23663 – No time Toulouse

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 14:38

A fast start with the two easy 15-letter downs. Then I slowed myself up pursuing red herrings that probably existed only in my mind.

Four easy but good cryptic definitions at 4, 20 and 25 across, and 5 down.


1 A, M, B, I, T – initial letters
10 DIRAC, being CAR(I)D (all rev)
11 EN(d) BLOC(k) – with “- – /B – O – ” I badly wanted to put in TO BOOT, but managed to restrain myself
12 F AILSA F(eel) E(motionally) – the Ailsa Craig is a big rock in the sea off Ayrshire
14 ENDOSKE + LET ON, ENDOSKE being (DO KNEES)*, and LET ON meaning “reveal” more or less – this took me ages. I was determined that it should be a word cognate with “endoscopy”, persisting in this for far too long after I had the E in seventh place and realised the sixth letter was a K
21 H + EROIC(a)
23 (d)OWNER
24 IRON (= de-crease, ho-ho) + OX + IDE(a) – “lower” meaning something that moos is an old favourite I don’t remember seeing for a long time
26 DRAPE, neddih


1 AC. + CRETE + (settle)D
2 BUSY BO(D)Y – can’t quite get the surface – do engaged lads often have daughters?
4 B + LIP – I really wanted to write in BRIM. Again I managed to curb my urge
6 MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, two meanings – Chambers supports “mediocre” as a definition, though it doesn’t seem right to me. In my head, mediocre means “of poor quality”, while MOTR means something more like “inoffensive”.
19 PIC(k) NIC(e) – I think 11A is more successful in indicating that each of two words is to be truncated

16 comments on “23663 – No time Toulouse”

  1. “do engaged lads often have daughters?”

    Perhaps he goes for the older woman and the daughter is hers.

  2. Well, this was a welcome relief after yesterday’s head-scratcher. DIRAC was new to me and I enjoyed FACE CREAM, but I spent far too long on 13D and very nearly gave up on it being an anagram as I couldn’t see where the J could go! Never thought about sticking it at the start. Otherwise, an enjoyable 20min lunch-break solve.


  3. Forgot to add: are we assuming that 5D is GARBAGE BAG? With only the A provided for checking, would CAN be acceptable?

    I’ve certainly heard ‘trash can’ used, but not sure of the other acceptable uses (and don’t have a dictionary handy to check)


      1. I had CAN and the alternatives never occurred to me, thank goodness. I still think GARBAGE CAN is the most natural phrase.
        1. I had CAN too, although I also thought of BAG. First mistake for a while anyway, as I didn’t manage to curb my urge to write in BRIM! 12:03, with the one error.
  4. 6:33 for me, although I’m assuming GARBAGE CAN is the correct answer. For what it’s worth, if you type GARBAGE??? into Chambers word wizards, it’s the only plausible option that comes up, with neither BAG nor VAN in the running. Lots of straightforward cryptic definitions, although I did hesitate a bit over the DIRAC/SCREAM combination in the corner (I thought Dirac was a mathematician, but apparently not). I was a bit doubtful about the legitimacy of 19D, as noted above, since it only seems to indicate truncating the first of the two words. Jason J
  5. As someone who lives in the US I can safely say it is not VAN. We have garbage trucks, not garbage vans. We do, however, have both cans and bags.


  6. After a week’s trial, I’ve already had enough of this ‘checking answers’ malarky which has only succeeded in wasting time. So I rattled this off in 5:36 but with ‘brim’ for BLIP, taking my total of mistakes for the week to 5. Good effort.
  7. I guess it’s CAN rather than BAG at 5D – Google agrees with my memory that this is the more common version. But for unofficial cryptic RTC purposes, I’ll allow either.

    5:10 for this one.

  8. 9:57 for me – I tackled it shortly after yesterday’s, which perhaps wasn’t such a good idea! I assume it’s CAN (solution still not available), and I thought of TRIM, but fortunately managed to resist putting it in.
  9. Some of the “easies” have been subjects of debate but here they are in their full glory:

    4a Union members enjoying two affiliations (9)

    9a (Mercutio’s)* prepared, fashioned by me (9)

    17a I’d never forget to secure a large animal (8,4)

    20a Passing notice (8)

    25a It should improve the dial tone (4,5)

    5d Refuse to enter this, being American (7,3)

    7d Go away without English subject for painting (6)
    SCR E AM. “Without” can mean ouside as in “without a city wall”.

    8d Fool with straw in mouth? (6)

    13a In (despair, Joe)* beat up menace (10)

    18d Go to work in post office, collecting fines (3,3)
    P OP O FF

    22d A collection of animals, millions, move quickly (4)
    ZOO M

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