Times Quick Cryptic 2270 by Orpheus


Solving time: 8 minutes


I found this straightforward, but more importantly, how did you do?

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Vain rules, unexpectedly widespread (9)
Anagram [unexpectedly] of VAIN RULES
6 Chartered accountant imbibing hot drink (3)
CA (Chartered accountant) containing [imbibing] H (hot). Tea.
8 Stylish English member meeting worker (7)
E (English), LEG (member), ANT (worker)
9 Girl taking vehicle to school at last (5)
CAR (vehicle), {t}O  + {schoo}L [at last]
10 Listen, being widely discussed on social media is agonising! (5-7)
HEAR (listen), TRENDING (being widely discussed on social media)
12 Something left, for example, in flimsy wrapping? (6)
EG (for example) contained by [in…wrapping] LACY (flimsy)
13 Male former partner in charge of old country (6)
M (male), EX (former partner), IC (in charge), O (old)
16 Distort terms in peer’s broadcast (12)
Anagram [broadcast] of TERMS IN PEER’S
19 Information regarding a category of art (5)
GEN (information), RE (regarding)
20 Popular supporter cheers Spanish princess (7)
IN (popular), FAN (supporter), TA (cheers!)
22 Animal pen in West Yorkshire (3)
Hidden [in] {we}ST Y{orkshire}
23 Conjure up memories about short skirts at church (9)
RE (about), MINIS (short skirts), CE (church)
1 One employing American English regularly at first (4)
US (American), E (English), R{egularly} [at first]
2 Composer after frozen confection, an unemotional type (7)
ICE (frozen confection), BERG (composer – Alban Berg 1885-1935)
3 Greek character’s  estimated time of arrival (3)
Two definitions, one an abbreviation, or count it as one plus wordplay if you prefer
4 Heavenly body giving half of us a shock (6)
{u}S [half], A, TURN (shock). If you have a turn you may be in a state of shock.
5 Eg publicans disturbing silence outside quarters (9)
Anagram [disturbing] of SILENCE containing [outside] SE (quarters of the compass)
6 Soldier supporting head of cat or dog (5)
C{at} [head], OR, GI (soldier)
7 Everyone, say, runs over, initially moving quickly (7)
ALL (everyone), EG (say), R (runs), O{ver} [initially]
11 Wide boy always holding up item of tennis gear (9)
RACKET (item of tennis gear), E’ER (always)
12 False reports about cat in French city (7)
LIES (false reports) containing [about] MOG (cat)
14 Prize money wife has left for a spell of cricket (7)
{w}INNINGS (prize money) [wife has left]
15 Swirling mist restricts Rugby: an obvious fact (6)
Anagram [swirling] of MIST contains [restricts] RU (Rugby Union)
17 Cheery lad, we hear (5)
Sounds like [we hear] “sonny” (lad)
18 Headgear seen on European promontory (4)
CAP (headgear), E (European)
21 Following peacekeepers is amusing (3)
F (following), UN (peacekeepers – United Nations – if only!)

65 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2270 by Orpheus”

  1. 10:41. I was tempted to spell LICENSEE and REMINISCE licencee and reminesce but fortunately double-checked the clues to verify what letters were actually required. I wasn’t sure which of distort or broadcast was the definition and which the anagrind for MISREPRESENT. I find that particular settler’s tactic troublesome -but still admire it!

  2. Going well for a ten minute time, but ended with a pink square for LICENCEES. Couldn’t see either SE or CE for quarters. Thought that CE might be military slang for barracks, wardroom or some such.

  3. Biffed a couple–LIMOGES without reading the clue, LICENSEES, TRUISM. I realized after the fact that biffing LICENSEES was a stupid thing to do, given that the S (or C?) wasn’t a checking letter. (We had a discussion about when it’s S and when C some time ago, but I just typed in the way I spell it.) Dumb luck. 4:24.

