Times Quick Cryptic No 2219 by Izetti

A bit of a tricky Quick Cryptic from Izetti today, I think. I was slow to get started with very few across clues yielding an answer on a first pass, but the downs got me going. A couple of clues, e.g. 5A and 3D gave me pause for thought and I finished in 6:19, about a minute over my average. Thank-you Izetti. How did you all get on?

Apologies, but I’m out walking the Ketts Country Trail in Norfolk today, so will not be able to reply to comments until later. But I’m sure everyone will chip in to answer any queries as usual.

Fortnightly Weekend Quick Cryptic. This time it is my turn to provide the extra weekend entertainment. You can find the latest crossword, which is entitled “I can’t see the wood…” here. Enjoy! If anyone is interested in our previous offerings you can find an index to all 59 here.

Definitions underlined in bold italics , ( Abc )* indicating anagram of Abc, {deletions} and [] other indicators.

1 Emperor had managed to cross India (7)
HADRIANHAD RAN (managed) outside, [to cross], I (India in the NATO phonetic alphabet). His wall wasn’t as big as the Chinese one.
5 Grapple with garment ? (4)
COPE -Double definition. The first a bit of a stretch, I think. Maybe that’s why we have a ? at the end.
7 Good Parisian about to become someone important (3)
NOB – BON (good in French, i.e. Parisian) [about] -> NOB.
8 Attempting to get fish after ordinary food (8)
TACKLINGLING (fish more abundant in crosswordland than anywhere else) [after] TACK (ordinary food).
10 Err so badly, making you more upset (5)
SORER -( Err so )* [badly].
11 Awfully scared when drinking one cocktail (7)
SIDECAR – [Awfully] ( scared )* outside, [drinking], I (one). I don’t think I’ve ever had one. It’s made from cognac, triple sec and lemon juice. See the recipe here.
13 Disrespectful type has come out grabbing king and queen (6)
MOCKER – ( come )* [out] [grabbing] K (king), R (our late queen).
15 Gathers round after end of performance to offer respect (6)
ESTEEM – MEETS (gathers) [round] -> STEEM, [after] [end of] performancE.
17 Surprise opening sale with initial 50 per cent reduction (7)
STARTLESTART (opening) {sa}LE losing the first half of its letters [initial 50 percent reduction].
18 Possess new shelter (5)
HAVENHAVE (possess) N (new).
20 U-turning Socialist is no Conservative? Discuss (8)
CONSIDER – RED (Socialist) IS NO C (Conservative) all reversed, [u-turning] -> CONSIDER.
22 Looking embarrassed about daughter (3)
REDRE (about) D (daughter).
23 Some hamburgers about to be served as common food (4)
GRUB – Reverse hidden, [some … about], in hamBURGers.
24 Writer meeting tragic woman, a female of many words ? (7)
POETESSPOE (writer) TESS (tragic woman; of the d’Urbervilles). A bit tricky, that one, I thought.
1 Most good-looking worker, some very holy person too (10)
HANDSOMESTHAND (worker) and, [too], SOME ST (saint; very holy person).
2 Prevent bread going bad (5)
DEBAR – ( bread )* [going bad].
3 Final action in school period — ten punished (9)
INTERMENTIN TERM (school period), ( ten )* [punished]. Rather a crafty definition. I suppose getting buried is the last action your body makes, but it seems a bit tenuous. Have I missed something?
4 Most pleasant characters among Venice’s tourists (6)
NICEST – Hidden [among] in VeNICE’S Tourists.
5 Less than half of characters in college pass (3)
COL – First three letters [less than half of characters] of COL{lege}
6 Face pain, showing self-assurance (7)
PANACHEPAN (face; US slang) ACHE (pain).
9 Walks for chaps with a little man at the rear (10)
PROMENADESPRO (for) MEN (chaps), A DES (little man; short man’s name). A MER from me at DES for little man.
12 Sighed with car spewing exhaust ? (9)
DISCHARGE – ( Sighed car )* [spewing]. A new anagram indicator to me.
14 Big noise caught having the affair in Paris? (7)
CLAMOURC (caught) L’AMOUR (affair in French).
16 Lead a political party with an explosive start (4,2)
HEAD UPA DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) after HE (high explosive).
19 Very little language in a short Bible extract ? (5)
VERSEV (very abbreviated; little) ERSE (language).
21 Leader briefly turns up, making you cry (3)
SOBBOS{s} (leader) [briefly] reversed  [turns up].


87 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2219 by Izetti”

  1. Over 22 minutes. Spent most time on CONSIDER, MOCKER, and DISCHARGE. Needed blog to fully parse STARTLE and HEAD UP among others-thanks!
    Re parsing MOCKER : I think queen must be just R as the E is already accounted for in the come anagram.

