Times Quick Cryptic 2191 by Breadman


This was a long way from a smooth solve – having to leave clues for later all over the grid. It seemed to take ages, so when I finished with 12dn with the clock stopped at 12 minutes, it didn’t seem too bad.

I must say I’ve just thoroughly enjoyed going through the clues again for the blog and recommend a read looking for smooth surfaces with clever and multiple cryptic devices.

It felt like a pangram but a quick check shows G,H,V and W are missing. Breadman often seems to include a reference to bread/money (it’s
quid today) a la Oink – but then, I suppose, there are lots of words with those meanings.

Definitions are underlined in bold italics.

1 Muscle ailing during army corps dance (9)
QUADRILLE – muscle (QUAD), ailing (ILL) during army corps (RE).
6 British government abroad runs a judiciary initially (3)
RAJ – (R)uns, a (A), (J)udiciary. I suppose they could all be initial/first letters.
8 Tins arranged by worker without delay (7)
INSTANT – anagram (arranged) of TINS by worker (ANT).
9 Suddenly frighten fryer in charge (5)
PANIC – fryer (PAN), in charge (IC).
10 Valerie cops everyone tipping over wine (12)
VALPOLICELLA – Valerie (VAL), cops (POLICE), all backwards (LLA). Quite a variety of parsing to unpick there.
12 Sound of sheep eating grandma’s fruit (6)
BANANA – sound of sheep (BAA) eating grandma (NAN). Loved the baa – was expecting that to be a homophone of something like ‘you’.
13 Type of grass father’s maintaining foremost in meadow (6)
PAMPAS – father’s (PAPA’S) maintaining (M)eadow. Another unusual one – father is usually just PA.
16 Ancient tablet, pink and dry, son ate stupidly (7,5)
ROSETTA STONE – pink (ROSE), dry (TT – teetotal), anagram (stupidly) of SON ATE. A clear definition but I loved the parsing.
19 Perfect date in Rome, mostly by a lake (5)
IDEAL – date in Rome (IDE)s – mostly, by a (A), lake (L),
20 Huge number working beyond factory unit (7)
MILLION – working (ON) beyond factory (MILL) and unit (I).
22 Tear fastener (3)
ZIP – double definition.
23 Furry carnivorous mammal biting stump (6,3)
ARCTIC FOX – biting (ARCTIC), stump (FOX).
1 Pound calamari, removing head (4)
QUID – calamari s(QUID) – removing head.
2 Jack and Mark do not vote (7)
ABSTAIN – Jack (AB), mark (STAIN). Economical and super smooth surface.
3 Artist capturing island and drowned valley (3)
RIA – artist (RA) capturing island (I). A long narrow inlet being a former valley submerged by the sea.
4 Small illuminated atelier regularly visited (6)
LITTLE – illuminated (LIT), a(T)e(L)i(E)r.
5 Awaiting or missing cough medicine (9)
EXPECTANT – ‘or’ missing from cough medicine (EXPECT)or(ANT).
6 Learn working of the kidneys (5)
RENAL – anagram (working) of LEARN.
7 One’s foolish when gripped by cards (7)
JACKASS – when (AS) gripped by cards (JACKS).
11 Criticise a clerk, we hear, producing cigar (9)
PANATELLA – criticise (PAN), a (A), homophone (we hear) of clerk – teller.
12 Composer somewhere in Germany briefly joins Australian (7)
BERLIOZ – somewhere in Germany briefly (BERLI)n, Australian (OZ).
14 Argument after work upset new religious leader (7)
PONTIFF – argument (TIFF) after work OP upset/upwards (giving us PO), new (N).
15 Salt put on waterproof surface of road? (6)
TARMAC – salt (the nautical one – TAR) put on (top of) waterproof (MAC).
17 Doze, sheltered in special clothing (5)
SLEEP – sheltered (LEE) with special (SP) is clothing/around. I’ve just looked up SP and am surprised by how many things those initials can refer to. Submarine/shore patrol, Spain, Specific, Starting Price among others – including, of course, special.
18 Antony cut in half unknown gemstone (4)
ONYX – half of Ant(ONY), unknown (X).
21 Field northwards contains garland of flowers (3)
LEI – the contents of f(IEL)d going northwards/upwards.


72 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2191 by Breadman”

  1. 10:28. Didn’t know the meaning of RIA. FOI: QUADRILLE LOI: VALPOLICELLA COD’s:. PANATELLA and ROSETTA STONE

  2. Just under 7 minutes for me. I don’t think I knew what RIA was but the wordplay was clear so I wasn’t in doubt. I knew everything else, including having drunk far too much VALPOLICELLA when in Italy in student days. But I’ve never smoked a PANATELLA.

  3. 8 minutes. Nothing unknown here I had to return to QUADRILLE and ARCTIC FOX later in the solve to sort out the parsing, neither of which jumped out at me when the answers did.

