Times Quick Cryptic 2017 by Hurley

This was quite tricky, and I was well over my target time before I got to my last unfilled entry (7dn, NHO). That one was not the only clue that went in under pressure without taking the time to fully understand what was going on – I think I started to feel the clock ticking and bunged in a few good guesses.

A good challenge.

Definitions underlined.

1 Feel a spa boss is spinning old tales from Greece (6,6)
AESOPS FABLES – anagram of (… is spinning) FEEL A SPA BOSS.
8 Physical Training incorporating popular drink (4)
PINT – PT (Physical Training) containing (incorperating) IN (popular).
9 Having brought Yankee in, locate exotic follower (7)
ACOLYTE – anagram of (exotic) LOCATE, containing (having brought in) Y (yankee).
11 Learned one ultimately insulting about Information Technology (7)
ERUDITE – last letter of (ultimately) onE, then RUDE (insulting) containing (about) IT (Information Technology).
12 Be captivated by songbird in this region (5)
TIBET – BE contained by (captivated by) TIT (songbird).
14 Maybe describing line, done by Dorothy and Edward? (6)
DOTTED – DOT (Dorothy) and TED (Edward).
15 One visiting California, the French Republican (6)
CALLER – CAL (California), LE (‘the’ in French), and R (Republican).
18 Silly person that would expect real profits initially! (5)
TWERP – first letters of (initially) That Would Expect Real Profits.
20 Publicize policy for carrier (7)
AIRLINE – AIR (publicize) and LINE (policy).
21 Love street full of comic potential? It won’t fly! (7)
OSTRICH – O (love), ST (street) and RICH (full of comic potential?).
23 Marker at sea young lad picked up (4)
BUOY – sounds like (picked up) “boy” (young lad). Surely this is a totally uncontroversial homophone 🙂
24 Flush, no end, wager disreputable guy is one who travels a lot (12)
GLOBETROTTER – all-but-the-last letter of (no end) GLOw (flush), BET (wager), and ROTTER (disreputable guy).

2 Correct manner needing rewrite of tweet? Quite — not woke at first (9)
ETIQUETTE – anagram of (needing rewrite) TwEET QUITE, missing the (not) ‘w’ (woke at first).
3 Blooming team! Not yet in! (7)
OUTSIDE – OUT (blooming) and SIDE (team).
4 One on rink maybe, sister, hugging Catherine (6)
SKATER – SR (sister) containing (hugging) KATE (Catherine).
5 Happening to use an imperial measure of length (5)
AFOOT – A FOOT (an imperial measure of length).
6 Bet against unprofessional song (3)
LAY – triple definition.
7 Rose writes beer off (10)
SWEETBRIER – anagram of (off) WRITES BEER. A wild rose species.
10 Self-willed boss, wrong to see wife as saint? (10)
HEADSTRONG – HEAD (boss) and wRONG with the ‘w’ (wife) replaced with ‘ST’ (saint).
13 Ready to fight call that is about function (9)
BELLICOSE – BELL (call), then IE (that is) containing (about) COS (cosine, function).
16 Entertainer’s routine including leading pairs from Rome ballet (7)
ACROBAT – ACT (routine) containing (including) the first two leters from (leading pairs from) ROme and BAllet.
17 At the outset friendly and tactful with girl’s Dad (6)
FATHER – first letters from (at the outset) Friendly And Tactful, then HER (girl’s).
19 Composure of model touring India (5)
POISE – POSE (model) containing (touring) I (India, phonetic alphabet).
22 Couple seen in Fort Worth (3)
TWO – hidden in (seen in) forT WOrth.

52 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2017 by Hurley”

  1. I was sluggish on this one. It didn’t help that I read ‘follower’ as ‘flower’. DNK the bet meaning of LAY. We just had HEADSTRONG recently in a 15×15, which helped me demi-biff it here–got the STRONG part post-submission. Biffed BELLICOSE, parsed post-sub. I usually pronounce BUOY ‘boo-ey’. 8:24.
    1. I strongly suspected William of having his tongue in his cheek with his homophone comment!

      Isn’t it bizarre that a word spelled buoy is pronounced boy in British (and Australian) English?

      Looking at the derivation in the dictionaries, boo-ey seems a much more likely pronunciation.

