Quick Cryptic 2576 by Teazel

I found this on the easy side. I completed it in two sittings so I don’t have a time, but I guess quicker than usual. Lots to like, but top prize goes to the magnificent 3dn.

1 Quickly produce winning blow (8)
KNOCKOUT – Would be a double definition but KNOCK OUT (quickly produce) needs a space
6 Select the best tool (4)
PICK – Triple definition
8 Be able to buy a fine car (6)
9 County girl with a baby at last (6)
GALWAY – GAL + W (with) + A + [bab]Y
10 One on the board at church: not her, we’re told (4)
HYMN – Sounds like ‘HIM’
11 Apparently last, as it turns out (5,3)
AFTER ALL – Double definition
12 It’s fitting in the bathroom to offer extra time (5)
BIDET – BID (offer) + ET (extra time)
13 Detective’s clothes are so simple (5)
PLAIN – Self-explanatory
15 A couple allowed a bit of bling (8)
17 Pet sent back small drink (4)
PUSS – S + SUP backwards
19 I run into head buccaneer (6)
PIRATE – I + R inside PATE
20 In cold capital cross the most exciting part (6)
CLIMAX – C (cold) + LIMA (capital of Peru) + X
21 Plagued — by a piece of it? (4)
AGUE – Hidden word, and an &lit
22 Lute I’d played in the old festive period (8)
YULETIDE – anagram (‘played’) of LUTE ID inside YE (‘the’ old)
2 Knight, a bit dodgy, giving off bad smell (5)
NIFFY – N (Knight in chess notation) + IFFY
3 New king had — to be this? (7)
CROWNED – New king is Charles Rex (CR) + OWNED. Lovely &lit and the first sighting (by me) of CR in the wild. Our monarch remains the only living person allowed in The Times crossword, in clues or solutions. Note though that this does not apply to the Sunday Times, which can feature anyone. (Last week’s had a reference to a certain orange politician in a clue).
4 Strange old large cup (3)
ODD – O + DD (bra size)
5 Being drunk, note, is a tricky situation (5,4)
TIGHT SPOT – TIGHT (drunk) + SPOT (note)
6 Less colourful pair drinking beer (5)
PALER – PR (pair) with ALE inside
7 Place in sequence for a Charlie (7)
CHAPLIN – PL (place) inside CHAIN (sequence)
11 Fairly regularly holding the helm for gunners (9)
ARTILLERY – Alternate letters of fAiRlY with TILLER (helm) inserted
12 Republican slogan maybe is mad (7)
BARKING – With a space it is BAR KING
14 Put into place a quiet fielding position (7)
APPOINT – A + P + POINT. For the benefit of our American readers, Point is a fielding position square of the wicket on the off side, roughly between cover point and gully.
16 Long to see river in grotto (5)
CRAVE – R inside CAVE
18 Reportedly remained sober (5)
STAID – Sounds like STAYED
20 Firm line shows way through mountains (3)
COL – CO (firm) + L

103 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2576 by Teazel”

  1. A fine QC that took me to 11 minutes to finish. I missed the parsing of ARTILLERY whilst solving and forgot to go back to it before stopping the clock.

    I singled out 10ac as an excellent clue because I liked the definition.

    The Times living person rule was broken in a puzzle earlier this week by a clue referring to Sophia Loren.

    1. Surely you can have living people in the clues, e.g if there was a word duck cap: Donald Trump

  2. All was completed in good time (for me) until I spent way too long trying to see the anagram (‘sequence’) for ‘place in’ which, as it turned out to be CHAPLIN, which ultimately defeated me. I thought there were more than usual tricky clues this morning befitting of a Friday puzzle. All this took around 26 minutes and rounded off a substandard week with just two successes. It’ll be extra homework again for me this weekend.
    Looking forward to the new Saturday puzzle with some trepidation.

    1. Pedantic finance type here but a “bid” is not an offer. To “offer” is to put on sale: to “bid” is to seek to buy. Hence, “bid/offer spread”. “Offer” and “ask” are synonyms. “Offer” and “bid” are not.

