Times Quick Cryptic 2047 by Wurm

I’ve been off the ball recently, with another sluggish solve today. Your comments will tell if we’re in a tough patch, or if it’s just me.

I had to solve this grid in four quarters – none of the checkers that spilled over helped, so I had to start again each time. I must have spent at least 2 minutes staring at 17ac, but also had difficulty with 10dn and 16dn. I notice very concise definitions throughout, a propos of nothing.

Definitions underlined.

1 Unmarried albeit excited in church (8)
CELIBATE – anagram of (excited) ALBEIT contained by (in) CE (Church of England, church). I only knew this word to mean ‘sexless’, but my dictionary has ‘unmarried’ as the first entry.
5 Frond in meadow flower’s opening (4)
LEAF – LEA (meadow) and the first letter of (…’s opening) Flower.
8 Calcium put into cosmetic cream for spot (8)
LOCATION – CA (Ca, calcium) contained by (put into) LOTION (cosmetic cream).
9 French wine to embrace European mood (4)
VEIN – VIN (French wine) containing (to embrace) E (European).
11 Proletariat accepting start of Latin’s polite comment (10)
PLEASANTRY – PEASANTRY (proletariat) containing (accepting) the first letter of (start of) Latin.
14 Show English model receiving kiss (6)
EXPOSE – E (English), then POSE (model) next to (recieving) X (kiss).
15 An anthropoid ape shunning ill goat (6)
ANGORA – AN, then GORillA (anthropoid ape) deleting (shunning) ‘ill’.
17 Punish one following teacher round at home (10)
DISCIPLINE – DISCIPLE (one following teacher) containing (round) IN (at home).
20 Knock back beer, some amount, in style (4)
ELAN – reversal of (knock back) ALE, then N (some amount).
21 Thoughtless ace rival shot (8)
CAVALIER – anagram of (shot) ACE RIVAL.
22 Going into Tolstoy, staged plays (4)
TOYS – hidden in (going into) tolsTOY Staged.
23 Robust law changed in shock (8)
STALWART – anagram of (changed) LAW contained by (in) START (shock).

1 Leg muscle a little lower? (4)
CALF – double definition. ‘Lo’ = ‘moo’. My CoD.
2 Spike‘s line brilliant (4)
LACE – L (line) and ACE (brilliant). As in spike a drink.
3 Tablets working on joint destroyer? (10)
BATTLESHIP – anagram of (working) TABLETS then HIP (joint).
4 God cross having to secure a chest (6)
THORAX – THOR (god) and X (cross), containing (to secure) A.
6 Choice initially denied in ballot (8)
ELECTION – sELECTION (choice) with the first letter deleted (initially denied).
7 Imagine mum with new lover (5,3)
FANCY MAN – FANCY (imagine), MA (mum), with N (new).
10 Shot said to make cathedral cleric weep (10)
CANNONBALL – sounds like (said to make) “canon” (cathedral cleric), then BALL (weep).
12 Feckless person exhausted (8)
DEADBEAT – double definition.
13 Cooking pasta with soy is treachery (8)
APOSTASY – anagram of (cooking) PASTA and SOY.
16 Physical training to keep climber mostly flexible? (6)
PLIANT – PT (physical training) containing (to keep) all-but-the-last-letter of (mostly) LIANa (climbing plant, climber).
18 Artist banking one grand for capital (4)
RIGA – RA (Royal Academician, artist) containing (banking) I (one) and G (grand).
19 Nasty kid runs into club (4)
BRAT – R (runs) contained by (into) BAT (club).

57 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2047 by Wurm”

  1. I struggled to finish a QC for the second time this week coming home in 25 minutes. DEADBEAT was the one that really did the damage.
  2. I came here in great trepidation. However this was nowhere near as tough as had been reported ‘in the other place’ — The House of Lords.

    FOI 4dn THORAX



    WOD 7dn FANCY MAN — Ena Sharples speak!

    Jack, I am pretty sure we had 13dn DEADBEAT very recently?

