23,765 – A tease?

Solving time : 22 minutes. For my first attempt at blogging a solution, I was off to a rough start. Printed off the puzzle after midnight, and after a few minutes all I had filled in was 20ac and I was starting to worry. Slowly the answers came together and in all this was an enjoyable puzzle, several clues with nice deceptive wordplay. COD nod to 16d, a fun double meaning.

1 MEDIA + TORY – MEDIA being TV and radio, and TORY being the politician
10 SHINDIG – Not 100% on this, but I think it’s SH(=be quiet)+IN DIG(s), the latter part referring to the answer to 12ac
11 TEASE – Homophone of the river Tees, cod meaning a jest or a hoax
12 EN PENSION – N+PEN inside NOISE reversed
14 COY – abbreviation for company that I had not encountered before
17 TIGHT+LI(PP)ED – lied being the German “number” as in song
24 PRO+M(IS)E – got hung up for a while by putting “pronoun” in here as a double meaning
26 T(he)+RIFLE+R – also took a while, until I got that T was The – he
28 MA(C)IN+TOSH(=nonsense) – nice clue
2 DIETARY – (I ATE DRY)* – well-hidden anagram
4 OLIVER(=Hardy) TWIST – a novel by Hardy that is not by Hardy
7 T(ODD)IES – laces being ties. Struggled with this
13 PERIPATETIC – (PRECIPITATE)* – an Aristotelian teacher
16 RED+ACTION – definition being “amended written account”, something common on this side of the pond
19 GAL(=Galatians)+I(=single)+LEO(constellation) – nice construction
21 D(AI)RY – figuring this out took care of the original error at 21d

31 comments on “23,765 – A tease?”

  1. I got off to a flying start on this one and wrote in about half the answers on first reading of the clues but it wasn’t to last.

    I was held up a bit in the NE corner where I had SET-?? and thought of UP and ON immediately but TO took a while to come to mind. This held me up solving 8D.

    However the real problem was in the SE where I was stuck on 16D, 19D, 22A and 26A for ages.

    It wasn’t helped by having written NOD for 19A expecting to justify “My” in the clue later on. And if I have ever heard of COLON = currency I had forgotten it.

    All in all I thought it was a very good puzzle in a different way from yesterday’s excellent effort which was fiendish.

  2. 7:09 with a bit of minor help from seeing the subject line when I looked at the ‘November 2007’ page to see if today’s blog was up, before doing the puzzle – suddenly remembered ‘tease’ when staring at 11.

    Lots of good clues here in terms of surface reading if not the fiendishness of yesterday. I liked 9, 28 and 4 among others – I got none of these three on first look.

    I always get peripatetic = teacher the wrong way – in my days at school, music teachers who went from school to school teaching you how to play musical instruments were called ‘peripatetic’.

    One tiny correction: I think 9A is meant to be AD,(I help)* – ‘with’ can indicate combingng stuff in either order. That said, thinking of the whole thing as an anag. still works.

    By the way, George has volunteered for Mephisto blogging so you’ll see him talking about that puzzle every four weeks.

    Edited at 2007-11-22 08:58 am (UTC)

    1. Wasn’t sure about that one when making my post, I figured since “publicity” came after the anagram, it was probably better mixed in with the rest of the anagram, although the letters stay together.
    1. Its two meanings. Gad! is old English for My! and Gad was one of the areas occupied by one of the old tribes of Israel. Jimbo
  3. Finished in 25 minutes, so must be very easy compared with yesterday’s.
    Clues didn’t seem anywhere near so clever.
    Though I liked 4D – it did what the setter wanted and got me listing all the Hardy novels before I realised!
    Don’t understand 19A GAD? either.
  4. Well done glheard. You can relax now! A pleasant, straightforward puzzle with some nice clues, which took me about 40 minutes. Strange to see DIGS again so soon, a word for lodgings I haven’t previously heard for ages. I don’t think any of the clues stand a chance in clue of the week but I’ll go for 16 down as COD. Jimbo.
  5. Most flew in today, in fact I was hoping for a sub-10. However, I got stuck on the same four as jackkt for what seemed an age and eventually came in with a time of 16 mins. Another very enjoyable one today. Lots of entertaining stuff in there. My COD is 7d. I also liked 4d,17a, 26a and 28a.
    Welcome and thanks glheard.
  6. I was hoping not to disgrace myself ahead of my first blog tomorrow, but would someone please explain how DRY = cold storage? And whoever last had the self-kicking boot, could you please have it ready to pass to me next?

