Times Quick Cryptic No 2570 by Jalna

A fairly gentle Quick Cryptic from Jalna today, I think, with some lovely smooth surfaces. [Edit: Apologies to all who found it harder than I did, but I can only describe it as I found it and maybe I’m on form this week]. I took a while to remember the bean at 11D, but otherwise had no hold-ups, finishing in 4:23 with 12A my LOI. Thank-you Jalna

Fortnightly Weekend Quick Cryptic. Hooray! The Times has bowed to pressure and started publishing a Saturday Quick Cryptic crossword (albeit online only). But there is still no Sunday Times Quick Cryptic so we will continue the series of Weekend Quick Cryptics. This time it is my turn to provide the extra weekend entertainment. You can find the crossword, entitled “We’re happy…”,  here. If you are interested in trying our previous offerings you can find an index to all 94 here.

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, {deletions} and [] other indicators.

1 At first, clubs always pursue several international players (4)
CAPS – Initial letters of Clubs Always Pursue Several.
4 Outlook in respect of English performers (8)
FORECASTFOR (in respect of) E (English) CAST (actors; performers).
8 One occupying leadership position being stripped of power (8)
RESIDENT – {p}RESIDENT (leadership position) without the P (power). It is tempting to think the definition is “one occupying leadership position”, isn’t it?
9 Story of dog read out (4)
TALETALE sounds like TAIL (follow; dog) [read out].
10 A bit crazy, and it could be a can of worms! (4)
BAIT – (A bit)* [crazy]. “Can of worms” is thought to have originated in the US, in the 1950s, when live bait for fishermen was often sold in aluminium cans.
11 Money coming from specialist yields, we’re told (8)
PROCEEDSPRO (specialist) CEEDS, sounds like, [we’re told] CEDES (yields).
12 Very short tailless mini rodents? (6)
VERMINVER{y} [short], MIN{i} [tailless].
14 A school bringing in second uniform in a particular capacity (2,4)
AS SUCHS (second) U (uniform in the phonetic alphabet) in A SCH (school).
16 Noting changes in extremely recognisable call signal (8)
RINGTONE – (noting)* [changes] in the outside letters of, [extremely], RecognisablE.
18 Intense enthusiasm of some pushy people (4)
HYPE – Hidden in, [some], pusHY PEople.
19 Chance a version for testing (4)
BETABET (chance) A,
20 European operation creating release of CO2 maybe (8)
EMISSIONE (European) MISSION (operation).
22 A canister placed in choice metal (8)
PLATINUMA TIN (canister) in PLUM (choice).
23 Each time at the end, the cha-cha is really simple (4)
EASY – Last letters of, [each time at the end], thE cha-chA iS reallY.
2 Gallery supporting excellent film (7)
ACETATEACE (excellent) TATE (gallery). It’s a long time since I used acetate film  transparencies for an overhead projector, but there are other uses that continue.
3 Head of state is not, in short, a good person (5)
SAINT – [Head of] State, AIN’T (is not, in short).
4 Opponent fooled on odd occasions (3)
FOE – Odd-numbered letters of FoOlEd.
5 Reason to give people only some beer (9)
RATIONALERATION (give people only some) ALE (beer). A bit of a chestnut, I’d say, but the old ones are sometimes the best. Last seen here in 22 Jun 2022’s 15×15, but previously seen in several QCs.
6 Patrol boats, say, protected by cannons at each side (7)
CUTTERSUTTER (say) in outside letters, [at each side], of CannonS.
7 When upset, young boy gets health food (5)
SALAD – AS (when) [upset] -> SA, LAD (young boy).
11 Bit of Mexican meal? One bit cooked in pot (5,4)
PINTO BEAN – (one bit)* [cooked} in PAN (pot). My only delay when solving was in remembering this bean.
13 Traveller settling finally in Antrim, possibly (7)
MIGRANT – settlinG [finally] in (Antrim)* [possibly]. Neat surface.
15 Extensive evidence of debt hidden by police officers (7)
COPIOUSIOU (evidence of debt) in COPS (police officers).
17 Best conceivable: one business arrangement (5)
IDEALI (one) DEAL (business arrangement).
18 Expedition fails finally in dreadful heat (5)
HASTE -failS [finally] in [dreadful] (heat)*.
21 Whimsical, somewhat topsy-turvy belief (3)
ISM – Reverse hidden, [somewhat topsy-turvy], in lacISMihw.

