Times Quick Cryptic 2132 by Izetti

5:56, for what felt like a decent workout.  There were a handful of words here I didn’t quite know, so writing this blog will be an education!  Speaking of which, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’ve been enrol(l)ed in a Master’s program here in New York City.  I’ve just finished my last assignment of the semester, so I hope to return to daily puzzling after I finish my finals!

My conventions in the solutions below are to underline definitions (including a defining phrase); put linking words in [brackets]; and put all wordplay indicators in boldface. I also use a solidus (/) to help break up the clue where necessary, especially for double definitions without linking words.
1 Initially weak / old boy / showed sign of injury [and] moved unsteadily (7)
5 Kiss Dot, heading off (4)
PECK – SPECK without first letter
7 Children’s game inside cottage (3)
TAG – hidden in COTTAGE
8 Orca, able to destroy fish (8)
10 Husband with restless desire a hindrance (5)
11 Someone new on the scene earned money, right? (7)
13 Drunkards vandalised poster (6)
TOPERS – anagram of POSTER
15 Stops [in] section of the theatre (6)
STALLS – double definition
17 Shorten a / card game (7)
18 Poet[‘s] pigeon sure to go back to base (5)
HOMER – double definition
20 What could make oldie Tom rock (8)
22 Bird going east and west (3)
TIT – palindrome
23 Nail not good when pinning / end of finger (4)
BRAD – BAD around last letter of FINGER
24 [From] Doha, the eccentric, rash person (7)
HOTHEAD – anagram of DOHA THE


1 What’s near to hand, fixing the time? (10)
WATCHSTRAP – cryptic definition
2 Bit of rope [in] the bay (5)
BIGHT – double definition

Didn’t know the first definition.  Collins describes bight  as the slack middle part of a piece of rope.

3 Dodgy dealer stocking article [should be] thrashed (9)
LEATHERED – anagram of DEALER around THE
4 Nothing US friend turned up [in] the capital (6)
DUBLIN – NIL + BUD reversed
5 Small illustration, one fed into computer (3)
PIC – I in P.C.
6 Brown vehicle under which / unfortunate male / is trapped (7)
CARAMEL – CAR + anagram of MALE
9 Female with sign of neglect / deemed ”thwarted” (10)

I biffed this one but it’s quite a nice ‘charades’-style clue.

12 Local area match scrapped with little money around (9)
CATCHMENT – anagram of MATCH in CENT

Never heard of this one.  Sounds like what we call (school) districts here.

14 Room [offering] what you’d expect met with scowl (7)

Fortunately I could get this from PAR and PARLOUR, never having heard of LOUR.

16 Enjoy / food additive (6)
RELISH – double definition
19 Joint that‘s ending / covered in mud (5)
MITRE – last letter of THAT in MIRE

I didn’t think I’d heard of this meaning of mitre ,  but I assume it’s the same as in a mitre saw .

21 Strange old / doctor not practising medicine (3)
ODD – O + D.D. (doctor of divinity)


45 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2132 by Izetti”

  1. Took a long time to get PECK.When I finally saw it CARAMEL was then gettable. This meant stages was wrong for section of theatre but of course STALLS worked much better! PARLOUR,HOMER and CATCHMENT were favourites.
    Thanks +Jeremy for entertaining blog.
  2. I nearly went astray with domolite – caught it in the proofing. I am familiar with catchment area from reading UK newspapers. Time: 9:21.
  3. I finished this one but I didn’t know the rope thing for bight, never heard of an albacore, didn’t know lour meant scowl. We call local school areas catchments in Australia too so that was fine. I also know what a mitre saw is which is the only joint/mitre connection I have.

    I couldn’t parse TIT or ODD at all so thank you for that!

    I spent a bit of time assuming a US friend was a PAL haha

  4. 11 minutes. At 2dn I knew the bay but not the rope.

    ALBACORE was unknown to me, and being clued as an anagram it required a degree of luck to unravel it correctly. On reflection, once the checkers were in place there was really only one logical arrangement of the remaining letters but then sometimes word constructions defy logic!

    1. I was attracted to it finishing in O, so wanted it to be ‘albacero’. An albacero salad (soft c) sounds tasty.
    2. Why is ALBACORE a better logical arrangement than ALBECORA?

      We have a clue of ORCA which shows it’s possible for a fish to end in an A.

      1. I guess I was thinking of ‘albatross’ as perhaps being derived from the same source. On reflection I might have said there seemed one logical arrangement to me, but even then as stated earlier you can’t rely on logic anyway. We’re still in the realms of ‘obscure word clued as anagram’, which I was not happy to see.

