Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
This crossword puzzle mostly suited me, but there are a fair few I am not sure about but don’t have the time to check (or think about) this morning. I am sure they will shortly be explained or corrected by others.

I did this in 32 minutes.


1 ROBERT BURNS – anagram of ‘reborn burst’
9 EASY MONEY – anagram of ‘yes one may’ – I am not sure about the jam reference.
10 CANON – I get the ‘set of books’ bit – what else?
11 LUCK,NOW – I’ve heard of the Indian city – can’t remember exactly what went on there in 1857.
13 TRACE? – a pinch of something could be a trace – not sure about the harness bit.
15 GRUB,B(I)EST – best and worst can both mean to beat someone – crafty.
17 LABYRINTH – I think this is anagram of ‘by rail’+ NTH (North). Actually I don’t think it is anymore. Oh man, not doing too well today – still feeling the effects of a stag weekend!
19 TO(KY)O – KY=Kentucky
20 WARFARE sounds like ‘wharf Ayr’
24 MORSE – Chief Inspector Morse’s first name is Endeavour (Colin Dexter novels)
25 BAT,TL(E)AXE – EXALT reversed over E(English)
28 TO,WERB,RIDGE – WERB=brew, reversed


1 RYE? – only drink I could think of – don’t know about the port.
4 [a]BAND(WAG)ON – WAG in a headless ABANDON
5 ROY,AL – briefly considered REG,AL
11 LITTLE WOMEN – got solely from the anagram – I have no idea what’s going on here.
14 A,MB,ER,GR,1,S – with a Queen Elizabeth and a King George in there.
21 ELBOW? I don’t get the wordplay.
23 GRAND? – Why two family members?

26 comments on “23,836”

  1. You’ve explained one of the two I didn’t understand (20) but I’m still as mystified as you by 23. I got all the other references I think but have no time to blog them all. Here are a couple: The “Marches” are the family in “Little Women” and “Rye” is one of the Cinque Ports.
    1. I see I was foxed by yet another of those single letter abbreviations. I think they’re a swizz (but only because I keep missing them!)
  2. 10A – Double meaning, “canon” being a set of printed works and also a religious title, hence of someone in a chapter.
    17A – Puzzled by this. “BY RAIL” is easy enough but the rest of it looks like it doesn’t hang together. Any other suggestions?
    20A – Wharfe / Aire
    1D – Rye is indeed the name of a port.
    21D – Reversal of WOBBLE with only one B.
    23D – GRAN + D(aughter)

    This was an odd one for me. Blasted through the first eight Across clues & thought it was going to be one of those ridiculously easy ones, but about half-way through I came to a dead stop. Several minutes later one answer (11D) slipped into view and I got the rest filled in about 5 minutes – I’d guess 20 minutes in all.
    I’m tempted to offer COD to one` of the four 3-letter answers as all have been treated uncommonly well. For sheer deception I’d give it to 26.

    1. I don’t see the problem with17A. “by rail convoluted” gives (by rail)* and that is “heading north”, ie in front of NTH.
    2. Adding the rest for completeness:
      11a – Lucknow was one of the centres of the 1857 mutiny
      13a – “Trace” is also “either of the ropes attached to a harness”
      11d – “Little Women” is about the March sisters.
    3. Exactly the same thing happened to me! After the first eight to ten clues I looked at I thought I was on for a PB, then just ground to a halt for ages. 11D was the one that got me going again too. 17:20 in the the end. I nominate 16D for COD for the neat use of “in court case” in the wordplay.
  3. About 20 mins for me as well, felt like it should have been quicker. I’ll choose 15A as COD, for neat use of best=worst (the only synonym/antonym pair in English?). I think there might be a river Ayr as well as the Aire.
    1. …and indeed there is a river Ayr. I’m sure Rabbie from 1A would have heard this one rather than the Aire!
  4. For foggyweb: the reference in 9 ac is (I think) to the proverbial phrase “money for jam”, meaning money obtained without effort (cf “money for old rope”).

    As others have commented, a potentially very easy one that had a sneaky propensity to hold one up at various points. About 45 mins for me.

    Michael H

  5. An average puzzle for me with some easy ones and a few which took a minute or so , and some that raised a smile – 11d and 24a particularly.
    I thought we might have had an Irishman, rather than Rabbie, at 1ac given the day.(although we did have a Kelly at 8d)
    12 minutes to complete
  6. 30 minutes which felt a bit slow for this puzzle. Like others I blitzed most of the top and then slogged through treacle for the rest of the time.

