Times Quick Cryptic No 2459 by Orpheus

Another classic Quick Cryptic from Orpheus today. Just the right level of difficulty, I think, judging by my time. COD to the clever 6D, but I rather liked 12A and 19D too. One word that was new to me appeared in the wordplay for 5D, but it didn’t hold me up unduly. If you don’t know the answer to 17A by now you can’t have been paying attention – it appeared in QCs 2407 on 31st May and 2444 on 21st July. In all this took me an average 5:04. Thank-you Orpheus!

Fortnightly Weekend Quick Cryptic. This time it is Phil’s turn to provide the extra weekend entertainment. You can find the crossword here. If you are interested in trying our previous none-too-hard offerings you can find an index to all 83 here.

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, {deletions} and [] other indicators.

1 Cheeky talk about stern religious traveller (7)
PILGRIM – LIP (cheeky talk) reversed, [about], -> PIL, GRIM (stern).
7 Liveliness displayed by US soldier in Italy, somehow (7)
AGILITYGI (US soldier) in (Italy)* [somehow].
9 Merry southern youth leader adopting prominent tuft of hair (7)
SQUIFFYQUIFF (prominent tuft of hair) in S (southern) Y{outh} [leader].
10 Carrier of advanced age in public building (7)
HOLDALLOLD (of advanced age) in HALL (public building).
11 Flesh millions consume (4)
MEATM (millions) EAT (consume).
12 A right crazy, sick old burrowing mammal (9)
ARMADILLOA R (right) MAD (crazy) ILL (sick) O (old). Just join up the 5 parts of the answer.
14 Mild casual worker given ultimately meagre level of pay (9)
TEMPERATETEMP (casual worker), last letter of meagrE, RATE (level of pay).
16 Greek market Oscar abandoned for Indian city (4)
AGRAAG{o}RA (Greek market) without the O (Oscar in the NATO phonetic alphabet).
17 Spiny anteater can hide when disturbed (7)
ECHIDNA – (can hide)* [distributed]. You should know this creature by now. It has appeared in 2 QCs in the last few weeks – 2407 and 2444.
20 Study racehorse’s record, and be like everyone else (7)
CONFORMCON (study) FORM (racehorse’s record).
21 Extend term in jail (7)
STRETCH – Double definition.
22 Former thespian, one making extortionate demands (7)
EXACTOREX (former) ACTOR (thespian).
1 She takes charge of mail after motorway tension (12)
POSTMISTRESSPOST (after) MI (M1; motorway) STRESS (tension).
2 Praise a group of miners supplying painkiller once (8)
LAUDANUMLAUD (praise) A NUM (National Union of Miners). A tincture of opium. widely used in the 19th century as a pain killer or sleeping aid; it was highly addictive, leading to many of its users forming a drug addiction.
3 Pervasive condition borne by military engineers (4)
RIFEIF (condition) in RE (Royal Engineers; military engineers).
4 Havoc created by woman at border (6)
MAYHEMMAY (woman’s name) HEM (border).
5 Remove source of draught in woman’s box at opera (8)
DISLODGE – First letter, [source],  of Draught in DI’S (woman’s) LOGE (box at opera). My new word of the day LOGE -I’ve not seen that before.
6 But this city is not in Pennsylvania! (4)
PISAIS in PA (Pennsylvania), but PISA isn’t.  The Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena is, though!  I had to discard my first thought RIGA as an option before I spotted the answer.
8 Cowardly woman keeping a minute male songbird (12)
YELLOWHAMMERYELLOW (cowardly), with A M (minute) M (male) in HER (female).
12 One acted unpredictably, producing an amusing story (8)
ANECDOTE – (One acted)* [unpredictably]. Some might object that “an” is unnecessary in the clue, but I prefer the smoother surface reading it gives us.
13 Itch to join club housing old Viking vessel (8)
LONGBOATLONG (itch), O (old) in BAT (club).
15 Quickly boxes head of horrid Parisian hoodlum (6)
APACHE – [Head of] Horrid in APACE (quickly). I wasn’t aware the name of the indigenous US people had been appropriated to mean “a violent troublemaker, originally in Paris.”
18 Damage end of skewer, digging into meat (4)
HARM – [End of] skeweR in HAM (meat).
19 Copper coin once used by Indian nationals (4)
ANNA – Hidden in [used by] IndiAN NAtionals. A semi-&lit, where the whole clue is the definition but not all of it is wordplay. Lovely.

