Times Quick Cryptic No 2347 by Hurley

Solving time: 17:54

A mostly-harmless offering from Hurley, however there were three or four clues which I found quite challenging.

Got off to a slowish start in the top half though found the bottom half easier. Continued to pick up bits and pieces around the grid until after perhaps 10 mins, when I was left with just four: 21d a three letter word for which I had both checkers; plus 5a, 5d and 6d.

I shrugged entering the final letter of 21d as I’d never heard of this particular coupling of words (and a Google search doesn’t seem to know of it either). Spotted 6d, but it took me a further five minutes to come up with the final two – the colony being a bit of a shot in the dark, but the answer gave the first letter for 5a.

I wonder what you all made of it and whether there might be a swelling in numbers in today’s SCC…

Definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [directions in square ones].

1 What provides bite, unexpectedly ironic, about Society (7)
INCISOR – Anagram [unexpectedly] of IRONIC about S (Society)
5 One opposed to war in the air? (4)
DOVE – This was the first of the two that I just could not see for ages – I eventually lifted and separated and saw that ‘One opposed to war’ =  DOVE

In American politics, a person who is a pacifist is sometimes referred to as a DOVE, whereas a hawk advocates the use of military resources as opposed to diplomacy.

This may be what you call a semi &lit (see Glossary) i.e. the whole of the clue forms the definition, but part of the clue (in the air? i.e. where you might find a real bird-shaped DOVE) is also wordplay.

Candidate for the 15×15 maybe?

7 Supporting book, European, in thorough enquiry (5)
PROBE – PRO (Supporting) B (book) E (European)
8 Effect of sun, temperature — strange outburst of temper (7)
TANTRUM – TAN (Effect of sun) T (temperature) RUM (strange)
10 Electrical unit army management prescribe at the outset (3)
AMP – First letters [at the outset] of A{rmy} M{anagement} P{rescribe}
11 A sum union arranged agreed by all (9)
UNANIMOUS – Anagram [arranged] of A SUM UNION
13 Describing some remedies, the woman beginning to bore a learner (6)
HERBAL – HER (the woman) then beginning to i.e. the first letter of B{ore} then A L (learner)
14 Hotel bid, eager, shows on reflection what food should be (6)
EDIBLE – Reverse hidden [shows on reflection] in Hotel bid, eager

Needed both the D and B checkers to spot this one.

17 English flower for example, good seasonal item (6,3)
EASTER EGG – E (English) ASTER (flower) EG (for example) G (good)
19 Concession from shop husband missed (3)
SOP – S{h}OP i.e. from SHOP, the H (husband) is missed out.
20 Brass instrument term put about (7)
TRUMPET – Anagram [about] of TERM PUT
22 Lively time penning Italian article (5)
AGILE – AG(IL)E i.e. AGE (time) containing [penning] IL (Italian masculine definite article)
23 Conflict pressure leading to bias (4)
WARP – WAR (conflict) P (pressure)

Example of where bias and WARP might be interchangeable: “your judgement has been warped by your obvious dislike of him”

24 Followers referring to recalled Eastern unit (7)
RETINUE – RE (referring to) then all of E (Eastern) UNIT backwards [recalled]
1 Emphatic men must change accusation (11)
IMPEACHMENT – Anagram [must change] of EMPHATIC MEN

Not perhaps the easiest anagram to spot, but the first couple of checkers certainly helped.

2 Flying object policeman finds hard to take in? (7)
CHOPPER – COPPER (policeman) with H (hard) taken in
3 Conjecture there’s attempt to make financial gain (9)
SPECULATE – Double definition
4 Couples at front in right tunic allowable for ceremony (6)
RITUAL – First two letters [Couples at front in] of RI{ght} TU{nic} AL{lowable}
5 Retreat from former colony, heading off (3)
DEN – {a}DEN i.e. ADEN (former colony) with its first letter removed [heading off]

ADEN was a British Crown colony between 1937 and 1963 located in the south of contemporary Yemen.

Not that easy if you don’t know your colonies – I expect some of our younger readers may not find this easy. This was the other of the two clues that I was stuck on for ages.

Another candidate for the 15×15 perhaps…

6 Sign ill-tempered woman doesn’t have answer (5)
VIRGO – Sign of the zodiac VIR{a}GO i.e. VIRAGO (ill-tempered woman) without the A [doesn’t have answer]

The archaic meaning of VIRAGO is a woman demonstrating abundant masculine virtues – Joan of Arc is considered to be such.

