Times Quick Cryptic 2086 by Tracy

8 minutes for this pleasurable solve. I worked steadily from top to bottom finishing with 13dn.

How did you get on?



Golf club: Irish one, not English (4)

IRON – Irish (IR), one (ON)e – not English (E).


Pleasure-seeker‘s complaint involving a bad back (8)

GADABOUT – complaint (GOUT) around bad – backwards (DAB). WOD.


Former partner given sufficient warning (7)

EXAMPLE – former partner (EX), sufficient (AMPLE). As an example/warning to others.


Terrible just losing face (5)

AWFUL – just l(AWFUL) losing the front letter.


Some actors opening trunk (5)

TORSO – some of ac(TORS O)pening.


Miserable maids, mistreated, left (6)

DISMAL – anagram (mistreated) of MAIDS, left (L).


How Monopoly starts, as it always has? (4,3,4,2)

FROM THE WORD GO – COD for the literal definition. Possibly a double definition of ‘always has been’-‘from the very begining’ but I’m leaning towards a crytpic reference to the game of Monopoly always having started from the Go square.


Fruit and nuts, mostly (6)

BANANA – nuts (BANANA)s mostly.


Former chief magistrate imprisoning duke for deception (5)

DODGE – former chief magistrate (DOGE – I throroughly enjoyed a week in Venice pre Covid – where the Doge’s Palace was fascinating and helped with this clue – travel broadens the gk!), around duke (D).


Cold fish? Hold on! (5)

CLING – cold (C), fish (LING).


Adult‘s complaint heard and raised (5-2)

GROWN-UP – homophone of complaint – groan, raised (UP).


Famous painting in oils a man vandalised (4,4)

MONA LISA – anagram (vandalised) of OILS A MAN. I think we can agree with ‘famous’.


Represent chaps holding answer (4)

MEAN – chaps (MEN) holding answer (A).



Pick out deity if name initially bandied about (8)

IDENTIFY – anagram (bandied about) of DEITY IF and (N)ame.


Being broadcast? Extract from Wagnerian opera coming up (2,3)

ON AIR – extracted from Wagne(RIAN O)pera- upwards,


Provider of beef under an age BSE affected (8,5)

ABERDEEN ANGUS – anagram (affected) of UNDER AN AGE BSE.


Accumulate a large amount (5)

AMASS – a (A), larges amount (MASS).


Rotten worker, curt (7)

OFFHAND – rotten (OFF), worker (HAND).


Informed, foremost of teachers getting on in years (4)

TOLD – (T)eachers, getting on in years (OLD).


Choose not to participate in work with aggressive solicitor? (3,3)

OPT OUT – work (OP), aggressive solicitor (TOUT).


Unsophisticated fictional detective picked up play on words (8)

HOMESPUN – homophone (picked up) of fictional detective – Holmes, play on words PUN.


Leader of Opposition helping to produce speech (7)

ORATION – (O)pposition, (food) helping (RATION).


Old theologian followed by boy most likely to succeed (4-2)

ODDS-ON – old (O), theologian (DD), boy (SON).


Article upset stage show’s backer (5)

ANGEL – article (AN), stage – leg – upset (GEL).


Slow learner expected to take in new chapter (5)

DUNCE – expected (DUE) around new (N) and chapter (C).


Crooked scheme rascal detailed (4)

SCAM – rascal (SCAM)p – de-tailed.

43 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2086 by Tracy”

  1. My statement, as per yesterday, on the 15×15

    I have not been on the TfTT site for several few weeks. I and others have been lobbying American, Canadian and European Governing bodies etc to cease the use of Russian assets such as Chelsea and Everton FCs, Russian State Media outlets, including Russian platforms such as ‘Live Journal’. Jonathan please find a new platform for TfTT asap and forget ‘The Archive.’ It is not as precious as the lives of innocent women and children.

    If this message is deleted it will be notified accordingly.


    Jackkt further noted that Google have already closed down ‘the search facility’ on ‘Live Journal’

    Rambler, in all its forms, is the property of Sberbank and is 100% Russian State owned.

