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Times Quick Cryptic 1236 by Hurley

I really enjoyed today’s puzzle - lots of crinkly parsings and good surfaces but still quick by 15x15 standards. I particularly liked the simple yet chewy 22dn but that was pipped to COD by 15dn.
LOI was 16ac by a country mile - it’s 'crinkliness' took 2 minutes to unravel which just tipped me over the ten minute mark.

ACROSS

7. NAKED EYE - natural (not using any aids) looker (something which looks/sees). Anagram (at work) of NEED A KEY.
8. TOOK - stole. In addition (TOO), thousand (K).
9. BARROW - something street vendor uses. Black (B), pointer (ARROW).
10. RICER - kitchen utensil - rather like a potato masher but which forces the potato though a hole the size of a grain of rice. I enjoy cooking but the nearest I’ve got to one of these is a garlic crusher. Better off (RIChER) dropping husband (H).
11. AFT - towards the stern. (A)dmiral's (F)ound (T)urning.
12. FEISTY - lively. Anagram (unusually) of FIT YES.
14. SHADOW - dog (someone’s steps). Display (SHOW) welcomes publicity (AD).
16. DECREE - edict. The easy bit is energy (E). Then take 50% off (DECRE)asing and put the remainder at the front of the answer (i.e. before the 'e') to get DECRE E. As usual, it’s all very easy once you see it.
18. CREDIT - believe (you wouldn’t credit it). Anagram (unexpectedly) of DIRECT.
19. LEA - meadow. To get the answer you have to visit b(L)u(E)j(A)y regularly.
20.SPEED - rush. Gym (PE) inside southeast (SE) found beside duke (D).
21. SALVER - tray. One putting money aside (SAVER) including pounds (L).
23. LAST - double definition.
24. SPLENDID - brilliant. Anagram (renovated) of SPINDLE, daughter (D).

DOWN

1. JAPANESE - Asian. Judge (J) with a (A), sheet of glass (PANE), the extremities of (S)af(E).
2. VEER - change direction. Some of nai(VE ER)ror.
3. MEDWAY - river. Surprised exclamation (MY!) around editor (ED) and Washington (WA).
4. HEARTS - suit in cards. Fellow (HE) with skills (ARTS).
5. STOCKADE - barrier. Standard (STOCK - as in answer), homophone (we hear) of help - aid.
6. DOUR - sullen. Medic (DR) outside Oxford University (OU).
13. SORRENTO - Italian port. Anagram (strangely) of NO RESORT.
15. OLIVE OIL - cooking ingredient. As it happens (LIVE - as in a broadcast) inside (stuffing) two ducks (OO), I (I), left (L).
17. ELDEST - first born. Housed in the clue - hot(EL DEST)ined.
18. CASTLE - big house maybe. Actors (CAST) with 'the' in French (LE).
20. SLAP - hit. Small (S), circuit (LAP).
22. LYNX - feline. Homophone (they say) of couples - links.

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
vinyl1
Dec. 4th, 2018 02:50 am (UTC)
I finished in 10:06.....
....as I got pretty stuck on 'Medway' and 'Sorrento', which I had trouble recalling. 'Decree'? I just waited until I had enough checkers and biffed it! 'Lynx' is a chestnut, and I still don't see it right away.

I seem to be the slowest fast solver today, or perhaps the fastest slow solver....at least I didn't have any errors.
kevingregg
Dec. 4th, 2018 03:08 am (UTC)
No problem with MEDWAY (with some checkers) or SORRENTO, but like Vinyl I just waited for checkers and biffed DECREE. I suppose I should have spotted the 'decre' of 'decreasing'--who knows, maybe I did--but did not work out the parsing. 4:46, slightly over 2 Verlaines.
flashman
Dec. 4th, 2018 04:49 am (UTC)
Found it quite tough, and ran out of time after 25 mins with lynx outstanding.

Also dnk salver.

Cod eldest.
jackkt
Dec. 4th, 2018 05:31 am (UTC)
8 minutes. It's interesting that DECREE seems to have caused a bit of difficulty (yes, I waited for the checkers too!) as all but one letter of the answer is in a word in the clue. There has been some dicussion here recently about this sort of thing, 'monster' leading to MONSTRANCE, 'duck' leading 'shelduck' etc - is it lazy clueing or a ruse to distract solvers? Today's example is leading me to think it's more likely to be the latter as the comments would seem to suggest that it actually works in a kind of 'hiding in plain sight' sort of way. After the 'duck' incident I started to refer to 'dead duck' clues, but I now think 'decoy duck' may be a better term.
johninterred
Dec. 4th, 2018 08:24 am (UTC)
Decoy duck
I like it! I thought DECREE was a good QC-level example.
sawbill
Dec. 4th, 2018 11:43 am (UTC)
decoy duck
I like it too.
or chestnut teal?
or ruddy duck??
mendesest
Dec. 4th, 2018 06:23 am (UTC)
Great puzzle. Most clues needed a bit of work but all fair. Would have been fast for me but for an eight minute interruption. Didn't know Sorrento but with all the checkers and knowing it was an anagram of somewhere in Italy it had to end in O, so only three letters left to put in. LYNX was LOI, my first sighting of this chestnut. FOI was NAKED EYE, spotted the anagram and that it ended in EYE but took a while for the last five letters give up their secret.
davidivad1
Dec. 4th, 2018 07:27 am (UTC)
Tuesday
No problems apart from LOI 16a. After 14 minutes I had all the checkers but could not find an answer. Had I not been solving online I would have gone for a break. I finally found DECREE and the clock was at 22:23.
As our blogger says it's very clear once you've got it, but the clue was constructed in such a way that I could not see what was required. David
sonofjim
Dec. 4th, 2018 08:28 am (UTC)
Back to SCC with 19.09. Chewy. Didn’t spot the anagram for ages in naked eye and LOI was what should have been a straightforward slap. Doh. Lynx finally clicked only after dismissing a dubious risqué lion.
johninterred
Dec. 4th, 2018 08:36 am (UTC)
Slightly trickier than of late, I thought... but maybe my thinking was just in the wrong direction at times. e.g. failed to spot the anagram at 7a initially and was looking for a verb form of suit at 4d - HEARTS my LOI. Fortunately my geographical GK was up to 3d and 12d. COD to the neatly hidden ELDEST. 5:20.
templarredux
Dec. 4th, 2018 08:57 am (UTC)
DECREE was my LOI by miles too, despite having all the checkers ... in fact I chewed my pen for a full Kevin over it, taking me to 3.2 Kevins, a Not Very Good Day. As the comments seem to suggest, if this type of clue is a distraction device it’s working rather well!

