Quick Cryptic 2672 by Hurley

For some reason I took ages to get going with this, but came in at a par 6 minutes eventually. Overall quite enjoyable, though some of the definitions are a bit clunky, especially 2 down.


1 Comfort from very delicate fabric (6)
SOLACE – SO (very) + LACE (delicate fabric)
4 Philosopher grinding here (4)
MILL – double definition, the first John Stuart obviously
9 In morning Naomi lively, a gas! (7)
AMMONIA – AM + anagram (‘lively’) of NAOMI
10 House style reportedly (5)
MANOR – sounds like ‘manner’
11 Be cause of criminal sit-in by entrance (9)
INSTIGATE – anagram (‘criminal’) of SIT IN, + GATE
12 Offer, British, is declined initially (3)
 BID – acronym
13 Notice extremely explicit point of sale? (6)
MARKET – MARK (notice) + ET (the extreme letters of the word ‘explicit’)
15 Limitless cash, money, used in rise (6)
ASCENT – AS ( ‘cash’ minus first and last letters) + CENT
17 Cheers good children’s game (3)
TAG – TA + G
18 Spider natural at swimming (9)
TARANTULA – anagram (‘swimming’) of NATURAL AT
21 Friend with mother in tourist centre (5)
PALMA – PAL + MA. Capital of Majorca
22 Ornamental pattern, say, from part of classical Attic era (7)
LATTICE – hidden word
23 Talk about bowler maybe (4)
CHAT – C (about) + HAT
24 Drink trademark, ultimately legendary (6)
BRANDY – BRAND + Y (ultimate letter of ‘legendary’)
1 Figure is beginning to mention system of central control (7)
STATISM – STAT (figure) + IS + M[ention]. This took me a while, even after I’d worked out it was an ‘ism’.
2 Regularly claim Maoism has these means to move forward? (5)
LIMOS – alternate letters
3 Hush-hush online fact I’d worked out (12)
CONFIDENTIAL – anagram (‘worked out’) of ONLINE FACT ID
5 One glib, slippery — of low character (7)
IGNOBLE – anagram (‘slippery’) of ONE GLIB
6 Sensational and clear, getting run for Conservative leader (5)
LURID – LUCID swapping the C for an R
7 Indonesian island’s programming language (4)
JAVA – double definition. Not sure how well known the language is to people who aren’t computer nerds.
8 I’m somebody with upcoming round of duties as entertainer (12)
IMPERSONATOR – IM + PERSON (somebody) + ROTA backwards
14 First-class beer brought up in splendid clothing (7)
REGALIA – AI LAGER backwards
16 Grew older in attempt to produce Hamlet? (7)
17 Section of Giotto picture is item for discussion (5)
TOPIC – hidden word
19 Right word of encouragement for Spanish actor’s part (4)
20 Global body, one old and new, that might represent workers (5)
UNION – UN (global body) + I + O + N

79 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2672 by Hurley”

  1. Another day another typo but I’m on the six o’clock train on a phone so I’ll forgive myself RrGALIA. A pretty good seven on the first pass of acrosses but then hard but enjoyable graft to get to the end. Special mentions to ASCENT and LOI MARKET. Morally all green in 16.

    In Ely today. Someone told me yesterday it’s called Ely because of all the eels there used to be there. I so want that to be true I’m reluctant to check.

      1. But Ely museum’s own site says here… “Sometimes places are named after things found locally. Ely got its name from the old Northumbrian word ēlġē, which means ‘district of eels’ because the marsh land surrounding Ely was filled with eels”.

      1. My first visit to a Gothic cathedral was there, and I was overawed. By the dampness as well as the architecture!

  2. 15 min if you ignore the fact that for 1D I had S_A_ISM and still couldn’t figure it out.

