Times Quick Cryptic 2106 by Joker

I seem to have been tuned in to Joker on this one, zipping through in 6 minutes. Did I have a good day or was it easy? Do let me know.

Definitions are underlined.

1 Second-hand American edition (4)
USED – American (US), edition (ED).
4 Spot old feline is trapped by a big one (8)
LOCATION – old (O) and feline (CAT) inside a big cat (LION).
8 Year’s plan is clear and organised (8)
CALENDAR – anagram (organised) of CLEAR AND.
9 Cab’s losing time as something running through wheel (4)
AXIS – cab’s t(AXI’S) losing time (T).
10 Half the alphabet? This was split some time ago (4)
ATOM – half the alphabet (A TO M). I’ve seen this before so it fell in.
11 Smashing beginning to Cheltenham racing (8)
CRUSHING – (C)heltenham, racing (RUSHING).
12 A short distance from Winchester (6)
INCHES – inside W(INCHES)ter.
14 Dog we left to run back for bird (6)
CURLEW – dog (CUR) then we (WE) and left (L) both backwards.
16 Show mercy to viper coiled in tree, heading off (8)
REPRIEVE – anagram (coiled) of VIPER inside t(REE) with the fist letter missing.
18 Don’t hit silly young girl (4)
MISS – I’d have thought that ‘young girl’ is all we need for (MISS) but I suppose there can be occasions when ‘a real little miss’ can mean silly/naughty. Anyone with more experience?
19 Swelling troubling your eyelid, primarily (4)
STYE – something of an &lit – (S)welling (T)roubling (Y)our (E)yelid.
20 Bidding not working with European cartel (8)
OFFERING – not working (OFF), European (E), cartel (RING).
22 God being shown around the temple (8)
PANTHEON – god (PAN) and being shown (ON – e.g. a film) around the (THE). Collins has ‘a temple in Rome dedicated to all the gods’ (which would be a pantheon as it also means a group of gods). If anyone tried Parthenon then I’d understand but it doesn’t work.
23 Row when stopwatch loses minutes? (4)
TIER – stopwatch (TI)m(ER) losing minutes M.
2 Small component and mostly simple (7)
SPARTAN – small (S), component (PART), and mostly (AN)d.
3 Trance from taking ecstasy in a shot of whisky? (5)
DREAM – ecstasy (E) in shot of e.g. whisky (DRAM).
4 Swimming pool disposing of old cover (3)
LID – swimming pool (LID)o losing old O.
5 Relative supporting estate, say, with billions for architectural eyesore (9)
CARBUNCLE – relative (UNCLE) underneath estate (CAR) and billions (B).
6 Could this one have every individual in term losing marks? (7)
TEACHER – every indidual (EACH) inside term losing marks (TER)m.
7 Constellation — or moon of Jupiter given name? (5)
ORION – or (OR), moon of Jupiter (IO), name (N).
11 So cereals must be mixed in dish (9)
CASSEROLE – anagram (must be mixed) of SO CEREALS.
13 Gathering of crops is most tough with little volume brought in for days (7)
HARVEST – most tough (HAR)d(EST) swapping volume (V) for days (D).
15 Intrinsic quality of German city church (7)
ESSENCE – German City (ESSEN), church (CE).
17 Added text rarely shows (5)
EXTRA – shown inside t(EXT RA)rely.
18 Warrant queen held in hand — not the last (5)
MERIT – queen (ER) inside hand (MIT)t not the last letter.
21 Football Association gets new supporter (3)
FAN – Football Association (FA), new (N).

31 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2106 by Joker”

  1. I thought the ‘silly’ was unnecessary, but I see that ODE does have sv ‘miss’ ‘a girl or young woman, espedially one regarded as silly or headstrong’. I don’t get the ‘architectural’ in CARBUNCLE; neither Collins nor ODE nor Chambers gives that meaning. 5:32.
  2. My guess is that CARBUNCLE was from Prince Charles’ description of the new extension of the National Gallery as “What is proposed is like a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend.” 7 minutes for me.
    1. Exactly so, but I’m a little surprised that after nearly 40 years the ‘architectural eyesore’ meaning hasn’t found its way into any of the usual sources. It has been in regular use since 1984!

