Times Quick Cryptic 2147 by Corelli

A little tricky, possibly because I did not solve 1ac on first glance, and had never heard of the tribe. Hopefully any newbies are not put off by the run of harder-than-average puzzles.

Corelli is known for including a (usually literary) theme, but it’s lost on me if it’s present today. Let me know if you find something!

Definitions underlined.

1 Juliet imprisoned in castle keeps unsettling workers on roof (12)
STEEPLEJACKS – J (Juliet, phonetic alphabet) contained by (imprisoned in) and anagram of (unsettling) CASTLE KEEPS. I can’t see this word without immediately thinking of Fred Dibnah.
8 Old monarch at first just omits his name (4)
JOHN – first letters from (at first) Just Omits His Name.
9 No good to perform in Kim’s realm (7)
KINGDOM – N (no), G (good), and DO (perform) all inside KIM.
11 Something fishy a politician kept in shed (7)
HALIBUT – A LIB (a liberal, a politician) contained by (kept in) HUT (shed).
12 One used to make spirits all the same (5)
STILL -double definition.
14 Salesperson Pat returns: he knocks (6)
TAPPER – REP (salesperson) and PAT, all reversed (returns).
15 One sharing billing with new actors (2-4)
CO-STAR – anagram of (new) ACTORS. Nice.
18 It recoils before young dog, upset (3,2)
TIP UP – IT reversed (recoils), then PUP (young dog).
20 Second-guess public relations decree (7)
PREDICT – PR (public relations) and EDICT (decree).
21 Neckerchief found in club — and an anorak (7)
BANDANA – hidden in (found in) cluB AND AN Anorak.
23 Party attempt a big hit (4)
BASH – triple definition.
24 Crazy eg ceding best dish (4,8)
EGGS BENEDICT – anagram of (crazy) EG CEDING BEST.
2 Farewell to old pipe, sadly (6-3)
TOODLE-PIP – anagram (sadly) TO OLD PIPE.
3 Raise each napkin initially, and peer underneath (7)
ENNOBLE – first letters of (initially) Each and Napkin, with NOBLE (peer) underneath.
4 A native American, I’ll ask for that regularly (6)
LAKOTA – every other letter from (regularly) iLl AsK fOr ThAt.
5 Possible Welshman’s skeleton with a different head (5)
JONES – bONES (skeleton) with a different first letter (head).
6 Copper lead ultimately is something to chew on (3)
CUD – CU (copper) and the last letter of (ultimately) leaD.
7 What we have in common is military training (10)
SIMILARITY – anagram of (training) IS MILITARY.
10 A tiny bit secure in Kent town (10)
WHITSTABLE – WHIT (a tiny bit) and STABLE (secure).
13 How baked beans are sold? About right, so, for native (9)
INTRINSIC – IN TIN (how baked beans are sold) containing (about) R (right), then SIC (sic erat scriptum, so).
16 What bridge player may do in proverb, ideally (7)
OVERBID – hidden in (in) prOVERB IDeally.
17 PS: on reflection, wet weather can cause injury (6)
SPRAIN – reversal of (on reflection) PS, then RAIN (wet weather).
19 Climbing mountain, carefully note alternative strategy (4,1)
PLAN B – reversal of (climbing) ALP (mountain), then NB (nota bene, carefully note).
22 Dun horse? (3)
NAG – double definition. NHO the verb ‘dun’ – to plague, pester, or harass.

59 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2147 by Corelli”

  1. Biffed STEEPLEJACKS & KINGDOM, parsed post-submission. DNK WHITSTABLE, but with STABLE it was easy enough to guess. I was a bit surprised to see LAKOTA here. 7:02.

  2. 23:07 Didn’t know TOODLE-PIP or WHITSTABLE but the wordplay was clear. Held up by STEEPLEJACKS until the anagram was sorted out. Enjoyed seeing that nice Welshman, Mr. Jones ; also enjoyed HALIBUT and PLAN B. Have never eaten EGGS BENEDICT myself but have often been across from others at table who have ! Thanks for helpful blog.

  3. 4:27. Thought I’d slowed my time by keeping the reversed anagrist SPEEKJELTSAC in the grid at 1 across, which sometimes I do just to see if that makes the right answer pop out. It didn’t, but it didn’t seem to hurt me, as this is a very good time for me. WHITSTABLE was a reasonable but lucky guess.

