Times Quick Cryptic No 748 by Joker

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
A bit north of tipsy when doing this, I gave up after 16 minutes. In retrospect, I would have been a while getting 12d, but I really should have got 13ac without… well, it’s not cheating looking at the answer, is it? It’s just giving up. As for 12d, I couldn’t get past “knitwork”, the idea being knit=needle=worry. Yes, needle doesn’t mean worry, knitwork isn’t a word, and even if it was there would be no earthly reason for it to entail cutting out. Oh well, enough of my inabilities. I thought there was a high ratio of very nice glues in this, with either 14d or 15d being my favourite by a small margin. Not sure just how difficult, but very good fun indeed – many thanks to Joker!

1 Euphoric group of students like those at Eton?
HIGH-CLASS: semi-cryptic definition: euphoric = HIGH; group of students = CLASS. And Etonians like to go to the toilet to take cocaine and urinate over their hands – hey, Churchill said it, not me (minus the cocaine bit, that bit’s not true).
6 Steal from Sherwood inhabitant who’s not at home
ROB: ROBIN (Sherwood inhabitant of the Hood variety), who does not have IN (at home)
8 A time National Union of Journalists backed strict rule
JUNTA: A, T(time), N.U.J. (National Union of Journalists, presumably), all reversed.
9 Bright red vehicle left to go into collection
SCARLET: CAR (vehicle) L(eft), to go in SET (collection)
10 Place money changes hands is revealed after probe
CHECKOUT: OUT (revealed) goes after CHECK (probe). Very nice.
11 Reportedly go yachting when prices are low
SALE: sounds like SAIL – yachting, “reportedly”, or spoken/heard.
13 Covert sign used by office workers
SECRETARIES: SECRET (covert) ARIES (sign). Might have been very nice had I got it.
17 Want chess player to lose bishop
LACK: BLACK – as opposed to white, loses the B for bishop. I liked the devious simplicity – I was scratching my head wondering if I could possibly have failed to recall a five-lettered chess piece with a B in it.
18 Prisoner has to attract scorn
CONTEMPT: CON (prisoner) has TEMPT (attract).
21 Run small vehicle for living in
SCAMPER: S(mall) CAMPER (vehicle for living in)
22 Volunteer not keen on appearing before the Queen
OFFER: OFF (not keen on), ER (the Queen)
23 Drink for a small child
TOT: double definition.
24 Arrest friend in final moment of game
CHECKMATE: CHECK (arrest) MATE (friend)
1 Greeting sailor that’s to take over craft
HIJACK: HI (greeting) JACK (sailor)
2 Aladdin’s helper that is after information
GENIE: GEN (info) I.E. (that is)
3 Mad for biscuits
CRACKERS: double definition
4 Attack part of meal in army training area
ASSAULT COURSE: ASSAULT (attack) COURSE (part of meal)
5 Fool carrying round detergent
SOAP: SAP (fool) carries/holds/contains O (round)
6 Concerned with rental agreement that’s free
RELEASE: RE (concerned with/concerning) LEASE (rental agreement)
7 The two English run to make trouble
BOTHER: BOTH (the two) E(nglish) R(un).
12 What entails cutting out worry over employment
FRETWORK: FRET (worry) over WORK (employment). Miles away from this, glad i gave up.
14 Strong desire to go topless to captivate
ENCHANT: PENCHANT (Strong desire, to go topless).
15 Small room near top of tower
CLOSET: CLOSE (near) T (top of tower).
16 Go without food — tears flowing about five?
STARVE: Anagram (flowing) of TEARS going around V (five). Another lovely clue.
19 Organised criminals mostly are from Italian area originally
MAFIA: the original letters of mostly are from Italian area.
20 Long film showing in the pictures
EPIC: revealed/showing in the letters of thE PICtures.

21 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 748 by Joker”

  1. After 15 minutes the grid was complete and fully parsed except for 13a secretaries and 14d enchant…

    An hour later the crossword was complete but my chances of a pb left in smithereens.

    Lots of very good surfaces today. I especially liked 16d starve.
    COD 17a lack.

    Penchant topless: I remember something similar coming up recently.

