Times Quick Cryptic No 1989 by Izetti

A crossword from our old cruciverbal adversary Izetti today to end this week’s series of Times Quick Cryptics. I enjoyed this a lot, particularly 22A and the smattering of cleverly vague definitions that made them not easy to biff. I finished with the historical geographical region at 14D that may be unfamiliar to some, but is generously clued, and 20A, where I needed the crossing letter from 17D to find the animal. All fairly clued, but at the harder end of the spectrum if my time is anything to go by, finishing about 2 minutes over my average time for a QC in just over 7 minutes. Thank-you Izetti! How did everyone else get on?

Fortnightly Weekend Quick Cryptic. This time it is Phil’s turn to provide the extra weekend entertainment. You can find the latest crossword here. Enjoy! And if anyone is interested in our previous offerings you can find an index to them here.

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, deletions and “” other indicators.

1 Award boy in play in theatreland (8)
BROADWAY – (Award boy)* “in play”.
5 State university — teach with some regularly absent (4)
UTAHU (university) and alternate letters, “some regularly absent”, of TeAcH.
9 Study to get money after end of school (5)
LEARNEARN (get money) “after” “end of” schooL.
10 Hot air from the jolly group joining Jolson? (7)
THERMALTHE RM (Royal marines; jolly group) AL (Jolson). Not a nickname I knew, but see here for an explanation.
11 Fool that may get in your hair (3)
NIT – Double definition, the second more of a cryptic hint.
12 Nun involved with maniac who comes from northern city? (9)
MANCUNIAN – (Nun maniac)* “involved with”.
13 Broad area no longer needing shelter (6)
EXTENTEX (no longer)  TENT (shelter).
15 Cold female unable to get muscles moving? (6)
FRIGIDF (female) RIGID (unable to get muscles moving).
17 Start game unconventionally, making attempt to gain advantage (9)
STRATAGEM – (start game)* “unconventionally”.
19 Meadow within arable area (3)
LEA – Hidden “within” arabLE Area.
20 Support wild animal away from habitat? (4,3)
BEAR OUTBEAR (wild animal) OUT (away from habitat).
21 Bit of food from my tin sent back (5)
NACHO – OH (My!) CAN (tin) “sent back” -> NACHO. Sneakily vague definition.
22 They’re obviously young son’s first things? (4)
TOYS – An &lit, where the whole clue is both the definition and the wordplay… Initial letters, “first things” of They’re Obviously Young Son’s.
23 Prisoner, solitary, had finally to be comforted (8)
CONSOLEDCON (prisoner) SOLE (solitary) haD “finally”.
1 Composure of bishop, leader of church in a restricted way (7)
BALANCEB (bishop)  and “leader of” Church in A, LANE (restricted way).
2 Love ingredient in yesteryear’s style (2,3)
OP ARTO (0, love) PART (ingredient).
3 Religious group’s value? (12)
DENOMINATION – Double definition – the second 1p, 2p, 5p or 10p, for example.
4 One bumped off in fighting somewhere in London (5)
ACTONACTiON (fighting) with the I (one) removed, “bumped off”.
6 Encountered rising sound working in office for a while? (7)
TEMPING – MET (encountered) reversed, “rising”, -> TEM, PING (sound).
7 Beautiful woman Ethel envied? Just a bit (5)
HELEN –  Hidden in EtHEL ENvied, “just a bit”. Helen of Troy, presumably.
8 Fresh request miner made for things needed (12)
REQUIREMENTS – “Fresh” (request miner)*.
14 Two sailors coming to unknown region of old (7)
TARTARY – TAR (sailor) x2, TAR TAR, Y (unknown). An old name for Central Asia – see here.
16 Stone in part of baseball playing area (7)
DIAMOND – Double definition.
17 Boast about making a shoe without any leather (5)
SABOT – (boast)* “about”. “a kind of simple shoe, shaped and hollowed out from a single block of wood, traditionally worn by French and Breton peasants
18 Good German fellow getting annoyed (3,2)
GOT TOG (good) OTTO (German fellow).
19 Behold 150 gathered round a pub (5)
LOCALLO (behold), CL (150) “gathered round” A.

65 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1989 by Izetti”

  1. Yes of course I know it’s MANCUNIAN. And no I can’t explain why I settled on MANNUCIAN. Will now write it out a hundred times as penance.

    Thanks Izetti and John.

  2. 23 whole minutes – that means I’m in the Club! I never parsed 22ac! My LOI! I also thought 20ac began with BRA! Naughty, naughty!

    FOI 19ac LEA

    COD 1ac BROADWAY – so simple and there I was looking at Paladium only’cos it had LAD in it!

