Times Quick Cryptic 2340 by Mara


Solving time: 7 minutes


I found this quite straightforward. How did you all get on with it? Two or three answers appeared in the Jumbo puzzle I blogged last Saturday

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 Business to come in with force (10)
ENTER (come in), PRISE (force e.g. something open)
7 Knotted rope has secured wrist, primarily for control (5)
Anagram (knotted) of ROPE containing [has secured] W{rist} [primarily]
8 Dad with delayed sense of taste (6)
PA (late), LATE (delayed)
10 Follow supreme being from the East (3)
GOD (supreme being) reversed [from the East]
12 Unruly mob, round about end of morning: one of a pair beaten (5,4)
Anagram [unruly] of MOB ROUND containing [about] {mornin}G [end]
13 Light that is surrounding good egg (6)
IE (that is – id est) containing [surrounding] G (good) + NIT (egg of a louse)
14 Arduous and extremely unusual to get around Phil (6)
U{nusua}L [extremely] containing [to get around] PHIL
17 Despair, turning to healers (4,5)
Anagram [turning] TO HEALERS
19 Space program ambitious, Gemini initially set back (3)
P{rogram} + A{mbitious} +  G{emini} [initially] reversed [set back]
20 Chap, one chopping down tree (6)
Two definitions, the second by example
21 Capital city of Doha, noisy somewhat (5)
HIdden in [somewhat] {Do}HA NOI{isy}
23 Scottish river, just direct (10)
FORTH (Scottish river), RIGHT (just)
1 Shoe seller paid badly (10)
Anagram [badly] of SELLER PAID
2 Pull part of body by one’s ear? (3)
Sounds like [by one’s ear] “toe” (part of body)
3 Cheese on toast, uncooked part (7)
RARE (uncooked), BIT (part). Usually more fully: Welsh rarebit.
4 Regret placing limits on price in landlord’s payment (6)
P{ric}E [limits] contained by [in] RENT (landlord’s payment)
5 Slovak nearly fluffed volley (5)
Anagram [fluffed] of SLOVA{k} [nearly]
6 Great   money (8)
Two meanings
9 Commercial centre in race for details on contract (5,5)
MALL (commercial centre) contained by [in] SPRINT (race)
11 Ultimately upstanding, awfully strange criminal (8)
{upstandin}G [ultimately], then anagram [awfully] of STRANGE
15 Piece of pottery    one throws (7)
Two meanings
16 Usual standard, rubbish mimic (6)
PAR {usual standard}, ROT (rubbish)
18 Greeting Underworld, Orpheus originally (5)
HELL (underworld), O{rpheus} [originally]
22 Bother   old horse (3)
Two meanings

55 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2340 by Mara”

  1. 11:32. Very straightforward- enjoyed seeing FELLER- hadn’t come across that term for many years.

  2. I didn’t understand 2d, put in LUG at first, changed to TOW when I had to, but somehow ‘toe’ escaped me. 5:34.

  3. 9:10. Took a while to get ENTERPRISE and, like Kevin, TOE at the start but then went along steadily until PITCHER and especially STERLING held out at the end.

    After “Oxfords”, ESPADRILLE(s) seem to be the crossword setters’ favourite ‘shoe(s)’. I had a vague idea of what they looked like and thought they were just for women but decided to look it up to be sure. What do you know, men can wear them too.

    Thanks to Mara and Jack

  4. A nice canter to start the week. If I hadn’t got held up for 5 mins on LOI PARROT I would even have avoided the SCC. I always forget PAR for standard. COD SMALLPRINT. Wasn’t too keen on Regret defining Repent – as there are important differences in meaning though I can see the dictionaries would allow the clue. 23.45

  5. Fancy getting the tense wrong with an anagram. I’ve missed out on a fast one here. Firstly slowed myself down by having ‘lug’ for TOE for too long which made POWER hard and then finished with ‘lost heart’ for LOSE HEART. Can’t even claim a typo as the clue was clear and gave me all the letters. Before that ESPADRILLE held me up. We’ve seen them here before and I had a white pair on a family holiday to Crete many years ago so I can confirm men can wear them BR. Whether they should or not is another matter. Always smile at PITCHER. We had a big dining hall at university in Scotland and I remember an American student asking if someone would pass the jug – he then explained to his friends he’d previously asked for someone to ‘pass the pitcher’ and no one had even moved.