9 Outstanding work in radio post, extremely eager, calm, we hear (11)
MASTERPIECE – MAST (radio post) E{age}R [extremely i.e. end letters of], then PIECE sounds like [we hear] PEACE (calm)
12 Resentful as sarcastic remark interrupts pub worker (9)
INDIGNANT – IN(DIG)N ANT i.e. DIG (sarcastic remark) inserted into INN (pub), then ANT (worker)
15 Good of French to bring wine inside stronghold (7)
BASTION – B(ASTI)ON i.e. BON (French for good) containing [to bring … inside] ASTI (wine)
16 Something in post for landlord maybe (6)
LETTER – Double definition
18 Cut with tool, reportedly, a bath from Finland (5)
SAUNA – Sounds like [reportedly] SAWN (cut with tool – past participle) then A
21 One might be conceited however you look at it (3)
PUP – Reads the same in either direction [however you look at it]

With no checkers, I would have struggled to come up with PUP, but having the two Ps in place narrowed down the possibilities considerably!

I guess to call a youngster a ‘conceited PUP’ might once have been an exclamation uttered by a member of the older generations towards some narcissistic Z-lister (thinking Big Brother or Love Island contestants)

77 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2347 by Hurley”

  1. 14:19. Pleased to make it under 15 min as that seems to be my average lately and this seemed very hard. I guessed PUP instead of pop, pip or pap but had really only heard of”sell a pup” as an idiomatic use of that term. English flower had me thinking river and there seemed to be a fair number of 6-letter ones in England. Supporting meaning PRO foxed me for a while . INDIGNANT was my COD.

  2. The ones Mike found hard were my last four in. I got three of the four, missed 21d.


  3. No problems, although I pronounce SAUNA ‘sowna’ (‘sawn’ is not the past tense, btw). I biffed MASTERPIECE, never parsed it; not sure I read the whole clue. PUP/PUPPY strikes me as archaic; I’ve seen it in 19th-century novels, but not later (I see ODE marks them as ‘dated’). 6:52.

  4. 12 minutes, so another target missed to add to the growing total over recent days. It’s a month since I had a decent run of 6 consecutive successes.

    I can’t identify what delayed me here other that the unknown conceited PUP. This entry in Collins justifies it however:pup informal, mainly British derogatory, a conceited young man (esp in the phrase young pup).

  5. I found this super hard, crossing the line a shade under 20 only to find I’d typoed my way to a DNF with two Ms in UNANIMOUS. Caused trouble for myself by deciding a ‘navy’ is opposed to war in the air – better to spend the budget on ships – and that made DEN hard as I couldn’t think of a single four letter former colony. Also slow on SPECULATE – though it must be a chestnut – and AGILE where I was just foxed.

  6. Very slow today not helped by starting at 4.00 am and falling back to sleep. Really nice puzzle though with lots of PDMs. COD Masterpiece / Easter Egg. Like MH my LOIs were Dove and Aden and they held me up a lot. Thanks to Hurley and Mike Harper.

  7. Good morning.
    Is anyone else having problems with the puzzle and keyboard no longer fitting on an iPad (version 6) screen?
    Until two or three days ago there was no problem.
    9.30 but the tabbing up and down has added a bit of time.

    1. I sometimes have to change to List view so I can see the whole of a long word.

    2. Me too. I’m using the Times website on a iPad not the app but the formatting changed recently. I now do the puzzle in the crossword club which formats OK. I emailed the puzzles editor (Mick Hodgkin puzzles@thetimes.co.uk) and he did reply but nothing has changed so far.

  8. 11:23 with PUP my LOI biffed with fingers crossed as NHO and would have shrugged if ‘pop’ or ‘pip’ had proved correct.

    INCISOR flew in…. Then nothing as I bounced round for a slow patchy solve and nearly threw in the towel with BASTION, AGILE, IMPEACHMENT and DEN holding out – I was searching too hard for a verb synonym for ‘retreat’.

    Thanks Hurley and MikeH for the fine blog (I needed your help to parse RITUAL!)

  9. I found this a bit testing. Like our blogger, I got stuck on PUP (eventually guessed as the most likely) and DOVE, which I took an age to see, finishing with VIRGO, needing the V to see the sign of the Zodiac. Thanks Hurley and Mike. 6:50.

