Times Quick Cryptic 2584 by Wurm


Solving time: 8 minutes

I found this quite straightforward. 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 Rough diamonds in Parisian street (4)
D (diamonds) contained by [in] RUE (Parisian street)
3 Standard fit for moral tale (7)
PAR (standard), ABLE (fit)
8 Insect eggs land oddly when thrown (5-4-4)
Anagram [thrown] of EGGS LAND ODDLY. In the UK this is another name for the crane fly.
9 Japanese band seen in Bielsko-Biala (3)
Hidden [seen] in {Bielsk}O-BI{ala}
10 Top story in America? (5)
A straight definition relying for a cryptic element on  ‘story’ being the American spelling of ‘storey’, the more usual British spelling.
12 Unbeliever witnessing bank job? (7)
AT HEIST (witnessing bank job). Or one could be carrying it out! The same device was used in a clue to ATHEIST in last Friday’s 15×15.
14 Slender urchin’s first encountered in Euston, straying (7)
U{rchin’s} [first] contained by [encountered in] anagram [straying] of EUSTON
16 Reign disrupted in African republic (5)
Anagram [disrupted] of REIGN
17 Fish and chips one decides to start with (3)
C{hips} + O{ne} + D{ecides} [to start with]
20 Drive to discourage race on M1 (13)
DETER (discourage), M1, NATION (race)
21 Rope and long time needed for descent (7)
LINE (rope), AGE (long time)
22 Googly say bowled everyone! (4)
B (bowled), ALL (everyone)
1 Two different pandas? One huge star! (3,5)
RED + GIANT (two different pandas)
2 Reactionary person in two parties (4)
DO + DO (two parties)
3 Fear of ale that’s not real, might some say? (6)
Sounds like {might some say} “faux” (not real) + “beer” (ale)
4 Nothing sinister about this trusted adviser? (5-4,3)
A cryptic hint precedes the main part of the definition. ‘Sinister’ is associated with the left-hand side, especially in heraldry.
5 Sheepish sound from Liberal in heavy defeat (8)
L (Liberal) contained by [in] BEATING (heavy defeat)
6 Enjoyment found in cathouse as ever (4)
Hidden [found] in {cathous}E AS E{ver}
7 Power in hooch in yard possibly causing neurosis (12)
P (power) contained by anagram [possibly] of HOOCH IN YARD
11 Barrel with good gun metal (8)
TUN (barrel), G (good), STEN (gun)
13 Winding tramline comes to depot (8)
Anagram [winding] of TRAMLINE
15 Gutless swine about to plagiarise writer (6)
S{win}E [gutless] containing [about] CRIB (plagiarise)
18 Hero unemployed reportedly (4)
Sounds like [reportedly] “idle” (unemployed)
19 Prima donna keen to make comeback (4)
AVID (keen) reversed [to make comeback]

111 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2584 by Wurm”

  1. This took me about 19 min but the whole time I was thinking that the answers should have come much more quickly

    Sucks for our Rhotic R friends when pronouncing PHOBIA. Good for me, ‘bia’ is how you spell Beer in Vietnamese. Yay for loan words

    Bad for me, Daddy Long Legs are a type of spider in Australia (everything is a type of spider in Australia) , the spindly type that sit in the corners of your house. So, decidedly *not* an insect and held me up longer than it should. (for Lindsay – as a kid I thought they were Dandenong Legs)

      1. Oh no, insects all have six legs! Every single type of insect has six legs.

        Spiders are arachnids and not insects. It’s the type of fact you learn as a young child along with tomato being a fruit that kinda blows your mind

        1. Strictly speaking, an insect has six legs but all the usual dictionaries support the additional loose usage of insect to include similar small invertebrates such as spiders. So you might not be taken seriously at a scientific conference if you called a spider an insect, but if you told your neighbour that your 10A was full of insects then he/she would probably assume that arachnids were in the mix too.

