Times Quick Cryptic No 2313 by Izetti

I had a day off from the QC yesterday, as I was busy with some DIY jobs at home, and looking at the comments on Doofenschmirtz’s blog, it looks like I missed a good one.

I don’t have a time for my solve today, as I experienced a major interruption mid-solve, but I think I was comfortably inside my target.  The only clue that caused me any real difficulty was the short 12 across, where I didn’t immediately recognise the equivalence of the answer and its definition, but I bif’d it anyway and a quick check in Chambers soon sorted out my confusion.  How did you all get on?


  • Rock and R&B embraced by fellow (6)

MARBLE – R&B inside (embraced by) MALE (fellow).

4  Female, depressed, getting to run (4)

FLOW – F{emale} and LOW (depressed).  Didn’t there used to be a TV ad for table salt that concentrated on its pouring / flowing qualities?

Mineral contributing to surreal garden (7)

REALGAR – Hidden inside (contributing to) {sur}REAL GAR{den}.  REALGAR is arsenic monosulphide – which was new to me.  Not many uses these days.

10  Finished after hour?  Linger (5)

HOVER – OVER (finished) after H{our}.

11  There I sat, troubled person in two minds? (9)

HESITATER – Anagram (troubled) of [THERE I SAT].

12  Some crayon or pencil (3)

RAY – Hidden (some) in cRAYon.  I was unsure about the equivalence of RAY and PENCIL until I looked it up after solving.  Chambers gives Pencil = a narrow beam of light (physics), or a set of rays of light diverging from or converging to a point (geometry), either of which justifies it, I think.

13  Not all fear a Cheltenham girl (6)

RACHEL – Hidden inside (not all) {fea}R A CHEL{tenham}.  One of two random girl’s names in today’s puzzle.

15  This writer’s son, twitching person aware of another world? (6)

MYSTIC – MY (this writer’s) and S{on} followed by TIC (twitching).

17  River that is cold before noon (3)

CAM – C{old} and AM (before noon – ante meridiem).  The CAM is the main river in Cambridge.

18  Getting back from river late after swimming (9)

RETRIEVAL – Anagram (after swimming) of [RIVER LATE].

21  Bishop with bad feeling about scripture (5)

BIBLE – B{ishop} inside BILE (bad feeling – about).

22  One smoker, terribly irritating (7)

IRKSOME – I (one) and an anagram (terribly) of [SMOKER].

23  Northern poem makes a point (4)

NODE – N{orthern} and ODE (poem).  A NODE is a point of intersection in any branching system.

24  A Royal marine promotion, with a lot of ships (6)

ARMADA – A (a) RM (Royal Marine) with AD[vertisement} (promotion) and A (a).



Protester starts to experience regret after a month (7)

MARCHER – MARCH (month) followed by first letters (starts to) of E{xperience} and R{egret}.

Ways Greek island gets broadcast (5)

ROADS – Homophone clue, sounds like RHODES (Greek island).

Jolly girl hated the changes (12)

LIGHTHEARTED – Anagram (changes) of [GIRL HATED THE].

Small creature always invading rented property? (7)

LEVERET – EVER (always) inside (invading) LET (rented property).  A LEVERET is a young hare.

6  Argument rising – this writer’s grovelling (5)

WORMY – ROW (argument) reversed (rising in a down clue) and MY (this writer’s).  WORMY isn’t a common word, but Chambers gives ‘grovelling’ as its second definition.  That’s the second time today that ‘this writer’s’ clued MY, which seems a tad lazy.

7  Run when something wrong turns up (4)

TROT – TORT (a wrong or injury) reversed or turned up in this down clue.

8  Worker on fruit farm who chooses the easy option? (6,6)

CHERRY PICKER – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.

14  Theatrical educationist, one put up in tent?(4,3)

CAMP BED – CAMP (theatrical) and BED (B.Ed – Bachelor of Education – educationist)

16  Bad lad taken into care, possibly an occasional smoker (7)

CALDERA – Anagram (bad) of [LAD and CARE].  A CALDERA is the crater formed by the collapse of the central part of a volcano after an eruption.

17  Vehicle at home in shed (5)

CABIN – CAB (vehicle) and IN (at home).

19  Understand component of a tree (4)

TWIG – Double definition.

20  Lady that is part of orchestra (5)

VIOLA – Double definition, and the second of our random girl’s names.

