Times Quick Cryptic No 2271 by Teazel

Today it’s my turn to stand in for our regular blogger Chris who is still on his travels. I nearly came to a 1A in this QC from Teazel where I got stuck in the SE corner for too long. Lots of clever clues – I liked 11D best. No proper time as I was interrupted, but probably over 7 minutes, well over my target time. In retrospect I don’t think there was anything too difficult, but how did you find it? Thank-you Teazel.

And before we dive into the answers, please note and take the time to comment on the Announcement Times Saturday Quick Cryptics. Replies there rather than here, please.

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

1 Tenacious aim brings disaster (6,3)
STICKY ENDSTICKY (tenacious) END (aim).
6 Arrest using firm pressure (3)
COPCO (company; firm) P (pressure).
8 Got hint to change after dark (7)
TONIGHT – ( got hint )* [to change].
9 Member of old empire is an upright type (5)
ROMAN – Double definition, the second referring to the font.
10 Debonair chap collapses in race (4,8)
EBOR HANDICAP – ( Debonair chap )* [collapses]. I had to write out all the letters of the anagram to get this unknown horse race. Like some of our commenters, I knew EBORACUM for York, so guessed the answer would be EBOR not OBER. It is indeed raced in York.
12 They represent eleven stages (4)
LEGS – Double definition, with the first a cryptic hint based on the traditional Bingo call, “legs eleven”.
13 Very old, I would become unoccupied (4)
VOIDV (very) O (old) I’D (I would).
17 Unpaid work : Shakespeare’s was lost (6,2,4)
LABOUR OF LOVE – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint referring to the play Love’s Labour Lost.
20 Doctor initially making short order (5)
MEDIC – [Initially] M{aking} [short] EDIC{t} (order).
21 Sudden impulse to see Italian island church (7)
CAPRICECAPRI (Italian island) CE (Church of England). I got stuck on this one thinking the linking “to see” was part of the wordplay, making it appear much more complicated than it actually was.
23 Girl is a wow (3)
AMYA MY (the expostulation; wow).
24 One intervenes in disease after singular stupidity (9)
SILLINESS – Another that held me up, this time by looking for a specific disease. It’s not that complicated…. S (singular) + I (one) inside [intervenes in] ILLNESS (disease).
1 Son took meal to fill right up (4)
SATES (son) ATE (took meal).
2 After manoeuvres I belong in base (7)
IGNOBLE – ( I belong )* [after manoeuvres].
3 Kilos, for example, in cask (3)
KEGK (kilos) E.G. (for example).
4 They only have walk-on parts , but they increase the cost (6)
EXTRAS – Double definition.
5 Hothead did reveal being drunk (9)
DAREDEVIL – ( did reveal )* [being drunk].
6 Performer who starts gagging? (5)
COMIC – Cryptic definition.
7 Page I quickly turned up for attractive pictures (3-3)
PIN-UPSP (page) I + SPUN (quickly turned) [up] -> NUPS.
11 Means of support : concerned with where they come from (9)
RESOURCESRE (about; concerned with) SOURCES (where they come from). Neat.
14 Bill from popular singer (7)
INVOICEIN (popular) VOICE (singer).
15 Old girl rewriting manual (6)
ALUMNA – [rewriting] ( manual )*. The female of alumnus.
16 Wife in pub used to slim ? (3-3)
LOW-CALW (wife) [in] LOCAL (pub). I persisted for far too long in trying to make LOW-FAT fit.
18 In Times, sum up villain (5)
BADDYADD (sum up) [in] BY (times; multiplied by).
19 One may look through this French town (4)
LENS – Double definition. I needed both checkers before I could see this.
22 Quietly greeting character from abroad (3)
PHIP (piano; quietly) HI (greeting).

59 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2271 by Teazel”

  1. DNF
    NHO the race, and since I don’t write down the anagrist for a QC, it took me a long time. Finally got HANDICAP, and then RESOURCES gave me the R, so it was either EBOR or OBER, and I looked it up. But LEGS was light years beyond me; NHO ‘legs-eleven’.

  2. 13 minutes for this one.

    I too had never heard of EBOR HANDICAP but spotted the second word amongst the anagrist which left BEOR over and fortunately I knew that EBOR is the legal name of the Archbishop of York who uses it in his signature. CANTUAR is the equivalent for the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    I lost a full two minutes at the end alphabet-trawling for LENS.

    What fun it would be to have more bingo-call references! It’d make a change from CRS, though I suppose ‘Two fat ladies’ would be off limits.