  10. Tricky in places and had similar issues as our blogger with DEN and DOVE. It also took me time to see SPECULATE and to parse RITUAL. LOI was PUP which went in as the least unlikely of the 5 options.
    An enjoyable workout from Hurley and I was pleased to come in under target in 9.30 which at the time of writing was the exact average in the puzzle club, which I found strangely satisfying for some reason.
    Thanks to MH

  11. DNF with towel thrown at 20 mins.

    Since Britain has been messing around in Persia for much of the 19 th C, I thought IRAN could be a former colony with RAN for retreat. The “lift and separate” for “war in the air” defeated me.

    Also had real trouble with AGILE, where “lively time” could have been an anagram, time could be t,MO,ERA, and I was sure Hurley wanted me to “lift and separate” “Italian article” for IT + A. Too many options.

  12. Put Pop instead of PUP, and worse Diva instead of DOVE (very dim of me).
    As I had managed to struggled through some tricky answers that was a pity.
    I pronounce SAUNA as sow-na, (sow=pig), but then I have partaken of the genuine experience by a Finnish lake!
    FOI DEN, having lived in Aden.
    Had to biff some e.g TANTRUM. Liked VIRGO, MASTERPIECE, among others, but thought the RHS pretty difficult.
    Thanks vm, Mike.

  13. After yesterday’s struggle I was hoping for a breeze today. Sadly it was not to be for me. Went over 30 mins with P -A/E/I/O/U -P wrongly guessed POP. Struggled with VIRAGO and as above thought NAVY.
    Thanks all.

  14. Avoided the SCC, but only just, and mentally went through all the vowels before deciding PUP might be the one. I think that was a very poor clue in an otherwise good puzzle. Thanks both.

  15. I found this very slow going, partly perhaps because I have a bad cold, but even allowing for that, this felt tough and it took me 18 minutes to complete. (A)den was a rare quick entry, but most of them took much thinking.

    I guessed right on Pup, but even so, I am not a great fan of clues where one is left guessing which of several plausible vowels completes the word.

    COD Indignant, with a fine PDM when I realised that one had to separate pub and worker.

    Many thanks to Mike for the blog

  16. Slow to start. DEN was FOI. More success from bottom of grid upwards. Some easy, some very chewy clues.
    I quite liked INCISOR, RETINUE, INDIGNANT. However, it was far from a smooth solve for me and, after 20 mins, I took a guess at my LOI P?P and got it wrong. Daft I calls it.
    Thanks, Mike. John M.

  17. Long agonising over the vowel in PUP, my LOI. Guessed right but pretty scratchy clue, that one. Also slowed myself up by putting “anti” at 5a instead of DOVE, thinking it might be slang for an anti-aircraft gun. VIRGO sorted that out in the end.

    COD to BASTION. All done in 10:40 for 1.5K and an OK Day.

    Many thanks Hurley and Mike.


  18. I managed this in about 10 but I agree that quite a bit of this was more suited to the 15 x15. Thanks setter and blogger!

  19. I found this quite tough and biffed a few – thanks for the blog! DEN, DOVE and (guessed) PUP last 3 in. Are the puzzles getting deliberately harder, or is it just me?

  20. Not bad overall, but 21 down is a right pup. And with sop at 19a, Hurley missed a trick:
    First to Pluto’s underworld paid a young Cerberus?

    COD Bastion.

  21. A good start in the NW, albeit I needed most of the crossers for Impeachment. However, the NE corner (5ac/d) and the RHS (6,9 and 15) in general didn’t want to play ball. Finally saw how Vir(a)go worked and that helped with the Den/Dove pair. Bastion lived up to its name, but fell when Asti came to mind for the wine. That just left the seemingly impossible Masterpiece, but, with the 20min line beckoning, getting the peace/piece homophone made the first half of the answer suddenly obvious. A real pdm finish and my CoD by a country mile. Invariant

  22. At the harder QC end, I had trouble as well with DEN DOVE and PUP. These and a few others, not out of place in a 15 x 15. It does seem to be the shorter words which often give the trickier problems! Thanks as always!

  23. Another challenging day for me, taking 18 minutes after a fast start.
    LOI DEN, parsed only as I walked to my computer. Prior to that DOVE took ages to emerge.
    And I too considered all P_P possibilities before deciding that PUP was the least bad.
    Not my favourite QC but COD to DOVE, a clue which really belonged in the 15×15.

