23869 – quite an easy one

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Quite an easy one, I thought, and lots of fun. Nothing particularly obscure, although I learnt that French-polish is a verb! I did this in 27 minutes.
14A made me smile as I finished reading Flat Earth News over the weekend.
Off to try the Jumbo now.


6 A TO P – guess this sounds like ‘at top’ – not sure what ‘Characters’ adds to the cluethe characters before Q are ‘A to P’ didn’t get this at first – suddenly saw this after eldesdichado’s comment
10 W,E,STERN – W&E are partners in e.g. bridge
12 TH(EOCR)AT’S – EOCR=anagram of ‘core’
13 DONNE – sounds like ‘done’
17 MAYFLOWER – bark is an alternative spelling of barque; the Mayflower is the Pilgrim’s bark.
23 THOUSANDS – the limits of maximum are M&M and M=1000 (Roman numerals)
25 MAC(BET)H – Ernst Mach, most famous for the ‘Mach number’
28 P,RESIDENCY – seen this or variations plenty of times


3 FRENCH,POLISH,ED – easy enough clue but wasn’t sure if it was a verb (French-polish is how it’s spelt in Collins)
5 A,D,VISOR – I liked visor as ‘means to save face’
9 AN IDEAL HUSBAND is a play by Oscar Wilde
14 SOME,TIMES – SOME sounds like ‘sum’
22 PE(CA)N – CAlifornia in PENitentiary
24 SHY,L[ad]Y

26 comments on “23869 – quite an easy one”

  1. fairly easy – though I don’t see how settlers equates to MAYFLOWER (they sailed on it…). And how’s bark=flower? confused…

    once I understood the wordplay, I rather liked 10A WESTERN.

    1. the PDM happened the instant after I posted the question: it’s two meanings: the tree’s the MAYFLOWER and the “bark used the settlers” is their boat. Nice misdirection.
  2. A nice gentle puzzle for the bank holiday.

    27A was the last to go in, and it almost had to be SINK with the K from kindergarten, It took a glance up to the television ahowing last night’s golf from Florida to give that “D’oh” moment…

  3. Nice interesting one today.
    So 27 – “succeed” as in sink a golf shot? Baffled me, so I wrote in Sink anyway.

    6 a bit puzzling too. O and P are characters before Q (sounds like queue), but wasn’t sure where the AT came into it.

  4. Re 27A, ‘sink a putt’ is a standard golfing phrase, so ‘putting’ is used nicely in this clue.
  5. An easy puzzle but with two queries for me. At 7D are we happy that “cats and dogs” = RAIN? And at 21A do we have an indirect anagram of “pasta” to give TAPAS? I do hope not. Jimbo.
    1. I’m reasonably happy that ‘cats and dogs’=rain – I doubt ‘we’ are happy though. We hardly ever are!
      I think TA,PAS is PAS,TA with the pieces switching – and I’m happy with that!
    2. I’m happy with cats and dogs for rain (we’ve had it before since I joined the blog) but not sure where “tricks” comes into this one.

      6A is my COD nomination.

  6. Speaking of Jumbos, the last one blogged was 744 (1 March). Will there be several coming along at once?
    1. Only the 8th March one is overdue by my reckoning – the closing date is usually nearly two weeks after the puzzle.

      Talbinho is down for 745 and sometimes has short-notice real-life duties.

      5:25 for this, with a final dither over SINK where I didn’t see the putting link. So well done the penguin.

  7. One of the easiest in recent times.
    Three of my friends (mostly youngsters) had solved all except 13ac, 15ac, 27ac and 9dn.
    Of these I solved the acrosses cold.
    For 9dn, the moment I entered only the crossings in the long slot, the answer leapt to my mind (having studied Eng Lit at college helps!)
  8. My 5 minute solve gets ever closer. I managed a PB today at 5:10, though I entered several answers without checking the wordplay. It was only later that I realised there were some quite nice clues today, such as 12a,25a,16d and 22d, but my favourite was 6a – very clever treatment. Now, if only I can find another 10 seconds somewhere!
  9. Between 15 and 20 mins for me, so by my standards an easy one.

