Times Quick Cryptic 2415 by Izetti – stop wasting time!

Hi everybody.  Despite a good start this took me two minutes over average time, so I clearly had to think a bit.  I didn’t know the Wyoming city and had to trust the wordplay, but have no other issues to report.  My COD is 15a.  I could imagine someone of that name procrastinating by doing this crossword and their reaction on reading that clue.  Thanks Izetti!

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.

7a Servicemen take bits off part of ship (5)
ORLOP OR (other ranks: servicemen) + LOP (take bits off)
8a Not how to run a business? One’s perplexed (2,1,4)
AT A LOSS — Two definitions.  I’m not quite sure how to explain the “one’s” though
10a Most weird street by English lake (7)
EERIEST ST (street) next to (by) E (English) and ERIE (lake)
11a Weapon knight protected in fine material (5)
LANCE N (knight; chess abbreviation) surrounded by (protected in) LACE (fine material)
12a People up a sort of tree (9)
ANCESTORS — A cryptic definition: the tree is a family tree
14a Slushy stuff, mostly fine (3)
GOO — All but the last letter of (mostly) GOOd (fine)
15a Henry, stop wasting time! (3)
HAL HAL[t] (stop) removing (wasting) T (time)
16a House with new steamer for food some won’t eat? (9)
HORSEMEAT HO (house) + an anagram of (new) STEAMER
18a Magnificent drink knocked back (5)
REGAL LAGER (drink) removed (knocked back)
20a Story about a sheep in Wyoming city (7)
LARAMIE LIE (story) around (about) A RAM (a sheep)
22a Most profound river, something proving to be a nuisance (7)
DEEPEST DEE (river) + PEST (something proving to be a nuisance)
23a Army officer briefly getting round a port (5)
GENOA GEN (army officer), with briefly indicating that an abbreviation is used, followed by O (round) and A
1d Hereafter, God somehow could be met (12)
FOREGATHERED — An anagram of (… somehow) HEREAFTER, GOD
2d Like office job associated with the vicar? (8)
CLERICAL — A double definition
3d Sword carried by the peer (4)
EPEE — It’s inside (carried by) thE PEEr
4d Design military event? (6)
TATTOO — Another double definition
5d Man perhaps getting under vehicle left in city (8)
CARLISLE ISLE (Man perhaps) after (getting under, in a down entry) CAR (vehicle) and L (left)
6d Something hairy: like this answer! (4)
DOWN — Our final pair of definitions
9d He stops a gent — mad rush (4,2,3,3)
STEP ON THE GAS — An anagram of (… mad) HE STOPS A GENT
13d Riches’ll upset German author (8)
SCHILLER RICHESLL anagrammed (upset)
14d In gambling the Parisian appears bright (8)
GLEAMING In GAMING (gambling) LE (the Parisian) is found, or appears
17d Report soldiers behind schedule (6)
RELATE RE (soldiers) + LATE (behind schedule)
19d Information about lake in valley (4)
GLEN GEN (information) around (about) L (lake)
21d Anger — last thing needed by older generation (4)
RAGE — The last letter of (last thing needed by) oldeR + AGE (generation)

95 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2415 by Izetti – stop wasting time!”

  1. 16:20. Spent the longest on HORSEMEAT and FOREGATHERED. Pleased to not take tooo long on LARAMIE, CARLISLE or ORLOP. Also glad to see what the “tree” in ANCESTORS was about after trying to cram in sycamore instead.

  2. I fell at the ORLOP / CLERICAL / ANCESTORS crossings. Looked up ORLOP and was able to get the other two. Hard!

    1. I’d never heard of orlop before either! We won’t forget it now though, eh.

  3. What vinyl said, except I took 5 1/2 minutes longer and didn’t appreciate TATTOO in all its glory, especially as it was my LOI and was threatening to be the cause of a DNF. Lucky to get FOREGATHERED (now there’s a common word) and ANCESTORS as well.

