Times Quick Cryptic 2200 by Hurley


Solving time: 8 minutes


I found this pretty straightforward with no unknown words or meanings. How did you do?

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Somewhere to discuss university cutting class? (5)
U (university) contained by [cutting] FORM (class)
4 Conservative girl in charge in Derby? (7)
C (Conservative), LASS (girl), IC (in charge). The 5 English Classic horse races are The 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket; The Oaks and The Derby at Epsom Downs; The St Leger Stakes at Doncaster.
8 Pilot beginning to advance by way of hill (7)
A{dvance} (beginning), VIA (by way of), TOR (hill)
9 Excellence of French waters, exactly what’s needed (5)
MER (French waters – sea), IT (exactly what’s needed – that’s it!)
10 Unusual demo car men seize (10)
Anagram [unusual] of DEMO CAR MAN
14 Bookmaker getting new starter, this inexperienced person? (6)
BOOKIE (bookmaker) ‘getting a new starter’ becomes ROOKIE
15 Like some humour found in Cairo, nice (6)
Hidden [found] in {ca}IRO NIC{e}
17 Organising opera, sir? I’m someone who maybe can help? (10)
Anagram [organising] of OPERA SIR I’M. The definition is &lit.
20 One stealing article I put inside, fearful initially (5)
I contained by [put inside] THE (definite article), F{earful} [initially]
22 Get through exam period — a journey (7)
PASS (get through exam), AGE (period)
23 After review rector accommodating a person who’s inventive (7)
Anagram [after review] of RECTOR, containing [accommodating] A
24 Leave   resort in Croatia (5)
Two meanings
1 Pastry enthusiast welcoming learner (4)
FAN (enthusiast) containing [welcoming] L (learner)
2 Bar   means of transport (4)
Two meanings
3 Object from space encountered below at intervals? Correct, we hear (9)
MET (encountered), {b}E{l}O{w} [at intervals], then RITE sounds like [we hear] “right” (correct)
4 Italian city supporting Church element that shines (6)
CH (church), ROME (Italian city)
5 Purpose of action is missed first of all (3)
A{ction} + I{s} + M{issed} [first of all]
6 Cloth worker becoming police officer (8)
SERGE (cloth), ANT (worker). Other types of sergeant are available so this is an unsignalled DBE (Definition by Example), something we’ve learned to care less about these days.
7 Note new picture is less expensive (3-5)
C (note – music), then anagram [new] of PICTURE
11 Plant US drugs policeman is at the outset setting up secretly (9)
NARC (US drugs policeman), IS, then S{ettitng} + U{p} + S{ecretly} [at the outset]. ‘Narc’ is US slang for ‘narcoctics agent’.
12 Aesthetically pleasing section of chart is ticked (8)
Hidden in [section of] {ch}ART IS TIC{ked}
13 Power or composure this sea creature has (8)
P (power), OR, POISE (composure)
16 Holidaymaker’s escapade entertaining Mike (6)
CAPER (escapade) containing [entertaining] M (Mike – NATO alphabet)
18 Time everyone finds hard to believe (4)
T (time), ALL (everyone). A tall story is hard to believe.
19 Gamble full of Northern flair (4)
BET (gamble) containing [full of] N (Northern). To have a bent for something is to have a natural ability or interest in it.
21 In good health, suitable (3)
Two meanings

76 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2200 by Hurley”

  1. 16:16, we’re looking at a good week, you guys.

    OK i didn’t fully parse everything, I didn’t know tor = hill, what an impresario is, serge = cloth and I definitely did not know that there’s a place in Croatia called split. But everything else was very generous so easy to biff.

    Foi: Flan
    Loi: Split. I had to alphabet trawl a bit for a word that means leave and I still don’t think it sounds particularly Slavic
    Cod: impresario

    Thank you 😀

    1. Nice one Tina, I was trailing in just behind you

      NHO SERGE either. Was glad to unravel the IMPRESARIO anagram in a few seconds off only two checkers.

      1. I feel good about this week, L Plates!

        (watch tomorrow be an Izetti full of church words I don’t know)

      2. Serge from Nimes (a French city) is universally known as Serge de Nimes, contracted to Denim.

    2. Split in Croatia was in the news a lot in the early nineties, during the break up of Yugoslavia. When Lord Owen was appointed as the EU peace negotiator he was referred to in some newspapers as “Lord Owen of Split” in a reference to the way he had twice resigned from political parties to set up new ones.

