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Times Quick Cryptic No 1433 by Izetti

Well this had a slightly different feel from Izetti, and contained a relatively high proportion of general knowledge (GK) for a QC, which some solvers may have had difficulty with.  I solved in 13 minutes, about average for me, but I did have the requisite GK, albeit some of which took a moment or two to recall.

Some old Greek founded towns and cities in Turkey, one from the bible stories, a Princess from Greek mythology and some new world locations all required solving and remembering.  I suspect that there will be a few complaints, but I, for one, enjoyed the challenge.

Putting pleasure first ruins peace – I’m troubled (12)
EPICUREANISM – Anagram (troubled) of [RUINS PEACE – I’M].  Whilst this isn’t a word that trips lightly off my tongue, it should be familiar to most of us, and is fairly clued.
8  Chum getting married gets a bit of a hand (4)
PALM – PAL (chum) and M{arried}.  The PALM has been seen as a window into the future in palmistry or chirology.  I’m afraid I’m a non-believer in this and other such fairy-tales.
9 Humble revolutionary, a writer (7)
CHEAPEN – CHE (Crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary, after Che Guevara) and A (a) and PEN (writer).  Humble here is used in its transitive verb sense rather than in its more familiar use as an adjective.  Who can forget Charles Dickens’ Uriah Heep from David Copperfield – a very ‘umble person?
11  Countries with no stain, having been transformed (7)
NATIONS – Anagram (having been transformed) of [NO STAIN].
12  Settled in Rome, dear Greek princess (5)
MEDEA – The first bit of slightly obscure general knowledge (GK) from Izetti.  The wordplay has an inclusion indicator (settled in…) hinting at a hidden answer and the answer is found inside {ro}ME, DEA{r}.  MEDEA was the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis, and can be discovered in Jason and the Argonauts, and other tales derived from Greek mythology.
14 Community of women, about 50, in NY district (6)
HARLEM – The community of women is a HAREM, which is placed about (around) L (50 in the roman number system).  HARLEM is in Upper Manhattan, based around 125th Street, and famous for jazz clubs, soul food and its African-American heritage.
15 Old port in which masonry’s crumbled – nothing’s left! (6)
SMYRNA – A second piece of arguably obscure GK.  Here we are presented with an anagram (crumbled) of [MAS{o}NRY] (nothing (O) has left the anagrist).  SMYRNA is these days known as IZMIR and is a city on Turkey’s Aegean coast.
18  Thus party is positioned by motorway, bad place (5)
SODOM – More GK, but this piece more widely known, I venture.  SO (thus) and DO (party) positioned by M{otorway}.  SODOM and Gomorrah were two cities often mentioned in the bible, and infamous for impenitent sin and divine retribution by fire and brimstone.
20  The police, getting on, brought to account (3,4)
OLD BILL – OLD (getting on) and BILL (account).  The OLD BILL is one of many names for the (UK) police or constabularies.
21  Violent action against hospital in old city (7)
ANTIOCH – An anagram (violent) of [ACTION] and H{ospital}, to give yet another name for an old city founded by Greece in what is now Turkey.
23  Thus there is hesitation to travel (4)
ERGO – ER (hesitation) and GO (travel).  ERGO is Latin for therefore.
24  The giving of aid in small HQ around end of December (12)
MINISTRATION – MINI (small) and STATION (HQ – as in police station for example) around {Decembe}R (end of).  MINISTRATION is the act of ministering or performing service.

