Quick Cryptic 2613 by Felix

Solving time = 4:55.  Perceived difficulty?  Easier than yesterday!

No Parkrun time to report until the podiatrist gives me the all clear.

Keep an eye out as usual for something extra from Felix (think I’ve spotted it) and let us know how you got on.

We have the first six letters of the alphabet across the top row, and the last six letters across the bottom row.  But is this just part of something bigger? Comments please!



In the clues, definitions are underlined and anagram indicators are in italics.

In the explanations (ABC)* indicates an anagram of abc.  Deletions and other devices are indicated accordingly, I hope.

7 Slow progress made by our monarch altering law (5)
CRAWL – CR (our monarch) + (LAW)*
8 New tram for painting or sculpture say (3,4)
10 For example, first or second row to get spoken about (7)
ORDINAL – DIN (row) inside ORAL (spoken)

The surface suggests the row that rhymes with bow, but what’s needed is the row that rhymes with, um, bow.

11 Log found in frozen terrain (5)
ENTER – Hidden in frozEN TERrain
12 Copper computer network initially enhanced for a song (5,4)
PENNY LANE – PENNY (copper) + LAN (computer network) + E (enhanced, initially)

So what was the fireman doing with an hourglass?  Very strange.

14 Every so often I’d buyer needing to be paid (3)
DUE – Alternating letters (every so often) of i’D bUyEr
15 Princess in opera is doing aria, first of all (3)
IDA – Initial letters (first of all) of Is Doing Aria

From the G & S comic opera Princess Ida.

16 Girl realigned reforms (9)

The anagrist looked like the anagrind at first take.

18 Half-hearted welcomes for signs of saintliness? (5)
HALOS – HALLOS (welcomes) with half the centre letters removed.

Am I the only one that thought of Simon Templar and the opening credits?

20 One who demonstrates British saying (7)
PROVERB – PROVER (One who demonstrates) + B (British)
22 Sovereign’s wife backed US lieutenant with articles (7)
SULTANA – SU (backed US) + LT (lieutenant) + AN + A (articles)

Sultan’s wife.

23 Long twelve months ending in confusion (5)
YEARN – YEAR (twelve months) + N (ending in confusioN)
1 Hapless comic, floundering, concludes successfully (12)

Nice anagram.  Not immediately obvious, to me at least.

2 Pavlova maybe following strip finding neckerchief (8)
BANDANNA – ANNA (Pavlova maybe) following BAND (strip)

AP’s feet were extremely arched, requiring extra support to be added to her shoe soles.  Mine are going the other way as I age, hence the podiatrist reference above.  And there goes my shot at being a prima ballerina.

3 Is able to accommodate large family (4)
CLAN – L (large) accommodated by CAN (is able to)
4 Trouble experienced lifting flower (6)
DAHLIA – AIL (trouble) + HAD (experienced) all reversed (lifting)

“Lifting” only works for a Down clue of course.

5 Film bloke, genuine and spiritual (8)
ETHEREAL – ET (film) + HE (bloke) + REAL (genuine)
6 Pay for infantry (4)
FOOT – Double definition

Infantry soldier = foot soldier.  Pay the bill = foot the bill.

9 Car company in December’s relocated: eastern New Zealand (8-4)
MERCEDES-BENZ – (DECEMBERS)* + E (eastern) + NZ (New Zealand)
13 Old European turning up in Kyiv, also Guyana (8)
YUGOSLAV – Reverse hidden (turning up in) kyiV ALSO GUYana
14 Motivation and method required to find parking place? (8)
DRIVEWAY – DRIVE (motivation) + WAY (method)
17 Tool used to cut letters on grave spotted (6)
RIPSAW – RIP (letters on grave) + SAW (spotted)

Used for cutting with the grain.  Across the grain you’ll want a crosscut saw of some description.  Measure twice, cut once.  That’s the entirety of my woodworking knowledge.

19 Left, united, repeated something outstanding (4)
LULU – L (left) + U (united), repeated.

Well yes, the little Scottish ball of energy was outstanding in many ways, but in this case we’re looking at the generic lulu, “an outstanding example of a particular type of person or thing”.

Quick Google to check that she’s still with us.  And Boom Bang A Bang yes she is!  But now reduced to appearing on The Masked Singer.  Oh dear.  And whoa, look at that…am I the only one that didn’t know she was married to a Bee Gee at one point?

21 Gem, old, found by New York Times (4)
ONYX – O (old) + NY (New York) + X (times)

53 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2613 by Felix”

  1. 13:36 what a relief.

