Times 23830 – the winner was abstergent

Solving time : 10 minutes. Blistering start, and a few proper names snagged me towards the end that had to be worked out using wordplay. Found this one fairly straightforward, clues needed a little thinking through but nothing out of the ordinary. A few I really liked, probably having 14d just edge out 9ac for clue of the day.

9 LA’S(=location of Hollywood),TINGLY. Nice contruction
10 ASTI,R – compilers have Asti on the brain, I’ve never been fond of it.
12 MISS,TATE – “Here she is, Miss Tate, she’s so fine, she epitomises the only gallery we define”
13 DERMAL – hidden, skinny being the definition
15 HALF PINT – double definition, impolite term for a short person.
18 MA,IN,STAY – this took longer than it should have, fairly simple construction
21 RE,SOLVER – you being the solver of this puzzle, yes you are
23 BET,HEL(l) – got this one from the wordplay with the rest of the checking letters.
26 IN,EP,T – nice little construction
28 GET ONES HEAD DOWN – I entered “Put one’s head down” since I’m not familiar with “Get” as the first word, checking letters took care of that quickly.
1 B,ELATED – another cute construction
3 TRIFOCALS – F,O,C in TRIALS – another neat construction
4 (p)EGGY – groan. I know one Margaret who goes by Peg
6 EVANS – sounds like (h)EAVENS. I first encountered Dame Edith Evans in a November Times. Where’s the Colonel when you need him?
7 OSTRACISE = I in (SOCRATES)* – according to Chambers it comes from the shells that voters wrote the name of the exile on
14 RAINSWEPT = (IN,W,E,PARTS)* really liked this anagram making for a nice clue
16 FOR(i)CELAND – when you are made to land somewhere unexpected in a boat or plane
17 RABELAIS – (1,ALE,BAR)<= + S. My last to go in, got the French 16th-century author from wordplay
22 LATIN = A(article) in L,TIN
24 H,ALL,O(=round) – and goodbye from me.

12 comments on “Times 23830 – the winner was abstergent”

  1. 7:09 for this – 14D is COD for me too. With this the slowest of the week so far, I’m expecting a tough one tomorrow.
  2. A puzzle with some excellent clues and nice wordings but at the same time very easy. About 20 minutes to solve. 4 down and 6 down are a bit corny but other than that enjoyable to solve. The hidden word at 13 across for example is excellent. Boringly I’m also going for 14 down as the best of a good field. Jimbo.
  3. Another mostly straightforward one for me.

    COD must go to 14 today as having written in the answer and identified it was an anagram it still took me several moments to work out exactly where the letters came from.

    Somehow I missed the obvious explanation of 4D and had been considering whether Meggy might be an affectionate term for Meg/Margaret.

  4. About 21 minutes, shaving 4 off my previous PB, also set this week. Like gl I got off to a blistering start but got bogged down in the SW corner, although having studied French to A level and beyond I had heard of Rabelais, but had to check Bethel after the event.

    COD 14d for me too, but also liked “tingly” for sensation and “elated” for transported.

    I can’t ever recall seeing “force land” used as a verb – isn’t “make a forced landing” more usual?

    I can’t decide whether 25d is clever, or just another example of someone jumping on the Huge Furry-Milkingstool bandwagon.

    1. Force-land was new to me but is in COD as a derivative of ‘forced landing’. I reckon you can get your PB below 15 minutes by the end of March.
      1. FORCE-LAND is in Chambers too, but I don’t think it’s really used – Penfold’s alternative is certainly far more common.
  5. Breezed through this, but enjoyed all 8 minutes. Tempted to nom 14D as it’s far better than an old one of mine that tried to exploit a PETS IN WAR anagram with the idea of “cats and dogs” tying in with “rainswept”. In the end, though, yet another unexpected COD to 25D – I just like the “force-fed” link with battery hens.

    Sadly the polls forum is attracting spam despite having a character recognition procedure to join up. The stringent firewall on my work PC means I can’t access some of these to delete them until late in the day. If anyone’s interested in joining PB as moderator just let me know!

  6. It seemed to take me ages to get going on this, and I was pleasantly surprised when I stopped the clock at 11:20 (like yesterday, it seemed much longer). I may have got close to my own PB had I got 1a in earlier. Some belters today, probably too many to list. I’ll go against the consensus and plump for 9a. The anagram fodder in 14d was a little too strewn for my liking-still good though. In answer to penfold_61, 25d is clever.
  7. Had one of those days where the brain seemed determined to read what it thought was written down, and not what was actually in front of me, so I made life more difficult than necessary by filling in OSTRACISM and PUT ONES HEAD DOWN. It must be getting close to the weekend…
  8. LASTINGLY, appropriately, took me a couple of minutes at the end – I was duped into looking for a Hollywood location ending in -AY (= ‘all the time’). 9:07, which reading the above seems a bit slow, but at least it seems I’ve finally learnt how to spell ‘Rabelais’.
  9. Not as easy for me as some others, maybe because I did it late last night, in about 30 min.’s, but missing 6D and 12A. When I went bact to it I realized it was MISS TATE, which allowed me to guess the name of the Dame from the wordplay. Unlike many here, I thought ‘HALF PINT’ was very much the best entry, being concise, misleading and funny all at once. Regards.
  10. Nothing from the Colonel on 6d as GLH has observed but at least there was a bit of “Cockney Crypticity” about the clue and not just an artsy general knowledge based double definition like last time. Perhaps Mr Murdoch took the good Colonel’s advice and did not employ those darned arts graduates that he (the Colonel) seems to abhor so much.

    We are up to 7 omissions in this blog:

    1a Row with each other, having to endure the same hardships? (2,2,3,4,4)

    11a Example of body art – beat that! (6)
    TATTOO. Double def – ink and “beat out that rhythm on a drum”.

    19a Garments made from various (fibres)* (6)

    2d Picture belonging to matching series? (5)
    IN SET

    8d Men submerged in river’s fast-moving flow (7)

    18d Black dress not acceptable early in the day (7)
    MORNING. Is this a reference to Morning Suits not being like (usually black) Dinner Suits worn in the evening?

    25d F o R c E – f E d, oddly, unlike battery hens (4)
    F R E E

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