Quick Cryptic No 2574 by Breadman

 

A great example of the setter’s art from Breadman. I clicked the “Submit” button on my phone at exactly 15:00, but ended up with 15:01 being my recorded time. My (notional) target is 15:00, so this one struck me as being perfectly pitched.

My FOI was DUCAT, LOI was EVADE, COD goes to USELESS. I spotted about 3/4 of the way through that there was a chance that this was going to be a pangram, and so indeed it turned out to be.

Definitions underlined, synonyms in round brackets, wordplay in square brackets and deletions in strikethrough.

Across
1 Wave hard with horse-rider, heading off for sport (6,6)
ROLLER HOCKEYROLLER (wave) + H (hard) + jOCKEY (horse-rider [heading off]).
8 Old coin is article found in tube (5)
DUCATA (article) inside [found in] DUCT (tube).
9 A shirt unfortunately containing new stain (7)
TARNISH – Anagram [unfortunately] of A SHIRT with N (new) included.
10 Use up each dye, orange firstly (3,4)
EAT INTOEA (each) + TINT (dye) + Orange [firstly].

“ea” for “each” is something I think I’ve seen on invoices & suchlike.

11 Home acquired metallic bar? (5)
INGOTIN (home) + GOT (acquired).
12 Fabric Greek character finally bought in New Zealand (6)
CHINTZCHI (Greek character) + boughT [finally] in NZ.
14 Jack ruined spare gemstone (6)
JASPERJ (jack – as in playing cards) + anagram [ruined] of SPARE.
17 European capital actress Loren mentioned (5)
SOFIA – Homophone [mentioned] of SOPHIA (actress Loren).

Per Wikipedia, Sophia Loren’s real first name is actually Sofia. This is the first time I’ve seen a living person other than the monarch referred to in a clue. I guess the rules are more what you would call guidelines than actual rules. 😉

19 Idle American Eileen regularly ignored heartless sharks (7)
USELESSUS (American) + EiLeEn [regularly ignored] + SharkS [heartless].

This is “idle” in the sense of “idle speculation” or “idle chatter”.

21 Joy, auntie perhaps, runs out (7)
ELATIONrELATION (auntie perhaps minus R [runs out]).

This one made me do a double-take: my mother had an Auntie Joy.

22 Middle Eastern chap on Love Island (5)
OMANIMAN (chap) on O (love, from tennis) + I (island, as in RI for Rhode Island).

I think this parsing makes more sense than having “chap” as part of the definition, which would require Island to provide both “MAN” and “I” for the wordplay to work.

23 The banger Len moved somewhere in East London (7,5)
BETHNAL GREEN – Anagram [moved] of THE BANGER LEN.
Down
1 Elder served up frozen dessert and mostly grim cheese (3,9)
RED LEICESTER – ELDER reversed [served up] gives RED LE ICE (frozen dessert) + STERn (grim [mostly]).
2 In public, itinerant’s lawful (5)
LICIT – In [errrm, in] pubLIC ITinerant.
3 Inactive former partner can connect on vacation (7)
EXTINCTEX (former partner) + TIN (can) + ConnecT [on vacation].

This use of “on vacation” to mean “remove all but the first and last letters” is one of the more sneaky tricks we see in the QC. I think the only time that “extinct” and “inactive” are synonyms is when discussing volcanoes.

4 Maybe bowler’s in this hotel, visiting, with cricket equipment (6)
HATBOXH (hotel in the NATO alphabet) + AT (visiting) + BOX (cricket equipment).
5 Dog organisation in Channel Islands (5)
CORGIORG in CI (Channel Islands).

Is “CI” for Channel Islands ever used in real life?

6 Considering the attraction of English guy in broadcast, on piano (5,2)
EYING UPE (English) + anagram [broadcast] of GUY IN + P (pian(issim)o, from musical notation).
7 Cocktail, tiny amount, sure to lift Welshwoman (5,7)
WHITE RUSSIANWHIT (tiny amount) + SURE backwards [to lift] + SIAN (Welsh woman’s name).
13 Popular celebrity pinching pound causes anger (7)
INFLAMEIN (popular) + FAME (celebrity) containing  L (pound).

L for pound comes from the pre-decimal currency system in the UK.

