Times Quick Cryptic No 2188 by Hurley

A toughie today from Hurley giving me my first DNF in a while.

I had all but the NW completed by around 10 minutes, but then it was a bit of a grind… 4d and 2d were very slow to fall, leaving several minutes staring in vain at 7ac before clicking on the answer as the clock struck 17:30. Phew! Had me completely thrown.

Tricky things going on elsewhere in the grid put this broadly on a par with Monday and Wednesday’s 15×15, so treat it as such if you found it a bit of a struggle. Some lovely clues though made it a most worthwhile wrestle – many thanks to Hurley!

7 Manage plentiful supply in vale? (8)
FAREWELL – FARE (manage) WELL (plentiful supply). I simply couldn’t get beyond DELL for vale. VALE is defined quite precisely as farewell, perhaps better known in valediction or the like.
8 Over-hasty artist — say no more! (4)
RASH – R.A. (artist) Sh! (say no more!)
9 Formal wear in front section — a draw (3,3)
BOW TIE – BOW (front section, say of a ship) TIE (draw)
10 Moved fast, gazelle? Extremely — in large open area (5)
RANGE – RAN (moved fast) GazellE “extremely”
11 Impossible to get to this in court (3)
ACE – cryptic definition, as in a serve in tennis.
12 Group of soldiers to some extent flip at rollicking (6)
PATROL – “to some extent” fliP AT ROLlicking
14 After time fix stand for cooking (6)
TRIVET – after T(ime) goes RIVET (fix)
16 Computer program including everything for vote (6)
BALLOT – BOT (computer program) including ALL (everything)
18 Current student group (6)
STREAM – double definition
19 Vessel used in embarkation (3)
ARK – “used in” embARKation
20 Initially feels resentment over woman’s nasty show of dislike (5)
FROWN -“initially” Feels Resentment Over Woman’s Nasty
21 Trouble after silly attack (6)
ASSAIL – AIL (trouble) after ASS (silly, as a noun – a silly person)
23 Prompt to welcome learner’s hint (4)
CLUE – CUE (prompt) to welcome L(earner)
24 Cosmetic I picked up joining ship (8)
EYELINER – “picked up” = heard, so I = EYE, joins LINER (ship)
1 Picture of Nora with parents either side? (8)
PANORAMA – NORA in plain sight, with PA and MA (parents) either side.
2 Hit band zone (4)
BELT – triple definition
3 Annulment referring to ring (6)
REPEAL – RE (referring to) PEAL (ring)
4 Drink in Irish county town at first (6)
CLARET – CLARE (Irish county) T (Town “at first”)
5 Border less friendly when North’s overridden South? (8)
FRONTIER – FROSTIER (less friendly) with N(orth) for S(outh)
6 Man, for example, insulted regularly (4)
ISLEI n S u L t E d  “regularly”
13 List finished — prize carried forward (8)
ROLLOVER – ROLL (list) OVER (finished)
15 Inspector, formerly a pit worker (8)
EXAMINER – EX (formerly) A MINER (a pit worker)
17 Available buyer securing new ship (6)
TANKER – TAKER (available buyer) securing N(ew)
18 Unexpected streak for sportsman (6)
SKATER – anagram (unexpected) of STREAK
20 Documents revealing life gone wrong (4)
FILE – anagram (gone wrong) of LIFE
22 Society tackle satirical sketch (4)
SKIT – S(ociety) KIT (tackle)

70 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2188 by Hurley”

  1. Slow overall today, some new leg pains keeping me from concentrating. LOI ACE, a nice clue. 8:36.

  2. So many cryptic clues and misdirections and different meanings of the words vs the surface reading!

    I had to reveal some, but every one I did I audibly groaned because imo all the clues were gettable.

    EXAMINER we had almost the exact same clue recently so that was easy. CLARET, I thought it was lare inside CT, no idea what a lare is.

    I also fixated on ‘dell’ for vale.

    I liked all of these clues a lot!

    My husband thinks I made up the word ‘trivet’. He doesn’t have a replacement word for the little things we use to put hot things on the bench/table, however, so he’s had to accept my made up word for them, but he won’t use it himself.

