Times Quick Cryptic No 2283 by Hurley

11 minutes and 11 seconds for me to solve this elegant puzzle from Hurley (my mind always turns to the sometimes-elegant Elizabeth when I see Hurley’s name).  There is nothing too difficult here, although the legal term at 13d and the poet at 17d may be seen by some as slightly esoteric GK.

1a and 4a were my FOsI, I smiled at the definition in 2d, and continued to enjoy this through to the end (I have forgotten which answer was my LOI).  Many thanks Hurley.


Post for men, by the sound of it (4)

MAIL – Homophone clue (by the sound of it) – sounds like MALE (for men)

4  Account by cleric with no mistake (8)

ACCURATE – AC (account) and CURATE (cleric).

Splendour of Greece and Europe half-forgotten? (8)

GRANDEUR – GR{eek} AND (and) EUR{ope} (half-forgotten).

9  Survey charge having payment at start for time (4)

POLL – tOLL (charge} where the first letter T (time) is replaced by P (payment).

10  Party in British wood (4)

BASH – B{ritish} and ASH (wood).  We had BISH yesterday (which someone queried), BASH today, will we get BOSH tomorrow?  Does anyone else remember Harry Enfield and Loadsamoney going BISH, BASH BOSH?

11  Group, ill-willed at the outset, attempt robbery and violence (8)

BANDITRY – BAND (group), I{ll-willed} (at the outset), TRY (attempt).

12  Nice drink, visiting bar at centre on return (6)

NECTAR – Reverse hidden clue in {ba}R AT CEN{tre}.

14  Talk about empty lodge as holiday accommodation (6)

CHALET – CHAT (talk) containing L{odg}E (empty lodge).

16  Additional work due to unexpected item (8)

OVERTIME – OVER (due to or as a result of – as in ‘I was delayed due to / over / as a result of a cancelled train’) with an anagram (unexpected) of [ITEM].

18  Change theatrical act (4)

TURN – Double definition.

19  Monster forgeries displayed regularly (4)

OGRE – Alternate letters (regularly) of {f}O{r}G{e}R{i}E{s}.

20  Certain to use lab for a change (8)

ABSOLUTE – Anagram (for a change) of [TO USE LAB].

22  Praise, insincere, of place to live, too effusive, riling you initially (8)

FLATTERY – FLAT (place to live) and first letters (initially) of T{oo} E{ffusive}, R{iling} Y{ou}.

23  Dad joining Church – step forward  (4)

PACE – PA (dad) and CE (Church (of England)).  A PACE isn’t always a step forwards, as many a drill sergeant can confirm.


2  Unfortunate friar in A&E finding cost going up (7)

AIRFARE – Anagram (unfortunate) of [FRIAR] and A(&)E.  Clever definition.

3  With article removed, start meal (5)

LUNCH – L{a}UNCH (start) with A (article) removed.

Mimic clumsy person (3)

APE – Double definition.

Record, very bad, extremely lame (9)

CHRONICLE – CHRONIC (very bad) and L{am}E (extremely lame).

Copy salesperson left I scan, removing covers (7)

REPLICA – REP{resentative} (salesperson) and L{eft} I and {s}CA{n} (removing covers = dropping outside letters).

7  Row about learner, one working on roof? (5)

TILER – TIER (row) containing L{earner}.

11  Obstruction bid – a racer confused (9)

BARRICADE – Anagram (confused) of [BID – A RACER].

13  Annoyingly pester men caught in wrong legally (7)

TORMENT – MEN (men) inside TORT (a TORT is a wrong or injury, a legal term).

15  A little water rat I classified as wandering (7)

ERRATIC – Hidden (a little, or part of) in {wat}ER RAT I C{lassified}.

17  Watch Roman poet run off? (5)

VIGIL – VI{r}GIL (Roman poet, delete the R – run off).

18  Workers group overlooking impudent talk in plant (5)

TULIP – TU (Trades Union – workers group) and LIP (impudent talk).

21  For example, authority to influence decision? (3)

SAY – Double definition.


74 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2283 by Hurley”

  1. I also posted without the leaderboard, but mine was because I started the puzzle on my phone while waiting for a haircut and forgot to hit pause. So when I came back to it, I had already taken 3 hours. I’d guess my active time was somewhere in the 10-12 minute range.

    I was held up by being convinced that a “Nice drink” was going to be pastis, or cognac or something equally French. If we do see a BOSH tomorrow, I will laugh!

    Thanks to Hurley & TheRotter.

  2. Started slow, put it aside to avoid frustration and instead took a long walk. Head cleared then finished in a rush. LOI was 5d ‘chronicle’: had to stare at that one for a while till I saw it. Very nice puzzle; well done, Hurley.

