23,692 – easy enough

Solving time 6:20

Started this at high speed, filling in most of the NW and hoping for a clean sweep until I got to 6D, where I (a) looked for “catches up” to match ???S rather than the correct ????S, and (b) expected to find an answer like retiarius – a type of gladiator – rather than the name of a particular gladiator. Slowed down considerably for the bottom half, with 16, 20, 21, 28 and 17 the last few answers to go in. 28 and 17 both included number references to other clues, which were messed up in the web version as noted in the comments. I’ll blame that for about 15 secs or so.

9 ET = “in France, and”,NA = “not” in Scotland
13 (Br.)ECHT
16 C,HUBBY – nice surface tie-in with “his wife could eat no lean”
18 B(R)UT,A(nima)L – &lit., as noted in comments
22 SCAM(p)
24 I DEAL,I STIC(k) (‘stick’ as in pontoon, the same as ‘stand’ in blackjack)
28 INTO – just four (letters) out of badmINTOn
29 S,ART,R.E.=Religious Education
30 MA(HOGAN)Y – it’s fairly easy to deduce that a hogan is a (Navajo) log hut given the fairly routine hawthorn = may and hence MA?????Y or M?????AY.
4 GROW,L=fifth in trawLers
5 RID(e)
6 SPART=traps rev.,A,CUS(p) – he was a gladiator
7 WATT,EAU – Clever surface as Giverny is where Monet painted those water lilies. Unnecessary knowledge for solving purposes as long as you can guess what country it’s in.
17 BAD,MINTON = a type of 23=CHINA. But the ‘perhaps’ is a bit puzzling on reflection. “Minton, perhaps” would be a strictly fair def. by example for China, but the “perhaps” in “China, perhaps” seems unnecessary for “a type of china”.
21 BU(S,KIN)G – error = bug
25 L,(b)EECH
27 fOrHoMe

12 comments on “23,692 – easy enough”

  1. A lot easier than yesterday (a supersonic sub-30′ for me). I assume that 18 was meant to an &lit but it feels a bit brutal. Nice being familiar with all the words.
  2. An unusually fast 11 minutes for me.

    I groaned when I first saw the linked clues at 23D,17D and 28A – especially as the numbers are (still) represented as words in the online version – but I got 23D, and only worked out the reference in 17D after filling in the answer. 28A followed nicely after that.


  3. Never having come across Minton or hogan before, I had to guess both 30a and 17d, but there was no great difficulty (except in remembering how to spell mahogany) there – also, I didn’t know ‘echt’ was an English word, but from my German studies it wasn’t hard to make the leap. I thought 11a was quite poor – what exactly was the surface supposed to suggest, other than speed cameras? – and 16a a little cluttered. My favourite today was 24a, which was a very nice idea.
  4. Being jetlagged I was too early a bird for this blog when I did the puzzle, so have now largely forgotten about it – any chance the template can be put up the night before? The only thing I can remember was that I managed it in just under 5 mins, which makes it one of the easiest ones for some time. Jason J
  5. You’ve been asking for more comments from non-speedsters. I found this easy and did it in 22 mins. Anything under 30 mins is really good for me, under 15 mins only a few times ever. Hard ones like yesterday I can’t do in a single sitting (although I did finish in the end). Last to go in today were 15d and 24a. Favorite clue was 9ac where it was nice to discover that the mountain was actually in Italy.


  6. Yes, easy enough except I ended up stuck on 26A having got and deduced ?i?e?nhole. I just didn’t see “pigeonhole” and had to use a solver to finish it off. Hangs head in shame!
  7. This was fairly easy for me, just over 30 mins. Like mauefw, Minton and hogan were both new to me. I have seen the same clue for ‘echt’ a couple of times before.
    Top half was quicker – I finished off with PIGEONHOLE and SARTRE.
    During a university lecture on combinatorics, we were looking at the pigeonhole principle. I noticed that the foreign student next to me was not making many notes – all he had on his notepad at the end of the hour were the words “pigeon holding” – I have laughed about that ever since!
  8. I plodded my way through this straight forward one in just over twenty minutes. I thought 10ac and 11ac too easy but liked 7 down and 18 across. Luckily had come across “echt” before. Jimbo
  9. 7:30
    …or thereabouts – by far my quickest over the past week or so. Most answers fell into place very quickly and I too entered PIGEONHOLE last.
    Given the very obvious construction at 15d D+ALLIANCE, thought it was clued rather nicely.
  10. When a puzzle is deemed to be on the easy side there are more omissions from the blog. This is such a one:

    1a Risk hostility following goal (8)

    10a Paintings that are experienced in school? (3,7)

    11a Flashily ignoring this may gain you points – seventy, at most (5,5)
    SPEED LIMIT. Max speed limit = 70 (mph)shows this is a UK puzzle as it is not 55 (mph) USA nor 120 (kph) RSA.

    14a Having several patches (aids crop)* rotation? (8)

    20a One meddling group of industry (8)

    26a Recess in loft wherin one may put post (10)

    28a Showing enthuiasm for just 4 of 17 (4)
    INTO. 17d is badmINTOn.

    2d Whereon Handel may have written a version of (Partenope)* (9)
    NOTEPAPER. Partenope or Parthenope was one of the Sirens in Greek Mythology and, indeed, an opera by GF Handel – top GK setter!

    8d Make alterations to (right)* waist measurement (5)

    12d Disturbing horse cut by hansom, perhaps (7)

    19d Temperature unusually set for rough weather (7)

    23d Church in area such as Dresden, perhaps (5)
    CH IN A. Hooray – no mention of the CRS pal nor mate.

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