Times 23,630 – May have stumped some

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time : 53 mins – not the easiest of crosswords, but I was well in the zone after doing quite a few old ones over the weekend. There were a few I didn’t entirely understand until I looked them up afterwards.
I thought some of the clues were really good, well hidden definitons etc.

I am on a laptop with dodgy power supply, so I amm going to write this up really quickly…
If there is a clue you’d like help with, please leave a comment.


1 SCOR(CH)ER; CH=Companion of Honour
9 A,R,T(E)RIAL I don’t use the tube that often, but the Southend Arterial road was a right pain this morning.
11 NOTHING(=zero=cipher) DOING(=studying)
13 LEAN TO(OT=Old Testament reversed) – guessed this was correct after not coming up with anything better; didn’t know this term, though.
14 NOR(S,E)MA,N – Norma came up at the weekend, was the first Opera to mind!
16 S(W)INGLE – A swingle is an instrument for beating flax! – never seen before.
20 SON,A,TINA – not a word I’ve seen before but it looked plausible – needed all the letters though.
23 THE DONE THING; anag of ‘not heed’+THING=obsession
26 AUGUSTA,N – held me up for various reasons. Firstly I had written ALSATION at 26d, even though I’d sussed the wordplay! Then I thought about AUGUSTUS or variations, but was sure there wasn’t a Pope by that name. Then I wrote it in anyway and looked it up – Alexander Pope was a dominant poet during the reign of Caesar Augustus.
27 GOG,[l]ETTER – refers to Gog and Magog from the Bible.


2 CA(MELEE)R – got it fairly quickly from the letters, but thought the clue could have been fairer.
3 RUNNNING BOARD(=”bored”)
4 HAWTHORN=”Hawthrone” (Nathaniel) – last one to go in, this was hard. Put in Hawthorn, but couldn’t see why – looked it up – turns out ‘may’ is a name for the hawthorn.
8 LEG in [s]EANCE
12 OCEANOLOGIST – anag of ‘got cool in sea’.
15 AL,SATI(A)N; AL=la reversed
17 W(INN)1,PEG – I thought there might be a Mayfair in the West Indies for a few seconds before I remembered it’s postal code was W1.
18 LO,OP,[w]HOLE
19 BA(T,TIN)G – another good, small misleading definition – in=BATTING in cricket.
21 INNATE=”IN EIGHT”-a crew in rowing

7 comments on “Times 23,630 – May have stumped some”

  1. About 10:30 for this, with a few mins at the end for 20 and 19, then alonger pause on 2, where it’s a bit unfortunate that “Driver overseas encountered” really meaning “Driver encountered overseas” is in the same clue as “estate” for “car” rather than the strictly fairer “estate, perhaps”. For 26, I managed to guess that “Augustan” might describe the work of Alexander Pope, rather than any wearers of the triple crown. 16A was a new word outside the context of the Swingle Singers (showing my age there, I think).
    1. 17:30 for me. I did know that Pope was an Augustan poet, but that didn’t stop me writing ATLANTAN in first. Slowed and impressed by the almost invisible definitions in 4 (“may”) and 19 (“in”).
      1. Those two clues you mentioned had me completely stumped even after using solvers. This is very rare for me. When you pointed out the definitions I got the solutions immediately and I can hardly believe I missed them previously as I had seriously considered both answers but just couldn’t see why they would fit. Very clever clues!
  2. Something has gone wrong in your notes on 26A. Pope was a poet during the reign of George I who liked to think of himself as like Caesar Augustus.
  3. 8:49 for me – not particularly fast, but at least faster than Peter B for a change :-). I was a bit slow getting AUGUSTAN, trying to recall whether St Augustine had ever actually been pope (answer: no) and whether there was a resort in Georgia (possibly on the Black Sea) called AUGUSTIN, before the penny dropped.
  4. 27A reminded me of one of my favorite clues, from the Guardian I think…
    “What Gog and Magog do for a finale” (6)

  5. Indeed harder than average but none the worse for that.

    A boat-crew’s worth of “easies” on the flood tide:

    10a Old soldiers writing on the wall (4)
    O MEN

    15a It may identify a group of military musicians (7)

    22a Both ends of leggings tucked into sort of light grip (6)
    NE LS ON. A wrestling hold I think – usually employed in its “half” version??

    25a Piece of musIC ONce represented a saint (4)

    5d … rave about a girls glowing with happiness (7)
    R A DI ANT. The … at the start of the clue is helping the surface of the previous clue that ends in may … . The MAY in question is the literal being an alternative name for HAWTHORN – probably because it blossoms in May?

    6d Coach beginning to refine an old actor (6)

    7d Fine judge visiting islands – lots of them! (4)
    F I J I

    24d … extremely eager to advance therefore (4)
    ER GO. The … follows on from the “in” eight at 21d where the two clues combine to make a surface where the words at the ends of the 2 part sentences are the literals.

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