Times Quick Cryptic 2638 by Alex – pigs mean prizes

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

Hello, and happy Monday everyone.  My Clue of the Day has to be 14d (CUPBOARD) for the prize pig and its antics.  (Can I ever think of a prize pig without The Empress of Blandings springing to mind, I wonder?)

I also liked the BARN OWL in 20a, and LYRIC (23a) made me smile, mainly because Cyril is the name of a colleague’s cat.  I’ve just noticed that it uses in its clue the answer to the previous one, which may have jarred for those who saw that at the time.

All in all, I thought this a nicely pitched puzzle with plenty to amuse.  How did you find it?  Thanks Alex!

Definitions are underlined in the clues below.  In the explanations, most quoted indicators are in italics, specified [deletions] are in square brackets, and I’ve capitalised and emboldened letters which appear in the ANSWER.  For clarity, I omit most link words and some juxtaposition indicators.

7a Start to cook tough vegetable (5)
CHARD — The first letter of (start to) Cook + HARD (tough)
8a Lieutenant protected by very thin shield (7)
SHELTER LT (Lieutenant) inside (protected by) SHEER (very thin)
10a Counterpart merely returning washing machine (4,3)
TWIN TUB TWIN (counterpart) + BUT (merely) backwards (returning)
11a Distinctive character of those moving last to first (5)
ETHOS THOSE shifting the last letter to the beginning (moving last to first)
12a Repugnant sailor with house by river split (9)
ABHORRENT AB (sailor) + HO (house) + R (river) + RENT (split)
14a Cold greeting in Greek letter (3)
CHI C (cold) + HI (greeting)
15a Druid oddly is no good (3)
DUD — Odd letters of (… oddly) DrUiD
16a Money private investigator gets initially finding pet (6,3)
GUINEA PIG GUINEA (money) + PI (private investigator) + Gets initially
18a Bit of lamb I threw in range (5)
AMBIT — Hidden in (bit of) lAMB I Threw
20a Predator in tavern immediately left (4,3)
BARN OWL BAR (tavern) + NOW (immediately) + L (left)
22a Dirt bus dispersed causes upset (7)
DISTURB DIRT BUS anagrammed (dispersed)
23a Poem disturbed Cyril (5)
LYRIC — An anagram of (disturbed) CYRIL
1d Dastardly con destroyed police headquarters (8,4)
SCOTLAND YARD DASTARDLY CON anagrammed (destroyed)
2d Knocked around Northern Ireland and drove off (8)
BANISHED BASHED (knocked) around NI (Northern Ireland)
3d Correct leaders of European directorate in triplicate (4)
EDIT — The first letters (leaders) of European Directorate In Triplicate
4d Working in America getting billed regularly (6)
USABLE USA (America) + alternate letters of (… regularly) BiLlEd
5d Transplant trees and let develop (8)
RESETTLE TREES and LET are anagrammed (develop)
6d Want thing by church (4)
ITCH IT (thing) by CH (church)
9d Single carpet moved into bedroom perhaps (7-5)
RESTING-PLACE SINGLE CARPET is anagrammed (moved) into the answer
13d Just disagreeable head is missing (8)
RIGHTFUL — fRIGHTFUL (disagreeable) without the initial letter (head is missing)
14d Prize pig beginning to destroy item of furniture (8)
CUPBOARD CUP (prize) + BOAR (pig) + the start of (beginning to) Destroy
17d Drink that is covering minute part of apron (6)
IMBIBE IE (that is) around (covering) M (minute) and BIB (part of apron)
19d Fish deep (4)
BASS — Double definition
21d Annoy king having a fortune but missing penny (4)
RILE R (king) + [p]ILE (a fortune) but without (missing) P (penny)

54 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2638 by Alex – pigs mean prizes”

  1. 12 minutes. The LH side nearly wrote itself in but RH was a little more problematic. I took far too long to see RESTING PLACE at 9dn. Although I thought of RILE from the definition I delayed writing it in until both checkers were in place and didn’t spot the parsing until after I’d stopped the clock. I wouldn’t have turned a hair at ‘wanting’ = ‘itching’ but I remain not entirely convinced by ‘want’ = ‘itch’, yet I suppose it has to be okay.

  2. Nice fun puzzle and a morning where we seemed on the wavelength of Alex. Saw Scotland Yard immediately which opened up the left side nicely. Also found the right side trickier. Convinced 9d was sleeping something and didn’t count the letters for too long. Still finished well under target in 20.06

    COD for twin tub for the memories of my mum’s dancing around the kitchen while spinning! Thought ethos was clever.

    Thanks Alex for the gentle puzzle on a Bank Holiday morning and Kitty for the blog.

  3. 3:53. Nothing but my time written on my copy. I thought the surfaces were admirably smooth. I too liked CUPBOARD but I never noticed the double DISTURBance. Thanks Alex and Kitty.