      Edited at 2022-04-05 04:53 am (UTC)

  3. Same as Jackkt with ‘first’ before MERIT and in deleteing MISS first time around. Also couldn’t parse PANTHEON due to shown=on and I was tempted to try to force ‘parthenon’ in there. Also couldn’t parse TEACHER, ‘each’ never occured to me but I should have been alive to removing ‘m’ from ‘losing marks’ from yesterday/ I’d previously tried to justify ‘tranche’ which doesn’t fit but looked a lot like it did. All green in 14 following a crawl to the finish.
  4. 16 minutes all parsed so one of my fastest times by about 4 minutes.
    FOI: USED.
    LOI: MERIT after MISS also didn’t see the need for ‘silly’ but it does help the surface.
    COD: ATOM although it is a chestnut I’ve seen several times before.
  5. 11 minutes with long delays caused by 18dn and 18ac. I wrote in MISS straight away at 18ac but agonised over ‘silly’ which I couldn’t account for so I removed it. I then toyed with FIRST (not last) at 18dn based on R (queen) held in FIST (hand), with ‘warrant’ unaccounted for. This left me with F?S? for the silly girl but after a couple of alphabet trawls I gave up on that and resorted to MISS and then spotted MERIT.

    On ‘silly’ I reasoned eventually that ‘miss’ might be used like ‘madam’ to describe a girl who is headstrong or precocious and that it might be extended to ‘silly’.

    Edited at 2022-04-05 05:05 am (UTC)

  6. 12:20, no real problems.


    WOD CARBUNCLE which I have only heard in the Prince Charles fashion for an ugly building. The OED has the 1984 quote but has not given it as a new sub-meaning.

  7. Brain freeze to begin with in the NW so tried to find a few “starters” elsewhere, then worked bottom up. Once brain cells engaged the answers came a little quicker

    Fortunately got MERIT first so MISS straight in w/o worrying too much about the silly

    Liked CRUSHING and DREAM for their smooth surfaces

    Thanks Chris and Joker

    Edited at 2022-04-05 06:56 am (UTC)

  8. You would have thought that twenty years after leaving the textile finishing trade I would stop spelling it CALENDER, but I don’t.
  9. Slowed down in the NW in what was an enjoyable solve. Desperately tried to get ‘all’ into the middle of TEACHER and wanted AXIS to be axle – even though it didn’t parse. CRUSHING also took too long to reveal itself.
    Finished in 9.24 with LOI SPARTAN and WOD to CARBUNCLE, which I must try to use at some point.
    Thanks to Chris
  10. CRUSHING or Clashing gave a moment or two of indecision and I struggled with “silly” even considered silly mid off/on for a bit.
    I cruised through this one to finish in 17.00 to realise that sub 10 minutes can only be achieved in my case if explaining the puzzle to someone else post completion.
    Thought it was an Oink when I saw STYE as I normally find myself on the same wavelength and often come to a stop somewhere with Joker.
    Thanks Chris and to the afore mentioned.
  11. Seventeen minutes. All parsed except for the “on” in pantheon. Started to put parthenon in there but there were not enough white squares. FOI used, eleven on first pass, and only five of those were acrosses. Couldn’t really see what took so long once it was finished. Since it did, though, I enjoyed it enormously. Much to like here. The old cat in the lion, the viper in the tree, trying to fit all instead of each inside t—-er – I did an alphabet trawl for the second letter before realising nothing would fit before all, then PDM, it’s each. Also liked spartan, curlew, essence, harvest – all of it, really. Thanks, Chris, and Joker.
  12. The 18s did for me … joining the FIRST club and therefore not being able to complete. Ten minutes of alphabet trawling and not being able to get beyond FIST did for me – although the warrant parse was troubling me. Was about 22-mins up to that point. Certainly seemed like some gimmes in there with NW slotting in easily. The SE corner was where I struggled.

    COD PANTHEON – I’ll be amazed if anyone managed to fit the 9 letters of parthenon in there!

    Happy to race through a lot of it after yesterday’s 2-hour struggle.

