Times Quick Cryptic 2036 by Jalna

A tough ask from Jalna with the odd unknown definition and plenty of knotted parsing which took me 14 minutes to unravel. Enjoyed the challenge though! I suppose you’ll now let me know that you all breezed through and so put my struggles in perspective.

Definitions are underlined.

1 It’s a very odd location to store your clothes (8)
VESTIARY – anagram (odd) of ITS A VERY.  Not the easiest of starts but at least it was an anagram. Collins has (obsolete) – a room for storing clothes or dressing in, such as a vestry.
5 Group boycotted on the radio (4)
BAND – homophone (on the radio) of banned.
8 Demanding part of process consumes energy (5)
STEEP – part of process (STEP) consumes energy (E).
9 In the end, directors snub Italian females (7)
SIGNORE – director(S), snub (IGNORE). Italian plurals aren’t my strong point.
11 Smooth emerald isn’t warped (11)
STREAMLINED – anagram (warped) of EMERALD ISNT. I wondered if the anagram indicator was ‘smooth’ and so the definition being ‘warped’ for a while. The E and D in emerald distracted me in that direction.
13 One advising me to start to relax around noon (6)
MENTOR – me (ME) with to (TO) and (R)elax around noon (N).
14 Rucksack carried by climber, generally (6)
BERGEN – carried by (inside) clim(BER GEN)erally. This was one of the stikcky clues towards the end. I had an inkling it might be
Bergen (must remember it from somewhere) but didn’t see the hidden for a while. A bergen is a large rucksack with a capacity of over 50 litres.
17 Ace air cadets, possibly circling island and body of water (8,3)
ADRIATIC SEA – ace (A) then an anagram (possibly) of AIR CADETS circling island (I). It took some time to separate ACE from the anagrist.
20 Tears flowing about man and woman (7)
THERESA – anagram (flowing) of TEARS about man (HE).
21 Get out of the way of a vacuum (5)
AVOID –  a (A), vacuum (VOID).
22 March taking place in Pride month (4)
DEMO – inside Pri(DE MO)nth.
23 Happy nurse, say, almost off duty (8)
CAREFREE – I think this is – nurse, say – an example of a type of care (CARE), off duty (FREE) but I can’t see what ‘almost’ is adding to the party. Any Christmas illumination(s) appreciated. POI. With thanks to brnchn it’s nurse, say, almost (CARE)r.
1 Huge salaries ultimately swallowed up by tax (4)
VAST – salarie(S) swallowed uo by tax (VAT).
2 Quashes issue from a previous relationship? (7)
STEPSON – quashes (STEPS ON). Clever and not obvious at first.
3 Pose as one individual in couple (11)
IMPERSONATE – one (I), individual (PERSON) inside couple (MATE the verb).
4 Extremely reclusive mammal is close again (6)
RESEAL – (R)eclusiv(E), mammal (SEAL).
6 A cereal and fruit (5)
ACORN – a (A), cereal (CORN). A random result from a search – Botanically, most nuts are the seeds of a fruit, while true nuts — such as chestnuts, acorns, and hazelnuts — are fruits in and of themselves. Peanuts are the exception, as they’re legumes.
7 Not looking forward to days studying (8)
DREADING – days (D), studying (READING).
10 Go and settle around California (6,5)
GOLDEN STATE – anagram (around) of GO AND SETTLE.
12 Current politician played a role and had influence (8)
IMPACTED – current (I – it’s a wiring diagram thing), politician (MP), played a role (ACTED).
15 Attraction leads to great, long-lasting romance (7)
GLAMOUR – (G)reat (L)ing-lasting, romance (AMOUR).
16 Rickety train touring a European city (6)
TIRANA – anagram (rickety) of TRAIN touring around a (A). Capital of Albania. LOI.
18 Cold space, we’re told (5)
RHEUM – homophone of room.
19 Papers maybe left alongside entrance to executive lounge (4)
IDLE – papers maybe (ID), left (L) alongside (E)xecutive.

