Times Quick Cryptic No 2422 by Teazel


I breezed through this one in a very speedy (for me) 8:46, so it is clearly on the easier side. But some of the parsing seems a little imprecise: I’m looking at you, ANY OLD HOW, and you, TOP DRAWER, and you, FANCY DRESS. Fortunately, there were enough write-ins that the answers became obvious, even if the parsing remained a bit opaque.

The twist in WASPS was definitely a bit on the fiendish side – that was my LOI, and didn’t get parsed until later.

I’m looking forward to the hive mind telling me what I missed in the ones that felt a little off.

Definitions underlined in italics, synonyms in round brackets, wordplay in square brackets and deletions in squiggly brackets.

1 London perhaps first for the wealthy investor (10)
CAPITALISTCAPITAL (London, perhaps) + IST (first).

Teazel taking the ‘I’ for ‘1’ convention to the next logical step.

7 Thrust forward name for inclusion in Olympic event (5)
LUNGEN (name) in LUGE (Olympic event).
8 Censure about mathematical demonstration (7)
REPROOFRE (about) + PROOF (mathematical demonstration).
10 Some ancient method showing no particular care (3,3,3)
ANY OLD HOWANY (some) + OLD (ancient) + HOW (method).

Hmm. Both the definitions for ‘some’ and ‘method’ seemed a bit of a stretch when I first filled this in, but I had the H and the W of HOW, so in it went.

On further thought, I came up with ‘Have you any sugar?’ and ‘Have you some sugar?’ as an example for the first, but I’m still struggling for an example phrase where ‘how’ can be replaced by ‘method’, without changing anything else.

12 Desperate man’s grading in Oriental sport (3)
DAN – double definition.

The first definition refers to Desperate Dan, a cartoon character in The Dandy, a comic I remember well from my childhood. The second refers to the grading system in judo, and possibly other martial arts.

13 Dye, one doing badly (6)
INDIGO – Anagram [badly] of I (one) + DOING.
15 Mean to be a bit painful (6)
STINGY – sting-y – a bit painful. Groan.
16 Price reduced for lettuce (3)
COSCOS{T} (price, reduced)

For the non-UK solvers, it’s worth remembering that COS is a type of lettuce. (It’s the type known as ‘romaine’ in North America.)

17 Best quality trousseau in exactly the wrong place here? (3,6)

Another one where the parsing is non-obvious, at least to me. My best guess is that it is traditional to keep underwear in the bottom drawer, so if it were in the top drawer it would be in the wrong place.

In my research, I did find a web site that I won’t dignify with a link that claimed that ‘bottom drawer’ and ‘trousseau’ were ‘semantically linked’, but since a little editing of the URL made the same site claim that ‘bottom drawer’ and ‘banana’ were equally ‘semantically linked’, I’ll just treat that as an example of why you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

20 Struck with small glove (7)
SMITTENS (small) + MITTEN (glove).
22 Shortly rate stupid people (5)
ASSESASSES{S} (rate, shortly).
23 After manoeuvring, agree talks that are between Canada and the US (5,5)
GREAT LAKES – Anagram [after manoeuvring] of AGREE TALKS.
1 American sweets a bit aromatic, and yummy (5)
CANDY – hidden in [a bit] “aromatiC AND Yummy”.
2 Judge in predicament before boarding plane (9)
PREFLIGHTREF (judge) in PLIGHT (predicament).
3 At rocky height, check lighter (5)
TORCHTOR (rocky height) + CH (check, from chess notation, as in Qe5ch).
4 Cheek, or another part of face (3)
LIP – A double definition.
5 After bad weather, died on mountain (7)
SNOWDONSNOW (bad weather) + D (died) + ON.
6 Where one may be bitten by the performing bug? (4,6)
FLEA CIRCUS – Cryptic definition. If you attend a flea circus, one of the performing bugs may bite you.
9 Feel like going in drag to such a party? (5,5)
FANCY DRESSFANCY (feel like) + DRESS (what drag queens wear, hence “going in drag”, perhaps?)

