Times Quick Cryptic No 2279 by Izetti

A regular visitor to our Friday QC slot today – it’s Izetti. I didn’t find his crossword too difficult although there are a couple of bits of general knowledge required that may not be familiar to everyone. After about 4 3/4 minutes I was left with just my  last one, 11A, but I wasn’t convinced I had the answer until I’d done an alphabet trawl to check and belatedly spotted the wordplay, so I finished in 5:28 – just over an average time for me. COD to the clever 6D but I liked 14D too. Thank-you Izetti. How did you all get on?

Fortnightly Weekend Quick Cryptic.  This time it is my turn to provide the extra weekend entertainment. You can find the crossword, entitled “The Geese Are Getting Fat”, here. Enjoy! If anyone is interested in our previous offerings you can find an index to all 65 here.

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

1 Top conurbation accommodating a maximum number? (8)
CAPACITYCAP (top) CITY (conurbation) including, [accommodating], A.
5 Good paper needed to wrap one present (4)
GIFTG (good) FT (Financial Times; paper) including , [to wrap], I (one).
9 Style large or small-scale reproduction (5)
MODELMODE (style) L (large).
10 A rum ace, funny clown (7)
MARCEAU -(A rum ace)* [funny]. Marcel Marceau was a famous French mime artist. I remember him in otherwise dialogue-free Mel Brooks “Silent Movie” where he was the only actor to speak, answering “Non” when asked if he would appear in the movie within the movie.
11 Celebrity not entirely graceful (3)
ACE – Hidden in, [not entirely], grACEful. My LOI with an alphabet trawl to find a better answer than ACE before I belatedly spotted it was hidden. It still seems a little bit of a stretch to me.
12 Final messages needing money spent by Somerset city (9)
FAREWELLSFARE (money spent) WELLS (Somerset city). A bit of an odd surface, I think.
13 Modest or awfully rude, me? (6)
DEMURE – [Awfully] (rude me)*.
15 Certainly at home with something to be done (6)
INDEEDIN (at home) DEED (something to be done).
17 Deliverer, first to call on Italian gentleman (9)
CONSIGNOR – First letter of C{all}, ON SIGNOR (Italian gentleman).
19 Some insolent note (3)
SOL – Hidden in, [some], inSOLent. The fifth note in the Tonic Sol-fa scale.
20 One knight under emotional strain and passionate (7)
INTENSEI (one) N (knight in chess notation) TENSE (under emotional strain).
21 Rowed with a leftie — nothing to begin with (5)
OAREDO (nothing) [to begin with] A RED (leftie) .
22 Get away from Eastern mischief-maker, retreating (4)
FLEE – E (Eastern) ELF (mischief-maker) all reversed, [retreating] -> FLEE.
23 Communicated something confused and not up to date? (8)
MESSAGEDMESS (something confused) AGED (not up to date).
1 Order company doctor to get worker in? (7)
COMMANDCO (company) MD (doctor) with MAN (worker) [in].
2 Army minister‘s accommodation attended by soldiers (5)
PADREPAD (accommodation) RE (Royal Engineers; soldiers).
3 Americans African lions mauled (12)
CALIFORNIANS -(African lions)* [mauled].
4 Island‘s rocky outcrop spanning one mile (5)
TIMORTOR (rocky outcrop) outside, [spanning], I (one) M (mile).
6 I feel cold, not half, somehow? I’m frozen! (3,4)
ICE FLOE – (I feel co{ld})* [somehow], the anagrist being without the second half of cold [not half].
7 Support some noncompliant Russians (5)
TRUSS – Hidden in [some] noncomplianT RUSSians.
8 Depict fashionable men at weddings where receptions are held (7,5)
DRAWING ROOMSDRAW (depict) IN (fashionable) GROOMS (men at weddings).
14 Mum has eaten horrible animal (7)
MANATEEMA (mum) (eaten)* [horrible].
16 Deceived daughter escaped (7)
DELUDEDD (daughter) ELUDED (escaped).
17 Head cook entertaining India’s leader (5)
CHIEFCHEF (cook) including, [entertaining], I{ndia} [‘s leader].
18 French resort invaded by English relation (5)
NIECENICE (French resort) including, [invaded by], E (English).
19 Quiet sort of football game at first bringing resigned gesture (5)
SHRUGSH (quiet) R.U. (Rugby Union; sort of football) G{ame} [at first].

