Times Quick Cryptic No 2318 by Teazel

Good quality puzzle, tricky enough.

Quite a blank grid after a first pass of the acrosses, only getting six (4, 6, 9, 10, 18, 22). Anagrams are generally good entries into a grid, and there were precious few here (none of the acrosses and only three downs). I clocked in at 8:50, double that of yesterday’s done just before.

Lots to like here – many thanks to Teazel!

4 Intended following Scotsman at church (6)
FIANCE – F(ollowing) IAN (our stock Scotsman) at CE (Church of England). “Intended” as a noun.
7 Went slowly? I have to fall rapidly (8)
NOSEDIVE – NOSED (went slowly) I’VE (I have)
8 Left with snake, run (6)
LADDER – L(eft) with ADDER (snake). Ladder/run, as on a pair of tights.
9 Regularly talk big about journalists’ entertainment on the slopes (5-3)
APRES-SKI – “regularly” t A l K b I g about PRESS (journalists)
10 Cut and run, nabbed by police officer (4)
CROP – R(un) nabbed by COP (police officer)
12 Sauce getting on clothes (8)
DRESSING – double definition
15 Opportunity expired to have small pie (8)
TURNOVER – TURN (opportunity) OVER (expired)
18 Entrance where those not invited can crash? (4)
GATE – cryptic nod to GATECRASHING
20 Comforted when computer control died (8)
CONSOLED – CONSOLE (computer control) D(ied)
22 Holding New Testament, briefly mark a sacred phrase (6)
MANTRA – holding NT (New Testament) is MAR (“briefly” MARk), A
23 Film correct requirement for icy roads (4,4)
TRUE GRIT – TRUE (correct) GRIT (requirement for icy roads)
24 Weapon found in river — how unfortunate (4,2)
DEAR ME – ARM (weapon) found in DEE (river)
1 Possibly bar succeeded attracting pensioner (4)
SOAP – S(ucceeded) attracting OAP (pensioner)
2 Eternally young boy’s potential energy initially worried parent (5,3)
 PETER PAN – P E (Potential Energy “initially”) and an anagram (worried) of PARENT
3 Be said falsely to be prejudiced (6)
BIASED – anagram (falsely) of BE SAID
4 OK to accommodate extremely evil cat (6)
FELINE -FINE (OK) to accommodate EL (“extremely” EviL)
5 Help with a Royal Opera House production perhaps (4)
AIDA – AID (help) with A
6 Box with fruit for horse (8)
CHESTNUT – CHEST (box) with NUT (fruit)
11 More or less how old is this dietary fibre? (8)
ROUGHAGE – taken as a curtly-worded question, ROUGH AGE?  = More or less how old is this?
13 Right to get you whiskey (3)
RYE – R(ight) to get YE (you)
14 Slayer of dragon gets gore all over the place (2,6)
ST GEORGE – anagram (all over the place) of GETS GORE
16 After holiday took meal, being empty (6)
VACATE – after VAC[ation] (holiday), ATE (took meal). Empty as a verb.
17 Be exhausted, so dismissed? (3,3)
RUN OUT – double definition: the second as in cricket; the first as in “the supply will run out/be exhausted next week.”
19 Start to wake up in prison (4)
STIR – double definition
21 Throw out newspaper briefly picked up (4)
EMIT – TIMEs (newspaper “briefly”) picked up = reversed


94 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2318 by Teazel”

  1. I biffed PETER PAN without reading the rest of the clue. Didn’t much care for VACation cluing VACATE.. Is a MANTRA sacred? 6:18.

      1. Think the point is when I go on holiday, I don’t go on VAC … I go on vacation. So why does the answer only use VAC?

        1. Collins:
          1. COUNTABLE NOUN [usually singular]
          A vac is a period of the year when universities and colleges are officially closed. Vac is an abbreviation for ‘ vacation’.
          [British, informal]
          …the summer vac.”

