Times Quick Cryptic No 2368 by Izetti

I thought I was making good progress for an Izetti, but ground to a bit of a halt in the SW.

Specifically, 17&20 across and 12&13 down pretty much doubled my time to 13.15. The eventual key to untangling it all was 20ac, but having to spend several minutes trying to think of a four letter word for a piece of glass alas indicates my chances of any future crosswording greatness. 13d would be a bit tricky if you haven’t heard of the nun or the carriage – I only knew the latter from crosswords past.

Lots to like, of course – many thanks to Izetti!

Anagram indicators in italics.

1 Five hundred beers in part of Yorkshire? (5)
DALES – D (five hundred) ALES (beers)
4 Some musicians met an ancient composer (7)
SMETANA – “some” of musicianS MET AN Ancient
8 Pig clean? Nonsense! (7)
HOGWASH – HOG (pig) WASH (clean)
9 Initially, the women are not going to pull strings? (5)
TWANG – “initially” The Women Are Not Going
10 Old-style driver has companion, a funny guy always (10)
CHARIOTEER – CH (companion), A RIOT (a funny guy) E’ER (always). CH for companion, as in Companion of Honour, crops up quite a bit and is worth remembering.
14 Give an account of soldiers and others in retreat (6)
RELATE – RE (soldiers), ETAL (and others) “in retreat”
15 Car numberplate? One working part (6)
REGION – REG (car numberplate) I (one) ON (working)
17 Fellow taking an extreme position in SW England? (10)
CORNISHMAN – cryptic definition that simply refers to Cornwall’s position. I couldn’t get Portishead out of my head for some reason.
20 Piece of glass left as rectangular design feature? (5)
PANEL – PANE (piece of glass) L(eft).
22 Temptation to retain energy is leading to relaxation (7)
LEISURE – LURE (temptation) to retain E(nergy) IS
23 Path set out in bygone times (3,4)
24 Fellow outside hotel in Belgian city (5)
GHENT – GENT (fellow) outside H(otel)
1 Author has upset boy penning a bit of horror (4)
DAHL – LAD (boy) “upset” = reversed, pens H (“a bit of” Horror)
2 Stages of route for members (4)
LEGS – double definition
3 It’s the gap modified for Italian course? (9)
4 Get a rash possibly going to a very hot dry region (6)
SAHARA – A RASH possibly, going to A
5 Consume what makes you ’ot (3)
EAT – if HEAT makes you HOT, ‘EAT makes you ‘OT.
6 Bill aimed surprisingly to join a world of brainy folk? (8)
ACADEMIA – AC. (account = bill) AIMED surprisingly, to join A. AIMED is just reversed, but “surprisingly” only really makes sense as an anagram indicator.
7 Annoying messenger not quite finishing call (8)
ANGERING – ANGEL is our (divine) messenger, not quite finishing; RING = call
11 Working in theatre? Possibly an ego trip (9)
OPERATINGpossibly AN EGO TRIP. As in a surgical theatre.
12 Idiot to damage vessel (8)
CRACKPOT – CRACK (damage) POT (vessel)
13 Nun coming down to new church in carriage (8)
CLARENCE – CLARE (nun) descends onto N(ew) CE (Church of England). I don’t remember meeting the CLARE nuns before – also called Poor Clares.
16 Court containing healthy holiday home? (6)
CHALET – CT. (court) containing HALE (healthy)
18 French priest offers healing (4)
CURE – double definition, the first as in curé.
19 Be a pessimist ultimately in defeat (4)
BEAT – BE A, in plain sight, and T (pessimisT “ultimately”)
21 Tragic king cut short in meadow (3)
LEA – LEAr (tragic king “cut short”)


87 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2368 by Izetti”

  1. I knew of the nuns, but not of the carriage; thought I’d seen them all by now. 5:51.

  2. DNF. Failed to get CLARENCE or CORNISHMAN. The latter clue seems barely cryptic to me. Yes, Cornwall is the southwest extremity of England- is that all there is to it?

