Times Quick Cryptic No 2183 by Oink

This was my fastest solve of this week at just under 10 minutes.   Sorry if this feels rushed, but it is.  Family and friends have conspired to steel my time tonight, and I’m writing this after a very good bottle of Rioja.  Thankfully, lots of double definitions helped with the solve.  I hope I have everything nearly right.


Appear when old man’s out of bed? (3,2)

POP UP – POP (old man) and UP (out of bed).

7  Children’s author had a droll disposition (5,4)

ROALD DAHL – Anagram (disposition) of [HAD A DROLL].  Hopefully, everyone has heard of ROALD DAHL.

Creepy sounding place for a bird (5)

EYRIE – Sounds like EERIE (creepy / weird), so a sort of double definition / cryptic hint.

10  One critical of Her Majesty going on strike (7)

KNOCKER – KNOCK (strike) and ER (Her Majesty – Elizabeth Regina).

11  Struck son with glove (7)

SMITTEN – S{on} and MITTEN (glove).

12  Dirty old boy identified, you say (7)

OBSCENE – O{ld} B{oy} and SCENE (sounds like (did you say) SEEN (identified)).

15  On top of everything as a rule (7)

OVERALL – I think this is either a double definition.

18  Half of them getting very angry in Dubai? (7)

EMIRATE – Half of {th}EM and IRATE.

20  Taken illegally, as egg may be  (7)

POACHED – Double definition.

22  Permission to go (5)

LEAVE – Another double definition.

23  French heads welcoming a private conversation (4-1-4)

TÊTE-À-TÊTE –  TÊTE (French for ‘head’) doubled (heads, to give two of them) and separated by A (welcoming a).  A TÊTE-À-TÊTE is a private conversation. (8)

24  Husband out of danger?  That’s a nice surprise? (4)

TREAT – Take H{usband} out of T{h}REAT (husband out of danger (threat)).


Strips and endlessly sleeps around (5)

PEELS – SLEEP{s} (endlessly) reversed (around).

Might it be breakfast time in prison? (8)

PORRIDGE – Double definition, but one needs to lift and separate breakfast and time.

Quite mean to trap Republican (6)

PRETTY – PETTY (mean) containing (to trap) R{epublican}.  “It is pretty / quite warm as I write this, although not as hot as yesterday”.

Disagreeable old duke promises to pay (6)

ODIOUS – O{ld} D{uke} and IOUS (promises to pay).

5  It runs round tree, as dog does (4)

BARK – Double definition.

6  Gangster with a gun making you scared (7)

ALARMED – AL (Capone – gangster) and ARMED (with a gun).

Grant wangled coke somehow (11)

ACKNOWLEDGE – Anagram (somehow) of [WANGLED COKE].

13  Bill hiding in skip – such a lark! (8)

ESCAPADE – ESCAPE (skip) containing AD (bill, as in poster)

14  Track that POW might make? (7)

TOWPATH – Anagram (might make) of [THAT POW].

16  Sheep found under tree in Hindu retreat (6)

ASHRAM – ASH (tree) followed by (found under) RAM (sheep).  In India an ASHRAM is a hermitage for a holy man.

17  Young one on farm has broken leg in deep hole (6)

PIGLET – Anagram (broken) of [LEG] inside PIT (deep hole) to give PIGLET and Oink’s signature trademark self-reference.

19  Portuguese ventriloquist concealing affair (5)

EVENT – Hidden answer inside {portugues}E, VENT{riloquist}.

21  Singer caught in maelstrom occasionally (4)

ALTO – Alternate letters (occasionally) in mAeLsTrOm.

72 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2183 by Oink”

  1. Slow, partly because of EYRIE (I spell it ‘aerie’), but mainly ESCAPADE, which just wouldn’t come. 7:23.

  2. 9:51 A lightning fast time for me – perhaps my timepiece malfunctioned? Helped by remembering PORRIDGE as jail term from previous puzzles. Put in EYRIE right away even though I didn’t think it was pronounced the same as eerie. It’s a word I’ve seen in print but don’t remember ever hearing. I couldn’t see ACKNOWLEDGE until most of the checkers were present and then LOI KNOCKER became clear. Even with the rush and Rioja I think your blog touched all the relevant points!

    1. me too! Also had WARPATH- missed the anagram indicator- and then thought overall must be wrong.

