23827 – Grace Cathedral Hill

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 32 mins

A very enjoyable puzzle today – lots of interesting clues with a mixture of wordplay, but nothing too difficult. I just looked up a couple of words to confirm.


5 MOORISH – anagram of ‘his room’ – I think Othello is probably the most famous Moor, and I seem to recall he was from Morocco.
9 CONSTRUCT – CONSTRICT with I changing to U (university).
10 FACER – I had heard of a facer being a problem, but it is also a ‘lathe tool’ – I looked this up to check the second meaning.
11 IG,LOO – GI reversed + LOO. I am reminded of a quotation from Churchill: “Dear Sir, I am in the smallest room of the house and your letter is before me. Very soon it will be behind me.”
13 TAKE A BACK SEAT – I left this initially thinking it would be a golf reference (which I know next to nothing about).
21 IMPROV(IS)E – IMPROVE (reform) about IS and not the other way round.
27 EA(GE)RLY – EG reversed inside EARLY.
28 CARLYLE – sounds like Carlisle. I didn’t know Thomas Carlyle but easy enough from the letters I had.


1 MUC,KIN – MUC=cum reversed.
3 NETWORK – TWO inside N(new) ERK – an erk is an aircraftman.
5 MET,AL – reference to Al Capone.
8 HEREDITY – anagram of ‘they ride’
19 LUCIFER – a lucifer is a match and also a name for the planet Venus.
20 DEGREE – inside ‘jaDE GREen’ – easy enough but ‘worn away at the edges’ seems a bit vague.

24 comments on “23827 – Grace Cathedral Hill”

  1. This must be close to my record time (whatever that is) as it took barely 15 minutes to solve.

    Would someone care to explain the first part of 1d in more detail? Oh, and then I’ll probably need the boot from whoever last had it.

    My COD is 11 and once again there was no contest.

      1. Thank you. As suspected, I shall need the boot!

        I knew that meaning but I was trying to link it to “putting” instead of “with” and, not surprisingly as it turns out, I couldn’t make it work.

  2. Yes I got Much In but couldn’t understand it for the same reason – looking for “putting” going upwards instead of “with”!

    Not hard, but good fun too.
    I wonder why some puzzles are enjoyable and some of similar difficulty are not. No doubt there’s an EU grant going if anyone wants to undertake a DPhil on it.

    21A for COD – knew what the answer must be, but took a while to work out why.

  3. 5:40 for this. 4D is my nomination for COD for the nice contrast between ‘your grace’ and ‘racy rogue’.
  4. I agree that it was an easy puzzle, yet with some refreshing clues. 4 down is COD for me also.
  5. Fairly easy start to the week – just under 20 minutes.

    I wasn’t sure about the singular for out-of-door but the wordplay was very clear.

    White House is probably a cliche now, but I enjoyed the whole clue and nominate it as my COD.

  6. 25 minutes or so which is a record for me for the Times so this must be an easy puzzle. I’m more familiar with the conventions used in the Telegraph and Grauniad so often get stuck on the Times but I’m getting there, largely with the help of this blog.

    I’m not sure if my view on COD counts as a newbie but I’d go for 24a with its triple definition.

  7. I agree with others that this was easy but enjoyable. It took a very pleasing 9:05. I feel I could have gone a little quicker had I started at the bottom, because it took me a while to get going with the earlier clues. I’ll agree with Penfold and nominate 24a.
  8. A lot of fairly easy clues. I got the answer but couldn’t work out why “muck in” was right. Now I see it , it would get my vote as COD, didn’t time it but about 10 minutes so not too bad
  9. Staying in this morning to make sure I was around for the radio thing, I left it too late to get a copy of today’s Times. As per, the website only grants me admission to Club 404. Would some kind soul post (or email) a backdoor link?
  10. I was on for a very fast time today, around 7 or 8 minutes, but then got stuck on the last two for ages – 16D and 21A, so I eventually finished in 12:02. Jackkt can pass me the self-kickers!

    I agree with Pete on the COD – 4D (especially for Father Ted fans).

  11. I agree an easy canter this one. I had to guess FACER but it was no problem. No one clue really stands out for me (look at all the different nominations already made) but 2 down and 22 down deserve a mention along with the others. Jimbo.
  12. As an aside, I know that some things are so ingrained in the way of the Times that they may not be susceptible to change, but am I the only one who thinks that in 2008 there might not still be just one archetypal gangster? Obviously it’s handy having a recognised shorthand for a common suffix such as AL, but the Times is published in 2008 London rather than 1930s Chicago, and I find myself wondering how much currency the name of Capone has for younger generations…
  13. Thanks for the link Foggy!

    Managed to get through this in a (very quick for me) time of around 10 minutes. The use of AL in 5D made me blush a little as I’m guilty of using it in a future offering. In mine, as in this one, I think it’s OK; yes, it’s dated, but for the purpose of the clue it ties in well with the rest of the surface.

    Like Jimbo I think 2D is very nice. I put ticks next to 11A just because it uses “smallest room” quite nicely and, odd choice I admit, 26A. This latter gets my COD because of good treatment of awkward letters, carefully constructed wordplay and I enjoyed the image.

  14. Funny how you put in an answer without thinking about it…
    It’s a minor quibble, but isn’t “taking a back seat” what some passengers do, rather than drivers? Aren’t drivers always in front?
      1. I’m with Anax on this – the def doesn’t seem quite right to me, but still acceptable as a clue I fancy
  15. 13 minutes, facer was a guess, fortunately todays floral clue was one I’d heard before. I thought most of the anagrams were really cleverly clued today.

    Oh, and great avatar, penfold_61.

  16. Surely it’s either “out-of doors” or “outdoor”? This just doesn’t seem to exist.

    I always thought an aspirate was quite unlike a stop: it has something to do with breathing and the sound of an H. What has this to do with a stop?

    1. I’ve only got Chambers 2000 with me at the moment. It gives OUT-OF-DOOR as outside, in the open air, etc.

      Under ASPIRATE in addition to the bits about pronouncing “h” it also talks about “a stop followed by an audible breath”. Jimbo.

  17. There are a boat-load of omissions from this entertaining effort:

    12a (Gordon led)* astray making a bloomer (9)

    24a Block off nearby cul-de-sac (5)
    CLOSE. A triple def as mentioned above.

    25a Endow part of a hospital (5)
    A WARD

    4d (Racy rogue)*’s prepared address (4,5)

    7d Meet with popular scoundrel (5)
    IN CUR

    15d Confused? (Go to Ely, my) original source (9)

    18d Monks are suitable (2,5)

    23d Elemental sarcasm (5)

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