Times Quick Cryptic No 2482 by Felix

I started well – I had well over half done in six minutes – but then slowed down dramatically, finishing in 17:30, outside my 15:00 target time.

My FOI was DAWN, and I was held up by the AUTHORISE / RETHINK crossing, which were my last two. But on the whole, I think this was on the easier end of the spectrum. Even the anagrams came fairly quickly today, which they often don’t. I have no idea where I have heard or used the phrase BARRACK ROOM LAWYER, but it bubbled up somehow from the depths.

If there is a theme or a Nina in this puzzle from Felix it has gone whooshing over my head, as normal.

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

1 Give a large amount in harmless display of aggression? (8)
HANDBAGSHAND (give, as in ‘hand out) + BAGS (a large amount).
5 Deal won’t, oddly, start (4)
DAWN – Every other letter [oddly] of ‘DeAlWoNt’.
8 Watch, perhaps, maiden involved in row (5)
TIMERM (maiden, from cricket) in TIER (row)
9 Increasingly perceptive, of abnormal stature (7)
ASTUTER – Anagram [abnormal] of STATURE
11 Picks out one police officer (3)
IDSI (one) + DS (Detective Sergeant – police officer).

That’s “eye-dees”, not “ids”.

12 Removes a bishop’s pamphlets (9)
ABSTRACTSA + BS (b for bishop, from chess + s for the possessive) + TRACTS (pamphlets).
13 I’ve found it some mistake, ruefully reflecting (6)
EUREKA – Hidden in reverse [some … reflecting] in ‘mistAKE RUEfully’.
15 We settled into cosy place, most modern! (6)
NEWESTWE inside [settled into] NEST (cosy place).
18 Allow writer one’s eraser at the start (9)
AUTHORISEAUTHOR (writer) + IS (one’s) + E{raser} [at the start].

I spent ages trying to come up with a specific writer that matched A___O_.

19 Jump is hard work! (3)
HOPH (hard, as in pencils) + OP (work, as in music – short for ‘opus’).
20 Damage an arm in making film (4,3)
RAIN MAN – Anagram [damage] of AN ARM IN.
21 Brent’s  fliers? (5)
GEESE – double definition

A brent (or brant) is a type of goose. Felix is being a little bit sneaky with the apostrophe, but it is needed for the surface.

22 Came to window to look there, finally (4)
WOKE – last letters [finally] of ‘windoW tO looK therE‘.
23 Happy kid’s best clothes (4,4)
GLAD RAGSGLAD (happy) + RAGS (kids, in the sense of teasing).

Another sneaky apostrophe.

1 Start unconventionally, manouevring two into employ (3-4)
HOT-WIRE – anagram [manouevring] of TWO inside [into] HIRE (employ).
2 French city has eminently risen — to an extent (5)
NIMES – hidden in [to an extent] ‘haS EMINently’, backwards [risen, since this is a down clue].

Our second reversed hidden word.

3 Arm, or back, or otherwise, a type of lawyer (7-4)
BARRACK-ROOM – Anagram [otherwise] of ARM OR BACK OR.
4 After golf day, sank unusual port (6)
GDANSKG (Golf – NATO alphabet) + D (day) + an anagram [unusual] of SANK.

I didn’t help myself by reading this as “After gold day…”.

6 Embassy staffer not drinking: a pain all round! (7)
ATTACHEA + ACHE (pain) surrounding [all round] TT (teetotal – not drinking).
7 Marines arriving in numbers bringing standards (5)
NORMSRM (Royal Marines) inside [arriving in] NOS (numbers).

“No. 1” looks fine to me, and I guess I can be convinced that “Nos. 1 – 5” is ok.

10 Sort of race featuring a tie between each team? (5-6)
THREE-LEGGED – cryptic definition.

A three-legged race is, of course, where pairs of racers have their legs tied together. Much loved by small children and drunken students.

14 Change of plan on Thursday, something writer needs (7)
RETHINKRE (on) + TH (Thursday) + INK (something writer needs).

It took me a long time to see what was going on here, partly because I only thought of THU as the abbreviation for Thursday.

16 Without pyjama jacket perhaps, so slept unsoundly (7)
TOPLESS – Anagram [unsoundly] of SO SLEPT.
17 Gesture aligns, somehow (6)
SIGNAL – Anagram [somehow] of ALIGNS.
18 Missile, limited in range, heading off (5)
ARROW – {n}ARROW (limited in range), without the first letter [heading off].
19 Scavenger’s intense desire to enter hotel area (5)
HYENAYEN (intense desire) inside [to enter] H (hotel – NATO alphabet again) + A (area).

