Times Quick Cryptic 2186 by Teazel

Quite a lot of untangling required here with a few interesting threads which led me off to the dictionaries. 21ac ended up being my problem clue today – it took me to just over 10 minutes.


Definitions are underlined in bold italics.

1 Summary of a British Standard pamphlet (8)
ABSTRACT – a (A), British Standard (BS), pamphlet (TRACT).
6 Make fun of Alice’s turtle? (4)
MOCK – Lewis Carroll’s 1865 book ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ featured The Mock Turtle. It’s name was taken from a dish popular at that time – mock turtle soup (which is an English soup that was created in the mid-18th century as an imitation of green turtle soup. It often uses brains and organ meats such as calf’s head to duplicate the texture and flavour of the original’s turtle meat after the green turtles used to make the original dish were hunted nearly to extinction).
8 Pub next to new outbuilding (4)
BARN – pub (BAR) next to new (N).
9 Came to a big hill, extremely exhausted (8)
AMOUNTED – a (A), big hill (MOUNT), the extreme letters of (E)xhauste(D).
10 Sort of guess a graduate might make? (8)
EDUCATED – a graduate, being educated, may make such guesses.
12 In India, study religious image (4)
ICON – India (I), study (CON).
13 Very unconventional means of escape (3,3)
WAY OUT – double definition.
16 Learnt to change regular payment (6)
RENTAL – anagram (to change) of LEARNT.
17 Men’s general appearance remarked on (4)
GUYS – homophone (remarked on) of general appearance=guise.
18 Make effort to remember note by rebel (8)
MEMORISE – note (MEMO) by/next to rebel (RISE – against).
21 Made to reflect, perhaps, delivers broadcast (8)
SILVERED – anagram (broadcast) of DELIVERS. I was grasping at the definition for a while and eventually accepted it. Collins has ‘coated with a silver-like substance, as quicksilver or tinfoil – e.g. a mirror of silvered glass’.
22 Infantry base (4)
FOOT – double definition.
23 Russian, somewhat vigorous (4)
IGOR – part of v(IGOR)ous.
24 It’s unimportant, but not more dull? (2,6)
NO MATTER – not more dull (NO MATT-ER – not so matt=not more dull).
2 Little nail holding one decorative band (5)
BRAID – little nail (BRAD) holding one (I).
3 A number are inclined not to finish (3)
TEN – are inclined (TEN)d – not finishing. They are inclined/tend to.
4 A bit separate (5)
APART – a (A), bit (PART).
5 Communist cause overturned on demand (2,5)
TO ORDER – communist (RED) and cause (ROOT) both overturned/upside dow.
6 Maybe prelate’s morning so organised (9)
MONSIGNOR – anagram (organised) of MORNING SO.
7 Wild romance in Italian city (7)
CREMONA – anagram (wild) of ROMANCE. Cremona is in N Italy (Lombardy) on the banks of the river Po.
11 Angry about mixed styles of music (9)
CROSSOVER – angry (CROSS), about (OVER). Mix of styles as in the contemporary crossover of pop, jazz and funk.
14 Happen to be employing? That’s funny (7)
AMUSING – happen to be (AM – as in I am/happen to be), employing (USING).
15 Little monkey, almost tame, ran freely round one (7)
TAMARIN – almost tame (TAM)e, anagram (freely) of RAN around one (I). Small monkeys from South and Central American forests similar to marmosets.
19 A lady looking up and down (5)
MADAM – read up or down for the same word.
20 Scratch all points earned (5)
SCORE – double definition.
22 At first find computer technology appropriate (3)
FIT – first letter of (F)ind, computer technology (IT).


64 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2186 by Teazel”

  1. My LOI was Silvered and I didn’t know what a prelate was, but the anagram was OK despite not knowing what a Monsignor was either

    Tamarin I pulled from some hidden part of my brain

    GUYS/AMUSING took me the longest time.

  2. 18:47. Spent the most time trying to find the solution to GUYS. Thanks to blog for explaining TAMARIN ,the story of Alice’s MOCK turtle soup, and for showing me that TEN came from “tend”. I think I had turtle soup once but can’t remember if it was mock or real. I know I’ve eaten lots of pollack presented as mock crab. COD was TO ORDER.

