23,673 – Mind games

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Mostly straightforward but 28A,29A and 17D provided something of a sting in the tail and cost me an irksome couple of minutes. The sort of puzzle that I look at after solving and ask myself why certain clues took me so long to get as the answers seemed so obvious. 

Solving time: 14:38 

1 P in SA,RED – briefly considered DER for “communist backing”.
10 (PARENT)* – ENRAPT. “Send” can be a slang term meaning to thrill or rouse into a state of ecstasy; for me, it’s a usage that I don’t think I’ve seen outside of a crossword (so I’ll sit back and wait for the comments quoting well-known examples of it now).
11 THROUGHOUT – “threw out”
13 alternate letters of ChAiRmEn.
14 AS,IS – “a ziz”. I had no idea that “ziz” (or “zizz”) was a dictionary word so I filled this in thinking it was a weak homophone on “zzz”.
20 BALT(i)
21 AD,AD< – the possible origins of the word DADA are interesting: one theory is that “da da” meaning “yes yes” in Romanian is the equivalent of the sarcastic English phrase “yeah right”.
28 W,NAY,ELSE – WESLEYAN. Toughest clue of the puzzle for me and the last one to go in. NAY ELSE for “no different” was a particularly difficult spot and on my first reading I thought that “Nonconformist originally” was going to be N. John Wesley  founded the Methodist movement.
29 MINIM,A – another tricky one as you have to spot that the natural-sounding “bar area” is two separate elements of wordplay
2 PUR(e)CHASER – only just worked out the wordplay here. It was the “short neat” bit that had me going.
6 W in SEE THE ARTS – excellent clue with a great surface. Picking out the definition from “Loves to visit…” is tricky.
7 MOROCCO – a type of goatskin leather, as well as a country.
17 MAN in (SIMPLE)* – I thought I was in trouble when I had this and 28A left as I couldn’t see an obvious answer for either of them. The wordplay for this was clear enough – I ruled out F for “fellow” as I had an A filled in and felt sure that had to come from MAN – so with P?LMANI?M, PELMANISM was the only realistic answer. As well as a card-game  it’s also a system of mind-training to improve the memory.
19 SCAN,LAD (going up) – what you might read in the RED TOPS.
20 B,URGE,ON – I’ve never seen “crust” to indicate the first letter of a word before but I think it’s fair enough and works perfectly in this clue.
24 DI(sh),GIN

12 comments on “23,673 – Mind games”

  1. 8:40 for this. Pretty well in the middle of the range for difficulty, I think. Numbers in clues again: the online version had 3 rather than three in 19D. Should have been a bit quicker – when I couldn’t see the anag. at 9, I deleted the letters of oil to see what was left, but actually deleted ‘oic’.
  2. About 30 minutes which is almost as quick as I get, so it seemed fairly straightforward. Only one word I didn’t know, CASEMATE, but it was easy enough to work out from the clue. I sniffed a bit at AS IS but on reflection it’s rather a good one.
  3. 15:48 for me (although I am not entirely sure I noted my start time correctly) and an enjoyable puzzle. I liked “Do without” for GARDEN
    PARTY, which I don’t think I’ve seen before (maybe “Outdo?” for BARBECUE or something similar though). I didn’t know PELMANISM, and it was the last to go in. CASEMATE also had me thinking COXXXXXX for a while. I started on 27D by typing in STY, but didn’t find it convincing. Nevertheless it took a whole to see RAM. 29A was also tricky until I had MXNXXX. Jason J
  4. At least 50 years ago Rosemary Clooney had a minor hit with a ghastly song ‘My Baby Sends Me (Right from Head to Toe)’
    1. or as sung by Sam Cook, also 50 years ago:

      Darling you send me
      I know you send me
      Darling you send me
      Honest you do, honest you do
      Honest you do, whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

      You have to hear the first three yous lasting for several beats.

    1. Yes it is. “Armed troops” is the definition; “search” means RIFLE; “river” is R; and “with police protection” means that the R is surrounded by COPS.
  5. 28:40 for me, mainly due to putting in RIFLE FORCE at 15, and thinking 29 might be MANANA (i.e. the common sign in pubs “Free Beer Tomorrow”), which almost led me to invent a new card game called “COLLATION”, but luckily I persevered. Took me 15 minutes to unravel those last three – the rest was pretty straightforward.
    1. Wow 28:40 – exact same time here. I got the feeling this puzzle was well suited to me as I rattled through it over breakfast. I came to a stop at the corner with PELMANISM/BALT/BURGEON/MINIMA – I played with the letters of SIMPLE around MAN, looking for the most likely construction and then the rest fell into place.

      I wasn’t sure about the meaning of SENT or how “AS IS” sounded like sleep, so thanks to those explaining all this.

  6. The bottom row today was an utter disaster. Nearly finished in 8 or so, but then I just couldn’t get WESLEYAN from ?E?L?Y?N. Determined to have an error-free week I decided to leave the clock running but put it down & do something else. This did the trick, I finally got it after 28:17 but totally forgot to check ‘minims’ at 29ac. Very frustrating after a decent start to the week with Saturday’s hard puzzle.
  7. These days I look at practically every puzzle after solving and wonder why some of the clues took me so long. (Sigh!) Today wasn’t a total disaster (9:17), but I was far slower than I should have been with SWEETHEARTS and RAM. A very nice puzzle though.
  8. Approximately half of the puzzle omitted from the blog here with 14 “easies”:

    5a Fellow lawyer in part of fortress (8)
    CASE MATE. Not a commonly known word?

    15a Armed troops search river with police protection (5,5)

    18a Who might have unlimited opportunities to acquire gold? (10)

    23a The ordinary man in the street? (10)

    25a Girl’s carrying antique container (6)
    H OLD ER

    26a Going round forest soldier planted a tree (8)

    3d What do United players wear at Old Trafford? Rags? (3,4)

    4d Scheduled for radio, old entertainers such as Eric and Ernie (3)
    DU O(ld). Wow, what a huge clue for a 3 letter answer.

    5d ChanCELLOr’s concealed big fiddle? (5)

    8d Animal one caught in nasty trap (5)
    TAP 1 R

    12d Do without? (6,5)
    GARDEN PARTY. A concise clue – see 4 down.

    16d Attractive suit (3)
    FIT. Much better.

    22d Make amends quite early in the day (5)
    AT ONE

    27d There’s little room to accomodate a farm animal (3)
    R A M

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