Times 23,622 – still getting over my holiday!

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
This puzzle should have taken a few minutes – it wasn’t particularly difficult, but I was still in holiday mood after returning last night from Vienna.

Maybe it was a few days when German was the prevalent language, maybe it was the long wait in Amsterdam for our connecting flights, maybe I’m just tired, but I took over 20 minutes to solve, and when reviewing, can’t work out why!


1 MUM-BO JUMBO (BO is homophone of BEAU) – blatant self-promotion from The Times?

8 DE-(<=IRAN)-US – a denarius was an ancient Roman coin, as anyone who studied Latin at school will remember.

9 IDE-ATE – ide being a fish that only really crops up in crosswordland

11 BR-O(KENDO)WN – took longer to parse than to solve

14 LIBYA – hidden backwards in plAYBILl

19 BR(ONZE)AG-E where the E is the second letter in “lEague”. “Onze”is the French for “eleven”, therefore “french team”. By the way, it is also an excellent monthly football magazine if you can speak (or read) French.

22 FREEF(O.R.)ALL – O.R. being “other ranks”

23 G.I.-F.T.

24 CASUAL(ties)

25 INNOVATE – (on native)*

26 (p)US(h)ER – good surface

27 GENERATORS – (one garret’s)* – interesting way of indicating the anagram.


1 MADE HASTE – (meatheads)*


4 MASS OBSERVATION – for some unfathomable reason, I couldn’t work out the second word, and this held me up for at least five minutes. I can’t find any link to Mass Observation and wartime, except that the project started just before WWII. It continued well into the 50s and seems to be the forerunner to advanced opinion polling.

6 BREADLINE – (diner able)*

7 PUT AWAY – double definition

13 EXCHEQUER – homophone of X-CHECKER


16 (<=RE-LINE-NO)

18 (<=SPA(H)RE-P)

20 AGITATO – TAT in (Iago)* – musical term for “played in a restless or spasmodic manner”

5 comments on “Times 23,622 – still getting over my holiday!”

  1. I only know the expression having recently watched Victoria Wood’s acclaimed TV film Housewife 49 – the housewife in question having signed up to participate in the scheme. It won the BAFTA for best single TV drama and is being given its second showing this very evening. Coincidence or what?

    10A isn’t blogged. I wondered why (C)HEAP would be synonymous with WORTHLESS?

  2. I think “cheap” is being used here as it is in such phrases as “That was a cheap jibe”, i.e. meaning something like “mean” or “nasty”, lacking worth in the moral sense.
  3. 10:48 for this, though it should have been quicker – GIFT and AGITATO took too long, partly because I unwisely set my browswer’s printing font to one that makes lago (Italian lake) and Iago (Othello viallain) look the same. Don’t ask me to explain how a lake can be devious!
  4. For Anon of June 11th 2007 a bonus “easy” that has been blogged but not fully explained.

    20d Trash stolen by devious Iago in troubled way (7)
    AGI TAT O. Tat means rubbish or trash. Hence TAT inside (stolen by) devious IAGO = AGIO gives us AGITATO.

    The rest of the “easies” omitted from the blog:

    6a Dances to pop hits (4)
    BOPS. A double definition.

    10a Carbon discharged by worthless old car (4)
    (C) HEAP. Some discussion above of the validity of CHEAP = WORTHLESS. Near enough wouldn’t you say?

    12a Sheltering in bad weather, bird’s most lethargic (9)

    17a The ultimate in large-scale films (5)
    EPICS. Think Ben Hur, the Ten Commandments and, more recently, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

    2d Authorisation wanted by female seeking romance? (7)

    5d Character in Dickens and Hardy (6)
    OLIVER. Not Olly the Obscure then?

    21d Closely follow learner taking, say, difficult bend (3,3)
    DOG L EG. A driving test nightmare surface?

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