Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time – 9:37 

An easy end to what (I think) has been an easy week for the Times. No standout COD but I liked 21 so I’ll go for that.

5 CHASER – double definition as a CHASER is a horse of the steeplechasing variety.
10 [-r]OSIER
12 (MIGHT SOAR)* – HISTOGRAM. “Representation blocked” is a tricky definition to get your head around, or it was for me at any rate.
20 IM< in BOHEA – I knew that BOHEA was a tea as BOHEA Lapsang is one of my favourites but as BOHEA is not the first word that leaps to mind when I see “tea” in a puzzle, I guess it was lucky that I solved this from the definition and a guess that the letter pattern was ????MI?.
26 hidden in “letteR ON DOormat”
27 D,IS in NUT – have to quibble with the definition here as I can’t see how “exhibitionist” (COED: Exhibitionism – “extravagant behaviour that is intended to attract attention to oneself”) can possibly be a synonym for “nudism” (Chambers Online: “the practice of not wearing clothes, as a matter of principle”). I imagine that many NUDISTs might be quite offended to be described as exhibitionists.
28 ICE SKATE – nice definition here though: “Curry required more than one”, a reference to the figure skating champion John Curry.
3 BARROW-IN-FURNESS – NESS for “head” was the first thing I saw, which made this fairly easy given the enumeration of 6-2-7.
7 OUR in SCREAM – “these people” would surely be THEM rather than OUR wouldn’t it?
15 (DIET ELVES)* – TELEVISED. Somewhat surreal surface reading.
20 BALD,RIC[-h]
21 HOG in SUN – “a recipe for pork crackling”. Geddit?
24 TANG,A – luckily there’s no such thing as MINGA briefs.


27 comments on “23903”

  1. This morning I find that I cannot access the crossword home page using Firefox, whatever I do. Tried removing cache etc. However I can log in using IE and in Firefox the “update yesterdays url” trick works. Anyone else having trouble?

  2. This one took me about 45 minutes. In retrospect there was nothing particularly difficult and all the clues seem fair to me but my first 10 or so answers were scattered around the grid with lots of gaps that I then had to work steadily to fill in. I’m much happier if I can do a puzzle tidily, one quarter at a time so I felt this one was going rather badly for me and I didn’t enjoy it much.

    There was only one clue where I was unable to see the wordplay at the time of solving and having just spotted it it has to be my COD: 21D.

    Btw, I think nudists might not like to be defined as “exhibitionist”.

  3. I found this the hardest puzzle of the week so far and like Jack took about 45 minutes with the NW corner the last to be solved. I liked “representation blocked” as a definition of 12A HISTOGRAM and 1D SOOTHING is an excellent clue for me and my COD nomination.

    I took a while to realise that “Curry” at 28A is a reference to John Curry (olympic champion figure skater I think) and I’m not wholly convinced by “crackling” at 21D for “hog in the sun”. Overseas solvers will have trouble with 9D BEAMER which is a somewhat obscure cricketing reference. Jimbo.

  4. 17 mins, I agree that this was a relatively difficult one. Last to go in was 14A – it’s been a long time since Chemistry O-level. I’ll also nominate 1D as COD.

    Tom B.

  5. Oh yes,I was intending to query that too, but forgot. It seemed very odd to me.
  6. 20 minutes flat today. I thought it was going to be half that but carelessly writing in the obvious misspelling of ‘Furness’ gave me all kinds of trouble sorting out the SW corner.

    3, 9 and 28 were probably all tricky for non-Brit solvers.

    In 7 I’m assuming the apostrophe+s is serving double-duty as a possesive to give the ‘our’ and as an ‘is’ to cue the definition, but it’s a mite confusing.

    I had totally forgotten ‘Baldric’ – good to be reminded of the meaning.

    15 gave me a smile, as did 21, of course. I’ll never look at ‘Shogun’ the same way again, and, for that, thank you. COD.