          1. That was called “intersemester break” in my day!!

            Fair enough it exists and it wasn’t a big leap to see V-CATE probably wanted it. Like Kevin, I’m just a bit meh about it because it has never intruded into my life experience. I shall put in the memory palace 👍

            1. When I was at school, and even now at work we called it “holiday”, not vacation. Since when did this Americanism make it into the British vocabulary?

              It’s like the current trend in the UK of giving brief periods of cold weather some apocalyptic name (another American trend). When I was a kid we just called it Winter. 🤣

              1. The earliest use I can find in the Law Reports of this shocking neologism is in Banister v Kenedye from 1622 (Court of King’s Bench, (1622) Palmer 285
                81 E.R. 1085). It’s so heavily influenced by America that the judgment is written in court French (“Tr. apres hors de Ireland, & q le plt’ en le error fuit en execution sur cest judgmt en Dublin; & serra trope longe durant le long vacation, le Court prist bon bayl icy; et mise direction, q serra mise al liberty la”).

                1. Interesting posts, Templar.
                  I cannot remember a simple 3-letter abbreviation generating so much unexpected heat (here and below). Thanks for some light to balance things! John
                  P.s. Thank goodness that nobody started the vac / vacuum cleaner / ‘Hoover’ issue. Oops! 😄

                  1. I wonder whether the clue got edited along the way? In my online version, the clue reads ‘After holiday took meal, being empty’, so no doubling up of VAC and vacation. Is that what Kevin was querying?

                    1. That was actually my original query to Kevin! My online version is the same as yours (and so’s the clue as blogged) so I couldn’t see any doubling up. It didn’t occur to me that the paper might have a different clue! Good thinking

                    2. I now realise this is why I score poorly on Reading Comprehension as I had interpreted Kevin’s comment “VAC(ation) cluing VACATE” as meaning “With vacation being a synonym for holiday, it is shortened to VAC to give the first half of the VACATE answer”.

                      Others have gone with a direct interpretation that “VAC(action) cluing VACATE” means vacation was in the clue.

              2. PW – it’s not periods of cold weather per se, it’s periods of extremely high winds and damage-potential conditions.

                Superficially it seems like a good idea to name them to draw the public’s attention to them and get them not to do stupid things during the period. It also allow emergency services etc to be able to reference them in specific terms.

                Realistically by the time we reach Storm L-Plates many are a bit fatigued and blase about it because the previous eleven storms that were all over the news didn’t affect us.

              3. The summer break at Cambridge University was always known as ‘The long vac’ – at least when I was there in the early 70s.

                  1. No. It was the same when I was at Cambridge University, Cambridgeshire, UK. We even had, confusingly, a long vac term, which was an extra period of teaching for science tripos students in the middle of the summer vacation before their 3rd year when they finally chose a single subject.

                  1. Sorry, L-P. I saw your earlier comments and did not understand why you were referring to VAYK etc. Perhaps it is the common ‘two nations divided by a common language’ issue?
                    In UK it is Vacation not Vaycation (vac as in vacuum). I guess I must have used this alternative pronunciation of vacation when I lived in the USA but the potential misunderstanding failed to penetrate my thick cranium. I just thought you were jesting a little.
                    Forgive me if I have this wrong. John

                    1. No problem John 👍

                      I’m thoroughly British but I must have absorbed the American version along the way and never really heard it said as VACkATION. Our family always went on holiday.

                      Realising also when the GFC hit in 2008 people started having STAYcations. STACKactions aren’t such a good pun!

      2. Templar: Can’t reply to your comment re your interpretation of K’s query for some reason, but that is how I read your original comment! Sorry I didn’t make it clear 😊

  2. Looks like I’m the first of the strugglers. I got one, LADDER, on the first pass of acrosses and was generally pretty baffled. Downs in the top were kinder which helped fill up all but the SE – even MANTRA where I’d carelessly read ‘phrase’ as ‘place’. Then CONSOLED, RUN OUT, VACATE,TRUE GRIT and EMIT all took a good while to get – and even then I needed Roly’s help to see what was going on. It all seems so simple now (although I’ve never seen either of the True Grits). All green in 21.

