QC 2075 by Tracy – Goodbye, Everybody, I’ve Got To Go…

This was a very gentle offering from Tracy to whom I give many thanks for making my final blog such a pleasant solve.

FOI was, naturally enough, 7A. Not so naturally, its immediate neighbour 8A was, I think, my LOI. COD I find difficult to choose as usual but I’m going for 9D.

As alluded to above, this is my final outing. Hence my Freddie Mercury act in the heading. Heartfelt thanks to all of you who have read along and commented over the years, I’ve really enjoyed spending time with you. I am not going to single out any special members to thank here as there would be too many. But I do read all the posts quite carefully and rest assured that if you have ever commented on my blog then I have noticed it and I am extremely grateful for your contribution and particularly for all your kind comments when I announced my departure two weeks ago. There are some of you with whom I have also entered into direct PM conversations off the main topic of the blog; you will know who you are and I have particularly enjoyed getting to know you a bit better. I am very honoured to count you all in the community as ‘virtual friends’!

I don’t really want to leave at all. If I could I would happily spend a large part of my life solving puzzles and blogging them, but I am getting to the time of life where my wife is telling me to retire and go round the world with her (although paradoxically I have no intention of retiring and I am also on the threshold of a new business venture so it’ll be interesting to see how all that works out). But either way it means that the blog is rubbing up against real life just a little bit too much for comfort.

Two people I WOULD like to say a special thank you to though from this side of the ropes are John (jackkt) and Jonathan (vinyl1) who have made the whole blogging job as easy as it could possibly be. They run this operation with light and skillful hands making sure that every puzzle on the roster gets blogged when it should be. It must be one of those thankless ‘herding cats’-type jobs but the biggest testament to their skill is surely that we all take it for granted that if there is ever anything we don’t understand about a particular puzzle we can come here and get an authoritative comment from the duty blogger, sometimes assisted by comments from the community.

And of course, after all that, I’m not really going anywhere. I’ll still be looking in and putting in my tuppenceworth from the other side of the ropes.

So, for the last time please note that as usual definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it as simply as I can.

7 Get to a church, after religious education (5)
REACH – RE (religious education) + A + CH (church).
8 Still time for meditation (7)
THOUGHT – THOUGH (still) + T (time).
10 Wild horse has to, followed by trained nag (7)
MUSTANG – MUST (has to) + ANG (anagram (‘trained’) of NAG).
11 Fish, ray, rounding rear of schooner (5)
BREAM – BEAM (ray) ’rounding’ R (rear of schooneR).
12 History surrounding male sanctuary (9)
HERMITAGE – HERITAGE (history) ‘surrounding’ M (male).
14 Pig therefore knew, at the end (3)
SOW – SO (therefore) + W (kneW ‘at the end’).
15 In truth, a yellowish type of fodder (3)
HAY – hidden word: ‘in’ trutH A Yellowish.
16 Reportedly selected Oxford college illustrated (9)
PICTORIAL – PICT + ORIAL (sounds like (‘reportedly’) PICKED (selected) + ORIEL (Oxford college)).
18 Raffle a revolutionary prize (5)
AWARD – DRAW (raffle) + A all reversed (‘revolutionary’).
20 Finding of court going against Italian composer (7)
VERDICT – CT (court) ‘going against’ VERDI (Italian composer).
22 Coach‘s sports shoe (7)
TRAINER – double definition.
23 Follow, hugging right path (5)
TRAIL – TAIL (follow) ‘hugging’ R (right).
1 Truly mixed-up, mother and father (4,3,5)
FROM THE HEART – straight anagram (‘mixed up’) of MOTHER + FATHER. Such a neat anagram that it is probably an old chestnut although I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before.
2 Observer and Times supporting old-fashioned Republican (6-2)
PASSER-BY – BY (times) ‘supporting’ (i.e. ‘underneath’ in this down clue) PASSÉ (old-fashioned) + R (Republican).
3 Flightless bird trapped by Ledger (Heath) (4)
RHEA – hidden word: ‘trapped’ by ledgeR HEAth.
4 Mark of disgrace that’s initially concealed by Greek character (6)
STIGMA – T (That’s ‘initially’) ‘concealed’ by SIGMA (Greek character).
5 Dark dresser, ultimately old hat (8)
SOMBRERO – SOMBRE (dark) + R (dresseR ‘ultimately’) + O (old).
6 Monster therefore keeled over (4)
OGRE – ERGO (therefore) reversed (‘keeled over’)
9 The enemy bound to take its toll? You’ll have to wait and see (4,4,4)
TIME WILL TELL – TIME (‘the old enemy’) + WILL TELL (bound to take its toll).
13 Unwise dropping Roma’s top forward (8)
IMPUDENT – IMPrUDENT (unwise) ‘dropping’ R (Roma’s ‘top’).
14 Curved sword — I’m carried by stupid racist (8)
SCIMITAR – IM (I’m) ‘carried by’ SCITAR (anagram (‘stupid’) of RACIST).
17 Concealed hide close to sett (6)
COVERT – COVER (hide) + T (‘close to’ setT).
19 A young woman has had bottom pinched, sadly (4)
ALAS – A + LASs (a young woman with the last letter, i.e. ‘bottom’ in this down clue, ‘pinched’).
21 Ceremony proper, on the radio (4)
RITE – sounds like (‘on the radio’) RIGHT (proper).

