Times Quick Cryptic 2197 by Jalna

Another eminently doable puzzle today, with only one word to be found nowhere but in cryptic crosswords (19dn) and usually clued as ‘sash’ or similar.

Definitions underlined.

1 Exercise before heading for something to drink (5-2)
PRESS-UP – PRE (before), first letter of (heading to) Something, then SUP (drink).
5 Primate guarding small part of church (4)
APSE – APE (primate) containing (guarding) S (small).
7 Botched raid when entering house in style (6)
HAIRDO – anagram of (botched) RAID, contained by (entering) HO (house).
8 Persevere with a new motto (6)
SLOGAN – SLOG (persevere) and A N (new).
9 Career sites designed for office workers (11)
SECRETARIES – anagram of (designed) CAREER SITES. Maybe needed a question mark here?
10 Ruffles feathers in Scottish team, dismissing leader (6)
ANGERS – rANGERS (Scottish team, football), minus (dismissing) its first letter (leader).
12 Signal over top mathematician (6)
EUCLID – reversal of (over) CUE (signal), then LID (top).
14 Nasty individual chore? (5,2,4)
PIECE OF WORK – double definition.
17 Season well (6)
SPRING – double definition.
18 An allowance no single sailor rejected (6)
RATION – NO, I (single), and TAR (sailor) all reversed (rejected).
20 Complimentary cover ultimately incorporated into cost (4)
FREE – last letter of (ultimately) coveR contained by (incorporated into) FEE (cost).
21 Section of orchestra in main pit, possibly (7)
TIMPANI – anagram of (possibly) MAIN PIT.
1 Veg and fruit, chopped (3)
PEA – PEAr (fruit) missing the last letter (chopped).
2 Some fear a chest infection? (7)
EARACHE – hidden in (some) fEAR A CHEst.
3 Cake is solid on top once cooked (5)
SCONE – first letter of (on top) Solid, then an anagram of (cooked) ONCE.
4 Course requiring permit to be getting on (7)
PASSAGE – PASS (permit) and AGE (be getting on).
5 Excellent oil beaten to make mayonnaise (5)
AIOLI – AI (‘A-one’, excellent) with an anagram of (beaten) OIL.
6 Friends put up with criticism for comedy (9)
SLAPSTICK – PALS (friends) reversed (put up) then STICK (criticism).
9 Abrasive material also seen in Society publication (9)
SANDPAPER – AND (also) contained by (seen in) S (society) and PAPER (publication).
11 Cunning tips from several rowers (7)
SLEIGHT – first and last letters (tips) from SeveraL, then EIGHT (rowers).
13 Actor flying over India and a country in Europe (7)
CROATIA – anagram of (flying) ACTOR, then I (India) and A.
15 Every other piece of jelly in the cream (5)
ELITE – every other letter from (every other piece of) jElLy In ThE.
16 Etiquette surrounding university discussion group (5)
FORUM – FORM (etiquette) containing (surrounding)  U (university).
19 Charm shown during job interview (3)
OBI – hidden in (shown during) jOB Interview.

59 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2197 by Jalna”

  1. All straightforward except 10ac, which took me a minute and a half or so, as I had no idea what the Scottish team might be. (In retrospect, I no doubt have heard of the Rangers, but certainly didn’t know they were Scottish.) 7:31.

    1. There are two top-tier football teams in Glasgow: Celtic (pronounced SELL-tic, oddly) and Rangers. Historically, Celtic were the Catholic team, and Rangers were Protestant. I haven’t been to Glasgow since the early 90s, hopefully it is less sectarian these days.

      1. The religious divide is still there, but less all-encompassing or rigid, and fortunately both sets of supporters are (slightly) more tolerant these days.

