Times Quick Cryptic 2227 by Jalna

Certainly easier than yesterday’s puzzle, but no pushover. There are a few slightly odd words as answers, which those of us relying on seeing the definition and then justifying might have struggled with. I hadn’t noticed until blogging that I DNK 16dn, and evidently just used the wordplay when solving. My only actual mistake was getting the wrong end of the stick at 11ac, but at least I was aware enough to immediately check with 2dn!

Definitions underlined.

1 Sailors getting in the booze (8)
ABSINTHE – ABS (plural of able-bodied (seaman), sailors), with IN and THE.
5 Some loathsome manager sent round note (4)
MEMO – hidden in (some) loathesOME Manager reversed (sent round).
9 Let everybody down, having no limits (5)
ALLOW – ALL (everybody), then dOWn without its first and last letters (having no limits).
10 One reshaped in end part of the foot (7)
TOENAIL – anagram of (reshaped) ONE, contained by (in) TAIL (end).
11 How stupid of me to return this builder’s equipment (3)
HOD – D’OH (how stupid of me) reversed (to return).
12 PA, on reflection sharp, given a job (9)
APPOINTED – reversal of (on reflection) PA, then POINTED (sharp).
13 Move unsteadily after beginning to drink more rum (6)
DODDER – first letter of (beginning to) Drink, then ODDER (more rum).
15 Brilliant, mostly sumptuous material (6)
FABRIC – FAB (brilliant), then all-but-the-last letter from (mostly) RICh (sumptuous).
17 Bananas are able to develop (9)
ELABORATE – anagram of (bananas) ARE ABLE TO.
19 Outstanding university in Delaware (3)
DUE – U (university) contained by (in) DE (Delaware).
20 Suitable extra task for a delivery driver? (7)
FITTING – definition and cryptic hint; the driver delivering an appliance or piece of furniture would consider fitting it additional to his/her duties.
21 Fly, carrying new tracking apparatus (5)
SONAR – SOAR (fly) containing (carrying) N (new).
22 Famous chemist releasing book for Christmas (4)
NOEL – NObEL (famous chemist) deleting (releasing) ‘b’ (book).
23 Artist is a noodler, sadly (8)
LEONARDO – anagram of (sadly) A NOODLER.
1 Humiliated adolescent initially remains in bed (7)
ABASHED – first letter of (initially) Adolescent, then ASH (remains) in BED.
2 After seconds, a youth leaves (5)
SALAD – A LAD (a youth) after S (seconds).
3 Ocean wind swirling around a large eastern Pacific region (3,9)
NEW CALEDONIA – anagram of (swirling) OCEAN WIND, containing (around) A, L (large), and E (eastern).
4 Angry male sheep (3,2)
HET UP – HE (male) and TUP (sheep).
6 One making demands of retired player? (7)
EXACTOR – EX-ACTOR (retired player).
7 Dirty, having cap removed and treated with grease (5)
OILED – sOILED (dirty) missing the first letter (having cap removed).
8 Messy site cleaned to accommodate small shop (12)
DELICATESSEN – anagram of (messy) SITE CLEANED, containing (to accommodate) S (small).
14 Soldier put inflatable boat in river (7)
DRAFTEE – RAFT (inflatable boat) contained by (in) DEE (river).
16 Toast and two-thirds of Stilton, perhaps with port (7)
CHEERIO – first four letters from (two-thirds of) CHEEse (Stilton, perhaps), then RIO (port). Apparently (and according to Chambers), this can mean ‘good health’ when used as a toast, as well as ‘goodbye’.
17 Mischievous and somewhat self-involved (5)
ELFIN – hidden in (somewhat) sELF-INvolved.
18 Point of view — it may be right! (5)
ANGLE – definition and cryptic hint.
19 Kebab dish finished with last bit of coriander (5)
DONER – DONE (finished), and the last letter from (last bit of) coriandeR.

72 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2227 by Jalna”

  1. 18:17. Fortunately the two long down anagrams jumped out at me and I remembered tup from a previous discussion here. Also I read an article about DONERs recently. DODDER took the longest because there were so many possibilities for moving unsteadily. Didn’t fully understand FITTING until I came here. Enjoyed FABRIC and SALAD most.

  2. I am not having a good time this week!

    I thought everything was fair but I still didn’t understand FITTING until I read the explanation three times.