  3. This was my third consecutive 11 minute QC solve, just missing my target 10 minutes again. I was delayed at the end by the intersecting CROSSOVER, GUYS and SILVERED.

  4. I was sure ‘dias’ was a religious image and it was hidden in the clue. That made me reject the anagram for MONSIGNOR on the grounds of no Ds and that made this a second successive slow solve. I’m a bit off form in general, couldn’t remember the MOCK turtle, had to work to recall brad for nail (again) and the same for GUYS. Misdirection worked well today, I was miles away from saying ‘rebel’ properly and that added minutes, especially since I was on the wrong sort of note too. A hard won all green in 21.

  5. DNF – couldn’t see FOOT or SCORE.

    NHO Cremona but had a lucky biff at it

    Enjoyed solving SILVERED but for some reason never really got on with this puzzle. Was trying too hard with “all points” and was looking to fit N S E W into a 5 letter answer!!! Off wavelength, clearly.

    Still, thanks Teazel and Chris.

    1. Cremona was the home to Stradivari and assorted Amati (among others), of violin-making fame.

      1. I’ve heard of Stradavari(us) but not of Amati. Are they called Amatius violins?

        1. I don’t know why Stradivari tends to be known nowadays in the Latin whereas Amati has stayed in the Italian, but you do sometimes see Amatius used. In my experience Amati is Crosswordland’s default violin-making family (niche role though that is).

        1. Thanks for that, Kevin. New to me and a fascinating woman.
          I’ll now delve further into her life and works. John.

    2. Didn’t know about the violins but got there thanks to their Serie A football club: Cremonese.

    3. I also hadn’t heard of Cremona. When I looked it up and found it was the 81st most populous Italian city I didn’t feel too ashamed of my ignorance.

  6. 22 minutes with the bottom half taking up the lion’s share of the time.
    FOI: MOCK.
    LOI or so I thought SCORE until I realised I hadn’t completed 3dn so I just bunged in an E for TEN reading just the beginning of the clue.
    SILVERED also took a while to see but I have no problem with the definition.

    So many good clues and surfaces but my favourite is AMOUNTED.

  7. An interesting puzzle with a sting in the tail. I was going well until I decelerated sharply in the SW. CROSSOVER was not easy and SILVERED (my COD) took a while. The sting was GUYS (my time-consuming LOI) which tipped me from a below target time to 3 mins over. I just couldn’t see it; even a first alphabet trawl failed to uncover it.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  8. I must admit I have fallen into the modern usage of GUYS as a unisex term, so that took a little while. But pretty much a top to bottom solve with some lovely clues.

    FOI ABSTRACT, LOI SCORE, COD SILVERED (really liked that), time 06:28 for 1.4K and a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks Teazel and Chris.


  9. DNF. I belatedly solved the MONSIGNOR/MOCK crossing and then guessed CREMONA from the checkers but despite numerous alphabet trawls I just couldn’t get GUYS.

  10. Duff day, I’d bunged in MIRRORED, and that made CROSSOVER impossible. I did work it out in the end, and SILVERED was probably my favourite.

    Then I couldn’t get GUYS – stared for a couple of minutes until 7:17, but revealed in a huff.


      1. Agreed! I was trying to finish in a 10 minute window before a call, hence the huffiness.

  11. Well I found this really tricky. Finally completed in around 35 mins. Just not on Teazel’s wavelength at all. NHO brad for nail so BRAID took a while, same with CREMONA which was a lucky guess. Everything else seemed fair but there were many PDMs. LOI was GUYS (very clever). COD to AMOUNTED though. Glad to have finished this one! Thanks as ever.

