Times Quick Cryptic 2216 by Orpheus


A scorpion of a QC! I was well and truly bitten by the sting in the tail which was 13dn. Until then it was smooth sailing (I got both the long vertical and horizontal clues which helped) and I’d completed all bar the unchecked letters of 13dn. There are only 4 but they took an extra minute each. Even when I had the answer, I did some research for the blog.
I counted 6 double definitions which seemed a lot.

So, here goes – I hope you knew the GK and breezed through.

Definitions are underlined in bold italics.

1 A right turn-off, corporation’s tree plantation (9)
ARBORETUM – a (A), right (R), turn-off (BORE), corporation (stomach – TUM).
6 Caught a glimpse of cutter (3)
SAW – double definition.
8 Retired minister with a roofed canopy (7)
VERANDA – minister – rev – retired (VER), with (AND), a (A).
9 On radio, remained calm and composed (5)
STAID – homophone (on the radio) of remained – stayed.
10 Light fabric produced by commercial traveller in church (5)
CREPE – commercial traveller (REP) in church (CE).
12 Observe article and be furious (6)
SEETHE – observe (SEE), article (THE).
14 Can someone else write this? Not on your life! (13)
AUTOBIOGRAPHY – cryptic definition.
16 Head of quiet university isn’t commonly olde-worlde (6)
QUAINT – (Q)uiet, university (U), isn’t spoken commonly (AIN’T).
17 Civic dignitary initially respected by Irish county (5)
MAYOR – (R)espected next to Irish County (MAYO).
19 Couple providing support? (5)
BRACE – double definition. We managed to avoid the female clothing reference.
20 Large books finally deter unworthy intolerance (7)
BIGOTRY -large (BIG), books (OT), dete(R) unworth(Y).
22 Draw bow, perhaps (3)
TIE – double definition. To draw in a game is to tie and bow tie.
23 Charlie entering place set out for extravaganza (9)
SPECTACLE – Charlie (C) entering an anagram (out) of PLACE SET.
1 Lawyer endlessly imbibing a liqueur (8)
ADVOCAAT – lawyer endlessly (ADVOCAT)e containing a (A).
2 Secure watering hole (3)
BAR – double definition. Secure as in barring a door.
3 Extent of shooting area (5)
RANGE – double definition.
4 Able to be conveyed to Barnstaple somehow, crossing river (13)
TRANSPORTABLE – anagram (somehow) of TO BARNSTAPLE around river (R).
5 Wrongly assume right to be manipulator (7)
MASSEUR – anagram (wrongly) of ASSUME, right (R).
6 Cheerfully casual friends turned up slightly drunk (4-5)
SLAP-HAPPY – friends – pals – upwards (SLAP), slightly drunk (HAPPY/merry).
7 Broad identification you and I must go without (4)
WIDE – identification (ID) with you and I (WE) outside.
11 Attendants in French trip get older (9)
ENTOURAGE – ‘in’ in French (EN), trip (TOUR), get older (AGE).
13 Poet’s mature association with nature? (3,5)
EYE RHYME – for a QC, I’d say this was a fiendish cryptic definition of what, in poetry, could be the association between ‘mature’ and ‘nature’. The checkers led me to eye rhyme which IDK so I had to wonder what was going on. When I noticed the ‘ATURE’ at the end of the two words and thought ‘well, it must be’ so bunged it in. Collins has ‘a rhyme involving words that are similar in spelling but not in sound, such as stone and none’.
15 Water heaters in British tankers, for example (7)
BOILERS – British (B), tankers for example (OILERS).
17 Power could — possibly? (5)
MIGHT – double definition.
18 Technology holding up former pupil’s death notice (4)
OBIT – technology (IT) underneath former pupil (OB).
21 Hearing blood-sucking arachnid, it might be nervous (3)
TIC – homophone (hearing) of tick.


87 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2216 by Orpheus”

  1. I biffed BIGOTRY, parsed post-submission. I had the Y for 13d from AUTOBIOGRAPHY, but somehow I didn’t think of EYE until I had R_Y, and then it hit me. 5:23.