      1. Haha wow, that’s cool. I will totally remember it now, thank you.

        I don’t remember much of the Yugoslavian break up, just that a lot of little kids from the Balkans ended up in my classes.

  2. Came in 20 seconds over Tina’s time- slow down, Tina,give me a chance! Had trouble with MERIT as I thought of du, de, eau, lac first before mer came to mind. When I figured out what “it” was for,MERIT had to be my COD. Also slow on METEORITE as I misinterpreted meteor as the object from space so was looking at everything from wrong angle. I always enjoy the bookie to rookie device. Thanks for explaining Derby – I only thought of football derbies- and also for rest of blog.

  3. 4:03. When I have the luxury of talking to myself while solving I usually have a much easier go of it!

  4. No problems, but sluggish from start to finish. Didn’t even notice the DBE. 6:52.

  5. I couldn’t quite click all the buttons fast enough to go sub-1o but I’m happy enough to start the week all green in 10.02. Six on the first pass of the acrosses and then good progress on the downs with the exception of the NE where SERGEANT and AIM held me up – AIM because the misdirection got me (maim doesn’t mean action etc etc). Helpful clueing of NARCISSUS for those who might have struggled to spell it beforehand. Good one!

  6. 18 minutes.
    FOI: FLAN then just a steady work through finishing with LOI: BENT.
    Wordplay was very helpful along the way, especially with the two nine-letter downs.
    Favourite: CAMPER.

  7. 7.52

    Like Kevin a bit sluggish but more so. FILO (pastry four letters beginning with F with an L in the middle) delayed AVIATOR while ISM (don’t ask) delayed CLASSIC . And also MERIT my LOI.


    Thanks Jackkt and Hurley

  8. Gentle start to the week, although LOI BENT went in with a shrug as I’d forgotten that it could mean flair. I always feel that IMPRESARIO should have a double ‘s’ in the middle so was grateful that it was kindly clued and I spent a short time wondering how to fit DEA into the flower, until checkers ruled it out.
    Finished in 6.31 with COD to PORPOISE.
    Thanks to Jack

  9. A lovely smooth crossword from Hurley. IMPRESARIO a great COD. Thanks Hurley and Jack, 4:36.

  10. 1135 King Henry I dies, succeeded by Stephen, chaos ensues

    11:35, so a solid start to the week. Off to a bad start at 1d where F- – – just had to be FILO(=pastry), but that meant “fio” for “enthusiast”, which I eventually decided wasn’t right. I also wanted 4a, C – – – – – – C to be “ceramic” (Derby is a ceramic). That would lead to a girls name of “Eram”, which I couldn’t get all fio about.


    1. “… chaos ensues”. Something of an understatement; contemporaries called Stephen’s reign “The Anarchy” and said it was a time “when God and his Angels slept”! Indeed the next king, Henry II, was so keen to airbrush the disaster of Stephen’s reign out of history when he came to the throne in 1154 that he pointedly tried to return the kingdom to 1135 as if the last 19 years had not taken place, and many of his charters* and laws refer back to “the time of my grandfather King Henry I”.

      (* including the oldest charter still in existence, granted to the Weavers livery company in 1155 – you can still see it at the London Guildhall. History indeed)


  11. A good Monday puzzle. Completed (and parsed) a minute under target. It felt quicker which I find to be a good sign – it means I have been fully absorbed and the time whizzes by. Strangely, I ended up in the NE corner with LOI MERIT.
    A smooth puzzle with too many nice clues to pick out a favourite.
    Thanks to Hurley and jackkt.

  12. 21:45 elapsed, solved in 16:45 excluding five min phone call from 2-min to 7-min which also broke my rhythm. Claiming back-to-back SCC escapes and 5-in-a-row as new achievements!

    Was a satisfying solve today as nothing was biffed and everything needed a second look or working out. Answers dotted all over the place, some linked others not.

    Only major difficulty was not being able to think of ending for METEOR— so vaccillated to some version of asteroid even though the MET- beginning seemed clear.

    LOI – RAIL
    COD – lots to like today but PASSAGE for use of period=age

    Thanks to Jackkt and Hurley 🙂

    1. Five a row!!!

      Oh L plates, the snitch says that today’s big puzzle might be alright to attempt?

