Times Quick Cryptic 2596 by Oink


Solving time: 12 minutes with the last 2 spent on 16ac for some unknown reason. Otherwise pretty straightforward for me. How did you get on?

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 Infers we’ve cracked this animal disease (5,5)
Anagram [cracked] of INFERS WE’VE. Oink getting his piggy reference out of the way early today!
8 Clear one must be accepted, being under doctor’s care (7)
I (one) contained [must be accepted] by PATENT (clear)
9 Tenth article about sex (5)
THE (article) containing [about] IT (sex). This can mean a tenth part of anything but it’s perhaps best known as one tenth of the annual produce of agriculture etc that used to be taken a tax for the support of the church and clergy. Tithe barns were used for storing the produce.
10 Oozing blood, Republican runs into A&E (4)
R (Republican), then R (runs) contained by [into] A + E. Contrary to popular belief the red liquid oozing from rare meat is not blood but a combination of water and myoglobin, a protein found in muscle tissue. The red colour comes from iron in the myoglobin reacting with oxygen in the air.
11 Shell drivers returning quickly (8)
RAC (drivers – Royal Automobile Club) reversed [returning], APACE (quickly)
13 Reportedly the most important US state (5)
Sounds like [reportedly] “main” [the most important]
14 Wallop Charlie, an aggressive chap (5)
C (Charlie), LOUT (aggressive chap)
16 Policeman’s instruction creating chaos (8)
DI’S (policeman’s – Detective Inspector’s), ORDER (instruction)
17 Old friend finding precious stone (4)
O (old), PAL (friend)
20 A nomadic people making a bouquet (5)
A, ROMA (nomadic people)
21 Sickness in jail mentioned (7)
Hidden [in] {j}AIL MENT{ioned}
22 No whispers about these crafty folk? (10)
Anagram [about] of NO WHISPERS
1 Very nice drink with Her Majesty once (5)
SUP (drink), ER (Her Majesty once). Her Majesty twice actually!
2 Italian team getting goal in stoppage time? (12)
INTER (Italian team), MISSION (goal)
3 Garden delighted English nurses (4)
{delight}ED EN{glish} contains [nurses] the answer
4 Catch husband maybe nearly keeling over (6)
PARTNE{r} (husband maybe) [nearly], reversed [keeling over]
5 The way in for transport (8)
Two meanings
6 Extraordinarily posh retreats somewhere far away (12)
Anagram [extraordinarily] POSH RETREATS
7 Go over to the Russians? That’s a mistake (6)
Two meanings
12 Preach or otherwise chastise (8)
Anagram [otherwise] of  PREACH OR
13 Reckless plan to capture aide-de-camp (6)
MAP (plan) containing [to capture] ADC (aide-de-camp). ADC: An officer acting as a confidential assistant to a senior officer or assisting on a ceremonial occasion.
15 Journalist going north affected to run away (6)
ED (journalist) reversed [going north], CAMP (affected)
18 Many securing university position (5)
LOTS  (many) containing [securing] U (university). Yoga.
19 Weak spot in base, some might say (4)
Sounds like [some might say] “floor” (base)

86 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2596 by Oink”

  1. 14:02. ENTRAP and MADCAP were my favourites. Is there sort of a sickness theme-SWINE FEVER, PATIENT, AILMENT, FLAW, DEFECT, DISORDER? Oh, and “oozing blood” too.

  2. I finished this close to my average time. I also had 16a as my LOI, “order” took a while to come up with for some reason. There was some tricky wordplay here I thought, CARAPACE and ENTRAP, for example, which made the puzzle feel quite satisfying to solve.

  3. Tithing is still a common practice among Christians, farmers or not. My parents did it

  4. I DNF on an Oink on many many clues.

    RIP me, in lieu of donations, flowers gratefully received 🪷

        1. 3 “A”s in alternating positions took up too much of my time today, Zabadak! It nearly drove me bananas.

      1. Exactly my two for a DNF. I don’t equate defect with mistake – more a flaw. Carapace was clever, far too clever for me.

    1. Ditto, I think Oink must have an evil streak in there somewhere. I’ll have the donations, ta.

  5. DNF at 20 mins, not straightforward for me.

    Could not see CARAPACE, with those As in there I thought it might be a musical term for quick. Thought about RAC=drivers, but didn’t pursue.

    An eight letter “chastise” at 8d made a tempting anagram, with checkers E, A, H sitting there. I never did get DISORDER, worked through “disarray”, “distress”.

