Quick Cryptic 2585 by Jalna


Pleasant puzzle today from Jalna which didn’t cause me too many difficulties. Completed in 7:41.

My favourites were the surfaces of 6a and 4d. It was also interesting to read about the history of 14d and its many well-known past students.

Thanks to Jalna.

Definitions underlined in bold, deletions indicated by strikethrough.

1 Ignore bishop, then leave in a hurry (5,3)
BRUSH OFFB (‘bishop’) RUSH OFF (‘leave in a hurry’)
6 Thesp’s last amateur theatre piece? (4)
PLAYP (‘Thesp’s last’=last letter of ‘ThesP‘) LAY (‘amateur’)
8 Perfect (but not quite fully formed) hypothesis (4)
IDEAIDEAL (‘Perfect’) (‘(but not quite fully formed)’)=last letter deleted
9 A criminal entering with a snake (8)
ANACONDAA (‘A’) CON (‘criminal) contained in (‘entering’) AND (‘with’) A (‘a’)
10 Company opening involving an agreement (8)
COVENANTCO (‘Company’) VENT (‘opening’) containing (‘involving’) AN (‘an’)
12 They may be inflated, for example, and very large (4)
EGOSEG (‘for example’) OS (‘very large’)

A whimsical (and extended) definition.

13 Aim of protest (6)
OBJECT – Double definition
16 Coins scattered across a gambling hall (6)
CASINO – Anagram (‘scattered’) of COINS containing (‘across’) A (‘a’)
17 Dull place in which you might live (4)
FLAT – Double definition
18 Salesperson with skill and extremely effusive banter (8)
REPARTEEREP (‘Salesperson’) ART (‘skill’) EE (‘extremely effusive’=first and last letters of ‘EffusivE‘)
21 Fuddy-duddy is around, sadly (8)
DINOSAUR – Anagram (‘sadly’) of IS AROUND

A word which of course would never apply to crossword solvers.

22 Ill-mannered person left exposed (4)
LOUTL (‘left’) OUT (‘exposed’)

Same comment as above.

23 Merriment in grand shelter (4)
GLEEG (‘grand’) LEE (‘shelter’)
24 As a rule, no soldiers band together (8)
NORMALLYNO (‘no’) RM (‘soldiers’) ALLY (‘band together’)

RM short for “Royal Marines”. Contrary to the surface reading, I would have thought it would be a jolly good thing that ‘soldiers band together’.

2 Travelled round for riding competition (5)
RODEORODE (‘Travelled’) O (’round’)
3 Health resort requiring small parking area (3)
SPAS (‘small’) P (‘parking’) A (‘area’)
4 Rice wine mostly found in outer parts of Okayama, city in Japan (5)
OSAKASAKE (‘Rice wine mostly’=last letter deleted) contained in (‘found in’) OA (‘outer parts of Okayama’=first and last letters of ‘OkayamA‘)

A consistent Japanese theme to surface and answer. Not that it mattered here, but I always muddle up the spelling of the writer and the wine.

5 Wild father on escapade? (7)
FRANTICFR (‘Father’) ANTIC (‘escapade?’)
6 One handling expert scores, possibly (9)
PROCESSORPRO (‘expert’) and anagram (‘possibly’) of SCORES

Could also be parsed as having an extended (non-cryptic) definition.

7 A new day, before long, brings about much of the same (3,2,2)
AND SO ON – A (‘A’) N (‘new’) D (‘day’) SOON (‘before long’)

I’d first thought ‘before’ was a positional indicator.

11 Choose right laudatory work for conductor (9)
ELECTRODEELECT (‘Choose’) R (‘right’) ODE (‘laudatory work’)
14 University college dance is oddly lifeless to begin with (7)
BALLIOLBALL (‘dance’) IOL (‘is oddly lifeless to begin with’=first letters of ‘Is Oddly Lifeless’)

From Wikipedia, “Founded in 1263… and has a claim to be the oldest college in Oxford and the English-speaking world”.

Maybe some of our posters here at TfTT are alumni / alumnae?

