Times Quick Cryptic 1491 by Joker

Still in my run of 12 minute solves so either I’m getting slower or the QCs have upped their game a bit. There seemed to be a lot of positional clues throughout this crossword and some unusually long definitions – which I only fully appreciated when teasing it all apart for the blog.

Definitions, where included, are from Collins.

1. Express disapproval with uniform dress (4)
TUTU – express disapproval (TUT), with uniform (U).
4. Guided round island, certainly having much free time (8)
LEISURED – guided (LED) round island (I) and certainly (SURE).
8. Tired and unhappy oarsman back in Canada (8)
CAREWORN – oarsman – rower back (REWOR) in Canada (CAN).
9. End of fish, end of sea (4)
CODA – fish (COD), se(A).
10. Someone’s skin remedy is safe (6)
SECURE – the skin of – outside layer/2 letters – (S)omeon(E), remedy (CURE).
11. English chap Queen returned to give a new title to (6)
RENAME – all backwards – returned – English (E), chap (MAN), Queen (ER).
12. Conservative valley landscape receiving constant restoration (13)
CONVALESCENCE – conservative (CON), valley (VALE), landscape (SCENE) receiving constant (C) inside.
16. Loud protest exposed about railway (6)
OUTCRY – exposed (OUT), about (C), railway (RY).
17. Second copy? ’E can make one (6)
SCRIBE – second (S), copy (CRIB), ‘E (E). I think this a partial &lit. A scribe can make a second copy so most of the clue is defined by itself.
19. Complete start of form badly (4)
FILL (e.g. a form!) – (F)orm, badly (ILL – e.g. judged).
20. Unsuspecting trader uses tariff, unusual externally (8)
TRUSTFUL – externally tells us to take the front and rear letters of each word – (T)rade(R) (U)se(S) (T)arif(F) (U)nusua(L). My least favourite clue type to blog as it’s so fiddly messing about with all the brackets!
21. They confused empty line with neon for flammable gas (8)
ETHYLENE – anagram (confused) of THEY, empty the letters out of (L)in(E), neon (NE).
22. Couch returned before time for money to be paid (4)
DEBT – couch – bed – returned (DEB) before time (T).


2. Highly intelligent person is after university employment (5)
USAGE – highly intelligent person (SAGE) is after university (U).
3. Uniquely wild, keeping expressing feelings loudly and explicitly (13)
UNEQUIVOCALLY – anagram (wild) of UNIQUELY keeping (containing) expressing feelings loudly (VOCAL).
4. Talking indiscreetly in toilets on ecstasy (5)
LOOSE – I think loose=talking indiscreetly just about works – toilets (LOOS) on top of ecstasy (E).
5. What are inside pub on a road south (7)
INNARDS – nice definition – pub (INN) on top of a (A), road (RD), south (S).
6. Profane? Second nature, unfortunately, when Charlie’s involved (13)
UNCONSECRATED – Anagram (unfortunately) of SECOND NATURE with Charlie (C). The ? allows for a little flex in meanings – unconsecrated – not having been made or declared sacred or holy = profane – concerned with everyday life rather than religion and spiritual things.
7. Adapted medicine, eliminating one type of disease (7)
ENDEMIC – anagram (adapted) of MEDiCINE without (eliminating) one (I).
10. Bag regularly found in search (3)
SAC – regularly found in (S)e(A)r(C)h – well yes that type’s a bit fiddly to blog too!
13. Former ophthalmologist is in old religious group (7)
OCULIST – a former term for ophthalmologist (so a link with 15dn) – is (IS) inside old (O) and religious group (CULT).
14. Even now dressed in passed on baby’s clothing (7)
LAYETTE – even now (YET) dressed in passed on (LATE).
15. Organ used by Meyerbeer (3)
EYE – used by the word M(EYE)rbeer. Giacomo (ˈdʒaːkomo) Meyerbeer, real name Jakob Liebmann Beer.1791–1864, German composer. Is it just me or does this chap’s first name look like glaucoma?
17. Relish novel cause (5)
SAUCE – anagram (novel) of CAUSE.
18. Publisher’s way of advertising obscure book (5)
BLURB – coined by Gelett Burgess (1866–1951), US humorist and illustrator – obscure (BLUR), book (B).

