Quick Cryptic 2274 by Jalna

This was an interesting mix of the gentle and the chewy. Lots of write-ins, but a few that it took me a lot longer to see. A slower-than-par 8½ minutes, with a good two minutes spent on the last two, 15dn and 18ac.

1 Curry gets cold, very cold (6)
BALTIC – BALTI (curry) + C
5 Abandon attempt after warning cry (6)
FOREGO – FORE (warning on golf course) + GO (try)
8 Drop liquid on middle of massive dish (8)
SPLATTER – the middle of ‘massive’ is S + PLATTER
9 Flooring somewhat useful in outhouses (4)
LINO – hidden word: usefuL IN Outhouses
10 Adolescent requiring support with last bit of revision (4)
TEEN – TEE (support) + N
11 Tenner stupidly invested in IT and computer network (8)
INTERNET – anagram (‘stupidly’) of TENNER  put inside IT
12 A dreadful barber’s not in agreement (2,4)
AT ODDS – A TODD’S as in Sweeney Todd
14 When transgression overwhelms key delegate (6)
ASSIGN – AS (when) + SIN (transgression), outside the key of G
16 Heaven is going into lots of shops (8)
PARADISE – PARADE (of shops) with IS inside
18 Energy contained in the majority of rich food (4)
FUEL -E for energy inside most of FUL[L] meaning rich. This was my last one in, and I still can’t help wondering if the definition is actually ‘energy’ and some other wordplay, but I can’t see it.
20 Father beginning to seethe with anger (4)
SIRE – S for seethe + IRE
21 Strong, lithe cat jumping about (8)
ATHLETIC – anagram (‘jumping about’) of LITHE CAT
23 Courage shown by copper, perhaps, according to report (6)
METTLE – sounds like METAL
24 Vegetable dish with occasional chunks of ham, too (6)
POTATO – POT plus alternate letters of hAm ToO
2 A very soft, extremely large type of fruit (5)
3 Worked out tons, then showered (7)
4 Piece of lettuce put over piece of meat? (3)
CUT – Lettuce contains TUC, which inverted (put over) is CUT
5 Excellent tart cooked with fries (5-4)
FIRST-RATE – anagram (‘cooked’) of TART + FRIES
6 One who regrets taking in Liberal leader (5)
RULER – RUER with the insertion of L, being an abbreviation of liberal, unless it’s L the first letter (‘leader’) of liberal, in which case ‘leader’ is doing what we call double duty, as both clue and definition.
7 Medicinal root in spirits (English) (7)
11 Start eating, it’s falling apart! (9)
INSTIGATE – anagram (‘falling apart’) of EATING ITS
13 Odd characters from the day trip meet when drinks are served (7)
TEATIME – alternate letters of ThE dAy TrIp MeEt. Well played, sir.
15 Least hard questions at the end of exam (7)
SOFTEST – S (last letter of questions) + OF + TEST. I biffed this then deleted it as I couldn’t parse it at first, the source of the confusion being that both ‘questions’ and ‘exam’ can mean ‘test’. Barking up the wrong tree again.
17 Accomplished head of admin department (5)
19 Be dangerous, ultimately blocking the way out (5)
EXIST – S inside EXIT
22 Trendy hotel — one with parking (3)
HIP – H + I + P

46 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2274 by Jalna”

  1. 12 minutes. I wasn’t completely sure of FUEL or its parsing but it was all I could think of.

    On RULER, I parsed is as in your first reading, with L standing for Liberal as that’s the abbreviation traditionally used in election reports – Labour being ‘Lab’. I assume they’re ‘LibDem’ now.

    I wasn’t aware of losing time over anything in particular but I missed my target so I guess my brain was going a bit slower than usual.

  2. FUEL was my LOI, too; I can’t see any other reading than Curarist’s. I wondered, retrospectively, about ‘abandon’ as the definition of FOR(E)GO; for me it means ‘do without’. But Collins gives both definitions. I didn’t care for ‘network’ being in the definition of INTERNET. 6:21.