  6. 8’20 for a decent workout that had a few ‘think twice’ answers including TOW, SALVO, PITCHER, FORTHRIGHT and SMALLPRINT.

    Did wonder about FELLER being someone who chops down trees vs ‘fella’ as the way I’d spell the synonym for ‘bloke.’ Not that I often need to write it down.


    Thanks Mara and Jackkt

  7. A nice start to the week which took me just under 10 minutes. Bongo drum my LOI and dragged out of some deep memory – not sure if I’ve ever seen (or heard) them, whether singly or in twos.

    Uphill made me smile – not a difficult clue but interesting that the PH is pronounced F in the surface but P-H in the answer.

    Many thanks to Jack for the blog

  8. Started with both of the 1s and used all the helpful starting letters to fly through most of this until coming to a grinding halt with BONGO DRUM, PITCHER and FORTHRIGHT proving that breezeblocks can come in threes. No idea what happened as they were all clearly clued.
    I also have to confess to once owning a pair of ESPADRILLES, which I’m going to blame on it being the 80s!
    Finished in 9.06
    Thanks to Jack

  9. Breezeblocked at the end by FORTHRIGHT, which turned out to be because I had fat fingered SMALL PRINR. Took me a while to see what was going on with SALVO (COD).

    A nod to Orpheus at 18a – and perhaps to our very own Phil at 14a? It is indeed unusual for the setter to get around Phil!

    06:49 for 1.2K and an Excellent Day. Many thanks Jack and Mara.


  10. 18:05 DNF with a LOSt-HEART … perhaps a nod from Mara towards how the SCC have been feeling recently?!? Should have checked the letters in the anagrist as I did for ESPADRILLE which I originally had ending with a second S.

    A nice challenge with the top half presenting more problems than lower down but still a bit of headscratching going on. Like Kevin, I put “lug” in for TOW which held up both POWER and ENTERPRISE.

    While never happy with a DNF, just pleased not to feel utterly frustrated and see a chunk of my morning gone. Quick indeed for once.

  11. A gentler start to the week than the end of last week. Good to see my fellow Weekend Quick Cryptic compiler get a mention in 14A. I liked REPENT and PARROT, but COD to PITCHER. Thanks Mara and jackkt. 4:35.

  12. Pleased to drop in Forthright which on first sight I had a moment of self-doubt would be a challenge, LOI BONGO DRUM which I biffed BINGO before realising that Round was part of the anagrist.
    Comfortably in the club in 24.25 to occupy my usual corner chair.
    Like some of the aforementioned, I admit to owning a pair of cream canvas rope soled espadrilles in the distant past. Essential Spanish beach wear at the time. I doubt I knew they were called espadrilles and suspect they were bought from a shop selling sun glasses.
    Thanks Mara and Jack

  13. A good Monday puzzle. Thanks to both.
    I had trouble with BONGO DRUM because I was fixated by BiNgO. Sadly, whilst I finished within target, I joined Mendesest in failing to parse 17a properly with LOSt HEART. More haste, less speed. John M.

  14. 9:10. 910 Wessex and Mercia decisively defeat the Danes at the battle of Tettenhall. My first Anglo-Saxon time for a couple of weeks.

    Also got off to a bad start with LUG for TOW.

    The parsing of IGNITE was hard, but fortunately easy to biff in after. I also agree that theologically REPENT and “regret” are quite different.


    1. I’m embarrassed to say that I used to live about two miles from Tettenhall, and knew nothing about the battle, so thank you for filling in at least one hole in my education. Others are available. . .

  15. An OK solve in 11:28. LOI was BONGO DRUM. It took a while for me to spot that “round” was part of the anagrist, and like others I spent a while trying to think of things beginning with BINGO.

  16. 13 minutes for a much better performance than most of last week. ESPADRILLE FOI although, I’m pleased to say, I’ve never knowingly owned or worn one. The DRUM held me up but a moment, and I’ve never beaten one. I misspelled STiRLING initially, which I have been guilty of many times in the past, often enough for me to revisit and think hard about it before completing my solve, luckily. Many thanks Jackkt and Mara.

