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My solving time today was 9 minutes. For this landmark puzzle, QC 1100, Izetti has given us a grid containing 10 Xs and with one of them checked that makes a total of 11 answers with X in them. 11 multiplied by X (10) happens to make 110 and I wonder if that is intentional or a coincidence or am I just trying too hard to spot something that's not there? On edit: please see Izetti's contribution below.

As I have recently been mentioning milestones achieved by the QC setters and bloggers I thought I would take this opportunity to publish the total number of QC puzzles blogged by each of the TftT team to date. Names in red are the current regulars:

chrisw [216] , jackkt [140], nick_the_novice [111], william_j_s [105], mohn [100]

pipkirby [79], macavity [61], rolytoly [57], therotter [56], emu [38], galspray [36], curarist [24], johninterred [19], oliviarhinebeck [16], robrolfe [14], astartedon [12]

ianb [6], allan_sidcup [ 4], jerrywh [4], brnchn [1], ulaca [1], vinyl1 [1]

(If anyone was going to point out these add up to 1101, it's because there was an additional unnumbered puzzle on Christmas Day 2014)

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 One male leading holy warriors (4)
IMPI - I (one), M (male), PI (holy)
4 Sailor gets with it, drunken chum, rather unreasonable (1,3,4)
A BIT MUCH - AB (sailor), IT, anagram [drunken] of CHUM
8 Garden — it is made awkward by this slope (8)
GRADIENT - Anagram [made awkward] of GARDEN IT
9 Coarse person, unknown character becoming top (4)
APEX - APE (coarse person), X (unknown character)
10 Maiden, well-favoured, wanting kiss — seductive lady (4)
MINX - M (maiden - cricket), IN (well-favoured), X (kiss)
11 Settings in which prisoner is given things to read (8)
CONTEXTS - CON (prisoner), TEXTS (things to read)
12 Hold up one troublemaker needing to meet PM shortly (6)
IMPEDE - IMP (troublemaker), EDE{n} (PM) [shortly]. Sir Anthony Eden, Prime Minister 1955-1957.
14 Maybe fly home with group of believers (6)
INSECT - IN (home), SECT (group of believers)
16 Speaker in the first half is fellow showing charm (8)
TALISMAN - TAL{ker} (speaker) [first half], IS, MAN (fellow)
18 Test in English before ten in the morning (4)
EXAM - E (English), X (ten), AM (in the morning)
19 End of line attached to equipment that can fly (4)
KITE - KIT (equipment), {lin}E [end]
20 Reclusive types as before, little people (8)
EREMITES - ERE (before), MITES (little people). A little hard for a QC perhaps but the wordplay is helpful.
22 Copied it — made it in different format (8)
IMITATED - Anagram [in different format] of IT MADE IT
23 Irish poetry needing no introduction (4)
ERSE - {v}ERSE (poetry) [needing no introduction]
Down
2 Political approach offering new maxims about end of war (7)
MARXISM - Anagram [new] of MAXIMS containing [about] {wa}R [end]
3 Pointer in last pages of book? (5)
INDEX - Two meanings. The second has a question mark as an index is sometimes found at the beginning or may not be present at all.
4 Cut tax — easy? Not entirely (3)
AXE - Hidden [not entirely] in {t}AX E{asy}
5 Goal slammed into net, in at the very start (9)
INTENTION - Anagram [slammed] of INTO NET preceded by [at the very start] IN
6 People complaining — some ran off (7)
MOANERS - Anagram [off] of SOME RAN
7 Dishonest competitor caught ahead of race (5)
CHEAT - C (caught - cricket), HEAT (race)
11 Like the most delicious tea maybe — ice tea Mrs prepared? (9)
CREAMIEST - Anagram [prepared] of ICE TEA MRS. Cream in this beverage is not to most people's taste so I think the delicious 'tea' here would be a traditonal Devonshire or Cornish 'cream tea' consisting of clotted cream served on scones with jam.
13 Demanding old lover on island wanting man (7)
EXIGENT - EX (old lover), I (island), GENT (man). Another more difficult word, but again the wordplay is straightforward.
15 Persuasive types, awfully coarse, cross inside (7)
COAXERS - X (cross) contained by [inside] anagram [awfully] of COARSE
17 A sign of treasure on island in Irish sea? One assumes it is true (5)
AXIOM - A, X (sign of treasure), IOM (island in Irish sea - Isle of Man)
18 Outlaw formerly spotted on French island (5)
EXILE - EX (formerly), ILE (French island)
21 Aim to finish (3)
END - Two meanings

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
vinyl1
May. 28th, 2018 01:31 am (UTC)
Time 12:39, didn't notice the theme.....
....but I did notice that this might be considered quite difficult for a cryptic. The 'impi' and the 'eremites' may be old friends to experienced solvers, but I rather expect they will be considered obscure by the learner brigade. We'll see.

