Quick Cryptic 1294 by Wurm

Not a difficult puzzle, but praise due for lots of very smooth surfaces, and very few clunkers. A tad over 6 minutes for me

1 Crucial point made in last bit of poetry? (6,4)
BOTTOM LINE – double definition
8 Thick section in garden seat (5)
DENSE – hidden word: garDEN SEat
9 Real men excited to find girl (7)
MARLENE – anagram (‘excited’) of REAL MEN
10 Desperate to survive drop (4-5)
LAST-DITCH – LAST (survive) + DITCH (drop)
12 Peg, youngster endlessly (3)
TEE – TEEN without its end
13 Paintings new and used, needing restoration (5)
NUDES – N (new) + anagram (‘needing restoration’) of USED
15 Moves at speed in waterworks (5)
TEARS – double definition
17 Some upturned vessel (3)
URN – hidden word: uptURNed. Whenever you see the word ‘some’, suspect a hidden word.
18 Free from stench in Lourdes, so revived (9)
ODOURLESS – anagram (‘revived’) of LOURDES SO
20 Mixed glue to secure charged particle (7)
GRANULE – anagram (‘mixed’) of GLUE, with RAN (charged) inside.
21 Only about five crack the clues (5)
SOLVE – SOLE (only) arranged about V (five)
22 Remembers crashing Beetle cars (10)
CELEBRATES – anagram (‘crashing’) of BEETLE CARS

1 Glad you began to make telling gestures? (4,8)
BODY LANGUAGE – anagram (‘to make’) of GLAD YOU BEGAN
2 Port one gets in casks (5)
TUNIS – TUNS (casks) with I inside
3 United were victorious reportedly (3)
ONE – homophone, sounds like WON
4 Checks borders (6)
LIMITS – double definition
5 Leading light in surprisingly short rant (5,4)
NORTH STAR – anagram (‘surprisingly’) of SHORT RANT
6 Woman‘s bad breath (6)
BERTHA – anagram (‘bad’) of BREATH
7 Nuns under cardinal in Haringey area (5,7)
SEVEN SISTERS – CARDINAL always means a cardinal number, except on rare occasions when it means red. NUNS are SISTERS. The answer is a place in North London. Some wag took this rather clever photo at the tube station there.
11 Degenerate is loudest when drunk (9)
DISSOLUTE – anagram (‘drunk’) of IS LOUDEST
14 Scottish monarch’s horse is able (6)
DUNCAN – DUN (type of horse) + CAN (is able)
16 Animated sailor, Leo, perhaps, meeting you (6)
POPEYE – Leo was a POPE, plus YE for you. I guess there’s only one animated sailor
19 Chapter in story sent up brilliant success (5)
ECLAT – Story is TALE, ‘sent up’ i.e. backwards, with C for chapter inside.
21 Gentleman’s address father cut short (3)
SIR – Father (verb) is SIRE, cut short. For future reference, in any clue indicating a shortened word (‘cut short’, ‘endlessly’, ‘nearly’ etc) the word in question only EVER loses one letter.

34 comments on “Quick Cryptic 1294 by Wurm”

  1. 8 minutes gives me a full-house of solves within my 10-minute target this week after last week’s less favourable 1 out of 5. I thought there were some tricky clues and answers here for less-experienced solvers.

    Edited at 2019-02-22 08:20 am (UTC)

  2. I like Wurm’s tricky puzzles which can give rise to long tussles. Today, unexpectedly, I had everything bar 16d finished in 15:16.It then took me a while to find POPEYE (my COD) and I submitted after 17:11 to find it was not quite right.
    I had felt a bit queasy about 12a where I had put TIE -there are so many words for youngsters that I had not really parsed it. Eventually I realised that I had once again fallen into the trap that is the golfer’s tee; despite being a regular golfer, I often seem to miss the golf clues.
    Well done to Wurm. I think quite a few of us will have a longish but pleasant journey with this one.

