Times Quick Cryptic 2027 by Oink

Off to a flying start, but slowed down on the right hand side a bit. My last two in were 23ac and 21dn. The answers and clues all feel pretty fresh and fun, which is quite an achievement after 2000 of these!

There are quite a few animals mentioned here, including one of the porcine variety. Jackkt has informed me that we’re due an Oink puzzle, so that’s our best guess. I’ll update the title once I have more intel.

Definitions underlined.

1 What might satisfy a boxer’s hunger? (3,4)
DOG FOOD – cryptic definition.
5 Indulge sailor visiting Brittany on vacation (4)
BABY – AB (sailor) inside (visiting) the first and last letters of (on vacation) BrittanY.
7 Stop Charlie finding contentment (5)
CEASE – C (charlie) and EASE (contentment).
8 Criticises a reporter’s demand (7)
ATTACKS – A, then what sounds like (reporter’s) “tax” (demand).
10 Great speed but no power (3)
ACE – pACE (speed) missing the (with no) ‘p’ (power).
11 Area Lancelot abandoned without warning (3,2,4)
ALL AT ONCE – A (area), then an anagram of (abandoned) LANCELOT.
13 Funny boy, more likely to succeed than not? (4-2)
ODDS-ON – ODD (funny) and SON (boy).
14 Some 1960s ex-Potteries pin-up (6)
SEXPOT – hidden in (some) 1960S EX-POTteries.
17 Pauses to bury revolutionary Slav (9)
INTERVALS – INTER (to bury), then a reversal of (revolutionary) SLAV.
19 One grabbed by policeman and shot (3)
PIC – I (one) contained by (grabbed by) PC (policeman).
20 Doctor locates source of food intolerance? (7)
LACTOSE – anagram of (doctor) LOCATES.
22 Two boys like Henry VIII, say (5)
ROYAL – ROY and AL are the two boys.
23 Problem doing without heroin for long (4)
ITCH – hITCH (problem) missing the (doing without) ‘h’ (herion).
24 Communist turning on soldier, one in procession (7)
PARADER – RED (communist) reversed (turning) on PARA (soldier).

1 Authoritarian Adriatic lot thrown out (11)
DICTATORIAL – anagram of (thrown out) ADRIATIC LOT.
2 Enterprising school principal in India? (2-5)
GO-AHEAD – cryptic hint. GOA HEAD could be a school principal in India.
3 One frequently pulled in by the Met? (5-4)
OPERA-GOER – cryptic definition, The Met being a famous opera house and company in NYC.
4 Departs in good time but at great cost (6)
DEARLY – D (departs) and EARLY (in good time).
5 Club for a fly-by-night? (3)
BAT – double definition.
6 Airline against providing fatty food (5)
BACON – BA (British Airways, airline) and CON (against).
9 Curates clap wildly? That’s impressive (11)
SPECTACULAR – anagram of (wildly) CURATES CLAP.
12 Prize given to Republican fund manager (9)
TREASURER – TREASURE (prize) and R (Republican).
15 Pugnacious sailor has daughter with amazed expression (3-4)
POP-EYED – POPEYE (pugnacious sailor) and D (daughter).
16 Composition of mascara? (4-2)
MAKE-UP – double definition.
18 Yours truly involved in diplomacy, it’s understood (5)
TACIT – I (yours truly) contained in (involved in) TACT (diplomacy).
21 Bear with head cut off? I say! (3)
OOH – pOOH (bear) missing the first letter (with head cut off).

57 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2027 by Oink”

  1. Slowed down a bit sorting out the anagrist for ALL AT ONCE & LACTOSE, although the two long downs went in instantly. I needed LACTOSE to get LOI OOH; couldn’t think of what to do with _ _ H. Was Popeye pugnacious? 6:52.
      1. It’s been decades since I’ve seen Popeye, but–and that’s why I rhetorically asked–I certainly didn’t recall him as ‘given to fighting’. Anyway, there was no problem in solving.
        1. If he wasn’t knocking seven bells out of Bluto, he was fighting the Japanese. The spinach never worked for me, but then I have muscles like knots in cotton.
          1. I think because Kevin usually kicks-off the QC, he feels has to say something controversial. Anyway no problem.
  2. Slow progress, felt like I never really got going. In fact I made faster progress on the 15×15 today, definitely worth a shot for QC-ers.

    DICTATORIAL was a tough anagram, took most of the checkers.

    Boxer=dog caught me out again.


  3. ‘Popeye, a pugnacious, wise-cracking, cartoon sailor.’ is the definition from Britannica, Kevin, so I guess he was! Why do you ask?

