Times Quick Cryptic No 2724 by Jalna

Solving time: 6:37

Three of my last five blogs have been for Jalna grids, however I did considerably better with this one than the last, when I took 13:29.

I don’t think there is anything here that is particularly tricky so am expecting the barman of the SCC to have a bit more time on his hands today?

Let me know how you get on…

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

1 Repercussions of statute introduced by current politician (6)
IMPACTACT (statute) after [introduced by] I (current) MP (politician)

From the Latin impactus, past participle of impingere “to push into, drive into, strike against”.

4 Predicament caused by fight beginning to escalate (6)
SCRAPESCRAP (fight) then the first letter [beginning to] of E{scalate}

The meaning of “embarrassing or awkward predicament” is from the early 18th century, as OED suggests, probably “from the notion of being ‘scraped’ in going through a narrow passage.

8 Don’t take time away from work (5)
LEAVE – Double definition
9 Starts to leap around, yell and thrash (4,3)
LASH OUT – First letters [Starts to] of L{eap} A{round} then SHOUT (yell)
10 Adversary fooled regularly (3)
FOE – Alternate letters [regularly] of fooled

The word FOE has its origins in the Old English word fāh” which meant “hostile” or “at war”. The term fāh” is also related to the Old Norse word fjár”, meaning “feud” or “quarrel”.

11 Home is horribly dire scene (9)
RESIDENCE – Anagram [horribly] of DIRE SCENE
12 Trapped somewhere with a net, by the sound of it (6)
CAUGHT – Homophone [by the sound of it] of COURT (somewhere with a net – apposite as the Wimbledon tennis championships are on)
13 Name included in benefit agreement (6)
ASSENTN (Name) included in ASSET (benefit)
16 Water conduit snapped — it must be repaired (9)
STANDPIPE – Anagram [must be repaired] of SNAPPED IT
18 Odd pieces of pound cake, perhaps? (3)
PUD – Alternate letters [Odd pieces] of pound
19 Moralising peer restraining every individual (7)
PREACHYPRY (peer) containing [restraining] EACH (every individual)
20 Cooking facility provided by most ovens (5)
STOVE – Hidden [provided by] in most ovens

The mid-15th century meaning of STOVE in English was “heated room“. The more modern meaning of “vessel in which heat radiates from a burning fuel for warming a room or cooking” is from 1610s.

22 Somewhat antiquated, empty oval bowl (6)
OLDISHO{va}L with the inner letters removed [empty] then DISH (bowl)
23 Court order ends in trouble for author (6)
WRITERWRIT (Court order) then last letters [ends in] of {troubl}E {fo}R
1 Part of pail leaking badly (3)
ILL – Hidden [Part of] pail leaking
2 Thin coating put on gold table (7)
PLATEAUPLATE (Thin coating) put on AU (gold – chemical symbol)
3 Checks altered, possibly to prepare for a new start (5,3,5)
CLEAR THE DECKS – Anagram [possibly] of CHECKS ALTERED

The phrase CLEAR THE DECKS originated in naval warfare with its first use attributed to British sailor John Smith in 1630. To prepare for battle, naval personnel were instructed by their superior officers to clear the decks by removing all non-essential items and debris, before reporting to their designated stations.

5 Princesses had contrived way to get money (4,9)
CASH DISPENSER – Anagram [contrived] of PRINCESSES HAD
6 A cereal crop and fruit from a tree (5)
ACORNA then CORN (cereal crop)
7 Nurse did nursing work, as requested (9)
ENTREATEDEN (Nurse) TREATED (did nursing work)

EN is an abbreviation of Enrolled Nurse

9 Luxurious, large American hotel (4)
LUSHL (large) US (American) H (hotel)

Back in the mid-15th century, LUSH meant “lax, flaccid, soft, tender” from the Old French lasche which itself came from Late Latin laxicarebecome shaky“. The main modern sense of the word, with reference to plant life, “luxuriant in growth,” is first attested c. 1600, in Shakespeare.

10 Accepts terrible cups of tea (5,2,2)
FACES UP TO – Anagram [terrible] of CUPS OF TEA
14 Old story about one adventure (7)
EXPLOITEX (Old) PLOT (story) about I (one)
15 Light, milk-based food with no topping (4)
AIRYDAIRY with no topping i.e. without the first letter

‘topping’ is apposite as this is a down clue.