    WOD MANCUNIAN – MANC – Red or Sky Blue – me Simply Red! I witnessed ‘The Holy Trinity’ only once – live!

    1. Welcome to our club!
      Regulars and the occasional visitor can often be found gathered around their luke warm beverage.
      Do drop in any time!
  3. With an annoying typo

    Thought SW was going to be tricky but knew both TARTARY and SABOT which helped a lot.

    NACHO had me searching for a reverse hidden but the light finally dawned. COD.

    Lots of nice clues as one would expect from Izetti

    Thanks John and Don

  4. I was a little surprised to find that I had 12 minutes onthe clock when I finished and had missed m target by 2, as it didn’t seem at all hard.
  5. 12:31 with LOI SABOT, NHO this one and SOBAT was just as plausible, so pleased to avoid the pinks with a 50/50 guess.

    We had STRATAGEM as an anagram a couple of weeks ago. I spelt it wrong then so made sure I got it right today.

    NHO of Jolson, so that remained unparsed, as I also don’t understand why the Royal Marines are the “jolly group”. Two obscurities in one clue.

    COD (NUN MANIAC)* great anagram

    1. Royal Marine – Jolly

      The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea. a nickname for the Royal Marines in the British Navy. Originally all soldiers carried on board a British warship were known as jollies, a ‘tame jolly’ being a militiaman and a ‘royal jolly’ a marine, but later the name was only applied to marines…. …

      You’re not expected to know all this (I didn’t until just now), but RM / jolly is standard cryptic crossword fare and will come up over and again.

      Edited at 2021-10-22 07:45 am (UTC)

      1. In half a lifetime in Plymouth, which is full of them, several I know, I have never heard Jolly used for them: I will go and ask if it is still in use or a bit of crosswordese.
        1. It is still in regular use, as it has been since Rudyard Kipling wrote the rather good poem ‘soldier an’ sailor too’, which is worth a google if you haven’t seen it. Probably not strictly politically correct these days, rather like Kipling himself, but after 23 years in the RN, 10 or so of them spent working with the Jollies, I still admire it and him, and them!

          Edited at 2021-10-22 08:49 am (UTC)

      2. I don’t recall ever seeing jolly for RM, and believed I had jhad a lucky guess, but perhaps it just popped out of my subconscious. AL from Jolson (not seen before?) also came quickly though i have frequently sern his coeval, AL CAPONE. Talking of Crosswordese, can somebody remind me why Peter is safe? (Though it must be at leaat a month since that chestnut crossed my path!)
    2. Jackkt has answered for me, thanks… there is a link in the blog to the definition he quotes.
  6. Struggled a bit today, especially in the NW. Don’t know why I didn’t do the next most obvious thing at 1a when it wasn’t the West End — I could have really done with those checkers. Didn’t know OP ART or SABOT or what ‘restricted’ was doing in the clue for BALANCE. BEAR OUT took a long time to come, partly because I don’t think I’ve ever seen it like that, are either ‘bears out’ or ‘bear that out’ more common? Read baseball as basketball so was going to wonder which bit of the court that was the DIAMOND but I now see what I’ve done. Not the most enjoyable puzzle from the most reliably sparkly setter. Squeezed in under 20.
  7. No major hold ups although I had a complete brain fade with 1a. Therefore started in the NE with UTAH and worked my way clockwise around the grid, ending up back in the NW, where I still needed the b and the o from 1 & 3d before BROADWAY became apparent. For some reason I always want OP ART to be OB Art, so relied on the parsing to put me straight.
    Finished with ACTON in 9.26 with COD to TOYS.
    Thanks to John for the blog and Izetti for an enjoyable start to the day
  8. A tough finish to the week, I feel.

    I saw Izetti’s name and opted to solve this on paper as I was expecting some elaborate wordplay. After 20 minutes I hadn’t found much for my pen to get its roller balling, indeed only 13 clues answered.

    I biffed THERMAL but had absolutely no idea about Jolly = RM or Al Jolson.

    I found it hard to find the definition in both 1ac and 1d, but they are fairly clued in hindsight.

    I really don’t like clues such as 4d ACTON, where you’re searching for a rather loose synonym, which you then have to remove a letter from to create a fairly obscure part of London. It didn’t help that there were no checkers.

    Incidentally I had a bit of time yesterday to go back to some of the QCs in 1710-1715 range and managed to finished a few of them with (relative) ease! Something I haven’t done for a few months now… proof things are indeed getting a little more tricky?

    Edit: Just re-read this and for balance wanted to mention I enjoyed some classic wordplay in NACHO and TARTARY… I do appreciate being able to write in these clues, in the knowledge I wouldn’t have been able to several weeks ago.