A third one where I’m not 100% confident of my parsing.

11 Indication of highest tide  that may be distinctly featured in the paper (9)
WATERMARK – Another double definition. The first sense is a sign posted to show the point that water is expected to reach (or sometimes, the height of a historic flood). The second is the manufacturer’s mark embedded in sheets of paper.
14 Rough sleeper keeps one set of documents (7)
DOSSIERDOSSER (rough sleeper – British slang) with I inserted [keeps one].
18 Piece of glass left in part of door (5)
PANELPANE (piece of glass) + L (left).
19 They are 15 in a rugby team? (5)
WASPS – “15” here refers to clue 15 across, where the answer was STINGY.

This is particularly slippery from Teazel – wasps are “sting-y”, and Wasps RFC is a rugby union team from London. The fact that there are 15 players on a rugby union team makes the surface work and camouflages the reference to another clue.

21 Group of players not finishing meal (3)
TEATEA{M} (group of players, not finishing).


69 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2422 by Teazel”

  1. A touch over 10 minutes. They weren’t particularly hard, but LUNGE (I was thinking of the wrong Olympics) and my LOI FLEA CIRCUS took me over the 10 minute mark at the end. The clever WASPS clue was a real highlight.

    A bride’s ‘trousseau’ of clothing and household linen in preparation for her marriage was traditionally stored in the lowest drawer, or “bottom drawer” (ie not in the TOP DRAWER) of a chest of drawers. If you’re interested, the Wikipedia entry for “Hope chest “ goes into this in more detail.

    Thanks to Teazel and Doofenschmirtz

  2. 14:40. I enjoyed STINGY and WASPS, and also FLEA CIRCUS. SMITTEN brought. a smile as that is what my granddaughter named her newest kitten. Also liked GREAT LAKES as I was born in that region and have lived out most of my life there, and I always maintain they are indeed the greatest lakes going! Re HOW meaning method; isn’t there a phrase ” the how’s and the why’s” meaning the ways or methods and the reasons?

    1. 100% – As a senior leader I always say to teams “I reserve the right to tell you WHAT I want you to build. It is up to you HOW you build it.” We always talk about the WHAT – the thing we are going to build, the WHY – what business problem does it solve and the HOW – the method we’ll use to build it.

  3. I didn’t know, but inferred, the rugby team. I knew COS, but didn’t know it was the same as romaine; thank you, Doofers. 4:55.

  4. 22 minutes, so a better day for me with everything actually working this morning. I would’ve easily been sub-SCC had I not got my knickers in a twist over my last one in, REPROOF, (I always have a little panic when I see a word ending in F!). It had all been relatively straightforward until then.
    WASPS was definitely one for the chaps, and SNOWDON is surely a tad un-pc these days? Tut tut!
    However, I enjoyed this one and give top marks to WATERMARK.
    Thank you for a nice start to the day Teazel and Doof 👍

    1. Tut! Tut! Is that the time. One for the chaps indeed.

      I am certainly not a chap and I am a keen follower of rugby so this clue ranks as my COD.

      The best of luck to Wasps, Worcester and London Irish for the future.

  5. 6.47

    Thought this was rather good with quite a few smooth surfaces. Actually quite liked FANCY DRESS but GREAT LAKES was a very good anagram and my favourite today.

    Thanks Doofers and Teazel

  6. Thought I might break the 6-minute barrier when I put in last one WASPS, only to be told I was UNLUCKY! and in error. Spent an age trying to figure out what else that answer could be then realised the problem must be elsewhere, so I slogged through the grid looking for a typo. Found it! SNOWDEN! Dragged me out to 7.53. Had ANY OLD WAY at first, that didn’t help, and I’m as confused as Doof and anyone else about the drag ref in FANCY DRESS. FLEA CIRCUS was clever and I liked CAPITALIST, LUNGE and REPROOF because they were the first three answers and went straight in.

