Quick Cryptic 839 by Joker

Not much to comment on today.  The range of clue types and vocabulary presented by Joker is (I think) perfectly pitched at the aspiring solver.  Most of the words are pretty well known, at least in Crosswordland, although BUTTERFINGERS, and the elements that lead to it, might be slightly Anglo-centric.

Took me 7:05, and here’s how I parsed it….

Clues are reproduced in blue, with the definition underlined.  Anagram indicators are bolded and italicised.  Then there’s the answer IN BOLD, followed by the parsing of the wordplay.  (ABC)* means ‘anagram of ABC’.

1 Dahlia root, perhaps, in large container here in the middle (5)
TUBER – TUB (large container) + ER (hERe in the middle)
4 Tense, if sent out to gather flowers originally (7)
STIFFEN – (IF SENT)* “to gather” F (flowers originally)
8 Piece in paper —small piece, not leader (7)
ARTICLE – pARTICLE (small piece) without the first letter (not leader)
9 Recognised king was victorious over knight (5)
KNOWN – K (king) + NOW [WON (was victorious) reversed (over)] + N (knight, in chess)
10 Orphanage coy about study in the main (12)
“Main” referring to “the open ocean” here.  One to look out for.
12 Nearly botching small cake (6)
MUFFIN – Nearly MUFFINg (botching)
13 Large beetle — such regularly chased by Egyptian, say (6)
SCARAB – SC (SuCh regularly) “chased by” ARAB (Egyptian, say)
16 Daring gain access to power on the way up (12)
ENTERPRISING – ENTER (gain access to) + P (power) + RISING (on the way up)
18 Make small improvements to a motorway before completion (5)
AMEND – A + M (motorway) before END (completion)
20 Illusion created by artist on strike (7)
CHIMERA – RA (artist) on CHIME (strike)
21 Unpleasant noise in road by dance club (7)
DISCORD – DISCO (dance club) + RD (road)
22 Sample of potato mostly cut by spades (5)
TASTE – TATE [TATER (potato) mostly] “cut by” S (spades)
1 Cafe has very quickly run low after setback (3,4)
TEA ROOM – TEAR (very quickly run) + OOM [MOO (low, as in cattle) reversed (after setback)]
“Low” for “moo” or vice versa is another one to look out for.
2 Prepare soldiers? One’s clumsy (13)
BUTTERFINGERS – Double definition
Soldiers here referring to strips (or fingers) of bread or toast.  Nice for dipping into your egg.
And a “butterfingers” is the guy you place at deep third man hoping no catches come his way.
3 Make friends again with cleric one upset (9)
4 Toboggan son used on rocky ridge (6)
SLEDGE – S (son) on LEDGE (rocky ridge)
5 Incense from Scottish church, not the first (3)
IRK – KIRK (Scottish church) without the first letter
6 Bold style recycled older fashions (13)
7 Not even one announcer appears regularly (4)
NONE – Alternating letters (appears regularly) of aNnOuNcEr
11 One interested in records finds part of bridge is about six tons (9)
ARCHIVIST – ARCH (part of bridge) + IS “about” VI (six) + T (tons)
14 Obtain fruit for cases, say (7)
BAGGAGE – BAG (obtain) + GAGE (fruit)
Gage is short for greengage, but of course that only helps if you know what a greengage is.  I think I only know it from crosswords.
15 Ran around integrated circuit somewhat hot, perhaps (6)
SPICED – SPED (ran) “around” IC (integrated circuit)
17 Left with real estate (4)
LAND – L (left) + AND (with)
with = and can be one of the easiest hints to overlook, in my experience.
19 Couple retreating inside boudoir (3)
DUO – Reverse hidden (retreating inside) in bOUDoir

26 comments on “Quick Cryptic 839 by Joker”

  1. Like Jonathan I found this fairly tricky, not seeing the long down clues for ages. When the penny dropped, 2d evoked a smile. FOI was TUBER and LOI was SPICED. I was pleased to solve 10a and 16a without resorting to pen and paper. 12:02. Thanks Joker and Galspray.
  2. Back to the slow slog after yesterday’s quick Quickie. FOOLHARDINESS and BAGGAGE were especially slow in coming, as I recall. Fortunately I knew ‘soldiers’ from a 15×15. 8:55.
  3. We managed to complete this over lunch (in at least twice the time of vinyl1).
    The only difficulty was parsing Baggage. And now we know about greengages.

