Times Quick Cryptic 2141 by Pedro

Quite a few missing first letters, a couple of upside downs and a couple of interesting clues (23ac, 12dn) pushed me to within one second of my 10 minute target. Highly satisfying all round. Thanks Pedro.

Definitions are underlined in bold italics.

1 Fish pie and odd bits from chef — something extra for the man? (8)
CODPIECE – fish (COD), pie (in plain sight PIE), (C)h(E)f. A centuries old version of a box – as I cricket.
5 Observe daughter or other offspring (4)
SEED – observe (SEE), daughter (D).
8 Where are the billboards? Zero adverts seen during journey (8)
ROADSIDE – zero (O) and adverts (ADS) seen during journey (RIDE).
9 Sensible attitude excluding America? (4)
NOUS –  excluding America (NO US).
11 Welsh party MP daily excited about start of Cardiff rugby (5,5)
PLAID CYMRU – anagram (excited) of MP DAILY about (C)ardiff, rugby (RU).
14 Money we kept back to get nut (6)
CASHEW – money (CASH), we backwards (EW).
15 Tolerate final treatment after head’s cut (6)
ENDURE – final (END), treatment with first letter missing c(URE).
17 Something that’s served up route taken at sea? (4,6)
MAIN COURSE – the sea is (MAIN), route taken (COURSE).
20 Starts to take hold after winter? This may (4)
THAW – (T)ake (H)old (A)fter (W)inter.
21 Nag, distressed, in perturbed condition, to stop moving (8)
STAGNATE – anagram (distressed) of NAG inside perturbed condition (STATE).
22 Radio’s correct form of liturgy (4)
RITE – homophone (radio’s) of right.
23 Try and try to produce supportive comment (4,4)
HEAR HEAR – try (HEAR) x2.
1 Concerns excluding first of electric vehicles (4)
CARS – concerned excluding (E)lectric (CAR)e(S).
2 Haul part of hospital up (4)
DRAW – part of hospital – ward – upwards (DRAW).
3 In this state one won’t have got ready (10)
INSOLVENCY – cd where ‘ready’ refers to cash.
4 Scoundrel to stop supply of tea (6)
CADDIE – scoundrel (CAD), stop (DIE). My LOI and of relevance to Matt Fitzpatrick’s tremendous performance in the PGA.
6 Total runs one piled up including nothing on a big scale (8)
ENORMOUS – piled up means it’s all upwards – total (SUM), runs (R), one (ONE) containing nothing (O).
7 Unease I’d picked up: I should participate in new quest (8)
DISQUIET – I’d upwards (DI), I (I) inside an anagram (new) of QUEST.
10 Source of decoration using cigar in an unusual way (5,5)
ICING SUGAR – ANAGRAM (in an unusual way) of USING CIGAR.
12 Sword? I’m the very thing involved in evidence of wound (8)
SCIMITAR – I’m the very thing (I’M IT) inside evidence of wound (SCAR).
13 Partisan reviewed prospective member? (8)
ASPIRANT – anagram (reviewed) of PARTISAN.
16 Like a nuanced view? It’s not evident in words on screen (6)
SUBTLE – ‘IT’ is not in words on screen (SUBT)it(LE).
18 Stop offering no initial comfort (4)
EASE – stop c(EASE) without first letter.
19 Close — initially not even remote? Not initially (4)
NEAR – (N)ot (E)ven, remote f(AR) without first letter.


50 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2141 by Pedro”

  1. Difficult for me -25:54-as I took a long time to remember ready as money and some others (EASE,ENORMOUS,ENDURE) that should have been quick but weren’t. SUBTLE was my COD and I also enjoyed NOUS, CODPIECE, and PLAID CYMRU. Thanks for laying out all the parsing for me.

  2. Biffed PLAID CYMRU, SCIMITAR, & NEAR, parsed post-submission. I was surprised to see CODPIECE (which doesn’t really correspond to a box, unless cricket uniforms have changed radically!). 6:37.

  3. Yeah… Nah.
    I had to google Plaid Cymru and needed help with lots of this.
    You would think I would remember that hear = try but I did not.

  4. 10 minutes but with 18dn (EASE) as my only missing answer I’d had visions of doubling my solving time as I began my alphabet trawl. Fortunately before I got as far as words possibly beginning with E the answer suddenly leapt out at me with {c}EASE as ‘stop’ as wordplay confirming it was correct.

    Chris, you’ve a typo in your intro referring to the non-existent 24ac.

  5. l was in the rear coach of the 18:00 stopper from Cardiff to Belgrade, via Wimbledon. A fairly boring journey, which never really got going.

    FOI 5ac SEED
    LOI 20ac John, THAW
    COD 1ac a nice PIECE of COD!
    WOD 11ac PLAID CYMRU from Welsh Wales.

    10ac reminded me of Monica Lewinski!

  6. Towards top end of target range, but I enjoyed this puzzle a lot.

    CODPIECE, ROADSIDE and INSOLVENCY all stood out for me.


