Times Quick Cryptic 2380 by Teazel


Solving time: 13 minutes.

After commenting last Wednesday on a recent return to form when I achieved my QC target time of 10 minutes for five consecutive days, sadly I have slipped back and missed my target every day since. My worst performance was on Friday when I needed 19 minutes to finish Izetti’s puzzle and at least my solving time today is an improvement on that. I am hoping this will continue as the week progresses.

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 Storage unit, a huge mouthful to say (8)
Sounds like [to say] “mega-bite” (huge mouthful)
5 Friends come back for smack (4)
PALS (friends) reversed [come back]
8 In this bag, two things for lawyers to work on (8)
SUIT + CASE (two things for lawyers to work on)
9 Small insect somewhat irritating, naturally (4)
Hidden in [somewhat} {irritatin}G NAT{urally}
11 Fish heading away from seaweed (5)
{t}ANGLE (seaweed) [heading away]
12 I put on a shift with impractical hopes (7)
Anagram [shift] of I PUT ON A
13 Mischievous and serving own interests? Not at first (6)
{s}ELFISH (serving own interests) [not at first]
15 Part of flower showing black mark (6)
Two meanings, the second figurative because a stigma as a physical mark is not specific as to colour.
18 Hair of the dog technician may need (3,4)
LAB (dog),  COAT (hair)
19 Composer’s frightful glare (5)
Anagram [frightful] of GLARE
21 Dispatch a tiny drink astride horse (4)
SIP (tiny drink) containing [astride] H
22 I gave weapons to such a bandit? (3-5)
ONE (I), ARMED (gave weapons to). ‘One-armed bandit’ was a slang term for early fruit- or slot-machines, the type with a large mechanical lever resembling an arm.
23 Listen to live between the start of October and the end of January (4)
BE (live) contained by [between] O{ctober} [the start] + {Januar}Y [the end]
24 This children’s contest is in the bag (4,4)
1 Mum’s guru gives hands-on treatment (7)
MA’S (Mum’s), SAGE (guru)
2 Medal I received, retiring (5)
I contained [received] by GONG (medal)
3 Should this dodgy agency also sell spades? (6,4)
The straight definition has cryptic support with reference to buckets and spades, favourite toys for young children on seaside holidays.
4 Even risk to cat, being knocked over (4-2)
TO, then PUSS (cat) reversed  [knocked over]
6 A down-to-earth passage (7)
More cryptic support for a straight definition
7 Point out piece of climbing equipment (5)
Anagram [out] of POINT.  I wasn’t sure of this one so took a punt on which vowels went where based on knowing ‘crampon’  as another piece of climbing equipment.
10 Here I may leave empty (6,4)
14 Feverish winter weeks are annoying (7)
FEB (winter weeks), RILE (are annoying)
16 Make short work of a card game (7)
A, BRIDGE (card game)
17 Laurel’s speaking a verse (6)
STANZ +A sounds like [speaking] “Stan’s a” (Laurel’s a)
18 One used to snare girl with love (5)
LASS (girl), O (love)
20 Foreign character turns up in the morning publication (5)
AM (in the morning) + MAG (publication) reversed [turns up]

56 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2380 by Teazel”

  1. 16:08. I needed the blog to be able to parse ONE-ARMED (i.e. that one =I). I had bottle shop at first for BOTTLE BANK but because we already had shop in BUCKET SHOP I rethought until the right answer appeared.

    1. Kevin, it’s British English for a recycling centre taking glass bottles. Usually a large metal container with holes to post the bottles through – very satisfying for children (and a great way to get them into recycling).

  2. 8:39. Reasonably happy, particularly after starting off by falling for the “What sort of ‘guru’ is a seur?” trick at 1d. I managed to spot most of the cryptic defs straight away with BUCKET SHOP, probably the easiest as it had a straight def as well, being the last to fall.

    Thanks to Jack and Teazel

  3. ☕️☕️☕️
    Another chewy breakfast offering for me this morning. All green in 29:31. (I seem to be getting slower at these QCs. Are they getting harder or what?)
    I got bogged down with a MEGABYTE, SHIP and ONE ARMED. I liked LAB COAT and UTOPIAN.
    However, the sun is shining and the birds are singing, so all is well with the world.

  4. 13’53” with MEGABYTE TANGLE and GOING my LOIs.

    I found this relatively tough and was gonna give up before finally breaking through. Wasn’t on top form as I couldn’t even see UTOPIAN for a long time even with 3 checkers in and an obvious anagram to solve.


