Times Quick Cryptic 2470 by Myles


I solved this in 8 minutes. This is only Myles’s fourth QC. Having set his first two in March and April 2014 he then disappeared until returning to give us his third in June this year. It seemed quite a gentle puzzle to me, but as an experienced solver I may not be best placed to judge the level of difficulty. How did you all do?

In my most recent QC blog I experimented by putting answers in red and this was received favourably and has since been taken up by some other bloggers so I now plan to continue with it in all my blogs.

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 Deadlock contributing to mistrust and offence (5-3)
Hidden in [contributing to] {mistru}ST AND OFF{ence}
5 Trick of role reversal (4)
PART (role) [reversal]
8 Get over   being in a bad mood (5)
Two meanings
9 Go through quickly and knock down on the way (3,4)
Two meanings
11 Unlike Ministers   prepare (3)
Two meanings
12 Fair quality   that makes things easy to convey (9)
Two meanings
13 Type of music that’s good with enthusiastic backing around (6)
EAGER (enthusiastic) reversed [backing] and containing [around] G (good)
15 How to cross range for major operation (6)
BY PASS (how to cross a range of mountains)
18 Transport worker  that helps cope with lightning strike (9)
Two meanings
19 Is able to   preserve French resort, we hear (3)
A double definition followed by a homophone in which  CAN sounds like [we hear] “Cannes” (French resort)
20 Receives inside information back — something to save for later (4,3)
GETS (receives) contained by [inside] GEN (information) all reversed [back]
21 Form of communication that’s short, time after time (5)
T (time), WEE  (short), T (time)
22 One may run, producing narrow margin of victory (4)
Two defintions, the first vaguely cryptic. Horse races with close finishes are sometimes ‘won by a nose’.
23 Very little loud noise when multiple deliveries happen (4,4)
BABY (very little), BOOM (loud noise)
1 Modify recusal not based on religion (7)
Anagram [modify] of RECUSAL. Not that it mattered, but I didn’t know what ‘recusal’ meant so I looked it up in SOED: A judge’s voluntary withdrawal from a case that he or she cannot or should not hear. Also, an objection to a judge as prejudiced. 
2 Work in a US city is torture (5)
GO (work) contained by [in] A + NY (US city)
3 Criticize appeal with certain irritation (11)
DIS (criticize), PLEA (appeal), SURE (certain)
4 Over a long period, scavenge (6)
FOR (over), AGE (long period)
6 I arrive, wrecked, in popular seaside area (7)
Anagram [wrecked] of I ARRIVE
7 Is under average for capital (5)
PAR (average), IS
10 Practical details in the form of witty rhymes (5-6)
NITTY and GRITTY both rhyme with ‘witty’
14 Good sense I displayed differently in first book (7)
G (good), then anagram [displayed differently] of SENSE I
16 Holy place can and must change (7)
Anagram [change] of CAN MUST
17 Little time put into piece of Greek text, hence bad mark (6)
T (little – abbreviation for – time) contained by [put into] SIGMA (piece of Greek text – letter of the alphabet)
18 Clergyman  authenticated collection of sacred works (5)
Two meanings
19 Firm belief of Conservative about party (5)
C (Conservative), RE (about), DO (party)

64 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2470 by Myles”

  1. 9:38. I thought of hose running before I thought of a NOSE running. Hmm, credo, Genesis, canon, sanctum, agony, stigma,cross, then secular and lay had me thinking of a possible Nina. Wait, I guess stigma would have to be stigmata. BABY BOOM, NITTY-GRITTY and NEST EGG were favourites.

    1. A religious theme had occurred to me too, but I wasn’t convinced it was intentional.

    2. I presumed it was a religious nina otherwise the crossword is a bit one-dimensional. I wouldn’t want 8 or 9 birds or Greek gods either unless it was a good nina.

      1. Yes, I’m starting to come round to the idea. Theme rather than Nina though as there’s nothing hidden.

  2. At 11.40 this took me longer than I thought it should but an enjoyable offering from Myles, nicely contextualised by jackkt. If I had concentrated harder I would have got DISPLEASURE sooner, nice clue, but my main problems were in the south-west where REGGAE, GENESIS, NOSE and CANON took some time to yield. I was thrown off by authenticated in the CANON clue. As regards CAN, does the last element being a homophone disqualify it from being a triple def?

    1. If the clue were simply:
      Preserve French resort, we hear (3)

      I’d blog it as :
      Preserve French resort, we hear (3)
      CAN sounds like [we hear] “Cannes” (French resort)

      i.e. a single definition plus the homophone as wordplay.

