23,483 – Mix-ups cut no ice

Solving time : 8:42

Each letter of the alphabet appears at least twice in the grid, giving some interesting words to clue – I enjoyed the howitzer and the sasquatch. Also the occasional well-worn word, especially the pinion at 23A.


5 HOWITZER (with zero)* – it was only once I had a couple of letters I realised this was an anagram. I was determined that it was going to be a seven-lettered gun followed by “O”
9 JERRY + CAN – “Jerry” and “chamber” can both mean “chamberpot”
10 IX (=nine) in MU + PS
11 JURORS – two cryptic definitions – unusual
17 (SAFARIS RAMBL)* – Though tincture of benzoin seems to be of more use for cuts than for colds
20 WIND (v) in SLED – my fixed idea that “bob” must be “S” for shilling held me up for a little
22 (h)UNT + RUE
27 HOS(ea) + LET (rev) – The surface has words that fit together easily, though I am not sure they make any sense as arranged


3 PORT OF SPAIN – is the capital of Trinidad and Tobago. You probably knew that.
4 CASK (rev) in RUCKS – with an initial R, I wrote in RETICULES first, but spotted my mistake fairly soon
5 HANDS-ON – I tried for a while to justify this as TURNS meaning HANDS and OVER meaning ON, but then realised that “turn over” can mean “hand on”
6 M(ale) E(ntrants) in WON – “over” isn’t the most obvious of words to indicate containment
7 TA + X
8 EXPONENT – two meanings. I imagine the mathematical one is back-formed from “exponential”
13 SCRUM + (T in PIOUS) – “good time-keeping” for (T in PIOUS) seems a bit of a stretch for the Times
15 SASQUATCH = (“Sask watch”) – I enjoyed this one, but can’t find that “Sask” is a recognised abbreviation of Saskatchewan. Chambers gives SK.
16 (FEZ I WORR)* – could be more concise (“is” for “may become even”), but this surface is smoother
19 QUIC(k) + HE
24 IV + Y – in this one very particular way, it is a shame that after next year we are unlikely to have a POTUS whose surname is a common noun. There are five favourites before Rice at 16/1, and a further five before Gore at 33/1

4 comments on “23,483 – Mix-ups cut no ice”

  1. I have to disagree with you (and Wikipedia). Whenever my mum had a cold she always used to fill a bowl with boiling water, add some Friar’s Balsam, throw a tea-towel over her head and sit there breathing in the noxious fumes for ages. She swore by it.
    1. I should have looked further. Chambers calls it an ‘inhalant’. And this site says it is ‘An Antiseptic Vulnerary’ and ‘A Stimulating Expectorant’.

      I shall try to remember to correct Wikipedia.

  2. Here is a great example of where not one “easy” but two are omitted from the blog but they were ones that I had a lot of trouble with:

    1a Meat for each picnic basket = HAM PER
    12a Informal music gathering displays monotonous rhythm = SINGSONG – a double definition that I could not see. Had to cheat – now I see it.
    23a Bird’s wing in view but not the head = (O)PINION – this was the other I could not get. The possibilities for *i*i*n included MINION, TITIAN and PINION but I thought the Pinion was a type of gear and dnk the Bird’s Wing definition. Was this SO obvious?
    25a Roller skates will make no impression = CUT NO ICE

    2d A site prepared to accomodate drive = A VENUE
    18d Makes off with (cads, but)* coming to grief = ABDUCTS
    21d Weapon employed by uhLAN? CErtainly = LAN?CE a hidden answer with a gratuitous question mark plonked in it to complete the surface.

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