Times Quick Cryptic No 2606 by Joker

There are one or two tricky bits including 21A and 4D in this Quick Cryptic from Joker that took a bit of working out. Furthermore, I was  held up by having a very reasonable DRAW for 18D at first, which made the SW corner a bit puzzling until I found another answer. All in all it took me 5:32. Thank-you Joker for the workout. How did you all get on?

Fortnightly Weekend Quick Cryptic. The Times has bowed to pressure and started publishing an online Saturday Quick Cryptic crossword. But there is still no Sunday Times Quick Cryptic so we will continue the series of Weekend Quick Cryptics. This time it is my turn to provide the extra weekend entertainment. You can find the crossword, entitled “Down In The Woods Today”,  here. If you are interested in trying our previous offerings you can find an index to all 97 here.

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

1 Loud bird is cockerel perhaps (4)
FOWLF (Forte; loud) OWL (bird). “Perhaps” because it is a definition by example… i.e. cockerel is a type of fowl.
3 Strange couplet having eight parts (7)
OCTUPLE – (couplet)* [strange].
8 Wheeling along, posh cars with monarch round centre of Bath (6-7)
ROLLER-SKATINGROLLERS (Rolls-Royce cars; posh cars), and middle letters [centre] of bATh in KING (monarch). I bet they wouldn’t wheel very fast. The traffic in Bath is terrible.
9 Whopper? Large, that is (3)
LIEL (large) I.E. (id est; that is).
10 General truth of maxim uncovered initially over minutes (5)
AXIOM – mAXIm without the outside letters, [uncovered], and first letters, [initially], of Over Minutes.
12 I arrive to travel round Mediterranean coast area (7)
RIVIERA – (I arrive)* [to travel round].
14 Stories about National Trust gifts (7)
TALENTSTALES (stories) about NT (National Trust).
16 Steer badly and turn back to starting point (5)
RESET – (Steer)* [badly].
17 The man’s greeting son (3)
HISHI (a greeting) S (son).
20 Mourned deeply, unfortunately little engaged? (13)
UNDEREMPLOYED – (Mourned deeply)* [unfortunately].
21 Sensationally and transparently when Charlie’s king? (7)
LURIDLY – A little tricky, this one…  LU{c}IDLY (transparently) changing the C (Charlie in the phonetic alphabet) to R (Rex; king) -> LURIDLY.
22 In this establishment? In another establishment (4)
HERE – Hidden in anotHER Establishment.
1 Predict change under Foreign Office (8)
FORECASTFO (Foreign Office) RECAST (change).
2 Predator one across upset (4)
WOLF – 1A is FLOW so this is… (flow)* [upset].
3 Seafood years in store going off (6)
OYSTERY (years) in (store)* [going off].
4 Obliquely answer with poetry line in test (12)
TRANSVERSELY – Assemble the answer as instructed… ANS (answer) VERSE (poetry) L (line) all in TRY (test). I needed all the checkers to see this one.
5 Royal at home caught by invading newspapers (8)
PRINCESSIN (at home) C (caught by, on a cricket scorecard) in, [invading], PRESS (newspapers).
6 Thus it is seen in Oliver Goldsmith (4)
ERGO – Hidden in OlivER GOldsmith. Luckily for me, (and maybe for you too?) you don’t need to know anything about what Oliver Goldsmith authored to solve the clue.
7 Polite bore, chap needling everyone, initially looking embarrassed (4-8)
WELL-MANNERED – Another multi-part construction job… WELL (bore that you might get oil or water out of) MAN (chap), first letters of Needling Everyone, RED (looking embarrassed).
11 Rum fellow, say, sporting red nails (8)
ISLANDER – Ho ho. A fellow from Rum, the island. (red nails)* [sporting]. Entertaining surface.
13 Person turning up ruined teen date (8)
ATTENDEE – (teen date)* [ruined].
15 Dance quietly, Jimmy — and don’t start with Jack (6)
SHIMMYSH (quietly), {j}IMMY, not starting with the J (Jack).
18 Be attractive in drag (4)
PULL – Double definition. Not DRAW as I had initially.
19 Lowest part of car port (4)
TYRE – Double definition, the first a cryptic hint, referring to the part of the car that touches the ground, the second being this ancient Lebanese port.