  7. Another day another typo, this time I solved ASSES, enjoyed it and moved on not realising I’d written ‘asees’ and so mucked up WASPS too. Drat. Before that I’d become fixated with ‘iodine’ being the dye even though there’s no ‘e’ in ‘doing’ and another perfectly good answer was waiting to be spotted. Really enjoyed COS – small things! – but struggled with PREFLIGHT until INDIGO went in. Quite tough, I imagine the satisfaction from being all green in 13 would have been quite something.

  8. Fairly easy going today. FOI CAPITALIST gave lots of helpful starting letters and smooth progress followed. Only real issue was TOP DRAWER which I wrote in and then deleted until I had some checkers as, beyond knowing it had something to do with wedding dresses, I wasn’t sure what a Trousseau was.
    Finished in 6.05 with LOI WASPS (here’s hoping that their future prospects improve).
    Thanks to Doofers

  9. Was very pleased with 13.05 for a Teazel – ten minutes quicker than my previous best and over 45-mins quicker than the last one at end of May which needed two correcting when I finally thought I’d finished!

    Needed the blog (thanks Doofers) to pass FANCY-DRESS, ANY-OLD-HOW and to understand the trousseau part of TOP-DRAWER although I remember seeing something like that last year*

    4th fastest solve of the year – can’t argue with that. Off to run round the streets at pace in celebration 🥳

    Edit: * QC 2074 – 18Feb2022 – Izetti … “Excellent facility for bride-to-be’s stuff? No!”

  10. 5:07

    WASPS entered from all checkers – didn’t notice the connection with STINGY – on reflection, it’s a great clue. As a point of information, WASPS now play their home games in Coventry (nearly 100 miles from London)!

    Coming up with the three words for 10a was a minor challenge, but on the whole I really enjoyed the clueing across the whole grid.

    Thanks Teazel and Doofenschmirtz

    1. Sadly, Wasps went bust and no longer play their home games anywhere. There is a women’s team still operating, thankfully, but they are struggling to survive and got relegated this season.

  11. I tried this using the ‘new’ Times app after the foul-up yesterday with the ‘classic’ app (have I missed an explanation of what the cause was?). I managed it in 2min 30 secs over target but was pleased to finish without the whole lot crashing.
    I thought this was tough. I made no progress in the top left corner and worked my way round until I dragged my way through TORCH, CANDY (how did I miss that?), LUNGE, ANY OLD HOW, and FLEA CIRCUS. I think we saw DOSSIER quite recently.
    I then went back to my remaining spaces and simply biffed WASPS. I am grateful to Doofers for the parsing. On reflection, it was a very clever clue.
    Thanks to Teazel for his challenge and imagination and to Doofers for a good and necessary blog. John M.

  12. 11:21 King David IV (the Builder) of Georgia defeats the Seljuk forces at Mount Didgori.

    Not too much trouble after revisiting REPROVE to make it REPROOF.

    No problem with Bottom Drawer, I thought this a good clue.

    Was not able to parse WASPS. When they were formed, it was before the American- style naming of sports teams, so must have seemed very cutting edge.


  13. I had a ‘bottom drawer’ in the 60s. The first item my mother put in for me was a tablecloth she’d embroidered as ‘you can never have enough tablecloths’! Thanks to Doof as couldn’t see the parsing for WASPS.

  14. Tut! tut! Is that the time.

    One for the chaps indeed! I am certainly not a chap and I am a keen rugby follower so the WASPS clue ranks as my COD.

    The best of luck to them, Worcester and London Irish for their future survival.

  15. Manage to get them all in there, with a little help. Had to Google trousseau as I didn’t know what it meant.

    Originally thought it was any old way, which set me back a bit.

    Managed to get WATERMARK, which I enojoyed, then corrected ANY OLD HOW.

    Biffed PREFLIGHT and WASPS.

