Times Quick Cryptic 2247 by Wurm

Romped through this one – fun surface readings, and easy enough to decipher.

Definitions underlined.

1 Reluctance to proceed: code left to be cracked (4,4)
COLD FEET – anagram of (to be cracked) CODE LEFT.
5 Outlaw needing good report (4)
BANG – BAN (outlaw) and G (good).
9 Accomplice holding ecstasy in backstreet (5)
ALLEY – ALLY (accomplice) containing (holding) E (ecstasy).
10 Wailing wraith: she’s in torment (7)
BANSHEE – SHE is contained by (in) BANE (torment).
11 Flatfish occasionally ready (3)
RAY – every other letter from (occasionally) ReAdY.
12 Agnes went mad in local shop (9)
NEWSAGENT – anagram of (mad) AGNES WENT.
13 Among miners, daughter is revealing practice (6)
NUDISM – D (daughter) and IS contained by (among) NUM (National Union of Miners)
15 Monstrous woman to advance, shunning PR (6)
OGRESS – prOGRESS (to advance) deleting (shunning) ‘pr’.
17 Manly man backed copper with rank (9)
MASCULINE – reversal of (backed) SAM (man), then CU (copper) and LINE (rank). My LOI.
19 Dog has successful treatment, tail removed (3)
CUR – CURe (successful treatment) missing the last letter (tail removed).
20 Three-pronged weapon one day found in river (7)
TRIDENT – I (one) and D (day) contained by (found in) TRENT (river).
21 Listlessness embodied by drunken nuisance (5)
ENNUI – hidden in (embodied by) drunkEN NUIsance.
22 Off to get wasted (4)
HIGH – double definition.
23 Show recent changes in gym (8)
PRETENCE – anagram of (changes) RECENT contained by (in) PE (physical education, gym).
1 Smile after tea shows exasperation (7)
CHAGRIN – GRIN (smile) after CHA (tea).
2 Money for an ice cream? (5)
LOLLY – double definition.
3 UFO? Clay pigeon perhaps! (6,6)
FLYING SAUCER – definition and cryptic hint.
4 Bowel in knots — that’s a bender! (5)
ELBOW – anagram of (in knots) BOWEL.
6 Reach church that is in avenue (7)
ACHIEVE – CH (church) and I.E. (id est, that is) all contained by (in) AVE (avenue).
7 Address grand with swaying tree (5)
GREET – G (grand) then an anagram of (swaying) TREE.
8 Gentleman worked with Net or Web (12)
ENTANGLEMENT – anagram of (worked) GENTLEMAN with NET.
14 Stylish ring with wood inlaid (7)
DASHING – DING (ring) containing (with… inlaid) ASH (tree).
16 Knight reportedly obnoxious and obsequious (7)
SERVILE – sounds like (reportedly) “sir” (knight), then VILE (obnoxious).
17 Compare lighter alternative (5)
MATCH -double definition.
18 Bury Football Club? (5)
INTER – double definition.
19 Tory accepts a new church law (5)
CANON – CON (conservative, Tory) containing (accepts) A and N (new).

64 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2247 by Wurm”

  1. I found this quite difficult for some reason. I first got held up at OGRESS since I was convinced it was GORGON (it’s got GO..ON there). The BANSHEE and ENTANGLEMENT took far too long.

  2. Biffed MASCULINE, parsed post-submission; it took me a long time to see SAM. I didn’t care much for ring/DING. 6:16.

  3. 11:41. Couldn’t see bane=torment or CHAGRIN=exasperation for a while. Enjoyed BANG and NUDISM for their clever definitions.

  4. Stumbled on 23a PRETENCE because it’s spelled differently here in the U.S. Then had a D’Oh moment. (But somehow recalled LOLLY…)

    Another enjoyable puzzle.

  5. I scraped home in exactly 10 minutes, finally breaking my run of consecutive missed targets. Monday of last week was the last time.

    I looked twice at address/GREET, but it had to be, and I later found support for it in the usual sources.

  6. 11 minutes, so definitely at the easier end of the Rotterometer dial. It was almost completed in the order that I looked at the clues, but not quite. I put in FLYING OBJECT initially, but spotted and corrected my error as soon as I saw NUDISM. The only slight hold up was HIGH which I just didn’t see immediately. Thanks W and W.

    The 15 x 15 is worth a shot this morning for those brave enough to give it a go.

  7. 21 minutes.
    FOI: COLD FEET followed by CHAGRIN then a bit of a romp around the gid.
    LOI: HIGH.
    13ac NUDISM my second from last as I took a while to see the miners.

  8. 8’25” held up by my COD NUDISM, along with others that I had to think hard about: HIGH, MASCULINE and MATCH.

    I quite like ‘ding’ for ‘ring’ and I thought this was a really enjoyable puzzle all round.

