Times Quick Cryptic 2395 by Jalna – a cool cat, with a terrible snack, running in socks

Hi all.  Unusually for a Monday this took me a smidge longer than average, although no particular problems to report.

I liked several images conjured up by the surfaces: the tiger in cool surroundings, the wife’s terrible cooked snack and the certainty that people run in socks.  Lots more to appreciate too.  Thanks Jalna!

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

1a Organise travels around quiet country (9)
SINGAPORE ORGANISE is anagrammed (travels) around P (quiet)
6a Trade union beginning to manipulate corporation (3)
TUM TU (trade union) + the first letter of (beginning to) Manipuate.
Corporation has a rather dated meaning of paunch, and using it to clue TUM is an old favourite device of setters (reworded from “old setter’s favourite!), so one to remember
8a Parrot — red in colour — living primarily in Los Angeles (7)
ROSELLA ROSE (red in colour) + the first letter of (… primarily) Living in LA (Los Angeles)
I think I have heard of the rosella parrots, but definitely had to rely on the wordplay here
9a Arcadian God welcomes each hymn of praise (5)
PAEAN PAN (Arcadian God) surrounds (welcomes) EA (each)
10a It provides cool surroundings for rare tiger, possibly (12)
12a Pick out a collection of books with nice cover (6)
NOTICE OT (Old Testament; a collection of books) inside (with … cover) NICE
13a Flashy equipment given to school (6)
KITSCH KIT (equipment) + SCH (school)
16a Wife has terrible cooked snack (5,7)
WELSH RAREBIT W (wife) + HAS TERRIBLE anagrammed (cooked)
19a Mistake admitted by retiring juror, regrettably (5)
ERROR — The answer is contained in (admitted by) the reversal of (retiring) juROR, REgrettably
20a Salesperson back clutching the ultimate dressing! (7)
PLASTER REP (salesperson) reversed (back) around (clutching) LAST (the ultimate)
22a Festival taking place in June, ideally (3)
EID — It’s inside (taking place in) JunE, IDeally
23a The planes deployed as jumbos? (9)
ELEPHANTS THE PLANES anagrammed (deployed)
1d Father is upset and extremely rude (4)
SIRE IS reversed (upset) + the outer letters of (extremely) RudE
2d Developing plan to finish mountain climb (7)
NASCENT — The last letter of (… to finish) plaN + ASCENT (mountain climb)
3d From time to time, lad idly creates trouble (3)
AIL — Regular letters of (from time to time) lAd IdLy creates the answer
4d Fruit closer to pomelo variety (6)
ORANGE — The last letter of (closer to) pomelO + RANGE (variety)
5d Old forward is with energy and skill (9)
EXPERTISE EX (old) + PERT (forward) + IS + E (energy)
6d Social media post is pretty fanatical at heart (5)
TWEET TWEE (pretty) + the middle letter of (… at heart) fanaTical
7d Leader concerned with blocking demonstration (7)
MONARCH ON (concerned with) inside (blocking) MARCH (demonstration).
Some topicality creeping in?
11d People run in socks? You can bet on it! (9)
RACEHORSE RACE (people) + R (run) in HOSE (socks)
12d Two presents unable to be found? (7)
NOWHERE NOW and HERE (two presents – present in time, and present at a place).
The NOW/HERE split of this word is perennially pleasing, and is nicely used here
14d Cheese from list collected by young boy (7)
STILTON TILT (list) in (collected by) SON (young boy)
15d Small, adequate specimen (6)
SAMPLE S (small) + AMPLE (adequate)
17d City once surrounded by light was attractive (5)
LURED UR (city once) surrounded by LED (light).
The ancient city of Ur is another crossword favourite
18d Flower is seen around Rhode Island (4)
IRIS IS seen around RI (Rhode Island)
21d Remains quiet after arguing at first (3)
ASH SH (quiet) after the first letter of (… at first) Arguing

71 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2395 by Jalna – a cool cat, with a terrible snack, running in socks”

  1. Slow; lack of concentration mainly. ‘Flashy’ seemed an odd definition for KITSCH. 7:48. [on edit:] In 9ac, why is ‘God’ capitalized?

    1. I looked twice at flashy too but kitsch is given as a synonym in my thesaurus and the dictionaries link them via ‘garish’. As for God, capitals can be used for any words in clues.

