Quick Cryptic 2461 by Izetti


A puzzle from Izetti today, so we know we’re probably not in for a gentle stroll.

Overall though I didn’t think this was unreasonably difficult and the ones that held me up at the end, the crossing 10a and 2d, turned out to be quite gentle. A bit of detailed parsing for us solvers to work out made this a satisfying puzzle to complete, even if I was no speedster at just over 12 1/2 minutes.

Thanks to Izetti

Definitions underlined in bold, deletions marked by strikethrough

8 A king and enemy coming on the scene (7)
ARRIVALA (‘A’) R (‘king’) RIVAL (‘enemy’)
9 Fellow going to North America for super food (5)
MANNAMAN (‘Fellow’) N (‘North’) A (‘America’)
10 Cut flower short (5)
SEVERSEVERN (‘flower’=river) with last letter N deleted (‘short’)
11 Victorian writer reported disreputable female (7)
TROLLOP – Homophone (‘reported’) of TROLLOPE

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) author of Barchester Towers etc

On edit: Thanks to Yorkshirelass in the comments below. Incorrect definition underlined; it should be ‘disreputable female’ of course. The more often you look for a mistake, the less likely you are to find it!

12 Painter and inventor in Italy’s capital (7)
BELLINIBELL (‘inventor’) IN (‘in’) I (‘Italy’s capital’=first letter or letter in upper case)

(1) Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922). Doing a bit of reading about him, more than “just” the inventor of the telephone

(2) Bellini was the surname of a number of Italian painters from the 15th to the 18th century.  Giovanni Bellini (c1430-1516) is the most well-known and the only one I had heard of

14 Sample latest of paintings in gallery (5)
TASTES (‘latest of paintings’=last letter of ‘paintings’) contained in (‘in’) TATE (‘gallery’)
15 Supply to last, right away (5)
ENDUEENDURE (‘last’) with R deleted (‘right away’)

Not a word you see or hear used very often, at least outside crossword land

17 Gloria’s unusual gem (7)
GIRASOL – Anagram (‘unusual’) of GLORIAS
19 A croc is swimming somewhere in the Med! (7)
CORSICA – Anagram (‘swimming’) of A CROC IS
20 First in class, little Andrew is sweet (5)
CANDYC (‘First in class’=first letter of ‘class’) ANDY (‘little Andrew’)
22 Half of the things you really need in German city (5)
ESSENESSENTIALS (‘things you really need’) with just the first five of the ten letters (‘Half of’)
23 Classical female appearing in select range (7)
ELECTRA – Hidden in ‘sELECT RAnge’
1 Member of choir is b—- fool (4)
BASSB (‘b’) ASS (‘fool’)

I think the dashes are just present for the surface, indicating that the word in full is meant to be “bloody”

2 Journey with one yet to pass test is rubbish (6)
DRIVELDRIVE (‘Journey’) L (‘one yet to pass test’=L for learner driver)
3 Maiden, possibly sweetheart losing head (4)
OVERLOVER (‘sweetheart’) with first letter L deleted (‘losing head’)

For those who don’t know, in cricket a maiden over is a sequence of 6 balls bowled by one bowler (an over) from which no runs are scored by the batter

4 A writer’s absorbing article (8,5)
BLOTTING PAPER – Cryptic definition
5 A fraud I am after, alternatively (8)
IMPOSTORIM (‘I’m’) POST (‘after’) OR (‘alternatively’)

The usual sources give the -ER spelling as an … alternative; my first attempt until I looked at the wordplay more closely

6 They may be obtuse, but they also may be right (6)
ANGLES – Cryptic definition

This could be parsed as a double definition, but for the surface the cryptic def parsing is better. My pick of the day

7 Member of clan — one to wake up the folk in tents? (8)
CAMPBELL – The wordplay is a cryptic def itself; a CAMP BELL would be ‘one to wake up folk in tents?’
12 Brought up to hide pain, being violated (8)
BREACHEDBRED (‘Brought up’) containing (‘to hide’) ACHE (‘pain’)
13 Maybe Spanish folks and Russians, heading off (8)
IBERIANSSIBERIANS (‘Russians’) with first letter S deleted (‘heading off’)
16 Most awful French art covered in muck (6)
DIRESTES (‘French art’) contained in (‘covered in’) DIRT (‘muck’)

