Times Quick Cryptic No 1168 by Hurley

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I came in a minute or so under my target with no major holdups beyond an unparsed 22ac, so on the gentle side of average difficulty. There were three instances of directly using the words in the clue as part of the answer (9ac, 1d, 2d), but this didn’t make things much easier as a crossword where this was the first thing one looked for would be a rather stultifying experience. Reliably not the case – many thanks to Hurley!

1 Attempt to protect old politician (4)
TORY – TRY (attempt) to protect O(ld)
3 She is out travelling — mind her property? (5-3)
HOUSE-SIT – Anagram (travelling) of SHE IS OUT, with the definition referring to the first part of the clue.
9 Most imprecise, loses time, digesting nothing (7)
LOOSESTLOSES (loses) T(ime) digesting O (nothing).
10 Musicians getting round resistance revealing trade name (5)
BRAND – BAND (musicians) getting round R(esistance)
11 Scottish river’s 150 years editor recalled (5)
CLYDECL (150 in Roman numerals) Y(ear)  DE (ed[itor] recalled/reversed)
12 Breakfast food, much esteemed, light, leading couples used (6)
MUESLI – “leading couple” of letters of MUch ESteemed LIght.
14 Shopper at first undecided, peers around, finding retail therapy? (8,5)
SPENDING SPREE – S (Shopper, at first) PENDING (undecided), anagram (around) of PEERS.
17 Note I’d backed with some hesitation brings boredom (6)
TEDIUMTE (note, also spelt ti) DI (I’d, backed) with UM (some hesitation)
19 Musical term from southeast, good, usable — extremely (5)
SEGUE – SE (southeast) G(ood) UE (UsablE, “extremely”). I only knew this in the later, general sense of smooth/seamless transition, but it was originally a musical term for moving from one movement to the next in this manner.
22 Fruit Twist left unfinished (5)
OLIVE – OLIVER (as in Oliver Twist) left unfinished = without the last letter. Took a while to see this.
23 Isle I’d learn about (7)
IRELAND – Anagram (about) of ID LEARN
24 Weary about teetotaller, English — laughed (8)
TITTEREDTIRED (weary) about TT (teetotaller) E(nglish)
25 Sounds like couple’s type of fruit tree (4)
PEARsounds like PAIR (couple)
1 Test entered by the French chartered accountant — something to watch (8)
TELECAST – TEST (test) entered by LE (the, French) CA (chartered accountant)
2 Writing up moor? Yes, primarily spacious (5)
ROOMY – ROOM (write “moor” upwards) Y (Yes, primarily)
4 Regional power’s time apt no more, broken up (7,6)
OTTOMAN EMPIRE – anagram (broken up) of TIME APT NO MORE
5 Black fur (5)
SABLE – double definition. Sable is black in heraldry, and is possibly named after the animal/fur which is brown, so there’s a bit of confusion about this. One theory is that sable fur might often have been dyed black to distinguish it from ermine.
6 Device for fastening paper, basic? Right (7)
STAPLER – a STAPLE = a basic, R(ight)
7 Fuss describing list (2-2)
TO-DOas in a to do list
8 Have leading role to execute (6)
BEHEAD – to be the head is to have the leading role.
13 Postpone introducing objective for back four player? (8)
DEFENDER – DEFER (postpone) introducing END (objective)
15 Part of the leg is theme for poet (7)
ELEGIST“Part” of the letters of thE LEG IS Theme
16 Relative from South is initially thorough, extremely rigorous (6)
SISTERS(outh) IS (is) TER (initially Thorough Extremely Rigorous). Nice misdirection – I initially got the wrong end of the definition stick and toyed with BISIST and NOSIST. I see “nosism” is a word: if egotism is self-centredness in an individual, nosism is the equivalent for a group of people. You’d think an individual in that group would be a “nosist” but the word doesn’t exist. It is something of a paradox, as a nosist, who puts the selfish whims of the group above his/her own interests, is all of a sudden an altruist.
18 Girl from Tenerife turned up (5)
IRENE – “from” the letters of tENERIfe, turned up.
20 Mark in German due, oddly selected (5)
GRADEoddly selected letters of GeRmAn DuE
21 Goods stolen from manipulated person after revolution (4)
LOOT – a TOOL is a manipulated person, after revolution = reversed.

