Quick Cryptic 2633 by Wurm


An enjoyable puzzle from Wurm with several long anagrams that weren’t immediately obvious. This was balanced by three double definitions that, unusually for me, went in without much trouble. It may not appeal to those who aren’t cricket enthusiasts, but the surface of 13a was my favourite, even if the memories are rather painful!

Finished in 9:12.

Thanks to Wurm.

Definitions underlined in bold, deletions indicated by strikethrough.

1 On the move, choose minute to see affluent area (4,8)
HOME COUNTIES – Anagram (‘On the move’) of CHOOSE MINUTE

This took a while; I was looking for the name of a suburb.

8 Poet initially unappreciated in a study (5)
AUDENU (‘initially unappreciated’=first letter of ‘Unappreciated’) contained in (‘in’) A (‘a’) DEN (‘study’)
9 City in Germany or China (7)
DRESDEN – Double definition

Dresden is a generic term for ‘china’ made around the area of Dresden in Germany, though may refer to specific porcelain manufacturers, including Meissen.

10 Sea dog in dark sticky liquid (3)
TAR – Double definition

‘Sea dog’ is an expression for an old sailor who may also be described as a TAR.

11 One cardinal crossing river shows some guts (9)
INTESTINEI (‘One’) NINE (‘cardinal’) containing (‘crossing’) TEST (‘river’)

‘Cardinal’ here referring to a cardinal number, one of several different senses of cardinal, a word which frequently pops up in crosswords.

13 Some ball at Headingley that turns (5)
LATHE -Hidden (‘Some’) in ‘balL AT HEadingley’)

As in an object or instrument ‘that turns’.

My COD. Loved the surface. Deadly Derek Underwood in 1972 comes to mind; the conspiracy theory is that it was a doctored pitch, but I’m sure that’s just me. While we’re at it, let’s not even mention 1981 at the same ground.

14 Breather needed, then energy and thrust (5)
LUNGELUNG (‘Breather’) E (‘energy’)
16 After pubs Scotsman becomes wild fellow (9)
BARBARIANBAR BAR (‘pubs’) IAN (‘Scotsman’)
17 Rag and bone (3)
RIB – Our third double definition of the day

‘Rag’ as a verb meaning to tease.

19 Detective Inspectors fail to notice fire (7)
DISMISSDIS (‘Detective Inspectors’) MISS (‘fail’)
21 Woman needs long time grasping point (5)
AGNESAGES (‘long time’) containing (‘grasping’) N (‘point’)

N for north, a ‘point’ of the compass. A pity “Cardinal” had already been used as above, otherwise could have made for an amusing surface in place of ‘point’.

22 Book open, fantastically intense (12)
FRANKENSTEINFRANK (‘open’) then anagram (‘fantastically’) of INTENSE
1 Run in preliminary contest, displaying courage (5)
HEARTR (‘run’) contained in (‘in’) HEAT (‘preliminary contest’)
2 Church official using road and Metro for a change (9)
MODERATOR – Anagram (‘for a change’) of ROAD and METRO

A term used in the Presbyterian church (? specifically) for a minister who presides over an ecclesiastical body.

3 Fleece party over allowance payment (13)
CONSIDERATIONCON (‘Fleece’) SIDE (‘party’) RATION (‘allowance’)

An old-fashioned (to me anyway) word for ‘payment’ or recompense.

4 Latest news at university: daughter had some food (6)
UPDATEUP (‘at university’) D (‘daughter’) ATE (‘had some food’)
5 Holiness confused with Satan in two biblical books (13)
THESSALONIANS – Anagram (‘confused’) of HOLINESS and SATAN

We’re given a much more direct hint for ‘book(s)’ than we were in 22a. Paul the Apostle wrote two epistles to the church of Thessalonica (“1 Thessalonians” and “2 Thessalonians”) which are part of the New Testament.

6 Somewhat horrendous death (3)
END – Hidden (‘Somewhat’) in ‘horrENDous’
7 Rapid blast from hooter? (6)
SNEEZE – Cryptic definition

Luckily this came to me straight away; may have been a breezeblock on another day.

