Quick Cryptic 2421 by Orpheus


I particularly enjoyed this offering from Orpheus – one of my favourite QC’s for some time. Several challenging ones to start to get the mind ticking over, mixed with a few gentler clues to help provide crossers for those holding out till the end.

All done and dusted in a bit over 8 1/2 minutes.

Thanks to Orpheus

Definitions underlined in bold

1 Shaky cover provided around City area (8)
INSECUREINSURE (‘cover’) containing (‘around’) EC (‘City area’=postcode area for the City of London)
5 Do the bidding of old Turkish governor (4)
OBEYO (‘old’) BEY (‘Turkish governor’)
8 Disney film buff beginning to tour vast continent (4)
FANTASIAFAN (‘buff’) T (‘beginning to tour’=first letter of ‘Tour’) ASIA (‘vast continent’)
9 Pass one’s required to visit Virginia (4)
VISAIS (‘one’s’) contained in (‘to visit’) VA (‘Virginia’)
11 Gemstone of silver polished off (5)
AGATEAG (chemical symbol for ‘silver’) ATE (‘polished off’)
12 Stylish English worker welcoming support (7)
ELEGANTE (‘English’) ANT (‘worker’) containing (‘welcoming’) LEG (‘support’)
13 Trick scatty parent (6)
ENTRAP – Anagram (‘scatty’) of PARENT
15 Wedding bouquet’s first delivered by little Albert (6)
BRIDALB (‘bouquet’s first’=first letter of ‘Bouquet’) RID (‘delivered’) AL (‘little Albert’=abbreviation for ‘ALbert’)

As in ‘Wedding’ gown = BRIDAL gown

18 Extremely tractable girl’s period as leaseholder (7)
TENANCYTE (‘Extremely tractable’=first and last letters of ‘TractablE‘) NANCY (‘girl’)

Nancy is today’s first random female name

19 Bloke eating very soft fish (5)
GUPPYGUY (‘Bloke’) containing (‘eating’) PP (‘very soft’ (pianissimo) in musical notation)
21 Arrest felon at last, and be sick (4)
NAILN (‘Felon at last’=last letter of ‘feloN‘) AIL (‘be sick’)
22 Supporter of lupins initially in bloom (8)
FOLLOWEROL (‘of lupins initially’=first letters of ‘Of Lupins’) contained in (‘in’) FLOWER (‘bloom’)
23 Only lightly cooked? That’s not common (4)
RARE – Double definition
24 New Etude in D not prepared for publication (8)
UNEDITED – Anagram (‘New’) of ETUDE IN D
1 Aggravate trendy sweetheart (7)
INFLAMEIN (‘trendy’) FLAME (‘sweetheart’)

Flame for ‘sweetheart’ as in “old flame”

2 Small insect, a visitor in December (5)
SANTAS (‘Small’) ANT (‘insect’) A (‘a’)
3 Talk with woman custodian of castle (10)
CHATELAINECHAT (‘Talk (with)’) ELAINE (‘woman’)

Not a common word and this was my last in, needing all the crossing letters. Elaine is today’s second random woman’s name – a bit easier than some we’ve had in the past anyway.

4 Brought up — or torn down, do we hear? (6)
RAISED – Homophone (‘do we hear?’) of RAZED (‘torn down’)
6 Pirate’s gear adopted by gang (7)
BRIGANDRIG (‘gear’) contained in (‘adopted by’) BAND (‘gang’)
7 The old way to secure a baker’s requisite (5)
YEASTYE (‘The old’) ST (‘way’=abbreviation for “street”) containing (‘to secure’) A (‘a’)

Is YE really an old form of the word ‘the’? I know this has been discussed here before. Here’s a succinct explanation from the American Heritage Dictionary. Maybe we can mount a campaign to revive the thorn.

