Times Quick Cryptic 2620 by Mara

Today we mark the 10th anniversary of the first Quick Cryptic puzzle published by The Times on Monday 10th March 2014. I had the honour of blogging that puzzle set by Des, and I’m pleased to find myself on duty again for this one by Mara. Today also coincides with my own milestone of 300 QC blogs so I’m marking that occasion too.

Judging by the huge increase in activity at TfTT over the past 10 years I think The Times can be assured that the new puzzle format has been a resounding success, introducing many more people to the joys of cryptic puzzles, and a large number of these have gone on to become accomplished solvers of the world famous 15×15 puzzle. This was always one of the stated aims, but those who prefer to enjoy the QC in its own right are also catered for and are a welcome new addition to the growing TfTT community. We’ve come a long way since this was simply a discussion forum for a very small number of elite solvers.

As for today’s puzzle, I was pleased to finish it in 9 minutes, just within the 10 minutes that was my QC target for most of the past 10 years before I began to allow myself a little longer in order to enjoy the scenery. This is a welcome improvement on the 30 minutes I needed to complete Quick Cryptic #1, although I had the excuse on that first day that the enumerations in the clues didn’t originally indicate hyphenated or multi-word answers, which was something of a handicap. The completed grid for that puzzle is reproduced above my intro and the keen-eyed may spot that it contains ‘GREETINGS, THE EDITOR’ at the top, and ‘NEW CROSSWORD’ at the bottom. I was hoping for something special in today’s grid to mark the occasion, but  sadly it was not to be.

Finally, many thanks to The Times and their team of  setters for giving us this daily treat and to all TfTT bloggers and contributors for making the past 10 years so enjoyable.

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 Soup re-created innermost peace in the end (10)
Anagram [re-created] of INNERMOST, {peac}E [in the end]
7 Right limb, that thing (5)
LEG (limb), IT (that thing). I was a little surprised to find that some usages of of this word date back to the 19th century.
8 Very little or slightly drunk (6)
Two meanings
10 Fool, equally stupid originally (3)
AS (equally), S{tupid} [originally]
12 Ancient Hebrew I realise needs translation, script finally nailed (9)
{scrip}T [finally] contained [nailed] by anagram [translation] of I REALISE
13 Old stove, bright colour (6)
O (old), RANGE (stove)
14 Danger, most extreme characters going in with force (6)
AZ (most extreme characters) contained by [going in] HARD (with force)
17 Idle, without designated period to work? (9)
SHIFT-LESS (without designated period to work)
19 Initials on entry visa erased the day before (3)
E{ntry} + V{isa} + E{rased} [initials on…]
20 Little wind for walk in the park? (6)
Two meanings, the second re something that’s easy-peasy
21 Dark close, light’s ending (5)
NIGH (close), {ligh}T [‘s ending]
23 Jot about one page for a term in grammar (10)
PARTICLE (jot) containing [about] I (one) + P (page)
1 Table mat so, redesigned for breakfast item (5,5)
Anagram [redesigned] of TABLE MAT SO. This is named after the Australian opera singer Dame Nellie whose real surname was Mitchell, but she took the stage name Melba from her home city of Melbourne. Courtesy of Wikipedia I can advise that her name is associated with four foods, all of which were created in her honour by the French chef Auguste Escoffier: Peach Melba, a dessert made of peaches, raspberry sauce, and vanilla ice cream; Melba sauce, a sweet purée of raspberries and red currant; Melba toast, a crisp dry toast; Melba Garniture, chicken, truffles and mushrooms stuffed into tomatoes with velouté sauce.
2 Harass   useless horse (3)
Two meanings. I was a little surprised by ‘useless horse’ but that derogatory meaning is to be found amongst the various dictionary definitions of ‘nag’ if one digs deep enough.
3 Legislative session, smart hosting it (7)
STING (smart) containing [hosting] IT
4 Leave work permanently and go to bed (6)
Two meanings
5 First of gashes in uncovered elbow (5)
G{ashes} [first of…] contained by [in] NUDE (uncovered)
6 Last amulet, it has broken (8)
Anagram [broken] of AMULET IT
9 Late, recent changes for the bull, say? (4,6)
DEAD (late), Anagram [changes] of RECENT
11 European health resort over sewer passed up (8)
SPA (health resort), then DRAIN (sewer) reversed [passed up]
15 Poisoner nicer, as reformed (7)
Anagram [reformed] of NICER AS. ‘A person or thing that poisons’ is in SOED.
16 Express remorse when locked up again? (6)
RE-PENT (locked up again)
18 Article cheers character from Greece (5)
THE (article), TA (cheers)
22 Hole in stocking a problem (3)
Hidden [in] {stockin}G A P{roblem}

103 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2620 by Mara”

  1. 10:52. I had barge for NUDGE until I solved MINESTRONE! Congratulations on your 300th- hope you continue with many more-I’ve certainly learned a lot not only from your blogs but also from specific corrections and suggestions you have addressed to me.

