Times Quick Cryptic 2305 by Orpheus

Hi all.  I hope 2023 has started well for you.

I had hoped to join in with the New Year stats fest and give you today’s time (06:11) relative to my actual calculated averages, but have been remiss.  Messing about in Excel is one of my favourite things, so I should have some data soon.  (However, procrastinating is another …)

Thanks to Orpheus for another enjoyable puzzle, in which I noticed quite a few things in other things.  He or she is not one of them, but I liked the creative musician in 10a.

Now to do another of my favourite things and put myself into my bed.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts, although a busy day looms so may not be able to return until later.

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

1a Domestic fowl spaniel observed by English lake (8)
COCKEREL COCKER (spaniel) observed by E (English) + L (lake)
6a Continental resort relative talked of (4)
NICE — NIECE (relative), sounds like (talked of)
8a Remain leader of animals in pen (4)
STAY — The first letter of (leader of) Animals in STY (pen)
9a Posh twin unsettled small community (8)
TOWNSHIP POSH TWIN anagrammed (unsettled)
10a Arrive shortly with puzzle for creative musician (8)
COMPOSER COMe (arrive) without the last letter (shortly) + POSER (puzzle)
12a Animal sound ultimately familiar in sea inlet (4)
BRAY — The last letter of (ultimately) familiaR in BAY (sea inlet)
13a Musical girl touring new docking facility (6)
MARINA MARIA (musical girl – from West Side story, or The Sound of Music, take your pick) around (touring) N (new)
16a Curator‘s retreat in time of conflict? (6)
WARDEN WAR DEN (retreat in time of conflict?)
17a Festive occasion hosted by Donegal area (4)
GALA — The answer is inside (hosted by) DoneGAL Area
18a Chap in hot island, one doing odd jobs (8)
HANDYMAN ANDY (chap) in H (hot) and MAN (island)
21a Forceful archdeacon takes time crossing eastern border (8)
VEHEMENT VEN (archdeacon) goes next to (takes) T (time); this is around (crossing) E (eastern) and HEM (border)
22a Space to tie up when returning (4)
ROOM MOOR (to tie up) when reversed (when returning)
23a Cook disturbed by a brawl (4)
FRAY FRY (cook) interrupted by (disturbed by) A
24a Put at risk, call a halt to wrath (8)
ENDANGER END ANGER (call a halt to wrath)
2d Get the better of daughter wearing unfashionable ring (5)
OUTDO D (daughter) inside (wearing) OUT (unfashionable) and O (ring)
3d Important place to handle cargo, we hear (3)
KEY — QUAY (place to handle cargo), homophone (we hear)
4d Put up with painter’s charges (5)
RATES SET (put) reversed (up, in a down entry) next to (with) RA (painter)
5d Uncultured bachelor in inferior rank (7)
LOWBROW B (bachelor) in LOW (inferior) and ROW (rank)
6d Tree hiding English kings in Civil War battle (9)
NASEBERRY — The answer is hiding E (English) and R R (kings) in NASEBY (Civil War battle).  This could have been a sticky one, but somehow my brain supplied the battle from somewhere and allowed me to infer the tree
7d Prevailing weather conditions, etc, rising around Peruvian capital (7)
CLIMATE ETC reversed (rising, in a down entry) around LIMA (Peruvian capital)
11d Greek character recently collecting stamps? (9)
PHILATELY PHI (Greek character) + LATELY (recently)
14d Nonprofessional colleague in a very old city (7)
AMATEUR MATE (colleague) in A and UR (very old city)
15d Eg runner‘s articles about obstruction in game (7)
ATHLETE A and THE (articles) around (about) LET (obstruction in game)
19d Took account of what a cub journalist certainly is! (5)
NOTED — A cub journalist is certainly NOT ED
20d Bloke in a European residence (5)
ABODE BOD (bloke) in A and E (European)
22d Manage to move quickly (3)
RUN — Two definitions

46 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2305 by Orpheus”

  1. I took 10 minutes for all but one answer, then after another 5 I gave up as I simply couldn’t make progress. The troublesome clue was 13ac where I was unable to think beyond Annie as the ‘musical girl’ – she usually is – and it never occurred to me that I should be looking for one who was not named in the title of a show. The main definition baffled me too.

    I’m intrigued by ‘things in other things’, Kitty, would you care to expand on this?

    1. Things in other things

      Oh, I didn’t mean anything mysterious, Jackkt, just that there were plenty of insertion clues. A handful of these are simply indicated by “in”, which is the kind of thing that you notice when writing a blog.

