Times Quick Cryptic 2240 by Hurley


Solving time: 10 minutes


Nothing to scare the horses here I think, but how did you all 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 With embarrassed look, see ship manoeuvring at entrance to harbour (8)
Anagram [manoeuvring] of SEE SHIP, then H{arbour} [entrance]
5 Linger behind   tedious person (4)
Two meanings
8 Sanction program run at London cricket ground (8)
APP (program), R (run), OVAL (London cricket ground). The spelling of ‘program’ helps us with the first bit of wordplay.
9 Unaccompanied part song bringing great delight (4)
Two meanings. ‘Glees’ are unaccompanied part songs from 18th century England not dissimilar from madrigals.
11 Discourage careful eater, initially itching to quit (5)
D{i}ETER (careful eater), [i{tching} initially to quit]
12 Talk about port vehicle (7)
CHAT (talk) containing [about] RIO (port)
13 Servant shortage disheartened Emily (6)
LACK (shortage), E{mil}Y [disheartened]
15 Bad luck, using criminal circles (6)
HOOD (criminal), OO (circles)
18 At the outset so confident, relying on one’s generous ethos — not this guy’s! (7)
S{o} C{onfident} R{relying} O{n} O{ne’s} G{enerous} E{thos} [at the outset]
19 Sweetheart from Florida with armlet oddly selected (5)
FL (Florida), A{r}M{l}E{t} [oddly selected]. Elvis sang about one of these in 1961.
21 To some extent share a productive harvest (4)
Hidden in [to some extent] {sha}RE A P{roductive}
22 Homeless wanderer’s saga with new introduction and promise (8)
Saga becomes VAGA [with new introduction], BOND (promise)
23 Tired, with no energy, making one cautious (4)
W{e}ARY (tired) [with no energy]
24 Newly relive the French morning call for soldiers (8)
Anagram [newly] of RELIVE, then LE (‘the’ in French)
1 Clubs cutting footwear leads to malicious talk (7)
C (clubs – cards) contained by [cutting] SANDAL (footwear)
2 One living abroad formerly — with a light touch (5)
EX (formerly), PAT (light touch)
3 Owner’s torpor ripe for change (10)
Anagram [for change] of TORPOR RIPE
4 Look through some prose, archaic (6)
Hidden in [some} {pro}SE ARCH{aic}
6 Republican, with help from others, made comeback (7)
R (republican), ALLIED (with help from others)
7 Visitor speculated, we hear (5)
Sounds like [we hear] “guessed” (speculated)
10 Arrived to collect old university standard in disguise (10)
CAME (arrived) containing [to collect] O (old) + U (university) + FLAG (standard)
14 Pirate’s surprised expressions on air (7)
CORS (surprised expressions), AIR
16 Do revue, fantastic — that should have happened sooner (7)
Anagram [fantastic] of DO REVUE
17 More than one chap, expert, providing this threat (6)
MEN (more than one chap), ACE (expert)
18 One dramatically tamed in Shropshire town — not half! (5)
SHREW{sbury} (Shropshire town) [not half]. With reference to the Shakespeare play. The town is pronounced ‘Shrowsbury’ – ‘shrow’ to rhyme with ‘crow’.
20 Island area’s first levy (5)
A{rea’s} [first], TOLL (levy)

67 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2240 by Hurley”

  1. I never know what county an English town is in, so ‘Xshire town’ in a clue always scares me, but it’s never necessary to know to solve. I didn’t know of Shrewsbury, let alone that it’s in Shropshire (let alone how to pronounce it), but fortunately ‘one dramatically tamed’ was enough. Also DNK the ‘bad luck’ sense of HOODOO. 5:24.
    Today’s 15×15 is worth having a go at; it has the lowest SNITCH rating in ages.

    1. I join Plymouthian in thanking Kevin for the pointer towards the 15sqd. I finished and thought it was fun but I didn’t find it easy. It kept me quiet for over half an hour, though. John.

        1. Aaagh!! I haven’t done it yet, although I don’t suppose your hint will help in any way 🤔

            1. That’s OK Kevin 😊 TBH I did have an idea of its general meaning, based on my schoolgirl Latin, so it wasn’t a major problem when I got there, but you never know! It was the fibre that was new to me.