    I thought 7d would start with red=russians, and mean “go over”, like “redo”.

    And. I got 1a, SWINE FEVER, with its oink-worthy word straightaway.


    1. Hello harrumping Merlin,
      I thought similarly about Russians = red and I used that to try to justify ‘redact’ (something to do with mistakes) as the answer.

  6. Far from ‘pretty straightforward’ for me I’m afraid. I was finally defeated by FLAW leaving me with two pinkies at around the half hour mark. Some of the clues seemed a little more cryptic than usual, eg SHIPOWNERS, STRATOSPHERE, but looking back they all seem fair enough.
    There be a frost down here in Dorset this morning, so it’s a chilly start to the week in more ways than one.

  7. We enjoyed this a lot, well over our 25 target at 31.43 with lots of thinking and staring at long anagrams on paper but very satisfying to finish.
    Also spent too long looking at an anagram of chastise meaning preach!

    LOI also disorder. Thanks Oink and to Jack for the parsing of entrap.

    We don’t know why sex = it, apart from “they’re at it behind the bike sheds” ???

    1. Collins sense 8:
      in British English
      8. informal
      a. sexual intercourse
      b. sex appeal”

      Don’t worry, Merlin will be along in a minute to harrumph about it!

          1. Goodness, it is as high as the 8th meaning? I have not heard the phrase outside crosswordland for decades!

    2. there was a time when sex was quite complex
      Mr Freud then employed words we never had heard of
      Now the seed of sin has been found thanks to Eleanor Glynn
      in one word she defined that indefinable thing
      She called it It and that is what they are using now for that improper fraction of vague attraction that gets the action somehow

  8. The Club site still isn’t working for me so I grumpily ‘solved’ on my phone and was rewarded with an E for an R and an R for an E at the end of DISORDER and ENTRANCE. Annoying. A very fast start – special mention for LOTUS for just being a nice clue – before getting very stuck in the SW. Didn’t know an Aide De Camp was an ADC, so I was pleased when I worked that out – and was hoodwinked into thinking AROMA and DISORDER were going to be harder than they were. Needed the blog to understand ENTRAP – a brilliant clue that was wasted on me. Not all green in 18.

  9. I found this mainly straightforward but with a number of decidedly tricky clues thrown in as well. My struggles were mainly with DISORDER, SHIPOWNERS (I was thinking along the lines of artisans), CARAPACE and DEFECT (which involved a groan when the penny dropped as it’s a bit of a chestnut).
    I particularly enjoyed the two long down clues.
    Started with SUPER and finished with DEFECT in 7.20.
    Thanks to Jack

  10. Took this on in trying circumstances with many distractions and interruptions, and found it a challenge. Got around in 14.49. Some clever clues, and while I biffed ENTRAP I thought (after having it explained to me by Jack) it was quite a tough clue for a QC.

  11. For once I found this more straightforward than most others seem to have, finishing in just under 8 minutes with all parsed and only Shipowners needing the anagrist writing out on paper. A pleasant Monday stroll, I thought, until reading comments here.

    I do hope our porcine setter is not feeling poorly – both the self-reference clue and various others (as noted by curryowen) have a definite air of sickness about them.

    Many thanks Jack for the blog

  12. 13:30 (Death of Edmund of Woodstock – executed by Roger Mortimer. Death of Roger Mortimer – executed by Edward III)

    I had originally put HEEL for 19d, which sort of works, but made 22a impossible to get until I spotted that “no whispers” does not contain an L.

    Thanks Oink and Jack

  13. 5:23. Like others, I didn’t think this was as easy as a typical Oink puzzle. I hesitated for a while over DEFECT as I was trying to make sense of “the Russians”, before I eventually accepted it was just a random country you could defect to. COD to INTERMISSION for the great surface, but I liked ENTRAP too.. Thank-you Oink and Jackkt.

  14. 9.44 and interesting. DEFECT could easily have been lots of things. I had DESERT initially, which I could claim is a mistake if you’re serving military, and was a bit thrown by the presence of Russians, who usually signal reds or some such. REPROACH was a decision about which end of the clue was definition: both PREACH OR and CHASTISE have letters which fit the crossers: if that was intended by Oink than bravo (you sneaky…..!) I liked “crafty people”. I’m not surprised the Quitch is up: there were some tricky turns on this “nursery slope”.