  4. First time posting, still learning the lingo. FOI TOODLE-PIP, LOI HALIBUT. Didn’t fully get INTRINSIC, as I attached the S to IN TINS, and then couldn’t see where the IC came from. Also NHO that sense of DUN. 7:44, my fastest ever the day after signing up here!

      1. See the Glossary (link to to the right) for enlightenment on NHO and loads of other stuff.

  5. 9 minutes with dun / NAG and LAKOTA unknown.

    I was also expecting some sort of theme or NINA from this setter, especially after his last outing on my watch when he waved the flag in support of Ukraine, but I can’t see anything coordinated here. JOHN KINGDOM in row 3 might be something as it’s not an uncommon name, but I can’t find one that’s worthy of celebration here, though he may be someone personally significant to the setter. Also in the names department there’s a JACK, a JONES and a BENEDICT but that doesn’t appear to lead anywhere.

  6. 8’40” NHO LAKOTA but easily worked. NHO NAG as dun…but rarely/never hear/see dun so no surprise there. Enjoyed the anagrams for STEEPLEJACKS & EGGS BENEDICT.

    Was slowed by wanting to build 13D around IN CAN as a native South American but enjoyed the solution.

    Thanks Corelli and William

  7. 19 minutes but I would have been quicker if I hadn’t put STRAIN in at 17dn even though I knew it was SPRAIN.
    LOI: PREDICT due to error above trying to be too quick.
    NHO LAKOTA but the clue was helpful.

  8. I was on the 12:45 Whitstable stopper this afternoon. Whitstable is famed for its
    oysters; a dozen for me with a glass or two of chilled Chablis. Bliss!

    FOI 1ac STEEPLEJACKS – remember Fred Dibnah?
    LOI 4dn LAKOTA – The Teton Sioux from the Dakotas.
    COD 2dn TOODLE-PIP! – from the world of Wooster & Wimsey
    WOD 24ac EGGS BENEDICT – never had my favourite Sunday Brunch!?? So easy to make! Recommended with smoked salmon or gravlax and a chilled glass of Sancerre. Cheers Captain Corelli!

  9. Enjoyed this. DNK that meaning of dun and NHO LAKOTA but very fairly clued. I cannot see a nina.

    1. I am beginning to see a nina. There is JOHN KING who was married to DANA BASH. There is also Jake TAPPER and Jim ACOSTA .They are CNN news anchors. I will look for more …

      1. Jim ACOSTA!?? Perhaps not!

        Dana Bash has recently became the CO-STAR of her ex-Jake Tapper’s slot! I have wondered how that came to be.
        VAN JONES might be there if only I could find his van! Or is there such a person as LAKOTA JONES!?

        Politics and crosswords can and do mix! CNN today, FOX tomorrow?

        1. Oops! As Sawbill notes Dana was married to John King and not Jake; maybe he’s her new interest?
          All credit goes to Sawbill as he nailed it early. I only had Mr. Tapper initially but failed to to see the Nina, until the CO-STAR appeared.

          This is then a CNiNa!

  10. Looking at the keyboard and the clues I have no idea how I ended up with a wonky T in SPRAIN and PREDICT but I did, so two errors from one pink square. Missed NAG on the first pass so had to retreat when the 99% warning came up and though I’ve not heard of a dun the horse bit seemed enought to enter the missing A. Missing that clue took me over 9m, not that it matters as I can’t reverse PS accurately.

  11. NHO LAKOTA or DUN in that sense, but the wordplay was helpful. CUD and JONES were 1st 2 in, which immediately led to STEEPLEJACKS, and as William says, thoughts of the legendary Fred. No further dramas, and finished up with EGGS BENEDICT in WHITSTABLE. 6:21. Thanks Corelli and William. I can see John Noble and Jack Jones in the grid, but that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere.

  12. 25 mins with 5D and 13D unsolved but then discovered the connecting 12D STILL wasn’t LEVEL. Spent another ten mins toying with words like “equal”, “extrinsic” and even INTRINSIC but really couldn’t parse. As for the Welshman, obvious now but I was thinking of first names like Iwan and Dai.

