Quick Cryptic 2451 by Joker – Triple Malt


Nothing unfair or too difficult here but not many write-ins and I had to go through the effort of parsing most answers.

This put paid to any hopes I may have had for a speedy solve and I ended up taking 13:23. I needed most of the crossers for the longer answers, which in retrospect were solveable from wordplay alone. I was fooled by the definition for 2d and the ‘Simple argument’ that turned out not to be the def for 9d. Favourite bits were the surfaces for 25a and 16d.

Thanks to Joker

Definitions underlined in bold, deletions indicated by strikethrough

1 Plate sent back for lamb, perhaps (6)
ANIMAL – Reversal (‘sent back’) of LAMINA (‘plate’)
4 Rule about safari initially trapping game creature with big tusks (6)
WALRUSWAL (‘Rule about’=reversal of LAW) S (‘safari initially’=first letter of ‘safari’) containing (‘trapping’) RU (‘game’=abbreviation for Rugby Union)
8 Association of blood with pinkish cast (7)
KINSHIP – Anagram (‘cast’) of PINKISH

I was taken in by the surface here, expecting something haematological, not genealogical

10 What Heathrow and Hounslow do to provide with an income (5)
ENDOW – Both HeathrOW and HounslOW do indeed END in OW = ENDOW

I think END in OW (or END with OW) for ENDOW is OK

11 Left tip in advance (4)
LENDL (‘Left’) END (‘tip’)
12 Sweet biscuit a Roman Co. cooked (8)
MACAROON – Anagram (‘cooked’) of A ROMAN CO

Not knowing the difference between a macaroon and a “macaron” (I can never remember) doesn’t matter here

14 Murderer of foreigner carrying pounds (9)
STRANGLERSTRANGER (‘Foreigner’) containing (‘carrying’) L (‘pounds’)
18 Survivor outside tavern in France, say (8)
REPUBLICRELIC (‘Survivor’) containing (‘outside’) PUB (‘tavern’)
20 Whiskey needs to mature for financial reward (4)
WAGEW (‘Whiskey’) AGE (‘to mature’)
22 Wheat, perhaps, with resistance in harvest (5)
GRAINR (‘resistance’) in GAIN (‘harvest’)

I can see harvest and gain have a similar meaning though can’t think of a good example of a sentence in which they are interchangeable

23 Delicate newspaper kept in folder (7)
FRAGILERAG (‘newspaper’) contained in (‘kept in’) FILE (‘folder’)

File = folder? Maybe not in the language of file management software, but fair enough for the real thing

24 Feel prickly and colour slightly about beginning on lie (6)
TINGLETINGE (‘colour slightly’) containing (‘about’) L (‘beginning on lie’=first letter of ‘lie’)
25 Gossipy and spiteful about husband (6)
CHATTYCATTY (‘spiteful’) containing (‘about’) H (‘husband’)


1 Compound of aluminium and potassium and initially lithium (6)
ALKALIAL K (chemical symbols for ‘aluminium’ and ‘potassium’) A (‘and initially’=first letter of ‘and’) LI (chemical symbol for ‘lithium’)

With my limited knowledge of chemistry, I can’t make this into anything even close to an &lit.

2 Time spent in separating wife from betting income (7)
INNINGSWINNINGS (‘betting income’) with W deleted (‘separating wife’= W)

Hard to spot the definition here. The ‘Time spent in’ meaning the time spent batting by a batter or a team in cricket, with the singular being used for a team’s turn at bat in baseball

3 Pain in each elbow (4)
ACHE – Hidden (‘in’) eACH Elbow
5 Likely to listen and open to correction, though losing heart (8)
AMENABLEAMENDABLE (open to correction’) with middle letter D deleted (‘losing heart’)
6 Perch on back of horse round cowboy exhibition (5)
RODEOROD (‘Perch’) E (‘back of horse’=last letter of ‘horse’) O (’round’)

An example of when A on B, contrary to crossword convention, does mean A on B!

On edit: See Kevin’s comment. As a down (not an across) clue, A on B does really mean A on B. Not the first time I’ve done this. Note to self – look at the grid!