  3. 8 minutes but with one clue unparsed. My solving times for QCs always include parsing unless otherwise stated, but ESCAPADE was my LOI and having spent a minute trying to see how it worked and failing, I decided to abandon my usual practice for once. My mistake was becoming fixated on AC for ‘bill’ and not considering the very common alternative AD which was right under my nose.

  4. I really wanted it to be WARPATH. a track that a pow takes? Cmoooon. That held me up with OVERALL.

    I also had trouble with ESCAPE I just couldn’t find a word for skip that could fit around AD.

    Everything was straightforward though! Oink is my very favourite.

  5. 957 Mercia and Northumbria rebel against King Eadwig

    No real hold-ups, just squeaking a rare sub 10, at 9:57. LOI TOWPATH as did nit see it as an anagram until late, and then it was still a tricky one.

    LEAVE, as clued, seems like we had it recently.


  6. An extraordinary day in which my sub-7 minute finish stands proud against all the maestros! All done, all parsed, all enjoyed and it will probably never happen again.

    Many thanks to Rotter for the blog

  7. Taken over 10m by ESCAPADE where I couldn’t see what ‘bill’ was up to . Then I stuck in ‘eerie’ for EYRIE because I didn’t take the time to read the clue properly. One pink square.

  8. 5.20

    Nice one from Oink as normal. I do these on my phone so don’t know the setter until I come here – except when words like PIGLET appear

    Quite a gentle one today. ESCAPADE was also my LOI but fortunately it sprang to mind

    Liked TOWPATH

    Thanks Oink and Rotter

  9. All done in 12.03, but like others was held up by ESCAPADE which was my LOI and took me at least 3 mins to work out.

    Thanks to Oink and Rotter for cheering up my breakfast muesli.

    1. Yes, ok – that was a pink square, maybe a red one after the Rioja. As colourful as my face now you have pointed out my error! But I’m going to leave it as is for now. To be honest, I’m surprised there aren’t more like it in my blogs.

  10. I am another phone-on-the-train solver so it’s rare that I guess the setter correctly – but PIGLET was the sure sign!

    A rare foray below 6 minutes for me, since except for my LOI this was “solve on sight”. Some lovely, smooth clues.

    FOI POP-UP, LOI KNOCKER, COD ALARMED, time 05:33 for a very (very) rare sub-K and thus the delights of a Red Letter Day.

    Many thanks Oink and Rotter.


    1. Red Letter Day? Sounds as though you had no Red letters at all. Five mins on a phone is tremendous.

  11. My straight forward solve was marred by a typo and hence pink square at 8d. I got the correct EYRIE though having read the clue twice. Only two clues required a second glance….the anagram TOWPATH and the container clue ESCAPADE. 6:39 with an unforced error.

  12. 18 minutes with the top half falling quickly.
    FOI: PRETTY as I realised 1ac ended in UP; POP UP followed.
    LOI: I thought was TOWPATH until I spotted ALTO missing.
    Favourite: The clever TOWPATH.
    I read the clue several times before EYRIE went in.

  13. As above. Would have been sub 15 but for nearly 5 minutes to get ESCAPADE but in the end it was sub 20 at 19.35 so I am pleased. Thanks Rotter and Oink.

  14. Another frustrating 31-min DNF with 5-to-go at 12-mins, 3 at 15, 1 at 18. So close but not quite finishing out yet. Just couldn’t see TOWPATH as an anagram because I’d BIFed smashed instead of POACHED. Corrected that and later spotted I’d put EeRIE.

    Last five in were TOWPATH, OVERALL, PORRIDGE, ALARMED, ODIOUS in reverse order. Think PORRIDGE would have been a write-in with more experience.

    PRETTY should be easy for anyone paying attention as we had it two days ago with the same “quite” definition. And ROALD-DAHL came up start of last week.

    Despite all that I had a slow start up the top and I was glad to unravel ACKNOWLEDGE quickly which set up many of the others. A set of clues that included many aha moments after staring in bewilderment on first glance.

    Thanks to Rotter and Oink 🙂

    1. I’m very interested to see how much better I get in a years time just from knowing answers by rote!

      Also builds a good case for trying the 15×15 I guess. I will never build that vocabulary for those puzzles if I don’t start doing them.

      1. Realising I’ve always been enthusiastic to get better at things in the past, but with hindsight understanding I moved up too quickly; I’ve made a deal with myself not to start the 15×15 until December when I’ll have been doing these a year. Really want to bed in my progress.

