Quick Cryptic 2371 by Orpheus

Here we go again, I thought, I had the bad luck to have a poet and classicist not long ago…

This clue did manage to hold me up at the end of a puzzle which had a mixture of generous clues and some quite difficult ones. Finished in a bit more than 13 minutes I liked the references to a political figure/actor, a couple of poets and a singer.

Thanks to Orpheus

Definitions underlined in bold 

1 Glare angrily, seeing farm animal breaking ends of stall (5)
SCOWLCOW (‘farm animal’) contained in (‘breaking’) and L (‘ends of (first and last letters of) stall’)
4 Awe-inspiring press employee standing by tree (7)
SUBLIMESUB (‘press employee’=abbreviation for sub-editor) LIME (example of a ‘tree’)
8 Dissenting group initially facing legal proceedings (7)
FACTIONF (‘initially (first letter of) facing’) ACTION (‘legal proceedings’)
9 Person originally employed in Crosby (5)
BEINGE (‘originally (first letter of) employed’) contained in (‘in’) BING (‘Crosby’)

Bing Crosby, the American singer. “I’m dreaming of a …” and a whole lot more. He was known as “Der Bingle” in Europe and Russia, which was new to me. I knew he was a keen golfer, but not that he played off a handicap of two at his best and competed in the British and US Amateur championships

10 Disclosure giving priest great joy (10)
REVELATIONREV (‘priest’) ELATION (‘great joy’)

Joy on a high spiritual plane, I’m sure

14 Instruction to reader enthralling Reagan, possibly, at once? (6)
PRONTOPTO (‘Instruction to reader’=abbreviation for “please turn over”) containing (‘enthralling’) RON (‘Reagan, possibly’)

I can’t see the purpose of the question mark here

15 Courage displayed in vessel? (6)
BOTTLE – Double definition
17 Calm son had extra tuition externally (10)
RESTRAINEDS (‘son’) contained in (‘externally’) RETRAINED (‘had extra tuition’)

My second last in. I almost gave up before finally seeing it.

20 Acknowledge first of miners in access shaft (5)
ADMITM (‘first of miners’) contained in (‘in’) ADIT (‘access shaft’)

‘Miners’for the surface of the clue to provide that first letter M, as an ADIT is a passage or shaft (which some references define as a horizontal passage) into a mine. It crops up quite often in crosswords

22 Drug dispenser taking Church Times for a change? (7)
CHEMISTCH (‘Church’) then anagram (‘for a change?’) of TIMES
23 Eager to tour a European republic (7)
HUNGARYHUNGRY (‘Eager’) containing (‘to tour’) A (‘a’)
24 Projected conclusion of disorder in the West (5)
THREWR (‘conclusion (last letter) of disorder’) contained in THE W (‘the West’)

Good misdirection, with ‘Projected’ as an adjective in the surface reading and as a verb in a somewhat different sense in the answer

1 Strain last of lentils, if given time (4)
SIFTS (‘last (last letter) of lentils’) IF (‘if’) T (‘time’)
2 Unit capturing cape in the past (4)
ONCEONE (‘Unit’) containing (‘capturing’) C (‘cape’)

C an abbreviation for cape as a geographical feature

3 City ground I select with little hesitation (9)
LEICESTER – Anagram (‘ground’) of I SELECT ER (‘little hesitation’)

A city I associate with the discovery of the remains of Richard III and the extraordinary EPL Championship win several years ago.

