Times Quick Cryptic 2710 by Jimmy

Greetings from a currently cloudy North Devon, where I am busy relaxing on holiday.  This is our second Quick Cryptic from Jimmy, who – if it is possible to draw any conclusions from just two puzzles – seems to be shaping up to be one of the friendlier setters.  The last was a rare sub-5 for me; this took a minute longer but was still a steady solve with no hold-ups.  I marked 7a and 9d for special mention, but there were lots to choose from here.  Thanks Jimmy!

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.

1a Element of slapstick comedy is captured differently (7,3)
CUSTARD PIE IS CAPTURED anagrammed (differently)
7a Only half of Spanish football team in field (5)
REALM Only half of REAL Madrid (Spanish football team)
8a Discovered tragic king not losing heart (6)
LEARNT LEAR (tragic king) + NoT without its centre (losing heart)
10a Back from pyjama party in state of agitation (3)
ADO — The last letter of (back from) pyjamA + DO (party)
12a Bit of Roman arch is made to show radical concept (9)
13a What sounds like requirements for massages (6)
KNEADS — What sounds like NEEDS (requirements)?  The answer does
14a After strong wine, a Liberal makes grand entrance (6)
PORTAL After PORT (strong wine), A + L (Liberal)
17a Fruit from can — entire bananas (9)
NECTARINE — An anagram of (… bananas) CAN ENTIRE
19a 501 pence for guacamole, say (3)
DIP DI (501, Roman style) + P (pence)
20a French physicist’s mother backing his father? (6)
AMPÈRE MA (mother) reversed (backing) + PÈRE (his father – “his” indicating the French word)
21a American reversing boat reduced fare from Japan (5)
SUSHI US (American) reversing + SHIp (boat) without its last letter (reduced)
23a Artist gets drunk, one making clever plans (10)
STRATEGIST ARTIST GETS anagrammed (drunk)
1d Feeling concern about knave stealing vehicles (10)
CARJACKING CARING (feeling concern) around (about) JACK (knave)
2d Son accompanying old man in health resort (3)
SPA S (son) with PA (old man)
3d Give weapons to group, or a bit of kit for the captain (7)
ARMBAND ARM (Give weapons to) BAND (group)
4d Daughter gets rotten roll, a bit of bread abroad (6)
DOLLAR D (daughter) + an anagram of (rotten) ROLL A
5d Tips Lamarck oddly ignored, or Newton? (5)
ISAAC — tIpS lAmArCk without odd letters (oddly ignored)
6d Maintained tidiness needs sorting out (8)
INSISTED TIDINESS has to be anagrammed (needs sorting out)
9d Tiny characters run around US shopping centre (5,5)
SMALL PRINT SPRINT (run) around MALL (US shopping centre)
11d Defeated in part of cricket match, caught by a crossword setter (8)
OVERCAME OVER (part of cricket match) + C (caught by) + A + ME (crossword setter).  Chambers tells us C = Caught (by), so you can equally well take “by” as a juxtaposition indicator instead
15d Supervise poetry in Old English (7)
OVERSEE VERSE (poetry) in OE (Old English).  Again, you can choose your interpretation slightly as O and E are of course also individual abbreviations, but OE is a recognised abbreviation for Old English
16d Where to see pictures contained by graphic in email (6)
CINEMA — The answer is lurking in (contained by) graphiC IN EMAil
18d Spy perhaps not a lady? (5)
AGENT A GENT (perhaps not a lady)
22d Leaders of some key industries go downhill rapidly (3)
SKI — Initial letters (leaders) of Some Key Industries

70 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2710 by Jimmy”

  1. Whizzed through this in under 6 minutes. Much enjoyed, especially CARJACKING and the two hiddens.

    Many thanks Kitty for the blog

  2. 11 minutes. I spent far too long before eventually working out the anagram at 1ac and the second part of 1dn. Their absence whilst I was trying to solve the rest of the puzzle nagged away and distracted me.

  3. 10:49
    Was a bit concerned about two answers starting with OVER but went with it anyway.

    I’m always thrilled by neat anagrams like insisted/tidiness.

  4. 8 (eight) on the first pass of acrosses and for once the downs seemed harder. Slowed at the end by DOLLAR where I missed a gentle one trying to summon exotic breads and by CARJACKING were ‘knave’ caused a mental block and I began to wonder if ‘caretaking’ might work – it’s got ‘car taking’ in there. Not that it mattered because I entered STRAgEGIST. Not all green in 12.30.

  5. MER at consecutive answers beginning with “over”. A very straightforward solve. Thanks Kitty – hopefully the “real” British summer will reach North Devon any time now.

    FOI CUSTARD PIE (“…when you cut it mama, please save me a slice”) as Led Zeppelin suggestively proposed.



