Times Quick Cryptic No 2383 by Hurley

A pleasing puzzle from Hurley, with a bit of a French, or a French Canadian feel to it maybe? I don’t have a time, having forgotten to look at the clock after completing, but nothing held me up too much, so I suspect a middling 12 or 13 minutes.

Thanks to Hurley, and good luck to you all with your efforts. Please let us all know how you did.


1  Secure uniform in Paris and note bread product (8)

BAGUETTE – BAG (secure, as in ‘get’) with U{niform} ET (French for ‘and’ – in Paris) and TE (note, as in doh, ray, etc.).

5 Grow old, only occasionally well-behaved? (4)

GOOD – Alternate letters (only occasionally) of GrOw OlD.

8 A bet getting one excited (8)

AFLUTTER – A (a) and FLUTTER (bet). I think the word ‘one’ is redundant here, but I am neither Setter nor Editor.

9 Record in award is challenged (4)

DISC – Hidden word in {awar}D IS C{hallenged}.

11 Amazing us, rare find – means to make money (10)

FUNDRAISER – Anagram (amazing) of [US, RARE FIND].

14 It helps PC remember term for biscuit? (6)

COOKIE – Double definition. The PC in the first definition is a Personal Computer, and a COOKIE in that sense is ‘a small piece of persistent code that is downloaded to a hard drive when a website is accessed, allowing the computer to be remembered on subsequent visits’ (Chambers).

15 Do not acknowledge daughter is initially offhand with neighbours (6)

DISOWN – D{aughter} and IS (is) and the first letters (initially) of O{ffhand} W{ith} N{eighbours}.

17 Principal reason Mecca empty in season (10)

MAINSPRING – M{ecc}A (empty) IN (in) and SPRING (season). I initially wanted this to be MAINSTREAM which nearly works, and fitted my checkers at the time, and then I wondered about the definition, only knowing MAINSPRING as a watch component. However, Chambers gives ‘principal motive’ as its second definition.

20 Understand hairpiece needed after time (4)

TWIG – T{ime} and WIG..

21 Usual haul, a bit fancy (8)

HABITUAL – Anagram (fancy) of [HAUL, A BIT].

22 Managed to meet king, bringing status (4)

RANK – RAN (managed) and K{ing}.

23 Warn of trouble converting theatre, Northern (8)

THREATEN – Anagram (converting) of [THEATRE] and N{orthern}.



1 Prejudice one noticed in graduate, baseless ultimately (4)

BIAS – BA (graduate) containing I (one noticed in) and {baseles}S (ultimately).

2 A delay over festival (4)

GALA – A LAG (a delay) reversed (over).

3 Fan in from France on Thursday is coming up a street (10)

ENTHUSIAST – EN (how they say ‘in’ en France) on top of THU{rsday}, with IS (reversed, coming up) on A ST{reet}. A bit of an IKEA clue, with lots of parts.

4 In latest style, attempt to secure outcome (6)

TRENDY – TRY (attempt) containing (to secure) END (outcome).

6 Love special task to find something left out (8)

OMISSION – O (love) and MISSION (special task, should you choose to accept it!).

7 Teaching sadly contrived – very put out (8)

DOCTRINE – Anagram (sadly) of [CONTRIvED] (dropping the V – V{ery} put out).

10 Want short edition distributed all over the country (10)

NATIONWIDE – Anagram (distributed) of [WAN{t} EDITION] (want short = drop the T).

12 Sword wound – I’m seen with it being nursed (8)

SCIMITAR – SCAR (wound) ‘nursing’ (containing) I’M and IT.

13 Party subordinate in Canada once (8)

DOMINION – DO (party) and MINION (subordinate). I understand that the Dominion of Canada is still the formal title of country we know as Canada, but Dominion is rarely used since the ‘60s, unless of course you are following a certain Fox News scandal.

16 Run in seaside area is an offence (6)

BREACH – R{un} inside BEACH (seaside area).

18 Get rid of knightly combat as Jack leaves (4)

OUST – jOUST (knightly combat, dropping J (J{ack} leaves)).

19 Valley in wrangle, needless (4)

GLEN – Hidden word in {wran}GLE, N{eedless}.

