Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time – 11:13 

Did the bulk of this in about 7 minutes but the NE corner proved something of a stumbling block. Eventually got 1d and the others followed fairly quickly after that. 1a is my COD, just because I thought it was cleverly constructed and quite deceptive.

1 A,R[-ace],REST – the last one I filled in as I found it very difficult to parse. The “blink and you miss it” definition is “run in” (which I first took to be an indicator for R being placed into something else).
4 JOB,S,HARE – I hesitated before filling this as I couldn’t see why “bother” = JOB but I think it’s in the sense of problem or difficulty (e.g. “I had a job finding it”)
11 [-k]IND,IE – I’m used to thinking of INDIE as a type of music rather than a type of group but the Concise Oxford defines it as such.
12 COME,CID< – again, some hesitation caused by “show” for COME but the phrase “come and go” justifies it I think.
14 TEN,ON – I didn’t know the exact meaning of this word but I knew it had something to do with joining things to other things.
15 A,I in PARIS,T
18 N in HAD A REV (reversed)
27 KING,MAKER – a reference to Richard Neville, the 16th Earl of Warwick, who earned the nickname “the KINGMAKER” during the War of the Roses by helping to depose Henry VI in favour of Edward IV.
1 DA in A,U,CITY
2 REGIMEN[-t] – does “hands over soldier” indicate [-t]? If so, I’m not sure why.
5 VAN in (ON MARIHUANA)* – OUR MAN IN HAVANA, Graham Greene’s classic.
7 ADDRESS – this is probably blindingly obvious to some but why “directions in window”? Something to do with envelopes?
16 RAVING MAD – I think “party members” must be a reference to the Monster Raving Loony Party, although “rave” is a kind of party (think 90s, acid house and all that). However, in that context “party goers” would be more appropriate than “party members”.
21 SPAR,ELK (reversed)
24 T,OR SO – I really liked OR SO for “roughly” and I don’t recall ever seeing it used before.

36 comments on “23879”

  1. Back to normal times – 7:21 for this one – a good puzzle, of moderate difficulty I’d say. Long phrases that I don’t remember being used before, which is often a good sign.

    Edited at 2008-04-04 08:01 am (UTC)

  2. On any other day I’d have said this was quite a hard one, but after yesterday……….

    I still have three or four clues not fully explained so I’m glad it’s not my Friday for writing the blog. I’ll look in again later when the explanations are up.

  3. A good puzzle, about 40 minutes to solve with 5 minutes of that spent solving and understanding the NE corner. I was pleased to see the “old” at 8D after this site took a setter to task a little while back about MEPC. There are several clever clues with 7D ADDRESS and its clever use of “directions in a window” and 29A ADVERT for its overall surface reading being the best for me. Jimbo.
  4. I enjoyed this one a lot and found it pretty tricky. In 2D, I think it’s RE = part of army + MEN = hands around GI = soldier – but I also fell for the ‘regiment’ red herring to begin with. Plenty of options for COD, I’ll go for 9D which I thought a nice double definition – and another excellent football-themed clue. I can’t quite see how 14A works – is ‘part’ doing double duty?
    1. At 14A I think “joinery?” is the definition, a TENON being a special joint. At 7D an ADDRESS is literally “directions in a window (envelope)”. At 4A I think share=bother with, which comes “second” after job=career. And at 16D I went for Monster Raving Loonies also on the grounds that “members” suggests a political party rather than a rave. Jimbo.
      1. I think it’s bother = job (as explained above), s = second and career (the verb) = hare.
    2. I convinced myself that it is along the lines of “on a play” ==> “taking part in a play”. Of course, I had to first convince myself that there is no word called “AUDOCITY”. Any pointers on why DA = hairstyle?

      Found this quite difficult though not a nightmare like yesterdays (I could fill in just 4!) Vijay.

