Times Quick Cryptic No 2472 by Izetti

A tricky one from Izetti that pushed me well over my target, finishing in 21:24, and with the last one not parsed. A couple of clues are advanced for the quickie, needing you to form an anagram and then insert some other letters, but for anyone with ambitions to attempt the 15×15, that is a common technique.

I think I must be missing something in my parsing of 1d POPE. There must be something more than what I’ve come up with. I’ve even checked the obscure definitions in the dictionary, and I find that a pope can be a fish, a weevil, a bird or a mulled wine, but I’m none the wiser for how this clue works.

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

1 Stop silly club maybe providing old-fashioned communication (8)
POSTCARD – Anagram [silly] of STOP + CARD (club, maybe).
5 Loud Greek character presenting his cheese? (4)
FETAF (loud, forte in music) + ETA (Greek character).

A sort of semi &lit, because feta is, of course, a Greek cheese.

8 Learner hiding in tree seen by everyone in London thoroughfare (4,4)
PALL MALLL (learner) in PALM (tree), next to [seen by] ALL (everyone).
9 Started losing heart and head (4)
BEANBE{g}AN (started), without its middle letter [losing heart].
11 Stick around and see county town (10)
DORCHESTER – ROD (stick), reversed [around] gives DOR + CHESTER (see, as in diocese).

Dorchester is the county town of Dorset. Nice to see a see that isn’t Ely.

14 Imagine one piece of fruit filled with energy! (6)
IDEATEI (one) + DATE (piece of fruit) containing [filled with] E (energy, as in E=Mc2).

Everything I dislike about this word is summed up by the example sentence that the SOED uses to illustrate its use, “The arc whose ideated centre is a nodal point in the composition.” Thinking about it, perhaps the dictionary editor hates the word too, and chose that sentence deliberately…

15 Fruit always eaten by the old man (6)
PAPAYAAY (always) inside PAPA (the old man).

We often see AYE meaning always, but AY is in my dictionary, so fair enough.

17 Source special diet for Lent season (10)
SPRINGTIDESPRING (source, as a river) + anagram [special] of DIET.
20 Something charged when member finally enters club (4)
IRONR [membeR finally] put inside [enters] ION (something charged).

Iron as in golf. I had this the wrong way around for ages, trying to find a way to put R inside a word for ‘club’.

21 Unmarried person rests uneasily, keeping quiet at home (8)
SPINSTER – Anagram [uneasily] of RESTS, including [keeping] P (quiet) and IN (at home).
22 Attention given by the male journalist? (4)
HEEDHE (the male) + ED (standard abbreviation for journalist).

“He said” and “The male said” would be interchangeable when describing a conversation between a woman and a man.

23 Old Labour minister: angry fellow (8)
CROSSMANCROSS (angry) + MAN (fellow).

Richard Crossman, British Labour politician (1907 – 1974). I think I’ve only heard of him because he was one of, if not the, first politicians to publish their diaries.

1 Alexander? Alexander, maybe! (4)
POPE – ?

All I can come up with is that Alexander Pope is a fairly famous poet (well, I’ve heard of him, even if I couldn’t name a single poem) and that there have been multiple popes called Alexander.

Looking forward to someone enlightening me on this one.

2 Commercial event with southern beer (4)
SALES + ALE (beer).
3 Cheering arrival outside stronghold (10)
COMFORTINGCOMING (arrival, as in “the second”) containing [outside] FORT (stronghold).
4 Old widow, king and priest coming to court (6)
RELICTR (king) + ELI (priest) + CT (court).

Not a common word, marked in my dictionary as “archaic, excluding Irish”. A nice easy one for all the readers in Ireland, then.

If you’ve got to fit a “priest” into 3 letters, the odds are good that it will be ELI or REV.

6 Ultimate net value looking wrong (8)
EVENTUAL – Anagram [looking wrong] of NET VALUE.
7 Unusual woman embraced by a bishop — 50 (8)
ABNORMALNORMA (random woman) inside [embraced by] A, B (bishop, from chess notation) and L (50, in Roman numbers).
10 Plants found by nieces wandering across country (10)
CELANDINES – Anagram [wandering] of NIECES containing [across] LAND (country).