    Sorry if it all sounded rather doom and gloom!

    Have a good weekend all.

    Edited at 2021-10-22 08:14 am (UTC)

    1. I think I read that ACTON has more stations that include its name than any other district of London.

      For the record it has six:

      Acton (Main Line)
      Acton Central
      South Acton
      Acton Town
      East Acton
      North Acton

      Edit: Also West Acton.

    2. I agree that those sorts of clues can be really tricky. I guess that Acton isn’t so obscure for those who are familiar with London and its transport system (many years of gazing at the tube map as you rattle along), but if you’re not from those parts, there’s no reason why you should know a rather ordinary suburb of west London! No idea where you live but I’d hazard a guess that I’d struggle in a similar situation 😉
      1. Funnily enough I used to live in London so there isn’t really any excuse… It’s just not one of the names that springs to mind! e.g. Camden, Hackney, Bow, Victoria, Piccadilly, Westminster
  9. A bit under two Horryd’s today, so a cause for celebration… A few words I barely knew winkled out from the precise clueing, plenty of furrowed brow followed by the little lightbulb moment. I don’t know London much, so ACTON needed all the checkers, and SABOT didn’t immediately come to mind, so generally slow but steady progress. Izetti always has me wondering if I will finish, but I almost always do, which is just about perfect for me.
  10. Back to earth with a bump today after my success of yesterday with an over 20 minute entry to the SCC. I got pretty stuck on the west hand side, not seeing 1ac, not understanding 1dn, and nho sabot. I also wanted Tartary to start with AB which held me back a bit. I did know Al Jolson but didn’t know jolly=RM so pleased to learn that. Thanks John for the explanations.

  11. Admit I looked up ACTON and DIAMOND as I was stuck at that point – for some inane reason.
    Lucky we discussed UTAH the other day. FOI LEARN. PDMs with SABOT, TOYS, TEMPING, DENOMINATIONS.

    TARTARY made me smile, as did EXTENT and BEAR OUT (COD), . but not sure about Ho! = My! (MER.)
    Thanks, John.

  12. Another 17 minute solve for me — maybe that’s my new normal! I did enjoy it though, with LEARN and THERMAL being first two in. Last in was BEAR OUT after SABOT gave me the B. Thanks all.
    1. I’m with you on new normals. I think we are roughly comparable in the time we take, and I have definitely seen my time edge up from “around 12 minutes” to “around 15 most days”.
    2. I share your view on the ‘new normal’, rotter. I used to manage times between 7 and 14 mins most days but now, I am lucky to average 15 +/- with more forays into the SCC than ever before. I have more and more sympathy with some of our newer bloggers who don’t find the QC to be named accurately.
      I began to wonder if my brain was slowing up but, interestingly, I have managed the DT cryptic in lower times than the ‘QC’ twice in the past week so there is hope for me, yet. I think that speaks volumes on this issue (for me, at least). John.
  13. BROADWAY went straight in and I worked steadily through the grid, waiting for all the crossers to meet my REQUIREMENTS. I thought AL Jolson might be better known as he is often credited with making the first talking picture, although that is not strictly correct. Had heard of Barbary but not TARTARY, but stuck with the wordplay for my LOI. 9:36. Thanks Izetti and John.
  14. Slower than yesterday at fifteen minutes but found it more satisfying as the answers needed more thought. FOI nit and only six on first pass. At that point I thought I foresaw a DNF on the horizon, or a need for a breather. But the grid began to yield. I saw local and knew what 150 is in Roman numerals but could I fit it together? I needed all the checkers to decide to put it in, and the blog to see the rest of the wordplay. Did not know RMs were Jollys so biffed thermal from the definition. Other biffs or part biffs were balance, Acton. Was looking for a word with ab and tar but the checkers illuminated the answer. LOI balance. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole crossword, as it was challenging in just the right degree.
    No potatoes today, Horryd. Thanks, John, and Izetti.
  15. I started this on my phone whilst sitting in a dentist’s waiting room at 8.30 and gave up after a couple of minutes because of the phone- based format. Never again.
    Later, I had a go on the ‘new’ Times download and discovered that you can actually stop the clock. Useful if interrupted but could also be good for cheats! I went back to my ‘Classic’ Times download with a huge sense of relief after too much faffing about.
    When I finally started the QC properly, I can’t say I warmed to it at all (and I normally find Izetti a joy). I worked out TARTARY (nho) and crossed my fingers but I didn’t think GOT TO, BEAR OUT, OP ART, or ACTON were very clever (and I am sure I have seen NACHO in the past week or so). Perhaps it was my mood today. I must have reached the SCC but don’t have a reliable time. Roll on Monday! John M.

