Quick Cryptic 2104 by Oink

Nice and straightforward, though for some reason  I couldn’t see 2dn for ages. I was on the lookout for some April-fool-type shenanigans but I can’t see any. 8 minutes for me.

3 A dish — such as curry? (3,5)
HOT STUFF – double definition
7 Snooty Isabella did appear in part (2-2-2)
LA-DI-DA – hidden word: isabelLA DID Appear
8 Safe place for Hardy heroine to cross river (8)
FORTRESS – FOR + TESS with R for river inside.
9 Reportedly gave birth to a wild creature (4)
BOAR – Sounds like ‘bore’
10 A case of champagne? Great! (3)
ACE – A + CE (first & last letters, i.e. ‘case’ of ‘champagne’)
11 Doled out by Royal Engineers, or kept back? (8)
13 Long to finish early in 2022 perhaps (4)
15 Depict duke fighting back (4)
DRAW – D + WAR backwards
17 Ron returning with girl to identify place of D-Day landings (8)
NORMANDY – RON backwards + MANDY
19 What about grabbing old garden tool? (3)
HOE – EH backwards with O inside
22 Excite female anger (4)
23 Nervously edge near deserter (8)
RENEGADE – anagram (‘nervously’) of EDGE NEAR
24 In recession, LA rents rise rapidly (6)
SPIRAL – LA RIPS backwards
25 Clear company man getting monthly payment (8)
1 Boat sure to be wrecked — by this person? (8)
SABOTEUR – anagram (‘wrecked’) of BOAT SURE
2 Spike article about king (6)
PIERCE – PIECE with R inside
3 Handle force in Panama perhaps (4)
HAFT – F inside HAT
4 Idiotic order to a chap facing bull (8)
TOREADOR – anagram (‘idiotic’) of ORDER TO A
5 Christmas lunch? It didn’t go down too well (6)
TURKEY – double definition
6 Join American in Florence on vacation (4)
FUSE – US inside FE, which is what you get if you ‘vacate’ Florence
12 Honour half-cut Venetian judge (8)
14 Councillor stupidly alarmed? Not at first (8)
ALDERMAN – anagram (‘stupidly’) of ALARMED + N
16 Cunning scheme making you gasp (6)
WHEEZE – double definition
18 Business with a blonde, we hear (6)
AFFAIR – sounds like A FAIR
20 Exercises, so ready for trip to Cuba? (4)
PESO – PE + SO. ‘Ready’ always means money in crosswordland
21 Fly around Pole? That’s a joke (4)
JEST – JET around S

27 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2104 by Oink”

  1. 22 minutes.
    FOI: HOT STUFF it just jumped out at first glance.
    All parsed other than FORTRESS which I BIFD as I didn’t know the Hardy heroine.
    COD: I had COHERENT marked but once the penny dropped on 20dn PESO it has to be that. Simple once seen but it had me puzzled for a while.
  2. I also had trouble with PIERCE (LOI). Also with VENERATE: I was looking for DOGE somehow. EH=what (Eh?) has become quite popular in the 15x15s, but I think it’s the first time–and backwards, yet–in a QC. Of course HOE is pretty much inevitable. 7:16.
  3. Really struggled with this for some reason — even the gentler ones like JEST and ALDERMAN. If I’d known it was Oink (whom I normally do well with) BOAR might have jumped out quicker

    And I’d had a coffee!

    No complaints though — nice puzzle as always from this Setter

    Thanks Oink and Curarist

  4. Nice to see Oink back as he always produces quality puzzles and this was no exception. Took a little time to get going but once I’d tuned in I had no major issues until LOI PIERCE, which required an alphabet trawl.
    Finished in 9.37 with my COD going to HOT STUFF.
    Thanks to curarist
  5. 4:34 but a delay over JEST, which I just couldn’t see until 75% of the word was resolved by checkers.

    Thanks Oink and Curarist.

  6. Raced through all but 6 clues then ground to a halt and really struggled to complete with 2 and 11 as my last ones in. 20 minutes.

    BOAR is our customary piggy reference from this setter who has been absent for a little over 6 weeks.

