Times Quick Cryptic No 1158 by Izetti

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I threw in the towel at the 18 minute mark with a guess at 23ac and a made-up anagram of “female” at 10ac. Lots of tricky cluing with surfaces that read seamlessly and required a fair amount of unpicking, so a lovely puzzle but very much on the tougher end of things – many thanks to Izetti!

7 A stone that’s been turned over is huge (4)
MEGAA GEM (a stone) turned over = reverse
8 USA sure to get excited about old philosopher (8)
ROUSSEAUanagram (excited) of USA SURE about O(ld)
9 Intimidating company faction (6)
COWINGCO. (company) WING (faction)
10 Facing change, see female wobble (6)
FALTER – on the “face” of ALTER (change) see F(emale). With F_L_E_ and a FEMALE “wobbling”, I bunged in FALEEM, hoping a “facing change” is a term used in plastic surgery… for what? An unintended realignment of skin and features following a cheap, superficial facelift? Yes, quite possibly.
11 Quiet deed brings agreement (4)
PACT – P (piano – quiet) ACT (deed)
12 Reckon car may go across motorway after spinning round (8)
ESTIMATE – ESTATE (car) to go across IM (M1 = motorway, spinning round)
15 Supporting insincere person, one puts forward an idea (8)
PROPOSERIf you’re pro a poser, or PRO-POSER, you would be supporting an insincere person.
17 Opponent of Henry VIII to a greater extent (4)
MOREdouble definition. He was already a saint, but in October 2000 Pope John Paul II made Sir Tommy the patron saint of Statesmen and Politicians. Well, St Jude had already bagged the lost causes and desperate cases gig, hadn’t he?
18 Talk about the French holiday home? (6)
CHALET – CHAT (talk) about/around LE (the, French)
21 Pale-looking old rocker sought by police? (6)
WANTED – WAN (pale-looking) TED (old rocker)
22 Member of club managed to contain a riot somehow (8)
ROTARIAN – RAN (managed) to contain an anagram (somehow) of A RIOT. A member of the Rotary Club apparently.
23 Stupid person gets the bird (4)
LOON – double definition. Yet another bird I’ve either never heard of or will quickly forget ever having done so.
1 Jaunty female socialite once performing song (8)
DEBONAIR – DEB (debutante: female socialite once) ON (performing) AIR (song)
2 Terrible stir about Bill being a prejudiced person (6)
RACIST – anagram (terrible) of STIR about AC (account – bill)
3 Advance publicity given to ferocious woman (8)
PROGRESSPR (publicity) given to OGRESS (ferocious woman)
4 Fruit brought up after one’s removed earth (4)
TURF – TIURF = fruit brought up/reversed with I (one) removed.
5 Shelter unknown character in a deprived area (6)
ASYLUM – Y (unknown character) in A SLUM (a deprived area)
6 Establish arts graduates must have English (4)
BASEBAs (arts graduates) to have E(nglish)
13 Chucking object containing string (8)
THROWING – THING (object) containing ROW (string). I couldn’t get “twine” out of my head.
14 Aroused? This may suggest no! (6,2)
TURNED ON –  A turned “on” becomes “no”, no? I lethargically love this type of clue. Like a good cryptic definition clue, it makes you re-evaluate a commonplace word. Children do it routinely; adults should do so more than they do.
16 What to expect — badly penned column (6)
PILLAR – PAR (what to expect) has ILL (badly – “to think __ of”) penned in.
17 Crush has fellow getting broken leg (6)
MANGLE – MAN (fellow) gets an anagram (broken) of LEG
19 House with old books — indication of wise old bird? (4)
HOOT – H (house) with O (old) OT (Old Testament – books)
20 Work until 1.50 (4)
TOIL –  TO (until) I (one) L (fifty).

43 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1158 by Izetti”

  1. I believe it’s HO (house) with old books (OT); at least I can’t recall H for ‘house’ in a cryptic (although no doubt it’s appeared in a Mephisto), and HO is often clued as ‘house’ (and ‘home’ gets one IN).
  2. I had the same qualm as Vinyl about LOON, although I see my English-Japanese dictionary gives ‘fool’ as one meaning. There’s more than a little irony to sanctifying More; he was not a nice man. 6:02.
    1. It’s always hard judging people in the past. Foreign country and all that – the humanist circle of which he was an important part was to the modern eye much better than the alternative that did him in. But yes, nice irony indeed – an adequate patron saint for statesmen and politicians, then!

      Edited at 2018-08-16 04:08 am (UTC)

  3. 15 minutes for this QC that I found almost as difficult as yesterday’s. The intersecting TURF and FALTER led to my downfall with the latter as my LOI. I had taken ‘fruit’ as the definition at 4dn and for wordplay I was looking for a word meaning ‘brought up’ or ‘brought’ reversed [up] from which to remove E (earth) to arrive at the fruit. Talk about over-thinking things! In mitigation I would say that I think ‘earth’ as a defintion of ‘turf’ is a bit of a stretch as ‘grass’ is just as important a constituent, but I have found an American definition in Collins that may justify it.

