Times Quick Cryptic No 2192 by Oink Joker

6:33, which I would say is the time I tend to get when I have a lock on enough of the wordplay in each clue to biff the rest. Sadly, I wasn’t able to fully enjoy this puzzle, as I am currently trying to stay sane on “vacation” with my kids.

My conventions in the solutions below are to underline definitions (including a defining phrase); put linking words in [brackets]; and put all wordplay indicators in italics. I also use a solidus (/) to help break up the clue where necessary, especially for double definitions without linking words.

1 British Power introducing complete copper plant (9)
6 Parental guidance needed about current nature of Peppa (3)
PIG – PG around I

Yes I have children. No I don’t know about Peppa Pig.

8 4 x 4 exits badlywith men missing motorway (7)
SIXTEEN – anagram of EXITS + MEN without M
9 An attack of illness [is] concerning (5)
10 Minimum as written into lease (5)
12 The one or the other unit covered in solvent (6)
14 Fail to win in record / lap [in] local relay (6-7)

‘Relay’ as in ‘broadcast’, not a race!

16 Mother swan[’s] wet (6)
17 Best prepare for exam about English (5)
CREAM – CRAM around E
19 Abbot’s deputy [with] previous conviction (5)
PRIOR – double definition

I didn’t think I knew the first definition, but I guess I have heard of ‘prioress’.

20 Do an impression of one friend with grasp of Italian (7)
IMITATE – I + MATE around IT
22 Weight[’s] never going over (3)
TON – NOT reversed
23 Fix mother part [in] long rambling story (9)

I never knew this as a convoluted story, but more like a convoluted situation.

1 Fawlty / in charge of / a building in Rome (8)
2 Charge [of] cab not going all the way (3)
TAX – TAXI without last letter
3 Everton’s first opening game? (5)
EVENT – first letter of EVERTON + VENT

Not the strongest definition.

4 Tory going down [as] offensively patronising (13)
5 Selection of food — continuous talk about pounds (7)
6 Sue creeps out all over the place (9)

My last one. I imagine I was not the only one who tried to anagram SUE CREEPS to no avail.

7 Size of crowd entering at Everton needs greatly reducing (4)
11 Praise a key speech (9)
13 Put one’s foot down hard over European charge (8)
15 Ruler[’s] uncontrolled anger beheaded men (7)
EMPEROR – TEMPER without the first letter + OR
17 Friend [in] the country (5)
CHINA – double definition
18 Notice heads up (4)
SPOT – TOPS reversed
21 A party [in] difficulty (3)
ADO – A + DO


72 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2192 by Oink Joker”

  1. Sluggish for some reason. LOI 8ac SIXTEEN (Jeremy, you’ve got a typo: EXITS + etc.) DNK that a PRIOR was an abbot’s deputy. I thought of RIGMAROLE as a complicated procedure, but I see that ODE also has ‘a long, rambling story or statement’ as one definition. I also tried to make something of (suecreeps).

  2. 15:04. I agree that the definition for EVENT is weak. The opening match has to be the first so there seems to be redundancy. COD to BUTTERCUP. Thanks for parsing of CLOSED CIRCUIT plus rest of blog!

      1. Yes, you’re right, the open= vent works well and the clue parses perfectly. I was just quibbling( as is my unfortunate custom!) that the surface reading of a first,opening match seemed to have one of the two adjectives unnecessary. However as Kevin Gregg points out ,if you consider the team’s long history, instead of just thinking of one season as I did, of course the surface works.

    1. Everton has presumably had several opening matches in its history; one of them must have been its first.

  3. I found this very straightforward! It might have been my quickest solve ever. But I admit again I did not parse them all.

    I still don’t understand the parsing of EMPEROR. Why does Men = Or?

    Is a Dam a mother?

    And finally I nho China being a friend but it was the only one that fit. Someone got the etymology on this one?

    Foi: PIG
    Loi: EITHER
    COD: PROSECUTE for making me anagram the wrong thing until I had checkers in

    1. men = OR = Other Ranks
      dam = “A mother, usu of cattle, horses, etc” (chambers)
      china is Cockney Rhyming Slang (CRS) for friend (china plate -> mate)

      If there’s a definition that doesn’t make sense to you in a blog, check out https://www.collinsdictionary.com or some similar dictionary. For better or worse, a lot of these bits and pieces are so common in the cryptic crossword world, it wouldn’t make sense to explain them each time (though maybe I should).

