Quick Cryptic 2361 by Breadman

Enjoyable puzzle, a bit gentler than most last week, though for the second time in a row on my watch, a semi-panic inducing clue at 1a which looked completely ‘unknown’.

Things became a bit easier after that but still a few bits of tricky parsing including three partial anagrams and some not so common words to keep us on our toes. All done in 9:02.

Thanks to Breadman

Definitions underlined in bold 

1 Tarnish one vessel containing unknown almond paste (8)
MARZIPANMAR (‘Tarnish’) I (‘one’) PAN (‘vessel’) containing (‘containing’) Z (‘unknown’)

Not that I knew before, but there is apparently a difference between marzipan and ‘almond paste’. Marzipan is firmer so that it can be shaped and moulded and traditionally contains rose water.

5 Rowing team cold on Wye initially (4)
CREWC (‘cold’) RE (‘on’ in the sense of “regarding”) W (‘Wye initially’=first letter of Wye)
7 Greek character outside in deluge, exposed (4)
NUDENU (‘Greek character’=13th letter of Greek alphabet) DE (‘outside in deluge’=first and last letters of DelugE)
8 Looked at watch, not posh, found in grass (8)
REGARDEDGARD (‘watch, not posh’=deletion of U (posh) from GUARD) contained in (‘found in’) REED (‘grass’)
9 Splashing out, Amber got aromatic oil (8)
BERGAMOT – Anagram (‘splashing out’) of AMBER GOT

The essential oil extracted from “cells inside the rind of the bergamot orange” Wikipedia tells me.

11 Eggs or veal regularly served (3)
OVA – Every second letter (‘regularly served’) of Or VeAl
13 Foolish private investigator interrupting game of poker (6)
STUPIDPI (abbreviation for ‘private investigator’) contained in (‘interrupting’) STUD (‘game of poker’)
16 Fashionable young woman, Italian, linked with doctor turned fifty (2,4)
IT GIRLIT (‘Italian’) GIR (‘doctor turned’=reversal of RIG) L (‘fifty’)

Doctor as a noun in the surface reading, as a verb for “rig” in the answer. I vaguely knew something about Clara Bow as the “It Girl” but apparently the term was around before the 1927 film “It”, in which she starred, made its use more widespread.

18 Copier paper unwrapped (3)
APE – Deletion (‘unwrapped’) of first and last letters of pAPEr

Don’t know why but I liked the mundane surface here

19 Count, moving diamonds, failed to impress (3,2,3)
CUT NO ICECUT NO (= anagram (‘moving’) of COUNT) ICE (‘diamonds’)
20 Four seen in sensual fiesta (8)
CARNIVALIV (‘Four’) contained in (‘seen in’) CARNAL (‘sensual’)
22 Old feline knocked back rolled pancake (4)
TACO – Reversal (‘knocked back’) of O (‘Old’) CAT (‘feline’)
23 Plan Ian describes entering apartment initially (4)
IDEA – First letters (‘initially’) of ‘Ian Describes Entering Apartment’
24 Metal cask gents moved (8)
TUNGSTENTUN (‘cask’) GSTEN (=anagram (‘moved’) of GENTS)

Always worth remembering W as the chemical symbol for tungsten.

1 Bill goes under motorway alongside US vehicle (7)
MINIBUSNIB (‘Bill’) below in a down clue (‘goes under’) MI (‘motorway’) US (‘US’)

Nib for ‘bill’ was new to me, but it sounded plausible and is in both Collins and Chambers in the sense of a bird’s beak or bill

2 Traveller mentioned Charlie winning golf competition (5,3)
RYDER CUPRYDER (=homophone (‘mentioned’) of RIDER (‘Traveller’)) C (‘Charlie’) UP (‘winning’)

There was an erudite discussion about C for ‘Charlie’, both in the blog itself for clue 6a and in the subsequent comments, in a TfTT 15×15 blog last week.

Back to the golf – it’s being held in Italy this year so at least the Europeans may have some hope of ‘winning’, but I’m not confident.

3 Emergency helper, as normal in the morning, iced wound (9)
PARAMEDICPAR (‘as normal’) AM (‘in the morning’) EDIC (=anagram (‘wound’) of ICED)
4 Scold horse (3)
NAG – Double definition
5 My new hound gets sausage in America (4,3)
CORN DOGCOR (‘My’) N (‘new’) DOG (‘hound’)

Haute cuisine. We have the similar battered sav here.

