Times Quick Cryptic 2176 by Orpheus


I had great problems in the NW with 3dn and 8ac. The rest went in surprisingly smoothly in 6-7 minutes but, having done the blank-staring bit, I managed to break them down and ended up on 10 minutes.

Some tricky GK

Definitions are underlined in bold italics.

1 Cut off brewer’s cart reversing in naval establishment (8)
DOCKYARD – cut off (DOCK), brewer’s cart backwards (YARD).
6 A function originally held in church eating-place (4)
CAFE – a (A) and (F)unction inside church (CE).
8 Gesture of great importance (6)
SIGNAL – a tough double definition.
9 Customer’s legal right protected by court (6)
CLIENT – legal right (LIEN) inside court (CT).
10 Spiritual leader, one with mother in Newcastle? (4)
IMAM – one (I), mother in Newcastle (MAM).
11 Frivolous old man after power in N Wales town (8)
FLIPPANT – old man (PA) after power (P) inside N Wales town (FLINT). Dnk Flint is located in north-east Wales, adjoining the estuary of the River Dee to the north of the town of Mold.
12 Indian peasant at entrance to university (5)
HINDU – peasant (HIND), (U)niversity. Dnk Hind which has lots of definitions as well as peasant – deer, back, skilled farm worker, steward, a fish.
13 Fireplace in entertaining legend (5)
INGLE – in enterta(ING LE)gend.
15 Good Scottish party welcomed by eg assistance animal (5,3)
GUIDE DOG -good in Scottish (GUID), party (DO) inside eg (EG).
17 Cover over, at first, open-air swimming pool (4)
LIDO – cover (LID), (O)ver.
19 Sheets of cloud included in illustration (6)
STRATI – in illu(STRATI)on.
20 Post tablet a doctor finally supplies (6)
PILLAR – tablet (PILL), a (A), docto(R).
21 Old PM without teeth leaving gallery (4)
EDEN – without teeth (EDEN)tate. Dnk Edentate but gallery is usually Tate and the PM is well known.
22 In Irish county, see Scottish cow, perhaps (8)
GALLOWAY – inside Irish County (GALWAY) put see (LO).
2 Tranquillising drug, one taken with hesitation after work (5)
OPIUM – one (I) with hesitation (UM) after work (OP).
3 Fellow clan member finally seen in mask, surprisingly (7)
KINSMAN – see(N) inside an anagram (surprisingly) of IN MASK.
4 It sounds like everything a cobbler needs (3)
AWL – homophone (sounds like) all.
5 Refusing to be going downhill (9)
DECLINING – double definition.
6 A great ape caught him up at last (5)
CHIMP – caught (C), him (HIM), u(P).
7 Prospective groom accepting new money (7)
FINANCE -prospective groom (FIANCÉ) holding new (N).
11 Abandoned infant worrying don in gulf (9)
FOUNDLING – anagram (worrying) of DON IN GULF.
12 Searched around area regularly visited by ghosts (7)
HAUNTED – searched (HUNTED) around area (A).
14 Old astronomer’s girl and boy touring island (7)
GALILEO – girl (GAL) and boy (LEO) outside island (I).
16 Represented on paper as tired and haggard (5)
DRAWN – double definition.
18 Doctor with a degree in theatre studies (5)
DRAMA – doctor (DR), a (A), degree (MA).
20 Drink brought up for friend (3)
PAL – drink upwards (PAL).


57 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2176 by Orpheus”

  1. The ones that didn’t require any GK were really straightforward

    The ones that required GK, well.

    I can’t believe I forgot ‘lien’ as a legal right though, we just had that one.

    I disliked SIGNAL immensely.

    I found myself tricked on a number of occasions with words I thought were wordplay but were not, eg regularly

    And I struggle with words such as ‘originally’ and ‘finally’ to know which word(s) it is pointing to, but I get there eventually. Lots of those today.

  2. 14:02 here, but with a pernicious typo for a technical DNF. Also NHO this meaning of “hind”: the definition is marked as both “archaic” and “Scottish” in the Google dictionary, so I think this was on the edge for a QC.

  3. 13:40. A definite Celtic feel to my two favourite clues-FLIPPANT (Wales) and GALLOWAY(Ireland and Scotland). Needed blog to learn mam was mother in Newcastle-thanks for that and rest of very informative blog.

  4. 13:26. I knew all the pieces involved in this puzzle but it took quite some time for me to fish them out of my brain.

  5. I came close to throwing in TATE at 21ac, but read the clue more carefully. Biffed GALLOWAY, not realizing that that’s not a county (I actually knew Galway, but). I agree that ‘hind’ is not really QC vocabulary. 5:58.

  6. 9 minutes with only HINDU and GALLOWAY giving pause for thought. I think I have met HIND as a peasant previously but I wasn’t completely sure of it.

