Times Quick Cryptic 2692 by Breadman


Solving time: 12 minutes. A little harder than some. The presence of Q, X & Z sent me searching for a pangram but we are missing Y, and amazingly H!


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]. “Aural wordplay” is in quotation marks. I usually omit all reference to juxtaposition indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Commotion about king affected community labour force? (4,4)
ROW (commotion) reversed [about], K (king), CAMP (affected)
5 Poor average (4)
Two meanings
8 That Parisian behind investigator’s animosity (5)
PI (Private Investigator), QUE (‘that’ Parisian)
9 Chat following rugby player’s ailment (7)
LOCK (rugby player), JAW (chat). Aka tetanus.
11 Mathematician‘s ISA account recently opened with large amount (5,6)
ISA, AC, NEW (ISA. account. recently opened), TON (large amount). Tautology alert as ISA stands for ‘Individual Savings Account’,  but for crossword purposes we can lift and separate.
13 Last pair leaving Anglican service regardless (4,2)
EVENSO{ng} (Anglican service) [last pair leaving]
14 Rex and Victor in east somehow go without food (6)
R (Rex) + V (Victor) contained by [in] anagram [somehow] of EAST
17 Accept dog finds butterfly (11)
SWALLOW (accept – he swallowed my excuse), TAIL (dog)
20 Mentally assessed one final letter by editor during drink (5,2)
I (one) + Z (final letter) + ED (editor) contained by [during] SUP (drink)
21 African resort‘s influx orderly, to an extent (5)
Hidden in [to an extent] {inf}LUX OR{derly}
22 Small loft and lounge (4)
S (small), LOB (loft). I don’t think I’ve ever seen ‘slob’ on its own as a verb, only in expressions such as ‘slob around’, but ‘lounge’ can take that too so the clue is sound.
23 Relative beginners in glam rock and pop (8)
G{lam} + R{ock} [beginners], AND, DAD (pop). The double-D spelling always looks wrong to me.
1 Cried, recalling exercises restrained by weight (4)
PE (exercises) reversed [recalling], contained [restrained] by WT (weight)
2 Need about one twentieth of a ream of paper (7)
RE (about), QUIRE (one twentieth of a ream of paper). Both measures of paper can vary, a quire being 24 or 25 sheets..
3 Dictator, unfortunately upset, finally spurned cold food (6,5)
CAESAR (dictator), then ALAS (unfortunately) reversed [upset], {spurne}D [finally]. Created by restaurateur Caesar Cardini in 1924.
4 Hate macho guards in charge (6)
MALE (macho) contains [guards] IC (in charge)
6 Fool taking ecstasy twice and joint regularly (5)
E+E (ecstasy twice), J{o}I{n}T [regularly]. Scottish / Irish dialect apparently.
7 It isn’t surprising, these days, nitrogen in European river (2,6)
NOW (these days), then N (nitrogen) contained by [in] ODER (European river)
10 Depressed broadcasting centres about to collapse (11)
Anagram [broadcasting] of CENTRES containing [about] FALL (collapse)
12 Papa with wayward sisters continues resolutely (8)
P (Papa), anagram [wayward] of SISTERS
15 Loosened the Spanish guitar during record peripherally (7)
EL (‘the’ Spanish) + AXE (guitar) contained by [during] R{ecor}D [peripherally]. Originally ‘axe’ was slang for ‘saxophone’ which perhaps makes a kind of sense but later for some reason it came to mean ‘guitar’.
16 Perhaps thief initially steals device for windscreen (6)
S{teals} [initially], WIPER (device for windscreen). I’ve never met this as an agent noun but SOED says it dates from the 19th century.
18 Article I love involving unknown World War II battle (5)
A (definite article) + I+ 0 ( love) containing [involving] Z (unknown). A campaign lasting nearly 5 months in 1944 ending in June with the liberation of Rome.
19 Reminder for daughter (4)
PRO (for), D (daughter)

71 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2692 by Breadman”

  1. 20 mins which is pretty good for me, 1 error as I couldn’t figure out “slob”.

    Didn’t know the battle, but pretty easy to parse. Got stuck for a bit as I put “jar” instead of “jaw”.

    I usually like Breadman’s puzzles. I started doing Cryptics when my baby was a newborn and would only sleep lying on top of someone. At that time, Breadman was one of the few I could actually solve.

