Quick Cryptic 2444 by Teazel

Enjoyably soft in the middle, but chewy around the edges. I took ages to get going but came in at 6.5 minutes in the end.

1 Corrections said to be needed for manuscripts (8)
WRITINGS – sounds like ‘rightings’
5 Small garden tool? It’s over a foot (4)
8 Measure length of meal? Too long! (4-9)
TIME-CONSUMING – self-explanatory. The word ‘too’ in the definition is a bit of a stretch, I think.
10 Perhaps mount height, or both sides of slope (5)
HORSE – H + OR + SE (both sides of ‘slope’)
11 Spooning out fish: youngster comes first (7)
LADLING – LING is the fish, and LAD is the youngster that precedes
12 I am inclined to announce girl’s name (6)
EILEEN – sounds like I LEAN
13 Stand journey, and make to return (6)
TRIPOD – TRIP + DO (make) backwards.
16 Eight arranged in hotel area for meal (4,3)
HIGH TEA – anagram (‘arranged’) of EIGHT inside H (hotel) A (area)
18 Woman vicar oligarch’s protecting (5)
CAROL – hidden word: viCAR OLigarch
20 Twice walked over, being cheated (6-7)
DOUBLE-CROSSED – double definition
21 A court ultimately enforces decisions of Parliament (4)
ACTS – A + CT + S
22 Badly mangled a college’s name (8)
MAGDALEN – anagram (‘badly’) of MANGLED A
1 Wise woman’s repartee at church (5)
WITCH – WIT + CH. NHO this as a synonym for witch. I love the idea that if a woman somehow acquires wisdom it must be evidence of sorcery
2 Two minutes to crack one exam? Wicked! (7)
IMMORAL – two M’s inside I ORAL
3 Additional folk joining in clarinet playing (11)
INCREMENTAL – MEN inside an anagram (‘playing’) of CLARINET. This is the 15×15 version of the clue. The QC version should be “additional MEN joining in…” One fewer conjectural leap.
4 Group of workers extremely lanky, ie this? (6)
6 I must wear head covering, coming to one country (5)
HAITI – I inside HAT + I
7 Busy preparing for wedding (7)
ENGAGED – double definition
9 Suspected one may get wet here? (5,1,5)
UNDER A CLOUD – cryptic definition. I guess.
12 Strange-looking creature concealed itself, covered in nasty acne (7)
ECHIDNA – HID inside anagram (‘nasty’) of ACNE. It’s a glorified hedgehog. I’m sure they think humans are strange-looking creatures, too.
14 Airborne soldier needs very large sunshade (7)
PARASOL – PARA[trooper] + SO (very) + L
15 Board quickly reduced by US agency (6)
17 Noise from grand little pig (5)
19 Behold, by study, waterproof cloth (5)
LODEN – LO + DEN. NHO this but easy wordplay.

68 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2444 by Teazel”

  1. Enjoyable Teazel puzzle, I was detained in the NW by TIME-CONSUMING (still don’t really get it) and WITCH where the definition put me off. HORSE took a while too, a clever clue that defeated me for ages until I saw the def was mount, not mount height. Was also slightly puzzled by INCREMENTAL meaning additional, I’m sure it probably does but it sounds slightly amiss to me. All done in 9.11, thanks to Excurarist. Btw echidnas are strange, wonderful and exceptionally cute.

    1. Time consuming held me up too but got there in the end with a satisfying PDM. I read the clue as… If one were to measure how long one spent consuming ones breakfast one might time the consuming of said breakfast. Just under SCC for me. Classic Teazel hard but not sure why. Thanks E & T

    2. I suspect that Teazel was not referring to the anteater, cute as it may be, but to the ECHIDNA from Hesiod’s “Theogony” – distinctly not cute!

  2. An MER at WITCH; a wise woman was not a witch, but a woman known for her knowledge of traditional lore; which of course could include charms and such. I didn’t care much for ‘folk’ for MEN, either. 5:13.

  3. 1600 British East India Company is established and sets up trading posts in India.

