Times Quick Cryptic No 2019 by Corelli – Yes I saw Lisa

A lovely middle-of-the-road quick cryptic to end the week from Corelli that took what is, for me, an average time of about 5 1/2 minutes. A few trickily disguised definitions caused me a bit of head-scratching… and might for others too. COD to 6D for the dig at President Vlad, but I enjoyed 17A and 12D too.

Noticing that our setter was Corelli, I remembered that previous crosswords had some sort of theme. My suspicions were aroused when I got to the seemingly random girl’s name at 16D which got me wondering… So what did I find? After you’ve tried looking for yourself, click on the link below to see (and hear). Nice one Corelli! Thank-you! And thank-you also for the reminder that “we’re not as smart as we’d like to think we are”. How did you all get on?

[What I found]

In the grid we have LUCKY STARS by DEAN FRIED.. MAN (over two lines) and DENISE MARSA (with a right-angled turn up at the end). No I didn’t remember it. Did you? You can hear the delightful 1970s duet here.

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 Small motor, crimson, bearing marks (7)
SCARREDS (small) CAR (motor) RED (crimson). A straightforward one to start.
5 Desperate character grabbing English head of college (4)
DEANDAN (Desperate Dan, cow-pie eater and mascot of the Dandy) “grabbing” E (English).
7 Polish off beef, maybe, without starter (3)
EATmEAT (beef, maybe) “without starter”, We had this with a very similar clue just last week – see here.
8 Find pear, strangely, cooked in shallow fat (3-5)
PAN-FRIED – (Find pear)* “strangely”.
10 Fortunate girl, visited by king (5)
LUCKYLUCY (girl) outside, “visited by”, K (King).
11 Staff generous, displaying humanity (7)
MANKINDMAN (staff) KIND (generous).
13 Neat piece of software featuring in German article (6)
DAPPERAPP (piece of software) in DER (German article).
15 Minnesota city street with university crossed by friend (2,4)
ST PAULST. (street), and U (university) inside PAL (friend). Saint Paul is the capital of Minnesota.
17 Give the right payment: it leads to contract (7)
ENTITLE – Hidden, “to contract” in paymENT IT LEads. Sneaky definition where you have to split “right payment”.
18 Sailor on board ship finds celebs (5)
STARSTAR (sailor) “on board”, i.e. in, S.S. (steam ship).
20 Having evidently put on weight, her life’s in disarray (8)
FLESHIER – (her life’s)* “in disarray”. It was only when I spotted the anagram that I realised what the definition was.
22 Expected early moisture to be picked up? (3)
DUE – Sounds like, “to be picked up” DEW (early moisture).
23 War god’s spoils (4)
MARS – Double Definition.
24 Send Tom out furthest (7)
ENDMOST – (Send Tom)* “out”.
1 Means to climb stage with large snake (10)
STEPLADDERSTEP (stage) L (large) ADDER (snake).
2 You need skill, in charge of large lorry (5)
ARTICART (skill) I.C. (in charge).
3 Part enemy played in compensation (9)
REPAYMENT – (Part enemy)* “played”.
4 Power source so many determined to hold up (6)
DYNAMO – Reverse hidden, “to hold up” in sO MANY Determined.
5 Doctor possessing old Beetle (3)
DOR – DR. (doctor) around O (old). A sort of dung beetle – see here.
6 Country originally annexing Crimea out of order (7)
AMERICA – “Originally” Annexing (Crimea) “out of order”. A reminder of the ongoing conflict in the area.
9 Rise to collect unemployment benefit for teenager? (10)
ADOLESCENTASCENT (rise) outside DOLE (unemployment benefit).
12 Less visibly embarrassed about initially having nothing! (3,1,5)
NOT A SHREDNOT AS RED (less visibly embarrassed) “about” “initially” Having.
14 Hard cap taken from head, all upside down (7)
PATELLAPATE (head) ALL “upside down” -> LLA. The kneecap.
16 Female study is close to garage (6)
DENISEDEN (study) IS “close to” garagE. Who is Denise? And is she related to Dean at 4A, I wondered?
19 Brief inspection of accounts: nothing sound (5)
AUDIO – “Brief” AUDIt (inspection of accounts) O (0, nothing).
21 Elite military band cut short (3)
SASSASh (band) “cut short”.

57 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2019 by Corelli – Yes I saw Lisa”

  1. Nothing too hard here. Not like the 15×15 where I fell at the final fence (well, more of a refusal). I liked NOT A SHRED.

    BTW President Vlad is cluing the Guardian today. And it’s Friday. I suspect it will be hard.

