Times Quick Cryptic No 2008 by Hurley

A lovely puzzle from Hurley. At 9 minutes I was a minute slower than yesterday done just before, except I had one wrong at 11ac, which is what I get for trying to be too clever (and perhaps hasty) for my own good. Lots to like, with a nice mix of satisfying clues and enjoyable words. Good stuff – many thanks to Hurley!

1 Having restricted Southern girl, face sack (9)
DISMISSAL – S MISS (Southern girl) restricted by DIAL (face)
6 Margaret briefly referred to fixture for hanging (3)
PEG double definition
8 In Oman see where Minister lives (5)
9 An assertion, outspoken, getting praise (7)
ACCLAIM – sounds like (“outspoken”) A CLAIM (an assertion)
10 After restoration adore old place, fabulous (2,6)
EL DORADO – anagram (after restoration) of ADORE OLD. A nice example of inflation: the legend grew from being a chieftain, to a city, to a kingdom, to an empire.
11 List flight manoeuvre (4)
ROLL double definition. The only flight manoeuvre I could think of was LOOP THE LOOP, and if you loop “loop” you get POOL, which seemed vaguely approximate to “list” while solving. But yes, this doesn’t really work for at least two good reasons.
13 Almost all of plan referring to births rejected as a sham (9)
CHARLATAN – CHARt (“almost all of” plan), NATAL (referring to births) reversed. The OED lists a charlatan as “a mountebanke, a cousening drug-seller, a pratling quack-salver, a tatler, babler“. What a rich vocabulary for con-persons we have! I particularly like the ‘prattling quack-salver’.
16 Connect learner with writing material (4)
LINK – L(earner) with INK (writing material)
17 Hope to include sailors, very good apparently, in lively dance (8)
HORNPIPE – HOPE to include RN (Royal Navy = sailors) PI (pious = very good apparently)
20 Extend short programme covering half of our capital (7)
PROLONG PROG. (short programme) covering LONdon (half of our capital)
21 Watchful as lazy employee reads tabloid at first (5)
ALERTAs Lazy Employee Reads Tabloid “at first”
22 Bringing back best trophy (3)
POT – reverse TOP (best)
23 Knockabout fun as her ploy goes wrong (9)
HORSEPLAY – anagram (goes wrong) on AS HER PLOY

1 She has medals mixed up (6)
DAMSEL – anagram (mixed up) of MEDALS. “She” as a noun.
2 Church council’s case for Sunday: sign of agreement follows (5)
SYNOD SY (“case” for SundaY) NOD (sign of agreement) follows
3 To be heard, I yell for cold sweet (3,5)
ICE CREAM – is heard as I SCREAM (I yell)
4 Mag laden with scorn involved this guy? (13)
SCANDALMONGERanagram (involved) of MAG LADEN with SCORN.
5 Absence of chess player, missing start (4)
LACKbLACK (chess player) missing start
6 Also in scheme — group of soldiers (7)
PLATOON – TOO (also) in PLAN (scheme)
7 Bet sporting contest’s captivating Brazil’s wingers (6)
GAMBLE – GAME (sporting contest) is captivating BL (BraziL’s “wingers“)
12 One featured in theatre area for long period in the past (5,3)
STONE AGE – ONE featured in STAGE (theatre area)
13 Partner’s argument against — so right! (7)
CONSORT – CON (argument against) ; SO ; RT. (right)
14 Upcoming student’s mistake (4-2)
SLIP-UPPUPIL’S (student’s) “upcoming”/reversed
15 One observing son at door maybe? (6)
SENTRY S(on) at ENTRY (door, maybe)
18 At the outset innovative agreement is perfect (5)
IDEAL – I (“at the outset” Innovative) DEAL (agreement)
19 Imported by Mykonos, healthy food (4)
NOSH – “Imported by” mykoNOS Healthy. From Yiddish nashn, I see.

