Times Quick Cryptic 2260 by Hurley

Solving time: 10 minutes

Overall I didn’t find this difficult but there are a few words or meanings that will not be familiar to all. 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 Rhode Island group’s award (6)
RI (Rhode Island), BAND (group). An alternative name for a ribbon as used for some awards.
4 Monotony of new diet, uniform beginning and end (6)
Anagram [new] of DIET, then U{nifor}M [beginning and end]
8 Route’s distinctive quality entertaining Poles (7)
TRAIT (distinctive quality) containing [entertaining] NS (poles). I wasn’t sure that the definition worked here other than in expressions such as ‘en route / in transit’, but Collins confirms it as a direct definition.
10 Inspection as unusual deficit is tackled at first (5)
A{s} + U{nusual} + D{eficit} + I{s} + T{ackled} [at first]
11 Notebook Jack’s lost depicting furry swimmer (5)
{j}OTTER (notebook) [Jack’s lost]
12 Idle chatter from friend, a part of speech cut short (7)
PAL (friend), A, VER{b} (part of speech) [cut short]. I didn’t know or had forgotten this meaning of ‘palaver’; I think of it more as a lengthy procedure, fuss and bother etc.
13 Home Counties criminal seen by Cornwall river? That’s not true (9)
FAL (Cornwall river), SE (Home Counties – South East England), HOOD (criminal)
17 Wash three articles from abroad (7)
LA, UN, DER (three  articles from abroad – definite and indefinite)
19 Turf lotteries recalled (5)
DRAWS (lotteries) reversed [recalled]. Somewhat poetic and not a term one hears much these days.
20 For example, demand for payment on return? Gentle reminder (5)
EG (for example) + DUN (demand for payment) reversed [on return]. I only know this meaning of ‘dun’ from crosswords.
21 Time with our first journeyman? (7)
T (time), OUR, 1ST (first)
22 Complicated situation — ultimately reluctant to reach point of view (6)
{reluctan}T [ultimately], ANGLE (point of view)
23 One advising blokes to rest initially (6)
MEN (blokes), TO, R{est} [initially]
1 Informer, one on fixed allowance (6)
RAT (informer), I (one), ON
2 Newly feed a stubborn animal used for work (5,2,6)
Anagram [newly] of FEED A STUBBORN
3 Opening section of piano’s trill (7)
Hidden in [section of] {pia}NO’S TRIL{l}
5 Seems a girl regularly used communication system (5)
{s}E{e}M{s} A {g}I{r}L [regularly used]
6 He’s no team player!” Aunt is livid I’d fouled up (13)
Anagram [fouled up] of AUNT IS LIVID I’D
7 Due for payment, mother? True, unfortunately (6)
MA (mother), anagram [unfortunately] of TRUE 
9 Toper’s second return, always half-ignored and not to be mentioned (3,6)
TOP{er’s} + SEC{ond} + RET{urn} [always half-ignored]. ‘Tope’ was unknown to some 15×15 commenters re the prize puzzle blogged on Saturday so I’d mention that a toper is a person who regularly drinks alcohol excessively.  Sadly even with that in mind the surface in this clue doesn’t read very well or make much sense.
14 Old Boy’s remedy far from clear (7)
OB’S (old boy’s), CURE (remedy)
15 A world of energy in factory? (6)
E (energy) contained by [in] PLANT (factory)
16 Media boss offering some carrot I decide after reflection (6)
Hidden [some] and reversed [after reflection] in {car}ROT I DE{cide}
18 Live comfortably supporting daughter (5)
D (daughter), WELL (comfortably)

54 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2260 by Hurley”

  1. I thought of RIBBON immediately at 1ac, saw it wouldn’t work, and went on; it took me a long time to remember RIBAND. Biffed TOP SECRET, parsed post-submission. Biffed the two long downs, never bothered to check; with BEAST OF BURDEN I didn’t bother to look back at the clue. 5:52.

  2. ‘Dun’. Business meetings in the USA often got round to discussing ‘Dunning letters’ to be sent out to those owing money to the company!

    1. Interestingly, SOED advises that it’s an abbreviation of Dunkirk: A privateer (from Dunkirk). Long obsolete exc. hist. L16.

  3. Some puzzles are more “biffable” for me than others, and this was one of them. No telling why; the letters just started falling into place. Almost felt like I was working an acrostic, so very enjoyable.

  4. Solved this one on a laptop instead of the phone, so my unusually-quick 11:47 might be due to the better interface. Usually long anagrams are my kryptonite, but these two came quickly.

