Quick Cryptic 867 by Hurley

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I thought this was going to be a much more light and breezy puzzle than it turned out to be. The first few clues in the NW gave the impression of a break from the the more traditional crossword fodder that we’re used to (surely 1ac requires knowledge of cricket/tennis/rugby…), but it turned out to be rather chewier than that (…ah-ha!).

Plenty to enjoy, of course, but I have no doubt I would have struggled a year ago with the 2 or 3 solutions that are less than everyday. On the plus side for beginners, the wordplay is as fair as you like – if you’ve hit a wall, try looking for the definition at the other end of the clue (!) or trusting your TftT-honed cryptic skills, even if the result is only a “could-be-a-word-that-means-that”.

In the end I was left with several blanks in the NE corner, but had to wait until the very end to solve/bung my LOI 21ac.

Definitions underlined.

1 Sports official ordered inn meals (8)
LINESMAN – anagram of (ordered) INN MEALS.
5 Quarter of pint good? Bad! (4)
GILL – G (good) and ILL (bad). A measure equating to one quarter of a pint.
8 Weak boat repaired? You did well! (4,1,3)
TAKE A BOW – anagram of (repaired) WEAK BOAT.
9 Dubious judge initially leaves short time (4)
IFFY – first letter of (initially) Judge removed from (leaves) jIFFY (short time).
11 Brawl costing no one anything (4-3-3)
FREE-FOR-ALL – double definition.
14 Back, having secured extremely portable farm machine (6)
REAPER – REAR (back) surrounding (having secured) outermost letters of (extremely) PortablE.
15 Negligent about girl (6)
REMISS – RE (regarding, about) and MISS (girl).
17 Central American met a month back with Alan (10)
GUATEMALAN – MET and AUG (a month) all backwards (back), then ALAN.
20 Part of hotel seems different (4)
ELSE – hidden in (part of) hotEL SEems.
21 Severely criticize a rule Bob concocted (8)
BELABOUR – anagram of (concocted) A RULE BOB.
22 Flag that is reluctantly exhibited first of all (4)
TIRE – first letters of (first of all) That Is Reluctantly Exhibited.
23 Daughter agreed toy ad changes as routine (3-2-3)
DAY-TO-DAY – D (daughter) and AY (agreed), with an anagram of (changes) TOY AD.
1 Porky about repast ultimately with few calories? (4)
LITE – LIE (porky) surrounding (about) last letter of (ultimately) repasT.
2 Bomb from this country in North East (4)
NUKE – UK (this country) in NE (North East).
3 Small wait? I’d sounded naively idealistic (6-4)
STARRY-EYED – S (small) TARRY (delay leaving, wait) and a homophone of (sounded) “I’d”.
4 Highest position of a Personnel Officer — that’s surprising! (6)
APOGEE – A and PO (Personnel Officer), then GEE (that’s surprising). The highest point of development, or climax.
6 Terrible rag I find beneath me? (5,3)
INFRA DIG – anagram of (terrible) RAG I FIND. From the Latin infra dignitatem (beneath one’s dignity).
7 Awfully silly to a true friend? (8)
LOYALIST – anagram of (awfully) SILLY TO A.
10 Europeans going over a role having divergent views (5,5)
POLES APART – POLES (europeans) on top of A PART (a role).
12 Piece ragmen wrapped in paper (8)
FRAGMENT – RAGMEN surrounded by (wrapped in) FT (Financial Times).
13 A right fool, taken in by her tormenter (8)
HARASSER – A, R (right), and ASS (fool) surrounded (taken in) by HER.
16 Father and mother embracing the Spanish girl (6)
PAMELA – PA and MA (father and mother) surrounding (embracing) EL (the, in Spanish).
18 Loathsome guy too hard on regular basis (4)
TOAD – alternate letters from (on regular basis) ToO hArD.
19 Ancient city’s weight system for metals (4)
TROY – double definition. A 5000-year-old city and a system of weighing precious metals/gemstones.

31 comments on “Quick Cryptic 867 by Hurley”

  1. I also found this more chewy than some QCs of late and it turned out to be the first time since Hurley’s last outing (23rd June) that I have missed my 10-minute target, both then and today requiring 13 minutes to complete the grid.

    On this occasion my final 4 minutes were spent on my LOI, 4dn, where I had a real problem coming up with any word to fit APO?E? and even began to wonder if the unchecked P suggested by the wordplay might actually be incorrect.

    Having ‘farm machine’ here and ‘farm machinery’ elsewhere with not a tractor in sight came as something of a surprise!

    Until January 1995 the standard measure used for dispensing spirits in English pubs was 1/6th of a GILL (1/5th in Scotland) but this was done away with in order to comply with EU directives on metrication. I haven’t heard that anyone’s campaigning for these measures to be brought back following BREXIT but I should not be surprised. The Imperial pint for sales of draught beer somehow escaped the process.