70 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2279 by Izetti”

  1. 12:31. Biggest hold-up was MARCEAU as I was going nowhere with the anagram until the U from TRUSS helped dredge up the French mime’s name. Nice to see the mischief-maker was not the usual imp but rather an ELF.

  2. Very surprised to see what Vinyl alludes to. Anyway, pretty straightforward, although it took me past my goal time. 7:14.

  3. Steady progress until ICE FLOE where for a second time in two days filling in the last two letters added minutes at the end. Finally saw FLOE fitteed and made sense but then had to work hard to see why. All green in a high fourteen. Nice to see MANATEE – reminds me of the not too distant Sarah and Duck years.

  4. 10 minutes for me, with LOI Marceau as I waited for all the checkers before putting it/him in with fingers crossed; it was either that or Macreau.

    Congratulations to Izetti for cluing Truss without mentioning our former prime minister “Liz of the 1,000 hours” – I wonder if the first draft of this puzzle was done during her brief premiership with a different clue. But Ace jarred a bit, and Fare = money spent took a moment to see too. Not 100% convinced by either.

    Many thanks to John for the blog and I look forward to the Saturday Special.

        1. Of course, they’re both still alive, if not kicking, so can’t be crossword fodder just yet! But I still love Jack’s observation 😅

  5. Hoist the flag, ring the bells, I finally finished a crossword with all letters correct after four consecutive ‘one wrong letter’ failures. I did hesitate a little at CONSIGNOR where I would probably have changed the O to an E if it were not for the clear direction.
    A respectable 8.07 today, where my only delay was with DRAWING ROOMS as I was trying to start it with SHOW not DRAW.

    1. Well done Mr Pandy! You avoided what would have been an extremely frustrating whitewash for the week.

  6. Started off at a canter with most of the NW going straight in but slowed down a bit after that. Needed plenty of checkers for FAREWELLS and MARCEAU before the pennies dropped and agree with others that LOI ACE wasn’t up to Izetti’s normal standards – I was half expecting a pink square from it.
    Finished for a rare sub target time this week in 9.32. COD to MESSAGED
    Thanks to John

  7. 21 minutes with nothing too taxing.
    FOI: CAPACITY followed by COMMAND and most of the top half fell fairly quickly, slowing to LOI: INTENSE.

  8. A good puzzle to round off the week. I went through this fairly smoothly, picking off sitters in the top half and then moving up from the bottom. This provided key crossers and made getting the long anagrams easier. A couple of seconds under 12 minutes today but I nearly came to grief when I biffed MoRCEAU and was relieved when I spent a moment checking the anagrist and correcting my entry.
    No clues stood out for me. In passing, I have never liked OARED for Rowed and I would spell 17a CONSIGNER (one who consigns) but the latter was a good clue and had to be. I have never understood the use of -OR instead of -ER in so many (usually) transatlantic versions of common words. Perhaps I am out of step (again).
    Thanks to Izetti and John. John M.

  9. 10:23, pretty straightforward today after a couple of poor DNFs this week.

    Tempted by CONSIGNER.

    I think I see what vinyl refers to with regard to today’s puzzles.

  10. When you see Izetti’s name at the top of the puzzle, you know it’s going to be tightly clued. So I followed the instructions today and was home in 10 minutes. LOI INTENSE.
    I too paused at ACE but I saw the hidden early and so moved on; it’s fully discussed above.
    Both the long down clues seemed easy so this should give chances to most solvers.
    A pleasant QC. COD to MESSAGED.

  11. A gentle outing today, completed in 14 mins at an easy pace and fully parsed. Very much enjoyed 8D, my COD
    ‘Ace’ for ‘Celebrity’ seems fair to me. Not sure what the issue is?
    Thanks John and Izetti.

