Times Quick Cryptic 2530 by Izetti


Solving time: 11 minutes

I was a little disturbed by not knowing the word at 1ac but things went smoothly apart from  a minor hold up at the end on 11dn and 24ac.

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 Most unhappy person that may be seen on building site (9)
BLUEST (most unhappy), ONE (person). Blue-grey sandstone containing clay, used for building and paving. It was just as well the wordplay was helpful as I’d never heard of this before its single appearance in a Times crossword in February last year, and of course I had forgotten it in the meantime.
6 Leaves half blown away in meadow (3)
LEA{ves} [half blown away]
8 Deceive with trick, concealing passion (5,2)
CON (trick) containing [concealing] HEAT (passion)
9 King entertains primate in light-hearted event? (5)
CR (King – Charles Rex) contains [entertains] APE (primate)
10 They offer narratives and they may be liars (12)
Maybe a double definition or one with a hint
12 Woman with aim to ensnare one (4)
END (aim) containing [to ensnare] I (one). A name long out of fashion it would appear. Brits of my generation will know Enid Blyton of course, but I can’t think of another famous one unless you count Dame Enid Diana Rigg who opted not to use her first name.
13 Fuss  to be dealt with? (2-2)
Two meanings
17 Artist exaggerating could make a cur artistic (12)
Anagram [could make] A CUR ARTISTIC
20 Italian, a master seen in retrospect as fine instrument maker (5)
IT (Italian) + A MA (master of arts) reversed [seen in retrospect]. Alongside Stradivari, perhaps the most famous names in violin making.
21 Painter of house and courtyard (7)
HO (house), GARTH (courtyard). ‘Garth’ defined as ‘court’ appeared in a very similar clue in QC 2511 on 24th October.
23 Speak, for example (3)
Two meanings
24 Most intolerant home in which there is a right bust-up (9)
NEST (home) containing [in which there is] A + R (right) + ROW (right bust-up)
1 Footballer restored to team? (4)
2 A female in Paris with a number left in dining room? (7)
UNE (A – female in Paris), A, TEN (number). A male in Paris would be ‘un’.
3 Rested   the first day of the weekend briefly (3)
Two meanings
4 Decorated sumptuously in gold, awfully neat (6)
OR (gold), anagram [awfully] of NEAT
5 A feature of many a department store involving a real cost (9)
Anagram [involving] A REAL COST
6 Drinks with added recreational drug — moral shortcoming (5)
LAPS (drinks), E (recreational drug)
7 Stop to have a breather around end of year (6)
A + REST (breather) containing [around] {yea}R [end]
11 Passionate deed — something changed in text (9)
RED (passionate), ACTION (deed). I associate this with official papers released to the public with chunks of text blacked out, but it’s just another term for ‘edit’.
14 Merit being severed somehow (7)
Anagram [somehow] of SEVERED
15 Quarrels for left-overs? (6)
Two meanings
16 One who’s cut out to be an artist? (6)
18 Prepared   money (5)
Two meanings
19 Bird is cold, needing cover for head (4)
C (cold), HAT (cover for head)
22 Travel round something sticky (3)
GO (travel), O (round)

68 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2530 by Izetti”

  1. I DNF, the bottom right corner did me in because of HOGARTH. (didn’t know ho=house, garth=courtyard despite apparently it appearing recently, or the word Hogarth itself). I didn’t get NARROWEST and I got CHAT through wordplay but wasn’t sure if it was a bird

    My city of Melbourne, Australia is paved in bluestone, the most beautiful yet treacherous slippery things. I’m thinking of redoing my front yard in it too

    My kids know Enid Blyton and they are… Generation Alpha.

    My favourite clue was UNEATEN because I got the UNE_TEN and sounding it out loud couldn’t see how ‘oon_ten’ could be a word until I realised the word started with un not oon

    I blame staying up til 3am to watch the world cup cricket final

  2. This took me nearly 12 interrupted minutes and looking back I’m not sure why. LOsI were BLUESTONE (they also made a particularly grim old gaol of it here in Melbourne) and UNEATEN, no particular problems elsewhere. Enid Lyons was the first female member of the Australian House of Representatives. Her much older husband, Joseph, was PM for a while. They married when she was barely 18 and the general consensus is that Lyons probably should have been banged up for offences involving a minor. On that bombshell, thanks to Jack and Izetti.

  3. 19:20.
    Quite pleased with my time, as I didn’t find this easy and had to really puzzle my way through quite a number of clues, and only a handful went in without much thought.
    I like clues like 20a, very clear wordplay once its unravelled, but not at all obvious at first.

  4. 9:06. BLUESTONE familiar to me too as a building material and I remembered GARTH from a few weeks ago when it caused some consternation. I thought of “Guarneri” first for 20a so just as well it didn’t fit. I liked the chance crossing of CARICATURIST, ETCHER and HOGARTH.

