Times Quick Cryptic 2262 by Orpheus

Hello everyone! This is my first time blogging a puzzle. I’m delighted and terrified. My (grown) kids think this is hilarious.

No major problems with this puzzle, although I jumped about all over the grid & never really established a rhythm. Completed in 15:09, a hair outside my target, but I’ll blame performance anxiety.

Definitions underlined in italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc. BOLD for parts of the answer.

1 Polluted atmosphere created by small cat (4)

S (small: a standard) + MOG (cat)

4 Limit a large town’s dimensions (8)

CAP (limit) A (in the clue) CITY (large town) = dimensions. Not wholly convinced by this parsing, but can’t see any way to make “limit” the definition, even though the synonym works.

8 Shareholder wearing undergarment as an alternative (8)

IN VEST (wearing undergarment) + OR (alternative)

9 Advanced fast (4)

Double definition: loaned / period before Easter

10 Agonise about appearing in newspaper (4)

RE (about) inside (appearing in) FT (Financial Times, a British newspaper).

11 Be out of one’s depth identifying fish (8)

Double definition. A flounder is a type of flat fish.

12 Remove light from chest in study (6)

ARK (chest, as in “of the covenant”) inside DEN (study).

14 Ill intent of African state church (6)

MALI (African state) + CE (Church of England). “CE” and “CH” are standards for “church”.

16 Clothes for blokes — and some women’s, we argue (8)

COD by a mile. Some woMENS WE ARgue. I love a clever hidden like this.

18 Dull poet from the East (4)

BARD (poet) reversed (from the East)

19 Liberal atmosphere in animal shelter (4)

L (standard for Liberal (party)) + AIR (atmosphere)

20 Get a lute out, giving instruction (8)

(get a lute)* – out

22 Money reportedly provided by old man for sweet (8)

LOLLI – sounds like (reportedly) “lolly”, which is ancient slang for “money”. Then POP for “old man” (father), another old definition for a clue that I think would be hard for anyone born after 1950.

23 Twisted thread that may be spun by storytellers (4)

Nice double definition.

2 Mediterranean island — Romanic, surprisingly (7)

This came easily, as I’m currently re-reading the Jack Aubrey novels for the umpteenth time. (Romanic)* (surprisingly).

3 Fantastic place for a fire, we hear (5)

Homophone (we hear) of GRATE (place for a fire)

4 Queen, possibly, making regular use of craft (3)

A definition only used in crossword-land: a female cat is a queen. Once you know that, with “regular” meaning “every other letter”, the answer falls out of CrAfT. Not my favorite clue.

5 Agent put up by one-time artiste (9)

REP (Agent, put up (reversed for a down clue)) + FORMER (one-time).

6 Officer without company entering pass (7)

My LOI: I got all tangled up in the multiple possibilities for how “COL” worked in this clue. But I’m pretty sure it’s LONE (without company) entering COL (pass, as in mountain), giving COLONEL (officer).

7 Jittery Poles protected by supporter on course (5)

NS (Magnetic North and South poles) inside (protected by) TEE (supporter on (golf) course)

11 Digital appendage making print if eg misshapen (9)

(print if eg)* (misshapen)

A bit of a quibble with this one as I think an appendage is something you add on to something else, whereas a fingertip is part of the finger, not something added to a finger.

13 King is in France regarding large bird of prey (7)

K (King) EST (is, in France) RE (regarding) L (large – think clothes). An IKEA clue, you assemble it from the parts.

15 Person demanding payment for a warhorse once (7)

Double definition

17 Source of inspiration moderator reveals (5)

One of the Greek Muses. Revealed by “modERATOr”, if your mind works that way. I was glad I had the crossers, as I’ve never really got the names of the Muses to stick in my brain.

18 Hang about disco at first with sidekick (5)

DISCO (at first) + ALLY (sidekick).

21 Most popular toy for children? (3)

Double definition, although I wonder how many kids today would be able to parse “top” as a toy.

