Times Quick Cryptic No 2266 by Wurm

Like the subject of the song by The Who?, I’m a substitute here for another guy!  Today, I am standing in for Chrisw91, who I think is back from his break in a fortnight.  I don’t have a time for this puzzle from Wurm, but I suspect that I was within target at a tad under 15 minutes.  I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.


8  Barrel in bar area shows domed structure (7)

ROTUNDA – TUN (barrel) inside ROD (bar) and A{rea}.

9  Love to be Popeye’s girl (5)

OLIVE – O (love or zero) and LIVE (to be), referring to Olive Oyl, Popeye’s girlfriend in the eponymous cartoon.

10  Relative close to bridge in French city (5)

NIECE – NICE (French city) containing {bridg}E (close to…).

11  Not entirely frightful time in retreat (7)

HIDEOUT – HIDEOU{s} (not entirely frightful) and T{ime}.

12  End sadly involved swallowing one’s pride? (6,3)

DEADLY SIN – Anagram (involved) of [END SADLY] and I (one).

14  Good thing that comes to those who wait? (3)

TIP – Cryptic clue – a bonus or good thing for a waiter.

16  Understand an archaeological project? (3)

DIG – Double definition.

18  Changeable type in unusually clean home (9)

CHAMELEON – Anagram (unusually) of [CLEAN HOME]

21  Vessel shooting across the waves? (7)

GUNBOAT – Cryptic definition.

22  100 at church finding hidden problem (5)

CATCH – C (100 in Roman numerals) AT (at) and CH{urch}.

23  The Fleet Street crowd? (5)

PRESS – Cryptic clue or double definition, referring to the former home of the newspaper industry (Fleet Street), and PRESS = crowd.

24  Port should cover very dry dish (7)

RISOTTO – RIO (port) containing SO (very) and TT (teetotal, dry).



1  School did art in Caribbean island (8)

TRINIDAD – Anagram (school, as in train) of [DID ART IN].

Goddess by that time in sober company? (6)

ATHENA – THEN (by that time) inside AA (Alcoholics Anonymous – sober company).

Previously held in detention centre (4)

ONCE – Hidden inside [detenti}ON CE{entre}.

4  Hit hard – huge letdown (6)

BATHOS – BAT (hit) and H{ard} followed by OS (outsize – huge).  My Chambers describes BATHOS as “a ludicrous descent from the elevated to the ordinary in writing or speech”.

5  Tory, thick, to become thicker (8)

CONDENSE – CON{servative} (tory) and DENSE (thick).

6  Animal escaped in gorge (3,3)

PIG OUT – An animal escaped might be a PIG OUT of its pen.

7  Best British tea brewed (4)

BEAT – B{ritish) and an anagram (brewed) of [TEA].

13  The French receiving a pass in game (8)

LACROSSE – LE (the in French) containing (receiving) A CROSS (a pass, as in pass the ball / cross the ball).

15  Situated in Japan, the Onsenji temple (8)

PANTHEON – Hidden inside {ja}PAN, THE ON{senji}.

17  Male goose in butcher’s (6)

GANDER – Double definition, the second a piece of CRS (cockney rhyming slang) as in butcher’s hook = look = GANDER.

19  Sailor’s behind a small bird (6)

ASTERN – A S{mall} and TERN (bird).

20  Land in European country (6)

ESTATE – E{uropean} and STATE (country).

21  Good copy – stare in wonder (4)

GAPE – G{ood} and APE (copy).

22  Amusing person for instance (4)

CASE – Double definition.

54 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2266 by Wurm”

  1. 15:10 Decent time for me with no major holdups. Wondered about the definition of BATHOS but the one in Chambers you quote clears up any doubts I had.

  2. Bathos and Gander were beyond me.

    Also tun for barrel.

    I enjoyed TIP, needed all checkers for that one

  3. The construction of 17d is testing for a QC, I think, although made easier by clueing it as “male goose”. Otherwise it would need knowledge of two different types of slang and the ability to deduce one (gander) from the other (look). I liked it.

