Times Quick Cryptic 2185 by Izetti

Hello all.  When possible I like to keep the setter’s identity a mystery until after solving, so I come to the puzzle without preconceptions and can guess and then check who was responsible.  Today’s setter not only gave himself away courtesy of a couple of religious references, but also signed the puzzle at 11a.  All good fun, for which thanks to Izetti.

Timewise, I was a little slower than usual at just under 9 minutes.  These past few weeks I’ve often been on the sluggish side – not sure whether to blame brain-fail or the puzzles!

Definitions are underlined in the clues below.  In the explanations, quoted indicators are in italics and I’ve capitalised and emboldened letters which appear in the ANSWER.  For clarity, I omit most link words and some juxtaposition indicators.

1a Greatest achievement of expert enthralling millions (4)
ACME ACE (expert) surrounding (enthralling) M (millions)
4a Irresponsible act of Nero, supposedly cheating (8)
FIDDLING — Two definitions, the first referring to Nero reportedly fiddling while Rome burned
8a Seaside resort has to keep smart (8)
HASTINGS HAS containing (to keep) STING (smart)
9a Old boy brought aboard ship cries (4)
SOBS OB (old boy) put inside (brought aboard) SS (ship)
10a European hostelry led by female (4)
FINN INN (hostelry) preceded by (led by) F (female)
11a Fellow hugged by unconventional padre is forgiven (8)
PARDONED DON (fellow) surrounded by (hugged by) an anagram of (unconventional) PADRE
12a Hasten around capital city (6)
ATHENS HASTEN anagrammed (around)
14a Make box for storing eggs primarily (6)
CREATE CRATE (box), whose purpose here is containing (for storing) the first letter of (… primarily) Eggs
16a Company vehicle, one provided by head (8)
BUSINESS BUS (vehicle) + I (one) + NESS (head: a headland)
18a Christian virtue of work embraced by ambassador (4)
HOPE OP (work) surrounded by (embraced by) HE (His/Her Excellency, ambassador)
19a Beware a hollow space! (4)
CAVE — A double definition, CAVE being Latin for beware and also schoolboy slang of a certain era
20a Girl sitting by one slope in biblical territory (8)
GALILEAN GAL (girl) + I (one) + LEAN (slope)
22a Bothered, deep rest being tricky (8)
PESTERED DEEP REST anagrammed (being tricky)
23a Periods when shock is reported (4)
DAYS — This sounds like (… is reported) DAZE (shock)
2d War vehicle in church, leading to a disturbance (7)
CHARIOT CH (church) + A + RIOT (disturbance)
3d School said to be taken in (5)
EATEN — A homophone of (… said) ETON (school)
4d A Parisian going after loud and amusing activities (3)
FUN UN (a, Parisian) following (going after) F (loud)
5d Turns aside from area in East Anglian town (9)
DISTRACTS TRACT (area) in DISS (East Anglian town)
6d Somehow graceful, having smile so out of the ordinary (7)
LISSOME SMILE SO anagrammed (out of the ordinary)
7d Lord turning up in Hotel Bonaparte (5)
NOBLE — We find the answer hidden in reverse in (turning up in) HotEL BONaparte
11d Permit, fancy green, for traveller (9)
PASSENGER PASS (permit) + an anagram of (fancy) GREEN
13d Demanding information in passage going out (7)
EXIGENT GEN (information) in EXIT (passage going out)
15d Garden style is supreme and surprisingly airy (7)
TOPIARY TOP (supreme) and an anagram of (surprisingly) AIRYI can’t not mention The Topiary Cat
17d Employment of university person deemed wise (5)
USAGE U (university) + SAGE (person deemed wise)
18d House was first to be susceptible to rain coming in? (5)
HOLED HO (house) + LED (was first)
21d Cover I had left on top (3)
LID ID (I had) with L (left) preceding (on top, in a down entry)

66 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2185 by Izetti”

  1. 13:32. Rolled along smoothly until held up by CHARIOT and HASTINGS for a few minutes of head-scratching. GALILEAN was my COD. Blog was lots of fun as always.

