Quick Cryptic 2697 by Myles

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

Parkrun + Solve = 34:31.

Not sure I’ve blogged a Myles before, so let’s begin by thanking him / her for our daily dose.  Nice puzzle I thought and I can’t see anything that will outrage the masses, but I suppose that’s really up to the masses.

Is WHATNOT well known as an item of furniture?  Not to me but then interior design isn’t really my thing.

Anyway, here’s how I parsed the clues.  Would be delighted to hear your thoughts / complaints / corrections:

(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).

1 Couturier Pierre meeting a large cleric (8)
CARDINAL – CARDIN (couturier Pierre) + A + L (large)
5 Said to change platform (4)
8 Scot’s sound in mind? On the contrary, one wanders a lot (5)
NOMAD – No’ mad (Scottish for “sound in mind”)

Is “On the contrary” just there to improve the surface reading?  To distinguish between a sound mind and one who wanders?  I think so, but wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve overlooked something obvious.

9 Accurately record taking man on board, for example (7)
CAPTURE – Double definition

The first definition refers to something that captures the moment, such as a photograph, a courtroom sketch or a newspaper report.  The second definition is from chess (or draughts).

11 Blue, could be Black, White, Red, or Yellow (3)
SEA – Black, White, Red and Yellow are all names of specific SEAs.

… whilst blue is a term used to reference “the sea” in general.

12 Insurance for vehicle circling university city in North America (9)
VANCOUVER – VAN COVER (Insurance for vehicle) “circling” U (university)
13 Not quite second, coming in last, somehow (6)
ALMOST – MO (short for moment, or second) inside (LAST)*
15 Hard sign pointing way in school (6)
HARROW – H (hard) + ARROW (sign pointing way)

One of only two or three schools in the UK, according to Crosswordland.

18 New doubts sorted out, as Pilgrim Fathers sailed (9)

An annoying pedant would point out that some of them must have started the journey eastbound from Rotherhithe in order to exit the Thames.

19 Drink which comes before you, from what you hear (3)
TEA – Homophone of T, which comes alphabetically before U (homophone of you)
20 Sea-god’s spear I had found in river (7)
TRIDENT – ID (I had) in TRENT (river)
21 Belonging to base we use frequently (5)
OFTEN – OF (belonging to) + TEN (base we use)

As opposed to TWELVE, which is the base we should use.  Probs a bit awkward to change now though.

22 Stitch in time — there’s a clue in there (4)
HINT – Hidden in stitcH IN Time

A rare case of the definition not appearing at the start or end of the clue.

23 Suburban street at heart of massacre’s centenary (8)
CRESCENT – Hidden in massaCRE’S CENTenary
1 Players hugging a bridge player before a game of cards (7)
CANASTA – CAST (players) “hugging” A + N (bridge player) + A

Bridge players are designated as N, S, E and W when describing the play.

2 Odd graduate seen in Cuban dance (5)
RUMBA – RUM (odd) + BA (graduate)
3 Most of Asian country viewable as united (11)
INDIVISIBLE – INDIa [Most of India (Asian country)] + VISIBLE (viewable)
4 I’d moved away from crash, possibly grave if not acute (6)
ACCENT – ACCIDENT (crash) with ID (I’d) “moved away”.
6 Shaking a container of missiles (7)
AQUIVER – A + QUIVER (container of missiles)

The missiles in this case being arrows.

7 Second gear is curse (5)
SWEAR – S (second) + WEAR (gear)

As in sportswear or wet weather wear for example.

10 Experts as well as criminals opposing arguments (4,3,4)
PROS AND CONS – PROS (experts) + AND (as well as) + CONS (criminals)
14 Young lady: one working for special embassy (7)
MISSION – MISS (young lady) + I (one) + ON (working)
16 Piece of furniture not what’s been swapped around (7)
WHATNOT – NOT and WHAT “swapped around”

Hmmm.  Did anyone else think there was less to this clue than meets the eye?

17 Complain incoherently as male, say (6)
MUTTER – M (male) + UTTER (say)
18 Contemplate what’s wrong about Conservative (5)
WATCH – (WHAT)* about C (Conservative)

I thought this was a slightly loose definition but the very first def for contemplate is “look thoughtfully for a long time at”, so that’ll do me.

