Times Quick Cryptic 2087 by Alconiere

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Not as rare as hen’s teeth, these days, Alconiere strikes again. Thanks to jackkt for the heads-up regarding this setter’s habit of including a Nina – I wouldn’t have spotted it (have I though?) without his hint.

Cracking puzzle: simple vocabulary, moderate in difficulty, a few taxing cryptics. Well played, setter.

Definitions underlined.

Hidden in the grid is, “monkey see, monkey do”. I don’t see any further relevance, perhaps you do?

1 Spell “issue” in reverse (4)
TIME – EMIT (issue) backwards (in reverse).
3 Leaves office, concerned with omens? (7)
RESIGNS – RE (regarding, concerned with) and SIGNS (omens).
8 Meekly assures wretched refugees (6,7)
ASYLUM SEEKERS – anagram of (wretched) MEEKLY ASSUMES.
9 Understand bishop’s responsibility (3)
SEE – double definition.
10 Chance to abandon golf for a leisurely walk (5)
AMBLE – gAMBLE (chance) missing the (to abandon) ‘g’ (golf).
12 Delegate’s outside to help providing warrant (7)
DESERVE – first and last letters of (…’s outside) DelegatE then SERVE (help).
14 In kitchen, no blender to raise (7)
ENNOBLE – hidden in (in) kitchEN NO BLEnder.
16 A month’s broadcasts are astounding! (5)
AMAZE – A, then what sounds like (broadcasts) “may’s” (month’s).
17 One finishes sentence? Party time! (3)
DOT – DO (party) and T (time).
20 Terrible Tim trains road runner (13)
ADMINISTRATOR – anagram of (terrible) TIM TRAINS ROAD.
21 Five go astray, cutting round a French swamp (7)
OVERRUN – V (five) and ERR (go astray), contained by (cutting) O (round) and UN (‘a’ in French).
22 Sleep is something easy to do! (4)
DOSS – double definition.

1 For example, hurling up some limestone, magma, etc (4,4)
TEAM GAME – hidden in (some) a reversal of (up) limestonE MAGMA ETc.
2 Old chairman has year in Irish county (4)
MAYO – MAO (old chairman) containing (has) Y (year).
3 Cloaked in scarlet, one’s king is imperilled (6)
RISKED – I’S (one’s) and K (king) contained by (cloaked in) RED (scarlet).
4 Desert’s peaks, bizarrely, for winter sportspeople (5,7)
SPEED SKATERS – anagram of (bizarrely) DESERTS PEAKS.
5 Ray eager to straighten out something ill-defined (4,4)
GREY AREA – anagram of (to straighten out) RAY EAGER.
6 Fair request for assistance leads to nothing (2-2)
SO-SO – SOS (request for assistance), then O (nothing).
7 Chemistry equipment cook ruining cakes has sent briefly in (6,6)
BUNSEN BURNER – BUN BURNER (cook ruining cakes) containing (has… in) all-but-the-last-letter of (briefly) SENt.
11 Great friendliness of bishop on one being invited into dwelling (8)
BONHOMIE – B (bishop), ON, then I (one) contained by (being invited into) HOME (dwelling).
13 Awful sights I witnessed, reportedly with son (8)
EYESORES – sounds like (reportedly) “I saw” (I witnessed), then S (son).
15 US inventor has no side, on reflection (6)
EDISON – reversal of (on reflection) NO SIDE.
18 Left out of greeting that goes over saint’s head? (4)
HALO – take the letter ‘L’ (left) out of HALLO (greeting).
19 Possible German teetotaller getting in a couple of rounds (4)
OTTO – TT (teetotaller) contained by (getting in) O and O (a couple of rounds).

32 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2087 by Alconiere”

  1. 11 mins for me, not sure where I got held up. Never spotted the Nina but then I never do even when it is obvious. My LOI was DOSS which I knew meant sleep but didn’t know meant something easy, so I spent a little time seeing if anything else would fit. Pleased it was all green.
  2. 8 minutes with a slight delay at the end when I wondered about DOSS and its second meaning, ‘something easy to do’. The expression ‘It’s a doss’ rang a faint bell so I decided to chance it.