  3. 11:03 for me and so a Good Day. I enjoyed that, despite the presence of TWO random Christian names (a bugbear). COD to NUDES for the very smooth surface. LOI CELEBRATES – I was misdirected as to the type of remembering!

    Thanks Wurm and curarist.


    Edited at 2019-02-22 09:32 am (UTC)

  4. A fascinating puzzle – thanks to Wurm and to Curarist for the helpful blog. I didn’t find it at all straightforward and needed 17.07 to finish. Like David, I also wrote TIE but altered it to TEE as soon as I parsed it. My LOI and COD was POPEYE which took some time to work out. I liked ECLAT and SEVEN SISTERS and thought ODOURLESS was a nice misdirection away from an otherwise easy anagram. A good end to a funny old week. John M.

    Edited at 2019-02-22 09:34 am (UTC)

  5. You forget Captain Pugwash sir! Surely the greatest of that ilk.

    Just inside my 15m target, finding it a little difficult to adjust to Wurm’s style. We see him infrequently, I think, but I do enjoy the tussle. Thanks for the blog.

  6. A clever puzzle with anagrams that didn’t offer themselves easily. CELEBRATES, in particular, involved cunning misdirection. LOI and COD to POPEYE.
  7. I’m another with Popeye as LOI. Overall just over my target 20 minutes despite a long pause halfway through before Tunis then opened up the answers to 1a and 10a.
  8. A tough end to a tough week for me. At 26 minutes this was the longest solve in quite a while. Got there in the end with only POPEYE unparsed – had Leo as a sign was about to write in ENSIGN and worry about the animated bit later before spotting how the definition worked. Biggest hold ups in the SW, as well as POPEYE, GRANULE, URN (incredibly) and DISSOLUTE. Lots of anagrams today, easy to spot not easy to solve.
  9. I wasn’t too keen on the intersecting names with BERTHA the easier one to solve. I needed the M checker to crack MARLENE. Still I managed to cross the line in 11 mins. My LOI 12a T?E took a while! Thanks Wurm and curarist.

  10. I didn’t find this one easy, taking 32 minutes, 12 over target. I’m not a fan of anagrams of names and to have two was too many.1A and 1D caused me the most trouble and were last in.


  11. A nice puzzle to finish the week, which I completed in 9:46. LOI was Popeye, where I finally saw the answer with a groan. Thanks to Wurm and Curarist.


  12. This one managed to spell it out pretty clearly, whilst retaining that bit of class Times puzzles should have, so praise to Wurm. I graduated to the main puzzle a while back, so my time of just 5 mins will reflect that.

    Really liked the two smelly ones, Lourdes stench and bad breath, and Curarist’s helpful blog.

    Edited at 2019-02-22 11:25 am (UTC)

  13. LOI POPEYE, which I actually only parsed post-submission. I hadn’t the vaguest idea what Haringey was, but as Curarist says, nuns=sisters, cardinal=a number, and the number of sisters is always seven; not to mention that three and eight wouldn’t work. 7:42.
  14. As usual, Wurm took me over my target time to 11:05. I wasted a bit of time with SIGN LANGUAGE until I read the clue properly. I didn’t know the SEVEN SISTERS as an area of Haringey, but did know the Five Sisters of Kintail, a ridge of 5 summits in the North West Highlands of Scotland. A quick Google informs that the Seven sisters are also a series of 7 chalk cliffs on the Sussex coast. POPEYE was my LOI too and raised a smile. Nice puzzle. Thanks Wurm and Curarist.
  15. A load of tricky anagrams, two random girls names, and yet another London district (with Haringey as a hint…) What’s not to like? Yes, I did manage to finish, and parse everything, but not one to remember. Invariant
  16. I was a little worried when I saw the setter was Wurm, as I find them on the tricky side. But it was an excellent puzzle and managed it in less than 14 minutes. It did take 2 sittings though, I had about half done before spending the morning at the allotment. The fresh air must have done the trick as it only took me a couple of minutes to finish the second half. LOI Popeye, I just couldn’t get Pugwash out of my mind. Thanks to Wurm and Curarist.
  17. A good one today. But I do hate names in clues. There are hundreds to choose from.
    Diana was
  18. As a newbie to the QC my thanks to the bloggers and those who comment on the daily puzzles – a great help and fun to read.