89 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2570 by Jalna”

  1. Very much enjoyed this QC, pitched at right about the perfect level for me, nothing too outrageous but also couldn’t bang many answers straight in. I found the surfaces quite neat and tricky, but a careful re-reading usually gave me a foothold. I was surprised to finish a bit under my average time at 15:23 since I had to stop and think about a number of clues. Enjoyed 21d and 16a particularly. All in all, very satisfying!

  2. 11:05. Much like David nothing came easily or quickly at first but everything eventually unravelled itself after being looked at from a different angle or with the aid of one or two checkers. VERMIN was my COD.

  3. I couldn’t get ISM! I was looking for an upside down word for whimsical

    I also didn’t think ism was a word

    Shocking week for me, but it’s been fun

  4. 17:46, slow but steady

    Held up by my common mistake of entering the wrong homophone into the grid, so TAIL made LOI SALAD impossible. I do this often, at least it didn’t give me a pink square today.

    I also had DIALTONE for a bit.

    What is the last letter of cha-cha, I thought it would be two “a”s not one. Clue would have been cleaner with “rumba”.

    AINT is originally short for “am not”, and “I ain’t coming” should be as correct as “you aren’t” or “he isn’t”. When “you ain’t” and the like were excised, “I ain’t” got thrown out as well.

    How is an expedition “HASTE”? This is because “expeditiously” means “with haste”, so there is a phrase “he completed it with utmost expedition”.


    1. When I was a boy a common rejoinder when someone said ain’t was “You can’t say ain’t because ain’t ain’t in the dictionary”. (I think it actually was in then but we were just callow youths who didn’t research things too closely ).

  5. I had completed all but two answers comfortably within my old target of 10 minutes but the intersecting answers CUTTERS and PROCEEDS held me up for far too long and I finished with the clock on 19 minutes. Once again I’ve no idea why I would have had such a problem.

  6. Just scraped in under 10 minutes. I bunged in PINTO BEAN without taking the trouble to parse and the ‘metal’ at 22a took a while to come, but otherwise not too many problems without being too EASY either.

    The surface for 18d brought Burke and Wills to mind, but my favourite was CUTTERS which could also be parsed as having an extended, non-cryptic definition.

    Thanks to John (BTW there’s a v. minor typo in your explanation of COPIOUS) and to Jalna

  7. Not too bad until I came to EMISSION, which I should’ve got, and ISM which I should’ve seen, although I’m not sure it’s a word. So it’s been an improved week at 3/5 – with 2 near misses – but if this continues I’ll be looking at taking up residence in the SCC, if not being put down to the B stream.
    Have good weekends y’all.

  8. I struggled with this and, with hindsight, I’m not sure why as it was all fairly clued.
    I had delays all over the place but in particular with EMISSION, ISM (despite seeing a few times before), BAIT, ACETATE, PROCEEDS and the NHO PINTO BEAN.
    Started with CAPS and finished with ACETATE in a sluggish 12.42.
    Thanks to John for the blog and Jalna for the mental workout.

  9. 10 minutes for this very nicely pitched QC, with enough to think about that it wasn’t a write-in but all very getable clues. My LOI was Pinto bean, for which I needed all the checkers, but as someone whose knowledge of boats, ships and the navy is very limited, the one that gave me most pleasure to get was Cutters. It encouraged a very pleasant internet search down a number of nautically themed wormholes – who knew there were so many names for ships (as well as cutters, there are cruisers, caravels, carracks, clippers, cogs, colliers, corvettes … and that’s just the major ones beginning with C).

    Many thanks John for the blog, and I look forward to the (new) Sunday Special.

      1. On the other hand, any craft in the Royal Navy is a ship. You will get told off if you call it a boat, even if it is something small. They are all HMS something with the S standing for ship. Yes, my father was in the Royal Navy!

  10. Glad to see the back of what has been my worst QC week on record. Not sure when I started but I remember discovering this puzzle in a Subway in Aylesbury so getting on for ten years I think. Got there in the end via the wrong homophone (in good company with Merlin) – thought I’d been careful – not knowing PINTO BEAN, struggling with ISM. Made it in 23m on the train. Good one – lots of lovely PDMs.