12 Playing organ in church: is it Bliss? (9)
IGNORANCE – Anagram (‘Playing’) of ORGAN IN then CE (‘church’)

From the saying “Ignorance is bliss”. I had my “ins” muddled up here, thinking that ‘Playing’ would give IN and that ‘in’ in the wordplay would be a containment indicator. The misleading capitalisation also had me toying with the composer Sir Arthur Bliss for a while.

13 Politician with one party displaying particular urge (6)
LIBIDOLIB (‘Politician’=abbreviation for Liberal) I (‘one’) DO (‘party’)
15 Absorbing material from Time Magazine (6)
TISSUET (‘Time’) ISSUE (‘Magazine’)

Good use of misleading capitalisation for ‘Time’.

18 Bowl as seen in rubbish container (5)
BASINAS (‘as’) contained in (‘seen in’) BIN (‘rubbish container’)
20 Beginning to search Irish gentleman’s address? (3)
SIRS (‘beginning to search’=first letter of ‘Search’) IR (‘Irish’)

69 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2633 by Wurm”

  1. I thought this was pretty hard and it took me 14.43. The long anagrams, like HOME COUNTIES, THESSALONIANS and IGNORANCE, held out for ages, as did INTESTINES and FRANKENSTEIN. Some cleverly deceptive clueing here from Wurm, though as a QC it was a toughie. Thanks BR.

  2. I don’t write down the anagrist in a QC, so rather than juggle HOME COUNTIES, FRANKENSTEIN, & THESSALONIANS in my head, I just biffed them. For some reason I thought of MEISSEN at 9ac, but END soon corrected that. AGNES took a while. I was lucky like Bletchley, thinking immediately of SNEEZE. 7:17.

  3. 5:50. Had to count the vowels carefully in THESSALONIANS.

    My mate captained Australian Unis against the touring England team in 1979. Fell cheaply in both digs, attempting to late-cut Underwood. His advice to young players ever since has been “don’t try to late-cut Underwood”.

    Thanks Wurm and good blog Bletch.

  4. I found this tough, but got there in 25m. FRANKENSTEIN took about 6 minutes of staring, out of that total time. 😬

    Happy Tuesday, all.
    Pi The Impious (@Merlin)

  5. Threw in the towel after 30 minutes with just INTESTINES to go. A tricky puzzle giving me 0/2 finishes so far this week.
    I liked SNEEZE and FRANKENSTEIN especially.
    Thanks to Wurm and Bletchers.

  6. ‘Con’ for party seemed so obviously right that I was looking for a word meaning ‘fleece’ starting with C. Took some real crosswording maturity to step back accept ‘ration’ and ‘payment’ weren’t close enough and ‘side’ for ‘allowance’ was worse. Shifted a word to the right and it all made sense – CON SIDE RATION, easy peasy! Almost as satisfying as THESSALONIANS that pen and paper came out for – couldn’t have named it if asked to list all the books of the Bible but it was in my head. All green in 16. A great puzzle.

  7. I started this at a great pace, hugely helped by getting both Home Counties and Thessalonians straight away, and after just 5 minutes had only the SE corner to go. Where I stayed for some time before Frankenstein emerged and unlocked the rest of the puzzle. 9½ minutes in all, still fast for me but could have been even faster.

    Many thanks BR for the blog – but if Headingley 1981 still brings painful memories, you could always try blocking them out by remembering Headingley 2019 instead …

        1. Have spent 30 years forgetting that one!

          Often called “ball of the century”, but for statisticians at least, Hollies to Bradman at the Oval in 1948 runs it close. And also bowled by a leggie.

  8. This kept me on my toes, and the longer clues took a bit of cracking.

    TIME 4:56

  9. All of the long answers put up a fight today which meant I had to jump around the grid a lot. Let down by my lack of religious GK with both MODERATOR and THESSALONIANS needing a lot of checkers before I could unravel the anagrams.
    Started with AUDEN and finished with FRANKENSTEIN in 8.49.
    Thanks to BR for the blog and Wurm for the enjoyable tussle.

