Times Quick Cryptic No 2483 by Hurley – well inside my 13

Oh joy!  A simple QC from Hurley to let me get myself gently back into solving / blogging after my drunken landings in Normandy this past week.  11 minutes for me, although I think I could have been quicker had my eyes worked properly – I needed to re-read several clues through the haze.  No problems for me, but I was familiar with all the vocabulary.  My thanks to Hurley, and I hope that you all found this as gentle as I did – I expect to see some fast times.


1  Leader having lost power, living somewhere  (8)

RESIDENT – PRESIDENT (leader), drop the P (having lost Power)

5  Information about lake valley (4)

GLEN GEN (information) containing (about) L{ake}.

List of options guys use initially (4)

MENUMEN (guys) and U{se} (initially).

8  Shrub climate’s spoilt (8)

CLEMATIS – Anagram (spoilt) of [CLIMATES].

9  Expert welcoming company fellow’s award (8)

ACCOLADEACE (expert) containing CO{mpany} and LAD (fellow).

11  Line not straight in bar chart (3)

ARC – Hidden answer inside bAR Chart

13  Start ignoring peripheral bits and understand objective (6)

TARGET – sTARt (ignoring peripheral bits, drop first and last letters) and GET (understand).

16  Job worry, I hesitate to say (6)

CAREER CARE (worry) and ER (I hesitate to say, as in ‘Er, I think I can make it’.

18  Social gathering one providing buzz (3)

BEE – Double definition, the first as in ‘quilting BEE’ or ‘spelling BEE’, and the second being the insect.

19  Hat from East I associated with fellow, painstaking (8)

DILIGENTLID (hat) reversed (from East) to give DIL, and then I and GENT (I associated with fellow).

20  Aggressive note easily seen by worker (8)

MILITANTMI (note, from do, ray, mi…) with LIT (easily seen) and ANT (worker).

22  Rather indecentnot happy (4)

BLUE – Double definition.

23  Stringed instrument featuring in family reunion (4)

LYRE – Hidden in famiLY REunion.

24  Poorly attired, sloppy at the outset, and last to arrive (8)

TARDIEST – Anagram (poorly) of [ATTIRED] with S{loppy} (at the outset).


Trace that’s survived in unexpected manner over time (7)

REMNANT – Anagram (unexpected) of [MANNER] followed by T{ime}.

2  At home in safe job, well-paid and undemanding (8)

SINECUREIN (at home) inside (in) SECURE (safe).  I’m not sure that all of our solvers will be familiar with this term – it’s the kind of job I always wanted, but never managed to get!

3  Need ground to embrace supporter’s song, magical (9)

ENCHANTED – Anagram (ground) of [NEED] containing (to embrace) CHANT (supporter’s song).

Secure neckwear (3)

TIE – Double definition.

Linguistic rules diagram Mary keeps (7)

GRAMMAR – Hidden (kept by) {dia}GRAM MAR{y}.

6  Media boss provided dessert in building (7)

EDIFICEED (media boss, editor) and IF (provided) and ICE (dessert).  I wondered about ICE for DESSERT, but it is my dessert of choice quite regularly, in the form of ice cream.

10  A real cost potentially – alternative to stairs(9)

ESCALATOR – Anagram (potentially) of [A REAL COST].

12  Wake-up call – yell, with no introduction, I constantly recalled (8)

REVEILLE – {y}ELL (with no introduction) and I and EVER (constantly) all reversed (recalled).

14  Talent, a little, one learner’s shown inside over year (7)

ABILITYA BIT (a little) containing I L (one learner’s shown inside) over Y{ear}.

15  Frank’s startled expression about religious sister I accommodated (7)

GENUINEGEE (startled expression) containing (about) NUN (religious sister) which is itself containing (accommodating) I.  A Russian doll of a clue!

17  Referring to pleasant surprise in quiet place (7)

RETREATRE (referring to) and TREAT (pleasant surprise).

21  Fitting carpet evenly (3)

APT – The even / alternate letters of cArPeT.

70 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2483 by Hurley – well inside my 13”

  1. 14:03. No problems, able to work methodically through each clue, putting the bits of wordplay together to come up with the required answer. I thought my solving time would actually be much quicker! SINECURE and ACCOLADE might be the only words to cause any trouble.

  2. Being the opposite of vinyl1 I biffed extravagantly and did not proofread at all, getting around in 7.20. Thought I was in for a possible low-6 PB until I hit the SE and slowed to a walk. LOsI TARDIEST and REVEILLE, which I thought was quite a challenge for a QC with its complicated wordplay. Same with DILIGENT and Rotter’s nicely described Russian doll clue GENUINE (which I rejected on the first hasty pass because I didn’t think that meant frank). Nice puzzle from Hurley, smooth surfaces and a couple of well-disguised hiddens and anagrams which I missed completely. Thanks both.