4 Poem by Keats ultimately accessible via web (6)
SONNETS (‘Keats ultimately’ (last letter of)) ON NET (‘accessible via web’)
5 Boy jumping up and down? (3)
BOB – A palindromic (‘jumping up and down?’ (in a down clue)) name of a boy
6 Novice I dined with in it (8)
INITIATEI ATE (‘I dined’) following IN IT (‘init’)

I admit “novitiate” came to mind immediately and just wouldn’t budge, so I had to come back to this one for a second try

7 Create green den when rambling (8)
ENGENDER – Anagram (‘when rambling’) of GREEN DEN
11 A manner soldiers finally adopt, finding absolution (9)
ATONEMENTA TONE (‘A manner’) MEN (‘soldiers’) T (‘finally (last letter of) adopt’)
12 Tackle a very soft fish (8)
APPROACHA PP (‘A very soft’) ROACH (‘fish’)

To tackle a problem = to approach a problem. Close enough for me

13 Poet and classicist entertaining English hospital doctor (8)
HOUSEMAN – HOUSMAN (‘Poet and classicist’) containing (‘entertaining’) E (‘English’)

A. E. Housman 1859-1936. I’m afraid I only know him for “A Shrophshire Lad”, though I’ve never read the poems.

16 Spiteful leader of band — irritating! (6)
BITCHYB (‘leader (first letter) of band’) ITCHY (‘irritating!’)
18 Seaside feature member of nobility talked of (4)
PIER – Homophone (‘talked of’) of PEER (‘member of nobility’)
19 Food causing upset to moderate Tories once (4)
STEW – Reversal (‘upset’) of WETS (‘moderate Tories once’)
21 Supporter failing to finish a drink (3)
TEATEE (‘Supporter’) with last letter E deleted (‘failing to finish’) A (‘a’)

71 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2371 by Orpheus”

  1. I had to hop around the grid a lot to keep this one on the boil and the lack of flow slowed me down. RESTRAINED was my LOI, and TEA, although entered quite early, was my LOP (last one parsed). 13 minutes.

  2. 37 minutes all green. Another very long one for me so I will say no more, other than I liked REVELATION and got totally bogged down with RESTRAINED.

  3. C.25 mins with AD(M)IT, HOUSEMAN and RESTRAINED all causing problems. Is training again the same as extra tuition? I suppose so…but a tiny bit of a stretch for me.

    Thanks Orpheus and BletchleyReject.

  4. Found this harder than yesterday’s tester – and not as quite as satisfying or elegant.
    Held up at the end by HOUSEMAN and RESTRAINED but I never really found my flow solving it and had to hop around the grid a lot.
    Finished in 13.49
    Thanks to BR

  5. Having drawn a total blank on Tati yesteday I thought HOUSEMAN might be the same but on looking him up I found, like BR, I have heard of A Shropshire Lad – even if I didn’t know it was a collection of 63 poems or even that it was a work of poetry. Held up in the SW where HOUSEMAN, getting to the fish for APPROACH, banishing ‘cramming’ from what turned out to be RESTRAINING and summoning tee as a supporter all took time. I staggered over the line in 18 but with two errors from a single pink sqaure for a careless CHEMISr that made STEW SrEW too. Dead last on the leaderboard!

  6. Another toughie for me. Strange, though; I finished the NW, NE, and SE quarters quickly and then took as long again to complete the SW but I was slow with all of this quarter. I only made progress when I got HOUSEMAN and played around with the middle M of 20a finding that ADIT was just a possibility (I confess it was new to me as a mine entrance). It then all fell (staggered) into place and took me into the SCC again. TEA came late and was a biff. My LOI was PRONTO (d’oh).
    The contrast between the straightforward start and the desperate end was very sharp.
    I think, like yesterday, the QC editor thinks we have all the time in the world over the Easter holiday and is just choosing to use the tough ones from the available QCs. Or maybe it is me and I am just thick.
    An acknowledgement, anyway, to Orpheus for a test and many thanks to BR for a good blog. John M.
    Note added later. Interestingly, it is now 9.45am and we only have 7 comments (with some notable absentees). Perhaps others are finding it hard?

  7. 16:23 (1623, publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio)
    Everything except RESTRAINING solved in about 12 minutes, then ages spent staring at the last clue. Not helped by my assuming calm=rest, then trying to get the rest of the word to come out as something meaning “externally “.
    I biffed TEA without parsing. Thanks BR for the explanation of how it works.