69 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2459 by Orpheus”

  1. 10:52. Tom LONGBOAT was a celebrated native Canadian long distance runner in the early twentieth century. I always thought of the Viking craft as longships. I also think an ANECDOTE is not necessarily humorous. I don’t see how or why source of draught gives first letter of draught..

    1. See my comment later. I had no problem with LONGBOAT, but I’ve heard of LONGSHIPs too.

  2. Fairly straightforward, although I didn’t care for ‘liveliness’ as a definition of AGILITY. I associate APACHE (pronounced as in French, roughly ‘a-PASH’) with the French dance style of that name. 5:26.

  3. My first crossword for a while as I’ve been busy working on a new iPhone app (nearly finished thankfully) and just snuck in under my target of 6:40 (800 points).

    I winged it on a couple (the two downs mentioned by our blogger), and I also raised an eyebrow at longboats. Living next to the Grand Onion Canal (sic) as I do, I always chuckle at the holidaymakers who think they’re on a longboat. It’s a narrowboat love, the constraining factor in the lock is the width, not the, oh never mind, enjoy your holiday.

    1. See my comment later. I had no problem with LONGBOAT, but I’ve heard of LONGSHIPs too.

  4. A vote of thanks to John for explaining whatever was going on with DISLODGE which eluded me completely. Between that, the Parisian hood and the (for me) NHO YELLOWHAMMER this wasn’t a walk in the park but there were also plenty of gimmes from Orpheus. 6.51 for me. Not entirely convinced the PISA clue makes sense but will go with it. Nice to see our old friend the ECHIDNA having another waddle through the grid.

  5. All done bar DISLODGE in 9 minutes or so, finally crawled across the line in 14:24, after admitting defeat and using CCD. Must remember that trick with “Di’s”. Very enjoyable puzzle, COD to SQUIFFY.

    Thanks to Orpheus and John.

  6. 8 minutes. An ARMADILLO and an ECHIDNA in one puzzle; who could ask for more.

    Didn’t know LOGE for ‘box at opera’ or APACHE for ‘Parisian hoodlum’ either but both seemed very likely. Apart from our burrowing friends, favourites were SQUIFFY and PISA.

    Thanks to Orpheus and John

  7. 10 minutes. No real problems but I lost a little time parsing DISLODGE and waited for all the checkers before entering APACHE at 15dn despite the wordplay suggesting the answer all along. On reflection I think I have come across the hoodlum definition before.

  8. After a slow start, with my first success being HOLDALL at 10a, I eventually gathered pace and finished all green in about 17 minutes, not including an annoying toilet stop.
    A satisfying end to the week then.
    I never managed to parse PILGRIM, although it had to be, and reluctantly settled on LONGBOAT rather than its obvious alternative – a very apposite clue as I finished reading ‘The Anglo Saxons’ by Marc Morris only last night, an excellent and very readable tome. Highly recommended.
    I especially liked POSTMISTRESS, and SQUIFFY raised a smile. Nice to see ECHIDNA making another of its regular appearances too.
    Have good weekends all, and thanks to Orpheus and John for setting the day up nicely.

    1. I agree on the excellence of Marc Morris’s book. I have consulted it to check dates on the handful of occasions when I have had sub 10m times.

  9. 32 mins. Fairly tough. NHO ANNA, LOGE, APACHE (in the hoodlum sense). I would never have equated liveliness with AGILITY. And those blasted names again (MAY and DI this time). It’s amazing that I finished at all. Or maaaaaybe, slowly, I’m getting used to some of this nonsense.

  10. Felt a bit like a general knowledge puzzle in places. I was pleased with myself for knowing YELLOWHAMMER but ANNA and LAUDANUM were both unknown and I also lacked the GK for ‘loge’, didn’t know ARMADILLOs burrowed and can never remember how to spell ECHIDNA. So a good work out, all safely negotiated in 14.