  4. A rare technical DNF for me plus I got an answer wrong so this was not my day!

    I completed all but the intersecting pair 5dn and 11ac in 10 minutes, but having made no progress after a further 8 I resorted to aids for HIDEOUT. The H-checker it provided helped me with 4dn but I rushed things and inserted the first word I thought of that fitted, PATHOS, without paying close enough attention to the definition.

    Although coming up with the answer at 16ac had been no problem I’m not sure I knew DIG = ‘understand’, but SOED places it above ‘appreciate’ ‘enjoy’ which would have been my favoured definitions.

    1. I thought of PATHOS too and wasn’t entirely sure of the definition of either it and BATHOS, but I thought BAT would be more of a hit than a PAT.

        1. Do you care to offer an alternative Kevin? The origin is said to be Gr bathos = depth, which fits with bathymeter, which I am familiar with from the Navy.

          1. An alternative to ‘let-down’? Not in one word, but the definition you give from Chambers is enough. Here’s an example from Dryden:
            “The cave of Proteus rises out of the sea, it consists of several arches of rock work, adorned with mother of pearl, coral, and abundance of shells of various kinds. Through the arches is seen the sea, and parts of Dover pier.”
            or, from the Earl of Lytton,
            His cheek was worn; his back bent double
            Beneath the iron box he bore;
            And in his walk there seem’d such trouble
            You saw his feet were sore.
            ‘Let-down’ simply doesn’t apply.

  5. A sting in the tail with this one. I was flying along thinking that Wurm was being very kind but came to a grinding halt in the NE where the unknown BATHOS, HIDEOUT and PIG OUT took some serious head scratching before the answers revealed themselves.
    A very enjoyable solve starting with ROTUNDA and finishing with CASE in 8.17 with PANTHEON just edging out TIP for COD.
    Thanks to Rotter for filling in.

  6. I enjoyed this 25 minutes workout.
    FOI: OLIVE. Then bottom to top solve.
    LOI: TIP after PIG OUT and a PDM for the waiter.
    Several were marked as favourites along the way but the building of BATHOS as I read the clue was the most satisfying.

  7. DNF for me. Ran aground in the NE. I got fixated on ‘all’ where TIP should have gone even though it clearly didn’t work. I was nowhere near BATHOS, firstly I didn’t really know what it meant and also I was looking for a word meaning HIT beginnning with H (hard). I’ve got OS for big before but it didn’t occur today. Also failed on PIG OUT where I was hoping ‘big cat’ would work. All but four in 10, HIDEOUS five minutes later and quit to walk Bertie after 20 or so.

  8. I found this a bit tricky. LOI BATHOS with fingers crossed (see reply to Jackkt above) after DEADLY SIN. I liked “Sailor’s behind”. Thank-you Wurm and Rotter. 6:03.

  9. Quite a change from yesterday’s QC – it took me twice as long to finish.
    Some tricky clues, I thought. I took time to see HIDEOUT and needed crossers to see quite a few such as BATHOS and DEADLY SIN. I liked GANDER but thought it might be tough for those unfamiliar with rhyming slang (although the definition compensated). I hesitated over GUNBOAT, thinking it was too straightforward (I even looked at GoNdOla given the three crossers). I thought a theme might be lurking when I saw AA and TT.
    Thanks to Wurm for a tough one and to Rotter for standing in so effectively. John M.

  10. Flew through most of this, but DEADLY SIN, BATHOS, HIDEOUT, PIG OUT and TIP (never really parsed this, so thanks to rotter) took longer than the rest of the clues combined. Even so, my LOI was CASE – NHO the amusing person definition, but relied on the instance definition. A game of two halves as they say.

    Thanks to Rotter and Wurm.


    1. The CASE = Amusing character is, I think, fairly common in British English – he’s a bit of a character / card / case. Maybe I should have given an example in the blog.

      1. Thanks Rotter. Card definitely, but nho case. I don’t doubt it’s there, no doubt described as “dated, informal”, but just not part of my lexicon. I’ll file it away, I don’t complain about the use of non-current terms, they’re v. much part of the crossword setters toolbox.

