23969 – Wakey, Wakey!!!!!!

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
This was another puzzle of two halves. The LH side went in at record pace (for me) at little more than 5 minutes, but most of the RH side caused problems and took 40 minutes or so to disentangle. Along the way I was very distracted by knowing what the answer to 28 was whilst being unable to justify it. All in all  another hugely enjoyable puzzle – that’s three in a row for me this week.

7 FIB – B(r)I(e)F (rev.)
10 PARK,A – I doubt there’s anyone less streetwise than I am but even I know that a “hoodie” is a young person wearing a hooded top of some sort, but apparently it can also refer, as it does here, to the garment itself.
11 F(AD)(DI’S)T – I love this one! The “pink daily” being our old friend the Financial Times.
12 PLA,CARD – PLA from Pal*
13 S(A)TAY
15 CARMELITE – “Calmer light” – I can already hear the howls of anguish at this one! I haven’t been able to find “light”=”figure of authority” in the dictionaries but I expect it’s tucked away somewhere. I justified it by thinking “leading light” which I hope is near enough to what’s intended.
19 GUYED – “Guide” – Not so bad this time
20 NICOSIA – (is in a + co)*
22 L(O)ATHER – Great fun! An excellent clue. 
25 CLEOPATRA – Needlewoman! Another cracker!
28 POT,AT,O.S.,A,LAD – I guessed the answer with only the P,T and D in place but didn’t manage to justify it until long after completing the puzzle. POT=prize, AT=fighting,OS=Ordinary Seaman, perhaps a sea dog, A, LAD=pup. Very clever, and definitely my COD. Edit: Peter has pointed out that it should be POT,A,TOSA,LAD, TOSA being a Japanese dog bred for fighting. What a shame! I prefer my version but as it’s now obviously wrong I withdraw my COD nomination in favour of Billy Cotton at 8dn.
2 I,(y)LIAD – DAIL(y) rev.
3 OBESITY – (Boys + it + e)* – my least favourite clue of the day
4 EST,A,T,E CAR – Is in Le Mans = EST, Event = ECAR rev.
5 (p)LAY UP
8 B(R)AND LEADER – How marvellous that Billy should find himself in the Times Crossword. Bet he’d have loved it.  I saw an old clip recently where he joked about one day being made Sir William Cotton along with Lady Breeze. Edit: Added  for those who don’t know who I’m referring to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Cotton
11 FISH FINGERS – (Fresh figs in)* – But who snacks on fish fingers? Surely they are a main meal for those who eat them.
16 RESI((a)LIEN)T 
18 PASTE-U(r),P – A reference to Louis Pasteur
19 G,(RAMP),U.S. – Killer whale
23 H(OT)EL(l) – I’m never really happy with OT = book, or NT for that matter. They are books in my book.

23 comments on “23969 – Wakey, Wakey!!!!!!”

  1. 9:29 for this, with probably at least a minute lost when thinking of BLOW ONES TOP for 1A and trying too hard to make the downs cooperate.
    NE corner was the last part to be filled in. Same thought on the fish fingers.

    At 28 I think you need the tosa, a fighting dog named after a part of Japan – POT(A)TOSA,LAD

    “Light” as in leading light is one of the defs in my old Collins – “a person considered to be an authority or leader”

  2. I agree with the comment on OT – never been keen on the definition “books” but singular “book” seems to me to be just plain wrong.

    About 9 mins for me, without stopping to figure out the wordplay for 28, which took a while afterwards.

