Quick Cryptic 2534 by Hurley

Proper little gem from Hurley today. Loved 1ac, 23ac, and especially 22dn. Slightly over par 8 minutes for me.

1 Couple allowed to form band (8)
BRACELET – BRACE means a couple, if only in the context of something you’ve just shot, like pheasants. Add LET
6 New face for restaurant (4)
CAFE – anagram (‘new’) of FACE
8 Courage that may be needed on icy roads (4)
GRIT – double definition
9 Relating to currency note army supply (8)
MONETARY – anagram (‘supply’) of NOTE ARMY. If you haven’t seen it before, ‘supply’ as in the adverbial form of ‘supple’,  is a popular anagrind, i.e. word indicating there’s an anagram.
10 Staff become tired with European (8)
FLAGPOLE – FLAG (become tired) + POLE
12 Think Calliope is one (4)
MUSE – double definition, the second referring to the inspirational ancient Greek deities
13 Not sparing whip around six (6)
16 Go with little hesitation to see painter (6)
17 Press to be regularly seen in outrigger (4)
URGE – alternate letters of oUtRiGgEr
18 One following proposer once Reds are involved (8)
SECONDER – anagram (‘involved’) of ONCE REDS
21 Steep area, mind when moving around (8)
MARINADE – anagram (‘moving around’) of AREA MIND. Steep is one of those common words with a less obvious second meaning beloved of crossworders. See also ‘last’ (cobbler’s metal thing), ‘low’ (noise a cow makes), etc.
22 Initially blurting out such horrendous nonsense (4)
BOSH – acronym
23 It flows through city — Newcastle (4)
TYNE – hidden word  –  ciTY NEwcastle  – and an absolute corker of an &lit
24 Tactful, separate, we hear (8)
2 Getting new start, picture on wall, away from city (5)
RURAL – MURAL with a new first letter
3 After revolution, unions getting share (3)
CUT – TUC backwards
4 Caribbean dance in intermediate state (5)
LIMBO – double definition
5 Article, good, in temporary accommodation — touching (7)
TANGENT – AN + G inside TENT
6 Accountant thanks fellow welcoming artist in boat (9)
CATAMARAN – CA (chartered accountant) + TA + MAN with RA (royal academician, ie artist) inside
7 Know beforehand charge is to include valuable minerals (7)
FORESEE – FEE with ORES inside
11 In deluge I recollected recommendation (9)
GUIDELINE – anagram (‘recollected’) of IN DELUGE I
14 Previously reportedly completely willing (7)
ALREADY – sounds like ALL READY
15 Hot American group finding partner (7)
19 Teaches son hiding game (5)
CHESS – hidden word
20 Make certain Republican has been dropped off — follow in order (5)
ENSUE – ENSURE minus R for Republican
22 Rail pub lawyers forbid (3)
BAR – a quadruple definition. O be still my beating heart….

91 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2534 by Hurley”

  1. Just under 6 minutes, so a more straightforward offering than some of late. It’s a pity the quadruple doesn’t quite make sense. Which is to say, ‘rail pub’, as opposed to ‘station hotel/inn’, say, is something I’m not familiar with.

            1. The Ancient Greeks thought that all foreigners spoke like “Bar Bar Bar”, hence the word Barbarian.

              1. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Sawbill, and I can assure you he is no barbarian. He did start slurring after his second bottle of wine, though…

      1. Amazing what you learn (observe?) kicking around those dustbins, TC! Definite improvement on the original, as I can see ‘rail lawyers’ as a thing – even if just the sort of thing you’re relegated to doing when you’ve failed at a City firm.

        1. Indeed, the in-staff counsel of the train drivers union don’t let their members be seen drinking publicly in uniform. Hence…

          1. Yes, a man very much after Sid Weighell’s heart. (I had to check the spelling of that three times. Every time I came back to write it I’d forgotten it.)

            Oh, for the days when a union leader’s name matched his industry! Dear old Arthur Scargill is another that comes to mind.

  2. 12:20. I was not too taken with READY meaning willing. I thought of the phrase “Ready, willing and able” and feel there are three distinct ideas in it.

    1. I would agree there are three distinct ideas in the phrase, ‘Ready, willing, and able’ but I think that is because there are three distinct words. If you take the words on their own however then that distinction disappears.