77 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2383 by Hurley”

  1. I biffed BAGUETTE, ENTHUSIAST, & SCIMITAR. DOCTRINE took a while, as did LOI AFLUTTER (‘A bet getting excited’ would be rather odd, no?). 6:43.

  2. No biffing, everything was clear and went in quickly. LOI NATIONWIDE took a few seconds longer than any of the others, but I put that down to my frequent final-clue brain freeze.

  3. 14 minutes with only one answer, AFLUTTER, causing me to miss my 10 minute target.I needed a full 5 minutes at the end to think of it.

  4. 06:35 (That is the time – not my time.)
    I was jogging through this nicely until I came to COOKIE, which I just could not see despite three alphabet trawls. Another Doh! moment. All others fell into place in just under ☕️☕️, which is lightning speed for me. I especially liked BAGUETTE, AFLUTTER and MAINSPRING. (Curryowen will no doubt be pleased see Canada mentioned as one of our ex-dominions! 🇨🇦)
    So, No Time Given yet again on a dull but much milder morning here in Dorsetshire at a heady 9 degrees. Now, dare I plant out those manges toutes seedlings on the allotment? Decisions, decisions …… 🤔

    1. Indeed that sound you hear is from my shirt- buttons popping as my chest swells with pride. As a boy we celebrated Dominion Day as our national holiday but in 1982 it was changed to Canada Day. “Dominion” was supposedly the chosen designation because there was a problem how to characterize the new country’s status in 1867. It was a sort of kingdom but shared its royal family with the mother country, and it was definitely not a republic. The phrase from Psalms: “And he shall have Dominion from sea to sea” was the inspiration and “from sea to sea” (a mari usque and mare) also became Canada’s motto.

  5. A nice puzzle, and all done in 12 minutes, with the NE corner holding me up longer than it should have for no obvious reason. One of those days when as soon as I saw the answers there I could not see why it had taken so long!

    LOI was Cookie; like Is that the Time it required an alphabet trawl. I went to a concert on Monday at which the main piece before the interval was by Chopin and I just could not get beyond that – it clearly wasn’t the answer but got in the way of anything that might have been.

    Many thanks to Rotter for the blog

    1. I put CHOPIN in too, out of frustration. I knew it couldn’t be correct but had run out of patience!

  6. A much better than usual seven on the first pass of acrosses opened this up nicely and helped with good progress until DOCTRINE took some real effort, even once I was sure it was an anagram. All green in less than 9, a marked improvement on recent efforts.

  7. Felt a bit foggy headed doing this, exemplified by my struggles with BAGUETTE and COOKIE – which should have been write ins. Needed to resort to pen and paper for FUNDRAISER and DOCTRINE and spent time at the end staring blankly at 18d wondering how ‘duel’ fitted into things, doh!
    Despite all the above I managed to finish under target in 9.24.
    Thanks to Rotter

    1. There was a lot going on in 18D OUST clue. I was thinking “duel” too or that a N might need to be removed. Nice work to get there in sub10 ⚡

  8. I thought this was a nice offering from Hurley, and it kept me on my toes.

    TIME 4:09

  9. COOKIE did for me as well, despite alphabet trawls. All bar that one felt straightforward in about 14 mins. 8 minutes later it still didn’t appear so a cheat and a DNF for me in 23mins. Thanks Hurley and tr.

  10. A little under target, I would have been a bit quicker if I’d just written out the anagrist for LOI DOCTRINE.

    I liked MAINSPRING & COOKIE (good misdirection) best.


  11. Quickest so far this week, without obscuriies but not without challenge, last clue taking almost as much as all the rest. FOI BAGUETTE, COD COOKIE, LOI AFLUTTER. Thanks Hurley and Rotter.

  12. 7:20

    Felt that this one didn’t really get going so was surprised when I realised there were only four clues left to complete of which three – DOCTRINE, FUNDRAISER and NATIONWIDE – were anagrams.

    Thanks Hurley and TheRotter

  13. Into the SCC today. Needed an alphabet trawl to finally see COOKIE to finish in 21:57
    None of the anagrams were easy, with three of them needing pen and paper.


  14. Took me a while , just guessing COOKIE and BAGUETTE from ‘biscuit’ and ‘bread’ in clues and spending a while over the anagrams. LOI was AFLUTTER, after trying to put an I (for ONE) into the answer.

