Times Quick Cryptic 2066 by Oink

8 minutes for a quick QC. Oink makes an appearance or two in this pleasant and enjoyable solve.

Definitions are underlined.

1 A mistake, whichever way you look at it (4)
BOOB – a palindrome – whichever way you look at it.
4 Horses that might feature on the menu? (8)
TROTTERS – horses for trotting races and pigs trotters – something I haven’t had in many a long decade.
8 Nude king among those gawping (8)
STARKERS – king (K) inside those gawping (STARERS). My LOI having been looking at something ending LESS and then getting ‘tied up with streaker’ – so to speak.
9 Rushed to meet head of KGB in station (4)
RANK – rushed (RAN), (K)GB.
10 Attack a milk producer (4)
GOAT – attack (GO AT). Some very good goat cheeses around.
11 Copied limit at Edinburgh to an extent (8)
IMITATED – some of the clue (to some extent) – l(IMIT AT ED)inburgh.
12 Importance of statues English carted off (6)
STATUS – statues with E for English (STATU)e(S).
14 Corsica gendarme clutching to-do list (6)
AGENDA – inside (clutching) – Corsic(A GENDA)rme.
16 Behind in French coursework? (8)
DERRIERE – I think ‘in French coursework?’ is an acknowledgement that the word is originally ‘behind’ in French (so found in a French course) but has been adopted into English as the term for buttocks/rump. I had a quick, but unsuccessful, attempt to see if a derrière could be a particular line in a course of bricks.
18 Reportedly get rid of nun’s accommodation (4)
CELL – homophone of sell.
19 A weighty book, in my opinion (4)
TOME – in my opinion (TO ME).
20 Tramline surprisingly ending here (8)
TERMINAL – anagram (surprisingly) of TRAMLINE. Good clue given that a tramline has a terminus.
22 Prime Minister once having argument in airport (8)
HEATHROW – Prime Minister once (HEATH), argument (ROW).
23 Top bishop is in Paris (4)
BEST – bishop (B), ‘is’ in Paris/French (EST).
2 Impossible job in remote settlement (7)
OUTPOST – impossible (OUT) – as in that’s right out.
3 Explosion half buried a good man (5)
BURST – half of (BUR)ied, good man (ST – saint).
4 Couple row endlessly (3)
TIE – row endlessly (TIE)r.
5 Pig-headed botanist stupidly taking an E (9)
OBSTINATE – anagram (stupidly) of BOTANIST plus (E).
6 Suspicion surrounding monarch’s houses (7)
TERRACE – suspicion (TRACE) surrounding monarch (ER).
7 Get up around noon and wash (5)
RINSE – get up (RISE) around noon (N).
11 Policeman crept in so awkwardly (9)
INSPECTOR – anagram (awkwardly) of CREPT IN SO.
13 Tease troops getting married in tent (7)
TORMENT – troops (OR – ordinary ranks) with married (M) inside tent (TENT).
15 Ready for a holiday in the States? (7)
DOLLARS – cryptic definition – ready = money = dollars in USA.
17 Run off with east European, heading north (5)
ELOPE – east (E), European – Pole upwards (ELOP).
18 Ascent of Conservative member (5)
CLIMB – Conservative (C), member (LIMB).
21 Fighting back is natural (3)
RAW – fighting – war – backwards (RAW).

66 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2066 by Oink”

  1. 7 minutes but didn’t understand the coursework reference. Unless we’ve missed something I don’ t think it works.
  2. CELL was my LOI: it took me a moment to connect ‘sell’ and ‘get rid of’, and I actually thought of CULL first. I didn’t/don’t get DERRIERE; ‘coursework’ seems to be there only to make the clue cryptic: ‘behind in French’ would be fine, except not cryptic. Chris, you’ve got a typo at 11ac: the spelling of Edinburgh, and the non-inclusion of D in IMITATED. 5:30.
      1. I must be missing something as I don’t get the comparison. That has clear wordplay TAD (little) + POLE (European) = TADPOLE (swimmer), but ‘coursework’ doesn’t seem to contribute anything to this clue.
      2. “Little swimmer” is an OK clue for TADPOLE in a noncryptic puzzle.
        Only “European” makes “Little European swimmer” a cryptic clue.
        Likewise, here “coursework” seems intended to add a cryptic element to the noncryptic “behind in French.” As Kevin pointed out. Of course, “behind in French” tout court could also mean lagging in your devoirs in français, but it would not be necessarily cryptic. (Even just ever so slightly… as here, alas.)