    Congratulations are due to Orpheus as this is his 200th Quick Cryptic.

  7. 22 minutes with EDEN BIFD.
    I either didn’t know HIND/peasant or had forgotten and GALLOWAY was built up from wordplay.

  8. I have definitely met one of the obscure definitions of HIND before, because I remember getting jolly cross about it. I think it was “farm worker” though. Had to get all the checkers to be sure today.

    FOI & COD DOCKYARD, LOI GALLOWAY, time 06:28 for 1.1K and an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Orpheus and Chris.


    1. “What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds? Turn thee Benvolio, look upon thy death.”

      Tybalt to Benvolio at the beginning of Romeo and Juliet – it sticks in my mind, because I can almost, even now, hear Michael York sneering the lines in the Zeffirelli version……

  9. 13 minutes. Congratulations to Orpheus on reaching the 200. I wasn’t sure quite where peasant fitted in, so thanks for clearing that up. I also bifd EDEN. Many thanks all.

  10. Game of two halves plus extra time!

    1st parse and half done in a little over 6-mins. Then steady solving with BIFs for SIGNAL (didn’t understand the double-def), FLIPPANT (only Flint I know has big water supply problems in Michigan), HINDU, EDEN.

    Final 5-mins or so in the SE, staring blankly at L-LAR and G-P–O-A- until I realised it wasn’t “lap” but actually PAL

    As a soft Southerner, COD goes to IMAM

    26:40 solve buoyed by seeing half a grid done in six minutes. Perhaps the good times are ahead!

    Thanks to Chris and congratulations to Orpheus on 200th – very much enjoyed that.

  11. The SW corner held me up most. I’m another who didn’t know that definition of HIND so hesitated over the answer until HAUNTED completed the checkers. LOI STRATI, not seeing it was a hidden until I got the answer from the checkers and definition. Very neat with smooth surfaces as always from Orpheus. Thank-you Chris and Orpheus and congratulations on the double century. 5:14.

  12. 9 minutes for this mostly very addressable puzzle but I join the many who didn’t know that meaning of Hind and I do wonder if a word labelled as “Archaic, Scottish” is really suitable for a QC. I wonder when the word was last used in real life – north or south of the border.

    Also (again like many) biffed Eden, not having heard of Edentate, and not really seeing how the wordplay works. The clue says “… leaving gallery” but it actually means “gallery is leaving”, ie delete Tate. Does that really work? In the phrase “X leaving gallery”, the usual meaning is that it is X that is no longer there, not the gallery.

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog, and congratulations to Orpheus for the double ton

    1. I suppose the whole point of cryptics is that they are not straightforward. In this case you could see the instruction as being to put ‘edentate’ into the answer leaving the ‘tate’ part behind (off the grid).

      1. Thanks Chris. Now you explain, yes I can just about see the clue that way, though it has required rather more retrofitting (“here is the answer, is it possible to bend the clue to fit it?” rather than the more normal “here is the clue, what answer fits it?”) than is common in the QC to my mind.

        I suppose the point is that there is often a fine line between clues being “delightfully challenging” and “dubiously misconstructed”, and on this one my initial reaction was that it overstepped that line. But I accept others will draw the line in a different place! It’s just a shame Orpheus didn’t rejig the clue as eg “Old PM, half toothless”.

        1. Totally agree with you Cedric. The clue was poorly constructed and your version would have been far better.

            1. I fear Professor that the experts are against us. One accepts the verdict and I will therefore note for future reference that setters can use the word leave to indicate one wants either the bit departing or the bit left behind after the departure, and “the matter will leave me there”. By which of course all will understand that I mean “I will leave the matter there” …

    2. This sort of locution is quite common in clues. If EDEN leaves EDENTATE, you have EDEN and you have TATE; it’s up to the solver to figure out which. As Phil (Busman) says below [well, above], the clue is perfectly OK.

  13. Seemed easier today, esp in the bottom half, esp SE. GUIDE DOG, FOUNDLING and AWL were FOsI, but I hesitated about the HIND too.
    LOsI were SIGNAL and CLIENT. Liked FLIPPANT, remembering Flintshire vaguely. Biffed EDEN without attempting to parse.
    Congrats to Orpheus and thanks to Chris.

  14. Enjoyed FOUNDLING- what a great word! Gave up with signal- too hard for me- thanks all

  15. FOI was DOCKYARD. LOI was FOUNDLING. HIND as a peasant rang a very faint bell from a previous puzzle. 5:54. Thanks Orpheus and Chris.

