23,624 – too much French?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time : 50 mins
I think overall this was pretty straightforward – nothing really held me up. Just had to check a few things – PORTED was a new word to me, as were STEERAGE and BUSHIDO, but all quite gettable I think. I also have a new Opera to add to my list – I think I may have heard of Lulu before – so many pop up, I don’t remember them all.


1 F(LAMB)E – briefly looked for a container before realising that iron (Fe) was itself. Anyone who has had food served flambĂ© would probably agree it was spectacular (at least the first time).
10 GR,AS,SHOPPER – guessing here that GR=George Rex, I think I’ve seen it before, but not in crosswords. Got the solution before the wordplay – thought at first that monarch might be a type of grass before realising I had too many S’s.
12 RUCTION – anagram of ‘in court’
14 A(GAIN)ST – had the A quite early, and A ST was the first I tried – very nice when your first guess is correct.
15 NATIONAL=race,ANTHEM=strain – I think the ‘everyone’ here is pushing it a bit!
23 C(O)D – I remember someone moaning about record=CD fairly recently, but it looks we have to get used to it.
24 TRICERATOPS; anagram of erratic + TOPS=’causes death’
26 ST(E’ER)AGE – nice to acknowledge that it is mainly poets who use e’er for ever. Steerage is the area of a passenger where the cheapest seats are (I just looked this up).
27 DE TROP; PORTED reversed. My school French tells me that ‘de trop’ means too much (or similar) – so I guessed this was correct. I didn’t know PORT: To hold or carry (a weapon) diagonally across the body, with the muzzle or blade near the left shoulder.


2 AHA[b] – Ahab is the guy after Moby-Dick.
3 BUSH,I,DO – another new word for me – it’s the code of the Samurai.
5 ALPHA PARTICLES – anagram of ‘I’ll act perhaps’ around A.
6 PAR,FA(I)T – why matchless? Parfait is French for perfect – so I guess it might be the ultimate dessert.
7 AD,VAN,CEMENT – not entirely sure about the surface reading here – why the surprise?
8 ES,TATE – I guess ES=art i.e. ‘tu es’=’thou art’
9 MOUNTAINEERING – M + anagram of ‘unit on Eiger’ – I guess also a man and his unit (!) would be mountaineering if they were on the Eiger.
19 ULUL(=rev of Lulu),AT,E(=everything’s beginning). I didn’t know the opera Lulu by Berg – just looked it up to be sure.
20 PRECIS – I thought this was some clever wordplay to do with ‘prices’ at first – but it is just the extreme letters of ‘ParticulaR EconomiC IndicatorS’.
25 OA,R; OA is in BOAT, Right? Not too sure I like this, though – I’d like something to tell me to take the centre.

8 comments on “23,624 – too much French?”

  1. Very easy, this one – completed my first “clean sweep” taking the 4 corners roughly in the order NW,SW,SE,NE. I think this took 3:38, but it might have been a minute longer. (I use an analogue watch with second hand.)

    8D ES = “French art”, to be precise – for the reason you guessed (and should not forget!).

    25D I think “in” = inside is supposed to be your centre indication.

    1. Wow! – a very fast time for a clean sweep, IMO. Looking back over the puzzle, I think the order you tackled it in was probably optimal, but having failed to solve 1 ac straight off I seemed to flounder around (finishing in 6:22).
  2. I realized it had to C(O)D but I don’t understand the definition: “catch is faked”. COD are caught but… faked? Certificates Of Deposit can be faked but I’m probably being random now.
  3. “Cod Latin” is for me the most familiar phrase in which cod = mock or fake.
  4. …there was a lot of French. I didn’t get ‘de trop’ – not an expression I know, although should have had the trop part at least – or ‘bushido’, but the rest didn’t take too long. Is there any particular reason that a grasshopper is an ‘excellent’ jumper?
  5. As an approximate rule, I’m very much in the 10 x Biddlecombe speed of crossword solving, but today must have been and easy one as it was my first “bogger”. I often start the crossword during my mid-morning sit down — today I finished it. If I’m to get into the habit of this, I need to at least half my time for the sake of pins and needles…

  6. This was my fastest solve ever I think at about 11 minutes, 45 is more normal for me. Luckily I already knew Bushido and De Trop that others seemed to choke on.


  7. This was on the easy side – even for me – but still only the seven “easies” omitted from the blog. It might have been easy but it was entertaining so it is perhaps fun to expound on the wordplay?

    Here they are:

    11a Article in the box initially, put back in large container (3)
    V A T. Article = A inside backwards box initially = VT. A heck of a long clue for 3 letters!

    17a (Tin drum isn’t new)* – exchanged for oboe, say (4,10)
    WIND INSTRUMENT. In which new is part of the anagrist and not the anagrind.

    21a Type of music featured in paper and magazine in US (7)

    22a Put one’s trust in noble aboard (5,2)

    1d (Gun I fire)*, shattering small statue (8)

    16d Reacts to 15 and fails to meet (6,2)

    18d Vessel, one rather like tramp (7)
    DRIFTER. A fishing vessel that is a passive trawler and not like a tramps steamer at all?

Comments are closed.