      1. I suspected the same, but thought I’d throw it in anyway. It’s strange that there’s a word spelled ‘buoy’; not much of a hint as how to pronounce it.
      2. Boo-ey is how to pronounce ‘Bowie’ as in ‘Bowie knife’. I wonder if David ever knew that.
  2. My father was a devotee of ‘Bay Watch’ — mainly for the plot. When anyone said ‘boo-ey’ he would instantly turn the sound down! It got him well buoyed-up. Incidentally he was at Luff-bra College, if anyone can remember yesterday?


    LOI 12ac TIBET

    COD 23ac BUOY (Boy)


    At 24ac Harlem’s greatest export gets a mention, as did the disreputable Mr. Rotter.

    On edit: today l boarded the late running 16.30 Shanghai to Antwerp.

    Edited at 2021-12-01 04:07 am (UTC)

  3. Just could not see AFOOT, after running through Rod, Pole, ft I went with ALOFT. was miles off target time by then.

    AESOPS FABLES went n early, but a misspelling of buoy led to much wasted time on BELLICOSE. Mercifully SWEETBRIER had the E as a checker, as I would have spelt it as “briar”, also a plant.

    COD LAY with its triple definition (lay preacher being an example of ‘unprofessional’)

  4. 9 minutes with both AESOP’S FABLES and GLOBE TROTTER delaying me a little along the way.
  5. AIRLINE took an age which was annoying since pre-COVID I worked for airports, so that should have been first thing that came to mind on reading ‘carrier’. That unlocked SWEETBRIER, TIBET and BELLICOSE to being things to a close all green in 15. Nine on the first pass of acrosses which made HEADSTRONG seem inevitable but I couldn’t parse. Wanted DOTTED to be ‘linear’, I could see the Edward bit but the Dorothy made me reject it in the end. BELLICOSE needed every single checker.
    1. Airline delayed my journey also… line/policy seems so obvious. Had to rack brain for bellicose and sweetbrier but sub 14 so very happy!

  6. You live and learn. I had absolutely no idea that anyone pronounced ‘buoy’ in any way other than ‘boy’
  7. How does one run through mile, yard, inch, hand, acre, pint, gill and miss foot? It cost me a minute and a couple of red squares as I threw in ‘bout’ through sheer frustration. 7:30

    Thank you Hurley &, because a couple were heavily biffed, William too.

  8. Started fast with 1a and most of it’s offshoots and most of the rest didn’t hold me up too much. However I made life hard for myself by inventing a word, thinking it looked like nonsense and then not deleting it, making my LOI the unknown plant impossible. The word was CAILLE at 15a and I’m not quite sure what I thought it meant, certainly not any kind of republican! I looked it up afterwards and apparently it’s French for quail.
    Apart from that frustration a very enjoyable solve, finally finishing in 11.31 with WOD to BELLICOSE.
    Thanks to william
    1. “Ça caille” — it’s freezing and it certainly was last night. Just make sure you get your pronunciation right or you could make a real b@lls up of it.
      Heavy weather down the right side took me well into injury time.
      Thanks Merlin for lay as in preacher which I missed.
  9. I didn’t do too well on this one as a wrong answer allowed me to enter two more wrong answers, seeming to fit the clues.

    I did wonder how an American would fair with the homophone in 23a. As for “boo-ey” being a much more likely pronunciation when looking at the word, I had to laugh. To me “boy” is far more likely pronunciation than “boo-ey” when looking at it.

    Unfortunately a DNF, but, like yesterday, an enjoyable DNF.

    1. I only saw your comment after I had submitted mine (next one down) in which your ‘biffing’ comment is echoed.
      I wonder if, by any chance, your two wrong answers were 3D and 11A? John
      1. No, they were not my incorrect answers. I got those one right. I am too embarrassed to reveal the errors I made, as when I look back over them, my answers made no sense and were sloppy. I am sure my cat could have done better than me there.
  10. A good start and, as crossers emerged, it became a bit of a biff-fest. All biffs were parsed, though, and the approach failed with 3D where I had out-cast (blooming-team?) and this made 11A impossible (educate was tempting but didn’t fit the definition).
    Sorting this out took me over target — disappointing because this was a fair and approachable puzzle.
    Thanks to Hurley and William. John M.
  11. DNF.
    Luckily I gave up early on this one and did not waste too much time on it.
    Just too hard for me.
    1. Mao, you sound a bit resigned to failure, assuming that is that you would like to be able to solve the puzzles, which of course is not compulsory but your presence here suggests that you may have it in mind.

