Times Quick Cryptic No 2252 by Izetti

16:07 — not my finest effort. Most of this puzzle was quite easy, but there were a few clues in the upper-left which completely stymied me!

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 One grand Conservative in club, a tigerish sort? (3,3)
BIG CAT – I + G + C in BAT
4 Top male entertained by a church (4)
ACME – M in A + CE
9 Not much ale: tilt drunkenly! (1,6)
A LITTLE – anagram of ALE TILT
10 Guide a society, containing these inner thoughts (5)
11 Very glad to be put in the dark, as you might suppose? (9)

Fooled me.

12 Eccentric old theologian (3)
ODD – O + D.D. (Doctor of Divinity)
13 [What’s] concerning man who substitutes for ruler? (6)
15 Actors brought to the French monument? (6)
CASTLE – CAST + LE (‘the’ in French)
17 Covering [provided by] thatcher, partly (3)
HAT – hidden in THATCHER
18 One character inferior to another (9)
SUBSCRIPT – cryptic definition

As a mathematician, to spend five minutes on this one was quite embarrassing.

21 Enlarged garment for king to wear (5)
GROWN – GOWN around R
22 Be obsessed by man — stifling bore! (5,2)
23 Policy / that may be laid down by ruler (4)
LINE – double definition

‘Ruler’ meaning a straight-edge.

24 Like a fateful day, [providing] incidental messages (6)
1 Bloke‘s beginning / to run — body part sending message? (7)
BLADDER – first letter of BLOKE + LADDER

This definition was, for me, unrewardingly vague. Took me ages.

2 Repeatedly question / cook (5)
GRILL – double definition
3 Annoying worker / caught in two minds? (12)

Another very difficult one, though fair.

5 Revolutionary base — that one’s smoking? (7)

“That, one’s smoking”

6 Stopped losing head [and] relaxed (5)
EASED – CEASED without first letter
7 Any number in group [becoming] ecstatic (4)
8 Those who spot our feathered friends [in] prepared bed rich with straw (4,8)

I confess to have biffed this one.

14 What someone on rooftop must do? Become depressed (3,4)
GET DOWN – presumably they must, eventually

As in “that really got me down”.

16 Carries on [with] English nurses — about ten! (7)
EXTENDS – E + TENDS around X

Hard definition to see. Maybe ‘with’ is part of the definition?

17 Philosopher [and] ambassador / come together (5)
19 Small county / hotels offer these (4)
BEDS – BEDS. (= Bedfordshire)
20 What lazy person did? One had been in front (5)
IDLED – I’D LED (= “one had been in front”)

53 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2252 by Izetti”

  1. I biffed BIRD WATCHERS from the I and enumeration, never bothered to look at the wordplay until after submitting. I agree with Jeremy that the definitions for BLADDER & EXTENDS could have been better: lots of body parts send messages, and I’m not even sure if ‘carries on’ defines ‘extends’–he carried on the discussion, maybe? I foolishly biffed ANTAGONISTIC, and wasted some time trying to think of an appropriate word ending in -I for 21ac. 6:39.

    1. I think the BLADDER definition needs to be taken as part of the clue as a whole, i.e. it’s implying that this is the body part that might send a message to the brain to make a bloke begin to run (to the loo).

  2. 11:50. Didn’t know SUBSCRIPT but crossed my fingers and entered it. Also it looked like a real word. I always considered a CASTLE to be a fortress and/or a dwelling but not a monument. I wondered about EXTENDS =carries on too but then thought if a line extends instead of stopping you could say it carries on. Maybe?

      1. I suppose that a castle is a monument in the sense of an ancient monument or scheduled monument in the legal or regulatory sense. Several ruined castles or castle sites are listed as such under various UK schemes.

        1. Yes, I’ve found some definitions now that cover it. SOED has ‘monument’ as ‘a structure or edifice surviving from a past age’, and Chambers has ‘any ancient building or structure preserved for its historical value’.

