Times Quick Cryptic No 2569 by Izetti

Bit of a tricky one today.

Quite a lot of effective misdirection – even just the extra, well-chosen word here or there made things confusing. Throw in a smattering of geography and a couple of words that don’t exactly trip off the tongue (like 16d), and you get a puzzle rather close in difficulty to a lot of the 15×15 puzzles we’ve had since the new year.

I took a notch over 10 minutes, my slowest for a while. Much enjoyed – many thanks to Izetti!

1 A worry, having to stuff something in a clue? (7)
ANAGRAM – A, NAG (worry) RAM (stuff)
5 Club providing spice (4)
MACE – double definition
7 Get hold of outlaw retreating (3)
NAB – BAN (outlaw) retreating = reversing
8 Hearing politician backing car-maker (8)
AUDITORY – TORY (politician) to the back of AUDI (car maker)
10 Bad person editor thought highly of (5)
RATED – RAT (bad person) ED(itor)
11 I am having to demonstrate progress (7)
IMPROVE – I’M (I am) having to PROVE (demonstrate). “Having to” appearing again from 1ac as linkwords.
13 Pain in a north German city (6)
AACHEN – ACHE (pain) in A, N(orth)
15 Relaxed in a seat, sprawling, with little energy (2,4)
AT EASE – anagram (sprawling) of A SEAT, with E (“little” Energy)
17 Left with one excellent boy offering cooperation (7)
LIAISON – L(eft) with I (one), AI (A1 = excellent) SON (boy)
18 NT woman featured in holy diagram (5)
LYDIA – “featured in” hoLY DIAgram
20 One spiteful woman about to go tight-lipped? (8)
TACITURN – I (one) CAT (spiteful woman) About = reversed, TURN (go). So we can add CAT to the long list of long-suffering animals mischaracterised as one half of those awful human creatures. And it always seems to be the same half, did you ever notice that?
22 Small amount of drink for youngster (3)
TOT – double definition
23 Explosive laid by soldiers in this location (4)
HERE – HE (High Explosive) laid by RE (soldiers)
24 This writer is taken in by dull unrealistic person? (7)
DREAMER -ME (this writer) taken in by DREAR (dull)
1 Naughty baron with married friend breaking conventions? (10)
ABNORMALLY – anagram (naughty) of BARON with M(arried) ALLY (friend). Hmn, the answer is an adverb, which doesn’t seem to square with the definition. Edit: it does, of course – see ulaca’s example below.
2 Monk and a couple of bishops with holy books (5)
ABBOT – A, B B (couple of Bishops) OT (Old Testament = holy books)
3 Once again look at ace in crimson garment (9)
READDRESS – A(ce) in RED (crimson) DRESS (garment)
4 Doctor entertained by lass in capital city (6)
MADRID – DR (doctor) entertained  by MAID (lass)
5 Covering Scottish headwear up (3)
MAT – TAM, short for TAM O’ SHANTER = Scottish headwear, up = reverse
6 Gosh — person getting upset over a Spanish city! (7)
CORDOBA – COR (gosh) BOD (person) getting upset = upturned over A
9 Generous person has been upset over workplace closing early (10)
BENEFACTOR – anagram (upset) of BEEN over FACTORy (workplace, “closing early”)
12 Favourite you finally pierce, showing bad temper (9)
PETULANCE – PET (favourite) U (yoU “finally”) LANCE (pierce)
14 Cleaner given notice — minimum of excuse for absurd act (7)
CHARADE – CHAR  (cleaner) given AD (notice) and E (“minimum” of Excuse)
16 Provided as expected in conclusion (6)
ENDUED – DUE (expected) in END (conclusion).
19 Crazy upset about union providing bit of information (5)
DATUM – MAD (crazy) upset = upturned about TU (union)
21 US President popular, expelling extremists (3)
IKE – L IKE D = popular, expelling the extreme letters


87 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2569 by Izetti”

  1. A fun puzzle that indeed took quite a bit longer than par for me. I really enjoyed it but will cattily join you in pointing out that ABNORMALLY is clued ungrammatically.