      1. DA is short for duck’s arse, a hair style used by Teddy Boys in the 1950s in which my (oops!) their hair was swept back on both sides to form a “ducks arse” at the back. Jimbo.
      2. DA is for duck’s arse. I’ve never come across either the expression or the abbreviation outside crosswords.
  5. A leisurely 17 minutes here. It’s Friday, it’s fish & chips for lunch, what’s the hurry?
    I think I was in speed mode when I wrote in CAR SHARE at 4a. I saw BOTHER and thought CARE and that seemed to be enough at the time. Air Man In Hovuna took a while to work out! I really don’t think 16d has anything to do with the Monster Raving Loonies. I think it just refers to “members” at a rave. Thanks to anon above for the explanation of REGIMEN. I’d also thought REGIMEN(T) was the unlikely explantion.
    I like “direction in window” in 7d so that gets my vote.
  6. 18 minutes – about my norm. I saw 16d a bit differently – I’m probably wrong. I read it as ‘very angry’=RAVING + ‘acting like party members’=MAD (as at the Hatter’s tea party) with the definition being ‘ill-advised’.
    1. Interesting take on Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. We need somebody with a better knowledge than mine of Alice to indicate if it was just the Hatter that was mad or everybody at the party. Jimbo.
      1. I’ve doubts about the dormouse’s sanity. I’m pretty sure the setter intended ‘very angry’ as the definition, but I think that the expression ‘raving mad’ is more often used to indicate ‘(very) ill-advised’ than ‘very angry’ – for which I’d use ‘hopping mad’ (if I were being polite).
    2. Although the whole tea party was mad, I can’t buy this parsing of the clue. If the setter meant this party, I reckon they’d have identified it more clearly -either as ‘tea party’ or by mentioning Alice or one of the other ‘members’.
    1. Its WAT-ERR-A-T being a reference to James Watt, renound engineer + err=offend + a. Jimbo.
  7. It’s WATT (engineer) around ERR A.

    A bit slow today. It took me the best part of 50 minutes, being stuck on 9 and 27 for ages. I did like 27, and 6.

  8. I was too young to have a DA, but old enough to envy those who did!! Oh the pain of youth!
  9. Jimbo – you’re right, I’m sure, to suggest it was only the Hatter, though they were all a bit bonkers. I’m .. oh, darn, my horse just got overtaken in the home straight at Aintree – another 50p bet bites the dust. Anyway, I’m even less sure about the clue, now.
  10. 26:18 which felt slow but as others found it fairly tough I’m delighted with that, especially after being soundly beaten by the horrors of the last two days.

    I put marks against 1a (clever definition) and 24 (use of or so) but nominate 9 as COD. A nice puzzle which under Anax’s 2009 puzzle scoring system would get 8.25 or so.

  11. On 12a I thought “show”=”come” as in “show up” to something. All the queries I had are reflected in the blog and comments. Not sure it’s good that there seem to be different theories on some justifications.
  12. Didn’t time this, had to take a break in the middle. I’m at a conference so I’m relying on the interactive version of the crossword, which I haven’t done for a long time. Why is it that the interactive Times has a different typing mode (and look) to the interactive T2? Just when I’ve gotten used(ish – since I still haven’t broken two minutes on the online one, and doing it on a printout, I’m much faster) to only having to type in unchecked letters, it throws me into this new version. Gak.

    Rant off – I enjoyed this puzzle, I don’t think it was *that* easy but compared to yesterday, a breeze. My COD tip would go to 15, nice and deceptive until I got the checking letters, and my last to go in.

    1. Race the Clock is a bought-in app from another company (PZZL.com from memmory), who also supply it to the NY Times and various other papers.
  13. Happy to get through this in about 40 minutes after being entirely flummoxed yesterday. I think the definition in 16D is ‘very angry’, like most others though I enjoy the tea party interpretation. My favorite today is “ANTWERP’, for somehow fitting ‘twerp’ into an answer, which is quite a feat in my book. Do you UK tyoes actually ever spell ‘veranda’ and ‘marijuana’ with an “H”? Regards, see you next week.
    1. Well I certainly don’t. I also can’t think of the last time I heard anybody calling someone a twerp either.
      Regards to you too
    2. Verandah: sometimes, marijuanah: never. The difference is that marijuana comes from Spanish and verandah from Hindi/Urdu – where H seems to be a pretty important letter. Compare Howdah, Delhi, Bhaji, Brahma, Gandhi, etc.
  14. Hi everyone. Thanks for this blog – it is a tremendous way for us beginners to understand the intricacies of the cryptic crossword! I was wondering if any of you could please tell me what the answer to 22d is?
    1. 22dn is (George) ORWELL (WELL = ‘a great deal’, underneath OR = ‘other ranks’ = ‘men’).

