Times Quick Cryptic 2167 by Jalna

Finished in a pretty average time for me, only held up by 1ac at the beginning and 20ac at the end. While all of the wordplay was fairly clear, quite a few of these definitions were not the first or second to come to mind, so I think we might get a split in times between Biffers and Bumblers (or Rushers and Relishers).

Definitions underlined.

1 Compulsive complaining about party’s leader (8)
GRIPPING – GRIPING (complaining) containing (about) Party’s first letter (leader).
5 Live next to a field (4)
AREA – ARE (live) and A.
8 Mexican snack requires some spinach, occasionally (5)
NACHO – hidden in (some) spiNACH Occasionally.
9 One million quid put under lock and key (7)
IMPOUND – I (one), M (million), and POUND (quid).
11 Bit of sunshine right before a day’s end (3)
RAY – R (right), then A, then daY’s last letter (end).
12 The piano I ordered from somewhere in Africa (9)
ETHIOPIAN – anagram of (ordered) THE PIANO I.
13 Police officer expressly aiming to avoid responsibility (3,3)
COP OUT – COP (police officer) and OUT (expressly aiming). I was a bit confused at first about where (if anywhere) ‘aiming’ belongs; think “I’m out to win”.
15 Get very angry and have computers, etc taken away? (4,2)
LOSE IT – definition and cryptic hint, to lose one’s Information Technology.
18 One with a nest egg — or pennies, possibly (9)
PENSIONER – anagram of (possibly) OR PENNIES. Apparently, a pension is something that used to be available to people once they retired.
19 Problem causes you harm, always at the end (3)
SUM – last letters from (always at the end) causeS yoU harM.
20 Plate set out with no meal (7)
POLENTA – anagram of (set out) PLATE with NO.
21 Segment on the radio, still (5)
PEACE – sounds like (on the radio) “piece” (segment).
22 Type of diet you abandoned early, repeatedly! (2-2)
YO-YO – all-but-the-last letter of (abandoned early) YOu, twice (repeatedly). A yo-yo diet is one in which the dieter loses weight unsustainably, and quickly puts it on again. Not an &lit, just a very apposite surface.
23 Likelihood of school brochure not featuring us (8)
PROSPECT – PROSPECTus (school brochure) minus (not featuring) ‘us’.
1 Comprehensive information on Morecambe, perhaps (7)
GENERIC – GEN (information) and ERIC (Morecambe, perhaps). Spent too long trying to work ‘bay’ into the answer. ‘Applicable to any of a set or class’ = ‘comprehensive’? In my lexicon, at least, this requires a 3-point turn through ‘general’ (cue dissent/enlightenment).
2 Irritating and spiteful, but not at first (5)
ITCHY – bITCHY (spiteful) without its first letter (not at first).
3 Not precious about bringing charges (11)
PROSECUTION – anagram of (about) NOT PRECIOUS. 20ac was my LOI in part because I first entered ‘prosecuting’ here.
4 Dissenting voters reportedly making beastly noises (6)
NEIGHS – sounds like (reportedly) “nays” (dissenting voters).
6 Comedian’s act is run-of-the-mill (7)
ROUTINE – double definition.
7 A study occupied by posh poet (5)
AUDEN – A and DEN (study) containing (occupied by) U (upper-class, posh)
10 Prints made by Hogarth pop out crisply in the middle (11)
PHOTOGRAPHS – anagram of (out) HOGARTH POP, then the central letter from (in the middle) criSply.
14 Fine plan yet to be arranged (7)
PENALTY – anagram of (to be arranged) PLAN YET.
16 English politician gatecrashes trial, creating a commotion (7)
TEMPEST – E (English) and MP (politician), all contained by (gatecrashes) TEST (trial).
17 A French broadcast covering football, primarily, not cricket! (6)
UNFAIR – UN (a, in French) and AIR (broadcast), containing (covering) the first letter of (primarily) Football.
18 Old man presented with extremely pretty flower (5)
POPPY – POP (old man) plus the outermost letters from (extremely) PrettY.
19 Cooked steak and fish (5)
SKATE – anagram of (cooked) STEAK.

65 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2167 by Jalna”

  1. Nice time!

    I trust your assertion it is okay, but for me, comprehensive is encompassing everything, whereas generic is encompassing everything only within a class. I might yet be persuaded by the substitution test.

    1. I didn’t assert that it was OK, just that it seemed OK; I can see your point, and don’t have a substitution test to hand, not that I’ve looked for one.

      1. “Flu” is sometimes used as a generic term for any illness caused by a virus. “Flu” is sometimes used as a comprehensive term for any illness caused by a virus.

  2. 15:12. PROSPECT was LOI and took me longest to figure out. COD to GRIPPING. I noticed if you read 7dn and 16 DN together you get AUDEN TEMPEST. That reminded of an old favourite- Auden’s The Sea and The Mirror , his beautiful long poem based on Shakespeare’s play ,The TEMPEST.

