Times Quick Cryptic 2046 by Teazel

I found this a very testing tease from our setter today. I hope I was just having a bad day, because, unlike many from this setter, I found today’s puzzle rather dry and prickly (like the flowers and leaves of the Teazel or teasel plant). While there were the odd easy-to-get-clues, I kept coming up against clue after clue which needed dismantling. In the end I came to a DNF due to 14ac – so maybe my comments above are more to do with being dry and prickly (grumpy!) myself.

I hope you fare better.

Here’s how I worked the answers out.

Definitions are underlined.

1 Through barrier, behold king in city (8)
FLORENCE – through (inside) barrier (FENCE) is behold (LO) and king (R).
5 Wife following the trend producing creamy sweet (4)
WHIP – wife (W), following the trend (HIP). Good cluing – I was trying to put W after ‘the trend’.
8 In spot, one very disturbed piece of turf (5)
DIVOT – inside spot (DOT) are one (I) and very (V).
9 Novice has shower in shirt (7)
TRAINEE – shower (RAIN) inside shirt (TEE).
11 Ordinary people that are controlled by castle (4,3,4)
RANK AND FILE – I think this is a double definition. The ordinary (common) people as opposed to leaders/the body of soldiers (from a castle, say) as opposed to the officers. I suppose the whole thing could be a cryptic definition. With thanks to posters below – Kevin being first – a rook (sometimes known as a castle) controls the columns and rows of a chessboard which are, apparently, known as rank and file –  so this is the second definition.
13 Summary is not entirely accurate (6)
PRECIS – not entrirley accurate (PRECIS)e.
14 Little child is to clean dog perhaps (6)
MOPPET – clean (MOP), dog (PET). Well, maybe I should have carried on wondering but I plumped for Poppet even though I knew pop=clean didn’t make sense. Never heard of Moppet. Obvious when you know.
17 Lotion spilled in cabinet room (11)
EMBROCATION – anagram (spilled) of CABINET ROOM.
20 Soap for a succession of rulers (7)
DYNASTY – double definition.
21 Marriage of our Jack? (5)
UNION – reference to the Union Jack.
22 Emotional state rejected: that’s fate (4)
DOOM – emotional state – mood  – rejected (DOOM).
23 Old Briton OK back in island (8)
ANGLESEY – old Briton (ANGLE), OK – yes – back (SEY). The answer was there pretty quickly but I held off to get the correct spelling.
1 Passing fashion due finally to lose appeal (4)
FADE – passing fashion (FAD), du(E).
2 Which side is the monarch on? (7)
OBVERSE – a cryptic reference to the side of a coin with the monarch’s head on. Our friends at Wikipedia have this to say: In a Western monarchy, it has been customary, following the tradition of the Hellenistic monarchs and then the Roman emperors, for the currency to bear the head of the monarch on one side, which is almost always regarded as the obverse.
3 Ignore stain that’s ruined cutlery (6,5)
EATING IRONS – anagram (that’s ruined) of IGNORE STAIN.
4 Pa can’t somehow snooze for a while (6)
CATNAP – anagram (somehow) of PA CANT.
6 Tongue needs iodine applied to back (5)
HINDI – iodine (I) applied (to the back of) back (HIND). Tongue as in language.
7 Offers, being there, to speak (8)
PRESENTS – homophone of being there – presence. I took a while to convince myself that presence and presents sound the same. I even tried the Collins ‘play the word’ button which does seem to back that up. The two pronunciations are listed as prezəns and ˈprɛzənts.
10 Sort of teaching aid maybe as usual I avoid messing up (5-6)
AUDIO-VISUAL – anagram (messing up) of USUAL I AVOID.
12 Organ of body, lacking energy, managed? Excellent (8)
SPLENDID – organ of body (SPLE)e(N) without energy (E), managed (DID).
15 One note lost in the hills; small coins remain (7)
PENNIES – one note (I – not sure we needed the ‘note‘ N) lost (misplaced missing) in hills (PENNI)n(ES).
16 Prohibit going round any fig tree (6)
BANYAN – prohibit (BAN), anagram (going round) of ANY. The banyan grows in India and the East Indies and has aerial roots which stretch down to form new trunks.
18 Simple game: scrap a more difficult one (5)
BINGO – scrap (BIN), a more difficult (game) (GO).
19 It’s very dark in Kentucky (4)
INKY – in (IN), Kentucky (KY).

