Times Quick Cryptic No 2053 by Izetti

This was another quick solve for me at just inside 8 minutes, so thanks to the Don for a fairly easy ride on my blogging day.  There have been some tough QCs recently, and this has made a nice change.  I give COD to 2d for its unusual device of providing a definition by reference to another clue, and WOD to 17d.

I think this is my 150th blog, having begun (I think) on 21st April 2016.  Just noting a minor milestone, shared with Roly, my regular Thursday opposite number.


A piece of furniture for clubs etc. (4,5)
CARD TABLE – Cryptic clue, based on one of the suits in a deck of cards.
6  What’s good in the role of fuel (3)
GAS – G(ood) and AS (in the role of, as in ‘See Alec Guiness as George Smiley – surely the greatest bit of casting ever!’.
8 Class remains disturbed (7)
SEMINAR – Anagram (disturbed) of [REMAINS].
Dog Rex held by extremity (5)
TRAIL – TAIL (extremity) containing R(ex).  DOG = TRAIL as in follow.
10  Female isn’t taking notice, inwardly cunning or timid? (5-7)
FAINT-HEARTED – A bit of an IKEA clue; F{emale} and AIN’T (isn’t) plus HEED (notice) containing ART (cunning).
12  Sign of life in bather swimming around (6)
BREATH – Anagram (swimming around) of [BATHER].
13  At least forty musical manuscripts (6)
SCORES – Double definition.
16  A Mrs barges in violently – it’s hard to deal with(12)
EMBARRASSING – Anagram (violently) of [A MRS BARGES IN].
19  Little creatures to get rid of, crossing river (5)
KRILL – KILL (to get rid of) crossing R{iver}.
20  Line in amusing entertainment, maybe making one sort of cross (7)
SALTIRE – SATIRE (amusing entertainment) containing L{ine}.
22 Face of a god (3)
PAN – Double definition.  PAN is a slang word for the face.
23  Nasty rogue, not a silly youth (9)
YOUNGSTER – Anagram (silly) of [NaSTY ROGUE] (not A).


Actors in some of Americas theatres (4)
CAST – Hidden (some of) in AmeriCAS Theatres.
14 sheep pursued by attendant (7)
RAMPAGE – It is unusual in a QC for the definition to be given by reference to another clue.  Here, the reference is the number 14, referring to 14d, the answer to which is RUN RIOT (which becomes our definition).  The word play then follows – RAM (sheep) followed by PAGE (attendant).  RAMPAGE = RUN RIOT.
Container very small with bottom knocked out (3)
TIN – TIN{y} (very small) dropping the last letter (with bottom knocked out) in this down clue.
4  Broth’s different sort of soup (6)
BORSHT – Anagram (different) of [BROTH’S].  BORSHT is, I think, an acceptable alternative spelling for BORSCHT, a Russian or Polish beetroot soup.  However, this alternate spelling isn’t supported by my Chambers, and I have never knowingly come across it.  I did find a reference to it in an old Random House College Dictionary.
5 More than one arrival on stage delights (9)
ENTRANCES – Double definition.
6 Implantation is hard work (5)
GRAFT – Another double definition.
7  Firm presented with American coin of historical interest (7)
SOLIDUS – SOLID (firm) and US (American).  As well as being the oblique line separating the numerator and denominator in a fraction, a SOLIDUS can be a Roman coin.
11  Troubled aunt gets to recover – of course! (9)
NATURALLY – Anagram (troubled) of [AUNT], followed by RALLY (to recover).
12  Separate and rest on top of mountain? (5,2)
BREAK UP – BREAK (rest) and UP (on top of mountain).
14  Organise crazy trio to act violently (3,4)
RUN RIOT – RUN (organise) and an anagram (crazy) of [TRIO].
15  Capital city offering fantastic saunas (6)
NASSAU – Anagram (fantastic) of [SAUNAS] to give the name of the capital of The Bahamas.
17  Child from India in farm building (5)
BAIRN – BARN (farm building) containing I{ndia}.
18  Raise back (4)
REAR – Double definition.
21  Record kept by geologist (3)
LOG – Hidden in geoLOGist.

