Times Quick Cryptic No 2208 by Breadman

Gentler than the last couple of days…

… and after two impatient DNFs in a row, it was quite nice to be able to actually F off a puzzle. I seem to be a bit of an outlier in quite liking brand names – I find they bring something a bit unexpected to the solve – but at least the two we have today (at 4ac and 14ac) are as close to generic as you get. I also liked the two unnecessarily long definitions at 2d and 12d.

All wrapped up in 6:27 for a most pleasant, middle-of-the-road sort of puzzle – many thanks to Breadman!

1 After work, one Greek character returned narcotic substance (5)
OPIUM – after OP (opus = work) I (one) and MU (Greek characker) “returned”
4 Bill, mascot having no clothing — saucy stuff (7)
TABASCO – TAB (bill) mASCOt “having no clothing”
8 Musical performance involving clarinet, not new (7)
RECITAL –  anagram (involving) of CLARInET, “not New”
9 Offer to keep training two-footed animal (5)
BIPED -BID (offer) to keep PE (training)
10 Caribbean island‘s medical officer terribly stern with rogue (10)
MONTSERRAT – MO (medical officer) and an anagram (terribly) of STERN with RAT (rogue)
14 Adrian regularly observed writer’s language (6)
ARABICA d R i A n “regularly observed” BIC (writer/pen)
15 Model pursues surgery to face (6)
OPPOSE – POSE (model) pursues OP (surgery)
17 Gilt ensign at sea, shimmering (10)
GLISTENING – anagram (at sea) of GILT ENSIGN
20 Showery at home, interrupting bit of sunshine (5)
RAINY – IN (at home) interrupting RAY (bit of sunshine)
22 Doctor joins French friend on old Japanese craft (7)
ORIGAMI – RIG (doctor) joins AMI (French friend) on O(ld)
23 Seafood soup rotten at end of month (7)
OCTOPUS -anagram (rotten) of SOUP at end of OCT (month)
24 Mother during rest returned message (5)
EMAIL – MA (mother) during LIE (rest) “returned”
1 Monster in video green (4)
OGRE – “in” videO GREen
2 Move slowly and gradually in church (4)
INCH – IN CH(urch)
3 Religious follower encountered brick-carrier first (9)
METHODIST – MET (encountered) HOD (brick-carrier) IST (first)
4 Rebuke suspect a lot around periphery of Kent (4,2)
TALK TO – anagram (suspect) of A LOT around KT (“periphery” of KenT)
5 Robert‘s hairstyle (3)
BOB – double definition
6 Better to drink port bottled by that female Cockney (8)
SUPERIOR – SUP (drink) RIO (port) bottled by ‘ER (her = that female, in Cockney)
7 Idiot Des vandalised unusual things (8)
ODDITIES – anagram (vandalised) of IDIOT DES
11 Dear partner previously deep in thought (9)
EXPENSIVE – EX (partner previously) PENSIVE (deep in thought)
12 Sort of court that’s run by the unlawful bounder? (8)
KANGAROO – double definition
13 Father in charge lifting clenched hand — he’s no fighter (8)
PACIFIST – PA (father) IC (in charge) “lifting”, FIST (clenched hand)
16 Performing wild cats ignoring large vegetables (6)
ONIONS – ON (performing) LIONS (wild cats) “ignoring L(arge)”
18 Crack a potty (4)
GAGA – GAG (crack/jibe/joke) A
19 Stream good alongside bad (4)
GILL – G(ood) alongside ILL (bad)
21 The elderly quietly agreed (3)
YEP – YE (the, “elderly” = archaic) P (quietly)


73 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2208 by Breadman”

  1. I was surprised by 19dn. Chambers didn’t list this meaning of GILL, although it’s in SOED and Collins. Is it too obscure for a quick cryptic?

    1. It was too obscure for me; I have seen ‘ghyll’, but couldn’t have told you what it meant.

    2. The wordplay was fairly forgiving and unambiguous, which gives it a tick in my book – thankfully Breadman avoided the temptation for some obscure quadruple definition monstrosity like “Old sweetheart with ferret and bit of of fish in stream” (all in Collins!)