      1. Non-pedantic art collector here – when I place a bid at an auction, I’ve always thought of myself as making an offer to buy at that price.


        in British English
        VERB: 1. (often foll by for or against)
        to offer (an amount) in attempting to buy something, esp in competition with others as at an auction

  3. I had another annoying DNF today to cap off a week with a few DNFs—just missing the last clue once again. Today it was HYMN, which in hindsight is obvious but I just couldn’t work what “on a board” might mean (and still don’t know) so I just assumed it was a word I didn’t know, and gave up after about 10 minutes thinking about it.
    It’s a shame because I got through pretty well otherwise and was enjoying the puzzle. I liked a number of the surfaces including 6a, 11a, 21a, etc.

    1. This was my downfall as well. Knew how it worked but got distracted by chess, and the word Synod ( a church board of directors).

      Only word that I had which fitted was CYAN, hence my third error of the week.

    2. In churches they often put the hymn numbers up on a board near the front of the church. Everyone has a hymn book in which they can look up the appropriate hymn using its number. Even though I knew about this type of board, I still didn’t solve the clue!

  4. I DNF over GALWAY and CHAPLIN

    I also nho pate for head and also can the ‘small number’ discussion also be brought over to DD being large cups? It’s all relative lol

    Today’s one of those days that I’m glad I already have cricket vocab. Learning it all for crosswords must be the worst

    1. Interesting comparison, but numbers go on for ever. Whatever number you choose, I can guarantee to find a bigger one. Does the same principle work for bra sizes?

      1. Well with numbers they go infinitely in both directions. So whatever number you choose I could pick a smaller one also.

        Bras don’t go into negative sizes

      2. Just had that discussion with my wife (from London) who recognises NIFFY. I was brought up in Manchester and don’t.

  5. I enjoyed this puzzle which after a slow start (and failing to see the straightforward Knockout) took me 9 minutes, slightly faster than my par. I was held up by 12D because I was convinced that it was an anagram of Maybe is – the initial B checker seemed to confirm this and only when subsequent checkers emerged did I see the light.

    Chris, I love your description of Point. All cricket lovers will immediately understand, and almost no-one I suspect for whom the game is a closed book. It reminds me of a commentator in the very early days of televised snooker, when most people still had black and white TVs, who informed us “He’s going for the pink. And for those watching in black and white, it’s just behind the blue”.

    Many thanks for the blog

    1. That was ‘Whispering’ Ted Lowe if I remember correctly. What a great commentator he was.

  6. As my Greek Orthodox wife often tells me, I should spend more (ok, some) time in church. That way I might have known about that thing called a HYMN board and thus avoided a DNF in 10. Loved Curarist’s explanation of point but suspect that solvers like Guy and co now have a better knowledge of cricket vocab than many who actually know the game. Sometimes I suggest QC solvers should have a crack at the big board, but today I say: Don’t go there! It’s a monster, I fell across the line in two hours.

  7. I thought that this was a top quality puzzle. I flew through most of it until left with just COD BARKING and AGUE (pesky hiddens!) which had me scratching my head for a minute or so.
    Finished in a sprightly 6.27
    Thanks to Curarist and Teazel

  8. 11:23 for me today which left me 2 under for the week, a very satisfying round. LOI was CHAPLIN as in my head I was looking for someone a bit foolish- felt a right Charlie when the penny dropped. I suppose you could argue that particular Charlie was pretty foolish.
    Thanks to Curarist and Teazel.

  9. 9:30 (World’s oldest parliament created – the Althing in Iceland)

    Fairly straightforward. LOI was HYMN, despite my being the person who puts the numbers on the hymn board on Sundays when it is my turn to be sidesman. I was initially thinking chess boards, then toyed with the idea that there might be a colour board containing CYAN.

    Thanks Curarist and Teazel

  10. 6:21

    I confess that LOI BARKING was a definition-based guess, I didn’t appreciate the cryptic until coming here – very good – too used to seeing Republican parsed as ‘R’. Enjoyed both GALWAY and CHAPLIN too.

    Thanks Teazel and Curarist

    1. It’s particularly pleasing to see R for Republican because it can also (as in 3D today) stand for King. A Janus-type letter, looking both ways …

  11. I found this one tough, but I managed to slog my way through it all in 28 minutes.

    I biffed CHAPLIN (I think that may have been my first ever proper biff, which is a landmark event for me!).

    Despite being British, as a non-cricketer, I struggled with APPOINT until I got the checkers. PUSS also held me up for ages.