7 Broadcasting vocal number about West Indies (6)
SOWINGSONG (‘vocal number’) containing (‘about’) WI (‘West Indies’)
9 Simple argument for one getting involved in court case (9)
PLAINTIFFPLAIN (‘Simple’) TIFF (‘argument’)

Simple indeed, once you’ve sorted out the definition

13 Place for judge to sit until bar is represented (8)
TRIBUNAL – Anagram (‘is represented’) of UNTIL BAR
15 One who has no illusions about a catalogue (7)
REALISTRE (‘About’) A (‘a’) LIST (‘catalogue’)
16 Clever British Conservatives? (6)
BRIGHTB (‘British’) RIGHT (‘Conservatives?’)

The question mark serving the purpose of ironic political comment? I don’t know if The Times does that sort of thing.

17 Salad plant: in haste forgetting it (6)
CELERYCELERITY (‘in haste’) with IT deleted (‘forgetting it’)
19 One of many on board eating river crustacean (5)
PRAWNPAWN (‘One of many on board’) containing (‘eating’) R (‘river’)

The ‘board’ in question being a chess board. Another good surface

21 Mother’s hot brew (4)
MASHMAS (‘Mother’s’) H (‘hot’)

Mash, as a verb “to steep (malt grains) in hot water in order to extract malt” or as a noun “a mixture of mashed malt grains and hot water” so Collins tells me, is part of the process for making malt liquors

On edit: Thanks to commenters below who have pointed out that MASH can also refer to “tea”; this sense would make for a better surface reading

87 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2451 by Joker – Triple Malt”

      1. See 6D in the blog. In across clues ‘A on B’ in wordplay conventionally becomes ‘BA’ in the answers, where ON is a juxtaposition in indicator. In a down clue, though ON means ‘on top of’, thus ‘A on B’ becomes ‘AB’ in the answer. Personally I don’t see why ‘A on B’ in an across couldn’t as easily mean ‘AB’.

  1. 20.42 I think I’ve seen lamina as plate and then reversed to make ANIMAL at least once before. MASH for brew, ROD for perch, GAIN for harvest, and RELIC for survivor were all time-consuming stretches for me. ENDOW and KINSHIP were very clever and much enjoyed. I wonder if in parsing ENDOW you could just say the two places END O W without needing either preposition?

  2. The elegant cryptic craftiness at work in WALRUS and RODEO was lost on me, I bunged them in immediately from definition. Appreciated PLAINTIFF (when I finally got it), KINSHIP, FRAGILE and CELERITY. That quartet extended my solve to 14.11. I read INNINGS as relating solely to cricket. That’s quite a complicated definition of MASH, I just wrote down what I’ve read on the Jack Daniel’s label! Informative blog, thank you BR.

    1. One day last week, just after 9 o’clock in the morning, I bought a bottle of Jack Daniels for my father from a small grocery store near me. It was on such a good offer that I returned 40 minutes later, told the owner that I had finished the first bottle and bought another one (for myself, this time). She said “No you haven’t” ……. and then with increasing incredulity “Have you?”. I replied with “No I haven’t, but only because I’m driving”.

  3. 11 minutes. I was delayed by a slow start and further, as so often at the end, by a pair of intersecting clues (to ANIMAL and INNINGS). MER for me too at ‘harvest / GAIN’ where possibly the temptation to stretch things and use ‘harvest’ for the surface reading proved too hard to resist.

  4. Ugh. Finished so deep into the SCC that I’m nearly in the car park. No complaints, just that almost nothing clicked, couldn’t find the definition frequently, missed anagrams, etc. Only about nine or ten clues fell on my initial run through and then it was a slow grind. Maybe trying to do it at 3:30 when I woke up for no obvious reason wasn’t such a good idea.

  5. To mash is also slang in some northern areas for making tea

    Something my own mother used to say, so 21d was definitely my COD 🙂

  6. Ouch! I found this very hard and will be joining fellow slowcoaches at the back of the class today. I really wanted to biff WALRUS but could see no logic to it and this wasted a lot of time. ENDOW made me chuckle and I especially liked REPUBLIC.
    No time given but compared to yesterday’s light speed solve I was back to wobbling along on my Penny Farthing.
    Oh well, c’est la vie.