    Slow at the end with TIME CONSUMING being &lit, I spent an age on this one.

    1. time consuming is straight definition (too long) and a whimsical cryptic definition (measure length of meal). & lit has to be whole clue is the definition and whole clue is the wordplay.

      1. My &lit was an observation that I found the TIME CONSUMING clue time consuming…

  4. 9 minutes. I was pleased to remember LODEN as a material I associate with smart jackets and coats I have seen worn by locals when holidaying in Austria. Apparently it originates in the Tyrol and Salzburg region although its manufacture has spread further afield now.

    I also looked twice at ‘wise woman / WITCH’. I assumed it would be verified in one or other of the usual dictionaries, however on checking later I was unable to find it.

  5. Just squeezed in under 10 minutes. I second LindsayO’s comments about the ECHIDNA, also one of only two monotremes on the planet. I wondered about WITCH for ‘Wise woman’ and had the same experience as jackkt looking it up in the usual sources.

    TIME-CONSUMING only parsed afterwards and LODEN an NHO. Favourite was the ?semi-&lit GRUNT for which I had to check the identity of the setter.

    Thanks to Excurarist and Teazel

  6. Tricky but fair.
    NHO LODEN, but the clueing was appropriate, so no complaints.
    Not keen on names in clues like EILEEN, but again, fair clueing gets you there.
    Another MER from me at WITCH=wise woman.
    So, I was not quick (firmly ensconced in the club again), but I felt Teazel tested my faculties without needing silly amounts of GK.
    Thanks Teazel and Excurarist

  7. My heart sank a little when I saw it was Teazel this morning, but I managed a steady solve, albeit with only 3 clues completed after my first sweep. Never heard of LODEN, but it had to be, and I was pleased to be able to dredge up ECHIDNA from previous QCs. (Does this make it a ‘chestnut’ I wonder?) In the end I think my time wasn’t too bad, around the 20 minute mark, but I was undone by mistyping MAGDELEN. DOH! Had I not done this it would have been cracking week for me with 4/5.
    Still, I am not going to waste time moping around feeling maudlin about MAGDALENE. I will cheer myself up by turning my attention to my new solar array app as it’s another sunny morning here and I’m already pulling in 0.6 kWh of leccy and it’s only 06:26.
    Have good weekends all, and thanks to Teazel and Excurarist for a good end to the week.

    1. Magdalen/Magdalene: I’m not sure why the two feel the need to spell the name differently, especially as both pronounce it Maudlin anyway, but as an alumnus of the Cambridge one, I’m delighted ITTT that at least one person realises there are two, and one of them has an E on the end. The Oxford one does tend to be far better known.

      1. Thank you for that Mr. S. I’m tempted to say that I knew that, but, alas, I didn’t! Sadly my knowledge of Oxbridge colleges is largely down to reading the likes of Evelyn Waugh and Inspector Morse novels. However, it has now been stored away in my seemingly ever-more-difficult-to-access memory bank so it will likely come in useful one day. You are a gentleman for pointing it out. 👍

    2. If you chaps google LODEN you will recognise the specific green overcoats.

      1. Why yes! And they’re traditionally made from Tyrolean wool too.
        Does my razor sharp mind detect something of an ongoing theme here?

  8. Very odd to come here at 7.20 am (UK time) and find that despite the early hour all the comments I might have made have already been made by others! So I agree that the definition of Witch raises eyebrows, that Loden was NHO but very well signposted by the word play, that Time-consuming (my LOI) was time-consuming to get and somewhat meh, that Horse was a very nice clue and that echidnas are charming.

    10 minutes for this enjoyable puzzle, making it well under the hour for the 5 this week which for me is a Good Result. Many thanks to Excurarist for the blog and a good weekend to all.

  9. 10’28” for a pleasantly chewy puzzle indeed.

    I enjoyed TIME CONSUMING and HORSE (very clever) but puzzled over WITCH.

    Biffed LODEN and changed ‘leaner’ (Zavaroni? Dunham?) for EILEEN only when funny but cute ECHIDNA popped up.

    Thanks Teazel and Excurarist.