    3. As always Chambers on the iPhone is the best value app ever! Can’t vouch for the paper version but we have:

      gill(3) or ghyll /gil/
      1. A small ravine, a wooded glen
      2. A brook
      ORIGIN: ON gil

      1. Well known in Northern England, with the ON origin – Old Norse – giving it away as coming from the time of the Danelaw

    4. Where I live there is actually a square at the top of town called The Gill – through which a small stream/beck runs down a side channel.

  2. This one felt much better than previous ones this week, except well, I got Gill from the wordplay, couldn’t parse Onions, and Arabic took me aaaaages.

    My husband was a bricklayer for 8 years of our relationship and I still had never heard of a Hod. I asked him about it and he was like ‘no Tina, I was a bricklayer in *this* millennium’ 😂

    I gotta remember ‘ist’ for first. Seems handy.

    Except for the final two or three words I had completed this in 6 minutes, so yes much better than earlier this week!

    1. I remember growing up in 70s and 80s when “hod carrier” seemed to be a job in itself. A hod being a big pole with a 3-sided box that would contain a set of bricks. Rather like the thing you use to reset the Jenga bricks! How did your husband receive his bricks?

      6-mins is a real confidence booster for knowing you can be in the Bolt club on the right day *thumbs up*

      1. My husband has brick carriers that were like.. A large clamp that clamped six bricks together. He could carry one in each hand.

        When he got his office job as an economist his work shirts did not fit round his forearms 😅

        1. This has sent me off down the rabbit hole … a quick image search of “brick carrier” shows both types! The modern version is safer for avoiding injury. The old version required the hod to be lifted and put over a shoulder which has issues in getting it up there and is also uneven / one-sided.

          Rolled-up sleeves was always a fashionable look in our office. Now if he just sported a mullet too … 😀

          1. Alas, the rolled up sleeves look, which is kryptonite for all men-attracted people everywhere, was impossible for him too.

            I would leave him if he had a mullet. Maybe. He had 90s white boy skater dreads when we were teens. He is lucky I didn’t know him then

  3. 11 minutes, missing my target by 1 minute yet again!

    19dn had to be GILL but I never heard of it as stream so really wanted it to be RILL. That delay missed me my target.

    I also never heard of TALK TO (vb) as ‘rebuke’ although ‘talking-to’ (n – a telling off) is familiar, but I found it in Chambers and the moribund Lexico.

  4. 6.27

    Couldn’t immediately recall the island but my one delay was bunging in TABLOID once I had the T and B checkers which may or may not be saucy stuff but certainly didn’t fit the w/p.

    Otherwise good stuff. Also liked the smooth OPPOSE

    Thanks Rolytoly and Breadman

  5. Somehow ended up with ‘yes’ for YEP and that caused a lot of problems with OCTOPUS where the wonky S put me in trouble. Plus I was generally slow in the SE, so I’ve bucked the trend and found this much trickier than recent days. Comfortably the slowest of the week, all green in 18.

  6. 25 minutes but it seemed longer as I took time to parse as I went other than the last two in SUPERIOR and OPPOSE both parsed post solve.
    I thought this was a tougher puzzle than the last few.
    Favourite: PACIFIST along with METHODIST and BIPED.
    NHO GILL but the WP left no other choice.

  7. A bit of a change of pace from the last couple of days. Only hold ups were the effort it took to ignore the wordplay and biff Rill at LOI 19d as I’d NHO GILL, and deciding that there was no ‘e’ in KANGAROO.
    Crossed the line in 7.07.
    Thanks to Roly

  8. 7’10” and all has been written by previous commenters about my only NHO GILL as ‘stream’.

    A nice gentle quickie with ONIONS (my COD) and GILL the last to go in.

    Thanks Breadman & Roly.

    1. 7′ 10″ – 7 feet 10 inches? A strange way to measure your performance, today.

  9. Smooth indeed. GILL dredged up from depths of memory. I loved the METHODIST, my COD, though ONIONS very clever too.

    I’ve never thought of TABASCO as a brand – I just thought the sauce was named after the pepper named after the Mexican state! So that was easy. Getting BIC for writer took much longer.

    All green in 07:40 for a Good Day.

    Many thanks Breaders and roly.


  10. 17:39 all corrected for the DNF. Although it was quicker than recently, it didn’t feel gentle. I had to read clues more carefully e.g. the breakdown of OPIUM to check the parsing. That’s what did for me in the end as I put SiPERIOR, ToBASCO and ToLd-TO – all of which would have been preventable had I not been rushing to get avoid the SCC.

