Times Quick Cryptic 2007 by Teazel

Middling time, good fun. What excellent anagrams at 23ac and 2dn!

I did not get 1ac straightaway, which would have helped enormously in this grid, but the answer bubbled up a few moments later. Other than that, I was held up by one at the end (an increasingly common problem I’m having): 13ac. I had thought that ‘strewn’ was the anagram indicator, and took a minute to change my mind.

Definitions underlined.

1 Never-ending struggle on athletics track? (7,6)
RUNNING BATTLE – definition with a cryptic hint.
8 Irritability about book, a compendium (5)
BIBLE – BILE (irritability) containing (about) B (book).
9 A month in charge of preventing infection (7)
ASEPTIC – A, SEPT (month), and IC (in charge).
10 Pen: handled the end (4-3)
FELT-TIP – FELT (handled) and TIP (the end).
11 Make secure, with roles reversed (5)
STRAP – PARTS (roles) reversed.
13 Strewn nuts deter cats (9)
SCATTERED – anagram of (nuts) DETER CATS.
17 Women’s quarters are toured by His Majesty (5)
HAREM – ARE contained by (toured by) HM (His Majesty).
19 Agency worker has lots of time for painting technique (7)
TEMPERA – TEMP (agency worker) and ERA (a long time, lots of time).
20 Darling at university given a flower (7)
PETUNIA – PET (darling), UNI (university), and A.
22 Pharaoh has gold for teacher (5)
TUTOR – TUT (Pharaoh) and OR (gold, from heraldry).
23 Orchestra pits remodelled to be very high (13)
STRATOSPHERIC – anagram of (remodelled) ORCHESTRA PITS.

1 Polish once more give a snub (6)
REBUFF – RE-BUFF (polish once more).
2 Fine sprayer distributing blue rinse (9)
NEBULISER – anagram of (distributing) BLUE RINSE.
3 Shockingly, I retain passivity (7)
INERTIA – anagram of (shockingly) I RETAIN.
4 As desperate last resort, try to grab things to put into drink (5,2,6)
GRASP AT STRAWS – GRASP AT (to grab) and STRAWS (things to put in drink).
5 Criminally assists as wager is accepted (5)
ABETS – AS containing (…is accepted) BET (wager).
6 A little drink for child (3)
TOT – double definition.
7 The key to get out of prison? (6)
ESCAPE – cryptic definition.
12 Socialist landlord’s special sort of day? (3-6)
RED-LETTER – RED (socialist) and LETTER (landlord).
14 Another meeting about floor covering at church (7)
REMATCH – RE (regarding, about), MAT (floor covering), and CH (church).
15 Fashions in different phases (6)
SHAPES – anagram of (different) PHASES.
16 Cloth is wonderful, almost sumptuous (6)
FABRIC – FAB (wonderful) and all-but-the-last letter of (almost) RICh (sumptuous).
18 Artist working in the London police (5)
MONET – ON (working) contained by (in) MET (the London police).
21 Returning, go off peak (3)
TOR – reversal of (returning) ROT (to go off).

48 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2007 by Teazel”

  1. I made the same mistake as William on 13ac, but recovered quickly enough. Needed some checkers for RUNNING BATTLE, and waited for some to be sure of STRATOSPHERIC; a nice anagram as William says. 4:56.
  2. I can’t be the only one who couldn’t get CASTRATED out of their head at 13ac.

    Nice puzzle, thanks William and Teazel.

    (William, does the heading need updating to assist those searching?)

  3. Gentlish one. RUNNING BATTLE was unknown to me, and ASEPTIC (my last in) required a trawl of the months. Head smack when I eventually figured it out. Count me in additionally as one of those who misparsed 13 Across!
  4. 9 minutes, slowed and distracted a little by GRASP AT STRAWS an expression I never heard of, only ‘clutch at straws’ which wouldn’t fit and which disconcerted me.

    Edited at 2021-11-17 03:08 am (UTC)

  5. I was on the 6.30 this morning from Hastings to the Stratosphere.

    FOI 1ac RUNNING BATTLE off to a belter!

    LOI 20ac PETUNIA ever in hanging baskets



    The Biggie today is a 132 snitch-rated masterpiece. So do not try this…. go on … l dare you!

