Times Quick Cryptic 2571 by Juno

FYI following some discussion last week on levels of difficulty for Saturday QCs, we had a late post to last Saturday’s blog from the setter (Wurm) saying that it wasn’t written specifically to be a Saturday puzzle.
So to Juno’s puzzle today. It didn’t take me to the history reference section like last week’s and I can’t see too much GR or complexity but I still took 12 minutes. I thought there was a slight USA flavour but not enough to be a theme.

Definitions are underlined in bold.

1 Popular custom, British into beer: fine for residents! (11)
INHABITABLE – popular (IN), custom (HABIT), British (B) inside beer (ALE).
8 Offend again perhaps, producing plant extract (5)
RESIN – offend again (RE-SIN).
9 Fabulous creature seen in tunic or nightgown (7)
UNICORN – seen in t(UNIC OR N)ightgown.
10 Gas outage every so often set back big house abroad (7)
CHATEAU – gas (CHAT) then o(U)t(A)g(E) set backwards.
11 Cause trouble with German outside team (3,2)
MIX IT – with in German (MIT) outside team (XI).
13 Fabric imposing huge weight on bed (6)
COTTON – huge weight (TON) on bed (COT).
15 Function to take hours in place of worship (6)
SHRINE – function (SINE) to include hours (HR).
18 Resident abroad when returning quietly stopping taxes mostly (5)
EXPAT – when returning (all backwards) of quietly (P) inside taxes mostly (TAXE)s.
20 Stage finales for popular stories (7)
LEGENDS – stage (LEG), finales (ENDS).
22 One with large bill after ruining a nice LP (7)
PELICAN – anagram (after running) of A NICE LP. Watched pelicans diving for fish off Caracas many years ago.
23 Method of convalescing perhaps organised by doctor (1,3,1)
R AND R – organised (RAN) by doctor (DR).
24 Large drink put out for cheat (6-5)
DOUBLE-CROSS – large drink (DOUBLE), put out (CROSS).
1 Second coffee? (7)
INSTANT – a double definition or is ‘coffee?’ a cryptic hint?
2 Joint within generally not wholly visible (5)
HINGE – not wholly visible in wit(HIN GE)nerally.
3 Old conspirator, very dry, on our side (6)
BRUTUS – yes – him too. Very dry (BRUT) our side (US).
4 Journey mostly at universal speed, leading to success (7)
TRIUMPH – journey mostly (TRI)p, universal (U), speed (MPH). I remember the Triumph Trident being my dream bike as a lad when all I could afford were smaller, cheaper Japanese models.
5 Trains once operating cross part of New York (5)
BRONX – trains once (BR British Rail), operating (ON), cross (X).
6 We go down, ultimately, for a very long time (3)
EON – w(E) g(O) dow(N).
7 Means to travel, etc, somehow with Cyril (8)
TRICYCLE – anagram (somehow) of ETC CYRIL.
12 Brief indulgence certainly something highly valued (8)
TREASURE – brief indulgence (TREA)t, certainly (SURE). Certain/ly? It works of you allow ‘it sure/certainly was’.
14 Capitol out of sight (7)
OPTICAL – anagram (out) of CAPITOL.
16 Prize money, not the first, that batsman has (7)
INNINGS – prize money, not the first – w(INNINGS).
17 Treatment centre using chlorine in one case primarily (6)
CLINIC – chlorine (CL), in (IN), one (I), (C)ase.
19 Sauce turned up with gold rice dish (5)
PILAU – sauce as in cheek (LIP) turned upwards with gold (AU).
21 Actress’s old boast recalled (5)
GARBO – old (O) and boast (BRAG) backwards.
22 Supplier of material for writing home (3)
PAD – double definition.


85 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2571 by Juno”

  1. Really liked this one, CHATEAU foxed me (gas=chat new to me) but I had enough letters to make it my LOI. Great start to the weekend.

  2. I found this to be the easiest QC I have ever seen and consequently not that much, for me at least.

    I really didn’t have to think at all—it was just a question of reading the clue and popping in the answer—until the bottom right but even then it was all very straightforward. Rather unsatisfying.