  15. 13:32, with half of that spent on my LOI COOKIE – at least I’m in good company. I couldn’t get beyond ‘term for biscuit?’ indicating the last letter of ‘biscuit’ but a half-hearted alphabet trawl showed this didn’t work. Inspiration struck just as I was about to give up.

    Along the way I liked BAGUETTE and as pointed out by our blogger, the Allen key required ENTHUSIAST.

    Thanks to TheRotter and Hurley

  16. Thank you Hurley for a friendly one allowing me a personal record of all green in about 25 minutes. FOI FUNDRAISER, COD SCIMITAR, LOI DOMINION.

      1. You are all so kind – thank you for your encouragement! At what point do I qualify to “escape the SCC”?
        By the way – forgive the slight frivolity here – I would change my “name” to the correct Martinů if only I knew how. I am very much a new boy at technology – I would even add a nice piccie of his beautiful girlfriend Vítězslava Kaprálová if I knew how to do that – any chance any of you kind folk can instruct me?

        1. Hi Martinů,

          As you have managed to get his name right in your comment above (probably by cutting and pasting from another web page) you should be able to cut and paste it into your handle, but you may need to create a new account to do that. Once done, you could add an image of Vítězslava Kaprálová as your avatar in your account settings. I’m sure we would all enjoy seeing her.

          Well done with the time. One escapes the SCC by completing the puzzle in less than 20 minutes.

          1. Thank you, kind Rotter (if that isn’t an oxymoron?). I’ll “create a new account” with pleasure – I presume that’s no problem – but how exactly do you create an avatar, please? Where do I find “account settings”?

            1. Create the account, sign in and you should find it up in the top right of the webpage. (I imagine if you’re doing this from a mobile then it would be under the Menu icon)

            2. When logged in with your new profile, click on your name in top right of page, then select Edit Profile. Scroll down the page to your Profile Picture section and follow the instructions.

              1. Thank you both – look, it works! Now I have no more excuse for not working harder to get that time down to escape the SCC.
                Hope you are indeed enjoying the piccie of the lovely Vítězslava – the tragic thing is that she died at the age of just 25.

  17. 32.17 – happy to solve but didn’t enjoy it, probably because Hurley has gone from being a setter whose puzzles I enjoyed to finding them slow grinds. But glad to tick the success box.

    I initially biffed BAGUETTE and SCIMITAR but, as I like to be able to parse things, they were tentative until I spent time understanding them. NHO MAINSPRING so that didn’t help . Pen&paper time spent unravelling NATIONWIDE and LbOI DOCTRINE – down clues present a mental problem for me. DISC was well hidden 👏 and couldn’t even see GOOD on my first parse even though I knew it was alternate letters. So maybe my brain just wasn’t on it today.

    LOI COOKIE like others above, taking me out beyond 30-mins. Interesting why it doesn’t come quickly. Is it because it’s more of an American word for biscuit? Plus the COOK– construction not being amenable to alphabet trawls? 🤔 I had discounted COO- and focused on CRO-, CHO, CLO possibilities.

    Oh well, all done and dusted 👍

    BTW does anyone do the Cryptic Quintagram? 3:42 today which is a PB for me.

    1. I agree COOKIE took (me also) far too long due to its being American. I was going to plead a MER but then it occurred to me that actually cookies are a well-known *type* of biscuit here, so it’s absolutely allowable. But I’d never heard of the PC context, also confused by “PC” = policeman, so all in all, yes, this one did puzzle me.

      1. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of computer cookies, Martin.

        There was a “Cookies law” legislated by the EU (and rolled out to member countries) in about 2010. Every website you visit now, puts up a “Do you accept cookies?” banner on your first visit.

        In principle, it was a good idea because the aim was to force companies to give you understanding of how they process your data. In reality, it’s simply a pain in the backside as everybody always agrees and people just want to get on with whatever they’re trying to do on the site. If you don’t agree you probably can’t use the site.

        1. Yes of course I’ve seen “Do you accept cookies?” often, and know you have to click “Accept” in order to continue using the website (though I’m vague as to what they actually are). But (a) I wasn’t thinking “PC = personal computer”, and (b) I’ve NHO the context cited in the blog, ‘a small piece of persistent code that is downloaded to a hard drive when a website is accessed, allowing the computer to be remembered on subsequent visits’ – that’s what I meant. I’m learning, gradually!

