Times Quick Cryptic No 2113 by Breadman

Well, I found this a very interesting puzzle from Breadman.  My solving time of 11 minutes suggests that it was easier than average, but I think some of the parsing was tricky, particularly in the down clues, and I think my time flatters my difficulties somewhat.

I tried to spell 21a with an A where the first O belongs initially, which left me trying to justify ALÉ as a cry of approval (ALÉ LES BLEU anyone?), but quickly saw the error of my ways.  There were a few other bear-pits to avoid or explain, including a plethora of clues where one was required to remove or retain the first and / or last letters, but it was most entertaining.  Thanks Breadman.


1  Be quiet about group’s sluggishness(5)
SLOTH – SH (be quiet) surrounding LOT (group).
7  English political party make speech that’s highly detailed (9)
ELABORATE – E{nglish} with LAB (political party – LABour) and ORATE (make speech).
9  One youngster taking in one classical poem (5)
ILIAD – I (one) and LAD (youngster) taking in another I (one).
10  Go over, stifling unusual painter working (9)
OPERATING – GO (reversed, over) containing (stifling) an anagram (unusual) of [PAINTER].
11  Rugby match in the centre creates furrow (3)
RUT – RU (Rugby Union, rugby) and {ma}T{ch} (in the centre).
12  Maybe lying at home because trek endless (9)
INSINCERE – IN (at home) with SINCE (because) and {t}RE{k} (endless, remove opening and closing letters).
14  Cooks with fashionable vessel (9)
STEAMSHIP – STEAMS (cooks) with HIP (fashionable).
16  Dad’s fizzy drink (3)
POP – Double definition.
18  War game confused inapt party (9)
PAINTBALL – Anagram (confused) of [INAPT] to give PAINT and then BALL (party).
20 Boredom displayed by some teen nuisance (5)
ENNUI – Hidden (displayed by some) in {te}EN NUI{sance}.
21  Doctor with cry of approval, over the top, about opera (9)
RIGOLETTO – RIG (doctor) with OLÉ (cry of approval – in Spain) and OTT (Over The Top) reversed (about).
22  Old heartless swine in New York, prying (5)
NOSEY – N{ew} Y{ork} containing O{ld} and S{win}E (heartless).


Creepy-crawly mounted sink in residence (6)
SPIDER – DIP (sink) reversed (mounted) in RES{idence} also reversed.  RES. is an acceptable abbreviation for residence in my on-line Chambers, but only with the full stop.  Maybe someone else can parse this better, but this is all I could see.
2  The East European twice used arena for sport (12)
ORIENTEERING – ORIENT (the East) followed by EE (European twice used) and RING (arena).  ORIENTEERING is a sport where contestants make their way from point to point in difficult country against the clock with the help of a map and a compass.  I used to do it back in the day, before I became an exclusively armchair sportsman (except for golf, where I play in a buggy / arm chair!)
Pleasure seeking male teacher is married (8)
HEDONISM – HE (male) with DON (teacher) and IS M (IS M{arried}).
4  Coach starts to execute slow smooth stroke (6)
CARESS – CAR (coach) and first letters of (starts to) E{xecute} S{low} S{mooth}.  I find the image presented by this clue and answer slightly creepy-crawly!
5  Mock a closing musical piece (4)
CODA – COD (as in to mock or poke fun at) and A (a).  I vaguely remembered the musical term, I think from crosswords.
6 Insubstantial meal, mostly greens, half finished (6)
MEAGRE – MEA{l} (mostly) and GRE{ens} (half finished).
8  Broadcast special bands somewhere in mid-Australia (5,7)
ALICE SPRINGS – Anagram (broadcast) of [SPECIAL] followed by RINGS (bands).
13  Upcoming article by Rod on emperor (8)
NAPOLEON – AN (article) reversed (upcoming) to give NA next to (by) POLE (rod) and ON (on).
14  Excellent stand-in welcomes training run (6)
SUPERB – SUB (stand-in) containing PE (training) and R(un).
15  Try on top and bottom of this suit (6)
HEARTS – HEAR (try, as in try in a court) on T{hi}S (top and bottom meaning first and last letter).
17  Appease father whenever in outskirts of city (6)
PACIFY – PA (father) and IF (whenever) in C{it}Y (outskirts).
21  On the radio, closely follow story (4)
TALE – Sounds like (on the radio) TAIL (closely follow).