‘Art’ as a verb as in “thou art” for which the French is “tu ES”

18 Japanese money had for governing body (6)
SENATESEN (‘Japanese money’) ATE (‘had’)

(1) Looking it up on Wikipedia, the sen is a unit of Japanese currency, with 100 sen = 1 yen, although there are no longer any sen coins

(2) “I had breakfast this morning” = “I ate breakfast this morning”

20 Gang somewhere in Cheshire, we hear (4)
CREW – Homophone (‘we hear’) of CREWE (‘somewhere in Cheshire’)

After listening to the classified football results on the BBC for years, I’ve always associated the town with Crewe Alexandra FC. Also a major railway town and previously the base for Rolls-Royce and now for Bentley car production

21 Time that is long needing to be shortened (4)
YEARYEARN (‘long’) with last letter N deleted (‘needing to be shortened’)

80 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2461 by Izetti”

  1. 6m

    CAMPBELL on trust – still no idea what the definition refers to, and my guess at the vowel arrangement of GIRASOL checked via google. Not my first or even second guess either, so I imagine there’ll be a few pink squares today.

  2. I’m not sure I knew what a GIRASOL is; I think I thought it was a flower. In any case, sorting out the anagrist took some time. Like BR, I hesitated over the spelling of IMPOSTOR (although I’d spell it with an O); I took ‘alternatively’ at first to indicate every other letter, which of course led nowhere. 7:27.

    1. Yes, you’re right that a GIRASOL is a flower. I’m no horticulturalist, but it is another name for the sunflower, Helianthus annuus.

      1. I think that the flower is spelt GIRASOLE, meaning turning with the sun in Italian. They do actually rotate the flower to follow the sun.

  3. 14:30. I was stuck on TRAVEL for a while until I gave up trying to parse it and luckily found DRIVEL. Had to guess the order of vowels in GIRASOL and considered IMPOSTER before realizing it had to end OR. I just know ENDUE from crosswords and finally hit upon TROLLOPe as a Victorian writer starting with T after wrongly thinking Tennyson might lead somewhere useful.

  4. GIRASOL had several potential vowel placements, I went with GORASIL. Seems unfair for Izetti to use an obscure word with six plausible possibilities. Also did not consider IMPOSTOR as that’s not how I spell it.

    NHO SEN for Japanese currency, and I thought 1d (BASS) was a weak clue.

    My own fault, though for making SIROCCO as an anagram of “a croc is”, it’s in the Med, though.


  5. Correctly guessing the vowel placements for GIRASOL didn’t help me because I could never have biffed the NHO ENDUE and was looking for a 4 letter word for choir member that would have completed a 5 letter word beginning with B. I thought that was a very poor clue.

    I enjoyed ANGLES and CAMPBELL.

    I haven’t used (or seen) BLOTTING PAPER since prep school in the mid seventies.

    Thanks Izetti for most of the puzzle and thanks BR for the blog

  6. GIRASOL did for me this morning, as I’ve never heard of it and misguessed the order of the vowels. And I spent far too long over IMPOSTER, (sic), which I spelt wrongly anyway. So no time given. I should’ve got BLOTTING PAPER more speedily as I’m a marriage registrar in my spare time and use it frequently.
    A tricky one for me then, and comfortably within in the SCC zone. A good workout though so thanks to Izetti and to Bletch.

  7. I could say I did this in 13.21 but I won’t because I too cheated on IMPOSTOR and GIRASOL so that’s a bust. I wondered if there was some country somewhere that had the YENATE as its governing body but decided senate might be a better fit. Generally an enjoyable Izetti, I liked BASS once I figured it out, and CAMPBELL which also fooled me for a while. Thanks BR.

  8. A tough one that occupied me for 14 minutes but I still had a wrong answer with GIRASOL instead of GARISOL and I agree with Merlin that if the word was to appear in a puzzle the wordplay needed to be unambiguous. I make no distinction between QC and the 15×15 here.