    1. Re MOCKER. Thanks. I parsed it correctly when solving, but then got it wrong in the blog!

  2. I don’t see why ‘very’ is in HANDSOMEST; or ‘too’, for that matter, although I suppose it may be a bit more natural to think of the holy person as separate from the worker. I also didn’t care for DES. STARTLE & INTERMENT took me a long time. INTERMENT seemed OK to me; not the last action one makes, but the last action one undergoes. 8:58.

  3. Have a day off today so I got to do this on the computer and I’m on the leaderboard for the first time ever with my mistakes and all. I thought some of this was so hard, but it’s mostly because Izetti’s favourite things are not mine.

    Also topical question, will we start getting a new acronym for King now? Like.. CR or something?

    Words I NHO:
    COL = pass (between mountains?), I typed in CEL. I think perhaps we have had this before, but my brain didn’t keep it.
    INTERMENT = I only learnt ‘inter’ through crosswords, so making it a noun was one step too far
    COPE = is it a religious garment?

    Words that I sadly suck at – that’s two French words (okay my French teacher would have been glad I got those, but I studied Japanese/Mandarin/Vietnamese/Korean much harder which is completely useless to me here) , a historical figure, an alcohol word, two literary references in the one clue

    Words I couldn’t parse but thanks to the blog: DES?!, I didn’t know the DUP or the HE.

    I also need help with MEETS = gathers, anyone got a sentence substitution?

    and in VERSE – is the ‘very little’ because very isn’t usually abbreviated to v, so we had to take a little part of very?

    Sorry for the essay, it’s much easier to type and word vomit on the computer than it is on my phone.

    1. CR (isn’t an acronym, but) is already available, since we have two dead kings of that name. I wonder if the no-living-person rule will now apply without exception.
      v is an accepted abbreviation for ‘very’, so ‘little’ should normally not be necessary, except ‘very language’ won’t work.

      1. Wikipedia lists 228 acronyms for CR ~ l duly note that one is for Costa Rica,
        International Car Registration code, prior to 1944.

    2. The “little” isn’t necessary (we see “very” equating to v all the time) however “very little” is a common phrase that will sit naturally in a surface reading – and in fact in this case the surface wouldn’t make sense without the “little”. I think every time I’ve seen this used has been in a puzzle by this setter in one or other of his guises.

      The South Col is a “famous” part of the classic route up Everest.

    3. I dislike the French too, and I’m in a bilingual country! Although I don’t like calling what they speak in Quebec French. I must admit that the French and Latin, etc. in the puzzles in an English newspaper make me wonder if we’re running out of words in English?

  4. 8m but without POETESS

    I did enter POETESS – but a) I didn’t see the parsing and b) thought it a terrible word (up there with “atmospherical” or “trump”), so I deleted it, planned to come back to it, and immediately forgot about it

    When I hit submit, “97% Complete” flashed before my eyes, but my muscle-memory empowered thumb had already hit the button.

        1. In that case you should enjoy poetess Dame Barbara Cartland’s 1972 book of poems, ‘Lines on Life and Love’. She has owned many pampered pouches, notably a white Pekingese ‘Twi-Twi’, immortalised in her book, ‘The Prince and the Pekingese’.
          From memory, Paris Hilton has two rather cute Pomeranians, the smallest in the world. They cost her around $25k from a dealer in Canada, whose source is from Korea! One went by the name ‘Mr. Amazing’ the other ‘Pom Pom’.

  5. 24 across is not working on the app, but had to come here for the answer anyway. Otherwise a steady solve.

  6. I’ve counted this as 11 minutes as I needed a few seconds over my 10 minute target but rather too many to round down.

    I had half a query over grapple / COPE but decided it was okay. Fortunately I knew the garment.

    As has been mentioned above, today’s QC has a problem online with 24ac greyed out and inactive in the list of clues, but this is only if viewed via the newspaper. It’s okay via the Crossword Club. The same applies only more extensively to the 15×15 where several rows of the grid are affected via the newspaper and the print-out is incomplete via both means of access. [Edit:09:00: QC still has glitch but the 15×15 has been fixed]

  7. Slow going but got there in the end. NHO COPE and pondered ‘cape’ . Loved CLAMOUR, if it wasn’t for the ‘the’ in the clue I might still be looking. Only four on the first pass of acrosses and the RHS was largely empty for a long time. Sh0uld have got to PROMENADES quicker from the definition but didn’t so it had to be extracted. Took a while to parse CONSIDER – wondered if you crosed the floor you’d be a Con-sider before using all the words in the clue helped me out. Enjoyed POETESS as my crossword klaxon sounded loudly at ‘tragic women’ and there was Tess. All green in 22, happy with that.

