Times Quick Cryptic No 873 by Joker

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Twelve minutes to complete, and then a couple of minutes scratching my head over the parsing of 14A.  I’m not entirely satisfied even now, so maybe a chance for someone to ILLUMINE the setter’s thinking.  Other than 14, I found this entertaining, fair and just about right for a QC, with some lovely surfaces, nice words and clever cluing.

My personal clue of the day (CoD) is 2D and my word of the day (WoD) is a choice between WHELP and MENDACITY.  Thanks Joker.

1          Mark, John, Luke and Matthew finally understood (4)
KNEW – Last letters of (finally) the Apostles’ names
4          One needs this to go beyond Dover, for example (8)
PASSPORT – To go beyond is to PASS and Dover is an example of a PORT
8          Son tearful doing some housework (8)
SWEEPING – S{on} and WEEPING (tearful)
9          Defeat decisively and right away (4)
ROUT – R{ight} and OUT (away)
10        Bound with energy during circuit (4)
LEAP – E{nergy} inside LAP (circuit)
11        Besides, Rome’s destroyed and finished (8)
MOREOVER – Anagram of [ROME] (destroyed is the anagrind) and OVER (finished)
12        Short musical number follows for each individual (6)
PERSON – ‘For each’ gives PER and the short musical number is a SON{g}, short meaning to drop the last letter
14        Nearly running from Malmo to Stavanger? (6)
ALMOST – Whilst the answer is obviously ALMOST, I found the reasoning to be more obtuse.  The best I have been able to come up with is that the answer is a kind of split hidden, ‘running’ from the end of {m}ALMO into the start of ST{avenger}, but I don’t see a hidden indicator, unless it is ‘nearly’ doing double duty as definition and indicator.  Perhaps someone out there sees something more obvious that I have missed.
16        Style judge is not at all radical (8)
MODERATE – Style gives MODE and to judge is to RATE
18        Composed about fifty minuets initially (4)
CALM – About gives CA as in C{irc}A, fifty in Roman numerals is L and the M is from M{inuets} (initially)
19        Brave British veteran (4)
BOLD – B{ritish} and OLD (veteran)
20        Throw light on being unwell next to uranium workings (8)
ILLUMINE –Being unwell is ILL plus U{ranium} and MINE (workings).  ILLUMINE is a literary form of illuminate, or throw light on
22        Shut up about unusually grey play by Ibsen (4,4)
PEER GYNT – Shut up provides PENT into which is slotted an anagram of [GREY] indicated by ‘unusually’.  PEER GYNT is a five act play based loosely on a Norwegian fairy tale
23        Article new at that time (4)
THEN – THE (article) and N{ew}

2          Present after present is not to be found in any location (7)
NOWHERE – NOW (the present) and HERE (present).  Clever construction this, much appreciated
3          Puppy needs assistance after start of winter (5)
WHELP – Start of W{inter} and HELP (assistance).  A WHELP is a young dog or puppy, or occasionally a young man
4          Greek character appearing in amphitheatre (3)
PHI – not to be confused with pi.  Hidden (not very well) in {am}PHI{theatre}
5          Oddly stung over secret source of sweetener (5,4)
SUGAR CANE – Oddly stung gives the odd letters of S{t}U{n}G, and secret is ARCANE
6          In favour of interrupting hair treatment to play a part (7)
PERFORM – Being in favour of something is to be FOR it, which is inserted into the hair treatment PERM (short for PERM{anent wave}
7          Trick is introducing oxygen to wake from sleep (5)
ROUSE – The trick is a RUSE into which is inserted O{xygen}
11        Many cited terrible untruthfulness (9)
MENDACITY – straightforward anagram of [MANY CITED], anagrind is ‘terrible’
13        Thin line into transmitter (7)
SLENDER – SENDER is the transmitter, which includes L{ine}
15        Peace after getting round the French (7)
SILENCE – After gives us SINCE which surrounds LE (the French)
17        Gas ring needs a belt (5)
OZONE – ring is O and belt is ZONE
18        Orbiting body has to arrive on time (5)
COMET – To arrive is to COME which sits on top of T{ime}
21        See tons in auctioneer’s batch (3)
LOT – See is LO and T{ons}

21 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 873 by Joker”

  1. I’m always slow to spot hiddens, so I was rather chuffed to spot ALMOST so quickly; so quickly that I didn’t notice that it doesn’t work! I have no explanation of this clue, but I suppose I’m glad I didn’t stop to work it out, as I finished in what may be a pb of 3:17.
  2. I read 14a as the word ALMOST “runs” between Malmo/Stavanger. Not a great clue, but acceptable I think.
    Otherwise, a pleasant little run out with some nicely crafted clues.
    Peer Gynt, btw, is one of the more obnoxious characters in folklore with no redeeming features whatsoever.
    1. After a double take I was happy to accept this clue. I agree with our blogger and deezzaa in that the answer runs (running) from the end of Malmo TO the beginning of Stavanger with ‘nearly’ making this a cryptic definition. As such it seems a pretty good clue to me. 11 minutes by the way with LOI moderate.