68 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2053 by Izetti”

  1. Congrats on 150, fellow Thursdayite! Interesting that BORSHT is not in Collins nor in Merriam-Webster. I just put it in thinking it was an alternative spelling.
  2. The bottom half filled up nicely but the top gave me a hard work out, particularly because I couldn’t see CARD TABLE and its danglers were tough too. Took too long to get to the right end of ENTRANCES for the definition, ‘extra’ for more than one was too tempting with the checkers, and hadn’t considered it might be a double definition. BORSHT was the last one in. I haven’t heard of it, regardless of spelling, so although what the clue was asking for was clear we didn’t have very appetising anagrist — until the B from CARD TABLE arrived. All green in 22.

    Congratulations on the 150! Amazing stamina and very much appreciated.

  3. Congrats on your milestone, Rotter! I have this as your 152nd. Your first blog was on 7th April 2016 which would account for one discrepancy but I’m not sure where the other may have crept in. You did a couple of swaps with Roly along the way, so that could be it. I have his first as 31 March 2016 and his total as 151. I’d add that my records are not infallible as I didn’t keep them for the first year or two except for my own contributions, and then when I expanded them to cover all a certain amount of backfilling was required. Whatever the figure it’s a worthy achievement and your blogs are always enjoyable to read.

    On this puzzle I needed 8 minutes but thought there was some tricky stuff along the way which fortunately I happened to know – apart from BORSHT which doesn’t appear in any of the usual source dictionaries although I found it in some less esteemed refences on-line and Wikipedia.

  4. I wondered about BORSHT, too; never seen it spelled that way. I wonder where the T came from; in Russian it’s borshch.
    It might be worth noting that the convention is that Arabic numerals refer to clues (hence 14d here) –of course ’50’ etc. is another matter.
    Congratulations, Rotter, and thanks.
  5. 11:00 good to be back on track with a steady solve.

    Not really troubled by BORSHT, but never heard of pan=face.

    Thanks for the tip about numerals referring to other clues, as opposed to spelled out words such as “forty” in the definition at 13a, SCORES.

    Just read this fact in Wikipedia: The Iraqw language uses the SOLIDUS as a letter, representing the voiced pharyngeal fricative, as in /ameeni, “woman”. “Pharyngeal”, that’s a 15×15 for sure.

      1. Pan-stick is basic theatrical make-up for those of you have ‘trodden the boards’

        Mr. Rotter at 150-ish! 50 more and then on to the 15×15! Well done, Sir!

        FOI 1ac CARD TABLE. LOI 6dn GRAFT. COD 15dn NASSAU the Caribbean Skeggy! WOD 4dn BORSHT. My time 15+15.

        Edited at 2022-01-20 01:31 pm (UTC)

  6. 22 minutes for a fun solve. Held up a little by miss-reading 7dn seeing ‘Film’ not ‘Firm’. I blame it on tired eyes. FAINT-HEARTED certainly IKEA like.
    FOI: CAST.
    LOI and COD once I had read it correctly: SOLIDUS.
  7. Congrats on the milestone Rotter.

    I’ve never had it and I never visited but I remember a London restaurant in 70s and 80s called the Borsch and Tears…that had me leaving the answer blank for a long time until I guessed that it’s the kind of word with multiple spellings.

    Was tripped up by GAS and FAINTHEARTED. NHO SOLIDUS but suspect it appears in crosswords occasionally.

    Thanks Izetti and therotter

    A gnarly 16minutes.

