Times Quick Cryptic No 2307 by Breadman

Solving time: 6:13

Medium-paced offering from Breadman and my second time in a row blogging him – this seemed a shade easier than the previous one (QC 2297) though I did biff a few such as 1a and 23a, only fully parsing post-completion.

How was it for you?

Definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [directions in square ones].

1 Period desk, at rear, seen on standard film from 1990s (8,4)
JURASSIC PARK – JURASSIC (a geologic period) PAR (standard) {des}K [at rear i.e. last letter of]

In this case, [seen on] means add the K to PAR.

The Jurassic spanned from the end of the Triassic Period 201.3 million years ago to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period, approximately 145 million years ago.

9 Check car temperature (5)
AUDIT – AUDI (car) T (temperature)
10 Son during lunch perhaps expresses hollow complaint (7)
MEASLES –  S (son) inserted into [during] MEAL (lunch perhaps) gives us MEA(S)L. Then add E{xpresse}S [hollow i.e. use only the first and last letter]
11 Ship‘s guide going around in the morning (7)
STEAMER – STE(AM)ER – STEER (guide) going around AM (in the morning)
12 Racecourse poems adapted (5)
EPSOM – Anagram [adapted] of POEMS
13 Fake selection of pedometers at zero (6)
ERSATZ – Hidden in [selection of] pedometers at zero
14 American occupying kerb bothered street performer? (6)
BUSKER – US (American) inside [occupying] anagram [bothered] of KERB
17 Priest enthralled by Roman Catholic memorial (5)
RELIC – ELI (priest) inside RC (Roman Catholic)

ELI is the standard crossword priest – he acted as teacher to the prophet Samuel in the Bible.

19 I’m surprised one finally bought opulent headwear (7)
CORONET – COR (I’m surprised) ONE {bough}T [finally i.e. last letter]
21 Republican in retail redesigned advert (7)
TRAILER – R (Republican) in anagram [redesigned] of RETAIL
22 Greek character, railman, regularly skirts public house (5)
ALPHA – rAiLmAn [regularly = every other letter in this case] containing PH (public house)
23 At sea, my one line breaking off — the work of a shark? (5-7)
MONEY-LENDING – Anagram [At sea] of MY ONE gives MONEY, then L (line) ENDING (breaking off – as in ‘breaking off a relationship’)

Shark i.e. a person who unscrupulously exploits or swindles others.

2 Disrobe, turning red, sun beginning to scorch (7)
UNDRESS – Anagram [turning] of RED SUN + S{corch} [beginning to i.e first letter of]
3 One caught friend under car flooring without thinking (13)
AUTOMATICALLY – I (one) C (caught – cricket reference) ALLY (friend) all under AUTO (car) MAT (flooring)

‘under’ is used here as a positional indicator, this being a down clue.

4 A few embracing British melancholy (6)
SOMBRE – SOM(BR)E – SOME (a few) containing [embracing] BR (British)
5 Diana, a butcher, minced steak (13)

Thirteen-letter steak? What else was it going to be?

Originally Chateaubriand (always with a capital C) was applied to the manner of preparation of the meat, the centre cut of a beef tenderloin roasted between two lesser cuts of meat which enhanced both the flavour and juiciness of the steak; however, by the 1870s at its introduction to the English, the term had transferred to the steak or cut of meat itself.

6 Book of maps finally cut short (5)
ATLAS – AT LAS{t} (finally) [cut short = missing the last letter]
7 Type of goat, latest of livestock, remains on edge when lifted (7)
KASHMIR – Last letter [latest of] {livestoc}K + ASH (remains) + MIR i.e. RIM (edge) reversed [when lifted]

The Kashmir goat is a Himalayan breed yielding fine, soft wool, used to make cashmere.