    NB I had a go at the DT 15×15 online later. It’s very easy today. I finished in 16 minutes. That’s half the time this one took me!

  7. Really struggled, DNF after 25 painful minutes.

    1d is definitely not &lit, in chemistry you can’t make a compound out of three metals. They don’t react.

    I had KETCHUP for “association of blood”, as didn’t think anything else could fit K – – – H -P. And at 24a, beginning on lie’ for first letter of ‘lie’ makes no sense to me. Who says “beginning on” for “beginning of”?


    1. Who says “beginning on” for “beginning of”? People who don’t proof-read, I suspect. Looks like a simple typo to me …

      1. No-one, probably, says ‘beginning on’ for ‘beginning of’; which would suggest that the setter meant ‘beginning on’. Beginning on Thursday, beginning on pot (moving on to cocaine), … Of course, ‘beginning on lie’ sounds as odd as ‘beginning of lie’, but.

  8. Slow going today with a very sparse looking grid after the first run through of across clues. The downs proved a bit more fruitful and the well crafted clues gradually revealed their secrets.
    Thought ENDOW was a clever misdirection (for me anyway) as I spent some time trying to figure out how to get ‘starting with h and ending in w’ into the answer.
    Finished in the SW with PRAWN and REPUBLIC in 11.48 with COD to PLAINTIFF.
    Thanks to BR

  9. I struggled with this one, too. A messy circling (and re-circling) of the grid for me, picking off clues gradually. Lots of tricksy Joker stuff I thought, some of which raised a smile of recognition and appreciation (but some of which just didn’t).
    The proverbial Curate’s egg. It took me a good 5 mins over target and left me without much of a sense of achievement.
    To be fair, there were some clever clues, on re-reading the blog. I liked PLAINTIFF and ENDOW but biffed AMENABLE.
    Thanks, anyway, and thanks to BR for the blog. John M.

  10. Huffed and puffed till I blew them all down. As Plymouthian, trying to do this before going to sleep was too much for my tired brain but subtracting time asleep still put me in the club for breakfast. COD ENDOW. Rings a bell. Chestnut? Wondering what to do with a completed Times QC book.

    1. My two completed QC books are on the shelf for the moment. I can’t bring myself to throw them in the recycling yet.

      Book #6 I got for Christmas 2021, did 1 puzzle per day max and then accelerated doing them in May which helped my solving. My first pass through completed around this time last year and I finally finished the whole book last month having had three puzzles outstanding for a while. The final one (an Izetti – no surprise) had taken 11months 23days!

      Book #7 I got last August and all but 15 were done same day. Overall success rate of 72% rising to 95 with one error. Unlike online you don’t get to correct them, of course. Being a book of QCs from 2020 it was interesting to look back at the blog and see some of the familiar faces who were just starting out on their journey as well as reading pandemic comments. Fastest solve was 12:55 albeit also a 12:30 DNF which seems to have caught out many on the blogs who also put acrobatics rather than aerobatics or vice versa.

      New book should be arriving soon …

      1. I do them on long haul flights rather than a movie, or weekends when there isn’t a Times QC. As my daily QC doesn’t show setter’s name on Android phone, being able to look through several same setters’ solved puzzles in the book is fun. I mark the clues of distinction. I keep no records of times or success.

    2. Oooh, it never occurred to me that there might be QC books. I hate flying and this will help to keep the unpleasantness at bay when my wife and I go on holiday next month. Thank you!

      1. Checkout Amazon. They have 27 books of Times QCs, either containing 100 or 300 past QC puzzles per book! Would not keep some of the ultrafast speed merchants here occupied for more than a quick shuttle hop, but for the rest… it packs neatly into a corner of a carry-on, does not require batteries, or headphones and has the answers at the back. Perfect travel companion! Recommend as a seemingly good tutor for greater solving skills.

  11. I quite liked this one, finishing just under 33 mins, though time would have been waaaay better if I hadn’t been stuck in the NE corner.
    NHO RU in WALRUS. And as for ENDOW, ffs! Really? Clever, yes, in some ways, but I wasn’t expecting to have to resort to some kind of Mensa-style pattern recognition to work it out. I only got the answer from the letters and the definition. If that type of clue catches on, it could open up a yawning chasm full of horrors.