        1. It’s a feature of Scottish football that many of the top sides grew out of the desire of the Irish Catholic immigrant population to have their own team. Celtic are the biggest example but Dundee United began as Dundee Hibernian and, of course, one of the Edinburgh teams is Hibernian. Both were set up by the Irish community in their respective cities, but were more quickly assimilated into the wider population (which is why the sectarianism persists in Glasgow but not in Dundee or Edinburgh).

    2. Laughably I convinced myself for a minute that UNDEES is an ornithological term for “ruffling feathers” (as in Dundee / Dundee Utd) 😀

      1. Thanks for mentioning my team L Plates. I’m a huge fan of Dundee United. We (the fans, not the team) are known as ‘the Arabs’, after a cup match during the 1960s when tar burners were used to thaw out a frozen pitch. They thawed the pitch but also stripped away the grass and a huge amount of sand had to be used to make the surface playable. One wag said the pitch looked like the Sahara Desert and the nickname followed.

  2. 18:38. Enjoyed SLAPSTICK and ANGERS(after I got Celtic out of my head and realized ruffles and feathers went together). Struggled with HAIRDO even though the wordplay should have been obvious. After finishing researched church interiors to find out where the APSE was after seeing it in so many puzzles. Prepared now for transept, nave and narthex!

  3. 13:15 but with a typo in SCOME for a pernicious pink panel. COD SPRING, for such clever misdirection.

  4. 8 minutes. I looked twice at TIMPANI as ‘section of orchestra’ as that’s not the first definition that would have come to mind, but on reflection it’s okay although most usually it consists of a single musician.

    1. I was held up by that thought, as the TIMPANI are surely part of the percussion section…..

  5. I don’t think I’ve seen ‘tips’ to mean both ends before, it’s usually the starting letters of consecutive words I think, so SLEIGHT went in with me wondering where the L came from. Held up at the end by EUCLID, partly because I never remember lid=top and partly because I don’t know many mathematicians (Bertrand Russell and …). Don’t think I’ve come across OBI before but it was right there so in it went. All green in 8.

  6. 17 minutes.
    Started at a reasonable pace then hit a block until I realised I had written in APES instead of APSE making 6dn nigh on impossible until that error was corrected.
    FOI: PEA.
    LOI: EUCLID, needing all its checking letters.

  7. Steady going today, starting with APSE and finishing in the NW with SCONE, PRESS UP and PASSAGE. Slow to spot PIECE OF WORK but fortunately OBI is now firmly ensconced in my list of strange crossword words and went in with barely a pause.
    Finished in 8.23
    Thanks to William

  8. No problem with OBI but I was held up with ELITE as I started putting in i.c.o.j thinking the answer was something to do with iconic. We must have had TIMPANI before now otherwise I wouldn’t have got it. FOI PEA and LOI EUCLID in a pleasing 7:25.

  9. A good puzzle from Jalna with one or two thought-provoking clues amidst the easier ones. EUCLID took a while and I liked ANGERS. OBI had to be although I couldn’t have defined it without context. I was held up by my LOI HAIRDO (slaps head with palm) but still managed to be under 14 mins so under target (all parsed).
    Thanks to both. John M.

  10. Just made it under target at 9.30, and was pleased with that as I thought it a bit tougher than usual. LOI was strangely 1ac where for too long I thought it had to begin with ‘pe’. Thanks to William for the parsing of 12ac where I failed to get the direction to reverse ‘cue’. Thanks to Jalna for a good puzzle.

  11. 1007 King Æthelred pays the Vikings 36,000 pounds of silver (Danegeld)

    10:07 Almost the same as yesterday. Not too much anguish, and no clues really stand out. Never heard of OBI and it was LOI. Perhaps the clue could have been reworked to include its more common post-Lucas usage. Maybe

    Guinness seen in job interview (3)


  12. Another close run-in with the 20min mark – Passage and Slogan were my last pair and they just wouldn’t come easily. A good job I saw Euclid quickly, though I did wonder what a Euc was until the penny dropped. Talking of wonders, quite a few modern hairstyles seem botched these days, but perhaps I’m just showing my age. CoD to 11d, Sleight, even with the doubt over tips. Invariant

    1. Here in Australia it seems that the current cool style is the mullet, so I would agree with the botched assessment. What was once old is new again.