    Thanks Teazel and Jackkt

  5. A good challenge from Teazel which needed full concentration in places.
    Spent a while thinking of depots and furniture items at 1a before the ‘m’ and ‘g’ checkers were in place and my last pair, TOSS-UP and UTOPIAN (pesky anagram indicator), also needed time. ANGLE went in unparsed as I wasn’t aware that tangle was a synonym for seaweed.
    Finished in 9.42
    Thanks to Jack

    P.S. Saturday’s 15×15 is worth a look if you haven’t already – it wasn’t a lot harder than some of the trickier QC’s we’ve had recently

  6. I found that tough, though the RHS was easier for me than the LHS. “Winter weeks” for FEB was pretty sneaky. I took far too long to see LOI SELFISH, being hung up on trying to get “ego” in there. COD to LAB COAT, which I thought was brilliant.

    Limped home in 12:02 for 1.95K and a Sluggish Day.

    Many thanks Teazel and Jack.


  7. A strange mix of easy and very chewy. Quite a few PDMs to enjoy. I went clockwise around the grid ending up back in the empty NW corner where things seemed easier at a second attempt. My LOI was ANGLE (after I avoided biffing ALGAE because it didn’t parse). My COD was MEGABYTE although LAB COAT and FEBRILE came close.
    No time because I did something and the grid on my iPad screen emptied completely. I think I had a typo and must have carelessly hit ‘reset puzzle’ instead of ‘show errors’ on the error screen. I had to start again from scratch.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  8. I can sometimes find Teazel’s puzzles a bit tricky, but not so today’s. ‘Take a letter off the front of another word to get the answer” clues often hold me up, but I found {T}angle and {S}elfish without difficulty for a change. I liked the reference to the ONE-ARMED bandit and LAB COAT best. Thanks Teazel and jackkt. 4:57.

  9. Like some others I also found this tough, taking 14 minutes to complete it with the SW corner holding out till the last. This was not helped by initially essaying Shot for Ship, having misread “drink” in the clue as “drunk” and thinking Sot. Well, that’s my excuse …

    Some very clever clues, and (once I had sorted out Ship and so Febrile) I particularly liked Lab Coat, my LOI – I lost track of the number of garden paths I was led up by Teazel on this one before the penny dropped. I also learn that Tangle is a type of seaweed, today’s little piece of new GK; until I got Bucket Shop I was wondering mildly if there was a seaweed called Tangel.

    Many thanks to Jack for the blog

  10. 20 mins…

    I found this tough going, but quite enjoyable, with some lovely clues that made me smile.

    I particularly liked 18ac “Lab Coat”, 4dn “Toss Up” and 17dn “Stanza” – the last one nearly tripping me up, as I initially put “Stansa” without thinking.

    FOI – 5ac “Slap”
    LOI – 21ac “Ship”
    COD – 22ac “One-Armed”

    Thanks as usual!

  11. Teazelled again. I can never get on his wavelength. I’m Daryll Cullinan to his Shane Warne.

    Lots to like though I thought. ONE-ARMED and STANZA particularly. BOTTLE BANK was my LOI.


  12. Struggled with 1a until the M and G arrived – that led me to ‘magazine’ and the realisation that listing thinks like wardrobe and ottoman wasn’t going to get me anywhere. SE flew in but then it was a slow clockwise crawl to the finish ending up with TOSS-UP and UTOPIAN (where I totally missed the anagram think I was smart for thinking ‘shift’ clued ‘dress’ or similar. NHO a BUCKET SHOP or tangle, so wondered if sALMON might be seaweed for a while. All green in 15.

  13. Only a few seconds inside my target of 15 minutes, but a very satisfying puzzle from Teazel. I didn’t know that TANGLE was seaweed, but that didn’t really slow me much. It was ELFISH and FEBRILE that were last two in. Many thanks for the blog Jackkt, and Teazel for the wake-up.

  14. Not really on the wavelength. NHO Tangle for seaweed so spent ages wondering about algae. Bottom half fell into place after abandoning the NW. Gradually worked my way up and eventually MEGABYTE and BUCKET SHOP arrived. ANGLE LOI with fingers crossed. Some really nice clues, of course – just me not up to them today. 30:03. Thanks Teazel and jack

  15. Like others I found this tough and I finished outside target at 10.39. I biffed ALGAE for 11ac but fortunately went back to it before stopping the clock to get the right answer. I was held up mostly by 18ac my LOI where LAB came easily enough to me, but COAT didn’t. I think 6dn LANDING is barely cryptic unless the setter considers it to be a synonym for a passage in a house, which I would consider incorrect

    1. SOED has landing as a passage: A platform or resting place at the top of a staircase or between two flights of stairs; a passage or antechamber at the top of a flight of stairs.

      1. I have a landing at the top of my stairs connecting the bathroom and bedrooms. I wouldn’t know what else to call it.

        1. Certainly in modern times, the landing refers to either an intermediate area connecting two flights of stairs, or to the area at the top of a staircase giving access to the bedrooms or bathroom perhaps. The definition found by Jackkt above must be an archaic term I would imagine. As an architect, if I had annotated my drawings with ‘passage’ in the area at the top of a staircase, my clients would have wondered what I was talking about!