61 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2046 by Teazel”

  1. I was misled at 5ac, too, thinking the W would come after. And I also thought of POPPET first, but knew MOPPET, so no pink square. DNK EATING IRONS. I think RANK AND FILE refers to the rook, which can control the rank and file it’s on on the chessboard. (Of course one isn’t supposed to call it a castle, but.) 5:52.
    1. Thanks – blog updated. I have a friend who was in the RAF which, from comments below, is probably how I knew the term eating irons.
      1. It isn’t particularly a chess term; it comes from the military–soldiers lined up left to right (ranks) and front to back (files).
  2. LOI EMBROCATION… and really, in a QC?! I barely knew that one.
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen ANGLESEY in a crossword, but certainly somewhere else…
    I had never heard of the Pennines (sp.) hills so parsed that one as taking A and a N(ote) from the Apennines.

  3. Teazelly-Weaselly!

    FOI 16dn BANYAN then an age to get going.

    LOI 22ac DOOM and gloom, as my time as 19:45!

    COD 5ac a Duncan’s Walnut WHIP — my Pa’s passion. Are they still available back in Blightly?

    WOD at 17ac EMBROCATION a perfectly normal word for us chaps, whereas I suspect Americans use lotion. But Iet’s not rub it in.

    Upt’North cutlery were considered to be jewelry — Les Dawson. ‘EATING IRONS’ is British Army slang.

  4. Another disaster here at 20 minutes. It’s not often I reach double my target time!

    BINGO, MOOD and EMBROCATION — very Alan Bennett — nearly did for me.

    1. More of a disaster when, like me, your target time is 20 minutes and you take double that plus a few seconds!! Oh well, at least I completed it which surprised me, as I only had 5 words in after the first 20 minutes. It proves that perseverance pays off. MM
  5. Miles off the pace, missed OBVERSE, DOOM, EMBROCATION BINGO and pink square for POPPET.

    For BINGO I was looking for a six letter game with letter A removed “scrap A”.

    Miscounted the number of letters in Cabinet Room which prevented me from seeing the anagram.

    NHO EATING IRONS. Is it some joke, or slang?

    But, I thought RANK AND FILE was excellent.

    1. See horryd above. My English-Japanese dictionary just marks it as ‘British, informal’.
  6. I thought this was pretty tricky and came in over 25 minutes with Poppet instead of Moppet and a typo. I didn’t know embrocation but did spot the anagram. I thought Bingo may be Banal but finally got Mood. Also nho of eating irons but worked it out from the anagram or obverse. Tacitus wrote about Anglesey and terrifying Britons who lived there.

    FOI Trainee
    LOI Obverse
    COD Anglesey

  7. Was about to throw in the towel when ANGLESEY came out of the mist at 30 mins. OBVERSE, FADE, WHIP all caused similar head scratching to others. Knew EATING IRONS but don’t know where from – no military background here.

    Can someone expand on the parsing of RANK AND FILE please? I got if from ‘ordinary people’ but even with the chess references I don’t see the full clueing apart from castle as a chess piece.

    A tough quickie for sure.

    1. Ignore – just discovered with a bit of research that ranks and files are the lines of squares across and up n down on a chessboard. Never knew that.
  8. I was held on on Anglesey by going through the usual lists of Old Britons such as Celts, Picts etc. From a Celtic perspective the Angles and Saxons are recent interlopers.
    1. Not just later interlopers but if any of the various races to inhabit the British Isles were not Britons, it would have been the Angles (and the Saxons and Jutes).

      The Celts etc you mention were inhabitants of the Roman province of Britannia, and thus can legitimately be considered Ancient Brits (as we always called them at school), but the Angles created England, and would never have considered themselves British or living in Britain. It wasn’t until the Scots joined us that Britain and the terms Britons/British became commonly used phrases again.

      So, not really impressed by this clue …

  9. V tricky for a quickie.
    Never managed to parse BINGO at 18d, so thank you blogger.
  10. We spent ages trying to solve 1A and 2D. Then, in an apparent eureka moment, we “solved” 2D with REVERSE which meant another 5 minutes on 1A as we just couldn’t think of an appropriate city. Eventually the penny dropped — 1A was FLORENCE which obviously meant 2D was OBVERSE. Doh! We are well and truly in the SCC today with a time of 26 minutes.

