Quick Cryptic 1227 by Hurley

One in which to savour the surface readings (at least on reflection). Somewhere inbetween Monday’s and Tuesday’s in difficulty, so fairly straightforward, I had only to learn the hat at 12dn and RI (rather than a more usual RE or RS) at 3dn. LOI 10dn because I was misdirected good and proper by the definition, despite having quickly seen the recently common “the in German” stunt.

Definitions underlined.

On edit: It appears I may have misjudged the puzzle’s difficulty – not an unusual occurence – and hope that other solvers will not take my comment to be discouraging, which was certainly not the intention. My only evidence is my own time (and that I do not publish) which was about half that of yesterday’s. I am aware that the major factor in determining when I stop the clock is nearly always one or a few clues that I get stuck with at the end, of which there were many yesterday and none today. Needless to say, my version of fairly straightforward, and the regular contributor’s idea of very tricky equate to very similar times!

1 Returning part quietly, is ahead of time — he says little (8)
TRAPPIST – PART backwards (returning), then P (piano, quietly), IS and T (time).
5 Clothing, women’s, needing attention (4)
WEAR – W (women’s, possibly lavatorial) and EAR (attention).
8 Restricted to fixed amount, an editor’s upset (8)
RATIONED – anagram of (upset) AN EDITOR.
9 Turning heads in surprise (4)
STUN – reversal of (turning) NUTS (heads).
11 Disrespectful library oddly ignored event including monarch (10)
IRREVERENT – even letters from (oddly ignored) lIbRaRy, then EVENT containing (including) ER (monarch).
14 Mercury, say, element at outset brought into factory (6)
PLANET – first letter of (at outset) Element inside (brought into) PLANT (factory).
15 Surrender cases of china, valuable, ill-gotten (4,2)
CAVE IN – outside letters from (cases of)  ChinA, ValuablE, and Ill-gotteN.
17 Referring to a relative, competent, fair (10)
REASONABLE – RE (referring to), A, SON (relative), and ABLE (competent).
20 Hours with the Spanish male tiller (4)
HELM – H (hours) with EL (‘the’ in Spanish) and M (male).
21 Avoid team backing favourites (8)
SIDESTEP – SIDE (team) with a reversal of (backing) PETS (favourites).
22 In Bristol, lonely, ring repeatedly (4)
TOLL – hidden in brisTOL Lonely.
23 Lying scattered in “Bravo”, unusual Western (8)
BESTREWN – B (bravo) and an anagram of (unusual) WESTERN.
1 Hill creature finally moved fast (4)
TORE – TOR (hill) and last letter from (finally) creaturE.
2 Some bar types affecting interest in painting? (4)
ARTY – hidden in (some) bAR TYpes).
3 Support Religious Instruction, uplifting routine for owner (10)
PROPRIETOR – PROP (support), RI (religious instruction), and ROTE (routine) backwards (uplifting).
4 Source of music in street before beginning of October (6)
STEREO – ST (street), ERE (before) and first letter of (beginning) of October.
6 European, on rise, meets eastern Democrat, much-admired (8)
ESTEEMED – E (european), reversal of (on rise) MEETS, then E (eastern) and D (democrat).
7 Series of notes seeking an answer? (8)
RINGTONE – cryptic definition. Series of notes may also refer to RING and then TONE in a kind of semi-&lit way?
10 The German complaint following off-line event maybe? (10)
DERAILMENT – DER (‘the’ in German) with AILMENT (complaint) afterwards (following).
12 Atop her a strange item of headgear (5,3)
OPERA HAT – anagram of (strange) ATOP HER A.
13 Friend coming across artist, Lely, almost exact likeness (8)
PARALLEL – PAL (friend) surrounding (coming across) RA (artist), then all but the last letter of (almost) LELy.
16 Outrageous claim over English evil intent (6)
MALICE – anagram of (outrageous) CLAIM on top of (over) E (english).
18 Eyelid problem, sore, that you experienced initially (4)
STYE – first letters of (initially) Sore That You Experienced.
19 Try to create favourable impression — bring up drinks (4)
SPIN – reversal of (bring up) NIPS (drinks).

