Quick Cryptic 315 by Joker

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Today is the Spring bank holiday in the UK, though the rest of the world shouldn’t feel left out as there’s a preponderance of other observances to occupy one’s time, including Africa Day, Geek Pride Day, Towel Day (Douglas Adams fans), and National Tap Dance Day (US only) – take your pick.

I will venture to suggest that this is on the easier side of things for a Quicky, with no complicated constructions or obscure vocabulary – perhaps with the exception of parts of the wordplay to 11A and 2D. My COD is 10A.

Definitions are underlined.

The puzzle can be found here if you’re having trouble accessing it through the Times website: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/timescrossword/20150525/5660/ For some reason, as of time of writing this link doesn’t show the setter’s name so I’ll add that into the title when I know who it is.

1 Returned pet I had with little enthusiasm (5)
TEPID – reversal (Returned) of PET, + I’D (I had)
8 Stand for sappers here (9)
REPRESENTRE (sappers, i.e. Royal Engineers) + PRESENT (here)
9 Olympian character of some games (5)
OMEGA – hidden in (of) sOME GAmes. Here, “Olympian character” means a letter that would be used by someone from Olympia in Greece.
10 Los Angeles – less than clean (7)
LAUNDERLA (Los Angeles) + UNDER (less than). LA doesn’t have the greatest air quality, giving some extra meaning to the surface reading.
11 Proper information the telly regularly provides (7)
GENTEELGEN (information) + ThE tElLy (regularly, i.e. taking alternate letters)
12 Finding time going very quickly (7)
TRACINGT (time) + RACING (going very quickly)
16 Greatly anger old wandering Tuareg (7)
OUTRAGEO (old) + anagram (wandering) of TUAREG. Not that it’s necessary to know this, but a Tuareg is a North African nomad so the surface comes together well. Volkswagen named their Touareg SUV after the Tuareg people.
17 Ban joint accommodation for soldiers (7)
BARRACKBAR (Ban) + RACK (joint, as in a rack of lamb)
20 Joint deposit needs arranging (7)
TOPSIDE – anagram (needs arranging) of DEPOSIT. Two joints in a row.
22 Where gladiators fought a long time back (5)
ARENA – reversal (back) of AN ERA (a long time). A nice surface.
23 Took legal action about dye that’s continually running (9)
SUSTAINEDSUED (Took legal action) about STAIN (dye)
24 At least twenty-four months is a long time (5)
YEARS – a slightly weak double definition, the first based on the fact that in order to have years (plural) you need to have at least 24 months. I find this perhaps a little too closely related to the second definition.
1 The height of negligible garments, primarily? (5)
THONG – initial letters (primarily) of The Height Of Negligible Garments. A kind of &lit. Maybe not the time or the place to get into the old “Is a g-string the same as a thong?” debate. Possible confusion here for those readers from parts of the world where thongs are flip-flops.
2 Expecting president’s first ruling (8)
PREGNANTP (president’s first, i.e. the first letter of president) + REGNANT (ruling)
3 Duck daughter becoming linked to libertine (5)
DRAKED (daughter) + RAKE (libertine). Duck is used in the generic case here, rather than to indicate a female.
4 Upset the runners and give the game away (5,3,5)
SPILL THE BEANS – double definition, the first cryptic in that it’s referring to runner beans rather than runner athletes
5 Examination of South American country girl (7)
PERUSALPERU (South American country) + SAL (girl)
6 Visibly embarrassed about a book? (4)
READRED (Visibly embarrassed) about A. In the sense of “That was a good read”.
7 Shop holding silver in warehouse space (7)
STORAGESTORE (Shop) around (holding) AG (silver)
13 American working where judges sometimes sit (2,6)
IN CAMERA – anagram (working) of AMERICAN. A judge is in camera if they are conducting some part of a case in a room in which neither the public nor the press are permitted entry. This anagram was also used in Quicky 255 in March.
14 Dispute argument against trial (7)
CONTESTCON (argument against – think pros and cons) + TEST (trial)
15 See Value Added Tax put on one tin (7)
VATICANVAT (Value Added Tax) + I (one) + CAN (tin). A see is a bishop’s jurisdiction. In Crosswordland it’s usually Ely, simply because that’s a handy set of letters for a compiler, but in this case it’s the Vatican, which is often called the Holy See (though I don’t think that strictly speaking they’re the same thing).
18 Easily obtained cash (5)
READY – double definition
19 Beginning of English task involved poet (5)
KEATS – anagram (involved) of E (Beginning of English, i.e. the first letter of English) + TASK, for the poet who gave us Ode to a Nightingale, To Autumn, On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer, and many others.
21 Propose getting rid of one job (4)
POSTPOS{I}T (Propose) without the I (getting rid of one)

14 comments on “Quick Cryptic 315 by Joker”

  1. 9 minutes but with one error because I failed to go back and check the wordplay at 12ac where I biffed TEARING but had thought it was probably wrong. I looked twice at READ for ‘book’ at 6dn before realising what was going on.

    Edited at 2015-05-25 01:11 am (UTC)

  2. This should have been more straightforward than I made it, but I managed to overlook the giveaway ‘primarily’ at 1d, and I biffed in ‘counter’ at 14d–why, I’m not sure. Then sure enough I forgot that it was a biffee, and proceeded to get nowhere with 20 and 23ac. DNK TOPSIDE as a joint, but once I sorted out CONTEST it had to be. 6:20.
    1. Thanks, Jack. Even looking at it now, 9:30AM UK time, the link doesn’t seem to have the setter’s name.
      1. Same here, but for historical reasons I also have access to the facsimile newspaper which becomes available on line around dawn.
        1. Plus the URL that the website links to contains 5665, versus 5660 where I originally found the puzzle …
    1. Via a process of guesswork, many of the puzzles can be accessed in advance so, for example, I found this puzzle and wrote most of the blog for it on Friday evening. Also, the puzzles “officially” appear on the Times website at midnight UK time, meaning that bloggers outside of the UK can (I think) access the puzzles at the equivalent in local time, e.g. 7PM on the east coast of the US. Finally, there is a scheduling system on LiveJournal that means bloggers who have prepared their blogs in advance don’t even have to wait up until midnight UK time in order to publish (though I haven’t used this feature). Hopefully none of this removes the element of wonder 😉
      1. I have a theory that refreshment of the Quickie button at The Times works according to GMT rather than BST so unless one has the url code the puzzle is inaccessible until around 1AM. However my theory doesn’t explain why the previous day’s Quickie button stops working at some time earlier in the evening.

        Edited at 2015-05-25 10:11 am (UTC)

  3. I was heading for a good sub-10 minutes when I became unaccountably stuck for 5 minutes on 12a (unlike Jackkt I didn’t want to biff it). On reading the clue out to my wife she of course immediately got the answer. Hmm….
  4. I thought this was just a touch harder than usual for Joker, but still on the easy side of the QC average. Nearly a full house (answer plus parsing), except that posit (21d) for propose was completely unknown to me. ☹ Invariant
  5. I too stuck ‘tearing’ into 12a and wasn’t particularly happy with it. Other than that I twas quite pleased with my efforts. Didn’t realise that Barrack could be singular, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it used in that way before.
    1. Good point. Neither did I, and I intended to mention it, but the usual sources confirm it’s fine.
  6. Did this on the plane back from a long weekend away. Quite tricky but all correct and fully parsed. Last two SUSTAINED and POST as I could not get suntanned out of my mind even though I knew it was wrong. Favourite SPILL THE BEAns.

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