This clue could easily be from the 15×15.

12 Craftsperson who could create thin mist (8)
TINSMITH – Anagram of [could create] THIN MIST.
13 What could be made more safe is frightening (8)
FEARSOME – Anagram [what could be made] of MORE SAFE.
16 Good person cheerful or in shock? (6)
STUPORST (saint – good person) + UP (cheerful) + OR.
18 Some anatomical bit that is very small (4)
ATOM – Hidden in [some] anATOMical.
19 Architect seen as a flighty type (4)
WREN – double definition – the first of the puzzle! No wonder I found it hard.

94 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2472 by Izetti”

  1. This took me ages, too, and I’m not sure why. I made the mistake of presuming 12d would end in -IST, which of course delayed that solve. DNK, or barely heard of anyway, CROSSMAN. 9:06.
    Today’s 15×15 might be worth having a go at. A couple of words that I didn’t know, but were gettable.

  2. 19:38. I think what you see is all there is to see in POPE. And like you I first looked at IRON the wrong way round. I didn’t think shock and STUPOR were the same. IDEATES and CELANDINES took most of my time- the former because I went through every possible fruit I could think of before I came to DATE, and the latter because I tried Cuba, Mali, Iran, Chad, Laos, Togo, Eire and Iraq before I changed gear and hit upon LAND to fit inside anagram of NIECES. RELICT was NHO but generously clued.

  3. I thought POPE worked just like you put in the blog, the author and numerous popes. Vaguely heard of RELICT and CELANDINES. Luckily I lived in UK during the CROSSMAN era so that was a write-in but obviously tough for both overseas and young solvers (1974 is a long time ago!).

  4. Same here on POPE, it’s possibly not Izetti’s finest hour in an otherwise cleverly constructed crossword. OK, if you don’t count the random 50 to complete ABNORMAL at 7dn. I found this tough, it took me 22.13 but at least – unlike yesterday – I finished. I, too, thought 12dn would end in IST (it became a dead cert when I got IRON). LOsI were IDEATE and CELANDINES, and I wasn’t helped by whacking in SPRINGTIME without even thinking about it. Thanks to the Doof, agree this was quite challenging for a QC.

  5. Started this after being woken in the early hours and unable to get back to sleep – and this didn’t help! Twice through the SCC but under an hour at least. Needed the blog to clarify a few bits of parsing.
    Wanted to put in POPE but wasn’t happy with the parsing, (still a MER) and as I couldn’t see 1A at the time those ended up as my LOIs. Otherwise, few easy ones but a good workout, albeit at the harder end of the QC spectrum I think.
    Didn’t know IDEATE but pleased to work it out. RELICT dimly remembered, but only once I written it in. If I hadn’t seen country= land fairly quickly the 10D plants would have had me sweating, the range of horticultural options is so vast, often with odd letter combinations to inhibit guessing.

    1. I just remembered where I came across (for the first and last time) ‘relict’: Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend, where he introduces Lady Tippins, relict of the late Sir Thomas Tippins, knighted by George III in mistake for someone else.

  6. 11:39. Maybe not 13d, but still challenging enough. I agree CELANDINES was tough and it was a great help that the almost as difficult IDEATE appeared only 5 days ago in another puzzle. I was happy to have the crossers for POPE which I wouldn’t have spotted otherwise.

    Not a word often used to describe crossword clues, but I thought the surface for SPINSTER was quite poignant; my favourite.

    Thanks to Izetti and Doofers

  7. As an experienced solver I didn’t find this hard so I was a little surprised to find I had exceeded my target time by 2 minutes, making 12 minutes in total. But I was aware very early on that there was some tricky stuff going on here in both words and wordplay and I thought to myself this will not go down well with many of our contributors. With only a few comments added to the blog so far it already seems that I was right about that. I was particularly conscious of it because I was so spectacularly wrong on Monday in my assessment of Myles’s offering as being “gentle” and I would rate today’s Izetti puzzle as several levels of difficulty higher than that.