  16. 10:23 (1023, death of Llewelyn ap Seisyll, King of Gwynedd, Powys and Deheubarth)

    The early across clues went in quickly, and I thought I was on track for a fast time, but then held up in the lower half of the grid. LOI was BOTTLE BANK.

    Thanks Jackt for the blog.

  17. Average time for the much-enjoyed right half, but found the left really tough.. FOI SLAP, LOI LAB COAT, COD LANDING. Almost gave up, as this took far too long., hopefully as a result of a week’s holiday rather than mental decline.

  18. Right-hand side went in quite readily, but LH much more of a struggle until MEGABYTE suddenly came to mind. Debated over ALGAE/ANGLE for 11A as NHO TANGLE as a type of seaweed. Guessed right! Other difficulties were LAB COAT and SHIP. Toughish start to the week.

  19. I was through the SCC a couple of times before I finished. Teazel is my nemesis, I rarely get the right wavelength for him. With Izetti I can nearly always see what is going on, even if it is hard to find the answer, but Teazel frequently has me staring at the clue trying to find a starting point.
    Despite living on the coast and plenty of water based activities I had never heard of tangle for seaweed, so ANGLE it went in on straight def as a hit and hope as I struggled to finish in the NW corner, having had to work bottom up to get going.
    Took too long on some of what should have been fairly obvious, once I had checkers, like GOING, UTOPIAN and BUCKET SHOP which would have helped a lot.

    1. I concur absolutely with your comments about Teazel, Izetti and the type of seaweed.

  20. 7:05

    Same boat as others in not knowing TANGLE = seaweed. Recalled PITON from a previous grid.

    Once again, checker-building through picking up the easier answers helped with the less-straightforward clues. Liked LAB COAT.

    Thanks Teazel and Jack

  21. An on target solve. I was slow to see a few including SUITCASE, LAB COAT and SACK RACE but I think it was FEBRILE that held me up the longest. I had no problem with TANGLE as seaweed although I probably acquired the GK from crossword land. I’m genuinely surprised how many commenters haven’t heard of it. I put it in the ‘ling for fish/heather’ category of useful crossword GK. 8:41 for a good day.

    1. I suspect that TANGLE for seaweed is indeed limited to Crosswordland, as so many didn’t know it. Some dictionaries don’t have it and it took a long search of synonyms to find it. However, MEGABYTE gave me most trouble. A BYTE is a STORAGE UNIT, a MEGABYTE is simply a lot of bytes. Would you say CATTLE is an ANIMAL? I eventually saw what TEAZEL was getting at, so decided that , despite its inaccuracy, the puzzle was tough rather than unfair.

      1. But you could argue a “Kg” is a defined unit of weight, even if it is a 1000 grams. Is MB no different?

      2. I think the clue is unfair for exactly the reasons you stated. A megabyte is not a storage unit

        1. SOED: megabyte noun (Computing) one million (or 1,048,576) bytes, as a unit of data size or memory capacity

      3. I have always known “tangle” because of a song which refers to “the tangle o’ the Isles”.

  22. 28 enjoyable minutes with a few smiles when got the answer eventually eg bucket shop and bottle bank. O??Y for 23A stayed like this for a long time.

  23. Can’t say I enjoyed this one very much. I struggled on the top half, needing help on a number of clues.

  24. Mr SR and I had a bit of a debate between ANGLE and ALGAE, but Mr SR (as usual) made the correct call.
    However, didn’t parse it until the blog (for which much thanks, Jack) when we realised that we’d seen “tangle” as “seaweed” in another crossword – and I’d sung then (as I did today, much to Mr SR’s horror on both occasions – I can’t carry a tune in a bucket) a snatch from “The Road to the Isles”, which not only had I come across at school, but much more recently in a Dalziel and Pascoe book :

    “Sure by Tummel and Loch Rannoch and Lochaber I will go
    By heather tracks wi’ heaven in their wiles.
    If it’s thinkin’ in your inner heart the braggart’s in my step
    You’ve never smelled the tangle o’ the Isles.”
    Many thanks, Teazel, for the fun.

    1. Thanks for this reminder about tANGLE. Can’t think how many times I’ve sung this ditty without knowing specifically what tangle was meaning. I think I’d always assumed it was linked to tang/taste – although why one would be smelling a taste, I can’t really imagine!

    2. Ah yes, that was the song I mentioned above – I couldn’t remember how it began

  25. DNF. Could not see BUCKET SHOP / SUITCASE. Lots of potential shops in there, and not heard much about Bucket Shops since the Internet. Why would anyone have a retail outlet for cheap travel any more?