    I’m amazed that IKE is expected to be part of the general knowledge needed to solve a puzzle published in the UK. I bet there are plenty of my fellow Americans who have no idea.

    1. He might be remembered mostly in Britain as Supreme Commander of European Forces in WWII, notably spearheading the invasion of Normandy.

    2. I knew Ike, and let me be the first to tell you that I know nothing about US Politics except that which has been fed to me against my will and what I learned from the Hamilton musical, so I too will be interested to see if it’s true common knowledge

    3. I remember learning of IKE from early childhood. His name was in all the newspaper headlines and I have always suspected that the nickname ‘IKE’ was invented solely for that purpose. At least JFK and LBJ were real initials. I doubt DDE would ever have caught on.

      I just remembered that the Republican campaign slogan for the 1952 election was famously ‘I Like Ike’. It was adapted from a song in the 1950 Broadway musical Call Me Madam by Irving Berlin and called They Like Ike

      1. Eisenhower was known as Ike back in his West Point days. I was a bit surprised at how many people hadn’t heard of him; I wasn’t alive during World War II, but it still seems to me to be GK material. If you know of Monty (and not Python), you should know of Ike.

        1. Indeed. I recall as a child being fascinated by the button badges seen on US news films ‘I Like Ike.’

    4. I too am in the camp that thinks Ike is fair game as general knowledge. It is is also a pretty common device in The Times crosswords.

  2. 15:22. The two cities, AACHEN and CORDOBA, were my favourites. ENDUED held me up the longest. I wanted ABE first for a President but then remembered the I LIKE IKE buttons I used to see on Detroiters in the 1950’s.

  3. They don’t tell you the setter on the app – but I knew it was Izetti.

    In the Guardian newspaper they have a column called ‘dining across the divide’ where they invite two people with wildly different world views? Outlooks? Perspectives? Opinions? To have dinner and chat and hopefully understand one another better.

    Izetti and I need to sign up for that. Anything to bridge this gap between their brain and mine.

    I did have a huge laugh at the clue/wordplay TACITURN after the other day’s convo. I had to teach my toddler once that not all cats are girls.

    I got MADRID, CORDOBA was one step too far for me and AACHEN I managed from the wordplay. I also nho ENDUED.

    I did though remember the TU union and the OT for books and the Scottish hat, so that was good

    I didn’t know HE = high explosive or RE for soldiers (I’ll add it to my soldiers list) and I don’t really recall Lydia from the bible; my school religious studies were very much based on ethics

    I am keen to hear if someone knows how ABNORMALLY works given it is an adverb like Roly says

    Look it’s not the worst I’ve done in an Izetti

    1. RE (Royal Engineers) for soldiers is quite common. I’m sure you will remember it now.

  4. In certain contexts, ‘breaking conventions’ can operate in a sentence much like an adverb.

    Compare ‘Breaking conventions for a man, he became a highly paid catwalk model’, and ‘Abnormally for a man, he became a highly paid catwalk model.’

  5. I tend to come unstuck on Don’s stuff when he indulges his passion for science. Thankfully, he kept to geography and Christianity here, so I was quids in. 5:46

  6. Wasn’t faring too badly on this until the last few, TACITURN and IKE. I have never heard of IKE = Eisenhower but eventually I twigged LIKED as a synonym for popular that I could fit in the space and just hoped for the best. I thought the NW corner had a lot of nice clues!
    I do feel that gendered derogatory words shouldn’t appear in crosswords, especially when they seem rather more frequently associated with one gender.

    1. I think stuff like that happens when there isn’t enough diversity in the setters club. I know NYT have really pushed for more female crossword setters over the years and possibly other demographics too, but it’s easier for them because they source their crosswords from the public. But in doing so I think that the NYT crossword also brings in a wider range of people doing the puzzle.

      I don’t know how you become a Times crossword setter, I can’t imagine it’s easy, but I’m so excited when we see a new name! (I like all the old names too, don’t get me wrong, I like getting to know the setters through their crosswords)

    2. I don’t mind coming across the odd CAT in amongst the plethora of CADS one finds in crossword-land.

      General rule I think is that words marked as offensive aren’t used, but derogatory is ok.