67 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2262 by Orpheus”

  1. Good luck with your blogging career doofenschmirz- I had similar thoughts to you with some of those definitions

  2. 12:47. Pleased to get back on track and have no problems today after suffering a miserable DNF yesterday. I enjoyed your first blog, Mr. D, and agreed with your reservations re FINGERTIP!

  3. A very nice debut, doofenschmirz; thanks for joining the blogging crew. I put in FINGERTIP without a MER of any sort, but I agree with you re appendages.3:53.

  4. 8:28. Quality blog from our newest blogger, and thanks for parsing DARKEN, which I couldn’t see. I also got mixed up with COLONEL, “without company?” But there’s a CO (company ) and CO (commanding officer ) right there!

    LOI LENT, dozens of words fit L – N -.

    Keeping away from the 15×15 today, after two good solves, todays Snitch (155) means newbies stay away.

    1. I’d recommend having a look at the 15×15 in any case. Allow yourself to cheat if necessary, but it’s just too good to ignore.

  5. Welcome, Doofenschmirtz, and many congrats on your first blog!

    I completed the puzzle in 7 minutes, so well within my target 10, but I don’t know that means it will prove necessarily easy for all the various levels of experience we and the QC setters try to cater for.

    Actually I was stuck for a minute with one answer missing at the end and feared for a moment that it might put paid to my chances of a clean sweep. Appropriately enough the answer was FLOUNDER.

  6. Congratulation on the elevation, Doofenschmirtz. An impressive debut. I started fast with 10 on the first pass of acrosses but slowed towards the end with LENT LOI. All green in 10.

  7. Thank you and welcome. The bloggers do us solvers such a service. I need recourse to an explanation of a clue from time to time even if all the indicators of the answer are present. It’s also great to be able to share frustration about a clue that doesn’t quite work as intended.

  8. Congratulations and thank you for a top-quality debut blog, Doofenschmirtz.

    A gentle offering today, which I completed in what I think is a pb, although I don’t keep exact records. Started with SMOG and finished with INVESTOR in 4.28.

  9. Good stuff Doofers. Now you’ve crossed the Great Divide and become one of “Them”, the all-knowing. No way back!

    Fast in places but had to look twice at FRET, FLOUNDER (LOI) and LOLLIPOP, so never on for the PB. All done in 06:47 for 1.7K and a Good Day.

    Many thanks Doof and Orpheus.


    PS a finger is an appendage so why can’t a fingertip be one?

  10. Welcome to the blogging team doofenschmirz. A gentle one today and smooth as ever from Orpheus. I’m OK with FINGERTIP as the second definition is “a projecting part of an invertebrate or other living organism, with a distinct appearance or function“, which is good enough for me. Like our blogger my COD was MENSWEAR, but I liked TUTELAGE too. Ah for the days when education included music tuition. 3:51.

  11. Welcome and thanks to our new blogger, Doofers!
    Enjoyed this easy crossword which I finished in one fell swoop.
    Liked CAPACITY, INVESTOR (COD), LOLLIPOP, among others.
    Good weather for gardening, so better get on.

  12. Welcome doofenschmirz, well blogged, and thanks for stepping up to do the job.

    About as quick as it gets for me today, look at clue, write in clue. Even though straightforward, the clues were well constructed.

    LOI was YARN. CsOD MENSWEAR and TUTELAGE, though if anyone were to get out a lute, I would possibly head for the door, rather than hang around for a lesson.

    3:13, possibly a PB, if not, then definitely in top 2 or 3.

  13. A few seconds over 10 minutes on the Rotterometer, so pleasantly easy. Nice hidden for MENSWEAR, and DRAB appears for the second day running (incidentally, for those that hadn’t seen it before, OLIVE DRAB is the colour (color) of American military uniforms). Welcome to Doofers to the blogging team, and congratulations on a very good first blog.

    1. Congratulations on your teams (Leicester City) success last night against my Newport County. At least 3-0 was not a disgrace, and we were eventually undone by the ever youthful Jamie Vardy. Class told in the end!

