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Quick Cryptic 1087 by Joker

A quick solve for me, especially the top half, which seemed to go in on first reading without much thought. I was definitely slowed by the bottom half (the worker’s rule providing a barrier - heard of it but didn’t know the name), and especially the SE corner (yep, the plant of course).

Definitions underlined.

1 Ankle was broken in a ballet (4,4)
SWAN LAKE - anagram of (broken) ANKLE WAS.
6 Haywain, say, seen in the foremost of Constable’s paintings? (4)
CART - first letter (foremost) of Constable and ART (paintings).
8 Cook using British fuel (4)
BOIL - B (british) and OIL (fuel).
9 Riding skill is habit that comes with maturity (8)
DRESSAGE - DRESS (habit) and AGE (maturity).
10 What some shy writers use, wanting pounds without celebrity (3,5)
PEN NAMES - PENS (pounds) around the outside of (without) NAME (celebrity).
11 Cyclops, perhaps, captured by two Greeks (4)
OGRE - hidden in (captured by) twO GREeks.
13 Gingerbread’s on cabbage salad as a rule for workers (10,3)
PARKINSON’S LAW - PARKINS (gingerbreads), ON and SLAW (cabbage salad). In full: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Hat tip to my friend, Janet, who introduced me to the Yorkshire tradition of Parkin Pigs.
16 Metal wire (4)
LEAD - double definition.
17 Low-cut trousers — fashionable, small and mostly short (8)
HIPSTERS - HIP (fashionable), S (small), and almost all of (mostly) TERSe (short). An ironically unfashionable word for “fashionable”, outside of crosswordland of course.
19 Second group of girls making treacle (8)
MOLASSES - MO (second) and LASSES (group of girls).
21 Snooker ball in plant (4)
PINK - double definition. The ball worth 6-points in snooker, Mark Williams’ favourite, or this plant.
22 Lyric poems in more than one style, devoid of metre (4)
ODES - mODES (plural of (more than one) style), without the (devoid of) ‘m’ (meter).
23 Approved sellers disposing of five English diamonds (8)
ENDORSED - vENDORS (sellers), missing the (disposing of) V (five), then E (english). (When searching for a plausible definition, repeat the mantra: “Lift and separate, lift and separate”. One day I will learn).

2 Sell a lot of miserable places in most of the Principality (9)
WHOLESALE - HOLES (miserable places) inside all but the last letter of (mostly) WALEs (the principality).
3 Material used in many longerons (5)
NYLON - hidden (used) in maNY LONgerons. Nice memories of a chemistry lesson, led by an extraordinary teacher, of making this myself. I thought that the name was composed of New York and LONdon, celebrating a transatlantic collaboration, but further research suggests not.
4 Moaned awfully about start of bloating in belly (7)
ABDOMEN - anagram of (awfully) MOANED, around the first letter (start) of Bloating.
5 Odds? Yes and no (5)
EVENS - cryptic definition; a description of certain odds in betting, and the opposite of odds!
6 Conservative, primarily, so must get working for established behaviours (7)
CUSTOMS - first letter of (primarily) Conservative, then an anagram of (get working) SO MUST. A bit of a clumsy anagrind, I thought.
7 Apparatus is correct after eliminating high tension (3)
RIG - RIGht (correct) excluding H (high) and T (tension).
12 Back diversity and change (9)
REARRANGE - REAR (back) and RANGE (diversity).
14 Takes away from slippery skidpan (7)
KIDNAPS - anagram of (slippery) SKIDPAN. An excellent anagrind, I thought.
15 Faced work sitting for a artist (7)
OPPOSED - OP (opus, work) and POSED (sitting for an artist).
17 Really dislike admitting son’s inconsiderate speed (5)
HASTE - HATE (really dislike) surrounding (admitting) S (son).
18 Thanks for each firelighter (5)
TAPER - TA (thanks) and PER (for each).
20 Golf’s abandoned winner’s medal that’s long-established (3)
OLD - gOLD (winner’s medal) without the (abandoned) G (golf).


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 9th, 2018 03:18 am (UTC)
I biffed WHOLESALE and forgot to go back to parse it; biffed PINK too, not knowing anything about snooker, but there wasn't much room for error with 'plant' and the checkers. CART is a neat clue, since Constable's "The Hay Wain" is often considered the foremost of his paintings. 4:31.
May. 9th, 2018 03:27 am (UTC)
Rather slow at 10:42...
...as I failed to recognize 'Swan Lake' or 'abdomen', and could not call 'Parkinson's Law' to mind. But all good in the end.

