Quick Cryptic 2391 by Teazel – Double delight

A few nefarious characters and possibly what may lie in store for them here.

I didn’t find this puzzle too difficult although had the usual problems starting in the NW corner which is where I finished. I’d never heard of the expression at 6d until I met it in crosswords; it implies passivity, whereas ‘shearing’ is very hard work, though it’s close enough for crossword purposes. By my count, there were eight double definitions. I was unsure about the parsing of a few clues and welcome any comments.

Those rather grisly surface readings at 14d and 18d grabbed my attention, but probably not for the right reasons! I liked the ‘police collection?’ at 2d. All done in 9:45.

Thanks to Teazel

Definitions underlined in bold

1 On the way, widespread conflict (6)
STRIFEST (‘way’) RIFE (‘widespread’)

An example of “On A B”, rather than “A on B”, which by convention  indicates A after B in an across clue (see 19a), so maybe the word order is justified.

4 One demonstrating how to get clean (6)
SHOWER – Double definition (non-homophonic), the second as a verb
8 Haul half a gallon back in trailer (7)
LAGGARDDRAG (‘Haul) LAG (‘half a gallon back’=first three letters of ‘gallon’) all reversed

Edit: As explained by Cedric, it’s DRAG (‘haul’) GAL (‘half a gallon’) all reversed (‘back’)

10 For the night, settle son in base (5)
ROOSTS (‘son) contained in (‘in’) ROOT (‘base’)

Unusual word order for the def, presumably to help the surface reading

11 Rear small bird (5)
STERNS (‘small’) TERN (‘bird’)
12 Gales rage round north-eastern part of Africa (7)
SENEGAL – Anagram (‘rage’) of GALES containing (’round’) NE (‘north-eastern’)
13 Good holiday home rejected, perhaps worker is to travel for pleasure (9)
GALLIVANTG (‘Good’) ALLIV (‘holiday home rejected’=reversal of “villa”) ANT (‘perhaps worker’)

I think ‘perhaps’ applies to the ‘worker’ rather than the ‘holiday home’ although ‘worker’ is more often just used by itself for ANT

17 A gusher, Leo, will broadcast (3,4)
OIL WELL – Anagram (‘broadcast’) of LEO WILL
19 Possibly libellous remark needs attention on returned manuscript (5)
SMEAREAR (‘attention’) after (‘on’) SM (‘returned manuscript’=reversal of MS, abbreviation for ‘manuscript’)
20 Exhausted, having done this shopping? (5)
SPENT – Double definition

I opted to parse this as a double definition, specifically ‘done this’ in the second definition, but I’m happy to hear if others have a different view

21 Practical person concerned with an agenda (7)
REALISTRE (‘concerned with’) A (‘an’) LIST (‘agenda’)
22 Pronouncing a proverb (6)
SAYING – Double definition
23 I cadge one small breakfast in pub (6)
BEGGAREGG (‘one small breakfast’) contained in (‘in’) BAR (‘pub’)

Hello, hello, this looks familiar. I’m not sure what ‘one’ is doing here. Is it ‘one EGG (is a) small breakfast’?

1 Spill liquid over prominent display (6)
SPLASH – Double definition
2 Regularly goes improperly into this police collection? (6,7)
ROGUES GALLERY – Anagram (‘improperly’) of REGULARLY GOES
3 Soft soap for washing cloth (7)
FLANNEL – Double definition

As well as the ‘washing cloth’, FLANNEL can also mean evasive talk or flattery or ‘Soft soap’

5 Large bird man much admired at back of barn (5)
HERONHERO (‘man much admired’) N (‘back of barn’=last letter of ‘barN‘)
6 Lost in reverie, doing the shearing? (4-9)
WOOL-GATHERING – Double definition
7 Snake’s warning is to disconcert (6)
RATTLE – Double definition, the first for the noise made by the rattlesnake’s tail
9 One working on hard stuff prepared drill site (9)
DISTILLER – Anagram (‘prepared’) of DRILL SITE

The ‘hard stuff’ here being of the alcoholic variety and nothing to do with mining

