Times Quick Cryptic No 2462 by Breadman

This puzzle took me well over my target time, but I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t mind at all. 24 minutes and 43 seconds of pure enjoyment. I think there will be a bit of a crush at the bar of the Slow Coach Club today.

My FOI was INDUS, and then I jumped around a lot, ending with LIGHTHOUSE. Many contenders for COD, including TICKETY-BOO, DECODE, SHAMPOO and CHARTREUSE, but I’m going to give my nod to AITCH for the way the clue sent me entirely the wrong way.

I think this is a master class in cluing from Breadman: there are hardly any superfluous or filler words in the whole puzzle.

Oh, and apologies for being a neutrino online today. I solved on paper, filled in the grid to check my answers and hit “Submit” instead of “Submit without leaderboard”.

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

1 Plan to consume once again aromatic liqueur (10)
CHARTREUSECHART (plan) + RE-USE (to consume once again).
7 River in America grabbing daughter (5)
INDUSIN US (in America) including [grabbing] D for daughter.
8 Scrap to secure, on comeback, minor acting role (3,4)
BIT PARTBIT (scrap) + TRAP (to secure) reversed [on comeback].
10 That lady Beth half-seen holding Welshman’s rabbit, say (9)
HERBIVOREHER (that lady) + BE{th} [half-seen], with IVOR (Welshman) inserted [holding Welshman].

Nice to see a Welshman other than Dai.

12 Private investigator, lead character in comedy film (3)
PICPI (private investigator) + first letter of [lead character in] C{omedy}.

Took me a moment to realise that I needed to lift and separate “comedy film”.

13 Husband not at home mostly — India twice and US state (6)
HAWAIIH for husband + AWA{Y} [not at home, mostly] + II [India, in the NATO phonetic alphabet, twice]
15 Crack swimmer in British river (6)
DECODECOD (swimmer) in DEE (British river).

On a gentler day, this might have been a “Scottish river”.

16 A Parisian applied to one educational institution (3)
UNIUN [A in French, clued by “Parisian”], + I.

Last time I blogged, I queried the use of “UNI” as part of an answer, and now its a whole answer. Ho hum.

17 New guard meets partner with measured steps (9)
GRADUALLY – Anagram of [new] GUARDALLY (partner).
20 Take advantage of former unit amid patch of ground (7)
EXPLOITEX (former) + I (one – unit) in [amid] PLOT (patch of ground).

And there I was, thinking this was going to be something about cubits or bushels.

22 Quantity of paintwork halved (2,3)
IN TWO – Hidden in [quantity of] paINTWOrk.
23 Her stables in need of work, becoming more stuffy (10)
BREATHLESS – Anagram [in need of work] of HER STABLES.

I think this is “stuffy” in the sense of how you feel when you have a bad cold and it is difficult to breathe, rather than as an overheated room feels.

1 Notice in playground upturned tree (5)
CEDARAD (notice) in REC (playground), all reversed [upturned].

“Rec” is an abbreviation for “recreation ground”. One worth remembering.

For the longest time, I only had the middle “D” of this and almost convinced myself that a PUDNU was a type of tree…

2 Sailor navigating announced procedure with ropes, going down (9)
ABSEILINGAB (Able seaman) + a homophone [announced] of SAILING (navigating).
3 Banned a bachelor entering also (5)
TABOOA + B (batchelor, as in BA) in [entering] TOO (also).
4 Red ants occasionally bite (3)
EAT – Every other letter [occasionally] of rEd AnTs
5 Mum in the morning quietly rings cleaner (7)
SHAMPOOSH (Mum, as in quiet) + AM (in the morning) + P (quietly, from music) + OO (rings, because O is round).
 6 Gentle domestic assistant at sea? (10)
LIGHTHOUSELIGHT (gentle) + HOUSE (domestic).

A light touch on a house cat, for examples of the synonyms.