55 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2313 by Izetti”

  1. 12:40 Yes, sigh of relief, today’s offering was definitely friendlier to my skill set than yesterday’s . CALDERA, LEVERET, REALGAR were all words that didn’t jump to mind immediately but seemed vaguely familiar on further reflection. RAY and WORMY had definitions I didn’t know but pleased to read in blog they worked. I thought the first B in BIBLE was the bishop so I couldn’t parse that until I realized the word had 2 B’s. There are a lot of four-letter components of trees!

  2. DNK REALGAR, but as they say, it had to be. Ditto for RAY. Not only did this take me too long, I overlooked a typo–CALDEER–which cost me two errors. 7:42.

  3. 7:58. RAY and WORMY gave pause for thought to me too. That’s two new senses of RAY I’ve learnt this week after RAY for “look” cropped up elsewhere a few days ago. Just remembered REALGAR and see it last appeared in the TfTT ecosphere in a Jumbo in 2019 and a 15×15 in 2018.

    I was a ‘person in two minds?’ about the spelling of HESITATER until I bothered to check the wordplay. Really liked the ‘Theatrical educationist’ for CAMP BED.

    Thanks to Izetti and TheRotter

  4. After yesterday’s disaster in the red zone I returned to green today, racing through this one in 6 minutes as there were very few clues that required more than one visit. I hesitated over HESITATER as I would have favoured the ‘-or’ option as I always do if available away from crosswords. ARMADA was in the puzzle I blogged on Tuesday.

    1. I would never have gone for -OR, although I might have double-checked the anagrist, since I didn’t think HESITATER was a word, other than in the sense that like any action verb it could in principle take -er: enjoyer, dismayer, redoubler, disgracer, … There is no such principle for -or, and we have to learn e.g. elector, advisor, purveyor, … But to my surprise ODE lists ‘hesitater’ as a derived form of ‘hesitate’.

      1. Yes, it’s true that ‘-or’ is not always available when forming agent nouns but sometimes the word seems to me to call for it and this was one such occasion, although I have no idea what I base that on. Anyway, Collins allows both ‘hesitater’ and ‘hesitator’ so in this instance it was necessary to pay close attention to the wordplay.

  5. I put in a careless HESITATOR by not being careful enough with the anagrist so DNF. I’d never heard of REALGAR but I put it in confidently with just one checker. I was also surprised to see “this writer’s” for MY twice in the same puzzle.

  6. A steady solve where I started with FLOW and completed the whole of the right hand side of the grid before moving west. Didn’t particularly like WORMY but the rest of the puzzle was top quality, despite my attempts to justify ‘carin’ as a type of shed🤦‍♂️.
    Struggled a bit with RACHEL, MARBLE and LOI TORT but crossed the line in 9.15, with my favourite being CALDERA.
    Thanks to Rotter

  7. I seem to have left my anagram hat somewhere and struggled unduly with this one. I was doubtful that WORMY was even a word and half expected some pink squares. Saw the possibility of REALGAR straight away but it looked so improbable that I wanted all checkers: ditto RAY. Not Izetti’s finest, to my mind.

    All green in 11:22 for 1.5K and a Meh Day. Thanks Rotter and Izetti.


  8. It is getting a habit for me to give up in the NW of most QCs at first and move up the grid from the bottom, instead. I wish I had done this from the very beginning of this one – I only got ROADS on first pass at the top and wasted time racking my little brain for the rest.
    I thought the NW corner was difficult – mainly owing to REALGAR (I spotted this and dismissed it at first, not knowing the word). Having finally seen MARBLE and sorted out LIGHTHEARTED, the unknown mineral just had to be and the rest followed.
    Imo, WORMY and RAY were poor, as was the MY MY. I did like LEVERET (new to me) and thought CAMP BED was a great clue.
    Didn’t enjoy this as much as I had hoped – just not in the mood for Izetti today. He took me too close to the SCC for comfort. John M.

  9. DNF for me. I gave up having four clues to solve after 49 minutes.

    49:10 (DNF – 4 unanswered)

    1. Was a bit of a grind PW. My last 5 in NE took me almost 50% of the time I’d spent on the previous. I was ready to bung in any old answers in the waning moments but talked myself down.

  10. A pretty reasonable time finishing in 7.39, spending a little extra time sorting out the spelling of HESITATER from the given letters. Certainly worth the additional time as I would normally expect the OR finish. Again as others, never heard of REALGAR (a most unlikely looking word) and the pencil definition of RAY.

  11. I got nowhere with this puzzle and I thought it a joyless exercise and frankly too many hidden words. In my view not a good puzzle

  12. 7.04

    Quite tricky I thought. Took WORMY and RAY out then put them back in with a shrug at the end.

