Times 23535/must watch more TV

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 47’

No need to time myself to the hundredth of a second today: I was held up by 6D, 10A and 23D for about 15 minutes. The last two being subtraction clues (can be tricky) and the first because I think I don’t watch enough TV.

The long perimeter phrases fell fairly quickly which initially provided me a rapid boost in the arm (well, fingers). I had to use a dictionary for 12A (CHARIVARI) and 19A (ORIGANUM) – the latter being easy no doubt for all the music sophisticates who seem to dominate the cryptic world. Wordplay for 17A is available for decryption…


3 DISCO(M)FIT – with D???O???T, DISCO was obvious.
10 [le]PANTO – subtraction clues are hard especially when they reference the obscure battles of Lepanto. I wasn’t paying attention obviously during Early European history.
11 LAITY – I think this is just a cryptic def but if anyone cares to shed more light? ”But many of them are engaged in clerical work?”
12 CH(A,RIVA[l])RI – rich* is the container. I understood the clue but wasn’t familiar with CHARIVARI which is an orchestrated “hubbub” at a wedding (reminder to self: must get married more often).
13 TO,GET,HER – double/cryptic def: the canonic “boy gets girl” story? Actually I haven’t checked the mythological ref – I’m just assuming that what the clue says is what happened in “real life”.
17 A,CCORD=”chord” – not sure about the wordplay here: “Agreement – one that Sullivan lost, say?”, is this a ref to G&S? or homophonic: CORD=”chord”? Pointed out below that it’s a ref to Arthur Sullivan’s “The Lost Chord”. The pedant in me notes that this seems to be a violation of the “one”=1=”i” only convention in the Times and… what about CCORD=”chord” — doesn’t that violate section III.b (sub-paragraph 2)?
19 OR(I)GANUM – Ah, how I wish I was a musician and been able to recognize ORGANUM as “medieval music”. As it was, my way in, given ?R?G??N?M, was thinking of oregano and organ and then the dictionary to learn that ORIGANUM is in fact related to oregano.
23 GAUNT – at first I thought double definition – but when I looked up John of GAUNT, it turns out that he was born in Ghent aka GAUNT… thus triple.
26 DO ONE,S OWN, THING – Ref. Lorna DOONE.


1 AND ALL THAT JAZZ – Nice clue: ref. Louis Armstrong’s genre.
3 E,BO(N)Y – rev(yob) contains N for “knight”. Interestingly, yob itself is rev(boy) etymologically.
6 APPRISING – def is “informing” but someone who is hip to Eastenders (and/or the East End) might want to tell me how the wordplay works.
8 L,OUIS AR(MS)TRONG – nice anagram with meaningful surface: MS in (our organist)*.
16 BRAND, NEW – If there’s one thing I’ve learnt solving cryptics (other than cricket) is that BRAND is the “Norwegian play” by Ibsen.
18 CO(RANT)O – Ref. bill and COO. CORANTO , aka courante, is a dance that I worked out from the wordplay.
20 NAUTI=”naughty”,LI=”lie” – also worked out from the wordplay.
21 MISSUS=”misses” – “hers indoors” is, I’m pretty sure, another TV reference which someone will tell us about I hope?
23 GRAFT[on] – my last clue – and had me wiki-scouring for Whig Prime Ministers, e.g. the Duke of Grafton.

15 comments on “Times 23535/must watch more TV”

  1. The reference is to the song The Lost Chord by Sir Arthur Sullivan, “Seated one day at the organ…….”

    I found it fairly easy apart from 23D which beat me. Does “graft” = “shoot”?

    1. yes, graft = shoot (botanically speaking).

      Thanks for 17A: so I guess my instincts were right– it’s both a G&S ref *and* a homophone!

    2. And I think the clue can claim not to break either the “one”=1=”i” only convention or section III.b (sub-paragraph 2). If instead of [A (=one) + CCORD (= “chord”)], you parse it as [ACCORD (= “a chord”)].
  2. LAITY: I think this is just a pun on the two meanings of “clerical” – relating to office work / relating to the clergy.

    6D: One of those occasional references to a Cockney speech habit other than H-dropping – converting “ai” sounds so that Daily Mail becomes “dyely mile”. My guess is that it’s old-fashioned these days so Albert Square is just there to make a change from Bow or Stepney. Reading some Dickens would probably do you more crossword good, and find you one or two other speech habits.

    21D: “her indoors” is just cod-henpecked Brit colloquial (watch out for “the management” too). I don’t think it belongs to a TV character in the same way as Rumpole’s “she who must be obeyed”.

    8:46 here – didn’t get Louis A on first look, and struggled for a little while with 18,10,23D. Also failed to write in Brand instantly.

    1. [Error: Irreparable invalid markup (‘<converting […] “dyely>’) in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

      <converting “ai” sounds so that Daily Mail becomes “dyely mile”.>

      Hence Prof Higgins teaching “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain”.

      1. As parodied here.

        (Avoid angle brackets in comments unless you’re deliberately putting in HTML mark-up…)

    2. The two kanji making up the Japanese word for one’s wife, kanai (家内), mean “house” and “inside”, which is pretty close to “her indoors”! I get a fairly regular reminder of Cockney speech on Acton Town underground station when they announce the “trine for Riner’s Line”. (7:39 today)
      1. It occurs to me that the “ine” sound can be “posh” in some instances e.g. “going to town” pronounced “going to tine”. Very odd!
        1. Hmmm – that’s “ine” replacing a different sound. If there’s anyone for whom jailhouse is “jilehice” that’s very odd. I sometimes think of the “posh/not-posh” contrast when hearing names like “Rodders” – once upon a time this was the “Oxford -er”, giving us rugger, Jaggers (Jesus college) and possibly one of my favourites from Chambers, the wagger-pagger-bagger = waste paper basket. Now it’s barely distinguishable from Shazza = Sharon.
          1. Wasn’t Princess Margaret supposed to have described Buckingham Palace as a “nice hice”?
  3. No problem with Le Panto, Cockney accents or her indoors but I DO have a problem spelling San Merino correctly – there – did it again. With the consequence that 23d was my LOI after staring at G*E*T for ages and trying to get something that also means shoot and also has something to do with Whig PMs. There was no GREATON nor GREETON and neither GREET nor GREAT tie up with shoot. Then at last I realised it is San Marino and Lord GRAFT(on) became duly elected (was it to a rotten borough?).

    ‘aving fully happrised the “easies” ‘ere they are:

    1a Open-and-shut, possibly, according to circumstances? (2,3,4,3,2)

    15a US agency keeping back people’s pictures (6)
    CI NEM A

    22a Asian river crossed by girl and two boys (9)

    24a Like area featuring in quiZ ON ALberta (5)

    25a Damage in sickbay in old European state (3,6)
    SAN MAR IN O. See what you get if you BIFF and spel rong? Mer = damage just does not work.

    2d … conducting exam is stressful (7)
    TESTING. A DD. I’m not sure what the … is all about following on from 1d?

    4d Stirred, as well as mincing? (8)
    AFFECTED. A not so obvious DD?

    5d Catch (pant)h(er)* for a change, not horse (6)

    7d Players take time dressing (7)

    14d Sailor-boy wearing sailor’s hat (9)
    TAR PAUL IN. The cryptic construction is clear but I failed to find a reference to Tarpaulin = Sailor’s hat. Admittedly I did not try very hard.

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