  3. Slowed down a bunch by DISCIPLINE and especially DEADBEAT. I see now, in ODE, that British deadbeats, who are indeed feckless, are different from American ones, who try to avoid paying their debts. 7:12.
      1. I put a big red heart on this, Horry. But it has disappeared.
        (DEADBEAT took me a minute because I was trying to see two clue parts for the two words, but there’s only one.)
  4. Another tough day. Struggled over the line in 22m but with an eleVtion. Drat. My laptop is unwell so I’m using the excuse of solving by phone for some of my recent difficulties. Quite enjoyed this, pushed parts of my vocabulary into uncomfortable places.
  5. Spent a long time trying to figure out why an ORANG was the ape at 15ac and nho Liana but got there in the end. Thanks for the blog!
  6. Tough one, needed an alphabet search …
    … for the 12D Deadbeat / 17A Discipline combination. With that though, a 12 minute finish.

    Much enjoyed 15A Angora. A textbook example of lift-and-separate — spent some time thinking about ill goats and with the -O-A ending, wondering if I was expected to use an anagram of goat somehow.

    Many thanks to William for the blog

  7. It took us 18 minutes to solve this challenging but enjoyable puzzle today. Like William, we too ended up solving by quadrant with few write ins and a lot of chewy ones.


    Thanks William and Wurm.

  8. Quite a challenging QC which cleverly sucked me in at first with (mostly) easy short answers and then floored me with some of the long answers. I shared the problems mentioned above, esp. DEADBEAT, DISCIPLINE (obvious as soon as it clicked), CANNONBALL, and my LOI PLEASANTRY. I rather liked CELIBATE (my FOI), APOSTASY, and CAVALIER.
    Good puzzle which took me over target but I did manage to avoid the SCC. Thanks to Wurm and William. John M.

    Edited at 2022-01-12 06:41 pm (UTC)

  9. I think the blogger is quite correct when they ask if we have been in a tough patch. I have not been able to get anywhere with any of the QCs lately. Today was a real struggle. I have never heard of the word “ELAN”. I got the ALE part of it, but that last letter eluded me. An aid showed me that “some amount” can be “n”. I put Elan and kept my fingers crossed.

    Other than that I managed to answer all clues. But…for some reason I put “BRUT” instead of “BRAT” giving me an incorrect answer, and therefore a DNF.

    32 minutes.

        1. Pop over to YouTube to see the 1978 Parker Pen commercial ‘Finishing School’ starring Penelope Keith. She tells the gals that ‘the Parker ‘Roller-ball’ is a pen with style, a pen with elan.’
    1. I got nowhere near completing this — although I did know elan — but only from previous crosswords — so you will know of it next time with luck and enduring brain cells…and yet I finish some in 15 minutes compared to your (improving) times.
      So congratulations on your effort today.
      I would say that you are going to get pretty good at this game…
  10. Just made it inside 15 minutes, but it was a push. Plenty of words to like here, and some good clues that kept me on my toes. Thanks William and Wurm.
  11. That was a cracking puzzle, which really stretched me. Only 6 of the acrosses fell at first pass and even after the downs the bottom of the grid (especially in the SE corner) was looking distinctly threadbare. Lots to chew on and thoroughly enjoyable.

    FOI CELIBATE, LOI DEADBEAT, COD FANCY MAN, time 16:14 for 2.3K which would normally be a Bad Day but I enjoyed the puzzle so much I’m giving this a Fun Day rating!

    Many thanks Wurm and William.


  12. Tricky for me too. I had to check celibate because it has come to mean abstaining rather than single I believe. Rev Richard Coles, for example, described himself as celibate for example. Also I think cavalier has come to mean devil may care rather than unthinking per se. Good challenge though – thanks!
  13. ….but it wasn’t a walk in the park. Nicely clued, and completely fair — thank you Wurm.

    TIME 4:48

  14. I gave up at the 15 minutes mark staring at -E-D-E-T (12d). I’m rather glad I didn’t try yet another alphabet trawl, it would have made no difference. The SW corner proved tricky with APOSTASY needing all the checkers, ELAN not fully parsed and DISCIPLINE being my final entry.

    On a more positive note, I had a go at the Monday 15×15 which was recommended in the QC blog that day. I romped home, with all correct, in an unheard of 14:34. Thanks to all for the tip-off.