9 Fine cook, Betty, fried around one (7-3)
TICKETY-BOO – Anagram (fried) of COOK BETTY and I (one).

A lovely old-fashioned phrase that I will try to incorporate into my active vocabulary. It’s the answer to “how are you?” when all is going well, in case it’s new to anyone.

11 Four inside carry out administrator (9)
EXECUTIVEIV (four in Roman numerals) inside EXECUTE (carry out).
14 Watch heartless rascal with hesitation cry plaintively (7)
WHIMPERW{atc}H [heartless] + IMP (rascal) + ER (hesitation).

It’s the watch that is heartless, not the rascal. Beautiful misdirection.

18 Eighth letter a companion’s written about new technology (5)
AITCHA and CH (Companion of Honour) enclosing [written about] IT (new technology).

Hands up everyone who tried to make a word meaning “technology” from H, A, CH and N.

19 Crowd somewhere across the pond finding water lily (5)
LOTUSLOT (crowd) + US (somewhere across the pond).

The US making its second appearance today.

21 Eggs on view acquired initially (3)
OVA – first letters [initially] of On View Acquired.

66 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2462 by Breadman”

  1. I biffed HERBIVORE–I’d forgotten IVOR–never went back. Ditto WHIMPER. 6:47.

  2. 16:23. I think I’ve seen AITCH and TICKETY-BOO more than once in these puzzles so had a leg up with those two. I didn’t know sailing and ABSEILING were homophones. Assistant at sea for LIGHTHOUSE and crack for DECODE both took me a while to crack. Thanks, Mr Schmirtz , for helping explain BREATHLESS!

  3. 12.02. I did know ABSEILING and sailing were homophones but I dopily wrote ‘absailing’ which cost time looking for at the end. On my count there are only two full anagrams, BREATHLESS and TICKETY-BOO, which strikes me as unusual. But fewer anagrams allowed room for nice wordplay giving HERBIVORE, GRADUALLY and HAWAII among others. Thanks to the Doof for explaining how house can equal domestic and I agree about Breadman’s fine clueing, a nice blend with several tricky but gettable challenges.
    PS: On British v Scottish for the river Dee, I always struggle with this. Does that mean Glasgow or Cardiff are British cities? I’m probably wrong but I thought there was Britain, Great Britain (the whole mainland) and the UK (+ NI). Whatever the technical truth of it, calling the Dee British rather jars with me (and probably the Scots).

    1. There are 4 River Dees, one of which is in Wales and Cheshire, another in Cumbria and Yorkshire, plus two in Scotland. So ‘British river’ seems OK.

      1. My goodness, that many? Thank you Kevin, I think both myself and the Doof were working on the erroneous assumption that the famous Scottish one (the only one I knew) was being cited here. So, yeah, can’t quibble with that!

        1. I only knew of the same one, which I knew of from childhood, from Thurber’s illustration of Kingsley’s poem (‘O Mary, go and call the cattle home’…). I learned of the multiplicity of Dees here, which is pretty much the only place I learn anything lately.

    2. Well, people from the UK are technically British and are represented abroad by British Embassies and High Commissions and have British passports. But as for rivers, I guess you can call them British in this case.
      “There was a jolly miller once lived on the River Dee”
      (the Cheshire one, I gather)

    3. LindsayO, to make it clear Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales. GB+NI = UK.

    4. Just to add to your bewilderment LO, it would seem there are eight River Avons in the UK (and Avon means river anyway!), three or four Bournes, five Ouses, and five Stours. Not forgetting three Wyes, four Derwents and Crosswordland’s most useful river, the Ure, of which there seems to be only the one! Nearly all these names have some link with old regional words for water.
      This is all according to Google, so facts may be debatable!

    5. Astonished by the idea that anyone could query whether something in Scotland is British. A triumph of Nationalism, I guess.

  4. 10 minutes, so bang on my target time, but it was a close thing as LIGHTHOUSE as my LOI nearly pushed me over the line.