  8. For the benefit of our US friends Leicester sounds like ‘lester’ rather than ‘lie cess ter’. The city has done a good job with Richard, Personally I think it’s a dis but future generations may wonder how Richard of York ended up resting in the place of his demise! Personally I think it’s a disgrace.

  9. Studied it for an hour but could not get a single one. Perhaps I’d better bow out. Goodbye all.

    1. I am not surprised Martin, it was not easy to get started. See my thoughts below.

      There are easier setters to tackle – I have found Orpheus difficult. 7 puzzles this year and only one completed in under 37-mins. Compare that to say, Breadman yesterday, whose six grids have all been done in 30mins.

      You gave it a great shot in studying it for an hour. You will be back I hope 🤞

  10. 15 minutes. LOI was RESTRAINED after problem getting HOUSEMAN.
    TEA unparsed! I always forget tee, and that after watching The Masters for four days.

  11. An aside.
    When will the UK get round to accepting (like the rest of the world) that a ‘drug dispenser’ (22) is not a CHEMIST. Drug dispensers are Pharmacists. Two quite different professions, each with a separate, long-established Professional Body covering their standards.
    I know that the old-fashioned ‘chemist’ used to sell a wide range of chemicals in the dim and distant past as well as dispensing drugs. Try getting a common household or industrial chemical (common solvents, acids and alkalis, for example) from your local Pharmacy/Drugstore these days. They will look at you in horror and say ‘Oh no, we don’t sell dangerous chemicals!’. Yet many still actually have a sign saying ‘CHEMIST’ over the door instead of PHARMACIST or PHARMACY.

    1. Forgive me, Blighter, but your argument appears to be that you don’t like words having more than one meaning, or things having more than one name, especially if there is any possibility of these phenomena leading to confusion. Opinions to which you are of course entitled, but it does strike me that the habitual completion of cryptic crosswords is an odd pastime for someone with this stance! 🙂

      1. Rich, I have occasionally been bemused by some of the more picky comments on the blog about the finer points of word definitions.
        However, this is not a fine point. Do check up on the nature (and detail) of degrees in Chemistry and Pharmacy and explore their history and what both professions do.
        Yes, both are involved with chemical molecules but one group primarily understands the properties, function and safe use of physiologically active compounds and (in the limited context of this QC) offers them to the public in shops. The other group knows something of the effects of these compounds and Chemists and Pharmacists work well together in a research context. However, Chemists actually make these compounds from smaller molecules in the laboratory (and do the same for inorganic compounds too).
        Crucially, a Chemist investigates the chemical transformations, properties, safe handling and disposal of a much, much wider range of chemicals (from simpler inorganic materials used in the home and industry to organic materials like petrochemicals) and has done so since before the days of alchemy).
        I don’t think you would go to hospital for a consultation and be happy to be seen by either a neurologist or an oncologist just because they both know some medicine. Words really do matter. Professions deserve respect for what they are and do; they do not deserve to be lumped together in ignorance. John.

  12. As others, biffed TEA, thank you BR.
    Was still thinking HOUSeMAN was the poet and classicist, totally ignoring the bulk of the clue – hospital Dr, English all forgotten.

  13. White-out in Val Thorens so I have retreated inside for a coffee and the crossword. Struggled a bit in the SW where I could have sworn that the poet had an E in him already, and where adit rang only the faintest of bells.

    Anyway, got there in regulation 08:53 which in the light of comments above I’m classifying as a Good Day. Lots of good clues – I liked SCOWL, APPROACH and STEW in particular.

    Many thanks Orpheus and Bletchers.


  14. Two tough ones to start the week then, and like others I was darting all over the grid to make headway. In the end my LOI SONNET fell into place and I crossed the line in 10.21. I spent a little while trying to make an anagram of all the wrong letters in 6dn INITIATE before I twigged how it worked, and this cost me my target finish.
    I hope they’re aren’t too many like martinu above who get so discouraged they want to give up. Perhaps the editor can consider encouraging some of the participants who are new to crosswordland by providing a higher proportion of more easily solved grids.