  3. 14’9” held up almost entirely by REGION where I was held up by looking for a two letter car marque to go before ‘ – – nion’ … ‘vwnion’ anyone??

    My continued musical ignorance meant also that SMETANA was a late biff with fingers crossed.

    CURE too was entered with fingers-crossed optimism that a distant French bell was being rung somewhere in my mind. Similarly with CLARENCE, for both the nun and the carriage.

    I can’t make up my mind whether 17A for CORNISHMAN is simply brilliant or just a bit too simple.

    It didn’t really hold me up but for 1D DAHL, does ‘bit of’ not normally refer in crosswordland to more than just the first letter of a word?

    Thanks Izetti and Roly

    1. I think ‘bit of’ is only the first letter and anything more than that would need to be more specific.

  4. I was slow off the mark with this one and needed 12 minutes to polish it off. LOI was the carriage where the -NCE had me racking my brains for a carriage name I knew I knew but couldn’t quite grasp. Eventually the remaining checkers led me to CLARENCE which rang a faint bell although I had no idea about CLARE as a nun. After completion I came up with the carriage name that had eluded me, which was ‘diligence’.

    Unless there’s more to CORNISHMAN than we have thought of so far, I don’t think much of the clue.

    1. I’ve never actually seen CLARE refer to a nun, only ‘poor Clares’ (the Order of Saint Clare). “She’s/I’m a Clare” somehow sounds odd.

  5. A little over my 20 minute target today but I did actually finish with no mistakes. 15a REGION and 17a CORNISHMAN slowed me down significantly and I hazarded a guess at 13d CLARENCE from the letters I already had as, like one or two others, I’ve never heard of either ‘CLARE’ as a nun or ‘CLARENCE’ as a type of carriage. Otherwise a nice puzzle for me.

  6. Made it but due to luck. Went for CLARENCE but since I was lacking GK for both the carriage and the nun ‘Florence’ was not really any less likely. Also NHO SMETANA but it looked like a hidden and the checkers fitted and ANGERING took a while just because it’s not a word I come across before. Lots took a while to unravel on the way to being all green in 18. After a slow start I thought I was enjoying myself as I picked up the pace before crawling to the finish.

  7. DNF

    Normally have no difficulty with Izetti’s and raced through most of this until the rather offbeat (but got) CORNISHMAN and (for me) impossible CLARENCE. Was about to bung in FLORENCE but it clearly wasn’t right so came here

    Thanks all

  8. 10:40. Same comments as many others about CLARENCE; I think both the ‘Nun’ and ‘carriage’ were escapees from somewhere else. I just hit and hoped and fortunately was rewarded with an all green grid.

    Good to see our porcine friends putting in an appearance (even in the absence of a certain setter) in HOGWASH.

    Thanks to Izetti and rolytoly

  9. Tough Quickie I thought. Bogged down for ages at the end on CLARENCE and CORNISHMAN, which I (eventually) thought was an excellent clue.

  10. Started brightly at the top but the SW proved very sticky where, like Rolytoly, PANEL proved to be the key. I thought CLARENCE needed a couple of bits of fairly obscure GK, neither of which I knew, but I eventually I plumped for it as being slightly less unlikely that Florence.
    Finished just under target in 9.54
    Thanks to Roly

  11. All but three clues were fine, but DNF. I got CORNISHMAN, but thought it better suited to a GK than cryptic.. NHO CLAREnce (think I might have come across the carriage, but couldn’t recall it) and missed REGION, thrown by redundant word CAR. Can a NUMBERPLATE be anything other than a vehicle REG?😢

    1. Quite agree! Thank you for your sympathy – I’ve written a book on number plates but didn’t get this, sadly.

  12. 14:32. 1432 Jan van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece is first presented to the public

    RELATE held me up for some time, and I decided at the end to go for CLARENCE rather than FLORENCE. I live in Surrey, so I know carriages can have odd toponyms.

    Spent ages trying to decode CORNISHMAN, disappointed to see that Izetti had nothing clever here.

    SMETANA has one very famous piece, Má vlast. The opening notes precede the train announcements on Czech Railways.

