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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 01:00 pm (UTC)
I was annoyed at myself for taking 13 minutes....
...as there was nothing I didn't know. I saw right away how each clue worked, and still couldn't come up with the answer quickly.

Beginners and intermediate solvers: know your animals: onager, eland, saki, coati, tup, teg, dingo, echidna, llama, tapir.
Oct. 9th, 2019 03:10 pm (UTC)
RE: I was annoyed at myself for taking 13 minutes....
Not to mention ounce (snow leopard).
Oct. 9th, 2019 01:15 pm (UTC)
Absolute stinker
Not much more to say, except that I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge for an hour or so. I took 'lose'='waste' in the sense of 'kill'. I obviously watch too many gangster movies.
Oct. 9th, 2019 02:27 pm (UTC)
Will that brought my extended sequence of sub-target times to a shuddering halt. I didn't help myself by starting to write INFANTRY in for 17A before realising there more letters than that, nor an initial DISCOVER for 6D (which was clearly wrong!), and I should have remembered REP for material sooner than I did. All good stuff though. GOODISH and CHAT my last 2 in. I enjoyed BESIDES and MANACLE. Thanks Izetti and William. 9:33.
Oct. 9th, 2019 02:43 pm (UTC)
Difference between a game and sport
Excellent puzzle. Just over 12 minutes so very happy with that (and completing the main puzzle too - worth a try for improvers like me). A game is a sport you can do while smoking, although I've seen cricketers on a local field having a quick one! Difficult if you're swimming though. Thanks all for an excellent, fun puzzle.
Oct. 9th, 2019 03:15 pm (UTC)
Well, after two days missed (I finally got some work this term) I settled down to do this, thinking it might be tough as it was an Izetti puzzle. Then the first one went in straight away and I thought maybe it would be okay. Two hours later I was still nowhere near finished. I temporarily gave up at 2:25, but came back to it repeatedly throughout the day and eventually did make it. Seeing how difficult others found it, I'm pleased to have finished. LOI was 7d, having finally got 10a and seen that the fish in it wasn't ling. I couldn't parse chat or repeat and had never heard of an ide (or orfe as Wikipedia informs me it's also called), despite animals being my subject (onager was no problem, though I appreciated how obscure it was which didn't bode well for the rest of the puzzle). I don't know if I've got a COD, my brain is too frazzled to appreciate them right now, although I seem to recall, a very long time ago, liking coma.
Oct. 9th, 2019 03:37 pm (UTC)
Not really enjoyable, walking through goo.

Beginners don't be disheartened, izetti struggles quite often to find the appropriate quick cryptic level.
Oct. 9th, 2019 05:20 pm (UTC)
Ha! I knew it was coming, but it was still quite a shock to the system. Almost opted for a second sitting, but the rain kept me inside so I decided to persevere. Finally crossed the line just north of 40 mins with a tentative Colossally, which seemed to parse OK, but didn't feel right. Quite a work out from start to finish, but if you enjoy parsing the answers, this was a very satisfying solve. Invariant
Oct. 9th, 2019 05:36 pm (UTC)
I've not much to add to what's already been said and I thought this was right at the top end of QC difficulty. It seems that I was in good company with DISCOVER and only knew ONAGER from previous crosswords. Eventually finished in 23.08 with a very tentative parsing of REPEAT.
Thanks to william

Edited at 2019-10-09 08:21 pm (UTC)
Oct. 9th, 2019 06:07 pm (UTC)
A right stinker
Well, I've been staring at this one for a good while and have 6 answers and no clue as to the others. It's the worst start I've had for at least a year, probably longer. I might have to give in and read the blog or cheat to get a couple of longer answers to see if that will get me started....
Oct. 9th, 2019 06:18 pm (UTC)
Wow! Fell asleep last night in the middle of this one, and when I resumed this morning I still had to struggle across the finish line! So, I guess it took me about 14 hours.
Oct. 9th, 2019 07:59 pm (UTC)
Came to this late after a day out and thought I was just being dim and tired but glad to see I was by no means alone! I usually enjoy an Izetti but this was too much for me. DNF
Oct. 9th, 2019 08:38 pm (UTC)
Too hard for me. Had some successes (was pleased to deduce the existence of a fish called an ide, NHO), but was left with lots of blanks. Resorted to online aids and looking up guesses (yes, onager is an animal, and also a weapon I see), and had everything in the end except 24 across. I couldn't parse SPORT (beautifully disguised) and opted for an unparsed SMOLT as a game fish including an L. So, utterly defeated today, but I learnt a lot. I'm actually quite pleased I didn't try longer - it would have been beyond me however long I spent. A salute to Izetti, and a salutary reminder to me that there is still a lot to learn.
Oct. 9th, 2019 08:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, a real stinker... even using some aids took hours to DNF. I had two of my missing three, but unparsed so they don't count. Looking at my paper I think there are more pencilled in than those I was confident about. Only 8 completed on first pass. A couple of further sessions got me nearly there. Today's illuminating blog and the interesting discussions of our 'experts solvers' all helps! For me, it was probably too hard to say it was enjoyable but there we go...
Oct. 9th, 2019 09:10 pm (UTC)
Too much for me
I was tired and got disheartened too quickly. I respect all those who struggled through but I conceded with only 9 answers after 20 minutes.
There were too many options for most, put in Discover and lost the plot.
Thanks all,
John George
Oct. 9th, 2019 10:10 pm (UTC)
Waste of time!
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