  8. Too hard for me – again. Where on earth did IDEATE come from? And I never did parse DORCHESTER, CELANDINES and SPINSTER. Another no time given. That’s two in a row this week. ☹️

    1. CELANDINES and SPINSTER were the two that combine both an anagram and an insertion. IDEATE is an invention of pseuds and business schools. (He said tolerantly.)

          1. Hard to argue with that, but it would be interesting to know the context in which it seems to be in fashion, i.e. as which part of speech. Revisiting the info in SOED I note that its use as an adjective is more recent:

            1 Produced by or deriving its existence from a Platonic idea. rare. E20.
            2 Concerned with ideas as opp. to reality. M20.

      1. You may be thinking of ‘imagineer’, which certainly is a business studies invention!

  9. My eyebrow twitched slightly at POPE, but I read it the same way as Doofers and earlier posters. I sorted out the puzzle in two straight passes, but, while it was a cruise for me, I could see the potential for disruption that CROSSMAN and DORCHESTER might cause. I’m not sure why IDEATE should trouble anybody though – it’s quite a “normal” word these days.

    TIME 3:51

  10. Congratulations to Doofers for “nice to see a see”, fun to say.

    Suffered, thought about quitting and finished all in just 15 not exactly fun filled minutes. Bewildered when Worcester turned out not to have enough letters despite having been to school in Dorset and having thought I’d been along the south coast naming county towns in my desperation. Once I’d thought of DORCHESTER I enjoyed the parsing. Site of the world’s largest dinosaur museum (the pamphlet says, caveats apply but still good!). NHO RELICT or IDEATE and I was disappointed to see them used but both parseable. Similarly with the NHO CELANDINES just took a while to get to ‘land’ after more head scratching over ‘Chad’ not fitting _a_d.

    No problem with CROSSMAN – my Dad’s always going on about his diaries. He even made me borrow his copy once. One day I’ll read them.

  11. There was some clever stuff here – like others I was well misled by the surface for iron, trying to put an R into a club – but by the time I had negotiated a random woman’s name (Norma), an unparsable clue (still none the wiser on Pope, which is either far too deep for me or very weak indeed), a relatively minor politician from 50 years ago (Crossman), a slightly dodgy synonym (Ultimate = Eventual?), a couple of pretty obscure words (Relict and Ideate – what an ugly word and I vow never to type, say or use it ever again) and then spent 3 minutes on a word search for my last, Bean (-E-N is not the most helpful of checkers), 17 pretty unenjoyable minutes had passed.

    And then I turn to the blog to see who was responsible for this. Ah yes, Izetti. Not remotely a surprise.

    Many thanks to Doofers for the blog

  12. A mixed bag from Izetti with some decidedly chewy clues that needed lots of checkers and head scratching.
    POPE went in with an unimpressed shrug, RELICT was a case of trusting the wordplay and crossing my fingers and LOI CELANDINES needed pencil, paper and a significant PDM when I realised I wasn’t looking for a specific country.
    There were some quality clues to enjoy along the way with my favourite being DORCHESTER (another PDM).
    After all that I was happy to finish in 11.04 despite being over target.
    Thanks to Doofers

  13. I called it a day at 30mins with 8 left – the SW plus POPE & CELANDINES (NHO) having not added anything since 21mins. With another setter I might have been willing to hang in there because I think it was doable if I could have cared. But I’m not going to put myself in the hole for an Izetti.

    Can’t say I’d heard of RELICT or CROSSMAN so Izetti keeping up his string of including stuff I’ve NHO. Since his outing two weeks ago when I’d NHO 3 of them, there was only one word in the 10 QCs by other setters I’ve NHO – badinage. That tells a story.

    In truth when we reached yesterday without having had two Izettis in August I had my fingers crossed that he’d been dumped from the rota. Sadly not. I actually felt quite positive for the first 10mins and hoped maybe he’d been instructed to be gentler and get back to how he was setting pre-March. I think it probably was but, like I would want to see a lot more proof of change from a cheating lover before I recommit, it’s too soon. I honestly wouldn’t mind him being in the rota if he would just sort it out.