  24. “A mostly harmless offering from Hurley” Mike suggests in his blog – I suspect quite a few will disagree with him including me. I suspect there may be a few ‘poisonous’ comments later… I think you know who I mean!
    I struggled through this eventually finishing in 14.42, and even then kept up my membership of the OWL Club going by opting for PIP at 21dn. The nearest reference I could think of was pipsqueak, even though it doesn’t quite work. I agree with others that this was a really poor clue

  25. Technically a DNF as I have no idea why I chose PUP as my LOI👿. Mike’s explanation only half convinces me. With that one exception, a fine, challenging but doable puzzle which took over average time. FOI INCISOR, COD EASTER RGG, but many to choose from. Would the clue for TRUMPET work as a DD without the word TERM? Thanks, Hurley and Mike

  26. 7.20 for me, a couple of minutes over. For some reason I I start my crosswords in a different place every time, and I seemed to come across the tougher ones first which set me back a bit.
    I was a bit surprised to see conjecture as the clue for speculate. I would’ve thought speculation was the required answer. But no one else has mentioned it, so I assume I’m in the wrong.

    1. Conjecture can be a verb as well as a noun. “I conjecture that it is seldom used these days”.

  27. A similar time to yesterday in 12:14. I wasn’t sold on DOVE or PUP and like yesterday finished in the NW corner with LOI SPECULATE.

  28. DNF for me – the second day running . All except 5a and 5d correct but after 15mins trying to work them out I gave up. Wasn’t sure about PUP but guessed right. Left hand side went in quite quickly and then the SE after some delay. NE was the difficulty. Eventually I got VIRGO which led to TANTRUM but even with the V, DOVE wouldn’t arrive and nor would DEN. FOI INCISOR, COD MASTERPIECE. Frustrating. Thanks Hurley and Mike.

  29. Ah good, not just me then! Not as tough as yesterday in my estimation, but over target again.

    I pronounce SAUNA as does Kevin (and the Finns, of which I am a half)- first syllable to rhyme with now, but that didn’t delay me.

    I forget my LOI, it might have been TANTRUM. PUP was a guess. I had fat-fingered IMPEACHMENT, which is why I don’t submit to leaderboard. INDIGNANT COD


  30. DNF after 40 mins. Not even Mrs Prof could save me. I guessed PUP but couldn’t parse it. Still don’t understand how ‘pup’ means ‘conceited’ since if pup is used as an insult it is always used with an adjective (‘cheeky pup’, ‘saucy pup’, etc) and hence pup is a noun. I guessed VIRGO but couldn’t parse it – NHO ‘virago’ other than the publisher so a good learning there. I was beaten all round by DEN even though I was fully aware of Aden – I just didn’t see the other meaning of ‘retreat’. Another learning. Finally I could not see DOVE even though I had the V and know the American meaning.

    Hey ho. Thanks for the blog Mike.

      1. The clue says ‘one opposed to war’. I think the ‘doves and hawks’ explanation that Mike provides in the blog makes sense and is especially American as an anti-war reference to ‘dove’. The clue does not mention peace. The ‘dove of peace’ is a stretch without using a qualifier such as ‘maybe’, since doves have had a very wide range of symbology including for: war, sexuality and failure (mesopotamian cultures), sexuality and love (ancient Greek), harmlessness, protection (native American, Islam), the holy spirit and baptism (Judaism, Christianity) as well as variously for peace (later Christian and various political movements).

    1. The definition is, as Mike shows, ‘one might be conceited’; a PUP might be, although it needn’t.

  31. For 15d I had Bastide. B for good (A would be very good or top!) and de for French ‘of’
    This did not help 24a. Top right corner defeated me anyway.

  32. Dnf…

    Surely we couldn’t have two toughies one after another? It looks like we can.

    I found this harder than yesterday, and once I’d got to my cut off of 30 mins, I still couldn’t get the NE corner of 5ac “Dove” and 6dn “Virgo”. What’s incredibly annoying is that I identified it could be a star sign and yet somehow managed to miss the only one it could be.

    I then missed the blindingly obvious for 16dn and put “Renter”.

    FOI – 10ac “Amp”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 8ac “Tantrum” – I nearly had one.

    Thanks as usual!

  33. DNF at 55+ mins with the NE defeating me having taken a break at 45mins with RITUAL and VIRGO also missing. I plumped for an incorrect NAVY / NUN pairing in place of DEN/DOVE.

    I’m 50+ years old and never learned anything about what Britain’s colonies were at school so feel that clue is past it’s sell-by date; at least when paired with the crappy dove clue. I couldn’t have told you what a virago is either.

    I’d forgotten about the PUP issue until I read the blog. I was tentative on that one too.

    All in all … that’s two days in a row best forgotten.

