Quick Cryptic 2314 by Kenny

No sign of the King so far. This was enjoyable and fairly straightforward, talking me a slightly over par 8-ish minutes. We also appear to have a football-themed Nina. I have spotted one hidden name, but since I know slightly less than sod all about football, there may be more that I have missed. COD 1 dn for me.

1 In a number of sections, awful uproar in FT (4-4)
FOUR-PART – anagram ‘awful’ of UPROAR placed inside FT
5 Delayed returning: also others (2,2)
ET AL – LATE backwards
9 What can add flavour to drink and sandwiches I observe (7)
ANISEED – AND is placed outside of (i.e. ‘sandwiches’) I SEE. Good example of Curarist’s first law – innocent-looking nouns are often verbs in disguise, and vice versa.
10 Live in Her Majesty’s female quarters (5)
HAREM – ARE (live) inside HM. Interestingly passed-over opportunity to use ‘His Majesty’.
11 Gives up fun (5)
KICKS – double definition
13 Article in Ireland abridged: any one of two? (6)
EITHER – THE inside EIR[E]
15 One demonstrating a bathroom fixture? (6)
SHOWER – double definition
17 Snooker player on break, maybe one making 26? (6)
POTTER – the dreaded cross-reference clue, which I know many of you find irksome. Double definition between this clue and the solution to 26 ac
19 Other people finally moving hither (6)
HERETO – anagram ‘moving’ of  OTHER + E (last letter of PEOPLE)
20 Fuse taken out of transformer gently (5)
MERGE – hidden word: transforMER GEntly
22 One class is angry (5)
IRATE – I + RATE. Class as in verb
23 Dispute with jailbird before trial (7)
25 Minute steak’s last for several days! (4)
WEEK – WEE (minute) + K
26 Music fan visiting outskirts of city in China? (8)
CROCKERY – ROCKER inside CY (outer letters of CITY)
1 Most outspoken diarist is French (8)
FRANKEST – FRANK (as in Anne) + EST (‘is’ in French)
2 College in Vilnius periodically recalled (3)
UNI – Backwards alternate letters of vIlNiUs
3 Remove creases from papers (5)
PRESS – double definition
4 Bloke, Pole, Reg upset (6)
RODGER – ROD + anagram ‘upset’ of REG
6 To Rex, trusted adviser is a bully (9)
7 Strike a light! (4)
LAMP – double definition, the first meaning to thump someone
8 Slum area’s hospital within reach (6)
GHETTO – H inside GET TO
12 Play ball, throwing a rope, etc, around ring (9)
COOPERATE – anagram ‘throwing’ of A ROPE ETC + O (ring)
14 Enthusiastically, dip tucked into early, but not starter (8)
16 Prime clientele vendor keeps hold of (6)
ELEVEN – hidden word: clientELE VENdor. Eleven being a prime number of course.
18 Striker we hear needed for football (6)
SOCCER – sounds like SOCKER
20 On reflection, being at home wearing raincoat is obsessive! (5)
MANIC – IN backwards inside MAC
21 Struggle with wife’s opinion (4)
24 Watch we may receive, last of all (3)
EYE – last letters of wE maY receivE

82 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2314 by Kenny”

  1. I biffed HAREM, never did bother to parse it. RODGER was my LOI; never seen it spelled with a D. 7:15.

    1. As I typed RODGER, I could only think of Benny Hill singing “It was Roger the lodger, the dirty old sod” in a West Country accent.

  2. 9:42, which makes me very happy, but with a vile typo of GHETYO, which doesn’t. Stupid iPhone keyboard. (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.)

    No major hold-ups, my COD is MERGE for the completely believable surface reading.

    Thanks to Kenny & Curarist.

  3. 52+ mins – the struggle was real!

    Most of it went in smoothly within about 15-25mins but then I was left with KICKS, COOPERATE, HERETO, SOCCER, CROCKERY, EYE, ARDENTLY plus a tentative POTTER which I couldn’t parse. Slight meh seeing it’s a cross ref as we ‘never’ get those in the QC. I really wanted SOCCER to be “matchs”. Couldn’t unravel COOPERATE probably because it’s said as CO-OPERATE (not that it is) and the surface sent me elsewhere. EYE just took too long to see!

