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Times Quick Cryptic 740 by Joker

I've no solving time for this one as I nodded off and returned to it later. I can't imagine I found it hard as many of the clues are very straightforward, so I must have been extremely tired and ready for sleep when I decided to tackle it.


As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]



Across
1 Son holding wicket planted in the earth (4)
SOWN - SON [holding] W (wicket)
3 Nation left by reformation of Gaul (8)
PORTUGAL - PORT (left), anagram [reformation] of GAUL
9 A serious error in English is foolish (7)
ASININE -  A, SIN (serious error), IN, E (English)
10 Mostly great opening for Olympic movement (5)
LARGO - LARG{e} (great) [mostly], O{lympic} [opening]. Movements are sections of larger pieces of music (e.g. symphony or concerto) and each carries its own direction as to speed and style, most usually in Italian. A movement headed "Largo" is in slow time and with a broad and dignified treatment.
11 Assessed faulty tread (5)
RATED - Anagram [faulty] of TREAD
12 Never — not ever — put out a pink serviette (6)
NAPKIN - N{ever} [not ever], anagram [put out] of A PINK. In the world of U and Non-U one should always say "napkin", never "serviette" which is considered "irredeemably lower class". My discussion with horryd last Friday re QC #739 refers...
14 Creator of steps in routine task old mathematical plotter follows (13)
CHOREOGRAPHER - CHORE (routine task), O ( old), GRAPHER (mathematical plotter). I don't think grapher actually exists as an agent noun but it's fair enough to coin it as part of the wordplay. Another possibility is that the setter had in mind the Apple computer application of that name.
17 Alcoholic drink I needed during several journeys back (6)
SPIRIT - I [during] TRIPS (several journeys) reversed [back]
19 Greek character the volunteers wanted here (5)
THETA - THE, TA (volunteers)
22 Quiet little creature is a supporter of books? (5)
SHELF - SH (quiet), ELF (little creature)
23 Structure I have to store away (7)
ARCHIVE - ARCH (structure), I'VE (I have)
24 Get untidy she-devil upset (8)
DISHEVEL - Anagram [upset] of SHE-DEVIL
25 Irritable when not finishing exam (4)
TEST - TEST{y} (irritable) [when not finishing]
Down
1 Imitation diamond that’s sported by an Irishman? (8)
SHAMROCK - SHAM (imitation), ROCK (diamond)
2 Blew his turn somewhat in card game (5)
WHIST - Hidden [somewhat] in {ble}W HIS T{urn}
4 What traveller needs / detective work finished by the next morning? (9,4)
OVERNIGHT CASE - Two somewhat cryptic definitions
5 Flower heads in the undergrowth, lying in pieces (5)
TULIP - First letters [heads] of  T{he} U{ndergrowth} L{ying} I{n} P{ieces}
6 Little new in over-showy decoration for food (7)
GARNISH - N (little new) in GARISH (over-showy)
7 Common fund raised for diversionary rail link (4)
LOOP - POOL (common fund) reversed [raised]
8 Arouse class with article in French (6)
KINDLE - KIND (class), LE (article in French)
13 Decorate or give title to National Trust (8)
ORNAMENT - OR, NAME (give title to), NT (National Trust)
15 Keep down work on all the papers (7)
OPPRESS - OP (work), PRESS (all the papers)
16 Strike at fixing pin (6)
ATTACK - AT, TACK (fixing pin)
18 Get angry about France’s no.1 weapon (5)
RIFLE - RILE (get angry) [about] F{rance} [no.1]
20 Best European roofing slab lifted up (5)
ELITE - E (European) + TILE (roofing slab) all reversed [lifted up]
21 Football official leaving refused to be exploited (4)
USED - {ref}USED [football official leaving]

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
vinyl1
Jan. 9th, 2017 01:26 am (UTC)
I was very dull getting started....
....reading about a dozen clues without seeing anything, very unusual for me. Then I got going a bit, and ended up with an 11 minute solve. This one should not have been that hard.

I have no regular Monday puzzle to solve tonight, but I knew that was going to happen and kept Sunday aside. Any puzzle by Dean is almost certain to present a challenge.
Adrian Bailey
Jan. 9th, 2017 03:17 am (UTC)
16:00
I thought this was quite easy, but pride comes before a fall, and I got stuck in the NE corner, suddenly finding myself "off-wavelength".
flashman
Jan. 9th, 2017 05:19 am (UTC)
An enjoyable 45 mins, I was held up by overnight _a_e, must be the jet lag!