      1. I looked up ‘kitsch’ in ODE after I posted, and indeed found ‘garish’; it still feels odd. I know that it’s OK to capitalize, but I don’t see why Jalna did it; one would not normally refer to Pan as an Arcadian God, and I don’t see what purpose is served by doing so here.

            1. Perhaps you shouldn’t be so miserable when somebody offers a reply.

          1. As everyone knows, they’re all (upper-case) Arcadian (lower-case) gods.

            1. Actually, most of them were Olympian, although Pan was Arcadian. But they were all lower-case. And I’m still curious about the capital G.

              1. Yes, of course, but the other person only referred to the “various” ones who were Arcadian.
                My Guess is that the G was capped in a moment of absence. It doesn’t really mislead, which would be a legit reason for it.

    2. Catching up on this one since I struggled with it… someone else might have said it already, but fyi God was not capitalised in the printed edition.

  2. 10 minutes – another ‘target achieved by skin of the teeth’ job!

    On reflection I’m grateful the wordplay at 9ac was explicit or I’d probably have entered PAEON. I’m not sure I knew the difference between the two spellings until I looked them up just now.

    ROSELLA is a word I know only from crosswords. It has come up many times but apparently only once before today in a QC. In December 2020 Izetti used it, defining it rather ungenerously as simply ‘a bird’.

  3. ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ A very hard one to start the week with, IMHO. I got bogged down with TUM, which I’d never heard of but could see no alternative, and KITSCH, which was a nice one. In the end I’d spelt PAEAN wrongly so got no time, but it must’ve been nearly an hour. I’d also never heard of ROSELLA, but it parsed nicely. I especially liked NOWHERE and REFRIGERATOR, but very, very tricky for a Monday.
    The weather is clement, if a little overcast and blustery, here in Kefalonia and I’m 2 hours ahead of most of you – hence the early post, even after nearly an hour of sweating this one out!

  4. A good crossword which I solved steadily but then got careless with my parsing, putting in LURID at 17d. I did briefly question the definition but figured that some people found lurid items attractive.
    Got a bit bogged down in the NW where I spent time at 1a trying to make an anagram out of ‘travels’ and ‘sh’ and SINGAPORE gets my vote for COD for the misdirection. Finished with NASCENT and the unknown bird.
    Thanks to Kitty

  5. I too was misdirected by the first clue into trying to make an anagram out of travels and two stray letters, as I am sure Jalna intended me to be, and that made for a very slow start. But the two long across anagrams at Refrigerator (once I had realised it did not have a D in it) and Welsh Rarebit unlocked the grid, and the bottom half was gentler, so all was gong well until we came to the Case of the Unknown Parrot. A combination of the checkers and the wordplay led me to guess the answer (which I had never heard of) and it went in with fingers crossed for a 17 minute finish.

    A tough start to the week then, and my new target of “all 5 in the week done in under the hour” is already looking a stretch!

    Many thanks to Kitty for the blog

  6. 31:20 with a typo but this ain’t the World Championships. Rather enjoyed it apart from the last 5mins trying to sort out the NW.

    Felt it really showed how far my crosswording skills have come to finish this one. It was tough at the top with ROSELLA, PAEAN, NASCENT and the misdirection of organise/travels and pomelo variety. And on top of that I never did parse AIL which was my tentative LOI.

    I suspect it is a QC you could show beginners all the methods and madness BUT not one they could solve. A little bit too much obscurity in the GK, definitions and misdirection aka lack of biffability! 😃

  7. Some lovely surfaces here to enliven a still-half-asleep Monday morning. I was very slow today, falling into all traps and getting totally stuck in the NW. eventually spotting the right anagrist for SINGAPORE eventually ungummed the works and enabled me to guess the bird but it was too late for respectability.

    All done in 13:27 for 1.8K and a Mondayish Day. Many thanks Kitty and Jalna.


  8. Unsatisfactory DNF to start the week. I felt sure LURID could mean “attractive”, and “light” has so many meanings, one of the, could mean “lid”.

    TUM for “corporation” is lazy clueing, in my opinion. Every time I see it I wonder why setters persist with “conventions” like this. It just puts up barriers to potential new solvers.