    Thanks to Kitty and Izetti

  4. I thought this was tough and came in at 18.57. A lot of these clues, ORLOP, for instance, or GENOA, would be at home in the 15×15 and the two long anagrams were no gimmes. I thought TATTOO was a simple double definition but if I solved a piece of clever wordplay involving words from Dutch and Tahitian I’ll take that!

  5. Another ‘ouch’ of a puzzle leaving my brain well and truly hurt. I nearly gave up on this one which is almost unheard of for me. However, I eventually limped home in close to an hour with one pink square, having spelled EERIEST wrongly. Doh! – again!
    Nothing much to like in this very difficult puzzle which definitely was not a softener for the coming week.
    Am I beginning to lose my faculties or have the QCs stepped up a gear in the past few weeks? Answers on a postcard please…..

  6. 12 minutes. Hard for a QC but the clues were fair and satisfying to solve. No problem with LARAMIE as people of my generation remember its name from the song The Man from Laramie which was a No. 1 hit for Jimmy Young in 1955 and the original American version by Al Martino was also in the charts. It came from a film of the same name starring James Stewart. A few years later a very popular TV Western series called Laramie began to be shown by the BBC, and from that I learned of the city’s location in Wyoming.

  7. A school day. I’ve now heard of LARAMIE and am amazed to disover that the third most populous city of a US state could have only 32,000 residents and that the same state’s most populous city only 65,000. Wyoming is surprisingly similar to Somerset in population, both about 550,000, and so that makes Laramie the Bridgwater of Wyoming. Only a bit smaller. Did know my US geography for EERIEST and GENOA was fine too, I once saw a Sampdoria match while visiting – then featuring Ruud Gullit and David Platt and managed by Sven.

    Downs came to the rescue today after a feeble first pass on the downs. FOREGATHERED and ANCESTORS needed lots of checkers. All green in 17.

  8. Like Mendesest I too got Laramie from the wordplay, then googled it, then felt astounded that Izetti should think a town of 30,000 in one of the less well known states of a foreign country is fair game in a British QC. Hats off to those who had heard of the place, but really! It is much the same size as the city of Busselton in Western Australia. You haven’t heard of Busselton? I’m amazed …

    That was only the most head-scratching clue of a puzzle I found in general very tough. As always with Izetti, all is understandable and parsable when you finally get there, but this took me nearly 15 minutes, with its complex anagrams, less than everyday GK (Schiller a case in point IMO), and unusual synonyms. All finally done in 15 minutes but I now need a lie-down!

    Many thanks to Kitty for the blog and I hope the rest of the week’s puzzles are a bit more approachable.

    1. As it happens Cedric, I HAVE heard of Busselton and have been there many times, a delightful part of the world in southern Western Australia. It has an extremely long jetty and, these days, some fine restaurants etc, last time there we had a fine seafood lunch by the beach. White beaches, turquoise water, nothing like Laramie in that respect!

      1. I know, because I had a good friend there and happy memories of it. It’s partly why I chose it of all the myriad of similar places I might have done. And I could have predicted that if anyone knew of it you would!

        1. We have also been to Busselton, on our way down to the wonderful Margaret River area. If you like sea, surf, sunshine and outstanding wine, this is the place to go!

        2. Impressed by the pier at Busselton, but there’s a longer one at Southend. 🙂

          1. The Bussell family were all through that region, still are. In another part of that coast is Gracetown, on Cowaramup Bay, so named because Grace Bussell was riding her horse along the dunes one day when she saw a ship in trouble and heading for the rocks. So she rode her horse into the surf and over several trips brought those on board to shore. I think they should have named the town after the horse. As for Southend’s pier (obscure 70s music ref follows) it’s probably the one Dr Feelgood were referring to in Down by the Jetty…

            1. Also I wonder if any setters read this blog and in a few weeks we’ll get something sneaky like ‘Slob tunes up for antipodean town’ (can’t bring myself to call Busselton a city, even if they do)…

  9. 9.29

    Incredibly over two minutes on ANCESTORS even with all the checkers. Just couldn’t see it. Knew the GK for the rest of it including ORLOP (thankee Jack Aubrey) which helped.