6 Spot Don’s spectacles perhaps (7)
EYEWEAREYE (‘Spot’) WEAR (‘Don’s’)
10 Short article probing experiment on endurance sport (9)
TRIATHLONTH (‘Short article’=THE with last letter deleted) contained in (‘probing’) TRIAL (‘experiment’) ON (‘on’)
12 Attentive soldier in Yeovil half-ignored another soldier? (8)
VIGILANTGI (‘soldier’) contained in (‘in’) VIL (‘YeoVIL half-ignored’=only last three letters) ANT (‘another soldier?’)
14 Drinking vessel brown, unusually dark (7)
TANKARDTAN (‘brown’) KARD (=anagram (‘unusually’) of DARK)
15 Ornamental plant favoured on college area (7)
PETUNIAPET (‘favoured’) UNI (‘college’) A (‘area’)

Pet as an adjective as in a “pet project”

17 Recline, tell stories, nap (3,4)
LIE DOWNLIE (‘tell stories’) DOWN (‘nap’)

Nap as a noun for a “downy coating” eg of a tennis ball

21 Animal doctor I’ve trusted somewhat (3)
VET – Hidden (‘somewhat’) in ‘I’VE Trusted’

66 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2361 by Breadman”

  1. Biffed REGARDED, CUT NO ICE, MINIBUS, RYDER CUP, TRIATHLON. Once again overlooked a typo: BERGAMLT. I suppose we’re stuck with IT and SA until the end of time, but I did not expect–and did not want to see–IT GIRL. 6:05 but.

  2. 13:32. A somewhat top to bottom solve- FOI MARZIPAN and LOI TUNGSTEN. COD was VIGILANT but I did enjoy CORN DOG ( the clue that is, not the. actual quasi-edible!) I think in Ontario we call them Pogos.

  3. 11:34. 1134 Reconquista checked as Muslims defeat Aragón at Battle of Fraga.


    I thought VIGILANT was an alternative for “vigilante”, which would have been “another soldier”.

    Didn’t think much of “Don’s” for WEAR. Don is a verb, you can’t make a possessive from a verb. “Spot Don has spectacles” would have been tidier.

    FESTIVAL almost works for 20a (CARNIVAL), with festal=sensual.


    1. I think the idea at 6dn is that although Don’s is possessive in the surface reading, when parsing the clue you have to lift and separate the apostrophe S. So Spot (EYE) Don (WEAR)
      ‘s (is a word for) spectacles.

      1. Yes, thanks Jack. Lifting and separating seems to explain the apostrophe well.

  4. I seem to have found this harder than the other early solvers, ending up all green in 15. After slow start the NW put up stiff resistance at the end with BERGAMOT mostly unknown and not being helped by my indecision over whether the anagrist should include the ‘out’ or the ‘got’. NUDE and MINIBUS were tricky too (didn’t know ‘nib’ and couldn’t see what ‘alongside’ was doing. I liked CREW where a lot got crammed into a short clue for a four letter word and VIGILANT – Yeovil doesn’t get enough crossword air time – although it did remind me the Glovers could be looking at yet another relegation this season – that would be four in ten years, surely a record.

  5. 10 minutes. I originally finished in 9 after losing time tussling over MINIBUS, but I had a query over the parsing at 16 where I had written IN GIRL, distracted by ‘fashionable’ in the clue, and when I revisited it I spotted my error.

    1. 5.39. But I had quickly thrown in “in girl“ at an early stage, and failed to revisit. Silly boy.

  6. 6’38” for a relatively straightforward solve that I enjoyed immensely.

    I love the clever simplicity of TANKARD – for some reason that clue sums up my attraction to cryptics and my admiration for good setters.

    This puzzle was full of similar examples.

    Big thanks to Breadman and BR for a fine blog.

  7. Felt I made harder work of this than I should have done with MINIBUS, EYEWEAR and IT GIRL all putting up stiff resistance. I’d heard of the word BERGAMOT but couldn’t have told you what it was and was also relieved when MARZIPAN popped into my head for 1a having had no idea what it’s constituent parts were.
    Had a minor strop at the grid lay out – I have a pet hate of clues which you don’t need to answer to complete the grid but apart from that a decent puzzle.
    Finished in 9.27
    Thanks to BR

  8. 16.32 DNF with failed guess at BERGAMOT.