  3. 4:25 with PHASE/FAZE in place of PIECE/PEACE
    Bah? Humbug? No, I deserved it

  4. I finished the bulk of this fairly steadily. And then spent the same time again on AREA, SKATE/SUM. No, I don’t know why either. I thought maybe a Brea could be a Scottish field haha

    Thanks to previous puzzles: I remembered there was a bloke named Eric Morecambe, and that posh people are U-pper class.

    Things I didn’t understand until this blog: not cricket (at one point I had written in ‘affair’), out = aiming, didn’t see the pensioner anagram thought it was a REALLY cryptic definition.

    I didn’t like ‘lose’ = taken away, but I guess you can lose your rights (not that you should 🤬)
    I don’t like generic = comprehensive. I also agree that generic means non specific and comprehensive means all/everything, not anything.

    Pensioner was my favourite clue today! Thank you William and Jalna!

    1. Close! La Brea is an oil-field (pitch lake) in S. W. Trinidad source of the world’s tarmacadam.

      1. Bob Hope used to work “The La Brea Tar Pits” (near Brea, a suburb of Los Angeles), into the punchline of many of his jokes.

    2. Same on SUM/SKATE – those small words can be nasty little buggers. Even with the S & M (raised eyebrows) it needed two alphabet trawls of the vowels to realise SUM.

  5. Like vinyl1 I was just a little slow on seeing some of the answers here and at 11 minutes I exceeded my target by one minute. I didn’t actually know YO-YO as a diet but with a Y-checker in place and a hyphen in the enumeration it couldn’t be anything else.

  6. I took the delayed 16.30 flight from Addis Ababa.

    FOI 2dn ITCHY
    LOI 4ac AREA!!
    COD 17dn UNFAIR
    WOD 7dn AUDEN

    YO-YO MA is one of ’er indoors’ favourites!

  7. After Friday’s metEoRIC bit of headscratching, GENERIC was FOI. First pass of the clues gave me 8 answers and the left side filled steadily with the PROSECUTION and PENSIONER anagrams unravelling quickly. Needed GRIPPING across the top to get to NEIGHS (had been thinking naysay) and then IMPOUND.

    Didn’t really understand why ETHIOPIAN is “somewhere in Africa” … ETHIOPIA yes but not the -N version.

    Couldn’t decide from the clue whether I was looking for PEACE or piece, but the A of SKATE decided it. Hadn’t been able to unravel such a simple anagram on previous looks. Amazes me how that happens.

    Top right held out until I remember DEN but I didn’t know U=posh, so I was screwed and putting ApDEN instead of NHO AUDEN. POLENTA was also something of a dredge as food&drink is my biggest weakness (see also skate?).

    Liked TEMPEST when I finally got there and needed it to get SUM and just scraped in under 40-mins with LOSE-IT which seems obvious now in retrospect!

    Thanks to Jalna and William. Definitely feel I am in the Bumblers camp 🙂

    1. L-plates, as indicated by Will in his blog the definition of ETHIOPIAN is from somewhere in Africa. But perhaps you meant it puzzled you whilst solving and the blog cleared it up for you?

      1. I did read Will’s blog and mentally note his def’n as I read; apologies for not going back up and being precise when I was typing my comment.

        It still doesn’t jump off the page why the -N version is correct … someone comes “from Ethiopia” not from Ethiopian … but it’s a fairly simple anagram so wasn’t too concerned by it.

        1. In the middle of my 3rd 1200m rep over an hour later, I finally got my head round this. Because “from Ethiopia” is still substituting “somewhere in Africa”. No wonder I’m slow when faced with non-anagrams which don’t give you the letters!

          Edit: seem to have lost edit ability on previous comments. Think the site must have rebooted and logged me out as avatar was missing too.

          1. As long as you are logged in you can edit for the next 24 hours. This remains even if you become logged out for some reason and log back in again.

            1. The edit problem was a little more complicated. I’m not being pedantic to win points, just make you aware in case someone else has similar problem and starts claiming there’s a bug in the system!

              Before I set up my account, I was able to post here by providing name/email with each comment. The system automatically remember these details because I ticked the box to do so.

              While I never log out I’m guessing the system rebooted over the weekend as I notice some changes. And therefore when I posted above, it was done using my saved non-account info which has same name but no avatar. Also a small vs capital P on Plates.

              Now it appears you are able to edit these comments BUT only when using the same device you posted them from. And I didn’t do that, I logged in on my other computer!

              (I may be crappy at QCs but I was damn good at debugging and root cause problem-solving issues when I worked in IT).