      The published clue adds another definition Is able to making it a double. I don’t see how the wordplay element can be counted as a third.

  3. An enjoyable puzzle to start the week with for me. I strayed in the SCC zone by ten seconds but thought it very fair. DISPLEASURE took me a while, even though the parsing was straightforward, and BYPASS slowed me down at the end. (Is there a word for that final clue that so often slows us down and results in brain block? If not I think we should invent one. Answers on a postcard please!)
    I liked BABY BOOM and CREDO especially.
    Enjoy your BHM everybody. The sky is leaden down here in Dorsetshire at the mo but there is hope for some sunshine later on 🤞

    1. Last clue holdups were given the wonderful name Breezeblocks recently, as in “breeze through most of the puzzle and blocked by the last”. A problem I face all too often …

        1. I confess I don’t, but perhaps the author will put aside their natural modesty and claim the honour. It’s a good coinage.

          1. Excellent term. I shall employ it forthwith. It is an annoyingly regular phenomenon for me.

  4. I needed three passes through the clues, and only just crept inside my target. It wasn’t that it was particularly difficult – I’ve only crossed swords with Myles once before, and I find his setting style slightly different. Maybe it’s just me….

    TIME 4:58

  5. Whizzed through most of this but got bogged down in the SE where TWEET, CREDO and LOI and COD BABY BOOM put up a fight. For the latter I got stuck looking for a cricket related answer with multiple deliveries being ‘over’ – even after the m from SANCTUM made that decidedly unlikely 🤦‍♂️.
    Finished in 6.50.
    Thanks to Jack

  6. Not my cup of tea. I noticed the many religious references which put me in a bad mood as I was expecting at least one of the answers to be a NHO. As it was, there were no unknowns for me today so I was just slow. FOI SECULAR and LOI BYPASS in 14:01. My favourite clue was NITTY-GRITTY.

  7. An interesting puzzle, with some quite simple clues – especially if you like double definitions – and some requiring more thought. Not sure I fully see For = Over in Forage (is there a clear case where the words are interchangeable?), and Sawbill’s clueing of Forage was rather neater I think in his recent Saturday Special, and I only parsed Displeasure after putting it in, but the final hold-ups and L2I were the Agony/Cross pair, which I took far longer to see than I should have and which stretched the solve out to 13 minutes.

    Nitty-gritty and Baby-boom both excellent clues – very nice PDMs when I got those.

    Many thanks to Jack for the blog

    1. Hi Cedric, I too wondered about FOR and OVER but finally concluded that the solution is actually in the clue: you might do something for a long period or you might do it over a long period and it essentially means the same. Best I can do!

      1. Well that’s certainly better than any attempt I made at understanding it – but I still think it is not the strongest clue in the puzzle!

  8. How come these blogs are all wriiten in the middle of the night? Are you bloggers insomniacs, in a different time zone, on night-shifts, or just crazy? Or all of the above?

    1. Can’t answer for the bloggers but here in Oz we get a 9 hour head start so while everyone in the UK is asleep we are up and about. Frequently if I do the puzzle at breakfast I am in front of the blog and have to come back some time later to check it. As for the crazy part, we probably all are…

    2. Each day’s crossword is published by The Times at 00:00 UK time.
      And obviously, we don’t like to keep you waiting too long …

    3. I’m in California, 8 hours behind the U.K., so the puzzles come out at 4pm my time. When it’s my turn to blog, I do the puzzle when it comes out. When I’m not blogging, I do the puzzle in my morning, by which time there are normally 50+ comments here, and I usually find that most of what I have to say about the puzzle has already been said.

  9. Perhaps I am the first to have found this harder than most of the above. I found it a strange mix of simple and chewy/off-beat clues. I managed to avoid the SCC by a minute.
    I found many of the double meanings a bit more difficult than I should have, e.g. LAY, LIGHTNESS (it came to mind, given some crossers, but took too long). I got side-tracked for a short time by CODON instead of CREDO but the (biological) meaning couldn’t fit. Like Cedric, I had a mer at ‘for’ and was side-tracked by other US Cities before I saw AGONY. I liked BABY BOOM and my COD, NITTY GRITTY, which only clicked given crossers.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  10. Vey enjoyable puzzle – thanks Myles and Jackkt! I think the main one is fairly accessible too. I usually hope to get 4 or 5 to warm me up for the quickie, but I raced through both within 30 minutes.