    Somehow despite it turning into a grind I never got too frustrated with it. Not sure where I got the inspiration to finish that other than I was up early.

    Thanks to all and have a good weekend everybody.


    Themewise – we obviously have ELEVEN, SOCCER, CONTEST, KICKS. There’s at least nine Premier League managers in there Mikel ARTETA, Brendan RODGERS, Thomas FRANK / Frank LAMPARD, a contorted Patrick VIERA in the SW, Steve COOPER, Graham POTTER, Antonio CONTE and the personal favourite Eddie HOWE who used to be in charge of Bournemouth and now doing wonders at Newcastle.

    My word that is phenomenal – absolutely stunning to pack that lot in 😮 I think I spotted all there are to spot but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s one more in the SE. Edit: if you really contort merge/eye you can have Unai EMERY for a tenth. Plus Erik TEN Hag off of irate/eleven.

    Edit2: forgot we had UNI as an answer. I suppose that could also be seen as a nod to Unai Emery.

    1. Wow! I spent ages looking at the grid trying to find more soccer-related content and got precisely nowhere. Nice job!

    2. Top work, L-Plates. I had spotted Lampard who I recognised as a player, I knew RODGER was part of it somehow because of the weird spelling but didn’t think to look for managers.

      1. Yes, think it’s worth throwing it in there. Everybody can decide for themselves whether it’s intentional or a coincidence . Playing a “pressing game” has been around for a long time, I’m sure Wimbledon used it successfully in their first division days and the infamous 1988 FA Cup win.

        (Full disclosure, I’m not that much of a football fan these days and having identified five managers I then took to Wikipedia for a list of current Prem managers. I do however still keep an eye of AFC Bournemouth’s results and my late dad’s team Brentford)

        1. Well done spotting them, and well done, Kenny for fitting them all in. Can we add Dalglish to the list?

        2. Really well done spotting them and well done, Kenny for fitting them all in. Can we add Dalglish to the list?

    3. Very good. I only got ARTETA, POTTER, CONTE and HOWE, because I didn’t look at the downs – durr!

    4. Do you think EH could be persuaded back to King’s Park on loan until the end of the season?

      1. I’ve been surprised our new American owner hasn’t cut ties with O’Neill given four league losses in a row and dumped out of the Cup. I thought on buying the club he said he wasn’t patient.

        As for Eddie, I think he has probably cemented himself on to the FA’s shortlist for possible Southgate replacement when the time comes.

        1. Incidentally, the first properly organised football matches I ever played in (for my primary school) were in King’s Park, just a few hundred yards from the old Dean Court stadium. I also participated in events at the athletics stadium, next door. Good memories!

          1. It has changed much since your day and all still gets good usage. I ran Boscombe 10K there in Nov and we started/ended at the athletics track which has had a new surface laid recently. As I jogged round the park for warm-up there were Sunday matches taking place across from the cricket pitches. AFCB are supposed to be building a training complex over my way near Canford Magna but they bought and levelled the site pre-pandemic and not much has happened since 🤷‍♂️

      2. Not a chance Mr R. We get BBC Newcastle in my part of Yorkshire and EH is already a cult hero up there!

    5. One final look at this as the SE seems so unused with only CONTE filling a 10×5 area. The bottom line for example where week and crockery are doesn’t get used.

      My suspicion is EMERY was meant to go in the bottom right with 18D being EME (instead of EYE) linking to the -ERY of crockery. Online dictionarys do seem to have EME as an uncle or friend but it’s obviously not a common word of QC level so it got ditched.

      I note now that Vieira is spelled with a second “I” so the SW corner’s VIERA is close but not a match. And in the unches to its right we have N-E-I-Y-L which could be a reference to AFCB’s current manager Gary O’Neil but more likely coincidence.

      1. To add for later historical reference, just heard Frank Lampard has been sacked as manager of Everton. QC published on Friday, today is Monday.