    1. But doesn’t the fact that many of us took so long over CORNISHMAN suggest that Izetti did in fact have something clever there?

    2. Now that’s a lovely bit of obscure knowledge – it drove me to seek out Ma Vlast…although having listened it’s not so famous that I recognise any of it, but if I ever find myself at a Czech railway station with friends I know I shall now have a very smug expression and will have to consider whether or not to share the reason why.

      1. Vltava, the last movement of Má Vlast, is the most performed. You hear the stream turn into a majestic river as it flows under the bridges of Prague.

        1. No! Vltava is No.2 of the six tone poems that make up Ma Vlast. But yes it is by far the most often performed, and rightly so. Next best: arguably No.4, From Bohemia’s Woods and Fields, but actually my personal recommendation is No.3 Sarka (sorry, don’t know how to do diacritics in this blog), a bloodthirsty and grizzly story of a cohort of Amazons slaying every man in sight. Nos. 5 and 6 (Tabor and Blanik) are sadly boring.

        1. Thank you for sharing – it’s certainly a beautiful piece of music but still not one with which I am familiar. That definitely reflects poorly on me and not on the composer!!!

    3. My parents loved to talk of Smetana’s Bartered Bride, possibly the only opera they had seem, but it’s not performed much now. He wrote some jolly string quarters. Enjoyable and accessible.

      1. You bring back memories – Smetana’s Overture to The Bartered Bride was the first piece I studied for GCE Music. It is stuck in my head now.
        I have enjoyed Ma Vlast for decades and find a recorded performance by the Czech Philharmonic with Rafael Kubelik from the 1990 Prague Spring Festival deeply moving. This performance came just a few months after the ‘Velvet Revolution’ and the music means so much to the Czechs. It really shows in this recording.
        P.s. Ma Vlast was also the key work Kubelik conducted in the significant first concert in Wenceslas Square to celebrate the liberation of Prague at the end of WWII.

        1. End of WW II? I think, the Velvet Revolution in 1990? But maybe both, if you insist?

          1. I did mean both. Details:

            1. Kubelík conducted the orchestra’s first post-war concert in May 1945. In 1946, he helped found the Prague Spring Festival, and conducted its opening concert.
            2. The fall of Communism in his native land led him to accept an invitation to return in 1990 to conduct the Czech Philharmonic at the festival he had founded, the Prague Spring Festival. He recorded Smetana’s Má Vlast live with the Czech Philharmonic for Supraphon.

            Karel Ancerl and Jiri Belohlavek have a special place together with Kubelik (with very fine recordings of Smetana, Dvorak, and Janacek amongst others from all of them) but Kubelik holds a very special place. John

              1. Is it a coincidence or are you a fan (or even a relative) of Bohuslav Martinů? Perhaps you have a Czech connection.
                I don’t mean to be intrusive; just interested. John.

                1. I had been similarly curious about “Martinu” but your querty, Blighter, popped up in my inbox.

                2. Fan of his best works (and have conducted many of them) but insist on not playing the remainder which only serve to damage his reputation. Czech connection: have edited new scores of Dvorak (sorry don’t know how to do diacritics on this blog!) symphonies. Work still in progress; go regularly to Prague to study the manuscripts. Thank you for your interest! Sorry only just seen your message.

                  1. Thank you for taking the trouble to respond, Martinu. Fascinating to hear about your involvement and expertise in Czech music.
                    I had a feeling, somehow, but didn’t expect such an interesting response. John M.

                    1. A pleasure – gosh you were quick to pick it up! Have you any idea how to instruct me in the art of diacritics?

                      Answer to your next (since there’s no new “Reply” box):
                      Got it! Dvořák, Martinů – thank you. Bit cumbersome, but yes it does work. Thanks and best wishes. Jonathan

                  2. I have just pasted Antonín Dvorák’s name here partly correct from my iPad, which couldn’t manage the tilde over the r, but it may look wrong by the time it has been processed by TftT. You may know that, on a mobile device, a long press on a vowel key will give options which cater for Wesrern European languages, and Windows has a comprehensive character map, but there is no guaranfee that these will be supported on all platforms, such as that which hosts the TftT website

