QC 2035 by Joker

Thank you to Joker for what I found to be a medium-difficulty QC. But then I am just recovering from the excesses of the last couple of days (just packed my sister and family back off to Birmingham) so maybe I made slightly heavier weather of it than I would have done normally. I liked the four 13-letter long clues.

FOI was 5A I think, and LOI 2D. A neat but straightforward clue which I nevertheless couldn’t see until the end when I stopped and thought about it properly. I think I liked 8A the best so that is my COD.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a better New Year than the one just about to slip into history.

Definitions are underlined as usual and everything else is explained just as I see it as simply as I can.

1 Bunk with corner bath (7)
HOGWASH – HOG (corner, as in ‘hogging the limelight’) + WASH (bath).
5 Papa’s after fruit stout (5)
PLUMP – PLUM (fruit) + P (Papa, phonetic alphabet).
8 Conditions people in general appreciate, like the best politicians? (13)
STATESMANLIKE – STATES (conditions) + MAN (people in general, mankind) + LIKE (appreciate).
9 Letter pi in cast steel (7)
EPISTLE – PI in an anagram (‘cast’) of STEEL.
10 Bird in bamboo around river (5)
CRANE – CANE (bamboo) ‘around’ R (river).
11 Friend crossing border at an early stage (6)
PRIMAL – PAL (friend) ‘crossing’ RIM (border).
13 Following live female deer (6)
BEHIND – BE (live) + HIND (female deer).
15 Gather admission of stupidity (5)
AMASS – AM ASS – could be read as an admission of stupidity.
16 Arrest in motion — time to begin again (7)
RESTART – anagram of ARREST (‘in motion’) + T (time).
19 What surveyors use out training shuffling around Los Angeles (13)
TRIANGULATION – anagram of OUT TRAINING (‘shuffling’) around LA (Los Angeles).
20 Genuine about name of the kidneys (5)
RENAL – REAL (genuine) ‘about’ N (name).
21 Royal note returned by newspapers (7)
EMPRESS – ME (note, as in Do-Re-Me) ‘returned’ by PRESS (newspapers).
1 Gets tango with energy — and speed (5)
HASTE – HAS (gets) + T (tango, phonetic alphabet) + E (energy).
2 Good endorsement for pleasure (13)
GRATIFICATION – G (good) + RATIFICATION (endorsement).
3 Stop to maintain temperature (5)
AVERT – AVER (maintain) + T (temperature).
4 Meat for each picnic basket (6)
HAMPER – HAM (meat) + PER (for each).
5 Critically review a hotel in church style (7)
PANACHE – PAN (critically review) + A + H (hotel, phonetic alphabet) ‘in’ CE (church (of England)).
6 Somewhat dull university magazine is supported by one local (13)
UNIMAGINATIVE – UNI MAG (university magazine) + I (one) + NATIVE (local).
7 Producer initially embarrassed about number put on (7)
PRETEND – P (Producer ‘initially’) + RED (embarrassed) ‘about’ TEN (number).
11 Swiss mountain climbing? Severe, wanting new cover for wound (7)
PLASTER – PLA (ALP (Swiss mountain) reversed (i.e. ‘climbing’ in this down clue)) + STERn (severe, ‘wanting’ N (new)).
12 A group of planes RAF sent up to show weapons (7)
ARSENAL – reversed hidden word (‘sent up’ in this down clue): pLANES RAf.
14 Good trick when trapping old game bird (6)
GROUSE – G (good) + RUSE (trick) ‘trapping’ O (old).
17 Mischievous child in small temporary accommodation (5)
SCAMP – S (small) + CAMP (temporary accommodation).
18 Tool to grip and lift weights, holding grams (5)
TONGS – TONS (weights) ‘holding’ G (grams).

29 comments on “QC 2035 by Joker”

  1. Saw “people in general” and thought it must be MEN, not MAN. Logical, but it’s simply not what the words mean! I got what I deserved.
  2. I dithered for a few seconds over MAN/MEN, but figured the word is spelled with an A for one. I thought we weren’t supposed to be using terms like ‘man’ generically. 8:16.
  3. I was slow out of the gate with this one and thwarted in getting up speed by the four long answers, all of them being a single word. I needed most of the checkers for all of them.

    14 minutes.

    I also started by thinking MEN in 8ac but once I saw the direction of travel I realised it had to be STATESMANLIKE as I doubted the adjective formed with the plural existed (why would it?).

  4. We enjoyed the challenge of the 4 long clues but they took a while to solve and we finished in 16 minutes.

    COD: TRIANGULATION — lovely anagram

    Thanks to Astartedon and Joker.

  5. I found this quite tricky with a stupid mistake to boot, going with MEN in the middle of 8a. I found all the long answers a bit of a struggle and feared that they were looking for that tool surveyors use at 19a. I can never remember the name of it so was relieved when I wrote out the letters to see that the actual answer was a lot simpler.
    Completed the grid in 14.25 with HOGWASH and AVERT and never did parse AMASS. A day to forget.
    Thanks to astartedon
  6. PDM amass… couldn’t see it so letter trawled then groaned. Nice way to relax after the tension of the last hour in Melbourne… just shy of 20 Thanks A & J

  7. … as I found this very tricky and took just over 20 minutes. Perhaps a surfeit of Christmas cheer has finally done in what remained of my little grey cells! I found all four 13 letter words slow to come, even with all the checkers, and struggled also with 1A Hogwash, and 3D Avert, and 5D Panache, and … well, basically, most of the top half. A very good work-out but if they are all like this in 2022 I am in for a slow year.

    Many thanks to Don for the blog.