      I would say that in certain contexts the phrases ‘I am ready to do that for you’ and ‘I willing to do that for you’ can be seen as synonymous. And indeed, both the Chambers and Roget’s thesaurus have ‘willing’ as a synonym for ‘ready’.

  3. 19:29

    I admit I did look up my ‘list of words to remember’ to find the union acronym for TUC/CUT which then led me to remember that a brace was a pair

    I’m grateful for any geography clues that are hiddens or anagrams.

    I did a lot of Ikea work for today’s crossword, trying to find words that fit in a tent, a word with ‘ores’ in it, CATAMARAN was a lot flatpak work.

    Thanks, C, for explaining ‘supply’ as an anagrind, I hadn’t understood that one at all. Nice end to the week, see you all on Monday 🙂

  4. 15’22”
    Going well until tripping over a keyboard.

    Compliments to the setter. This is the first time I’ve done one of these. It put me in mind of a National Hunt flat race, a race at a steeplechase course, but with no obstacles, in order to get novices used to a racecourse.
    I wish I had had something like this an introduction to the pastime in the 90s.

  5. Good one. Built steadily until getting bogged down in the SW where URGE, ALREADY and MARINADE especially needed some careful consideration. Self inflicted harm in the NE where I tried ‘ration’ for army supply before seeing the light with a clunk. All green in 17.

  6. Just realised I came here to comment earlier and then went away without doing so.

    I needed 12 minutes for this one but spoiled it by writing BASH at 22ac despite having seen the correct answer via the wordplay.

    If only today’s 15×15 setter had seen Hurley’s quadruple definition at 22dn before compiling one of his clues!

  7. A good workout and an entertaining solve.
    I’d never heard of BOSH in that sense, but my understanding/usage of the word (to hit something hard, particularly relating to a rugby tackle) doesn’t even appear in Collins 🙄. To be fair I think I learnt it from Micky Skinner so that’s not a huge surprise.
    Finished in 9.20 with the the tricky MARINADE/ALREADY pair.
    Thanks to Curarist

  8. Woke very early, started this, fell asleep, woke and finished. Definitely in the SCC but don’t know how far in. Slow finish in the SW with ALREADY and MARINADE having me in a pickle although I had the appropriate meaning of steep in mind as a possibility.
    CHESS was a PDM when I saw the obvious after messing around with an S and so on.
    Liked TYNE, familiar from Uni days when it’s riversides were still post industrial and rather derelict, rather than the chic attraction it is today.

  9. Another difficult one for me. Odd, as I usually do well with Hurley.
    I threw in the towel on 45 minutes, being finally defeated by DISCREET and ALREADY. So 3/5 in what has been a poor week.
    Enjoy your weekends everyone.

  10. SCC today…took forever to get already (like Kevin and reportedly some folks getting ready to go out)
    Hadn’t clocked supply as supplely, just that all the letters supply the answer…
    Thanks as always to Curarist and Hurley

  11. Awful performance, like wading through treacle. I had to write out the anagrist for GUIDELINE and MARINADE, and still took an age to see them. LOI ALREADY took forever to see, as did FLAGPOLE for that matter. One to forget for me.

    Looking back, I’ve done poorly all week (not a single personal NITCH < 100). Dunno if it's me or the puzzles, but as the WITCHs are mainly well into the 100s as well, I'm going to say it's me.


  12. 11:27 (Empress Matilda engaged to Geoffrey of Anjou)

    A straightforward solve, apart from the anagrams in 11d and 21a where I needed pen and paper to solve them. LOI was ALREADY.
    After years of unsuccessfully trying to remember the muses, I was pleased that MUSE went straight in today.

    After yesterdays personal NITCH of 199, it’s good to be back below 100.

    Thanks Curarist and Hurley

  13. Just over five minutes. Seemed very straightforward, but a very nice puzzle.
    COD to Monetary.

  14. 4:04. Held up at the end by my LOI, ALREADY. Good to see Calliope getting an outing as Muse-of-the-day. Thanks Hurley and Curarist.

  15. Managed to complete this but did need a little help from the cat. Embarrassingly it was the anagrams at 11d and 21a that he had to help me with.

    24a confused me. I entered DISCREET, but didn’t know DISCRETE meant separate. In fact I think I’ve always spelled DISCREET as DISCRETE.