68 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2482 by Felix”

  1. Unlike the Doof I’m not so convinced that this clever offering by Felix was at the easier end of things, I did it in 11.52 and some were a real struggle. This was not helped by me having no idea what was going on with the HANDBAGS def, not knowing the GEESE, having never encountered a BARRACK-ROOM lawyer and thinking that ID was OK as a noun but not a verb. Enjoyed the several crafty anagrams and hiddens, liked LOI HOT-WIRED, GDANSK and RETHINK.

  2. 22:23. I had difficulty with quite a few but got through eventually. My favourites were the same three LindsayO liked. Also enjoyed the felicitous rhyming of HANDBAGS and GLAD RAGS and the two possible spy thriller titles- The GDANSK SIGNAL and The NIMES RETHINK. A TOPLESS ATTACHE might figure prominently in one or both!

  3. 11 minutes. I spotted the title of a song in the ‘felicitous rhyming’ referred to by Currryowen if linked by ‘and’. Also the answers to 1ac and 5ac linked by ‘at’ could give us a fuller solution for the definition at 1ac. There’s usually more to a Felix theme so I’m not sure this is it.

  4. HANDBAGS and GLAD RAGS appear in the title theme of The Office (UK), a show which plays host to ‘Brent’ and DAWN. Maybe this is tenuous. Spent way too long figuring out the BARRACK ROOM lawyer and indeed had never heard of such!

    1. No, not tenuous surely? The song used as The Office theme is Handbags and Gladrags, the title referred to in my posting above, but I hadn’t made the connection with the programme. In addition to ‘Brent’ in a clue and DAWN in the grid as identified by you, there’s also TIM at 8ac. Shame that ‘Gareth’ arrived a couple of days early in another Times puzzle!

  5. 11 minutes for this puzzle, which I think, judging by the comments above, may perhaps be one that British solvers find easier – Barrack room lawyers and Handbags at dawn familiar phrases for me at least and perhaps for others in the UK.

    No problems but a very small MER (more of a MET – Minor Eyebrow Twitch) at IDs, both its appearance as a verb and that it was clued as a single 3 letter word. Though on reflection, if it is to be allowed at all it is hard to see it as anything else …

    Many thanks to Doofers for the blog

    1. The verb forms listed for ID in Collins are ID’d or IDed or ID’ed; ID’ing or IDing. So no regular present tense form IDs or ID’s, but having established the principal of verbal usage it’s impossible in my view to argue against it.

      1. Yes I’d convinced myself it was above board and was merely ruminating on when the “word” ID became the root of such words, as you point out, as IDing. A rare case of a word whose normal spelling starts with two capital letters – OKed is another but I can’t think of too many more.

    2. I’m British and I didn’t find it easier. Barrack room and Handbags were both late guesses for me using the checkers and wordplay.

  6. I think ID as a verb in pretty common in police dramas–at least in the UK. ‘Have we ID’ed the victim/suspect/witness yet?’

    1. Hence the present tense. The sergeant takes the suspect in, IDs him, and puts the cuffs on. Seems pretty natural.

  7. All done in 11 except for HANDBAGS, HOT WIRE and GEESE which combined to take me to 22m. Needed the blog to see how HOT WIRE worked. That was my LOI after a very long alphabet trawl and even then just went in from definition, GEESE went in from one definition – the plural saved me from grebe – and I just couldn’t see HANDBAGS. All green though, so my typing was better than yesterday’s.

  8. 8.09

    Took a bit of time to get started on this but ended up getting a toehold in the SE and working back to the NW with IDS lOI.

    Thanks Felix and Doofers

  9. Steady going today, starting with DAWN and finishing in the NW, where there were a lot of blanks for a long time.
    Enjoyed the PDM for GDANSK, having initially thought that I was barking up the wrong tree as words don’t start ‘GD’. NHO of the GEESE but the answer was clear and BARRACK ROOM lawyer was dredged from the depths.
    Semi-spotted the nina and googled the lyrics to the Stereophonics song to see if there were any other references to it in the grid but failed to put it together with The Office.
    Finished in 8.43 with LOI IDS.
    Thanks to Doofers

    1. Yes, got the Stereophonics reference (or Rod the Mod, though written by Mike D’Abo of Manfred Mann) and even thought of the Office with Brent, but never connected the two!

  10. Apart from NW corner, this was easy but overall took almost average time. One or two, eg AUTHORISE, took some hard work. Even thinking of Mrs T, didn’t see HANDBAGS as even mildly aggressive, so it wentl in reluctantly; HOT WIRE then took ages, but a super clue, then finished with IDS by which I’m still not convinced. An enjoyable solve, thanks Felix and Doof.

