Times Quick Cryptic No 2233 by Hurley

I found this relatively easy, completing it comfortably inside 10 minutes (the bottom of my target range for QCs).  There is a modicum of GK required; British Prime Ministers, East Anglian coastal towns, UK rivers, but none of it is too esoteric., and it shouldn’t hold up seasoned solvers, particularly from the UK.

1a and 5a were my FOsI, and I think I liked 11d best.  My comments below include other observations. Thanks to Hurley.


 Feature of Will’s extremely brave search? (7)

BEQUEST – B{rav}E (first and last letters, extremely) and QUEST (search).

5  In Africa, cheerful store (5)

CACHE – Hidden answer contained in {afri}CA CHE{erful}.

Seaside town – wonderful, fish brought back by trap (5,8)

GREAT YARMOUTH – GREAT (wonderful) RAY (fish) reversed (brought back) and MOUTH (trap).  I was momentarily flummoxed by MOUTH = trap until I thought of “shut your trap!”

9  Having had one’s fill at tea, is lively (7)

SATIATE – Anagram (lively) of [AT TEA IS].  Again, I had a minor 21 raise at equating SATIATE with ‘having had one’s fill’, which I think is more akin to satiated, but it does work in the adjective sense.

10  Playful act of worker in charge (5)

ANTIC – ANT (worker) and IC (In Charge).

11  Nothing put in tin for untidy person (6)

SLOVEN – LOVE (nothing, nil) inside SN (chemical symbol for tin (orig. Stannum – Latin, and source of Stanner = tin miner in Cornwall).

13  Favourite role, stopping early for fuel (6)

PETROL – PET (favourite) and ROL{e} (stopping early).

15  Private Victor, heading off (5)

INNER – {w}INNER (victor, dropping first letter, heading off).

16  Speech son initially dreads is rewritten (7)

ADDRESS – Anagram (is rewritten) of [DREADS} and S{on} (originally).

19  Heath, say: I permit miners to roam (5,8)

PRIME MINISTER – Anagram (to roam) of [I PERMIT MINERS].  I guess it might be considered inflammatory to have used Margaret Thatcher as the DBE for the answer, instead of Ted Heath?

20  Message from over-sentimental time (5)

TWEET – TWEE (over-sentimental) and T{ime}.  I’ve never had one, never used Twitter!

21  Raise this in surprise listening to Cockney intellectual? (7)

EYEBROW – Slightly cryptic definition followed by a phonetic / homophone assist – answer sounds like {h}IGH-BROW (Cockney for intellectual, after he’s dropped the H).



Perhaps describing bill of goods under suspicion at first (5)

BOGUS – First letters of (at first) Bill Of Goods Under Suspicion, where the wordplay forms part of the definition.

2  Senora, quiet, in new search for answers? (13)


3  Participating in next race – a bonus (5)

EXTRA – Hidden answer (participating in) inside {n}EXT RA{ce}.

4  Morning dipping in the Southern river (6)

THAMES – AM (morning) inside THE and S{outhern}.  Southern could be doing double duty, as the Thames is in the south.

Associate to arrive bringing artist and daughter in (7)

COMRADE – COME (to arrive) containing (bringing in) RA (artist, Royal Academician) and D{aughter}.

6  Fraudster or token female?  Either (not hard!) (13)

COUNTERFEITER – COUNTER (token) with F{emale} and EIT{h}ER (not Hard, drop the H).

7  Late coming back, receiving greeting, cold, moral (7)

ETHICAL – LATE reversed (coming back) containing (receiving) HI (greeting) and C{old}.

11  Small piece child’s not quite finished in street (7)

SNIPPET – NIPPE{r} (child, not quite finished – drop the last letter) inside ST (street).  I’m not sure of the political correctness these days of NIPPER = CHILD, but it was certainly common in my youth.

12  Serious man’s given a hearing (7)

EARNEST – Homophone (given a hearing) of ERNEST (random man’s name).

14  Insert account in document folder – easy (6)

FACILE – AC (account) inside FILE (document folder).