14 In danger, like a condemned heretic? (2,5)
AT STAKE – Double definition

I was going to say the second definition is whimsical, but I don’t think that’s an appropriate word to use for the horrific practice being referred to

15 Chaos regularly over benefits for accommodation (6)
HOUSESHO (‘Chaos regularly’=every second letter of ‘cHaOs’) above in a down clue (‘over’) USES (‘benefits’)
16 Hole in ground, and box on right (6)
CRATERCRATE (‘box’) above in a down clue (‘on’) R (‘right’)
18 Defeated, beheaded — and polished off by cannibal? (5)
EATENBEATEN (‘Defeated’) with first letter B deleted (‘beheaded’)

61 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2391 by Teazel – Double delight”

  1. No problem with STRIFE: on the way widespread/widespread on the way, either way it’s RIFE on(=after) ST. Didn’t notice anything at the time, but ‘one’ does seem unnecessary in 23ac. 6:24.

  2. 13:20. Couldn’t see AT STAKE for “in danger” for a long time. Enjoyed LAGGARD most. “For the night, settle” seems to be more of that charmingly whimsical Yoda-speak.

    1. After yesterday’s race through the puzzle I had hoped for a speedy solve but I stumbled into the club after completing the top left corner with a Splash.
      COD Rogue’s Gallery but lots to like.
      Thanks Teazel and B Reject

  3. 9 minutes. Like others I was puzzled by ‘one’ in 23ac and I’m not sure that ‘small’ is needed either.

  4. Briefly becalmed with about six clues to go before the SPLASH, STRIFE and FLANNEL yielded in the NW shortly before AT STAKE, SMEAR and CRATER in the SE. NHO WOOL GATHERING but once I had W-O- for the first word it made enough sense to bang in. All green in 11. Surprisingly fast for all the head scataching that was needed.

  5. Securely and proudly within the Slow Coach Club this morning, but I did finish. All green in 26 minutes. I spent far too long trying to work out LAGGARD (I was convinced it must start with LUG and was some sort of conveyance) and WOOL GATHERING was eventually dredged up from the dark recesses of my memory after I’d got all the checkers.
    I especially liked GALLIVANT and ROGUES GALLERY.
    Overall a nice puzzle. Thanks Teazel.

    1. You mirror my feelings exactly, with a clean finish in similar time, although NHO Wool Gathering but obvious enough once cross-checkers revealed the first word!

  6. After ham-fistedly screwing both puzzles yesterday, I took more care of checking each answer as it went in. It didn’t seem to slow me down too much. A very enjoyable puzzle, though I agree that BEGGAR was a bit over-egged !

    TIME 3:47

  7. 10’15” with STRIFE and STRIFE LOIs.

    I only remember WOOL GATHERING from a previous crossword long ago and have never seen or heard it since.


    No problem with STRIFE

    Thanks Teazel and BR

  8. Took a while to tune into Teazel’s wavelength – FOI was STERN – but once I did the puzzle didn’t put up too much resistance. After yesterday’s struggle with BEGGAR I confidently typed it in again today and then deleted it as I was confused by the number (or lack thereof) of eggs and waited more checkers to confirm
    Finished in 8.32 and particularly enjoyed the PDMs for DISTILLER and LAGGARD.
    Thanks to BR for the blog and Teazel for the entertaining solve.

  9. I also took a little while to get going but this turned into a steady solve for me. I thought it was an excellent puzzle with a good mix of clues and some smiles as pennies dropped (e.g. LAGGARD). I was totally immersed and was surprised to find that I had finished a minute under target (13.56).
    As BR implies, BEGGAR appeared in a crossword very recently *** (it was still a good clue). I enjoyed GALLIVANT.
    WOOL GATHERING (in the sense of ‘indulgence in idle daydreaming’) is a new expression for me but it had to be, given a few crossers. It brought to mind a description of a former village resident who always seemed busy but never worked. He spent some of his time watching the trains go by and was known locally as ‘the smoke bagger’. Perhaps this was an expression from the days of steam trains.
    Thanks to Teazel and BR. John M.
    *** P.s. BEGGAR actually came up yesterday in Times Quick Cryptic 2390 by Beck (4a): Mendicant in pub taking in something for breakfast? (6)

  10. I never noticed that ‘one’ is apparently superfluous in 23A. I did have a slight MER at ‘benefits’ for ‘uses’ in 15D, but I see both words are shown as a ‘similar word’ for each other in the online dictionary. Thanks Teazel and BR. 4:43.