    COD: RANK AND FILE (I liked OBVERSE too)

    Thanks Chris and Teazel.

  11. Well, Teazel certainly consigned me to the rubbish bin today. This took me almost as long as yesterday’s 15×15. A bitty solve and, whilst I got OBVERSE right away, I took the bait on all the deliberately misleading ones — such as 5ac ending in W / 12d based on Appendix. I thought 1a was very clever but should have been in a 15×15, along with quite a few others.
    This was a shock after yesterday’s QC and confirms my impression that Teazel either cannot judge the difficulty of his (often very ingenious) ‘QC’ clues or else is a an absolute meanie (not the first word that came to mind). Which is it?
    I am not arguing that this was anything other than a very good puzzle; simply questioning its description as a QC. Thanks to Chris. John M.

    Edited at 2022-01-11 12:08 pm (UTC)

  12. A tricky one — I thought it was just my Teazel “blind spot”, but it would seem not.

    Just swerved entering POPPET as MOP=CLEAN came to mind just in time.

    Quite a lot to like, but RANK and FILE and EATING IRONS were my favourites.


  13. This took me about 20 minutes which was about the same as yesterdays main puzzle so I think it was a bit difficult too! Lots of answers were quite easy to find but difficult to justify. Eating irons is a very obscure reference and Dynasty is a bit ancient. Poppet is much more familiar than moppet. rank and file ???? the list goes on. Thank though!
  14. … and all done and parsed in 11 minutes. I see comments above though about 17A Embrocation — certainly an unusual word, but compared to some we have seen in QCs, surely not that outré? As for 2D Obverse, this one seems an odd sort of clue, barely cryptic at all, and perhaps more a clue one might see in the Monday GK Crossword.

    I parsed 16D Banyan slightly differently from our blogger as BAN around ANY, thus: B(ANY)AN. Fascinating that it can legitimately be parsed both ways.

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog, and also thanks to everyone who pointed us at the 15×15 crossword yesterday, which was indeed addressable even for me.

  15. That was a tough work out with a couple of unknowns – EMBROCATION and EATING IRONS – and some tricky cluing. I was another who was looking for 5a to end in W, spent some time looking at the wrong end of the clue for the definition for ANGLESEY and was tempted by POPPET before remembering MOPPET. Finally resorted to an alphabet trawl for LOI PRESENTS.
    Finished in 14.32 with COD to PENNIES for the PDM.
    Thanks to Chris
  16. A big contrast to yesterday when everything flowed easily. I started with TRAINEE. Then I struggled with many of the clues mentioned above. I had W at the end of 5a. Struggled to get OBVERSE and ANGLESEY, needed all the checkers for those; but knew EATING IRONS from somewhere. For some reason I put MENDIPS at 15d -I think they are hills and they have 1ps in them for small coins.
    I finally got MOPPET, having rejected POPPET as not parsing (progress for me).
    And LOI was PENNIES, not a despairing PENCILS-or Mendips.
    23:25 of hard work in the end.
    Excellent puzzle.
  17. Twenty-five minutes, so a good ruminate this morning. Enjoyed teasing out the answers. Union was my FOI, so I gulped. Only eight on first pass. But then the connections began to appear. I thought I had finished this … but I had not. Pink square for my poppet (unparsed, obv), and I couldn’t spell divot – e for o. Not a golfer, but that’s no excuse. Wanted to put the wife at the end of the answer – chew? Remember those? But presents sorted me out. Did not parse rank and file. Have walked the Pennine Way (mostly in the rain – will not forget – or repeat). COD splendid. Thanks, Chris, and Teazel.
    P.s. Can’t “like” any comments today again.
    P.P.S. If you think “eating irons” is argot, I was introduced to a term at University – gob irons – which meant either cutlery or mouth organs. Which could be interesting.

    Edited at 2022-01-11 10:28 am (UTC)

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  18. ….when I was lethal from 5 yards, the dressing room would often be full of the smell of Elliman’s EMBROCATION (and the similar Sloane’s Liniment) as my older colleagues massaged their aching joints. I’m quite glad there’s no such thing as a noseworm. I gave up in my late 20’s when I realised it was no use being in that 5 yard zone when the ball was already somewhere behind me. I blame women and beer….

