Times 23816 – need a sunny holiday in a villa

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
It’s still morning on the west coast! A fairly quick solve though the Cinque ports (and related towns) required a touch of wikipedia. I was surprised that I remembered that a certain Low had caricatured Colonel Blimp, so at some point, the phrase at 14A became clear.


1 N(A,V,[b]IG)ATION – the only thing that bothered me about this clue was defining “sailing “as NAVIGATION.
6 [g]O,SLO[w]
9 WALL,ACE – ref. Edgar WALLACE, though to be fair I don’t think I can name one book by him.
13 ONS(L)AUGHT – L in (hangs out)*
14 KEPT A LOW PROFILE – ref. David LOW the cartoonist (who invented Blimp??). Nice double cryptic definition.
20 GEORGETTE – it’s a girl and a silk.
21 RAITA – hidden in “… pakoRA IT Advertised”.
24 S(A)N REMO – A in sermon*. Would have been quicker had I remembered where Liguria was.
26 COUNSELLOR=”councilor”


2 V,ILL,A[rea] – bit surprised at VILLA being defined as “rented holiday home”.
4 TIE,POLO – along with Titian a good cryptic Italian artist.
7 S(HANG)RI-LA[nka] – with the (7-2) enumeration and definition of “paradise” the answer was obvious… now for the wordplay… OK, it’s HANG (“put up”) in SRI-LA[nka] which is part of the (former) Ceylon.
11 AN,A,TO,LE, FRANCE – I found this obvious given the enumeration and def (“writer”) and Parisian ref… now for the wordplay… OK it’s a straightforward charade.
15 PTEROSA,UR – (a poster)*,UR (our traditional ancient city).
16 END,EAVOUR=”ever”
18 ON,TAR,I,O – another straightforward charade.
22 I,DEAL – had look up Cinque ports to work out that the town of DEAL is one of them somehow.

29 comments on “Times 23816 – need a sunny holiday in a villa”

    1. 8:46 so I didn’t find it that easy, though that was partly down to slowness with today’s chubby clue. Anyone baffled by 14A: read the Colonel’s entry in Wikipedia.
    2. I should perhaps have said easy by my standards which means anything I can complete in under 30 minutes.

      I got stuck on the fat one too and it was the last to go in.

      1. Well it looks as if I was having another relatively dim day. If others are reporting times close to their best, I should really have been a few minutes faster.
        1. I must admit I stopped the clock in under 6 mins on this one. Considering I’d solved precisely one clue after the first minute, I was expecting some quick times.

          Incidentally, going back to the issue of the Russian ownership of Live Journal, I was interested to read an article on the subject at the website of the Other Russia opposition coalition http://www.theotherrussia.org/2007/12/13/the-last-island-of-freedom/
          It makes interesting reading – as does the entire website – but that’s another story …

  1. Found this one fairly straightforward too – about half an hour, which is something like half my usual time. A couple of things I had to look up to fully understand the wordplay, with only 11d / 21ac / 22d holding me up.


  2. Golly, this one must have been easy. I finished it before the coffee had even finished filtering… about 6 or 7 minutes, which may well be a pb for me, though I don’t bother to time them properly.

    I liked the reference to the Cinque Port, especially as I happened to visit it last week.

  3. Certainly quicker than my usual, probably would have been sub-10 minutes but for getting stuck at the end on 17A. Still not sure about the definition there. I liked 8D.
  4. I agree, a largely straightforward 25 minute puzzle. I had to guess 15 down. As can already be seen from previous comments a number of nice clues but nothing really outstanding. Of those not already mentioned I liked TREASON at 19 down, which was neat and succinct. Jimbo.
  5. This was an easy solve for me (ie 20 minutes not 35 or more), helped in part that I saw ANATOLE FRANCE immediately without even thinking about the wordplay, and GUARDIAN ANGEL came pretty quickly once I considered the anagram fodder; there were also some old chestnuts such as the clue for TIEPOLO. 17 across was last to complete for me also.
    At the risk of being boring (since I know I hold minority views on such matters on this site) I find it impossible to accept that “black cast-away” means the same as black cast away. It’s not that I think it’s particularly unfair or makes the clue difficult to solve, it just seems to be stretching things too far semantically. I have far more admiration for a setter such as Don Manley who can produce an impeccable clue without resorting to tricks such as these.
    I wonder if this particular setter had a bit of a conscience about the clue, inserting a hyphen in the middle of ‘castaway’, since none of the standard dictionaries spell ‘castaway’ as a hyphened word.
    1. I’m with you on the semantics here, even though I solved the clue quite happily. Hyphenating ‘castaway’ seems like a fudge.
  6. Got there in the end after a very slow start. Nothing really stood out, but I thought 2D read well and it gets my COD nom.