15 Ground close to swamp passed over by turtle (7)
TERRAINTERRAPIN (‘turtle’) with last letter of ‘swamP‘ deleted (‘close to swamp passed over’)
19 More natural noise made by a cat full of energy (5)
PURERPURR (‘noise made by a cat’) containing (‘full of’) E (‘energy’)
20 Match of some incomparable quality (5)
EQUAL – Hidden in (‘some’) ‘incomparablE QUALity’
22 Meadow in spring lacking first sign of primroses (3)
LEALEAP (‘spring’) with first letter of ‘Primroses’ deleted (‘lacking first sign of primroses’)

63 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2585 by Jalna”

  1. Quick time there BR, I could only manage 13.36 but an enjoyable Jalna which was on the whole fairly straightforward. I was held up by COVENANT, having initially put in an unparsed contract and causing myself considerable late-stage grief. Specifically over ELECTRODE, a hard nut to crack if you think it starts with T. Once again the 15×15 is worth a look today.

  2. Pretty straightforward. I biffed ANACONDA from the CON, didn’t bother with the rest. I suppose most English-speakers pronounce ‘sake’ ‘saki’, but it still sets my teeth on edge. 5:48.

    1. Oh i was wondering what writer BR was alluding to! I don’t think I’ve ever heard the wine pronounced Saki

        1. Oh that’s definitely carry-ohkee in the thickest Australian accent you can muster. You know, where the ‘oh’ actually has three vowel sounds

  3. I was well and truly beaten by this after quite a good start. The SW corner wouldn’t come, and I stopped at 40 minutes with 5 clues remaining. Quite disappointing, but without enough checkers I couldn’t get a foothold at all. In retrospect I should have stopped at 30 minutes (which I am trying to use as a cut-off to prevent days like this). Apart from BALLIOL (NHO—saw it probably ended in IOL but couldn’t think of a 4 letter word for dance…) I should have been able to solve the other clues I didn’t get (OBJECT, FLAT, COVENANT, ELECTRODE).

  4. 12:36 here with no major holdups. Didn’t get many in the top half on my first pass through the acrosses, but I found the lower half more tractable. LOI and COD TERRAIN.

    Thanks to Jalna and BR.

  5. I needed 12 minutes for this one but a good portion of that was spent on parsing the clues as I solved. There were a couple that delayed me unduly after I already had the answer.

  6. I thought Jalna was in a surprisingly benign mood as I filled in eight on the first pass of acrosses but the downs were harder and then the slog in the SW began. All fair but I just couldn’t see FLAT or OBJECT and struggled with COVENANT, ELECTRODE and NORMALLY. Like LindsayO I;d tried ‘contract’ and that might explain how I got my pink square for weirdly spelling COVENANT ‘conevant’. Not all green in 18.

  7. Steady going today. Started with PLAY and had no serious issues until left with COVENANT and ELECTRODE which put up a bit of a fight at the end.
    Finished in 8.21.
    Thanks to BR

  8. Defeated by the COVENANT/ELECTRODE intersection this morning, which brings my brief stay outside the SCC to a halt. This was my first DNF for a long time though so I remain encouraged.
    Many thanks to BR and Jalna.

  9. 4:57. Mostly quite quick but held up a little by NORMALLY, COVENANT and my LOI ELECTRODE. Lots of great surfaces – not a duff one in sight. COD to CASINO. Thanks Jalna and BR.

  10. 12 minutes, but a good part of that on the NE corner, where I had Sham for 6A for a long time (Thesp’s last = S, amateur = HAM, definition = theatre piece). It seemed to work when I also got And so on (eventually; but only after a query over “much of the same” as the definition – not hugely close IMO). but an inability to find a word for 6D beginning with S forced a rethink. 3 minutes later all was sorted but the damage to my time was done.

    Otherwise I agree it was a friendly enough puzzle – but I speak as one who knows Balliol well and I suspect not all will find that one a write-in. Incidentally in the “oldest university ” stakes, Oxford claims a 1096 foundation date, just beaten in Europe by the University of Bologna (1088). But both are behind the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, Vietnam, which dates from 1076.