8 Heard abject singing voice (4)
BASS – Homophone of [heard] BASE (abject)
13 English rogue involved in odd mistake (7)
ERRATUM – E (English) then RAT (rogue) inside [involved in] RUM (odd)
15 Man on board to secure big gun (7)
KINGPIN – KING (man on board i.e. chess piece) PIN (secure)
16 Hard to get Mark to join Anglicans (6)
SCARCE – SCAR (mark) + [to join] CE (Anglicans i.e. Church of England)
18 Get to know meadow near rising (5)
LEARN – LEA (meadow) + NR (abbreviation for ‘near’) reversed [rising – apposite as this is a down clue]
20 Blue-green beverage left (4)
TEAL – TEA (beverage) L (left)

58 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2307 by Breadman”

  1. 14:14

    Was slow to see the two long clues AUTOMATICALLY and LOI JURASSIC PARK.

    I tried the underwhelmed goat, the KASHMEH first, with MEH (HEM) for “edge when lifted”.

    Book of maps (5), this one seems to have escaped from the Concise puzzle.



  3. 15.20. Favourite was KINGPIN. Thought MONEY-LENDers got a bad rap being branded sharks. I guess all loansharks fall into the category of MONEY-LENDers but not all of the latter are unethical.

  4. Steady solve for all but three in less than 20 mins then took ages for Jurassic Park, Kashmir (DNK and ASH for remains was new to me). LOI King Pin.

  5. Just a clue a minute for the first ten with spirits sagging but then picked up the pace after finally seeing CHATEAUBRIAND and ending up in a suprisingly fast 17m. Kicked myself for being so slow to JURASSIC PARK but failing to separate ‘period’ from ‘desk’ left me totally confused. Quite a lot going on in some of these clues!

  6. 10’47” slowed down like Merlin by LOIs JURASSIC PARK and AUTOMATICALLY.


    I like Mike Harper’s description of this Breadman puzzle as medium paced – nothing terrifying or entirely unplayable in the over, but a consistently good line and length that keeps the batter honest and the slips on their toes for a possible chance.

    Thanks both.

  7. Needed a few brainwaves and PDMs to finish this one, but was more or less on the wavelength. FOsI UNDRESS, BASS. LOsI SOMBRE, MEASLES. (except Sombre is an adjective and melancholy a noun). No problem with the goat or the steak. Biffed JURASSIC PARK from the crossers.
    Failed to parse KINGPIN but it had to be. Liked AUDIT, TEAL, RELIC, among others.
    Thanks vm, Mike.

    1. Interesting point on SOMBRE. While ‘melancholic’ might seem to be the obvious adjective, can ‘melancholy’ not also be used as one? ‘A melancholy voice’ doesn’t feel particularly wrong?

    2. Melancholy can be an adjective too – “After waving his son off at the airport he was in a melancholy mood”

  8. A good puzzle which had me jumping around the grid a bit at first as I failed to see most of the answers to the north. CHATEAUBRIAND dropped out at once which helped but AUTOMATICALLY needed just a few crossers, as did MONEY LENDING. I hesitated over KINGPIN. I was not alone in having JURASSIC PARK as my LOI.
    Some very nice clues with my top ones being ERRATUM and KASHMIR.
    It took me a minute over target but I enjoyed the ride.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  9. 28:41 … that felt very tough

    Only had ATLAS, EPSOM, ERSATZ, TEAL, ALPHA on my first pass of the clues. Food and drink is an area of GK that is disproportionately awful for me compared to all my other GK so I never got CHATEAUBRIAND until the last couple of minutes – perhaps if I’d known that it would have opened up.

    At least four or five clues I couldn’t parse while doing it and, everything but KINGPIN, I could understand afterwards. That really highlights why this was tough – KING=”man on board” and being about chess is a couple of steps too far. I did notice on first pass that ALPHA was overengineered.

    Very, very pleased to finish that one given how tough I found it. Think as the 20-min mark approached, had less than half the grid complete.

  10. Thought this was on the hard side. Last in were CORONET and KINGPIN which I couldn’t parse at all – thanks for explanations!

  11. My heart sank when I realised that 1a was a film name … not my specialist subject! So I abandoned it, started SW and plodded my way slowly round the grid till I got back there with checkers.

    All done in 09:57 for 1.6K and an OK Day.