  10. 5:00. I needed all the checkers to finally see my LOI, FRANKENSTEIN and finish bang on target. I liked IGNORANCE and LATHE best. Thanks Wurm and BR

    1. I hope you don’t mind but I have a question for you which doesn’t relate to this crossword. I love the weekend specials that your team provide but I never manage to comment as an error message always appears. it seems very sad, after all your hard work, that there are so few comments. I can only think that others experience the same problem. Are you able to explain how to overcome this problem, please?
      My comment, which I tried to post on Sunday, on Sawbill’s WQC 99 would have been the following:

      My favourites were Nixon (well it had to be – it’s been my surname for the last 52 years, since marriage!), Oxtail (because the soup was a childhood favourite and I enjoyed some yesterday) and Geneva (where we fly to regularly because it’s near where our son lives). I felt as if this QC was written for me!!! All done and dusted in 8:50. Not far off my PB…. I did go back to savour such a lovely offering. Thank you, Sawbill. MM

      1. Thanks. Sorry for the tardy reply. I’m sorry you were unable to comment on the blog. I don’t know why that happened. I’ve forwarded your comment to Sawbill.

      2. MM thank you so much.
        I am so pleased that the Weekend QC resonated with you and that it was close to your PB.

  11. 12:30 (Llewelyn the Great hangs William de Braose, after discovering William in bed with Llewelyn’s wife Joan)

    LOI was SNEEZE, which held me up for a while.

    Thanks BR and Wurm

  12. Started with 1d and 1ac and most of their offspring, though Consideration needed a bit of further . . .thought (too obvious 😉). Thessalonians was a bit of a gift with the initial T in place, which is more than can be said for CoD 16ac, Barbarian (pubs !). Loi Frankenstein also took far too long, and I gave up trying to parse 3d at the 25min mark, not being able to let go of Con for party. Invariant

  13. Taken over average again, especially by LOI FRANKENSTEIN – trying to arrange the letters of intense was a challenge for me without writing anything down, and failed to see FRANK = open, which would have made it much easier.

    All for naught, as I had entered EED for END and failed to spot it on my cursory pre-submission read through.

    7:46 with a fat finger, which isn’t really an error in my book.

  14. CONSIDERATION is very much a current legal word, so yes, it probably is old-fashioned. That was my POI, with FRANKENSTEIN bringing up the tail. COD to AUDEN.

    All done in 06:37 for a sub-K and a Red Letter Day. Possibly my fastest ever on a Wiggly Wurm; I think he must have been feeling charitable.

    Many thanks Bletchers and Wurm.


  15. Like others, it was the longer clues that held me up. THESSALONIANS in particular took a while to construct making sure the vowels were correctly placed. My LOI was FRANKENSTEIN which took me about 30 seconds, extending my finishing time to 8.54. Like yesterday I was under target, so a good start to the week.

  16. 9.25

    Not many gimmes for me. FOI AUDEN, but NW held out until finally CONSIDERATION gave HC, HEART and LOI MODERATOR, which was unknown in this sense but had to be.
    Pleasantly surprised with sub 10’ after what seemed a lot of thought.
    Thanks all

  17. 15 minutes in the end, having been held up by LOI AGNES and POI FRANKENSTEIN.
    Started quickly, ended slowly, enjoyed the challenge.

  18. Oh dear, having got all the long ones I failed on the obvious LIBIDO (!) and AGNES.I was convinced 13 d must begin with Lab.
    Mostly enjoyable though.
    FOsI 1a, 1d. Among last solves TISSUE, FRANKENSTEIN.
    Thanks vm, BR.

  19. A slow crawl today with lots of head-slapping, especially over BARBARIAN which I took an age to solve. Also slow to see HOME COUNTIES which only revealed itself once the ‘T’ from THESSALONIANS was in place. Liked IGNORANCE and INTESTINE. Very enjoyable overall. Thanks Wurm and BR.