103 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2606 by Joker”

      1. Thanks, ND, I must be living right. Your times are showing improvement too lately, aren’t they?

        1. Yes, my times seem to be have got a bit better over the last couple of months with fewer outings extended past 25mins these days 👍 Just breaking even on the SCC escapes at 24/47

  1. I made a careless error with HES instead of HIS, otherwise I would have had quite a good time.
    Is TYRE referring to the Lebanese port? Quite obscure! I put it in on trust, and, unless I’m misunderstanding, “lowest part of car” is not really cryptic, just vague.

    1. I read the clue the same as David. Lowest part of car= tyre and Tyre is a PORT (in Lebanon)

  2. Re 2d, isn’t there a crossword rule or convention (not just a Times one) that cross-references to other clues are always written numerically?

    Another who was quick on the DRAW here.

    9 minutes.

    1. I didn’t notice, or if noticed, think anything about 2d, but I’m sure you’re right; I’ve certainly never seen another example.

    2. I was going to say the same thing about cross-references. It’s certainly a rule for the puzzles I test-solve, and elsewhere.

      1. I noticed and thought maybe it was written like that to avoid confusion for us thickies who only inhabit the QC. But now realise maybe it’s for surface.

        Out of interest, how do you cross-reference it (alpha)numerically when there is both 1A and 1D? Think I’ve only seen them where there is only one clue of the specified number.

    1. HOur dog Hugh, came from a lady in the village who named her dogs after Scottish Islands. Hugh’s mother was Rumba. We had our own naming convention so the island had to be a middle name. That was in the days of dog licences and he was officially Hugh Benbecula of Cheriton. A good boy.

  3. 13:15 – I was very pleased when I put in LURIDLY. Those replacement clues always stump me.

    My favourite clue was for PULL. I like those super short clues and I liked the surface. I saw a lot of beautiful drag queens last night in the audience at a performance of RENT.

    1. You are always my person to compare to Tina. I did 13:20, I was also pleased when I put in LURIDLY at the end. Nice start to the weekend 🙂

  4. 9.46. A lot of assembly work required for this from Joker, including WELL-MANNERED, ROLLER SKATING and TRANSVERSELY. They were largely biffable but would take a fair bit of time to nut out otherwise. My LOI was LUCIDLY, entered solely because it fitted. Had no idea how it worked until John explained it so ta for that. Oh, and Rum is an island? Handy to know, and I bet I forget that next time it comes up!

      1. The island’s name is actually Rùm in the native Gaelic, and this is increasingly the spelling used by officialdom (eg Ordnance Survey maps). It is correctly anglicised to Rum: Rhum was an invented spelling, coined by a former owner of the island who didn’t want to be known as the Laird of Rum, and is no longer used.

  5. Rhum’s neighbouring island is Eigg…both much painted by Scottish ( and other ) watercolourists, another one to unscramble

    1. Furthermore, along with Canna and Muck, Rum and Eigg make up the Small Isles within the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland.

  6. Oh dear. I thought I was on for a clean sweep this week but it wasn’t to be. I was defeated by LURIDLY and got HIS (he’s) and TYRE (Ryde) wrong. No excuses.
    I was very chuffed to get ISLANDER quickly, which for me was the Clue of the Day. So 4/5 after what’s been a good week of QCs so far.
    Thanks to Joker and John.

  7. A rare sub-1o – achieved at risk by scrambling for the submit button when I should have been checking things over. Wanted UNDEREMPLOYED to be ‘underwhelmed’ and was sure I could see it in the anagrist but it’s both too short and spelled with different letters. LURIDLY last one in before welcome all green grid.

  8. Made heavy weather of this one, just couldn’t tune in for some reason as there was nothing particularly difficult.
    I see that I joined some fine company in the draw club but it took me far too long to challenge it when I couldn’t make head or tail of the SW corner.
    Struggled over the line in 11.40 with the FOWL (doh)/WOLF pairing.
    Thanks to John

  9. Completed in a little under 45mins which is good for me. Found this comparatively straightforward although I needed our bloggers help to fully understand the parsing on 1a (didn’t know F for loud – musical terms often beat me), 7d (missed WELL for BORE but obvious from crosses Having worked out MANNERED) and 21a (which is a challenging one for rank amateurs like me and was a lucky guess for my LOI). Enjoyable puzzle.

