November 29th, 2019

Quick Cryptic 1494 by Hurley

A pleasant 6-minute solve for me. Plenty of anagrams, a couple of double definitions, and a very nice triple, too which you don't see often in the QC. I was more thrown by the few that were if anything too obvious - 6ac, 8ac, and especially 13ac. Although it's perfectly acceptable in the QC,  the word 'bible' wouldn't appear in both clue and answer in the 15 x 15, so I wasted time trying to think of a synonym (the only obvious one being AV i.e. authorised version). Change of format, eh? I feel like Geoffrey Boycott trying to play T20.

Across
1 Religious Education on page monks, say, reserve in advance (8)
PREORDER - RE (religious education) with P in front + ORDER (monks)
6 God! That’s not half thorough (4)
THOR - self-explanatory
8 Small group not heard (4)
KNOT - sounds like NOT
9 Mead? Alas, turns out to be water (5,3)
ADAMS ALE - anagram ('turns out') of MEAD ALAS
10 It’s legal, due, to change President (2,6)
DE GAULLE - anagram ('to change) of LEGAL DUE
12 Horse’s previous record in class (4)
FORM - double definition
13 I’m seen with Bible forsaking large drink (6)
IMBIBE - IM + BIB[L]E
16 Fish in quiet river with mischievous child (6)
SHRIMP - SH + R + IMP. I was about to object as shrimps are crustaceans, not fish. But of course it is a verb as well.
17 At outset positive, look up manager’s description of well-paid job (4)
PLUM - initial letters of Positive Look Up Manager
18 Spy sabre, exotic, for witness? (6-2)
PASSER-BY - anagram ('exotic') of SPY SABRE
21 On return Gibraltar number one’s with European, important person (3,5)
BIG NOISE - GIB(raltar) backwards + NO I'S + E
22 Think she has eight sisters — heavenly! (4)
MUSE - The Muses were nine goddesses of Greek/Roman Mythology, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne
23 Breed behind tower (4)
REAR - triple definition
24 Close examination of Southern vineyard, very small (8)
SCRUTINY - S + CRU + TINY

Down
2 Wash some gear in secret (5)
RINSE - hidden word geaR IN SEcret
3 Not worth considering boxing fight shunned by beginner (3)
OUT - BOUT minus the first letter
4 Speak slowly, attract learner (5)
DRAWL - DRAW + L
5 University staff referring to publicity at Queen’s? (7)
READERS - RE + AD + ER'S
6 After time, inquire about supporting Church’s specially-formed group (4,5)
TASK FORCE - T + ASK FOR + CE
7 Love new lid on drink container (3,4)
OIL DRUM - O + anagram ('new') of LID + RUM
11 Main oar is repaired here in Turkey (4,5)
ASIA MINOR - anagram ('repaired') of MAIN OAR IS
14 From Guatemala, I sense a general problem (7)
MALAISE - hidden word GuateMALA I SEnse
15 English politician at sports fixture’s finding evidence of earlier drinking? (7)
EMPTIES - E + MP + TIES
19 Transparent fabric? Absolutely (5)
SHEER - double definition
20 Graduate’s home sink (5)
BASIN - BA'S + IN
22 Dull, impact oddly lacking (3)
MAT - alternate letters of iMpAcT