10 Unkempt educationalist teased about leggings, principally (10)
BEDRAGGLEDBED (‘educationalist’=abbreviation for Bachelor of Education) RAGGED (‘teased’) containing (‘about’) L (‘leggings, principally’=first letter of ‘Leggings’)

Amusing surface. Come to think of it, many of my old teachers could be described as ‘Unkempt educationalist(s)’, but of course we never teased them about their appearance.

14 More pungent-smelling Moroccan port(7)
TANGIER – Double definition
16 Put before duke, arranged in tiers (7)
LAYEREDLAY (‘Put’) ERE (‘before’) D (‘duke’)
17 Magnate’s time over there securing company (6)
TYCOONT (‘time) YON (‘over there’) containing (‘securing’) CO (‘company’)

Orpheus waxing lyrical in the last two clues with ERE and YON

18 Singer delivering note on radio (5)
TENOR – Homophone (‘on radio’) of TENNER (‘note’)

‘Delivered’ contributed RID to the answer for BRIDAL above, but here I think ‘delivering’ is present for the surface, with ‘on radio’ as the homophone indicator.

20 Women’s organisation feeding favourite shore bird (5)
PEWITWI (‘Women’s organisation’=abbreviation for Women’s Institute) contained in (‘feeding’) PET (‘favourite’)

AKA the northern lapwing; a very handsome looking bird, with a striking crest, he/she is too. Wikipedia reports that it is sadly now listed as “Near threatened”.

87 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2421 by Orpheus”

  1. 10:40. I liked RID for delivered and ERE for before. BEDRAGGLED was lots of fun . I had trouble with BRIDAL meaning wedding and would have thought a PEWIT was spelled peewit. For some reason when I read Disney movie I immediately thought FANTASIA- maybe it’s the first one I saw? I got fixated on bandit, bandits, banditry so took a while to properly see where the band went for BRIGAND. CHATELAINE was easy for me as there was a women’s magazine in Canada for many years so “talk with woman” immediately brought that to mind.

    1. Every time I tried to solve 8ac, I was only given four spaces. I realised it was Fantasia but as soon as I tried this the screen went blank and the crossword disappeared. Very disappointed.

  2. 7 minutes. I looked twice at wedding / BRIDAL whilst solving, but it had to be. Later I saw how it worked and wrote ‘wedding/bridal gown’ on my copy – exactly the example given in the blog!

  3. Could Not Finish because 8a FANTASIA did not work on my iPad – so I was scuppered by technology today. (It only allowed me 4 letters instead of the required 8 and then crashed each time I started to enter the answer.)
    This was a fairly straightforward one for me and it would’ve easily been a sub SCC. Hey ho!
    Liked CHATELAINE especially. LOI INSECURE.
    Thanks Orpheus and BR for the puzzle and the blog.

    1. I switched to the Times Live version which worked. Still prefer the classic version .

  4. 8A being described as 4 letters slowed me down a lot at the start as I wasn’t looking at the grid….

  5. 7.05

    Slightly held up in the SE but GUPPY unravelled things. Should have got that sooner – it was a MER in Wordle some weeks ago (as some of you will know).

    Liked UNEDITED

    Thanks BR and Orpheus

  6. I’m doing this on my iPad and 8a has screwed up the crossword – it closes down if you try to enter anything into the four spaces given for 8a,

  7. Like BR I took a while getting going at the top, FOI was VISA then AGATE. Did it in 7.50, delayed by INFLAME where I had optimistically convinced myself that inflate could mean aggravate. My lack of Old Turkish didn’t help (yeah I know, ‘old’ was only there for the O) and I was also slowed by thinking the movie began with B and Bambi didn’t fit. A classy QC I thought, good, clean clueing throughout.