17  Right to be gripped by joint ambition (5)

DRIVE – R{ight} inside (to be gripped by) DIVE (joint, as in jazz club / joint / dive / shebeen).

18  Tube, a pale yellow colour (5)

STRAW – Double definition.

71 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2233 by Hurley”

  1. I wondered about SATIATE, but assumed it was being used adjectivally–not a usage my dialect allows, but it is in ODE, as ‘archaic’. DNK GREAT YARMOUTH. 4:41, but with one typo overlooked in my perfunctory proofing.

    1. SATIATE

      Collins has it under ‘American English’: having had enough or more than enough; sated.

      Chambers has: glutted.

      1. Collins may have it as American English, but I don’t buy it. The one example Collins gives is from a translation (by who? when?) of a 12th-century Hebrew document. Of course, given the Collins entry, the setter is off the hook; in any case, it seems pretty dubious for a QC.

  2. 12:12. Everything went along smoothly with only SLOVEN and TWEET taking more time. GREAT YARMOUTH is where the Peggotty family in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield live and is the setting for some exciting action.

    1. As did Major General Sir Vernon Kell, Head of Ml5 1904-1942 until he was unceremoniously removed by Churchill. He was actually conceived in Great Yarmouth and born in the Gorlestone-on-Sea district. Meldrew

  3. Feature of Will’s extremely brave search?

    – I confidently biffed HUNTING (as in our friend Good Will) to start with and the whole thing fell apart 😂

  4. 9 minutes. STRAW resisted my attentions until the very end.

    Heath also had problems with miners.

  5. Mostly raced through this but ended up outside ten thanks to failing see to the shebeen meaning of ‘dive’ (well done Rotter!), and having to write out all the checking letters and the ‘eiter’ at the end of COUNTERFEITER before I could see it. Then STRAW floored me too.

    Listened to Stereo Underground on BBC Sounds yesterday. Joy Division Oven Glove by Half Man Half Biscuit was played.

      1. I confess that on certain days I do find myself singing “Everybody’s doing the Don Manley stance…” while solving 🙂

    1. It was only last night that a friend and I were in the pub trying to remember the lyrics of CAMRA Man…

  6. From BEQUEST to EYEBROW, a top to bottom solve in 5:18 with only SATIATE giving cause for a raising of the beheaded nob. Thanks Hurley and Rotter.

  7. 23 minutes.
    LOI: EARNEST. BIFD, I had written this to one side earlier on but couldn’t parse it.
    Favourite: EYEBROW.

  8. Fairly gentle going. Did a double take at SATIATE but the word play was clear and I made ADDRESS harder than it should have been by putting an extra ‘t’ and losing an ‘e’ in COUNTERFEITER, but it didn’t hold me up for long. SLOVEN needed a bit of thought at the end until I remembered the chemical symbol rather than thinking of cans.
    Crossed the line in 6.53
    Thanks to Rotter

  9. If only I hadn’t misspelled COUNTERFEITER I would have broken the 6 minutes mark. As it was I had to go back and properly parse the clue to correct the spelling and complete the grid. 6:05 for an excellent day. COD EYEBROW.

  10. 1641 Irish Rebellion breaks out

    16:41, a little slow in seeing the parsing for COUNTERFEITER, and was not sure of the spelling at the end,

    COD BOGUS. More self-describing acrostics, please!

    After a few approachable 15x15s this week, today’s might be one for us QC-ers to skip. Snitch > 140

  11. 8.22

    Thought this was a bit trickier and my time was par but no – I was slower than a few of my comparables. Not helped by reading Heath as Health. STRAW and EYEBROW detained me at the end

    No complaints

    Thanks Hurley and Rotter

  12. I normally manage a time fairly close to Rotter’s but not today – I took over twice as long.
    Some very good clues but I was just not on Hurley’s wavelength today.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  13. Managed to complete this one, but had to use an aid for 14d as facile is not a word I’m familiar with.