  2. I had trouble with EYE RHYME too. I’d never heard of it before crosswords. I think the clue was fair in retrospect but tricky. Everything else was fine.

    I didn’t know why TUM was a corporation and that OB was a former pupil, or MAYO, so thanks for the blog 🙂

    I liked TIE the best:D

  3. 12:55 Took longest on VERANDA as I thought of it as a kind of porch and didn’t know the canopy meaning. Remembered discussion here of EYE RHYME maybe last spring or winter. Enjoyed SLAP-HAPPY and BIGOTRY most.

  4. Well, after 10 consecutive failures at last I solved a QC within my target 10 minutes and with time to spare. But for EYE RHYME I’d have completed this in 6 but needed extra time for that one as my LOI and stopped the clock on 7 minutes.

    It was difficult to avoid being aware of ADVOCAAT once the ‘snowball’ came into fashion as a bottle of the bright yellow liqueur lurked on a shelf behind every bar. I once took a sip of it neat, and it was possibly the most disgusting alcoholic drink I have ever tasted.

    1. As a child my parents would always open a bottle of Advocaat at Christmas and as a treat we would be offered this warmed eggnog in a shot glass to eat with a spoon. Revolting. One tradition I have not perpetuated.

      1. Same here. Only ever got opened at Xmas, sure we had ours for years and was probably off.

    2. Even worse than Creme de Menthe ? And I haven’t dared try the blue stuff that looks like meths.

      1. I think the blue stuff is probably Curacao. ‘On the shelf’ were a motley collection of liqueur bottles including one with a long tapering neck that seemed to contain some sort of icicle encrusted branch in a yellow liquid. I inherited the parental collection as a job lot but after keeping them untouched in a box for over 20 years, was persuaded to dump the lot despite my protestations that they could have only improved with age.

  5. 17 minutes so relatively quick for me and enjoyable.
    FOI: ARBORETUM seeing the WP as I read the clue followed by its first four hangers. Then a steady work through to LOI: EYE RHYME for COD.
    Favourite SLAP-HAPPY.
    I had 17dn as a triple definition.

    1. Following my mini French break (coincidentally and amusingly documented by J Clarkson in Sunday’s motoring section), I returned enthusiastically to polish off yesterday and today’s QCC in sub 18 minutes. Either the surfeit of fine food and wine invigorated my aging brain or perhaps they were on the easier end of the scale. All added to the overall feeling of bonhomie. Thanks Orpheus and Chris. LOI EYE RHYME. Vague recollection of seeing it here before.

    2. I don’t recall him saying anything like that- hope he rejoins us- I enjoy his contributions.

  6. 1216 King John loses his crown jewels in The Wash

    12:16 but should have been a pre-conquest time, but for the length spent on EYE RHYME. NHO, but made sense once I figured out the only plausible words to fit.

    TUM=corporation is one of those ridiculous crossword conventions that, frankly, should be retired.


    1. Corporation for tum still amuses me, probably because we always referred to my father’s (not very big) stomach as the paternal corporation 😅

  7. Gentle going until hitting the barrier of EYE RHYME at the end which required a couple of minutes of alphabet trawls and then pressing submit with fingers crossed.
    Started with ARBORETUM and had a top to bottom solve for the first time in a while, finishing in 7.07.
    Thanks to Chris

  8. 9’48” to complete the grid but needed the blog to parse EYE RHYME which I now see as rather straightforward, albeit very clever.

    VERANDA and ADVOCAAT slowed me down.

    I don’t think I had associated VERANDA with the canopy, more the base: “meet you on the veranda” rather than “under the veranda”

    Thanks Orpheus and Chris

  9. A lovely smooth QC from Orpheus. Most of the crosses slipped in on the first pass leaving lots of checkers for the downs. LOI… yes you’ve guessed it… EYE RHYME, but the two Ys helped a lot. 3:29.

