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Times Quick Cryptic No 1373 by Joker

A nice puzzle as always by Joker, which I was happy to complete in a sub-target 9 minutes, helped by seeing the two long anagrams very quickly.  SERENDIPITOUS is one of those favourite words that is never quite at the tip of my tongue when I need it, so I’m going to make it my WoD and try to overuse it today to make it stick.

There is an (accidental I am sure) cockney football striker’s NINA in the sixth rank if you search for it, but I can detect no other theme in today’s puzzle.

Thanks Joker, and you lot in anticipation of your comments.

1         West Side Story heroine, fine for Romeo in criminal group (5)
MAFIA – The West Side Story heroine is MARIA (younger sister of the Sharks gang leader).  As instructed, take out the R{omeo} and replace with F{ine} to get the criminal group.  I have to admit to reversing this clue when first entering the answer, but 2d quickly showed me the error of my ways.
4  Headless corpse’s certainly set back long journey (7)
ODYSSEY – {b}ODY’S (corpse’s, headless, i.e. drop the opening letter) and YES (certainly) reversed (set back) to give ODYSSEY (Chambers defines it rather poetically as a long wandering!)
8 Relevant European language together with English (7)
GERMANE – GERMAN is the European language, followed by E{nglish}.
Dart gets cry of pain on arrival (5)
ARROW – OW (cry of pain) placed after ARR{ival}.
10 Domestic party finding a target outside to exploit conflict  (5-7)
HOUSE-WARMING – HOMING (finding a target, as in a homing beacon guiding a missile), containing USE (exploit) and WAR (conflict).
12 Restrained around queen, arranged in ranks (6)
TIERED – TIED (restrained) ‘around’ ER (Queen).
13  Street band in sequence (6)
STRING – ST (street) and RING (band).
16  Worry about printer going wrong (12)
PERTURBATION – Anagram (going wrong) of [ABOUT PRINTER].
18  Map book a veteran sailor’s returned (5)
ATLAS – A (a) and SALT (term for a veteran sailor, as in ‘old salt’) reversed (returned).
20  Advocate with professional attitude (7)
PROPOSE – PRO (professional) and POSE (attitude).
21  Picture harbour with fish (7)
PORTRAY – PORT (harbour) and RAY (fish)
22  Ceaselessly shows support for artist (5)
EASEL – Hidden in (shows) {c}EASEL{essly}.

1         What could identify criminal idiot that has used a gun (3,4)
MUG SHOT – MUG (idiot) and SHOT (used a gun).
Oracle, note, left ruler distraught (7,6)
FORTUNE TELLER – Anagram (distraught) of [NOTE, LEFT RULER].
3  A labyrinth intended, we hear, for surprise (9)
AMAZEMENT – A (a) MAZE (labyrinth) MENT (sounds like MEANT – intended we hear).
4  Working East and WEST agreement not reciprocated (3-3)
ONE-WAY – ON (working) followed by E{ast} and W{est} and AY (agreement).  Neat clue!
5 Vote for shortened annual period (3)
YEA – The annual period is a YEA{r}, shortened by dropping the last letter.
6  See disruption unfortunately discovered by accident (13)
SERENDIPITOUS – Anagram (unfortunately) of [SEE DISRUPTION].
7  New method to get over a boring person (4)
YAWN – N{ew} and WAY (method) all reversed (to get over).
11  Addictive drug encountered head-on when smashed (9)
METHADONE – MET (encountered) followed by an anagram (smashed) of [HEAD-ON].
14 Affectedly polite chap – a slippery character (7)
GENTEEL –  GENT (chap) followed by EEL (slippery character)
15  Falls down with unknown ailment (6)
DROPSY – DROPS (falls down) and Y (unknown character – often used to represent the unknown element in a formula).  For those interested, DROPSY is an old fashioned term for ailments or conditions that result in the accumulation of watery fluid in any part of the body, now usually referred to as Oedema.
17  Wall holding back water pressure is moist (4)
DAMP – A DAM is the wall holding back water, followed by P{ressure}.
19  Title rising is supported by queen (3)
SIR – IS (is) reversed (rising) and supported by R{egina} (queen).


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 13th, 2019 02:12 am (UTC)
At last an easy one...
...as I have been screwing up all week, and needed an ego-booster. My time of 9:25 wasn't great, but at least I was under 10 minutes and all correct. I had to count the letters to spell 'serendipitous' correctly, but everything else was very straightforward.
Jun. 13th, 2019 03:39 am (UTC)
At last an easy one?
Much the same as Lord Vinyl 9.47 but I thought the long anagrams made it on the tough side.



COD 6dn SERENDIPITOUS and much like our charming Mr. Rotter, WOD as well!

I can't see the Cockney footballing NINA (on WWC duty perhaps?) USA 13 Thailand 0!

Jun. 13th, 2019 05:58 am (UTC)
RE: At last an easy one?
On my ed, guvnor
Jun. 13th, 2019 05:02 am (UTC)
Like vinyl1 I was relieved to complete this within my target time (but with only a second or two to spare) after a rather bad run. In fact this was my first target achieved since last Thursday. I also agree with horryd that the long anagrams were on the tricky side as I needed a few checkers in place before they revealed their secrets.

