QC 2045 by Izetti

My FOI was 1A quickly followed by several others in sequence and I thought I might be in for a sequential solve but I got derailed somewhere in the middle so didn’t quite make it. But I think if I had stuck to the task I’d have got there. The result is that this was a pretty gentle Monday morning stroll as far as I was concerned, and many thanks to Izetti for composing it. How did everybody else get on?

My LOI could have been anything really except 24A which I know I got on the first pass (one of 5 straight anagrams + 2 other clues that involved anagrams and regular readers will know that I generally find anagrams amongst the easiest clues – at least at QC level). I think it might have been 17D, although not for any reasons of difficulty. It was just the last clue that I happened to write in. Similarly nothing really stands out for COD so I’ll go for the smoothest surface I can find at 3D.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it as simply as I can.

1 Nares troubled with her fire — what can get rid of nasty smell? (3,9)
AIR FRESHENER – straight anagram (‘troubled’) of NARES with HER FIRE. Nares are nostrils but it is hardly an everyday word and its presence immediately alerts you to the probability of an anagram.
8 Old writer accessible to all (4)
OPEN – O (old) + PEN (writer).
9 Like someone being celebrated getting browned off? (7)
TOASTED – cryptic definition.
11 Am I sane, sadly forgetting things? (7)
AMNESIA – straight anagram (‘sadly’) of AM I SANE.
12 Periods when male is restricted by obligations (5)
TIMES – M (male) ‘restricted’ by TIES (obligations).
14 Knight wasn’t well attached somehow (6)
NAILED – N (abbreviation for knight in Chess) + AILED (wasn’t well).
15 Foreign city left with zero protection either side (6)
OPORTO – PORT (left) with O (zero) on either side.
18 Mean to get one over the eight (5)
TIGHT – double definition.
20 With legs apart in a street journey (7)
ASTRIDE – A + ST (street) + RIDE journey.
21 Elaborate old lover needing money (7)
EXPOUND – EX (old lover) + POUND (money).
23 Platform said to be wobbly (4)
DAIS – straight anagram (‘to be wobbly’) of SAID.
24 Smitten mates put out inaccurate bit of information (12)
MISSTATEMENT – straight anagram (‘put out’) of SMITTEN MATES.

2 Troublemaker finishing, coming any minute? (9)
IMPENDING – IMP (troublemaker) + ENDING (finishing).
3 Female, one with extraordinary sense and diplomacy (7)
FINESSE – F (female) + I (one) + anagram (‘extraordinary’) of SENSE.
4 Runs to get optional items? (6)
EXTRAS – double definition. In cricket there are various ways of scoring runs that don’t involve actually hitting the ball with the bat, such as BYES, NO BALLS and WIDES. Runs scored by these methods are known as EXTRAS.
5 Part of body buried in rich earth (5)
HEART – hidden word: ‘buried in’ ricH EARTh.
6 Food vessel capsized (3)
NUT – TUN (vessel) ‘capsized’ (i.e. turned upside-down in this down clue).
7 Daughter is entering rally, getting to turn up again (10)
REDISCOVER – D (daughter) + IS ‘entering’ RECOVER (rally).
10 Conventional mother at home with awkward master (10)
MAINSTREAM – MA (mother) + IN + STREAM (anagram (‘awkward’) of MASTER).
13 Undertaker could be romantic, I fancy! (9)
MORTICIAN – straight anagram (‘fancy’) of ROMANTIC I.
16 Crazy finish set up in German city (7)
POTSDAM – MAD (crazy) + STOP (finish) reversed (i.e. ‘set up’ in this down clue).
17 Criminal gang with modern technology (6)
BANDIT – BAND (gang) + IT (modern technology).
19 Tease family member after short time (5)
TAUNT – T (‘short’ time) + AUNT (family member).
22 The old man’s dancing step (3)
PAS – PA’S (the old man’s).

53 comments on “QC 2045 by Izetti”

  1. Normal Monday Service resumed.

    FOI 8ac OPEN

    LOI & COD 15ac OPORTO

    WOD 13dn MORTICIAN – Addams Family?

    As per Lord Vinyl, the 15×15 is a Quick Cryptic in itself!

  2. I assumed that EXTRAS was a cricket term meaning ‘runs’ in some way, and fairly confidently bunged it in. 5:58, compared to 8:03 for the regular cryptic. Do try it.
  3. 7 minutes to fill the grid but if I had been solving online and submitted immediately I’d have had an error as it was only afterwards that I realised that NITs are not eaten (at least not intentionally!) so the answer at 5dn had to be NUT. Still well within my target 10 minutes even allowing for the correction.
  4. Well, I saw Izetti and feared a long slog. However, I saw 1a right away and went on to find this QC to be gentle but enjoyable. I took it steadily and enjoyed the ride in 3 mins under target (all parsed). Thanks to Izetti and Don. John M.