47 comments on “QC 2075 by Tracy – Goodbye, Everybody, I’ve Got To Go…”

  1. Not a regular commenter on the quick, but cheers astartedon and welcome Kitty_404. If you ever need a hand from a relic, I’m around.

    3:50 for this one. Got everything after the second pass through the clues with AWARD the last to fall.

  2. Thank you for your encouragement and clarity up to and including this last (PASSER BY).
    Wishing you success in your new business venture and perhaps, on your travel round the world, to repeat the recommendation my father gave me but never exercised for himself; you should always travel first class, because if you don’t your children will. Stay safe and Good Luck. Richard
  3. I just realized, reading the blog, that I never did parse TIME WILL TELL. I liked PICTORIAL. A rare under-4 time for me, just one second behind George: 3:51.
    Thanks, Don, for all your blogs, good luck with your business plans, and do keep in touch.
  4. I don’t recall any problems. I liked IMPUDENT.

    Thanks for all the blogs, Don. Blogging the quickie well is an on-ramp for beginners to the 15×15 (and puzzles in other papers).

  5. Thanks Don for your excellent blogs and a warm welcome to Kitty. Enjoyed, appropriately, FROM THE HEART.
  6. 9 minutes for this one. I was delayed by the parsing at 9dn where TIME as ‘the enemy’ was obvious to me but I wasn’t so sure how WILL TELL worked.

    I’d like to add my thanks to Don to those above and I have enjoyed our exchanges. All the best for the future.

    P.S. I assist a bit behind the scenes; vinyl1 runs the blog.

    Edited at 2022-02-21 07:51 am (UTC)

  7. 25 minutes from FOI: FROM THE HEART to LOI: ALAS and all parsed along the way.
    Thank you for the blogs, Don.
    Now going out to check to see if my fences are still standing again.
  8. Nice and gentle with just the parsing (post submission) of TIME WILL TELL putting up any resistance. Finished in 5.42 with LOL AWARD and COD going to IMPUDENT.
    Thanks to astartedon and best of luck with your future ventures – whether travelling the world or with your new business.
  9. A gentle offering today which I began with RHEA and finished with STIGMA. 6:24. Thanks Tracy and Don. Thanks for the blogs Don, and best of luck with your new ventures.
  10. Best wishes for a future that will never be clueless! I have genuinely enjoyed your blogs and interaction. We’ll see you back here as a blogger, no doubt.
    Today’s was a gentle Monday offering that I took at a leisurely pace but still managed to be half a minute under target. I must say that I biffed a few with parsing following on.
    I liked FROM THE HEART, PASSER-BY, SCIMITAR. I always see MUSTANG as the car not the horse.
    Thanks to Tracy and Don. John M.

    Edited at 2022-02-21 10:21 am (UTC)

  11. 33:41 for my fastest time since written records began at beginning of Feb and third fastest overall.

    Noting that it’s now 7 of the last 8 QCs completed with three on the trot after a long run of NECs (Not Even Close).

    Had ERGO instead of OGRE momentarily and found myself thinking THOUGHT would BIF in there if only I had a G …


    Some BIFD towards the end with HERMITAGE, PASSERBY, SOMBRERO, IMPUDENT as the crossers left obvious answers. Couldn’t parse RITE or TIME WILL TELL earlier.

    Don – I haven’t been around long enough to get used to the bloggers but thank-you for today’s (and any previous I’ve read). It’s a great help to people like me.

    Edited at 2022-02-21 09:39 am (UTC)

  12. Thanks Don for all the blogs. Enjoy the round the world trip and good luck with the new business venture. As you said, a gentle offering from the dependable Tracy today and I rattled through this held up only by putting SOW in the place for 15A. Nothing noted on the copy. By the way, today’s 15×15 is bordering on the “Very Easy” classification on the SNITCH, so other QCers might enjoy giving it a go. 3:28 for this in possibly my fastest total of 15:00 for Concise, Quick and 15×15 combined.

    Edited at 2022-02-21 09:54 am (UTC)

  13. Once again, thanks to Don for his helpful and informative blogs. People who are fairly new to this over the last few years (ie. me) have benefitted greatly from a patient approach, especially when asking the more obvious questions.