    Didn’t feel easy and while I’ve heard of WHITSTABLE, can’t place it in Kent. NHO “dun” and faffed around with TAPPER because it’s bit of meh word, mainly because I missed REP=SALEPERSON


    Thanks to William and Corelli

  13. Well off the wavelength today and I can’t remember the last time I started a QC so slowly – my first two in were CUD and SPRAIN (starting with the acrosses!).
    Getting WHITSTABLE seemed to kick start things and I settled in to enjoy a steady solve.
    Crossed the line in 14.27 with CsOD to STEEPLEJACK and ACTORS.
    Thanks to William

  14. An interesting puzzle. I was unable to see 1ac at first so I started in the NE corner and worked clockwise around the grid again with hardly a hiccup. By the time I got back to the top, 1a was a simple write-in. LAKOTA and NAG were new to me but unavoidable. 11 Minutes so I am speeding up by a minute or two every day this week. Hope it lasts! Thanks to Corelli and William. John M.

  15. Much enjoyed this one once I got going and solved the edges.. WHITSTABLE and TOODLE PIP made me smile. TAPPER a strange answer – but I gather it was part of the NINA. (Seldom watch CNN).
    Would not dream of OVERBIDding, of course.
    The ideal crossword solver wd appear to be an oldish British bridgeplayer with good GK, well-travelled, informed about the arts, geog, cricket, wine, horses, fish and fowl. That more or less describes me but I still struggle.

  16. I had to work hard at this. About 13 minutes.
    Knew too many Kent towns but arrived at Whitstable eventually.

  17. A well crafted puzzle today I thought, and I came in at 8.55. Spent a fair time at the end on STEEPLEJACKS initially trying to get thatchers or slaters involved. I even wondered if LAKOTA which I’ve never heard of might be DAKOTA.

  18. Morning! The first finish in quite some time from me, so felt the need to come and show off.

    Also my first time posting since the migration from LiveJournal – I have had about 3 months off the Quick Cryptic as my work slowly started to take over my life again, it was only in the last two weeks I have started doing them daily.

    Funnily enough, I’ve found my short break rather helpful in terms of my solving capacity. Has anyone else found this? It’s almost as if I’m on the wavelength nearly everyday, short of one or two clues. Whereas before I would routinely have 2 or 3 days a week where I was stumped halfway through.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this puzzle from Corelli. The clueing for INTRINSIC was nice, I NHO WHIT = a tiny bit, and dun = NAG.

    1. Welcome back. I feel we should have a page somewhere relating Live Journal id’s to their new ones, but it’s probably not top priority at the moment .

  19. DNF
    Did not stand a chance with this one – but I take my hat off to the experienced solvers who found it easy.

    What does NHO mean ?

  20. My FOI in what proved a steady solve was JONES as I thought 1a ended in JACKS and I needed confirmation. STEEPLE didn’t come until later. I biffed NAG from horse and NHO LAKOTA. My LOI was WHITSTABLE. If I had been asked the location of Whitstable in a pub quiz I would have guessed at Yorkshire. COD to HALIBUT as it raised a smile. 8:06

  21. A good start with 1ac and 2d, and steady progress thereafter despite the Kent town not being the usual Gravesend (where will they think of next?). Slight mer at Predict/second guess, but everyone else seems happy. Loi Dun/nag was completely unknown, but at least the horse bit made sense, for a 16min finish (nearly got you today, Plett). CoD to 15ac, Co-star, which must be a chestnut. Invariant

    1. “(where will they think of next?”)

      Happened to be doing an old Felix this afternoon and it had “Make rapid progress then hide in Kentish town (10)”

  22. No duet from Tom JONES and Elton JOHN, but the monotonous pink square caused by ‘iitrinsic’. I’d sight checked as well, but obviously not stringently enough. 4:10

  23. LAKOTA – the tribe that Kevin Costner’s character interacts with in Dances With Wolves.

  24. 15 minutes and 1 second, which I’m going to say is on-target. Like others, NHO LAKOTA or the dun meaning of NAG. I saw Jack Jones and wondered if the Nina was trades union leaders, but didn’t have time to investigate further. I would never have got the BASH/KING connection. Well done H for spotting that. Thanks both.

  25. 9.00

    Slightly sluggish after toasted sandwich for luncheon – borne out by reference solvers I’m normally a bit closer to

    Needed WHITSTABLE to speed me on my way

    LAKOTA in and out as I misread the words and thought LAKOHT unlikely. Yeah.

