Times Quick Cryptic No 1269 by Joker

A bit of a quirky puzzle from Joker today, I think. It felt like there was almost a theme hidden somewhere, but not quite. A lot of Es Ns and Xs. (Hmm. Have I missed something?). Well I guess we can expect to be teased by Joker, and here he is at his tricksy best keeping me puzzling for the second longest time for a QC this year so far, taking over 7 1/2 minutes. I fell for more than a couple of misdirections (was I the only one?), such as expecting a V for five in 12A, the "say" at 19A and expecting an author in 12D... and more! And as for 13D... well what do you think? I enjoyed this a lot. I hope you did too. Plenty of lovely clues and no GRs; I give RETRO the COD award. If you found it hard, I hope you won't be discouraged, and if you didn't, you're smarter than me! Thanks Joker for a teasingly mind-bending and enjoyable Friday puzzle.
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Times Quick Cryptic No 1249 by Pedro

A nicely constructed puzzle from Pedro today, with several clues which made me stop and think a bit.... 3a describes what I had to do nicely! Largely it was due to Pedro giving me the chance to go astray... which I duly did. In the end, though, I wasn't held up too much by anything and I still finished well under an average time. So, I don't think there is anything unfair or unreasonably difficult, but I've misjudged this before and I'm sure you will tell me if I'm wrong! Apart from the delighful, aforementioned, 3a I enjoyed the luxurious pigsties at 11a, the self-referential 23a, the erroneous vegans at 6d and the bonus of more money at 7d - I was handed a letter informing me of my annual salary increase only yesterday. But COD from me goes to the simple, but smile-inducing, cryptic definition at 16d for reminding me of my grandfather... who was one. So thanks Pedro for the entertainment. How did you all like it?
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Times Quick Cryptic No 979 by Tracy

Hooray! It's my turn to blog again... and my first crossword from Tracy to disect. What a cracker it is! I romped through most of this with a chuckle here and there, but ended up having to do some serious pondering to finish things off. It's the thirrd in a sequence of tricky QC puzzles this week. So, if you are one of the less experienced solvers still trying to learn the ropes and didn't manage to finish this, don't be discouraged. I struggled too, ending up taking nearly twice my average time. Not that there is anything particularly difficult, *redacted* [oops, nearly gave 22d away]. 19a and 20d were my last two in. My favourites, though, were 4d, 15d and 16a - a tricky but great example of constructing the answer from a number of bits. I hope you all enjoyed this too. Thanks, Tracy!

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