        Edited at 2022-02-08 06:22 am (UTC)

        1. Thanks. I think I had got as far as ‘coursework’ being an attempt to make the clue cryptic but since it doesn’t succeed (at least in my view) I return to my original point that the clue doesn’t work. It might have been better if the setter had rethought the whole thing from scratch or the editor had intervened and asked him to.
  3. All done in 8 minutes for me. Same minor issues as others. TROTTERS on the menu, the strange coursework thing,
  4. Horses on menus? Starters of course! I’m off to a flyer! Oh dear. It took me a long time to revisit that one and not before driving myself nuts trying to find a three letter word beginning with S for couple. Held up by DERRIERE, entered with all the checkers from ‘rear in French’ but certainly not parsed and by DOLLARS where I think I’d have got there faster with ‘readies’, I don’t think I have never heard ‘ready’ for a plural — although then the surface wouldn’t work. Also held up by TORMENT which I just overcomplicated. All green in 18.
    1. “Have you got the ready”, short for ready cash. I have no problem with that, but “holiday” seems completely redundant. As written, to me it reads “cash to pay for a holiday in the US”, and since I live in England, I would pay in pounds. I can see where Oink is coming from, cash you would use on holiday in the US, but I feel he has overthought it. “Ready for US” would work better.
  5. ‘ready’, as I understand it–it’s not in my dialect–means ‘cash’ or ‘money’, and those words imply more than one note. Having $1 is not going to get you much of a holiday in the States.
  6. 23 minutes but with DERRIERE BIFD and DOLLARS assumed from the ready part of the clue. Also CELL from the homophone.
    FOI: BOOB couldn’t be anything else
    LOI: ELOPE for no other reason than it was.
    COD: TROTTERS a fun clue and a porcine reference.

    Edited at 2022-02-08 07:16 am (UTC)

  7. Always used “readies” for money, so did not get DOLLARS.


    Two bad DNFs already this week, I blame watching the curling.

  8. 9’39” but agree that DERRIERE feels a bit shabby unless someone can identify something else going on. I’ve never heard “ready” as a singular when referring to cash so don’t feel DOLLAR works well either, but I get the thinking. Enjoyed TOME and GOAT.
      1. Heard of that and I guess that’s the root of the slangish ‘readies’ but ‘ready’ there is an adjective not a noun. The clue implies a noun and it’s in that form that I’ve never heard the singular. I may be overthinking it!
        1. I’ve come across “the ready” before

          Per Lexico: “[informal British] readies or the ready
          Available money; cash.”

  9. Mostly plain sailing but like others my last two – DERRIERE and DOLLARS – were unsatisfactory due to the issues already raised. WOD to STARKERS and COD to OBSTINATE for the lovely surface. Finished in 9.24, which feels like a rarish sub-target time of late.
    Thanks to Chris
  10. Agree with others on derriere and dollars, my last two in. I think you may find trotters on the menu in some of the nose to tail eating places, St John’s by Smithfield market springs to mind. Thanks Oink & Chris
    FOI Boob
    LOI Dollars
    COD Burst
  11. Nice to see our piggy friend again. I enjoyed this but only began to motor when I started from the bottom of the grid (except for my LOI, DOLLARS). I wasted some time on BURST — couldn’t shake blast (or parse it!) — and STARKERS (like chris, I wanted ‘less’ at the end). I liked TERMINAL and TOME. Managed to get within target for a change at a few seconds under 15 mins.
    Thanks to Oink and Chris. John M.

    Edited at 2022-02-08 09:03 am (UTC)

  12. This must have been easy as it took me twelve minutes. It didn’t feel particularly easy or quick, I felt I had a good mental work-out. Fourteen on first pass helped. FOI boob, but nothing then till status. Had all the checkers for some words which went in quickly. LOI goat – saw it earlier but the parsing occured later. Biffed derriere as French for behind only, no idea why it had anything to do with coursework, unless a person wanted to say “behind” in a sentence in their French coursework, which seems much, much too obvious. Thanks, Chris, and Oink.
  13. Lovely puzzle (except the French behind) – I really like Oink’s neat and elegant style.