    I was aware of there being more than one River Dee but the one in Scotland is always the first that comes to my mind and there’s nothing wrong with describing it as a British river.

  5. For some reason it’s not letting me log in today, so I’m coming in through the back door!
    I really enjoyed this puzzle, coming in at 23 minutes. I thought SHAMPOO was cleverly misleading and like DECODE very much. CHARTREUSE is one of those that pops up from time to time – (is that a ‘chestnut’?) HERBIVORE and LIGHTHOUSE both made me smile. LOI was BREATHLESS. Thank you Breadman and Doof.
    A lovely day is dawning down here in Dorset, but with quite an autumnal feel to it at only 10 degrees and cobwebs glistening in the grass. Here’s hoping the marvellous Lionesses can make the day even lovelier with a convincing victory over the antipodean foe!

    1. We appear to have a problem with the menu. See the sticky post on the main page for a temporary solution.

  6. 10:41. Very enjoyable with some not so common words/terms like CHARTREUSE and TICKETY-BOO. Yes, I initially thought at 14d that it was the ‘rascal’ who would be ‘heartless’, rather than the ‘Watch’. Highlight was the ‘assistant at sea?’ def for LIGHTHOUSE which needed all the crossers to solve at the end.

    Thanks to Breadman and Doofers (and to Kevin for the geography lesson)

  7. It’s so nice to have a QC that you can actually solve from the clueing using logic and accessible GK. I really enjoyed this despite not being super quick, coming in at 29 mins. Chapeau, Breadman, and thanks Doofs for clarifying the few that I couldn’t parse. And now I can get on with my day, with a spring in my step.

  8. Found this chewy in places, but all very fairly clued. I wasn’t helped by needing all checkers for CHARTREUSE and LOI LIGHTHOUSE so couldn’t take advantage of the friendly grid and I never did parse IN TWO (pesky hiddens).
    Anyone else taken back to a childhood watching Ivor the Engine?
    Finished a smidge over target in 10.27.
    Thanks to Doofers

  9. Held up at the end by DECODE – because I wanted the ‘British’ to refer to B rather than because of the lack of precision in locating the river – and before that INDUS where I just overcomplicated. A standing ovation for IN TWO and for DECODE too. All green in 16.

    I took 30m on yesterday’s to make only my second appearance in the end of the day top 100 on the leaderboard (93rd). I’m already 52nd today an presumably on my way to my usual position in the 160s. On the more standard K score, I’m down from 4.1 yesterday to 2.6 today.

    Despite modestly claiming 24m here, Doofers is riding high at #2 on the leaderboard with 2.18. Impressive typing sir!

  10. What a good puzzle, done in about SCC entry time and fun all the way. 6D and 10A were the last pair in, smiles at both, after I finally worked out COD, TICKETY BOO, not having been sure if the anagram indicator was the cook or the fried, and what form of “fine” it was trying to misdirect me towards. Not a phrase I can ever remember hearing being used in real life but strangely familiar from wherever…

  11. Very similar experience to Doofers, I normally start towel-throwing at 20 mins, but kept on with this most enjoyable puzzle until finding standing-room only in the SCC, at 24:16.

    GRADUATED (for GRADUALLY) held up TICKETY-Boo, which is a great expression, definitely ready for a comeback. Did not know CHARTREUSE was a liquor, only thought it was a colour. EXTRACT just about works for EXPLOIT, with TRACT=patch of ground, and EX being described as “former unit”, which is how divorc(e)és could be referred to.

    LOI LIGHTHOUSE, where I thought it would start with “Fish”,

  12. 6:48

    None of CHARTREUSE, HERBIVORE, WHIMPER and TICKETY-BOO fully parsed, my LOI was DECODE – the DEE that springs to mind for me is the heavily-silted west-of-The Wirral river (having spent the occasional long weekend in that neck of the woods).

    Thanks Breadman and Doofenschmirtz

  13. Not sure about this. Found I either banged in answers from the smallest hint or just sat and stared needing inspiration. The wordplay and misdirection a bit too complicated. Ended up spending last 10+ mins on CEDAR/CHARTREUSE to take me out to 34:34. Bit poor on my part really.

