Times Quick Cryptic 2061 by Izetti

After a slow start, I sped up considerably and had completed all bar 5dn in 8 minutes. The LOI bug then struck me down and I didn’t yield to treatment for 1.5 minutes. Having now gone through the blog, there seem to be a large number of gk authors/literary stuff/presidents which I may have normally struggled over – I think Izetti was in a generous mood when composing the cryptics (for which, thank you).

Philadelphia, cannon and surrendering point to a war theme but I haven’t any extra insight.

Definitions are underlined.

7 Characters in the arts centre (5)
HEART – characters in t(HEART)s. At first I wondered why characters was the definition – given that the letters are the centre of the hearts.
8 How unpopular goods may be traded, making one puzzled (2,1,4)
AT A LOSS – unpopular goods may not make a profit so may be traded at a loss.
10 Subsequently not real somehow (5,2)
LATER ON – anagram (somehow) of NOT REAL.
11 Country with troubled reign (5)
NIGER – anagram (troubled) of REIGN.
12 Respect engineers in holding-off operation (9)
DEFERENCE – engineers (RE) inside holding-off operation (DEFENCE).
14 Notice for the diocese? (3)
SEE – double definition – the second being an example of a diocese of a bishop.
15 French article containing one thing not true (3)
LIE – French article (LE) containing one (I).
16 Be married, long having been captured and enchanted (9)
BEWITCHED – be (BE), married (WED) having captured long (ITCH).
18 List includes good philosopher (5)
HEGEL – list (of a boat- HEEL) includes good (G). Hegel’s view was that the human mind is the highest expression of the Absolute. My performance at 5dn does seem to go against that theory.
20 Drivel from one crying outside back of school (7)
SLOBBER – one crying (SOBBER) outside schoo(L). Collins confirms that drivel and dribble can be the same.
22 A transgression in Egypt’s capital is very silly (7)
ASININE – a (A), transgression (SIN) in (IN), (E)gypt.
23 Former president, human being without least bit of sense (5)
PERON – human being (PER)s(ON) without one letter of sense – in this case the first or fourth – take your pick. Peron was the president of Argentina and his wife Evita or Eva didn’t want anyone to get upset on her account.
1 US city, being all hippie, had changed (12)
PHILADELPHIA – anagram (changed) of ALL HIPPIE HAD. A city famous for its cracked bell (amongst other things).
2 University female taken in by fatter drunk, a hypocrite (8)
TARTUFFE – University (U) and female (F) taken in by an anagram (drunk) of FATTER. The term comes from a character in Moliere’s comedy – I can only think that French A level (which was a frightening long time ago) held the door ajar to this one.
3 Celebrity gets scoundrels upset (4)
STAR – scoundrels – rats – upset (STAR).
4 Minister is big gun, from what we hear (6)
CANNON – hmm – this looks unusual (for a QC at least) to have the homophone indicator next to the definition rather than the homophone word (minister – canon). It looked so unusual that I’ve double checked the sources to make sure that cannon IS the gun and canon is the member of the clergy. Doubts over my ability to spell aside, the surface had to work that way round and it was hardly a tricky one.
5 Dimmest female in a tricky exam (8)
FAINTEST – female (F), anagram (tricky) of IN A, exam (TEST). I failed for 90 seconds to consider a vowel as the third letter of the answer – but then didn’t.
6 Boy with grand air (4)
SONG – boy (SON) with grand (G).
9 Rude grinners stupidly waving a white flag? (12)
SURRENDERING – anagram (stupidly) of RUDE GRINNERS.
13 Satirist, a sir able to be funny (8)
RABELAIS – anagram (to be funny) of A SIR ABLE. This chap was, apparently, known for his earthy wit, common sense and satire.
14 Composer disturbed brutes outside church (8)
SCHUBERT – anagram (disturbed) of BRUTES outside church (CH).
17 Wife, flowery type, who squanders things? (6)
WASTER – wife (W), flowery type (ASTER).
19 One of two story-telling brothers said to be gloomy (4)
GRIM – homophone of the brothers Grimm.
21 Word of apology and love repeatedly added to extra note (4)
OOPS – love repeatedly (O O), extra note (PS).