    I too was surprised to see a quadruple definition.

    Not heard of BOSH meaning nonsense. Rather I usually hear TOSH as being nonsense.

  16. I struggled today at 37 mins but I was enjoying the puzzle so much I went beyond my normal 30 min cut off to complete it. I’m glad I did as there are some fabulous clues. STEEP had me going up the wrong hill for quite a while trying to sort the letters into an incline. The quadruple definition was almost great but some commenters have already shown how it could have been so. I was held up for too long by putting salt instead of GRIT.
    In what accent would somebody pronounce ‘already’ as ‘arready’? Seems tenuous.
    COD to the very clever, yet so simple and therefore sublime &lit, TYNE.
    Thanks curarist for blog. Prof

    1. I’m not understanding your ALREADY (arready?) query

      ALREADY means ‘previously’, and it sounds like (reportedly) ALL (completely) READY (willing)

      1. Ah. I now see that I have erred. Tina you are a star for following up on the comments. That’s two days in a row that you have helped me! Have a great weekend, see you on the other side

  17. I enjoyed this one and forced myself to a discipline of attempting all the across clues before starting on the downs. Managed top half before capitulating to temptation. LOI MARINADE after realising that steep was not hilly.
    Thanks Hurley and Curarist.

  18. DNF : a poor week.

    Just could not see how MARINADE=steep, and kept trying to fit other words in. MERINADA: a mathematical name for a slope which is bigger than 45 degrees.

    Was also defeated by FLAGPOLE, where E did not equal European.

  19. My bish bash bosh solve was undone by two anagrams today. I struggled with both GUIDELINE and my LOI MARINADE in the SW corner. I didn’t resort to writing out the anagram fodder but it was a close thing. COD to MARINADE as I was wrong footed on the steep bit. A classic QC from Hurley all done in 7:18.

  20. No dramas today finishing in 11 minutes. I too was held up by LOI ALREADY.
    Marinade was the only other clue which held me up.

  21. I took up the quick cryptic at the start of the week and this was the first one I managed to complete without cheating! This blog has been amazing for me to learn all the techniques for helping puzzle out the clues such as words that point to anagrams, look for alternate letters and reverse words. Thank you to all the bloggers!!

    (P.S. I’m not ready to post my time yet…. )

      1. Heck yes! Welcome welcome!

        I would encourage you to post your times – to see improvement over time, and also as encouragement to other newbies and lurkers who are too shy to post or worried that they’re no good at this hobby because they can’t match the times that are posted here

        Sometimes I’m embarrassed by my DNFs so I get it

    1. Just ditch your ego and publish your times.

      Yes, there’s a bunch of people on here who are quick and it seems embarrassing by comparison. Most of them won’t talk to you or even give a tip of the hat and without any kind of Like button they probably never will. But keeping your times secret until you’re fast won’t encourage anyone else who is slow to do so.

      I took 39, 47, 18, 20 , 32mins to solve this week’s five puzzles. When I started I rarely finished in under an hour. And that was assuming I even solved them!

    2. First post here but I’ve been doing them for almost a year now and my times / completion rate is still dreadful despite allowing myself a browse through some synonyms when I get stuck! I struggle remembering all the common indicators, especially when they don’t come up for a while.

      This week was particularly bad:
      Monday 54:07, 9 errors (I gave up on this and submitted half-finished)
      Tuesday 48:31, 3 errors
      Wednesday 30:56, 1 error
      Thursday 48:25, 4 errors
      Friday 39:28, 2 errors

      Enjoyed today’s puzzle, would’ve been 0 errors if not for putting in “tosh” rather than “bosh” because I’d never heard of the latter and assumed I’d misread the clue somehow. Oops.

      1. Well published nop. Izetti on Monday is generally considered the toughest setter (opinions may vary) unless he’s read the brief for what is required. Orpheus on Tuesday is probably my 3rd toughest. So there is no shame on those opening struggles to the week. We will probably have a puzzle by Teazel next week and he comes in 2nd worst. It will get faster with continued practice and familiarity to the abbreviations etc 👍

    3. Do NOT be put off by rapid solvers like yours truly – I’ve been doing cryptic crosswords for 60 years, and experience is the key to my times. If it takes you an hour you should still be proud to have completed the challenge!