  3. 7:02 for me, so I found this pretty easy. Mostly I didn’t bother with the wordplay since with checkers the answers were obvious (although CLEMATIS was tricky with only the A—plants are never my strong suit).

  4. DNF. I had all but one answer in 7 minutes and then must have suffered a brainstorm because I spent the next 13 minutes trying to solve 20ac by looking at the clue to 22ac which I had already solved but had neglected to tick off – I’d ticked 20ac instead. Downright stupidity! In the end I revealed the answer MILITANT, a word I had considered as one that fitted the checkers but couldn’t see any connection with ‘Rather indecent – not happy’.

    Now going for a lie-down.

    1. I am glad to hear I’m not the only one to do this Jack, although I don’t think I’ve ever gone quite as long as that before noticing!

  5. A very pleasant puzzle, all done in 9 minutes, with the only hold-ups being working out very carefully how to spell Reveille (no it isn’t Revelley) and remembering the rather odd word Bee for a social gathering. I wonder what the etymology of that is. And like LindsayO, I needed a second look to be convinced that Frank and Genuine were synonyms.

    Many thanks to Rotter for the blog

    1. I found this: The meaning of “bee” as a social gathering is thought to have originated in the United States in the late 18th century. It is believed to have been inspired by the industrious and cooperative nature of bees. They work together to build their hives and gather food, and they are often seen as a symbol of community. Second, bees are social creatures. They live in colonies and work together to raise their young. This made them a natural fit for the concept of a social gathering.

      1. Thank you Jack, very interesting. I had a notion it had a US origin, but I wonder why it was decided to use Bee rather than, say, Hive (as where the meeting and social co-operation happened). As in the usage “a hive of activity”.

        1. Hive occurred to me too, but perhaps the participants were considered more important than the venue?

    2. I think that BEE in the sense of a kind of purposeful social gathering first came into my consciousness in the 60s with regard to spelling bees for children held in the USA and occasionally talked about here in the UK, which supports Jackkt’s etymology above. Since then I have heard about quilting and sewing bees, also from the USA. It isn’t a word that I have heard in relation to UK activities.

      1. If you’ve not heard it in a British context, you’ve obviously never encountered “The Great British Sewing Bee” which has just finished its ninth series on BBC2. Thankfully I’ve managed to avoid it altogether, but I know it’s out there…..

        1. Thanks for reminding me of the Great British Sewing Bee, which I have heard of and even watched. I just didn’t remember it when I wrote my comment above.

    3. Etymology of BEE from Wiktionary:
      Possibly from dialectal bene, been, bean (“help given by neighbours”), from Middle English been, bene (“neighbourly help, prayer, petition, request, extra service given by a tenant to his lord”),[1][2] from Old English bēn (“prayer, request, petition, favour, compulsory service”), from Proto-Germanic *bōniz (“prayer, request, supplication”). Thus a variant of obsolete ben (“prayer; petition”) and doublet of boon. Cognate with Danish bøn (“prayer”), Dutch ban (“curse”), German Bann (“ban”). More at ban.

  6. I blew it. First sub-10 in ages but submitted confidently only to see the dreaded pink square. I’m not a stranger to a typo but this was a full blown error. Managed to enter EDIFaCE despite a) actually knowing how to spell it and b) the cryptic being plain. Also held up at the end by MILITANT where even with _I_I_ANT in place I look my time.

  7. 938 The Hungarian army invades Northern Italy

    Solid time, steady solve, FOI GLEN, LOI TARDIEST

    So that’s why it’s called a Spelling BEE, like a sewing bee. I always thought it was something to do with bees being intelligent.

  8. Despite two pinkies, which were genuine slips of the keyboard, I got it all right in 18, therefore moving out of the SCC, albeit, I suspect, temporarily.
    This was a nice puzzle. I queered my own pitch somewhat at the outset by lazily biffing RESIDUE instead of REMNANT, (today’s Doh!! moment), and never did parse BEE.
    There were no real stand out clues for me, although DILIGENT made me smile.
    Thanks to Hurley and Rotter for providing a positive start to, what looks like being, a lovely day ahead.

  9. Terrible grid but other that than a pleasant enough puzzle. Had an attack of lastoneinitis staring blankly at 19a for far too long until the penny dropped.
    Finished in 8.04
    Thanks to Rotter

  10. Solved quicky, as a QC should be. RESIDENT, DILIGENT and ACCOLADE needing more thought but only COD MiLITANT holding me up all. FOI GLEN, LOI APT. Thanks Hurley and Rotter.