  3. Taken outside of pb territory by not being able to bring TURN to mind and the time is took to get to CHRONICLE and ABSOLUTE. Otherwise fast from the off, with eight on the first pass of across, with the downs going well too. So not quite a pb but a red-letter day for a first sub-K. All green in 7.16.

  4. 9:52. TORMENT was confusing as it looked as though ‘pester’ might be an anagram indicator and to parse it correctly we had the choice of MEN or OR to explain the ‘men’ in the wordplay. I biffed OVERTIME and took longer than I should have for POLL. Favourite was the topically misleading ‘cost going up’ def for 2d.

    Thanks to Hurley and TheRotter

  5. 9 minutes, no problems.

    Incidentally following yesterday’s themed puzzle set by Juno I revisited ‘her’ 3 previous puzzles for which no theme or Nina had been identified by us at the time – the other 13 having all been accounted for.

    I struck gold with QC 1463 published on 17/10/201917 in which we missed a selection of hidden capital cities, but although the other two seem to have things going on which were noticed by a couple of commenters I have been unable to identify anything conclusive and these may just have been coincidental. If anyone wants to take a look at them, the puzzles are still available in the Times Club and of course the blogs are in our own archive. The QCs in question are #168 published 29/10/2014 and #1253 published on 27/12/2018

  6. 23 minutes.
    Thought I was on for a fast time as I raced through the top half but then slowed to finish in around my usual time area.
    FOI: MAIL followed by the first 8 across clues.
    LOI: SAY easy but needing FLATTERY for the penny to drop.

  7. DNF. Beaten by NECTAR (kicking myself) and TORMENT (less so)

    Really liked AIRFARE

    Thanks Hurley and TheRotter

  8. Hurley is probably my fave setter as I usually get them done quick. I thought this was a slightly harder one by ‘him’ as some of the defs, words and methods were rarer for the QC.

    Came in at 22:30 having done all but five at 12mins. VIrGIL just wouldn’t get off the tip of my tongue at this early hour and I was unable to unscramble BARRICADE (which blocked BANDITRY as well as OVERTIME) and LOI NECTAR took me into the SCC having reached it in 19+.

    The week is gradually getting faster. Fingers crossed for a good Friday (before Easter!) 😃

    PS Def remember Loadsamoney!

    1. You’re okay with ‘him’ for Hurley, L-Plates, as he was one of the original TfTT bloggers and contributors, still very much around when I joined. He’s listed on our Past Bloggers page under NMS.

      1. Good to read a bit of history. I recall Raich’s puzzles from the Indy, always fair and just the easy side of average, although there was one real stinker!

  9. Determined to have my happy face on 🙂 after yesterday and Hurley did not let me down. A very nice puzzle, and all done in 10 minutes with only the slightest MER at the modern meaning of chronic = very bad. I have a number of chronic health conditions but even with my most grumbling and self-pitying hat on I cannot claim they are very bad!

    Many thanks to Rotter for the blog and Hurley for a most enjoyable puzzle, spot on for a QC.

    1. Am I right in recalling my doctor saying chronic just means it’s lasted longer than 3mths? The chron- part looks suspiciously time-related.

      1. Spot on L-Plates. Chronic from the Greek Χρόνος, which simply means Time. Actually nothing to do with Cronos (or Cronus), who in Greek mythology was the father of Zeus, but the mis-association of the two certainly goes back to the Renaissance and is probably the origin of “Father Time”.

        As far as my own experiences goes, chronic doesn’t so much mean that I have had something for three months, as that I’m unlikely ever to get rid of it!

      2. Going back to my Navy medic days (before I transferred to the “Dark Side” some 11 years later), acute, where illness is concerned, means over a short time period. Whereas chronic meant over a long period of time (can’t remember any specific cut off time between the two).

      3. Acute illness is self-limiting, you either recover or you die.
        Chronic illness goes on indefinitely.
        You can also have sub-acute or acute-on-chronic.
        None of these are good.

    2. Here’s a sentence with CHRONIC meaning ‘very bad’: “Mr Random’s CHRONIC crosswording skills continually let him down.”

      1. Ah, Chronic meaning “determined, usually successful and always wittily commented on” I see …

  10. I made a mess of the grid by writing FLATTERY in the space for 20A, otherwise no difficulties. LOI SAY after ABSOLUTE sorted the SE corner. A neat puzzle as always from Hurley. Like Doofenschmirtz, I was initially looking for something like PASTIS for 12A. Great misdirection, hence my COD. Thank-you Hurley and Rotter. 4:59.