I won't comment on the statistics, as I have spreadsheets listing all the records I've played since 2003. To each his own....
jackkt
May. 28th, 2018 04:58 am (UTC)
Re: Time 12:39, didn't notice the theme.....
I'd like to blame it on the last 16 years of my working life spent compiling Government statistics but I'm afraid the rot had set in several decades before that. I have several spreadsheets based on lists and records that I began on paper in the early 1960s. Just imagine the hours of fun I had coverting them into Excel documents! I find that sort of thing quite therapeutic and a harmless outlet for my OCD tendencies.
kevingregg
May. 28th, 2018 01:33 am (UTC)
In the club forum, Aphis notes that there are 10 X's, and that X=10, but Jack's account is more intriguing. Hard to believe it's an accident. I biffed MINX because I didn't think of IN for 'well-favored'. And it took me a while to remember IMPI. EREMITES does seem a bit much (or A BIT MUCH) for a Quickie; I'd always thought it was actually an obsolete word (like ERE, come to think of it), but evidently not. On the other hand, 17d's 'in Irish sea' was the sort of information a 15x15 setter would withhold. 7:53.
(Anonymous)
May. 28th, 2018 05:27 am (UTC)
From Izetti
Good morning! This was the 100th Izetti in terms of my setting, though not the 100th in terms of publication evidently (as some bloggers did a count earlier). The No. 1100 is a coincidence (unless the crossword editor had other ideas!).
jackkt
May. 28th, 2018 05:59 am (UTC)
Re: From Izetti
Good morning to you, and thanks for dropping by. Yes, the 100th to be published was QC1079 on 27th April, so today's is the 101st. Still, the start of the second 100 is just as worthy of celebration as the last of the first batch! Please keep them coming.
(Anonymous)
May. 30th, 2018 07:08 pm (UTC)
From the Editor
A very nice way for Izetti to mark his century.
The scheduling at No 1100 was a happy coincidence

RR
johninterred
May. 28th, 2018 07:16 am (UTC)
I spotted the Xs and saw there were 10, making 100 but didn't see where the 1000 came from (although there are 6 Ms). I didn't think to count the crossing one twice... and I was going to say that 11 x 10 is 110, not 1100, but I see our setter has visited and explained. I thought this was at the trickier end of the QC spectrum, with EREMITES and TALISMAN my last 2 in. I enjoyed the theme and the CREAMIEST teas.
davidivad1
May. 28th, 2018 11:09 am (UTC)
Monday
An excellent examination from Izetti today. Not easy and I needed all my QC experience to finish it. It took me just under 30 minutes against my average of 20.
I noticed the Xs towards the end when I had two left -18d and 20a. I tested an X in 18d and it led me to the answer. Eremites I have come across before -but perhaps only once - so I was pleased to get that. Impi also learnt from crosswords.
FOI was 4d and the LHS was done whilst the RHS remained almost blank.
Thanks to Izetti and our well-researched blogger. David
oliviarhinebeck
May. 28th, 2018 11:10 am (UTC)
Thanks for being the archivist here Jack. I'd completely forgotten I'd done that many (16) and I had fun with them all. I did them when the QC made its debut and it's nice to see how successful they've been in every way.
jackkt
May. 28th, 2018 12:59 pm (UTC)
Good to hear from you again in the QC forum, Olivia! You were one of the originals with 2 each in 2014 and 2015, but your long stint was over 3 months in 2016.
flashman
May. 28th, 2018 11:16 am (UTC)
All done in my usual timeframe, except for the x-rated exigent and eremites, which took a few more sittings, head scratching and alphabet trawls until the answers squeezed out.

thanks jack and Izetti.

COD Axiom.
wilransome
May. 28th, 2018 11:33 am (UTC)
12ac
Obviously a good puzzle — what else would you expect from Izetti? But has Homer nodded in 12ac? It's not actually unsound, but why is 'one' there? To me at any rate it seems quite unnecessary.
jackkt
May. 28th, 2018 12:53 pm (UTC)
Re: 12ac
I wondered if 'one troublemaker' might account for '1 MP' as most of them are these days.
plett11
May. 28th, 2018 11:39 am (UTC)
I needed 3 alphabet trawls to finish this one - which I think is a record for me - for the unknowns at 13d and 20a (LOI) and 11a, where it shouldn't have been necessary.
I was trying to work out what was going on with all the Xs so I'm glad the mystery has been solved.
Completed in 27.33, so definitely at the harder end of the scale for me.
(Anonymous)
May. 28th, 2018 12:07 pm (UTC)
DNF
EREMITES defeated me. Should have realised it was ERE but the "as" in "as before" threw me off the scent. Spent a while trying to figure out why it is "one" troublemaker in 12ac, and still don't know. Enjoyed CREAMIEST once I managed to get "Char" out of my head. Good challenge as always with Izetti and congratulations on your ton (you available for England?)
PlayUpPompey
(Anonymous)
May. 28th, 2018 12:40 pm (UTC)
Totally messed up the bottom half by having CHARISMA instead of TALISMAN...I knew it didn't quite fit the clue but couldn't parse it! Thanks Jackkt for helping me out, there. Once I'd put that right, the rest went in ok; apart from IMPEDE, EREMITES and EXIGENT. So not ok then really :)
desdeeloeste
May. 28th, 2018 03:10 pm (UTC)
Thankfully back on form and completed in 12:53 although had to rely on wordplay for new vocabulary at 13dn EXIGENT, 20ac EREMITES and 23ac ERSE. Thanks Izetti and jackkt for the eXplanation.
(Anonymous)
May. 28th, 2018 08:23 pm (UTC)
DNF
I am afraid that following the excitement of Friday ( my first sub 10 minute solve) I could not even finish this one without using a crossword aid for Exigent, Talisman and Eremites. I have come across all the words - so no excuses. And I needed the blog for some of the parsing. Nevermind, perhaps my brain had taken the bank holiday off too!! Thank you Jackkt for explaining everything so clearly. FOI 4d COD 11d - Probably because I enjoyed a cream tea this afternoon.... before I attempted the crossword! MM
john_dun
May. 29th, 2018 11:57 am (UTC)
Tougher than some, but completed in 11:57. MER at IMPI EREMITES and EXIGENT for a QC, but fairly clued. Nice puzzle. Thanks Izetti and Jack.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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