Times Quick Cryptic No 658 by Joker

This was a lovely puzzle from Joker – a good range of difficulty in the clues and some very inventive ones to boot. I particularly liked 17ac: not a double definition, not a triple, not a quadruple, but a quintuple! And all for a little three-letter word (although good luck devising a quintuple-definition clue for a long word). I don’t remember seeing such a clue. Ok, so the nature of the beast meant the surface reading wasn’t perhaps the smoothest in the crossword (I’d give that to 10ac) but the novelty and the post-solve parsing of it made it great fun: loved it! I would have finished within my target time had it not been for 2d and 18d, with 2d delaying me by a couple of minutes and then 18d delaying me by a few minutes more, until I gave up and looked up the answer, all of which is a rather longwinded way of saying this was a DNF. Definitions underlined, and many thanks to Joker.

1 Reported piece of ship’s canvas in public auction
SALE: if said, or reported, sounds the same as SAIL (piece of ship’s canvas)
3 See sign of lameness in G&S before the end of Ruddigore
GLIMPSE: LIMP (sign of lameness) goes in G and S, before E (end of Ruddigore)
8 Mean girl resorting to theft
PENNY-PINCHING: or a girl (PENNY) resorting to theft (PINCHING).
9 Unit working with energy
ONE: ON (working) with E (energy)
10 What leads everyone to higher individual conduct?
ETHIC: a very nice all-in-one clue, where the definition is the whole clue. “Ethic” might be what leads everyone to higher individual conduct, and Ethic is also the first letters (or the “leads”) of the final five words.
12 I pester about a short rest period
RESPITE: Anagram (about) of I PESTER.
14 Deal with other ranks having beer outside
SORT OUT: O.R. (other ranks) has STOUT (beer) outside/around it.
16 Run into each other amidst cruise guests
SEGUE: hidden in (amidst)  cruiSE GUEsts.
17 Group fixed stage scenery to mount sequence of songs
SET: a quintuple definition, with each separate underlined bit a different definition of the word “set”.
20 Realising redundant sign needs replacing
UNDERSTANDING: anagram (needs replacing) of redundant sign.
21 Observe conflict with European software that is intrusive
SPYWARE: SPY (observe) WAR (conflict) E (European)
22 Attend strike repeatedly
BEAT: To “attend” is to “be at”. Nice and neat little one, this.

1 Hush up drink with journalists
SUPPRESS: SUP (drink) PRESS (journalists)
2 Left with real estate
LAND: L (left) AND (with). Another nice and neat little one. My delay was trying to think of a 3-letter word for “real” or a 4-letter one for “estate”.
3 Fifty I had crammed into short German aircraft
GLIDER: L (50 in Roman numerals) I’D (i had) crammed into GER (short German).
4 Emphatic about Conservative being self contradictory
INCONSISTENT: INSISTENT (emphatic) going about/outside CON(servative).
5 Gasping about one work of art
PAINTING: PANTING (gasping) about I (one).
6 Border boundary of bushes needs top trimmed
EDGE: HEDGE (boundary of bushes) needs the top, or first letter, trimmed.
7 Feeling one’s not quite right moving a phony orchid
11 Armorial bearings hardly unusual around the Queen
HERALDRY: anagram (unusual) of HARDLY going around E.R. (the Queen).
13 Ability to see certainly is needed in larger rowing boat
EYESIGHT: YES (certainly) is needed inside EIGHT (larger rowing boat).
15 Troublesome fly is established and estimated on the rise
TSETSE: Est. and est. (established and estimated) going upwards (on the rise).
18 Works for a couple lacking time as contribution to society perhaps
DUES: DUETS are works for a couple; lose the T for time. I had ?U?S and was assuming “works” was the definition, with the actual definition merely providing the “S”. I struggled for a bit but couldn’t get “runs” out of my head. I was miles away from the answer.
19 Small child needs me to hold it
MITE: ME holds IT. And yet another nice and neat little one.

18 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 658 by Joker”

  1. For those wanting to progress to the main Cryptic, todays one is (with one or two tougher clues) very much at the easier end of the spectrum. Enjoy!
    1. Thanks for the heads up.

      I was going to ask for advice on crosswords with medium difficulty. The step up to the main cryptic from the quick one seems quite big.

  2. These seem to be getting trickier as the week goes on. 25 minutes today, but with 13d unparsed and missing the 1st definition in 22a. Thought this was an excellent puzzle with a number of enjoyable clues, including 17a, 2d, and 10a. LOI 22a.
  3. Yes, like the blogger, I gave up with 18dn the only one not in. Had to look up tsetse after putting it in, and didn’t spot the “be at” in 22ac, despite putting beat in. 3ac took me ages. A tough one, I think.
  4. Sub 10′, just, at least half of that on 22ac, not willing to biff, a clever clue as noted. I do like the word SEGUE, reminds me of those scooter-like things. I think today’s 15×15 is difficult, but always worth having a go. Thanks roly and Joker.
  5. Excellent stuff. I missed my target 10 minutes by 1.

    Opinions vary a bit on the difficulty of today’s 15×15. I found it quite tricky in places and was not alone, judging by the comments so far.

  6. These seem to be getting trickier as the week goes on. 25 minutes today, but with 13d unparsed and missing the 1st definition in 22a. Thought this was an excellent puzzle with a number of enjoyable clues, including 17a, 2d, and 10a. LOI 22a.
  7. Yes, I was tripped up by 2 and 18 as well. I also wasted a lot of time at the end on 22. I put in BEAT but the Times website told me I’d got something wrong, and I tried to find something else suitable to fit _E_T before eventually checking the rest of the puzzle and spotting that I’d entered *INCONSISTANT! D’oh!
  8. Took several interrupted goes, but just pleased to finish something that seems to have caused a few problems. Segue was unknown, but had to be right. 2d and 21ac were my last pair, though 17ac took a long time as well – a case of ‘more is less’ when it comes to being helpful. Nice blog, Roly. Invariant
  9. I would agree with the comments about this being on the harder side of the spectrum. About an hour for me which would have been quicker if I had seen Penny Pinching earlier despite having most of the checkers.
    I had no idea how 17a worked – I just put in set as it worked for the first word. Thanks for the clarification Roly.
  10. HYPOCRONDRIA, darn, had all the checkers, knew it was an anagram, but would it click? No! Why oh why oh why? BD
  11. 6.17 for me which appears a very competitive time today. Might have cracked the 6 minute mark if I had seen the light-fingered lady quicker.
  12. After a couple of days away playing 18 holes of golf when I did the QCs in 18 minutes, I had this done in 18 minutes apart from 18d. I had provisionally put in Runs.
    I spent at least another 5 minutes trying to find something better which involved removing the letter T. I couldn’t and so was defeated today. A very nice puzzle. David

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