2  French father and daughter crossing the Parisian street, drunk (9)
PLASTERED – PERE (French for father) and D{aughter} wrapped around (crossing) LA (French for the) and ST{reet} to give PLASTERED.
3  Arrive carrying cooking vessel and fruit dish (7)
COMPOTE – COME (arrive) with POT (cooking vessel) inserted (carrying).  A COMPOTE is fruit stewed in sugar or syrup.
4 Model once more about to meet actors (6)
RECAST – RE (about) and CAST (actors).
5  A drink with male group highly regarded (1-4)
A-TEAM – A (a) and TEA (drink) with M{ale}.
Mischief-maker simply hides (3)
IMP – Hidden in {s}IMP{ly}.  Efficient and elegant clue.
7  Fellow, one with a yen to conceal name like a lunatic (10)
MANIACALLY – MAN (fellow) I (one) with A (a) and Y{en} concealing (containing) CALL (name).
10  “Amen” is thus possibly seen to indicate fervour (10)
ENTHUSIASM –  Anagram (possibly) of [“AMEN” IS THUS].
13  Bold action going wrong, restricted by strange uprising (7-2)
DERRING-DO – ERRING (going wrong) inside (restricted by) ODD (strange) reversed (uprising).  DERRING-DO (a daring action) originated when Spenser mistook Lydgate’s ‘dorrying do’, i.e. ‘daring to do’ for a noun.
16  We’d moved into a bit of fog in central part of America (7)
MIDWEST – Anagram (moved) of [WE’D] in MIST (bit of fog)
up (reversed). 
17  Maiden given alternative family role (6)
MOTHER – M{aiden} (as in maiden over in cricket) and OTHER (alternative).
19  Idiots, not right to display heavenly bodies (5)
MOONS – I’m not sure it is politically correct to say so, but the idiots are MO{r}ONS (not R{ight}).
22  Starter of tongue in container (3)
TIN – T{ongue} (starter, i.e. first letter) and IN (in).


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 5th, 2019 02:02 am (UTC)
Did a good deal of biffing--MIDWEST, SODOM, OLD BILL, PLASTERED, DERRING-DO--parsing post-submission. Had no idea about the origin of 'derring-do'; thanks, Rotter. 4:43.
Sep. 5th, 2019 03:30 am (UTC)
If Euripides' Medea was the play you studied in first-year Greek....
....you probably won't have any trouble with this puzzle. I whipped through in just over 10 minutes, delayed a bit by general slowness.

Rotter, I believe you have a fragment of a previous blog lodged in your explanation of 16 down.
Sep. 5th, 2019 07:07 am (UTC)
RE: If Euripides' Medea was the play you studied in first-year Greek....
...so I have. Thanks. Now repaired, hopefully.
Sep. 5th, 2019 05:17 am (UTC)
Not really my idea of a QC but there we go.

I fell victim to thinking of my target 10 minutes and realising I must be about to exceed it when faced with my LOI at 15ac so I failed to think through the possible anagrams of MAS NRY. Given that M,R and A were already checked I suppose SMYRNA should have been pretty obvious, but I considered NMYRSA first and somehow convinced myself that I'd heard of a place name that sounded as if it might be spelt like this, so I bunged it in, stopped the clock and paid the price. I then found I had 11 minutes on the clock and had missed my target anyway, so I might just as well have taken a little more time and trouble to get it right.

The port has come up twice before (15x15s in 2014 and 2016) with perhaps more solver-friendly wordplay as in neither case was it clued as an anagram.

Edited at 2019-09-05 05:20 am (UTC)
Sep. 5th, 2019 05:46 am (UTC)
Only three across went in on the first pass, fared better on the downs but I was still left with lots of gaps to tackle. Crossed the line, all green, in 20:12. Not fast but better than I feared when 1a across was holding out and I still had to take the anagram gambles for SMRYNA and ANTIOCH - not having heard of either of them. Hadn't heard of MEDEA either but was sure it was a hidden, needed a checker to be sure she wasn't called OMEDE.
Sep. 5th, 2019 07:08 am (UTC)
I thought there had to be a hard clue lurking in this Izetti QC but I only needed 15a after 10 minutes. Then I spent ages trying, and failing, to get to the old port. I did not parse correctly and thought the instruction was to place O as the first letter. I did consider using some of the letters of masonry but then resorted to synonyms. When I hit Reveal I recognised Smyrna but was a long way from getting it.
And in my early rush I failed to check the anagrist of 1a and stuck an I in the middle.
I liked MID WEST and OLD BILL.
Sep. 5th, 2019 07:38 am (UTC)
Once I'd worked out the parsings, only SMYRNA was less than half known, but I imagine there will be a good few who will find this a difficult puzzle. A-TEAM was my FOI and MINISTRATION my last. I waited for the checkers before trying to work out 1a. I knew SODOM and ANTIOCH from my RC upbringing and MEDEA from somewhere else that I can't quite remember. 9:07. Thanks Izetti and Rotter.
Sep. 5th, 2019 07:52 am (UTC)
Enjoyed a lot of these clues, finished in 16 mins, but one of the 2 anagram lotteries was wrong, I plumped for Smnrya.

