Times Quick Cryptic No 2689 by Kenny

A few trickier things held me up at the end, in a good quality puzzle from Kenny… but the (possible) theme escapes me.

OVAL and OGRE both required a bit of teasing out, but I was left staring at my LOI SPARKY for a while before flinging in what rather surprisingly turned out to be the correct answer. I’ll take it when it happens! I had ruled out the possibility of PARKY meaning COLD on the inherently flawed grounds of not having heard of it.

Kenny, an occasional setter, has often in the past had a theme. If there’s one today, I look forward to sharper eyes revealing what I’ve missed. I finished up in 7:47, enjoying some lovely clues along the way, my favourite being the Cunute one – many thanks to Kenny!

6 Attitude adopted by oldest ancestors (6)
STANCE – “adopted” by oldeST ANCEstors
7 Open tavern: initially landlord in charge (6)
PUBLIC – PUB (tavern) and then “initially” Landlord, IC (In Charge). “Initially” could of course apply to all three words, but IC is a recognised abbreviation of in charge that crops up a fair bit.
9 Sudden break for card game (4)
SNAP – double definition
10 Meeting of rugby forwards, mostly very small, getting close attention (8)
SCRUTINY – SCRUm (meeting of rugby forwards) “mostly”, TINY (very small)
11 Honest dealing in place of amusement and drama (4,4)
FAIR PLAY – FAIR (place of amusement) and PLAY (drama)
13 Dear niece regularly seen in Morecambe? (4)
ERIC – d E a R  n I e C e “regularly”. Punctuation can generally be ignored, but here it is to signify a DBE (Definition by Example – see glossary)
15 Amendment that does what Canute demonstrably couldn’t? (4)
EDIT – Canute was unable to reverse the TIDE, but if he’d been doing a cryptic crossword instead of getting his feet wet he could have found the reverse to be EDIT. The question mark here signifies something a bit whimsical.
16 One performing jokes about northern hoodlum (8)
GANGSTER – GAGSTER (one performing jokes – an ungainly word but it is in the dictionary) about N(orthern)
18 Road loco somehow used to get to US state (8)
COLORADO – anagram (somehow) of ROAD LOCO
20 Ladies maybe love to go round Aussie stadium (4)
OVAL -LAV (Ladies, maybe) O (love) “to go round” = reverse.
21 Lively female with yen to embrace danger (6)
FRISKY – F(emale) with Y(en) to embrace RISK (danger)
22 Promiscuous chap Alec heroically corners (6)
LECHER – aLEC HERoically “corners”
1 Flag to be situated above a road (8)
STANDARD – STAND (be situated) above A, RD (road)
2 Muses, and anon spirit is transformed! (12)
INSPIRATIONS – anagram (transformed) of ANON SPIRIT IS
3 Wife with no difficulty left unfaithful fellow? (6)
WEASEL – W(ife) with EASE (no difficulty) L(eft)
4 Ultimately less cold, becoming vivacious (6)
SPARKY – S (“ultimately” lesS) PARKY (cold). Parky, chilly etc., perhaps derived from PERKY.
5 Sign  one with pride (4)
LION – (just about a) double definition, the first referring to the star sign LEO
8 Sweet bishop to come out with whisky! (12)
BUTTERSCOTCH – B(ishop) UTTER (come out with) SCOTCH (whisky)
12 A hotel apparently’s opening: I’ve seen the light! (3)
AHA – A H(otel), A (Apparently’s “opening”)
14 Tried tea freshly brewed, then did so again? (8)
ITERATED – angram (freshly brewed) of TRIED TEA
16 Girl happy to meet with Yankees (6)
GLADYS – GLAD (happy) to meet with more than one Yankee, so Y’S.
17 A little pasta number the Spanish do the wrong way (6)
NOODLE – NO. (number) ; EL (the, Spanish) and DO both “the wrong way”, ie reversed.
19 Giant blunder in defence concerning (4)
OGRE – OG (Own Goal = blunder in defence), RE = concerning

90 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2689 by Kenny”

    1. Last time I saw part of an Ashes was at The Oval (this was several years ago when England won sometimes). I wondered about the Oz bit

  1. 10:44. Tried spunky and sporty before I remembered seeing PARKY in previous puzzles and that lead to SPARKY. I only ever called the star sign Leo so LION held me up. Also took a while
    to think of own goal to start OGRE. EDIT very clever! Favourites were BUTTERSCOTCH and GANGSTER.

