Times Quick Cryptic 1120 by Izetti

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

My time of  7 minutes might suggest this is an easy puzzle and indeed I had only one hold-up along the way, but I was very aware whilst solving that there is some tricky stuff going on here so I shall not be at all surprised if some less experienced solvers experience difficulties. However there are some very easy clues too to keep flagging spirits alive, so I hope that all will enjoy Izetti’s offering, even if some are unable to complete the grid fully.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

1 Chess opponents in a sort of photo (5-3-5)
BLACK-AND-WHITE – Two meanings
8 Performer embracing jolly types seen in window (6)
DORMER – DOER (performer) containing [embracing] RM (jolly types – Royal Marines). It’s worth remembering the colloquial term ‘jolly’ as it crops up regularly in the main puzzle. Dormer windows are the ones with vertical sides in a roof space, perhaps most widely associated with bungalows. Those interested can read theories on the origins of ‘jolly’ here.
9 After short time employer gets cat (6)
MOUSER – MO (short time), USER (employer). Mousers can also be owls.
10 Port making one weary, we hear (4)
TYRE – Sounds like [we hear] “tire” (making one weary). A port of the Ancient World that’s now in the Lebanon.
11 Clever folk in dirty places limiting damage (8)
SMARTIES – STIES (dirty places) containing [limiting] MAR (damage). ‘Smarty’ in this context is fine on its own but more usually it appears in conjunction with other words, e.g. smarty-boots, smarty-pants.
12 Mum is boss, not son (5)
MATER – MA{s}TER (boss) [not son]
13 “Nothing right!” — one going on about instrument (5)
ORGAN – 0 (nothing), R (right), NAG (one going on) reversed [about]. Nags, by their very nature, do tend to go on!
15 Capitalist wearing garment with gold (8)
INVESTOR – IN (wearing), VEST (garment), OR (gold)
17 Pole needed by firm as tailor (4)
MAST – Contained in [needed by] {fir}M AS T{ailor}
19 Tied up, making terrible grunts (6)
STRUNG – Anagram [terrible] of GRUNTS
20 Man dropped to ground with cry of pain (6)
FELLOW – FELL (dropped to ground), OW (cry of pain)
21 Armies in peril worked out first things to be done (13)
PRELIMINARIES – Anagram [worked out] of ARMIES IN PERIL
2 Crazy, like a diving bird? (5)
LOONY – The diving bird is a ‘loon’ so just add a ‘y’ to give us a word meaning like one. This was the clue that delayed me because my first thought for ‘crazy’ was LOOPY, and when I couldn’t parse fully it I lost time doing an alphabet trawl to find an alternative.
3 Statement from firm with a thousand workers taking time (7)
COMMENT – CO (firm – company), M (a thousand), MEN (workers), T (time). A straightforward assembly job.
4 Scottish town with little sunshine, first to last? (3)
AYR – {r}AY (little sunshine) becomes AY+R [first to last]
5 Behaviour of French less generous, by the sound of it (9)
DEMEANOUR – DE (of, French), MEANOUR / “meaner” (less generous) [by the sound of it]
6 Search outside a favourite location? (5)
HAUNT – HUNT (search) contains [outside] A. As in the expression ‘visiting one’s old haunts’.
7 Neither can move in that place (7)
THEREIN – Anagram [move] of NEITHER
11 Manoeuvre to find precious stone under geological layers (9)
STRATAGEM – STRATA (geological layers), GEM (precious stone)
12 Keep an eye on fool entering desolate area (7)
MONITOR – NIT (fool) contained by [entering] MOOR (desolate area)
14 Good walker, one taking risks (7)
GAMBLER – G (good), AMBLER (walker)
16 Peer of incomparable quality (5)
EQUAL I thought of the correct answer immediately and moved on thinking I had parsed it, but on writing the blog I came to think the second definition is  wrong as ‘incomparable’ surely means ‘without equal’? But perhaps I’m not reading it in quite the right way  Scrapping all that because it’s not a double definition as I originally thought. As  Bruce kindly points out below, it’s a hidden answer indicated by ‘of’: {incomparabl}E QUAL{ity}. I’m relieved to see it caught Kevin out too, so I don’t feel quite so bad for missing it. A superb example of it’s type!
18 Shop beginning to suffer with rent (5)
STORE – S{uffer} [beginning], TORE (rent). I seem to recall that people in biblical times rent their clothes in anguish but am not sure I’ve ever encountered the meaning elsewhere other than in crossword puzzles.
20 Endless supply of money for amusement (3)
FUN – FUN{d} (supply of money) [endless]

25 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1120 by Izetti”

  1. How did the Marines get the nickname ‘jolly’? Can’t imagine a US Marine tolerating the term. No problem with LOONY, since ‘loopy’ isn’t in my idiolect. I also wondered about EQUAL; still do, since the 2d definition calls for ‘peerless’. 4:09.
    1. Kevin, I’ve now put a link in the blog to an article on the subject, though it’s not conclusive.
  2. 38 minutes, think the north west was tough for a quickie.

    Especially loony, dormer and tyre which were connected.

    Tyre, which is an obscure middle east port, could have been clued more kindly e.g. wheel covering held by sweaty repairman.