    1. Blimey – that’s a blast from the past! Now you’ve mentioned it, it’s reminded me that I went there once – I think it was rather nice. I’ve just looked online and it’s still going!
  8. Reasonably gentle offering today which I managed in 13. I found the downs went in more quickly than the across clues. Nho solidus but it seemed to fit so took a punt. I ate borscht in Romania in the early 90s where vegetables where scarce in winter. I also didn’t know Pan=face but couldn’t think of another god that would fit.

    Congratulations on your milestone Rotter, your work here is much appreciated.

    FOI Gas
    LOI Trail
    COD Rampage


  9. One of us, naming no names, incorrectly biffed 5D which created problems in the NE corner and resulted in a completion time of 15 minutes. Other than that, no real problems — an enjoyable,solve.

    Congratulations on your 150th blog Rotter — thank you.


    Thanks Rotter and Izetti.

  10. ….BORSHT (of course Izetti’s many other hats include Mephisto, so one expects this kind of thing), and found this among his gentler QC’s.

    Congratulations Rotter, and thanks for your much appreciated efforts.

    TIME 4:27

  11. Thank you Rotter!
    Did not cover myself in glory today as I bumbled around the grid. Docked in the NE with TRAIL and SOLIDUS proving elusive. Vague recollection of SALTIRE being something but not what so biffed it in.
    LOI FAINTHEARTHED. Managed the hearted but just didn’t see Faint for ages. Did not notice ’14’ which was a shame as it was obviously a clever clue.
    Thanks Izetti.
  12. Rotter!

    A return to a standard kind of time, only afterwards did I notice it was Izetti.

    FAINT HEARTED biffed and then painstakingly assembled from the flatpack instructions!


  13. Congratulations, and thank you, Rotter. Thirteen minutes for me, FOI card table, LO’sI break up and krill, more or less together. Parsed all except faint hearted and youngster. For faint-hearted I had f ain’t heard and couldn’t see where the te came from. For youngster I had gangster without the a, and couldn’t see how the other g was lost or where the you came from. Glad to have those sorted out, thank you. Enjoyed all the clues. COD krill. Was told at one point that there are no correct spellings of Russian words in English as we approximate the different alphabets phonetically. I understand that similarly, Scots place-names are also subject to variable spelling as their tradition is oral, not written. Thank you for the puzzle, Izetti, and once more for the blog, Rotter.
  14. … which took me 8 minutes. It is not unusual for me to find my time matches Rotter’s, but to match Jack and come inside Vinyl1 is more of a Red Letter Day.

    I share the general slight surprise at the spelling of 4D Borsht, and indeed on the first pass put in BOR— and left the last three blank for help from checkers. The Russian is борщ, the last letter of which, щ, is usually transliterated as shch (my Russian primer adds helpfully “as in pushchair”), which gives borshch as Kevin says, but any transliteration from another alphabet is always open to debate and personal choice, so perhaps we allow Izetti this one.

    Otherwise a fairly straightforward solve. I guessed 2D Rampage from the checkers and the second part of the clue before I solved 14D Run riot, so I rather missed the clever and unusual cross-reference between the clues.

    Many congratulations Rotter on your milestone, and thank you for today’s explanations

  15. Congratulations to rotter (whether 150 or even more)! I was impressed by your sub-8 min solve, too. I’m afraid I came unstuck in the NE after a rapid tour around most of the rest of the grid. GAS, TRAIL, and SOLIDUS took a while and tipped me over target by a few mins. Those three clues were not unreasonable but just didn’t compute at first. Like others, I was unhappy with the spelling of BORSHT and hesitated to enter it until FAINT-HEARTED became clear (rather involved parsing, I thought, but quite clever). My LOI was PAN (I only saw it the A was blank when my time didn’t appear after I completed the NE. It had to be but the ‘face’ escaped me.
    An intriguing solve which I enjoyed. Thanks to both. John M.
  16. I think that this was quite tricky given some of the vocabulary. It had to be BORSHT from the anagram indicator but the NHO SOLIDUS needed all the checkers and I relied on the wordplay. I wasn’t sure about UP for on top of mountain or SCORES for at least forty (presumably meaning more than one set of twenty) and my LOI was RAMPAGE the cluing of which is rather an unusual device for a QC. So although I missed my target in 9:44 I am calling it a good day. Thanks Rotter and congratulations.