    1. I agree with you that many castles were built as functional units and remain today, not because they are monuments, but because they were strongly built.

  3. 13 minutes, so another missed target to add to my growing collection.

    Another query from me at ‘monument/castle’. A monument is surely something intended to commemorate something or someone and a castle doesn’t fall into that category in my view. It’s not even in my thesaurus which tends to list words even vaguely associated with each other.

    On BLADDER, I’ve an idea that ‘message’ may have been part of an old euphemistic expression for needing a pee and that’s what’s being referred to here.

  4. Missed the hidden. Spent really quite a long time trying to see why it would be IDEAS and it was in front of me all along. I’d previously spent a while on SUBSCRIPT. Six on the first pass of acrosses on the way to being all green in just under 16.

  5. A fine crossword thoroughly enjoyed.
    FOI: GRILL which then determined G for grand, not K and gave me BIGCAT.
    So many to pick from as favourites but I have to go for BLADDER. The quickened journey home from the pub.
    I just wrote in CASTLE and moved on.
    Finished in 21 minutes.

  6. Made life hard for myself by having a typo in CHEROOT and biffing ANTAGONISTIC. Like others I struggled with BLADDER and LOI EXTENDS where, on the back of Templar’s very useful comment yesterday, I was trying to fit something like SEN/SRN/RN etc around ten and wasn’t helped by the vague definition.
    SUBSCRIPT went in from the checkers and HEGEL from the wordplay.
    On the plus side I scraped in under target in 9.58 and thought that ASIDES was very neat.
    Thanks to Jeremy

    1. Getting Hegel depends on knowing midtable (in terms of fame, not ability) philosophers and that ambassador often is HE. Not unfair but tough for a quickie I reckon.

  7. 11’9” but it felt much longer. Held up by BLADDER (I’m still not getting the ‘sends messages’ bit?!) and ANTAGONISING and SUBSCRIPT.

    MER at CASTLE but it couldn’t be anything else and they’re monuments of a sort, I suppose.

    Pleased to have finished.

    Thanks Izetti and Jeremy

  8. Got there slowly, plodding around the grid. BEDS an early solve, along with REGENT, BIRDWATCHERS and the SW corner. Among LOsI were ACME, CHEROOT, BLADDER. Liked BIG CAT, ODD, LINE, DELIGHTED. SUBSCRIPT came to mind luckily.
    Thanks vm, Jeremy.

  9. All but two finished in 8 minutes, and then took another 6 minutes on ANTAGONISING and eventually failed on SUBSCRIPT, just couldn’t get it. Some dodgy definitions as noted by previous posters, and HEGEL may be tough for some I think

  10. I quite enjoyed this QC which seemed slightly more straightforward than most from Izetti. That said, I was still a minute or so over target but that didn’t seem so bad when I saw I was within a few seconds of Jeremy’s time.
    I joined Kevin in biffing antagonisTIC at first and I didn’t help myself by fat-fingering E for W in dEell on. I didn’t see my errors until near the end when GROWN and BEDS just had to be.
    I won’t list all the clues that I enjoyed but will pick out three: ASIDES, EXTENDS, and my COD SUBSCRIPT.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  11. DIid not get BLADDER and still do not really see it even with ‘explanation’! Also struggled with SUBSCRIPT (NHO). Another annoying name in DON in DWELL ON.

    1. I share your unhappiness with BLADDER – an uncharacteristically poor clue. It had to be but was a Major Eyebrow Raise for me. Perhaps we are missing something?

  12. Two held me up a bit at the end: BLADDER, which I thought maybe COD; and SUBSCRIPT which was about the only thing I could get to fit.
    But I was finished in 11 minutes.
    I thought this was an excellent puzzle; a few tricky areas but not too hard.
    Joint COD to EXTENDS.

  13. I guessed this was an Izetti as I was going along from the number of clues which were enjoyably whimsical/unacceptably loose according to taste. Overall I thought it a bit below par by his exalted standards.