    Tough but fair

    Thanks Kitty and Izetti

  10. DNE. DNF. I’m almost at the point of not bothering when I see Izetti’s name.

    1. That would be the worst thing you could do. If you mean to become a regular and successful solver of cryptic crosswords, you should always play Izetti,then visit this blog to see how his clues are constructed. He’s unfailingly fair, and his surfaces are beautifully constructed.

      1. I agree that Izetti is “unfailingly fair” in his wordplay, but that doesn’t always apply to the required GK (ORLOP? LARAMIE?). I always apply a strict ‘No Aids’ rule with the QC, as it’s meant to be a ‘quick’ cryptic, but the last five Izetti’s have occupied me for just shy of four and a half hours (with one being a DNF). Definitely not QCs, IMHO.

      1. I wouldn’t go that far, Tim. I think he is arguably the best QC setter of all. However, I also think that some of them either forget or find it hard to imagine how difficult cryptic crosswords can be for those of us with only average solving skills/experience. I don’t mind the occasional roughing-up, but several in a row from the same setter starts to wear a little thin.

  11. I was surprised to see LARAMIE, and fully sympathize with Cedric. (Cheyenne has appeared a couple of times, but in 15x15s, and probably provoked comment then.) ANCESTORS was LOI, and took some time. 5:06.

    1. Cheyenne was another Western series from the same era as Laramie. I was always being told that watching TV Westerns was a waste of time, but they’re coming in useful now!

  12. Very tough. NHO FOREGATHERING so needed most of the checkers, SCHILLER needed dredging from the depths but realised I had very vaguely heard of LARAMIE once I’d worked out the answer from the wordplay.
    Final two were ANCESTORS and CARLISLE where I was looking for the wrong type of tree and man respectively, but both are relatively common misdirections so annoyed not to see what was going on sooner.
    Fell over the line in 15.17
    Thanks to Kitty for the blog and Izetti for the workout.

  13. Very tough. Needed help to get ORLOP (NHO) and a lot of head scratching to (eventually) see TATTOO and ANCESTORS. Remembered LARAMIE from song and TV in the distant past! Izetti always provides the hardest of QCs.

  14. I was a bit slow getting started, but no real problems once I got going, remembering LARAMIE from somewhere. I’m with Kitty on liking HAL most. Thanks Izetti and Kitty. 5:12.

  15. “The man from Laramie – no man had so many notches on his gun, everyone admired the fearless stranger….”

    Hit song, TV series, no problem to us older solvers.

    It certainly wasn’t one of Izetti’s easier offerings, but every clue was parsable, so not knowing something like LARAMIE, CARLISLE, or ORLOP shouldn’t really have been any obstruction to solving the puzzle.

    COD HAL (though I liked HORSEMEAT)
    TIME 3:31 (regular readers know that, after 40 years or so of tackling Don Manley’s puzzles, I’m usually on the case pretty quickly).

    Thanks to Kitty for the usual excellent blog.

  16. I took a very long time to get started. I was all over the grid until I finally worked out FOREGATHERED. Then I had to trust the wordplay for ORLOP and SCHILLER. My LOI DOWN required a lengthy alphabet trawl as I missed it the first time through. 16:44

  17. I struggled to get started but then it all came in a rush. FOI, EPEE, LOI ORLOP. 5:51. Thanks Izetti and Kitty.

  18. An excellent puzzle but not a QC.
    Izetti shows us, yet again, how bright and accomplished he is but how unworldly is his view of the average QC solver (or how deliberately mischievous he feels when setting a Monday morning puzzle).
    This was too close to a 15×15 too often. I won’t analyse my own performance but I was firmly in the SCC.
    Thanks to Kitty. John M.

  19. Gave up/CBA.

    After having to Google first to see whether LARAMIE really existed and second whether ORLOP was actually a word (after deducing both from wordplay), I decided that it was too hot to be wasting my time with this one. If I wanted to spend ages winkling out obscurities, I’d do the 15.



