Times Quick Cryptic 2135 by Orpheus

Hello hello hello, shiny happy people, and welcome to our shiny new site!  (A warm welcome to matte and miserable people too, of course – I’m with you!)  I am so grateful for all the brilliant work put in by the development team to bring us here.

I think this puzzle won’t have troubled seasoned solvers; even I squeaked in at under 5 minutes (by a fraction of a second).  It’s harder to judge how others might have found it, so for that it’s over to you.

Chambers proved not the best reference dictionary for today, as when blogging I had to defer to Oxford/Collins for the required definition of 2d and to check the given description of 13a.  I think my favourite clue was 4d.  It inspired me to write a clue for the definition.

Thanks Orpheus!

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.

1 Complete basic food, it’s said, for top-quality horse (12)
THOROUGHBRED THOROUGH (complete) + BRED, a homophone of (… it’s said) BREAD (basic food)
8 Greek for Room at the Top? (5)
ATTIC — A double definition
9 Rude man badly lacking means of defence (7)
UNARMED RUDE MAN anagrammed (badly)
10 Flightless bird met at first in Brussels? (3)
EMU Met’s first letter (at first) goes in EU (Brussels, used as a metonym)
11 Beneficial manoeuvre (9)
EXPEDIENT — Two definitions
13 Refrain from eating first bit of undercooked cake (5)
DONUT DONT (refrain from) around (eating) the first letter of (first bit of) Undercooked.  For anyone querying whether a donut is a cake, Oxford and Collins describe a do(ugh)nut as a small fried cake of sweetened dough
14 Part of action, a director’s lowest point (5)
NADIR — The answer is part of actioN A DIRector
16 Damage garden tool by church in Moroccan city (9)
MARRAKECH MAR (damage) + RAKE (garden tool) + CH (church).  I definitely needed the wordplay here to confirm the spelling!
17 Reason for which the river at Chepstow is mentioned (3)
WHY — WYE (the river at Chepstow) sounds like the answer (is mentioned)
19 Word in India for stations like Euston, etc (7)
TERMINI TERM (word) + IN + I (India)
21 Appearing for trial, aim to stand vertically (5)
UPEND UP (appearing for trial) + END (aim)
22 Chance money originally coming in, to do with teeth (12)
COINCIDENTAL COIN (money) + the initial letters of (originally) Coming In + DENTAL (to do with teeth)
1 Article about an old clan chief, Macbeth, for example (5)
THANE THE (article) around (about) AN
2 Old-fashioned athlete, a carriage attendant once (9)
OUTRUNNER OUT (old-fashioned) + RUNNER (athlete).  The answer was new to me, and not in my Chambers app, although it’s there in Collins and Oxford.  An attendant who runs in front of or beside a carriage, etc
3 Fancy Hector’s share? It’s the scorer’s job (13)
ORCHESTRATION — An anagram of (fancy) HECTORS + RATION (share)
4 Petulant doctor unknown to drink spirit (6)
GRUMPY GP (doctor) and Y (unknown) containing (to drink) RUM (spirit)
5 Entering hotel on river, a provider of accommodation (8,5)
BOARDING HOUSE BOARDING (entering) + H (hotel) + OUSE (river)
6 Miller regularly climbing a tree (3)
ELM — Alternate letters of (… regularly) MiLlEr reversed (climbing, in a down entry)
7 Press chief possibly cycled up carrying it (6)
EDITOR RODE (possibly cycled) reversed (up) containing (carrying) IT
12 Demon went mad, providing hand-out (9)
ENDOWMENT DEMON WENT anagrammed (mad)
13 Downgrade woman getting to grips with vehicle test (6)
DEMOTE DEE (woman) around (getting to grips with) MOT (vehicle test)
15 Twins, say, going north by car (6)
GEMINI EG (say) reversed (going north, in a down entry) next to (by) MINI (car)
18 Vocalise Southey’s last poem on lake (5)
YODEL — SoutheY’s last letter + ODE (poem) + L (lake)
20 Brazilian port’s endless civil unrest (3)
RIO — Without the last letter (endless), RIOt (civil unrest)

89 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2135 by Orpheus”

  1. Finished in 17:40. Didn’t know OUTRUNNER or think of UPEND as meaning “to stand vertically”. Took a while to see GP in GRUMPY. Enjoyed DONUT. Thanks, Kitty , for cheerful blog!