      Edited at 2017-07-13 08:45 am (UTC)

  3. DNF. 16a had just too many options and unhelpful checkers. Saw the structure of the clue, but two words -O-E and -A-E were just too hard to locate.

  4. Even though an Oldie the point size of th3e blog is rather too large, Mr. Rotter. It makes for heavy going!

    14ac ALMOST is once again showing absence of tight editing on the QC.



    Time 7mins 37secs

    1. It amused me that you spelt Oldie with a capital O, Horryd, as if referring to the magazine which I know we both subscribe to. If your eyesight is okay you may not have noticed that the current font size for clues to their puzzles makes no allowance for the failing faculties of their target readership. Quite ironic in a way. I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure they reduced it by a point, maybe two, when they had a revamp after Ingrams left. Or maybe my eyesight has just got worse as I need to take a magnifying glass to it these days.

      The text editor in LJ is somewhat erratic I have found as when I create a blog my introductory section always appears initially in a font twice the size of the clue section, and to overcome this I have to highlight it, change it to Small and then back to Normal to make it match.

      Edited at 2017-07-13 09:40 am (UTC)

    2. Comment accepted regarding point size. The blog editor is as obtuse as 14A when it comes to trying to change font size, and I think the font size used here has carried across from the Word document where I compile the blog. I’ll try to get it right for future blogs, and I’ll try to change on edit now.
      1. It looks fine now, Rotter (not that it bothered me before, to be honest). LJ is now pestering some users to try their new beta text editor which they are apparently very proud of. I took one look at it and scurried back to the old version where I plan to remain unless I am forced to change. The new one may be okay for some users but for those of us working essentially in tables it’s very disconcerting not to be able to see the cells.
  5. Yeah, like the above, a DNF because of 16ac. Was I looking for a word for style, a style judge, not radical, or radical? After taking an age over it, I gave up. I also have to admit I had to look up the Ibsen play. So after two very speedy times for me in a row, back to reality. Gribb.

  6. Biffed rather a lot today, inc. 22a of course. Getting into bad habits! (Although I do, mostly, go back and parse them afterwards). Couldn’t work out where ‘arcane’ came from in 5d so grateful to be told by Rotter.

    Nice to see Norway (and Sweden) well represented today. Thanks Joker and Rotter

  7. I found most of this to be at the easier end of the spectrum and accepted 14a as a type of hidden I just hadn’t seen before. LOI was a very tentative 20a, an unknown word and wasn’t sure if the chemical symbol for uranium was U or UM. Completed in 17 minutes, COD 5d
  8. I too glossed over ALMOST as it was obviously the right answer and almost fit the clue. FOI was KNEW and LOI SILENCE. 7:40. Knew Peer Gynt from Grieg. Took ILLUMINE on wordplay as I’m more familiar with it having an AT in it. 2d has made a number of excursions since it first appeared as if from 2d. An enjoyable puzzle. Thanks Joker and Rotter.
  9. It’s a shame that Moderate doesn’t also mean style as it could have been a triple definition. I wrongly spotted judge as meaning moderate and bunged in the answer, completely ignoring style at the end. 27:13 today after a quick start.
  10. I found this fairly straightforward and came home in 8 minutes. Like others, I was also a bit surpised by 14ac using a device that I don’t recall seeing before, but I think it’s okay with a question mark indicating that it’s a little unconventional.
  11. An enjoyable 11 minutes to finish this -quick for me.
    LOI was Person -I was held up slightly by the parsing. I paused briefly over Almost but it seems fine to me.
    Liked Passport.
    Now I have time to go back to yesterday’s Evening Standard cryptic where I am stuck over my final three clues. It’s a good QC level test for anyone in London.
  12. I think the question mark is what is supposed to show the link – otherwise there is no real need for it


  13. Rattled through most of this, but then came to a complete halt at loi 16ac, thinking I needed a word meaning style. I eventually twigged the other end of the clue was the target, and came up with the answer. A slow 35 mins. Invariant
  14. Quite a quick one, although a couple of clues, viz. 12ac and 5dn, seemed like visitors from the 15×15. I guess the helpful(?) fact that we’ve had 2dn and 8ac recently can be put down to chance.

    Favourite clues today were KNEW and SILENCE.

  15. Was going really well on this one and seemed destined to break 40 minutes for the first time, before getting stuck with ‘slender’ and ‘Peer Gynt’. Never heard of illumine as a word, but the parsing was clear, and I never realised that mendacity meant untruthfulness, although I worked out that must be the answer. Guess that’s one of the benefits of doing crosswords. Not being that knowledgeable about plays, it was only after playing about with the letters of ‘grey’ and trying the g before the y that the penny dropped about Peer Gynt, which helped me get LOI ‘slender’ for 44:10.

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