35 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1491 by Joker”

  1. Slowish going, even though I biffed several. I think VOCAL is intended to mean ‘expressing feelings loudly’; otherwise ‘loudly’ seems otiose. 7:58.
  2. I must have read nearly 10 clues before an answer leapt out at me, and then it was only the 3-letter SAC. And then I got EYE.

    I really struggled through much of this and eventually ground to a complete halt with three answers missing in the NW. When I got it down to one I glanced at my watch and found I was coming up to 25 minutes (only a couple short of my solving time on the main puzzle today) so I decided enough was enough, gave up and used aids to find CAREWORN. It wasn’t that difficult a clue but I’d become fixated on the second word being DOWN (unhappy) and that’s what did for me.

    Chris, you have a typo in your anagrist for SAUCE.

    1. Blog updated – thank you. Also, I now feel as if I’ve just had a pb given the other times around – so thank you for that too. Just goes to show there’s always a bright side.

      Edited at 2019-11-26 11:41 am (UTC)

  3. Exactly as per Jack – 25 minutes without 9ac CAREWORN – my longest ever QC!
    It will be interesting to see who else, apart from Our Kev and Lord Keriothe, can beat ten minutes.

    FOI 2dn USAGE

    (LOI) 4ac LEISURED

    COD Most of them but I’ll go for 4dn LOOSE

    WOD 14dn LAYETTE

    A great contrast to yesterday’s speedfest.

    Edited at 2019-11-26 07:01 am (UTC)

  4. 6:25… and surprised it wasn’t longer. After a good start with TUTU and LEISURED my next one in wasn’t till TRUSTFUL, but I guess I speeded up on the downs. LOI CAREWORN… nice clue, that one. I also liked the semi-&lit SCRIBE and FILLing the form. Thanks Joker and Chris.
  5. No accurate time, but wasn’t much quicker than the 15×15 which took an hour.

    Held up by careworn, outcry, layette (dnk and mer at yet = even now), ethylene (or hetylene), and LOI oculist.

    COD scribe.

  6. Tough but enjoyable. The 13-letter words were difficult for me but they were clever and life got much easier when they were in. OCULIST and CODA were brilliant and I liked INNARDS, LAYETTE, and BLURB. An enormous contrast to yesterday’s QC and a good test. I ended up a couple of minutes under 4K. Many thanks to Joker and Chris. John M.

    Edited at 2019-11-26 09:46 am (UTC)

  7. Well I don’t mind admitting to 26 minutes for me this morning! This was hard for a QC, and I’m sure there will be some whinges from the newbies. I found it an excellent workout, and relished the challenge that it offered. Thank you Joker and Chris.
  8. Not even close today. I think I got 4 clues and had to give up. This was certainly a very tough QC and I suspect lots of beginners of which I am one, will be unhappy. On to tomorrow
  9. When TUTU and LEISURED went in in the first few seconds I thought this was going to be another flyer … alas, dashed hopes and crushed ego. Like Jack and Horryd (so at least I am in distinguished company) I quit at 22 mins with CAREWORN unsolved for a DNF and a Terrible Day. Which is infuriating, because when I first looked at 8ac I immediately thought “rower backwards” but by the time I returned to it I was so frazzled by my struggles with OCULIST, OUTCRY and LAYETTE that I had quite forgotten that idea and was obsessing about it being some obscure Canadian backwater ending in “down”. Oh dear. I feel like England’s test cricket team.

    Never mind, there’s another one tomorrow!

    Thanks Chris and Joker.