  6. Started slowly with only three on the first pass but then picked up speed to finish all green in under 13. After Rotter recently told me off for not remembering the ide is a fish I was relieved I recalled TEMPERA which I only know from here. ESCAPE was LOI, I’d been trying to justify escort before PARTS finally arrived. Good stuff!
    1. No chastisement was intended M, and it wasn’t just you that struggled with IDE. My comment was more about my surprise that such a regular device hadn’t burnt itself into the consciousness of all the regulars.
  7. Easier than yesterday for me, but still no walk in the park coming in around the 20 minutes mark. Like Mendesest, I only got a few on the acrosses, but the downs helped. I needed all the crossers to get the long ones at 1a and 23a. I was sure that 1a was running something but needed a trawl to work out what. I also fell for 13A initially until I had an a in.

    FOI Bible
    LOI Fabric
    COD stratospheric

    Thanks William & Teazel

  8. This went in very smoothly …
    … for a solve in just under 10 minutes; as Vinyl1 says, a pleasant change from yesterday. 2D Nebuliser went in with fingers crossed — not a word I am familiar with — and I was another who initially tried Clutch at 4D Grasp at straws, but otherwise no real holdups.

    Pleased to get 20A Petunia; names of flowers are one of my weak spots and if the setter strays beyond the very common I usually struggle!

    Many thanks to William for the blog

  9. On the whole, I found this QC to be relatively easy for me, though my LOI, RUNNING BATTLE held me up for a while. I had RUNNING _A_T_E and yet the answer stubbornly refused to reveal itself until the end.

    I liked 7d ESCAPE, and as with some others I approached 13a with the mindset that strewn was the anagram indicator. Even with my cat sat next to me I was not inspired of an answer relating to cats. When I eventually worked from the other end of the clue, the answer came quickly.

    No aids used. Not timed.

  10. A welcome return to a true QC. A pleasure to circle the grid finding clues that were fair, imaginative, and accessible but with the odd twist to season the experience. I enjoyed this. Finished in almost a minute under 2K so nearly 6 mins under my target. The 15×15 awaits….
    Everyone will have their own favourites so I will keep this short. No room for gripes today, I trust.
    Many thanks to Teazel and to William for a crisp and focussed blog (and I agree about the excellent anagrams, today). John M.

    Edited at 2021-11-17 09:30 am (UTC)

  11. I was bang on wavelength today, starting with 1a and following the clues around the grid. Like others I was initially looking at the wrong end of the clue for the definition in 13a and needed all the checkers before seeing my mistake. I’m also more familiar with CLUTCHing at straws but once FELT-TIP when in the answer was clear.
    Finished in 6.10 with LOI PETUNIA and COD to SCATTERED for the misdirection.
    Thanks to William
  12. I would never use a 10ac for a crossword. 1ac was key here. My COD goes to NEBULISER for a rather neat anagram.

    Edited at 2021-11-17 09:02 am (UTC)

  13. Straightforward and satisfying stroll through the grid to finish bang on 1x SCC with LOI FABRIC. COD ESCAPE.
    Thanks oldblighter for mentioning Setter’s name which, unusually, is not in the title of William’s blog. Frustratingly, the Times app on my Android phone never shows the setter’s name in the title, just as heading today, ‘Times Quick Cryptic 2007’.
    Thanks Teazel and William.
  14. Nine minutes, so it must have been easy. It felt like a work-out for the brain, though. FOI harem, and only tutor and stratospheric for acrosses. Got stuck momentarily after two down clues, but then had to go back and see what these revealed. The grid collapsed after that. All parsed except I did not see the rich in fabric. COD stratospheric. The blue rinse was good, too. Thanks, William, and Teazel.

    Edited at 2021-11-17 09:31 am (UTC)

  15. A couple of fine anagrams as William says. TOT and ABETS were my first 2 in and I finished with FABRIC. No particular hold ups. 8:45. Thanks Teasel and William.
  16. Started at just after midnight, then fell asleep. So, that’s a record time for me of nearly 600 minutes!
  17. 09:27 Completed in just three stations on the 0927 to Waterloo this morning.

    LOI SCATTERED like many, did not see “nuts” as the anagram indicator. Fair play from the setter, misdirection is part of the game.

    Slight panic over MONET/MANET with the second letter an unch. Here’s a clue for him

    Artist has article held by the London Police (5)

    COD Stratospheric— some anagrams are so smooth you don’t see how the clue works at first.

    15×15 pretty tough, I did about 2/3 before hitting the Reveal. It’s quality stuff.

    1. A three station problem …
      … is this an update on Holmes’s three pipe problem for the non-smoking age?

      Merlin, I am missing your historical date check today!


  18. At 40 mins 0 secs, =2SCC’s (I think?), but as ever happy to finish. I wasn’t sure of ‘escape’ so the blog was needed thanks.
  19. 12 relaxed minutes for me, with FABRIC LOI only because I came to it last. Only one or two clues needed a second look, including 1a, which needed crossers from a couple of descendants before RUNNING became obvious, and BATTLE was similarly arrived at. Helpful grid, gentle clueing and much pleasure. Thanks William and Teazel.