  11. I enjoyed this too – thanks Hurley and TheRotter. When I was a lad I was taught that chronic meant ongoing rather than bad or very bad, but it was often used to mean something horrendous (even short lived). Is this an example of persistent usage leading to a revised definition , or did it always have ‘dreadful’ undertones?

  12. A very nice puzzle to end the week. It seemed to flow nicely. Thanks to Hurley. Under target at 13.05 so a steadier solve than it seemed. I liked AIRFARE and TULIP but NECTAR was my COD.
    All parsed except that I biffed my LOI POLL (thanks for resolving that and for a good blog, Rotter). John M.
    P.s. I associate Bish Bash Bosh with Jamie Oliver, Rotter.

  13. Over target for the fourth time in four days.

    Very neat puzzle though, which I very much enjoyed this morning.

    AIRFARE and VIGIL particular favourites. LUNCH was late because I’d bunged in MALE in error. LOI was NECTAR, unparsed until after a nervy entry…


  14. Very proud of myself for noticing the message saying that the puzzle was 99% complete before hitting “submit” on autopilot. A frantic search for the missing letter ensued (I’d put PAC for PACE, it turned out). Phew. That cost me a sub K but I’m not complaining because it was self inflicted.

    Great puzzle, really liked AIRFARE and NECTAR, my last two in. All done in 08:06 for 1.001K and an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Hurley and Rotter.


  15. FOI ACCURATE, LOI NECTAR, COD AIRFARE. All I could say has been said above. Thanks Hurley and Rotter.

  16. A very neat puzzle with anagrams that took me longer than usual to work out. Crossers helped to solve a couple of the more difficult clues. COD: AIRFARE.

  17. Held up for a while by NECTAR where I was also looking for a French drink. I eventually biffed it and then spotted the hidden. MAIL was FOI and VIGIL was LOI. 8:50. Thanks Hurley and Rotter.

  18. Just outside the SCC at 22 mins today. Raced through but took a while to spot a typo in REoLICA which made POLL impossible for a frustrating 5 mins and very much my LOI. Biffed NECTAR. MER at ‘chronic’ = ‘very bad’ as mentioned above. Liked AIRFARE and TULIP. Many thanks Rotter and Hurley.

  19. Couldn’t see 1ac, and then misread Prior for Friar 🙄, so not the best of starts, but the NE was more welcoming and a clockwise solve ensued. I was grateful that Barricade was an anagram, after a lifetime mispronouncing it, and also because the initial B then made Banditry obvious. Crossed the line at 18mins, with CoD to the initially elusive 2d, Airfare – if only they were still that cheap. . . Invariant

  20. 14:10. Moved along smoothly with no fuss. Needed blog to understand OVER=due to and CHRONIC =very bad. I agree with Cedric S and gcook52 that CHRONIC shouldn’t mean bad but unfortunately increasing usage seems to make it so !

  21. TORMENT and NECTAR did for me today, so no leaderboard. Liked AIRFARE once I eventually found it. Onwards and upwards….

  22. Good middle of the road puzzle from Hurley I thought, and a pretty steady solve from me finishing in 8.03. Nothing really held me up, and no head scratching to talk of. LOI was 5dn where I also had my doubts about the definition of CHRONIC.

  23. Made swift progress until left with NECTAR and TORMENT at which point I hit a brick wall. For torment I was trying to make an anagram out of pester for a while and then spent time thinking men would be ‘or’. Eventually the penny dropped which allowed me to get an unparsed NECTAR.
    Finished in 8.37
    Thanks to Rotter

  24. I think I’m in the minority here as I found parts of this puzzle to be quite tough. I needed to resort to aids for 5 of the clues. However, I did complete it.

  25. Slow but enjoyable here. Can’t think why it took me so long but there were lots of interruptions. Had to dot around the grid.
    FOI ACCURATE (nice clue). Also liked AIRFARE (had a PDM) , ABSOLUTE, BASH, VIGIL, TORMENT, TULIP. Cd not parse NECTAR but biffed easily. Several other wild guesses had to be rubbed out . Studied Latin for 7-8 years but can’t remember much. Luckily Virgil sprang to mind, though it is usually Ovid in Crosswordland.
    Thanks vm, Rotter.

  26. Today is a red letter day. I solved clockwise from ACCURATE to MAIL with only MAIL requiring a revisit. COD to TULIP. 5:43

  27. 20 mins…

    The head scratch of 12ac “Nectar” took me into SCC after wasting several minutes trying to stick Rod’s and Rum’s and various other combinations into the grid. After applying my rule, that if something feels like it should be straightforward but nothing works, look for a hidden word – it miraculously popped out.

