Times Quick Cryptic No 1219 by Izetti

A lovely puzzle from Izetti today, as always, with plenty of wit and inventiveness in the clueing and neat surfaces. Although I finished in an average time for me, I needed to keep my thinking cap on to unravel some of the trickery, so I expect a few of our less experienced solvers will find some these clues a bit testing… which is as it should be, to my mind, and it wouldn’t be a proper Izetti puzzle without them. Clues I particularly liked include DABS, PO-FACED, UNAPPRECIATED and SEVENS, but T-SHIRTS was my favourite. Thanks, Izetti! How did you all get on?

Definitions underlined in italics, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Expertsthey can provide evidence for crime (4)
DABS – A nice double definition to start with. If you are an expert at something (like Izetti at setting crosswords) you might be called a DAB hand. The other meaning, of course, being hand DABS (aka fingerprints).
3 Female star in cabin humourless in expression (2-5)
PO-FACED – F (Female) ACE (star) [in] POD (cabin). Continuing the theme of excellence.. If you are a star at something, you are an ACE. POD for cabin is a bit of a stretch, perhaps, but it didn’t hold me up so I didn’t put that expression on my own face. I like the phrase, which is based on the French “pot de chambre“.
8 Discloser of scandal troubling to well-wisher — British involved (7-6)
WHISTLE-BLOWER – Take B for British and include in an anagram of [troubling] (to well-wisher)* .
9 Girl spends hour in routine procedure (3)
RUT – A bit tricky. The girl in question is RUT{h} – ‘spends hour’ meaning to lose the H for hour. But you all spotted that, didn’t you?
10 Idiot in the morning in Indian location (5)
ASSAM – ASS (idiot) AM (in the morning). A favourite variety of tea of mine named after the North-Eastern Indian state it comes from.
12 After end of day canvas shelter is wide open (7)
YAWNING – Take the end of {da}Y and add AWNING (canvas shelter) to get what one does at the end of day.
14 Garments flogged in this street — 50% off (1-6)
T-SHIRTS – I loved this one. Flogged here indicates an anagram. Take 50% off street to get STR and munge with THIS to get the required apparel, Yes, I am wearing one as I type.
16 Daughter is taking care of entertainment event (5)
DISCO – D (daughter) IS C/O (care of). Not my sort of entertainment event, I’m afraid, and my daughters know better than to arrange one for me.
17 See some of them swimming in German river (3)
EMS – A lovely hidden word clue – the answer submerged in thEM Swimming. Luckily I vaguely remembered this river. Apparently there’s more than one! Find out more here.
20 Canute, a dipper sadly not respected (13)
UNAPPRECIATED – (Canute a dipper)* [sadly]. A clever reference to Canute failing to stop the tide. Certainly not unappreciated by me.
21 Gives new order to holiday towns? (7)
RESORTS – Double definition. I wonder if there’s a league table of resorts?
22 Copied a page written by editor (4)
APED – A P (page) ED (editor). It’s always good to have a few easy ones to get you going.

1 Dejected actors in county of Northern Ireland (8)
DOWNCAST – DOWN (N.I. county) CAST (actors). Another useful encourager.
2 Painful sore makes one get agitated (4)
BOIL – Double definition. I wonder if we will get anyone boiling in rage about today’s crossword? I hope not. I think it’s a beaut.
3 Lots of work around hospital department (6)
PLENTY – PLY (work) around the old chestnut “Ear Nose and Throat” hospital department – ENT. If you’ve not seen this before, it’s worth remembering. You’re far more likely to find this in an answer than, say, Pathology.
4 Showed an interest in legal process and did likewise (8,4)
FOLLOWED SUIT – FOLLOWED (Showed an interest) SUIT (legal process). As one did when playing cards.
5 Farm animal falls over in flowering plants (8)
COWSLIPS – COW (Farm animal) SLIPS (falls over)…. which conjures an entertaining image.
6 Challenge accepted by one radical rising up (4)
DARE – Reverse [rising up] hidden in onE RADical. I dare you to criticise this puzzle!
7 German soldier spreading most terror with op (5,7)
STORM TROOPER – (most terror op)* [spreading].
11 Finally teach class or upset those in it? (8)
SCHOLARS – Anagram [upset] of {teac}H [finally] and CLASS OR. From what she says not everyone in the classes my wife teaches are these.
13 Good and mature, but unable to go up in the world? (8)
GROUNDED – Take G (good) and add ROUNDED (mature – as in developed to perfection) to get what my son would be if he didn’t act as befits a scholar in his classes.
15 Saracens initially given 50/50 chance in game of rugby (6)
SEVENS – S{aracens} [initially] EVENS (50/50 chance). A great version of the game to watch. And a lovely surface.
18 Turning up, bishop gets to express satisfaction audibly (4)
PURR – PU [turning] up RR (Right Reverend – the form of address of a bishop).
19 Procedure observed in latest epistle (4)
STEP – Our 3rd hidden word! Found in lateST EPistle. Hmm. I thought a step was part of a procedure, but Chambers tells me otherwise!