    Edited at 2022-03-08 03:13 am (UTC)

    1. Thank you for flagging this. I didn’t realise LJ was Russian owned.
      I imagine moving the whole thing would involve a lot of effort but it may come to that.

    2. I had picked up ownership from ads which sometimes appear. I care also about the lives of innocent men, including conscripts sent to a war without being told.
      1. Thank you Ozned. The innocent victims are of both sexes and from all nationalities, including Russian. War does not discriminate between those whose lives it destroys.
        1. Ozned and Cedric – can you please provide information on the numbers of dead non-conscripted Russian women and children that you have access to?
          I have the Ukranian numbers to hand, if you wish to have them. Edwina
          1. I do not have numbers, or rather, not numbers I trust. But you do not have to die to be a victim of war. To lose a husband or a son is still a tragedy, and Russians have suffered as well as Ukrainians.
    3. Thanks for the information.
      On my laptop, many of the headings are now in Russian.

      I agree we should do everything we can, however small, to resist the
      Russian government wheedling its way into our lives, so I will no longer log on to this site.
      Thanks for the useful and entertaining blogs over the years

  2. Started well with 8 on the first pass of acrosses but with a big gap in the middle. The grid then filled up well except in the SW where I forgot about the ling and so CLING took an unreasonably long time. I was slow to ANGEL too where ‘stage’ for ‘leg’, despite being met loads of times before, was pushed from my mind by the surface — total misdirection that in desperation had me trying to justify ‘mogul’ at one point. I also tried to force Morse in where ‘homes’ finally went. I enjoyed getting ‘gout’ to reveal GADABOUT surprisingly quickly. Good one! All green in 15.

    Edited at 2022-03-08 05:40 am (UTC)

  3. 17 minutes and all parsed which is quick for me.
    LOI: MEAN I saw this early on but left it till the end as it seemed too easy.
    COD: DODGE for its surface.
  4. My first crossword for a couple of weeks after working all hours on war-related stuff and then catching covid, so it was nice to have a gentle offering. A rare sub 10 solve for me.

    FOI Iron
    LoI Dodge
    COD From The Word Go

    Thanks Chris & Tracy

  5. with everyone else. Most of this flew in, but top right really slowed me up. Not really sure why TOLD, OFFHAND and AWFUL took so long, but GADABOUT took even longer.

    Another one to forget.


  6. Held up by GADABOUT but also for quite some while by FROM THE WORD GO – even after all the checkers were in, I sat staring at it like an ox being presented with the Iliad. The PDM wasn’t quite as satisfying as I hoped it would be.

    FOI IRON, LOI FROM THE WORD GO, COD BANANA, time 09:57 for 2K and an OK Day.

    Many thanks Tracy and Chris.


    1. The image of bovine incomprehension conjured up by an “ox being presented with the Iliad” has made my day!
  7. LOI GADABOUT made me smile. Also liked FROM THE WORD GO, HOMESPUN.
    The setter included AWFUL, DISMAL, MEAN, DODGE and SCAM, so a theme in parts.
    Quick today, for a change.
    Thanks, Chris.
  8. Seventeen minutes with one to go. Had sit out, not opt out, so couldn’t get example. I had exami?e which looked like examine but didn’t parse. Made no progress so looked at the blog. Otherwise a lot of this was straightforward, other bits needed a bit of sorting out. FOI torso. Twelve on first pass. COD from the word go. Also liked dodge.
    Thanks, Chris, and Tracy.
  9. A good puzzle — I enjoyed this QC for a change. Some neat clues and I thought I was going really quickly but I was actually just a minute over target (which is better than most of my efforts over the past week or more).
    I liked HOMESPUN, ODDS ON and SCAM (simple but neat). I also liked FROM THE WORD GO and was a bit embarrassed that it took so long to see the last two words when I had entered the first two early on. My LOI was GADABOUT which finally clicked from the crossers and was parsed later.
    Thanks to Tracy and Chris. John M.

