Times Quick Cryptic No 2362 by Izetti

A tricky offering from Izetti today, although that may be a tautology. Several devices here that we don’t often see in the quickie, such as partial anagrams, and some general knowledge that may tend towards the obscure end of the scale, like “thorn”, “boxing the compass”, “maintop” and “RR” for “bishop”.

My first one in was COMPASS, last one BLASTING, and I was very happy to finish just outside my target in 15:32.

As one of the other bloggers commented a few weeks back, the tricky thing with writing this blog is that at the time of writing there is a sample size of exactly one. I’ll be interested to see how the rest of you get on!

Definitions underlined in italics, wordplay indicators in square brackets, synonyms in round brackets, deletions & omissions in squiggly brackets.

1 Arrogant university needing external reminder (5)
PROUDU (abbreviation for university) surrounded by PROD, which makes it an ‘external reminder’.
4 Direction-finder that may be boxed (7)
COMPASS – A cryptic definition.

To “box the compass” is to swing all around, heading in no particular direction, as sailing ships used to (and probably still) do when there is no wind.

8 Ruder-sounding dog (7)
COURSER – sounds like “coarser” (ruder).

I knew that a dog could be described as a courser, but had to look up the definition, which is (naturally), “a dog used for coursing”. Again, I knew faintly that coursing is something like hunting (as in ‘fox-‘ or ‘stag-‘), but had to look up the definition in the SOED, where I found that coursing is “the pursuit of game (especially hares) with greyhounds by sight rather than scent”.

This was the ninth (!) definition under “course”. Lucky Izetti didn’t choose an obscure usage, eh?

9 Be joined by a small number for party (5)
BEANOBE + A + NO (abbreviation for number).

A bit of a dated term for a party. As in “Jings, what a wizard beano!”

A straw poll of the 20-somethings in my family shows 0% knowing this definition.

10 Officer behind two others in musical interval (5,5)
MAJOR THIRDMAJOR (officer) + THIRD (behind two others).

I initially parsed this as THIRD MAJOR, before realizing that lifting and separating of “Officer behind two others” was needed.

A major third is a musical term describing the difference in pitch between two notes. More than that I do not know.

14 Tell soldiers after the expected time (6)
RELATERE (Royal Engineers) + LATE (after the expected time).

This was a nice bit of misdirection. “After” here is part of the definition of “late” and not a positional indicator, as it often is.

If soldiers aren’t RE, they are likely to be RA, TA, OR or MEN. One of the setters’ most versatile devices.

15 Man went down with old wife (6)
FELLOWFELL (went down) + O (old) + W (wife).
17 Monk shivering is certain to catch cold (10)
CISTERCIAN – Anagram [shivering] of IS CERTAIN + C (cold).
20 Booze keeping US soldier lively (5)
AGILEALE (booze) holding [keeping] GI (US soldier).
22 Ship’s platform isn’t gone round by cleaner (7)
MAINTOPAINT (isn’t) surrounded by [gone round by] MOP (cleaner).

The maintop is a platform partway up a the mainmast of a ship that provides both an anchor point for various ropes, and a place from which enemy ships can be fired upon with hand-held weapons.

23 Register upset when one leaves with feelings of disappointment (7)
REGRETS – Anagram [upset] of REG{I}STER [when one (I) leaves].
24 Old character  that is prickly (5)
THORN – A double definition, the first being the Þ character used in Old English (and modern Icelandic, apparently).
1 Choose illustration for broadcast (4)
PICK – Sounds like [for broadcast] “pic” (illustration).
2 Work with love and endless thrust (4)
OPUSO (love, as in tennis) + PUS{h} (endless thrust).
3 Take apart idlest man for thrashing (9)
DISMANTLE – Anagram [thrashing] of IDLEST MAN

I spent some time looking for a synonym for “thrashing” as the answer, no doubt exactly as Izetti intended. Nice one.