    Edited at 2021-10-22 04:46 pm (UTC)

  16. … but needed John’s blog for some of the parsing. I’m another for whom Jollies was unknown, but 20A Bear Out was also put in without being parsed, and I still don’t really see Support as Bear out. Also did not connect My with Oh in 21A Nacho, though that one I understood as soon as I read the blog.

    Puzzled by the word restricted in the clue for 1D Balance. It not only seems unnecessary (a lane is a way is it not, so no need to restrict it?), but actually the clue would have been even more cunningly misleading if it had just said “Composure of Bishop, leader of church in a way”. And also surprised to see 2D Op art described as “yesteryear’s style” — yes its heyday was 50-60 years ago but is it entirely in the past?

    Many thanks to John for the blog, and on to the Saturday Special. A good weekend to all

  17. ….by the number of contributors who didn’t know SABOT. The origin of saboteur/sabotage comes from the deliberate damage or destruction of something, caused by kicking it while wearing such a wooden clog.

    I haven’t contributed for the previous two days after yet more attacks of “fat finger” caused me to lose my temper. Such language ! You certainly won’t find such words in the QC — or, indeed, in my latest “weekend” offering, which I hope brings enjoyment to the 200 or so on here who regularly attempt those puzzles.

    A good puzzle from Izetti, which kept me on my toes. ACTON should hold no terrors for anybody who knows their London Underground map, as there are 3 stations there — East ACTON, West ACTON, and ACTON Town.

    The Local Government Act of 1976 classes me as a MANCUNIAN, but I still think I was brought up in Cheshire, and have lived there for 40 years (although I’m a Yorkshireman by birth).

    LOI TOYS (should it have been “playthings” ?)
    TIME 4:15

    Edited at 2021-10-22 11:12 am (UTC)

  18. It is always encouraging to start with 1a and I managed it today. There was some clever cluing which suited me fine although I did have to rely on the word play for my last two in TARTARY and SABOT. 8:27 for a good end to the Times QC week. Thanks John/Phil for the fortnightly link.
  19. I was delighted to have completed this — in about 40 minutes.

    NW hardest — didn’t see 1a until late.

    Slow to see the Religious group and didn’t really like Got To as an answer…

    Op Art also tricky for me.

    Just about hung in there — guessing Sabot- thanks additional Phil for the info…

    LOI Acton

    Thanks all

    John George

    Edited at 2021-10-22 11:26 am (UTC)

  20. After our conversations recently about going away for a brain rest and coming back refreshed, I decided to do that today with two to go (again!). I’d fairly whizzed through the first 24 in about 10 minutes, but oh dear… 15a and 16d just would not make their appearance. I’d got stuck on Cold = C so nothing made sense, and not remembering what a baseball ground is called didn’t help either. As for stone – well, there are loads, aren’t there! But a walk round to forage for some rosehips seemed to do the trick – I came home and FRIGID and DIAMOND dropped in in just a few seconds.
    So, no overall time, maybe 16-17 minutes. I did enjoy this – lots of lovely Izetti-isms.
    After IOWA and UTAH, will we see OHIO soon?
    FOI Broadway
    LOI Diamond
    COD Helen
    Many thanks Izetti and John
    1. Or gives you something to aim for. If you can solve other QC setters’ puzzles why not his?
  21. A nice puzzle from Izetti. Definitely no problem with Al Jolson clue, answer right up my street despite NHO jollies, at least the navy ones. Good to remember.
    No problem either with OP ART particularly since London Frieze week just ended and plenty of OP and every other type of Art very much on view. Could not parse GOT TO and still think it is a bit of a MER and BEAR OUT would have been out of reach without the checkers. All in all, a nice 30 minute exercise for me with a few uncertainties resolved here. Thanks John and all. Have a good weekend.
    1. Good to see you in the SCC along with poor old Meldrew (71 in the shade)!
      However does over 30 minutes count as in the SSC — or does this suggest one has missed the bus! This would mean these unfortunates fall into the category of ‘’Pedestrians’!?

      It’s goodnight from me, and it’s goodnight from him!

      Edited at 2021-10-22 04:45 pm (UTC)

  22. NHO Jolly = RM but no other problems with the clueing or vocabulary. However it was definitely on the tricky side and, like Pebee, I had to take a time out, after which the remaining 4 or 5 clues fell quite quickly. Total time around 24 mins.