47 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2008 by Hurley”

  1. Nothing to scare the horses. We’ve had SLIP-UP before, maybe even identically clued. I needed a couple of checkers before I could sort out the anagrist for SCANDALMONGER. I’m taking more time to proof-read, having had 4 incorrect in 2 QCs last month. 6:58.
  2. Slowed down in the NE where a hastily entered ‘dismissed’ needed unpicking before LACK, ACCLAIM and GAMBLE fell in quick succession to leave me all green in 14. Also made trouble for myself by trying to enter ‘ice scream’ — a case of solving too fast for my fingers to know what to type – and which slowed down CHARLATAN.

    No excuses for slowness on GAMBLE but it’s not the first time a lack of betting knowledge has held me back. I remember not understanding this early 1990’s Scottish football joke: name three footballers connected with gambling: Jim Bett, Campbell Money and Mixu Paatelainen. Good times!

  3. Not sure why I thought it was HORNPIKE. Also not sure why I never stopped to check the parsing. Must do better.

    Thanks Roly and Hurley.

  4. 7 minutes.

    I scream
    You scream
    We all scream for

    Edited at 2021-11-18 07:39 am (UTC)

  5. A very pleasant 9 minute solve …
    … although I needed Roly’s blog to see the full parsing of 1A Dismissal. That apart, no hold-ups, and I remain in awe of our setters’ ability to produce 13-letter anagrams: 4D Scandalmonger is a cracker!

    Many thanks to Roly for the blog.

  6. Way too difficult for me. Only managed to answer about 70% of the clues.

    Those unanswered: 13a, 17a, 20a, 22a, 23a, 4d, 6d, 12d, 13d, 14d, 15d, 19d.

    Maybe tomorrow will finish the week with a win.

  7. A fine puzzle from Hurley with lots of imaginative but fair clues and plenty of satisfaction when pennies dropped.
    In my haste, I was suckered by 9ac which I biffed as ‘exclaim’ on the basis of ‘an assertion outspoken’ (yes, I know….). I only sorted it out when the brilliant SCANDALMONGER emerged and I had a rethink. This, and some unreasonable blind spots in the SE took me from under target to a couple of mins over but no matter.
    An enjoyable puzzle and another one worthy of the QC description. Many thanks to Hurley (and Roly). John M.

    Edited at 2021-11-18 08:40 am (UTC)

  8. I was surprised to see that I finished in 6.40 as it didn’t feel like a completely straightforward solve – although I did forget to go back and parse DISMISSAL. Pretty much a top to bottom solve, apart from 13a and 13d which I left to the end as I needed the checkers to see what was going on.
    Thanks to Roly, particularly for the CHARLATAN synonyms which I thoroughly enjoyed.
  9. A very enjoyable puzzle. Very well crafted and an 18D example of a QCC which took me just 40 seconds into the SCC as I took time to get some toast. I don’t know why Roly (ROLLY?) was figuring out loop the loop when barrel roll and roll are acceptable aerobatics. COD SLIP UP. Probably a chestnut but new to me.
    While Diana mentioned the fall colors (sic) in her US trip, the autumn colours in East Anglia are absolutely stunning, a firework display in the afternoon sun.
    Thanks Hurly and Roly
  10. A rare DNF – surprised that most found this easy!
    Often find ‘words within other words’ clues tough (12d, 20a)… and 17a was my DNF.
    Didn’t help that an early biff was ‘BANK’ for 11a (Bank being a common flight move, and although Bank = List is loose, I’ve seen worse!)
    Nothing unfair, just tough for me.
    Thanks Hurley for the workout, and esp to Roly for explaining HORNPIPE.
  11. Nice puzzle. I started with LACK, then went where the crossers led me, completing the top half before moving below. CHARLATAN was constructed from the N of PLATOON, working backwards, with the short map tagged on the front. SENTRY was LOI. 8:52. Thanks Hurley and Roly.
  12. Not come across PI for “Very Good” before so far as I can remember, which slowed me down on HORNPIPE significantly. Otherwise, CONSORT and ROLL proved trickiest, and eventually all green in just under 12 mins – back down to my normal times after yesterday’s blitz, it seems.
    1. Pi …
      … for Pious is one worth remembering, as our setters often use it, though it would be nice if they rang the changes — one can have the Greek letter Pi, a small Pi(e), and I believe PI also stands for Principal Investigator. The irony is that piousness and goodness are by no means the same thing; history shows an abundance of instances of people who are pious (ie devoutly religious) and yet as sinful as the rest of us.


