Times Quick Cryptic 2149 by Teazel

I’ve got my second Teazel in a row to blog. Today’s Quick Cryptic  is again typically teazing with one or two tricky bits, but not overly so – I finished in a just-over-average time for me of 5:34. I liked the bag-lady, the punishment and the green thing best and finished with 12A. Thank-you Teazel for the excellent crossword and the spelling lesson (q.v.). How did you all get on?

Fortnightly Weekend Quick Cryptic. This time it is Sawbill’s turn to provide the extra weekend entertainment. You can find the latest crossword,  which is on the gentle side of average here. Enjoy! If anyone is interested in our previous offerings you can find an index to all 52 here. And you can see us at our get-together in London on the weekend of our 50th here.

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Now ape fashioned aggressive tool (6)
WEAPON – (Now ape)* [fashioned].
4 Free ride that will take one up and down (4)
LIFT – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
9 Distantly, something buzzing in the smallest room? (7)
ALOOFLYFLY (something buzzing), after A LOO (smallest room)… i.e. A LOO FLY (something buzzing in the smallest room).
10 Bird, headless chicken? (5)
RAVENcRAVEN (chicken; cowardly), without the first letter [headless].
11 Was nervous about article covered in plumage (9)
FEATHEREDFEARED (was nervous) [about] THE (article).
12 Cut and run, almost (3)
LOPLOPe (run) without the last letter, [almost].
13 Concerned with wrong but sharp answer (6)
RETORTRE (concerned with) TORT (wrong). In case you didn’t know… A tort is “an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability“. It comes up often in crosswords.
15 Bag lady seen to embrace another woman (6)
GLADYS – Hidden in BaG LADY Seen, [to embrace]. Lovely surface.
17 Somewhere for cat to sit and drink (3)
LAP – Double definition.
18 Reckon car mangled bird (9)
CORNCRAKE – (reckon car)* [mangled].
21 Half a minute or lower (5)
MINOR – [Half] MINute, OR.
22 Child about to tip up cheese (7)
STILTONSON (child) [about] TILT (to tip up).
23 Thank you, thank you again, and goodbye (2-2)
TA-TATA (thank-you) TA (thank-you again).
24 It should be sort of green, years on? (6)
ENERGY – [sort of] (green)*, Y (years) [on]. Semi-&lit. Nice one.
1 Punishment? Why? (4,3)
WHAT FOR – Double definition. That made me laugh.
2 A foreign capital that gets up your nose (5)
AROMAA ROMA (Rome; foreign capital). Jolly definition.
3 Unofficially failing to beat previous best (3,3,6)
OFF THE RECORD – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
5 Being chronically sick is having no effect (7)
INVALID – Double definition.
6 Very fast? This suggests not (3-2)
TON-UP – A reverse cryptic, [this suggests], anagram of (ton)* [up] -> NOT. You don’t often get these sorts of clues in a Quick Cryptic. [Edit: as Kevin has pointed out in the comments this is a down clue, so the setter’s intention is more likely be to use [up] as a reversal indicator, i.e. TON [up] -> NOT.
7 Textile worker perhaps you once introduced to doctor (4)
DYERYE (you, once) [introduced to] DR (doctor).
8 For preference, decrepit lion to be shot (12)
PREDILECTION – (decrepit lion)* [shot]. “Unlucky”, the site told me when I first submitted. I’d always thought the word was PREDELICTION!
14 Ship’s fastest speed? Bow! (7)
TOPKNOT – A ship’s fastest speed might be its TOP KNOT.
16 Inflexibly cunning, snaring seabird (7)
STERNLYSLY (cunning) outside [snaring] TERN (seabird).
17 Put cap on and left one US college (5)
LIMITL (left) I (one) MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology; US college).
19 Losing head, trample marsh plant (4)
RUSHcRUSH (trample) without the first letter [losing head].
20 Player’s mascot, poor at intervals (5)
ACTOR – Alternate letters of mAsCoT pOoR [at intervals].

