johninterred (johninterred) wrote,

Times Quick Cryptic No 979 by Tracy

Hooray! It's my turn to blog again... and my first crossword from Tracy to disect. What a cracker it is! I romped through most of this with a chuckle here and there, but ended up having to do some serious pondering to finish things off. It's the thirrd in a sequence of tricky QC puzzles this week. So, if you are one of the less experienced solvers still trying to learn the ropes and didn't manage to finish this, don't be discouraged. I struggled too, ending up taking nearly twice my average time. Not that there is anything particularly difficult, *redacted* [oops, nearly gave 22d away]. 19a and 20d were my last two in. My favourites, though, were 4d, 15d and 16a - a tricky but great example of constructing the answer from a number of bits. I hope you all enjoyed this too. Thanks, Tracy!

Definitions underlined in italics, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Full ticket price shown in street (12)
THOROUGHFARE - I had to wait until I got all the checkers before I eventually saw this as I hadn't spotted that "street" was the definition and thought the answer must start with an S and end in a T. Neat trap. Did anyone else fall into it? The answer is, of course, THOROUGH (Full) + FARE (ticket price).
8 Awkward writer reflected in it (5)
INEPT - You get to this by taking your PEN and putting it back [reflected] in IT. Not as awkward as some of the other clues!
9 New threat involving English playhouse (7)
THEATRE - Anagram [new] of THREAT + E (English).
10 Reversal of decline in fossil fuel (3)
GAS - The decline here is SAG and you apply the [reversal] instruction to get the fuel we've been taking from the North Sea for so long that there can't be much left. It's time someone invented the solar-powered cooker. Oh. Wait a minute. What about feeding my family in the evening at this time of year? Cold meats and salad it is then.
11 Country importing a Greek scent (9)
FRAGRANCE - Bonjour tout le monde... Our favourite next-door-neighbour country (perhaps) is FRANCE and we stick GR (Greek) in it [importing] to get a bit of a whiff. Smell is a sense not to be underestimated.. How do you rouse a sleeping deaf person alone in a hotel room in the case of a fire? With wasabi in the air-conditioning, that's how! I'm not kidding. It was an Ig Noble award winner in 2011.
13 Fury as old car fails to start (5)
ANGER - If your {b}ANGER (old car) [fails to start], you might not be very happy. Being furious, though, is a bit of an over-reaction. An old banger needs LTC to keep it going. (A bit like me).
14 Hot in pleasant corner (5)
NICHE - A neat and concise clue - perfect for a QC, I think. Here we learn how to do an insertion... H (hot) is inserted into [in] NICE (pleasant) to get the shallow recess in the wall where you might display your Dresden china shepherdess, if you had one.
16 All right to be carried by the man on lorry leaving plant (9)
ARTICHOKE - And now we get to do a bit of a tricky building job. Hard hats on. This is OK (All right) inside [to be carried by] HE (the man) after [on] ARTIC (lorry) leaving you with a (to my mind) strange vegetable that comes in three, quite different, varieties : globe, jerusalem and chinese. Which, if any, do you like? None of them ever appear on my shopping list, I'm afraid.
17 Take steps in a court (3)
ACT - Devilishly simple. A + CT (court). Just do it.
19 The height of women's fashion? (7)
HEMLINE - I'm not sure why this took me so long. My second last one in. For ages I thought it must be HER + something meaning fashion. But no. Woof! Woof! Barking up the wrong tree again. It's a straight cryptic definition. And a famous predictor of stock market prices to boot (Is that boot to ankle, knee, thigh?).
21 Ingrained dirt, dreadful by end of aisle (5)
GRIME - Not as I initially read it, an anagram of DIRT + E, but, more straightforwardly, GRIM (dreadful) + [end of] {aisl}E. That was me trying to be too clever by 3/4 as my Dad would say.
22 Interceptors faulty, on reflection (2,10)
IN RETROSPECT - (Interceptors)*. Not too hard an anagram, thinking about it afterwards. *cough*.
1 Object? Fine and good (5)
THING - Object the noun, not the verb... THIN (Fine) + [and] G (good).
2 Innocent mistake concerning vision (9)
OVERSIGHT - Another neat construction. OVER (concerning) + SIGHT (vision).
3 A bit rusty, like a retired GP? (3,2,8)
OUT OF PRACTICE - Double definition, second cryptic. How rusty is your spelling? PRACTISE or PRACTICE? It's the noun form, so the latter, but I nearly got it wrong.
4 Cake and a drink in heart of Burgundy (6)
GATEAU - That sounds nice, but I think I'd prefer the wine to the cake... A drink, here, is A TEA inside [in] {bur}GU{ndy [heart of].
5 Batteries not included in preparing this food (4-5,4)
FREE-RANGE EGGS - I had a good chuckle at this cryptic definition. If your egg-laying hen is not in a battery, it would be FREE-RANGE.
6 Nonsense, coming from brother-in-law (3)
ROT - Watch out for the hidden words, They can be difficult to spot sometimes. But this is not hard to find... [coming from] {b}ROT{her}. The superflous "-in-law" is just to deceive. Some pursists might object, but I think it is fine.
7 Strict member of the clergy turned up in diocese (6)
SEVERE - The member of the clergy is REV and we put him or her back in [turned up in] SEE (diocese).
12 Working in a centre for fruit (9)
NECTARINE - [Working] (in a centre)*. Now that's not hard is it? Actually I prefer this fruit hard rather than soft as the juices make such a mess.
13 Native American quickly casing hotel (6)
APACHE - APACE (quickly) outside [casing] H (hotel) giving the tribe that gave its name to a Web Server. Did they know and approve what their name was being put to, I wonder? Mind you, I never got a say in how the Americans use my forename.
15 Certainly not name of listener (2,4)
NO FEAR - Another neat and concise word-builder... N (name) + OF + EAR (listener).
18 Taking offence (5)
THEFT - Just two words so it (almost) has to be a double definition or a cryptic one, (I think. Go on - prove me wrong) This is the latter.
20 Husband a bishop, perhaps (3)
MAN - Oddly, my last one in. Double definition. A husband is a man, as is the diagonally constrained chess piece.

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