Quick Cryptic 2719 by Teazel

In haste today so forgive the brevity. Teazel is one of the setters I usually find hard: today I managed 10:46 which is a triumph compared to my usual struggles! Lots of clever clues and I really enjoyed it; hope you did too.

Definitions underlined in bold.

1 Female dog is fat (4)
FLAB – F for “female”, LAB for “dog”. I’ve had three female labs in my time and I still needed both checkers. They all wanted to be as fat as possible so lots of exercise (and keeping the pantry closed at all times) was mandatory.
4 These tasks are out of one’s class (8)
HOMEWORK – because you do them at home, not in class.
8 Bird wasn’t emu, unfortunately (4,4)
MUTE SWAN – anagram (“unfortunately”) of “wasn’t emu”.
9 Exclude one Italian port (4)
BARI – BAR (“exclude”) + I. Adding the generous “Italian” may indicate that Teazel didn’t expect this to be widely known – I’d never heard of it, for one, and wasn’t sure if it would be this or “Bani”, so I solved 7d to get the checker first.
10 Girl crushed by satirist (4)
IRIS – hidden inside (“crushed by”) “satirist”. The device wasn’t obvious to me and I needed the checkers to see what was going on.
11 Complicated love affair that may offer a warning (8)
TRIANGLE – the eternal triangle vs the one you get out of your car boot when you’ve broken down.
12 Lives next to a model, in present circumstances (2,2,2)
AS IT IS – A for “a” + SIT for “model” (the verb). That’s next to IS for “lives”.
14 Seize a bit of a break from speaking (6)
ARREST – sounds like (“from speaking”) “a rest”.
16 Engineers surrender table again (8)
RESUBMIT – RE (“engineers”) + SUBMIT (“surrender”).
18 Expected time for couple’s performance (4)
DUET – DUE (“expected”) + T (“time”).
19 Intelligent questions heard (4)
WISE – sounds like (“heard”) “whys”.
20 Have a break, after four attempts to shoot? (4,4)
TAKE FIVE – think film set and the clapperboard person shouting “take five” at the fifth go. I liked this, COD from me.
22 Mix hash with a gin and port (8)
SHANGHAI – anagram (“mix”) of “hash” and “a gin”. Teazel obviously thinks that SHANGHAI is better known than BARI and so didn’t say “Chinese port”.
23 Fungus beginning to spread in furrow (4)
RUST – S for “beginning to spread” (first letter); goes inside “rut” (in furrow”). RUST is a fungus on cereal crops, conifers and other plants.
2 Lovers struggling to install uniform door panels (7)
LOUVRES – anagram (“struggling”) of “lovers” with U inside  (“to install uniform” – “uniform” is U in NATO alphabet). You can have LOUVRES in windows as well as doors so this should perhaps have been clued as a definition by example.
3 Give thanks for bishop? Not so much (5)
BLESS – B for “bishop”, LESS for “not so much”.
4 Man has weight to cut down (3)
HEW – HE for “man” + W for “weight”. I spent some time trying to justify Huw as a random man’s name and only reluctantly tried other vowels. What a twerp.
5 Beggar I am unable to reform? (9)
MENDICANT – the wordplay makes sense if you say “mend, I can’t” in a Yoda voice.
6 Online discussion group arranged in wine bar (7)
WEBINAR – anagram (“arranged”) of “wine bar”. The surplus “in” is a bit clumsy.
7 Country sport greatly missed in odd places (5)
RURAL – RU for “sport” (rugby union) + the even letters (“missed in odd places”) of “greatly”.
11 Try out striker for international (4,5)
TEST MATCH – TEST for “try out” + MATCH for “striker”.
13 May child run, a tea being cooked? (7)
TAUREAN – anagram (“being cooked”) of “run a tea”. The definition seems loose to me because Taurus runs from April 20 to May 20, and it follows that not all Taureans are May children and not all May children are Taureans.
15 Puts off husband surrounded by personalities (7)
SHELVES – H for “husband” inside (“surrounded by”) SELVES for “personalities”. That second bit was tough for me and I spent time on “stars”, “celebs”, “a-listers” and the like. LOI.
17 Prepare to publish Hot Girl (5)
EDITH – EDIT is “prepare to publish” + H for “hot”.
18 Receiving fine does perhaps delay (5)
DEFER – “does perhaps” are DEER (sneaky). They are “receiving” F for “fine”.
21 Stun one carp (3)
KOI – KO for “stun” + I. KOI are the multi-coloured carp kept for ornamental purposes; they were first bred systematically in Japan in the early C19 but are now popular worldwide.

64 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2719 by Teazel”

  1. 18:05. TAKE FIVE, TAUREAN,and MENDICANT(even though I first thought ITINERANT) were my picks. Thanks for the parsing of RURAL!