    Edited at 2022-01-10 09:22 am (UTC)

  5. Thought I was on for one of my quickest Izetti’s, but like Astartedon I got bogged down and then wasted 5 mins on 7dn “Rediscover”. In the end I drifted into the SCC and finished in 21 mins.

    Still not sure about the second definition for 18ac “Tight” — will have to look it up.

    FOI — 1ac “Air Freshener”
    LOI — 7dn “Rediscover”
    COD — 3dn “Finesse” — so very true

    Thanks as usual!

    1. One over the eight = drunk = tight.

      Brewer’s advises that ‘one over the eight’ is only slightly drunk, and adds that ‘eight’ is a reference to eight pints of beer (or one gallon) which were traditionally regarded as a reasonable amount for the average person to drink. If only that were the position of modern-day medical advisors!

      1. Thanks Jackkt.

        Knew “drunk” = tight, but never heard of the “one over the eight” expression.

        I can barely get over 3 pints nowadays without having to call it a day.

  6. Gentle start to the week — so gentle in fact that, on several occasions, we spent time looking for a more complex solution when the answer was simply staring us in the face! We came in at 12 minutes.

    FOI: air freshener

    Thanks Astartedon and Izetti.

  7. Home in 06:22, probably my fastest time for an Izetti. LOI was MISSTATEMENT. FOI AIRFRESHENER from the definition; the unknown Nares did not out me off. That gave me lots of ammunition.
    A nice puzzle where for once my first thought was generally correct.
    Now for the 15×15.
  8. Had to dot round the grid. I was slow to solve the anagrams AIR FRESHENER and MISSTATEMENT. Biffed REDISCOVER and MAINSTREAM. FOI TOAST, LOI NAILED. Liked BANDIT, FINESSE.

    Thanks for helpful blog, as ever, Don.

  9. An easy one for Izetti, nine minutes with two to go, then a minute each for those. Seventeen on first pass. FOI air freshener, LO’sI nut and toasted. Frustrating that these took so long, but had to do an alphabet trawl to get the last letter of nut, then toasted was a PDM. All parsed for once. Thanks, Don, and Izetti. Will try the 15 x 15 as weather is definitely permitting.
  10. Quite gentle for Izetti, I thought. I liked the romantic undertaker. The 15×15 only took me 2 minutes longer, so, as others have said too, it is definitely one for regular QCers to have a go at. 4:11 for this.
  11. Bucking the trend I had a bad case of Monday Morning for this one and kept feeling that the answer was almost there … before giving up and moving on. I need an espresso! Elegant and ingenious as always from Izetti.

    FOI OPEN, LOI NAILED, COD the manspreading ASTRIDE, time 12:57 for 2.1K and a Poor Day. Off to dip a toe into the Big Boy pond now!

    Many thanks to the Two Dons.


  12. I probably shouldn’t start by commenting on the biggie, but – honestly – give it a go! It took just two minutes longer (a PB for me) than this one, which I spent 12 minutes on. I thought this was gentle for an Izetti, although the last two took two minutes. I got hung up on the anagram at 24a – is MISTESTAMENT even a word? More likely a momble 😅 But knowing the Don’s propensity to words relating to religion, I thought: why not? Anyway, that made TAUNT rather tricky. When I suddenly realised which relation was required (and I am one to nine!), MISSTATEMENT fell into place.
    I watched a recent QI last night where they featured a variety of words and phrases for drunk – there are absolutely hundreds. The versions here are quite old-fashioned I suppose, definitely more genteel than many modern equivalents! Anyway, the clue made me smile.
    A fun morning but over too quickly – how am I going to fill the time?
    FOI Air freshener
    LOI Misstatement
    COD Mortician
    Many thanks both Dons
    1. Many thanks for the 15 x 15 recommendation. Off to give it a go after finishing the QC in under 20 today. I couldn’t parse FINESSE and like others didn’t know ‘one over the eight’ meant drunk — many thanks for the blog and to Izetti for a doable puzzle! Enjoyed MAINSTREAM and EXPOUND 😄
        1. Just finished… and happy to report I completed the whole thing in around 30 minutes! I know it was easy but it still counts 😂
  13. 13 minutes with no major hold-ups, although I tried and rejected tin, pan and can before tun occurred to me. I also mis-bifd terms instead of TIMES and sorting out that error took a little while. Otherwise, a nice easy puzzle from the Don. Thanks both — now I will look at the biggie.
  14. Must have been straightforward as I established a PB of 4:19. Whoo hoo! FOI AIR FRESHENER. LOI MISSTATEMENT. Thanks Izetti and Don.
  15. 13:04, gentle stuff, although I agree that MISSTATEMENT sounds like the ultimate in weasel words, such as “I may have mis-spoken”, “If I caused offence, then I apologise”

    Three letter vessels, quite a few needed to be checked off: tin, can, pot, pan. TUN is of course more obscure than any of these.