  3. Back in the room again at 18 minutes, albeit with one silly pinkie and a too long spent over the STATISM and MARKET intersection. Good enough though, and an enjoyable QC to end the weekday run with a 99.6% accuracy rate. So a vastly improved couple of weeks for me after the car crash that was W/B 22/4.
    I rattled through this quickly only getting stuck on that NE corner with JAVA and LIMOS (my pinkie, with LIMBS) causing too much head scratching.
    I really enjoyed the longer ones – IMPERSONATOR, CONFIDENTIAL and INSTIGATE but my fave of the day was REGALIA.
    Many thanks to Hurley and Curarist for their efforts.

  4. 14 minutes, held up inordinately by not knowing any 4 letter computing languages and guessing Bali from my knowledge of Indonesian islands. And would you believe it, Bali is also a computer language. So that took for ever to unpick once it was obvious that INSTI-I-E wasn’t going anywhere.

    In fact the whole of the NW corner was slow; like our blogger I didn’t enjoy LIMOS much and like Tina getting from S-A-ISM to STATISM was an effort. But eventually all done.

    As an aside, having spent a career in financial markets it always amuses me that Bid and Offer are seen to be synonyms in normal usage. In the jargon of the markets they are opposites: traders bid for a stock they want to buy and offer a stock they want to sell.

    Many thanks Curarist for the blog

    1. I was a computer person and am very well aware of Java (never wrote it though) but still entered BALI, to be corrected by INSTIGATE, and was totally unaware that Bali is another language.
      I believe that the IT world has FAR, FAR, FAR too many languages. Assembler(s) for ever!

  5. Hurrah, much to my relief I managed to avoid a hattrick of fails with a very thorough read through at the end to try and make sure.
    Slow to get started in the NW but the bottom half of the grid proved much more amenable so I worked my way up from there. Like other’s I thought that LIMOS was an ugly clue and that STATISM took far too long to work out.
    Started with MILL and finished with SOLACE in 7.36.
    Thanks to Curarist

  6. Hurrah for modern tech. I am in Paignton, Devon for a sailing competition while Mrs RH is still back among the roundabouts. But a with a WhatsApp video call and an iPad each we were still able to enjoy this Hurley puzzle together, finishing in a decent 22.28. At least 2 minutes spent on LOI also staring at s-a-ism

    Yes Limos is clunky but there are some great surfaces elsewhere, COD to impersonator.

    Thanks Hurley and Curarist, particularly for the laugh over “took ages to get going” followed by finished in 6 minutes!!

  7. Hurrah!!! – my days without Internet connectivity are over, and I’m settling happily into my new flat – and my old routines.

    I had no problems with the construction of LIMOS – but surely they can be reversed at a stretch? I once had the pleasure of driving the brilliant Denis Law from Bowdon to Taunton in my friend’s stretched Mercedes for a speaking engagement. A lovely guy, and he was amused that I drove round the car park until I found a double space I could drive into – and subsequently out of. Which I suppose answers the question – yes, but preferably only if it’s totally unavoidable!

    I biffed my LOI, and I suspect that I won’t be alone in that.

    TIME 3:54

  8. 10.29, with some time at the end spent on IMPERSONATOR and MANOR. The former because it was quite a complicated charade that I thought strayed marginally outside the QC boundaries, and the latter because I was too dumb. Not a fan of the Java clue, it adds up to ‘Java, and something named after Java.’ All good elsewhere, thank you Hurley and Curarist.

    1. The programming language is named after the coffee, which itself is named after the island. So one step removed, but still barely a double definition.

  9. 7:15 (Battle of Woden’s Burg. Ine of Wessex and Ceolred of Mercia fight against unspecified enemies, presumably British)

    Held up slightly by SOLACE and LOI STATISM.

    Thanks Curarist and Hurley

  10. 21:49 with one error, turns out I don’t know how to spell IMPERSONATOR, I had it ending -ATER.

    Really struggled with CONFIDENTIAL, needed the pen and paper for that one.

    Thought carefully about trademark= shand, (for SHANDY).

    STATISM hard, as I fancied that PLANISM is something bureaucrats suffer from.