  2. Rather slow today, COINCIDENTAL taking some time. I was a bit surprised to see DONUT with that spelling. (Or rather, I was surprised to see ‘doughnut’ with that spelling.) 7:07.

  3. This morning I was on the 6.50 Marrakesh Express to the Euston Terminus, via Chepstow. A most enjoyable return to more old haunts.

    LOI 17ac WHY? I’ve no idea! Not a clue!
    COD 4dn GRUMPY – as I am wont to be on occasion
    WOD 5dn BOARDINGHOUSE -Palm Court Skeggy comes to mind! Is it still in lock-down?
    There are signs of the Shanghai lock-down is coming to an end -it has been dire. ‘Fully open by 1 June’, but they said that on May Day!
    No deliveries for a week but….let’s be positive…. cabbage and rice aplenty!
    Today we have managed to get a delivery of blueberries and quality yoghurt, but still no bread! We have new apricot jam just arrived, but marmalade is a no-no. The Chinese sincerely believe that apricots induce nose bleeds! All the more for Meldrew & Co.

  4. 10 minutes, also delayed by the abundance of long answers. Another delay was down to writing WYE at 17ac — pure carelessness!

    Fortunately I was paying close attention to wordplay at 16ac or I’d certainly have put MARRAKESH which seems to be the preferred spelling according to some sources.

  5. 21 minutes. All parsed other than ATTIC which I BIFD and moved on.
    LOI: COINCIDENTAL needing all the checkers.
    COD DONUT and NADIR Peter Hammill’s alter ego, Rikki.
    Also thought Marrakesh until checking the wordplay.

    1. Peter Hammill: Such a talent. I still play H to He, Still Life and Godbluff – on vinyl, of course.

  6. I knew scoring would be musical but ORCHESTRATION wouldn’t come to mind and I focused on verbs not nouns for BOARDINGHOUSE so it was the long ones that held me up today. Would have ended up all green in a surprisingly fast 14 had I not got a pink square for inexplicably entering MARRAKEsH moments after congratulaing myself on correctly parsing. A fun but ultimately frustrating first day of the crosswording week.

  7. The new web site is brilliant especially the ease of posting comments. Congratulations to all involved and many thanks from someone who struggles daily to complete the Quickie at all, let alone at stratospheric speeds.

  8. Congratulations on the new site
    An interesting but straightforward challenge for a Monday outrunner and upend caused a bit of head scratching

  9. I found this on the hard side partly due to the long words and partly because it’s Monday. Love the new site. My time on the iPad was NaN NaN for some reason. (that’s what it said honest ) So I don’t know. Think it was over my target – about 22 minutes.

  10. Wye oh wye did I slow myself down by diving into the river ? The reason for my LOI is thus abundantly clear ! Slight MER at ‘petulant = grumpy’ but fairly plain sailing otherwise.

    TIME 4:14

    1. I put WYE in at first too, but YODEL was my next one in and put me right straight away!

  11. As a lurker I would like to thank those of you who have sorted out this new site. I am most grateful for all the help and amusement here.

  12. Oh I love the new site! Begone Russian ads!

    I was quick off the mark with THOROUGHBRED today but alas there were quite a few I couldn’t get. Attic Greek is new to me.

  13. I thoroughly enjoyed this QC, perhaps having too much fun as when I put my pen down I found I had taken 36 mins although it felt faster. I think I was enjoying re-reading the clues. I especially enjoyed the longer ones; ORCHESTRATION (my COD) took me a while and it took a few minutes to parse the BOARDING part of 5d.

    Like others I also put WYE instead of WHY and it took a while to figure out YODEL and spot my mistake.

