Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
My solving time was about an hour. This was more my sort of puzzle than yesterday’s as I got onto the setter’s wavelengh quite quickly and made good progress. The hold up at the end was in the SW corner where both 14s eluded me for ages as did the first word of 20, and 27.    


1 SLEEP OVER – PM’s = PEEL’S (rev) .
6 F(RAN)C – Basle, being in Switzerland, still uses the franc.
9 R.U.C. + KING – The Royal Ulster Constabulary became the Police Service of Northern Ireland in 2001 but its name lives on. Rucking is a term used in Rugby football.
10 ER,RAT,UM – I wondered whether “Signs of” is needed here?
11 TO W,IT
14 BE(v)Y – Last one in for me. One can have a bevy of many sorts, quails, roe-deer but especially girls for some reason. It’s a large group. A Bey was a Turkish governor.
19 G(0)UT
20 COMMON ERA – Another term for the Christian Era which I suppose is the same as A.D. so still “our time”. In English law the Right of Common covers grazing rights amongst other things.
22 AN(NO)Y – Had to return to this one several times before I could explain it. It’s some = ANY around leg = ON (cricketing term, rev).
24 A,LUM(p),NUS – Star = SUN (rev)
27 TR(E)AD – Tread was not the first synonym for dance that came to mind. In fact having spotted the wordplay I had to look it up to check this meaning is in the books.
1 SP(R)AT – Another one I had to check. Spat is the spawn or larvae of shellfish, especially oysters, apparently.
2 E,A(r)CH WAY – A bet for a place i.e. to finish in the first three.
5 RYE – Sounds like “wry”.
6 FARSI – Sounds like “far see”. Two in a row!
7 ART,EMIS(sary) – Daughter of Zeus with a sizeable portfolio of responsibilities. Shades of Wednesday’s wordplay on “art” here which I’m not sure works. I can see how “are you” becomes “art thou” but not “art” on its own.
8 COMPLAINT – COMPLIANT with the I moved down a step.
19 GONE,R(a)IL – In King Lear, Goneril’s sister, Regan, married the Duke of Cornwall.
21 (dr)OWNED
23 YUMMY – The last letter of curry replaces the first letter of tummy.
25 SAG(a) – A nice clue to end with as “endless tale” could define most sagas very well indeed. My COD.

30 comments on “23981”

  1. 28:30 for this – 2/3/4/9/11 and 13/20 were the slowest parts. 19 was annoying too, as I thought of “Lear’s daughters” straight away but couldn’t list them for quite a while.

  2. I found 7D a bit weak all round – I would describe a female Greek deity as a goddess rather than a god. Some very nice clues, however, my favourite being 21D.

    Tom B.

    1. Yes, that’s a good point which hadn’t occurred to me, so it’s a bit of a dodgy clue all round.

      I don’t know whether the male can include the female now as it does in the world of theatre where players are now all called actors, but I haven’t been able to find any evidence of it in the dictionaries or on mythology sites.

  3. Not as challenging as yesterday but still a good puzzle overall – 35 minutes to solve. I had to guess 14A. I liked RUCKING and TO WIT among a number of decent clues.

    I’ll join in the quibbles about 7D. Artemis should surely be a goddess. Also, I agree with Jack’s parsing, so how does “you” in “Are you ambassador” fit in? However, at 10A I think somebody going “er” and “um” is showing the outward signs of inward hesitation.

  4. Like jackkt I also took about an hour, with 1d, 2, 9a, 14d holding me up for far too long. Annoying really, since I was making good progress most of the way. I thought there were some excellent clues, making this the most enjoyable puzzle of the week. 11,16,19 all raised a smile, and ‘covers’ for ‘replaces’ in 22 was neat, as was the use of ‘canvassing’ in 3. The only clue that I didn’t like was 7, for reasons already mentioned. In fact I thought of Artemis very early on and rejected it because she was a goddess. It was only getting ‘baptismal’ that confirmed my original idea.
    I’ll nominate 11 as COD.
    By the way, welcome back, Peter, something I omitted to say yesterday.
  5. About 50 minutes, with 27ac / 21d causing the most problems. I took a stab at 19d based on the wordplay, and was pleasantly surprised to find I got it right! One of the better puzzles we’ve had for a while, I thought. COD maybe 1d or 5d.
  6. Thoroughly enjoyable. The SW corner had me flummoxed until I looked at it some time later when it all became clear. I’m glad I wasn’t too tempted by my first guess of BUS NAG ARK at 14d – that would really have put the mockers on it. Put BEY in at 14a on the strength of “commander” – my thanks go to Jack for the explanation. 15a gets my vote for COD because it made me laugh.
    1. No complaints about being expected to know who someone’s sister was married to in some Shakespeare play?