    TIME 3:44

  6. Sloppiness ruined what was a quick solve as I got the tense wrong in OVERCAME – I’ve been making far too many careless mistakes in the last few weeks so it might be time to try and slow things down a bit.
    Started with CARJACKING and ‘finished’ with ANARCHISM.
    Thanks to Kitty

  7. 10:37
    Gentle run, quick to see CUSTARD PIE, but a bit of a pause trying to make CARETAKING work.


  8. DNF at 30 minutes 1 second. We couldn’t work out ADO and OVERCAME but the rest came easily enough, very enjoyable thank you Jimmy!

  9. After a slow start, where after 5 minutes we only had 2 in, we thought this was going to be tough. Then suddenly got going for a finish in 18.53.

    Took ages to see custard pie but enjoyed the clever hiddens.
    COD to sushi, clever.

    Thanks Jimmy, and Kitty for parsing of realm which eluded us.

  10. A rare sub 10 for me in a very enjoyable meander down the grid. Nothing held me up for long between sips of coffee, although mention of the French scientist gave me a moments worry until I looked at the grid and saw it was friendly. Some good anagrams, anything with a custard pie deserves a smile, and although in retrospect I think I may have seen REALM similarly clued it took a while to click and I liked it a lot.

  11. 6:10 for a rare trouble free but enjoyable solve. REALM is COD for me.

    Thanks Kitty for the blog and Jimmy for the grid.

  12. 3:49. After a bit of a slow start, the answers came steadily. I liked the hidden ANARCHISM and the misbehaving American tots. Thanks Jimmy and Kitty. Enjoy your holiday Kitty.

  13. OK, back into it after a fantastic four weeks in the Greek islands and I have to say I felt a bit rusty, 10.46 but WOE (overcOme). Nice to see all the familiar names again, thanks Jimmy and Kitty.

  14. An early start and I thought my brain must be sharper in the morning, but slowed right down at 1d and 10a, trying to parse caretaking as “feeling concern about” – until it dawned! Grr. So 15 minutes and not that impressive for a neat and gentle puzzle – thanks Jimmy and Kitty. COD for me was not a lady – a gent!

  15. A very nice puzzle to start the week with a sub 30m finish.
    COD: DOLLAR for the amusing definition.
    Spent some time looking for part of Roman arch ending in IUM before spotting the hidden.
    Thanks Jimmy and Kitty

  16. Anagram hat in the wash today so struggled to get CUSTARD PIE and INSISTED. Those, plus (a) taking a long time to see what was going on with REALM and (b) falling slap bang into the “bread” trap, pushed what would have been fast up to a reggo 08:28. COD to AMPERE.

    Many thanks Oh Jimmy Jimmy, and Kitty.


  17. 8:43 (Coronation of Kenneth MacAlpin)

    Took awhile too see NECTARINE. LOI was CARJACKING.
    COD to AMPERE.

    Thanks Kitty and Jimmy

  18. Lovely! Hardest was the NW corner but started at the other end and it all fell into place. LOI KNEADS, defied an ABC trawl (Mrs M declared the only letter possible in K-E is L or R) but the PDM came to my rescue. Liked REALM (one of the few football teams I’ve HO). Thank you, Jimmy.

  19. 7 minutes. V. pleasant solve with only OVERCAME taking me a while to work out.

    Thanks to Kitty and Jimmy

  20. Enjoyable puzzle. Only slow on LOI CARJACKING (PDM). RHS very fast, but then another PDM with CUSTARD PIE helped with the left. Biffed well-clued AMPERE.
    Liked all the clues mentioned plus, among others, SMALL PRINT, ADO, AGENT and SUSHI.
    Thanks vm, Kitty.

  21. Not too many problems with this one, finishing well under target at 6.44. Not a lot of across clues solved on the first pass though, although most of the down clues were solved on first read. After a sub eight minute average for last weeks puzzles, I’m keeping up the good form today. No doubt there’s a toughie just round the corner.

  22. Spent a bit of time trying to sort out CUSTARD PIE at the start but zipped through the rest until LOI CINEMA where I took an age to spot the hidden (sigh). Happy that AMPERE was so generously clued. Thanks kitty and jimmy. Gentle QC today.

  23. Top left held me up a bit on what was a straightforward, but nonetheless enjoyable puzzle.

    I was heading perhaps for a sub 4 but last few in took a bit of thinking and were CARJACKING, CUSTARD PIE and then finally DOLLAR, where I was looking for an unlikely sounding unleavened flatbread from Ulaanbaatar, until palm met forehead with a resounding slap…REALM was v neat.


  24. Slow to start but after that the answers just flowed in. I solved all of the downs in order on first reading – I think this is the first time I’ve done that. That just left 3 or 4 clues in the top half to solve and I was all done in 10 minutes with everything parsed except REALM.