  8. As above can’t complete 8a Fantasia on iPad as only 4 letters are provided

    1. Interesting. It worked fine on my iPad. I’m constantly baffled by the vagaries of technology.

      1. It is simply down to the original Times app for iPad (see my post below) as recorded by ‘Is that the time’ and quite a few other posters above.
        It worked for you and others who use the latest app.
        I much prefer the layout of The Times using the ‘classic’ app. I find it a much more friendly way to negotiate all sections of the newspaper.
        I hope someone will address the issue for us. John

        1. There is an entirely separate app for puzzles which I use – a bit buggy (“show word endings” feature acts as a toggle and has to switched every time), but had no problems today. Constantly surprised at how bad the online versions of the paper are, the UI could be used as “what not to do”!

  9. Thanks Bletchley Reject for the redirect to the origin of the word “ye”. I never knew that! 26 mins – as a beginner that was fast for me.

  10. Found the NW tricky and it remained completely blank until the rest of puzzle was completed. Somehow I dredged CHATELAINE from the darkest recesses of the memory banks (although I thought it had an ‘s’ in it before the ‘t’) which gave me enough checkers for the remaining clues to fall into place.
    Finished in 7.55 with LOI RAISED, which I’ve seen before, with my COD being GUPPY and WOD to BEDRAGGLED – which was how I felt after an hour dog walking in the rain this morning
    Thanks to BR

    1. Interesting, I had exactly the same experience with CHATELAINE, including the belief that it contained an S! Sadly our paths diverged there, as it took me a shade over 25 minutes to finish (which is still very decent by my standards).

    2. Chatelaine in French has a circumflex accent over the A which means the S is assumed.

  11. A slow start with a pass at 1ac and a tentative Obey, as the Turkish governor was completely unknown. I found the going a little easier after that, and loi Chatelaine came to mind just in time for a sub-20. Slight mer at Nail/arrest along the way, as I can only vaguely see a connection, though the answer was clear enough. CoD to 16d Layered for the parsing. Invariant

  12. Solving on paper I missed the problem with 8A that scuppered the online solvers. A neat puzzle as usual from Orpheus. I liked the BEDRAGGLED teachers and PEWIT (although I usually spell it with two Es), a lovely bird I have often heard at the Suffolk coast or along the River Deben. COD to LAYERED, though, for the smooth “Put before duke”. Thanks Orpheus and BR. 3:45.

  13. I experienced the same technical glitch that others have reported. It didn’t save me from SCC membership renewal, but I enjoyed today’s challenge nonetheless.

  14. One of the most enjoyable QCs for some time going in smoothly from top to bottom and all finished in a quick, for me, 30 minutes.
    Not entirely sure about BRIDAL, PEWIT spelling and NAIL for ARREST However they were all obvious from the clues.
    Used the iPad and no problems with 8a though it does show as 4 letters.
    Thanks Orpheus and BR.

  15. No glitch solving on my iPhone (plenty of glitches with South Eastern, though, with trains in chaos because there’s “too much rain” 🙄).

    I found that straightforward apart from the SE, where BRIDAL, GUPPY and LAYERED held me up for a while. Sorted it all out in time for 06:38, 1.6K and a Very Good Day.

    I agree with Bletchers that this was a really enjoyable puzzle, so thanks to him for the blog and Orpheus for the fun.


  16. Surprised to see a pink square due to foolishly putting RAIZED! Never mind.
    No time recorded due to interruptions but no speed record for sure. Liked BEDRAGGLED.
    Thanks all.

  17. 23:34 – quite how I can get 10mins into a crossword and managed to have tabbed round the grid online without ever seeing the 3rd across clue (FANTASIA) is a mystery to me – it might have helped out as first pass really only had the SW done along with ELEGANT and BRIDAL which I was never quite sure of for RID=delivered. Was concerned about not remembering the Turkish ruler but that turned out to be kind in its checkers and construction. NHO CHATELAINE and VaguelyHO PEWIT but wouldn’t have spelled it without the parsing. LOI BEDRAGGLED. Thought it was going to be a grind, pleased to get it done in that time.

  18. Another where I feel like giving up. Not getting any better. Failed seven; NHO GUPPY or PEWIT, no other plausible excuses.

    1. Hang in there Martinů – I feel that would have been a struggle for me a year ago. It was still a bit of a struggle today!