  11. Fairly gentle going today. Starting with the 1s opened up the grid nicely but had similar issues to those already mentioned – the NHO LOGE and APACHE as a hoodlum, although the wordplay was clear. Also managed to avoid biffing RIGA but failed to resist the temptation of chucking in longSHIP initially.
    Finished in 6.36 with LOI DISLODGE which eventually went in with an unparsed shrug.
    Thanks to John

  12. Beaten only by DISLODGE – I was looking for some Brunhilde/Isolde/Grohilden (made up?- no s**t?!) opera but without a ‘d’ rather than a synonym for the simple ‘remove’. But didn’t know LOGE so would have struggled anyway.

    Great puzzle from Orpheus and fine blogging by John. Thanks all.

  13. Like MangoMan and Doofers, I was completely unable to see DISLODGE. A very clever clue with masterly misdirection from Orpheus – surely worthy of the 15sq?
    I was going quickly, within target, and enjoying it up to that point but it is a DNF for me.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  14. A lovely puzzle solved very quickly. Vaguely awarre of LOGE, but NHO APACHE as Hoodlum. However, according to Collins, the French hooligan was appropriated to the native American rather than vice versa. FOI PILGRIM, LOI EXACTOR, COD PISA. I look forward to the end of the school holidays, when my paper will be delivered in good time again. I got an UNLUCKY message but couldn’t see why so eventually pressed REVEAL for the first time ever, so now have some idea of what others mean by green and pink squares. It gave pinks for the first two letters of LAUDANUM and the last of ANECDOTE. I’ll buy the possibility that I originally typed incorrectly, but find it hard to believe that I failed to spot it when rechecking after the UNLUCKY message. I know that what I intended was correct which is all that matters! Thanksq, Orpheus and John.

  15. 9:45 but with HURT for HARM. One of those clues that almost works, if Hut=meat. I mean how many synonyms for damage fit H – R – ? Turns out, more than one.

    Never heard of APACHE for hoodlum, I think we call that “cultural appropriation” these days.

    In America, theatre tickets can be marked as “loge”.

  16. Very enjoyable puzzle which was done in 12 all but DISLODGE which best me. Even Mrs Prof couldn’t get that one.
    I loved the use of ‘condition’ for ‘if’ in RIFE and the clever surface in ANNA.
    Whenever there is mention of cowardly and songbird it’s going to be a yellowhammer – feels like that had appeared frequently over the last few years.
    Thanks johninterred for the blog.

  17. Have been off grid all week, having taken my phone for a swim in the Lynn of Lorn! It seems to have resented the experience. Finally managed to log onto the Times on a laptop.

    All green on 07:23, lost a couple of minutes on LOI DISLODGE (didn’t know “loge”).

    Many thanks John and Orpheus.


  18. Sped through most of this one, but then slowed up towards the end as PISA, SQUIFFY and LOI DISLODGE took their toll. But finished on 14:12 which is good for me, so I’m pleased, especially as I got to learn (at least in the short term) Loge, Apache and Anna and was reminded of Agora. I’m surprised Loge isn’t used more often as it could easily lend itself to making -log, -ology, -logue and so on. Anyway, thanks Orpheus and John.

  19. Another very friendly one today – thank you, Orpheus – FOI AGILITY, LOI DISLODGE. A minor nit to pick: the half anna was a copper coin, yes, but the anna was always cupro-nickel (i.e. like our ‘silver’ post-1946), never copper. A few I couldn’t parse (especially APACHE), so thank you, John, for your blog. Yes indeed, I “knew this creature by now” – and LOGE no problem for a musician. But drat! like Merlin I had HURT for HARM (in good company, at least).

  20. 13.02 with a delay trying and failing to parse DISLODGE, but I’m quite happy with that time. PILGRIM is usually the cabin class I fly in when going on holiday, right at the back of the plane! Thanks both.

  21. 11 minutes for me, to complete a Good Week well inside my 1 hour cumulative time target. A nice puzzle, mostly straightforward enough but I join many others in not knowing those meanings of Loge and Apache, and in having a MER at Longboat. To me a longboat is a small boat on a larger ship, usually in the sailing ship era, and while I am sure there is a dictionary entry somewhere that says it can be used for a Viking longship, it’s not a term I’ve ever seen applied to the warships and wave-riders of the Norsemen.