  7. 11 minutes. ENDUED was my LOI and I would have said I didn’t l know it if I hadn’t checked and found it appeared (or rather ENDUE did) in a QC set by Izetti last August. I didn’t know it then either, but noted at the time that it had appeared in a Sunday Times puzzle the previous March. I must have a blind spot that prevents me learning this word because I have now found that ENDUE appeared in the Guardian puzzle I solved only yesterday!

    Elsewhere my other trouble spot was CORDOBA. I can’t say I know of this Spanish city, but when attempting to arrive at the answer with all checkers in place I fancied that CORDOVA rang the faintest of bells. Could VOD be a name to fit ‘person getting upset’? I nearly decided to go with this rather than try running through all the possible abbreviated names that might fit ?O?, but I suddenly I thought of the generic term BOD and decided to chance CORDOBA even though I’d never heard of it.

    It now turns out that CORDOVA is the English spelling of CORDOBA, making this clue a bear-trap for biffers, and that then led me to wonder whether perhaps the clue was unsuitable for a QC or alternatively a useful object lesson for solvers in the dangers of biffing.

    1. CORDOBA in Argentina is actually five times more populous than the Spanish city it is named after, although not nearly as interesting historically.

  8. A shade over 9 minutes so good for me for an Izetti. I was fortunate to see ANAGRAM straight away and knew the European cities which helped. As usual, ABNORMALLY possibly being the wrong part of speech for the def passed me by, but ulaca’s example seems to work.

    I think IKE would still be well known by those of a certain age from this part of the world, for his role as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces for D-Day, as pointed out by curryowen, as well as for his time as President. I wouldn’t be surprised though if he wasn’t well known by younger people.

    Thanks to roly and Izetti

  9. I thought this was a great QC. Definitely at the harder end of the QC scale for me, taking me to within a whisker of my 20 minutes time limit, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless—and definitely a QC. I have never come even close to completing a main crossword in 20 minutes.

    And, for those aspiring to progress to the main crossword, Izetti provides a gentle introduction to the kind of misdirection and deeper wordplay they will find there.

  10. Stuck for a long time at the end of a puzzle I didn’t love. IKE, ENDUED and TACITURN were my last ones in – didn’t know Eisenhower’s nickname, never heard of and just hard. Not all green – bunged in ‘ensued’ to finish – in 24m. So that’s 1/4 correct this week. 2024 is hard going for me!

  11. This was hard for a QC. I got there but with an embarrassing time (I forget if it was a real time or if I had to go an read emails and stuff). As agilejames says, this is a good intermediate crossword (as are most Izettis) between the usual QC difficulty and the full-on 15×15 difficulty.

  12. I was on Izetti’s wavelength this morning, and had all the necessary background knowledge necessary.

    TIME 4:09

  13. Tricky in places but managed to squeeze in under target.
    No problem with IKE as I’ve seen it a few times in crosswords over the years but CAT and ENDUED where NHOs (or previously seen and forgotten).
    Started with MACE and finished with ENDUED in 9.40.
    Thanks to Roly

  14. 14:37, completed well before Surbiton

    Pleased to get some of the tricky clues, such as LYDIA and TACITURN. Its surprising that no recent US presidential candidates have revived the three letter thing: ABE,FDR, JFK, LBJ and IKE are generally thought to have been good ones.

    Never knew what ENDUE really meant, but in it appears in the NT
    “Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be ENDUED with power from on high” (Luke 24:49)

    AACHEN was famously the first German city to fall to IKE’s campaign in 1944. Which led someone to ask “are they doing them in alphabetical order”?

    1. What about
      Endue thy ministers with righteousness
      And make thy chosen people joyful
      In the Order for morning prayer, 1662 version

  15. 4:22. An interesting geographical tour. Smooth stuff, as always with Izettit. Thank-you Izetti and Roly.