    Thanks to Kitty and Orpheus and all the new site builders. Prof

  14. What a pleasure to come back, and a site free of adverts is a very welcome bonus. As to today’s teaser from Orpheus, I was another in the slow lane, with my last pair Coincidental(ly) involving Gemini. . . CoD to 1d, Thane – another one that took an age to see until I had the initial T. Invariant

      1. Thanks – I have been keeping an eye on things but resisted the temptation to post (even when I had a once-in-a-lifetime sub-Jacket!)

  15. Congratulations all – terrific! I managed this in 10 so was quite pleased. My T2 has 5d as a 13 letter word – assume it was a typo corrected online? Thanks again setter and blogger.

    1. 5D was a 13-letter online as well which explains why it never showed up with the “Show word breaks” setting. Not sure it made much difference to me, as I had the House part from checkers and parsed the Ouse

  16. A not too demanding start to the week. Guessed OUTRUNNER, but found the rest quite straightforward. I like the new site!

  17. Yes wonderful site and so much easier to navigate. Many thanks. 14 min with long ones holding me up (I sympathize with Jack!) Always find partial anagrams harder to spot.
    Great time Kitty and thanks for blog and to Orpheus for the puzzle

  18. Oh wow this is exciting. What a wonderful, shiny new playground. It was agony going cold turkey from TFTT and I’m so pleased that it’s back! Thank you all concerned.

    Cracking time from Kitty – I was much slower, taking an age with most of the long clues and dotting around the grid. Only once I imposed the discipline of looking at all acrosses in turn did I make progress.

    FOI MARRAKECH, LOI TERMINI, COD THOROUGHBRED, tempted to give a Golden Raspberry to DEMOTE with its random name that no-one is called any more, time 09:47 which surprisingly turns out to be only 1.3K but I can’t call this a Good Day so I’m going for an OK Day.

    Many thanks Kitty and Orpheus.


    1. I had a charming young lady worked for me back in the day called Deirdre Flower, who insisted on being called Dee – go figure!

    2. Dastardly Denise likes to be called Dee – I have a good many other names I would prefer for her 🤬

      1. Bea,Dee,Jay,Kay ,Em-all names that are letters too.I suppose Eff and Enn could be included -and my Aunt Vera was always called Vee.

  19. 16 minutes for me, with the long ones mostly responsible, particularly 5d which is (13) in the Times online paper, instead of (8,5).

    My congratulations to everyone involved in the development of our new site – you all deserve a gong!

  20. Hmmm … 1hr30 DNF with two wrong. Albeit 15-20mins spent making cups of tea, changing, texting about today’s Wordle, using the loo in there.

    THOROUGHBRED and ELM straight in, then not a lot.

    A good 4 or 5 clues I couldn’t parse. And when the setter starts anagramming synonyms (ration / share) I’m done for. My word knowledge wasn’t good enough for on THANE, ATTIC, EXPEDIENT so those were tentative BIFs.

    DNFed on BOARDING-HOUSE – could see the River Ouse but went for BrAnDING-HOUSE. Also on TERMINI where I tried to shove “train” in there. Silly but you do these things after an hour or so.

    I’m sure my mind knew the answer to GEMINI as I was thinking of my mate who is one, of another from my past due to the music I was listening to, and a 3rd who messaged me about Wordle!

    Tough start to the week. But as I regularly seem to say, I wouldn’t have got that far a month ago. Nice one Kitty and Orpheus

    Off to do some sprints now …

    1. It’s a hard rule that words that do not appear in the clue are never part of the anagram. Hence Ration (share) appears as is, whereas Hectors is jumbled.

      1. Oh thank you for that tip! So words that don’t appear in the clue can be split up, written backwards etc but never anagrammed, that makes this easier thank you

      2. Good point. My mistake about ration / share. I anagrammed Hectors eventually and never thought about where the rest came from. Skimmed over the explanation in the blog. Oops!

  21. 33 mins…

    Great to be on the new site – it looks like an incredible amount of work has gone into designing this and making it a reality. The clean and simple look is a joy to those who hark back to the simpler days of the internet (ie. without ads). Well done to all involved!

