Times Quick Cryptic No 2377 by Oink

Solving time: 14:43

This is my first time blogging one of Oink’s offerings.

I had it all done and dusted, bar one, in less than six minutes – however it took me a further nine minutes and an alphabet trawl to get 21a.

I expect for some of you, it will drop right in with little thought, but I wonder if some of you will have the same experience as I did. Let me know…

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

1 Doctor had ample light (8)
HEADLAMP – Anagram [Doctor] of HAD AMPLE
6 Reportedly annoy the Crown? (4)
PEAK – Homophone [Reportedly] of PIQUE (annoy)

PEAK as in the crown of a hill perhaps? Crown has a capital letter and is followed by a question mark, perhaps only so that the clue scans better?

8 His Majesty is twice in serious trouble (6)
CRISIS – CR (Carolus Rex – His Majesty) IS IS (is twice)
9 Case of gay judge making you spin (6)
GYRATE – G{a}Y [Case of gay i.e. the outside letters] RATE (judge)
10 Ultimately not completely fair to a beginner (4)
TYRO – Last letters of [ultimately] noT completelY faiR tO
11 Upset solitary supporter of the king (8)
ROYALIST – Anagram [Upset] of SOLITARY
12 Son cried, being thoroughly searched (5)
SWEPT – S (son) WEPT (cried)
13 Drop off cricketer in A&E (5)
ABATE – A(BAT)E – BAT (cricketer) inserted into A&E
15 I think I’ll jot down some ideas here (2,2,4)
IN MY BOOK – Double definition
17 Those against the Tories (4)
CONS – Another double definition
19 African trip with a female in Indian dress (6)
SAFARI – SARI (Indian dress) surrounding A F (female)
20 Charlie, child of the 60s, a bit resentful? (6)
CHIPPY – C (Charlie) HIPPY (child of the 60s)

Possibly related to having a chip on one’s shoulder i.e. a feeling of inferiority?

21 Understood the Speaker’s outburst (4)
SEEN – Homophone [the Speaker’s] of SCENE (outburst)

As in Newton’s quote “If I have SEEN further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”, SEEN could be substituted with ‘understood’.

This is the clue which took nine minutes for me to solve! Just could not see it until I did a very loooong alphabet trawl….

22 Red-haired lady removing contents carefully (8)
GINGERLY – GINGER (Red-haired) L{ad}Y with inner letters extracted [removing contents]
2 Advance, nearly losing knight (5)
EARLY – {n}EARLY losing N (knight – chess notation)
3 Bride so frantic to remove clothes (7)
DISROBE – Anagram [frantic] of BRIDE SO
4 Girl going topless, the fool (3)
ASS – {l}ASS without the first letter [going topless]
5 Child not wanting to spend penny here? (5,4)
PIGGY BANK – Slightly cryptic definition denoted by the question mark.

My interpretation is that the child will put the penny in a PIGGY BANK if they do not want to spend it.

Oink’s signature porcine answer in this crossword.

6 Danger for each gutless intellectual (5)
PERIL – PER (for each) I{ntellectua}L with the innards removed [gutless]
7 Performer at rest, I suspect (7)
ARTISTE – Anagram [suspect] of AT REST I
11 Cook ignorant about current food restrictions? (9)
RATIONING – Anagram [Cook] of IGNORANT about I (current)

The conventional symbol for electric current is I, which originates from the French phrase intensité du courant (current intensity)

12 Christmas visitor, Florence, on vacation in US city (5,2)
SANTA FE – SANTA (Christmas visitor) F{lorenc}E [on vacation i.e. remove the inner letters]
14 Playful writer’s found in record store (7)
ARCHIVE – ARCH (playful) I’VE (writer’s)
16 Long story about end of Empire (5)
YEARN – YARN (story) surrounding E [end of Empire – could be first or last letter]
18 Asian country adopted by urbane Palestinian (5)
NEPAL – Hidden in [adopted by] urbane Palestinian
20 Only half dance in prison (3)
CAN – CAN is only half of CANCAN (dance)