    1. Believe those little things you use to put hot things on the bench/table are called “coasters” or “placemats” 😉

      PS EXAMINER two Thursdays ago, CLUE last Friday.

  3. 19:09. Almost gave up on the REPEAL, BELT, FAREWELL tangle but fortunately the sudden illumination of vale as Latin cleared things up. I’d gone over and over dale, dell, val(French?), and Tal(German?) to no avail for many minutes. “Ave atque vale” (Hail and farewell) is the phrase that fortunately came to mind. Enjoyed the frostier FRONTIER most.Thanks for explaining everything in blog!

  4. 12 minutes with one error. As I passed my target 10 minutes I had two answers missing, at 7ac and 2dn. Then I spotted ‘vale’ as FAREWELL and took a moment to parse it and expected the remaining 4-letter word to fall easily into place, but it didn’t, so I began an alphabet trawl. My first possible fit was BEAT which seemed to go with two words in the clue, ‘hit’ and ‘zone’ (as in copper’s beat, perhaps), so I bunged it in and stopped the clock. I should have given it more time and thought.

    1. I also put BEAT and wasn’t happy with it, but there was a band called The Beat, so it does sort of work for all three definitions.

  5. Oof. Well beaten by this one. After ten minutes I had everything south of the NW-SE diagonal, and nothing north of it other than ISLE. After twenty minutes, exactly the same.
    Thanks for the blog: explanations much needed today!

  6. Was tempted to throw in the towel at 30 mins but plodded on until the end at 46 minutes with a sense of frustration without much joy and a slow start to the day.
    COD PANORAMA. ACE very cryptic when no combination of a three letter CT would fit.
    Expect a few moans from the Latin protesters!
    Thanks Hurley and Roly

  7. I found this quite tricky. BOW TIE and ISLE were first 2 in, but then I had to work at it. I thought I was just going to scrape in under my target as I approached 10 minutes with only 11a to do, but it took two alphabet trawls before I realised which court I was looking for. 11:09. Thanks Hurley and Roly.

  8. A big DNF – beaten by FAREWELL, TRIVET, BELT, FRONTIER & TANKER. Only half kicking myself for some of those – couldn’t get going and would have been beaten by the first two whatever.

    TRIVET a word I shall look out for and for an opportunity to use.

    No ipad crashes today on Classic app. Fingers crossed it’s a long term fix in place

    Thanks Hurley and Roly

  9. Didn’t fare as well as I would have without 7a. Gave up all bar at 13 min. Hurley prevailed but I’ll be strong about it. Thanks Roly

  10. A bit of a surprise as this took me just 14 minutes even though I had the constant noise of F15s overhead and a headache. Everything just fell into place.

  11. Certainly a tricky one today. Took me a good 25 mins. A very slow start in the top half.
    Shortage of anagrams always seems to make solving a lot slower for me.
    I too spent what seemed an age staring at 7A (my LOI). I finally guessed at it… corrctly as luck has it. NHO this meaning for VALE… but Chambers does list it.
    Thanks Roly and Hurley

  12. Four on the first pass of acrosses and then better on the downs but the bottom was completed well ahead of the top. Whacked in FAREWELL in desperation and was surprised to see it was right. That good fortune was undone by having entered CLAtET, which also turned RANGE to tange. So two errors from a pink square. Knew BELT was a triple but couldn’t come up with an answer for any of the clues for ages. Used to have a TRIVET so that would have been OK had I been able to get from ‘fix’ to ‘rivet’ faster – I was on verbs. Not all green in 18.

  13. Tricky. I shared many of the difficulties and frustrations mentioned above. I made no progress in the NW at first (I missed reading 1d which would have been a great help) but I filled in the Eastern half very quickly and thought I was on a roll. Moving clockwise back to the start, I saw REPEAL but then slowed to a crawl and spent ages over BELT and my LOI FAREWELL which tipped me into the SCC.
    Thanks to both but I think Hurley must have been in a bit of a grumpy mood when setting this one. John M.