    Anyway, back to the QC – I thought this was difficult. It didn’t help that I just couldn’t get some of the long, vertical answers for 3dn “Orchestration” and 5dn “Boarding House” on first passing. Add in my incorrect insertion of “Wye” for 17dn (it seems I’m not alone) and this took far longer than it probably should have. I know the dictionaries say a donut is a cake – but to me it’s just a donut.

    At some point I must seek out the origin for “up” in relation to appearing for trial – I’m guessing it has something to do with coming “up” from below (before presumably being sent “down” if found guilty).

    FOI – 1ac “Thoroughbred”
    LOI – 22ac “Coincidental”
    COD – 3dn “Orchestration” – for throwing me off for probably the 5th time…

    Thanks as usual!

  22. This one took me 34 minutes. I got most of the answers without too much difficult. Others needed a bit more time. Coincidental and boarding house took the longest to solve. Thoroughbred was my first clue answered.

  23. Good puzzle but required some thought, plus several biffs. Started off well with 1a and 1d, but slow on ORCHESTRATION and COINCIDENTAL (COD). Also slow on DONUT as I didn’t recognise the US spelling. Luckily put WHY as a first guess, ready to change to Wye.
    Huge thanks again for the new site, and thanks for blog, Kitty.

  24. Congratulations on the new site. I might well be tempted to move from being a lurker to a commentator.
    A couple of “chewy” ones today which left me firmly in the SCC. I’ve always thought “Donut” was the US spelling of “doughnut”, but I’m always happy to learn new meanings and “Marrakech” relied on trusting the wordplay rather than spelling it with “sh” as I’ve done previously.
    Thanks to all the site developers for a splendid job. Well done, all!

  25. I was GRUMP(il)Y out of the blocks, but 1a arrived as more of a hack than a THOROUGHBRED, a lot later in the proceedings. A steady plod saw me through to LOI, BOARDINGHOUSE (one word!!) with thanks to the wordplay for the spelling of our Moroccan city. 8:08. Thanks Orpheus and Kitty.

  26. Congratulations and thanks to Vinyl and his team for the new site, which looks great. To celebrate I’ve promoted myself to having a capital ‘P’ at the start of my username.

    WRT the puzzle I really struggled today. I’ve been baffled by that definition of scorer previously and was again today. Hopefully it will stick this time. I needed the parsing to correctly spell MARRAKECH, which is embarrassing as I spent a very pleasant few days there a while back and I’m another who carelessly stuck Wye into 17a which made LOI YODEL decidedly tricky. Finished in 15.58.

    Thanks to Kitty and well played Orpheus

  27. Add me to the list of those who are so impressed with this new site.

    I learn so much from reading both the blog analysis and the comments. I’d like to think that my times have steadily improved since I discovered this invaluable resource.

  28. 9.39, wasn’t 100% about expedient.

    Glad the old tftt username was still available.

    Nice to see Horryd, invariant, templar etc back.

    COD Gemini.
    Like the new site thanks. Any chance of a like button?

  29. Thank you to all involed in bringing us the new site. After 8 years of following you all every day on the old one, I thought it about time I joined up. I cannot thank you all enough for the pleasure it gives me to follow your comments every day. Although you dont know me, I feel that I know so many of you through your helpful posts and solutions, without which I would never have found out how to solve cryptic crosswords. Well, Quick Cryptics at least. I still struggle with the Jumbo and 15x15s. Phil

  30. Wow! Super impressed – and to carry over the back catalogue! Some serious skills at work so well done all!
    27 minutes today..definitely on the hard side but completed against the odds.
    Thoroughbred took too long.
    Expedient needed all checkers..
    But I enjoyed it!
    (Thanks also to my pal Dennis who played a large part in the fun)
    Thanks all

  31. Started very well with the first 5 across clues going straight in. Slowed down considerably after that and eventually became completely bogged down with about 3 or 4 to go. Eventually finished in 21 minutes. Didn’t parse, or completely parse, COINCIDENTAL, BOARDING HOUSE and GEMINI.

    LOI – 15dn GEMINI
    COD – 4dn GRUMPY

    Thanks to Orpheus and Kitty and many, many thanks to all those involved in creating this super new site.