    Cheers All

  16. Phew! Honour and hope to some extent restored, though NHO LUGE (what’s that?), nor grading systems in judo. FOI CAPITALIST (always encouraging to get FOI 1ac!), CsOD STINGY WASPS, LOI LUNGE.

    1. Told you there’d be a decent one along soon!!

      Luge is winter Olympics. If you’ve seen bobsled, imagine doing that on a tea tray at 90mph feet first 😲

      1. Yes, thanks, you were right! I have seen those terrifying things going (as LindsayO says) helter-skelter down an ice tunnel, but DNK that’s what they were called.

        1. I remember Billy Connolly lying rigid on the stage with his arms by his side telling the audience he was training for the luge event at the next olympics.

    2. Luge is one of those winter Olympics sports in which people go helter skelter down an ice tunnel at terrifying speeds while lying on a small sled. Agree re 1ac, if you get that first up it’s an enormous psychological boost. But then you hit 2ac…

  17. Three espressos before getting round to this and it seems to have had an effect. Delayed only by STINGY/WASPS (I forgot the convention that a number in a clue is a cross reference to another clue) and LOI TORCH (where I thought that “At rocky” meant an anagram of “at” so that it would begin TA).

    Otherwise straight in for 05:23, which is a nosebleed on the leaderboard, a PB for me on a Teazel, 1.1K and an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Teazel and Doofers.


  18. This morning was a good illustration of wavelength. I was busy yesterday, so did the Orpheus puzzle this morning, and that took 3 mins and 22 seconds.

    I then turned to Teazel – cursing slightly as I saw the setter, and indeed, I struggled. Looking back – it’s a cracking puzzle, loads of good clues, but I just don’t see through the surface as easily as I do with some setters. LOI was REPROOF, WASPS was a complete biff, with the cross reference eluding me, so thanks to Doofers for the parse there. I think in retrospect, that’s my COD, but I also liked FLEA CIRCUS while solving.


  19. 9 minutes today-same as yesterday -with LOI WASPS. I had resisted BACKS (the full-back is generally no. 15) and realized it was a cross-reference after getting ASSES,POI.
    Nothing much to add to comments above.
    COD to FOI CAPITALIST for the pleasing surface.

  20. I managed to get myself in a right mess by putting in ANY OLD WAY for 10ac which parses perfectly well and this threw me for 3dn and 11dn. After finally working out that 11dn couldn’t begin with a Y, the penny dropped with WATERMARK and I quickly revised 10ac and finished correctly with TORCH. My final time of 12.57 was indicative of about four wasted minutes sorting out my error.

  21. 7.51 Very tired after getting up at silly o’clock to see the solstice sunrise I expected to do badly today. It must have been an easy one. WASPS is lovely but the parsing completely passed me by. GREAT LAKES had a nice surface and I liked FLEA CIRCUS too. PREFLIGHT needed all the checkers. A very nice puzzle. Thanks to Doofers and Teazel.

  22. Solved at a window seat in my favourite coffee shop in Bury St Edmunds. I needed TORCH to see the 3rd word of ANY OLD HOW, thinking WAY at first, but otherwise it all went in smoothly enough. “I’ll fill the dishwasher how I like”, is my example of that definition of “how”. FLEA CIRCUS was my COD. Thanks Teazel and Doofers. 3:58.

  23. 6:30 (Cadwallon of Gwynedd forms an alliance with Penda of Mercia)

    A rare foray into the 7th century. An enjoyable solve. TORCH was my LOI. WASPS went straight in from the definition, without my spotting the reference to 15=Stingy – thanks Doofers for explaining how that works.

  24. Am I missing something with the struggle to parse HOW=method? How you do something is the method you use … “How do you do that?”

    1. I think what Doofers means is that he would like to find a sentence in which the word “how” could legitimately be replaced by “method”. Something like “I know the why and the when of it, but not the how” – does that work?

      1. That’s exactly how (ho ho) I thought of it. “The how” is the method.

        Collins sense 15 (! – but first sense as a noun) – “ 15. the way a thing is done.
        ‘the how of it’.”

