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January 18th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic No 1269 by Joker

A bit of a quirky puzzle from Joker today, I think. It felt like there was almost a theme hidden somewhere, but not quite. A lot of Es Ns and Xs. (Hmm. Have I missed something?). Well I guess we can expect to be teased by Joker, and here he is at his tricksy best keeping me puzzling for the second longest time for a QC this year so far, taking over 7 1/2 minutes. I fell for more than a couple of misdirections (was I the only one?), such as expecting a V for five in 12A, the "say" at 19A and expecting an author in 12D... and more! And as for 13D... well what do you think? I enjoyed this a lot. I hope you did too. Plenty of lovely clues and no GRs; I give RETRO the COD award. If you found it hard, like yesterday's, and missed your target or failed to finish I hope you won't be discouraged, and if you didn't, you're smarter than me! Thanks Joker for a teasingly mind-bending and enjoyable Friday puzzle.
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