    FOI. 1ac DOG FOOD — Pal or Lassie?

    LOI 21dn OOH! ‘You are awful, but I like you!’ Dick Emery

    COD 3dn OPERA GOER — Groucho

    WOD 14ac SEXPOT – Joan Collins

    Nine and a half minutes! — Kim Basinger

  4. Now confirmed from the facsimile newspaper. It’s more than 3 weeks since we heard from Oink so with BACON in the grid he seemed the most likely candidate.

    9 minutes, slowed at the end by what to put under OPERA-.It would never have occurred to me to hyphenate OPERAGOER and Collins and Lexico agree with me, not even giving the hyphen as an alternative, and Chambers doesn’t list the word at all – at least in its printed edition.

    Edited at 2021-12-15 07:29 am (UTC)

  5. OPERA-GOER my last one too, puzzling over the second bit of it

    DOGFOOD straight in as was DICTATORIAL but flailed around a bit putting in LINE UP 🤔 and not seeing SPECTACULAR immediately

    Good fun as always from Oink. Thanks William

  6. … with my last three entries more than doubling my eventual time to nearly 14 minutes. Before then I was on for a rare sub 8-minuter. No excuses for slowness in getting 3D Opera goer — I got the Opera bit from both the Met and the checkers (not much else goes O-E-A) but stared at -O-R for a long time before the penny dropped. Then even longer on the 21D Ooh / 23A Itch pairing; for some reason I could not think of long = itch, and was completely stumped for a word for bear that could be shortened a phrase for “I say”. Memories of Dick Emery when it eventually came.

    Something’s clearly up with Mission Control on the setters — first confusion on Monday as to whether the puzzle was by Izetti or Orpheus, and now a mystery setter who is not named at all! I gather now it is Oink, but surely no need for him to be so shy?

    Many thanks to William for the blog

  7. Uncannily we could have used William’s blog as our own! I loved this puzzle — such clever clueing and fun to solve — thank you Oink! We finished in 11 minutes.

    LOI: OOH
    COD: so many to choose from but we plumped for SEXPOT

    Thanks William.

  8. Enjoyed ‘Doctor locates’, ‘Great speed but no power’ and ‘Airline against providing fatty food’. Thanks all.
  9. Managed to finish this one albeit rather slowly. However, an incorrect answer, one letter being the culprit, resulted in this being a DNF.

    I enjoyed it but some of the clues had me reaching for Chamber’s.

    No candy for me today. Though, I am going to my GP today for my Covid booster shot, so perhaps I can treat myself to some.

  10. was my OPERA GOER, until it was ODDS ON that it wasn’t the right answer.

    Otherwise no significant hold ups from DOG FOOD onwards, other than removing the BUFF, adding INTERVALS and the funny boy, then pondering what ?O?R might be.

    LACTOSE was primus inter pares for me.


    1. I had the R from INTERVALS and bunged in OPERA STAR (though the hyphen didn’t work). Luckily it was ODDS-ON that I’d spot the error.
  11. Steadyish going for most of this but got hung up at the end by ITCH, OOH, MAKE-UP, for no apparent reason, and LOI PARADER where I’d read the definition as ‘one in possession’ instead of procession. I needed all the checkers for COD OPERA GOER, where I was focused on the police until I got the ‘a’ from ALL AT ONCE.
    Finished in 11.09
    Thanks to William
  12. The long down anagrams went in straight away… as did much of the rest. I should have guessed it was Oink. LOI ACE was the only one to hold me up much. COD to PIC. Thanks William and Oink. 4:15.
  13. 6:42 but with opera door — a vaguely plausible answer perhaps but plainly wrong in the cold light of day.
  14. I have always really enjoyed Oink’s puzzles. However, this one left me cold. I just didn’t find his wavelength and thrashed around the grid in increasing frustration. I finished firmly in the SCC but I was left feeling this was really not a QC. Perhaps it was just me.
    I picked up some clever touches along the way but I really cannot be bothered to go back and explore. I will follow Merlin’s lead and try the 15×15 later.

    Edited at 2021-12-15 09:59 am (UTC)

    1. And the 15×15 only took me a few minutes longer than this QC.
      Thanks for the tip, Merlin.

      Edited at 2021-12-15 05:25 pm (UTC)

  15. I’m sure some people will have managed to get on Oink’s planet but I couldn’t. Baby as a verb?? Ooh for I say?? Parader for one in a procession?? too much that didnt really convince ! Thanks though
    1. Baby as a verb is fairly normal usage, imo. And my father in law would exclaim ‘I say!’ or ‘By Jove!’