    Thanks Wurm and William

  9. Narrowly dodged a pink square when, on the point of pressing submit, my discomfort with sUrvile made me take a second look at the spelling.
    Is it my imagination or have the last couple of Wurm’s puzzles been gentler than his previous offerings? I used to settle in for a tough battle when seeing his name at the top of a grid, but I found today’s puzzle to be very approachable, with only a brief pause over the final two – DASHING and COD NUDISM.
    Finished in 7.35
    Thanks to William

    1. Glad you dodged it, I got a pink square for SuRVILE – banged in ‘sur’ while I waited for the rest of the answer to arrive and never went back. Quickest of the week at 17 but also the most wrong. Good one.

  10. 15 mins, with long break in the middle.

    Don’t really understand HIGH=wasted.

    Agree that 15 x15 is not too bad today.


    1. People who do drugs get HIGH and therefore wasted.

      I had the opposite problem of not knowing why high=off. As I wanted an escape I biffed it in there for 19:51

      SW corner was the main issue and wanting to bif porCUpInE (for MASCULINE). Also tried rASHING but rethought to DASHING and then briefly debated between NUDISt and NUDISM until I saw the relevance of miners=NUM

  11. Careless error – SuRVILE. Down-clue syndrome.?
    Otherwise finished and enjoyed. Had to take a break before ENTANGLEMENT and PRETENCE (LOI). Liked CHAGRIN, NUDISM among others.
    What wd setters do without ENNUI.?
    Thanks vm, William.

  12. A steady solve, although took time to see HIGH, MASCULINE and BANG. Not sure about CHAGRIN = EXASPERATION.

  13. A brisk solve with just a couple of biffs. I only had to revisit the SW corner to finish in 6:35 with MATCH and HIGH. I’ve tried clay pigeon shooting once and never again after bruising my face/upper arm. Apparently I was holding the shotgun incorrectly. I’m giving my COD to ACHIEVE because I couldn’t see where it was going until the IKEA construction was complete.

  14. Enjoyed this again thanks- I get that you are wasted when you are high but I don’t get off – if food goes off it can smell ‘high’ = is that it??

    1. I’ve only heard the word used in connection with game birds that are hung after being shot to improve the flavour and tenderness of the meat, where “high” is a good thing. (Though it is in fact the start of decay as enzymes get to work.)

  15. I found this relatively straightforward crossing the line in 7.30. I finished in the top left corner with LOLLY (not really an ice cream?) and ALLEY. Some very old favourites in ENNUI and OGRESS appearing today. Did anyone tune in to Hancocks Half Hour last night? Great to hear the lad himself on such fine form. Peter Sellers cameo appearance was as the widow Mrs Higgins seeking a partner in marriage. His characterised voice was basically that of Bluebottle from the Goon Show I thought. Hancocks comic timing superb as usual.

    1. Yes listened on my way to host a quiz. Almost surreal at times but fun. Galton and Simpson honing their skills. I hadn’t realised that Moria Lister was one of his early sidekicks.

  16. Like plett when I see Wurm’s name I gird my loins, but he was in forgiving mood today. Still a very high quality and enjoyable puzzle, though. COD to NUDISM from a strong field.

    All done in 06:30 for 1.03K and an Excellent Day, making up for yesterday’s tale of woe.

    Many thanks Wurm and William.


  17. Not too bad. I did need help with a couple of clues though.

    I see the made up word ENNUI made its appearance once again.

  18. I enjoyed this one. Some neat clues but all seemed approachable (some on second viewing). I was pleased to finish in 10.35 so that halts a downhill run for me.
    I parsed NUDISM (my COD) and BANSHEE post-solve and particularly enjoyed CHAGRIN, SERVILE, and ACHIEVE.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  19. Got off to a quick start with COLD FEET and hot footed through the NW, with CHAGRIN, ELBOW, LOLLY and ELBOW dropping into place. Liked FLYING SAUCER. Didn’t stop to parse MASCULINE. Finished off with MATCH and HIGH. 8:26. Thanks Wurm and William.

  20. 18 mins fully parsed and a very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Wurn and William.

    I don’t always do the puzzles on the day of issue but keep them for spare time. Yesterday I did a QC from some months ago which had the word ‘ogress’ and last week did a puzzle with the word ‘ennui’. Why do so many words keep reappearing? Do we not have enough words in the language? Or is it perhaps some failing in whatever algorithm fills the words in the grid for the setter to develop the clues?

    COD to ENTANGLEMENT which took me ages even with all the crossers. I had convinced myself the clue meant ‘gentleman’ and was an anagram of ‘with net or web’ and then when the letters did not work I could not see the other way the anagram could work. clever clue.

  21. Started rather slowly then accelerated but slowed right down again in the SW corner. Total time, all parsed, 17 minutes. I was trying to reverse the copper part of 17ac rather than the man’s name. Once the penny dropped it quickly revealed the remainder of that corner.

    FOI – 12ac NEWSAGENT
    LOI – 22ac HIGH
    COD – 18dn INTER. Also liked FLYING SAUCER and MATCH.

    Thanks to Wurm and to William

  22. 11 minutes for what most are calling a rather gentler Wurm than some, and I agree. Surprisingly I seem to be alone though in getting royally misled by the clue for 8D, where I initially read Gentleman as the definition and “worked with net or web” to imply an anagram of with net or web. After a most unproductive few minutes trying to find a word with 2 Ws I realised that the A checker from Newsagent blew the idea out of the water and came to my senses, and the solve proceeded in a more orderly fashion with no other hitches.