4 Bit of food a bishop gets in bed (6)
CARROTA + RR (Right Reverend, the honorific of a bishop) inside COT (bed).

I’m not a huge fan of this definition. A ‘bit of food’ to me is a description of a quantity of food (e.g., a crumb), whereas a carrot is a type of food.

5 Old boy following a thousand in crowd (3)
MOB – OB (old boy) after M (thousand, in Roman numbers).
6 US city alarm: oil spilling (8)
AMARILLO – Anagram [spilling] of ALARM OIL.

This one had me consulting my mental “what other US cities do I know?” list. Amarillo is in Texas.

7 Reveal part of NI to be in confrontation (8)
SHOWDOWNSHOW (Reveal) + DOWN (county in Northern Ireland).
11 Believer accepting criticism, as one purporting to bring healing? (9)
THERAPISTTHEIST (believer) including [accepting] RAP (criticism).
12 Item of furniture with unusual charm to put on display (8)
ARMCHAIR – Anagram of [unusual] CHARM + AIR (to put on display).
13 Criticising  the job of quarry workers? (8)
BLASTING – Double definition

My last one in. For some reason, I couldn’t get my mind to move past quarry workers with chisels and sledgehammers.

16 Mischief-makers take up temporary accommodation aboard ship (6)
SCAMPSCAMP (temporary accommodation) inside [aboard] SS (abbreviation for steamship, often used for just ‘ship’).
18 Name of German chap going up and down (4)
OTTO – The ‘going up and down’ works because this is a Down clue and the answer is a palindrome.
19 Unrestricted love given to writer (4)
OPENO (love) + PEN (a writer).
21 I heard an organ (3)
EYE – Homonym: sounds like “I”.

69 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2362 by Izetti”

  1. 11:14. With an “L” for second letter I assumed 13 down had to be Slagging. Finally CISTERCIAN eliminated that possibility and I arrived at BLASTING. I wasn’t sure of MAINTOP but the parsing made sense. My COD was MAJOR THIRD. I agree with Doofenschmirtz that the definition for CARROT isn’t great.

  2. Amarillo is on Route 66 (where you get your kicks), at least according to the song.

    Agree about carrot.

    1. Peter Kay’s Is this the way to Amarillo? Oh drat, that has released the earworm. I shall be dancing all day.

      1. Sung by Tony Christie in late 1971 and written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield – Peter Kay was miming.

  3. 12:30. A few quite hard ones here, especially trying to parse and understand eg (box the) COMPASS and MAINTOP. I liked the wordplay, but I wouldn’t know what a MAJOR THIRD is and I ended up biffing CISTERCIAN, missing the obvious ‘shivering’ anagram indicator. BLASTING was my LOI too.

    Maybe 4d could charitably be parsed as ‘Bit of food’ = an example of an “incentive” (eg in dog training) = CARROT. Yes, a bit of a stretch.

    Thanks to Doofenschmirtz and Izetti

  4. 12 minutes, missing my target by 2. MAINTOP was unknown and I felt ‘bit of food’ was an odd definition for CARROT. It was handy that I had only yesterday posted an additional comment re Monday’s discussion about ‘harriers’ in which I made a reference to ‘hare-coursing’ so that the type of dog required at 8ac was fresh in my mind.

  5. Surprised to finish a shade under 15 after a slow start – just three acrosses on first pass – and lots of hard work. Would never have thought I knew the phrase MAJOR THIRD but once the major bit was in, there it was. Didn’t know MAINTOP either but got the ‘aint’ quickly and after a flirtation with ‘painter’ which can be nautical but has not other merits as the solution, the mop followed. Didn’t know COURSER either but I have heard of hare coursing and AMARILLO took a while to arrive – when it did it was all thanks to Peter Kay. CISTERCIAN went almost straight in – probably because they make Buckfast and I’ll have read the side of a bottle of two at student parties.

