Times Quick Cryptic 2126 by Tracy

Happily buzzed through this in 8 minutes. Hope you enjoyed it as I did.

Definitions are underlined in bold italics.

1 Get through? I don’t know (4)
PASS – double definition.
7 Passenger, bank worker, embracing most of party (9)
TRAVELLER – bank worker (TELLER) embracing most of party (RAV)e.
9 Fish aunt cooked (4)
TUNA – anagram (cooked) of AUNT.
10 Skin condition irritates husband entertaining artist (6,4)
NETTLE RASH – irritates (NETTLES) and husband (H) entertaining artist (RA).
11 Show the way in battleadvance (4)
LEAD – double definition. With many thanks to mbzh11 for spotting the hidden (which I think is in addition to the double definition) in this clue which makes it a stand out COD for me. Additional explanation – Show the way is the definition hidden inside batt(LE AD)vance. Fooled me!
12 Radically new vat, a danger if misused (5-5)
AVANT-GARDE – anagram (if misused) of VAT A DANGER.
16 Group of team members quarrel, losing heads in courtyard (10)
QUADRANGLE – group of team members s(QUAD) and quarrel w(RANGLE) both losing their head letters.
19 Tea tree initially causes talk (4)
CHAT – tea (CHA), (T)ree.
21 Downcast, departed drinking brandy, perhaps (10)
DISPIRITED – departed (DIED) drinking brandy perhaps (SPIRIT).
23 Said of country life all but past (4)
ORAL – of country life is past(ORAL) – enter everything except ‘past’. LOI due to taking ages to clear bucolic out of my head to allow other options in.
24 He’s bitter about a duke giving one an advantage (4,5)
HEAD START – He’s bitter (HES TART) about duke (D).
25 Simple English, say, broadcast (4)
EASY – anagram (broadcast) of English – E and SAY.
2 A pleasantly appealing French accent (5)
ACUTE – a (A), pleasantly appealing (CUTE).
3 Conventional flag (8)
STANDARD – double definition.
4 Worker in branch to the north frequently repeated phrase (6)
MANTRA – worker (ANT) in branch – arm – going north/upwards (MRA).
5 Motel wrong about right wine (6)
MERLOT – anagram (wrong) of MOTEL about right (R).
6 Short promotional piece gives confused impression (4)
BLUR – short promotional piece (BLUR)b.
8 Live on TV channel (6)
RESIDE – on (RE), TV channel (SIDE).
13 Some in opposition, unlike sister (3)
NUN – some of the letters in oppositio(N UN)like.
14 Interesting story from one cadet at sea (8)
ANECDOTE – anagram (at sea) of ONE CADET.
15 Discipline press covering Northern Ireland (6)
PUNISH – press (PUSH) covering Northern Ireland (NI).
17 A bad-tempered over (6)
ACROSS – a (A), bad-tempered (CROSS).
18 Cake consumed in Gaul, no end (6)
GATEAU – consumed (ATE) in (GAU)l – no end letter.
20 Gather a crowd (5)
AMASS – a (A), crowd (MASS).
22 Architectural drawing of factory, incomplete (4)
PLAN – factory incomplete (PLAN)t.

33 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2126 by Tracy”

  1. Biffed QUADRANGLE, parsed post-submission. I couldn’t figure out RESIDE, since I didn’t know SIDE as ‘channel’. Like Chris, my LOI was ORAL; in my case, I couldn’t get past RURAL, and took ages to realize that ‘all but past’ meant ‘all but “past”‘. 6:29.
    1. Back in the old days (c1960 in my case) TV viewers in the UK simply had BBC and ITV to choose from. If you were watching BBC and didn’t fancy what was on you would “switch to the other side” (ITV). Once BBC2 appeared in the 70’s, the phrase became outmoded.
  2. 6:27 for me. I also biffed QUADRANGLE and forgot to take another look later to see how it worked. My LOI was ACROSS.
  3. NETTLE RASH, BLUR, and TRAVELLER were last ones in. Thanks for help parsing QUADRANGLE and ORAL!
  4. I got stuck towards the end and in order to finish just on my tartget 10 minutes I took a chance and bunged in AFRESH at 17dn, thinking of ‘starting afresh/starting over’. I knew it would be a mistake to hurry like that, and so it proved.

    The setter is showing his age by equating SIDE with TV channel as that harks back to the days when there were only two channels in the UK and people would commonly say things like ‘what’s on the the other side?’ I doubt it’s been used in 50 years. That was when to change channels between 1 (BBC) and 9 (ITV) one had to apply considerable force to click a noisy dial on the side of the set through the intervening channel positions which were all blank. One even had to get out of one’s chair to do it!

    Edited at 2022-05-03 03:01 am (UTC)

    1. IIRC, we actually had a TV that was BBC only with a converter box on top to add ITV. Black and white and 405 lines, of course.
      1. The first ever set-top box? I don’t remember hearing of that before.