  3. Took me ages. LOIs TURNOVER and CONSOLED. While it couldn’t really have been anything else, I kept going back and wondering whether VAC was ever used for holiday … is it used like ‘mat leave’ as short form for ‘vacation leave’? I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone say ‘vac’.

    DEAR ME, NOSEDIVE and EMIT also dragged me down towards a DNF but I pushed on through. I don’t know why but this one wasn’t much fun – although APRES SKI deserves a touch of the cap.

    Thanks Teazel and Roly

    1. When I was at university 100 years ago, ‘vac’ was the normal word for the break between terms – e.g. ‘long vac’, ‘Easter vac’ etc. Not sure if it is still used……

      1. VAC is still used in Universities in my experience. A standard term.
        The ‘long vac’ was always a pleasant time on a half-empty campus. It gave us more more time to spend with our (full-time) PhD students on uninterrupted research. This was especially true for those of us in Science departments who normally took just 2 or 3 weeks out of our ‘long’ vac for a family holiday. John M.

        1. The Temple is similarly half asleep in the Long Vac … it’s rather nice if one has to be there!

    2. I’ve never heard anyone say “vac” but I have heard it more modernly referred to as “going on vay-cay”!

  4. Steady going today but had a struggle at the end with TURNOVER and PETER PAN, where I missed the anagram. On the plus side it did provide an enjoyable PDM when I saw what was going on.
    I ‘pencilled in’ and deleted NOSEDIVE a couple of times before the parsing became clear and CONSOLED also needed some thought.
    Crossed the line in 8.55
    Thanks to Roly and Teazel for an enjoyable solve.

    Just looked at the 15×15 Snitch – I think I’ll go straight to the blog 😂

  5. Enjoyed in average time. FOI and COD FIANCÉ, LOI SOAP, because I didn’t put it in. No real problems, though Teazel is often tricky, and biffed 2d with only the P of PAN, so failed to enjoy the anagram Thanks, T and R.

    1. I guessed it would be a) in a recognised dictionary and b) in use by some or other group of people.

      Thanks Rosso and Templar for enlightening me on b) which is always much more satisfying and reassuring than “but it’s in the dictionary”!!

  6. Hopped and pecked my way through in about half an hour, but did have a break which resolved NOSE DIVE.
    Thanks Roly and Teazel.

  7. I thought this was very good – thanks Teazel and Rolytoly. managed it in a little under 10 so was quite pleased. Nosedived went in because it had to be, but I’m baffled by nosed for slowly.

    1. Collins sense 5: “If a vehicle noses in a certain direction or if you nose it there, you move it slowly and carefully in that direction.
      He could not see the driver as the car nosed forward. ”

  8. My heart sank when I saw the grid, and sank further when I couldn’t get 4a. So I started with the downs and found them fairly tractable, giving lots of checkers for the acrosses. Steady progress till I was left with the crossing EMIT and TRUE GRIT (films being one of my many blind spots). EMIT came at last and then finally the film. Phew.

    All done in 09:05 for 1.5K and a Reasonable Day. Many thanks Teazel and Roly.


  9. Embarrassed to say could not see Peter Pan – no excuses. Strange how sometimes a clue just won’t “pop’ in spite of how much time you stare at it.

    And on the 15×15 I managed exactly one clue.

    1. I managed 1/2 of one clue then drew a blank. Reading the blog and seeing half a dozen words that I never knew existed and would never enter unless the clue WAS the answer (and even then assume some were misprints) and then seeing other comments about it all being relatively straightforward makes me realise that I will probably always remain “a quickie”

    2. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a higher SNITCH or fewer successful completions of the 15×15. As of 10am there are only 26 successful solvers shown by the SNITCH (including me).