    1. I tend to agree. No problem with Laramie but that’s because I’m old enough to remember the TV series and the song. NHO orlop… Had to use an aid for ancestor.

  20. I enjoyed this less than usual, feeling we were expected to work too hard for an allegedly QUICK crossword. For example, when a quick look revealed nothing, I spent time unravelling FOREGATHER but did not immediately put it in as I was unsure that it MET the definition; also answers like HORSEMEAT which could be anything, were unfriendly. I finally gave up without the crossing AT A LOSS and DOWN , though both (as the rest) quite fair and solvable given time. FOI HAL, LOI LANCE, COD LARAMIE, from the old song, but I bet even Don didn’t know it was in Wyoming! Thanks Kitty and Izetti.

  21. DNF. Also defeated by ORLOP / CLERICAL / ANCESTORS. And having spent too long on FOREGATHERED (I still don’t understand, even after reading its definition), decided a “Reveal” was the way to wrap it up.

    Surprised that LARAMIE is seen as more obscure than ORLOP.
    According to Google, Orlop has had 192,000 searches in the last year, whereas Laramie has had 28m. Not sure how accurate/relevant this is, but an interesting data point! In fact it is possible to research this by day, and there is a small spike for today!


  22. 16 minutes and change, but it felt longer. I’m lucky enough to be old enough (?) to remember all of the prompts for Laramie, and I’m familiar with an ORLOP, but I struggled with FOREGATHERED, and DOWN took an age before the penny dropped with a clang. Some lovely stuff here from the Don and I think I liked ANCESTORS best. Thanks Izetti and Kitty.

  23. After looking at some of the times posted above I’m beginning to think my finishing time of 10.47 was pretty reasonable, in spite of the initial disappointment of missing my target time. I agree with others that it was tough, but being of a certain age helped with LARAMIE where the television series was fondly remembered. The clue that sent me over target was ANCESTORS which was my LOI taking about a minute to get.
    HORSEMEAT brought back memories of Paris, where as an impoverished student in the 60s I tucked into a horsemeat steak in a caff (not posh enough to call it a restaurant) off the Champs Elysees, as I couldn’t afford the beef steak option. I don’t know whether anyone else has sampled one, but I found it rather tough and somewhat leathery. My travelling companions were appalled for some reason that I should even have ordered it in the first place.

  24. Taking a break up the NE coast so had the opportunity to solve on the iPad this morning. I think I prefer the phone if I can’t print out for a paper solve. Tough but classic Izetti. Took me 50.xx (one advantage of an iPad solve!). FOI 11a lance. LOI 3D epee. COD 12a ancestors

  25. Got absolutely nowhere with this. If it was Izetti’s aim to discourage those who are not as adept at cryptic crossword solving, then congratulations, you succeeded.

    I’ll try again tomorrow.

    1. Agreed, good for discouraging ordinary folk, or at least those with a permanent seat in the SCC.

  26. Too hard for me. ORLOP LARAMIE both ungettable. ANCESTORS too cryptic. Even some I got like FOREGATHERED and DOWN were unsatisfactory.

    Thanks anyway to Izetti, but not an enjoyable one for me.

    Thanks Kitty for the blog.

  27. Needless to say, the SCC came and went while I was still battling the NW corner. In the end a cup of tea and a determined effort with a fresh piece of paper finally produced a recognisable word for 1d: Foregathered. Orlop, Eeriest, Clerical (good job I resisted Pastoral) and loi Ancestors then followed in fairly short order. I thought Schiller and Laramie were a bit of a stretch for a QC, but everything parsed, so no complaints, though quite a work out after a hot weekend. CoD, by a country mile, to 5d Carlisle. Invariant

  28. I ended up using an anagram solver for FOREGATHERED, which I believe counts as a technical DNF for me today, with about half an hour for the rest of the clues.

    Is there a list anywhere of valid military / nautical abbreviations? I dredged up ORLOP from the depths of my brain but wouldn’t have got it otherwise.

