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Times Quick Cryptic 1457 by Izetti

Well... I made a complete hash of this - very much hope you did better. After my average completion time, I had only 5 answers, and not so much as an inkling about how any of the others worked. Either I'm having a very bad day, or this is a tester. That's not to say I didn't enjoy crunching out the answers! I'm of the view that not knowing if you'll breeze through or struggle is part of the fun. There's always plenty to learn, and this puzzle is full of 'stuff to (try to) remember'.

Thanks Izetti - I had thought that after 5 years of these I'd got the measure of you, but you put me right today, and long may it continue.

Definitions underlined.

1 Jacob rashly holding something poisonous (5)
COBRA - hidden in jaCOB RAshly. I have the idea, from sometime back at school/uni, that when it comes to flora and fauna there is a distinction between poisonous (toxic to consume) and venomous (having the power to deliver toxin).
4 Good queen eating fish as well (7)
BESIDES - BESS (good queen) containing (eating) IDE (fish). I did not know this moniker for Elizabeth I, so was looking to include g/pi and er/q. Thankfully, I knew the fish from crosswords!
8 Fellow outside prison about to get mechanical restriction (7)
MANACLE - MALE (fellow) surrounding (outside) a reversal of (about) CAN (prison). Lifting and separating 'about to get' was my problem here.
9 Male is having hesitation — he doesn't like spending money (5)
MISER - M (male), IS, and ER (hesitation).
10 Greatly diminished army officer meets very large girl (10)
COLOSSALLY - COL (abbreviation of (diminished) Colonel (army officer)), with (meets) OS (outsize, very large) and SALLY (girl). Lift and separate 'greatly diminished', indicated abbreviation, unusual crosword-ese, random girl's name - doubly devious!
14 Duplicate material to demolish? (6)
REPEAT - REP (material) and EAT (demolish). We've seen rep=material many times before, so I was annoyed with myself for not thinking of it sooner.
15 Agreement boy should go to HE institution (6)
UNISON - SON (boy) next to UNI (HE institution).
17 Men in a group try fine art for a change (10)
FRATERNITY - anagram of (for a change) TRY FINE ART.
20 State of uncertainty with member gaining nothing (5)
LIMBO - LIMB (member) with O (nothing). I couldn't get past leg/arm.
22 Something sticky? Food course is quite nice! (7)
GOODISH - GOO (something sticky) and DISH (food course).
23 One hanging around is left in peril (7)
DANGLER - L (left) inside DANGER (peril).
24 Game one of four card players has left (5)
SPORT - S (south, one of the four card players in Bridge) and PORT (left). My LOI. I've only just parsed this now, and I think it's a corker. Reads like a cryptic definition or deletion, distracts with I, IV, N, S, E, W, and L, turns out to be much simpler. My COD.

1 Take care of the old woman showing sign of severe illness? (4)
COMA - the answer comes from (take) C/O (care of) and MA (mother, the old woman).
2 Aim to follow bishop and crook (4)
BEND - END (aim) after (to follow) B (bishop).
3 A new unexciting job collecting silver as a source of security (9)
ANCHORAGE - A, N (new), and CHORE (unexiting job) containing (collecting) AG (silver).
4 Language that's bent or contorted (6)
BRETON - anagram of (contorted) BENT OR. I did see how this worked early on, but was very slow to find the answer.
5 Tot in poor area, beginning to lose out (3)
SUM - S{L}UM (poor area) with the first letter of (beginning to) Lose deleted (out).
6 Reveal record waste? (8)
DISCLOSE - DISC (record) and LOSE (waste). Another that beat me. Of course, I was looking for LP/EP/CD at first, but also didn't get waste=lose. Are we to think of 'waste away' = 'lose weight'?
7 It's smart catching fish that's drifting (8)
STRAYING - the answer is (it's) STING (smart) containing (catching) RAY (fish).
11 Authorises second performances to get any number in (9)
SANCTIONS - S (second) and ACTIONS (performances) containing (to get... in) N (any number).
12 Portrayed someone academic and terribly idle (8)
PROFILED - PROF (someone academic) and an anagram of (terribly) IDLE.
13 Soldier and mare crashing into bridge (8)
SPEARMAN - anagram of (crashing) MARE inside (into) SPAN (bridge).
16 Wild animal that could be orange (6)
ONAGER - anagram of (that could be) ORANGE.
18 Around home see floor covering (4)
LINO - LO (see, as in 'lo and behold') surounding (around) IN (home).
19 Talk with heartless person disobeying rules (4)
CHAT - remove the middle letter from (heartless) CHeAT (person disobeying rules).
21 Fuel in ground, first to come out (3)
OIL - sOIL (ground) with the first letter removed (first to come out).


( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 9th, 2019 04:52 am (UTC)
I missed my target time and finished with 13 minutes on the clock.

Mostly I was okay with this but difficulties arose from putting DISCOVER at 6dn which held me up solving the clues to COLOSSALLY and UNISON. I hadn't been entirely happy with 'waste/ OVER' although something that's '(left) OVER' can legitimately be termed 'waste' so it didn't seem unreasonable, but like our blogger I'm not 100% convinced by 'waste/LOSE' either.