  4. Thanks Chris and Breadman. Looked for panagram which gave away Z Q X and BFD many if these eg expectant, so very enjoyable read of your parsings this morning. 11:35 …so a very rare QTB (quicker than blogger)

  5. 1155 Barbarossa is crowned as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

    11:55, thought something was up when all the high scoring Scrabble letters appeared in the corners. Did not check for a pangram, it’s tedious to do so.

    SP= special? In what context?

    COD (and WoD) JACKASS

  6. I finished in 18:42 but didn’t parse Arctic fox, nor expectant, and I nho the wine (not a surprise) the cigar, nor the British govt abroad

    Also… Jack = AB? is Jack a sailor?
    Army corps =RE?

    Thanks guys!

    1. Jack Tar was originally a nickname for RN seamen. “Jack” commonly used today, AB being short for able seaman.
      RE is the Corps of Royal Engineers

      1. All of the above but outfoxed to parse a few. Thought of distant Hamlet adverts for their mild Panatella cigars. Loved the ads but was never tempted to try the product!
        Thanks Breadman and Chris.

  7. Grid completed in just under 10 minutes but with several biffed and unparsed – possibly as many as half a dozen, probably a PW for a finished puzzle. Very much needed the blog to understand them, which gave me a second round of enjoying the clevernesses.

    Unusual to have all four of Q, J, Z and X yet be nowhere near a pangram; very unusual I suspect to have the quartet in the four corners.

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog, as I say needed more than usual today.

  8. Tough at the top with QUADRILLE (NHO), EXPECTANT and LITTLE all needing careful extraction after a fast start. Too fast as it turns out as I had ROSETaA STONE for a pink square finish in 11. Sp(!) mention to BANANA for being silly – big grin, loved it. Also NHO VALPOLICELLA but while I couldn’t hum any BERLIOZ I recognised him once the cryptic bits led me to him.

      1. The loudest concert I ever performed in was of the Berlioz Requiem in Ely cathedral. The Dies Irae with the 4 brass bands going full blast is quite something. I’m told the concert was audible from miles away across the fens.

        1. Love it! I remember singing this in a school Christmas concert in the early 1960s at St Mary’s, Harrow-on-the-Hill.

  9. Another 24-minute finish, that’s three on the trot.
    This was also another top half quicker than the bottom and needed the wordplay for many answers.
    FOI: QUID.
    Favourite: BANANA. And after re-reading the clues VALPOLICELLA for its surface amongst many good surfaces.

  10. Top quality puzzle from Breadman. Nothing too tricky but in my ignorance of dances I put QUADRILLA in for 1a making LOI EXPECTANT a bit tricky. Eventually swapped the artillery for the engineers and all became clear.
    I assumed it was a pangram but didn’t have time to check. Crossed the line in 9.34 with COD to ARCTIC FOX.
    Thanks to Chris

  11. I’m still quite new to cryptic crosswords so quite happy to have finished in 17 minutes.

    FOI – RAJ

  12. I too thought we were on for a pnagram with the J, Q, X, Z, V and K all there. Nice puzzle, though. I remembered RIA from another puzzle. COD to BANANA. Thanks Breadman and Chris. 4:40.

  13. Amusing puzzle, LOsI: QUADRILLE – remembered the Lobster Quadrille from Alice in Wonderland – and QUID which made me smile. As did PANATELLA, VALPOLICELLA, BERLIOZ, BANANA. Biffed a few like ROSETTA STONE, ARCTIC FOX.
    FOI RAJ. Quite fast until LOsI held me up.
    Thanks vm , Chris

  14. Much more with it today.

    LOI was ARCTIC FOX, once I’d removed the idiotically biffed RUBY and inserted ONYX. Took a while to get the parsing of the furry mammal, but when I did, I made it my COD. Lots to biff, as others have said.


  15. A good puzzle and my solving was smoother than most recent efforts – just like old times. I suspected a pangram when I saw less-used letters (XXYZ) but it all went too smoothly so I knew Breadman had resisted any temptation. An excellent QC and I enjoyed going over the parsing post-solve. Thanks, Chris.
    Like Tina, I can work out the abbreviations that I don’t recognise but didn’t really need to today – there were some easy biffs. I parsed almost all but I got away with the obvious biffs.
    Despite a lovely phone call from our young granddaughter I finished just under 13 mins so under target for a change. Thanks again to both. John M.

  16. Under 10 minutes for me; LOI LITTLE struggling with the parsing.
    Rather like Cedric I had several of the answers without all the parsing. I am very familiar with the Rosetta Stone; it’s almost the first thing you see when you visit The British Museum-although often lots of people in front of you. Not far from The Elgin Marbles which we might be about to lose.
    An enjoyable puzzle.