    19a, I read Heath as Health, which really held me up for a long time. It was only when I saw that Prime Minister could be made from the anagram that I looked at the clue again. This time I saw Heath.

    20a was my last one in. I couldn’t work out how it could be Tweet (having never heard of “twee” – has to be a made up word 😉). However, I had T_E_T so I threw in tweet as a gamble.

    1. Twee was first used in ‘Punch’ magazine in 1905. Most words since then have been made-up. And many before! Meldrew

      1. SOED dates the word from around the same time as you have mentioned but adds that its origin was as a childish pronunciation of ‘sweet’. Don’t know if it’s true but it made it to the dictionary.

  14. It would have been positively wrong to use Thatcher at 19a, since she most assuredly did NOT permit miners to roam (or do anything else), whereas Heath gave them much freer rein .

    I can’t see any reason why political correctness should frown upon NIPPER and the dictionaries tend to indicate it as an affectionate usage. There doesn’t seem to be any particularly convincing explanation for its origins; I like Brewer’s best (“Slang for a small boy, so called because he is ‘nippy,’ or swift and agile.”).

    Good puzzle with lots to like, though I wasn’t a fan of SATIATE. COD to EYEBROW, which made me chuckle. All done in 07:52 for 1.7K and a Pretty Good Day.

    Many thanks Hurley and Rotter.


    1. I imagine the PC comment re NIPPER is referring to the derogatory term for Japanese based on Nipon.If so, I think that’s somewhat far-fetched as nipper is a totally different word.

      1. Actually, I was thinking that children have so many more rights nowadays than we ‘enjoyed’ when I were a nipper. As little grown-ups, the term nipper may be seen by some as derogatory, or demeaning. I certainly wasn’t associating it with our Japanese companions.

        1. I guess the Japanese connection jumped out at me as my brother-in-law was of Japanese descent and his family had been transplanted in 1941 from their home on the coast of British Columbia to a resettlement camp in northern Ontario due to fears such people would be disloyal and aid the enemy in case of the feared Japanese invasion.He was quite used to hearing and dealing with the insult.
          I’d never thought myself of “nippers” for kids as demeaning but I see of course that is what you meant. P.S. Years ago I entered a contest for a slogan /poem for the Toronto public transit authority and won some small prize for the following:
          “We met on the streetcar
          And courted by bus
          Now two little nippers
          Ride the subway with us.”

  15. I never really got going after a poor start in the NW – missed both sitters at 1ac/d, the latter because I thought it was a four letter answer, and Ogus (yes, I know) made no sense. . . The rest of the grid seemed much more friendly and I was left with a decent shot at a sub-20, but the Straw/Eyebrow pairing prevented even that consolation. CoD to 17d, Drive, for the pdm. Invariant

  16. 10 mins, struggled with bogus, sloven, earnest, and LOI satiate where I needed to write out the letters.
    As Merlin said 15×15 is tough and I managed about 2/3.

    COD sloven where I was puzzled by O in slven for a while!

  17. A return to “form”, or an easier puzzle.

    BOGUS was neat, and EYEBROW raised a smile as my COD. MER at SATIATE along with everyone else. LOI was FACILE.


  18. My best showing in quite some time with a 17 min finish. No particular problems, just my usual steady plod… FOI BEQUEST, LOI SLOVEN (pleased to think of Sn when ‘can’ didn’t fit), COD to TWEET. Wasn’t sure about ‘mouth’ for ‘trap’ – thanks for the explanation Rotter. Enjoyable as ever. Thanks Hurley.

  19. 17 mins…

    Main hold up was the SE corner and the “Eyebrow”/“Straw” combination.

    Thought this was pretty enjoyable with some nice clues.

    FOI – 1dn “Bogus”
    LOI – 18dn “Straw”
    COD – 21ac “Eyebrow”

    Thanks as usual!

  20. A bit of a relief as I was beginning to think that I’d lost whatever touch I had after a few days really struggling. This one came together pretty well, even the long anagrams.
    Thanks to Hurley and Rotter.