    What can you do when there are three vowels to insert into UNCHes on a subject you don’t know anything about 🤷‍♂️

    1. Yes, it’s hard. I imagine the setter assumed that oil of BERGAMOT would be known to many as the distinctive flavouring in Earl Grey tea. It’s often mentioned on the front of the packet in addition to being in the small print on the back.

      1. Trying to be philosophical about it, can’t know everything; but acceptance is everything. I felt it was quite a tough one to parse but biffed my way through so perhaps lucky in other ways.

        Congratulations on your 15×15 Jack 👍

      2. It’s also quite a common citrus component of perfumes and aftershaves. If you give yourself a squirt of Dior’s Sauvage (as advertised by Johnny Depp), you’ll get a good whiff of bergamot.

    2. Bad luck. I knew bergamot for some reason but a DNF too due to RIDER CUP
      I see we both got a mention today: you in 16a and me in 23a.

  9. I seem to be bucking the trend here as I found this tough. Several “IKEA” clues which had to be constructed from their component parts – I don’t mind these but I usually need all the checkers before they fall into place, so I was slow to get them. More serious hold-ups over Nib = Bill (biffed and never fully parsed as I had NHO that meaning of Nib), Don = Wear (well misled there and another Biffed-but-not-parsed), Nap = Down (perhaps should have remembered this as I think I’ve met it before in a previous QC, but I think of Nap as applying only to snooker tables), and Corn Dog, my LOI put in with fingers crossed as another term I am in ignorance of. From the comments on their culinary merit I don’t seem to be missing much!

    All this led to an 18 minute finish for a Slow Day in which Breadman definitely had the upper hand. Many thanks to BR for the blog.


  10. 5.34

    Very rare sub-K. I’ll thank the extra coffee I had. No hold-ups; maybe no stand-outs but made for a smoothish solve

    Thanks Breadman and BR

  11. Funnily enough we had the dictionaries out over Sunday lunch chasing the rather obscure etymology of MARZIPAN, which is a German derivation and in English dates only from the 1890s (English having used “marchpane” for centuries before, eg in Romeo & Juliet ). So that was a write in!

    I found the RHS easier than the LHS, with MINIBUS and RYDER CUP being slow to come to mind. LOI was TUNGSTEN, COD to VIGILANT.

    All done in 09:10 for 1.5K and a Decent Day.

    Many thanks to the two Bs, Breaders and Bletchers.


  12. A strange one, this. I took longer than usual to get going and, like Cedric, found some of the many ‘IKEA’ clues a bit much (e.g. MINIBUS where I biffed NIB).
    I gradually got most of them to finish in 16 mins but with a stupid mis-type (Rider for RYDER) and, like jackkt being diverted by ‘fashionable’ and entering IN GIRL. I didn’t parse GIR (‘doctor turned’ – really??) and I basically biffed it.
    Not a good day. I think Breadman earned his crust today with some good but chewy clues among the slightly iffy ones mentioned by others.
    Thanks to both, John M.

  13. 10 mins. North west the last in. At times this seemed more difficult than the 15×15 and I echo sawbill that this is worth a go. The snitch is at 55 which is low.

    COD Tungsten.

  14. Easy, I thought at first then fell at the last. NHO CORN DOG.
    FOI MARZIPAN, then zipped along, solving here and there, but then slowed on MINIBUS and REGARDED though it had to be. PETUNIA was also one of the last to flower.
    Luckily RYDER CUP sprang to mind. Liked CARNIVAL, TACO, STUPID, TANKARD.
    Thanks vm, BR.

  15. I got stuck on two at the end-IDEA and CUT NO ICE. I needed 17 minutes all told but most of the rest went in easily enough.
    Putting FESTIVAL at 20a was lazy and caused delay unravelling; at first it looked like an anagram of FIESTA plus something.
    Less haste and more parsing needed.
    COD to CUT NO ICE.

  16. I’m in the “bit tricky” gang too, it certainly required rather more thought than yesterday’s puzzle. I finished in 11:29 but it was a bit of a slog after a slow start. Rather biffy with the parsing only coming after the grid was finished.

  17. Just outside target with this one finishing in 10.19. Would have been a fair bit quicker if I hadn’t biffed so many wrong options such as FESTIVAL for 20ac, LIE BACK for 17dn and like Jackkt IN GIRL for 16ac. All needed correction which probably added at least a minute to my time.