  15. For the second day running I entered the SCC with just three clues left to solve. Bottle(!) came quickly enough, but the Restrained Houseman combination took ages, washing away the last traces of smugness from having come across Adit before. I slowly worked my way through Consultant, Registrar, Surgeon, Anesthetist and any other medical profession I could think of before Houseman (isn’t that more of a US term ?) finally came to mind. Restrained then only offered token resistance, allowing a sluggish 27 min finish. Invariant

    1. Uk system term now a bit dated the ‘houseman’ also known as the house officer is the first yr graduate doctor after Med school. Nowadays the term is the FY1 (foundation year 1- or f1) but often house officer still used. The ‘houseman’s vein’ is still referred to as such- As the old faithful vein that runs on the radial (thumb) border of the wrist- a reliable landmarkEd vein that the most junior doctors would rely on for placing iv lines. Etc etc

  16. Like, it seems, many of us, I got bogged down for some time on RESTRAINED and HOUSEMAN. ‘Restrained’ suddenly occurred to me as a possible answer, but I hesitated to put it in because (always a problem for me) I had a job convincing myself that ‘retrained’ is any kind of a synonym for ‘extra tuition’; training in a new skill set = extra tuition? For me that is a stretch too far.

    As for HOUSEMAN, all my own fault. I had heard of A.E. Housman as a poet (not as a classicist), but had assumed his name was spelt ‘Houseman’, so I couldn’t make sense of the clue and went down several wrong paths before deciding that Houseman was the best I could think of and writing it in without being able to see how it might parse (because I was still thinking that ‘houseman’ was both a doctor and the poet that the clue referred too).

  17. Got to 8 minutes with 3 left, then stared gloomily at 13d, 17a and 23a in turn until RESTRAINED finally yielded. HOUSEMAN turned up soon after and then HUNGARY. By then I was well over my target. 13:23. Thanks Orpheus and BR.

  18. A slow one today, crossing the line in just under 14 minutes after being held up at the end by the Restrained/Atonement pair – I was fixed on the soldiers being Royal Engineers and the word thus ending in -rest. A good test from Orpheus, much enjoyed: referencing Keats in the clue for Sonnet was especially neat.

    Many thanks to BR for the blog

  19. 46mins for 3rd DNF in a row, each of which has been quickly corrected. Once again stupidity on my part, as I plumped for ApOsEMENT at the end having already alphabet trawled it prior to getting RESTRAINED.

    I don’t know how this can be classed as quick when I’m taking 8-10mins just to read through and have a quick think about the clues on the first pass. I only got a tentative BOB (jumping really?), ENGENDER, CHEMIST, PIER, APP-. Nonetheless somehow I managed to wade through and there was always something in the cluing which left me feeling I might be able to get them. But certainly wouldn’t have got through that six months ago.

    Once again, thought there was a bit too much in there above QC-level … c=cape, SUB / LIME are not your first choices for newspapers and trees, ADIT / HOUSMAN crosser which made RESTRAINED=calm hard to come up with, probably even Wets not familiar now.

    The struggle really took the edge off enjoying clues like SONNET, REVELATION, PRONTO and some others

    1. Has to be said, I always think of bobbing up and down as your head moving upwards with your feet firmly on the ground – like straining to see behind the heads of others at a footy match – or the inevitable buoy in the sea.

      1. Well said.

        That reminds me … The Bob Emergency … is a fantastic exploration into how the number of sportsmen called Bob has dropped in recent decades. Part 1 quicker than an Orpheus QC yet more enjoyable and less of a grind assuming you don’t mind American sports. It’s not just American sports though, cricket, football, boxing, Olympics, Aussie Rules and so on get mentions.