  8. 8.19

    Slow start but it came together once the number of checkers increased

    Liked POETESS (my daughter is such) but wanted PEN at the beginning which didn’t help.

    Liked 21d. Izetti obviously set this on Tuesday

    Thanks to him and John

  9. 38 minutes of grim determination and all parsed, the bottom half taking up the most time, particularly the SE.
    LOI: HEAD UP after a PDM with POETESS.
    Favourites ESTEEM and CONSIDER.

  10. Very fast, then looked at a dozen clues without being able to crack one, then very fast again, then back to mopping up the Difficult Dozen but with the checkers now in place. A messy solve.

    I assume that many of the errors on the leaderboard will be “tickling” for “attempting to get fish”; I was certainly tempted by it. (I caught a ling once in Scotland; bizarre looking thing. I thought it was a conger eel at first! It was delicious.)

    COD CLAMOUR, time 08:25 for a sub-K and a Red Letter Day.

    Many thanks Izetti and John.


      1. Thanks both – swings and roundabouts – on Wednesday I probably exceeded your times added together!

  11. Was gonna bail after 20 mins with only 1/3 entered but came back and pushed through what was one of the toughest quickies for me in a long time.

    Thanks Izetti & John

  12. I made myself a sidecar earlier this evening; I keep cognac on hand mainly for that. My recipe includes a dash of simple syrup. I always use the juice from a fresh-squeezed lemon. The amount of juice I get out of it determines the amounts of the cognac and Cointreau.
    Later I made a “cheesecake martini,” as the now-closed Italian place next door used to call it: vanilla Stoli, Cointreau, and pineapple juice (Dole).

    Pice nuzzle!

    1. I like your recipe for the sidecar, which reminded me of my grandfather’s response on being offered a whisky and being asked how he would like it… “50:50 whisky and water… and don’t be sparing on the water”.

      1. Well, I always drink my whiskEy straight, but I hardly ever drink whisky (except that Maker’s Mark spells their bourbon that way).
        For the sidecar, I stick to the standard proportions (with perhaps an extra splash of Cointreau), but gauge it by how much lemon juice I have.

  13. I’m either still half asleep or this was on the hard side. NW corner went in OK, but struggled thereafter. I really thought 24ac would start Pen-, but 12d had to be Discharge, and 5ac Cope also took ages, despite being aware of the garment. Tickling looked reasonable for 8ac, but of course wouldn’t parse. A final sweep through produced Tackling, but by then the clock was only just shy of 30mins. CoD to 13ac, Mocker, another one that burnt up the time. Invariant

  14. Finished but outside the target time, and still got “Unlucky” because of the bug in POETESS.

    Struggled to get going, and slow on the anagrams SIDECAR & DISCHARGE.


  15. A fine puzzle with some very clever clues (and plenty of details for many bloggers above to get their teeth into) but not a QC IMO.
    The many ‘gimmes’ were more than counterbalanced by the tough clues. Izzie took me 10 mins over target but, at least, I managed to finish and parse them all.
    I agree with Invariant about COPE and with Merlin about SIDECAR and DISCHARGE.
    My COD was POETESS.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  16. I have no time because of the problem with 24a on the app, although this didn’t feel particularly slow to me. I notice that the number 24 is missing from the leading square for POETESS and wonder if that is related to the problem with displaying the clue in grey, and in recognising the answer when entered. I did consider CAPE but it only fitted half the wordplay, and whilst COPE as an item of clothing was unknown to me, a lack in my GK seemed more likely than CAPE having something to do with grappling. Thanks both, and good luck to CRIII.

    1. Yes, the problem is related as it was the same (only far worse) for today’s 15×15. Mick H has fixed the main puzzle now but the QC via the newspaper is still outstanding. It can be avoided by accessing via the Crossword Club.

      [14:30 edit. QC fixed now]

  17. 24a still missing in app puzzle section and seems to be a glitch with timer as I apparently finished in 00:03; it felt like 15 minutes. Thanks to Izetti and to John for the blog. Enjoy your walk

    1. A time of 00:03 might even beat Verlaine! I hope you have a screenprint for the record …

  18. Found this hard going, but very satisfying.
    Unlike some others I struggled with the garment definition of COPE and therefore toyed with CAPE before trusting the definition I understood.
    Anyone else do a double take with the anagram fodder for DISCHARGE being a homophone of SIDECAR? I briefly wondered if there was going to be some sort of theme, although it didn’t seem to be in character for Izetti.
    Finished in the SW with the tricky HEAD UP and POETESS in 13.22.
    Thanks to John

    1. Well spotted on the SIDECAR link. I missed it. It’s not Izetti’s style, as you say, for a theme or Nina, so I’m guessing it’s just serendipity, but it may have been a subliminal effect on the cluing. Only our setter could say.