  2. 7 minutes. Kenny takes his name from one of Coleraine FC’s managers and two of his past puzzles have featured sporting themes, so that’s an area to explore perhaps for those who know about such matters (i.e. not me), e.g. ERIC at 13ac could be relevant. Mind you, last time out Kenny’s puzzle took the book / film The Shining as its subject so today’s – if there is one – could be anything.

    Why do we have ‘Aussie stadium’ at 20ac when there’s a perfectly good ‘Oval’ here in Blighty?

  3. I wondered about ‘Aussie’ too. I wondered even more about NHO PARKY; wondered enough that, unlike Roly, I decided the hell with it. DNF
    There might be some non-UK solvers who don’t know of Eric Morecambe; I didn’t, until he came up in a 15×15, where he’s shown up often.

  4. 13.40

    Spent a lot of time on OVAL, wondering how the hell to fit Aussie in there let alone ladies that go around a stadium

    Also spent a bit of time on LION until the meaning of pride kicked in

    I obvs never heard of PARKY either and saying I know Morecambe is a stretch but I’ve seen his name before.

    EDIT absolutely delighted me and was my FOI. (sometimes I just start with all the short ones)

  5. Couldn’t get SPARKY, never thought of PARKY (and SPARKY seems a stretch for vivacious, I’m sure it’s in the dictionary, doesn’t mean it’s convincing). I went with SPORTY in the end.
    I felt there were a few clues like this that you’d either get or wouldn’t get. Hadn’t heard of Canute or Morecambe but the answers were clear enough.
    Put me down as another vote for an oval not being a stadium here in Australia. An oval is more like a public space, not a stadium where professional games would take place.

    1. I nearly put “Sporty” too – but I just couldn’t parse that last bit, and I’d never heard of “Porty” for being cold. For once I heeded my own advice, and looked for something else – although I have to agree “parky” could be quite an obscure term for anyone outside of the UK.

  6. This was a fine QC and completed in around 17 minutes. EDIT brought a smile to these grizzled lips as did OVAL. BUTTERSCOTCH was the most satisfying with a big thumbs up for SPARKY too.
    Many thanks to Kenny and Roly.

  7. EDIT was wasted on me, which is a shame as I’d have enjoyed parsing it. I love a clue like FRISKY where there’s an awful lot going on in a few words. Found SPARKY hard too – haven’t heard “it’s a bit parky” for years but I have definitely heard it, a lot. A pleasing 8 on the first pass before missing the checkers a 1a would have given. All green in 12.

  8. Some really great clues, thank you Kenny. Wasted at least half a minute enjoying Canute reversing the tide, brilliant and worth savouring!

    It’s yet another parky morning here, and often the way we describe it, so sparky was no problem.

    Scrutiny was a close second for COD another one to savour after the PDM – having tried different combinations of the first 4 words (lift and separate?) it then turns out you need all of “meeting of rugby forwards”

    Had vaguely heard of the Adelaide oval and we had ladies for lav recently.

    Thanks Roly for the parsing of ogre, had to be but couldn’t see how to get og, NHO own goal as abbreviation.

  9. Forgot to say what a joy it was to see dear old Canute again after all these years. Historical revisionists ousted him from his throne decades ago and replaced him with Cnut, which apart from anything else has the disadvantage of looking like he’s a typo.

    I now hope to see Boadicea back again too.

    1. Ironically in Scandiwegia, a wonderful word I learnt from this blog only yesterday and am delighted to use, the name is spelt Knut with a K. So no hint of the typo. Knut or Knud is a not uncommon personal name; it also means knot.

      1. And here in lovely Cheshire, UK, we have the charming town of Knutsford:
        (from Wikipedia) Knutsford, situated in Cheshire, England, was recorded in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book of 1086 as Cunetesford (“Canute’s ford”). King Canute (Knútr in Old Norse) was the king of England (1016–1035) and later king of Denmark, Norway and parts of Sweden as well. Local tradition says that King Canute blessed a wedding that was taking place and forded the River Lily, which was said to be dangerous then, though other reports say it was the Birkin Brook at or near Booth Mill. The English Place-Name Society gives the name as being derived from the Old English for Knutr’s ford or possibly hillock ford.