  10. Having read the other comments, I’m now quite happy with my 10:44. I thought this was quite tough with the definitions having to be teased out. Took a while to get ETHYLENE as ACETYLENE kept coming into my head even though it didn’t fit. An enjoyable puzzle though. Thanks Joker and Chris.
  11. When i got nearly to the bottom of the across clues before my first solve, I thought I was in for a tough day, and so it proved. I couldn’t get any sort of flow and dotted all over the place to finish in my longest time for a while.
    The complete opposite of yesterday, as others have said.

    Sort of comforted to see that I wasn’t the only one! It doesn’t look quite so bad when presented as 2.5K, which would be about my norm. A good workout though, and nothing unfair – just quite hard. Let’s put this down as A Challenging Day 😉

    We seem to have had layette a few times recently.

    FOI Fill
    LOI Careworn
    COD Coda !
    Time 19.41 (put the timer on today)

    Many thanks to Joker and Chris, and well done those who came in under the 10 minute mark 😊

  12. Ok with careworn but stuck in the SW corner with unequivocable instead of unequivocally doing for me. Memo to self – always check parsing carefully. Thank heavens for the blog! And thanks to Joker too. C. 90 mins. Frankyanne
  13. Not much fun from Joker today. Got there in two sittings. On a coach today for the first time in years but too cramped and too dark to read paper so saved for cafe before and after meetings. QC seems comfortably harder than main Telegraph puzzle to me most days recently. NHO LAYETTE, missed that externally referred to more than unusual so TRUSTFUL LOI after Layette. Slow on plenty of others.
  14. I still find it hard to believe that I once considered Joker to be the easiest setter – how times change! This was a real challenge today, completed and parsed with a sense of relief after 42mins. None of the clues were exactly unfair, but several were tricky to say the least. Wrong end of the clue problems with 2d, and wanting to get Sect into 13d were just a couple of the (many) hold ups along the way. Overall, this had a 15×15 feel to it, so newbies shouldn’t be too disheartened. CoD to 20ac, Trustful, – an impossible clue until you know the trick, and then they are easy. Invariant
  15. I felt that I was struggling, and i did come in one over par at 9.17, which seems to be competitive going by comments. Very enjoyable puzzle. Will have a crack at the main puzzle this evening.

    Loved CODA, LOI was OUTCRY.

  16. ….too much free time !

    I seem to have been one of the minority who were on Joker’s wavelength, and was looking at another clean sweep until I couldn’t get TRUSTFUL. I didn’t have LAYETTE at that point, and then spotted the possibility immediately the missing T was served. However, I couldn’t parse it, so it was a biff – something I seldom have to resort to on a QC – and I needed Chris’s excellent blog to show me where I’d gone astray. Quite simply, I’d used the device to get only the last two letters, instead of the whole clue. I suspect I was not alone ! I loved it when I knew what was going on, but it’s a bit of a toughie at this level.

    TIME 4:07 (I’m proud of that in view of what others say)

  17. An enjoyable tussle with Joker today. I decided to solve on paper after lunch and with a coffee. Just as well really as it was tough going.
    FOI was EYE; SAC not long after. I then solved the RHS quite quickly but the LHS remained pretty blank. My last three were 3d, CAREWORN and finally OUTCRY. Some difficult stuff for a QC. COD to CODA , no pun intended.
    I reckon just under 25 minutes for this. David
  18. I came to this blog with some trepidation given my lack lustre performance yesterday and assumed my dozy demeanor had resulted in another out of kilter solving time. So I am very surprised to find that I finished in 1 Jack and amongst good company. Yes this QC was tough. My only write ins were TUTU, SAC and EYE. CODA was a guess based on the word codicil. CAREWORN had to be right as I could see rower in reverse but CAN for Canada had me wondering. When is CAN used as an abbreviation for Canada? The three thirteen letter words refused to yield until most of the checkers were in place and 6d UNCONSECRATED was my LOI even though I knew it to be an anagram. 24 mins and an OK day.
  19. Well, this certainly wasn’t 4ac…

    After 45 mins I seriously only had about 4 answers. However, I persevered, and have just finished. I can’t post the time because I lost track and it would no doubt be embarrassing, but the fact I completed it is a bonus in itself.