  25. A steady solve rather than a fast one, all done in 13 but Wasps a guess (not many words go W-S-S) and left unparsed, so thank you Doofers for explaining how the clue works. One glosses over the fact that (a) professional rugby teams usually have 23 or so players, with all the substitutes, and (b) Wasps sadly these days have no players and no team; that apart, great clue!

    That apart, no real hold-ups or queries – unlike our blogger I was quite happy with Top Drawer (my daughters both had bottom drawer trousseaus) and merely shrugged ever so slightly at Any old how. We have seen far worse!

    Many thanks to Doofers for the blog

  26. A remarkable 8 minutes and 6 seconds for a Teazel makes this a good morning, and all parsed – I’ll take that thank you! PREFLIGHT was LOI. I didn’t have a problem with FANCY DRESS – drag can apply to a man wearing a dress and to a woman dressed as a man, and is exactly how one might attire oneself to attend a fancy dress party. I agree with comments above, bottom drawer is often used to mean the collection of items a bride-to-be keeps for use after her marriage, which makes the clue an &Lit in my opinion. Finally, ANY OLD HOW seems perfectly reasonable – HOW? means by what means, which is close enough to METHOD for me. Thanks Doofers and Teazel – Oh frabjous day!

      1. Certainly not! Although hats off to the Aussies for winning a fine test match. I was thinking of my stellar time this morning.

        1. I’m looking forward to a hard-fought series, the two sides are very evenly matched. I couldn’t resist being slightly cheeky!

    1. Similar time and LOI. Top drawer is not an &lit: def is top quality, and the wordplay is the rest (cryptic hint). For &lit, the whole clue needs to be the defintion and the wordplay.

      e.g Dressers and diaper strugglers at first (DADS).
      See vid from Mark Good Goodliffe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4Mn2DGfQ8k
      COD wasps.

  27. The only one I struggled with was ANY OLD HOW which I had to say a few times before entering it in the grid. That slowed things up considerably after a flying start. I biffed WASPS and parsed it post solve….far too clever. Toss up between PREFLIGHT and SNOWDON for COD. 8:13

  28. 18 mins…

    Three sub 20 completions in a row. It feels like such a long time since I last did that.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this, although I agree there were a few clues that had some tricky parsing. I never did get 19dn “Wasps”, but knew the rugby team and assumed it was one that hadn’t gone bust.

    Main hold up was unravelling 10ac “Any Old How” and the tangental 6dn “Flea Circus”.

    FOI – 1ac “Capitalist”
    LOI – 6dn “Flea Circus”
    COD – 10ac “Any Old How”

    Thanks as usual!

  29. I also put in ANY OLD WAY for 10a. Once I sorted that, PREFLIGHT was the only snag! The is as always.

  30. Enjoyable QC. 19d was awful, but was the only clue I needed help with.

  31. I guessed that trousseau might be fancy pants, then reasoned that, as such, they shouldn’t be in a drawer for tops! So I got the right answer for the wrong reasons. 🙂

  32. Much enjoyed this witty QC, which I completed in one go, though could not parse LOI WASPS. Did not think of 15a!
    FOsI 1 a and 1d which is always encouraging.
    Liked many, inc GREAT LAKES, FANCY DRESS(COD, made me smile), TOP DRAWER (trousseaux /bottom drawer were a bit of an old-fashioned concept even in my day, but one certainly bought new stuff before a wedding. To my mind, the trousseau consisted of garments and the bottom drawer sheets etc.) Also liked WATERMARK, FLEA MARKET, REPROOF, SMITTEN.
    Thanks vm, Doofers.

    1. Yes, I always saw the bottom drawer as containing household items – the trousseau contained clothes etc for the wedding day itself

  33. Slim pickings at the top initially but things improved further down, so basically a bottom-up solve. All done in 15 mins and all parsed except WASPS, where the reference to 15ac completely eluded me. I also note that, having parsed CAPITALIST, I then entered CAPITALISM in error, so technically a DNF.