  10. 10 minutes. Liked SHOE and TIME-CONSUMING. Dnk LODEN and only faintly remembered ECHIDNA so had to make very sure of the cryptics. Thanks for the blog.

  11. Most of this went in at a decent pace but I drew a blank in the NW and prepared myself for a long slog. However once WITCH revealed itself I finished at a gallop and would have squeezed in under target if I’d been brave enough to forego a spellcheck.
    I didn’t mind the definition of witch, my problem was I thought the definition was ‘wise’ – too much lifting and separating for once!
    Finished in 10.04 with LOI INCREMENTAL.
    Thanks to Excurarist for the blog and Teazel for the enjoyable workout.

  12. 5.33

    Also NHO LODEN. Easy w/p but slightly delayed by missing the hidden for CAROL on first glance.

    Enjoyed it. Good weekend everyone and thanks Excurarist and Teazel

  13. I usually seem to be on Teazel’s wavelength and finished this quite quickly with no major difficulties. NHO LODEN, but kindly parsed. FOI SHOE, LOI (because of MER) WITCH, COD UNDER A CLOUD and LOD TIME-CONSUMING, which is a hypocritical expression as it is time-consuming to say it, so I agree with the TOO in the definition! Thanks Teazel and Excurarist.

  14. Quickly (very relatively) found myself at the bottom of the puzzle and worked up slowly to the top, grinding to a stop before hitting EILEEN, which I liked despite my diffidence to female names, and IMMORAL. TIME CONSUMING took by is own definition 5 minutes, which tipped me just over 30 minutes to complete. Had heard of LODEN as I have a loden, thick, shooting type winter jacket that is very suitable for rainy dog walks. However, was baffled by WITCH but assumed it was another twist of Old English.
    Thanks Teazel for twists and turns, and Excurarist.

  15. Other than agreeing with Kevin’s eyebrow exercises, I had no problems here, and two passes again sufficed.

    TIME 3:30

  16. 17:08 (birth of William Pitt the elder)

    I had a typo in HAITI which affected the crossers of 8a. As a result I had a very TIME CONSUMING end to the puzzle.

    Thanks Teazel and Excurarist

  17. I think all the anteater-lovers above are missing the point. ECHIDNA was originally a being from Greek mythology, being half woman and half snake. Teazel’s definition of “strange-looking creature” is thus spot-on. The monotreme was probably (though I’m guessing) named ECHIDNA by a baffled C19 naturalist trying to find a name for a mammal which laid eggs and thus seemed to be half one thing and half another.

    Cracking puzzle, no eyebrows raised, wondered if yesterday’s TYROLEAN will drop in today to collect his/her LODEN. All done in 07:30 for 1.5K and a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks Teazel and Excurarist.


    1. Hmm… I’m not convinced. There are hundreds of monsters in ancient myths, all of which could be described as strange-looking, I’m sure. Imagine if GORGON, say, was defined thusly… don’t you think there would be howls of protest?

      I think the definition probably has more to do with the creature being a platypus, which frequently, although perhaps unreasonably, gets described as ‘strange-looking’.

        1. That’s just another common name they are given, but it’s a misnomer because they are not related in any way to true anteaters.

          They aren’t platypuses either, I misremembered that, but they are part of the same group of egg-laying mammals, so I was near.

  18. 11 minutes, but got the dreaded ‘Unlucky’ message, not as first thought because my NHO LODEN was wrong, but because I couldn’t spell MAGDALEN, which I forgive myself for. Otherwise, same thoughts as many others, although I saw WITCH as soon as I read the clue. Thanks ExC and Teazel.

  19. Smiled when I finally saw LOI COD EILEEN.
    Quite slow on this one but got there in the end.
    FOI SHOE then had to resort to the SE to get going with LODEN etc. Liked DOUBLE CROSSED, HORSE, UNDER A CLOUD, TIME CONSUMING.
    Slow on WRITINGS and WITCH (MER?)
    Thanks for blog, Excurarist.
    As I said yesterday, I do these puzzles for fun/brain exercise and am not heart-broken or cross if it doesn’t go well 😀 Thanks, Penny and Sltrach for support!