53 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2036 by Jalna”

  1. I didn’t notice the nurse problem, but Bruce is surely right. NHO BERGEN; and with my general obtuseness with hidden clues, this took me a while. As did recalling TIRANA. I biffed ADRIATIC and then saw how it worked. Rather a difficult QC. 8:40.
  2. Your experience was similar to mine, Chris. 15 minutes. Nothing was particularly difficult but I was slow to get started and too many clues failed to click on first reading.
  3. I found this one difficult, not managing to complete it due to not having heard of Vestiary or Tirana.

    I have heard of bergen from my Royal Navy days when I was on the commando course at CTCRM. It’s also a city/town in Norway, I am sure.

    Also, a typo in IMPACTED.

    So, a very poor effort on my part today.

  4. Don’t see how cold means rheum. Rheum is the product of a cold but not the same thing surely?
    1. SOED: spec. A mucous discharge caused by infection with a cold. Also, a cold in the head; catarrh.
  5. I found this a bit easier than yesterday’s where I got stuck on the Long anagrams. I wasn’t sure about vestiary or bergen but couldn’t see anything else. I also got slightly delayed by 5A where the crossers didn’t really help and at the SE with glamour, carefree and idle.
    Thanks Chris

    FOI Vast
    LOI Band
    CoD stepson

    Edited at 2021-12-28 08:13 am (UTC)

  6. STEEP and IMPERSONATE my last ones in a tricky puzzle. Needed much thought while cooking breakfast. Still, 2/2 this week.
  7. What can I say — we solved GOLDEN STATE, BERGEN AND SIGNORE but for some unfathomable reason we talked ourselves out of them. Is this a crossword solving malady we’ve contracted? Hope it’s a short term illness otherwise it’s going to be a long 2022! Not surprisingly we came in at 29 minutes, doh!

    LOI: BERGEN (a biff; NHO of it as a rucksack only as a Norwegian city)

    Thanks Chris and Jalna.

  8. Struggled and blundered around for 2xSCC to finish. Didn’t spot any chestnuts but after my experience trying to get the inner skin off them last week I think I have blanked them out forever unless they come labelled in a tin.
    Thanks Chris and Janla whom I always find a struggle.
    1. My experience with chestnuts was that dealing with the inner skin, was like trying to remove wood veneer, without damaging the cabinet beneath. So difficult.
      1. Yes thanks. In retrospect I may have done better had I roasted them in the oven rather than boil them to remove the shells/skins.
        Academic as I will buy pre-skinned, tinned in future.
        As I cooked the resulting chestnut fragments with the sprouts in the oven, the taste was probably unaffected although visually it was disappointing and the time spent dealing with that inner skin disproportionate to the return of effort.

  9. I also found this quite tricky. VESTIARY was LOI after IMPERSONATE put the I in the right place. I was slow with a lot of the other clues too. 12:47. Thanks Jalna and Chris.
  10. Definitely tricky. I found this an erratic solve and my fingers were crossed for VESTIARY, BERGEN, TIRANA. The long anagrams were good but I had to write down the anagrist for STREAMLINED before it clicked. I rather liked IMPACTED, STEPSON, and GLAMOUR but RHEUM, IDLE, and CAREFREE took some time. All fair and parsable, though. My second slide just over the SCC boundary this week (and it is only Tuesday!). I hope for better tomorrow
    Thanks to both, John M.
    Btw, Chris, today’s setter comes up as Janla on this blog.

    Edited at 2021-12-28 01:01 pm (UTC)

  11. ….and I just missed my target. NHO BERGEN in the given context, but it seemed obvious.

    Chris : As the head of of the Fat Finger Department (both puzzles yesterday !) I should perhaps point out that the setter is JALNA (as in the novels by Mazo de la Roche) rather than Janla. Thanks as ever for your blog.