    1. I’m sure there is probably a technical reason, by why didn’t you care for “network” being in the definition of Internet? I would have thought it was very much a network, albeit a mish mash of different systems etc.

      1. Nothing technical, simply that the ‘net’ of ‘internet’ is the ‘net’ of ‘network’, and the same word shouldn’t be in both clue and solution.

  3. Wow, messed up big time here.

    I had LOOS for “Flooring somewhat useful in outhouses”, with LOO for “fLOOring somewhat”, and loos=outhouses.

    RICE for “Energy contained in the majority of rich food”, with RIC for “majority of rich”

    EASIEST for SOFTEST for “Least hard questions”. How I didn’t see TEST for either “exam” or “questions” remains a mystery.

    Really not sure that the BALTIC is “very cold”, the Germans and Poles have many beach resorts there. I though ARCTI was more likely as an unknown Indian dish.

    Stuck on MALL for “lots of shops”, TRY for “attempt”.

    Ok that’s enough of my errors.


  4. I thought of RICE first, but the E isn’t contained. Collins sv ‘Baltic’ gives ‘3. British informal: extremely cold’ .

  5. Held up in the SE with FUEL needing two alphabet trawls – I always forget to not speed up at the end so didn’t really consider FU on the first run through. SOFTEST was reversed engineered at length. All green in 18. Took a long time to separate vegetable from dish on the way to POTATO. Good one!

  6. I found this tricky. Trying to solve it after Thanksgiving dinner might not have been the ideal strategy for a fast time. I ended up well into the SCC.

    LOI: FUEL (still not convinced that I understand this one)

  7. 11:08 with FUEL LOI and the first 3 letters of SOFTEST unparsed – thanks for clearing it up Curarist.

    I enjoyed SPLATTER and AT ODDS.

    Thank you Jalna

  8. Took forever to get FUEL and even then was not convinced there wasn’t some other word I’d not thought of. FULL for rich and FUEL for food are both a stretch IMHO. Otherwise, not too hard.

    1. Just for the record. 20A is Fire, first in Father, not (S)eethe. I assume everyone saw this.
      COD At Odds.
      Thanks Jalna and Curarist

  9. Started quickly filling in all until the SE corner slowed me up.
    LOI: FUEL with a shrug and hope after lots of deliberation pushing my time to 30 minutes.

  10. Sometimes the shortest clues seem to cause the most difficulty and I spent a fair time on FUEL, and wasn’t completely happy with the answer. SOFTEST slowed me down, not because I didn’t think of the answer, but because I had trouble parsing it. My LOI was CUT, which reinforces my point about short clues. Eventually crossed the line in 11.33, so another missed target.

  11. A grim double target time, most on SOFTEST (I’d biffed EASIEST), ASSIGN, and then LOI FUEL, where I resorted to an alphabet trawl. Still wasn’t sure about FUEL, so thanks Curarist – your parsing seems most likely.



  12. Taken well into the SCC after a quickish start. I took ages over FUEL, which I got and parsed, but didn’t like. My LOI was PARADISE which only fell when ADEPT finally fell. Final time 25 minutes, which is about as slow as I get for the QC. Jalna beat me, thanks both!

  13. All except FUEL done in about 16 mins. The rest of the time (8 mins) spent trying to find and then justify fuel. Still not convinced even though that’s what went in. Enjoyed AT ODDS.

  14. Like others, I wasn’t convinced by FUEL, but couldn’t think of an alternative. Relieved to find it was correct. BALTIC was FOI and METTLE was LOI. 7:27. Thanks Jalna and Curarist.