  2. I biffed MINESTRONE, trusting that the anagrist was all there. Didn’t care much for 4d and 20ac; omit the ‘and’ and ‘for’ respectively, and you have four non-cryptic definitions. 5:48.

      1. Just that eg ‘leave work permanently’ is a non-cryptic def of ‘retire’, as is ‘go to bed’, and there’s nothing cryptic in the combination of the two defs. ‘Harass’ at least is in construction with ‘useless horse’, so the phrase has a (misleading) possible meaning outside of the 2 defs. Maybe there are dozens of ‘breeze’-type clues and I’ve just not noticed, no doubt; just that this time I did. For what it’s worth.

        1. Thanks, I thought that was what you were saying, but I can’t see a problem in the examples given because almost every day we have clues consisting of two straight definitions with no cryptic element. We only complain about these if the two meanings are the same.

          At 4dn ‘leave work permanently’ and ‘go to bed’ are two distinct actions but each can define RETIRE.

          The clue to BREEZE at 20ac works similarly in that there are two distinct definitions – the second one (‘walk in the park’) being a little more interesting because it’s a figurative expression.

          I can see one might argue that having two clues of this type (possibly three if we include NAG) is excessive – that’s down to personal taste and expectations – but I can’t see that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with any of the examples taken in isolation.

          1. I’m not sure I understand the objection. Double definitions are a staple clue type and it’s not necessary for one of them to be cryptic. The late Rotter had a rule of thumb that a two word clue was most likely to be a double definition, although I don’t remember seeing one for a while.

            1. I think Kevin’s point, with which I have some sympathy, is that a good double-definition clue has a surface reading which suggests something else altogether. These ones don’t really have that quality. They’re more in the style of a concise crossword, where two definitions are baldly stated.

              Thus in today’s Concise we have “Elaborate, ornate” and “lie, untruth”. 4d is quite close to that in style.

              1. I take the point, but I seem to spend half my time on QC blog discussions these days reading about how the clues are too difficult, so what’s a setter to do?

                There’s certainly nothing unusual about this type of clue at this level and higher. Here are two examples from today’s Guardian puzzle -the main one, not the Quick cryptic:

                Day off for witches meeting? (7)
                Make fast, travel free (5)

                Please don’t quote the answers here.

  3. In my humble opinion this was a QC well worthy of the name to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
    I just avoided the SCC at about 19 minutes, which is not unusual these days, but thoroughly enjoyed this one. ISRAELITE and PARTICIPLE were my favourites today.
    Many thanks to Mara and Jackkt for their efforts and to The Times for putting on this enormously enjoyable format.
    Here is to the next ten years 🥂

  4. Had to pass over the first three clues before the king of low-brow was up and running with ASS on the way to five of the acrosses on first pass. Ended up with REPENT which I solved via wondering if ‘repeat’ could be made to work. High point was HAZARD when ‘extreme’ characters clicked – but I enjoyed MINSTRONE and ORANGE too, the latter because I came back to it after failing to find a colour startingt with ‘Aga’. All green a shade over 15.

  5. Yes congratulations. We are delighted to have been part of this community for the last year or so, steadily improving with the help of these blogs and comments.

    One of our very best times today at 16.20. We work through the puzzle attempting clues as we get the crosssers and today there were not many that needed a move on and revisit. One of the few days we parsed them all, yay😀
    Thanks Mara and Jackkt. Onward and upward!

  6. Very much The Times in flavour but a little too quick and easy for my taste. The easiest QC ever for me as refelcted in my time of just over 7 minutes. I rarely get below 10 minutes but this one didn’t stretch me at all.

    I tend to agree with Kevin about some of the clues which were more concise than cryptic.

  7. Enjoyed this puzzle quite a bit, but DNFed as I completely missed TIDDLY, which I haven’t heard as meaning drunk and forgot to go back to and check anyway.
    I liked a lot of clues, particularly HAZARD, NUDGE, DEAD CENTRE.
    I’ve really enjoyed the QCs, having worked through several books of old ones before starting to solve the daily puzzles. TftT has been a great help to me in learning cryptic crossword, so thanks to all the bloggers. I don’t think I’ll ever be jumping to the main puzzle, but I really enjoy doing the QCs.