  16. No probs with IKE, as seen it several times before. I have visited the wonderful city of Cordoba, with its magnificent Mosque-Cathedral – really quite something – a 16th century cathedral right in the middle of an ancient mosque. It was bloody hot when I went, though it was August – I remember strolling for a much needed cold beer one evening around 7, and one of those pharmacy thermometers reading 43 degrees C.

    Otherwise, not too bad for the Don. ENDUED held me up a bit, as did my LOI ANAGRAM – I have a blind spot when that is the solution, rather than the clue type.


  17. Never heard of ENDUED so did not finish. A hard one today, as one would expect with Izetti. 3/4 this week so far so better than last week but my little roll has come to an end.

  18. That one left me shaken but not stirred. When I solve a clue I like to hear the satisfying “clunk” of certainty, like an Audi door closing. But today, rather too often the solves had the hollow click and rattle of a 2CV, where you wonder if it really closed or whether perhaps you ought to open it again. Does AACHEN exist? Is ENDUED really a word? Is that how you spell CORDOBA? Is my dim memory of a political slogan from an election in another country before I was born reliable?

    Anyway, they all turned out to be correct. LOI ENDUED gave the most heartache. I remembered LYDIA as a seller of purple dye and supposedly the first European convert to Christianity, so she gets my COD for the apt surface.

    All done in 09:12 for an estimated 1.4K and an OK Day.

    Many thanks Izetti and Roly.


    1. “Does Aachen exist?”. Aachen, or Aix-la-Chapelle, as the French call it, was Charlemagne’s( and his Frankish-Germanic successors’) capital and he was buried in its cathedral.

      1. Solving from Halifax, which is twinned with Aachen (there is an Aachen Way). So I guess it exists, or else all those twinning visits are something more sinister …

    2. In fairness to Izetti, those queries are satisfied by the precision with which the parsing fits the clue. That is where I felt the “clunk” you aspire to. He is nothing if not meticulous in almost every clue; I may struggle to get there, but I know when I have.

  19. 12:49 (King Alexander II of Scotland dies in the Hebrides. Alexander III becomes King at age of 7.)

    A decidedly tricky puzzle. I share the opinions above about TACITURN.
    L2I were ENDUED and TACITURN. COD to ANAGRAM- liked the fact that it was not a self reference for once.

    Thanks Don and Roly

  20. Felt tricky, but home in a pacy 4:32. Not too surprised to see who the setter is! ‘Delete letters from a synonym’ is a tricky ask – but I think LIKE becoming IKE is fair game, and IKE himself pops up on occasion in wordplay.

    I’ve only ever encountered ENDUE or its forms in crosswords, but it seems to be a useful bunch of letters, so is one I’ve committed to memory.

    Thanks both.

  21. I found this tough and DNF after 30 mins, with ANAGRAM, ABNORMALLY and ENDUED (NHO) unsolved.

    I’m happy I got all the others though, so it’s progress I suppose. 😊

    I quite enjoyed this, though I do wince a little with the rather frequent pejorative terms for women (as per recent dialogue) like CAT. There is the occasional equivalent for men (I recall CAD coming up), but there does seem to be an imbalance. [Edit: I realise David made the same point above. I didn’t copy his homework…honest!]

  22. 17:10
    Some difficult clues.
    Struggled on charade, taciturn, anagram. LOI the unknown aachen, where I had to wait for checkers before putting in.
    I suspect the Don did the 15×15 today.
    COD Benefactor.

  23. I’m in the UK and have heard of Ike but then I’m in my 70’s. To be fair the crosswords have been less older-age friendly in recent months.

    1. I’m in the UK, about half your age and have heard of him – probably via my history A-level (then reinforced by crosswords!).

  24. Like others, no problem with IKE. NHO LYDIA or HE for explosive but wordplay made them fairly obvious. LOI ENDUED. Thought it was one of Izetti’s easier puzzles. Thanks Izetti and Roly.

  25. DNF – stumped by the ANAGRAM and ENDUE but you win some you lose some so I don’t mind. I enjoyed those I did manage.

    I have only come across IKE in Crosswordland and haven’t managed to commit it to memory yet.