  18. After a very early start to the day (new grandparent duties), I guessed I would struggle, so I am not too surprised that I needed two sittings. Comfortably settled into the SCC, I couldn’t make top nor tail of my last pair – Triathlon and Tungsten – without a pause. In both cases I had been trying to insert part of the answer (Th and Tun) in the wrong place. On the whole I think I enjoyed parsing some of the clues more than solving them, but, either way, a shout out for Joe’s wife Petunia – the coastguard girl 😉 Invariant

    1. Congrats on new grandparent duties, unless it’s just an old grandchild but new duties!

      1. Thanks – Mrs I is certainly back in her element, but the early start is a bit of a shock to the system, even if it’s just one day a week (so far. . .)

  19. No problems with this apart from TUNGSTEN which was LOI, but obvious, really, after fiddling with the GENTS anagram part.

  20. Inside target, no problems.

    LOI was TRIATHLON. I liked TUNGSTEN, VIGILANT and many others. A very well put together set of clues.


  21. 18 mins…

    A strange one this. I thought I might be onto a PB, then got stumped by 3 clues: “Minibus”, “Bergamot” and 8ac “Regarded”.

    NHO of “nib” = bill, and wasn’t particularly au fait with the aromatic oil – so I was lucky in that answer was an educated guess. (I did consider “Bergomat” at one point).

    At some point I will have to look up what a Corn Dog actually is. I just have visions of corn on the cob in a finger bun.

    FOI – 1ac “Marzipan”
    LOI – 9ac “Bergamot”
    COD – 10dn “Triathlon”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. How can I educate myself to guess better at Bergamot? Like a thick oaf, I went for Bergomat.

      1. Nothing really scientific – just sounded better – like some kind of natural herb/resin or something (no idea if that is the case). Bergomat sounded like a Swiss ski resort.

  22. DNF.
    Did not stand a chance. Much too hard.
    With clues like this one, I might as well not bother :

    “8 Looked at watch, not posh, found in grass (8)
    REGARDED – GARD (‘watch, not posh’=deletion of U (posh) from GUARD) contained in (‘found in’) REED (‘grass’)”

    1. how many did you solve?
      I didn’t parse that clue just saw the definition/checkers and biffed.

    2. I know where you are coming from, however 3d Paramedic and 4d Nag were reasonable imo giving you a start of R-G …. and a possible definition of “looked at” might lead one to Regarded…. And then find the ‘reed’ and u = posh is just one to learn.
      I find that there are a lot of clues that you would never get without letters to help.
      I suspect setters throw in tricky clues but know that there are others that can be found ‘easily’ to assist.
      Good luck

  23. Caught out again! One day I will rmember that the RIDER CUP is spelt with a Y. Drat! 9:27 WOE. Thanks Breadman and BR.

    1. There was a homophone hint in the clue (mentioned), which certainly helped clear up some doubt on my part.

  24. A different start to the week so far – yesterday was 7:55 (and a quick 15×15 too) but I didn’t get to post as I was out all day at a solution to 13d – a National Trust place called Wightwick Manor! Arts & Crafts gone mad 😅
    Today was even faster – 7:40 on the quickie and approx 17 on the biggie. I was so surprised I’ve checked my arithmetic a few times! (I don’t set a timer, it’s too intimidating. I just keep a close eye on the clock.)
    Two pet hates – marzipan (with or without rosewater) and Earl Grey tea! But despite them, I thought this was pleasant enough although nothing really stood out for me initially. But as often happens, when you read through afterwards, you can find all sorts of subtleties you missed originally – BERGAMOT, STUPID, RYDER CUP, EYEWEAR were all very nice. I didn’t fully parse CUT NO ICE, IT GIRL or MINIBUS – a bit of a biff-fest there.
    FOI Marzipan LOI Tungsten COD Petunia
    Thanks Breadman and BR

  25. 9 minutes and full of fun. LOI MARZIPAN which shows I hopped around a bit. Like others I spent time puzzling over IT GIRL and the I/Y in RYDER. Happy to have remembered BERGAMOT from crosswords. Thanks for the blog.

    PS – I took only just over twice as long to complete the 15×15 today so would recommend having a bash.