  11. 3:19. I must have been on Hurley’s wavelength from the start – my fastest solve since last September. Only my LOI, STATISM, gave me much pause for thought. Thanks-you Hurley and Curarist.

  12. All but 3 – 3 mins 30 ish, last 3 – 2 mins ish.

    The 3 were STATISM, MARKET and LOI IMPERSONATOR. No idea why, as all seemed easy enough when I got them!


  13. 10:36.

    Probably an hour longer if you include the break before LOI statism yielded.

    COD role.

  14. Oh dear, pencil is rather faint – I forgot I hadn’t solved JAVA, which may have come to mind if I’d thought more about Indonesia, Bali having been ditched.
    Otherwise a quick solve. LOI MILL. FOI SOLACE.
    I biffed STATISM because it had to be. Liked LURID, MARKET, TRAGEDY, among others.
    Thanks vm, Curarist.

  15. The first three letters I wrote in were ISM at the bottom of 1a. Five minutes later and I was back there for my LOI, like many others staring at S-A-ISM. After a couple of minutes of head scratching, I decided that “sign” must = “star” and shoved in STARISM. The DPS duly appeared.

    Some lovely anagrams here and I enjoyed it, though I didn’t think much of JAVA or PALMA. 07:22 but WOE.

    Many thanks Hurley and Curarist.


  16. Very slow in NW, especially LIMOS and STATISM, then very steady progress. Didn’t parse ASCENT (very nice). COD to MARKET which stumped me for a while. Also liked REGALIA. Interesting to hear about eel-y Ely. Thanks C and Hurley.

  17. Raced through this until the NE where MILL, MANOR and LURID took me to 40 minutes.
    LOI IMPERSONATOR. So obvious now.
    Thanks Hurley and Curarist for parsing LUCID.

  18. 10 minutes with a rush at the end. LOI BRANDY.
    No particular problems but add me to the list of frowners about LIMOS; and I also biffed BALI before thinking about JAVA ( a computer language I knew existed).

  19. It took me more than 3 minutes to disentangle confidential and impersonator so hats off – and more – to the 3 minute solvers. Still light years away from that. But I take 1a from a 20 minute solve, 5 of which were crossing out Bali once instigate became the only obvious 11a. I smiled at the friend with mother and at the Spanish olé! Which set me wondering (forgive a newbie’s ignorance), is it customary for foreign accents to be dropped when making up composite English words? I think that a rolé would be a new one to most of us!

    1. It is customary to ignore all accents. The setters use cheating machines of course to fill in the last few lights. All cheating machines become far less useful if they have the diacritics in them, as that greatly increases the number of letters in the alphabet, probably doubling to about 50. English uses so few (if any) diacritics, and where used it simply underscores that fact that it is an import, like 90% of all English words.

    2. English is remarkably blasé about accents in general – sometimes they are there, sometimes not. But in Crosswordland there seems to be a rule that accents, diacritics and other marks are always ignored, as indeed are apostrophes. And I’ve never seen a ligature or compound letter (eg æ) used either.

      Interestingly, LL is treated as one letter in Spanish and I gather can be used as filling one cell in Spanish crosswords not two.

        1. If they did it would probably be shown as an 8 letter word, and crossed with the 4 letter word Llama!

          1. I discovered that Spanish keyboards have an “enya” character separate from N. It has the wavy line over it as in Senor.

  20. 7 minutes. Luckily I saw STATISM straight away and knew about JAVA so I found this reasonably straightforward. I liked the idea of the ‘swimming’ TARANTULA.

    Thanks to Hurley and Curarist

  21. DNF

    Raced through everything except 1d. Only two empty squares but gave up after 5’ (I’m in that kind of mood pre-Devon w/e).

    Thanks all

  22. A nice puzzle from Hurley I thought, always right on the money for a QC, although I share other people’s opinion of 2dn which I don’t think is of his (or her) usual standard. I finished in 8.55 with MARKET my LOI.
    My total time for the week was 41.33, giving me a daily average of 8.15.