30 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2113 by Breadman”

  1. Went smoothly after I realized NAPOLEON doesn’t end with”an” and ” veggie” wasn’t the answer for an insubstantial meal of greens. Thanks for help parsing CARESS and SPIDER.
  2. I was awfully slow on this one, with SUPERB, SPIDER, INSINCERE among others taking far too long. (I had SPIDER fairly early on, but couldn’t see how it worked.) Biffed ALICE SPRINGS without reading the clue besides ‘Australia’. Not that it matters, but isn’t ‘mock’ an adjective here? 9:20.
  3. I did not finish half this puzzle. I clearly find clues with many parts very confusing. I managed the SE corner of the puzzle fine, but the SW was just terrible.

    My first word was POP and I would have never gotten RIGOLETTO. Seems to be lots of musical references in crosswords.

    Also every time I learn a new crosswordy thing e.g p for piano for quiet, the next time I see that clue it’s something else, eg sh for quiet Hahahaha tricksy

    I think I’m also finding that some setters are better for me than others, but on the app it doesn’t tell you who the setter is.

    Ah well, always next time!

    1. Oh and today I learned the word COD to mean like.. A fake… I don’t know if that’s a common word in the UK I’ve never heard it in Australia. I’m also a millennial and some of the crosswordy words have just fallen out of common usage.

      Can someone tell me what MER stands for in context of the comments on this blog? Thanks in advance!

      1. MER minor/major eyebrow raise There’s a glossary (link on the right margin near the top of the page–I don’t know where it is on your app). I.e. one finds some thing in the clue less than satisfactory.
        NORMA & AIDA probably the most used operas here. While I’m at it, ‘novel’ usually SHE (of course, it could be an anagram indicator); ‘film’ ET, ‘poem’ IF.
        It’s a fairly common complaint about the datedness of some words used here.
        1. Ah thanks so much for your patience. I will check out the links page now.

          I have never heard of She the novel nor If the poem!

          1. I believe the she of ‘She’ is alluded to by Rumpole when he refers to his wife as ‘she who must be obeyed’. I’ve never read it, mind you; never will.
            1. She refers to the novel of that name by H Rider-Haggard, used to be compulsory reading for school children back in the day, but is probably considered not politically correct these days. It was a good adventure read as far as I can remember, and made an impression on me when I read it some 60 years ago.

              If is a famous poem by Rudyard Kipling, who is also considered non politically correct these days, although this poem is well worth looking up, as are some of his others. I particularly like his ode about the Royal Marines — a soldier and a sailor too.

              Edited at 2022-04-14 08:15 am (UTC)

    2. Hi Tina — I’m sure you’ll find that you click with some setters more than others! As you will find out, wavelength is a wonderful thing 😅 I definitely have favourites — Oink for the humour (and obligatory piggy reference), Orpheus for classic crosswords (although I found him very tricky for the first few years) and Izetti, who, although he sets very sophisticated crosswords, is always fair! When you first complete one of his, it is very gratifying!
      Welcome to our world, and good luck with your crossword journey 😊
  4. Rather sloppy I put HEDONIST which foiled my efforts on STEAMSHIP. Also, annoyingly I too had an A in RIGOLETTO but failed to see the error of my ways.

    Edited at 2022-04-14 02:08 am (UTC)

    1. If I didn’t insist on parsing as I go I’d have been a lot quicker as it was the parsing rather than finding the answers that stretched me to 13 minutes on this one.

      On Rotter’s comment about RES, I can’t say I’d ever considered the matter of full-stops before as lots of abbreviations require them officially but in practice they are omitted, and like accents in foreign words, there’s no facility to include them in the grid anyway so I’d say they they can safely be ignored by setters and solvers alike. ‘Des res’ is common enough in estate agent parlance and has been around for as long as I can remember.

      Edited at 2022-04-14 05:02 am (UTC)

  5. 30-minute solving time but BIFD INSINCERE and ALICE SPRINGS parsing post solve.
    RIGOLETTO BIFD and reverse engineered.
    LOI: CARESS as CAR for ‘Coach’ took a while to come to mind.
  6. Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, which didn’t hold me up for too long – although I gave up trying to parse SPIDER. Was relieved that I only required a brief alphabet trawl for LOI and the very vaguely known CODA.
    Too many good clues to pick one out but a tip of the hat to STEAMSHIP and ORIENTEERING. Finished in 7.47
    Thanks to Rotter
  7. Tough – especially SW corner, not helped by carelessly putting HEDONIST instead of HEDONISM originally.
  8. ….and my 5 minute target was discarded part way through, as I struggled to parse ALICE SPRINGS and OPERATING. A decent challenge from Breadman which I enjoyed

    TIME 6:23

  9. Started with SLOTH and finished with ORIENTEERING. Some cogitation required in between! Managed to get HEDONISM first go. 9:00. Thanks Breadman and Rotter.
  10. …for going for speed and so tripped over my own undone shoelaces with duff OPERATION and HEDONIST each of which hindered MEAGRE and STEAMSHIP and meant a break was taken before completion. Should have known better for what was a very tasty puzzle.
    Thanks Breadman and Rotter

    Edited at 2022-04-14 10:26 am (UTC)

  11. in this puzzle. Didn’t hold me up too much though, so I must have been on wavelength.