    Edited at 2022-01-12 10:49 am (UTC)

  15. Should have been the Christmas puzzle, this was a cracker. Thoroughly enjoyed, almost beaten, had to have three goes at it, all but two in about half an hour, lace went in a bit later, and I had to put it all in the online version to do an alphabet trawl for deadbeat. I was “dead” lucky as I decided to concentrate on the third letter, so when I put in the “a” it checked as right. Then, and only then, I saw it. What a PDM. Some parsing nuances gained from William’s blog – on leaf, thorax and pliant, in which I did not see the liana. No, William, it’s not just you, you’re all right! Thanks for the blog, and thanks to Wurm for this puzzle that really needed us to be on our mettle.

    Edited at 2022-01-12 10:50 am (UTC)

  16. Otherwise pottered steadily through. FOI CELIBATE.
    Worried about BATTLESHIP as obviously, as all the Navy chaps will affirm, it is not a Destroyer (but it destroys, I suppose)
    Liked, among other good clues, CAVALIER, LOCATION, ANGORA, PLEASANTRY, VEIN, ELAN.
    Thanks vm, William.

  17. Another DNF, with towel thrown at 20 mins. With the checkers I didn’t think of a double word like this, as ending in “ENT” seemed to yield plenty of near-misses. As for DISCIPLINE, I went for “MISS+I” (I following teacher) as a likely start. Also considered SIR, MASTER but did not think about “one following” being part of the definition. Fair misdirection from Wurm.

    “Fancy Man”, that seems straight from a 70s sitcom like “On the Buses” or “The Liver Birds”

    COD CANNONBALL and CALF. Both good.

    I joined the crowd who PB-ed the 15×15 on Monday. Got an unheard of time of 21:31

    Edited at 2022-01-12 11:54 am (UTC)

    1. I had pretty much the same experience with those same two clues! Abandoned ship after about 15 minutes, returned after doing the 15×15 but still no success 😟 Not a good day, although I did finish the biggie — not in quite the same time as Monday though. Got hammered at Scrabble with friends this afternoon too!
      FOI Celibate
      COD Location
      Thanks Wurm and William
  18. CELIBATE got me off to a quick start and I made good progress until I was left with 12d, 17a and 10d. DEADBEAT came to me first, which allowed me to biff and reverse engineer DISCIPLINE, then CANNONBALL hove into view when I wrote out the crossing letters on paper. 7:27. Thanks Wurm and William.
  19. Well, I’m glad I started this in the NW corner because the rest of the grid was a minefield. Loi Deadbeat took me over the 30min mark, so I again missed the coach, but really just grateful to finish. CoD to 17ac Discipline for the pdm. Invariant
  20. I had to look at this because people on the 15×15 blog had said this was tricky, and I was curious. For a long time it all seemed pretty straightforward, but like others I was stymied by DEADBEAT and DISCIPLINE and after 18 minutes I used aids. Had my doubts about celibate = unmarried.

    Edited at 2022-01-12 12:13 pm (UTC)

  21. Effectively a DNF, as needed aid to find 17ac (I’d been trying to find something to follow a word for teacher. DEADBEAT then guessed as unsure just what ‘feckless’ means — so submitted off-board at about 40 minutes, and surprised to see no pinks.

    Edited at 2022-01-12 01:27 pm (UTC)

  22. A MER perhaps about apostasy=treachery at 13d, as I don’t think that giving up a religion can ever be treason. Also, to me celibate really means chaste or virginal rather than simply not married; celibate would include say RC clergy as long as they behave themselves, whether or not they had had sex before taking the cloth. Oddly the RC church accepted married CofE clergy as long as they didn’t marry anyone new after say being widowed.
  23. My first trip to the SCC for some time. I always approach Wurm’s puzzles with a sense of trepidation and today’s lived up to expectations. Usually when I struggle it’s because I can’t see the wordplay but with Wurm it tends to be the definitions that are the problem for me. CELIBATE, APOSTASY, DEADBEAT and STALWART were typical examples today – all perfectly fair but not exactly the first thing to springs to mind.
    Finished in 20.39 with LOI PLEASANTRY.
    Thanks to william and well played Wurm
  24. For the second day on the trot I’ve had an issue with the SW corner, so I’m glad it wasn’t just me that found this difficult. After 30 mins I had to throw in the proverbial towel.

    A few of the blanks I don’t really have an excuse for if I’m being honest. 10dn “Cannonball” should have been a write in, as should 12dn “Deadbeat” and 17ac “Discipline”. I must remember 20ac “Elan” (I’m sure it’s been on here loads of times) and 13dn “Apostasy”.

