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Quick Cryptic No. 73 by Joker

Excellent offering from Joker today, I thought. At the easier end of the scale (but no pushover) it includes a wide range of different clue types, and a number of Crosswordland "conventions" - commonly used initials (from words such as clubs, river, time), the "heart" of words (middle letters), "in" (meaning at home), and so on.

A couple of relative obscurities (at least for me) - the antelope, and 15 dn, but both were largely obtainable from a combination of definition, cross checkers and wordplay, enabling you to take a stab with a pretty high level of confidence and then validate.

Thanks to the setter.

Across
1 BUSY - Crowded is the definition. Answer also derived from BUS ("public transport") with Y ("day's end" - i.e. last letter of day)
3 EXCITED - intoxicated is the definition. Answer also from the wordplay EXITED ("went out") with C in it ("taking in clubs" - C being standard definition of the card suit)
8 UNIMAGINATIVE - somewhat dull is our definition. Answer also constructed from the combination of UNI ("abbreviation of "University"), MAGI ("wise men") and NATIVE ("local")
9 EEL - Fish is our definition. The answer is also hidden in (signalled by "hold in") crEELs. And for good measure, our setter also alludes to the slippery nature of said fish with "hard to hold"
10 ELAND - Antelope is our definition: the Eland is, so I learned, a rather majestic looking kind of oryx. Answer also (mercifully) can be derived from E (abbreviation of "Eastern") and LAND ("country"). Bit obscure for me - but pleased to have made the acquaintance now of this fine beast. My last one in, and only got it from the combination of the checkers and wordplay
12 ELEGIAC - rather sad is the definition. The answer is also an anagram (signalled by "bad conjunction") of ICE and GALE
14 SEAPORT - Liverpool is our definition / exemplar (that we are looking for something of which Liverpool is an example is signalled by "possibly"). The answer is also an anagram (signalled by "in the right form") of ARE TOPS. Nice surface, unless you are an Everton supporter, I guess
16 BEGIN - Start is the definition. Answer also constructed from BEG ("ask for money") and IN ("at home")
17 ADO - Trouble is the definition (as in "much ado"). The answer is also found when RADON is "uncovered"(i.e. loses its front and end letters)
20 PROVING GROUND - Test area is the definition. The answer is also assembled from PRO ("for" - in favour of), VIN ("French wine"), G (abbreviation of "good") and GROUND ("soil"). Bit of work to do there!
21 MR RIGHT - An ideal partner is the definition. Answer also derived from the wordplay MIGHT ("strength") including ("capture") RR ("Myrrha's heart")
22 WAGE - regular income is the definition. Answer also built from WAG ("Joker") with E ("finish to puzzle" - i.e. last letter of puzzle)

Down
1 BRUSSELS - Capital is the definition / exemplar. Another hidden clue, this time in reverse (signalled by "reflection") - NEEDS LESS URBANISATION
2 SNIP - Cut is the definition. Answer also derived from SNIPE ("game bird, but not the tail" - i.e. without the last letter)
3 EDIBLE - good to eat is the definition. Answer is an anagram (signalled by "dealing with") BE and DELI. Bit clunky, I thought
4 CLAPPERBOARD - filming equipment is the definition (the gloriously low tech wooden item that comes into play when someone shouts "take 23 - action!" or something like that). The answer is nicely constructed from CLAPPER ("one applauding") and BOARD ("heads of company")
5 TWINNING - linking with another is our definition. Answer also derived from T ("Town's leader" - i.e. first letter) with WINNING ("being successful"). The clue also has a nice touch of additional symmetry as the Town reference at the beginning is particularly apposite with regard to the "twin town" concept
6 DREW - Sketched is the definition. Answer also from DEW ("morning dampness") with an R in it (abbreviation of "river")
7 NAME DROPPING - Trying to impress is the definition. The answer is also an anagram (signalled by "arrangement") of PENDING PRO-AM
11 ABATTOIR - slaughterhouse is our definition. The wordplay also giving the answer is A BAT ("a mammal in flight") with RIOT ("public disturbance") backwards ("raised")
13 CANOODLE - Spoon is the definition. The wordplay is CAT ("most of cat") with NOODLE ("food made of pasta"). Must admit I thought this was a tad racy for The Times when I first got it, as when I was a lad in Somerset, spooning was a relatively advanced (and specific) form of canoodling - and those that engaged in it were wisely warned that spooning leads to... well, another cutlery based gerund. But enough - we are moving into Private Eye crossword territory. To spoon is, apparently, a traditional term covering canoodling generally
15 TAUGHT - imparted at school is our definition. The wordplay is T (abbreviation of "time") with AUGHT (a somewhat archaic word for "anything at all").
18 SPAM - Unwanted emails is our definition. The answer is also derived from SPA ("well") and M ("maybe at first")
19 TUNA - fish good to eat is our definition (although the good to eat is arguably somewhat superfluous). The answer is also from the wordplay NUT (of the Brazilian variety) "turned up" - i.e. reversed - with A

