Times Quick Cryptic No 2477 by Teazel

Solving time: 11:09

An entertaining challenge from the grey cells of Teazel. Some interesting clueing topped in my view by my LOI 15d which combined with 24a provided a lengthy coda of brow-furrowing brainache, before the answers made themselves known.

No unusual words, only a couple of anagrams and no hiddens today, but plenty of enter this into that and remove that from this…

What did you make of it?

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

7 Certain to explain about the computer industry (8)
DEFINITE – DEFINE (explain) about IT (short for ‘information technology’ aka ‘the computer industry’)
8 Magnificent online film (4)
EPIC – An online film might be an E-PIC

E here stands for ‘electronic’, the notions of e-mail, e-commerce and e-zines being invented before the Internet (which might have prompted greater use of the letter I, pre-Apple) became practically available to the wider world.

9 Lots of dogs off the lead (6)
OODLES – POODLES (dogs) with the lead off (i.e. without the first letter)
10 Small appreciative crowd (5)
SWARM – S (Small) WARM (appreciative)
11 So embarrassed, if this is curling (3)
TOE – If something is embarrassing, it can be said to be TOE-curling

The date of origin of this term is uncertain. In 1901, George Ade published his humorous ‘fractured fables’ Forty Modern Fables which contains an allusion to toe-curling in the sense of embarrassing:

“When they struck a Barber-Shop Minor, they would dwell until the unhappy listener felt his toes curling.”

12 Half of us heard goose in the country (6)
UGANDA – US (Half of us) GANDA [heard goose i.e. homophone of gander which is a male goose]
14 Very enthusiastic type drawing plenty back into party (6)
DYNAMO – MANY (plenty) reversed [back] and inserted into DO (party)

An extremely energetic person could be described as a DYNAMO.

16 I had cared to relinquish European personal document? (2,4)
ID CARD – I’D (I had) CARED with the E (European) relinquished i.e. given up/removed
18 Trees in front, stone behind (6)
FOREST – FORE (in front) with ST (stone) behind
19 Song is broadcast (3)
AIR – Chestnut double definition
20 Be very busy with a new person (5)
HUMAN – HUM (Be very busy) with A N (new)
21 Worker perhaps abandons vital foreign consignment (6)
IMPORT – ANT (Worker perhaps) abandons i.e. is removed from IMPORTANT (vital)
23 Food, wise to distribute between baskets, they say (4)
EGGS – There is an idiom which says (they say): Don’t put all of your EGGS in one basket i.e. don’t risk everything by committing to one plan or idea.

The phrase suggests that it is better to spread your resources across multiple options rather than relying on a single one. This way, if one option fails, you still have other options to fall back on.

24 Son prepared to be drinking greedily (8)
SWILLING – S (Son) WILLING (prepared to <do something>)
1 Was in right place to take ages with journalist (8)
BELONGED – BE LONG (take ages) with ED (journalist i.e. editor)
2 Plug at first fits badly (4)
FILL – FITS [at first i.e. first letter of] ILL (badly)
3 Seat is awkward for nap (6)
SIESTA – Anagram [awkward] of SEAT IS
4 Temperature lowered, subjected to banter (6)
TEASED – T (Temperature) EASED (lowered)
5 Retire an unreliable old servant (8)
RETAINER – Anagram [unreliable] of RETIRE AN
6 Tree, mark, is solidly rooted (4)
FIRM – FIR (Tree) M (mark i.e. abbreviation for the currency)
13 Weapon I stuck into head — pilot must report this (4,4)
NEAR MISS – ARM (Weapon) and I stuck into i.e. inserted into NESS (head)
15 “Motorway pace” — should have read “Motorway race”? (8)
MISPRINT – Think the whole clue provides the definition here.

Both ‘Motorway pace’ and ‘Motorway race’ could be defined by MI (M1) SPRINT (pace/race)

The clue as a whole suggests that ‘Motorway pace’ was a MISPRINT and should have read ‘Motorway race’.