            1. Is it true that a Peppa Pig book encouraging children not to fear spiders (as would be appropriate in the UK) was not published in Oz?

              1. We had red-back spiders in our garden in Oz (luckily they were shy) but I never saw the deadly Funnel Web.

              2. Yeah! We didn’t get that episode here.

                Australians also got Peppa Pig to put seatbelts on in the car.

            2. Indeed. In the UK it’s easy to be blase about the animal kingdom because our native species are rather less potent than in Australia.

    1. My aunt used to take my sister and me to movies in the 1950’s, one of which was Daddy Long Legs with Fred Astaire. The nickname came from the elongated shadow of his legs on the wall as viewed by some of Leslie Caron’s fellow orphans.

        1. Let’s see, movies I went to the theatre to see in the 50’s: Tom Thumb, Gulliver’s Travels, The Ten Commandments, Three Coins in a Fountain, The Vikings, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Wow, that’s a lot popcorn I tucked away!

          1. My first film in cinema was Hans Christian Andersen on its first UK release, probably in 1953 or 1954, when I was 6 or 7.

            1. Yes, saw that then too! Also another Danny Kaye film, The Court Jester a few years later. I remember my sister and I repeating Get it? Got it. Good. to each other for weeks afterwards.( I’m a fellow Crop of 1947 ).

                1. That’s so cool. I’m hoping I’ll be a bit better at these crosswords by the time I’m your age

      1. My first film was Peter Pan, I think about 1953/4. Not a great introduction, I was scared by the crocodile and my Mum had to take me out!

  2. 9:39. I didn’t think of EASE meaning enjoyment. My grid threw up a lot of interesting pairs of words: BLEATING DIVA, ATTIC ATHEIST, RED-GIANT IDOL, and PHOBIA SCRIBE. Characters in a RUDE PARABLE or maybe a weekend country house murder mystery?

  3. 6:04. Really enjoyed this puzzle. Being American did not stop me from getting nor from enjoying PHOBIA!

  4. 6.10, nice puzzle from Wurm but I’m with Tina regarding arachnida v insecta. It turns out there isn’t a red dwarf panda so I had some confusion in the top left for a while. Thanks to Jack for explaining TUNGSTEN and DETERMINATION. The latter was quite a complex clue for a QC and I’m glad I was able to biff it without having to figure it out. That clue for ATHEIST appears to have become a chestnut after just two outings.

    1. I wrote in Red Dwarf too! It even worked with some of the crossers. Too much comedy sci fi on the brain.

      Daddy long legs in the UK are a type of fly I believe. I don’t know what they call the spider

      1. DADDY LONG LEGS in the UK are crane flies and I’ve added a note to the blog to clarify the point. If the spider exists here I don’t think it’s commonly called that.

          1. Others’ experiences may vary but I don’t think these are common here so perhaps we don’t have a particular name for them. Of the alternative names listed on that Wiki page I’ve certainly heard of ‘carpenter spider’, but maybe that was from crosswords. I’d no idea what one looked like.

            According to the Natural History Museum site the species you call ‘daddy long legs spider’ was quite rare here 50 years ago but has become very common since the proliferation of central heating in homes. They evidently like their luxury! Daddy long legs crane flies have been around here for ever so the nickname was already taken, so to speak.

            1. Unbelievable as it may seem, The Stones had a song in, oh, 1964 called The Spider and the Fly which canvassed none of these issues…

                1. ‘She was common, flirty, she looked about thirty’…maybe not just sexist. Mind you I’m not sure what wasn’t back then. If Mick’s anonymously on this blog he might care to comment

      2. The long-legged spider with a small body is common in UK (we get them in our house). I have always seen it referred to as the Common Harvestman.
        I believe there are more than 20 species in UK.
        Easily googled for a picture.
        A quick search suggests that the female Physocyclus globosus is closest to what we often see. It is known as the short-bodied cellar spider and is a species belonging to the family Pholcidae. The male has a larger body.
        I am surprised by how many variants there are.