      1. Many thanks – I’m starting to believe again, after a dreadful start to the season, some good results in the last few weeks.

  14. Nice blog Doofers!

    Technical DNF at 17:51 and took further two mins to find the error in MaNORCA. Don’t know why I thought it was spelled like this, apparently it’s either MIN- or MEN- and obviously I didn’t check the anagrist.

    COLONEL – I biffed ChanNeL for “pass” but reconsidered almost immediately when I couldn’t parse it or make anything with A-N- in the place of LENT.

    Wouldn’t have got ERATO without it being so prominent in “moderator”.

    FWIW I’m born in 1970s and we had lollipops during the 1980s.

    I thought it was a nicely pitched QC by Orpheus. Some easy spots like SMOG, LAIR, hidden words and anagrams to help get some checkers on the board.

    1. I always thought it was Menorca as well – unless there is another island with that spelling.

      1. MIN- and MENORCA are same place – think the latter is the native naming.

        When I look it up earlier it means something like “minor isle” as opposed to the “major isle” where the water don’t taste like what it oughtta!

        1. I think you’re right. One is Spanish and one Catalan. Ditto Majorca and Mallorca. When the islands first opened up to tourism Franco was in charge hence Spanish. Catalan spellings are now more frequent though not for Ibiza which is totally different from memory. J

  15. Welcome doofenschmirz, and thank you for an enlightening blog.
    I enjoyed today’s puzzle and COD to Menswear .

  16. Congratulations to ‘The Doof’ on his first blog, immaculately done. A gentle introduction today that my time of 6.19 reflects. No holdups at all really, just a steady solve without threatening to beat my best times.

  17. Welcome Doofenschmirz. A fairly gentle introduction, but I too hesitated over COLONEL: a couple of crossers made the answer obvious, but I couldn’t parse for a while.

  18. Welcome doofenschmirz and thanks for the comprehensive blog. I found this to be an easy task, with GREAT and SMOG starting off a trot to LOI, YARN, which took 5:46(the trot, not the last clue:-)). Thanks also to Orpheus.

  19. Good blog; welcome and thanks.
    I have been plagued by interruptions and a touch of ‘brain fog’ this week and have never really got going. Today was going really well before a knock on the door and an hour-long discussion on a group wine tasting this afternoon.
    I got back to the QC and finished it and was pleased to be within target by a minute. After CAT (I have only ever met this term in a crossword) and COLONEL, my LOI was TENSE. Some nicely constructed clues, today. John M.

  20. A gentle solve in around 15 mins, interrupted so not too sure of time. I am struggling to think of how ‘capacity’can mean dimensions. Can anyone suggest a sentence that would accomodate it? Volume is not the same as dimensions as there could be an infinite number of dimensions that result in the same volume.

    COD to LENT which used clever definitions of both meanings.

    Thanks to doofenschmirz for the blog and Orpheus for an enjoyable puzzle.

    1. I think it could work in terms of ‘ability’ – beyond the dimensions/capacity of the mind?

  21. A couple of hold ups (Capacity and Performer) on the way to a satisfying 17min solve for this well-balanced QC. I suspect Erato came across on a day trip from the 15×15, but obvious enough with crossers, and it makes sense to bridge the divide between the two from time to time. Lots of good clues to choose from for CoD, but 7d, Tense, gets the nod.

    A special welcome and thank you to Doof/Doofers (let us know which you prefer) on his first blog.


  22. I found this one to be entertaining and not too difficult, though my last two in caused me some delay.

    Like L-Plates, I wanted to put channel in for 6d, and that kept me scratching my head for a long time. Then my cat looked at the clue and told me I was looking at the wrong end of it, and I saw colonel.

    7d caused me a lot of problems. I wanted to anagram POLES (jittery) but that didn’t fit. In the end I only saw tense after resorting to Ask Ross.