  8. A very pleasant 9 minute solve for a puzzle which, while not quite a 20A, was certainly a true QC – great choice for the 10th anniversary puzzle and I predict few complaints.

    Slight surprise at Melba toast being thought a breakfast food. How can one spread marmalade on it without it crumbling in one’s hands? Or dip it into boiled eggs?

    Many thanks Jack for the blog and congratulations on reaching your milestone. An amazing feat of dedication, more than 10% of all the puzzles.


    1. Many thanks, Cedric. The record for blogging QCs is held by Chris, who recently returned to help out whilst the Saturday slot was being filled. His total stands at 446 and is unlikely ever to be surpassed.

    2. Absolutely agree re Melba toast not being a breakfast item. Delicious with pate, but a shocker with a full English🙂

  9. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I started my cryptic journey – many thanks to The Times for introducing me to the joys (and occasional frustrations!) of cryptic crosswords.
    A gentle offering to mark the occasion, starting with MINESTRONE and finishing with HAZARD in 6.18 with a very MER over the idea of MELBA TOAST being served at breakfast.
    Thanks to Jack and congratulations on your 300th QC blog and in general to your invaluable contributions over the years.

    1. Thanks for your kind remarks, Plett1, though I have to report that I often have Melba toast for breakfast with butter and marmalade.

  10. Congratulations on 10 years and 300 blogs Jack. Very impressive and very much appreciated may I say.
    This was a twenty across for me and a rare sub 10 so a welcome puzzle for many of us that struggled with last week’s offerings.
    Thanks Mara and Jack

  11. 3:51. Neat puzzle. I was held up only by DEAD CENTRE where I tried in vain to get DEAD NETTLE to fit the clue as it fit the checkers. Thanks Mara and Jackkt and congratulations on the milestone.

  12. Started very slowly, then picked up the pace considerably until I hit a wall with HAZARD and DEADCENTRE. DNF after 25m.

    Happy anniversary to all you solvers that have been there ever since the inaugural QC. Impressive. I fear that in 10 years time, I will still be DNFing most days. 😬

    1. I appreciate that with children you don’t have as much time as I do (my boy’s 35!), but if you allowed yourself more time you undoubtedly would often finish; most days, probably. I often come back to a sticking point after a break to resolve everything with a mind reset. With the more difficult 15s I sometimes take an unfinished one to bed with me. I don’t think I would have the confidence to solve at all if I were to use a timer, as it stresses me and I know I’m a slow-but-steady solver, so can’t compete with the likes of Keriothe or Kevin Gregg, or indeed the many QC solvers who don’t do the 15s, but log fast times. Solving time isn’t as important as enjoyment at the end of the day, is all I’m saying.

      1. You are quite right, of course, and I do allow myself much more time on the Saturday one. However, despite the regular frustration, I quite enjoy the time challenge. I often get all but 3-4 answers in good time (sub 15m or so), but then spend 10 mins on the last few. I try to push myself as I don’t use paper and pen, or any other aids. I haven’t given up yet! Pi

  13. 12:00 and on to a flyer before hitting the buffers at HAZARD and REPENT. I struggled to see that PENT was better than LENT for locked-up, and was distracted by at least a dozen RE- words that fitted.

    I had my first ever Peach Melba yesterday, so that made MELBA TOAST (NHO) guessable.

    Didn’t we have NIGH(T) just on Saturday, very chestnutt.

    Setters always pass up the hundreds of excellent modern slang terms for getting drunk (rat-arsed, bladdered, wasted etc) and revert to 1950s versions such as TIDDLY. Also, Tight, Squiffy and Blotto. Hard to imagine such terms in use by the teenage set.

    I certainly would never have had the confidence to attempt the 15×15 without my schooling here on the QC and the TFTT. Thanks setters, editor, admins, bloggers and contributors.

    1. One of the current gen z slang words for ‘drunk’ is ‘lit’ which would be highly useful for a setter one would think!

  14. 12:34
    Nice puzzle. Congrats on your 300, Jack – appreciate all your hard work.
    Thanks, setter.

  15. Congrats all involved on the 10th anniversary.

    Having discovered post-solve that today is a significant milestone I’m delighted to have completed sub 10 mins. It would have been sub 8 but SHIFTLESS had me staring into space for quite some time.

