johninterred (johninterred) wrote in times_xwd_times,
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johninterred
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Times Quick Cryptic No 1189 by Izetti

I approach my introduction to this blog with some trepidation given that I underestimated how difficult others would find the lovely QC from Izetti last time out and how much longer it took me today. I note also that plenty of people have found several recent puzzles harder than usual and are looking for something less stretching. Well, there I was, thinking this is very straightforward for an Izetti puzzle with just the SE corner to complete. Then I was interrupted by the wife looking for her laptop charger. When I restarted, the last 4 clues took me as long again as the rest, leaving me with my slowest time since the beginning of August at just over 10 minutes. But there are plenty of more straightforward clues than usual from Don, I think, so maybe it was just the effect of the interruption on my concentration. Or maybe those clues were a bit tricky. So if, like me, you struggled with the SE corner, commiserations, but we are here to learn, aren't we? A very nice puzzle with lots of anagrams and several reversal clues.. and it's a pangram!  That's hard enough to achieve in a 15x15 grid and even more impressive in a 13x13. Some lovely surfaces too - I liked REINFORCE and thought QUARTERFINAL was brilliant. Thank-you Izetti for another fine, educational, pangramatic and entertaining puzzle. How did you all get on?

[Addendum: Unrelated to this QC, on a walk in Newmarket yesterday, I was challenged to come up with a crossword clue related to a sign we passed along the way... so here it is " Hankers after coat, seen on boat at a distance, worth 1000 guineas, perhaps? (5, 8)". Any better suggestions?]

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

Across
1 Girl dancing with a brat in place noted for rock (9)
GIBRALTAR - We start with an anagram helped with a generous definition. (Girl a brat)* [dancing].
6 Opening article penned by doctor (3)
GAP - The doctor is a General Practitioner. With the article A inserted [penned] we get the unfilled space.
8 Protester when head of state appears at end of month (7)
MARCHER - The month is MARCH. Add our head of state, ER, at the end.
9 Claim by trader to be perfect (5)
IDEAL - If you claim to be a trader you might say I DEAL.
10 A tranquil ref gets rattled in cup match (12)
QUARTERFINAL - An anagram (A tranquil ref)* [gets rattled]. A lovely surface.
12 When Christians celebrate Pentecost a bit (4)
WHIT - Double definition - the second one hardly needed.
13 Bird caged by our headmaster (4)
RHEA - Today's hidden word [caged] in ouR HEAdmaster.
17 Performances deemed very good? I came seventh, surprisingly (12)
ACHIEVEMENTS - Another anagram of (I came seventh)* [surprisingly]. Seventh? Good? That made me laugh.
20 Character at end, after party, had a kip (5)
DOZED - DO (party) with ZED (character at the end of the alphabet) [after].
21 Malign notice interrupts attempt to stop war (7)
TRADUCE - AD (notice) inside TRUCE (attempt to stop war). Not a very familiar word to me, but I recognised it when I solved the wordplay. It means to defame, calumniate or malign.
23 Female prisoner backsliding (3)
GAL - The prisoner is a LAG. Reverse [backsliding] to get the female.
24 Confused state means rest will be disturbed (5,4)
MARES NEST - (means rest)* [will be disturbed]. This one took me a while to disentangle, but I remembered it eventually. An odd phrase. See here for an explanation.

Down
1 Electronic publication set up for football maybe (4)
GAME - If a MAGazine was published online, you might call it an E-MAG. Put it upwards [set up].
2 Old boy going up unpleasant part of city? (7)
BOROUGH - Another bit of reversal OB (Old boy) [going up] ROUGH (unpleasant).
3 A quiet wood (3)
ASH - A SH (quiet). A "let the dog see the rabbit" type clue.
4 European getting you upset, a failure (6)
TURKEY -  More reversing needed here. TURK (European) and YE (you) [upset]. Unlike 17a, a performance that's deemed not good.
5 Engineers in, supporting church buttress (9)
REINFORCE - A 4 part charade - RE (Engineers) IN FOR (supporting) CE (Church of England). Another neat surface.
6 Inexperienced member of political party (5)
GREEN - A double definition.
7 Friend coming to cathedral city in half-hearted fashion (6)
PALELY - PAL (Friend) ELY (cathedral city). A slightly odd definition - but think of, for example, "a pale imitation".
11 Bad person turning crazy in Dutch city (9)
ROTTERDAM - ROTTER (Bad person) with MAD (crazy) [turning].
14 See hunt going out and sound keen! (7)
ENTHUSE - (See hunt)* [going out].
15 Plod randomly round Austria's capital with good person in attendance (6)
LAPDOG - (Plod)* [randomly] [around] A (Austria's capital) [with] G (good).
16 Right famous detective novelist! (6)
DEXTER - My last one in. Misdirected to look for an author's name beginning with R followed by the name of a famous detective, it took me ages to see it was a double definition. Colin Dexter, of course, was the creater of Inspector Morse.
18 Girl in mist going over lake (5)
HAZEL - HAZE [going over] L (lake). And hello to my cousin Hazel if she drops by.
19 Paris's first person on street to make a joke (4)
JEST - JE (Paris's first person - i.e. I in french) [on] ST (street).
22 Fool making girl lose her head (3)
ASS - Another gal - this time {l}ASS, losing her head (i.e. first letter).

99 Hankers after coat, seen on boat at a distance, worth 1000 guineas, perhaps? (5, 8)
EIGHT FURLONGS - LONGS (hankers) [after] FUR (coat) [seen on] EIGHT (boat). The 1000 guineas is a 1 mile race... run at Newmarket.
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