77 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2377 by Oink”

  1. DNF; same problem as Mike’s, but my alphabet trawl wasn’t good enough, and I decided the hell with it.

    1. SEEN was my LOI, and I had qualms. One can cause a scene without making an outburst.

  2. 20:03. I taught school in Jamaica in the 70’s and SEEN for “understood” was a very common usage in conversation. I entered Loyalist at first for ROYALIST until I realized I needed an initial R for RATIONING and then looked closer at the anagrist. I couldn’t parse ARCHIVE at all so grateful to blog for that ,also for PIGGY BANK .

  3. For 8, I believe CR is Charles Rex, for the current King Charles.
    DNF today, and thanks for the blog.

    1. I didn’t read all the blog closely (and apologies for that!), so I didn’t offer a correction. Yes, CR is definitely Charles.

        1. Traditionalists don’t like seeing Charles Rex on the coins, where Latin is the norm like GEORGIUS, EDWARDUS.

  4. ☕️☕️☕️
    All was going swimmingly for me until I got bogged down with PIGGY BANK and SEEN. Like some of our more accomplished solvers above I struggled mightily with the latter and ended up getting it wrong, and so was not given a time. No stand out clues for me today.
    Although it was straightforward to work out I’d never heard of TYRO.
    A dull start to the day down here in Dorzet.

  5. I had noted this in my records as completed in 11 minutes, sadly bringing an end to my 5-day run of solves within my 10 minute target. But on revisiting it later I spotted that I had failed to solve 21ac, having decided to leave it until the end and then forgotten about it. The answer still wouldn’t jump out at me so I began an alphabet trawl and needed another 3 minutes to come up with SEEN.


  6. A shade under 12 minutes. I’ll join the club with SEEN as LOI though I escaped an alphabet trawl. Some other tricky ones such as PIGGY BANK and the crossing ABATE and ARCHIVE meant that this was one I was never going to race through. I liked IN MY BOOK.

    Thanks to Oink for an enjoyable puzzle and to Mike for the blog

  7. Gentle going in the main, although it took me until GYRATE to enter my first answer. Cook as an anagram indicator continues to catch me out so it took a while until the penny dropped for RATIONING and PIGGY BANK took longer than it should.
    Add me to the list of those for whom SEEN was LOI but fortunately it came to mind fairly quickly, although I wasn’t completely confident when pressing submit.
    Finished in 6.43 with COD to DISROBE for the surface which appealed to my childish sense of humour.
    Thanks to Mike

  8. A 15 minute DNF, as I gave up without getting SEEN, which as I clue is I think a toss-up between “difficult” and “terrible”, with my verdict coming down on Terrible. Scene = outburst really is not close enough, and with so many words having checkers -E-N it was a bizarre choice both for answer and clue.

    Slow to then anyway, as I was held up by Chippy (I spell a 60s flower-power person Hippie), and Archive (did not immediately associate Arch with playful), and I don’t even think the signature Piggy Bank was that good a clue. Not my best day by some way, nor I would suggest Oink’s.

    Many thanks to Mike for the blog

  9. 9.10

    Just two minutes on SEEN which felt like an eternity but as always others were in the same boat.

    Not sure I loved that clue but no complaints about the rest – up to Oink’s usual high standard

    Thanks all

  10. My Army son regularly says “seen” for “understood”, so at least I twigged the answer when my trawl eventually produced it. An annoying clue. I enjoyed DISROBE, CRISIS and ASS.

    All done in a pleasingly tidy 07:07 for an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Oink and Mike.


  11. SEEN was second last one in, with PEAK completing the grid. Slowed myself at the start by seeing ‘lamp’ quickly but then being dense and wondering if a ‘lamphead’ was a thing. Sorted that out on the way to 8 on the first pass of acrosses. Ended up all green under 10 – some good tussles along the way with IN MY BOOK, GINGERLY and RATIONING.

