Times Quick Cryptic No 2202 by Teazel

DNF, because sometimes you’re an American.

(I would have finished in a shade under 5 minutes, but I couldn’t feel certain about 20 Across.)

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 Does it give dairy farmer easy profits? (4,3)
CASH COW – cryptic definition

Although scarcely cryptic since I assume the etymology had to do with dairy farming.

7 Always / set out [for] peak (7)
EVEREST – EVER + anagram of SET
9 One big book on record [as] a typical example (7)
10 Offensive to keep relative in view (7)
11 Jog along: / revolutionary? (4)
TROT – double definition, one by example (TROT = Trotskyite)

This one help me up as I assumed we were trying to reverse a word meaning ‘along’ to yield one meaning ‘jog’.

12 Partner [shows] fever after cello playing (9)
COLLEAGUE – AGUE after anagram of CELLO
14 Anticipate everyone being behind wooded area (9)
16 Plain wicked, swallowing litres (4)
BALD – BAD around L
17 I clean myself, do you hear? Nonsense! (7)
EYEWASH – homophone of I WASH
20 [As] an insignificant person, hard [to become] PM (7)

This one got me. Without knowing the gentleman in question, I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be AS + … + H or AN + … + H or A + … + H, and besides, I have never heard of SQUIT. Once I had the answer I assumed the parsing was AS QUIT + H and that QUIT was a word meaning ‘insignificant person’. (Chambers set me straight.)

21 Do our family [make] cloth? (7)
22 Upsetting Dan and Mary Carter (7)
DRAYMAN – anagram of DAN + MARY
1 Town decrees filth must be recycled (12)
2 One fielding / six balls, [in] this sweater? (8)

I assume this is the right parsing. I think I deserve a half-round of applause for getting this one as an American.

3 Start to cut / piece of wood, that’s around a foot? (4)
CLOG – first letter of CUT + LOG
4 Little, almost vile, destructive beetle (6)
WEEVIL – WEE + VILE without the last letter
5 Shortly notice / a piece of ammunition that is found on the beach (8)
SEASHELL – SEE without last letter + A SHELL
6 After shortening, deliver best part of speech (4)
8 [Giving] place and time / immediately (5,3,4)
THERE AND THEN – a word-by-word charades!
12 To keep small, / company dismisses Ukrainians, perhaps (8)
13 I urge man to cultivate a pelargonium (8)
GERANIUM – anagram of I URGE MAN
15 After a time, crewman [is] conveniently close (2,4)
18 Calm / time of day (4)
EVEN – double definition

For me, EVEN on its own is a rather poetic form of EVENING, though I know it from EVENSONG, EVENTIDE, etc. Chambers lists this meaning as (obsolete, poetic or dialect).

19 Half a constellation [appears] pale blue (4)

61 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2202 by Teazel”

  1. 26:14. Started off blithely putting in Macclesfield and milk cow for no good reason and this caused a lot of wasted time. I thought Ukrainians missing would be two “u” s being taken out and the pelargonium might be some kind of aquarium or terrarium. I didn’t know SLIPOVER as sweater and also thought that quit must be a term for an insignificant person. COD to THERE AND THEN. Very enjoyable puzzle but needed blog to make everything clear. Oh,one thing I don’t like is the use of “shortening” to indicate a hidden answer( 6 down). To me shortening should be just lopping some of the end off.

    1. I don’t see any problem with ‘after shortening’; ‘deliver best’ has some of both ends lopped off, but in any case there’s no reason why the setter shouldn’t use a word or phrase ambiguously.

      1. Kevin, I always appreciate your making the effort to help me clarify my thoughts! I agree setters have to think up new ways to misdirect us or things would become too formulaic and so less of an enjoyable challenge. I think because I’ve failed to pick up this device previously once or twice my comment contained a large dose of sour grapes.

  2. Fortunately I knew ASQUITH, and SQUIT. I did not, on the other hand, know SLIPOVER or SLIP or that an OVER was six balls, so my LOI took quite some time before I hesitatingly put it in. 5:34, which currently has me just behind Verlaine, albeit by over a minute.