    “Baby” is now 4 and full of beans at all times of the day and night so the only chance I get at solving is on the train to work.

    1. I love your solving saga. Such an amusing image, lying there with the baby sleeping, for once, pondering the crazy clues.

  2. 10:52, and first solver too.

    I spotted the device that the four high value tiles, Z X J Q, are in the same position in the grid.

    I had GRANDPOP as a perfectly ok answer, but PROD, forced a rethink. EEJIT is an odd word, surprised to see it in print. Very Father Ted . Never heard axe=guitar.


  3. A tricky one this morning finished off by erroneously biffing CHEESE SALAD and thereby having to spell ISAAC wrongly. In all it took me about 30 minutes to fail so I’ll gather my things and head for the Special Table to save Sir the trouble of calling out my name.
    NHO of a WORK CAMP, and EEJIT seemed a bit of a stretch, otherwise it was a fair puzzle. SWIPER made me smile.
    Thanks to Breadman and Jackkt.

  4. G{lam} + R{ock} [beginners], AND (and), POP (pop) would have been interesting parsing but might have been too easy, even for a Quick Cryptic. On the other hand solvers might have thought ‘No, it can’t possibly be that!’ and delayed writing it in.

  5. DNF, as despite fully 5 minutes on a wordsearch I simply did not believe SLOB could be the answer to 22A. Neither Lob = loft nor Slob = lounge works for me. Given the dozens of words that go S-O-, the choice of such a dubious answer – already the subject of comment in both Jack’s blog and early posts – defeats me. Maybe this is why I could never be a setter.

    That apart, I share the view that GRANDDAD has one too many Ds (and my grandson would agree as he uses the shorter spelling when referring to me), and I’m not familiar with WORK CAMP as a specific thing. EEJIT was a bit of a surprise too (and my spellchecker joins me in wondering if it is a real word).

    I note Breadman’s signature trick of “I’ve included J, Q, X and Z and you think this is going to be a pangram but it’s not.” I’ve never understood the point of this but it does at least enable one to guess who set the puzzle!

    Many thanks Jack for the blog

  6. Yes, I expressed surprise at ‘lounge / SLOB’ but I can’t agree about ‘loft /LOB’ as both mean to hit a ball high in the air, e.g. in tennis.

    1. Thank you Jack – hadn’t thought of that pairing. I can see it works even if I would personally not use loft in that sense of lob.

    2. I really had no problem with that one – perhaps it’s one of those regional or generational things. To “slob about” and “lounge about” mean much the same to me.

  7. I couldn’t believe SLOB either–never come across it as a verb–and finally like Vinyl submitted off leaderboard. I never know who the setter is and knew nothing about the JQXZ thing.

  8. Deep into SCC territory. Is there a Slower than the Slow coach I can become a s member of?
    IMHO some uncommon answers in swiper & work camp
    NHO quire (surplus to requirement for my line of work) Good work out though. Thanks as ever.

    1. It is my hope and belief that the rooms of the SCC are infinite, and no time is beyond its capacity to accommodate and offer succour. Today you will find me on the fourth floor, third room from the lift, just beyond the real ale bar.

  9. 13+ minutes with WORK CAMP my LOI as I’ve never heard of that in reference to a community labour force. Not an easy puzzle and I was pleased to complete it, although I didn’t feel particularly satisfied when I did.

    SLOB may not have been obvious but both definitions work for me and so I don’t really understand the objections or disbelief. I have definitely slobbed for a day or two (normally during the 6 Nations rugby). I have also seen in tennis/badminton a ball/shuttlecock both lobbed and lofted in a similar manner.

    Thanks Breadman and Jackkt.

  10. I was fairly certain that this was going to be a pangram having got EEJIT and PIQUE early on but never went back to check. Like others an MER at SLOB but the parsing was clear so it went in with a shrug.
    Started with MEAN and finished with the unknown SWALLOWTAIL in 7.42 with COD to GRANDDAD, for the surface (I agree that the spelling always looks wrong).
    Thanks to Jack

  11. Struggled to match SLOB with lounge but assumed ignorance nevertheless. No problem with AXE, the lead guitarist’s work horse. As others mentioned, headed down the pangram route trying in vain to put a Y into the last few clues before realising there was no H either.
    All in all I found this quite doable with a bit of dodging around and assistance letters from the long solves. COD ANZIO. Very topical. Huge loss of life. 24,000 American, 10,000 British, 27,000 German. Finally ended around today’s date in 1944. It’s not just D Day to remember and mourn.
    Thanks Breadman and Jackkt.

