Times Quick Cryptic 2122 by Pedro


6:28, a good time for what felt like a good workout. I nearly cried as well at 9 Across.



1   Is appearing after European legislator exhibits stress (8)
EMPHASIS = IS after E + MP + HAS

6   Record and listen in to end of debate (4)
TAPE = TAP + {debat}E

8   Part of process seeing return of animals at home (4)
STEP = PETS reversed

9   I cry unhappily during record — Sondheim? (8)
LYRICIST = anagram of I CRY in LIST

10   Element of munitions disrupted her plans (8)

12   Nothing to secure a loose item in toolbox? (4)
NAIL = NIL around A

13   Second piano study to become broader (6)

16   Heads of state enterprises all but suppress later event (6)
SEQUEL = S{tate} E{nterprises} + QUEL{l}
Lucky biff.

17   New star number presented by V and A (4)
NOVA = NO. + V + A

18   University employee / of no practical use (8)
ACADEMIC = double definition
A good one that I didn’t see until just now.

21   Old soldier cheers, about to finish ongoing conflict (8)
More very good wordplay that I missed.

22   Promote hot drink, on the way back (4)
PUSH = H + SUP reversed

23   Put up with / Winnie-the-Pooh? (4)
BEAR = double definition

24   Firm opening of Magnificat — problem for Bach? (8)
A very good piece and composer.


2   Striker in game of soccer, say (5)
MATCH = double definition

3   Parliamentary official missing first encouragement to cheer (3)
HIP = {w}HIP

4   Young boy embracing a learner in artistic gathering (5)
SALON = SON around A + L

5   Spare material certainly running short and not entirely lavish (7)

6   Approach in hybridising the quince? (9)

7   Hobby? I’m covered in glue (7)

11   Times article probing unconventional leader, Greek leader (9)
ALEXANDER = X + AN in anagram of LEADER
Tough wordplay. Biffed this one.

14   Expert Peg will secure good student (7)
PROTEGE = PRO + TEE around G

15   Very serious item in the post about it’s recalled (7)
DRASTIC = CARD around ITS, reversed

19   Territorial Army containing such panic? (5)
ALARM = hidden in {territori}AL ARM{y}

20   Children / matter (5)
ISSUE = double definition

22   Favouring endless support (3)
PRO = PRO{p}

23 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2122 by Pedro”

  1. I biffed LYRICIST & ALEXANDER, who was Macedonian not Greek, although he did lead the Greeks. I think I took ‘European legislator’ to mean member of the European Parliament, although that, of course, is MEP; no harm done. I wasted some time trying to get TA into the answer to 19d. 5:45.
  2. 28 minutes and it felt tough. Several answers I had to write on the side and parse before adding to the grid. Like DRASTIC, PASTIME and SEQUEL.
    Took time to see STEP and HIP.
    LOI: ISSUE only because it was the last one I looked at.
  3. I found this hard and needed 16 minutes to fill the grid, though in retrospect I am unable to explain why.

    I think Sondheim deserves to be classified as more than a LYRICIST as apart from two early shows, West Side Story (music by Bernstein) and Gypsy (music by Jule Styne) he wrote all his own music and made a huge contribution to development of American musical theatre. The clue as it stands might have been better applied to 24ac.

    Edited at 2022-04-27 05:17 am (UTC)

  4. Struggled to start. Struggled to finish. Toughie. Perhaps my brain is struggling with other challenges and ran out of processing power today.
    Thanks all.
  5. Tough going so I wasn’t surprised that the average solving time on the leader board is currently over 18 minutes (it’s usually under 10 at this time of day).
    However I enjoyed the challenge as the answers slowly revealed themselves with the SW holding out until the end and PROTEGE being my LOI.
    Crossed the line in 16.19, well over target but I’m happy enough with it considering the difficulty.
    Thanks to Jeremy
  6. 22 minutes when I usually take about 10 minutes. Most of the time spent at the end failing to see Academic. I had originally put Lecturer for this, on the basis of a science course being divided into lectures and practicals, and fond memories of a practical class supervised by a very eminent Nobel prizewinning physicist who was indeed of no practical use.
  7. HIP and MATCH led to EMPHASIS. Then a steady plod with DRASTIC biffed and reverse engineered, before LOI, PROTEGE. 9:04. Thanks Pedro and Jeremy.
  8. Well outside the SCC today (limped over the line in 26 mins) so pleased to hear that others found it tricky. FOI TAPE, then had to start on the down clues with STEP and LYRICIST. Held up considerably by DRASTIC, PROTEGE and ACADEMIC, although on reflection I’m not quite sure why as they are straightforward enough. COD definitely goes to VENDETTA — very clever! Many thanks to Jeremy and to Pedro for an enjoyable workout.
  9. ….but once I’d picked up the pesky Q my target was safely achieved. Sondheim as a mere LYRICIST is certainly a case of damning with faint praise !

    TIME 4:26

  10. Gave up at an hour. 11 answers + 2 incorrect blocking progress. The worst of the year.
  11. I was pushed into the SCC by some clever clues, with ALEXANDER LOI. I had SURFEIT initially at 5d, even though it didn’t parse, but was suspicious of it, so no surprise when SHRAPNEL blew it apart. Thanks both. I hope it is easier tomorrow when I am blogging!
  12. Very tricky. Needed an hour off to come back and finish the SW corner – PROTEGE my LOI. Guessed LYRICIST and ALEXANDER (Macedonian?). I always seem to find Pedro’s puzzles on the difficult side.
  13. I can see a matter can be an issue.

    Why is children an issue? (Beyond the obvious money and taxi situations). Can’t just be they issue from the vagina at birth …

    1. ‘issue’ can mean ‘children’ – eg the issue of a marriage (can’t think of a better example). I’m sure it’s come up before, so you can expect to see it again..
  14. Not sure why, but I didn’t get on with this one very well.

    Nothing wrong with the clues, I was just off wavelength.



  15. Definitely tricky. I had to use an aid for P_O_E_E. I didn’t think of PEG=TEE although I’m sure I’ve seen it before. Nor did PROTEGE=LEARNER come to mind. Some very tricky clues, I thought. And 19d was well hidden.
  16. Not exactly sure how I got that time, as for the first 5 mins nothing went in and even after that each clue felt like it needed proper thought.

    That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, as I thought it was a great crossword. Whilst a few were biffed, there was something immensely satisfying about unpicking the rest of Pedro’s tightly structured wordplay.

    FOI — 5dn “Surplus”
    LOI — 11dn “Alexander”
    COD — 9ac “Lyricist”

    Thanks as usual!

  17. Pleased to find everything under the 20 minute cut-off. Didn’t really parse much as I went along- just excited to get something that seemed right and see what those letters contributed to next challenge. Thanks,plusjeremy, for explaining all the elements I skimmed over.
  18. As a maths graduate, I can’t believe I failed to spot X for ‘Times’. 11d was my LOI and, after 49 minutes, I was really struggling to think beyond T, so I fabricated the previously unheard of Greek leader ALETANDER. So, after more than three-quarters of an hour of hard graft I DNF’d due to my own stupidity. I need to go out and do some hard digging in my in-laws’ garden to work off my frustration.

    Many thanks to setter and blogger.

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