    Thanks Mara and Jackkt and all who contribute to the blog. It has been, and continues to be, an education.

  16. 9:23
    Nice to get back in the reign of Hywel Dda after a run of times in the reign of James I/VI. Unfortunately Hywel did nothing memorable in 923.
    My only hold-up was putting BARGE for 5d, corrected when I saw MINESTRONE. LOI was SHIFTLESS. I have often eaten MELBA TOAST, but never for breakfast.

    Thanks Mara and Jack.

  17. I thought I’d try the QC today to reassure myself after a somewhat slow time on the Cryptic. Took 8:43 and I thought with the exception of 9d I was pretty much writing in the answers as fast as I could go, but it seems I still have a below average time 🙂
    Oh well
    Many thanks to all the people who contribute here

  18. Congratulations, Jack, and thanks for all the help you’ve provided over the years.

    Whizzed through this in 05:44 – only to get a DPS for FOI MINISTRONE. For Pete’s sake. LOI was HAZARD, which I struggled to break down.

    Thanks Mara, and thanks to The Times puzzle crew for inventing the QC.


        1. Given that miniscule is now -apparently – an acceptable variant of minuscule, perhaps one should start a campaign to get ministrone accepted too.

  19. I do the QC while having my breakfast (without Melba toast) and then feel ready to start the day. Different from the 15×15 which needs much more time and angst for me. Thanks Mara and congratulations Jack on a super blogging milestone.

  20. 5.15. So a reasonably straightforward solve. LOI Was dead centre for some reason. I was trying to work on an anagram of late and recent, despite having the D in the answer from hazard.

    Oh well!
    Many thanks Jack for all the work you do with these puzzles, it is much appreciated.

  21. 17:54

    Very sleepy so not too concerned with the time. I also misread poisoner as prisoner which didn’t help.
    Congrats on the milestone. I started in 2016 so a little later, Jack has always been one of the most helpful bloggers/contributors, and especially when you graduate off the nursery slopes.
    COD gap.
    LOI ultimate.

  22. Unlike our triple centurion (congrats and thanks!) Jack – I have never had melba toast for breakfast, though I have used it as a vehicle for pate.

    10 years since the introduction of the QC – that’s gone like a flash. I had spent some 5 years prior to that trying to solve the main puzzle, though rarely finishing – but that had given me an understanding of the various clue types and something of a head start on the QC. I think I found this blog a year or two after the introduction of the QC, starting contributing a year or so later, and have found it invaluable. I now do “far too many” cryptic crosswords and seem to have found a comfortable level of competence, never going to trouble the best, or even get through the heats of the Championship, but enough to solve most puzzles eventually. Sincere thanks to all involved!

    As for today’s puzzle – a fat fingered TIDDLT ruined a reasonable time for a straightforward puzzle. I liked SHIFTLESS.

    4:16 with a typo error, which I will allow.

  23. Exactly 10 years and 300 blogs is quite an achievement Jack, as well as a remarkable coincidence. Well done to you and all the other Bloggers and contributors who help to make this site so interesting.
    As to the QC, I thought Mara was in an usually generous mood, and ‘raced’ (it’s all relative) through this in 16mins. Might even have been a tad faster if I hadn’t spent a futile minute or so trying to incorporate ‘late’ into the anagrist for 9d – I hope I wasn’t the only one to take the bait. CoD to loi 14ac, Hazard, for the pdm. Invariant

  24. Finished in about 30 minutes so a good start to the week for a newbie. Thoroughly enjoy the challenge of a QC now I am retired and have time to work through them. FOI was MINESTRONE and LOI HAZARD. CofD was 23a as was looking for a J in the answer! Thanks Mara and Jackkt

  25. 8′ after entering my FOI as “TOAST MELBA”, quickly reversed and the rest straightforward. Didn’t realise the QC was only 10yo. I remember switching to it from the concise during my morning commute when my target was to complete the crossword, sudoko and actually read the paper. Only started the 15×15 a year or two ago in retirement and found this great blog after being referred by Tom Stubbs. Thanks for all your work and to the others.

      1. About 55′ based on the timetable, though Greater Anglia were often thoughtful enough to give me an extra 15 to 20 mins as the train plodded into London. Tbh the puzzles came first and the the paper got whatever was left… Would never had tried the 15×15 on the commute though.

  26. Gentle QC today. No particular hold-ups. Thanks Mara.
    I’ve been doing the QC and attempting the 15 x 15 occasionally for a few years now and credit this blog for teaching me how to ‘unlock the code’. Thank you to Jack and the other bloggers/commenters for facilitating this wonderful hobby.