  14. A rare DNF for me. Resorted to thesaurus after 8 minutes to find BELT and then got stuck on FAREWELL with the sneaky latin definition, needing a wordsearch to find it. Hurley 2 John 0. Thanks Hurley and Rolytoly.

    1. Rare? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a DNF from you! Suddenly I feel much better

      1. Last one was early December last year and previous was in August 2020. Oh no. They’re getting more frequent!

  15. Well the bottom half went easily enough but the top proved a much tougher proposition.
    FAREWELL eventually went in on a wing and a prayer, so was relieved when the puzzle came back all correct. Other big hold ups were RANGE, CLARET, REPEAL and the unknown TRIVET.
    Finished in 14.10
    Thanks to Roly for the much needed blog

  16. Add me to the roll of DNF shame. Oh how it has cheered me to read the comments above. Misery loves company, as my grandmother used to say.

    Very similar to Jack, except (a) I couldn’t be bothered to do a trawl for -e-t, being thoroughly dispirited by then, so I just gave up, and (b) it took me 15 mins to limp through the rest.

    I hate grids with so few first letters!

    Thanks (ish) Hurley and thanks (really) to roly!


    1. Exactly – in the NW corner none of the 8 clues have a first letter available as a potential crosser.

  17. This was certainly tough, and I would suggest well beyond most QCs. Not sure if the QC has a snitch but if it does this one would be very high I suspect.

    Took me 19 minutes to complete, and only with aids to boot. I filled in farewell from a letter search and even after reading Roly’s blog I really don’t think it is a good clue. Manage = fare is a minor MER, but Well = plentiful supply had the eyebrows in orbit. A well is a source or supply of water, but plentiful? Where does that come in? In this part of the UK the wells are drying up! As for Vale as Goodbye, it is tough enough to include obscure Latin in the QC, but when it is a word which I suspect 99% (no make that 100%) of people will initially read as English and take to mean something else, it is a level of deception which, while fair, is I suggest more suited to more complex puzzles.

    That was my major hold-up and LOI, but I struggled all over the grid, including with Ace (one does not expect to have to do a letter trawl for three letter words with two checkers!), and Tanker, where the word Available in the surface misled me. Why is it necessary, what is it adding? A buyer is a taker full stop surely. And even Repeal delayed me (first entry before I had any checkers was Recall, which I think also half-works, and I needed checkers to put me right).

    Apologies for the grumble but I do not think this was a QC and I did not enjoy it. And the grid was unhelpful too, with no 1 Across …

    Thank you Roly for doing your best to enlighten and cheer me up with your blog

      1. Thanks. It’s possible, but if well is given by the adjective plentiful (and in my view the two are far from the same) what is the word supply doing there?

        I have certainly met well as a general colloquial intensifier, but it is just that, an intensifier (eg “I was well beat by that”), and not an indicator of plenty surely. I remain well unconvinced I fear.

    1. On ‘well’. SOED has:
      2 figuratively. A source of something, esp. an abundant one.

      Collins has: a source, especially one that provides a continuous supply
      he is a well of knowledge

      1. Thank Jack. As with all things, if the rest of the puzzle had been a gem, I’d be far more understanding and overlook the minor niggles. But as the rest of this puzzle was a real struggle, the setter is not overendowed with my tolerance …

        1. Thanks. Perceived levels of difficulty are one thing as they are largely subjective, but although setters do occasionally make mistakes when it comes to meanings of words, Times setters very rarely get them wrong so it’s probably safe to assume that if one looks in the usual sources (Collins and Lexico dictionaries- both free on-line) one will find a definition that matches the clue. It may not be the definition one would first have thought of, but it’s usually there.

          1. I some time ago came to the conclusion that, almost all of the time, if I think a compiler has made a mistake it is my misunderstanding that’s at fault, not his/hers/the editor’s.

            1. Dear Jack and John

              I have read both your comments and understand them. You are both far more experienced in crosswordland than me and you are both of course right. I do recognise that when I do not understand a clue, it is almost certainly my failing not the clue’s or the compiler’s. I also recognise that I sometimes adopt a more combative tone in my critical comments than is ideal. I accept your points therefore with humility.