    1. I think you’ll find they are Benedictines at Buckfast. But heigh ho it’s still appropriately alcoholic.

      1. So it is! But after being founded by Benedictines in 1018 it was then Cistercian from 1147. Not sure when the Benedictines turned up again. Perhaps it’s time for another bottle. With luck Merlin will finish a crossword in the appropriate time and let us know!

        1. Sorry, stuck in the Thirty Years war today (lots of battles and Dukes I never heard of)

  6. DNF beaten, unlike Mendesest above, by MAJOR THIRD (yes, constructable from the clue but not if, like me, musical terms are almost entirely unknown) and MAINTOP (nautical terms also a speciality I don’t lean towards). No amount of staring and head scratching was going to reveal those two.

    So agree that this is a hard one but no complaints- I’ve learned stuff today.

    Thanks Izetti and Doof.

  7. This was a struggle although all fairly clued with hindsight.
    Had some of the required GK – MAINTOP, AMARILLO and THORN, but MAJOR THIRD, COMPASS (the boxing bit) and CISTERCIAN were new to me. It didn’t help that I missed the anagram indicator for the latter.
    Soundly beaten by Izetti today finishing in 16.15.
    Thanks to Doofers for the excellent blog.

  8. 16:38 1638 The Dutch discover and land on Mauritius

    Top half quick, lower half not. All done by Surbiton. LOI the NHO COURSER. Tried to get Carthusian in for the monk. Slow with CARROT, did not like the definition, expecting something like “morsel”.

    Agree with Jack. All my family know BEANO as the comic, not as a party. And no-one says Dandy, either.

    I thought “isn’t gone” was an anagram if “isn’t”, with “gone” as an anagram indicator.

    COD MAJOR THIRD. For fans of the do-re-mi way of referring to musical intervals, and all crossworders have to know these, “mi” is a Major Third. Fortunately, Izetti didn’t try to construct a clue out of this.

    1. I thought mi, in the do-re-mi system, just referred to the third note in a major scale, not the interval. A major third is a chord with 5 semitones, such as middle c to e on a piano keyboard.

      1. May I be a pedant and say a major third is not a chord but an interval (as in the clue)? Yes you can have a chord of two notes a major third apart, but that’s not quite the same. Also, 5 semitones? I make it four unless you count the starting note as one. I recall my 4-year old son saying it was three tube stops from Clapham Common to Stockwell, to which I had to correct him because surely we start at zero, then Clapham North is one, Stockwell two. Agree? Then “middle c to e” – well, *any* c to e ! But of course you’re right that “mi” is not in itself a major third, only a major third above “do”. Thank you for your patience with all that!

        1. To add to the discussion on what a major third is… it depends on the temperament used. It was only when I learnt about them that I discovered why our choirmaster at school was always trying to make us sing our major thirds sharper than we intuitively sang them. In the equally tempered scale (where each semitone is equal) an interval of 4 semitones is significantly sharper than the natural harmonic of the fundamental. To hear the difference watch (and listen) to this video.

        2. Yes, I was counting the starting point as one! You’re right of course. There’s another musical ‘mer’ in today’s QC – 20 across.. the answer is surely not a key, though quite how to define it more accurately defeats me at the moment

    2. I wondered why my name was mentioned re BEANO, but I see you were agreeing with the blogger – not me today, but Doofers.

    3. I could only think of Carthusian or Carmelite as possible monks for quite a while till rearranging the possible letters luckily brought CISTERCIAN to mind.

  9. Easier than yesterday’s for me, though needing all checkers for MAINTOP and MAJOR THIRD. I knew AMARILLO from the song and THORN from the QC!

    All done in 07:14 for an estimated 1.3K and an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Don and Doofers.


  10. A decent test. Fair though, everything just took a bit longer than normal.

    Lots to enjoy, ARMCHAIR, CISTERCIAN, MAJOR THIRD all stood out. OPUS was LOI after COURSER.


