Times Quick Cryptic No 2108 by Teazel

A bit on the trickier side of things today from Teazel, with a lot of effective misdirection (for me, 10ac) and a dash or two of the less-than-obvious. I only managed four of the acrosses on the first pass (10,12,18,21), and one of those was (half-)wrong, but the downs were more forgiving and I finished up in 10.17. Lots of very neat clues, not least the first two acrosses, made this most enjoyable – many thanks to Teazel!

1 Express perhaps support for book (9)
PAPERBACK – [news]PAPER (Express, perhaps) BACK (support)
6 Way in by means of long avenue (5)
VISTA ST. (way) in VIA (by means of)
8 Alien trapped in Alpine tunnel is a fool (9)
SIMPLETON – ET (alien) trapped in SIMPLON (Alpine tunnel). News to me.
9 Paint, a gallon a write-off (5)
GLOSS – G(allon) LOSS (write-off). A rather jarring superfluity of A’s. (Or maybe the idea is “a gallon a write off” = a G per loss = G/Loss, and then ignore the symbol.)
10 Whatever happens, never mind the price (2,3,4)
AT ANY RATE double-ish definition. I originally had “at any cost”, which isn’t quite as close.
12 For a Spaniard, the regular team (6)
ELEVEN – EL (for a Spaniard, “the”) EVEN (regular)
13 Starting to get light, after removing front shade (6)
AWNINGdAWNING (starting to get light, after removing front)
16 Accept responsibility of arranging funeral? (9)
UNDERTAKE – between a double definition and a cryptic hint
18 Mile added into a little circuit (5)
AMBIT – M(ile) added into A BIT (a little)
19 Prepares to pour tea? Is being ruined (4,2,3)
GOES TO POT – cryptic hint. So not an anagram of POUR TEA and TO or IS.
21 Composer’s hard day, struggling by noon (5)
HAYDN – H(ard), anagram (struggling) of DAY, by N(oon)
22 Amazingly true: roses turned up! (9)
RETROUSSE – anagram (amazingly) of ROSES TRUE

1 Spend a long time in corridor (7)
PASSAGE – PASS (spend) AGE (long time)
2 Father’s taking motorway in vast plain (6)
PAMPAS – PAPA’S (father’s) taking in M(otorway)
3 Really out of energy, in this court exchange (5)
RALLY – in plain sight, ReALLY is “out of energy”
4 A brief point is relevant (3)
APT – A PT. (a brief point)
5 Upset entering dark early class (12)
6 Struggle to swallow protein: townsman spoken of for non-meat option (6-6)
VEGGIE-BURGER – VIE (struggle) to swallow EGG (protein), BURGER is “spoken” the same as BURGHER (townsman)
7 Second best and late, break off abruptly (4,4)
STOP DEAD S(econd) TOP (best) DEAD (late)
11 In friendly spirit, claim bay for redevelopment (8)
AMICABLYanagram (for redevelopment) of CLAIM BAY
14 A little change in weather: wind (7)
WREATHE a very slight anagram of WEATHER. Or you could take “a little change” to mean merely shifting the R.
15 Temporary accommodation at American college grounds (6)
CAMPUS CAMP (temporary accommodation) at US (American)
17 Part of treasure trove is consciously old-fashioned (5)
RETRO – “part of” treasuRE TROve
20 Little amphibian featured in English newspaper (3)
EFT E(nglish) FT (newspaper)

33 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2108 by Teazel”

  1. Slow going for me. I also had AT ANY COST at first. Biffed the two long downs, never did check the anagrist for KINDERGARTEN. WREATHE & AWNING took the longest. 9:15.
  2. These so-called “quick” cryptics are supposed to confirm my unspoken assumption that I’m actually some kind of genius – not make me feel stupid!

    0/5 would not try again!

    Seriously though 10:13
    Almost took as long as the 15×15
    Well played Teazel

    1. The Oldie magazine has no qualms about labelling its 15×15 puzzle the Genius Crossword and its 13×13 (non-cryptic) the Moron Crossword. I’ve always felt it was rather harsh on non-cryptic fans!

      Edited at 2022-04-07 05:18 am (UTC)

  3. Ah, not just me then. My slowest Quickie for some time, so I’m relieved (sorry guys) to see Kevin and Lou being held up as well.

    Didn’t know RETROUSSE, SIMPLON or that definition of VISTA, which elevated the level of difficulty. And walking into the At ANY COST trap didn’t really help matters.