    1. Two-letter games in cryptics are usually GO or RU (Rugby Union). A quick delve into the archives reveals that RL (Rugby League) has come up only once in the TfTT era, in a puzzle in 2016 blogged by me. It was clued as ‘tough game’.

      1. “Tough game” is somewhat of an understatement for RL, but probably wise of the setter to leave it there. League aficionados tend to be a little defensive about their sport and what others think of it, especially the 99% of the UK who have never been to a RL game but automatically assume RU is the better game. I believe the extra pace, skill, fitness, etc of the 13-a-side game is better appreciated in Australia though …

        1. For those of you who have never been to a rugby league match, I would heartily recommend it. The standard of ball handling alone is astonishing. Pity the game never seems able to break out of its Yorkshire-Lancashire-Cumbria stronghold.

          1. 100% agree Gary! RL forwards frequently put RU backs to shame with both their pace and ball skills.

            For those in the South East there is an opportunity in a week and a half as the Challenge Cup final comes to Wembley Stadium on Sat 12 August. It is well worth going and always a very friendly occasion (the police presence is about one quarter what it is for a similar sized football crowd), and tickets are still available.

            (I’ll take my cut from the RFL – Rugby Football League – now …)

            1. Leigh v Hull KR should be a cracker. Good to see Leigh back at the top of the game.

  12. 28:56 … that was a struggle. Not much on first pass, brain wasn’t synonyming well at all but I think Joker also made that harder than ideal for QC. When I went back through clues afterwards, I still had to take 15-20secs to parse ALKALI even though I’d already parsed it during the solve.

    I actually liked WALRUS for the “game creature” misdirection and ENDOW – the latter probably because my grandparents lived in Hounslow and my dad saw Heathrow being built as he went to work.

    Not familiar with CELERitY so it was fingers crossed there especially as I’d thought of sever(it)y which fits checkers but not haste, and kegery which fits in no way other than being a food stuff and homophonically!

  13. Skipped about all over the grid in my efforts to get any sort of foothold. FOI WALRUS. LOI ANIMAL – I’m well aware of lamina as plate but was not thinking of that sort of plate or that sort of lamb – a definite case of overthinking! Unlike snail (see above) I really appreciated ENDOW – I love this sort of clue. I did finally parse everything but some took a while, especially KINSHIP where the anagram had completely passed me by. I’ve come across INNINGS and STRANGLER before. Still struggle with the A on B thing, as already discussed, so would have accepted ‘horse back on perch’ more readily than ‘perch on back of horse’. I’ll get there! An enjoyable challenge. Thanks BR and Joker.

  14. A real struggle to get started: I had to jump all over the grid to find an entry-point and at one point I had four clues solved, 2 across and 2 down, and none of the four intersected at all. But eventually I got onto Joker’s wavelength and when the answers came, I was able to admire their cleverness. Several good deceptions where one says “Oh that meaning …” when the answer finally appears (board meaning chessboard, for example) and I also really like clues like Endow (once the penny has dropped, that is …).

    15 minutes in all so longer than the 15x15 took me yesterday – if anyone here did not try it, it was widely reckoned to be one of the easiest biggies for quite a while, and it might be worth a visit.

    Many thanks to BR for the blog

  15. When I was a child, I had strict instructions to let the tea mash in the pot before pouring.

  16. I enjoyed this so thanks Joker and Bletchley Reject. I ground my way through it and kept thinking yesterday’s main puzzle was easier. I agree that it wasn’t unfair, but gain for harvest is a bit of a stretch and gossipy has more negative vibes than chatty these days, I would suggest. NHO celerity but celery had to be.

  17. Typically entertaining Joker, I thought with interesting but not obscure vocabulary. I liked PLAINTIFF and TRIBUNAL. LOI INNINGS. Thanks Joker and BR. 5:23.

  18. Slightly surprised more people haven’t commented on the quite extraordinary coincidence yesterday that the answer to clue 13A in the QC was exactly the same word as the answer to clue 13A in the 15x15. The odds on this happening by chance must be absolutely huge.