  2. 17:08
    LOI AS IT IS. With IS for “lives” I spent ages looking at phrases like “is as it”, “is it as”. I don’t like the way “a” has to be fused to “a sit” for the ordering to work, “a sit” is not “a model”.

    TAUREAN, was tricky. Also my daughter was born April 22, so is a non- May Taurean. Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth as well.

    RURAL was clever with misdirection, and MENDICANT had “reform” which wasn’t an anagram.

    WEBINAR is a messy word, formed because it sort of rhymes with “seminar”, -inar is not a suffix, but we are stuck with it.

    COD DEFER. Not does but does!

  3. Nice puzzle. Misled at 20a assuming that four/iv accounted for part of the answer which left me wondering what take-fe meant! So simple when you see it so thanks blogger. Liked triangle and homework.

  4. It was all going fine except I’ve never heard of the word MENDICANT and I was unable to come up with it from the wordplay.

    BARI was another nho.

    I don’t love RU for sport but I guess I can get used to it really quickly if it comes up a lot.

  5. 10 minutes. BARI won’t stick in my brain and always takes me by surprise, but at least today with wordplay and checkers it presented itself and rang the faintest bell. It has come up a number of times over he years in 15x15s and Jumbos, but these would appear to be its first outing in a QC.

    I lost time by putting REALM for ‘country’ at 7dn and having to revisit the clue to correct the answer. The wordplay sort of works if one ignores ‘sport’ and the surfeit of redundant letters in ‘missed’.

  6. This was a struggle finally crossing the line in 37.30 with arrest after spending an age in the NE. Finally opened up with homework that gave the w for webinar, for some reason I didn’t consider it would be the first letter of the obvious anagram.

    Irritated we took so long to get Bari, quickly worked out it was an Italian port ending in I and we’ve been there many times!!!

    Delighted to spot does as deer quickly. Flab was COD, simply elegant.

    Thanks Teazel and Templar

  7. The answer to “Man has weight to cut down” was so clearly MOW that I didn’t revisit until I was past 25 minutes and very, very stuck. Would have needed a “that” in front to get there quicker. Anyway, the H made HOMEWORK suddenly very easy. I gave a WEBINAR once – but a long time ago – and there was no discussion just me and the host droning on. Still should have got there sooner. Also slow on WISE so just not my day I suppose. Taking a later train today so I can vote on the way to the station so the 27m this took is less of a calamity than it would usually be.

  8. A fourth slow day in a row at 13½ minutes, and for the fourth time running I’m not entirely sure why. I did spend far too long trying to find an anagram of “I am unable” in 5D, and the does (doze) versus does (duzz) bear trap completely had me, but in retrospect there is nothing to take exception to, so perhaps it is just a slow week.

    Many thanks Templar for the blog

  9. I seem to have bucked the trend today as I found this fairly friendly on the whole.

    My last 3 in took almost as long as the rest of the puzzle – SHELVES where I went down the ‘celeb’ rabbit hole, TAUREAN where I was trying to think of one of those old rhymes such as May’s child is full of woe (but I think that might be Monday’s child) and LOI WISE which had some very unhelpful checkers.

    No problem with BARI as I think I remember it from Channel 4’s Italian football coverage in the 1980s.

    Finished in 7.32 with COD to DEFER.
    Thanks to Templar

    1. I’m fairly sure it was the 90’s, after Gazza had signed for Lazio. Bari was David Platt’s first Italian club, I believe, and were often featured, so fairly prominent in my mind.

        1. Same here. Platt never quite matched his good form with BARI at the bigger Italian clubs he went on to play for.

  10. I breezed through this, but then I knew BARI as a football club (Italian Serie B these days), and didn’t consider the flaw that Templar correctly points out with Taurean since two of my late partners, and my younger son, were born under “The Bull” – all of them in May.

    TIME 3:14 (a red letter day as I was quicker than Verlaine!)

  11. I got nowhere with this and chucked it in with several unsolved, including TRIANGLE, ARREST and RESUBMIT. In retrospect they were all gettable but I couldn’t muster the required level of concentration. Thanks Templar and Teazel.

  12. Finished but needed blog to explain (so obvious!) second meaning of TAKE FIVE, now my COD. Clever use of does. Thanks Templar and Teazel.

  13. So obvious once I read the blog, but TRIANGLE evaded me in a puzzle I found mostly hard throughout. I’m sure I did consider it starting TRI.. but somehow I missed it.
    I’ll go and make myself feel better by overthrowing the Government. Everything will seem better tomorrow…

  14. Got there somehow. Tough but interesting and unusual.
    Thanks Templar, i needed you today. Brevity, but still excellent.

  15. 16:40
    Couldn’t for the life of me set aside the idea that 5d was an anagram of ‘I am unable’, which no doubt was the intent of that clue. Pleased just to finish this one, as was a toughie by the sounds of it.

