Times Quick Cryptic 1166 by Joker.

Like yesterday’s I started off at a sprint, especially the left side, but then struggled with some of the chewier clues. I was left staring at the last two – COD 7dn then LOI 16ac for some time before finishing in 12 minutes.


1. VICTORIA – a station, where one might get a train (with a queen’s name).
5. AFRO – hairstyle. Anagram (revolutionary) of FOR A.
8. TORUS – doughnut. A geometrist would say: ‘a ring-shaped surface generated by rotating a circle about a coplanar line that does not intersect the circle. Area: 4π2Rr; volume: 2π2Rr2, where r is the radius of the circle and R is the distance from the line to the centre of the circle’ – I say: ‘doughnut’. Backwards (put back) rubbish (Rot=TOR), American (US).
9. PENNANT – flag. Hanging is pendant – change the ‘d’=days for a ‘n’ = knight gives us PEN(d=N)ANT.
11. SILICON CHIP – part of electric circuit. Anagram (made up) of I PINCH COILS.
13. ALMOST – nearly. The answer is trapped inside M(ALMO ST)reet.
14. SEANCE – spiritualist meeting. Irishman perhaps (SEAN) leads Church of England (CE).
16. GOSPEL TRUTH – that can’t be wrong. Travel (GO), small (S), fur (PELT), girl (RUTH).
18. BORSTAL – where young offenders went. A borstal was a type of youth detention centre in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. In India, it is known as a borstal school. Borstals were run by HM Prison Service and were intended to reform seriously delinquent young people. To drill endlessly (BOR)e, mostly looking tired (STAL)e.
19. TAPER – light – a long, thin candle or a thin wooden strip that is used for lighting fires. Exercises (PE) taken in by sailor (TAR).
20. EVEN – regular. Social occasion finished early (EVEN)t.
21. ENTRANCE – double definition.


1. VETO – don’t allow. Animal doctor (VET), round (O).
2. CHRISTMAS TREE – source of dropped needles. Anagram (that’s turned out) of ARREST CHEMIST.
3. OBSOLESCENT – dated. Old boy (OB), exclusive (SOLE), perfume (SCENT).
4. IMPACT – strong influence. One (I), politician (MP) on some legislation (ACT).
6. FLASH IN THE PAN – little success – also, possibly, something which could ignite chip oil.
7. OCTUPLET – group arriving together. The answer is in the clue but upwards ho(TEL PUT CO)st.
10. NON SEQUITUR – wrong conclusion – one that does not follow from the premises. Anagram (badly) of QUESTION RUN.
12. TANGIBLE – real. Big name (BIG N) turned upwards inside story (TALE). I wanted the story to be fable for far too long.
15. STOLEN – pinched. Rich German loaf (STOL)L(EN) with a left (L) taken out.
17. FREE – no longer fixed. Resistance (R) cutting into charge (FEE).

39 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1166 by Joker.”

  1. Slowed down by a couple, OCTUPLET (once again slow to see a hidden), BORSTAL (which I threw in at once, then couldn’t see how it worked so I threw it out, then with the R and L knew it was right and finally parsed it), and TANGIBLE (like Chris, I stayed too long with ‘fable’. 6:19.
  2. 32 minutes but struggled again on two clues, octuplet and pennant where I managed to write in pendant, Doh.

    COD octuplet, really well hidden.

  3. 12 minutes, so once again over my target 10 which I have now failed to achieve in four consecutive QCs.

    No complaints, but a MER at TORUS which I knew immediately but I recognised will not be familiar to many a QC solver. My main difficulty was with OCTUPLET for which I needed all the checkers having returned to it several times throughout the solve.

    Edited at 2018-08-28 05:21 am (UTC)

  4. This QC took me 21 minutes, so either it was hard or I was having an off day. DNK 8a TORUS so I went with the wordplay. I got completely snarled up in the SW corner so spent a considerable amount of my time working with the few checkers I did have. My LOI was 7d OCTUPLET needing the final checker from PENNANT to complete…..biffed it and even after reading the blog I struggled to see it was hidden.