  20. 10:28

    Held up by frank, thessalonians, and rib because I had innocence for 12d!
    I’m not going to mention t**o because it messes with the snitch, and it wouldn’t happen on paper.

    COD barbarian for its Tam O’shanter imagery.

  21. Oh dear! That was a QC that played to most of my weaknesses i.e long answers, random names, poets, books of the bible, anything church related and cities other than capital cities. I was just missing the inclusion of a philosopher and a sporting reference to really make my day. FOI HEART and LOI SNEEZE in 10:26.

  22. 7:02

    Mostly fine though had to think twice about MODERATOR (where should I put the E?) – NHO in the religious sense. I too, momentarily bunged in INNOCENCE at 12d but corrected quickly as I couldn’t see how that would have worked. THESSALONIANS was straightforward with enough checkers, which left LOI FRANKENSTEIN – took a few moments to see what was going on there.

    Thanks Wurm and Bletch

  23. Much the same as yesterday with much the same result – all finished but not all parsed in 25 minutes. Couldn’t parse CONSIDERATION for some reason. The left side went in more easily than the right side, the latter remaining embarrasingly blank for quite a while. Second visit to the Club this week having not visited it at all last week.

    FOI – 8ac AUDEN
    COD – 13ac LATHE. Also liked SNEEZE and IGNORANCE

    Thanks to Wurm and BR

  24. I found this a little tricky in places, though His Orangeness was able to help me with 3d (never heard of that word being used ins such as way), and 22a.

    Other than those two I did quite well.


    My verdict: It was okay.
    Pumpa’s verdict: easy.

  25. Enjoyed this immensely despite taking 23 minutes and giving up over Frankenstein.
    Some cracking clues (rib, tissue to name but two)

  26. Basketball fans will be familiar with “cash CONSIDERATIONs” in the context of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement – a seasonal allocation of $3million (?) that can be used to, say, purchase second-round draft picks or to facilitate salary matching in larger deals.

  27. 27:02. Very slow on most of the anagrams. INTESTINE was COD. I think I used to misremember Thessalonians as Thessalians. I guess I mixed up the region Thessaly with the city Thessaloniki(Salonika).

  28. 14 mins…

    Lots to enjoy with this, although I was fairly slow starting. I particularly liked 11ac “Intestine”, 5dn “Thessalonians” and the good old chestnut of 7dn “Sneeze”. Whilst the “Home Counties” is generally affluent – it felt quite a loose and broad definition – plenty of areas in the Home Counties that aren’t.

    FOI – 10ac “Tar”
    LOI – 22ac “Frankenstein”
    COD – 12dn “Ignorance”

    Thanks as usual!

  29. Why is TEST = RIVER for 11a?

    Don’t see the synonym link there at all.

    Also I would understand that TEST crosses (as in goes through) NINE by the ‘crosses’ indicator, not instead that NINE contains TEST.

    1. Crosses as in ‘goes across’. You would cross a river starting on one side, and ending on the other.

  30. Finished in 34:30 (although I’ll use the excuse that I can’t eat spaghetti and do crosswords simultaneously).
    Struggled more than usual with the wordplay, but quite a few from the definition and crossed letters. I particularly liked the surface of 13d. Ironically, I ‘failed to notice’ or ‘missed’ that fire could also be a verb, which made for a confusing few minutes!!

  31. Nothing on first pass but it then went in bit by bit and completed in just over 20 mins. I feel a sense of achievement today.

  32. Well it’s nearly 2 o’clock and having established that no words begin BARS— I have to throw in the towel over just that one – how annoying ‘cos I thought I was doing rather well. Liked THESSALONIANS and IGNORANCE – and DRESDEN for that matter – an enjoyable puzzle though it’s taken me, on and off, all morning.

  33. It took me quite a while to accept that although Frankenstein was the right answer it did not fit into 3d
    – then the penny dropped…………

  34. Managed this pretty well, with just a bit of a hold up to get my LOI FRANKENSTEIN. Yet another random woman’s name (AGNES), plus the inevitable Scotsman (IAN)!

