Times Quick Cryptic No 2203 by Izetti

Another cracker from The Don (Izetti) which took me two-minutes over target at 17 minutes.  My favourite was 15d, with FOI 2d.  Some very good clues here, as we usually expect from Izetti.


 1  Examine lads involved in naughty goings-on (8)

SCANDALS – SCAN (examine) and an anagram (involved) of [LADS].  My favourite definition in Chambers for SCANDAL is an ‘opprobrious censure’, but in this clue it takes the ‘disgraceful thing’ definition.

6  Some retrogressive monster (4)

OGRE – Hidden in (some) retrOGREssive.  At first, I was looking for a reversible synonym for ‘some’.

Self-satisfied son, fool (4)

SMUG – S{on} and MUG (fool).

9  Victoria maybe in dishevelled raiment by lake (8)

TERMINAL – Anagram (dishevelled) of [RAIMENT] and L{ake}.  Victoria here is referring to Victoria Station, one of the main line termini in London, which wont be very busy today due to a strike.

10  Mollusc trapped by insect once (8)

FORMERLY – ORMER (mollusc, it is found in the Channel Islands, and but for coming up in the last few months, I’m not sure I’d have remembered it), inside FLY (insect).

12  Opposing social worker going to India (4)

ANTI – ANT (social worker) and I{ndia} (phonetic alphabet).

13  Cakes in ice-cream container brought aboard ship (6)

SCONES – CONE (ice-cream container) inside SS (aboard ship).

16  Resolve of French repeatedly to capture Channel Islands 6)

DECIDE – DE (French for of) twice (repeatedly) with Channel Islands (CI) ‘captured’ in the middle.

17  Vital chemical – powder hidden in that (4)

TALC – Hidden answer inside viTAL Chemical.

18  Short special event?  Certain to be something much appreciated (8)

TREASURE – TREA{t} (short special event) and SURE (certain).

21  Adult entertainerone getting rid of the gloss? (8)

STRIPPER – It’s either a double definition, or definition and heavy cryptic hint referring to paint stripper.

22  Male animal at the front of English book (4)

TOME – TOM (male animal – think cat) and E{nglish}.

23  Rock in Conservative charity festival (4)

CRAG – C{onservative} and RAG (charity event / festival).  RAG also came up recently and surprised a few non-British solvers – in the UK, most students’ unions call their charity fund-raising week ‘RAG week’.

24  Scandinavian with manner so awkward (8)

NORSEMAN – Anagram (awkward) of [MANNER SO].


Small part arrived with ring attached (5)

CAMEO – CAME (arrived) and O (with ring).

Horse giving worry (3)

NAG – Double definition.

Plant expert cut on top (5)

ASTER – {m}ASTER (expert – Master – dropping first letter, cut on top).

5  Worshippers finally addressed God and dispersed (7)

SPRAYED – S (worshipperS finally) and PRAYED (addressed God).

6  Gal so rich upset a few rulers (9)

OLIGARCHS – Anagram (upset) of [GAL SO RICH].

7  Showed opposition – but put on another performance? (7)

REACTED – same as RE-ACTED (put on another performance). MER at the definition – a REACTION could also be enthusiastic support, but that maybe explains the question mark.

11  Restraining chap, a cold fish (9)

MANACLING – MAN (chap) A (a) C[old} and LING (the crossword Setters’ favourite fish).

14  Gossip with Charlie, mad man? (7)

CHATTER – C (Charlie – phonetic alphabet) and HATTER (mad man – the Alice in Wonderland mad hatter).  It was only last week that we had a discussion about Humpty Dumpty and Lewis Carroll.  Hatters were capable of madness before Lewis Carroll, and the attribution is apparently due to exposure to mercury in the hatting process.

15  Attack outspoken drunk?  Not OK (3,4)

SET UPON – Anagram (drunk) of [OUTSPokEN} after OK is removed (Not OK).  My COD today.

19  Hesitation to shout – not a mistake (5)

ERROR – ER (hesitation) and ROaR (shout – not a).

20  Drink with graduate after dance (5)

RUMBA – RUM (drink) followed by BA (graduate – after).

