Quick Cryptic 1974 by Hurley

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Fairly straightforward offering from Hurley today, with what seems like an inordinate number of double definitions, as well as a quadruple which is a very rare bird. 6 minutes for me, favourite clue has to be 22ac


1 Lively, fit? Yes, for a change (6)
FEISTY – anagram (‘for a change’) of FIT YES
4 Invaluable American fuel English brought to the front (6)
USEFUL – US + FUEL with the E brought to the front
8 One revealing potential Top Ten starlet? (6,7)
TALENT SPOTTER – anagram (‘potential’) of TOP TEN STARLET
10 Solidly built porter (5)
STOUT – double definition. Porter is a type of beer.
11 Our country weather, wet, beginning to enter this country (7)
UKRAINE – UK + RAIN + E for enter
13 Getting new order street cop is not to be mentioned (3,6)
TOP SECRET – anagram (‘Getting new order’) of STREET COP
17 Type of bridge game (7)
PONTOON – Double definition
18 The girl, artist after return cut (5)
SHEAR – SHE + RA (Royal Academician) backwards
19 Entertainer impersonating famous painter maybe? (13)
IMPRESSIONIST – Double definition
21 Sea bird young Anne tries to hold (6)
GANNET – hidden word: younG ANNE Tries
22 Kind, offer small boat, money as payment (6)
TENDER – QUADRUPLE definition. Be still my beating heart.

1 Unusual interest, initially envious, taken in swimmers? (6)
FETISH – E + T inside FISH
2 With complaint, over the top, dipped into information obtained illegally (3-6)
ILL-GOTTEN – ‘with complaint’ is ILL; OTT is over the top, inserted into GEN for information
3 Belief European is in temporary accommodation (5)
5 Cleaner, one searching energetically (7)
SCOURER – double definition
6 Rich Liberal leaving apartment (3)
FAT – FLAT minus L
7 One waiting secretly, putting last of stock in drawer? (6)
LURKER – LURER is one who draws, i.e a drawer. Insert K
9 Saturday fliers imbibing upper-class drink? (9)
SAUTERNES – SAT + ERNES with U for upper class inside
12 At home, the victory over United finally about to happen? (2,3,4)
14 One helped by experienced person — ergo, pet, possibly? (7)
PROTEGE – anagram (‘possibly’) of ERGO PET
15 Leap season? (6)
SPRING – double definition
16 Kitchen tool of more importance, we hear (6)
GRATER – Sounds like ‘greater’
18 What’s included among best ovens? (5)
STOVE – hidden word: beST OVEns. Also an &lit, i.e. the whole clue is the definition
20 Writer preens on odd occasions (3)
PEN – alternate letters of PrEeNs

46 comments on “Quick Cryptic 1974 by Hurley”

  1. I think I biffed ILL-GOTTEN from the enumeration; in any case, I never parsed it. Not that it matters, as I overlooked a typo (TENER at 3d) to get 2 unforced errors. 4:51 but.
  2. My excellent run of typos continued today with ‘fetosh’. Enjoyed the quadruple but also SAUTERNES, my LOI, which had to be constructed and trusted as it’s yet another example of something I couldn’t have defined before sitting down. Majorly overcomplicated USEFUL which I’d seen immediately but didn’t fill in as I’d separated ‘fuel’ from ‘English to the front; and anyway ‘invaluable’ didn’t seem to mean USEFUL. Also enjoyed the simplicity of FEISTY — even if it did take me two visits. Not all green in 13 — same as yesterday but with one fewer pink square.

    Edited at 2021-10-01 07:26 am (UTC)

  3. Also in the typo club, but mine was II THE WIND, after 4:08.

    Must learn to be more careful.

  4. Quite a few top solvers with one mistake I see from the Leaderboard but maybe a mixture of typos as I can’t immediately see a clue that might have caused issues.

    Thought this was a bit tricky tbh with a couple of cracking surfaces for TALENT SPOTTER (brilliant anagram) and IN THE WIND.

    With Ronaldo my captain in FPL this week I don’t care if United lose but a hattrick from Ronnie would be very nice. [Please delete if this means nothing to you dear Reader]

    Thanks Curarist and Hurley

  5. 14:35 not too much trouble, although LOI TENDER took some time with a lot of dead ends (fee, lend etc)

    TALENT SPOTTER was a great anagram


  6. ….as a typo once again rules out a decent effort.

    TIME 4:00 but with a typo

  7. Nothing too tricky and was mighty impressed with the quadruple definition – it also put a big smile on my face as I saw what was happening, so gets my COD. I thought IN THE WIND was a bit poor due to having THE in such a prominent place in the clue and the answer, but other than that an enjoyable solve. Started with FEISTY and finished with GRATER in 8.25.
    Thanks to curarist
    1. Is the verbatim inclusion of part of the solution in a clue regarded as poor form by the setter? If so, why? Isn’t an occasional example of hiding-in-plain-sight within a clue a good trick?
  8. That felt fairly straightforward, with only FETISH causing much pause. I admired the quad but the surface was a bit clunky so COD went elsewhere for me.