  22. One day I will remember that “supply” is an anagram indicator. Today is not that day.

    Reasonably brisk until returning to LOI ALREADY, for which I had foolishly biffed “formally” (homophone for “formerly” and err well the rest would make sense eventually). Eventually I twigged that it was LAVISH and so I needed a rethink, which then took an endless trawl.

    Pennies dropped in time for reggo 08:21, which is 1.2K and an OK Day.

    Many thanks Hurley and curarist.


  23. An excellent puzzle from Hurley. Took me a while to untangle the SW corner and just managed it in time to avoid the SCC (for the first time this week) with 19:57. A nice PDM when I realised the intended meaning of ‘steep’. Thanks Hurley and Curarist.

  24. Easier than some puzzles of late. Held up by ALREADY and MARINADE (oh, that sort of steep) but otherwise seemed fairly straightforward. For the record I often have to write out anagram fodder and don’t see any particular shame in that – whatever it takes in my book 😃Liked LIMBO and also BOSH which was one of my late mother’s favourite words.
    Many thanks Curarist and Hurley.

  25. A pretty steady solve, although I took longer solving the anagrams than usual, with MARINADE only coming when the meaning of STEEP clickked!

  26. I managed for the first time this week to finish within my target time crossing the line in 7.50. When I saw the setter was Hurley I doubted I could make it, but I was pleasantly surprised how things quickly fell into place. A well crafted puzzle yet again from a setter that always delivers.
    My total time for the week was 56.26 giving me a daily average of 11.17. I’m relatively happy with this considering I had only one sub ten solve.

  27. The advantage of commenting relatively late is that I can see I am not alone in finding the SW corner a challenge, with L2I Marinade and then Already taking at least 4 of my eventual 16 minute solve. I was also all ready to wonder out loud about Already and the connection to willing, but I see that curryowen raised the point some 9 hours ago and was gently enlightened having done so, so head can stay below parapet on that one!

    Not an easy week all-in, and I missed my target of all 5 in under an hour by some way. But the last few days have been quality puzzles, and my prediction on Monday (that after the challenging Izetti, “the week will improve …”) has proved right.

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

  28. 31:30 – another one where any early enjoyment of the clueing was gone by the time I finished. Having to get the pen&paper out for 8-letter anagrams and alphabet trawls the last straw.

    Two tough weeks. Last week spent 2 hours with an hour of that spent on about 10 clues spread across four days. This week averaging 30mins per day. At least I’m getting completions.

    Have a good weekend everybody 👍

  29. This seemed remarkably easy for Hurley at the start, with answers (and parsings) coming about as quickly as they can these days. After 12 mins, I had everything apart from Marinade and Already, which of course intersected (an old setters trick: overlap the two hardest clues. . .) A few minutes later the Marinade was in place, but it then took a lengthy alphatrawl to spot that the mysterious a*r*a*y was a common or garden Already. ‘Everybody’ willing, would perhaps have been too much of a give away, but it’s interesting to read just how many had problems with this particular clue. A sub-20 to finish a difficult week. Invariant

  30. 24 mins…

    Had a bit of a brain block on 14dn “Already”, which took up a good 5 minutes. Toyed with “Amready”, but it didn’t make sense as just one word. Impressed though with the quadruple definition for 22dn “Bar”.

    FOI – 3dn “Cut”
    LOI – 14dn “Already”
    COD – 22dn “Bar”

    Thanks as usual!

  31. I was stuck on 12a until I realised I had spelled 6d as CATARAMAN.
    Never realised 21a was an anagram – I chucked NAVIGATE in – a forlorn hope.
    Time? Just under an hour.

  32. Very testing! I found it hard to get started, even harder to make progress once I had, and much harder still to finish the job. Then, after 48 minutes of toil, I came here and found I had written BuSH instead of BOSH. It therefore has to go down in my records as a DNF. Gloom!

    I really struggled at the end with GUIDELINE, FLAGPOLE, GRIT, RURAL and ALREADY. Probably around half of the time spent just on these five. Earlier, I had enjoyed BRACELET and CHESS, but I’m afraid the grind obscured the pleasure for me today.

    Thanks to Hurley and Curarist.

  33. 18.53 I saw the anagrams today (except MONETARY, which I biffed) but struggled to solve them. GUIDELINE and MARINADE were the last two in. Thanks Curarist and Hurley.