  11. Well, Izetti certainly won today. The top half lulled me into a false sense that he had changed his spots and was offering an easier QC for a change. Most of the top went in quickly (apart from MAJOR THIRD which needed more crossers). My fingers were crossed for COURSER.
    The lower half was different, though. I was not convinced by my suggested BLASTING, THORN (I did not know the ‘old character’), or MAINTOP (although the latter became clear when I parsed it properly). I only added them when I had more crossers. THERAPIST helped a lot (good clue) and when I saw the monk and the German guy (d’oh) it all fell into place. My COD was CISTERCIAN.
    I was totally immersed and was shocked to see when I entered my last answer that I had just tipped into the SCC. At least I had no errors and I parsed them all.
    An unusually good and chewy QC from the master (apart from CARROT). I enjoyed it immensely and didn’t mind my slowness.
    Many thanks to both. John M.

  12. Looked hard at first, but gradually several pennies dropped giving enough checkers to guess the last couple: MAINTOP (NHO) and CARROT (“bit “ a bit odd in the clue). Very pleased to finish relatively quickly !

  13. One minute over target at 16 minutes. I was mostly slowed down by a stupid error, entering SLATEING for the quarry job, which fits the cryptic, but doesn’t have an E in it, so is short of the required number of letters. I did query the spelling as I entered it, but the fit was so good I carried on. It was only CISTERCIAN that caused me to revisit it. I didn’t know MAJOR THIRD but nicely clued, and only vaguely aware of boxing the compass. I guess if OTTO had been an across answer, the clue could have been ‘German chap that goes both ways?’ Good puzzle and excellent blog – thanks both.

    1. I was trying to work a similar wording. Like you, I didn’t succeed and had to dig myself out again.

    2. Hmm. . . you weren’t on Nottingham when she ran into Australia by any chance ? 😉

  14. A sprightly 9:05. Not too troublesome on the whole, but I took a massive leap of faith with MAINTOP which I’ve never even heard of, basing my answer on MAIN being shorthand for anything to do with the sea in crosswords, and TOP coming from crossers and “platform” in the clue. CARROT was totally guessed.

    Returning guest stars – OPUS, BEANO, OTTO. 🙂

  15. The top half went in without too much difficulty, helped by remembering O level music four part harmony home work for CoD Major Third. I’m also pretty sure that boxing the compass refers to the test of naming all the 32 compass points in order: N, NbE, NNE, NEbN, NE etc – one for Rotter to comment on. The bottom half was a different story, with Armchair, Relate (!), Scamps and Maintop providing more than enough rabbit holes to ease me three or four minutes into the SCC. Invariant

  16. A bit tougher than average I thought and again just failed to meet my target at 10.13. I might have just made it had it not been for me putting COARSER in at 8ac, thus delaying me on my LOI 2dn. OPUS is such an old chestnut that I should twigged it immediately instead of wasting 30 seconds trying to solve O-A-. Got there in the end though.

  17. Chuffed to finish in a few seconds under 20 mins, good for me at any time but especially with Izetti. My favourite setter because of the precision of the clues, albeit I often struggle to see the wood for the trees. Glad I had the necessary GK as COURSER and THORN would have had me scratching my head otherwise. MAJOR THIRD was my favourite amongst several.

  18. Some unusual words and definitions, but they all yielded eventually. FOI PICK, LOI SCAMPS. THORN rang a faint bell, but MAINTOP had to be constructed and sounded nautical. 8:27. Thanks Izetti and Doofers.

  19. No issues for me today. I like tricky word play but admit that my LOsI COURSER and MAJOR THIRD were unknowns and reliant on the wordplay. I didn’t understand why COMPASS was the answer but it is a direction finder that fitted with the checkers. Amarillo will forever be associated with Ronnie Corbett falling off the treadmill recording the Tony Christie hit for Comic Relief. Thank you Doof for the explanations. 8:15

  20. Pretty much on par 25min enjoyable romp top to bottom with a few gaps to chase in the middle. Definitely on my wavelength. From cub and scout school days I boxed the compass mantra and practiced major thirds on strings, so write ins. Thanks Izetti who is normally much more of a teaser for me and Doofers.