66 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2061 by Izetti”

  1. FAINTEST was my LOI, too. There’s an old joke about a contest where 1st prize is a week’s all-expenses-paid vacation in Philadelphia; 2d prize is two weeks.
    As far as I can see, 4d is just plain wrong; it should be, say, “Minister, from what we hear, is big gun”. With the clue as we have it, I see no way of making ‘from what we hear’ apply to ‘minister’. GRIM is problematic, too, and the wording actually favors GRIMM.
    This is probably the first time I’ve ever been faster than Phil (not by much, of course): 5:11.
  2. 16:32 and pleased with no pinks for the unknown TARTUFFE and barely known RABELAIS. the latter is on my shelf of 100 great books, and has never been opened.

    Tough one today, also had LOI FAINTEST.


  3. 10 minutes.

    The homophone clues didn’t bother me as it was clear from the enumeration what was required. Solving the clues in isolation might have been problematic though.

    I’ve seen the Moliere play TARTUFFE a number of times on stage so it was a write-in once I had a checker or two but it occurred to me that both it and RABELAIS were perhaps beyond the normal scope of QC vocabulary.

  4. Resorted to aids for TARTUFFE and RABELAIS — I could see what was going on but had no clue how to arrange the anagrist and the answers didn’t give rise to any recognition. Not that it matters as it turns out I can’t spell PHILADELPHIA — if only I’d bothered to count the I’s. The information was all there. A pink square I can’t pass off as a typo. So that’s three bits of ignorance unearthed. At least SEE went in without hesitation, so I can learn stuff.

    Edited at 2022-02-01 06:58 am (UTC)

  5. 22 minutes but BIFD PERON and parsed after.
    FOI: should have been HEART which I didn’t write in until the end but it did give me PHILADELPHIA as the first in. The hypocrite I vaguely knew but left till near the end. The rest went in without too much trouble.
    COD and WOD: OOPS
    I didn’t notice the homophone problems until I came here.
  6. Unlike yesterday, I set off at a rocking pace today but slowed as I got down the grid. Enjoyed the artsy content and went back at the end to see if there was a particular theme which I inevitably miss. If there is, I missed it again. GK a bit more general than usual but at least there were no rarely used, NHO words or spelling challenges except for the gentle can(n)on, boom boom.
    LOI and my COD OOPS as I settled in to my comfy chair at 26 minutes.
    Thanks Izetti and Chris
  7. Only 16 mins today after many recent SCC and Shanks’ pony slogs! Fine with the GK. LOI was FAINTEST and SONG took a while for some reason. Was unsure about CANNON but assumed was inexperience — thanks kevingregg for clarifying this. Enjoyable. Thanks Chris and Izetti.
  8. Just under 20 for me but with a misspelled Philadelphia – no excuse for an anagram. DnK Tartuffe a a hypocrite but had heard the name so put it in and hoped for the best. Also held up a bit by Oops and Peron. Had heard of Rabelais but not read him. I also thought the Brothers Grimm had a double m.

    FOI Later on
    LOI Tartuffe
    COD Oops

  9. A quick but messy solve …
    … as I completed this in just under 10 minutes, but with several guesses (I have heard of 2D Tartuffe and 13D Rabelais but could not tell you anything about either) and MERs (I still don’t really see how 7A Heart works, and share the confusion over 4D Cannon).

    So I was really quite surprised to see that the setter was Izetti — his puzzles are usually both faultless and fierce, whereas this I can only assess as flawed. Even Homer nods, as they say …

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog

    1. I thought Chris’s explanation for HEART was clear (and chimed with mine). Quite a clever clue, I thought. Similarly for CANNON. Perhaps I look at things more superficially than Chris and yourself — just glad to find Izetti not too challenging. John.
      1. Characters …
        I see the derivation, but I still think to define Heart as “Characters” is less than crisp. Even if the implication is the characters H, E, A, R, T it is still odd: “characters” suggests written Chinese, whereas English has letters.