    COD DELIGHTED, time 08:51 for 1.3K and a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks Izetti and Jeremy


  14. Just inside target at a few seconds under 15 minutes. Held up at the end by the HEGEL LINE pairing in the SW. I got BLADDER, but not sure of the message part. I’m another who initially went for ANTAGONISTIC. Thanks both.

    1. I share your misgivings about 1 d. I think it’s almost an “& lit”. If someone is caught short they may have to run as a result of a message from their bladder. Makes me shift uneasily even trying to explain it!

  15. 4:13 this morning. Agree with the above comments that that this wasn’t always as tightly constructed as a typical Izetti QC. Nonetheless there were, as ever, several neat clues, such as 18 ac “subscript”, 22 ac “dwell on” and 3 d “antagonising” .
    16 d “extends” inspired by “Carry on Matron”, perhaps??
    Thanks to Jeremy and Don.

  16. Another baffled by the BLADDER message. However, I shrugged and moved on. Liked DELIGHTED. Started with BIG CAT and finished with HEGEL. 8:08. Thanks Izetti and Jeremy.

  17. Having done this on the phone, where the setter’s identity is not revealed, I was surprised to see it is from Izetti. Some uncharacteristically loose clues I thought, and I join those with MERs at Castle for monument, Extends for carries on and the parsing of Bladder. It is rare to raise even one eyebrow in an Izetti puzzle, and three is really most unusual.

    On the other hand my time for the puzzle was bang in line with my average for an Izetti at 15 minutes, and mostly very enjoyable minutes too. NW corner last to fall, with Bladder and Big cat (my LOI, as I had a major brain fade and simply didn’t see it) holding me up.

    Many thanks to Jeremy for the blog

  18. I liked this puzzle, whcih took me a smidge over target.

    ANTAGONISING and SUBSCRIPT last two in. SUBSCRIPT probably COD.

    I thought BLADDER was a semi &lit, got it from B plus LADDER and moved on quickly.


  19. I failed to finish as I just could not get SUBSCRIPT and I also could only see ANTAGONISTIC although I knew it couldn’t be that as I had already entered GROWN at 21A.

    With regard to BLADDER, I parsed it as B (first letter of bloke) followed by LADDER (a synonym of run as in ‘my stockings have run/laddered’). Perhaps it takes a woman to spot this!

    I agree, though, that the bladder isn’t the only body part to send a message to the brain.

  20. I put antagonistic instead of antagonising. However, that wouldn’t have helped me with this DNF. I managed to get a little over half of the answers, including BLADDER. I too think the clue could have been a lot better. It was rather vague to put it politely. Though I did like BE’s explanation.

    Enjoyable, despite a DNF. A lot better than yesterday’s and Monday’s poor effort.

  21. Well, they are not getting any easier this week. Very nearly a 30min DNF, with just Bladder extant, but I came back for a second go/drubbing and this time saw the ladder part straight away. Still don’t care for the clue though. Overall, not one of Don’s finest, but some good clues, with Delighted and Asides my joint CoD. Invariant

  22. Agree that this wasn’t up to Izetti’s usual high standards, but that maybe emphasises how high those standards are since it was still very enjoyable to do. Was delighted with DELIGHTED.
    I think I liked BLADDER a bit more than Mr SR did; probably due to my childish sense of humour.
    Couldn’t see the problem with EXTENDS: “The road extends/carries on into the next county”.
    Many thanks for the entertainment, Izetti, and for the blog confirming BLADDER, plusjeremy.

  23. Didn’t get BLADDER. Sending a message? That’s extremely vague but I suppose I could have got the ladder from run.
    So DNF after after 70mins.

