QC 1195 by Hurley

Right, I really liked this puzzle, and found a lot of the clues entertaining and challenging. Unfortunately it shows in my time which was uncomfortably near the 12-minute mark.

Oh I can make excuses. Chief among them being that I haven’t even looked at a Quickie since I blogged my last one because if you remember I was having a wobble around the 15×15 at the time and was feeling a bit jaded about the whole prospect of crosswords generally. Well, that has passed, but I still haven’t got back into the daily routine of doing the Quickie as well. Nevertheless, if I’m doing the 15×15 every day then to my logic I ought to be able to pick up the Quickie, give it some bread, pat it on the head and put it to bed more quickly than I did today, no matter how long it’s been. But I didn’t. Maybe I was rusty. Maybe it takes time to get back into the rhythm of the Quickie. But I think that’s just making excuses. I just don’t think I was up to it. Hope the rest of you found it easier.

But as I say, I enjoyed it and admired a lot of the clues. Thank you and well done Hurley. FOI was 5A (as with so many of the clues today 1A was not far from my mind but on the first pass was somehow just beyond my reach). LOI I think was 14D. Difficult to choose a COD because I liked so many of them, but I’d probably go for 1A itself. Great to see an & lit. in the Quickie, and stuck up there boldly at the top of the table as well.

Definitions are underlined in italics and everything else is explained as simply as possible just as I see it.

1 Name initially used in memoirs wrongly? (8)
MISNOMER – N (name initially) ‘used in’ an anagram of MEMOIRS (‘wrongly’) gives MISNOMER, the whole of the clue then acting as a definition of the answer, giving us a rare & lit. clue for a quickie (and in the first clue no less).
5 Judge is French — that’s funny (4)
JEST – J (judge) + EST (‘is’ in French).
9 Portion, slim, reduced, provided by church (5)
SLICE – reduce SLIM by cutting off its end, add on CE for the Church of England and there you have your portion served up in front of you.
10 One might betray characteristic worry, oddly overlooked (7)
TRAITOR – TRAIT (characteristic) + OR (wOrRy with the odd letters ‘overlooked’).
11 Flier, ace, associated with this country (3)
AUK – A (ace) plus UK (this country).
12 Talk about troubled teen — be understood (9)
PENETRATE – PRATE is one of those words often used in Crossword Land and not so much anywhere else. Put it ‘about’ an anagram of TEEN (‘troubled’) and this clue can easily ‘be understood’.
13 A case for frail boat not starting in the water (6)
AFLOAT – A + FL (the ‘case’ of FraiL) + OAT (boat not starting).
15 Claimant legally keeping cloak (6)
MANTLE – hidden word: claiMANT LEgally.
17 Son currently at Southern headland finding wintry scene (9)
SNOWSCAPE – S (son) + NOW (currently) + S (southern) + CAPE (headland).
19 Drunk very tiresome at start (3)
SOT – SO (very) + T (Tiresome ‘at start’).
20 Oregon provided diamonds for opening (7)
ORIFICE – OR (Oregon) + IF (provided) + ICE (diamonds).
21 Senseless idea not alerting new entrants first of all (5)
INANE – the initial letters (‘first of all’) of Idea Not Alerting New Entrants.
22 Cricket score, good — a step up! (4)
RUNG – RUN (a score in cricket) + G (good).
23 One readily deceived a mate? Yes, sadly (4,4)
EASY MEAT – anagram of A MATE YES (‘sadly’).
1 Mother’s vehicle, a thing of beauty? (7)
MASCARA – MA’S (mother’s) + CAR (vehicle) + A.
2 Pong from black liquid at bottom of street (5)
STINK – INK (black liquid, although in my experience you can have other colours) at the bottom of (i.e. underneath in this down clue) ST (street).
3 Maintaining advantage, open main push possibly (3-9)
ONE-UPMANSHIP – straight anagram (‘possibly’) of OPEN MAIN PUSH.
4 We hear school’s taken in (5)
EATEN – homophone for Croswword Land’s favourite educational establishment, ETON.
6 Additional court clip (7)
EXTRACT – EXTRA (additional) + CT (court).
7 Ultimately elegant Celtic language, neat and concise (5)
TERSE – T (‘ultimately’ eleganT) + ERSE (Celtic language).
8 Potentially catalyst, like this US capital (4,4,4)
SALT LAKE CITY – another straight anagram (‘potentially’) of CATALYST LIKE.
14 Lot divided by a fellow’s language (7)
LAOTIAN – LOT ‘divided by’ A gives LAOT. Add on a IAN (a fellow) and there you have it.
16 Implore centre attendant a bit (7)
ENTREAT – hidden word: cENTRE ATtendant.
17 Society with little money for track (5)
SPOOR – S (society) + POOR (with little money). At first I had this as S + CENT (litttle money) giving SCENT which was perfectly plausible. Had I written in ORIFICE when I first thought of it at 20A then I would not have been delayed by this but as it was my reticence meant that my mind started thinking illogically of EDIFICE when I came back to 20A (although somehow still retaining the idea of ORIFICE without actually writing it straight in, and looking back it is only because of the chime with ORIFICE that EDIFICE jumped into my mind anyway even though it has nothing to do with the definition). Nice bit of potential misdirection there but easily avoidable if you solve the clues in the correct order!
18 Where to contest article about North America (5)
ARENA – A ((indefinite) article) + RE (about) + NA (North America).
19 Criticize schedule (5)
SLATE – double definition.

