23849 – Another scorpion

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken to solve: About 40 minutes, half of which was spent on 21 across.

A very enjoyable puzzle with lots of clues that read really well. I thought I was in for a record solve today but 21A put paid to that idea, however I was grateful for an easier one than I have had to blog of late. 

1 SADDO – StAnDs + DO. A brilliant clue! My COD straight away
10 A GREE(n)
11 DO,TARD – DRAT (rev) provides the second part. I’m not sure I have met “dotard” before but I knew “dotage” so it was easy to work out from the wordplay.
12 BUM,P INTO – Two American words combine to give us the answer here. Does anyone remember the Country song “Hallelujah, I’m a bum!”?
14 NAN,N(otabl)Y, GO, A,T(omatoes) – Another very good clue and a noble attempt to hide the definiton in among the foodstuffs, but “butter” for “goat” is an old favourite so it didn’t take much thinking about
16 S(US)AN
17 D(1,CT)A – Watching Perry Mason all those years ago taught me that a District Attorney runs the prosecution so it’s amusing he is required here to serve for the defence in order to make the clue work
19 CHECKED IN – Sounds like “cheque tin” where “cheque”= “order to bank” and “tin”=”money”. No complaints from me about this homophone.
21 LE (m)AN(s)-BURN – A beastly clue! It was my last in and I spent as long on this as the whole of the rest of the puzzle. I didn’t know the expression but eventually got it from the wordplay having spent ages convinced that the first word must be LEAD. I nearly gave up and settled for LEAD-BARS. On reflection I’ve a horrible feeling we have had LEAN-BURN before, since I started reading Times for the Times, and apparently I didn’t learn from it.
22 S(C)YLLA – ALLY’S (rev) around C for “Cape”. Another word I didn’t know but again the wordplay provided the answer . Scylla was a mythological sea-monster apparently.
25 V,ROOM – Also a candidate for COD and the second onomatopoeia in two days following yesterday’s BOING
27 ROSINANTE – (ONE TRAINS)* I think Don Quixote’s horse has a C for the S so I was confused here for a moment, but anyway according to Collins the S version means an emaciated old horse.
28 FRYER – No problems with this homophone either
1 STAND AND DELIVER – Reputed to have been said by highwaymen in days of yore
3 ORDERLY – Two meanings
4 SING(les) – I’m a tennis fan so this came easily
6 GRAMP(U)S – A second sea-monster, this time a killer-whale. It’s also a dolphin but that’s not the meaning here.
7 HARD-NOSED – Pinocchio, the wooden boy with the nose that grows
8 THE MORNING AFTER – (MEET FOR A NIGHT + RN)* The clue reads very well.
15 NECTAROUS – Curvaceous must indicate (COURTESAN)*. Yet another new word leant here but again easy enough to work out.
18 ALBUMEN – (BLUE MAN)* The white of an egg.  Anagrams coming thick and fast now.
23 LA(IT)Y – IT for anything to do with computers has become a chestnut already. We need some new ideas.
24 MOTE(l) – Thanks to years of bible studies in my childhood I am very familiar with motes and beams

28 comments on “23849 – Another scorpion”

  1. Very slow start for this – eight across clues went unsolved on first look until I got DICTA, though I should probably have found party=DO at 1A, which might have led to the rest of the answer and quicker general progress. 26 was a clue I liked a lot, and I now wonder whether it could be combined with the DEF(END)ER &lit that went something like ‘I delay goal going in’, in some fiendish cross-reference. Final solving time was 12:28, with 12,13,14,21,6,7 among the last to fall.
  2. A good puzzle, and not hard wither.
    I loved Saddo as COD, and have not seen it in a crossword before. Vroom and Abundance too.

    “Scylla” was a lot more common in the olden days when schools taught Classics and the expression “between Scylla and Charybdis” was used for what is now “between a rock and a hard place”.
    Scylla being a monster on one side of the Strait of Messina, and Charybdis a whirlpool on the other.

    (I suppose Cilla Black would be just as much a deterrent as either of those, though)

  3. Charybdis has now taken to terrorising Listener solvers on a regular basis!

    This one took about 30 mins, but I had to confirm 27A and 15D with a dictionary. I’ll go for 26A as COD – simple but very elegant. I’m a bit puzzled by 20D – is it just a double definition?

  4. Less time spent on this than yesterday’s, though I didn’t really enjoy the clues as much; 1a and 26 were the exceptions – I thought they were rather good. I was puzzled by 20 until I checked C.O.D to find “kick off” means to become angry; it’s not a usage I’ve come across. NECTAROUS and ROSINANTE were pure guesses, but seemed likely arrangements of the anagram letters.
    1. One of those colloquialisms that has British roots, so it’s likely to confuse some. The lager culture makes it easy to picture typical usage – “Some blokes in the pub were arguing the toss a bit; and then it all kicked off outside” means they went outside and engaged in all manner of boozy fisticuffs.
      In terms of this clue that may be a slight disappointment. The term – as I understand it – is lifted directly from its usual meaning, i.e. the start of a soccer match.
      1. I like your example’s link to the coin-toss just before the kick-off!