    Edited at 2022-01-20 09:43 am (UTC)

    1. As far as I’m aware Up for on top of a mountain won’t be in any dictionaries, but it’s signalled by example ‘on top of a mountain?’ – the question mark making the difference. ‘Up = on a horse’ would be a different matter.
  17. A less demanding offering from Izetti today. I started with TIN, CAST and RAMPAGE, with RUN RIOT going in as a side effect. Then carried on with CARD TABLE and the unusual soup. Apart from KRILL and LOI, SALTIRE, which required some thought, everything else slotted in nicely , and I was all done in 6:59. Thanks Izetti and Rotter, and congrats on the milestone!
  18. Finished correctly in 27 minutes.
    Hurrah – 4 in a row this week !

    BORSHT – beetroot soup ? Sounds disgusting. Luckily I did not notice the missing ‘C’ until I read the blog and after I had finished the puzzle.

    SOLIDUS was new to me – but it sounded like it might be Roman – which it turned out to be.

    ‘BREAK UP’ – BREAK (rest) and UP (on top of mountain). Like others I think the ‘UP’ – for on top of a mountain – is dodgy. Even with the question mark.

    1. Borscht is actually delicious, although as a carnivore it pains me to say so. It used to be a dinner-party favourite starter back in the days when we used to be allowed to entertain.
      1. Rotter, the carnivore in you will be delighted to know that many versions of Borscht contain meat — usually beef or (in Ukrainian borscht) minced pork. It makes the soup even heartier and more flavourful.

        Actually, you can add all sorts of things to borscht — once you have the essential start of beetroots, you can add onions, root vegetables, meat, sour cream, etc. We grow beetroot in our garden and inevitably they all come at once and we have a glut — last year I made 10 litres of various kinds of borscht, much of which is still in the freezer.


      2. Solidus is known by all – it is the original ‘s’ in £sd well before it became the shilling.
  19. I managed this surprisingly easily – after spelling BORSHT correctly: never seen this spelling before. Dredged up SOLIDUS from the depths somehow. LOI SALTIRE.
  20. Borsht is in the English Scrabble list of permitted words. Like others, I’ve not seen it spelled that way before.
  21. 1.3 Rs sensory inattention on 2d… completely missed the 14 so BIWD (without definition) ram and page with crossers in place. Fastest ever Don finish for me.
    Thanking you very kindly for your service to this blog Mr Rotter sir. Thanks to Izetti

  22. Mainly fairly straightforward but completely forgot about numbers referencing other clues – clearly a senior moment – so RAMPAGE added some time at the end. Also was convinced that 5d was going to start ‘EXTRA’ which required some sorting out.
    I’m going to go against the grain in the I rather enjoyed the fact that broths and BORSHT were anagrams of each other, which just proves that sometimes ignorance is bliss as I couldn’t have told you the conventional way of spelling it.
    Finished in 9.30
    Thanks to Rotter and congrats on your 150
  23. As per others, puzzlement over no C in BORSHT and over PAN as face (US slang from early C20, apparently). Otherwise a gentle enough ramble.

    FOI & COD CARD TABLE, LOI SCORES, time 07:37 for an estimated 1.5K and a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks Izetti and congratulations to Rotter – if only England’s top order were so prolific!