    Dyste makes a good point and I bet this one raised a few eyebrows, but for me it boils down to the old “say what I mean but not mean what I say” axiom. Cast-away is not hyphenated in dictionaries but in this clue it’s fodder only, intended solely to make the solver think of castaway. Whether it’s acceptable technically is another matter and I confess to being split on it. We have phrases like fat free/fat-free, lead free/lead-free etc and the use or otherwise of a hyphen seems to depend on who designed the packaging.

    1. Surely the solver thinks of castaway with or without the hyphen. And almost certainly also with the space, too. Either way I have to say I agree with Dyste on this. I don’t see that cast-away or castaway can equal cast away. We’re approaching “indeed” territory here I think.
      Why not just “cast away” actually? On the principle that the surface reading is only an illusion anyway. Only the cryptic def has to be accurate.
  7. 15:25. Having never heard of ANATOLE FRANCE, I wrongly guessed his name to be “French”, being led astray by “connected with his country”. This led to a fruitless few minutes trying to shoe horn a word into the easy 26a. 14a was last to go in. I likes 17a but my COD goes to the very short 6a. At first reading I very faintly entered a tentative “TRIK” (one of the lesser-known Scandinavian ports 😉 )- right idea, wrong choice.
    I enjoyed this one.
  8. Must have been the easiest for many a long month.
    17 minutes, and no problems.

    Not sure that “rented holiday home” is the same as Villa though.

    1. I wondered about that too. I also wondered if it’s the same setter who clued “second home” as “holiday accommodation” or something of the sort, only the other day.
  9. Around 35 minutes – held up on colonel blimp and didn’t know Tiepolo but got from wordplay – though it was a toss up between that and Tieludo, until 13 A fell into place. Agree with doubts over cast-away.


  10. 11 minutes, not bad for a post-midnight solve. Relieved to find that Anatole France was a real person, though I’ve never heard of anything he’s written he has one more Nobel Prize for literature than I do and the same number as Doris Lessing, so I guess he’s OK. I liked 6ac, particularly since it eluded me to be the last clue to go in. 17ac was amusing now, are we going to have a fat themed week?
  11. Enjoyed today’s a lot, but got stuck on 15D and 20A.

    15D is ending in AUR, and thought that the first 6 letters would be an anagram of POSTER, but 17A stymied that.

    20A is just stumping me.

    If you could furnish me with these, that would be just mustard.

    Thank you.

    PS Wondering if 16D is a nod to Morse.

    1. Your analysis on 15D is bang on – PTEROSAUR. 17A is THE FAT OF THE LAND – just a cryptic def.

      20A is a double definition as you may have guessed – GEORGETTE.

      16D – possibly, but there has already been far more Morse-related puzzle. It’s in the ’75 years of the Times Crossword’ book.

      1. Isn’t 17A a bit more than just a cryptic definition. Isn’t it a double definition, one straight and one cryptic.

        I found the puzzle quite easy too despite containing a few things that were unknown to me, TIEPOLO, ANATOLE FRANCE, Deal, Colonel Blimp’s creator. I was probably helped by the fact that I had a severe sense of déjà vu with many of the clues, OSLO, GEORGETTE, OVERT and especially TREASON.

        It’s also funny that “tie” and “draw” both appear in clues each indicating the other (12A, 4D).

        Finally with 3D, is a GUARDIAN ANGEL really a “free spirit”?

          1. Of course! My excuse is that it was such an obvious anagram that I didn’t even look for the indicator!
  12. Like others I found this very easy, which for me means about 15 minutes, one of my quickest ever. That even covers the time I needed to correct ‘top of the card’, which I put in immediately since that’s where the heavyweight boxers are, to the intended ‘fat of the land’, after I ciphered out the 3D ‘guardian angel’. Regards.
  13. 7:22 for me, starting extremely slowly but finishing quite briskly. As with yesterday’s puzzle there were a fair number of what seemed like old chestnuts.

    I quite liked 14A, but I’ll go for 20A (GEORGETTE) as my COD.

  14. Not much for me to add. I’d read right through the hyphen in castaway, and I thought 19d a nice, neat clue so that’s my COD.

  15. According to 20a it is!

    This was quite a quickie but had some interesting answers. Some of the “easies” have been covered above but here they are in full:

    10a Revolving handle getting a note to emerge (7)
    EMAN A TE. Revolving handle = NAME backwards.

    12a A flipping tie may help one to get a prize (5)
    A WARD. Flipping tie = DRAW backwards.

    23a Creeping plant in house on wheels (7)

    25a Parking with skill – and that’s not all (4)
    P ART

    3d (Nag a nude girl, a )* free spirit (8,5)

    5d Becomes more communicative and frank with drink (5,2)

    8d Clear above top of tower (5)
    OVER T

    19d Traitor’s initial motive for his crime? (7)

    20d Rouse oneself and dress (3,2)
    GET UP

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