  16. Slow, quick, quick, slow for me. Took me a while to tune in but then whizzed along until left with the first half of 1a (couldn’t see past boat or ship, neither of which worked) and KINSMAN, which I thought was my LOI until I saw I hadn’t completed STRATI during my proofreading.
    Had similar GK issues to others but generally the clueing or definition was generous enough not to hold me up too long.
    Finished in 9.38 with COD to SIGNAL
    Thanks to Chris

  17. A Plymouthian can’t help but like a grid starting with DOCKYARD, and a steady plod from there saw me home inside 30 mins whilst watching the builders over the road causing traffic chaos. Same issues as mentioned above, but clueing was helpful enough for the obscurities.

  18. At 19mins my solving didn’t seem too rusty, but in any case it was nice to come back to a fairly straightforward Orpheus, hind excepted. Flippant was loi, by which time I was thankfully able to rule out the other end of the clue. Edentate was new to me, but *d*n didn’t leave much doubt as to the PM – we can only begin to guess what fun future setters will have with the current incumbent. . . Invariant

  19. Pleased to finish in a quick time for me at 7.33. Like others, wasn’t sure about hind for peasant, and if the word edentate existed. Put STRATI in and returned to it to parse it and only then realising it was a hidden. I seem to have trouble spotting the bleeding obvious even when directed to do so by the clueing.

  20. Nice to see my home county of Flintshire featuring in the crossword and the the blog. The county town is Mold in the way that is counter-intuitive and typical of how we do things here. Flint castle is worth a visit if you are in the area. As Cadw says: “Flint Castle is also famous as the location of a fateful meeting in 1399 between Richard II and his rival to the crown Henry Bolingbroke (later Henry IV), an event immortalised in Shakespeare’s Richard II.” For those not from round these parts, Cadw is the historic environment service of the Welsh Government. Anyway, an enjoyable puzzle that I solved mostly from the clues than the wordplay.

    1. Very interesting to hear about Flint which I’d never heard of – with a bit of extra information hopefully I won’t forget it – many thanks!

  21. Similar time to yesterday.

    NHO FLINT, or HIND in that context, but biffable.


  22. Really pleased to have solved all of this without looking at the solution. Probably inside an hour which is brilliant for me.

    1. Well done DoubleL.

      While much of it came quickly to me, there were certainly some potential blocks in there for us slower solvers.

  23. 26 mins so reasonable for me. Even though I entered HINDU as the word play was clear, how can ‘Indian’ be a synonym of ‘Hindu’?
    I also struggled with the clunky cluing of EDEN as per previous comments.

    Thanks Chris for blog.

    1. Per Collins: “an inhabitant or native of Hindustan or India, esp one adhering to Hinduism”

  24. “Rage in EDEN, jigsaw sequence, but no-one could see the end” (Ultravox). This seems to be more of a rage ABOUT EDEN, but as noted above I was happy with the clue.

    Lost time backing out ‘lustra’ as I’d realised it was a hidden, but saw the wrong sequence. Clouds are not one of my specialities.

    TIME 4:31

  25. Completed in 11 minutes (fast for me) without any particular hold-ups, although not all were parsed. Wondered about “hind” for peasant but felt that it couldn’t be anything else. Didn’t parse KINSMAN or FOUNDLING and only parsed the first four letters of GUIDE DOG. Great puzzle though – thanks (and congratulations) to Orpheus and thanks also to Chris for providing the missing parsings.

    FOI – 1ac DOCKYARD
    LOI – 8ac SIGNAL
    COD – 21ac EDEN which I thought was very clever. Also liked DOCKYARD and GALILEO.

  26. Just inside the SCC today with DOCKYARD very much my LOI. New GK today in hind, Flint and edentate (love this!) – many thanks for the explanations Chris. Wasn’t too sure about HINDU clued by Indian. Enjoyed SIGNAL (took me a while to see the DD) and FLIPPANT. Thanks to Orpheus.

  27. I found the hidden depths in this puzzle starting with FOI LAP. It took me ages before I realised that was wrong. BOATYARD with a ? was another problem at 1a.
    Fortunately I had decided on a relaxed, untimed solve on paper so I cannot tell you how long this took.
    I could not parse HINDU and EDEN so add me to that list.
    But Orpheus is to be congratulated for a challenging puzzle and his 200.

  28. About 12:00, with SIGNAL LOI. A couple remained unparsed until coming here (EDEN, GALLOWAY).

    Got STRATI after reading a comment revealing the answer on the comments page to Giles Coren’s column today. Bad form.

  29. I thought this one wasn’t too bad at all. I only need help with one clue (Galloway).

    I was a little uneasy with flippant at first as I did not realise it meant frivolous.

    An enjoyable puzzle.

  30. Looks like I’m out of step with the group today, I found this a bit of a joyless trudge. Edentate and Hind seemed like the sort of things a nina forces into a grid so I’m surprised to hear there isn’t one. All green in 13. Solved on a phone later than usual, perhaps I’d have enjoyed it more if I’d done it in the kitchen before the house wakes up as usual – pesky meetings.

