23,469 – I lost the plot towards the end

Solving time : 1 hour 6 minutes

A good range of clues with straightforward wordplay to get the more difficult answers. Lots of crossword terms featured that are quick to spot now I’ve been doing these puzzles for a while:

sacred books=NT


1 PACIFIC RIM – I am not entirely sure about this: I would say a corner is angular, whereas a rim is curved
6 BLOC – (COL,B)=< I’ve seen pass=col often enough now for this to be a straightforward clue
10 GU(A)M – I knew this as the name of Bob Dylan’s backing band during the Rolling Thunder Revue
14 A(BRU[m])PT – Brum is the nickname of the city of Birmingham
15 BERBER,IS – I had not heard of Berber, but did know the shrub
17 TICKLISH – double definition, not a very ticklish clue but it got me laughing (well, I smiled)
19 HANS,OM(=MO=<)
24 VAN,E – I know a vane is a blade (e.g. weathervane, fan, etc.) but I didn’t immediately understand the rest of the clue. Just looked up ‘van’ – military term for the front (as in vanguard), and E=point.
26 I’M ME, MOR(I)AL – penultimate answer for me; Self-identification=I’M ME – I like that
26 [t]RUTH – I guess executed means beheaded
27 ANTE,CEDE,NT – sacred books are likely to be NT or OT


3 FRENCH POLISH – I had a feeling POLISH would be part of the answer
4 C,UTTER – nice use of say=utter, first reading suggests an example or homophone
5 I DO,MEN,E(the end),O – I was pleased to get this from the wordplay fairly early on, having not heard of Idomeneo
7 LO(U)NGER – I had not heard of lounger, but the wordplay was pretty straightforward
8 CUMBERSOME=(rum,becomes)* – briefly confusing to have both ‘drunk’ and ‘awkward’ in the clue
11 CUPBOARD LOVE – press cupboard was a new phrase to me
20 STERILE – (E=theatre finally, LISTER)* – I have a friend who works at The Lister Hospital in London, probably named after Joseph Lister, who promoted the idea of sterile surgery, I learned from Wikipedia
23 PLOT – the last answer I wrote in: not very difficult but I think I’d lost the plot by then

3 comments on “23,469 – I lost the plot towards the end”

  1. I thought there were some lovely clues in this, particularly ABRUPT and CANTILEVER. And having recently visited the Berbers in Tunisia, 15ac was gettable quickly. But it took me almost as long to get PACIFIC RIM and IDOMENEO as the rest of the puzzle combined! Bravo for getting IDOMENEO so quickly, but it’s a good example of a nice, fair clue, especially welcome for classical music duffers like me 🙂
  2. Probably in the minority here but I found this hard (at least for a Monday). I wrote CONCORD (the “old settlement” seducing me) instead of CANDOUR. I found PACIFIC RIM very difficult to swallow but eventually unavoidable. BLOC even slowed me down because I couldn’t think of it as “people” rather as “nations”. CUPBOARD LOVE, IDOMENEO (workable rom the wordplay), BRU(m), BERBERIS were all brand-new terms for me.
  3. The opposite of Foggy – I knew the Berbers but not the Berberis but the wordplay made it straightforward.

    9a Meeting normal practice = CONVENTION – is it just me that finds these DDs can be tricky?
    12a Leading tropical area, real estate that’s unloved = CONCRETE JUNGLE – a case of “lift and separate” where the real = concrete and estate that’s unloved is the definition
    22a Peers to see flower = LORDS AND LADIES

    1d The best hacker = PICK – another tricky DD for me
    21d Run to church in warm coat = FLEE CE

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