    FOI – 5ac UTAH
    LOI – 18dn GOT TO (bit of a MER at this one – definitely not COD)
    COD – 4dn ACTON

    Thanks to Izetti and John

  23. Pleased to solve within our target. No unknowns, except the jollies, once we had al for the end of the word, it was fairly obvious. Thanks Izetti for a good end of the week puzzle.
  24. Took me far too long, the problem being the SW corner. I neither spotted the anagram pointer in 17 down (goodness knows why) nor knew SABOT, and therefore didn’t see BEAR for ages either. But this Mancunian turned Welshwoman was happy to be reminded of her roots.
  25. We had a long drive in horrible traffic before we were able to have a go at solving today’s QC. Lots to enjoy. We ambled home in 20 relaxing holiday minutes….


    Thanks John and Izetti.

  26. It’s odd. I’m a regular in the SCC, regarding anything less than 25min with pride. However, I regularly zip through Izetti’s puzzles (regarded by many here as being among the most difficult) in 20min or less. Today I triumphantly entered my LOI (2d since you ask) in 14min. Over the moon.
  27. Although I didn’t get it at the time, I think 18A is clueing “annoyed” and not “getting annoyed”. Like “Fred wasn’t thinking straight because Norman had got to him.”
    1. Well spotted. I do believe you are right and that “getting” is just a link word. Thanks. Blog amended.
  28. at 19dn was my COD for its brevity. 22ab might well have been clued ‘playthings’. I note Horryd is on the wane (hay- wain!) and no sign of Mr Wyvern. Time 5:17 with Op-art causing a slight delay.
  29. … 22 clues in 22 minutes, followed by 35 minutes for my last four. These were TARTARY, GOT TO, BEAR OUT and SABOT.

    I had NHO TARTARY or SABOT (my LOI), so my whole crossword hung on a 50/50 guess – SABOT vs SOBAT (the clueing left it ambiguous). I took >20 minutes to alphabet trawl GOT TO, and felt let down by the answer – not a good clue IMHO. And, I found BEAR OUT completely impossible (____ O__) without any of the three aforementioned solutions.

    My apologies to Izetti for my downbeat reaction to his puzzle, but the four clues above rather ruined my enjoyment today, even though I did eventually finish (in 57 minutes). Actually, my average time spent on each of this week’s (so-called) QCs was 52 minutes – and one of those ended as a DNF. Not good at all, even by my low standards. Here’s hoping next week will bring some better cheer.

  30. Late again to this — but pleased with a 22 min solve, especially after already imbibing 2 pints.

    DNK 14dn “Tartary” nor 17dn “Sabot” — but, as noted above, they were generously clued. Similarly, I haven’t heard of the Royal Marines as the “Jolly Group”. Raised eyebrows at 15ac and debated whether “A Lane” really is a restricted way for 1dn.

    FOI — 5ac “Utah” — an odd state that I once had a stopover in when touring the US on a greyhound bus.

    LOI — 13ac “Extent”
    COD — 12dn “Mancunian” — in Manchester anything is possible.

    On to my third pint….

    Thanks as usual!

    1. Interesting. We drove into Salt Lake City late one night some decades ago when we lived in the USA and tried to get a modest overnight stay. The vibes in that place were such that we drove through the night to reach the Tetons and didn’t regret our decision for a minute. We woke up late next morning in a tent in the Grand Teton National Park with a big black bear knocking seven bells out of a polystyrene ice box from a neighbouring campsite because he smelt some meat. He was removed and taken to a remote site by the National Parks people. Fond memories of the Tetons, though.
      1. Salt Lake City was pretty odd it has to be said. It was like something out of the Stepford Wives.
        1. Good to know we were not alone in our reaction. Maybe things have changed more recently but our brief time in Utah left left a deep, negative, impression on us both after a couple of happy years living in The States. John
      1. To be fair, I don’t actually read all of the Times (just don’t have time) — but yes, First Group have sold the Greyhound business to a German start up called FlixMobility.

        One of my highlights when I was 19 was travelling from Denver on Greyhound all the way through to San Francisco via Salt Lake City and Sacramento. Some interesting characters travelled those buses then…and probably still do now.

  31. Definitely in the PC today (Pedestrian Club as suggested by Horryd) as I limped across the line in 37:04. Apart from TARTARY, which was gettable from the wordplay, with hindsight, there was nothing I hadn’t come across before, but I had forgotten SABOT, OP ART and RM for Jolly. Some useful revision therefore. LOI was TOYS, COD to BROADWAY. Thanks Izetti and John.
  32. You beat me good and proper Izetti. Normally I can get you. But not today. When I look at the clues I couldn’t get I feel stupid. So it must be a great puzzle and you did your usual brilliant job. I wasn’t helped by thinking 8d was requisitions. Wrong!

    Thanks all. Fred.

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