23,457 – fairly easy

Standing in for one of the regulars for my first Times Community review, this was an accessible puzzle.

As a daily Indy solver, have been doing the Times almost every day only in fairly recent times. Solved in 28 mins, this is reasonably good for me for the Times.

* = anagram


1 F ACTOR When I found the answer, I was disappointed I did not get this more quickly but was misled by “One to be taken into” into looking for a container.
4 A KIT SAWS (all reversed) – a bit surprised to see this word with all its assocations included in the puzzle.
10 COUNTRYSIDE Countrywide (Coast-to-coast) with s for w. Easy, I thought.
12 (Stable)LAD + DISH (a smasher) – slang I have not heard for a while.
21 ASHIEST shies = pitches(throws) in edges of AsphalT (first and last letters). Reminding the night-time viewers of the uphill struggle in Oz?
23 OAF My favourite clue, telling us to “Sort” (of a)*. Did I see it straightaway? Most certainly not. Jonathan Swift’s Yahoo, nothing to do with the Internet.
24 NIKKEI INDEX – Japanese equivalent of the FTSE. Anagram of One = I and “keen kid in” + X = vote as you would on a ballot paper.
27 GENEVA (avenge)*. WHO and many international organisations with HQs there, many in buildings that housed the League of Nations between the wars.


1 FACE-LIFT life “set up” in fact. Liked it.
2 CRU “Noisy” means a homophone (of crew)
8 AGREED a greed. Nice
16 ANOREXIA extremely rare = first and last letters (re) in anoxia. Familiar word (the answer, that is).
19 AGONISE last word I filled in and I, well, agonised, over it. Thought of it early on but could not quite see it as equivalent to “labour”. Finally, convinced by the wordplay – Leaders i.e. first letters of international standing (IS) in a = are (metric square measure) + left = gone.
20 SAVO(I)UR “Ignoring” one = I
25 DYE Liked this a lot. Definition is not colour but change colour. D’ye? = Do you?

5 comments on “23,457 – fairly easy”

  1. I was done in 5:52 which felt like a good time, but NMS’s review pulled me up short with the realisation that I had not worked out the clue to 10ac and only seen one of COUNTRYSIDE and COUNTRYWIDE. Happily for me, it was the correct answer I had gone for. For some reason (probably because I’ve never thought of it despite using the phrase), 9dn simlpe ‘2nd def’ tickled me a lot. Interesting puzzle, I thought.
    1. 6:55 for me – seems about par for the magoo/PB gap on a moderately easy puzzle. But I claim to have understood 10A. Also enjoyed a nice range of clues and words.

      Unexpected swastikas: bit of a crossword tradition – as swastikas share rotational symmetry with crossword grids, it’s quite easy for one to appear in the middle of a grid. And of course the swastika has umpteen uses nothing to do with Nazism.

  2. Yes, I think your times were good on this one!

    I really laboured with it, especially the NW corner. Like NMS I was flabbergasted when got 1A and wondered why I did not get it MUCH earlier! Incredibly I did not cold solve the anagram at 3D for OSTRICH (wasn’t exactly a tough one!). Also with both 15A and 13D I realised what the second word was in the phrase, but could not come up with ideas for the first word until I had checking letters. Made that corner very tough for me.

    Final time 17:49
    FInal time 17:49

  3. Q27’s reference to WHO for the World Health Org. made me wonder what convention The Times follows for using capitalization in its cryptic clues.

    Specifically, would it have been “wrong” (or “cunning”) for the clue to say “Who is here,” rather than “WHO is here,”

    Equally, could a clue for “weep” be written as “SOB” ie (a TLA for Son of Bitch) as opposed to “Sob” ?

    Jon C

  4. 11a Broadcast tune = AIR (DD)
    14a Some puP I PETTEd in the tube = PIPETTE
    17a (Entire commando)* in mess for testimonial = RECOMMENDATION
    22a In post, I break new ground = PI ONE ER (I = ONE)
    26a Lodger, and what it costs him to hold party = RE SIDE NT (side in rent)

    3d He ignores the truth: (torch is)* broken = OSTRICH
    5d Head supporting those who punish a scallywag = WHIPPERSNAPPER (the punishers are the whippers but napper = head??)
    6d Essayist keeping quiet inside part of church = STEE P LE
    7d Under canvas, so to speak, I have become distracted = INATTENTIVE ( in a tent I’ve)
    13d Approach with arrows – they communicate power = DRIVE SHAFTS (drive = approach – could be in golf or in front of house?)
    18d (Aid once)* distributed by nymph = OCEANID

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