    Edited at 2018-08-28 07:43 am (UTC)

  5. As Chris said, there are one or two chewier clues today, but nothing that couldn’t be helped by the checking letters. I had a fairly sparsely populated grid after going through the Acrosses, but the long Downs came easily and helped. GOSPEL TRUTH and TANGIBLE held me up the most – looking for something more complicated than BIG N going upwards in the latter. Luckily I spotted the well disguised hidden OCTUPLET quickly. COD to FLASH IN THE PAN. Thanks Joker and Chris. 5:47.
  6. My trouble with the QC is slap-dash reading of the clue. I was wondering about the looseness of ENTRANCE clued by “Cast a spell on the way” because an entrance is not really on the way. …in, dummy, in. 8.15.
    Likewise wasn’t calling AFRO a hairstyle for a revolutionary presumptuous? Racist even? Clearly my day for being thick.
  7. Getting on for four Kevins, which is poor, but what the heck’s a TORUS? (Actually I now know cos I googled it – huh.) And why is OCTUPLET a “group arriving at the same time”? Surely an octuplet is just a member of the group, and the eight babies together (ie the group) are called octupletS? So MEH indeed.

    A Cautionary Tale – when I started the QC I’m sure I would have written in VICTORIA fairly swiftly. Instead of which I thought “Well it obviously won’t have anything to do with railways, so what else could train mean … hmm, wedding dress, what’s a word for a royal dress maker? Or is it training, could it be a royal finishing school? Oh hang on – it’s probably not a real queen any more than it’s a real train, so could it be a bee? Oh hang on again – I always get caught out on this – queen is OCC (Obscure Crossword Code) for a cat, isn’t it? So it’s something to do with cat training … or bee training … or … a cat in a wedding dress .. mmm, I think I’d better come back to this one.” A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.


    1. I think it fair to say that your exercises over 1ac show that your have truly arrived as a seasoned solver. Congratulations!
      I had the same misgiving over OCTUPLET but in the singular it’s a group of 8 notes played in the time needed for six.
  8. I took 45 minutes, 15 over my target with most of the time spent on five clues, plus a DNF when I had to look ‘Octuplet’ up – I ignored one of the first laws of solving which says ‘If you can’t get it, it’s probably a hidden word’.


    Edited at 2018-08-28 10:00 am (UTC)

  9. I think Joker has had the last laugh on quite a few of us who started strongly then got caught up in a the more obscure/demanding clues. I had to wait for all the checkers to be sure of 5a and 8a and 7d was well hidden. I finished in ca. 3 Kevins so I’m not best pleased. Nice puzzle, though. Thanks to Joker and chris. John M
    P.S. I would prefer not to be anonymous but still have no idea what the alternative choices are all about – I am determined to avoid Facebook, Twitter and the like at all costs and I still hate myself for depending so much on google for web searches but duckduckgo is not nearly as slick. Why can’t I just sign in on my ipad using my Times Crossword Club name? Perhaps I’m just thick?
    1. The blog is on livejournal. I signed onto livejournal without using Facebook etc. You get a logon ID and password and give your email – then get an email prompt if your comment gets a reply.
        1. I am now oldblighter. I appreciate your help and acknowledge that I was a bit thick. I thought it was a ‘Times’ blog……. I never looked at the banner at the top of the page but just hit a bookmark every time I looked at the blog. Must try harder. John M
        2. I am now oldblighter. I appreciate your help and acknowledge that I was a bit thick. I thought it was a ‘Times’ blog……. I never looked at the banner at the top of the page but just hit a bookmark every time I looked at the blog. Must try harder. John M
          1. I have wrestled with Live Journal and have created a new account! Fingers crossed


