chrisw91 (chrisw91) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Quick Cryptic 1526 by Joker

Smooth sailing until I was left struggling with 8dn, 3dn and 1ac which fell in that order in 11 minutes. A well crafted QC in my opinion - what’s yours?


1. Professional baritone upset one being tried out (11)

PROBATIONER - professional (PRO), anagram (upset) of BARITONE. I was looking for an anagram of baritone and one with a definition of 'professional'.
9. Meat for haggis, perhaps no longer fresh — a pound (5)
OFFAL - no longer fresh (OFF), a (A), pound (L). Appropriate with Burns night on the horizon.
10. Officiate live, following pressure (7)
PRESIDE - live (RESIDE) following pressure (P).
11. Flower spread gets trophy (9)
BUTTERCUP - spread (BUTTER), trophy (CUP). Do we have any Real Butter enthusiasts who object to the term spread?
13. Fantastic being regularly well-off (3)
ELF - regularly w(E)l(L)-o(F)f.
14. Require time during unusual dissection of alien (6)
ENTAIL - time (T) during an anagram (unusual dissection - some indicator!) of ALIEN.
16. Bad to rent — bad (6)
ROTTEN - anagram (bad - pick whichever you wish) of TO RENT.
17. The woman Basil cut short? (3)
HER - Basil cut short (HER)b.
18. Avoiding alcohol, having gone without can (9)
ABSTINENT - having gone (ABSENT) without can (TIN). Nearly COD for the parsing.
21. Note lithe mountaineer (7)
CLIMBER - note (C), lithe (LIMBER).
23. Get into American’s heart, not cold (5)
ENTER - heart or centre in American is c(ENTER) - with the cold (C) removed.
24. Popular commercial with gent missing good chance? (11)
INADVERTENT - popular (IN), commercial (ADVERT), g(ENT) - missing good (G).


2. A change of insides — ref is on top of it (5)
REFIT - ref (REF) is on top of it (IT). COD for a clue that is so simple it could not be so - but is!
3. Who works on toes held by footballer in agony (9)
BALLERINA - held by foot(BALLER IN A)gony.
4. Subject to go for mostly (5)
TOPIC - to go for mostly (TO PIC)k.
5. Caedmon’s central character in Old English verse (3)
ODE - Cae(D)mon inside old and English (O E).
6. Clear I’d got wrapped up in incident (7)
EVIDENT - I'd (ID) wrapped up in incident (EVENT).
7. Take another look at American’s 100% overpayment (6-5)
DOUBLE-CHECK - a cheque in America is a check so 100% overpayment is a DOUBLE-CHECK.
8. Hasty and careless entry for cup goes adrift (11)
PERFUNCTORY - anagram (goes adrift) of ENTRY FOR CUP.
12. Important for pit not to be empty (9)
PROMINENT - for (PRO), pit (MINE) not to be empty (N)o(T).
15. Twisting in roots is unusual (7)
TORSION - anagram (is unusual) of IN ROOTS.
19. Sons press for big increase (5)
SURGE - sons (S), press (URGE).
20. What’s in tea tent — to be this? (5)
EATEN - in t(EA TEN)t.
22. Friend in the US, one not yet out (3)
BUD - double definition.

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I biffed 1ac from PRO and a couple of checkers. 5d: For what it's worth, OE is the abbreviation for Old English; neat, since Caedmon wrote--if he wrote--in Old English. LOI 23ac: it had to be ENTER, but it took me a while to figure out why. 6:48.
I'm more inclined towards the oral-formulaic view, which accords with Bede's account. You just have to throw in a couple of Christianized half-lines with the appropriate alliteration.


