Times Quick Cryptic 2255 by Breadman

Hi all.  I’m a little bleary after a sociable weekend in York, so will be brief today.  No dramas to report, no time notably slow or fast, just another good Quick Cryptic.  Thanks Breadman!

Definitions are underlined in the clues below.  In the explanations, quoted indicators are in italics and I’ve capitalised and emboldened letters which appear in the ANSWER.  For clarity, I omit most link words and some juxtaposition indicators.

1a Next, I’m to act as arbitrator (9)
IMMEDIATE IM + MEDIATE (to act as arbitrator)
6a Feel sick if beer is spoken of? (3)
AIL — A homophone: the answer can be heard if ALE (beer) is spoken of
8a Fertiliser‘s price restricting old representative (7)
COMPOST COST (price) around (restricting) O (old) and MP (representative)
9a Regretting game in capital of Ghana (5)
RUING RU (game – rugby union) + IN + the first letter of (capital of) Ghana
10a Charlie cooked Ron his unhealthy-looking pie (7,5)
CORNISH PASTY C (Charlie, NATO alphabet) + an anagram of (cooked) RON HIS + PASTY (unhealthy-looking)
12a Elegant and stylish hotel secured by commander in chief (4)
CHIC H (hotel, NATO alphabet) inside (secured by) CIC (commander in chief)
13a Bone in Dublin Bay occasionally (4)
ULNA — The answer is found in alternate letters of (… occasionally) dUbLiN bAy
17a Fellow bold, briefly, to dip in water seeing exotic aquatic bird (8,4)
MANDARIN DUCK MAN (fellow) + DARINg (bold) without the last letter (briefly) + DUCK (to dip in water)
20a Recklessly drive Maestro from Italy? (5)
VERDI — An anagram of (recklessly) DRIVE
21a Husband with books to sample, most current (7)
HOTTEST H (husband) + OT (books – Old Testament) + TEST (to sample)
23a Remove coat of newer sheep (3)
EWE — Delete the outer letters of (remove coat of) nEWEr
24a Short-lived English public house largely green (9)
EPHEMERAL E (English) + PH (public house, Ordnance Survey map abbreviation) + most of (largely) EMERALd (green)
1d Move slowly and gradually in church (4)
INCH IN + CH (church)
2d Mike with ammunition tailed the huge animal once (7)
MAMMOTH M (Mike, NATO alphabet) plus AMMO (ammunition) and, without the last letter (tailed), THe
3d Couple united during party (3)
DUO U (united) in (during) DO (party)
4d Painter is tucking into baked tart (6)
ARTIST IS going inside (tucking into) an anagram of (baked) TART
5d US writer‘s pen found under Old Testament book (4,5)
EZRA POUND POUND (pen) after (found under, in a down entry) EZRA (Old Testament book)
6d In the morning, is drop of spirits wrong? (5)
AMISS AM (in the morning) + IS + the first letter of (drop of) Spirits
7d Extra large organ displayed around Great Britain (3,3)
LEG BYE L (large) + EYE (organ) displayed around GB (Great Britain)
11d Fruit in tree can corrupt (9)
NECTARINE IN TREE CAN anagrammed (corrupt)
14d Northern university to remove sort of waste that’s harmful (7)
NUCLEAR N (northern) + U (university) + CLEAR (to remove)
15d Five beset by crazed zombies endlessly — in this type of film? (1-5)
B-MOVIE V (five) surrounded by (beset by) an anagram of (crazed) zOMBIEs without the letters at either end (endlessly)
16d Crew that rows hard placing in the top ten (6)
EIGHTH EIGHT (crew that rows) + H (hard, as on pencils)
18d Bottle: some Pilsener verified (5)
NERVE — Part of (some) PilseNER VErified
19d Greek character joins learner and other people (2,2)
ET AL ETA (Greek character) goes next to (joins) L (learner)
22d Not entirely silent upset stomach (3)
TUM — All but the last letter of (not entirely) MUTe (silent) reversed (upset)

60 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2255 by Breadman”

  1. 13:40. Couldn’t see IMMEDIATE=next or most current=HOTTEST for a while but eventually they became obvious. Otherwise everything was pretty clear.

  2. Straightforward. No idea what a LEG BYE is–although I gather it’s an extra, but I have no idea what an extra is–but the checkers made it pretty inevitable. 5:55.

    1. Something of a misnomer as it doesn’t have to be a leg just any part of the batter other than his gloved hands which would count as a run to him not an extra. The batter has to attempt a shot he can’t just kick at it. The exception (it is cricket after all) is if the delivery is considered hostile. So if the ball hits him on the helmet while he’s ducking then the leg bye will count. Simples
      Off to Lord’s now for an MCC curry evening 😋. J

    2. The notable characteristic of a Leg Bye (when the ball goes off some part of the batsman other than hands or bat) is that it is not credited to their score, but to the team/side.

  3. 9:52, with no real hold-ups. Being in New Zealand for vacation means I can join the ranks of early solvers.