    NHO of LULU but crossers/wordplay made it so. As a cross cultural exchange I would like to offer the current slang term ‘delulu’ which comes from ‘delusional’ and used to describe people who have very strong fantasies. I look forward to seeing it in future Sunday specials 😁 https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/23/style/delulu-tiktok-gen-z-millenials.html

    I tried to anagram pavlova into a cravat of some kind.

    FOOT was my LOI. Many words fit _O_T I tell you what.

    Penny Lane is going to be my earworm for the weekend it seems.

    Thanks for the blog!

  2. 13:13. RIPSAW was COD. I remember really liking Lulu’s song The Boat That I Row . Also in the movie To Sir With Love she played the perky bouncy one in contrast to Judy Geeson’s more serious character.

  3. Just under 10 minutes. I was glad this wasn’t as taxing as yesterday’s and it was a bonus to have the Nina. I don’t know if there are any more little presents in the grid; I notice there are quite a few female names scattered here and there but this may be serendipitous.

    I enjoyed the 60’s pop references though I didn’t know either that LULU had been married to Maurice Gibb. Favourite was the RIP SAW after being sucked in and expecting a chisel or similar implement on first reading the clue.

    Thanks to Felix and galspray

  4. 12 minutes, not remotely hard, but I was a bit slow. I spotted the letter-runs top and bottom but nothing else.

    I knew about LULU and Maurice Gibb but on checking the Bee Gees Wiki page I was surprised to learn that Barry is now Sir Barry. He’s the only survivor of the four brothers (now aged 77) despite being the eldest.

  5. Oh dear. Unlike the above I found this very hard and it rounded off a dismal week of QC DNFs for me. The worst I can remember. I threw in the towel after my 30 minute cut off time about 2/3 completed.
    One small observation, although it makes no difference really, is that Princess IDA is an operetta (or comic opera) and not really an opera, in that it contains spoken dialogue. A small distinction perhaps.
    I shall lick my wounds over the weekend and doubtless bounce back on Monday.
    Wishing you all a splendiferous weekend.

  6. Steady going starting with CRAWL and then ACCOMPLISHES to open up the grid. A couple of unknowns for Ms Pavlova and LULU but both were kindly clued.
    Had to read the clue for DUE a couple of times to see if I could make sense of the surface but decided it was just horribly clunky.
    Spent a couple of minutes post submission looking for a 60s theme but missed the more obvious alpha pattern.
    Finished in 8.26 which is around my average.
    Thanks to Galspray and Felix

  7. I found that slightly harder than yesterday. But then it is Saturday morning and I am a trifle crapulous. And then it turned out that I had typed HADLIA like a complete twit so my 11:36 had two pink squares anyway. I’m going to have a coffee and contemplate the misery of life.

    First rate blog, thank you. Thanks Felix too.


  8. Unlike commenters so far, I found this really tough, taking 35 mins to get all green. Badly held up by ETHEREAL, BANDANNA, ORDINAL, PENNY LANE and RIPSAW.

    NHO IDA or Anna Pavlova (or maybe a very vague memory of the name, but not concrete enough to be triggered by the clue).

    However, it’s still a completion rather than a DNF, which is a good thing.

    Have a great weekend everyone. Pi

  9. NHO Lulu in that sense. I thought the answer should be LONE -Left, united(as one) and sounds like something outstanding, (loan).

    1. Same here – I thought “Oh yes, ‘outstanding’ as in standing outside the rest of the group” and was very pleased with myself, until it turned out to be wrong.

  10. If I’d seen the clever Felix game before being prompted to look for it, I’d have finished in about two thirds of the time, as I spent forever on the last 2 clues – GERALDINE and RIPSAW; the latter, with the W in place, would have made the answer obviously not ‘spotted’. For a while I had DAPPLE, assuming it was a type of chisel. NHO LULU in that sense. There certainly are a lot of female names. I counted 6, 7 at a push, taking part answers as well as full ones. Thanks, Felix, and Galspray for the entertaining blog.

  11. Not so easy and DNF as LOI FOOT for which I put HOST. Seemed credible as a DD.
    No problem with GERALDINE as wife’s name (which she hates). I previously assumed ENID LARGE was a suitably inappropriate anagram but Enid was deemed equally unfavoured.
    Thanks Felix and Galspray for insightful blog. Hope you sort out suitable insoles to get back into your park run.

