Times Quick Cryptic 1987 by Joker

Lots of unusual vocabulary, but only one that left me competely reliant on wordplay and checkers (21ac). Perhaps not quite as pithy, original, or easy as yesterdays, but a fun and doable puzzle nontheless.

I will be away until the evening, but trust the regular commenters will help with any queries until then…

Definitions underlined.

7 Voyeurs going round — right? One checking out a house? (8)
SURVEYOR – anagram of (going round) VOYEURS, then R (right).
8 Old regret backing common currency (4)
EURO – O (old) and RUE (regret) all reversed (backing).
9 Wager about one game in Mediterranean capital (6)
BEIRUT – BET (wager) containing (about) I (one) and RU (rugby union, game).
10 Prays in eastern temple yard, initially displaying this? (5)
PIETY – first letters from (initially) Prays In Eastern Temple Yard.
11 Area by lake left for everybody (3)
ALL – A (area), L (lake) and L (left).
12 Summit held in Dover, Texas (6)
VERTEX – hidden (held) in doVER TEXas.
14 Free English parliamentarian trapped in extension (6)
EXEMPT – E (English) and MO (parliamentarian) contained by (trapped in) EXT (extension).
16 Stick together with Commanding Officer present (6)
COHERE – CO (Commanding Officer) and HERE (present).
18 Learnt to play horn (6)
ANTLER – anagram of (to play) LEARNT.
19 Second rook capturing one knight (3)
SIR – S (second) and R (rook) containing (capturing) I (one).
20 Player pitch regularly dropped in song (5)
LYRIC – every other letter from (regularly dropped) pLaYeR pItCh.
21 Contemporary black fuel containing derv regularly (6)
COEVAL – COAL (black fuel) containing every other letter from (regularly) dErV. For anyone as ignorant as I, it means ‘of the same age’. Now that I see ‘medieval’ and ‘primeval’, this makes a lot more sense.
23 Pickle or jam in army dining room (4)
MESS – triple definition.
24 Unusual red olive is a really bad one (8)
EVILDOER – anagram of (unusual) RED OLIVE.

1 See group developed self-critical conscience (8)
SUPEREGO – anagram of (developed) SEE GROUP.
2 Maintain one putting money aside must suffer initial small loss (4)
AVER – sAVER (one putting money aside) missing the ‘s’ (must suffer loss of the first letter (initial) of small).
3 Text rules announcing what could reduce the wages of sin? (6)
SYNTAX – sounds like (announcing) “sin tax” (what could reduce the wages of sin).
4 Rubbish about litre being a very generous measure of spirits (6)
TRIPLE – TRIPE (rubbish) containing (about) L (litre). I had bunged in ‘double’ before realising just how generous we were being.
5 Respectful at all times during split (8)
REVERENT – EVER (at all times) contained by (during) RENT (to tear fabric, split).
6 Host is extremely foolish going topless (4)
ARMY – bARMY (extremely foolish) without its first letter (going topless).
13 The old Republican is beginning to trust no practical person? (8)
THEORIST – THE, O (old), R (Republican), IS, and the first letter of (beginning to) Trust. Horryd will not be happy.
15 Set school work read badly (8)
PREPARED – PREP (school work, if you went to that kind of school), then an anagram of (badly) READ.
17 Abstain from school in little rising (6)
ESCHEW – SCH (school) contained by (in) WEE (little) reversed (rising).
18 Cold in truck in the far north (6)
ARCTIC – C (cold) contained by (in) ARTIC (articulated lorry, truck).
20 Art-song survived with verse missing (4)
LIED – LIvED (survived) with ‘v’ (verse) missing.
22 Child’s toy losing head in circular movement (4)
EDDY – tEDDY (child’s toy) without its first letter (missing head).

40 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1987 by Joker”

  1. This was a tough one. COEVAL wasn’t a problem, since I had the C. But PREPARED and LOI EXEMPT took up a lot of time. 7:14.
  2. …and COEVAL was a problem! Especially with the intersecting PREPARED.