    No wait I had never heard of HET UP or TUP for sheep.. Catch me trying to type in HEE WE and HER AM 😂 instead

    1. Tup is is used to mean a male sheep in Scotland – equivalent of a ram elsewhere. I think it is also used in Cumbria and Yorkshire, north of England.

  3. I think that if I were to refer to someone who exacts, I’d say exacter, so I dithered for a moment over 6d. FITTING was my LOI, put in when there was no choice. Does a deliveryman fit a washing machine? a sofa? Not in my house, anyway. 6:27.

      1. Same with stores here, at least the ones I deal with; but I was querying the word ‘fit’. Deliverymen installed my washing machine/air conditioner etc., and assembled my chair/bookcase, etc., but I wouldn’t have said they fitted any of these.

        1. SOED has ‘fitter’ as: A person employed to fix installations or appliances of any kind, gas-fitter, pipe-fitter etc.

          Not that you’d find anyone calling themselves a ‘gas-fitter’ these days, they’re all ‘engineers’ now, don’t you know!

  4. I needed 10 minutes for this puzzle which was at least an improvement on my poor effort yesterday (16) and Jalna’s last appearance (12).

    I note from Collins and SOED that the word ‘exactress’ exists should one need to distinguish between the male and female of the species, and wonder if this has ever led to confusion amongst the ranks of retired female thespians.

  5. Certainly easier for me at least than Mon/Tue. Could not see why FITTING worked for the second part of the clue and puzzled over CHEERS before seeing the 2/3 CHEE-RIO bit.
    Everything else was straightforward. LOI ABSINTHE. Maketh the heart grow fonder, so they say.
    Thanks William and Jalna

  6. Squeezed under 12 and no typos again, so this week is going well. ABSINTHE went straight in but then only another three on the first pass. Downs were kinder and I was off. I know ‘tup’ from being too lazy on Sundays to do something else when Countryfile comes on. LOI was FABRIC, where the clue had me very confused until the answer popped out. Didn’t know CHEERO could be a toast (and I still don’t believed it but thanks for the research William) and I was another that dithered over EXACTOR. I couldn’t see a homophone indicator so did what ‘player’ demanded – but still submitted a bit nervously.

    1. My maternal grandparents, long departed now, would always toast ‘Cheerio!’ when downing the first drink! One brought up near Barnsley, the other in Northamptonshire.

    1. Cambridge dictionary has:
      raft, a small rubber or plastic boat that can be filled with air.

      1. A raft can be inflatable, and an inflatable boat can be a raft, but in neither case do they have to be, so did this not need a qualifier, for example a “perhaps” or a question mark?

        1. I don’t know that there’s any rule or convention on the subject, but my view is that a DBE of an element of wordplay (as here, where RAFT is only part of the answer) shouldn’t need to be signalled or clues would become riddled with such qualifications and increasingly cumbersome. It’s perhaps a different matter if the target word (in this case DRAFTEE) were to be defined by example although as I’m sure you know by now opinions differ on that and I tend to be less bothered by it than I was at one time.

  7. 20 minutes from FOI: ABASHED to LOI: FABRIC. Not too many hold-ups other than the crossing SALAD and ALLOW for some reason adding to my time. Also the parsing of FITTING which I still didn’t quite see until I read the examples above.
    I had several marked as favourites: SONAR, HET UP, and CHEERIO also, ELABORATE.

  8. 21 mins with an untimed break – I found this pretty chewy and was tempted to throw the towel in with very little of the left half complete. Solving NEW CALEDONIA helped with what I thought was a puzzle with fewer than usual ‘gimmes’.

    Although I follow it, I still didn’t really think FITTING was clued specifically enough – we have hundreds of deliveries but the only things we have ever had delivered AND fitted are kitchen appliances. I shan’t lose any sleep over it, however!

    I enjoyed TOENAIL and HOD.

    Thanks Jalna and William

  9. Off Jalna’s wavelength.

    I had to write out a couple of the anagrams, which always takes time.

    Woes too many to mention. I finished with FABRIC.

    Not a good week so far!


  10. Just managed to delete my comment before posting it, grrr.
    To summarise I found this quite tricky and missed my target once again, but not by as much as yesterday. Started with a tentative HOD and finished with FABRIC in 11.20.
    Thanks to William

  11. 13 minutes. Why do I see Jalna’s name and look for a theme? I must stop wasting time doing that! I’m convinced that oiled and greased are two different things, but maybe I’m just being grumpy this morning. Thanks both.

