Times Quick Cryptic 2400 by Oink

NOTE: Before reading the blog you might like to check that you have solved the correct puzzle (2400 by Oink) as the puzzles section of the online newspaper also has a link to an old one by Hurley and some early solvers have been caught out by this.

I finished this just within my 10 minute target. In the past Oink has always included a pig reference, but if there’s one here today I have failed to spot it. Edit: Thanks to Blighter for pointing out the STY in STYlus at 15ac

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 What detects flights heading east and west (5)
A straight definition followed by an indication that the answer is a palindrome
4 Criminal admires his Smith & Wesson? (7)
Anagram [criminal] of ADMIRES
8 Can chap from Gdansk dance around this? (7)
MAY (can), POLE (chap from Gdansk)
9 You need good school to succeed (3,2)
G (good), ETON (school)
10 Partner recovered, but not completely? (6,4)
BETTER (recovered), HALF (not completely). A colloquial expression for ‘wife’.
14 A number of the French caught in flat (6)
LE (the French) contained by [caught in] EVEN (flat)
15 Ancient writer’s second lusty novel (6)
S (second), anagram [novel] of LUSTY
17 Daft auntie hopelessly in love (10)
Anagram [hopelessly] of DAFT AUNTIE
20 I worried about Republican being very angry (5)
I + ATE (worried) containing [about] R (Republican)
22 Not the freshest of vegetables, my friend (3,4)
A colloquial definition preceded by a cryptic hint
23 Hanging in there is old Penny (3,4)
O (old) + P (penny) contained by [in] THERE. Another colloquial expression as used in campaigns to ‘Bring back The Rope’. 
24 Queen visiting Massachusetts Institute of Technology? Goodness! (5)
ER (Queen) contained by [visiting] MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
1 Run over politician for a lark (4)
R (run), O (over), MP (politician)
2 Time spent in state of shock they say (4)
Sounds like [they say] “daze” (state of shock)
3 Resolve to out US president (9)
Anagram [out] of RESOLVE TO
4 Some Aussies taking an afternoon nap (6)
Hidden in [some] {Aus}SIES TA{king}
5 Director General eating duck — or some other creature? (3)
DG  (Director General) containing [eating] O (duck – cricket). The DG we hear most about in the UK is that of the BBC.
6 Bill has trade union friend, as it happens (8)
AC (bill – account), TU (trade union), ALLY (friend)
7 Display  list of cargo on board (8)
Two meanings
11 Scoundrel meeting barrier in Dutch port (9)
ROTTER (scoundrel), DAM (barrier)
12 Revolutionary a little crestfallen in Istanbul (8)
Hidden in [a little] {crestfal}LEN IN IST{anbul}
13 Hunk of meat, followed by gateau (8)
BEEF (meet), CAKE (gateau). Slang: men displayed for their muscular bodies.
16 Outdo a single US gangster (6)
CAP (outdo), ONE (a single)
18 Local getting hold of E in Paddington? (4)
BAR (local – pub) containing [getting hold of] E
19 Join an idiot, did you say? (4)
Sounds like [did you say?] “nit” (idiot)
21 I pass at end of course (3)
{cours}E [end], GO (pass). One example of ‘go’ meaning ‘pass’ is in cribbage, as said by a player who is unable to lay another card within the rules of the game.

69 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2400 by Oink”

  1. CAPONE took me a little time, as I was assuming AL. THE ROPE (LOI) took me more. 5:29.

  2. 12:12. THE ROPE was very hard, I almost gave up on it. EGO and KNIT were slow to come too. When I went out of Crossword Club to solve just as a Times Puzzle the Quick Cryptic was numbered 2360-and indeed was a different puzzle. I did it in a fast time for me as I guess I’d seen it a couple of months ago!

    1. Yes, that puzzle was published on 27th March but the correct puzzle 2400 is also linked from today’s puzzles section.

  3. A bit over 7 minutes. I liked the OLD BEAN, THE ROPE and BEEFCAKE colloquialisms. I may be on the wrong track, but I think BETTER HALF is a gender neutral term, applying to a husband or male partner as well.

    The only vaguely porcine reference I could spot was the FAT in INFATUATED (no, I don’t think that counts either), so I’ll be interested to hear if there is one lurking somewhere.