      1. No you don’t need to explain everything! Your blog explanations are always v thorough

        Telling me to look things up in the dictionary myself is a perfectly reasonable response.

        I admit it is much quicker for me this way, people have an innate urge to answer questions if they know the answer 😅

        1. If everybody looked everything up we’d be out of business, and asking questions about things that can be found out by other means is part of the social interaction that people come here for, and others learn from them, so it’s all good in my view.

          Nevertheless dictionaries are of course very useful and I refer to them myself all the time when writing my blogs, just to focus on and clarify certain points. Sometimes I use them to look up crosswordy things that I have accepted for years but may have forgotten how they came about in the first place.

          One tip, especially when using Collins since its entries can be lengthy and may require a lot of scrolling and reading, is to use your browser’s ‘Find’ facility to look for the meaning you are trying to establish. It can save a lot of time.

          1. One thing about Collins: The first definition or set of definitions is sometimes from COBUILD, which is a dictionary for non-native English-speakers. You should skip these. See, for example, the entry for RIGMAROLE, and compare the COBUILD entry with the UK and US dictionary entries that follow.

          2. I respectfully disagree. My understanding is that the purpose of the blog is mainly to parse the clues, to show what links up with what. And in some cases further explanation is called for.

            But I think it is normal to expect that readers will have to consult dictionaries to find out why X = Y. I certainly do. I would consider it a sin if someone reading my blog didn’t even know what to look up.

            But I also accept that blogging styles vary. My own style surely has and will continue to. At times I have put in more explanation and perhaps I will come back to that style.

            Also, I surely have nothing against anyone asking questions here. But I heartily suggest for one’s own edification to look up anything that’s unfamiliar.

            1. No no Jeremy your blog is great! Always an entertaining read and very informative. You can’t fill the blog up with too much info, it would get unwieldy.

              I think Jack was just saying that asking questions in the comments of the readers is nbd because it pushes engagement

              I certainly remember things better if I have discussed it here rather than just looking it up, but I acknowledge that looking it up is an excellent skill to have

              Also I don’t know if I make it clear that when I comment it is hardly directed at just the blogger, the blogs are very good and complete! I’m just asking questions into the ether

              1. You might also want to look at Bradford’s Crossword Solver’s Dictionary (https://www.amazon.com/Bradfords-Crossword-Solvers-Dictionary-Bradford/dp/0007274645 – global availability may vary). It’s like a thesaurus on steroids, and the full version* also contains lists of crosswordy things like rivers, capitals, composers etc etc, so you can find that 8-letter composer that matches “Z blank X blank Q blank blank blank”. I don’t know of an online version.

                I believe the etiquette here is that using this (or anything outside your head) counts as an “aid”.

                * – I can’t find it now, but I was given a version that didn’t contain the lists, and it was much less useful.

                1. I went to the local bookstore near my office and picked up a copy, thank you! It looks wonderful 😀

                2. I have now bookmarked the page that lists WINES and the one that lists RIVERS. 😂

                3. Just ordered mine (second-hand) on Abebooks, £2.49 delivered ! It’s probably a beaten-up edition from one of the contributors here…

            2. I wasn’t intending any criticism of your blogging style, Jeremy, and if you look back at some of my postings over recent weeks I have often recommended that people should make use of on-line dictionaries to improve their solving experience so there’s no disagreement about that.

              But if people (especially relative beginners) want to ask questions instead of looking things up that’s also fine by me as it encourages interaction and direct involvement in our activities.

    2. 1) OR=Other Ranks (i.e. not officers), hence ‘men’ (soldiers, overlooking the existence of women soldiers); one to remember
      2) yes, dam=mother, for various animals; father is ‘sire’
      3) China is Cockney rhyming slang: China plate=mate; another one to remember
      I see Jeremy beat me to it. Collins is linked at the right of this page: see Free Online Editions of UK Dictionaries

  4. 10 minutes, so target achieved but only just. For some reason the 17s delayed me at the end.

    What is it with Everton, all of a sudden? Two references in this puzzle and one yesterday in The Guardian

    1. Perhaps the Joker is an Everton supporter. If so he certainly hasn’t had a lot to laugh about recently! 😥

  5. 9.00

    CLOSED CIRCUIT didn’t spring to mind and was my LOI not helped by an incredibly lazy ADULATION. Helps to read more than the first word of a clue.

    And although PEN immediately suggested itself I just couldnt see what the first three letters were. D’oh!

    Otherwise enjoyed it. Not sure the surface for SIXTEEN was perfectly smooth but I liked the misdirection.

