Times 23627 – V = IR

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 15:58

I was a bit alarmed at not solving an across clue until 15A. Things picked up for a while, but then the top right corner held me up. I was determined that 8D would begin with an M for Mark, and tried for a while to fit Modern Era in. And I wanted the linked 7D and 6A to be foreign currencies. In the end, 19D was the last one I put in.

I think I have worked out all the clues, but there might be more clarification from comments, particularly on 20A and 28A.


1 CLAUSE(WIT)Z – curious definition – there are a lot of generals I would think of before the military theorist
6 MARC(h) – I thought they had started using digits for number in the online version, but 7 appears in letters in mine. Perhaps their style guide says not to use digits at the beginning of a sentence.
10 A(DMI)RAL – DMI being DIM*, and the Aral Sea being vanishing
11 E(PI)G + RAM – that is RAM (= stuff) after (= to) PI (= constant) in EG (= say). I know π is not a variable, but I think it would be odd to call it a constant
12 D(i)ES + DEMON A – “Fails to exorcise one” is an interesting way of indicating DES
13 HALL + O – often means “I say” when used by eg Bertie Wooster or Leslie Phillips
14 P + LIED
15 TOL + PUDDLE, TOL being LOT(rev)
17 C(LEARED) UP – LEARED being LEADER*. I had started writing in CHEERED UP, when I worked out the right answer
20 AT SEA – not sure about this one, but I think it is an indirect hidden in “two seats”, ie seAT SEAt. If so, I can’t really see what the word “wanting” is doing
23 PRO (CUR I) NG – point is not always of the compass
25 TON SURE, TON being NOT(rev)
28 BED OF ROSES – not sure if this is meant as a cryptic definition or as one and a half meanings, with “tea garden” somehow connecting to hybrid tea roses?


3 SURRENDER VALUE – cryptic definition
4 WALK OUT – two meanings
5 T(OEN)AIL, OEN being ONE*
7 A(P)RIL, ARIL being LIRA(rev)
8 COMM(ONE R)A – “Mark pausing” for COMMA is clever. I think “single run” is ONER, but it would also work if “single” was ONE and “run” R
14 PECULATOR (=”peck you later”)
18 DE(P(ump))LETE
19 PRO B(e) + O, NO!
22 R.U. + NIC(k)
24 G + OWNS – I think it is operating theatres where one wears gowns

20 comments on “Times 23627 – V = IR”

  1. 7:58 but had a careless CHEERED UP which I’ll optimistically claim I would not have written in under championship conditions – I made a mental note to go back but forgot. 20A: I’m sure your analysis is right – ‘wanting’ seems to be one of the optional link-words used when it suits in the Times puzzle. 28A: CD/One and a half def’s is quite a good description for a type of clue that comes up quite often.
    1. I put in CHEERED UP as well, knowing it was wrong, but couldn’t think of anything else at the time. Fed up with it by then anyway, well over 20 mins today.
    1. My old hand’s cryptic antenna says: too remote a connection for this puzzle.
  2. I just couldn’t get on the setter’s wave-length today. Managed only about a third in the time it usually takes me to complete and then resorted to on-line help. Even then it took ages to polish off.

    What with this and Jumbo 703 which I still haven’t completed I need a few easy ones to get my confidence back.

    1. Jumbo 703: I’ll be writing about this one: I’ve picked out nearly 40 clues to comment on rather than the usual dozen or so.
      1. Yes, Jumbo 703 is a gem, which you won’t mind spending time at. Finished it today.
        1. Right, now I know that others more expert have had to think a bit more than usual I’m encouraged to persevere with the remaining clues rather than give up and cheat on-line. I shall set aside some time tomorrow to finish it off if I can.
  3. What’s the answer to 9dn? Even knowing every other letter, I’m still baffled.
  4. Not a difficult crossword today, though not very inspiring. I quite often want to make a comment about the cryptic, only to find that the page on this site is missing.

    Please would it be possible to do what Tony Sever does, and put up the next page straight away? Then people can comment when they have completed the grid and do not need to keep checking the website.

