Times Quick Cryptic No 2133 by Mara

A plethora of anagrams and double definitions from Mara today, my second consecutive blog of a Mara puzzle.  I like the dd at 1d, and the device used to drop letters from 16d, and give clues of the day jointly to them.  1a was FOI.  Hopefully you will all find this one satisfyingly doable.  I don’t have an accurate time as busy doing other things, but I feel this was certainly within my target.


Sunny city on the French Riviera (4)

NICE – Double definition – nice!.

Shape on the page not entirely irregular (8)

HEPTAGON – Anagram (irregular) of [ON THE PAG[e}] (not entirely = drop the last letter of {pag}E from the anagrist).

9  A hybrid sort of clue (6)

ACROSS – A (a) and CROSS (hybrid).

10  Parade trinkets also (6)

TATTOO – TAT (trinkets) TOO (also).

11 Uninteresting place to live (4)

FLAT – Double definition – and Norfolk doesn’t fit.

12  Mention a funny name (8)

NOMINATE – Anagram (funny) of [MENTION A].

15  Alarm when the cut finger sprained (8)

FRIGHTEN – Anagram (sprained) of [TH{e} (cut = drop the last letter) FINGER]

17  Cricketer with beer to knock back (4)

SLIP – PILS (beer) reversed (to knock back).  There are some excellent schematic maps of cricket fielding positions that may help our non-cricket-familiar friends, just google ‘map of cricket fielding positions’.

18  Nude is strangely finding knickers, say (6)

UNDIES – Anagram (strangely) of [NUDE IS].

21 Racket that has strings attached (6)

FIDDLE – Cryptic hint.

22  Complete reinvention of triangle (8)

INTEGRAL – Anagram (reinvention) of [TRIANGLE].

23 Song in concert, unexceptional (4)

TUNE – Hidden answer (in) {concer}T, UNE{xceptional}.


Something sent round (8)

CIRCULAR – Double definition.

Again organise seaside town (6)

RESORT – Double definition.

3  Box fastener in wood (8)

CHESTNUT – CHEST (box) and NUT (fastener).

Notice spinners turning (4)

SPOT – TOPS (spinners) reversed (turning).

5 Box where sculpture perhaps hidden in deception (6)

CARTON – ART (sculpture perhaps) hidden inside CON (deception).

6 Nuts eaten by buffalo, countless (4)

LOCO – Hidden answer inside (eaten by) {buffa}LO, CO{untless}.

13  Chap, if elderly, having various functions (8)

MANIFOLD – MAN (chap) IF (if) OLD (elderly).

14  Fit girl running round bottom of garden, minor (8)

TRIFLING – Anagram (running round) of [FIT GIRL] and {garde}N (bottom of = last letter).

16  Plane top in Germany, though many lost (6)

GLIDER – LID (top) inside GER{many} (many lost means drop the last 4 letters).

17  Dope fixing a steed (6)

SEDATE – Anagram (fixing) of [A STEED].

19  Not any of it, sister said? (4)

NONE – Homophone, sounds like NUN (sister).

20  European sensing English rather bitter, first of all (4)

SERB – First letters (first of all) of Sensing English Rather Bitter.

26 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2133 by Mara”

  1. I suspect many of our regulars will be surprised to find tattoo defined as a parade. There are actually two words in the English language spelled and pronounced tattoo, one from Dutch and one from Tahitian. The Tahitian one is the one everyone thinks of nowadays, but this clue refers to the other one.
  2. I was a bit slow on this chatting to the people next to me in a bar, so not fully concentrating. But all correct. I lived in Edinburgh for years, but I’m still not sure I’d call the Edinburgh Tattoo a parade, but the wordplay was clear. I also lived just outside NICE for years, and with four letters that is the only choice.
    1. I was born a stone’s throw from the North CIRCULAR road and grew up near a popular South coast RESORT, but those life events didn’t make either clue any easier, I’m afraid.
  3. 10 minutes, so on target, but only just. It would have been more comfortable if I hadn’t lost time looking at ‘sunny = nice’ several times before deciding it had to be what was intended. ‘Nice weather’ for example doesn’t necessarily mean ‘sunny’ – ‘not raining’ would have been nice here yesterday!

    Edited at 2022-05-12 04:42 am (UTC)

  4. Started better on the left than the right. I was sure I saw ‘pentagon’ in the anagrist and getting to HEPTAGON took a while, which then made CHESTNUT leap off the page. Needed to take a long look at GLIDER to parse. All green a little under 12 — could have been faster but I was worn out just trying to find the puzzles today!
  5. 23 minutes all parsed although with GLIDER I took a while to unravel the wordplay thinking G for the top of Germany for too long before the penny dropped.