              But there is a deeper sense in which being right is not quite enough for a compiler. They are, at heart, in the entertainment business, not in the “I know more than you” business. If people do not enjoy their puzzles they will not do them, and some – perhaps not many but some – may decide that the puzzle was why they bought the paper, and they may decide to no longer subscribe.

              The comments today, from many regulars on this site, suggest that Hurley won the individual battles today (in the sense that every answer was justifiable from the clue) but lost the war. Many more people than usual did not finish, and more importantly many did not enjoy what he gave us. For this to happen once is not a problem – we will hopefully all thoroughly enjoy tomorrow’s offering. If repeated too often, it may become one.


              1. Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Cedric, but I fear you are entrusting more responsibility on compilers than their meagre remunerations are likely to command. They do their best, but they will never satisfy all solvers all the time.

  18. Also DNF with BEAT, I thought that it was a triple def, and beat looked great for the first of them, reporter’s beat looked good. And Beat Generation, beat poets, they were kind of a band?

    Same TRAVAILs with FAREWELL, also stuck in the Dell.


  19. A real challenge today. I ground this one out a clue at a time, making progress through several passes across and down, building up checkers as a means of gaining further answers. LOI was FAREWELL, which after all the earlier hard work I just could not see at all. Obvious now!

  20. A tough grid, and some tough clues. It took me 17 minutes with LOI ACE after FAREWELL, a nice PDM.
    But I am another with a careless BEAT. It seemed OK at the time!
    Congrats to Hurley. Tough for a QC.
    I did not fare well.

  21. Certainly tough judging by everyone’s comments, and it must be if Johninterred had to resort to aids to finish!
    I wouldn’t usually be pleased with a plus 10 minute finish but today after reading the comments above I am. My time of 10.25 would have been much better if I hadn’t spent over 2 minutes staring at 7ac before FAREWELL came to mind. Like others I was fixated with dell as the wraparound for too long. At 11ac I was up before the beak before I realised a John Isner special was going to fly past me.

  22. DNF stuck on FAREWELL and BELT. I could see that the first fitted the checkers, but simply did not have the Latin to connect the possible answer with the definition, although if the definition had been ‘manage’, FAREWELL could have been an answer, but only by leaving vale doing nothing. Without the confidence in FAREWELL, I couldn’t see BELT but I should have done. I purchased a footman’s trivet at auction recently, so no problems with that one.

    Thanks both, and well done Hurley for beating so many of us – although I think a few of us may consider it a slightly unfair win.

  23. Yep, that was definitely at the harder end of the scale. 20mins for everything bar 2d and 7ac, and then nearly the same again. I eventually worked out that 2d had to be a triple, but Belt was still a long time coming. That at least ruled out ‘ample’ for plentiful supply, at which point I (reluctantly) looked at the other end of the clue and finally realised what was going on. Invariant

  24. 16 minutes with about 5 of them spent on FAREWELL. Based on the comments above I’m recording this as an OK day as I escaped a DNF.

    The Spanish to English translation of vale is OK!

  25. Toughest one for a long while, took nearly as long as the 15×15.

    I particularly enjoyed ‘say no more’ for SH. Unfortunately I thought the cryptic definition for ACE was pretty poor – CDs have to be really good to be worthwhile, and it’s just not true that an ace was necessarily ‘impossible’ to return. Unless it’s some kind of post hoc definition – i.e. if it had been returned, it wouldn’t have been an ace – but that seems like a real stretch.

    1. How did you feel about the definition of Ace in the 15×15? It’s defined as ‘unreturnable’

    2. Collins: In tennis, an ace is a serve which is so fast that the other player cannot reach the ball.

      Defined in the puzzle as ‘impossible to get to this in court’ so clearly a reference to tennis. I really don’t understand what the quibble is about this but am ready to be enlightened.