    Thanks to Izetti and Jack

  5. I was pleased to finish this in 15m having only had five on the first pass of acrosses and then struggling with NARROWEST, CHEAT ON and the NHO AMATI. But on submitting I saw a pink square for UNEAToN. The letters are miles apart on the keyboard, certainly too far to claim a typo, so an odd mental abberation to start the week. Still enjoyed it though – especially seeing CARICATURIST emerge from the anagrist being followed by a nice PDM that rivalled the one after the short alphabet trawl for ETCHER.

  6. Way too hard for me today. A very rare DNF despite trying for over half an hour. NHO AMATI or BLUESTONE, which didn’t help.
    (I went on to complete the DT 15×15 so don’t feel so disheartened now!)


    Knew the artist and guessed the courtyard but HoGARTH still feels tough.

    I like neither BACK nor STORYTELLER. Nor GOO to be honest.

    All round an oddly unenjoyable puzzle for me. I’m still grateful to Izetti for taking the time to construct it and Jackkt for explaining it.

  8. To quote Vinyl1, “This is probably OK for experienced solvers, but others may not like it.” Well, that confirms what I already knew, that I am yet to attain the exalted status of “experienced solver”.

    No, I did not like this one much. I did finish it, in 14 minutes, but I have NHO Amati (got from wordplay but I would suggest relatively niche GK), I did not know Bluestone was a modern building material (the only bluestones I know of are the stones at Stonehenge and to call Stonehenge a building site is a tad harsh), I struggled with the long anagrams (especially Caricaturist), and by the time I got to Chat it was entirely to be expected that even when Izetti clues a simple word he chooses to use one of its less common meanings.

    OTOH I did know Garth (and remembered the discussion from the puzzle 4 weeks ago), it was nice to see the King clued for CR and I liked Uneaten as a clue. So not all bad. And after all, where would we be without an Izetti for showing how good at creating QCs other setters are.

    Many thanks Jack for the blog. The week will improve …

  9. Oh dear, that was a struggle. My anagram hat was nowhere to be seen and it felt like I had to crowbar out at least half of the answers. Clearly struggling with mondaymorningitis.
    On the plus side there is a particularly fetching shade of red next to my name on the snitch!
    Finished in 12.02.
    Thanks to Jack

  10. 15/26 after 20m.

    Not a chance. NHO BLUESTONE, (HO)GARTH, AMATI, CHAT (got the wordplay but didn’t know the bird so thought it must be wrong). Also, cluing tough on some eg NARROWEST.

    And, of course, my bête noire – a random name (ENID) to rub salt in the wounds. Salt is not good for snails.

    1. So sorry about your being rubbed with salt over Enid, poor Snail. Random girls are hard to fathom.
      We finished in 32 mins( always a joint effort with my other half but we don’t hurry), and thought it an amusing and interesting puzzle. Thanks Izetti and Jackkt.

  11. 8:55 (Æthelwulf, King of Wessex, goes on pilgrimage to Rome)

    An enjoyable start to the week. NHO AMATI, but gettable from the wordplay. Only heard of BLUESTONE in the context of Stonehenge, but that would have been a building site once, so in it went. LOI was REDACTION, a word that only entered my vocabulary during the parliamentary expenses scandal, where large numbers of documents were released with lots of the text redacted using thick black lines.

    Thanks Jack and Izetti

  12. It was certainly one of Izetti’s trickier offerings, but if one had all the required GK the clueing was, as ever, along classical lines.

    TIME 3:36

  13. I read BACK as a double definition – a football position and back in the team after illness maybe. NHO BLUESTONE or AMATI but the wordplay was clear. . Expect some difficulty from Izetti. Thanks Jack for blog.

  14. Like some here I really did not like this QC. Can’t quite put my finger on why, but I just found it to be unenjoyable.

    I managed to complete it, but once again the cat helped me.

    Didnt really like 24a, but thought 2d was very good

    Overall, not a great start to the week. Perhaps Izetti should be used toward end of the week only.

  15. DNF. Miles off the pace, NHO BLUESTONE or AMATI. Not helped by not reading the clue properly for 12a (ENID), and had GAIL with GAL surrounding I. This messed up the NW corner royally.

    Is bird slang for chat? I guessed that it might be like rabbit.

  16. 30 seconds over my 15 minute target with L2I BLUESTONE and NARROWEST holding me up the most. Perfectly fair clues IMHO, and a satisfying puzzle to complete. Many thanks to Jackkt and The Don.

  17. DNF having guessed BLUESTONE, remembered GARTH from a previous QC and played around with the spelling of CARICATURIST. REDACTION was my LOI as I couldn’t solve the NHO AMATI.