      1. You’re so kind – thank you – but two struggles in a row at the beginning of the week = discouragement!

        1. I know how it feels. I’ve journeyed on the QC rollercoaster many times. They come in ebbs and flows. There will be easier ones coming up – but I cannot tell you when that will be 👍

        2. Allow yourself some ‘checks’ and just try to stay positive. Think which end could be the definition and go through all possibilities of the wordplay.

          I just wasn’t on the wavelength today (I couldn’t even solve the flipping anagram of parent) and didn’t help some bits were hard (Chatelaine? Pewit? “Bey” and the parsing for Bedraggled I think were really tough.)

          Every day’s a school day 🥴

          1. Thank you for that. Please: what sort of “checks” do you reckon are “allowable”?
            I think I do find “which end is the definition”; it’s the eternal ability (or inability) to see, for example, that “be sick” = AIL, or “put before” = LAY ERE. But I suppose one gets better at this gradually?

        3. Sometimes you just have to trust the wordplay. With experience you will know “favourite” is usually “pet”, WI for women’s org, so even if you have never heard of “pewit” just have faith that it must be. Personally only heard of “peewit”, but still went with the wordplay.

          1. Thank you too. Yes actually I was there with “women’s org” = WI, also “favourite” = PET. The blog says “feeding” = “contained in”, but my logic suggested the reverse (i.e. PET inside WI), so that without having HO PEWIT I was sadly nowhere. But you are of course right, especially as I had – – – – T. As I said, no excuses, really…

        4. If it helps at all, I fail much more often than I succeed so you’re in good (or possibly bad) company. I take the view that a backdrop of failure makes the successes stand out more brightly!

          (I’m a project manager so I’m good at finding silver linings amongst the clouds. Note to self: try the “brighter successes” thing at work sometime.)

          1. I spent a lifetime studying sports psychology before realising I already had most of the skills and was just relatively rubbish at the sport!

            As you say, finding the silver lining is hugely important. As long as there’s an avenue to follow up on, I keep going. If all someone does is pick holes, you close up all the outlets for hope.

            I read focusing on the positives is one of the tenets behind the England cricket team’s Bazball approach and their resurgence.

              1. Some might say you’re focusing on the negative 😉

                Positive attitude won’t guarantee you a win. But when they list all the good things they did and that Australia only won by 2 wickets, right at the end of the 5th day and England were even able to be in that situation having declared their 1st innings; they will enter the next one with confidence. Rather than a traditional “How did we lose that?”, “Perhaps we shouldn’t have declared” and introducing lots of other self-doubt rather than self-belief.

                This isn’t to suggest one should have a Pollyanna “there’s nothing wrong” attitude. They can still find moments / things to improve on. They just don’t have to rip themselves apart in the process. Like the English press will probably do.

                1. A very fair point. I have been impressed with what Stokes and McCullum have managed to do with the team’s morale and the trajectory is definitely upwards.

                  Purely from a cricketing angle, I think a little more sophistication is required when coming up against the Aussies or India, but it makes for compulsive viewing.

                  As a devotee of test cricket, this match was a fantastic advert for this form of the game. Pity it’s only available live on Sky TV ☹️.

                  1. I’m interested to see how Bazball fares if they have a string of losses. I think positivity is the natural demeanour of Stokes / McCullum but that isn’t always going to be the case for every player in the team. I genuinely don’t know how the team will react IF losses were to mount up.

                    I agree more sophistication will be needed against Aussies / India. An aggressive mentality is fine against lesser sides as you know you can afford to lose a game and will win others in a series. Against the best, you have to know when to push forwards and when to play it safe and say, take a draw.

    2. I’ve been there – it took three years to complete my first QC. I have now completed three. The last one was in April. I know I am terrible, but success will come eventually.

      1. He’s back! 😀 Good to see you Ian – had wondered how it is going so glad to see you’ve now managed 3 completions. You can check out but you can never leave ………………..