      1. Thanks, Kitty. It just goes to show it’s a blogger’s thing, because I have remarked on exactly that same point myself a couple of times recently when writing blogs, but today as just a solver I didn’t even notice! The 15×15 puzzle I blogged on the Christmas Bank Holiday had 17 insertions.

  2. DNK NASEBERRY, but I did know Naseby; still, it took me a while to work out. Like Jack, I was thinking of a title girl; didn’t think of Annie, but did come up with Evita before finally getting some checkers. 8:11.
    Today’s 15×15 is worth having a look at.

    1. I also considered Evita, not that I think she’d be described as a ‘girl’. Both Marias are described as such in the songs featuring their name.

  3. “How do you solve a problem like…” just being a bit dim today. Took 11:19 with VEHEMENT being the one that held me up longest; I always get VEN and RR mixed up. NASEBERRY was new but I did remember the name of the ‘Civil War battle’ which helped.

    I may have “noticed (the) quite a few things in other things” our blogger refers to but I wouldn’t bet on it. On the other hand, what I’ve seen may be NADA. Good to see a reference to our blogger hiding elsewhere in the grid.

    Thanks to Orpheus and to Kitty

  4. Both QC and 15×15 done by 1 am. As noted, the biggie is pretty approachable today. Did not manage to complete the GK where I was one short for a treble.

    12:41 on this QC, but a good 3 or 4 mins on LOI VEHEMENT. Couldn’t recall the abbreviation, and had HE ( which is the ambassador one).

    I only recall one other Civil War battle ( Edge Hill), so relieved it was NASEBY, NHO NASEBERRY, but there are a lot of obscure berries, and setters like them.

    COD ABODE, where I liked bloke=bod.

  5. Slow, quick, slow today. RATES, ABODE and VEHEMENT all held me up at the end. Only four acrosses on the first pass but then most of the downs. Briefly wondered if the battle was actually called NASEBERRY and I’d just had it wrong for years before the parsing reassured me. For once I didn’t get disheartened after T and kept committed to the alpabet trawl and was rewarded with VEHEMENT. Stumbled over WARDEN where I wanted to put ‘den’ in ‘war’ – so that was the red herring in a puzzle where as Kitty notes a lot of things went in things. All green in 17.

  6. A steady solve for a 12 minute finish. Naseberry the main holdup as unknown to me, but it was eminently guessable if you know the battle. LOI Vehement as it needed careful construction from the various bits.

    Many thanks to Kitty for the blog

  7. Apparently the naseberry is a Caribbean fruit and the Prime Minister of Guyana is reported to have declared: ‘Only a woman is sweeter than a naseberry.’

  8. Most of this went in without too many problems but VEHEMENT and MARINA held me up as I couldn’t remember the VEN abbreviation and spent time wondering how Evita could fit. That left me with the pesky 12a which I couldn’t make head or tail of and eventually just chucked in bear knowing it was most likely wrong. I’m not sure I’d have got BRAY if I’d spent another 5 minutes on it.
    Thanks to Kitty for the blog and Orpheus for the workout.

  9. Very slow this morning at 19 minutes, for no very good reason. The usual suspects held me up, with MARINA LOI. I also tried to shoehorn EVITA in somehow, but didn’t think of ANNIE. I’ll give the 15 x 15 a go a little later after the pointers above. Thanks all.

  10. I enjoyed this QC and found it a mix of quite chewy clues and d’oh moments with lots of biffable answers as crossers emerged. (Examples: LOWBROW, PHILATELY, VEHEMENT, COMPOSER.) All parsed, though.
    NASEBERRY was new to me but it was straightforward to construct once I had the crossers. I started slowly and moved quickly away from the NW, returning finally for COCKEREL and KEY. Once again, I was quite immersed in this and was surprised to be slightly over target at almost 17 mins.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  11. For several years I did a weekly commute between Suffolk and Shropshire. At about 1/2 distance there is a sign beside the A14 indicating the location of the battle of Naseby. Even so, NASEBERRY was my LOI. I vaguely recognised the tree from a previous crossword – I’ve just checked and it has come up 4 times before on TfTT, most recently in May 2020, but this is its first appearance in a QC. As for the rest of the crossword – I didn’t get many on a first pass of the acrosses but the downs got me going. (No it wasn’t SHIPTOWN for 9A). Neat clues, as always from Orpheus. COD to the smooth ROOM. Thanks-you Orpheus and Kitty. 4:57.

  12. No problems apart from my last two. VEHEMENT required careful parsing and I couldn’t remember the abbreviation for archdeacon. Then back to 6d. At first I thought I was looking for the name of a battle. The Civil War is not my strong point. ASH had to go and I assumed in the end NASEBERRY was a tree; and Naseby familiar once I had it.
    12 minutes in the end with 3 on the last two.
    A good QC. COD to COMPOSER.