  4. 7 minutes. After a really bad run of missed targets I’m encouraged that 4 of my last 5 QC solves have been in my green zone.

  5. Didn’t yield easily but still came in under 10 for a change. Seven on the first pass of acrosses followed by downs generally falling in to the gaps to help me along. LOI was IMMEDIATE, which I failed to leap to after abandoning ‘immoderate’, with EZRA POUND being the one to fall before that. Enjoyed ARTIST and VERDI and B-MOVIE. Panic at needing to know a sort of bird was short-lived – I’ve heard of a MANDARIN DUCK.

    1. The ponds here in Shanghai Zoo (just over the road) are inundated with plump Mandarin Ducks. A very beautiful creature and aptly named! Meldrew.

  6. 17 minutes.
    FOI: INCH.
    No problems along the way other than needing crossers for the US writer.
    BIFD EPHEMERAL from the first part of the clue parsing after.

  7. Beaten by self inflicted wound of entering ‘ale’ not ALE and so left only with the option of ‘egg eye’ biffed with the assumption of it being some ancient name for an affliction of swollen eyes. 🤪. What a 🤡.

    Thanks Breadman and kitty

  8. Steady going – struggled a bit with IMMEDIATE and dredged EZRA POUND from the depths – the name was vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t have told you who he was/what he did.
    Started with AIL and finished with VERDI in 9.06, COD to CORNISH PASTY
    Thanks to Kitty

  9. Also recovering from a splendid weekend in York, I didn’t find this one too difficult. I INCHed my way from top left to bottom right ET-AL in 6:40. Thanks, Breadman and Kitty. Now, more coffee required before tackling the 15×15!

  10. 31min39 DNF as I put ToM (as in tom&dick = sick = upset stomach); easily corrected once I spotted it was where the error lay.

    Last five mins spent on the vaguely recollected EZRA-POUND and deciding whether pound=pen before completing. Made tougher by not being a Bible person and unsure about EZRA as an OT book and early on wondering if it should be PaUl- but I think is NT book.

    Having learned capitals of world last weekend, I spent a good minute trying to fit ACCRA in for the capital of Ghana!

  11. 11 minutes for a good start to the week, all green but I misparsed Mammoth, thinking the -TH was given by the first two letters of “the huge”. I did wonder how “tailed” meant “initial letters”…

    Many thanks to Kitty for the blog

  12. No problems with this one completing in 6.50, and no clue held me up for any notable length of time. I suspected LEG BYE may cause a few parsing problems for the non domiciled solvers as Kevin has already confirmed, and possibly EZRA POUND may be tricky if you’ve never come across the name.

  13. I filled in half of the answers very quickly and then decelerated. Just not on wavelength, I’m afraid. I was interrupted, too, so no accurate time but I must have been close to the SCC. I needed the crossers for CORNISH PASTY, MANDARIN DUCK, and (LOI) EZRA POUND. Not a good start to the week.
    Thanks both. John M

  14. 11 minutes and no real problems. LEG BYE took a little thought, but came quickly enough once I lifted and separated extra and large. LOI and last one looked at (LOLA) was 22d. EIGHTH is a funny old word! Thanks both.

    1. Eighth is one of those words where it never looks right – a bit like “fortieth” where I always want to include a “u”.

  15. Failed on LEG BYE. And, oh dear, had to look up fertiliser. Amazing as COMPOST is often on my mind.
    Also v slow on CORNISH PASTY.
    Otherwise OK. Quick with MANDARIN DUCK and pleased to have got EZRA POUND but not a good start to the week.
    Thanks vm, Kitty.

  16. 14 mins…

    Nice start to the week I thought.

    Ezra Pound rang a vague bell (never read anything by them) – but it was solvable from the clueing.

    FOI – 1ac “Immediate”
    LOI – 5dn “Ezra Pound”
    COD – 20ac “Verdi” – lovely surface.

    Thanks as usual!

    1. Here’s Pound’s ‘In a Station of the Metro’:

      The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
      Petals on a wet, black bough.

  17. 14 mins and one of my fastest for a long time. Could have been better had I not spent too long trying to recall the capital of Ghana (nice mis-direction Breadman). COD to the wondeful LEG BYE.

    I wonder what I was missing in York this weekend with John D and Kitty?

    1. The Wonky Donkey, House of Trembling Madness, The Snickleway Inn and various other drinking establishments I bet…

  18. Easier than average, so quite fast, the enjoyment enhanced by a few chuckles especially COD CORNISH PASTY. FOI INCH , LOI EIGHTH..Thanks, Breadman and Kitty

  19. Bits of this were quite tricky; so I moved on quickly. It’s easy to spend ages on a clue when you have no letters.
    FOI AIL. Late in were LEG BYE (COD to that) and AMISS.
    And I finished with CORNISH PASTY and EZRA POUND (very tough parsing I thought).
    Time 11 minutes.
    Now back to today’s Wordle -I’m stuck!