                    1. The only reason the name came up correctly was because I copied and pasted it (from Wikipedia, as it happens).
                      I have just done the same below. It seems to work OK.
                      Bohuslav Martinů
                      Antonín Dvořák
                      Bedřich Smetana
                      Leoš Janáček

                      Best, John

  13. After a very quick start, I thought I was on for another reasonable Izetti completion. I wish!
    I needed all the crossers for REGION and, like others, I came to grief in the SW. Crackpot took a while. Like Roly, I couldn’t get Portishead (or some other head) out of my mind and had to biff CORNISHMAN (a totally naff clue unless I am missing something). CLARENCE (NHO) was also a desperate biff. – I only chose it because it couldn’t be Florence.
    This was a mainly excellent QC that, sadly, turned very sour at the end.
    Thanks to Roly. John M.

  14. 7:57

    Same thoughts as others. Can’t see what was going on with CORNISHMAN.

    As for CLARENCE, NHO the carriage nor the nun and couldn’t think of anything else other than FLORENCE that fit the checkers and had a probably C as 7th letter – CLARE seemed more likely than FLORE…

    Thanks Izetti and Roly

  15. 26 mins…

    Thought this was tough and took an age on 10ac “Charioteer” and 7dn “Angering”. Liked 4ac “Smetana”, mainly because of “The Moldau” (Vltava) which has personal memories for myself.

    FOI – 1ac “Dales”
    LOI – 7dn “Angering”
    COD – 13dn “Clarence” – always good to learn another carriage 😀

    Thanks as usual!

    1. “The Moldau” is (sorry) a solecism. Moldau is the German name for Vltava (and nothing else), so either it’s Die Moldau (if you’re German) or in this country we say the River Vltava.

      1. True – but if you look at a significant number of streaming sites and recordings, that’s how it’s described.

  16. I was definitely tuned into this one finishing in 6.02. The only thing I was unsure of was my LOI CLARENCE as I’d never heard of the nun connection. I relied instead on my distant memory of the carriage reference. I did spend about 20 seconds or so considering alternatives just in case with a speedy alphabet trawl, dismissed FLORENCE as a possibility and stopped the clock.

  17. As above. Eventually CLARENCE emerged from a trawl and rang a faint bell as a carriage (I’ve read too many nineteenth century novels). I now know (a) that it was named after Prince William, Duke of Clarence and St Andrews, later William IV and (b) that it was nicknamed the Growler because of the noise it made over cobbles. This amused me because we have always called our small runaround the Growler, both because of the carriage and because the first one we bought many moons ago had GRWL in its numberplate (sorry, its REG).

    Anyway. CLARENCE and CLARE were obscure, CORNISHMAN was a bit rubbish, SMETANA NHO. I liked CURE, CHARIOTEER and CRACKPOT. All green in 11:41 for 2K and a Disappointing Day.

    Many thanks Izetti and Roly.


    1. I think your time is far from disappointing for such a *** puzzle.
      I can’t understand how the ‘under fives’ (or perhaps the ‘under tens’ today) achieve their times. John.
      Note. It occurs to me that some readers might think that *** is an attempt to denote quality (now that we are exhorted to rate everything with stars). That is not what I meant. I simply wanted to avoid using a rude word on this blog.

      1. Simply practice, practice, and then more practice John. And remembering vocabulary such as CLARENCE helps of course !

        FOI DALES
        TIME 4:08

        1. I have the practice but, sadly, not the memory.
          I have no trouble remembering performances of music (like Ma Vlast above) over a lifetime but most obscure vocabulary (to me who would never ever use it) just drops away. John

  18. I was quick on this apart from two clues. I had pencilled RELATE but could not see the parsing -got hung up with TA as soldiers. And then the nun and the carriage. I’m pretty good on carriages; hopeless on nuns. The obvious CLARENCE was held until I had explored all options including FLORENCE.
    My 11 minutes became 18 minutes but at least I guessed correctly.