        Edited at 2008-02-29 01:33 pm (UTC)

  5. 16 minutes, but I was (rightly) concerned by a few guesses – rosinante (check, and in typing this I notice it’s not identified as a word by my spellchecker), lean-burn (sounded like a contender, wasn’t familiar with “burn” being used in that fashion), and what turned out to be my undoing, “DOTARY”, a word I made up on the basis of “curse” being part of the definition. Decent struggle and my pick for best clue would be 14ac, love those long constructions.
  6. I agree with Jackkt that butter=goat has been around for ages so I should have spotted it earlier. Once, on a visit to the Nation Federation of Fish Friers in Leeds (yes, it is real), they insisted on telling me “We’re not frYers, you know. Fryers are what we fry the fish in”. I wasn’t that interested, but they kept telling me anyway. I should have known, then, that 28a was FRYER and not FRIER, so I was help up a little bit there as well. A homophone rarity – I have no complaints at either of the two used today ( I wonder if Jimbo does)
    Most enjoyable again. I must echo PBs comment on another thread that February has been a belter of a month for crosswords. It took 21:10 today, but I was slightly handicapped by simultaneously eating fish & chips, so we’ll call it 21:08. I’ve gone on a bit today, so I’ll finish now with my choice for COD, 14a.
    Have a nice weekend
  7. About 30 minutes with a bit of checking to get DOTARD and ROSINANTE.

    7dPenguin will probably complain about the fryer/friar homophone, and I’m not convinced that checked in and cheque tin sound the same. Cheque din maybe.

    I’ve some across lean burn before in the context of modern car engines so that one didn’t stump me.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen similar clueing for abundance before but neat nevertheless. Also liked nanny goat but 1a has to be COD for the end result.

    1. It’s an abysmal pun invented for the purposes of cryptic clue writing. A goat is an animal that butts, making it a butter. A river flows, hence we call it a flower (or banker). The list goes on but, thankfully, not too long.
        1. Makes me wonder – just thinking about the “kick off” question above – how long it will be before we see referee = tosser? Just a thought.
  8. I had quite the opposite feeling towards 1ac. ‘Who’ at the start of the clue doesn’t seem to fit the cryptic reading (‘Who is…’ would be ok, but doesn’t fit the surface).

    A hasty ‘affluence’ for ABUNDANCE at 9ac was unhelpful, and I had a pretty slow finish on the top left and LEAN BURN; 10:35 total.

    1. Is “who” not a valid substitute for “he who”? I’m sure there’s a famous quote beginning “who…” where the clear meaning is “he who”. Can’t bring it to mind though. Probably Kipling. Or Shakespeare.

      A second thought, is it a Times no-no for the definition to be the answer to the question posed by the whole clue? Q. Who stands…? A. saddo.

      1. I’m quite happy with the definition reading, and the construction “Who…”. It’s just that in the cryptic reading, the wordplay is “stands to be regularly ignored at party”, and “Who” on its own at the beginning doesn’t seem to fit with this. “Who is X”, “Who makes X”, “Who might be X” etc (where X is the wordplay) would all be fine, but not, as I see it, “Who X”.
  9. Regards all, Happy Leap Day! Leapt through this one rather easily, but for me that means 40 minutes or so with interruptions. Appreciated the bone tossed to the Americans at 12A, and the ‘abundance’ of sea monsters floating around today. I enjoyed 26A as did many others, and also how 4A, perhaps intentionally(?), leads directly to suffering during ‘the morning after’. See you in March.
  10. I’ve had a hectic day and had to take three sittings at this – it reminded me of being back at work. About 35 minutes in total to solve. No complaints about the homophones, which gave me no grief. I foolishly broke my own rules and wrote “private” in at 3 down without any checking letters (not sensible for these often ambiguous two word clues)and didn’t sort that out until I got SADDO (which was appropriate, I thought). A lot of good clues – I’ll lend my support to the overall quality of late – but 26A is COD for me. Jimbo.
  11. I like to think a more dedicated man than I is probably even now recording the first usages of everything for dictionary purposes. I’m sure I’ve seen VROOM, which must be a handy one to have in reserve for those V words, but LEAN BURN is a new one on me as far as the daily puzzle goes. Likwise 1 across, which it took me a while to get there, but which I would, on the whole, judge to be fair.
  12. 9:56 for me, with LEAN-BURN making for a slow finish (I knew it perfectly well but just couldn’t bring it to mind quickly enough). Some nice clues, particularly 16A (APOLOGIST) which I’ll choose as my COD.
  13. Killer whales are only a danger in the main if you’re a seal or some other marine mammal.
    Many people I know look forward to their annual return to the WA coast so they can swim alongside them.
    As far as I know, seals, sea lions, etc., don’t do the Times crossword, even if the odd Penguin does!


  14. 4a reminded me of something I heard last night at Henry Blofeld’s stage show “78 Retired”.
    Henry Blofeld and/or his dad were friends with Noel Coward apparently. Blo-ers described NC’s recipe for a Dry Martini: “add plenty of gin and then wave the glass somewhere in the region of Italy”. Gin and IT – a crossword drink if ever there was one.

    Just the 4 left out of the blog:

    4a Gin based drink – small amount is enough to knock you out (9)
    SLING SHOT. It appears that a “Singapore Sling” would contain gin and a small tot might sort you out a bit?

    26a (I stop goal)* playing as a defender (9)
    APOLOGIST. Nice footer surface.

    2d Cow kept by ageD AUNTie (5)

    20d Match’s beginning to flare up (4-3)

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