    COD MACE as I spent a while trying to find a word that began with a C.

    Thanks RolyToly and Izetti

  26. 45 mins…

    Yikes! This was incredibly chewy and went in at a snail’s pace. Hardly got anything in the top half on first pass, and then got stuck for ages around 20ac “Taciturn” and 16dn “Endued”. Normally, would have given up after my 30 min cut off, but was determined to get the better of Izetti and my completion rate for the start of the current year is pretty poor.

    FOI – 13dn “Aachen”
    LOI – 16dn “Endued”
    COD – 9dn “Benefactor”

    Thanks as usual!

  27. 8:42

    Found some of this a bit leftfield. Last three in were IKE (was trying to decide between Ike and Abe), ENDUED (struggling to word out which word fit inside END) and finally the unparsed TACITURN bunged in from definition once the U turned up.

    Eisenhower was one of seven brothers, all of whom as children, were nicknamed ‘something-Ike’ e.g. Big Ike, Little Ike – the ‘IKE’ was intended as an abbreviation of their surname.

    Thanks Izetti and Roly

  28. DNF. Disappointing. Most of LHS too difficult, except I liked LIAISON and READDRESS.
    Hm. Spiteful woman = cat? Again?
    Thanks vm, Roly.

  29. I completed this in 8 minutes, all solved, all parsed and even Endued remembered from a recent puzzle – and then come here to find that not only was it set by Izetti, but that the consensus was that it was a chewy one. Most unexpected ‐ usually I find his puzzles far more challenging, and also if I’m honest rather less enjoyable. But not today.

    Only two hold-ups: I NHO Lydia (she seems on checking the Bible to be more of a bit part player than a leading character), and I took time to see Mat, or rather Tam as an acceptable shortening of Tam o’Shanter. Otherwise a straight solve.

    Many thanks Roly for the blog

  30. I think this was tougher than average, but it was not reflected in my time of 7.05. I think it was just one of those days where you’re tuned in to the setter, and your first thoughts are the correct ones.
    I’m amazed so many people don’t recognise IKE as a nickname. Perhaps being born not long after the Second World War ended, and being around during his presidency gives me an advantage, but I must have seen or heard reference to this well over a hundred times. My LOI was ENDUED which somehow never gives me confidence that it’s quite right.

  31. NHO LYDIA (who she, please?), IKE, DATUM, nor the explosive HE, but guessed all those. But NHO ENDUED, nor Tam O’Shanter, nor the spice MACE, so those three eluded me. Visited both AACHEN and CORDOBA, though!

  32. Very tough and needed to check that MACE and ENDUED existed as NHO. Knew IKE (Eisenhower), so biffed that and TACITURN (too involved to parse!) Typical Izetti!

  33. I’m always a fan of clever wordplay but on this occasion some of the definitions seemed uncertain in particular AACHEN and ENDUED. CORDOBA wasn’t a problem as my husband and I visited there a couple of years ago in celebratory mood when our son qualified as a commercial pilot. We were congratulating ourselves that we didn’t have to offer up an additional shed load of money following his qualification after two years training in Jerez. How wrong we were! TACITURN made me laugh given the c(h)at this week. I did wonder whether ABNORMALLY was grammatically correct but the wordplay was clear. FOI MACE and LOI ENDUED in 9:08.

  34. Tricky in places today. Typical Izetti in fact and very enjoyable. No problems with IKE or the 2 cities. Spent quite some time on last two ENDUED/TACITURN. Bifd the latter (thanks for explanation) then solved the NHO ENDUED from wordplay. Thanks roly.