No idea why one old town clued by an anagram not sufficient for Izetti.

I would go for something like:
Old port initially sinks many yachts, Royal Navy afraid.

Cod ergo or medea when read as michael winner.

Edited at 2019-09-05 07:53 am (UTC)
Sep. 5th, 2019 08:09 am (UTC)
Sep. 5th, 2019 08:33 am (UTC)
Shoot me now?
Sep. 5th, 2019 08:39 am (UTC)
I thought this was quite friendly by Izetti standards, apart from 15a which I guessed correctly for once. I was slow in working out the anagram at 10d which I needed before getting LOI ANTIOCH. I particularly enjoyed 1d. Finished in 12.58
Thanks for the blog
Sep. 5th, 2019 09:29 am (UTC)
I enjoyed that very much, although I held myself up by failing to solve the long anagram at 10dn until very late on and thus clocked in at 3K for a Decent Enough Day. I went for SMYRNA on the highly sophisticated analysis that it sounds a bit like Smirnoff. Ahem. Not very convinced by "station" = HQ.


Thanks Izetti and Rotter.

Sep. 5th, 2019 09:51 am (UTC)
I enjoyed that, finishing in 27mins, but I had to check the spelling of 1ac and would probably have gone wrong otherwise (Epecurianism looked odd). Regular church attendance helped even more than usual with a few of Izetti's clues today. My loi, and CoD, was 13d Derring Do. Invariant
Sep. 5th, 2019 10:20 am (UTC)
I'm a know-all
Well, at least in terms of this puzzle, where my GK, and familiarity with Izetti's style, allowed me to to finish inside my target time despite stupidly biffing "the bill" , but immediately seeing sense, and trying to miss out an A in MANIACALLY.

I thought TIN was rather a poor show though.

TIME 4:15
Sep. 5th, 2019 12:20 pm (UTC)
A steady solve for me at 36:24. I had heard of Smyrna somewhere although I didn't realise it is now modern day Izmir, and thanks to a historian father who liked to travel, I went to what was once Antioch (now Antakya I think) when I was 11, though I don't think I appreciated it then any more than I would do now. I hadn't heard of an epicure before I started doing these, but that's come up a couple of times so with the help of a few checkers I was eventually able to get 1a. Ministration was not a word in my vocabulary either, but learning stuff is why these are better than sudoku. Always good to see the A Team involved too. I love it when a QC comes together.
Sep. 5th, 2019 02:35 pm (UTC)
An enjoyable struggle - like the other day I seemed to be taking ages plodding through the gk but ended up with a respectable 10:30. Had to work hard to spell 1ac correctly and then to loi Smyrna - I guessed the 's' to start and it seemed the most likely. Thanks for all the info Rotter.
Sep. 5th, 2019 07:25 pm (UTC)
7 across
As a newbie can't see what indicates Yen to just use the Y, as the ONE indicates 1, sorry to ask but I am "slowly" getting the drift of cryptics .
Cheers TonyC.
Sep. 5th, 2019 09:11 pm (UTC)
Re: 7 across
Welcome, TonyC. You meant 7d. 'Y' is a standard abbreviation for the currency 'yen', in the same way as you may see 'L' clued by 'pound'.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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