Quick cryptic No 723 by Joker

Another fairly chewy offering from Joker which I really enjoyed.  No double definitions, no &lits, a smattering of GK required (11a) and fair clueing with the odd penny dropping moment.  As this took me 18 minutes, I suspect it was at the harder end of the QC spectrum, so a few minutes of additional enjoyment, at least for me.  FOI was 1d, LOI was 15d.

Next time I blog, Christmas will have been and gone, so can I take this opportunity to wish you all well over the holiday, whether you are a believer or not.

As usual, anagrams are indicated by square brackets, deletions by curly ones, and definitions are underlined.

Show long film in empty depot (6)
DEPICT – An empty depot would be D{epo}T, and put EPIC inside to DEPICT the answer
4  Small print run (6)
SPRINT – Do what it says on the tin – S{mall} and PRINT
One seeking ability in latest portent put out (6,7)
TALENT SPOTTER – Anagram (indicated by ‘put out’) of [LATEST PORTENT]
10  Unending rage as skin removed from animal (3)
FUR – The rage is FUR{y} with the Y removed (unending)
11  Twisted druid shed blood in G&S operetta (9)
RUDDIGORE – Anagram, indicated by ‘twisted’, of [DRUID] followed by GORE (shed blood).  I’m not a great Gilbert & Sullivan expert, and struggled to remember this, one of their less successful offerings, but the clueing was very clear, and it fell into place with the checkers mostly there
12  Cure male beset by having a thin and high-pitched voice (6)
REMEDY – M{ale} inside REEDY.  One definition of reedy is to sound like a reed instrument, especially in being thin and piping
13  Ninth month with sci-fi film group (6)
SEPTET – The ninth month is obvious enough, SEPT{tember}, followed by the classic sci-fi film ET
16  Single prominent feature introduced by most of bad porcelain (4,5)
BONE CHINA – The single prominent feature is ONE CHIN, surrounded by (most of) BA{d}.  I haven’t knowingly seen ‘introduced by’ used in this way before, but it seems perfectly fair to me.  BONE CHINA incidentally is so called because bone ash is used in the manufacture
18  Tune just lacks force (3)
AIR – Just would be {f}AIR, with the first letter removed – lacks F{orce}
19  Eminent doctor hiding studies (13)
DISTINGUISHED – Anagram, cleverly clued by ‘doctor’, of [HIDING STUDIES]
21  Maxim is remaining after tour’s leader has gone (6)
SAYING – remaining is S{t}AYING, minus the T (T{our’s} leader has gone)
22  Regret following unit when one’s gone wrong (6)
UNTRUE – Regret is RUE, which follows UN{i}T (one’s gone, i.e. removed)

1 Mark needs to complete on time (3)
DOT – To DO something is to complete it, with T{ime} following
2  Mounting insolence very unattractive in religious traveller (7)
PILGRIM – Insolence is LIP, reversed – mounting in a down clue, and GRIM is very unattractive
Conflict of meaning I’d turned up in abridgement (13)
CONTRADICTION – As instructed, reverse I’D in CONTRACTION (abridgement)
5  In favour of period of living allowance increase (13)
PROLIFERATION – In favour of gives PRO, period of living gives LIFE and allowance is RATION.  I think the clue could work, although maybe not quite as elegantly, without the ‘period of’
6  Preliminary section not requiring all of paint roller (5)
INTRO – hidden answer in {pa}INT RO{ller}
One who harasses soldiers trapped between hills (9)
TORMENTOR – The hills in this case are two TORs, surrounding MEN (soldiers), although these days, soldiers could also be women
8  Assistant keeping son out of the way (5)
ASIDE – The assistant is an AIDE keeping S{on}
10  Warns of bad outcome of beers drunk with food (9)
FOREBODES – Anagram clued by ‘drunk’ of [BEERS] with [FOOD]
14  School worker sees a head in term, mostly (7)
TEACHER – I’m not 100% sure of the parsing here.  TER{m} is clearly clued by the last two words, but is it ACHE in the middle, as in {head}ACHE, or is it EACH in the middle, as in per head?  I’m sure one of our readers will be able to help out
15  Throw away turn in game (5)
BINGO – To throw away is to BIN, and a turn is a GO
17  Very unpleasant royal line suffers double beheading (5)
NASTY – A royal line is a {dy}NASTY.  Removing the first two letters could be described as a double beheading
20  Almost serves deer(3)
DOE – Almost serves is DOE{s}, as in ‘it does it for me’, which is equivalent to ‘it serves for me’

18 comments on “Quick cryptic No 723 by Joker”

  1. At 11 minutes this was my second consecutive solve over my target 10 minutes following more than 3 weeks of achieving it every day.

    I lost time over 22ac, my last one in, which was not helped initially by having written “proliferatING” instead of “proliferatION” at 5dn. I parse everything as I go but on reflection I realised that “rating” for “allowance” did not do the job.