    Never did lift and separate “comedy film”, just thought it was “lead Character” for the C and a comedy film is a pic in itself, just a very specific one.

  14. What a delight of a QC. Seriously challenging – I join I suspect many others in posting a slower than usual time, in my case 16 minutes – but entirely fair, with no unfamiliar vocabulary, obscure GK or unusual cluing tricks. Chapeau to Breadman for showing how it should be done!

    Among the several clues that caused me to think hard were Lighthouse (house for domestic escaped me – thank you Doofers for explaining), Decode (like Mendesest I wanted to fit a B in there somewhere) and LOI Herbivore, where I needed the starting H to make any progress – and then wondered why I had not spotted that “That lady” implied “Her” much earlier. COD (… of the month) to Tickety-boo, an expression I shall try very hard to find an excuse to use today.

    Many thanks to Doofers for the blog

  15. I usually struggle to find this setter’s wavelength but condsider the challenge well worth it, as today, when I was pleased to complete in about average time.. MER at HOUSE for DOMESTIC in 8d, happy with BREATHLESS for a small room full of people and liked the cunningly concealed IN TWO. FOI CEDAR, LOI TICKETY-BOO, COD DECODE. Thanks. Breadman and Doof.

  16. Unlike most I did not enjoy this puzzle one bit. I thought it was awful. It just really didn’t do much for me. Didn’t entertain me, didn’t keep me interested. Most of my answers went in without much enthusiasm.

      1. Regardless of whether I complete a puzzle or not, I’ll give my honest opinion of it. I’m not a sycophant who gushes over the setters, placing them on some pedestal. I’ve completed QCs that I thought were awful, I’ve DNF’ed some that I thought were very good.

        I’m sorry if you don’t like my opinions. Perhaps stop reading my posts, block me so you can’t see them, or even ban me. I really couldn’t care. Your approval of me is not what I’m seeking.

  17. I wanted a derivative of COINTREUX for 1A and OPERATIVE for 11D.

    FOI 15A they GRADUALLY went in thereafter.

    Was surprised to see HAWAII with all the suffering there. Perhaps another example of an insensitive puzzles editor.

    COD 4D for a great surface.

    Thanks Breadman and Doofers

  18. 13 minutes today. Another with LOI LIGHTHOUSE which required several looks and was one of several clues where the definition was not as I first expected.
    This was a scrappy solve where I barely managed to solve a full section of clues. But I was able to dodge around.
    Another COD to TICKETY BOO. But I thought Abseiling was clumsy.

  19. I concur with the majority that this was a very good offering from Breadman who once again delivers. Bearing in mind that I would consider it tougher than average, I was more than happy to cross the line just outside target at 10.08. My LOI was LIGHTHOUSE and this took me almost a minute to get.

  20. CHARTREUSE was a very late solve and LIGHTHOUSE, like others here, was my LOI. Despite missing my target ( yet again) I enjoyed the workout probably because I knew all the words. 12:03

  21. Harder than yesterday if I look at completion time, though I obviously had one wrong yesterday.

    DECODE (looking for a B at the start) and LIGHTHOUSE (HOUSE=domestic was my issue) were the ones that held me up.


  22. Looked hard, but solved steadily with LIGHTHOUSE LOI, unparsed. Bit of a dodgy clue, IMO.

  23. Golly what a struggle. After two hours gave up, having guessed INDUS – NHO but had to be – but still couldn’t see LIGHTHOUSE. Held up also by the almost plausible 11d OPERATIVE, and HERBIVORE was also difficult. Biffed CEDAR so thank you, Doofers, for your help in parsing that.

