23,780 – easy

Solving time: 17:21

I have been away for the past five weeks and only found the time to do one Times and two Independent crosswords during that time. I was therefore getting ready to make excuses for my poor time – but I did this one really quickly, shaving over three minutes from my previous personal best time.
Either it’s a really good idea to have a break from crosswords or this was a particularly easy puzzle. I have a feeling it is probably the latter – it will be useful to see how others fared.

I put most of the answers in at first look – the wordplay and definitions were mostly straightforward. I had to look up a couple of things to check – the definitions of swathe and hatch; I also checked to see if Charles Lamb had a sister called Mary.


9 SAINT LAWRENCE – anagram of “clean waters in”
10 [a]TROPHY
11 T,HATCHED – I guessed this was right from the definition but needed to look up the meaning of ‘hatched’ after completion. T=reduced temperature; to hatch is to mark a drawing with parallel or crossed lines to indicate shading – pretty sure I didn’t know this.
13 MAGNA CARTA – anagram of ‘anagram at’+C(start of clue) – I think I’ve seen very similar before.
15 AP(S)E – this seems to be the most popular part of the church in crosswords.
16 IOW,A – IOW=Isle of Wight
18 MINIM, A LIST – glad I didn’t have to find a composer – not my strongest subject.
25 SWATHE – anagram of “wheats” – I wasn’t sure about the definition at the time. After looking up, I now know that swathes are the rows of crops left after mowing.
26 LADYBIRD – I think the definition is ‘beetle spotted by black’ with hen being ‘lady bird’ – but I am sure I’ve seen ladybirds with different coloured spots.


4 AP(T)LY – T=end of West
12 CHARLES,LAMB – I knew of the essayist Charles Lamb, but didn’t know he was Mary’s brother. I was confident enough from the wordplay and I’m pretty good on nursery rhymes.
17 OVER,SAW – over being part of a cricket test.
20 S,LENDER – an uncle in this case is a pawnbroker
22 RIG,I’D – I don’t think I’ve seen clothes=RIG but I reckon that fits in with some of rigs other meanings.
24 A,CT – I think this is to do with a ‘bill’ becoming an ‘act’ after it’s prosecuted (i.e. seen to completion) – I know this happens in Parliament, not sure if there are legal equivalents.

16 comments on “23,780 – easy”

  1. Welcome back, Foggyweb. I found it straightforward too with no real hold-ups except I spent a moment or two considering PIE CHART for 1a and also pondering the significance of “single” at 7d before I spotted the inevitable cricket reference.

    13a is my only candidate for COD as I liked the self-reference, but if as you suggest it has been done before then that takes the shine off it a bit.

  2. — CHART sat stubbornly in front of me for too long & like Jack I could only see PIE until the obvious answer hit me in the face.
    Good crossword all round with no clue quibbles, but couldn’t really pick COD as there was nothing that caused significant front-of-trouser activity.
  3. Can’t recommend breaks from solving – I can be pretty rusty at the end of a two-week holiday. I did this in 4:33, also falling for ‘PIE CHART’ and even writing it in, but I completed my guess-confirming thoughts in time to wind straight back to the beginning of the word and fix it.

    IOWA brought back some memories – I messed up a very similar clue to it in my first Times final.

    If my Magoo solving time radar is working: 3:50

  4. Yes, a one-sitting half hour job for me too today, so that confirms it’s very easy!
    I too couldn’t see past Pie Chart for a while, but the whole thing seemed a bit flat and nothing inspired me to name a cod.

    ps lol @ “crosswords just got sexy”.

  5. About 11 mins., which is certainly faster than my average. I rather liked the anagram at 9A – not difficult to solve, but a very smooth surface.
  6. I managed to put in Iona instead of IOWA, which being american is a bit embarrassing — but then again it is a flyover state…

    I vote for 5D since it was quite hard to find the hidden TRAITOR (with an amusing def: “not a good subject”).

  7. A nice easy start to the week and a rare sub-10 for me. Quite enjoyed “hen?” at 26a, so that’s my COD.
  8. I put in STANDING GUARD but am not sure I understood the wordplay. Is an “ING guard” a railway worker?
  9. I think standing = position in this clue.
    I have missed a few puzzles over the past few weeks but found this one well quite easy ,9:25 and could have been better if I had seen rosier more quickly rather than trying to fit in aspen or something else as a tree
  10. 9 minutes with one quick phone call break… now that I try to time myself I can never seem to get a break of enough time. The definition in 5d made me smile a lot., I’d agree with ilanc for it as COD.

    Anaxcrosswords, are we going to need an avatar of the week contest?

    1. I doubt it. The new avatar is the culmination of all the irony I could muster – it might take me years to replenish enough to do another.
  11. A good time for me, too, at probably less than half an hour but marred by a rare error at 16a.

    I went with the ‘to’ and GA (state of Georgia)to arrive at the Commonwealth Kingdom of Toga. Tho on reflection ‘Part of British Isles’ doesn’t really translate to ‘part of the Commonwealth of Nations’, does it.

    I’m rather cross with myself.

  12. Mrs npbull asked me how I got SAINT LAWRENCE at 9a and could it really be clued as “unusually clean”. I was sad to point out that this was not the case.

    Six “easies” left out of the blog:

    1a Diagram showing figures from local church paintings (3,5)
    BAR CH ART. My FOI. I am surprised at the number of admissions to PIE CHART until proved otherwise.

    6a In class, a learner is conventionally correct (6)
    FORM A L

    23a Position taken by railway worker on watch (8,5)

    5d Not a good subject in porTRAIT ORiginally (7)
    TRAITOR. A top class hidden answer.

    7d A single journey (3)
    RUN. Our cricket reference of the day.

    19d Token change (on main l)* ine (7)

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