Times Quick Cryptic 2237 by Orpheus

This didn’t take me any longer than usual, which I was surprised about as it seemed quite hard. I had to pick off clues from all over the grid, and ended up leaving all of the long answers until the very end.

Definitions underlined.

1 Shady soldiers let in subject to debate (12)
DISREPUTABLE – RE (Royal Engineers, soldiers) contained by (let in) DISPUTABLE (subject to debate).
9 Spiny plants originally cleared before start of play (5)
CACTI – first letter of (originally) Cleared, then ACT I (start of play).
10 Told untruths about US university being inadequate (7)
LIMITED – LIED (told untruths) containing (about) MIT (US university).
11 Eastern chaps going west, initially sealing one’s fate (7)
NEMESIS – E (eastern) and MEN, all returned (going west), then the first letter of (initially) Sealing, then I’S (one’s).
12 Fellow that is connected with English navy (5)
ERNIE – IE (that is), after E (English) and RN (Royal Navy).
13 Prohibition restricting member, one working in pub (6)
BARMAN – BAN (prohibition) containing (restricting) ARM (member).
14 Father and son crossing first of many treeless plains (6)
PAMPAS – PAPA (father) and S (son) containing (crossing) the first letter of Many.
17 Initially nice old boy, the French aristocrat (5)
NOBLE – first letters from (initially) Nice Old Boy, then LE (the, French).
19 Work hard enclosing judge’s leafy plant (7)
TREFOIL – TOIL (work hard) containing (enclosing) REF (referee, judge).
21 Complaint of large blokes in small island (7)
AILMENT – L (large) and MEN (blokes) contained by (in) AIT (small island).
22 In Egypt he taunted a character from Greece (5)
THETA – hidden in (in) egypT HE TAunted.
23 Poor Italian curate leaves area, lacking fluency (12)
INARTICULATE – anagram of (poor) ITALIAN CURaTE, missing the (leaves) letter ‘a’ (area).
2 Earnings right for a new arrival (7)
INCOMER – INCOME (earnings) and R (right).
3 Restoration of control over what the bank may provide (13)
REINSTATEMENT – REIN (control) over STATEMENT (what the bank may provide).
4 Central European elegance (6)
POLISH – double definition.
5 Moody doctor met male parent (13)
TEMPERAMENTAL – anagram of (doctor) MET MALE PARENT.
6 Stick — at the crease, perhaps? (5)
BATON – definition and cryptic hint. A batsman at the crease may ‘bat on’.
7 Interminable — or without a goal? (7)
ENDLESS – double definition.
8 Examination Charlie received in hospital (4)
SCAN – C (charlie) contained by (received in) SAN (sanatorium, hospital).
13 Indian chap taking girl on island (7)
BENGALI – BEN (chap), GAL (girl), and I (island).
15 Demonstration in favour of international match (7)
PROTEST – PRO (in favour of) and TEST (international match).
16 It may spoil radio receptionstill! (6)
STATIC – double definition.
18 A solid block set up in wood (5)
BALSA – A SLAB (a solid block) reversed (set up).
20 Youth holding end of poodle’s leash (4)
LEAD – LAD (youth) containing (holding) the last letter of (end of) poodlE.

49 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2237 by Orpheus”

  1. 12:12. Good time for likes of me. Thanks for proper parsing of DISREPUTABLE , BARMAN, AILMENT and BATON . Enjoyed NEMESIS most.

  2. I was going great guns for a while, but I had trouble with NEMESIS & DISREPUTABLE. 6:46.

  3. 8 minutes, but DISREPUTABLE at 1ac was my LOI and its absence in the early stages of the solve had slowed my progress.

    I was pleased to see ERNIE as he selected two of my Premium Bond numbers yesterday and won me £75!

    1. That’s a nice surprise Jack, good for you.
      Not as big a surprise as I had with Ernie not too long ago. My parents bought my brother and me a few premium bonds each in the late 1950s when they first came out. My total holding is £8. I have never added to this. About 7 or 8 years ago I was contacted to say I’d won £50! I suppose it may be comforting for some to know that even the oldest bonds sometimes come up trumps. Even with such a modest holding it does pay to contact them with any change of address.

      1. I’ve had a bond since 1956, I think, from the first issue when they looked a bit like postal orders, but it has never come up.

        1. Same here! As a girl I always wanted to win £50 on it so I could buy a pony. Which you could in thoser far off times.

  4. Held up by using moody as anagram indicator rather than definition for TEMPERAMENTAL and I also needed a lot of checkers to get to INARTICULATE. All green in 17 with lots of hard thought having to be applied. Special mention to NEMESIS – I always like it when there’s a lot going on in a clue and this one was jam packed – five instructions and a definition in only eight words.