  18. Despite a little digging for rabbits at 9ac, the top half of the grid went in really quickly. I then had to stop to deal with something else and on my return found Hurley had completely changed his approach. Well, that’s what it seemed like for a few minutes, with several clues making even less sense than usual. I eventually got back to the right wavelength, but loi Cookie still nudged me into the SCC, which was a tad disappointing after a good start. CoD to 3d, Enthusiast, – an impressive clue. Invariant

      1. I sometimes find that a 10 min pause when I get stuck allows the brain to re-set and previously impossible clues suddenly become obvious. That being the case, I shouldn’t have been too surprised that a delay when in full flow has the opposite effect !
        By the way, and you probably already know this, ‘foreign’ characters can be obtained by simply holding down the relevant key. In this case, ů is one of the options found by holding down the u.

        1. Thank you but I think that’s only on mobiles? Anyway it doesn’t work on the keyboard I have here….. But I am learning and now know how to copy from another website, at least. I’m getting there!

            1. I’m really sorry, I’m floundering here. I don’t have a tablet either, or an I-phone, or an anything else – don’t know the difference between any of them. All I have is a computer screen (set up in the kitchen) and a keyboard. I don’t really understand modern tech – only just signed up for e-mail (at all) a few months ago. Please forgive my ignorant intrusions.

  19. I got COOKIE and AFLUTTER very quickly, which is just as well because it took me 40:12 to finish the thing. LOI NATIONWIDE, which stumped me completely for ages.

    To be honest I’m just very happy to have finished it at all! Second fully successful effort, so my ascent to the giddy heights of sub-mediocrity continues slowly.

  20. I was anticipating a slow time having been up to the wee hours, but actually it was my fastest of the week. Must go to bed at 3am more often.

    I’ve seen that annoying “Hi there – we’re the cookies!” graphic so often that 14a went straight in, and so did AFLUTTER having just stuck a fiver on Surrey Noir. I liked DISOWN (I had parsed the WN as being West and North who are neighbours at the bridge table, but Rotter’s parsing is better), OUST and RANK. I thought SCIMITAR, BAGUETTE and ENTHUSIAST were too itsy-bitsy to be satisfying.

    All done in 08:26 for 1.2K and a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks Rotter and Hurley.


  21. Needed help from CCD for COOKIE (COD) and AFLUTTER …Doh! Both seemed so obvious when one saw the answer.
    Otherwise quite quick. FOI BAGUETTE.
    Thanks vm, Rotter.

  22. I was ok with this till I got to 7dn, and then I suffered brain freeze. My finishing time was 11.35, but with 7dn incorrect, where I put in DECORANT in desperation. I spent about 4 minutes at the end on this but just couldn’t see it. My main problem was not recognising how the anagram was formed.

  23. This was a nice gentle puzzle I feel. I didn’t have any great problems solving any of the clues, though there were some head scratchers.

    Completed without aids.

  24. 16 mins…

    1ac “Baguette” was biffed fairly quickly, although the parsing wasn’t immediately clear. Some of the longer clues took a while – including my LOI 10dn “Nationwide”. Thought 13dn might be an allusion to a province or city that was once in Canada, but “Dominion” was the only thing that fit.

    FOI – 1ac “Baguette”
    LOI – 10dn “Nationwide”
    COD – 8ac “Aflutter”

    Thanks as usual!

  25. 15:55. Steady progress till LOI NATIONWIDE held me up for a couple of minutes before it revealed itself. Unlike many others the biscuit part came to me right away for COOKIE while the computer- related meaning was only vaguely known.

  26. Enjoyed this with a PB of 15 minutes. All the better as usually find Hurley on the hard side.

  27. Somewhere between 10 and 11 minutes for me, but I now can’t access The Times newspaper or Crossword Club as the Electronic version for Web Browsers is goosed yet again and refuses to let me log in. Thanks Hurley and Rotter.

  28. Complete brain-freeze with the last few clues took me into the SCC with 21 minutes. Up until then everything had been going quite well. I biffed NATIONWIDE from the clue and existing crossers – I couldn’t parse it. I spent far too long on AFLUTTER before the penny dropped although I see I’m in good company there.