  34. Another slow steady solve for me, with lots to enjoy along the way especially thinking about wonderful weekends to be had strolling along the Tyne, marvelling at Grainger Market and all the fun to be had in the toon!

    I thought of MARINADE but could not see how it worked. Went to an anagram site and found it was the only word, and finally the penny dropped. That’s where the fun lies in this pastime.

    Thanks Curarist and Hurley.

  35. Very quick, then stuck on ALREADY/MARINADE.
    Liked many in CATAMARAN, BRACELET, GRIT. TYNE easy-peasy.
    Thanks vm, Curarist.

  36. I did this on the ipad again which always slows me down a bit as I squint at the smaller clues and struggle to get my fingers to work properly on the touch screen keypad(guitarist’s corns). ALREADY was LOI and took ages to see. However I have no excuse for the inexplicable BUSH at 22a! 9:43 WOE. Thanks Hurley and Curarist.

  37. 5.56

    Excellent puzzle though do tend to agree that the quadruple might have benefitted from some polishing. But MARINADE and CHESS were both good the latter delaying me for a bit even though it’s a regular form of entertainment hereabouts.

    Thanks Hurley and Curarist

  38. I was flying, but I needed practically half of my total time to conduct an alpha trawl on my LOI.

    TIME 4:16

  39. 11′ on this one which makes me feel better after a crash and burn this morning on the 15×15. ALREADY took some time, they always do when all the crossers are vowels! Steep, area mind was a nice deflection I thought for MARINADE. Thanks Curarist and Hurley.

  40. Good fun! A slow (always!) steady solve. Loved TYNE! Spent a lot of time going uphill for 21a before remembering the other meaning of “steep” (grr). Slightly confused by 22d, surely not a quadruple definition (Oh yes it is).

  41. 26:51

    Found that tricky. Misspelt DISCREET which held me up for ages with ENSUE. Failed to parse CHESS and struggled with LOI ALREADY. Got there nearly 7 minutes over target.

  42. Look away now, you don’t have to read this…..

    Another day, another disaster. 38 mins of wading through treacle. Yes, I know that isn’t the slowest time today, but the manner in which I completed it was dreadful.

    Today’s festival of failure saw me unable to spot many of the anagram indicators. I missed hidden words and other obvious ones. I’m too embarrassed to tell you about some of the most basic ones I missed until I had checkers.

    Everything is a struggle at the moment. I can’t spot what is definition and what is wordplay. Today I probably parsed fewer answers than ever before. I really am quite incredibly bad at this.

    I would love to come here and say I was enjoying myself, but I am getting more and more lost, confused and depressed.

    My time for the week was 3 hours, 14 minutes. Even by my pathetic standards, that is appalling and just not good enough. Aside from a 14-minute solve, that is four horrendous performances.

    Failed on the Quintagram to compound the misery.

    Back for more suffering next week.

    Thanks for the blog.

    1. Well, for a lot of us 38mins would be pretty good! Just forget your time – it’s supposed to be fun, so savour it instead. If you’re depressed because there are regulars with fast times, then stop measuring yourself against them and stick to measuring against yourself and the enjoyment you get in a relaxed solve.

  43. I’ve just totted up how much I spend on this newspaper weekdays and Sundays- £936 pa.
    Since I seem to be getting worse instead of better at the qc, I have decided instead to put the money towards a hybrid amp I have been looking at.
    I’ll just do wordle to keep the old brain ticking over and get news from the wireless.
    Goodbye and good solving.

    1. Sorry to see you go. Have you thought about getting smart phone access – if you like puzzles you can probably then email them to another device to get them larger or print them? £15 pm.

      1. I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to technology. Got an ebook once but didn’t really like it. Thanks for your comments anyway.

  44. 8:03. Astonishingly fast for me, particularly after a festive day-after-Thanksgiving dinner. Everything just clicked today: the first thing that came to mind was usually the right answer. I’ll savour the feeling, knowing that normality will return on Monday.

    Many thanks to Hurley and Curarist.

  45. 7:01

    Busy Friday pushed this into a Saturday-morning solve – pretty straightforward though stuck briefly on L2I URGE and ALREADY. Glossed over the unparsed MONETARY though have seen the ‘supply’ anagindicator before.

    Thanks Hurley and Curarist

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