    1. Oh how I wish I had that approach to the QC! It would far better suit my level of ability 🤣

  20. Well outside the SCC until EILEEN refused to let me pass by – I saw the parsing, in retrospect I don’t know why it took me so long to find the answer, but it did.
    I enjoyed this puzzle, and no other major holdups. Always happy to see an echidna get a mention.

  21. Mixed for me” When the expert blogger says NHO that says a lot about how apt the clue is. I invented LODEN form the cluing and then checked it was a real word. I agree with those who question ‘wise woman’ for WITCH and not too sure about the clue for ECHIDNA. Lots of good stuff otherwise – thanks setter and blogger!

  22. Very enjoyable solve. All finished in 27 minutes or so, sprinting to a finish in the NW corner. No interruptions this morning, so I reached the finish much earlier than normal.
    NHO LODEN, though it was clear from the wordplay. LADEN would have been a better known alternative.
    Had to double check MAGDALEN, being more familiar with the Cambridge spelling.
    Thanks to E and T.

  23. Oops, I lost my post…. I’ll try again.
    I enjoyed this – a nice mix of straightforward and chewy for a Friday. I jumped about a bit at the start and was slow to see the longer answers. However, it all came together with my LOI TIME CONSUMING (and my fingers crossed for NHO LODEN). Time 13 mins (all parsed), 2 under target. Content with that.
    Thanks to Teazel and Excurarist. John M.

  24. not too bad, especially for Teazel. Last two of his have been OK for me for a change.

    I reckon there have been many wise women hanged as “witches” in the various outbreaks of hysteria/misogyny over the years, so I let that one pass.



  25. Blackadder II the wise woman in the woods was a witch.
    Young Crone: Two things, my Lord, must ye know of the Wise Woman. First… she is a woman! And second… she is…

  26. 14:00. LODEN, FASCIA, MAGDALEN, and ECHIDNA were words I had to think about but did eventually find on the margins of my memory. I enjoy clues like WRITINGS and EILEEN, also HORSE and HIGH TEA. I think when younger I would have disagreed with WITCH as wise woman but my feeling now is after much research and reflection that wise is an appropriate description.

  27. I often struggle with Teazel but I zipped through this enjoyable puzzle pausing only for LOI EILEEN which made me smile. Pleased to remember ECHIDNA from previous crosswords and appreciated the surface. Interesting to hear about the mythology associated with this creature – thanks Templar. NHO LODEN but this was generously clued. Enjoyed WRITINGS and HORSE. Many thanks to excurarist and Teazel.

  28. 6:36 but with DOUCLE CROSSED. Gonna have to stop trying to do these on my iPad! Got a typo on the Concise too. Grrhh! Thanks Teazel and Excurarist.

  29. A nice middle of the road puzzle from Teazel to finish the week, and only LODEN causing any hesitation. I crossed the line in 8.00 on the dot which is pretty good considering I’ve got one eye on the test match!
    Total time for the week is 51.26, giving a daily average of 10.17

  30. I found it difficult to get a foothold on this QC, but once I actually started to get some answers, I started to speed up.

    I like the TIME CONSUMING clue, but didn’t like the WITCH clue. Quite why a wise woman would be classed as a witch I have no idea.

    An enjoyable QC that was tricky, but completed with no aids.

  31. Only four on the first pass of acrosses and then it felt tricky I made good progress everywhere but the NW. Got HORSE – loved it – that gave WITCH, which made WRITINGS suddenly seem simpler and than freed up INCREMENTAL. That just left me to wonder why I couldn’t have come up with my own daughter’s middle name a bit quicker. All green in 12 to round off a good crosswording week.

  32. Seemed like a typical Friday puzzle, somewhat chewy in parts. After the first pass I had next to nothing in the top half but the bottom was filling up nicely. There followed a slow bottom-up solve finishing in 23 mins all parsed. I shared the seemingly universal MER at WITCH but other than that thought it was a fine puzzle with lots to like. As a one-time resident in southern Bavaria no problem with LODEN.