  12. Defeated by HALOS, it just doesn’t look like a word. On seeing it I at first thought it was some Greek technicality. I went with HOLES, as that is what stigmata are.

  13. – Began losing interest six mins in and not even having read all the clues.
    – Somehow endeavoured to stumble on.
    – Was saved by spotting the gimmick at about 13-14mins. Not sure I’d have completed this without it.
    – At 19:22 typed the I of RIPSAW with a resigned shrug. I couldn’t parse so was left guessing between RAP, REP, RIP, ROP, RUP. Nothing hard about in retrospect, I just didn’t lift and separate in the right place.

    – Being renowned for my bandana when running, I’ve always spelled it with one N so was a little slow there.
    – LULU and RIPSAW NHO taking my list to 9NHOs in the five puzzles since Tuesday. Compare that to 9NHOs in the other 22 QCs of February.
    – After this past week, I may have to postpone for a few days until my fortitude returns.

    Edit: QCpr 43:41

  14. On the wavelength today for a change and zoomed through – zoomed, that is, by my standards. FOI CRAWL, LOsI DAHLIA, RIPSAW. Like others, NHO LULU as outstanding but it had to be.
    MERC was a gift with New Zealand featuring.
    Thanks vm, Galspray. Did not see the Nina/whatever.🙂

  15. 5:02. Fun crossword. After 3D I filled in the rest of the top letters and after 9D the bottom, which helped a little. Thanks Felix and gallers.

  16. Dnf…

    20 mins, but made an error on 6dn and put “Host” which was frustrating. Some good clues though, even if I hadn’t heard of 19dn “Lulu”.

    FOI – 7ac “Crawl”
    LOI – 6dn (incorrect)
    COD – 22dn “Sultana” – purely for the image it conjured up.

    Thanks as usual!

    1. I don’t see why “host” doesn’t work as a valid answer. Is a crossword supposed to have a unique solution?

  17. DNF

    Would have been a poor time for the QCpr Saturday double anyway as parkrun was a swamp and this took 28 minutes, saw the ABC thing which helped me get all the top and bottom answers but NHO IDA and put ISA and didn’t get HALOS. That’s 3 DNFs in a row.

    PS annoyed at the recent run of poor form I took to the Snitch to find the easiest 15×15 from the past fortnight. 28844. Piece of cake. Well easier than recent QC offerings anyway. Recommended for any QC regulars wary of its big brother.

  18. I had no real trouble finishing this off inside my target time, despite failing to spot the Nina as usual.

    TIME 4:49

  19. 6:15

    Enjoyed this fairly gentle Saturday morning offering from Felix after a slowish start on the acrosses (four in on first pass)- even spotted the nina (I can’t see anything more than what Galspray has suggested either). Didn’t parse ORDINAL in flight and still not entirely sure I know what a LULU is.

    Thanks G and F

  20. Found this difficult and gave up after 25 mins. Eluded by LULU, RIPSAW,Mercedes Benz, Geraldine and Ordinal. Yesterday’s was better for us.

  21. After the week we’ve just had, I can’t say that I was looking forward to a Felix Nina, even if (taps head) we thankfully seem to have exhausted the Dickens repertoire. However, this was all fairly gentle, with only loi, and CoD, Ripsaw digging in at the end to scoff at my futile attempt at a sub-20. Of course, if I had actually spotted the Nina before finishing, that W would have been quite useful. Invariant

  22. 11:06
    Below par, even being crapulous as per Templar, or like a boiled owl and my coppers hot !
    Dnk Anna and didn’t parse ordinal. I was glad the answer to 9d was not a location in NZ.
    Liked penny lane, proverb, and ripsaw.

  23. Parkrun done in 27.42 at a mud bath in Andover and the crossword done in about 35 on a packed train to Birmingham – not quite under the hour!
    Spotted the letter sequences so that helped to complete the puzzle.
    Cod – DAHLIA
    Thank you Felix and Galspray.
    Come on The Saints

  24. Very pleased to finish in just 23 minutes, which is quick for me. However, it could have been a lot longer or even a DNF, had I not spotted the he Nina with three clues to go. Those last few clues – DAHLIA, FOOT, and ART FORM – had me stumped and I was just about to embark on the dreaded alphabet trawl when I spotted U, V, W, X, Y, Z at the bottom of the grid. A quick check up top gave me D__L_A for 4d and F__T for 6d and I was finished barely a couple of minutes later.

    DNK that meaning of LULU or how to spell BANDANNA. Also, four clues ending in A seemed a bit weird.