  26. 7:12

    Some biffing going on here, several write-ins:

    MARZIPAN – almond paste – bung it in and see if the crossers work
    REGARDED – didn’t bother parsing the GARD bit
    BERGAMOT – bunged in from R and M checkers
    MINIBUS – assumed NIB means bill/beak

    Thanks Breadman and Bletch

  27. 9:16 but with RiDER CUP. Can I add golf to the list of sports (cricket, football, rugby) where my knowledge is inadequate? Although to be fair, golf seems the least male centric sport on the list. FOI MARZIPAN and LOI EYEWEAR.

  28. I thought this was very tricky, or maybe I was just off the pace today. I started well enough but got slower and slower until eventually finishing in 34 minutes. Then came here and found I don’t know how to spell Ryder in a golfing context. Not a good day.

    FOI – 1ac MARZIPAN
    LOI – 5ac CREW
    COD – 20ac CARNIVAL

    Thanks to Breadman and BR

  29. Nothing too easy or too hard, and finished in about average time. NHO CORN DOG or IT GIRL but guessed both from wordplay. FOI MARZIPAN, LOI PETUNIA. LIKED CARNIVAL and VET. Thamks Breadman and BR.

  30. 16.42 DNF with RYDER CUP misspelt. Spent most time on the last two in, IDEA and PETUNIA. Thanks both.

  31. 9:50 (950 was the year of the death of Hywel Dda, the Welsh king who codified the laws of Wales).
    I enjoyed this crossword, which was not to hard and not too easy. LOI was EYEWEAR, since I was led astray by “Don’s”.
    I’m fond of Earl Grey tea, so Bergamot was easily spotted , and make my own almond paste every Christmas to cover my wife’s fruit cake, so Marzipan came easily to mind as well.

  32. Enjoyed this and finished with just a couple of biffs in 12:55, which pleases me. Needed the blog to understand RIG for “doctor”: thanks to both BR and Breadman.

  33. A little trickier than yesterday. Had to look up corn dog and had eye gear for 6d, but should have got it right. Still within our target though.

  34. Misery. NHO BERGAMOT, CORN DOG, EYEWEAR, then REGARDED was difficult. Then I plead that WEAR (for Don’s), COR (for ‘my’) and NIB (for ‘Bill’) are all obscure (= MER?). Didn’t do well at all. Earl Grey is my favourite tea, too, but what has that to do with bergamot? On the other hand ‘almond paste’ couldn’t be anything other than MARZIPAN – that one was easy, at least. Discouraged, though.

      1. Yes but as Merlin says, you can’t get the possessive Don’s from the verb “wear”. But jackkt is absolutely right: I’ve been drinking Earl Grey for 30 years, and never noticed it says Bergamot on the tin. We learn every time!

        1. it’s not as Merlin says it’s as jackkt says:
          Spot Don’s spectacles perhaps
          spectacles perhaps

          so eyewear is spectacles perhaps

  35. I finished it eventually. But I haven’t finished one before with so many clues that I didn’t understand (6 in total) until either this really helpful site and/or my wife explained them to me. I thought this was a hard one. She doesn’t agree!


  36. I solved 2 down. Charlie = Charles = Charles Ryder of Brideshead Revisited!

  37. I have come to realise that this game has a nasty habit of knocking you down when you’re going well and then kicking you once you’re on the floor. By my (low) standards, last week went well for me, whilst many others struggled. My good form continued yesterday until I reached my last four clues. These took me 40 minutes, which had the effect of knocking me to the floor. Today, I finished in 13 minutes – a silver medal performance for me. But then I read BR’s blog, realised that my In GIRL was wrong and felt as though I’d been kicked where it hurts.

    By way of a contrast, Mrs Random has just finished yesterday’s Hurley in 18 minutes and today’s crossword in 17 minutes. She almost never suffers brain freezes or makes silly errors like mine above.

    Many thanks to Breadman and BR.

    1. A tough one to take Mr R, but the 13 mins is a sign of great progress as a few posters seems to struggle today.

  38. Managed to escape from the SCC again after a slightly slow start. Not so much a case of being on the wavelength, but rather having a good biffing day. Didn’t really appreciate how well put together this QC was until I read the blog. I dredged BERGAMOT up from somewhere and remembered IT GIRL from a previous QC. COD to 17dn. What a great clue!

    Thanks as always for the excellent blog.

    PS Just looked up what a corn dog is. Don’t think I’ll be trying one any time soon!

Comments are closed.