  12. I finished (except for 21a) within my target. I then slid into the SCC trying to make sense of the missing 2 letters. Luckily, I picked the right ones to finish. In my book, COD was IN MY BOOK.
    An excellent QC up to the last clue so thanks to Oink for the rest of the puzzle and to Mike for the blog. John M.

  13. I can’t remember ever getting this stuck on one of Oink’s puzzles before. I needed alphabet trawls for both PEAK and SEEN (my last two in). Between them they accounted for nearly half my time of 7:42. I liked ABATE best. Thanks Oink and Mike.

  14. Went with “potty time” first for 5d which I would imagine was intended misdirection even though it doesn’t quite parse.

  15. Well, it wasn’t SEEN that held me up, but rather my LOI ARCHIVE – the various adjectival definitions of arch never seem to click with me, and I still don’t really see writer’s = IVE – is it “writer has” = “I have”? Anyway, it was biffed after a couple of mins of alphabet trawl.

    I liked PIGGY BANK and the simple ABATE.


    1. I agree with you, I don’t think “I’ve” works, I can’t think of any sentence in which you can substitute it for “the writer’s” as a possessive . It is one of those where you can see the answer, and have to take it on faith that the setter has hit the post with the clue.

      1. It’s standard stuff in cryptic puzzles for the setter to refer to himself in the third person (in this case as ‘writer’) to be interpreted in the puzzle in the first person as ‘I’ or ‘me’. This can be extended so that writer’s = I have = I’ve.

        The apostrophe S in today’s clue doesn’t indicate a possessive.

  16. 13 minutes with last two in being PEAK and SEEN in that order, both needing alphabet trawls. I agree with Cedric that this wasn’t Oink’s finest hour, with PIGGY BANK, SEEN, CHIPPY (it is HIPPIE for the intended meaning, the woman next door is HIPPY!) all being weak IMHO. Thanks all.

    1. Given as alternatives in the usual sources eg Collins

      in British English
      or hippie
      Word forms: plural -pies
      a. (esp during the 1960s) a person whose behaviour, dress, use of drugs, etc, implied a rejection of conventional values

      1. I don’t disagree with you, but Chambers prefers HIPPIE (lists it first) while Collins takes the counter view. I still think it a weak clue.

  17. Clearly mixed views above on Oink’s puzzle, and I struggled in the same places as most, but overall I found it an enjoyable and challenging solve. Well into the SCC, as is my wont, with most of the NW and SE going in before I joined up the rest.
    8A heralds a new era of “..CR…” clueing, I assume. 15A was neat.

  18. About 15 mins with seen going in without too much fuss but rationing took an age, before I saw it was an anagram.

    Spotted speaker’s spot … might be better for seen.
    COD Piggy Bank.

  19. 11:47 (1147 Cadell, King of Deheubarth, expels Normans from Ceredigion).

    After 6a, 8a and 11a I was expecting a royal theme to emerge, but those ones seemed to be it. LOI was SEEN.

  20. DNF with 21a. I really did not like that clue at all. Took me forever to write down EARLY for 2d. Although I did indeed see it early, it just seemed too easy to me that I thought it was a trap. I’ve come to know to look for a pig reference in Oink’s QCs, and indeed there it was. Never heard of Tyro.

    Nice enjoyable puzzle, except for 21, which I thought was a bit woolly.

  21. SEEN and PEAK were my downfall as with others. Couldn’t be bothered with alphabet trawls for both. All done bar these in about 16 mins so not too displeased with that. I liked a lot of the clues but also found a few pretty weak. Thanks Oink and Mike.

  22. Like everyone else my last two in were SEEN and finally PEAK. I didn’t need an alphabet trawl to get SEEN, it eventually just came to me. PEAK however held me up for some time where the trawl proved fruitful. These two clues alone took about two minutes, and I finally finished in 7.37. Looking at some of the times above, I think I’ve got to be pleased with that!