  17. Didn’t get to grips with this, especially my LOI STERLING, which dragged me well over target, I think “Great currency” would have fallen more quickly for me.

    I liked SALVO and UPHILL.


  18. I found this to be a pretty straightforward as well as others crossing the line in 6.50. Again like others I initially put in TUG at 2dn but quickly saw the light of day.
    I had to raise a smile at 3dn RAREBIT, which is generally known as Welsh Rarebit. Living in Wales, I remember the joke we used to share as lads – ‘What is the definition of a Welsh Rarebit’ …… ‘An 18 year old Cardiff virgin’. Shocking!

  19. 14:35 today – much better than my last few outings! Initially had ‘pitches’ rather than PITCHER which delayed LOI FORTHRIGHT, otherwise steady progress throughout. Liked BONGO DRUM and PARROT. Many thanks Jack and Mara.

  20. Never heard of espadrille and forthright had me stumped for a good portion of the solving time.

    Nice puzzle which I found, on the whole, not too difficult. Though I used all my lives.


    1. Type of casual, slip on shoe much favoured by Crockett and Tubbs in 80’s classic Miami Vice.

  21. Oh no! Another pink square. REPENI was definitely not what I intended to type but I was keen to avoid the SCC today so didn’t check before submitting. FOI ESPADRILLE followed by ENTERPRISE. Fairly steady anti-clockwise solve after that with a bit of slowing down for the NE corner.LOI BONGODRUM for a 19:05 finish. Enjoyable puzzle. Thanks Mara and Jack.

  22. I too thought this straightforward -not a criticism in any sense.
    Finished in 8 minutes; LOI REPENT which required a second look after ENTERPRISE emerged.

  23. Enjoyed this one, a bit easier than last week.🙂
    Tried to put Bingo Hall but luckily changed it.
    Liked PARROT, RAREBIT, SMALL PRINT and FELLER made me smile.
    Luckily SALVO sprang to mind.
    Thanks vm, Jack.

  24. 1ac/d were write-ins, and most of the offspring followed in short order. In fact no real hold ups apart from loi Forthright, but even then once I saw just/right the pdm was not long delayed. CoD to 13ac, Ignite, for a subtle noun/verb switch. Finished this genuine QC in 14mins, fully parsed. Invariant

  25. FOI, TOE quickly became TOW when I looked at 7a. Then a steady canter to LOI, STERLING. ESPADRILLE only known from previous crosswords. Took me too long to see FORTHRIGHT. 8:07. Thanks Mara and Jack.

  26. Getting 1a and 1d straight away, followed quickly by several of their dependants stirred hopes for a really fast time, but the lower half of the grid proved more tricky. My last few clues were BONGO DRUM, PITCHER, LOSE HEART, FORTHRIGHT and PARROT. Still, I crossed the line in 29 minutes and anything under the half hour is a good day for me.

    I found the clue for BONGO DRUM very difficult to parse and I wasted time searching for BaNjO/BiNGO _R_M.
    LOSE HEART should have been easy, but I was fixated on LaSt or LOSt as the first word.
    With FORTHRIGHT, I had SO for ‘just’ and STRAIGHT for ‘direct’, which led me to the well-known River Sostraight in Scotland.
    PARROT was my LOI, but I had difficulty getting beyond cARROT (Jasper) in my search for a mimic.

    Mrs Random zoomed through in just 16 minutes and is now making a tiramisu (for a friend’s birthday, this evening) before she goes to her sculpture class, this afternoon.

    Many thanks to Mara and Jack.

  27. 8:43

    Fairly comfortable but would have been more comfortable still if I hadn’t taken so long to work out LOSE HEART, trying LOST and LAST as the first word before eventually the penny dropped.

    Thanks Mara and Jack

  28. 18 mins and was on for a much faster solve when I got bogged down with 3d and 4d, my last ones in. I realised after several minutes that I was trying to fit 4d into 3d and vice versa. Not sure how but was much relieved when I saw my problem!

    Feels like ‘cheese on toast’ would be a very disappointing offering of Welsh Rarebit which is delicious when the cheese is made as a sauce with mustard and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

    I can report that espadrilles are very popular with my mid-20s son and his friends, being a cheap and comfortable shoe choice for the current unfathomable fashion of going sockless.