    Many thanks John for the blog and I look forward to trying the Saturday Special

  22. DNK LOGE like everyone else! I was slightly hampered by the mombled MEGRIM instead of the slightly more accurate MAYHEM.


  23. Good puzzle. But I share the MER above.
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Not to be confused with the Vikings’ longship.”
    Interested to learn
    1) Loge
    2) Apache is a European name
    3) Armadillos burrow.
    4) annas were cupro-nickel. We had a jar of twelfths of an anna we used as gaming chips. They were copper.
    I was aware, if only vaguely, that in Paris a hood is an Apache.

    1. See my comment later. I had no problem with LONGBOAT, but I’ve heard of LONGSHIPs too.

  24. I raced through this one breaking the six minute barrier for the first time in a while finishing in 5.57. DISLODGE was the only answer that cost me a little time, and didn’t know what a loge was. My favourite word today has to be squiffy, which I always feel is a term more likely to be used by women than men. My own definition of this condition has a more industrial strength feel about it!
    Total accumulated time for the week was 48.16, giving me a daily average of 9.39, just under target.

  25. I join the list of people who didn’t know APACHE or LOGE but after a minute or two was able to be confident enough enter them. It was a good job there were checkers in the correct places for LAUDANUM. 8 minutes.

  26. Really enjoyed this one. APACHE and ANNA were unknown, otherwise no problems. Hadn’t parsed POSTMISTRESS as I didn’t understand what the ‘after’ was doing – I do now (thanks John)! LOI was PISA and I still wasn’t sure as it went in. Liked RIFE and DISLODGE best. ECHIDNA now very well-known and STRETCH seems very familiar… Thanks all.

  27. DNF. Too many obscure clues. Managed to answer some that I had not heard of, but checkers helped me solve.

    Did not like 15d, felt that was an awfully obscure clue.

    Hopefully Monday will be better.

  28. I remember vaguely seeing a Hollywood musical where in a dance sequence a young man in a striped jumper flung a young woman in a split skirt around a night club dance floor. My dad explained that that was an “Apache dance “.

  29. I didn’t find this anywhere near as easy as others suggest. I lacked the necessary GK for Apache as hoodlum (but knew the dance style), Agora for Greek Market (had to look that one up to get the city), and Loge for opera box, so no surprise I was knocking on 30 mins by the time Loi Dislodge went in. Quite tough, even for a Friday. Invariant

      1. It’s where the guy ‘fights’ the girl, accompanied by melodramatic music – Youtube has some examples.

  30. Some unknowns -anna, apache in this sense, and loge -but I was still home in just under 10 minutes.
    Many went in from definition including the now common ECHIDNA.
    A nice QC. COD to SQUIFFY.

  31. I count myself lucky to finish today, not knowing or having NHO the Greek market (AGORA), the Indian city (AGRA), the opera box (LOGE), the coin (ANNA), the old painkiller (LAUDANUM) and the French for hoodlum (APACHE). More of a GK-fest than a cryptic crossword, perhaps. And, I made it more difficult for myself by writing EXACTOR into the space where STRETCH needed to go.

    Total time = 28 minutes. Favourite words today were SQUIFFY and MAYHEM which, according to Mrs Random, follows me wherever I go.

    Many thanks to Orpheus and John.

    1. Interesting the split between those romping through and those (like SomeRandomChap and myself) seeing this as an UN-general knowledge fest (LOGE, APACHE, etc)

  32. 4:28

    A fairly untaxing romp today with all but a single across clue (HOLDALL) going in off the bat, which consequently rendered the downs extremely gettable – apart from DISLODGE (didn’t know the LOGE thingy) and an eyebrow lift for APACHE (five checkers – what else could it be?) as NHO Parisian hoodlum – mild wait on ANNA too (wasn’t sure, but then saw the hidden).

    Thanks Orpheus and John

  33. Dnf…

    22 mins, but put “Inca” for 19dn, as I’d never heard of the copper coin.