  3. I’d forgotten about the Saturday QC when bemoaning my poor week! All green 16 – at least it would have been if I’d been able to get into the Club (“bad request” on my Chromebook- IT advice gratefully received.) Loved ‘fine for residents’ when it finally clicked, and needed both U’s before BRUTUS appeared – and I remembered (again) what ‘brut’ means on Champagne. Had ‘pen’ for PAD for a while – a pen supplies ink and animals live in them, before DOUBLE CROSS cleared that up. The rest of my day looks like dog walk, away football match for daughter, sleep on the sofa, knock up some dinner – ideal.

  4. Did anyone else put in PEN rather than PAD?
    Otherwise only SHRINE held me up and I finished in 12 minutes.

    1. Yes I initially put in PEN but couldn’t get a word starting with N for 24 across. My last one in was also shrine!

  5. Top to bottom solve with no real hold ups, apart from the parsing of BRONX where I’d forgotten the charms of British Rail!
    Started with INHABITABLE and finished with PAD in 6.11
    Thanks to Chris and Juno

  6. Seems like my experience was opposite others so far, finding this very challenging, giving up after 50 minutes with CHATEAU and BRUTUS unsolved. I only managed to get BRONX in MIX IT after a very very long think, having NHO MIX IT as an expression before.
    I just couldn’t find the right pattern of letters to keep and reversals to find CHATEAU (never even thought gas=chat) and NHO BRUTUS as a conspirator, so they were likely to have always been beyond me. I tried to think of variations of CHALET that might include an extra letter but nothing came to mind.
    It’s a bit sobering to think these Saturday QCs haven’t been set specifically, I’ve found them both very challenging! Maybe it’s the weekend mindset kicking in!

    1. “Et tu Brute?” … Julius Caesar, I believe but not entirely sure as never studied any of it.

      Good perseverance to keep going at it for 50mins, david 👍

    2. Brutus was Julius Caesar’s friend, but was one of the conspirators who assassinated him because he, Caesar, had become too powerful and kinglike. According to Shakespeare, with his dying breath Caesar gasped ‘Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar.’
      (Yes, overlapping post, I did study Julius Caesar!)

  7. 9 minutes for this one.

    Most of Juno’s 19 previous puzzles had something extra going on, a Nina, a theme, or a letter pattern for example, so there’s more than a fair chance there’s something here too, but I can’t see it.

  8. 6.50

    I also wanted PEN (quills come from geese, anyone?) but it didn’t smell right. Held up by not knowing/remembering HR for hours and not seeing the chestnutty INNINGS straightaway.

    Lovely to have these on a Sat. Thanks Chris and Juno

  9. Emailed the puzzle to myself and printed it out, no problem.
    Quite fast, then slow on return to INHABITABLE, despite solving BRUTUS. LOI SHRINE, as Sine is not the sort of word that springs into my unmathematical mind.
    Biffed CHATEAU. Liked PELICAN. With DOUBLE CROSS that gave me PAD, though not sure why we need ‘supplier of’.
    Anyway, I enjoyed this QC, so thanks all esp Chris.

    1. I suppose the pad contains the paper to write on – rather than writing on the pad itself.

  10. Been a tough week so that was welcome relief. Went along the top then back anticlockwise with answers going in almost immediately.

    Many of the answers became obvious once I had a checker or two e.g. OPTICAL, TREASURE, BRONX, R-AND-R yet eluded me on first read. I felt there was enough help in the clues to get some quickly and build them up.

    Ended up at 11:31 with BRUTUS, CHATEAU, INHABITABLE where I had to apply some thinking time and would likely have been a minute quicker if I hadn’t mistyped INSTnaT.

    Personally I can say “Saturdays are getting easier” !

      1. You’ve arrived late – probably worth a 29 second headstart!

        Think you’re 8-up with 302 to play. The commentators are asking whether it’ll all be over by July. The analytics department seem to think I may make it to August.

        1. I don’t think those so-called “experts” have taken into account my usual April swoon/slump or my annual August/September regression. I feel the race will definitely be live well into December!

          1. By the way, further to question of few weeks ago. I ran hills yesterday and then slept badly struggling to drop off and waking early. And then somewhat irritatable/unfocused today. All of which suggests a little bit of CNS fatigue from the session. But all irrelevant to how I did on the crossword.