    Thanks to Oink and Jack

  4. I’m sure you’re right about ‘better half’ now but I think it originated as a semi-humorous but gallant term for ‘wife’. The dictionaries confirm it as gender neutral but Brewers and Chambers Slang acknowledge that it is less frequently used to mean a male partner. Anyway, none of this affects the clue, and it’s only my comment in the blog that’s behind the times.

    1. Nowadays, people often refer to their OH/Other Half. This expression would appear to solve the ‘Partner’ confusion in reference to unmarried couples, ie Business partner or otherwise.

  5. Yes – I had the same problem as curryowen doing 2360 more quickly than usual presumably because i’d done it before (though I didn’t recognise any clues).
    On 2400 I was on for a record time until the The Rope, Ego and Knit massively held me up. Just inside the SCC at 17.05 which is good for me. This blog and the videos on Crack the Cryptic have helped me go from struggling to complete half the puzzle a year ago to being able to do the whole thing and the DT prize weekend puzzles fairly reliably. Thanks to all the setters and bloggers.

  6. A fast start but ultimately thwarted by THE ROPE, so no time given. Also, I didn’t spot the homonym in 19d so spent too long trying to justify the ‘K’ in KNIT and in the end plumped for ‘unit’ instead. Doh! Those ‘sounds-like’ clues so often trip me up.
    I especially liked SIDEARM. STYLUS tickled me too.
    A less than satisfactory start to the week for me, but thank you Oink.

  7. A long time at the end with two to solve. Finally moved on from ‘toe hold’ for ‘hanging in there’ to see it was the rope and then went mad and having let go of ‘Al’ for gangster forgot his surname and wrote ‘Capote’! I’d be more disappointed if I hadn’t made myself laugh at my dimness. Absolutley not a typo. I should solve on paper, I’d never have known about any of my DNFs in the last six days.

  8. 10’27” with a pink square of ‘unit’ instead of KNIT – the “did you say” of the clue leading me to “you nit!” as being part of the parsing, and a unit being something that can be joined to form a larger whole…overthought.

    Also held up by a hasty Amsterdam…

    A decent workout to start the week. Thanks Oink and Jackkt.

  9. Solved 2360 in a near record time of just over 5 minutes – not that I remembered any of the clues from 2 months ago so a genuine fast one. And then I come here, see Jack’s comment and return to try Oink’s puzzle.

    On which a large DNF, with The Rope and Ego left blank, Malone (of Bugsy fame) for Capone and a couple of fat fingers to boot. So very much a Game of Two Halves, as countless football managers have said.

    Lack of porcine reference completes an Unsatisfactory Day.

    Many thanks to Jack for the blog

  10. I sailed through this in just over 3 minutes – but then the action was suspended (see what I did there ?) for around a minute further by my LOI.

    TIME 4:02

  11. Note to self for the 10,000th time – if something doesn’t feel right go back and check it.
    I joined my distinguished fellow commenters who went for UNIT instead of KNIT for the exact same reason as MangoMan whilst ignoring the fact that the answer didn’t really fit the definition.
    Other than that an enjoyable solve and was on for a quick time until getting to CAPONE/EGO/THE ROPE where an alpha trawl was required.
    I was half expecting a different pink square to the one I got as I couldn’t see the usual piggy reference.
    Thanks to Jack

  12. A good start to the week for me. I finished smoothly in 9.10 which makes a nice change. Finishing in under 2K puts a spring in my step. Most went in easily but, like others, I had a delay in the SW with EGO and my LOI THE ROPE which was entered in hope and parsed later.
    STYlus was the closest I could get to a piggy reference. I thought it was a neat clue made easier for me by the checkers.
    Thanks to Oink for a well-constructed QC and jackkt for a good blog. John M.

    1. A good spot. I’m so used to complete answers, I never considered it could be hidden away in one.

  13. 14 mins…

    Nice start to the week with a more gentle offering from Oink compared to recent fare.

    Main head scratcher was at the bottom with 23ac “The Rope” and 21dn “Ego”.

    No piggy reference?

    FOI – 1ac “Radar”
    LOI – 23ac “The Rope”
    COD – 22ac “Old Bean” – just made me chuckle.

    Thanks as usual!