  19. A grind for me. Not sure if due to a late night and a lack of sleep, or whether I was just miles off Izetti’s wavelength today. Maybe the latter.

    I solved POETESS last of all, in my head because I couldn’t access the clue. 2 unparsed, even after finishing, so thanks John for providing the parsing for STARTLE and HEAD UP. On edit, PANACHE was also unparsed as NHO PAN = face.

    A crossword to forget for me!

    14:12, plus 10 seconds or so for POETESS

  20. Started with NOB and finished with INTERMENT. Seemed harder to get my head round than previous Izettis. 9:05. Thanks Izetti and John.

  21. DNF for me today. Couldn’t see 24a for looking (though kicked myself on seeing the answer here). 5a I put CAPE as it was the only garment I could see with C-P-. Cope? Never heard of a garment called a cope.

    Despite the fact that this was an Izetti puzzle, I did actually enjoy this one, even though it was a DNF.

  22. Certainly tougher than average as my time of 10.31 reflects, although not much beyond target time. Had trouble parsing 17ac where I just wanted to use the opening s of sale, but eventually got it. Thanks to Izetti for an excellent offering and to John for the blog. Hope the walk goes well, not too many hills in Norfolk from memory.

      1. Elyot: I met her on a house party in Norfolk.
        Amanda: Very flat, Norfolk.
        Elyot: There’s no need to be unpleasant.
        Amanda: That was no reflection on her, unless of course she made it flatter.

        Private Lives
        Noël Coward

  23. Very hard and needed help to get through it. Struggled with COPE, PROMENADES (I hate these abbreviated names such as DES here), POETESS, ESTEEM, PANACHE. A real struggle.

  24. I found this tough going but very enjoyable. I always look forward to Izettis.

    Like some others I put in CAPE for 5A as it was the only garment I could think of with the checkers C-P-. I didn’t even think of COPE although I am well aware of it as a bishop’s garment and, it being an Izetti, I should have expected an ecclesiastical clue.

    A slow 21 minutes with the one error. Thanks to Izetti and John..

  25. Not my favourite Izetti, and my sympathies to those who rounded the COPE of Good Hape, or tried poaching trout without the required rod and line.

    TIME 4:45

  26. Seemed to fall into the same traps as others: pen to start 24A and tuck for 8A . Don’t think I’ve heard of tack for ordinary food, but want to also acknowledge that tuck isn’t ordinary food either! Also had cuff then cape and finally cope. I enjoyed building 9D and 6D. Hope the walk has gone well- thanks for the blog, and thanks too to Izetti for a challenging Friday puzzle.

    1. I only know tack as a food item from the phrase “hard tack” – and I’m not even sure I know what hard tack is. I’ve certainly never heard the word tack used for food in real life.

      1. Ship’s biscuits used to be called ‘hardtack’, ‘soft tack’ was a loaf or similar bread item, origin unknown. Tack also describes food generally.

        1. Thanks Rotter. Showing my complete ignorance of naval terms I’m afraid, but happy to be enlightened!

  27. I can’t call this a DNF today, but only because I didn’t start it! This is because Waitrose only received one copy of The Times this morning, and I was too late! Nevertheless, the blog and the comments are very useful. Thank you. I’ll try the WQC now.

    Edit: tackled the WQC and pleased to have another DNF for the expanding collection! Managed eight clues. The explanations in the solution are very useful. Thank you.

  28. I found this very challenging and was hovering on the doorstep of the SCC. Alas the doorman is a stickler for the rules and my time of 19¾ minutes meant I was left outside on the pavement – no comfy corner chair as a reward for persevering with this one!

    Several of the clues were in my view on the edge of QC-land, and the combination left whole areas of the grid more sparsely inhabited than Antarctica for a long time. But eventually they all appeared. A tough workout, but all fair.

    Just one query – how much French are we expected to know for QCs? Good = Bon is fair enough but Affair = L’Amour is asking slightly more (and doesn’t it mean “love” not “affair” anyway?)

    Many thanks John for the blog – I hope you liked 3D – and I look forward to the Saturday Special.

    1. Amour is in my trusty but battered Concise Oxford as an English word meaning “a love affair, esp. a secret one”. So only the L’ was the French bit!