      1. You go for it … busy day ahead so I’ll see where I’m at this evening for time available.

        1. I succeeded in less than 1 hour, so that means a low snitch.

          You’ll like 17d, so at least take a look at that clue.

          1. Nice!

            Took me about two hours to complete with 4 checks – not too bad.

            Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

            1. I’ve had a frantic day, hence the VERY late post, but I’m so glad you found the clue in the biggie. I thought of you immediately and would have recommended it if I’d had time 😅 Well done on your success too – I got stuck on two.

  13. About 15 minutes with a delay caused by putting NEWBIE at 14a. I think this word appeared in a puzzle recently and I just wrote it in without parsing properly-big mistake.
    As a result my last two were ARTISITIC and PORPOISE.
    Some good clues; I liked MERIT in particular.

  14. 19 mins…

    A nice start to the week I thought. Main issues were the SW corner, with 12dn “Artistic”, 13dn “Porpoise” and 17ac “Impresario” taking a while to unravel. 19dn felt a little archaic.

    At a risk of being pedantic (or more likely wrong), I’m assuming the “element” for 4dn refers to a piece or thing rather than the technical term – as I thought the actual element was Chromium and Chrome referred to plating etc…

    FOI – 1ac “Forum”
    LOI – 17ac “Impresario”
    COD – 22ac “Passage” – mainly because exam results are due soon…

    Thanks as usual!

  15. As per Kevin and Dvynys, a bit sluggish. Maybe the residual heat.

    Getting the hidden ARTISTIC opened up the bottom half for me, and I finished with CAMPER. IMPRESARIO was my favourite today, though I also liked CLASSIC. METEORITE was a good example of a clue where you unpack the constituent parts.


  16. Steady work out and just squeezed into the club at 20:25 without any holdup and all parsed, largely top to bottom. COD METEORITE
    Thanks Hurley and Jack

  17. Like Plett above, I would have spelled impresario with a double S, so the clueing certainly helped there. I ended up completing in just a shade over 11 minutes, so pleased enough with that. IT stumped me for a while in MERIT until the penny dropped. As this is QC2200 I had a quick look for some kind of celebratory theme, but saw nothing of interest – I guess the milestone is too minor to be recognised. Thanks both.

  18. Clearly thinking too much about football when it came to Italian cities – it was always unlikely that the QC would go for CHROMA, although I think I can just about justify it if I try hard.

  19. Great puzzle, much enjoyed. Not too easy, not too difficult. Liked CLASSIC, SERGEANT, SPLIT, AVIATOR and the Alice in Wonderland joke, “ no wise fish would go anywhere without a PORPOISE.”
    Thanks all, esp Jack.

  20. This is my first post on this forum although I have been lurking for several months. I came in at a few seconds over 7 minutes (timed on the kitchen clock!) which I suspect is a PB. I seem to be getting better at QCs – might risk today’s 15×15 later.

    1. An impressive time for a first-time poster. But fair’s fair, you have to post your PWs, DNFs and SCC memberships.

      Welcome, come on in, the water’s nice….

      1. OK. Now that I have been welcomed into the club I promise I will post the best and worst of my solves.

  21. On fire today and all done and parsed for a 6:11 finish – an exact time for a change as rather unusually I did it on a screen not on paper, and since my fingers range from fat to very fat indeed, if one took out the mistypes and retypes it could even have been more like 5½ minutes and a near PB. But I’ll settle for 6 and a very rare sub-1K, for a very enjoyable start to the week.

    Particularly liked the Cloth worker Serge-ant; new to me and very clever I thought, though I suspect a chestnut. Only minor hold-up was Tall = Hard to believe, as without “story” in the clue it took a moment to see what was going on.

    Many thanks to Jack for the blog

  22. Managed to squeeze this into a sub-20, despite some self-inflicted diversions in Rein and Chroma in the NW. Both could just about work, but Rail and Chrome were fortunately much better fits. Rookie also took some working out, so the pdm was very apt 🙄 CoD to 13d, Porpoise, for the mental image of Flipper with attitude. Invariant

  23. A nice puzzle from Hurley and one seemingly appreciated by all. I completed a couple of minutes inside target at 7.57, in spite of being harassed by my three grandchildren who are with us till later in the week.
    Visited Split about ten years ago on a holiday to Croatia, prior to staying in the lovely Dubrovnik. Would recommend it as a destination for anyone considering it.