  3. 8.53, also without stopping to figure out the wordplay for one clue, in my case 16d. I have this dilemma to some extent or another almost every day. Am currently tending towards recklessness because I’ve been getting away with it for a while; it’ll just take one stupid mistake that would have been spotted by analysing the wordplay properly, though, and I’m likely to swing back the other way, and all my times will go up by a few minutes.
  4. A non-timing day today due to solving and eating chippy lunch simultaneously. I feel I would have rattled it off pretty quickly though with almost everything going in without much trouble. I thought 15a was a bit dodgy – never heard of carmelite, “carme” doesn’t sound like “calmer” to me ( I pronounce the middle R in the former and the end R in the latter) and I didn’t know the light/authority figure connection. The “(9)” at the end was absolutely spot on though. Like others, I didn’t fathom 16d or 28a until coming here and I also confidently wrote BLOW ONES TOP in 1a, but immediately realised that “TOP” was used in the clue so had to scrub it out and start again.
    Funny we had potato salad the day after we had Murphy Slaw.
    8d for COD
  5. 22 gets my COD-nod and it makes me think of exactly the sort of depraved thing I’ll do from time to time – namely, think of a cryptic element BEFORE looking for an answer that can exploit it. Finding a synonym for “much ado” and seeing if you can make another word by fitting O into it… the results can be spectacular.
    Perhaps some purists would argue that such a clue is, in a way, “manufactured”. I’d disagree – whether you take on the challenge of finding something for a placed answer or effectively work the other way around by building an answer from a cryptic idea, it’s all about putting the effort in; congrats and thanks to the setter for sharing such a great find.
    A reasonably quick one for me today, just over 10 minutes. Like others I disliked book/OT but the rest of the puzzle was good enough to take my mind off it.
  6. Like jacktt, the puzzle fell into two halves for me, with the RH side taking far longer than the left. It was almost 50 minutes before I completed it, but I felt I should have solved it a lot quicker. Add me to the list of those who dislike ‘book’ for OT/NT, but it’s so common I live with it. There were some very good clues here: 4,9,18,22,25 all appealed particularly. I think I agree with Anax that 22 is a worthy COD.
  7. Liked 8 down-although i got trhe answer without understanding why from the latter definition. Agree with comments about fish fingers which are not a snack in anyone’s book and the same for OT which has to be books and not book
  8. Got a good start on the left side and just put in potato salad without thinking about it so quite a good time. Today maybe has a few mysteries for our fellows from across the pond.Cotton and maybe a double at 11a/d , pink daily and fish fingers(are they fish fingers over there?)
    Agree with 22 as cod – 8.02 today
  9. I don’t know how long I took since I did this in two halves. One when I was waiting for a conference call at work when I did all the bottom and most of the top. Then after I got home I finished it off in about a minute once I realized I’d made the same mistake as Peter by putting “blow one’s top” instead of “flip one’s lid”. And it is obviously wrong since the word “top” appears in the clue but it was so obviously right when I put it in I didn’t think too much about it. COD has to be Much Ado About Nothing.
    1. I thought of “blow one’s top” but it didn’t feel convincing enough to write in without support from crossing answers. In the absence of that support, the grid stayed empty.
  10. I think the idea is that like the whole Bible, each testament can come as a single volume = book.
  11. Setter and I must have been on the same wavelength, or I was solving at a good brain moment, 8 minutes.

    Got POTATO SALAD without all of the wordplay. Helped out with GRAMPUS by remembering it as a Japanese soccer team.

    Despite OT being overused, I really liked 23.

  12. Took about 25 leisurely minutes while watching a ball game last night. I didn’t understand the pink daily reference, nor Billy Cotton, but I just assumed there was a Cotton in the UK who was a band leader. To answer one query, we have fish ‘sticks’ over here, not ‘fingers’, although we do have chicken ‘fingers’. And they’re not usually snacks over here either. My favorite, like some others. is ‘loather’. Have a great weekend all.
  13. I remember thinking that it might be possible to create a great clue from Much Ado About Nothing. And I was right! Congratulations, Mr. Setter.

    Paul S.

  14. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was that there were no cricketing references in this as I solved it sat in the upper tier of the Winter Shed at Headingley watching the first day of the England v South Africa test. Couldn’t time it as I had to keep looking up to watch the match, but I’d say it was an average-ish 20 minutes or so.

    Where are the ladies today?

  15. 3:34 to do about a third of it at work before I was interrupted, then 5:29 to finish when I got home, which makes a pretty respectable 9:03.

    Today’s COD for me is easily 8D, also liked 16D. For the record, I’ve often eaten fish fingers as a snack!

    That’s 5 out of 6 under 10 minutes in the week for me (counting last Saturday as the first, which might be cheating). Easily a personal record – Cheltenham here I come!

    1. Well done with those times – I suspect you’ve notched up 6 out of 7 by now with today’s easy puzzle …
  16. Did this one quite quickly with queries about how the clue worked at 2d ILIAD and 16d RESILIENT. It took me a minute or so to see how 16d worked even with jackkt’s enlightenment above. I did not get side-tracked by 1a as my FOI was FOE at 1d so I knew 1a started with an F.

    There are 7 “easies”:

    17a Complimentary drinks in these commercial zones (4,5)

    24a Avoid central part of US state, heading east (5)
    (N) EVAD (A) E

    27a Relaxed half the weekend (3)
    SAT. So did not relax on Sun?

    1d Friends of the Earth’s opponent? (3)

    14d Keen worker at bottom of ditch (9)
    TRENCH ANT. Maybe this is an “old chestnut” but I really like it.

    21d Like somewhere to sleep in town … (5)
    AS COT. The … leads to 23d … book into awful place, almost: this? (5) which is H OT EL (L) where some did not like OT = book.

    26d A police inspector called up for help (3)
    A ID. An Inspector Calls – a JB Priestly clue?

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