        But then, such thoughts are by their nature subjective so I allow that others will see it differently…

        1. I think the definition is “centre”, and “characters in” is the hidden word indicator. Clever device which I didn’t see, like you thinking the definition was “characters” . Chris does have “centre” underlined as the def, but his explanation is possibly open to confusion.
          1. I agree and thought that was exactly what Chris meant. I could not have rationalised it as anything but heart/centre and h e a r t / characters.
            Reading through all the comments this evening, I think Izetti has attracted a lot of unfair comments today. John.

            Edited at 2022-02-01 07:44 pm (UTC)

  10. A gentle Izetti, I thought. I finished within target (15 mins) but then wasted a few seconds correcting PHILSDELPHIA. The curse of the fat fingers again (A is adjacent to S on the small-ish screen keyboard). I finished in the SW with SLOBBER, OOPS and PERON. I liked HEGEL but COD to TARTUFFE — I remembered the play from seeing it in the Library Theatre in Manchester as part of a school outing with our French teacher centuries ago but I didn’t remember his hypocritical character (perhaps because the play was presented in the original French!) so I entered it with crossed fingers.
    Thanks to Izetti and Chris. John M.

    Edited at 2022-02-01 11:36 am (UTC)

  11. Failed on PERON and hence OOPS.
    Not that easy but managed TARTUFFE, HEGEL and RABELAIS, (phew), also slow on DEFERENCE. No problem with GRIM.
    First ones in included the long anagrams 1d and 9d but not as useful as I had hoped.
    Thanks vm, Chris.

  12. Twenty-five minutes, bewitched and Peron unparsed. NHO Tartuffe, but it was generously clued. The clue for cannon seemed the wrong way round, as stated above. Saw deference long before I entered it, only doing so once parsed. FOI later on, fourteen on first pass, oops and Peron LO’sI, COD the rude grinners. Thanks, Chris, and Izetti.
  13. 25 mins, mostly enjoying Izetti’s clueing which saw me safely through some lesser remembered names. Made rapid — for me — progress through the top half and heading for sub 20 mins, but slowed down the lower I went.
    Didn’t equate SLOBBER with drivel, but clearly clued and checked out afterwards. MER at the big gun however, and then delayed at the end by OOPS and forgetting that not all presidents are American. As ever, Monty Python provided me with a philosophers checklist to sing through for a quick solution to that clue.
  14. I didn’t parse HEART correctly, wondered about CANNON/CANON homophone, read dribble instead of drivel which made the solving of SLOBBER much easier and deliberated for a while over the positioning of the unchecked letters in POI TARTUFFE and LOI RABELAIS. Feel somewhat lucky to get a green in 8:25.
  15. Bits to enjoy so thanks but this was a no-no me. Heart doesn’t work for me and, in my opinion, for a quickie you can have an obscure clue and an obscure answer, but not both together. I thought there was too much of this for one puzzle.
  16. I doubt if I will be alone in having to look up my last pair — Tartuffe and Rabelais. Both were completely unknown, and anagrams are never a easy way to get unknown words. I am also in the camp calling out 4d as wrong, so I do wonder what went on with Izetti today. Invariant
    1. I agree re: anagrams being a poor way to get unknown words.
      RAFTUFTE, FARTUFTE, RATTUFFE, FATTUFRE and TAFTUFRE are all unlikely, but (just about pronounceable) solutions. But, so is TARTUFFE, unless you’ve studied A-Level French. So, it distills down to a 1-in-6 guess.
  17. FOI was NIGER. After that no particular hold-ups and I knew all the GK required. LOI RABELAIS after 9 minutes exactly.
    I thought the anagrams for Tartuffe and Rabelais were clearly signposted but there’s no accounting for GK.
    COD to AT A LOSS.

