23790 – Not too 14D but sticky stuff at 8

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time : About 45 minutes. This presented a few more problems than yesterday’s easy one but progress was steady throughout and I didn’t get bogged down for too long anywhere. I can’t choose between 27 and 28 for my COD.

1 SHRINK-RESISTANT – “Shrink” = “psychiatrist” here for the cryptic meaning
9 ASSURANCE – Two meanings. There is a misprint in the on-line clue “Wordaen in confidence”. Since confirmed it is “Word given in confidence” in the printed version.
12 METEORIC – (mice tore)*
13 PA’S,T IT
18 S(hee)P,RINGER – I like “gutless sheep” = SP
19 AT,HENS – Rather corny
26 E,BONY – A cross-reference to the skeleton at 5
27 AERODROME – (escap)E MORDOR EA(rly) – an excellent hidden word reversed and a candidate for my COD
28 DESSERTSPOONFUL – (sense for pud lots)* – reads really well and also in the running
1 STAND UP – “with” = AND inside “places” = PUTS (rev.). “Set” being part of the definition I think, meaning a comedian’s act performed without a break.
3 NORWEGIAN – (0, in Wagner)* – it took me a while to spot the anagram fodder here, having wasted time playing with “like Grieg” until some checking letters ruled this out.
6 SA(B)LE – According to Chambers “sable” meaning “black” was originally used in heraldry but is now chiefly poetic, and this is the meaning required here. I must admit I’ve not met this before and have always associated it with coats of arms etc.
8 TRE(A CL)E – Is treacle saplike? I haven’t been able to find any definiton that says so though “sugar” seems to be mentioned in connection with both. I feel I may be missing something here.
14 STRENUOUS – (on sutures)*
16 PUT(PAID)TO – I once spent ages working out PUTTO for “cupid”  and have never forgotten it.
17 RE,LEVANT – The Levant being an old name for the region of Lebanon, Syria and Israel. I’m sure I knew it anyway but it has stuck firmly in my mind since reading Brideshead Revisited as the place Sebastian is sent on a mind- improving tour under the watchful eye of Mr Samgrass.
18 SUCCEED – Sounds like “suck seed”.
20 S(URR)EAL – I’d forgotten what a burro is but fortunately we only needed its innards here
22 STYLE – ST + ELY(rev.)
25 G,RIP – RIP short for riptide

15 comments on “23790 – Not too 14D but sticky stuff at 8”

  1. 10:16 here – a fairly poor show, not seeing 9 or understanding 5 and 15 (may last two), for much too long. Clue for 9 in the paper is “Word given in confidence”.
  2. I was on the point of looking up this obviously obscure Anglo-Saxon term until I read Peter’s comment. I managed in around 10 mins, being held up at the top right where I initially had BLADE, assuming that a fencer could be a hitman (a la Three Musketeers). I think I will also go for 28A as COD – a neat anagram. Jason J
  3. A more difficult puzzle than of late where having done lots of other puzzles helps, particularly “putto” for “cupid” and “levant” for Syria etc. A wide mix of clues from 11 across and 19 across which as jackkt says are pure corn to the clever use of “element” at 15 across and the excellent 27 and 28 across. I’ve also looked for “sap” = “treacle” and can’t yet find a justification. 40 minutes solve time. Jimbo.
  4. Good fun, 9A (on-line version) made me feel I was attempting some strange thematic. It also makes me wonder if the definition in 8D was meant to be ‘syruplike stuff’ or ‘syrupy stuff.’ 28D was entertaining and seasonal, so I’ll select is as COD. 5D held me up for ages, SAKE for ‘benefit’ was hard to spot. About 24 mins all told.

    18D is an imperfect homophone. Once again a schwa and /u/ are equated, as with ‘sack son’/SAXON a couple of months ago. I suppose that considerable latitude is allowed on homophones so that more can be incorporated, but I find this a bit unsatisfactory.

  5. I loved this one. I didn’t time myself but it was probably longer than average. I’m usually one who complains about dodgy homophones, but 18d works perfectly for me. “Wordaen” held me up bit and I wasn’t sure for a while whether it was going to be ASSURANCE or ASSUREDLY. I thought 28a was a bit sore thumbish and easy, ditto 27a, so my COD is 1a for a fantastically well-disguised def and a very nice secondary def.

    I’ve just realised….I’m missing 17d… hang on a sec…..

  6. Off topic I know, but the times site is still messing me about.

    I’ve used the link shown by Peter and others to bypass the login and get to the cryptic, but does anybody pse know how to get to the Listener one?
    I’ve tried all the numbers from 0 to 10 without success and my history went long ago so I can’t look there.

      1. Thanks very much Peter.
        I’ll have to ring them on Monday to get it sorted out before they clear off for the holidays.
  7. Thanks for the link Peter.
    I find that I now have to log in to Times online again, but am left high-and-dry after doing so with no obvious access to the club.
    It seems that “testing” was being carried out on the live system, a state of affairs I find almost unbelievable.
    As a setter I’m really embarrassed by the whole mess. I should emphasise that it’s nothing to do with the good folk who supply the puzzles and certainly nothing to do with our crossword editor who I’m sure is as vexed as anyone.
  8. I was feeling tired after a busy day, and a bit low about the latest registration fiasco, so was surprised to find my 10:01 (which I’d reckoned slow) standing up reasonably well. I thought of SKELETON as soon as I read the clue, but wasn’t sure about LET ON, and didn’t spot SAKE quickly enough, so that in the end it was the last answer to go in.

    One of the meanings of TREACLE given in the on-line OED (available by courtesy of my local library – thank you, Ealing 🙂 is

    An inspissated saccharine juice obtained from various trees and plants

    which just about fits “sap-like” (give or a take an “inspissated”).

    I hesitated over “wordaen”. There have been examples of non-words in the past, in fact I remember a championship final when Terry Girdlestone announced angrily that there was one present in one of the puzzles, only to be told angrily by Edmund Akenhead that it was deliberate. I’m pleased to learn that this was just a typo.

    1. Not quite sure whether you are querying the blog or the puzzle. Does either mention dark brown?

      But actually both Collins and Chambers primary definition of “sable” is an animal with dark brown fur and it’s the name given to that colour. It can also mean black by a separate definition.

  9. Managed to biff 9a ASSURANCE from the crossers. I was a bit disappointed to find that Wordean is a misprint and not a word. It sounds like a geological era name. Perhaps the Wordean Era started with the evolution of the cryptic crossword and that the unenlightened times before that can be the Prewordean?

    A half dozen “easies” not explained in the blog including my LOI at 21a:

    10a Hit man’s paddle (15)
    BAT HE. I would equate bathing with significant to complete immersion. Paddling is just getting your feet wet.

    21a Vessel to run easily round island (8)
    CAN IS TER. Easy for horsey types?

    23a Meat for every basket (6)
    HAM PER. For every = for each? I s’pose.

    2d Bible class on the heavens, admitting possibility of unpleasant outcome (5)
    R.I. SKY. Like the disclaimer at the end of every company press release to the stock market.

    22d Manner of saint uplifting cathedral city (5)
    ST YLE. The crossword city of Ely – established in the Prewordean Era. Lovely cathedral – I heard the Faure Requiem performed there one cold but bright winter Sunday morning in the early Wordean Era.

    24d Conclusive evidence to give a watertight case? (5)

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