    All in all, despite being achingly slow, I’m finishing the week with a completion rather than a DNF. A good thing, and deserving of a glass of wine this evening. 😊

  12. Can someone please explain to me BARKING? is a republican a pub owner? I thought that was a Publican.

    Edit: one would think, as an Australian, I would think of the no-Monarchy meaning of republican and not immediately think of US Politics and yet here we are. Thanks all!

    1. Republicans don’t want monarchy, so would say Bar (the) King: bar as in prohibit etc.

    2. A Republican/anti-monarchist could hold a banner saying Bar the King! Nothing to do with pubs. Took me a while to get this.

    1. Bryan, this just looks like a random statement but I presume you were having the same problems as me trying to reply to the question about someone not understanding the answer to 13a – which has now disappeared.

    2. Thank you for your comment. This was the first dnf for me for ages with 13a still undone after a complete alphabet trawl. Came here to find the answer and was still mystified after reading the blog. I see how it works now. Definitely not self explanatory for me.

  13. Quite difficult to get going but finished by hopping around the grid. All correct in the end.
    No problem with HYMN, quite relieved to see good old COL. YULETIDE and ARTILLERY were early solves. Slow to parse GALWAY and PIRATE. Liked BRACELET, CLIMAX, TIGHT SPOT, AFFORD.
    Thanks vm, Curarist.

  14. Lots of smooth surfaces and clever tricks today. COD to BARKING, for fooling me as to the type of Republican I was looking for and a lovely PDM! But lots of other contenders.

    I now see that I mis-parsed BIDET, thinking that it was something to do with BIDE + T. Oh well, they all count *cough*.

    Crossed the line in reggo 07:57 for a Pretty Decent Day.

    Many thanks curarist and Teazel.


    1. Wouldn’t worry Templar, from reading your post I realised I did the same re: Bidet.

  15. 16 mins…

    A sub 20 mins and fully correct – a rare thing so far this year. Some nice clues from Teazel, including 12dn “Barking”, 8ac “Afford” and 7dn “Chaplin”. I didn’t spot the intricacies of 3dn and only got it once I had all the checkers.

    FOI – 6ac “Pick”
    LOI – 3dn “Crowned”
    COD – 10ac “Hymn”

    Thanks as usual!

  16. Teazel, far more than Izetti, is my nemesis. It takes me half the puzzle to get my brain into Teazel mode, and then once I have some checkers to work around I am usually slow but ok. It’s finding enough to get me to that point that is the issue. Absolutely no complaint about the clueing, which is clever and often amusing, just that wavelength thing.
    Hadn’t seen CROWNED so clued before although CR has been used; very nice. PLAIN was LOI where I was looking for something too clever! Doh. PUSS also took far longer than it should.
    Well into the SCC today but enjoyed the journey.

    1. I had SiP for drink for quite a while, but kept reconsidering as I was sure The Times just couldn’t allow the resulting answer. Or could it?

  17. 4.19

    Decent time after a few slower ones. Who knows why?

    Some lovely clues here – like Jackkt I liked HYMN but the regal ones (CROWNED and BARKING) were good too

    Thanks Teazel and Curarist

  18. Reasonable effort, just ever so slightly better than expected according to QUITCH.

    Struggled a bit with L2I PLAIN and CHAPLIN.

    Liked CROWNED and YULETIDE, though BARKING wins COD, and very much like curarist’s description of where to find POINT on a cricket field!


  19. Pink squares again, for the third time this week. HYMN was the nemesis, but I didn’t understand PLAIN either.


  20. Off the pace today in around 18 minutes. Struggled in the NE corner, though all nice clues once the pennies dropped.

  21. Very pleased to complete a Teazel in just 23 minutes (or even at all). He and Wurm are my nemeses (if that’s a word).

    I started with AFFORD and lurched my way around the grid trying to build on the available checkers. GALWAY was tricky and I didn’t understand CROWNED, although it had to be, but I somehow maintained momentum until I arrived at the 3-to-go point. After some fruitless minutes working on 1a I switched to the SW corner and BARKING and (the NHO) AGUE appeared within seconds. Upon switching back to 1a (my LOI) KNOCKOUT magicked its way into my brain almost instantly. Crosswording is such a strange game.