    Many thanks BR for the blog

  11. 12:14
    A bit of a struggle in the south.
    First time I have seen Lee and Lea in the same puzzle.
    LOI and COD processor

  12. Breezed this one until I DNFed over failure to see COVENANT, ELECTRODE and TERRAIN. I struggle on….

  13. I found this to be slightly trickier than others, and biffed SLOI ANACONDA.

    TIME 4:26

  14. 19:06, after warming up with the 15×15.

    Slowed by the SW corner where “oddly” confused me into thinking it meant odd letters, as it usually does. Tried to remember as many of these colleges as I could, after going through lists of Red Brick Halls of Residence. Oh wait, this is a Times puzzle.


  15. These really should come with a phobia warning!! After yesterday’s arachnid reference, today’s reptilian clue really put me off my stride….
    Got stuck in the SE corner for a while. Worked my way through that only to discover that I had entered LEUD for LOUT. Red squares for me 😔

  16. Became confused about Terapin (alt spelling) and TERRAIN (trying to include the P not delete it) but then DINOSAUR came to mind.
    Also slow on constructing ELECTRODE and COVENANT.
    Liked BALLIOL, REPARTEE, OSAKA, BRUSH OFF, among others.
    Nearly carelessly biffed Prof instead of PROCESSOR.
    Thanks vm, BR.

  17. 13:16 (revolt of Llewelyn Bren captures Kenfig and Llantrisant castles, and besieges Caerphilly).

    Started well, then bogged down in the SW corner. Needed paper to see DINOSAUR. LOI was OBJECT.

    Had I succeeded in submitting two seconds earlier, my historical event would have been “death of John Balliol”. Toom Tabard, as well as being Scotland’s worst king, was the son of the founder of Balliol college.

    Thanks BR and Jalna

    1. Love these snippets of history, simjt, but you might have to consider adding a pronunciation guide for some like today!

  18. Relatively calm for Jalna. COD electrode, LOI flat. EGOS amused me and loved all the reptiles 🙂
    Thank you Jalna and BR

  19. Unlike everybody else, I found this completely impenetrable in the bottom left – I simply couldn’t see OBJECT and the ones off it – BALLIOL & ELECTRODE. FLAT and LOI DINOSAUR too – even though I’d written out the anagrist. Complete mental block for about 5 minutes until I “pencilled in” ELECT for choose, which caused them all to come in a flurry.

    5-0 to Jalna.


  20. Held up a little by COVENANT (couldn’t get past contract until I got all the checkers) and ELECTRODE (had all but the ‘OD’ and still it took a while…). Otherwise fairly plain sailing. LOI PLAY (definitely overthinking this one). Liked TERRAIN. Many thanks Jalna and BR.

  21. Took a long time to get all but three: COVENANT, FRANTIC and PROCESSOR too difficult for me. Thank you, BR, for the blog.

  22. DNF, refused adamantly to read the clue at 15d and decided (correctly according to Wiktionary) that TERrAPIN may be spelled TERAPIN so couldn’t get 21a DINOSAUR into _I_O_P_R. Failed too to notice that it would require TERAIN to be spelt so. Doh!

  23. 5:20 but…

    ..pink-squared by a careless PROFESSOR – had some of the checkers, roughly scanned the clue and bunged it in. Oh well.

    Otherwise, this was pretty gentle though did need to write out the anagrist of DINOSAUR!

    Thanks Bletch and Jalna

  24. Purely in the interests of scientific experiment, and given that Mrs Templar was away last night, I decided to test the hypothesis that consumption of Arran Single Malt would produce a faster time in the morning.

    All done in 12:28. Not an experiment to be repeated, I think.

    Many thanks Jalna and Bletchers.


    1. But did you like the whisky?

      I knew one of the founders of the Arran Distillery (it dates from the 1990s, and was the first of the wave of “new” Scottish distilleries). Their big breakthrough was finding a way to make a mature drinkable malt after only 5 years in the barrel – before that most single malts needed at least 8 if not 10 years. This vastly speeded up their cash flow and made new distilleries possible financially. And this in turn led to the positive avalanche of new distilleries in both Scotland and indeed England (which had none before 2000, and now has over 2 dozen).