  12. 14 minutes. Slow out of the gates as usual and was fortunate to finish, helped by Breadman being up to his old tricks, with the Z, X and J grid positions as pointed out by Merlin giving the location of the Q of PIQUE. Like Ittt and Cedric, I didn’t know of a WORK CAMP as a thing (in peace time or in a non-totalitarian society anyway) but it fitted with the wordplay and seemed likely.

    Same MER as a few others for SLOB as a verb but it is in all the standard dictionaries so fair enough.

    Thanks to Jack and Breadman

  13. Didn’t care much for this. I often SLOB OUT, but the second word is essential to the verb usage in my book. NHO WORK CAMP.

    TIME 5:17

  14. Agree that slob is poor. Also I’m a bit offended that male should mean macho but lots to enjoy – thanks all!

    1. Yes, I thought of saying something in the blog but decided against it as I’m wary of expounding on such matters these days. What I was going to say was that whilst ‘male’ doesn’t equate with being macho, people who are macho are as far as I’m aware (and this is the tricky bit) undoubtedly male, and that’s the way the clue has it. If it had been ‘male / MACHO’ I’d have had plenty to say.

      1. As far as I can make out macho means male in Spanish and is derived from Latin masculus.

  15. I’m insufficiently sophisticated to submit off leaderboard so took a deep breath and hit the button … phew! But SLOB was a rather unsatisfying answer. “Lob” for “loft” seemed fair enough and gave me faith, but like Phil and others “slob out”, “slob around”, “slob about” fine; plain old “slob” less so.

    Whenever I see a J or a Q I immediately think “wonder if it’s a pangram?”. But I’m far too busy solving to bother noting down which letters have actually been used, so the thought never leads anywhere.

    COD to EVEN SO, all done in 09:37 for an OK Day. Many thanks Breaders and Jack.


  16. 10:37 (Harold Harefoot proclaimed King)

    I too hesitated about slob=lounge, which was my LOI. Interestingly, if you do a google search on “slob lounge” the combination is sufficiently rare that this blog comes up in the top ten hits.
    I’ve got used to “affected” nearly always meaning CAMP in crosswords, so 1a was OK. I can never remember how many quires make a ream, but twenty seemed believable. The rubric for EVENSONG in the prayer book includes “In Quires and Places where they sing, here followeth the Anthem”, so we could have had an alternative linked clue.

    Thanks Jack and Breadman

    1. I was wondering what kind of parents would saddle their son with “harefoot”, but I learned it’s a name he acquired later since he could run fast.

  17. Every day a learning day – NHO AXE for guitar. Anzio very topical just now. No problem with lob/loft. Took a surprising amount of time to parse CRESTFALLEN as it was my first thought. Thanks Jackkt and Breadman.

  18. 9:45

    Thoroughly enjoyed it and had no problem with SLOB.

    Last pair CAMP/CAESAR.

    Thanks Breadman and Jack.

  19. SLOB was LOI, but I was relatively confident it would be OK, so didn’t think of off-leaderboard submission, which tends to be reserved for the more difficult 15×15 puzzles, where I’ve “cheated”.

    I liked the unheard of SWALLOWTAIL.


  20. About a minute under target at 9.06, with the last 45 seconds or so trying to think of an alternative to SLOB. The LOB part of the clue came readily to mind, but like others I had difficulty in thinking of the answer as a verb. I think the most satisfying crosswords are those where you have confidence in your answers, even when the word is unknown to you. SLOB unfortunately doesn’t fit this criteria, but having said that, the rest of the puzzle was first rate and nicely pitched as a QC.