25 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1168 by Hurley”

  1. I was sluggish on this one, and especially slow to get BEHEAD & SPENDING SPREE, my last two. And then I didn’t notice a typo (DEFEMDER). 7:23.
  2. Is “imprecise” doing double duty, or, if not, where is the anagram indicator? “Digesting” merely means “loses t(ime)” is taking in an “o,” not that those letters are themselves jumbled.
    1. It’s not an anagram clue, it’s containment (indicated by ‘digesting’) and Roly’s parsing is correct.

      Edited at 2018-08-30 05:41 am (UTC)

  3. A neat puzzle with a nice mix of clues. Taking it steadily, I managed most of the across clues giving me lots of checkers for a clean sweep of the down clues. OLIVE my LOI as I took a while to think of Master Twist rather than an abbreviated torsion. I liked SPENDING SPREE and, my COD, HOUSE-SIT with its neat self-reference in the clue. 5:25.
  4. A typical Hurley offering with some easy clues to suck you in and some more chalkenging ones to shatter any complacency. I stupidly biffed shopping spree and slowed to a halt before going back to the clue and parsing it properly. This held up behead, elegist, olive and my embarrassingly simple LOI, loot and a time of 3 Kevins. John M
    1. I’d convinced myself that Lot was the person who’d been “manipulated” into a pillar of salt (completely forgetting it was actually Lot’s wife, anyway) and that the “revolution” was the extra letter “o” (well, it’s round, isn’t it?) The fact that the clue said “after revolution” I conveniently glossed over.
      It’s amazing what twisted logic I can conjure up to try to explain a clue!


  5. I thought this was a bit gentler than some of Hurley’s but an enjoyable puzzle with a couple of trickier clues. Have we seen the leading pair of letters type of clue as in 12a in a QC before? FOI, TORY, LOI, LOOT. LTS(longest to spot) LOOT and OLIVE. 8:55. Thanks Hurley and Roly.
    1. Re leading couples I should imagine so, John. Most of the tricks and tropes have been done before somewhere, by someone, and often it’s the neatness with which such ideas are deployed that brings delight, or not.

      Nice QC. I think Hurley is a real expert at pitching the difficulty.

  6. A gentle and pleasant offering. I knew both SEGUE and SABLE but not their meanings, so some learnings today. HOUSE SIT was a rather neat clue – and not seen “leading couples used” (as in MUESLI) before so my COD.
  7. I was held up at the end by BEHEAD for some reason and finally put it in with fingers crossed. Other than that this was relatively straightforward and I completed it in 13.04.
    Thanks for the blog
  8. I so wish that I could have completed this on my computer rather than on my phone whilst travelling through France….I think I would have attained a new PB. Unfortunately the big finger on a little screen is not speedy and frequently inaccurate. I seem to toggle between pen and pencil without meaning to. Anyway the only two clues that were not immediate write ins for me were OTTOMAN EMPIRE and LOI BEHEAD
  9. Struggled with this clue due to putting the break in the wrong place making it 6,7 and hence the second word started with N. I was using pen and paper.
    Leaving my idiocy to one side is there a way of inserting spaces into the online version which I tend to do most days? Thx John
  10. Steady solve for me coming in at just under the 10 minute mark. Didn’t parse 22a or 21d though.

    The last two days I’ve tried doing the crossword via the Times crossword club web page but for some reason all the buttons work other than “Submit” (which rather undermines the point). Has anyone else had this problem? My PC uses Firefox as a browser.

    1. Enter the club site, select your profile and then edit profile. There are two options: Leaderboard and Private. If Private is selected you won’t be able to submit.
      1. Thanks. I am already set to leaderboard (not that I’ll be troubling it!). I noticed that the “Settings” icon in the top right is also non responsive. Maybe a problem with Flash or something like that?
      2. I use Chrome Browser for the Club site. It seems to have fewer problems than others. If you can, I would try installing Chrome and see how that works.
  11. I was another who carelessly biffed Shopping Spree for 14ac, which gave me an entertaining couple of minutes trying to think of some sort of leg bone that would fit for 15d. Eventually even I thought that was getting a bit obscure for a QC and realised my error. The hidden Elegist then became obvious. My only other hold up was trying, and failing, to parse 22ac, Olive. Sneaky. Thank you Roly for the explanation. 24 mins in total. Invariant

    Edited at 2018-08-30 02:34 pm (UTC)

  12. I doubt anybody will ever read this, but in case some future archivist delves through the records, let it be known that I finally broke the 20 minute barrier on this one – 19:51 – and my COD was Olive.

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