        That said, I did try Monday’s as someone on here said it was approachable. I got about 5 answers. I then put in a couple of tentative words, used the Check button and got myself out to about a quarter done. Gave up after an hour of trying. When I read the blog, I felt like I should have got it at least half done.

  15. The easiest QC I have experienced in a long time. Most of the answers went in without much difficulty at all. That is except for my last one, 13d. It just would not come to me. In the end I had to reach for an aid. But once I was given one additional letter, escapade hit me.

  16. I supported Bedford Town FC who called themselves the Eagles ( as do the present revived club) so I watched many games at the Eyrie. It’s only through recent blogs that I’ve realised there could be any other spelling. I managed this in about 6 mins but I got lucky becuase even though I got them ,some of the cluing was a bit of a stretch. Enjoyable – thanks setter and blogger!

  17. A speedy time spoiled by a careless EERIE. Almost a top to bottom solve with just TOWPATH and the confusingly simple (for me) PEELS needing a second visit.
    Thanks to Rotter

  18. 5:17, but with a careless COWPATH where I inexplicably failed to check the anagrist. Brain fade! Thanks Oink and Rotter.

    1. I’m sure there was an episode of ‘Allo ‘Allo (cringe) where the escaped British airmen were dressed up in a pantomime cow to try and get them out of France. Via a cowpath, no doubt 😀

  19. Mostly done in a standard 6 minutes. ESCAPADE took a third as long again, and I only got it by putting a D in at the end, thinking EVADE might be “skip”.

    I liked TREAT for its simplicity.


  20. 3:32 this morning.
    Starting to get my mojo back (at least for the QC) after a roller coaster year, when my daily routines have been disrupted a fair bit.
    A gentle offering from our porcine setter but a welcome morale boost nonetheless. Had similar experience to others with 13 d “escapade” but it had to be. Liked the neatness of 5d “bark”.
    So, hoping to contribute more again to this website which I enjoy so much, even when I’ve just been reading it of late. Thanks again to everyone involved in setting it up.
    Thanks also to Oink and Rotter for the blog – Rioja never did anyone any harm clearly!

  21. I thought there’d be some quick times today for this one and I followed suit coming in at 6.58. Amazed to see I was quicker than Kevin which happens once or twice a year in my case!
    I suspected quite a few would put in EERIE as this type of clue can often be misread or misinterpreted.

  22. I seem to be one of the many who found the puzzle very approachable except for ESCAPADE which was LOI after much thought. Guessed ASHRAM from clue (NHO). PIGLET the regulation porcine offering from Oink!

  23. A friendly enough puzzle from Oink, producing a straightforward 16min top to bottom solve. A slight pause with Smitten in thinking of the glove, but any delay was balanced by getting Escapade via a test fit of AC when I had a couple of crossers in place. CoD to 14d, Towpath – shame that warpath didn’t quite work. Invariant
    PS I trust that the rioja was at the very least a magnum if it had to stretch to family and friends . . .

  24. A gentle stroll today with this. I had a bit of an ‘aha’ moment with ASHRAM which I had got confused with ASHLAR recently. COD to the cheeky 1D. Thanks Oink and Rotter. 3:46.

  25. I was pleased to be able to download Oink’s QC today and equally pleased to finally get enough on-board wi-fi to be able to post this, too.
    A nice, straightforward puzzle which I finished in 11 mins. Not as fast as many posters above but OK for me after hovering around the SCC with only a few on-target solves since I last posted (I have been downloading back issues of the Times when in port and then having a binge).
    Thanks to Oink and Rotter. John M.

  26. Brilliant puzzle – humorous, great surfaces, my favourite for weeks! I had a big smile all the way through. I think I may have squeaked in just under 1K again at just over 7 minutes today – that seems to be the pattern this week. 7, 13, 13,7 – will it be 10 tomorrow? That would be tidy 😊
    I particularly liked POACHED, BARK and the idea of a Portuguese ventriloquist.
    FOI Pretty (just because I saw it immediately) LOI Smitten (yes I was with this puzzle) COD Roald Dahl
    Many thanks Oink and Rotter. Bacon rolls and Rioja (the setters’ favourite red wine) – a match made in heaven?

  27. 8 mins – a rare sub 10, and pretty much tying with previous PB’s…

    This felt like an old school Oink, where the puzzles used to be relatively straightforward (I have felt for sometime that they had got more difficult). Only issue was a quick bit of self doubt where I wondered whether it was Eyrie or Eerie.