  2. I never know who’s the setter. since I never notice the name written in tiny print above the grid. Indeed, I couldn’t tell you more than a few names off the top of my head, although Izetti is one of them (Don Manley). He’s giving up the Mephisto at the end of this year; I hope he’ll still be doing 15x15s. 4:49.

      1. We will treasure them, all the more, for their rarity. Thank you for all the fun and challenge, to date.

  3. I thought it was on the tougher side with some unknown words for me, e.g. lissome (obvious from the crossers). Isn’t “Galilee” the biblical territory – “Galilean” being a native of Galilee?

    1. Or something in Galilee, hence the underlining of ‘in’ in Kitty’s blog.

  4. Another missed target here, but only just, at 11 minutes. Before I had all the checkers at 5dn I had written in DIS(PLACE)S which almost works, sort of. Other than that, it was a steady solve.

  5. 20 minutes with nothing to exigent and all parsed along the way.
    FOI: ACME.
    LOI: CAVE. I needed the checking letters before the penny dropped.
    Favourite: CREATE

  6. I found this a little easier than the two Izettis I’ve blogged recently. COD to HASTINGS. I liked the topiary cat. Thanks Izetti and Kitty. 4:31.

  7. Nice puzzle from Don. Unfortunately a DNF for me. I got all the way through to my LOI at 19A and then struggled for 10 mins before giving up. Didn’t know the Latin and had ‘CARE’ stuck in my head with no way of parsing it.
    Thanks kitty and Izetti

  8. I found this a real struggle which I’m putting down to post weekend doziness. Usual high quality of clues from Izetti which had me going down all sorts of blind alleys, but I got there in the end, finishing in 13.31 with LOI CHARIOT – looking at the wrong era of war vehicles by about 2,000 years!
    Thanks to Kitty

  9. I did this on my phone and was quite surprised to learn it was a puzzle by Izetti. Nothing wrong with it but not to my mind as sparkling as his usual offerings – I thought Galilean very slightly dubious while doing it, and despite Jack’s explanation above I still don’t think the surface is his best – nor as challenging, as this took me 8 minutes only, about half my usual time for one from the Don.

    And of that 8 minutes, nearly 2 were on my LOI Cave, slowed by initially thinking “hollowed space” gave SE. But a word search showed no words going -ASE that worked (fun fact for anyone employing word search on -A-E: there are over 150 possibilities!)

    Puzzle may have been a bit workmanlike but blog on the other hand was top quality – many thanks Kitty!

  10. Well, I feared the worst after some of Izetti’s recent stinkers but this seemed a relative doddle. I moved quite quickly and, after a short period realising that my biff for 5d couldn’t be right and searching for the sting in HASTINGS, I finished with EXIGENT and CAVE. I was almost 2 mins under target at 13.11.
    Nice puzzle and a good blog. Thanks to both. John M.

  11. 8.28

    Struggled a little with this one but it was all perfectly logical and fair – like our blogger I guessed it was an Izetti though I don’t normally find his as tough as some other solvers

    Like Vinyl couldn’t see the anagram for ATHENS

    GEN went in came out and went back in for EXIGENT which was my LOI

    Also liked HASTINGS

    Thanks Kitty and Izetti

  12. I found this to be one of Izetti’s less taxing efforts, and was done and dusted fairly quickly.

    Thanks to Don as ever, and to Kitty (the Topiary Cat is definitely my type of feline. No spitting or scratching involved).

    TIME 3:31

  13. I found many clues surprisingly easy and a few clues very hard. I have no idea why it took me so long to juggle the letters for ATHENS. I learned about a myth at 4a. I struggled to recall the town of Diss. HASTINGS, my COD, was my penultimate solve. My LOI was CHARIOT. A little outside target in 9:27.

  14. I always look forward to Izetti’s QC puzzles and this was another pleasure.
    Done in 12 minutes with LOI GALILEAN , deliberately as I need the checkers. Thought about Gallillee but hedged my bets and TOPIARY tidied things up.
    FOI ACME. Nearly got lost in East Anglia but Diss appears often in puzzles; worth remembering.

