Times Quick Cryptic 2040 by Joker

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

Solving time: 15 minutes. I just avoided the red zone on this one by coming in a few seconds under 15 minutes but having written the blog I can’t explain what held me up. I don’t think it was any clue in particular so perhaps my brain was running a little slow.

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]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Irritation card game is cut short (5)
PIQUE{t} (card game) [cut short]
4 Run small van for living in on holiday (7)
S (small), CAMPER (van for living in on holiday)
8 Clergyman is after English builder (7)
E (English), RECTOR (clergyman)
9 Definitely not odd temperature leading to incident (5)
EVEN (definitely not odd), T (temperature)
10 Reshuffled minister is on break (12)
Anagram [reshuffled] of MINISTER IS ON
12 Uncovered text, both nice and strange (6)
{t}EX{t} {b}OT{h} {n}IC{e} [uncovered]
13 Carriage catch with gold on (6)
LAND (catch – fish), AU (gold)
16 “Been curd” menu got wrong — not checked (12)
Anagram [got wrong] of BEEN CURD MENU. A great surface here as the item on the menu should have been “bean curd”.
18 The man’s getting time for robbery (5)
HE IS (the man’s), T (time)
20 Not in favour of a City way when grasping profit (7)
A + ST (City way – street) containing [grasping] GAIN (profit). Most of the thoroughfares in the City of London are called ‘Street’; there are no ‘roads’.
21 The woman gets warm in cover (7)
SHE (the woman) contains [gets…in] HEAT (warm)
22 Really don’t look forward to days with book, say (5)
D (days), READ (book – it’s a good book/read). ‘Say’ mitigates the partial DBE.
1 Childish anger follows regular helpings of prunes (7)
P{r}U{n}E{s} [regular helpings], RILE (anger)
2 Perhaps survey and search island on new river in Yorkshire (13)
QUEST (search), I (island), ON, N (new), AIRE (river in Yorkshire)
3 Illegal use of force breaking down exit — or not? (9)
Anagram [breaking down] EXIT OR NOT. I wasn’t sure about ‘force’ in the definition but Collins has it covered: Extortion is the crime of obtaining something from someone, especially money, by using force or threats.
4 Short trip that is taken after class (6)
SORT (class), IE (that is – id est)
5 Champion in speed contest losing lead (3)
{r}ACE (speed contest) [losing lead]
6 We finally give thought to cutting dance for greater number (13)
{w}E [finally] + PONDER (thought) contained by [cutting] PRANCE (dance)
7 Ceremony set down on paper as it is said (4)
Sounds like [it is said] “write” (set down on paper)
11 Right person of brilliance to lead directors (9)
STAR (person of brilliance), BOARD (directors)
14 With no way of proving age,    is not taken out (7)
Two definitions of sorts
15 Poison remedy includes stripped bark (6)
CURE (remedy) contains [includes] {b}AR{k} [stripped]
17 It follows the herd up street, first of all (4)
T{he} H{erd} U{p} S{treet} [first of all]
19 Gallery disposing of European rubbish (3)
TAT{e} (gallery) [disposing of European – e]. There are four of them, two in London, one in LIverpool and one in St Ives, Cornwall. Named after Henry, the sugar tycoon, but for how much longer?

38 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2040 by Joker”

  1. An irritating solve, as about halfway through the cursor froze, something that’s happened a few times recently. Sometimes clearing cache fixes it, but not this time. I finally quit the site and restarted the computer. PIQUE took me a while to remember, which let me biff QUESTIONNAIRE. 9:22 on the club timer, more like 5 or so.
  2. So, back to my winning-ish ways. I love the game Piquet, though if your significant other doesn’t want to play it with you, you won’t be playing it much these days.
  3. I read 1ac as ‘Imitation card game’, due to the kerning of the type face.

    On the 12.45 this morning which went nowhere.

    FOI 4dn SORTIE

    LOI 17dn THUS — which at first I took to be SH*T! It usually follows the herd!



    I note CURARE again, Inspector!

  4. I was held up by the NW corner, but eventually saw PUERILE, then the river AIRE allowed me to finish assembling the rest of QUESTIONNAIRE, which gave me LOI, PIQUE. 9:40. Thanks Joker and Jack.

    Edited at 2022-01-03 08:54 am (UTC)

  5. I found this tough this morning, mainly as the long clues took a while. There’s nothing unfair although landau I’m only aware of through crosswordland, but I wasn’t on anagram form today.
    Thanks Jack & Joker.

    FOI Event
    LOI Questionnaire
    COD exotic

  6. Brain fade?

    Unlike Vinyl, PIQUE and QUESTIONNAIRE were my last in by 5 minutes or so. I was about to throw in the towel, when I bunged in a speculative “I” between the T and O, and the “survey perhaps” appeared.