  19. Started off really well and had most of the top half with barely a pause. SMETANA well-known (I’ve been lucky enough to sing in the chorus of the Bartered Bride). The wading through treacle ensued and I suppose I feel pleased to be all green in 23:11. Knowing the nun meant the carriage fell into place without worrying about Italian cities. LOI CHARIOTEER which took a lot longer than it should have. CORNISHMAN clue didn’t do much for me either. Hadn’t spotted the ANGEl messenger until I read the blog but otherwise all parsed. Thanks Izetti and roly.

  20. Slowest day of the week at 11:31. Same sticky bits as everyone else…I suspect tomorrow’s puzzle is going to be an absolute beast.

  21. A very tough visit to the SCC for me at 22 minutes, with difficulties seeing SMETANA (I spotted it was hidden, but had to wait for a checker or two to select the right group of letters, as NHO), and with CHARIOTEER, CORNISHMAN, CLARENCE, et al. I think this was the Don at his most irksome, but not at his best – CORNISHMAN is just weak in my opinion, I can see nothing really cryptic in its favour. Otherwise, thanks all.

  22. Sadly another 13d/17ac DNF, and after a fairly good run round the rest of the grid as well. I should have got Cornishman just from the checkers, but it seems such an unusually poor clue, especially from Izetti. Clarence, on the other hand, is out there on its own in Golden Raspberry territory. Invariant

  23. Busy morning so commenting a bit later than I usually do. And I find that much of what I wanted to say (fast top half, sticky SW corner, Clarence a guess as didn’t have the GK, Cornishman not parsed as I was looking for something clever) has already been said.

    But I will take an 11 minute Izetti completion any day, whether or not it includes a guess and a clue I don’t really see the point of. Unless the point of Cornishman is that we have all been talking about it!

    Many thanks to Roly for the blog

  24. Wasted a lot of time trying the justify RECITE at 14a, ETC backwards and RE for soldiers, but where did the “I” come from. Oh well!
    I think we have had poor Clares before, but Izetti wasn’t very kind there; no “poor.”
    I am fairly sure we’ve had a Clarence carriage before.
    I was interested that it is named after William IV.
    I am 6 months younger than Charles III so might or might not get to be ruled by William V?

  25. Aargh, a DNF on the quickie – that’s not supposed to happen! NHO ‘clarence’ as a type of carriage and, though I think I have heard it before, ‘Clare’ for ‘nun’ did not spring to mind. I got no further than seeing that the last three letters were ‘NCE’. Gutted.

    Am I alone in thinking that this clue would not be out of place in the main crossword?

  26. Another to add to today’s DNFs. NHO CLARENCE and couldn’t get REGION and resorted to help to get CORNISHMAN. Not sure about ANGERING either. Not a good day.

  27. Rolytoly – I don’t think AIMED is reversed. The ‘a’ which is ‘joined’ is the final one, so following the order of the clue you have AC – ADEMI – A, the letters of AIMED forming their anagram ADEMI. A small point.

    1. I’m a bit vague on some positional indicators, but I think “to join” is one of those ambiguous ones, meaning both “to connect to” and “to go on the end of” (as in a queue, for example). I would have had no issue with the clue had it instead been something like: Bill aimed upwards to join a world of brainy folk.

  28. Just over 6 minutes in, I had 2 left. CORNISHMAN and CLARENCE. By the time I’d solved those, 10:30 had elapsed!! Thanks Izetti and Roly.

  29. A DNF for me as I failed to get CORNISHMAN despite having all the checkers. I knew it was going to be something about Cornwall but, like so many other people I expected more of Izetti (whose offerings I normally love). I was looking first for a synonym for a fellow using the letters C-R-I-H- followed by ‘an’ to give a town or village in Cornwall. CARWITHIAN or CORWITHIAN seemed to ring a bell but a quick dictionary check disabused me of that idea.

    Luckily I vaguely remembered CLARENCE as a carriage and I knew of the Poor Clares but I have never heard them referred to as just the Clares. My hubby, who is a Roman Catholic tells me that St Clare was a follower of St Francis of Assisi so I have learned something today.