  4. 10:26 here, but with a dumb mistake entering SUNNY instead of SONNY. I’ve always had a bit of an issue with setters using “American” as a device for “US”, but I found an example that works: “the US men’s soccer team faces Wales today”.

      1. I see “American” as an adjective, and “US” as a noun. Much like “English” and “England”. So my example above of “the US soccer team” being a synonym for “the American soccer team” is a bit of a stretch. I don’t think “the English team” is synonymous for “the England team”: “the English team” could be a team of any level whose distinguishing feature is that they are English; “the England team” is a team specifically chosen to represent England. Does that make sense?

        More than happy to be educated otherwise, especially after the spectacular response to my question about the missing N in “restaurateur” last week.

        1. You raise an interesting point that has not occurred to me before and at the moment I’m finding it difficult to argue against it with reference to other countries though perhaps examples will occur to me.

          But returning the point under discussion, although I can’t find a dictionary entry that stipulates US as an adjective it nevertheless is used as such in circumstances where ‘American’ can be substituted e.g. US Army = American Army (similarly Navy, Air Force) , US President Joe Biden, the US Congress etc.

          1. Yes, no argument with that: the everyday equivalence of “US Army” and “American Army” is undeniable, even if I think that it is grammatically incorrect.

            1. It’s a noun used attributively in the house style at the mag where I work. “US Army,” “US foreign policy,” etc.

  5. Thought I’d done well to finish a shade under 12 but had managed to type ‘catol’ for CAROL and so mucked up CORGI too. So the week starts with one pink square for two errors. I’d half expected one for LICENSEES as I couldn’t explain the quarters. Quarters of the compass – I’m not sure I’d ever have got there.

  6. No problems and chuckled at the imagery in REMINISCE.
    My second novel The Tip of the ICEBERG is not quite TRENDING on social media (Did anyone read The Collation Unit?)
    Thanks Jack and Orpheus

  7. 20 minutes from top to bottom and no problems along the way.
    FOI: USER.
    LOI: CAPE.
    Favourite LEGACY.

  8. 7’25” but with a lazy pink square…yep C instead of S in LICENSEES. Donkey.

    Odd, I felt there was nothing special about this puzzle – no clue really stood out, good or bad.

    I have no problem with US as an adjective through usage alone of US army and US navy etc as mentioned above.

  9. 12 minutes, with Licensee my LOI – deliberately left till last as I could not decide between C and S. A PDM as the meaning of “quarters” finally appeared, which enabled the tossed coin to come down the right way. Actually post-submission research (a posh term for googling it) suggests that licencee is wrong even in British English.

    SLOI was Iceberg, put in from checkers. I had not heard of Alban Berg, though he should not feel offended – composers are one of my weak spots and there are far more famous composers I have NHO, so he is in good company.

    Many thanks to Jack for the blog

    1. Some would argue that in missing out on Alban Berg you have been fortunate and I admit I might have some sympathy with that POV myself.

      1. I wouldn’t want to have missed out on Berg’s Violin concerto, “To the memory of an angel”, which I think is sublime.

      2. I find plenty to enjoy in selected Berg works. The violin concerto, in particular, is a stunningly emotional work for me.
        Note to Johninterred: sorry to overlap (I got sidetracked before finishing and sending my reply) but glad someone else agrees with me about the violin concerto. John

  10. The only problem I had with this was of my own making, not working out the anagram fully and entering MISINTERPRET for 16A. But INNINGS and TRUISM when I got to the Downs showed me the folly of my ways. I smiled at the short skirts at church. Thank-you Orpheus and Jackkt. 4:13.

  11. A mixed response to this one. Like MangoMan, I found nothing that really stood out.
    I confess to hurrying a bit and not doing due diligence with C v S in 5d ending up with an error. I guess it is easier if you are from a country which spells the noun Licence as License. Under target by a couple of mins but spoilt by my carelessness.
    Thanks to both, John M.