  11. DNF after 30 mins. Found this tough, but most clues were fair except ISM. [When John says it was “fairly gentle”, it confirms it has been a tough one for newbies like me. I’m getting used to his characteristic understatement. 😉 ]

    Missed IOU and was fooled by SAY = UTTER, as I assumed “say” was an anagram or DBE indicator.

    Anyone heard from GaryA? No sign of him for a while – I hope he’s okay. 😟

    1. Sorry. I just say it how I find it ISM is worth remembering. It comes up quite often in crosswords.

    2. Thank you for your concern. It is hugely appreciated. 👍

      I’ve got covid and haven’t been in a fit state. Attempted today, but results not good!

  12. 11:05 (Henry I invades Normandy)

    COD to VERMIN. L2I were PROCEEDS and CUTTERS I wasted time looking for a word sounding like some boats to fit between C and S to make something meaning patrol.

    Thanks John and Jalna

  13. 17:12
    Raced through one half and struggled with the other.
    Last two were bait and cutters.
    COD bait.

  14. First Jalna I’ve completed, so thanks to him for an enjoyable puzzle. Agree with curryowen above that “nothing came easily or quickly at first but everything eventually unravelled”; NHO PINTO BEAN but from the wordplay it had to be. Liked BAIT.

    1. I found this a moderately hard QC Martinů, so if you completed this successfully then you are definitely making progress.

      Which is great to see.

  15. An fine example of the setter’s art. Thanks Jalna.

    LOI PROCEEDS, which was just one of many excellent clues. CUTTERS, RATIONALE, ACETATE all v good. Hardly a clunker among them.


  16. Started briskly, slowed as I went, nudging into the SCC.
    EMISSION took far too long, as did my LOI, RINGTONE. VERMIN amused along the way. Had no idea about ISM when I only had the M, but with the second checker it became obvious! COD to CUTTERS for the clever use of “say” to actually mean say, for a change.

  17. 14 minutes today.
    I thought my LOI was ISM, struggled with that; but then I noticed I had not got BAIT, also tricky IMO.
    A good puzzle. EASY was not easy to parse.

  18. 8.28

    About two minutes at the end on the chestnutty RESIDENT and the easy but I couldnt see it BAIT. Nice one Jalna

    Thanks John as well

  19. Slowed down by a bad attack of fat finger (I had to re-enter no less than four of my answers), and also by needing an alpha-trawl for my LOI where I was fixated for a while upon trying to justify “daft”.

    TIME 5:13

  20. I thought that that was a really excellent puzzle, with lots of clever deception along the way. BAIT was my COD, despite the simplicity of it once you’ve seen how it works, since it was so well-concealed that it took me three visits to spot that it was an anagram! I also really liked VERMIN, BETA, PLATINUM and SALAD. You can transform SALAD from being a “health food” with the addition of sufficient dressing and mayonnaise, by the way.

    I thought EASY was a bit unsporting, though, since I assumed that the last letters of “cha-cha” would be AA, not A. As Merlin says, works better with “rumba”.

    Anyway, a minor gripe about what was a superb puzzle. Home and hosed in 09:19, so not as easy for me as our esteemed blogger found it (and the QUITCH is running at 108 as I type, the highest all week) for an estimated 1.5K and a Reasonable Day.

    Many thanks Jalna and John.


        1. Interestingly sausage, sauce, salad, salami and salsa all go back to the Latin word sal for salt. Salad was originally a dish of salted vegetables.

            1. Yes the comments are often better value for money than the blog😉 That was news to me too.

  21. Another struggler here. 14 mins hitting trouble all over the grid. Last two were PINTO BEAN and VERMIN – having been convinced for some time that ‘tailless mini rodents were MIC(e) – so was looking for a C in 11 down. A win to our setter and thanks to our blogger.

    1. I thought that the first time I saw it, but it’s in all the dictionaries (eg Collins “ism
      in British English
      informal, often derogatory
      an unspecified doctrine, system, or practice”)
      so it’s fair game for the setter.