    Edited at 2017-01-19 07:10 am (UTC)

  2. Plodded through this, although now I can’t remember what took me so long. 13ac, maybe, although it should have been easy. And 1ac, which I resisted because HIGH-CLASS is so low-class; the sort of term Trump would use to describe the women he’s groped. 9:38.
  3. Finished in 30 minutes. LOI was SECRETARIES, which is a great clue. Took me a while to realise what I was actually looking for. ENCHANT took me an age, as did CONTEMPT for some reason. Could not think of a word for attract. I must admit I put in FRETWORK and then checked, but I must have heard of it before. I’ve been trying to step up to the main crossword recently. Some days I can get quite a few. However, and I don’t know how one gets around this problem, some of the words I just simply don’t know or have never heard of, so it makes it all the more difficult to get them! Gribb.
    1. Even as an experienced solver, I still come across several words a week in the various broadsheet cryptics that I haven’t seen before (or – as often is the case – HAVE seen before but it was ages ago and they’ve disappeared out of my mind). Fortunately you usually have another way in to these (i.e. the wordplay) but at times you’re going to have to make guesses, e.g. when an unknown word is clued via an anagram. In those situations, you can occasionally get some traction by applying general English grammar patterns (e.g. plurals often end in -s, past tenses often end in -ed, etc). The silver lining is that, with experience, the frequency of encounters with unknown words diminishes somewhat, plus you will occasionally learn a new word that is just begging to be dropped into your next conversation with friends/colleagues to entertain/baffle/intrigue/annoy.
  4. should have worried a bit more over 12d, was my LOI and then had to go to cross solver. Knew the word from long ago but couldn’t bring it to mind. Definitely on the harder side for this newbie but got it done in the end in 64mins 🙁
  5. Yet another inebriate blogger – DNF – ‘nice glues etc’!

    Maybe that’s what happens to all bloggers in the final reckoning – methink 1dn will ever remain a sobering influence upon us all.

    COD SECRETARIES- never seen this approach before -fine work Joker! WOD FRETWORK

    Precision Time 8 minutes and 1 second

    Edited at 2017-01-19 08:28 am (UTC)

  6. Slightly slower than usual but, like Kevin, I can’t recall why.

    Took a fair while to get SECRETARIES, which I thought was COD.

    Thanks Joker and Roly.

  7. COD SECRETARIES. Always thought pENCHANT was a likng, tendency rather than ‘strong desire’. Sub5 today, thanks roly and Joker.
  8. Something of a biff-fest saw me cruising contentedly to a sub five minute finish but then calamity! I came here to see how others found it, only to be confronted with SCAMPER at 21a, not the SCARPER I had so confidently, nay – arrogantly, biffed. Doh!😱
    1. 14:48

      Yes, I made that mistake. After 11 minutes or so I thought I was all done and dusted but The Computer Says No. Took three minutes of frantic scouring to see what I’d done.

  9. 13m so relatively easy for me, although pENCHANT took a minute or two. I had no problems with FRETWORK and SECRETARIES went straight in.

    Thanks Roly and Joker.

  10. Nothing too taxing today and completed in 16 minutes. LOI and COD was 13a where it took me a while to remember that sign can relates to horoscopes. Also struggled with 12d and 18a, with hindsight I’m not too sure why as the word play was clear. Thanks to Joker and roly.
  11. Unusually, the down clues were much more accommodating on the first pass, giving a good foothold. Once 12d (CoD) went in after a short pause, just the SW corner remained. At that point, I’m sure my dabbling with the 15×15 counted against me, as I tried to make 17ac much more difficult than it was – even starting to think of chess designs. In the end, a slightly disappointing 35 mins, albeit fully parsed. Invariant
  12. Just over the 30 minute mark, at 32 mins. Okay for me. Surprisingly only one anagram, and I got that without realising it was an anagram. For some reason I associated tears with stare. LOI was FRETWORK, not really familiar with it, but got it from the clue. For 13d took me an age to realise ARIES was a sign (of the zodiac).
  13. 6:38, so pretty much average for me. Enjoyable as ever from Joker. I particularly liked the &lit 19d (my COD). Anyone else for CARMINE for 9a? It took 4d to disabuse me of that. 18a my LOI, taking a while to see what could be T-M-T. Doh.
  14. Enjoyed the blog and the puzzle. The top half went in very quickly and I saw 13a immediately which helped. I was held up by some clues in the bottom half but only to work out the parsings. MY LOI was 12d; I had Fret but weirdly had to think for a while about the second part. Lots of good clues including 13a. About 15 minutes. David
  15. Took my usual 9 minutes for this one, held up at 12d, my LOI, by having carelessly written SECRETAIRES for 13a, using “used by office workers” as the definition instead of office workers, and not having noticed the misspelling of the zodiac sign. Doh! FOI was SOAP. Nice puzzle. Scampered through most of the clues then had bother at the checkout! Thanks Roly and Joker.

    Edited at 2017-01-20 02:11 am (UTC)

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