    1. I was trying to use SQUIRT and looking for a removal indicator to get rid of the R!

  3. DNF. I did not know where to even begin with ASQUITH.

    SLIPOVER went in easily though. I don’t know my politicians but I know both cricket and clothing lol

  4. CASH COW went straight in and CHESTERFIELD a moment later, which set me up. I’m not sure I’ve heard of SLIPOVER but pullover didn’t fit the checkers or the wordplay. I knew ASQUITH having grown up in UK. I didn’t know what a pelargonium was, but the anagram gave it to you.

  5. 8 minutes. I looked twice at EVEN on its own for ‘time of day’ but it had to be. Ditto what Paul said about ‘pelargonium’.

    ASQUITH comes up fairly regularly in the 15×15 so is worth remembering. This appears to have been his first outing as an answer in a QC but he was mentioned in a QC clue long ago. He’s possibly best remembered now as the PM at the start of The Great War and the last PM of a Liberal government before the party entered into a wartime coalition and went rapidly into decline.

  6. 19 minutes. But seemed longer.
    FOI: CASH COW a write in.
    LOI: VERB after VISIBLE.
    Favourite: FORESTALL

  7. 8.17

    Bit sluggish. Missed the hidden indicator for VERB which with the fairly gentle VISIBLE were my last two in


    Thanks Jeremy and Teazel

      1. Bunged In From Definition
        Originally suggested back in 2015, now (mis)used to mean “entered without parsing” or, more unkindly, “guessed”.
        The original BIFD (an expression in the past tense) has now been reinterpreted as/conflated with Biff with its own verb forms of Biffing and Biffed. It often appears that it’s now used in comments by people unaware of its original form and meaning. To my mind it’s not an entirely satisfactory approach to solving cryptic crosswords since the whole point is to unravel the clue before entering the answer.

        1. I would agree that a pure biff without consulting the rest of the clue is not in the spirit — although I confess on with Quick Cryptics it can be hard not to biff sometimes (or much of the time). I do try to look over the clues after submitting to appreciate the setter’s handiwork.

          But I think having a guess at the answer from the definition portion of the clue is not out of the spirit of cryptic crosswords. I’ve always thought that the beauty of cryptics is that you have a lot of hints to each answer: the straight definition, the bits of wordplay, and the checking letters. A common experience for me is that the checking letters suggest what some of the wordplay might be, and then the definition suggests the answer, against which I check the rest of the wordplay. Many similar variations are possible.

          I don’t think that the “true” way to solve a cryptic is to start from the wordplay alone (and of course I’m not suggesting that’s what you were trying to say). It’s a spectrum, and ‘biffing’ is definitely at one extreme end of the spectrum.

  8. Nice to get a pink sqaure for an error rather than a typo, could even be a first. I’ve NHO THERE AND THEN for ‘immediately’ so plumped for ‘where and when’ with a shrug. That became ‘There and when’ when EVEREST went in as LOI but I never throught to revisist. I’m another never to have heard of a SLIPOVER (nor has Chambers online but others have it). Also slow on EPITOME where the O made me want to make the record a ‘log’ so I was trying to force in ‘epic’ for the large book to accommodate the E_I. I’ve been to Chesterfield but I mainly know it from the classifieds. So not all green in 13. Good one though!

  9. While pelargoniums and geraniums are similar and the names have become virtually interchangeable, they are technically of a different genus. The answer to 13d was obvious to any gardener, though, so I suppose I’m just being pedantic.

  10. Slow and steady solve from top to bottom. SQUIT was very familiar childhood school term but it’s been a long time since I heard it used. Thanks Jeremy and Teazel

  11. My only issue today was with the parsing of ASQUITH which took a bit of thinking about. Started with EVEREST and finished with VERB. SLIPOVER went in on the wordplay as it was a new one to me and, like others, was relieved that GERANIUM was clued as an anagram.
    It was good to see EYEWASH again as it’s been a while and it’s another of those words never seen outside of crosswords (for me anyway).
    Finished in 6.44 with COD to FORESTALL mainly for teaching me a new definition of the word.
    Thanks to Jeremy

  12. I took a long time on this, not being helped by confidently starting off with MILK RUN, like LouWeed. LOI by a long way was SLIPOVER, where I hadn’t heard of the sweater and only vaguely knew that “slip” was something to do with cricket. At least I got ASQUITH fairly quickly, or I’d probably have to renounce my citizenship (though i don’t think anywhere else would have me.) Think I last heard “squit” used in Blackadder.

