Times Quick Cryptic 886 by Hurley

Clocked stopped at 9.43 with loi 15ac. Nothing too difficult here and although 10ac may be less familiar to non-nautical types, the whole grid is fairly clued. Quite a few words from the clue go straight into the answer. No mean feat to achieve an accessible crossword given the structure of the grid (many first letters being unchecked) – thanks Hurley.


7. Lonesome – solitary. Left (L), ones (ONES), East End home (‘OME).
8. Roan – horse. Guy from European capital spurning medium – ‘m’ (ROmAN).
9. Meddle – interfere. Homophone (hearing of) medal.
10. Abaft – nearer the stern. A (A), graduate (BA) with paper (FT).
11. Din – racket. Involved in bi(DIN)g.
12. Watery – weak. Passage (WAY) including short term (TERm).
14. Tassel – decorative item. Cheers (TA), not so much (LESS) backwards.
16. Repent – feel contrite. Kept in (PENT)- took a while to get this, after religious education (RE).
18. Runner – athlete. Artillery man (gUNNER) getting a new starting letter.
19. Hoe – work in garden. Regularly cHoOsE.
20. Brake – slow down. Homophone (by sound of it) of break.
21. Samoan – language. Salvation Army (SA), complaint (MOAN).
23. Grid – grating. (G)etting (R)ollicking (I)s (D)istinctly.
24. In season – readily available (unlike the ‘crisis’ last year re courgettes). Inn (INN) holding water (SEA) and so (SO).


1. Home-made – not from a factory. Anagram (distributed) of MEMO HEAD.
2. Herd – animals. Man (HE) on road (RD).
3. Comedy – entertainment. Anagram (arranged) of MY COED.
4. Decant – pour liquid. (D)issolut(E), is unable (CAN’T).
5. Arkansan – American. Anagram (reviewed) of NASA RANK.
6. Part – double definition.
13. Eye-Candy – nice to look at but no more. A person who is or people considered highly attractive to look at, often with the implication that they are lacking in intelligence or depth (so no more than nice looking). There may also be an implication that this type of term is less acceptable than in the past. It’s sweet – referring to the ‘candy’ element.
15. Elevator – lift. Anagram (organised) of TEA LOVER.
17. Thesis – dissertation. Article (THE), relative (SIS).
18. Resist- oppose. Break (REST), holding one’s (I’S).
20. Bard – poet. Exclude (BAR), delta (D).
22. Mead – drink – one I haven’t come across for years. Crazy (MAD) about English (E).

13 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 886 by Hurley”

  1. Straightforward, so far as I can remember. I’d like to think that EYE CANDY is becoming less acceptable; I’ve always detested the phrase. 4:15.
  2. 8 minutes. 7:30 actually, I just happened to notice, but I don’t record seconds. If the day ever comes that I am regularly recording sub-5s maybe I shall start noting them down, but it’s a rare enough occurrence, and whilst I still include parsing in my solving times I don’t expect it to happen.

    Incidentally, for those who haven’t heard about it yet, it appears that the QC will shortly be available in a revamped Crossword Club section where it will be possible (though not compulsory) to enter into league-table competition with other solvers. Another option will be to solve on-line as now but not participate in the league-table. I haven’t yet decided whether to participate in this or continue solving on paper. I imagine that most newbie solvers won’t be very interested in the league-table angle and I’d be inclined to stick with them rather than racing against the clock for the sake of it as enjoyment is more important than speed.

    More details are available in the Crossword Club under ‘Club News’ where there is a prominent link to FAQs on the subject. Also on the ‘Club News’ page – further down RH under ‘Latest News’ – is a message from the Crossword editor ‘The Crossword Club is being upgraded’. And there’s a discussion in the General Forum too.

    EYE CANDY, with or without a hyphen, is gender neutral, so I don’t have any objection to it.

    Edited at 2017-08-01 05:50 am (UTC)

    1. Just to be clear, I didn’t think it was a sexist term, I just detest it. One of my Dr. Fell phrases.
  3. 30 minutes, half spent on abaft (guessed correctly between abaft and amaft), repent, brake, and eye candy, the no more bit was confusing.

    11a has two dins, I spotted the wrong one first.

    COD bard.

  4. Not done the Quickie for a long time, but enjoyed this over afternoon tea. Took embarrassingly long to get my last one, GRID.
  5. I found this to be relatively straightforward, helped by being a fan of authors such as Patrick O’Brian etc for 10a.
    LOI 14a, completed in 13 minutes.
  6. I found this reasonably straightforward today. There seemed to be a lot of anagrams which always helps. Rather like Flashman, I thankfully correctly guessed abaft rather than amaft. 15:20
  7. 11:22 elapsed before I put this one (and myself) to bed. Nothing particularly difficult, but I had to tease out the answers. Started with HERD and finished with EYE CANDY. Thanks Hurley and Chris.
  8. Sub-eleven minutes for me, which is reasonable – in line with my old target before I adjusted for age!

    Nothing troublesome or holding me up.

  9. All fairly straightforward after yesterday’s self-inflicted DNF. 24 mins fully parsed with loi Samoan. Invariant
  10. 5′ flat with an undue amount of time agonising over ‘repent’. I have always considered repentance to be a positive response to contrition, i.e. doing something to ameliorate for one transgressions, rather than being synonymous with contrition itself. I was well mounted on my high-horse, planning to have a rant, but thought quick check of references wouldn’t hurt. The fact that they unanimously disagreed with me somewhat lowered my dudgeon. Apologies to Hurley for even thinking ill of the clueing.
  11. Darn, didn’t get WATERY. This dimwittedness satisfies one requirement of eye-candiness, but just glimpsed at the mirror, no real hope for me.

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