    Overall, I completed this in 24 mins which felt longer than it should have been. I also never parsed 9dn, and I’ll admit it’s the first time I’ve seen time = the “old enemy” in a crossword. Only other stumbling block was rashly putting in Vivaldi for 20ac without any other checkers.

    FOI — 7ac “Reach”
    LOI — 13dn “Impudent”
    COD — 2dn “Passer By”, although 19dn was a close second.

    Thanks as usual!

  14. Thank you for all the blogs, Don, and best wishes with your new ventures.

    Twelve and a half minutes, DNF, could not see passer-by. Otherwise all done and parsed. Thanks, Tracy.

  15. Best of luck with your new venture Don. Hopefully it will allow you some precious minutes to join us as a commenter.

    As to the QC, this was a quick solve. FOI FROM THE HEART and LOsI the crossing PICTORIAL and IMPUDENT. I biffed TIME WILL TELL and romped home in 6:16.

  16. Today’s must have been a relatively straightforward QC as I finished without needing aids. Couldn’t parse 2d or 9d and still not sure about 9d. Seems unsatisfactory to me, I’m afraid. Did like the surface of 13d, didn’t know it was a chestnut.

    I’ll add my best wishes and thanks for the blog, Don.

    My paper is now arriving early again (around 6:30am), after a very erratic spell when it could be anytime up to late AM or early PM, so I can get to the QC over breakfast.

  17. 9 minutes on paper. LOI HERMITAGE. No problems today; lots of pleasing clues. COD to ALAS.
    Thanks Don and good luck in the future.
  18. ….but the ease of solving didn’t detract from some lovely clueing.

    Every good wish to Don, and many thanks for his gentlemanly approach to the blogger’s task. You’ll be missed, but I can assure everybody that Kitty, who I had the pleasure of meeting at last year’s “Sloggers & Betters” event in York, will prove a very adequate replacement.

    TIME 3:14

  19. Almost sneaked in with a Tracy sub-20, but delays trying (and failing) to parse Time Will Tell 😕 and with my last pair, Award/Impudent, eased me to a 21min window seat. Lots to enjoy, but my CoD vote goes to 20ac Verdict for the smooth surface. Invariant

    My thanks and best wishes to Don for the future.

  20. A gentle start to the week as others have commented. I finished in 11 mins, although several were not parsed. Thanks to Don for the explanations on those and also in his previous blogs since I started posting on this site – much appreciated.

    FOI – 7ac REACH
    LOI – 5dn SOMBRERO
    COD – a toss-up today between 16ac PICTORIAL and 19dn ALAS.

  21. Thanks Don and all the best in whatever you do.

    Pretty straightforward today, although IMPUDENT needed thinking about.

  22. Thanks and bonne chance Don, sorry to see you leave.

    I must be alone in finding this one less than gentle, taking 3 minutes over target, at 18 minutes, with most of my problems in the SW. AWARD, IMPUDENT and ALAS were last ones in, but I was generally slow throughout. No complaints, it was a good puzzle. Now off to look at the biggie!

  23. Many thanks to Don for the cruciverbal toil over the years, and for easing newbies like me into the sport. Seems fitting that today’s puzzle should offer a PB! 4:40 after about 4 years since the first all-green QC, mostly thanks to the excellent bloggers here.
  24. The Don’s exit is almost as momentous as the curtain closing on the Mongol leader (12:27). Many thanks for great blogs, insight & humour. Welcome kitty, the Jumbo Blog is a tough proving ground: the ratio of comments per clue is much better here.

    No real trouble with today’s puzzle. COD FROM THE HEART, even if it’s been seen before it’s a great clue.

  25. Despite not getting 1d straight away, Mrs Random romped through Tracy’s offering in 11 minutes, thereby equalling her PB. She said she found nothing troublesome and couldn’t understand why I needed two sittings to reach the finish.

    As for me, it seems that my experience was dissimilar to most of the commentaters above. I took 32 minutes in total, but I paused after 30 minutes with three clues to solve (PICTORIAL, IMPUDENT and SCIMITAR). I had spent a clueless five minutes staring at them and decided to re-charge my brain by reading the sports pages for a while. This worked a treat as, upon my return, all three clues fell in just two minutes.

    Many thanks to astartedon, both for today’s blog and for all of the others I have had the pleasure to read and learn from. All the best for your future plans.

    Many thanks also to Tracy for an entertaining, if slightly frustrating puzzle.

  26. 10 minutes on this one today, with only 9d taking its – well time! And although I understand Don’s parsing, I still think the cluing is rather woolly. But otherwise, no major problems.
    FOI Reach
    LOI Sombrero
    COD and AOD From the heart
    Many thanks to Don for all the blogs – I hope we’ll still see you as a poster from time to time, and thanks too to Tracy.