    I am 100% sure I have seen LOON as a double-definition in a puzzle within the past couple of weeks (the word ‘diver’ may have been used for the bird element) and even thought it was in a puzzle I blogged myself, but I have been unable to find it as recently as that. It did however appear in a 15×15 in May this year.

    Edited at 2018-08-16 05:30 am (UTC)

  4. I found this very difficult as well. At my 30 minute target I still had four to go with no idea what the remaining clues were about.
    I would also seriously suggest that grids without a ‘1 across’ should never be used for a QC.

    Edited at 2018-08-16 08:10 am (UTC)

  5. Way too difficult for a QC. What’s the point? The 15×15 is always there as a harder puzzle.
    1. Rather strangely, I completed this without difficulty, although I’m a tyro and usually fail to finish as many as I complete.
    1. “Way too difficult”=”I had trouble solving it.” Some of these puzzles are more difficult than others; in the words of the poet, Duh. Perhaps Anon–any of the various Anons who have repeated today’s Anons’ complaint–could offer an example or two of a way too difficult clue? I’ve never seen that done in a raft of anonymous postings.
      1. Well, it was far too difficult for me as well. I managed about 8 clues and have no idea about the rest. 11a, 18a, 21a went in ok. I biffed 13d but haven’t read the blog yet and have no idea how it’s parsed. A couple of others I’ve done – but I’m totally stuck now.

        I can usually finish the QC, sometimes with a bit of help, but it needs to be enjoyable. Today’s was not for me. Others might have a different view.

      2. Maybe it depends on your mindset. I found this wonderfully satisfying and quite doable. Usually I fail to finish these crosswords. Thank you Izetti we are on the same wavelength and no Male references to cricket yay!
  6. 21 minutes for me too. A tough QC with the NE corner holding me up longest. DNK ROUSSEAU but biffed from anagram, thought some kind of fruit was the answer for 4d and 5d ASYLUM was my LOI. Tough but enjoyable.
  7. Even with lots of noise going on around here, this was all going pretty well until asylum, turf, falter and then finally pillar and loi (by a long margin) toil. I completely share Templar’s experience of toil and so make it cod. 19 minutes in total. Can’t have been an easy one to blog so well done roly – and thanks for 14dn – I hadn’t seen the full cleverness of that clue.
  8. Definitely not the easiest of QCs, with TURF, FALTER, LOON and TOIL causing some mental calisthenics. However I managed to complete in exactly 10 minutes. Thanks Izetti and Roly.
  9. Bottom half went in ok but top half defeated me. Needed the blog to see why biffs were right. Dare i turn to the back page after this ordeal?
  10. Four Kevins for this one – but with 1.5 Kevins spent on my LOI which was the mighty TOIL! How it can take nearly ten minutes to find two missing letters in a four letter word is totally beyond me. I can only plead the fact that since it was Izetti I assumed there was some fiendish subtlety about “ten to two” going on.

    Anyway. “The devil damn thee black, thou cream faced loon” escaped my lips when the penny finally dropped.

    A tough work out but very enjoyable for the habitual QCer. Many thanks to Izetti and Roly.


  11. Yep! this was a toughie. 21 minutes for me, but all done and parsed in that time. I suspect that a good number of newbies will have given up.

    I had most trouble with remembering ROUSSEAU from an unlikely looking selection of letters in the anagrist, and seeing and understanding TURNED ON.

    As always by the Don, it was fair enough, but the difficulty level was high. I wonder how well Setters can judge or tune difficulty.

  12. Enjoyed this puzzle and – for me! – worked fairly swiftly through it until I came unstuck by philosophers… I put in “Saussure” rather than “Rousseau” which meant that 3down and 6 down were impossible! I knew “loon” from teaching Shakespeare. Thank you, setter and blogger.
  13. Not helped by my first 2 solutions being wrong! 7 across Vast and 3 down Harridan!
  14. Spent far too long trying to think of a fruit with a penultimate U to reverse for 4dn – and then after seeing what was hiding in plain sight, looking for an anagram of ‘female’ for 11ac, which was LOI.
    First thoughts for 7ac & 23ac were VAST and COOT.
  15. As a novice I fear Izetti, since I always find him/her difficult to decipher. However I am very pleased to have finished this puzzle in I hour 28 minutes with some guesses. Really enjoy all the setters and find this blog extremely helpful
  16. As far as I’m concerned, Izetti should not be praised for putting in a clue that is far too difficult. It is NOT a QUICK cryptic crossword. The fact that it foxed Rolytoly is surely the hanging evidence?

    But perhaps my expectations are unreasonable: I want a cryptic crossword that it do-able for those who cannot do the 15×15. This failed on that count.