  11. I didn’t find this as easy as most of the above. I abandoned the NW corner and started a jumpy solve after a total failure to see either 1a or 1d. I wondered if anybody would really use the word ASTUTER in normal speech. I would always say ‘more astute’ but the answer was clear enough. I enjoyed GDANSK.
    I finally returned to NIMES, IDS (poor effort IMO; reminds me of a former Tory PM), HANDBAGS and my LOI HOT-WIRE which took me over target but was a good clue despite my mental block.
    Thanks to Felix for a mixed bag and to Doofers for the blog. John M.

      1. He was leader from 2001-03, and never even fought an election, being ditched by the Tory party after two spectacularly unsuccessful years. Mind you he was up against Tony Blair in his prime …

        1. Thanks for the corrections, M and CS. I’ve only just caught up, having been out all day. John M.

  12. Raced through most of the QC starting with DAWN but was then pushed well over target by BARRACK-ROOM, HANDBAGS/HOT-WIRE and LOI IDS. 12:20

  13. Slightly tricky today. I’m still getting used to the new online format- which suddenly appeared on my iPad yesterday. The main thing I don’t like is that the answer boxes don’t appear at the bottom any more which, I think, makes the down clues harder to see. Nor does it separate the compound answers, like BARRACK ROOM, which again makes it harder.
    Overall a nice puzzle, but interrupted by a trip upstairs to check my Covid test so realistically about 25 mins. So, “Good Morning my fellow slow coaches.” 😊
    ABSTRACT was a nice clue and THREE LEGGED just leapt off the grid as the next village to me is called Three Legged Cross, so an unfair advantage there. I’m not sure IDS is a word? But my COD is undoubtedly GDAŃSK. A very satisfying clue.
    Thank you to Felix and Doofers for a good work out to start the day.

  14. 1137: major fires destroy the centres of York, Rochester and Bath

    Slow start, with FOI TIMER taking an age. Also struggled with HOP as was expecting a straight DD, for a word like fag, slang for hard work.

    ARROW clued this way is very chestnutty at the moment, I’m sure we’ve had it three times now.

    COD GDAŃSK, “surely no words start GD, that can’t be right…”

    1. Greeting a grumpy Antipodean too cheerily early in the morning might provoke a “Gday to you too, gdammit!”

  15. Yet again 1a and 1d were my last ones in. I think I’m developing NW corner yips. Maybe I need to stop starting there!

    Lovely puzzle, lots of wit and elegance. Thoroughly enjoyed that. COD TOPLESS.

    All done in regulation 08:55 for another Decent Day. Many thanks Felix and Doofers.



    Not during, but after, having seen it was Felix.

    Didn’t make IDS into eye-dees, so thanks Doofers, I was expecting a pink square.

    DAWN was LOI – much easier than I was trying to make it. Liked TOPLESS and THREE LEGGED.


  17. My last three seemed to be visitors from the 15 x 15. IDS, HANDBAGS and LOI HOT WIRE stretched my time from about 12 minutes to 17 minutes. All good clues but they seemed much harder to me than the others.
    I thought this was an excellent puzzle.
    PS I think I have just spotted the theme. Mike D’Abo wrote a famous song. Is there more to it?

    1. Yes, that’s the song that was used as the theme to The Office (see above), though not performed by him.

      1. Thanks. I wanted to see if I could spot the theme without aids so did not read all the comments after Doofers’ blog. There was more to it, I now see.

  18. Drew a blank with 1ac/d, so started with an appropriate enough Dawn for a clockwise solve. Hold-ups along the way included Astuter (until I saw the anagram), Geese (needed all the crossers) and the oddly looking IDS. A sub-20 was thwarted by the return visit to 1ac/d – Twin into Use just wouldn’t work! In the end, a pdm with Handbags prompted Hot Wire, but by then all the window seats were gone. Invariant

  19. Thought this was a lot easier than yesterdays, although as a beginner, coming in under one hour is a good time! My favourites were hotwired and three legged. Thank you, Felix and Doofers👍

  20. A satisfying solve in 17:34. Saw HANDBAGS at DAWN early on, so was expecting some other pairs which never arrived. Can’t quite put my finger on why but this was somehow a really enjoyable puzzle. Thanks Felix and doofers.

  21. Struggled with this, especially SW corner for some reason, not seeing AUTHORISE or RETHINK at all, and with HOT WIRE. Not sure about IDS – is it a word?? Frustrating.