      1. Careful now, we are still sulking over the way that little difficulty with George III ended. . .

      2. Not that I recall. Was talking to a friend about this a couple of weeks ago and he says we did colour in a map of Africa and name the countries and major rivers back in 1978-79 when we were in primary school. But colonialism per se I don’t recall anything. Might have done something about Australia but definitely don’t recall anything about United States, West Indies, India or Middle East.

        The history I recall doing was the Victorians but focused on things that happened in the UK like railways and abolition of child labour. About the Roman’s conquest of Britain. About Battle of Hastings and Vikings. i.e. all things that took place in Britain. My ‘O’ level history focused on WWI – WWII so that involved more about Europe.

        I’m sure I must have studied other parts of history that I’ve forgotten.

    1. People here sometimes complain they haven’t learnt x or y at school. I don’t think I learnt a great deal at my school but I’ve read or studied lot since. Trouble is, I’m so old I can’t necessarily remember all the general knowledge I’ve acquired over the years.
      (By the way, there was a somewhat inaccurate TV drama set in colonial Aden about 4 years ago!)

      1. I agree in principle with you and I’m often surprised at the GK others on here don’t know. I’m an avid reader and gleaner of info. That said, geography and food & drink are two areas that I have low interest on learning. I have been making an effort with the former over the past year.

        My point about not learning colonies at school is that unless it’s a specific topic that interests you, a list of former colonies is not something to go learn. My daughter was actually asking about Africa colonialism this past month as she is doing a module at university about it and I couldn’t tell her a lot beyond the generics of knowing who the continent was divided up between and our bigger former colonies i.e. Rhodesia, Kenya etc.

        As for TV, I rarely watch. I certainly don’t bother modern dramas or films from the last decade as they are made for entertainment rather than accuracy. I prefer to watch a good documentary on a subject.

        1. I’m learning that some places or other nouns appear regularly in crosswords because they consist of useful letters e.g. Aden, Rio, LA, Riga, Balti, Rabbi, Aster. I’m sure you can think of plenty. So when Colony appears in a clue Aden is one of the first to spring to mind. Ditto Flower might be Aster or a river like Po or Dee. Or again it might not!

          1. Indeed. Aster caught me out today too. Unsurprisingly flowers aren’t one of my strong points!!

            On reflection, I think the point of my post got missed was that if I as a 50-something never learned about colonies at school then anyone in their 20s, 30s, 40s almost certainly didn’t study a list either. This was prompted by our blogger Mike’s comment “I expect some of our younger readers may not find this easy”

            Anyway thank-you for your thoughts 👍

            1. I am in the same boat – 58 years old but didn’t learn stuff like that at a Catholic comprehensive.

    2. Please don’t write “it’s” when you mean “its” !

      But I agree, I could not associate PUP with “conceited”.

      1. Its is possessive. It’s is correct if used to mean ‘it is’. An apostrophe is used to denote a missing letter (i in this case).*
        * Note. Or any missing part of a word, e.g. it’s if it is used to mean ‘it has’.

        1. It’s one of those quirks of English grammar that an apostrophe can also indicate the possessive (but not in “its”) in which case it’s not denoting a missing letter – see Peregrineflyer’s posting below for two examples – oh, and I’ve just given another!

          But in any case, referring to martinu’s comment, it’s not considered good form around here to point out errors of grammar in postings other than the blog itself unless the poster was making a point of grammar but got it wrong.

          1. I’ve always tended to think of Mike’s as short for ‘Mike, his’ but yes, English grammar is quirky, to say the least. I agree with you about ‘good form’ but I did not feel that the correct use of it’s in the earlier post deserved to be criticised. John.

            1. Indeed, I intended to make it clear that your correction was fully justified. It was the previous comment (not by you) that I didn’t like.

              1. Martin was referring, I believe, to the manifestly wrong “is past it’s sell-by date.”

          2. Indeed – comments on other people’s grammar/spelling not particularly useful. Especially as I know when to use a contraction or a possessive and this was just carelessness.

            It took me many years to get out of the habit of scrutinising my internet posts for longer than it took to write them before hitting the post button. So while I make a quick effort to proofread, I recognise I’m not writing an entry for the Encyclopaedia Britannica or whatever.

  34. Definitely not on Hurley’s wavelength – I even struggled with some of the easier (in hindsight) clues. Came in at 33 minutes with a good deal of biffing. Thanks to Mike’s blog I now understand everything except why I couldn’t parse them in the first place. Getting slower as the week goes on!
    Agree with previous comments about PUP although I was fairly certain that ‘conceited pup(py)’ was an accepted, if very dated, expression.