    Thanks Teazel and Roly.

  4. 9 minutes, with no problems although I had the slightest MER over avenue = VISTA as I thought it referred to a view rather than a street, but the dictionaries confirm it’s fine.

    The Simplon tunnel is used by trains carrying passengers in luxury between London and Venice, the service being called the Venice-Simplon Orient Express.

    Edited at 2022-04-07 05:31 am (UTC)

  5. I found this tough going finally finishing with AWNING and WREATHE taking the longest to unravel as I had BREATHE for a while.
    NHO the Alpine tunnel but the alien got me there. Also had AT ANY COST until 5dn fell.
    34 minutes.

    Edited at 2022-04-07 07:04 am (UTC)

  6. 15:42 (Mary Queen of Scots born)


    And a poor 5 on Wordle. Looking for a Biathlon of sub 15 QC and 3 or less on Wordle. Also, my new rule is to use a QC answer as the starter for Wordle.

    Edited at 2022-04-07 06:58 am (UTC)

    1. I had a 3 on yesterday’s Wordle, my first for a while. Have you tried Quordle ? It’s four Wordles in one, and much more of a challenge !
      1. Sedecordle is the one Phil … 16 words in 21 guesses. Managed back-to-back 18s last week!
      2. But wait there’s more:
        Duotrigordle — 32 wordles, and a timer on practise mode
        Heardle — try to guess the annoying pop song
        Semantle — destroy your ability to think laterally
        Nerdle — maths!
        Centordle — 100 wordles at once, unleash your inner masochist
        Kilordle — guess, go on, guess

        Edited at 2022-04-07 09:57 pm (UTC)

  7. Got nowhere with this one. Just too difficult for me. Did not enjoy at all.
  8. Big DNF. First for quite a while. Should have known EFT but didn’t, outfoxed by GOES TO POT, NHO RETROUSSE, nowhere near WREATHE or AWNING. Also missed CAMPUS but I fear morale was rather dipped by then. And got to AT ANY RATE via ‘at all cost’. Simplon was news to me to.

    Edited at 2022-04-07 07:55 am (UTC)

  9. Nineteen minutes. Last two minutes on vista, LOI, couldn’t be anything else, but didn’t see the street as a long avenue for ages. Did not parse paperback. FOI awning, and no more acrosses. Only four in by amicably, but then some checkers helped fill in a couple more across, getting me to ten on a kind of first pass. Had in any case, then saw passage. At any case made no sense, cost didn’t fit as amicably was clearly right – aha! rate. We have had kindergarten recently, I think it was clued the same. Thought veggie burger was laboured. Good crossword, lots to think about. Thanks, Roly, and Teazel.
  10. Perhaps it’s covid brain kicking in, but I found this particularly difficult. VISTA LOI. Spent too long looking for an anagram for GOES TO POT. Took an age to see WREATHE. 18:16. Thanks Teazel and Roly.
  11. Slow going today. AT ANY COST felt like a perfectly valid answer, until it didn’t fit in with anything else and had to be revisited. NHO SIMPLON or RETROUSSE but both were kindly clued.
    The left hand side proved slowest to fall as I needed VISTA before the PDM For VEGGIE BURGER.
    Despite my struggles there was a lot to enjoy with my favourite being UNDERTAKE.
    Finished in 12.40 with LOI STOP DEAD
    Thanks to Roly
  12. Needed a break to crack simpleton and LOI pampas. Wreathe was also hard.

    COD Kindergarten or retrousse even though it was clued as an anagram.

  13. Twice as long as yesterday at 12:21. It took me quite a while to get started too — I must have gone through about six across clues before turning to the downs and getting my FOI! I always find Teazel tricky but enjoyable — no exception today. To me, an avenue is a tree-lined road, but I can see that it might lead to a VISTA. I liked SIMPLETON, although I could only think of the Brenner Pass to start. We had coffee and an amazing view from a BP garage at the top of the Brenner Pass a couple of years ago — definitely the most spectacular setting for a BP I’ve ever seen 😅
    FOI Passage
    LOI Retrousse
    COD Goes to pot — good misdirection
    Thanks Teazel and Roly
  14. I am another to find this difficult. Slow to start. Put in AT ANY COST and hoped for the best. Real FOI was EFT, an old friend from the Evening Standard crossword. Then made reasonable progress. Amended 10a to IN ANY CASE.
    After 20 minutes and a few more corrections could not find anything better than VISTA for LOI so came here.
    All correct, thank goodness. My fault for not seeing the parsing of VISTA -I was very confused.
    COD to PAPERBACK. A grown-up challenge which I enjoyed.
  15. With one at the upper end of target.