  32. My abundant thanks for this splendid new site, and for the pleasure I’ve derived for so long from following your QC answers each weekday. I’ve never commented before because all my attempts to register with the LiveJournal site failed, and now I’m looking forward to joining the conversation at last.

  33. Many thanks, Kitty and Orpheus.
    And many, many thanks to those who’ve created this lovely, brand spanking new site. I particularly like this typeface.
    I really hope I’ve managed to join up properly this time.
    One day I may even find out how to obtain an avatar 🤞

  34. As others have said, what an elegant site. Very easy to use, crystal clear to read, no adverts (Russian or otherwise). It’s 👍👍 from me!

    And a nice puzzle from Orpheus too for Day 1 of the New Era. I was another who put Wye in first until Yodel corrected me, and had the smallest of MERs at the spelling of Donut. But those two did not delay me long and all done in 13 minutes.

    Many thanks to Kitty for the excellent blog – very impressive time too 🔥🔥!


    PS does anyone know if this site supports bold type and italics? If so how does one specify them?

    1. Yes it does, just insert the usual html codings either side of the words you want to change.

  35. Congratulations on the new site, thanks to all involved. Enjoyed the puzzle today, finished about our target time.

  36. Hooray! It’s so lovely to see everyone back again 😊 (Also no grim ads) I agree with Stone Rose about the typeface – it’s very stylish, and more importantly – legible. Out of interest, what is it – I don’t think it’s Times is it? Like Plett, I’ve added a couple of caps – what a treat. In fact, I’ve taken the opportunity to change my user name – pebee caused quite a few problems spelling-wise, and you all know I’m Penny anyway 😅
    On to the puzzle – a bit of a slow one for me too, at 12 minutes. I’ve been averaging 8 – 10 recently.
    FOI Thane LOI Expedient COD Attic
    I would argue that a do(ugh) nut is not a cake, which would be made from a batter not a yeasted dough. But clearly the dictionaries know better.
    Thanks Orpbeus and Kitty

    The new avatar is an oxeye daisy, which I discovered in yesterday’s paper is also known as a moon penny.

  37. Nice shiny new site and good to see older bloggers back.
    Wye did we put wye🥴
    Held up by this stupidity

  38. Oh dear! I had hoped with the wonderful new site I’d find a wonderful new brain but sadly not. 32:21 with, I have to confess, a little help from the wonderful kitty. Vocabulary has never been my problem – it’s rare I haven’t heard a word before, but I do get stuck on thinking around things. I couldn’t see past cricket scorer for example so got completely bowled out by ORCHESTRATION. FOI ELM – COD has to be the elegant but super-sneaky MARRAKECH! Must try harder 🙂

  39. I love the new site!
    23 minutes, which is really good for me but even after finding you here I’ve had to Google how “attic” could mean “Greek”.

  40. I too have enjoyed reading all your helpful and often amusing comments over the past couple of years and just had to put fingers to keys to congratulate you on the fantastic new site.

  41. Bit unfair to use a spelling of Marrakesh that is not the common one especially for those brought up on CS&N.

  42. I agree with all the positive comments about the site. I never time myself but enjoy completing the QC every day. This site has helped me enormously even though I first started solving cryptics over 60 years ago!

  43. A wonderful website that must have taken a lot of time and effort to get fully working. Congratulations to all involved. My only (very small) request is to make the avatars larger to help my aging eyes.

    As I post later in the day I find most of the comments I would make about the crossword have already been made. A couple of the long downs held me up today, but an enjoyable challenge.

  44. Love the new site! Enjoyable puzzle today, no particular problems other than those already mentioned (WHY, and the long down clues). Many thanks all.

  45. I know it’s late – I usually do the quickie in the evening – and everything’s been said. So, me too.
    I just had to post to be part of this momentous occasion. Nice crossword too. COD BOARDINGHOUSE

  46. Great site! Many thanks to all who worked to bring it to us. FOI 1a thoroughbred LOI 8a attic (just me being slow on the uptake!) COD 4d grumpy – amusing! -‘Night All.

Comments are closed.