Quick Cryptic 1494 by Hurley

A pleasant 6-minute solve for me. Plenty of anagrams, a couple of double definitions, and a very nice triple, too which you don’t see often in the QC. I was more thrown by the few that were if anything too obvious – 6ac, 8ac, and especially 13ac. Although it’s perfectly acceptable in the QC,  the word ‘bible’ wouldn’t appear in both clue and answer in the 15 x 15, so I wasted time trying to think of a synonym (the only obvious one being AV i.e. authorised version). Change of format, eh? I feel like Geoffrey Boycott trying to play T20.


1 Religious Education on page monks, say, reserve in advance (8)
PREORDER – RE (religious education) with P in front + ORDER (monks)
6 God! That’s not half thorough (4)
THOR – self-explanatory
8 Small group not heard (4)
KNOT – sounds like NOT
9 Mead? Alas, turns out to be water (5,3)
ADAMS ALE – anagram (‘turns out’) of MEAD ALAS
10 It’s legal, due, to change President (2,6)
DE GAULLE – anagram (‘to change) of LEGAL DUE
12 Horse’s previous record in class (4)
FORM – double definition
13 I’m seen with Bible forsaking large drink (6)
16 Fish in quiet river with mischievous child (6)
SHRIMP – SH + R + IMP. I was about to object as shrimps are crustaceans, not fish. But of course it is a verb as well.
17 At outset positive, look up manager’s description of well-paid job (4)
PLUM – initial letters of Positive Look Up Manager
18 Spy sabre, exotic, for witness? (6-2)
PASSER-BY – anagram (‘exotic’) of SPY SABRE
21 On return Gibraltar number one’s with European, important person (3,5)
BIG NOISE – GIB(raltar) backwards + NO I’S + E
22 Think she has eight sisters — heavenly! (4)
MUSE – The Muses were nine goddesses of Greek/Roman Mythology, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne
23 Breed behind tower (4)
REAR – triple definition
24 Close examination of Southern vineyard, very small (8)

2 Wash some gear in secret (5)
RINSE – hidden word geaR IN SEcret
3 Not worth considering boxing fight shunned by beginner (3)
OUT – BOUT minus the first letter
4 Speak slowly, attract learner (5)
5 University staff referring to publicity at Queen’s? (7)
6 After time, inquire about supporting Church’s specially-formed group (4,5)
7 Love new lid on drink container (3,4)
OIL DRUM – O + anagram (‘new’) of LID + RUM
11 Main oar is repaired here in Turkey (4,5)
ASIA MINOR – anagram (‘repaired’) of MAIN OAR IS
14 From Guatemala, I sense a general problem (7)
MALAISE – hidden word GuateMALA I SEnse
15 English politician at sports fixture’s finding evidence of earlier drinking? (7)
19 Transparent fabric? Absolutely (5)
SHEER – double definition
20 Graduate’s home sink (5)
22 Dull, impact oddly lacking (3)
MAT – alternate letters of iMpAcT

28 comments on “Quick Cryptic 1494 by Hurley”

  1. LOIs MUSE and REAR but having passed over K too quickly settled on U for UNIT too readily as I ran outofalphabet to trawl. What was I thinking? So a defeat ends a mixed week. I wasn’t too keen on SHRIMP even as a verb nor quite for absolutely and SHEER but all close enough I guess.
  2. 8 minutes but I was a full minute on my LOI, EMPTIES, so I had been starting to worry that a single tricky clue was going to cause me to miss my target.

    23ac (REAR) was clearly a triple definition but I couldn’t think how ‘tower’ applied to it. In the end I thought of a horse rearing up and towering over things around it, but I’m still not sure of it as a word for word synonym. Is there a better explanation that hasn’t occurred to me?

    1. I too wondered about tower (as a verb) being a synonym for rear and after submitting I looked it up in the online thesaurus and indeed it is. It was my LOI and gets my COD.
  3. I blame Thanksgiving. So I will score this as 2 curarists and a Good Day. Wasted time trying to remember which muse was M_S_ (durr), trying to make scampi work at 16 (wrong mischievous child, but it had the River Cam in it), and not realising that it was a triple definition for REAR. Otherwise little to report.


    Thanks Hurley and curarist.


  4. Held up for 1/2 minute at the end by REAR, failing, at first, to spot it was a triple definition. Nice one. I liked the drink related IMBIBE, ADAMS ALE and EMPTIES too. 5:37

    Edited at 2019-11-29 08:31 am (UTC)

  5. I usually do this in the newspaper but I’m away from home so had to do it on my phone which feels different. I didn’t rush and found it a satisfying steady solve in 20.29 which is good for me. I wasn’t too sure about prawn for fish and I think of sheer as an adjective, not a fabric, but lots of good clues. Thank you.
    Blue stocking
  6. I also wasted time trying not to use BIBLE in the clue and answer, but saw it eventually. I was a bit worried about KNOT as I submitted, but relieved to see green squares. REAR also gave me pause for thought, unril, like Jack, I thought of a horse rearing and towering over things. Nice puzzle. 7:46. Thanks Hurley and Curarist.

    Edited at 2019-11-29 09:35 am (UTC)

  7. enjoyed this overall -so thanks setter and blogger- but don’t know why tower is relevant – also don’t really get knot – even if it’s right it’s obscure to say the least. At least it wasn’t like yesterday when there were at least three such clues.
    1. Collins has: Knot 3. A knot of people is a group of people who are standing very close together.
      ‘A little knot of men stood clapping’.