48 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2149 by Teazel”

  1. 20:14. COD to ALOOFLY, just edging out TOPKNOT. Knew the right spelling of 8 down because I noticed once years ago it wasn’t spelled the way I usually pronounced it. I thought CORNCRAKE was going to have “cock” somewhere in it as those letters stood out when I first looked at it. Knew WHAT FOR from watching too many episodes of Coronation Street. Thanks for explaining TON UP plus rest of blog.

    1. Sitting in my usual club chair I felt quite pleased with myself until I had fallen feet first into the PREDELICTION hole. Liked TON UP and many others but my COD WHAT FOR, why not indeed.
      Thanks Teazel and John.

  2. I suspect you weren’t alone in misspelling PREDILECTION, judging from the leaderboard. I didn’t know TON-UP, but had vague memories of TON indicating speed, then saw the wordplay. 6:11.

  3. I was on the 14:00 crawler between Roma and Melton Mowbray (from where Stilton derives.)

    FOI 1ac WEAPON – AK15?
    LOI 24ac ENERGY
    COD 15ac GLADYS Emmanuel, hiding in plain sight, G-Granville!

    6dn TON-UP derives from a short section of the North Circular, where the ‘Greasers’ used to race in the late fifties. They had to hit 100mph to become a ‘TON-UP BOY’ an elite group in the world of ‘Rockers’. And all done without helmets!’ There were ‘TON-UP GALS’ too, but they were mainly pillion-riders.

    I remember well the Uniroyal ad for, ‘Fresh-killed Chicken’.

  4. I proudly join the ranks of people who take at least 2 attempts to spell PREDILECTION correctly. 11:43, FOI LIFT, LOI RAVEN, COD GLADYS.

    Incidentally, is there a known issue with the Times app on the iPhone? If I click on “Crossword Club” and then click on the puzzle, everything I type goes into the top-left square, instead of filling in the word as it should. If I skip clicking on “Crossword Club”, and just go straight to the puzzle, it works fine. Ring any bells with anyone? Thanks!

    1. I’ve had something similar in the past. I think I’ve had to delete and reinstall the App unfortunately

  5. 13 minutes giving me 4 missed targets out of 5 this week and my worst solve as all the other misses were timed at 11 minutes. On top of that I had PREDELICTION so taking this week as a whole I am feeling unhappy about my QC performance at the moment.

    The LH went in smoothly but I struggled on the RH, even to spot the well-hidden GLADYS.

    Not all the usual sources list the ‘punishment’ meaning at 1dn but those that do, spell it with a hyphen suggesting that ‘why?’ is the straight definition and ‘punishment’ is secondary.

  6. Some great surfaces from Teazel. My favourites were BAG LADY, GLADYS, LOP and LAP. I hope this isn’t Teazel saying TA-TA FOR THE RECORD with a TON-UP?

    As this is my first Weekend QC since we have migrated to this wonderful site, can I encourage old and new to try it? The link is in John’s blog above. All criticism will be gratefully received.

    1. 51-mins on your weekend – only to fall at the end with 7A incorrect.

      Could parse it all but had to dredge 12A from the recesses of my mind. If I hadn’t heard of it, I’d say you’d be in danger of the CORNCRAKE / PREDILECTION checkers issues.

      My only other (minor) complaint would be 18D where I couldn’t tell which version of the word was required until checkers appeared. Perhaps easily resolved by moving the “we hear” elsewhere.

      COD 10A, although 17A also appreciated.

      1. Thanks so much for trying it. Today I see you took an hour so is 51 minutes your ‘average’? I see your points on 12a and 17d. Glad you enjoyed 10a but, like you, 17a was one of my favourites (with 1d).

        1. I guess an hour is average but it’s a huge standard deviation!!

          Last week on here I was … 1hr01, 1hr09, 1hr08, 1hr40, 16mins
          This week 55, 20+, 25, 24, 1hr08

          I felt slow on this one – didn’t have any lengthy dry spells but had to work to get to answers.

          Thank-you for it. Good to be challenged by different setters.