  15. I wonder why EXIGENT was chosen ahead of evident or eminent. Surely it’s a Quick Cryptic and one doesn’t want the words in it to be rare ones. I only just knew that ‘exigent’ existed and wasn’t sure what it meant (thought it was something to do with exiguous, but perhaps no).

  16. A fairly gentle offering from the often tricky Izetti which I completed with no real hold-ups. A good start to the week!

  17. Off to a quick start with ACME, but CHARIOT turned out to be LOI. A steady solve with the RHS going in more easily than the LHS. I invented ADIGENT before spotting the more likely EXIGENT, which then provided the key to ATHENS. Nice puzzle. Liked the link to the Topiary Cat! 8:29. Thanks Izetti and Kitty.

  18. I found this one not too bad to be honest, considering the setter.

    I needed help with just one clue (Distracts – it just would not come to me until I was given an extra letter).

    However, 19a got me. It was my last clue to answer and I had -A-E. Seeing beware I thought CARE. I did consider CAVE due to hollow space, but dismissed it as beware did not indicate a cave to me. So, I got this answer wrong and therefore a DNF.

    1. You’re probably too young.. CAVE is, according to one source, 19th century schoolboy slang.

      1. Cave canem used to be written on gates but I doubt the postman of today would take much notice.
        Caveat emptor might be more familiar.
        “Cave! or Cavé” was still in use during my schooldays in the 20th century although some might think I was at school in 19th C.

        1. The thing which makes me feel old (or one of them) is that there are people of 22 years old – proper adults! – who weren’t born in the 20th century.

          1. For me, it was interviewing people for a job and seeing that the interviewees parents were younger than me…

            1. It’s like when I was in the latter days of my time in the Navy. I started to see recruits joining up who weren’t even born when I joined up. That when I knew I was getting old.

  19. 1340 : Hundred Years War grinds on

    13:40, still not happy about GALILEAN.

    Glad to see our Public Schools represented with Eton and CAVE, and DON for the Oxbridge set as well.

    COD CHARIOT, as I think many of us were trying to get TANK in there somehow.

    PS 15×15 is easy today.

    1. Thanks for the heads-up on the 15×15. I managed to complete that, with a little help, in an hour. I normally pass it up as I find it generally a big step up from the QC. It seems both were easier than usual.

  20. Delighted to finish an Izetti in about half an hour though needed a belated breakfast sandwich to solve LOI CHARIOT (also having pondered about modern weapons).
    Struggled with the spelling of Galilee, before finally solving correctly via parsing. Felt dim about getting to ATHENS so slowly so was glad to read other comments. ( We even lived there once. ) Couldn’t parse HASTINGS.
    Liked FIDDLING, DAYS, HOPE, TOPIARY, and EXIGENT, among others. FOI ACME.
    Thanks all, esp Kitty.

  21. Managed to sneak in just under target at 9.43. I was sailing along quite nicely but made a couple of errors which made a quick solve out of the question. Like Jack I had DISPLACES instead of DISTRACTS for a while, and ADIGENT for EXIGENT at 13dn before discovering late that HASTEN was an anagram for ATHENS at 12 ac.
    I see Nero continues to get a bad press for setting Rome alight, when many sources now consider he wasn’t even in Rome at the time. Perhaps he was elsewhere having fun on his CHARIOT which I don’t think is necessarily always considered as a ‘war vehicle’.

    1. I wanted to include a link for Nero and the “fiddling”, but the results I found were so diverse that I couldn’t choose one. It’s worth googling the question and having a browse, if only to see the different ways history can be interpreted.

      Like many here, a chariot wasn’t exactly the first thing to come to mind for a “war vehicle”.