    Many thanks to William for the blog

  23. I wish I could say this was a romp! I started off quickly enough, and nearly finished in 8 minutes – if I’d continued on that path, I would have completed a Wurm puzzle more quickly than usual. However, it then took me nearly the same again to complete the SW corner, which of course meant that my time for a wriggly Wurm ended up being much the same as usual! I hit a total impasse on DASHING, MATCH and HIGH, and have absolutely no idea why. Most frustrating but I got there in the end 😣
    FOI Cold Feet LOI High COD Flying saucer
    Thanks Wurm and William

  24. A 24-minute tie in the Random household today. Excellent news on two counts: First, the family point was shared (I rarely catch even a glimpse of it) and second, Mrs R managed to make it downstairs from her sick bed and sit up/concentrate for long enough.

    I started well, for once, with COLD FEET and BANG going in quickly. ELBOW, ACHIEVE and GREET followed, so I was up and running. I was slowed slightly by writing INTER where MATCH would eventually go, but I spotted my error a few minutes later and I finished with MATCH and HIGH.

    Many thanks to Wurm and William.

  25. Started quickly, finished rather slowly. LOI FLYING SAUCER (object? target?). Also slow to see HIGH, MATCH and NUDISM. Very enjoyable. Liked NUDISM and SERVILE (Sir Vile sounded a bit Monty Pythonesque which made me smile). Thanks Wurm and William.

  26. 16 mins…

    A few tricky ones in this I think, not sure I would call it a romp. Probably had this debate before, but in my mind a “lolly” isn’t an ice cream.

    For a short while, I thought 1ac might be “Play Safe” and was some cryptic clue about cracking a combination code, but it obviously wouldn’t fit with the other clues going down. Wasn’t 100% sure about 22ac “High”, but couldn’t see what else it could be.

    FOI -9ac “Alley”
    LOI – 22ac “High”
    COD – 18dn “Inter”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. I agree a lolly isn’t an ice cream.

      If however you take kids to the beach and offer to buy them an ice cream and they say they want the ice lolly, you wouldn’t say “But I only offered to buy you an ice cream”

      Which is a long winded way of saying I think they’re interchangeable in the real world.

      1. Fair point and I know they’re interchangable now – but when I think of “lolly” I think of a foul, ice flavoured thing on a stick.

        However, in researching this, what I didn’t know was that a “Fab” (popular in the 1970’s – which did contain strawberry ice cream and was covered in sprinkles) was a Thunderbirds themed lolly aimed at girls.

        1. I don’t recall that but the rocket lollies were always rather lovely. Interesting shape and multicoloured / flavoured

          F…A…B James

          1. They were called Zoom – and were aimed at the boys.

            Got this off Wikipedia – so have no idea if it’s true – but it sounds a good story.

        2. Lovely bit of trivia 😊 I must say that my daughter (who is in her late 20s) still loves a Fab!

  27. Back to normal, albeit phone jabbing rather than keyboard tapping.

    MASCULINE LOI. I liked SERVILE best.


  28. A rare and pleasing sub-10 minute time, with all parsed except for MASCULINE in 9:26. FOI CHAGRIN and then its descendants (acrossants? Is there a term for this?), LOI HIGH. COD a tie between NUDISM and SERVILE.

  29. About 9 minutes for all but high/match.
    Took a long break and then got them fairly quickly.

    COD match.

  30. 17:07

    Could have finished in 15 but couldn’t parse LOI HIGH and had to do an alphabet trawl to convince myself there was no other answer that would fit.

  31. A steady enough 17min solve this morning, which I couldnt comment on at the time. Nothing too tricky, with the ones I couldn’t see quickly (Entanglement, Banshee, Masculine) succumbing once a few crossers were in place. I particularly liked the surface of 4d, Elbow, so it gets my CoD vote, just ahead of 13ac, Nudist. Invariant

  32. I know this wasn’t on the hard side, but I was delighted to finish in about 15 mins (using the old fashioned pen and paper method). At the risk of tempting fate, I felt this was one of the rare occasions when I was able to interpret the wordplay with ease.

    I smiled ruefully at the dark humour of 18dn. How long is it since The Shakers were buried?

    Thank you for the blog.

  33. Thought I might be on for a really fast time (close to 10 minutes), but I wasn’t going as fast as I thought and a slow down towards the end meant I ended up with 15:51. Still, respectable for me and overall most enjoyable. Thanks Wurm and William

  34. 15 clues correct. Another one correct but I needed the dictionary. Two wrong, but one of those had only one letter wrong, where I wasn’t concentrating, and put R in, when it should have been D. Improvement is slower than the speed at which milk goes rancid.

  35. Ian,

    I think you’re making solid progress. Getting 15 correct is good for a Wurm QC and you should take heart from that. There were some good chestnuts to make a note of today, including cha for tea (which I had forgotten). Keep going!

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