    I thought it was difficult as I was going along, so my time was something of a surprise. Got only one across clue on the first pass, but as so often, the downs came to rescue with crossers.

    I liked VEGGIE BURGER and SIMPLETON. LOI was APT, because I missed it

    I’m sure we had EFT quite recently.


  16. I was well into the SCC today, at just over 25 minutes — I found it really hard to get started, and then had to drag answers from the depths. NHO RETROUSSE or SIMPLON, and was unaware of the avenue meaning of VISTA, none of which helped, but what else could they be? I also spent far too long looking for an anagram for GOES TO POT, which was my LOI. Thanks Roly and Teazel, I was well-beaten today.
  17. …. primarily due to a reluctance to accept the validity of VISTA, and not helped by having to back out that pesky ‘cost’. I’m not surprised that the Grumbleometer reading is quite high.

    TIME 5:08

  18. A tough one. Needed help to get RETROUSSE and EFT (forgotten this one despite its fairly regular appearance) and guessed VISTA.
  19. I thought today was a perfect example of a fair QC where if you know the rules you can still get answers even if you don’t know part or all of the GK (8ac “Simplon”, 22ac “Retrousse” and 18ac “Ambit” come to mind).

    Appreciate that’s easier said then done, but I know I wouldn’t have got anywhere near this about 3 or 4 years ago.

    With regards to the actual puzzle, I also thought 6ac “Vista” was more of a view and this meant a delay on both this and 7dn “Stop Dead”. Similarly, I initially put “Gone To Pot” for 19ac which left me head scratching for a 3 letter amphibian beginning with “N”.

    FOI — 4dn “Apt”
    LOI — 7dn “Stop Dead”
    COD — 1ac “Paperback”

    Thanks as usual!

    Edited at 2022-04-07 10:52 am (UTC)

  20. Gave up at 1hr20 with the left side unfilled. That was two attempts of 30 + 50mins.

    NHO RETROUSSE, AMBIT, VISTA=long avenue, SIMPLON tunnel, WREATHE, PAMPAS=vast plain (yes to a plant).

    Add on top the traps of GOES-TO-POT (I would say “gone to pot”) and AT-ANY-RATE (at-anycost) and there was just too much work to do.

    Couldn’t get VEGGIE-BURGER which might have helped out. The clue seemed too complex even when I tried to parse it.

    Likewise HAYDN. That was ballsed up by putting WHEATER because I’d put RETROUSER (thinking it was a technical term for turn-ups but obviously doesn’t have the right letters on reflection)

    Thoroughly depressingly experience for what should be fun but simply left me questioning and doubting myself.

    And yet I knew PITON yesterday

    Thank-you to Roly.

    Edited at 2022-04-07 11:26 am (UTC)

    1. I share your pain regarding 19ac “Goes to Pot” (as I put “Gone to Put” myself at first). All I can say is that the tense of the clue often gives away what it should be if there are different ways of saying the same thing.
  21. Yes, tricky. Felt like treacle at time with some bunged in from definition with a few crossers (VEGGIE BURGER) and others very slowly emerging from the w/p (WREATHE and RETROUSSE)

    Thanks all

    Edited at 2022-04-07 11:41 am (UTC)

  22. Found this tough but manageable, although took me well into the scc. Smiled at RETROUSEE as this was a word often used by my late mother. LOI by a good few minutes GLOSS, FOI VEGGIE BURGER, clever, and my COD. Many thanks Roly and Teazel (I enjoyed the challenge very much).
  23. This ended the easy run! Needed help to verify Simplon (NHO) and retroussé. A real grind today but some well designed clues to admire. A real DNF.
  24. 42 minutes, so not fast, but very pleased just to finish error-free today. NHO RETROUSSE (my LOI), which took at least 5 minutes to find and convince myself of.

    VEGGIE BURGER was key, but took absolutely ages to arrive. However, it opened up the LHS for me when it eventually came to mind.

    A few APT words today: If the QC is the KINDERGARTEN of crosswords, and any attempt of mine to break out of the SCC invariably GOES TO POT, it’s because I’m such a SIMPLETON.

    Many thanks to Teazel and roltoly.

    Edited at 2022-04-07 02:59 pm (UTC)

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