              Anyway all good, thanks for your replies

              1. Interesting observation, thanks. The root cause will be that the comment editing function uses a cookie, which will only be on the device you used to create the comment originally. By the way the system was not rebooted when < a href="https://timesforthetimes.co.uk/site-enhancements">these changes were made at the weekend. It will probably have been that your login session had expired that meant you had to log in again.

    2. ETHIOPIAN: note that ‘from’ is underlined.
      ‘problem’=SUM is a chestnut, worth remembering.

  8. Again I don’t have a time as I forgot to check the clock.
    LOI: and for some reason taking an age to see: LOSE IT.
    I also didn’t know the diet but there was only one answer and PENSIONER went in with a shrug.
    Favourite: UNFAIR.

  9. 9.11 with a typo

    Bit sluggish here even with two cups of coffee consumed. But funnily no problem with AREA which was my FOI

    As I dotted around the grid I seemed to land on the only clues that didn’t immediately spring to mind. And struggled for some reason with ETHIOPIAN at the end


    Thanks William and Jalna

  10. Couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength today, leading to a slowish 19:45. I’m still struggling to find any sense in which ‘generic’ could substitute for ‘comprehensive’. And then I held myself up for ages by insisting that Hogarth made lithographs, until I finally spotted that it was an anagram.

  11. Started with GENERIC which when in purely based on the clear wordplay rather than the definition. This opened up the NW nicely and led to a speedy solve until left with AREA and POLENTA both of which required all the checkers before I could make sense of them.
    Finished in 7.15 with COD to the topical GRIPPING
    Thanks to William

  12. I find it always takes a while for me to get on Jalna’s wavelength, but I was quicker at it today. I hesitated over YO-YO not seeing “abandoned early” as removing the final letter. Doh. I liked the topical surface of GRIPPING and the destitute PENSIONER. Thank-you Jalna and William. 5:03.

  13. Second DNF in two days, and this time a thumping real one not a technical one as I could not complete the SW corner. Not sure why, as parsing for the clues I missed all seems clear when William explains them.

    Which is more than I can say for some of the other clues. Even though I put it in, I think Comprehensive = Generic really struggles to work – I can’t think of any sentence where they are interchangeable – and Expressly aiming = Out is another stretch. And even Still = Peace had my eyebrows twitching: peace could be stillness, or still (as in still air) could I suppose be peaceful, but IMO it was another loose one.

    Ah well. Many thanks to William for the blog

  14. 1311 Lincoln Cathedral becomes tallest building in the world

    13:11, solved before Surbiton. Very slow to get started, not seeing the first 10 clues until PHOTOGRAPHS FOI.

    That’s twice we have had “Morecambe perhaps” =Eric, and I think “bay” would be a good answer. Morecambe Bay seems the canonical bay. Other Erics are available.


  15. Couldn’t work out if it was going to be PIECE or PEACE till I had the A checker; I don’t like it when the homophone indicator is in the middle of the clue, so you don’t know which end it applies to.

    Also took a long time to see AREA and ROUTINE.

    FOI GENERIC (from word play; agree that the definition is a bit iffy); LOI PEACE; COD PENSIONER; time 08:15 for 1.7K and a Decent Day.

    Many thanks William and Jalna.


  16. Another slow and not very steady solve from me. I thought I was going well down the LHS but (like William, I now realise) I came to grief with PROSECUTION because I saw an anagram and biffed ….TING. Very careless – serves me right for hurrying. That made POLENTA impossible and I began to doubt UNFAIR with no reason. There were some fine clues but also lots of trip wires and I tripped and fell flat on my face just into the SCC. I finished, as always, but I shared quite a few of the difficulties mentioned above.
    I was not on wavelength. I should stop listening to an hour and a half of depressing news before starting the QC. My fault – not Jalna’s – so thanks to both. John M.
    P.s. Thanks to Jack and the ever-engaging Tina for the suggestion yesterday that I might open two tabs on my iPad to avoid too much flicking up and down the screen. It worked. However, after my performance today, I couldn’t face a detailed trawl through the blog. ☹️

  17. Another disaster for me. Two sittings thanks to the Routine/Area intersection and a clumsy unparsed Phase at 21ac to cap it off. I really need a holiday, and thankfully that is just about to happen. Invariant

  18. I seem to be going through a rough patch with the QC. I’ve started doing some 15x15s in a published Times Cryptic Crossword book . I’m nearly half way through and getting quicker at those and slower at the QC. FOI GENERIC, YO YO a guess, the anagrams PENSIONER and ETHIOPIAN required several checkers and I had to do an alphabet trawl for my LOI PROSPECT. 15:20 for a poor day.