      1. In Collins, dry = lacking warmth or emotion, cold – storage is a containment indicator. (Neither of which I really knew when solving.)
      2. Someone else might have a better solution, but one of the points of cold storage is that goods are kept dry. Cold storage can also mean abeyance, maybe it was this definition the setter was angling at?
        1. Thanks, GLH and PB, I thought there might be something in Collins or Chambers but I have no access at work. “In storage” is a good containment indicator. Should have spotted that and thought again.
  7. -I probably should have explained a few clues that seemed obvious to me that wound up being discussed on the board – Gad!

    -It seemed like I was writing a lot of explanation, and when I look back, I analyzed less than half of the clues. I’m going to mark on my crossword which ones to skip next time

    -Doing this at 1am was a bad idea. But will probably be repeated. See you in two weeks, and thanks for the messages of support!

  8. It seems glh, like me, got stuck on COLON – seeing as it isn’t mentioned.
    Still don’t get it – any explanations please?
    1. It’s the monetary unit of Costa Rica and El Salvador. I’d seen it a few times before, and it was a straightforward double meaning, so I didn’t blog it. Sorry.
      1. Ooops – colon = monetary unit of Costa Rica and El Salvador. Wordplay – COLON(y). Not a double meaning (don’t answer comments from memory)
        1. This was the only one I didn’t get – with C?L?N staring me in the face, I couldn’t stop thinking of my own Christian name.
          I enjoyed 26a and 16d particularly – but was 11a a subtle reference from our setter to the clue of the day competition?
          1. 11A: Given what I’ve heard about the time some puzzles spend “in the pipeline”, I would guess that the average Times puzzle is written at least 2 or 3 months before publication, so ‘cod’ in this clue is almost certainly just coincidence.
  9. 26A was the main hold-up for me, about 18 minutes to solve. Like someone else above, I’d vote for 7D as COD.
  10. I got very lazy decoding wordplay but this blog clarified 19D, 21D, 24A, 14A (et al!) for me. So, as one of the few clues I fully understood, I COD 4D.

    I managed CLOSE-FISTED and TIGHT-FISTED before working out TIGHT-LIPPED — thus making heavy weather of the SE.

  11. teesween,

    Although it’s quite tempting to omit a clue you didn’t understand from the set analysed in the blog, I’m pretty sure we’re all brave enough to admit our mistakes and don’t intentionally do so. George admitted his uncertainty for SHINDIG, where his analysis is in fact exactly right.

  12. My choice of words was inapt, there was no intention to impugn, having just rediscovered the site I was more interested in seeing if it worked. It does, very well.
    Incidentally your blog of yesterday gave 15 al(leg)e Where leg=bottle ,I presume. In what context?
    1. No worries – this place works so well that I return from a couple of hours out to see that your question has already been fielded (groan).
  13. A much quicker time and a much calmer cat than yesterday! Needed ‘gal’ explained, and chose 26a as my clue of the day.
  14. 10:54 for me. I made particularly heavy weather of the SE corner, including trying to fit SCORPIO into 19D, but before that I’d spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to fit SWINDLE (= Do) into 10A (I had S-I-D– at that point) and TIGHT-FISTED into 17A.

    Another very fine puzzle that would probably have been my POW had it not been in competition with yesterday’s. I’ll vote for 4D as my COD (I’m all for literary clues – whatever happened to all those Meredith clues from the old days? ;-), with 9A as runner-up for its excellent surface reading.

  15. This one was considered sooooo easy that half of it did not make the blog. Here are the missing ones:

    6a Start fight (3-2)
    SET TO

    15a Businesses register power surges (11)

    19a My country of old (3)
    GAD. An oath (equiv to My as in Gosh) in 19th century – read Vanity Fair for example – and the area settled by the Israelite Gad Tribe east of the Jordan River.

    20a Anti-government action (put to Cade)* for reconsideration (4,5)

    22a Foreign currency offered in settlement, a bit short (5)
    COLON (Y). Readies somewhere in South or Central America? See above.

    27a Tall and thin, not starting with enormous appetite (5)
    (G) REEDY

    1d Intended having fantastic time (5)
    MEAN T. Mean as in GREAT! English is SO versatile.

    3d A supermarket’s last offer for now (2,7)

    5d You succeeded, getting agreement in a word (3)
    YE S

    6d Young child’s regularly SiCk I fOuNd (5)
    S C I O N

    8d Newspaper editor is brought in as arranged (9)

    14d Frolic about, appearing more attractive without a hat (3,1,5)

    18d Lettuce covered in sticky substance, a form of sugar (7)

    23d Direction from the PM (5)

    25d Source of wood used in modEL Making (3)
    EL M

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