Times 23615 – Wilt thou, Angus, …

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 11:02

Good puzzle. Interesting but not too obscure answers, and some enterprising approaches to cluing. And economical clues, with very few linking words.

Quite a few literary references, in surfaces or answers. And one cricket reference that baffled me altogether.


1 DICE WITH DEATH – filled in quickly, but not now sure how to parse it (if at all). “Bones” means “dice”, but perhaps it is just a cryptic definition with extra punning interest?
10 UNS + HEAT + HE(at), UNS being SUN with the S moving – the “half as much again” is clever. Had me trying to think of short words beginning “sesqui-“
11 SUB MISSION – ho-ho
12 THOU(sand) – 500 = 1,000/2, though it is always a struggle to get past Roman numerals
14 A L(ine) + LEGE(n)D – I don’t get the surface of this one
16 T (O + CC) ATA, composed of TATA (= farewell) with O (= nothing) and CC (= cubic centimetre = volume) inserted
19 SNICKED – I worried about this one, not knowing the word “snicked”. Now I think it is just a cricketing term.
20 (r)OAST
21 GARAGE BAND – two meanings. I spent a little time trying to fit in Bottom or some other MND reference
24 LAODICEAN = “lay Odyssean” – I thought the homophone a bit approximate, but my Chambers supports it. Apparently both words have an SS rather than SH sound, and the stress is on the E in each. Laodicean’s meaning of “lukewarm” comes from Revelation, though I knew it from the Hardy title.
25 TIGON, being (GI in NOT)(all rev)
26 ENTER THE LISTS – cryptic def


4 TRUSSED =”trust” – I understand the need to avoid homophone indicators being too obvious. Even so, “with speech” seems a bit of a stretch.
5 D(uke) I SHOUT – always good to see a very short charade clue with a reasonable surface
6 A PEX (=”peck’s”)
8 VENUS AND A DON IS – I suppose “world” can mean “planet” and so can indicate “Venus”
13 ACCIDENTAL – two meanings. The purist in me would like to see an “eg” or “say” with the word “sharp” which is an example of an accidental.
19 ST + A (l)UNCH
22 (h)ANG US – not sure if using “commonly” instead of “Cockney” or “East Ender” to indicate aitch-dropping is more or less politically correct? Or more or less accurate?
23 WILT – two meanings.

13 comments on “Times 23615 – Wilt thou, Angus, …”

    1. For the cryptic definition, lancing means jousting, or trying to knock someone of his horse with a lance.

      For the surface, I think Lancing refers to Lancing College, a public school in Sussex.

      1. Didn’t recognize the Lancing school ref and when solving thought that it would have been nicer as: “Register to compete with Lance?” (ref. Armstrong).


      2. I still couldn’t quite see it until I found that The Lists is a jousting arena, apparently.

        6D had me ready to complain that it should have read “kisses” until I noticed “kiss is said” amounts to the same thing for our purposes. Caught me out for some reason, for a moment.

        I’m still not quite sure about 1A but I think it’s simply referring to dice shakers made out of bone. There are a lot offered for sale if you search on “bone dice shaker”.


  1. 12 ac – five hundred for you.
    Thou = you but I don’t see how the explanation offered works. Is it a ref to 5 d(dish out)?
    Grateful for clarification,
  2. Feeling embarrassed that, as a Christian, I didn’t get Laodicean. I also have to admit myself as baffled by ‘snicked’ as yourself, until you explained the cricketing reference.
    I’m not sure whether ‘thou’ is a very good clue or a horrible one; I would definitely agree with your comments about ‘accidental’ though.
  3. Feeling tired, so a bit slow (9:58). I hadn’t heard of GARAGE BAND, but it was easy to guess. Once again I seem to be generally more relaxed about clueing, as all today’s clues seemed just fine to me! A simple, enjoyable puzzle – just the sort of thing I expect from the Times, though I like the difficult ones as well.
  4. Quite a satisfying puzzle – my only question was WILT, as “are you going to” would translate as “wilt thou” (adopting the archaism) rather than just “wilt”. Good puzzle all round, though.
    1. This was posted by yours truly – didn’t realise I was logged out and couldn’t remember login details! Old age, that’ll be.
  5. 7:15 on post-hol catch-up. Rushed into WASHINGTON at 3D based on W???INGTON, so that cost about 20 secs. Also wavered over Laodicean – a reference I always have trouble with.
  6. My LOI was 9a (see below in “easies”) which was not forthcoming as A?O?S because I had biffed WASHINGTON instead of WELLINGTON at 3d. Only when I checked the 3d clue properly did I move the capital all the way from the USA to NZ and then got the “sea ring” from A?O?L. Doh!

    A half dozen “easies” including the 2 that caused me all the trouble:

    9a A ring that’s in the sea (5)
    ATOLL. A lack of any deviousness in this clue threw me completely as well as the Washington induced A?O?S until I realised my mistake at 3d.

    17a Succeed, but don’t stay at peak (4,3)

    2d Search thoroughly round old valley (5)
    CO O MB. A coomb is a dry valley formed in limestone/ chalk terrain.

    3d Capital’s weight supports springing (10)
    WELLING TON. Washing does not equate to springing sadly.

    7d Come out behind vehicle (9)

    18d Man with much spare time prepared (funeral)* (7)
    FLANEUR. The definition I found with Google is “a man who saunters around observing society”. Say no more.

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