    Many thanks to Felix and Galspray

  25. I found this much easier than the last two QCs and zipped through fairly quickly. Held up briefly by PENNY LANE and LOI DAHLIA. Didn’t know BANDANNA had two ‘n’s. NHO LULU in that sense either – thanks for explanation galspray. Favourite clue was HALOS. Didn’t spot the nina, but then never do! Happy Saturday all.

  26. From my Google research Ida Dahlia is a singer on Tik Tok, and there are some characters in Stephen King’s Mr Mercedes series called Ida Silver, Lou Linklatter, Harry Treadaway (‘Penny Dreadful’) as Brady Hartsfield. I can’t pull these into a single theme though. Geraldine is associated with Red Bull not Mercedes. (grasping at straws now!) Anyway I did spot the A to F and U to Z for a change. My FOI was CRAWL and LOI was GERALDINE. 7:40. Thanks Felix and Galspray.

  27. A fairly straightforward 10:29 today. As usual, never even thought to look for a theme let alone spot it. Like Fabian, I would have spelt bandana with just the two n’s but the clue was clear. Pulled a face at 14a, which I went back to read at least another two times to see if I could make it read sensibly, but I enjoyed the phonic misdirection in 10a.

    These days I only volunteer at Parkrun but I watched on with wonder from my marshaling position this morning as, remarkably, everyone managed to stay on their feet!

  28. 10.37 Easier than yesterday but still a bit chewy so I was pleased with the time. LULU was new to me. The nina went unnoticed. Thanks galspray and Felix.

  29. I think the best I can say here is that I completed the grid. But I had no idea what was going on with Lulu (got from wordplay but NHO in that meaning), and I had not heard of Ripsaw either. I also thought Halos looked odd (I’d have spelt it Haloes), failed to parse Ordinal until post submission and needed a long word search for Dahlia. In the circumstances all green in 12 minutes was a result …

    Many thanks Galspray for the blog

  30. After a making a hash of yesterday’s quickie enjoyed today. NHO of LULU but it just had to be, so good to find the answer explained in the blog.
    Thanks galspray and Felix.

  31. 19:44. Held up by not fully concentrating (“10 FEET of snow in the Sierras?”), and by 2 of the long anagrams, which needed writing down. Spotted the “first six – last six” trick after finishing, so no help there.

    Thanks to Felix and galspray.

  32. Typotastic with five pink squares giving four wrong. All typos from getting up repeatedly as the kitchen timer went off and I had other bits of dinner to prepare. Held up a lot by BANDANNA and SULTANA – the latter thanks to a casually entered ACCOMPLISHEd – not a typo. Managed to type CalN for CLAN and PROeeRB mucking up two clues each. Very much not all green in 23.

  33. 8:16 (Hywel ap Rhodri Molwynog becomes King of Gwynedd, after defeating his brother Cynan in battle.)

    Doing this late afternoon, having spent the day installing chipboard loft flooring. I seem to have found this easier than most. NHO of the generic LULU, only the specific singer.

    Thanks Felix and Galspray

  34. 21:26, and a welcome relief after the last couple of days.

    Thank you to galspray for the blog! Your commentary for 10a had me giggling in a very undignified manner.

  35. Fell into the same traps as everyone else. I found it a bit easier than some we’ve had this week. Biffed more than usual.

    Love LuLu but never thought about her name before so thanks Felix and Galspray.

    DNF as NHO RIPSAW. I should have remembered RIP from previous puzzles, but as it’s getting late I threw in the towel.

    Night night

  36. I found this tough going but very enjoyable in trying to swerve with the cluing misdirections.

  37. We finally got around to this on a lazy Sunday morning. Despite quickly getting ACCOMPLISHES and MERCEDES-BENZ we then struggled to get into Felix’s mind. Finally completed in a frustrating 47 minutes, but for relative newcomers we thought that OK. Really didn’t like LULU, just seemed too obscure, but PENNY LANE and SULTANA vied for COD.

  38. After a run of DNFs this week I was delighted to finish albeit at a very slow pace with help from aids.

  39. Came to this on Sunday morning as Mrs RH away yesterday. Really enjoyed it and we were nicely in the Felix mindset when halfway through spotted the Nina and filled in DEFWY which really boosted the end to finish in a decent 21.23.

    We are a good team as I’m a musical scientist and Mrs RH is an arty history buff so we have the bases covered. Best moment of my morning was her suggestion that Pavlova could refer to a dog 😂

    Thanks Felix and Galspray


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