  22. Just under target range.



  23. 4:57 this morning. Á relatively gentle offering from Don, whose puzzles I always enjoy, with a mix of straightforward clues and a few trickier ones e.g. 12 ac “Athens” (not too sure why, as others have remarked), 20 ac “Galilean” (the “in” keeps the clue definition tight imo) and LOI 2d “chariot” where I spent some time trying to fit a tank into a church, before, as in Ben Hur, the chariot jumped out at me.
    5d was interesting for me in that I remember doing a Grauniad crossword over 40 years ago where the theme was East Anglian towns. Funny thing the memory…or at least mine!
    Thanks to Kitty for an entertaining blog and to Don.

  24. Beaten by DISTRACTS as biffed ‘districts’ instead. Just couldn’t find a synonym for ‘turns aside from’. See it now of course.

    Found it tough all round and waded slowly through EXIGENT, CHARIOT, ATHENS, and BUSINESS.

    A challenging start to the week I was not on Izetti’s wavelength today – but am still grateful to him and Kitty.

  25. No time today since solved with a visiting friend. Some nice clues and even got Galilean after Topiary showed the way.
    But 19a did for me – I had Care whilst my friend preferred Cave – but neither of us knew the Latin meaning. However I think that this has come up before – but I won’t forget it again!!
    So a DNF..
    Thanks all

  26. dnf…still had 8ac “Hastings” and 19ac “Cave” after my 30 min target.

    I found this tricky. Went through my repertoire of seaside resorts, including a few foreign ones, but missed Hastings. Probably should have figured the latin for 19ac from “Caveat Emptor” but it passed me by.

    Liked 4ac “Fiddling” and 15dn “Topiary”, dnk 6dn “Lissome” and invented the new word of “Visaneger” for 11dn before I saw sense.

    FOI – 1ac “Acme”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 5dn “Distracts”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. Hastings – quite understandable. Seaside certainly but even its greatest fans might struggle at the description “resort”!

  27. Saw it was Izetti and thought I’d give it 30-mins. And that was right call as I didn’t get much after 25-mins. Although I came back later and and did a further 20-mins to get to three unsolved HASTINGS, DISTRACTS, CAVE. Honestly, what a load of **** that last one is. Who studies Latin these days? What sort of help in a QC is “a hollow space”. Likewise couldn’t parse HOLED. NHO DISS. EXIGENT and LISSOME never used in my decent-sized vocabulary. GALILEAN=”in biblical territory” – surely the setter could have found. What’s the point of calling it a quick crossword if we’re going to upgrade it to COO – Crossword Of Obscurity?!!? Sorry, just really miffed by CAVE plus that massive seaside resort tucked away in the SE corner of Britain (I have been there).

    Thanks to Kitty for the detailed explanations 🙂

    1. I understand your pain, but I think it’s been said a few times on here before that “Quick” does not necessarily mean “Easy” – just smaller in size. And, like the 15×15, there is a range of straight forward to difficult.

      Agree on the Latin though.

      1. I rarely attempt the 15×15 but I did manage to complete it today, without needing to resort to aids in more than two or three clues, so it must be on the easier side.

        Having said that, I’m sure I’ve read that the QC is supposed to be a way into cryptics for the less experienced.

        1. True – I believe the “range” is supposed to be more on the easier side – but within such ranges there are overlaps between the two. In addition, I believe there are certain parsing techniques/conventions that are not often used in the QC that you will see in the biggie.

    2. You may come across Cave = beware in older novels. Exigent and Lissome not every day words but it’s all a learning experience, innit? Good to enlarge one’s vocab, not that you will need those L plates for long as seems you are making v. quick progress.

      1. And Lissome a particularly interesting one as it is the alternative spelling for the equally common / arguably more common Lissom.

        1. Right, I was vaguely thinking of Lissom as a poetic word and found it in, for instance, ‘ Grantchester’ qv. (L- plates – Don’t want to sound unduly smug and poncy but a smattering of Latin is still useful, imo.)

    3. Look on the bright side. It’s been clued here before and next time you will be less miffed.
      Amongst the challenges of life, this one didn’t even make it onto the scale, and for perspective, six months ago you were overjoyed to reach completion with 3 unsolved without aids.
      MER? Perhaps, but not worthy of a MIFF (Majorly Impaired, Feeling Frustrated) in my book.

