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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).


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