  18. 13 minutes and happy to recall the names of TARTUFFE and RABELAIS although I wouldn’t have been able to describe one as a hypocrite and the other as a satirist. Together with HEGEL, SCHUBERT and PERON I think this adds up to a tough GK call for a QC, but at least the Don was generous with his clueing. An interesting, if somewhat different puzzle today. Thanks both.
  19. Tartuffe was dredged from my memory bank, and Peron and Asinine were the other too I struggled over. The rest went in quickly for me- less than 15 minutes.
    Thanks Chris and thanks Mr Setter
  20. Hmmm, chewy if you didn’t know the GK. HEGEL and RABELAIS were completely unknown and the latter involved a successful guess over the order of the vowels. TARTUFFE was a vaguely remembered name, but I couldn’t have told you who he was or that he was a hypocrite.
    Other than that I found this relatively gentle for an Izetti puzzle, although LOI FAINTEST proved trickier than it should have been.
    Finished in 10.31
    Thanks to Chris
  21. …. largely due to not spotting OOPS, and thus being held up on my LOI (I expected an American of course).

    It is worth noting that the 15×15 took me only 35 seconds longer than this.

    TIME 5:39

  22. I come to this page for help and guidance, in addition to finding out how I managed to get the right (or wrong) word. Maybe the QC is getting more difficult with some obscure GK, but I am getting a bit tired of comments that suggest that the vocabulary of members of the SCC is inadequate. We are not all Arts graduates with a comprehensive knowledge of French literature. Speaking for myself, I do this puzzle to challenge myself and keep the old synapses firing. How can I learn and improve if I am only asked questions to which I know the answer? This is why we need the odd clue that pushes us a bit harder. If we can’t work it out we come to this page to try to understand and, with luck, remember it for next time.
    Rant over. I actually enjoyed this puzzle and am delighted with my time of 17 mins.
    1. I agree – and have commented on this before. I’m sure it’s not meant to be patronising but it does come across that way sometimes.
      One person’s GK is another’s obscurity and all that, and I don’t think it is helpful to pre-judge what people may or may not find difficult. Of course, it does help if you have a wide vocabulary (and who is to say that members of the SCC haven’t?) and good GK can give you a nudge in the right direction, but, after all, the point is to try and get the answer from the wordplay – it’s not a GK quiz! I’ve learnt all sorts of words from doing these, which now are old friends – although I can’t say I use many of them in every day conversation 😅
      Congrats on the time btw – why don’t you sign up and join us regularly?
      1. Certainly, I had all the GK for this one, except that I didn’t know that Tartuffe wss a hypocrite, or, on reflection, anything about Rabelais, apart from the link to rabelaisian – in the sense of ribald. All done and dusted inside 30mins, I should think. I’m definitely at or below the SCC level, even after 4 years or so of doing tge QC, and just happy to find an Izetti I can finish unaided.
    2. I agree – if it wasn’t for the challenge then why do it? The SCC is my favourite institution – I spent many years in it before it was even recognised as such. I have great admiration for those who identify with it whilst continuing to strive to improve. I do this voluntary weekly exercise primarily to help those pre, in and just post SCC membership. Good luck to all who sail in her! Btw – my vocabulary is inadequate when it comes to the 15×15 a lot of the time – but no one has invented a club for that as yet.
  23. Managed this OK – having a French degree helped with TARTUFFE and RABELAIS! Struggled with PERON for a while, trying to find a US President, then OOPS was obvious. Still don’t see the point of ‘University’ in clue for FAINTEST, which I guessed.
    1. There is no university in the clue for FAINTEST but there is an exam (TEST). I was helped along on that one by yesterday’s FAINT-HEARTED.

      The university clue is for TARTuFFE

  24. 3 DNFs that is. Is there a prize or a name for this?

    Obviously no chance with TARTUFFE, RABELAIS but also struggled on HEGEL, OOPS (no chance with that wordplay) and SONG.