  20. Got there slowly. Pleased to finish.
    FOI SCOWL, then had to dot about, finally solving top half. Then slow APPROACH to PRONTO (ironically), RESTRAINED (LOI), ATONEMENT and HUNGARY (latter impaired because I put Tee at first.)
    Thanks vm, BR.

  21. Probably one for seasoned solvers, and I’m 4th of 103 on the leaderboard, though Verlaine’s stellar 2:49 puts me firmly in my place !

    TIME 4:13

  22. 16:53. 1653 English defeat the Dutch at The Battle of Scheveningen to end the First Anglo-Dutch War

    NHO ADIT, although ADMIT looked fine, ADIT just did not look like a real word at all.

    Went for supporter=BRA, looking for a drink. Didn’t find one, though.
    Though Vessel=Courage might be Stomach, Liver, Guts etc. I find “Vessel” one of the hardest definitions to call to mind.
    Reagan was called “Dutch”, then “Ronald”. Not sure he as “Ron” for much of his life.


  23. 11:49

    Not too many in on the first pass, but picked up after a few more went in on the second round. Wouldn’t have known how to spell HOUSeMAN and RESTRAINED took several moments to drop in to my mind.

    Thanks Orpheus and Bletch

  24. 15:47. Similar experience as mentioned by many previously re parsing of TEA, thinking the poet had an “e” in his name, puzzling over retrained= had extra tuition.I also took a long time seeing tone= manner. Oh well, glad to make it through eventually!

  25. 9.00

    Thought I was a bit sluggish but looks like this was on the harder side.

    Fortunate that HOUSEMAN didn’t unduly delay me

    Thanks BR and Orpheus

  26. Dnf…

    Absolute nightmare on this. Another one where I couldn’t work out if I was just being slow or it was actually hard. Like the blogger, the words “poet” and “classicist” also strike fear in my heart, but it’s not often I do a first pass and get literally nothing in the top half. Not helped that I misread 9ac and thought it said “Cosby”.

    In the end I ground out 45 mins with just 17ac “Restrained” and 13dn “Houseman” to get (which I obviously didn’t). Not convinced “retrained” is “extra tuition” one bit.

    One to consign to that special bin of disasters 😀

    FOI – 19dn “Stew”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 12ac “Pronto”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. . . .for a brief moment, I had hoped Crosby was a reference to the posh end of Liverpool ☺

      1. Probably better than me trying to put “Bill” in, which based on everything that has happened would be somewhat inappropriate.

      1. By the way, you were right about that chain ring. Went to my local bike shop up in the Lakes and they confirmed that component was always suspect. In fact, they were amazed it had lasted that long.

        Bought the R8000 version online, so hopefully will be back up and running in a week or so.

  27. Just noticed that the first question in the Times Daily Quiz today is ‘What does PTO stand for at the bottom of a page?’. !
    A coincidence or what?

    1. … and the first News in Pictures photo concerns Hungary!
      My Hungarian friend says that women are doused – or sprinkled – so that they might ‘blossom’.

  28. Another very tough one. Unsolvable for me. 🙁🙁. It would be nice if the setters gave the starters an occasional break

  29. 16.58 The NW went straight in and the NE was pretty quick but I slowed down in the South. I thought it was very fair though. Once solved, none of the clues (except TEA!) were difficult to parse. Several minutes spent on LOI RESTRAINED. Not sure why so many of us found that clue difficult. Thanks both.

  30. Another really hard puzzle which doubtless wouls discourage some solvers – like Martinu: but do keep trying and seek a bit of help if necessary, as I had to resort to today. NHO AD(m)IT and found bottom half of the puzzle very difficult to get to grips with. Hopefully a more approachable puzzle tomorrow for us non-experts.

  31. Just like yesterday. Got there in the end. But again very slow. Good practice though. Fred.

  32. DNF at 20 minutes. Gave up with trying to figure out HOUSEMAN and RESTRAINED.

  33. FOI – 1ac, LOI – 19dn – straight from top left to bottom right! (in my dreams). In actual fact I had to jump around the grid for 19 minutes until I managed to finish with everything parsed. No particular hold-ups (not even the RESTRAINED/HOUSEMAN crossing which seems to have caused so much grief), just rather slow throughout.