  23. Same as others, DNF after my alloted 30 mins max due to SEEN even though I had it written down in my alphabet trawl. NHO TYRO but guessed it from the clue. Nice to learn a new word.
    Thanks Mike for the blog.

  24. 16 mins…10 mins for everything and 6 mins doing exactly what Mike said above – alphabet trawling for 21ac “Seen”. Luckily, I did get it, but thought it might be “mean” for a while.

    Is Oink a secret royalist himself? An unusual number of royal type clues today I thought. 5dn “Piggy Bank” needed some checkers, especially as I thought it might be some cryptic inflation clue for Sweet Shop, or something to do with a toilet.

    2dn “Early” was so straightforward, I wasn’t sure if I was missing something.

    FOI – 2dn “Early”
    LOI – 21ac “Seen”
    COD – 5dn “Piggy Bank”

    Thanks as usual!

  25. Not the easiest puzzle to return to after a few days away in the Netherlands, with loi Seen needing a slow alphabet trawl to prompt the pdm. I’m afraid Arch for playful also seems to have escaped me in life, and for that matter must have given the Collins lexicographer a good run, judging by how low down the order it came. Happy enough with a first day back 18min finish. Invariant

  26. 21A was SEEN quite quickly, but I lost the best part of a minute over my LOI.

    COD CRISIS (while CR is still a novelty)
    TIME 4:16

  27. Another held up by LOI, SEEN, but I still managed to get in under target. HEADLAMP was FOI. 8:12. Thanks Oink and Mike.

  28. No. Too many difficult ones: NHO TYRO (though correctly biffed), MER ARCH (= playful??), SWEPT (again biffed, but really = thoroughly searched? that would surely be frisked or hunted), but totally failed PEAK, GYRATE, in my BOOK (I still don’t SEE that – “double definition” – how does that work, please?), SEEN (of course, like others), RATIONING. Just too difficult for me. Thanks to Mike for the blog, though – I must remember current = I. And I too enjoyed DISROBE and CRISIS, also GINGERLY (my FOI).

    1. I think = In my book = I’ll jot down some ideas here

      The first definition as in ‘I think Arsenal are the best team in the league’ is the same as ‘In my book, Arsenal are the best team in the league’.

      Does that help?

      1. Thank you, you’re most kind. Yes that’s clear enough. But are you convinced that “in my book” is equally a definition for “I’ll jot down some ideas here”? I would never jot down ideas in a book (rather, on a piece of paper, or in a notepad, or perhaps in my diary? but surely not in a *book*?). But probably my perceptions are too limited. Thanks, anyway! (Sorry I was so slow with this – there’s another double definition.)

  29. Another to add to the DNF brigade, SEEN and PEAK not coming to mind at all. PIGGY BANK and ARCHIVE took a long while, as did ABATE: bat = cricketer a bit dubious, I felt.

  30. 20.04 Having fat-fingered SANAT FE I struggled for five minutes with SAFARI. EARLY, TYRO, ARCHIVE and CHIPPY took a while and then LOI SEEN cost another five minutes concluding with an alphabet trawl. Not a fan of that last clue but the rest was fair enough. Thanks both.

  31. I enjoy this so thanks Oink and Mike. Only problem is seen which doesn’t really work for me and even if it did is not right for a quickie in my opinion.

  32. Much the same experience as others really. I started off quite well and a decent number of answers flew in quickly. I thought of CHIPPY at 20ac at once but would have spelled it ‘chippie’, so I left it until the crossers confirmed it. I was left, so I thought, with 9ac, 5dn and 6dn in the NE corner. PERIL at 6dn seemed clear but I couldn’t parse it, so left it until I had 9ac. All efforts to justify ‘rotate’ at 9ac having failed I belatedly got GYRATE which opened up 5dn (the latter not one of Oink’s better clues imo). By then 23 minutes had passed – a rather poor result – so I came here to check the parsings. At that point I realised that 21ac remained unsolved, because I had simply overlooked it. This eventually required a further 4 minutes and an alphabet trawl, but I did at least enter the correct answer out of a number of rather unsatisfactory alternatives. So 27 minutes all in all, for a poor day.