  18. Not on wavelength at all. Struggled mightily throughout.

    UNEATEN LOI once I realised what was going on. Didn’t really “get” BACK, and I’m not sure it’s a cryptic as per blog, maybe a DD with an example of a footballer being a back, and “restored to team” being a cryptic hint at back. Either way, I wasn’t convinced.


  19. DNF x 3. AMATI, UNEATEN, REDACTION. Only got ENID after revealing REDACTION. Oh yes, and had to partly look up NARROWEST.
    Biffed BLUESTONE.
    Thanks, Jack. I think the clue for REDACTION is a little unfair, because redaction implies removal of text rather than just editing.

    1. I thought the same about REDACTION because I only knew of it in the context mentioned in my blog which inevitably led to large chunks of text being removed or blacked out, but the dictionary definitions are much wider in scope allowing for pretty much any form of editing.

  20. A fairly tough start to the week I thought, and I’m not too dispirited to finish over target at 11.53. I was fortunate that I knew of AMATI which over the years has cropped regularly in general knowledge crosswords, I would guess because it has three vowels in it which makes it easier for the setter to fit in. A large part of my time was spent trying to figure out NARROWEST and after that REDACTION. My LOI like some others was BLUESTONE mainly because I was trying to think of a person rather than a material. An enjoyable start to the week, although not everyone may agree!

  21. 11:21

    Tough start to the week but ground through it. BLUESTONE was a surprise, REDACTION was more enjoyable, and a punt on the unknown AMATI proved to be correct. What held me up was having bunged in GEL (a thinly defined LEG = travel backwards) instead of GOO – once fixed then NARROWEST leapt into view…

    Thanks Jack and Izetti

  22. I struggled a bit with this, particularly the nhos Bluestone and Amati, but in the end just trusted the cryptic to produce two plausible looking words. CoD Narrowest was another answer that had to be built up from Izetti’s reliable instructions. Finally, ‘A female in France’ needed some Bluestone (the u) to fill in a large number of rabbit holes (Afen, Elle, various names. . .) that had been dutifully explored before the simple Uneaten came to the rescue. Overall, a hard but satisfying 30min workout to start the week. Invariant

  23. DNF.
    A nasty one for a Monday. Gave up after 20 mins. Much too hard for me.
    Never heard of bluestone, Amati.
    Red = passionate ? (Not in my universe it doesn’t). Also garth = courtyard, intolerant = narrow ?
    Really ?

    Also as someone else wrote, I really despise clues based on random names (Enid).
    If the QCs are going to be this hard, I might as well not bother.

  24. NHO BLUESTONE and only half remembered AMATI so those went in with crossed fingers. Other than that and spending a long time parsing REDACTION this went in quite quickly for an Izetti. Finished in 21 minutes, which I count as a success.

    FOI – 6ac LEA
    LOI – 2dn UNEATEN
    COD – 11dn REDACTION

    Thanks to Izetti and Jack

  25. SCC territory, but Izetti on a Monday is a stern start to the week! Unlike some others I like Izetti, it’s all in there if you can follow the clue, he can just be fair rather deviously. Didn’t know BLUESTONE but there’s nothing else it can be, neither part being particularly obscure or difficult. There’s a pleasure, I find, in those sort of clues.
    Plenty more chewy stuff to unravel and enjoy.
    I liked the nod to HOGARTH, a CARICATURIST and, as a printmaker, an ETCHER. Well worth looking at his pictures if you are not familiar with them, entertaining and educational of life at the time.

  26. I found this a typical Izetti, challenging but fair, and very enjoyable. Once I remembered house = ho it didn’t matter that ‘garth’ was only vaguely recollected. Spent the longest time on CARICATURIST, wondering at first whether the definition was ‘artistic’. NHO BLUESTONE or CHAT but had all the checkers for both so in they went. Favourites were NARROWEST and UNEATEN because I really had to use the grey cells. Thanks to Jack and Izetti.

  27. Having a DNF on the 15×15 I was worried I might do the same here not knowing garth. however crossers gave me enough for a slowish 15 mins.

  28. Last day in Florida before returning to cold and rain but still have a huge list of outstanding repairs ahead. Struggled with this Izetti with three separate solving sessions, so no time, but comfortably in the club watching the blue sky over the sea from the balcony.

  29. Tough, but managed to finished by guessing and then looking up AMATI (NHO), bunging in HOGARTH as the only artist (cartoonist?) I could think of that fitted in and putting in CHAT as in STONECHAT and WHINCHAT. I know of Staffordshire blue bricks, so guessed BLUESTONE from BLUEST = most unhappy. Exhausted.

  30. 6.47

    Slight buckage of the trend here as this proceeded quite smoothly once something beginning SURREAL failed to cut the mustard for the painter. BLUESTONE one of the last ones in but did rather like it even though not sure I knew the material.

