23892 – Saturday 19th April

Solving time: unknown

Solved afresh for this report. There’s lots of good stuff in this puzzle.

7 SIDE – 2 defs
10 DR. ON GO – a bird or Aussie numskull. File with loon, cuckoo, gull and I daresay one or two others.
11 EMETIC = (cite me) rev.
13 GRUNT,LED – back-formation from ‘disgruntled’
14 UNDERWHELMED – E.R. in (muddle when)* – and another back-formation, from ‘overwhelmed’.
17 BE,TAP=bug (to listen in),ARTICLE
21 DIK-DIK = kid rev., twice
22 C(h)ANCEL
23 WOO,D.S.M.,AN – there’s a DSM as well as a DSO among Brit military gongs.
25 GHEE – hidden (clarified butter used in Indian cooking)
26 ANGEL FALLS – waterfall in Venezuela, and ‘fall’ as in the Fall of Man
2 AG(RIM)ONY – very tough if you don’t recognise it from A?R?M?N? – “border suffering?” = RIM in AGONY. A nice change from a letter swap in acrimony.
3 (h)AND
4 CON(I)C(h) = solid and curved
5 E.P.,ERGNE=green*
6 MIDSUMMER – 2 def’s, one the MM in the middle of ‘summer’
7 SPOTTED DICK – one of those old-fashioned steamed puddings I imagine Billy Bunter tucking into
8 DEGREE – 2 defs
12 TR(EEB=bee rev.)ICYCLE – I needed Chambers to find this when checking a vague memory of the def – “a mechanical device for climbing trees”.
15 WATER FLEA = (felt aware)*
18 P(ERIW = wire rev.)IG – an old fashioned wig = ‘rug’

6 comments on “23892 – Saturday 19th April”

  1. Will more people comment on this one in due course? I thought it was pretty hard I must say but I really liked it. 6 is just great. I like ones that just challenge you to think outside the box. 2 was a horror but so good to get in the end. 13 was a major surprise. 20 was nice, 7 too. Inexplicably 8 held me up for ages. I thought 11 was really good as well.

    I quite like it when the Saturday puzzle feels like a genuine prize puzzle in that it is a true climax to the week being a degree or two stiffer a challenge than the rest. I remember ‘swan-upping’ for instance from an earlier one.

    Of course having to wait a week before commenting means it lacks immediacy. So it has to be good to make up for that! Incidentally I thought this last Saturday’s was a cracker as well. Nearly cracked me.

    If there is a lack of bloggers for the Saturday puzzles I would be willing to offer my services for what they are worth. I fear Mephisto would tax me too greatly. In general though I can battle on through to a finish on a Saturday.

    1. I’m surprised by 8 holding you up – double defs seem simple but can sometimes be really tough to solve – from lack of wordplay I guess.

      The week delay means the Saturday puzzles don’t get the comments they deserve. My understanding is that they are chosen as good ones – not always the same as hard ones. This week’s was a cracker as you say. We’ve got volunteers for the next three Saturdays now, and linxit should then be back in regular action. If you fancy joining the Jumbo bloggers though, I’m just about to tweak their rota…

      1. Actually I was held up by DEGREE too – at least 2 mins out of about 7 or 8, if I remember correctly, some of which trying to justify ‘dagger’.
  2. There were two words in this crossword that I suspect are recent coinages, based on more established ones: ‘gruntled’, which is I think a coinage of P.G. Wodehouse – at any rate a few editions ago it was almost the only quotation from him in the ODQ, a joke opposite of ‘disgruntled’; and ‘underwhelmed’, whose origins I don’t know but which I suspect to be similar as a contrsat to ‘overwhelmed’.
  3. A very entertaining puzzle with a birds and a beast, a bit of physics and the world’s highest falls.

    Just the one omission from the blog:

    Water source knocks out base of bridge (3)
    SPA (n). Or the venue for the Belgian Grand Prix.

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