    I’m with foggyweb on 7 dn and 21 ac: “cats and dogs” = RAIN seems to me perfectly OK, and TAPAS as a rearrangement of the components (“the pieces”) of PASTA equally so. Is dorsetjimbo turning into a bit of a puritan in his old age? On the other hand, perhaps my standards in these matters have already slipped so far that my judgement is no longer sound.

    I’m sure that foggyweb is right to read the WE in WESTERN as the W & E partners in bridge, but for what it’s worth,I happened to take WE as the first person plural pronoun, which implies or could imply some sort of togetherness/partnership and seems to work equally well.

  10. I should have added to my earlier comment that 6 ac is my COD nomination. Very neat. I also liked 17 ac and 27 ac. The latter took longer than it should have done to “sink” in (ho,ho), given that I’m an addict of the links. A tough one for non-golfers, I would think.

    Michael H

  11. Finished in about 15 minutes, with no hold-ups, so I agree with those who label this an easy outing. My favorite here is 17A due the misdirecting ‘tree bark’. Pretty clever. Regards.
  12. I was surprised to see that I’d taken 8:46 for this, as it seemed faster. I put in quite a few where I didn’t understand the wordplay at the time, that had to be the correct answers, e.g. 6A, 10A, 17A, 27A and 19D. Once I did understand them I thought 6 and 27 equally good COD nominations, which is quite rare for 4-letter words.
  13. I missed the A,TO,P wordplay and explained it to myself during the fast solve as a queue being a pigtail ATOP someone’s head 🙂
  14. Exactly 20 minutes here, I’d put question marks against a number of clues I filled but didn’t really get but wheb the p dropped I saw that they were among the best clues of all, namely 6,10,23 & 27, the last of which I’ll nominate as my COD.

    Well done to 7dPenguin for shaving a few more seconds off. The bracing Highland air must have refreshed the old synapses.

  15. I’m still baffled by “tricks” in 7d but everyone else seems happy so I must be missing something. Can someone enlighten me please? Then I can have my “doh” moment and forget about it.
    1. Well, my interpretation is that the definition is ‘Teach tricks to’, which would be fair enough in the sense of training pets, circus animals etc.
  16. What felt like a 5-minute breeze was in fact nearer 20 but I put most of the blame on 27 which held me up for some time; very deceptive and worthy of a COD nom. Thought 8 very good too; straightforward double def but nice soccer tie-in.
    It’s been a long day – standing in blizzard conditions to do the photography at Buxton Raceway in a meeting full of stoppages – so tackling today’s puzzle got postponed until about 11.15pm. Very glad it didn’t turn into an even longer evening.
  17. I’m commenting a day after everyone else. I solved this pretty breezily over a liquid blinner.
  18. Another blog with an XI of omissions:

    1a Problem, in a way, with trade? Then improvise (7,3)

    11a Destructive types in youth reversing into vehicles (7)

    14a Clean up gambling event (5)

    15a Displaced (emigrants)* moving en masse (9)

    21a Switch pieces of Italian food for Spanish food (5)
    TA PAS. This COULD be interpreted as an indirect anagram of PASTA to get TAPAS but the “switch pieces” gives PAS TA => TAP AS so is OK-ed by a majority above.

    27a Succeed in putting son in kindergarten, originally (4)
    S IN K

    2d Form of (rule as yet)* without extravagance (9)

    7d Teach tricks to cats and dogs after short time (5)
    T RAIN. No problem for me with “teach tricks to” = TRAIN.

    8d Useless member of team, one transferred by coach. perhaps (9)
    PASSENGER. One that did not respond to training?

    14d Not always the full amount reported by newspaper (9)

    19d Carnival site, from our perspective, is disorderly (7)

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