22  Cup match result before penalty shoot-out? (3)

TIE – Double definition, the second referring to the result of a cup match before a penalty shoot-out is invoked to decide a winner.

99 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2203 by Izetti”

  1. I have defeated an Izetti puzzle! What an occasion. 17 min.

    OK i didn’t parse them all again, I had to look up if an Ormer existed. Also Set Upon.

    TERMINAL was very difficult for me because I can’t spell Oligarch. You would think I could during these times.

    It took me a while to remember RAG without looking up my notes. SCANDALS was my last one in.

    I enjoyed STRIPPER a lot

    1. Some new university students were clearly confused by RAG week so the
      organising committee at one university decided to call it “raise and give”. I think this is an example of a bacronym.

      1. Honestly it does sound like something we would call ‘that time of month’ at my all girls high school

      2. I’ve often wondered where RAG in Rag week comes from. Even the mighty Google doesn’t have any convincing etymology.

        1. I think it is because you ‘rag’ or annoy people for money. We used to do all sorts of crazy stunts at my uni. You could, for example, hire a jester to follow someone around for the day. Plus there was a big rag week parade. Don’t know how much money was raised but it was fun.

  2. 15:50. Remembered ormer and rag from previous puzzles. Similar reservation re REACTED as blogger.Enjoyed CHATTER and MANACLING most. Spent the most time on TERMINAL as I thought Victoria would give a v somewhere in answer and there might be an actual name of a lake in it too.

      1. I have some of my wife’s paintings on my i-pad and have used a few of them as avatars, changing to a new one every month or so. Glad you enjoyed this one(olive trees in Umbria)!

          1. Yes,being transported to Umbria appeals to me too! ( Not that Southern Ontario doesn’t possess its own simple charms).

  3. Very happy with 12’20” which might have been sub 10’ if FORMERLY and SPRAYED hadn’t vexed me for so long. ‘Ormer’ is a word I know only from this crossword and despite numerous efforts to lodge it in my brain as a mollusc/shellfish it still trips me up and it won’t come to mind as quickly as I need it to. I need to see a sign for one in a fishmonger or read the word in context somewhere else. Until then it’s just some letters in a row.

    I enjoyed SCONES in particular but reserve my COD for the IKEA of MANACLING.

    Have been away for a bit and struggled to fit the puzzles into busy days in a different time zone and it’s nice to re engage successfully.

    Thanks Izetti and Rotter

  4. I finished this one — I’m a beginner so that is still a new and exciting occurrence! Especially because of how long I spent trying to make the answer to 10a “FOYSTERLY”

    1. Omg I wrote FORMALLY to start with…is there an Ormal? Formally doesn’t even make sense for the clue.

      Congrats Ellie!

  5. 11 minutes.

    MER here too at REACTED / ‘showed opposition’. SOED includes: ‘Act in opposition to some force’ but adds ‘followed by against‘.

    I also wondered why ‘a few rulers’ re OLIGARCHS at 6dn as if they have been so rare, thinking ‘some rulers’ might have been better as it gives no indication as to numbers high or low.

    1. I had a different solution for 4 down
      Actor. As in expert = ace – cut =ac and on top = tor, an actor = a plant as in someone playing a part.

      1. I DNFed with ACTOR too for same reasons.

        For a while, in my desperation, I also tried ATTEN(borough) with AT-TEN being “on top” 😀

  6. 7.10

    Straightforward. Liked SET UPON. COD NORSEMAN as I’m in Norway

    Thanks Don/Rotter

  7. I really enjoyed this and parsed all exactly as per Rotter but in a little over twice the time. Nothing really challenging but perhaps ASTER took a bit longer than it should have done to resolve. Comfy corner chair in the club today.
    Thanks Rotter and Izetti.

  8. 12 minutes – fast for me for an Izetti – but 2 pink squares and a DNF as I had Actor for Aster. Parsed it beautifully as AC (ace, ie expert, cut) on TOR (top, hill-top), and just assumed that my lack of plant knowledge, which is virtually limitless, meant that there might well be a plant called an actor. Alas.