    Quite liked SYNTAX, and ESCHEW is an under-rated word.

    Thanks William and Joker.

  3. Very hard for a QC and at 16 minutes I once again ventured into my red zone (15+ minutes).

    The unknown COEVAL was a problem, but the main one came from having REVEREND at 5dn which prevented me from solving 18ac for ages, thus screwing up most of the SE corner. If only I had got to the ANTLER clue before the incorrect D-checker was in place!

    Elsewhere I had to look several times at VERTEX – a word I surely knew but didn’t seem familiar.

    Edited at 2021-10-20 04:45 am (UTC)

  4. Horrid grid but it all ran smoothly until the SE. PREPARED yielded fairly easily but I couldn’t see EDDY and that left me debating ‘codral’ or COEVAL, with the former seeming most likely at first. EVILDOER took a lot of unraveling — I’d discarded words beginning with ‘evil’ because I couldn’t see what to do with the remaining D,O,E,R! All green in 13 with fingers crossed for LIED and COEVAL.

    Edited at 2021-10-20 05:48 am (UTC)

  5. 17:02 and pleased with that after some tough vocabulary today. COEVAL and ESCHEW were at the outer limits of memory, and LIED is a crossword-only word for me.

    Liked EVILDOER, although I kept seeing Deliveroo in there.

    TIPPLE looked good as a large measure, with TIP=rubbish.

    Went through my capitals but only thought of European ones, and there aren’t many of them.
    Forget to go to the Levant for BEIRUT.

    LOI LYRIC (unparsedj

    For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him ESCHEW evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
    1 Peter 3:11

  6. I whizzed through the first two-thirds of this puzzle in about 10 minutes. Excited for a quick finish (at least for me) I persevered, only to be disappointed by some rather obscure clues, which put a dampener on things for me.

    32 minutes but relied heavily on aids for the last 6 or 7 clues, so disappointed there. However, today’s QC was a much better puzzle than Mara’s awful offering yesterday.

    1. Your trials and tribulations are similar to my own but yesterday I seemed to be on Mara’s wavelength but couldn’t really get started today. Never heard of Coeval and after 10 minutes had only three clues. I use this blog to educate myself on the different clue structures and parsing but in all my time I think I’ve only had five complete grids but I enjoy the journey travelled!
  7. Steady going today, with some unusual vocabulary but all fairly clued. Ended up the the surprisingly elusive EDDY which gave me the crucial final checker for the unknown COEVAL. Fortunately initial bifs of TREBLE and ADHERE were quickly rectified, when they made their intersecting clues impossible.
    Finished in 9.13 with my COD going to SYNTAX as it made me chuckle when the penny dropped.
    Thanks to william
  8. I was slightly puzzled by my LOI, LYRIC, as I usually think of that as the words to a song rather than the song, but at least it was a hidden. AVER went in first. I hadn’t come across COEVAL either, but the wordplay was clear with the crossers to help. 8:26. Thanks Joker and William.
  9. Had a great time with this puzzle — for the first time ever I managed to have all but one across clue in on the first read through!

    This is definitely a puzzle I would have taken one look at a year ago and thrown away without any clues answered, so I’m pleased with my progress.

    The majority of down clues also yielded and I had all but the SE corner in within 14 minutes.

    I had the wordplay written out for COEVAL but didnt write it in as it didn’t seem like a real word. I couldn’t work out ESCHEW despite having all the checkers.

    For some reason I couldn’t see EDDY, but not sure why in hindsight.