  2. As always, I had trouble seeing the hiddens, wasting time trying to parse ENTITLE and DYNAMO before the light dawned. I liked AMERICA. I realize now that I never did parse PATELLA. 6:57.
  3. 12 minutes. The hidden stuff means absolutely nothing to me as I never even heard of Dan Friedman!
  4. I overlooked Captain Coerelli’s hidden names. I didn’t listen to the duet as I was looking for other hidden elements. I found Hewlett Johnson (The RED DEAN of Canterbury) in the top line, as well as ERICA PATEL from Isleworth. Oh! And ELLA and her old AUDI towards the bottom of the grid.


    LOI 17ac ENTITLE


    WOD 13ac DAPPER

    l was on the 10:45 flight from Shanghai (Pudong) to St. Paul, Minnesota, America

    Edited at 2021-12-03 06:43 am (UTC)

  5. Well spotted John. I missed it entirely but enjoyed the crossword. CODs to NOT A SHRED and AMERICA.
  6. The ignominy! Held up by a hidden. I thought ENTITLE was well disguised and before that had trouble lifting and separating. Good stuff! Like others I enjoyed NOT A SHRED and I was pleased to get ST PAUL from the cryptic alone — I’ve been there on Google Earth now, that’s some very under used transport infrastructure! All green in 13 for a good end to a good week.
  7. Fully stretched this morning …
    … and needed just over 15 minutes to complete this. Main culprit was SW corner, where none of 17A Entitle, 20A Fleshier or 14D Patella came easily — I did not see the indicator for a hidden in 17A, took for ever to find the anagram in 20A and was royally misled by the cluing in 14D, expecting “all upside down” to mean that everything was reversed, not LLA!

    The beetle at 5D Dor was clear from the wordplay but not known to me — and I was misled by the capital B in the clue. Any reason for it or just random?

    Slightly surprised that 21D SAS was clued as a 3-letter word not (1,1,1). I’ve never myself heard the regiment called the Sass!

    The NINA completely passed me by I’m afraid; I join Jack in NHO Dan F, so I was never going to see this one.

    All in all a very good Friday workout. Many thanks John for the blog, and on to the Saturday Special!

    1. Cedric if you visit Google, you will find SAS is invariably a three letter abbreviation – and not a 1.1.1!

      The capital B for Beetle was in fond memory of the ‘VW Beetle’ or ‘The Bug’ as we like to call it.

  8. Which is not surprising cos the answer was AUDIO…but it cost me 5minutes for a15 minute slog.

    That’s a brilliant spot by Johninterred on Lucky Stars… an amazingly cheesy song very much of its time. I don’t even know why I remember but I think the album was “Well well said the rocking chair” or similar.

    Thanks Corelli and John

    1. The album was ‘Well well said the rocking chair’ and, showing my age, I have it on vinyl somewhere in the garage. Managed to get under 20 mins today, though nearly scuppered myself by putting SS in ADOLESCENT. Just spotted in time. Annette
  9. I thought this was a bit easier certainly than the last few days. Pretty quick time for me only held up in the southwest where I also spent far too long trying to figure out entitle, patella and audio.
    I haven’t heard of those mentioned in the hidden. I don’t often feel young in my mid 40s, but The Times references do make me feel like a spring chicken.

    FOI Scarred
    LOI Entitle
    COD Not a shred

    Thanks John & Corelli

  10. On the quick side for me and a rare sub Kevin. Warmed up with the (DNF) concise for a change (joint effort with Mrs D) — well it’s Friday so one deserves an extra 10 minutes in bed n’est-ce pas? 🙂

    Also liked ENTITLE

    Listened to the song. Rather bizarre lyrics. Wonder who Lisa was? Not perhaps the number I would have immortalised in a Times QC but hey each to his own!

    Enough from me. Thanks John and Corelli.

    Have a good weekend all

  11. An enjoyable end to the week and, although we know the Dean Friedman song, we completely missed the Nina I guess “we’re not as smart as we like to think we are” (tee hee). After correcting some careless biffing we came in at 14 minutes.


    Thanks John and Corelli.

      1. I must admit Phil that when I saw the name, I thought immediately of you and the dastardly one 😅
  12. I think this was my quickest solve at 27 minutes, with no aids. Very nice QC. However, I was not entirely happy with SAS. SAS is an abbreviation, is it not? Special Air Service (you know, the elite military group that is second only to the SBS – yes, my Navy bias coming through there).

    I didn’t think abbreviations could be a complete answer in a cryptic crossword. I assume I am mistaken.

    Now, candy or cake?

    1. The acronym SBS has 134 different representations on-line. One presumes you mean Special Boat Service (UK)? If so, there are a few Americans here who back The Navy Seals. Fair enough?
  13. An excellent puzzle to end the week with just enough chewy stuff to give the brain cells a work out. The SW proved slowest but there were a couple of very satisfying PDMs with FLESHIER and PATELLA. Finished in 9.25 with LOI NOT A SHRED which was just pipped to COD by AMERICA.