19 It divides the fixed-rate tax (5)
TITHE – IT inside (divides) THE

And that wraps it up for me today, now it’s over to you.  As Hoges used to say in the Winfield commercials, “let ‘er rip Boris”…

66 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2697 by Myles”

  1. I did spend a lot of time trying to anagram ‘not what’ and getting nowhere and just revealing the answer and then being a bit wtf about it

  2. 11 minutes. WHATNOT has 26 hits in the TfTT archive which suggests it needs to be learnt if it hasn’t already.

    If NO MAD is intended to be a play on Scottish dialect I think that would give us NAE MAD.

    CAPTURE defined as ‘taking man on board’ is interesting as there was a discussion here recently about ill-matched parts of speech in clues. One might have expected ‘taking’ to give us CAPTURING, but it’s a part of the setters art to play such games with solvers that’s perfectly valid in my opinion. And it’s not really a trap because the -ing ending wouldn’t fit the grid.

    1. Having spent many of my formative years in Glasgow, I’d say NO and NAE would be broadly interchangeable. But if preceded by the word IS (in full as opposed to ‘S) then it’s more likely to be NAE, in my experience.

      So, if one wanted to say “it’s not bad” then IT’S NO BAD works, IT ISNAE BAD also works, but IT IS NO BAD doesn’t really work. Go figure.

      I don’t think that’s documented in any lexicon, but that’s how I would have constructed the vernacular. Others may disagree!

    2. I usually remember them after their 27th appearance.

      Chambers is probably the go-to for Scottish dialects. Their definition for “no (Scot)” is simply “not”.

      As for CAPTURE I was happy enough with the taking of a man being the same as the capture of a man.

      1. Oh yes, I was happy the CAPTURE clue too. I only mentioned it because the verb/noun thing was the subject of a debate here so recently. I can’t find it now but I think it was pursued at some length and I was on the defence team.

    3. Hi Jackkt!

      Just wondering if the TftT archive is readily available to search, or is it reserved for administrators?



      1. Hi Richard. The search facility is indicated by a magnifying glass. It’s at the top right of the screen – press Enter after typing – and also further down right where it’s labelled Search with a button to click. The locations may vary on different devices. Note this only searches the actual blog, not the comments below. The comments search is admin only.

      2. I should have added that you can also search all the content by using a domain search filter in Google.

  3. Nothing too tricky, although I forgot to go back and parse NOMAD.
    NHO (or forgotten) the designer in 1a but the AL at the end was very helpful and got things off to a brisk start and I progressed steadily around the grid. My only hold up was parsing COD ACCENT, as I always want to take things away from either the start or the end of a word before it occurs to me that I might need to look in the middle
    Finished in 7.45.
    Thanks to Galspray

    1. Funny I was going to say that Pierre Cardin might be one of the few couturiers (after a quick check of what a couturier is) who would be universally known. Think my list would consist of Dior, Armani, Cardin, and um… yeah that’s about it.

      1. I didn’t know what a couturier is and I’ve never heard of Cardin – neither has my wife! We are only in our 70’s mind 🙂

        1. 72 this year I’m guessing? Yes I should have learnt long ago not to make assumptions about what is and isn’t widely known. I’m pretty sure one can live a well-rounded life without ever coming into contact with Monsieur Cardin!

          1. Indeed – nametag is a bit of a giveaway. When set questions for various quizzes I’m often taken aback by what isn’t general knowledge 🙂

  4. Whatnot? Never heard of that. Put it in as the letters pointed that way then took it out again as nonsense. Enjoyed otherwise. 22mins with a couple of errors

  5. 5:29. I was a bit slow getting started but the down clues proved more tractable. I thought the hidden HINT was clever. Thanks Myles and Galspray.

  6. It’s always good to start straight off the bat with 1A but it wasn’t long before I spotted down to the bottom right corner before working my way back up. I liked PROS AND CONS and no problem with WHATNOT from Antiques Road Show although I did wonder if it was too obvious at first.
    Yesterday I visited Houghton Hall. Extraordinary display of works in stunning setting -100 Gormley figures and Odundo pottery. Well worth a visit if you are near Norfolk, or even if you’re not. Exhibition runs through to September.
    Thanks Galspray and Myles

  7. DNF defeated by Accent and Almost despite having all the checkers. Great puzzle. Thanks all

  8. 21:07
    Still don’t really understand NOMAD. Also spelt DIAS wrong at first. Found the WESTBOUND anagram really hard to unpick.

    PROS AND CONS was the title of a book about the criminal element in American Football. I only remember it because of its excellent title.