            1. Welcome templarredux – (not before time, if I may say so) no surprise that you overcame the dragon of livejournal registration!
          2. Welcome, oldblighter!
            This site all about solvers of the Times puzzles – we have nothing to do with the Times itself.
            As you’ll see from this you’ll receive an email notification of a response – and we’ll know who we’re communicating with – enjoy.
            1. All done. Just wondering about a pic. Thanks all. I appreciate your responses.
              I have done every QC since number 1. It is about time I caught up with the Times/livejournal community. John M
  10. I biffed pennant, borstal, looked up a word ‘torus’ (new to me) and could not see octuplet at all. If I didn’t have the answers and explanations it would be very frustrating – thanks to all bloggers and setters. 64 mins. Frankyanne.
  11. A relatively quick 25mins today. Might even have been a bit quicker, but having spotted Almost (12ac) I wasn’t looking for another hidden (Octuplet), and yes I know it’s reversed, so allowed. Anyway, 7d took several minutes at the end and only when it didn’t parse did I spot the hidden. Punishment, no doubt, for knowing Torus – it’s the T in JET (Joint European Torus) down in Culham, and is used for fusion research. Several contenders for CoD, but I’m still smiling over 6d, so that gets my vote. Thank you Joker and Chris. Invariant
  12. I’m always pleased to see Joker’s name at the top of the puzzle. I like the clever surfaces and wit.
    Today FOI was 1d and 1a straight after and I was away quickly. Two left after 15 minutes: 9a and 7d. I had put in Torus without knowing the word.
    Got Pennant without full parsing and then struggled on 7d. I had noted Octuplet without seeing the hidden; I rejected it at first as I thouhgt it must be One of a Group…
    However,seeing the hidden made it clear it was the right answer, but I think the clue could have started “One of a ..”
    A minor quibble in a very enjoyable puzzle. David
  13. Good puzzle today, keeping me occupied and entertained for 16 minutes. I had no problem with Torus, the doughnut shaped thingy that is often referred to in Physics, but had to think about the spelling of NON-SEQ despite having the anagrist to work from.

    I liked PENNANT, ENTRANCE, CHRISTMAS TREE and OCTUPLET the most, and give my CoD to the latter for the very well hidden answer.

    Thanks Joker and Chris

  14. Another super puzzle today. Especially liked 6 down. I couldn’t see 7 down even with all the checkers in… good advice to examine all the letters in the clue to find the answer when nothing else seems to work! Thank you, setter and blogger.
    1. I thought 7dn was particularly tricky. I eventually got it when I realised that none of the parts of the clue seeemed to work with the checkers. Wonderful when it clicked though – hence COD.
  15. Not much trouble with this one, but I did have to look long and hard to finally see the hidden OCTUPLET. Thanks to Z for explaining why it can signify a group in its singular form. 2d also held me up as I racked my brain for a type of PINE. Eventually got there in 7:31. Thanks Joker and Chris.
  16. Not sure of time as lots of interruptions but not stuck on any clue. A few dodgy ones in the clues for me. Borstal – really? I know QC is reliably 20 or 30 years out of date (eg silicon chip, obsolete in the 80s) but Borstals disappeared over half a century ago. An octuple is a group of 8, an octuplet is one of the members (otherwise if an octuplet is a group of 8 then an octuple would be 8 of them I.e. 64). Obsolescent means superseded but still in use, nothing to do with old, a brand new Betamax was obsolescent the day it was made whereas a Stradivarius is old but by no means obsolescent. Non sequitur means does not follow it does not mean wrong. All men die, Plato is a man so grass is green is a non sequitur

    Edited at 2018-08-28 01:34 pm (UTC)

  17. A pleasure, as always, Invariant. You’re another long term anon – I wonder if you’d like to follow templarredux and oldblighter into livejournal logon?
  18. Nice to see Oldblighter and Templardux de-anonymise 🙂
    And Invariant_tft 🙂

    Edited at 2018-08-28 03:07 pm (UTC)

    1. I don’t know, you wait years for people to join up and then 3 arrive on the same day (welcome also to invariant-tft).
  19. Seeing as you have been so kind in the past. . .

    . . .but don’t expect an avatar in a hurry.

    1. Don’t worry about that – avatars I can do without. It’s good to know that a response will ‘get through’ though.
  20. A good challenge with a nice mix of write ins and those that required some thought. I saw 7d and 9a fairly quickly but got stuck in the SW with my last two in TORUS, where I eventually just had to trust the wordplay, and TANGIBLE. CoD to 7d and completed in 17.07.

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