Times 23631/needed an eolith

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 28:30

Needed an eolith to crack a few of these: in particular, I’m not convinced I understand 10A for which I’ve guessed OUTLAWRY. I’ve started sort of recording my times to include seconds not that I for a minute (or even a second) believe that my lanterne rouge position could possibly be impacted by this decision.


1 S(HER)AT,ON – clever clue: ref. SHERATON the furniture guy. “Appropriately” because sitting on it is thus. For wordplay, at first I tried to make SHE,RAT,ON work but HER is indeed precisely “a woman’s”.
8 ILL – double def : ILL is one way to abbrev ILLinois (the other being IL).
9 ID,E(O,LOG,I)ST – I think that “printed externally” is being used as the containment indicator – but perhaps “printed” has another role since only “externally” is strictly needed. Note: ID EST for “that is”.
10 OUT,LAWRY – my last clue and I’m not happy with it since I don’t completely understand the wordplay: how does something meaning a happy chap become LAWRY after changing its heart (presumably of the form LA?RY). Foggyweb notes that it’s ref. “Happy as Larry”. Thanks!
12 NES[w]T – S replaces W (both directions) in NEWT.
14 HARVESTMAN – double def: turns out that a HARVESTMAN is a daddy long-legs.
17 RHINESTONE – (in north, see)*. Got this immediately from the def and enumeration (and incidentally just realized what Glen Campbell meant when he sang about RHINESTONE cowboys).
20 GONG – double def where the second (“cross, maybe”) refers to its slang medal meaning.
23 AD,VICE – def is “formal notice”: AD isn’t “notice” but “our era”.
24 TOMMY(R)OT – The Old Testament is just a singular “book” today.
25 L[ager],AND,GRAVES – another word for noblemen that I’ve only encountered in cryptics and GRAVES is a Bordeaux (spotted in cryptics occasionally as well if not on the dinner table).
27 GOBLET – double def: the second being cryptic: “small mouth?” which is in the “apply as an adjective describing an apple” camp.


1 SHI=his*,POW(N)ER – I thought Onassis would be ARI but he did own a ship or two.
2 EOLITHS – (the soil)* — it’s an ancient tool thingy — had to wait until had E?L???S.
3 ANIMAL – rev(lamina). Deceptive surface that had me thinking of the verb “to bear” for too long.
4 OVERREA(C)T – C in (rare vote)*. Good politically apposite surface comment.
5 ST(OR)AGE – OR for Other Ranks is a snobbish Brit term for soldiers not of the officer class.
6 R(E)ICH,STAG – it’s Germany’s “diet” (i.e. house of parliament). Turns out that STAG is stock market slang for a speculator (I guess to join the bestiary along with bears and bulls).
7 EST,ON,IA=rev(A1) – EST is French “east”.
13 TENS,IONA,L – ref. IONA the Scots island. I’m not excited about TENS for “groups” – missing something?
15 VAN,CO(U)VER – U (for “posh”) in VAN COVER. I wonder why the clue didn’t simply read: “Protection for vehicle touring posh city in Canada” – too easy?
16 NIGHT=”knight”,MARE
18 HID,[n]ALGO – had to be given H?D???? but had to look up ?ALGO after I was done – turns out there was a Brit NALGO union.
21 OARSMAN – a fairly obvious cryptic def (but perhaps I was just lucky).

9 comments on “Times 23631/needed an eolith”

  1. I was pleased with myself on this one, which took me 6:24. Spotted the old chestnut at 3D quickly (although was a bit slower on the equally ancient one at 19D). But I felt I was quite fast to work out OUTLAWRY, HARVESTMAN (thought of HARVESTER straight away but it wasn’t much help) and LANDGRAVES. The definition of SHIPOWNER as “Onassis, say” wasn’t greatly helpful, perhaps, but again it came to mind unexpectedly fast. I wasn’t too sure about (N)ALGO (in 16D – perhaps I shall be joining it soon since it looks as though I have a new job, although it sounds from the clue as though it must be defunct). On the negative side, I didn’t find the puzzle as interesting or enjoyable as some recent ones. Jason J
  2. 10A comes from the saying ‘Happy as Larry’
    NALGO – I remember a great line from Yes Minister – “The Minister doesn’t know his ACAS from his NALGO”
    EOLITHS – same here, hadn’t come across before.
    Last to go in was 3D! 42 mins altogether – not bad as I had a really slow start.
  3. You would still be waiting for 2 down if you had E?O???S.

    I expect you actually had E?L???S.

  4. This one was turning out quite easy for me – no trouble with EOLITHS, LANDGRAVES, HARVESTMAN, SHERATON etc., but I was stuck on 10ac at the end for a couple of minutes, until I finally thought of “happy as Larry” and put in OUTLAWRY, a bit tentatively even then as I wasn’t entirely sure there was such a word! Stopped the clock on 11:34, still an better than average time for me.
  5. 6:41 for this – OUTLAWRY needed a little while at the end. 6D: if no-one has said so already, a stag is like a bull but concentrates specifically on new issues of shares – often priced fairly attractively to make sure that they’re sold.
  6. 7:49 for me. As usual there were several answers I really ought to have come up with faster, particularly HARVESTMAN, but at least I wasn’t feeling as tired as yesterday, and checked my answers very thoroughly!
  7. A good ‘un with only 6 omitted from the blog:

    5a It provides flavour in saladS OR RELishes (6)

    11a Area the Poles found capital (6)
    A THE NS. Built soon after Warsaw & Gdansk.

    26a Old bird’s endless complaint (3)
    MOA (n)

    28a Caution demands topping of tree overhanging hide-out (8)
    (s) PRU DEN CE

    19d Cunning of little signifigance to listeners (7)

    22d A goddess Dionysus initially entertained (6)
    A MUSE D. Unlike VR we were.

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