Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 23:52

Because this is appearing late (for which I apologise) it is written in some haste. I shall add any necessary corrections later.

I think it was a tough one. Lots of words on the edge of my vocabulary, including COMITY and MEGRIM. And MARABOUTS was way beyond it, but seemed the only possible answer.


5 GAL + L + I.C.
9 MAN (dislodge)D + RAKE
12 THUM(p) + B
24 I (et)ONIAN
27 STEER AGE – reference to the popular but false etymology for posh


2 MAN + QUE(st)
4 LIKE THE DEVIL – two meanings, with the break coming after the third word in the clue
6 ALE + P.H. – put in ALPHA first, but corrected it quickly
17 RECOUNTS – two meanings
19 M + ANTU + A, ANTU being AUNT*
20 FI(DD)LE – hope this is right: “kit” for violin and “box” for file are not obvious
22 S + HARE

16 comments on “24,004”

  1. Blimey! 29 minutes after getting all but four clues in about 9 minutes. The culprits for me were MANQUE (I forgot the old ‘When you see a U with a space before it…’ rule), FIDDLE, AMATI (which cropped up recently and I’m cross I didn’t see it quickly) and SHARE, which I’d pencilled in as ‘space’ but knew couldn’t be right. Got there eventually, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who flew through much of it then hit the buffers.
    Tentative QED: 0,5,7
  2. This was a bit of a horror story in terms of time (35 minutes) but the time is irrelevant as I feel like some answers were entered as pure guesswork. FIDDLE is a case in point and without dictionaries to hand I can’t link up kit/fiddle or file/box (yes, I know there’s “box file” but if we get into the definition by example debate again…).

    Oddly, it was mostly the uncommon words that went in first – MEGRIM, AMATI, COMITY, MANQUE, ALEPH, MANGANITE and MANTUA – a few Ms and As around in this one; but the last entry MARABOUTS accounted for at least 10 minutes of solving time.

    I’m not going to suggest quibbles as I’m sure the bits unknown to me are just that; there didn’t seem to be any technical worries. COD choice is 26.

    Q-0 E-6 D-8 COD 26
    Like Sotira, I add these rankings tentatively.

    1. COED definition for ‘file’ – “a folder or box for keeping loose papers together and in order”

      Ditto ‘kit’ – “a small violin”


  3. 10.12 (but one mistake). Dammit. I did exactly the same as sotira, putting SPACE in at 22 in faint pencil with a mental note to go back and review it later. Clearly mental notes aren’t enough because I forgot. And I thought I’d done so well too, getting through what felt like a toughish puzzle without hitting any brick walls. Damn. Blast. Etc.
  4. Another tough one. In fact I found it tougher than yesterday’s because there were several words I either didn’t know or was not sufficiently familiar with to be sure I was right having guessed them from the wordplay. Amongst these were MANGANITE, COMITY, MARABOUTS, MEGRIM, SUN-AND-PLANET, ALEPH, MANTUA and FIDDLE (= “kit”, I didn’t know despite having trained as a musician).

    My COD is 27. I enjoyed its reference to “posh” though I believe it’s a matter of debate whether its origin actually has anything to do with accommodation aboard ship. Rather unusally the COD adds a footnote to state there is no basis for the widely held belief that it’s an acronym for Port Out, Starboard Home.

    QED: 0 (having looked a few things up), 7, 8.

  5. As for everybody else, struggled with obscure vocabulary and had to look some up afterwards to check my guesses were correct. Chambers gives kit=a small violin!
  6. 32:50, same problems as everyone else really. I can’t say that having so many “new” words in one puzzle is a good thing.

    Minor quibble – in 1ac is the “little” really needed?

    I had ticks against 24 and 26, Q-1, E-6, D-7

  7. 10.12 for Sabine! (even with 1 little mistake)!! Highly impressed.
    Like Richard and others there were quite a few words on the outskirts of my vocabulary , and marabouts well out.
    I suppose that the proximity of amati/-iddle should have rang a bell but I took a minute or two before plumping for fiddle. Camomile took longer than it should have and manque would have been quicker if I also had remembered q before u rule. Felt that sub 20 minutes was a fast time for a difficult puzzle
    19.54 today

  8. Seems like most here had the same experience I did, guessing from wordplay for a lot of uncommon words. I did this in about 35 minutes last night, but I now find that I made the same share/space goof-up as mentioned by sabine, so 1 error for me today. While there are a load of ‘not in normal usage’ words here, I think yesterday’s was tougher. Then again, opinions from the fellow who made the boneheaded mistake may fall flat. My COD is 17, deceptively simple. Regards all.
    1. Oops. Yes, thanks. And I will drop the word “placeholder”. Not one of my best days.
      1. No problem, but I’m blogging 24005 tomorrow and thought it best to avoid any confusion.
  9. Tackled late last night, which was risky on the timing side, but made it in 16:48. Only MANGANITE felt like a completely new word, though the defs for COMITY and MANTUA were pretty vague and I only knew MARABOUTS from a Tunisian holiday – a “deset safari” rather than coastal beach-bum one. A kit is a small violin as used by an old-fashioned dancing master. Commiserations to Sabine – those mental notes rarely work for me either so I try to resist putting ‘possibles’ in the grid, esp. for short words where the chance of something else fitting is high.

  10. I was another that put SPACE in for 22a as SPACE can equate to LOT in terms of land for potential building I reckon. So I did not look for the alternative SHARE – which appears to be the correct answer – as I did not think it necessary. Ho-hum.

    There is just a trio of “easies”:

    13a Arrival not quite up to what was expected? (9)

    14a One has notes for the final journey (7,5)

    11a Like some gear appropriate for a couple of heavenly bodies (3-3-6)
    SUN-AND-PLANET. A new one for me. It is an arrangement of gears that converts reciprocal motion to rotary motion – an alternative to a crankshaft. James Watt patented it although it was the invention of one of his employees – William Murdoch. It was used by Watt’s company because someone else had patented the crankshaft – one James Pickard – and they , presumably, did not want to pay him royalties. All this from Mistress Wiki.

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