Times Quick Cryptic No 1203 by Hurley

12 minutes for me this morning, helped by a plethora of anagrams, nothing too obscure, and a good sprinkling of easier clues.  There is some unusual vocabulary though, both in clues and answers – FRISSON, VIRAGO and SLOVEN stand out.  I have a small doubt about my parsing for 19d, which hopefully one of the regulars will correct if I’m wrong.

WoD is FRISSON and CoD is 11a for the clever device used, which may be new for some still learning.

Thanks to Hurley for another nice puzzle.

8  Stare at first person overheard at dance (7)
EYEBALL – EYE (first person, I, overheard, i.e. a part homophone) and BALL (dance).  EYEBALL, as well as referring to the globe of the eye, also exists as a transitive verb, meaning to examine closely.
9  Note about bone group (5)
TRIBE – TE (note, as in doh, re, me, etc.) wrapped around (about) RIB (bone)
10  Caught in black stuff?  Run! (5)
SCOOT – C{aught} inside SOOT (black stuff).  SCOOT is defined as ‘to make off quickly’, i.e. to run.
11 Brave, changing sides?  That’s not normal (7)
VARIANT – Brave clues VALIANT, which then swaps L{eft} for R{ight} (changes sides) to give VARIANT.  One definition of VARIANT is ‘a specimen slightly differing from a type or standard’, i.e. not normal.
12  Creed a nun translated showing persistence (9)
ENDURANCE – Anagram (translated) of [CREED A NUN]
14 Cricket side, just starting, out for fifty (3)
OFF – First letters (just starting) of O{ut} F{or} F{ifty}.  For those uninitiated, there are two sides to a cricket field, the ON (or LEG side)and OFF side.  Confusingly, these swap around when a right hand batsman is replaced by a left hand batsman.
16 Sharply criticize legal charge (3)
RAP – Double definition, the second as in a RAP sheet.
18  Poor signs treated? This shows how it might go (9)
PROGNOSIS – Straightforward anagram (treated) of [POOR SIGNS]
21  Arrange deposit for cut of beef (7)
TOPSIDE – Another anagram (arranged) of [DEPOSIT]
22  Request to include island, Eastern, to provide colour (5)
BEIGE – BEG (request) including I{sland} and followed by E{astern}.  BEIGE gets its name from the French, where it means natural wool, i.e. unbleached and undyed.
23  Furious, heading off buccaneer (5)
IRATE – Remove the first letter (heading off) of {p}IRATE (buccaneer)
24  Seen in context, remedy’s drastic (7)
EXTREME – Hidden in {cont}EXT, REME{dy’s}

1 Clothing seen, warm possibly (8)
MENSWEAR – Anagram (possibly) of [SEEN, WARM]
Look courageous, captivating English hearts (6)
BEHOLD – BOLD (courageous) containing (captivating) E{nglish} and H{earts}
3  Off and on, gran into special way of walking (4)
GAIT – Alternative letters (off and on) of G{r}A{n} I{n}T{o}
4  Involved in ruinous love necking careless guy (6)
SLOVEN – Another hidden answer (involved in), this time in {ruinous}S LOVE N{ecking}
5  Doctor has loads of time for fish (8)
STURGEON – SURGEON (doctor) ‘loaded with’ T{ime}
6  Six tease old battle-axe (6)
VIRAGO – VI (six in roman numerals) and RAG (tease) followed by O{ld}.  A VIRAGO is a bad tempered woman.
7 Departed from political wing (4)
LEFT – Double definition
13  Fixer referring to someone matching socks? (8)
REPAIRER – RE (referring to) and PAIRER (someone matching socks, for example, hence the question mark)
15  Moving more quickly to secure extremely nice clasp (8)
FASTENER – To be FASTER is to be moving more quickly, and this secures (contains) the first and last letters of N{ic}E (extremely).
17  Wood, popular, excluding upper-class (6)
POPLAR – POP{u}LAR.  The use of U and non-U to describe Upper and aspiring-Middle classes respectively, is commonly used in Crosswordland, and well worth remembering.
19  Over with writer replacing very first song (6)
OPENER – Take OVER and replace the V(ery) with PEN (writer) to get the name for the first song in a musical or performance.  I’m not sure whether the ‘first’ is part of the wordplay and refers to the first letter of Very, or is a part of the definition.  It could be either, and the clue just about works either way.
20  Frisson from area of activity in outskirts of Santander (6)
SHIVER – A HIVE is an area of activity, and this is placed in the outskirts (first and last letters) of S{antande}R.  A frisson is a shiver or a shudder or a thrill.
21  Initially trying painting – hard work (4)
TOIL – T{rying} (initially) and OIL as an example of a painting
22  City hotel supporting club (4)
BATH – BAT (club) supported by H{otel} from the phonetic alphabet.

20 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1203 by Hurley”

  1. Slowed down by two clues: 11ac and 4d. SLOVEN was just my chronic inability to spot a hidden clue; with 11ac I could only come up with ‘gallant’, and GARRANT was surely not what the setter had in mind. 7:16.
  2. 32 minutes but with a typo in baige.

    Struggled with left, tribe, behold and LOI the unknown virago.

    cod repairer.

