Times Quick Cryptic No 1108 by Joker

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Middle of the road from Joker today, I’d say, in terms of both difficulty and quality. The average standard is very high, though, so all good! I started off slowly enough, eventually getting about half the acrosses on my first read through, but it all slotted together nicely and I came in two minutes under my target. Not much in the way of obscurity beyond 8ac. I was vaguely aware of the bird at 22ac, but would never have come up with it, if asked cold to list as many birds as I could. Not so now, now that I can put a face to the creature. So something learnt, and an enjoyable puzzle – many thanks to Joker!

1 US maker of beams to tie down in air journey (10)
FLASHLIGHTLASH (tie down) in FLIGHT (air journey). A “torch”, in American English, is something you might expect to see wielded alongside a pointy white hood. (Other alt-right gatherings are available.)
8 Comprehensive Roman law is Byzantine (7)
COMPLEXCOMP. (comprehensive) LEX (Roman law). Nice clue – pieceable together from the down checkers if you (understandably) didn’t know “lex” for Roman Law – a site search shows its last appearance was December last year in the 15x crossword, but I had a feeling it had cropped up more recently than that. I did briefly study Byzantium in a History module once, and didn’t get to grips with it, but how much that was attributable to its now proverbial bureaucratic complexity is difficult to say.
9 Facility left for support of painting (5)
EASEL – EASE (facility) L(eft)
10 Short letter, never English (4)
NOTENOT (never) E(nglish)
11 Queen entering worries members of the family (8)
BROTHERS – R (Regina/Queen) entering BOTHERS (worries). I was originally thinking ER for the queen, and nearly managed to convince myself that a “broth” could be a “worry”… it’s sort of almost there: if a stew is a troubled state of mind, a broth must simply be a lighter one. Which I suppose would make a consommé a clearly defined worry.
13 Certainly popular act (6)
INDEEDIN (popular) DEED (act)
14 Land in European country (6)
ESTATE – E(uropean) STATE (country)
17 Mandatory objective about violence (8)
ENFORCEDEND (objective) about FORCE (violence)
19 VAT, perhaps, with one hire car (4)
TAXI – TAX (VAT, say), with I (one) 
21 Times with article finally to obliterate (5)
ERASEERAS (times) with E (articlE, finally)
22 I caught bird around frozen mass of water (7)
ICEBERG – I C(aught) GREBE (bird), around = reverse. A freshwater diving bird, distantly related to the flamingo. Wikipedia says that, while they can run a short distance, “they are prone to falling over, since they have their feet placed far back on the body”. An amusing enough image, certainly, but in their defence they can dance on water rather well.
23 True retail arrangement for books and magazines (10)
LITERATUREanagram (arrangement) of TRUE RETAIL.

2 Small child in cap of restricted size (7)
LIMITED – MITE (small child) in LID (cap)
3 Fabric being put back in stock list (4)
SILK –  put back, in” the letters of stocK LISt
4 Five-star fury after flux loses force repeatedly (6)
LUXURYURY after LUX, when fury and flux “repeatedly”/both lose F for force.
5 Biggest gear breaking up when on trial (8)
GREATESTanagram (breaking up) of GEAR on TEST (trial)
6 Refinement of sculptor’s head in gallery (5)
TASTES (Sculptor’s head) in TATE (gallery)
7 Single gin & T, stirred and sparkling (10)
GLISTENINGanagram (stirred) of SINGLE GIN and T
8 Thought Conservative team communist? (10)
CONSIDEREDCON(servative) SIDE (team) RED (communist)
12 Most light-hearted? I’m terser, unfortunately (8)
MERRIESTanagram (unfortunately) of IM TERSER
15 Inept friend involved in gold rush initially (7)
AMATEURMATE (friend) involved in AU (gold) R (Rush, initially)
16 Older Spanish gentleman embraces one (6)
SENIORSENOR (Spanish gentleman) embraces I (one)
18 Fail outside right that’s easily injured (5)
FRAILFAIL outside R(ight)
20 Most appropriate wager about son (4)
BEST – BET (wager) about S(on)

17 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1108 by Joker”

  1. I was slow to get 1ac too, although I think GLISTENING was my LOI, or AMATEUR, which I wasn’t looking for with ‘inept’ as the definition, although it fits. Liked ‘Single gin & T’. 6:23.
  2. 10 minutes with 11ac unsatisfactorily parsed as I could only see ER inside BROTHS whilst solving and then I forgot to revisit it after the grid was complete.

    Yes, the clue to COMPLEX stood out as being a bit, well, complex. The first four letters of the clue being the same as the first four letters of the answer was more of a hindrance than a help, as one tends to think, surely it can’t mean that as it’d be too easy?

  3. All done in only two Kevins 👍🏻. A relief after consecutive DNFs (maybe it’s connected to getting some sleep?!).

    COD goes to LUXURY from me, very ingenious. LOI was AMATEUR – I was expecting “gold rush initially” to signal GR.

    Thanks for the entertaining blog, Roly.


  4. 15 mins so another quick one.

    Had to return to 3 clues to check parsing before submitting:
    Complex due to not knowing/forgetting lex/law.
    The broth conundrum and what flashlight had to do with the US.

    COD Luxury.

  5. I agree with roly’s middle of the road assessment for this one, which I completed in 12.58 with LOI 15d. My biggest hold up was 1a and CoD goes to 4d.
    Thanks for the blog
  6. Pretty good going today, only slowed up by ESTATE and TASTE, for some unfathomable reason. Liked LUXURY and COMPLEX (x-rated words always a bonus!). Thanks Roly for parsing BROTHERS; I too saw ER in broths…in which case, a pottage is a whole new world of worries (I’m looking at you, today’s 15 x 15).
  7. I went over my target time of 10 minutes by 1:08, but messed up by biffing 7d and failing to check the anagrist. I had GLISTERING. Eeejit! COMPLEX was my LOI. FLASHLIGHT took a while. Nice puzzle. Thanks Roly and Joker.
  8. One of my faster solves. In fact a number of the clues hardly seemed cryptic to be honest (eg 19a, 16, 18, 20d).
    I shall no doubt regret this post tomorrow.
  9. Sub 26 mins as completed on thameslink between Harpenden and St Pancras on time. Pleased with both of those at the moment. John
  10. I suppose it’s human nature to enjoy these when they rattle through, but 19mins is my first sub 20 for ages, so thank you Joker. Strangely, I didn’t have any trouble with 11ac – sometimes focussing on the ‘wrong’ end (in the answer here) helps ! 4d is my CoD as well, just ahead of 7d. Thanks to Roly for the blog, especially the Greb link. Invariant
  11. I’m back after a short break golfing in Cornwall. I solved the last two days’ puzzles on my phone which was difficult as were the puzzles.
    Today’s seemed much easier and back on paper which I prefer.
    FOI was 18d starting at the bottom and LOI was Brothers which I could only parse using the Broth approach.
    Anyway all done in about 20 minutes. I always enjoy Joker’s puzzles.

  12. Typically slow to start. Last two in were 1ac FLASHLIGHT and 11ac BROTHERS (unparsed). 10:52
  13. Inside 12 minutes for me, so easy end of middling. It would have been quicker, but I struggled with LOI ESTATE.
  14. I enjoy Joker’s crosswords by far since we seem to be on the same wavelength, but being Canadian, I do have problems when US or American is used for a NORTH American term.

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