    1. We had a discussion here very recently about ‘use / benefit’ or it may have been ‘use / enjoyment’, but it doesn’t matter which as all are commonly used in legal documents relating to property law, access rights, covenants and that sort of thing.

  11. Pleasant puzzle completed in about average tIme except that 6d biffed from W*O*; I recognised neither definition nor wordplay other than a vague connection with shearing. FOI SHOWER, LOI CRATER, COD ROGUES GALLERY.Thanks, Teazel and BR.

  12. I found the acrosses harder than the downs, but then I had some checkers for the downs so who knows? I know that I struggled mightily with my final pair, LAGGARD and SPLASH. COD to REALIST.

    All done in 09:04 for 1.5K and a OK Day but marred by fat fingering SYERN so WOE.

    Many thanks Bletchers and Teazel.


  13. STRIFE was FOI, but it was a while before DISTILLER knocked out my biffed(and unparsed) LUGGAGE at 8a. LOI, LAGGARD. 9:09. Thanks Teazel and BR.

  14. 25 mins…

    Seemed to be on a go slow this morning, with some straight forward clues like 10ac “Roost” and 1dn “Splash” taking far longer than they should have.

    NHO of 6dn “Wool Gathering”, but after discounting “Well” and “Wild” – it’s the only think I could think of associated with shearing.

    The superfluous “I” in 23ac “Beggar” and the “uses” for benefits also made me hesitate.

    FOI – 12ac “Senegal”
    LOI – 1dn “Splash”
    COD – 9dn “Distiller”

    Thanks as usual!

  15. A steady if not very speedy solve, all done and parsed in just under 10 minutes. Much helped by getting both the long down clues fairly quickly.

    Many thanks BR for the blog. But I fear your explanation for 8A Laggard is perhaps a bit confused – it is DRAG (‘haul’) GAL (‘half a gallon’) all reversed (‘back’).


  16. That’s better. All green in 14:03. The NW wasn’t promising but the NE went in quite quickly and the rest was mostly a steady solve. Hesitated a bit over the breakfast with the same concerns as others. SPLASH and HOUSES LOsI. COD LAGGARD. Thanks Teazel and BR.

  17. Found this tough going today at 28 mins. Was very worried when it took me until 12a (SENEGAL) to enter a solution. completed the SW then worked back. 6d unknown and took a while to get some that turned out to be not so hard; SMEAR, SPLASH. Overall, though, an enjoyable solve and one in which when the parsing finally clicks you realise the cleverness of some of the clues.
    Thanks BletchleyR and Teazel

  18. Another slowish day with a 17 minute solve, two over target. SPLASH was actually LOI once STRIFE finally went in. I did think of it earlier, but waited for checkers before entering. My FOI was FLANNEL. Many thanks BR and Teazel.

  19. 7:35 (death of the venerable Bede)

    A very rare sub-8min solve. 6d was known to me from the works of Trollope (Septimus Harding is described as Wool Gathering on at least one occasion).

    LOI was HOUSES.

  20. Quick start but sluggish finish. My last four were CRATER, BEGGAR, SMEAR and AT STAKE.
    But I was home in 12 minutes for what I thought was a well-judged and pleasing QC.
    COD to LAGGARD which I parsed like Cedric.

  21. I was a few seconds over target at 10.17, not helped by putting the answer for 15dn into the space allocated for 16dn. After rectifying this error, the rest went in at a fairly steady pace, although I had to dive around the grid more than I usually would. Tougher than average, at least for me, but quite fair as a QC is my assessment.

  22. 1355 Town V Gown riots in Oxford leave 30 dead.