    TIGHT for drunk sounds very Brideshead, nowadays someone who is tight is miserly.



    Edited at 2022-01-10 11:20 am (UTC)

    1. TUN appears in the names of a lot of pubs. There are 57 pubs called “The Three Tuns” in the UK and used to be many more.
  16. I was very much on wavelength. I did contemplate the well known food NiT instead of NUT but only for a few seconds and I didn’t get the second definition of TIGHT, my LOI. 5:55 and 3 secs faster than Kevin for an excellent day. Thanks Izetti and Don

    Edited at 2022-01-10 11:45 am (UTC)

  17. Good morning as I settled in somewhere cosy between 20 and 25 mins with no passes. May have a go at the main puzzle this evening after reading the encouragements herein.
    Thanks Don & Don
  18. Izetti was in a benevolent mood today! AIR FRESHENER and MAINSTREAM were write ins so opened up the grid nicely. I’m another who’d not heard of the second definition of TIGHT and had a minor hold up over LOI NAILED. Finished in 7.04.
    Thanks to astartedon
  19. A steady but not particularly quick solve for me today at 19 mins. I think I was probably guilty of over complicating things when they were in fact relatively simple. Took far too long to see mortician despite being well aware I was looking at an anagram – I mean, how many synonyms are there for undertaker anyway?

    COD – 3dn FINESSE

    Thanks to Izetti and Astartedon

  20. Yes, this was a gentle enough start to the week, allowing me an 18min finish. Unlike Astartedon, I normally find anagrams quite tricky, but they fell into place quite easily today and opened up the grid. Finesse and loi Nailed slowed me down at the end, but I’m always happy with a sub-20 Izetti. CoD to 16d, Potsdam, which I only knew because of the WW2 conference. Invariant
  21. ….for an Izetti, and I only had 4 clues left after the first pass. Today I started a new regime of sight checking every answer as it went in, which should hopefully solve my fat finger problems, even if it does add a few seconds — though it didn’t seem to here.

    TIME 3:20

  22. 20 mins including a badly timed call from the big boss’s PA. Who knows what might have been?
    1. How frustrating 😒 I always find it hard to get back into the swing after an interruption.
  23. Just over 20m which is good for us. Bit slow seeing a few clues eg 15a oporto. A very pleasant start to the week.
  24. Just 12 minutes, all fully parsed, and a new PB for me.

    I sprang out of the blocks with AIR FRESHENER, OPEN and MAINSTREAM. Then I more-or-less maintained that pace as I built on the available checkers, before slowing only ever so slightly into the finish — my last two being REDISCOVER and NAILED.

    I realised from about the halfway point that a PB was a possibility, and I became increasingly trembly as I approached the line. My big fear was that I might ruin a silver or bronze medal performance by going all out for gold. In the end, I still had time to double-check NUT, which I had question-marked on the way through.

    What a day! But, hang on, I’ve just remembered the saying about after the Lord Mayor’s show ….

    Many thanks to Izetti and astartedon.

      1. Congratulations! May we ask if as well as a PB you achieved that even more difficult task of outsprinting Mrs Random?
  25. I don’t generally time myself, but I’m waiting for a train, so..
    Much enjoyed and it took 15 minutes, to complete, with all parsed.
    LOI Rediscover
    Thanks, Don and Izetti.
    Now, off to the 15×15, which I hope to complete, on the train.
  26. … that this was a fine Izetti, but at the easier end of his usual offerings. A new year’s resolution from the Don perhaps to help us poor mortals?

    No real hold-ups and a solve in just under 11 minutes. 7D Rediscover was my LOI and needed all the checkers, even though I decided quite early on that it had to start REDIS-

    Many thanks to our other Don for the blog

  27. Nice start to the week
    Never do all the across and then the down as need all the help i can get
  28. Bucking the trend a bit here as I didn’t find this that easy, although it was far from the hardest Izetti ever. Ended up on 32:59, although several minutes of that were spent on my LOI NAILED as I just didn’t think of reading the “wasn’t well” on its own, and I was misdirected by the superfluous addition of “somehow”. I’ve never heard of the “One over the eight” expression either. I thought the answer must have been arrived at by swapping the first letter of eight for a T, although I couldn’t see how this was indicated. So, thanks for the lesson, Izetti, and thanks too Astartedon.
    1. … Despite my PB, Mrs Random still had the last laugh, as she finished the 15×15 today — for the first time ever.
      Respect (from me)!

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