  10. What everyone else said. A sting in the tail indeed.

    FOI ARBORETUM, LOI guess what, COD SEETHE, time 06:06 for 1.2K and an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Orpheus and Chris.


  11. I felt something was wrong today – I went like a train and, after the last couple of weeks, it made me feel uncomfortable. It seemed like cheating to just write answers in quickly over just a few minutes.
    Then I hit the ‘sting’ (unlucky 13). Never heard the phrase. I didn’t even try to biff it. Well and truly stuffed by Orpheus. Thanks to Chris. John M.

  12. Thanks to Orpheus and Chris- didn’t know tum= corporation, any one willing to explain it? Got v stuck with 13D

    1. Corporation: A protruding or prominent abdomen, aka a fat stomach, hence ‘tum’. It’s colloquial and jocular, another little example of the richness of our language that some don’t approve of, along with collective nouns.

  13. Never heard of eye rhyme and reading the justification I tend to think that it is out of order for a quickie. Also staid is invariably used as a negative quality (stiff and or boring) but otherwise there was a lot to enjoy here for me. Around 10 mins but needed a spell checker for the unknown, Thanks setter and blogger.

  14. A straightforward, confidence boosting, top to bottom solve in 14mins, with pauses over Eye Rhyme and Transportable – I wrote out the anagrist for the latter with a double ‘b’ and no ‘p’, which made it very tricky for a while. CoD to 7d, Wide, a nicely constructed clue. Invariant

  15. 10 minutes to get to LOI 13d – a similar story to many it seems.
    I spent two more minutes and got to EYE RHYME which did not seem to parse but I decided to draw stumps. And, as rarely happens when parsing is lacking, it seems I was lucky. Having read the blog and reflected, perhaps I have seen Eye Rhyme before in a puzzle.
    I also wondered about the meaning of VERANDA.
    Overall enjoyable.

  16. Couldn’t finish this one because of 13d. I really can’t make sense of the clue, even with the blogger’s attempt at explaining it.

    1. The words are spelled the same (by eye) but are not pronounced the same. So the rhyme is a visual one rather than an actual one. (I think!)
      For example
      The holly and the ivy
      when they are both full grown
      Of all the trees that are in the wood
      The holly bears the crown.
      Grown and crown don’t actually rhyme, but look as if they do, so an EYE RHYME

  17. Raced through at top speed, no hesitations, then stuck on 13d, like most. Didn’t remember EYE RHYME, but maybe we had a discussion about it 2 or 3 years ago!
    Liked QUAINT, BRACE, MAYOR, among others.
    Lots of biffing. Thanks for blog, Chris.

  18. Made normal progress until confronted with ?Y? RHYME just under 5 minutes. Looked at it for a minute, decided that there are no 3 letter words with Y as the middle letter, and revealed in a huff, only to berate myself mightily. I’d heard of it, and if I was only a little more patient, I would have got to EYE.

    In retrospect, that was my clue of the day.

    Not doing very well on these at the moment, must have had more DNFs in the past month than the last year. Not sure if it’s harder puzzles, thicker me, or simply impatience engendered by trying to solve quickly. I have a different mindset when approaching the 15×15.


  19. Beaten by EYE RHYME but it’s one I’ll definitely remember. With hindsight (and the blog!) it’s clued really well and I should have worked it out. Otherwise no problems and raced through (for me) in around 12 minutes until I hit the 13d wall…. Puzzled a little over the spelling of ADVOCAAT but AUTOBIOGRAPHY cleared things up. Smiled at BIGOTRY. Enjoyed this one and was on for a really fast time so a bit cross with myself for not looking harder at the word play for EYE RHYME… Anyway, many thanks for great blog and to Orpheus for a cracking puzzle.

  20. Well, like Jackkt, I returned under target for the first time in a good few solves – in my case scraping in under 15 minutes with – LOI EYE RHYME, which I biffed. I didn’t waste much time on it, not sure I’ve ever seen it before, certainly didn’t remember it, but unless the answer was some obscure NHO Welsh poet, it was all I could see that would fit the checkers. I needed to come here to see the parsing / meaning. Thanks Setter and Blogger.

