Quick Cryptic 380 by Hurley

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I solved all but two clues in 8 minutes but it occurred to me that some of the answers are not easy if one doesn’t have all the necessary general knowledge. Eventually I ground to a halt and needed a further 7 minutes to work out 8ac and 9dn and finish just as the quarter-hour approached. I should have spotted SURVEY immediately but I had distracted myself working out the non-existent “sureep” from wordplay and found it difficult to backtrack from that misleading thought. 9dn I think is genuinely hard.

As usual, definitions are underlined, deletions are in {curly brackets} and indicators are in [square ones]


1 Conservative girl in charge is Turin’s foremost expert in Latin? (10)
CLASSICIST – C (Conservative), LASS (girl), IC (in charge), IS T{urin} [foremost]
7 Riddle perhaps is recalled by woman (5)
SIEVE – IS reversed [recalled], EVE (woman)
8 Look carefully at us returning very unexpectedly (6)
SURVEY – US reversed [returning], anagram [unexpectedly] of VERY
10 Book publicity not good (3)
BAD – B (book), AD (publicity)
12 Drama about calm Herts town (9)
STEVENAGE – STAGE (drama) contains [about] EVEN (calm). Stevenage in Hertfordshire was designated a New Town after WWII and expanded considerably as a result. I looked twice at “drama” = “stage” but then thought “drama/stage school” which seems an acceptable example of the words being interchangeable.
13 At heart back company road agreement (6)
ACCORD – {b}AC{k} [at heart], CO (company), RD (road)
14 Care with money leads to terribly hurtful split (6)
THRIFT – T{erribly} H{urtful} [leads to], RIFT (split)
17 Oblige prisoners to join procession (9)
CONSTRAIN – CONS (prisoners), TRAIN (procession)
19 Notice something Holy in Rome? (3)
SEE – Two definitions. As I understand it, the Holy See of Rome is the jurisdiction of the Vatican.
20 After month draw back trickery (6)
DECEIT – DEC (month), TIE (draw) reversed [back]
21 Ass indulges regularly – make oblique movement (5)
SIDLE – Alternate letters [regularly] of {a}S{s} I{n}D{u}L{g}E{s}
23 Centre pane broken – contrition needed (10)
REPENTANCE – Anagram [broken] of CENTRE PANE. ‘Needed’ is superfluous but helps the surface reading and I suppose is telling us we are looking for a word meaning “contrition”.


1 Cabals can corrupt a port (10)
CASABLANCA – Anagram [corrupt] of CABALS CAN + A
2 Guitar maybe turning up in Texas (3)
AXE – Hidden and reversed [turning up] in {T}EXA{s}. This term for an electric guitar may not be familiar to some solvers, but it often appears in cryptics so is worth getting to know. It can also refer to saxophones and trumpets amongst other musical instruments hence “maybe” in the clue, as “guitar” is only an example.
3 Poet, Southern, writes with hesitation (7)
SPENSER – S (southern), PENS (writes), ER (hesitation). I biffed “Spender” as soon as I saw “poet” and S-E- – – -, but had to do a quick rethink. He was on my mind as he turned up last week in the main puzzle. This is Edmund Spenser the 16th century poet who is possibly not very widely known these days.
4 Obstinate copper’s initially so extremely daring (6)
CUSSED – CU’S (copper’s), S{o} E{xtremely} D{aring} [initially]
5 Certain to welcome good increase (5)
SURGE – SURE (certain) contains [to welcome] G (good)
6 Old coin Iran used replaced (8)
DENARIUS – Anagram [replaced] of IRAN USED
9 Watchful gaze of sheep – indeed, they say (7,3)
WEATHER EYE – Sounds like [they say] “wether” (sheep) “aye” (indeed). This is most commonly used in the expression “to keep a weather eye on”, meaning to watch something carefully, especially for changes in a situation.
11 Some divide can, terrific source of drink (8)
DECANTER – Hidden [some] in {divi}DE CAN TER{rific}
15 Husband with prescribed part of phone (7)
HANDSET – H (husband), AND (with), SET (prescribed)
16 Somewhat pert rascal upset philosopher (6)
SARTRE – Hidden and reversed [somewhat…upset] in {p}ERT RAS{cal}. The French polymath, Jean-Paul, 1905-1980.
18 Article on Religious Education in that place (5)
THERE – THE (article), RE (religious education)
22 Retreat of French knight (3)
DEN – DE (of, French), N (knight – chess)

11 comments on “Quick Cryptic 380 by Hurley”

  1. DNF – had to cheat to get WEATHER EYE, a clue that would have been tough in any crossword – even more so in a barred-grid one, where the enumeration was not given. AXE for any instrument unknown, or forgotten. Nice crossword altogether. Congrats to all who manage to finish without aids.
  2. If I hadn’t been beaten by 9D this would have been my best finish, but I’m still pleased at a DNF in just under an hour. I got ‘ewe’ into my mind which was a shame as I knew a wether was a sheep. No complaints, it was a fair but difficult clue.


  3. Most of this went in quickly including (albeit not parsed) AXE and WEATHER EYE. My problem was 1a which I just could not see but so obvious in retrospect.

    Favourite SARTRE.

  4. I was pleased to get some of the hard ones (even 9d) without aids, but came unstuck with the completely unknown 2d and 8ac. The wordplay of the latter makes it my CoD, – just a shame I didn’t see it. Invariant
  5. Depends on what you know. Weather eye – no problem; survey, reasonably quick; completely stumped by riddle/sieve which I’d never come across before.
  6. I must have been on the right wavelength as I managed faster than average. Count me in among those who didn’t know AXE for any instrument, though. 23a my favourite.
  7. All pretty easy excel didn’t get 9d. I’ve never heard the phrase, nor the word “wether” (means a castrated ram, according to Wiktionary).
  8. DNF for me as well. I’ve heard of weather eye before but it didn’t spring to mind today. Also failed to get 14a. I was looking for a word made up care and money that meant hurtful split. Feels like a schoolboy error after doing these 380 times.
    Overall though an enjoyable puzzle
  9. I’ve been doing the Quick Cryptic – in the paper – since it began and have very much enjoyed, and learned a great deal, from reading the blogs. I’ve just moved to the Southern Hemisphere and would like to continue attempting the daily puzzle. However, my computer skills are minimal and I can’t find the online version of the puzzle. Please could you tell me how to get hold of it? Many thanks

    1. Assuming you have a subscription to The Times you can access the Quick Cryptic on this link http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/puzzles/crossword/

      The button is supposed to refresh to a different puzzle on each weekday, officially at midnight UK time but it’s more like around 01:00 which suggests to me that it’s tied in some way to GMT rather than BST. Unlike the buttons to other puzzles here you have to wait for the page to finish loading completely before clicking the one to the Quickie, or it won’t open. This can take anything up to a minute in my experience.

      There’s no means to print the puzzle from here other than by copy and paste.

      If you are lucky enough to have Times on Line, the facsimile e-newspaper included in your sub you can go to the puzzles page as you would in the treeware edition and print it from there: http://epaper.thetimes.co.uk/epaper/viewer.aspx

      Edited at 2015-08-24 07:23 pm (UTC)

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