    1. Over it today but seeing even the indirect comment about it yesterday took away from the satisfaction of my 2nd ever 15×15 solve. I was stuck with about 5-6 left and then happened to notice it was clue 13 and remembered what I’d seen over here. In fairness, the actual word wasn’t mentioned and I am over myself now! 😀

      While the odds on it happening by chance* are high (or is that low 🤔), there is a human element involved. The puzzles aren’t being published as they get sent in by setters. The editor decides which puzzles get published when. Likewise improbably, we had back-to-back SCHOONERs in the QC.

      * The chance of something like this happening were discussed by Mr Random on a Kitty blog back around March/April. As I recall, it boiled down to the odds of it happening are very long but given how many crosswords have been published it is likely to happen at some stage.

      1. Oddly, my first clue in (1d) on February 17th was PENSION. It was also my 66th birthday. How’s that for a coincidence? (Or maybe the setter knew!)

  19. 13 minutes and thought I had been quicker. LOI CELERY and ANIMAL was slow to appear, but other than that, I had no problems – all parsed as per the blog. Thanks Joker and Bletchers.

  20. 14:29 (Joan of Arc relieves siege of Orleans)

    I liked 1d – nice to know all my years studying chemistry still have a use. Two of the three metals, if thrown in water, will react in an exiting way, leaving an alkaline solution.

    LOI was PRAWN. I had forgotten about chess boards, and was initially trying crew, ab etc.

    I had a Latin teacher at school who used to get the class to come up with all the English words derived from the words in a piece of Latin text, and remember a long discussion about whether Celery was derived from Celer, possibly because it grows quickly.

    Thanks BR and Joker

  21. Like yesterday, the SW held me up. BRIGHT, GRAIN, PRAWN and LOI TINGLE all took time to parse.
    17 minutes in the end.
    I thought this was a good QC. COD to TRIBUNAL, but other candidates. The solver had to work hard but nothing obscure.
    I too remember Mash the tea from when I was a boy.
    PS I too completed yesterday’s 15×15 but thought it far from a pushover.

  22. I was not at the races today and staggered over the line in 15.12, my slowest time for quite a while. I just never seemed to get going on this one, and the south west corner held me up for a considerable time. It was all fairly clued but was a harder test than normal for a QC I thought.

  23. Ey up, does anyone still MASH the tea? No one down south knows what I’m talking about! Lovely to see it referenced in the blog.

    Lots to like in this chewy puzzle, even though for some reason I could not get LEND, and thought of TINGLY not TINGLE doh.


    Thanks Joker and BR

  24. Like others I had a slow start and put in only MACAROON at my first go across. I thought of ANIMAL but three letters shared with LAMB did not tempt me. The down clues wer friendlier, and I saw LAMINA from the crossers; I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it used like that before. Time about average. A great puzzle with some subtle misdirection. I smiled at WALRUS and REPUBLIC. Thanks Joker and BR

  25. The coach had long gone by the time I crossed the line, so Shanks’s pony for me today. Wrong end of clue problems (for the umpteenth time) in the NW, and parsing issues in the SE with nho celerity (in a QC ?), made for a slow and frustrating solve, with only CoD Endow to cheer things up along the way. Invariant

  26. I found this one to be tough, despite what the blogger says. I did get further than I thought I would, but in the end I had to call it a DNF. Really not a fan of Joker, so I knew I wouldn’t really enjoy this one a soon as I saw the name of the setter. Perhaps it would be good if the website had the option to hide the setter’s name.

  27. Now and then I make a careless/idiotic spelling error in a Down clue. Today I put Winings for 2d which made 1a impossible. Finally the penny dropped and INNINGS and ANIMAL fell into place.
    Other late solves included PRAWN and REPUBLIC (CsOD).
    ENDOW made me laugh so another COD.
    Could not parse WALRUS, CELERY, RODEO, so thanks BR.
    I do remember “Rod, Pole or Perch”, but has anyone used such measurements since 1971, I wonder. Actually I do have my grandfather’s tape measure marked in ‘links’. 10 chains = 1 furlong.
    Ah, later, 40 poles in a furlong and I know 8 furlongs = 1 mile, as per horseracing.

    1. The rod, pole or perch as a unit of measurement lives on in allotment societies. The standard allotment is 10 square poles, usually referred to as a “10 pole allotment”, although newcomers tend only to get offered 2.5 square poles these days. My allotment is 7.5 square poles.