  15. I thought that that was clever (as always with Oink) and relatively gentle up to ENTRAP, which I thought was pretty jolly fiendish! “Think of a synonym, then shorten it and reverse it.” Blimey. I stared at that for a looong time.

    Anyway, the rest of it all clicked at a satisfying pace and I clocked in at 07:44 for a Good Day.

    Many thanks Oink and Jack.


  16. Total derailment here today. Replacement bus service in place going directly to Remedial Class.

  17. I enjoyed this so thanks Oink and jackkt. It was mainly straight forward I agree but Carapace isn’t a very common word and the cluing was very tricky. Put together with mistake for defect ( a bit of a stretch for me) made the top corner hard to complete.

  18. 15:00
    No official time due to interruptions but over 30 on the timer.

    Don’t think it was that hard just too much cold air and Icelandic beer.

    LOI disorder
    COD: liked ailment and shipowners

    1. You are in Iceland? In February? Brave, and very cold – unless you are perhaps volcano-watching. In which case I envy you, and I hope you are not too close/too hot!

      1. The weather is not too cold, it’s windy today so whale watching might be fun 🤢 and I’m self driving the golden circle on Wednesday so expect blizzards! I’m mainly worried about my bank balance..

          1. Just speculating from some exposure to German and Old English is that “go there well and good trip”?

            1. Pretty much, yes! Gangi þér vel is literally “go thee well” but colloquially means “good luck”, and Góða ferð is equally used for “have a good trip, have a good time”

  19. 31 mins…

    I was lucky here, as I spent about 7 mins picking over 11ac “Carapace”. Whilst I managed to work out the “apace” element, the “car” piece ended up being a bit of a guess, mainly because it sounded plausible. For some reason, I couldn’t get “capesante” out of my head, which I think is a kind of scallop thing.

    The rest I enjoyed, although I agree with the sentiment of others that this wasn’t a straightforward Oink.

    FOI – 10ac “Rare”
    LOI – 11ac “Carapace”
    COD – 22ac “Shipowners”

    Thanks as usual!

  20. 23:35 with ENTRAP taking me into the SCC. Found it straightforward once I discovered there was an anagram for SWINE-FEVER, unravelled REPROACH and SHIPOWNERS. In hindsight a lot of it does look simple but it wasn’t at the time.

    Also found myself getting stuck in mental ruts with DECAMP/DEFECT, ENTRAP/ENTRANCE plus trying to put louts for LOTUS with CLOUT just above.

    I might have blamed 3-1/2hrs sleep after watching the Super Bowl until gone 4am but, as I did that last year and seem to recall finishing in about 13mins on that Monday, it’s unlikely to be a decent excuse!

    1. Yes, like you I put u into lots and saw louts, and then thought, wait wasn’t there lout just a few clues ago?

  21. 8:45

    I had been averaging 7m12s for Oink so I’d say that this was slightly harder than their usual offerings. My time today though is what I’d expect for a Snitch of around 100. Poor start though with just four acrosses from the first pass – did plenty of jumping around picking off the easier answers. Still had to write out the grist for SHIPOWNERS. LOI as for Jack and others was DISORDER which didn’t hurry to the front of my mind.

    Thanks Oink and Jack

  22. 15:36. Same comments as many others about the difficulty level of this one. Yes, ENTRAP was hard and I was delayed at the end with DEFECT which has caught me out before so I should have seen it earlier. I liked the ‘crafty folk?’ at 22a.

    Thanks to Oink and Jack

  23. Very pleased to cross the line in 24 minutes. A fast time for me, but I didn’t find it easy.
    I was stuck at the end with _E___T (7d) and _A_A_A__ (11a). Then I thought I might have solved 7d with ‘redact’, but that just presented me with _A_A_A_A at 11a. Fortunately DEFECT popped into my head just in time, as I was contemplating throwing the towel in early.

    Thanks to Oink and Jack.

    P.S. Despite _A_A_A_A looking totally impossible, I did think of MARACANA (the football stadium in Brazil) and YATATATA, as in Boom Oo Yatta-ta-ta (the ditty by Morecambe and Wise).
    Can anyone think of anything else?

    1. Surely there must be a word starting with Some Random consonant that rhymes with Alabama?

    2. Chambers has 13 words fitting that pattern, with perhaps only MAHARAJA suitable for a QC. Other not-entirely-obscure offerings are: CARACARA (A name for several American carrion-eating birds of prey), KATAKANA (One of the two syllabic writing systems in Japanese), MAHAYANA (The most widespread form of Buddhism), and RAMAYANA (The Sanskrit epic of Rama). Outside of the dictionary, KALAMATA might be known by some – the Greek city giving its name to a variety of olive.