      7:50 for this, which didn’t feel very fast, but I didn’t know ‘block and tackle’ which hindered me quite a bit. If anyone else is going to be in 3dn tomorrow, give me a wave as I stumble past!

    2. ORWELL, I presume, OR a common crossword abbreviation for Ordinary Reserve, i.e men as in soldiers, and WELL for “a great deal” in support, i.e. underneath. Happy to be corrected, of course.
  15. Thanks, talbinho. Been doing this for donkey’s years without knowing OR stood for “Other Ranks”!
  16. Nobody else seems to be troubled by this, so I’m obviously being thick, but I don’t get the wordplay to 26a: error. Is there some connection between monkey and (t)error?

    Also, with 2d: regimen, in the printed paper the clue says “hands over soldier” as opposed to “hands around soldier”, and in a down clue I would have thought that “over” should mean above, whereas the “men” are below the “gi”. Any thoughts? (My original, uneasy idea was that it is regiment minus the “bottom rank”, ie bottom letter)

    Thanks, James

    1. …and bangers & mash at Newport Pagnell services.
      Salubrious surroundings for today’s solve, a stop-off on the drive to London.
      REGIMEN: It fooled me for a while but I’m assuming the T deleted from REGIMENT is an accepted abbreviation for “territorial”? Not sure though.
      ERROR: Thanks to PB for clearing this up for me last night because I’d struggled to justify it. “Monkey” in this sense would be a description of a naughty child, “a little terror”.
      This one took me about 30 minutes but of course it was competing with food. An enjoyable puzzle, the NE corner proving a significant hold-up where I couldn’t see EXEMPT until INDIE (which I should have spotted sooner) fell into place.
      7D is a cracker but I too give COD to 1A for its very nice construction.
      Next time I drive to London I’ll try to avoid the NCP car park opposite the Allsop Arms. 6 or so hours’ parking – about £38!
  17. I was waylaid by the weightlifter at 9d for quite a while having mentally BIFD Clean and Jerker which fitted all my checkers at the time. Happily – as I could not parse this – it did not get entered and the LAYWOMEN at 28a made me think anew. I did not twig it until 12a COMEDIC put the C in the first word. I got there in the end – not sure of time as it was done over a number of looks.

    There are 14 omissions from this blog – not quite half of the whole puzzle. Some have been covered above but here they are in full:

    10a How to recognize vicar with money keeping good company? (3,6)

    13a Airhead to the east of a northern port (7)
    A N TWERP. Not northern at all – nitwit.

    20a Clip from T V IS TAped for Panorama (5)

    23a (Target a)*rea when swimming in races at sea (7)

    25a (Given a)* short (t)*ime managed to produce classic (7)

    26a Howler monkey heading off (5)
    (T) ERROR

    28a Non-professionals breaking (law)* with (money)* involved (8)

    29a Head off to go round far side of Portland Bill (6)
    A D VERT. AVERT round (Portlan)D.

    6d Time when group of people are working for a change (5)
    SHIFT. My LOI – easy when you see it!

    8d Priveleged old European politician: Tory leader (6)
    EX EMP T. Exempt from what to be privileged I wonder?

    9d How sportsmen defend weightlifter (5,3,6)

    17d Engineer about to offend a very good swimmer (5,3)

    19D For example turning up, entering too soon and anxiously (7)

    22d He wrote a great deal in support of men (6)
    O.R. WELL

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