    Some nice clues though, and whilst I was nearly defeated (once again) by the spelling of 17ac “Echidna” and foolishly biffing “Margin” for 4dn, I liked 2dn “Laudanum” and 9ac “Squiffy”.

    The “Loge” for a box was weirdly coincidental, as I was just looking at seats at the RAH yesterday and thought to myself how ridiculous some of the box prices actually were.

    FOI – 1ac “Pilgrim”
    LOI – 9ac “Squiffy”
    COD – 12ac “Armadillo”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. The RAH ticket/seating plan is where I first learnt the word LOGE around 60 years ago.

      1. Stupidly though, I didn’t come across it – I was too busy trying to book those elevated stall tickets (which were still ludicrous)

  34. regarding Pisa, is the fact that ‘not’ is in italics a clever hint to it being an Italian city, the word italics coming from the Latin for Italian and also the lean of the letters a reference to the tower?

  35. Well Orpheus would know about AGORAs but I didn’t.

    Also NHO LOGE or ANNAs but I’ve enjoyed reading about the MAYHEM caused.

    A lot of MEAT in this puzzle, with some great surfaces.

    Thanks Orpheus, John and Commentators.

  36. about 7 mins for all but dislodge, which needed an alpha trawl. So c13m in total.
    Dnk loge or apache for hoodlum and I suppose there are not many apache in loges.
    COD pisa.

  37. FOI POSTMISTRESS. Quite fast but…..Oh dear, I knew Lima wasn’t right – if I’d checked I might have got PISA. NHO the Belle Epoch French hooligans despite years in Paris and years watching French Police dramas, but biffed APACHE, as others did.
    LOsI SQUIFFY, RIFE, DISLODGE. Had vaguely heard of loge, come to think of it. Biffed AGRA, but do know Agora. And those who say they don’t must have heard of Agoraphobia = fear of outdoors.
    Most of us oldies think our anecdotes are amusing, btw.
    Thanks vm, John.

  38. NHO of the Greek market or the opera box. Had vaguely heard of APACHE meaning hoodlum but wasn’t aware of there being a French connection. Couldn’t parse PILGRIM (completely missed the significance of ‘about’) or DISLODGE. Given all that it was probably an achievement to finish at all, let alone in 17 minutes, safely within my target time.

    FOI – 11ac MEAT
    LOI – 19dn ANNA
    COD – 6dn PISA

    Thanks to Orpheus and John

  39. Like others we did not know loge, and meaning of apache. Held up by 5d, otherwise a fairly quick solve. Thanks Orpheus.

  40. 9:28. Nothing too untoward here, although loge for a box at the opera was also new to me. To confuse matters, I knew loggia for a covered walkway / gallery – I wonder if there’s a connection?
    Yep, the ECHIDNA can hide but it should be relatively easy to find these days 😅 Nearly my COD for the surface though.
    I did know about the French gangs and the very dramatic dance called L’Apache, like a cross between an Argentinian tango and a paso doble but more so.
    FOI Agility LOI Dislodge COD Mayhem WOD Squiffy
    Thanks Orpheus and John

    1. interesting question about loge and loggia. The former is from French and the latter from Italian, and they seem to have similar meanings in their respective languages

    2. Yes, loggia and loge are related etymologically – as are lodge and lobby to them also!

      1. I rather thought they must 😊 Another one I’ve just thought of is the French logis (lodging). We always used stay in Logis de France in the ‘old days’ – good value, reasonable rooms and excellent food.

  41. 10.43 I also had a MER at liveliness for AGILITY and I’d NHO of the French meaning so I hesitated over APACHE. LOGE was new too. I did like PISA. It’s the kind of thing that would have completely stumped me a while ago. SQUIFFY took a while at the end. Thanks to John and Orpheus.

  42. Another frustrating day for me.

    Easily inside the SCC cut-off with just 5dn to get. A completely unfathomable clue that seemed more suited to the ‘proper’ crossword.

    Finished eventually after 28 mins and in a bad mood. Did an alphabet trawl for a synonym for remove and eventually got the answer. Spent ages thinking remove was an instruction to take away the first letter of a synonym for draught.