    1. I agree oil and grease are very different but surely the fact they are both lubricants provides enough of an overlap for crossword definition purposes? On a different note ,whereas my grandfather and father used bear and goose ” grease “on their hair( different times, different customs), myself I will only allow hair “oil” on my own lustrous locks.

  12. Pleased to finish this in 14 minutes after a worrying start with about 5 clues on the first pass only. Not sure why: early morning brain freeze I suspect.

    Those first five did not include Hod at 11A as I saw no way to distinguish between Hod and Doh until I had a checker. An odd clue, and although not a problem for long, slightly unsatisfactory that it cannot be solved unequivocally on its own.

    LOI Fitting, put in from checkers with all the slight reservations and hesitations mentioned by others.

    Many thanks to William for the blog

  13. I found this quirky (as expected from Jalna) but much more enjoyable and approachable than yesterday’s NVQC. Like William, I wasted time getting the wrong end of the stick for 11a but reversed the answer when SALAD emerged. A jumpy solve but I got there in the end, just 3 mins over target (all parsed but with a MER at FITTING). My LOI was 8d which only dropped out as I was beginning to write down the anagrist.
    I was going to list the clues I enjoyed but found too many so I will just go back over William’s blog instead.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  14. Started with ABSINTHE and made steady progress to LOI, DELICATESSEN, which gave me pause while I mentally reassembled the anagrist. MER at FITTING as what a delivery man does! Thanks Jalna and William.

  15. FOI ABSINTHE and LOI FABRIC in 7:40. Clearly I was on wavelength. I hiked up Puig de Massanella in Mallorca (1364m) yesterday so I have the added joy of attempting yesterday’s QC today. From the comments above I feel sure I will miss my target 9 mins.

    Update: Forewarned is forearmed (with a UZI). I romped home on the Teazel puzzle in 6:33.

  16. Quickish to begin with but got slower as I went on, eventually crossing the line in 10.57. The raft defined as an inflatable made me hesitate, and I agree with Cedric that a question mark may have helped. A fair test and thanks to Jalna for an enjoyable 11 minutes.

  17. “Give us a DONER, but put it on a barm, with peas and gravy, and everything on…”

    This little gem was down to Right Band, Wrong Planet, a rather eccentric 1980’s band from Salford who never quite achieved the success they deserved. It was dedicated to “the world’s worst chippy”, which was in Little Hulton – an area where rottweilers go around in pairs for their own protection.

    No difficulties, and nothing to add to what others have said.

    TIME 4:15

    1. Did you ever have a ‘Suicide’ curry from the Plaza in Upper Brook Street, Chorlton? I don’t know if anyone ever succeeded in finishing one, but the reward for doing so was to be served another, free of charge.

  18. As soon as I wrote in Absinthe, I thought this was going to be an interesting QC. A full 28mins, and several muttered curses, later my view hadn’t changed, though there was a welcome feeling of relief at crossing the line fully parsed. The SW corner was the main problem area today, with Dodder/Draftee/Fitting all needing the crow bar. Hard to pick out a CoD from a strong field, but I did like the construction of 1d, Abashed, so it gets the nod. Invariant

  19. Stuck on DODDER and DRAFTEE. I don’t think of a raft as being inflatable but bow to the dictionary experts above.
    Very slow today, but had some PDMs finally. Had to jump around the grid between ABSINTHE earlier and LEONARDO later. Liked HET UP and HOD.
    Thanks vm, William.

  20. Dnf…curse of the last clue syndrome after 20 mins – mainly because I put “Exacted” for 6dn which left me scratching my head for 15ac. Putting 11ac “Hod” in the wrong way didn’t help either.

    Personally, I didn’t think it was easier than yesterday. I enjoyed it, but whilst some of the definitions are obviously technically correct, they raised a few eyebrows: 16dn “Cheerio”, 20ac “Fitting” for example.

    FOI – 1ac “Absinthe”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 1dn “Abashed”

    Thanks as usual!

  21. No problem with FaFS today! But I too looked at 11a from the wrong ANGLE which slowed me down to finish in 12:04. I did go to 2d but initially could only see name as the reverse hidden, so moved on quickly. (MEMO to self: this is a bad habit, and often ends up slowing things down!)
    NEW CALEDONIA wrote itself in but when I reread the clue, I thought it was a great surface. I also liked HET UP a lot. I feel sure Bertie Wooster might have said CHEERIO at the Drones Club.
    I thought this was trickier than yesterday’s. I didn’t much care for FITTING.
    FOI Allow COD Leonardo LOI Fitting
    Thanks Jalna and William

  22. Jolly good fun. That was a well-constructed puzzle, even though my heart sinks when I see geography clues. Mr Morris the geography master has a lot to answer for.