    1. Interesting observation you make about the frequency of your NHOs. Of course what for one person is an NHO is for another a word they use all the time (for me the word Ideate was today’s NHO – and bête noire to boot, ugly word), but what I think one can say is that as well as giving us more NHOs than other setters, Izetti is more “marmite” than other setters – some love the challenge, but he does generate more negative comments than others, perhaps even than all others combined. Today being a case in point …

      1. Thanks Cedric. I agree he is marmite and while I like a challenge but there’s no point in me trying to take on Djokovic at Wimbledon …

        I don’t mind NHOs per se when they’re clued like CROSSMAN and RELICT. I guess if I hadn’t fixated on Mali even CELANDINES would have been okay. But part of the problem is when you don’t have the checkers and it creates too much doubt!! Actually rest-cure may have been a NHO yesterday or maybe vaguely HO.

        Anyway, on your dodgy synonym of ultimate=eventual … think of a tennis tournament where you might refer to “ultimately the winner was …” or “the eventual winner was” … “the ultimate winner was” …

  14. Tough going: IDEATE (NHO) particularly troublesome. However CROSSMAN went straight in. If my memory is correct (very often fallible nowadays), he was the Labour minister who scoffed at the idea of further nationalisation by arguing that the aim of its proponents was to make Marks & Spencers as efficient as the Co-op. Events of recent years would make the irony of this statement less obvious to younger solvers!

  15. After a PB last week, and three close finishes of the 15×15 this week, I log my third consecutive DNF of the QC today. CELANDINES and CROSSMAN seem obscurities, but at least I got them.

    “Could create” doesn’t make sense as an anagram indicator to me.

    IDEATE is a dreadful business phrase used by “blue sky thinkers” engaging in “ideas workshops” usually involving whiteboards and post-it notes. I never got to DATE for the fruit.

    Also missed ABNORMAL, when there were several options with RR and WOMAN as anagram fodder. I thought the trailing “50” at the end of the clue was very weak from Izetti.

    Since I started making good progress on the Big Puzzle my QC efforts have deteriorated, either I’m too tired, or I’m now over-thinking QC clues, although several of Izettis seem to be fifteen-ers.


    1. While completely agreeing with you about the “trailing 50”, it’s amusing to see that in today’s 15 x 15 (which I only happened to glance at by chance) there is another exactly similar “: fifty” at the end of a clue (14a). Curious.

    1. Nor Winchester or Chichester or any obscure town in one of the counties of a U.S. state that only Izetti would include !!

  16. I normally enjoy Izetti QCs for their elegant wordplay but today there were too many NHO words. RELICT, CELANDINES, BEAN for head, IDEATE (LOI) were all unknown to me. I guessed CROSSMAN and had no idea what was going on with POPE. 16:01

    1. Agree with all of this comment. As one new to this puzzle, today’s had me bewildered. 7d flummoxed with Norma after a chess reference. But I enjoyed Wren and even got iron on first pass so maybe all is not lost! I fear the 15 x 15 is way over the horizon. Thanks for the blog. So useful.

  17. Four in NW, three in NE, two in SE, one in SW – and that was the end for me!
    NHO head = BEAN – is there a context for that? NHO IDEATE, AY, CELANDINES; NHO special = anagram; NHO Lent = SPRINGTIDE; thought of IRON but couldn’t make it = club so rejected it (no sportsman here!). Got R + ELI but NHO old widow = RELICT; have much Dickens under my belt but is this word only knowable from Our Mutual Friend ? (Thank you all, below, for your kind instruction: success!)
    Very many thanks to Doofers – much to learn here…..

    1. I’m guessing, but I think it is an extension of NUT = head, at least, that’s how I have always seen it. It would be interesting to know if there is some other logic.

    2. In looking up your query I was interested to find that the usual sources seem to be in agreed that BEAN is US / Canadian slang for ‘head’, or as a verb meaning ‘hit on the head’. As far as I’m concerned it has been around for ever, and in British schoolboy slang it meant ‘Head’ as in Headmaster, yet I can’t find any reference to that at the moment. Anyway with the other meaning it has given birth to ‘beanie’ as the close-fitting knitted cap that’s still so popular amongst those that like them.

