23801 – Hay ho!

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I found this one much easier to complete than to explain. It took me about 40 minutes but I was rather distracted by the number of answers going in that I couldn’t fully justify at the time. When I started to write this I still had several unexplained or that I was not completely happy with but I think I have cracked them all now apart from 6D.

1 CRY,STAL(PA)L, ACE –  “Keen”=”cry” here
8 A.B.,B.A. – Two abbreviations for Bachelor of Arts, but I thought there was a convention not to include living people other than HMQ? Maybe it doesn’t apply to pop group names.
9 OH M,R(e) PORTER – I had to dig deep to explain this one. It’s a reference to a Will Hay film made in 1937 – before even my time! I had forgotten about the film if ever I knew of it but I remembered the Music Hall song of the same name from which it was supposed to take its title.
11 EX(P.O.S)E – Petty Officers in the River Exe, but I’m not sure”outing” =”expose” grammatically. Thanks to Mike O for pointing out that an acute accent on the second “e”  would make it work. 
13 FEL(LOW)SHIP – (HELPS IF)* around LOW
16 1,(replaye)D,(quarter-fina)L,(ti)E – Rather well disguised by use of the hyphenated word
17 F(0)UR
18 ROCK, O,F AG(E)S – “Bores”=”fags” here
20 ME(THO)D – “Sea”=”Med”
22 TR(aditional protoc)OL,LOPE – I was going to admit defeat explaining this one but I just spotted it whilst blogging
24 B(O.T.T.)(ICE)LLI – (BILL)* encloses the rest of it
2 YE(A)S,T
3 TRO(ops),J,AN WAR – Anwar Sadat was the leader of Egypt 1970-81 when he was assassinated
4 LAMBETH – Another one that nearly defeated me to explain but I have it now, I think. “Delivers fresh meat” = “lambs” = “lambeth” in old-speak (historically). “City council” being the definition.
5 (d)APPLE(d)
6 A,GRIPPIN(g),A – On an easier day I might have persevered trying to find out which Emperor’s sister she was, but faced with nearly a dozen Agrippinas related to various Romans on Wiki I can’t be bothered I’m afraid.
14 LARGHE(TT)O – (HER GOAL)* around TT=”on the wagon”. I liked this one and it’s my COD.
15 PRO,K(OF)IEV – “Lines” means “enclosed by” here, I think. Nice one!
19 CAT,A LA,N – “Queen” for “cat” catches me out every time
21 DUC(A)T
23 LEGIT – “Split”= “Leg it”
25 OFF – Double meaning

21 comments on “23801 – Hay ho!”

  1. 5 down. Your explanation should probably read (d)APPLE(d).

    11 across. I suggest that EXPOSE with an acute accent over the final E would match “outing” gramatically.

    Mike O

  2. Much harder today at 40 minutes to solve. My bet is for Agrippina sister of Caligula and mother of Nero (being the only one I know intimately, so to speak). I thought the overall standard of this puzzle was high with a lot of clues requiring hard work to see the wordplay and definition but all fair. I particularly liked 15 down, which is my COD. Jimbo.
  3. Easily the hardest puzzle of the week so far – 34:17 for me, with several errors in solving before I sorted it all out. At one time I had DEPOSE at 11A, which led to a guess of ACNED = spotted at 5D. I also had OH MY pencilled in for 9A. In the end I found the correct film on IMDB and it all fell into place.
  4. 13:40 for this. Probably worth noting for overseas folk that Crystal Palace are a football team who have had a few brief spells in the top division. They were originally based in the S London park where the Crystal Palace from the Great Exhibition was relocated from Hyde Park until it burned down. Wikipedia reveals that I’ve been to two of their locations – the only two professional football matches I ever attended were at Selhurst Park, and my dad chose the (1973?) night when Dave Bedford broke the world 10,000m record to take me to the athletics track which turns out to be on the site of their first stadium.

    Struggled with 9A (OH ME / OH MY were my first guesses), (Long John) Silver at 12D, tho’ = yet at 20, and the relatively easy 23D. This in turn slowed me down on 22A where I wanted to understand the wordplay after my daft slip yesterday.

    Also intrigued by the use of ABBA, and wonder how long ‘Soviet’ will be allowed for cities like Kiev, though ‘Ukraine’ would be rather a giveaway.