  10. Very enjoyable, but the parsing of TRANSVERSELY made me put quite a sweat on.
    Likewise, this quickie had me thrashing out LURIDLY for quite some time.

  11. 16:55 with last 4mins of that spent trying to parse TRANSVERSELY because I’d mentally overlooked the -ANS- part. Wasn’t keen on LURIDLY, TYRE, or ISLANDER (another Scottish island I don’t know 🙄). But much of the rest banged in very quickly. Possibly the strangest grid I’ve seen.

    1hr25 for five days but with corrected DNFs on Mon/Tues. So another clean sleep goes begging but let’s see if I can manage the sub-2.

    Have a good weekend everybody if you’re not back tomorrow!

  12. Yay! I managed a rare SCC escape with 18.09.

    LURIDLY held me up for many minutes, and I ended up biffing it from the checkers even though I couldn’t parse it. I thought it might be a drug reference with Charlie in the clue, but I understand LSD gives a lurid experience, not cocaine…though I’m unfamiliar with any drugs having avoided the temptation (so far).

    Happy Friday everyone. Pi ❤️

  13. Super excited at only my 3rd ever completion, and my first time completing in one sitting in 13:52. I didn’t understand everything I was putting in at the time, but I try every day & read all the solutions & comments, and slowly, after nearly 2 years (I’m a slow learner!) I’m making progress! So thank you all for your helpful comments & explanations over the years!

    1. Wow! That is some kind of stat to only complete 3 in 2yrs but then to do it in 13:52. Congratulations 💪

    2. Great time, amazing for a 3rd-ever completion, and would be a rare achievement for me! I am in awe.

  14. Some challenging clues which I spent more time on post-biff trying to find the parsing: Transversely for one, as I took time to derive ANS from answer, and Well-mannered also took some unscrambling. But the biggest hold-up was on my LOI, Tyre where I could not see what was going on for ages, pushing me out to an 11 minute solve.

    Nice to see Rum join Man as a stock island to confuse us all. The nearby island of Muck must surely be the next to be added to the setters’ atlas.

    Many thanks John for the blog and I look forward to trying the Sunday Special.

  15. A challenging but enjoyable QC from Joker, though I struggled with 11d and 21a for which I needed help from a certain orange helper.

    I liked 2d.

    My verdict: A nice end to the week.
    Pumpa’s verdict: Quite pleasant. Stick please!

  16. 9:37 (Battle of Brunanburh. Æthelstan defeats a combined army of Norse, Scots, and Strathclyde Briton invaders)

    I managed to unscramble the anagrams without needing to write them down for once. LOI LURIDLY, which is also my COD.

    Thanks John and Joker

  17. 9.42

    A bit of a struggle for me too, taking ages to see PULL at the end which I needed for my LOI LURIDLY where the w/p shouldn’t have, but did, stump me

    As I live in Bath and have just returned from a short break in the Riviera there were a couple of friendly references in this one

    Thanks Joker and John

  18. 11:25. Very enjoyable but some quite tough ones which needed assembling from the pieces like TRANSVERSELY.

    Favourite was ROLLER-SKATING. I couldn’t agree more with John about Bath; forget about the Pump Room, the Roman baths or the splendour of the Royal Crescent, it’s the traffic I remember.

    Thanks to Joker and John

  19. I was held up by stupidly biffing “roller-coaster” at an early stage, needing to back the second part out before I could clear up the NE corner, but was still inside my target time.

    I’m not a fan of cross-referenced clues, but immediately spotted 2D for what it was, even if the presentation was non-standard.

    TIME 4:25

  20. I hit an absolute flyer today – would have been even quicker if I could have worked out how to spell my LOI TRANSVERSELY – I had dismissed it, thinking it wouldn’t fit the checkers, so spent a few seconds thinking of alternatives, before typing it in anyway, and discovering that it did fit. Duh.