  21. Having said last time that we met Hurley that I didn’ t really click with his crosswords, today I have to eat my words! I enjoyed this one and zipped along in 8 minutes, only getting stuck on my LOI, where I already had the O in the checkers and was trying to find a five letter word meaning tin to stick round it. It didn’t help that I convinced myself that it would end in R.
    Lots of entertaining surfaces and quite a few ticks along the way. I liked GREAT YARMOUTH and ADDRESS, and although I’m sure we’ve seen similar before, EYEBROW made me smile. In my EMI days, NIPPER was a familiar sight!
    FOI Bequest LOI Sloven COD Thames (continuing the theme!)
    Thanks Hurley (a very nice village on the Thames as it happens – or perhaps there’s a link?) and Rotter

  22. Feeling a bit jealous of everyone who had an easy time! This one took me at least two hours of muttering and squinting. But I finished in the end and I’ll always be happy when that happens!

    I was VERY nervous when I saw one of the clues was about a river but fortunately it was the THAMES — literally the only river in the UK that I know 😀

    Got hung up forever on SLOVEN / EARNEST … finally ninja-turtled my way into the latter by thinking “given a hearing” might mean it started with “EAR” hahahaha

    1. There are plenty of famous rivers in the UK other than the Thames. Maybe if I list a few, you might find another one that you have heard of; Tyne, Clyde (ship building), Mersey, Severn, Wye, Avon, Exe, Tay, Ness, Taff, Usk, Dee, to name a few.

      1. I don’t have data on UK river mentions but I think Humber and Trent would be up there getting a quite a few.

      2. I suppose technically I’ve heard of the Avon as in Stratford-Upon, but the others, no dice! I am SPECTACULARLY terrible at geography and any river or place name in a crossword puzzle makes me break out in a cold sweat 😀 I mean, I probably couldn’t tell you most of the rivers in my home country besides the Mississippi and the Missouri and even then I can’t remember which flows where because their names are too similar *embarrassed*

        When it comes to maps, the extent of my knowledge is “north is up”

  23. Found this much easier than most recent QCs and completed it in 12 minutes, which is quite a fast time for me. Never completely parsed either GREAT YARMOUTH or COUNTERFEITER as I had so many crossers in both that the answers had to be. Along with others a slight MER at SATIATE (but again – what else could it be).

    FOI – 1ac BEQUEST
    LOI – 18dn STRAW
    COD – 21ac EYEBROW

    Thanks to Hurley and Rotter

  24. I’m always pleased to see Hurley’s name atop the crossword, and todays was another fine example of his craft. Always a good test without being too tough.
    Finished inside target at 8.10 and would have been quicker if I didn’t initially spell QUESTIONNAIRE with just one N which made the bottom left corner awkward. COD goes to EYEBROW which raised a smile.

  25. Yes – QUESTIONNAIRE is tricky to spell! I always find 2the two Ns counter-intuitive. Took me – encouraging that I was in good company – to see STRAW! Thanks as always. COD – EYEBROW .

  26. A good day in the Random household. I started with CACHE and managed to solve 14 of the 24 clues (an unheard of proportion) on first pass through the grid. With just three to go at the quarter hour point I had high hopes of a rare sub-SCC finish, but FACILE, EYEBROW and STRAW in the SE corner put paid to that. However, I’m still very pleased with my time of 23 minutes.

    Mrs Random couldn’t remember the chemical abbreviation for tin (in SLOVEN) and never parsed DRIVE, but she still crossed the line in just 15 minutes. I asked her how she so rarely gets stuck when doing these QCs. Her reply was “I just don’t. I think of the right answer and write it in. You should do the same.” I had no answer to that.

    Many thanks to Hurley and Rotter.

    1. I’m dreading the day my wife starts doing these. She can usually spot the answer with just a few crossers in place, without even reading the clue !

    2. Is Mrs R also quick at the T2 concise? I find that much harder – I need the cryptic hints to help me on the way, and DDs are my least favourite clues.