  3. Another day another pink square. Not a typo, just wrong. I’ve never thought of COP as a verb so went for ‘cap’ for arresting a flow. Not sure why a pretty clear cryptic – firm pressure – didn’t leap out at me. Also struggle with AMY but that was because for some reason I was trying to anagram manuEl and wasn’t sure ‘alumne’ was the female form. NHO the EBOR HANICAP which was no more likely than Ober but I got lucky – Frankie Dettori rode the winner this year. Looks like the horses ran faster 40 years ago. Apart from that it was the short ones that did me in today.

  4. DNF With RESOURCES being the holdout. NHO that race, but decided that EBOR might be to do with York (Eboracum). Do graduates from York University put BA Ebor after their names, or is that a show-off Oxbridge thing?

    Heard of Lens via their football team, though thought it was Belgium.


    1. I’ve been told that York and Oxford are the only universities that call their doctoral degree a D.Phil. rather than a Ph.D. Apparently a real ice-breaker in some social settings. Ahem.

      Putting “Oxon” after your degree isn’t really showing-off, IMHO: it’s more a way of telling people, “look, this is an M.A., but it’s really a first degree”, since your B.A. from Oxford magically transmutes into an M.A. after a defined time and a nominal payment (21 terms from matriculation and £15, if memory serves).

      I can’t speak for Cambridge, but I’m sure there are plenty of contributors here who can.

        1. Very good..I also went to Southampton University, albeit it was the early 90’s – it’s changed a hell of a lot since then.

          1. Well that makes 3 UoS alumni in this knitting circle. I got a BSc not sure why not a BEng. Delighted with my II ii. The drinking man’s first in the 80s.

            1. I got a BSc (Soc Sci) – which sounds like I did Philosophy or something, when in reality I did Economics.

      1. Cambridge degrees magically change from BA to MA too – and with even less effort than Oxford ones it seems. As far as I recall I got a letter 3 years after graduation asking if I was (a) still alive, (b) not in prison, and (c) interested in attending a short ceremony and a rather longer fine lunch at my college. No question of payment for either ceremony or lunch – those were the days!

        1. I rather think my graduation year (1979) was the last year for which that most excellent system applied. I never got around to picking up the MA but often tease my children (both hard-won masters at London) that I may.

  5. I knew the race and LENS (which I thought was a city). COD to HOTHEAD. Thanks John and TEAZEL

  6. I found this puzzle very hard. I eventually got it all correct, but I had lots of interruptions and so solved over several hours, but I’d guess this was in the 30-40 minute range.
    Had no idea about the race: even with the crossers and HANDICAP, it was still a 50/50 choice between EBOR and OBER, neither of which looked like real words.

  7. A slow 13 mins but it could have been longer. I was helped by two facts: one, as an alumnus of York (just a straight BA I’m afraid, no Ebor references) I knew the race but it still took a while, it’s relatively obscure and so a very tough clue to my mind. Two, I went to see Spain v Bulgaria at FIFA WC ‘98 in Lens. At least the guys in Qatar KNOW there’s no alcohol. We spent a lot of time and money at the stadium drinking what turned out to be no-alcohol beer. The coach journey back to London required multiple service station stops.

    I really liked EXTRAS.

    Thanks Teazel and John.

  8. No time for this as I forgot to check the start time but as I struggled in the SE corner I would guess I hit the 30-minute mark.
    FOI: SATE.
    I needed all the checking letters for the race as I had never heard of it and then it was a guess for the O and E.
    Favourite: BADDY for its simplicity also MEDIC for fooling me for a while.

  9. DNF in 12 or so

    Struggled with CAPRICE and LOW CAL at the end but it was a punted VENS for LEGS (I know) that caused the fail.

    Tough but fair

    Thanks Teazel and John

  10. A long but enjoyable 27 minutes today. NHO EBOR HANDICAP but got the second word early on then took a punt on the first once I had the checkers. Biffed LEGS so needed the blog to explain ‘legs eleven’ which I’m familiar with. Hadn’t fully understood the double definition in ROMAN – very clever, although my COD goes to LOW CAL. Great blog and fantastic puzzle from Teazel – many thanks.

  11. Add me to the DNF list today – guessed OBER, then just couldn’t be bothered to trawl when looking at -E-S (for LEGS, not LENS! – I’m OK with French cities; bingo calls not so much). EBOR HANDICAP is a serious obscurity for a QC in my view.

    Thanks Teazel and John.


  12. All of my comments are covered in earlier posts. I got EBOR (NHO) and finished slowly with LENS and LEGS but did not really enjoy this.
    However, my view has softened slightly on reading John’s excellent blog. He helped me to appreciate the Roman font, made complete sense of BADDY, and helped me to realise that there were more clever clues in this QC than I had appreciated during solving.
    I enjoyed Doofenschmirtz’s comments on the weird history of degree titles in the UK (even weirder if you explore world-wide). My own pet niggle is medics who have a Bachelor’s degree (MB) but who assume the courtesy title ‘Dr’.