  13. A QC of two halves. The top half went in without a hitch (even the first two words of 8d) but I began the bottom half after an interruption and I never recovered my pace. There were some tough clues, I thought. I got the skin but NHO of Doeskin and I was slow to see EVEN as a time of day. I did not get AT HAND at first and was slow with a word for pale blue but at least with those two (and the last word of 8d – finally!), ASQUITH jumped out. I don’t think I have ever seen SQUIT in a crossword, not even one from Oink.
    So, high teens in the end but no firm time because the clock ran on. Teazel wins again. Thanks to Jeremy. John M.

  14. Just made target at 15 minutes, after yesterday’s failure, and enjoyed this puzzle. There was nothing totally unknown except perhaps pelargonium, but the anagram was obvious. EVEN was LOI after DOESKIN fell. Many thanks Teazel and Jeremy.

  15. Struggled to get going for three mins with a tentative “Milk” in 1A before CASH-COW plopped in and triggered most of the NE and a steady clockwise solve. Couldn’t think of a pale blue colour (doh) and wanted to go with “ursa” (major/minor) for a short time until DRAYMAN unravelled itself which I really enjoyed. The -QU- gave me ASQUITH which I never quite parsed beyond knowing my history. CHESTERFIELD held out until the end thereby stuffing me up for DOESKIN, EYEWASH, which confirmed EVEN and a tentative TROT was LOI.

    Never felt particularly happy with it – phrases like THERE-AND-THEN and EYEWASH (initially tried “hogwash”) aren’t things I’d use or met anyone who does – nor anyone who wears a SLIPOVER. That unfamiliarity always undermines my confidence as I try to solve the rest.

    Crossed the line in 24min30 which is actually pleasing given the last four recorded Teazel’s have been 45+ min DNFs with an error or unfathomable left.

    Thanks to Jeremy and Teazel 🙂

  16. Rather enjoyed today, tortoiselike, but I got there. Started in SE with the easy (for gardeners) GERANIUM then DRAYMAN, AQUA and ASQUITH (unparsed). Amused to see the archaic EYEWASH again, smiled at TROT. Put Pullover at first, but then realised it must be SLIP. Maybe those sleeveless v-necks cricketers wear are SLIPOVERs. Liked CASH COW, FORESTALL, among others. Solved VERB before I saw it hidden. LOI the shd-have-been-obvious CLOG. CHESTERFIELD must be hard for non Brits.
    Thanks vm, Jeremy.

  17. I’m English and I’ve never heard of a slipover ( pullover yes) or a squit. Fortunately I don’t live too many miles from Chesterfield . Close to a pb for me because I assumed the above were right even though I didn’t like them. Thanks setter and blogger!

    1. I completely agree with your first two sentences. My time was exactly on 10 minutes – not sure if that counts as over or under target so I’ll count it as OK.

  18. Henry Herbert was biffed from A???I?H, which gave me my LOI – AQUA. I wasn’t really sure what a pelargonium was, but thankfully GERANIUM was obvious.

    CHESTERFIELD was my favourite today.

    All the 5’s


  19. 1641 Irish Rebellion breaks out

    16:41, after a dreadful start with a fully blank grid for many minutes until FOI BALD and a bottom up solve. Didn’t really get any initial letters until finally cracking CHESTERFIELD.
    I had really trouble with CLOG, as CHOP looked close.

    Setter was generous by not clueing EPITOME as “for example”, which would have been mean but fair.

    Then and now, here and now, now and then: finally got the right one.

    I don’t think “squit” has been used since Billy Bunter. What next, “fathead”?


  20. I thought 1a would be MILK COW, but didn’t enter it until I had crossers, as CASH COW was also a possibility. Eventually SLIPOVER settled the matter. Didn’t know squit, but knew ASQUITH. FOI, CLOG, LOI, TROT. 7:12. Thanks Teazel and Jeremy.

  21. I rattled through fast. (Even though I didn’t know SLIPOVER was a sweater). However : in my haste I put EPISODE at 9across. Silly mistake

  22. I was yet another that confidently wrote in Milk Cow before realising it made both 1D and 2D impossible. Chesterfield came next and that corrected the Milk to Cash. No other real hold-ups and all done in just under 10 minutes.