    FOI – 1ac “Pop Up”
    LOI – 18ac “Emirate”
    COD – 13dn “Escapade”

    Thanks as usual!

  28. 12 minutes all parsed – one of my faster times. Most went in on first read through leaving me with just a handful of slightly trickier clues for the second pass. Had to look up EYRIE to check that I had the spelling correct. Thanks to Oink for an approachable puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    FOI – 1ac POP UP
    LOI – 13dn ESCAPADE (the only clue which required significant pause for thought)
    COD – 6dn ALARMED – loved the surface

  29. Wow! Only 13 minutes today – way under the SCC threshold and a silver medal performance for me. I solved a large proportion of the clues on my first pass, which is almost unheard of. And, all parsed as I went. No favourite clues – just the whole puzzle.

    Now, Mrs Random and I are off to Great Dixter (house and garden in East Sussex) for a GD Friends’ event this afternoon. The head gardener, Fergus Garrett, will update us all on how things have been going this sesaon, and on future plans. Always an inspiring experience.

    Many thanks to Oink and Rotter

    1. What a day! Congrats on the time and hope you had a lovely time at Great Dixter 😊

      1. Thankyou! Great Dixter was wonderful, as usual. Fergus Garrett talked to us about the amazing range of species to be found within GDs relatively small (50 acres) boundaries. After exploring the gardens and wild flower meadows, we all sat around on hay bales, drank punch and were served a mini cream tea. It was informing, inspiring and delightful. Christopher Lloyd’s (and Fergus’) succession planting philosophy meant that much had changed since our last visit (only two weeks ago), so we are planning to go again sometime in August. Fergus assured us that much will have changed again by then.

    2. Unless you slipped in a stunning PB while I was off-grid, I would have thought gold ?

      1. My current gold medal performance – 12 minutes – occurred on 10th January, this year (No. 2045, Izetti). And, I have now achieved 18 sub-20s in the 26 months since I started these QCs. Despie much gnasing of teeth, I am gradually getting there.

    3. Well done, Mr Random, a superb time. I hope the garden visit was enjoyed, by you both.

  30. 12 mins, ignoring one pink in eyrie, so didn’t even finish my pint. Half my usual solving time.
    Rotter- 15 ac. Is there a superfluous ‘either’ in your blog? If the clue had started ‘Protective garment….’ Then it would have been a triple.
    Bet you’re glad you didn’t get 3 Izettis in a row. 😱. J

    1. Yes, thank you – I started along one line of thought, then plumped for a straightforward dd and didn’t go back to check.

  31. 11:43 but took ages on escapade and also stuck in Eerie.

    Liked towpath and alarmed.

  32. 13 minutes and LOI Towpath but I’m in the Eerie camp – it’s so long that I have read the word Eyrie that I had forgotten that it existed. So DNF….
    Thanks all

  33. Finished within our modest target, but with eerie for 9a. 13d escapade only solved by the checkers. Enjoyable puzzle.

  34. A straight write in this evening.
    Did like piglet but nearly pooh poohed the idea

  35. My first complete solve!
    Looking at the comments it seems to have been a relatively easy one so I won’t get my hopes up for tomorrow.

  36. I too found this reasonably straightforward. I’ve at last got quite/pretty lodged in my brain. I don’t need the pressure of a ticking clock, but I was under 20 mins. A relief after feeling like I was wading through treacle earlier in the week.

    Thanks for the blog Rotter. I always find your blog very entertaining. I hope you enjoyed the Rioja!

    1. Thank you Gary, I did, although probably a little too much when on blogging duty!

  37. I usually get to these QC’s late in the day so miss the banter as it occurs. I loved 14D, as a narrow boat owner it was a shoo in and confirmed my view: easy if you know the answer and impossible if you don’t. Panicking that I might have missed something until 17D confirmed our setter. All finished, blog and comments read, perfect entertainment. Thank you all.

    Just need to establish an account and make this a breakfast treat rather than a tea time one. Ric

  38. 7:40 here, a possible PB (I should write these things down). Coming to this late in the day in California, so Friday’s is already available, but I’ll try to restrain myself. FOI the “UP” part of POP UP, LOI ESCAPADE. Favorite PEELS, for the lovely surface. Thanks to setter & blogger.

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