17 Change the last word on front of dossier (5)
AMENDAMEN (the last word) on front of i.e. the first letter of D{ossier}
21 Queen and King make a mistake (3)
ERRER (Queen – our former monarch Elizabeth Regina) and R (King i.e. Rex)

57 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2724 by Jalna”

  1. 10:29. Slowed down by thinking did nursing work was tended not TREATED and I didn’t see PRY from peer. I enjoyed all the interesting facts re the origin and/or development of many of the clues- thanks!

  2. Like curryowen, I was slowed down by TENDED. LASH OUT took a while, too; I’d always thought it was just verbal attack, not physical. 8:53.

  3. I started off unable to get anything until the gimme FOE, but things fell into place after that and I got round in 9.43. Was held up for maybe a minute by LOI AIRY. Before I realised 5dn CASH DISPENSER was an anagram I thought ‘princesses’ was pointing us to something involving DI and then DISPENSER arrived as a part homophone of Di(ana) Spencer which is all a bit weird. Thanks to Jalna and Mike, I enjoyed the etymological blog and now understand what was going on with 12ac CAUGHT.

  4. I didn’t find this particularly easy and needed 14 minutes to complete it. Nothing stood out as especially troublesome but few of the answers leapt off the page at me and I was unable to establish any sort of flow and was constantly hopping around the grid.

  5. A solid puzzle, addressable and enjoyable, and a great blog, interesting and informative. 9½ minutes on the puzzle, with the only hold-up being finding AIRY, and rather longer on Mike’s etymology. I did not know the Old Norse fjár for foe, but the modern Icelandic fjand- is similar, as in fjandmaður, enemy. Ironically fjár- does still exist in modern Icelandic but only as the start of a word; it indicates something to do with finances or the control/lack of them, often the enemy/foe of many a great idea!

    Many thanks Mike for the blog, you set the bar high.

  6. Nice steady solve with Jalna’s typical mix of elegant clues. 21.15 is about par these days.

    COD to cash dispenser, great anagram and surface. MER at lash out that we don’t think is quite synonymous with thrash.

    LOI entreated, NHO en for nurse, only sen and srn

    Thanks Jalna and Mike for the informative blog – we needed your help parsing leave, didn’t spot the clever DD and were looking for a word for work from which to remove the T!!

  7. I enjoyed Mike’s blog more than I did the puzzle, where the SE corner delayed me considerably. Then I pressed submit to be greeted by “Your puzzle is 98% complete” and had to spend a further minute over my LOI. I could blame it on the stinking cold I’ve picked up, but that would be a feeble excuse – I’ve just not been at my sharpest this week so far.

    LOI AIRY *
    TIME 6:38

    * I was looking for too long for a type of cheese, or maybe a pudding. The pedant in me finds it hard to accept that, in this context, DAIRY is a noun, rather than an adjective.

  8. Started off quickly but got bogged down towards the end.
    I really wanted 3d to be related to cleaning slates in some way, despite the lack of ‘n’ in the anagrist, I had to resort to pen and paper to unravel STANDPIPE and took far too long to see that FACES UP TO was an anagram.
    A good challenge from Jalna starting with IMPACT and finishing with AIRY in 8.08, which is very close to my average. COD to LEAVE for the smooth surface.
    Thanks to Mike

  9. Much to enjoy here. The long anagrams got the structure in quickly and the rest fell into place from there. Even the hiddens (my usual nemesis) were hiding in plain sight today. Hold-outs were ASSENT (didn’t see asset = benefit) and PREACHY (peer = pry not obvious to me, but hey, that’s the point of the game, right?). CAUGHT went in as a straight definition – couldn’t see the cryptic until coming here.

    Overall a good challenge. Thanks Jalna and Mike for the informative blog.

    FOI CLEAR THE DECKS as I usually aim for the longest answers first
    LOI ACORN – not thinking of *that* kind of fruit
    COD ENTREATED, simple and elegant
    18 minutes

  10. 5:32. Another stymied trying to put TENDED in 7D, with ENTREATED being my LOI. I liked LASH OUT, FACES UP TO and STANDPIPE for the surfaces. Thanks Jalna and Mike.

  11. Better today after yesterday’s DNF, though there’s a loose connection in my anagram hat because RESIDENCE, CASH DISPENSER and STANDPIPE just fell straight out but CLEAR THE DECKS and FACES UP TO took forever. Maybe I need to change the batteries.