Very clever.

17 Rush round part of UK for something to go with coffee (6)
DANISH – DASH (Rush) round NI (part of UK i.e. Northern Ireland)

A DANISH pastry (commonly known simply as a ‘DANISH’) is a multilayered, laminated sweet pastry in the viennoiserie tradition, and is the perfect accompaniment for one’s elevenses.

My office in Sutton, Surrey in the early 1990s was just around the corner from a marvellous bakery selling the most amazing DANISHes. My team established a daily ‘DANISH run’ which ran over several months – a mild measure of corpulence ensued! #everythinginmoderation

18 Female stiff and unresponsive (6)
FRIGID – F (Female) RIGID (stiff)
20 Enormously fat, good to be in the shade (4)
HUGE – Take HUE (shade) and insert G (good)
22 Dog conceals large part of tooth (4)
PULP – PUP (Dog) ‘concealing’ L (large)

The PULP is the innermost part of the tooth, containing blood vessels and nerves

56 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2477 by Teazel”

  1. 16:40. I had Guinea first as it was a country and a kind of fowl, but crossers brought UGANDA into view. Got mixed up parsing IMPORT and just thought the IMPORTer was the worker but of course that left ER as vital. MISPRINT, NEAR MISS, and BELONGED were my favourites. Thanks for explaining the parsing of IMPORT and EGGS.

  2. Pushed just into the SCC, at 20:04. Like Mike I thought MISPRINT was very clever, although I did spend some time wondering if the answer could contain “rforp” or the equally unlikely “pforr”.

    It was the NW corner that held me up: a stubborn conviction that the T of IT would surely follow the first I prevented me from getting DEFINITE, and I did a poor job of spotting the “be long/belong” connection for 1D.

    Off to try the biggie now: I’m on holiday this week, so have time to try to stretch myself. The first two days have been an experience!

    Thanks to Mike and Teazel.

  3. If there is such a thing as a wavelength I was definitely off it, this lively Teazel effort took me close to PW territory with 19.25. In the SE I could not see IMPORT, MISPRINT and SWILLING for ages, and there was a similar dismal tale in the NW regarding BELONGED, FILL and DEFINITE. LOI PULP took so long I feared a DNF. But other bits of this were much, much easier and there were some very good clues. Mike asked ‘what did you make of it?’ Answer: a mess. Might have a break before tackling the biggie…

  4. I was another off the wavelength today and needed 21 minutes to complete this one, my worst solving time since Juno’s rather strange Nina puzzle in June. I found no easy pickings in the top half on my initial read through so my first answer went in at he bottom of the grid and I worked upwards from there, which is always a disadvantage. MISPRINT, DEFINITE and OODLES were my last three in.

  5. Enjoyed MISPRINT having tried to do something with the M1’s pelt for too long given it didn’t have enough letters or make sense. Also enjoyed UGANDA but otherwise lacked a bit of sparkle. Ground it out in 26m.

  6. 13:46. I found this slow going too. Among others I had trouble with OODLES and SWILLING (stuck on trying to make SLURPING work) but I was generally sluggish in seeing even the easier ones. Thinking of PULP in the dental sense always makes me wince. MISPRINT was an original clue and I also liked the extended def for FRIGID.

    Thanks to Mike and Teazel

  7. Really enjoyed this one and seemed to be on wavelength as most of it went in at a good clip.
    Started with DEFINITE and EPIC and many of their offshoots which made the unhelpful grid slightly less intimidating. My main struggles were with the doggy clues – OODLES and LOI PULP where I spent some time considering the unlikely merits of ‘pulg’.
    COD MISPRINT also required some thought.
    Finished in 8.13
    Thanks to Mike

  8. I am on holiday and quite clearly did not bring my crossword brain cells with me, as I recorded my worst DNF in years on this one. 5 blanks, and 3 errors in those I did fill in. I am not even sure why, but FWIW the NW corner completely defeated me, as did Pulp (DK that bit of GK) and Swilling. And several others …

    On the positive side I got, and very much liked, Misprint. Clever clue. But that is the total extent of the pluses. A day to put the puzzle out of my memory and concentrate on the holiday!