    1. I was thinking we had not seen our porcine friend for a while. It’s good to have him back!


  7. Twenty-two minutes. FOI Bear, not noticing a past tense was required. Saboteur put it right. Thirteen on first pass, then slowed down, but steadily adding here and there. LOI pierce. Did not see the Panama hat, so biffed. There aren’t too many words that begin haf and mean handle. Lots of nice clues, can’t pick one out. Thanks, Curarist, and Oink.
  8. Most of this went in steadily, answers appearing as I got the checkers. Wasn’t too sure about HAFT, not a word I recall using. Wanted it to be HEFT but I knew that the clue was clear.
    Ground to a halt at the bottom. Wasn’t sure about HOE as I couldn’t parse it. Finally deciding that HE=what, missing the ‘about’ indicator. LOI was 20d. Didn’t know that READY=cash in crossword land. Must try to remember.
  9. All green in 16. Held up at the end by RESERVED, I think just put off by the fact the received would fit. Also fixated on Nancy Drew as Hardy heroine — oh dear. NHO haft but had to be once all the checkers were in.
  10. for me. I was looking for a pangram, but it looks a couple of letters short.

    LOI PIERCE with all the checkers, it just popped out at me.

    COHERENT or PESO were my favourites.


  11. 10 minutes for me today.
    HAFT a word I barely knew; perhaps in a puzzle recently?
    A fun puzzle at the right level for a QC I thought. COD to SABOTEUR. Other candidates too.
  12. An initial HOT PLATE didn’t help but TURKEY saw to that. I’m another who took a while to see PIERCE and JEST. I liked SABOTEUR best. 5:22
  13. HOT SUFF was my FOI. PIERCE also took me an age to see and was my LOI. Otherwise a a steady solve. 8:17. Thanks Oink and Curarist.
  14. In relative terms, I raced through this in 11 minutes (relative to my own times over the last two weeks, and Jackkt’s surprising time today — he is usually 5 or more minutes faster than me!). My LOI was SPIRAL — I don’t remember being held up by PIERCE, which looks like a stumbling block for others. I didn’t spot the HE reversal, just went with what it had to be. Thanks both.
  15. Like many others I struggled to get PIERCE (and LA DI DA). SPIRAL took a while, too.
  16. I find Oink on the more tricky side these days, so was fairly pleased to come in at 22 mins.

    I also struggled with 2dn “Pierce” — trying to fit a grammatical article in somewhere rather than the more obvious one. I’m presuming “a dish” for 3ac refers to someone who’s attractive.

    All the rest went in fairly steadily.

    FOI — 5dn “Turkey”
    LOI — 3ac “Hot Stuff”
    COD — 25ac “Coherent”

    Thanks as usual!

  17. Was rolling along slowly but steadily thinking I could finish under the half hour but because I mistakenly had bore and la-de -da I was held up seven or so minutes before they were corrected and pierce became evident. Thanks to setter and blogger for a fun outing!
  18. … after a couple of exasperating DNFs. I finished in 30 minutes, which is good for me, albeit well into the SCC.

    A strange start, as I couldn’t crack any of the first six acrosses or first four down clues. I have learned not to panic in these circumstances though, and the next five acrosses (from DRAW to RENEGADE) and two downs (TURKEY and FUSE) all went in quickly. I then built back up and to the left towards the NW corner, which was conspicuously blank for much of the time.

    Eventually, HAFT went in with no checkers, LA-DI-DA followed (a great hidden) and I was able to fill in the gaps from there. BOAR only came to mind when I remembered who the setter was, otherwise it may have ended in tears.

    Many thanks to Oink and curarist.

    P.S. Mrs Random is visiting her parents again today, so she will probably catch up over the weekend.

  19. Couldn’t get PIERCE, RESERVING, AFFAIR, PESO and had AwE for ACE (as couldn’t be bothered with alphabet trawl with so many left).

    PESO Had forgotten ready = money from a crossie a couple of months ago. Couldn’t think of anything Cuba beyond Havana, Castro, Cuba Gooding Jnr, Sugar and Ice Cuba – says it all.

    FOI HOT-PLATE except it wasn’t. So had to make do with FORTRESS instead.
    COD maybe FUSE

    A good first 15-mins but overall a sad end reflecting a sad start to the week bookending three great sub-30s DNF where I was banging along.

  20. Given others’ comments, I’m very happy with my 16:12. LOI was PIERCE for me too, but it didn’t take too much extra time to think of the alternative (and more commonly used for me in the real world) meaning of article. Liked PESO but COD to the excellent hidden LA-DI-DA. Thanks Oink and Curarist.
  21. Really not on Oink’s wavelength
    Couldn’t parse HOE or ACE
    Duke = D. Yes forgot that.
    Should have finished but didn’t really flow.
  22. Really not on Oink’s wavelength
    Couldn’t parse HOE or ACE
    Duke = D. Yes forgot that.
    Should have finished but didn’t really flow.

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