    Slipover is not a term that I’ve heard used in common speech but the world play was clear enough to a cricket enthusiast. I agree it might have been less straightforward for non-cricketers but both slip and over are I think relatively frequently encountered in the QC! Also a slight MER at Even for a time of day (and perhaps also for it meaning Calm, a bit of a loose synonym in my book), and I’m not personally familiar with the abbreviation Sib for sibling, but I see it is legit and anyway again the wordplay and checkers left no other options.

    Many thanks Jeremy for the blog

  23. 10 minutes today. I had never heard of SQUIT either but I had the I and H so it had to be ASQUITH. I have also never heard of SLIPOVER but I am a cricket fan and, as I already had the S it kind of fell into place. My last one in was CLOG – couldn’t think of a word for a piece of wood!

  24. Fairly straightforward, but problems with DOESKIN (NHO but guessable), AQUA/ASQUITH (not parsed): not sure I have heard of SQUIT = insignificant person. I sympathise with our American friends’ bemusement with the frequency of cricketing references in the puzzles.

    1. Not just Americans! Any cricketing terms I now know come from here, but I still don’t have a clue what most of them mean 😅 Also bridge and chess!

  25. FOI CASH COW quickly followed by CHESTERFIELD. Not sure about EVEN as a time of day but settled on it with reference to evensong. Similarly I didn’t know DOESKIN was a cloth and it just happened to intersect with the aforementioned EVEN. ASQUITH went in unparsed and my LOI was SLIPOVER, a word I can’t ever remember using and when I searched it I found what looked like a tank top. 9:23 for a ‘I ‘d have been pleased with this 3 years ago’ day.

    1. Myself, I’m still pretty pleased with any time under 10 minutes – even if they are not quite so “once in a blue moon” as they once were …

    2. My recollection of sleeveless jumpers is the word tanktop. Rarely a flattering look. Slipover is a new one, on me, though I’ve lived in the British Isles all my life.

  26. Just outside target at 10.15, but interrupted by my seven year old granddaughter who wished to show me the play doe breakfast she’d made for me. A bit chewy I thought, the crossword not the play doe!
    Didn’t help myself by initially putting in YARDMAN instead of DRAYMAN. After correction, this allowed me to get AQUA and then it couldn’t be anyone other than ASQUITH.
    Visited Chesterfield on many an occasion, and looked in astonishment at the extraordinary twisted spire on its main town centre church. It is so out of shape because they failed to use properly seasoned timbers, and over time it twisted grotesquely out of shape.

  27. Rather enjoyable. FOI – CASH COW, liked FORESTALL and DOESKIN (which slowed me down a bit). EYEWASH is a word that never comes to mind so presume only in Crosswordland. NHO SLIPOVER but guessed it from cricket. LOI – ASQUITH which immediately gave AQUA, but after far too long.
    Thanks, Teazel and Jeremy

  28. 10 minutes, which is quite good for me v Teazel! Same process as other posters – I hastily reviewed Milk cow when I went straight on to 1d (my usual practice is to solve in quadrants or at least try to.) DOESKIN and EVEN took a couple of minutes, and ASQUITH wasn’t properly parsed. Cripes, I haven’t heard anyone described as a squit in yonks!
    I thought this was good fun with a few chewy clues. I didn’t remember SLIPOVER but must have heard it before – like Janet, I associated it with a tank top (but perhaps less garish!).
    FOI Chesterfield LOI Even (I just didn’t believe it was that simple) COD Drayman – the surface made me smile, and I was reminded of the days when we lived in Battersea and used to see the Young’s dray doing its rounds (and that was in the early 90s)
    Thanks Teazel and Jeremy

  29. 22 mins…

    Not bad considering there were quite a few unknowns and obscure answers that I wasn’t that familiar with. 2dn “Slipover” – I have literally never heard of – Pullover, yes – but slipover?
    Similarly, 17ac “Eyewash” (I would say “Hogwash”) and 22ac “Drayman”. Thankfully, 13dn “Geranium” was an anagram, otherwise I may have stumbled on that as well.

    Chesterfield I always know because of its crooked spire and whilst 4dn “Weevil” was the obvious answer, I couldn’t get those police station posters from the 1970’s/1980’s out of my head that warned of the destructive “Colorado” beetle.

    FOI – 5dn “Seashell”
    LOI – 22ac “Drayman”
    COD – 12dn “Cossacks”

    Thanks as usual!