  2. 15:52. Pretty straightforward with no big obstacles. Quite a disreputable crew featured today- VAGABOND, CORSAIR, SHREW, MENACE,SCROOGE, and LACKEY. SCANDAL, HOODOO and DRAG seem appropriate for this crowd.

    1. Why doesn’t it surprise me that the majority of people polled in a survey are wrong? 😊

        1. Very brave, Jack, to wade into the quagmire of how to pronounce Shrewsbury! I’m a southerner and I’m with you, but the only person I know who actually lives there insists that it is Shroo-. It’s a Newcarstle/Newcassle thing …

          1. Interesting! My son has recently been on a trip to said town, and every local he spoke to insisted that it’s pronounced like the small animal.

      1. Or as a Monty Python lady says, the majority of wrong-thinking people are right. Bill Bryson, talking with an old resident of Norwich, Vermont, was surprised to hear him pronounce it Norridge. The old man explained that that was how it was called, but immigrants had come to outnumber such as he.

  3. Beaten by GLEE and RALLIED and should have got the latter, but thanks to an un-spotted and fat fingered CHAROIT I was never going to, and no concept of the unaccompanied element of the former so a no complaints, no self-kicking DNF.

    Thanks Hurley and Jackkt

  4. 22 minutes all parsed other than the BIFD GLEE from ‘great delight’ which after reading the blog I would never have as I didn’t know the other meaning.
    LOI: GLEE.
    Favourite: CAMOUFLAGE.

  5. A nice puzzle but I was in too much of a hurry to finish and got careless. Stupidly, I biffed Voodoo as ‘a spell to bring bad luck’ for 15a quite early on when I had the two O crossers. Sadly, I didn’t return to parse it. Otherwise, a fair run after a slow start at the top and I was close to my target time.
    I returned to the top to finish with APPROVAL (which I worked out from the good clueing but was slow to accept as a synonym of sanction) and GLEE, my LOI.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  6. Steady going with a bit of a hold up at the end with DRAG/RALLIED/GLEE. Like Vinyl, was pleased the wordplay was clear for the spelling of CAMOUFLAGE and REVILLE.
    The crossword club is currently telling me that I’m ‘403 forbidden’ so can’t tell you my exact time but it was 8 minutes something.
    Thanks to Jack and I admire your bravery with the pronunciation of SHREWSBURY! I agree with you, but I imagine there are a lot who don’t.

  7. I had VOODOO too and ‘carefully’ parsed 12A as carlift- homophone for left/lift with vehicle and the whole thing meaning a port vehicle – carlift to get on the ferry- the madness of it is making me chuckle as I type. Thankfully camouflage steered me towards chariot. Thanks Hurley and jackkt- will give the 15×15 a stab too.

  8. I enjoyed this, thanks Hurley and jackkt. I think you are more likely to hear Shrowsbury in the south but my friend from there calls it Shrewsbury like as in the aforementioned taming. I think glee is a bit obscure for a quickie but it was the only sensible possibility.

  9. Struggled at the end with this one. Had VOODOO (never heard of HOODOO – the curse of setters making up words to confuse me strikes again 🤣)

    Didn’t get RALLIED nor GLEE.

    I enjoyed this one but was disappointed that I couldn’t finish it.

  10. Well it would have been an on target solve had I managed my LOI. I thought the answer was voodoo but I just couldn’t make sense of the parsing. Then I decided the answer was doo-doo (unhyphenated) because if a bird does a doo-doo on your head that would be bad luck. Although now I think about it the superstition is that it brings you good luck. NHO of HOODOO. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

  11. Finished in 9.10 so inside schedule, but would have been a good deal quicker if I hadn’t originally put in SOLO instead of GLEE which in turn gave me GHOST (Visitor?) instead of GUEST. It was only when I couldn’t get 6dn that I saw the error of my ways.
    Was struggling like others on spelling Camouflage and which way round the I and the E A were in REVEILLE.

  12. EXPAT went in first and SHEEPISH brought up the rear. No dramas. 7:08. Thanks Hurley and Jack.

  13. 11 minutes for a gentle enough start to the week. Considered Voodoo, a word I knew but couldn’t parse, before going with Hoodoo, a word I didn’t know (with that meaning at any rate) but could parse. Score one for trusting the wordplay.