  24. 7.44

    Nice puzzle

    Chucked in OPERATIVE which held me up a little bit. Liked IN TWO

    Thanks Doofers and Breadman

  25. Found this one hard work today, with far too many biff then parse answers to ever feel this was a comfortable solve. Well into SCC territory before getting stuck on everyone’s loi, Lighthouse. I spotted the house part quickly enough, but needed a tedious alphabet trawl to produce Light. ‘Lift and separate’ comes to mind, though sadly a little too late to be useful. Invariant

  26. Very fast then stuck on LIGHTHOUSE and DECODE (COD). Yes, MER at HOUSE=domestic, but yes House Cat, or housemaid??
    Liked TICKETY-BOO, CHARTREUSE (although hate the taste), TABOO, AITCH, ABSEILING, among others.
    Thanks for much needed blog, Doofers.

  27. A tougher offering than usual, but none the worse for that. I got off to a quick enough start, but then began to slow. LIGHTHOUSE took a while to see. CHARTREUSE needed crossers. DECODE was LOI and led to a furrowed brow for some time. 13:49. Thanks Breadman and Doofers.

  28. Having somehow managed to make more errors (six) in yesterday’s Izetti than I had registered in the whole of the past four months, I felt sorely in need of a confidence booster today. And that’s exactly what Breadman served up …. until my LOI, that is.

    The two most helpful clues in terms of starting letter (CHARTREUSE and LIGHTHOUSE) ended up being my last two in, so getting a proper foothold was a struggle. However, I did manage all of the three-letter clues (EAT, PIC, OVA and UNI) during my first pass, so my grid wasn’t entirely devoid of checkers.

    TICKETY-BOO and AITCH were my favorites and, together, they made up for the 6-7 minutes I spent at the end alphabet-trawling LIGHTHOUSE. HOUSE came quickly, but I wasn’t sure of its correctness, so _I_H_H_U_E was a challenging trawl – especially as I thought ‘Gentle’ was the definition.

    Many thanks to Breadman and Doofers.

    1. So how long were you at it Mr R? I only ask because you normally provide the time and I suspect it’s an oversight in your post, not to have done so.

      1. Well spotted, Mr Plates. It was an oversight, as you suggested. I finished in 33 minutes, with which I was quite happy. Mrs R crossed the line in 24 minutes, thereby once again gaining the family point.

  29. 13.02 I found this mostly biffable with a few chewy bits. The ordinal positions of the first eight letters of the alphabet were burned into my brain playing Snake forty years ago so AITCH went straight in. DECODE and LIGHTHOUSE were the last two. Thanks to Doofers and Breadman.

  30. I enjoyed this, taking 18 minutes to complete (slightly longer than my average). Failed to parse SHAMPOO and WHIMPER completely (thanks Doofers) but everything else ok. Some interesting vocabulary but none of it unknown.

    FOI – 8ac BIT PART
    LOI – 15ac DECODE
    COD – 10ac HERBIVORE

    Thanks to Breadman

  31. I didn’t see that it was WatcH that was heartless – I parsed it as Watch Heartless.

    Very enjoyable and just the right level of difficulty for me. But I also like the challenge of Izetti and his ilk from time to time.

  32. 25 mins…

    Have to agree – it took me a while, but I enjoyed this also.

    6dn “Lighthouse”, 10ac “Herbivore” and 15ac “Decode” were particular favourites.

    FOI – 7ac “Indus”
    LOI – 6dn “Lighthouse”
    COD – 5dn “Shampoo”

    Thanks as usual!

  33. Agree with all the above. 10 minutes with TICKETY-BOO, HERBIVORE and loi LIGHTHOUSE taking the time. Great blog, thanks.

  34. 9:46, so less than half yesterday’s! I seem to be out of sync with most people today, because I thought it was a pleasant but not amazing puzzle. I felt some of the surfaces were less smooth than others – ABSEILING and HAWAII for example – and was looking for a comparative for more stuffy at 23a . But I liked CHARTREUSE (well not IRL), IN TWO and AITCH.
    I always think of the Cheshire Dee first – perhaps because of the old song CW mentioned which I remember singing in school music lessons.
    FOI Chartreuse LOI Lighthouse COD Eat – just because it was so succinct, and also true! WOD Tickety-boo
    Thanks Breadman and Doofers

  35. The morning after the party ensured this was hard.
    Last 3 were herbivore, lighthouse, and decode.
    COD deCODe.

