Saturday Times 24969 (1st Oct)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 3:44 (not really – I was interrupted after the first few minutes with maybe half a dozen clues solved and forgot to restart the stopwatch). Around 15 minutes or so as a rough guess. Quite a boozy puzzle this week, what with cocktails, beer and absinthe on the menu!

1 FIDDLESTICKS – STICK (jam) inside FIDDLES (trifles).
9 ASSAI – ASSAI(l). Italian musical term for “very”.
10 EXCORIATE – COR (my) with EX (old mate) in front, then I + ATE (tucked into).
11 TOOK DOWN – TOWN (municipality maybe) around OK (go-ahead) + DO(me).
12 DONE IN – D (penny once) + ON + EIN (German article).
15 VALISE – I’S inside VALE (Latin for goodbye).
17 DEBARS – SR (sister) ABED, all reversed.
18 TIVERTON – T(ory) + (voter in)*.
20 SULTAN – SUDAN (African country) with D(eparts) replaced with LT (military officer).
21 STANDEES – (end, seats)*, &lit. Great clue.
24 GETTING ON – double definition.
25 GLOBE – double definition – Shakespeare’s theatre was The Globe.
26 UNRESERVEDLY – SERVED (attended to customers) inside UN (a foreign) + RELY (bank).

1 FRACTAL – (craft)* + A + L(ake).
2 DISCOMBOBULATE – DISCO (party) + O(ld) B(oy) inside (a tumble)*.
3 LAIRD – LAIR + (woo)D.
4 SHERWOOD – SHE + ROOD (cross) around W(ide).
5 INCH – (f)INCH. Scottish word for an island.
6 KIR ROYALE – KILROY (man who was here) with the R swapped for L, + ALE (beer). A cocktail of champagne and cassis.
7 BABES IN THE WOOD – E(cstasy) inside ABSINTHE, all inside B(ritish) WOOD (club).
8 BEANIE – BEAN (runner maybe) + I(nternational) E(vent).
14 TARNATION – RAT reversed + NATION.
16 PITTANCE – PITT (former PM) + ACE (one) around N(ew).
17 DESIGN – DEN (retreat) around GI’S (soldiers) reversed.
19 NOSHERY – Y(ou)R SON (kid) around EH (what), all reversed
22 NEGEV – hidden reversed in “giVE GENerously”.
23 OGRE – alternate letters of conger eel.

6 comments on “Saturday Times 24969 (1st Oct)”

  1. 13:24 for me. Nice puzzle.

    I hadn’t come across KIR ROYALE before, but the wordplay made it pretty obvious.

    If you’re prepared to accept one of the (online) OED’s definitions of “songbird” – “A superb (female) singer” – then there’s a double entendre at 5dn. My first thought was ELBA (removing Dame Nellie’s head), but I had a vague feeling that there might be another possibility so I waited until I had some crossing letters. I’d have thought that that definition was commonplace, but it doesn’t appear in any of the dictionaries I have on my shelves – that is unless you stretch the meaning of “bird” further than the lexicographers presumably intended.

  2. Exactly an hour with several clues not fully understood and I forgot to go back and think them through again. Too late now.The pantomime was my last in.
  3. 15 minutes here. Not much to say really.
    Two puzzles for the price of one in the crossword club today.
  4. I’m another who originally went for ELBA at 5d. So I was quite late getting 1a. I was also late doing the puzzle because of the morning rugby. I didn’t actually watch Wales/Ireland at 5am but watched the recording later when I knew we’d won. (I get too twitchy watching Wales play live!) Then there was the England match followed by the Saturday shop. Finally got back to the puzzle – a slow but enjoyable solve. Last in EXCORICATE, for which I needed all the checkers! 48 minutes
  5. 52 minutes, pretty good for me on Saturday. I can never remember what RHUBARB means in the UK –in the US it’s an argument, originally in baseball–so 1ac took some unnecessary time. LOI was 5d; I knew what was needed, just couldn’t think of the right bird.

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