  13. Another that I found easy, that is, I finished in ten minutes. FOI peg. Didn’t go for a straight read through, used what I’d solved to aid further enlightenment. LOI consort. Didn’t parse dismissal, hadn’t seen pupils as slip-up before that I recall, didn’t bother to get further than church council for synod. Saw the nod post-entry but needed the blog for Sunday. COD charlatan. Thanks, Roly, and Hurley.
  14. 11 minutes, and thoroughly enjoyed, with virtually all the answers appearing on first reading of the clues — certainly in the top half. Exceptions were CHARLATAN (where I initially wanted it to end with EEN ( nee reversed) and STONE AGE (where my first thoughts were to fit an I into WEST END, but that clearly didn’t work). I wondered if 4d was a semi &Lit, as I think the definition requires the whole clue to be underlined. SCANDALMONGER from ‘this guy’ is a bit of a stretch. Thanks Roly and Hurley.
    1. Yes I think you’re right – I’m never quite sure how much to underline with these semi &lit-ish type clues: sometimes a note in the parsing saying the definition refers back to the rest of the clue seems best; other times, like here, the whole clue would be better underlined. Oh well, a bit late to merit changing now!
  15. Back online today; all correct in 09:35 with LOI SCANDALMONGER which I had to write out even with all the checkers.
    I too did not parse STONE AGE as I solved.
    Most finding this easy but it was enough of a challenge at this level to make it worthwhile.
  16. I didn’t think this was that straightforward although nothing obviously difficult. I stupidly was trying adore + o for 10ac so took far too long to see the anagram. I needed all the crossers for 4dn and like Roly wanted to put loop or pool for 11ac. Finished more or less exactly on SCC time. I did wonder whether there may have been a Dickensian theme in there with Peg & Manse & Scandalmonger, but didn’t spot one.

    FOI Peg – my Grandma
    LOI Roll
    COD Charlatan

  17. 10:16 Another QC that was well crafted and a classic of the form. I just spent a long time wrestling the 15×15 to completion, so this felt much more to my liking.

    Only complaint is the tiresome PI which setters insist on keeping alive. My offering
    Hope to include sailors with magnum in lively dance (8)

    COD & WOD SCANDALMONGER Great clue, and was hard to see, with the tempting –MAN at the end.

  18. on a laptop screen (rather than a bigger screen), so I couldn’t see my time as I was going along. I felt like I was struggling, but eventually it all fell into place. I think I felt I was struggling because I was having to parse as I went along, rather than merrily biffing.

    Anyway, I liked CHARLATAN and my LOI SCANDALMONGER — I nearly had to write out the anagrist, even with all the checkers, but it came to me in a flash of inspiration.

    6:25, so squarely in target range.

  19. A disappointing 27 mins for me — seem to be struggling to get pre 20 mins at the moment.

    Some nice clues from Hurley — only question I had was 13ac “Charlatan” which I normally associate with an individual. Is it just another general synonym for “sham”?

    In reference to 3dn, always conjures up that old tv series of Just William and the screeching Violet. Whilst the rest went in slowly, the main hold up was 4dn “Scandalmonger” where I had a bit of troubling sorting out the anagram and 17ac “Hornpipe”.

    FOI — 9ac “Acclaim”
    LOI — 17ac “Hornpipe”
    COD — 13ac “Charlatan” (good wordplay)

    Thanks as usual!

  20. A steady solve with some neat clues, although I couldn’t parse a couple, so thanks to rolytoly for the explanations.
  21. Started slowly with only a few of the across clues on first reading. Picked up pace considerably with the downs but then stalled a bit on my last three: 11ac (needed an alphabet trawl), 17ac and 15dn. Eventually finished in 16 mins with all parsed. Another nice QC after yesterday’s offering, so thanks to Hurley, and to Rolytoly for the blog.

