23797 – Foggyweb’s thimble

Solving time: 1 hour 9 minutes

An enjoyable puzzle. I did most fairly quickly, but there were quite a few words I was pretty sure I didn’t know where I had to unravel the wordplay.
Quite a few nationalities in today’s puzzle: Scandinavians, Poles, British, Greek, European, German.


1 W(IS,EC)RACK – EC=City of London postal code.
9 MY,CROFT – Sherlock’s brother.
11 NOR,N,S – last to go in. I thought it was NORDS but couldn’t make sense of that so left it until the end. Wordplay suggested NORNS, so I hopefully wrote it in. In Norse mythology, Norns are the fates or goddesses of destiny.
12 THE,RM,I’D,OR – I didn’t know any of the months of revolution so again relied on wordplay. RM=Royal Marines, OR=other ranks.
13 SET,P(0)INT – I haven’t seen empty meaning ‘containing 0’ for a while – this took a while to spot.
17 GO(B)Y – I knew the fish, but didn’t know goy, meaning Gentile.
18 P(1,NAF)ORE – NAF=fan reversed.
21 BRABANTIO – anagram of ‘rabbi not a’ – Brabantio is a senator in Othello
24 [j]UNKE(MP)T
25 A,BI(DIN)G = DIN=half of DINNER
26 [t]HATCH – hatch=shade I learnt fairly recently. Not sure I get the wordplay here. Thatch is a dead part of a lawn.
27 HARD(LIN)ER – LIN=nil reversed.


2 CROSS BOW – Bow is an area of East London; I’ve seen a similar clue recently.
13 SAGEBRUSH – anagram of ‘hears bugs’ – most likely form the letters as I didn’t know this.
15 DINOSAUR – reverse of RU,A,SON,I’D – RU=rugby union.
19 WAR,MTH – MTH=odd letters of match.
23 LAGER hidden in ‘Sell a German’.

13 comments on “23797 – Foggyweb’s thimble”

  1. I struggled to finish this one off as I didn’t know BRABANTIO or NORNS, nor the required meaning of THERMIDOR. Still, it was a good puzzle with some nice clues especially 9 which I nominate as my COD.
  2. Not too bad today – enjoyable and about half an hour.
    Worked out Brabantio, but not sure about Norns – I got Nords but didn’t understand it anyway – the “fatally” confused me.

    I smiled at not getting Open straight away.

  3. As foggyweb says, quite a melange that took me 40 minutes including a guess at GOBY and BRABANTINO (they do love their Shakesperian characters). I liked 18 across and 26 across (along with shank “thatch” is a forbidden word on a golf course).

    After being off the air all day yesterday the Times site is working again this morning. Jimbo.

      1. I wish I understood it Jackkt or could share some secret formula with you. What is happening on the Times site beggars belief. I hope they clear it up for you and all the others who are still suffering as soon as possible. Jimbo.
  4. Plenty of imaginative and attractive clues. I’ll go for 22A as COD, 9A, 6D and 14A were also entertaining.
  5. MYCROFT was very clever but I think 10A is a great clue since it has such a smooth surface… defining WARD as “room with beds” is nice.

    I’ll be honest but I don’t see the def of STITCH as “closer” — just as in the sense of closing a hole up??

  6. A couple of things.
    1) In 18 across (Garment’s small opening kept one cooler, just about = PINAFORE), “just” seems to be somewhat superfluous.
    2) 8 down. The privation of polar exploration = ENDURANCE. Why?
    1. Endurance was the name of Shackleton’s ship I believe. Not quite the same as privation though.

      In 18 ‘just’ helps the surface I suppose without changing the meaning. It’s just ‘just’ after all.

  7. At my LOI 11a I failed to get NORNS having guessed desperately at NORDS. This is a pity as the clue appears to use the BOOLEAN operator NOR to equate to “and not” in the clue giving NOR N,S. Nice one setter. I am ashamed to have missed your finesse.

    One more thing from the comments above before we get to the “easies”.
    At 18a some folk are questioning the “just” in the clue:
    18a Garment’s small opening kept one cooler, just about (8)
    P 1 NAF ORE. The “just about” indicates that it is just the cooler (FAN) that is reversed. Precise cluing.

    I also really liked empty glass = P 0 INT at 13a.

    There are a boat load of “easies” – that is an eight:

    6a Sort of sugar runs short in class (5)
    CASTE (R)

    10a Attendant set out room with beds (7)
    STE WARD. STE DORM was stuck in my head!

    14a Why one uses pencil in championship? (4)
    0 PEN

    22a Turning blue, left to linger (5)
    DWEL L. LEWD backwards = turning blue.

    3d Walk through East End, having weapon (8)

    5d Genuine Greek island given to some girl (6)
    KOS HER. For some reason I have always spelled this island COS (apparently an acceptable alternative). It was only when I solved 1a WISECRACK that I realised that COSHER is someone who hits people over the head – not genuine at all. Typical GOY!

    8d The privation of polar exploration (9)
    ENDURANCE. The definition here is (The) privation = ENDURANCE and the “of polar exploration” refers to the connection between Shackleton’s ship and where he sailed it.

    16d Fellow training monkey (8)

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