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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.

Across
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.

Down
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).

Comments

louisajaney
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.
john_dun
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.
templarredux
Oct. 9th, 2019 10:48 am (UTC)
Re: Couldn't get near
I commented on the ONAGER! It was in the list of things I Did Not Know. I'll try to remember it now ... like the ide and the rhea and the eland ...

It was a real toughie today but I guess we were due one.

Edited at 2019-10-09 10:49 am (UTC)
(Anonymous)
Oct. 9th, 2019 03:57 pm (UTC)
RE: Couldn't get near
Childhood reading of “The Swiss Family Robinson” gave me a whole list of unusual animal names that remained useless for 60 years until I started the QC. I always liked the word onager, it sounds so much more impressive than donkey.
Paan