Times 23613/dogs, hogs and pigs

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 45’-1h (didn’t properly time myself).

Another first-class and, to my mind, hard puzzle. The SW corner was the most challenging – nothing fell there until quite late. As per usual a couple of wordplays that perplex me.

In fact, invariably I’m left with one or two imponderables even though I’m convinced I’ve solved them correctly (occurs to me that a more interesting Times championship would be one in which solvers are required to find the answer and explain the wordplay).



1 SNIFFER DOG – Fine anag &lit to start our list of 4-legged friends off: (eg for finds)*
7 POSY=”posey” (?) – it’s a type of bouquet (“spray”) and I suspect that there’s a variant of poseur (“affected one”) that sounds like POSY: “Spray affected one’s hearing”. Foggy indicates the homophone is probably “posey”.
10 OB.,RIEN – well-crafted clue: “Irish writer died: that was regretted by French singer”. Our singer’s Edith Piaf who “regretted” RIEN, OB. is Latin “died” and Flann O’BRIEN’s our “Irish writer”. It’s Flann not Sean — real name Brian O’Nolan by the way — not quite an anagram unfortunately.
11 SPE(W)ED – to “belt” as in to “SPEED” (down the freeway): note that “X worn by Y” is equivalent to “Y is contained by X”.
14 BANG TO RIGHTS – double def, one cryptic: if you hear a report from the left, then it must be going to the right (i.e. from left=to right)
17 PIGS MIGHT, FLY – more 4-legged friends: “police force” is PIGS MIGHT – not the most complimentary term for the boys (and girls) in blue.
20 E(YE,CAN)DY – took me a while to decode this for some reason: it’s YE=you and CAN=stir (prison) in dye*.
21 SEX,TON – not sure if “perhaps” applies to “gravedigger” (SEXTON) or to “humping” (gerund of “hump” so same part of speech as SEX). Again not the most complimentary term for our favorite thing to do.
22 HID,EH,I – I’ve actually seen reruns of Hi-de-Hi on BBC America I think. We were not amused. “Screened”=HID and EH =“I didn’t catch that”.
25 JES[t]S – my last clue: “Band of hawkers, fools killing time”. I was pretty sure that “band of hawkers” had nothing to do with gangs of street peddlers but I couldn’t remember what little falconry I never knew – so ended up using references. So JESS is a falconer’s leather strap.
26 EG,LAN(TIN)ES – I’m not sure I understand how “lining paths can” in the cryptic reading indicates that TIN is in LANES.


4 EP(H)OD – H[ard] in rev(dope=fool). An EPHOD is an ancient linen girdle worn by Jewish priests. Interestingly, in modern Hebrew, it’s the weight-bearing harness that soldiers wear in the Israeli military today to carry all their magazines, grenades etc.
5 DEN,AR[ran],I,I – ancient Roman coins (“bits”) and I believe “earth” has an archaic meaning of DEN in the sense of “going to EARTH”. Note how “Arran Islands” must be “lifted and separated”.
6 GROUNDHOG – clever clue that refers to the propensity of pigs to fly… and what you would have to do to prevent that. Yay! the online clue actually refers to 17 (not seventeen).
12 WAGE, PACKETS – I found this tough going: I saw PACKETS quite quickly but I then tried to find a kind of packet boat rather than a term meaning lots of money.
15 O,RGAN-PIPE – O[ld] and (Papering)*
16 FLU(ORIN)E – Only understand the wordplay as we speak: (pOoR kIlNs) in FLUE=”exhaust”, i.e. alternate letters of “poor kilns”.
18 MAY,ORAL – for the parts of speech to match, then the definition must be “dignitary’s” as in “of the dignitary”. Both parts of the charade are somewhat cryptic: “a few weeks” for MAY and “not employing page” for ORAL (i.e. not written down).
19 BYLINE – two meanings: the first I understand (“credit given author”) but the second is a little odd: “end of play” – does this refer to the fact that all plays have a last LINE? Noted below that it’s another term for the boundary line in field sports: e.g. rugby. New to me.
21 SH,O,RN – “set upon by strippers” isn’t unfortunately a case of being surrounded by a group of topless women but an attack of the hairdressers.
24 [r]ELI[c] – a bit of interfaith cooperation: a Roman Catholic actually yielding a Jewish priest!