    I couldn’t get the Club site to open on my phone – just me or is there a glitch?

    Many thanks Breaders and Mike.


  12. Too difficult for me. Some of these clues were, to me, utter gibberish. Not a good start to the year for me.

  13. Hi, the Crossword Club seems to be down for everyone. Times engineers are looking into it now. I will post here when it is back up. Apologies.

  14. 11:05. Finally got around to doing this with a pen and paper as I couldn’t access the Club site- thanks to the Editor for popping in. I was put off by 1a at first sight but it eventually went in OK with some crossers; like a few others though it seems, I didn’t know if the spelling was one R and two S’s or the reverse and I needed 2d to help me out.

    Had to put the thinking cap on for KINGPIN for which I had initially seen ‘to secure’ as a containment indicator. Favourite was CHATEAUBRIAND – interesting background info.

    Thanks to setter and blogger

  15. 11 minutes for me, and no real problems. JURASSIC PARK went in fairly quickly after ATLAS and SOMBRE gave a couple of checkers, and CHATEAUBRIAND quickly followed. LOI SCARCE because I came to it last. Many thanks Breadman and Mike.

  16. My start to the year was marked with lines against the T as well as the C accompanied by a complete loss of taste and smell. Very odd to have all food reduced to sensation of cardboard and wallpaper paste, even Marmite undetectable! QC’s proved a welcome distraction. 32.22 today due to some careful decryption and several interruptions. COD has to be EPSOM, my alma mater. Not the best days of my life, but had its moments. Thanks Breadman and Mike.

      1. Thanks. Armfuls of past vaccines may have moderated it to a cough and cold, except for the loss of sensations.

  17. The Jurassic bit only went in after Atlas confirmed that Park rather than Flag was the second word. However, after the slow start, this turned into a steady top to bottom solve and I was happy enough to finish in 18 mins. A slight panic at having to find a breed of goat, with just the initial K in place, was eased by crossers and a friendly cryptic. Similarly, CoD 15d Kingpin turned out to be easier than it seemed on first reading. In fact quite a few of Breadman’s clues looked harder than they were, but all good in the end. Invariant

  18. Back to some semblance of form after yesterdays poor showing, finishing in a time of 8.36. 1ac was the only one that held me up, my LOI, mainly because I thought the presence of rear in the clue meant the second word had to be BACK.
    It’s amazing how often our old friend ERSATZ crops up, and I always suspect that any newbies just getting into crosswords may have difficulty here, even though it’s generously clued as a hidden.

  19. Gave up on waiting for the club site to be working so took a sneaky break from work to complete this. Fortunately there were no hold ups so my conscience is relatively clear – although I needed all the checkers for the film at 1a. Forgot to look past knight once the K checker was in place for KINGPIN so finished with that followed by CORONET in 7.56.
    Thanks to Mike

  20. 20 mins…

    Tricky but lots to enjoy in this. For a while (without any checkers) I thought 1ac might be “Shoulder Pads” – but that was probably more standard in the 80’s and just a bit too nuanced.

    Liked 3dn “Automatically”, 1ac “Jurassic Park” (when I finally got it) and my favourite once a year steak of 5dn “Chareaubriand”.

    FOI – 6dn “Atlas”
    LOI – 8dn “Bass”
    COD – 15dn “Kingpin”

    Thanks as usual!

    PS. There are a couple of “cashmere” goats pictured on page 13 of the print edition if anyone is keen to see what they look like.

  21. Most of this flowed in fairly smoothly, but I was held up at the last by Kashmir (I thought that was the name of the region only, with cashmere being the more usual spelling for the goats, which I gather mostly live in China these days anyway) and LOI Jurassic Park, where it just would not come – like Templar film names are pretty much a closed book to me. 13 minutes in the end after the late hold-ups.

    Hat-tip for Breadman managing to create a hidden for Ersatz!

    Many thanks to Mike for the blog

  22. Lopped a chunk off my mean time for the year so far, which gets it under the top end of my target range of 5:30 to 6:30. Median remains stubbornly above.