    3. Martinu,

      I think you’ve only been doing the QC for a short time, so the progress you have made is excellent. There will be good and bad days, and sometimes it can feel impossible. Much of the learning is simply by repetition, and you will already know a lot more indicators than you think. Several clues today really needed you to know some of the common abbreviations, so regard it as a learning experience. Also, don’t do what I do and start dragging yourself down. It’s only a puzzle in a newspaper! 😊

      1. Thank you all. I’m going to bed – tomorrow is another day, and let’s hope a better one! Best wishes and goodnight to all.

  19. DNF for me, didn’t manage to get CHATELAINE, YEAST or BEDRAGGLED.

    Biffed OBEY (Not heard of BEY before), BRIDAL (why is rid = delivered please?) and LAYERED.

    I was using the Android app and had no problems with 8a, although like others, suggested the answer was only 4 charcters.

    Cheers all

    1. From the dictionary… deliver = to release or save: Deliver me from such tiresome people! … Rid me of such tiresome people!
      Probably better examples but can’t think of anything immediately.

    2. I’ve seen this before so I put it in without much thought. Now I do come to think of it, I can’t give a convincing example of the equivalence of the two words. Thanks to Alanw who posted as I was trying to think of something myself. Yes, someone probably will come up with something better, but his example works. Of the others that I thought of, you do seem to need “rid of “and “deliver from” to substitute the words. For me, it helps to think of the sense “to free” to make a connection.

    3. I always remember Bey because of “From Russia With Love” – the Head of Station T (Istanbul) is Darko Kerim, usually called Kerim Bey.

  20. I had the same problem on my iPad as others. Only 4 spaces shown for 8a and any attempt to do more simply closed down the page.
    It is not simply an ‘iPad’ issue. I think it depends which Times app you are using. I am still using the ‘Classic’ software. There is no problem when using the most recent app when I opened up The Times using that.
    Perhaps this will be corrected or perhaps those of us who don’t automatically embrace the latest version will be left in limbo.
    This was a good puzzle and a ‘straight-through’ solve for me apart from a slight hesitation over 3d so it was a disappointment not to able to have credit for a quick finish, especially after yesterday’s debacle.
    John M.

  21. Inside target at 13 minutes for a change. The enumeration on my iPad for 8a shows 4 but there are 8 blanks, so FANTASIA entered ok by the time I tried it. My LOI was PEWIT (dnk that spelling), and FOI VISA having passed over the first 3 acrosses, although I thought of OBEY, but didn’t trust it. Like others, I enjoyed this – thanks both.

  22. Found the bottom half easier than the top. Fairly challenging but fair! COD CHATELAINE.

  23. 13:41 More Byzantine civil wars.

    A bit of a Byzantine trail through the grid led to a decent time. I had NICK=arrest, with ick=sick, which I thought was a good shout.

    I was slow to see the easy ENTRAP, as I was looking to get Dad, Pa, Ma, Mum etc in there.

    Often get my Bey and Pasha mixed up.

    I think a CHATELAINE is also used for a natty female tool belt, with a pen, nail file, smelling salts etc. just what a lady of the chateau needed. Diana’s stepmother, Raine Spencer, was styled as Chatelaine of Althorp, although her step children apparently called her Acid Raine.

    COD GUPPY, a very Wordle word, like yesterdays sixer: KAZOO.

  24. A clockwise solve from FOI OBEY. No real hold ups but I had to unravel a biffed reared for RAISED once I saw FANTASIA. 7:36

  25. Decent puzzle, and I was helped by demolishing all the Down clues on the first pass, then managing to NAIL the four outstanding Across answers rapidly.

    TIME 3:31

  26. A bit slow to start; VISA was FOI. Then very rapid until last two FANTASIA and INFLAME. I was solving on paper but was still put off by the four letters designated for Fantasia.
    Anyway 9 minutes in all.
    Another COD vote to LAYERED.
    Worth remembering BEY and Pasha, as noted by Merlin.