    FOI BOOB, LOI DERRIERE, COD DOLLARS (I have no issue with “ready” in the singular, in fact I thought it was clever), time 07:11 for 1.3K and a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks Oink and Chris.


  14. Straightforwardenough in the main …
    … and all green in just under 10 minutes, but I share the comments above that Readies would be the more normal word for dollars, not Ready, and that Derriere is a weak clue. I know we are expected to know some French — in this puzzle the est part of 23A Best is perfectly fair — but cluing a whole 8-letter word simply by translation seems to me to be un pas de trop (or if you prefer, a step too far).

    Those minor quibbles aside, a nice puzzle from Oink and many thanks to Chris for the blog. One remaining typo though: in your explanation of 8A, your autotext has “corrected” gawping to dawning …


  15. Bunged in DOLLARS because it fitted, but thanks for the explanation. DERRIERE similarly.

    GOAT was my last in by miles after an extensive alpha trawl. Lift and separate…not all milk producers are cows, or anatomical terms…Well done Oink — you had me groping forward blindly, no idea which way the ball was going to fizz and spin — Daryl Cullinan to your Shane Warne. 🙂

    Thanks to chrisw91 for filling in the gaps.


  16. 19 minutes for us with 5 of them spent on 15D. Yes, “readies” = “money”, but “ready”, not so sure. We got DERRIÈRE on the basis that it means behind but we didn’t understand the reference to coursework. A lovely puzzle, nonetheless.


    Thanks Chris and Oink.

  17. Finally got a hold in the bottom part/DERRIERE then realised the top ones weren’t that difficult, except the crossers all seemed to be random vowels.
    HEATHROW made me smile, and of course TROTTERS.
    Very Slow on LOI DOLLARS.
    Thanks for much needed blog, Chis. Could not parse e.g. TORMENT, TERRACE.
  18. A curate’s egg of a puzzle for me — not so bad as to be a pig’s breakfast but the same reservations as above. GOAT had me puzzled for a while, but it meant I saw TOME’s parsing quickly. Readies, but not ready, other than an adjective, in my usage. But nothing else fitted anyway.
    With BOOB and DERRIÈRE, STARKERS and RAW I wondered if Oink was going XXX on us…
  19. FOI BOOB, then almost all done in about 7 minutes.
    But struggled mightily with CELL and DOLLARS and had to correct a confident but unparsed BLAST at 3d. That just left the milk producer which took me ages to see.
    13:30 in the end.
    Agree with comments above but a good QC overall.
  20. After nearly missing the coach yesterday, I managed to get the red flag position today, with a 19 and a bit minute solve. It should have been a comfortable sub-20, but like others my last two, Derriere and Dollars, put up a stiff resistance. The pdm with Dollars was good enough for me to give it my CoD vote, even if it comes with a quibble over ready. I have eaten, (and enjoyed!), pigs trotters, beef tongue and ox tail, but draw the line at goat. Invariant
      1. Basically the taste, well that and a very bad experience following a cooked goat’s cheese in France many years ago. Having said that, I have no objection to goat skin gloves, nor wallets for that matter, but strictly nill by mouth.
  21. 13 minutes (plus some seconds) with CELL last one in — I couldn’t get CULL out of my mind, but culldn’t parse it. Finally saw the equivalence of CELL and get rid of phonetically. I have no idea what Coursework is doing there. Thanks both.
  22. No idea what coursework is doing. No problem with ready for DOLLARS. Undone by not proofreading properly as my POI STARKERS changed my biffed BLAST at 3d to BLRST. GOAT was LOI. 8:26 WOE. Thanks Oink and Chris.
  23. Everything was done in 20 mins apart from 16ac “Derriere” and 15dn “Dollars”, but alas I never got there.

    With the latter, I was convinced “leave” had something to do so with it — so I went down the wrong path.

    Another tricky Oink in my opinion — however, the boob and starkers references made me chuckle childishly.

    FOI — 4dn “Tie”
    LOI — dnf
    COD — 22ac “Heathrow” — wasted a lot of time looking for obscure PM’s rather than airports.

    Thanks as usual!