        This was our first TV with its 14″ screen bought for the Coronation https://www.thevalvepage.com/tv/pye/fv4cdl/fv4cdl.htm

        Scrolling down that page I see there was an ITV converter available such as you describe, still with the same sort of clinky-clunky channel-changer though.

        Edited at 2022-05-03 01:15 pm (UTC)

    2. Don’t forget the test card. This was often more entertaining than most of the programmes.
      1. And the ‘Interlude’ (was it called?) – the potters wheel, for example. Anyone remember any others?
  5. I did not find this easy – too many long answers. Quadrangle and avant-garde were particularly annoying. It’s hard to believe I didn’t see Merlot at once, but I had to wait for all three checkers even though I knew it was an anagram.

    Time: 10:15.

  6. A quick start but bogged down by ORAL, BLUR and ACROSS. Can’t see what took me so long with that last one in particular. Ended up all green in 17.
  7. 20 minutes.
    LOI: PASS which I left along with BLUR as nothing came to mind at the time.
    BIFD ORAL and didn’t revisit to parse.
  8. Top to bottom solve with few hold ups. I nearly biffed OMAN for LOI 23a, but it made no sense so I read the clue more carefully and the correct answer became clear. Finished in 5.53.
    Thanks to Chris
  9. Enjoyed this and I thought it was perfectly pitched. Thanks setter and blogger. 7 or 8mins for me too with nothing controversial for me.
  10. Under 10 minutes including time spent parsing ORAL and finding LOI NETTLE RASH. It was the Nettle that was the problem.
    Overall I agree with the comment that this was a perfectly pitched QC.
  11. ….and no silly biffs. An entertaining, if fairly easy, puzzle.

    TIME 3:24

  12. 11 minutes, so definitely at the easier end of the Rotterometer, but enjoyable nonetheless. With just the initial checker, my first thought for 10a was nappy rash, but that clearly didn’t fit, so I had to solve MANTRA before the right answer came. I liked the sQUAD wRANGLE best. Thanks Chris and Tracy.
  13. Was zipping through and likely on for my best time until held up significantly by ORAL (also had ‘Oman’ initially but made no sense). Needed checkers for NETTLE RASH and BLUR, and blog for eventual parsing of ORAL (thanks Chris) but otherwise no problems and very enjoyable. Just inside the SCC. Thought ACUTE was very clever. Many thanks to Tracy.
    1. Likewise, re: ORAL. I had OBAN, OMAN and OKAY, but all nonsensical.
  14. 11:30, and almost the same time as the other bonus puzzle for today.


    Did not parse ORAL, and thought OPAL might work somehow.

  15. FOI PASS, LOI DISPIRITED. No particular problems. Liked QUADRANGLE. Took a surprisingly long time to get MERLOT. 6:43. Thanks Tracy and Chris.
  16. I finished in 25 minutes today, which is fast for me, although I might even have broken out of the SCC had it not been for ORAL (my LOI). I spent a minute or two on it on the way through, plus a further 4-5 minutes at the end. My problem was not getting the gist of the clue, but I was able to appreciate its cleverness when it finally dawned.

    Otherwise, AVANT-GARDE gave me some difficulty and I tentatively had NEEDLE RASH for a while, at least until MANTRA appeared.

    Many thanks to Tracy and Chris.

  17. except for ORAL, which took an age. I was on the verge of throwing in the towel, until I reached ORA? in my alpha-trawl and I realised what “all but past” was doing.

    Otherwise, I liked QUADRANGLE.

    9:20, of which 4 mins was spent on ORAL

  18. Thought this was a nice QC compared to some of the trickier ones we’ve had recently.

    I didn’t have an issue with 8dn “Reside” – and whilst the expression may be old, it’s no different to some of the other archaic sayings and obscure words that are used much more often.

    Strangely, I was eating a tuna sandwich just as I started the grid, with my FOI being 9ac.

    FOI – 9ac “Tuna”
    LOI – 12ac “Avant Garde”
    COD – 8dn “Reside”

    Thanks as usual!

    Edited at 2022-05-03 01:30 pm (UTC)

  19. Thanks for these, I find them very useful when I can’t understand (many) of the clues.

    I thought 11 was double definition at first but it’s contained in batt(le ad)vance

    1. Well done! I stopped at the double definition but agree with the hidden and now think this is COD. I’ll update the blog, Thanks.
  20. At last … a successful completion … first since April 12th !

    Maybe warming up on tomorrow’s (2127) this morning helped. Realistically, I’m probably better on these later in the day.


    All day tomorrow to sort out those last three answers on tomorrow’s QC !!

  21. A good qc which went together with little trouble.
    Did like quadrangle
  22. Oh dear! In my haste to complete a very rare sub-10 I misspelled AVANT GARDE (GAURD, don’t ask). Serves me right. It also meant RESIDE didn’t fit so biffed RESORT in an attempt to stop the clock. That’s me learned.

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