23744 – cold and hot

Solving time: 41 mins

It felt pretty quick this morning. I got the two long ones straight away – it helps when that happens. There were a couple of bits I needed to look up after completing, but it was all quite doable.

Music of the day: a clip of Anton Karas playing his zither.


1 LO(C,H)AN – a lochan, as you might expect, is a small lochan. This was the first to go in, thanks to last Monday’s piped water clue that I didn’t understand at the time.
4 O,BD,[c]URACY – BD=Bachelor of Divinity
11 A,LIE,N – LIE=invention held in A and N(ew).
13 E,LE(VAT)E – E=English; LEE=General as in Robert E Lee, a general in the American Civil War – the first general I think of nowadays.
14 A(D,E)PT – D and E are examples of musical keys, I think.
15 COAL HOLE – COAL=”Cole” Porter. A nut (or chestnut) coal is a small piece of coal – I had to look this up after solving.
18 REV,E(ILL)E – EE=endlessly keen.
23 RE,CLAIM – RE=Royal Engineers. A mining claim is hat portion of the public mineral lands which a miner, for mining purposes, takes and holds in accordance with mining laws. I had to look that up, too – never come across before.
25 ORTOLAN – hidden word. I don’t think I knew that a bunting was a bird.
28 COGITATE – CO=fellow, GI=soldier, TE=note about AT=”army troops” possibly. But I’m not sure.
29 CHASER – Yellow-Dog Dingo is a Rudyard Kipling character who did some chasing.


1 LIB,ERI(A)N – if the ‘once’ refers to politician, I am sure my grandfather would disagree.
3 APPOINTEE=”a point Es” or something – I don’t think I’ve quite got it.
7 ABIGAIL=”abbey gale” – an abigail is a lady’s waiting maid. I actually looked this up yesterday, after someone played it in a game of Scrabble. I thought that’ll probably come up in a crossword soon!
8 YONDER- anag of ‘not ready’ -TA
16 HAL(FT)RUTH – FT is the Financial Times.
17 REIN,DEER=Reed reversed. Carol Reed is most famous for directing The Third Man.
21 CELEB(E)S – Sulawesi, the island of Indonesia, was once called Celebes. I had heard both names but couldn’t tell you where they were or that they were the same place.
22 FROLIC – L=learner and 1 in FROC[k]
24 A,R,GOT

17 comments on “23744 – cold and hot”

      1. Definitely I was, I see it now.

        “Once” is presumably because they are now Liberal Democrats.

        I found today’s a real toughie.

  1. 5:42 – mentally justified the old standby abigail as “a big gale”, but I think your version is right.
  2. After 10 minutes I’d only got 5 or so answers and thought I was in for a real struggle. Paused for half an hour and came back to it, and filled in the rest in another 10 minutes.
  3. I think the reading in 28 ac must be CO=fellow plus GI=soldier plus TE=note about (i.e. surrounding) TA=territorial army.

    I agree that in 1dn LIB=politician once (on the basis that the Libs were previously known as Lib Dems) must be the right reading given that ERIAN clearly provides “area in Ireland”. Can’t see how BERIA, who was anyway a particularly murderous secret policeman rather than a politician, could fit in.

    1. .. although Beria was also a politician latterly, setting a trend in that part of the world for nasty ex-secret policemen
      (ooh, bit of political controversy – where’s the colonel ..)
  4. A rare sub-10 for me, coming in at just over 8 minutes. I agonised over 9 down because, although I was almost sure it was FIFTH, a nagging voice in my head kept telling me that SIXTH would also fit.
    Last to go in was CELEBES – never heard of it or Sulawesi, but the word play and checkers enabled me to guess correctly. I would never have worked out the wordplay to 4 ac, so thanks to Foggy for that. By way of support for Anax’s suggestion (elsewhere), my “clue of the day” is 22dn ;o)
  5. To use a golfing term, I was due a bad round and I made a complete mess of this one, coming to it late in the day. I couldn’t see 1 down until I remembered ERIN = Ireland, I looked at 25 across until I was cross eyed and suddenly saw BUNTING = bird and Dancer at 17 down really had me going. Nearly an hour to solve. My nomination for clue of the day, 4 across. Jimbo.
  6. Slow start for me too, entered the last answer on a third sitting, probably 25 minutes physical time surrounded by four hours of real time. Another crossword I liked, where words I was not familiar with (celebes, abigail, fifth columnist) could be deduced by the wordplay. Ortolan was well hidden, and I was thinking of the other definition of “bunting” for a while.

    I finally remembered bunting can be a bird from the old nursery rhyme (bye baby bunting, daddy’s gone a hunting…)

  7. Are we nominating a clue of the day now? Must have missed that. I would nominate 17D today.

    I must remember to nominate 5D when Saturday prize puzzle 23743 is blogged. I thought we were in Private Eye crossword territory for a moment and I can’t believe it wasn’t intentional on the setter’s part.

    1. You’ve got a dirty mind ;^D

      I’ll definitely be “dealing with” both interpretations when I write it up!

      As for today’s, my experience was very similar to Anax’s – I looked at it on the train for 10 minutes or so and only got 5 or 6 clues, then had another go at it at lunchtime and polished it off fairly quickly.

  8. I was quite slow today. Didn’t see capital D ‘Dancer’ for the longest time, and the ‘once’ in 1D threw me. I’ve seen Lib used plenty without the need for ‘once’.

    But a fun puzzle, really!

  9. 9:05 for me. I spent far too long trying to think of a dancer who would fit 17D; and I’d forgotten about Sulawesi – though it sounded reasonably familiar once I’d thought of CELEBES.

    My nomination for clue of the day is 4A: a good surface reading which neatly concealed the wordplay.

  10. Not heard of Celebes (now Sulawesi in newspeak)? Twas my favourite island when Atlas Gazing in my youth. Such an interesting shape.

    There are 8 “easies” in this, my penultimate puzzle in a year of blog completion:

    10a Writer’s position at end of dance (9)

    12a Pragmatic type working (as tiler)* (7)

    20a Left university career oddly showing monetary gain (5)
    L U C (a) R (e) E (r)

    26a Prone, possibly, to be mendacious (5)

    27a Not even unfair ignoring it (9)
    INEQU (it) ABLE

    2d Students swap fake finally for a work of art (7)
    COLL (e) A GE

    6d High-class pundit’s employment (5)
    U SAGE. I have difficulty equating SAGE with PUNDIT as I watch and listen to a lot of ex-footballers who are PUNDITS but not at all SAGE-like?

    19a Attractive female’s rejected craftwork (7)
    (f) ETCHING

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