  21. Ripped through this one till I got to the bottom right corner where I biffed MAYBE instead of MIGHT and forgot for a while to check it. This screwed up 20ac and 23ac for me, but once I had rectified this I was left with 13dn. The RHYME part was obvious enough, and after a couple of minutes head scratching I finally remembered the term EYE RHYME from previous crosswords. I do agree with the earlier comment that it is more 15x15ish however. Crossed the line eventually in 10.20 feeling I should have done better.

  22. Like everyone else I fell at the EYE RHYME hurdle. As I have only recently joined this forum I didn’t have the benefit of having come across it before. It didn’t help that I decided it had to be the name of some obscure poet called Nye Royle or something similar. 13 minutes until this fall resulting in a DNF.

  23. ADVOCAAT went in first and then I proceeded uneventfully towards 13d, which yielded after a moment’s thought, mainly because I’ve seen it before in the 15×15 puzzles. 6:00. Thanks Orpheus and Chris.

  24. DNF. Same problem as nearly everyone else. All except 13dn finished in 10 minutes, then spent another ten thinking of obscure poets before giving up. Made perfect sense once I revealed the answer.

  25. Fast fast stop. 5 minutes – blistering for me – until the infamous Eye rhyme. Then I stared and stared, and gave up. NHO the phrase, and alphabet trawls didn’t work (there are several dozen words that go -Y-, and even quite a few that go R-Y-E).

    Quite apart from whether this is an entirely fair clue for a QC, it is IMO an entirely inappropriate one in this QC, as it is so out of keeping with the rest of it. A puzzle should have a pleasing feeling overall, and this clue just jars with the rest of the puzzle. I suspect Orpheus got to the bottom right and struggled to complete the grid given the checkers he’d given himself – and declined to rework the other clues so had to include this ugliness. A shame, as the rest of the puzzle was a joy.

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog

  26. DNF. All went in rapidly until I ran aground on 13D. Got RHYME straight away from poet which left _Y_ and could see that EYE would fit but the phrase meant nothing to me; thanks to the blog, I see it now and mental note for the future. FOI – ARBORETUM, liked VERANDA (DNK spelling without final H but it fitted and is in OERefD), LOI 13D. Ho, hum.
    Thanks Orpheus and Chris.

  27. At least two ridiculous clues here. EYE RHYME is bad enough, but corporation for “tum”? Come off it. QC’s are supposed to be approachable, surely, not some private club for a privileged few.


    1. Why does having to learn some new vocabulary make this a “private club for a privileged few”?

      If you don’t like learning new words, this may not be the hobby for you.

  28. Hadn’t heard the term EYE RHYME so that took a while.
    I’m also fairly new here and was under the impression that Chambers is the standard.
    They have EYE-RHYME, with a hyphen. I know it doesn’t really matter, but, which is correct and is there a standard source for all spellings?

    1. The standard dictionaries for Times daily cryptic puzzles are Collins and either the Concise Oxford or the Oxford Dictionary of English (of the Oxfords I thought it was the latter but Peter B’s recent comments have raised doubts in my mind). Anyway, in this case all three have ‘eye rhyme’ as two separate words. Chambers is the dictionary for Mephisto puzzles.

        1. You’re welcome. Collins is available free on line. The Oxfords were free under Lexico until a couple of weeks ago but have now been incorporated with the American dictionary.com and I don’t think it’s been established yet whether their content is reliable for Times crossword solving.

  29. Dnf…18 mins for everything apart from 13dn which I’d never heard of.

    The rest I thought were generally fair.

    FOI – 10ac “Crepe”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 1dn “Advocaat” – just for the memories of egg-nog.

    Thanks as usual!