    Couldn’t parse ORIGAMI – only now realise it was using doctor as a verb in the sense of rigging a game.

    Enjoyed it though. Good mix of clueing with a fair few that weren’t easily biffed.

    Thanks to Rolytoly and Breadman 🙂

  11. On the wavelength for a change. A very good day. Zoomed through, though couldn’t remember the Caribbean island straight away, so had to parse. Luckily changed Rill to GILL at the last minute. Liked KANGAROO, TABASCO, OCTOPUS, among others. Just realised the letter O features a lOt. Even in our esteemed blogger’s name.

  12. 1036 Edward the Confessor’s younger brother Alfred murdered

    10:36, and yes, much easier than the last two days (DNFs for me). Very rapid start in NW corner, with only ARABIC and OPPOSE causing much trouble. I had bounder=LOTHARIO for KANGAROO as it fitted my checkers. That’s where biffing takes you, sometimes.

    Of all the many thousands of French words, the only one that seems to be allowed to be clued with just “French” is AMI. It’s not an English word, so why is just this word so clued?

    Did not know how to spell MONTSERRAT, and I don’t know it’s shape either, so fearing its appearance in Worldle.


    1. “French art” = ES
      “Is French” = EST
      “In French” = EN or DANS
      “More French” = PLUS

      And so on

  13. A pleasant change. I was immersed in this QC to the point where I was surprised that my time was actually longer than I expected. I was 3 mins under target but thought I was on for a sub-10 time after filling in the top half without a break. I toyed with ‘rill’ for stream at first and then, like others, hesitated over ‘ghyll’ but it had to be GILL despite this being a new spelling for me.
    My LOsI were KANGAROO, ONIONS, and OPPOSE, none of which were problematic.
    Thanks to Breadman for a nice change after some recent not-so-QCs (for me) and to Roly. I must confess to a bit of biffing (with superficial parsing) as I filled the grid so I will now go back to Roly’s blog to check. John M.

  14. All good except for 19d. I’m another one who had never heard of this definition of gill. I put in rill, despite not seeing how R could mean good, and got the dreaded “unlucky “

  15. 21:40 LOI OPPOSE.
    Good mix of write-ins and thinkers.
    Liked GAGA.
    Thanks Breadman and Roly

  16. OPIUM FOI, ONIONS LOI. Took a while to see how the parsing worked for ONIONS. 7:56. Thanks Breadman and Roly.

  17. Raced through most of this, but then made the mistake of checking the clock, at which point the remaining neurones took fright and left me floundering in the SE corner. Gill finally went in on a straw-clutching basis that Gillie(?) was a fishing assistant. Loi Gaga took an alphabet trawl – looking for the wrong sort of potty 😳 I’m afraid – resulting in a, by then, disappointing 15min finish. CoD to 13d, Pacifist, for the build up. Invariant

  18. 16 minutes of steady solving. Took a while to twig the language, island and 6d.
    Many thanks for the blog

  19. Maybe slower than I should have been, coming home in 18:01. I was held up to some extent by forgetting the first T in MONTSERRAT, even though now, having played on worldgeographygames.com, I could actually place it on a map. Other than that it was the SE corner that delayed me. I wanted to put in rill for 19d, but had to trust the wordplay. I should have made the connection between ghyll and gill as I was doing a bit of ghyll scrambling in Yorkshire a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, COD to ONIONS. Thanks Roly and Breadman.

  20. Having lived a happy 10 years in Rowlands Gill I didn’t get hung up with Rill!
    Bic held me up although guessed right.
    Last in Onions.
    A good gentle one today.

  21. Like Jackkt, I wanted to put RILL but the parsing was so clear that I entered LOI GILL with fingers crossed.
    9 minutes today including several looks at Gill.
    Otherwise no issues.

  22. After yesterdays DNF, pleased to finish in a nippy 7.40. Although GILL is obscure, I had heard of it, possibly used by golf commentators looking for alternative names for streams or burns on Scottish courses.
    Following on from yesterday when I was hoping Newport County might draw Liverpool or Man Utd in the League Cup, last night they in fact drew Leicester City of The Premiership away. We have history with Leicester having dumped them out of the FA Cup just three years ago on a memorable night. Lightning does strike in the same place sometimes doesn’t it? 😀🤞

    1. The way Leicester (my team) have started the season, you have a good chance of stuffing us again!

      1. The game on our patch was covered by BBC and fronted by Gary Lineker (a well known Leicester supporter of course), and after our 2-1 victory, our supporters congregated beneath the BBC commentary gantry to serenade Gary. He took it in good part, and was actually conducting the singing at one point.
        Don’t despair Rotter, this one’s on your patch, and you’re too good a side to be in the doldrums for long.