    In hindsight, very enjoyable, although there were a few descriptions that I ended up “tutting” at:

    “Tutu” = Dress – I thought it was a ballet skirt.
    Couch = Bed – wasn’t the first on my mental list.
    “Leisured” – was thinking in the present tense

    FOI – 1ac – The above mentioned “Tutu”
    LOI – 2dn – “Usage”

    COD was a toss up between 5dn “Innards” (tried to fit entails at first) and 4dn “Loose” (mainly because I saw a double meaning that probably wasn’t there).

    Thanks as usual.

    1. Indeed – tutu is a skirt rather than a dress. Forgot tut though and was trying to get some obscure foreign uniform called bahu or even urgu!
      1. Don’t worry…been there many times. Amazing the number of words you think may exist but then realise you’ve just made up!
        1. Such words are known as mombles! A lovely word that was created by a couple of 15×15 regulars a few years ago – more details are in the glossary.

          My first version of 1a was ughu! No idea how you’d pronounce it tho 😊

          1. Thanks pebee – nice to know a word has been made up to describe words that have been made up. I will definitely have a look at the glossary.

            In my experience, such “mombles” sound (or look) at least vaguely sensible in relation to the clue. I could well imagine an “ughu” being a form of military dress during the British Empire in some far flung location.

        2. James. Unlike in top level scrabble when just about any combination of letters is actually a word. Looks like my kids Snapchat but without the emojis 🤣
          DNF today. Reassuring to not be the only one. My target is 2 Rotters. Johnny
  20. Wow – finished – but glacial time. As someone who regularly tries the QC and usually finishes it, but rarely gets close to finishing the 15×15, this felt more like the latter, in the layering of the clues, so quite pleasing. Plymouthian
  21. I must be improving as I managed to get all these, except 18d without resorting to aids. That one should have been obvious, really. But then I got, but couldn’t parse, 17ac, nor work out what was the definition, so it doesn’t even count as biffing..

    FOI was tutu (and a bit of a mer about ‘dress’ as others have said), then ‘usage’. Biffed layette from the ‘L’ and the ‘Y’ but got nowhere near parsing it. The long ones went in fairly early after getting some of the checkers.

    Careworn was the last one in (before I resorted to the aid) and teased out by writing ‘rower’ backwards and realising that the c and n came from Canada. I was originally looking for an obscure town or province ‘in Canada’ – probably ending in ‘toon’

    Probably about 40 mins in total.

  22. I need a lie down after that and to think I thought it was going to be standard fare after 1 and 4a went in straightaway. I was on the point of giving up a couple of times but sheer bloody mindedness got me there in the end. Last few in were OCULIST, LAYETTE and CAREWORN. Finished in 26.05.
    Thanks for the blog
  23. Well, we got there in the end, but it was an horrendous slog and we onky decided to attempt a solve just befire settling down to sleep. Do a bit, fall asleep, wake up to see to sick son (only tonsillitis), do a bit more, nod off, surge awake crying “unconsecrated!”, hear Mrs Tim (not that Tim) biff layette and then scramble it over the line in hours and minutes.
    Really tough, but fair, no complaints, got to learn as we go.
    Incidentally, I think compilation book five is published in January. Would be ideal late Christmas/New Year gift.
    Tim (not that Tim)
  24. Not even close today. I think I got 4 clues and had to give up. This was certainly a very tough QC and I suspect lots of beginners of which I am one, will be unhappy. On to tomorrow
  25. Gave up with this one. Probably the toughest crossword I have ever attempted. Have to say not suitable for a quick cryptic. Onwards to tomorrow

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