    Edited at 2022-03-08 09:31 am (UTC)

  10. … but then my FOI, OPT OUT, hit me and steady progress followed, though not quickly. COD HOMESPUN, LOI GADABOUT. Enjoyed this, but found it tricky, partly because I so often needed crossers to be sure, as in, eg BANANA. As hopkinb above, not sure why, as there were no obscurities. Thanks to Tracy and Chris.
  11. A relatively gentle offering and was only troubled by getting stuck on Morse for the fictional detective and missing the fact that LOI IDENTIFY was an anagram. Enjoyed GADABOUT, HOMESPUN and FROM THE WORD GO.
    Finished in 6.37
    Thanks to Chris
  12. Relatively straightforward …
    … but still pushed me just beyond the 10 minute mark. Took time to see 19A Dodge (deception = dodge not coming to mind immediately) and LOI 21D Scam biffed — nothing else would fit the checkers, but I did not see the parsing until turning to this site.

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog

  13. A quick start in the NW, but it’s been so long since I played Monopoly that I struggled with the last two words in 14ac – I even considered From the Line up, as that’s how the letter M is written… Having finally sorted that out, Homespun fell into place, which just left Offhand and Gadabout. However, even after I had Offhand, the nho Gadabout was beyond me and I pulled stumps. CoD to the surface for 21d, Scam. Invariant
  14. Fairly straightforward apart from the GADABOUT/TOLD bit, and could not parse SCAM.
  15. I thought Tracy was being kind to us today, and all the quick times seem to prove the point! 8 minutes for me, with only SCAM unparsed. I can’t write much faster than that, especially as I aim to parse as I go. I liked the surface of MONA LISA a lot.
    FOI Iron
    LOI Gadabout
    COD From the word go
    WOD Gadabout
    Thanks Tracy and Chris

    BTW I looked up Opuntia later on yesterday evening and was most surprised to discover that it is the prickly pear — I hadn’t realised that when I typed in the heading to my post 😅 I really hope I don’t forget that again!

  16. Probably one of the easiest puzzles for quite a while. Main issue was 3ac “Gadabout” — wasn’t sure whether it could be “Madabout” or “Ladabout” — although the “complaint” element was the decider.

    FOI — 1ac “Iron”
    LOI — 3ac “Gadabout”
    COD — 14ac “From the word go”

    Thanks as usual!

  17. All straightforward, but couldn’t see the G word before it was time to do other things.
    Cancelling my Times subscription on March 18, as I will have to concentrate on paying energy bills and two newspapers is a luxury.
    I’ll drop in occasionally to this site, but I do hope you find a different platform.
  18. IRON and ON AIR went in first, then it was a mostly top to bottom solve, with HOMESPUN and BANANA bringing up the rear. 5:25. Thanks Tracy and Chris.
  19. It’s been quite a struggle recently, but I was back under half an hour today … just! 29 minutes for me, and 21 minutes for Mrs R.

    IRON, TORSO and DISMAL were my first three in, and I next found success in the lower half of the grid. GADABOUT went in without too much difficulty (an made me smile). AWFUL was never properly parsed and IDENTIFY (my LOI) required all of its checkers.

    Many thanks to Tracy and Chris.

    P.S. I do hope an alternative platform is found to host this site, and soon. Good luck to all involved.

    1. Was on track for a fast solution, but had LOADS for 5d, so spent a long time trying to find something to fit 3a (probably using ILL) before I saw I needed to remove that. As I had same difficulty with GADABOUT eventually went over the half-hour.
  20. Just to add my name to those who have been surprised to learn that this site is 100% owned by the Russian State.
    I have loved Russia and its people since I first heard Russian music as a boy and began to learn about the country, its history, and its people. I have travelled in Russia and know Russians personally through my science and music.
    I have enormous sympathy with the difficulties they have suffered under totalitarian regimes during all of my lifetime. I still am moved to tears whenever I read about their historic suffering not least during WW2. Their bravery, strength and fortitude is remarkable and is movingly exemplified by their writers and musicians. Just listen to the 8th String Quartet or the 7th (Leningrad) and other Symphonies of Shostakovich, for example.
    However, I distinguish absolutely between the Russian people and their brutal and corrupt regime. Recent shocking and desperately cruel events in Ukraine have clarified my views of the current Russian State irreversibly.
    For this reason, I am sorry but I must detach myself from Live Journal and its owners.
    My sincere thanks to all you wonderful bloggers who have given me such pleasure over the years.
    I hope TFTT will surface again on a more respectable platform. I’ll keep my eyes open and hope to join you again in the near future when this happens. John M.
    P.s. Yes, my avatar here is a photograph of the hands of Sergei Rachmaninoff.