  23. Thank you Doofenschmirtz for an excellent blog.

    I seemed to race through this from top to bottom and I expected to have a good time but I was surprised and disappointed to find that I came in at 12 minutes.

    Some of the times above are seriously impressive!

  24. A big thank you to all the bloggers and a special thank you to Doofenschmirtz on today’s first blog.
    As to the QC, I was speeding along but got caught out by 3 of the 5 double definitions specifically TOP, FLOUNDER and my LOI LENT. So what seemed like a possible PB ended up as a within target solve in 8:05.

  25. Congrats to Dr Heinz on his first blog! I wouldn’t have known this was your first one.

    Anyway – came in at 11 mins for a fairly reasonable puzzle I thought.

    Thankfully “Erato” was a hidden word (which dredged something from my memory) and I managed to dismiss the made up word of “Stom” for 1ac pretty quickly. Had a mini hold up on 15dn where the accountant in me was desperately trying to fit “Creditor”.

    FOI – 3dn “Great”
    LOI – 16ac “Menswear”
    COD – 11ac “Fingertip” – obviously not some piece of computer hardware like I first thought.

    Thanks as usual!

    1. Focused on Creditor here too. One of those clues where I feared I wouldn’t get it then, from nowhere, it just pulled itself out of the bag as my 3rd-to-LOI

  26. 4.56

    Well done Mr D. Delivered like a pro.

    I’m on my umpteenth read as well. Lucky Jack and Minorca – what a great first novel in the series that is.

    Thanks to Orpheus for a pleasant gentle offering as well

  27. A much better day – I finished in 7:25, despite dotting around the grid somewhat, so not a steady solve. I rather liked CAPACITY but am beginning to doubt my judgment after everyone else’s comments! Otherwise (apart from my COD) , nothing really stood out for me.
    Many thanks to Doofers – it was a very entertaining and clear blog. BTW what does your user name represent? And I hope you won’t object to an abbreviation 😊
    FOI Smog LOI Tense COD Menswear
    Thanks also to Orpheus

  28. I also welcome our latest blogger; you may have set a record on your first day with the number of variations of your name people are using! “Doofers” for one sounds rather as if you are a member of the Test Match Special team (Aggers, Blowers, Johnners etc) … Do tell us if there are any you really don’t want people to call you.

    This was a sparkling puzzle, not difficult as most people have said (and as the times have shown) but with some very nice clues. 6 minutes for me, not a PB but not very much behind it, and Menswear also my COD. A special smile too at Erato and Cat which are both “only in Crosswordland” words and when I got them, persuaded me that perhaps I really am starting to become a cruciverbalist at last.

    Many thanks Mr D, a great opening blog and I look forward to many more

  29. No major problems with this which I finished in 14 minutes. The only thing I didn’t previously know was queen for a female cat, so that went in with a shrug. Thanks (and welcome) to Doofenschmirtz for providing me with this information which I shall attempt to retain for future reference. Otherwise a rather gentle ride today when compared with my travails of yesterday.

    FOI – 1ac SMOG
    LOI – 11ac FLOUNDER
    COD – 8ac INVESTOR

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  30. Many thanks Doofenschmirtz – slick and professional. I very much appreciate the bloggers and have found a wonderful new hobby thanks to this community. An enjoyable 18 mins today with last two in LENT and INVESTOR respectively. Spent ages trying to parse MENSWEAR before finally spotting the hidden. Have committed the muses to memory (purely for cross wording purposes) so love it when one comes up. Liked MALICE and KESTREL. Many thanks D and Orpheus.

  31. Excellent blog, Doofenschmirtz! It seemed clear, precise and informative to this confirmed member of the SCC.

    24 minutes for me today, which I am over the moon with. My records show that I have never solved an Orpheus QC quicker. I particularly enjoyed MENSWEAR, KESTREL and LOLLIPOP (for the reminder about days of old), whereas I struggled to parse PERFORMER and LENT (I didn’t think of the going without food definition of ‘fast’ until after I had finished). I DNK that ‘queen’ = female CAT, or ERATO as a muse, but both clues were generously clued – as they should be in a QC.