  30. On phone, so didn’t know it was Izetti, which may or may not have helped.

    Same last couple as others, CORNISHMAN went in with a shrug, CLARENCE because it sounded more like a carriage than Florence!

    Decent enough time, looking at others.


  31. There was the faintest sound of a bell ringing over ‘Clarence carriage’, and Sister Clare seemed more likely than Flore, but I still wasted a ridiculous amount of time on that clue.
    I don’t understand the dislike of the CORNISHMAN clue. Cryptic Definitions always get flak from people who see straight through them, I suppose.
    Vltava, from Má Vlast, is like Classic FM-famous, so no problem with SMETANA.

  32. There seems to be commonality amongst the posts. I raced through this until I reached my penultimate solve CORNISHMAN which went in with a shrug and then finally CLARENCE which just edged out Florence as the most likely answer. 12:23 with about 5 minutes spent on those last two.

  33. DNF. Started well with DALES and DAHL but eventually slowed to a crawl. NHO CLARENCE the carriage, in common with many others, but do remember Poor Clare nuns, come to think of it. Also failed on REGION, CORNISHMAN and annoyingly OPERATING. Can’t believe I fell for the wrong sort of theatre again.
    Was even slow on CURE and BEAT, but liked HOGWASH, CHARIOTEER.
    Thanks vm, Roly.

  34. After yesterday’s galling 15-minute DNF (due to MASTaDON), today brought another. But it was a wholly different experience. Here’s how it went:

    10 clues solved during my first pass – about average for me.
    Only 12 clues solved as I entered the SCC – progress had slowed to a crawl.
    Still 7 to get after 40 minutes – every single clue was hard going.
    Just one more to solve as the hour ticked by – an ordeal, but there was light at the end of the tunnel.
    Gave up after 85 minutes – I never found CORNISHMAN.

    I had NHO the composer (SMETANA), the French priest (CURE), the nun (CLARE) or the carriage (CLARENCE), but I did eventually get all of those. I have of course heard of a CORNISHMAN, but I was unable to parse the clue and nearly half an hour of alphabet trawling failed to reveal it.

    Mrs Random came into the room shortly after the hour mark. She romped home in 21 minutes and couldn’t believe that I had spent the whole of that time working on just one clue. Her gast was even more flabbered when I said that my search had been unsuccessful. That’s how it goes in the Random household.

    Many thanks to Izetti and rolytoly.

    1. Oh Mr R! And I thought that I had trouble with this one. Forget it and think about the great time you will achieve tomorrow. 😊

  35. 7.28 – I’d be very happy with this under normal circumstances, but for an Izetti? I’m positively amazed! I thoroughly enjoyed this, and not just because of the time. There are ticks and smiles alongside lots of clues, including DALES, HOGWASH, GHENT and SAHARA.
    The GK didn’t cause any problems – I knew of the Poor Clares, and I vaguely remembered CLARENCE – probably from Georgette Heyer or Jane Austen or similar. Is a nun just a Clare? This takes me back to – ooh yesterday!
    Also OK with SMETANA – as PaulH says, Classic FM listeners will be very familiar with his Vltava. Such a lovely piece of music but in danger of being over-played there.
    CORNISHMAN also caused me the most trouble – was it a double bluff? It seemed too obvious, so I went looking for something more complicated 😅
    FOI Dales LOI Cornishman COD Operating
    Thanks Izetti and Roly

    1. Good work! I too was very hesitant of CORNISHMAN … “it’s too obvious, it must be a trap”

    2. Yes good effort! Interesting that Cornishman caused trouble in such different ways: I was sufficiently pleased to have a plausible answer after getting the C from CRACKPOT that there was certainly no further querying!

  36. Yes I too “thought I was making good progress”, FOI DALES, then SMETANA (fellow Czech with Martinu, of course), HOGWASH, TWANG all good – but quickly dried up and DNF, indeed managed hardly more than half. I’ve written a book on car number plates but didn’t get this REG, sadly. NHO CLARE or CLARENCE (should “carriage” be underlined in the blog?); the rest I’ll try and learn….. I agree, unimpressed by CORNISHMAN – all that “taking an extreme position” (where is the “taking”?) seems rather irrelevant. All in all, misery.