  23. Hurley is always the most friendly setter. LOI TRAGEDY. But agree LIMOS is not so convincing.

  24. 8:46 for me which is above average. I start at the bottom and all seemed to flow well with STATISM and MARKET my last two in.
    In the financial world, there is a BID-offer spread where the two terms mean very different things. Typically, you buy at the offer price and sell at the bid price. Confusing them could be costly!

  25. Took a while to get going but, unlike Curarist, couldn’t finish in 6 minutes – it took me a full 10 minutes longer. Parsed everything except LURID. Like others, a MER at LIMOS. My initial thought of Bali at 7dn was soon rejected as I’d never heard of it as a programming language. Despite my general ignorance of computing terminology I have heard of JAVA, so that didn’t cause a major hold-up.

    FOI – 11ac INSTIGATE
    LOI – 3dn CONFIDENTIAL (couldn’t get this even with all the crossers and had to write it out)

  26. I am amazed at those who can complete in 3 minutes, every solution must be immediately seen and entered. This took me somewhat longer although I don’t set a timer, I’m just content with completing each QC. COD MILL (making use of my philosophy degree at last!).

    1. If you’re interested in watching a fast solve, today’s crossword video on the Cracking the Cryptic youtube channel features the QC at end of the video, after the 15×15.

  27. Got off on the wrong foot by confidently (🙄) assuming 1d began with ‘m’, and then struggled to make a fresh start in the NE. The bottom half of the grid was a little kinder, but I was well into the SCC by the time I came back to the NW corner. Market and Java both required alpha-trawls, and (like Templar) loi Starism seemed plausible at the time, so a DNF to end a poor week. Invariant

  28. I am surprised about the complaints about 2d LIMOS, it is a straightforward ignore the odd letters clue, and limos are vehicles so what is the problem?
    I get all of my philosophers from the Python’s song, so, Goldy, two posts up from here, I have saved 3 years of really hard work at Uni .

    Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
    Who was very rarely stable
    Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
    Who could think you under the table
    David Hume could out-consume
    Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel
    And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
    Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel
    There’s nothing Nietzsche couldn’t teach ya
    ‘Bout the raising of the wrist
    Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed
    John Stuart Mill, of his own free will
    On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill
    Plato, they say, could stick it away
    Half a crate of whiskey every day
    Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
    And Hobbes was fond of his dram
    And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart
    “I drink, therefore I am.”
    Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed
    A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he’s pissed

  29. Had to make several passes before things started to move. STATISM took a while as did MANOR. SOLACE was FOI and JAVA LOI, mainly because I noticed it just had -A-A on my proof read. Helpfully that excluded BALI, which I didn’t know was a computer language anyway. Knew JAVA though. 7:27. Thanks Hurley and Curarist.

  30. 7:03

    Apart from the NHO STATISM, this was quite enjoyable including the brief wrestle with LURID/LUCID, BILLET at 13a and SPIN at 23a each corrected in due course. Some answers almost write themselves in e.g. with a definition of ‘spider’, the 9-letter answer is almost certainly going to be TARANTULA. JAVA is of course, no longer the must-have language it once was – school children these days are taught Python…

    Thanks Hurley and Curarist

    1. Glad to hear that Python has replaced Java in teaching since my day. I spent a lot of energy trying to get rid of that thing!

  31. 11:57 for a new PB, and I thought there would be a lot of that today. I suppose for once I was just “on the wavelength”, as there were a few things that had to be revisited but nothing I’d call a hold-up.

    Loved LUCID. Didn’t mind 2D LIMOS, is it considered clunky because so easy to see through the surface? I enjoyed the little joke about Maoism and great leaps forward, myself. Didn’t think of PALMA as a tourist destination but with crossers Charterhouse of… got me there. I liked IMPERSONATOR too, partly for the success I had with the tactic of putting in ROTA backwards as a start, and immediately moving on, waiting for the crossers to get me there.