    Thanks to Teazel and Curarist

  22. I think, Curaist that saying that point is “on the off side between cover point and gully” will leave our American readers more baffled than ever !!

  23. I found this quite straightforward, although I only spotted the correct parsing of BIDET as I typed it in.

    TIME 4:23

  24. Off the pace at 14:33, a victim of the hard to get started disease; I obviously need to pull the choke knob a bit further out when I climb into the driver’s seat. Still, I ended up really enjoying this puzzle which had plenty of clever clues. My favourites were PICK, the maybe not so ‘simple’ PLAIN, ODD and Curarist’s POINT explanation of course.

    Thanks to Teazel and Curarist

    1. Gosh, you have a car with a choke knob? Amazing. These days the chips in the cars seem to want to drive the blasted things and of course I totally disapprove of how they do it.
      Remarks worthy of The Rotter.

    2. My first car, a Morris Minor 1000, had trafficators. Do you remember them?
      On one occasion I was waiting to turn right when a brand new Ford Cortina came around the bend and ran into the back of me. The driver was absolutely livid and accused me of not signalling. Unfortunately for him my trafficator was still in position, stuck out and lit. It shut him up and I left him to survey the (fairly extensive) damage to the front of his car. Amazingly, my 20-year old Moggie got off scot-free. Probably due to the heavy steel (or cast iron?) rear bumper.

  25. The times posted so far would suggest this wasn’t overly tough, so it must be me that was off form. I managed to drag myself over the line in 14.33, with PLAIN and CHAPLIN eluding me for some time. Having had all five solutions last week under target, this week it was only one. I knew it wouldn’t last!
    My total time for the week was 60.47, which I think is the only time I’ve been over 60 minutes since I’ve been recording my weekly total. This gives a daily average of 12.09 which I hope to improve on next week.

  26. Plodded through most of it, but then needed a revisit to get HYMN, PUSS (glad I realised SUP and not SIP!!) and CHAPLIN. Clever puzzle.

  27. I struggled at first with this and never really got into a flow, but managed to finish in 11 minutes. LOI BARKING.
    It was an excellent puzzle and I immediately ticked CROWNED for my COD and clue of the week/month too.

  28. This all went in quite quickly except for the inevitable head-scratchers at the end. I eventually finished in 18 minutes having failed to parse CHAPLIN and PLAIN. Lots of fine clues here so I was hard pushed to select a COD.

    FOI – 6ac PICK
    LOI – 13ac PLAIN
    COD – I think it has to go to 12dn BARKING. 1ac and 10ac also very good.

    Thanks to Teazel and Curarist

  29. 16:01
    Tiredness leading to a slow finish.
    There were 10 clues remaining, I was started to consider a defeat, but kept going.
    COD Barking.

  30. Left with only 13A – it had to be PLAIN but it left me wondering where the detective was involved.
    reading “self explanatory” in the blog did not help then the penny dropped from a great height. Doh!

  31. FOI KNOCKOUT and LOI APPOINT in 8:27 which is about average for me. I didn’t see the parsing of CROWNED and ARTILLERY until after I submitted and also incorrectly parsed BIDET. I struggled to solve AFFORD and PLAIN but the PDMs were worth the wait. CsOD to the two king clues CROWNED and BARKING.

  32. A PB for me today. 11 mins. A steady work through slotting them in with the crossers. For once, I wasn’t left with lots to go back to. Feeling v chuffed

  33. I thought this was quite tricky so was pleased to finish in 10:26 – I mostly seem to be around the 10 – 15 minute mark at the moment.
    I didn’t know point for the fielding position, and I was very unsure of BARKING so was pleased to see it was right, but I still didn’t understand until I read Mike H’s comment. A real PDM 😉 Sorry Curarist – you did say the same thing – but for some reason, I was none the wiser! I liked HYMN, PLAIN and TIGHT SPOT. YULETIDE practically wrote itself in but I really liked the surface. I’m another one who briefly had very raised eyebrows at 17a – thank goodness it turned out to be PUSS!
    FOI Pick LOI Climax COD Crowned
    Thanks Teazel and Curarist

    Re the biggie: I usually finish the 15×15 a couple of times a week, and get pretty close the rest of the time, but not today! After at least half an hour, I’ve got four clues – I might give up 😅

    1. Given your comment on the biggie I looked at the SNITCH of 147 and thought I’d give it a go. My modest target was four clues in half an hour. I surprised myself as I solved all but three intersecting clues in the SE corner in 50 minutes…..I was never going to solve the last three though. I like clever wordplay but tend to avoid the biggie because my GK is poor. Don’t give up Penny!