    1. After five years of training, medics have TWO bachelor degrees (eg: MB,BS). This is easily equivalent to a medical doctorate in all other countries. It’s for historic reasons like surgeons styling themselves by a non-doctoral title. Is really a pet niggle for you?

      1. John, Just pointing out the confusion and lack of consistency over degrees and titles. You need to be within most professions to make sense of the relative significance of the various degrees and titles. I was always amused by the history of Surgeon’s titles, the historic relationship with Barber Surgeons, and the move back to a simple Mr for established surgeons. For fun, I looked up ‘Ph.D. (titles)’ on Wiki and began to lose the will to live. Perhaps I am stuck in the old days when my GP simply had an MB?

        1. I think you’ll find a GP is also MB BS (if trained in London) and something else from elsewhere. I am MB ChB ( Birmingham) complicated! Paul Booth

          1. Complicated, indeed!
            Incidentally, all my own degrees are from Birmingham. I must go back and explore all the changes.
            I hesitated to rekindle memories when my undergraduate Hall of Residence burned down….

    2. As someone spent his entire career working with members of the medical profession (and who has several medically qualified relatives) it was a standing joke that those of us with PhDs were the “real doctors”. That said, half the doctors I worked with had gone on to get real doctorates anyway, either PhD or MD (which in the UK varies between universities, and can be either a simpler version of a PhD or can be a higher degree comparable with a DSc).

      1. Just goes to show how confusing it all is – both to lay people and professionals.
        I have a research PhD (BSc plus 3 years scientific research at the bench). A lifetime of University research and a hundred or so papers in high quality journals worldwide (plus supervision of over 25 successful PhD students) led to a heavily refereed DSc for me some years ago.
        I had an interesting chat with one of my friendly local GPs and we agreed that the whole system is only intelligible to a minority of those involved. John

  13. I raced through this (for a Teazel) in 6 and a half mins, but guessed OBER instead of EBOR as my LOI.

    Oh well. Apart from that, there were some good clues – I liked COMIC.


  14. 14 minutes after a blistering start in the North. No problem with EBOR HANDICAP, I once watched it live whilst being corporately hospitalised, nor with LENS which came to me quickly, despite having never knowingly been there. My slow-ups were SILLINESS and RESOURCES where I stupidly persisted reading one clue whilst looking at the checkers for the other – stupid boy! Thanks both, excellent blog John.

  15. I had no problem either with EBOR HANDICAP having placed one or two bets over the years on the outcome. Had I not been aware of the race, or the connection of EBOR with York, I may well have gone for OBER as a more likely looking option.
    Finished today precisely on target at 10.00.

  16. Excellent, if slightly chewy, puzzle somewhat let down by involving a 50/50 guess over some relatively obscure GK (I got lucky).
    Had a complete brainfade over the old girl where for some reason I spent time trying to think of obscure words for elderly females/grannies etc. Once the penny dropped the mental block I had at the bottom of the grid cleared and I finished with the LOW CAL SILLINESS combo in 11.56.
    Lots to enjoy but LEGS and STICKY END were my favourites.
    Thanks to John for filling in.

  17. I decided to stick with this after slowing down considerably with lots of clues left.
    In the end I finished all correct in 27 minutes.
    I worked out EBOR HANDICAP the hard way and needed several goes -a human race, a car race across the desert? In fact I knew the EBOR was a horse race at York but it came very late. LOI was LENS needing the checkers; and prior to that SILLINESS.
    Did not fully parse ROMAN. Tough stuff.
    COD to LOW CAL.

  18. Biffed EBOR (LOI) luckily, but put Vens for 12a thinking of a Ven diagram which was a hidden word. EleVEN Stages. Oh well. DNFx1
    Thanks, John, vm.

    1. For info, Venn diagrams are spelt with double-n, named after one John Venn (1834-1923), according to Wikipedia. (It might be vital in a future grid!)

  19. 25 mins…

    Thought this was a challenge from Teazel, but I got there eventually.

    Having lived near York, I knew the Ebor Festival, so the race was pretty much a write in. Main issue was stupidly putting “Resourced” for 11dn rather than “Resources” which caused problems for 24ac until the penny dropped. Never knew there was a female version of alumnus, so something learned from 15dn.

    FOI – 1dn “Sate”
    LOI – 24ac “Silliness”
    COD – 17ac “Labour of Love”

    Thanks as usual!

  20. As soon as I cracked EBOR HANDICAP I realised that Kevin and many others would be derailed. I found the puzzle quite tricky overall, and only just crept inside my 5 minute target. At least I avoided typos (both puzzles yesterday !)

    COD LABOUR OF LOVE (I initially biffed Labour in Vain)
    TIME 4:52

    1. Yes – OBER looked more likely than EBOR to me. Derailed with wheels spinning. Thought it might have been a German horse race?