  7. 28 minutes with one wrong.
    FOI: CARS. Then worked my way through parsing as I went until I was left with 16 and 18dn. Finally seeing SUBTLE leaving me with _A_E at 18dn for my last one and, after an alphabet trawl just bunged in CARE even though it didn’t make sense of the wordplay.

  8. 11.24 but…

    Not my greatest hour. Some nice clues as always from Pedro but quite a few wordy ones where I struggled to get to grips with what the clue was getting at.

    And as with Alfweard I’d put in CARE for comfort, knowing it wasn’t right but didn’t go back to check

    Thanks Chris and Pedro

  9. Hands up if, like me, you thought 17A was an anagram of “route taken” at first. LOI 16D which was, I thought, quite SUBTLE. Thanks Pedro and Chris . 6:12.

  10. Got sidetracked on ‘scabbard’ because of scabs on the way to SCIMITAR even though it didn’t work and like other stared for while at the space where EASE ended up. Also tried ‘main artery’ for too long and had to wait for that to correct itself to MAIN COURSE before I could untangle ICING SUGAR. Hard but an enjoyable 22m – and no typos.

  11. Some nice clues but others required some mental ferreting around. Unusually, a couple of the 4-letter answers took longest for me. No time – I was distracted by a phone call and a long chat. COD SUBTLE but I enjoyed ICING SUGAR. Thanks to Pedro and Chris. John M.

  12. I was tipped over my target to 10:56, with a few in the NW needing the extra neuron. MAIN COURSE eventually gave me INSOLVENCY which cleared the way for CODPIECE and DRAW. CARS was FOI. Thanks Pedro and Chris.

  13. Needed help with CODPIECE (!) and INSOLVENCY. And had to look up spelling of CYMRU. Put CARE for 18d, oh dear. Liked HEAR HEAR, CASHEW, SUBTLE, ICING SUGAR, among others.
    Thanks for blog, Chris. Yes, I thought a codpiece was more for decoration.

  14. Looked at _A_E; realised (a) that there were too many possibilities (151 – I checked afterwards) and (b) that I couldn’t be bothered; gave up. Yes, I am pathetic.

    FOI CODPIECE, COD SUBTLE, time 06:14 for all-bar-one.

    Thanks Pedro and Chris.


  15. Quite tricky in places but immensely satisfying as a PDM followed PDM. Started with SEED and finished with CADDIE in 11.24. Lots of excellent clues but INSOLVENCY just pipped SUBTLE for my COD.
    Thanks to Chris

  16. Struggled throughout and last 2 were ease and involvency. I remembered being stuck on ease before so that went in. Insolvency went in after an alphabet trawl that missed off the v and y as potential letters. Was thinking cash would be more likely to be clued as readies.

    15×15 is nice again today, for those new to the site the snitch website (see useful links) gives an indication of difficulty: https://xwdsnitch.herokuapp.com/

    Cod Codpiece.

  17. Taken to two minutes over my target by this slightly quirky puzzle from Pedro. My main problem was not seeing INSOLVENCY and not twigging the ready indicator and working on some sort of unpreparedness. Thanks blogger and setter.

  18. 1HR10 to complete!

    FOI CADDIE (thought it was caddy but the parsing was clear) followed by SEED (seen that before), PLAID-CYMRU and CASHEW on the first go through. Then unravelled ASPIRANT and worked through until 35-mins when I had a barren spell and gave up at 52-mins.

    Came back and added DISQUIET in the first 40-secs, HEAR-HEAR (we had try-hear last week on Friday’s shear); EASE (I’d initially thought halt for stop) and finally inked in NEAR which I’d not been able to parse. ENORMOUS eventually unravelled and an alphabet trawl suggested NOUS (LOI) to be the best option before I saw the DD.


    Too much initially / letter dropping / reversing for my liking but as ever, pleased to get it done.

    Thanks to Pedro and Chris.

  19. “Counting the CARS on the New Jersey turnpike, they’ve all come to look for America” (Paul Simon). Alas, there’s NO US at 9A. Some trepidation as I biffed my LOI again, and had to come here for elucidation from Chris afterwards – just couldn’t disentangle it. Just sneaked inside my target.

    TIME 4:56

  20. 13 minutes for me with LOI NEAR unparsed -like Busman.
    An enjoyable puzzle. I liked NOUS and ROADSIDE.

  21. Nearly squeezed in with a sub-20, but I revisited a bifd Care at 18d and decided it still didn’t parse. A two minute alphabet trawl finally produced cEase. A few too many biff then parse answers for my taste, but still enjoyable enough, with CoD to 3d, Insolvency, for the pdm. Invariant

  22. Also took too long on cease _ease but snuck in under 15. Some great clueing and all good fun. Thanks Chris and Pedro

  23. Quite a few people seem to have posted longer than usual times on this one, and I join them, finishing in just under 20 minutes for my closest brush with the SCC for some time. I always find “remove the first letter” clues challenging and when the checkers one has are -A-E for my LOI 18D Ease, it was doubly so!