  30. DNF – could not get or guess EYE RHYME, unknown to me. Quite a few tough clues BIGOTRY, ADVOCAAT – not a liqueur that readily springs to mind), VERANDA. 1a ARBORETUM – obvious from “tree plantation”, but TUM = corporation? Not heard of it = stomach.

  31. On a par with jackkt and Plett11 needing just a few seconds more to commit to EYE RHYME in 7:17. It was so frustrating to watch the timer move from 5 plus to 6 plus mins with just this last clue to solve. COD to SLAP HAPPY because it made me smile.

  32. A Red Letter Day, as I whizzed through this in 5:50 – I really can’t write much faster! All done and dusted, even EYE RHYME, which I’ve definitely seen before, although more likely on the other side.
    I was amused by Chris’s comment about 19a – the undergarment is still hidden in BRACE! I always forget that definition of a pair for some reason (no additional pun intended!)
    No problem with CORPORATION as I commented to Merlin. In fact, I really don’t mind old fashioned slang – it’s all part of the language. Does anyone say groovy any more, unless they’re being a bit tongue-in-cheek? We still know what it means. Tina’s and Ellie’s references yesterday to ‘yeet’ sent me rushing to the urban dictionary, however 😅
    FOI Arboretum; LOI Bar (simply because I somehow skipped it and just noticed a gap at the end!); COD Staid (nice surface)
    Thanks Orpheus and Chris

  33. DNF. Like most others on here, defeated by 13D, which I’d never heard of. An alphabet trawl showed these as potential answers and I suppose I should have resorted to something like Google to check it out.
    TUM for Corporation was the other strange thing, however the remainder of the clue led to a reasonable solution, so it went in with a shrug.
    The rest of the puzzle seemed quite fair. Just these two oddities.
    Thanks to Chris for the blog

  34. FOI ARBORETUM, LOI SLAP HAPPY, but DNF and am not ashamed to have been foxed by my COD, which I think is a clever double definition. NHO eye rhyme, but assume it is two words which appear to rhyme but don’t, tough though that may seem (pardon the pun!). DD because a poet can say “I rhyme!” I seldom enjoy a DNF as much, so thanks Orpheus and Chris. Do eye rhymes exist outside English?

        1. No, oeuf and oeufs are pronounced completely differently, but look as though one is a simple plural of the other.

  35. DNF, joining the crowd beaten by EYE RHYME. Was on for an uncommon sub-10 minute day until I was held up by BRACE, which eventually came, and EYE RHYME, which didn’t. After turning to Chambers online to fill in the blanks, I gave the clue a grudging smile: I had been sent entirely the wrong way.

  36. 24 minutes and DNF due to 13d
    I’d not heard of the expression and assumed it was an obscure poet that I had not heard of.
    In hindsight I wished that I had studied the clue more.
    Thanks all

  37. DNFed on EYE RHYME after 30, which was a shame as there were many other good clues. I have heard the term I think, so it would have been fine if it had been clued more kindly. I just assumed I was looking for the name of an obscure poet, or at least one I hadn’t heard of, Gye Royce or Tye Rayne for example. Oh well.

  38. Enjoyed this one. Solved much later than usual on a kindle, which hasn’t given me a time – quickish I think, even allowing for EYE RHYME.

  39. If you have guests for Christmas, try pouring chilled advocaat over warm mince pies. It tastes delicious and will raise some eyebrows when it looks like custard…

  40. 9.09 after a few bevvies in the pub with work colleagues (a rare sighting – only been in four times in almost 3 years). Hence slightly sub-comparison time but happy enough

    Tend to agree with the comment about 13d being slightly out of place in this puzzle. Hadn’t heard of it the first time it came up in a 15×15 but did remember it here

    Pleasant fare elsewhere though a lazy ADVOCATE delayed the answer to the AUTOBIOGRAPHY

    Thanks all

  41. The best example of an EYE RHYME is perhaps.

    There was a young lady from Slough
    Who once had a terrible cough
    She sounded quite rough
    But battled on through
    I think she’s better now though.

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