  5. 14 minutes. Yes, quite straightforward and enjoyable but I had a blank about HYPOCHONDRIA and only saw ATTIC (bit of an odd clue) with that final crossing C. Same initial problem as Lindsay and Tina with our friends the ‘pandas’ at 1d.

    My favourite was the surface for DIVA, with its probably unintentional reference to Dame Nellie Melba. Here’s some further info. if you’re interested.

    Thanks to Wurm and Jack

    1. Oh i didn’t know Dame Nellie Melba kept coming back. A more modern (kinda) version of that is Australia’s beloved John Farnham who is also an excellent singer and also had many many many farewell tours.

      1. Of which they said, more farewells than Nellie Melba! Sadly I don’t think there’ll be any more comebacks from Jack.

          1. Poor old John Farnham was diagnosed last year with an aggressive form of mouth cancer and apparently had to have much of his jaw removed. It is not known whether he can speak any more and he hasn’t been seen in public at all. As Tina said, much loved.

  6. Both DADDY LONG LEGS and DETERMINATION took their time to arrive and I missed those checkers. A solid seven on the first pass of acrosses but still lots of work to do after the downs. Started to move more quickly once I unravelled HYPOCHONDRIA. Ended up all green in 10.

  7. I was another to fall into the RED DWARF trap to begin with, but despite that buggering up TENUOUS, until RED GIANT emerged, I came in all green in around 14 minutes. So a very good start to the week for me and a rare trip out of the SCC.
    Although one of the last in, HYPOCHONDRIA was the most satisfying answer and ATTIC and LINEAGE both raised a smile.
    Many thanks to Wurm and Jack for their efforts.

  8. I didn’t notice the spelling difference when putting in ATTIC, but I did think the clue was odd; surely the Brits have attics! What we call a daddy-long-legs you folk evidently call a harvestman; not an insect, but the crane fly is. I biffed this without reading the clue.. 4:29.

    1. We do have attics, but more commonly known (I think) as lofts. Certainly if you extend into the roof space, it’s a loft conversion.

  9. For those in the QC-only club, if you’re feeling adventurous today’s 15×15 is quite approachable with some nice long anagrams to get things going. I’m not saying it’s especially easy but worth a go.

    1. I agree – this quickie beat me but I was very satisfied with a completion of the 15×15

      1. Excellent! When I first started a few years ago (on the 15×15, I had no QC in Oz) completion was a triumph and still is I reckon. Sometimes it seems like the QC fraternity has talked themselves out of taking on the biggie, but the basic principles are the same and all I can say is give it a crack!

    2. A tough workout and a wrong answer but I did well enough to think that one day I could swap the Telegragh for The Times as my second puzzle. Thanks for the heads up!

    3. Thank you. I find it really helpful when someone points the finger towards an approachable 15×15.

    4. Thanks. I see it’s a 65 on the Snitch which is about my limit. Interestingly, exactly the same difficulty as last Monday which I did finish so will give it a go.

  10. A straightforward solve until trying to unravel the anagram for HPYOCHONDRIA and then trying to work out what was going on with ATTIC (I always forget about how we spell storey over here).
    Finished in 6.53 with COD to PHOBIA.
    Thanks to Jack and Wurm

  11. Can’t believe that was a Wiggly Wurm, it was positively benign!

    I did enjoy ATHEIST, chuckle and COD. TUNGSTEN was excellent too. LOI ATTIC – I had no idea that storey was one of the words that Merkins can’t spell.

    Had to use pen and paper for HYPOCHONDRIA, to my great irritation, which stopped this being really fast. But fast enough in 06:17, and even though that’s 1.4K I’m still calling this a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks Wurm and Jack.


  12. I was beaten by the SW corner, IDOL, DETERMINATION (I couldn’t be sway from ‘motor…’ and LINEAGE. A rare day when I finish the biggie and am beaten by the quickie.