The modern meaning of 'hipster' has displaced the trousers in the US, if they ever even existed here.
May. 9th, 2018 03:43 am (UTC)
Re: Rather slow at 10:42...
I know them as lowriders; they infested Japan for years--still see them from time to time--and surely were common in the US. One of the stupidest fashion ideas since the sack dress.
May. 9th, 2018 03:48 am (UTC)
Re: Rather slow at 10:42...
But still more intelligent than the Brooklynites with beards and trust funds....
May. 9th, 2018 04:13 am (UTC)
A little detail that adds to the surface of 21ac is that 'plant' is also a snooker term: Billiards & Snooker etc. A shot whereby the cue ball strikes either one of two touching or nearly touching (usu. red) balls with the result that the other is potted (SOED).

Firstly, I was remiss by failing to mention that Joker achieved his ton-up on 6th April and his 101st was on the 16th, so today I would like to mark his 102nd puzzle by offering him my congratulations and thanks.

I found this easy and needed only 8 minutes to complete it but the quality was first rate. I particularly liked 21ac (PINK, as mentioned above) for the excellence of its surface, and 1ac where the aptness of the anagrist and anagrind (ankle was broken) with reference to the ballet, made me laugh.

Edited at 2018-05-09 04:29 am (UTC)
May. 9th, 2018 08:49 pm (UTC)
I'm with you on both your observations. Both great clues. A neat crossword that was entertaining but straightforward... a couple of minutes under average for me.
May. 9th, 2018 04:58 am (UTC)
20 minutes, had to go back to check the parsing of a few especially pen names, odds, and pink.

I have heard of the principle behind parkinsons law, but had to guess the name.

Dnk parkins, guessed pink had to be a type of flower.

Lots of good clues, liked opposed, Ogre, dressage, but COD cart.
May. 9th, 2018 07:49 am (UTC)
15:26 today so another relatively quick time. I’m either getting quicker or we have had a run of mostly more gentle puzzles for the last two weeks. Thanks and belated congrats to Joker.
May. 9th, 2018 08:07 am (UTC)
Outside 3 Kevins again today
But almost half the time spent on 13ac - being a lawyer, I started trying to recall the development of employment law in the nineteenth century and I got lost in obscurity (a professional hazard, of course). Suddenly the “Parkin” penny dropped!

Super puzzle, thanks Joker, and very nicely blogged. But why does “lead” mean “wire”, please?


May. 9th, 2018 08:32 am (UTC)

I read it as ‘electrical lead = wire’.

May. 9th, 2018 11:29 am (UTC)
Thank you!
May. 9th, 2018 09:06 am (UTC)
Second fastest solve at 10:24. Was set for a sub 10 minute solve but like william slowed in the SE corner. LOI the long 13ac which I could not parse as PARKINS for gingerbreads was unknown to me.

Edited at 2018-05-09 09:11 am (UTC)
May. 9th, 2018 09:31 am (UTC)
I thought this quite a difficult grid with so many first letters not available as checkers.
I started quickly enough but at the end was held up by a number of clues including 11a where I failed to see the hidden for too long.
13a was a problem and for 14d I was struggling to see how Joker could justify Inkpads. Once I saw Kidnaps the rest was unlocked. LOI was Lead -very clever clue I thought.
About 30 minutes of hard work for me. David
May. 9th, 2018 11:04 am (UTC)
An enjoyable puzzle which I zipped through in 5:57, with only PINK holding me up briefly, despite my having just watched hours and hours of the Snooker World Cup, being a regular player of the game and knowing the terms highlighted by Jack. Hand slapped to forehead on realisation! SWAN LAKE went in as I was reading the clue. Like PARKINSONS LAW. Belated congrats to Joker on his century, and thanks to William for the blog.
May. 9th, 2018 11:11 am (UTC)
This all went in very smoothly, helped by being married to a Yorkshire girl who likes ginger parkin, and remembering Molasses from a previous puzzle. My only delay was with 15d, where the use of 'a artist' seemed deliberate and so had me looking for a word including 'ara'. Even so, 18mins is one of my best times for ages, so no complaints. Belated congratulations to Joker. Invariant
May. 9th, 2018 11:20 am (UTC)
Same here re -ARA. Held me up for ages, until I got 19 and 23. A misprint, then?
May. 9th, 2018 05:52 pm (UTC)
I certainly hope so ! Invariant
Oj Streets
May. 9th, 2018 01:06 pm (UTC)
My perfect puzzle
Pitched to perfection for me. 14 minutes of some easy, some making me feel smart, some requiring extra thought and some confident but unparsed answers.
May. 9th, 2018 05:35 pm (UTC)
I always enjoy Joker's puzzles and this one was no exception. I was grateful that the ballet was one of the two that I know but I was completely stumped by LOI 13a, not knowing the law or the cake. I eventually biffed it with everything crossed. Completed in 13.04 with CoD going to 23a
May. 9th, 2018 07:32 pm (UTC)
Can someone let me know why ‘second’ = ‘mo’ in 19 ac. Thanks
May. 9th, 2018 07:46 pm (UTC)
In a mo = a short time
May. 9th, 2018 08:20 pm (UTC)
Abbreviation of moment...
May. 10th, 2018 06:09 am (UTC)
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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