23,700 – The Cat’s Pyjamas

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
A relatively quick solve – and I learned a new word – Newfie. Solving time – 7m32s


3 CARPET MOTH – Axminster was a giveaway, making this an easy first answer to enter into the grid

10 E-N(DG)AME – DG=deo gratias (by the grace of God), and Endgame was a typical one-act play written by Samuel Beckett, published in 1957

12 THREE ME IN A BOAT – (one team in the bar)* – Jerome K Jerome book which includes probably my favourite passage from English literature

13 A-V(1)ARY


17 PUMP IRON – liked this clue!

18 MYSORE – a city in Southern India

21 CHARLES DE GAULLE – CHAR + (eludes legal)* – this was one of those clues where you enter the answer without even thinking, the wordplay was almost superfluous

23 DIG-AM(MA = AM<=) – a rarely-used Greek letter



1 BEE-F(a)T(h)E(r)-A

2 MODERNISM – (Mme Rodin’s)*

5 PUBLICAN – double definition

6 THE CAT’S PYJAMAS – good misleading clue, with “real gem” as the definition




16 COXSWAIN – Homophone of COCK’S + WAIN – the coxswain on a boat would be one over the eight, assuming it was the coxed eight that was racing, of course.

17 PICA-DO-(cor)R(ida) – a good & lit. clue, as a picador performs in a corrida (bullfight)

19 E(VE)NTER – referring to Victory in Europe (as in VE Day)

20 NEW-FIE – a resident of Newfoundland

12 comments on “23,700 – The Cat’s Pyjamas”

  1. Just under 20 minutes (let’s call it 19) but didn’t get NEWFIE; also wasted 5 minutes or so in needless word blindness at DIGAMMA.
    As yesterday’s birthday boy I received the unwelcome gift of failing to spot the simple MELODIST / OLD TIMES ‘gram and rather hoped I might make amends today.
    I didn’t.
  2. I completed about two-thirds in under 10 minutes but struggled with the rest of it and ran out of time so resorted to a dictionary and solver.

    The ones that foxed me were PICADOR (didn’t know “corrida” but solved the clue immediately I looked up its meaning), DIGAMMA (a Greek letter I have lived for 60 years without meeting before, or if I have I had forgotten it), NEWFIE (never heard of this abbreviation), MYSORE (on the tip of my tongue but couldn’t think of it), CAREER DIPLOMAT, EVENTER and COXSWAIN (no excuses for not getting these three).

  3. Found this pretty straightfoward at 5:26. 1A went in immediately,as did the CARPET half of 3, though the two long downs took a little while.

    Not too impressed by 25A on a second look. When reading for high-speed solving, O in trendiest* was obvious, but when reading carefully, would “with X frames” ever mean “inside X” outside xwds? “frame” or “framing” seem to work better.

    DIGAMMA: it’s an obsolete Gk letter – in which category watch out for koppa, sampi and san too.

    Must admit to wondering exactly which part of 3MIAB David is referring to. As it’s now public-domain, you can read the book for free on various web-sites, along with the sequel Three Men on the Bummel which I like just as much.

    Jason on footwear: ‘pumps’ was Northern slang for plimsolls – I can imagine it being used for trainers these days.

    1. I’m not sure about PUMP / TRAINER either. For me, pumps are a very particular footwear design; usually thin-soled, strictly slip-on, elasticated – essential garb for use in the school gym where, indeed, trainers were definitely
  4. Took me 11.33. AVIARY and CAREER DIPLOMAT were the main ones holding me up, with ___LIMIT looking tempting for the latter given the word ‘end’ in the clue. I think I have had problems with the word “DIPLOMAT” before – it’s an unusual letter structure. Hopefully the fact that I am technically becoming one (although not a career one) next month will help in future. I didn’t understand the wordplay for OUTDO for quite a while after filling it in, and began to wonder if it should be OUTGO. My best friend at prep school, however, was a NEWFIE, so at least that one didn’t hold me up. He used to tell a large range of Newfie jokes (the Canadian equivalent of Irish jokes in the UK), although I suspect such jokes are now on the way out in both countries! Jason J
  5. Actually what I forgot to say is that I was very doubtful about ‘Trainer’ being a synonym for “PUMP”. They are both types of shoe, but as far as I can tell they are very different. Can anyone find a justification? Jason
  6. oops – accidently hit a “done” button somehow…

    …trainers were definitely NOT allowed.

    Trainers are never slip-on – mostly laces, sometimes Velcro fastening.

    Having said all that, the distinction didn’t hold me up during solving.

  7. Took ages to see this one and it was last to go in. I suppose it’s a sign of the times that a more common alternative to describe something of real merit would be ‘the dog’s b*******’
  8. another fast solve at 26′ — so, all in all, a quick week. wondered too about OUTDO wordplay while solving and put in THE CAT’S PAJAMAS at first (being American — which meant that NEWFIE wasn’t new for me).

    Waiting impatiently for David’s fav passage in TMIAB.

  9. As requested, the passage I referred to in the blog is:

    “It always does seem to me that I am doing more work than I should do. It
    is not that I object to the work, mind you; I like work: it fascinates
    me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me: the
    idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart.

    You cannot give me too much work; to accumulate work has almost become a
    passion with me: my study is so full of it now, that there is hardly an
    inch of room for any more. I shall have to throw out a wing soon.

    And I am careful of my work, too. Why, some of the work that I have by
    me now has been in my possession for years and years, and there isn’t a
    finger-mark on it. I take a great pride in my work; I take it down now
    and then and dust it. No man keeps his work in a better state of
    preservation than I do.

    But, though I crave for work, I still like to be fair. I do not ask for
    more than my proper share.

    But I get it without asking for it – at least, so it appears to me – and
    this worries me.

    George says he does not think I need trouble myself on the subject. He
    thinks it is only my over-scrupulous nature that makes me fear I am
    having more than my due; and that, as a matter of fact, I don’t have half
    as much as I ought. But I expect he only says this to comfort me.”

  10. I always thought that “pumps” for “gym shoe” was a silly term and tried to avoid using it. Having said that – with the modern trend for ridiculous branded and very expensive trainers – I am tempted to reintroduce it.

    There are 7 easies not in the blog:

    1a Stuck in alBUM, Photographs are striking (4)

    11a Complainer collected pounds in (rebate)* as arranged (7)

    25a Optimist’s spectacles are round with (trendiest)* flexible frames (4,6)

    26a Nothing comes from disturbances recurring in prison (4)
    STIR. RI (0) TS backwards losing the 0 = nothing.

    4d Exam everyone’s taken in later part of day (1,5)
    A L EVE L. Is EVE later part of day or the night before?

    7d Overtake old couple climbing over summit of tor (5)
    OU T DO. The O(ld) DUO go upside-down over (T)or.

    22d Soldier submerged by rising tide needing protection (5)
    AE GI S. A GI inside a rising SEA.

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