I don't have a problem with 'poisonous' snakes, and the dictionaries seem happy with it too, SOED giving venomous as a synonym of poisonous.
Oct. 9th, 2019 08:54 am (UTC)
On reflection I've just realised that both 'lose' and 'waste' are colloquial expressions meaning 'kill'.
(no subject) - templarredux - Oct. 9th, 2019 09:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jackkt - Oct. 9th, 2019 09:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 9th, 2019 05:37 am (UTC)
As usual with QCs, I've forgotten what went on, but it definitely was slow going for me. I do remember raising an eyebrow or two over LOSE=waste, and I dithered for a long time over EAT=demolish, looking for something better before I put it in as LOI; in retrospect I see no problem, but that's retrospect for you. Cobras are poisonous; end of story. 8:44.
Oct. 9th, 2019 08:04 am (UTC)

Maybe they are; I’ve never eaten a whole one.

Oct. 9th, 2019 08:05 am (UTC)
Thank goodness the great and the good struggled with this too, because I was wading through treacle. And thank goodness for the K Scale, too, because 3K sounds so much more respectable than 26 minutes, which is what this one took me! I felt like a tailender facing Shane Warne, constantly deceived and playing down the wrong line. A long list of things NHO - ide, onager, rep = material. Lots of clever clues and an enjoyable if one sided struggle which still has to go down as a Not Very Good Day. Thanks Izetti.

FOI MISER, LOI REPEAT (thanks for the explanation, William, I didn’t get that at all, really good blog), COD COBRA because it took me three visits to see it hiding in plain sight!

Oct. 9th, 2019 08:15 am (UTC)
A DNF for me, with MANACLE, COLOSSALLY, STRAYING, COMA and SANCTIONS still to go. Perhaps I was distracted by the rugby on tv, but I think it was because it was just too difficult. I blame Invariant after his comments yesterday!

Oct. 9th, 2019 05:04 pm (UTC)
At least you were warned...
Oct. 9th, 2019 08:30 am (UTC)
Count me as another who struggled with this, although I did get there in the end, after 28 minutes - slowest for a long time! I was also distracted by the rugby in the background, but that’s no excuse. The Don has served up a real cracker. Good blog! Good performance Scotland (and I’m very English).

Edited at 2019-10-09 08:32 am (UTC)
Oct. 9th, 2019 08:31 am (UTC)
The fact that aphis99, Verlaine and George all took around 5 minutes for this puzzle makes me quite pleased with my 12:38. There was lots of misdirection and some 15x15 tricks too. Satisfying to finish, although I also raised an eyebrow at lose/waste. COBRA was FOI. SANCTIONS, ONAGER and GOODISH brought up the rear. Thanks Izetti and William.
Oct. 9th, 2019 08:53 am (UTC)
Too good for me - couldn't get colossally and several others adjacent to it. Pleased to have worked out sport and a few others that were definitely challenging to my level of skill. Worst result for weeks in terms of outcome, but enjoyed most of the challenge. Lots to learn from. Many thanks for the helpful analysis.
Oct. 9th, 2019 10:20 am (UTC)
Couldn't get near
Really didn't enjoy this puzzle at all. It wasn't just a DNF - it was more like a DNFEH - Did Not Finish Even Half. I have no complaints - there has to be a range of difficulty in these puzzles. But this was way, way out of my league. Not really worth outlining my brick walls - there were too many. But I would ask this : an "onager".... What on earth is that? And why has no-one commented on it? Anyway, thanks, Izetti, for producing this dastardly teaser and thanks, too, to William, for providing the answers and for recognising how difficult it was to arrive at them.
Oct. 9th, 2019 10:26 am (UTC)
Re: Couldn't get near
An ONAGER is a wild ass. It's a regular visitor to crosswordland.
Re: Couldn't get near - templarredux - Oct. 9th, 2019 10:48 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Couldn't get near - (Anonymous) - Oct. 9th, 2019 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 9th, 2019 10:26 am (UTC)
15 minutes, but had REPLAY at 14a (from demolish = 'lay waste') - this puzzle was certainly tougher than usual, taking me nearly twice as long as average.
Oct. 9th, 2019 10:31 am (UTC)
I'm relieved to find that Templar and Rotter made heavy weather of this, too. I suffered a hurricane with periods of respite for interruptions from carpet fitters. I didn't enjoy this at all, I'm afraid and that isn't because I was certainly in the VSCC overall. Too many clues were just a bit too 'clever' for a QC IMO. Didn't like LOSE or EAT and dnk ONAGER but worked it out and looked it up. I, too, thought I had the hang of Izetti (in a modest way) but he can take pleasure in having comprehensively wrong-footed me and a few others. Thanks to William for a good and helpful blog. I think I'll go and try the 15x15 for some solace. John M.
Oct. 9th, 2019 10:46 am (UTC)
As one who only came to crosswords four or five years ago through the QC, I reckon nowadays to enjoy 20 to 30 minutes a day on the puzzle - perhaps down to ten minutes yesterday. My message to those who have struggled is simple: after an hour I had a long way to go, was tempted to give up but ploughed on - and I got there. It was probably the most challenging puzzle I have ever completed, but the reward for doing so is on a par with making a century at cricket, an extremely rare event in my life! DM
Oct. 9th, 2019 10:51 am (UTC)
I usually breeze through Izetti's puzzles....
....but, whilst I was within my target time, this was certainly one of his chewier offerings.

Oct. 9th, 2019 11:14 am (UTC)
DNF. A bit too hard for me today. Never heard of ONAGER or SPEARMAN, 3 others too subtle!
Oct. 9th, 2019 12:32 pm (UTC)
Also made mistake with DISCOVER at 6d made corner difficult. Took an age and a half. On the very tricky end of the scale after a run of breezes.
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( 41 comments — Leave a comment )

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