  24. I agree with most that this was tougher than usual, certainly from Oink. I was all the way down to 17ac before finding an answer, and thereafter was dodging around all over the place. I was certain that I would finish way outside target, but I managed to speed up towards the end and eventually finished in 9.35. Like quite a few others my LOI was DISORDER, which probably took me nearly a minute to solve.

  25. It may be my accent but I really don’t hear flaw and floor being particularly close.

    I biffed entrap and carapace. My brain rarely goes to RAC for drivers. Lotus made me smile and I liked the crafty folk.

    Thanks Oink and Jack for the explanations

    1. Absolutely perfect homophones in my very much non-rhotic accent. At least Oink put “some might say”, which I think lets him off the hook.

    2. What accent do you have? They sound identical to me too.

      You should have seen my face when I was told that podcast rhymes with broadcast in many American accents, hence the name. I couldnt even try to make them sound similar.

      1. A Scots one. I pronounce flaw with a one vowel sound (law) and floor with another one (low) and a hint of a second syllable for the r. Once I read the blog I understood it but while solving, the link just didn’t cross my mind.

  26. Slowish to see that 2 particular clues were anagrams – REPROACH and SHIPOWNERS, and for the latter, I was looking for some kind of artisan until I saw the light.

    Otherwise, pretty straightforward for me.


  27. Failed to parse 13d MADCAP, but just weighed the coincident letters and decided not to bother. Silly of me as there is no point in crosswords if I use that logic. Actually I had forgot about it and coming here suddenly spotted the blanks and filled them in.
    22a SHIPOWNERS needed writing down but with SHIP as a gimme the OWNERS leapt out.
    Was unconvinced by 5d ENTRANCE but it’s fine, just a little bit weak.

  28. I thought most of this was fairly straightforward, but there were certainly a few clues where past experience was a great help – 5d Entrance being a good example. I was lucky in that Carapace rang a faint bell from somewhere, but it was still a fingers crossed answer. No such luck with loi Aroma, where I spent far too long trying to think of alternatives to posy, resulting in a window seat near the driver finish. CoD to 4d, Entrap, for the wonderful parsing. Invariant

  29. Finished all correct after a long struggle. Pity I didn’t notice Oink’s name sooner or I’d have solved SWINE FEVER more quickly. As it was I had to start at the bottom and crawl round the grid.. LOI ENTRAP, unparsed -I had been trying to fit an H in somewhere. POI CARAPACE.
    Liked MADCAP, AROMA, LOTUS, REPROACH, CLOUT, DISORDER, among others. Lots of double definitions today. Was confused about Nurses but biffed EDEN.
    Thanks vm, Jack.

  30. DNF as didn’t think of CARAPACE at all. Biffed ENTRAP, RARE. Not easy at all – DISORDER, TITHE, AROMA all took a while.

  31. I liked this one. 26.47. Though being a comparatively new (or to be honest, slow) entrant to things cryptic, I tried diligently (and totally erroneously) to reinvent 22A, putting ‘sh…s’ (grabbing at whisper) around ‘-p-w-er’.. then wondering long about handicrafts…before the presence of ‘no’ before whispers put paid to all.
    And accents? Am an antiopodean long in the UK… apparently I still say ‘Helloi’.
    I pointed a car out to a small boy, who looked at me strangely, before commenting that he could not see a cow.

  32. A bit trickier than a typical Oink. Biffed then parsed ENTRAP (clever wordplay and good surface). Lazy ‘locus’ for LOTUS but luckily spotted early on. Got the ‘inter’ part but took a while to see the ‘mission’ bit in INTERMISSION. Rather embarrassingly the only one I couldn’t parse was EDEN – why do I often miss a hidden! COD ENTRAP, but also liked REPROACH as it took a while for me to spot the definition. Many thanks Jack and Oink.

  33. I found it harder than usual,for some reason struggling with FLAW and DISORDER , which I kicked myself about,so a bit longer than usual

  34. Another here who found this one tricky.

    I completed it unaided, but DECAMP and SHIPOWNERS were my last solves.

    I entered both with some hesitancy as I couldn’t think why camp would mean affect, and I really don’t see how shipowners would be “crafty”.

