Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Time taken to solve: A little over 30 mins. 
I found this mostly straightforward but uninspiring after some rather exceptional puzzles earlier in the week

4 EPI(DEM,1)C – (1,MED) rev. that is, held by EPIC. I pondered a while on which “I” is represented by “1”. Hope I got it right.
10 STAR APPLE – P(ie) + last pear (anag). Not sure I have met this fruit before.
11 G.I.,S.M.O. – Hm. I’m a bit dubious about this one. GI is an American private, SMO is a Senior Medical Officer and it seems we are to assume that the SMO providing the healthcare is therefore an American. I may have missed something or perhaps I’m being picky. PB’s comment below has persuaded me I should have gone with the other explanation I had considered: G.I.’s, M.O. but the clue still doesn’t feel quite right to me for the same reason as above omitting the reference to Senior.
12 TEA – A nice clue for an everyday word. My COD.
13 REAGANOMICS – (Americans go)* – “Supply-side economics” according to Chambers as practised by the late Ronnie. Collins doesn’t list it.
16 HOLY SEE – “Wholly see”. Oh dear! I can already hear the howls of anguish at this dreadful homophone. I don’t usually mind them but this is a stinker.
20 (f)EARFUL
25 PA,R – Another nice clue for a 3-letter word that reminds me of Mrs Oscar Hammerstein’s remark on hearing a young journalist say that Jerome Kern wrote “Ol’ Man River” : Young man, my late husband wrote “Ol Man River”; Jerome Kern wrote (sings) “Dum dum dum-dum”.
26 CHUCK – Two meanings and yet another cut of beef to add to the list we started a few months ago
27 (ICE-HOC),KEY – Ice-hoc being the anagram of choice
29 CHAR,ON – CHAR=daily yet again and ON=running. Charon was the ferryman on the river to Hades.
2 CH(ARAB)ANC(e) – Our old-fashioned vehicle for today
3 FLAIR – I can’t see a problem with this homophone, but who knows?
5 PRE-RAPHAELITES – (Atelier perhaps)*
8 CLO(IS)T,ER – The definition “monastic life” raised an eyebrow but one of its meanings is exactly that apparently
9 UPWARDLY MOBILE – (proud, will maybe)*. I was thrown by “oddly” before realising it is the anagram indicator and “maybe” is part of the anagram material.
15 NEW YORKER – “New” came quickly but “Yorker” took longer. Our cricketing term for today.
17 STUD POKER – Stud = boss on a shield. Poker for one who punches amused me.
23 TRUMP – Two meanings
24 TROT,H – A Trot is a follower of Trotsky. As the clue says “old-fashioned” I assume no-one talks of plighting their troth any more. It used to be retained in the marriage ceremony. 

18 comments on “23825 CHAR-CHAR-ARCH!”

  1. 7:02 for this including 30 secs or so trying to choose between S and Z at the crossing of 11 and 7 – gismo/gizmo being alternative spellings, and SA/ZA both being possible for S Africa. I’m sure the Masai can’t be called Mazai but stranger things have happened. Then it dawned on me that the medic in 11 is the “G.I.’s M.O.”. There was also a silly hasty try of EPISODIC at 4, mistaking ISOD for a reversed dose and not really paying any attention to the def at all. Also liked the clue for 12, and 21.

    If you were as confused as me about star apples and star fruit, see this blog page.

    Edited at 2008-02-01 08:50 am (UTC)

    1. I had considered the “GI’s MO” explanation and on reflection I think it’s probably what the setter had in mind so I should have plumped for it. The clue still doesn’t feel quite right to me though.
  2. For me this was the easiest puzzle for some time that took me just over 20 minutes. I shan’t say anything more about 16 across except that I groaned as I read it whereas 3 down is fine both in EC1 and deepest Dorset. I liked “late ferry” at 29 across and 25 across is excellent but my COD is 13 across. Jimbo.
  3. I’d say the main feature of ‘Reaganomics’, as the term is now used in financial circles, is a lack of concern for fiscal deficits. As such, 13A is topical, quite possibly accurate and by a distance my COD. I would have been pretty quick, but for carelessly writing in BACKWAY at 19A. Oh, well…
  4. Not particularly easy for me, but finished it with only Gismo wrong.

    Got off to an awful start by confidently putting in “(t)errify” for 20A, meaning to look it up later. Sounded an ideal word for a rocket to me!

    When I did look it up, either I had to be wrong, or Chambers did; so on the balance of probability, I gave Chambers the benefit of the doubt and quickly found “earful”.

    I loved 16 for COD, and one or two other nice ones – especially 29 as a classical reference. They’ll be using Procrustes again if they keep this up.