40 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1219 by Izetti”

  1. Didn’t get 1a on the first pass and that was how it stayed until almost the very end. My LOI was BOIL, just couldn’t see it, didn’t twig it was a double definition and the “one” in the clue, which was my checker, made me think I needed a three letter word for agitated – although I really couldn’t see anything to justify thinking it was an insertion. Once 1a was in the alphabet trawl got me to the finish in a reasonable time – very close to this week’s breakfast time average and well under the week’s overall average. More clues than usual guessed from the definition and then parsed than usual but a good, enjoyable puzzle.
  2. A slow start and a slow finish did for me, and my solving time of 16 minutes sent me into the red yet again where it has been far too often over the past week ot two. My FOI was ASSAM but I was unable to build on any of its checkers so I had to look elswehere for my next answer. Having eventually worked my way through the grid I was left with 2dn outstanding as my LOI and like mendesest above I needed to instigate a trawl through the alphabet before evenually coming up with BOIL, but it was a very slow process.

    No complaints from this quarter, but I suspect there will be from others.

    Edited at 2018-11-09 07:21 am (UTC)

  3. I was speeding along quite nicely, but DABS and BOIL lowered the tempo. I don’t think I knew DABS for fingerprints, so I relied on the ‘expert’ meaning; BOIL just took a long time. 4:58, just under 2 Verlaines.
      1. By contrast, I was happy with the fingerprints meaning but felt that dabs from dab hands rather a stretch.
        1. dab /0dab/ noun³. colloq. L17.
          [ORIGIN Origin unkn.]

          An expert, one who is skilful or adept (at, occas. in). Also dab hand.

          1. Yes, but has anyone in the history of the modern English language actually used the expression ‘dabs’ for people who are good at something? Perhaps I am not old enough to have heard it (I’m 71). I now know it is one of those curiosities that exist only in crossword land! Pexiter.
            1. Calling someone a dab hand at a particular occupation is a fairly common expression in my experience.
              On edit: Sorry Jack, just noticed you already said that.

              Edited at 2018-11-09 04:45 pm (UTC)

        2. Sorry if I confused with my blog, Chris. As jackkt, says, DAB means expert in its own right according to the dictionary, although I can’t recall seeing it used as a noun myself.
          1. Oh no, no confusion. I’d never seen it as a noun either (but completely accept that it is, as a dab hand is very familiar) – it was just a stretch for me to get to it (a stretch which took about 3 minutes – sadly).
      2. Thanks for the reference, Jack. I was surprised to see that it was as recently as last year that mctext and galspray were still with us (and that I theoretically learned about dabs). And what happened to Jack Benny?
        1. I forget now why I abandoned Jack B (though he still remains a hero). I had an idea of using a variety of Jacks to go with my user name but only got as far as JB for everyday use and Nicholson (in a scary scene from The Shining) for when something had annoyed me.
  4. I am a plodding 20 minute average sort of chap, happy to complete but frequently a DNF or at least a FWA (finished with aids) But today, on the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basillica, I managed a PB of 9.54! I am sure reality will return next week but with the fantastic help from the magnificent bloggers I really think I am improving. Onwards and upwards!
  5. Up early so decided to do this online. I agree with our blogger, it was a super QC and for those with a little experience not too hard:a plant most of us will know and the only obscurity maybe the German river which was helpfully hidden.
    I was on the wavelength finishing in 6:59. FOI was Downcast and LOI Scholars.
  6. I had a really enjoyable solve today and romped home in 7:46. I skipped 1a DABS and 2d BOIL on the first pass and I didn’t know the river EMS but it was clearly signposted as a hidden. My LOI was 11d SCHOLARS and my COD a toss up between 3a PO-FACED and 14a T-SHIRTS. Thanks Izetti for restoring my faith in my solving abilities and John for the blog.
  7. I failed to spot the unknown river. Mind you I was a bit on the knackered side after driving from Middlesbrough to Cheddar and then taking my daughter and her hubby out for a birthday meal, and due to them being TT, having to drink the bottle of wine by myself. I just bunged in ESS assuming that ESSEN might be on the river ESS. Bah! 9:50 WOE. Thanks Izetti and John. The daughter has been muttering about taking me for a walk up the Gorge later, but I think I’ll encourage her to devise something a bit less challenging!
      1. We went round the caves and prehistory museum. Very interesting. Didn’t bother with Jacob’s Ladder or the cliff top walk as the weather was less than inviting:-)
  8. One of the handful of occasions I have completed the puzzle! 40 mins. I did look up ems though to check it was a river. Frankyanne
  9. Back to normality with a 12 minute solve. I invariably enjoy crosswords from the Don, and this was no exception. Thanks setter and blogger.
  10. Lots of speedy times here – well done all! I was the full 15, giving me a score of 3 Kevins which is an OK Day. (Kevin, please don’t introduce the Verlaine as a new unit of time, it would be too depressing.)