      On Edit: The Oxford Dictionary of English doesn’t qualify it by saying it’s American.

      1. In baseball, a “bean ball” is one that hits the batter – usually in the head.

        In cricket a ball bowled at the head is a “beamer” so I don’t know if they are derived from the same place.

        At primary school, I came 3rd in the beanbag race which involved running as fast as possible while balancing a small bag of beans on your head 🤣

        1. Thank you, L-Plates. Gosh you have to be an all-round sportsman to do these QCs, don’t you……..

      2. “Have I got to clump you one on the side of the bean?” from P. G. Wodehouse’s novel Bill the Conqueror(1924). Re bean as head in Canadian slang, I can remember my father and teachers exhorting me on many occasions to use my bean when confronted with a problem.

    3. You need to use HTML tags to do italics on here (well, I know that works and I don’t know of any other ways to do it in comments).

      So for the above, I put i inside “less than, greater than”, i.e. pointy brackets, before the word italics and /i in them after.

  18. Taken comfortably inside the SCC today at 23 minutes. I think someone on the blog yesterday posited an easy day for today on the basis of a couple of tougher crossies during this week. Well that wasn’t the case was it? We have seen Celandine before. I think I blogged it last time and remember saying at the time ‘take your pick of the two – the greater or lesser’, so I was lucky enough to get that fairly quickly. My hold-ups were trying to fit IRON for club into 1a and coming up with POSTIRON, which sounded vaguely familiar. I then had to unravel that. Then, when I looked at 20a, being twice shy, I persisted with trying to make BRAT or BART fit until finally IRON made sense. I also struggled with other clues all over the grid, but remembered CROSSMAN for some reason. Tough one Izetti, thanks for the blog Doofers.

  19. Fairly tricky.

    DORCHESTER biffed, thankfully I didn’t think of COLCHESTER. It was mostly all there if you looked for it, even POPE. CROSSMAN, RELIC and CELANDINES were reasonably clued I thought. IRON was LOI after TINSMITH gave me the opening I – I was looking at the wrong end of the clue and trying to convince myself that BRAT was something that could be charged.


  20. I had a go at this, despite seeing the setter’s name. In fact, I ignored the clock and had more fun with it than I expected. Some very good clues and some answers that came to mind surprisingly quickly, given a couple of crossers – e.g. CELANDINES, ABNORMAL, RELICT (the latter with fingers crossed). I liked IRON.
    I strayed into the SCC by a minute or two, largely held up at the end by COMFORTING (only because I had biffed Shrovetide for 17a without parsing it), and my LOI IDEATE which I put together in hope from the fair clueing but had never heard of and, like Doofers, hated on sight. I do agree with you, Doofers. Jackkt may have found an ancient usage of the word but I would run a mile from the sort of pseud who would use it as a verb these days. A black mark for Izetti for such an ugly word.
    Otherwise, thanks to the setter for another ‘not-a-QC’ which, nevertheless, had some very neat clues amongst the usual idiosyncrasies. Special thanks to Doofers for a super blog and some apt comments. John M.

    Biffed COLCHESTER (oh dear) and CELANDINE. And Banana instead of PAPAYA.
    Liked CROSSMAN, PALL MALL, SPRINGTIDE, but really much too difficult and discouraging, imo.
    Thank you, Doofers. Blog much needed.

  22. An Izetti puzzle which could be described as a learning experience. As a fairly experienced solver now, my only unknown was RELICT; but as I solved I could sense what others may say.
    All done in 15 minutes. LOI RELICT which was clearly clued.
    Some of the GK was a bit tough but e.g. CROSSMAN was again clearly clued- not having the first letter may have made it hard for some.

  23. An Izetti puzzle which could be described as a learning experience. As a fairly experienced solver now, my only unknown was RELICT; but as I solved I could sense what others may say.
    All done in 15 minutes. LOI RELICT which was clearly clued.
    Some of the GK was a bit tough but e.g. CROSSMAN was again clearly clued- not having the first letter may have made it hard for some.

