23,785 – Seaweed special – Sat 15 Dec

A fairly tough puzzle. Looking back now, I think the reason is just a lack of frequently used words and well-used clue ideas – only CARRAGHEEN, laver and possibly ANDIRON count as tricky vocab. COD contenders: 16, 29, 4, 11. No mean tricks in the clues, so a case of Ximenean not necessarily meaning easy.

Solving time 12:37

1 HEAR,T(IN)ESS – Tess of the d’Urdervilles is the ‘tragic woman’
6 LAVA = “laver” as in “laver bread”. It’s a bit runny, but it’s still rock!
10 ANDIRON – a fire-dog
16 ARBOREAL = (or arable)*
23 E.R.,A – ref. the “new Elizabethan era” of the 1950s
24 NON-STARTER – 2 defs
26 I’M PRESS – possibly the easiest clue – anything like ‘My claim’ should have you thinking of IM… words.
28 GO(N)ER
29 CARRAGHEEN – compound anag – (oceanographers)* – (oops)*. A seaweed used to make a jelly with varous applications in food and drink production
1 (g)HOST
4 NORMAN – R in “No man” – ref. “No man is an island”, &lit.
5 SPA,NIARD=drain rev.
7 ARRANGE = “a range”
8 ANNE BOLEYN = (ennoble any)*
11 DISCONCERTING – (grid not nice, c(lue)s)*
17 M(AGNES)IA – looks like a clue that should have been “discovered” ages ago, but I don’t recall seeing it before
19 G,R,APPLE – the “fall” = Adam & Eve with the forbidden fruit, traditionally an apple
22 STUP=puts rev.,O,R
25 VEIN = “vain”

9 comments on “23,785 – Seaweed special – Sat 15 Dec”

  1. I remember this as a very satisfying challenge, where I was undone by an inability to spell CARRAGHEEN. I’d also go for 4D as COD.
  2. Can I compare notesover access to the Club? I now get an e-mail back, but when I use it to activate my account it tells me it is out of date?

    I would be obliged if someone knows the direct access codes for the Bank Holiday Jumbos – thanks in advance.

    Harry Shipley

    1. Once again, Harry, the site seems to have collapsed. I too had to re-send for re-activation; the link provided in the very rapidly received verification email was, surprise surprise, invalid.
      Sorry to say it, but the service is rubbish. It would be annoying enough for visitors to a site whose content is free, but unforgivable when we’re forking out money and are completely unable to access anything we’ve paid for.
    2. It looks as if the key factor to add to the methods discused previously is: &type=36
  3. Found this easy – sub 15 minutes for the first time this year, (I average around 45 minutes) – I had to check Carragheen. I was assuming that this would get comments like ‘easiest for ages’ so I am quietly pleased. ~If only I could do the ones everyone else considers easy as quickly!

    I can’t get on site, keep being asked to re-register and then the link is not longer valid – very annoying

  4. 19 was my last one in and I wasn’t too bothered by then to work out the exact reason. I think in my haste I had assumed that “fall” and “apple” was a reference to Sir Isaac Newton but I hadn’t accounted for why this might be described as “terrible”.
  5. Sorry to bother one and all but would someone mind scanning today’s (and y’day’s Mephisto….?) and attaching it here?
    If that is possible, I’d be most grateful.
    It’s just that the site is COMPLETELY UP THE SPOUT!!
    Adrian Cobb
    1. Please don’t put up scanned copies of printed puzzles – see today’s “Times Crossword Club problems again” post.

  6. No problem with the LAVER BREAD at 6a but the CARRAGHEEN at 29a had to come from some online research. What was that about cluing obscure words with an anagram …?

    Just the 5 omissions from the blog in this one:

    9a Perhaps a match player likely to score goal (7)

    13a Roll around the centre (3)

    15a Dull boy goes to school officer (6)

    18a Sporting contest with pulling power (3,2,3)

    2d Publicise drink in a place with lounges for travellers? (7)

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