  27. Congratulations on the various milestones. I started with Quick Cryptic 3 or 4 and have attempted almost all since but I do not keep records. The Quick Cryptic is my level with forays into the 15X15 rarely proving successful.

    No time but on the gentler side today.

    FOI Orange
    LOI Repent
    COD Shiftless

    Thanks Jack and Mara

  28. I came to the QC as a newbie about three years ago, struggling to do even half, and it is only through the dedication and encouragement of bloggers such as Jackkt that I can now complete it, almost every day, in a reasonable time. Thank you for that, Jackkt.
    Today’s was done in 14 mins with a hold up at 9d, having fallen into Mara’s trap of thinking ‘last’ was part of the anagram.
    A very enjoyable solve although I started to get anxious that there was something uncomfortably political going on as I read the answers appearing in the grid; legit tiddly ass israelite hazard. Fortunately I think nothing intended.

  29. Congrats on your 10 year / 300 QC blogs double, Jack; talk about a TfTT stalwart.

    Finished in a bit under 8 minutes, with making sure I spelt MINESTRONE correctly my main concern, as it seems to have been for a few others.

    If this were The Guardian, one could be excused for thinking there might be a political message in the adjacent 13a and 14a across the middle of the grid, but I’m sure it’s just by chance.

  30. Thanks Jackkt for being the heart and soul of this blog. Without you it just wouldn’t be the same, nor, I suggest, as successful.

    Congratulations on the 300th – extremely impressive.

    As for this one I seemed to take over 10 minutes. Stuck on REPENT and a couple of other gentle ones. Seem to have slightly lost my solving mojo recently. Possibly too much Fantasy Football prep at this pointy end of the season

    Thanks Mara for a v pleasant puzzle

  31. 5:56

    I wouldn’t know what MELBA TOAST was even if slapped in the face with a slice, so needed all of the checkers to see the answer – certainly didn’t know there are four MELBA-related items. Indeed I didn’t get 1a or 1d until nearly all checkers were in place. Gentlish start to the week – no real HAZARDs.

    As for the ten years of QCs, I’ve only been completing them since July 2020 (QC 1654) though have visited the first 50 or so as well – found them to be good practice each day for getting ‘in the zone’ for the 15×15 – there certainly seem to be more and more solvers getting involved each year – long may that continue.

    Thanks Mara and congrats on the 300 Jack – here’s to the next 300… 🙂

  32. I join many others in congratulating you Jack on your blogging milestone. I think the idea to provide a QC to encourage people to go on to the biggie has proved remarkably successful, and let’s hope this stepping stone will encourage more solvers as the years go on to stretch themselves with the 15×15.
    Today’s offering from Mara was very much on the easy side of average, and my time of 6.04 was my quickest for a while. I had no trouble with the spelling of MINESTRONE, as on the odd occasion when I’ve ordered it in a restaurant, I’ve often jokingly asked for ‘the mine strone’, much to the embarrassment of my family who usually pretend they’re not with me!

  33. Congrats to Jack, that’s some achievement and we all enjoy your blogging style, not too sparse and not too verbose. 8.59 for me, let’s call it 9. I was a slow starter, ASS first in but when I go to the downs I went across the grid quite quickly. DEAD CENTRE was a hold-up because I was looking for an anagram of LATE CENTRE so fell straight into Mara’s sucker trap.

  34. FOI MELBA TOAST. It used to be served with, say, pate, as a starter, rather than at breakfast. To make it, you toast a thick slice of bread then slice it through , lengthwise, to make two thin slices which you bake briefly in the oven.
    A very enjoyable and easy crossword, I thought, but then fell at the last putting Maraud instead of HAZARD.
    Congrats, Jack, and many thanks to you and all the bloggers and setters. I don’t know how long I myself have been here but it may be about four years. All good fun. I lurked without posting for a while but then I thought I would speak out for us dimmos/slowies/inexperienced persons.

  35. A fairly gentle 9 minutes for me today. LOI and COD to SHIFTLESS.
    I assumed Melba Toast must be a thing but, as I wrote it in, I thought I have no idea what it really is.
    Thanks to Jack for the explanation and further thanks for the great contribution he has made to this site from the beginning.
    I have been doing these QCs almost from the start and the blogs have been a huge help to me, and a pleasure to read and be involved in.

  36. I’d like to add my congratulations to Jack and all the setters and bloggers over the decade; I’ve been there since number 1 and the blog is a constant source of information and enjoyment, much appreciated.