15 Very lengthy mature pine (7)
AGELONGAGE (mature, as a verb) + LONG (pine, also a verb).

I don’t think I’ve seen AGELONG as a single word before, but it had to be and it’s in the dictionary.

16 One of five children initially orders all vegan food (6)
QUINOAQUIN (short for ‘quintuplet’, one of five children) + first letters [initially] of Orders All.
18 Strict religious group remains around Michigan (5)
AMISHASH (remains) containing [around] MI (US abbreviation for Michigan].
20 Cunningly avoid publicity during evening (5)
EVADEAD (publicity) inside [during] EVE (evening).

 

86 comments on “Quick Cryptic No 2574 by Breadman”

  1. I found this relatively tricky but pretty satisfying, coming in around 31 minutes. BETHNAL GREEN took ages to come into mind, but it helped get a bunch more clues out. Plenty of densely worded clues that took me some time to unravel.
    Though it might have been a pangram when typing in my LOI HATBOX. If I had have realised earlier it would have been much easier to come up with!

  2. I did this in 16:25 with the caveat that I didn’t know BETHNAL GREEN and could have written in BETHLAN GREEN because it sounded just as plausible to me

    I also didn’t parse my LOI ‘EYING UP’ – broadcast can also mean anagram?! And I would have spelled it ‘EYEING UP’ so it didn’t occur to me until an alphabet trawl. Shout out to breadman for using an anagram for a word with multiple spellings, you’re a real one

    I also didn’t see it was a pangram

    I enjoyed this one!

    Edit: there’s a chain (?) of Italian restaurants in Melbourne called Sofia’s, named after Loren. Huge mural of her in the entrance. It’s super cheap and got me through uni and when the babies were tiny. The one on the pier in Frankston hosts weddings!

    1. I think “broadcast” as an anagram indicator refers to the broadcast method of sowing seeds, which is just taking a handful of seed and throwing it over the soil. So by analogy, you take a handful of letters and toss them in the air and see how they come down. At least, that’s how I’ve justified it to myself in the past.

      1. Oh i don’t mind, I’ve accepted that all words are anagram indicators, I was just so proud of myself for remembering that broadcast is also a homophone indicator and I was red herringed

  3. Thanks to the Doof for the tip-off that Sophia Loren is still alive, maybe Breadman and I were both in the dark on that. Also I didn’t know (as usual) that it was a pangram. 10.01 for me, couldn’t unravel AGELONG and USELESS for quite a while and had no idea about LOI HATBOX until the def finally dawned on me. I wonder how Guy will cope with that particular cricketing reference? I’m with Tina on EYING, it needs another E. I used the check function on it because I doubted it was actually a word. Thanks all, enjoyable puzzle.

      1. So what do you guess it means? I’m on top of most cricket lingo but this one eluded me for quite a while!

          1. I wasn’t that curious about a cricket term, and figured I’d forget anyway. This is memorable, though! Odd to see something not in Collins in a Quickie, eh?

  4. 14:56. HATBOX was very hard because I had trouble separating this and hotel. And visiting to give AT was also clever. I think RED LEICESTER showed up a month or two ago otherwise I might have been in more trouble. USELESS was my favourite. I would have thought QUINt instead of QUIN and that an inactive volcano was merely resting between eruptions whereas an EXTINCT one wasn’t coming back.

    1. I think the standard distinction is between active, dormant, and extinct. In any case, the setter is OK since an extinct volcano is by definition inactive.

  5. 10:00. Very enjoyable and nice to have the pangram with all the less common letters abutting the central black square. I had trouble coming up with an example for which EXTINCT could be substituted for ‘inactive’ too; the “volcano” sense may be what was intended, but I take curryowen’s point. I thought QUIN was fine for ‘One of five children’ but I see QUINT is given as a N. American alternative in Chambers; appropriate for a Canadian to bring this up given the nationality of the world’s most famous quintuplets.

    Favourites were the image of grandma serving up a less than appetising meal at 1d and the def for HATBOX.

    Thanks to Breadman and Doofers

    1. Yes, thanks to the Dionne quintuplets, not to mention Conrad Black, no one can accuse Canadians of being totally boring. ( Well, I guess they still can and will!).

