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Times Quick Cryptic No 1432 by Mara

Introduction

I hesitate to say this, but I found this puzzle so easy that I didn't even have time to appreciate it. I'm not a speed solver, so it still took me 8:24 to finish it, although I believe I had all but the last three answers in about 5 minutes. I imagine the real pros will finish it even faster.

Sorry if anyone who struggled with this puzzle finds this introduction dismissive. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.

Solutions

Across

1 Priests struggling to keep going (7)
PERSIST - PRIESTS (priests) anagrammed (struggling)
5 Somewhere to live? / Bingo! (5)
HOUSE - double definition
Didn't know the second definition: "calling house" is an old-fashioned way of saying "Bingo!".
8 Unconventional items approaching traditional crossroads in New York (5,6)
TIMES SQUARE - anagram of (unconventional) ITEMS (items) + (approaching) SQUARE (traditional)
10 Yours truly fled country in Western Asia (4)
IRAN - I (yours truly) + RAN (fled)
11 I am into Italian poet, glittering stuff (8)
DIAMANTE - I (I) + AM (am) in (into) DANTE (Italian poet)
A word for 'costume jewelry'.
12 Treasures are so fancy, five hundred nicked (6)
ADORES - ARE SO (are so) anagrammed (fancy), D (five hundred) inside (nicked)
14 Hurt serving on panel? (6)
INJURY - IN JURY (serving on panel)
16 Loveless, Joe has a wretched, resentful feeling (8)
JEALOUSY - remove O from (loveless) JOE (Joe) + (has) A (a) + LOUSY (wretched)
18 Arm commanding officer and lieutenant (4)
COLT - C.O. (commanding officer) + (and) LT. (lieutenant)
20 Reveal plug [for] spectacular production (11)
SHOWSTOPPER - SHOW (reveal) + STOPPER (plug)
22 A blooming thing happened (5)
AROSE - A (a) + ROSE (blooming thing)
23 Terror around the structure of a wing (7)
FEATHER - FEAR (terror) around (around) THE (the)
I don't know the word 'structure' in this way; I would have thought the word 'component' would be more appropriate.

Down

2 Type of apple [in] a tree, damaged (5)
EATER - A TREE (a tree) anagrammed (damaged)
3 Name is wrong, right class (7)
SEMINAR - NAME IS (name is) anagrammed (wrong) + R (right)
4 Relative calmness ultimately exists (3)
SIS - CALMNESS (calmness) reduced to its last letter (ultimately) + IS (exists)
6 In bloom, a happy US city (5)
OMAHA - the answer is inside (in) BLOOM A HAPPY (bloom a happy)
7 Top teaser puzzling, wife admitted (7)
SWEATER - TEASER (teaser) anagrammed (puzzling), W (wife) inside (admitted)
9 High standard correspondence, though not originally (7)
QUALITY - EQUALITY (correspondence) without the first letter (though not originally)
11 Talk about athletics event, summer's first (7)
DISCUSS - DISCUS (athletics event) + SUMMER's (summer's) first letter (first)
13 Stage assistant / part of the furniture? (7)
DRESSER - double definition
Someone who dresses others versus something that contains clothing.
15 Lift head up, [getting] first prize (7)
JACKPOT - JACK (lift) + TOP (head) reversed (up)
17 [Are] those seen in Mali on safari? (5)
LIONS - the answer is in (seen in) MALI ON SAFARI (Mali on safari)
19 Grand-scale composition of Elgar (5)
LARGE - anagram of (composition of) ELGAR (Elgar)
21 Love of French poem (3)
ODE - O (love) + OF (of) in French (French)
'Of' in French is 'de'.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
kevingregg
Sep. 3rd, 2019 11:57 pm (UTC)
That 'structure' threw me off, too, and slowed me down a bit. Saw TIMES SQUARE before I saw how it worked. Fortunately, I knew that 'house' was another name for bingo. 5:47.
vinyl1
Sep. 4th, 2019 02:21 am (UTC)
My times of 8:37 indicates....
...this is very easy indeed, since I am far from a fast solver. Verlaine's 2:03 = now that's fast!

I hope those complaining about the difficulty of the puzzles are satisfied with this one.
jackkt
Sep. 4th, 2019 03:28 am (UTC)
9 minutes. On 13dn, in the UK a DRESSER as furniture is more likely to be in a kitchen or dining room and used for storing/displaying tableware, especially china. The item for storing clothes is more usually called a chest-of-drawers or tallboy. I was delayed at 18ac by working out COLT from wordplay and not immediately thinking 'firearm' so I hesitated to write it in.

Edited at 2019-09-04 04:25 am (UTC)
davidivad1
Sep. 4th, 2019 05:39 am (UTC)
Wednesday
I agree with our blogger, this was not one of Mara's harder tests. My LOI was JEALOUSY which took me about a minute to work out; and I was finished in 09:12.
I did wonder whether an Edama apple existed.
David

flashman
Sep. 4th, 2019 06:40 am (UTC)
I didn't find it that easy, 19 mins but with 2 typos, dressor and injure.
Last few sweater, jealousy, arose, and loi adores.
Cod large.
templarredux
Sep. 4th, 2019 07:58 am (UTC)
Yes, a gentle net session from Mara today, saving the chin music for later no doubt. Clocked in at only 1.5 Kevins for a Very Good Day. Was I the only person who wondered about a nod to the Bake Off in SHOWSTOPPER and FEATHER?