        Edited at 2022-05-11 12:18 pm (UTC)

        1. Although as Paulmcl says, for some of us ‘albacore’ is not at all obscure.
          1. I take the point, Kevin, one man’s obscurity is another man’s whatever, but I still think that ‘unusual’ words (if I can put it no stronger than that) in a Quick Cryptic need to be clued with unabiguous wordplay.
            1. And I take your point, and endorse it 100% (for a QC, %110). I was surprised, though, to see so many solvers unfamiliar with the word.
        2. Albacore and albatross are both ultimately derived from Arabic (with permutations through Spanish and Portuguese). Al- bakara (the milk cow) for albacore and al-gattas (the diver) for albatross.
  5. I was one second faster than our blogger at 5:55. I liked the misleading “doctor not practicing medicine”. No problem with either meaning of BIGHT (there is a well-known knot called “bowline on a bight” which is something you can tie in the middle of a rope without any access to the ends. No problem with ALBACORE either. ALBACORE tuna is a common kind of canned tuna, at least here in the US. I started off confidently putting WRISTWATCH at 1D which didn’t survive once I got TAG and had to reconsider.
    1. Searching the websites of three of Britain’s major supermarkets did not bring up any products with albacore in the name, though of course they all sell tinned tuna. That probably explains why the name is better known in some countries than others.
  6. 25 minutes Held up for a while trying to find a hidden at 24ac. BIFD PARLOUR as also never heard of LOUR.
    COD: Lots to admire here.
  7. Having taken great care over ALBACORE and BIGHT I then entered CAReMaL. What was I thinking? I like to think I would have spotted it in an across clue. Not all green in 12 after a promising start with 8 on the first pass of acrosses.
  8. Some unusual vocabulary but all fairly clued and it’s always nice to learn some new words. Whether they stick or not is an entirely different matter. Finished in 10.33 with LOI MITRE.
    Thanks to Jeremy
  9. LOI MITRE which I had to stare at for quite a long time, even with all the checkers. I presumed Mitre was a woodworking joint. 12 minutes on the clock.
    Other hold-ups were HOMER (brought back a recent Wordle disaster) and CATCHMENT.
    Not an easy puzzle but clearly clued by Izetti as always.
    COD to HOMER.
  10. Just inside target of 15 minutes for an unusual Izetti puzzle that required more than the usual amount of GK. BIGHT, PARLOUR, MITRE, ALBACOREand DOLOMITE we’re all a little stretch, but fortunately none of them was a NHO for me, but I can imagine newbie solvers struggling with some of them. As for PAR being what you’d expect, you must be playing a different type of golf to me! I also went for WRISTWATCH initially, which messed up the LHS right up until ABRIDGE proved it wrong. Thanks both.
  11. Knew after 20-25 mins, when I couldn’t unravel ALBECORE, TOPERS or get BIGHT that I wasn’t finishing.

    Was about to give up at 45-mins when INCOMER (has anyone ever used this word about a new starter at work?!?), FRUSTRATED, HOTHEAD, CATCHMENT, MITRE, HOMER all slotted in.

    Gave it another 15-mins before giving up at the hour.

    Honestly, not impressed by the standard required to finish this one. No idea on BRAD, oDD, parLOUR.

    Edited at 2022-05-11 09:38 am (UTC)

    1. In my experience, an “incomer” is often used to denote someone coming to live in a new village/area, especially if they weren’t born there.
      1. And likely still to be termed as such by the ‘locals’ even 20 years later!
  12. I WOBBLED off and puzzled over BIGHT as I only knew the bay meaning. TAG made it inevitable though. I was going to put OATMEAL at 6d, but couldn’t justify OAT as a vehicle, so waited for PECK to put me right. ALBACORE rang a faint bell. INCOMER was LOI. 7:18. Thanks Izetti and Jeremy.
  13. Struggled for ages over CATCHMENT, trying to think of something with DERBY (a local match) in it. Luckily, the penny finally dropped and the rest of the East side followed readily. Not sure abut INCOMER and guessed BRAD (NHO) from clue. Just about remembered ALBACORE and knew a MITRE joint. NHO BIGHT = bit of rope. Instructive as well as entertaining!
  14. No problem with the meaning of any of the words, my problem was getting to them in the first place! 25 mins for an enjoyable daily fix.
    Thanks Izetti and Jeremy.
  15. Quite a few I didn’t know here, so I was crossing my fingers for 8ac “Albacore”, 2dn “Bight” (didn’t know either definition), 19dn “Mitre” and even 23ac “Brad”.

