Times 23,620

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I found this reasonably easy
Solving time: 21 mins (quite good for me for the Times)

* = anagram
1 SEWER Double definition, the second a little cryptic – crossword convention allows the “false” capital in One to be used to create the surface with the misleading join coming in Channel/One.
4 SEMAPHORE Appearing for the 2nd Wed in a row! I wondered last week if younger solvers would struggle with it, but apparently not – no one commented and it’s in the Concise OED. A completely different clue this time (same)* + H in PORE
9 Louis ARMSTRONG (“Satchmo”) (1901-1971). I pencilled this in on first run through without being entirely convinced, but crossing letters confirmed and a strong arm can lift, so that’s it, I guess.
10 UP SET A set up in a tennis match.
11 RENO IR Place for quick divorces.
12 LARK SPUR Slow with this, expected the incentive to be first, but the clue is fine.
16 HAIL “Hale”
19 NOVA Bit of hesitation here, with Neva, St Petersburg’s river, also fitting, but it’s the river Avon reversed, I think, and sun is not confined the “The Sun” – it’s any big star so Nova’s OK if I’ve read it right. Flower = river, something that flows.
20 S(MATTER)ING Talk = sing = inform
26 BREV E Verb reversed. Musical note to go with those crotchets, minims, of not entirely happy memory.
27 COMPO(SI)TE Is reversed Had thought of this word as an adj but dicts confirm it’s a noun too as used here. “The composite motion” combining separate ones to make something e.g. a whole party conference can vote on.
28 LEN HU T TON One of the great cricketers (1916-1990), flourished either side of the war and made the highest ever English score in a Test (364 and that against Australia!). Surface is full of cricket imagery fast = lent five short of hundred = hu(ndred) ton = century
29 (Deb) ON AIR Deb = debutante (society girl).

1 SEA (U)RCH IN Main = sea (was that the first crossword cliche?) We do need them and it was well concealed here.
4 SHOT Double definition.
7 OESOPHAGI (Hoop ie = that is gas)* Plural of oesophagus, the gullet.
13 S(I)AME SE CAT (caste)*
17 (b)LIGHT Y EAR Blighty – Military slang for England (home)
24 CHINA Double definition – one of the those clues you’d have maybe to review if issuing puzzles later in book form because of the topical reference.

8 comments on “Times 23,620”

  1. I also took about 21 minutes, making it one of the easier puzzles for me. Thanks for the explanation of the clue for RENOIR. It was the one clue that I didn’t fully understand.
  2. i hate cricket (I had to look up Len Hutton — another one for the pantheon). Anyway, I liked 5D: with “anagram” being its own fodder.
  3. Definition was “The main thing” A little loose, perhaps, but the wordplay was v clear,
    1. Loose? Isn’t that understating it a bit? “A main thing” perhaps, but not “The”.

      A very unsatisfactory clue in my view despite being quite easy to solve once one had a few of the checked letters.

      1. I expect it’s because I started doing the Times puzzle in the days when clues were generally a lot less precise than they are today that I really wasn’t the least bit worried about 1D. (Or perhaps it’s because I was too tired to care – tiredness rather than rustiness accounting for my 9:34.)

  4. What a gloriously vague description for a Sea Urchin!
    Definitions like this make solving the clue all that more rewarding.

    A dirty dozen of “easies” for the bunnies in this blog:

    14a (She) translated with (clarity)*, though frenzied (10)

    22a Liberal suffering decline (8)

    23a Bring out point – leading permitted (6)

    2d She’s beginning to work the land (5)
    W OMAN

    3d Shop teller (8)

    5d Reform (Act – anagram)* for historic document (5,5)

    8d Log buried by AberdeEN TERrier (5)

    15d Figure observed to admit affair (9)

    18d Rich, fine performance (4,2,2)

    21d Office furniture (6)

    22d Tag toe of brutaL murder victim (5)
    L ABEL

    25d Last word to change, incomplete (4)
    AMEN (d)

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