Quick Crytpic 671 by Hurley

Rather chewier than usual – I felt lucky to come in at 15 minutes (which often means everyone else will have breezed through this in record times). Consistently good surfaces made this a pleasure – thanks Hurley.


1. Statistics – figures. Advocate of government power (STATIST), is (IS) containing constant (C). Statist isn’t in my day to day vocabulary so this was a tricky starter.
8. Charlie – silly person – often described as a ‘right charlie’. Code word is the phonetic alphabet – alpha, bravo, charlie.
9. Trade – deal. Angry speech (TiRADE) with the ‘I’ removed (ignored).
10. Nail – expose in the sense of to expose or detect (a lie or liar). Slow mover (sNAIL) without the first letter.
11. Streaker – he could be starkers. This is an &slit clue where the definition is the whole clue. Anagram (could be) of STARKERs without the final ‘s’ pulse energy (E). Convoluted for a QC perhaps?
13. Eighty – score (twenty) four times.
14. Circle – part of theatre. (C)h(I)c (R)e(C)a(L)l(E)d.
17. So-called – inappropriately described, I suggest – a so-called professional football player who may not be performing (commonly found in my team). I missed off the parsing – thanks flashman for – so called is an anagram (new) of cold ales.
19. Cork – stopper. (C)lears (O)ut (R)apidly (K)icking.
21. Alibi – proof or proof of location (being somewhere else at the time). In B(ALI BI)vouac.
22. Toaster – kitchen item. Love (O) inside product review (TASTER).
23. Sunderland – City. Anagram (upset) of RUN ENDS LAD.


2. Thawing – defrost process. Object (THING) about A and wife (W).
3. Toll. Double definition charge as in the Dartford river crossing and a church bell ringing repeatedly.
4. Siesta – rest. A group of letters in las(SIES TA)king.
5. Intrepid – fearless or seen as fearless. Popular (IN), time (T), traveller (REP), I’d (ID).
6. Snack – quick meal. Bag (SACK) about noon (N).
7. Tear-jerker – sentimental film. Ripper (TEARER) embracing fool (JERK).
8. Consensual – showing willingness. Anagram (flexible) of AN UNCLES SO.
12. Stallion – horse. Be evasive (STALL), about (ON) taking in island (I).
15. Crouton – some bread? Councillor (CR), away (OUT), working (ON).
16. Settee – seat. Firm (SET), support for golfer (TEE).
18. Chips – potato dish. Fashionable (HIP) inside Civil Service (CS).
20. Pall – become boring. Homophone (we hear) of man (Paul).

22 comments on “Quick Crytpic 671 by Hurley”

  1. Morning all. Some great clues today. 23 ac, with its allusion to the ‘relegation-zone’ team, is marvellous. ALIBI means ‘elsewhere’ in Latin and thus technically is proof of not being in a particular place, as in detective series where the suspect has several people to vouch for him/her. COD (clue of the day) undoubtedly 20d, the small ones are the fiercest. About one-and-a-half times my average time today.

    I’ve put a small rant on the 15×15 forum, where the QC was described as ‘easy’.

  2. 59.15 today, held up by 1a (statistics), 8a (Charlie), 3d (toll), 4d (siesta).

    Also in the blog for parsing 17a, so called is an anagram (new) of cold ales.

    Edited at 2016-10-04 09:22 am (UTC)

  3. Got home in 9 minutes today but I agree it was at the trickier end of the scale and several clues seemed quite difficult. At 8ac I had one of those moments of self-doubt wondering whether the answer ended in -IE or -EY. 4dn was hard and 13ac clever, I thought. 1ac perhaps the most awkward to parse.

    Edited at 2016-10-04 09:15 am (UTC)

  4. Found this quite straightforward apart from 20dn. Never heard of pall, so biffed in “mail” hoping it had some double meaning I’d never heard of. 6ac seems a rather unusual clue in that the answer is just what it says in the clue. Or are these types quite common? Can’t think of a similar one off the top of my head.
        1. Thanks for clarifying, anon. This clue falls into the category we call &lit where the definition is the whole clue. On this occasion it comes rather close to a straight definition so I can fully understand why it may appear a little unusual.
  5. Yes, this was a bit on thr tricky side at 11.34.

    Slow start with 1ac not yielding early.


    horryd Shanghai

  6. Like everyone else by the looks of it, needed to come here to parse 1a properly. Not helped by trying to convince myself that LL in 3d was some kind of modern shorthand for persistently calling someone, until the penny finally dropped with a dull thud, and not seeing SIESTA for a long time, hidden clues normally not being a problem. COD 11a. Thanks Hurley for a QC that took two bites and blogger for explaining Hurley.
  7. After finding yesterday’s QC quite difficult when everyone else found it easy, I was relieved to see that today’s offering officially merits a hard rating. I knew it was going to be ‘one of those’ as soon as I saw 1ac. Perhaps I should tackle Hurley bottom up next time ? Over an hour today, just to avoid a DNF. Hard work. Invariant
  8. I thought I was probably off-form today finding this quite hard. But I see from comments I was not alone.
    I solved this bottom up and was left with four: 1a, 8a, 2d and 4d.
    With hindsight none of these is that difficult but I was sure 1a started “Pro..”; that meant 2d started “Re ..”-very plausible but did not fit with Deicing which was my weak best guess for a time; and 8a made me think of Chump.
    In the end about 20 minutes for the first part and another 20 to unravel these four. Once I saw 1a , an excellent clue, it all became clear.
    Very good puzzle. David
  9. Definitely at the harder end of the scale and unlike yesterday the long clues took some figuring out thus reducing the number of checkers available. At 14a I was sure that ‘recalled’ meant that the hidden word was going to be reversed which stopped me biffing circle until I realised what was going on. LOI 8a, time 22 mins
  10. Fascinating, reading today’s blogs – after my rant yesterday about not making it too difficult, I found today’s relatively easy.
    COD 8ac – as a sailor, familiar. I like it when answers make me smile.


    1. Well, full marks for giving it a bash but I think that if a surname is being used then it would have to be the specific person so would be ‘author’ rather than ‘man’. I also think it’s pronaounced darl – if I’m wrong then let me know as it’s good to get things right.
  11. Found this a steady grind but enjoyable. Did not know statist in 1a but bunged statitics from checkers. 7d delayed us until agin we had enough checkers, unusual to have to find two synonyms for the answer. Elin and Ian.
  12. Thanks for the blog. While this puzzle was designed to be solved in the normal way – and blog and comments suggest that is what happened, there was a theme to it. 8A (Hurley) reached 13A on the day it appeared. Born in 19A, Ireland, on 4 Oct 1936 and best known for playing for 23A (Football Club) from 1957-1969. He was voted Player of the Century by supporters in the club’s centenary year 1979, ten years after he had left the club. Hurley
    1. Well, well. Thankyou so much Charlie Hurley for commenting here, for your crosswords and the pleasure you gave Sunderland and Republic of Ireland fans alike. Long may you reign!
      1. I remember one of my school sports day at St Aidan’s in Sunderland which was opened by Charlie Hurley and Brian Clough back in the sixties!! I also managed to get Jimmy Montgomery’s autograph at Ashbrooke Cricket ground one afternoon.

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