    FOI – 11ac LADLING
    LOI – 12ac EILEEN
    COD – 20ac DOUBLE-CROSSED. Also marked TIME-CONSUMING, GRUNT and EILEEN as ‘likes’ on the way through

    Thanks to Teazel and Excurarist

  33. 13.33 NHO LODEN. I liked GANGLY and UNDER A CLOUD. I spent a bit of time early on trying to do something with Lina and then another minute at the end on LOI EILEEN. A very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Excurarist and Teazel.

  34. 7:12

    Straightforwardish even with the NHO LODEN – just a bit slow to fill in. Thanks Teazel and Excurarist

  35. Never easy doing these in the car (even as a passenger!) but managed to complete all green in 17:17 (Handel’s Water Music premieres on a barge in London). Many similar comments as above with MER for WITCH and NHO LODEN. FOI IMMORAL, LOI TRIPOD, didn’t parse INCREMENTAL exactly as all the crossers were there. Thanks Teazel and excurarist.

  36. FOI SHOE, never parsed HAITI, LODEN from wordplay and LOI FASCIA in 7:31. Thanks all

  37. I enjoyed this puzzle all the way through and almost all the clues had PDMs.
    Gary warned me this week that as well as CON STUDY can mean DEN and lo and behold up it came today.
    Missed the hidden as usual. If you see them they are easy but if not….
    Particularly liked GANGLY, SHOE and ELIEEN.
    Thanks Teazel and Excurarist.

      1. Hello Mr A,
        It’s good to hear that you have an occasional use. Mrs Random is still trying to think of one for me.

  38. 16 mins…

    Just pleased to have completed a puzzle after a number of dnf’s and errors lately.

    Overall, I enjoyed this, although I wasn’t convinced by 8ac “Time Consuming” either.

    FOI – 1dn “Witch”
    LOI – 12ac “Eileen”
    COD – 5ac “Shoe

    Thanks as usual!

  39. Took 26 mins to finish. Glass half full or half empty sort of day.

    On the plus side, got some of the tricky ones quickly. On the minus side, made a mess of 1ac. Began with EDITIONS, ‘corrected’ this to EDITINGS and then finally got WRITINGS. This held me up for a while with 4dn and particularly 1dn.

    Also took ages on my LOI, EILEEN, which I really should have seen more quickly.

    On balance, half empty as I might have done better.

    Weekly performance was totally unsatisfactory. Two DNFs, a slow solve, a mediocre solve and an SCC escape. Nowhere near my objective (again). Wish I had Countrywoman’s wise approach to the QC.

    Thank you for the excellent blog and best wishes to everyone for the weekend. Yorkshire is going to be very soggy unfortunately.

  40. Held up for ages in NW corner. Very difficult (again!) for a QC. Guessed ECHIDNA and LODEN (NHO). These QC’s are really getting exremely challenging for us non-experts.

  41. Took me longer than usual, but then I currently have the plague and my brain is struggling a bit. I don’t really understand the wordplay for GANGLY – can anyone spell it out for me, please?

    1. A group of workers is a Gang – “back on the chain gang”. Extremely means take the two letters of Lanky furthest from the centre – LY. Lanky is also the definition of the clue, hence “this”. Does that help? I hope the plague gets better soon.

      1. Thank you for your reply! I expressed myself poorly and wrote the opposite of what I actually meant – I got the word correctly via the wordplay (and with help from the checking letters), but I don’t see how or why THIS is the definition. What is it that’s being deemed to be gangly?

        1. Oh, I see. I think the word “this” is meant to refer to the word “lanky”, but not the rest of the clue. If you type “gangly” into a Thesaurus, you will get “lanky” as one of the synonyms. It’s one of those clues where the definition is also a component of the wordplay. The use of “this” indicates that this is happening.

          1. Ah! That makes sense; I think I assumed that having got the LY out of “extremely lanky” I had extracted all of the usefulness from “lanky” and dismissed the possibility of it also being the definition.

            Much appreciated, and thank you again!

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