    Thanks to Chris and Joker

    Edited at 2022-04-05 08:27 am (UTC)

  13. DNF.
    Could hardly get one of these clues.
    Just too clever for me.
    Good luck to all you clever people. I am not going to bother with QCs any more.
    1. Well done for trying. They do challenge on many levels but perhaps they are not everyone’s Rosie Lee.
  14. As with others above I struggled with the SE corner having dismissed MISS as too obvious (why silly?) and having FIRST for 18d (FIST + R), but = warrant? Anyway, put MISS back in and saw MERIT. The rest pretty straightforward.
  15. ….although MER at AXIS. Since I’ve taken up my own modest efforts at compiling, I’ve started to analyse the completed puzzle rather more closely to try to identify where the setter may have been forced into using a word they didn’t initially intend. I think there’s a good chance that Joker originally had ‘axle’ already clued, but then was left with O-L-N at 7D. Changed the answer, not the clue ? I don’t know if Joker ever comes here, but if so I’d be interested to learn more !

    TIME 3:12

    1. Your theory about the setter originally thinking of axle for the answer makes a lot of sense. Looking into it I found that axle and axis both come from Latin “axis”. It seems our word axis has developed into the conceptual meaning -an imaginary straight line in the centre of something rotating -while axle took on the real world meaning of an actual shaft which something spins around.
    2. I love a good process discussion.

      Surely the clue did get at least half-changed (Cabs, taxis etc); just the definition got left?

      A better setter than me could surely think of something tidier in the ten seconds than it took me to create “Cabs losing time going around”.

  16. All correct and almost all fully parsed in 14 minutes. Only the ON bit of PANTHEON and ‘silly’ in the MISS clue caused any slight doubts, but I thought they just had to be. I have only once previously beaten today’s time, so to finish so quickly with Joker as the setter (whom I find one of the most challenging) is a real confidence boost – especially for this confirmed SCC member.

    My favourite clues today were LOCATION and ATOM – very clever.

    Mrs Random will have her go later, as she is currently around at a friend’s art studio trying to infuse some colour into her painting of some “grey tulips”. Mrs R has a talent for drawing cartoons, but she claims that doesn’t extend to her ability to paint.

    Many thanks to Joker and Chris.

  17. Another high quality QC from Joker- but we have come to expect nothing less.
    FOI was USED. Last in were MISS and MERIT. I had been trying to justify LASS. Struggled to parse ORION. Favourites were SPARTAN and INCHES.
    About 12 minutes.
  18. FOI, USED, LOI, PANTHEON after Parthenon didn’t fit. Paused to wonder about “silly”. 5:30. Thanks Joker and Chris.
  19. Really enjoyed this, but ended up putting “Corner” for 14ac (by mixing up Cor for Cur and then misreading the definition).

    Lots to like — including 7dn “Orion”, 2dn “Spartan” and 15dn “Essence”.

    I eventually got 10ac “Atom” but it took longer than it should and even though I’ve seen it before I was kicking myself for not remembering it. Saying that, when it finally dropped I still had a smile.

    FOI — 1ac “Used”
    LOI — 10ac “Atom”
    COD — 10ac “Atom” — enjoyable chestnut.

    Thanks as usual!

    Edited at 2022-04-05 11:46 am (UTC)

  20. Sat outside the dentist at 08.10 gave me 20 minutes to race through almost all of today’s Joker so, Chris, it must have been an easy one. On getting home I quickly polished off the remaining handful with the only delay being at the 18a/18d couplet. Discarding First for 18d forced a little lateral thinking to resolve the matter. Not sure if I avoided the SCC but I always take a leisurely pace to enjoy the challenge so don’t really mind. FOI 1a Used. LOI 18a Miss and COD 7d Orion. Thanks to all.
  21. Slow but sure for me 12ish. I don’t think we need silly for miss, but heh! Thanks setter and blogger.
  22. 16 minutes all parsed. No real hold-ups except that it took me quite a while to untangle the anagram at 11dn – needed most of the crossers.

    FOI – 9ac AXIS
    LOI – 22ac PANTHEON
    COD – 15dn ESSENCE

    Thanks to Joker and Chris

  23. Some great cluing
    Got caught up in the taxis bit until realised it was cabs plural
  24. A good day today with a 7th sub-11 minute solve, as I finished in 10:57, albeit with a few biffs. Three of those seven have been courtesy of Joker, confirming I am right to think of him as my favourite setter. I don’t know if there’s a word for the opposite of a BIFF, but that was my experience of 2d where I pieced it all together from the wordplay and only saw what the answer was when I was able to read it from the page. Anyway, FOI USED, LOI CRUSHING, COD LOCATION. Thanks Joker and Chris.

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