      1. Brilliant J – well done! I feel that I’d better return to it now. In fairness, I had to go out for the afternoon so always intended to give it another go when I got back, but feel determined to at least try and double my score 😅

  34. I was slow to get started but eventually NIFFY came along followed by HYMN and things began to move. Took a while and some crossers to see KNOCKOUT. CROWNED was good. PUSS was LOI. Just over my target at 10:41. Thanks Teazel and Curarist.

  35. 13:39. I needed to read blog for complete parsing of CROWNED and BARKING. CHAPLIN eluded for way too long (and I’m christened Charles). PLAIN and NIFFY were hard too. Like others I thought SIP for drink first but had doubts setter would refer so blatantly to micturition(even the term urination is a little too bold for me). Also I must confess to blushing at DD and BIDET as I haven’t moved beyond the maturity of a 14-year-old yet.

  36. DNF, too much of a novice and an American! But some great clues, loved BARKING! And everything was fair, I just got tired.

  37. Second completion of the week and most proud after such a slow start. 12a was my FOI. A good run through the downs gave me the checkers for the awkward crosses.
    LOI climax

  38. 15:13 here, but I never parsed my L2I, PLAIN and BARKING. Liked CROWNED and ARTILLERY a lot.

    Thanks to Curarist and Teazel.

  39. we found this quite hard with problems on 12a bidet, 12d barking, 7d Chaplin . Lack of anagrams which are our strong point. poor end to the week.

  40. 12.29 This was mostly straightforward but I was halfway through reading the comments before I realised what PLAIN had to do with detectives. It was explained a little further on. Doh! When the blogger writes “self explanatory” there are bound to be several of us who have missed the point. Thanks Curarist and Teazel.

  41. 22:50

    All set for target sub-20 minute solve until I hit the buffers with LOI HYMN. The only word I could fit was CYAN but that made no sense. Probably 5 minutes on that clue before the penny finally dropped.

    PS thanks Curarist for the blog. Re Charles, we did have the living actress Sophia Loren earlier this week.

  42. 20 mins

    Of the 26 clues, I solved 21 of them in 6 minutes. My first 12 were write ins! I don’t do all the across clues and then all the downs any more, so this was a mix of across and down clues.

    With 5 to go, I was hoping for a good time, but it wasn’t to be. 14 mins to get BARKING, CLIMAX, BIDET, CHAPLIN and PLAIN.

    PLAIN was my LOI. I had thought of it much earlier, but couldn’t parse it, and still couldn’t when I put it in.

    Please don’t take this as a complaint (because I think you all do a brilliant job and I would be completely lost without you), but it isn’t helpful when bloggers say simply that an answer is self-explanatory. For those of us of limited ability, we need everything explaining! PLAIN was, at least for me, far from obvious and it took several minutes of thinking before I worked it out. Having got P, I was thinking PI for a while.

    It’s not been a good week. Three hours, 50 minutes, with one DNF. Equally galling is the fact that I had three 20-minute finishes, and so had no SCC escapes when I might have had three.

    Thanks to everyone for their comments yesterday and to Curarist for today’s blog.

    1. Glad you came back, and well done. Agree about self-explanatory (and of course your overall appreciation for the bloggers).

  43. 4:25. Great puzzle by Teazel, not as hard as some of his. LOI HYMN. COD to the super CROWNED. Thanks Teazel and Curarist. Ha ha. Comment left unposted in my browser since this time yesterday.

  44. Rather late for this one (busy day on Friday) so I’m sure no one will see this – no matter! NHO POINT, and many other difficult ones. NHO ET = extra time; in what context, please?

    1. In football, if a cup tie is level after 90 minutes, they play 30 minutes extra time, often abbreviated in news reports to ET.

    2. It’s worth familiarising yourself with the fielding positions in cricket. They do tend to come up quite often, particularly leg/on and off for the two different sides of the pitch.

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