  14. 10:22 solving in the Crossword Club for the first time ever after first completing the wrong puzzle in the 2360 puzzle in the iPad app version, not noticing the two QC links there. I did 2360 in 8 minutes, and then came here to see Jackkt’s opening comment, and went straight to the Club, which I now see is a slightly different experience. I think that the bars (not there in the app version) that show the enumeration for multi-word answers are a help to the solver. Anyway, pleased with my times, and I think Blighter has spotted the missing porcine reference in STYlus to my satisfaction. Thanks all three.

    1. I was interested to read about the problems with 2360, Rotter. I solve on an iPad but still use the ancient ‘Classic Times’ app where the 2400 puzzle appeared OK today.
      Out of interest, I checked the ‘new format’ (to me, at least) app and, yes, there was 2360.
      I much prefer the layout of the ‘Classic’ version. There is clearly an occasional advantage in being a stick-in-the-mud!

  15. Was going at record speed until I got to my last few. KNIT had to be carefully worked out; CAPONE similarly. And BEAR was nearly a rushed NEAR (local).
    LOI THE ROPE; obvious perhaps with hindsight but I required some time on this and resisted urges to put something in like The Pole.
    12 minutes in the end.
    COD to GET ON.

  16. I was only just into the SCC with 4 to go – which took another 12 minutes! I eventually settled on KNIT after not being able to justify uNIT. LENINIST was the next to fall after I gave up on RED at the start and revisited the clue. IRATE should have gone straight in but I wasn’t happy with ATE for worried. I was trying to find a gallery (THE TATE?) and a painting for the “hanging in there” but eventually spotted THE ROPE, which led to LOI EGO, although I really wasn’t sure of the parsing. I was also concerned about the lack of a pig reference but hoped for the best – slightly surprised to be green in 32:13. FOI RADAR, COD STYLUS. Thanks Oink and Jack

  17. Another whose solving was ‘suspended’ (thanks BUSMAN) by my LOI THE ROPE. Otherwise it was fairly plain sailing. Thanks Oink and Jackkt. 4:40.

  18. “Easy like Monday morning”, as Lionel Richie would have written had he been a Times regular. Nothing to frighten the pigs here. I liked THE ROPE and OLD BEAN especially.

    Was on for an incredibly rare sub-5 until hitting the buffers with STYLUS and LOI ROOSEVELT (which I completely mis-parsed and was trying to take US out of something … durr). Still fast enough at 05:39 for 1K + change. An Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Oink and Jack.


  19. 10:32 (Benedict IX becomes Pope at the age of 20)

    I also solved the Hurley puzzle first (not recognising it from March, and taking slightly longer on it than I did the first time round), before spotting the warning at the start of the blog.

    Like nearly everyone else, I was delayed by the SW corner, with last two being THE ROPE and EGO.

    I was surprised not to spot a porcine reference, but I agree that the STY in STYLUS just about qualifies.

    Thanks Oink and Jackt

  20. Three steps forward, two steps back. Failed three (THE ROPE, EGO, KNIT), but several others biffed or guessed. NHO SIDEARM, BEEFCAKE or worried = ATE (but all correctly guessed). Difficult.

  21. I was nicely under target at 7.45 for a promising start to the week. Nothing really held me up to any degree and it was just a good steady solve from beginning to end. I needed all the checkers to get my last one in MANIFEST.

  22. 6:57

    Feline interruptions after a minute or so knocked my train of thought slightly and it was a few moments before I rediscovered the wavelength.

    Nicely hidden LENINIST and extra thought required for THE ROPE. Last two in: OLD BEAN and KNIT

    Thanks Oink and Jack

  23. Rattled through the top half of the grid, before an interruption from the ‘better half’ disturbed my train of thought/coincided with some harder clues. . . Even so, I was still on for a comfortable sub-20, only to be thwarted by loi 23ac, The Rope. Having failed to lift and separate, I was determined to get a ‘d’ somewhere in there for far too long. CoD to 18d, Bear for the smile, just ahead of the more erudite Stylus. Invariant

  24. Taken into the SCC by THE ROPE, otherwise a steady if slow solve. Struggled to find the pig reference today – putting it within STYLUS was very sneaky! Liked OLD BEAN. Enjoyable. Thanks Jack and oink.

  25. Did the wrong puzzle in 2:47, was full of joy, came here, discovered I’d done it already, though my records say I did it in 4:03 last time.