    Many thanks for the small thrill to Hurley, and to Curarist for the blog!

  32. 17 mins…

    I was going along well, but became stuck in the NE corner. My knowledge of philosophers is fairly non-existent, apart from the obvious historic ones, so 4ac “Mill” was an educated guess. It also took longer than it should to spell 14dn “Regalia” and realise the beer was “lager” and not “ale”.

    Speaking of which, I’m about to go for one, in what seems like the first day of a belated spring. 🍺

    FOI – 1ac “Solace” – sadly no “quantum”
    LOI – 6dn “Lurid”
    COD – 9ac “Ammonia”

    Thanks as usual!

  33. 10.23 Held up at the end by STATISM, BRANDY and MARKET. After yesterday’s pink square I parsed everything for a change. Thanks Curarist and Hurley.

    P.S. The Quitch is ignoring my time. Note to self: don’t mention pink squares if you haven’t got one.

  34. As a former statistician I should not have taken as long as I did to get 1d (STATISM), but it was one of the last few clues to fall. Other hold-ups included MANOR (although I remember struggling with this fairly recently), BRANDY (I could only think of SHANDY), IMPERSONATOR and ASCENT (my LOI).

    IGNOBLE brought a smile to my face as it made me think of the annual ‘Ig Nobel’ awards for research that is almost, but not quite useless. Another smile was caused by MILL (from Monty Python, of course).

    Many thanks to Hurley and Curarist.

  35. We finished rather slowly with 1d. statistics. Enjoyable puzzle. Can we stop being signed out automatically, rather irritating as we are always late in the day trying to solve.

    1. I am always signed out too. I didn’t realise it was because I’m also a later poster and I don’t usually notice until I’ve written my post then have to do it again!

          1. Thanks. I always click the remember me box but it doesn’t seem to remember me!

            1. In that case, all I can suggest (in hope rather than expectation) is trying the ‘clear cache’ default fix-all. Good luck.

  36. 13:50 here, and I never parsed LURID, even though I think we’ve seen basically the same clue before. Ah well. Other than that, all done and good fun.

    Thanks to Hurley and Curarist.

  37. 14:07

    Was going slowly but the last few fell quickly into place once I had enough checkers. Biffed SHANDY for the drink which delayed IMPERSONATOR and LOI MANOR.

  38. Found this the most tricky of the week. Biffed STATISM and MILL was an educated guess.

  39. 12:07 with no real problems, though I did need Curarist’s help to parse LUCID. Thank you for the blog!

  40. I managed a leisurely stroll through in less than my usual Costa and deduce this took me under 30 min. So I fell a little cheated that there was nothing left to do, nor at home this evening! On the other hand I suppose it was nice to have pretty well everything falling into place straight away in a top-down solve. Only 13a Market left a gap on the solve but then it was obvious…
    FOI 1a Solace
    LOI 13a Market
    COD 1d Statism – not a problem clue for me.

  41. I’d love to end the week on a positive note but nothing doing I’m afraid.

    I found this as straightforward as they come and should have finished well inside 10 mins.

    Instead I made my usual stupid, avoidable mistakes. I put BALI for JAVA, saw LURID but then began looking for a C, and mucked up the spelling of INSTIGATE. I’ve read MILL, written modules and exams about him, and I still took ages to get him today.

    I eventually finished in a painful 13 mins. Please don’t tell me that is good. For me, today, it really isn’t. This should have been a PB by a long distance.

    My total time this week is 94 mins, but I had a DNF yesterday (by one letter), so it goes down as another failure to meet my target.

    Thanks for the blog Curarist. Your comment about taking ages to get going and then finishing in 6 mins made me realise that you and I are playing a different game here 🤣

  42. Solved steadily, apart from MARKET and then 1d: left with S-A-I-M. Then saw it must be ISM at the end, but could not see what the word could be. In the end, resorted to help to see there were 3 possibilities of which STATISM was the obvious choice: NHO.


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