  24. A comfortable 8:40. I wondered briefly if CEROME (4dn) was a shiny element but then engaged brain.

  25. Finally a good time! All parsed and completed in just over 15 mins – probably my best showing (ever). No unknown words but RAIL was my LOI by a couple of minutes or so – really not sure why now – steady solve otherwise. Enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks to Hurley and Jack. Like others, may try the 15 x 15 later…

    1. Well done – sltrach. Very satisfying when it’s all done and dusted so quickly, isn’t it? 🙂

  26. FOI RAIL, LOI COMMANDEER. No dramas. Liked PORPOISE. 7:15. Thanks Hurley and Jack.

  27. Rattled through the top half in double-quick time but came to a halt further down. Eventually wound up with just 13dn and 17ac left. I struggled with the anagram at 17ac – absent 13dn the checkers were not unduly helpful. In fact all the anagrams held me up today and I had to write them all out. Clearly this area of my brain has melted in last week’s heat. In fact I seem to have found this harder than most others, coming home in a sluggish 21 mins, all parsed. Enjoyable puzzle nonetheless.

    FOI – 1ac FORUM
    LOI – 13dn PORPOISE

    Thanks to Hurley and to Jack

  28. Da da da da – a PB today at a few seconds over 12 minutes! Thanks Hurley.
    Very much enjoyed NARCISSUS.

    Not sure about MERIT meaning excellence. Surely to have merit is pretty good but not the best? I know ‘Order of Merit’ etc but have always thought of it as ‘well done, good job’ rather than ‘that was excellent’. Apologies to any OM holders on this blog.


  29. A good start to the week i always encouraging. 22 minutes, which is fast for me. I couldn’t get stated until I was half-way through the across clues, but I then succeeded in filling the entire bottom half of the grid before moving back up.

    Like someone above, I nearly went for FILO at 1d, and I kept oscillating between SERGEANT and SaRGEANT before deciding correctly. My LOI was MERIT, which I had to alphabet trawl – French being one of my very many weak points.

    Many thanks to Hurley and Jack.

  30. My times has sergeant as incorrect as shows the correct answer with an a. That being the case does the clue hold up. Sarge cloth, never heard of it

    1. In my electronic edition both the main paper and the Crossword Club have SERGEANT as the correct answer.

  31. A slow start which did not fill me with confidence. However, as I persevered the answers kept coming, enabling me to surprise myself by completing this with no aids.

    I had heard of impresario but did not know what it meant. Once I was sure it was the answer I entered it and then checked the dictionary for the definition.

  32. 4:26 this morning. A not too demanding start to the week from Hurley with a nicely pitched QC.
    Liked 17 ac “impresario” and 13 d “porpoise”.
    Thanks to Jack and setter.

  33. Still learning and still DNF, but I enjoyed the clues I managed. I think my problem is not being able to identify the type of clue, as when I completed the across clues after reading the blog, I managed to complete almost all the remaining down clues. Many thanks for the helpful blog.

    1. Good work Ian. Sounds like the checkers helped – I certainly find I need them some days 🙂

  34. Spelling impresario incorrectly did not help us with 3d. Otherwise a pleasant start to the week. Thanks Hurley.

  35. A nice start to the week, all finished in 9:18 for a rare sub-10 minute time. FOI FORUM, LOI MERIT, COD PORPOISE. Biffed NARCISSUS: needed the blog to point out the NARC. Thanks to Hurley & Jack.

  36. 13.59 for me, not a PB but very satisfactory. Liked PORPOISE and AVIATOR but couldn’t parse MERIT. A good start to the week.

  37. 10:16

    Just outside a very rare 10 minutes as was slow to see LOI ARTISTIC as a hidden word. No real hold ups otherwise.

  38. Not much left for me to say as I agree with nearly all of your comments. Gentle and fun. I don’t time myself but I was in the region of 15 mins.

  39. A late solve by the fire with a dram. Nothing to report other than 07:20 for 1.1K and a Decent Day.

    Many thanks Jack and Hurley.


  40. Worked steadily through and got there in reasonable time. CUT PRICE, PORPOISE and IMPRESARIO took longest to get.

  41. I’ll never forget my In-laws’ reaction when I told them we were going to SPLIT. Nice place. Nice puzzle, finished inside ten minutes. FOI AVIATOR, LOI PASSAGE, COD BENT. Thanks, Hurley and Jack

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