      1. I did, Cedric! How interesting, thanks for the background. It was their “Bodega Sherry Cask”, which has spent seven years in Oloroso casks. A new one to me; I like sherry finish and bought a variety of different bottles the other day to see what they were like. I now realise that this was 55.8%, which helps explain my travails with Jalna this morning.

    2. I don’t know if Science will forgive you if you abandon your research after only a single single malt! I encourage you to forge on with others.

  25. Another target missed today at 12.03, this is becoming a habit! I didn’t help myself by quickly putting in PREP for 6ac and not parsing it adequately, and it was only when 7dn wouldn’t come to me that I realised it needed correcting.

  26. 5 minutes or less going into the SW.
    Then got stuck. Persevered for another 25 minutes and finally finished. LOI OBJECT -so obvious when you know the answer. I was very slow to get BALLIOL ; I started to think of college names but gave up too quickly.
    Glad I finished it. Some days are like this. Well played Jalna.

  27. To me this seemed definitely on the tricky side of average, so I was relieved to find a few SCC window seats still available at the finish. As with others, my main difficulties were in the SW, including needing all the crossers for loi Dinosaur – just couldn’t see it any earlier. CoD to 24ac, Normally, for the (distant) memory of seeing a performance by the Band of the Royal Marines while on holiday in Torquay as a boy – I wonder if Jalna had a similar thought? Invariant

  28. I found this pretty tricky and, like others, struggled in the SW, eventually abandoning it temporarily with two to go – BALLIOL and OBJECT. However, after some toast and ginger curd, things became a bit clearer. I have a theory that toast is the cure to everything, that is on the occasions when whisky isn’t!
    I have a real blind spot when it comes to OBJECT – I seem to come unstuck every time it appears, and I have no excuse regarding the college – I was just tackling it from the wrong angle.
    I biffed ANACONDA, but otherwise all was done and dusted in 16:47 – a Very Poor Day.
    FOI Play LOI Object COD (by a long chalk) Egos
    Thanks Jalna and BR

    I found the biggie quite strange today – there were some unusual surfaces and it had quite a different feel for me. A very quick start was followed by rapid deceleration and I ground to a halt with two to go. Toast couldn’t cure that!

    1. Has to be said Penny, each to his own and all that, but ginger curd on toast? I think if I had it, things would definitely be a bit clearer.

      1. Tee hee! It’s basically lemon curd with a dollop of ginger. To be found in Lakeland (the shop but probably the region too) and National Trust shops for starters. If you like ginger, I’d recommend it. Not so hot that it clears the sinuses though 😅

  29. Held up at the end by BALLIOL, OBJECT and DINOSAUR. A proof read revealed that I’d mis-biffed TERRApIN at 15d leaving me with TERRAPN. A lucky escape! 9:29. Thanks Jalna and BR.

  30. After yesterday’s bungled attempt at the QC (I got interrupted and left the clock running on the club site) I’m glad to say that this one went in quite smoothly. Like Countrywoman and andyf I initially wrote in TERapIN. I didn’t know of BALLIOL (I failed the Oxbridge exams and went to Edinburgh) but the wordplay was clear. My only real delay was my LOI COVENANT. Home in 7:47 and COD to ELECTRODE.

  31. 19 mins…

    Enjoyable fair from Jalna. Took a little while to parse “Anaconda” (which I originally biffed) and I wasn’t sure about the definition for 21ac “Dinosaur”, but the rest went in fairly straight forward.

    FOI – 9ac “Anaconda”
    LOI – 21ac “Dinosaur”
    COD – 12ac “Egos”

    Thanks as usual!

  32. I was another who had put in CONTRACT thinking a TRACT could be an opening. This led to a DNF as I couldn’t then find the conductor.

    I enjoyed many of the surfaces especially all those where the subject matter relates to the answer.