  15. I share many of the doubts and experiences listed in the posts above. Most of this went in quite quickly but I took a while to see AT ODDS (great clue) and BALTIC. Only then did the penny drop with TRAINED – I was fixated with ‘worked’ and initially just saw ‘out’ as an anagram hint. I thought INSTIGATE was neat and (like rotter) only when I also got ADEPT did PARADISE emerge.
    Like others, I came to grief when I biffed Easiest for 15d. I finally realised that ASSIGN was the only possibility for 14a and this opened up SOFTEST but I didn’t parse it. Uncertainly, I biffed FUEL but I think it is a poor clue and a disappointing end to a puzzle that had many good clues including some quite chewy ones.
    Ah well, my late hopping around took me into the SCC by a couple of minutes.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  16. You’ll hear no laughable excuses from me. This one was tough. I did need aids for 8a and 5d. Took me a long time but got there in the end.

  17. FOI APPLE, COD AT ODDS, L2i SOFTEST then FUEL with the same qualms over wordplay etc as our blogger. Some easy clues, several humorous but above average difficulty and very satisfying to have completed. Thanks Jalna and Curarist.

  18. Very relieved not to see a pink square after sticking in FUEL on the basis that it fitted, it meant both “energy” and “food”, and it had an E in it in case energy wasn’t the definition! Thanks for the parsing.

    Slowed myself down a bit by biffing “easiest”, like Hopkin, but then realised it had to end TEST and sorted it out. COD POTATO, lovely clue. All done in 09:53 for 1.5K and a Reasonable Day.

    Many thanks Curarist and Jalna.


    PS did anyone else struggle to remember how to spell GINSENG? I must have tried three or four variants before one “looked right”!

  19. Very quick and no delays until getting to LOI FUEL. 9 minutes in the end.
    I nearly settled for FEED to get a fast time but it clearly didn’t work.
    I have no problems with FUEL = FOOD. I got there via Full for Rich.
    COD to CUT.

  20. I wasn’t surprised by any of the above comments, given my own struggles with the Assign/Softest/Fuel cluster. Softest was the hardest from the parsing point of view, and I bailed out to preserve a sub-20, so thanks for the explanation Curarist. That SE corner was quite a shock after strolling through the top half of grid. CoD to 16ac, Paradise. Invariant

  21. DNF, largely due to brain not working because of a heavy cold today. Some very good clues and some very debateable ones I thought – Teatime was one I did not fill in as I was beaten there by a very good clue, and I did not see Full = Rich (I might have persevered a bit more with a letter search if it was the LOI). OTOH I think cluing Department as Dept in Adept is pretty weak, and not sure Athletic means strong, either. But basically, defeated by (a) illness and (b) Jalna, probably in that order.

    Many thanks to Curarist for the blog

  22. 7.04

    FUEL yielded to a fairly quick (for a change) alpha search at the end so squeaked in with a decent time.

    Thought there were a number of neat clues and pleasing surfaces – TEEN POTATO AT ODDS TEATIME and SOFTEST.

    Thanks Jalna and Curarist

  23. Overall I thought this was rather unsatisfactory. Missed my target due to spending the best part of 2 minutes alpha-trawling my LOI (which I parsed exactly as did Curarist).

    COD PARADISE (I was tinkering a while with variants of ARCADIA)
    TIME 5:21

  24. 20:18. Seemed to take me a good piece of thought for a lot of these but got through eventually. Same problems fully breaking down parsing as blogger on FUEL and SOFTEST. Although I’m a big curry aficionado I only learned about BALTI doing these puzzles!

  25. Unlike most no issue with FUEL. One of my coaches always referred to food as “fuel for the fire”. However, LOI was BALTIC … NHO of this use. “British Informal” so I’ll forgive myself 🙂

    Thanks Jalna and Curatist

  26. 27 mins…

    Took quite a while this – wasn’t sure if I was being distracted by listening to the final moments of the Wales game or if it was chewier than I initially thought. There definitely seemed to be some mischievous distraction going on in a few of the clues.

    I didn’t have an issue with 18ac “Fuel” – in fact I really liked it – I thought food = fuel was a generally accepted synonym. I did find 12ac “At Odds” a little clunky though.

    FOI – 1ac “Baltic”
    LOI – 7dn “Ginseng”
    COD – 18ac “Fuel”

    Thanks as usual!