  9. 7.30 fail

    Appalling effort to speed up saw me shovel in SKY on the basis of “blue” and RUMMY on the basis of “odd”. Very poor show; the back of the class awaiteth


    Thanks Myles and Galspray

  10. Nice puzzle from Myles, and aside from my COD I also enjoyed the clever HINT and WESTBOUND. Thanks to Galspray for his excellent blog.

    TIME 4:51

    * Probably delayed by not expecting two “hiddens” right next to each other.

  11. Dnf…

    31 mins, but put “Canesta” for 1dn, not knowing the card game. The rest was a bit of a struggle, with 1ac “Cardinal” taking longer than it should have.

    FOI – 2dn “Rumba”
    LOI – 1dn “Canasta” (error)
    COD – 1ac “Cardinal”

    Thanks as usual!

  12. 25:15

    Chewy in places. Thought SEA was great. Took a while to see what was going on with grave and acute for LOI ACCENT.

    No parkrun double today as off on my travels.

  13. Started with 1ac and instantly thought this was going to be a cut above the usual standard(😉), and after a tough 20mins I’m still of that opinion. I do hope I wasn’t the only one to have fallen for the Nine bear trap at 22ac. It certainly made W*t*n for loi 18d an interesting but futile exercise. All sorted in the end, with 19d, Tithe, the pick of the CoD candidates for the parsing pdm. Invariant

  14. I happily wandered through that from CARDINAL to CRESCENT, nodding appreciatively at clue after clue. Myles sets really good puzzles, quirky and imaginative. Big thumbs up from me.

    All done in 08:21 for a Decent Day.

    Many thanks Myles and gallers.


  15. 10.14 Started slowly in the NW, then mostly quick elsewhere. CARDINAL, CANASTA, NOMAD, SEA and MUTTER took a few minutes at the end. Thanks galspray and Myles.

  16. Nice one from Myles. I kept thinking I was properly stuck, but then a brainwave would come along and helped me get going again.

    I started with CARDINAL, but fairly soon switched to the Down clues and had more success there. Nice to see one of my favourite card games (CANASTA) make an appearance. AQUIVER was also good, although I DNK it was a word. My L2I were ALMOST and MISSION and I crossed the line in 30 minutes.

    Many thanks to Myles and Galspray.

  17. Hoo boy, I tried this earlier in the day than usual, and I think my solver stayed in bed! 29:33, but enjoyed every minute of it. Really good clues today.

    Sleepy brain not on the wavelength at all, forgot my British vocabulary words “mo” and “rum” (yikes!), didn’t see much of anything until PROS AND CONS dropped into my lap. Slowly woke up working around the grid to a long finish at TITHE (oh come on, just follow the directions). Not sure I’ve ever heard of the White Sea. Stupidly stared at itch? no – chin? – nah – oh HINT. Looked for a homophone for “change” for quite a while before slapping forehead and getting DAIS. CANASTA took ages but got a grin when found. Looked for a homophone for “male” for far too long before the crossers insisted on MUTTER. I’m another that tried to anagram “not what” until the penny dropped with a clang.

    Thanks to Myles and galspray!

    1. Cripes, I just realised I hadn’t heard of the White Sea either. A blogger should really check these things!

      Fortunately Google confirms there is one, part of the Barents.

  18. Thought I was on for a DNF after flying through all but the NE with relative ease, but did eventually come home in almost triple yesterday’s time with a 14:44. Biffed ASHIVER incorrectly – possibly only a valid word in N.A. English – which massively held me up on LOI CAPTURE as I spent several minutes trawling my mind for the definition of a CAPSHOE which of course does not exist.

    It has admittedly been a while since I regularly checked the blog but the concept of a parkrun and crossword duathlon is the kind of chessboxing-style event I am surprised does not already exist in some cheese-rolling or wife-carrying corner of the UK. Possibly not the best spectator sport but a high heart rate solve might make for some good entertainment.

    1. And in the spirit of these events competitors could perform the two tasks in whatever order they like, the only proviso being they drink two pints of Guinness in between.

      1. I think a beer mile is already a grim enough event, let alone a beers miles. Would definitely finish with the crossie by your ruleset.

  19. Pretty similar experience to Steel City – it took far longer than it should have done, with at some point wondering if I were going to finish at all. However, in the end, I was left with just 6d and 9a, and when AQUIVER occurred to me (aided by the V from VANCOUVER), then CAPTURE also fell into place, though I hadn’t till then thought of the IT sense of a capture, ie a screenshot, which is what I think the setter meant.