    Elsewhere I also didn’t know ENDUE but the wordplay was kind so the clue didn’t delay me by much. I note that the word appeared in a Sunday puzzle in March this year when it passed without comment from me, but perhaps the definition on that occasion ‘invest’ made a connection in my brain that was lacking with today’s ‘supply’.

  9. I made a comment last year about the use of the word tart (picked up in the Nationals I saw) and here we have trollop. Really? And GIRASOL. I’m sorry but – despite normally not having an issue with the Don’s puzzles – they are becoming more and more inconsistent as far as I can see. And what is the editor doing? Clearly not reading the puzzles before they’re published

    Moan over

    BLOTTING PAPER was good

    Ps DNF in well over normal time. Eventually teased out CAMPBELL but didn’t know the right order of letters for the gemstone

      1. Completely agree about TROLLOP, Dvynys. Collins marks it as “derogatory” and setters really should avoid words like that.

    1. It’s only very recently that we had a discussion about broad = woman, with the view (correct in my view) that it is inappropriate. In fact MH even discussed it in the Feedback column a couple of weeks ago.
      I don’t think we can avoid all words we don’t really approve of, but there must be better ways to clue them, surely? I remember railing against streetwalker being used in a clue for something quite innocuous a while ago, and yet here we are again.

      I’ve found it now – #2264, 11.11.22
      Streetwalker maybe allowed a little pastry (7)

      As I said at the time, we don’t see similar clues using such terms for men. And I suspect that all our current Quickie setters are men.

  10. Regular readers will know that 99% of the time I will back the fairness of Izetti’s clues to the hilt, but, while GIRASOL (which my word checker has just underlined in red!) would be acceptable in a 15×15, I felt it was a bit much for a QC unless you couldn’t arrive at possible wrong answers from the surface – and previous posters support that view, so a rare black mark!

    Otherwise, my only real problem with what was one of Don’s tougher offerings was trying to use “I am after” as anagrist in 5D in two successive passes through the clues until TROLLOP rendered it impossible!

    COD BELLINI (I considered ROSSINI)
    TIME 4:49

  11. Terrible day – partly my own fault for careless IMPOSTER but GIRASOL gets a GR from me. Can’t remember the last time I had 3 pink squares and I was way over target (15mins and change) to boot.
    Off to link my wounds.
    Thanks to BR

  12. Did this on my phone so could not see the setter’s name (question to our editor, why can’t this be solved please?) But no problem guessing it was an Izetti: obscure words (endue), tick; words using uncommon spelling, tick; deliberate choice of lesser-used meanings (girasol, more known as a flower), tick; foreign sub-unit of currency not seen for 80-odd years (sen), tick; slow solve, tick; one pink square (for Imposter, which is how I spell the word), tick; not enjoyed, tick.

    Many thanks to BR for the blog. But does Mr Izetti consciously set out to prove that others can set better and more enjoyable QCs?

    1. Absolutely! Today was about an hour with various guesses (like SENATE) because of really obscure words like SEN. And still a DNF because of a guessed TRAVEL rather than DRIVEL for 2d. And because of wanting the usual spelling of IMPOSTER. Sigh

      1. Interestingly there is a country where sen are still in use today. The currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (RM), and one Ringgit is made up of 100 sen. And the Ringgit is valuable enough that sen are still used – there are 50, 20, 10 and even 5 sen coins in circulation. So our setter could have chosen a current coin which people might have heard of and even used – but no, how much more erudite to choose a coin which was demonetised nearly 80 years ago and which no-one doing the puzzle will have ever seen.

  13. Sorry for not making further comments about GIRASOL. It’s a word I happened to know straight away but clearly that’s not the case for everyone. I thought “It mustn’t be obscure if I’ve heard of it”, the reverse of the more common complaint “It must be obscure if I haven’t heard of it”! From (very) recent reading, my knowledge extends to no more than it is a clear, milky or pale pink variety of quartz and refers to types of opal and moonstone, with scientifically proven properties that you can read all about here.