Enjoyable puzzle and blog, thanks Hurley and Chris.

Am I the only person who briefly wondered whether there is a type of nautical tray known as a “slaver”? Just me then?

Templar
templec
Dec. 4th, 2018 09:00 am (UTC)
DNF ...
... as I started to check my answers and forgot I hadn’t completed 11a!
COD: 1d
LOI: technically 11a, but it was 16a
thanks to the blogger, setter and all who contribute
Carl
(Anonymous)
Dec. 4th, 2018 10:21 am (UTC)
Completed at a decent....
....SPEED this morning. Trickier than yesterday for sure, and an increase of 24% in my finishing time bears that out.

I was fine with DECREE, but struggled just a little with MEDWAY. Kent is the only English county I have never visited. Maybe next year....

FOI TOOK
LOI MEDWAY
COD OLIVE OIL
TIME 3:57

Phil Jordan
meadvale
Dec. 4th, 2018 10:51 am (UTC)
Definitely on the chewy side. Got fixated with ‘par’ as the start of 5d and couldn’t get past the mindset for ages. Isn’t 1d a Definition by Example? Is so there ought to be a question mark or other indicator in there somewhere.
Thanks as always to setter and blogger.
7’00”
kevingregg
Dec. 4th, 2018 11:07 am (UTC)
1d
1d would be a DBE if the clue had 'Japanese' and the solution were ASIAN.
meadvale
Dec. 4th, 2018 11:11 am (UTC)
RE: 1d
I see your point. I suppose that makes this a Solution by Example, if there is such a phrase.
RonPenalties
Dec. 4th, 2018 10:51 am (UTC)
I'm glad a few others struggled with DECREE - Was the only clue remaining to be solved, and puzzled over it for about 5 minutes on the bus this morning, before realising I was almost at work and so gave up and came on here to have my folly revealed to me... Still, pretty happy with getting the rest completed in a fairly decent (for me at least) 20ish minutes.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 4th, 2018 11:16 am (UTC)
Biffed ....
Eldest and decree, just did not ‘see’ either - thank heavens for the blog! 75 mins. Frankyanne
chrisw91
Dec. 4th, 2018 01:02 pm (UTC)
Times
No times are good or bad - it’s just what you make of them personally. Thanks for posting yours today. We get a few comments that fast times posted can be demoralising (which I hope isn’t true - when I first started it gave me hope that these puzzles were solvable) so I hope this will balance the books a bit and encourage non-commenters (aka lurkers!) to come forward.


Edited at 2018-12-04 01:03 pm (UTC)
RonPenalties
Dec. 4th, 2018 01:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Times
As a fairly 'newbie' myself, I don't find the fast times demoralising, merely impressive!
templec
Dec. 4th, 2018 02:21 pm (UTC)
RE: Times
times do not bother me either.
admittedly, mine aren’t fast and I prefer to focus on the quality (or lack of it) of the solve.
however, my times have started to drop ... and I think I’ve highlgihted, but I stand in awe for the less than 10 min crew!
Carl
(Anonymous)
Dec. 4th, 2018 11:49 am (UTC)
Just over my 30 mins or so average. Saw RICER straightaway but had never heard of it. FOI NAKED EYE. LOIs JAPANESE/DECREE. Spent too long trying to think of an asian judge before the obvious hit me. Why was DECREE so difficult when it was there in plain sight and totally biffable?. COD DECREE for a clue which had us all going around the houses for no obvious reason.
PlayUpPompey
john_dun
Dec. 4th, 2018 01:00 pm (UTC)
I had no particular problems, but I always find Hurley's puzzles on the chewy side. I biffed DECREE from the checkers, but did spot the parsing just afterwards. The vaguely remembered RICER took a while though. 9:06. Thanks Hurley and Chris.
desdeeloeste
Dec. 4th, 2018 01:43 pm (UTC)
Stalled at 16a
A steady solve until the final one 16a DECREE. The placing and checkers E R and E were not particularly useful. Yes, E could be energy but that didn't help me. A good example of my tendency to overcomplicate things and my undoing today. Finished in 14:27. I enjoyed the rest of the puzzle. Thanks Hurley and Chris.
plett11
Dec. 4th, 2018 06:33 pm (UTC)
I had a similar solve to many others it would seem with DECREE adding a couple of minutes to my time of 14.13. The Italian port and the river also proved tricky, especially as I was focused on getting HEY into the river. CoD goes to 14a for reminding me of one of my favourite childhood books 'Shadow the Sheepdog'.
Thanks for the blog
jackkt
Dec. 4th, 2018 06:46 pm (UTC)
Shadow
By Enid Blyton! I remember it well.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 6th, 2018 07:36 pm (UTC)
Horrible puzzle. Dodgy definitions - the whole lot that makes the 15x15 so unenjoyable. Quick cryptic has lost it's way.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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