    ORIENTEERING last in and last parsed!


  12. A rare sub-20 for me today. Found the parsing tricky in places but was only stumped by the ‘res’ in SPIDER — thanks Rotter for the explanation. FOI SLOTH, LOI MEAGRE, enjoyed PAINTBALL and STEAMSHIP. Challenging but doable — many thanks Breadman.
  13. Trickier than Breadman’s average offering, but very enjoyable as usual. LOI CODA which I was worried about not getting as my knowledge of musical pieces is not vast. Pleased to remember RIGOLETTO too, which I also would have spelt with an A had it not been for the wordplay. COD to ORIENTEERING. Time 25:18. Thanks Breadman and Rotter.
  14. Half term meant daughters clogging up the computers this morning, so a lunchtime solve on my phone. Crossed the line in 21m with some hard work required.
  15. Challenging today as far as I was concerned. I didn’t get too many on a first read through and those that I did get were spread all over the grid. This lead to a slow grind through the outstanding clues as the grid gradually filled up until my last one in 6dn for which I had to resort to aids as I just couldn’t see it. Definitely not on Breadman’s wavelength.

    FOI – 1ac SLOTH
    LOI – 6dn MEAGRE
    COD – 3dn HEDONISM

    Thanks to Rotter for providing me with several missing parsings and to Breadman.

  16. 10 minutes, which surprised me as I thought it had taken longer. At the time I thought it was quite tricky and I never did parse RIGOLETTO or ORIENTEERING! Not only was the cluing for 4d a bit creepy, I thought 3d was too!
    FOI Iliad
    LOI Rigoletto
    COD Hearts
    Thanks Breadman and Rotter
  17. … only to discover REG(istered) is not one of the abbreviations for doctor. Never thought of RIG – doh.

    Spent last 20-mins trying to figure out RIGOLETTO before double-checking whether I had put the correct TALE in. I hadn’t – much harder to get OLE with a middle I !!

    ORIENTEERING – I used to back in the day. I’d imagine this being Easter weekend the annual JK event will be taking place somewhere in the country. Memories of standing around on a freezing cold Easter Sunday in 1985 trying to find a control somewhere in Northumberland.

    Another day of BIFfing and struggling to parse SPIDER, HEARTS, INSINCERE, ALICE SPRINGS – why is broadcast not indicating a homophone?

    FOI POP (happened to glance at it).
    LbOI CARESS (car=coach really?)

    Felt like there wasn’t much help from checkers with quite a few words beginning with vowels.

    Slow to get there but pleased to near-complete it without aids. Another “wouldnt-have-done-that-a-month-ago”.

    Edited at 2022-04-14 04:00 pm (UTC)

  18. POP, ENNUI and NOSEY were the only successes on my first pass through the across clues, and I fared little better with the downs. So, when Mrs Random finished (25 minutes) I had successfully solved fewer than 10 clues and a long haul beckoned. Bit by bit, however, things came together until I was faced with 1d (SPIDER), 9a (ILIAD), 21a (RIGOLETTO) and my LOI 5d (CODA).

    I did eventually solve and parse these clues, but I had NHO the opera and DNK that COD = ‘Mock’. CODA, therefore, ended up as a semi-educated guess. In the end, my finishing time was 55 minutes. Rather embarrassing, I’d say, but at least it wasn’t a DNF.

    Many thanks to Breadman and Rotter.

    P.S. I loved ORIENTEERING, as it’s a sport I have toyed with ever since my university days. I still participate, but only at hurried walking pace these days.

    Edited at 2022-04-14 04:21 pm (UTC)

  19. Totally off the pace/wavelength today. Didn’t help that I couldn’t spell Napoleon.

    Upon reading the blog, apart from maybe Rigolleto, the ones I couldn’t get 2dn “Orienteering”, 18ac “Paintball” and 10ac “Operating” we’re all annoyingly obtainable.

    FOI — 6dn “Meagre”
    LOI — dnf
    COD — 2dn “Orienteering”

    Thanks as usual!

  20. Didn’t find this too tricky but let down by some unparsed biffs. Sorted out hedonism for hedonist and operating for operation but Rigaletto was my downfall

    Till tomorrow

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