  16. I enjoyed this challenge – thanks Teazel and Templar. I’m not sure blessing is about giving thanks – I think it’s well wishing or in religious contexts a prayer of consecration.

  17. 01:07:37
    This was a bit of a battle but really pleased to finish without any aids.
    All parsed except for DEFER. Doh!
    The Quick Snitch average of 113 for the week is one of the highest ever. I wonder what Friday will bring.
    Thanks Templar and Teazel.

  18. 7:45

    Held up by the MENDICANT TRIANGLE crossing for a while, then went back to BLESS, FLAB and LOI LOUVRES.

    Thanks Teazel and Templar

  19. 13m
    Mendicant would be better with fix instead of Reform, unless it is a subliminal voting message.
    COD take five/mute swan.

  20. Teazel didn’t even tease today – couldn’t even get started. Eventually managed the top half, but no more.
    Is “a why” really a valid noun? Must admit TAKE FIVE is clever, though …
    I think the problem of TAUREAN is solved by the question mark at the end, i.e. maybe, not all May children. NHO KOI. What a disastrous day.

      1. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I’m asking: is “why” a noun? A why, the why, two whys, I asked a why, I don’t understand your why – is this valid English?

        1. There’s an expression “the whys and wherefores” meaning the reasons for something.

          1. And a Gilbert & Sullivan rollicking chorus starts:
            “Never mind the whys and wherefores…”
            So in that syntax both why and wherefore are nouns. Gilbertian fancy?

          2. No, you’re both right, it’s clear. Thank you both for reminding me of this common expression which perfectly justifies the clue.

  21. Pretty quick for me for a Teazel. And a finish too which is a bonus with his ( I find) tricky puzzles. Anyway around 30 mins. LOI wise. Did an alphabet trawl a La Jackkt and was amazed to find it worked. But honestly thought it wouldn’t! W and S as the last 2 letters? Not much to go for after that.

    Feeling smug. Thanks Jackkt.

  22. 14:38

    Hardest of the week for me – stuck for a while before seeing WEBINAR, HOMEWORK and RESUBMIT which finally gave MENDICANT. RURAL and ARREST were OK, but was stuck for several more moments seeing TRIANGLE – didn’t get the second meaning until coming here (I’ve got one but never used it).

    Thanks Teazel and Templar

  23. I seem to have bucked the trend, finishing all parsed in 13 minutes. This is quite a fast time for me and my times have been getting faster all week since Monday’s horror show. There was a slight hold-up at the 14ac/15dn crossing but everything else fell into place quite nicely.

    FOI – 4ac HOMEWORK
    LOI – 14ac ARREST

    Thanks to Teazel and Templar

  24. I found this pretty tough today finishing well outside target at 14.03. The ne corner held me up more than anything with my LOI TRIANGLE being preceded by WEBINAR, which is a word I’ve not come across. BARI wasn’t a problem as a few years ago I visited it, and being a May child, TAUREAN presented no problem. It’s been a tough week to date, at least for me, so perhaps the setter may make things a little easier to end the week.

  25. Tough, but got there in the end once I realised that 4d wasn’t MOW but HEW. Biffed RESUBMIT and RURAL and reluctantly out in SHELVES for 15d: pleased that all 3 were correct! Thanks for the blog.

  26. 39 mins…

    That was a hard slog. Another puzzle where the answers themselves (apart from a couple) weren’t too bad – but it felt like there were hardly any write-ins. As a result, I struggled to get going and the grid was decidedly blank as I worked my way down.

    With regards to the Taurean question. Whilst a “May” child doesn’t have to be Taurus – doesn’t the fact that it could be means that it is still valid? I thought the question mark referred to the anagram – but I may be wrong.

    Other issues included putting “Wrests” for 14ac and wondering whether a “Webinar” really is an online discussion group – more of a video conference used in training sessions I would have thought.

    FOI – 18ac “Duet”
    LOI – 5dn “Mendicant”
    COD – 11ac “Triangle”

    Thanks as usual!

  27. I found this tricky and never got into a flow. IRIS was FOI . Took ages to see HOMEWORK and TRIANGLE, but at least they got things moving with WEBINAR following. SHELVES took a while too. SHANGHAI was LOI. Another 10:46 here! Thanks Teazel and Templar.

  28. 51 minutes for me, which is nearly twice my recent average completion time, and the tough week continues. One DNF and three significantly worse-than-average solves are leading me to suspect that it’s a deliberate ploy and not just coincidence.

    Once again, I got straight out of the blocks with FLAB and MUTE SWAN, but I again failed to maintain that initial momentum. The most challenging clues for me were ARREST, RESUBMIT, WISE (which highlights my lack of intelligence), EDITH, WEBINAR, DEFER, TAUREAN (which I DNK was even a word) and the NHO MENDICANT. Phew (yet again)!

