23660 – Our Father’s Lift

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 33:40 (recording seconds as well now!)

I found this pretty straightforward – lots of fun clues and interesting wordplay, but nothing too difficult.
New things: marge=margin, ‘Beau’ Nash; lift=paternoster
Favourite clue: 16D, the clue made me laugh – the answer itself is also a very funny word!


1 VIGESIMAL; anag of “I’m galvanised”-short: a word I was familiar with from past reading on the history of maths. Because a human has ten fingers and ten toes, this was a popular numeration system in many ancient cultures – probably why we still have the word score today. For example, the Aztecs used a vigesimal system with special characters e.g. a dot for 1, a hatchet for 20, a bird’s feather for 400, etc.
6 GNASH=”Nash” – I wasn’t familiar with Beau Nash, who I presume is being referenced here. But shouldn’t beau be capitalised in the clue?
17 PATERNOSTER; anag of ‘toes partner’ – I knew the other usual meaning of this – but had not come across the lift before.
22 BL1(rev of one pound),MP – I didn’t know that that provost=military policeman(MP). I saw The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp for the first time last year – superb film, definitely up there with my best cinema experiences.
24 E(PI)GRAM; PI(ous) in rev of MARGE – marge is apparently a poetic form of margin – I didn’t know that but I did know that a gnome is rarely a mythical little man in crosswords.


5 LAC – another numerical word – I am more familiar with the spelling LAKH, but reckoned it was the same thing. It is mainly used in English articles written for Indian audiences, such as this recent headline: Potter makes history; 1.7 lakh copies sell on day one. I didn’t know the other meaning of lac, though – but guessed it probably had something to do with lacquer.
8 HONEYTRAP; HONE+rev of PARTY. I thought of this straight away but left it a while – I didn’t make the link between do and party – it was well disguised for me.
13 PAINTED LADY: the butterfly – I came across a very similar clue somewhere else this weekend.
19 BRITISH – I wasn’t sure about the wordplay here – I think I convinced myself it was just referring to BR being both British and brother.
23 PRESS – I wasn’t sure about this at first; I guess it is just a quadruple definition!

12 comments on “23660 – Our Father’s Lift”

  1. I really enjoyed this one with its lively and entertaining clues but 1A completely stumped me as I didn’t know the word and was unable to work out which letters to leave out for the anagram. I guessed LAC for 5D but couldn’t explain it so I wasn’t quite sure of the last checked letter in 1A. which didn’t help matters.
    1. 1 ac – you omit “and” (the clue says “and short”) from anag. of “I’m galvanised”
  2. This was one of those ones to strike panic into any solver, I think. I often go for the three-letter ones to start with, but I didn’t know either of those meanings of LAC (although was able to guess at the insect-related one once I had both checking letters!). I was worried I had misspelled VIGESIMAL, because it wasn’t that obvious which letters to leave out, as noted above. 1D was clever, and I found 10A tricky too. I had BOOBYTRAP in my mind (though not typed in) for 8D for quite a while, and didn’t see the wordplay for 28A until after I had finished, although I took a chance with it. I am happy to say I had heard of PATERNOSTER as a lift (in a crossword of course, not in real life), and my frequent trips to Paternoster Square in London may have helped too. I was a bit unhappy with 19D, which was presumably just a matter of contracting “Brother” down to “Br” and then re-expanding this to “British”. But again, I couldn’t see any alternative, so put it in anyway. Time – 13:40 (I have taken Peter’s advice and adjusted my clock to include seconds, though I’m afraid I still have a rounded score for last Saturday). Jason J
    1. I think Peter’s cryptic RTC contest will encourage me to be less cavalier when solving, though this was of mixed benefit today. I carefully checked VIGESIMAL, which was not my first attempt, but then wasted over a minute at the end trying to justify BRITISH and looking for alternatives (still didn’t get it until reading Jason’s comment above). So a could-have-been-better 8:56, but at least no mistakes.
  3. Two problems with order of I and E, plus some carelessness. First, wrote in TOLKEIN rather than TOLKIEN initially at 18, though corrected it later.
    Then rushed into writing VEGESIMAL for 1A – very sloppy. Then my first correction on a later look after stopping the clock was VEGI- rather than VIGE-. All very annoying when there are words like ‘vingt’ to give you the right hint if you think carefully. So 12:35, one mistake.
  4. I found this a fairly easy start to the week apart from VIGESIMAL and LAC, neither of which I was familiar with, though I think I dimly recall LAC or LAKH in a Listener puzzle and entered LAC as the most likely answer. Like Peter I entered VEGISIMAL, so got that wrong, and like him I also entered TOLKEIN initially, which delayed me with EPIGRAM.
  5. Aargh! I was feeling very tired when I did this one, and made heavy weather of a lot of it, though finished quite briskly. However, I obviously didn’t check carefully enough before I clicked my stopwatch since I found when I was transcribing my answers ready to check them tomorrow that I’d typed GARABALDI – my second mistake this year. (I usually find that about half my mistakes are down to ignorance and about half down to stupidity/carelessness – so that’s now one apiece. Thank goodness it’s only RTC and not the Championship!)

    Was anyone else worried by 11A (Abrogration, not a revolt)? I assume the answer to this is REPEL (unless I’ve screwed up twice), but I’m not sure how to square that with “revolt”. Now if the answer had been REBEL …

    (Probably missing something obvious. Feeling v. tired, as I said.)

    PS: I don’t think “beau” in 6A needs to have a capital B, since Nash was a beau.

    1. 11A – I don’t see a problem with it – repel = revolt in the sense that something that’s repellent is revolting.
      1. Thanks, Andy. Yes, of course (exhaustion must have completely sapped my brain). Time for bed!
        1. Abrogation is repeal. Without a (“not a”) that’s repel.

          Nobody will ever see this comment cos I’m writing it so late. Oh well.


  6. Was 25dn (“Count up characters here”) “mus” = ‘sum’ rev.? I thought ‘characters’ was a bit vague, though fair enough.
  7. Despite seeing the clear enough indication to leave AND out of the anagram of I’M GALVANISED at 1ac, I still managed to get the E and I the wrong way round to get VEGISIMAL. There has been much discussion in this forum about not using anagrams to clue obscure words but this one seems to have escaped attention. At least making the same mistake as our illustrious founder is compensation enough!

    A Rugby League side of “easies” in this one:

    9a Refined , but not grand, weapon (7)
    CUT (g) LASS

    11a Abrogation, not a revolt (5)
    REPE (a) L

    14a Stop to refuel where orchestra plays (3)

    15a (Given a stern)* struggle, one of 28? (7,4)

    19a Roll Baked And Prepared foor starters (3)

    27a Chap’s energy goes into building (5)
    MAN’S E

    2d If you want a cup of tea – run down (2,2,3)

    4d Young lady, given gravy jug, can’t grab it quick enough (4,3,4)

    6d Eat too much, and drink up last of wine (5)
    GORG E. Grog backwards followed by (win)E.

    7d Firm’s advertisement attracting a male worker (7)
    AD A M ANT

    18d (Not like)* fanciful writer (7)
    TOLKIEN. Nice choice of anagrind there.

    21d Blood all round scratch initially produced by this prickly shrub (5)
    GOR S E. A dense prickly shrub with attractive yellow flowers that occurs on sandy soils and that likes to eat golf balls.

    25d Count up characters here (3)
    MUS. As in the Greek double M.

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