    FOI – 1ac “Mail”
    LOI – 12ac “Nectar”
    COD – 2dn “Airfare”

    Thanks as usual!

  28. Finished in 22 minutes but it seemed shorter and I was quite surprised when I looked at the clock. Had to resort to aids to get 5dn as I ran out of time. Enjoyable puzzle.

    FOI – 1ac MAIL
    COD – 4ac ACCURATE

    Thanks to Hurley and Rotter

  29. Was cruising for a sub 10 until I hit the buffers at NECTAR/TORMENT. Also went down many rat holes such as OR for men, c=caught, with words like “suspect” seemingly close to some kind of legal word.

    NECTAR was also replete with misdirection


  30. I don’t know what the matter is this week – I’ve struggled to finish most of the quickies, but have rattled off the biggie in fairly good times (by my standards). Today was no exception – although I could see that there must be some sort of hidden bits and back-to-front bits in 12a, I just couldn’t see NECTAR! So another DNF after about a quarter of an hour – if I can’t see the answer after about 5 minutes, I usually stop.
    Otherwise not much to report – bit of an MER at APE for a clumsy person. FOI Mail COD Grandeur
    Thanks Hurley and Rotter

    1. I’m so impressed that you finish the biggies. Encouraged by your comments this week I’ve been trying them, and although I can get most of the way there reasonably quickly I’m always left with 4 or 5 clues that I just can’t crack. Big fat DNF every time 🙁

      Keep trying, I guess!

      1. That’s very kind of you, but you are so much faster than I am on the quickie. I reckon we started posting around the same time, along with Invariant, Plett and David (and a few others who we don’t see any more) – so it’s interesting to see how we’ve all learnt so much.

        It has been a funny week. I don’t finish the biggie every day by any stretch of the imagination, and usually it’s nearer 40-45 minutes if I do. I only tend to post a comment over here (never a recommendation) if I’ve found it relatively approachable, and hope that others might too. It has been A Good Week on the other side if not here – now I’m waiting for the curse of Penny’s Law 😂

        1. I’ve finished the previous 15×15’s this week (three in a row is unheard of for me), but short by three nho answers today. Tip of the hat if you crossed the line unaided.

  31. Mr SR and I enjoyed this and didn’t find it too troublesome – thanks Hurley and Rotter.
    CHRONIC for “very bad” seems quite an old fashioned use to me and reminded me of the Two Ronnies sketch of them marching with the Aldershot Brass Ensemble (I’m not good at links, but it’s easily Googled):

    Ain’t it a pity the pubs in the city all close at half past ten?
    If I had the power they’d close for an hour then open up again.
    I could get chronic on vodka and tonic ’til any time I like
    And while the policeman watched my car I’d nip home on his bike…”

    “Bad” is often used for “ill” in the part of Wales I’m from, the degrees of “bad” jokingly being described as:
    Bad; Worse; Dead.

  32. 6.11 Haven’t found much time to do crosswords due to work. Struggling on the biggies so lack of practice showing.
    LOI nectar
    COD airfare.

  33. Just three to go after half an hour or so, but those three (CHRONICLE, APE and ACCURATE) took me 20 minutes to crack. Much of the delay was caused by me thinking that 4a was __ERRATA.

    I did finish correctly, in 51 minutes, but I’m afraid I didn’t enjoy the experience today.

    Mrs Random had no such trouble and daahed it off in 20 minutes precisely.

    Thanks to Hurley and Rotter.

  34. Did not quite finish but thought it was a good and fair puzzle and appropriate for a QC unlike so many of the others. I doubt the other setters care, but puzzles like these encourage those of us new to the game to keep at it. Good for you Hurley and obviously thanks to the bloggers

  35. Having sloppily ruined yesterday’s puzzle with “odemas”, I was in calmer waters today.

    TIME 3:22

  36. We made good progress until the sw corner. 17d vigil and 13d torment. Forgot Virginia and tort, despite doing Latin and some legal training. Perhaps because it was 60 odd years ago, my excuse.

  37. From the ridiculous to the sublime. After three days of toil, I managed to avoid the SCC today! Did this at work and perhaps attempting it earlier in the day when I am not so tired was the catalyst.

    A host of good, challenging clues, but my COD was 2dn. LOI was 12ac which I needed the blog to parse.

    Thanks as always Rotter.

  38. 10:59
    Put me down for a wince at chronic = bad. Gone the same way as petrify, decimate, etc. And the hideous ‘sat’ instead of ‘seated’ or ‘sitting’.
    Thanks, TR

  39. Done on train home, all apart from POLL as I had to fight my way off at Basingstoke, so that was my LOI after I’d defrosted the car and driven home, which made the start to finish time quite long.

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