  10. A strange solve as I initially thought it was going to a real toughie until I got to FOI SNAP, then most of it flew in and finally got breezeblocked by LOI OVAL where I was trying to see how ‘oz’ fitted into it – for once I did too much lifting and separating!
    It’s always interesting to see words that can be obscure for some and yet well known to others. Whilst I haven’t used/heard of parky for a while it didn’t require much thought to bring it to mind.
    Finished in 6.49 with COD to EDIT which may even be my clue of the month.
    Thanks to Rolytoly

    Curiously there are no 5 letter words in the grid, which I only noticed because I’ve recently started using a word from the QC as my opening Wordle attempt.

  11. I enjoyed this, with a sparky 8 minute finish much helped by getting the two long down clues early on. No problem with parky for cold, one of Mrs S’s more common words every winter as she chides me for trying to keep the house heating bill manageable. As for oval as a stadium, I struggled with this too. The best I could come up with was that while yes, we have the Oval in SE London, I think of it as more of a cricket ground than a stadium, and it is only the magnificent Australian test grounds, much larger and more “built up” than ours in England, that merit the word stadium in my mind. As I say, best I could do, but still not the strongest clue perhaps.

    Many thanks Roly for the blog

  12. 10:27 (Canute demonstrably visits Rome)

    An enjoyable crossword. COD to BUTTERSCOTCH.
    SCRUTINY held up by thinking props rather than scrum. Same doubts as others about necessity of Aussie in OVAL.

    Thanks Roly and Kenny

  13. Parky is a common word for me, normally prefixed by “it’s a bit”.

    I liked EDIT, OVAL was LOI. Not sure what the Aussie connection is, other than Adelaide. Maybe there’s a NINA reason.


  14. Thought Aussie unnecessary for OVAL. It’s been a bit too parky for May round here – hoping for a warmer June. COD EDIT. Enjoyable QC. Thanks Kenny and Roly.

  15. The portcullis filled me with horror but to my joy produced my first “true clean sweep” in ages – all the acrosses in order, followed by all the downs in order. So satisfying!

    Loved EDIT; lots of other good clues too. A very smooth puzzle. All done in 05:48 for an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Kenny and Roly.


    1. That’s a blazing solve! I haven’t done one in yonks, and had to take my time to eke out the trickier ones.

  16. I finished nicely inside target at 8.45, but I have this feeling I might have been a bit quicker if I’d been on form. Lengthy anagrams such as 2dn certainly slow me down, and I was not helped by initially misspelling COLORADO by putting a second A in the middle. COD in my book definitely goes to 15ac.

  17. Couldn’t do even half of this. Liked EDIT, though.
    NHO (nor has Collins) any connection between unfaithful and WEASEL.
    GAGSTER is obscure (indeed, this computer has NHO it, adds a wiggly line beneath).
    NHO SPARKY (and PARKY pretty obscure, too).
    Blunder in defence = OG (NHO, but even if I had) is very difficult. (Biffed that one, though.)

  18. Probably just a co-incidence, but Public Scrutiny is presently being applied to the Frisky Lecher who once occupied the Oval office. He’s the colour of Butterscotch and has a son called Eric. Some say he’s a Gangster, a Weasel or even an Ogre.

    1. Excellent! I do hope it isn’t coincidence! And that FAIR PLAY will ensure he gets his just desserts.

  19. DNF because idiotically I missed the hidden LECHER. Had to biff a few others so needed the blog for parsing, eg EDIT. Poor Canute gets a bad press because people these days don’t realise he was demonstrating that he was *not* all powerful and could not stop the tide.
    ERIC made me smile. Also liked PUBLIC, FAIR PLAY, among others.
    NOODLES are not the same as Pasta, imo. And why Aussie for OVAL? (Solved but missed Lav!)
    Thanks vm, Roly.

  20. Liked this – my first time with Kenny. Bit of a MER at LION for the sign, but it works technically. I’m afraid I missed the parsing of EDIT – definitely my COD now. I think of parky as being a northern expression, though I might be wrong – it’s clearly UK, however. Thanks, Kenny and Roly Toly.