  5. Didn’t know SWARD or DUN so had to trust the cryptic and biff respectively. Ended up all green in 11 but after a good start ended up with lots to do after only getting four on the first pass of acrosses. Didn’t know that meaning of PALAVER either – and have never used it without a preceding”all that” – but it made enough sense for me to move on happy. Bit of a hold up with TANGLE at the end because ‘tumult’ sort of nearly fitted.

  6. A different kind of QC pleasure for me – the speed solve. I usually look to solve in under 15 mins, but enjoying and checking the word play as I go, which slows me down. Here I sensed a quick finish from early on and biffed my way through it in 9.48. Then enjoyed the word play after the event. I prefer the former type of puzzle to the latter, but fun nonetheless.

  7. A fairly gentle start to the week, with all done in 8 minutes. Palaver my LOI: I could see it was possible, but not being familiar with that meaning of the word I waited for all the checkers to be sure it was correct. Top Secret the only other slight hold-up: biffed and only parsed after completion.

    Delighted to hear the blogger vacancies look to have been filled – hats off to the pair who have volunteered.

    Many thanks to Jack for the blog

  8. Fairly easy going but with some unusual definitions, as pointed out by Jack. The wordplay was all clear though so had no major hold ups. Started with TEDIUM and finished with the RIBAND/NOSTRIL pair in 6.27. I enjoyed piecing together FALSEHOOD, but COD goes to LAUNDER.
    Thanks to Jack

  9. A pleasant easy going start to the week completed in 7.55. Didn’t know PALAVER as idle chatter, but easy to get from the clueing. DUN as demand for payment is also unknown to me. Particularly liked LAUNDER as three articles from abroad, although I may have come across this before.

  10. A gentle start to the week. Like our blogger I was surprised by the definitions for TRANSIT and PALAVER, but I just assumed it was my ignorance – the wordplay was clear enough. I also thought the surface for TOP SECRET was a bit odd. No problem with DUN as I worked for some time with HMRC’s Debt Management & Banking department helping them re-engineer their dunning processes. 4:10.

  11. Jack said “Overall I didn’t find this difficult but there are a few words or meanings that will not be familiar to all.”

    I thought that was the perfect summary for how I found it.

    All solved in 18:28 with a couple of biffs along the way. NW corner was where I finished off with TRANSIT, RATION then eventually remembering RIBAND rather than RIBbon with a bif of NOSTRIL for LOI and spotting the hidden later.

    Generally managing 2 SCC escapes per month and already achieved Novembers. Either we’ve got a run of hard QCs coming up or I’m beginning to get okay at these!!

  12. Aargh, was distracted by something and forgot to go back and solve 19a, SWARD. (I always use a faint pencil so missed the gap).
    Otherwise a fairly easy puzzle. Agree I thought PALAVER was just a fuss, biffed INDIVIDUALIST, TOP SECRET. Amused by NOSTRIL, FALSEHOOD, LAUNDER.
    Thanks vm, Jack. Glad to hear about new bloggers.

      1. Sorry, I should have said eight clues completed today. I am getting worse, rather than better! Time to give up.

  13. A gentle enough start to the week. I vigorously snorted down my NOSTRILs when the penny finally dropped at 3d for my LOI; I was thoroughly fooled and so that gets my COD.

    Time 06:53 for 1.3K and a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks Jack and Hurley.


  14. Enjoyed this and solved with pen and the paper inside 10 minutes, very fast for me. I had the same MERs as Jack on 8, 9 and 12, and almost put in RIBBON at 1a. FOI TEDIUM, LOI SWARD, COD OBSCURE. Thanks Hurley and Jack.

  15. 11 minutes again today, which has become the new normal of late. No problems with DUN, but didn’t know that meaning of PALAVER, I wonder if it is related to parley? LOI MENTOR was also LOLA (last one looked at). Thanks Jackkt and Hurley.

    1. ‘palaver’ from Portuguese ‘palabra’ (word). I only knew it as =negotiate, discuss, evidently the original meaning

        1. A typo? Moi? Never! It was an error: an ironic one, given that I don’t know Spanish, but did study Portuguese.

          1. Palaver is a term frequently used by Harry Flashman in the novels by George Macdonald Fraser. Though I agree its usual modern meaning is ‘commotion’. Sort of.
            I used to send dunning letters in a student job in the mid 80s. I thought it was someone’s name! J

  16. 9.30 for me. I was another who found this straightforward. LOI PLANET after TANGLE because they were the last clues I looked at.
    Thanks for the DUN information; I didn’t see that while solving.

  17. Like Kevin I started off thinking RIBbon at 1a but it wouldn’t parse. I also biffed but never parsed TOP SECRET. I accelerated from the slow start and only took my foot off the gas for PALAVER (a word I only associate with fuss and bother) SWARD (must have had it before) and the unknown DUN in the parsing of NUDGE. COD to NOSTRIL. 7:40 for a happy Monday.

