23,694 – Showboating

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Nothing too challenging today – a couple of unusual words that were
easy to guess from the wordplay.

Solving time – 8m22s


1 SHOW-B(lue)OAT – The word length for this should have been (4,4) rather than (8). Both Wikipedia and imdb.com back me up that the title of the musical (and the three films based on it) is SHOW BOAT.


10 WA(F)T – referring to Wat Tyler


13 MIG-NO-N – MIG refers to the Russian fighter plane, and MIGNON is a poem and character in a Goethe novel, Wilhelm Meister (I didn’t understand the ‘poem’ reference until seeing the comments.)



16 S(CUT)AGE – guessed this from the wordplay

22 UNREEL – homophone of UNREAL


26 ARCHNESS – (NHS care)*-S

27 ENGENDER – END in (green)*


2 HEAD GIRL – HEAD – G(irl)I-R,L – Took me a while to see “direct ball” = HEAD, but once I got it, the rest was obvious


6 JA(R-GO)N – I don’t have time to work out whether JAN is midwinter, so I’ll accept it

7 FA(W)N

8 NEW STYLE – N-(sweetly)* – relating to the Gregorian rather than Julian calendar


17 C-HUGGING – I work for a charity, so this came immediately

18 GREAT APE – (gear)*-TAPE


11 comments on “23,694 – Showboating”

  1. The rare luxury of a leisurely gut-busting fry-up at a cafe in Stockport this morning must have been beneficial – breezed through this puzzle in 7.45(ish).
    Had never heard of the 16A answer but wordplay was explicit enough to remove doubt. Along with the less than familiar definition at 17D, these were the last two to go in.
  2. Cricket and plants are blind-spots, but I don’t expect to be beaten by literary references in the Times. I have read Young Werther, but not Wilhelm Meister, and so I had no idea it had a character called MIGNON. Yes, I should have been able to get it from the wordplay, but I didn’t.

    Good puzzle otherwise. I wonder if this is the first time CHUGGING has appeared in its new sense?

    1. MIGNON (correct) blows my solving time out of the water as I entered FINNON – a bit of a guess (my literary knowledge wavers scarily beyond, e.g., James Herbert) and it seemed to vaguely tie in with the wordplay. Perhaps an early cholesterol OD isn’t the best course after all.
  3. with ?i?n?n I took a wild guess at MIGNON since the wordplay worked — my only association is that it’s French for cute (I think). I guess must have shown up in Goethe somewhere or other.

    ANyway, almost sub-30′ again — ok, sub-40′.

  4. I took 8:55, with a minute or so at the end to find (from wordplay) MIGNON, who’s new to me too. Puzzled by “in Goethe’s poem” as Wilhem Meister turned out to be a novel, but further Googling located a page saying “This universally known poem is also to be found in Wilhelm Meister”.
    1. Well that was the one I couldn’t find!
      “Universally known poem”? Made me smile.
  5. Again it’s some hours since I did the puzzle, so I’ve forgotten the details, but I remember thinking it was a good one with some tough but fair clues. I managed MIGNON all right, although not because I know any Goethe. Like ilanc, I knew it as French for “cute”, but I also knew it as the title of one of the pieces in Schumann’s Album for the Young, which made it seem more plausible that it referred to a poem or character. Took me 11:10. Jason J
  6. I put ENGINEER in at 27 ac without stopping to check the wordplay – “cause” seemed to work OK as a definition, and I just thought “anagram of GREEN and something” and moved on… My second mistake this week.


  7. I worked out archness from the wordplay but can’t work out the def. – to me it means flippancy. Can anyone explain please? Thanks.


  8. OED has a nice explanation. First “arch” meant prime, or main, as in arch-enemy, archdeacon, etc. It has this to say about its second meaning:
    2. [Arising from prec. sense, in connexion with wag, knave, rogue, hence with fellow, face, look, reply, etc.] Clever, cunning, crafty, roguish, waggish. Now usually of women and children, and esp. of their facial expression: Slily saucy, pleasantly mischievous.
    I like “slily saucy”.
  9. 13a I have never read Goethe but I’ve had the steak.

    Seven “easies” not in this blog:

    20a Friendly hint (8)
    INTIMATE. This took me ages to see – double defs are not my favourite.

    25a I am a leader of Muslims (4)
    I’M A M. & Lit.

    4d General principles not in actor’s text (8)

    5d Not extravagant disagreement, in your case (7)

    15d The scalp, it may appear, is tough (8)
    SKINHEAD. No bovver with that one?

    21d Girl’s three articles (6)
    AN THE A

    24d Blind group that operate computers (4)

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