    COD Merriment in grand shelter – I’d like some of that. Maybe with some of Templar’s single malt?

    Thanks BR and Jalna.

  33. I made reasonably quick progress until coming to a grinding halt in the SW. Completing this corner was a bit like pulling teeth – slow and rather painful. However I made it in the end to be all complete and parsed in 17 minutes.

    FOI – 8ac IDEA
    LOI – 10ac COVENANT
    COD – lots of fine surfaces but I particularly liked 1ac BRUSH OFF and 15dn TERRAIN

    Thanks to Jalna and BR

  34. 11.16 Experience helped with this one. Clues like COVENANT and ELECTRODE would have pulled me well into the SCC a year ago. A nice challenge. Thanks BR and Jalna.

  35. I joined everyone else who had fast times going into the SW only to get pretty stuck there. My biggest mistake was biffing TARGET for OBJECT! But surely OBJECT is a chestnut to the experienced solver, hope to remember in the future.

    So grabbed a seat in the SCC by a minute and a half or so.

    I loved the surfaces today! COD was EGOS. Just for the way I put in the OS (just learned that one the other day), moved on, then the rest of my brain processed the “for example” while I was reading the next clue. The human mind is so odd.

  36. Stuck in the SW corner (+10a) for ages until eventually I saw COVENANT and then ELECTRODE and then the rest with GLEE LOI. Hard work.

  37. An enjoyable solve today and pitched just at the right level for me. A slow start – FOI was CASINO and only two others in my first pass through the crosses – caused me to fear the worst, but I was able to build on the checkers as they came available and didn’t really hit the buffers towards the end. Time = 28 minutes.

    Many years ago I visited OSAKA a couple of times on business. On the second occasion, whilst waiting at the gate to board my BA flight, I was called up to the desk unexpectedly. Fully expecting to be bumped off the flight due to over-booking, I was offered a free upgrade to seat 1A. It was the only occasion I have ever flown (and ever will fly) first class. A rather boring and vastly overrated experience, as I recall.

    Many thanks to Jalna and BR.

  38. Another one having trouble in the SW corner. 16:55 today. All totally fair so it felt like it should have been faster. Thank you, Jalna and BR.

  39. 24:37, a lot of it spent chewing over the SW corner. I didn’t help myself by getting fixated on “terra” (as in “terra firma” for “ground” in 15d, and then wondering whether it was actually “tera”, and then starting to doubt how many Rs are in “terrapin”. And the realisation that “ground” can be an anagram indicator did nothing to allay my confusion.

    I have no defence for the time it took me to figure out ELECTRODE, having got the first six letters easily enough.

    Thank you to BletchleyReject for the blog!

  40. As a local, I would classify this as an A30 puzzle: repeated lengthy hold-ups in the SW.
    Late to my seat in the SCC after struggles that I now cannot explain, but the brain wasn’t bringing the blindingly obvious like OBJECT to mind, and nothing flowed. A shame, because there were some really good clues which I would have enjoyed more if I hadn’t been smacking my forehead so often.

  41. I was all set to treat you to my happy, positive side today (yes, I do have one), but alas it’s not to be.

    In my haste to get a good time, I put PROFESSOR for 6dn and so had a DNF. It took me 17 mins, but that is now irrelevant. I couldn’t see how PROFESSOR parsed, so I have only myself to blame.

    Just when I thought there was light at the end of the tunnel, I receive a reminder of my limitations. My obsession with a good time did me no favours today and that is another week blown. It’s shattering to have the joy of a fast (for me) finish replaced by the sheer misery of a DNF.

    Thanks for a great blog BR.

  42. DNF

    No problems apart from the SW corner which took an eternity and never did get the last one DINOSAUR.

  43. An enjoyable puzzle – thanks Jalna and Bletch.

    But I’m not sure the average Royal Marine would appreciate being called a “soldier”. The RM is a specialist force within the Royal Navy, rather than a branch of the British Army. She’d probably prefer “commando” or (too simple for this crossword) plain “marine”. Accordingly, the Wikipedia pages on the RM and the USMC do not mention the word “soldier” once.

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