  7. Er… 6 minutes. Don’t ask me how. Probably a combination of two things – just being on the right wavelength and having spent time this morning training my brain with the latest clue-writing contest.
    Really enjoyed this one, albeit briefly. The only weakness was 18 but in fairness it’s a pretty awful word and it’s more than made up for with excellent clues elsewhere. Even if the “crackling” ref in 21 is mildly shaky I still thought it a very good wordplay so it gets COD for me. Like others I questioned OUR in 7 but only after solving and it didn’t spoil things for me.
    Looking forward to a week’s holiday now although I may get chance to bob in from time to time.
  8. I suspect this is going to be a tough one for the non-brits (and non-weaponry fans). 18 minutes, relieved to see that the guess from wordplay at 24d is the go. Slow start on this one too, I remember BARROW-IN-FURNESS being a place referred to on Monty Python a few times. I knew I had ALL THE CARDS, didn’t know whether to have or to hold. COD to 21 for the clever wordplay. ICE SKATE and TANGA were the last to go in, confirmation of one needing confirmation of the other.
  9. 10.01 today. 1d last to go in. Had a smile when I worked it out so it was my COD…. until 21d was explained above!
    Misled by 20a for a while as I always assume tea to be cha.
  10. I did not find this easy, taking over an hour to complete it. I didn’t make things easy for myself by entering ANTELOPE for 17dn.; the wordplay just about supports it, and given the vague definitions we had on Wednesday I thought it fitted the definition “that’s large”. This stopped me from getting 20ac or 23. Eventually I realised 20ac must be BOHEMIA and I’d already thought of ALLOCATED for 23, so suddenly that corner fell into place.
    I didn’t understand the wordplays to SHOGUN (which I entered quickly from the definition alone) and BEAMER. Thanks to the explanations above, though I’m not as enthusiastic as others about the wordplay to SHOGUN.

    I can’t say I was particularly keen on 1ac; a fairly poor pun in my view, or if it’s SCAB grabbing the head of BARD I couldn’t see that from the wordplay. Nor did I like 14, unless I’ve misunderstood it; it seems to be RITE appearing after NIT. Possibly ‘ahead of’ but why ‘passing’?
    Reviewing the clues, I cannot find anything that stands out for its surface and/or wordplay. The best is probably 6 so that’s my COD. Sorry to be so negative.

    1. No, I don’t think so. You simply highlight what is always true about (especially) cryptic crosswords; either you click with the setter or you don’t, and no-one’s at fault either way. It’s great to see responses that reflect different levels of satisfaction with a puzzle.
      What you might call “negative” is certainly nothing to be sorry about.
    2. 1A is just SCAB-BARD where SCAB is union slang for a person who crosses a picket line. At 14A “passing” can mean “a coming to the end”. Jimbo.
      1. I think you’ve just illustrated why I didn’t think much of these clues. I understood that 1 across was probably supposed to give us SCAB + BARD, but to my mind it does it very poorly. If your explanation of ‘passing’ is right, the clue is even worse than I thought. If it suited the surface this would justify ‘dying’ to indicate ‘coming to an end’ or ‘at the end’.
      2. The clue gives you scab and bard, all right, but how do you get the order? Surely someone crossing a writers’ picket line would be a bardscab! Oh — maybe it’s a writer crossing his own group’s line. I was imagining a patron at the Bardery, say, where all the regular staff are on strike.


  11. 21½ very enjoyable minutes spent on this one. Like Anax, I felt I was very much on the same wavelength as the setter.

    I see no problem in 7d. Them would be those people surely? These people’s seems fine for our and I don’t see that the ‘s is doing double duty at all. You don’t necessarily always have to have an “is”, “gets” or “leads to” or whatever to precede the definition surely? 1d isn’t “very old concept’s peaceful” for instance.

    Bohea came easily to mind having once used it in a crossword based around “A nice cup of tea”. I think I had it as a container in “Some mumbo-jumbo health drink”. It’s also a much-loved word of P G Wodehouse, whom everybody should read. (e.g. “So Jeeves very sportingly shot Cyril out into the crisp morning air, and didn’t let me know of his existence till he brought his card in with the Bohea.”).

    Where was I? Ah yes, only quibble would be in the double def at 6, if you hold all the cards then it’s a duff deal rather than the best one, isn’t it? What do the other players play with?

    Lots of clues worthy of a COD nom on another day like 3d, but 21 is just too good to pass over.