  12. Much the same as up thread – ACE got a MER, but what else could it be? I’m none the wiser in respect of what Vinyl refers to. Just a touch under target range.

    I had MORCEAU for a while, but luckily I noticed that was impossible from the anagrist before the end.



  13. Just under 20 minutes. Couldn’t concoct a different answer for ACE, although I wasn’t convinced. Old enough to remember Marceau so once the u was there it came to me.

  14. Done on paper on the train, so not timed, and dealt with on a jigsaw basis rather than a straight run through. I found it quite gentle, though I initially misparsed SHRUG. COD CONSIGNOR.

  15. I thought this one was going to be difficult but then it all fell into place after a bit of jumping around the grid and a bit of biffing. Luckily I, too, am old enough to remember MARCEAU. Liked CAPACITY, FAREWELLS, TIMOR, CONSIGNOR, among others.
    Thanks vm, John. I needed the blog today.🙂

  16. ACE and OARED were a bit rubbish. Lots of good ones, though, and TRUSS DELUDED was an amusing bonus. Loved DRAWING ROOMS, my COD.

    All done in 07:59 for 1.1K and an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Izetti and John.


          1. It’s “whatever time Kevin took” for that crossword! That’s the beauty of it – it’s a flexible unit.

  17. As said above, a good puzzle to end the week. Pleased to finish having thrown in the towel on yesterdays, when I later had a go at the biggie and found it much easier. Like John, I had qualms about ACE, but put it in when nothing better came to mind. NHO MARCEAU, but buffed from crossers, and, like ACE could be little else.

  18. Steady progress, but the sub-20 was already a distant dream by the time I realised a carelessly bifd Ice Cone was the reason for the hold up in the NE. Correcting that to Ice Floe made Farewells and loi Drawing Rooms a tad more obvious. No grumbles about Ace, but money spent for Fare seems a bit loose, and I don’t just mean the change. CoD to 15ac, Indeed, for the surface. Invariant

  19. I found this very straightforward for an Izetti puzzle. I knew MARCEAU as a mime ( same as a clown?). Got CONSIGNOR from clue – NHO.

  20. Just over 10 minutes today. Not much to report – similar MERs as above. Nothing really stood out as a COD although TRUSS and DEMURE were quite entertaining. Dashing out to a Christmas craft fair now 😊
    FOI Gift (suitable under the circs) LOI Manatee
    Thanks Izetti and John

  21. Very relieved to complete the puzzle correctly, after two successive DNFs (yesterday’s Teazel was an absolute horror – I gave up after well over an hour, still with five clues unsolved). Total time today = 31 minutes, with six of those spent on my LOI (CONSIGNOR).

    I had trouble with CAPACITY, ACE, MARCEAU and MANATEE, but cannot really fault Izetti’s clueing. My COD was DRAWING ROOMS, as clues of that type often draw an appreciative smile and groan when the penny finally drops.

    Many thanks to Izetti and John.

  22. Only eight Kevins today, so a slight improvement. NHO Sol, thought it was Soh, so that was my LOI. Thanks to Izetti, John and also to Kevin for providing the standard measurement for the time taken to solve the QC!

  23. (Has anyone yet worked out what was frightening vinyl’s horses? Apart from TRUSS DELUDED, which seems harmless fun to me, I can’t see anything. But I’m a bit rubbish at that sort of thing.)

    1. I thought “Californians” might be some veiled reference to a certain couple…but now I’m reading too much into it.

      1. There is a pair of identical answers between here and the 15×15, and the respective clues have the same three opening words … but surely it can’t be that which lies behind the big hush-hush mystery? That sort of thing happens fairly often. Very dull if so.

        1. That’s the only thing I could find. I couldn’t see even that until you pointed it out. It’s been a very strange morning. When I woke up, I somehow thought it was Monday, so I sent a note—very hastily retracted—to a Nation contributor that his submission was late!

        2. It’s no big mystery but I imagine vinyl1 was trying to discourage people referencing the coincidence early in the day in terms that would spoil the enjoyment of others who had not yet tackled the other puzzle.

