Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 43m30s
I don’t have much time this morning, so a very quick write-up follows. I haven’t checked everything, so feel free to correct any mistakes. Also there are a couple where I don’t understand the wordplay – any illumination would be most welcome.


6 ARTY – reference to jazz artist Artie Shaw.
10 IN CLEAR – I think this is ‘in the clear’ missing the ‘the’ but I don’t know what it means.
13 OUTRE – ROUTE with R moved.
14 COAT,1
15 TH(RE)E,FOLD – RE=about
25 RE,TRAIN – I think here RE=Royal Engineers.
27 [t]ABLE
28 SADDLEBACK – I enjoyed this – someone who lends out a saddle presumably wants it back.


1 THIEF – a thief lifts things and I presume the den bit refers to the phrase ‘den of thieves’
4 YOR,KIST – Roy reversed and sounds like kissed. York was the white rose during the Wars of the Roses.
7 RELIT – I presume this is the answer. Not sure how the clue works.
8 YE(the old),STERDAY(anagram of strayed)
9 WET,ONE’S,WHIST,LE – LE=extremely large.
14 CA(FE)TER,IA – FE=’for European leaders’ and IA=Iowa, I think.
16 ORCHESTRA=anagram of ‘her actors’ – not at all sure about the ‘are’ in this clue – I thought this kind of thing wasn’t allowed.
18 AL,BAN,IA – AL=boy, BAN=bar,IA=regular letters of rival.
19 SUSPEND – I think this is ‘carry out hanging’ – I thought American writer could be ‘US PEN’ but I’m not sure about the rest.
24 SNEAK – can mean steal or peach (as in inform on someone)

15 comments on “23803”

  1. 10 – ‘in clear’ is in the Concise Oxford as ‘not in code’. Both an anagram and translation of ‘en clair’, which means the same and was my first rather puzzled stab at an answer.

    7D – reli(c)t is the widow – her first (musical) key being E.

    16D – I think the justification for ‘are’ is that two words – ‘her actors’ – are anagrammed. I think there are some setters who wouldn’t use this.

    19D – My guess is that ‘terribly shocked’ in the clue should have been ‘extremely shocked’, to provide the S and D.

    Solving time: 7:55

    Edited at 2008-01-07 08:41 am (UTC)

  2. I had a lot more trouble completing this than Friday’s puzzle and was as mystified as Foggyweb over the wordplay in 7 and 19. Thanks to PB for clearing those up although I had already considered a misprint at 19.

    I rather liked 28 too, so it’s my COD.

  3. My heart sank when I saw the dreadful 3D, but it wasn’t a bad puzzle. Just didn’t seem fun.
    Used the wordfinder for a couple, but that may be just me early on a Monday .

    Liked 28A as COD also.

  4. 3D felt like it was written in about 1950 but otherwise a good puzzle. Nothing stood out as COD and shame about the misprint.
    My overall lack of enthusiasm can be put down to being thoroughly hacked off with LiveJournal’s poll mechanism which, for me, simply will not work. Having reached the stage where, far from making onward progress, I can’t even get the radio buttons to show in preview, I’ve now given up.
    So I’m very grumpy.
  5. A curates egg puzzle that ranged from the awful 3 down already mentioned to the quite neat 21 across and 23 across. About 40 minutes to solve. One of the great benefits of this site is that one can confirm one’s own feelings about things like misprints at 19 down (which is also in the printed version) rather than go on looking for an explanation that isn’t there. Jimbo.
  6. is with 14D – Provide for European leaders in this Iowa restaurant = CAFETERIA. I agree with foggyweb about the wordplay, but for me, “A, B in this” doesn’t work as a way of indicating B in A. I possibly thought when solving that “this” referred to the answer, but that would require “this restaurant” rather than “this Iowa restaurant”. On the other hand, 3D doesn’t annoy me as much as some of you.

