Times Quick Cryptic 1310 by Joker

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

I needed 9 minutes for this and having written the blog it all seemed pretty straightforward but others may disagree and all opinions are welcome.

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 Inexpensive carpet only initially has pile (5)
CHEAP – C{arpet} [only initially], HEAP (pile)
4 Won over church with weapons (7)
CHARMED – CH (church), ARMED (with weapons)
8 Son harbours desire to be a theatre worker? (7)
SURGEON – SON contains [harbours] URGE (desire). I imagine most regular QC solvers are used to it being that type of theatre  by now.
9 Composer’s unfortunate sloth (5)
HOLST – Anagram [unfortunate] of SLOTH. English composer 1874-1934 most famous for The Planets.
10 Leave for each embassy (10)
PERMISSION – PER (for each), MISSION (embassy)
14 Newspaper customer is university lecturer (6)
READER – Two meanings
15 Bemoan lieutenant having the last word inside (6)
LAMENT – LT (lieutenant) contains [having…inside] AMEN (the last word)
17 Spoiler of fun is clear in unfortunate tweet (3,7)
WET BLANKET – BLANK (clear) contained by [in] anagram [unfortunate] of TWEET
20 Island with wood is perfect (5)
IDEAL – I (island), DEAL (wood)
22 Delicate scrap of fabric placed in folder (7)
FRAGILE – RAG (scrap of fabric) contained by [placed in] FILE (folder)
23 Criminal group with course of action on which to embark (7)
GANGWAY – GANG (criminal group), WAY (course of action). Gangs don’t have to be criminals of course so there’s a hint of DBE here.
24 A number of heavy objects uncovered (5)
EIGHT – {w}EIGHT{y} (of heavy objects) [uncovered].
1 Clubs request a lot of beer? (4)
CASK – C (clubs – cards), ASK (request)
2 Gem’s not the first for noble (4)
EARL – {p}EARL (gem) [not the first]. Not literally a gem, I think, but figuratively it passes muster.
3 Bit some food, bit by bit (9)
PIECEMEAL – PIECE (bit), MEAL (some food)
4 Key chaps in charge over picture house (6)
CINEMA – A (key) + MEN (chaps) + IC (in charge) reversed [over]
5 A southern hard wood (3)
ASH – A, S (southern), H (hard – pencil lead)
6 Short man plunges into water in tropical isles (8)
MALDIVES – MAL{e} (man) [short], DIVES (plunges into water)
7 Explode one day outside public school (8)
DETONATE – DATE (one day) contains [outside] ETON (public school). We know it’s a college but it’s still classed as a public school.
11 Position on board is grounds for divorce? (9)
STALEMATE – A straight definition with reference to chess, and a rather odd cryptic hint!
12 Doctor admitting cause of death (8)
DROWNING – DR (doctor), OWNING (admitting)
13 Severely criticise the working group of famous people (8)
PANTHEON – PAN (severely criticise), THE, ON (working). Originally used to describe Gods, this is now applied to people who are famous, admired or distinguished in some other way.
16 Perhaps getting cold and disdainful (6)
SNIFFY – Two meanings, the first vaguely cryptic
18 No time in Hertfordshire town to call (4)
RING – (t)RING (Hertfordshire town) [no time]. TRING came up only last Wednesday in the15x15 puzzle. It’s 11 miles to the south of where I live.
19 Opening race perhaps fails to start (4)
VENT – {e}VENT (race perhaps) [fails to start]
21 Clown at heart is depressed (3)
LOW – {c}LOW{n} [at heart]

38 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1310 by Joker”

  1. I was zipping along as fast as I’ve ever been, but I made Vinyl’s mistake and put in ‘snotty’; reluctantly, because I hate the word, and hate its nominal form even more, and was hoping that the setter hadn’t chosen it. I finally saw FRAGILE, and corrected, with relief, to SNIFFY. But I still had PANTHEON to get. 6:18.
    1. As I think I’ve said before, almost every dictionary entry beginning “sn” is a word with unpleasant connotations.

      Anyone know why?


  2. First, I ripped through all the acrosses except the penultimate one (it wasn’t really any harder), in order, and so the rest was extremely easy. This was after the 15×15, so it was like coasting downhill all the way.
  3. This all seemed very easy until I got to 16d. My route was CHILLY, corrected to SNOTTY and finally SNIFFY after a long look at 22a until FRAGILE emerged. So similar to Vinyl and Kevin.
    My time was 12:18 after all that. David
    1. CHILLY and SNOTTY seem eminently plausible: a rare instance of two equally possible alternative answers?
  4. 30 minutes, over target but about average. There seemed to be mixture of very easy and very difficult clues and unusually I was left needing four down answers where I had all the checkers. LOI was VENT as I initially had HEAT for an opening race and spent ages trying to fit it into what was left of the wordplay.


  5. Also whizzing along (unusual for a Joker) but I got stuck on PIECEMEAL and VENT while EIGHT took a while. So a sub 10 turned into 12.28. Still, a good start to the week. Lots of ‘take off a letter’ clues today, which I sometimes find tricky: EARL, VENT, EIGHT, RING, MALDIVES. COD STALEMATE/PIECEMEAL. NHO deal for wood.
  6. 7.05 today so not quite a PB. Likewise held up at 16dn with CHILLY before 17ac made me rethink. LOI 8ac as I’d missed it out… thanks setter and blogger


  7. Yet another SNOTTY here; took me a long old alphabet trawl through T-A-I-E to realise that I might have a wrong crosser! Then it all clicked for 2.5 Kevins, a Decent Enough But Could Have Been A Lot Better Day.