    Thanks Joker and Jeremy

  6. Another day another typo. CiNDESCENDING this time. Missed my train so solved on the platform waiting for the next (which involves a change, ugh) then a pause to get on, before finishing in my window seat. Pleased with myself for getting BUTTERCUP straight off and then PIG but then a big gap on the way to five acrosses at the first pass. Downs better and then gaps filled well. LOI wad EMPEROR, quite a lot going on in that clue.

  7. There’s a pattern developing here. Three on the trot at 24 minutes.
    Favourites: STAMPEDE and SIXTEEN.
    Yes, I too tried to make a word out of ‘Sue creeps’.

  8. 15:55 here, just outside my target 15 minutes. Had a mental block on RIGMAROLE: for some reason my brain always wants to add an extra A to make RIGAMAROLE. Thanks to both setter & blogger. Btw, I’m guessing the “Oink” in strikethrough is a reference to PIG, Jeremy?

  9. Solved on phone, where the setter is not revealed, so I too wondered if this was an offering from Oink until I came to the blog. I suspected it might not be though as I struggled somewhat for a 13 minute finish, and I usually find Oink more addressable than that.

    Closed circuit was the main hold-up, with the (electrical?) reference to Relay beyond my GK and the association CD = record also a bit of a MER (as a fan of retro vinyl records, I don’t see CDs as the same at all!). Still not sure I really understand the surface …

    Once I had chiselled that one out though, the SE corner finally fell, starting with Stampede, and all bar the aforementioned C-C eventually parsed.

    Many thanks to Jeremy for the blog. I actually like it that our esteemed bloggers have different styles, so please don’t change!

  10. I found Joker to be in a generous mood today, my only hold up being the parsing of CLOSED CIRCUIT. Started with BUTTERCUP and finished with EMPEROR, where I was trying to anagram anger on top of ‘en’, until the checkers pointed me in the right direction. Also toyed with anagraming sue creeps at 6d.
    Finished in 7.11 with WOD going to RIGMAROLE.
    Thanks to Jeremy

    1. I too tried to anagram “anger” on emperor, as well as using “rage” or some form of it. And likewise, “sue creeps” as well as momentarily biffing “pervasive” for all around. Need the O- checker from ABOUT to realise PROSECUTE.

      Nice work at the 7-11 !! 😀

  11. Fell right into the “Sue creeps” bear trap, even to the point of writing out the anagrist (which I hardly ever do). At which point I finally realised that there was no O in “Sue creeps”. Aaarrghh. What a twerp. Also got very stuck on CLOSED-CIRCUIT.

    Witty puzzle, even if 6a misled me as to the setter!

    FOI BUTTERCUP, LOI CLOSED-CIRCUIT (sneaky definition), COD DAMPEN, time 10:42 for 1.5K and an Undistinguished Day.

    Many thanks to the two Js.


    1. What does the “for 1.5K” in your comment refer to? Still learning the lingo around here…

      1. It’s how many Kevins it took me. (See Glossary for the Kevin as a unit of time.) The K-measure is a useful indication of how good one’s raw time actually is, and a reducing K-count is a sign of progress as a solver.

  12. 47min30 F.T.S. !!!

    Really highlighted to me how important checkers can be in getting answers. I would have a dry spell, then get answer which gave one checker (eg P of PRIOR) and that would give the previously bewildering SPOT. It was like that all over the grid.

    Like Tina, didn’t know DAM=mother and had forgotten a PEN is a swan. Forgetful was a recurring theme today as there were a bunch of things I’ve seen in the past that haven’t come up recently e.g. cram=prepare for exam, a bout= ill, china=friend, platter for selection of food.

    Started off badly with FAR(e) instead of TAX so BUTTERCUP wasn’t happening until I sorted that. Laughed out loud when “Fawlty in” wasn’t an anagram but actually BASIL(ica). The NW went in fairly quickly but then it was a slow trudge. Just couldn’t get CLOSED-CIRCUIT until 35-mins had gone by.

    As slow as it was, I quite enjoyed some of Joker’s wordplay and misdirection. Thanks to him and Jeremy 🙂

  13. I also fell into the ‘sue creeps’ trap but not for long. Like Jack I was delayed at the end with the 17s CHINA/CREAM. Still, 7:23 for a Joker (checked to see if it was Oink at 6a) puzzle is quite pleasing.