    Edited at 2008-01-07 12:50 pm (UTC)

  7. 20:10 for me, which seemed a little slow. Had to look up 2dn, but should really have worked it out. I must have subconsciously read “extremely” in 19d and didn’t spot the mistake until it was pointed out here. I’ve just realised that I got 12a wrong – for no reason at all I wrote in FRONTLINE. Ah well, I’ll put it down to age and my first early Monday morning for a while. My COD goes to 23a. Not particularly good or tricky, but I just liked it.
    1. If it’s any consolation I also put FRONTLINE but not with any degree of confidence. I marked it out to check the wordfinder later to see if there were any alternatives.
  8. Two signs of ageing today.

    1. I thought I’d had a clean sweep (albeit a slow one) in 7:24, but found that I’d managed to invert the last two letters of OUTRE giving OUTER and YESTRRDAY – which just shows that my checking is pretty bloody hopeless when I’m trying to go fast. Mental note: think “tortoise”!

    2. I’ve absolutely no objection to 3D, in fact I’ll make it my COD for old time’s like (and to wind up youngsters like Jimbo 😉

    Not so much a sign of ageing perhaps, but for me “A B in this” works perfectly well as a way of indicating B in A, with “this” referring simply to A (as mentioned earlier).

    1. Hi Tony, I don’t do wound up anymore. I need all my energy to open the wine bottle for dinner. The clue didn’t annoy me. I just thought it was too far below below par for The Times to go uncriticised but in the best of traditions I fully support your right to hold any strange opinion that takes your fancy. Keep smiling. Jimbo.
  9. Off-Topic:

    I’m still unable to log into the Crossword Club site because my “account has not been activated” and any attempt to activate it tells me that my “e-mail verification link is no longer valid.”

    As a result I’ve begun an email correspondence with Times Online support team which has just elicited this response:

    Dear {my email address}

    Thank you for your email. We are aware that some users have had difficulties with our new General Registration system.

    If your issue has been resolved, please disregard this email.

    However, if you are still experiencing difficulties please email us with the following information so that we may investigate this matter further:

    Original Registered Email Address:
    Full Postal Address:

    So be warned, keep your Times Crossword Club password different to passwords you use elsewhere because you may be required someday to send it in plaintext in an email!

    1. It’s been done before, but to access any Times crossword, enter the following address into your browser:


      Change the &day=,&month= and &year= to the date you want. Set the end bit, &type= to:
      1 for daily cryptic
      2 for daily Times2
      3 for saturday cryptic
      4 for saturday jumbo
      36 for bank holiday jumbo

      There are others, but when I tried to log into the site, it was down again 🙂

  10. All was not tickety boo today for some reason, with clues like 20a slowing me down when they shouldn’t have. Had to look up ‘peach’ as I hadn’t heard that definition before.

    COD was a toss-up between 1d and 28a, but went with saddleback in the end.

  11. I didn’t expect to see so much criticism for this one, even if the wordplay often left a fair bit to be desired – I actually thought 3D rather good. Maybe showing my age (or lack of it).
    Unusual to see a mistake like in 19d – but not very long since the last one. What’s it all coming to?
  12. I had one wrong at 6a where _R_Y left me to guess TRAY instead of ARTY. I am afraid that I have not heard of Artie Shaw before. I got TRAY from sounds like TRES (very or so in Franglais). Fail.

    I did get RELIT at 7d from the “Fired again” bit of the clue but I am afraid that PB’s explanation of the wordplay above leaves me even more in the dark than I was before.

    There are 6 “easies” omitted from the blog. Some of them have been commented on but not named. Here they are:

    17a Corrupt language (Gran fails)* to get modified (9)
    FRANGLAIS. Miles Kingston’s invention that I hail as the best development in linguistics of the 20th Century.

    20a Crazy cook dropping eggs in street? (5)
    WA C(OO)K Y = WACKY.

    21a Transient worker’s current rates (5)
    TEMP I

    26a Give the right name (7)

    3d It takes pluck to play this, currently (8,6)
    ELECTRIC GUITAR. Very much a “Marmite” clue – see above.

    22d Mannequin has change of heart, seeing lodging-place (5)
    MO D EL => MO T EL

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