  13. A bit on the slow side today taking 13.12 to finish. I was only just over the ten minute mark with just the tree to find at 6dn. I had provisionally put in NASHBERRY, and it took me a long time to recall the battle of Naseby to give me the unheard of tree.
    I also didn’t help myself by accidentally putting the answer AMATEUR into 15dn instead of 14dn which caused real problems with the crossers.
    Ironically I had trouble parsing 18ac for a while, even though I was part of the solution!

  14. Evita, no … Annie, no … umm … oh, remember “lift and separate”, maybe it’s just a musical not a musical girl, so it must be Cats … no … aarrggh. And that’s before thinking that “archdeacon” was RR and that I must be failing to remember how to spell Naseby (since I thought the definition was the battle).

    Disasters all over the grid for 15:37, 1.9K and a Terrible Day. Next!

    Many thanks Orpheus and Kitty.


  15. I didn’t know the tree, but I knew the battle, so NASEBERRY didn’t detain me for too long. MARINA went straight in. FOI COCKEREL. LOI, FRAY. 6:11 Thanks Kitty and Orpheus.

  16. My first pink square for a while after WARDER did for me. A slow start, but eventually worked my way up from the bottom and completed in just over 22. Naseby was known but not NASEBERRY. I’m left with the feeling I should have done better, which is a pretty good indicator of a nice puzzle! Thanks Orpheus and Kitty.

  17. A long 26 mins today with 10 spent on LOI VEHEMENT. I really must remember the abbreviation VEN… Other chewy bits included MARINA (I too became fixated on Annie until I realised that ‘docking facility’ had nothing to do with the ISS but referred to boats, and the unknown NASEBERRY. Also needed blog to parse RATES – couldn’t understand what the TE was doing in the middle of RA’S 😂 Many thanks for the blog Kitty and thanks to Orpheus for an enjoyable puzzle.

  18. 17 mins and very enjoyable – COD must be 6D for the clever surface of the english lings in a tree and civil war battle. Thanks Kitty for helping me parse 22a and 19d. The answers were clear from parts of the clues but I couldn’t figure out how to fully get there!

  19. Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. Stared at NHO NASEBERRY tree but it had to be. Had PDM with MARINA, earlier PDMs with COMPOSER, WARDEN, VEHEMENT. I knew Archdeacons were VEN luckily. (Did you know that in days of yore a formal letter to an Archdeacon should begin “Venerable Sir”?) Also liked CLIMATE, WARDEN and AmateUR. We haven’t had UR for ages.
    Many thanks, Kitty.

  20. C.15 mins with VEHEMENT the LOI after an alphabet trawl as VEN for Archdeacon was unknown to me.

    Thought I was supposed to be looking for a battle in 6D instead of a tree and given that a NASEBERRY was NHO that slowed me down considerably. NASEBY rang a bell but not loud enough for me to immediately construct an answer around.

    As a result of these two clues being solvable but not obvious this is the kind of puzzle that I really enjoy, so big thanks to Orpheus and thanks too Kitty, particularly for the parsing of LET in ATHLETE.

  21. Dnf…

    Had everything after 22 mins, but just couldn’t get 13ac “Marina”. Haven’t had a last clue blockage for a while, so was probably due one. Thought of every “dock” imaginable (quay, pier, pontoon) apart from the obvious and just couldn’t get Evita out of my head in terms of the musical.

    In the end, had to concede defeat, but there were lots of other clues I enjoyed such as 6dn “Naseberry” and 21ac “Vehement”.

    FOI – 3dn “Key”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 19dn “Noted”

    Thanks as usual!

  22. 9.15

    Looks like generally slower times today so happy enough with mine. Took a while to get going but sped up towards the end. MARINA LOI; NASEBERRY POI. Knew the battle; NHO the tree.

    Thanks all

  23. 27 minutes for the first 24 clues. Then another 27 minutes for my last two. The most intractable for me was VEHEMENT, as I DNK the abbreviation for archdeacon, never saw HEM for border and couldn’t think of the correct synonym for forceful. _E_E_E_T is an awful alphabet trawl to have to do. However, my LOI was WARDEN. I got as far as WARDEr quite quickly, but somehow knew it wasn’t right.

    Total time = 54 minutes, but at least I’m off the mark again on my pursuit of 20 in a row (my unbeaten run now stands at 1).

    Many thanks to Orpheus and Kitty.