    The last 2 days provide little encouragement to novice solvers. The odd obscure word is ok if the wordplay is clear, but some of the clues recently have been impenetrable.

    Total time for week was 1 hour, 53 mins but that is an irrelevance as I DNF’d yesterday with SASIL rather than SISAL, and so missed my target.

    Thanks for the blog John.

    I hope everyone has a good weekend.

    Back for more suffering on Monday no doubt.

    PS Did the Quintagram quite easily today after yesterday’s horror show. Bizarre!

      1. Oh dear, hadn’t realised we’d had it before. No excuses for that! I suspect I thought previously that it was unlikely to come up again and simply forgot about it. Won’t make that mistake next time.

  43. Apologies for the lack of responses today. I’m currently in Southwell at a choir reunion singing the services at Southwell Minster and we gave a lunchtime concert today too. I noted the points made about LONGBOAT. There is an interesting project under way in Suffolk in Woodbridge across the River Deben from Sutton Hoo attempting to recreate King Raedwald’s burial LONGSHIP. Read about it here.

    1. You’re just up the road from me, then. I love the Minster which I’ve known for 55 years (crikey!) – it always seems warm and friendly.

      DISLODGE gave the missus and me the most trouble, but made me smile afterwards.

  44. 11:31 Foundation of Tintern Abbey.

    DISLODGE was my LOI, since I am another one for whom LOGE is a new word.

    Thanks John and Orpheus

  45. Clean sweep destroyed with the last keystroke of the week. Somehow I convinced myself MISLODGE was a word and the MIS(S) somehow involved the woman I was looking for – even now my brain feels like it’s a valid word. Everything else was done in under 12mins so I’d begun to lose patience 6mins later. Corrected in 19:02.

    I wish setters would understand if they’re going to set a QC clue which involves something no-one else knows they ensure the rest of the clue is easy to resolve. Everything else here was too complex e.g. remove=dislodge synonym, woman=DI and having two Ds in the clue when “source of draught” is used and the misdirection of “remove source of draught”. Frustrating.

    Wasn’t particularly happy with the hidden indicator for ANNA either – “used by” – again on an obscure word. But perhaps the 15×15 solvers have seen it occasionally.

    All in all, a couple of difficult weeks. I should be celebrating an all-time PB on Tuesday but instead I just feel very meh with the other 9 days having results in 3 DNFs and most of them taking way too long to complete – all but three over 24mins and two stretching into the 40+min range. I’m shying away from doing them each day rather than racing to the laptop each morning.

    I’ve realised there is something that separates me from the good solvers who are completing in under 10mins and never DNF. I don’t know what that difference is. Probably experience.

    1. In complete agreement about DISLODGE. Just about everyone struggled with it.

      I think all solvers, however quick they are, experience the odd DNF. The 10-minute brigade are better than the rest of us for various reasons:

      – they have more experience and so recognise chestnuts and other devices that are still new to us. I’m beginning to see the same or very similar clues repeated.

      – they ‘see’ the clue much more quickly, knowing instinctively what is word play and what is the straight definition. Again much of this comes down to experience.

      – they have a real facility for quickly identifying synonyms for words and appreciating that words have more than one meaning (something I frequently fall down on).

      – they are very good at spotting common word endings when completing anagrams, and so solve these much more quickly.

      – they have a very good memory for the obscure (unlike me and Sisal!)! I don’t think that they necessarily have GK that is fantastically better than many other solvers. Some clearly do but I am often surprised at some of the admissions made about not knowing words – usually names – that I think of as being well known.

      I’m sure there are other points but these are the ones that occur to me.

      It has been a tricky couple of weeks (week before last particularly), but your PB will hopefully give you heart. My enthusiasm waxed and wanes, but I still feel a weekday is incomplete unless I’ve had a go at the QC.

      Let’s hope we both have a good week!

  46. I really enjoyed this one and some of the clues made me chuckle. I knew Apache as the French dance with a bad man enticing the girl.
    Does it matter if squiffy is used more by females? Are females not allowed clues? We put up with a lot of sporty ones even if not interested in sports. Anyway doesn’t Bertie Wooster say ‘squiffy’?
    I did not know Loge so missed out on that one.
    Overall good fun.

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