    Took forever to get going, with a dozen blanks before finally seeing SENEGAL. NHO WOOL GATHERING. I mis-parsed SMEAR as REAMS (= manuscript) backwards.

    Could not get FLAME or BLAZE out of my mind for our poor heretics, COD ROGUES GALLERY. I prefer yesterdays clue for BEGGAR as I think the “small” in today’s clue was an unneeded distraction.

  23. I enjoyed this one even though it resulted in a DNF due to two wrong answers. No aids used. Neither will you see any excuses from me.

    I’ve recently seen breakfast in a pub being used to get the answer BEGGAR. If it wasn’t the WC then it must have been in the Daily Telegraph, as that’s the only other puzzle I’ve been doing this week.

  24. Tried so hard but after two hours (LOI SPLASH after 90 mins) it made no sense to battle on – all the NW just too hard – and threw in the towel with six failures (1, 8, 13a, 2, 3, 9d). FOI SENEGAL (nice one). Wanted it to be LAGGARD but just couldn’t parse it. May I suggest FLANNEL is evasive talk, yes, but not flattery (soft soap)? The phrase “I cadge one” doesn’t quite seem to arrive at the noun/verb BEGGAR (though it had to be). No problem with WOOL-GATHERING, a phrase often used in this family.

    1. No one replies to my appeal for a MER regarding FLANNEL which I suggest is not the same as “soft soap” – I can only assume you all disagree…….

  25. Slow to start and slow to finish but I enjoyed it. Not too difficult. PDMs with WOOL GATHERING, DISTILLER, ROGUES GALLERY and GALLIVANT (COD) helped.
    Slow on SPLASH and STRIFE, CRATER. Admit I smiled at AT STAKE, oh dear, not funny.
    Did like LAGGARD, REALIST, SMEAR, and those above mentioned.
    Thanks vm, BR. Surprised that some find WOOL GATHERING an unusual word. I am an expert at it, alas.

    1. I was shocked–shocked–to see so many NHOs with WOOL-GATHERING. I’ve never heard it, never used it, but it seemed so totally everyday a word.

          1. I was just acknowledging yr wool comment with some sheep. Hope I didn’t accidentally use a rude emoji.

            1. I just didn’t understand. I don’t know from emojis, and had no idea that a pair of sheep would be among them.

  26. Glad to finally get over the line in just under 30 mins. Needless to say I found this rather tricky. Held up by SMEAR (had the SM at the end until CRATER made this impossible), AT STAKE, STRIFE and SPLASH. Liked GALLIVANT (what a fab word) and FLANNEL. Very enjoyable even though I found it so challenging – thanks Teazel and thanks too to BR.

  27. 6:41

    No real hold-ups except that I didn’t immediately put in USES for benefits until I had the checkers in place.

    Thanks Teazel and Bletch

  28. 9:03. I thoroughly enjoyed this offering from Teazel, and seemed to be a bit more on his wavelength than usual, although I agree that the surfaces for 14s and 18d (although very good) were quite gruesome.
    The last couple of weeks have been very busy, and although I’ve done the crossword every day, it’s all been squeezed in, and I’ve not got to read the blog until very late, so this was a nice way to start a calmer week.
    There are a lot of ticks today – I really liked SHOWER, SPENT, and FLANNEL and have three candidates for COD – SENEGAL, ROGUES GALLERY and DISTILLER. How to choose??
    FOI Shower LOI Rattle COD A hat trick!
    Thanks Teazel and BR

    1. Hello Penny,
      Nice to have you back. I had noticed your recent absence and was wondering.
      Mrs R reckons I’m the cause of any STRIFE around here and I would therefore be first on the list in her ROGUES GALLERY.
      Regards also to Mr B.

  29. My records show that I find Teazel the most challenging of all of the QC setters, and today’s puzzle continued the trend. I typically spend around 10-12 minutes on my first pass through all of the clues, so I realise I’m probably in for a rough ride if, like today, I have solved only five or six clues by then. My FOsI were STERN, SENEGAL, OIL WELL and REALIST among the acrosses, but adding only RATTLE from the downs meant I had almost no additional checkers to build from when I returned to where I had started. So, even with most of the clues still on offer, it was to be another 6-7 minutes before I got started again (with EATEN, I think). Eventually, the SW corner filled up and I was able to make progress in fits and starts, more-or-less in a clockwise direction, until I crossed the line with AT STAKE and CRATER in the SE and a big sigh of relief from me. Total time = 45 minutes.