  28. 15.27 Slow to get started but it picked up. ENDOW was nice. An entertaining challenge. Thanks to BR and Joker.

  29. 7:16

    Half a dozen in on the first pass of acrosses and similar for the downs. Came to a grinding halt with three left in the SW corner – jumpstarted with TINGLE, followed by TRIBUNAL and finally REPUBLIC – had been thinking INN or BAR or even PH for the inserted drinking establishment, PUB didn’t occur to me until I’d biffed the answer from the checkers and definition.

    Thanks Joker and Bletch

  30. I’m not sure if I was just being dumb today or this was quite a lot trickier than normal. Perhaps a bit of both. I think I had only completed about half the grid in my target time of 9 minutes. CELERY was a complete guess from the checkers available. I have NHO the word celerity. Trying to solve TRIBUNAL from the anagram fodder and a few checkers was extremely frustrating. I needed the B from REPUBLIC to crack it. ANIMAL and AMENABLE brought up the rear in a lengthy solve of 18:22.

    1. Go, ribald, get you hence,
      To your cabin with celerity;
      This is the consequence
      Of ill-advised asperity.
      Sir Joseph Porter to Captain Corcoran, in “HMS Pinafore”; probably the only time I’ve come across the word.

  31. Only a touch over average time, but I felt that it was actually quite tricky.

    CELERY LOI, I thought celerity maybe a stretch for this level. The surface for INNINGS made me smile.


  32. Got through most of this quite fast but a handful of clues held me up for ages at the end. Even going away and coming back a couple of hours later didn’t solve all my problems. 23 minutes but had to use aids for my LOI AMENABLE. Had no idea what was going on in the clue for the latter or the one for 24ac TINGLE. Never managed to parse WALRUS.

    FOI – 12ac MACAROON
    LOI – 5dn AMENABLE
    COD – 10ac ENDOW

    Thanks to Joker and BR

  33. I warmed up for this by completing yesterday’s Jalna (in 32 minutes) and finding the SW corner very hard to crack EDGE, A LA CARTE, CHIDE, TALLIED, etc.

    Today’s offering almost defeated me right at the start. Apart from MACAROON and WAGE, I was completely stumped until I got to the down clues. With my confidence restored, I then worked my way quite quickly around the grid until my LOI (17d). I saw CELERY quite quickly, but CITELERY, CELITERY and CELERITY were clearly not real words, so I embarked on an alphabet trawl. I came up with SPRITELY (for in haste), but SPRELY looked even less like a real word, so I settled for CELERY and came here with my fingers crossed. Total time = 25 minutes.

    Many thanks to Joker and BR.

      1. Hello Mr Plates,
        I have been “in action” most days but not posting very often in the past few weeks, as I have been recently bereaved and my usual routines have been thrown into the air somewhat. However, things are gradually settling once again and I haven’t forgotten our loose arrangement to meet for a coffee at some stage.
        I can’t offer any specific dates just yet, but might I suggest two possible venues? If I’m in the car I could come out to West Moors Country Park (Did you say you’re in/near Canford Magna?), but if I come by train maybe you wouldn’t mind coming into Christchurch where The Raft in Church Street is very good (IMHO). I’ll be back in touch fairly soon, I think.
        Mr Random

        1. I’m sorry to hear about the bereavement – it explains your recent absences from here. You have been missed.

          There is no rush to catch up, of course, but I’m happy to come over to Christchurch once you’re ready. I’d discount Moors Valley Country Park as it will be busy during school holidays, it’s expensive on parking (£9-20 for 1-2hrs during August!) and is not much quicker for me to reach than Christchurch anyway.

          Incidentally, the local news reported a coach getting stuck in Christchurch yesterday. Firmly wedged itself trying to turn from Church Street into Church Lane!