  4. A friendly offering from Alex with no particular difficulties.
    Started with SCOTLAND YARD and finished with RILE, where the answer was clear but the parsing needed a little thought, in 6.27.
    Thanks to Kitty

  5. Couldn’t get the right end to Right… but then came the frightful PDM; saw Pile quite quickly so my headless radar was working in part. Content with having an itch as in a restless desire but agree with Jack that it sits more comfortably as an ing. 10:44 for my half parsed effort this morning. Did anyone spot the Nina*?
    Thanks Kitty and Alex

    1. Are the answers all from the LYRICs of “BANISHED to this RESTING PLACE”, the national anthem of San Serriffe?

  6. I found this tricky but got there in 24m, so not complaining. It took a while to see BANISHED rather than the VANISHED I had written in. I nearly convinced myself that “vashed” meant knocked about, but a quick alphatrawl put me right, thankfully.

    It’s 1st April today, so watch out for pranks involving Easter eggs – they would be practical yolks.

    Happy Easter everyone. Pi

  7. A most enjoyable puzzle to start the new month. All finished and parsed in 35 minutes.
    LOI was 13d where I could not get RIGHTEOUS out of my head.
    Only slightly disturbed by the double disturbs.
    Thanks Kitty and Alex

  8. I think I biffed (can’t remember) TWIN TUB, GUINEA PIG, BARN OWL, SCOTLAND YARD, RESTING-PLACE, CUPBOARD, RIGHTFUL, and still couldn’t meet my 6′ goal. 6:35.

  9. DNF

    For some unknown reason I bunged in VANISHED as my LOI hastening to finish. Poor.

    Liked the Xword and the blog. Thanks Alex and Kitty

  10. I’m another who got bogged down with thinking RIGHTEOUS and am kicking myself for not seeing GUINEA PIG, even though I got PIG very quickly. Biffing AMBLE instead of the nho AMBIT didn’t help me either. I really thought I was on for a sub-20 but those last two pushed me comfortably into the SCC.
    A nice puzzle to start off April though.

  11. Also tried to make VANISHED and RIGHTEOUS fit before concentrating properly. Otherwise no problems. Thanks Alex and Kitty

  12. Started at lightning speed with the NW and thought I might be on for a very fast time; slowed down a bit towards the S and E of the puzzle but even so a rapid for me finish of just under 9 minutes for an enjoyable start to the week and the month. Much to like about the puzzle and I thought the surfaces uniformly smooth.

    Has Alex taken pity on those of us who were grieving at the lack of porcine references in the last puzzle by Oink? Two nods to the piggy world here, in Guinea Pig and CupBOARd …

    Many thanks Alex for the blog

  13. 10:24
    LOI was RIGHTFUL, after being one of many discovering that RIGHTEOUS had one letter too many. An enjoyable start to April, with no obvious April fool in the clues.

    I could not get the crossword club to open in Safari on my iPad, but it seemed OK in Chrome.

    Thanks Kitty and Alex

  14. I hope the rest of the month continues as it started here.

    No issues with any of the clues. A fair number of them I was able to answer without reading into the clue too much due to the letters already present.

    No help needed from the Orange one.

    My verdict: 🌞
    Pumpa’s verdict: 🐁🐈

  15. Like many others a fast start flattered to deceive. The delays started by writing in [v]ANISHED and then staring at it for ages because it didn’t feel right. Eventually the penny dropped but there were then enough holdups on SHELTER, RESTING PLACE, and RIGHTFUL to make this a pretty average 07:58, for 1.25K and a Decent Day.

    A lovely, smooth puzzle. COD to BARN OWL, which appeared backwards and caused great satisfaction.

    Many thanks Kitty and Alex.


  16. A bit over the 10 minute barrier. I did notice the DISTURB / ‘disturbed’ pairing but wasn’t too fussed. Yes, I thought of the Empress of Blandings for ‘Prize pig’ as I suspect I was meant to. As pointed out by Cedric, interesting to see another pairing – PIG / ‘pig’ – in another part of the grid.

    Favourite was the surface for SCOTLAND YARD.

    Thanks to Kitty and Alex

  17. Fat finger strikes again. Just under 19. I think my typing is correct but should check . BTW what does SCC stand for

  18. Only held up marginally with 5D, where I mixed up the anagrind and the definition, so didn’t see RESETTLE immediately. As I don’t solve sequentially, but move around the grid with crossers, 23a didn’t DISTURB me.

  19. A nice straight forward start to the Bank Holiday. COD BARN OWL, LOI RIGHTFUL, just couldn’t see it for some time!

  20. On form this morning with a comparatively very respectable 7:48. All the long ones came easily which helped everything along. LOI RIGHTFUL. COD to BARN OWL which caused me to think the wrong way round – O_ _ looked like off or out until Resting Place arrived. Had been hoping for a Nina.

  21. 14:33

    More pigs than an Oink puzzle. But pretty straightforward and well under my 20 minute target. Slight holdup on LOI GUINEA PIG.

