Times Quick Cryptic 1211 by Joker

I found this an interesting and tricky puzzle which I finished in the NW with 1dn then loi 10ac. The letter K makes several appearances and there are some long anagrams. My 13 minutes did include some puzzling over the parsing rather than biffing (bunging in from the definition) and moving on. A couple of clues niggled during solving (but I haven’t got time at the moment to analyse any deeper) so your comments appreciated on 1ac and 16ac. Cod to 2dn.


1. SALE – market. Last of thi(S), beer (ALE). I would think that ‘sell’ = market so I’m interested if anyone finds differently. My apologies – as usual the team below has the answer – the definition is ‘found in market’ – where one would expect a sale to be found.
3. CASCADE – a series of drops (in the level of running water). Rogue (CAD) in police investigation (CASE).
8. INCONVENIENCE – a distinct drawback. Being surround by (the) ladies would mean one is IN(side) a ‘CONVENIENCE’.
9. OAK – tree. Correct OK protecting a (A).
10. EXIST – be. A pretty concise (so hard to spot) definition. Discriminating by gender is s(EXIST) without (being shunned by) society – S.
12. SPUTNIK – early satellite. Anagram (around) of SKIN PUT.
14. PASSIVE – inactive. Entry permit (PASS), I have (IVE).
16. LIEGE – double definition. ‘My liege’ would mean my lord and although Liege means (of a vassal or servant) owing feudal allegiance I’m not sure that’s exact enough. Comments again appreciated. Then there’s the city (with an accent over the first ‘e’).
17. NOD – start to fall asleep. Lecturer (DON) is backwards.
20. NON-RETURNABLE – not wanted back. Anagram (that’s out of order) of NOTABLE RUNNER.
21. WRESTLE – fight. Some of no(W RESTLE)ss.
22. LEEK – vegetable. Cut the head off smooth = s(LEEK).


1. SKIN-DEEP – superficial. View (SEE) about warm hearted (KIND) then papa (P).
2. LOCH – this is a lovely surface and an &lit clue. A loch is (L)ake (O)f (C)aledonian (H)ighlands.
3. CHECKS – stops. Homophone (by telephone) of cheques.
4. SHIPBUILDING – a company on the Clyde might do this. Small (S), joint (HIP), construction (BUILDING).
5. ANNOUNCE – tell everyone. Girl (ANN) is out on top of weight (OUNCE).
6. EVER – at all times. A Liverpool football team (EVER)ton losing weight (ton).
7. INFOTAINMENT – children’s TV perhaps. It is used to refer to radio or television programmes that are intended both to entertain people (which can include children) and to give information. Anagram (excited) of INFANT ON TIME.
11. INSTANCE – occasion. At home (IN), attitude (STANCE).
13. KNEE-JERK – unthinking reaction. Anagram (strangely) of KEEN, fool (JERK).
15. ENDURE – last. Finish (END), cure getting rid of c-cold c(URE).
18. KNEW – appreciated. November (N) inside botanic gardens (KEW).
19. OBOE – member of an orchestra. Take ‘how booze’ and regularly destroy (omit) every other letter h(O)w(B)o(O)z(E).

27 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1211 by Joker”

  1. No problem with LIEGE, but I did raise an eyebrow or two at SALE; I can’t see any way to make it work. I bunged in INFOTAINMENT wondering about children’s TV; only when I came here did I realize that I’d been thinking of infomercials. ‘check’, of course, is how ‘cheque’ is spelled in the US; either way it was a pretty easy clue. Liked 2d. 5:13.
    1. It would be a poor market where there were no sales! But on refelection I wonder whether ‘market’ in this sense is known over the pond? Many towns in the UK (my own for one) have market days each week where the high street or other designated site is taken over by stalls rented by specialist traders. Most of these were set up by Royal Charter dating back hundreds of years. We also have flea-markets specialising in bric-a-brac and household goods etc.

      Edited at 2018-10-30 05:29 am (UTC)

      1. ‘found in market’, of course! My eyebrows are lowered, but my cheeks are red. No problem with the weekly market; I used to visit the one in Cambridge when I lived there for a short while, although all I ever bought was port at the neighboring wine shop.
  2. 43 minutes and a silly typo of leak.
    Brain not in top gear today.
    Cod shipbuilding.

    Edited at 2018-10-30 04:39 am (UTC)

  3. I nearly forgot to post my own report on the puzzle!

    10 minutes, hitting my target, but it was a skin-of-the-teeth job as I needed every checker for 7dn, plus to work out the anagram on paper.

