Times 23,614 – Not too hellish

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Some tricky words at the end, but not too difficult overall. Enjoyed it.

Solving time: 25 mins (about average for me for the Times)

* = anagram
1 HADES cf shades Both meaning the underworld (hell)
4 FLAT FISH One example of which is fluke = flounder
12 Supporting I’S KIN A singing bird
14 KNOCKOUT K(end)O end = aim
17 ROMAN(Tale)IC Romanic = of the Romance languages. Nicely misleading join in Sentimental/tale.
20 NAPPE “Nap”
26 ERROR ref trial and error

3 SENSATION (Estonians)* Did not get this till I’d all five crossing letters!
4 F (AB)LED DELF(t) reversed Another good misleading join in Legendary/sailor I feared my lack of knowledge of mythology would hinder me but no.
6 FAKIR “Faker” “Some say” meaning not all pronounce it like that
7 SANG-FROID (if dragons)* From French – literally “cold blood” – adj after noun in French
9 REST A UR ATE UR “A couple of old cities” is the same old city twice.
13 SEMAPHORE “Flagging energy is a signal asset in this” Wonder if younger solvers struggled with this. In the age of mobile phones, it’s hard to imagine a series of signals using flags – each one corresponding to a letter of the alphabet – fairly slow communication! But it was all in scout handbooks in my youth. I think it’s just one big cryptic definition.
15 CH A MOM ILE Always a pleasure to work out a completely new word from the wordplay as I did here. Mom used in US, hence “GI’s”
16 DIS PATCH Dis = underworld also
19 Isaiah BERLIN, the philosopher (not Irving Berlin of musical fame) – thanks to those who pointed out the error in the original entry.
21 E (energy) GRE(e)T out East = take east (e) out Expel or dismiss given as dated usage in Concise OED.
23 E(L)GAR Scored always suggests music as an option to be looked at. L = 5O in rage (passion) reversed

11 comments on “Times 23,614 – Not too hellish”

  1. Not the first person to confuse Irving and Isaiah Berlin (famous story about Churchill’s secretary during the war).

    In DISPATCH I wondered if there was any significance in “patch”, or is the clue only about the first three letters?

    1. i read this as DIS,PATCH – as in where he hangs out when he’s got nothing better to do… (describing Hades locale)
    1. But Irving was born Israel Isidore (Baline) – enough to confuse me a bit too. 3m58s for the puzzle, with BERLIN the last to go in.
  2. As a former resident of Worcestershire, it was nice to see Elgar make an appearance, even if he’s not on our money any more. On a musical theme, it was good to be introduced to the violino piccolo for the first time.
  3. Not too difficult today. Got off to a flyer and thought I’d be on for a fast time (or as fast as is possible when solving whilst standing up on a bus!), but was held up for a good 5 mins by HEATH HEN and BERLIN. Fluke as a fish was new to me too.


  4. Duh! I didn’t think my 7:35 was too bad, but it looks pretty awful compared with Magoo’s time – particularly with what must almost count as an Oxford mafia clue at 19D 😉
  5. 6:24 on post-hol catch-up – second quickest of the two week gap for me.
  6. I must quibble a little bit with the setter at 20a here where ROCK (in the clue) and NAPPE (the answer) are treated as the same thing. These are NOT the same thing as a NAPPE is a structural term for a large sheet of rock that is usually composed of a number of various different rock units. Therefore rock and nappe are not really equivalent. Whinge over.

    Having said that I did get the answer and finish the puzzle so what the heck?

    A boat-full of “easies” for us to look at:

    8a Innovative work for a navvy (6-8)
    GROUND BREAKING. The original “navvies” or navigators worked on canal construction. One of the surveyors in charge of this in the late 1700s – early 1800s was one William Smith – one of the leading figures in the development of the science of Geology.

    11a Weapon in sack? (5)
    RIFLE. Double definition or DD for short.

    18a Win a posh carriage (6)
    LAND A U. I am familiar with the Landau because the restaurant at the Chamber of Mines Sports Club in Johannesburg was called “The Landau”. The site is now a town-house complex.

    22a In Pennsylvania he introduces only women prodigies (9)
    P HE NO MEN A. PA is the two letter standard abbreviation for the aforementioned state. They all have an official 2 letter one but beware of the likes of CAL, FLA and the recent ALA (BAMA) in x-word land.

    24a Solver’s instructing setter? I should say so! (5,7,2)
    YOU’RE TELLING ME. No ‘ in the grid of course but I usually add them anyway.

    1d Very sensitive, like the violino piccolo (6,6)

    2d Upland containing river in flood (5)
    D R OWN. Upland being Down as in South Downs as mentioned above. Isn’t English wonderful?

    5d Encouraging a risky venture? (8)

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