  26. Spent ages before coming here and only did so to confirm everyone else found it tough. FOI PANORAMA; I can’t believe that hasn’t been clued thus before, though I’ve never seen it. COD TRIVET, LOI ACE, bur only after putting in REPEAL, though far from convinced. DNF, beaten by FAREWELL and BELT, and unsure if I would have got them even if I had another hour.
    Thanks, Roly for shining the light, and Hurley for an enjoyable, tough but fair challenge, but pleaae remember next time it is supposed to be a QUICK crossword!

  27. After spending 40 minutes on 7 Across and not getting it I gave up in disgust.

    Vale = Farewell ?

  28. 10:20 this morning, double my long-term average. Clearly a toughie and every so often Hurley produces one of these, which I still feel are fair, just much harder.
    Completely failed to find the magical wavelength. For example I thought 3 d “repeal” might end in bell ( = ring), which led me to enter “lob” for 11 ac (although not really convinced) which in turn made 4d “claret” impossible to see. And so it went on….
    Well I’ve had a good run recently, so due a slow day.
    If it’s any consolation to newcomers, I’ve been doing Times crosswords since 1975 and there are occasions when you just have to accept you’ve been outwitted by the setter.
    Thanks to Roly for the blog and to Hurley for the stretch.

    1. Wow – with you pushed over 10 and John DNFing, I’m classifying this as a Very Tough Puzzle.

  29. Over 22 minutes – not far off three times my sort of average time. So hello SCC. Nice to be here for a change 🙂

    I did finish it but struggled with some of the easier ones like STREAM and the rather good (though chestnutty?) FRONTIER as well as the NW though I did eventually get BELT and FAREWELL as much by a process of elimination as anything

    Tend to agree with our illustrious visitor mauefw on ACE – I was only thinking of a sports’ court so was struggling to get what was cryptic about it. Not a fan of BELT either as I’m not sure the clue is anything than three words put together without much if any meaning. I might have had a different view if I’d taken 15 minutes less to solve it of course

    Thanks rolytoly and Hurley

  30. Much the same experience as everyone else. Flew through most of it but ended up with 7ac, 8ac and 2dn left. 8ac soon fell but it was an age before I saw BELT for 2dn. At least that stopped me trying to shoehorn “ample” into 7ac, but it didn’t help. I felt it had to be either BAKEWELL or FAREWELL but couldn’t parse either of them, so gave up on 25 mins and came here.

    FOI – 9ac BOW TIE
    LOI – DNF
    COD – 1dn PANORAMA

    Thanks to Rolytoly for the enlightenment and to Hurley for a puzzle 90% of which I enjoyed.

  31. Thanks so much for the much-needed blog today – a big DNF for me, even after trying a ‘two sittings’ tactic. FAREWELL, BELT, TRIVET and ASSAIL proved too tricky. I would never have seen ‘silly’ as a noun in the latter… Kicking myself over FAREWELL as I am familiar with ‘vale’ but got too stuck on dale/valley. Well and truly beaten by Hurley.

  32. DNF as needed CCD for the tricky trio FAREWELL, BELT and REPEAL. I used to be familiar with the Latin meaning of VALE = goodbye, but was lost in the valleys. BELT seemed obvious once one knows the answer.
    FOI BOW TIE. LOI, apart from the above, ACE – a PDM.
    Liked TRIVET, FROWN, EXAMINER, RASH, but I was very slow on most of the clues I did solve.
    Thanks for much needed blog, Roly.

  33. Big shrug here. Had 6-left at 15-mins so buoyed up by that.

    I gave it a total of 35-mins over 3 attempts and managed to add REPEAL but really was never getting FAREWELL (NHO=vale), TRIVET (NHO) or STREAM and unlikely to get FRONTIER or BELT (even though I’d thought of beat).

    By the end of it, my joy of PANORAMA (COD) had gone. That’s a shame.

  34. I think Hurley was on another planet today. 7a would be tough in the main one. Most were ok but too many were tenouso or obscure. Thanks blogger though.

  35. dnf….damn – tomorrow better be easy.