33 comments on “Quick Cryptic 1227 by Hurley”

  1. Very slow at 19 minutes here with several intersecting clues in the NE quarter reluctant to give up their secrets (WEAR, ESTEEMED,STUN and the rather fine cryptic RINGTONE). If only I’d realised sooner that the last of these was cryptic I wouldn’t have wasted time trying to assemble a word meaning ‘answer’ from a combination of notes N, A-G, Do Re Mi etc and all their alternative spellings. Another theory was a word meaning ‘seeking answer’ and ending in -TING. Elsewhere in the grid I struggled to come up with PROPRIETOR. I had completed all but the five answers mentioned above in 9 minutes.
    1. No point me saying it again, jackkt, exactly the same experience down to the exact problem clues. The only difference is that I took one minute extra. The ‘meets’ in esteemed was so well hidden in plain sight. Ringtone was cod. William – you’re absolutely right – it’s impossible to judge how others will get on – we all know from many similar experiences.
  2. Nearly 16 minutes, so a real challenge. Like Jack, I ended with RINGTONE, where the penultimate N did nothing to dispel notions it might end in -ING – that is, if it wasn’t a sol-fa compilation.
  3. Not at all easy for me, hardest in a while. Not helped by reversing tops not nuts for surprise making ringtone even harder than it needed to be. Took me 30m but at least all green on submitting for the first time this week. Some slow times on the leaderboard but mine among the very slowest.

    Edited at 2018-11-21 07:44 am (UTC)

  4. After 20 minutes I needed two -5a and 7d. I had thought of Wear but not parsed it properly. Once I’d decided it was correct, I looked hard at 7d. TUNE had to be in it somewhere; or it had to end in ING. Eventually I thought of RINGTONE, a brilliant clue and COD.I also liked Derailment.
    So I submitted and was told that I had a small error.
    I checked everything and finally went back to my dodgy answer to 20a -HOurs = HO, plus Spanish male ER (not El but knowing no Spanish I thought there might be this male form). A Hoer is a tiller? And I had misspelt Parallel to compensate. Finally I hit on Helm. So a TKO for me. Excellent puzzle. David

    Edited at 2018-11-21 09:51 am (UTC)

  5. A chewy but very enjoyable puzzle. RINGTONE(raised a smile) and WEAR were my last 2 in. I always find Hurley’s puzzles a challenge to complete within my target time and this was no exception 12:12. Thanks Hurley and William.
  6. A DNF – after 30 minutes I had 5A and 7D left, and I gave up after another ten minutes. I’m not complaining, the rest of the puzzle was enjoyable – hard but fair, I think it was just that the two most obscure clues (for me) had a common checker.


    Edited at 2018-11-21 10:03 am (UTC)

  7. 16 minutes for me too, and very enjoyable at that. Liked the cryptic RINGTONE and the off-line event. I had pencilled in (in my head as I don’t use pencil and paper) GEAR for the clothing, but knew it didn’t ‘parse muster’, so returned to it before submitting and saw the error of my ways. Thanks Hurley and William.
  8. I thought I would finish in single figures when I began but the stings in the tail (shared by others above) slowed me down to 21.58. I biffed Proprietor and Parallel and parsed them later. Ringtone took a while, as did Irreverent. LOI was the rather clever Cave in (and only after the very neat Derailment clicked). Many thanks to Hurley for a puzzle that sucked me in and then proved quite testing. William’s comments and parsings were appreciated. John M.

    Edited at 2018-11-21 10:50 am (UTC)

      1. Yes, the blog helps to identify people who have similar solving skills. Quite reassuring, really, and I find myself less sensitive about my times when others describe similar hiccups and difficulties. Good luck for the rest of the week. John M.
  9. Going well till derailed by 10d, 7d (LOI with two appropriate light-bulb moments of appreciation) and SE corner but still best this week at 21.55.
  10. ….in the shape of a DNF on the Quick Cryptic.

    I have always said that if it gets to 10 minutes, it ceases to be “quick” by my standards, and at that point I surrendered without RINGTONE, a brilliant clue for which I’m forced to applaud Hurley, albeit through gritted teeth. I also though NIPS was a really good clue.

    I’d finished the rest in a little over 6 minutes, my slowest of the month so far. Make no mistake, this was definitely tricky. At least the parsing of 13D saved me from wondering if I’d spell PARALLEL wrongly – a lifelong blind spot for me.