    LOI and COD SCARCE. KINGPIN unparsed – I’m sure “man on board” always passes me by. Thanks Mike for clearing that one up for me! I think someone said above that there was a lot going on in some of the clues, and I concur! I enjoyed it.


  23. Started slowly, accelerated in the middle and then slowed down again at the end. All finished in 18 minutes, albeit with some only semi-parsed. Some fairly wordy clues which in the end turned out to be easier than they at first appeared (1ac being an example). An enjoyable puzzle pitched at the right level for a QC.

    FOI – 12ac EPSOM
    COD – 15dn KINGPIN

    Thanks to Breadman and to Mike for the informative blog

  24. Struggled with the film (couldn’t shake off “Gosford” or “Mansfield” despite having PARK in place), and the steak, and consequently went well over target.

    TIME 6:38

  25. 8 mins. Only held up by LOI scarce.
    Busker and Kashmir is a good set of crossing clues. Jimmy Page playing at Covent Garden tube station.
    Audit is a nice surface but I liked measles.

  26. Tackled this one after brunch today as I spent the morning coughing, spluttering and administering to the sore throat that developed overnight. I think it’s just a cold, but may do a Covid test later. At least I avoided the problems with the Club site. Started with UNDRESS and worked steadily round the grid until 1a became apparent from the crossers and became LOI. 7:13. Thanks Breadman and Mike.

  27. I’m going backwards with my solving skills. Laboured to a finish in about 40 mins but struggled mightily and have lost a lot of confidence.


    Thanks as always for the blog Mike.

    1. I think we’ve had a tough start to the year. Only 2 of the 8 so far have produced sub-25 times for me; barely a sniff at a SCC escape. I usually have at least a couple each month and I reckon less challenging stuff will be along soon. I noticed today that despite my poor start, I felt confident that I would find clues I could unravel later and so it came to pass …

      Main thing, you completed a toughie today 👍

      Edit: note also Penny took 15+ mins today and 18 yesterday yet she often turns in sub-10 times and did the biggie in 25mins. For me, that gives me perspective.

      1. Thanks L-Plates. It has been a tough start to 2023 and you’re right about maintaining a sense of perspective.


  28. A bit better than yesterday, at 15:35. Fingers crossed I’ll be back to around 10 minutes by the end of the week.
    It took me a while to work out the film – like Star Wars, I’ve managed to avoid seeing it in full, despite the fact that all the various versions / sequels have been watched with much regularity by the rest of the household! I’m pretty aware of what happens though 😅 No true escape.
    FOI Undress LOI Bass (it nearly passed me by) COD Audit
    Thanks Breadman and Mike

    The biggie wasn’t too bad today (25 minutes), although I got one wrong

    1. It was a tough one today Ian, so don’t get too down on yourself. There was a time when Breadman was arguably the ‘easiest’ setter (at least to me), but he seems to be less generous recently.

    2. You can’t judge day-to-day by scores as setters change and even their difficulty changes in their setting.

      I thought it was a tough one to break into and some highly convoluted clues

  29. Hurray, first finish of 2023; taking over an hour in total.
    Biffed a few then parsed them all except JURASSICPARK and KINGPIN. Thanks for the explanations Mike. And thanks Breadman for breaking my duck.

    1. Well done #5 … not an easy one but you got it done and that should be a confidence builder 👍

      1. Thanks #50. It was indeed as today’s is a completion too.
        But I’ve learned not to get too confident!

  30. Like Rotter, 11 minutes and no real problems.
    Late to this after abandoning golf after 14 holes when very heavy rain arrived.
    LOI was BASS after STEAMER.
    COD to SCARCE -excellent I thought.

  31. Website down? We’re we hacked along with US airspace and the Royal Mail? Could it be be the Russians after we ditched their blogsite? J

  32. Very late solve today, held out for Crossword Club to re-emerge. 16 mins, but LOI my bugbear the -I-E type of answer. Think I was trying to fit—PE for too long. Earlier I went down the snake too, not being too well up on my Italian.

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