    2. It comes up quite regularly in crosswords as a handy word for setters to fill I_M. It has appeared at least six times before in a Times Quick Cryptic

  22. No problems today. All done and dusted fairly quickly. BAIT caused a delay until I spotted the anagram. Didn’t fully trust ISM until EMISSION was solved. Some nice surfaces including SAINT and ACETATE. Many thanks Jalna and John. Will give the weekend puzzle a go.

  23. Not the most straightforward of crosswords, but very fair I thought. For the fifth consecutive day this week I finished within target in 9.36, although this was my slowest time. It’s a while since I did a complete week bettering my target time. My only holdups of note were BETA and my LOI 10ac where I was daft enough to biff, well DAFT! Not being able to parse it, I stuck with it and I ended up being not quite so daft!
    My total time for the week was 44.41, giving an average daily time of 8.36. I’m more than pleased with that, as I think there were quite a few toughish offerings this week.

  24. Steady progress throughout, the top half being easier than the bottom. I was surprised when I got to the end to find that it had taken me 22 minutes. It was a very enjoyable 22 minutes though. I had trouble remembering the name of the bean at 11dn, so had to construct it from the wordplay. Otherwise all plain sailing, if a little slow.

    FOI – 1ac CAPS
    LOI – 11ac PROCEEDS
    COD – 16ac RINGTONE

    Thanks to Jalna and John

  25. A bad week. DNF again, though started well in NW.
    Biffed a few and ended up revealing some inc PROCEEDS which I should have got, ditto EMISSION, RESIDENT.
    Couldn’t parse PLATINUM.
    Some of my fellow SCC members seem to have disembarked, and I now seem to be stuck in the heavy luggage compartment.
    Thanks vm, John.

  26. DNF at 20 mins due to EMISSION, ISM and HASTE. I had the latter as the only solution to the anagram but couldn’t parse it. Thanks to Merlin for the explanation of the other meaning of ‘expedition’. I had not come across that in a QC before and will remember it. Had I taken the trouble to write it into the grid I might have then seen ’emission’ which is not a hard one. Hey ho, lesson learned.
    Thanks all. Prof

  27. I started off well, getting a number of answers in quite rapidly.

    I needed the cat’s help with 20a and 5d before he got spooked by the vacuum cleaner and refused to help any further.

    I understood the alternative meaning of expedition as the RN is quite fond of the word expeditiously.

    Other than that, not too bad for a Friday at all. Now on to the Daily Telegraph Friday cryptic, which is always a headache.

    1. Your cat is a lot more helpful than mine, PW. She spent the morning hiding behind my PC screen and threatening to knock the phone off my desk.

  28. Started this in bed, continued on the train and completed over coffee. Nearly gave up a few times which makes the finish even more satisfying.
    FOI CAPS then FORECAST leading to a false sense of confidence
    LOI RATIONALE but what a lovely surface
    Lots of CODs and PDMs
    Thanks Jalna and John; now I understand that ‘dog’ can mean ‘tail’

  29. 9:51

    Generally, I’ve found Jalna to be one of the more challenging setters (along with Izetti, Wurm, Juno and Pedro) and I didn’t think this was as ‘fairly gentle’ as John suggests. No idea that PINTO BEANs are the go-to in Mexico. I was left with the PROCEEDS/CUTTERS crossing which took me a few mins to puzzle out, spotting the former first and then looking at the clue differently to see how the seemingly obvious-by-definition CUTTERS worked.

    Thanks Jalna and John

  30. Another who found this a challenge – much harder than our blogger did. Very few went in at a first pass, then a couple more, then a guess or two a finally PROCEEDS and (from the depths of my memory) PINTO BEAN. Very pleased to have solved this! I would think there may be a few DNFs today.

  31. Lovely puzzle, IMO. Although that may be partly because I very nearly escaped the SCC today. Time = 20 minutes precisely.

    Possibly my best ever start to a QC, as the first 5 clues I had a go at (CAPS, FORECAST, ACETATE, SAINT and FOE) all went in at the first attempt. Naturally, I slowed up a little after that but, for once I never got totally bogged down. I finished in the SE corner with PLATINUM, IDEAL and BETA. My only outstanding doubt when I came here was ISM, because I couldn’t really justify it as a proper word.

    Many thanks to Jalna and John.

