Times 23637/cute

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 45’

Looks like a pangram — given the presence of the uncommon z, q, x, k, j – I haven’t checked the other letters. In fact, there are three checked q’s here which is cute. I had an easy time of the right-side but the left-side went quite slowly – partly because I mistyped WARRATNING in 26A.


1 B,LAB – my last clue: of course I was bamboozled by the cricket surface for ages.
3 AD(EQUATE)LY – this must be EQUATE in lady* — and I think a kind of &lit since “amount to satisfy” would be both EQUATE and ADEQUATELY (with ‘drunk’ indicating containment and ‘adjusted’ the anagrind). Other interpretations? “Amount drunk by lady adjusted to satisfy”.
9 OB,LIQUE=”leak” – OB is Old Boy, namely “past student”.
13 EX,[n]UDE
14 HIND(QUART)ERS – good surface and wordplay: def is “hams”.
18 PARTY-POOPERS – OP (“work”) in (story paper)*
22 [s]TRUM,PETER – PETER as in “the Great”.
24 CAP,SIZE – def is “upset” and cryptic def for someone needing a large hat.
25 WOE IS ME – a “poor person’s” complaint and alternate letters of “whose aims I meet”.
26 WARR(ANT)ING – the ANT is a very hard-working cryptic foot-soldier.
27 KNIT – as in knitted (wrinkled) brows. Reverse hidden in: “frighT IN Koala” where “bears” indicates containment. Nice…


1 BROU=”brew”,HAHA – Only just worked out the wordplay: HAHA is “funny” and def is “stir”.
2 ALL IN, O,NE – knowing that Tyneside is in NE England is de rigueur for Brit cryptics. “Spent” as in exhausted, i.e. ALL IN.
5 QUICK,ST,EP – not sure what “record covered” are doing here in terms of providing the linkage between def and wordplay: it’s a “dance” and “Fleet Street” is the wordplay… Actually ST is “street” and EP is “record”… whoops!
6 ARC DE TRIOMPHE – (Match re period)* — nice apposite anag fodder and surface.
8 Y(OD(L)E)R – if I’m right then YR = abbrev(“younger”).
10 QU,IN,QU,AGE,SI=rev(is),M,A – had to look this up – my ecclesiastical knowledge is v. shallow. It’s the “Sunday” before Ash Wednesday.
15 ANTITHEFT – (that fine t[ea])*. I’m guessing that “tea leaf proof” is the def and that there’s some cockney rhyming slang thing going on here…
16 JET,T(IS)ON – TON is our “heavyweight” and “cracking” indicates insertion.
17 ESUR=rev(ruse),IE,N[o]T – I’ve encountered ESURIENT (“greedy”) in The Times previously.
19 MO[sc]O-COW – it’s what a child might call a Jersey cow. Our “city” is Moscow, so we replace its “centre” (sc) with OC (for “zero Celsius”).
20 VE(SP)ER – I seem to have an E unaccounted for here – as far as I can tell this is rev(PS.=Psalms) in rev(rev=revolution=turn) where def is “prayer”. What am I missing? Peter notes that what I missed is that it’s SP=rev(PS.) in VEER!
23 UN,WON=rev(now) – doesn’t seem grammatical but Chambers has it.

14 comments on “Times 23637/cute”

  1. Found this quite tough, taking 11:44. Your pangram guess is right. 20D – the missing bit is turn = veer, with the final ‘about’ indicating that it goes outside the SP. 15D: good guess – “tea leaf” = thief. 5D: quick = fleet, st = street, EP = record, which is ‘covered’ as it’s at the bottom of the written answer.
  2. Took me 15 minutes, with BLAB the last to go in. I started going through the alphabet, but luckily it occurred to me part-way through. I also took a long time on ANTITHEFT, which I thought pretty clever. Not totally convinced by the clue to 3A although doubtless I am missing something. Jason J
    1. 18:35 for me. I agree that 3A is not obviously clued adequately. I solved it late without being able to justify it at the time. Now that I have seen Ilan’s explanation, I think I see most of it. EQUATE (= “Amount” as in the phrase “A amounts to B”) included in (“drunk by”) ADLY (“lady adjusted”). And the definition is “to satisfy”. It’s the def that seems the biggest stretch – I guess the phrase “to satisfy” could be used adverbially, but I can’t think of a sentence where it could be swapped with “adequately”.
      1. I agree with all this, and can’t see why the clue didn’t say simply “satisfactorily” instead of “to satisfy”, which indeed seems unsatisfactory. All right the surface is ever so slightly weaker, but really how on earth can “to satisfy” be equivalent to “adequately”?
    2. Sorry I didn’t understand the definition for ANTITHEFT – could you please explain this for me?
      1. “tea leaf proof” = “thief-proof” = “antitheft” as in an antitheft car lock.
  3. I took ages over this clue. I had the third letter “A” checked and spent for ever trying to make OVAL fit and wondering about 1D starting with O?O.

    I wasn’t happy with the grammar of 15D but worked it out eventually; luckily as it is an anagram there was never any doubt about the intended solution.

  4. Thanks for the NE explanation. I convinced myself that Tyneside means “side of Tyne” and hence NE. LoL!
  5. I really enjoyed this one. I wasn’t sure about 9a – the only OB I know is the one in Hollyoaks!
    I also wrote in ARC DE TRIUMPH at first – that’ll teach me to check the wordplay.
  6. 11:41 for me. I thought this was an exceptionally fine puzzle, with some very neatly worded clues, e.g. 6D. I wasn’t too worried about 3A, even though all the sentences that I’ve come up with so far swapping “adequately” and “to satisfy” sound a bit clunky.
  7. I very much enjoyed this one, and was pleased to finish it – although curiously I too put ‘blab’ in last; it doesn’t seem to be too difficult now. Almost all the clues were very well phrased, with 11a, 12a, 18a and 27a particularly good – although I wasn’t altogether pleased with 19d, and slightly confused by 4d (presumably ‘stamp’ is ‘die’).
  8. (a) tricky clue for 1D, so you probably had to wait for both checking letters
    (b) 4-letter word – ??A? gives you little to go on, and even B?A? there are lots of choices
    (c) a fairly subtle clue, with OVAL to tempt the hasty.
  9. 1st clue in the puzzle and I solved it straight away! Very enjoyable puzzle, tough.
  10. The setter excelled in this with only 5 “easies” deemed not to be worthy of entry into the blog:

    11a One new jam set with it (2-5)
    1 N – CROWD

    12a (In dark) confused with (how)* one’s doing (9)

    21a Honours even in opening round (5)
    OBES E

    4d Part below stamp displaying Spanish name (5)
    DIE GO

    7d Book flight (7)
    EXODUS. On Ryanair or via ferry with Moses’ Red Sea Cruises?

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