    COD to FOI ABSINTHE, time 07:59 for 1.25K and a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks Jalna and William.


  23. Took an age to get started, with only 4-5 answers filled in after what must have been a good 15 minutes. After that I suddenly seemed to get on Jalna’s wavelength and the rest followed, if not exactly quickly, then at least not at the previous snail’s pace. Couldn’t parse FITTING or NOEL and a definite MER at FITTING after reading William’s explanation. Eventually staggered over the line in 36 minutes.

    FOI – 5ac MEMO
    LOI – 22ac NOEL

    Thanks to William and Jalna

  24. Just about 20 mins today with last 5 mins on FABRIC – did not lift and separate! Otherwise all seemed fair. DNK ‘cheerio’ as a ‘toast’ but fitted the wordplay. Liked HOD and EXACTOR. Remembered TUP from a Matt Baker farming programme. Many thanks Jalna and William.

  25. 26 minutes and pleased with that.
    Het up was tricky as were several others but an enjoyable challenge.
    I fell into the Doh trap until 2d corrected and I took far too long to see Appointed and LOI Fabric.
    Having got Noel and Leonardo fairly early I was looking for some reversal theme. There are also a few double letters but nothing else that I could spot..
    Thanks all

  26. I’m another who puzzled over fitting and nearly put an extra ‘e’ in exactor. I nearly wrote extractor just then – I’m off to the dentists later for a check up! 11 mins.

  27. I saw ABSINTHE and MEMO immediately, so I thought I was on a roll, but it ended there! I thought of OILED but didn’t write it in because I couldn’t see how it could be correct, because oil is not grease. I saw that bananas was the anagram indicator, but couldn’t find the answer. Disappointed to make such slow progress.

    1. Ian, do you do the puzzle via the online Crossword Club? If so, why not use the word check button when you’re a bit doubtful about a clue. If it’s right, hooray! If it’s wrong, it gives you the opportunity to have another go, without giving everything away. If you’re really stuck, the word reveal button can help open up the grid. It may help boost your confidence a bit 🤞😊

        1. Ah, that makes my suggestion less practical then! Although if you’ve got a subscription, you can still access the club 😊

  28. Pleased to have finished in 21:46 without reaching for help for two (two!) 12-letter anagrams, which I always find difficult, especially when they are down clues, as today’s were. FOI 2a MEMO, then a circle around to LOI and COD 1a ABSINTHE.

  29. Late to this after golf.
    I had DOH at 11a -seemed to work. Doh.
    Unsurprisingly my last two were ABASHED and ABSINTHE which needed all the checkers.
    I wondered about the inflatable RAFT.
    Not quick today.

  30. I thought this was on the easier end of the spectrum for a change. A definite MER for 7d Oiled as it doesn’t do the same job as greasing – it’s why we have two substances, not just the one. 20a Fitting caused a delay, as did 1d Abashed.
    FOI 5a Memo
    LOI 14d Draftee – we’ve this word before, but it always seems unwieldy to me
    COD 1a Absinthe – for the simplicity of the clue.

  31. Very pleased to race across the finish line, all fully parsed, in just 24 minutes (almost sprinting for me). And, I was delighted not to be bamboozled by DRAFTEE, which I had NHO last time it came up.

    Many thanks to Jalna and William.

  32. Can’t say this was straightforward, but it was hugely enjoyable. I solved it in three sittings as I was looking after my niece for much of the evening. 20ac and 18dn took some getting, but I thought the entire puzzle was beautifully constructed. COD 16dn.

    Thanks for the blog. I needed this to parse a couple.

  33. Really not on Jalna’s wavelength. I usually manage to finish in an hour or so but DNF after 3 days of intermittent trying.
    Maybe this suits experienced solvers who know all the canards – so not really me.
    Fitting for a delivery driver
    And the worst one Draftee.
    A random river. A raft is not an inflatable boat. Draftee could be many professionals eg American Footballer so should have had a question mark.
    If all Quick Cryptics were like this I’d stick to Sudoku. Thankfully they’re not

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