    1. Thanks, BR. Amongst the gobbledegook about gemstones was the gem: ‘Girasol will guide you to the right direction and allow you to be more imaginative and creative’. I clearly needed that!
      Also the suggestion: ‘ The energies of Girasol will inspire you to think things through before you go ahead with something so that you will not end up hurt, disappointed, or regretful’.
      If I had known that, I would have grabbed one of my wife’s moon opals and used its ‘energy’ to ward off this Izetti offering………

    2. Just to add a little diversion. It is the origination of so called “Jerusalem artichoke’ which is not an artichoke at all, but tastes like one, and is a sunflower root. A Bowdlerisation of Gira sol I think.

  14. I finished all correct (having checked the NHO GIRASOL) but entered the SCC without any sense of achievement. All very clever but really just a bit too clever to qualify as a ‘Q’C IMO, as usual for this setter in recent times.
    He used to be more approachable (or is it just me?).
    I think I will just follow my instinct and avoid Izetti in future. I don’t count myself as a masochist.
    Thanks to BR for the blog. John M.

    1. In terms of whether Izetti is more approachable, I can only speak of my own experience. But I do have detailed records for the past 3 years, and in a nutshell, in 2021 (the first year I was regularly doing the QC) I finished 80% of his puzzles in an average time of 14 minutes, last year it was 93% of his puzzles in an average time of 13 minutes (an improvement, as one might have hoped!), and this year so far it is 87% completed in an average time of 12.5 minutes. So a bit faster, but more unfinished or with errors.

      My impression is that the puzzles are not harder overall but are more likely to contain clues which lead to MERs and DNFs. Today’s puzzle for example had the full gamut of unusual meanings, obscure GK, unusual clue construction (I am not a fan of 1D), uncommon spellings and so on. Whether this is Izetti trying to extend our skills by showing us the less common parts of crosswordland, or demonstrating that that he is cleverer than most solvers (not I would have thought remotely in doubt), I’m not sure, but the result is all too often discussions like this on TfTT – more so than for other setters I would suggest. And a bit like when football fans end up discussing the referee, for TfTT posters to end up discussing once again whether the setter understands what the Q stands for in QC is not in my view a good sign.

      Of course this is just one person’s view. and I am sure there are many others here who positively look forward to an Izetti puzzle – and naturally they will on the whole be less vocal in their comments – but I am with you and increasingly find them less enjoyable than they were.


      1. Thanks for your comments – they make sense to me.
        I used to look forward to an Izetti puzzle in the past but, increasingly, feel that he is more suited to the 15sq rather than the QC.
        I have said in the past how good a setter he can be but I think your 8.26 post covers many reasons why the QC is not really appropriate for him.
        Just my view. John
        P.s. I find it interesting that there are so few comment here by 9.30 am. A quarter of them are down to you and me!

      2. Interesting, Cedric, and thanks for your insights, but TBH I rue the day that somebody at The Times took the decision to break with tradition and publish names of setters when the Quick Cryptic was introduced.

        It’s really better, as with the 15×15, to approach each puzzle without preconceptions, but even then we have eternal discussions about whether a particular puzzle was typical or suitable for the day of the week on which it was published!

        1. Jack, I can see your point. I do try the 15×15 most days (I finish about 3-4 a month without aids) and although I seldom comment there – to do so in the company of so many more experienced solvers would usually merely highlight my ignorance – I always read the blog, both to learn where I went wrong and to try to improve. And one thing that stands out is that the style of comments on the 15×15 TfTT is very different.

          There are fewer “this clue was out of place in a QC” comments, and also fewer “I simply can’t do this puzzle, too difficult for me”. But the stand-out observation is that there are of course no “ad hominem” comments (both positive and negative), as in “another typically delightful puzzle from X” or “It was set by Y but I cannot see their usual Nina”. Is this a good thing or not?