(Anonymous)
Jan. 9th, 2017 09:08 am (UTC)
1dn
A DNF for me because of 1dn. I thought I was looking for a word for "imitation" and put down "ice" (diamond) as the last three letters. Spent an age thinking of a word connected to Irishman for the first part of the word. Did anyone else make the same mistake? I also tried "supress" and "repress" at 15dn before the penny dropped. Some tricky clues here, I thought, but the hardest ever. Gribb.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 9th, 2017 09:09 am (UTC)
Re: 1dn
That last sentence should have read "but not the hardest"!
plett11
Jan. 9th, 2017 04:05 pm (UTC)
Re: 1dn
I made exactly the same mistake as you Gribb and eventually gave up trying to find a word for imitation - could have kicked myself when I checked the blog. I also tried repress in 15d until I couldn't make 14a work.
Even without these errors I found this one slightly trickier than average.
It's probably ignorance on my part but I found the decorate/ornament a bit odd - shouldn't the definition be decoration?
jackkt
Jan. 9th, 2017 07:07 pm (UTC)
Re: 13 dn
From Collins:

Ornament, verb: to decorate with or as if with ornaments
chrisw91
Jan. 9th, 2017 10:13 am (UTC)
I also had a wrestle with 15dn - in association with 14ac. Having put in oppress quite happily, I later solved 14ac but got hopelessly lost in the spelling and thought that the third letter had to be an 'r'. I then reviewed 15dn and thought that 'repress' was a good answer (re being 'on' in the clue). However when I saw choreographer spelled without the 'h' it didn't look right at all so I ended up fixing it all round again. Long story to explain 14 minutes!
robrolfe
Jan. 9th, 2017 10:15 am (UTC)
In the spirit
Was also delayed by 1d as misread it as 'supported' not 'sported'. Have never seen 24ac except in the past tense, as an adjective. Above average time, approaching that of today's 15x15, which is a must-try for QC solvers. Thanks jack and Joker.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 9th, 2017 10:26 am (UTC)
Re: In the spirit
Yes, I was thinking about dishevel. I think the argument is whether it's capable of being transitive. If not, good for Joker, the meaning is being expanded in a splendid new direction. Now you can dishevel a room, something I do regularly merely by my presence.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 9th, 2017 11:35 am (UTC)
Inappropriate answer ...
I made heavy weather of what is actually a reasonably straightforward offering from Joker. I approached 8d with the 'd' and 'e' checkers in place and came up instantly with 'fondle', clearly not right but an image that I couldn't get out of my mind for the remainder of the solve!
Thank you Jack and Joker. 10'
GeoffH
(Anonymous)
Jan. 9th, 2017 11:42 am (UTC)
Largo Means Largo
I would rate this as medium level and thought some of the surfaces were excellent. Loved the misdiection of Olympic movement ans was even trying to think of old Greek mathematicians for a while. Once this went in the puzzle was straightforward. COD to 1d which raised a chuckle. About 15 minutes in all which is slightly largoish for me these days. Thanks blogger and setter.
Alan
(Anonymous)
Jan. 9th, 2017 01:09 pm (UTC)
Started well enough with 1ac and 3ac as write-ins, and even managed a few of the trickier ones along the way. However, in the end I was undone by 1d (looking for a word meaning imitation) and the case/archive crosser In the SE. Also very disappointed that waxy didn't fit 25ac. . . Invariant
(Anonymous)
Jan. 9th, 2017 09:32 pm (UTC)
Delayed by 15x15
I solved this earlier in 17 minutes. Nothing too taxing I thought. LOI was 23a.
I then had a quick look at the "easy" Monday main puzzle. I made quite good progress and have just filled in the last square -a number of guesses, but I am now gong to find out how I got on. David
john_dun
Jan. 10th, 2017 01:11 am (UTC)
Got this finished in around 15 minutes but found it quite tricky, maybe because I started it late after a busy day and was trying hard not to fall asleep. Should have seen PORTUGAL sooner, and especially NAPKIN which I biffed but couldn't see the wordplay for until after I'd put it in. Needed all the checkers for SHAMROCK too.Now I really must drag myself to bed.....
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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