  24. Slow but very enjoyable plod today. Over the line in around 25 mins, again. Spent ages trying to parse IDEAS – totally missed the hidden… Guessed SUBSCRIPT. Knew HEGEL. I liked BLADDER – maybe I’m too inexperienced to have registered any disquiet. I know other body parts send a message but I still appreciated the clue taken as a whole. Also liked ASIDES and IDLED. LOI IDEAS. Always find an Izetti puzzle a little trickier but generally very satisfying. Thanks for the blog Jeremy.

  25. Awkward, to say the least, although to cross the line all correct in 41 minutes felt a lot better than the roughing-up doled out by Orpheus yesterday.

    Once again, I struggled to get started and my more-flowing middle patch was all to brief. My final few clues – SUBSCRIPT, DWELL ON, EXTENDS, HEGEL, REGENT, BIG CAT and BLADDER ( my LOI) – really had me scratching my head and took nearly 20 minutes.

    N.B. I parsed BLADDER in the same manner as did our blogger, but I was not at all happy with it.

    Many thanks to Izetti and Jeremy.

  26. A little disappointed at a final time of 16 mins as I’d started very fast. At the beginning I had hoped for a PB, or at least an I[zetti]PB. Managed to parse everything during the solve except for ANTAGONISING, where I had been over-complicating matters and looking for two synonyms for mind. Same MER as others at CASTLE for monument and at the somewhat loose clueing at 1dn but no problem with EXTENDS.

    FOI – 1ac BIG CAT
    LOI – 18ac SUBSCRIPT
    COD – 11ac DELIGHTED

    Thanks to Izetti and Jeremy

  27. Nine seconds over my ten minute target.

    Like many others, I had BLADDER as my LOI, but thought it an excellent clue when I eventually got it.

    Many thank

  28. Good one, with a few clues edging towards 15 x 15 trickiness. I strongly suspect Izetti had ‘letting you know you need a pee’ in mind with ‘message’ in 1d – though I wonder if an exclamation mark would have been even more appropriate than a question mark!? Far be it from me to doubt this particular setter though!

  29. All but SUBSCRIPT done in 13 minutes or so, but for some reason I never managed to see the answer & needed help. All parsed except for ANTAGONISING, which gave me a real “D’oh!” moment when I read the blog. My only MER was with BLADDER, but the B + LADDER wordplay was clear enough that I moved on.

  30. yes tricky but came in under 19 just. Am I right in thinking that ‘Don’ s relevant to the setter? many thanks as always

  31. Started really well, but found the across clues in the bottom half of the puzzle a little taxing. I don’t quite know why in retrospect.

    TIME 4:11

  32. 16:09

    Nothing too tricky. Held up by the NW corner but once I had BIG CAT the rest fell into place.

  33. Well, I claim the prize for the slowest finish today. Held up for ages by bladder (like others, I didn’t ‘get’ the clue) and subscript. Got sub but guessed script.

    I also didn’t equate ecstatic with sent and wasted time here.

    Nurses had me going through SENs and SRNs for ages.

    My total time was well over the hour mark. Every time I think I’m making progress, a QC comes along which puts me in my place! Annoying after a good performance yesterday.

    Great blog Jeremy.

  34. It’s definitely one of those weeks.

    Thankfully I managed to complete this in 23 mins, with the main hold up being 17dn “Hegel”. I stupidly biffed “Crown” for 21ac before I realised it wouldn’t parse.

    I also thought there were a few odd definitions, 15ac “Castle” being the obvious (and already heavily mentioned) one. After going through various aspects of the body’s central nervous system, the penny finally dropped for 1dn, which I then dutifully picked up and spent considering it took me so long.

    FOI – 9ac “A Little”
    LOI – 17dn “Hegel”
    COD – 14dn “Get Down” (not Get High as I originally thought)

    Thanks as usual!

  35. Despite making steady progress over the last few weeks, I found this difficult today.
    I’m especially vexed by not making the connection between run and ladder, because in fact I had a ladder in my stockings today that was antagonising me all day. Luckily managed to hide it under my coat on the way home though!

  36. Loads of body parts send messages but at my age I only have to hear a running tap to get the message.

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