    Quick time here and on the concise gave me 14 mins and 25 seconds to try for my elusive goal of all 3 Times puzzles in 20 mins or less. Unfortunately it’s Friday, so I failed dismally!

    Biffed LURIDLY, and never did parse it, so thanks John. Thought Rum was where traders used to sail to get nutmeg, but I checked, and that’s Run, so it turns out I’ve never heard of Rum.


  21. 14:32
    Slow, I had to write out all the anagrams, I blame Dunkerton’s Cider.
    LOI transversely took ages (especially ans for answer).
    COD islander, pull, shimmy.

  22. I found this mostly straightforward with a few trickier parts. The latter took me out to 19 minutes and there were a number unparsed at the end. I never bothered to completely parse TRANSVERSELY or WELL MANNERED but I did try to parse AXIOM and LURIDLY and was completely baffled. Thanks to John for his explanations of all these.

    FOI – 3ac OCTUPLE
    LOI – 21ac LURIDLY

    Enjoyable puzzle – thanks Joker

  23. All done in 35 minutes with fingers crossed as LURIDLY was unparsed.
    Clues like roller skating and well mannered were half biffed and half parsed but I enjoyed reassembling them.
    COD ISLANDER I’ve stayed in Rum when it was known as Rhum.
    Thanks to the two Js.

  24. The Joker had the last laugh on me with today’s offering, as I managed eventually to stumble over the line in 14.05. It was the long clues 4dn and 20ac that particularly held me up, but in truth I didn’t build up any sort of speed anywhere.
    The poor time today pushed my total weekly solve to 56.10, giving me a daily average of 11.14. Hoping for better things next week.

  25. I thought this was a fine example of Joker in a good mood, so I was a bit surprised to read some of the earlier comments. Pull was perhaps a lucky biff (never thought of Draw), and I needed Islander to confirm that sensationally was indeed the target in 21ac, but otherwise this was a pretty straightforward 17min solve. CoD to 19d, Tyre, for the pdm. Invariant

  26. Don’t have definitive time as did this in two sittings and app says 133 mins. Best guess is around 30. Enjoyed this a lot but stumped in NW for a while by putting in foretell instead of forecast. Was very happy that change=retell and was expecting to see lots of people say same 🙁

    COD Shimmy for the smile it gave us
    POI tyre then LOI also luridly and needed blog to parse, thanks John

    Thanks Joker. Btw there’s often some clever device in his puzzles but I don’t see anything today or comments for others?

    1. I had foretell to start with as well but then knew something was wrong when I couldn’t fit in AXIOM or TALENTS. Like you, very happy with change = retell.

      1. Yep, it was working out Talents had to be right. Axiom only cane after the correction

  27. On the wavelength today, for a change. An enjoyable puzzle. LOI LURIDLY, after PDM with ISLANDER. Was a bit doubtful about TYRE but remembered Tyre and Sidon. Needed the checkers to spell OCTUPLE.
    Liked AXIOM, FOWL, ERGO, SHIMMY, among others.
    Thanks vm, John.

  28. A slow one for me today, but I did take a minute or two to try (and fail) to parse LURIDLY before gambling that it had to be. COD to RIVIERA. Forgot that Rum existed and instead imagined that the ISLANDER referenced was one from sunnier climes who just enjoyed a drink. Probably too stereotypical. Eventual time was 25:10. Thanks John and Joker.

  29. 17 mins…

    However, I confess I never parsed 21ac “Luridly” nor 2dn “Wolf” properly. The rest I enjoyed and went in steadily.

    FOI – 1ac “Fowl”
    LOI – 4dn “Transversely”
    COD – 11dn “Islander”

    Thanks as usual!