  29. Quite straightforward, although FELLER (don’t often see that spelling) and PARROT (doh!) held me up a bit at the end.

  30. Me too! T instead of E ar 17a – what a nitwit! Still I won’t LOSE HEART 😉 MHLS as Blighter says.
    Otherwise not a bad start to the week. It would have been about average, at 10:20. I liked Salvo and ESPADRILLE .
    FOI Power LOI and COD Pitcher
    Thanks Mara and Jack

  31. 3:08 this morning, despite a false start at FOI (and COD) 2d “tow”, where (like several others evidently) I rushed in with “lug”, which I immediately realised I couldn’t parse. Otherwise it might have been a very rare dip for me into the sub-3 minute territory.
    Everything seemed to fall into place immediately, in what I felt was a very neatly designed set of clues.
    Thanks to Mara and as ever to Jack for his blog.

  32. Quicker than average, but lovely clues. FOI ENTERPRISE then 1d so most of the NW half fell in quickly. Pace then slowed, longest time on COD BONGO DRUM, haviing dismissed BANJO and BEANO.. Didn’t LOSE HEART at this slightly UPHILL stretch, and sped up to a climax to LOI FORTHRIGHT, helped by the fact that I am currently planning a holiday n Scotland, which will involve driving on its famous bridge. Thanks, Mara and Jackl

  33. 17 mins…

    Enjoyed this, although 2dn ended up being an annoying little teaser: I went from Lug to Tug to Tow. I then had a last clue freeze on 13ac “Ignite”.

    FOI – 10ac “Dog”
    LOI – 13ac “Ignite”
    COD – 9dn “Small Print”

    Thanks as usual!

  34. The Rogers and Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma, is replete with “FELLERS”. Song lyrics include “Oh why did sich a feller have to die?”(Pore Jud is daid), “You’ll have to be a little more standoffish, When fellers offer you a buggy ride.”(All er nothin’), “I know I mustn’t fall into the pit, But when I’m with a feller, I fergit.” and “Whatcha gonna do when a feller gets flirty?”( I cain’t say no).
    I just hope “daid”, “pore” “sich” “fergit” etc don’t show up in these puzzles any time soon!

  35. Good start to the week finishing the puzzle on the flight to Madeira, helped by being forced to sit still and concentrate. About 1h 20m all in.
    Plenty of good clues and misdirections and just at my level.
    LOI Bongodrums
    COD Ignite for the use of eggs.
    Didn’t understand Tow until I read the blog so thanks Jack and Mara

  36. I enjoyed this quick QC with lots of lovely clues. As others commented, UPHILL was fun given the different pronunciation of the “PH”. Good start to the week and (like L-Plates) no despair (utter or otherwise)

  37. Almost a very rare sub-10 finish for me, the app telling me 10:02. LOI BONGO DRUM, although I think that’s a bit of a tautology: isn’t it just a ‘bongo’? COD tough to choose today, but IGNITE gets it by a nose.
    Thanks to both Mara and Jack.

  38. An unusually early solve for me today. 10a and 10d on first pass so pretty top to bottom solve today – much helped by 1a and 1d going straight in. Mara was being kind today! So plenty of help on the grid for the missing 11d 13a 16d and 20a. They fell pretty quickly with only 13a Ignite proving a tad stubborn. Agree that 20 would be more usually Fella. Was diverted at 12a into Banjo/—- but soon saw the light. Amused that A Nit was seemingly clued as a ‘good egg’!
    FOI 1a Enterprise
    LOI 13a Ignite
    COD 12a Bongo Drum

  39. Nits are not good even in clues although I see why it was needed
    Done in one course this evening

  40. Yes Jack, I found this one straight forward. FOI ENTERPRISE and LOI SMALL PRINT. I biffed and didn’t bother to parse BONGO DRUM as I could see the letters from mob at the edges and the definition fitted. COD to SALVO (with an image of Martina Hingis in action). 6:41

  41. A rather easier start than last week. A few clues held my up briefly, but managed to avoid the SCC (16 mins).

    COD – FELLER (was thinking AXEMAN initially)

    Great blog as always Jackkt, many thanks.

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