      If you want to improve, don’t give up so easily. If necessary, when you are stuck, use aids on a couple of clues or reveal an answer or two to give yourself a chance to get going again. Above all, read the TfTT blogs and understand the reasoning behind the answers.

      Bon chance!

  12. … which I needed aids to finish, as I NHO 7D Sweetbrier. But with that help, all done and all parsed in 15 minutes, and much enjoyed.

    The association of “lay” with “unprofessional” always strikes me as a little unkind to the huge army of volunteers who do so much unpaid work, both for the church (“lay preachers”) and many other bodies. Unpaid they may be, and sometimes also unqualified (though to become a lay preacher entails much study), but “unprofessional”, in the sense it now has of unethical, substandard, is a slur the majority do not deserve.

    Many thanks to William for the blog

    1. The cognate “amateur” also has a distinctly pejorative implication these days as well. Originally from (Amo, Amas) Amat=love. Sadly someone who does what they love, without being paid is nowadays viewed as second rate.
  13. You talk about slurs Cedric, I have been severely slighted, both by the Setter and Horryd calling me disreputable. It is a lie and a calumny! 14 minutes for this otherwise pleasant outing, with one unknown (the flower), where I admit to using an aid. Had the ‘brier’ part been spelled ‘briar’ then I believe I would have got it unaided, although the anagrist would have been different. I’m another who initially spelled buoy wrong, but pronounce it ‘correctly’ — boo-ey makes no sense, but is well known to me. Thanks both.
    1. Rotter I would never call you disreputable! There was a time though when I was a genuine globetrotter, as my work entailed dozens of flights and hundreds of thousands of air miles a year. I actually quite enjoyed it, until my then teenage daughter went all Greta Thunberg at me and said “You call it globetrotting, I call it globetrashing” — without doubt for her, I was the one who put the Rotter in Globetrotter.

      Cedric (now reformed, haven’t flown for nearly 2 years)

      Edited at 2021-12-01 02:19 pm (UTC)

  14. All done in 15 minutes, 5 taken on the last two, lay and acolyte. I saw the follower as apostle but it didn’t parse. A vowel trawl for the consequent L?T yielded zilch, then a PDM provided lay, surrendering the acolyte. Afoot also took a while for the lightbulb to come on. I got most of this on first pass, but looking at the blog I missed a lot of nuances on the parsing. COD Globetrotter, ah, the good old days. Thanks, William, and Hurley.
  15. I found this quite straightforward with the exception of SWEETBRIER since I only knew of BRIAR spelling and 3 guesses of HEADSTRONG, GLOBETROTTER and BELLICOSE – thanks for the explanations!
  16. I started with LAY and ACOLYTE, which then provided AFOOT. SKATER and OUTSIDE followed, at which point AESOPS FABLES became obvious. I hit the buffers later as HEADSTRONG, AIRLINE, SWEETBRIER(needed pen and paper) resisted my blandishments, and LOI BELLICOSE took ages, until I wrote the checkers out on paper and saw the function wasn’t SIN after all. 10:36. Thanks Hurley and William.
  17. I thought I was on for another speedy solve with AESOPS FABLES going in straight away and most of the downs in Row 1. A quick sort of the letters at 7d even revealed the ‘sounds about right’ SWEETBRIER. Gaps then started appearing. I just could not decipher HEADSTRONG….I needed all the checkers and it went in unparsed. Thanks for the explanation William. My LOI was BELLICOSE as constructed from wordplay. 12:26
  18. Spent an age on the right hand side. SWEETBRIER and BELLICOSE were tricky but why it took me so long to see CALLER, TIBET and AIRLINE I really can’t imagine. The remainder seemed quite straightforward but I must have spent 10 mins at least on those last four. Several went in unparsed (GLOBETROTTER, BELLICOSE….) and I ended up with a distinctly over target 28 mins.

    COD – 21ac OSTRICH

    Thanks to Hurley and William

  19. I thought this was a toughie, and needed all 30 mins to finally complete the grid. Nothing massively unfair, although I did miss the homophone for 23ac and was scratching my head for quite a while about the parsing and the spelling — was it “uo” or “ou”?

    Luckily I’d seen 9ac “Acoylte” in something else recently, so this helped the NE corner.

    It was just one of those puzzles where you had to really dig out the majority of answers.

    FOI — 8ac “Pint”
    LOI — 13dn “Bellicose”
    COD — 10dn “Headstrong” — took a while to see what was going on here.

    Thanks as usual!