    I didn’t get what type of court had a “net” (durr) or see PRY for peer, so those two needed confirming with all the checkers. Thanks for the explanations, Mike, and to Jalna for the fun.

    All done in 07:37 which is a Very Good Day. The Quitch is running at 101 so the SCC would be well advised to hang onto its delightful staff.

  12. I don’t think this was as straightforward as Mike suggests, and I finished just outside target at 10.13. The main sticking point was 15dn where AIRY took almost two minutes to solve. I wasn’t that confident I’d got PREACHY right, as PRY for peer I felt was a bit iffy, and therefore I couldn’t give my full attention to a clue reading _I_Y. I think the bartender at the SCC Club may be kept busier than our blogger suggests!

  13. Forgot about a dubiously biffed LOSE OUT and submitted without remembering to go back to it, whereupon I immediately saw what I should have put. Must remember to not write in if I’m not sure.

    Apart from the stupidity, I quite liked the puzzle. ENTREATED went in last.


  14. Fast at the start but my final clues needed careful attention, particularly OLDISH for some reason where I spent quite a while wondering if a ‘dest’ was a bowl and if ‘oldest’ really meant ‘somewhat antiquated’ – got there in the end. All green in 13.09.

  15. DNF. Defeated by AIRY. Could only think of TINY as a word sort of meaning light and fitting the checkers, but no idea how that made a milk based food, despite running through all the obscure custards in the hope that one of them ended in TINY.

  16. Well, this was all going along swimmingly until I got down to my last three. Entreated eventually went in with a shrug – EN as opposed to SEN/SRN being unknown, but Preachy and Airy needed a second sitting. The upshot of all this was another visit to the SCC, via a very dignified picket line (know anything about that, Mike 😉). CoD to 14d, Exploit. Invariant

  17. 27:52. Raced away at the start then held up in the SW.
    Biffed 12a because where I come from CAUGHT is pronounced COT and COURT has a rolling R.
    Like others my LOI, after an alphabet trawl from A to Z and back again, was AIRY.
    Thanks Jalna for a very nice QC and Mike for the informative blog.

  18. Steady until LOI AIRY, which I couldn’t for the life of me think of, either the definition or the milk-based food. Like Andypandy, I began to question PREACHY, as pry is not the same as peer in my book. Probably took me as long as the rest of the puzzle to get ‘dairy’, no idea why.

  19. 6:45
    Like the Roundabouts I wasn’t entirely convinced that LASH OUT and ‘thrash’ are perfect synonyms, but the clueing was fair so wasn’t held up. I also always find it amazing how a fleeting specific thought like ‘tended’ at 7d can end up being such a common experience on the blog, and was shared by me today.

    With so many words to remember it’s nice to dig a bit into the origin to make it stick, so thank you for indulging us, Mike. It seems that actually a great deal of this wonderful mess of a language we’ve arrived at today is logical at its roots, after all.

  20. 9:26

    On the tougher side I thought. Took a while to see FACES UP TO and so last 3 were PREACHY, CAUGHT and STANDPIPE.

    Thanks all.

  21. Enjoyed this
    DNF due to airy
    Will we get clues in future with CR for Queen Camilla?
    Will be confusing as we have enjoyed (in crossword land and real life) ER for Queen Elisabeth for so long.

    1. I suppose it’s possible, Boovers, as I believe Camilla’s monogram is CR, but as far as I can recall references to UK kings and queen’s have always been to monarchs who have ruled, not to their consorts. But we shall see, as we are now in new territory with the revised policy at The Times. Until the announcement a week ago the only living person permitted was the reigning monarch, and Camilla would have been excluded by that rule.

        1. Oh yes. I was thinking Boovers was wondering whether CR might be clued as ‘queen’, but it would have to be by a setter aiming to be particularly devious since the more obvious ‘king’ or ‘monarch’ would serve perfectly well.

  22. Finished correctly in 55 minutes. Hooray !

    12 Across : CAUGHT. Reminds me of a terrible joke. I hope this does not get me banned from this blog. I will risk it :
    I went to a fancy dress party last night. There was an otherwise naked man with a mousetrap on his genitals. I asked – what have you come as ?
    He said Hampton Court .

    1. Sorry, don’t get it. Is Hampton like Johnson in the US? I am obviously missing something…

      1. Rhyming slang. Hampton Wick.

        I think the Goon show had a character called Hugh Jampton, which played on the same rhyming slang.