  24. In brief, completed puzzle but was slow in parts, LOI SOLIDUS.
    Unconvinced by BORSHT spelling but liked many clues inc SCORES.
    Congrats to Rotter

    Edited at 2022-01-20 12:12 pm (UTC)

  25. FOI cast LOI pan (held up by break up) and COD youngster (misdirected into thinking NASTY was the anagrind). Guessed break up soon but left it as I thought it a weak clue for Don. Biffed borsht- not seen that spelling and didn’t realise why rampage took so long until I saw the blog. Thanks to Izetti for an entertaining solve and to the Rotter (with congrats) for blog.
  26. 09:00 with LOI GRAFT. Not too many hold-ups: all have been mentioned; PAN =Face, new to me; also BORSHT which I got after seeing that Throbs would not work on any level. I knew the soup with a C.
    Otherwise a very pleasant QC with the clear clueing that we expect from Izetti.
    COD to SCORES.
    PS thanks Rotter.

    Edited at 2022-01-20 11:44 am (UTC)

  27. It looks like I was the only one to be convinced that DECK CHAIR was a great solution for 1a until the checkers corrected me.
    1. You weren’t the only one. I wrote it in without a second thought and then looked at 3d and saw the error of my ways!!! MM
  28. Most of this went in without too much trouble, albeit I was hopping around the grid trying to pick up crossers, but the NE corner was a real slog. In the end, I gave up trying to parse Faint Hearted at the 30min mark, so it seems I was well off the pace. CoD to 13ac, Scores — given that Deck Chair wasn’t an answer.
    Tip of the hat to Rotter on his 150. Invariant
  29. It would seem I don’t know how to spell BORSHT in any of its iterations, although I would always pop a C in somewhere. Anyway, that held me up no end on FAINT HEARTED, and slowed me right down to 20 minutes. I went away to make, coincidentally, some soup and came back to finish the last two (ENTRANCES and SCORES) in about 10 seconds. Simple DDs and I couldn’t see either of them for ages 🙄 Dear oh dear!
    FOI Gas
    LOI Scores
    COD Youngster
    Thanks Izetti and big thanks and congrats to Rotter 😊
  30. Borsht with sour cream, topped with chives – so dreamy good! What is wrong with maozedung? I have also seen it spelled Borscht too, so many combinations. My WOD.
    My COD 22ac PAN. My Time 7:02

    Edited at 2022-01-20 01:10 pm (UTC)

  31. I seem to be out of step with everyone today and after 20 mins suffered another annoying LOI that just wouldn’t come. Today’s offering was 5dn “Entrances”, where I incorrectly put “extra” for the first 5 letters and struggled from then on.

    The rest of it I enjoyed, guessing along with many the unheard of 4dn “Borsht”.

    FOI — 1dn “Cast”
    LOI — dnf
    COD — 2dn “Rampage” — haven’t seen that type of clue before, although a sheep rampage up here in the North West is quite common.

    Thanks as usual!

    1. If it is any consolation I was tempted by EXTRAS. It was hard to dismiss. Cross-referenced clues are normally the preserve of The Grauniad and occasionally the 15×15! I have filmed sheep up at Buttermere for Whitbread Trophy, back in the eighties.
      1. There is a common in South Cumbria, providing expansive views of Morecambe Bay, where the sheep literally do not give a toss about anyone and will regularly block the road and look at you indifferently as you sit waiting for one or more of them to move.
  32. Well done on your milestone Rotter, it is thanks to you and the other bloggers that I first understood QC’s, then was able to start solving, and now normally complete them in less than 20 mins. I couldn’t have done it without you all and I am very grateful for your diligence.

    Having said that, today was 37 minutes! I struggled with ENTRANCES having convinced myself it had to start with Extra- . I also took too long to see SCORES with its clever construction. Of course more than one score has to be at least forty. Very clever.

    I also very much enjoyed YOUNGSTER for the clever construction of the double anagrind in an &lit clue. Never seen that done before and for that it gets my COD.

    Lovely puzzle Izetti! Prof

  33. Very slow start, only getting a few on first read through. However the pace picked up after that and I eventually came in at 17 mins, all parsed. Knew all the relevant vocab except pan for face and assumed that borsht was just a variant spelling.