  21. I found this quite tricky and struggled to get my head round it, eventually exceeding my target, but at least avoiding any pink squares. NHO EBOR HANDICAP, although faced with the choice of OBER or EBOR, I chose the latter. All is clear now. I did know Eboracum and actually stayed in the Jockeys’ accommodation at Stableside at York Racecourse with today’s Blogger a couple of weeks ago! KEG was FOI, and LEGS LOI with a metaphorical forehead slap! 10:19. Thanks Teazel and John.

  22. The blogger may have found nothing too difficult with this one, but if I’m honest I found it too difficult. Ebor handicap? Never heard of it, as I suspect many may not have.

    Really did not enjoy this one. Very poor effort. I gave up with many left unanswered.

  23. I am afraid I think Ebor whatever a terrible clue for a QC. The QC world, like Caesar’s Gaul, is divided into three parts: those who have heard of it and got the clue easily, those who haven’t, guessed it and got the clue luckily, and those who haven’t, guessed Ober and therefore DNF. Needless to say from the tone of my comments I fell into the third category (Ober is at least a word in a European language), but even if I had spun the coin correctly I would still have said it is far too obscure a piece of GK for a QC.

    That apart, not a bad puzzle and completed in 12 minutes. There were several clues I enjoyed, such as Caprice and Labour of love, my CsOD. But “that apart” falls into the category of “So sorry to hear of your husband’s death Mrs Lincoln; that apart, how did you enjoy the play?”.

    Many thanks John for standing in and providing the blog.

  24. Another DNF as I couldn’t decide between OBER and EBOR. The rest of the puzzle wasn’t too bad but some of my parsing was decidedly dodgy. 1o.25 for a DNF.

  25. I’d hears of the race, but biffed SETS from ‘stages’ at 12ac – assumed some NHO theatrical significance of ‘eleven’ was involved

  26. 18:33. But with the non-existent Ober Handicap meaning DNF. I failed to see EBOR as a word ( I thought York was Eburacum- oh well). Didn’t remember the bingo phrase LEGS eleven. Really liked BADDY and took the longest on STICKY END.

  27. These are getting too hard for me.
    I just go straight to the answers.
    The answers are interesting but merely confirm that I would stand a chance of completing any
    of the daily QCs now.
    Pity, because last year I finished quite a few QCs.
    Very depressed.

    1. Keep going. I think these things go in cycles and you may find that you suddenly have a good run. I thought today was extremely tough.


  28. A very slow solve, taking nearly 20 minutes, held up by the SE corner. LOI was SILLINESS.
    EBOR took a while for the penny to drop, but I could just about remember that The Archbishop of York signs himself EBOR, and I have been past the racecourse at York several times.

  29. 28 minutes and I’m delighted, as anything under half an hour for a Teazel is a real rarity for me. I nearly came to a STICKY END with 10a, but EBOR was lodged somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain – possibly from days of old when I would avidly watch Grandstand every Saturday afternoon.

    many thanks to Teazel and Johninterred.

  30. Not being a Bingo player I tried VENS with not much hope although LENS did ring a distant bell. Only got the daft horse race by using an anagram solver.

  31. Mostly straightforward but RESOURCES took a while and LEGS even longer! Three or four letter solutions can sometimes seem go be, potentially, almost anything! I suddenly twigged ‘cheating’ with a list of ‘stage’ synonyms…..

  32. DNF

    This seemed pretty straightforward and I was on for a reasonable time (by my humble standards) having guessed EBOR rather than OBER so was disappointed to be undone by LEGS having biffed SETS and not rechecked since it fit with all the other clues.

  33. Another DNF due to OBER here after 22 minutes, and I am mildly annoyed with myself as I did know Eboracum. Other than that though, lots to enjoy. COD to COMIC. Thanks Teazel and John.

  34. DNF but enjoyed what I did and learned a lot from the blog such as ‘by’ for ‘times’ Thanks to John and Teazel.

  35. Well I finished, that’s the good news. My time was somewhere around the 50 minute mark and I never felt that I was on the setter’s wavelength.

    I was both a student and then tutor at the College of Law in York. We were based just off the Knavesmire (the York racecourse) and I have watched the Ebor several times. It still took ages for me to work it out!

    There were many hard clues today and this was at the limit of my solving ability although, on reflection, I was not on form and missed some ‘sitters’. It put me in mind of the days when I was starting out on the QC, and would be scratching round for inspiration.

    Great blog as always John.

  36. Why is obscure knowledge appropriate for the QC? Or is the assumption “everyone knows” the Ebor Handicap is a horse race? My horse racing knowledge doesn’t get much beyond the Grand National:-)

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