          I like the fact that I am beginning to spot different setters’ styles, and for me it is usually a positive to know who the setter is (and of course it adds an extra layer of interest for those of us who rather nerdishly keep detailed personal records), but where it moves on from “Oh good, a puzzle from Oink so I wonder where the piggy reference is” to “Oh, a puzzle by X, so I prepare myself for a poor experience”, I can see that it is not always positive.

          For those who do not want to see who the setter is, there is always the app on a phone, which doesn’t reveal their identity …


  15. Managed to make time for this today and rather wish I hadn’t bothered! Got lucky with GIRASOL since I vaguely thought I knew it as a flower but fell into the IMPOSTER trap (I did think at the time that “poster” for “after alternatively” was a bit weak). Hey ho. 16:24 + one DPS = another Terrible Day.

    Thanks Bletchers.


  16. Thanks blogger! Much of this was more suitable to the main puzzle but that’s often the case with Izetti I find.

  17. Well amazingly for an Izetti, I finished it without any aids (in about an hour and a half), but golly I did need your blog, BR, for many of the parsings – especially French art = ES! – so many thanks for that. FOI CANDY, COD ANGLES, LOI MANNA. Liked ESSEN, too, and Japanese sen familiar to coin collectors. Having grumbled at the cricket yesterday, I was amply warned today, with OVER fresh in the memory!

  18. Sorry to disagree with BletchleyReject but I think this was a very hard, nasty one which as a non-expert solver I could not even attempt. I read his blog after I had gotten one clue in 20 minutes. Having read it I gave up trying to solve it and went right to the answers. Just as well – it saved me a lot of wasted time.

    Good luck to all you experts. But a bit unfair of the Times to unleash this monster on the average solver in the guise of a “Quick Cryptic”.

  19. Saw it was Izetti, so didn’t bother and came straight to the blog. I’m glad I didn’t waste my time. There were a reasonable number of clues I would have solved, but there were also too many obscure answers. I do the QC to get a mental workout from the clueing, rather than learn obscure words I have no need of. I’ve learned that Izetti is not for me, but I accept that others enjoy the challenge. I’ll just skip them.

  20. Had to biff a couple of clues today as NHO of ENDUE or GIRASOL other than as a sunflower. Would never have seen ‘tu es’ by myself – I’d wondered if it was an abbreviation for French Expressionism. Shouldn’t ’disreputable female’ for 11A be underlined as the definition? Thanks Izetti for a good workout and BR for excellent parsing.

    1. Oops. You’re quite right about the incorrect underlining of the def for 11a. I’ll make a note in the blog. Comments about whether this is an appropriate term to use in a crossword also noted.

  21. I thought I was heading for the SCC, but avoided it by a couple of minutes, but only because I used aids to confirm the vowel order in GIRASOL. BLOTTING PAPER took me far too long to see, SEN NHO, initially fell into the IMPOSTeR trap, but then looked again at the parsing. I understand all the criticism of this puzzle and it’s setter above, but please don’t consign the Don to the 15 x 15, I so enjoy the challenge he brings here.

  22. This was tough. 16 minutes with all parsed including IMPOSTOR.
    But for the unknown gem, I had GARISOL. I agree with the comments above about this being a bit much for a QC. Which brings us back to the debate about what a solver might be expected to know.

  23. Managed to finish apart from failing to guess where the unchecked vowels went in GIRASOL so a moral victory overall, such failure as it is balanced with a new word in my lexicon. A word too far I felt, but on the whole I have known many of the words that from time to time have raised comments about obscurity, so it’s a fine line.
    ENDUE wasn’t exactly on the tip of my tongue, but the clue was sufficient to get me there, unlike the gem.
    Tough but (nearly) fair.

  24. NHO endue or girasol (either as a flower or a gemstone). While the former was easily solvable from the wordplay I had to guess at the order of the vowels in the latter (and got it wrong). Also fell into the imposter trap as I didn’t fully parse it. Failed to parse Essen and direst (thanks for the explanation BR). A bit of a struggle to finish in 23 minutes but I was actually quite pleased to manage even that as I don’t always manage to complete Izetti’s offerings. My impression is that they are becoming increasingly obscure, but I don’t keep records so that’s just an impression.

