Quick Cryptic 746 by Hurley

Longer to solve than yesterday’s at 11.11 as there were plenty of good clues to get the teeth into. The SW became my final tussle – I wasn’t sure of 15dn but the cluing allowed for nothing else. For 14dn, I had the answer immediately but, unusually, I didn’t bif but spent quite some time spotting the hidden answer before relying on checkers to get LOI 21ac. This rather summarises the whole – the answers were easier than working the word play – excellent QC material and highly enjoyable to blog. Thanks Hurley.


1. Saint – Paul say. As recalled (SA), in (IN), (T)arsus. Hurley off to a flyer with a great surface – Tarsus being St. Paul’s birthplace.
7. Encourage – support enthusiastically. Central to bench b(ENC)h, associated with modern era – OUR AGE.
9. Belle – attractive girl. Homophone (picked up) of Alexander Graham Bell. Hmm – just occurred to me that the term ‘give me a bell’ is more appropriate than I thought.
10. Spectator – weekly magazine. The Observer being a daily iPad app, a weekly magazine and, of course, someone who spectates.
11. Bit – double definition.
12. In tatters – ruined. Popular (IN), tatting is to make lace so lace makers are (TATTERS).
14. Spare time – in which one may tackle crosswords – except for staunch and true TftT Bloggers who always get their blogs out on time – whether that time is spare or not. Anagram (possibly) of PETERS AIM.
16. Tun – cask. Brazil (NUT) sent backwards.
18. Pointless – double definition. Vain as in a vain/pointless attempt to do something. To have zero at rugby (of whichever creed) is to have no points.
20. Heave – with effort lift. High explosive (HE) then farewell (AVE).
21. Landscape – the verb – work on garden. Lake (L), with (AND), son (S), anagram (about) of PACE.
22. Sneer – scornful remark. Prophet (SEER) interrupted by new (N).


1. Suburb – district. Hurley on fire with this surface. Initially – Summed Up By ‘Upmarket, Rather Bourgeois’.
2. Illustration – example. Took a while to prise apart bad and example – another good clue. Anagram (bad) of ILL RUIN TOAST.
3. Teesside – Northeast area – around Middlesbrough. Equipment for golfing (TEES), team (SIDE).
4. Accent – manner of speaking. Bill (AC), money (CENT).
5. Butt – target – of jokes. Objection (BUT) over temperature (T).
6. Debris – rubble. Society girls (DEBS) embracing religious instruction (RI) – in which one could find out about 1ac.
8. Authenticate – confirm as genuine. Anagram (broadcast) of THE ACT AUNTIE – with a nod at the broadcaster BBC (Auntie).
13. The Ashes – a fairly well know cricket trophy. Girl (THEA), she’s (SHES).
14. Supple – flexible. I was trying to fit in PU (up turned). The rest of the clue contains the answer with some (letters) to spare – turn(S UP PLE)nty.
15. Ice bag – container – although not an obvious container (to me). Reserve (ICE), graduate (BA), good (G). Ice=reserve didn’t leap out at me – my subsequent blogging logic goes reserved=on ice=iced=reserved so ice=reserve. I’m sure someone will put me straight as it may take some time before I request to ice a table for two at 7pm – but I’m enjoying this crossword far too much to quibble.
17. No fear – certainly not. Name (N), of (OF), organ (EAR).
19. Tosh – nonsense. Drunk (SOT) brought upwards followed by (H)ard.

28 comments on “Quick Cryptic 746 by Hurley”

  1. Slow going for me; I’m not sure why, other than my wasting time on e.g. 1ac thinking ‘saul’ would be involved, or especially trying to work out the anagram of 14ac while forgetting that it was 2 words not one. 8:51.
  2. slowed down heading in a south-westerly direction

    1ac SAINT was a bit chewy but do-able

    ICE BAG – I fancied ICE BOX – wrongly.

    13ac THE ASHES ‘fairly well known!’? Cor’ Blimey! This not The New York Times!


    Edited at 2017-01-17 02:36 am (UTC)

  3. 12 minutes. I lost time getting started on this one. After hopping around the grid looking for easy pickings and leaving 2 or 3 short answers scattered in my wake, at last I solved a biggy (AUTHENTICATE) and got myself a proper foothold on which to build.

    Time also lost at the end on the unknown ICE BAG.

    Edited at 2017-01-17 05:38 am (UTC)

  4. 77 mins, so very slow, but about 60 of those scratching around four clues, 4d (accent), 5d (butt), 6d (debris), and 7a (encourage).

    Lots of good clues, especially 21a, 14a, and 18a.

    Couldn’t parse 9a, I also couldn’t parse the ice=reserve.

  5. Found this hard going. As of late, I failed to get that one last clue in, which was DEBRIS this time. I haven’t heard of Debs before, and the inclusion of “in” before rubble confused me into thinking I was looking for a word for religious instruction, or even just instruction. Does “in” actually play a part here? Rubble = debris, not “in rubble” = debris. Found the NE corner hard, especially 7ac, 4dn adn 5dn. Gribb.
    1. I think it’s meant to be read as “In {a word meaning} rubble, etc”.