    Many thanks to Mike for the blog

  9. I take this as Teazel’s answer to previous suggestions that he can’t hit the right level for a QC.
    He simply makes the point yet again but provides enough satisfaction (from a few of the clues including MISPRINT) to stretch my remaining grey cells for 20 mins or so.
    Thanks, Mike. John M.

  10. DNF. Can I book a permanent seat in the SCC now? Seems like I haven’t completed one since a PB of seven minutes a couple of weeks ago. Hubris? Poor wavelength? Drained by 15×15 attempts?

    MISPRINT was a good clue and as FS Truman used to say, when a tail-ended missed one of his fast ones : “that were too good for thee”

    Nice use of angular brackets, Mike.

  11. Quite the hardest QC for some time, and that’s saying something of late! I finished in 14.32 but with two errors. I put POSITIVE in for 7ac, and of course couldn’t parse it, but that sometimes happens of course, and this gave me SOLONGED at 1dn. This just about parses even if it is an unlikely looking word, but we see lots of those don’t we! I suspect there will be many DNFs today.

  12. A real grind but I got there in about 16. Some clever clues for sure but i do think Teazel needs to recalibrate. Thanks though, Teazel and Mike!

  13. Managed two-thirds of this, thanks to having learnt such obscurities as head = NESS. NHO PULP, remainder simply too difficult for me. Thank you, Mike, for all the explanations.

  14. FOI TOE and LOI OODLES in 12:51 which seems quite speedy compared to most commenters today. A very tricky offering from Teazel.

  15. I could hear the tortured screams of the less seasoned solvers from quite an early stage of my attempt. However, despite fooling around with the wrong dogs (pugs and collies), and trying to start 2D with a P *, I not only got inside my target, but find myself in 4th place on the leaderboard – and 6 seconds ahead of Verlaine.

    TIME 4:10

    * I hope FILL isn’t an omen – I’m at the dentist later this morning 😟

  16. I thought that was super tough, especially with the horrid grid giving so few first letters. Like Jack I had to go bottom up and like Cedric I found the NW corner the most intractable spot. I liked FRIGID and MISPRINT and LOI EGGS, but generally found this one above my pay grade! Limped home in 14:09 for 1.7K and a Sobering Day.

    Many thanks Teazel and Mike.


  17. DNF as I had to reveal UGANDA before I could get BELONGED, and then bunged in POSITIVE instead of the now obvious DEFINITE, all in 18 minutes, but it felt much longer than that. Virtually every answer had to be TEASED out – DEFINITEly a win for Teazel today. Thanks both.

  18. Yet another stinker for which I resorted to help in order to finish. Teazel’s puzzles are always so hard – PULP, OODLES, MISPRINT, EGGS I struggled with today and guessed NEAR MISS – NHO NESS = HEAD. A real grind.

  19. I would have never guessed oodles. It’s so frustrating to see phonetic clues in today’s crosswords. Over a decade ago, we only had to worry about synonyms and antonyms. And with many using puzzle helpers, it’s getting even more difficult to stay neutral in our competition with fellow crossword solvers.

  20. Gave up on OODLES and FILL after nearly 40 minutes. Bit of a struggle to say the least! Thanks Mike and Teazel.

  21. DNF++!
    FOI OODLES, but tried to biff Plug instead of PULP. I do have a few plugged teeth, come to think of it.
    Numerous other mistakes and gaps, too many to mention really.
    I did like UGANDA (no Private Eye jokes please), DYNAMO, SIESTA, EGGS, DANISH.
    MISPRINT too obscure for me.
    Thanks vm, Mike.