  11. Phew, pretty tricky, I thought, but once I began to solve a few it fell into place eventually. FOI CAN, SOI SECULAR – though in fact the puzzle had a religious theme in parts, as others said. I biffed NITTY GRITTY early on but couldn’t parse until the blog, doh! Also liked CONDUCTOR, STAND OFF, NOSE, NEST EGG, TWEET.
    Thanks vm, Jack.

  12. 13:47 (Black Death reaches Europe. )

    Started fast, but held up by a few at the end. LOI DISPLEASURE.

    Not all Canons are clergymen. I have a neighbour who is a Lay Canon of Ely Cathedral.

    Thanks Jack and Myles

  13. DNF.
    Could barely start this one. Gave up after 40 minutes.
    An easy one for the ‘experts’. I think maybe impossible for average solver like myself.
    A rotten way to start the week.
    I hope there are a few ‘do-able’ QCs this week.

    1. I found it difficult too. Had to use aids to complete.
      It seems when the experts find things easy I have trouble. But when they find the puzzle tough, yet still complete it in less than 10 minutes, I find it easier to do.
      Maybe it’s a Canadian thing? 🙂

  14. 14 minutes to complete, so no walk in the park, but mostly enjoyable. I was slightly held up at the end by BYPASS as LOI, but not a major delay or ‘breeze block’ as cited earlier. I was also unconvinced by for = over in FORAGE, but like LindsayO above, I figured that if one does something FOR (an) AGE, or FOR AGEs, one does it ‘over a long period’. Thanks Jackkt and Myles.

  15. I certainly wasn’t at the races today taking 15.20 to complete the puzzle and expected quite a few would find it difficult. Jackkt in his blog suggested it was a gentle puzzle, and I am generally in tune with his thoughts, but not today! Having said that, I think it was a well constructed puzzle so I’m happy to accept I just had a bad day perhaps. My COD goes to my LOI which was NOSE.

  16. Even though I completed this one (with help from the cat), I have to say I did not enjoy it. Some of the clues, I feel, were not up to a scratch.

  17. Like Busman I didn’t find this easy to get into, but I eventually got into a rhythm and was surprised to see I hadn’t gone over my target after all. SECULAR and LAY went in first, then I moved over to the NE and carried on in a clockwise fashion. DISPLEASURE opened things up and I finished on the NOSE. 8:55. Thanks Myles and Jack.

  18. 12:58

    Bad day at the office for me (on train between Warrington and Lancaster). Don’t see the setter’s name on ‘phone and I struggled in a few places taking ages to get CROSS and therefore DISPLEASURE followed by inordinate time thinking what might go before BOOM. oh well, tomorrow’s another day.

    Thanks Myles and Jack

  19. Near to finishing I biffed NOSE BAG at 20a which was fairly quickly unravelled allowing LOI DISPLEASURE. 9 minutes in all.
    As Cedric said a number of easy clues allowed a way in.
    I also biffed NECK at 22a which turned out to be NOSE. Anyone got a hankie?
    COD to AGONY.
    I could not remember a previous puzzle by Myles.

  20. I thought it a little tricky – maybe a style thing.

    I liked BYPASS, because it held me up. FORAGE LOI because I missed it somehow.


  21. I am amongst those who found this rather tricky: DISPLEASURE, BABY BOOM, FORAGE took a while. A good challenge, I thought.

  22. Also struggled with this.
    DNF due to nitty gritty
    Liked nose
    Didn’t like lightness
    Loi bypass

  23. I can’t remember doing a puzzle set by Myles before, so approached this one with some trepidation. However, the NW went in without too much trouble and I made steady if slow progress with just a few hold ups (Sanctum took an age to decipher and Lightness didn’t exactly jump off the page). In the end it was a prolonged search for a cricket answer to Baby Boom that just nudged me into the SCC. CoD, by a country mile, to 20ac, Nest Egg. Invariant

    On edit: I see I commented on #2410, so that just confirms I’m useless with names. . . and other numerous things.

  24. I found this very tricky although I have been under the weather for a couple of days (which is going to be my excuse). Gave up after 30 minutes with most of the SE corner still blank. I came back to it a bit later and succeeded in completing all bar TWEET. I didn’t time the second session but it must have been a further 10 minutes or so.

    FOI – 9ac RUN OVER
    LOI -DNF

  25. 13.34 EDGE nearly works for for 22a but GENESIS soon dismissed it. The remainder of the SW took a while. BABY BOOM and NITTY GRITTY were nice. Thanks to jackkt and Myles. I’m still not a fan of the colour though!

  26. I found this really quite hard. Finished although major breezeblock on TWEET of all things. This felt very different in style to other QCs and being an inflexible thinker this threw me a little. COD NITTY GRITTY. Many thanks all.