    1. I didn’t have as much of a problem with 7 as some people so I’m not going to make a big deal about it. I simply admitted I find it hard to get straight in my mind. But you really haven’t picked the bext example to make your point since the comma in 1dn changes things.
        1. Much better example, and I’m sure you’re right. Probably the fairest criticism of 7dn is the one implied by dorosatt below. Questionable whether “our” could ever be replaced with “these people’s” since the latter seems to exclude the speaker. Anyway… I didn’t actually like this puzzle but seemed to be in tune with it, which is quite a worrying thought on which to end the week. Have a good weekend, all.
  12. My mind wasn’t really on this today. Gave up needing 20 and 28. No complaints really, it’s just that my mind was on how I was going to stay dry on our camping trip to the industrial Yorkshire Dales this weekend. Is that the time? That’s me done for the week then. Try and manage without me till Tuesday. Have a nice, long one.

    COD goes to 12a

  13. Two halves for me – the left hand side in a matter of minutes, which is incredibly fast for me, then spent a good hour on the other half (having to come here first to cheat on 5ac). 11ac possibly COD for me.
  14. 8:25 – I was a bit dense about (r)osier and ALIAS at the end, until I remembered to try voyage as a verb. So well done Anax!

    Intrigued to see both scabbard and baldric in the same puzzle. And at 7D, “these people’s” = OUR, as opposed to “those people’s”, = THEIR seemed to make sense.
    Also noted the safe ‘Cumbrian town’ def at 3, though Barrow seems to fit “industrial” better than Stockport.

  15. The left hand side went in right away for me today, but the right side was a struggle. After about 45 minutes in toto I had everything but 28, which, alas, I couldn’t solve. Reading this I vaguely remember a UK ice skating Curry, but it wouldn’t have occurred to me without prompting. So better luck next week for me. I muddled through the other Brit-centric ones. BTW, I agree with those who think the wordplay for 21D, while enjoyable, doesn’t work really well. But, no harm, no foul, as we say, it was understandable without great trouble. Have a great weekend, all.
  16. Entirely agree with the need to be able to check the answers with clarity – and “fluffy”? Well, I mean to say! Not only does it not correspond to sentimental but there is no way of checking.
    1. Clue: Are cuddly toys so sentimental? (6)

      It’s true that the dictionaries support “silly or trivial” rather than “sentimental” (except via ‘soft’ perhaps), but “Are cuddly toys so” is a second def which eliminates most other possibilities. I went for WOOLLY first but not with great conviction. With TELEVISED and B in F as fairly easy providers of the L and F, pretty hard to get wrong.

      And to be fair to the setter, “thing”: the first Collins def. has ‘object, fact, affair, circumstance or concept’.

  17. This was a of fun with some imaginative and amusing clues. I was stuck for ages on my last two – the POI ICE-SKATE at 28a where I finally remembered John Curry and the LOI BALDRIC where the C in ICE made the answer obvious. On finishing with BALDRIC(K) I went into a reverie of Cunning Plans and the demise of the dinosaurs which most Earth Scientists now ascribe to a meteorite impact at Chixlub in Yucatan, Mexico. That is unless they have seen Blackadder Goes Back and Forth in which case they will know that it was Baldrick’s underwear wot done it.

    Our esteemed blogmeister deemed this SOOOO easy that there are a near record 13 omissions from the blog:

    1a Weapon held here, as one crossing the writers’ picket line? (8)
    SCAB BARD. I would like to see that picket line. I would hope to see the best written placards in the history of the Trade Union movement.

    11a Outfit providing bomb action (5,4)

    13a Line on graph accountant reversed, showing capital (5)
    AC CRA. Reversed ARC and C.A.

    16a Wave that flattens lawn (6)

    18a Are cuddly toys so sentimental? (6)
    FLUFFY. This was obvious once the checkers ?L?F?Y were in place but I would not have got FLUFFY = SENTIMENTAL otherwise.

    23a Little boy found to be set aside (9)

    25a Leave witch, perhaps, to become religious type (9)

    2d A voyage taken up in another name (5)
    A LIAS. A then SAIL upside down.

    4d Spare book (7)

    6d Appear in control having been given the best deal? (4,3,3,5)
    HOLD ALL THE CARDS. All the cards in this case being the trick winning cards – THE cards.

    8d Unpleasant type beat palm (6)

    9d One smiling as ball flying past ear?(6)
    BEAMER. In cricket a beamer is a non-bouncing delivery arriving at the batsman above waist height so not necessarily past the ear. I think of bouncers usually to fill the role of whizzing past the ear.

    17d Worker has part that’s large (8)

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