  27. Decidedly chewy in places but very satisfying to finish. Deep into SCC territory after yesterday’s brief escape.
    FUEL was my LOI and I probably wasted 5 mins agonising over this (thought about putting in FEED).

    Thanks to Jalna for a tough Friday workout and to Curarist for another excellent blog.

    I hope everyone has a good weekend.

  28. 9.04, so much more satisfying than the end of the Wales game. FUEL was my LOI, and I am not convinced that full=rich. I originally had EASIEST for 15d, and was then wondering whether SUET would fit 18ac.

  29. I started quite well and sped along nicely until the 20 minute mark, when I had only four clues to solve (or so I thought). It then took me several minutes to find EXIST and to realise that ‘rice’ was not the answer to 18a. Around ten more minutes passed before I found FUEL and SOFTEST. But the longest stint was spent on GINSENG (I couldn’t get ‘ginger’ out of my head) and ASSIGN (my LOI). Total time in the end was 56 minutes – glacially slow compared to many of you, but I did parse every clue in full.

    Many thanks to Jalna and Curarist.

  30. Jalna is a setter who, when I see their name above the grid I expect to be at the coalface for a while. Usually take over 40 mins and closer to the hour.

    Today was therefore something of a pleasure to be all done in 22-mins! As per others, the SE corner held out with a few other difficulties scattered around. Pleased with that.

  31. Yup, FUEL was very disappointing. If there’s doubt or confusion about the parsing even after the answer is known, a red light flashes. Flash.

    Shame, really, as the rest of the puzzle was pretty nice.

  32. For the second day running I sped through this until brought up short by the last few clues, this time (in common with most others) in the SE corner. I was missing only 14ac, 15dn and 19dn after 8 minutes. I then puzzled over these until deciding that RICE at 18ac was wrong. I hadn’t been too happy with it when I entered it as the e for energy was not actually contained, although the remainder of the clue parsed perfectly. Removing RICE led me immediately to 19dn and I had hopes of polishing off the remainder in short order. Alas it was not to be. I was certain 15dn had to be either EASIEST or SOFTEST but couldn’t parse either of them. Didn’t see full for rich (not a synonym imo) and for some reason couldn’t get anywhere at all with 14ac. Not my greatest day.

    FOI – 9ac LINO
    LOI – DNF
    COD – 12ac AT ODDS

    1. I suppose you could say to have lived a full life would be the same as having lived a rich life.

  33. A patchy start but gathered pace until trying to finalise the SE. The same problems as widely reported here. Not helped by being of a slow brain this afternoon eg wanting 5a to end in ‘try’/immediately thinking of Sweeney Todd but not seeing how to make that work until I had the T/seeing ‘metal’ but taking too long to see ‘mettle’/being fixated with ‘paella’ rather than ‘potato’ for far too long and for no good reason either… Anyway, got there in the end! Grateful for the parsing from Curarist
    FOI 9a Lino
    LOI 18a Fuel
    COD 19d Exist
    A rest now until Monday! Thx to Jalna too.

  34. Sorry all, still don’t understand FUEL and how it was appropriate for a QC. And so many comments about that clue!

    1. If you are happy with Full being synonymous with Rich, then the majority means you can only drop either the first or last letter in a four letter word (Full) to leave three letters – the majority. In this case it’s the final ‘l’ (you are not allowed to delete intermediate letters in an unseen word, without a far more specific instruction, so it is the final ‘l’ that goes, not the previous one 😉) E for energy is fairly standard, so Ful has to contain ‘e’ to make a food. Feul is rubbish, but Fuel/Food works pretty well as in ‘food is fuel for the body’ Hope that helps, but yes, it was definitely a poor clue.

  35. Found this fairly straightforward and finished in just over 15mins – very pleased with that. FUEL, CUT and SOFTEST weren’t parsed (many thanks for explanations). Took a while to see TRAINED – thought showered was definition. Liked AT ODDS best. Many thanks Jalna.

  36. I aas happy with Full and rich – full choke gives a rich mixture for example. However my tale of woe was elsewhere with CHILLY the obvious 1ac to me. Never recovered.

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