    I was also thrown slightly by simplicity of 4ac. Talk about hiding in full view! Nice surface though.

    Edited at 2016-12-15 04:59 am (UTC)

  2. I didn’t even see the possibility of TE-ACHE-R, and ‘head’ can be used for ‘headache’; but I’d say the odds are definitely in favor of T-EACH-ER, with ‘a head’ cluing ‘EACH’. Nice clue anyway. Several nice ones, for that matter, DISTINGUISHED being my favorite; incidentally, Rotter (I don’t suppose one addresses you as ‘The’), you’ve got a typo in the clue: ’emminent’. 6:01.
    1. Thanks, I have now amended. Well it was 3:00am when I wrote the blog! I’m now awake and alert.
  3. Nice puzzle and a finish time of 47 minutes, so not bad.

    I had each as per/a head.

    Struggled to parse:
    19a and 10d as I didn’t initially see the anagram.
    For 11a gore=shed blood was a slight leap.
    For 1d I had dot as D and OT for on time!

    Last few in were 10a, 11a (didn’t know the opera), 2d and 10d (couldn’t get portends/porter out of my head).

    Lots of good clues: 1a, 9a, 2d, 5d, 15d.

    Edited at 2016-12-15 05:27 am (UTC)

      1. This was another one that held me up briefly in the parsing. In my haste I concluded that GORE as a verb could be “shed blood”, as one might take the spilling of blood as an inevitable result of the process, but on reflection I think your reading that GORE is “blood that is shed” is more satisfactory.
  4. Where did you get the D from initially, though? Dot is the answer, not in the clue. Gribb.
  5. I initially sailed through this, but them came stuck at 16ac, 15dn, 22ac, 17dn, 19ac and 11ac. For 19ac I didn’t spot the anagram indicator and was convinced I was looking for a word for doctor to surround a word for studies. I must admit I had to look up the G&S operetta. I had RUDDI_O_E, but I think gore is quite tricky to decipher from “shed blood”. Gribb
  6. I mean I couldn’t parse the answer so I had ot for on time and didn’t know where the d came from.
  7. at 11ac was a write-in but G&S is somewhat diminished after rock and roll arrived. Maybe it might become fashionable again now that Col. Trump’s pomposity is to the fore.

    10.13 which for me meant this was very slightly on the tougher side of medium.

    What was 4ac all about? Clue and answer all in one! (IMO pathetic Mr. Joker!)


    And a happy Christmas to you Mr. Rotter – much enjoyed your blog-days.

  8. The best part of 50 mins, so neither fast nor easy, but after yesterday’s horror show I was just grateful to finish. Finally seeing 10d unlocked what was proving to be a tricky grid, otherwise I think I would still be there. And a Merry Christmas to you as well, Rotter. Invariant
  9. Not too bad in comparison to yesterday and I completed it in 17 minutes. I was held up by the parsing of 14d where I eventually went for the ‘ache’ option, although I agree that ‘each’ sounds better. Hadn’t heard of 11a before but once Ruddi was in place it couldn’t be much else. LOI 4a where I spent a while looking for the trap, turned out there wasn’t one and it was just a very strange clue (in my opinion). COD 19a.
  10. An average solve for me with no particular hold ups. Like others I was surprised by the simplicity of 4ac, but maybe surprise was the setters intention? Struggled with the parsing of “TEACHER” and remain unsure. Think I am persuaded that it is probably EACH in the middle.
    Thoroughly enjoyed 5dn as I started with period = time, ration = living allowance (as in army rations) and came up with “protimeration” which I think is a lovely word. I must invent an opportunity to use it.
    Thoroughly enjoyable solve, as always with Joker.
  11. Slightly on the easy side, I’d say, having managed to dredge up RUDDIGORE from my knowledge of an artform that I hardly enjoy. I was just held up at the end by PROLIFERATION, UNTRUE and BINGO. COD DISTINGUISHED.
  12. ..with most of the comments above. Quite tough -took me 20 minutes.
    LOI was 22a-tricky I thought.
    Had to guess Ruddigore, but it felt OK.. Favourite 10d -a warning for Christmas parties. David
  13. And I thought I was doing so well! A little surprised by 4a but eventually convinced that sprint was correct. 1d I reckoned as mark=dot/on time = on the dot. 19a I started off with DD but soon saw the anagram. Was satisfied that 14 was teacher without being able to fully parse it. I ended up needing 8d but eventually spotted how to parse that one and then stuck for 15d. I thought I had found a hidden word with ninga (an age thing I suppose not to spot my misspelling of ninja… Evidently I should have lingered over my coffee a little longer. At about 40 minutes I thought I had done well, but clearly not good enough (as my school reports used to say). Several lovely clues for WOD – including 1a 11a 16a 7d. FOI 1a, LOI 15d.
  14. DNF again, must try harder. Went through PATIENCE, IOLANTHE before coming up with the 9 letter RUDDIGORE, I think it is a fine operetta.

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