    Thanks Izetti and Jackkt

  31. I needed the crossers to get BLUESTONE, although it then reminded me of when I went down the Blue John mine in Derbyshire. Not the same thing of course, but still a sort of stone. Knew AMATI and HOGARTH so no major holdups. BACK was FOI and NARROWEST LOI. 8:00. Thanks Izetti and Jack.

  32. Delighted to successfully complete this one, even if it did take me over an hour and a half! (kind of takes the ‘Quick’ out of ‘Quick Cryptic’).
    I have also only ever associated Bluestone with the Stonehenge bluestones, so that one took me ages to get..

  33. That was hard work although everything was fairly clued and I did have the knowledge required (just, it took a bit of effort to dig AMATI out of my shrinking grey cells). Over my target at 26:37.

    Thanks to Izetti and Jack

  34. Most intolerant = Narrowest … really?! I’d say – Most intolerant = VERY narrow MINDED .. or have I missed something here?

    1. I raised an eyebrow at that as well. Whilst I can see it as an answer, not a term I would generally use.

  35. Disastrous start and a DNF for the 1st time on a Monday for a while. Maybe the fact I didn’t play for a few days numbed me down?
    Bluest one
    were all beyond me, and I got redaction only after a while.
    Is it me or it was borderline a regular and not a quick cryptic?

  36. 22 mins, but dnf as I had to guess for 20ac. I put “Adali” (unconvincingly I may add) , but as I didn’t know the correct answer it was always going to be a bit of a punt. Probably should have tried to stick with the wordplay a bit more.

    Other than that, typical Izetti fare I thought. Remembered “Garth” from a recent puzzle which helped with 21ac.

    FOI – 3dn “Sat”
    LOI – 1ac “Bluestone”
    COD – 2dn “Uneaten” – one of those where I had to look at it a few times to see the actual word once I’d constructed it.

    Thanks as usual!

  37. 4:55, so just under target for me. Fortunately I had all the required GK, although BLUESTONE (my 2LOI) took a while to come to mind. LOI NARROWEST, which also took a bit of rumination. Good stuff. Thank-you Izetti and Jackkt.

  38. 10:53 here. I found this quite approachable: almost all the acrosses went in on my first pass through, which gave plenty of crossers for the downs. Held myself up on 1ac by thinking it would end EST, but fortunately ORNATE put an end to that theory. NHO the bird CHAT, will try to remember that.
    Thanks to Izetti & Jackkt.

  39. Hard work, but very relieved to cross the line successfully. 35 minutes for me.

    I started with LEA, CAPER, TO DO and one or two others down the RHS, but after 10 minutes or so my grid was entirely blank on the LHS. Eventually, I got SAY in the SW corner and I somehow managed to claw my way up from there.

    I had NHO AMATI and had clean forgotten about GARTH, but Izetti’s wordplay was meticulous as ever. My last two in were REDACTION and ENID.

    Many thanks to Izetti and Jack.

  40. I had spent 13 minutes on this when I had to break off to meet a friend in the pub. It seemed easy for the first 10.
    After the pub I did manage to finish but it involved a lot of deep parsing and some crossword experience.
    We recently had GARTH and a big discussion about it, so no real problems there. Decoding BLUESTONE took a while but this is Izetti , and if you follow the cryptic instructions very carefully, you should get there.
    I’m sure I’ve seem Amati advertised in The Times or somewhere recently. Strad wouldn’t fit so this went in under the clear instructions.
    I thought ETCHER was tough.
    My big problem was putting AFTERS at 15d which scuppered a number of clues. That unlocked CARICATURIST which was LOI because of that error.
    I think we need Izetti to keep us on our toes.
    No complaints, but a tough one for beginners.

  41. Needed all the checkers for BLUESTONE, which like others I associate only with Stonehenge!

    Remembered “garth” from moaning about it last time. Guessed that CHAT was a bird (almost anything can be a bird to be fair).

    Marched in stately fashion across the line in 08:17 for 1-and-a-little-bit Ks and a Good Day.

    Many thanks Don and jack.


  42. 27:03

    Blimey, that seemed tough. Considered quitting at 22 minutes with three missing in each of the top left and bottom right. Only when UNEATEN clicked did I figure out BLUESTONE which I’d NHO. LOI NARROWEST.

  43. 29.12 Very slow today. I was in a biffing mood but the clues needed some effort. CHAT, AMATI and LOI BLUESTONE were NHO but, like everything else, were fairly clued. Thanks Jack and Izetti.

  44. A tough 43:46 for me, but at least no DNF. Only posting to show I’m still alive. Glad lots of others hadn’t heard of AMATI and it’s not just me being uncultured. Thanks Izetti and Jack.

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