    FOI – 1ac SCOWL
    LOI – 19dn STEW
    CODs – 10ac REVELATION (and indeed it was) and 7dn ENGENDER

    Thanks to Orpheus and BR

  34. Having read the blog maybe my 24:57 wasn’t such a bad effort after all. Started pretty well in the top half but slowed down considerably. At about 18 mins I had all but HOUSEMAN, RESTRAINED and ATONEMENT. Glad to have ended all green anyway, if a little frustrated about the time. Thanks Orpheus and br.

  35. My MER is at Atonement = absolution. The priest will give absolution but the penitent has atonement.

  36. Very late to this today, delayed in part due to an 80 mile round trip shopping excursion for Mrs R, and then several attempts to get started, stopping and restarting, so no accurate time, but still suspect it was at the top end of my target range, close to 15 minutes. Nice to see Leicester getting a mention, just need them now to keep the faith and escape the drop! Thanks both.

  37. Hmm. Maybe I wasn’t just being a bit slow this morning. I didn’t write anything on my copy apart from flagging RESTRAINED as my LOI, needing HOUSEMAN to see it, if I recall correctly. I see some didn’t like “had extra tuition” for RETRAINED, but I thought it OK. If you are going to learn a new skill to change careers, it usually needs some tuition. Over a minute over average, finishing in 6:43 for me.

  38. The fourth very tough QC in a row (for me), but at least I managed to finish successfully today. 47 minutes, but it was a struggle right from the off.

    Only two clues solved during my first pass through the acrosses, but the downs were kinder (seven). My last six clues took nearly 20 minutes and (collectively) shone a bright light on some of my many crosswording inadequacies – Vocabulary (ADIT and TONE for manner); GK (HOUSEMAN); Grammar (INITIATE as a noun?); etc, etc. Still, a finish is a finish and after the past week or so I will take that with a smile.

    Many thanks to Orpheus and BR.

  39. Don’t know about DNF I thought this might be DNS it took so long for me to get the first one in . CHEMIST was the one although I agree that it is PHARMACISTS who dispense drugs or perhaps more correctly Medications.

  40. I finished somewhere around the 50 minute mark. I enjoyed most of this, although I would echo many of the earlier comments as to overall difficulty. More than a MER at RETRAINED for extra tuition. Remembered ADIT from earlier QC and pleased with myself for getting HOUSEMAN. This setter is now proving extremely challenging.

    Thanks for the blog. Excellent as ever.

  41. Resorted to aids to see my way through this one. I did start strongly in the NW and a couple in the SE but fizzled out thereafter. I am happy to resort to aids when well and truly stuck in case I can get on the wavelength or at least appreciate what I’m missing… but today was a wipeout!

  42. Yes another very discouraged (non) solver. Normally I can just about squeeze out all the answers, maybe with aids. Today there were 8 (EIGHT) left unsolved in my DNF . . . So DNF by a long way 🙁

  43. 34:48

    Gosh that was tough. Took ages figuring out RESTRAINED but it was the bottom right that really held me up with THREW and LOI STEW.

  44. An absolute shocker! I was somewhat distracted as my son is going to South America for a few weeks and I couldn’t really focus. But I also think there were some very tricky clues today, so big sympathies go to all you newer solvers – I feel your pain! Don’t give up – there will surely be better days.
    A big fat DNF 😥
    Thanks Orpheus and BR

  45. Spent ages on this but still a dnf with 8 clues unsolved. That makes 3 Dnfs in a row.
    Some very good clues but a lot of tough ones.

  46. I’m still catching up but just have to note that the first question in the Times Daily Quiz on 11/4 was about PTO – and it appears in the QC on the same day. Spooky!

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