23817 – a better effort here?

8:48 for this, which felt better than two successive slowish times for puzzles that others found easy.

4 SANSERIF = fairness* – type=print
12 CHINO,O.K. – saw something v. similar recently, so this was easy
13 MAN,KIND = people in general
14 LATH,I – an Indian truncheon IIRC
20 LIBYA – times = by, in ail rev.
23 OVERTIP from ‘tip over’
26 STILT – 2 meanings
27 TEST DRIVE – 2 meanings again
28 HORSE=”hoarse”,FLY=carriage
29 B,OO(H)OO
2 PALMIST – cryptic def.
3 CUSTODIAL – (said to)* in clu(e)*
6 SIMON = (nom,is) rev.
8 FACADE – entirely made of ‘notes’. Facade is the piece by Walton that provided the theme tune for the TV show Face the Music.
17 (Geroge) SAND,i.e.,GO
21 BEARISH – accidentally topical
22 BO(R)SCH – Hieonymus B. is the painter

31 comments on “23817 – a better effort here?”

  1. It didn’t gel quite as quickly as yesterday but I completed it within 30 minutes, just, with two or three unexplained until later.

    My COD goes to 29. It’s such a silly word and was nicely clued.

    Another big day for ‘O’s,13 of them I think, but it hasn’t beaten the recent record.

  2. Ran through this very easily until I hit the SW corner where I mistakenly entered STORK at 26 across. Much head scratching followed until TUTEE at 24 down convinced me I was wrong. Once I had STILT then ATELIER at 19 down came easily. What would have been 20 minutes turned into a 25 minute solve. I had to guess 7 down and 8 down. I liked 13 across and the hidden word at 18 across but also thought 29 across stole the show. Jimbo.
    1. Why “one” member when it’s both on stilts?
      Boo-hoo wasn’t hyphenated (as per Ch and my memory) in the paper, was it?
      And borsch is first of all Russian, I would have thought (after 17 years here!)
      Yesterday’s was a lot easier for me.
        1. Meant to add that OneLook finds boo-hoo in only one dictionary and that’s an English to German one. Many entries for boohoo. Collins gives borsch as Russian and Polish.
      1. My 2000 version of Chambers gives boo-hoo but Collins (the official dictionary for the daily cryptic) gives boohoo. They both give borsch as both Russian and Polish. I too took STILT (singular) to be one stilt for each leg. Jimbo.
        1. Interesting, Jimbo. At least I have learned from this that OneLook has a blind spot where Chambers is concerned.

  3. Harder than yesterday’s, but not too difficult once I had checked on fly=carriage and facade=work by W Walton…a one-coffee puzzle.(not meaning to sound dismissive; all enjoyable puzzles so far this week)
  4. Most seem to have found this not much harder than yesterday’s, but it took me almost three times as long to finish. It took me ages to get ROMAINE, which I’ve never heard of; I was trying to think of some alternative spelling of ROCKET/ROQUETTE to fit. I had HORSE as a probable beginng of 28 long before I got the FLY ending, and I carelessly overlooked the two-word requirement for 17 for some time, making that the last to complete. I should think that anyone who’d not heard of Walton’s ‘Facade’ would have struggled with 8 – not much to go on in the clue.
    No doubt about the COD for me: 15 – very neat indeed.
  5. I couldn’t decide between SWIFT (=flier but can’t justify “one member off the ground) and STILT (the reverse). I eventually plumped for SWIFT by doing an “ip dip, tom tit, you are not it”. Apparently there’s an Australian wader called a stilt – silly me! Like others I thought FACADE at 8d was a bit oblique. Other than these, I thought this was tremendous fun, my favourite being CHINOOK at 12a
  6. Not having a great week so far, having struggled with puzzles that should have taken considerably less time to complete. 15 minutes grabbed this morning, needed another 20 of my lunch break.
    I wasn’t too happy about “repeated” at 8D unless it refers to the theme music being used on many occasions, but the anagram at 5D is great. The simple idea at 13A works very well but feels chestnutty, so I’m with dyste and nom 15A for COD.

    Just a quick o/t aside: One of the message boards this morning mentioned a problem following links from the UKpuzzle.com home page and apparently it might be affecting some non-IE browsers. If anyone here is having problems could you please mention it?

    1. Re anax UKpuzzle.com – Using Firefox (latest version) there don’t seem to be any active hyperlinks on the front page.
      1. OK – that ties in with what was mentioned. I’ve got some work to do this evening then…
  7. STORK as a red herring is understandable – they sometimes appear in a flamingo-style pose. One stilt seems as reasonable as one shoe (as opposed to one trouser). I guess some defence for FACADE is that nothing else fits F?C?D?, though a musical work could have a name that you’ve not seen elsewhere. If it did though, I’d hope for more explicit wordplay.
    1. I think a real problem with FACADE (and to some extent ROMAINE) would have arisen if any one of 4, 11 or 13 across had been obscure. As they weren’t the two down clues were easy guesses. I certainly agree that an answer like FYCADO or some such would have been rather unfair. Jimbo.
      1. I think FACADE is perfectly acceptable, however obscure. We were also told that the answer was made up of letters from ADCDEF & G with one letter used twice. I got FACADE with just the C & D in place and this led me to SANSERIF (don’t ask why I hadn’t already worked that one out !)
        Similarly with ROMAINE, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one, but MAIN in ROE makes it a reasonably confident guess, especially as the crossing clues were pretty straightforward
        1. I agree about FACADE, 7dpenguin, and further I think “one” can substitute for “a” in these puzzles, and vice versa. If I’m right then we were actually told which letter is repeated. That was how I interpreted it anyway.
          1. I think it just meant that one of the notes was repeated. I don’t think the “one” specified which.