      “Debs” is short for “debutantes” from the French d├ębutante, “female beginner”. These are, or were, girls or young women of aristocratic or upper-class families who reached maturity and, as new adults, “came out” into society at a formal “debut”. In the UK they used to be presented at court but that practice was abolished in 1958.

      Edited at 2017-01-17 08:30 am (UTC)

      1. Also worth noting that butts can be physical archery targets, as well as the objects of ridicule.
  6. A sluggish feeling 7.33 that doesn’t look so bad now. Several clues that required a pause to fully engage brain.
    I can parse ICE BAG but have no idea what it is other than a bag with ice in it, although that apparently is enough to get an entry in Chambers as ‘a waterproof bag filled with or for carrying ice’. A 5p Sainsburys carrier would do surely?
  7. I think ICE can also stand for “in case of emergency” as well as putting something on ice. Both point to sleep merging in reserve
  8. I parsed ice as meaning coldness – ie reserve. Probably not right but it got me the clue!


    1. That was my thinking as well Rita. Still think it’s the correct parsing, but prepared to be convinced otherwise.
      1. I didn’t do the puzzle but I had a quick read of Chris’s blog and immediately though of ice / reserve in the human demeanor context. In my iPod app version of Chambers “reserve, formality” is the 4th definition of ice.
  9. Have only ever used “Ave” as meaning “Hail”, so was well foxed by this one, but the dictionaries insist it can mean “Farewell”. Someone should have told Catullus.
  10. Have only ever used “Ave” as meaning “Hail”, so was well foxed by this one, but the dictionaries insist it can mean “Farewell”. Someone should have told Catullus.
  11. Ok today. I think ‘Enthusiastically’ in 7 ac is redundant. Same comments as others re ICE BAG. Liked IN TATTERS. 6’36” thanks chris and Hurley.
  12. Two sittings to crack this little teaser from Hurley. Much harder than yesterday’s QC and, for me at least, comparable with yesterday’s 15×15. Might have been a different story if I could have quickly solved, rather than just identified, the anagrams. Invariant
  13. Managed it in 24:38, which I’m more than happy about. Haven’t heard of “ave” before, so must remember that for future crosswords. I assumed Butt as an archery target. In Reading there’s an area called St Mary’s Butts, from the old archery targets that used to be outside the Minster. There’s now a painting of an archery target on the telephone exchange box, instead.
    1. Quite correct, Grubby. Butts have their origins in archery but have been adopted in more recent times as the more dangerous end of a rifle range. They commonly feature in the old inch to the mile OS maps.
      Turgid going today, more down tymy Monday brain rather than any issue with the clues. All perfectly fair and gettable. Thank you blogger and setter. 11′
  14. I thought I was off form or simply on the wrong wavelength today as this was a real slog, so I was glad to see that I wasn’t the only one who found it tough going. I’m not familiar with lace making so 12a proved tricky, but my real hold ups were my last two in 7a (just drew a blank) and 4d where I was looking for a homophone of ‘bill’, indicated by in a manner of speaking. Like others 15d was a new one for me.
    Eventually staggered over the finish line in around 30 minutes over 3 sittings.
  15. I solved this late in the day. It seemed harder than yesterday despite two quite easy long down clues. I was misled by the clueing of 7a -as mentioned by others , Support is the definition I would expect. My last two were 14a and 15d. I thought 14a was very clever -was Peter another Saint as in 1a or a safe or something else? I finally saw the anagram. Finally 15d- all that fitted was Ice Bag- and no I’ve never come across one. Ice pack , yes. About 30 minutes today. David
  16. Some toughies today! Struggled with 4d and eventually biffed it. 12a, despite living in the centre of an old lace-making area I didn’t know for sure but a distant bell rang. 9a started with Bella for Bell, Alexander but had to change for 3d. 25d had i**_bag so it had to be but still seems a bit obtuse to me. FOI 1d LOI 4d COD – 10a and 6d. Estimated 90 minutes. Good work out!
  17. A toughie. Quite a few I didn’t parse. FOI BIT, LOI ICE BAG, COD SPARE TIME.

    How odd to see The Observer described as “a daily iPad app, a weekly magazine”!

  18. I didn’t get round to this yesterday as I was occupied by some car maintenance for my daughter whose battery had gone flat. As there have been a few days of solid rain, it wasn’t feasible to hook up a charger, as the car is outside, so I removed the battery and stuck it on charge in the hallway. Anyway I found this puzzle much harder than usual and took double my normal time at 20 minutes. The LHS gave me the most trouble. FOI BUTT and LOI LANDSCAPE. Daughter reports battery now showing fully charged, so I’m off to stick it back in the car.

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