  21. DNF. I’m prepared to accept that esoteric things like Axe/Guitar might be deemed common knowledge in certain circles, and in any case Relaxed left little room for doubt, but Slob as a verb ? Never in a month of Sundays. It’s either a simple typo in the clue (LoungeR would work), or we are well into Golden Raspberry territory. Apart from that, about 25mins for the rest, including a full blown warren excavation for 10d, Crestfallen. CoD to 13ac, Even So, for the surface. Invariant

  22. Held up badly at the end by WORK CAMP. Couldn’t parse and even though I suspected that it must be right couldn’t quite convince myself. In the I crossed my fingers, closed my eyes and hoped for the best. Seems simple now Jackkt’s explained it. Still never heard of a work camp though. Needed kind clueing for ANZIO – we holidayed in Overloon relatlvely recently and were surprised to find a museum to the also unknown Battle of Overloon. Really ought to get better informed on WW2 – even if that was where I started my dictator search. REQUIRE caused a pause too. Ended up all green in 14.20.

  23. This has to be my worst experience of a QC since I first started attempting them (and before certain people get upset, I am talking about my attempt, not the setter’s work!).

    I got nowhere with this one. Absolutely nowhere. I won’t even insult Pumpa by asking him to help me on this one.

    Let’s try The Grauniad’s cryptic. I’m sure I’ll do far better there than here today.

    My verdict: tumbleweeds roll by

    1. I agree. I’ve been doing the QC for a while and have never come across one this hard. Quite a lot of clues were in an unusual style (perhaps familiar to those who do the normal cryptic), eg relying heavily on unusual synonyms.

      I normally finish these days. Barely got started with this one.

      1. 👏🏻. I got there in the end but it took ages to find a toehold, and tough after that.

  24. DNF. Failed on 1a, 3d, – wrong biff for CAESAR and NHO WORK ‘ CAMP’.
    Also biffed SLOp for 22a .
    Biffed SWALLOWTAIL. NHO Axe =guitar but biffed RELAXED.
    Yes, I was worried about two Ds in GRANDDAD.
    All in all, a bit of a struggle.
    Thanks vm, Jack.

  25. Seem to be needing two coffees to complete the QC these days. Luckily I do enjoy a nice long coffee break. Held up by SLOB (went in very tentatively) and LOI WORK CAMP (struggled to parse, forgetting that ‘about’ can mean reverse, not just re-sort, and overall not sure whether work camp was actually a thing). Liked EEJIT – what a great word. Many thanks Jack.

  26. 18:41
    Got breezeblocked by Anzio (not Anzac which was stuck in my head) and LOI slob.
    I’m ok with slob for lounge. I’m going to lounge on the settee and watch tv/slob… and watch tv.
    COD Swiper.

  27. 12:52. CAESAR SALAD and CRESTFALLEN were favourites. I’m going to try to impress future fellow-diners by ordering the Cardini salad. I spent many hours baby-sitting my grandchildren while we watched Dora the Explorer on the TV. The thieving fox, Swiper, was the dastardly villain. I don’t if this show was just North American or if it made it further around the globe.

  28. 15.01 Last two were slow. I was convinced that the R at the start of 2d was the king in 1a which held up WORK CAMP for ages. Then I spent another few minutes trying to think of words for “relative beginners” before getting GRANDDAD. Lift and separate! Thanks Jack and Breadman.

  29. 13:15 = 1.38 Templars for a Very Good Day. 🙂

    WORK CAMP is part of my core vocabulary, because the Quakers here used to call their do-good weekends for teenagers that, and I participated in many, with the predictable adolescent hijinks. But I couldn’t believe it was the answer, not having the sense to see “affected” = CAMP. So it was my LOI, like many of you.

    Also like virtually everyone, SLOB was not a verb to me, but I couldn’t think of an alternative. I waited for crossers on SWALLOWTAIL, because I thought, aren’t there a few British butterflies with strange, long names? Then it turns out to be the most common butterfly in my very non-British garden!


    Thanks Breadman and jackkt!

  30. —-CAMP was my OI, followed by WEPT and REQUIRE, with WORK dropping into place thereafter. Then it was steady away with LOI, CAESAR SALAD. No real issue with SLOB, which was quite familiar in terms of slobbing around. Slight MER at macho/male. 6:12. Thanks Breadman and Jack.