  17. Around 10. Nice puzzle, some unknowns but clear cluing.

    15×15 also relatively gentle today.

    COD rosetta st.

  18. 12 minutes, fully parsed, although RIA was new to me I think. What an excellent puzzle and blog – congratulations both.

  19. I managed to complete this one, though I needed the use of an aid for three clues (1a, 10a, 12d), having never heard of them.

    I read in the Daily Mail today that eating candy can help you solve crosswords. I needed no extra encouragement for that. Perhaps it did work for me today. However, you know what these health “experts” are like: this week something is good for you, next week it’s bad.

  20. After yesterdays brain freeze at over 18 minutes, a quick time (for me anyway) at 6.35. LOI in was the wine at 10ac where spelling it was the problem. My first thought was that it was an anagram of ‘Valerie cops’ not realising there weren’t enough letters. The Breadman delivers yet again!

  21. No problems and a quick solve today as several answers obvious when a letter or two already in.

  22. 13 mins…

    Felt like I was on the right wavelength today and apart from 3dn “Ria” (which I DNK, but was easily clued) they all went in fairly smoothly.

    Some fun and nice surfaces.

    FOI – 1dn “Quid”
    LOI – 5dn “Expectant”
    COD – 2dn “Abstain” – beautifully simple.

    Thanks as usual!

  23. 3:07 one of my fastest times ever completed on paper but managed to type in “onxx” at 18 d at the very end, so the Crossword Club registers a poor score. Bit of a sickener – and I know I’m not the first person this has happened to – but at least I know my original time was genuine.
    One of these rare days where everything went in without hesitation, parsing as I went along.
    A couple of wine-related clues – 10 ac “valpolicella”, a wine we used to take to parties in 1.5 litre bottles in my youth but nowadays the ripasso version (where grapes undergo secondary fermentation on dried grape skins of Amarone) can produce beautifully balanced intense wines. I also associate 3d “ria” with Rias Baixas (lit. lower inlets) in Galicia in Spain where much of the best Albarino grapes are grown – highly recommended with seafood.
    COD 23 ac “Arctic Fox”.
    Thanks to Chris for the blog and to Breadman for an enjoyable and satisfying puzzle

    1. Glad to know that Valpolicella has improved, since I was a teenager, in the 1970s. Thanks!

      1. Majestic Wines have a cracker in stock called ” La Cassetta” which we’ve been drinking for years ( not continuously you understand!)

  24. Very pleased to escape the clutches of the SCC, today – a rare occurrence for me. I finished in 19 minutes, all correct and nearly all parsed/understood. I had NHO RIA, had forgotten LEI, and can’t remember if I have known that ‘current’ = I ( in MILLION).

    Many thanks to Breadman and Chris.

    P.S. I wonder who will be the first to come up with an appropriate album/song title or lyric from the ARCTIC FOXes. I will check back later to see.

    1. LEE, LEI and LEA – three words that often crop up and I always seem to struggle to remember which one relates to which.

  25. An excellent puzzle from Breadman, that kept me entertained from start (Quid) to finish (Quadrille), with several CoD candidates along the way. An 18min solve included time lost wondering whether 1ac was Quadricep or Quadracep (I can never be sure), but fortunately by the end a parsing nightmare was avoidable, because it was neither. CoD to 12ac, Banana, for the surface, with honourable mentions for Ideal, Abstain and Valpolicella. Invariant

  26. It could have been one of my fastest times ever if only I hadn’t scrawled something that looked like an S when it was in fact a J! So my last one in took me over the 7 minute mark – a JACKASS indeed 😂
    Some of these almost wrote themselves – I certainly biffed a few and didn’t completely parse ROSETTA STONE or PAMPAS, but it was fun.
    I wonder if we’ll hear about the making of the Hamlet ads at any point today?
    FOI Raj LOI Jackass COD Abstain
    Many thanks Breadman and Chris

    I found the biggie very user-friendly today – all done and nearly dusted in 16 minutes. Maybe give it a go?

    1. I gave it a go and thought I was going well (a very relative term in my case) until I came to grief with 8d (Sledge!) and 26a (I was fixated at first with Silurian and then Illurian but obviously couldn’t make them fit). Apart from those two, I found it an absorbing puzzle and, whilst it was otherwise complete, I couldn’t get anywhere near your impressive time. John
      P.s. I managed to complete the Torygraph Cryptic almost as quickly as the QC today so all is not lost…..

      1. It’s just wavelength isn’t it – and a Snitch of 64! Sounds like you had a pretty good day too 😊

    2. Thanks for the tip. I managed all except NHO 16d. Mind you it was a DNF anyway as I was checking I was right for each clue along the way! Couldn’t believe some were so straightforward while others were very devils. Good experience anyway…

      1. That sounds like a really good way to progress 😊 Not so much a DNF, more an ongoing confirmation! Tomorrow, I fear, won’t be so easy.
        Yes, that was an odd word!