    Also share our blogger’s MER at Reacted meaning showed opposition – that’s just one possible reaction and I don’t think the question mark rescues the clue as it is against the wrong part of it. Perhaps “Put on another performance and showed opposition?” as a reordering might have worked?

    Victoria Station in London may be a terminal (I think I’d call it a terminus instead) but the famous Victoria Terminal/Terminus was the main railway station in Bombay. The city is now called Mumbai and the station is officially the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, but (perhaps not surprisingly given that mouthful) everyone still calls it VT.

    Many thanks to Rotter for the blog

  9. Ah, it was (M)ASTER at 4d. I could only think of (T)ASTERs and (W)ASTERs.

    FOI NAG, LOI TREASURE, COD FORMERLY, time 09:39 for 1.8K and an OK Day.

    Many thanks Rotter and Don.


  10. For REACTED I thought Izetti was referring to Newton’s “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” so it went straight in. All done in 10.10. Thanks to Izetti and Rotter.

  11. 832 Byzantine Emperor Theophilos initiates the destruction of relics & idols: the iconoclasm

    8:32 and on for a PB apart from the last two : SET UPON / TREASURE. I had –E-SURE, but both Pleasure and Pressure fitted, and I couldn’t believe a third word would fit in with such constraints, so tried to make one of them work. And for 15D I though drunk=SOT (as it often is), so resolving these two pushed me into the Byzantine period.

    As soon as I figured I needed a plant with a missing letter I banged in ASTER, another word, like LING, ORMER, ERNE, EFT which I have never come across in life. In fact, it would be an amusing idea to have a shop that just contained produce made up of words like these. Seeing ORMER and LING arrayed on ice might help us remember them.

    COD SCONES (This clue is easier if you rhyme “cone” with “scone”, which I don’t. It rhymes with “shone”.

      1. Controversial! Sconn v scohn – definitely a short O in this house.
        Here’s a good joke for you: The Devon and Cornwall music festival has been cancelled. They couldn’t decide who to put on first – The Jam or Cream 🤣

  12. Struggled through but got there. Trotted around solving randomly, as was not on the wavelength to start with. Ultimately a satisfying, witty puzzle. PDMs with FORMERLY (LOI), SCANDALS, SPRAYED. Liked CHATTER, STRIPPER, SCONES, among others.
    Thanks all, esp Rotter.
    (Waiting nervously for GD’s results)

  13. Late start this morning.
    16 minutes with FOI: CAMEO to LOI: TIE. I did at first think 18ac could be EXPOSURE and I wrote it to one side but SET UPON helped me find TREASURE.
    With REACTED I just saw the WP and wrote it in.
    Favourite: SPRAYED amongst so many good clues.

  14. Mainly straightforward but got a bit bogged down in the NW, where I only had SMUG for quite some time. Finally saw SCANDALS and the rest swiftly followed, finishing with SPRAYED in 9.24.
    Thanks to Rotter

  15. A good puzzle despite it being a ‘jumpy’ solve around the grid fir me. I was immersed and surprised that my time was 17 mins. It seemed quicker but I am happy to be in excellent company with Rotter and Tina.
    My last in were ASTER, FORMERLY, and TOME (which came to mind immediately but seemed too obvious until I finally saw the parsing – doh!
    I, too, enjoyed SCONES, SET UPON and TREASURE.
    Thanks to Izetti and Rotter. John M.

  16. Went into it with positive mindset that this was an opportunity to show I was ready to tackle an Izetti and complete it. So I was very disappointed to DNF at the end with AcToR instead of ASTER (as described in above reply) as it ends my run of 7-in-a-row. Just under 40-mins all corrected, so that’s kind of positive.

    It was slow going from start to finish and without the two big anagrams of OLIGARCHS and NORSEMAN, I’m not sure I’d have made much headway. Parsed every thing apart from the TREA(t) part of TREASURE.

    Have to say flowers (dredged ASTER at 2nd attempt), molluscs (NHO ORMER), fish (NHO LING) are not my areas of interest so held up in the NW particularly.

    Thanks to Rotter for a very detailed set of explanations and Izetti 🙂

  17. Very neat from Izetti as ever.

    On the straightforward end of the spectrum, but nonetheless enjoyable.