  27. Enjoyed this one from Orpheus despite the iPad/Times app glitch. Everything seemed to go in fairly smoothly apart from LOI INSECURE which I couldn’t parse. Unable to consider any other meanings for ‘cover’ other than ‘lid’ or as wordplay direction – this is exactly why I started doing cryptics; I wanted to challenge my extremely rigid thinking 😂 Anyway, much to enjoy. Knew CHATELAINE but I’m not sure why. Once solved the surface for BEDRAGGLED made me smile. Also liked LAYERED. Many thanks all.

  28. 5:45

    Only half-a-dozen in on the first pass of acrosses, followed by a decent number of downs enabling missing words to be filled in. Had to think twice about BRIDAL and FANTASIA, leaving OBEY (didn’t know the Turkish dude) and LOI YEAST.

    Thanks Orpheus and BR – enjoyed the article on ‘ye’, well worth a read, those who haven’t taken a look yet.

    1. Agree – just posted favourable comment about BR’s link to the American Heritage Dictionary but unfortunately added it to yesterday’s comments! I found it absolutely fascinating – many thanks BR

  29. A nice challenge from Orpheus, all parsed, which probably took about average time, though I did not do it all at once. Count me as another only knew PEEWIT, but I see that Collins online cites that as a variant of PEWIT rather than vice versa. FOI YEAST, LOI PEWIT, COD BEDRAGGLED. Thanks, Orpheus and BR

  30. After yesterdays brain freeze, was pleased to be back in the groove today crossing the line in 6.49. LOI was 1dn INFLAME which became obvious once I had sorted out the parsing of FANTASIA.

  31. 16 minutes, same as yesterday. Also the same as yesterday in that I started off quite fast but slowed down appreciably towards the end. Never parsed BEDRAGGLED but it was obvious from the crossers. Nice puzzle.

    FOI – 5ac OBEY
    COD – 2dn SANTA

    Thanks to Orpheus and BR

  32. 14 mins…

    I also enjoyed this, and thought there were some very good surfaces and subtle definitions. I did wonder about “rid” for deliver in 15ac – but it was the only thing that fit. Luckily, some of the GK I didn’t know (Bey = Turkish governor, “Chatelaine” = Castle custodian) was still obtainable.

    FOI – 9ac “Visa”
    LOI – 15ac “Bridal”
    COD – 10dn “Bedraggled”

    Thanks as usual!

  33. 9:13 (ongoing struggles between Edward the Elder and various Danes for control of the East of England)

    I found this a lot easier than yesterday. LOI was GUPPY, which I should have got faster, since The Guppy by Ogden Nash is a poem I have enjoyed since childhood

    Whales have calves,
    Cats have kittens,
    Bears have cubs,
    Bats have bittens,
    Swans have cygnets,
    Seals have puppies,
    But guppies just have little guppies.

    Thanks Orpheus and BR

  34. Also DNK ‘bey’ and ‘chatelaine’ but clear wordplay. Excellent And enjoyable.

  35. Quite straightforward for me, with my iPad behaving itself even for 8a. From SANTA to BEDRAGGLED in 7:01. Thanks Orpheus and BR.

  36. A U for an I typo in BRIGAND ruined VISA to give two errors from one typo – I was being careful too as I’m out and about and solving on a phone. Got my insertions confused in BEDRAGGLED so puzzled a bit on how ‘dragge’meant ‘teased’. NHO CHATELAINE but CHAT and the other checkers got me there even if I’m not sure I’ve ever met an Elaine in real life. Not all green in 14.

    Tried the ‘easy’ 15×15 yesterday- ouch! Still not ready to graduate.

    1. I too gave yesterday’s 15×15 a go. It’s snitching at 63 and I did worse than the two last week which snitched at 76 / 78. Same happened a while back where I did better on one scoring in the high 90s than a 70s. So I’m not sure how good of a guide the Snitch is.