    Edited at 2021-10-20 08:11 am (UTC)

    1. That’s great stuff 😊 Another few months (weeks?) and you’ll be finishing regularly!
  10. Unlike PW I enjoyed my tussle with Mara yesterday which also had challenges, but found this somewhat the harder, and more rewarding to complete. I came to a halt several times, but each pause eventually bore fruit. VERTEX I knew as a point rather than specifically a summit, but the clueing was unambiguous. LIED eluded me for some time. COEVAL was new to me, but knowing medieval gave me confidence and the clueing was clear. EVILDOER also took time to shape itself in my head. Good mental workout and worth the perseverance.

  11. Forgot Host can be ARMY. Sigh. Otherwise LOI was LIED and that corner took time.
    Pleased to solve COEVAL, smiled at SYNTAX.
    Honeymooned in BEIRUT ( days of yore).
    Slow to see the obvious SIR.
    May need a TRIPLE tonight.
  12. Rattled through the first seven across clues, but then struggled with the lower half of the grid before switching to the downs. A window seat near the front of the SCC was still a possibility, until nho Coeval and loi Army (had to think of Barmy first) put paid to that idea. At 26mins nowhere near as easy as it first seemed, with CoD to 15d, Prepared, just ahead of the jokey Syntax. Invariant
  13. … (once again — we seem to be in a run of them) but all completed and parsed in 13 minutes. Most of my hold-up was caused by the clues that require one to think of a word from the definition and take the first letter off — no less than three of them (2D Aver, 6D Army, 22D Eddy), and as I always find these difficult (especially if the definition is wide, like “Child’s toy” in 22D — it could be so many things!) it was something of a relief when all three finally emerged.

    3D Syntax may be a chestnut but new to me and much enjoyed. Sometimes not being an experienced solver who has seen it all before has its plus side!

    Many thanks to William for the blog

  14. My FOI was EURO and then began a clockwise solve ending up back in the NW corner. Initially I had CODRAL (which sounded familiar – a brand of cold/flu medication seemingly) before EDDY corrected the NHO COEVAL. I could justify the LYRIC wordplay as something that is ‘in song’ but not song itself. 9:27 with COD to PREPARED but also with a nod to ARMY. Thanks William.
  15. A good puzzle which I began quickly. I was surprised by my final time which was over target and approached yesterday’s — Time rushes by when one is enjoying oneself!
    ESCHEW was clever and took longer to parse than to enter my head. PREPARED didn’t drop out as soon as it should have done- we didn’t call it ‘prep’ at my school. EVILDOER needed crossers and COEVAL was a satisfying solve when I got the parsing. EDDY and SYNTAX brought smiles but I took too long over my LOI, ARMY. Many thanks to Joker and William. John M.

    Edited at 2021-10-20 09:51 am (UTC)

  16. Defeated today by Joker. Snookered myself by having adhere rather than cohere, a silly mistake that I didn’t realise I had made until reading the blog. Therefore no superego for me. Couldn’t see army, though I had the checkers. Everything else solved and parsed in fifteen minutes. Thought a rest and a second glance might have clarified matters, but it didn’t so I gave up. FOI surveyor, twelve on first pass, LO’I listed above, three unsolved, which will have to be C’sOD. Thanks to William for the blog, grudging thanks to Joker for my DNF on your rather good puzzle.
  17. Found this less than average difficulty and only 21a unknown. But the wordplay was friendly, it had to be CODRAL or COEVAL, so I plumped for the latter, seeing that EDDY would work at 22d but DODO wouldn’t. When I looked COEVAL up, I remembered I had come across it before, albeit saldom, but believe it is falling or has fallen into disuse, rather like the DODO.
    I spent as long on the NE corner as the other three combined. LOI ARMY, FOI ALL, COD, for its surface and misdirection, ANTLER.
  18. I found this a messy offering. 3 clues requiring first letter to be removed – a bit much. Struggled with ARMY for ages – doh! Took a while to unravel EVILDOER too. Got EXEMPT without parsing. Guessed VERTEX – NHO. No problem with COEVAL or ESCHEW.
  19. 19 minutes again today for a fairly straightforward puzzle from Joker. Probably not as challenging as yesterday, but still a number of synonyms that needed pulling out (host = army and horn = antler come to mind)

    DNK 20dn “Lied” nor 21ac “Coeval”, but the wordplay was fine.