26 comments on “QC 1195 by Hurley”

  1. MISNOMER was tricky, although I saw the anagrist fairly quickly. DNK EASY MEAT (well, maybe saw it once in a 15×15), but I was sure it was EASY something. I think PENETRATE was my LOI, PRATE, as Don says, not being a word that pops immediately to mind. 6:44.
  2. I had a few problems with this one, mostly of my own making, and needed 16 minutes to complete it. The &lit definition at 1ac caught me out as I had taken it to be ‘name’ with ‘wrongly’ as anagrind and anagrist comprising MEMOIRS + U{sed} [initially]. Also couldn’t see SLATE for ‘schedule’ for a while (the trial is slated/scheduled to begin next week). PRATE for ‘talk’ took some thinking of.
  3. Slightly trickier than a usual QC, so a good challenge. Liked LAOTIAN, ORIFICE. Any point in mentioning that Eton is a college? Also thought AFLOAT, though obvious wordplay, has a weak definition, ‘on’ being much better than ‘in’.

    Thanks blogger and Hurley.

    1. Eton College still qualifies as a public school and is commonly referred to in that context so I think the definition is fine.
    2. Any point in mentioning that Eton has generally been regarded as Britain’s premier public SCHOOL. It was the first (no. 900) in the Southern Railway’s ‘Schools class’ locomotives in 1930.
  4. I initially put SNOWSCAPE in at 12a instead of its rightful place, which didn’t help. One or two tricky definitions – e.g. “be understood” for PENETRATE and “schedule” for SLATE held me up. MANTLE was nicely hidden, but my COD goes to RUNG. 7:53
  5. I was miles off the pace here, well over 3 Kevins. Spent ages trying to find an anagram meaning “name” from “memoirs + u” – same mistake as jack but obviously taking me rather longer to unscramble! Had never heard of LAOTIAN (my LOI) and “penetrate” for “be understood” is within dictionary definitions but seems a little elliptical (well it was too subtle for me, anyway).

    A very enjoyable work out and a clever puzzle; thanks Hurley. Highly entertaining blog too, Don.


  6. A hard test for a Monday morning. I had the same troubles as everyone else with loi 4dn going in with a sigh as I caught the other meaning of taken in. 12 minutes – cod 1ac.
  7. A bit of a surprise – I was going really well and then found myself slowing and going astray in a big way. I wanted to put Monsieur in for 1ac; I fixed a U in my head – like Jack and Templar (‘used initially’) and this was my downfall, especially when I tried to move on and make something of U and ‘memoirs’. I had inexplicable difficulty with One-upmanship, even with checkers in place. I was slow to see Laotian because I wanted to put the T of ‘lot’ at the end (lot divided by…..) so my LOI was Rung. Another embarrassing score (well over 3 kevins) – I blame my loss of concentration caused by 3 significant interruptions. COD Sot but 1a really beats it. Nice puzzle and good blog – thanks to both. John M.