    LOI was FORMERLY, which was a contender for favourite, though I think SPRAYED gets the nod.


  18. This was a reminder to me of the virtue of nibbling at the bits you can manage. I’d looked at the top left blankly for what seemed ages but I got a few here and there and gradually it came together. Surpisingly only 10 or 11 mins. Thanks setter and blogger!!

  19. I made myself laugh as I had TROG at 6A until OLIGARCHS put me straight! Took far too long on terminal, knew it was an anagram but couldn’t get beyond tramline or train …something😂
    Thanks all.

  20. Nice puzzle. Started with SCANDALS, finished with NORSEMAN. Held up briefly by PLEASURE/TREASURE and SET UPON. 7:00. Thanks Izetti and Rotter.

  21. I must be improving as I have finished an Izetti puzzle in one sitting without aids. I didn’t find it easy but everything went in and parsed, eventually. Struggled with 24a as a quick glance indicated that Norwegian would fit but I couldn’t parse it. Eventually, I realised why and saw the anagram.
    Don’t time myself but probably around 30 mins.

  22. I always dread Izetti puzzles, but today God must have smiled on me, as I managed to complete it without aids.

    I did struggle though. I wasn’t happy with REACTED meaning in opposition to, but the dictionary seems to support it. I also hesitated with MANACLING, as it just did not sound like a word, even though I knew of manacle(d).

    As this was an Izetti puzzle and I completed it without aids, I think I deserve two candy bars today. 😋

  23. A slowish start in the NW, but then raced along for a pleasing 16min finish, only to find that the mysterious 5th columnist Actor in 4d (same parsing as Jacqui) was in fact a boring (common . . .or garden) Aster. A pity, but lots to enjoy with 11d, Manacling, just pipping 15d, Set Upon, for my CoD vote. Invariant

    1. Welcome to the thespian solvers! I am relieved to find that far from finding myself performing a solo-act, there are enough other actors to stage quite a decent play …

      1. I’m leaning towards it being an acceptable alternative answer. A bit sneaky perhaps, but then it’s an Izetti puzzle. Anyway, always happy to be in (a) good company 😉

  24. All green as my run of successful solves reaches one. TERMINAL held me up, when ‘station’ didn’t work I was on to sponges or other Victoria things. Needed all the checkers to see my error. Like SPRAYED, that had me all over the clue looking for the definition. All green in 12.

  25. To be frank I was a bit disappointed with this one as I usually find Izettis very challenging but this time I completed the entire grid in one sitting and a time of 7:10. LOI was ASTER which I entered with fingers crossed as I couldn’t parse it so thanks to The Rotter for the explanation. I seem to be improving on these QCs so maybe it’s time to face a run of DNFs on the 15 x 15!

  26. A high standard of crossword from Izetti as usual, with all clues carefully crafted. A good steady solve from me coming in over a minute inside target at 8.40.
    I was slowed only once by putting in PLEASURE at 18ac even though I couldn’t parse it, but soon changed it once SET UPON fell into place at 15dn.
    I wondered if SCONES would set off the usual debate about pronunciation, and sure enough it did. I’m a ‘own’ in the middle rather than an ‘on’ myself. I always felt the alternative to be a little pretentious – totally unreasonably I know!

    1. There is a whole, secondary discussion to be had about whether sc-own or sc-on is the pretentious version. I’m not sure it’s even a Northern vs Southern thing.

      It was all so much less controversial when I was trying to find a cake to put in TUB that would give me being on board a ship !!

  27. Looked in the wrong bit of the clue for ‘talc’ for a while, and was quite keen on pleasure, but couldn’t justify it. Luckily treat sprang to mind quite quickly.
    Lovely puzzle as always from Izetti. 15 minutes. Hope I’ve limbered up sufficiently to crack the main cryptic.
    Thanks to Rotter for good blog, and of course to Izetti.

  28. One of Izetti’s easier offerings, provided you could dredge up the shellfish, which used to be a chestnut, but has largely disappeared from puzzles in recent times.