    COD NASCENT, and also liked NOWHERE.

    1. I was puzzled once many years ago when I first came across it – looked it up in a blog, shrugged my shoulders, never forgot it. Same with all the other obsolete words – lum, pi etc.

  9. Quite tough, wasted time on anag of travels +pp at 1a. Should have seen that was unlikely. Tried anag of WIFE TERRIBLE at 16a, more time wasting. Oh dear. Still a good puzzle and I should have been quicker.

  10. Not an easy start to the week. Some neat clues from Jalna (e.g. NOWHERE) but also some tripwires. Like Plett11, I was looking for a sh/travels anagram for 1a and I took ages to see NASCENT (LOI and COD) and AIL. I saw PAEAN but came close to mis-spelling it.
    I managed to finish a couple of minutes over target but, again like Plett11, with a regrettable LURID in my careless rush to fill the gap. At least I had no problem with ROSELLA because I have spent periods in Australia.
    Thanks to Jalna and Kitty. John M.

    1. Yes, ROSELLAs were common place where I lived for a number of years (Cremorne Point, Sydney). Very colourful and very noisy but preferable to the funnel-web and redback spiders.

      1. Happy memories! I travelled quite a lot but was based in Queensland where the rainbow lorikeets were more common. My favourite memory is of a Kookaburra that used to perch on my balcony each day (within a couple of feet of me). He would converse with me in his own way for half an hour at a time with his head to one side rather knowingly! John

      2. Thanks. I should have remembered the beautiful parrots in Oz all those years ago.

  11. Quite hard, but interesting and fun. More constructing and less biffing than usual, except for 1a which dawned on me from the checkers. Did biff ROSELLA, and much earlier on pencilled in REFRIGERATOR. Otherwise had to start from the bottom up. LOI NOWHERE (biff – very clever I now see). Twee not the same as Pretty.
    Otherwise liked KITSCH, HORSERACE, PLASTER, SAMPLE, EXPERTISE, NASCENT. Good to see UR surrounded by LEDs. Incidentally, a pomelo is a kind of tropical grapefruit rather than an orange – tho I did get O-range!
    Thanks for crucial blog, Kitty.

  12. Didn’t parse TWEET, STILTON or NOTICE (took NE as cover with OT but missed IC). Careless! No time for to multitasking.
    Thanks Kitty and Jalna.

  13. It seems the bear trap of travels+sh for 1ac was getting quite full by the time I fell in, and the minutes wasted there set the tone for a very slow and bitty solve. Got there in the end, but the struggle with the top half of the grid, especially Paean/pert, meant all the SCC window seats had long gone. CoD to the appropriate 12d, Nowhere. Invariant

  14. 16 minutes and some change for a GK challenge atypical of a Monday, but all done and parsed, so I’m happy enough. PAEAN (NHO) was LOI, after AIL and ORANGE were FOsI. It took me too long to see SINGAPORE and the WELSH snack, and I even had to write out the anagrist for ELEPHANTS, probably the easiest clue of the day.

    Many thanks Kitty and Jalna. For those interested, Saturday at Twickenham was excellent, with the Navy thumping the Army in the men’s match for a change.

    1. I thought thumping was against the rules in rugby, but maybe it’s OK in forces’ matches.

  15. Very few in the top half on first pass so I was a bit disappointed. The bottom half filled fairly steadily though and I gradually made my way back up to the top getting more on jalna’s wavelength as I went. In the end a green finish in 25:22, which isn’t great, but better than I’d originally feared. DNK ROSELLA but wordplay was fair. Thanks jalna and kitty.

  16. Horrendous start to the week for me. No idea why – just that wavelength thing I suspect. Not spotting anagrams, not quite getting definitions. Slowest completion time so far this year.



  17. This took me 19 minutes, quite a bit more than my average. I made some stupid errors but it did seem like a hard QC. The parrot was unknown to me too.
    Last in were PLASTER and STILTON; not hard clues but I had PER as the last three letters of 20a -one of my stupid errors.
    A good QC and tough.

  18. A slow start to the week for me as well at 11.53, but I think this was a good deal harder than average. There has been a fair bit of opinion of late that the QCs are getting tougher, and I suspect there may be a few solvers today who may share that sentiment. I was dodging around the grid in all directions to finish this one before SINGAPORE and finally EXPERTISE fell into place.