      Edited at 2021-12-15 04:53 pm (UTC)

      1. spoil / mollycoddle more familiar to me. I agree with ‘I say’ ‘by Jove'( Ken Dodd used it a lot) but ooh is a bit weak for me. Thanks for your interest
  16. FOI, DOG FOOD. LOI, ITCH. Held up by a biffed DOCTRINAIRE. Took a while to see -GOER. 7:33. Thanks Oink and William.
  17. Three goes at this fitting it around someone coming to measure up for a new back door, so can’t give a time. Hard going, so a long solve. I didn’t get many of the acrosses first time of reading. I ended up with a DNF with opera ?o?r. Could not see it. Thought it might be tour. Gave up as I felt I would never get the answer. Otherwise all done, and all parsed. COD spectacular. Thanks for the blog, William, and for the puzzle, Oink.
  18. Whizzed round this in 8:18, only held up by ATTACKS and OPERA-GOER. All fairly clued and enjoyed the misdirection of “pulled in by the Met”.

    Thanks Oink and William.

  19. Firmly in the SCC again today at 23 minutes — maybe the sedative I was given yesterday in hospital is to blame! I certainly thought I should have been quicker, and started well with DOG FOOD and DICTATORIAL going straight in. Like others, I struggled with -GOER (although GOA was no problem), and with LTI OOH and ITCH. Thanks both.
  20. I was on wavelength! My FOI was DICTATORIAL and then DOG bOne which fitted in with the OPERA GOER. I carried on quickly around the grid correcting RegAL to ROYAL once I solved POP-EYED before I returned to my LOI 4d beginning with E. I had the components of EARLY and D but it took a while to see my mistake at 1a. Still, 7:01 nudges me closer to 1K for an excellent day. There were clues aplenty today that I enjoyed. LACTOSE, ITCH, GO AHEAD, OPERA GOER and OOH all get a thumbs up. Thanks Oink and William.
  21. 23 mins for me, although I was scratching my head for quite a while at 3dn “Opera Goer”. I also focused on the police, and then the weather, until I realised with all the checkers it had to be Opera. But then I wondered whether the second part might be “Door” ( as you can pull them in 😀) — however, it did eventually click (me that is, not the door).

    The rest all went in steadily, and I particularly enjoyed 15dn “Pop-Eyed” and 4dn “Dearly”.

    FOI — 1dn “Dictatorial”
    LOI — 3dn “Opera Goer”
    COD — 14ac “Sexpot” — for a clever bit of hiding.

    Thanks as usual!

    Edited at 2021-12-15 11:20 am (UTC)

  22. All but OPERA GOER in 10m but then a further five and a bit trying to justify ‘opera door’ or ‘opera’ anything in fact. Finally tried vowels between the O and the R and there it was.

    Edited at 2021-12-15 11:24 am (UTC)

  23. 4:25 this morning. A nicely constructed QC from Oink, with the odd MER I suppose but nothing too naughty.
    FOI 1 ac “dog food” ( In Crosswordland, “Boxer” tends to lead to “Ali” or something canine, from experience)
    Liked 21 d “ooh” — a bear of very little brain indeed in this instance!
    COD 3 d “opera goer” — nice misleading surface.
    Thanks to William and to Oink.
  24. Hmm, this certainly didn’t flow as well as Oink’s usual offerings but, having finished in a very sluggish 30mins, I can’t put my finger on what was different. I was definitely slow seeing Sexpot, Pop-eyed, Ooh and Itch, but like Oldblighter I came away wondering what had changed. Invariant
  25. A big DNF for me. Just not on the right wavelength at all: failed with BABY, DEARLY, OOH, ITCH and guessed a couple of others. Too much of a struggle for a QC.
  26. … but that’s the only commendation I can award myself today. 55 minutes in total, with OPERA GOER, OOH, ITCH, ATTACKS, BABY, ACE, CEASE and GO AHEAD all proving significant stumbling blocks. Some posed parsing problems (e.g. ATTACKS), some posed definition problems (e.g. ITCH, BABY) and some just confused me totally (e.g. OPERA GOER – my LOI).

    Mrs Random rattled it off in 18 minutes, but as often is the case, couldn’t explain why some of the solutions were what they were. How did she know they were correct, then? How did she see the word GOER straight away, when I only managed to alphabet-trawl past it three times in a row before spotting it on my fourth attempt? I think her brain just works better than mine these days.