  24. I agree with lots of others that DERRIERE clue is unsatisfactory (what’s the point of ‘coursework’?) and also struggled to see DOLLARS until all crossers in. Guessed TORMENT – not aware of OR = ordinary ranks.
  25. Same thoughts as Vinyl on TROTTERS and TERRACE which were my second and third last in. But they and DOLLARS accounted for a good few minutes at the end. Can’t believe I missed the ready thing. No problems with GOAT though

    Thanks all

  26. There’s a suspicion of food around your mouth to mean a trace of food…Can’t think of better example but can see suspicion = trace

    1. Yes, I think it’s fairly standard. The flavour of a wine or any food may have a trace/suspicion of something about it.
  27. FOI BOOB and LOsI DOLLARS and then CELL. I biffed DERRIERE and even with the explanation in the blog I’m still not sure I understand the reference to coursework. No major hold ups today. 7:25 for a very good day.
  28. I was frustrated by Dollars….and was not really pleased to find the answer — readies yes but sadly not ready…
    Not helped by my other fail “cell” which crossed with dollars. NHO cell for alternative to convent…or whatever it is the alternative for…
    Otherwise good fun!
    Thanks all
    1. I think it’s just the room, rather than the building itself. I would guess a reference to it’s secluded/spartan nature?
    2. Same for me. Had everything but DOLLARS and CELL in around 45-mins and then spent another hour trying to figure these last two out. Deeply unsatisfying given most everything else made good sense and often gave me a laugh.

      FOI – RINSE
      COD – BEST (honorary mentions to TOME and ELOPE)

  29. 23 mins, so better than yesterday but still slow. Had to resort to aids for my LOI – DOLLARS, which I found a rather unsatisfactory clue. I had less trouble with DERRIERE which occurred to me immediately but which I refrained from putting in until I had a few crossers. That makes 2 days in a row where I have had to resort to aids.

    FOI – 12ac STATUS
    LOI – 15dn DOLLARS
    COD – 22ac HEATHROW

  30. Happy with all except LOI DERRIERE. I hope someone is able to enlighten us because to me it seems deeply unsatisfying as is.
    1. As has been discussed in comments above, the ‘coursework’ seems to have been added to make the clue cryptic. ‘Behind in French’ as a clue would have been a concise one, so I stand by my comment in the blog that coursework is there to indicate the French word for behind could be found in a French school class/course,
  31. Please could you elaborate on the word play of 15d. Where does holiday come in? Many thanks.
    1. If you go on a holiday somewhere it’s standard practice to take some local currency with you ( although I prefer using an ATM at the arrival airport). The clue could equally have been ‘a trip to US’.
  32. Almost all completed in 20m, then, like others we pondered over dollars and derriere. However, a pleasant puzzle to start the week.
    1. Yes, it was a tricky clue. I don’t think I would have solved it as a stand alone clue, but a full set of crossers helped. Definitions are (almost) always at the start/end of the clue in a QC, but the singular ‘ready’ did throw me for a bit.
  33. Not the easiest Oink, but at least I got there eventually. 27:30 in the end, though I had everything in a minute or two before that and kept the watch ticking while I wondered if I could make sense of the coursework bit of 16a and whether DERRIERE really was spelt with a double R. I got DOLLARS before I had the D in place and did wonder whether it was right, given the singular ‘ready’, but when AGENDA went in I assumed it must be okay. COD to BEST. Thanks Oink and Chris.
  34. A real struggle in the NW corner with 4 failures: BOOB, GOAT, OUTPOST and BURST. Dreadful! Oh, and missed DOLLARS too.

    Edited at 2022-02-08 08:41 pm (UTC)

  35. Fractionally less awful than yesterday, but only slightly.

    A 64-minute DNF. Stumped by DOLLARS. I know ‘readies’ for money, but not ‘Ready’ in the singular. Basically, I could have spent another 64 minutes on this clue and still not solved it.

    A horrible start to the week: 2 hrs 10 mins spent achieving 2 DNFs.

  36. Going quite well until dollars. Guessed it but didn’t put it in as I couldn’t see the connection. Never heard of cash as ready, only readies. I seem to be a season ticket holder in the SCC and am now taking up to an hour to complete each QC. Perhaps I’ve plateaued?

    Gary A

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