QC 1115 by Joker

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

I believe this is the first time I have met Joker in the blogging seat and I must thank him for providing me with my PB so far. I hardly had to stop and think. Now, that still means that I came in at just under 6 minutes but I hope it is a foundation I can build on in the future. I lost some time simply because of my fumblefingeredness on the keyboard (referenced in previous blogs) but I can’t complain about that really because since I started doing this gig I have realised that the online method of entry is far quicker than writing things in on paper, even when you make allowance for such things as not being attuned to how the online version treats overwriting (or not) of checkers and occasionally clicking on a clue and starting to fill in the across instead of the down answer or vice versa, and then the compounding of such errors by making more mistakes when trying to correct them.

So many thanks to Joker. Although I found it straightforward it still takes great skill to compose these puzzles and the easier ones are an essential part of the offering that gives encouragement to those who are just starting on cryptics and need to find their feet. I hope some of you out there who are in that position had a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

My FOI, you may have gathered from the above, was 1A. In fact, for this puzzle I think it may be more instructive to coin a new acronym, the FONI (First One Not In – at least I think it is a coinage as I have never heard it before but if I am wrong then no doubt I will be corrected.)

And funnily enough my FONI was probably one of the easiest clues of all: 18A. This was because in my haste to get through the clues and perpetuate my successful run, I misread it, and took the first word as ‘sad’ rather than ‘said’. When I came round for the second pass and read it properly it was a completely different clue and I thought to myself “now why on earth didn’t you get that first time…” and then my misreading dawned on me. LOI was 24A, so rather than ‘last but not least’ it was both LAST and LEAST (for me anyway). COD is difficult to choose when I found no great variation in difficulty, but I thought 13D was fairly neat even though the definition jumped straight out at me before the cryptic confirmation followed as with all of the others.

In passing I notice that quite a few of the words have turned up recently in other puzzles.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained in ordinary English as clearly as I can manage.

1 Some slumber therein (5)
BERTH – hidden word + & lit.: ‘some’ of slumBER THerein.
4 Outburst of anger that may become inflated? (4-2)
BLOW-UP – double definition, the second one in this case what I think is called a nominalised adjective, that is an adjective which has come to do service as a noun. So you can have a blow-up boat, a blow-up paddling pool or a blow-up doll, or you can just refer to a blow-up if you’re too lazy.
9 Giant wave — in it chap in front of us gets swept over (7)
TSUNAMI – take IT, and put MAN + US (chap in front of us) inside, and then turn it all around (‘gets swept over’).
10 Hollow ringing sound found with old drum (5)
BONGO – BONG (hollw ringing sound) + O (old).
11 You once got attached to right sort of whisky (3)
RYE – R (right) + YE (you once, i.e. an old way of saying ‘you’).
12 Irish get upset and fierce-tempered (8)
TIGERISH – anagram of IRISH GET (‘upset’).
15 Perhaps tennis player’s run up part of restaurant bill (7,6)
SERVICE CHARGE – double definition, first one cryptically signalled by the word ‘perhaps’. That is to say, tennis players don’t CHARGE (run up) to take their service, they just stand still, but in the whimsical world of Crossword Land we are sometimes asked to picture things how they might have been.
17 Ill-defined item, eg a rare uncertainty finally resolved (4,4)
GREY AREA – another anagram (‘resolved’), this time of EG A RARE + Y (uncertaintY finally)
18 Said when one leaves in low spirits (3)
SAD – hmmm yes. Very easy when you read it properly. SAID when I (one) leaves becomes SAD.
20 Automaton, British in origin (5)
ROBOT – ROOT (origin) with B (British) added in.
22 A bishop has to work out a puzzle free from guilt (7)
ABSOLVE – A (a) + B (bishop) + SOLVE (work out a puzzle). But you knew that didn’t you? I mean that’s exactly what you’ve been doing isn’t it? You might first read ‘free from guilt’ as an adjective because that’s how it appears in the surface but a quick Escher-type linguistic switch allows you to see it as a verb as required by the definition.
23 Took a seat with anger for humorous play (6)
SATIRE – SAT (took a seat) + IRE (anger).
24 Smallest area cuts half of that? (5)
LEAST – A (area) ‘cuts’ (i.e. divides) LEST, which is ‘half’ of smalLEST.
1 Support objection over lock (8)
BUTTRESS – BUT (objection) ‘over’ (in this down clue) TRESS (lock (of hair)).
2 Way to completely defeat English (5)
ROUTE – ROUT (completely defeat) + E (English).
3 How we are told to eat the hay I’ll put out (9)
HEALTHILY – the nanny state tells us we must eat… HEALTHILY! Anagram of THE HAY I’LL (‘put out’). Thankfully the nanny state has not yet got to the point of prescribing hay as the healthiest food to eat as imagined by the surface. Still, I suppose if that did happen we could all mount a rebellion in the words of the old folk song: “My lover he was a logger/ There’s none like him today/ If you poured some whisk(e)y upon it/ He would eat a bale of hay”.
5 Left a key for scientists’ workroom (3)
LAB – L (left) + A (a) + B (a musical key, with 5 sharps in the major and 2 in the minor (I think)).
6 Turns round outside of our royal castle (7)
WINDSOR – WINDS (turns round) + OR (the ‘outside’ of OuR).
7 Container for plant around large garden area? (4)
PLOT – POT (container for plant) ’round’ L (large).
8 Claim Greens disrupted output from dairy (6,5)
SINGLE CREAM – anagram (‘disrupted’) of CLAIM GREENS.
13 Tries cutting material in run-through of play (9)
REHEARSAL – HEARS (tries, as in hearing a case in Law) ‘cutting through’ REAL (material).
14 Tie is no longer important and the opposite of cool (4,4)
DEAD HEAT – DEAD (no longer important) + HEAT (opposite of COOL when used as a noun rather than an adjective, as in “would you rather sit in the heat or in the cool?”). TIE as a definition here is in the sense of a sporting draw (i.e. the term for a Rugby or a Cricket match when the scores finish level (as opposed to a draw which has that meaning in Association Football)).
16 Cheese on toast a little undercooked? (7)
RAREBIT – double definition, second one slightly cryptic: RARE (undercooked) + BIT (a little), with a question mark to indicate that you have to be a little bit imaginative to read the cryptic definition.
18 A lass dancing — this? (5)
SALSA – anagram (‘dancing’) of A LASS.
19 I dare dropping king’s flag (4)
IRIS – I RISK (I dare) ‘dropping’ K (king) gives IRIS.
21 Sailor from Costa Rica (3)
TAR – hidden word: CosTA Rica.