    Edited at 2017-07-05 06:02 am (UTC)

    1. Metrification allowed a few exceptions: Pints of milk remained because of so many million reusable bottles (remember them?); speeds and distances on roads (suddenly 50 in a 30 would be OK – recipe for carnage) and, of course, draft beer. Multiples of pint of half pint are still the only legal measure for this marvellous product. Any attempt to mess with a Brit’s pint would have been the stuff of revolution. Indeed, the Boston Tea Party would have looked like – well, a tea party.
      Nice puzzle, 6’30”
  2. Quite a tough one today, not helped by the fact I’ve never heard of APOGEE, INFRA DIG or BELABOUR. They were all put in with a shrug. I also didn’t understand how TROY worked. There seemed to be quite a lot of anagrams today, which did actually help with some of the more unknown words. Felt 12dn was a bit of a tired clue. Five of the seven letters are in the clue! Gribb.
    1. For some reason you seem unhappy at the free education that’s being provided.
  3. Done by London Bridge so not too bad

    GILL was my COD, very neat.

    In GUATEMALAN, I couldn’t understand why “ug” was a month, having taken “met a” literally and thus used up the “a” of “Aug”! Durr. Thanks to William for straightening me out.

    APOGEE went straight in but my LOI was REMISS – kept trying to think of a girl’s name which was -I-S.

    Thanks to William and Hurley


  4. Took me 20 mins but much more satisfying to solve than some of the easier quickies


  5. I was heading for a sub 8 minute time, but got stumped on 4d for ages. Like Jack I had APO_E_, but couldn’t see a word and began to doubt the P. Eventually the penny dropped and I completed in 9:21. FOI was LITE and LOI APOGEE. No problems with the other clues. Nice puzzle. Thanks Hurley and William.
  6. (4dn)was a terrific clue that took me over the ten minutes by a few seconds. Completely out of place in this QC! But my COD nevertheless.


    This was half complete when a raging tornado hit Hong Qiao where I live. It was worse than anything I have experienced outside of Hong Kong, Singapore or Bangkok – a complete white-out! It was completely unforecast – bang goes my evening contitutional.

    Edited at 2017-07-05 09:41 am (UTC)

    1. And there was me tut-tutting ‘cos I had to walk to the pub in a light drizzle last night!
      1. JD – Pub!? Drizzle!? I didn’t whet my whistle or ‘owt else! No wonder you had trouble with the 15×15 – dirty stop-out!!
          1. 1. Who played in the 1964 Wembley FA Cup Final and the following week in The Rugby Challenge Cup Final also at Wembley?

            2. In which year did Uruguay win the European Cup?

            3. Which famous player scored nine goals in a Football League Cup quarter-final coming on as a subtitute in the 63rd minute!?

            1. I’ll ask our Sports Correspondent next week. I’m with Jack on football related stuff 🙂
              Who did the orchestration for Modest Muzzorgsky’s Night on a Bald Mountain?

  7. Some went in quickly and some felt like pulling teeth today.

    V. grateful for the anagrams and the hidden at 20a which I still don’t quite get: different = else?

    Like our blogger, NE took me the longest until I’d solved 7d and biffed 5a having remembered that a gill was some sort of measurement of booze.

    Thanks to Hurley and William

  8. Similarly to others I was held up at the end by Apogee. 25 mins in total. Definitely some less frequently used vocabulary today, but not particuarly obscure apart from the three mentioned by Grigg.
  9. Light relief after a struggle to get the 15×15 over the line. I’m old enough to know the weights and measures and to still call 1 acrosses by that name rather than ‘referee’s assistant’ and there was nothing else in the vocab to cause a problem. 5.10
  10. I found this tough. Didn’t help myself by putting PALOMA instead of PAMELA (assumed “embracing” meant the pa and ma were at either end of the word), and LITE took me ages. Surprisingly (gee!) I got APOGEE early on, and the cluing of 14A and 18D were very pleasing. A good workout! Thanks Hurley and William.
  11. Apogee was a write-in for me as I’m into astronomy. But “infra dig”? Never heard of it.
    I also got stuck on “iffy” and failed to solve the anagram of “loyalist”.

    An enjoyable DNF though. Thanks to Hurley and William.

  12. About average I thought. 12dn I thought was a slightly weak clue. Overall though, pretty much par for the course.
  13. A really entertaining puzzle today. It whiled away sitting in my dentist’s waiting room with just the SE to deduce at Costa. Certainly under an hour but I wasn’t in any hurry! No problem with 4d but had to reconsider the clues for 12d 13d. Eventually satisfied myself on 20a. Thank goodness for Pete Seeger for 17a, my COD. FOI 1a. LOI 13d. Lots of good clueing I thought. I also liked 2d. Thx for the blog and contributors as well as to Hurley
  14. I thought this was going to require a second sitting, but eventually Iffy and Apogee were dredged up, giving me a slowish 32 mins finish. Belabour? Anyone seen that in print this side of, say, 1940 ? Invariant
  15. It it’s not often the QC gets more postings than the 15×15!

    Edited at 2017-07-06 02:29 am (UTC)

  16. Found this puzzle from Liz Hurley quite easy today. One of our puzzle masters (3 of us) started this off at 2 pm yesterday. We (the other 2) have just finished it at 4 am. A cracking time of 14 hours is quite an achievement. I would like to give a mention to a temporary team member who stepped in to pull us out of a hole tonight….thanks google….we would be lost without u😀😀 peace ✌

Comments are closed.