      1. The battle in our household is for me to finish the QC before Mrs S finishes the 15×15. We do them side by side with pen and paper over coffee and I am happy to report that conjugal harmony is just about preserved – she wins about 3 days out of 5 and I do 2 out of 5!


    3. Your wife sounds like me when my football team is losing. ‘if I was *star football player* I would simply kick a goal. He should take my advice’

  27. 6’22” and no issues with the sayshert SATIATE.

    Like SNIPPET a great deal

    Think we’ve had the EYEBROW clueing before…maybe I’m imagining it.

    Thanks Hurley for a reassuringly (to me anyway) straightforward puzzle – I expect a knee in the proverbials from the next few days.

    Thanks Rotter for the blog.

  28. 3:39 this morning for what I felt was one of Hurley’s easier offerings. There seemed to be quite a few “hiddens” none of which were particularly difficult to spot.
    Liked 11 ac “sloven” and 6 d “counterfeiter” both of which I got to with crossers in place.
    Thanks to Rotter and Hurley

  29. I completed this, but needed the thesaurus for the last three clues. Is that considered cheating?

    Many thanks for the helpful blog.

    1. In my opinion, there is no such thing as cheating – we do these for pleasure, and one does what one needs to do. I think using aids invalidates comparative times, so if I have to resort to aids, I ‘fess up in my blogs / comments and usually don’t give a time. I find this happens considerably more often in the 15 x 15 than here in the QC, which is one reason why I comment on the biggie less often than here.

    2. Erm . . . .yes, if you submit your grid. Otherwise you can do what you will!
      Cheats do not prosper, as we note with Potus 45. I really do not think a hurricane should be called Ian.

    3. That depends on how strictly you take the solve…some will say it’s a DNF and some say NEVER use aids as it weakens the brain. But I agree with Rotter – this is supposed to be something to enjoy, nothing more serious than that. If you enjoy pitting yourself against the clock/other solvers/your best previous times or whatever, then that’s up to you. Pleased to see you’re still with us.

    4. Cheating is a strong word! Completed with aids is still completed imo. Sure you can’t join the competition but you completed it. I don’t give a time for ones I need aids for. I’m fond of a ‘check answer’ aid, myself.

      Also, like, YOU COMPLETED IT which is a great job and shows so much improvement in a short time! So now you have your three new words you might not need the thesaurus for them next time.
      On fireeeeee

  30. 18:47

    Held up by the SW corner, was thinking nothing was just O rather than LOVE so struggled with SLOVEN and LOI EARNEST.

  31. Prime Minister
    Heath made me think of moors etc but there are several recent prime ministers with names that mean something in English, any of which could have been used for misdirection though I suppose roaming on a heath was the setter’s angle.
    Thatcher. Major. Brown. May. Truss

    1. I was also thinking of “heath” as pertains to moors and the like, and was convinced for a while that the first five-letter word in the answer was GRASS

  32. 14 minutes for me and well behind our blogger who I usually consider my comparator. MER at Satiate (rather than for example Satiated, which fits the surface better IMO) and Counterfeiter not parsed, but otherwise no obvious holdups, just a little slow all round as I worked my way into Hurley’s mindset.

    For anyone who lived through the 1970s in the UK and the three day week (I was just starting work at the time), the surface for 19A is simply fabulous.

    Many thanks to Rotter for the blog

    1. Snap! I started work in London at the beginning of November 73, just in time for power cuts, reduced trains – and loo paper shortages. I wonder if we shall ever see such strange days again? Oh dear 😱😱

  33. I was flying and on for a possible sub 10 minute solve. Held up a little by 18dn and 11ac, until I realised what ‘tin’ was getting at. A rare and pleasurable experience to have a large number of write ins. Somewhere around 17 minutes all told.

    Another entertaining and informative blog. Thank you Rotter. You are wise to stay away from Twitter!

  34. Picked this off the printer and realised with a jolt that I was leaving it late – even for me! Happily, not much to delay the solve and some fine clues to admire.
    FOI 5a Cache
    LOI 11a Sloven – seldom used, heard or read!
    COD has to be 21a Eyebrow.

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