23,4591 – rev rev

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time : 10:30

I think this puzzle should be fairly straightforward. There are no very difficult individual clues – the last ones I solved were 2D and 13A -, and no obscure words. I would have liked to get under 10 minutes – but this is my closest to it for quite a while.


11 HEART-WARMING, being (RIGHT ARM ANEW)* – I slowed myself up by assuming that “moving” was the anagram indicator rather than the definition
13 TAIPEI, being A in TIP (= advice) + IE (rev) – quite tricky, and not one of the first capitals I think of
15 RESCUER, being SECURER* – I think this is a slightly laboured &lit, and I am not sure that it works – I can’t find a good way of reading it to say make an anagram of the letters in the word “securer”
16 F(OR)EIGN – easy if it takes you less than several minutes to think that “counterfeit” could be a verb rather than an adjective
20 A + FLUTTER (= bet = punt) – neat
23 STRETCH MARKS – I hesitated for a second because this doesn’t seem very cryptic
26 DO(PINE)SS – a more successful &lit
27 SP(RITZ)ER, SPER being REPS (rev)


6 MANAGE – two meanings, though I prefer my two meanings to be more different. On edit: as Peter points out below, this is actually MAN (= staff(v)) + AGE (= get on)
7 HI-FI (= “high” + IF(rev)) – I think “great” means “high”. A neat &lit
8 BRIGHTEN (=”Brighton”)
12 MISRE + PRESENT, the first element being MISER with the last letter re-placed
17 OBSERVER, being ROBES* + REV(rev) – “Sunday” is a clever definition for “Observer”, blending into the religious surface
18 GUYANESE, being GUY (= chap) + NESE (=”knees”) with A(re) brought in
19 PRE(p) + MISS – I think “prep” is slang for “homework” mainly in boarding schools, where the poor dears don’t get to do it at home
21 TICKET – another cleverly concealed definition (“Maybe single”)
24 ROPY, being OR (rev) + P(oorl)Y

9 comments on “23,4591 – rev rev”

  1. 8:15 for this. I saw 4D as a charade of MAN = staff (both in their verb senses), and AGE = ‘get on’ as in “Fred is getting on a bit”. (I had the def. as “Supervise” rather than “Supervise staff”). Also found 23A pretty uncryptic though “lining one’s stomach” does have at least one other interpretation.
  2. 8m04s here, which would have been much better except for about a minute spent finishing off COLD-A-E. It feels like total brain shutdown when the answer won’t come.
    1. I did exactly the same. I think I failed to ‘lift and separate’ “unfriendly hand gesture” and couldn’t get handshaking out of my head.

      The charade in 6dn passed me by as well, but luckily I looked at several of the easier clues first so managed 6:25 after several slow days in a row.

      1. Another enjoyable puzzle. Fortunately I didn’t take too long over 2d, as WAVE was the first hand gesture that came to mind, but I still wasn’t significantly faster (at 11:20) than for the last couple of days – just a general sign of 26a, I guess. (Sigh!)
  3. Not too difficult today – SE corner posed the most problems for me. But I would suggest that Insomnia is a perfectly acceptable alternative for 26A, so long as you don’t have any checking letters, and ideally no clue should have more than one potential answer, even at first glance.
    1. As an answer to a clue, INSOMNIA’s fine – but your inner voice should then be asking “is this cryptic enough?”. I think with a few decades of experience under your belt, you’d say not (though you’d also have the checkers and not have to worry anyway).
      1. I bow to your authority on this one – but I’m sure I’ve seen elusive definitions that are less cryptic! (I was thinking of a double meaning of ‘long’ here.) Possibly not in the Times, though…
  4. A third of the puzzle too easy for all except the bunnies:

    1a Yearns to capture evil warrior (8)
    ACH ILL ES. My FOI – I like a good start.

    9a (Harriet’s)* works, of poorer quality (8)
    TRASHIER. I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin recently – definitely not Pulp Fiction.

    10a Plan part of garden (4)

    14a Order is taken by worker showing respect (8)
    OBE IS ANT. This word somehow gives me the impression of servility rather than respect?

    22a Waters flowers (6)

    25a Flat time of day (4)

    2d Snap, giving unfriendly hand gesture (4,4)

    3d Knowing stars’ location (2,3,7)

    5d Broadcaster’s position (7)

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