    I knew everything I needed to here, but could clearly see the clues which would trouble others.

    TIME 3:54

  19. I found this very tricky. CATNAP was my FOI. Went down several blind alleys, but eventually plugged the last gap with FLORENCE. ANGLESEY took and age as I’d carelessly shoved in BANYAM for 16d. 13:59. Thanks Teazel and Chris.
  20. Yesterday I was a snail among hares; today it’s the OBVERSE. Like Phil the scent of EMBROCATION was familiar from the changing rooms d’antan (though it was “Deep Heat” in my case).

    FOI DIVOT, LOI FLORENCE, COD MOPPET, time a bizarrely rapid 07:18 for 1.2K and an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Teazel and Chris.


  21. Absolutely stuffed by Teazel this morning and pushed to nearly double my target at 28 minutes by WHIP, PRESENTS and MOPPET which accounted for most of the overrun. I took ages looking for the barely heard of MOPPET after poppet clearly wouldn’t work, and I parsed BANYAN as Cedric did — with no need to resort to anagrams. In the RN in the 70s, a BANYAN had a different meaning, and usually involved a bit of a hooley on a tropical beach somewhere. Hats off to Teazel for a bit of a challenge, and thanks to Chris for the blog.
  22. Struggled for nearly 30m and then got a pink square for poppet not MOPPET. Could be sour grapes but I found this low on sparkle.
  23. Not often I fail to finish and have an entire section not completed, but in this case the SW corner just stumped me. I got “Embrocation” eventually, but couldn’t see 13ac “Precis” and Spleen must have been the only organ I didn’t consider for 12dn.

    In the end I would have got 14ac wrong as I also put “Poppet”, although I have heard of the equally old fashioned “Moppet”.

    FOI — 1dn “Fade”
    LOI — dnf
    COD — 3dn “Eating Irons” — just for the image it will conjure up as I lay the table at some point.

    Thanks as usual!

  24. Quite pleased with myself today as I finished this relatively easily, although without being able to parse BINGO (why does GO mean more difficult?) or PRESENTS and guessing EATING IRONS from the anagram since I have never heard of the phrase. MOPPET became obvious once I saw PET.
    1. It’s the game, Go, which I understand is difficult, but I have never played it, as opposed to Bingo, which is an easy game, and I have played it. In Skegness.
  25. ANGLESEY was one if the LOIs but carelessly misspelt so failed on relatively easy INKY. Put Chew not WHIP, oh dear. Failed on PRESENTS. Not a homophone, imo.
    Managed the rest very slowly. Relieved to hear even some of the experts found it tricky.
    Very slow to see UNION.
    Dragged up EATING IRONS from the depths of remaining brain. Biffed OBVERSE.

    BUT I did complete the 15×15 yesterday with only one error🙂. So thanks for the heads-up.

  26. I finished it but can’t say I really enjoyed it. I was going to apologise in advance for being grumpy but see I don’t have to after all! I was finding this pretty difficult anyway, but then my dear husband kept interrupting me – he was (still is) trying to sort out an IT problem for me, so I shouldn’t be ungrateful. But it did slow me down even further, so no idea of time. Definitely in the SCC though.
    There were a few lighter moments – I liked EATING IRONS and BINGO, and obviously PENNIES raised a little smile. As I don’t play chess, the second meaning of 11a was lost on me – I hope I remember it next time it appears!
    FOI Fade (only the second clue I looked at – if I can’t get 1a, I usually go to 1d next)
    LOI Splendid
    COD and AOD Embrocation
    Thanks (I think) to Teazel and definitely to Chris (and others) for sorting it all out!
  27. Firstly many thanks to the bloggers from yesterday who recommended the 15×15 as approachable. I got around 60% of the clues which is the most ever!

    I really struggled with todays offering. Got Rank and file and Eating Irons without too much difficulty but not embrocation or Banyan and quite a few others. I think I got into a mindset that it was too difficult and therefore didn’t see clues which I really should have done.