    I had NHO WOOL-GATHERING as an expression. I couldn’t work out what the RO stood for in HERON (I saw HE for man, not HERO for man much admired) and I had to return at the end to SPLASH, which I had question-marked. Only then did I see SPLASH as a prominent display.

    Many thanks to Teazel and BR.

    1. Well done for persisting Mr R. This was tricky and I struggled to get going. A completed QC is still something to cheer.

      1. Thankyou Mr A.
        Wise words, especially when Teazel is the setter. I remain ever hopeful.

  30. The NW corner wasn’t promising and I forced myself to move on with FOI SHOWER and continued on clockwise. HOUSES took a while but not as long as my LOI AT STAKE which needed an alphabet trawl. 8:31 for a good day.

  31. All done & parsed in an enjoyable 13:13. I held myself up by putting HOSTEL for 15d, even though I secretly knew that “lets” doesn’t mean “benefits”. But then SPENT came to mind, which forced a rethink.

    Thanks to Teazel and BR.

  32. 15.33 This went fairly well except for the SE, where I waded through mud. All the clues seem fair enough in hindsight and with BEGGAR returning from yesterday I have no excuse. DISTILLER, ROGUES GALLERY and LAGGARD were nice.

  33. Hurrah – I seem to have temporarily broken my Teazel hoodoo.

    I liked LAGGARD best, and finished with HOUSES.

    I did Monday’s just now as well, and didn’t perform quite so well, though only a little over target.


  34. 15 minutes, all parsed. Unfortunately though I had been trying to put ‘os’ (for outstanding = prominent) somewhere in 1dn, so that when I eventually did solve it my unconscious prompted me to write in splosh instead of splash. As it was my LOI I was obviously too busy checking the time rather than checking what I had written. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow!

    FOI – 1ac STRIFE
    LOI – 1dn SPLOSH or rather SPLASH

    Thanks to Teazel for an enjoyable puzzle and to BR for an equally enjoyable blog

  35. Another slow start and had to wait for STERN as FOI. NHO WOOL GATHERING, like a number of other commenters.

    Almost got my fingers burned by AT STAKE, but solving that one put me on a hot streak for a while. Slowed towards the end but finished in around 20 mins (I don’t time myself to the second so was either just under or just over).

    Plenty to enjoy today, but COD goes to GALLIVANT, largely because I managed to work it out and it made me smile.

    Excellent blog BR, many thanks! 😀

  36. Found this one slow going, but I have been tired all day. 29:35 in the end. NHO WOOL-GATHERING. LOI BEGGAR, COD to GALLIVANT. Thanks Teazel and BR.

  37. A dnf with 4 unfinished clues after several revisits. Having read the blog none of them was all that difficult, e.g Crater which is a very good clue, so it was just me not being on Teazel’s wavelength.
    Didn’t see At Stake as meaning in danger but should have solved it from the definition anyway.
    Appreciated the helpful blog and thank you Teazel.

  38. A postscript:

    L-Plates – meant to thank you for the congratulations on yesterday’s solve. I managed to keep it going for Tuesday as well! Sorry to see that you came across our friend Izetti in a different guise.

    I think many of the setters ‘do the rounds’ under different names.

    1. Back to back good days for you GA – well done 👍 Try and stay focused on completion and let the clock tell its own tale.

      Wasn’t too bothered about Izetti, have updated my comments on Monday’s QC blog.

  39. 27:08 for a corrected DNF. Most of last 10-mins spent on STERN, SPLASH, LAGGARD as per other solvers. When the end arrived, it arrived so quickly I bunged in LuGGARD without parsing and having already considered “lug” for haul. I’d just had enough and wanted to get on with my evening. Think I may have been a little on the “hangry” side as the radio, even on low volume, was irritating me throughout.

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