  4. 16 minutes again and the second visit to my Red zone this week not having been there since last November. I wasn’t aware of being slower than usual until I ground to a halt with two clues unsolved and of course the answers intersected in the grid. I thought HERETO was a tricky one with only its two E’s in place but I can’t account for taking so long to get SOCCER as my LOI especially as it’s my preferred name for the sport.

    ‘Kenny’ is one of RR’s pseudonyms and a rare visitor – this was only his fourth puzzle in 5 years. I don’t know about his first two, but the third had a football theme celebrating the Lionesses so I was expecting something today. There were enough obvious words in the grid to confirm a football theme but as I know probably less about it than our blogger claims I was never going to spot the hidden names.

  5. Bottom half went in faster than the top and the west was definitely faster than the east. So left with gaps in the NE that finally came together when TORMENTOR arrived. LOIs LAMP and HAREM. All green in 15.

  6. I thought this was going to be really tough as I failed to get anything in the NW, but ET AL got me going and I seemed to tune into Kenny’s wavelength after that.
    Ended up back in the NW where took a while to spot that 1a was an anagram , the diarist proved elusive (couldn’t get past Pepys and Mole😂) and that finally allowed me to finish with ANISEED just under target in 9.42.
    Thought there might be something footballish going on but forgot to go back and check, although I doubt I’d have picked up everything L-Plates spotted.
    Thanks to Curarist.

  7. I struggled today, though on finally completing the puzzle it was not entirely clear why as I did manage to parse everything eventually. So all getable, even though it took 15 minutes of getting.

    Rodger took an age (like Kevin I’ve never seen that spelling as a first name), and Hereto = Hither also refused to come for a long time. COD Lamp because both surface and answer are so simple.

    Many thanks to Curarist for the blog and a good weekend to all.

  8. I struggled, too. I finished this (just into the SCC) but was left with a weird sense that something was not quite right. Too disjointed and contrived. Then I came here and saw the comments and it all fell into place – a b****y Nina! If I had realised I would have moved on and done something useful instead.
    My reaction to setters who produce unbalanced and unnatural crossword puzzles in their search for Ninas/themes is much like my response to authors who write stories/books without ever including a given vowel (a recent example avoided ‘e’ throughout) or those who write chapters using only one vowel (see Times letters on 4 Jan).
    Very clever but do I really wish to spend my time reading the book or solving the puzzle?
    Thanks to curarist for the blog. John M.

    1. I don’t get this comment. There aren’t any clunkers in this puzzle, except maybe the Guardian-ish cross reference. The surfaces are good, there isn’t any odd vocabulary. What is disjointed, contrived, unbalanced or unnatural about the puzzle?

      1. Perhaps it is just a flow/wavelength thing. I can imagine a setter with a developing grid looking for appropriate clues but saying to him/herself ‘no I cannot fill the next clue from what comes to mind naturally – I must limit it to words that fit a pre-set mind frame’.
        It shows to me (sometimes with hindsight) when the puzzle develops in a disjointed way – with disruption of the natural flow that I get with the best setters. Personally, I cannot see the point unless it is simply for the satisfaction of the setter or else to please the expert solvers who find the QC so easy that they need it spiced up a bit. What is the biggie for?
        The examples of authors who limit their output in an artificial way (see my post above) make the point. Why do it? I enjoy art, books, music which do not use an arbitrarily restricted ‘palette’. The same goes for the QC for me. The natural talent and imagination of a good setter is enough without trying to gild the lily in this way.
        Perhaps it is just me. John.

        1. I know the battle has been lost but Shakespeare wrote “to gild refined gold, to paint the lily”. I guess if you condense it you can end up with “gild the lily”.

        2. Totally agree, Ninas are just narcissistic and should have no place here. I assume Kenny is yet another alias for our crossword editor who seems to revel in trying to show us how clever he is. To be fair, compared to most Ninas this wasn’t too bad, hereto being the only real clunky answer, and the cross reference clue can’t be blamed on the Nina.

  9. Decent puzzle, missed the theme, though it seems very well worked.

    ARDENTLY was LOI, I liked CROCKERY, but favourite was LAMP, me being a fan of brevity in cryptic clues.


