Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time – 8:34 

I found this very straightforward. The only thing that really held me up was 22 and that was because that I wasn’t sure that “wild” and ROMANTIC could mean the same thing. 

1 MA< in SITE
11 MANE,S – the souls of the dead, apparently.
14 BARRED – sounds like “bard”.
16 ADD in GLEN
19 AN in CONIC
20 alternate letters of “sHoUtS”,AS<,R
22 NEC,ROMANTIC – non-Brit solvers may well struggle with “Exhibition centre” for NEC (National Exhibition Centre, which is in Birmingham). Also, “wild” = ROMANTIC doesn’t really gel with me.
25 FI[-v]E
28 CRATE,RED – “not cooked” for RED seems a bit fluffy too.
3 TRIER – double def: someone who tries hard might be seen as conscientious and a judge tries the accused.
8 SIDE in RENT – filled this without understanding how “channel” could be SIDE but have just realised that it’s a reference to TV channels (e.g. “This is rubbish – what’s on the other side?”). Suspect that this is a Brit colloquialism though.
9 FEMME DE CHAMBRE – I think this must be just a cryptic definition?
15 (IS A MODERN)* – RANDOMISE. Spent some time thinking that “shuffle” was the anagrind.
18 E,ON (going up) in COMIC – there are very many adults in the world that would be offended by the definition of COMIC as a “publication for kids”.
23 COST,A – in anatomy, the technical name for a rib.
24 IN in CHA[-r]

18 comments on “23,939”

  1. I found this very easy with my only problem caused by stupidly spelling CHAMBRE as “chamber” and thus holding me up slightly at 28A whilst I wondered if that obscure geological feature a “crater(a)re” was a solution. About 20 minutes to solve.

    I think “red meat” is say beef as against chicken. I can’t find direct dictionary support for red=raw but I think red, being blood coloured, is fair enough for uncooked. I though 9D was daft but liked 15A where the definition could be either “dance” or correctly “shuffle”. Jimbo.

    1. Hi, Jimbo,

      Yes, that was my take on “red meat” too; it certainly doesn’t mean “raw” in that context.

      I have now dredged the expression “red raw” from the depths of my memory, used to describe the result of scratching an itch that just won’t go away. Still can’t find it listed anywhere by way of confirmation though.

      1. Red raw crossed my mind too but that’s unconnected to uncooked, and uncooked = raw = sore = red is a bit of a journey.
  2. A much better day for me than of late at about 40 minutes.I made steady progress and was never stuck.

    There were a few words I was not familiar with, MANES and SAMITE for example but the answers were clear from the construction of the clues so I wrote them in with some confidence.

    Not sure about red = uncooked at 14 and can’t find support for it in any of the Big Three, though it may be there tucked away. “Red meat”, a term in common usage doesn’t mean “uncooked”, does it?

    On 8dn: I’m a bit surprised side = TV channel is in the dictionary and therefore presumably still in use. I haven’t heard it for years though it served its purpose in the decade when there were only two TV channels and people would talk about “the other side”, a term which tends to be used in a different context now.

    I liked 27 but my COD is 25.

  3. Nice to see the return of Canute. Is he the king seen most-oft in the Times? Or would that be Hal?

    Easy enough today. 16 minutes for me with a few distractions.

    I thought the clues for MANES and TRIER a bit weak. Ditto 9d. But RANDOMISE is a clever misdirection, and REMAINDERED is really rather good.

    COD for me is NECROMANTIC, mainly because I’m happy to be reintroduced to such a wonderful word. I have no problem with the equation of wildness with romance. In fact I think it’s rather sexy.

  4. Did pretty well to finish this in 13 minutes, having spent a long time over 10A – knew what the answer looked like being but wasn’t sure if it was a real word. 9 was a bit of an oddity; hardly cryptic at all and I’d hoped it was a case of “cleverer than you think” with the answer maybe referring to a cleaner employed to service one room only – but no, she’s defined as a cleaner of hotel bedrooms in the plural. Ho hum.
    I’m with others on several noms but my biggest tick was for 18 ECONOMIC for the tricky little “keeps on rising” wordplay. The setter will have noticed ON is there without having to be reversed, but sought out the reversal to make a clue with very nice surface.
  5. 35 minutes here, which is fast for me, much better than my dismal failures to manage more than a handful of clues the past couple of days! Only 25ac held me up – why ‘English quintet’????? Except that ‘quintet’ on its own would have meant me getting it much quicker! COD for me 15d, if only because I was convinced for far too long that the answer must be a form of dance!
  6. 33 minutes which felt slow for a puzzle with a fair few easy clues.

    Does anyone know what English is doing in 25? Is it just to differentiate between five/5 and V? I don’t think it’s necessary myself.

    6 down (comedians) gave me awful visions of George H disco dancing in his pink suit.

    For a while I thought 9d was going to be an anagram of “room to be found” and although I spotted quickly that the anagrind in 15 could well be dance it took a while to make anything out of the fodder.

    Also new to me were samite, manes (as souls) and carbineer.

    COD for me was 13, a clever and relevant anagram.

    1. That’s a good point. Is it that the English 5 (FIVE) needs the Latin or classical 5 (V) removed?

      It’s surely not a reference to Enid Blyton’s stereotypical English schoolchildren, the Famous Five!

      1. My reading of the clue was the same as yours. English quintet = “five” disowns (in contrast) its classical equivalent = V. The clue works just as well without the “English” but that is the way of things these days. Jimbo.
  7. “The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite…”
    Thanks to Monty Python (and some farcical aquatic ceremony) words like “samite” feel less obscure than they probably are.
  8. 22 minutes, while eating lunch and being distracted by people at the bagel place.

    Guesses were RESIDENT (pretty confident), COSTA (not confident at all, seemed a little awkward). 21d reminded me of a brewing company over here that makes kosher beers called HeBrew (about the hoppiest beer I’ve ever had is their Rest In Pale Ale).

    COD tip would have to go to 13a, obvious anagrams don’t always stick out, but this was a very nice one.

  9. Did this on a coach with various conversations going on and got totally stuck on 28 which my wife delighted in giving me.
  10. Penfold’s link to the scene from Monty Python & the Holy Grail was inspired by 1a SAMITE. This clip contains one of the great lines in film comedy:

    Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for government.

    Maybe beats a referendum sometimes?

    Our esteemed blogmeister believes in blog lite so there are 10 omissions:

    4a Disciplinarian Bill keeps learner in (8)
    STICK L ER. Bill Stickers is innocent!

    12a Catch son leaving home (3)
    NE (S) T

    26a African entering Trondhei M A SAI lor (5)

    27a Journalists housed in very cold accommodation (9)

    29a School hospital located by sign showing direction (6)

    1d Back for a while (6)
    SECOND. Hardly a while?

    2d Author making impression on couple (4,5)

    5d Changing events more successfully than Canute? (7,3,4)

    7d Craft that may be demonstrated by make-up artist (5)
    LINER. I thought LYING originally – craft as in deceptive and make-up as in fib. Sadly no.

    21d The man given drink could be Isaac (6)

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