    REALGAR known but only from these things.

    Thanks all

  13. Possibly my fastest ever Izetti finish at 10 minutes, so definitely on the friendly side. I join others above in not knowing Realgar, but I trusted the wordplay (and the checkers), and I also thought the Ray/Wormy cross not our setter’s finest moment, but overall this was a very nice puzzle. COD to Camp Bed – nice to see Camp used in a way that is not derogatory to anyone, as it is a word open to much misuse these days.

    Many thanks Rotter for the blog. Do give yesterday’s QC a try if you have time; it was quite a challenging workout.

  14. 14 minutes for me after spending an extra minute parsing 10a. Glad I did as Haver became HOVER.
    LOI was WORMY, a clue which did not seem up to Izetti’s usual high standards.
    There were several hiddens and the NHO REALGAR and RAY (odd definition) did not spark joy.
    I must now look up CALDERA, another word at the edge of my knowledge.

  15. Didn’t enjoy this at all. FOI MARCHER but the anagrams in the NW wouldn’t come, NHO REALGAR, WORMY very odd, ten minutes to find LOI TROT even with the crossers. DNF in 40:40 having cheated to get the anagrams. Bah humbug.

  16. Longest solving time this week, even with Pedro’s stinker yesterday, but first day I have had chance to do more than solve the puzzle and read the blog . FOI FLOW, LOI CAMP BED, COD ARMADA. Many good clues and a well constructed crossword. Least favourite clues RAY, WORMY, REALGAR and CABIN, for various reasons. All fair, but methinks far too many MERs for a QC. Thanks Don and Rotter.

  17. 43+ mins technical DNF as I took the second A of REALGAR out at one stage and put back in E. NHO the word. Likewise WORMY was meh, couldn’t see the BED=Educationist and CALDERA is depths of the mind word I can’t define. So all in all, four reaches suggests to me it was a bit hard for a QC especially when you also have TORT=wrong.

    I had only the NE corner left at 30-mins but then had little to go on as it’s a subsection of its own with the H from CHERRY-PICKER and T from MYSTIC. Eventually unravelled HOVER which gave me the V for LEVERET. RAY was either that or NOR and finally FLOW then WORMY came into focus.

    Always expect something hard from Izetti but also feel I can complete them now, I just accept it’ll be slow. Am I right in thinking he usually includes a theological reference as per BIBLE today?

  18. I thought this was very difficult with a couple of dodgy answers in WORMY and RAY and a NHO REALGAR (had to look it up). CABIN and CALDERA also took some time to get. Not one of Izetti’s best puzzles.

  19. 7:44

    Pretty comfortable romp through the mind of Izetti. NHO REALGAR but the parsing was plain enough – and I equated RAY to pencil as in a ‘ray of light’ which might also be described as a ‘pencil of light’.

    I too hesitated over the ending of 11a but re-checked the anagram fodder to be sure.

    Thanks I and Rotter

  20. REALGAR and RAY in that sense were new to me, but the wordplay was unambiguous. WORMY seemed an odd usage but was inevitable despite the second use of “this writer’s” for MY. I double checked the anagrist for HESITATER. ROADS and MARBLE were first 2 in and RAY was LOI. 7:45. Thanks Izetti and Rotter.

  21. Couldn’t even get a toe hold in the NW, and I only had Flow and Ray for company in the NE before deciding to move south. The SW was more accommodating and things got easier as I re-tuned to Izetti’s wavelength. By the time I returned to the NW, I wondered what the problem had been, with Marcher and Marble fairly jumping off the page. At 22mins, this feels more like a sub-20 that got away, than a tricky tester. CoD to 15ac, Mystic for the pdm. Invariant

  22. Drat, I forgot to go back and look at the crossers for 16d. Whether I would have got CALDERA eventually I don’t know.
    Otherwise all solved (slowly). HNO REALGAR but it had to be.
    Was obliged to start in SW with CAM and work up from there. LIGHT-HEARTED and CHERRY PICKER helped. PDM with MARBLE and FLOW. Was doubtful about WORMY and RAY but stuck them in.
    Liked LEVERET, TWIG, MYSTIC. Thanks for much needed blog, Rotter.

  23. A few shrugs and DNK REALGAR, and taken slightly over target, As always with Izetti, if you follow the instructions, you get the right answer.



  24. 29 mins…

    Funny how people see things differently. I found this one harder than yesterday and took an age to get a decent amount of clues solved. It didn’t help that I thought 16dn might be “Chimera”, but the resulting “I” for the last letter of 18ac didn’t make sense, so I sensibly revisited.