  5. 24 minutes all parsed
    FOI: SCAN followed by most of the L/H side. Makes a change from top to bottom.
    LOI: TREFOIL needed all the checking letters before I made sense of the WP.
    Favourite: The nice and simple POLISH.

  6. Very similar experience to Jack on the puzzle, with a failure to see Disreputable on the first pass holding me back, and it was eventually my LOI when all the down clues gave the required checkers. All done in 7 minutes for a second fast day in a row.

    Now I would like a similar experience from ERNIE too please!

    Many thanks to William for the blog

  7. C. 10mins with a red square in the NHO TREFOIL but I should have alphabet trawled for REF rather than throw in ‘treeoil’ in haste.

    Was held up by my FOI being ‘stump’ for ‘stick at crease’ which held me up somewhat in the NE corner.

    Thanks Orpheus and Will for comprehensive blog

  8. No delays, but like others progress would have been smoother if the long ones hadn’t held out until the end. Started with CACTI and finished with DISREPUTABLE in 7.27.
    Thanks to william

  9. I made no progress in the top half at first, finding the grid unfriendly. I started more smoothly in the SE and worked up and across from there, speeding up as I progressed. In fact it became a bit of a biff-fest and I wondered why I was slow at first. I ended up 2 mins under target so under 2K. I would have been much quicker if 1a had been my FOI and not my LOI.
    Strangely, I finished this before turning off ‘Today’ on radio 4 (I normally prefer to wait and do the QC in silence). It seemed to work – it helped my brain to concentrate and cut out the interminable trails and details about the PM speech that won’t be given for hours, yet.
    Some clever clues and good long anagrams. I rather liked TREFOIL (which came to mind immediately). My COD was NEMESIS.
    Thanks to Orpheus and William. John M.

  10. Darted about solving a few of the easy clues like CACTI, ENDLESS, BARMAN, but then had to crawl around trying to get the longer ones like DISREPUTABLE, INARTICULATE, 3d and 5d. Glad to finish all correct. . Liked BENGALI, TREFOIL, STATIC, among others. LOI AILMENT.
    Thanks vm, William.

  11. Back to respectability at 13 minutes – middling difficulty on the Rotterometer. Like others, I didn’t see 1a right away, but got the second half of it after switching to the downs, and seeing POLISH, BATON and ENDLESS at first reading. BENGALI LOI. Thanks both.

  12. Just in case anyone is worried where I’ve gone, my new tablet has failed and is away for repair, so I’m taking a break until the middle of next week.

    1. I was just thinking that I’d not seen a post/time from you for a while, glad to hear all is OK (well, except for your tablet)

  13. Finished in a fairly rapid 8.12, but felt it was harder than my time suggested. Didn’t help myself by initially putting in AIMLESS instead of ENDLESS, but quickly saw this didn’t work with the crossers.
    LOI was BENGALI and before that the troublesome anagram at 1ac.

  14. I too was hobbled by having DISREPUTABLE as my LOI, and I ended up solving this clockwise from the NE corner, which is inefficient. I liked NEMESIS and BATON.

    Stopped the clock on 09:53 for 1.5k and an Indifferent Day.

    Many thanks Orpheus and William.


  15. Quite tricky in places. Never heard of Trefoil before, which held me up. Took me forever to get the REIN before statement. I had statement and kept trying to think of something that a bank might provide. Later I realised that I was looking at the wrong end of the clue for the definition. I got SCAN, even though I didn’t understand how SAN meant hospital, until I came here.

  16. Precisely 1K for me.

    Looking back, not sure what held me up, just a bit of thinking time I suppose.

    BENGALI was my LOI, which, seeing as the chap in question shares a name with me, is perhaps a little embarrassing. I used to work with a Banerji/Banerjee, and I got a bit fixated on that, until AILMENT came along. BATON COD.


  17. Worked through steadily, but needed to think about DISREPTUTABLE, INARTICULATE and AILMENT. Guessed the latter, as NHO AIT. You learn something every day. COD BAT ON.

  18. 3:45 this morning. After my COVID/flu jabs yesterday I went to bed feeling fine and woke up feeling lousy. Strange, since in the case of all the previous injections, my symptoms next day have been very mild.
    So I approached this puzzle with zero expectations and much to my surprise found that everything went in smoothly. For all the larger clues, I seemed to have plenty of crossers in pace by the time I got to them which undoubtedly helped.
    Liked 1 ac “disreputable” and 16 d “static”.
    Thanks to William for the blog and to Orpheus.
    Now back to the paracetemol….