  32. I thought this was a well pitched QC from Jalna, with a good mix of straightforward and challenging clues. Some of the parsings (Cutters, Vermin) were, to say the least, on the interesting side of difficult, but it was loi Beta that nudged me into the SCC, albeit still in time for a window seat near the driver. CoD to 15d, Copious, for the smooth surface, with Cutters and Vermin close behind. Invariant

  33. I couldn’t get VAGRANT out of my head for 13D even though I couldn’t parse it. After I’d looked that up my LOI VERMIN was easy.

    I’m glad someone mentioned all the boats, they sail in all the time in Crosswordland.

    Thanks Jalna and John

  34. 33 mins…

    Have to admit, I found this hard – but I was feeling a little slow this morning. So fat this year, I don’t seem to be able to get into a good routine, and my times/completion rates are a little all over the place.

    My first thoughts were that there were a few chewy definitions, particularly around 13dn “Migrant” and 18dn “Haste” – but I guess if you’re a migrant, you’re a traveller of some form, and I was thinking of the adventurous expedition rather than expediting something.

    Liked 2 dn “Acetate”, 11ac “Proceeds” and 19ac “Beta”

    FOI – 1ac “Caps”
    LOI – 9ac “Tale”
    COD – 12ac “Vermin”

    Thanks as usual!

  35. It was gentle for John but not so gentle for me. I was off to a good start on the top row but the chestnut RESIDENT eluded me until the very end. In retrospect there was nothing too difficult but some of my parsing was woolly which slowed things down. 9:29

  36. 13.53 Out of the SCC! Though the Quitch has this as the hardest of the week. ISM took a while. HASTE for expedition confused me until after I’d submitted and I never did parse PROCEEDS or EASY. Thanks John and Jalna.

  37. We could not get going on this one, our worst performance for a long time. A quick start soon dried up. Poor end to the week, but we will be back on Monday. (Plus the G&T)

  38. I also found this less than gentle, but scraped in under my target at 9:49. FOI, CAPS, LOI, RESIDENT. Thanks Jalna and John.

  39. 17:05

    A fairly steady solve, nothing too tricky but not overly biffable either. LOI ISM.

  40. Not as hard as yesterday’s. I liked BAIT. I guessed PINTO BEAN early on but thought it was meant to be an anagram of ONE BIT POT, so it took me a while to work out why it was the answer. HASTE also took me a while to parse, but I got it in the end. Thanks Jalna and Johninterred. Oh joy, not only is it Friday, but there’s another Times QC tomorrow! And a fortnightly one for Sunday (thanks again John)!

  41. Totally depressed at where I am with this.

    After a week battling covid (hostilities continue), I attempted yesterday and today’s offerings. Why do I bother?

    DNF the Izetti as NHO ENDUED. I put ENSUED. Rest of it was like swimming in glue.

    Finished today but took forever and got nothing but frustration and unhappiness.

    If this was gentle, I really am useless.

    I have spent all but 2 days of 2024 in bed feeling very ill. I hoped the QC would make me feel a bit better today. It didn’t.

    1. Sorry to hear that Gary… and sorry I said it was gentle when to most it wasn’t. Hope you are better soon.

  42. A bit trickier, I felt – I finished in about 12 minutes. I stopped the timer at 11: 18 and then discovered that I still had one to go! Some fun surfaces though – CAPS, RINGTONE, SAINT and ISM all got ticks.
    Very late this evening as we have been out all day. Among other things I saw an excellent short film about a master chair maker in the Arts & Craft room at Leicester’s museum and gallery – most appropriate!
    FOI Caps LOI Bait COD Pinto bean
    Thanks Jalna and John

  43. Gary, hope 2024 can soon pick up for you. What a miserable way to start the year. Try to take satisfaction from the clues you solve!(And the days are definitely getting longer).

  44. 5:08. I really liked this one! Perhaps because I’m solving it Friday afternoon instead of Thursday evening? haha
    Enjoyed the wordplay and was stumped for a bit in the upper-right corner. Was happy to crack through in the end.

  45. 8:50 for me, so average. I’m surprised how many people had difficulty with PINTO BEAN but then I live in California with a Mexican restaurant on every corner. Well, it seems like that. I don’t remember any holdups, just a steady solve at a slightly slower pace than I sometimes manage. LOI was SAINT, only because I thought I’d finished and then spotted that I’d not looked at that clue.

Comments are closed.