Quick cryptic No. 693 by Hurley

A very quick blog today necessitated by a very early start in the morning to head off and play golf.  Luckily, Hurley obliged by producing a relatively easy challenge which didn’t hold me up too long – just inside 11 minutes.  With Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen, we covered all of the services fairly and equitably as we approach Remembrance Sunday next week.  Some very concise, even taut clueing by Hurley, a perfectly fair challenge all around – thanks Setter.

I’ll be back next week for another dose when I stand in for Roley.  See you then.

Definitions are underlined, anagrams indicated by [square brackets] and deletions with {curly ones}

1  Two forms of beverage at posh French castle (7)
CHATEAU – CHA is one form of beverage (tea) and TEA is the other (tea) and posh is U (almost universally used to denote upper class)
5  Shortage after Society is careless (5)
SLACK – S for Society, followed by (after) LACK for shortage
8  Hates remark about percentage brand sells? (6,5)
MARKET SHARE – straight forward anagram (indicated by ‘about’) of [HATES REMARK]
10  Joint back in trouble, disreputable ultimately (4)
KNEE – last letters (ultimately) of {bac}K {i}N {trouble}E {disreputabl}E
11  Fabric worker becomes Army officer (8)
SERGEANT – the fabric is SERGE followed by the ubiquitous ANT for worker
12  Run in pursuit of sailor (6)
RAFTER – R is ‘run’ and AFTER is ‘in pursuit of’, to give a RAFTER – the type that sails on a raft rather than the type you might find in your loft or attic
14  US drab? Wrong, ridiculous (6)
ABSURD – another anagram (clued by ‘wrong’) of [US DRAB]
16  Best view is here: inside gatherings, ideal(8)
RINGSIDE – hidden (inside) {gathe}RINGS IDE{al}
18  Brawled regularly to be blunt (4)
BALD – alternate letters (regularly) of B{r}A{w}L{e}D
20  One arranging holiday rang vet late at work (6,5)
TRAVEL AGENT – anagram (clued by ‘at work’) of [RANG VET LATE]
22  Bachelor, reckless, insolent (5)
BRASH – B is for Bachelor and RASH for reckless in this nicely efficient clue
23  Fuss about king’s relative (7)
BROTHER – Fuss is BOTHER into which we insert, or which is around, R for king

Considerate of Attila, say, protecting mother? (5)
HUMAN – Attila was famously a HUN which surrounds (protects) MA for mother
Flood hill – price to pay (7)
TORRENT – the hill is a TOR and the price to pay is the RENT
Yes, sounding like organ (3)
AYE – a homophone clue, with the answer AYE sounding like an organ (EYE)
6  Learner gets comfort, acquiring contract (5)
LEASE – L for Learner and EASE for comfort
Charlady thinner after cold (7)
CLEANER – C for cold followed by LEANER for thinner
Wake up certain about truth, no end (7)
SURFACE – certain is SURE, which is about FAC{t} or ‘truth, no end’, i.e. minus the last letter
11  Emperor with no time to eat fish (7)
SARDINE – the emperor with no time is a {t}SAR, and to eat is to DINE
13  Pilot entering Alaska via Toronto (7)
AVIATOR – another hidden answer clued by ‘entering’, from {alask}A VIA TOR{onto}
15  Something to study – group admits first of unbelievers, by Jove! (7)
SUBJECT – the group is a SET, which admits (i.e. surrounds) the first letters of U{nbelievers} B{y} J{ove}
17  Girl after good, see-through material (5)
GLASS – G for good and LASS for girl
19  Article supports Los Angeles machine (5)
LATHE – the article is THE which supports (is beneath in a down clue) LA for Los Angeles
21  Heading away from impartial attitude (3)
AIR – impartial would be {f}AIR, with its heading away (or first letter removed)

24 comments on “Quick cryptic No. 693 by Hurley”

  1. Quite easy, although I realize now that I forgot to go back to SARDINE after biffing. 3:59, no doubt a pb.
  2. 9.51 – sluggish especially considerin’ Kevin’s 3.59! Well done matey!

    Jack what is the noted record for the QC?

    LOI and COD SARDINE – TSAR being somewhat less than obvious.

    Thanks to The Rotter

  3. After several near misses lately, this may be my new record today. It was only really the ones in the middle (16 and the 11s) that held me up.
  4. Found it quite tough today, about an hour but needed lots of word checking on the times website.
    Last 2 in were 23a (couldn’t see brother for ages infuriatingly) and 21d air.

    Didn’t know:

    I think for 15d, the group is sect not set, with ubj inside.