  21. 5.28. Agree with comments about carrot. Didn’t understand boxing the compass, but what else could it be, which I shall have to now look up. Always good to learn something!

  22. 16 minutes for me, held up by misspelling CisterTian which made Scamps impossible until I checked the anagram letters and rectified the monks.

    Maintop unknown but seemed plausible, Amarillo also slow to emerge and needed all the checkers. Thorn on the other hand a write-in as I travel frequently to Iceland for both business and pleasure …

    Good puzzle, excellent blog. Many thanks Doofers (and I agree about the clue for carrot).

  23. Much quicker than yesterday (but that’s not saying much). I was all done in 15mins except for 11dn where I could not rid myself of the idea that it needed ‘pan’ in the middle for the criticism part of the clue. ‘Thepanist’ didn’t seem to be a word, so in desperation I entered ‘trepanist’, which sort of fits the definition but of course doesn’t parse. No problem with any of the GK except for MAINTOP which I didn’t know. It had a nautical look to it though and seemed much better than a possible ‘misntop’.

    FOI – 4ac COMPASS
    LOI – DNF
    COD – 10ac MAJOR THIRD

    Thanks to Izetti and Doofers

  24. 36 mins…

    Well into SCC territory today. I found this difficult, with a few clues like 22ac “Maintop”, 4ac “Compass” and 4dn “Carrot” making me scratch my head. Fair enough for “Compass”, as I didn’t know the “boxing” reference, but I also wasn’t convinced about carrot being just a bit of food – far too general for my liking, and for ages I was thinking of “Morsel”, “Crumb” etc. At one point I even tried to cram in “Crouton” until I realised it wouldn’t fit.

    However, I did like 17ac “Cistercian”, 6dn “Amarillo” and 13dn “Blasting” (I initially thought of “slating” and “sledging” – seems to be quite a lot of quarrying related terms that are synonyms for criticising).

    FOI – 5dn “Mob”
    LOI – 22ac “Maintop”
    COD – 10ac “Major Third”

    Thanks as usual!

  25. I know perfectly well what a major third is but, not checking the clue properly, put in major triad, which of course is two intervals simultaneously (or three if you count the top and the bottom notes as well!)

  26. Yes I too wanted it to be slating but of course it doesn’t fit. NHO MAINTOP (but guessable) or the old character THORN (but again, biffable), or AMARILLO (but Mrs Martinu helped there). And try googling “courser dog”: nothing comes up! MAJOR THIRD easy for me but then Martinu is a musician. Failed to get ARMCHAIR – not sure that “put on display” is really AIR? (MER, please?) The first is seen, the second heard. Otherwise only failed SCAMPS and CISTERCIAN (will learn). I took “take apart” as the anagram indicator and thought DISMANTLE (which it had to be) not really = thrashing, but that’s Izetti’s ingenuity for you. Thanks to all.

  27. DNF.
    Well done to the experts who finished this nasty one.
    As an average player – just did not stand a chance in hell.

  28. 6.31 but…

    … the typos are back

    I’m normally okay with Izetti’s and this was no exception, generally following the instructions but agree a few unusual words/definitions

    Thanks all

  29. I’ve been doing Don Manley’s puzzles in various publications for 40 years, so his style of setting holds no secrets from me. He is one of the most elegant setters you could hope to find, and if there’s a dodgy clue anywhere it’s a massive surprise. I seriously recommend newer solvers to spend time analysing his puzzles – there is much to be gleaned from the exercise.

    Of course, in view of the foregoing, nobody should be surprised that I’m 7th of 177 on the leaderboard in my fastest time of the month, and had it all done in two passes (all the down clues fell in order) !

