23485/Sat 30th Dec

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time 19:28

I seem to remember being stuck for a while in the top right-hand corner, mainly through having CONTRAST for 11ac (C,O,N,START* seemed obvious, although it doesn’t hang together).


9 E.U.,LOG(IS)E – I couldn’t make this work for a long time, until I discovered that a loge is a private box, and then I realised that the definition was just “laud”, the ‘s afterwards just meaning “is cryptically indicated by”. Sneaky to start the clue with it so it was capitalised, making one think of Archbishop Laud.
10 HALLO,WED – week’s midpoint is Wednesday
11 C,O,N,FOUND – this caused me a lot of problems in the NE corner, probably adding 5 or 6 minutes to my time.
12 CENT(“scent”),I,GRADE – one meaning of grade is to level a slope to the required gradient.
15 MACE,DON – office staff=”staff of office”, Philip was Alexander the Great’s father
23 I(ndia)N,CURR(i)ED
25 IN LE(=Nile*),AGUE
26 F,AUST(r)IAN – Faust made a pact with the Devil.


3 IOLANTHE (A hotline)* – Can a G&S opera be defined as a show? Seems a bit dismissive somehow…
6 S(LAND)EROUS – nicely misleading surface
7 S(t)IMULATE – funnily enough, I got this as soon as I’d corrected 11ac last week, but took ages to figure out the wordplay today.
8 SEED,LESS – Seed as dialect past participle of see is there in the dictionary, but it’s unusual for the Times crossword. Very common in the Mephisto, Listener etc though.
16 CA(DUCE)US(e) – Mussolini was known as Il Duce
20 S(L)IDING – clever use of “scale model” to mislead
24 B(L)UR – rub reversed around L (last letter of hill) – just seemed a bit clumsily worded to me

4 comments on “23485/Sat 30th Dec”

    1. We normally wait till 13 days after publication for Times Jumbos, so it should turn up in the next day or two.
    2. Jumbo 675 is up now. As I did not buy the Times that day I was not aware of the closing date for the puzzle (and the Times website is not that helpful!). As Jumbo 675 appeared three days after 674, I decided to post the blog with the same three day gap. However, I noticed today (Sunday) that the solution was in Saturday’s Times – so no need to wait!
  1. Trying to stay on topic, here are the “easies” for this rather tricky Saturday puzzle that were omitted from the blog:

    14a Spend less in bar = SAVE – a double def where save can mean the same as bar as in “all bar one” = “all save one”.
    17a Require addition to letter – it may assist delivery = FORCE PS – tricky clue having “force” equivalent to “require” and referring to foreceps as “it” rather than “they”?
    21a Son’s fuss about drink = S ODA – where fuss about = ado back’rds = oda.
    22a Shop staff (owe man less)* in change = SALESWOMEN
    27a Weedy type Jesus was mistaken for = GARDENER – this requires knowledge of the Bible – John 20:15 where Mary Magdalene mistakes Jesus resurrected for a gardener – that I did not have but, once you have all the crossers, G*R*E*E* is unlikely to be anything else.

    4d Pulls student up = TOWS – swot back’rds
    5d New (cadet, or)* old soldier = REDCOAT
    15d Dogs’ size inhibits argument = MAS TIFF S
    19d (Super ale)* drunk, providing this? = PLEASURE – certainly does!

Comments are closed.