    FOI – 12ac DAN
    LOI- 19dn WASPS
    COD – (having now understood the clue) WASPS

    Thanks to Teazel & Doofers

  34. DNF. Somewhat annoyed with myself for not getting SNOWDON, less so for not getting STINGY. Ah well, I’ll try again tomorrow, and thank you for the blog!

  35. I’m usually on Teasel’s wavelength, and enjoyed this in below average time, all parsed. FOI CANDY, LOI WASPS, COD PREFLIGHT. Linking WASPS to 15a was a clever idea, but lost on me as all teams have 15 players but only one matches W?S?S. i remember from my childhood, “bottom drawer” was used physically for seldom worn clothes, and metaphorically fqr clothes and other items, so 17a was an apt clue. Thanks, Teazel and D.

  36. Our two day break in East Sussex seems to have worked a treat, as I polished this off in just 26 minutes – quite astonishing, given my usual fights with Teazel. It didn’t start particularly well though, as I had to wait until the bottom half of the grid before my first clue went in.

    I enjoyed DAN (he’s one of my heroes) and ANY OLD HOW. REPROOF was difficult, partly because I had ‘eye’ for quite a while before I saw LIP, and a few clues (e.g. TORCH and TOP DRAWER) were not fully parsed until after I had stopped.

    Mrs Random is about 20 QCs behind at the moment, but I am sure she will be horrified by 16a when she gets to that clue. As a former Chartered Marketer and lecturer in Marketing she knows that price and COSt are absolutely not the same thing. Teazel: please take note!

    Many thanks to Teazel and Doofers.

    1. I’m a chartered accountant and I can see your objection to cost /price but perhaps you can think of it as the price set by a vendor is the cost to the buyer.

  37. We had answers for all in around 20 min. which is fast for us. However we had an m as last letter for 1a, careless. Did not parse wasps or top drawer. Pleasant puzzle.

  38. Late to this today, but managed it just inside my target, with ASSEsS holding me up until I had some crossers, and LOI, WASPS, holding me up for ages despite having the crossers. PREFLIGHT took a while too. TORCH was FOI. 9:53. Thanks Teazel and Doofers.

  39. All clues other than 19dn & 22ac – 7 mins
    19dn & 22ac – 10 mins
    Total – 17 mins 🤬

    Thanks for the excellent blog Doofers.

    1. Fantastic first 7-mins 🌟

      I had similar on last Thursday’s Joker … three left at 8min30 and took 14+. The way I look at it is as a confidence builder. I have wondered whether I will ever break 10-mins because while I have some decent times in the 13-14mins range, I’m only just cracking 11 at best so far. It takes me 4-5mins just to parse all the clues. Wasn’t sure my brain was capable. Thursday confirmed that with the right set of clues I can be sub-10 easily #positives

      Btw I read interview with Ben Stokes today. He said exactly what I’d predicted – that they pushed the Aussies to the wire playing that style.

      1. Thanks L-Plates. Yes, I’m taking the positives.

        Spent ages on WASPS because I had the W and last S , and became fixated on WINGS. I knew this wasn’t correct because wings in RU are numbers 11 and 14. Should have spent more time on ASSES as WASPS was so obvious with the second S.

        I thought the papers were reasonably kind to Stokes and McCullum. As you say, it went down to the wire – fine margins between success and failure in international sport. Roll on Lords!

  40. 42 minute finish today with LOI WASPS going in on a wing and a prayer. Knew the rugby team but missed the link to clue 15. Thanks Doofers for the explanation.
    COD to GREAT LAKES as I had no idea what was going on until spotting it was an anagram.
    Thanks Teazel for an enjoyable puzzle.

  41. Didn’t like reproof. Thought reprove was grammatically
    better so took longer than necessary to get 9dn. Also 3dn unnecessarily wordy and clumsy. Just me !

Comments are closed.