a “posh” car though?!

    Somewhere between Hither Green and London Bridge.


  5. In my quest to finally get through a QC again in under 10 minutes, I failed to notice that BEV had gone in as BBV. @£$%**! Otherwise 9:07. FOI X-RAY. LOI OXHIDE. Liked AMPERSANDS. Nice puzzle. Thanks Juno and Roly.
  6. A steady solve today but held up at the end by 4d as I was looking at the wrong end of the clue for the definition. Completed in 18 minutes.
    Thanks for the blog roly – I loved the fact about the origins of ampersand.
  7. might just be slow today, but don’t understand explanation!
    Ringed means was about??
    Help please
    1. If, for example, your collar rings your neck, it is about, or around your neck. Or indeed, a ring, ringing your finger, is about your finger. Your finger is therefore ringed.
      1. Doh!!!
        Was on completely wrong wavelength !! So obvious now! Time for coffee!!
        Cheers John.
    2. I got the answer as Ranged, which I till think is correct, Ranged is being about (as in a park ranger) i.e. the past tense of to range, hence WAS about.
  8. I enjoyed the theme today, once I’d spotted it. Having entered REBECCA, I thought it was odd that there were quite so many names in the puzzle. MAXIM, for example. Wait a minute…

    There’s also DANVERS, DE WINTER & MANDELAY in the across answers. Did I miss anything?

    And does this mean the second Mrs De Winter is called… Bev?

    1. Wow, well spotted! REBECCA didn’t go in until near the end for me so I missed the theme, but will now inspect closely…
      Great puzzle today, really enjoyed this Juno. Good to see BATMAN in there after yesterday’s chat about more modern cluing!
    2. Good spot! I think the setter must have been going for some kind of homophone of Manderley, perhaps not knowing that Mandelay is, um, well, … best Google it!
      1. Yes good spot indeed – and good spot re Mandelay as well! I haven’t read or seen Rebecca, but from a quick look (not wanting to spoil the plot), it looks like Mrs. Danvers acts as, um, well… something of a climax suppressant herself!
    3. Great spot! I’ve never read the book nor seen the film, so was oblivious to it. Quite straightforward clues. AMPERSANDS my favourite. 5:24.
  9. 10:23 but one wrong.

    I had 4d as RANGED which seemed to fit the definition better but admittedly not the word play.

    Thanks for the blog.

    Now where’s the ampers catalogue – soon be Christmas.

    1. I’m another who had Ranged for 4d – the conversation ranged. . . (Collins), and I still think that is the better answer. 25 enjoyable minutes, and then further pleasure from Roly’s excellent blog. Just a good job Corvette was biffable ! Invariant
  10. A nice mix of vocab in this one. Lord Aberdare has been a frequent attendee at the Crossword Championships, reaching the final on at least a couple of occasions – I’m not sure I’d heard of the place otherwise.
  11. I thought CORVETTE was a rubbish clue I’m afraid. Corvettes were the stars of Monsarrat’s “The Cruel Sea”, so a familiar word, but I thought the combination of my = cor + an abbreviation of “vetter” (hardly a word) was feeble in the extreme.

    Otherwise enjoyed it despite TWO “random girl’s name” clues. Especially liked BATMAN, EVENS andMAXIM. Since when has a Mercedes been a “posh” car though?!

    Somewhere between Hither Green and London Bridge.


  12. A bit late coming to this as I was at the V&A’s Pink Floyd exhibition today. Too many people there to enjoy it fully -and I think it’s now sold out.
    I took a while to start this puzzle. FOI was 3d which helped a lot and after that I made steady progress finishing in 24 minutes with 10a (had not spotted the anagram fodder).
    Liked 9a and 13d and 16d in particular.
    Failed to spot the Nina -clever. David
    1. Clue for Midlander needs a ‘say’ after Birmingham. Not all midlanders come from Brum.


Comments are closed.