Times 23667

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time 20:10

I don’t think the puzzle was a 20-minute difficulty one for me, but I solved it at 7:00 this morning and my head was still full of cobwebs. It took far too long to work out the anagrams at 3, 7, 25 and 18ac, and my first scan through the clues only produced a handful of answers.


1 CLASSICS – races as in Derby, Oaks, 2000 Guineas etc.
5 THES,IS – THES = Times Higher Education Supplement
13 STOA – first letters of “Specifically That Of Athens” – I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a stoa, but it’s one of the commonest “difficult words” seen in crosswords.
15 SE(R(obin),VAN)T – great clue, where a common phrase has to be split up, in this case with Batman providing the definition and Robin being part of the wordplay. A batman is a military officer’s valet.
17 BOOKEND – just a cryptic definition, with “the good work” just referring back to the Bible. I was tempted by LECTERN until I got a couple of crossing letters. I thought the enumeration should have been (4-3), but I can’t find an online dictionary to agree with me!
18 PROTEAN (a tenor,p)* – took me over a minute to decipher this obvious anagram.
21 (t)RUTH – “Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty” from Ode on a Grecian Urn.
22 NORTHW(thrown*),A(RD)S
25 ITALIAN VERMOUTH (at home in virtual)* – another anagram I struggled with.


1 CELEB(E)S – part of Indonesia, now called Sulawesi.
3 SOUR GRAPES (a grousers,p)* – I really should have got this in 2 seconds, but stared at it for at least a minute even after writing out the letters in a circle.
4 CAIRO – “chi, rho”
7 SAINT HELIER (Airlines, the)* – continued my bad anagram day, but soon got it once I had S?I?T for the first word.
9 STAND,BYS (“buys”) – partnership = stand in cricket terminology.
12 CAR BOOT SALE – when I had ?A?E for the third word I thought LANE, and couldn’t get it out of my head.
14 NO,BLEW,OMEN – I wasn’t 100% happy with this, but I think “blow” can mean “leave”.
18 PART(IT)A – I know it’s a musical term, but no idea beyond that!
26 UK,E

17 comments on “Times 23667”

  1. 11:23, which I expect to be beaten by quite a few of you – I can see about 7 clues where I could have been much quicker. Also plumped briefly for a quite convincing red herring at 18D – INTRO,IT instead of IT in PART A.
    1. Whereas the unconvincing red herring that I put in was LECTERN instead of BOOKEND at 17A. Once I had fixed that it took me 19:04 in the end, with 9D, 19A and 14D the last to go in.
  2. We all have our own ways about solving crossword puzzles. I prefer not to enter a word until I’m sure it’s correct. Sometimes I’ll enter a word because I know it’s correct for the definition, but don’t quite understand the wordplay. In those cases, I don’t feel fully satisfied.
    1. Your way usually turns out to be the best, Barbara. “Speed merchants” are sometimes tempted to skimp on the wordplay if we can see a definition plus a bit of other stuff. Often we’re lucky and this works, sometimes we’re not and we rush headlong down a blind alley. Or worse, our overactive imaginations find a pretty convincing alternative answer like INTROIT – on reflection, “the first section”, although just about OK, would actually have been something like “the first hymn” if it was a def for this answer.
  3. Im i blind or is 8D missing?

    I think the answer is “Steward”

    Stew beign a way of cooking… but im not sure how the rest of the clue works…

    1. 8D isn’t one of the clues explained – we don’t do the lot, partly as it would take too long. But a comment about a clue you don’t understand will usually get you a fairly swift answer from someone.

      STEWARD is right – after ‘stew’, a=A, limited way = RD. ‘Caterer’ is the def. – among other things, its “person who supplies food to a college or club”

  4. Can someone explain in more detail how 11A works?…

    I know background = history but how does the first part work?

    1. part of defence = BACK (in football, rugger, etc.)
      pulverized = GROUND – verb, past tense
  5. I was doubtful about blew = left too, but the Concise OED confirms it. blow = leave (informal), the clue references being the past tenses. Thanks for explaining CAIRO, I knew it had to be right, but could not find Greek letters to fit.
  6. 10:17 for me. Not sure I get the point of 5A – surely if we are talking political parties, Scotland actually is fairly LABOUR INTENSIVE, whereas if we aren’t, the clue isn’t cryptic? Took me longer than it should have done to get the anagram at 18A, and both 19A and 25A are old crossword chestnuts which should have been faster. Last one to go in was 9D, which is one of those ones with a slightly unexpected letter arrangement when you have the crossing ones (and I began to doubt BOOKEND while looking for it). On 14D, in what context does BLEW mean left, I wondered? Thanks for enlightenment above. Jason J
  7. So is “delivered” here supposed to indicate a homophone? I don’t buy it.

    And I too thought 10A was kind of lacking, unless I’m missing something about Scottish politics, being so far away. It used to be a Labour stronghold, now not so much, but is that all there is?


  8. The answer to 19 across is missing, presumably because it is ‘obvious’. Unfortunately I have not been able to solve it, so could someone please post the answer.

    Many thanks

    1. 19A is Soldier — double definition, as a verb (serve) and a noun (piece of toast — Americans may be surprised to learn that a soldier is a strip of toast for dipping in soft boiled eggs).
  9. I tackled this when I was already tired, and realised pretty soon that that was a mistake as I wasn’t really enjoying it very much. And after last week’s disasters, I felt I couldn’t bear another error so soon, and so spent about 15 minutes trying to think of an alternative to THESIS. Although I’d heard of the Times Higher Education Supplement, and of the TLS and TES, I just didn’t put two and two together. 27:41. Ugh!
  10. At 10a the reference is likely to be the recent (3 May 2007) Scottish Parliament elections in which the SNP (47 Seats) became the largest party beating Scottish Labour narrowly (46 seats) into 2nd place.

    There are a number of questions about un-blogged answers above but here they are in full:

    10a Needing lots of workers, unlike today’s Scotland? (6,9)

    19a Serve a piece of toast (7)
    SOLDIER. Double definition – verb to soldier (serve) and soldier = finger of toast for soft boiled egg dipping.

    27a In CopenhAGEN DAnes set programme for meeting (6)

    2d Vestment almost completely black? On the contrary! (3)
    ALB. A white item of priestly clothing that is definitely not completely BLAck backwards just partly.

    6d Given cards as worker (4)

    8d Cook one way, a limited way, as caterer (7)

    20d Fruit on wild plant grew with it (4,3)
    ROSE HIP. Grew = ROSE, with it = HIP.

    24d Told stories in song (4)
    LIED. Fibbed in a German song.

Comments are closed.