    Thanks to John for the blog and well spotted on the Nina – not that I’ve heard of any of it.

  14. All under 6 mins.

    My LOI was the hidden ENTITLE, which I biffed from crossers (not even definition — bifc’s, rather than bifd), was relieved to get the “Congratulations” message, went back and it took another 30 seconds to spot it hiding in plain sight. Also COD, once I’d unravelled the definition and wordplay)

    Otherwise, despite being slightly nauseated by the surface of PAN FRIED, I thought this a gentle end to the week — 15×15 looks a bit trickier, I’ll have a bash later.


    Edited at 2021-12-03 09:17 am (UTC)

  15. A very good puzzle that kept me totally involved and, often, off balance. NOT A SHRED was my COD and I thought ENTITLE was brilliantly hidden (didn’t see it until after I had entered it).
    My last in were AUDIO (clever) and SAS (I am with Cedric on that one but there you go!). 3 Mins over target but an absorbing end to the week.
    I didn’t notice the theme probably because it didn’t have the usual disruptive effect of most Ninas (for me, at least).
    Many thanks to Corelli and John. John M.

    Edited at 2021-12-03 01:30 pm (UTC)

  16. SCARRED went straight in and the NW corner was soon populated. The NE and SE followed, but the SW resisted for longer. DENISE and the well hidden ENTITLE fell first then FLESHIER and MARS came along leaving me to puzzle over PATELLA for a while longer. 9:25. Thanks Corelli and John. PS totally missed the theme, but it would’ve meant nothing to me anyway.
  17. Just stayed inside target at 14 minutes plus a bit, but never saw the theme despite a rather cursory look for one, after being alerted by the Setters name, and I am aware of the Dean (not Dan) Friedman song. Otherwise, a good crossey which kept me honest. I have to give COD to ENTITLE, my LOI, and can’t pick a WOD, although I might be tempted by a fleshier adolescent. Thanks both.
  18. Slow on DAPPER (couldn’t think of App – doh!) and ENTITLE (missed the hidden). That corner was the tricky part for me, apart from MARS..
    Thanks all, esp John.

    Edited at 2021-12-03 10:37 am (UTC)

    1. Likewise! Took ages to think of app in DAPPER although very obvious now of course. Felled ultimately by ENTITLE. Just didn’t spot the hidden and didn’t separate ‘right payment’ — doh 🙄. Really enjoyable. Many thanks all.
  19. 17:45, hoped for a better time on my birthday. NW flew in but then got bogged down in most of the spots mentioned. Corelli really came up with a very hidden ‘hidden’ for ENTITLE, as like many it was LOI and bunged in from crossers.

    Was worried about DOR it didn’t even look like a NHO, there are 600,000 species of beetle, so I guess that’s another one unknown off the list.

    “If one could conclude as to the nature of the Creator from a study of creation it would appear that God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles.” — JBS Haldene

    15×15 not too bad for a Friday, I got close. Looking forward to the Weekend Cryptic and hope to practice my blogging skills by posting a solution later on.

    1. DOR has shown up here (in 15x15s anyway) a couple of times; I’m not sure why it’s favored among the 600,000. (Probably because it’s more useable than ‘dung beetle’.)
      1. Thanks Merlin — I’ll check it out shortly. And good luck to all those of you who take up my six-weekly challenge.
  20. Was that a NINA? Or just a theme? This went in top to bottom the last being the endmost. My COD 12dn ‘Not a Shred’. Looks like Rasputin wants Ukraine for Christmas which is in early 7 January 2022. Perhaps Trump will become their new President which would be interesting. Melania would be nearer to home.
    1. My understanding is that a Nina involves something being hidden in the grid and by that definition, and going by John’s analysis as above (one component being spread over two lines and another going round a corner), this qualifies as a Nina. Themed puzzles can be nothing more than related answers.

      Edited at 2021-12-03 02:12 pm (UTC)