  7. DNF defeated by AROMA – very clever clue. Biffed GLADYS – simply could not parse it and even now don’t see it for looking. Funny how that sometimes happens with ‘hiddens’. Thanks Teazel and John

  8. Knew I should have checked how to spell PREDILECTION (even had to check there to show I haven’t learned). Loved GLADYS. Hard but worth it. 17m but with two those two pink squares.

  9. 29 minutes also struggled with the R/H side.
    LOI: TON-UP.

  10. Off to a good start with 1ac but then nothing until 21ac. The down clues were more accessible but paid careful attention to the anagram letters in 8dn.

    A somewhat above average solve but I will take that as I tend to find Teazel a tricky setter.

    FOI Weapon
    LOI Rush
    COD Gladys

    Thanks John and Teazel

  11. What’s more galling than misspelling PREDILECTION? Going to add it to your big list of crossword words for future reference and finding it already there, listed as “PREDILECTION — note spelling!” D’oh.

  12. 11 something and..

    .. I can’t spell that one either

    Really struggled with this.

    Maybe me rather than the puzzle. LOI was the excellent GLADYS where the coin of lower denomination took a long time to hove into view and even longer to drop

    Thanks John and Teazel

  13. No problem with PREDILECTION, but problems aplenty elsewhere.

    AROMA was my last in.

    This was the longest solve I’ve had in years. Miles off wavelength. Hat to Teazel!


      1. Sure is, no idea why! I used to just throw in the towel at about 12 mins, but have resolved to keep at it until the bitter end…

  14. A clever puzzle from Teazel, for which many thanks. I liked ALOOFLY, AROMA, TOPKNOT, and GLADYS (amongst many others) and felt a sense of satisfaction when they emerged. However, this was short-lived. I was held up for too long by RUSH (no I can’t see the problem either) and then was disappointed to see I had joined the many who can’t spell PREDILECTION. So a dnf to end the week. Thanks to John.

  15. I got off to a flyer with the whole of the NW going in straight away, a bit steadier thereafter but no serious delays other than careful checking of PREDILECTION. Fortunately I was aware of the awkward spelling. CORNCRAKE rose from the depths and I finished with the excellent GLADYS.
    Crossed the line in a sprightly 8.25 with my COD going to TOPKNOT.
    Thanks to John

  16. Phew, got there in the end. NW very quick. SW very slow. My LOsI should have been so obvious: LAP, LIMIT, MINOR. Lots made me smile, WHAT FOR, TOP KNOT, GLADYS, and (COD) ALOOFLY.
    Luckily managed PREDILECTION, after a cup of coffee. Also liked RUSH, but had to biff ENERGY.
    Thanks all, esp John.

  17. “I bet you’re wond’rin how I knew….” that so many would misspell PREDILECTION (the lyric from ‘I Heard it Through the Grapevine’ is, of course a nod to GLADYS Knight & the Pips who recorded it first. I actually love the version by Creedence Clearwater Revival).

    I had little difficulty with this, and, I’m relieved to say, avoided typos. I thought it was a first class puzzle from Teazel.

    Do please try Sawbill’s “Weekend Special” (link in johninterred’s blog above). I ‘road tested’ it, and think it’s a well-pitched offering.

    LOI RUSH (another favourite band)
    COD ALOOFLY (made me chuckle)
    TIME 4:00

  18. Unhelpful of Teazel to have the E and I of “that word” on ordinary squares not crossers! Fortunately I have met it before and remembered that it obeyed the old saying “I before E, except after C” … and I also managed to avoid translating that into Pridelection.

    A nice puzzle, which I started at a real gallop, writing in the NW corner almost as fast as I could read the clues. Slowed down a bit after that but still managed a finish in just over 10 minutes.

    It remains an ambition to either see or hear a Corncrake. I believe their remaining area in Britain is limited to some of the Hebridean islands; I have travelled there on a number of occasions to track the elusive bird down but so far no joy.

    Many thanks to John for the blog, and in anticipation to Sawbill for the Saturday Special.