    4. Don’t let it get you down. Like you, I find this setter tricky in the extreme. I really struggled today.

  28. Most of this went in pretty quickly, but I was slowed in the bottom half by the nho EXIGENT and by GALILEAN, for which I had started to put Galilee in until I realised I was a letter short. I was also worried by ACME which I had lightly written in because it fitted the wordplay and I vaguely remembered it coming up before, but I couldn’t remember what it meant. To me it’s the company (the precursor of Amazon perhaps) from which Wile E Coyote manages to mail order all his explosives and booby traps. Anyway, all done in 18:52, which isn’t bad for me for an Izetti. COD to BUSINESS. Thanks all.

  29. Totally outclassed today. If not an outright personal worst – and it might be – then definitely the slowest for years. 30m + with a fair bit staring at an empty SW. I’m obviously out of sorts though because I couldn’t get BUSINESS from the definition and ran out of vehicles after car and bus. Not my finest solving moments.

  30. A bit over 10 minutes. I found this easier than the last few Izettis so no complaints here. I didn’t know what EXIGENT meant and I certainly don’t know how to pronouce it, but the cluing was clear, so in it went.
    I don’t have a problem with the Latin CAVE – I’ve seen pictures of a mosaic at Pompeii which says CAVE CANEM, one of the more famous ‘beware of the dog’ signs I would imagine, and we have surely seen the word here before. I read recently that there is an increase in teaching Latin in state schools – it certainly is useful to study if you’re interested in European languages, not that they’re so popular these days, sadly. In any case, we’re back to the thorny issue of GK, really – if you know it, it’s not obscure, and I knew it. It just took me a little while to work out the answer.
    FOI Fiddling LOI Cave COD Athens
    Thanks Izetti and Kitty (thanks also for the Topiary Cat. I nearly fell for the first pic of the man cutting the hedge 😅 I thought Wow, that’s an enormous piece of topiary, then PDM!)

    1. Oh, I’m sure I thought the topiary cat was real at first. There are more improbable things than that to be found in this world, after all!

  31. I agree with the general sentiment that today Izetti was being generous. But I liked most of his clues – as I usually do. Again, on a couple of clues I knew what the answer must be well before being able to parse it – a strange feeling! – Hastings and Athens being two examples. Liked chariot, distracts, business, Hastings in particular.
    FOI 1a Acme – not a word I use or often hear; maybe I dredged it out of schoolboy comics…
    LOI 18d Holed – a semi-biff
    COD 8a Hastings – just amusing.
    Thanks to Kitty and Izetti
    Dare I peek at the 15×15…I always find them a big step up.

  32. 12 and a half minutes after starting late due to an early tee time this morning. No problem with CAVE, EXIGENT or anything else really, although I did initially bif BRIGHTON on the basis that bright could be smart! I’m now going to go back and enjoy Kitty’s blog. Thanks all.

  33. 90% of this was completed pretty quickly for an Izetti puzzle, but the last few really took me some time. I did, however, manage to finish at last in 24 minutes, all parsed. Knew LISSOME (but not that spelling), EXIGENT and CAVE, although they’re hardly in everyday usage, so no problems with vocab or GK at least.

    FOI – 1ac ACME
    LOI – 8ac HASTINGS
    COD – 16ac BUSINESS

    Thanks to Izetti and Kitty

  34. Late to this, and most of my observations have been covered by others. 26mins, with loi Distracts responsible for a chunk of those, ‘abetted’ by the criminal Galilean. Invariant

  35. Not what I wanted for a Monday. Got there in the end but can’t say it was anything other than a struggle.

    Thanks for the very helpful blog.

  36. Very late solve, as visiting elderly parents, and a brief post today.

    I found this very challenging, particularly ACME, DISTRACTS, CREATE, CAVE and USAGE. However, I got them all in the end (no idea how) and crossed the line in 40 minutes. Much relief!

    Many thanks to Izetti and Kitty.

  37. Apparently a knowledge of Latin is required for the QC. That excludes rather a lot of the population. Is that the intention of the QC?

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