    Slightly surprised at the word “perturbed” in the clue for 21A Stagnate – I wondered if it was an anagram indicator at first, and even after solving the clue I still think “state” can be a condition whether perturbed or not. “She was in a very calm state for one so young”, for example.

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog

    1. I see it as ‘he was in a perturbed condition’ – ‘he was in a state’ as in ‘a right state’. It only needs one equivalent use to make a valid clue.

  24. 28 mins for me – with the NW corner proving the most troublesome. There seemed to be a lot of clues with the the first letter lobbed off another word: 18dn “Ease”, 19dn “Near”, 15ac “Endure”, 1dn “Cars” for example, which felt a little unusual.

    Only real query was 3dn and “ready” for cash. I always thought it was the plural “readies”.

    FOI – 5ac “Seed”
    LOI – 2dn “Draw”
    COD – 16dn “Subtle”

    Thanks as usual!

  25. 17 minutes with two unparsed. One was plaid cymru, which was obvious once 7dn gave me a u as the final letter, the other was subtle – too subtle for me! Thanks to Chris for revealing the workings on those two. An enjoyable crossword although I did share Cedric’s MER at the use of perturbed in 21ac. I seemed to be more on Pedro’s wavelength than I normally am.

    FOI – 5ac SEED
    COD – an honourable tie between the said 3dn and 8ac ROADSIDE.

  26. More difficult than usual for me but very pleased to be able to complete. Thanks for the blog.

  27. Difficult – needed help with a couple and took quite a while to complete, but eventually got there. Some witty clues today.

  28. Living in Newport in sunny South Wales 11ac PLAID CWMRU was a write in for me. I thought it may be a problem for some, particularly our overseas solvers, but apparently not. I was held up at the end by 9ac where like Vinyl I was trying to exclude letters from us, USA or even am. This took me outside my target at 10.42.

  29. Despite a great start (CODPIECE, SEED and CARS all went in within the first minute), I really struggled with this offering from Pedro. I somehow felt off balance with many of the clues. Almost nothing came easily, even with many or all of the checkers, as I doubted my parsing much of the time. For example, I was unsure about ENDURE, RITE, INSOLVENCY and NEAR, and they each took some minutes to get.

    Eventually, I was left with 2d (D_A_) and 18d (_A_E), but 10+ minutes of alphabet trawling only turned up DRAG and BATE. I simply never found DRAW – I have no idea why not, as I went past it in my head more than once. I did find EASE, but I couldn’t think of cEASE. I went with aBATE, assuming that BATE must be an alternative word for comfort that I DNK.

    Result: DNF with 2 errors in 43 minutes. Disillusioned!

    Many thanks to Pedro and Chris.

  30. A slower day all round for me! 13 minutes for this one, although I did finish it fully parsed. I remember C/EASE from another puzzle quite recently – it can only be here or in the biggie, as they’re the only ones I do! I thought that there were some very fine surfaces – I usually find Pedro quite wordy, but this was a very nice mix. I liked NOUS and NEAR.
    FOI Seed LOI Subtle COD Roadside
    Thanks Pedro and Chris

    I didn’t find the biggie quite as easy as yesterday, but finished in just over half an hour.

  31. 10:21 I got EASE just before I got SUBTLE and finally finished with ENDURE. I struggled to spell the CYMRU of PLAID CYMRU despite it being my country of birth. COD SUBTLE

  32. Longish solve at 24 mins today, but lots to like, especially SCIMITAR and CASHEW. LOI was NOUS. Considered ‘nous’ early on but discarded as expecting to take off either ‘us’ or ‘a’ here – clever clue. Also took a while to see ENORMOUS – ironic really. Many thanks for the informative blog and to Pedro for a great workout.

  33. No trouble with Plaid Cymru, more problems with the SE corner, 10d icing sugar. Put in hear hear without understandin the word play. Enjoyed the puzzle, diolch to Pedro.

  34. I know things are different in crossword land, but hadn’t realised that ready means money. I always thought it was ‘readies’, so did not get 3dn. Another slog today.

    1. I think ‘readies’ (pl) specifically refers to bank notes whereas ‘ready’ (which is just a shortened version of ‘ready money’) can be cash of any sort, coins or notes or mixed.

  35. 23:13

    A few tricky ones here with a good 4 minutes on LOI INSOLVENCY taking me 3 minutes over target.

  36. Tricky again. No time since two bites at it, but late tonight the last few just flew in – disquiet, caddie, enormous, insolvency, codpiece and LOI nous.

    Ultimately enjoyable and a stiff challenge (as it were).

    I echo Matt Fitzpatrick’s excellent PGA and I have now moved on to miss Raducanu- who plays at 10am tomorrow.

    Thanks all

  37. 20 mins for me on what was an enjoyable outing. Could not parse Hear Hear or Near – thanks for the super clear blog, Chris.

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