23929 – moving fast?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I did this in 31 minutes.
A few I wasn’t sure about when solving – still not entirely sure about everything!

I don’t have time for the pie chart, so if someone would like to do that for me, that would be great. I don’t think there were many difficult references today.


1 SCORCH – double definition
10 DAIS – anagram of said – didn’t spot this at first!
13 STAG[e]
25 W,IMP


2 CRIME – anagram of ‘meric’=’Central America’ – I initially wondered whether this was something to do with rim, as in the Pacific Rim.
4 HERMIT – refers to the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
6 RUSH HOUR – presumably refers to traffic jams – not quite sure the ‘sessions’ bit works.
7 ORDER – order=’sort out’ and I guess the rest refers to the phrase ‘law and order’.
8 STILL ROOM – I’d not heard of a still room, but if a house is not full there is ‘still room’.
14 TURQUOISE – anagram of 0(non!)+SEQUITUR
16 ABSINTHES – hidden word – a souk is an Arab market
22 TO PIC[k]
24 REIGN – sounds like ‘rein’.

30 comments on “23929 – moving fast?”

  1. Another layout change sees the print version running full page length. Listen guys – the problem we had was an inability to have the full puzzle in view when folding the paper in half. No – not THAT way…. oh, forget it.

    12 – “extra”
    It confused me, too.

    23 – “special”

    14 – “non”
    Aha – I can answer that one. “What’s found in non” is the O component which joins SEQUITUR for the anag fodder. The device is a little strained but seems acceptable.

    I very nearly romped home in about 7 minutes on this, only being held up by several clues which resulted in a time closer to 15 minutes. A number of ticks, too – Jack’s choices were two of them but I eventually chose 16D, very nice semi-&lit and it took me ages to spot it.

    1. 14 – Thanks, Anax. I’m feeling very foolish now for not spotting it. Where’s that boot?
    2. Anax – I suspect the enforced longitudinal folding of the paper is a governmental Health & Safety measure to reduce pen-related injuries on overcrowded trains.
      1. You’re probably right, although we may see an increased incidence of short-skirted ladies saying “Oi – watch where you’re putting that thing”.
  2. 24 sounds like “rain”, I think, as in “right as rain”.

    2 & 11 gave me problems but otherwise it was fairly straightforward.

    I don’t understand what “extra” is doing in 12. It led me to believe the novelist’s name would contain an “l” already and I would need to insert another one to get the answer.

    “Special” seems superfluous at 23.

    How does non=0 at 14?

    I’m torn between 6 and 7 as my COD. Both are very good. Not sure I understand Foggyweb’s concern about “session” in 6; surely it clues “hour”? For example a session in a pub might be “happy hour”.

  3. 14 minutes, though a couple were shoved in on the “write first, explain later” basis.

    I thought this was a terrific, if flawed, puzzle, full of good things. Three cheers for 27a HERCULES, 2d CRIME, 25a WIMP, and the positively divine 16d ABSINTHES – as good a hidden word as hidden words get, and hinting at the Bohemian, illicit history of the Green Fairy. Wee ticks for a number of other clues, too.

    Agree with above mentioned quiblets regarding superfluity in one or two clues, and I’m still not quite sure about 24d REIGN… does ‘rein’ = ‘right’? Or is this alluding to ‘right as rain’?

    I gave myself a little problem by confidently writing in ‘bass’ for 10a (sounds like ‘base’), but otherwise ran through this at a fair old lick and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Oh, the scouse red indian? Angonamo, obviously.

    1. Why is the Scouse Red Indian concept filling my face with a stupid grin? It conjures up all sorts of images:

      “Chief Stolen Hubcaps, our scout has seen white men approaching from the west. Do we attack them now?”
      “No. We wait. Let them make camp. We will take them as the sun rising in the morning, lah”

      1. Glad it made you smile (,lah). I spent two of my college years living in Anfield, which was like the Wild West with shell suits, and the ‘Angonamo’ thing seemed to fit. I have a feeling we owe it to Stan “they bombed our chippy” Boardman, but that doesn’t stop it being funny.
        1. Do you think Scouse Red Indian warpaint would be in the typical design but perhaps with the addition of two white stripes down each leg?
          I’m going to get some old Wild West movies on DVD and see if I can spot any…
  4. Help me with rein = right? and where on earth do we find a parallel between order and common law partner?
    I have not yet been able to resolve 20 dn. Final quibble – is not the plural of absinthe absinths (without the e?)
    1. It’s just a typo in the blog. The clue’s allusion is to “right as rain”.
      Don’t know about the ABSINTHE plural. ABSINTH is shown as an alternative singular (with reference only to online dictionaries), so I can only guess each has a predictable plural form.
    2. rein and absinth: as Anax says.

      order = “common law partner” is exactly as foggyweb says – a reference to the common phrase that makes “order” a common partner for “law”.

      20D: just 2 meanings for career – “life’s work” and “make rapid progress”

    3. “Law” is commonly partnered with “order” in a well-known phrase or saying beloved by politicians.