  21. This took me rather a long time. Held up by LION and SCRUTINY, and the two hiddens STANCE and LECHER – when will I learn to immediately think of a hidden when a clue makes absolutely no sense (sigh). Loved EDIT and SPARKY. Parky for cold is oft-used in our household. Took far too long over BUTTERSCOTCH and INSPIRATIONS. A slow day but glad I persevered. Thanks for the blog RT.

  22. 3 short clues held me up – edit, ogre and oval. All great cluing and raised a smile – the ‘Aussie’ held me up enough to just fall over 10 minutes.

  23. 16 mins…

    The term “parky” was definitely used in the north of England when I was a child – especially amongst the working classes. You would hear older women exclaim to each other that it’s “a bit parky outside today” in their idle conversations/gossip.

    Overall, I thought this was a nice puzzle from Kenny at just about an average level of difficulty. Never did parse 15ac “Edit” properly – especially as I mixed up Canute with Midas for some reason.

    FOI – 1dn “Standard”
    LOI – 22ac “Lecher”
    COD – 4dn “Sparky”

    Thanks as usual!

  24. I’ve just returned from Bali and after a 19 hr flight with very little sleep I’m attributing my lack lustre performance to that. The clues that my fuddled brain struggled with were GANGSTER (gagster just didn’t sound right), LION (I thought lion was a bit of a stretch for Leo) and finally OGRE where I failed to work out the OG bit. The only thing I could come up with was operational glitch. 8:29

  25. Never parsed 19d OGRE – I hate footie and never spot its terms. Got the RE but not the own goal. I was somewhat doubtful about 5d LION=Leo?? but couldn’t think of anything else.
    LOI 8d BUTTERSCOTCH, not that it was hard to work out with careful reading (not my strong suit!)
    COD 15a EDIT tide.

  26. DNF.
    This was a very tough one.
    Too tough for me.
    If I had got this one, it would have been three in a row.
    Not to be.

      1. life has a very simple plot
        first you are here
        then you are not

        – my best attempt at haiku

  27. I raced through this and then came to a screeching halt with six to go which doubled my time.
    Eventually the two cleverly hidden hiddens revealed themselves, then LETCHER and the OVAL followed by EDIT which I couldn’t parse so thanks Roly. Finally after multiple alphabet trawls LION and the penny dropped. Whew!
    Lovely puzzle Kenny.

  28. 13:31
    Held up by public, edit (couldn’t parse as couldn’t remember what Canute did!), sparky, and LOI Lion. Happy with that after a few too many craft beers.
    Lots of nice clues, only lion was a bit weak.
    COD oval/tide.

  29. QCs are like golf to me: a cracking shot (yesterday’s PB) followed by despairing hacks to get near the green! Settled in comfortably in the SCC with 7a and 5d to get: public fell, but lion? Alas, DNF.

    Parky in common use here for a day that’s deceptively chilly. Ditto frisky for those lively females. Is there a Trump theme to the puzzle? Was Stormy with him at the Colorado Oval? And will Gladys emerge and take the stand? The last two across spell it out – frisky lechers beware!

  30. An 8 minute romp with LOI FRISKY which held me up a little.
    PARKY was common Up North.
    I too wondered which cricket ground we were looking for.
    COD to EDIT which I did parse.

  31. Established several footholds with my run through the across clues, but then found them tricky to join up until I discovered a box of (Cadbury’s) Insprirations with a generous number of Butterscotch thrown in. After that it all became a steady solve, but I had doubts over some of the parsings (Lion, Oval) and pulled stumps after 20mins, still with no idea how Edit parsed. Needless to say, Edit now knocks Scrutiny off top spot as my CoD. Invariant

  32. I enjoyed this and didn’t find it too difficult. Completed in 13 minutes with everything parsed except OVAL and OGRE. As yesterday lots to enjoy with some lovely surfaces. Knew parky (one of my mother’s favourite words for anything less than about 20 Celsius). I was a bit slow with the anagram at 2dn, needing all the checkers before seeing it – probably panicked by the word Muses, thinking I might need some knowledge of Greek mythology which is not exactly a strong point.

