Quick Cryptic 2637 by Hurley

Solving time + Parkrun = 36:27 (actually did my run a day early as golf is taking precedence today).

Really not sure what to say about this one.  It took me longer than usual but in hindsight I’m not sure why.  There are no real obscurities and no particularly vexatious clues but it was a challenge all the same.  Our thanks go to Hurley for providing the fun.

Here’s how I parsed the clues, please leave a comment to let us know how you went.

(In the clues, definitions are underlined and anagram indicators are in italics.

In the explanations (ABC)* indicates an anagram of abc.  Deletions and other devices are indicated accordingly, I hope).

1 Swarm member’s place, source of trouble (6)
LOCUST – LOCUS (place) + T [source of (first letter of) Trouble]
4 Change of direction about British Airways headgear (6)
TURBAN – TURN (change of direction) about BA (British Airways)
8 Notice plea excludes European Queen, for example (7)
PLACARD – PLEA [Plea with E (European) excluded] + CARD (Queen, for example, as in playing cards)
10 Doctor regularly avoided bar meal, resulting in scene? (5)
DRAMA – DR (doctor) + AMA (bAr MeAl with alternate letters missing, ie “regularly avoided”)
11 Patriarch’s name, old and historic at the start (4)
NOAH -First letters (at the start) of Name Old And Historic

Other parsings are available of course, with name often used to clue N.

12 Brood over old-fashioned measure that’s seen at entrance (8)
DOORBELL – DOORB (brood “over”, ie flipped, reversed) + ELL (old-fashioned measure)

An ell was originally six hand-breadths, back in the days when everybody’s hands were exactly the same size.

14 Goes ape in broadcast revealing covert activity (9)
18 Merrymaking in car, out of order, values half-lost (8)
CARNIVAL – (IN CAR)* + VALues “half-lost”
20 Good sense to retain Republican’s legal document (4)
WRIT – WIT (good sense) retaining R (Republican)
22 Ruling possessed by medic, thoughtful (5)
EDICT – Hidden in (possessed by) mEDIC Thoughtful
23 To edges of Ullswater first — this person? (7)
TOURIST – TO + UR (edges of UllswateR) + IST (first)

Part of the Lake District.  Might be worth a walk one day.

24 Length of time in post — years in a decade, you’re talking! (6)
TENURE – TEN (years in a decade) + URE [sounds like (talking) you’re]
25 Gear up for work in City (6)

Also might be worth a visit one day.

1 Describing Wolves: policy to protect leading position (6)
LUPINE – LINE (policy) to “protect” UP (leading position)

I tend to get my lupines confused with my vulpines but not this time.

2 Travesty of race had to be sorted out (7)
3 Swindle seen in tennis camp (4)
SCAM – Hidden in (seen in) tenniS CAMp
5 In progress subject to control of Washington? Initially yes (5,3)
UNDER WAY – UNDER (subject to control of) + WA (Washington) + Y (initially Yes)
6 Stark about learner’s harsh sound? (5)
BLARE – BARE (stark) “about” L (learner)
7 In the end seen before time? Not quite (6)
NEARLY – N [In the end (last letter of) seeN] + EARLY (before time)
9 Date with donor arranged? Use this perhaps (9)
13 One moving fast in spring term, always last to leave (8)
SPRINTER – SPRINg + TERm (with last letters leaving)
15 English arriving with four missing jewellery (7)
EARRING – E (English) + ARRIVING with IV (four) missing
16 Stress bill just a small amount of money (6)
ACCENT – AC (bill) + CENT (just a small amount of money)
17 Take legal action about shoddy stuff in work of art (6)
STATUE – SUE (take legal action) “about” TAT (shoddy stuff)
19 Good to participate in means to control period in power (5)
REIGN – G (good) in REIN (means to control)
21 Perks up initially? Doubly right, there’s sign of contentment (4)
PURR – PU (Perks Up initially) + RR (doubly right)

49 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2637 by Hurley”

  1. 17:27. Not sure where the time went as I think I was able to understand everything. Maybe daydreaming? PLACARD, TENURE, and TOURIST were favourites.

  2. I was slow on this. I raced through it at first and then got stuck with about 5 clues left. After dinner it all went straight in, as is so often the case. My LOI was DEODORANT since the letters didn’t fall into place and the “definition” was less than helpful.

  3. I biffed a couple, like PLACARD, without ever parsing; still took me a long time. 8:04.
    Galspray, to separate the wolves from the foxes, you might think of Volpone .

    1. I always think of the Roman Feast of Lupercalia. I thought it had to do with the she-wolf who nurtured Romulus and Remus but I see the etymology is unclear. Still it’s likely wolves were involved somehow.

  4. Not too difficult for me this morning, although I had to biff CARNIVAL and UNDER WAY once the checkers were in place. I was maddened by the time it took me to see LUPINE, especially since we were talking about ‘Loups’ in French conversation classes just last week. Doh! Anyway I made it home in about 22 minutes giving me a grand total of 2/6 completions this week. So not a stellar performance from me. I especially liked PLACARD and DOORBELL today.
    It’s a beautiful morning here so I’m hoping to exonerate myself with a sub30 Parkrun.
    Happy Easter weekend to everyone, and thanks to Hurley and Galspray for their efforts.