    Onwards and upwards in 2022 I hope!


  7. Quite a gentle start to the week assuring my usual comfy chair at the club. Nothing too challenging. Used to play piquet with neighbouring flat mate with loser paying for a takeaway and winner buying the beer on reaching some agreed accumulation of points.
    DNK AIRE was a river and did not parse LOI PREPONDERANCE. COD UNDATED
    Thanks Joker and Jack.
    Happy New Year to everyone.
  8. Finished – but slowly.
    FOsI SCAMPER, PUERILE, PIQUE. Slow on the longer ones.
    COD STARBOARD, which made me smile when the penny dropped. Also liked UNDATED.
    Thanks vm, Jack.
  9. Slow start, rapid acceleration, then a very slow finish with a couple of potholes to fall into. In the end, I was a minute into the SCC but I enjoyed the experience. Buoyed by finding all of the the long anagrams pretty straightforward, I started biffing (Shelter instead of SHEATHE and Scarper instead of SCAMPER — no I don’t know why, either) but I gradually realised that they were wrong and spent a little time taking my parsing seriously instead of guessing.
    A very good, testing puzzle with some very fine clues. Thanks to Joker and Jack. John M.
  10. I found this depressingly difficult for a Monday morning and gave up in the end.

    NHO CURARE, although we’ve obviously had it before. So, as often, it was not remembered not never heard of.

    Otherwise all the explanations made sense, except I thought that PREPONDERANCE was too difficult for a QC.

    Just about to come out of isolation and join the real world again — what there is of it — and hope tomorrow’s QC is more satisfying. Hopefully everyone else did better than me.


  11. I found this difficult, not helped (like Horryd) by spending some time thinking that the definition of 1a was imitation and then I’d not heard of the game either. I vaguely remembered the name of the carriage but thought gold would be OR so misspelt it, which caused problems in the SE.
    A frustrating solve finished in 16.38 with LOI QUESTIONNAIRE and COD to UNDATED.
    Thanks to Jack

    Edited at 2022-01-03 10:13 am (UTC)

  12. Solved bottom to top with PIQUET and QUESTIONNAIRE the last two in. Looked at the PREPONDERANCE clue and knew I wasnt going to get that from the w/p and indeed it needed most of the checkers.

    Pleasant enough start to the week

    Thanks Jackkt and Joker

  13. Slow start to the year — we’re definitely in the SCC today with a completion time of 24 minutes. It was a stop and start sort of day and we were particularly slow in the NW corner where it took us ages to get PUERILE, PIQUE and QUESTIONNAIRE.


    Thanks Jack and Joker.

  14. On paper today; nearly done in about 14 minutes. Needed three. Could not think of the right card game. RIDGE dismissed by PUERILE. Eventually the river AIRE led to Questionnaire and PIQUE emerged; I only know the card game from crosswords.
    LOI was a laboured SHEATHE, a verb not a noun, where words like SHELTIE and SWEATS offered plausible-ish avenues.
    So add another 5 minutes. Not easy for the uninitiated I would guess.
    COD to STARBOARD for the surface.
  15. Annoyed with myself for putting SORTIS in for 4d. It was a tricky 37:28 solve for me, so another few moments thinking about it would hardly have made a difference. Anyway plenty to enjoy aside from that. I especially liked EXOTIC, SHEATHE and UNDATED. Don’t think I’m familiar with PIQUE(t) or my LOI LANDAU, but they immediately seemed right so they must be lurking in there somewhere. WOD to PUERILE. Thanks Joker and Jack.
  16. The clergyman was my last in, but Questionnaire and Preponderance took a while. Definitely SCC (my usual), but all correct. Curare again- another good puzzle for an anaesthetist.
  17. … especially the long clues, with both 2D Questionnaire and 6D Preponderance needing all the checkers and even then some head-scratching to piece together the moving parts — I am not very good at these “build it from components” clues. As a result all done in 15 minutes so a stiff start to the week.

    The game of Piquet was a childhood favourite of mine — I must have played thousands of parties (the technical term I gather for a set of piquet hands) in my youth. It is in fact one of the oldest card games still played, and there is evidence that it was brought to England in Tudor times (perhaps by the Spanish King Philip, husband of Queen Mary).

    COD for me is 4A Scamper. I had work colleague once called Sue Camper, who always signed S.Camper, so thank you Joker for bringing back happy memories.