        3. As you say, we do see the same word as an answer in both crosswords from time to time, but virtually the same clue too is a bit more unusual. Could it be, as Reggie Perrin’s brother-in-law would say, a bit of a cock up on the editing front? 🤣

  24. Very accessible puzzle from Izetti. First in 1a and the top half quickly followed with a slight hesitation over ACE. Bottom half was slower with 17a last in. Second best COD 23a.

    COD I suspect is linked with Vinyl’s comment so no comment from me.

    Thanks Izetti and Johninterred

  25. Very pleased with this week. 2 PB at 18 then 17 minutes today. Thoroughly enjoying getting into cryptics with less and less need for aids. Very appreciative of these blogs and the community’s responses.

  26. 24 mins…

    A tough end to what has been a fairly tricky week I think. Nothing massively stand out here apart from the before mentioned 7dn and 16dn combination which made me chuckle.

    FOI – 5dn “Gift”
    LOI – 6dn “Ice Floe”
    COD – 8dn “Drawing Rooms”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. I know the crosswords are cryptic but there have been too many cryptic references among today’s comments to be at all helpful to solvers like me.
      I would ask those who have seen something interesting to either explain what it is or keep their potential revelations to themselves.
      No offence intended but what is the point? John

      1. Well I don’t think it’s anything too sinister or overdramatic, rather Vinyl is just reminding commenters that referring to another ongoing puzzle could spoil others’ solving experience.

        1. Thanks. Paanliv’s comment, added to previous comments, simply came over as terribly ‘cloak and dagger’. A bit of a distraction. John

          1. Sorry Blighter, there is no sarcasm indicator here, so my attempt to highlight how irritating all this was seems to have added to the irritation.
            There is in fact something odd about the blog to me, that nobody has commented how much below Izetti’s normal standard this seems with some really clunky surfaces and iffy definitions. It feels a bit like the ugly crosswords you get from ninas.

            1. Thanks, Paanliv. Your comment was a bit too subtle for me. It seems that we are actually on the same page. John

            2. Well I did comment in the blog on my reservations about the clues to FAREWELL and ACE but I thought the rest of the crossword was OK. I would have worded 3D “African lions mauled Americans” but that’s just a personal style thing – our setter’s version is more unequivocal.

        1. Do you think it’s possible that Izetti is possibly Robert Langdon? Or maybe it’s Vinyl!

  27. Two sittings and probably about 30 minutes total. I thought that it would be a dnf but slowly spotted the more obscure. LOI Farewells.
    I knew of Marcel Marceau through following David Bowie.
    Enjoyed the challenge.
    Thanks all,

  28. I also had ACE as my LOI, having first gone through the alphabet in the hope that there would be a better answer. A MER for OARED as well.

    Otherwise an enjoyable crossword, finished in 11.27


    1. Well I guess most of us think of OAR as a noun, but the dictionary says it can be a verb as well, so that clue is fine, to my mind.

  29. Fairly quick for a Izetti, but found 21a oared tricky. Pleasant puzzle to finish the week.

  30. 1h 7m for a dnf thanks to putting an e in signor. What an idiot! But well done AndyPandy for avoiding this trap.
    Very pleased though to have filled in all the clues over a period of time.
    This is becoming a daily obsession for me now.
    Thanks Izetti and John

  31. A late one for me as I was enjoying my day off too much elsewhere.

    I didn’t find this one too difficult, though the FLOE in 6d eluded me for a while.

    I too thought ACE was a bit meh.

  32. Well I really enjoyed this and didn’t have any issues with the clueing (although I will always defer to those of you with more experience). A great puzzle from Izetti and a nice end to the week. I was just into SCC territory, but that’s perfectly acceptable for this setter.

    COD – 8dn
    LOI – 6dn

    Thanks for the blog John.

    I hope you all have a good weekend.😀

    1. No need to defer! If you enjoyed it, that’s all that matters 😊 Have a good weekend too.

  33. 21:13

    Fairly hard work with a real hold up in the top left. Only when I get COMMAND did the rest slot in with LOI PADRE.

  34. I thought this was the easiest QC of the week. I am too 13a to say how long it took.

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