    I’m really annoyed that it took me so long to get 20 as the Wharfe runs through our village and the Aire is less than 15 miles away. It didn’t help that I’m far too masculine to have ever picked up Little Women (the book, that is) so didn’t have the first letter to help.

    Some of our overseas solvers may struggle with Morse, warfare and Rye I’d have thought.

    I though 28 was clever but will go with linxit in plumping for 16d as COD “Cover up furniture” just doesn’t look like a definition and this was the last clue to go in.

    1. Fortunately Morse=code is such an old saw it was easy enough to guess; and I’d have thought that Rye would be easier for North American solvers than anyone else.

      But Wharfe/ayr/aire was a killer for this antipodean!

      I’ll join linxit and penfold_61 in giving 16D the nod.

  7. 15 minutes, quick start, and struggled with the NE corner. There were some clever constructions, I liked 25ac, 28ac and 8d (though 8d held me up for a while, I should have been quicker on the “Gene” uptake).
  8. Took about 1/2 an hour, all told, and I had to look up ‘fenugreek’ at the end. I didn’t know Inspector Morse’s name but the code was a giveaway. I went with LIMOGES, but I don’t understand the ‘mog’ wordplay.
    1. A moggy is a (non breed) cat. It’s apparently a UK term. I guess a mog is a slang abbreviation thereof.
      1. Yes that’s certainly not a USA term. Thanks much for the explanation, I appreciate it. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
  9. No different to everybody else. A mixture of easy and tricky clues. We are so used to n=north that we forget that nth is also an accepted abbreviation. A mog is indeed a cat but less well known it is also a cow!! I’ll go for 16D as COD. About 35 minutes to solve. Jimbo
  10. About 9 minutes today, we are clearly back in a phase of being treated comparatively gently on a Monday morning. Always nice to see a mention of TV’s most notable crossword-solver of recent times, which means we’ve had both him and his sidekick this year. Will there be a Hathaway to complete the set?
  11. There were quite a few wordings today that I didn’t like:

    7ac: “Part X” as a hidden indicator to mean “Part of X”?

    9ac: “X Y Z exchange it” as an anagram indicator for “X Y Z”?

    26dn: “X Y Z finishes” to mean “last letters of X, Y and Z”?

    2dn/3dn: “by” and “of” respectively as link words?

    19dn: “used to drink” as a definition of “tumbler”?

    Plus quite a few extraneous words & phrases, e.g. “This covers” in 19ac and “from them” in 6dn.

    Maybe I’m just being over-picky or am unreasonably taking a bad day out on the crossword, but I’m sure this was far less accurate than usual and didn’t enjoy it much. I did like WARFARE and MORSE though. 9:45 to complete.

    1. I agree with most of this – many rather loose things today. Had made very much the same notes of criticism, although to me “XYZ finishes” seems fine in 26dn.
    2. I’m with you on these. The sad thing is that we are becoming so accustomed to these slipping standards that I have stopped mentioning them for fear of boring the pants off everybody. I particularly dislike the extraneous words that are starting to creep in to improve the surface reading without otherwise contributing to the clue. Jimbo.
  12. Agree with the quibbles. I was wary of going with Tokyo as the “this covers” part threw me off course. Picked up after a lull in the middle here and finished in just under 15 mins. Then realised I’d got 12a wrong!


  13. 6:55 which felt as if it should have been quicker. Agree with many of talbinho’s points.
  14. I didn’t mind the “different” cluing – the solution was gettable and I liked the mix of subject matter.

    There are eight answers on the bench:

    7a Part oF A Gun producing smoke (3)
    FAG. No problem with PART as a hidden answer indicator.

    12a Couch, having been extended, accommodates you, finally (7)

    27a Letters from abroad newspaper rejected (3)

    2d In a taxi, one’s upset by standard (5)
    BA S1 C. 1S in CAB upside down.

    3d Story of ancient church (7)
    ROMANCE. Double def (DD).

    16d Cover up furniture in court case (9)

    19d – an acrobat used to drink (7)
    TUMBLER. Another DD.

    26d Watch thE waY hE finishes (3)
    E Y E

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