  24. After suggesting yesterday that the editor may take pity on us after two tough puzzles, Izetti had other ideas and gave us another one. I think the times posted and the accompanying comments so far confirm that. So for the third consecutive day I missed my target, but this time not by much at 10.30. I think I was on form to achieve even this, with date as the fruit coming to me quickly so IDEATE didn’t delay me. My longest time frustratingly was spent on my LOI which was CELANDINES. I managed to work it out without being sure if it was indeed a flower.

  25. Completed in 24:11 with a big sigh of relief, only to find my biffed COLCHESTER earned me pink squares – should have gone back to check, but living not a million miles from said county town it seemed obvious. Otherwise, pretty tough, with POPE being a hopeful LOI after several thoughtful minutes. I’m old enough to remember CROSSMAN and IDEATE has appalled me before! Onwards and upwards…… Thanks Doofers and Izetti.

  26. DNF as NHO IDEATE, nor BEAN = HEAD, nor AY = ALWAYS. Biffed DORCHESTER. Fortunately remembered Richard Crossman. Izetti always very difficult and today absolutely no exception! Hopefully the end of the week will be a little more gentle than the 3 so far.

  27. 9.06

    I shouldn’t moan as I completed this knowing the necessary GK but it wasn’t full of elegance or wit and POPE was just a very weak clue.

    Sorry Izetti! Just filling in my 360 as we all need to do nowadays 🙂

    Thanks anyway and to Doofers

  28. IDEATE (you wot?) pushed me over target to 10:45 but I enjoyed that. Took ages to understand IRON. Liked FETA and ABNORMAL very much.

    Many thanks Izetti and Doofers.


  29. DNF after 30 mins with CELANDINES, CROSSMAN, IDEATE and WREN remaining. I should have got the plant and the architect. I could have got the other two in reality from the clues if I hadn’t been feeling so cross about 1d (POPE) (which to be fair to Izetti I did solve).

    However, I feel that 1d is a really weak clue for POPE. Does this mean that we can now have clues such as “Alexander? Ben, maybe!” for BELL or “Robert? Walter, maybe!” for SCOTT? Or simply SCOT?
    7d was also weak with the random ’50’ at the end.
    I guessed DORCHESTER without parsing. Not my best day but not Izetti’s either.
    Thanks Doofers for the blog, very helpful.

  30. Dnf…

    Ugh – absolutely horrible – can’t think of a worse QC in quite a while (both in terms of the actual puzzle and my performance).

    Some quite obscure clues here I think – not helped by me putting in “Alarming” for 13dn and knocking out the entire SW corner. Had a brain block for the Labour minister – nearly put Wrathman – and I probably ended up with 2/3 completed after my usual 30 mins cut off.

    FOI – 5ac “Feta”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 7dn “Abnormal” – but tempted not to have one at all.

    Thanks as usual! 😀

  31. A fairly steady solve today, coming home with LOI IRON at 24:01. I’ve had quite a few slower recently and, given other comments on here, I’m reasonably happy with that. NHO of CROSSMAN, SPRINGTIDE, IDEATE or RELICT, but all seemed quite gettable to me so I’m not sure why some others are complaining. It’s when obscurities are clued by anagrams or you just have a couple of vowels in the middle as checkers that I think is unfair. In any case, if these QCs never had any words you hadn’t heard of, how would you ever learn new words? That’s part of the fun isn’t it? With that in mind, thanks to Izetti and Doofers.

    1. I managed to learn lots of new words across my lifetime before I ever started doing the QC. I just read newspapers, books, watch documentaries, look things up that I don’t know about.

      Trouble is, with Izetti QCs I never have any urge to find out about the stuff in it afterwards because I feel more inclined to come rant. So I find it’s rather counterproductive as a way of learning stuff.

  32. DNF.
    Third nasty one this week.

    1 Down: ” Alexander , Alexander” = Pope ? Really nasty obscure one this.
    14 Across : “Ideate”. Is that even a word ?
    17 Across : Springtide ? Never heard of it !

    And so on, and so on.