    3. Funny isn’t it! I biffed PETER PAN as soon as I read the first two words. Thought I’d better read to the end just to make sure 😅

      I’m feeling scared about the biggie now…

    4. Mrs S, who races me doing the 15×15 as I do the QC (I usually win these days, but by no means always), commented that today’s was “challenging” and recorded a rare DNF. I had a look and CBS (could barely start!)

  10. A forbidding and unhelpful grid but an excellent, quite tough QC from Teazel. I enjoyed it and was so immersed, I was genuinely surprised when it turned out that I had nosed into the SCC. Ah well. Definitely one to savour, post completion, with the help of Roly’s blog.
    My LOI (with a groan) was PETER PAN.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  11. 8:55. Enjoyed this after a bruising encounter with the 15×15. Still, thought I wasn’t going to get this one out either as 15a refused to yield until I saw ‘small pie’ as the def. Glad to see the films in crossword land were generally made more than 40-50 years ago, or at least the original TRUE GRIT was; I’ll be sunk when they start to use films made in this century.

    Thanks to Teazel and rolytoly

    1. I’m the same with films made this century. Hollywood has really turned the screw in the last decade in only being interested in franchises that are guaranteed money. ‘Reimagining’ old successes; trying to resuscitate old franchises with new sequels and superhero / action blockbusters with ensemble casts. Anything which is creative or only has potential as a one-off film is rarely invested in. There are some good films e.g. Bridge of Spies, Spotlight, No Country for Old Men, The Hateful 8 … but if it’s made 2010 onwards I will probably only watch it if it’s critically acclaimed.

      1. Thanks. I keep telling myself I must start looking at films again and those you’ve suggested may be a good place to start.

      2. If you have even a passing familiarity with golf, or not, I can recommend “The phantom of the Open”. Made by a friend of mine’s son, it is a lovely film with a great cast. Made and released during Covid, it did not reach the audience numbers it deserved.

        1. Totally agree. I saw it with a mate in an almost empty cinema. Mark Rylance was brilliant.

          1. Good performance opposite Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies too! Then again Rylance did win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for it.

        2. Thanks. Yes, I’m a great golf fan, so I’ll definitely keep an eye out for “Phantom of the Open” and interesting to hear of your connection with the film. The now twice mentioned “Bridge of Spies” will also go on the “must drag myself into the world of 21st century films” list.

  12. The usual thought-provoking puzzle from Teazel. I wondered if 23A was TYRE GRIP for a while, but that didn’t fit the wordplay so I had to think again. O don’t think I’ve seen the film but at least I’ve heard of it. COD to the clever AIDA. Thank-you Rolytoly and Teazel. 5:07.

    1. As it’s Oscar nominations time, it’s perhaps worth mentioning that John Wayne got the best actor award for True Grit. That’s how I remembered the film name.
      Most film critics regarded this particular award as a long service medal.

  13. FOI was FIANCE. ROUGHAGE finished the job. RUN OUT got rid of my biffed ROAD GRIT. 6:16. Thanks Teazel and Roly.

  14. Started very quickly, then ran into treacle. 19 minutes in the end.
    LOI EMIT after TRUE GRIT ( had been Gear for ages).
    The grid was not helpful.
    NOSEDIVE was hard and I struggled to equate Nosed with went slowly; but I could think of nothing better. TURNOVER another tricky one; and I too questioned whether a mantra is sacred.
    I gave ticks to ROUGHAGE and DEAR ME.
    A tough test today.

  15. DNF with 2 corrections taking me to 18min24. EMIT and AIDE. The latter I did feel uneasy about when I put it in on my first pass and never came back to look at. The former I’d mentally pencilled in edit on my first pass and nothing better had occurred, so I assumed there was a newspaper once in the annals of history called Daily Tide!