    TIME 5:06

    1. Thank you – updated as in previous comment from oldblighter.

      Edited at 2021-12-28 04:43 pm (UTC)

  12. Another tricky one that took me over target again, but at least there were no silly mistakes today. Seemed to have problems spotting and then untangling the anagrams with STREAMLINED, GOLDEND STATE and LOI VESTIARY all proving slow to fall. POI IMPERSONATE was also tricky.
    Finished in 13.27 with COD going to STEPSON.
    Thanks to Chris
  13. … though I admit that both 1A vestiary and 14A Bergen were GK I did for once know, so they went in quickly enough — and getting 1A quickly always makes the task seem less daunting. All led to an 11 minute finish, though I see on reading Chris’s blog that I misparsed 17A Adriatic Sea: I thought it was a straight anagram of Air ace cadets and obviously didn’t look closely enough at the letters, or even count them. A lucky all-green then.

    I also had the same confusion as Chris initially did over the word almost in the clue for 23A Carefree. To use nurse as a noun, expecting the solver to find carer and then knock the last letter off, when nurse the verb gives you care directly, seems unnecessarily obtuse — it reminds me of a favourite family saying when overcomplicating things “If you want to know how many sheep there are in a field, count their legs and divide by four”. The clue could perhaps equally have been “Happy nurse, off duty” which is shorter and neater.

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog

  14. Another demanding QC which took me 15:36. LOI was RESEAL after a rather long look for the right mammal.
    I spotted the hidden BERGEN early on and suspected it must be the bag. Very few easy clues. My POI was VESTIARY.
  15. Slow to get going, solving random clues.
    LOI CAREFREE. Was slow on STREAMLINED. Biffed BERGEN. POI RESEAL made me smile.
    Thanks all, esp Chris.
  16. Many thanks to all who’ve commented so far.

    On the CARE/CARER thing, it’s always been my understanding that NURSE can mean ‘to care for’, not just ‘to care’. Possibly something to do with transitive/intransitive verbs (which I have to admit is something I’ve always struggled to understand even as a language graduate and crossword setter).

    I presume the editor also agrees/prefers, or he would have done away with the need for the deletion indicator.

    1. Thank you for the comment and the clarification – and I apologise for having mis-typed your name earlier.
  17. I think this was just a little too tricky – maybe not outrageously so! I saw Bergen and looked it but it wasn’t in my Chambers. Subsequently found it in my OED. I do think that for quickies answers should be reasonably common (common enough to be found in all primary dictionaries.) Thanks though – some good clues to enjoy despite my reservations!
  18. SCC again for me, despite 1a and BERGEN going straight in on first reading the clue. Problems for me were in the SW with the SEA, mother THERESA and RHEUM, and LOI TIRANA only very vaguely remembered. Thanks both.
  19. Really struggled today which initially I put down to this being my first attempt after the Christmas break but on reflection was to caught up in some clever misdirection by the setter and a gap in my general knowledge.

    Too many empty squares after 35 minutes so I came to the blog for education and illumination.

    Thanks all

  20. Got there (almost) in the end. I declare a DNF at the outset. A right proper solve, this one. I started well, 1 and 5 ac going in straight away, and then … nothing until demo at 22 ac. Abandoned trying a straight run through and solved where I could. I loved the way the anagrams leapt out from the jumbled letters – the Adriatic Sea, streamlined. I did not parse everything, including impersonate and idle. My red square was in impacted, for which I had imparted, the part being the role, and could not see how it had influence, but stopped thinking it through there. Thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle and the blog. COD acorn – again, and clued differently. Thanks, Chris, and Jalna.
  21. Very hard going today. Saw the hidden BERGEN but ignored it as NHO until nothing else fitted with G of GLAMOUR. Needed checkers for quite a few others. A real struggle.
  22. Sorry, that was me at 11.35, I didn’t notice I wasn’t logged in.

    Edited at 2021-12-28 11:39 am (UTC)

  23. 35:10 for me today, so definitely on the tricky side, but I wasn’t hurrying. Having seen it was Jalna, I settled down for an enjoyably chewy one and forgot about getting a fast time. NHO VESTIARY but it couldn’t be anything else so that was okay. FOI BAND, LOI AVOID, COD for the misdirection of GOLDEN STATE. Thanks Jalna and Chris.
  24. Another tricky one, but at least Jalna’s had an entertaining style. All done, bar 23ac, in 25mins and then another five to work out Carefree — I kept an open (blank) mind as to which end of the clue to look at… and the extra ‘almost’ didn’t help matters. Several CoD contenders, but I think 12d, Impacted, is a nose ahead of Stepson and Steep at the line. Invariant
  25. Contrary to many others I didn’t find this too tricky, although I was surprised when looking at the clock to find 18 mins had elapsed. I was helped by knowing all the vocabulary, so vestiary and bergen did not cause any great hold-up. Various clues only half parsed (17 & 23ac and 19dn). Nice QC – thanks Jalna and Chris.