    COD CISTERCIAN (such an elegant surface)
    TIME 3:20

  30. Amazingly I seemed to be on Izetti’s wavelength today and all fell into place nicely despite the nautical and musical references. Did have a MER about the bit of Carrot as I tried to fit Crumb in somehow but I generally really enjoyed this puzzle.

  31. 48mins over two sittings for a DNF – SLATEING wrong (queried that spelling) and the NHO CISTERCIAN.

    Dogs, religion, music, ships – I know little of these things but enough to get by in life. Managed to remember THORN from last year. Boxing COMPASS huh? Shall we pick an obscure U.S. city? Would I have got BEANO if it hadn’t been in the 15×15 on Monday?

    I came away feeling thick and stupid. I know I am not. But it is not a feeling I want from something which is meant to bring enjoyment and be quick.

    1. Dear LP,
      Don’t despair! I felt “thick and stupid” on both Monday and yesterday. The difference, though, is that I know I am. Especially in this house … with Mrs Random and her collection of teddy bears (some homemade) as my comparators.

    2. It was just a toughie today. I took 50 mins and had NHO MAJOR THIRD or MAINTOP. Only got THORN from a previous QC and AMARILLO because I was looking at a map of the USA in bed last night (how fortuitous is that).

      I had a horrific time last week. You will quickly bounce back. It can be dispiriting when we read these very fast times of others, but they will have gone through the same peaks and troughs that we experience.

  32. Phew! That was a relief after two exasperating days.
    I have come to appreciate that, if nothing else, Izetti is very fair – in that the answer is always in the clue, somewhere.
    I started very slowly, solving only FELLOW and AGILE on my first pass through the acrosses. The downs proved just as difficult until I reached the last few at the bottom of the grid. From there, I worked my way back up and across from E to W. Somehow, I remembered THORN from a previous puzzle and I crossed my fingers with MAINTOP and COMPASS. Both OPUS and ARMCHAIR proved crucial to breaking into the LHS of the grid and my LOI was BLASTING.
    Total time = 32 minutes. Very pleasing!

    Many thanks to Izetti and Doofers.

  33. 8:42

    No real heartstoppers – had in my mind that there was such a thing as a box COMPASS but maybe I’m wrong.

    COURSER – used to own a whippet so aware of their coursing capabilities – by glory, that dog was quick!
    MAJOR THIRD – took a while for the penny to drop with THIRD
    CISTERCIAN – LOI trying to make sense of the anagrist and checkers.
    MAINTOP – NHO but bunged in on the basis that there are mainsails – not a huge jump from there.
    CARROT – MER for the clue!

    Thanks Izetti and Doofenschmirtz

  34. FOI MOP, COD ARMCHAIR, LOI PICK, and needing both crossers for PICK onfirmed my feeling that I was taking too long on what seemed an easy puzzle, so pleased to come here and find that others thought it tricky, too. My GK recalled MAJOR THIRD, COURSER and THORN, but guessed MAINTOP from crossers, and that there could be a town called YELLOW (in Spanish) in what was once a Spanish colony. COMPASS went in purely from the helpful definition, and, for a setter of Don’s eminence, I agree with the STICK given above for CARROT! Thanks Don and Doofs.

  35. DNF – solved MAJOR but not THIRD. Failed also on COURSER, THERAPIST, MAINTOP. Got AMARILLO from the song, as mentioned.
    I thought I was doing well originally, esp as remembered THORN from previous QCs, but some answers on the obscure side. “Purporting” confused me, as I was trying to think of a phony healer whereas many Therapists do actually heal e.g. physios.
    Thanks vm, Doofers.