  34. About 14 minutes. I found this rather a struggle and spent several minutes on my LOI. Eventually I did the usual thing, went away, came back, got it quickly, and then discovered it wasn’t even my LOI – I’d forgotten to do 1A 😅 I’d accidentally entered ALKALI there so even though I’d crossed it out, I couldn’t see anything for the scrawl!
    Overall I can’t say I loved this one – maybe I was just not on the wavelength.
    FOI Walrus LOI Amenable (or was it Animal?)
    Now I’m going to enjoy the hot brew I’ve just made ☕
    Thanks Joker and BR

  35. I also struggled at 13 minutes – but it was a pleasurable struggle! Final section was the NW – which goes to show.

  36. Well that was hard. Started at 7.00 this morning and just finished after 1h 11m of solving time and about 5 separate visits. I find this the only way if I get stuck.
    Missed the anagram indicator for TRIBUNAL so it took ages to biff and TINGLE was my LOI.
    I thought ENDOW was a terrific clue and liked SOWING.
    Thanks BR for explaining the parsing of WALRUS and AMENABLE and thanks Joker.

    1. Well done #5 – I’m not sure I’ve ever persevered to 5 visits other than when I took three days over a weekend to finish one in my early days. There is much satisfaction and confidence to be gained from eventually getting there.

    2. Well done Ian. Bit of a stinker today, so your persistence is impressive. I wonder if 5 visits is a record?

  37. I made really hard work of this, resorting to some wild guesses and having to reconsider when a coupleof pennies dropped. Not seeing the TRIBUNAL anagram untillate on was a real stumbling block.

  38. Glad I’m (trying to) ignore times this week! The anagram indicators were, at least for me, hard to spot (‘cast’; ‘is represented’). NHO lamina or celerity, but will try to remember the former given the reference to it as a chestnut. As noted by earlier commenters, I found some of the surfaces very hard to get my head around (see 24ac).

    Above all, I really struggled to get started and never got on the wavelength. I can’t say that I derived much pleasure from this, although I was not perhaps in the best of moods having slogged miles through the rain from Stranraer to reach a lighthouse, only to find that a thick mist prevented me from seeing what is supposed to be a breathtaking view.

    Note to setter – plaintiffs disappeared (at least in England and Wales) over 20 years ago. They are now known as claimants.

    1. That should have been “Demand on workers who get involved in court case” then?

      Slogging through rain from Stranraer to anot see a breathtaking view … that’s just to remind you it can always be worse than an Izetti … 🤣

      Edit: as it’s a down should be “on” rather than “by”.

      1. Good one!

        To be fair, I did gain some satisfaction from the hike in a bizarre sort of way. There were several times I wanted to give up and turn around, but I persisted and eventually achieved my goal. Actually, that sounds remarkably like how I feel when I manage to finish an Izetti!

        1. I always feel there is something good about pushing yourself physically. And at least you’re making something of your holiday time 👍

          CQ was a nightmare this morning – I couldn’t get #1 and eventually checked at 15mins to find #2 was wrong even though I had a half decent answer. Finally finished at just under 20mins 😬

          1. I like a good dinner when I’m on a walking holiday and see it as my reward for completing that day’s physical challenge.

            Our times were similar. I found it tough today. Better luck tomorrow!

            1. I was sure LIGHTS was the required answer for Theatre although wasn’t so sure about it for Operating 🤔

  39. So tricky when you get a word in your head and can’t shift it. I struggled with #4. I didn’t have a good day when it came to spotting anagrams.

  40. 49:39, which is getting on for double my usual time. My reaction at spotting ENDOW was a curious blend of a chuckle and a “you absolute [expletive]”.

    I got CELERITY immediately, but unlike some of you clever people it’s not because of my command of Latin. There is a roleplaying game called Vampire: The Masquerade, in which you and your mates pretend to be vampires. You have to pick a type of vampire, so you might be a corporate executive with an intimidating presence, or an artistic vampire with great seductive powers, or a brawler vampire with expertise in murdering people, etc. One of the traits that you might pick, depending on the type of vampire that you’re pretending to be, is celerity. Useful for dodging bullets (or stakes). I mention all this in the hope that it might be a viable candidate for the “most low-brow reason for knowing an obscure word” category.

    1. 😁 On the contrary, it just serves to illustrate how high-brow some RPGs can be. My son plays them and I’m constantly surprised at what he picks up from them.

  41. Just a reminder to myself that I didn’t actually finish this crossword. I was on a train to London and was struggling with it, with an intention to try and finish it later, but it never happened.

    Thanks as usual! 😃

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