    I spotted the two MONKEYs but not the SEE or the DO as I only looked in the unchecked rows, and the shorter words are in the actual answers. I’ve no idea of their significance. Alconiere has set 12 QCs including 3 Nina/themed puzzles that we have spotted but he also uses several other setter names (chiefly Felix) who usually hides something in the grid.

    Edited at 2022-03-09 07:15 am (UTC)

  3. 18 minutes this morning. Lots of fun and all parsed.

    LOI: DOSS with a bit of a shrug.
    COD: For me had to be TEAM GAME although OVERRUN came close.

    I never spotted the NINA but then I didn’t think to look for one.

  4. TIME and MAYO went in first, then it was a steady progression to DOSS, which gave me pause as I didn’t know the easy definition, with ADMINISTRATOR LOI. 7:31. Thanks Alconiere and William. The nina went over my head as usual.
  5. Nina? What Nina? No real problems up to the last. DOES/DOSS/etc. Settled into the club around the 25 minute mark. Thanks William. Setter name not shown on Android phone App.
  6. Another gentle offering with my main delays being an inability to spot the hiddens at 1d and 14a. I seemed to have my anagram hat on today which helped. Finished in 7.30 with LOL TEAM GAME.
    Thanks to william
  7. Ten minutes, so on the easy end of the scale for me. FOI see. Nine on first pass. LOI overrun. COD administrator, closely followed by speed skaters. Thanks, William, and setter.
  8. 5 except the beautifully hidden TEAM GAME, which took me another 1m 20s.

    LOI and COD to that then!


  9. It didn’t hold me up, but I didn’t (and don’t) understand how AMAZE = “astounding” or “are astounding”. Isn’t it the wrong grammatical part?

    Fast through the top half but slowed in the bottom where it took a lot of head scratching to winkle out ADMINISTRATOR, OVERRUN and HALO. I also spent some time trying to make TOOT work instead of OTTO, having not seen which had to be inserted into which!

    FOI & COD TEAM GAME, LOI HALO, time 09:03 for an estimated 2K and a Decent Day.

    Many thanks Felix (easier to type) and William.


    ON EDIT – I’ve just caught up with yesterday’s blog posts. I had no idea that this site was owned by Putin associates (who seem to have been using their power in the last few years to make trouble for dissident Russians blogging on LiveJournal – read the Wikipedia entry for LiveJournal). I must admit that I feel pretty uneasy about it now and it would be good to know that there are plans to migrate.

    Edited at 2022-03-09 10:14 am (UTC)

  10. 10 minutes to get to my last two. I thought HALO would end ST for too long. Then I was looking for the wrong type of swamp.
    LOI was OVERRUN. Time 15:50. COD to TEAM GAME.
    And no, I did not spot the nina; although the possibility occurred to me.
  11. Another quick solve which given the setter is surprising for me. I missed the NINA though and biffed BUNSEN BURNER. FOI TIME and LOI DOSS which gave me pause for thought and I did do an alphabet trawl looking for something better. COD to the Enid Blyton clue OVERRUN. 7:06
  12. Over target by a minute or two, held up by DOSS, HALO and OVERRUN at the end. We are enjoying our week in Edinburgh where the weather has been fantastic, but it means (the week in Edinburgh, not the weather) that my QCing is being messed up a bit, so I’m discounting times this week. Saw the monkeys, but didn’t really spot the Nina. Thanks both.
  13. 20 mins for everything apart from 1dn “Team Game” and 12ac “Deserve” which I just couldn’t see. In addition, put “Nods” for 22ac.

    A good puzzle though, with another outing for flavour of the month “Bonhomie” which seems to be popping up everywhere.

    FOI — 3ac “Resigns”
    LOI — dnf
    COD — 21ac “Overrun”

    Thanks as usual!