    FOI – 10ac AMP
    COD – 5ac DOVE for the surface, even though it took ages for the penny to drop. Also liked 6dn VIRGO.

  35. DNF. After 9min I had everything except 5a. I convinced myself that “one opposed to” had to be IV, leaving a choice between DIVA and DIVE. The latter made some sort of sense for war in the air.

  36. The acrosses flew in for me, got all but 2 or 3 on my first pass. But then the downs – oh dear. BASTION eventually came, and that unlocked EDIBLE, but DEN and VIRGO took a long time.
    All green in 15:55, just over target, but given the comments here today, I’ll put that in the “win” column. COD MASTERPIECE.

  37. INCISOR was my FOI, but my performance was not incisive for the rest of the puzzle. I eventually recalled the expression “cheeky young pup” which allowed me to be happy with 21d. At 15d I was sideswiped by wanting it to be Bastille. All in all just a bit slow. RITUAL was my LOI and took a while to parse, taking me over my target again. 10:33. Thanks Hurley and Mike.

  38. Yesterday, I gave up after 73 minutes with one clue unsolved (partly due to a lack of GK). Today, I gave up after 72 minutes with one clue unsolved (partly due to a lack of GK) and one error. I am being made to pay for escaping the SCC on Monday.

    I had just 5 clues to get as I entered the SCC, but managed to solve only three of them (SPECULATE, PUP and DEN) during the next 50+ minutes. I wish I hadn’t bothered even to try. My error was Dual (for DOVE) and I gave up trying to fit something into A_R_O. My lack of GK was VIRaGO (who she?) and, whilst correct, PUP was a pure guess.

    I’m now even less content than yesterday, but I will still thank Hurley and (of course) Mike H.

    1. Back-to-back tough days. It was a struggle to get started at the top. And not a lot better down below!

      Think I only had AMP (initialism), EDIBLE (reverse hidden), a tentative SOP (don’t know the word), TRUMPET (easyish anagram), WARP and a tentative PUP on first pass of clues. If MASTERPIECE hadn’t popped to mind I’m not sure I’d have got going today.

  39. I flew through most of this but DEN and DOVE took me ages and I biffed PIP at the last for a rare DNF. Bah!

  40. PUP makes sense if you assume a typo – “conceited” instead of “conceived”. Otherwise, it’s complete rubbish IMHO.

  41. DNF because of PUP, looks like I’m in good company (and my wife and I would claim to be well read). At least I knew ADEN because my Dad was based there with the RAF.

    And “in the air” seemed really vague. Was it really meant to help in narrowing down to DOVE (how many birds, flies, planes etc are there?).

  42. DNF

    The LHS went in easily enough but struggled to complete the bottom right and eventually came unstuck with DOVE and DEN unsolved.

  43. Today I join my friends in the SCC in saying that this was incredibly tough. I finished after much gnashing of teeth somewhere around 70 mins. I wasn’t doing too badly until the last half dozen, but DOVE, DEN, TANTRUM, AGILE and BASTION were killers. Saw VIRGO early but lacked confidence to put it in.

    My times this week are 15 mins, 37 mins and now 70. So much for hoping for a sub 2 hour week!

    LOI – DEN
    PDM – distinctly lacking these today!

    Thanks for the excellent blog Mike (I’ll pretend I didn’t read the ‘mostly-harmless’ comment).

  44. 6:43 this morning, another tougher than average QC from Hurley.
    I encountered plenty of delays before the neural circuitry kicked in. For example, with 14 ac “edible” which wasn’t that hard and 22 ac “agile” where I was trying for a while to fit I and A into a 3 letter word for “time”.
    Interesting that emphatic men is an anagram of impeachment.
    COD 9 d “masterpiece”.
    Thanks to Mike and Hurley

  45. One last try this morning after being out most of yesterday but a dnf in company with many others it appears. Beaten by Dove, Virgo, Pup and, the only one I should really have got, Masterpiece.
    Congratulations to those who finished. I’m impressed.

    1. Bad luck, Mr V. You join a large group of us who were flummoxed by Hurley.

  46. 4 days! Is this a record? Actually just forgot I hadn’t finished until lunchtime today.
    And a DNF to boot, as was foxed by p*p, so came here. Other than that a lot to enjoy.
    Thanks Hurley and Mike Harper.

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