    Thanks Wurm and Jackkt

  13. 4:52. A bit of a slow start and I hesitated at the end for a while before I could see how ATTIC worked. COD to PHOBIA, but I liked NIGER and BALL too. Thanks Wurm and Jackkt.

  14. I agree with Templar, a Benign Wurm – which makes me laugh as I spent much of the weekend reading books to my very small grandson, and a cheerful smiley worm featured heavily in one of his favourites. Plus a Hungry Caterpillar in another, so he is clearly not afraid of creepy crawlies.

    Attic held me up, and I needed the final C (and a bit of fingers-crossed that “story” was indeed how our transatlantic cousins spell storey) to get it. That apart, plain sailing for an 8½ minute completion, much enjoyed.

    Many thanks Jack for the blog

  15. 10:43 (coronation of Edward the Confessor)

    Straightforward, apart from my LOI HYPOCHONDRIA, which needed pen and paper. 1d was a write in; luckily red and giant are the only two types of panda I know about.

    Thanks Wurm and Jack

  16. Please: if in America “top story” just *is* ATTIC, then why the question mark in the clue?
    Failed this + five; NHO RED GIANT, TUN or STEN ( I know: as L-Plates says, my GK is lacking).

    1. Because ‘story’ in this sense is not exclusively American so it’s by example. I alluded to this in my blog but perhaps didn’t make it clear that ‘story’ is a valid English alternative to ‘storey’.

      1. Oh Martinu listen to Jack and disregard what I just said. I forgot question marks can also indicate examples.

    2. I struggle with question mark clues too, but as I understand it, it’s because in the UK a top ‘story’ is a news item and the puzzle was written for UK audience. Therefore the question mark indicator that it’s a joke/pun thing is required.

      What’s the top story in the US? It’s not Donald Trump news… It’s an attic! Geddit? Har har.

      If the clue was written ‘top storey in the US’ it wouldn’t have needed the question mark and it’s just a plain concise clue. Nothing cryptic.

  17. Straightforward, held up by assuming there was a DWARF panda which allowed the wrong star – which is as its name suggests, relatively small – which should have alerted me to the mistake! This made TENUOUS my LOI once I realised it was the F that was the problem, and after writing FENTOUS and FUNEOTS on my notebook.

    I liked ATHEIST, which appeared somewhere else very recently in a similar form.


  18. 10:30, no problems today.

    Also thought there must be a Dwarf Panda, apart from that steady progress with the right hand side going in fast.


  19. Another one trying dwarf instead of giant until TENUOUS made the former impossible. As others have said, a fairly gentle offering from Wurm which I zipped through more quickly than QCs of late. Forgot about sinister being associated with left hand side so couldn’t parse RIGHT HAND MAN before submission – thanks Jack. Worried when I saw a cricket reference but all was well 😆 Favourite clue by far was PHOBIA. Thanks Wurm.

  20. 25 mins…

    Probably should have been quicker on his, but I had a brain block on 1dn, 10ac and 11dn. Like many, I put Red Dwarf in for 1dn, but couldn’t parse it. When I eventually sorted 14ac “Tenuous” I realised it wasn’t right.

    The rest I enjoyed, although I thought it was on the more difficult side.

    FOI – 1ac “Rude”
    LOI – 10ac “Attic”
    COD – 3dn “Phobia”

    Thanks as usual!

      1. A bit slow this morning Invariant, as at first glance I had no idea what you were talking about 😀 – and then the penny dropped after Lindsay’s comment.

  21. 8:46

    Slowish to get round the grid particularly in the SW. Left with 14a which of course was tricky beginning with F, so followed the cryptic and saw TENUOUS and hurriedly changed my 1d DWARF to GIANT!