  20. Managed to complete this one without too much difficulty, though I did need help with Mandarin Duck.

    I was disappointed that Breadman did not present us with a Halloween themed QC. Come on setter! A little imagination wouldn’t have hurt.

    1. Setters other than RR (the editor) in one of his many guises probably have no say as to when their puzzles may appear.

  21. Back under par for the first time in a while, or so it seems.

    I liked CORNISH PASTY, and my LOI was EIGHTH, or at least correcting a fat finger typo of EIGHHH after getting HOTTEST.


  22. Day 3 of my first ever bout of Covid. Ugh. I blame last week’s commuter trains being full of children being taken to London for half term trips.

    Plodded through in slightly leaden fashion. Took a long time to lift and separate “extra large”. Flopped over the line in 09:54 for 1.8K and a Dullwitted Day.

    Many thanks Breaders and Kitty.


  23. A much better start to the week, with a straightforward top to bottom solve in a very quick (for me) 12 mins. I’m another who couldn’t tell you what Ezra Pound was famous for, but the name was familiar enough to match against the generous cluing from Breadman. I generally struggle with clues involving colour shades, but Ephemeral was a gift and helped close out the SE corner. CoD to 10ac, Cornish Pasty, for the fine surface – I’ve found the contents can be slightly more variable 😉 Invariant

  24. Finally out of the SCC for the first time in a while. NHO LEG BYE but satisfied it sounded vaguely ‘crickety’ and fitted the wordplay. Dredged EZRA POUND from the depths. Struggled with the duck, trying MAN + hardy, MAN + gallant before finally thinking of MAN + daring 🤪 LOI by a long chalk was EIGHTH Really liked IMMEDIATE. Many thanks to Kitty and Breadman.

  25. A quick start to the week with just EZRA POUND needing all of the checkers. No idea where I have heard the name but I’m off to do a little research now. 6:38 for an excellent Monday.

  26. Delighted to finish in 22 minutes today (jolly fast for me), although it was so nearly a sub-20. With 15 minutes on the clock and just two to get I was very hopeful of escaping the SCC for the first time since late August, but 5d and 17a put paid to that. I had NHO the American writer or the Old Testament book, so EZRA POUND proved awkward and had to be a guess in the end. Also, MANDARIN DUCK didn’t occur to me until I had the ‘D’ from POUND.

    Otherwise, it was as close to a perfect solve as I think I have ever got. Eight of the 12 across clues plus a scarcely believable 13 of the 14 down clues went in on my first pass through the grid. This has to be a world record for me.

    Many thanks to Breadman and Kitty.

  27. Gave up after one hour.

    Eleven today. Could have been twelve – I figured out LEG BYE, but didn’t write it in because NHO that expression – must be confident! Many thanks for the very useful blog.

    1. I’m not sure how you solve, Ian, possibly on-line which imho makes things more difficult than they need to be in the earlier stages of learning. I’d recommend solving on a paper printout using pencil with eraser attached. Then you can pencil in ideas (such as LEG BYE in this instance) and see if the checkers provided help you progress with the intersecting clues.

  28. 16:24 here, a little outside my notional 15:00 target. Enjoyed LEG BYE, but was held up trying to wrap GB with LUNG, which was the only 4-letter organ beginning with L that I could think of. Light dawned once CORNISH PASTY gave me the Y. Thanks to setter & blogger.

  29. Enjoyable puzzle to start the week. Mainly a bottom-up solve.
    FOI 6a AIL
    LOI 6d Amiss
    COD 4d Artist.

  30. Failed with 16d, B movie, put X instead, having never heard of B movie. Should have looked at the clue more closely. Otherwise a pleasant fairly quick solve, for us.

  31. 11:30 this morning before a U3A group leaders meeting (my first one!) It was a bit of a plod, with a few hiding in plain sight. I’m looking at you EIGHTH in particular ! Even though I counted through from first to tenth and then made the crew = eight connection, it somehow still escaped me.
    I’ve got a birthday card featuring a beautiful MANDARIN DUCK on the mantelpiece so I’ll pick that as my COD, but CORNISH PASTY made me chuckle.
    FOI Ail LOI Eighth
    Thanks Breadman and Kitty

    What am I going to do with the bowl of spooky sweets by my front door? The weather is so grim that I haven’t seen a single trick or treater 😢

  32. A very enjoyable puzzle I thought, just chewy enough to be satisfying, but nothing too difficult. LOI B-MOVIE, COD to VERDI, time 16:05. Thanks Breadman and Kitty.

  33. 13:05

    Pretty straightforward but had to dredge the memory banks for LOI EZRA POUND as didn’t see the wordplay.

  34. A very pleasant start to the week from Breadman. I just avoided the SCC (by the skin of my teeth). Lots of good clues, my favourite being 10ac.

    Biffed a few so only appreciated all of Breadman’s ingenuity with the blog.

    Thanks Kitty and happy Halloween 👻 🎃. The trick or treat brigade are making short work of my mini packets of Maltesers!

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