  5. I also struggled to complete this within my target time and at 14 minutes achieved it with only 1 minute to spare. My LOI PLACARD accounted for the final 3 minutes although I am now completely baffled as to why.

  6. I saw Hurley’s name at the top and settled in for a tough challenge but had one of those days when everything seemed to click into place. I particularly enjoyed some of the slightly lesser used devices such as for SPRINTER and ARRIVAL.
    Started with TURBAN and finished with PLACARD in 7.32.
    Thanks to galspray.

  7. 16:30 … had very little in the top half but the lower half went in smoothly.

    Hurley seemed to swing between get your thinking hat on (“travesty=charade”, “up in line”) or downright obvious (“take the G out of SPRINGTER”, “brood over”, “take IV out of EARRIVING). Trouble is, once you’ve come to expect difficulties you never expect them to be that easy!

    Couldn’t remember LUPINE prefix and was hedging towards ursine (bears), bovine (cows). Usually remember it from Professor Lupus when I read the Harry Potter books all those years ago.

    Fastest of a week which had 4 corrected DNFS and only 2 successful solves for a total of 2hr10.

    QCpr of 39:03. Busy one with the combination of a sunny morning and holidaymakers. Lot of work to do on shifting my threshold. Edit: Finally got official result and we had 1,095 runners, I was just outside the top 200.

      1. Thanks CO. My four victories for the first quarter have been nothing to crow about. Have a good Easter 🥚 yourself 👍

  8. I found this a touch tricky – but on revisiting it I can’t really see why that should have been.

    TIME 5:26

  9. I’m in the “don’t know why it took me as long as it did” group. Fairly brisk in the top third. DEODORANT had me puzzled for some time, and I took far too long on WRIT, my last one in, where common sense was clearly in short supply. SCC is open for coffee in the Devon sunshine. Enjoy your Easter weekend.

  10. Completed in 40 minutes for the first error free finish of the week.
    A nice mix of clues had my brain jumping all over the place with COD to 13d SPRINTER which I thought was rather clever.
    Happy Easter to Hurley, Galspray and fellow bloggers.

  11. I know why this took us 82 minutes according to the app. Our 3 year old grandson required breakfast and a marble run building 😀

    Enjoyable solve in this morning’s lovely sunshine streaming through the window. Liked deodorant when finally had enough crossers to unpick the obvious anagram fodder.

    Thanks Hurley and Galspray, Happy Easter all.🥚🪺🐣

  12. 15:15

    Flying start but then blocked by too long on DEODORANT. Then I could not see how to justify NEARLY, but put it in eventually, which led to DOORBELL. When I saw “old fashioned measure” I knew it was one of those crossword-only words. Like the baby eel.

    Lazily put in PLACATE which held me up, too.

  13. I was very slow, though that’s not unusual. 36m, but it should not have been that long as the clues were mostly fair, though NHO ELL.

    For the Parkrunners (only very occasionally do I do a Parkwalk to accompany my more energetic better half), may your feet fly like Quicksilver’s.

    Happy weekend all. Pi

  14. 29 mins but had to use reveal on Doorbell and Deodorant. Got many without parsing and heavy reliance on checkers. Thanks all

  15. 14:07 (Henry of Monmouth, “Prince of Wales”, begins economic blockade against Owain Glyndwr, Prince of Wales)

    I also found this slower than usual without being entirely sure why. In 13d I wasted time thinking “moving fast in spring” meant an anagram of LENT. I biffed PLACARD but missed the parsing. LOI was PRAGUE, having considered and rejected BRUGGE before spotting the anagram.

    Thanks Galspray and Hurley

    1. Another who thought Brugge first. “For work” was a clever anagram indicator to get Prague out of gear up. I liked the quotation marks on the English Prince of Wales.

  16. 8:19

    Given that my average against Hurley is 8:20, this was about par for me – nothing unknown but clued to gently confound. Grateful that DEODORANT had both O checkers and was clearly anagrammed – one of those words that looks like a second E wouldn’t necessarily be out of place.

    Thanks H and Galspray

  17. 20 mins…

    Thought it was going to be a toughie, but once a few fell into place I managed to work my way around the grid. Main issues were not being able to spell “Deodorant” properly and putting in 18ac “Festival” – thinking the car element was a “fiesta”. Obviously, there was an additional “a” and it didn’t fit with 19dn “Reign”.

    FOI – 3dn “Scam”
    LOI – 16dn “Accent”
    COD – 24ac “Tenure”

    Thanks as usual!

  18. 12:09 which is bang on average.
    Last 3 were deodorant, placard, and Prague. I needed alpha trawls for the last 2.
    These 3 also qualify as my CsOD.

    I’m getting a “Your connection is not private” message when I try and load the snitch.