    Thank you Kitty!

  29. I’m a big fan of Izetti’s puzzles, with their unfailingly clever wordplay and smooth surface readings; I hope (and expect) he isn’t downhearted by some of the adverse comments. For my part LARAMIE was a familiar name, not only because of the notorious hate crime perpetrated there against Matthew Shepard in the late 90s.

  30. Dnf…

    Thought it might be me, but it looks like others have struggled as well. Felt like quite a bit of GK was needed for this, and whilst there were some very good clues, once again a QC that felt more like a mini 15×15 (and the level required for that).

    After making up the city of Taramle, WY – a few other clues gave me “Laramie” – something that I vaguely recalled from an old Western. But I DNK “Orlop” and fell into the “Knife” trap for 11ac.

    FOI – 4dn “Tattoo”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 6dn “Down”

    Thanks as usual!

  31. Bit distracted by a dental crisis (now OK temporarily, not been told price of permanent solution!). But anyway this puzzle took ages. In parts because I was dim, but mostly because it was v difficult, as other solvers said.
    Like Busman and Jack, I remembered the song The Man from Laramie from childhood. (1955!)
    Luckily saw 1d early on but it didn’t help that much. Was trying to fit in an actual tree for ANCESTORS. LOI unparsed CARLISLE. Forgot I of Man.
    PDM with ORLOP. Early solves included TATTOO, HAL, EPEE.
    Thanks vm, Kitty. Was pleased to finish this eventually.

  32. I found this difficult. Writing out the anagrist for FOREGATHERED helped me to get that, which opened up that top left corner. ORLOP went in NHO but “must be”, ANCESTORS was biffed (thanks Kitty), CLERICAL was LOI after those two. LARAMIE “ninja-turtled” from the brand of cigarettes in The Simpsons, and I was held up for too long by Man = ISLE for the umpteenth time.

    Otherwise, more power to Izetti’s elbow – he always produces elegantly clued and fair puzzles. As I’ve said before, cryptic puzzles aren’t meant to be easy (the clue being in the name), even if some are easier than others, and if you’re interested in the puzzles enough to learn to be able to solve most of them (in however long it takes you), then a harder one should be a challenge to learn from, not a reason to question the motives of the setter/editor/whoever.


      1. Dear Mr Dastardly,
        I haven’t seen you post before, but I would just like to say how much Mrs Random and I love your name. I wish I had thought of it.

    1. My view, as I said above, is that this was an excellent puzzle (but not a QC).
      We have two levels of cryptic puzzle in The Times.
      This is labelled ‘quick’ and most posters have a fair idea what that means on the basis of the wide range of puzzles under this label over the last two-and-a-half thousand.
      We have the 15×15 for more demanding and arcane clues.
      Many of the comments above are simply about judgement of the level. Izetti is bright enough to know when he has set a cryptic that is closer to the 15×15 in (many) parts. He knows when he has set a puzzle that will lead to responses about clues that are significantly outside the usual range for a Times QC. John.

      1. Some might say that the Mephisto is the place for demanding and arcane clues!

        I know there are differences of opinion – but mine is that an occasional harder QC is welcome, and should make a better solver if attempted and understood. I do the 15×15 more than I used to, and that often reminds me that the QC is a much more “friendly” puzzle.

        In respect of whether a setter/editor knows how difficult a puzzle is for an average QC solver – I’m not so sure they do!

        1. I think the issue is in the words “the average solver”. Whilst I would see this as towards the harder end of the spectrum, I didn’t think it that tough, but my low tastes in entertainment ran to westerns as a child, and Patrick O’Brian novels more recently, so Laramie and orlop didn’t pose too much of a problem. Vocabulary/GK is shaped by things such as this, so I suspect finding an average is a lost cause, you just have to accept that sometimes you are in the “knowing” subset, and others you aren’t. I think the significant thing is that generally with Izetti it doesn’t matter because the wordplay is so meticulous that you can still get the answer even if you don’t know the word – I have certainly learnt new words from the QC like this.