  27. Complete meh from me.

    – NHO QUADRILLE and put in “quadricep” while thinking that’s not a muscle, it’s a muscle group so named because it’s a group of four. So that sent me off on the wrong track and couldn’t get LITTLE
    – NHO cough medicine = expectorant. I don’t get ill.
    – NHO VALPOLICELLA – actually put that in but thought it can’t be that easy so took it out and never had enough checkers to confirm it.
    – NHO RIA but figured it from the clue
    – NHO BERLIOZ but figured it from the clue
    – Barely remember PANTELLA – so I put cANATELLA.
    – Couldn’t figure out or BIF the ARCTIC part of -FOX
    – With so many NHOs already, I figured I’d not heard of the grass so was trying to shove M, PA into LE-A.

    Gave up at 50-mins. Glad I did. Clearly not a QC where myself or the setter live in the same world.

    1. Sometimes the GK quotient just plays against one, but it’s unlikely to be an everyday occurrence!

  28. Just inside the SCC today so happy with that. Fond memories of VALPOLICELLA and the PANATELLA ads (Rab C Nesbitt in particular) from the 80s. Enjoyable puzzle. RIA was new to me. COD to ROSETTA STONE. Many thanks to Chris and Breadman.

    1. I may be wrong (frequently I am) but wasn’t horryd involved in that wonderful advert with Gregor Fisher???

      1. I’m sure you’re right. Meldrew / Horryd was reminiscing about the Hamlet ads recently, also the Strada one!

  29. Well within target today. FOI QUID quickly followed by Quickstep which unsurprisingly I couldn’t parse and had to delete. Like Chris I had problems with BERLIOZ and needed all the checkers before I could commit. I knew of RIA as it is a useful scrabble word. ARCTIC FOX was my LOI which I biffed and eventually parsed after submitting (but it still gets my vote for COD). 7:33 for a very good day.

  30. Top to bottom, pretty much. Only got stuck on ARCTIC FOX.

    FOI QUADRILLE, LOI MILLION, COD EXPECTANT, time 06:43 for an estimated 1.5K and an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Breaders and Chris.


  31. Good one for me today after some really poor attempts. Had heard of everything except RIA which was very clearly clued. Didn’t manage to parse everything – I’m just happy to get the right answer. Which is probably not quite in the true spirit of Crosswordland. Sorry.

    1. There’s nothing to apologise for AT. Enjoyment is the only yardstick so if you are content not to worry about every parsing whilst solving, so be it. It may be useful to come here afterwards and find out how the missing parsings work if you have ambitions to solve quicker or increase your enjoyment, but only if you feel like doing so.

  32. Today I have come closer than ever to finishing a quick cryptic! I actually had quadricep for 1A but eventually realised I must have made a mistake so I looked at the blog to see that the correct answer was quadrille.

    That enabled me to finish the crossword by getting 4D, 5D and then 10A.

    Many thanks.

    1. Well done! Pleased to hear you didn’t throw in the towel. Onwards and upwards 😊

    2. Well done Ian – echoing PennyB’s thoughts that glad to hear you didn’t throw the towel in

  33. If “biffing” is writing the answer without tackling the wordplay, what do you call it when I wrote in the NHO RIA from the wordplay? I don’t know if one can still buy VALPOLICELLA, but it is at least 20 years since I drank any. I knew and parsed everything, but little came quickly, so I would agree with those who found this on the tricky side. FOI QUADRILLE, whch would have been a NHO but for Alice, LOI PANATELLA, a word I just knew, but had forgotten the meaning; COD ARCTIC FOX – clever surface. No problem with BERLIOZ – my late wife sang his requiem with a few hundred others in the Royal Albert Hall a few years ago. I wish it had been Brahms’s or Mozart’s. Thanks, Breadman and Chris.

    1. Anti-biffing? Or actually exactly what you did: solving from wordplay 👍
      My daughter plays a game known as anti-Countdown. She just says the first word that comes into her head that has three or four of the letters on the screen, with some very entertaining results on occasion 😅

  34. A lovely puzzle from Breadman – lots of mental quick gear changes needed meant plenty to admire and savour in the clueing. Needed Chris’ blog to complete some of the parsing. NHO 3d Ria but was generously clued so went in and that’s another word learned.
    FOI 1d Quid – needed to convince me Quadrille was correct and needed better parsing
    LOI 5d Expectant – expectorant wouldn’t fit anyway but needed to re-read the clue!
    COD – too many to choose from! I liked 15d Tarmac among many others.

  35. A lot of biffing but successful conclusion in about 12 minutes.
    Did like banana

  36. Finished one after a few near misses recently. RIA was a nice reminder of O level geography lessons on glaciation.

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