Times 23,648 – over in a flash

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 23 minutes – I think my best time ever.

This was really easy – nothing to hold me up at all. EILAT at 24A was the only new word here, but wordplay was straightforward so I felt confident enough to write in.
Good fun.


6 TAP(A)S – I’m not really a fan of tapas bars – I also happen to know tapas is a Sanskrit word for mortification.
9 FREE ASSOCIATION – didn’t know that ‘trick cyclist’ was slang for psychiatrist.
13 CORKS(anag of rocks),CREWS
14 L(I)ED
17 SURE-FOOTED(anag of ‘refuse to do’)
24 E(I)LAT;I in rev of tale – I don’t do ports very well – Eilat is Israel’s southernmost city.
25 KNI(FEE)DGE – KNIDGE being an anag of ‘keg in D(front of Dáil)’ – took me a while to spot the wordplay here.


2 SPENCER PERCEVAL; anag of ‘creep claps never’ – I knew he was the only PM to have been assassinated, so came straight away.
5 P,ACE,BOWLER – hat and cricketer in the clue and it’s probably going to be a bowler.
6 TRA(GI)C; doughboy=GI in reverse of cart. I heard doughboy a long while ago, guessed it was another word for a GI (US soldier). Quick look up suggests the term doughboy was used until World War 2, when it was replaced by GI.
15 COURANTE; anag of ‘a curt one’
21 PULS(anag of plus),E
22 UGLI=”ugly” – another rewording of an old clue.

18 comments on “Times 23,648 – over in a flash”

  1. A nice easy one to start the week though I took longer over some of the SW corner than I should have.

    Aren’t we missing the blog for Friday’s puzzle?

    1. Shouldn’t that be “percEval”? I had to look it up on wikipedia as well and was surprised to learn that he is the only British PM to have been assassinated.
      While on the subject of typos, what is 6A? After scratching my head for a really long time, I have put in TYPOS here.
  2. Spencer Perceval has to be spelled with an E (and a C) or the anagram wouldn’t work. I had dimly heard of him. This one on the whole was pretty easy, taking me 6 mins. RECALL was last to go in (partly because it required me to work out the aforesaid politician’s spelling first. I had a slight impression the setter was referring to a personal experience with 3D – it’s happened to me too… 1D was such a straightforward clue that I didn’t think of it first time, if you see what I mean. Almost dropping to Daily Telegraph level, I felt. I was slowed a little by typing BOTTLE instead of SPIRIT to start with at 18D. I also couldn’t remember what was meant by “Doughboy” until I had all the crossing letters to give me the answer. Jason J
    1. yeah if i was quicker on my feet (well, hands) I should have written: “heard of spenser percival? Never!” and said I was trying to be homophonic intentionally. but i wasn’t.
  3. Was this the easiest Times puzzle ever? I’m not a fast solver and normally take between 25 minutes and an hour to solve The Times crossword. This one took me 13 minutes including time to order some drinks and engage in some chat.
    1. I don’t think so. I thought Friday’s (unblogged as yet) 23646 qualifies for that. I clocked my first ever sub 10 minutes. I’m looking forward to seeing the times posted by the supersonic solvers. I am guessing that their times will have been limited only by the time taken to read the clue and then to write the answer in the grid.
        1. I’d hardly count myself as supersonic, but I managed it in just under 6 minutes. I remember a Sunday Times puzzle earlier this year that may have been easier though.
          1. Just catching up on (some of) the last couple of weeks. This took 4:28, though would probably have been sub-4 and my second fastest time ever but for writing -ING at the end of 9ac (fooled by ‘wrestling area’ = ‘ring’). 27ac (‘Fellow in north’ = FINN) was the only other clue that held me up significantly, and I felt it should have had a question mark.
            1. Whoops, no it didn’t, I’m talking about Friday’s puzzle there. Sorry. This actually took 5:28, of which the last (approx) 90 seconds of which were spent fretting over FREE ASSOCIATION; thanks to ‘cyclist’ in the clue, ‘feet association’ nearly made an unwelcome appearance.
  4. 5:13 for me (a clean sweep apart from FREE ASSOCIATION), so I’m pleased to find myself faster than Neil T after he’d wiped the floor with me (and probably most other solvers!?) at ST 4231.
  5. 4:00 here, so about the second easiest Times puzzle for a year or two. Would have tried for the clean sweep had I understood the ‘flash’ part of 3D, but left that unwritten and charged on. 9A makes a good case for “(15, two words)” rather than (4,11) – with F?E???S???????? and (4,11), I very much doubt that anything else fits.
  6. This one was deemed so “easy” that there are 13 answers missing from the blog. Here they are:

    1a A job in the kitchen getting wet clothes on the rack? (7,2)

    10a Remember to cancel (6)

    14a Stylish young woman? No end (4)
    CHIC (K). Entering the realms of 60s non-PC-ness here.

    19a Get away, carrying diamonds after a stunt (8)

    20a Mature wife is in band (4,2)
    GRO W UP

    23a Army officer follows father as acting head of state (8,7)

    1d Piece of bread and water, fine for tit initially (5)
    WA(t)F ER

    3d How quickly your clean driving licence may be lost? (2,1,5)

    4d Cut good wood (4)
    G ASH

    7d Go on a pub crawl, to get rid of the blues? (5,3,4,3)

    8d Condemned in a few words put together by Democrat? (9)

    12d Preparations to build a stadium? (10)

    18d The sort of drink to give one courage? (6)
    SPIRIT. Presumably Genever for Dutch Courage?

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