Times 23828 – aha!

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I’ll be honest, haven’t voted yet. But the polls are open until 9pm. Of course, by the time I actually vote it will no longer be relevant…

In any event, nothing dropped until 20A and fortunately ACUPUNCTURIST was a fairly obvious cryptic definition. The rest of the session was workmanlike — the see/sea homophone not succumbing until I had ART NOUVEAU. 5D was a bit too subtle for me and I had to reverse engineer from the ABBA song!


1 OLD WIVES TALES – (views lead lots)*
8 P(ER)U – ER in rev(up)
9 ART NO(UVEA)U – UVEA (it’s part of your eye) in (ran out)*
10 OB’S,TA(C)LE – C the number.
13 ALPHABETIC – describes the order of letters in “chintz” as opposed to “wool”.
17 K(NO)W – a kilowatt is a lot of power I suppose.
18 ENGLISHMAN – whose home is his castle. Being American, I suppose I’m not a typical Times reader.
20 D,EARTH – direly topical surface reading.
22 NOT,ARIES – groan. If your sign isn’t ARIES, it could be Leo.
24 BANYAN TREE – (eaten by Ran[i])* — presumably an Asian fruit tree making the surface slightly more palatable.
27 ACUPUNCTURIST – a satisfyingly misleading cryptic definition


2 DOUBT – “One certainly” is supposed be a “person who is certain” thus hasn’t a DOUBT.
3 IRASCIBLE – basic* in rile*.
5 [wes]T,ROUT – ref. Rainbox TROUT and Napoleon’s debacle.
6 LOVE MATCH – I associate LOVE with tennis not cricket which is what I connect a sporting “test” to… what am I missing?
7 SEA=”see” – Ref. Bishop Berkeley who must have had one.
14 HOW ARE YOU=”ru” – which is Rugby Union.
19 GEN,ERIC – Eric’s our boy and GEN’s our info (from intelliGENce).
23 RABBi[t]
25 A,HA[t] – aha! got it!

21 comments on “Times 23828 – aha!”

  1. Another fairly easy one completed in well under 30 minutes. I had to guess at a couple of things to explain them, Berkeley referring to a Bishop and thereby having a See, and UVEA being part of the eye. Both seem to be correct so I have learned two new things today.

    There were some nice clues along the way. I was going to pick 13 because it’s clever but I think I’ve seen similar before and it may be a chestnut. Failing that I like 14 a lot.

  2. I can’t advise you on Hillary or Barack except to say my two American friends support Barack.
    I found today’s puzzle even easier than yesterday’s, with very little pause for thought over any of the clues, though 18 gave me problems until I had all the checked letters in place. Nice clues on the whole, with nothing standing out for me except perhaps 2 down, so I’ll nominate that as COD, despite having a slight DOUBT whether “one certainly” equals “one who is certain”
  3. 30 minutes with a couple of interruptions. Not as easy as yesterday’s for me – in fact on the first pass I only filled in a couple of answers – but it only needed one or two checking letters for each word thereafter for everything to start falling into place.

    I had to check UVEA and BANYAN but there was enough in the clues to lead to the right answer without necessarily knowing these words.

    I also liked 2 and 14 down as well as 17, 22 & 27 across, but my COD nomination goes to 25d, almost a self-fulfilling prophecy (if that’s the right expression) when I finally figured out why it was the right answer. Having watched a repaet of I’m Alan Partridge on “Dave” last night may have helped the old sub-conscious.

    1. And if I ever use “wheelchairs” in a puzzle I’ll spell it with at least 6 Es and write its clue with the lights out.
      Chocolate mousse anyone?
  4. Agreed, a nice puzzle but very straightforward and quick. One little niggle at 1 down, OVER-B-A-LANCE, do the words “put in” really fit? Interesting at 5 down we have a “say” for Rainbow=TROUT but no qualification for Waterloo=ROUT (was it – my history isn’t good enough to say?). I thought 1 across, 20 across and 3 down were the best of the bunch with nothing really standing out. Jimbo.
    1. Yes I wasn’t sure either about “put in”. It struck me that the words might be part of the definition: if you put something in to destabilise, you are overloading it so that it will overbalance. Don’t quite know.
  5. I liked this one a lot and I accept the ROUT def, since Waterloo’s meaning is extended to indicate any personal defeat. I almost had this as COD but eventually went for 16A – another of my odd choices but this amazingly simple clue led to the last answer to go in; blinded by the patently obvious, which is the mark of a great clue.
  6. 11:40, slighly slower than yesterday but still a good time for me. I really liked 13ac (clever) and I’m a sucker for long hiddens (12d), but my COD goes to 2d, my second last which made 8a easy. Old Chestnut award goes to 23d
  7. Quite straightforward but enjoyable; I liked the concealment in 12 down (and groaned at 22 across, which eluded me until the very end).
  8. 12 minutes, and a pretty enjoyable solve. I liked 13ac, and I don’t think it counts as a chestnut, also liked 22ac
  9. 6:51 (corrected from “6:61”) here – another in the “straightforward but enjoyable” camp. No COD suggestions in addition to those already put forward.

    Edited at 2008-02-05 03:44 pm (UTC)

  10. Is that 7:01 then Peter?!

    10:31 for me, but should have been around 7 minutes too, but for a complete blank on 25D which eventually had me considering each letter in turn. Duh! 13A was my COD, as I don’t remember having seen that used before.

  11. Ilan doesn’t mention that this is his last regular spot – he joins i_am_magoo as a one of our original seven bloggers on the subs’ bench. Thanks to Ilan for all his past contibutions.
  12. I think this construction at 6 down is: Basis of succesful partnership=LOVE MATCH; test=MATCH (as in cricket); LOVE=nothing (as in tennis) “topping” MATCH. Jimbo
  13. Hear hear to Ilan for great work and hopefully more to come. Enjoyed our odd random chats on crosswords, hope to catch you again soon!
  14. ACUPUNCTURIST might have been obvious but (together with AHA) nearly doubled my time for this (8:50-ish I think). Not very sharp.
  15. Last two days were both relatively easy as others say. This one done in about 10-15 min.’s. I liked AHA best, made me giggle. Kudos to ilanc, from another atypical Times reader (well, I don’t read it, I just do the puzzle.)
  16. Using anagrams for obscure foreign words/names is not generally looked upon favourably but COINTREAU at 15d is hardly obscure – except perhaps for one solver above – and is included in the “easies”:

    16a Launch to ship (4)
    TO S.S. The good ol’ Steamship Caber?

    26a Disheartened fighter, once our enemy (4)
    BO (X) ER. The Afrikaans farmer – now maybe making lovely SA wines.

    4d Beg for attenuated course, having a limited time (7)
    ENTRE (E) A T

    12d Part of welfaRE STATE MENTioned in declaration, in other words (11)
    RESTATEMENT. Has to be one of the longest hidden answers yet?

    15d (A counter I) arranged for drink (9)
    COINTREAU. Notre cognac des oranges.

    21d Back university of religious type (5)
    HIND U

Comments are closed.