  37. Much the same experiences as others. I was going along quite nicely and had 2 left on 18 minutes – 15ac and 13dn. I spent a further 7 minutes in failing to parse CORNISHMAN (because I was looking for something altogether too subtle), eventually seeing what the definition was in 15ac and narrowing 13dn down to FLORENCE or CLARENCE. The order of St Clare rang a very faint bell so I checked that CLARENCE was indeed a type of carriage before entering it. Never stopped to parse CHARIOTEER, so thanks to Rolytoly for that. Mostly very enjoyable but I thought 17ac a poor clue and 13dn a little obscure for a QC.

    FOI – 1ac DALES
    LOI – 13dn CLARENCE
    COD – either 14ac RELATE or 11dn OPERATING

  38. 14.57 Slow going. I took too long parsing RELATE and LEISURE, never did figure out where ANGERING came from, was unimpressed with CORNISHMAN and got LOI CLARENCE from the nuns. Thanks both.

  39. Last week’s Izetti broke my enthusiasm with its music, ships, dogs and religious knowledge requirements . And this week’s didn’t alleviate that mood given my LOI was CLARENCE but also stumped on CURE until I had the checkers. Couldn’t parse CHARIOTEER, LEISURE. Until last week, I had begun to have confidence of solving Izetti’s.

    The top bit flew in. SMETANA reminded of my middle school music lessons circa 1982 – I remember he was Czech. On the lower half, the grid was a lot emptier and CORNISHMAN went in immediately then came out because it seemed too obvious and went back in when the other checkers arrived. Thank the lord for the oft-clued CHALET and LEA!

    CRACKPOT was LbOI and then, like others, a dilemma between Florence (was Nightingale also a nun?) or CLARENCE which I went for given the more likely possibility of Clare than Flore.

    18:35 in the end which is a best for an Izetti. Would really like the obscure religious stuff toned down for QC. Or at least, easily clued.

      1. Thanks #5. Sorry to see you struggled today after a good run of solves. I always rated Izetti as one of the harder setters back in my early days, but feel I have got to grips with him more recently. You will bounce back.

  40. Defeated by Clarence and 15a region, although overall we felt we had done quite well for an Izetti.

  41. DNF with 6 clues unanswered. CHALET, which I really should have solved, would have helped with crossers, but CLARENCE was beyond me as was CHARIOTEER.
    Quite a tester this one after 5 finishes in a row.

  42. Last minute of 10 trying to work out why Florence could have been the answer to 13dn only to decide it couldn’t – so, after a faint recall, opted for the slightly more likely Clarence. Very pleased to have finished OK. POI was
    Dahl – easy when you see the bit of horror. For some reason I quite liked seeing spaghetti in an Izetti.

  43. Another DNF because of CLARENCE. NHO the carriage or the nun. And like others I couldn’t parse CORNISHMAN . . . seemingly because (as I now discover) there was no real parsing required! Did like being reminded of SMETANA

  44. I finished in about 40 mins . Began with a smile as I am walking in the DALES tomorrow (at Grassington – a treat if you’ve never been).

    Smile quickly turned to a grimace following a succession of hard clues. No complaints about CORNISHMAN. Stupidly missed SMETANA (I studied this composer with specific reference to Vltava for CSE music back in the day).

    When oh when will I remember that ‘out’ indicates an anagram? Wasted ages on THE PAST when it was staring me in the face!

    Well past the 2-hour point now for this week, and will probably hit 3 tomorrow.
    Got off lightly compared to Mr R, but a bad week gets steadily worse.

    Thanks for the blog.

    PS 6dn brought a wry smile. I’m an academic (of sorts), but, when it comes to cryptic crosswords, I am anything but brainy!

    1. Oh dear GA 😬 Your difficulties continue but at least another one ticked off successfully. I am wondering whether Good Friday will bring a stinker for the long weekend or a bit of light relief to rip through. Enjoy your walk 👍

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