    FOI FEISTY, LOI GRATER, COD TALENT SPOTTER (great surface), time 06:17 for a 1.3K (but) and an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Hurley and curarist.


  9. Well, I have learned what an Erne is.

    I rejected useful as it just doesn’t fit the clue. 🙁

  10. 46 minutes with three trips to Chambers.

    My FOI was 18a SHEAR and my LOI 1d FEISTY.

    I have never heard of the phrase “In the wind”, but it seemed like the only possible answer with the letters I had. “Victory” tipped me over into the answer.

    8a. Talent Spotter took me a very long time to find. Said spotter certainly would pass me by, shaking his head as he went.

    19a. Impressionist came to me quite quickly, as did 2d. Ill-gotten.

    So, a nice end to the week.

    1. As in “a change is in the wind” to indicate something about to happen. Could also apply to a change in the weather.
  11. It took me about another 10 minutes to get my last few, with the quadruple my LOI causing me to shake my head at my density. Others that I struggled with were Sauternes, impressionist (again obvious once you know) and useful. Total time around 25 so firmly in SCC today. Thanks all

    Edited at 2021-10-01 08:48 am (UTC)

  12. Fairly straightforward I think. Had to go down the ‘Across’ clues to STOUT for FOI, so thought it was going to be difficult. I have never seen the word ERNE outside crosswords!
    Not much more to say, except thanks to blogger and setter and have a lovely weekend.
    1. We learnt the name Erne from the river of that name on a trip to N Ireland. I think we also saw the bird too.

      Edited at 2021-10-01 06:24 pm (UTC)

  13. FOI was FEISTY. I missed the anagram for 8a and just biffed it. IN THE WIND was LOI with a shrug. 7:59. Thanks Hurley and Curarist.
  14. sixteen minutes. Did not parse ill-gotten. FOI stout. Ten on first pass. Had share for shear – a share is a cut, and I didn’t know if she had been cut by the RA (AR), but it left three impossibles, then I saw grater and realised the error of my ways. LOI in the wind, couldn’t see where the d fit. COD fetish, made me smile and couldn’t believe the QC would go there. Thanks, Curarist, and Hurley. GW.
  15. A short delay before FOI STOUT but then smooth progress to LOI LURKER.
    Some nice clues. UKRAINE my favourite.
    Time 08:27.
  16. I didn’t enjoy this, I’m afraid. The NW corner yielded nothing on first pass and I was reduced to picking off the obvious around the grid — mainly short answers (PEN and SPRING were surely too simple and predictable even for the QC).
    However, there were some nice clues (USEFUL, TALENT SPOTTER, UKRAINE, FETISH, ILL-GOTTEN) but SAUTERNES was my COD — it had me off-balance for a while. As a whole, though, this QC just didn’t hang together for me — clearly my fault since many posters above found it rather simple and straightforward with any minor difficulties being the result of ‘fat fingers’ resulting from their headlong rush to fill in the ‘obvious’ answers. Ah well… Roll on Monday! Thanks to curarist. John M.

    Edited at 2021-10-01 09:04 am (UTC)

  17. … my very last keystroke, where the dreaded fat finger struck and, at that point, one has filled in the entire grid so the Unlucky message comes up and one has no chance to proof-read or correct! A shame as I so carefully did my proof-reading before entering the last answer just to avoid this fate. I shall exercise a DRS review and record this as a 9 minute finish “with umpire’s call”.

    A nice puzzle and I too stood in admiration of the quad definition, although I agree with Templar that it was a somewhat clunky clue. But if you are shoehorning four different definitions in there, the surface is unlikely to be super-smooth. COD for me was Sauternes, which seems to come up surprisingly often — perhaps it is our setters’ favourite drink.

    Erne does strike me as one of those “only met in crosswordland” words — I wonder if it might occasionally be clued as Irish river (or even Irish lough) to save those of us who always forget it is another word for an eagle.

    Many thanks to Curarist for the blog and a good weekend to all

  18. 7 minutes. No problems apart from having momentary doubts about the spelling of FEISTY and managing to get it wrong at the first attempt.
  19. A misspelt ‘Fiesty’ (what a language we have) was my foi, and its partner Fetish was loi, in a pleasant 16min solve. In between those two it was a case of hopping around the grid until there were enough crossers to unlock the trickier ones. Sauternes went in/down without too much pause, (unlike real life), and Tender with a smile of appreciation. CoD however goes to 12d, In the Wind — perhaps next season? Invariant
  20. 13 minutes and no major stumbling blocks, so a nice end to a week that started well, got trickier in the middle, and then eased off. After not seeing 1a immediately, I adopted my usual tactic of switching to the early downs where 3d was FOI, followed by 2d, 1a and 1d to give a good start in the NW. The very good quad was my LOI, only because it was in the opposite corner, and I solved east and south in a fairly smooth progression. Hard to pick a COD, but I like the idea of the feisty useful talent spotter scouring for the stout Ukraine impressionist. Thanks both.
  21. What an excellent way to end the week. FOI FEISTY and LOI GRATER with COD to TALENT SPOTTER which for me just pipped PROTEGE. Well within target at 5:53.
  22. I found this quite tricky, although in retrospect I’m not too sure why. I think I was looking at the wrong end of several clues for the definition. Anyway it took me 26 mins to finish and I hadn’t fully parsed everything. Has to go down as an off day for me.