        1. I think that a grounding in Cockney rhyming slang is essential in getting my feeble jokes but also useful for the puzzles.

  23. In a rush today but sticking on 1a, 2d, 3d. Impatiently revealed 1a and all was solved. Darn.
    Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind but did not really enjoy all the anagrams.
    Thanks vm, Mike.

  24. 6.11

    Fortunately saw AIRY quickly. ENTREATED last one in as also had forgotten EN as well as SEN. The anagram for FACES UP To was very good as was the CASH DISPENSER

  25. 17 mins…

    This felt fairly anagram heavy, but was straightforward none the less. The only thing I wasn’t sure of was “EN” for nurse. I knew “SEN” (albeit I have no idea what the “S” stands for), but not the abbreviation used today.

    FOI – 4ac “Scrape”
    LOI – 19ac “Preachy”
    COD – 19ac “Preachy”

    Thanks as usual!

  26. AIRY my LOI as with several other people. Struggled with PREACHY (peer = pry??) and took a while to work out FACES UP TO. Quite challenging, I thought.

  27. 13.12 I had a similar experience to Jack and then ENTREATED took a couple of minutes at the end. I liked PUD and STOVE. I like pud too. Thanks Mike and Jalna.

    P.S. EN was new to me. A web search turned up these kinds of nurses:

    State Enrolled Nurse (SEN)
    State Registered Nurse (SRN)
    Enrolled Nurse (EN)
    Registered Nurse (RN)

    In the UK all newly qualified medical nurses seem to be registered nurses now.

    1. It does raise the question – to which I don’t know the answer – of who enrolls or registers ENs and RNs if not the State.

  28. Enjoyable. No particular problems for once. LOI AIRY. Didn’t know EN but took on trust. Liked ACORN. Biffed CAUGHT – thanks for explanation Mike.

  29. I thought this was a bit tricky. I got in under my target time at 9:21, having spotted an error as I hit the first submit button. I had LLEAE at 8a having typed the whole answer from the second square of the entry, and corrected it, but I failed to notice that I’d done the same at 1d. Pink square for IIL. Drat! Thanks Jalna and Mike.

  30. 12:24.
    For LEAVE I thought it was T(ime) away from a word for work, so didn’t see the double def.
    I always panic when I see “nurse” as I can’t remember which nurse abbreviations are still used, and setters probably still use SRNs. Can one be an unregistered nurse?
    Also don’t think that LASH OUT = thrash.

  31. I had a brief look at this before golf and polished it off quite quickly afterwards.
    Enjoyed it. Struggled to parse CAUGHT at first -nice clue with Wimbledon on.
    And more praise for the blog.

  32. Took ages but finished it. Found the first ones easy. Then ran into a quagmire but got myself out eventually. Not helped by making a mistake which took a while to sort out. Not the easiest but good fun anyway.

    Thanks for the blog. There were 7 clues I didn’t get till I read it.

    So helpful.

  33. I’m having a tough week with many distractions and disablements, and kind of fell asleep (!) while trying to see some of the answers. 25:24, not bad, considering my feeble state. FOI ILL, LOI ASSENT, COD RESIDENCE. My anagrammotor wasn’t running at all and I needed all the crossers. I will never remember all these nurse titles! CAUGHT and “court” are of course not homophones in my dialect, must remember to read clues in a phony British accent to have a hope of seeing that sort (“sought”?) of thing. Put it in with a shrug. Hah! I finally learned PUD!

    Thanks to Jalna and Mike – great blogging!

  34. I am useless!!!

    24 minute DNF as put OLDEST for OLDISH. Unforgivable, amateurish error.

    Yet another week ruined through stupidity, and that after only 31 mins for Monday/Tuesday. My target is so easy and yet I always mess it up.

    The fact that I did the QC yesterday in 12 mins and then did the proper crossword is now a complete irrelevance to me.

    To add to my misery, I got just 1 on the quintagram today and spent 80 mins on the proper crossword, and still couldn’t get several clues.

    Another horror show. I am so fed up with being bad at this.

    My computer is going off! I have spent something like 6 hours on cryptics this week and I’m still incapable of a decent performance. In my case, practice does not make perfect.

  35. EN for nurse? biffable,but can’t recognise abbreviation. Became fixated withEXPLORE(lore as an old tale) rather thanEXPLOIT Great crossword today, which I persevered with, well over time due to nothing to watch on television.


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