    My hold up was the same as others – the crossing of DABS and BOIL. I think we’ve had “dab” as expert before – it jarred then and it jars now. I know it’s in the dictionary but I’ve never, ever seen “dab” in that sense outside the phrase “dab hand”, so in my book it’s pretty jolly obscure. Anyway – it does have one virtue, which is that it pops up immediately in an alphabet trawl! Once I had then B the BOIL immediately burst … as it were.

    It is an absolute pleasure doing an Izetti puzzle, thanks to him and to John for the blog.


    1. I’m with Templar and jackkt – 15+ minutes (the last 4 or so staring at 1ac and 2dn). Dnk the river Ems but it looked like the clue worked that way when the two checkers came along. A satisfying test to overcome, plenty of worthwhile clues with cod to ‘followed suit’.
  11. A nice way to end the week, although I didn’t find it as straightforward as some. I toyed with the idea that Essen might be on the river ESS, but couldn’t make it work so had a second look and spotted the hidden.
    Like a number of others I finished with the 1a/2d crossers with 1a getting my COD. A steady solve coming in at 17.31.
    Thanks for the blog
  12. Got this done in 31 minutes, which is very quick for me! I’ve enjoyed having a largely unsuccessful go at the more difficult ones this week, but it’s nice to have something encouraging too.


  13. Subscribed to the YouTube channel and listened/watched a couple of Mark Goodliffe videos. (Thanks for the link yesterday or recently)
    Maybe this helped but the answers did jump out in more of an orderly fashion for me today, just getting stumped on 1a and 2d and needing synonym help for experts etc. 14 minutes before these last two so very pleased.
    Thanks all
    John George
  14. Finished in 50mins which is great for us – very enjoyable. COD for me cowslip but that’s my sense of humour. Feel a bit less like beginners after this one. L&I
  15. Super puzzle and as a relative newbie accessible with a good mix of clues. Ist pass over the clues revealed very little but one by one as the checkers arrived it pretty much fell into place which is rare for me and highly satisfying. Just stumped by the 3 letter words – guessed rut but ems eluded me as missed the hidden.
  16. My heart normally sinks when I see Izetti, but either he’s been gentle today or I’m improving. Still a DNF (DABS/BOIL – was looking for an anagram of IGET!) but the rest went down in 15 minutes. Really super clues: witty (COWSLIPS), clever (WHISTLE-BLOWER) and great surfaces (UNDERAPPRECIATED). A delight! Thanks Izetti, and John for showing me the error of my ways in the NW corner. Got ten minutes of my dinner hour left — time to stare blankly at the 15×15 🙂
  17. About average for me. FOI ASSAM. LOsI DABS/BOIL, my only real hold ups. COD COWSLIPS – made me chuckle. The term STORM TROOPER first came into use in the German Spring offensives of 1918, so very appropriate for this time.
  18. In the printed copy, every clue bar 8a spans two lines. I suspect this says a lot about the lovely style of our setter. I worked for the police for a while so 1a familiar which helped me complete in just over 9 minutes. A good day as the main puzzle was my first completion of the week. Thanks all
  19. Another enjoyable Izetti puzzle, with a good mix of straightforward clues and one’s requiring more thought. For a change, the long anagrams went in early and that helped to open up the grid. I also spotted the Dabs/Boil combination without too much of a hold up, but then struggled with Purr, of all things, before I remembered Bishops can be RR. Saracens are a successful rugby team, so Don was showing his breadth of knowledge in 15d. 30mins in total, and a nice end to the week. Invariant
  20. I found this so straightforward that I had to keep checking that it was indeed an Izetti puzzle. 11 mins
  21. Brilliant crosswprd and blog, as ever from these two. I agree with the above comment concerning how incredibly helpful these blogs are. Didn.t need more than a second for dabs and boil. Why do I find some things obvious and so much else not! Why, Oh why, can’t we have a Saturday QC. Please, please please.
    1. See PlayUpPompey’s comment at 1:59pm. I say no – lest we forget…

      Edited at 2018-11-09 10:30 pm (UTC)

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  23. I came to this a day late and, after a slow start and a number of interruptions, I found this an excellent puzzle, as expected from Izetti. Many great clues, as described above; witty and occasionally frustrating but clever and satisfying. Considering the breaks in concentration, I was content to record a time of under 4 Kevins. John M.

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