    Ask Pumpa:Nil

    My verdict: 😵‍💫
    Pumpa’s verdict: Gone fishing!

      1. It hit me a little while after posting that.

        Ships are crafts and a shipowner could be described as a craft lover (a “crafty”).

  35. 12.54 This was a nice challenge. Much of the time was spent in the NE where nothing came easily. DISORDER was LOI, though it went straight in when I came back to it. Thanks Jack and Oink.

  36. I entered this puzzle through the garden, then disentagled the top row danglers until SWINE FEVER became apparent. INTER arrived long before the MISSION. ENTRANCE gave me the second A in 11a and somehow APACE materialised before my eyes. I then stuck the CAR in reverse and spotted the drivers. I had to write out the anagrist for STRATOSPHERE and REPROACH, with the latter showing me my typo in DISOEDER. LOI, SHIPOWNERS, dropped in with a large clang when the crossers were in place. 9:16. Thanks Oink and Jack.

  37. 13:27, which I thought was quite slow for an Oink, until I read all the comments. I was very tired after a shocking night’s sleep and an early start, so didn’t really try too hard but thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Ticks next to many, inc SWINE FEVER, OPAL, INTERMISSION, REPROACH, and LOTUS.
    FOI Swine fever LOI Entrap COD Stratosphere
    Many thanks Oink and Jack.

    I’m still on the brink of fury following Saturday’s typo!

  38. Not that easy. It took me 19 minutes and I couldn’t parse EDEN, having missed the hidden yet again. I had to write out most of the anagrams which takes time especially as I was using the wrong anagrist at 12dn.

    FOI – 1ac SWINE FEVER (one of the anagrams which I didn’t have to write out)
    LOI – 11ac CARAPACE (lucky to get this given the uninspiring nature of the crossers)
    COD – liked 4dn ENTRAP for its cleverness and 2dn INTERMISSION for the surface

    Thanks to setter and blogger

  39. 8.16 with a good minute on DEFECT wanting it to start RED or be DESERT. Like the rest of the puzzle – tricky, but scrupulously fair.


    Thanks all

  40. 12:08, with FLAW my LOI. I’d got as far as opening Chambers and typing ?L?W in before I spotted it, so almost a technical DNF.

    Thanks to Jackkt and Oink.

  41. Eventually saw DISORDER and got SHIPOWNERS once I’d exhausted all crafts like knitting etc.!

  42. Slowish start, then a steady solve. One of us knew carapace, entrap went in unparsed. Abt 30m which is OK for us. Thanks Oink for an interesting puzzle.

  43. 36:48

    A complete nightmare. Got hopelessly stuck in the bottom with last 3 DISORDER, DECAMP and LOI SHIPOWNERS taking over 15 minutes.

  44. 11:05, so quite a bit better than average for us. Somewhat slow getting RARE but LOI ENTRAP was entered with crossed fingers as we couldn’t quite see how it worked until reviewing afterwards.

  45. Look away now…

    My capacity to self-destruct knows no bounds. I finished this in 12 minutes, only to find that I had a DNF as I put ALOHA for AROMA (in my addled brain, I was thinking of bouquet as some kind of Hawaiian garland – yes, I know now that it’s LEI).

    The fact that I completed the rest of the puzzle in a decent time is of absolutely no consolation (please don’t tell me that it is, because it really isn’t and you will not convince me otherwise).

    A DNF is a DNF, whatever the circumstances, and that is yet another week blown. My ability to find new ways to make a mess of the QC is exceptional. Not looking forward to tomorrow. I fear another bad week ahead.

    Thanks for the blog Jackkt.


    PS Needless to say, failed to finish the Quintagram.

  46. Firmly in the “not straightforward” club. Picked up, put down, picked up this one all day. If it weren’t for Collins I would still be floundering!!!

  47. IMO Oink is getting craftier as time goes by. I thought this had many amusing twists and turns that made for a long but satisfying solve in between tackling other jobs over this late afternoon and evening. I intuited 4d as Entrap early on but failed to parse it – but it fitted, so went in… thx for the explanation!
    FOI 1a Swine Fever
    LOI 10a Rare
    COD – several but will plump for 18d Lotus

    1. Homophones cannot possibly cope with every variation on pronunciation. The setter has recognised this at 19dn by adding ‘some might say’ – not that he should have needed to in my view as it’s a tacit understanding between setter and solver that some leeway has to be allowed.

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