    DNK 9ac “Realgar” and the parsing of 14dn “Camp Bed” passed me by.

    FOI – 4ac “Flow”
    LOI – 19dn “Twig” – twigged it in the end!
    COD – 16dn “Caldera”

    Thanks as usual!

  25. Well this took me just under 30 minutes with a good 5 minutes spent on REALGAR. I thought ‘surreal’ was an anagram indicator and only very belatedly spotted the hidden… Ah well, much to enjoy, including 2 new words (REALGAR and RAY), and of course RACHEL with the correct spelling 😉 Also liked WORMY. Many thanks for the blog and thanks to Izetti. A good workout.

  26. DNF.
    Total failure today.
    Still, if answers are going to be like : CALDERA, LEVERET, REALGAR, RAY, WORMY then mere mortals like myself do not stand much of a chance. Very disappointing.

    I think I will give these cryptic crosswords a miss for a while.

    1. Dear Dunlop65,
      I knew LEVERET (from Springwatch on the telly), but the other words you mention plus ‘tort’ were all unknown to me as well. However, over the past 2+ years I have improved my understanding of the cryptic wordplay used in these QCs and was therefore able to complete today’s offering. If even I can learn how to do these infernal things …
      Good luck!

  27. Jolly pleased to finish an Izetti in only 27 minutes (fast for me), especially as I had NHO CALDERA, REALGAR, WORMY, RAY for ‘pencil’ or TORT for a ‘wrong’, and also as I didn’t equate CAMP with ‘theatrical’ or B.Ed. with ‘educationist’. Quite a list of DNKs, but I suppose the fact that I was still able to solve the whole puzzle without recourse to aids perfectly illustrates Izetti’s skill as a setter.

    FOI = FLOW

    Many thanks to Izetti and Rotter (excellent blog, much needed today).

    1. Random,

      A classic example of a “caldera” is in Yellowstone national park in Wyoming in the US.

      There have been numerous appalling films about its potential to erupt again.

    2. TORT comes up quite regularly MrR – this is the 4th time in QC in the past two months. But more usually it’s clued to do with legal.

      From wikipedia “A tort is a civil wrong that causes a claimant to suffer loss or harm, resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act.”

      Nice work to get that done in under half an hour 👍

  28. Did this much later than usual and found it hard. Couldn’t get FLOW so went for FLEE as in interim – never a good idea and made WORMY reven harder than it needed to be and did what Curryowen did with BIBLE. Was genuinely surprised when I looked at the setter.

  29. Quick comment as v busy at work. Held up badly by putting CHIMERA for 16dn. Saw the light eventually but well into SCC by time I finished. As usual, over thought an Izetti!

    Thanks for the blog Rotter.

    1. I was just thinking earlier that with Izetti being prone to throw in obscurer words, it’s easy to then overthink the easy stuff like bible=scripture

  30. 12.39 Never heard of REALGAR or the relevant meaning of pencil, so pleased to have finished.

  31. 13 mins including a change of pen midway and some light chat with Mrs Prof, so this could easily have been a record time for me (sub 12) if I had been a bit more focused. I was a hesitater on Ray and Wormy but went for them both on confidence of the parsing. Very enjoyable solve.

  32. I struggled with this one, finding it much harder than yesterday’s. After 24 minutes it was all complete except for the NW corner where I only had ROADS. I gave up for a while and had a second attempt over lunch. Still a struggle but eventually the two anagrams at 11ac and 3dn fell into place which opened up the whole corner. Not sure why MARCHER and MARBLE had caused me problems originally – both fairly straightforward clues. I had originally looked for a hidden at 9ac but rejected the idea as I couldn’t see any word that made sense – never heard of the unlikely-looking REALGAR. Never timed my second session but the final time must have been well north of 30 minutes. Couldn’t parse CAMP BED or RAY.

    FOI – 4ac FLOW
    LOI – 9ac REALGAR

    Thanks to Izetti and to Rotter for some much-needed explanations

    1. I had the same initial problem with 1ac/d, and was looking for ‘a month’ = ajan, afeb etc and wondered where the extra letter was going to come from 🙄 Not my best start to a QC.