    FOI – 7ac PUBLIC
    LOI – 19dn OGRE
    COD – 15ac EDIT, with 11ac FAIR PLAY and 8dn BUTTERSCOTCH runners up

    Thanks to Kenny and Rolytoly

  33. Took a couple of goes, but got there in the end: LOI INSPIRATIONS, which took me ages to work out. Knew about the OVAL as various cricket grounds around the world.

  34. 13.47 This felt hard, but it seems to have been me rather than the puzzle. I never parsed OGRE and taking LION as a star sign seemed dubious. OVAL was LOI. I did like EDIT. Thanks rolytoly and Kenny.

  35. As northerners we had no problems with parky but add us to the list of headscratchers re the Aussie oval. I feared it was perhaps going to be some NHO Aussie slang. COD EDIT. A rather better outing for us than yesterday. 11:01.

  36. A very satisfying solve in a shade over 20 minutes. I’m with The Slug on this one – definitely half the clues could refer to the orange republican!
    COD for me was EDIT – very clever.
    Couldn’t get FEISTY out of my head for 21a until the Penny dropped! LOI was OGRE.
    Thank you Kenny and Roly

  37. The Canute legend seems to paint
    him as just an old fool But perhaps today’s politicians are no
    wiser – trying to reverse climate
    change just by talking.

  38. I finished. Better than yesterday but not where I would like to be and certainly not enough to give me any confidence going forward. I still sometimes need to write the anagrams out by hand, thus wasting valuable time. ITERATED took forever as did the so obvious FRISKY.

    Thanks for the blog.

    PS Off work this week so tried the big crossword again. Needless to say, took forever and failed to finish because I missed a very simple clue that wouldn’t be out of place in a QC. I entered an answer that I knew did not parse. What an idiot! My capacity to make a mess of something straightforward is the one constant in my 4 years of solving.

  39. F
    FOI STANCE, LOI SPARKY. Loved EDIT. A quick Google finds that the web page of the HQ of the South Australian Cricket Association describes the Adelaide Oval as a Stadium, so I think Kenny is in the clear. 5:59. Thanks Kenny and Roly.
    “Welcome to Adelaide Oval – the heart of South Australia
    WEB Stadium Map. How to get around. Adelaide Oval is one of the most picturesque sporting grounds in the world! Visit this iconic stadium for AFL, cricket, concerts, functions and more.”

  40. 9:16 with 25 of those seconds on OVAL – I could see that loo wouldn’t work, so to speak, and didn’t know there was an Australian Oval, so came a bit of a cropper there 😉
    Gladys a girl? More like a very old lady I’d say, although with the fashion for our great-grandparents’ names back in vogue, it’s probably just a matter of time before that one starts appearing in the birth announcements! I was most surprised to see Penelope in the top 40 baby names recently though. Something to do with Bridgerton, I believe.
    Of course I didn’t see the Nina! But I hope / wish that Slug’s interpretation is the right one 😅
    FOI Stance LOI Oval Edit was clever
    Thanks Kenny and Roly

  41. 12:09. All moved at a reasonable pace, though SPARK and OGRE had to be skipped until all checkers were in, and then required a bit of an Alphabet trawl.

    COD EDIT. Very good.

  42. I had the amazing experience today of getting clue after clue at my first attempt, only failing when I got to GANGSTER (maybe nerves had set in). I thought for a while I might be about to improve on yesterday’s PB, but no, pesky SPARKY came along and put an end to that idea. PARKY is not obscure. It is not abstruse. It is totally invisible in my part of the English language. I confess that I finally resorted to the dictionary to rule out sporty and get SPARKY. I don’t suppose I’ll ever forget PARKY after this, because now I have a vivid picture of Monty Python in absurd working-class drag cooing “ooh Maggie it’s a bit PARKY today, innit” or the like. So DNreallyF in 17:51.

    Many excellent clues, loved EDIT and BUTTERSCOTCH and INSPIRATIONS! Could not parse OGRE (original gangsta?) but threw it in anyway. Must learn to bring LAV to mind quickly when LOO doesn’t work. Didn’t equate OVALs with stadiums but not a sports fan so shrugged and went with it. MER at LION.

    Thanks to Kenny and Roly.

  43. 2nd 15min finish of the week. Excuse my use of watch to time. Biffed many without fully parsing. Edit has to be one of the best clues in my short time on the blog.

    Thanks Kenny and Roly


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