Quick Cryptic 775 by Joker

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
A straightforward puzzle from Joker today, I thought, with a plethora of simple charades and no vocabulary likely to be completely beyond the ken of regulars. COD to 16A.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20170227/22617/

Definitions are underlined, {} = omission

1 Bet on party for distinguished old lady (7)
DOWAGERDO (party) + WAGER (Bet)
5 Make an effort initially to include ultraviolet and purple (5)
MAUVEM{ake} A{n} E{ffort} (Make an effort initially, i.e. the first letters of the words “Make”, “an”, and “effort”) around (to include) UV (ultraviolet)
8 In due course, exhausted by enjoyment? (3,2,4,4)
ALL IN GOOD TIMEALL IN (exhausted) + GOOD TIME (enjoyment)
9 Placate monkey, feeding it vegetables (7)
APPEASEAPE (monkey) around (being fed with) PEAS (vegetables). An ape may not be a monkey in strictly biological terms but the words are interchangeable in general use (and in dictionaries). Here’s a gorilla eating some peas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJxDknDic_Y
10 Got into deep water with one religious teacher (5)
SWAMISWAM (Got into deep water) + I (one). I don’t think deep water is a necessity for swimming, but it makes the surface reading better because of the figurative usage of “got into deep water”.
11 Make drawing of small sailing vessel (6)
SKETCHS (small) + KETCH (sailing vessel)
13 Misplaced pity, no good initially for composing text? (6)
TYPING – anagram (MIsplaced) of PITY + N{o} G{ood} (no good initially, i.e. the first letters of the words “no” and “good”)
15 A branch of government briefly showing proficiency (5)
ADEPTA + DEPT (branch of government briefly, i.e. the usual abbreviation for “department”)
16 Shun bad dancing partner (7)
HUSBAND – anagram of (dancing) SHUN BAD. Nice clue!
19 Always be in right allotment for lasting reflection (13)
REVERBERATIONEVER (Always) + BE, in R (right) + RATION (allotment)
20 Golf club’s tungsten rim (5)
WEDGEW (tungsten, i.e. the chemical symbol for tungsten – from its other name, wolfram) + EDGE (rim).  Kevin G helpfully mentioned just two weeks ago that W is the symbol for tungsten.
21 Because religious education is true (7)
SINCERESINCE (Because) + RE (religious education)
1 Theatre doctor with a degree (5)
DRAMADR (doctor) + A + MA (degree)
2 Parking booked after spring is still looking good (4,9)
WELL PRESERVEDWELL (spring) + P (Parking) + RESERVED (booked). Hyphenated in Chambers and Collins but not online Oxford.
3 Gone around a port in Italy (5)
GENOA – anagram of (around) GONE, + A
4 Firm removing power and millions from promoted (6)
ROOTED – {p}RO{m}OTED (removing power and millions from promoted, i.e. removing the letters P (power) and M (millions) from the word “promoted”)
5 My penning lyric poems with little time for humility (7)
MODESTYMY around (penning) ODES (lyric poems) + T (little time, i.e. the usual abbreviation for time)
6 Dull university wise men with local (13)
UNIMAGINATIVEUNI (university) + MAGI (wise men) + NATIVE (local). A rejigging of a very similar clue by Joker in Quicky 642 last August.
7 Making smooth transition from day into night (7)
EVENING – seamless double definition
11 Small bird sings rhythmically up on bank (7)
SPARROW – reversal of (up) RAPS (sings rhythmically), + ROW (bank)
12 Exclusive group takes old cottage on Great Lake (7)
COTERIECOT (old cottage) + ERIE (Great Lake). Joker used a similar clue in Quicky 705 in November. Cot is an old word for a cottage.
14 Car with parts of boot? (6)
WHEELSW (with) + HEELS (parts of boot), to give us the informal word for a car. The car-related surface might not be at all deceptive for those who have a trunk instead of a boot.
17 Health resort in European country (5)
SPAINSPA (Health resort) + IN. Simple but pleasing.
18 Slow learner caught dipping into Herbert’s sci-fi classic (5)
DUNCEC (caught) inside (dipping into) DUNE (Herbert’s sci-fi classic)

26 comments on “Quick Cryptic 775 by Joker”

  1. This was slightly on the tricky side but 9.26 wasn’t too shabby.

    QC-ers should try today’s 15×15 – it’s about as easy as they come for a Monday.

    Agree on COD 16ac HUSBAND

    1. Yes, today’s main cryptic is the easiest I’ve seen since (my) records began, though there’s one word whose meaning I didn’t know which required constructing entirely from wordplay.
  2. I enjoyed this. Some nice clues that raised a smile.

    Dune is one of those books that people of my vintage should’ve heard of even if like me they haven’t actually read it.