            I’ve just realised that I don’t fully understand LATHI at 14a. When solving, I already had L_T_I and immediately thought of LATHI before reading the clue (LATHI comes under the heading of “Useful crossword words). “Piece of wood” confirmed it and I wrote it in. I can only see the clue as a non-cryptic definition with no subsidiary. What am I missing?

          2. It seems clearer now. I’d thought “one found” served simply as an address to the solver, as I’d have expected a comma after “Notes” to make the real purpose grammatically sound.
          3. As far as I know, there’s still a Times xwd house rule that “one” in the clue can indicate I in the answer but not A. So I think 7dpenguin’s version is right. When solving, ‘Walton’ and ‘notes’ were sufficient information for me.
            1. Thanks, PB. I’m sure I have seen it, but maybe it was in the ST or Telegraph or elsewhere. Walton was enough for me actually as I’d be hard pushed to name anything else he wrote.
  8. This was not one I should have started after midnight, 28 minutes and some real struggling on the NE corner. I liked the anagram at 5d too, relieved to find on here this morning that horsefly was correct, as was facade.
  9. This caused me more problems than any for weeks, to the extent that I was beaten by FACADE, HORSEFLY and STILT. No complaints, however, and some nice clues. Like one or two others, I choose the clue to NINETIES as COD.
  10. 9:18 for me today, starting briskly but finishing slowly (the exact opposite of yesterday).

    I hadn’t heard of ROMAINE – I’m generally pretty ignorant when it comes to food and hadn’t heard of “pakora” yesterday either – but (as a member of the RTC Musical Mafia) had no problem with FACADE.

    I’ll go for 15A as my COD.

  11. Romaine is the type of lettuce used in a Caesar salad. At least that is the American name. I think they are called Webb’s Wonder or something like that in the UK. At least they used to be 25 years ago when I still lived there.


    1. Paul, in Australia Romaine is known as Cos. I’ve been happy with either when making Caesar Salad… as long as the anchovies make up part of the dressing rather than slathered on top, which they do here. Ugh! And for some reason they also think Caesar salad has to have a half-poached egg on top. Double ugh!
  12. A bit of work required after an easy start. (Having been born in one of the few cities in the world to experience chinooks that fell easily into place.) I’d always known borsch as borscht so hesitated for a while there and actually, the only time I have had borscht it was cooked by a Ukranian! 28a was last to click and I did like the wordplay so that gets my COD.
  13. Didn’t know FACADE, or Walton either, and hadn’t picked up on MIMIC until I saw the FACADE answer here, so I was fairly stumped today. Yes, harder than earlier ones this week. I thought 15A was the best, very nifty. Romaine lettuce is very common over here in the US so I guess the foreigners were given an advantage on that one, thanks.

  14. This was one of those puzzles that remind me that I’m in the relegation zone of the Crossword Conference League.

    I completely missed the significance of “type” and the anagrist “fairness” in 4a and similarly did not think of La Boheme at 11a and the homely people of Douglas at 13a. Therefore at 8d I did not have F?C?D? – from which I might have been able to guess the name of Walton’s most famous piece. As it was I had 6 ?s in which to put notes – approximately 5.7 million possibilities. Fail.

    There are 9 omissions from the blog. One of which is our Bohemian friend at 11a who was easy enough once I had the checkers.

    1a Describe large-scale work in Daily Telegraph leaders (6)
    D EPIC T. I did not know Cecil B de Mille had a column in the Telegraph!

    11a So-called heroine clubs ape (5)
    MIMI C. Unlikely un-ecological activity for our Bohemian heroine?

    15a Time of change for (Einstein)*, when he was a teenager (8)

    18a Part of impecCABLE CAReer that could ake one upwardly mobile (5,3)

    1d I’m raised in easy-to-manage dwelling (8)

    5d Convert (Christian to man)* like Cromwell (14)
    ANTIMONARCHIST. So Oliver not Thomas?

    16d Broadcast discussion could be (a lark – do it)*! (4,5)

    19d Workshop the French set up inside a bank (7)
    A T EL IER

    24d Student having little time before university, with mark to aim for (5)
    T U TEE. The TEE = “mark to aim for” is new to me. Online Collins has “the mark aimed at in various games” for Tee. The first example given in Collins is curling. I saw quite a bit of that in the recent Winter Games and do not recall any mention of “the Tee” only “the House”.

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