    FOI – 1ac FEISTY
    LOI – 5dn SCOURER

  23. Was done with all except one in about 5 mins, then the penny finally dropped for SAUTERNES about 90 seconds later.

    Then it turned out I’d bunged in TALENT SCOUTER…that’s not a typo, that’s a cock up, so DNF it is…


    1. I was also a TALENT SCOUTER, even though it felt a bit wrong while I was typing it. D’oh!
  24. Quite happy with 7:34 after correcting two typos! I shall be so pleased to get back to paper next week, where my tendency to hit the letter to the right of the one I want won’t be a problem any more! The timing will less precise though 😄
    There were a lot of regulars (SPRING, UKRAINE, GRATER and IMPRESSIONIST) I thought, which speeded things up. FETISH took a bit longer — and raised a smile too, as did TALENT SPOTTER. But for simple effectiveness, 10a and 17a are vying for COD.
    FOI Feisty
    LOI Top secret
    COD Stout and Pontoon
    Thanks Hurley and Curarist
  25. 4:13 this morning. I always enjoy Hurley’s puzzles and thought today’s offering included a good mix of a few gimmes along with some more difficult and clever clues.
    MER at 4 ac “useful” which seems a rather diluted synonym for “invaluable”
    COD 8 ac “talent spotter” with a very neat surface and I also enjoyed 11 ac “Ukraine” and 2 d “ill gotten”.
    Thanks to Curarist and Hurley.
  26. Very easy, I thought at first but had to ponder about SAUTERNES, LURKER and UKRAINE. And I tried to make USEFUL more difficult than it was, by thinking about Americans calling petrol ‘gas’.
    Liked STOUT, TENDER, FETISH (!). Irrationally I dislike the word FEISTY (FOI) or at least usually tend to avoid those women so described.
    Not sure someone searching would be called a scourer.
    Thanks, Curarist, as ever.

    Edited at 2021-10-01 12:20 pm (UTC)

    1. Collins: If you scour something such as a place or a book, you make a thorough search of it to try to find what you are looking for.
      1. Yes, of course, but I have never heard the noun scourer used in that sense.

        Edited at 2021-10-01 07:04 pm (UTC)

  27. 20 mins for everything apart from 9dn “Sauternes” which just wouldn’t come. Think I’ve come unstuck on that one before, so a little disappointing to fall for the second time.

    Some nice clues though. For a second I thought 18ac was “She-Ra” (as in the mid 80’s animation), but alas it wasn’t to be.

    FOI — 6dn “Fat”
    LOI — 9dn — dnf
    COD — 1dn “Fetish” — purely for the immature, giggle factor.

    Thanks as usual!

  28. I found this quite tricky at first, but when some key letters were in the rest followed steadily, although I could not parse ILL GOTTEN or LURKER (a guess).
  29. Pretty straightforward today with no real hold ups but it still took us 8 minutes to complete. Enjoyable end to the week.


    Thanks Curarist and Hurley.

  30. All done in sub 30 (no fetish implied) so, an enjoyable romp around the grid. LOI SAUTERNES. A touch of noble rot served very cold always appreciated after a meal.
    Thanks Hurley and Curarist. Enjoy the weekend everyone, may your fuel tanks be ever replete.
  31. This continued a recent trend for me as I got almost everything in reasonable time (around 20 minutes) but then got stumped by the last one. Yesterday it was the very vaguely heard of PSALTERY that took me to nearly 35 minutes, today it was the turn of the equally well filed SAUTERNES. I stopped my watch, still not entirely convinced, on 33:22, which horrifically, is my best time for several days. Oh well. COD to IN THE WIND. Thanks Hurley and Curarist.
  32. Pleasant end to the week, bottom half went in fairly easily, the top slowed us down, 11a ukraine, but finished within our target.
  33. I took a minute or three to get my first clue on the grid, but it was a steady solve from there. Even my last few in (SCOURER, SAUTERNES, STOUT and TENDER) didn’t slow me down too much. 28 minutes in the end.

    Mrs Random finished in 19 minutes today, thereby completing yet another 5-0 weekly drubbing over her lesser half.

    Many thanks to Hurley and curarist.

  34. A good finish to the week, 5 mins inside target after a string of DNFs. Didn’t quite parse gannet but what else could it be?
  35. For me the best bit of doing the cryptic is somerandomchap’s comments — please don’t ever stop! Rosemary
    1. That’s very kind, although most of the other regular contributors appear to know many more words than I do. Perhaps I just arrange them in an order more to your liking.

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