    And thought the former president was RON(ald Reagan) so had no idea what was going on there.

    Disappointing after a decent start of getting the biggies like PHILADElPHIA and SURRENDERING early.

    1. A name for 3 DNFs in a row? Normality! Certainly, that was my experience during my first few months struggling with these QCs.
      1. Well, yes, Mr Random – I found that amusing. May I, however, suggest that the term for 3 DNFs in a row should be ‘a challenge’? I always tend towards the positive.
  25. I was also AT A (bit of a) LOSS when it came to parsing HEART, CANNON and GRIM – Kevin’s suggestion for 4d seems more user friendly and I think 19d is a bit odd – but it didn’t stop me from sorting this out in 9 minutes, very quick for an Izetti for me! I did enjoy it a lot, despite the MERs, and there were some cracking anagrams.
    FOI Later on
    LOI Peron (loved the Evita reference Chris 😂)
    COD Bewitched (although Oops came a close second)
    AsOD Philadelphia and Surrendering
    Thanks Izetti and Chris

    Has anyone else seen the amazing colours round the sun this morning – I think it’s called cloud iridescence. Absolutely beautiful.

    Edited at 2022-02-01 12:39 pm (UTC)

  26. at the CANNON/CANON error(?), but wasn’t a puzzle ruiner.

    Held up a touch at the end by OOPS/PERON crossing. RABELAIS known to me via the adjective rabelaisian, TARTUFFE dredged once I had the crossers, no idea of the hypocrisy, wot wiv being a literary philistine. To be honest, I thought a TARTUFFE might be some sort of ornate, possibly cream-filled French confectionery…

    If you haven’t done it already, and have some additional crosswording time, then Izetti/Pasquale set yesterday’s Quiptic in the Guardian, and very good it is too — perfectly pitched at a moderate QC level.


  27. STAR was my FOI, which allowed me to get HEART. I typed in CANON at 4d, then noticed I was a letter short a while later! Knew of TARTUFFE, and RABELAIS was vaguely familiar once I had the checkers. Went over my target time though. 10:54. Thanks Izetti and Chris.
  28. Hmmm…sometimes you can get away with not knowing something, but today was an exception. Whilst I actually got 2dn “Tartuffe” from the clueing, it could quite easily have been “Raftufte” or “Rattuffe” as far as I was concerned. DNK 18ac “Hegel” nor 18dn “Rabelais” either. The latter could also have been any combination of letters.

    Also — not convinced “Oops” is a word of apology either. It’s an exclamation — not sure it means actually means sorry.

    One to forget I think.

    FOI — 10ac “Later On”
    LOI — dnf
    COD — 20ac “Slobber” — mainly becasue of the drool spilling from my mouth trying to do this.

    Thanks as usual!

  29. 10:44 biffing merrily through vague recollections of HEGEL, RABELAIS & TARTUFFE. Knew nothing about any of them – have learned a fair bit from the blog, thanks Chris and others. The homophones issue didn’t slow me down but I side with those miffed about CANNON and with those happy with GRIM – but only in post-mortem and not while in action.
  30. We thought this was quite tough — we finished in 19 minutes. Really enjoyed the long anagrams but we needed the checkers to confirm our answers to 2D and 13D.


    Thanks Chris and Izetti.

  31. Quibbling but … is oops really a word of apology?

    To me, it’s an indicator a mistake has been made. An apology may, or may not, follow after.

    Edited at 2022-02-01 02:34 pm (UTC)

    1. I wondered about apology too but SOED mentions it before all other possibilities:

      oops interjection. M20.
      [ORIGIN Natural exclam.]

      Expr. apology, dismay, or surprise, esp. after an obvious mistake, a near miss, etc.

      Chambers and Collins have apology too but not as the first meaning.