      1. The mullet :-O Proof that the young refuse to learn from their elders. Bubble perms will be next Tina …

  13. I struggled with this one, even after biffing the words I couldn’t parse a few. I want to blame the day I spent at the snow lol

    The NW corner was especially difficult and I had to reveal a letter on HAIRDO to get it. I didn’t know home could be ‘ho’.

    The timpani is also not a section of orchestra surely? Percussion is a section. Timpani is in the percussion section. Is it a section if it’s just the one timpanist?

    I dropped history and geography as soon as I was able at school (lol can you tell) so that I could pick up as many maths/Sci as possible. Euclid was no problem here.

    I only knew Obi as the Japanese sash (and esteemed Jedi) so I learned something new today.
    I liked a lot of the clues today and I only know two Scottish teams so glad that the rangers was one of them.

    Thanks everyone!

    1. Hi, Tina,

      HO is ‘house’ rather than ‘home’ which usually clues ‘in’ or ‘nest’.

    2. I think it’s fair. It’s normal to refer to the cello section, even it is part of the larger string section.
      (And it is not uncommon to have two or occasionally three timpanists)

  14. Very approachable puzzle from Jalna which took me just under 9 minutes, and only LOI Obi a slight hold-up. NHO the word with that meaning but the wordplay was very clear.

    I share the thought that Timpani is more of an instrument than a section of the orchestra. But the clue was very doable even so.

    Many thanks to William for the blog

  15. 11 minutes, probably slowed slightly looking for a Nina as I solved – for some reason I associate Jalna with themes or Nina’s, but it’s probably just a fancy. I liked Euclid, but thought it might catch out a few solvers, as well as TIMPANI and AIOLI to add to William’s single crossword-only word. Thanks both.

    1. I also thought there was reason to associate Jalna with Ninas or themes but I checked my records before I began solving and found he’s never set one – or not one that we spotted. What I do have on him is that he visited us at least once previously and signed himself ‘Ali’. Also that he sets for the Guardian as ‘Gila’. He first set for us 3 years ago this month but this is only his 15th puzzle.

  16. Same as yesterday, quick for most of the puzzle and then slowed by hairdo, slogan, euclid, and LOI passage.
    COD hairdo.

  17. Not one of my better days would be an understatement.

    Gave up with 4 or 5 remaining. I only had a spare 6 or 7 minutes, so revealed the answers. Just not at the races.


  18. A gentle offering from Jalna which I completed in 11 minutes. I failed to notice the instruction to reverse the signal at 12ac, so EUCLID was only half parsed, but otherwise no particular problems. OBI seems more often defined as a sash – I don’t think I’ve seen this definition before. Definitely an “only in crosswords” word.

    FOI – 5ac APSE
    LOI – 3dn SCONE (mainly because I had overlooked it)
    COD – 10ac ANGERS

    Thanks to Jalna and William

  19. Gosh, I found this one very difficult and needed CCD to finish. Might have helped if I had remembered Scottish football teams. Did biff EUCLID finally, after using CCD for PASSAGE, which shd have been obvious.
    Liked PIECE OF WORK, SLAPSTICK, SLEIGHT. Various struggles and PDMS.
    Oh dear.
    Thanks, William.

  20. Struggled with this one, giving up as a bad job after getting only half the clues.

  21. Started with PEA and finished with CROATIA. Wasted time trying to make PE the exercise at 1a. Liked EUCLID. 6:28. Thanks Jalna and William.