  6. 10 minutes. Very enjoyable. QUINOA was unknown, but the wordplay was helpful.

    One tiny thing Doofers, p = piano at 6dn. Pianissimo would give us pp (and often does).

    It didn’t occur to me that Sophia Loren is still alive (aged 89). Unless there’s been a recent change of policy, the ‘no living person other than the monarch’ rule still applies at The Times (but not at The Sunday Times) so this is likely to have been an oversight. I hope it doesn’t bode ill for Ms Loren, as the last time I remember this occurring with reference to an ageing celebrity they sadly died within a couple of days. I can’t recall exactly who it was at this moment.

    1. I had the same thought re Sophia Loren. A clue referred to an ageing celebrity who then died imminently after publication and it is now really bugging me who the celebrity was.

      1. I have it now. Dame Mary Quant. She was clued as part of wordplay as ‘old fashion designer’ on 10 April last year and died on 13 April.

  7. Re USELESS: ‘heartless sharks’ could mean gutting the word, as here (SharkS), but in can also mean deleting the central letter (of a word of an odd number of letters, eg BEAnERY) or the central two of a word of an even number, eg SHarKS).

  8. All finished in about 24 minutes. I hesitated for far too long over EYING UP as I was sure it needed another ‘E’ but it fitted so had to be. BETHNAL GREEN slotted into place last of all once the checkers were in place. EAT INTO, WHITE RUSSIAN and USELESS all took longer than they should’ve, although in retrospect they were fair clues. A nicely pitched QC in my opinion.
    Thanks to Breadman and Doofers.

  9. I usually do acrosses then downs but after ROLLER HOCKEY, DUCAT and TARNISH all went straight in a decided to fill from the top. RED LEICESTER followed and I thought I was on for a very quick one. Slowed mightily in the south where AGELONG, ELATION and even OMANI caused problems. Then back up to HATBOX which I’d guessed but left out because I couldn’t parse. Needed to come here to see how it was done. All green in 12.

  10. 5:59

    Spotted this might be a pangram once QUINOA joined CHINTZ and JASPER on the grid – those high-scoring Scrabble letters (JQXZ) are all gathered around the centre. No probs with BETHNAL GREEN being a Londoner though Parsons Green came to mind first. Agreed that EYING UP looks a bit odd without the second E. HATBOX was last in.

    Thanks Breadman and Doofenschmirtz

  11. Couldn’t make head or tail of the 1s at the start so was denied all those useful first letters, but made steady progress elsewhere and with a few checkers in place the answers became obvious.
    JASPER, AGELONG and LOI HATBOX also put up a bit of resistance towards the end.
    Finished in 9.05
    Thanks to doofers

  12. Leisurely solve in the departure lounge waiting for delayed flight, so no urgency to finish speedily although that might be an incentive to tackle the grown ups puzzle on the flight. As so often, caught out by the inbetweeny words (AT-visiting) but all in all very fair puzzle to finish in more than 20 minutes but less than ‘final call’. COD HATBOX.
    Thanks Breadman and Doofers

  13. Well stretched by this one and took 15 minutes to complete the grid, with Red Leicester and LOI Hatbox not parsed. I share the view that Eying looks better with a second E, and I would usually spell Agelong as two words (with or without a hyphen), but in both cases Breadman’s preferred spellings seem to be allowed.

    Bethnal Green easy enough for me as a Londoner -it has a very well known museum of childhood which is worth visiting- but it seems quite obscure and I’m surprised none of our non-UK solvers have commented as such (on edit, I see Tina did – apologies Tina!)

    Many thanks Doofers for the blog. CI for Channel Islands used to be the standard postal abbreviation (one put for example “Jersey, CI” on letters), though the islands have now joined the UK postcode system (Jersey is JE and Guernsey GG) and it is less used these days. I am visiting Jersey on Monday and will be interested to see if it survives at all there!

    Cedric

    1. At the risk of pedantry, and as a former denizen of that fair island, I think that Guernsey is GY, (at least it used to be).

      1. Oops, you’re absolutely right. It’s their internet country code that is GG. Thanks! I wonder why they chose the two to be different.

  14. Once again, a DNF after 30 mins.

    Did not get EATINTO, HATBOX, AGELONG, WHITERUSSIAN.