  24. A sluggish 26mins, with a large slice of that on my last pair- Naseberry and Bray. Tried to squeeze a three letter tree somewhere into the former before the pdm, and the latter required an alphabet trawl to dig out. At least I resisted the temptation of an unparsed Boar. While I’m still in a grumpy mood, I wasn’t keen on the use of ‘in’ in 16ac, Warden, to indicate something that follows. CoD to 19d, Noted, for the pun. Invariant

  25. Pretty straightforward apart from NASEBERRY (NHO), FRAY and VEHEMENT, which was so convoluted I needed help to find.

  26. Quite a zippy day today – I did this in 8:20, with more than 30 seconds spent trying to find a musical girl who wasn’t Annie alongside a synonym for a docking area. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one! The biggie was quite quick too – 21 minutes, with only one unknown.
    I thought there were a lot of great surfaces, especially 9a TOWNSHIP, which would be a good outline for a drama. I really liked the misdirection at 6d, sending us towards Charles II up a tree after the battle of Worcester, but Naseby is always at the forefront of my mind, so the unusual tree wasn’t too difficult for me.
    Anyone remember Handy Andy from Changing Rooms?
    FOI Cockerel LOI Marina COD Naseberry
    Thanks Orpheus for an enjoyable start to the week and Kitty for a comprehensive blog (I hope you slept well). I’ve said it before but thanks again to the UK bloggers who stay up very late or get up very early to do the blog when everyone else is tucked up in bed.

  27. I found this relatively straightforward apart from the unknown tree at 6dn (but I knew the battle, so that helped). A bit of a hold up at 21ac where I couldn’t remember the honorific for an archdeacon but luckily (given the unhelpful crossers) VEHEMENT sprang to mind after a little thought. Never bothered to parse it though, so thanks for the explanation Kitty. I thought of MARINA quite quickly so didn’t have to trawl through girls in musicals to get the answer. A good puzzle imo, finished in 14 minutes.

    FOI – 1ac COCKEREL
    LOI – 6dn NASEBERRY (entered with a shrug)
    COD – 19dn NOTED

    Thanks to Orpheus and Kitty

  28. 17 mins. Finished top half very quickly other than Marina – fixated on Annie …
    Never studied Civil War History – pretty esoteric – had to look it up .
    Then other than VE / RR confusion everything else dropped out .
    Enjoyable puzzle .

  29. More or less bang in the middle of target range.

    Favourite was the NHO NASEBERRY, LOI was ATHLETE, after getting the A from MARIA.


  30. Completed all but four clues in 15 mins (v quick for me) then struggled with Marina, Vehement, and stupidly Athlete. Naseberry got there with a struggle but DNF due to 3 mentioned. Frustrating…

  31. Failed on the MARINA and VEHEMENT clues.
    It seemed trickier than the 15×15 puzzle.
    I’ve learned a fair bit today about venerable archdeacons, and in the other puzzle, pargeters

    1. I don’t think we are supposed to mention the solutions to another puzzle here. In case others haven’t tackled that puzzle yet. Doesn’t affect me, of course, because I am always stumped and have never completed a QC without assistance.

      1. To be fair, the unlikely pargeter is not part of the solution but a word that appears in a clue. It’s rare to have a NHO in a clue, but there’s one today. It’s actually a type of finish to the exterior of a house.

  32. Nearly gave up after an hour with 3 to go but then they all went in….. except that LOI REVENENT was incorrect. I suspected it didn’t mean forceful but REV sort of fitted and EN EN could have been crossing two eastern borders. Self delusion is a wonderful thing.
    So a dnf but very happy to have got so far after only solving 3 Orpheus clues on 27 December.
    Some great clues, none felt unfair, and my COD was CLIMATE for incorporating ‘etc’.
    Thanks as always to Kitty and Orpheus

    1. VEHEMENT: I was thinking along the same lines – REV (for archdeacon) and EN (the borders of EasterN). I spent more than 20 minutes on this one clue alone, but the only element I nailed was the T for time. I did manage to get it in the end, but only after my most tortuous ever alphabet trawl.

  33. it seems to be just me derailed by the (bear) cub reporter as NO TED, rather than NOT ED. I can see now it doesn’t work, but I enjoyed discovering that in the blog and, anyway, they all count

  34. DNF

    Got into all sorts of problems when I decided eastern border was epen. Didn’t know VEN so failed to complete.

  35. Hugely frustrating. I flew through this and was easily under the SCC cut off when I got to 21ac. Had no problem with NASEBERRY or MARINA.

    I don’t recall coming across VEN during the time I have been doing the QC, so was on the back foot from the start. Eastern and Time I got, but was mystified by border.

    I eventually put in REVERENT for a deeply annoying DNF. I knew in my heart of hearts it was incorrect, but just couldn’t see the clue. I’ll know next time.

    So near and yet so far…..

    Thanks for the blog Kitty.

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