    TIME 3:51

  29. Took a long while to realise that EXPOSURE didn’t work and then it was easy. !

  30. SMUG made me smile, and I had the same idea as The Scribbler when parsing REACTED. No negative reaction there! I struggle with SCONE as a cake, although I don’t know quite how else you’d describe it – it’s not bread (well, not yeasted anyway). Like L-P I wanted to put some sort of cake into a tub, and I was trying to shove IDE at the end of 11d, but of course it was the other useful fish 😅
    All in all, though, despite my efforts to jeopardise myself, it went quite smoothly, and I finished in 10 minutes. Another happy day – PB v Izetti is usually much more of a tussle!
    FOI and COD Scandals LOI Sprayed
    Thanks Izetti and Rotter

    I found the 15×15 quite approachable today – except for my last two, which resulted in a DNF. I suspect that the one I really couldn’t quite work out would be a biff for Rotter 😄 Anyway, maybe one for novices to try out, even if you don’t get to finish it?

    1. Yes I tried the 15 x 15 too and only failed on 3 clues. The QC is definitely a useful springboard to the biggie.

  31. Got there in 41 minutes, but I had to endure a 15-minute barren spell with three to go. Those clues were REACTED, TERMINAL and ASTER. I don’t like the clue for REACTED, but it was the one that yielded first, and I have a lot of sympathy for those above who plumped for AcToR instead of ASTER. It definitely parses, IMHO.

    Many thanks to Izetti and Rotter.

  32. 2nd attempt at posting… into the SCC today. LOI CRAG, couldn’t parse FORMERLY or SET UPON, but did manage to get ASTER early on. I’m in the ‘sconne’ brigade (and jam precedes cream) but still appreciated the clue! Many thanks Rotter and Izetti.

    1. Sconne- definitely! Jam, then cream – agreed! The jam slides off if you put it on the cream 😅 My daughter’s Cornish partner might never speak to us again if we did it any other way!

  33. On Izetti’s wavelength for once. Finished in 13 minutes with all parsed except for SET UPON. Thanks to Rotter for the explanation on that one. No real hold-ups, just a steady solve throughout and probably a PB for an Izetti.

    FOI – 6ac OGRE
    LOI – 10ac FORMERLY
    COD – 5dn SPRAYED (with 21ac STRIPPER a close second)

  34. 16 mins…

    I thought this was a fairly reasonable offering from Izetti. Only issue I had was with parsing 15dn “Set Upon” and trying to find all the variants of Victoria (Falls? Queen? Sponge Cake?).

    DNK “Ormer” but the clueing was reasonable, however I did have some trouble with 11dn “Manacling” which felt clunky as a word.

    FOI – 1ac “Scandals”
    LOI – 10ac “Formerly”
    COD – 8ac “Smug” – nice surface

    Thanks as usual!

  35. Struggled a bit with this, 10a formerly and 11d manacling which put us over our target. Interesting puzzle, as ever, from Izetti.

  36. Held up by MANACLING and FORMERLY (DNK “ORMER”, but guessed the word. ) A good tussle, as usual with Izetti.

  37. Slow one today, NHO Ormer but suspect I’ll need to store that one away for future reference .. didn’t remember a “RAG week” at Glasgow University, maybe more an English thing …

    To make matters even more confusing, here in the states, scones are referred to as biscuits .. popular with fried chicken in the South

  38. 14:00 with an error

    Put ACTOR for 4dn, AC being expert (ACE) cut and TOR being a top with actor like a plant in an audience. Ok, so the definition is loose but the rest worked so never reconsidered when all the checkers fit.

    1. Ants live in colonies (and thus are “social”) and also have “workers” (Google “worker ant).

      See also: bees.

  39. I also had actor. If this had been correct, I would have been under 20 mins. A bit frustrating as it seems to parse and a number of better solvers than me came up with it.

    Thank you for an excellent blog Rotter. I look forward to your blogs as they are both entertaining and informative.

  40. Seen in a tea shop in – I think – Happisburgh.
    I asked the girl in honeyed tone
    To order me a buttered scone
    The silly girl has been and gone
    And ordered me a buttered scone.

    I quite enjoyed this puzzle but it pushed me into the SCC.

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