    1. Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
      Galloping through the sward
      Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
      And his horse Concorde
      He steals from the rich

      and so on

  18. Fairly straightforward with RATION and BEAST OF BURDEN first 2 in, and TANGLE finishing the job in 5:48. Thanks Hurley and Jack.

  19. A gentle 14min start to the week, with the same queries as everyone else. My loi was the well-hidden Nostrill, which I had looked at several times before the full set of crossers made it a (belated) write-in. I was tempted to make 15d, Planet, my CoD, but 17ac, Launder really is too good to miss out. Invariant

  20. Fairly straightforward given that the more problematic clues were very guessable with several crossers present (PALAVER, TOP SECRET, NUDGE – NHO DUN).

  21. I found this one to be very reasonable, though it took me forever to get 21a and 22a.

    Rhode Island = RI immediately came to my mind, but I was initially hesitant as I am sure I have seen Rhode Island meaning something else in cryptic clues. Something to do with hens I believe.

    I had never heard of Sward, but draws came to me after a while, and on checking the CED I saw sward was a word, so in it went.

    An enjoyable crossword.

      1. The ‘Sward’ at Frinton-Upon- Sea, (Essex) is large expanse of grass, running parallel to the shore line., ‘
        The ‘Greensward’ fronted by terribly, terribly posh houses are to be found hereabouts: pubs are not allowed – ‘heaven forfend!’ And America is still a Colony and playing-up! I was there for ‘The Summer of Lerve’.

  22. Strange everyone found this easy and I made no progress compared to the last three of last week this was really hard.

  23. 11 mins…

    I really enjoyed this and thought there were some nice clues. Liked 17ac “Launder” and 15dn “Planet”. DNK 19ac “Sward” but the clueing was generous. Mentioned this before, but 1ac always reminds me of the Blue Riband biscuit thing.

    FOI – 8ac “Transit”
    LOI – 21ac “Tourist”
    COD – 3dn “Nostril”

    Thanks as usual!

  24. Attempted in 2 sittings today – rough time around the 20 min mark. NHO ‘dun’ and also unaware of the clued meaning of PALAVER. Major PDM with NOSTRIL. I was one of the commentators who hadn’t come across ‘toper’ before but it is now etched in my memory from the 15 x 15! No particular problems otherwise. Liked LAUNDER and TOURIST. Many thanks to Jack and Hurley.

  25. 9:48. Like others could only think of ribbon before I remembered there was RIBAND too. Enjoyed the clever device for TOP SECRET when I finally saw it. Didn’t know jotter as notepad or TRANSIT as route but accepted they must be so. I’ve learned setters know a lot more about word meanings than I do!

  26. About 12 minutes today. As usual, I was slowed down by my last two – this time they were TANGLE and DWELL. And as usual, when looking over everything, I’m not sure why I found them tricky!
    I’m another one who only knew PALAVER as a to-do, as in ‘what a palaver’. The etymology is interesting – it’s easy to see how long-winded negotiations can (and do) end up becoming an unsatisfactory performance!
    FOI Riband LOI Dwell COD Launder
    Thanks Hurley and Jack, and thanks too to the new bloggers. There was no chance of putting my name forward as the idea of having to think clearly either very late at night or very early in the morning was too much for me 😂 So this is a timely opportunity to thank again everyone who is prepared to do so!

  27. Struggled again today, but finally managed to complete this, although firmly in the SCC timescale! Didn’t associate palaver with idle chatter but eventually got it from the word play.

  28. 7’20” enjoyed LAUNDER immensely and nice to see PALAVER … it’s a fine word. Thanks for the etymology Kevin.
    Cheers Hurley n Jackkt

  29. I am visiting my parents (both in their 90’s) today, and have just done this after a large cooked meal and a beer. I wondered therefore if I would start dozing off part way through, but that didn’t happen and I was able to cross the line in 22 minutes – very fast for me, but not quite an SCC escape.

    I particularly liked FALSEHOOD and LAUNDER, but had to trust the parsing with NUDGE. My LOI was TANGLE.

    Many thanks to Hurley and jackkt.

  30. Carelessly put in ribbon for 1a, which caused problems with 3d nostril, until we saw the error of our ways. We found this middle of the road difficulty. A pleasant solve.

  31. Just under 9 minutes with a slight puzzle at how TOP SECRET parsed, but all is clear now. Enjoyed LAUNDER and DWELL.

  32. On the basis that I actually finished it in one sitting, today’s 15×15 is worth a go.

  33. 6:24, very enjoyable puzzle and nothing too sneaky, liked the hidden nostril. Thanks Jack & Hurley.

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