4 months ago


4 months ago

11 minutes here too, making 3 (just) missed targets in a row after a run of 7 consecutive successes. I think it was seeing all those long words that inhibited me a bit. The thought of haggis is inhibiting too at this time of the morning!
....and struggled with the longer anagrams. 'Twisting' makes such a great anagram indicator, that I was sure the literal must be 'unusual'. Only when I had all the checking letters did i see what was going on. Time, 13 minutes even.
30 minutes, 10 over target for a difficult but fair puzzle. I solve on my phone so long anagrams are always a problem, and mis-spelling PERFUNCTORY in several places didn't help. LOI was PROBATIONER, COD INADVERTENT.

20 minutes but typo in 24a and forgot to enter bud. Streaming cold so part excused.

Also didn't spot hidden ballerina.

Cod prominent.



January 14 2020, 07:27:29 UTC 4 months ago Edited:  January 14 2020, 07:28:07 UTC

she was a 'tiny dancer - you shoulda seen her!'
The Joker's 15dn TORSION was as Lord Vinyl notes was a rather clever clue and my COD.

I can see why Kevin had pause at 23ac ENTER, as the American spelling is slightly off-centre. I note sceptre is similarly altered to scepter and goitre to goiter. But bistre and John Paul Sartre are not affected, yetawhile.

FOI 9ac OFFAL I adore haggis: 'twill soon be 'Barrns Nite' wi'neepsan'tatties!


WOD 11ac BUTTERCUP - lovely
Not easy today from Joker.My FOI was ELF and I wasn't sure about it at the time.Hold-ups at the end were PERFUNCTORY where I failed to see the anagram, ROTTEN which caused me to correct PERTINENT at 12d which was my LOI.
A number of the parsings only fully understood coming here so thanks for the explanations. Time was 18:05.
Caedmon was the name of one of the ferries from Lymington to IOW.
Some nice clues. It took me a while to spot why 22A was ENTER, but otherwise no difficulty. LOI the great hidden BALLERINA. I also liked ELF. Must put haggis on the shopping list for the end of next week. Yum! 5:02.

Suspended comment

Joker has always been one of my favourite setters, and he came up with the goods again today. FOI was offal, LOI, having taken an extra couple of minutes to work out provident didn't parse, was prominent, and I stopped my watch on 24:24, so for once I'm not the slowest on here. COD to 24a.
I wasn't sure about some of this but it was a good and fair challenge in the end. I thought the Americans were more likely to say Buddy but I'm being picky
. Thanks all
Bud' is much more recent.


January 14 2020, 09:42:16 UTC 4 months ago Edited:  January 14 2020, 09:45:28 UTC

I enjoyed this QC - thanks to Joker. Many neat clues and some hurdles that took a while, especially the 11-letter words. I found myself totally immersed and thought it might be a fast one but ended at 2.6K. Difficult to select favourites but I liked ENTAIL, ABSTINENT, ENTER, TORSION, EVIDENT. Thanks to Chris for help with some perfunctory parsing on my part (like gcook, I initially thought 'buddy' but I failed to see how to remove the 'dy'. John M,
PROBATIONER was my FOI, then I had to exercise all the available neurons to make progress until I finally nailed PERFUNCTORY at 9:22. Thanks Joker and Chris.

Not easy


January 14 2020, 10:35:23 UTC 4 months ago

Whilst the blogger found this straightforward I thought it was very much on the hard side. I did no more than 50% . Not a fun experience today, but hopefully a learning one
It was not easy for me either and even though I took another look at it this morning I still dnf. I didn't find it too depressing though - some of the words were a bit obscure but I didn't find the clues themselves to be as impenetrable as other recent puzzles.

Did you notice that the "definition" part of the clue was the first word in 18 of the clues and the last word in 3? Knowing that for the majority of the clues the definition is either at the beginning or end has helped me a lot!
I was cooking on gas today, heading for a quick one, until I hit the buffers at 8d. I could not for the life of me see the hidden in plain view anagram, or even a reasonable biff, despite all the checkers. The clock had ticked past 7 minutes before the penny dropped with a monumental clang and an audible, capital letter, DOH! Any of you in west London may have heard it.

Many thanks to Joker and Chris.
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