  5. Another on the easier side, I thought, having completed it in 8 minutes. I hesitated a little over 22ac as I don’t recall coming across BRASH meaning “insolent” before.

    In answer to horry’s query I’ve no idea what the record for a QC is and I can only go by my own times. My fastest solve was 5 minutes for #310 by Flamande in May 2015, but this doesn’t tell the whole story because unless otherwise stated in my comments on the day my times include mentally parsing all the clues as I go. If there was a particularly tough clue I may say that I needed to return to parse it after the event.

    You may wonder why I don’t include seconds in my timings, and this is because I resolved long ago that I would only start doing that if I was consistently turning in sub-5 minute solves, and that circumstance has never arisen.

    Edited at 2016-11-03 06:21 am (UTC)

  6. The 15×15 is reasonable today, got most answers with a little help from the checkers.
  7. Another good time for me, at 16:50. LOI SARDINE, COD SUBJECT, by Jove.

    BTW I recently read the agreeable crossword novella ‘Pretty girl in Crimson Rose (8)’ as recommended on this blog. It’s a bit hard to come by as I think it is out of print. Worth tracking down.

  8. As a complete newbie, may I suggest with great trepidation a refinement to therotter’s parsing (is that even the right word for this ?) of 15D. Rather than U B J included in ‘set’ as a group, would not ‘sect’ be more accurate, as there is otherwise an unaccounted for ‘c’.

    Yours in humility and in awe of those who can do the QC at under an hour !


  9. Is a sergeant an officer? A non-commissioned one (NCO), I guess.

    Only matters because it’s a big deal if you are or were in the Forces.

  10. Rather liked RAFTER, which delayed me a while, and also includes the junior service. My own PB is 3’33”, but I could not write faster than that. Like jack, unless it’s sub 5, I don’t bother with seconds. My average on paper is six minutes, and online about 8. Today was sub 10, and I didn’t think it that easy.
  11. My only hold ups today were 16a, 12a (loi) and 11d. The rest went in without too much trouble. Completed in 16 minutes.
  12. Quite right, Rotter. Some very tight clueing from Hurley today. COD 12a – easily parsed but a wonderfully sly definition, so much so that I hesitated long before committing to it. Chapeau also to the long hidden in 16a.
    Marginally sub 5′
  13. Hi yes I mentioned that above:

    “I think for 15d, the group is sect not set, with ubj inside.”

    1. Apologies for not seeing your first response. I often see that while I’ve been composing, new messages predating mine have appeared. Or maybe I just skim read 🙂
  14. This could be a record for me, well inside 15 mins. I’ve never officially timed myself. I was slightly held up at 12ac, convinced “tar” (sailor) was the second part of the answer and was thinking of a word for “in pursuit of”, with the overall answer being another word for “run”. Gribb.
  15. A very quick start for me but then I slowed down considerably and finished on 40 mins which is twice as long as yesterday. Nothing particularly hard today though, so I don’t really know why!
  16. Fairly straightforward, but we were slow in seeing the hidden at 16a and thought for some while before accepting rafter for 12a. About 30 mins which is good for us. Elin and Ian.
  17. Embarrassed to say that I needed two sittings today, with 12ac and the 11’s holding me up across the middle. Makes a change from corners ! Invariant
  18. Got all but 11d in 23 minutes , then had to stop for a bit to regroup. I was on the verge of giving up. The emperor did for me as I was thinking of an Eastern word or a penguin (in desperation). Many fish and many minutes later I suddenly got the sardine. Overall quite tricky I thought. David
  19. tripped up again on the single letter stuff
    U / non-U vey briefly fashionable bit of slang in the 1960’s that now only lives in the mind of middle-aged crossword compilers. there must be equivalents you could use that are less than half a century out of date – how will you ever attract new solvers?
    Also S for society and B for batchelor (BA and BSc are legitimate)- will we get s for sugar, submarine and strawberry and p for pirate, potato or pommegrannette or any other random selection of words to mean their forst letter
    Perhaps there is a definitive list somewhere of lettera and what words can indicate them?
    1. It has been rumoured for years that such a list exists, or more likely, existed at one time, but I’ve never tracked down anyone who admits to having seen it. In its absence I’d refer you to the usual dictionary sources, COED, SOED, Collins and Chambers, some or all of which will confirm b = bachelor and s = society as stand-alone abbreviations.

      Edited at 2016-11-04 02:22 am (UTC)

  20. Just noticed that this is for puzzle 693 rather than 683 – might be worth changing the title so that anyone searching for the blog in the future will be able to find it.

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