    Thanks Wurm and Jack

  22. A sluggish 9.14

    Stuck for a long time at the end on ATTIC (no idea what was going on) and RED GIANT (the obvious giant panda didnt spring to mind)

    PHOBIA was excellent

    Thanks Wurm and Jackkt

  23. Never sussed out 10a ATTIC. Now I see it it’s OK I suppose; wish I’d seen it at the time.
    Took a while to find the anagram at 14a TENUOUS; it seems to have too many Us.
    11d TUNGSTEN – it’s been a while since anyone fired a Sten gun in anger! Decommissioned from the nineteen fifties because it went off when you dropped it, safety catch or no. It was an emergency design in the early part of WW2, costing about 6% of a US Thompson “tommie gun”.

  24. Another QC I was cruising through Biffed Daddy Long legs w/o double checking the anagram worked. But stumbled on a few. Very cross I didn’t see the true meaning of descent until I got cribbed checkers in place.

    COD Determination

  25. Another one who biffed DWARF instead of GIANT which held me up a bit. The main delay for me however was 7dn where I spent approaching two minutes trying to form the anagram for HYPOCHONDRIA. This LOI took me over target to finish in 10.30.
    I think I found it difficult to concentrate on this, still being on a high after Newport County’s performance against Manchester United yesterday. 2-0 down after 13 minutes and pulling it back to 2-2 had us all dreaming! In the end class told, but we had them worried!

    1. They needed you as a super-sub at 2-3 down, Mr Pandy. I’m sure you’d have saved the day with a 40-yard screamer.

      1. Unfortunately I was never renowned for hitting forty yard screamers, although my teammates would confirm that I was lethal from two yards. It wasn’t for nothing that I acquired the nickname Goalhanger. 😀

  26. Quite quick then struggled with SW. PDM with ATTIC and US story/floor. LOsI TUNGSTEN, HYPOCHONDRIA.
    Thanks vm, Jack.

  27. Also got caught in the RED DWARF trap for quite a while. Otherwise muddled through ok with many of the clues appearing harder than in hindsight they actually were.

  28. For whatever reason, this one fairly flew in, with only Phobia needing a second visit. Even so, it still took me 11 mins, which only confirms my suspicion that the elusive sub-10 will always be tantalisingly out of reach. Lots to enjoy along the way, but CoD has to be Phobia for the parsing pdm. Invariant

  29. Generally straightforward, although parsing PHOBIA eluded me. Put in DODO with a shrug and only saw RED GIANT (LOI) very late.

  30. Wurm was in a gentle mood today, and this one didn’t cause me any problems.

    TIME 4:10

  31. All complete and parsed after 17 minutes but it seemed shorter. I took a while to get going but after that was only held up by the long anagram at 7dn and by TUNGSTEN, where I saw barrel as the definition of a word ending in ‘-tin’. It took a while for the penny to drop.

    FOI – 1ac RUDE
    LOI – 11dn TUNGSTEN
    COD – 3dn PHOBIA

    Thanks to Wurm and Jack

  32. 32:58 – pretty straightforward for me today. Like others I hesitated over RED GIANT vs RED DWARF but decided Red Dwarf stars weren’t huge (aside from Lister, Cat, Kryten and Rimmer but I don’t think that’s what Wurm meant).

    COD was 4d – brought back memories of a Victorian day we had at school where I wasn’t allowed to write left-handed as that was considered unlucky or “sinister” (which comes from the Latin for “left” or “left-hand” I recall being told).

  33. Me too – I slowed myself down by shoving in Red Dwarf instead of RED GIANT – too much 1990s sci-fi comedy 😅 And I did question whether there was such an animal as a dwarf panda, but biffed it anyway! All the same, I though this was much less wiggly than some of Wurm’s previous offerings, and mostly enjoyable too. All done and dusted in 9:15.
    I liked ATTIC and TERMINAL, but I wasn’t at all keen on 6d – very poor taste I felt. DETERMINATION raised a rueful grin – we continue to have problems with late night road racing between our neighbourhood and the M1 🙄
    FOI Rude LOI Idol COD Phobia
    Thanks Wurm and Jack

  34. Not one of Wurm’s most devilish offerings, but not a walk in the park either.

    I had forgotten the Japanese band (OBI), DNK the reactionary person (DODO) or the RED panda, did not parse PHOBIA and did a full-scale alphabet trawl after having entered ATTIC as my LOI and stopped the clock. That was not a good clue, IMO.