  31. I’m pleased to have been able to download the Times today having finally been able to access the slow, slow Wi-fi on Queen Victoria. I took a couple of minutes over target after enjoying a good lunch and still buzzing from a fine piano recital.
    Now I can try to download yesterday’s puzzle and try to maintain my 100% record for the QC.
    Thanks to both, John M.

  32. Much relieved to get in in 27 minutes today (a good time for me), as Orpheus is my most afeared setter and I was struggling at about the halfway point. However, I managed to correct the carelessly biffed shipYARD to DOCKYARD and several things then seemed to fall into place.

    Like some above, I DNK the meaning of HIND, I had forgotten the meaning of LIEN and I failed to fully parse a number of other clues, so I count myself quite fortunate to cross the line unscathed.

    Many thanks to Orpheus and Chris.

  33. Struggled again with a few clues: galloway, foundling, hindu, signal.
    LOI Eden
    COD Dockyard.
    Queen Victoria sounds nice, I’ll have to make do with the lido booked for this weekend.

  34. dnf…

    Seem to be against the grain today, but I found this hard and really struggled with the NE corner. Didn’t help that I biffed 7dn “Fortune” without parsing it properly which then scuppered 11ac “Flippant” and 9ac “Client”.

    Nearly put “Hand” for 12ac until the penny dropped (DNK the other meaning of Hind) and had a bit of a mare trying to spell “Galileo”. Couldn’t quite convince myself that a Chimp was a great ape either.

    FOI – 2dn “Opium”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 11dn “Foundling”

    Thanks as usual!

  35. Very slow in sorting out 1a dockland and 3d kinsman. Put in Eden without knowing the tate part. As others dnk hind as peasant, not in our reference books, but answer was obvious.

  36. As a soft southerner married to a Geordie, Mam didn’t bother me (although he never called his mother Mam!) But what did confuse me was that – I thought – the structure ‘A with B’ means you put the B first, so I was struggling to work out what a MAMI was!
    I’m glad to be in such illustrious company as Phil – lustra / strati!
    When I was a child I had a wonderful jigsaw of all the counties of England and Wales. The pieces were the shapes of the counties, and I remember Flint being absolutely tiny – there was always a danger it would get lost, and I suppose in some ways, it did 🙁
    As the years have passed, I’ve got to like Orpheus’s puzzles a lot but I’m afraid I found this one a bit of a trudge – nothing really stood out as COD. However, congratulations are in order for another double century – long may all our setters continue to baffle / amuse us!
    10 minutes FOI Awl (stared with the downs today) LOI Flippant
    Thanks and congrats to Orpheus and thanks Chris

    1. I think the “A with B” structure is interchangeable – I’ve certainly seen it used both ways.

      What threw me more was the fact it had Mother in Newcastle. We used to use Mam in the North West all the time, so it definitely isn’t Newcastle specific.

  37. Found this one hard going at first and only got the shorter words in my first pass through the acrosses. Thankfully I found the downs easier and even though I slowed myself up by initially writing FOUNDLING where DECLINING should be, I came home in 21:21 which isn’t too bad for me. NHO guid or INGLE and had forgotten lien, but remembered the farmworker meaning of hind, so it didn’t seem too much of a stretch for it to mean peasant too. Edentates are the group of toothless mammals that includes anteaters, so that was okay once I’d got a checker. Anyway, COD to DOCKYARD. Thanks Chris and Orpheus.

  38. Managed this one easily, just for a change! Zipped through with crossers making HINDU (NHO = peasant) obvious.

  39. Another finished, so a happy day. But biffed HINDU, GUIDE DOG and EDEN. Really not happy about Indian = Hindu, what about the Muslims and Christians (amongst others). Can someone please explain. Thanks.

    1. Think “Hindustan” one of the old names for India. And hence “Hindustani” the main language of India. The words Indian and Hindu both derive from the Indus River – India was the land beyond the Indus. In previous times the term Hindu referred more generally to Indians and their culture,cuisine, way of life etc. You’re right though nowadays Hindu is used just for the religion. To me it’s similar to the question as to whether Jewish refers to a race or religion.

      1. Per Collins: “an inhabitant or native of Hindustan or India, esp one adhering to Hinduism”

  40. Technical DNF as put ALL for 4dn. Otherwise on the setter’s wavelength. Great puzzle and blog.

  41. 13:10

    Pretty straightforward today. Only parsed IMAM after the fact seeing as how mam is hardly Newcastle specific.

  42. The Times Quick Cryptic – a fun shorter version of the main puzzle, for those who are short of time (…and who were also born before 1960, went to Oxford or Cambridge, have a smattering of Latin, and enough general knowledge to beat the Eggheads on every episode. No knowledge of the 21st Century required…)

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