  22. Tricky in places, but solved steadily once the long words went in. Surprised to see that this wasn’t an Oink puzzle with the porcine references!

  23. Started quickly and slowed as the solve progressed. Not the easiest today, at least for me, although others seem to have found it more straightforward. It’s a wavelength thing I suppose, and I wasn’t on Alex’s. Nevertheless, I managed to finish in 10.44, so outside of my target but not by too much.

  24. 27 mins…

    An enjoyable puzzle. I made fairly steady progress until I got to 16ac where I thought it was “Prized Pig” and that Alex was being clever by including an answer in another clue. However, it didn’t parse properly, and using the old adage that if it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t, I revisited it. Why I thought a Prized Pig would be someone’s pet and initially missed Guinea Pig, I will leave to one of life’s little mysteries.

    FOI – 3dn “Edit”
    LOI – 16ac “Guinea Pig”
    COD – 14dn “Cupboard” – have to agree with Kitty on this…great imagery was conjoured up.

    Thanks as usual!

  25. Scotland Yard went in with barely a glance at the anagrist, and that helped populate the LHS. Same hold up as others with Righteous running out of blanks, and the Shelter/Usable pair also put up a good rearguard, but all sorted in 18mins or so. CoD to the seemingly popular Cupboard, just ahead of Barn Owl. Invariant

  26. 7.25, thanks Kitty and Alex. Having SCOTLAND YARD as a gimme down the LHS was enormously helpful, was held up at the end by RIGHTFUL.

  27. 13:15 SHELTER and RESTING PLACE were favourites. NHO TWIN TUB but was able to visualise how it could describe a washing machine.

  28. 11:07 with error.

    RIGHTEOUS does fit if you spell it wrong.

    There’s another Jumbo Cryptic today ? I just spent ages on Saturday’s, I’ll give that one a miss.

  29. 6:46

    Steaming along…. until I wasn’t. The first four minutes saw everything fly in, but then I got stuck on the last five – 5d and 22a (both anagrams), 16a (some sort of pig), and 13d and 17d. Protractedly worked out both anags, then seeing IMBIBE, still more thought than necessary over GUINEA PIG and a few more seconds with RIGHTFUL. I blame the cats…

    Thanks Alex and Kitty

  30. Twin tub takes me back to early married life in the 1960s, when we acquired one second-hand: bliss! Poem and Cyril made me think an Ode must be involved, Mr Fletcher having mastered the ‘odd ode’, but the final C made Lyric a write-in. Ambit was neatly hidden and all done in about 15 minutes, so thank you for a gentle Bank Holiday workout. Happy Easter to all!

  31. IMBIBE and GUINEA PIG took a while otherwise all went in fairly easily. Liked BARN OWL. Thanks kitty and Alex.

  32. Like others I started off at a gallop, then got reined in. Most of the holdups were in the SE. CHARD was FOI and RESETTLE was LOI. 7:32. Thanks Alex and Kitty.

  33. 24:30, just about par for me these days.

    A really entertaining solve. 1D was maybe too much of a gimme, but I love that DASTARDLY CON is an anagram of SCOTLAND YARD. The interlocking pigs were fun, especially the imagery of the furniture destruction. Lots of good surfaces indeed.

    Thanks Alex and Kitty!

  34. A flying visit as we’re off on a walk while it isn’t raining!
    FOI Chard LOI Rile I liked CUPBOARD too. 7:02 but WOE – V instead of B at 2d, and forgot to go back and double check 🙄
    It could have been a good day!
    Thanks Alex and Kitty

  35. 9.51 This wasn’t very hard but it did require focus. I was slow at the end with CUPBOARD, GUINEA PIG and RIGHTFUL taking three minutes. Thanks Kitty and Alex.

  36. 17:19, unusual for me to be outside the comfort of the SCC two days in a row but I’ll take it! Add me to the list of people sidetracked by “righteous”. My COD is CHI – I know it’s an easy one, but the “cold greeting” made me smile.

    Many thanks to Kitty for the blog!

  37. I’m another spending ages on “righteous” until “frightful” came to mind. Also took ages to realise GUINEA was the first part of PIG! After a clue and answer containing ‘pig’ I thought maybe it was an ‘oink’ puzzle.
    Thanks Alex and Kitty.

  38. Thank goodness I can actually spell RIGHTeous otherwise this would have been a pink squares day. I needed some checkers before I could solve BARN OWL and the TWIN part of TUB was my LOI. Does anyone own a TWIN TUB now? 7:46

  39. 17 minutes.

    A slightly poor performance if I’m honest. Wasted time on ETHOS and needed to go through the alphabet adding letters to RIGHT to get 13dn. Also took too long to get GUINEA for 16ac.

    Still lacking confidence after the nightmarish end to last week, so an SCC escape is ok-ish.

    Thanks for the blog.


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