      Edited at 2022-02-01 09:21 pm (UTC)

      1. Fair enough, thank-you for taking the time to look up and post it.

        It seems all Boris needed to do on Monday was stand up in Parliament and say “Oops I had a party at No. 10” 😉

  32. is what Izetti is probably thinking on reviewing 4dn

    I had the same issues with the OOPS/PERON crossing as Phil and HopkinB, but needless to say took longer to resolve those issues!

    FOI PHILADELPHIA, LOI PERON, COD HEGEL (whenever there’s a “philosopher” clue I solve it by singing the Monty Python “Bruces’ Drinking Song” in my head …), time 09:57 for 1.9K and a Decent Day.

    Thanks Izetti and Chris.


  33. FOI 1dn PHILADELPHIA — Walnut Street

    LOI 21dn PERON after thinking of MORON — with President MOON of South Korea to the fore! Oops!

    COD OOPS! — a rhetorical apology perhaps?


    Vocab! Vocab! Vocab!

  34. As we don’t time ourselves – we finished in around 45 minutes — I was pleased to know Tartuffe, Rabelais, and Hegel from A level school days. It made me for the first time regret digging my toes in and refusing to try for University! Having watched BBC’s programme on Elaine Paige last weekend, Peron was easy, once I eliminated US presidents.
  35. TARTUFFE dredged from somewhere. RABELAIS in mind from a recent Great Lives podcast (recommended)

    Otherwise on the slightly trickier side of average for me

    Thanks Chris and Izetti

  36. Joined those who had trouble with Tartuffe and Rabelais. The two long anagrams gave us a quick start but it was tough going from thereon.
  37. … more than halfway within the first 10 minutes, but then I ground to a halt.

    I saw PHILADELPHIA instantly, and five of its six dependants also went in quickly. Some of the down clues were then solved and I (fleetingly) wondered if a PB or sub-20 finish was a possibility. However, no such luck!

    Totally flummoxed by BEWITCHED, SLOBBER, SCHUBERT (no idea why) and OOPS. Then there were three solutions I had NHO: RABELAIS (guessed because it sounded a bit like Roubaix in northern France), HEGEL (guessed because I think I remember the name from a Monty Python sketch) and TARTUFFE (guessed only because the other five alternatives looked even less likely). I am coming to realise that my education, GK or experience of life is seriously lacking.

    Despite all of this, I crossed the line, all correct, in 46 minutes (or 58 minutes, if I take into account the additional time spent trying – and failing – to find an alternative word to TARTUFFE). Which time should I record in my spreadsheet?

    Many thanks to Izetti and Chris.

  38. The ‘Portcullis’ grid is ever tiresome. Rabelais, Tartuffe and Hegel – my friend thought they might have been a seventies rock band. She’s very good at other things!
    COD 16ac Bewitched. WOD Oops-a-daisy! I sped along at 6:11 minutes

  39. Not heard that one before! Obviously quite different to a ‘Stancullis’grid!!


    1. Bloomin’ high brow stuff … but I bet you never see Stan Cullis in The Times QC

      50s title winner has no defensive view of second half ‘castle defence

      Edited at 2022-02-01 07:45 pm (UTC)

  40. Tiredness and several unknown or barely known dead people got the better of me after half an hour today, but I was woken up by my son bursting in nearly 20 minutes later, and I was then able to get HEGEL and, somehow, TARTUFFE as well as FAINTEST and LOI PERON, though I never parsed it. Clueing obscure words or people with anagrams is definitely not kind wordplay in my book, however, and having stopped my watch on 66 minutes, I then found, not to my surprise, that the satirist I needed was not REBALSIA. Oh well, thanks anyway.
  41. 25 minutes but plenty of pink squares. Guessed the NHO TARTUFFE but no such luck with HEGEL and RABELAIS. Who!?
  42. Convinced myself that 23 ac was ‘moron’, having got the r and n (perhaps thinking of Trump?)! Kicking myself because I did originally see the double o for 21 dn but couldn’t see a word beginning with this. On the plus side got the hypocrite and satirist.

    Gary A

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