  11. A very nice puzzle, 9 minutes, nothing like as stretching as last week’s so maybe the jury is out on “Saturday QCs will be more difficult”. Several of the clues seemed to need multi-stage constructing, but none the worse for that and I liked the variety of cluing devices Juno has used.

    I stretched my previous “all five QCs done in an hour” target to “all six done in 75 minutes” but this week has been good and I end on 55 for 6. Which looks like a typical score for the England cricket team …

    Many thanks Chris for continuing to provide our Saturday blogs

  12. 5:19

    Blasted through this with only hold-ups being wondering how gas=CHAT (doh!) and SHRINE containing HR rather than just H. BRUTUS well known from English Lit at school. Failed to spot any Juno nina but then again, I rarely do!

    Thanks Juno and Chris

  13. SO! I am very pleased at a Saturday Quick Cryptic. BUT,where within the printed paper is the blessed thing please? Is it me? am I being a bit thick?

      1. But you can (in fact for the pen and paper brigade you have to) print it off from the web version of the paper.

        1. So if you open the on-line Times QC puzzle you click on the 3 black bars, above puzzle top right, you have an option to email the puzzle to yourself and then print.

  14. Being defeated by BRUTUS was like a dagger between the shoulder blades, especially after I’d successfully completed all other clues in fairly quick time. Doh!
    An enjoyable puzzle though, even if not as simple as AgileJames found it.
    See you on Monday with my metaphorical pencil sharpened for another round of QCs.

  15. Just under 10 minutes. Not as difficult as last week’s but still I was slow to get INHABITABLE and some, like CHATEAU and BRONX, needed a bit of thought to parse correctly. I could see a DOUBLE CROSS in MIX IT / BRONX and EXPAT but nothing else obvious in the grid.

    Her most famous utterance may not have been a ‘boast’ but favourite was the surface for GARBO.

    Thanks to Chris and Juno

  16. 16.12. I like the new Saturday QC. Today was an enjoyable mental workout after the physical exertion of Parkrun (32.32 best time of the year so far).

    1. Did you beat your Parkrun time? That makes a new Saturday challenge. QC + 5K in less than one hour.

      1. What a great challenge for a Saturday! It would need to be a very tricky QC to be slower than my parkrun. Todays combined time 42 minutes.

      2. As a 67 year old asthmatic with one and a half lungs, and a more or less permanent resident of the SCC, I hope we can work out some sort of handicap system! 55:20 for me today.

    2. Well done. Still awaiting results here but my watch clocked 32:08 which will also be my best time this year.

      1. We had a special not-Saturday Parkrun on 1 January. I was initially very happy to get the email saying ” Congratulations on your fastest time this year.”, but then I thought about what it meant.

        1. Yes, today was only my second PR of the year so it’s not a huge achievement. Actual time 32:08 so I absolutely thrashed you 🤣

          1. I came first at Moors Valley once! It was 50mph winds which, along with there being a club race on the Sunday, meant none of the decent runners turned up 🤣 A small child went racing off the line and I passed him about a kilometre later as he stood panting, hands on knees by the side of the trail.

            At just under 20mins, it’s the slowest winning time ever. Apart from the week someone moved the cone on the out and back and all the fast lads ran all the way up to the road before turning round!

            34:18 for the QC + 5K challenge for me today.

            1. 20 minutes? Respect! My PB is 27:30. I was at Moors Valley today. A very good turn out and chilly.

              1. Thank-you. I recall it was always very crowded in first section at MV – let’s hope you can rebuild to PB form 👍

              2. Well done, ITTT! 27:30 is a good time for someone with fewer than the requisite number of lungs. MVCP is a great place for running, orienteering and just generally getting out into the woods.

                By the way, have you ever pondered the fact that the average (mean) number of lungs/legs/arms/eyes etc across the human race is <2?

                1. It’s a great statistic that allows you to prove in a population 99.999% can be above average

      1. Golden Raspberry, awarded to a clue one thinks is seriously below par. Coined by Louisa Janey once of this parish.

  17. 5:11. A bit of a slow start but once I got going nothing much held me up. LOI PAD just because it was the only one left. COD to OPTICAL for the surface. If there is a theme or Nina I can’t see it. Thank-you Juno and Chris.