  10. This was tricky but fun. 17 minutes including time at the end to check the parsing of LOI HERETO which had been in pencil for a long time.
    I had ticks against KICKS and CROCKERY and needed the latter to justify POTTER .
    Only coming here did I think to look for a theme and I immediately saw LAMPARD. For some reason he becomes instantly associated with the team-“Frank Lampard’s Derby” when he was in the Championship; Frank Lampard’s Everton may be there next season, but probably without FL.
    The theme did not detract from the puzzle in my view.

  11. Very good puzzle, not at all spoilt by the Nina in my view. Most went in smoothly but I struggled with my last half dozen, especially HERETO, LAMP and LOI ET AL. Some very clever tricks on show – I liked CROCKERY, ANISEED and GHETTO in particular.

    A good work out taking me over target at 10:19 and 1.5K for a Decent Day.

    Many thanks King Kenny and Curarist.


  12. Some lovely surfaces and what seemed to be original ideas. FOI FOUR-PART, LOI SOCCER, COD CROCKERY, the latter two taking quite a time, though obvious when you see, hence an average time for what should have been easier. Cross-references are, probably rightly, unusual in a QC, but in this case helped: a snooker player is often a POTTER, and the reference to CHINA meant that it was probably the definition and not the country. Thanks Curarist and specially to Kenny, who managed a comprehensive theme/nina with no compromise of excellent wordplay and surfaces.

  13. The blogger may think this QC was “straightforward”, but I certainly didn’t think so. I struggled to complete with 5 unanswered before giving up.

    RODGER? Never seen it spelled like that before. ROGER is how I would have spelled the man’s name.

    I guessed POTTER, though thought the clue was awful. I hate answers that effectively that span two clues. If you can’t answer the first clue then that’s no help for answering the second.

    Hope not to see Kenny again.

    43:20 (DNF 5)

    1. Agreed. A QC designed – in my view – to deter learners and newbies. In what other area of life do suppliers try to push customers away? Kenny has succeeded today, and I hope he’s proud of himself.

      1. I don’t believe that the setter deliberately set out to deter learners and newbies. That would be counter-productive. I do sometimes feel that the setters get a little carried away with the deviousness of some clues, which would be more at home in the 15×15.

        When I said “Hope not to see Kenny again,”, I didn’t mean I hope he never sets/is allowed to set again. What I mean is, “Wow, that was a tough one, I hope I don’t have to face him again,” at least not too soon anyway.

  14. As usual the theme totally passed me by, and although I was surprised by the spelling of RODGER, it meant nothing to me in terms of the theme. ET AL went in first. FOUR PART and FRANKEST finished the job. 9:48. Thanks Kenny and Curarist.

  15. Well into the SCC today at 24 minutes, and missing the theme completely. Well done Kenny, you got me here. Thanks to Curarist too for the blog, and well done LP for spotting all the theme elements.

  16. I was already just in the SCC when all but 8d were in. A further ten minutes of alphabet trawl and struggle and GHETTO still didn’t emerge so I gave up. FOI UNI and some good clues all round. Nina completely escaped me. Brilliant work L-plates. Thanks Kenny and Curarist.

  17. Like others I struggled with this one finishing in 14.13. My LOI was HERETO preceded by SOCCER. Why I should have had so much trouble with the latter I don’t know, as like Jackkt it’s my preferred way of referring to football. It must be a generational thing as many people now seem to think of the word as an Americanism. When I played the game in my youth, we would always say we were off to play a game of soccer. I also fondly remember ‘Soccer Star’, a weekly publication that kept everyone up to date on goings on in the football league.

    1. Don’t forget “World Soccer” which was an offshoot from that publication, and is still with us, 63 years young.

    2. I’ve read that “soccer” is derived from “association football” just like “rugger” is “rugby football” and dates back to the Victorian public schools etc. I don’t whether that is true or just an invented myth but it seems likely to me.

      I suspect it was the NASL (North America Soccer League) nabbing all the stars and reinventing rules in the 70s that turned people off the “soccer” name. Obviously with “American football” already in placet they needed to differentiate the sports.