    Edited at 2021-12-27 10:02 am (UTC)

  8. An enjoyable long almost-solve with a pink square and a visit to the electronic grid to check adept, alert before seeing avert (LOI). FOI crane. Toyed with statesmenlike, then thought of The Ascent of Man which put that right for me. Only seven on first pass, and much head-scratching thereafter. Did not parse hogwash, or see the hidden arsenal, just solved them from bits of the clues. Much to like here, the long words in particular. But the COD for me was behind. Hastily put in express for empress, hence the pink square. Thanks, Don, and Joker.
  9. I was also left with 8a as last one in, and hesitated over MAN or MEN for some considerable time. AVERT and AMASS also held me up.
    Very entertaining puzzle though.
  10. I got three of the four 13 letter words quickly. STATESMANLIKE held me up a lot.
    My final three were PRETEND, BEHIND and CRANE.
    I was solving in a relaxed way on paper but was not quick. This was a tough QC.
    COD to ARSENAL. A very well devised hidden.

  11. Also SCC for me after a sub par performance. 21 minutes! Some very tricky clues. I was tempted by MEN and EXPRESS and failed to see the reverse hidden for ARSENAL. With Leicester’s plucky but doomed performance yesterday and the cricket heading for a possible whitewash, and now the SCC, the start of my 12 days of Christmas has not been what I hoped for, but then AMASS! Thanks both.
  12. Can’t believe I was totally flummoxed by the football team I’ve have supported since 1962!!!
  13. And a Merry Christmas to you as well, Joker. I thought this was quite a tricky start to the week, or perhaps I’m still recovering from the festivities. Either way, it was a slow 27min solve, with wrong end of the clue issues all over the grid — loi 1ac Hogwash being a prime example. Likewise CoD, 13ac, Behind. Invariant
  14. Had to look up Maintain when of course I saw Aver which we’ve had recently. Must have been so exhausted by the rest of the puzzle that I weakened and picked up the CCD (haven’t done so for ages). Then immediately AVERT solved HOGWASH – aargh!
    Anyway, as I said, I found this hard work, particularly the long clues. I got random answers around the grid which didn’t seem to help the rest of the puzzle.
    FOI CRANE. Liked PANACHE, PRIMAL, ARSENAL – biffed the answer before I saw the hidden word.
    Couldn’t parse PLASTER.
    But thanks vm, Don for blogging on a holiday.
  15. The 13 letter words were challenging, even when some crossers were in. The rest required thinking about but answers went in steadily. Hardish but fair!
  16. I thought this was surprisingly clunky for Joker, poor surfaces (19a just does’t make sense) and tenuous clueing (to me you get something when you don’t have it). Doable but not very pleasant.
    1. Sorry, I don’t understand your comment about 19a. Surveyors have always used TRIANGULATION, which is very well anagrammed in ‘out training shuffling around Los Angeles’. It seems a perfectly good clue to me. And in 1d, which I think you are referring to, if you get something you have it, so gets and has are fair enough — think about ‘he gets / has a cold’.
      1. Sorry rotter, no matter how much I reread this I can’t make sense of it as a sentence in English. Maybe just me. I cited these as examples, but there were others I could have chosen – the whole thing just seemed awkward to me.
  17. After two late nights we were blaming our tired brains, so rather pleased others found this tricky. Failed on 8a despite having all the crossers, the long clues were not easy.
  18. 35 mins for me, with with a good chunk of time spent on 3dn “Avert”.

    I thought it was a tricky start to the week with a number of clues that required quite a bit of thought.

    FOI — 10ac “Crane”
    LOI — 3dn “Avert”
    COD — 11dn “Plaster”

    Thanks as usual!

  19. At 16 minutes just HOGWASH and AVERT to go, but then they never came. Thought maybe a HOGARTH was a type of bath then gave up.
  20. I made hard work of the Concise this morning before I drove home from a lovely Christmas with my daughter and family in York, after 3 days and nights of festive living, but in the quiet of my own abode with the unpacking done, the washing in progress and a cup of coffee by my side, made short work of this one. I did pause over MAN/MEN in STATESMANLIKE, but chose wisely. FOI was HOGWASH, LOI was GROUSE. 7:24. Thanks Joker and Don.
    Time for another coffee and the 15×15 before tea methinks.
  21. I can’t blame the phone for that.

    All 4 long ones took a while, but once they came, so did the rest.


  22. Three-quarters of the way through after 20 minutes, but absolutely nothing in the NW corner. 1a, 8a, 9a, 1d, 2d and 3d were all completely blank, so I had no checkers to work from in that area. Also, AMASS was written in faintly, as I couldn’t parse it (and never did, actually).

    A half an hour later, I had solved HASTE, HOGWASH and EPISTLE, but I still felt no nearer to solving the two remaining 13-letter clues and AVERT. Finally, however, STATESMANLIKE somehow appeared in my brain, and both GRATIFICATION and AVERT followed shortly after. In the end, my total completion time was 58 minutes. I sincerely hope this week eases up a bit.

    Mrs Random also found it tricky today, as she just slipped past the half-hour – 31 minutes to be precise. It was a late solve and I think I need to serve both of us a glass of something refreshing to aid our recovery.

    Many thanks to Joker and astartedon.

  23. After a busy day and a stressful journey, I decided to start this late in the day. Slow progress with a few lightbulb moments. I did tip into the SCC and agree with Cedric that 2022 will be a slow year if they are all as tricky as this.
    The long anagrams were particularly good and there were fine clues — I liked PLASTER, EMPRESS, HOGWASH, and PANACHE. Thanks to both, John M.
  24. Over an hour — then just couldn’t finish with one to go — AVERT
    Haven’t come across aver and the word trawl missed it…

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