  14. Only two acrosses, but several downs on my first pass through the grid. Also, most of the long clues went in quite early, which helped a lot. Held up for several minutes at the end by AMAZE (I couldn’t see MAZE for Mays), MAYO and TIME. Some alphabet trawling and much wracking of my brain broke through in the end. 31 minutes, which for me is not at all bad.

    Mrs Random started after me, finished before me, and is now “getting on with something useful” out in the garden.

    Many thanks to Alconiere and William.

  15. As soon as I saw Alconiere, I thought: Oh well, it’ll be Irish football then, so didn’t even bother looking for the nina! Not sure I get the reason for it, even though it’s now been pointed out. I suppose ninas don’t need a purpose other than keeping the setters amused.
    Despite that, I found this very user-friendly and finished in 8 minutes. It took a few moments to parse OVERRUN, although I enjoyed the surface before solving the clue! BUNSEN BURNER reminded me of the very funny John Otway song from about 20 years ago – check it out if you don’t know it / haven’t heard for a few years 😅
    FOI Mayo
    LOI Doss
    COD Speed skater
    Thanks Alconiere and William
  16. Not on the wavelength at all today. Finished in 31 minutes with a couple unparsed (TEAM GAME, OVERRUN) and BUNSEN BURNER semi-parsed. NHO the alternative meaning of DOSS, so entered it with fingers crossed. I was also very slow to figure out the long anagram at 20ac, needing all the checkers to get it. With hindsight I’m not sure what caused me so much difficulty as there is nothing too obscure here.

    FOI – 3ac RESIGNS
    LOI – 22ac DOSS
    COD – 10ac AMBLE for the surface

  17. ….the “doddle” meaning of DOSS, so pleased to avoid typos (BOTH puzzles yesterday !) and take time to sight check every answer as soon as I typed it. My times will now be slower, but hopefully pink squares will occur much less frequently ! A look at the leaderboard finally persuaded me — I’d submitted 46 puzzles this month, and 8 were incorrect. Typos were responsible in every instance bar one.

    TIME 4:10

    Edited at 2022-03-09 02:36 pm (UTC)

  18. Couldn’t get OTTO and DOSS to finish off.

    The big 3 anagrams – ASYLUM SEEKER, SPEED SKATERS, ADMINISTRATOR just wouldn’t rearrange themselves. and I couldn’t get BUNSEN BURNER so those were mi

    I missed the change to hidden words for TEAM-GAME, ENNOBLE, EDISON so these were empty and unavailable to help out for a long time.

    Not entirely happy with the parsing of BUNSEN BURNER – the cook seemed unnecessary, and “cakes” is plural, so surely that makes it BUNS but we need the S for SENt. No matter, fairly obvious answer from my ‘O’ level Chemistry days.

    FOI SEE (wouldn’t have got that a week or two ago)

    Lot of good clues but too clever for me

  19. Slow to get going, then the long anagrams fell into place and we finished around our target time. An enjoyable puzzle.
  20. Couldn’t get DOSS. Thought it might be NODS (‘nods off’ = sleep and ‘on the nod’ = easy to do)
  21. 3 real hold ups in EYESORES, DESERVE and TEAM GAME which needed help to get.
  22. This was just right for someone with my level of experience. Quite a few write ins on the first pass, many as a result of recognising the various devices employed by the setter. Found it a challenge after that, and took a while to get the brilliant 1dn, and 21ac. Took me around 30 mins, and thoroughly enjoyable.

    Thanks as ever for the blog, particularly for explaining 21ac.


  23. Very surprised to hear that DOSS meaning something easy is not well known. I’ve always been very familiar with saying something is a doss or dossy. Maybe it’s an Essex or a late ’80s thing. Anyway, I wouldn’t have described this as a doss, but probably on the easier side of things for me. FOI TIME, LOI BONHOMIE (after realising that the answer couldn’t be BONIFACE), COD SEE, WOD DOSS as it’s a bit of a rarity for me to have heard of something that Phil hasn’t, Time: 17:44. Thanks Alconiere and William
  24. Got stuck on deserve for ages as LOI.
    15×15 is doable today.
    Cod dot.

    Edited at 2022-03-09 09:41 pm (UTC)

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