    FOI — 2dn “Aver”
    LOI — 5dn “Reverent”
    COD — 3dn “Syntax”

    Thanks as usual!

  20. Like Jack I had Reverend for 5d.
    Unlike Jack I conceded with several unsolved- Antler, Syntax and Army ….. I must remember Barmy Army! and Reverent.

    NHO Coeval but it had to be.

    Now know how to spell Beirut although will probably forget!! Aver just made me see that Beruit didn’t cut it!

    25 minutes and conceded.

    Mostly good fun

    Thanks all
    John George

  21. … but, unlike yesterday, I made it to the finish – in exactly 40 minutes. And, having read through the posts above, I am now quite happy with my time.

    Like many above, I had NHO COEVAL, nor had I come across LIED as any sort of song, or SUPEREGO. In fact, weren’t some hyphens missing: SUPER-EGO? CO-EVAL? EVIL-DOER? Also, like Cedric and lichdb above, I struggled with AVER, ARMY and EDDY – all words with the first letter removed.

    Mrs Random was operating in cruise mode today, finishing in 30 minutes. I think she is still trying to warm herself through after running down to the seafront (approx. 7 miles) and then standing around getting cold in very blustery/showery conditions to watch me swim. Actually, the water was slightly warmer today (at just under 16°C), but it would have to be positively tropical for her to be persuaded to get in.

    Many thanks to Joker and William.

    1. I had never heard of lied, but had heard of lieder and guessed it might be the singular form — not that I had ever thought of lieder as plural (or to be honest with my lack of musical interest, thought of much at all)!
    2. Nice work Random. I know you’re playing it down, but I suspect you have Mrs R in your sights now. And you can be sure she’s looking over her shoulder whilst pretending to be in “cruise mode”.

      Keep us updated.

  22. Well, 6 p.m. here. Been out and about rather than lolling.

    Whizzed through, then came to halt with 4 or 5 remaining, mainly in the SE corner. Thankfully I quickly realised that my carelessly biffed MODERN for contemporary was the problem. Deleted it, which gave ARCTIC immediately, then COEVAL went in from wordplay, then EDDY and PREPARED, then I spent too long remembering that host=ARMY, which was my LOI.


  23. I thought this much harder than yesterday’s — in fact, almost twice as hard as I completed it in 13 minutes. On the whole more tricky than amusing today, although SURVEYOR and SYNTAX made me smile.
    FOI Surveyor
    LOI Reverent
    COD Evildoer
    Thanks Joker and William
    1. … whereas I found it almost twice as ‘less hard’ (I haven’t reached the stage yet where I could describe one of these QCs as ‘easy’). Interesting!
      1. One man’s meat … ! Yesterday was one of those where it all fell into place — the magic W-word! I don’t mind a bit of a tussle, but am full of admiration for your perseverence. If I can’t finish, I stop the clock at 30 minutes!
  24. Slow going. Held up by all the little 4 letter words; eddy, aver, army and lied. Each one taking a couple of minutes to push me well over the 20 minute target. Lots of v, x and y but they didn’t seem to amount to anything.
  25. I have sympathy for those who ESCHEWed today’ puzzle and those who found it less chewy.
    My time was in no man’s land at 13.30 mins.

    FOI 2dn AVER

    LOI 20dn LIED


    WOD 21ac COEVAL

    NHO 12ac VERTEX — sounds like a brand of men’s underwear

  26. It’s Saturday and I’m just posting for the sake of completeness.

    We found this one to be quite tough going but we got there is the end. We hadn’t heard of COEVAL or LIED but worked them out eventually and it took us ages to get ARMY. We were all done in 29 minutes.


    Thanks William and Joker.

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