    I suppose I knew WHIT, but it’s so archaic I couldn’t dredge it up. Yes, I know, you’re thinking I should have got the answer from the rest of the letters, but I had reversed SURETO, rather than just SURE, so I was staring blankly at *H*OTERUSSIAN.

    I keep coming unstuck as a result of antediluvian, arcane or cricketing references. And crosswordese, of course. I anticipate my QC journey is going to be a long one.

      1. 😂 I got that one as I remembered the tennis reference so didn’t get begeistert by it (I say, trying to recall the German for spooked). I’m useless at sports references but tennis is a little less niche than cricket.

  15. Two of the four long edge ones went straight in … unfortunately they were the wrong two, and once again 1a and 1d were my last ones in as I solved inelegantly from SE to NW. (I used to box in BETHNAL GREEN as a very amateur amateur, which has proved surprisingly useful as a source of CRS in later crosswording life!)

    A really enjoyable puzzle. I particularly liked WHITE RUSSIAN, HATBOX and CHINTZ. All done in 09:05 for exactly 1.00 Plett11s and thus a Highly Satisfying Day.

    Many thanks Breaders and Doofers.

    Templar

  16. 13:22
    LOI was AGELONG, had to think hard about that second letter. Heard age-old, but not this.

    Very tempted to bang in QUINCE, as how many other vegetarian foods would fit after Quin? Also had ULYSEES for USELESS at first. It’s such a confusing book that just about any of the words in the clue might be a definition.

    Liked HATBOX, very clever.

  17. I really enjoyed this crossword. Probably solved it in my best time ever, not that I am interested in my times, I’m more interested in enjoying the ride.

    Thanks Breadman for including more modern references as mentioned above: Love Island, and Quinoa which is popular with the young folk in my life and which the rest of us cannot pronounce.

    Red Leicester is a favourite cheese, Sofia is on my ‘Do not return to’ list! (It’s a long story).

    Thanks again Breadman and Doofers.

          1. I suspect TC is teasing about falafel, and possibly the pronunciation of QUINOA which is deffo Keen-wah.
            I only have these ingredients in my larder to impress daughters-in-law.

  18. Finished and enjoyed. But failed to notice pangram, though it might have helped with LOI HATBOX. Went through cricketing equipment, bat, ball, bails, and finally came down to the box. You’d have to be closely connected to cricketing men/boys to know that one.
    CHINTZ sprang to mind quickly as not many materials feature NZ.
    Had to think about OMANI, and POI AGELONG.
    Liked QUINOA, WHITE RUSSIAN. True Quinoa is vegan but so are all grains.
    Yes, I wd normally spell it Eyeing up. NHO ROLLER HOCKEY but it had to be.
    Thanks vm, Doofers

  19. 10:47 (Harald Hardrada becomes King of Norway)

    Very slow start, with virtually none of the across clues yielding on first pass. The down clues were easier. L2I were RED LEICESTER and ROLLER HOCKEY, so it may as well have been a portcullis grid for all the help I got at the start of words.
    COD was HATBOX.

    Thanks Breadman and Doofers

  20. Shouldn’t OMANI be Middle Eastern chap in Love Island? On suggests MANOI. Otherwise no problems. An enjoyable workout today. Thanks Breadman and doofers.

  21. Off to a good start with 1d/ac and most of their offspring, but still had several left at the SCC threshold. I kept on coming back to what became my loi 13d, Inflate, which sort of works if you look from a distance in a poor light. A more careful alpha-trawl eventually prompted the marginally 🙄 better Inflame, but I was knocking on 25mins by then. Although I thought it was a bit clunky, I enjoyed 10ac Eat Into, so it gets my CoD vote. Invariant

  22. 08:57
    Had to come back in a setting sitting for hatbox and inflame.
    Bethnal Green famous for the Krays and the Blind Beggar Pub.
    Like useless, chintz, COD Sofia

  23. Hatbox really amused me as it made me recall going into an old fashioned pure sports shop in the early eighties and asking for a cricketer’s box (for my young son). The very young female assistant asked me if it was to keep his bat in. I resisted giving the obvious reply.Good crossword of medium difficulty for me. Thanks all.