  11. My time indicates that I too found the puzzle more difficult than Monday but easier than Tuesday. I finished in 18 mins but confess to looking up OPERA HAT to check it’s existence. I biffed quite a few…..3d PROPRIETOR, 7d RINGTONE and 13d PARALLEL (semi parsed). 7d RINGTONE was my LOI but 15a CAVE IN held me up for the longest time. Thanks Hurley and William.
  12. I gave in today after 45 minutes with six clues still unanswered. I was stumbling about all over the place. Oddly, I put in WEAR, STUN and HELM almost immediately even though these were clues that some commentators today say were a bit tricksome (by which I believe they mean it took more than the usual three minutes!). No raspberries, no complaints, about the setting – just me not getting it today. (still find it irritating to not finish, though…. ). Thanks, Hurley, and thanks, too, to William for the blog.
  13. 10:38. My slowest for ages with a 10D in the NE corner giving me the most trouble. A try of WHAT? for 5A and a hankering for SPOT at 9A didn’t help. I needed STUN and ESTEEMED (which turned out to be more straight-forward than I though) to sort it out and get back on track to finish with WEAR and RINGTONE – like Jack, I didn’t spot it was a cryptic definition for some time. Quite a good test. Thanks Hurley and William.
  14. Toughest for a long time. An hour or more spread over 3 sessions. I was completely mislead by so many clues. Eg for ESTEEMED spent ages looking for a European to reverse rather than simply reverse ‘meets’. Looking back there was much to enjoy, such as CAVE IN, RINGTONE, DERAILMENT (the last two truly cryptic clues). FOI RATIONED, LOI ESTEEMED (a real ‘doh’ moment), CODs DERAILMENT/RINGTONE (enjoyed them).
    Hats off setter, a worthy challenge.
  15. Stopped after ten minutes with brainfade on REASONABLE. I would suggest WI, WRAF etc. more likely as the source than lavatories.

    Thanks william and Hurley.

    1. Of course! I would have moved on without a second thought on a non-blogging day, and wasn’t convinced by my own justification.


      1. W is used regularly as a ‘women’s’ toilet indicator. Wrens, Wracs. and Waafs are long gone. Prefer your explanation.
  16. Two sittings today. Had everything bar the NE corner done and dusted in 25 mins, but could see straight away that the remaining few clues were going to be difficult. A tea break didn’t help, and it was quite some time before I saw Ringtone, which supported a tentative Wear for 5ac. Even then, I took ages to spot Esteemed and couldn’t parse Stun, so a disappointing end to what had started so well. Invariant
  17. So EAR means NEEDING ATTENTION does it? And there was me imagining it was a wrinkled organ on the side of my head.
  18. Ouch! Straight left yesterday, right hook today.

    Templar, looking up from the canvas

    (PS I thought W was as in clothing labels – W women, M men. Wevs.)

    1. Collins and SOED agree with you as their given context for W = Women(‘s) is to do with clothing size and that fits nicely with today’s clue, both the surface reading and the actual definition . Chamber’s has W = Women too but doesn’t give a context.

      With ref to WI, WRAF etc as suggested above, there is a convention that it’s a no-no to take a single letter from a multiple letter abbreviation or acronym and extrapolate a more general abbreviation from there.

  19. I was completely baffled and bemused by 5a and the excellent 7d so after 30 minutes came here for the answers. With hindsight I should probably have got WEAR but even with the first letter I was miles away from RINGTONE.
    No complaints though and there was plenty to enjoy along the way, including 10 and 19d. Now off to google images of the unknown hat.
    Thanks for putting me out of my misery william
  20. I started well, then found myself stuck on North East corner forever. Finally gave up on the 4 in that corner. Enjoyed it though and learned
  21. Was really annoyed with myself for coming to a grinding halt after 20 minutes with 4 left to solve (yes, the NE lot). After another 10 minutes I gave up, thinking I’d sort it all out later. I failed. I resorted to looking up 5a on William’s excellent blog and then managed to complete 6d and 9a, but ringtone still proved unfathomable.
    It was a relief to come here and discover that this qc really was a toughie, so thank you to all contributors.
    FOI 1a COD 10d (even though I was impressed by ringtone!) MM
  22. Another DNF for me. Could not get NE corner and did not get that ‘cases’ meant outside letters. Ah well! On to tomorrow’s – hopefully more successfully.
  23. Didn’t look at this until a week after everyone else. Took me a long time this evening to finish it, but finish I did, with everything parsed. Found the same clues tricky as everyone else, but loved the obscure ones once they finally clicked. Enjoyed the construction of CAVEIN, took a long time with SIDESTEP, loved RINGTONE, also DERAILMENT and ESTEEMED were really well hidden. A belated congratulations to Hurley, but just as well they don’t all take this long!

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