    Very good puzzle, lots of clever clues, with LAB COAT and STANZA being my favourites.

    I had ALGAE=seaweed because it fitted, and “surely nothing else could fit those letters”

    COD LAB COAT, naturally. (see avatar)
    Also liked MEGABYTE, ONE-ARMED, STANZA, BUCKET SHOP, among others. Various enjoyable PDMs.
    DNK Tangle=seaweed but biffed. ELGAR is a popular composer in xWordland, it seems, and Bridge a popular game.
    Thanks for blogging, Jack.

  27. Very tough! Went for algae instead of ANGLE (NHO tangle =seaweed). MEGABYTE and BUCKET SHOP were POI/LOI. Liked ELFISH. Always find Teazel the tricksiest setter and today was no exception. Many thanks all.

  28. 46.23, DNF. I had a nightmare with this. Nothing came easily and I guessed wrong on ALGAE/ANGLE for a DNF. That leaves me 13 minutes for the rest of the week.

  29. Slow going but enjoyable which we were able to finish. Also did not know tangle, thanks for the explanation above.

  30. Another DNF for ANGLE / ALGAE. Absolutely never heard that tangle was something to do with seaweed. So discouraging when setters use obscure vocabulary/meanings.

  31. All pretty straight-forward today with no unknown GK and lots of entertaining clues. 9A & 5D on first pass and a smattering of checkers to help me along.
    FOI 5a slap
    LOI 4d toss up – I had overlooked this earlier
    COD – lots to choose from – among others: lab coat/one armed/bottle bank
    Hope to be on the correct wavelength again tomorrow!

  32. 47.49 … another grind. Any enjoyment I might have derived was destroyed by feeling a thick twonk for not seeing some of the stuff of the cryptic defs quicker. I guess I can at least be happy to have finished it but beginning to lose enthusiasm for the QC

    1. If you had done 17:49 would you have felt like a thin twonk?
      P.S. I don’t think I’ll mention AFCB today.

  33. A silly DNF after 54 minutes and several revisits thanks to entering Lasoo despite the clear clueing. Content to finish all the same.
    I thought Lab Coat was very good one.

  34. I had algae, not knowing tangle although I know the song. Kenneth McKellar is a bit of ancient history!
    Also did not get Landing and Utopian sadly.
    I managed Elfish although I thought the adjective to be Elvish so was a bit puzzled.

  35. I never seem to be on the same wavelength as Teazel and so it proved today. Got to 30 minutes (normally my cut-off time) with 4 left, all in the NW. I left it for about 4 hours and then came back to it and polished the remainder off in not more than another 5 minutes – funny how that happens. Nothing unknown except tangle = seaweed, so no excuse really.

    FOI – 5ac SLAP
    LOI – 1ac MEGABYTE
    COD – 18ac LAB COAT

  36. Mrs Random and I have just done this overlooking the River Dart (and Dartmouth), having come to Kingswear in Devon for a few days. The weather at the time of writing is good and the view is fantastic, but our respective experiences of Teazel’s challenge were very different. Mrs R was all done and dusted in 15 minutes, and she was also able to complete one of her backlog QCs (Oink, I think) from last week before I reached Teazel’s finishing line. I did get there successfully, but I only after a very long hiatus half-way through.

    My FOI was SLAP and I was pleased to get several more fairly quickly. However, they were mainly the shorter clues, so I didn’t have terribly many checkers to work from. Clues like BUCKET SHOP, ABRIDGE, MEGABYTE and BOTTLE BANK (my LOI) just seemed like gobbledegook to me for far too long. In the end, I think it was LAB COAT that opened the floodgates for me and the remaining clues just fell like ninepins. Total time = 32 minutes, which is around my current average, but good considering the setter.

    Many thanks to Teazel and Jack.

  37. As above! 13 minutes with a three hour gap to finish the last few, as I had a U3A meeting to go to and was running late – I should have started this a bit earlier when I saw it was a Teazel 😅 I really liked ONE ARMED and BOTTLE BANK, but 18a made me chuckle so got the big tick.
    FOI Slap LOI Megabyte COD Lab coat
    Thanks Teazel and Jack

  38. Just outside my target in 15:36. I particularly liked LAB COAT, and you can add me to the list of people who learned that “tangle” is a type of seaweed today. I don’t think I’ve heard the phrase BUCKET SHOP in 30 years: do they still exist?

    Thanks to Teazel for a fun puzzle & Jack for explaining the seaweed 😉

  39. Awful start to the week. A DNF after putting in ALGAE (NHO TANGLE for seaweed). Took me around 45 mins to get to the end and derived very little pleasure from the experience. I’m sure that says more about me than the setter, but I never get on Teazel’s wavelength. It’s only Monday but another week without hitting my target (5 completions in 2 hours).

    Thanks for the blog.

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