  24. A nice bit of light relief (13 min) after what I have found to be rather tough QCs of late. Breadman’s Heartless Vacation gave rise to two cases of lost letters… has that happened here before…?

  25. Relatively straightforward, although I seem to have biffed an awful lot, when reading through Doofers’ excellent blog. Quite green on the QUITCH.

    LOI OMANI, COD RED LEICESTER, albeit one of my biffs.

    I cycle through BETHNAL GREEN on my SW to NE trips to visit my MiL who lives in Leytonstone. I like that whole stretch from Aldgate to Bow, lots of hidden stuff, and lots of good places to eat.

    4:41

  26. I thought that this was very hard. Had to look up the cocktail at 7d (NHO) and guessed RED LEICESTER and AGELONG (one word?) once some letters were in. Saw early on it was a pangram after getting CHINTZ, EXTICT and QUINOA. LOI EAT INTO. I wonder how many DNFs there will be today.

  27. A very nicely pitched crossword from the Breadman who once again delivers. I found it difficult to get going, and was darting around the grid before finally completing in 10.15. I was delayed at the end by my LOI which was AGELESS, mainly due to the fact that I had wrongly biffed USERERS for 19ac. It was only after sorting out USELESS that all became clear.

  28. After my comment about Ava yesterday, the QC gods provide a living actress whose name is a little more familiar to me.
    I enjoyed this one, about 22 mins whilst making coffee and watching the garden sparrows throw seed out of the feeder to the awaiting blackbirds. AGELONG made me think for a while, as did EAT INTO, and I liked both.
    Neither cocktails or London districts are strong points for me (do I have any? Must give that some thought) but a few checkers for each helped me to work them out.

    1. Mrs Random says she’s sure that I also have (or had) some strong points. It’s just that she “can’t remember what they are (or were)”.

      1. Argyle fact – nobody actually knows why they are called Argyle. Speculation varies, history is inconclusive.

  29. I found this tricky, taking 23 minutes to complete and parse. NHO roller hockey, white russian as a cocktail or agelong as a single word but they were all fairly clued. I got very few acrosses in the top half so had to solve from the bottom up.

    FOI – 11ac INGOT
    LOI – 4dn HATBOX
    COD – 21ac ELATION

    Thanks to Breadman and Doofers

  30. 7.52

    Not my favourite grid as I sometimes struggle with the long ones, and ROLLER HOCKEY was my LOI here. Some nice clues though particularly RED LEICESTER

    Thanks Breadman and Doofers

  31. Despite the doors of SCC coming into view, I was making good progress. 18 clues at a rate of one-a-minute is fast for me. But then I ran into the quicksand. It took me more than half an hour to unravel my last six and I crossed the line with (or maybe behind) the back markers in 50 minutes.

    Those six clues were:
    SOFIA – It just would not come to mind, despite my having been there on business several times back in the ‘80s.
    INFLAME – Needed the F from SOFIA.
    CHINTZ – DNK it was a fabric.
    HATBOX – The cricket equipment bit took 20+minutes to come to mind.
    EAT INTO – I had TaN for dye. TINT remained hidden for nearly 30 minutes.
    AGELONG (my LOI) – Is it a real word? If so, I’ve never come across it. Couldn’t link pine and LONG, so I thought I was looking for the name of a tree.

    Oh dear! What a shambles. How do the regular speed merchants above never struggle like this? Perhaps tomorrow will be less arduous.

    Thanks to Breadman and Doofers.

  32. Quite a few answers went in half solved. Roller went in but not HOCKEY, Russian but not WHITE and hat but no BOX. Indeed HATBOX was my LOI. I remember thinking the anagram for BETHNAL GREEN would catch a few solvers out. Had I not lived and worked in London I’m not sure I would have gotten it. 9:06

  33. Dnf…

    Everything done in 20 mins, but I put “Hutton” for 4dn vaguely thinking it was a cricketer (Len?), although I freely admit I was struggling to parse it. Subsequently found out he was a batsman rather than a bowler which messed up that logic. I did think of bowler hat, but presumed people would put it on a hat stand rather than in a box.

    I always have to chuckle at the obscure sports that the QC comes up with occasionally – Roller Hockey indeed.