  22. I thought this was on the trickier side of average, at least for me, as my time of 12.50 confirms. Nearly everyone seems to have DAWN as their FOI, but for me it was my LOI. Failed to see the Nina as usual, even though I loved the series ‘The Office’. I remember the episode where they celebrate ‘Red Nose Day’, and Gareth being sponsored to spend the day hopping around on one foot, so 19ac HOP is no doubt included for that reason.

  23. “Gentle” for the experts, perhaps. I’m with LindsayO pretty much all the way (except, of course, that he succeeded in under 12 and I failed in over 60). Few truly easy ones; FOI TIMER (in good company there, I see), but after battling an hour, gave up on three: HANDBAGS, HOTWIRE both impossibly difficult, especially as I failed EUREKA, convinced that “some mistake” was “most of” ERROR, i.e. = MI + RROR (true, couldn’t fully parse it, but you never know…). NHO BARRACK-ROOM. So, four to the bad. NHO IDS (as a verb – is that a genuine word?) or brent GEESE either, but both had to be. Thank you, Doofers, for the necessary instruction. And thank you, Jackkt, for your convincing justification of IDS.

  24. 9 seconds over target, but rounded down to 15 minutes for an enjoyable challenge. I even saw the theme after first linking HANDBAGS at DAWN, and thinking of Mrs T, but then connecting HANDBAG to GLAD RAGS to The Office. A BARRACK ROOM lawyer is a MESS DECK lawyer in the Navy, so that took a little longer than it should have, but it was all very enjoyable. Thanks Felix and Doofers.

  25. Just over 15 and a half minutes. I found this harder than Izetti yesterday. Like Templar I have the NW corner yips, not helped today by both HANDBAGS and HOT-WIRE being quite difficult. I saw HANDBAGS (at) DAWN across the top but didn’t spot the theme and GEESE was little more than a guess; one new word for me anyway.

    Thanks to Felix and Doofers

  26. Just registered and this is my first post. Thanks Doofers & Felix and to every one else. I’ve been using the forum to learn the derivation of answers I’ve not understood and I thought I should at least try to contribute.
    A little over 20mins for me today. Started on the across clues really well but struggled in the top lefthand corner. I too remembered 1ac from ‘Hand Bags at Dawn’.

    1. Welcome Jack. I too spent a long time reading this extremely educational site each day before finally signing on, it is great fun and you won’t regret it. Son House had a prison song featuring a brutal warder named Captain Jack, I suspect your name has a different provenance…

      1. Thanks Lindsay – really appreciate the welcome. Captain Jack was a name borrowed from the flamboyant Johnny Depp character and one which became very dear to me. I’m covering up the true provenance with a Captain Pugwash image.

    2. I echo, LindsayO’s welcome, Jack, as there aren’t many of us around here. Are you perhaps related to Captain Jack from Doctor Who played by John Barrowman?

      Edit. After posting the above I noticed your Captain Pugwash avatar and asked my AI assistant whether there’s a Captain Jack in the old cartoon series. Here’s what he came up with:

      No, there was no Captain Jack in Captain Pugwash. However, there is a character named Captain Jack in the Ogmios song “Cut Throat Jake vs Captain Pugwash”. This song is a hip hop track that tells the story of a battle between Captain Pugwash and Cut-Throat Jake. Captain Jack is not a character from the original Captain Pugwash series, but he is mentioned in the song as being one of Cut-Throat Jake’s allies.

      1. Thank you too jackkt – really appreciate your welcome. This seems a really nice community which I was enjoying and thought it time to participate in.
        Please see my reply to LindsayO re Captain Jack.

    3. Welcome: good nickname and Avatar, you’re off to a strong start. Everyone’s pretty friendly here, and we all are trying to expand the circle of crypticeers. Feel free to ask questions about things you don’t understand, and learn the names of lots of fish.

      1. 😊 Thanks Merlin, I will – I think I’ve understood a lot of the terms used for solving, but not all of them. Looking forward to improving my fishtiquette!

  27. 17.17 All done in under ten minutes except for HOT WIRE, IDS and HANDBAGS. Thanks to Doofers and Felix.

  28. Enjoyable stuff. Finished by Noon! Tracts foxed me as a pamphlet so note taken. Otherwise all OK aside from the tricky Handbags and Hot Wire. Tried too hard to shove Twin in and staring at Hat, Hit, Hot, Hut Wine! Hadn’t clocked Felix’s themes being newish to the QC so will keep eyes peeled. Thank you Felix and Doofers.

  29. I found this decidedly tricky. NHO BARRACK ROOM but had to be. Much time spent on HOT WIRE and then LOI HANDBAGS (love this expression). ABSTRACTS also took a while. Liked surfaces for ATTACHÉ and RETHINK. No problems with IDS as verb – common usage. Enjoyable but more challenging than recent offerings. Thanks Doofers and Felix.