    Thank you Galspray.

    And of course Joker.

    Have a good weekend, one and all.

    Edited at 2017-05-26 05:29 am (UTC)

  4. 27 minutes, had to amend sleigh to sledge as I couldn’t parse leigh = ridge.

    dnk muffing = botching.

    Very enjoyable even with a brutal hangover!

    Lots to choose from as there are lots of good surfaces.
    COD 21a discord

  5. Whoa, I found this extremely hard. The anagrams of 10ac and especially 6dn took a while. I didn’t help things by biffing in TEA SHOP for 1dn. And then when I got the “f” from BUTTERFINGERS, I biffed in TIFFIN for 12ac. Can someone explain the “regularly”, “oddly” technique used in crosswords. I also assumed “regularly” meant the even letters of a word, as in 7dn here. However, in 13ac, the “regularly” denotes the odd letters. Thanks. Gribb.
    1. It’s still regularly whether odd or even so you need to try both if your first guess doesn’t work out.
  6. After my kicking at the hands of today’s 15×15 this could have gone horribly wrong. Happily having definitions in plain sight again came as a welcome relief and I romped home in around 5 minutes. Deciding to leave FOOLHARDINESS until all the checkers were in proved to be a good decision, much time might have been wasted untangling that one without a pen and paper to hand.
    The main puzzle is definitely not recommended to newcomers or those of a delicate disposition – it’s a beast!
  7. It’s not really a cricket reference – I think the general cry of ‘butterfingers’ when someone drops something is pretty common in the UK. I understood it as a synonym for clumsy more generally.
    1. Agree that it’s not a cricket reference. I wasn’t suggesting that it is.
  8. I found this the hardest since Hurley’s a couple of weeks ago. I might have made my target 10 minutes but for 15dn and 16ac which baffled me for 6-7 minutes as my last ones in.
  9. Another enjoyable puzzle from Joker. Not easy, as people have mentioned.
    I started with a lazy Tea Shop for 1d (I think that came up very recently). It allowed me to get 1a and 8a quickly. I corrected it fairly quickly when working out 10a.
    LOI was Spiced and before that Enterprising. 16 minutes. David
  10. Can’t say I’ve ever buttered my soldiers, but otherwise okay. Spent the last few minutes on 6dn.

    Edited at 2017-05-26 01:06 pm (UTC)

  11. Liked ARCHIVIST and BUTTERFINGERS, but OCEANOGRAPHY had me stumped and I only got it from checkers. Guessed it was a study of something but, to me, “the main” suggests land, not sea. But now I know different!
    And it wasn’t until I’d put it in that I could see why IRK was right…couldn’t get past the idea of joss sticks.
    Enjoyed this, though: hard enough to advance my cryptic career, and enough satisfying solves to boost my confidence. Thanks chaps!
    1. I agree with you, Lucy, challenging in parts but some confidence boosting too, so rather like
      Goldilock’s porridge!
      Not surprisingly this was one of my ‘several hours, off and on’ days but gave me a good excuse for enjoying the sunshine in the garden for the past 45mins.
      LOI OCEANOGRAPHY because of a fixation of trying to find a synonym for ‘in the main’ that would fit instead of really paying attention to checkers and what was left of the anagram and still I didn’t understand why it should be that word, but it couldn’t be anything else! So special thanks to galspray for explaining what a main is.
      Thanks to Joker and galspray
        1. Yep, and thank heavens for that!
          And the setters and bloggers too, of course.
  12. Mmm…I found this really hard and had to use the blog to finish. Sometimes I can get the long words quite easily, but today they just wouldn’t come.

    Maybe just one of those days.

    Didn’t know “main” for ocean nor “gage” for fruit and am still struggling with “foolhardiness” for bold style. If I miss “low” for moo one more time I may have to give up 🙂 I must write some of these down….

    Anyway COD was 2dn for me as it was so obvious when I saw the structure, even though I didn’t get it.


  13. About an hour for me (I only tend to time it precisely when it looks like I may break my 20 minute barrier!) so definitely the hardest this week but very enjoyable as all clues fair and well constructed. Though ‘bold style’ = Foolhardiness had me muttering at the cat who seemed to think it was fine. Pexiter.
  14. This was a slog for me due to some muddled thinking with regard to the long anagrams at 10a (thinking fashion) and 6d (forgetting the main/sea link). No time today as it took me a few sittings.
    LOI an unparsed 22a, COD 2d

Comments are closed.