  33. Just an aside … although very much related to this QC ….

    For my birthday, I was given TTQCC book #1 which contains puzzles from the first year of the QC – 2014. In the introduction, Richard Rogan writes “… we hope to cater for new or less experienced solvers, and also for the seasoned expert, who may wish to polish a few off before lunch or bed!”

    Thus far six of the first 7 puzzles have been sub-20 except one by a setter called Flamande which took me out to 41mins. I was due to do a Joker today but having glanced ahead I saw there was an Izetti on the page after.

    I have never been one to like quitting as I did today, so I took it upon myself to do the Izetti partly for comparison. It is from 8th April 2014 and blogged here .. https://timesforthetimes.co.uk/quick-cryptic-22-by-izetti

    I completed it in 9min57 with pencil and paper. That’s the 3rd fastest I’ve ever completed a QC. There wasn’t anything in there I hadn’t heard of.

    I’d say the aims of the QC have been lost.

    1. I think your last comment’s a bit harsh. Most, perhaps nearly all, QCs are a joy still and not noticeably contrary to RR’s ambition. One or two setters seem to have slightly taken their eye off the ball recently, perhaps not putting in quite enough effort with some of the clues. Pope, for example, seems to have attracted widespread thumbs down today, yet it is in essence more of a lazy clue than a bad one, and a little more thought and effort when faced with P-P- might have produced something like “Father of the alphabet”, giving Papa.

      But then if you have been setting QCs right from the very start of the series 9 years ago – and countless other crosswords as well, as we know – you might be permitted a rough patch. Many of Izetti’s puzzles from the start of this year were excellent, and I am sure they will in future be so too. At least I hope so.

  34. Tricky! I was held up by many clues, but never for very long. My FOI was FETA and I made good-ish progress once I reached the down clues.

    POSTCARD, CELANDINE, the NHO RELICT and PAPAYA were awkward for me, and my last four in were SPRINGTIDE, FEARSOME, IRON and IDEATE (another NHO). However, total time = 27 minutes, so a very good day for me.

    Thanks to Izetti and Doofers (wonderful sample sentence for IDEATE, btw).

  35. I’ve come to this blog late today, partly because I had to return to it after errands. On Monday I manged both in 30 mins but that was not enough time for this. Too many obscure and outdated references for this to qualify as anything like a quickie in my opinion. We had Nicholas Parsons yesterday and Richard Crossman today. Really?? thanks though

  36. 7:13

    Well I’m pinning my colours to the Team Izetti mast. After two poor days, I found this chewyish with a couple of stretches in NHO IDEATE (luckily thought of DATE once all checkers in place) and CELANDINES (again LAND came to mind early and used nieces to fill out – wasn’t certain such things exist but reasonable guess).

    POPE assumed to be both poet and er… POPE. Didn’t parse generously-checked LOI POSTCARD for the quick finish. All in all, a decent grid.

    Thanks Izetti and Doofs

  37. I’m on a hiking holiday in Norfolk so haven’t been reading the blog & other posts, but here are my times for the week:
    Monday – 30 mins
    Tuesday – 1 hour (30 mins on LOI – MARYLAND)
    Wednesday – 41 mins (Izetti’s usual QC in name only, several NHOs as usual)

    Can’t say it’s been much fun and I’m not sure that a succession of very hard QCs encourages those of us who inhabit the SCC, let alone newcomers.

    1. Well done yesterday, Mr A. 30 minutes on your LOI is impressive.
      I gave up after 47 minutes, having spent ~10 minutes on the same clue and realising that MARYLiNe was incorrect.

      1. Thanks Mr R. I so nearly put the same word in. I was convinced that the answer was something to do with the line of succession to the Crown! It was only as I came back to the clue during a walk that the answer presented itself.

        I was hugely impressed by your time today. Anything under 30 mins for that QC is excellent going.

  38. Trickier than average, taking me over my target to 13:01. SALE was FOI and I needed the P from PALL MALL to see what was going on at 1d. LOI CELANDINES arrived after I corrected my biffed SPRINGTIME. Thanks Izetti and Doofers.