  14. A quick start followed by an alarming deceleration towards the end. I came to grief with LOI CLOSED CIRCUIT (tougher than expected), EMPEROR (thanks for reminding me of Other Ranks, Jeremy), DAMPEN (despite toying with PEN and COB), CHINA (took too long to see these) and I also fell into the ‘SUE CREEPS’ trap.
    I liked BUTTERCUP and SIXTEEN.
    Soundly beaten by Joker as I staggered into the SCC. Quite a change from yesterday.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  15. Solved in around 18 mins today with no particular problems. I didn’t know the alternative meaning of RIGMAROLE either, and couldn’t parse EMPEROR, partly because I had originally biffed ‘emporer’. My LOI was ADORATION which held me up for quite some time. Liked the surface for STAMPEDE. Many thanks for the blog – always appreciated!

  16. Yet another trying to solve an anagram from ‘sue creeps’ which held me up a little. Also wrote in FAR for 2dn which just about works, though not as well as TAX in fairness. Still managed a better than average time at 7.13, or to use TEMPLAR’S yardstick 0.9K! Having previously suggested I improve on Kevin’s time about twice a year, I have now beaten it three times in the last month. Kevin, the wheels are coming off mate! 😃

    1. Kevin didn’t *ask* to be set up as a yardstick. It’s just that (a) he almost always contributes; (b) because of time zones he’s usually in the first few contributors, so easy to spot; and (c) he is consistently very fast. So I started using his time as a measure. (When I started out I hardly ever broke 5K!)

      1. As someone who has visited this site (or it’s predecessor) over many years, I remember you joining and contributing some years ago, and commencing to use the K factor. It is only since the site has been reconfigured that I now personally contribute.
        It’s been so interesting over the years seeing people join the site and seeing their times improve, and I think the message for most people who are starting off and being discouraged by slow times or DNFs, do persevere, things will improve!
        I wonder how many other people use someone as a yardstick. When I first found the original site, I noticed Jackkt (Jack) as a regular contributor (and a blogger of course), and found that his times were similar to mine. His target of 10 minutes is the same as mine, and it is a fair bet that if he finds a grid tough, then so do I! I should note that he has a target of 30 minutes for the 15×15 whereas I realistically go for 45 minutes. That is to say realistically for me, not for Jack!

        1. It’s natural to notice the people near you, too. I know there are a few certain people I know if I can get near their time, I’m doing well. And a few other people who are always a click faster than me, and if I manage to pip them, I know I got lucky!

          1. When I first came here most of the bloggers and contributors were posting Championship solving times but there was one blogger, Foggyweb, who whilst equalling these on occasion also posted times that seemed a little more attainable so I latched on to his as something to aim for. It took me probably 2 or 3 years to work any competitiveness out of my system and over-worrying about trying to improve. My aim now is enjoyment, but I bear in mind that 10 minutes for a QC and half-an-hour for a 15×15 is roughly what to expect of myself on an average day.

  17. DNF, “sue creeps” was just too tempting a series of letters, and the lack of an O prevented me putting ABOUT in, was also missing PLATTER, because I thought “pounds” would have to be LBS or LL. Enough of my disasters, I liked RIGMAROLE, what a great word that is.

    CLOSED CAPTION (aka subtitles) was a good contender at 14a.

  18. Over target at 17 minutes after a very fast start with 7 of my first 9 clues looked at going straight in. I can’t resist looking at the descendants if I get the first two across clues straight off the bat, and here all but PLATTER and PROSECUTE fell quickly after 1a and 6a. CLOSED-CIRCUIT and EITHER added to my deceleration at the end. Thanks all – Setter, Blogger and commentators- some interesting interaction in our community today.

  19. DNF. Failed on Sue=PROSECUTE, and CLOSED CIRCUIT, and, more shamingly, DAMPEN – shd have been more patient.
    Count yourself lucky if you have not been to Peppa Pig World.
    Thanks vm, Jeremy. Blog much needed.

  20. Shot through this one, only delayed slightly by having MA___N at 16a and wondering what a 4 letter swan could be. EMPEROR put my brain back into gear. FOI BUTTERCUP, LOI CLOSED CIRCUIT. 5:08. Thanks Joker and Jeremy.