  12. Another dozy day from me. Spent a lot of time on AMOUNTED as I was looking for a word meaning woke up. Toyed with MIRRORED at 21a having missed the anagram indicator. CREMONA was dredged from the depths and one of these days I must read Alice in Wonderland as she seems to come up quite regularly in cryptic crosswords.
    Finished just over target in 10.19 after an alphabet trawl for LOL GUYS.
    Thanks to Chris, and Teazel for the entertainment

  13. 10 minutes for all bar 17a, then what Blighter said.
    My first alphabet trawl failed. Then I looked for errors. Then back to the alphabet. Eventually GUYS emerged so has to be COD for me. About 15 minutes in total.
    A good QC with hidden depths.

  14. I did it! I did it! I finally finished a QC!!!!! (It certainly helped that there were no geographical answers, apart from CREMONA which I had never heard of but managed to guess from anagram.)

    I had MIRRORED instead of SILVERED for the longest time — I thought maybe “delivers broadcast” meant something like how website mirrors can deliver downloads when the main one is overloaded — but fortunately got CROSSOVER with its overlapping “V” and abandoned my incorrect answer.

    I knew the monkey that TAMARIN was referring to but realized I’d thought it was called a TAMARIND — I guess that I thought it was a word for a fruit and an animal both! Like a kiwi! Haha!

    And of course, was a bit confused about the clue for MEMORISE because I was sure that word was the answer, but I was spelling it MEMORIZE 🙂

    Hooray! I’m going to bask in this glow until tomorrow which I am sure will be full of rivers and British slang and leave me stumped 😉

    1. Congratulations on your first completion!! The -ize, -ise duo is always confusing, especially to us this side of the pond where both are used and both acceptable (I think the US more resolutely uses -ize). Indeed I think there was a time when the Times House style was to use -ize; it did rather stand out in doing so when most speakers of British English tend to prefer the -ise usage

    2. I had Mirrored for a while as well – thought it was to do with mirroring something from your phone/tablet to your TV, then realised that was “casting” – plus I couldn’t parse it. Well done!

    3. Very well done. I gave up altogether a couple of weeks ago, but you have inspired me to try again.

  15. I was well on track until I hit the wall at 17a. Must’ve spent half of my time on that single clue. A bruising experience! 16:26. Thanks Teazel and Chris.

  16. Generally tricky and eventually a DNF as I couldn’t get GUYS, even with an alphabet trawl. Lots to enjoy though. COD to NO MATTER. Thanks Teazel and Chris.

  17. Spent an eternity looking at 17ac and the correct answer GUYS eluded me. In the end went for HUWS (the Welsh equivalent of Hugh) as a homophone for HUES, but knew it was almost certainly not correct.
    Biffed MIRRORED before correcting enabling CROSSOVER to be inserted. DNF in 15 minutes today, so bad day at the office.

  18. 3:51 this morning. FOI 1 ac “abstract” and then a pretty steady solve until LOI 17 ac “guys” , taking a few moments to see the homophone (if you catch my drift). Interesting as ever, to read several comments above that this clue was seen to be the trickiest.
    I’ve had a sneak preview of the SNITCH for the 15×15 today which suggests this puzzle could be a good deal more problematic!
    Thanks to Teazel and to Chris for the blog

  19. Almost fell for the mirrored trap at 21ac and similarly came close to hues for 17ac. Managed to get my hands on the QC earlier than usual today to see if that had any effect on my solving skills. I think it probably did as this was a tricky one that, for me, I solved reasonably quickly. However couldn’t parse some answers so blog v helpful.

  20. 21ac was my LOI also. I was held up by reading “broadcast” as a sounds-like indicator rather than as an anagrind.

  21. Stuck in SW corner so DNF. Once I had looked up CROSSOVER (NHO ref music styles) , I solved the rest, including SILVERED and GUYS. Oh and failed on the relatively easy SCORE, having dimly biffed FEET without going back to check.
    Annoying really, as I enjoyed the rest. Liked MOCK, AMOUNTED, MONSIGNOR, ABSTRACT, among others.
    Thanks for much needed blog, Chris.

  22. I finished! 24:03 (under 30 which is also my parkrun target!). I pondered over lots but got silvered as soon as I looked at the clue. I already had the S and V so perhaps that made the anagram easier to see.