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
kevingregg
Jun. 18th, 2014 08:26 am (UTC)
Do they still actually use clapperboards? I mean, that you clap? As Nick says, toward the easy end of the scale. (Although SPAM was so easy, ironically, that I resisted putting it in until I had the P and M.) 5:15, probably as fast as I'll get with these. ABATTOIR went in simply on definition. It might be worth noting that in 14ac the 'possibly' is there partly to avoid the dreaded 'definition by example' (DBE); it is generally considered a no-no to just say, say, 'Liverpool', since there are of course lots of other seaports.
nick_the_novice
Jun. 18th, 2014 08:32 am (UTC)
Sorry, probably being a bit dim here but struggling to understand your observation re. 14ac...
kevingregg
Jun. 18th, 2014 08:41 am (UTC)
Well, I didn't have the grid to hand when I wrote that, but my understanding is that, say, "Liverpool are tops when in the right form" would be considered an inappropriate clue, since Liverpool would be the definition, and it's not a definition of 'seaport', it's an exemplar, as you say yourself. In 10ac, 'antelope' cluing ELAND is OK, 'eland' cluing ANTELOPE would be frowned on as DBE. Some people get quite bothered by DBEs, some don't.
nick_the_novice
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:14 am (UTC)
That's (I think) exactly what I was trying to convey by "(that we are looking for something of which Liverpool is an example is signalled by "possibly")". Or maybe I still don't get it?
kevingregg
Jun. 19th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
I think we were on the same page from the start, Nick; I was just trying to make explicit the DBE thing for newcomers for whom it might be useful to know (or not).
rubeculaw
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:12 am (UTC)
Just under 20 minutes to complete this good puzzle. I did not know that definition of CANOODLE which was my last one in. Took longer than it should to spot the anagram SEAPORT. Particularly liked BRUSSELS.
jackkt
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:36 am (UTC)
15 minutes. Needed lots if checkers to get the long answers and that's what delayed me. Nowhere near my target 10 minutes so far this week.
adelaide81
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:55 am (UTC)
Finished!!
Cannot believe actually finished a quick(?) cryptic. Thanks to the bloggers for the help, explanations and humour.Yippee!!
nick_the_novice
Jun. 18th, 2014 11:20 am (UTC)
Re: Finished!!
Well played!
Andy Borrows
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:30 am (UTC)
Almost 7 mins with BRUSSELS my LOI after SNIP. I was held up by "Brussels" because, as far as I can see, there is no containment indicator ("needs" forms the last letter of the answer). I was held up by "snip" because I was thrown by the "for" in the clue and thought the definition was "cut of game" until I saw the obvious.
nick_the_novice
Jun. 18th, 2014 11:14 am (UTC)
Andy, fully agree your point re. lack of containment indicator. It did cross my mind to include a comment of that nature in the blog, but to be honest I was a bit unsure of my ground in terms of whether there should have been one, or whether this was just part of the "it's cryptic, innit?" stance as conveyed by the editors in their comments when this puzzle first started...

Edited at 2014-06-18 11:19 am (UTC)
martinp1
Jun. 18th, 2014 02:25 pm (UTC)
"They think it's all over..."
...let's hope it isn't for Australia, Nick in a couple or 3 hours! F.T.R. D.B.Es don't bother me. However they are one of the reasons I don't volunteer for blogging duties as I'm never sure of when one has been used. 25m ins for me as I was consuming a late lunch at the time. Well done to adelaide81 for finishing! I wonder if he/she is a former "Anonymous"? One of my hold ups was 'clapperboard' as I just couldn't think of 'clapper'. Must have been a M.L.R.*
A story with an Australian angle: Regarding Mr Right, I once read an item in Column 8 in the Sydney Morning Herald of a female limousine driver seen at one of the domestic terminals at Sydney Airport holding up a sign that stated she was waiting for...boom, boom...Mr Wright!
Finally, I'm still racking my brains for that 'cutlery based gerund'. Another M.L.R. perhaps
*Momentary Lapse of Reason.
jackkt
Jun. 18th, 2014 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: "They think it's all over..."
Unspammed, but can't see what you wrote, Martin, to provoke a trip to the sin bin!
martinp1
Jun. 18th, 2014 06:00 pm (UTC)
Re: "They think it's all over..."
Thanks for monitoring, Jack. No, I don't know why I was yellow-carded either!
PS...But I think it may be "all over" for Australia, even after such a good performance against Holland.

Edited at 2014-06-18 06:01 pm (UTC)
Andy Borrows
Jun. 18th, 2014 03:36 pm (UTC)
I just came back and re-read my comment above, which I am unable to edit because Nick has replied to it. In the final sentence I should have written "of" instead of "for".
keriothe
Jun. 18th, 2014 06:30 pm (UTC)
6m. I thought this just a little trickier than usual.
Remember the ELAND: a regular visitor. It's also worth remembering that 'antelope' in the clue will often give something ending in BOK: springbok of course but also gemsbok, reebok and several others.
1dn seems to be an error.
bryanlawson
Jun. 18th, 2014 07:32 pm (UTC)
Managed it again, very encouraging, thanks for helpful blog. I never knew the snipe was a game bird, we see them at our local bird reserve but I've never been invited to eat one. I checked, they certainly are!
wilransome
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:46 pm (UTC)
1dn (BRUSSELS)
Agree with everyone who casts doubt on this clue: there is clearly no containment indicator, the only possible candidate being 'needs', and that's out. So it's surely a mistake. I noticed yesterday that they published rather belatedly the statement that both settling and nestling were OK the other day. I wonder if they'll say sorry this was an error.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:51 pm (UTC)
Great blog, thanks. I didn't get very far but I was too tired to try very hard!
docbee6
Jun. 19th, 2014 03:36 am (UTC)
Another excellent puzzle
Another excellent beginner-friendly puzzle. I completed this one in a couple of sessions but definitely in under an hour in total. How much quicker might it have been if I'd spelled ABATTOIR correctly the first time, I wonder?
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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