17 comments on “Times 23613/dogs, hogs and pigs”

  1. 7a – pretty sure posey is the word meaning affected.
    19d – byline is another name for the touchline in football and rugby.

    I found this hard going – went to the dictionary for JESS and RANCHERO – guessed this was ranch??? but was thrown by thinking about stocking companies.

  2. Inside lanes (paths) is tin (can). Perhaps an implied comma after ‘paths’. Seems OK to me.
  3. I agree: first-class, but quite tough (15:57). I agonised for a while over BYLINE (not completely sure about the touchline part), but was happy, though slow, with the rest, and particularly slow with HI-DE-HI! Annoyingly I thought of MAYORAL first time through but couldn’t see the justification at the time and so didn’t put it in till later. JESS was familiar from reading The Sword in the Stone (a long, long time ago).
  4. Just been checking over the clues again (more thoroughly this time).

    In 14A, I read “weighed with” as meaning “balanced by”.

    And I particularly like “stretcher-bearer” indicating HOD in 23A (see meaning 4 of stretcher). I didn’t spot that one while I was solving.

  5. About 25 minutes for me over two sessions. After 10 minutes all I had were SNIFFER DOG, EPHOD, SEXTON and SHORN. I came back to it half an hour later and slowly ploughed through the rest. Last one I got was JESS, but I had to work through the alphabet to think of it.
  6. Well in recent months anyway. I completed only about a third of it in the time it took to get to work, say 45 minutes. Then I resorted to on-line assistance to get me started again but still had to come here for 2D, 16D and 4D – annoying because I had thought of H in DOPE (rev) and dismissed it as unlikely so didn’t bother to look it up. This was NOT what I needed to start my first day back at work!


  7. 26A: I agree that “lining X [is] Y” can indicate “X surrounds Y”, in the sense that Y is the lining of X. In fact, it’s really just the (sartorial cryptic) complement of “X wears Y”.

    19D: thanks for the playing field BYLINE clarification.

    7A: I’ll buy “posey” — hope this isn’t a comment on Parker Posey!

  8. A time of 8m46s pleased me on this – I suspect it was a full minute before I got traction on a single clue, so it was a relief that it largely flowed thereafter. Thanks for the (second) explanation of BYLINE above, which I can buy. Some brilliant definitions amongst the clues, e.g. to JESS, HOD, EH, DENARII.
  9. Agree this was tough (19:30 for me) and good. The top left corner held me up longest.

    At 10A, I don’t think the “Irish writer” is Sean O’Brien. He is both British and living. I think it is rather the authentically Irish, and wonderful, Flann O’Brien aka Myles na gCopaleen.

  10. But Edna could not be used by the Times because, happily, she’s still alive. So it’s Flann.
  11. 22:45 on post-hol catch up when I decided to give up on 25A, and didn’t understand 19D so wasn’t confident of the E. Must admit that ‘band of hawkers’ is very clever clue-writing. Does no-one else remember the lad in Kes talking about ” ‘t jesses”?
  12. Ilan: your comment on the Times championship matches one frequently made by John Grant (xwd ed 1983-95).

  13. Jess that is – at 25a which was my LOI. But I did also know about the Hawker’s Bands from the two popular insights into Falconry – that is the film Kes mentioned by our illustrious founder and TH White’s Sword in the Stone mentioned by Tony S.

    Only the half dozen “easies” left out of this blog of a most entertaining offering. Here they are:

    9a Boy’s absorbed with long trigger (6,2)
    S W ITCH ON. The boy or SON has absorbed (contains) W(ith) and long = ITCH.

    13a Farm worker managed woman’s stocking company (8)
    RAN C HER O. “Woman’s stocking company” to equal HERS (woman’s) inside CO = company is a very nice construction.

    23a Old state raise wounded, enlisting stretcher-bearer (8)
    R HOD ESIA. An anagram of RAISE contains HOD which is a carrying device for bricks. A stretcher is a brick laid horizontally along the wall.

    3d Substantial fortune cut (3)

    7d Parking extra: such a grotesque charge (8,3)

    8d Retiring, slip inside for a drink (6)
    SH ERR Y

    1. 26 EG,LAN(TIN)ES – I’m not sure I understand how “lining paths can” in the cryptic reading indicates that TIN is in LANES.

      I just realized upon re-reading that I do understand how this works after all — can=tin, paths=lanes and “lining” is the postifx “insertion indicator”.

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