  19. A sluggish start to the week for me too. Took ages to see the correct anagrist for my LOI, SINGAPORE. Liked RACEHORSE. 11:44. Thanks Jalna and Kitty.

  20. 8:05

    Another here that wrestled with the wrong anagrist for 1a – well done Jalna for the neat misdirection there.

    Other than that, didn’t really get stuck anywhere – have seen ROSELLA for parrot before, and TUM for corporation is conventional crossword fodder.

    Thanks Kitty for the unravelling

  21. Another slow time at 17 mins. Monday morning brain fog. Last few were plaster, nascent and rosella. I hesitated for a while over rose for red.
    Liked racehorse and Singapore.

  22. It took me a long time to start getting any answers in. 18d was my first one in.

    There were some words I had never heard of before (Paean and Nascent), but with letters already present and a bit of alphabet trawling, they just looked liked words, so in they went.

    Needed help with Rosella as it’s a word I have not heard of before.

    Eventually completed.

  23. 39 mins…

    Not a great time, but at least I finished. Personally, I found this really tough and felt like I was dragging myself through mud.

    As noted above, couldn’t work out the anagram for 1ac to start with, and that pretty much set the tone for the whole thing.

    After much head scratching, just about managed to dredge my usual random god of “Pan” for 9ac and then had a pdm for tum = corporation which set off a flurry of answers.

    FOI – 1dn “Sire”
    LOI – 20ac “Plaster”
    COD – 14dn “Stilton”

    Thanks as usual!

  24. 31.22 DNF with LURID rather than LURED. I was looking forward to the blog to explain how LID was light. Like others I started off trying to make an anagram of travels and it was slow going throughout. I agree with Countrywoman1 that this involved more constructing and less biffing than usual. Having done the concise crossword for decades I’m much better at the latter.

  25. Very difficult. Only a few solved at first pass, but gradually got going. However, still left with a few I had to guess at: SINGAPORE (didn’t see the anagram) – only 9 letter country I could think of! TUM (TAM? TOM?) NHO as CORPORATION; resorted to dictionary troll to find ROSELLA (NHO) and spelling of PAEAN (where did I remember that from?) ; guessed ORANGE – only citrus fruit that fitted, although POMELO is a sort of grapefruit. KITSCH only thing that fitted 13a, but FLASHY?? Guessed PAEON Too much like hard work, as quite a few puzzles have been of late IMO!! Must be disheartening for newcomers.

  26. A little while in the 1a ‘travels + sh’ trap to get my LOI – once seen, a lovely piece of legitimate clueing chicanery! Enjoyed ELEPHANTS a lot.

  27. 11.18

    Yes kippered by 1ac. Well played Jaina

    Some nice surfaces too

    Thanks all

  28. 8.20. Which is a good 3 minutes past my target. No problems there, but Rosella yielded last as I don’t see ROSE and RED as being synonyms. Obviously I’m wrong.

  29. Glad to see I’m in good company with a solve that took me quite a bit outside my target. FOI SIRE and then SINGAPORE, so off to a good start. I biffed EXPERTISE and ASH went in from just reading remains which could have proved reckless as there is another three letter word beginning with A and ending in H (aah). For some reason I struggled with RACEHORSE despite figuring out that RACE was in the answer somewhere. I then needed the H to solve my LOI WELSH RAREBIT. 11:52

  30. I caught the wavelength perfectly, but was still surprised to be as high as 7th of 152 on the leaderboard.

    TIME 3:49

  31. Slow time (21 minutes) plus ‘lurid’ for ‘lured’ made for a poor day, especially for a Monday. Couldn’t get much joy in the top half to begin with so solved it basically from bottom to top ending in the NW. Quite a few unparsed (especially in the NW) so thanks to Kitty for the explanations. Luckily I knew all the vocabulary although I had to be cautious with the spelling of PAEAN.

    FOI – 6ac TUM
    LOI – 2dn NASCENT
    COD – 12dn NOWHERE

  32. After a very slow start the rest went in steadily but finished with a dnf by spelling 6a as PAEON. I could not see how ‘each’ could be ‘eo’ and of course it wasn’t.
    Almost settled on LURID for 17d but kept on trying and the penny dropped.
    Looking back this was a very well constructed puzzle and despite one error I thoroughly enjoyed it with plenty of PDMs.
    COD to TUM.

