23632 – 2ing my 1A

Solving time 12:00

This felt a slightly better solving performance than a couple of recent slow times, but maybe Tony will be along later to say that he took 9 minutes. There are lots of very cleverly constructed clues here, so applause to the setter.

4 SPYPLANE – (punning on ‘Snoopy’) though for a while I wanted it to be the Red Baron’s triplane.
9 BI(O)T(E)CH – good stuff as both ‘Lassie, say’ = bitch and the ‘science’ were unexpected words
11 NU=”new”(D.I.)STS
12 OUT,DO – out = blooming, as of a flower I guess
13 REC.,ON FIRM – rec. = Brit colloquial for “recreation ground”
19 D(I,O)R – “Christian healer” was very nicely done.
22 SET-(FIRE)TO – another very well-made clue
23 GN(=NG<=),ASH – ‘grate’ being the def. (US solvers: ‘NG’ = no good (or more often, NBG = no bloody good) is one of those colloquial abbreviations like PDQ or NQOTD.
25 A1(RR=Right Reverend)AGE – ‘air rage’ was new to me but easy enough to work out by analogy with road rage.
27 MA(HJON=John*)G,G
28 DE(RY)CK – a fairly uncommon spelling of the name.
2 B.(OO)S.T. – BST = British Summer Time – our “daylight saving”. “Pair of spectacles” is cricket slang for getting a duck in both innings of a full-length match, so is fairer for OO than the ‘spectacles’ that you see sometimes.
7 A(BSE)ILING – BSE = “Daisy’s illness” gets more applause
8 EP’S,OM=MO<= – Epsom and Ascot are the only two 5-letter racecourses I csn think of, so easy once you find the right kind of course.
10 HARD-BOILED EGG – cryptic definition – you only use ‘soldiers’ (which I think we explained a few weeks ago) with a soft-boiled one.
15 BLOWTORCH – (both cowl, r)*
18 DR.(A)GRACE – more cricket, but at least ‘old cricketer’ is the really famous one.
24 APPLY = like an apple, e.g. a cooker = cooking apple

17 comments on “23632 – 2ing my 1A”

  1. Harder than yesterday. I’m still struggling with 24D — even with A?P?Y I can’t see what works: APPLY could be sue… but the rest?

    19A is pleasantly devious — I love how “Christian healer” must be separated and lifted…

    1. I think APPLY is correct – with the other meaning being “like apples” with cooker refering to a cooking apple.
      Simon Hanson
  2. Will try and drop in here occasionally when I have time. I don’t always time myself for the standard cryptic, but I did today (13′- only to the minute, not the second). Enjoyed it. I liked the DIOR clue (last one to go in), RECONFIRMED and DERYCK. APPLY could be taken to mean “like an apple”, so that’s why it’s a description of a cooker. Cheers, Jason James.
  3. I enjoyed this, some very neat clues like apply, dior, smarm. Shouldn’t “washing” in 26a be “wash?”

    And thanks for the placeholder 🙂

    1. My guess is that {shampoo=washing} is as in “shampoo and set”.

      Placeholders: most of us seem to be using them, so for the dailu puzzles they’re probably here to stay …

      1. I agree with the previous poster; I can’t see how shampoo = washing even with your generous explanation. I think it’s a rotten clue.
        1. More explanation in case it helps: ‘washing’ = an act of washing = the ‘shampoo’ in ‘shampoo and set’.
  4. That’s a French newspaper, so it might be “devoured” in Paris, although probably would only be skimmed through in my case 🙂
  5. I put in BUBBLE BATH for 14 Across. Can anyone explain how this clue works – or tell me what the right answer is if it’s not BUBBLE BATH?


    S Williams

    1. BUBBLE = dome, on the left of BATH = university. “agent foaming” is the def.
  6. I have figaro for clue 21, which is an anagram of
    A frog I … but what’s the definition?
    1. The definition is “devoured in Paris” – Le Figaro is a French newspaper.


  7. While the answer to 21d was obvious, the definition didn’t strike me as sound at all. The name of the newspaper is “Le Figaro”. What’s happened to “Le”? That apart, there were some clever clues, though I, too, had my doubts about shampoo/washing.
    C.O.D. has “make a formal request” for “apply” and “appeal formally to a person for something” for “sue”, so the definition in 24d is justified.
  8. Nothing especially difficult today, although enough to make me feel satisfied at finishing unaided. But I don’t quite understand ‘hobnobbed’ – husband=h obviously, and I assume died=ob (as inobituary?) but ‘nobbed’ confuses me.
    1. Sorry, forgot to put NOBBED = “knobbed” = “with bosses” – the sort of boss you can have on a shield, for example.
  9. To cheer Peter up, I had a terrible day (17:41), finding it difficult to a grip on the SE corner – not helped by parsing 17D wrongly and trying to fit PINE or PANT round some sort of meat to make a fine implement (as used by a surgeon perhaps). I was slow on DIOR as well – a very clever clue.

  10. Baron von Richthofen’s famous plane caused RANIC STATIONS at 5d so I had to take more notice of the rest of the clue! Didn’t Snoopy sit on his kennel and pretend to be the Red Baron in the cartoon strip Peanuts? Double credit for 4a to the Honourable Setter for the literary reference.

    Two handsful of “easies” omitted by our illustrious founder. Some are covered above but there they are all together:

    1a Centre-right is showing over-confidence (6)
    HUB R IS. My fault at 4a perhaps after a surfeit of Biggles?

    14a Dome on University’s left agent foaming (6,4)
    BUBBLE BATH. The BUBBLE (Dome) is left of the BATH (University).

    16a Carribean’s quiet strand (4)
    WI’S P. A hair not a deserted beach on St Marie.

    20a Entitlement that comes with Labour’s last Act? (10)

    26a Drive away carrying a policeman’s washing (7)
    SH A MP OO. Military Policeman in the middle of Shoo!

    3d Reserve dough for cold sweet (3-5)

    5d (Captain isn’t so)* rattled in an emergency (5,8)
    PANIC STATIONS. The end of my Triplane.

    6d One particular quadruPED ANTeater can eat (6)
    PEDANT. Normally hexapods on the menu?

    21d (A frog I)* cooked that’s devoured in Paris (6)
    FIGARO. Escargots and Cuisses de Grenouille didn’t fit so it had to be?

    22 Fawning son’s address to Queen (5)
    S MARM

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