    FOI – 8ac LEARNT
    LOI – 7ac REALM
    COD – 20ac AMPERE

    Thanks to Jimmy and to Kitty

  25. 11 mins…

    Fairly gentle this I thought – although I nearly came a cropper by initially putting in “Overcome” for 11dn. Some good clues though, including 20ac “Ampere” and 9dn “Small Print”.

    FOI – 2dn “Spa”
    LOI – 20ac “Ampere”
    COD – 4dn “Dollar” – great surface.

    Thanks as usual!

  26. 14:16 to do this gentle but witty puzzle–an excellent combination of qualities. FOI CARJACKING (the knave was a dead giveaway for some reason), LOI AMPERE after OVERCAME gave me the M. I loved the tiny characters running around the shopping mall, so COD to 9D. CUSTARD and INSISTED (neat!) took some sorting out. Cricket and football we have always with us, sigh. I need to learn OVER as a cricket term, it keeps slipping my mind.

    Thanks to Jimmy and Kitty!

  27. Finished correctly in 35 minutes.
    Would not say that it was that easy, but definitely easier than last Friday’s puzzle.

    14 Across : “Portal”. A grand entrance ? Working in IT – it usually just meant a gateway or entrance to a system.
    21 Across: “Sushi”. Raw fish. This craze for sushi is quite mad. Raw fish does not taste of much; plus which eating it can make you very ill.

  28. NHO Ampere… am I the only one?!

    Didn’t figure out ADO either.

    The rest went in happily in ~20 mins

    COD was SMALLPRINT – excellent.

            1. 🤣 There were enough bad days last week (3 x 27mins) to remind me that I don’t!

              Not too shabby yourself today 👍

  29. 5.21 DNF. Would have been a PB but I chucked in OVERCOME. I needed the checkers for INSISTED and CINEMA was last one in. Thanks Kitty and Jimmy.

  30. 4:34 but…

    …as with Chabudno, bunged in OVERCOME resulting in a pink square – surprised that 80 of the 260 finishers in the Crossword Club so far have at least one error – wonder what went wrong elsewhere. Otherwise, it was one of those where everything I thought of went in very quickly giving lots of checkers for the few left in the second round.

    Thanks Jimmy and Kitty

  31. A silver medal performance from me – 12 minutes! I drew a blank with the first three across clues, but ADO and ANARCHISM got me up and running and I barely looked back after that.

    CUSTARD PIE appealed to me. DOLLAR was my LOI.

    Many thanks to Jimmy and Kitty.

  32. 9:33, but with a typo 😩. Liked this a lot. COD to ANARCHISM for a hidden spanning four words.

    Thanks to Jimmy and Kitty.

  33. 12m
    Only held up by carjacking and realm.
    Liked realm, small print, carjacking, sushi, and dip.

  34. Had to go to a funeral this morning, so have just got round to this after leaving the musical wake early as I have other committments this evening. Nothing to scare the horses here. From CUSTARD PIE to SKI in 5:13. Thanks Jimmy and Kitty.

  35. Back from 2 weeks in the mountains of Austria.
    Nice gentle workout to start with.
    Did like agent

  36. Found this very approachable and witty too. Lovely puzzle. Really liked 19a Dip/9d Small print among many others.

  37. Solved this at the airport in Hamburg waiting for a delayed flight back to London.
    Not hard but I had OVERCOME without thinking.
    I blame the second, or was it third, flight delay announcement.
    Nice puzzle.

  38. 10 minutes, so nothing special given the times achieved by others. At least it wasn’t the DNF I had last Monday. Really struggling to find any enthusiasm for this at the moment after so many false dawns.

    Thanks for the blog.

    1. Unless I missed something you’ve never broken 10mins. So this must be one of your fastest time of the year? But you don’t consider that special 🤔

      1. I was rather frustrated not to break 10 mins TBH and I fretted over a few that I should have seen immediately. There wasn’t a moment when I felt that I had done something particularly ‘clever’.

        Congratulations on your time. Now that would have been special!

        I did achieve 10 mins once, but I don’t count it. It was an Izetti which came after a lot of complaints about the difficulty of his offerings, and so he made it very, very easy (some time ago now).

        1. I guess I must have low standards as I still think any sub-10 solve I do is fantastic even though this was back-to-back with Saturday’s and was the 3rd of June. Maybe I need to adopt your higher standards and ditch my complacency.

  39. Miles behind most of you today, with 15:30, but that’s still pretty decent by my standards so I’m happy enough. The French physicist had me very worried for a while.

    Thank you for the blog!

  40. 7:55, so a good start to the week. Lots to like, as has been said. I thought CUSTARD PIE, NECTARINE (Crosswordland’s favourite fruit – and mine), SPA and CINEMA all had super surfaces.
    FOI Learnt LOI Realm COD Small print
    Thanks Jimmy – hope to see you again soon, and thanks Kitty – hope the sun comes 0ut for you ☀️ And congrats to everyone who did so well today!


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