      And if anyone is wondering American football also started as a derivation of rugby football until the forward pass became legalised circa 1912 and has gradually turned it into a hands dominated game. The NFL is currently finding all sorts of ways to minimise the kicking game further as these plays have a greater risk of injury/concussion as well as being considered too boring for TV.

      1. Along a similar line, I know Brits get annoyed when Americans call football “soccer”, but I too have heard that soccer in short for Association Football, and the term soccer was probably coined by Brits/Europeans. But I guess Brits get their own back by saying American Football is just rugby for wimps. 😛

        1. I was raised in England in the 1950s when soccer (short for Association Football) was in common parlance without anyone getting annoyed about it. There is or was a contention in some quarters that ‘football’ means ‘Rugby football’ and the other game is soccer.

  18. A brilliant spot, L-Plates!! And well done to (King) Kenny D. for the theme. Must say I struggled (again) today to finish, held up by POTTER (a guess), CROCKERY, HERETO and ARDENTLY (LOI). Good fun, though.

  19. I sensed after the first few minutes that Kenny was really RR, and that yet another Nina was more than likely – not that it helped. After about 20mins I had sorted out all the ‘easy’ ones and decided to stop and let my mind process the more difficult clues while I did something else. Came back and, sure enough, the remaining answers didn’t take too long, so somewhere north of 25mins in total. Slightly puzzled as to how seven can be described as several in 25ac, but given everything else I just went with the flow. CoD to 9ac, Aniseed, for the parsing. Invariant

  20. Completely missed the theme (but then I always do) but didn’t find the crossword contrived in any way. It took me 17 minutes with some interruptions (stopped the clock for the interruptions but they still tend to destroy your train of thought). All parsed except for HERETO.

    FOI – 5ac ET AL
    LOI – 19ac HERETO
    COD – 8dn GHETTO

    Thanks to Kenny and to Curarist

  21. Had to start at the end again but it all fell into place *eventually*. The theme passed me by, of course.
    Thanks vm, Curarist.

  22. 11:21. The theme passed me by (v. well done L-Plates) even though I spent a while trying to make sense of ‘needed’ in the clue for SOCCER which was my LOI. Like Invariant, my favourite was ANISEED for the tricky parsing.

    Thanks to Kenny and Curarist

  23. 20 mins…on the cusp

    I didn’t think this was clunky, but there was a different feel to it. Thought there was maybe a football related Nina once I Saw “Soccer”, “Kicks” and “Eleven” – but, I have to admit, apart from Lampard and Potter! (For anyone who occasionally listens to Talk Sport), I didn’t see any other managers.

    FOI – 5ac “Et Al”
    LOI – 14dn “Ardently”
    COD – 6dn “Tormentor”

    Thanks as usual!

  24. Nina! What Nina (says someone who has zero interest in football)? I didn’t find this easy but I also didn’t find it contrived. FOI was the EST part of FRANKEST and my LOI was ARDENTLY because I overthought the clue looking for a synonym of early. I biffed ANISEED and COOPERATE. 11:12 so wide of the goal.

  25. Another who enjoyed the crossword (thank you, Kenny) and didn’t think the Nina (which I stood no chance of seeing) impaired the quality one iota.
    The retrospect-o-scope is a powerful, and not always accurate, instrument.

    Passed the paper over to Mr SR to view, once a Nina was mooted, and he spotted many, though not all, of those references found by LP (to whom, kudos).
    He did point out one more football manager reference, though, in the three unches across from the “S” of 18D and said one could insert name of choice there…
    Sometimes I wonder whether Mr SR needs taking in hand.
    Thanks for the blog, Curarist.