  31. Didn’t like SLOB as synonym for lounge. CRESTFALLEN tricky as I assumed ‘broadcasting’ meant ‘sounds like’ not anagram, finished,only remained unsure of CRESTFALLEN as a biff,

  32. DNF – couldn’t (and can’t really) see SLOB for 22a. Stuggled to parse a few others, too. Not the easiest.

  33. Dnf…

    25 mins, but like many couldn’t get 22ac “Slob”. Personally, I didn’t think it was a great clue – as I don’t necessarily equate lounging around with being a slob. Quite a few other tricky ones as well, although the parsing was on the whole fairly generous.

    FOI – 1dn “Wept”
    LOI – 22ac – “Slob” – incorrect
    COD – 19dn “Prod” – sometimes the simplest ones are the best.

    Thanks as usual!

  34. Tricky and I was pleased to finish 23 minutes. Biffed a few though and needed Jack’s blog for the parsings. MER at EEJIT as a word and SLOB as a verb. A semi-MER at CRESTFALLEN being defined as depressed – more ‘disappointed’ in my view though I daresay it’s in the usual reference sources. NHO axe = guitar or WORK CAMP = community labour force.

    LOI – 22ac SLOB
    COD – 2dn REQUIRE

    Thanks to Breadman & Jack

  35. 17:15 here with one error as I bunged in STOP instead of SLOB. Not a big fan of that clue.

    Thanks to Breadman and Jack

  36. 6:50 but…

    …pink-squared myself somehow sticking a V on the 4d/11a interchange. How tedious.

    I thought this was fairly gentle on the whole though wasn’t 100% keen on WORK CAMP and required some extra thinking to come up with SLOB. WOD to EEJIT – a popular noun choice of my former Irish lodger.

    Thanks Jack and setter

  37. First pass, waiting at the dentist, only yielded 3 answers (Isaac Newton/Starve/Anzio)…and then I saw ‘Breadman’. I usually struggle with his puzzles. Trying again later, I managed to solve at a very credible rate (for me) and was all done in <25minutes. Maybe I just hit the wavelength…
    FOI 11a Isaac Newton
    LOI 1a Work Camp
    COD 7d No Wonder.

  38. DNF found this difficult, heavily relied on checkers to fight my way through.
    Thanks Jack for the parsing of many I got but don’t know why. My big failing was I couldn’t get persevere out of my head for Persists

  39. First time posting but a regular reader and v much enjoy comments!
    Did anyone have issues with Luxor being an African resort when it’s in Egypt??

    1. I struggle with the idea of Luxor as a resort. It’s no Hurghada or Sharm. But it’s definitely in Africa.

    2. Hello and welcome! Hope to see more of you 😊 Although we perhaps don’t always remember it, Egypt is in the continent of Africa – hope that helps! Watch out – you see it again.

      Os, I see Hector has beaten me to it 😉

  40. Definitely hard. NHO WORK CAMP as a thing. MERs at EEJIT (Obscure slang) and SLOB (see above). Several definitions seemed very generic, e.g
    mathematician (I know many) and butterfly (ditto).

  41. DNF

    All but 2 complete in 15 minutes but took an age to tease out WORK CAMP. Then failed on SLOB. Put STOP a the basis a loft is the top of a house and if you lounge after activity you stop. I was never hopeful though.

  42. Not too bad, although I’m not really on Breadman’s wavelength. NHO WORK CAMP or, actually, ANZIO. Not being great at history is an embarrassment, but I really couldn’t plough my way through a book on any war! SWALLOWTAIL took far too long to occur to me, and didn’t until the W from SWIPER appeared. SLOB LOI, unsurprisingly.

  43. About 12 minutes. I stopped the clock after 11 minutes as I was going to throw the towel in with one undone, but entered SLOB with a shrug – what a surprise, it was correct.

    Nothing more to add on this very sad day – what a massive hole there will be in our lives. Condolences to everyone who knew and loved Richard, especially his family.

  44. Today was a slog but got there eventually. Breadman is a setter I often have difficulty with. Didn’t agree with ‘dd’ in granddad. Happy with lob/loft.

  45. How sad to read about RR’s passing. My thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

    I don’t now really feel like expanding on the ins and outs of my battle with today’s QC, except to say that I completed it in 26 minutes.

    Many thanks to Breadman and Jack.

  46. 8:07 with LOI WORK CAMP
    SLOB took me a minute or so too, with the same doubts as others as to whether SLOB = LOUNGE


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