Times 23645

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 15:27

No real hold-ups here. I put in AEGEAN SEA at 26A, only worrying if it could really be so straightforward. Happily the next clue I looked at was the straightforward anagram at 17D so I corrected my mistake quickly. The South West corner took me longest with LUNGI the last to go in.

And it might be a bit unfair for newcomers, but I liked the in-joke at 5D.


4 ST(O.R.)ABLE – OR appears twich in this puzzle, here as “soldiers”, and in 19D as “gold”
11 VEN + OM
14 (g)USHER
16 CHAP + ER + ONE – &lit
18 CA(MEMBER)T – took me a long time to see anything that would fit the checking letters. I guess CAT means “yacht” as a contraction of “catamaran”
20 G(h)ET TO
21 FOUR-LETTER WORD – ie “* * * *”!
25 (c)LUNG + I – I half-knew the word LUNGI and thought of it fairly early, but wasn’t confident enough to put it in until I finally worked out the wordplay
28 MEAL + I.E.


1 GOING (=leaving) DUTCH (=wife (dated slang))
3 TH(e) ROWER – I only recently learned that the difference between baseball and cricket is that bowlers mustn’t straighten a bent arm. Since then, I have been waiting for the word “doosra” to appear in a crossword.
5 TITLE – Haggard’s She being the most popular book title in crosswords
6 RE + VERSE, RE being ER reversed
7 BANDI(COO)T – slow on this one, I think because I didn’t expect “when rat is seen” to mean that “rat” was the definition
8 EMM(a)/Y
20 GAR(B)AGE – “on the contrary” meaning that B(ritish) is contained in the music form rather than vice versa
22 ELITE – two meanings, the second being the old typewriter font. It seems computers need only one fixed spacing font, and courier won. I don’t understand the surface though.
23 OUSEL, being “louse” with the first letter moved to the end
24 PLAN(e)

6 comments on “Times 23645”

  1. Is it usual for “latest” to mean the last letter?

    Thanks for explaining 20D. After putting in GARBAGE, I was struggling to fit REGGAE into the wordplay!(Btw, the answer for 5D should read TITLE)

  2. Good in-joke – doing a blog on the similar site 15^2 for Indy puzzles etc noted that Quixote used SHE & ET as book and film in a clue for SHEET last Sunday in the IoS. I commented they were the best known book and film in crosswords (Blog written on Mon to be posted later today). Did not expect it would be demonstrated so soon afterwards by this clue here and in Punk’s puzzle today in the Indy where ET is referred to, if a little less directly.

    Found this quite a tricky puzzle overall.

  3. (Working through old puzzles so response a bit delayed)

    8:19 for me. 5D was actually the clue that I was most worried about – rather too much of an in-joke for my taste – but overall I found this a pleasant enough puzzle.

  4. This took about 15 minutes – partly from trying to make 5D into CUTIE.
  5. According to Wiki the “12 pitch” in 22d refers to the number of characters per inch in the fixed spacing Elite font on typewriters. I spent ages trying to link in TAR (pitch) and 12a (GO DOWN THE DRAIN) before I realised that neither of these were relevant. Doh!

    There are 8 “easies omitted:

    10a Damaged (armpit not)* significant (9)

    12a Sink into oblivion, as drips might? (2,4,3,5)
    GO DOWN THE DRAIN. My FOI – a good start.

    26a The main attraction of Corfu? (6,3)
    IONIAN SEA. As with our esteemed blogmeister, I wrote Aegean Sea in the margin before solving 17d and then being able to fill in the correct patch of water.

    2d Gym’s put in up-to-date sort of bike (5)
    MO PE D

    9d Thing under piano may be just a speck of dust (8)

    13d Mediocre support leads to rebuke (6,4)

    15d (Men woo her)*, amazingly? She has this property (9)

    17d (I taste an)* unusual chemical element (8)
    ASTATINE. A Halogen group element – highly radioactive and the rarest naturally occuring element. No-one knows what it looks like as any macroscopic lump of it would be vapourised by its own radioactive heating – all according to Wiki.

Comments are closed.