  11. A typically smooth puzzle from Hurley which I glided through without mishap. Thanks Hurley and Rotter. 3:49.

      1. Of those who post here, BUSMAN is the fastest, and my time today is maybe slightly faster than his average – it’s not often I’m faster than him, but I am a few seconds quicker today. Some of the very top solvers do the QC too, although they don’t post here. My fastest is 2:44, which is about as fast as I can write the answers in (I solve on paper), and today is about my 100th fastest (of 2200 or so since I started recording my times). But some expert solvers with touch-typing skills can go a lot faster – top of the leaderboard today is mohn2 with an amazing 1:34.

  12. A good, accessible puzzle which used an unusual grid. There was plenty to stimulate my slow brain (after a busy Weds. and a disturbed night). The key four across clues in the middle of the grid (all fair, good clues) took me too long (CAREER, DILIGENT, TARGET, and my LOI ACCOLADE). I managed to finish 2 mins under target but was still a couple of mins slower than our esteemed blogger.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  13. At last, my favourite friendly setter – surely this is what a QC is all about. Thank you, Hurley! First four straight in, would have been even Qer had I not spent far too long with my LOI TARDIEST. Lovely. Just a couple of parses I thank Rotter for: hat from East = DIL (yes of course), and DNK media boss = ED.

  14. Joy at last. 18.47
    1) I enjoyed it.
    2) It was my 4th ever escape from SCC.
    3) 1st ever escape from SCC using zero aids.
    4) All parsed correctly without the blog (though I still enjoyed the blog)

    I was losing faith recently, but Hurley has restored it. More like these, please!

    Thanks Rotter and Hurley.

  15. Game of two halves, Brian – top half flew in, bottom half required some head scratching. V slow over my last two, MILITANT and TARDIEST. It all balanced out for a reggo 08:11, 1.3K and a Decent Enough Day. COD REVEILLE.

    Many thanks Hurley and Rotter.


  16. I missed the open goal at 1ac, and then fell victim (twice) to the misapplication of a little bit of crossword knowledge, desperately trying to fit in Peter for safe (2d) and Tile for hat (19ac). . . Talk about making heavy going of something. Needless to say, a slow 24min solve was the end product. CoD to the unusual, but very apt, 24ac Tardiest. Invariant

  17. 9:00 (Constantine II becomes King of Scotland)

    No real hold-ups. LOI was MILITANT. I liked the shape of the grid.

    Thanks Hurley and Rotter

  18. I think if I had parsed the containment within containment clues a bit quicker I would have reported an excellent day. As it was, I still managed target starting with RESIDENT and finishing with MILITANT in 7:55.

  19. I DILIGENTly worked through this MENU of clues. For the first time in my crossword CAREER I managed the first 6 crossers straight off. Now I shall RETREAT for my day’s work.

    COD As a mathematician, I loved the Line not straight in the bar chart.

    Thanks Hurley for a lovely crossword and to the Rotter.

  20. Pretty straightforward today with the spelling of REVEILLE the only thing I wasn’t sure of. I crossed the line in 7.44 with GENUINE my LOI.

  21. FOI was 1a for a change and most after that was fairly straight forward.
    Could not parse REVEILLE (ever for constantly?) or EDIFICE (if and ice quite difficult to see) but biffed them both.
    LOI ACCOLADE held out for some time as I assumed ACE was at the end.
    Finished in 50m.
    Thanks Hurley and Rotter.

  22. Enjoyable today. Easy in parts but had to think about others. ‘Should have got that one straight away’, I kept muttering.
    FOI CLEMATIS. LOI, with a smile, DILIGENT. Also liked TARGET, GENUINE, RESIDENT, MENU, among others. REVEILLE was an early biff. ( Pronounced revalley by the Army)
    Thanks vm, Rotter.

  23. 5:29

    My average against Hurley is more than 9 minutes, so this was comparatively easy imho – even remembered how to spell REVEILLE. MILITANT only went in and understood once all checkers in place. Last three in TARDIEST, RETREAT and BLUE.

    Thanks Hurley and Rotter

  24. No hold-ups for me today. LOI EDIFICE.
    Done in 8 minutes, my quickest for a while.
    I did not take time to parse everything so I can now read Rotter’s blog in a relaxed fashion.

  25. Found this fairly straightforward. LOI REVEILLE. Thought of this word early on but couldn’t parse for ages. I liked the surface for TARDIEST and was pleased to remember SINECURE which I had to look up for another crossword a few years ago. A nice steady and enjoyable solve. Thanks to Hurley and Rotter. Interesting to read about the origin of BEE (thanks to Jack).

  26. Pretty straightforward, nicely pitched for a QC. Didn’t realise that BEE was also a social gathering: have wondered for a while what a “spelling bee” actually was.

  27. Completed without too much difficulty, though 24a held me up for a while.

    I hesitantly entered BEE for 18a, thinking of the Spelling Bee that American children seem to enjoy. I’d always wondered what the bee in that phrase referred to.