        1. Provided 2 of our best players are not lured away before the close of the transfer window.

  23. Agree with our blogger, and many others too, that this was more addressable than some recent puzzles but it still took me 11 minutes. No real hold-ups, so maybe it’s just that “holiday brain” has finally kicked in! Gill well known from many happy rambles in the Lake District.

    Many thanks to Roly for the blog

  24. 4:56 this morning for what I would agree was a QC of average difficulty, with nothing too controversial in the clueing.
    Got held up a little by initially misspelling 10 ac as “monsterrat”! Coypu Island?? Several years ago we visited this island on a cruise – well sailed past more accurately, as it had just suffered a really bad earthquake and the devastation was there for all to see. Are things are back to normal now?
    LOI 19 d “gill” where I would echo earlier comments, although my familiarity with Lake District ghylls over the years plus the wordplay left little doubt.
    Thanks to Breadman and Roly.

  25. Like everyone else I hadn’t heard of GILL but I put it in as it couldn’t have been anything else.

    I thought I had finished the crossword in 12 minutes (I do it in hard copy so I didn’t notice that I hadn’t solved 23A). However, as I had stupidly put YES for 21D I am not surprised that I couldn’t find a solution to O-T-S-S. it was only when I came on here that I realised the error of my ways!

  26. I resisted the urge to biff rill and thankfully plumped for GILL thinking it sounded like a Scottish alternative. I biffed MONTSERRAT and then couldn’t parse it because I read stem instead of stern for the anagrist. Perhaps if I hadn’t dallied on these two clues I might have broken 6 minutes. Ah well, 6:26 for an excellent day.

    1. How annoying. The m versus rn issue is one of my longstanding hobby horses.
      I refuse to use any font that doesn’t make the difference absolutely clear.

      1. I once did a reinsurance arbitration in which the phrase “writing below the burn” was commonly used. Gremlins changed the font of our final submissions into Garamond at the last minute, in which it looked *exactly* like “writing below the bum”.

        1. I know the problem. My surname is Burn. When I was selected for the U12 rugby team I was standing by the notice board rejoicing at reading my name on the handwritten team sheet when a sixth former inquired loudly ” Who is this chap ‘bum?’ !

  27. Second day running with 15 minutes and a small handful of seconds, and once again I forgive myself the seconds to make for an on-target solve. My excuse this time is a short telephone call mid-solve to cancel a tee time. Good puzzle – GILL just had to be from the very clear wordplay, otherwise a nice blend of obvious and oddities. Thanks both.

  28. Held up by misspelling MONTSERRAT and by putting ODDITIES into 6d instad of 7d!! However, managed to sort it out. Guessed GILL from clue – NHO in sense of stream.

  29. I found this almost as tricky as those of the last few days, eventually finishing in 21 minutes. Never parsed ARABIC (entered with a shrug from the crossers) or SUPERIOR (having not considered Rio as a port). Also got a bit stuck in the SE corner where 18dn and 19dn held out until the end.

    FOI – 1ac OPIUM
    LOI – 18dn GAGA
    COD – 15ac OPPOSE

    Thanks to Rolytoly for supplying the missing parsings and to Breadman for the challenge.

  30. Right from the start I was confused. 1a, I wondered whether there was a missing square. I was thinking OP (work) I (one) then ETA (Greek character) returned. That gave me OPIATE, but it was one too many letters. I had to use an aid to familiarise myself with some of the lesser known Greek letters to me. Saw MU. Answer solved.

    I also struggled with 10a as I read STERN as STEM.

    Other than that I found this puzzle to be quite kind to me.

  31. An excellent day for me, as I escaped the SCC in 19 minutes. No particular problems to report, although I think EMAIL should have been hyphenated.

    Main Coincidence = I started today’s Wordle with RAINY.

    Many thanks to Breadman and Rolytoly.