    For whatever reason dnk “Vale” = Farewell, so that properly stumped me for 7ac. Hadn’t heard of Trivet either. I didn’t have an issue with Ace for 11ac because if one is served it is impossible to get to one in court – it’s already gone past you. However, I did question 20dn “File” and whether it should have been plural or not, but came to the conclusion that a file is a set of documents (rather than files = documents).

    FOI – 1dn “Panorama”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 1dn “Panorama”

    Thanks as usual!

  36. Agree the NW was trickiest of all the corners, and that it was very hard overall. I had 1/3/4d as crossers and that encouraged me to accept Farewell when I finally saw 7a as latin and that left me with 2d Belt as LOI. No problem with Trivet and with the last 3 letters 4d Claret came easily.
    Also agree that it was probably too hard to be enjoyable.
    FOI 9a Bow Tie
    LOI 2d Belt
    COD 24 Eyeliner – amusing
    We’ve seen a lot of these answers fairly recently.

  37. Tennis is my favourite game but having abandoned law court, courtyard and courting couple somehow I went for packs of cards and persuaded myself that you can’t get to the ace through the jack, queen, king. Very tortuous – but then so was a lot of this puzzle. Needed a lot of aids to tie it up.

  38. Same as many others: DNF, flummoxed by FAREWELL, BELT, FRONTIER and also TRIVET (not a culinary expert!)

  39. Spent 45 minutes chewing through this one and ended up with a DNF as I couldn’t see FAREWELL as the answer to 7A (like many others it seems). I did manage to figure out BELT though. Definitely up at the harder end of the scale today. Many thanks to the blogger for the explanations.

  40. A total disaster, and my worst DNF since shortly adter I started these QCs two years ago. 75 minutes of toil, 6 clues unsolved, 1 error and 2 others unparsed. Therefore, only 17 clues confidently solved, and some of those took 5+ minutes each.

    My incorrect solution was RECALL at 6d. This caused me to reject BOW TIE and ACE, as I wasn’t sure of their parsing and they didn’t fit with a perfectly good answer. I rejected TRIVET, as it was clearly not a real word, and I thought of WHAM as a triple-definition for 2d – Hit, band, zone (W Ham). As for FAREWLL, CLARET and BELT, I remained completely clueless throughout.

    Many thanks to rolytoly, but not on this occasion to Hurley.

  41. DNF. Made slow but steady progress but completely ran aground on FAREWELL (I can hear my Latin master grumbling about my not picking up on Vale). Glad I was not the only one to trip over that one!
    PANORAMA raised a smile and I like CLARET, in both senses. Ho hum.
    Thanks, Hurley and Rolytoly, Adieu.

  42. Finally finished on my third sitting, but was not entirely surprised to find that BEAT was wrong. NHO vale meaning FAREWELL but it seemed to fit. Liked PANORAMA. Thanks all.

  43. Everything I wanted to say about this ‘QC’ has already been said. Well over an hour with 3 unsolved -7ac, 2dn and 14ac. Wish I hadn’t bothered.

  44. Gave up on FAREWELL, BELT, CLARET and FRONTIER but TRIVET I found one of the easier ones.

  45. The setter regrets that this puzzle turned out to be too difficult for many. Was conscious that FAREWELL might be tricky so included “?” at end of clue to maybe hint to solvers that something more might be going on. Thought also that, with a fairly easy clue at 1D and both 3D and 4D having four of their six letters crossed by other answers, it might make it easier to get it, but clearly it did not work out that way on the day. BTW setter believes the only purpose of puzzles is to provide entertainment for solvers.

    1. Thanks for your work, it’s so gratifying to know that setters see this feedback! I’m so used to yelling into the ether.

      I found the puzzle very hard but the clues were very enjoyable!

    2. Thanks for dropping by. I love your puzzles and it’s no bad thing to be reminded every now and then how much better you are at setting them than I am at solving them!

      (It was a *horrible* grid though. I’m a first letter junky.)


  46. You indeed do provide entertainment- much appreciated! It can’t be easy to craft clues that aren’t too easy on the one hand inducing boredom nor too difficult on the other causing frustration. I think your efforts hit the sweet spot- clever but solvable.

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