      20 is a double meaning: Life’s work/Make rapid progress.

  5. I thought there was some very clever misdirection in this puzzle so congrats to the setter. I found it more difficult, however, than those who have commented did.
  6. I got slaughtered on this one with about a third of the answers unfilled. Seeing the answers I can’t think why. Ah well, roll on tomorrow
  7. 7:45 for this one – mostly pretty easy, but a small delay in the NE corner with 7, 8, 10 and 12 – I think 8 was the ‘breakthrough answer’ here. I was also fooled by only one L on HARDLY but thought the surface reading gain outweighed the possible unfairness.

    On the layout change in the printed version: I’m in favour. The new version is very close to the old broadsheet one – grid above clues in two columns on right of inside back page, with the left edge about half an inch to the right of the middle of the page.

    The first tabloid layout used was like the Independent’s current weekday one – grid at bottom right of page, with clues on left of grid. This was all visible on a copy folded in half the obvious way, but I found it fairly inconvenient to write on without a desk – with the grid at the bottom of the page, the place where your hand would naturally rest while writing answers was off the page. The version that’s just been replaced fixed this but meant that folding the paper in half didn’t work. Unless they rotate the crossword by ninety degrees so that the current layout is the bottom of the page instead of on the right-hand side, I honestly think the current version is as good as we can get.

    1. A compromise might be to have Across & Down clues separated by the grid. Slightly unconventional, perhaps, although it would take into account the fact that not everyone is right-handed.
  8. Thought I’d done OK with 15 minutes on this one, then got here and found there is no such thing as a SPILL ROOM. Ordure.

    Most of what I thought was said above, some odd clueing, nothing too outrageous. ABSINTHES well hidden, nice one when a hidden word becomes one of the last clues entered. Loved the surface at 9 and the construction at 27. But still kicking myself.

  9. 15A hampered me. Had EXECUTOR originally, as thought “Old Coin” was EX-ECU, but it still sat uneasily and hammocked in the “Not Sure” section until 6D and 16D came along for definite and something had to go.
  10. A strange puzzle this one. Some ridiculously easy stuff (11A, 5D, for example), some very clever stuff, all of which have been mentioned above. I guessed STILL ROOM but have now discovered it was a housekeeper’s pantry and HERMIT. Both easy enough so no complaints. I liked “the contents of non” and “Central America”, both excellent. Jimbo.
      1. It’s a sign of my misspent youth, Jack. My mother used to get rid of me on a Saturday morning by shipping me off to the Saturday Morning Pictures. There I made the acquaintance of the good guys in the white hats (Tom Mix, Roy Rogers), the bad guys in the black hats and of course everybody’s enemy dear old Geronimo!! Jimbo.
        1. That explains my not knowing it, Jimbo. I had school on Saturday mornings.

          One for the pie-chart under Popular Culture I think. I was going to do this earlier but was distracted by my broadband connection playing up. No time since, I’m afraid

  11. 24 minutes and felt it should have been better. Took far to long to see fahrenheit and generally slow to finish after a quick start. I blame it on a heavy weekend.Couldn’t work out crime and might just as easily have put in Chile.
  12. 17:10 so not hard but overall I found the puzzle unremarkable and really quite unsatisfying. Must be post-holiday trauma. Thought I’d be a bit rusty after a week off but having an Araucaria book for company must have kept me in trim.

  13. About average for me, 30 minutes or so, no great problems, no real quibbles either. Unlike some here I started very slowly, then the right side fell into place, the left came last. My favorites today were 27 and 16. Regards.
  14. Just in case anyone is still stumped by those answers labelled above as “ridiculously easy” here they are:

    11a Chief’s war-cry (8)
    GERONIMO. Summons up a scene in one of those pastiche films where Navy Seals jump out of a plane shouting Geronimo and then Geronimo jumps out, in full chief’s regalia, shouting NAVY!

    12a Novelist inserting extra line? That’s unlikely! (6)
    HARD L Y. Some don’t like the “extra” – implies novelist’s name has an L in it. In the easies so not as obscure as Jude perhaps?

    18a Strangely (erratic)* about one’s standards (8)
    CRITER 1 A

    19a Problem with ring for this style of wrestling (4)
    SUM O

    23a Special shoes required to get the best out of racehorses (8)
    TRAINERS. Some did not like “special” in the clue. Perhaps an allusion to very expensive “designer” trainers coveted by the youf of 2008?

    26a In which one can express warmth of unusually (fine hearth)* (10)
    FAHRENHEIT. I’m glad I had the checkers – are there any other words starting in F?H?

    5d Show lack of class and lack aspiration, so to speak (4,4,7)
    DROP ONES AITCHES. This gave the H at position 3 in 26a. Gotcher!

    17d Elegant as someone arriving on Tuesday (8)
    GRACEFUL. Tuesday’s child is apparently. I had forgotten this rhyme – had to wait for some checkers to get what Tuesday’s child was full of.

    20d Make rapid progress in life’s work (6)
    CAREER. Is it any wonder that one’s progress in life is named after what you would do if you drove after having too many drinks?

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