23,445 – the long ones got me going / Farewell to the TES Crossword

Solving time : 48m
That’s a pretty fast time for me. I got the four long answers quickly and that gave me lots of letters to play with. There also seemed to be more anagrams than usual – I normally find these fairly easily. One question remains in my mind, though – see my comments on 13A: I don’t know if The Times (or its Crossword Editor) prefers -ise or -ize…

Also I am disappointed to see the last ever Times Educational Supplement Crossword – a brief comment after today’s notes.


9 V,I,PER – I believe that this is the only poisonous snake in the UK
9 ANTHROPOCENTRIC – anag. of ‘on incorrect path’
10 THE,BAN – coming from the ancient city of Thebes. The clue made me smile – an article containing descriptions of the goings on in Thebes may well have been banned at some time.
13 PR(I,VAT)IZED or PR(I,VAT)ISED – I wrote in the former, but I believe both to be correct answers. Perhaps a more experienced solver could let me know if there is a convention…
14 RANI – the wife of a raja. My reading of the wordplay is the I in Iran(=country) being moved to the end of the word.
17 IN,DEFIN(IT)E – home=IN crops up quite often in crosswords. It was fun to see ‘a’ as a central part of the definition.
20 ENZYME – some frENZY, MEthinks
23 ITALIAN VERMOUTH – it is what you want with your gin when asking for a ‘gin and it.’ If you want more than one, is it ‘gins and it’ or ‘gins and its’ or ‘gin and its’? I never know!
25 RU,MINATOR(y) – sport=RU, as it so often does in the crossword world


1 CO(AS)T – I have seen when=AS used quite a lot – one to remember
3 BARN,A,BAS(e) – a missionary referred to (sometimes as an apostle) in the New Testament
4 (H)AMPS(hire)
6 VEN(=archdeacon),IT,E(=start of evensong) – the VENITE is Psalm 95 (in the Church of England)
7 PERSONALITY CULT – anag. of ‘Resultant policy’
8 RECONDITE – anag. of ‘tried once’
15 C(=caught),IN,NAMON(=rev. of NO MAN)
18 (di)STRICT – subtract rev. of ‘I’d’ from district(=community)
21 (w)ETHER – a wether is a castrated ram
22 TEAM – switch the end letters of TEAM to get meat(=brawn)

Times Educational Supplement Crossword 1,295 by Rufus
I am not sure if anyone else here looks at this crossword, but we had a big shock last week. There was a special message from Rufus:


And sure enough there was no crossword this week (nor last week’s answers). The crosswords were generally straightforward (about 30m for me to solve) but they often contained some fun educationally themed clues and answers.
The TES was relaunched this week as a “more modern” paper. Presumably there is no longer a place for the old-fashioned crossword.

9 comments on “23,445 – the long ones got me going / Farewell to the TES Crossword”

  1. Well done. It took me 15 minutes to get all but one of the answers. But 3D (Barnabas) had me completely foxed, and I gave up without solving it a few minutes later.
  2. Here‘s a useful explanation of what the correct usage should be.

    So, for PRIVATI?ED, IZE is more formally correct but ISE is ok too. However, the cryptic indication suggests VAT inside PRISED – I don’t know if you can spell PRISED(=forced) the same as PRIZED(=valued) – hmm, just checked – you can (but I wouldn’t!)

  3. Venite: This clue was rather cheeky as the Venite is used in Morning Prayer (Matins), a service that takes a bit of finding these days, but used to be more common than Holy Communion on a Sunday morning in most C of E churches.

    “wether” raises a query about a clue in last Thursday’s puzzle, which I’ve put in the comments about it.

    Made a hash of RANI by failing to be sure it meant “queen”, and missed the “one suffering the maximum setback” bit, so fell one clue short. Also had a mistake in the Indie so a poor day!

    1. Time: about 15 minutes – not really watching the clock!

      Oddly, RANI’s wordplay didn’t give me that much trouble although I got held up by a few others.

  4. Not a great day for me either. After about 16 minutes I was left with 17A and 15D. I sometimes really struggle when the odd letters are unchecked – obviously its usually a lot easier having the first letter of the answer to help you. I could easily have given up, but I decided to slog it out. It was annoying because I thought of NO MAN (rev) for 15D but did not see CINNAMON. For 17A I played with IN = home and of course the IT part but the clever definition had me fooled for ages. So, eventually…

    …solving time 27:20

    Around 11 minutes on those last two clues! Back down with a bump!

  5. Overall: 5m58s – at first I thought this was a little bit weak for what had seemed quite a straightforward puzzle, but in retrospect, there were several surprisingly hard bits, esp RANI and BARNABAS (my last two answers).

    I had much the same thought processes on PRIVATISED – I was confident there was a spelling of PRISE as PRIZE that made it ambiguous but wasn’t 100% sure. I was sure that S is always right unless the Z is somehow clarified, despite the ridiculous Morse plot in which he knows the letter-writer is not an Oxford man because he uses REALISED.

    Woud be interested to know what PB tried in 14? MAXI was the only thought I considered before suddenly grasping the unusual wordplay.

    1. I think I wrote in NARI, but really knew it wasn’t right. Had struggled a bit with INDEFINITE and I think a bit of fatigue took over. After some speedy times a week ago, I seem to be in a bad patch. Could almost start believing in biorhythms ….
  6. The printed solution is PRIVATISED, which I think most people would have written – it’s the dominant spelling in the UK, whatever the OUP or Morse say. I’m sure that if a “variant spellings in both answer and wordplay” situation arose in the Championship, both versions would be accepted.
  7. 1a Backing given to market researcher? = CLIPBOARD (the market researchers are usually on the other end of an unsolicited telephone call these days)
    11a Presently PM will come in – might get a mouthful = SPITTOON (Pitt – PM inside Soon – presently. Yuck)
    16a Those left in lounge = REST (DD)
    24a Keen to offer word of welcome = GREET (DD – keen is to weep is to greet)
    2d Winning gold medal maybe to begin with = IN THE FIRST PLACE (probably the easiest 15 letter answer I have encountered in the Times)
    5d Code-breaker could be moved to (cheer)* with (pride)* = DECIPHERER
    12d Sound professional doing key work in the home occasionally? = PIANO TUNER
    13d Having a hand in role accompanying a ruler = PART A KING

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