    FOI – 10ac TYRO
    LOI – 21ac SEEN
    COD – 22ac GINGERLY

    Thanks to Mike for the enlightenment provided by his blog

    1. I suggest: chippie = carpenter/fish&chip shop, but chippy here is as in a chip on their shoulder…

  33. DNF ARCHIVE. Was going really well then ground to a halt and gave up. Never remember proper definition for ‘arch’ and got bogged down with writer = I’ve. No worries with SEEN. TYRO was new to me. Liked CHIPPY. Thanks for the blog.

  34. DNF without help. Needed CCD for YEARN which helped with SEEN and IN MY BOOK. CCD again for GYRATE (forgot meaning of Case Of) which gave me PIGGY BANK. Might have got that one sooner if I had noticed the Oink.
    Liked CRISIS, SWEPT, GINGERLY. Cd not parse ARCHIVE, tho biffed correctly.
    Thanks vm, Mike.

    1. Thanks for the warning Koppite – I have removed John’s message which accidentally gave away some of the 15×15 answers

  35. Like others DNF. Seen did for me. I got the rest but couldn’t really follow the clues for Piggy Bank (tho I guessed it only because it was Oink) and archive. Thanks for all the explanations everyone. Fred.

  36. Like almost everyone else, last two in were SEEN and PEAK, the latter with much more certainty than the former. All done in 13:41, inside my 15 minute target for the third day in a row, which may be a record.

    Thanks to Oink and Mike.

  37. Same problem as with others with 21a seen and 6a peak. We eventually put in seen after much thought.

  38. Very frustrating! Beaten in the end, as were many others above, by SEEN. Just short of half an hour on the clock by the time I had solved SWEPT, the NHO TYRO and PEAK to arrive at my last clue. However, 20+ minutes of careful alphabet trawling, interpreting and re-interpreting the clue, and general brain-wracking did not reveal SEEN as the answer. I went with mEaN, thinking it might be some &Lit type of clue, but I knew it was a long shot. IN MY BOOK, SEEN does not equate with understood and scene does not equate with outburst. Extremely tenuous links and not a suitable clue for the QC.

    Many thanks to Mike.

    1. I suppose, to be fair, if someone explains something and you answer “I see”, that surely equates to “I understand” – doesn’t it? Not that I got it!
      Or are you saying yes, but it doesn’t work in the past tense?

  39. DNF

    Gave up at 30 minute with 4 to go. Failed on PEAK, PIGGY BANK and GYRATE and nowhere near SEEN.

  40. Other than putting ASCRIBE for 14dn, I was going well until I came to 6ac and 21ac. Twigged that 6ac was referring to the top of something and peak came eventually.

    Struggled like others with the last one. I spotted SEEN as a possible but struggled to parse it. Knew it was a homophone but I thought the indicator for this was ‘outburst’ and so was looking for another word for someone speaking. Light dawned eventually but I endorse the other criticisms of this clue (particularly Cedric’s). A shame as this spoilt my solve and left me wishing I hadn’t bothered.

    Thanks for the blog Mike, hugely appreciated as ever.

  41. An extraordinary QC. I suppose it might have been too easy without SEEN and PEAK, and the two or three others which caused so much head-scratching. I had the same trouble spots as just about everyone else – but I enjoyed the puzzle a lot.

  42. TYRO!!? Whaaat?! One day … I’ll finish a Quickie. I’ve … ( don’t get me started on I’ve …! )
    been trying for 4 years. Finished one once because it was full of anagrams. I despair… but will never give up!

    1. Sometimes you’ve just got to follow the cryptic (Ultimate/last) even if produces an unknown word – but you’ll know it next time.

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