      Tea tonight:
      Yorkshire pudding & Yorkshire relish.
      Yorkshire potatoes and Yorkshire beetroot.
      Yorkshire rhubard and Yorkshire custard.
      Washed down with a cup of Taylors’ finest.

      The phone call was from Hong Kong so I had to concentrate really hard to understand. A bit tired now.

      1. No complaints at all. Anyone who knows anything about Shakespeare knows that Cordelia married Hugh Cornwall from The Stranglers and Regan went on to marry Dennis Waterman of The Sweeney. Goneril didn’t marry because her name reminded her suitors too much of a nasty complaint. any other question on the great Bird, just ask.
  7. 25 minutes, horrible hangover, couldn’t figure whether to leave the A or I out of RAIL in 19, Americans are going to love 9.
  8. Happy Yorkshire Day to one and all.

    About 40 minutes, can’t say for sure as I forgot to stop the watch when taking a phone call.

    Had ticks against 12a and 8d, think I’ll go for the former as COD.

    Re art emissary, I’m pretty sure I’ve come across instances where the implied “thou” is omitted. I probably wouldn’t be able to find one mind.

    1. So we still haven’t found any word that you can’t put “Yorkshire” in front of to make it even better!

      You took a phone call? You have been busy today, how do you manage?

  9. Took about an hour, and gl is correct, 9 was my last entry, along with 27, both flat out guesses. Rugby terms are not in my vocabulary, as foreign as cricket. Tread=dance is also something of a stretch for me, but it was the only variant of ‘T_E_D’ that seemed remotely possible. However, it requires there to be some British explanation for ‘trad=jazz’ that I have to assume exists, but with which I’m not acquainted. Nevertheless, at least I completed this, a minor victory after yesterday’s thrashing. Have a great weekend, all of you, and best wishes for continued good health to PB.
      1. Thank you Jackkt, I appreciate it. I have a link to a British slang dictionary, but ‘trad’ wasn’t in it.
  10. Got every clue but 14 across – I kept dismissing Bey as just the name of a film director (Pearl Harbour, Transformers). But 3 down made me smile when the penny finally dropped.
  11. Long day out at Edgbston meant this was attempted in fits and starts. Some great clues of which 21 down and 6 across were two of my favourites
    Around 1 hour
  12. OK 5dn had to be RYE. But what is the word ‘by’ doing in the clue, apart from improving (possibly) the surface? I can’t explain the wordplay. Def. ‘grass’; wordplay ‘twisted ear’, not ‘twisted by ear’, which makes the wordplay nonsense. I think.
  13. OK 5dn had to be RYE. But what is the word ‘by’ doing in the clue, apart from improving (possibly) the surface? I can’t explain the wordplay. Def. ‘grass’; wordplay ‘twisted ear’, not ‘twisted by ear’, which makes the wordplay nonsense. I think.
    1. “by ear” indicates that it sounds like something, So “rye” sounds like “wry” and wry = twisted.
      1. Boot time. I don’t know what I was doing: thinking that the construction of the clue was that rye was an anagram of ear. Crazy.
  14. There are 5 “easies” not in the blog:

    17a Create a stir, reorganising office (11)

    26a Provisional, almost meriting being redone (7)
    INTERIM. Anagram of MERITIN (G).

    28a In anger, yell horribly most of the time (9)

    3d Worth canvassing bore, needing somewhere to eat (9)
    PAIN TABLE. The opposite of “no oil painting”?

    16d No heart to drive vehicle – he runs people down.

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