      2. CASE got me too. Not complaining, being from across the pond and doing British crosswords there’s bound to be words and slang I don’t know. The second definition of GANDER is an example. Chambers has case as infomal and “usually qualified in some way”, so head-case, strange-case, etc. NHO case being used alone before though.
        I guess I do, inwardly, complain about the use of foreign languages and phrases in the crosswords, but that’s my problem.

      3. We were held up by putting in card initially, it seems to fit the clue just as well, but obviously that made risotto impossible. Generally thought the definitions were pushing things a bit in more than one clue!

  11. Flying along quite nicely after about seven minutes with three to do, and like others came to a grinding halt in the north east corner. On the point of giving up after another ten minutes or so then got PIG OUT which convinced me to carry on. Again on the point of calling it a day HIDEOUT suddenly dawned on me, and I was then able to narrow 4dn to BATHOS or PATHOS. Although I couldn’t be totally sure of the meanings I went for BATHOS so at least got there in the end. On seeing PIG OUT I assumed Oink was responsible, but on checking I discovered it was Worm. With the exception of DNFs, my slowest time for some years I would guess at 23.45.

  12. A DNF after 15 minutes as I NHO Case meaning amusing person, and with a word search producing about 15 words, none of which seemed to be close, I left the clue blank. Plus I also had Pathos not Bathos. I think Pat is as good for hit as Bat, and Pathos I thought could be a letdown. I shall concede having come to the blog that Bathos is the better answer but with the first letter not being a checker, I thought Pathos was plausible while doing the puzzle.

    Many thanks Rotter for the substitute blog

      1. Yes, fully accept it now (I looked it up when I read Rotter’s blog). Just not one I knew when doing the puzzle – my failing and certainly no suggestion the clue was unfair!

        1. I refer you to Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick as Julian and Sandy in “Round the Horne”.

          “Oooo ! He’s a case Jules !”

  13. I got properly stuck on this. 5 or 6 clues gave me problems mainly in the NE.
    Struggled to get PIG OUT; eventually got HIDEOUT (a tough clue I thought) and LOI was BATHOS having tried BASH far too often and HAMMER. I knew it wasn’t Pathos.
    But I had a mistake. I had pencilled in ASTARS thinking it might be an unknown bird. I misread the instructions.
    So one up to the setter. COD to ATHENA.
    A tough QC I thought. 21 minutes.

  14. I was held up at the end by having CARD, which was corrected by RISOTTO, but I then spent ages trying to find an alternative to CASE, which I haven’t come across with that meaning. Head case, hard case yes. I was pleasantly surprised to have an all green grid. HIDEOUT and DEADLY SIN needed all the checkers. 10:29. Thanks Wurm and Rotter.

  15. 18 minutes or so

    I think CASE took well over 5 minutes even with the checkers, as my LOI

    I eventually got BATHOS which unlocked HIDEOUT and PIG OUT before that


    Thanks Rotter and Wurm

  16. Have to say that I did not enjoy this one at all. It just didn’t flow for me. I DNF with 5 unanswered. I did much better with today’s Telegraph cryptic.

  17. Twenty enjoyable minutes for all the ‘normal’ clues, and then at least another five with the crowbar to tease out Bathos, Hideout and Case: except that I flung in an unparsed Bashes for 4d on the basis that Case was probably wrong anyway. I don’t think I have ever come across Case as an amusing person, certainly not without some sort of qualifier. Hmm. CoD to 12ac, Deadly Sin, for the surface. Invariant

  18. Held up briefly in the NE corner, and felt I should have got CONDENSE much more quickly.

    LOI BATHOS (vaguely remembered from Frank Millard’s English classes at Grammar School !)
    TIME 4:35

  19. Haven’t had a last clue dnf for a while, but today 4dn “Bathos” stumped me. Upon reflection the parsing is straightforward, but sometimes a word is just so obscure (to me at least) you’re never going to get it.

    The rest of it I enjoyed and thought there were some lovely clues.

    FOI – “Trinidad”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 14ac “Tip” – probably a chestnut, but enjoyable none the less.

    Thanks as usual!