    My 3rd LOI was SOAP and I didn’t know Succeeded could be shortened to S (I expect it’s done in family tree/monarchy things) which always left me in doubt for a clue beginning “Possibly bar”. The surface isn’t particularly great so I’m not sure why it couldn’t be “Bar possibly” to guarantee us QC-level people that it was soap we were after. That’s another reason I couldn’t be bothered to think further on EMIT/edit.

    Think I would really have struggled to get going on this a year ago. Lots of wordplay and answers that experience has taught me the setter is looking for rather than knowing any more than I did.

    Enjoyed TRUE-GRIT as I am something of a film buff. Although somehow I have never seen either version. Perhaps that disqualifies me as the TfTT Barry Norman!

  16. Glad to be all green but just nosed into the SCC at 20:48. FOI APRES SKI although I had thought of LADDER but couldn’t initially justify it as a run; obvious once it clicked. Progress was in fits and starts – but I was left with SOAP (s for succeeded I wasn’t aware of) and (LOI) NOSEDIVE – perfectly good clue but just took ages to see it even with IVE having been pencilled in early on. Thanks Teasel and roly.

  17. A good steady solve for me finishing within target at 8.46. Just about spot on for a QC I would say, although some may disagree of course! I was helped by the fact that one of the trickier clues to solve was an answer in the times2 crossword I completed shortly before. Same compiler I wonder or just a coincidence, I suspect the latter.
    On to the 15×15, but after reading Johninterred’s comment above I’m already anticipating a DNF!

  18. 13 minutes, which I was happy with, but sad when I came to the blog to see that a LADDER is described as a run in a pair of tights! It’s a much more exciting answer when associated with a pair of stockings. I’ll get my coat!

    1. Ah dear, apologies for being such an anti-Tease, ‘ll aim for better next time!

      Wow, that really is an abysmal pun… no apologising my way out of that one.

  19. Almost finished this one but got stuck on one clue, which I just could not see. This was after using my three lives.

    As others have mentioned (and as I also did in a post above), I really did not like VAC in 16d.

    TURNOVER. I probably would have answered this quicker if PIE was replaced with PASTRY.

    A fairly enjoyable crossword, spoilt, in my opinion, by lazy clueing.

    DNF (1)


  20. Top half very quick. FOI FIANCE and on I sped, but then slowed to a crawl. Luckily TRUE GRIT came to mind eventually (dull remake). LOsI MANTRA, ROUGHAGE (amusing), TURNOVER, STIR. Took me a while to see the RUN before OUT. Cricket again!
    Liked GATE, NOSEDIVE among others. Biffed PETER PAN immediately.
    Actually the whole point of APRES SKI (also a biff) is entertainment *off* the slopes, but it had to be. There used to a completely different formal/informal wardrobe for Apres-ski.🥂
    Thanks vm, Roly.

  21. No real problems – solved it steadily. LOI NOSEDIVE, which I biffed (as with PETER PAN, not being able to parse it.)

  22. Having to sort out my biffed “all out” delayed me considerably.

    TIME 5:20

  23. 18:13. Had trouble seeing NOSED for went slowly , OAP for pensioner and EMIT for throw out. I also missed the exhaust sense of RUN OUT .

  24. All of it done in less than 20 minutes, bar RUN OUT, which required a pause and trip to the coffee machine. I didn’t see the cricket angle in the smooth surface of the clue.
    I haven’t bothered with the 15×15 as I feel it will use up too many marital brownie points

  25. 8:20 on this enjoyable puzzle. Pretty much everything has been said, so I’m going to have a look at the biggie now. By the sounds of it, that’s as far as I’ll get!
    FOI Fiance LOI Consoled COD (by a long way) St George.
    Thanks Teazel and Roly

  26. A long 24 mins today. Really stuck on CHESTNUT (I know!) and LOI NOSEDIVE. Always find Teazel a challenge so pleased to finish with no errors. Biffed APRES SKI and TRUE GRIT. FIANCÉ was obvious once I’d got FELINE, but I was fooled at first by not considering the ‘f’ from ‘following’. Very enjoyable. Not sure why I was so slow. Many thanks to Teazel and roly. Also enjoyed everyone’s input around ‘vac’. Not a word I use but I know others do!