    Ah well – there’s always tomorrow.

    FOI – 1ac “Celibate”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 7dn “Fancy Man”

    Thanks as usual!

  25. Over my target for the second day in a row, although not as badly so as yesterday. Relieved to see that others struggled with this one. Hardly got any of the across clues on first read through but did manage the all-important 1ac which helped when I came to the downs. Never parsed angora or battleship, so thanks to William for explaining those two. Also had a MER at CELIBATE as I think it would be possible to be celibate and married, although Collins has it as unmarried so who am I to argue.

    FOI – 1ac CELIBATE
    LOI – 12dn DEADBEAT
    COD – a tie between 11ac PLEASANTRY and 10dn CANNONBALL, both of which made me smile.

    Thanks to Wurm for a fine xwd.

  26. Finished inside 7 minutes so must have been on the wavelength. Deadbeat my LOI.

    Jim R

  27. I was much taken with 12dn Deadbeat as I knew both American and English usages. I had a Mitfordian English friend who used the term endlessly, with an indecent expletive thrown in for good measure. Resounding! My COD.
  28. … for having the temerity to record a PB on Monday. I tackled yesterday’s Teazel this morning, but putting POPPET instead of MOPPET gave me a 50-minute DNF. I tackled today’s Wurm this afternoon, but I DNF’d again (in 52 minutes) by putting PLEASANTLY instead of PLEASANTRY. Two very tough crosswords (IMO), spoiled by two foolish errors.

    Today, I really struggled with the lower half of the grid.DEADBEAT (my LOI), DISCIPLINE, PLIANT (NHO liana), BRAT and CAVALIER all put up massive resistance, and I had to endure long periods making no progress at all. Once I’d finished it was Mrs Random who kindly pointed out that I had erred on PLEASANTRY. She’s so helpful!

    Actually, Mrs R also found it hard going today, but she finished all correct in 43 minutes. Her time would have been several minutes quicker had she had the confidence to go with LACE without parsing it. The definition eluded her for too long.

    Many thanks to Wurm and William

  29. Nice puzzle. Got there but took a while. I am always impressed with the way so many of you know your FOI from your LOI for example. I know my LOI today was 1 across. But after that no idea how it went. I think my LOI was 12dn. But…..

    I like following this site. It is so helpful and interesting. Thank you all.


    1. I only know my FOI etc because I do these on paper and mark them as I go! It always amazes me that I can’t remember anything when I’ve done it online, even if it was just a few minutes earlier 😅
      Good to see you — hope you’ll visit more often
    2. Fred mate! I use a thing called a pen to do my crosswords, which I print out on to paper. I then bung in all the letters and indicate my FOI & LOI etc with said instrument so, that I know where I am. I do not use a mobil/cell phone so that no one else knows where I am!
  30. Complete failure
    SWMBO has a mer about calf muscle as that is not terminologically correct
  31. Zipped through the first half so fast I thought a rare sub-10 was on the cards but the last few got slower and slower until I was left with PLIANT and STALWART which added an extra 3 minutes before it fell into place.
  32. Like others took a while to get deadbeat. Great blog which helped to explain some of the tricky ones.
  33. Defeated by DISCIPLINE and DEADBEAT. Gave up after 40. I probably should have got the former, but without more informative checkers, I think the latter would have continued to elude. Thanks all.
  34. More suited to the main crossword. Rather depressing for those of us who can sometimes complete the QC but not in with a chance on this one.
  35. Tried this one after seeing it mentioned on the 15×15 blog. Eventually gave up after 28 minutes, with quite a lot of them staring at _E_D_E_T. That’s four minutes more than it took me to successfully finish the 15×15 this morning!

    Edited at 2022-01-12 10:51 pm (UTC)

  36. Excellent puzzle but never a QC. Some lovely clues in there, just a bit harsh for what is supposed to be a quick crossword (e.g. the various layered clues such as BATTLESHIP and PLIANT).

    DEADBEAT took me forever – a cup of tea, then a distraction talking to the builders, then an “ah sod it I’ll use crosswordsolver to get it” and it dropped in out of nowhere while the site was loading.

    Enjoyed it though. Thanks William and Wurm.

Comments are closed.