  33. Did nt get 6d and 12a, also 7d tort. Found this tricky but as always the Izetti wordplay is helpful.

  34. That’s a bit better – 10 min more or less on the dot. I agree with the comments about my x 2, WORMY and RAY but overall I enjoyed this one. Lots of ticks so quite hard to choose a COD, but I especially liked HESITATER, IRKSOME, CHERRY PICKER and CAMP BED. REALGAR was totally unknown but couldn’t be anything else!
    FOI Flow LOI Caldera COD Marble (by a whisker)
    Thanks Izetti and Rotter

  35. Hopeless. I need a teacher. My collection of “Everything You Need to Know About How to Complete a Cryptic Crossword” books are just not hitting the mark.

    1. You’re doing alright Ian. A step back and try not to live the highs and lows day-by-day. It was 20/24 a few days back.

      As much as I preach not to get disheartened, I also know that when I was in the middle of Pedro yesterday it began to get to me and I felt like I was back at Beginner school. But when I looked at my records, I saw Pedro is probably the setter I do worst with. Izetti was feared earlier last year but now I feel I can complete them but they will be slow. So being a little more nuanced in your evaluations and tailoring your expectations to the setter may help.

      In the end, you can check out any time but you can never leave 😉

    2. As one who considers myself a novice at these puzzles may I presume to give you some advice following your cry for help and first ask if you allow yourself to use aids, or perhaps you consider that to be cheating? Perhaps the purists wouldn’t agree but I think that in the early stages anyone should regard aids as “research” not cheating, which is generally considered a perfectly acceptable method of learning.

      Do you have Anne Bradford’s Crossword Solver’s Dictionary, which is most useful for looking up synonyms? And if you are looking for a synonym you have thus demonstrated that you have recognised the keyword of that particular clue.

      Do you use on-line anagram solvers? If you have resource to one of these you are demonstrating that you are beginning to recognise anagram indicators and to sort out the letters which are required for the anagram even if you cannot yet manage the anagram. And having a few answers from anagrams in place will give you some useful crossing letters to help you with other answers.

      There are also some useful on-line crossword solution finders to resort to if stuck in which one can use the letters one already has to see words which fit those particular letters and from which you can make a choice for your answer. Choosing the correct answer usually involves being aware of this word’s particular parsing which again shows that you are gradually absorbing the complexities of puzzle solving.

      The more success you have with finding solutions the more confident you will become and you will feel less like giving up. Because it is really only by constant repetition that one can build up the experience to recognise the different clue types, which I’m sure your “How to complete” books have explained to you but which, when you’re starting out, never seem to apply to the particular clue in hand. This wonderful blog, too, explains everything so clearly and, in retrospect, makes the answers seem so obvious, that one can begin to feel a bit dim in the early days. But keep at it and you will find that in time you will only need to check the blog for specific clues that you may have biffed and failed to parse. This process is definitely akin to learning a new language; in the early days it can be a slow and frustrating slog but it assuredly will become easier and after much practise you will find that you are able to complete more and more and will be resorting to the aids – or researching – less and less.

      I hope you find this helpful and are not in fact already doing all this research but still feeling frustrated! Not being worried about resorting to any methods I have needed to use is certainly the only way that I have managed to get anywhere with these quick cryptics and I’m certainly not very at home with the “grown-up” puzzle yet, though I do try when given a tip via the blog that it is an easier one, and have actually finished some before now, so I do understand your frustrations.

      Best wishes, and keep at it, LN

  36. I still haven’t completed yesterdays QC, and ground through todays in 24:38. Thought REALGAR was very obscure. Sounds more like a Norse/Icelandic god, than a chemical. Also RAY=pencil looked distinctly odd.


  37. 16:58

    Something of a geology theme today with MARBLE, REALGAR and CALDERA so as a geologist perhaps I should have finished much faster but have to confess I’d not heard of the mineral. Didn’t know RAY for pencil either so fingers were crossed hitting submit.

  38. Question to Mr Rotter (today’s blogger) or anyone else …

    16 Bad lad taken into care, possibly an occasional smoker (7)
    CALDERA – Anagram (bad) of [LAD and CARE].

    I had decrypted “bad” and “possibly” as both being anagrinds i.e. anagram of LAD taken into anagram of CARE. Not that it makes much difference to the overall result.

    Just intrigued on your thoughts?

    1. Hi LP, you are totally correct – it is one distinct anagram inside another, and that is how I parsed it as I solved it, with bad and possibly both being anagrind for their particular anagrist. However, at the very least, possibly appears to be doing double duty, as not all CALDERAs are occasional smokers, and I left that bit out when writing the blog. Thanks for pointing it out.

  39. Come off it. REALGAR? WORMY? And cherry picking is not the easy option. It is selection with a bias. I think Izetti is confusing ‘ low hanging fruit’. Bah. DNF

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