  32. If we reversed the clue for 20a we’d have today’s weather here. A bit of sunshine interrupting the rain – and the grass is finally turning green again!
    A smidgen under 10 minutes for this, with some smiles along the way. I knew ghyll, so GILL made sense as an alternative. I liked the surface for RECITAL. My son is a clarinetist, so it was a nice connection. At 23a, I started to biff oysters but realised my mistake quite quickly 😅
    FOI Opium LOI Yep COD Methodist
    Thanks Breadman and Roly

  33. I found this a real struggle, not helped by an inability to spell MONTSERRAT (I missed the first T and couldn’t understand why it didn’t fit). I also had GLITTERING for a while, so obviously didn’t know my ONIONS.

    TIME 6:22

  34. Undone by a careless ‘yup’ for YEP, otherwise well inside the SCC today. Held up for a bit by GAGA as was thinking of other type of potty… FOI OPIUM, LOI GAGA, COD to ARABIC (as timely reminder to always consider brands…). More straightforward than last couple of days but enjoyable nonetheless. Many thanks to Breadman and rolytoly.

  35. 19 mins, but disaster as I spelt Tabasco wrong and stuck in an “o” where there shouldn’t have been one.

    Other than that – much gentler than previous days. Apart from the spelling error I would have been quicker if I hadn’t biffed “Glittering” for 17ac (even though I quickly scanned the anagram). As a result took a while to unwind 16dn.

    FOI – 1ac “Opium”
    LOI – 15ac “Oppose”
    COD – 21dn “Yep”

    Thanks as usual!

  36. Unlike all those who wanted to put RILL for 19d, my first thought was SING (sin = bad, G = good) thinking it could be another word for the sort of stream you get on a smart TV.

  37. Same problem with 19d, gill, presumably an alternative spelling of ghyll. Otherwise found this fairly gentle.

  38. I was too befuddled to post after yesterday’s QC. It really set me back and was my worst performance in ages. Began today with 9 write ins, a record. Got a bit tougher thereafter, but very enjoyable.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  39. Happy to see that most of my struggles were shared by some others: not knowing how to spell MONTSERRAT and biffing GLITTERING, which made ONIONS tricky. My LOI was GAGA: I didn’t spot the “joke” meaning of “gag”. Enjoying my comfy chair in the corner of the SCC after finishing in 21:22.

  40. 15:22. Immediately thought rill and Martinique on first run-through but actually studying the clues led to the right answers. Who knew? Enjoyed SUPERIOR, ONIONS, and PACIFIST most.( I had a friend who insisted the word should be “pacificist”).

  41. Caught up on my QC backlog and, unusually, was solving on-line while waiting to give my younger son a birthday lift to Luton Airport and with the printed-off version waiting for a later coffee break on the way home. Had to stop with three to go in the SW and returned to complete on-line a couple of hours later. However, with the benefit of the on-line timer I found this not at all tricky puzzle was completed in a leisurely stroll at 35 minutes with lots to savour along the way. No problem with Gill as one version of Ghyll.
    FOI 1a Opium
    LOI 23a Octopus since it was on the bottom row
    COD3d Methodist as I found it am amusing construction.
    I found the timer device distracting as leading to a tendency to bifd entries rather than stopping to enjoy the parsing. I think I’ll stick to printing them off as a general rule.

    1. “birthday trip to Luton Airport” … what a treat. Surely a present and card would have been more appropriate though 😀

      1. a lift, not a trip! Shades of that lovely 1970’s advert Campari & Lemonade ‘Luton Airport’ 30sec TV commercial

        1. Sorry – my ailing eyesight and being too quick to be a smartarse!! Hope he has a good time.

          The Lorraine Chase ad just on the edge of my memory. Just looked it up on youtube – even knowing the punchline, it was laugh out loud!

  42. All fairly smooth. FOI – GLISTENING; liked OCTOPUS and SUPERIOR. LOI – MONTSERRAT. Interrupted by having to clear gutters. So what happened to the rain? We were promised heavy rain from 0400 to 1200 at midnight last night. What we actually got was a 20 minute shower at 0820 followed by sun. No rain in E Suffolk for over three month – garden beginning to look like the sands of the Kalahari.

  43. 15:19

    Pretty straightforward but held up by putting GLISTERING. Realised my mistake once I saw ONIONS.

Comments are closed.