  20. Started quickly with Aesop’s Fables and Sweetbrier as write-ins, and steady progress thereafter. However I missed out on a sub-20 because both Afoot and loi Poise (!) required alphabet trawls. Sometimes the smallest words… CoD to 13d, Bellicose, just ahead of the far from disreputable Globetrotter. Invariant
  21. Must have been on the wavelength today, as was only held up by HEADSTRONG which gave me GLOBETROTTER. Helped by AESOPS FABLES going straight in. I admit I biffed a lot.
    So thanks for blog, William. LOI OUTSIDE.
  22. I found it OK, braincells are functioning reasonably well at the moment.

    Only real hold up was due to bunging in a careless SWEETBRIAR, then puzzling over A?R???A and then A?R?I?A once I’d got BELLICOSE.

    Finally realised that there was no A in the anagrist, corrected the error and got AIRLINE.


  23. 5:26 this morning. I have to say I found this the most challenging QC for a while but others seemed to have breezed through it.
    I felt that the grid, with fewer than average short clues, and the clues themselves (several at 15 x 15 level in my opinion) could have made it a toughie for newcomers. If so I would advise people not to be discouraged and use William’s blog as a very good source of information on structuring solutions.
    Like many others, got off to a flying start with 1 ac “Aesop’s Fables” which provided immediate assistance for the early down clues. LOI 15 ac “caller” which proved stubborn until I got rid of the notion of trying to insert “i” within “cal”.
    COD (among several candidates) 2 d “etiquette”
    Thanks to William for a fine blog and to Hurley for the workout
  24. Tricky for me today at nearly half an hour. Have been doing it in dribs and drabs though which I don’t think helped.

    I got stuck on airline where I wanted ad at the start and caller as explained above. I was also tempted by sweet briar but trusted the anagrind and hoped for the best.
    FOI Acolyte
    LOI Airline
    COD Bellicose

  25. A question for all you mercans who pronounce buoy as boo-ey; do you pronounce buoyancy as boo-eyancy. I don’t think so. That would be very odd.
  26. As I had some urgent work to do, I stopped the clock after 13 minutes with one to go, fully intending to finish a bit later. But on my return I still couldn’t see it, so a DNF today. I’ve got a headache, so perhaps I’ll blame that.
    Like Plett, I wondered if CAILLE was a thing for a bit!
    23a reminded me of a teaser I first heard 45 odd years ago: ‘A boy and a buoy both needed rescuing – the lifeguards picked up both b(u)oys. Easy enough to say, but how would you write that?’ It still puzzles me after all this time – and the answer isn’t THAT!
    FOI Aesops Fables
    LOI DNF – couldn’t see AIRLINE
    WOD Twerp
    Thanks Hurley and William
  27. ….that was tricky, and it was soon evident that I would miss my target. A very good QC.

    FOI AESOP’S FABLES (Saw it at once !)
    LOI DOTTED (Should have seen it at once !)
    COD BUOY (not ‘bouy’ you twit !)
    TIME 6:05 (may still be my slowest of the month on New Year’s Eve !)

  28. Much more of a challenge today. We forgot the greek connection for 1a which did not help, then seemed to proceed in fits and starts. Finished eventually in 40 m. Ianelin.
  29. Straightforward until the last 3, Bellicose, Sweetbrier (NHO) and for some reason Caller. Had to guess the rose in the end.
  30. Back in the slow lane today. I convinced myself that 15a was a French Republican called Latour (LA tour — one visiting California). Overthinking it perhaps? Failed miserably on afoot, went for adopt with v little confidence.
  31. Struggled today with the longer answers. Over 20 mins and then DNF with CALLER which I didn’t enter as I couldn’t parse it. Is CAL really an abbreviation for California? I thought it was CA.

    COD to HEADSTRONG which I could not get but Mrs Prof did instantly. No comment.

    Thanks Hurley and William for blog which must take ages and much appreciated as always

  32. Some hard clues here so DNF. Kicking ourselves over some we failed on, but if there is a NHO for the blogger, what hope do newbies have? Dave and Sal
  33. FOI AESOPS FABLES. The setter enjoyed BUOY knowing full well that the American and English pronunciations are so very different. What fun! Indeed ostriches cannot fly but then neither can we, both use a 20ac! COD 7dn SWEETBRIER.
  34. What a super puzzle — great fun! Took us 15 minutes to complete.

    COD: too many to choose from

    Thanks William and Hurley.

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