  19. Thought I had finished just inside target at 9.50, only to discover two errors. I stupidly biffed PHOTOCOPIES for PHOTOGRAPHS at 10dn and then forgot to go back and check the parsing. This made the anagram at 18ac a word ending in O, and I deduced that ‘one with a nest egg’ must be a PENRIENSO (possibly an Italian miser!). 🤭

  20. 30 something mins but one of my occasional completions. I like the idea of being a Bumbler (for those of us who take longer than SCC) thanks L-plates!

    1. We’re definitely bumblers but very pleased to finish without aids, as we did today. In 42 minutes over lunch.

      1. Well done ElizMaryH – a 42-min solve is better than a 39-min DNF *thumbs up*

  21. Slow for me too – a good couple of minutes over target.

    PROSECUTING rather than PROSECUTION made POLENTA difficult and my LOI.

    I quite liked GRIPPING.


  22. 9’17” held up by PROSPECTUS (I knew the word I was looking for but just couldn’t find it in my head) and AREA.


    Nice puzzle thanks Jalna and William.

  23. Heading for a PB today (13 mins currently) when after 12 mins I had all but AREA and ROUTINE. Then grinding halt until 20 mins. I just could not see ‘live’ as ‘are’ and I don’t know why I couldn’t get the other one. Hey ho.

    I liked a lot today but especially YO-YO, UNFAIR and my COD for PENSIONER. Very clever. @William – as I understand it your pension is always available when you retire but you cannot afford to retire when your pension is available.

    Thanks to William for blog and Jalna for a clever enjoyable puzzle.

  24. Very much a relisher today 😊 I agree that a couple of the clues were a bit loose, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this one – I thought most of the surfaces were great. RAY, LOSE IT, PENSIONER and PHOTOGRAPHS all got ticks.
    FOI Nacho LOI Pensioner COD Yo-yo
    10 minutes
    Thanks for the fun Jalna, and to William for the very good blog!

  25. 15 mins…

    I thought this was ok, although I also initially biffed “Photocopies” for 10dn. As Eric has come up recently, 1dn wasn’t an issue, but my main hold up was having a blank at 5ac “Area”.

    FOI – 1dn “Generic”
    LOI – 5ac “Area”
    COD – 10dn “Photographs” – lovely surface.

    Thanks as usual!

  26. 9 1/2 mins so a good day. Getting worse on the 15x15s though.
    LOI lose it.
    COD lose it.

  27. All’s well in the Random household today. I sped through in 24 minutes – very fast for me, although still in the SCC (but not perhaps among the Bumblers). Mrs Random trounced me, however, with her time of 14 minutes. She said that she wished she could solve anagrams without having to write the letters out in a circle, as she feels that limits her ability to set a new PB (currently 11 minutes).

    My FOI was NACHO and, for some reason, NEIGHS made me smile. My LOsI were AUDEN, whom I have never read, and AREA.

    Many thanks to Jalna and William.

    1. Here’s a taste of Auden if you’ve never read anything by him:
      So,to remember our changing garden, we
      Are linked as children in a circle dancing:
      My Dear One is mine as mirrors are lonely,
      And the high green hill sits always by the sea.

      1. Dear curryowen,
        Thankyou for the Auden passage. I am a Philistine in matters of literature, but I will make sure I read at least one of his works sometime soon.
        Mr R

    2. If you’ve ever seen Four Weddings etc, you’ll remember Funeral Blues (Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone… ) – that’s by WH Auden 😊

  28. I did very well here until the last clue (19d). I just could not answer it. So I came here and checked my answers and was dismayed to see I had 21a incorrect. I put PIECE rather than PEACE. I read “segment” as being the definition, rather than “still”. This, of course, was why I could not answer 19d.

  29. Shame I did this so much later than usual as I seem to have done well, coming in all green in under 10. Ten on the first pass of acrosses which is a lot of me and that helped mightily with the downs. Enjoyed ‘are’ for ‘live’ – not what I expected – and GRIPPING was pleasing to solve. Share L-Plates ETHIOPIAN eyebrows, but that’s all we shared today. A long time since I did 1200m reps. 10×400 in a minute with a minute’s recovery – that’s a proper session!

    1. My PB for 400m is 59.5 – at age 15, on a lumpy-bumpy grass track. So, your “proper session” definitely sounds like a proper session.

    2. That is a session indeed.

      I believe I might have been capable of that in my twenties when I played all sorts of sports and had a 30-inch vertical jump. Certainly I would have loved grinding myself into the track attempting it!

      Currently rebuilding the speed my legs have lost over the years but as I also want to do occasional distance events, I have to work on the aerobic side a lot too (hence 1200s and the like).

  30. Late to this. LOI was PEACE only because it was the last one I looked at. That might have been a help.
    09:45 on the clock and no big hold-ups.
    My favourite was POLENTA.

  31. Better than my usual performance with Jalna. A thoroughly enjoyable QC.

    I studied Auden for A level. Couldn’t get on with him. Give me Philip Larkin any day!

Comments are closed.