  21. 4:05 this morning and another entertaining puzzle from Corelli to round off an enjoyable week of QCs.
    Brilliant spot to get the theme, John. I remember the Dean Friedman song, at the time I thought it was a clever idea albeit a little schmaltzy. Interestingly 20 ac “fleshier” contains the sentence “her life’s in disarray” which formed part of the lyrics, so I see my dustbin mind is still intact!
    Anyway, FOI 1 ac “scarred” and then a fairly quick solve with a minor hold up at 20 ac.
    Only possible obscurity was 15 ac “St Paul”, which I’d heard of, but in any case the wordplay was unambiguous.
    COD 17 ac “entitle”, yet another clever variation on the hidden word clue.
    Thanks to John for a fine blog and the link to the weekend QC and to Corelli.
    1. Well spotted on the lyric. Having listened to the song I recognised it as soon as you mentioned it.
  22. This was shaping up to be a comfortable enough sub-20, even allowing for a hesitation over the unknown beetle, but CoD Patella and the very well hidden loi Entitle in the SW corner combined to make it a close run thing. The ‘look for a hidden’ when nothing else works rule finally allowed me to finish at the 20 min mark but, since I don’t know how the start/finish seconds balanced out, I will count as a sub-20. I look forward to carrying the red flag in front of the charabanc. I completely missed the Nina, and only wish I could say the same about the YouTube video that John dug out… Invariant
  23. Well I know given the generous cluing and checkers that 5d had to be DOR but it is not a beetle I am familiar with. Like others, I missed the hidden ENTITLE and my LOI was SAS which required a very short vowel trawl. 7:45 and I looked for a theme but couldn’t see it. Thanks John for your insight.
  24. Even though I know Corelli always puts a theme in, I never look for them because I know I’ll never find them! As for today’s, well oh dear. I thought the song was a load of tweeness back in the 70s (and thankfully had forgotten it!) Now I’ve got an earworm 😱 I hope it goes away soon.
    TBH I didn’t find it the most sparkling crossword even before that. I think it proves Phil’s (and others) point that fitting a theme or nina in often creates a less flowing puzzle. Sorry to be a grump – I’m obviously the odd-one-out today as most of you seemed to have enjoyed it 😉 Oh, 12 minutes btw.
    FOI Scarred
    LOI Entitle (and I never did parse it!)
    COD America
    Thanks to Corelli, and to John for the blog, especially for sorting out that theme!

    Edited at 2021-12-03 01:06 pm (UTC)

    1. I actually didn’t think the NINA spoiled this particularly puzzle, though obviously I didn’t spot it as per usual !
  25. Took a while over this today, especially the PATELLA/ENTITLE cross. Not sure, like others, about SAS being a word.
  26. DNF. Did not get Denise. 22 minutes for all the rest. All parsed except for the one I could not see. COD stepladder. Did not see the theme as usual, and forgot to look, also as usual. Thanks, John, and Corelli.
  27. All was going well until I got to the SW, when I came to a grinding halt. Took an age to get 20ac even though I knew it was an anagram and also spent time on 13ac, 17ac and 16dn. All perfectly fair clues, just me being a little dense. Staggered across the line at around 25mins, so not one of the easiest in my opinion. Never looked for a theme as I never see them.

    FOI – 8ac PAN-FRIED
    LOI – 17ac ENTITLE
    COD – 12dn NOT A SHRED

    Thanks to Corelli and John

  28. A very nice puzzle. The hidden clues were nicely disguised. NOT A SHRED was my last one in.
    Have a good weekend!
  29. Good spot on the hidden, I often sense there is something when odd words pop up but can’t see anything. Normally I suppose because they are just odd words!

    18 mins today so 2 under target. Happy Friday. ENTITLED was my last one in as I won’t enter without parsing and even though I had the answer I could not see it in the clue. Hey ho, I have made my own rule so have to live with the consequences.


    Thanks to Corelli and John.

    1. ‘America’ is perfectly valid as a short form of ‘United States of America’. In the UK, ‘Europe’ is often used to mean the EU.
  30. ….dealing with typos, I might just have broken 3 minutes for the first time in quite a while. The problem — yet again — was a false FOI (SCARLET), and once I spotted DYNAMO, backing it out was tricky. I fat-fingered at least three more entries. I’m about to tackle the 15×15 (once I’ve read Merlin’s much appreciated blog of my “Weekender” of course), and I’ve vowed to sacrifice speed in favour of accuracy !

    TIME 3:40

  31. We joined those who were slowed down by the sw corner, in our case it was a full stop for a while. A g and t eventually got us there with some help. Time unmentionable.
  32. A frustrating 25 mins for me, especially as I thought I was on for a sub 15, only to be reeled in by 17ac “Entitle” and 12dn “Not A Shred”. The latter was even more annoying as I misread the letter order and thought it was a 3,2,4 combination.

    A good puzzle overall — although, as usual, I didn’t spot the Nina.

    FOI — 1ac “Scarred”
    LOI — 12dn “Not a shred”
    COD — 14dn “Patella”, although I also liked the accounting humour in 19dn.

    Thanks as usual!

  33. Late to this after golf. LOI was ENTITLE after PATELLA- both not fully parsed. Time was 10:12.
    I have heard of Dean Friedman but failed to suspect a nina.
    Good puzzle.
  34. of once watching the marvellous spectacle of dung beetles beetling. We were never introduced so I didn’t know their name. I did resolve St Paul and checked it out by stealth. Entitle took a while to see the definition, but not the hidden Ent’it’le, my eyes were blind (again). A good working 45 min for me, certainly GN9* for doing so well today. Appreciations all round.
  35. Struggled with NOT A SHRED but no other difficulties. The LH side won’t in in about 5 mins the right a little slower.

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