    Thanks Corelli and William

  26. I didn’t get going until 20a so was most surprised to suddenly pick up speed and finish in 9 minutes! I realised the last part of 1a was JACKS but couldn’t pull STEEPLE out of the memory bank immediately so waited for checkers rather than arduously work out the anagrist. Also didn’t know the first meaning of dun – it makes a change from debt collection anyway.
    I’ve never seen CNN so the nina was lost on me. At least it didn’t make for quite such a tortuous solve as we’ve seen in the past, but as Corelli wasn’t expecting anyone to get it, it does rather suggest that ninas are more for the setter’s amusement than ours.
    FOI Predict LOI Ennoble COD Co-star
    Thanks Corelli and William

  27. I decided it was time to stop lurking on these pages and join in. Although I was only just outside the SCC I found this relatively straightforward. Technically it was a DNF as I had a typo in 7d but I was pleased to actually know all the right answers even if I can’t type!

  28. The same deficiencies in GK as many others, but all fairly clued so I came home in a satisfying 15:33. COD to the well hidden BANDANA. Thanks Corelli and William.

  29. Can someone enlighten me as to what it means when some commenters refer to ‘the pink squares’ please?

    1. If (a) you use the Club site to solve and (b) you enter letters which do not match the solution (whether through getting the answer wrong or just mistyping), then when you hit “submit” the wrong letters show up in pink (all correct letters are shown in green).

  30. Started slowly, not getting the first across answer until halfway down the grid. Speeded up appreciably after that but was still slightly disappointed to come in at 18 mins with several unparsed. Still within my previous target range of 15-20 mins, but I have recently (after a good run of times) revised this down to a target of 15 mins. Never mind – there’s always tomorrow!

    FOI – 15ac CO-STAR
    COD – 12ac STLL raised a smile although it’s probably an old chestnut

    Thanks to Corelli and to William

  31. WHITSTABLE not only known for its oysters but also as the model for “Blackstable” in Somerset Maugham’s “Cakes and Ale”. I think he lived there as a child.

    Super puzzle, missed the Nina.

    FOI STEEPLEJACKS, LOI JOHN (durr), COD HALIBUT, time 08:47 for 1.2K and a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks to the Captain and William.


    1. Whitstable also known for the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway, a very early railway which opened in 1830. Sometimes referred to colloquially as the “Crab and Winkle Line” …


  32. I enjoyed this puzzle and apart from my LOI Lakota, it all went in smoothly enough. The Tribe then followed from wordplay but as it emerged a dim light went on in one of the less frequented parts of my brain and I think on reflection I had heard of them. The NINA eluded me though, naturally enough – they nearly always do.

    Just over 10 minutes in all. Many thanks to William for the blog and a good long Jubilee weekend to all

  33. I thought I’d been a bit sluggish, but seems it was just a bit tricky!

    I used to go to a club called Lakota in Bristol in the early 90’s, so that was a write in.

    LOI TIP UP, for no reason. STEEPLEJACKS probably my favourite.

    A little over target range.


  34. An interesting solving experience today – the longer anagrams just popping to mind immediately as I read the clues – steeplejacks/eggs benedict. Also answers such as Whitstable, similarity, Lakota etc etc today. How does that happen (sometimes!). 9a and 10d on first pass made for a speedy completion but as I never keep a timer I have no idea of how quick this one was. Missed the Nina as I am not a CNN-watcher. FOI 1a steeplejacks. LOI 13d intrinsic. COD 21a bandana. Thanks to Corelli for an enjoyable puzzle and William for a concise blog. Will find something else to do this evening!

  35. 15:46

    Fairly straightforward but not helped by biffing COLE for old monarch. Finally twigged that 3dn had to be ENNOBLE which showed me my error for LOI JOHN.

  36. 25 mins today which is my target.
    Anyone do Which? Magazine cryptic. Bit quirky but usually about the same time for me. This months was a shocker. Tough grid Strange clueing. Took 3 hours. Would have gone in the recycling way before but tennis went on till gone midnight yesterday. No blog as £50 John Lewis voucher prize. It’ll be going on booze if I win. 🤪

  37. 16 mins…

    Late one for me as I’ve gone away for the long weekend. DNK 4dn “Lakota” but it was fairly straightforward from the wordplay. The rest went in fairly steadily, although I initially thought 20ac was “Presume”.

    FOI – 8ac “John”
    LOI – 1ac “Steeplejacks”
    COD – 13dn “Intrinsic”

    Thanks as usual!

  38. Solvedat a steady pace today with a couple of guesses when justthe odd letter missing. Enjoyable!

  39. Done on a hurry before going to hear the Verdi requiem im London
    Got John wrong and thus enable.
    Concert was good though

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