  35. 17:34

    An enjoyably fast time for me, helped by the little voice from who-knows-where that whispered HOME COUNTIES to me. And thinking “books”? plural? Hmmm, gotta be Paul’s letters, and it went right in.

    Last and favorite was LIBIDO.

    Thanks BR and Wurm!

  36. Having left my pen downstairs, I had to wait from more crossers than usual to solve the anagrams, so was slow getting started. HEART was FOI and eventually seeing MODERATOR got me moving. Saw SNEEZE and IGNORANCE fairly quickly. FRANKENSTEIN was LOI. 9:07. Thanks Wurm and BR.

  37. I found this very tough but eventually finished it in 3 sittings in about 45 minutes.
    Some very clever clues.
    Thank you Wurm and BR

  38. Very pleased to cross the line in 28 minutes, especially given the setter. I surprised myself by dredging AUDEN and THESSALONIANS out from somewhere in the dark recesses of my memory, as neither poetry nor the Bible are my area of expertise.

    I ran into the sand with three clues to go, but a tactical pause at that point (to zone out and converse with Mrs R, son no. 1 and his girlfriend) worked a treat. Soon after restarting I spotted that ‘Pubs’ was BARBAR and BARBARIAN led me quickly to TISSUE and FRANKENSTEIN. I’d previously had BARS for ‘Pubs’ and BARSA___N was proving very difficult to complete.

    Many thanks to Wurm and BR.

  39. A very crossword-y day today, as I have been to a u3a meeting this morning where one of the members gave a crash course in cryptic solving, using a selection of quickies to introduce the group to the joys of our pastime. Fingers crossed some will be tempted to take it up, but above all I was delighted to discover that one of our members is a dedicated follower of the blog. So hello there – you know who you are 😊
    Anyway, onto Wurm – not the full Wiggly Wu today, I felt, and lots of fun. I liked THESSALONIANS and DISMISS a lot. Amused to see SNEEZE and TISSUE in the same grid – I hope Wurm hasn’t got a cold!
    FOI Auden LOI Frankenstein COD Ignorance, but I liked the simplicity of Rib very much too. 11:21.
    Thanks Wurm and BR

    This woman definitely needed a long time to grasp the point with the biggie – so nearly there, but came unstuck with about three to go.

  40. Lots of stuff to like in this one, thanks wurm, but we took a little over 44 mins to complete with probably 5 going into LOi Frankenstein.

    COD for me was Thessalonians, great anagram that a book of the bible is made up of satan and holiness, very clever.

    Also stuck by problems coming up with 3 letter bones, rib didn’t come for a long time so jaw seemed potentially Ok for rag too, until it wasn’t 🤨

    Thanks for the blog, see you tomorrow.

  41. When I saw so many long words I expected this to be difficult so I was very pleased to complete it in under half an hour. There were some lovely clues. As there are a few organists in our family I thought I should see if Sir Arthur Bliss did write any organ music. It turns out that he did write some music that included the organ and the Fanfares and Interludes which he wrote for Princess Margaret’s wedding have been arranged for organ.
    Thank you Wurm and BR for an enjoyable puzzle and blog.

  42. 16.13 This was going swimmingly but I was breeze-blocked by FRANKENSTEIN. I counted eight letters in intense so I was looking for a four letter word meaning open. Gah! Thanks BR and Wurm.

  43. 12:46.

    Felt a bit on the tough side, and like yesterday a long time for FOI, TAR.

    The Greeks thought all foreign languages sounded “bar bar”, hence they called them BARBARIAN. So the doubling of “bar” was fair enough.

    CONSIDERATION is a very old world. If our Accounts Payable team came across it, I’m sure they wouldn’t know what it meant.


    Did the 15×15 first today. Hence late posting.

  44. Really enjoyed this one, despite not finishing. Biblical books and failing to grasp what 3d was about, assumed ‘con’ was party as in conservatives.

    Barbarian made me smile. Although only in crossword setter land is Ian associated with the Scots


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