  12. 13 minutes, so middle of the road on the Rotterometer. UNIVERSAL FOI but it did take a moment or two to work out the anagram in my head – I may have been faster writing it down. Fave was HEAR TRENDING for its ‘down with the kids’ modern take. Thanks Jackkt and Orpheus.

  13. I found this one to be a nice gentle stroll into a new week. None of the clues gave me any real difficulty, though a few of them caused me some head scratches.

    No aids used.

  14. I seemed to be tuned in to this one finishing in a speedy (for me) 5.48. Initially put a C instead of an S in LICENSEES, but thankfully checked the clue again before stopping the clock.
    Now on to the 15×15 before getting on to the real business of the day in Qatar. My prediction for England v Iran is a disappointing 1-1 draw. England historically don’t perform well in their opening game at World Cups. It’s worth noting that all 4 teams in Englands group are ranked in the FIFA top twenty. The only group this applies to.

    Edit: I wish to officially resign my position as football pundit (aka MysticAndy) after England’s mighty performance. 6-2! Who’d have thought, definitely not me obviously!

  15. Cheery lad we hear. Why do I never understand whether the answer is sunny or sonny? Is lad or cheery the word I should use to check my answer?

    1. I took ‘lad we hear’ as the wordplay and ‘cheery’ the definition purely on the basis of the homophone indicator (we hear) being adjacent to ‘lad’ not ‘cheery’ – more experienced commentators may have a different take though!

  16. Finally one that felt straightforward and I was on for a sub-15 finish until lazily biffing licencees instead of LICENSEES 😖 Anyway, an enjoyable puzzle and thanks for explaining the SE in the aforementioned – haven’t come across quarters with this meaning before. Really liked HEART RENDING.
    Thanks also to Orpheus for a QC-ish QC.

  17. 12 minutes for me, and would have been quicker but for my own errors. An early biff of LANDLORDS meant time spent re-thinking. And ALLEGRI at 7d meant that my LOI was MEXICO. Musical notation is not my forte; but Berg is a frequent visitor to Crosswordland.
    A good QC I thought.
    My biggest hold-up was LICENSEES.

  18. I was going to say almost too easy, but now see it was a DNF, as I read 17d as an &lit and put in SONNY. I saw MISREPRESENT before reading the word BROADCAST, and also solved that as an &lit, but saw the correct wordplay afterwards. The only clues where I paused before entry were LEGACY and SATURN, and perhaps I might have been more careful with SUNNY if the puzzle had been more difficult. FOI UNIVERSAL, LOI SONNY, COD HEART-RENDING. Thanks Orpheus, I really enjoyed the puzzle despite my above comments, and Jack for the correction.

  19. DNF today with ICEBERG and LEGACY unsolved after 20 mins. NHO iceberg used in the context of an unemotional type and NHO the composer. Should have got legacy – I actually scribbled ‘legace’in the margin and couldn’t see the obvious step from lace to lacy. Hey ho.

    Thanks Jackkt for helpful blog as always and Orpheus for an enjoyable puzzle.

  20. Fluked the spelling of my LOI LICENSEES, entered MISINTERPRET by mistake, which had to be backed out when other answers made it impossible.

    Still made decent time though on this fairly straightforward start to the week.


  21. A slow start untangling 1ac, Universal, set the tone for a plodding solve – nothing too difficult but just generally slow. The Heart Rending, Legacy, Racketeering and Reminisce group also put up some stiff resistance at the end, very nearly pushing me into the SCC. CoD to 12d, Limoges, for the smile. Invariant

    On edit: Today’s 15×15 passes the completed in one sitting test, so worth a go.

  22. dnf…

    Obviously against the trend here, but I struggled with this – it didn’t help that I biffed Landlords for 5dn without looking at it properly. However, I couldn’t get to grips with 10ac “Heart Rending”, 2dn “Iceberg” and 12ac “Legacy” – I had bits of all of them, but they just wouldn’t come together.