    FOI – 12ac BREATH
    LOI – 6ac GAS
    COD – 13ac SCORES

    Thanks to Izetti and congratulations to Rotter

  34. I got a QC book for Christmas
    Is there an index anywhere which shows what the original QC number of the ones in the book is so I can look at the blog?
    1. I don’t know whether there is an index but I can usually find a past blog by a search quoting a complete random clue plus the name of the setter. Sometimes, if it doesn’t work, trying an alternative clue often might. Hope this helps.
  35. A pleasant puzzle, we were confused by the spelling of the soup, which slowed us down solving 10a and solidus at 7d. No other problems or unkown words.
  36. Well done for completing 150 QC blogs, Mr Rotter. Always helpful and informative, especially forthose of us not unused to sitting and staring at unsolved clues for minutes on end.

    CARD TABLE came straight away, but then it became more a war of attrition. I never worked out why 14 was there in 2d, and I couldn’t parse GAS. Also, I DNK SOLIDUS or PAN for face.

    FAINT HEARTED and ENTRANCES both took a long time to come, but their eventual arrival heralded a minor sprint finish … or they would have if I hadn’t been held up at the end by REAR. Total time = 39 minutes.

    Many thanks to Izetti and therotter.

  37. But very definitely in the SCC. Knew the trickier words but could not parse FAINT HEARTED or RAMPAGE which lost me a lot of time, and DNK PAN for face. Assumed BORSCHT had an alternative spelling so kept fingers crossed on submitting. Enjoyed ENTRANCES. Thanks Izetti and Rotter.
  38. A big thank you to Rotter for all that work. It would be hard to overstate the value so freely given. I am among those who are indebted to the bloggers for the education and encouragement they give those of us who have leant ‘at their knee’ as it were. I always read the daily blog, not only to check my solution but also because there is so much to learn from the entertaining contributors. My solves are generally late in the afternoon or night so my own contributions have tailed off, but I do want to express my thanks to all. Thank again.
    1. Adding my thanks to all the bloggers. A real help in improving solving skills. Few things are more frustrating than seeing an answer on the following day which one failed to solve, and still not knowing why!
  39. to you, Sir Rotter, thanks and admiration from us. Is there a CL award on offer maybe a medal made of Tin or something a bit more noble. We keep learning from all the good services of Blogs and Clues we receive. I’m glad the esteemed Izetti has been deemed easier on us today, likewise for me at time 22 min my best level so far a GN4.
  40. An enjoyable solve in 19:10 for me, not hindered by 4d since I didn’t know that BORSHT usually has a C in it. FOI was GAS, LOI RAMPAGE, COD SCORES. Thanks Izetti and Rotter, and well done on reaching 150.
  41. Pan=Face. Really? Another one for the “only in cryptic crosswords” list. No wonder people starting out are put off, when it all must seem like a cosy club for those in the know.
    1. I think it’s fun, like learning a new language. See above for e.g. dead pan and pan stick.
    2. Richard, try actually reading the comments right through, particularly where ‘dead pan’ and ‘pan-stick’ have been covered! Pan may derive from old American Yiddish slang ‘pan/panim.

      “Not ‘only in cryptic crosswords” is quite misleading. English is a very rich language; it may well be you who are in ‘the cosy club’ of ignorance’ known as bliss!

      Edited at 2022-01-20 08:23 pm (UTC)

  42. Slow, slow, slow! The NE was a particular problem as NHO SOLIDUS, struggled with TRAIL and took forever with LOI ENTRANCES where I’d been looking for a word starting EXTRA.
    1. You know this already, but for the benefit of newbies ‘Entrances’ is much loved by setters, as it can mean doors/spellbound/delights etc, so well worth remembering.
  43. Nice one Rotter! I always look to your comments in the daily blogs and enjoy those too.
    Nearly blew this on Solidus and soup but got there…
    Seeing Embarrassing and Entrances cracked it for me.
    Why did I initially think Krill was spelled Crill?
    Thanks all!

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