    Many thanks to Orpheus and Doofenschmirtz.

  32. Many thanks for all the kind words. I was very lucky to get an extremely gentle first puzzle to blog.

    As for the name, it (and the image) are lifted from “Phineas & Ferb”, a TV show that hooked me as I walked past my kids watching an episode. I’m not fussy about how it gets abbreviated, although being called “Doofers” is as close as I’ll ever get to being on Test Match Special, so let’s go with that!

    Thanks again.

    1. Thanks for a comprehensive blog, but in our family Pop is used by our 2 daughters (born 1970’s) which has become Grandpops for our grandchildren! More serious son uses Dad and consequently Grandad.

  33. Many thanks for the excellent and informative blog. No real problems with today’s puzzle. Many happy memories brought back by seeing Minorca mentioned, have spent many enjoyable holidays on the island.

  34. A pleasant change from yesterday, a nice steady solve. Loi, 9a lent, took us a few minutes. Thanks to our new blogger.

  35. Thank you Doofenschmirtz for an excellent blog. I had never heard of Erato, so good to hear that it is one of the muses.

    “Old man” and “Dally” made me wonder if there was going to be a theme on the “Don’t Dilly-Dally on the Way” song, but I couldn’t spot any more words from that song.

  36. A great start to your blogging career Doofers. Like Mr R, I am an SCC regular and so find the blog invaluable.

    I was somewhere around the 25 min mark today, held up somewhat by thinking that 11ac was ‘drowning’. Took a while for the penny to drop.

    I agree that COD is 16ac, although I also thought 22ac was a great clue.

  37. I think the person who deserves congratulating is our polished new blogger, Doofers. An excellent inaugural blog.
    I hopped around following any crossers but nothing too hard today. If I had a minor MER it would be for 9a LENT where the second definition seems to be in the wrong sense: I don’t lent, I fast…
    FOI 1a SMOG
    LOI 6d COLONEL – simply got it last
    COD 13d KESTEL – I do like the IKEA clues.

  38. I must have been on the right wavelength today for a change. All completed in 13 mins. After a bleak start to the week when even SCC was not inviting me to join
    I was so elated today .Please compilers do keep varying the demand level .
    Well done to the new blogger – all clear.

  39. 7 mins, held up by needing to write the anagrist down for fingertip.
    LOI flounder.

    thanks and good luck Doofenschmirtz.

  40. a gentle puzzle on the whole.
    welcome to our new blogger whose name could lead to some horrible puns but that will do for now

  41. Just caught up on Monday’s QC after being ill post-covid jab at the weekend.

    16 minutes – happy days!

  42. Congratulations! Great blog – as seamless and well-explained as could be. A gentler-than-average puzzle to solve, but tricky to come up with a sentence where “dimensions” and “capacity” are interchangeable: a touch over five minutes without concerning myself with such details.

  43. Thank you and congratulations on your first blog, Doofenschmirtz. I liked your clear, economical explanations. Despite having done the QCs every day for over a year now, plus several back issues for practice, I didn’t know that a cat could be a queen. I did just about remember Erato from a previous crossword, though. I liked Fingertip because of the misdirection over “digital”, and Menswear because it was witty – and true: as a woman, I find some men’s clothing is better made and a better fit for me than women’s.

  44. Welcome to a great new blogger. Very impressive start. I seem to be alone in a gripe with CAPACITY – a city is NOT a large town – the City of London for example is tiny. It’s an awarded title. I was held up a lot by choosing RESTRICT based on district. Ah well!

  45. Well done for your blogging debut, great job, thanks so much for taking it on! 5:42 for me, cheered me up after a disastrous outing on the 15×15. I should have checked the snitch first and just avoided it; definitely above my pay grade.

  46. Welcome to the team, D!

    I’m late to the party – busy day yesterday, and still haven’t finished the 15 x 15!!

    All the best.

Comments are closed.