    When it comes to weekend crosswords, I give up because who can remain aggrieved, or pleased, for a whole week? Put the pages up as the grid is published; fill in the solutions as you please…

    1. A tricky one, Jerry. Because Tony’s is a solo blog, he can edit his ‘template’ entries easily. He also does his template posts and updates in one session just after midnight, as that’s when he has to collect his “league table” data.

      In the “community” version that we use, the LiveJournal set-up doesn’t allow any of us to edit an entry that someone else created. So every contributor would have to set up a page at midnight or some agreed “early enough” time, then come back to update it. I don’t really want to saddle people with doing this.

      If the Times ever caves in to the requests for a cryptic version of Race The Clock, we’ll have to think again.

      For the weekend puzzles I’m afraid I’m going to be old-fashioned and stick to waiting until after the closing date before we say anything. Giving early answers seems like a good way of annoying the xwd editor, who last time I asked, assured me that he’s happy with what we’re doing.

      1. It’s not a bad idea for the blogger to post a blank placeholder that can be used for comments as contributors see fit. It doesn’t have to be exactly at midnight GMT — it could even be the evening before (or any time after the last blog has been published) — after all, it’s just a placeholder. I’ll try to do so myself when I blog.

        As for Jerry’s final comment, I think he’s asking for a similar placeholder for weekend puzzles at publication time — the problem with this is of course is that contributors will inevitably reveal answers to prize puzzles while still live, which takes some of the fun away (not to mention annoy the powers to be).

        1. Fair do’s – I’ve e-mailed the bloggers saying that those who can set up a placeholder are free to do so. But it’s optional…
        2. I know this site is a community effort – which I greatly appreciate, btw. I also take the point about prize puzzles, though I don’t know if revealing answers is as inevitable as all that, and only the odd one if so.

          Really I am just saying that the time I am most likely to provide comment or feedback is when I have completed the puzzle. And if there isn’t a place to send the comment then it will be lost, more than likely.

  5. Coincidentally, Clausewitz also made an appearance in one of the FT puzzles earlier this week. So 1A proved far easier for some of us than should otherwise have been the case!


  6. Unlike Jerry W H, I thought this was a delightful puzzle but found it moderately tricky (and in fact wasn’t too displeased with my 12:26).

    I’m interested to see that Peter B reckons he wouldn’t have put CHEERED UP under championship conditions. My suspicion is that one’s natural tendencies become exaggerated, so that cautious types like me become more cautious, whereas more daring types like him and Magoo just go for it (and will win occasionally, but blow it occasionally as well).

    1. Tony: I do try quite hard to suppress rushing tendencies at the champs. Last year I pondered the Function/Junction choice in the prelims for about three minutes in total. On CHEERED/CLEARED, the thought “rub it out!” came through very quickly – had I been using a pencil, it would have happened.

      The natural tendency that usually appears at some point (especially in the final) when I get stuck is a good dose of blind panic and that feeling I had in the late 70s and early 80s that cryptic puzzles are a devilish mystery that I’ll never understand.

  7. Indeed – yesterday was the first time I’ve ever attempted the Financial Times crossword, and managed to get Clausewitz from the wordplay. So when almost exactly the same wordplay came up in the Times today, it wasn’t too difficult (although, having said that, took longer than it probably should have done!).
    I wondered about ‘toenail’ being part of the leg – but I suppose it is, just about.
  8. Yep – 2 wrong for me as I failed to note that the answers I had entered did not fit the clue. To be honest I think that I was still reeling from General Clausewitz at 1a and was just glad to finish. Just the half dozen “easies” left out of this blog – let’s hope I get these correct:

    21a Tadpole for one gets right inside rock (5)
    LA R VA. Nice one for a geologist.

    26a Current rule (how alms)* are to be distributed (4,3)
    OHM’S LAW. The V=IR of the Blog Title.

    27a Place of torture associated with ruin (4)
    RACK. ( … and ruin).

    1d Man needs constant praise (5)
    C LAUD

    9d Having healthy heart, like a lamb (7,1,6)
    WITHOUT A MURMER. Like a lamb – to the slaughter? Sinister undertones to this one perhaps?

    16d Following group, (clip sides)* in accident (9)

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