  20. This was hard going for me, right from the start. I had to wait several minutes for my FOI (CATCH) and very few others had arrived by the time I had completed my first pass through the grid. In time, however, the lower half started to fill up and I was then able to prise open the upper half, bit by bit.

    My last few in were HIDEOUT, pATHOS and TIP (in that order) and I crossed the line in 43 minutes. It wasn’t until I came here that saw my mistake with pATHOS, which I had thought was a perfectly good answer to 4d. The word BATHOS was unknown to me and doesn’t sound like a real word. I even thought that our blogger had made an error (Sorry, Rotter!). So, despite all the hard graft, it has to go down in my records as a DNF. A “huge letdown”, to coin a phrase.

    Many thanks to Wurm and TheRotter.

  21. Solved a fairly difficult offering quite steadily, but got held up trying to fit TAR (sailor) into 19D. Some neat clues – liked DEADLY SIN and Wurm’s normal porcine answer!

    1. It is Oink that has a trademark porcine reference in his grids. As far as I am aware, Wurm has no such equivalent ‘signature’.

  22. Reserve me a seat in the SCC! I really struggled with the last five clues, which took me over 7 minutes to solve, but I did eventually finish, all done and dusted, in 19 minutes. It was most of the same suspects that did for me – HIDEOUT, GUNBOAT, TIP, PIG OUT and CASE . The first two look very odd when you only have checkers! All the same, I enjoyed a lot of this – CHAMELEON, CONDENSE and ASTERN all got ticks.
    FOI and COD Olive LOI Case
    Thanks Wurm and Rotter

  23. Almost gave up with bathos and hideous outstanding, but persevered.

    Bathos example from the web:
    His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel… or something.
    (Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James)

    Time 15m + about 4 hours.
    COD beat not beta.

  24. Beaten by HIDEOUT which I wrote in but couldn’t parse so scrubbed it and BATHOS…a word I haven’t used since English Lit essays in the 80’s and I’m not sure I use it correctly then.

    Thanks Rotter n Wurm

  25. I had BASHES for BATHOS, even though I couldn’t parse it. Another in the crowd of people who didn’t know the “amusing type” definition of CASE. It’s always a relief to find that other people find the same clues hard for the same reason.
    COD CONDENSE, for the surface reading that made me smile.
    Thanks Wurm and TheRotter.

  26. Pretty difficult in parts, I thought. I did look up BATHOS. A busy day so had to leave half the NE corner unfinished but completed it just now. Strange how helpful a pause is. LOI TIP (biffed!). HIDEOUT/PIG OUT also tricky, along with DEADLY SIN. DIG is a word from the 6Os 🙂 or possibly 5Os.
    We have had CASE before so got that one.
    Thanks vm, Rotter. Blog much needed.

  27. A DNF. I was defeated by HIDEOUT and BATHOS, and was unable to parse the latter without the help of the blog. Thank you Rotter.

  28. Another tricky one today. Like others I have NHO CASE, but it sounded reasonable, and also like others I ended up with 4d and 11a to go. That was after about 20 minutes and I thought I might be in for a really long haul ending in a DNF, but after about five minutes I considered BAT + H + OS which I didn’t know meant letdown, but knew it had something to do with depth. When it allowed me to get HIDEOUT, I figured it was probably correct. Ended up with 26:26, so not too bad for me. Thought I’d found my COD when I figured out the parsing of DEADLY SIN, but then I got the equally good TIP so I’m now torn. Thanks Rotter and Wurm.

  29. Like others a DNF because of the NE corner, nho BATHOS and didn’t get HIDEOUS (rather cunning clue for a QC). Liked quite a few of the other clues (e.g. 8a, 14a, 24a).

  30. No enjoyment to be had today.

    Perhaps I was just off it, but wouldn’t have got bathos in a month of Sundays.
    Had either bashes or lashes for this.

    Put in case for 22dn but never heard it this as a term for an amusing person.

    Struggled for over an hour to a thoroughly miserable DNF. Wurm is just too hard for me.

    Thanks for the blog Rotter.

  31. Thank you so much to The Rotter – as ever a really illuminating blog, which helps this learner immeasurably.

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