  39. 28.47 This started well with the first two rows of acrosses and all the top-row downs going straight in (though I never did make sense of POPE) but it was uphill from there. CROSSMAN was obscure. IDEATE was slow. I was pleased to piece together NHO CELANDINES but apparently it’s cropped up before. I read IRON the right way round but couldn’t see why it was a club and I couldn’t parse DORCHESTER so that was LOI. Thanks to Doofers and Izetti.

  40. I found this much easier than yesterday, but I seem to be in the minority. NHO RELICT or CROSSMAN but very generously clued, knew IDEATE and had vaguely heard of CELANDINES (and no other letter combination made sense luckily). No particular problem with POPE clue. Thanks for the blog. Liked PALL MALL. Thanks Izetti – unfairly criticised IMHO!

  41. DNF. Way too tricky for me, and indeed too tricky for a QC I’d say.

    Did much better in the Daily Telegraph cryptic today – completed with no aids.

  42. Took an age but got there eventually.
    I couldn’t parse the chester bit of 11a.
    Agree on pope consensus but the rest was ok. I think it needed something more fun like:

    Dad taking ecstasy sees his holiness.

    COD postcard

  43. DNF and I did not enjoy this. The vocabulary needed was obscure. Celandines, Ideate and Relict were all unknown to me. I did know Richard Crossman but how many under 60 would?

    I did like the clue for Pall Mall.

    Tomorrow is another day.

    1. NHO Crossman, but given the wordplay and checkers that was the least of my worries today.

  44. 17:53 (British Museum established)

    A hard puzzle, but not as bad as yesterday. I share everyone’s option on that the clueing of POPE left something to be desired. IDEATE is not a word I have ever encountered, but it was gettable.
    I hesitated over PAPAYA, knowing AYE but not AY.

    Thanks Doofers and Don

  45. My fastest of the week so far – but that’s a very low bar! It took me 23 minutes and I would say all parsed except that, like Doofers, I was looking for something more for POPE. My target time is 15 minutes, so I have yet to get anywhere near it this week, in fact yet to get out of the SCC. NHO IDEATE – had to look it up to check it was actually a word but managed to dredge up all the other obscurities from wherever in my brain they reside.

    FOI – 5ac FETA
    COD – 1ac POSTCARD

    Thanks to Izetti and Doofers

  46. The problem with commenting later in the day is that everything has already been said – which I agree with. That just leaves thanks to our blogger.

    1. Hello Chris,

      You could pick up on something in the crossword and go off at a tangent in your (late) posts. Such comments are often more entertaining than those strictly focussed on the crossword itself. I, for one, nearly always come back here later in the evening to catch up on things, so that’s one reader (at least) for you.

      P.S. Mrs Random and I have a glut of some home-grown veg, so on the menu this evening is slightly curryfied sauteed courgettes and green BEANs, topped with crumbled FETA. No PAPAYA, I’m afraid, but COMFORTING all the same.

      P.P.S. We are off to near DORCHESTER tomorrow. Maybe I should send a POSTCARD.

      Good luck tomorrow!

      1. I don’t know if it’s a case of subliminal suggestion but those slightly curryfied sauteed courgettes sound especially delectable to me!

      2. Dear Mr (and Mrs) R. Good to hear your crosswording, gardening and cooking skills are all paying dividends!

  47. DNF

    Consecutive failures! DORCHESTER wouldn’t come to mind so put COLCHESTER, more in hope than expectation and was never going to get IDEATE, so put IZETTI, that being the setter. Again I knew it was never right but I was already outside my 30 minutes cut-off. Bring in tomorrow.

    1. Dear DearHector,
      Putting IzEtTi for IDEATE was an inspired choice. Mrs Random says it “shows imagination” – IDEATion, in fact. Well done!

  48. A dnf as I bunged in LOI COLCHESTER after 1h 19m as I was getting fed up and had already used aids for several clues. I like to be stretched occasionally but this did seem more like a Slow Cryptic to me with so many unusual words and some pretty tough clues.
    It must be hard for a setter to judge the ability of the solvers if the clues looks easy to you.
    Thanks to Izetti and Doofers.

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