  3. Or maybe I’m finally getting it. 26 mins and all done. Online though, so probably doesn’t count.

    LOI ROOTED. Had to chuckle at 21 ac. And 16 ac… someone has been talking to my wife?

    1. It’s difficult to know how many people are solving online – for the main cryptic, there’s a leaderboard on the Crossword Club website, from which can be inferred that (the majority of) those solvers solved the puzzle online, but there’s no equivalent for the Quicky.

      I wouldn’t consider your solving time less valid because it was done online – the main advantage I see with solving online is that in general a proficient typist is faster than if they were writing by hand, but unless you’re solving the puzzles in just 2 or 3 minutes then any typing advantage is dwarfed by the time taken mentally to solve the clues.

      1. The problem with the Crossword Club’s leaderboard is that there are solvers (the ‘neutrinos’) who solve offline, and then sign in to type in their solutions, so most of the fastest times don’t reflect actual time to do the puzzle.
        1. Must admit I have never understood the fuss over the neutrinos – there’s no prize for finishing top of the leaderboard so a dodgy fast time doesn’t gain or lose anything for either the “solver” or anyone else, plus it’s fairly clear who the genuine online solvers are (Magoo, Jason, etc) if people are looking for a yardstick.
  4. 47 minutes. Nice puzzle.

    As usual I was held up by the last few in: 19a reverberation, 6d unimaginative, and 14d wheel.

    Also some tricky bits:
    2d I had well presented at first.
    11a dnk ketch for boat.
    12d dnk cot for cottage.
    18d dnk dune.
    6d took an age to remember magi.
    10a dnk swami.

    COD to 14d wheel.
    Enjoyable start to Monday. Thanks Joker and Mohn2.

  5. 9 minutes so I was done and dusted with both QC and 15×15 in under 30 minutes (28 actually) which must be a first.

    Never heard of Dune nor of its author Herbert but the definition and checkers gave me the answer easily enough.

  6. I came close to biffing ‘doyenne’ and ‘swallow’, like Vinyl, but held back; but ‘swallow’ kept SPARROW from coming to mind for a while. 4:53.
  7. Pretty staightforward I thought, only REVERBERATION (where I had reverse/reversal firmly in mind) and WHEELS really held me up.
  8. Yes, this was all straightforward enough, but 6d pushed me out to 26 mins – tried to fit dons/sages into the answer until crossers made it impossible. Only then did magi come to mind. Sparrow (11d) was my favourite today.
    Still recovering from a two day solve of Friday’s 15×15, but I will have a go at today’s. Invariant
    1. Friday’s 15×15 was definitely a wavelength puzzle so don’t be disheartened that you weren’t on it. Today’s is nothing like that.
  9. Started this still feeling dazed from my quick rattle through the 15×15, and didn’t spot an answer until 9a. It all started to come together then and I finished in 7:40 with WHEELS as LOI. I also dabbled with SWALLOW for 11d but didn’t write it in as the wordplay didn’t work. Getting 19a clinched SPARROW. Nice puzzle. Thanks Joker and Mohn2.
  10. I found the top half of this puzzle easier than the bottom but nothing too tricky today. Although I made hard work of the two long down clues, in particular 6d, where like Invariant I tried very hard to fit sages (or even sagi) into 6d before seeing the error of my ways. Completed in 17 minutes. LOI 9a
  11. Another enjoyable offering from Joker. Lots of clues which made me smile – 4d,6d, 7d etc. Favourite 16a.
    I did not find this easy by any means. I tried Tried at 5a (Ti +red); I had doubts so came back to it;probably a deliberate trap.
    I paused over Reverberation and,like others, was considering Sages for 6d. All done in 22 minutes. LOI was 5d. David
    1. Re TRIED, there should never be a difference in tense between the definition and the answer as would be the case here (“Make an effort” (present) vs TRIED (past)), so with experience an alarm bell will ring if a solution you’re considering conflicts with that.
      1. Thanks for the advice.
        It was pure carelessness (and possibly short-sightedness) at the start of my solve. David
  12. Apart from this site, The Times is running a seminar for those subscribers who attempt the QC and want to improve.
    The last one, in London, sold out. The next one is in Birmingham:
    “Join us in Birmingham on Saturday, April 22 for a day of crossword tips and tricks with Tim Moorey, crossword setter for The Times and The Sunday Times.
    During the session you will discover the basics of solving cryptic clues and crosswords, as well as a little bit about the history of crosswords and the different types of puzzles. With extensive teaching experience Tim will also reveal his recommended apps, software and top puzzle websites.”
  13. 6.0 or thereabouts so no problems. This and the main puzzle wrapped up in under 17 minutes which is definitely a PB.
  14. A slow start to the week, 32:32. Was slow to see WHEELS and also had Swallow for SPARROW.

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