  33. 40:54 for me, and as usual I’m just pleased to finish. I needed the explanations for TUM, RACEHORSE (doh!) and ORANGE – thank you Kitty! That use of “closer” in 4d completely went over my head, don’t think I’ve seen that before but should have treated it with more suspicion. Lesson learned (and hopefully not forgotten).

    I’ve done two cryptic crosswords today and both of them have referred to the city of Ur, which surprises me a bit. Is that a common reference?

    1. Yes, UR is one of the cities favoured by setters. Am gradually learning to remember it, along with , RIGA, LA etc. (quite a contrast).

  34. 13:56. I thought of SINGAPORE right away but dismissed it as being just a city, not a country. Also I had descent instead of NASCENT at first too, misleading myself into thinking the descent finishes the mountain climb. Pretty for TWEE didn’t occur to me, nor PERT for forward. Also I was another who had NHO ROSELLA. Interesting, very useful blog- thanks, Kitty!

  35. If we are meant to know Australian parrots, please can someone give away holidays in Australia so we can learn about them! Thanks in advance for the tickets 😀

  36. 28 minutes, which is a quick time for me. Not many acrosses solved during my first pass, but the downs bore more fruit. Finished with PLASTER, EXPERTISE and PAEAN – a word I knew existed, but had no idea as to its meaning. Favourite clue = NOWHERE.

    Many thanks to Jalna and Kitty.

  37. Lunch with my guru today, who had to guide me to 1a, 1d, 8a (NHO ROSELLA) and 3d. FOI PAEAN (no problem with spelling, at least); COD a tie between NOWHERE and SINGAPORE. NHO TUM = corporation (biffed); slight MER at NICE being retained verbatim from clue to grid; NHO EID (not in my 2000 Collins dictionary) but biffed; NHO “closer to” = last letter (how does that work?). It had to be LURED but can’t see how that = “was attractive” – would surely have to be “attracted”? – Thanks, L-plates (below); I see, just about!

    1. I’d suggest the “was” makes it past tense and therefore “the Siren with her song was attractive to sailors who she lured to their deaths”

    2. You have probably already come across clues where Number (one, two, three etc) can also be a numb-er (anaesthetic), or where Flower (iris, daffodil etc) can be a flow-er (Thames, Trent, Mersey etc). So, hopefully no surprise that Closer to (nearer) can also be a clos[e]-er to (something that closes/ends).

      1. Thank you for explaining that to me. Yes, “number” we had (for the first time here) just the other day (N-ETHER); “flower” I do remember some months ago; so I now understand. Thanks.

  38. About 15 mins.

    RACEHORSE – what a terrific clue, laughed out loud when I finally parsed it!

    Has “the planes” been anagrammed before into ELEPHANTS with“jumbo”? Can’t remember if I have seen it but would be surprised if Jalna’s the first to do it. Another terrific clue.

    Thanks Kitty for a great blog and Jalna for some terrific clues.

  39. 10:35. Although it took me a little while to get a feel for this one, everything eventually fell into place after a bit of dotting around the grid. Some very neat and entertaining clues, I thought, and although we’ve seen variations on 23a and 12d, I enjoyed these new versions, so joint CsOD to them.
    FOI Tum LOI Nascent CsOD Elephants and Nowhere
    Thanks Jalna and Kitty

  40. Mediocre start to the week. This was very hard and I was nowhere near the wavelength. Ground it out in 30 mins but pleasurable it was not. I often enjoy hard but doable QCs, but I felt the setter overdid the difficulty here (or maybe I just have the Monday blues).

    Thanks for the blog Kitty.

    1. A solve but weekly time goal probably already down the pan 🚽

      Today’s coincidence 😉 … IRIS came up in the QC and then in another crossword I did later in the day. In between the radio played Iris by Goo Goo Dolls. Had never heard it on the station before last week.

  41. I still remain hopeful time wise. If today is the slowest of the week (a big if I know), then it’s still possible. Today was one of those QCs that I may have done much better with later in the week. After a weekend of physical rather than mental exercise, Monday is always a bit hit and miss.

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