    Many thanks to Jack for the blog

    Edited at 2022-01-03 11:00 am (UTC)

  18. My run of SCC finishes continues, although today it was only by 5 seconds. However, I found this to be tough, and struggled with all of the long answers. LOI CURARE despite its recent appearance, and COD to EXOTIC. I have heard of, but wouldn’t know how to start playing, PIQUET. I’m usually good on card games (bridge, cribbage, euchre, etc.), but have never come across PIQUET. WOD TAT which is such a fitting word for what it describes. My thanks to J and J for a good puzzle and blog.
  19. ….and done the puzzle straight after midnight. By my standards I struggled, and then made my last square a pink !

    LOI “scamprr”
    TIME 4:09 but with a typo.

  20. A difficult enough start to the week, with a respectable SCC time thwarted by nho Piquet, leaving me luggage in hand as the coach pulled away… aka a 30+min solve. I seem to have drifted away from Joker’s wavelength if his last few puzzles are anything to go by, with answers sometimes having to teased out with a crowbar. However, I can forgive a lot with clues like 12ac Exotic and 15d Curare to enjoy. Invariant
  21. Fifteen minutes without sheathe, (LOI), twenty-one minutes with it. Eighteen on first pass, quite a lot of write-ins, two easy long anagrams, intermission and unencumbered. Did not fully parse preponderance or questionnaire. COD starboard. Thanks, Jack, and Joker.
  22. I was relatively quick moving through the grid but juddered to a halt with my last two. My FOI was PUERILE but PIQUE was my penultimate and I guessed the card game. QUESTIONNAIRE then became the obvious answer despite the unknown Yorkshire river. 9:06 for an OK day.
  23. Not a good start to the week’s (or indeed the year’s) quickie solving with this 😕 I wasn’t concentrating properly, got interrupted briefly and never really found my way in, so a big fat DNF for me. PIQUE and QUESTIONNAIRE remained stubbornly out of sight, as did SHEATHE. I hadn’t spotted the entirety of 16a’s clever surface so many thanks Jack for pointing that out. (And an ex-sub too — I really should have!)
    FOI Puerile
    COD Starboard
    Thanks Joker and Jack
  24. One mistake at LOI, went for ELECTOR, I am sure a LECTOR is some kind of reader at church, and an elector builds democracy. Not great, but my time was already shot.

    Had to build QUESTIONNAIRE up from the bottom, as did not see PIQUE, trying to make POKER work.


  25. Great start to year and mighty surprised to see myself 3/108 on leaderboard. No Jason, no Verlaine listed which also seems surprising. Anyhow, now to attempt sub-10 “double” … HNY to one and all
  26. But slow — around 35 minutes. I made heavy weather of most of the long clues and needed the blog (thanks) for Preponderance — I had cutting dance as ance and couldn’t see where the Pr came from!
    NHO Piquet but may try looking it up.
    Happy New Year to all.
    John George
  27. A steady solve – no real hold-ups but took 18 mins to complete, fully parsed. This seems to be as fast as it gets for me at present – maybe the festivities have affected the brain somewhat. Nice xword with several good clues which I enjoyed.

    LOI – 17dn THUS
    COD – 12ac EXOTIC – such a clever construction.

    Thanks to Joker and Jack and a Happy New Year to all.

  28. I found today’s puzzle hard work, particularly the two full-length down clues. PREPONDERANCE required all of its checkers and a fairly lengthy alphabet trawl. QUESTIONNAIRE was my penultimate one in and, as I had NHO the card game (in spite of the Random family being keen on card games), it also required a lengthy alphabet trawl.

    How I dredged up LANDAU I will never know, but it must have been lurking somewhere in the back of my increasingly feeble brain. ACE didn’t sit well with me until I saw it was from rACE, rather than pACE. Also, should it be RITE or ROTE? Fortunately, I plumped for the correct option. So, I was all done in 41 minutes.

    Mrs Random’s only real concerns were SHEATHE and CURARE (even though we have seen it relatively recently). She was (typically) about twice as fast as me, finishing in 22 minutes.

    Many thanks to Joker and Jack.

  29. Really annoyed with myself today as Questionnaire was the penultimate one I filled in, having dismissed my long remembered aid for the rivers (O level Geography) running east off the Pennines. SUNWACD — Swale Ure Nidd Wharfe Aire Calder Don — which really should have helped!
  30. Pique went in first so no problem with Questionaire. I rather liked the ‘Been Curd’ menu, so 16ac Unencumbered was my COD with WOD to Curare.
  31. Finished in abt 30m, our target. Had to wait for the long ones to steadily unfold from the crossers. Bunged in shelterfor 21a which caused a proble with 15d curare for a while.
  32. Quick quick slow, as I juddered to a halt on my final trio PIQUE, QUESTIONNAIRE and SHEATHE. I’m blaming the festive port.

    COD EXOTIC, time 12:50. Many thanks Jack and Joker.


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