23,789 – fishy

Solving time: 12:58

Lots of fish around. Well, three at least. HOKI was the last clue I solved, but it is nice to see a fish that I know from the fishmonger that is unfamiliar to me in crosswords. LING being the opposite.

Lots of interestingly constructed clues today. I think my CoD (there’s another) would be 12A just for using PC for “right on”.


10 HO(o)K + I – I used to like to think that the Times use “one” = I on the basis that “one” is used as a first person pronoun by eg members of the Royal Family. But that conceit is ruined by their using “single” = I
12 B + RIGHT ON + ROCK – I really like PC for “right on”
15 ROTTE(R)D + AM(erican) – nicely convoluted
17 ORIEL – anag of LOITER minus T
18 CR + I + ER – for some reason I really wanted to put CLERK in here
19 GEN + EVI + EVE, EVI being I’VE(rev)
25 I’LL ITERATE – the number twenty-seven (meaning 27A, “unlettered”) is well worked in to the surface of the clue


1 (t)AR + GO
2 BI(O)G – fairly misled into expecting the answer to mean “generous” and be made up by inserting O in a word meaning “personal account”
3 RESERVE PRICE, being a Spoonerism of “preserve rice”. I would have preferred “preserve rice” to be indicated as a phrase, as eg “can a cereal”
4 TWANG – two meanings, just
7 A + POLO + GISED, GISED being DESIG(n)(rev)
16 DIG + ITALI(a)N
22 F + AIR – &lit

15 comments on “23,789 – fishy”

  1. 9:01 for this one – got suckered into looking for an anagram of shiny coat plus a one-letter note at 9A. HOKI at 10A was a bit of a guess but seemed vagualy familiar. Maybe 26 for COD – not a hard clue, but it reads well and I don’t think I’ve seen it before.
  2. This was the easiest of the week for me and I completed it in under 20 minutes. Lots of interesting and clever clues, but I’m picking 12 as my COD even though I think it may not find favour with all. I also liked 3 and 20.

  3. I enjoyed this one a lot, plenty of fresh and entertaining clues. About 15 mins., 8D/10A last to go in. I liked ‘right-on’ in 12A and choose this as my COD. I also liked 26A but feel the ? (which I suppose is there to create a ‘semi-&lit.’) is extraneous in the word-play; better omitted?
  4. Another canter through in less than the time it takes to have coffee. If this continues, I’ll start to think I’m better than I am!

    I liked 9A and 12A as being ones where I worked out the answer directly from the clue without any letters in – good but not over-messy.

    Not sure that 3D is a proper spoonerism though I followed what he meant.
    And I’d only known minuteman as a nuclear missile, but Wiki says it was a fighter in the American War of Independence.

    Enjoyed it.

    1. The Minutemen were those ’embattled farmers’ (American poetic reference)from New England who, when called, were ready at ‘a minute’s notice’ to take up arms for the Colonials. The later missile was so named to evoke the same level of readiness in defense.

      I also liked the puzzle, especially the twin clues at 25 and 27. Unfortunately, I entered LAIR at 22 without any real thought, instead of FAIR as noted above. Not much loud music in a lair, my mistake.

  5. An enjoyable puzzle of reasonable standard. I wanted to put man-at-arms into 5 down and couldn’t get it out of my head until ROTTERDAM put a stop to it. I liked 11 down but think I’ve seen something like it before and 13 down was a nice construction. I though 12 across was both topical and innovative and thus worth a COD. Solve time 35 minutes. Jimbo.
  6. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Lots of cleverly disguised definitions and plenty to smile about. 9A gets my vote but I liked most. Is it just me or are spoonerisms really tricky to get? I always need most of the checking letters before I twig the answer.
    1. Spoonerisms can be tricky for me too, but I don’t mind too much – the upside is that there’s no way for the setter to use them without mentioning the Rev., so you always know what you’re dealing with.
  7. good puzzle — which was pretty easy until I got completely stuck on 2 (for which I generously guessed BOON) and 10 (LOCI – a fish that roams the seas of Manhattan). Indicating HO[o]K via “half-heartedly catch” is very clever but my COD has to go to the pair 25 and 27.

  8. Enjoyable puzzle and a good time for me. (I needed a good time as I really need to get to that mall before the masses this morning!)

    Hoki is a popular food fish here in Australia so that came easy. And I’ll go with 12a for COD (not the fish).

    To Anon above, I think you are misreading the i in 2d as an l.

  9. I did not know that ORIEL at 17a is a type of Bay Window. Does the eponymous college have lots of them?

    There are a boat-load of “easies” left on the bench:

    6a Complain vehicle has very little power (4)
    CAR P. The offsprings’ sub 1000cc motors acquired for insurance purposes.

    24a Beastly noise emanating from zoO IN Kenya (4)
    O IN K

    26a Home established at end of garden? (4)
    N EST.

    27a Poorly educated and characterless? (10)

    13d Eventually finds line’s out of action (6,4)

    14d Removes skin around fish for youngsters (10)

    21d Lift beams, say (5)
    RAISE. SL Rays.

    23d Absolutely dull (4)
    DEAD. I am dead against 4 letter double definitions – darn ’em.

Comments are closed.