    The answer INFOTAINMENT is hard enough in itself for a QC without the misleading reference to children’s TV. The schedules of dozens of UK TV channels are packed with this stuff and it’s intended for adults. Aside from that, I have no idea what constitutes Children’s TV these days as it has been hived off to specialist channels which are easily avoidable, even by their target audience, I suspect. Yes, I know the clue says ‘perhaps’, but even so…

  4. But nice to be able to finish after yesterday’s difficulties. LOI was infotainment even after spotting “tainment” quite quickly.
  5. I had no problem with SALE or LIEGE, but as doubt was expressed I looked them up in my copy of Chambers. SALE is there as a definition of market and a LIEGE has “a vassal”.
    No difficulties with this although I did waste some time trying to make an anagram of “Some now” at 21A. 5:51.
  6. I was dead on my 30 minute target, although long anagrams hold me up as I solve it on my phone.
    LOI was EXIST- I eventually spotted ‘be’ as the definition but the rest of the clue made no sense until I read the excellent blog. As usual Joker’s surfaces were top class – 19D was just wonderful.


  7. I, likewise, was dead on target (20mins) and also had EXIST as the last one in. If Inconvenience had gone in quicker then my time would have been considerably shorter.
  8. No major hold ups today but like previous commenters have said the reference to children in 7d was a bit strange. At 13d I spent some time trying to find an anagram of ‘keen fool’ and the parsing of 1d took some working out.
    Overall a typically enjoyable puzzle from Joker which I completed in 11.52 with LOI 10a and a particular mention to 8a.
    Thanks for the blog
  9. I was way off the pace at 25 mins. LOI 10a EXIST. Penultimate solve was 7d INFOTAINMENT despite knowing it was an anagram. I struggled to get a foothold today.
  10. I had to put my brain into gear for this one. I took me over my 10 minute target to 13:32. I was also puzzled by the kids’ TV reference but my car music/satnav is described by the makers as an Infotainment system, so it was easy enough to get. Looking back, nothing seems too outre, so it looks like a well designed puzzle to make you think. Nice one Joker and thanks Chris for the blog.
  11. Had to be at my best with this. I share others’ views on INFOTAINMENT, but SALE didn’t trouble me (I lived and worked in Sale, Greater Manchester for some years).

    Loved the clues for OBOE, and EXIST. Both would have graced the 15×15.

    For anyone in doubt, the vassal is pronounced “leezh” and the city “lee-azh”.

  12. After waxing lyrical about Joker in previous puzzles until the infamous last one, this remained in the tough zone but I would say a fair test with the exception of 7d even though slightly helped by the fairly obvious anagram indicator. Missed a few but having read the blog just about understandable. Thank you.
  13. I enjoyed this but would suggest that there are some clues here which are more in the main crossword league eg EXIST INCONVENIENCE. Never heard of INFOTAINMENT (even this spell checker doesn’t like it though I know it’s a word, but the anagram was clearly flagged I suppose
  14. I remember the last Joker puzzle being quite difficult and so was this one for me.
    I got EVER(TON) straightaway and then two or three other clues including 1a Sale, which seemed completely OK to me.
    I then got a bit stuck not helped by pausing to prepare and eat some lunch. Not getting the long clues was holding me back. I’d thought of Shipbuilding as soon as I saw Clyde but did not bother to parse it so left it till later.
    Once I’d stopped eating I concentrated properly and it all fell into place. Last three were 1d, 8a and finally 10a.
    I’d guess about 22/23 minutes today.COD to 2d.
  15. Slogged through to complete this!! I couldn’t get Soft Soap out of my head for 1d having got the first and last letters. I knew it wasn’t but…. got caught out with “some now” and “keen fool” as anagrams that weren’t but pleased to eventually get them all – including LOI Exist. 45 minutes less possibly 10 when I nodded off. COD 4d
    Thanks all
    John George
  16. I made rather heavy weather of that; not sure what the time was because lots of interruptions but at least 4 Kevins so well below par.

    I got stuck on EXIST (my LOI and needed an alphabet trawl, missed the definition), INCONVENIENCE (mer from me) and SKIN DEEP (that took forever – spent ages trying to make slip-shod or slap-dash work. Curse the NATO alphabet, not only do I always forget it but I also forget that I always forget it).

    Hard yards from the Joker again; he’s morphing into the Batman Joker instead of the merry jester we’ve known till now. Thanks for the blog, Chris.


  17. Dnf due to 7d. Knew it was an anagram, but infotainment was new to us. Chambers has this for serious subjects, why the reference to childrens tv in the clue? Perhaps we are showing our age!? Elin and Ian.
  18. I finished the bottom half of this puzzle pretty quickly but struggled with the top half a bit. Really liked 8 across! As always, I needed this marvellous blog to explain some answers (e. g. 1 & 15 down) as, though I knew they were correct, I did not know why! Spent a while trying to make a new word out of “keen fool” – great clue, though! LOIs were 3 across and down. They both stumped me for ages. I regularly miss the homophone info – and 3 down was no exception. Thanks so much, setter and blogger.
  19. Another late evening start for me. Quite tough, as usual for Joker but thanks for some testing clues. A slow time of a midge’s under 20 mins. LOsI were Infotainment (why was this linjked with kids?) and Exist. Perhaps my brain doesn’t really operate well after 10pm. John
  20. I’m a beginner and I found this tough but fair. A setter who understands the premise of this crossword

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