    FOI – 8ac MANSE
    LOI – 17ac HORNPIPE
    COD – both 4dn SCANDALMONGER and 14dn SLIP UP are very clever. The latter was a new one on me.

  22. At nearly 30mins, I was well off the pace today — I even struggled with the anagrist for Horseplay despite having the first letter! One to put behind, with 14d Slip Up an appropriate CoD. Invariant
  23. Not on good form today – but pleased to finish correctly in 55 mins.

    I liked CHARLATAN. A word often linked in the press to our current PM but I could not possibly comment.

    And HORNPIPE – I had not heard of PI (short for pious) = very good. I will remember it.

    Also SLIP-UP = PUPIL’S reversed.

    Thanks to Liz Hurley and rolytoly.



  24. ….that Boris Johnson is not a CHARLATAN, would that automatically make ME a CHARLATAN ?
  25. ….which caused me no difficulty at all. Thank you Hurley, and Roly for your excellent blog.

    TIME 3:49

  26. Had to work at some clues like SCANDALMONGER. FOI PEG, LOI CONSORT..
    Thanks for helpful blog, Roly
  27. Thank the Lord I had Scandalmonger in early – I never quite know why Meg is sometimes Peg, but she is. My COD to Hornpipe with a nod to Stone Age.
  28. Almost forgot to post as this was a bit of a non-event for me.
    FOI 1dn DAMSEL in distress.

    LOI 5dn LACK as I started with DISMISSED

    COD 4dn SCANDALMONGER – a bit of ananagram!

    WOD 19dn NOSH! ‘He loves his nosh!’

    23ac could simply have been clued as ‘Equus’?

    Stanhope for one!

    1. Oh I do like the equus clue – a few more of those from the netherer regions of the dictionary and you could be setting a Monthly Club Special (laconic edition).
  29. Enjoyable puzzle which took us 30m, our target. Had to check the word play for stone age and one or two others. Thanks for the blog.
  30. Wasn’t too sure about scandalmonger and needed a few checkers before the penny dropped. Otherwise no real problems.
  31. and ok to finish, as I found it. Did not meet a Solve Crash but confounded by a Parse Freeze. PI out of abbreviating Pious signalled by ‘very good apparently’ [which is clever] was a bit convoluted for me. Hornpipe was already pretty clear. But I have much to learn… With thanks.
  32. I’m another in the This-wasn’t-that-easy camp, with only MANSE going in straight away of the first seven clues. I never realised that PEG was short for Margaret. I wonder how that came about. After that, things started to go in more regularly and it was more like a steady solve. I finished with CONSORT spot on 26 minutes. COD to SLIP UP which, if I have seen it before, I had forgotten. Thanks Hurley and Roly.
  33. Some really fin clues today.
    Is it me or were there a number of church related clues?
    Wondered for a minute if a theme was emerging
  34. Hello everyone. Sorry for my long absence, I’m
    doing a long, acrimonious and stressful trial and have had no time for pleasure. Today I cross examined the last witness from the other side so I get a little break now and am sitting in a train going home.

    Anyway my brain is obviously fizzing at the moment because I blitzed that in 5:24. I should get really stressed more often!

    Hope to be around a bit more from now on though it goes on till mid December groan


    1. Yes welcome back, it’s always nice to read your comments. Hope you get to relax a bit before long, and in the meantime you can always lie back and think of Christmas shopping!
  35. After a fast, for me, solve yesterday, today was a bit of a grind. Possibly because I was dipping in and out whilst “multitasking” and never really applied myself, but few came easily. Anyhow, got there eventually. Forgot Margaret = Peg, so held up in the NE, and the long anagram also eluded me until late on. Liked SLIP UP.
  36. Still catching up (it’s Friday).

    Really lovely puzzle. We finished in 10 minutes.


    Thanks Rolytoly and Hurley.

  37. Nice puzzle — took an age over CHARLATAN.
    Isn’t the double definition of ROLL list = roll (call)
    ie names on a list

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