      There is a definite difference between QC and 15×15 clues – so I think the only way to conquer the latter will be to occasionally try it.

  37. 9.06 BEDRAGGLED held me up for a minute at the end. After a couple of weeks of poor form this seemed quite easy.

    I was thinking that CHATELAINE is not such an obscure word because it appears in the title of a pop song. When I looked it up I discovered it was more than 30 years ago. Maybe not so pop now.

  38. We join those who found this to be a most pleasant solve, after the struggles recently. Nice cross selection of clues, thanks Orpheus.

  39. Despite spending six minutes at the end on BEDRAGGLED, I really enjoyed this offering from Orpheus. I find him to be one of the most challenging of setters, so to cross the line in just 33 minutes is a real achievement – for me, at least.

    I DNK CHATELAINE, BEY for Turkish leader or RID for delivered, and I thought PEWIT was spelt with two Es (I’m sure it was when I was in the scouts all those years ago).

    Mrs Random and I are on a (very) short break in East Sussex at the moment. We visited the lovely gardens at Pashley Manor earlier today (it’s their ‘Rose Week’) and we will go to Great Dixter tomorrow morning, before heading home. A visit to GD is always good for the soul. Fergus and his team are simply world class.

    Many thanks to Orpheus and BR.

    1. I hope you’re having a nice time. Mrs ITTT and I have come up to Cumbria for a short break. I’m actually walking the Dales in shorts and a tee shirt. Quite astonishing!

  40. Very late in the day so most of my points have already been made, discussed and resolved! For the record though I was another who did not parse Bridal, not seeing Rid = Delivered, and did not recognise the spelling of Pewit. That was my LOI, very much put in from the wordplay with fingers crossed, and gave me a 14 minute solve.

    Many thanks to BR for the blog.

  41. I’m just not in the right mindset at the moment. Took 28 minutes, getting increasingly frustrated at my basic inability to spot things I should know by now.

    As an illustration of how confused I get, I spent ages trying to get AU for gold rather than AG for silver into 11ac, when I know perfectly well which is which. Similarly took forever to get VISA when it was blazingly obvious. Other unforgivable errors were not seeing PP immediately for very soft, seeing FOLLOWER straight away for 22ac (but not putting it in as I couldn’t parse it), and not seeing FEEDING as an indicator of a container.

    My mood wasn’t helped by the Times 2 clueing 8ac as having 4 letters. Thought immediately of ASIA and would have got FANTASIA in an instant had the right letter count been given (yes I know the grid was right next to the clues but I don’t look at the grid on the first pass of across clues unless I’m putting an answer in).

    Should have known BEY from Ian Fleming, but was fixated on Aga (as in Aga Khan), thinking it had an ‘h’ in it.

    I did know CHATELAINE (a rare bright spot), but my day was summed up by not getting a single clue until 18ac.

    I don’t know how to enjoy the QC at the moment. As so many of you enjoyed today’s offering, the problem is clearly with me. I’ve realised that I’m too competitive/self-critical to simply enjoy the solve, and I cannot fathom why my brain seems to go into meltdown mode the moment I hit a tricky patch.

    For the next few days I will spare you my woes and just record my times. All this introspection is getting me down.

    1. Think we have to develop your “Gazball” mindset 🤣

      You’re very positive / compassionate towards other people on here. Rather than self-recriminate when it goes wrong; think about how you would coach someone who makes the same errors as you have. What would you say? How would you build them up rather than rip them down?

      1. I like the idea of “Gazball”😊

        I’ll need to give some proper thought as to how I can achieve that. I know that beating myself up isn’t a constructive approach, so, as a starter, I’ll try to stop doing it.

        I think that simply recording my times rather than making any other comment for the next few days will make a good start. When I begin my daily post, I usually intend to keep it brief, but then get the urge to say much more than that, normally in a self-critical vein. Stopping that will be good for me.

        I really appreciate your advice, L-Plates. Many thanks.

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