Times 23,676 – Fast Friday

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Friday puzzles seem to be a bit easier than the rest of the week these days. I thought Monday was supposed to be the easiest day. Time taken: 9m 25s


1 HIGH – double def

3 ESPAD(RILL)E – RILL in (as deep)* – a kind of sandal

10 MEALTIMES – (eat me slim)*


13 M(A-O)IST

15 SPLIT INFINITVE – an example of which is in the clue

18 IN THE ALTOGETHER – L in (eight to an)* + ETHER (“number”) – one of those clues that take a second to slot in and a few minutes to parse.

21 BEHEAD – “remove one’s crown (i.e head) and be the head (become the leader)

23 HOS(e)-ANNA

27 I-R(RIG)ATED – RIG = “doctor” as in “alter”

29 B(I(GB)R)OTHER – as in Orwell’s “1984”


1 HUMANISTIC – (simian tuch)*

4 SEMIFINAL – (in flame is)*

5 A-(<=MASS) – tea from Assam in India

6 R.A.-VIOLI(n) – being Italian, Verdi may have eaten ravioli

7 LOCKSMITH – Not sure which Smith is the scholar?

9 ATLAS-T(heories)



17 I-R-ON HORSE – although I’d hope it would stay ON the rails


20 (b)EN(S)IGN

11 comments on “Times 23,676 – Fast Friday”

  1. I also wondered what Smith might be a scholar, but decided that it doesn’t work that way. It is simply that a locksmith could be whimsically described as a scholar of Yales, I think.
  2. Slightly irrelevant, but is anyone in New York City and can lend me a copy of Chambers this week?


  3. Poor definition in the clue unless I’ve missed something. Can anyone explain why it’s okay?
  4. I think the idea is that an “iron horse” is a steam loco and that these have disappeared from (most) services and have therefore “gone off the rails”.
    1. Thanks, PB. But curses on Collins because I was going to take issue with you that there’s no reason to believe “Iron Horse” is necessarily a steam train and therefore largely off the rails. All my researches confirmed that it means just a locomotive until I opened Collins who specify that it is/was a steam engine.
  5. 8:50 for this one – not the easiest of the week for me, but not one of the stinkers…
  6. I made heavy weather of this one (9:44) – not helped by spending far too long trying to fit PEDESTRIAN into 3A instead of ESPADRILLE, which got me off to a bad start. I’m afraid I found it rather dull, but that’s only in comparison with other Times cryptics.
    1. “not helped by spending far too long trying to fit PEDESTRIAN into 3A instead of ESPADRILLE”

      Glad to find I wasn’t alone in this. I spent at least 5 minutes working on that solution before finally abandoning it.

  7. Add me to that list!

    Eight “easies” not in the blog:

    11a One preaches though absorbing chapter four’s conclusion (5)
    VI C A R. Through = VIA with (C)hapter inside then fou(R)

    26a Gold piece for heavenly passage (5)
    OR BIT

    29a WInger playing part in inTERNational (4)

    2d General award (5)
    GRANT. Ulysses S Grant – leader of the victorious Union Army and later 18th POTUS.

    8d Attain sensitivity to music with BeethoveN’s Ninth (4)
    EAR N

    22d General meaning to place division under duke (5)
    D RIFT. Get my drift?

    24d Fool about making constituent of gunpowder (5)
    NIT RE. Where it is usual to take the p**s.

    25d One going off to make fortune (4)

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