23,558 – double trouble

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time : 1hr 10mins
Another difficult Monday for me – I got going straightaway with a few anagrams, but then failed to get many of the others for a while. There are still three I am not sure I can properly explain (18D,19A,26A)

I just noticed my Times Crossword Club membership has been renewed, so I guess I have been doing these (almost) daily now for a year. I seem to remember that in one of my first downloaded puzzles ASSEGAI was clued in a similar way to today.


1 CREEPY-CRAWLY; W=with in anagram of ‘prayer cycle’
8 E(SPA)R,TO; extremes of E[age]R, TO containing SPA=spring. Bit of an effort for me – only sussed when I had the checking letters.
9 LE(GUM)ES – I don’t think I knew LEES=sediment.
12 C,A,LOR(1)E
13 ALTAR; hidden in ‘sALT ARtfully’
14 URBAN MYTH; anagram of ‘run my bath’
16 PERICLEAN; anagram of price + LEAN=tip
19 I put in HOMER, thinking linesman=poet=HOMER – not at all sure about the rest. Can anyone help?
24 TRI(L,L)ED- I spent longer than I should have looking for a homophone.
25 ASS(EG)AI[l] – EG=say in ASSAI[l]=brief attack — easier if you’ve seen it before!
26 GRASS WIDOWER – someone whose wife has left him – had to look this up. I’m not sure how it works. Best I have is ASS=animal, WID[e]=’less than fat’ in GROWER=farmer. Any better offers?


3 PROSECUTE; anagram of ‘secure top’ – pretty neat, I didn’t spot it immediately.
4 COL[d],IC[e] – I’ll admit I briefly considered CHIL[l]+D, wondering if trouble=250…
5 ANGOLAN; switch last two letters of ANGLO + AN
6 LAMPREY; LAMP=lighter, RE=about, Y=the last to carry
7 DECIMAL POINT; anagram of ‘I’m led to panic’ – having been a maths teacher, I related to the surface reading here
17 ROCK(1)ER – I guess this is a reference to Mods and Rockers – I’m a bit too young to know much about this but I do know that the Rockers had the motorbikes.
18 I put in CANDLES, because they burn. I came up with AND=Even replacing AB=tar in CABLES=ropes – that seems a bit too much of an effort, though. Any other suggestions?
19 HACK,SAW=(was reversed)
20 MAN(a)GER
22 EN(DO)W; DO=party (as it so often does) in anagram of NEW

13 comments on “23,558 – double trouble”

  1. A “homer” is a referee who is easily swayed by, or wants to please, the home fans.
    Your explanations for CANDLES and GRASS WIDOWER are spot on, as far as I can see
    1. Can anyone find it in a dictionary? I can’t see it see it in Chambers or Collins. Not very fair if not, to us non-football fans at least.


      1. It’s there in Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang, although I’m not sure if that is a standard Times reference book!
        I wish I hadn’t picked up Cassell’s: now I’ll spend a good half hour looking up rude words…
  2. 22’15”

    Another good day (that left me time to do Saturday’s in my lunch hour) – even if I did manage to put INSPIRE as 21A until 17D finally clicked.

    I’d never heard of 26A either – and was tempted by the possibility of SOW before settling on ASS.

  3. 11:15 here – should have been quicker but failed to read the “(7,5)” in &D and looked for an “___ICATION” word. Very stupid of me.
  4. I’m sure your explanation is correct, but can someone give an example of “and” meaning “even” please? I can’t think of one at the moment.


    1. Good question. Chambers doesn’t support “and” = “even”: “and” appears only as a conjunctions, and “even” can be many things but not a conjunction. I vaguely remember this being used before, and the only live example I could find of the two being interchangeable was in the phrase “et tu, Brute”.
  5. Another is in Virgil’s line “timeo Danaos et dona ferentes”, where the “et” should strictly be translated as something like “even if”.
    1. (Only just got round to doing this, so rather late commenting.) Your Virgil quote takes me back – but I seem to recall some debate about whether “et” should be translated as “even if” or “especially when”. I was more worried about 12a since I’m not convinced that LORE can mean a “piece of advice” – or am I missing something? 10:29 here, the last minute or so spent agonising over HOMER, since wasn’t sure of the “weak referee”, though it sounded vaguely familiar, and the meaning was easily guessable.
      1. In 12A – I think the fact that we were given ‘traditional piece of advice’ is ok.

        ‘AND’ = ‘EVEN’? I wasn’t convinced when I solved this, hence my question above. I have since done a bit of reading. In the OED, we have EVEN as definition in section IV (Quasi-adverbially):
        13. Also; even. (A Latinism.) Obs. (or arch.)
        1558 Bishop T. Watson: “He that hath promysed pardone unto us, whensoever we converte, dothe not promise unto us longe lyfe and to lyve whyle to morrowe.”

        I also read an interesting discussion (starting with “Et tu, Brute”) at rec.arts.movies.misc.

        1. Sorry, didn’t make myself clear: what I was trying to say was that “lore” usually means something along the lines of “collective knowledge or wisdom on a particular subject, esp. of a traditional nature” (Collins, 1986, my italics), and not an individual piece of advice (or knowledge or whatever, traditional or otherwise).

          As far as “and” = “even” is concerned, I’m not sure that a citation from some C16 bishop is quite enough to justify this usage in a C21 Times crossword.

  6. I had the same quandary with Cables to Candles so therefore “and” = “even”. They do burn though – along with the incense.

    Only the 4 “easies”:

    21a Create strong emotion as feature of church service (7)
    INCENSE. Not too much of this going on in C of E, Baptists & Methodists mind you.

    23a Inferior products lasting only this long? (7)

    1d Be like a lion? One’s no leader (7)

    15d Team has to put up with where they play in park (9)

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