    FOI –

  30. Slipover was known to me and the online Oxford Dictionary says it’s an alternative to pullover – also known to me as was even for evening. Perhaps this knowledge betrays my age!1

    1. ODE, sv ‘doeskin’: ‘a fine satin-weave woollen cloth resembling doeskin’

  31. To Jeremy and other Americans. Quite uk centric today as also Chesterfield and drayman. I wouldn’t have gotten 🙄 the US equivalents. But it is the London Times I guess. Scraped home in target 25. J.

  32. Held up in a major way by the 21ac/12dn crossing, so much so that in the end I used an aid to crack 21dn. This was despite the fact that I had worked out exactly what was required from the wordplay, but “sacks” for “dismisses” just wouldn’t come for some reason. Eventually finished (or technically DNF) in 19 mins with everything parsed.

    FOI – 1ac CASH COW
    LOI – 12dn COSSACKS

    Thanks to Teazel and Jeremy

  33. We also had milk cow and Macclesfield which caused all sort of problems with the nw corner. Otherwise the rest went in fairly easily.

  34. 4:58 this afternoon, after a guided tour in the morning sunshine along the Union Canal to the centre of Edinburgh, a part of my home city Mrs P and I had never been to in over 47 years. You live and learn – fascinating!
    Just got inside my QC target, for what was a typically enjoyable and witty Teazel offering.
    FOI 7 ac “everest” but then held up by an over-hasty entry of “yardman” instead
    of “drayman” for 22 ac, until 15 d “at hand” showed me the error of my ways.
    Liked 1 d “Chesterfield” and 2 d “slipover” particularly.
    Thanks (and sympathies) to Jeremy and to Teazel.

  35. CHESTERFIELD was my FOI (the twisted spire is certainly a sight to see), but could get none of its dependants until much later. I had NHO SLIPOVER or DOESKIN (my LOI), and both COSSACKS and EVEN took a very long time to crack. Also, I was not helped by writing the solution to 22a (DRAYMAN) into the available space for 21a, which was D_____N at the time.

    However, all of the aformentioned frustrations were overcome and I crossed the line in 38 minutes (quite good for me, given the setter). My pleasant feeling of relief mixed with satisfaction at having solved a properly challenging puzzle were swiftly knocked out of me when I came here and saw that my EPIsOdE should have been EPITOME. I have DNF’d before for precisely the same error.

    Many thanks to Teazel and Jeremy.

  36. 45 mins. Struggled with DOESKIN, VISIBLE, both of which which seemed obvious once I had them and my LOI VERB which had to wait until I had the B from ‘visible’. Those three took about a third of my time.

    All seemed fair to me and fully parsed so an enjoyable puzzle. All made better as Mrs Prof is driving on the way to Somerset giving me the time to complete it.

    Thanks Jeremy and Teazel.

  37. I’m a bit of a gardener so GERANIUM was no problem for me. Struggled with VISIBLE until I realised I was reading the clue the wrong way round, ditto with COSSACKS. Nevertheless this was a fairly quick solve for me at 13.28. Very happy with that.

  38. Going reasonably well until held up by 21ac and 12dn. Well into SCC club today and feeling rather thick, but at least I got there. NHO eyewash. In Yorkshire, we say hogwash!

    Thanks for the blog. How you (almost) did this in 5 mins is incredible.

  39. 21:23

    Some tricky ones here, especially DRAYMAN and LOI EPITOME. Just over my 20 minute target.

  40. I’m glad my wife was here to help! To me, a SLIPOVER is a shoe and I have never heard it as an upper garment. Messed up FORESTALL as foresight. Although I got COSSACKS I still don’t understand the parsing. ASQUITH floored me as names are so rare in cryptics. Finally had EPITOME as episode! Best surface to the delicious CLOG. Thanks!

  41. Somewhat of a struggle today, made me feel like a bit of a squit… had to look up pelargonium and was convinced it was an eyebath, what nonsense ! No issues with Slipover, cricket must be the most referenced sport in the Times… telling indeed.

  42. As expected, reversion to the mean after yesterday’s flyer. 17:32, and used Bradford’s to give me DOESKIN, which I had NHO and didn’t get from the parsing, even though it looks simple in retrospect. I’ll join the ranks of non-gardeners who have never seen the word “pelargonium”, and I entirely missed the hidden word for VERB.

    LOI EVEN (not a fan)

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