    There’s always tomorrow

    Thanks to blogger (s) and setter

  28. In common with others just not on Teazel’s wavelength today. A slightly interrupted 27 mins from start to finish. No vocabulary that I didn’t know, just brain fade and some rather chewy clues. Thanks to Teazel for setting rather a puzzler and to Chris for the blog.

    FOI – 8ac DIVOT
    LOI – 23ac ANGLESEY
    COD – 15dn PENNIES

  29. Oh dear! This is one of just a few QCs that I have really needed the blog to shed light on my guesses. I had a couple of corrections. CHEW became WHIP and MOOD became DOOM but both rather belatedly. EMBROCATION needed a careful sort of the letters but at least sounded familiar. Then came the guesses…EATING IRONS (NHO), RANK AND FILE (first definition only) and OBVERSE (guessed it was something to do with a coin and my LOI). 18:31 for a poor day. Thanks Chris for your blog.
  30. MOPPET and OBVERSE eluded me today and I learned a new word in EMBROCATION which I successfully biffed. Very slow to even get going with TRAINEE FOI and PENNIES LOI. Always find Teazel tricky! Thanks for the blog Chris — I won’t forget obverse in a hurry 😄
  31. Thanks for the suggestions to try the 15×15. I enjoyed it and although several unsolved it was a good challenge.
    I approached this with a great ‘can-do’ attitude and to begin with thought that all would be well….
    Gosh, I threw in the towel with 10 to go. I just got frustrated…..
    Even Rank and File didn’t quite seem right.
    No, one to forget.
    Thanks for the blog Chris….one small correction required for 22a if perfection is sought. (I definitely wasn’t in the right mood!)
    Thanks all
    John George
    1. Perfection – or precision – is my aim but proofreading is not my forte. I’m therefore grateful for any and all help. Blog updated – thank you.
  32. Hurrah !
    Finished this correctly – the first one for a while. Took nearly an hour though.

    I had not heard of BANYAN before (an Indian tree with aerial roots) – very strange.

    I liked the ‘PENNINES’ minus ‘IN’ = ‘PENNIES’. There is a saying in these parts – if you can see the Pennines then it is going to rain; if you cannot see them then it is raining already.

    EATING IRONS – I thought that I was the only person to call cutlery ‘Eating Irons’ so
    I was surprised to get this so easily.

  33. I wasn’t too familiar with Embrocation my LOI or Eating Irons. COD 11ac Rank and File. WOD 14ac Moppet.
  34. Can’t post a time here as I completed it together with Mrs Prof in 16 mins. Very enjoyable and didn’t get stuck but that’s the result of two brains rather than one. Mrs Prof was straight on EMBROCATION which is our COD while I would have struggled with that one. Very much enjoyed BINGO too. Clever.

    Thanks for blog and clever puzzle today. Prof

  35. It was OBVERSE and RANK AND FILE that did for me, after just about coming up with the word EMBROCATION (would have had no idea what it meant but I must have seen it somewhere before) which gave me the unparsed BINGO. Other than those it was tricky but doable. Never heard of EATING IRONS, but once I’d taken out the letters for EATING, what else could it be? Anyway, a DNF after 41 for me, but thanks Teazel for the workout and to Chris.
  36. Just happened to be on right wavelength today
    There is nothing wrong with educated guesses IMHO as they are based on what we know
  37. How old do you need to be to recognise some of these words? Dynasty as a soap? Moppet? Embrocation? Eating irons? Whip as a creamy sweet? Struggled today. Dave and Sal
  38. NHO EMBROCATION and had to guess, getting the T and C the wrong way round. Also put POPPET so not a good day.
  39. After celebrating completing the 15×15 yesterday (noting the complaints in that blog about how easy it was), today I find myself outside of my usual haunts in the SCC and mere seconds behind Horryd, so a memorable day.
    Although some took a little working out I knew all the vocabulary, and if FLORENCE had been less evasive I could have gone somewhat faster.
  40. 7d. I don’t think this is a homophone between presents and presence. I think it’s presents, as in gifts, vs presents, as in making yourself present or indeed asking how a disease presents itself.
  41. Nice puzzle and managed in about an hour and a half.
    Parsed all the clues — can play Go so had bango then bingo
    Moppet is American but knew that one.
    Liked Pennines (-n) and I too had the w last in for whip. A double bluff to stop us taking every word as an instruction.

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