Hello everyone, Doofenschmirtz here filling in for Merlin who is away this week.
This was a fun one from Joker, with a twist that I – for once – spotted while solving, and then totally failed to use to my advantage. I finished in 12:44, so inside my target time.
In case you didn’t spot the twist:
Definitions underlined, synonyms in round brackets, wordplay in square brackets and deletions in strikethough.
|7||Concerned with seeing us reflected in glass bottle (6)|
|VISUAL – US reversed [reflected] inside VIAL (glass bottle).|
|8||I cry a river, which indicates constant pressure (6)|
|ISOBAR – I SOB (cry) A R (standard abbreviation for river).
An isobar is a line on a weather map that joins points of equal atmospheric pressure, just as a contour line joins points of equal elevation on a land map.
|9||Confine naughty child reportedly out of bed (8)|
|IMPRISON – IMP (naughty child) + a homophone [reportedly] of “risen” (out of bed).|
|10||Retained most of key part (4)|
|KEPT – KE
I had to study Henry IV Pt 1 for O Level English. I’ve never managed to love Shakespeare’s history plays after that experience.
|11||Beginning of summer affected island’s seafood (6)|
|SCAMPI – S
|13||Pay for what bow and arrow do (5)|
|ENDOW – The words “bow” and “arrow” both “end OW”.
|14||Specify five — just half ten (3)|
|FIX – FI
|15||Jack in the morning: my, that’s lucky! (5)|
|JAMMY – J for Jack (as in playing cards) + AM (in the morning) + MY.
This may be a stretch for non-UK based solvers: I’m pretty confident I’ve never heard “jammy” used to mean “lucky” here in the US.
|17||Joker, perhaps, holds old whiskey and chicken (6)|
|COWARD – CARD (Joker, perhaps), including O for old and W for whiskey (NATO phonetic alphabet).|
|19||Staff’s first sign of split with tons leaving (4)|
|CLEF – CLEF
At the risk of appalling the musicians in the readership, the “staff” is the set of horizontal lines that music is written on, and the first symbol written is normally (always?) the clef, most commonly the treble clef 𝄞 or the bass clef 𝄢.
|20||Woodwind instrument recital arranged around noon (8)|
|CLARINET – anagram [arranged] of RECITAL + N for noon.|
|22||Strong resentment about lake fisherman (6)|
|ANGLER – ANGER (strong resentment) around [about] L for lake.|
|23||Lubricant’s good — runs with lack of effort (6)|
|GREASE – G for good, + R for runs (cricket) + EASE (lack of effort).|
|1||Tree on top of mountain is unshakeable (4)|
|FIRM – FIR (tree) on M
|2||Follower often of status with odd requirement for meeting (6)|
|QUORUM – QUO (follower often of “status”) + RUM (odd).|
|3||Catalogue biological grouping if unknown (8)|
|CLASSIFY – CLASS (biological grouping) + IF + Y (unknown, as in algebra).|
|4||Family installing large oven (4)|
|KILN – KIN (family) including L (large)|
|5||Exhausted area with duke interring king (6)|
|ZONKED – ZONE (area) + D for duke including K for king.
This was my LOI. I spent fully 3 minutes looking at _O_K_D, even though I was certain the puzzle needed a Z. I’m blaming the time change.
|6||Personnel weapon exploded in mortar’s casing (8)|
|MANPOWER – Anagram [exploded] of WEAPON in M
I liked this clue a lot, probably my favorite of the day. Trickier than we often see in the quickie, but fairly clued.
|12||I con gal excitedly to embrace Joker, using flattery to get results (8)|
|CAJOLING – Angram [excitedly] of I CON GAL with a J for Joker included.
Joker’s second self-reference of the puzzle?
|13||Swap farthings and threepenny bits? (8)|
|EXCHANGE – Double definition. Since farthings and threepenny bits are no longer legal tender, they are now ex-change.|
|16||Quieten beast of burden, very loud inside (6)|
|MUFFLE – MULE (beast of burden) including FF (very loud, from music).|
|18||Grow pale when accepting it (6)|
|WHITEN – well, what to say? It’s literally WHEN accepting IT.|
|20||Fish, grouse or beef (4)|
|CARP – I think this is a double definition. I tried to convince myself that ‘grouse’ and ‘beef’ make this a triple, but they are basically the same meaning of ‘carp’, to complain.|
|21||A little variable as to direction (4)|
|EAST – Hidden in [a little] “