18 comments on “QC 1115 by Joker”

  1. 1ac was my FOI, too; unusual in that it was a hidden, which I’m slow to pick up. Then again, it was signalled by ‘some’, which is rather like an anagram being signalled by ‘wild’; the 15×15 setters are more devious. 4:45.
  2. Standard fare completed in 9 minutes. It occurred to me that unwary solvers on the the other side of the pond might come a cropper with the spelling at 17ac if they biffed and didn’t check the anagrist.

    Edited at 2018-06-18 03:44 am (UTC)

  3. 17 minutes, had to think about real = material.
    Couldn’t parse least.
    Last two, healthily and grey area.

    COD Healthily.

  4. No problems with this puzzle, but I did check the anagrist carefully for 17a. 1a was my FOI, and LEAST was my last, where it took a while to see the parsing. 7:25. Thanks Joker and Don.
  5. Under two Kevins today, hang out the bunting! Hope it’s a World Cup omen.

    Took a little while over “LEAST” because I was fixated on “half of that” and so was trying to fit in AT or TH.

    My COD went to 1ac even though it was FOI because I thought it was such a neat, witty surface.

    Thanks to Joker and Don.


  6. A very different feel to last week’s puzzles and I completed this in 7.22, which I’m assuming is a PB, the only pause for thought was the parsing 24a. As usual with Joker there were plenty of nice surfaces with a special mention to 12a. LOI 18a
    Thanks for the blog
  7. Perhaps this was a response from Joker to last week’s rather challenging set of QCs. Thanks, Joker.
    A relatively simple start to the week but I think I might prefer slightly more meaty Monday fare. I have come to realise that speed of solving is less important than the satisfaction that comes from having to wrestle a bit. That said, my time was a couple of Kevins……..
  8. It was nice to get a fairly gentle one to start the week. I did not get one clue and it took about 30 minutes but it’s progress. Hopefully the rest of the week will be no more than a gradual increase in difficulty so we are challenged but not put off. Thank you joker and Astartdon for the good blog.
    Nakrian kikiat
  9. A kind piece after a Big Brother that invited catastrophe with several “alternative” entries. 6 minutes, with a tip of the hat to BERTH and LEAST for clever, &littish cluing.
  10. A PB for me too at 4:15. I solve in the app on my ipad so I’m not sure how much quicker I can go with the one finger ‘hunt and peck’ typing technique.
  11. PB for me too in 9:05. Lovely way to start the week. Thanks Joker and Don.
    1. And it does turn up pretty regularly with that definition. I seem to remember about 3 or 4 times this year so far.
  12. Joker lived up to his name for me – a straightforward, confidence building puzzle with lots of humour. Thank-you!
  13. An elegant QC from Joker which I finished in a shade under 10 minutes.
    FOI was Route then Berth. No real hold-ups and LOI was Dead Heat. David
  14. Finished this in about 30 mins. Right level of difficulty for a qc I thought. In the spirit of the Times Crossword that it should be possible to complete by a person of reasonable education without recourse to works of reference. Thanks to blogger and setter
  15. I have to add my comments to the blog as I enjoyed this one. Not too challenging and a nice confidence booster after last week’s difficult ones.

    Many thanks Joker and astartedon…

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