  27. 10 1/2 minutes. TWEET held me up for an unreasonable amount of time too. I originally had CAN as a triple def, but looking at it now, I agree with Jack that it’s a double def + wordplay clue. I liked BABY BOOM and especially NITTY GRITTY. Of course, I missed the religious theme; I won’t give the obvious excuse.

    Thanks to Jack and Myles

  28. I also found this one hard; perhaps not on the setter’s wavelength or perhaps the after effects of a boozy lunch yesterday.
    LOI was LIGHTNESS which I wasn’t really sure was correct.
    COD to CREDO.
    Thanks Myles and J.

  29. I found this very tough indeed today, especially the start, middle and end.

    My congratulations go to Busman, Plett11 and anyone else who completed the puzzle in under 7 minutes, as you did so before I solved my first clue (SECULAR) – I didn’t solve a single across clue on first pass. Runners-up prizes go to hopkinb, Jackkt, John Dunleavy and others who broke 9 minutes, which was when I solved my second clue (RIVIERA).

    I did eventually get going, after a fashion, but it felt like wading through treacle much of the time. My CoD (when I finally got it) was STAND-OFF and my last few in were CREDO, TWEET, BABY BOOM, NITTY GRITTY and AGONY (after some minutes wondering whether AnOpY was some kind of torture). Total time = 56 minutes.

    Mrs Random also struggled today. She won the family point in an almost unheard of slow time of 48 minutes.

    Many thanks to Myles and Jack.

    P.S. Am I right in thinking that this was not a very cryptic QC, or is Myles’ style just different to the other setters?

  30. All done in 11:43, no major issues. COD to NITTY GRITTY, which made me smile.

    Thanks to Myles and Jackkt.

  31. Got back from a lovely weekend swimming in the country to find Myles’s puzzle waiting for me. Alas, despite some easy ones (FOI TRAP) and some nice ones (COD BABY BOOM), I was stumped by no fewer than nine – so misery. Funny: those in the south which held some of you up, I got relatively quickly – my problems were all in the north (including, yes Cedric, AGONY and CROSS), plus NITTY-GRITTY which I wouldn’t have associated with “practical details”, more the nub of an issue – but I’m probably wrong. Thank you Jackkt for the helpful blog.

  32. 11 minutes. I worked around until the SW was the only blank area. It stayed that way for a while but once I saw that ‘gets’ was also backwards for NESTEGG it filled in well enough.

  33. DNF

    Not particularly quick but really came undone on last 2. Failed to get GO for work or TWEET, put TREAT, as in negotiate, which I thought might be a form of communication but obviously not matching the wordplay. Disappointing start to the week.

  34. 1hr29+ for a corrected DNF after going for the NHO torture of anONy having wanted to put “annoy” there until CROSS finally came up I really struggle to think of when anyone would use GO for work.

    From about 25mins onwards I ground out those two plus DISPLEASURE, LIGHTNESS, SANCTUM (just couldn’t unravel it), BABY-BOOM, BYPASS, NITTY-GRITTY and TWEET (LOI). Not a very happy experience therefore.

    I feel like Myles went out of his way to make this more cryptic harder than necessary – don’t think it was appropriate for the QC. I went in feeling confident having solved his June QC in 15mins. I’d already done the Express Crusader in 30mins this morning, last Thursday Daily Mail in 15mins while at my mum’s and then tried to get this out of my system afterwards by doing a Teazel in 14mins from the first book. So I don’t think it was me that was the issue here …

    1. Sounds like you had a shocker L-Plates.

      I always find “holiday” puzzles tricky – but I always put them down to excess over the weekend or other activities disrupting normal focused brain activity 😀

  35. I’m another who didn’t get a single across clue on first pass. Really struggled to get started and the make headway. On third sitting, after supper, sailed through the remaining 1/3rd so the crossers were helping and I finally found the wavelength. Always surprised how a new/infrequent setter upsets my applecart.
    FOI 4d Forage
    LOI 5a Trap
    COD nil!

  36. 33 mins…

    Due to it being an English Bank Holiday this was a somewhat disrupted solve, split into two parts. Upon reflection, it didn’t seem too bad, but I did struggle on some fairly straightforward answers (8ac “Cross”, 18ac “Conductor” and 23a “Baby Boom”).

    FOI – 1dn “Secular”
    LOI – 23ac “Baby Boom”
    COD – 15ac “Bypass”

    Thanks as usual!

  37. Bad day for me, several missed, maybe this was fatigue after the 15×15, the Jumbo and the General Knowledge

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