  5. By far the most difficult of the week for me too. Just couldn’t get 20A, I’m not used to ‘at’ indicating ‘in’. Interesting to see another old -eth form, after ‘japeth’ a few weeks ago. I liked 19D a lot, but my COD is 25D – one of the best double definitions I’ve seen.
    1. At 20A I think you have to read “at sea” as “in Med.”. I don’t think the Times xwd ed would allow ‘at’ as a containment indicator.
  6. This took me only 5 minutes under an hour. My sheet is covered with ticks for the clues I particularly liked and question marks for those I did not understand until looking at them at greater leisure after filling the grid. Even then, I did not work out the clue for TROLLOPE, misled by the fact that centrally placed letters in TROLLOPE match the centrally placed letters of HOLLOW. Thanks for the above explanation.
    I just avoided error at the last minute, changing 23d from LIGHT to LEGIT when I was going through the clues I didn’t understand.
    Clues I particularly liked were: 7, 15, 21, 23. I don’t think I’d pick 23 as C.O.D because of “appearing” which is superfluous in the cryptic reading. If anything the clue leads to LEG IT rather more successfully than LEGIT. My C.O.D would be for 15d because of the clever use of ‘lines’
  7. Superb. I didn’t finish it and needed the blog to fill holes, but there are no complaints.
    I’ll join the COD 15D club. PROKOFIEV – nasty bunch of letters but the clue has def, device indicator and three components in just 6 wonderfully smooth words. Well done that setter.
  8. I got the film, the writer, the artist, the composer and the musical term, but the Emperor’s sister beat me. I also missed 16a. No complaints though, the subsidiary bits made them both fair.
    I also feel the convention has been broken with ABBA. Not only are they not dead, they have been Bjorn Again.
    PROKOFIEV at 15d wins the day for me. Superbly worded.
    1. Can someone explain this “dead rule” to me? (Any pointer to the definitive book on what is allowed and what isn’t would be very nice indeed!)

      Sidebar: love the ‘bjorn again’ pun, but surely ABBA is no longer extant? and thus perfectly valid.

      1. It’s not absolutely straightforward. Other than the reigning monarch, living persons can’t be referred to. Even those who have rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisibule are subject to “level of fame”. Also, one cannot refer to corporate bodies (Nokia, Esso etc.), although it appears reference to the BBC is fine.
        ABBA does break the mould here and I’m all for it, even if (perhaps) the clue might have been more precise. One might draw the line at Arctic Monkeys since, in the overall scheme of things, their contribution to the world of music has been a tad less influential.
      2. ABBA – Now I come to think about it, I couldn’t agree more. If we can have Prokofiev, why not ABBA, The Pigeon Detectives or even Slaughter and the Dog. Come on setters, lets have more up to date cultural references !

        re the “dead” rule. I don’t know where it comes from, but it seems to be an unwritten rule that nobody living can be mentioned in a Times crossword (except ER=her madge). I seem to remember, however, that princess=DI was used when she was alive.

        1. I’m in favour of more up-to-date culture than has been traditional in Times puzzles, but I’d draw the line somewhere between ABBA and The Pigeon Detectives or Slaughter and the Dog – both new to this old fogey.

          I’m about 95% sure that the Times puzzle did not use princess = Di during her lifetime, and I don’t think it did so after her death either.

          The nearest thing to a definitive book is Brian Greer’s “How to do the Times Crossword”, published in 2000 but now out of print. But even this would now need annotating with some changes made by Richard Browne since 2002, and possibly Mike Laws from 2000 to 2002 – though my impression was that his views were very close to Brian’s. I believe Times setters have some kind of style guide but it’s not revealed to the public. Observation is really your best guide to what’s allowed.

          I’ve put together a list of current conventions and posted it with a suitable tag so that it can be found again.

  9. Some consolation that a star like Anax didn’t’ finish it.

    I had to have two sessions at it, with coffee in between, and did all but 20A, which I used the wordfinder for.
    A very nice puzzle today though with lots to make you think.
    I would support Prokofiev for COD.

    And even better, my £5.39 Chambers arrived yesterday from Amazon.
    Thanks again Peter for pointing it out.

  10. My first puzzle for a bit and really liked this one. 1A was my COD ,as I put it in but could not justify it in any way – until I saw the blog. Some very neat deceptive cluing. Managed to do in 15.00 which seems a really good time but there were a few educated guesses.
    By the way , Bjorn Again are a long established Abba tribute band , and very good at it as well
  11. I thought this was a brilliant puzzle. Not mentioned by any so far but my COD was FLOATING VOTER. Liked IDLE and PROKOFIEV too. Re Kiev, while I do not want to get too deep into this, followers of football notice its team is now known as Dynamo Kyiv, so maybe the use of ‘Soviet’ was a safe way of going back to pre-Ukraine days.
  12. This was a load of fun despite not being able to finish. I really liked PROKOFIEV as others did, and ABBA made me laugh. (I didn’t know or solve the Crystal Palace or the film reference until I consulted this page.) Very enjoyable.
  13. 14:17 here, for a most enjoyable puzzle with some first-rate clues. I’ll go for 4dn (LAMBETH) as my COD (very satisfying when the penny eventually dropped), but I also particularly liked PROKOFIEV and IDLE.

  14. Untimeable but eventually finished after help from my wife on 2d after which ‘crystal palace’ came as a terrible shock to an old Croydonian such as myself. Thereafter the NE corner surrendered gradually after a tough fight.
  15. Half a dozen “easies” not in the blog:

    10a Old city transport hard to get on? (8)

    26a KeEP A Grimace back, stifling yawn (4)

    27a (Giant revolt of)* unconventional political chameleon (8,5)

    1d Flower grew south of Savoy, perhaps (7,4)
    CABBAGE ROSE. I knew a Cabbage Tree (South Africa) but not the rose.

    7d Place for pupil’s ego to announce itself (3)

    12d Pirate copier quietly buried wrapper (6,5)
    SILVER P APER. Long John taking liberties on the Xerox.

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