    Edited at 2022-03-08 02:24 pm (UTC)

    1. John M,

      Thank-you for your most insightful and heartfelt comments. You are to be looked-up to, for making a truly meaningful stand.

      I am afraid TFtT itself is no longer a respectable site.

      jacktt and vinyl1 should make statements on the QC and 15×15 blogs – their leadership is sadly missing at a time
      when we can stand together against tyranny: desist from any further equivocation even silence. History is hardly on your side.

      And there may well be difficulties opening on a new platform if you continue in this vein.


  21. About 12 minutes for me with LOI DODGE.
    An enjoyable QC. COD to GADABOUT.
  22. A quick one today for a welcome change. My last 3 were at the grid edges i.e. IDENTIFY, HOMESPUN and GADABOUT. 7:19 for a very good day.
  23. 14 minutes today with all parsed except SCAM and ANGEL – thanks to Chris for the explanations on those two. I actually thought it was quicker as I was solving it as there didn’t seem to be any major hold-ups except for GADABOUT which probably added a couple of minutes. Nice crossword – thanks Tracy.

    FOI – 10ac AWFUL
    LOI – 3ac GADABOUT
    COD – 8dn OPT OUT

  24. I have been thinking a lot about LJ since we discovered its true ownership. Given the strength of feeling among contributors, I am sure that the TfTT admin team — who are responsible and honourable people — are looking at other options. I for one would be very pleased to hear if this is the case.
    In the meantime, I would suggest that we can help in a practical way by contributing to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal, if you haven’t already done so.
  25. We didn’t want to leave without saying goodbye. We’ve really enjoyed being part of this super community over the last couple of years. However, after learning about the ownership of LiveJournal today, we have deleted our account and won’t be participating further while this platform is used.

    We will miss you….

    Lynda & Ken

  26. 1hr19 to complete.

    Had a break after first hour to go shopping – wasn’t convinced I’d finished today as had pairs of answers in each corner blocking me … IDENTIFY/TORSO .. BANANA/ANGEL … ODDS-ON/DODGE … GADABOUT/OFFHAND

    Struggled to parse quite a few so just BIFD them in.

    FOI IRON (my golfing days like any clue about clubs)
    LOI ANGEL (was thinking mogul which blocked my BANANA)
    COD DISMAL (nice alliteration)

  27. Having done all the hard work, including GADABOUT and LOI FROM THE WORD GO, I found a mistake With DIDLE for deception. But, of course, that has an extra D.

    Edited at 2022-03-08 07:07 pm (UTC)

  28. Didn’t find this as easy as some, but still finished within target on 19:33. FOI IRON, LOI GADABOUT COD FROM THE WORD GO. Thanks to Chris and Tracy.

    I too had no idea that Live Journal had anything to do with Russia, and would urge those who control these things to find an alternative platform as soon as possible.

  29. Gosh that is a shame that this is a Russian site.
    It does leave an unpleasant taste. So sad.
    I will continue to look in just to see when / if there is an alternative proposed.

    What did Israel do to Palestine? I must brush up on my history.


    Last comment…I did not know Gadabout and didn’t enjoy that — it seems to be a disused word to me.

    Regards and thanks all

  30. Really enjoyed this puzzle. Took 30 mins or so, with just the right amount of difficulty for me. Thanks for a great blog.


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