    No fences down here, but one and a half ridge tiles have been blown off the roof. Bizarrely, the other half is still in place, but at an extraordinary 90 degree angle – I’m sure it’ll only take one more blast and that will come tumbling down too 😨

  27. Thanks for all your help in our hours of need, Don.
    Easier puzzle today. Liked many, inc MUSTANG, ALAS, OGRE, RHEA.
    Tree down, elec down , broadband still down here.
    1. Thanks very much for all the blogging, Don, and enjoy the next chapter!

      So close to a very rare (for me) sub 5 but alas two clues resisted. A generous but fun puzzle.

      FOI & COD FROM THE HEART, LOIs IMPUDENT/AWARD, time 05:06 for a So-Near-And-Yet-So-Far Day.

      Many thanks Don (for the last time) and Tracy.


  28. Many thanks for all the blogs astartedon!

    Opposite end of wavelength from everyone else.

    The left hand side just would not come.


  29. … but I wonder if I was totally alone in initially thinking it was by Oink. I did it on my phone, where the setter is for some reason not identified, and when 14A Sow dropped into place I said to myself “Aha, the Oink trademark”. Some very good clues, especially 1D From the heart which opened the grid very nicely and led to an 8 minute solve.

    Don, your blogs have always been extremely helpful and very much appreciated, and today’s is no exception. I only started these QCs less than 2 years ago and it is due to the efforts of you and your colleagues that I now finish so many and enjoy them so much. Thank you very much and a happy retirement to you — but be warned, retirement these days is not so much a chance to do nothing, but a chance to do something else. Or more usually, many things else! I predict you will not after all have as much free time on your hands as you think you will …


  30. First of all, Don – a big thank you for all your patient work! As someone who has retired twice, I can fully understand the dilemma on what could be next. For me, each retirement has brought an even busier day… I hope whatever choice you make works out well.

    An unusually early solve for me.

    Didn’t find this too difficult with 14 going in on first pass. Parsing 9d was too hard but the blog makes it look easy. FOI 7a reach. LOI 2d Passer-by – BIFD but now I see the solution in Don’s blog. COD 1d from the heart as a good anagram.

  31. Thanks Don, like many of the people here we have become confident (if not quick!) QCers through the help of you and all the other bloggers. Good luck for future, and if you think you are short of time now, just wait until you are retired to see what busy is like!
    13 minutes today is certainly one of our best (possibly actual best) times, so we will remember your last blog.
  32. Well done astartedon – and welcome to Kitty_404.

    30 seconds within 10 minute target with some smiles when parsing biffs along the way.
    LOI FROM THE HEART with what I thought a quite well hidden anagrind.

  33. Cantered through this one this morning, finishing in just over 1 Merlin in 12:39 for my joint 8th fastest ever solve. To celebrate, I thought I’d have a go of the 15×15 and, whilst it was certainly more difficult than the average QC, it is doable if anyone is trying to step up. I completed in 73:45. Anyway, thanks to Tracy, and best wishes to Astartedon.
  34. About 10 mins held up by impudent and award.
    COD From the heart.

    Thanks and good luck astartedon.
    I think i would take up the travelling offer!

  35. Shame we failed by one clue on Don’s last blog.
    Many thank Sir for all your work and help since starting the QC
  36. Don,

    As a relative newbie, can I echo the comments made earlier by others who are new to this — your blogs have made the unfathomable clear, and I will miss them.

    My very best wishes for the future.


  37. Thanks for the blogging. These solutions really are a godsend for the relatively weaker solvers such as myself. Todays was a very easy puzzle but it still takes me 3 times as long as the experts. Good luck.
  38. Normally I save up the Quickies to do in clusters later in the week, but did this one this evening because I wanted to drop in to the blog. (I’m here rather later than intended because I have just watched Bohemian Rhapsody – so your blog title sounded clear and musically in my ears!)

    I suppose I’ll have to get used to giving solving times, and today’s isn’t one I mind starting with at 4:29. Sub 5’s are relatively rare for me. Enjoyed the solve, no niggles, a few smiles, so a pretty perfect QC in my book.

    Anyway, I have been lurking on these pages and know just what a great job you have done, Don. You will be a hard act to follow! I hope it won’t feel too wrong commenting below the line on alternate Mondays and we continue to see plenty of you.

    Edited at 2022-02-21 11:42 pm (UTC)

  39. Ive been doing the Monday QC once a week for a while. I wait until the following Friday and chew over the clues during the weekend, usually getting half the answers!
    I do appreciate the clear explanations given in the blog. I then put in the across answers I’ve missed and continue solving!
    Thank you so much for your explanations. I’m improving slowly and ploughing through ” impossible”(to start with) puzzles and filling in some answers.
    I couldn’t have done this, or gained such enjoyment, without the blogs. Many thanks. Margaret

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