  18. I enjoyed this mostly, despite a DNF after 28 mins. As usual, most went in easily but was defeated by MIXIT (NHO), TRICYCLE (should have seen it) and HABIT in UNINHABITABLE (should have seen that too).

    Biffed CHATEAU but couldn’t parse. My crossword journey continues…

    Happy Saturday all! ❤️

  19. 37 mins…

    I print off the Saturday QC and am going to blame the different font and layout for why I keep struggling 😀.

    I found this on the trickier side and had to delve into the bottom half to get going. Only query was whether Pilau was a type of rice or an actual dish, but I’m probably being pedantic (and wrong).

    FOI – 6dn “Eon”
    LOI – 3dn “Brutus”
    COD – 10ac “Chateau”

    Thanks as usual!

        1. I print from the crossword club – that’s where I have to look at the phone in landscape for the print option to magically appear.

          1. When I turn it to landscape, nothing happens – it stays in portrait mode (and I don’t have portrait lock on).

            Do you have an iPhone or Android?

  20. 8:33, a simple clockwise solve with LOI HINGE.

    With QC now being on the same day as Parkrun, I nearby challenge Kestrel a new Saturday biathlon : QC + 5K. What’s the best time?

    MIX IT is an odd expression, pretty obscure. “Mix it up” is more common, but that just means making a change.

    Gas=chat is pretty old fashioned, can any of us imagine children using it?


  21. 9:41 (birth of Brian Boru, high King of Ireland )

    No major hold ups. Needed the checkers to see INSTANT, having previously run through all the types of coffee I thought I knew without spotting it. Did not parse CHATEAU. LOI was R AND R.

    Thanks Juno and Chris

  22. 13:41
    I thought I was going to take longer than that as I was stuck on several clues at the end: chateau (hard for QC), shrine, brutus (couldn’t get cru out of my mind) and LOI inhabitable.
    Couldn’t really see put out for cross.
    Liked optical and brutus, COD resin.

  23. Got very stuck on SHRINE; I don’t remember seeing HR for “hours” before. Yet another thing to write down on the list of things I then won’t remember. Otherwise would have been very fast. Fun puzzle, some lovely surfaces. 07:30.

    Many thanks Juno and Chris.


  24. 13:05

    How splendid! A Saturday QC. I’ve only just come across this and a nice gentle one to start. A well pitched puzzle. Not too easy but nothing obscure. The PELICAN pun was used in Blackadder III I believe. LOI OPTICAL.

      1. No, I believe its the one with Miranda Richardson as a highwayman. They’re all excellent though.

  25. From FOI, INHABITABLE to LOI, OPTICAL, with SHRINE causing a furrowed brow for a while, in 8:16. Thanks Juno and Chris.

  26. 11:59. Liked SHRINE, TRIUMPH, RANDR, and BRONX most. Don’t recall knowing MIX IT by itself, only MIX IT up as Merlin mentioned.

  27. Well, at least I knew how to print it off this week, but muttering insults under the breath does not make for a relaxing solve. Despite that, it was a decent enough start, though somewhat slowed by trying to parse the hidden Hinge. . . I also lost time thinking loi Shrine was going to involve hyperbolic functions, which would probably have been a first for the QC (the function, not me losing time), and only goes to show the odd way I approach this game. Nudged into the SCC as a consequence, and found a small queue forming, but then it is a Saturday service 😉. Invariant

  28. Not a bad end to the week as I finished in 9:40 – apart from one annoying slip, it’s been a much better than last week.
    I looked for a nina but couldn’t find one! It’ll probably be some punk band I’ve never heard of or a lesser known Dickens story, or possibly Juno’s neighbours’ cats 😂 Juno is another of RR’s identities, I think – could Richard and Rogan be hiding at 23a?
    It was quite ironic that after we had a crossword about a Half Man Half Biscuit album (a band I was not aware of), I kept seeing their name over the following few weeks. There’s no doubt that these crosswords can expand your GK!
    There were some fun surfaces here today – I liked UNICORN, LEGENDS and BRONX a lot.
    FOI Resin LOI Shrine COD Pelican
    Thanks Juno and Chris

    1. New GK is always a pleasure. Tricky to remember it later though. One exception for me was ‘peregrination’ – still remembered many years after being tripped up by it in Crosswordland.

