Times Quick Cryptic No 2677 by Wurm

I found this a bit on the tricky side, with plenty of effective misdirection.

About half the grid went in without too many problems, but that left me with gaps in all but the top left corner that required a bit more thought. I finished up in the bridge-roister-stub corner (in that order) in 8:08.

Some very neat and witty clueing made for a lovely QC, for which many thanks to Wurm!

1 Muse in sloop on Derwent (6)
PONDER – “in” slooP ON DERwent
5 Fill drinking vessel coy drunk holds (6)
OCCUPY – CUP (drinking vessel) that an anagram (drunk) of COY holds. Simple enough components and directions, but an anagram of COY is an unlikely-looking collection of letters for the outside of a six-letter word.
8 Feigned and fanciful fact-feed (8)
AFFECTED – Anagram (fanciful) of FACT-FEED
9 Individual article or a couple? (4)
ITEM – double definition
10 Any number leaving stadium locality (4)
AREA – N (any number) leaving ARENA (stadium)
11 Small step taken by male astronaut (8)
SPACEMAN – S(mall) PACE (step) taken by MAN (male)
12 This helps when changing banks (6)
BRIDGE – very nice cryptic definition, playing on the “riverbank” sense of bank. See also BANK-ER (and of course our beloved FLOW-ER) for river.
14 Urge one to join Liberal Party (6)
LIBIDO – I (one) to join LIB (Liberal), DO (party)
16 Celebration third at sea, within cove (8)
BIRTHDAY – anagram (at sea) of THIRD, within BAY (cove)
18 Name is French for snug retreat (4)
NEST – N(ame), EST (is, in French)
20 Hurt toe — slippery start with bath? (4)
STUB – S (Slippery “start”) with TUB (bath). The B checker certainly had me looking in vain for a three-letter word for slippery.
21 Ordering option: porter brought round a trolley (1,2,5)
A LA CARTE – ALE (porter) brought round A and CART (trolley)
23 Old City man politely pressing (6)
URGENT – UR (Old City) GENT (man, politely)
24 Stuart queen is turning brown (6)
SIENNA – ANNE (Stuart queen) IS, all reversing, or “turning”
2 Assassin’s proposal? (5)
OFFER – whimsical double definition: just like FLOW-ER for a thing that flows, here we have an OFF-ER, for a person that “offs”.
3 Difficult to follow the German action film? (3,4)
DIE HARD – HARD (difficult) to follow DIE (the, German)
4 Rocky outcrop to climb — and perish! (3)
ROT – TOR (rocky outcrop) “to climb” = to reverse
5 Officers at first lie badly, bent in court (3,6)
OLD BAILEY – Anagram (bent) of O (Officers “at first”) and LIE BADLY
6 Agree that man should come into church (5)
CHIME – HIM (that man) enters CE (Church of England)
7 Spotted baked dish — no cover on top? (7)
PIEBALD – PIE (baked dish) BALD (no cover on top)
11 Firm dates fixed without delay (9)
STEADFAST – anagram (fixed) of DATES, FAST (without delay)
13 Roll about one and make merry (7)
ROISTER – ROSTER (roll) about I (one)
15 Dress circle next to stage — no way! (7)
BANDAGE – BAND (circle) next to AGE (stAGE, without the ST. for way)
17 Story involving British data chart (5)
TABLE – TALE (story) involving B(ritish)
19 South African money gets material (5)
SATIN – SA (South African) TIN (money)
22 Fool in Tarsus regularly (3)
ASS – in  t A r S u “regularly”


62 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2677 by Wurm”

  1. Quite tricky but lovely surfaces and very satisfying. I was pleased that I completed it in under half an hour. I wasn’t sure if 4d should be ROT or TOR but the anagrist for 8a settled that. LOIs in 15d, and then 14a which became obvious once I had L-B-DO, both very good clues as was A LA CARTE. Thanks both

  2. Stuck for a long time on BRIDGE until the pdm. Like a few others I struggled for ages trying to make an anagram of ‘firm dates’.

  3. 13 minutes

    Rather disappointed as that was a very straightforward QC for a Wurm. Should arguably have got close to a really good time today.

    Haven’t had chance to read other comments but no doubt some great times recorded.

    Thanks for the blog.

    PS Now read comments. I seem to have bucked the trend today. I dare say normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

  4. Was doing well on QCs recently but the wavelengths seem to have changed! Too many clues outside my range.

  5. enjoyable. loved spaceman and Bridge. wasn’t sure about ur for an old city but had to be. just steadfast not solved. with the crossers in place I had dates anagramed / anagrinded? and was unable to shove firm in. oh and Sienna was fab. thanks Wurm and Roly.


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