  21. A 1d/1ac start put me in a good mood, and a sub-20 looked feasible for most of the solve. Time wasted on (Sue creeps) put paid to that idea, and loi Closed-circuit dragged things out to the best part of 25mins. I can see how closed circuit is constructed, and I know electrical relays can be open or closed, but what’s ‘local’ doing, and is it really part of the definition? CoD to 23ac, Rigmarole, which I see comes from a ME long list of offences – one for you, Templar. Invariant

  22. Found this tricky today, eventually coming in at 26 mins with CLOSED CIRCUIT and EMPEROR unparsed. Thanks for the explanations Jeremy. I used to find Joker one of the more approachable setters but I have struggled with his last few puzzles – either these are getting harder or more possibly my brain is deteriorating faster than ever! I really struggled with CONDESCENDING and PLATTER although neither is in any way a complex clue. Also spent some time trying to anagram “sue creeps” until ABOUT put a stop to that.

    FOI – 6ac PIG
    LOI – 18dn SPOT
    COD – 16dn DAMPEN

    Thanks to Joker for an excellent puzzle

  23. As anticipated today didn’t go so well 😅 It’s always the same. Like PF above, I have been finding Joker a lot harder recently, and today was no exception. Normally though, I still find his puzzles entertaining, but this one didn’t really do it for me. 14 minutes with nothing really standing out as COD. I too wasted time with Sue!
    As for the biggie, well I didn’t even finish after nearly an hour. There was one clue there I wasn’t going to get in a hundred years!
    FOI Basilica LOI Cream
    Thanks J & J

  24. I found this one quite tough, but managed to solve it with no aids.

    I can’t believe how long it took me to answer 8a. I just didn’t see 4×4 as a sum 🤣

    My last answer was GATE. I have no idea how size of crowd = Gate. However, with G_T_ , I could think of no other answer, and so in it went.

    1. I think in the case of say football matches GATE = TURNSTILE, so effectively it’s the total number of paying spectators through the turnstile.

    2. Well done PW.

      I never spotted the hidden word but as AndyPandy explains, know that in football they refer to “the gate” when announcing the attendance at the game.

  25. Enjoyed this puzzle. Finished in c.10 mins but in 2 sessions across 4 hours.

    Loved BUTTERCUP and CLOSED CICUIT especially and also like EVENT – don’t understand any perception of weakness in it.

    Thanks Joker n Jeremy

    1. I agree about EVENT – I’m sure anyone who went to the Lionesses’s game on Sunday will have it down as an event to remember.

  26. All completed within our target. Joined through sue creeps brigade until the penny dropped. LOI 17a and d.

  27. Did the puzzle this morning in a little window before a call. Been busy since.

    Looking back, LOI was CLOSED CIRCUIT, favourite was BASILICA for the surface. Fortunately, I saw sue=PROSECUTE immediately, and bunged it in while mentally confirming that “creeps out” looked likely anagrist.


  28. 4:57 this afternoon, after taking the opportunity this morning to walk around Arthur’s Seat (the extinct volcano in Edinburgh, to avoid any misinterpretation!) to build up post-COVID fitness levels.
    Liked 1 ac “Buttercup” which I had to re-visit with crossers before the PDM. Also liked 8 ac “sixteen” with its clever mislead and 6d “prosecute” with its two anagram options – I’m assuming this was deliberate from the setter.
    Thanks to Joker for his/her enjoyable puzzle and to Jeremy for his equally enjoyable blog

  29. Harder today! Nearly gave up but too stubborn to do so. Lots of pencil work work today on my printout but eventually all inked in ok. I don’t equate ‘record’ and CD – very different technology and also thought Event rather weak (for Joker). Struggled with the 17’s. Happy to have 4d straight away and then another struggle with 14a being easily misled into athletics…
    FOI 1d Basilica – to verify 1a Buttercup
    LOI 17d China – should have had that one straight away – I blame the humid weather!
    COD 23a Rigmarole – nice surface.

  30. A very fast start in the top half, but then slowed right down and the last half-dozen (all in the bottom half) put up some real resistance. 41 minutes in total, today.

    The CREAM/CHINA and EMPEROR/PRIOR/DAMPEN combinations posed the most problems, with DAMPEN being my LOI.

    Mrs Random also struggled a bit, but managed to secure the family point by crossing the line in 33 minutes. She is now in the garden trying to work out how best to save her precious borders and pots when Southern Water’s hose-pipe ban comes into force on Friday. I think we should be allowed to rig up a hose-pipe shower in our main border, thereby killing two birds with one stone (as they say).

    Many thanks to Joker and Jeremy.

  31. Some really fun clues with misdirections.
    Never use the online app as we do it on paper over dinner which is why the comment is late

  32. On holiday, so forgot to post this – but a pleasing 18 mins if I rightly remember.


  33. Forgot to send this yesterday. Zoomed throught the top half, but found the rest more challenging. Pleased to get it sorted after a bit of thought.

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