    Edited at 2018-10-08 09:30 am (UTC)

  8. Another tricky QC. FOI wa 1d MASCARA and LOI 19d SLATE (schedule = slate?, never heard jackkt’s example used in the UK) with a lot of hopping around the grid in between. DNK 11a AUK or 14d LAOTIAN but the wordplay was straight forward. I missed the hidden in 15a MANTLE which I biffed and struggled solving the anagram at 23a EASY MEAT. This was a good wordplay workout. Not one for newbies I fear. 15:36

    Edited at 2018-10-08 09:32 am (UTC)

  9. An enjoyable test for a Monday morning. Like others I was looking for an anagram of memoirs + u at 1a and needed to convince myself that SLATE could mean schedule for my LOI. Completed in 16.12.
  10. I was miles off the pace here, well over 3 Kevins. Spent ages trying to find an anagram meaning “name” from “memoirs + u” – same mistake as jack but obviously taking me rather longer to unscramble! Had never heard of LAOTIAN (my LOI) and “penetrate” for “be understood” is within dictionary definitions but seems a little elliptical (well it was too subtle for me, anyway).

    A very enjoyable work out and a clever puzzle; thanks Hurley. Highly entertaining blog too, Don.


  11. Definitely on the tough side. My first run through only yielded half a dozen solved, and then a long struggle picking off odd clues around the grid until I had enough checkers for the rest to fall into place. COD PENETRATE an unusual usage of the word and don’t hear ‘prate’ very often. LOI MISNOMER (nice clue that).
  12. The trickiest QC for quite a while. LOATIAN took some digging out and I was also bogged down in the southwest with SCENT as a write in (right? wrong!) leaving the highly improbable EDIFICE (right? wrong!). Nearly 10’ by the time I’d sorted it all out.
  13. Steady solve with Terse and Laotian last in – 35 minutes in all – but at least completed.
    There has been no comment recently (that I have seen) with regards to suggestion to try the 15×15. It probably means that they have all been horrendous – anyway, I would appreciate a heads-up if one comes along where you consider that a relative newbie might have chance of getting, say, 50%!
    Thanks all
    John George
    1. Well, I managed to finish today’s 15×15 and I didn’t think it was that much harder than Hurley’s QC – make of that what you wish. Invariant
  14. I slowed myself by putting SCENT at 17d too. I put EDIFICE at 20a, but checking the wordplay gave me ORIFICE and the correction for 17d. I also biffed MEMORIES at 1a after spotting the anagrist but ignoring it. STINK put me right there. PENETRATE needed the checkers before I was convinced. SLATE brought up the rear, taking an alphabet trawl to come up with a plausible answer. 11:02. Thanks Hurley and Don.
  15. Another I decided to solve online. I was doing well with three left after about 12 minutes, but I needed to sort out the SW.
    I’d also put in SCENT at 17d; that made things much harder. I got RUNG after erasing Scent and then Orifice was obvious and Laotian was LOI. Crossed the line in 16:47. My visit to the Zoology museum on Saturday helped with Auk. It was full of crossword birds. David
  16. There seems to be a bit of a theme running with the QC at the moment – if it doesn’t kill it will make you stronger. Personally, I would be in favour of a bit more TLC. This was another puzzle that I found really difficult, even allowing for the Scent and U+ Memoirs traps that I successfully fell into. I almost gave in after half an hour with only about half the clues completed, but stubbornness and a very long second sitting eventually saw me home. Invariant
  17. As a relative newbie, I really enjoy the challenge of a tougher quickie and probably solve about 80% of QCs overall. A DNF for me is fine, I just enjoy the blogs all the more.
    The most useful tip I’ve picked up along the way is to treat each word in a clue as stand-alone, ignoring the sentence. I liked 13ac today, which required some dissection to solve but clearly gave you the answer. My COD.
  18. I’d agree with the blogger, just a good entertaining QC with a mix of difficulty.
    COD: 1a
    LOI: 15a (I just couldn’t see it!).
    no time posted for me, I usually finish around the 20 min mark and this was a little higher I guess.
    similar to a previous poster, if the 15×15 is “easier”, please flag it!
  19. I had to check this wasn’t the 15×15!
    Managed Jest then ten minutes before another one.
    After an hour I’d managed about 6 or 7
    Followed the answers with incredulity on this blog – thanks
    Prate? The format for 1A? The ridiculous construction of 13A..
    Wouldn’t have got these if I’d spent a week on them.
    If I see any more Hurley puzzles I’ll certainly be Lost..and will switch to the Suko and Sudoku..
  20. I agree that the QCs are routinely too difficult, as I have said before.
    I keep an annotated list of the compilers for my own benefit. I’ve just added Hurley’s name, with the comment ‘excessively contrived’, which is not necessarily to say too difficult but just not much fun.


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