  36. Definitely hard, and has “TICKETY BOO” ever been used this century? Some definitions (e.g. assistant at sea) seemed very vague. Really had to work at the word play with no real guidance / help / support from the definition.

    1. I had a friend at work who used to say “tickety boo”, he was aged about 30 at the time. Admittedly that was in late 90s so technically not this century. I haven’t seen him very often over the past twenty years so I can’t rule out that he isn’t still using it occasionally!

  37. No enthusiasm for the QC today. That’s what happens when you start the week with a 12 min solve and then have served up yesterday’s horror show. Having my weekly target become unattainable by Tuesday is more than disappointing.

    For what it’s worth, I took 32 mins thoroughly depressing minutes to eventually finish, making errors galore and failing to parse many. When I look back, I made at least three times as many daft mistakes as usual.

    Got there in the end, but with no sense of pleasure or satisfaction. Sorry, but you won’t get any positives from me today.

    Thanks for the blog.

    1. Certainly won’t try to talk you out of that mood as I’ve been there before. Fully empathise with it.

      I will however say you should be resetting goals for this week … it is still possible to do 4/4 with the equivalent of a sub 2hr i.e. 1hr36 or less total … Izetti excluded. I believe you have 52mins left for Thurs and Friday …

      Personally my fingers are crossed for this month’s other Izetti popping up tomorrow or Friday so we can then get on with enjoying the rest of August and into September!

      1. Spot on with the maths. Yes, that’s the new goal. Thanks for a good suggestion.

        If Izetti was to make another appearance this week, I might try the main crossword (for the first time) as the lesser of two evils!

        I’m intrigued as to what my performance would have been today were it not for yesterday. I can’t be sure, but I suspect it would have been somewhat better.

    2. Talking of “daft mistakes” Mr A, your mood may be softened/lifted when you hear of my trials and tribulations in trying to learn Chess over the past few months.

      I started out on chess.com with a nominal rating of 900 and after 20 games (14 wins, 1 draw, 5 losses) had raised that to 1,001. I felt chuffed and thought I had it all sussed.

      My next 20 games, and I haven’t gone beyond that yet, yielded 2 wins and 18 defeats and my ranking is now down in the mid-700s. Most embarrassingly, one of those 18 defeats was by Scholar’s mate, which lasted only four moves. Clearly, I didn’t and still don’t have it all sussed.

      Just at the moment I feel like I’ve been done over by the chess equivalents of Teazel, Wurm, Izetti and Orpheus – all at the same time.

      Good luck tomorrow!

  38. I thought Breadman is considered one of the “easier” setters? Or have I got my wires crossed?

    1. I would have said so. Certainly going into it I wasn’t expecting too much trauma. I’m usually around 20-25mins with him and if I hadn’t brainfarted, I would have been there again today.

      That said, I thought it was tough clueing; so not an easy one for the IIC – Ian’s Improvers’ Class.

    2. No, your wiring remains in good order!

      I think I once told you that I found Breadman to be the ‘easiest’ setter. At the time, this was correct. He has however, at least for me, become increasingly tricky in recent times and I now find him on a par with several others.

      Of course this is all subjective and, as the comments from L-Plates show, we’re all slightly different in terms of how we rate the setters. Breadman certainly isn’t a Wurm or Izetti!

      It’s probably Trelawney who is currently the most straightforward setter. He has set some nice ones recently.

  39. Cracking puzzle, solved in Britain (the Highlands). Didn’t stop DECODE being my LOI because I assumed that British must be doing something else (ie B or BR). Got there in the end but 13:32/2K which has to be a Poor Day.

    Many thanks Breaders and Doofers.


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