  37. Can’t believe it’s 10 years since the QC started. Many thanks to the setters and bloggers who have given plaeasure (and occasionally pain!) over the decade. Today’s was well pitched, I thought. Mostly straightforward, but SHIFTLESS and REPENT (LOI) causing rather more pause for thought.

  38. All done and parsed in 15 minutes which means it must have been on the gentle side. A very enjoyable puzzle with no obscure vocabulary and only a minor pause to check my spelling at 1ac.

    LOI – 12ac ISRAELITE
    COD – 17ac SHIFTLESS

    Thanks to Mara and thanks and congratulations to Jack.

  39. Congratulations to all on this happy collection of milestones (oh, what an image! don’t bark your shins!)

    It’s an auspicious day for me as well, and without knowing it was the QC anniversary, I had already prepared a little speech in its honor.

    A note of appreciation

    I see from the Crossword Club that today marks three months since I completed my first Times QC, taking 1:02:49 to do it. My only experience with cryptics was decades ago in The Nation, and I simply could not parse some of the clues I had filled in. So when my friend the search engine turned up TfTT I was extremely pleased. This discovery started a (nearly) daily solve-and-read habit that has given me much pleasure.

    I couldn’t have done it without you all, bloggers, commenters, and of course setters, so here’s a big thank-you for the welcoming experience that is turning this novice into a habitué. Pleased to be a member of the SCC and always startled and a bit thrilled at a less-than-20 finish time.

  40. 12.49 I also started with TOAST MELBA but I got as far as ORANGE before realising the mistake, and I was very much off the wavelength throughout. It all looks fair enough in hindsight though. Thanks Mara and congratulations Jack!

  41. Yes thanks to the Times for the QC’s. I have been doing these now for 5 years. I have occasionally tried the biggie but really don’t have the hours for it that I would need. I try the Grauniad Quiptic each week and that stretches me somewhat.

    There’s also so many more puzzles to get done in a day now, Wordle, Quordle, Sudokus etc.

    Lots that made me smile in this puzzle. Finished in 1 sitting so a pleasing day for me.

    Thanks for all you have done Jack and to all those who contribute to and maintain this blog.

  42. Congratulations on your milestone Jack, and to all involved with the production of our daily fix of puzzles and solutions. No unknowns for me today, so a straightforward solve from NAG to PARTICIPLE in 6:41. Thanks Mara and Jack

    1. 👍👏🏻. Progress and enjoy. The SCC is always open to finishers and nearly finishers alike, I’m sure. 😊

  43. Slow to get started, with ORANGE being my FOI, but the bottom half of the grid and some of the Down clues came to my rescue. SHIFTLESS (Is that a real word?) and HAZARD held me up at the end, but I was still very pleased to cross the line in 24 minutes.

    Congratulations to all on the various milestones. An excellent pastime.

    Many thanks to Mara and Jack.

  44. 19mins…

    I thought this was on the more straight forward side. A few hesitations, mainly around 4dn “Retire” and nearly biffing “Resign” (I do this all the time). Only query was jot = particle, where I struggled to see meaning.

    As someone who has only been doing this for a few years or so, I’d love to say it’s helped me onto the main 15×15…but it stubbornly refuses to entice me. However, I’d like to think that was more down to time rather than inability. Perhaps if I ever retire, then it may provide a new outlet.

    FOI – 1ac “Minestrone”
    LOI – 23ac “Participle”
    COD – 14ac “Hazard”

    Thanks as usual!

  45. I’m another who’s been with the QC from the very beginning with occasional forays into the 15×15 and those 10 years have flashed by. The blog has been the essential learning tool for cryptics and much appreciated. Thanks to all setters and bloggers

  46. Gentle start to this week off work.

    Forgot to time myself today, but around half an hour.

    No help needed from Pumpa today. He also didn’t help by stealing my favourite chair, so now I have to slum it elsewhere.

    Pumpa loved the answer to 13a.

    My verdict: 👍
    Pumpa’s verdict: 🐈

  47. Congratulations to the Times and Jack on their milestones. As a member of your community for only a few months, I feel welcome and enjoy the blogs which of course increase my skill at cryptics. Slowly engaging with the 15×15.

    Would have had a 15 min finish today but defeated by Shiftless

    COD Dead Centre

    1. Is there any way you can print out or play the original Quick Cryptic online as I like my Quick Cryptic, can someone out there help me?

      1. I don’t know. I subscribe to the times and get both a hard and online copy daily both with the QC


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