  29. I found this very tough. 60 minutes precisely, but not sure whether to record it as a ‘solve’ or a DNF. I had NHO the required garment, so DNK whether ‘Grapple’ or ‘garment’ was the definition. As I solve on paper, I was able to finish with CA/OPE. Similarly, I could not fully parse 13a (I had ____ER for queen) and DNK MOCKER for ‘Disrespectful type’. I wrote in MO/UCKER. Did I solve the crossword or was it a DNF?

    Many thanks to Izetti and John.

    1. A bit of a difficult question SRC, bordering on Quantum Logic – is Shrodinger’s cat dead or alive? Look back at your completed grid, and if the Os in each case are more prominent than the alternatives, award yourself a finish as a reward for your tenacity!

      1. Thankyou, Mr Rotter. I think I will have to record it as a DNF. I should have pondered for a few more minutes, but I’d rather lost the will to live by that stage.

        N.B. Further along my road there’s a lamppost, fixed to which is a hand-written notice. It’s situated just outside a house owned by an elderly couple – Mr & Mrs Schrodinger. The notice reads “Missing Cat: If found, please return dead and alive”.

        1. A favourite read of mine, back when it appeared, is the weird and bawdy Schrodingers Cat trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson which I’ve just googled to find is available online as a PDF here. “There is a Glossary at the back of this book which explains many of the concepts of quantum mechanics employed in the text. The reader may find this helpful, and it may be consulted at any point when elucidation seems needed.

          The story herein is set in a variety of parallel universes in which most of the politicians are thieves and most of the theologians are maniacs. These universes have nothing in common with our own world, of course.”

  30. Absolute shocker and only had 5 clues after 20 mins, as a result a dnf.

    Personally, I thought a lot of this was 15×15 territory – the lack of checkers meant some clues that I probably would have got I couldn’t even get near.

    16ac with its “High Explosive” start a case in point.

    A poor end to the week, but thanks as usual for the blog.

  31. Struggled with this, eventually gave up & came here to find the last 4. Annoyingly, I had figured out INTERMENT from the word-play, but didn’t think it was a real word. Ah well, there’s always next week.

  32. DNF with SW corner eluding me. Would never have thought of HE for high explosive; usually a diplomat. Political parties CON, TORY, LIB, LAB, GREEN but but not DUP. Thought of AMOUR but didn’t twig the L’ to make the loud noise. Didn’t see U turning as part of the word play. Very poor attempt today.

  33. Late to this after golf. I had a big delay at the end getting STARTLE and then deciding eventually that COPE was a bit more likely then CAPE.
    DNK this meaning for COPE and will now look it up.

  34. My first comment here! Yes, this was a tricky one. But the QC is genius – clues just as the full cryptic, but generally more transparent, and the two ‘shade into’ each other, and there were a few today which would not be out of place in the main cryptic. I liked it. I don’t record times – I fear it would make me feel bad, but justify by saying I alternate it with other things! Blog and comments much appreciated.

  35. For the second time this week I was one letter out, putting cape for 5ac. This took me well over an hour and was tortuous. I am going backwards with these QCs at the moment. My times are dreadful and I’m failing to parse many words. I was proud of myself for sticking with it, but thoroughly deflated when I found it was a DNF. Glad it’s the weekend.

    1. Chin up Gary. This was a tricky one – Izetti’s clues can be a bit obtuse and his vocabulary not always mainstream…. COPE being a prime example. Well done for sticking with it. I hope the blogs help… they helped me a lot when I was struggling.

      1. Thanks John. The blogs are very helpful and I really appreciate the work that goes into them.

        I think I was just a bit flat after a few recent DNFs.

  36. Very hard! These crosswords are getting harder and a bit off-putting and I’ve been trying to do them a while now.

    1. I thought this one was rather too tricky in places. Keep going and learn from the blogs like I did… and here I am, a blogger!

  37. Yes want to encourage all newbies too- I still use aids but really enjoy the process- keep going!

  38. I think it’s been quite a tough week, apart from Thursday’s, which I found much easier than the rest. I failed to get three clues of this one (Cope, Tackling and Poetess). But next week is a new week!

  39. Took me several hours but I dragged myself across the finish line once again! Hooray!

    Should have gotten 5a a LOT more quickly considering half my Twitter friends are high-church Angl0-Catholics who like to fight about vestments, haha

    Had no idea how to parse 16d without the blog’s explanation! We don’t have DUP around here, but we do have DFL (Democrat-Farm-Labor).

    14d was my final sticking point … because of course, CLAMOUR is spelled wrong 😉

    1. Well done for persevering and finishing. DUP is worth remembering as it is very handy for setters for a two word phrase ending in UP. As for CLAMOUR, it is the French spelling of course 😉.

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