    Many thanks to Teazel (my nemesis) and Templar.

  29. A slow start to a DNF, in obedience to Penny’s Law after my PB yesterday. Also Teazel is generally a hard setter.

    I would have finished, slowly, but for the fact that I put in LOUVER, the US spelling, with a slight qualm, then forgot to go back and try LOUVRE. So IRIS was impossible. COD the indigestible 22A SHANGHAI. Also liked 12A AS IT IS and the sneaky 18D DEFER.

    Another British thing I DNK: one keeps a TRIANGLE in one’s boot. British thing I am embarrassed to admit I keep forgetting: RU for “game”.

    Thanks to Teazel and Templar! I like “Huw” as a man’s name, looks very Middle English.

    1. Bad luck Namesake – I thought it was a stinker today. Let’s hope for better things tomorrow (like Plymouthian, I’m off to overthrow the govt in just a few minutes 😅)

        1. I’d normally stay up for a couple of hours to watch the results but we’re going on holiday in the morning, so need to go to bed at a slightly more sensible time!

  30. Very tough clever puzzle. I took ages but finished all correct though I needed help with 23a as I hadn’t thought of RUST as a fungus.
    Knew FOI MENDICANT (COD). Liked various PDMs inc HOMEWORK (had also been sidetracked by putting Mow for 4d), KOI, SHELVES, FLAB.
    Slow on DUET because, like others, failed to think of Doe a Deer, so unable to parse DEFER originally.
    Struggled for some time with TAUREAN too. Spell check has underlined that one!
    Thanks vm, Templar.
    Drove to BARI and took a ferry to Igoumenitsa in Northern Greece about 45 years ago, come to think of it.

    1. I remember Bari from news reports in 1991 after the fall of communism when thousands of Albanians arrived there.

  31. Found this quite tough as I was gong along, though I seem to be more adept with Teazel than I used to be and ended up with an average time. Edit: I see my average time on QUITCH has decreased though, so I was actually a bit over par today.

    I was delighted to see my daughter’s name appear in the puzzle, and I might test her out on the clue later. TRIANGLE LOI, MENDICANT COD.


    1. Isn’t it funny how good that makes you feel 😊 I remember feeling chuffed to bits when my daughter’s name appeared once, as if it were meant for us! Pretty name btw

  32. A rather slower than average 17:09 with all of the surplus and then some going on 13d and 19a. Not being into horoscopes I was totally reliant on Mrs T for seeing TAUREAN who also finished us off with WISE. Left to my own devices I’d certainly have been a DNF. I guessed MENDICANT straight away but the Yoda speak parsing took a liitle longer before it went in. DEFER gave it a run for its money for COD. Thanks to Teazel and Templar!

  33. Thanks Templar. I had to check the parsing of MENDICANT and your Yoda comment made me smile. I needed checkers for BARI and more than a few clues required a second visit pushing me to a 9:01 solve. COD to DEFER.

  34. 14:26
    Held up by the SW corner. I don’t know my horoscope dates, so TAUREAN took a long time to see. WISE required an alphabet trawl, which was a shame given that W took a long time to reach.

    Thanks Teazel and Templar

    1. Sometimes I start at Z for that very reason. Inevitably the letter I need turns out to be a B or C 😅

  35. 41.13 BARI and RURAL took more than ten minutes and LOI TRIANGLE took another ten. I was looking for “complicated” but couldn’t think of any word at all that fitted. Got there in the end. I blame some energetic gardening for sapping my oomph. Thanks Templar and Teazel.

  36. 29:52

    Slow going! Took ages to see where the split was in the clue for EDITH and had to rely on the wordplay for NHO LOI MENDICANT.

  37. Tricky it was. About 15 minutes including yet another thinking break to get my LOI. But unfortunately I completely bypassed 19a, which wasn’t very WISE of me, so really a DNF!
    FOI Mute swan LOI Triangle (or would have been) COD Edith
    Thanks Teazel and Templar

  38. Certainly on the trickier side, and a good 40 minutes for me – but I got there! My excuse: I was multitasking by watching Wimbledon at the same time. When I saw 4d ending in w I foolishly biffed saw, and that held up 4a for ages – until hew suddenly popped into focus. Cracking puzzle and helpful blog: thank you!

  39. 41 minutes.

    Sheer hell.

    I haven’t read any other comments as I can’t stand the humiliating comparisons any longer.

    I am a complete failure at cryptic crosswords and nothing will ever change that. 137 mins and a DNF so far this week – beyond abysmal.

    At this precise moment, I wish I had never taken up the QC. Like my efforts to play sport, all I get is frustration and despair.

    Thanks for the blog Templar.

  40. The last in for me was “wise” and I had to go through the alphabet for the w. I don’t think wisdom is the same thing as intelligence. I can think of intelligent people who are not very wise.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *