Times Quick Cryptic 2115 by Teazel

Hello, I hope you had a happy Easter.

This was perfectly mid-range for difficulty by my watch, and it felt that way too.  Nothing to add here, but as it’s a bank holiday today I will be around during the day and able to join in below the line.  Thanks Teazel!

Definitions are underlined in the clues below.  In the explanations, quoted indicators are in italics and I’ve capitalised and emboldened letters which appear in the ANSWER.  For clarity, I omit most link words and some juxtaposition indicators.

1a Not making much of a quiet bicycle ride? (4-9)
SOFT-PEDALLING SOFT (quiet) + PEDALLING (bicycle ride?).  I’ve split the two parts, but I think this actually works better taken together, i.e. SOFT-PEDALLING could whimsically mean a quiet bicycle ride.  That way doesn’t leave the “a” without any function
8a Long distance in which vehicle reversed, a marvel
MIRACLE MILE (long distance) in which CAR (vehicle) is reversed
9a Labour with energy in thin cotton (5)
TOILE TOIL (labour) + E (energy)
10a Small window 75 per cent dark? (12)
QUARTERLIGHT — … could be 25 per cent not dark
12a Unique individual no longer available (3-3)
ONE-OFF ONE (individual) + OFF (no longer available)
14a Asian female in a West African country, the last to leave (6)
AFGHAN F (female) in A + GHANa (West African country) subtracting the last letter (the last to leave)
17a Injured pair use lift (5,2)
RAISE UP — An anagram of (injured) PAIR USE
19a Some honest salesmen offering comfortable homes
NESTS Some hoNEST Salesmen
20a Broaches bringing in a selection of snacks (5)
TAPAS TAPS (broaches, as in to tap/broach a cask, for example) with the insertion of (bringing in) A
21a Tragic girl chosen to join Royal Academy (7)
ELECTRA ELECT (chosen) + RA (Royal Academy)
22a Stunned European given the sack (8)
POLEAXED POLE (European) + AXED (given the sack)
23a For example, commercial oath once (4)
EGAD EG (for example) + AD (commercial).  Once in the definition indicates that this oath is archaic
1d Simple problem with pressure in reservoir (4)
SUMP SUM (simple problem) + P (pressure)
2d Why writer of melody is paid a huge amount? (7)
FORTUNE — Why is a writer of melody paid?  FOR TUNE
3d One setting the tempo in space race (5)
PACER — Our pace-setter is found in sPACE Race
4d German boy trying to lose weight? (6)
DIETER — This German name is, with a change of pronunciation, one trying to lose weight by eating fewer calories.  (Kitty’s top tip for this is to spend more time asleep!)
5d Part of the body to be twisted around? (6,6)
LITTLE FINGER — Cryptic definition, referring to the idiom of twisting someone round one’s little finger
6d Here in Paris no good? Topping! (5)
ICING ICI (here in Paris) + NG (no good)
7d Remarkably, gangster cried, sent this with good wishes? (9,4)
GREETINGS CARD — An anagram of (remarkably) GANGSTER CRIED
11d Thick slice of bread trodden on as you come in? (8)
DOORSTEP — This informal term for big hunk of bread is something one would step on when entering (or leaving).  I think I would have said “doorstop” for the bread, but possibly I was always wrong (nothing new there!)
13d Unimpeded as I must move plant (7)
FREESIA FREE (unimpeded) + AS I, which needs to be anagrammed (must move)
15d Henry, aghast, changing label on social media (7)
HASHTAG H (Henry) + AGHAST anagrammed (changing)
16d A bit for each person (6)
18d Drive one mile, exercise taken by learner (5)
IMPEL I (one) + M (mile) + PE (exercise) + L (learner)

40 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2115 by Teazel”

  1. I started off with DOWN-PEDALLING (down-playing on a bike?), but corrected that immediately with SUMP. DNK QUARTERLIGHT, but no problem. I was briefly surprised when GREETING fell short (in the US it’s singular), but added the S. I’d second Vinyl’s suggestion about today’s 15×15. 4:03.
  2. and I was so close to a whole month of No Errors

    And actually it didn’t matter, because I put in SLEDGE on Friday

    Oh well

  3. It’s a technical DNF but I managed to finish by doing a check letter thing for a letter in QUARTERLIGHT, a word I had never heard of. I also never heard of a sump or egad (I thought it was egads?) but the wordplay was easy.

    I thought the bread thing was also ‘doorstop’, ie the rock you use to keep the door open, not a stair you step on.

    FOI: GREETINGSCARD (though the extra s threw me)
    LOI: NESTS (I didn’t see it in the clue til I read the blog)

    Thanks for the blog

  4. Around 20 minutes all parsed.
    I spotted TAPAS early but left it until I had all the checking letters.
    FOI: SUMP.
  5. 8 minutes. ‘Doorsteps and jam’ were a feature of my childhood back in the 1950s, so no problem there. Since doorstops come in all shapes and sizes including tapered wedges whilst doorsteps are a pretty standard shape I don’t really understand the general confusion over this.
      1. I wasn’t aware of the book meaning, but I see it’s in Collins. I think there’s a bit of social history involved here as the households where doorsteps and jam were originally part of the daily diet tended to be in poorer districts where there were cramped rows of terraced houses, all with doorsteps which people took pride in keeping clean and polished. I doubt many of them possessed oversized books!
    1. For me it was a doorstep with beef dripping, salted. How unhealthily we ate back then ! (Mind you, I still do 😂)
  6. Slows me up by a minute or so.

    A good puzzle.

    TOILE, AFGHAN (LOI), LITTLE FINGER all held me up a bit.


  7. No time as I solved on a tablet that asked me to submit then crashed but fairly brisk. LOI APIECE where a fat fingered ‘raise uo’ made it hard. NHO SOFT PEDALLING, enjoyed the QURTERLIGHT PDM. I’ll have a a go at the 15×15 — I need a boost after being absolutely battered by Saturday’s Jumbo — before tackling the M5.
      1. I bought the concerete for the seven bridges over the dualled section that starts at Mere — give them a wave from me!
    1. I assume soft-pedalling – “not making much” is related to peddlers those people who go door-to-door.

      By contrast if you hard sell, you’re pushy and people end up buying to get rid of you (i.e. you make a lot of money)

      1. I thought it referred to the “soft pedal” on the piano -so quieting or muting ,lowering the intensity.
  8. Had to pay close attention to the parsing to sort out the STOP/STEP conundrum at 11d and couldn’t make head or tail of 1a which ended up being my LOI – I associate it with a gentle sales technique, so I’ve learnt something new today.
    Particularly enjoyed QUARTERLIGHT and EGAD. Finished in 8.48.
    Thanks to Kitty
  9. 10 minutes all parsed. FOI toile, LOI Egad. COD little finger. Thanks, Kitty, and Teazel.
  10. Possibly a pb for me at6 or 7. Enjoyed it – thanks Teazel! I always think of a doorstep as a typically a slab, whereas a doorstop can be any shape as long as it prevents a door shutting.
  11. SUMP was my FOI, and I made good progress eventually finishing with POLEAXED. 6:05. Thanks Teazel and Kitty.
  12. A few seconds short of 12 minutes for me. I initially thought of back-pedalling for 1a on first reading it, but SUMP quickly put that right. LOI ELECTRA, and I think DIETER deserves COD. Many thanks to Teazel and Kitty — off to the 15 x 15 before I face the garden.
  13. … with my FOI not arriving until I reached RAISE UP, and only 5 clues solved during my first pass through the grid. However, I managed too piece together the SW corner and then started to accelerate until I finished with ELECTRA, of whom I had never heard. Total time = 23 minutes, which is really fast for me and quite astonishing, given the difficult start.