      It’s the third definition listed amongst many, so not really obscure.

      I did my best with ‘tower/rear’ in my own comment above but wasn’t wholly convinced, however since then I’ve found this in SOED under ‘tower’ which I think fits well enough with ‘rear’: rise to or reach a great height, stand high.

      1. I think tower refers to something that tows rather than something that towers over something. Something that is being towed is at the rear
  8. The curse of carelessness struck today as I inexplicably renamed the French general/president LE GAULLE. I can’t even pass it off as a typo, just a complete brain fade. Overall I thought this was a relatively gentle end to the week and my only real pause was over the parsing of LOI REAR.
    Thanks for the blog
  9. Almost a clean sweep of solves this week – a rarity for me. However, I put in gnat rather than knot – just couldn’t move on from Humphrey Littleton saying “ … if you are within a gnat’s crochet of the music…’ ie small, with the g (group) not heard. Made sense in my head when solving…..but not on reflection. Twit. Still, happy memories and another five to go at next week.

    Nice range of puzzles this week and thanks to all the bloggers and regular contributors; started solving in January and would undoubtedly have stayed in the dark without your clear explanations and discussion on the board.


    1. Don’t worry – I had “Gnat” as well for the same reasons. Thought Knot was too obvious.
  10. Didn’t get REAR – I think triples are a new one on me. Otherwise pretty straightforward, even for a relative noob

    Have a good weekend everyone!

  11. ….but not as we know it. I totally get “tower” but thought it was a bit of a stretch (see what I did there ?). Well within my target today.

    Thanks to Curarist for an excellent blog – the vision of Boycott being coerced into T20 cricket gave me a chuckle.

    FOI RINSE (having abandoned a clean sweep mission)
    LOI REAR (not quite its ugly head)
    COD OIL DRUM (15×15 standard)

  12. 16:50 today but with an error. I decided to just go for my LOI 23a and plumped for BEAR. I thought it might be OK. That was after correcting UNIT which I was never happy with; KNOT is better if you think of it.
    Most of this done in about 12 minutes. Three held me up: Asia Minor -I was trying to think of a Turkish city or region;Big Noise, good job Cheese did not fit what I had; and finally Rear which never occurred to me. Maybe if I had done an alphabet trawl …
    Quite tough overall I thought. Any newbies who complete this correctly should feel pleased with themselves.
  13. Thank you for your reply – you’re kind to take the trouble.
    I am knot saying it was wrong but I think you would have to ask a lot of people before anyone came up with that definition. A bit like caper, inbued and dryish yesterday – not in common parlance. Only my opinion of course but even she who must be obeyed pulled a face at these definitions 🙂
  14. It’s amazing how a little bit of time pressure can turn the human mind to mush – certainly mine. Having worked my way through this in a decent enough 20mins, I came to a halt with 8 and 23ac outstanding. I eventually realised that 23ac was a triple definition for Rear, which just left *N*T for 8ac. Tried to start it with an S, but that didn’t work, and then (like Sam above) thought Gnat could possibly be the answer. Went away, had a tea and finally realised Knot would do the trick. Really odd how sometimes the hard ones are easy and the easy ones hard. Invariant
  15. I agree with invariant. I whizzed through most of this and then my brain turned to mush when faced with three of the four-letter answers: REAR, KNOT, and MUSE (my classical education is clearly somewhat lacking). 2 Curarists up to that point and 3 Curarists to finish (with alphabet trawls). Some nice clues but I could kick myself over the last three. Thanks to both. John M.
  16. FOI THOR and last three in were ADAMS ALE (guessed), KNOT and finally REAR. I thought these three clues were particularly good. Solving time 2 curarists. Hopefully this means I have shrugged off my general 14d and am getting back to 12a. Thanks curarist and Hurley.
  17. We join those who had problems with 8a and 23a which took us over our 30m target. Otherwise a pleasant steady solve. Thanks to Hurley and other contributors.
  18. Completed but not conversant with nine muses and got totally stuck on this LOI for at least five minutes alphabet trawl – thought it was Miss but clearly not. Anyway got there eventually. I found this one tricky but just within reach.
    Knot a problem after all.

    Thanks all
    John George

  19. Had a bit of a mare today, so DNF having put “gnat” for 8ac and struggling on “Adams Ale” and “Oil Drum”. Was looking for a sea of some form for 9ac and as a result just didn’t see 7dn.

    It took a while to see 23ac as a triple and 22ac was a guess.

    Wasn’t convinced about “Big Noise” for 21ac, obviously legitimate but felt somewhat archaic. Also Mat = Dull? All I could think of was Matte paint.

    All in all, a poor end to the week for me.

    1. I have been doing the QC for a few years now and also remember querying MAT = Dull in a past QC. I think it is American terminology. Be aware that MAT, MATT and MATTE are all possibilities.
  20. 2 x Curarist for me too. I did this quite early this morning so don’t remember much about it now! I think I found it quite straightforward – apart from 23a. It took a minute or two to enter Rear, and I never quite twigged that it was a triple!

    FOI Preorder
    LOI Rear
    COD Adams ale

  21. FOI 6ac THOR

    LOI 23ac REAR not much of a clue!

    COD 14dn MALAISE

    WOD 19ac DE GAULLE Non!?

    Time towards 15 minutes – done in the wee small hours

    Edited at 2019-11-30 03:03 pm (UTC)

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