  5. 15D — Oh dear! Is the New Yorker now a humourous magazine? I stopped reading it when Tina Brown took over (many years ago) and it was dumbed down beyond recognition, but I am still mystified that such an august publication could be clued as “humourous” on the basis, presumably, of a smattering of cartoons and a light piece or two.
    1. I think the cartoons are the bit we remember over here – maybe because the serious stuff is more difficult for us. Don’t know what else Tina Brown did, but she did introduce a cryptic crossword – a small barred grid puzzle that was easy but well written – one of our bloggers cut his cryptic teeth on this puzzle. The next editor chucked it out immediately – probably the biggest kick in the teeth for US cryptics in the last 20 years.
  6. 20A nearly caught me but, fortunately, I left it until putting in the easier STUD POKER. Mind you, I think ERRIFY should be introduced as a new word meaning “To prove someone wrong”.
    13A caught me eye as a COD contender, if 25A turns out to be a chestnut it’s still a cracker, 1D is a fine semi &lit, but my choice is 5D for a great anagram using the innocuous “perhaps” in the fodder.
    Very enjoyable.
  7. I thought this was a cracker. I even pronouce “Holy” and “wholly” the same. Lots of good clues today, 21d,29a and 1d amongst them, but I’m torn between 13a and 9d as COD. I’ll plump for 9d. I knew there was an anagram in there, but hadn’t considered “maybe” to be part of it. I had to write it down and cross out “proud” and “will” to see what I was left with. No timing today, but it was around the 20 minute mark.
  8. I promise 7dpenguin and I are not the same. I thought this was fairly easy words, well clued. Most of the checking letters made the definitions easy to see. Ripped through in under 9 minutes, probably a personal best. Really liked 27ac, 21d, the anagram at 5d (in trying to solve, I couldn’t decide which set of 7 letter words to use in the anagram). Might also help that I tried this first thing in the morning.
  9. Looking at it again, it’s only just occurred to me that 5D and 9D are a remarkable pair, using ‘perhaps’ and ‘maybe’ as anagram fodder rather than anagrinds. Impressive stuff! That PRE-RAPHAELITES can be formed from ATELIER + PERHAPS is almost too good to be true.
  10. This is the first week that I have ever completed three Times crosswords in under 30 minutes, so feeling rather smug. Don’t ask about the other two, and no doubt will return to the 45-90 minute area next week.

    SW corner last to go in today. COD contenders 5d and 13a. Hadn’t heard of star apple and didn’t immediately see why ice-hockey had to be right, but the blog has cleared that up.

  11. Not knowing anything much about fiscal affairs I took a long time to come up with 13ac but I was also not helped by 3dn. It seemed to me that the “brilliance” should have been FLARE, as in solar flare, and “what produces it” was FLAIR, thus the “say” made the answer FLARE. I realise that my logic can’t have been right from the need for the R in the crossing box, but where did I go wrong, please? Sarah B.
    1. Close to being quite contentious, this one. You have a good point, but I’d be tempted more towards FLAIR than FLARE because Brilliance = Flare doesn’t really work even if the “what produces it” part is allowed to do double duty. However, I’m not entirely sure that Brilliance = Flair; I’d think of it more as a particular ability than an aptitude for brilliance.
  12. I actually did this last night, perhaps because I was cranky at being stumped yesterday, and went through very easily in under 10 minutes. I agree that this was the easiest solve in quite some time. Thanks to the author for throwing a few bones to the Americans at 11, 13 and 15. On this side of the ocean, though, employees at the New Yorker would be scandalized to hear that their august publication is referred to as ‘humorous’, and, over here it’s a’gizmo’, always, never a ‘gismo’. Have a great weekend.
  13. A sluggish 8:43 for me, not helped by trying for (and failing at) what would have been an extremely slow clean sweep. (It actually fizzled out at 16A, where I couldn’t shake BACKWAY – obviously wrong – out of my mind.)

    I thought there were some good clues, and I particularly liked 27A (ICE-HOCKEY), which I don’t recall coming across before though it could well be an old chestnut, so I’ll opt for that as my COD.

  14. Just shows how we’re all different. I thought this was excellent, and I’m scratching my head as to how “wholly” can be a controversial homophone for “holy”

  15. Memorable for the use of both MAYBE and PERHAPS as anagram fodder in 5d and 9d rather than their usual function which is maybe, perhaps a bit overused?

    There are half a dozen answers not in the blog:

    14a Pickled and preserved in containers (6)
    CANNED. Double definition – canned as in “plastered” etc for the first one. The various slang terms for being inebriated always makes me think of Michael MacIntyre’s “gazebo-ed”.

    19a Cunning method to make an entrance, perhaps (7)
    ARCH WAY. There is a “perhaps” in its usual environment.

    28a Left section in legal document (8)

    1d Money some in EuroPE SET Aside (6)

    6d Follow and arrest part of religious outfit (3-6)

    7d People found as I’m heading North, having crossed South Africa? (5)
    MA SA I

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