    I thought STALEMATE was very good and gets my COD; is it a chestnut, old hands?


  8. I got locked on Heat too but its a perfectly fair clue 🙂 I did wonder how well known Tring might be, but Ring was always likely. I thought this was a pleasant start to the week – thanks!
  9. 13 minutes for me, but held up in the SE for a different reason. Chilly came to mind, but was quickly rejected as I didn’t like the equivalence with disdainful. My problem was rather 19d where I originally put {s}PORT (fitted the clue perfectly I thought). This left me with **A*I*O for 22a which wasn’t going to work. It took a while to come up with FRAGILE, revise PORT to VENT, and only then did SNIFFY appear as LOI. Nice puzzle, but with reasonable alternatives for both 16 and 19d in the same grid, maybe will cause others some difficulty too. Thanks Joker and Jack.

    Edited at 2019-03-18 09:27 am (UTC)

  10. Apologies if you are already aware, but is it not QC1310 rather than 1610?

    Martin Hill

  11. Like others I got through this without too many hold ups. Fortunately I got FRAGILE before tackling 16d or I might have struggled on the SNOTTY/SNIFFY options. I also struggled with my last 2 24a and 19d, where HEAT initially seemed like a tempting option. Finished in 11.08, CoD to STALEMATE.
    Thanks for the blog
  12. I started off at a gallop and kept going. FRAGILE went in before I looked at SNIFFY which was my LOI. 5:18. I think that might be a PB. Thanks Joker and Jack.
  13. Well I am all of the above at the moment so why did I put SNuFFY for 16d? I completed the QC with this one error in 12 mins with just two clues pushing me over my 10 mins target. I had put in 19d as HEAT but I couldn’t parse it so I knew it was wrong and eVENTually the penny dropped. My LOI was 3d PIECEMEAL, all the E checkers just threw me.
  14. Nothing much to frighten the horses today (I too got FRAGILE before SNIFFY so avoided the potential elephant trap). Only really held up by an early conviction that 3d started with ‘part’. Other Hertfordshire towns are available although I haven’t seen the once popular Ware for a while.

    My thanks to setter and blogger.

  15. Started quickly with 1ac/1d, and after 20mins I was left with just a few gaps around the middle of the grid. Eventually the second ‘e’ in Piecemeal was enough to give me a doh moment with Permission, and that in turn yielded loi Stalemate. 26mins in total – slightly disappointing after a bright start. Along the way, I misread the County(18d) as Herefordshire but didn’t stop to think about it, and it was only on reading Jackkt’s blog and thinking I never knew he lived there that the penny dropped. Good job the answer was obvious. Finally, could an ex-navy type tell me what the difference is between a gangway and a brow? Invariant
    1. 23 years man and boy, and I’m not aware of any difference on first consideration. As far as I am aware, a BROW is a synonym for GANGWAY (noun), which is confirmed by Chambers. I’m trying to think of any difference in usage, but not much stands out. Sailors planning to meet for a run ashore might just as easily say ‘I’ll meet you at the brow / gangway’, but when returning on board, those same sailors would always salute the quarterdeck when ‘crossing the brow’, I never heard it referred to as ‘crossing the gangway’. Good question!
  16. …. I’m both SNIFFY and FRAGILE. Bless !

    As I worked around this practically unhindered in a generally clockwise direction, I had FRAGILE in before considering SNIFFY, so alternatives didn’t occur to me.

    TIME 3:07

  17. Around 20 mins.
    Was speeding along but got horribly snared in the nw by earl which took a while to parse, misspelling piecemeal which held up loi surgeon.

    Cod charmed.

  18. All finished in 17m except for 13d. We thought it looked like pantheon from the word play but had no idea of its other meaning, we can not be mixing in the right circles!
  19. A very good workout for me. Thanks to Joker and Jack (a pair of cards….). I moved slowly, experiencing most of the hiccups described above, and ended up taking 2xsonofjims so firmly in the SCC and no mistake!
    My lame excuse is that I am bog-eyed after spending most of the day staring at a screen trying to get the best deal on a mobile phone and sim card having found my missing mobile at the bottom of our garden pond. It took quite a while of dismissing more likely places before I used some logic and finally rolled up my sleeves and explored the muddy bottom. That will teach me not to put it in my top pocket while cleaning the pump! John M.
  20. The answer to 24AC was obvious but the clue is surely referring to weights, ie heavy objects, and not weighty.

    Stalemate was rather lovely, I have to say .

    1. I agree {w}eight{s} (heavy objects) [uncovered] is a valid parsing and possibly what the setter had in mind, however I stand by my version, {w}eight{y} (of heavy objects) [uncovered] as equally valid e.g it may be said ‘of heavy objects’ that they are ‘weighty’.

      Edited at 2019-03-18 06:47 pm (UTC)

  21. I keep search on for 27,298, but get the link to the wrong page!


    1. It’s not an abbreviation, it’s a synonym or definition in crossword terms.

      Here’s an entry in Collins dictionary:
      lo – exclamation
      look! see! (now often in the phrase lo and behold)

    2. It’s quite popular in hymns as well eg Lo He abhors not. . . in O Come, All Ye Faithful.
  22. All finished in 17m except for 13d. We thought it looked like pantheon from the word play but had no idea of its other meaning, we can not be mixing in the right circles!

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