    FOI – 9ac SIGNORE
    LOI – 13ac MENTOR
    COD – 2dn STEPSON

  26. Feels like the Times is testing us in this Xmas/New Year gap with some decidedly tricky QC’s — not the best after an excess of food and drink.

    Anyway — I managed it in 35 mins — although 18dn “Rheum” was a bit of an educated guess. I DNK 1ac “Vestiary” nor 14ac “Bergen” (even though I do a lot of hill walking), but they were fairly clued.

    FOI — 13ac “Mentor” (yep — took me that far down to start!)
    LOI — 18dn “Rheum”
    COD — 2dn “Stepson”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. I agree about the recent tricky QCs (but I’m not complaining). I began to think I was losing my (limited) touch with Cryptics but I managed today’s online DT Cryptic in less time than this QC so maybe some marbles are still rolling around. John
      1. There’s never a week where I don’t wonder if I’ve peaked and it’s the start of a slow, terminal decline 😀
  27. Careless mistake on the LOI, putting IMPARTED not IMPACTED. Even then the clock had passed 25 minutes due to a delay getting STEPSON.
  28. Enjoyable steady solve today in 25 mins so about average for me. Absolutely loved some of the clues; STEPSON was clever, as was IMPERSONATE and DREADING. The latter my COD for clever surface. Wasn’t worried by the care(r) for nurse which seems fair and I got straight away. I guess it just depends on whether you are on a wavelength with the setter?

    Thanks Chris for blog and Jalna for the puzzle. Prof

    1. QCs are not easy, so it’s all about persistence. If you get one solution, one day, you may get four, another and so your skill builds.
      Best of luck.
  29. Just over five minutes to get my first clue (ACORN), by which time at least one contributor above had finished the whole puzzle. Another five minutes to enter my next clue (DEMO). Then, a further 15 minutes elapsed before I had doubled my tally. So, 25 minutes gone and only 4 clues solved – a total disaster loomed. Somehow, though, I managed not to panic and gradually I started to build on the few checkers I had.

    Sometime after the half-hour mark the LHS of the grid was filled in, but the RHS (apart from ACORN and IDLE) was still completely blank. In the end, I was extremely relieved to cross the line after 50 minutes, albeit with five question marks (due to my lack of GK and/or vocabulary). My LOI, which I biffed, was CAREFREE.

    Mrs Random hadn’t heard of BERGEN, but otherwise had no real trouble. She finished in 23 minutes today.

    Many thanks to Chris and Jalna (including, also, for posting a clarification to 23a).

    1. Well done, Mr Random. This was at the very tough end, of QCs. It took me a similar length of time.
      1. Thankyou, Mme G. At one point I really thought I was facing a near whitewash. Scary!
        Today’s Trelawney has given me a warmer feeling.
  30. Another tricky offering which took us well over our target. Finished only with some help. Hoping for an easier day tomorrow!
  31. This is proving to be a tricky end to the year. Close to the hour mark for me. Found it hard to get started but, after reading the ever-helpful blog, the clues were perfectly fair. I’ll put my slow time down to Christmas excess!
  32. Quite so. Little of substance remained, certainly not recognisable in the form of a chestnut.
    I think that I may have done better had I roasted them first rather than boiling them to remove the skin but it is somewhat academic as I shall buy them pre-skinned and tinned in future.
    In fairness, as I then roasted the sprouts in the oven with the mangled chestnut pieces the taste was pretty much the same although not with the cosmetic appeal I intended and a considerably longer time in preparation.

  33. Very tricky today. Only 3 solved after about 10 minutes but with a lot of graft and perseverance got most of the way before declaring a DNF after an hour. Dave and Sal

Comments are closed.