    1. They have corncrakes on Coll. They’re shy birds so I heard them rather than saw them when I was there.

  19. Got there in the end but, like many above, managed to misspell PREDILECTION on the way. I have always pronounced this word ‘predeliction’ but I really don’t know why… Anyone else? Lots to enjoy here including ALOOFLY, TON UP (much used phrase in my youth) and ENERGY. LOIs were LIFT and INVALID. Many thanks as ever.

    1. I wonder if the mispronunciation is down to the subconscious influence of the much more commonly used word “prediction”.

  20. 30 mins…but also spelt “Predilection” wrong, so another dnf.

    Still don’t understand 6dn “Ton Up”, will have to go back and have a proper think about it. Nearly put “Corncrane” for 18ac, then realised I hadn’t used the “k”. I always thought a “Top Knot” was a hairstyle.

    FOI – 1ac “Weapon”
    LOI – 6dn “Ton Up”
    COD – 24ac “Green”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. A ‘reverse cryptic’ is where the answer is a clue to the clue, indicated here by the phrase “This suggests”. The answer to the clue as a whole is “TON-UP”, definition “very fast”. Now if you take the answer “TON UP” as an element of wordplay, you might think. “Aha. “UP” is an anagram indicator, so an anagram of “TON” could be “NOT”. Et voila! You have your answer that makes the clue “Ton up suggests…” with the answer “NOT”.
      As for “Top knot” – yes it has that other meaning too.

      1. ‘up’ isn’t an anagram indicator, it’s just ‘up’: TON written up (in a down clue) is NOT. Of course, if we take ‘up’ as an anagram indicator, we can get NOT (or ONT), but do we want to take ‘up’ as an anagram indicator?

        1. Thanks, Kevin. Of course this is a down clue, so your parsing is more likely what the setter intended.

  21. 1HR08 DNF – the corkcrane not a variant of crazylegs crane then!? In a quiz, if asked what a CORNCRAKE is, I’d have said snake.

    Also wrong with rash (lose head) for RUSH. Knew it didn’t fully parse but then many of the clues felt that way today. WHAT FOR=punishment, not around here it doesn’t. STERNLY=inflexibly=meh

    OFF-THE-RECORD – had OFF-THE-CHARTS on my first 30-min attempt but resolved almost immediately when I restarted allowing MINOR/TOP-KNOT/RETORT to slip in.

    3 bird clues – RAVEN / TERN / CORNCRAKE plus a FLY and type of cheese.

    The NE corner held out until the end. Couldn’t see “free=lift” – doh. Then TON-UP was incredulity as haven’t seen this type of clue in a long time. Wanted (s)NIP for “cut and run”.


    Thanks to John and Teazel (usually find easier than this)

  22. Strikethroughs

    Respectfully, is there an alternative way of highlighting the deletions?

    Only that with today having to deleted Cs …. cRAVEN and cRUSH … had to enlarge the screen to see that it wasn’t eraven or erush.

    1. Hmm. I sympathise. The font here is maybe less conducive to reading strikethroughs. I’ll revert to using {} to indicate deletions from my next QC blog.

  23. Found this very slow, way over our target. A lot of clever clues, Gladys, top knot and others. Thanks Teasel, for the workout.

  24. I’ve only just understood how 6dn works, but I biffed it successfully. Also managed to spell predilection correctly.. Started reasonably well but struggled towards the end. Can’t believe how simple 15ac was. Like others, I struggled with that one. Thank you for the ever helpful blog!

  25. 11:18 with the same predilection error. But a good time for doing it on the phone after returning from Lords.

    COD the outstanding ENERGY, what a fabulous &lit clue. But TON UP and TOP KNOT also worth a mention as fine clues as well.

  26. Feeling pleased with myself to finish in 29 mins after spending 10 of those on GLADYS, my LOI. I couldn’t parse it but in the end decided it was the only answer I could think of and totally failed to see the hidden. Then realised I also fell to the PREDILECTION spelling mistake so another DNF sadly. Still a very enjoyable puzzle.

    COD to very clever ENERGY. Thanks John for blog and Teazel for a good puzzle.

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