  22. As Busman says, lots of difficulties for the less seasoned solver, and I found myself using techniques usually reserved for the biggie. Liked LOI, MISPRINT. FILL was FOI. My first thought for 22d was PLUG, but I didn’t enter it and saw PULP a bit later. 7:53. Thanks Teazel and Mike.

  23. I found this very hard, especially the NW corner, and needed 39:14 to finally solve. LOI was OODLES.

    Liked MISPRINT

    thanks Mike and Teazel

  24. Took a lot of time on OODLES, eventually going through the alphabet…MISPRINT was very nice, distracted by trying to think of a race starting with MI. About 19 mins in the end (I’m pretty slow at alphabet trawling).

  25. Worst performance for a while with 1 error and 3 unfinished, all in the NW, but don’t feel too bad after reading the comments above.
    The rest went in reasonably quickly but in too many cases I was guessing the answer then parsing to confirm.
    Liked MISPRINT and FRIGID.
    Thanks both.

  26. 20 mins…

    Really enjoyed this – a good mix of straightforward and more challenging clues.

    Wasn’t convinced by the “E-Pic” definition for 8ac. I know it kind of works, but I wouldn’t say it was common usage.

    FOI – 3dn “Siesta”
    LOI – 1dn “Belonged”
    COD – 15dn “Misprint”

    Thanks as usual!

    PS. Just read some comments above, and it seems like I may be in the minority on this. “Oodles” was one of my longest solves it has to be said (and catches me out every time).

    1. Dear Mr Ed46,

      Our discussion about Rugminton the other day caused me to remember another game, which I used to play with a couple of colleagues about 40 years ago. We would sometimes sneak into the firm’s social club at lunchtime and have a game of Snookybillpool – a game which combined the rules of snooker, billiards and pool.

      Points were gained for canons, in-offs, hitting the cushion before the object ball, jumping the white over another ball before striking the object ball and various other strange things. Points were lost for straight potting and for failing to prevent a coloured ball from disappearing down the pocket into the bowels of the pool table.

      Our main goal was to play for 30-40 minutes for the price of a single 50p piece (one set of balls). We got quite good at the game and it was always hilarious.

    2. It’s coming back to me.
      Bonus points were awarded for forcing a coloured ball off the table (they were always returned to the table at the end of the break), potting a ball whilst it was still moving (as long as you also stopped it going down the hole) and snookering oneself and escaping from that position.

      1. It sounds rather complicated Mr Random.

        A pub in the next village to where I live used to have a rather old bar billiards table. Rather than three straight, wooden pegs, it had three wooden mushrooms which I don’t think I’ve ever seen anywhere else (the mushrooms would then be placed in the nearest holes after the game had finished – so obviously a handy storage device).

  27. From the last seat in the darkest corner of the furthest room of the SCC, greetings. And a sigh of relief at actually finishing. Lots of good clues, mostly nearly too good for me.
    DEFINITE/BELONGED probably not the hardest part, but LOsI after great pondering. Maybe I had just run out of brain when I went back to them for the umpteenth time. Liked EGGS and MISPRINT although neither came easily.
    Off to do something easier now, like select a winning English rugby team…

  28. DNF as had to look at the blog to reveal BELONGED, from which I then got LOI OODLES. Very tricky I thought! Biffed EGGS. Favourite was MISPRINT – love this sort of clue. Also liked NEAR MISS and DANISH. FILL took a while. Many thanks for the blog. Thanks to Teazel – tricksy as ever.

  29. In contrast to many of the comments above, I thought this was Teazel at his most benign. He is, by some margin, my most challenging setter, but I dashed this off in 19 minutes for a rare SCC escape.

    My FOI was DEFINITE, but I had to wait until ID CARD for the next. Fortunately, the down clues fell more easily and my last two in were EGGS and OODLES. Strange how _G_S, despite its brevity took so long to crack. I had AGES for what seemed ages before the correct solution came to mind.

    Many thanks to Teazel and Mike.