    I didn’t see ‘Remarkably …’ signifying an anagram until after I had biffed GREETINGS CARD, and I didn’t remember TOILE as ‘thin cotton’, even though it has appeared here several times before. My WOD was EGAD, which conjures up a former time, and I liked DOORSTEP – just my type of sandwich.

    N.B. A non-rotational grid design was used today, with reflective symmetry about the SW/NE diagonal.

    Many thanks to Teazel and KITTY

    1. Well spotted, Random. I hadn’t noticed the different grid symmetry, but now that you’ve pointed it out it looks very striking.
  14. ….which was broken into twice by forcing the QUARTERLIGHT. They pinched the radio the second time. It didn’t work anyway.

    Delayed by a good few seconds at the end as I stared gormlessly at the unlikely -F-H-N 🙄

    COD TOILE (a decent starter entry on Wordle)
    TIME 3:52

  15. This was enjoyable and took me about 10 minutes. LOI TAPAS as I was struggling to find a synonym for Broach.
    I remembered a debate on TFTT about thick bread. I’m sure we always had DOORSTEPS so went with that. For some reason the spelling of PEDALLING looked odd, but it filled all the squares.
    1. Think the spelling of PEDALLING may look strange because you think of the double-D in peDDles.

      For a while I was unconvinced the second word was PEDALLING because I could only count 8 letters in my spelling of PEDDLING. Then I looked at some other clues and when I returned to it the correct spelling seemed obvious.

  16. We used to be offered “Doorstep or Bronco” slices. I wonder how many today would even know what Bronco was?
  17. Bronco slices were used for cucumber sandwiches, although the original was very shiny loo roll, which was pretty useless for its purpose.
  18. Puzzled over doorstop and DOORSTEP like others but finally chose right. Learned new word for hunk of bread-also QUARTERLIGHT was an addition to my vocabulary. Was on pace for sub- 20 mins but got held up too long looking for 4 letter synonym for broach instead of 3 letter plus the a. Thanks , Kitty, I enjoy your explanations!
  19. Pleasant start to the week, we finished just within our target, but would have been quicker if we had not misspelt 1a with two ds and one l. ThanksTeazle.
  20. 2hrs total and couldn’t get AFGHAN or LITTLE-FINGER. Think I named every other West African country due to recent swotting up for worldle. Benin, togo, mali, niger, libya, maybe even chad but otherwise they have too many letters. But forgot about Ghana – grrr.

    Struggled to get the setter’s mindset and wasn’t helped by failing to notice the RAISE-UP anagram was a 5-2 pair of words and not a 7-letter one.

    GREETINGS-CARD was also a struggle due to thinking “thin cotton” is “linen” when I couldn’t parse ICING originally.

    DOORSTEPs – only yesterday was I recounting the cheese, marmalade and crisp sandwiches I got my dad to make for my packed lunches at middle school for a while! Doorsteps, of course.

    FOI QUARTERLIGHT (vaguely heard of)

    I notice the grid is diagonally symmetrical. I’ve never seen, I thought it was always rotationally.

    Edited at 2022-04-18 06:08 pm (UTC)

    1. Well spotted too, L-plates! It usually is, although I have seen reflectional symmetry used (very occasionally) before.
  21. Thought this was going to be much more difficult with some of the long clues — but once I had 1ac “Soft Pedalling”, 7dn “Greetings Card” and 10ac “Quarterlight” the rest seemed to fall in place rather quickly.

    Didn’t know 23ac “Egad” and wasn’t exactly sure why 21ac “Electra” was tragic — guessing the latter is some Shakespearean thing.

    FOI — 3dn “Pacer”
    LOI — 21ac “Electra”
    COD — 4dn “Dieter”

    Thanks as usual!

  22. Always the way – when I have the opportunity to join in the conversation I find I have nothing to say! Thanks for your comments, though. Always interesting and much appreciated.

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