  19. Steady progress from first to last gave me a time of 16minutes which I was happy with as bits of this seemed quite tricky. I’m not usually good at clues where the answer is a long single word but luckily two of these (TEMPERAMENTAL and INARTICULATE) jumped out at me quite quickly. I biffed quite a few so I was glad to come here for the correct parsing – thank you William.

    FOI – 9ac CACTI
    LOI and COD – 6dn BATON

    Thanks to Orpheus for an enjoyable QC

  20. I hate not being able to start in the NW, but foi Ernie set the tone for a very bitty solve, slowly building up a few crossers for the long answers. In the end I gave up trying to parse Bengali, wondering who Eng was, and settled for a disappointing 23min solve. One to forget, though I did enjoy 16d, Static, even if it’s a chestnut. Invariant

  21. I had a bit of struggle – as is shown by my LOI being 1ac. Like our blogger, I had to chase the answers where I could get them and ended up on 11 minutes. Some good clues – COD to BATON.

  22. 15m. Struggled with this and was not on Orpheus’s wavelength, same on the 15×15.
    Pampas took a while to remember, and I was looking for an anagram of doctor met male.

    COD temperamental.

  23. Into the SCC again today. Interesting to hear others mention lots of chestnuts – I will be very glad when experience lets me recognise oft-seen clues but I fear it’s a long way off! Anyhoo, biffed DISREPUTABLE (my LOI) and PAMPAS (didn’t think of papa, only pa… 🙄). COD to NEMESIS. Many thanks to William and Orpheus.

  24. DISREPUTABLE held up a few – including me, I thought an anagram of ‘soldiers’ was something to do with it. Then when I’d semi-biffed it, it took me a while to parse the cryptic parts of the clue. A good puzzle – all four long clues single words.

  25. 11.13

    Held up at the top of the puzzle, with DISREPUTABLE, POLISH and BATON being my last three in. Kicked myself on seeing BATON as I had been running through cricketing terms in my head but failed to think of the obvious one.

  26. 22 mins…

    Quite a few long ones to unpick which didn’t resolve themselves until I had more checkers. Liked 9ac “Cacti”, 11ac “Nemesis”, 19ac “Trefoil” and quite a few others.

    FOI – 8dn “Scan”
    LOI – 12ac “Ernie” – hate these types of clues
    COD – 13dn “Bengali” – definitely a chestnut I think, but I still like the simplicity.

    Thanks as usual.

  27. 11:36 here, and a similar experience to others of needing the crossers for DISREPUTABLE, REINSTATEMENT and TEMPERAMENTAL, which were 3 of my last 4. COD BATON.

  28. We joined the disreputable crowd in having 1a as last in. Otherwise we were quicker than usual, near to climbing out of the scc for a change.

  29. 20:19

    Not too bad but taken over my 20 minute target by ERNIE and LOI BATON, even though I was looking for something to do with cricket the penny only dropped when the checkers were there.

  30. Very brief post from me today, I’m afraid.
    Mr R: 36 minutes (found it tricky)
    Mrs R: 21 minutes (straightforward)
    Normality in the Random household.
    Many thanks to Orpheus and William.

  31. As I didn’t get going until 10a, I wasn’t very optimistic, but suddenly everything fell into place, and I did a nearly top to bottom solve, coming round to finish with 1 and 2a. All done and dusted in 6:05, which is .9K I think and makes for a Red Letter Day.
    FOI Limited LOI Disreputable COD Scan
    Thanks Orpheus and William

  32. 1133 – Usual crusader stuff

    11:33 COD CACTI. Also liked BATON

    Thought ENDLESS was a bit weak, not really a double definition.

  33. Is it me or are there lots of references to men hidden in this one? Ernie, Papas, noble, ailMENt, barMAN, reinstateMENt, temperaMENtal, NEMesis

  34. I’m with Mr Random today. Got a decent number on the first pass but then hit a brick wall. Eventually got going again with 3dn and made steady progress thereafter. I’ve struggled with anagrams over the last couple of days, which is frustrating as they are normally the easier ones for me. Somewhere around 30 mins overall. I need to stop panicking when I come to a halt and concentrate on the word play (which I am slowly getting better at).

    Thanks for the blog. I needed it today for some of the parsing.

  35. Forgive my ignorance, but can someone explain the references to K (e.g. .9K) that a number of you have made? I’m no doubt missing something blindingly obvious.

    Thanks, Gary

    1. Gary, it stands for ‘Kevin’. You’ll find it and many other expressions explained in our Glossary accessible under ‘Help’ at the top of the page or under ‘Useful Links’ RH towards the top.

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