  35. Did in three instalments as meetings kept getting in the way. Reckon it was about 15minutes in all which is par. I didn’t know a lot of the ones above either – when I had the E checker I assumed initially ABE was back instead of IKE – but I trusted my parsing of the clues which, on this occasion, worked.
    Thanks Roly and Izetti

  36. In what’s becoming a recurring theme, a steady solve came to a halt when faced with the (overlapping !) last two: Endued and Taciturn. I was getting desperate by the time the Endued penny finally dropped, only to then be faced with *a*i*u*n – not the most helpful combination for an alpha-trawl. I tried both ends of the clue, (and even a ‘q’ before ‘u’), before deciding to pull stumps. Annoying because I knew the word, though I doubt I’ve ever used it. CoD to the nice Benefactor at 9d. Invariant

  37. I was more successful at this than I usually am with an Izetti and had everything complete in a shade over 20 minutes except for 20ac and 16dn. I then stared at these two without success until my 30 minute cut-off point when I used an aid to come up with TACITURN. That left the nho ENDUED, which had to be correct once the u appeared as a checker. No problems with IKE or the European geography.

    FOI – 5ac MACE
    LOI – DNF

    Thanks to Izetti and Rolytoly

  38. He sounds great! I’ll give him a ring now, even though I don’t have a boyfriend. (Mrs ITTT would never allow it.) 👍

  39. 7.24

    No real problems here other than the (v) old fashioned nature of Izetti’s puzzles which is okay occasionally

  40. I tried thinking of a 6-letter German city beginning with A, before properly reading the wordplay. Unfortunately, nothing came to mind, which left me a tad embarrassed when I got it, given that my home town is actually twinned with AACHEN! 😳

  41. 22.22 Back in the SCC after yesterday’s 23.23. I probably know IKE from watching ancient war films with my Mother and I’ve visited the South American CORDOBA. I had the same problem as many others. All done in under ten minutes except for last two in TACITURN and ENDUED. The latter eventually fell to the cryptic and then I remembered we’d had it before. Thanks rolytoly and Izetti.

  42. 5:26, but with a careless PETULENCE. Serves me right for only reading half the clue and biffing it! Thanks Izetti and Roly.

  43. Another Good Day, as I finished in 7:50, with ABNORMALLY and BENEFACTOR giving me most problems. The wordplay for ENDUED was so clear that I didn’t worry about it too much, although I wasn’t sure of the meaning.
    Lots of geography today – the only one I’ve been to was an overnight stop on the outskirts of AACHEN, where we were only able to have half our dinner as the kitchen closed promptly at 9 and wouldn’t complete our meal! Unbelievably poor service 😲 Of course, in MADRID and CORDOBA, they’d probably only just start serving at 9!
    FOI Mace LOI Benefactor COD nothing really stood out, but I’ll pick AACHEN as it echoed our experience 😅
    Thanks Izetti and Roly

  44. I could not get far with this one. Way too tough for me. I’ll use everybody’s favourite “wasn’t on the setter’s wavelength” excuse for my poor performance. 🤣

  45. Had to clunk through CORDOBA to make sure and then sat staring at LOI TACITURN for a while before it clicked. Still came home in 9:30 so a happy day. Wondered about the T in datum until realising the Union wasn’t just ‘U’. Thanks all.

  46. Bit late to the crosswords today. This was a tougher QC, and took a while to get started., completing in 18′. I couldn’t parse TACITURN but had just completed the 15×15 so that helped! NHO ENDUED, but couldn’t be anything else. Cats and women should both complain to the editor! Thanks Roly and setter

  47. Enjoyable if fairly hard puzzle, we found the left side trickier than the right. For the N German city we were thinking more about Bremen and Lubeck, Aachen seems rather far south for the description.

    1. The definition is just “German city”. The wordplay is “ACHE in A North”. Lift and separate!

  48. 9:25, with the last minute spent checking after two DNFs in a row. Like Cedric, I was surprised to come here and find that the setter was Izetti, although the obscure biblical reference should have been a clue. I’d NHO Lydia from the bible, but spotted the hidden and reasoned that the name had to come from somewhere.

    Thanks to Izetti and roly.

  49. DNF which is often the way with Izetti. I don’t enjoy his puzzles as when I do get the answers they don’t give me that satisfying ‘oh that’s really clever’ feeling. The clues often feel cumbersome. I knew IKE and actually that was a nice clue!

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