  26. 11:45, although I realised just before coming here that I hadn’t filled in my LOI. So maybe add a few more seconds!
    I never fully understood 17a, as – for some reason – I forgot that if a number is in numerals, it refers to another clue. It seems a bit unfair to have to go to 26a before solving 17a if you’re aiming for a clean sweep – hard if you don’t just biff (not that I try for clean sweeps).
    Although I recognised Kenny as an RR pseudonym, I didn’t bother to look for a theme or nina – I sort of assumed it would be football related, and as I know very little about it, I didn’t go any further. HOWEVER! The unusual spelling of RODGER did make think about about our local manager – it would seem, courtesy of L-Plates, that I was on the right track 😅
    FOI Harem LOI Hereto COD Crockery
    Thanks Kenny and Curarist

    1. “I forgot that if a number is in numerals, it refers to another clue.”

      Does it? I’m sure I’ve seen numerals in a clue relate to other things eg. 20 for Score.

      1. Not entirely sure, but from memory I think the rule is that a reference to another clue has to use numerals but use of numerals is not confined to referencing another clue.

  27. 10:16

    Very good. I entirely missed the theme though did think it was unusual to see RODGER spelled that way.

    Nice job Kenny and Curarist

  28. 14:34. I noticed the football terms and then saw POTTER as possibly scorer of a goal and then also as ex-Brighton manager (I think as a favour to him his Chelsea performance should be ignored). Well done, LP, searching out all the other managers!

  29. A challenging, but very enjoyable puzzle IMHO. I don’t think the hidden theme got in the way at all. Each clue was well constructed and nothing seemed forced or awkward.

    I enjoyed CROCKERY and though ANISEED was very clever. FOUR PART was my FOI, but I had to work up from the bottom of the grid after that. My LOsI were FRANKEST and KICKS, and I crossed the line after 35 minutes. This was 5 minutes after Mrs R, who has now gone off to make some bread.

    Many thanks to Kenny and Curarist.

  30. 12.55 having biffed POTTER and HERETO. Like PennyB I had forgotten what a number in a clue meant. Didn’t spot it but the nina is enormously impressive. In other news, 2.13 for the concise crossword.

  31. Does hither mean hereto? Which dictionary says this? Doctor Google doesn’t seem to come up with the correspondence and neither does my head.

    I may be missing something (not so) subtle.

      1. True HERETO has a totally different meaning but hither does mean TO HERE and to me in the cryptic crossword universe a HERE TO could be a possible hither equivalent.

  32. I found this very uneven and so suspected a Nina – not that I would have spotted it! Well done that man for unravelling it. I suggest that 4d is just about bearable as a surname (but then there would be several female Rodgers too). One of my favourites is George Rodgers- a wartime photographer famous for his pictures of the Blitz and then a pioneer of aerial-photography particularly in Africa. The NW was most problematical for me.
    FOI 5a Et Al
    LOI1d Frankest – had to discard Frankish and Foremost
    COD 20a Merge

  33. 24:07

    Well the top half was easy enough but the bottom was really chewy. Struggled to see SOCCER, CROCKERY, EYE and LOI HERETO. No inkling of a Nina but then I know precisely nothing about football.

  34. As someone who wouldn’t recognise a nina if it came up and introduced itself, I’m not going to become embroiled in the ‘contrived or not’ debate. Suffice to say, I found this pretty nightmarish.

    I wasn’t doing too badly (by my standards) until the last five, but PRESS, ANISEED, KICKS, SOCCER and HERETO took me to 45 mins.

    Bad end to another uneven week. Didn’t even see that 17ac was a reference to 26ac. My solving skills have regressed in 2023 thus far. Don’t know why but it’s very frustrating. As with yesterday, I am regularly overthinking the clues and not spotting the word play.

    LOI – HERETO (took ages to see what was very simple word play)
    PDM – too many to list

    Have a good weekend everyone.

    Thanks for the blog Curarist.

  35. No trouble with this one, except held up for a while on ‘soccer’; presumably we’re meant to work out that since to ‘sock’ someone is to hit them, then ‘socker’ is a synonym for ‘striker’; sorry, I don’t think there’s any such word. Yes, I am pedantic, and slightly averse to American English…

  36. The “thump” definition for LAMP isn’t in Collins Or Dictionary.com. It did ring a faint bell, but I sought assurance. Haven’t perused all the comments yet, but it doesn’t seem to have fazed anyone else.

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