      1. I couldn’t agree more about retaining the new GK – I wonder if there just isn’t the room when your brain is full of old stuff 😅

    2. Hello Penny,
      You will almost certainly have seen references to HMHB on and off over the years, but it’s just that it took something specific for you to start noticing those references. I have a book entitled Why Do Buses Always Come In Threes?, which explores the (mathematical) reasoning behind these strange things.

      1. You’re absolutely right, of course. When we bought our Honda Jazz early 12 years ago (still got it), I’d never really noticed them before. Since then I see them everywhere!
        I’ll probably see lots of references to Karnataka all over the place from now on too 😅

  29. Had a lot of fun with this, although I thought at first “this is going really fast” only to end up at nearly 32 minutes (my current par is 25 minutes).

    Like others I had PEN before I got PAD. NHO “gas” for “chat” and couldn’t see “stage” for “leg”, but of course had ENDS and it had to be LEGENDS.

    First time ever, I put in 1A without hesitation. Hurrah.

  30. Very enjoyable, and a relief that it was pitched at just about the right level (the Goldilocks level?) for a QC, IMHO. 28 minutes for me.

    I started with TRICYCLE, BRONX and EON and then just followed the checkers around the grid as they appeared. My favourite clues were TRIUMPH and DOUBLE-CROSS, and my last three in were SHRINE (even as a mathematician I nearly missed this one), DOUBLE-CROSS and PAD.

    Many thanks to Juno and Chris.

  31. I found this a difficult but enjoyable puzzle hence a later post.

    I had lots of PDMs and learnt the meaning of Capitol – strange that it had never registered as I have enjoyed a visit to Capitol Hill.

    In discussing the puzzle with a younger relative my attention was drawn to the word BATSMAN and why the gender-neutral word BATTER, as used by many cricket commentators, was not used?

    On Thursday David suggested that gendered derogatory words should not be used in crosswords. Can I suggested gendered words are not used unless material to the clue, which BATSMAN is not in this case? Whilst we’re at it can we also have a moratorium on all the many unnecessary words that have in the past been associated with people with mental illnesses or limited mental capacity.

    Use of all such terms promotes their legitimacy and usage. Does the Times Style Guide have anything to say on the matter?

    I was interested in Tina’s comment that the NYT had actively tried to find more female setters and sourced crosswords from the public. This is a good idea but I must also say that I think our current setters do a great job generally. I also thought back to Harry Wallop’s article of the same day advocating that leaders take time to talk to younger colleagues.

    Let’s challenge ourselves to listen to other views and bring our great pastime into the modern era.

    Thanks Juno and Chris

    1. I agree entirely. I think I made the same point about “batter” vs “batsman” when the latter appeared in a puzzle when I was on blogger duty.

  32. 13:26 here, pleased to be inside my 15:00 target with no errors for – I think – only the second time this week. Or, looking at it the other way, I now have a 100% record for this new week!

    Thanks to Juno and Chris.

  33. Gosh, now four really nice puzzles on the trot. Thanks for helping with the parsing of a couple. No problem with ‘mix(ing) it’ as it was quite familiar. After 2d, I was looking for Bracket to appear – maybe soon…

  34. 10.58, SHRINE holding things up at the end because of the aforementioned hours = HR thing. INNINGS also took much longer than it should, I was trying to solve a much more complicated clue. I liked that OPTICAL is an anagram of capitol. Thanks Juno and Chris.

  35. In the spirit of being a day late for everything since January 1st, I was delighted to end the week with a quick cryptic on Sunday.
    Very enjoyable with all resolved in no particular order and an overnight finish.
    After a week of house plumbing woes I will indulge with a dog walk, driving range, swim, and some cookery before finding the mental discipline to organise and file a mountain of papers, resisting sons’ exhortation to go 100% digital. Can’t teach an old dog comes to mind.

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