          1. Dear Paanliv,
            Having now had a few hours to let the impact of today’s Izetti settle, I think I have to agree with you. GK is very subjective and Izetti’s precise clueing did lead me to a successful solve …. eventually.

    2. If the clue is “in the name” these QCs should be BOTH cryptic (not necessarily easy) AND quick (for the average solver). It must be very hard for setters to get this balance right every time, but I guess that’s where the editor comes in.

      1. An that’s where this blog is a valuable resource for editors. I hope that the puzzle editor looks at our comments to see whether the level is what they have in mind.

  33. Tough, but enjoyed the challenge. Finally unravelled CLERICAL/ANCESTORS after cheating and looking at Kitty’s blog for the NHO ORLOP. Kicking myself for not trusting the wordplay. Very slow to spot isle = man in CARLISLE. Couldn’t parse RAGE for some reason. Knew LARAMIE and SCHILLER. Liked DOWN and HORSEMEAT best. Many thanks Izetti for a rather tough workout. Thanks Kitty too.

  34. Slow to start and ultra slow to finish on this one. In fact having taken upwards of 25 minutes to solve all except 4 clues (all in the NW: 7 & 12 ac and 1 & 2 dn) I took a break for a couple of hours. When I came back to it the anagram at 1dn leapt out at me (I’d previously written it out and studied it for what seemed like hours to no avail). The rest followed quite quickly giving me an estimated total time of around 30 mins. Orlop and Laramie both dragged out of some shady recess in the brain. Spent far too long on clerical and Carlisle, both of which seem simple in retrospect.

    FOI – 11ac LANCE
    LOI & COD – 12ac ANCESTORS

    Thanks to Izetti & Kitty

  35. I found this very challenging. A quarter of an hour in and only seven clues solved. 40 minutes in and six clues still to go. Finish line reached after 57 minutes. Cryptic, but not quick.

    I really, really struggled with GOO, GLEAMING, the NHO LARAMIE, RELATE, DOWN and the NHO ORLOP. Isn’t DOWN something feathery, rather than hairy?

    My times for the last five Izetti’s have been: 85 (DNF), 52, 72, 30, 57 (today). He has turned the screw.

    Thankyou Izetti for the workout (but please ease up on us a little – for a while, at least) and many thanks to Kitty for the explanations.

  36. 28.02 I’m not old enough to remember Laramie the first time round but I was aware of the reruns. If you’d asked me what it was I would have guessed something like a lariat. I knew ORLOP from the O’Brian books and biffed it but I couldn’t parse the clue.

    A slow solve. If you drew a dividing line from the bottom left to the top right of the puzzle, at one point I’d done nothing above it and everything below it. I wasted a bit of time trying to make sense of CARLSBAD. At the end I struggled with ANCESTOR and DOWN only came to me after I went to do some housework.

    I do think it was a fair challenge though. I don’t do the 15×15 regularly but I regularly fail to complete it. I nearly always complete the QC though. This was a harder one, but I think the balancing of difficulty compared to the 15×15 is reasonable.

    Thanks to Izetti and Kitty

  37. enjoyed this but didn’t know ORLOP (my husband did! Got Hal but not parsed from Halt and enjoyed the joke it held. I felt the people up a sort of tree was very clever but shouldn’t it have had a question mark at the end? I understood that all in one cryptic clues like that should be followed by a question mark.

  38. We took an hour over this, loi 12 a ancestors, forgetting yet again that trees have more than green ones, will we ever learn. However we always enjoy Izettis puzzles, always fair. Dragged up Laramie from the distant past.

  39. I was never at a loss, but probably a bit slower than some of those who have commented. The Don used to have a regular slot as the setter of the Telegraph cryptic.

    1. He was also a regular compiler for the Guardian, the FT, and the Independent.

  40. 9:28 but…

    …pink squared myself AGAIN – this time with FOREGATHERSD. Late to the party today, slower grid than usual to complete but I was confident on entering LOI ORLOP. No problem with LARAMIE once a few checkers were in place – couldn’t have told you where it was, but I had heard of the Jimmy Young song.