    1. Same problem here – I think it’s possibly a sign that a security certificate for the site has expired?
      PS you might want to check out 17d in yesterday’s 15×15. . .

      1. Thanks, I gave it my COD on the blog, although I also liked the Sherlock Holmes clue.
        Just need Invariant clued next.

  19. I’m also in the “why was that so tough?” camp. It’s always a bad day when 1a is your LOI – I lifted and separated “swarm” and “member’s” right to the death. Bottom seemed easier and I worked my way up for 10:15, 1.25K and a Meh Day.

    COD to DEODORANT. Many thanks Hurley and Galspray.


  20. At 24mins, I’m another who thought this took longer than it should have done. My excuse is that I spent time wondering what a Leamer was in 6d – not helped by finding a definition involving a fully ripe nut. That rabbit hole aside, loi Deodorant also took me a surprisingly long time before I saw how four given letters could sensibly fit into four spaces. CoD to 8ac, Placard, for the pdm. By the way, I think an alternative (and slightly more practical) definition of the Ell involves the length between elbow and finger tip. Invariant

  21. On the tougher end of the scale I thought. LOCUST was FOI, but my usual policy of trying all the acrosses then the downs, left gaping holes all over the grid, and it took several passes and a lot of hopping around to finish the job. PLACARD was LOI. Scraped under target at 9:37. Thanks Hurley and Galsprsay.

  22. Straightforward, and yet it wasn’t.
    Far too long spent on LOI PRAGUE – anagram indicator not spotted at first. Didn’t separate swarm and member which caused another delay. Made other clues trickier than they needed to be, e.g. arriving/EARRING. Thanks for additional info about ell measurements from galspray and invariant.

  23. 17:03

    Fairly straightforward but held up at the end by ACCENT (oh, that sort of stress!) and LOI EDICT which as a hidden word should be a write in but somehow missed it.

    Slow on the QC PR double, 52 minutes, as took things super easy this morning as I recover from this pesky cough that’s going around.

    1. Good work on the QC and well done for getting to pr even if you took it easy. Those damn hidden words … never expect to see two (unless one is reversed)

  24. A struggle. When I finished I also wondered why I had been quite so slow. SCC++
    Biffed quite a few in the end. FOI NOAH (then had to jump about a lot) LOI PLACARD (unparsed).
    Thanks for very much needed blog, Galspray.

  25. 14.52 I biffed CAROUSAL for 18a, I spent a while trying to fit dwell for brood into 12a and I was sure the anagram at 9d must start DR. So fairly slow but all resolved and parsed in the end. Thanks galspray and Hurley.

  26. 31:55 and I join the chorus of “why did this take me so long?”

    Everything went swimmingly except, in my case, the NW corner where I got hung up on flowers, thinking no, no, lupine is a flower and vulpine is wolfish, remembering the glorious lupines in Iceland in June. Finally I consulted a dictionary. But still couldn’t get off bees and wasps for 1A for a bit. Finally threw the rest in without much parsing.

    Okay, now I know why 🙂

    Thanks to Hurley and galspray!

  27. Just over 10 minutes, but with DOORWELL for DOORBELL (saw DWELL = brood and there was an O for old, and put it in without really thinking…)

  28. Proceeded at a walk, not a trot, until the crossing R and G plus the word “gear” in the clue got me fixated on RIG and there weren’t enough letters for Brighton but were too many for Riga at 25a.

  29. 11 Minutes but WOE, a fat finger turning my Wolves Lopine. And I was so pleased at finally – after much headscratching – agreeing with myself that Up and Leading Position really were close enough for the clue to work. Struggling to think of a sentence where the two are interchangeable as they are different parts of speech.

    Equally unsure that Noah was a patriarch – a word that I thought was reserved for the trio of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel. The answer could not be anything else, but a little loose from Hurley IMO.

    Many thanks Galspray for the blog

    1. I found the Cracking the Cryptic channel on Youtube to be the key to unlocking these. They do the Times 15×15 every Friday.

  30. 15:07 here, a steady solve. Had to switch to the list view to sort the letters of deodorant, which seemed to have far too many vowels. LOI PRAGUE, after not spotting the anagram indicator for the longest time.

    Thanks to Galspray and Hurley.

  31. 25:15, which is about normal for me. I’d have thought that DEODORANT had a U in it, but apparently I’d have been wrong.

    I’d probably have been a bit quicker but this afternoon I invented the grapefruit margarita, which is very pleasant but perhaps not helpful when solving. Thank you for the blog!

  32. I struggled to get going and jumped all over the place and in the end couldn’t see why I was so brainless! Didn’t even spot the hidden ‘SCAM’ until nearly finished. Too much Easter chocolate perhaps!
    Thanks Galspray and Hurley.

  33. 5:53 so a little slower than average. I liked NEARLY, TENURE and STATUE. Thanks Hurley and Gallers.

  34. Had a go at this, but gave up after half an hour with it only half finished. Too tough to struggle on with it on a Sunday night!


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