Edited at 2019-06-13 05:03 am (UTC)
Jun. 13th, 2019 05:15 am (UTC)
Doing fine until LOI PERTURBATION; I make a point of not writing down the anagrist in QCs, and I needed all the checkers before I could arrange these letters, and even then it took some time. 6:48.
Jun. 13th, 2019 07:54 am (UTC)
A 12 letter anagram is a 12 letter anagram whether it’s in the QC or the 15 ... zero difference. Why adopt a different methodology as a matter of principle?!
Jun. 13th, 2019 10:49 am (UTC)
The QCs are easier, so I decided some time back to give myself a sort of handicap.
Jun. 13th, 2019 01:24 pm (UTC)
But the anagrams aren't easier ... it is easier to detect that the clue is an anagram, agreed. But once you've worked that out, it's just an anagram and no easier or harder to solve.
Jun. 13th, 2019 01:36 pm (UTC)
Fwiw, some people (including myself) find anagrams easier to solve when the anagrist is written down.
Jun. 13th, 2019 04:32 pm (UTC)
QCs are easier!
I don't even write my name at the top of the paper anymore!

You have no need to handicap yourself, Kev! We'd never guess!

As Mr. Templarreflux states, an anagram is an anagram is an anagram.

And beware ye of 'false anagrists' as noted in today's 15x15!

Jun. 13th, 2019 09:34 am (UTC)
I had exactly the same experience, coming home in 6’30”.

There was lots of agreeing going on in the NE corner with YEA, YES and AY all making an appearance.

Many thanks to setter and blogger.
Jun. 13th, 2019 05:49 am (UTC)
I know I can't spell SERENDIPITY and so its annoying to have stuck in D for T at the end as usual even when all the right letters were in front of me. Especially annoying to get a red square having finally finished inside 15m for the first time in ten days. I've been solving on paper recently so I suppose I should be grateful this particular facet of my ignorance has been exposed to me again - perhaps I'll remember next time and may be even stop say it wrong. Apart from that I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
Jun. 13th, 2019 06:03 am (UTC)
18 mins, so back within target (20).

Foi damp, I wanted to put Maria in for 1a so moved on.

Last two: serendipitous and the unparsed house warming.

Cod odyssey.
Jun. 13th, 2019 06:20 am (UTC)
I was held up a bit by carelessly typing GERMAIN at 8a which I corrected when I struggled with 4d. I biffed HOUSE WARMING and EASEL. The 2 long anagrams went in quickly and I finished in 7:01. Thanks Joker and Rotter.
Jun. 13th, 2019 06:57 am (UTC)
I thought this was going to be a quick one as I immediately put MARIA at 1a and then raced through the first few clues.But it turned out to be a day of self-inflicted wounds. I too found the long anagrams difficult and I spent much time trying to make a word from PRINTER GOING. My final own goal was an inability to improve on PROMOTE for LOI 20a. The computer said try again. 25:39 in the end; a good reality check. David
Jun. 13th, 2019 08:38 am (UTC)
Re: Thursday
I'm so glad I wasn't the only one who wasted time on "printer going"!
Jun. 13th, 2019 04:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Thursday
I put in PROMOTE too and, as I was working on paper, I only discovered my error when I came to the blog! So annoying, as it was the first QC I haven't struggled with for a while. MM
Jun. 13th, 2019 07:04 am (UTC)
I was also held up by the long anagrams at 6d and 16a but the rest went in without too many problems. Finished in 10.23 with LOI HOUSE-WARMING.
Thanks to therotter
Jun. 13th, 2019 07:49 am (UTC)
Quick for me today at 8:02. Finished with yawn which I hummed and hawed about being the person rather than the act. Genteel went in quickly even though I wouldn’t use it in a negative/affected sense. Otherwise plain sailing and, like The Rotter, the long ones sailed in (serendipitously).
Jun. 13th, 2019 08:02 am (UTC)
12.38 for me, so I’m another who is pleased to be back on target and towards the lower end of my usual times. Personally I find that anagrams of any sort help me progress - I find double definitions to be much more difficult.
Jun. 13th, 2019 08:38 am (UTC)
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Jun. 13th, 2019 08:38 am (UTC)
I moved quite quickly at first ((although my last in were 1a & 1d) but biffed PETHIDINE instead of METHADONE which slowed things down. More haste..... SERENDIPITOUS and FORTUNE TELLER dropped out fairly easily but PERTURBATION did not. I liked ODYSSEY (once I spelt it correctly). SCC again at over 3K but better than yesterday's horror. Thanks to both. John M.

Edited at 2019-06-13 08:40 am (UTC)
Jun. 13th, 2019 08:40 am (UTC)
A fun puzzle, thank you Joker, done and dusted in 2 Kevins for a Decent Day. FOI MAFIA, LOI HOUSE WARMING, COD DROPSY.

Thanks for the blog, Rotter

Jun. 13th, 2019 10:09 am (UTC)
I started with MARIA rather than MAFIA for 1ac.. Seems to me the clue supports either. Also had trouble deciding whether the anagram in 16ac was ABOUT PRINTER or PRINTER GOING. Again it seems to me that the clue can be read either way, although fitting in two 'g's proved difficult.
Otherwise all fairly straightforward. Enjoyed MUG SHOT.
Good fun.
Jun. 13th, 2019 10:59 am (UTC)
Surely 'fine for Romeo' can only be read one way?
Jun. 13th, 2019 01:25 pm (UTC)
And the crossers at 16ac included an A (once one got METHADONE), which was what finally made me realise I had the wrong anagrist ...
Jun. 14th, 2019 09:46 am (UTC)
I had even more fun with 16ac trying to put RE (about) in front of an anagram of DUPLICATOR!
Luckily, didn’t waste too much time on it, once I got some checkers in.
Jun. 13th, 2019 09:41 pm (UTC)
Finished nudging 30mins, but that was after a 9hr drive, so I'm happy enough with that. Spotted Serendipitous from just the first S, but the other three long answers were not as forthcoming. I had a similar Mafia/Maria hold up, but agree the F for R was a clear enough hint as to which one should win out. My other delay was with 13d, Methadone - I blame/am grateful for a sheltered life. Invariant
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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