    COD Mater.

  3. My 8:57 was rendered null by a careless STRATEGEM, despite having noted the wordplay as STRATA plus GEM. At least STRATEGEM appears in Wiktionary as a misspelling of STRATAGEM, so I’m not the first and probably won’t be the last. I also did’nt spot the hidden EQUAL and shoved it in with a shrug. BLACK AND WHITE was my FOI and INVESTORS my last. Thanks Izetti and Jack.

    Edited at 2018-06-25 08:31 am (UTC)

    1. I typed in STRATEGEM–after all, it is ‘stratEgy’, no?– and luckily it looked odd, and I took another look.
  4. Hit my three Kevins target 👍🏻. Seemed notably easier than the usual Izetti but clever and well-constructed as usual. I even spotted the hidden at 16dn straightaway! (Whereas it took me ages to spot the hidden at 17ac …)

    Have never heard clever people called “smarties”.

    A model blog, Jack, informative as well as explanatory. Thanks.


    1. Smarties are also a chocolate confectionery, the UK equivalent of M&Ms. The Smarties Test (qv) is a standard test for what is known as ‘theory of mind’; under 3 years old (or if autistic), you fail.
      1. “You failed the Smarties test, you’re either under three or autistic” – an actual scientist
  5. I thought I was on for a sub 10 minute solve which I assume would’ve been a first for an Izetti puzzle. However it took me a couple of minutes to parse my last 2 in, as I didn’t initially spot the anagram at 7d and had a brain freeze with 11a. So eventually completed in 11.33.
    It seems I’m in good company today as I also missed the hidden at 16d.
    Thanks for the blog jack
  6. A typical Izetti for me. A steady solve, spotted both the hiddens, cracked the long anagram and then hit a brick wall. This time it was SMARTIES despite knowing full well that “mar” = “damage” is a classic. So in the end it was an average time with several clues to enjoy. My favourite was AYR, an unusual formulation yet so simple.
  7. Not the easiest start to the week, taking me 2 jackkts. 14 mins is about my average though. Penultimate solve was 12dn MONITOR after finally giving up on trying to insert ASS into the answer and LOI 11ac SMARTIES although I am more familiar with the word smarty-pants.
  8. Happy with a time of 19.19. Been doing the QC daily for 6 months now. These QC blogs are a tremendous educational aid, and fun!

    Edited at 2018-06-25 12:22 pm (UTC)

  9. An enjoyable puzzle from Izetti. I had pretty much all of it done in 10 minutes when I returned to LOI 11a. I had Smart Men as the components but it did not parse. It took me about another 5 minutes to get Smarties.
    FOI was Ayr; I spotted the hidden and felt on good form after attempting the weekend puzzles. David
  10. Never heard of a Loon bird (nor Loop come to that), so 2d was a 50:50 guess, which I of course got wrong. Enjoyed 9ac, but I thought 13ac was a bit clunky, and 11ac looks out of place in an Izetti puzzle. Invariant
  11. 10 minutes here with the NW last in (LOI 6dn). Excellent hidden clues – COD to 16dn because ‘incomparable quality’ isn’t ‘equal’ no matter how hard you try to bif!
  12. Definitely by Izetti on all my devices. Tracy set the previous QC published last Friday.
  13. Probably my quickest Izetti ever… 1 large Costa. FOI 1a LOI 11a COD 13a. I didn’t know ‘royal jollies = RM’ but it had to be right. Thanks for the interesting info…Struggled to parse 11 a but again, it had to be. Thx then to our blogger and to Izetti for an encouraging start to the week.
    Being up-to-date, I tried the Jumbo and so far am halfway there. So far some are very clear, some just ingenious – but half are still elusive. Just having longer answers I find rather challenging. Hope to get significantly further before admitting defeat. I will persevere until I am really stumped and then look for the blog. Not sure how difficult the Jumbo is supposed to be. Your expert/experienced opinions?
    1. I don’t do the Jumbo every week, Andrew, but I try them occasionally. My experience is that they tend to be a little easier than the main puzzle but that could be just the ones I have tackled. I can imagine they’d be a challenge to someone who has only solved QCs previously – just the sheer number of clues might be a bit daunting – but if you have managed half why not stick with it? It’s a whole week before the next one comes along and another week on top of that until the blog appears so there’s no rush to finish it. Often putting a puzzle aside for a while will make a difference if you are stuck, and you will read the clues differently when you return to it.
    2. Would agree with jackkt about the general level of difficulty. The number of clues means that you need a bit more stamina, and the fact that you can have answers longer than would fit into a Quicky 13×13 or main 15×15 grid can take a bit of getting used to. They’re certainly worth having a go, plus there’s the potential bonus of winning a prize. I’m sure that each time you return to the puzzle you’ll get a few more answers, so keep plugging away!
  14. Wasn’t too bad for me – I struggled to parse a few (DN jolly and couldn’t see why Ayr was right, for example). Did spot the hiddens, eventually. Didn’t need to cheat much today, so an enjoyable outing…

    Thanks to Izetti and Jack

  15. No wonder I couldn’t get 17 across, In the compendium The Times Quick Cryptic Crossword Book 5 it is printed as ‘Tied Up, with terrible grunts’!

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