  27. 22 mins…

    Quite a bit of biffing to begin with, 9ac “Apres Ski”, 2dn “Peter Pan” then started to slow and my last 7 mins must have been spent on just three clues: 15ac “Turnover”, 20ac “Consoled” and 6dn “Chestnut”

    I felt this was a bit on par with yesterday, although it felt very light on anagrams.

    FOI – 9ac “Apres Ski”
    LOI – 20ac “Consoled”
    COD – 11dn “Roughage”

    Thanks as usual!

  28. A nice puzzle from Teazel with just the right amount of conundrums, cleverness and chestnuts, and all finished in 13 minutes. Nosedive and Turnover my L2I and both took some thought and all the checkers, especially the latter: Turn = opportunity was a PDM when it eventually came and I would not normally think of a turnover as a pie, small or otherwise.

    Many thanks to Roly for the blog

  29. Enjoyable QC today, completed and parsed in 10. Minutes. Glad this one was good, as I’m not expecting to get far on the Cryptic. I don’t recall seeing such a high snitch. Wonder if it’s ever reached 200?

  30. 9.50, a good time for me. Helped along by an answer shared with the concise crossword. Very enjoyable.

  31. Found this slow going with a mixture of easier and tricky clues. Interesting that apres ski is in this and also the Times 2.

  32. 17 minutes on the clock – 1 clue to solve – a rare escape from the SCC within touching distance. But it wasn’t to be. _O_E_I_E held out for 8 full minutes, so I crossed the line in 25 minutes. Once I had banished my frustration, I was actually very pleased with my time, as I find Teazel the most challenging setter of all (with the possible exception of Wurm).

    Knowing I had fully parsed every clue gave me a nice warm feeling as I read through Roly’s excellent blog … until I reached the final clue (21d), that is. Ice suddenly ran through my veins as I saw EMIT, where I had EdIT. Bang went my latest chance to achieve 20 solves in a row (I was nearly there, again) and I just can’t bring myself to critique the puzzle today. If I had access to Louisa’s exasperometer my reading would be sky high.

    Many thanks to Teazel and rolytoly.

    1. Still a v good performance Mr R. EDIT occurred to me as well, and NOSED is an odd word. I put it in but had my fingers crossed.

    2. Re EDIT

      I think your fears are misplaced – it’s simply an ambiguous clue. I have a fisherfolk friend who’s an avid reader of The Tides, and a most august organ it is too, by all accounts.

  33. No certain time but well before the SCC so it can’t have been that difficult… No issue with ‘vac’. Liked ‘apres ski’ and ‘soap’. Shrugged at 22a ‘mantra’ as is frequently seen in non-religious context.
    FOI 4a Fiancé
    LOI 7a Nosedive
    COD 20a Consoled

  34. 14:44

    A slowish start but pretty straightforward once the checkers started going in. LOI CONSOLED.

  35. 40 minutes or 6.5 K, getting quicker but still a long way to go! Need to check out the on-line version before I go on holiday (sorry vacation!) for a month.

  36. Worried I would come here and see some decent times after I struggled. I thought this was very hard and my limitations as a solver were ruthlessly exposed.

    Finished in around 35 mins, but felt much longer. Had a purple patch with the first half of the down clues, but across was a nightmare for much of the solve. Still I’ve learned a coupling of abbreviations that must have passed me by before – f for following and s for succeeded.

    LOI – TURNOVER (a pastry where I come from)

    Thanks for the blog Roly!

  37. Please can someone tell me why it is an anagrind not an anagram? There are other things too, like a nina. Is there a general list anywhere?

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