  22. Approachable but I was slow at 42-mins to complete. First parse only netted 5 answers and I only had 8 or 9 at 15-mins. Then PIECE-OF-WORK revealed itself and the next 10-mins answers flew in to complete the lower half. Crickets for a while and eventually took a break at forty mins with three outstanding – EUCLID, SCONE, HAIRDO (LOI). Like Tina, HO=HOUSE unknown even though I had been trying to rearrange RAID every time I looked at the clue.

    NHO AIOLI – mayonnaise would be the devil’s food, if tomato ketchup hadn’t already taken the title. Likewise, OBI unheard of. As detailed elsewhere, UNDEES was almost a new answer for ruffled feathers.

    Realising I currently have a target completion time of 1hr, so pleased to knock in another!

    Thanks and William and Jaina 🙂

    1. Oh interesting about aioli! It is served with chips here at cafes. My kids prefer it over tomato sauce.

      My mother in law, who was a true meat and three veg Anglo-Australian rural lady used to eat aioli with everything!

  23. 4:31 this morning. Many of my comments have been made already.
    19 d “obi” is indeed crossword-land lingo and along with its two distinct meanings is worth an entry in one’s memory banks. Can’t recall ever having a burning need to employ it in everyday conversation.
    A good mixture for a QC of easy clues and some neat structures. Liked 12 ac “euclid”, 17 ac “spring” and 4 d and LOI “passage” once I realised “postage” wasn’t going to work.
    Thanks to Jalna and to William for his blog.

  24. 11 minutes on this pleasant puzzle. I don’t think I’ve quite connected with Jalna’s style yet, perhaps I need more than an average of five a year to get on his wavelength!
    Not being much a biffer and having a tendency to move on too quickly when reading the clues, I passed over PRESS-UP, EUCLID and TIMPANI initially, before realising the error of my ways. I think these were all very nice, subtle clues.
    FOI Aioli (did anyone see the piece about France running out of Dijon mustard and finding other Euro-condiments too mild? If they like it hot, maybe they should try Coleman’s fiery yellow stuff 🔥)
    LOI Slogan
    Thanks Jalna and William

    1. I did see that. From a recent stay in France, not only are they short of mustards, but manufacturers have begun mixing Dijon mustard, into some jars mayonnaise. I don’t like the blend, but it’s very popular.

  25. I knew obi but must ask friends why they’ve called their rescue cat that! Not a sash so perhaps a charm.

    1. Probably to do with the Star Wars character who I initially thought was Obi W****r Nobi. Sci-fi ain’t my thing…..

  26. Late to it today. Fast through until the mathematician, whose wordplay was too subtle for me and needed a trawl. Takes a while to get to U.

    FOI APSE, LOI EUCLID, COD SPRING, time 07:58 for 1.1K and a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks Jalna and William


  27. 35 minutes (not at all bad for me), but should have been sub-20. My last two (PIECE OF WORK and SLAPSTICK) held me up for almost 20 minutes at the end. I got as far as PIECE OF _O__, but just could not think of the final word. I also had ASPE for 5a, which meant SLAPSTICK was impossible until I spotted my error. So, an opportunity to escape the SCC was missed. Drat, drat and double drat!

    Many thanks to Jalna and William.

  28. Quick enough, although I didn’t like my LOI as noted earlier, and had typoed OBO which I then had to correct ! A truly orchestral finish.

    TIME 3:28

  29. Thrown off by putting “Knees Up” for “Exercise before heading for something to drink (5-2)”… I think it works as exercise and heading out for a good ol’ knees up !

  30. Held up for a while by getting HEARTS as the Scottish team (fEATHERS*, not seeing there’s an extra E) but then finished wth an overlooked typo.

  31. Another tricky but v enjoyable QC. A steady solve.

    Thanks for the excellent blog to help with the parsing.

  32. Did it in two parts today as had to go out. Only got just over half at first, but the rest slipped in easily when I came back – the brain must have working on the clues! DNK OBI, but guessed from clue and could not parse EUCLID – thanks, William, but he’s the only mathematician I know in 6 letters!

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