  36. 9:41 (941 was during the reign of Hywel Dda in Deheubarth, but a year before he took over Gwynedd and Powys to rule most of Wales. Incidentally, if anyone is interested in Welsh Princes, Cornish Dukes, Lords of the Isles, Stewards of Scotland etc., can I please plug “A History of Britain in Prince William’s Titles” available from Amazon. If plugging books contravenes the rules of this forum , please let me know and I’ll edit this post to remove the plug.)
    An enjoyable crossword. I was held up on 4a, since I had never heard of boxing the compass, but with the checkers and the definition it could only be compass.
    Thanks for the blog.

    1. I can see plugging your own book would be problematic but I appreciate this instance of pointing out something that could be of particular interest to me and possibly others.

  37. Ah yes. Typical Izetti. To add to what BUSMAN said, Don is author of the Chambers Crossword Manual which I think is well worth reading and having as a reference. As for today’s crossword, a couple of points of education for me… I thought BOX COMPASS was a type of compass, not what you do with one and DNK the other marine reference MAINTOP, but the wordplay was clear. A bang-on-target 5:00. Thanks. Don and Doofers.

  38. Completed in a couple of goes over the course of an hour.

    Held up for a long time by bunging in SLATING at 13d without noticing I’d added an extra G at the end to make it fit!

    The GK requirements happened to fall for me today, though suspect they were at the harder end of the Quick Cryptic range.

  39. We found this tricky, and experienced the same problems as others who have already posted. Did not know the major third. An enjoyable and instructive challenge as ever from Izetti.

  40. 22.45 Slow today. BEANO cropped up in the 15×15 the other day so it went straight in. I thought about CHIPPING for 13d. Having read Patrick O’Brian’s nautical books MAINTOP shouldn’t have needed SCAMPS but the big delays came from the misdirection of DISMANTLE and failing to notice that CISTERCIAN was an anagram, so it needed all the checkers. All fair enough though. Thanks both.

  41. For most of this QC, my progress was steady and I hoped for something under 30 mins. Then I hit the buffers, with MAJOR THIRD (NHO), MAINTOP (NHO), and THERAPIST giving me the runaround.

    Hard to enjoy such a difficult QC, but I did finish (50 mins). Proud of myself for working out THERAPIST, if I gloss over the time this took.

    After two ‘easy’ days, a dose of reality.

    Thanks for the blog Doofers.

  42. 15:40 – a few seconds longer than both my earlier efforts this week! So quite tricky but a first class example of Izetti’s style, I’d say – such clear clues, with great surfaces. I never understand why it takes me so much more effort to solve his crosswords, since – if you follow the instructions carefully – it all makes sense. Having said that, I didn’t understand 4a COMPASS, but it couldn’t be anything else, and CARROT got an MER. But I really liked REGRETS and ARMCHAIR.
    FOI Pick (I did the first five acrosses before moving over to the downs) LOI Courser (that took ages) COD Mob (beautifully simple) Today’s earworm Showdown by ELO
    Thanks Izetti and Doofers

    Hope I haven’t repeated much of what you have all said – I haven’t had time to read all the posts yet, but will later, I promise 😊

  43. DNF today. No problem with boxing the compass and some of the others that seem to have caused delays or problems but 17a 22a and 16d beat me. I agree completely that Izetti is always fair and precise but I wasn’t sharp enough after a tiring day. Maybe I should have saved it until tomorrow!

  44. 20:47

    Quite tricky. Held up at the end by last 2, MAJOR THIRD and THERAPIST.

  45. I’m overjoyed to find “ Times for the Times” here again. Where have you been? I love this site so much. It brings me a daily crossword community & such interesting & helpful information but haven’t been able to find it for last year. Did I do something wrong?

    1. You must have missed the upset that was caused that the original site was Russian owned/based (with Ukraines’s invasion).
      A brilliant job was made of re-writing the site – including transferring history over by some clever people/person..
      And then notices of how to register for the new site etc were given out.
      Kind regards

  46. The main thing is you’re here now- and you can enjoy going over a year’s worth of blogs at your own pace!

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