23,582 – Puzzle protocol? Snap out of it

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time : just under 40 minutes. I had a really slow start, only getting a few clues on first read-through. Then I seemed to fall into crossword mode and whizzed through the rest. I completed the RHS first and finished off with the LHS.
I really enjoyed this; no particularly difficult words but I felt that I was led a merry dance in a number of the clues – exactly what I want from a crossword.
Lots of common crossword words were used in more ‘normal’ ways, e.g. heading, drunk, leader, last, openings, runs, partly.


4 CHA,BRIER – not a composer I’ve heard of; I guessed CHA and BRIER suggested itself as soon as I had the I and R.
10 READY,MADE – I liked the ‘money earned’ bit, immediately thinking of READY; thought ‘done’ read a bit awkwardly, but we couldn’t have the smoother ‘made’ in the clue.
11 TUM,I,D(=last letter of ‘conceived’) – decent clue considering that belly is an old word for womb.
12 S,PEND,TH(=endless ‘the’),RIFT – got the answer before fully understanding the wordplay – was pretty sure PEND can mean hang, but it wasn’t in my dictionary at work. I also wish my parents had sent me to a posh school where they teach you Latin!
14 NIL[e] – one of the few African bankers (i.e. rivers) that I know.
15 RE(=Religious Education),BOUND – didn’t spot the wordplay at first – I thought this was cleverly clued.
19 FILLET=”fill it”
24 SNAP,OUT OF IT – I wrote in OUT OF IT quite early but took me a while to think of SNAP and I wasn’t even drunk.


1 F(O,REST)RY – I knew FRY as young fish, but it seems it applies to other creatures as well e.g. bees, frogs, humans. I don’t think I knew that this is where the phrase ‘small fry’ comes from.
2 C(H)AFE – this took a while; I didn’t immediately think of a café as a refreshing place, they certainly aren’t all that refreshing around here.
5 HEELING – double definition. Whilst writing up I remembered that a last is where a shoe is made or repaired (i.e. heeled) and to heel is to win the ball in a rugby scrum.
6 BITE THE DUST – If ‘bite the dust’ means ‘fall down dead’ that is a pretty bad fall.
7 IMMUNISED=’me in mud is’*
8 RIDDLE – a verb (to shoot lots of holes in) and a noun (puzzle).
9 WASHED; ASH WED with the W(=wife) rising – a good clue but perhaps a little cheeky as such an important day does not deserve to be abbreviated!
13 DOUBLES,PEAK – I am sure this is right but can’t readily think when I might use ‘runs over’=doubles.
16 B(L)IND,FOLD – I momentarily thought ’round back of skull’ might be referring to a ‘blind’ spot before I spotted the more obvious wordplay.
21 FRO,W,N,S – I always sigh when I see something such as ‘three points’ as there are quite a few possible permutations. I had the F of FOUNDER though, so it wasn’t too much of an effort. FRO comes from the more commonly used phrase ‘to and fro.’
25 FATWA; hidden in ‘chief at war’ (well hidden from me!)

12 comments on “23,582 – Puzzle protocol? Snap out of it”

  1. A fast start for this, but once again finally came in at 8:45. I would be delighted by that as an average time, but I need a few faster ones to outweigh the 30-minutes-plus days!
    1. 8:02 here, so not bad unless I was being dense.

      16D: “double” is military slang for “run”, most commonly met in the phrase “at the double”. Not cricket this time, Ilan.

      Chabrier: a one-hit wonder, but if you search for his Espana on Amazon or similar and listen to the samples, you’ll know it.

      1. So that’s what that tune’s called! Just the thing for a summer concert at Kenwood.
        R. Saunders
        (Managed to post in the right place at the second attempt)
      2. Another slow start to the week (11:07), not helped by wanting 19a to be CUTLET rather than FILLET. I particularly enjoyed 9d (WASHED).

        I’m sure there’s some other Chabrier that’s reasonably well known – Le roi malgré lui perhaps, or Joyeuse Marche which I can remember playing in our school orchestra (though I can’t remember what instrument I was fooling about on at the time – probably something made of brass). I wonder if anyone who hadn’t heard of him went for CHABRIAR.

  2. I think runs is doubles (you’re supposed to be the cricket expert Steve!) and over is the link word to “top of mountain” for peak.
    1. I think ‘doubles’ = ‘runs’ in the military, rather than cricket, sense (as in, “Private Smith, pick up your missing arm and double away to the medical centre”). 5:50 for me but some slowness so I expect faster claims shortly. I can’t claim to recognise the Chabrier, I’m afraid (link here).
      1. I’m amazed my encyclopedic knowledge of cricket has let me down — my reasoning was that if one run is a single then two singles is a double. of course, in baseball a double is just half a run.
  3. I think you are going to have to look hard and long for Chabrier’s “Espana” — the famous pieve he wrote is called “Granada”.

    John M

  4. Roger Phillips (Nestor/Kea), who is credited with coining the term nina, pointed out to me that my pseudonym is in the unches at the top right of the grid. This was mentioned to the setter, who confirmed that it was unintentional, but by coincidence it appeared the day I had a puzzle in the Independent in which the real names of five well-known crossword setters appeared, three of whom are Times regulars.
  5. The clue at 4a gives CHA BRIAR as far as the most common spellings of the wood used for the pipes are concerned. However it does appear that some spelling of BRIAR as BRIER can be found on the WWW and this looks better for a French name and the composer in question. Some GK of some kind needed here to make a choice – either musical, linguistic, botanical or smoking lore? Glad to say I chose correctly on linguistic grounds.

    Some “easies” omitted for the Brer Rabbits:

    17a Greek’s relaxed and well-lubricated (6)

    21a One sets up firm sink (7)

    22a Pole went travelling, leaving East (3)
    ROD (E)

    26a Bay leaf initially overwhelmed in spice (5)
    C L OVE

    27a (Fat cats in)* trouble? Great! (9)

    3d Fine sort of wit (3)
    DRY. DD – dry wit and dry sherry (Fino).

    20d What uses road (craft, if)* badly (7)

    22d Fearsome animals on us – it’s ready for spring (6)
    CROC US. Thank goodness crocs don’t spring!

    28d A Catholic circle, partly (3)
    A RC

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