    FOI – 1ac BAGUETTE
    LOI – 7dn DOCTRINE
    COD – a lot of nice clues here without there being a stand-out one imo. Perhaps 17ac MAINSPRING.

    Thanks to Hurley and to Rotter

  29. 9.03 with two minutes spent on LOI AFLUTTER. First QC solve using the crossword club. This held me up a little because it was skipping existing letters so I was typing the wrong thing, but I’ve just realised you can turn that off. That said, this is my best solve of the week.

      1. Thank you – now let’s see if you manage to “create an avatar”! What will it be, we wonder….

  30. This went fairly smoothly but there were plenty of trickier ones too.
    FOI 1d Bias, gave me 1a for sure
    LOI 9a Disc – didn’t see the hidden until an alphabet trawl!
    COD 8a Aflutter – so amusing, and obvious when you’ve had that PDM.
    Lots to like in the variety of clue constructions. I thought 4d Enthusiast very well done, just needing patient work.

  31. All done and dusted in 9:14, which I’m pleased about as I often find myself somewhere off the wavelength with Hurley!
    FOI Baguette LOI Doctrine COD Good – growing old disgracefully sounds more fun 😉
    Thanks Hurley and Rotter

  32. A DNF after a hour still staring at 12a and could not see Cookie.
    Jolly good puzzle though. I found myself solving some clues after putting in the answers.
    Thanks both.

  33. 12:37

    A nice easy one today. A rare sub-10 was on the cards but held up by the last few especially DISC and LOI DOCTRINE.

  34. Only time for a brief post today, as we’re visiting Mrs R’s sister and husband near Bristol.

    Very pleased to cross the line in 22 minutes, which is still jolly fast for me. Approx 7 minutes on my last four clues (COOKIE, AFLUTTER, TRENDY and NATIONWIDE) prevented an SCC escape, but I’m not complaining. Also, I have set a reasonable target for Mrs R.

    Many thanks to Hurley and Rotter.

    1. Excellent stuff RC. You beat me hands down today. Hope you enjoy Bristol 👍

    2. I hope you do as well, because given its one way system you might be there some time. . .😉

  35. Another DNF. Trying a solve in the evening after a long day at work is not working out.

    Was sure DOCTRINE had to end with -ING. Also missed DISC.

    1. I only get the chance to solve in the evening after 12-14 hours work/commuting. Perhaps that explains my lack of talent with the QC!

  36. A late start after a long journey, too much of which was spent stationary on the M6. I managed this one efficiently with no great drama. Timed at 13.58 with AFLUTTER my LOI, too. My COD was COOKIE which I saw quickly.
    I hope Friday’s QC is as approachable.
    Thanks to Hurley and Rotter. John M.

  37. I enjoyed this QC and (for once) knew all the necessary vocab. COOKIE came quickly being (i) a bit of a geek and (ii) using Duo to learn French. (Duo is a US language learning app and regularly features cookies 😀)

  38. I have got on well with Hurley in recent times, but today brought that to a shuddering halt. Another miserable day slogging through a QC that I just could not get on with. What is really depressing is that I am now missing obvious clues (e.g. DO for party in 13dn and the anagram at 7dn). I even missed DISOWN which was a gimme. Eventually finished in a very disappointing 30 mins.

    Thanks for the blog Rotter and well done to some less experienced solvers who recorded PBs or other impressive times.

    1. A 12-14 workday is not great for one’s brainpower 😞

      Get tomorrow’s done GA, enjoy the weekend without the QC and then start afresh as we roll into May.

      1. Thanks L-Plates, you’re absolutely right. It’s been particularly busy at work and I do tend to be 🥱 by the time I get to the QC. I’m still hoping for a good time tomorrow.🤞

        1. BTW I experienced exactly what you’ve been getting on the QC when I tried Monday’s 15×15 yesterday. About 75% of it done in 25-30mins and then struggled with the last 9 clues before giving up at the hour with six still undone. Just couldn’t figure them out.

  39. Completed successfully in about 25 minutes, after failing abysmally with the main crossword.
    FOI Baguette
    liked Scimitar and Dominium

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