    Other than that, I enjoyed this and thought the clueing was mostly fair.

    FOI — 1ac “Wobbled”
    LOI — 2dn “Bight”
    COD — 6dn “Caramel”

    Thanks as usual!

  16. izetti puzzle — nice mix of slightly unusual words fairly clued.

    He does seem to have taken his foot off the pedal a bit in terms of difficulty.


  17. DNF with three left and my pen hot in my hand after 50 mins. Trying not to be too grumpy about use of archaic words such as Toper and Lour. While I can biff the word from the clue, if I have to look it up to find it’s an archaic word I will never use is that really the point of a QC?

    Is relish a food additive? An accompaniment maybe.

    Clearly I am failing at not being grumpy!

    Thanks jackkt for the blog, very helpful.

    1. I took the “food additive” to be almost cryptic ie. adding/accompanying to a dish — rather than what I originally thought which was some kind of “E” number or preservative.
    2. Thanks for the name-check, Professor, but today’s very helpful blog is by my excellent colleague, Jeremy.
    3. So sorry – Jeremy! Thanks to you for the blog as always. And I am feeling much less grumpy now. I am normally and evening QC-er so perhaps my brain was not in gear this morning. Prof

  18. At 26 minutes, this was my third sub-30 in a row. Still in the SCC of course, but satisfyingly fast for me. I didn’t really get held up anywhere, although I was not 100% sure of ALBACORE (I think this fish has appeared before) and PARLOUR (I had NHO the old word for scowl). Fortunately, I knew the type of nail (BRAD) and , somewhat amazingly, both meanings of BIGHT. I find that Izetti is invariably precise in his wordplay, which really helps those like me whose vocabulary is not as broad as it ought to be.

    Weirdly, Mrs Random struggled more than me today. She finished all correct in 37 minutes, but was unsure of several of the answers (e.g. ALBACORE, BIGHT, BRAD) and is now trying to banish the experience from her mind.

    Many thanks to Izetti and Jeremy (P.S. Good luck with your mathematics finals!).

    1. Your responses (and I include, by your own inferences, Mrs Random) are, for me, one of the highlights of this blog. Thank you both.
      1. Thankyou for your kind words Sawbill, although I would suggest the real highlights are provided by those who run the blog, the team of bloggers and the occasional setters (including yourself, of course).
    2. Well done SRC on your besting of the redoubtable Mrs SRC — I am delighted for you! I hope you will celebrate with a nice glass of something red this evening, basking in your remarkable achievement.
      1. Thankyou Mr Rotter. I did celebrate yesterday evening, but with two glasses of something brown.
  19. I found this really tricky with lots of new words — BIGHT, BRAD, TOPERS, ALBACORE and ‘lour’ for scowl were all unknown. Guessed correctly for most, but needed blog for LOI BIGHT. Love learning new words, but not sure I wanted so many all in the same puzzle, and a QC at that. Anyway, thanks very much for the blog and to Izetti (I think!).
  20. Unusually, I completed this on-line and was surprised to be told it took me 36 minutes to amble through. Izetti’s typically precise cluing got me through although I had to post-check Albacore was a true word, indeed a true fish!. Happy with the rest of the GK. A third enjoyable outing in a row. FOI 1a Wobbled. LOI 12d Catchment COD 14a Parlour – a tad old-fashioned but fun. Thanks to Izetti and to Jeremy (I second the good wishes for your exam!).
  21. 17 minutes with all parsed. Not too bad for an Izetti by my standards. No problem with the vocabulary although I had to dredge ALBACORE and BRAD up from the depths. I think I’ve only encountered them in crosswords.

    FOI – 1ac WOBBLED
    LOI – 14dn PARLOUR
    COD – 8ac ALBACORE for the conciseness of the clue.

    Thanks to Izetti and Jeremy.

  22. An enjoyable solve for me, as most of it went in rapidly before a chewy last five minutes to get the last half dozen or so. LOI after 16:01 was FRUSTRATED. TOPERS only rang a vague bell and I don’t think I’ve ever come across “lour” or BIGHT meaning rope. COD to CARAMEL for the smooth wordplay. Thanks to Izetti and Jeremy.
  23. But some brainpower needed
    Seemed to favour UK rather than US in word usage.
    The fish held us up

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