Times Quick Cryptic 896 by Joker

Having fun with a new version of live journal editor. This blog was posted some time ago but ended up in the wrong place. So – here we go again.
Thought I was on for a very fast time until the SW corner stopped progress. Still, at 9 minutes, this must count as an easier one. Some pleasant clues – cod to the corny 20ac, wod ‘rascality’.


1. Cookbook – volume of recipes. Company (CO), right (OK), reserve (BOOK).
5. Opus – work. Anagram (stirring) of SOUP.
9. Scent – perfume. Homophone of SENT for dispatched. I’m not sure how ‘without note’ works exactly as the homophone indicator but it’s clear what’s intended.Note to self – if not sure on the parsing of a QC clue then you’ve probably misunderstood it. With thanks to Gribb – dispatched (SENT) around note (C).
10. Theorem – rule in maths. This is not an anagram (gets more confused) of the 7 letter ‘article’ but article (THE), anagram (confused) of MORE.
11. Act – a drama may have more than one. A (A), court (CT).
12. Hindrance – obstacle. Deer (HIND), bolted (RAN), initial letters of (C)aused (E)xtreme.
13. Desert – double definition.
15. Pauper – person with no money. The Times (PAPER) including upper-class (U).
17. Spaghetti – pasta. Anagram (cooking) of PAST EIGHT.
19. Mac – coat. Mother (MA) getting cold (C).
20. Unicorn – mythical creature. A rag mag is full of corny Uni jokes. Loi was eventually easy given the ‘U’ from 17dn.
21. Nudge – reminder. Naked (NUDE) outside (G)ym.
22. Kale – cabbage. King (K), beer (ALE).
23. Colliery – mine. Sheepdog (COLLIE) with (R)ascalit(Y).


1. Custard – sauce. Is it a sauce, is it a cream (creme Anglais), is it good on apple crumble – you betcha! Anagram (to be blended) of SAT CURD.
2. Overt – obvious. Finished (OVER) before time (T).
3. Butcher’s Hook – I think this qualifies as a cryptic double definition. Cockney rhyming game slang for ‘look’ and as used in a butcher’s.
4. Often – frequently. Somewhat alo(OF TEN)tative.
6. Parsnip – root vegetable. Standard (PAR), cut (SNIP).
7. Somme – river of north-eastern France. Millions (M) in a little (SOME).
8. Recreational – for enjoyment. Genuine (REAL) around the universe (CREATION).
14. Spaniel – breed of dog. Cross (SPAN), that is (I.E.), large (L).
16. Rockery – garden. China – not the first c(ROCKERY).
17. Skunk – American mammal. Doomed (SUNK) outside (K)ansas. A checking ‘K’ at the end of the word confused me into thinking this was from (K)ansas. Only when I put a K inside the answer did it become clear – opening the way to get unicorn.
18. Tango – dance. Beat (TAN), vitality (GO – as in get up and).
19. Midge – insect. For example (E.G.), slow witted (DIM) all rising.

22 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 896 by Joker”

  1. A gentle offering today, all done and dusted within 20 minutes. I may be wrong, but does the “dispatched without note” not mean “sent” goes around the “C”, i.e. “a musical note”? With “without” meaning the opposite of “within” here. Thanks. Gribb.
  2. I’m counting this as a 9-minute solve although it’s bending my rule about including parsing times for all clues. I wasn’t able to understand how UNICORN worked until I revisited the puzzle some while after completeing the grid. I haven’t seen one quite like that in a QC before, or if I have I had forgotten about it.

    Chris, I clicked on the “try new LJ editor” when it was first offered but didn’t like it and reverted to the tried and tested. But I see now they are pushing it with a pop-up dialogue box whenever I go to create a new journal. I hope it’s not going to become compulsory.

    Edited at 2017-08-15 08:56 am (UTC)

    1. I didn’t notice much difference – except that it defaulted to a personal journal rather than the “community’ one – which I also didn’t notice. I’m using an iPad so don’t expect bells, let alone whistles.
    2. I didn’t notice much difference – except that it defaulted to a personal journal rather than the “community’ one – which I also didn’t notice. I’m using an iPad so don’t expect bells, let alone whistles.
  3. I found this at the easier end of the spectrum, completing it in 11 minutes – the last two of which were spent trying to figure out the desert/waste link and the parsing of 20a (which I never managed).
    Thanks for the blog
  4. I found this a pleasant romp too. 6:17 starting with COOKBOOK and finishing with DESERT. Liked UNICORN. An enjoyable puzzle. Thanks Joker and Chris.
  5. Came in around 13 mins, which is a PB for me. Thoroughly enjoyed UNICORN, although needed the checkers to see it.
  6. I had a big hole (3. 8 and 12) in the middle of the grid for some time, but then pennies started to drop. Overall, I thought this was harder than yesterday, but I was 5 mins quicker (30), so I’ve no idea. Invariant
  7. 12 enjoyable minutes for this Joker puzzle, finishing with 8d and 12a.
    A lot of good surfaces. COD to 14d. David
  8. 26 for me. Didn’t parse Unicorn, but the U gave it away, so glad I checked here. In hindsight, I should have get it. LOI was HINDRANCE. Didn’t spot that Deer could be Hind until all the checkers were in place.
      1. It is an old nickname of mine, since I had chubby cheeks as a child. One group of friends still know me simply as “Pob”. I’m thinking of tracking down the DVDs of Pob’s Programme for my son, now he’s nearly two.
  9. Somewhere between ten and fifteen minutes in the rather un-stringent examination conditions of my bus to work. I’m still working on getting all the way through the acrosses before doing the downs; sadly HINDRANCE scuppered me there today; I needed a few crossers first. Good pleasant fun, FOI 1a, LOI 19d.
  10. I am really enjoying this week’s puzzles… so far. I finished this one in 15 minutes which is almost my fastest time (yesterday’s took me 19 minutes), so I’m feeling much more positive. I was ready to throw in the towel last week! Many thanks to Joker and Mara (yesterday) for the confidence boost. WOD: Unicorn which, amazingly, I had no problem with getting or parsing. MM
  11. It’s obviously just me but I cannot see how Universe equates to Creation in this clue. Anyone?
    1. In the biblical way of things, the universe is everything and God created everything hence the universe is creation….
  12. I didn’t expect to be unable to parse something in a Quickie, but I’d never heard tell of Rag societies before.
    1. In British universities rag week is a period, usually a week, in which various events are organized to raise money for charity, including a procession of decorated floats and tableaux (these days it’s more like skimpy fancy dress worn during long drinking sessions). There’s usually a booklet – rag mag(azine) – full of corny or downright rude jokes which may appeal to the undergraduate sense of humour.

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