    Incidentally, on my iPad, I see no title at all, and just the blogger’s picture to identify him.

  20. Sailed through this in 6:50, a full 2 minutes under my previous best!

    Only held up on TEMPERA/FABRIC – NHO TEMPERA but had TEMPER in, and just had to wait for FABRIC to appear and give me the final letter.

  21. An unusually brisk 12:30 for me today; if I knew what my PB was this would probably be very close or indeed, it. Worked steadily across and down with no real holdups, all the long ones springing to mind which made life easier. Slightly longer pause working out ASEPTIC and ESCAPE. Liked STRATOSPHERIC especially as it went in virtually immediately from definition and the merest glance at the anagram fodder. All smooth, thanks to Teazel for a sunny start to the day.
  22. This was fun. Usually I find Teazel very tricky but I think he was being kind to us today. Everything flew in and it took a tad over 8 minutes. So many great clues and, as William says, fab anagrams. Hard to choose a COD but GRASP AT STRAWS made me smile, the surface of REMATCH reminded me of any number of committee meetings, and ESCAPE reminds us there other keys besides the musical ones! There was a long chat on the 15×15 blog recently (yesterday?) about keys on computer keyboards – apparently some don’t have DEL(ETE) which I was most surprised to discover.
    I also started at the wrong end of 13a. I wish strewing a few nuts would be enough to deter cats visiting our garden!
    FOI Aseptic
    LOI Rebuff
    COD Stratospheric
    AOD Stratospheric
    Many thanks to Teazel and William
  23. One of those odd ones where I took ages to start, only had half the grid completed after 20 mins and then just one clue sent the rest toppling like dominoes.

    In the end came in at 25 mins, which looking at the above seems below average. 1ac “Running Battle” took longer than it should have, especially as I initially put “Running Faster”. 2dn “Nebuliser” was very good, as well as being very well hidden, and 13ac nearly led to a new species of cat.

    Nice to see a painting style other than Impasto for 19ac.

    FOI — 5dn “Abets”
    LOI — 7dn “Escape”
    COD — 2dn “Nebuliser”

    Thanks as usual!

  24. Finished correctly in 45 mins.
    Delighted to have a do-able QC for a change.

    7 Down ESCAPE was good. A little used key on the computer keyboard.

    I also liked TEMPERA and MONET. More clues about art and artists would make these QCs more fun.

    Thanks Teazel & William.

  25. As Oldblighter says a true QC today which took me 14 mins to complete and parse. I had the same experience as many others – a slowish start, a misreading of 13ac and an attempt to start 4dn with CLUTCH. However, once that was all sorted out everything else fell into place with few hold-ups.

    FOI – 11ac STRAP
    LOI – 16dn FABRIC
    COD – really liked 10ac FELT TIP, although 12dn RED LETTER ran it close.

    Thanks to Teazel and William

  26. that hasn’t been said already.

    Pretty gentle, but not a complete walk in the park.

    My LOI was STRAP, as I worked back up the puzzle, filling in the gaps.


  27. Finished the bottom half, then, after a bit more inspiration, finished the top. Liked RUNNING BATTLE, REBUFF, STRATOSPHERIC, TEMPERA, RED LETTER.
    Thanks all, esp William.
  28. ….and after solving just over half of the across clues, I ran riot with a clean sweep of the downs, clearing the remainder in one fell swoop. Teazel at his very best !

    TIME 3:31

  29. Greetings from sunny Connecticut, where the autumn colourings are stunning.

    Thank you, Teazel, a good morning. I especially liked SCATTERED. A very clever clue.


  30. Nice quick cryptic, little slow with 1a when we thought of lasting to be the first word, otherwise no problems finishing in 20m , best time for many days. Thanks Teazel.
  31. while I settled my mind, just a Tot now I’ve finished but not for a child. Pianos and gaolers have plenty of keys, my keyboard has some right here on my knees. Escape was easy to pop into place, should I parse it, I couldn’t – oh dear, red face!
  32. A fairly simple cruise through today starting at the bottom
    Biffed escape.. never thought of a keyboard 😖
  33. No real hold ups and a quick, by my standards, time 8 minutes under target. The only stumbling block was putting rebuke instead of rebuff but that was quickly sorted.
  34. Slow start with a setter I usually struggle with, but slowly got better. Very enjoyable overall!
  35. Still in catch up mode (it’s Friday today). We were reasonably quick, finishing in 7 minutes. Very enjoyable puzzle.


    Thanks William and Teazel.

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