    To be fair: I note a number of fellow solvers- just want another cryptic to do “as well as the 15×15” – but I don’t see the commercial gain for The Times with that strategy.

    1. The Quick Cryptic is I believe designed to help with the understanding of the art of solving cryptic clues, helping those who wish to step up to the main puzzle. As is this blog. If it was easy all the time it would be counter-productive. The QC is easier than the average 15×15 and, if you look at the times taken by those who do both you can gauge this. I’ll use kevingregg as my example. He took more than 33 minutes to do today 15×15 and 6 minutes for this.
      Also, Quick and Easy are not necessarily synonymous.
    2. If you want to know why he deserves praise, just look at 20d and 4d – and both answers are just four letters long. Invariant
  17. I resorted to the blog after 45 mins for falter.Then I saw turf. A tough one but I feel reassured that my attempt was creditable after reading the posts. I have only ever attempted the 15 x 15 twice when flagged here as particularly easy, managed about half in both cases. I keep learning! Frankyanne
  18. Usual Izetti. Tough, imaginatively clued and very rewarding. Although I actually found it easier than yesterday. COD TURNED ON. Like rolytoly I always enjoy this sort of clue. I’ve seen LOON clued this way somewhere before. LOI FALTER. Took me a while to see what was going on there.
  19. A typically thought provoking puzzle from Don. PILLAR mt last one in, adding a good 45s over my average solving time. I enjoyed TOIL and TURNED ON. I was another who parsed 19d as HO (house) + OT (old books), but I guess yours works just as well rolytoly. 7:27
  20. That was one of the hardest QCs for some time. Took me a full hour, but got there in the end, with Turf/Falter as the last pair. Thank you Roly for explaining the latter, as I couldn’t see what was going on. CoD to 4d for the casual way it fooled me into looking at the wrong end of the clue – if there were more four letter fruits, I might still be going. Invariant
  21. I echo a lot of the comments today in that it was hard but fair and very clever. It took me 31.56 a hefty chunk of which was spent on the mysterious fruit and LOI 10a. 4d gets my COD for the reasons outlined by Invariant above.

  22. I finished this but it took me a long time to get my last two: 4d and 10a. I looked for an anagram of Female but nothing worked. I needed to solve 4d first and eventually saw Turf -COD for me. That led me quickly to Falter.
    This was difficult but rewarding I thought. Well over 30 minutes for me. David
  23. Izetti is God and there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with a smattering of QC’s that more resemble the 15×15 for those of us in transition. I really did not like Loon though. A DD with one definition (stupid) being anything but obvious and the other an obscure bird. Why, oh why, do so many otherwise deeply satisfying crosswords have to have obscure flora and fauna without helpful wordplay?
  24. We enjoyed this fairly hard workout. We always find Izetti’s clues fair, you have to look very carefully at them. We have been doing the quick cryptic for about 4 years and generally finish, admittly with a little help on occasions. To progress you have to persevere anda range of difficulty of th qc’s is essential. We solve late so rarely post, pertinent coments have usually been said. Thanks to all contributors which are a highlight to our afternoon. Elin and ian
    1. How we agree with you. We start at lunchtime and have only just finished now with a late supper due to gardening. It’s so satisfying to be able to solve them without giving up though we do, on occasions like today, have to have a bit of help. Really easy ones we do separately but today’s was a joint effort.
  25. yes this was hard but fair once you looked at the clues although not sure about turned on. We have been doing the QC since it started and really enjoy the comments people make. This post is late as we do the QC over the evening meal.
    Keep up the good work folks
  26. I have never commented before but I HAD to respond to criticisms of this puzzle which I consider to be the perfect level for a QC. I am not a speedster ( though I admire them) and am incapable of tackling the 15×15 – even when people post that it’s an ‘easy’ day I never get more than a handful of answers. However I worked steadily and happily through this with none of the problems mentioned above and felt the glow of satisfaction which is my reason for doing these things. Pen and paper, so no official time but approx 30minutes. I would hate to see any dumbing down of the QC level – hence my desire to comment. Hazelnut.
  27. This was far too difficult. Off the scale. I’ve been doing these for about two and a half years and this was the worse effort by a country mile. I like a challenge; not easy but no way with this one. I managed about six and one of them was wrong!
  28. Tough but how else do you progress? I finished this but it took 40 mins. I’ve never done more than half of the 15×15 – but I’m learning and you need these harder QC to do that. It’s important to keep the range of difficulty to both get new people in, challenge those progressing and transition those to the 15×15. A really good puzzle. Nick
  29. just to respond to others, I’ve been doing the QC for one year … don’t give up! I’ve just finished today’s (yesterday’s) and the satisfaction is gained from working through it not necessarily how quick.
    it’s taken me over an hour (easily!) and I loved it when 3d (LOI) finally went in!

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