    Nevertheless, I enjoyed the challenge and was very happy to cross the line unscathed in 25 minutes – a good time for me.

    Thanks to Wurm and Jack.

  35. 21:24, my times are getting more consistent if nothing else! I felt that TUNGSTEN was a bit cruel, having NHO of either TUN or STEN but ended up biffing it with a shrug.

    Thank you jackkt for the blog!

  36. Very enjoyable and was astonished to get my second-ever time under 13 minutes! And as someone said above, it *did* feel as if the answers “should” have gone in faster, I felt very dull.

    I think I’ll go try the big guy, so I can feel even more dull. Thanks for the tip! And thanks to setter and blogger!

    [Later: amazingly, I finished the 15×15 although parsing the clues is another matter. Off to do that now.]

  37. Didn’t like rude = rough
    Or even more unemployed = idle
    Surprised no-one else objected.

    1. “Rude” – Collins sense 6: ” rough or harsh in sound, appearance, or behaviour”.

      “Idle” – Collins sense 1 – ” unemployed or unoccupied; inactive”.

      What’s to object about?

      1. I suppose sensitive to those unemployed who are unfortunate rather than idle.
        Sensitivities probably not part of dictionary definitions!

  38. RUDE was FOI and RED DWARF was my first thought for 1d, but as it didn’t fit the huge star definition I rethought and put in GIANT. PHOBIA made me smile. I lazily solved this on the ipad whilst having coffee in bed so was slowed down by the lack of pen and paper for untangling LOI, HYPOCHONDRIA. My bedside specs aren’t the best reading glasses in the world either, so a lot of squinting is the order of the day in these circumstances. A poor excuse for my sluggish 11:32, but it’s the best I’ve got! ATTIC and Linear also held me up before HYPOCHONDRIA materialised. Thanks Wurm and Jack.

  39. 11.21 Another dwarf biffer here. Mostly quick but DADDY LONG LEGS, ATTIC and HYPOCHONDRIA held me up for a good while at the end. Thanks Jack and Wurm.

  40. Really nice puzzle today.
    Thanks Wurm and Jack
    Another day when there is the same answer to clues in concise and quickie!

  41. I was one answer away from an SCC escape but SCRIBE held me up. Drat and double-drat!

  42. Joined the Dwarf group until it became obvious it was wrong. Otherwise a very pleasant 25m solve to start the week.

  43. 13:51 here. Needed to resort to paper for both HYPOCHONDRIA and TENUOUS, but that’s pretty much par for the course: anagrams are my least favourite type of clue.

    I always remember “sinister” for “left” based on a memory from when I was very young (5?) and seeing someone on TV dressed as a Roman legionary marching to the chant of “sinister dexter, sinister dexter”. Brian Cant on Play Away? Isn’t memory weird?

    Anyway, many thanks to Wurm and Jackkt.

  44. 13:05

    Nothing too tricky here though didn’t figure out the significance of America in LOI ATTIC.

  45. I enjoyed many of the surfaces today.

    DNF stumped by the RED GIANT.

    LOI IDOL Why did I not get that one earlier?

    Thanks for all the info from the commentators.

  46. A hugely frustrating 18 mins. Should have been quicker, but NHO RED GIANT and struggled with ATTIC. No excuse for failing to beat 15-min barrier as I was flying for the most part, so a disappointing start to the week. How could I not see GIANT? I may rue those wasted mins later in the week if I get near my goal (still very unhappy to have missed it last week by a matter of minutes).

    Thanks for the blog.

  47. All fairly straightforward and enjoyable. Some fun clues. Not sure I’m a great fan of “unemployed=idle” though, all sounds a bit Braverman to me!
    Thanks Wurm and Jack

Comments are closed.