    1. Yes in fact I meant to include “screenshot” along with the other examples of image-capturing I mentioned.

  20. 15:52 here. I had never heard of the piece of furniture, and was surprised to find that it’s a specific thing, not a generic term like “thingummy” as I had assumed. Now the clue makes much more sense!

    COD from a crowded field to TITHE, where I spent far too long trying to come up with a 5-letter synonym for “dash” (the divider of “fixed-rate”).

    Thanks to Myles and galspray.

  21. Another puzzle with some great, clever clues. Mrs RH had a bigf fest with me quickly parsing as we worked through pretty much top to bottom finishing in a very satisfying 18.40. We’re on a streak suggesting it’s time to reduce our 25 target but just know there’s a top Izetti around the corner.

    COD to Nomad, recognising the various discussions above, but for the giggles we both had voicing it in the most terrible Russ Abbott accents as we enjoyed the PDM.

    Thanks Myles and Galspray for the blog and also the comment replies 😀

    PS good job I proofed the above before submitting, or Mrs RH’s “buff” fest might have caused an MER or two 😂

  22. My school was called The Salvatorian College. So would require a jumbo crossword. It was known as Salvo. So how about- scrambled eggs for school (5). J

      1. I like it too but unfortunately it wouldn’t get past the Times gatekeepers. Indirect anagrams are not allowed.

  23. Quite happy to finish in 10:52, as I am still struggling to get used to Myles’s style. I didn’t parse NOMAD, I think I’m getting a bit squeamish in my old age – I didn’t much like the surface for CRESCENT, and I thought a RUMBA was a Brazilian dance but otherwise all seemed fair. Clearly I haven’t actually learnt much about the dances despite watching Strictly for the best part of 20 years! The surface for WATCH made me chuckle – quite a coincidence after this week’s shenanigans (for want of suitable word). I liked TEA, HINT and WESTBOUND.
    FOI Cardinal LOI Often COD Vancouver
    Thanks Myles and Galspray

  24. I’ve clearly been doing these puzzles for a while now, as WHATNOT was one of my very early entries, without any checkers. Another “only in crosswordland” word. It was part of an odd solve where I dotted all over the grid without really getting into a rhythm, so I was not that surprised by a relatively slow 14 minute completion time. But much enjoyed, with LOI WESTBOUND my favourite.

    I am sure many of us get Mick Hodgkin’s weekly email on Puzzles matters, but for those who don’t, there was a very good appreciation of Richard Rogan in it this week, from which I learnt that as well as setting puzzles for the QC as Felix, he used a host of other pseudonyms, including Alfie, Corelli, Des, Juno, Kenny, Noel and Oran. Mick also mentioned that we might see some of these names on future puzzles; apparently he left a number of completed puzzles which will be published in the coming months.

    Many thanks Galspray for the blog

    1. Mick mentioned that many of the pseudonyms were first names of former Coleraine FC managers so I was surprised that his list omitted ‘Alconiere’ which is of course an anagram of Coleraine.

  25. Quite difficult in NW – could not solve 1a until after I had done my stint running the bookstall at our village fête.
    Seemed totally obvious as soon as I returned.
    But failed on ALMOST. Put At Most! Also slow on SWEAR.
    Liked CANASTA, TRIDENT, WHATNOT (do know that one), ACCENT, MISSION.
    Thanks vm, Galspray.

  26. Couldn’t see CARDINAL but got it after a break for tea, unlike Countrywoman who took a much more worthwhile break! WHATNOT very familiar as a piece of furniture. Sometimes age is a virtue!

  27. I found this a bit chewy for a QC but very satisfying and an enjoyable tussle. Enjoyed taking ages to complete.
    FOI 12a Vancouver
    LOI 9a Capture
    CODs 2a Vancouver/19a Tithe/4d Accent.
    More please!

  28. 11:39

    Poorish day for me – out-laws round for daughter’s birthday so somewhat distracted until they’d gone, after which progress was much quicker. Them’s the breaks…

    Thanks Myles and Galspray

  29. DNF after 1 hour 30 minutes and 12 seconds, split over 2 days. Fresh eyes not as helpful as we’d hoped for me or Mr. Struggling_On. Going to tackle some of the back catalogue over the weekend to warm up for Monday’s offering. Very enjoyable as always.

  30. INVISaBLE – never would have done that in an across clue – that’s two pink squares in two days from teh same vertical spelling challenge. I have heard of Pierre Cardin but I associate him with cheap 1990s suits which presumably was rather after the glory years. Unless Concept Man is couturiery too.


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