    Interested to learn today that cardinal is almost exclusively a reference to cardinal numbers; I completely missed this and arrived at seven from the number of cardinal sins. An academic point but, is there something in the phrasing of the clue to make this simply a lucky guess?

    As is the custom I should add for the record that I’m not yet recording times but two completed; two less than three clues away and one to forget this week.

    1. A lucky guess, I think – unless you’re equating nuns with sins – in which case I will withdraw gracefully into the background (happy to hold your coat, if you’d like me to).
      1. Thanks. Actually nothing so considered so I’d better keep my coat, I think my taxi is here.
    2. I’ve been doing the QC for about a year & I’m still not really bothered about times – managing to complete the good majority now.
      The blog/comments are great for picking up all the secrets, conventions, etc. The bloggers are very good at responding to questions.
  19. Ah – speed where is thy sting – well – at 11dn, actually, where an ‘e’ went in as the second letter. So 10:22 which seems an OK time today is rendered useless by the pink square. Alas, poor completions, I knew them well.
  20. I have decided to just be happy that I finished even if it did take me about 40 minutes over two sittings!! Thanks Wurm for a real teaser and to Curarist for the blog – especially liked the link to the “Seven Sisters”.
    LOI Popeye
    FOI Dense
    COD Seven Sisters (perhaps my convent school education made the image particularly amusing for me!)
  21. Am I the only one to confidently fill in RACES at 15ac. Moves at speed. And waterworks (as in mill races and tail races). It didn’t hold me up for too long since _R_R looked odd, and NORTH STAR was obvious once I read the clue.
    1. I did exactly the same and it held me up for ages…. until as you say the _R_R looked wrong. MM
  22. Down to earth with a bump after yesterday. Took ages to get Tunis and only got popeye with aids and then didn’t really believe it could be correct.
    Do we have to learn the names of random popes? Not sure I’d heard of leo and certainly didn’t get anywhere near that.
  23. Tricky end to the week, but I always find Wurm’s puzzles a challenge. I really struggled with my last two in – 1a and 4d neither of which were particularly tricky with hindsight. I needed to write out most of the anagrams which also slowed things down a bit. COD to POPEYE. Completed in 17.44.
    Thanks for the blog
  24. A first glance gave little encouragement but once I sat down to complete the puzzle a lot went in faster than anticipated. I was little frustrated that 20a wasn’t gluon…but settled for a more prosaic answer. 7d was pretty obvious but I thought might be a little unfair on those not knowing London – perhaps a clue based on the constellation might have been more accessible? And then for some unfathomable reason I just couldn’t see 15a – which has to be one of today’s easiest! I even missed it with an alphabet trawl….eventually considered it had to a hidden word/anagram…but still failed (obviously). Kicked myself when I read the blog. A real ‘doh’ moment. Heigh ho…
    1. I always find it hard to get started on Wurm puzzles, but then everything just flies in. Lots of anagrams, maybe it’s that.
      I also took an age to see TEARS
  25. DNF, a bit of a blow after a tough hour. Down to POPEYE of all things (Pugwash man myself).
    Learning the names of obscure Popes seems a bit strong, even for such as myself who married an ex-nun and who consequently was untroubled by SEVEN SISTERS!
    1. If you can remember Leo, Clement, Pious, Paul and John(no George or Ringo), that’s probably it, but in this case you only need to know the generic POPE, and YE for you.
      1. Thanks for the Popes! I was looking at a star sign for Leo while ye for me equates to “the old” — don’t think I’ve seen it previously as “you”.

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