  30. I was going so well with about three-quarters done in about six minutes, and thinking it was quite easy for a Joker, when I hit a massive breezeblock in the SW corner! I tend to tackle the grid in quadrants, starting at 1a (if poss). TRANSVERSELY went very wrong because I was trying to fit everything into ‘trial’ rather than ‘try’, which really messed up UNDEREMPLOYED. So I ended up finishing in 16:20 – it’s been a week of highs and lows so far.
    It was the little ones which I liked most today, such as FOWL, LIE, HIS and HERE – simple and effective. ISLANDER made me giggle – it took me ages to see it was an anagram 😅
    FOI Fowl LOI Transversely COD Riviera – wouldn’t it be nice!
    Thanks Joker and John

  31. 6:26

    A few biffs today – LURIDLY, WELL-MANNERED – TRANSVERSELY took a bit of painstaking working out as I wasn’t immediately sure how the word would end. TYRE remembered I believe from reading about the Crusades, though I could be wrong. I liked SHIMMY but COD to ISLANDER.

    Thanks John and Joker

  32. 20:50 – very close to two days in a row out of the SCC. But not to be, thanks to LURIDLY, which I think is the furthest from successful parsing that I’ve never been. Absolutely not a scintilla of an idea whatsoever, so double thanks to John for the clear explanation!

  33. I saw the F for 1a but didn’t immediately think of OWL, so looked at 2d where a predator ending in F had to be WOLF, and lo 1a came about. Another DRAW here until LURIDLY arrived. Pleased to remember TYRE is a port. UNDEREMPLOYED was LOI. 7:45. Thanks Joker and John.

  34. A really well-balanced experience, plenty of things to puzzle out, some smiles, and yet somehow I finished it in a somewhat fast time (for me) of 20:31. Had to think pretty hard to parse LURIDLY after putting it in because there was no other reasonable solution.

    Many amusing surfaces, but my favorite was ISLANDER. LURIDLY attractive.

    Thanks to Joker and John!

  35. Held up by PULL and LURIDLY (biffed) but had to look up a port -Y-E to find TYRE (sadly NHO). Hardish but fair overall.

  36. Got there in 28 minutes, despite thinking at several points along the way that it would all end in tears.

    FOWL and WOLF came very late in proceedings, and TYRE and TRANSVERSELY were my L2I. However, LURIDLY was my last to parse (L2P?).

    All in all, this was tricky, but enjoyable and doable. And, somewhat against my expectations, I managed to keep the momentum going throughout.

    Thanks to Joker and John.

  37. All done and parsed in 19:22, with the exception of missing the island of Rum and thinking the clue was a nod in the general direction of the Caribbean. Very happy to have winkled out the four long clues, especially the 13-letter anagram.

    Thanks to Joker and John.

  38. 10.16 Mostly a steady solve with a couple of minutes spent on TYRE at the end. SHIMMY and LURIDLY were parsed afterwards. Thanks John and Joker.

  39. This week’s wet weather must be good for my brain (or the puzzles have been easy)! So far this week not one DNF.
    Thanks Joker and John.

  40. Did well until the SW, then having deduced 18d Pull it had to be 21a Luridly but quite bamboozled as to why, so grateful to John for explaining it. 19d took a while too – not Joker at his best I thought.
    FOI 1d Forecast to verify 1a F…
    LOI 21a Luridly
    COD 11d Islander

  41. Tackled after a long day’s skiing (tough life) so somewhat weary. It went in at a reasonable lick for 07:16, which would have been a Red Letter Day had it not been for that horrid pink square … I’d fat fingered “travsversely”. WOE is me.

    With Jimmy not being allowed to dance with Jack, the red-nailed man being called rum and the ruined teen date, Joker was in puritanical mode. At least the drag artist pulled.

    Many thanks to the two Js.


  42. I have finished them all this week. A rare thing. Took about 10,000 hours or so but I got there! Very happy. I find that it is the last 3 or 4 that I struggle with and then suddenly realise what is going on. Today’s was 7dn. Well mannered. I am in awe of all of you.

  43. A bit of a late struggle today. I think my brain works better at coffee time… Foretell instead of FORECAST for a while, and another unable to parse LURIDLY. Quite liked the FOWL/WOLF clues although, as discussed above, never seen ‘one across’ in place of 1a. Many thanks John and Joker.

  44. GCSE English (nearly 30 years ago, yikes!) came to my rescue today; I can still recite the James Elroy Flecker poem:

    “I have seen old ships sail like swans asleep

    Beyond the village which men still call TYRE…”

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