  3. 13 minutes delayed by SCOOT, BEHOLD, VARIANT and SLOVEN, none of which leapt out at me and I need to return to each of them several times.
  4. 17 mins with at least 5 of them spent on my last two 20d SHIVER and 22a BEIGE. For some reason I couldn’t think of a five letter colour starting with B! Also biffed VARIANT and OPENER so thank you Rotter for the blog.
  5. Nice puzzle. I soon moved to the south before finishing back in the NW corner which, by then, seemed much more straightforward. My LOI was actually Sturgeon which seemed obvious. I liked Shiver, Opener, and Beige and thought Extreme was well hidden. Steady progress, but under 3 kevins which counts as par for me these days. Thanks to Hurley and to therotter for the blog and fir making sense of Rap (sheet!). John M.

    Edited at 2018-10-18 08:48 am (UTC)

  6. 5.36 and for once the iPad/Chiltern Railways WiFi combination didn’t conspire to rob me of either time or accuracy.

    Not sure I’ve come across SLOVEN as a noun before, but live and learn I guess.

    Otherwise not too bad, although after getting the first couple of acrosses, things stalled a bit – no idea why, but it picked up again soon enough.

  7. Another puzzle I made heavy weather of, taking 14:44. I don’t really know why, as it all seems straightforward looking back. I suppose that’s the sign of a cleverly constructed puzzle. I did this after the Witching hour and now can’t remember where I started or finished, and I was fairly well lubricated with a nice Rioja, so that may have had something to do with it. Thanks Hurley and Rotter.
  8. Couldn’t get into the swing of some of this – the construction needing to guess the correct smaller word to get a sometimes obscure answer.
    Did not get 11a or 22a 22d or 2d. (22a too obsessed with trying to put in Ask because I didn’t get Bath) 24a well hidden answer!
    Some other nice clues though and great blog.
    Thanks all
    John George
  9. I found this hard in places. I gave up trying to parse OPENER, where I got as far as O for over, pen for writer but had no idea where the ‘er’ came from. My last 3 also took an age of staring blankly at the screen – 10a where I couldn’t get ‘scram’ out of my head, 2d and 3d (LOI and CoD) where I biffed the answer but spent some time to see how it worked. Stumbled over the line in 25.44.
    Thanks for the blog
  10. Ooh, so hard today! But there… I know it’s good for me! I got “variant ” – what else could it be? – and lots of other tricky ones today even if I couldn’t quite parse them. However, I was stuffed in the NW corner, as it were, by my certainty – dunderhead – that the answer to “clothing seen, warm possibly” was “sweater”. Once I realised that 8 across was “eyeball”, it was clear that said certainty was rubbish but it was a long time before I realised – of course! – that it was an anagram. I didn’t finish, though, because, try as I might, I couldn’t solve 4 down. Curses. My thanks, as always, to setter and blogger
    1. Whilst there are many possible reasons for not being able to solve a particular clue, over the years I have learnt to adopt two initial approaches: 1) have I made a mistake in the crossers? (often the answer is ‘yes’); 2) is there a hidden? They have got me out of trouble on innumerable occasions and would have done so for you today.

      I agree that this one was on the tough side. Many answers required a very long pin to winkle them out.

      Many thanks as always to setter and blogger.

      1. Thank you! I so appreciate it when you seasoned solvers take the time to advise me. It’s so kind. I suspected”sweater” was going to be wrong. Because I want to improve my time, I don’t always completely parse my answers, hoping that they’re right and knowing that time (or, more specifically, the blog!) will tell me WHY it’s right. And, much more often now than used to be the case, thank goodness, they ARE right. But “sweater”, other than making the wearer “warm” was never going to pan out. However, I’d spent so long on the rest of the QC that I was suffering from puzzle-fatigue by the time I realised that, actually, the answer to 1 down was “menswear”.There was certainly no space left in my brain to work out my final clue, 4 down – even though I had all the checkers. And, yes, as you say, it was a “hidden”. These are definitely my weakest point. Still, upwards and onwards!
  11. Thanks for the blog, Rotter – I could not for the life of me parse VARIANT, which was LOI and completely baffled me. Once I got the V from SLOVEN I was fixated on it starting with an anagram of brave (“brave, changing”). Now I see the explanation I think that was a pretty post-grad level clue for the QC!

    COD to OPENER, made me snort when the penny dropped. Done in a little under 3 Kevins. Thanks, Hurley.


  12. FOI 21ac! Bottom half went in reasonably well, but I failed to spot most of the hiddens or even the anagrams. Not sure now whether they were cleverly hidden or my mind wasn’t on it. Bit of both I think. COD REPAIRER (made me chuckle and one of the few that went straight in). LOI BEHOLD. Took me around an hour. Ah well, tomorrow is another day!
  13. Way to hard for me had absolutely no idea what the setter was about. Unusual as I normally find Hurley pretty solvable. Brain must have been asleep. Nakrian kickiat
  14. I started this off online and when the phone rang after 12 minutes I had only solved a few clues. This was another grid where many first letters were missing which I find hard.
    Anyway I had another look on the train to London and completed it in another 10 minutes with Beige and Fastener being my last two.
    I had Variant without the parsing from early on but did manage to work it out.
    With hindsight there is nothing too difficult overall, but it was a tricky puzzle to get into. My FOI was 14a Off.
  15. Hi John Dun
    A bottle of Rioja by 1017. Please tell me u live in a different time zone.
    Or is this what I need to improve. DNF today. NW corner tough IMHO.
    1. Yes Johnny, I’m in the UK so the Rioja was consumed during the evening, not with my porridge:-) I posted my comment after I awoke this morning. The Blog wasn’t up when I retired for the night!

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