    Thanks Izetti and Kitty

  41. Famously, Nelson was taken to the orlop deck of HMS Victory after he’d been been shot only to die there. There’s a very famous painting of him there (which I tried to paste here , but failed!) That’s where I first heard about the orlop deck.

    1. I can visualise the painting – will now look it up and study the ORLOP.

  42. DNF

    Way off on this one. Didn’t associate DOWN with hair, NHO ORLOP and failed to unscramble FOREGATHERED.

  43. No-one told me you lost your license if you crash on the first day after passing …

    Had four left at 33mins, finally got Carlisle at 57mins and gave up at 1hr22 – same amount of time as I did all 5 of last week’s in. Says it all.

    Couldn’t figure out the CLERICAL, ANCESTORS, ORLOP crossing. Clerical I would have got immediately when my brain was working I’m sure and that might have seen me through.

    Disappointing though that, after three enjoyable Izetti-less weeks, he’s back. The day he retires will not be a day too soon in my opinion. Absolutely destroys my whole enjoyment of the QC.

  44. No time since a couple of bites but well into SCC. Threw in the towel with Orlop and Ancestors.
    OR for servicemen not on my radar although have seen before. I was trying to fit in Oilap…
    Orlop NHO.
    I should have persevered with Ancestors but sometimes when you don’t know one you wilt a bit.
    Otherwise pleased to solve the rest.
    Thanks all

  45. A DNF after 1 hour, 20 minutes. NHO ORLOP and put OXLIP. To miss out by one clue after so much hard work is frustrating beyond belief. ☹️

  46. The (possibly) final word : all of you who have complained about this puzzle need to bear in mind that we’re doing a Quick Crossword, not an Easy one.

    Consider the 15×15. I can whip it off in 5 or 6 minutes some days, but sometimes it runs to half an hour, and at least twice a month I can’t finish it – but on every occasion I come to this blog and make sure that I understand how the clue(s) that stumped me worked.

    It’s a learning curve with ANY type of cryptic puzzle. If the QC was nailed in under three and a half minutes EVERY day I probably wouldn’t bother to do it. There absolutely MUST be tougher puzzles some days, and it’s The Times not The Daily Star. The word “Quick” is comparative !

    It’s a simple case of “no pain, no gain”.

    1. If I want pain and a challenge, I have the 15×15 available to me.

      Perhaps you can explain why I need the QC to provide it too?

      1. . . . because you might eventually want to have a crack at the 15×15 (especially if your rapid improvent continues), and doing that without the occasional QC ‘tester’ to hone your skills is a big ask.

        1. I already have the occasional crack at the 15×15. It is where I get challenged and I expect to be left struggling to finish it.

        2. This was way, way beyond a tester. There is a difference between being tested and being so thoroughly lost that your confidence is shattered.

          1. With you GA.

            The issue isn’t that this ONE was challenging, it’s that Izetti has been barely approachable this year. Always at least 4-5NHOs.

            I consistently feel pissed off after attempting his QCs. People often talk on here about enjoyment being more important than how fast you do it.

            Well, I’ve consistently felt no enjoyment – apart from the surprise in mid-April when I was done in 18mins and even that one brought posts of discontent from others about what is a Clare nun / Clarence Cab or whether to plump for Florence which fitted the checkers.

            I’m checking out for a few days from QCing. Good luck 👍

            1. Thanks L-Plates.

              Take care and have a good (but hopefully short) break from the QC.

  47. The only thing I learned today was that, after almost three years, I can still be made to feel totally ignorant and out of my depth.

    1. After almost 50 years I can be made to feel the same way ! But I learn new stuff even now, and do my best to remember it for any future occurrence.

  48. A controversial QC to say the least. Let’s hope tomorrow’s is a little more doable!

    1. Henry to Harry/Hal are derivatives as are Edward to Ted etc.
      Most famously used in reference to Shakespeare’s King Henry V.

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