    FOI – 8ac ARRIVAL
    LOI – 17ac the incorrect GORISAL
    COD – 4dn BLOTTING PAPER. I also quite liked 1dn BASS just for the unusual clueing.

  25. DNF. Got nowhere. Didn’t like 1d at all.

    Daily Telegraph is a better crossword for me today.

  26. Finished in 17:58, but with GARISOL for GIRASOL. The latter is known to me as a sunflower, but NHO as a gem.
    My favourite clues were SEVER and BLOTTING PAPER.

    Thanks BR and Don

  27. Two sittings, and even then a DNF thanks to ImpostEr (my fault, should have read the clue more carefully) and a guess at Garisol for the nho gem. I also thought 1d was a stinker: B- – – – implies a four letter answer that would also fit after the B to make a five letter word. This is taking ‘punctuation is only there to confuse’ to new heights. Invariant

    1. Agreed – 1dn was poor – however, 17ac is one my massive pet hates. At least three or four possibilities if you didn’t have the knowledge.

  28. I join the umpteen solvers that got the gem wrong, my attempt being GAROSIL. I agree with others that this is a poor clue to put in the QC, and I wouldn’t be that happy if it was in the 15×15 come to think of it. I always like to have a shot at it without resorting to aids, so did at least have a finishing time of 13.59 even if it was technically a DNF.

  29. I enjoy the Don’s offerings, and in one down I always like a new way of presenting a clue. Unfortunately though I must agree with the quibbles about girasol. An obscure word that unless you know it is just a guessing game.

    I like to learn new words, but that wouldn’t be my favourite way of doing it.

  30. Of those that mentioned their incorrect guesses for GIRASOL (by noontime), we have

    So far GIROSAL and GORASIL remain unclaimed.

    1. Here’s another one for your collection, Merlin. I put GOLARIS (I had incorrect solutions to both 5d and 7d).

  31. About average time. Broke my rule ot giving this setter a miss and, since I was able to find GIRASOL deep in my subconscious, and guessed it might conveniently be a gem, am pleased that I believe Izetti has for once given us a genuine QC albeit only just, on the tough side with some unusual definitions/ spellings. MER at 10a: first we need to guess we are looking for a river not a flower then we have to shorten it. This is two steps, which I thought was tabu in a QC. MERs also at ES in 16d and SEN in 18d.. FOI BASS, LOI SENATE, COD to BELLs at 7d ( ha ha) and 12d. Thanks Izetti and BR

  32. I’m often unsure about -ER/-OR endings, but in this case it turned out to be in my favour. I think I’d have gone for IMPOSTOR as the usual spelling, but knowing I often get them wrong I made sure I checked the wordplay. As for GIRASOL, that spoilt what would have been a good puzzle. I went for GARISOL on the basis that sol might mean sun and that sounded likely for a gemstone and then it was 50:50. I don’t understand why Izetti, who must know a lot of people aren’t going to have heard of GIRASOL, would choose to clue it with an anagram. Other than that no particular complaints, though chewier than usual. A DNF in 28:37.

  33. A usual toughie from Izetti. Got there in the end somehow, but had to look up GIRASOL (NHO), guess ENDUE (NHO), SEVER (didn’t see FLOW = RIVER) and SENATE (NHO SEN), check spelling of IMPOSTOR and then hope for the best.

  34. Cryptic crossword proving to be cryptic inevitably leads to mass clutching of pearls; won’t someone think of the solvers?

    Bunged in GIRASOL after the similarity to the French word for sunflower, which seemed a likely link to a gem, but I understand the gripes about that one. Failed on IMPOSTER – even wondering why ER could mean “alternatively” as I wrote it in, but lazily assumed it was something to do with ER being a hesitation before considering an alternative.

    I finished in 5:54, so quite sprightly it seems, save for the erroneous E. For what it’s worth, I liked the puzzle, and I like Don’s puzzles both here and over at the Guardian.


  35. Made it. Didn’t enjoy it. 30m including the time it took to check GIRASOL was a thing.

  36. 24:59. I think that says it all. GRs to GIRASOL (only know it as the Spanish for sunflower), ENDUE (NHO) and SEN for the unknown Japanese currency.