    The actual puzzle took longer, I was held up by KNIT and THE ROPE (LOI).


  26. DNF for me as I could not answer EGO or OLD ROPE. The latter I have never heard of.

    Other than that I was doing very well.

    1. ‘Old Rope’ appears in the expression ‘Money for old rope’ but of course you meant THE ROPE which is the answer at 23ac. I’m surprised you’ve never heard of it as it used to feature in campaigns favouring the return of hanging, and newspaper reports on the subject. As mentioned in my blog, ‘Bring Back the Rope’ was much-used slogan in its day.

      1. Ah, money for old rope. Yes I have heard of that expression. I did not associate it with old rope meaning penny.

        Many thanks. 👍

        1. Glad you found that helpful but ‘old penny’ has nothing to do with rope, it’s wordplay giving us the letters O and P.

  27. Not too many problems with this one, certainly in comparison with last week when I really struggled. All done and parsed in 14 mins. In common with everyone else the SW corner put paid to a much faster time. I was particularly pleased to solve all the down clues on the first read through with the exception of 12dn and 21dn, leaving me with just some tidying up to do on the across ones. I was another who wondered about the lack of a porcine reference given the setter but never thought to look for part of a word.

    FOI – 1ac RADAR
    LOI – 20ac IRATE
    COD – 17ac INFATUATED, closely followed by 4ac SIDEARM, both mainly for the amusing surfaces.

    Thanks to Oink and Jack

  28. I raced through the top half but then had to grind out the last few clues. Very enjoyable so thank Oink and jackkt. Only clue I didn’t like was 20a. Seen the link between eating and worrying before but it doesn’t work for me! Some good neat stuff though, thanks again!

    1. I grew up in Ontario, Canada and a question my sister and I heard often when we seemed grumpy or out of sorts was “What’s eating you”?

      1. Yes I’m familiar with that too, but “I ate” doesn’t capture that meaning in my opinion.

        1. This is a classic case of ‘lift and separate’, so the wordplay is not ‘I worried’ = ‘I ate’, but ‘I’ = ‘I’ followed separately by ‘worried’ =’ate’ containing [about] R (Republican) .

          1. Understand but still doesn’t work for me – sorry! The single word is still not enough for me – crossword code maybe but not everyday conversation in my opinion,

            1. Okay, I hope I understand your misgivings, but ‘lift and separate’ is a basic concept of cryptic crosswords by which each element of a clue may need to be taken separately. They simply can’t function without it.

              1. Thanks for indulging me! My essential point is that I don’t think ‘I ate’ conveys worry or being worried . In everyday conversation one might refer to being ‘eaten up’ but even then its normally eg ‘ eaten up with worry’.

                1. ‘concern about meeting my financial commitments ate at me / worried me / vexed me’ I think works perfectly well in everyday conversation. A phrase I used to use regularly until entering the ranks of the happily retired.

                  1. Yes I get that! Not saying it’s exactly wrong, just that for me it’s not particularly right. I prefer an extra word but maybe that’s just me!

  29. 6:54. BUT – same as last week, when I got a good time only to be undone by one wrong letter. This time I put a U instead of a K at 19d, so ‘you nit’ is what I am saying to myself right now 🙄 Looking back, I’m not sure how I thought it would be parsed – clearly UNIT needs an E on the end to make join, but I was on a roll. Glad it wasn’t only me! At least I saw the STY in STYLUS.
    However, I enjoyed this one – it’s an Oink, so what more needs to be said! Maybe less of the old, thank you very much – late middle aged will do me – although hanging in there is probably about right 😅 Nice to see a reference to ROTTER and I liked SIDEARM and BEEFCAKE. For once Slough Grammar made a useful appearance in GET ON, and I thought it was a cracking surface.
    FOI Radar LOI Eleven COD Infatuated – hilarious!
    Thanks Oink and Jack

  30. I also did a record time on puzzle 2630. My original time was 18:32 (Great Reform Act extends the British voting franchise). I managed to do it again today in 7:48, but with no recollection of any of the clues. This is a bit worrying, I would have thought it would have felt at least a bit familiar.

    For todays puzzle 1354 (Gallipoli falls to the Ottomans: their first foothold in mainland Europe)

    Also held up with EGO / THE ROPE

  31. Got going quite well, but suffered brain fog in the mid-phase before speeding up again towards the end. Total time = 26 minutes, which is good for me.