  30. Always curious how far from the consensus I am on whether a puzzle is hard. We need a QC Snitch! I personally found this decently harder than the puzzles which drew so many complaints last week.

  31. 7:43

    No great issues apart from a pause at the end to work out ASTUTER, arrive at the port and finish with HANDBAGS. Saw the 1a + 5a possible connection, and also the 1a + 23a. Wish I’d spotted WERNHAM HOGG in rows 4 and 9. I would add WOKE to the nina as something David Brent definitely is not…

    Thanks Doofers and Felix

  32. Woe is me – could not solve HANDBAGS/HOTWIRE/IDS.
    But managed the rest fine including BARRACK-ROOM And EUREKA. ASTUTER did give me trouble with perception.
    Never watched ‘The Office’ so any theme passed me by.
    Thanks vm, Doofers.

  33. Dnf…

    After my limit of about 30 mins, just couldn’t get 1ac “Handbags”, 1dn “Hotwire” and 11ac “ID’s” (which I thought was a poor clue personally).

    A few I didn’t know – like 3dn “Barrack Room” and 21ac “Geese” but they were obtainable.

    Overall – I didn’t think this was straightforward at all.

    FOI – 5ac “Dawn”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 23ac “Glad Rags”

    Thanks as usual!

  34. Whilst I must admit I found this easy, only 3 clues eluding me on the first pass, I did NOT expect to find only a pair of neutrinos barring my way to the top of the leaderboard!

    As I find Ricky Gervais numbingly unfunny, I avoid anything that he’s involved in. I’ve seen clips from “The Office” and they didn’t persuade me that I needed to pursue the series further, so it’s as well that any knowledge thereof was not a prerequisite.

    I did, however, have a single of “Handbags and Gladrags” by Chris Farlowe, and the earworm struck somewhere around GDANSK….

    TIME 3:12

  35. 22 mins. Guessed GEESE and theme passed me by. Another day in SCC, with no sign of improvement. Didn’t get any kind of run going and frustrated at lack of progress.

  36. I found this one to be quite tricky, but enjoyable. However a typo WAKE rather than WOKE gives me a DNF

    11a took me forever to see.

    Barrack room lawyers (or lower deck lawyers as we called them in the RN); I’ve met a few of those during my time in the RNP. More often than not giving out poor advice to those naughty ABs.

  37. New boy to the forum, though I’ve been lurking for a couple of weeks. My single aim with the QC is to finish, no matter how long it takes, and sometimes it’s very long! “Breeze block” best sums up my style, and it certainly applied today. No trouble with anything very much until the top left yips got to me too.

    Stared and stared at HOTWIRE and IDS until an alphabet trawl gave HOT and the the penny dropped. I entered IDS on the basis of “one” and “detective sergeant” because nothing else would fit; never saw the “identify” implication until I read it here.

    LOI obvs, IDS

    Absolutely agree with BUSMAN above. I can’t be doing with Gervais himself or his desperately unfunny show, thus no chance of spotting the NINA. It’ll be the same when “Miranda” turns up.

  38. After 15m I had everything except HOTWIRE and HANDBAGS. I paused and came back several hours later, but it took another 10m for me to get the last two, finishing in 25:37. I could not get out of my head that “employ” would mean “use”.

    Thanks Doofers and Felix

  39. I’m a big fan of The Office so was also disappointed not to see the Nina, and annoyed I could not work out HOT WIRE even though I could see how to construct the answer…oh well being at The Oval, the excuse for my poor performance was being riveted by Ben Stokes’ record-breaking one.

  40. Right hand side went in fairy quickly, but struggled with the left. 1a took an age to solve, and we failed with 1d hot wire. Knew the term, but not heard it much of late.

  41. Taken over my target by HANDBAGS and HOTWIRE. Took an age to see them. HOTWIRE arrived first. I didn’t spot the theme as, like Busman, I find Ricky Gervaise too cringeworthy to watch. Handbags and Glad Rags was written by Mike Darbo who became very rich from the royalties for it, although he never recorded it himself. FOI, NIMES, LOI, RAIN MAN. 10:18. Thanks Felix and Doofers.

  42. Half went in easy and half slower. Finished up on 23:47 so not too bad considering I thought it was quite tricky. Don’t think I’ve heard of a BARRACK ROOM lawyer. LOI was HOT-WIRE. I didn’t spot it, but for once it was a Nina I might have seen had I looked hard enough. Thanks Felix and Doofers.

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