    Many thanks to Oink and William.

  27. ….but I enjoyed it.

    COD OPERA-GOER (once I’d fixed my initial biff)
    TIME 4:08

  28. 22 mins for me today – longer than I would normally expect for an Oink. Not sure whether that was down to the crossword or me! Anyway, got there in the end and enjoyed most of the clues although there were one or two that didn’t seem up to the setter’s normal standard.

    FOI – 14ac SEXPOT
    LOI – 3dn OPERA GOER
    COD – 12dn TREASURER

  29. FOsI DOG FOOD, DICTATORIAL, so a good start. Held up by BABY, BAT, ATTACKS as cdn’t parse the latter. Also failed to parse ITCH but it had to be. Liked BACON (of course), GO AHEAD, POP EYED. Biffed PIC – didn’t think of shot/photo.

    Biffed OPERA STAR at first, but saw the error of my ways.
    Thanks all, esp William.

  30. 11 minutes while coincidentally eating a BACON and avocado sandwich! I was wondering who the setter was, thought it might be Oink and was pretty sure when 6d appeared. I mostly liked this a lot but as others have said, there were one or two oddities — PARADER in particular didn’t float my boat, and I never did parse POP-EYED. Now William has explained it, I really like it 😅 OOH made me chuckle.
    FOI Dog food
    LOI Ace (somehow I nearly missed it!)
    COD Dearly
    Thanks Oink and William
  31. but 6dn gave the game away. It was hardly ‘the pig’ that some folk made out. My time was 4.47 with my COD 5ac BABY.
    WOD Opera Goer.
  32. might simply have been – Chow? (3,4) or even — Chow-chow? (3,4). But then I’m not a
  33. Made hard work of this, blame being woken up in the middle of the night by the house alarm, mouse chewing cable probably. Had dog bone for 1a, which made 4d impossible. We also joined the opera door club for 3d. Failed to think of pooh bear, so not a good day.
  34. Yes, if I was an opera-goer I’d be frequently pulled in. The one time I went to the Met I bought tickets and went in, so confused and Opera-Door was the best I could say today. 37 min a GN7, not bad for me with these testing clues. Thanks Setter Blogger and all.
  35. Ooh matron! Did anyone else think of Kenneth Williams?

    I was another with opera door, but a great puzzle overall.

  36. As some others fixated by Opera Door and NHO the Met as a NY opera venue… so didn’t get this one.
    Couldn’t get Itch or Ooh — I knew it was to long for but failed. Ooh probably only possible if you have Itch…unless Pooh bear is banging on your mantle….
    Otherwise good fun.
    COD for me was Lactose — I took ages to see that it was an anagram — doh!
    Thanks all
    John George
    1. I’m sure you know this already, but for the benefit of any newbies reading the blog, Doctor should prompt things like: Dr, MO, MB, GP… and ‘the next word is the anagrist’ (and very occasionally, Who 😉)

      Edited at 2021-12-15 07:13 pm (UTC)

  37. Had DOG BITE to satisfy a boxer’s hunger so failed on 3 & 4 down and since I’ve NHO the met as an opera house, that was that.

    Edited at 2021-12-15 06:54 pm (UTC)

  38. Doh! Got the last clue wrong. Otherwise, quick for me, less than 20 minutes for the rest of the clues.
    Once I thought of OPERA DOOR, I assumed it was something I’d not heard of, and I couldn’t unthinking it!
  39. Totally derailed by DOG MEAT. Never recovered from that. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
  40. Couldn’t get a proper handle on this. Not having an identified setter proved oddly unsettling and so most went in with pencil. A late solve so lacked the stamina to resolved 23a itch and 21d ooh, so a DNF. Odd that knowing the setter gives me more confidence of the degree of double-thinking necessary. I’d always discounted the need to know. Maybe it was just being tired this evening. Possibly I should have left it to finish in the morning…
  41. It s noticeable that more and more respondents are not using an ‘avatar’. Thus their comments, often at the end of the blog as today, become an amorphous hoi-poloi, mixed in with the QAnons.

    One is far more likely to read the comments of Messrs. Rotter, Old Blighter, Cedric and Merlin than say invariant, pitcaithlie and heathrowexpress whose personalities are poorlly defined, which is a great shame.

    This hardly occurs on the 15×15.

    QCers! ‘Avatar-up’ and increase your branding — stand out from the crowd!

    With an Avatar you’re a Star! Do it for Christmas!

    On edit: see how dearhector stands out!?

    Edited at 2021-12-15 11:24 pm (UTC)

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