    I will have to mark this one down as should have done better.

    FOI – 1ac “Universal”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 12dn “Limoges” – mainly because I’ve been there.

    Thanks as usual!

    1. Yep, biffed LANDLORDS on first pass here too. But MEXICO was rather generously clued so quickly spotted the error.

  23. Over-confident today and put SONNY. Otherwise all OK and quite quick.
    An elegant puzzle, fairly clued, which I enjoyed. Liked HEART-RENDING, MEXICO, LIMOGES, RACKETEER, LEGACY, among others.
    Did not get SE for quarter but biffed anyway.
    (Dog having teeth cleaned at mega huge expense almost put me off my stride)

  24. A rapid Monday solve for me. My biffed landlords at 5d was a saving grace as I couldn’t think of a vehicle beginning with N at 9a and was forced to read the clue properly. I also recall asking about the quarters of a compass on this blog many years ago when I was a newbie so the S or C option wasn’t an issue. My favourite clues today were SATURN and the cheeky REMINISCE. 6:26 for an excellent start to the week.

  25. Straightforward solve in 12 minutes, with all parsed except ALLEGRO. I had quite a number filled in after the first run-through (mostly in the bottom half) and it was simply a matter of filling in the gaps for the rest. I seem to remember having a fairly fast time (by my standards) on the last Orpheus I attempted, so he’s rapidly becoming my favourite setter!

    FOI – 6ac CHA

    Thanks to Orpheus and to Jackkt for the blog

  26. One of those days where the wordplay helped me avoid typos in LICENSEES and REMINISCE. I found this relatively straightforward, started with USER and finished with LEGACY in 6.51.
    Thanks to Jack

  27. A couple of questions please:
    I guessed CAT=MOG, but never heard of it except here; and Information=GEN is something I’ve known for decades, but I just accept it without knowing why.
    Please help

    1. I tried researching mog/moggie for my blog but didn’t find anything helpful. I’ve known it as a word for cat all my life, long before doing crosswords. The only thing to add is that it’s a cross breed domestic variety, not a pedigree.

  28. Sonny and Licencees will remind me to to get carried away with a fast rate of solve!
    FOI 1a Universal
    LOI 18d Cape – simply got there last
    COD 10a Heart Rending – my reaction to my double sloppiness toady!

  29. I also fell into the LICENCEES trap, so a DNF after thinking I had finished in 10.29. I should have counted the letters more carefully.

  30. Found this very straightforward which is not usual for me. Must be on the wavelength. 7:38 including a short pause to get the football on my phone. 2d was the only one I had to dwell on: not a use of iceberg I would use.

  31. Got home in 36 minutes, which is good for an Orpheus for me. And almost all fully parsed.

    Getting UNIVERAL and CHA on first pass really helped. NHO INFANTA or BERG.

    Many thanks to Orpeus and Jackkt.

  32. 13:36

    Nice and easy for Monday. Held up slightly by LEGACY and LOI ICEBERG which I failed to parse.

  33. I didn’t have my usual Monday brain fog today and began well. Slowed down a little after that, but home in about 20 mins.

    Quarter is a new one for me to take on board.

    I thought 10ac and 11dn were great clues, but my COD was 20ac.

    FOI – 1ac
    LOI – 4dn (just couldn’t see it until I had all the checkers).

    Many thanks for the blog.

  34. I found this fairly straightforward but made the licencees mistake so had a pink square. 15:48 a bit better than my typical times.

  35. I managed this quite well and completed it fairly easily which was exciting for me. I was not happy with 11 down though – I saw what it was but I would spell the tennis equipment as racquet. Is racket a new alternative spelling?

      1. Thanks L-Plates. I had a look too and it says racket is the American spelling but that the tennis federation use it too which I just think is very unimaginative of them!!! Racquet is soooo much nicer.

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