  28. Another breeze block this time garnished with a clanger. I biffed away merrily before entering ENCHANT(ING) not ENCHAN(TED). Once I’d got past that I hit the buffers with ACCOLADE. I stared at it and it kept staring right back. Thought TARDIEST was pretty contrived although it didn’t hold me up.

    Got there in the end, but a bit of a self inflicted struggle.


    Thanks to both.

  29. Just over 12 minutes. Enjoyable puzzle and satisfying to solve. I found it not very easy for reasons I can’t identify now as there was nothing particularly obscure and wordplay wasn’t too complicated.

    Interesting discussion about BEE above.

    Thanks to Hurley and TheRotter

  30. The NW yielded only TIE and MENU on a first pass, so having spotted TARGET, I carried on down the SW then proceeded in an anticlickwise direction. 14d and 15d resisted the first assault so I left them unsolved for further cogitation. The NE was no trouble and then the NW yielded easily on the second pass. ABILITY was POI and GENUINE brought up the rear. 8:14. Thanks Hurley and Rotter.

  31. No real problems, but having completed my regulation two passes through the clues, I, like Plett11, suffered a bout of lastclueitis – albeit not with DILIGENT.

    TIME 3:55

  32. 8:18 I looked at LOI “G E _ _ I _ E” thinking “I want to put nun in there but it doesn’t fit”. Despite that hurdle I found this the easiest for nearly a month. Thanks to Rotter and Hurley.

  33. 21 mins…

    Should have been quicker, but suffered from not knowing 12dn “Reveille” and having a brain block on 22ac “Blue”. For what it’s worth, I didn’t know 2dn “Sinecure” either, although it rang a faint bell from many puzzles ago and was obtainable from the wordplay.

    FOI – 7ac “Menu”
    LOI – 12dn “Reveille”
    COD – 20ac “Militant”

    Thanks as usual!

  34. 16 clues answered in as many minutes, and then I was stumped! The first four across clues took less than two minutes, so I thought I was on course for success.

    1. I think they are referring to clues like 11a and 18a where you didn’t need to solve the clues as the answers were all crossing letters from other clues, so it was possible to finish the puzzle without looking at those clues. This doesn’t normally happen in QCs, so was described as ‘odd’.

  35. I think this was my fastest ever. Around 20 mins. So I am with those who found it straight forward. Thanks everyone.


  36. A very quick solve for me today, all done in 7:48, which I think is my second fastest ever, although I don’t keep records. Very happy with that. Back to reality tomorrow, no doubt.

    Thanks to Hurley and TheRotter.

  37. A lovely puzzle, just right for my afternoon tea break. Thank you Hurley! You have restored my faith in the QC. I was pleased to be able to spell REVEILLE and COD to EDIFICE. In both cases the clue made the spelling clear. Thank you Rotter for your blog

  38. Just a quick post today, as Mrs Random and I are on a short break in Devon and there’s lots to do.

    I worked my way through this quite steadily until I had four clues to go – all connected in the SE corner. R______E was never going to succumb to an alphabet trawl without some intermediate checkers, but CAREER and DILIGENT (but not BLUE) did arrive within a few minutes. My schoolboy French is worse than Private Eye’s ‘Let’s parler Franglais’ column, so REVEILLE still required a lot of work. BLUE then came in an instant.

    Time = 27 minutes.

    Many thanks to Hurley and Rotter.

  39. Lovely! On paper Vigilant seemed to fill the Militant spot so I thought it was just Reveille that prevent a first finish. Might take the stabilisers and knee pads off for the next Hurley. Thanks to Hurley and TheRotter!

  40. I was sure the answer was clematis but shrub misled me as it is usually classified in plant lists as climber.

  41. Thought this was going to be a really fast one as the first nine across clues went straight in, albeit I wasn’t 100% sure of BEE. Then I slowed up though and ended up finishing in 17:18 after spending several minutes sorting out the SE corner, where TARDIEST, REVEILLE and BLUE all gave me considerable pause. Having studied French with Duolingo for the last year helped considerably with getting REVEILLE as I now know this means to wake up in that language (and possibly others?), whereas I have never heard of it as an English word. Anyway, thanks Rotter and Hurley.

    1. REVEILLE is a bugle call that you wd probably recognise, but, as I said, the Army pronounce it reVALy

  42. This felt like that event in Gloucestershire (?) in which the competitors chase a cheese down a steep hill. I was flying but feared that at any moment I might crash. Thankfully I got to the end unscathed in 14 mins. LOI was RESIDENT, completely unparsed! Seemed like I jumped around the grid a lot and was never in full control.

    That’s 1 hr, 27 mins for the week. Need 32 mins or less tomorrow to make my target.

    Great blog as ever Rotter and thanks for clarifying the comments about the grid. I hadn’t noticed that.

    PS Struggling badly with the Quintagram at present. Only got one answer yesterday and three today.

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