    Pleased that Hurley resisted the temptation to clue “dieter” as a German man’s name. I find it hard enough to get random English names!

    Many thanks to Jack for the blog

  14. No time and a DNF anyway after somehow managing to think SHREW and type SCREW, getting my hot and cold mixed up. They are on opposite sides of the keyboard – goodness knows how I managed that! Otherwise, I enjoyed this puzzle from Hurley and the blog from Jackkt (where I learnt the other meaning of GLEE). Thanks both.

    1. I tried to find an example of glee singing on You Tube to put up as an example but there’s so much cross-over between glees, madrigals and other types of part-song I was unable to find anything suitable that was labelled as such. There are (or used to be) societies called ‘glee clubs’ where people met to socialise and sing this type of music.

      1. I was aware of glee clubs, but thought that was derived from the other definition, referring to the simple joy of singing together. I should have made the connection.

  15. Pulled stumps at the 30min mark after staring at loi 6d R*o*i*d for what seemed like an eternity. Suspected that Sole for 9ac was wrong, but couldn’t think of anything better, as nho Glee for an unaccompanied song. Anyone I’ve ever met from Shrewsbury pronounces it Shroosbury, so I am inclined to go with the locals – though I will always draw the line at Baath. Invariant

  16. All done and parsed in a pleasing 16 minutes. Had to use the wordplay to arrive at the correct spelling for camouflage and the resulting crosser for the correct spelling of reveille. Originally had voodoo in at 15ac but couldn’t parse it, so revised it to hoodoo before finishing. Luckily I knew this word but had to drag it up from the depths. Also knew glee having once sung in a Glee Club. Enjoyable puzzle. I’m always a bit worried when a blogger writes ‘nothing to scare the horses’ because usually mine have been well and truly panicked, but today not so much.

    FOI – 9ac GLEE
    LOI – 6ac DRAG
    COD – 13ac LACKEY

  17. Not a bad crossword I thought, lower end of target range.

    Thankfully I didn’t think of VOODOO for my LOI HOODOO.

    Hard to pick a COD, maybe SHREW. It’s definitely “SHROO”, rather than “SHROW”, at least to my idiolect.


  18. I thought this was going to be on the easy side but got held up in the NE.
    DRAG took a while. I had SOLE but corrected it. DNK the second meaning of GLEE.
    And had an unparsed VOODOO at 15a, hoping for the best.
    That took me 12 minutes but I should have spent longer on 15a. I think HOODOO is quite a common word -especially in the sports pages -but clearly some don’t know it. Perhaps the definition did not point as accurately as it might have done. And I didn’t think of it today.
    PS Attached is James Alexander Gordon reading the football results -you need Division 2 for Shrewsbury :

    1. Thanks, David1. At least in those days one could rely on the BBC to get such matters right!

        1. No, but I’m encouraged that Collins Dictionary and the Shorter Oxford have it right in their pronunciation sound files.

          1. To be fair, I meant we no longer get the classified football results on BBC radio – although I agree that Collins etc can be trusted.

  19. Undone by the curse of 15a! I put Voodoo, despite being unable to parse it, because I completely forgot about Hood as a gangster / criminal. Otherwise it would have been quite a speedy solve in 8:18. Oh well, onto the biggie.
    FOI Sheepish LOI (but wrong) Hoodoo
    Thanks Hurley and Jack

  20. I was brought up to say Shroo, but after working for ten years with people from Shropshire, it now sounds silly.

  21. A quick 16 mins for me today but unfortunately I also had voodoo, so my celebration was short lived. Didn’t know the other meaning of GLEE so this wasn’t parsed. Otherwise all seemed fairly straightforward. My friends in Shrewsbury pronounce it ‘shrew’ not ‘shrow’ – and so it continues…! My iPad version doesn’t say who the setter is today – not sure why. Many thanks to an uncredited Hurley and to Jack.

  22. Seven today.

    Many thanks for the kind words of advice on Friday. I have ordered the book of QCs.

    I even managed two on the 15×15.