    Several people above seemed to have struggled with the SW corner (THE ROPE, EGO, etc.), but my last few in were all in the NE. Perhaps this was because I had biffed MANIFold for 7d. This temporary blip didn’t stop me eventually getting BETTER HALF, but I did have to correct it in order to find my LOI, STYLUS.

    Many thanks to Oink and Jack.

    1. Hi SRC – we’ve booked tickets to go and see Richard Durrant on Wednesday! Looking forward to it. Shame you and Mrs R are so far away – you could have fitted in a visit to Coton Manor too 😊

      1. Hello Mme B,
        Excellent! I’m sure you will enjoy the evening. We were lucky enough to be invited to his final rehearsal, which was held at his local church last Tuesday (the evening before he set off on his tour). He has chosen a lovely set, encompassing pieces by Bach, Barrios and others, plus some of his own compositions.
        For environmental reasons he is cycling (towing a trailer) between all of the venues, so he’ll be quite fit when he finally arrives back home.
        Richard loves to chat with his audience after the gig, so do introduce yourselves and mention us in dispatches.
        P.S. Mrs R is taking her parents to see him in Guildford, later this month.
        ATB, SRC

        1. I remember! But SRC and I also talked about Coton after it was on TV 😊 MrB and I spent the afternoon at NT Stoneywell today – just gorgeous. Just off J22 of the M1. Definitely recommend it, although you do need to book in advance.

  32. Yes, zoomed through this fun puzzle, almost without hesitating, only slightly held up by THE ROPE. I had pencilled in EGO, so, once I saw There as a container, Rope it had to be, in a sinister kind of way. I had been trying to fit in D (old penny) earlier as in £sd.
    Laughed at OLD BEAN, also liked MAYPOLE, MANIFEST, ROTTERDAM, BEAR, among others.
    Thanks vm, Jack. Grateful for a much easier QC.

  33. 17.17 I did the whole thing in six minutes, bar OLD BEAN and KNIT. Which bamboozled me for a further 11 minutes. I did an alphabet trawl for veg and B delivered BEET, which I rightly dismissed. And I’m sure we’ve had puns on KNIT more than once. Bah! A nice puzzle though.

  34. No real problems and a steady solve. Saw THE ROPE quite quickly. No porcine reference from Oink?

      1. Yeah – read that but I remain unconvinced! As does gcook!
        ‘ eaten up with worry ‘ … yes … but .. ‘ate’ ?? Maketh no sense to me!

        1. Ha ha…I thought it was to do with “worrying” sheep and presumed maybe it just ended up with them eating them.

  35. Joined those who had problems with 23a old rope, which was lovely, eventually got the op part. Also old bean caused problems, a term even before our advanced years. Missed the sty.

  36. A very enjoyable puzzle pitched just at the right level for me with a mix of straight forward clues and some real testers. Spent some time in the SW and like others I’m not convinced by Ate for worried, although Irate was easy enough with the crossers and R for Republican.
    COD to Stylus for the clever construction.
    Thanks Oink for a good start to the week and Jack for the blog.

  37. The reprinted QC by Hurley seemed in parts familiar…no wonder I made such surefooted progress! Now to try the 2400 Oink.

  38. DNF thanks to EGO and THE ROPE, but I got the rest of it in about ten minutes which is ludicrously fast by my standards. So mixed bag over all, but reasons to be optimistic.

  39. Another awful day.

    8 minutes and only 4 clues remaining – a breeze.

    Then a further 40 mins on 12dn, 23ac, 22ac and 19dn! Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I found I had a DNF as I put UNIT for 19dn.

    Totally and utterly depressing to blow the week on a Monday (my target is 5 solves in 2 hours). I am so close to cracking the QC and then I have this kind of humiliating meltdown.

  40. Would have been a very rapid one, but like others I was held up by THE ROPE and EGO and then OLD BEAN, which meant my dodgy answer for 19d (MEET) was wrong. I briefly considered KNOT, before realising that KNIT was better and stopped the watch on 17:48. Could have been worse. Thanks to Oink and Jack.

  41. Felt I was doing well until ground to a halt and DNF with THE ROPE and hence EGO. How easily happiness turns to sadness.

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