  37. After yesterday’s gentle Monday offering I hoped in vain that today would be similarly positioned, but it wasn’t.
    Eventually (45 minutes) completed with the dreaded IMPOSTer red square. Yes, a lot of clever crypticity, perhaps, fir me, too clever by half. But I won’t miss considering river for flower in future when I realised I couldn’t fit Iris, Rose, Poppy or Begonia into the answer.
    Very hot here in Florida and buggy, like my QCC attempt. Back to hurricane repairs.
    Thanks Izetti and B Reject.

  38. Dnf…

    29 mins, but got 17ac “Girasol” incorrect (I put Garisol – hate those clues – if you don’t have the knowledge then it’s a lottery from the wordplay). I also put “Travel” for 2dn – knowing full well it didn’t feel right.

    The other clues were taxing but generally fair.

    FOI – 8ac “Arrival”
    LOI – 16dn “Direst”
    COD – 12dn “Breached”

    Thanks as usual!

  39. 11:11 but…

    …another fallen into the IMPOSTER trap. 56% of Crossword Club members submitting today had at least one failure…

    My average against Izetti before today was 8:42 – that’s going to have plummeted somewhat…

    Thanks I and BR

  40. A toughie today. DNF probably because I was ready to give up by the time I came to my last one 2D. Turns out I couldn’t do it as I had put BERNINI for the artist even though I couldn’t parse it….I am pleased that after 4 years of doing these I got that far.

    Agree with comments about 11A.

    Enjoyed the surfaces of 8A and 6D.

    Thanks to all the commentators above, BR and Izetti.

  41. I solved 21 clues yesterday, so I thought that the five I solved today was terrible. Now that I have read all the expert remarks, I am very pleased with the five.

  42. 29.34 with two mistakes. IMPOSTER like many others and I biffed LOI TRAVEL, which I realised should have been DRIVEL when the the pink squares appeared. Like Busman I spent a while trying to rearrange “I am after” for 5d. I was very much off the wavelength today but it was a good challenge. Thanks to BR and Izetti.

    P.S. As a relative novice I appreciate the spread of difficulties in the QCs. If they were all easy there would be a chasm between the QC and the 15×15.

  43. Two errors: GIROSAL and IMPOSTER. The former was an nho guess but should have corrected the latter from the clue.
    Amazed to get the rest right despite the nho ENDUE.
    BASS was also a guess but I see it now thanks to BR.
    Overall one of the hardest this year but thanks Izetti for the workout.

  44. Hello SCC members – any space for me? We anticipated an Izetti and here it is! I managed most of it in about quarter of an hour but my last two took at least five minutes more. But all parsed as I went along in a tad over 20 minutes.
    As is customary, all is fair in terms of construction and yet somehow Izetti’s clues take me more time to unravel.
    As I’m not aiming for speed, I mostly enjoyed the ride. I didn’t have a problem with the spelling of GIRASOL but only knew it as a flower and think it is too obscure for the quickie. Ditto ENDUE. The penultimate letter in 5d got changed a few times 😅
    But I felt there was a lot to like and it was hard to pick a COD -ARRIVAL, SEVER, BELLINI and CORSICA all got ticks.
    FOI Arrival LOI Endue POI and COD Angles
    Thanks Izetti and BR for the super blog

  45. DNF++!
    But pretty disastrous. I now recognise GIRASOL but failed on that. NHO ENDUE, SEN. Will draw a veil over the rest of my failures. By far my worst performance for ages.
    Thanks vm, BR.

  46. A strange combination of easy write-ins (eg angles, iberians, candy) and crazy hard clues (eg French art = es).
    I also had travel for 2D and normal spelling for imposter.

  47. I like having some crosswords with words that I’ve never heard of (girasol) or have long-forgotten, if I ever knew them (endue ). Two new words – good for playing Scrabble.

  48. Started off quite well in far se corner, had to look up girasol. 15a, endued and 16d went in more by luck than understanding. Rather tricky from Izetti.

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