FOI PERSIST, LOI JACKPOT, COD INJURY.

Thanks Mara and Jeremy.

Templar
john_dun
Sep. 4th, 2019 08:14 am (UTC)
I didn't find this difficult, but it stretched me enough to take me over my target time to 10:34. SIS was my FOI and FEATHER was my LOI. Thanks Mara and Jeremy.
philjordan
Sep. 4th, 2019 09:12 am (UTC)
A "spooky" moment this morning....
....as the last track I played on the CD driving back from my INR test was "OMAHA" by Walter Trout !

A relief to get back inside my target after two consecutive failures. Very straightforward fare from Mara.

FOI PERSIST
LOI AROSE
COD JACKPOT
TIME 3:19
crispb
Sep. 4th, 2019 10:13 am (UTC)
One of my fastest times ever at 24:24, thanks to being able to get most of it done first time round, but there were enough clues that completely stumped me (i.e. I'd never have got without checkers) to mean that I wouldn't say I found it easy. LOI adores, COD jackpot
(Anonymous)
Sep. 4th, 2019 11:12 am (UTC)
Sailing through - but DNF
Simply could not fathom out 23a. Had all possible letters and confident they were correct. Reckon if I looked at this all day I still would not have got it. So, thanks for the blog to explain it all.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 4th, 2019 11:37 am (UTC)
LARGE
Was I the only person who put in REGAL first for this, before crossing entries showed it must be wrong? Found puzzle about average in difficulty for a QC.
ant45
Sep. 4th, 2019 11:41 am (UTC)
As many others have said, this was definitely one of Mara’s easier offerings but I still didn’t manage to break the 10 minute barrier even though 10:52 is a good time for me.
johninterred
Sep. 4th, 2019 12:15 pm (UTC)
Like others I was misdirected by "structure of a" at 23A. Otherwise no real hold-ups, but it wasn't a write-in, so I wouldn't say it was much (if any)easier than an average QC. 5:33.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 4th, 2019 12:34 pm (UTC)
7.33 here so on the easier side of things. Didn’t know DIAMANTE but wordplay was clear

NeilC
chrisw91
Sep. 4th, 2019 12:46 pm (UTC)
I struggled to really get going at first in the top half and had to work at the answers. Things sped up a bit but I was surprised to find my finish time was 7:19 - about as quick as I get. What a great QC - still had to be worked on but was quick - I really enjoyed a lot of the clues particularly injury, jealousy and eater.
grubbygrubster
Sep. 4th, 2019 12:44 pm (UTC)
Not as fast as many, but 18.52, which means two sub 20s in a row. I know "HOUSE" from when my dad used to take me the Working Men's Club as a nipper, and we had to be very quiet for the Bingo. They played "a line" first, and then "full house" afterwards, with the call out if you won either of "HOUSE!", followed by groans from the other players.

I put INJURE first, assuming it might be Latin for someone on a panel (or jury, or something). I didn't parse "hurt" for INJURY.

Otherwise, a steady write in.
filbert42
Sep. 4th, 2019 01:05 pm (UTC)
Not easy but....
I didn't find this one easy but it was doable, a nice one to work through.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 4th, 2019 01:51 pm (UTC)
FEATHER was LOI ahead of JAcKPOT and SHOWSTOPPER - so all my troubles in the SE. Not totally simple but nice to get close to the end at a canter.
ianelin
Sep. 4th, 2019 04:21 pm (UTC)
Late start today, but pleased with 16m, a pb for us. Perhaps fuelled by a pub lunch! Thanks Mara.
plett11
Sep. 4th, 2019 05:18 pm (UTC)
Despite finding this straightforward I managed to get a DNF due to putting a careless INJURE in at 14a. Oh well, on to better things tomorrow hopefully.
Thanks for the blog
(Anonymous)
Sep. 4th, 2019 07:16 pm (UTC)
So pleased to have finished
I started at lunch time and the top half started very well. I then got distracted and didn’t resume battle until late in the greenhouse with a class of wine and was delighted to have finished.
Wow - 45 minutes as an estimate.
I am in awe that everyone else was comparatively quick.
Loved the following when the proverbial dropped:
11d not come across this Discus / Discuss before
13d Dresser got it eventually
12a Adores took for ever
11a LOI

I know that there are different types of intelligence and I have to comfort myself with the thought that I know many things that others don’t.

Thanks all
John George
James_Peterson
Sep. 5th, 2019 10:47 pm (UTC)
Fast!
I think this qualifies as my fastest finish. I travel from Wolverhampton to Coventry on the train most days. Wolverhampton to Birmingham New Street is usually consumed with reading the paper and I start the crossword as we leave New Street. I’ve completed it before Coventry (about 20 mins or so a few times, but this was done in less than 10 minutes before we arrived at Birmingham International. It may not have occupied as much time as usual but there was a sense of satisfaction in the fast resolution. No COD for me - nothing seemed to evade me or make me chuckle.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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