    1. 👏👏👏

      A truly great performance Mr R. Taken in the context of many other comments, this must be one of your best outings!

      Surely you took the family laurels today?

  30. DNF

    Bucking the trend but not keen on MISPRINT and rather gave up after 10 minutes or so with that unsolved. That SE corner was tough and not helped by having PLUG which seems something of a double as it is defined as a filling for a tooth. Once I’d sorted that the interest had rather waned

    Thanks all

  31. 42.34 I nearly gave up. More than ten minutes were spent on LOI 9a. WORLDS is “lots of” and MOULTS is “lots of dogs off”, kind of, but neither really worked. I finally realised it must be OODLES but couldn’t figure out why. But it isn’t complicated! I blame the heat. Thanks to Mike and Teazel.

  32. Actually quite enjoyed this but didn’t get definite. Some came from inspiration such as oodles for which I was grateful. Average time for a hard one for us of 26 minutes.

  33. I often find Teazel straightforward but with one killer clue.
    Today there were 4 I struggled with: swarm, swilling, firm, and pulp. So I needed 2 sittings to complete.

    COD misprint

  34. Completed but I really could not get into this one. I don’t believe in this “being on the setter’s wavelength” nonsense. There are just some setters/puzzles that are better/worse than others. Today’s offering I felt was not that good at all.

    I did enjoy some of the clues, such as NEAR MISS and, I especially, MISPRINT. But I did not care much for TOE.

    At least I completed it, but did need a little help from Pumpa (the cat).

  35. NHO Pulp so Plug resulted in no 24a hence DNF
    I had 40 mins at the Periodentist this morning and he used neither word though lots of others as I’ve had so much work done. Not cosmetic just crap teeth.
    Haven’t finished in sub 25 for over a week. J

  36. I gave up on this – couldn’t think of anything better than FIST at 2d, which made 6a unsolvable

  37. Add me to the DNFs because of the NW corner and difficult upper half generally but like others I found MISPRINT clever and entertaining.

  38. I thought this was hard. Took 2 sittings to finish and “get on the setter’s wavelength”. EGGS and EPIC were obviously right, but took me ages to realise one was from a saying and the other was E-PIC (never heard that term before). I did like OODLES!

  39. Oooh this was a DNF despite 3 sittings. Mainly because I thought HOUNDS were lots of dogs off the leads. Why aren’t they????

    Took a long time to have a GANDER, mainly because I thought the goose might be in TURKEY or CANADA.

    Not to mention my son who might be SWIGGING, with a tooth that might be a PLUG.

    Well I did like the small appreciative crowd above and the MANY enthusiastic types going back into the party.

    I am DEFINITEly going to try harder. Night night.

  40. I have been doing the QC long enough to usually complete it or finish one or two short. This blog is so useful (and entertaining) for filling in my blanks and gaps in GK. Today’s QC is my worst DNF for a long time, with six or seven blanks that refused to yield. Whether my grey cells were not firing or the clues were just more difficult than I’m used to I’m not sure. I suspect it was more suited to the 15×15 regulars who use this as a quick exercise to limber up for the main challenge.

  41. Notwithstanding Mr R’s superb performance, I thought this was ridiculously hard, as amply demonstrated by many earlier comments. I took 40 mins and wished I hadn’t bothered. After a long, hot and frustrating day at work, this is the last thing I need.

    86 mins for three days – my comment yesterday that I am close to cracking the QC may have been incorrect!

    Only 33 mins remaining for me to hit my target. Not going to happen.


  42. Because I always leave the QC till bedtime (and I’m not allowed to go to bed till it’s done) I’m sure nobody will read this. But it was an enjoyable challenge. I always take solace in that the longer it takes me the more wine I can allow myself. Now is that an incentive or a delightful disincentive ? Finished eventually !

    1. Oh, don’t worry, you’ve got readers. Very interesting question re the effect of the wine on your solving time!

Comments are closed.