    1. That’s brilliant! I too used the QC books as a way in – it’s so helpful to practice.

  23. DNF after 30 mins with GLEE and RALLIED unsolved. I am happy to learn the origin of Glee clubs – I wonder if anyone joining one is actually expecting the unaccompanied singing rather than the great delight!

    Other than that a fairly straightforward solve with COD to CAMOUFLAGE which, like others, I would not have known how to spell without the clue’s direction.

    Thanks Jackkt and Hurley.

  24. I put Voodoo even though I thought of Hood for criminal. D’oh! NHO of Hoodoo, didn’t think it could possibly be a word.

  25. All correct in 38 minutes and all-but-one fully parsed, but still a strange solve for me. My first 8 clues went unsolved, but SCROOGE, FLAME and REAP kick-started things and I solved all but 3 of the down clues on my first pass (an unheard of achievement). Coming back to the across clues slowed me right down again and getting to the finish line at all was quite a struggle.

    I misspelled REVEILLE at first, but CAMOUFLAGE helped me spot my error. GLEE remained unparsed, as I DNK the other meaning. HOODOO was my LOI, but I had vOODOO to start with and I only saw the correct solution because I refused to put down my pencil without a more rigorous alphabet trawl.

    Many thanks to Hurley and jackkt.

  26. 13:01 here, after a slow start with LACKEY my FOI. Then the left hand side yielded reasonably steadily, and MENACE gave me a way into the other half. I had heard of glee clubs, but didn’t know of “a glee”, so thanks for that, Jack. MER at “linger behind” for DRAG, but it couldn’t really be anything else. COD SCROOGE, very neat.

  27. Just to confuse the issue. My husband went to the famous public school in Shrewsbury. He says that the school is pronounced Shrow and the town Shrew!

  28. 21 mins…but then a dnf as I spelt 24ac “Reveille” wrong.

    A nice puzzle overall. Nearly put “Applauds” for 8ac but couldn’t see the homophone and then realised it was “Approval” – very clever.

    Only knew 9ac “Glee” from the TV programme (not that I ever watched it of course)

    FOI – 11ac “Deter”
    LOI – 6dn “Rallied”
    COD – 15ac “Hoodoo”

    Thanks as usual!

  29. Learning how to do cryptic crosswords is new to me, I only started doing them in July of this year. I did this one in record time for me, just over 47 minutes. I know I am part of the SCC and may always be but I was excited to do it that quick. Sometimes I think I am at a disadvantage because I live on the other side of the pond. British phrases, people, and geography stump me often.


    Thanks so much to this website and the people who post here because it provides another resource to help me learn.


    1. Keep up the good work! You’ve been doing these puzzles for 3 months – I’ve been doing them for 47 years! (Okay, I started a precociously early age!)
      Your comments about the “Britishness” of several types of clues is well made. I know if the boot was on the other shoe, I’d be struggling with baseball terminology, state capitols, mountain peaks and so on. If you’re really keen, get the appropriate lists on-line and swot them up!

      1. Thanks, I have been doing word puzzles for decades but never got cryptics. Cricket terms and Cockney rhyming slang are tough also. I am slowly picking all these things up.

  30. Slow to stat, very fast middle, then hit CHARIOT, GLEE, DRAG and RALLIED. CHARIOT let me in. All green in a surprisingly fast 13.

  31. 5:11 late this afternoon. Chauffeuring and painting a fence, on what may have been possibly the last warm sunny day of the year up here, took up most of the day.
    Some Monday rustiness in evidence today e.g. 18 d “Shrew” where on the first visit I was thinking of Lion or Tiger as well as Shrewsbury, which confused matters until the Bard came to my rescue.
    Another neat and very fair puzzle from Hurley. COD 22 ac “vagabond”.
    Thanks to Jack and Hurley

  32. 22:58

    Easy at first but a struggle on the right hand side. Had to guess REVEILLE and do an alphabet trawl for LOI GLEE.

  33. My dismal run continues with a DNF. NHO glee in this context and thought 9ac was sole. This seemed to parse with the s from song and ole for great delight. Having put this in, I then toiled for 10 mins over 6dn before realising that I had made an error. Eventually had to look up 9ac and then got 6dn (didn’t we have this word last week?). This left me hugely deflated as I had been flying and was well outside SCC territory. A bad day after the struggles of last week.
    Many thanks for the blog.

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