  6. My online paper has no puzzles online. I’ve had to print instead.
    I must say that doing the Quick Cryptic was a lot quicker for me than fat fingering an iPad keyboard!
    1. The puzzles appear in my on-line paper now -=perhaps a refresh will help?
  7. Just made the SCC at 20:15. I expect some will have found the clues where one must discard letters a struggle. Less common in QC methinks?
    Good fun and thanks Rotter and Mara

  8. Sunny = nice and cricketer = slip were a bit weak for me but a good challenge. Thanks setter and blogger.
  9. Straightforward solve for me today, despite the potentially tricky grid layout. Finished in 8.16 with LOI HEPTAGON.
    Thanks to Rotter
  10. I’m very grateful I watch cricket. The sheer number of silly (lol) terms in that game

    I have never heard of the word TAT before, but I’m fine with a tattoo being a parade.

  11. Took me a while to get into gear with the NW not yielding anything at first. SPOT and TATTOO were first in. Gradually worked my way round the grid finishing with GLIDER which took a moment to parse. 8:13. Thanks Mara and Rotter.
  12. Started slowly and was off the wavelength. Then finished quickly after getting manifold I think.

    COD integral and nominate.

  13. Fell short on TRIFLING as I failed to see anagram . Considered tripling and triplane but finally threw in the towel. Enjoyed rest of puzzle especially TATTOO and CHESTNUT. Thanks for clearing up how anagram for HEPTAGON worked.
  14. Just on the cusp of the SCC with this, and although it took a while to get going I did find it enjoyable.

    Never did parse 16dn “Glider”, and whilst I recognised it was one where letters had to be dropped I didn’t realise it meant Germany (I assumed the G came from the “top in Germany”).

    I thought “Nice” and “Slip” were ok.

    FOI — 4dn “Spot”
    LOI — 16dn “Glider”
    COD — 18ac “Undies”

    Thanks as usual!

    PS. Seems to be a plethora of crossword discussions on TV and the radio this morning. Has something happened I’m not aware of?

    1. Kate – Duchess of Cambridge – helped a Uni of Edinburgh student complete The Times Crossword yesterday on their 20-min visit, according to the article I saw online.

      Clue was something like “where The Queen gets her money from” (5,4) [not cryptic]

      1. There are some 470 comments after the Times report online about a woman who, hardly surprisingly, knows what the civil list is 😳 An extraordinary amount of newsprint / airtime given to a non-event. I admit that I looked at the piece because I thought (hoped) it would be an interesting clue but it wasn’t even cryptic! Aaargh!
  15. … I was well and truly trounced by Mrs R today. She rattled it off in 18 minutes and is now out in the garden “doing something useful with her time”, whereas I had hardly reached the halfway point at that stage. I eventually finished in 37 minutes, which is actually not too bad for me, but the top half of the grid posed some significant problems.

    My FOI was NICE, which went in as I finished reading the clue, but also with a question mark, as I couldn’t see anything cryptic about the clue. The surface just read as a single definition to me, and it still does.

    Nothing else in the top half came quickly, so I had to build slowly from the bottom. Most clues were fully parsed along the way, although I had to come here to understand how 16d (GLIDER) worked. Also, I DNK ‘Nuts’ = LOCO. My LOI was SLIP, partly because I had earlier biffed SWIG for ‘to knock back’.

    Many thanks, both to Mara and Rotter.

  16. 1hr01 to complete. Although NICE was FOI, my journey began in the SE corner with the hidden TUNE. I’m not sure I’d have ever got going without that. Then spread west via SEDATE UNDIES and up until the stubborn NW remained.

    Biggest stumbling block was going from penTAGON to sEPTAGAON to HEPTAGON. Which held up SPOT and CHESTNUT (LOI).

    For a while, I thought ACROSS clue might be “sort of clue” but couldn’t make any sense of that.


    Thanks to Rotter and Mara

  17. Slower than we would have liked. We were fairly quick with the anagrams but double definitions always give us problems. However an enjoyable puzzle, thanks Mara.
  18. Managed very few at first look, but gradually things became clearer and I was pleased to complete this fairly difficult puzzle in the end.
  19. Slow to start and didn’t really speed up much, leading to a rather steady solve in 22 mins. Didn’t parse GLIDER but managed to parse everything else.

    FOI – 7ac NICE
    LOI – 16dn GLIDER
    COD – 18ac UNDIES, although there are honourable mentions to ACROSS, TATTOO, FLAT and SPOT for the very tight clueing.

    Thanks to Mara and Rotter

  20. over target, but not by much

    decent enough puzzle from what I remember


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