    1. Park runs and crosswords take commitment and attitude but above all you have to enjoy what you’re doing. Well done!

    2. Well done Cee a good time- it was DNF for me , although like you got silvered straight away!

  23. No time as too many distractions from the off schoolers.
    Stuck on score and monsignor, once they were done, mock came as well.
    Liked rental and memorise, COD amounted.

  24. dnf…

    Had a bit of a shocker today, just couldn’t get going. Lots of half finished clues and then a sudden flash of inspiration for 10ac “Educated” (after exhausting my BA, MA and various other combinations) resulting in a flurry of activity until I was stumped again. Worse one for quite a while.

    I thought 7dn “Cremona” was a bit random, but at least obtainable from the anagram, but then I put “Memorial” for 18ac which caused issues with the SE corner. Had “Mirrored” for 21ac for a while as well.

    FOI – 3dn “Ten”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 24ac “No Matter”

    Thanks as usual!

  25. We open in Venice,
    We next play Verona,
    Then on to Cremona.
    Lotsa laughs in Cremona.
    Our next jump is Parma,
    That dopey, mopey menace,
    Then Mantua, then Padua,
    Then we open again, where?

    Kiss Me Kate (Cole Porter songs) – haven’t seen it for maybe 40 years but whenever I see CREMONA or Padua, I get a little earworm 😅

    Didn’t really enjoy this one (I always find Teazel difficult) and the biggie was a disaster, so I think I’ll write today off. DNF because I forgot to enter TEN. I left it to last because although I got the definition, I was struggling to parse it. Anyway, the whole thing took over 15 minutes.
    Thanks all – interesting blog today Chris 😊

  26. 9.00

    A good couple of minutes at the end on GUYS and SCORE mostly on the latter. DDs not my strong point, and maybe looking for sone w/p that wasn’t there

    Liked SILVERED

    Thanks Chris and Teazel

  27. That was hard. Got stuck where others did. DNF. Thought crossover was a car.
    Biffed Cremona but if you didn’t get it don’t despair as it’s ranked 81 by population in Italy. Their footy team has just been promoted to Serie A and the ground holds 20,000 which is pretty much every adult male of working age. Must be a strange place on match day.

    1. CREMONA was guessable from the anagram and definition. But while it was obviously CRE-O-A that left the question of -MONA or -NOMA.

      My quick think through of Italian cities provided TuriNo, MilaNo, RoMa, ParMa so nothing conclusive although that would suggest cities ending in A should have -MA (assuming my memory of their Italian names is correct). But CREMONA sounded nicer so I went with it.

  28. Very similar experience to yesterday, with a speedy solve until my LOI pushed the time out a bit. This time the culprit was Guys, which it seems I was far from alone in struggling over (4 letter clues with common checkers can be so hard to get!), and it led to a 9 minute completion.

    Very slight MER at No matter – “not more dull” should be Not matter. But the answer was clear enough once I had a couple of checkers.

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog

  29. Didn’t see FOOT or FIT for ages, ditto SILVERED until the anagram clicked. GUYS LOI – neat clue! Remembered TAMARIN from somewhere when working through the clue.

  30. Only missed four across clues on the first pass, then nailed all the down clues, before picking off the missing quartet straight away. It seemed easy, but reading the foregoing posts it clearly wasn’t !

    TIME 3:22

  31. GUYS Revealed in a huff. Which then led to the LOI CROSSOVER.

    I also was convinced it was TAMARIND, but I just learnt that is a plant.

    Unlucky to the solver who had DIAS, looks like a solid answer.


  32. Top half went in nicely in under 15-mins. The lower half took another two attempts for another 30-mins and a lot of thinking about it in the hammock to have GUYS, CROSSOVER, SILVERED left unsolved. Was thinking “mirrored” like others and I thought the “broadcast” anagrind for SILVERED indicates a homophone, feel dispirited by having to deal with this level of misdirection.

    ICON – not sure why study = con?

    NHO TAMARIN, CREMONA, prelate.

    1. It’s a DD – con/study/trick/swindle/know/learn/study etc – see Chambers. We’ve seen con=den=study before. This was a DNF for me!

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