    FOI – 8ac “Ducat”
    LOI – 4dn – incorrect
    COD – 1dn “Red Leicester”

    Thanks as usual!

  34. Saw HOCKEY straight away but had to wait for crossers to see ROLLER. USELESS was LOI. 7:27. Thanks Breadman and Doofers.

  35. Just over 11 minutes. I turned the timer off after 10:20 as I got totally stuck on HATBOX at 4d – not enough lifting and separating and didn’t notice the pangram – and was about to abandon ship 😅 But it suddenly came to me so in it went. I was wondering if HUTTON was a bowler at one point – even after all this time, cricket is still a mystery to me!
    FOI Ducat LOI Hat COD Amish
    Thanks Breadman and Doofers

  36. Everything was fairly clued and I was pretty pleased with myself for getting all the NHO ROLLER HOCKEY, BETHNAL GREEN (ok, I might have seen this somewhere at some time), and RED LEICESTER, but finally abandoned all hope at HATBOX (got the HAT but unaware of what cricket needs boxes for). Great puzzle, thanks to the setter and blogger!

  37. Progressed quite well until the white Russian and the hat box. Never heard of the cocktail, so that did not help. Ironically we do have a daughter named Sian.

  38. All completed on paper, so no time. Could not parse Hatbox but as an answer it seemed more likely than Hotbox!

  39. I agree with Doofers that this was very nicely pitched. LOI HATBOX and was struggling with what the cricketing equipment might be until the penny finally dropped. I’m a male Brit but never played cricket nearly enough to feel the need for one. 13:45 for us. Thanks to Doofers and Breadman.

  40. This managed to find a few gaps in my general knowledge, which led to a DNF. My NHOs were ROLLER HOCKEY (Really? On wheels?), WHITE RUSSIAN (as a cocktail), JASPER (apart from Mr Wedgwood’s pottery) and QUINOA (had to look that up). Throw in EYING without the second ‘e’ and AGELONG as a single word and I’m not even sure I’m entitled to enter the SCC. There is always tomorrow!

  41. DNF

    All done in 18 but missed QUINOA, put a T in place of the O thinking this was the name for one of 5 kids and got the dreaded pink square. Annoying but there it is. Otherwise not too bad but wasn’t sure about LOI AGELONG.

  42. Yay! Finished!! Just hoping those in the SCC hadn’t given up and gone home by the time I got there (about 50 minutes). NHO ROLLER HOCKEY (is it really a sport? Who plays??). And I know about zero cocktails so WHITE RUSSIAN waited for all the crossers. On the other hand RED LEICESTER was first in because I like it (growing up in Leicester may have helped!)

    1. Who plays roller hockey? Wealthy types, I presume, if you need a Roller.
      Must be the same brigade as who play polo.

  43. By the time I got to the QC, I was in a complete funk, having spent over 30 mins on the Quintagram and got just one answer (ELK). I got some bits of the others but really was nowhere. I really am 19 ac sometimes.

    I didn’t enjoy the QC. It took 20 mins, although it felt much longer and there was too much biffing. I never felt on top of it or that I knew what I was doing.

    As so often, I missed some obvious word play (‘served up’; ‘to lift’). I also saw HATBOX quickly but took ages to put it in as I couldn’t parse it.

    NHO AGELONG, BETHNAL GREEN, WHITE RUSSIAN or ROLLER HOCKEY, which just goes to show how ignorant I am. Presumably the latter is one of those pretend sports, like T20 cricket?

    Very disappointing to miss out on an SCC escape (just like yesterday), and even more demoralising to see that most solvers found it straightforward, when I thought it was very hard. I know a few found it tricky and I thought there some real toughies today. I could easily have had one of my one hour torture sessions.

    Perhaps it’s because I’m still not feeling great post-covid, but I’m struggling to find any enjoyment in the QC at the moment. I had hoped that, at some point, I would have ‘clicked’ with the QC and experienced real progress, but that was perhaps just a pipe dream.

  44. I missed out on a “one-hour torture session” by a full ten minutes. Still a torture session, though.

  45. Luckily knew quinoa and its pronunciation as we met it many years ago visiting our daughter then living in Bolivia. It then reached these shores and I got fed up trying to correct people’s mispronounced versions!

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