Times 23851 – Moping, indisposed and upset

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 55 minutes

I did this in bed last night, Helston being the only answer I wasn’t sure of. I started this at great speed, thinking it was going to be a quick one, but I got held up in quite a few places. Not getting the long one at 10A for a while was annoying, especially as I’d seen it before (and one of the first phrases I thought of was art house).

A good mixture of clues, but nothing too difficult looking back – it will be interesting to see the times of more experienced solvers.


1 WAS(H)DOWN – to mope means to be gloomy; I read this meaning so wasn’t sidetracked by motorcycles and was able to write this in straightaway.
10 HE,ART(BREAK)HOUSE – a play by Shaw that I’ve seen before in a Times crossword. This took me a while, though.
11 BEEHIVE – refers to the 1960s hairstyle, now famously worn by Amy Winehouse. I presume ‘attended’ is used because it refers to something in the past.
12 VER[y],BEN,A – A=are – I hope this came up soon enough for jackkt to remember!
13 HARR[y]IS,ON – the English actor Rex Harrison, probably most famous for playing Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady – although Wikipedia informs me he also acted in 10A.
15 DUCAL=DUCAT with T(that finally) replaced by L(pound). I actually got lucky on this, erroneously thinking ‘that finally’ referred to the last letter of the answer, so I pencilled it in and sussed out the rest.
25 REAL ALE sounds like REEL,AIL
28 LON(DON)ER – Bowman refers to someone from Bow, London.


1 WA,HABI[t] – this took me ages. I wasn’t sure of the answer as I’m not familiar with Wahabism, but was pretty convinced once I’d got the wordplay.
2 SPARE PART – anagram of APPEARS+RT
4 W,OR,SE – west or south-east
6 ADH(ERE)D – got this quite quickly – I don’t know any other hyperactive disorders!
7 SA,UTE – SA=’sex appeal’=it and UTE are the even letters of ‘auntie’
9 PAR,VENUE – looked at this for while before remembering usual=PAR and the rest fell into place.
14 S,HUNTERS – being familiar with ‘hunter watches’ this took a bit too long for my liking. I presume the ‘near’ at the beginning just means put ‘hunters’ close to the front of ‘station’ – it doesn’t seem very clear to me.
16 C(ALL,AGH[ast])AN – only PM I knew that began with C and ended with N – I sorted out the wordplay afterwards.
19 HELSTON – anagram of ‘N+HOTELS’ – this was a toss up between HOLSTEN and HELSTON for me – I opted for Helston as it looked the most English!
22 W(EEPE)R – WR=heartless warrior; EEPE=epee reversed
24 BROOK sounds like Brooke. Brook means to endure or bear – I came across the word DREE last week that has the same meaning. I’ve tried reading Brooke, but find him a bit too sentimental for my liking.

15 comments on “Times 23851 – Moping, indisposed and upset”

  1. A harder than usual Monday puzzle. About 40 minutes to solve. At 11A I think the “attends” is a reference to a queen bee being in the hive. The most famous Wahabi is of course Ossama Bin Laden. i think HELSTON is a bit obscure although it does have an annual flower festival but I’m not sure if those outside the region would know that. I liked 13A, 23A and my favourite 17D CLOSES UP. Jimbo.
  2. Yes, a little harder with a few nice ones – uneasily and londoner being two.

    Re Helston, it features in The Floral Dance as made famous by Sir Terry Wogan on record a few years back, so I thought it was quite famous.
    But then I’ve been there on hols too!

  3. I solved it in reasonable time for me, around 30 minutes, but I am horrified for reasons I will explain that my last two answers in were 10 and 13.

    I couldn’t think of a play title that fitted even with HOUSE in place and although I thought HARRISON a strong contender at 13 I couldn’t justify it as I could only think of Harrison Ford who doesn’t yet qualify for inclusion in a Times puzzle.

    Yet I am currently cataloguing all the plays I have seen over the years, and only last week I wrote up a performance of Heartbreak House starring Rex Harrison which I saw at the Haymarket in April 1983. I now plan to stay in and hide from the men in white coats.

    Some nice clues though, and I’m torn between 25D and 28A for my COD. Maybe 28 just has the edge.

  4. The best part of an hour for me too, most of that taken up by struggles that shouldn’t have been.
    Although HOLSTEN was a passing acknowledgement at 19 it did remind me of that rather clever series of TV ads a few years ago which featured a number of anagrams of Holsten Pils. Did TV audiences have slightly more intellect back then?
    My COD is 25A; a rare example of good homophones and convincing surface.
    1. Congratulations on Anax 002. Not as amusing as Anax 001 but a bit harder, I thought. Some more superb stuff but I’m looking forward to the eventual blog because I feel 19D is stretching it a bit! Jimbo.
  5. Definitely a harder-than average one for me, taking about 50 minutes to solve. It was the NE corner that held me up as I took ages to get Heartbreak House, Beehive and Wahabi (incidentally, I cannot imagine a Muslim state requiring a religious garment to be shortened). There were indeed some nice clues, but I’m never happy about inappropriate past tenses in definitions, as in “attended” in 11 ac, as if beehives (ie the homes of bees) aren’t found any more.
    I liked the neatly disguised container in 18, and 28 afforded a nice penny-drop when solved, so perhaps 28 for COD.
  6. Flying start, with no trouble over 1D or 10A, but got a bit bogged down in the bottom half, where 23 and 24 were last to go in. Ended up with 7:39.
  7. Had to look up 1a and 10a to complete this one. I found this a difficult one to get started. In fact, PBs last two were my first two and everything got shoehorned in from there. I’ve never heard of Helston, but figured it must end in -ton. Otherwise I may have assumed that the lager was brewed in Cornwall. I don’t have a problem with 11a, reading the first def as “where (a) queen (is) attended”. My COD goes to 20a for giving me a laugh with “hardly”. I forgot to time myself so let’s call it 2 minutes.
  8. Although I’ve never been to Helston I’ve long intended to go there and have a few beers in the Blue Anchor, where they brew their own world famous “Spingo” ales.

    As for the crossword I didn’t enjoy it at all. In fact I gave up after about 30 minutes with ten holes left to fill. I daresay I could have got most of them in time but I just couldn’t be bothered.

    I thought PE King was a bit naff and didn’t think any clues were worthy of COD.

  9. My run of Monday woes continue. Maybe it’s the headache from trying to fit the clues from the Times Two Jumbo into the grid from the Sunday crpytic.

    Plumped for Holsten since it’s the name of a beer and a beer has to be named after somewhere, right? Peking eluded me completely, should have gotten that, and that left me with “B?O??” to sound poetty and the only poet I can think of starting with B is Byron and I don’t have Chambers Word Lists here.

    I thought 22d was a nice clue.

  10. I got stuck for almost 10 mins on WAHABI/BEEHIVE and SHUNTERS/UNEASILY, limping home in 17:30. Not a good start to the week, but at least I got it right in the end. Probably wouldn’t have known Helston but for having watched the total solar eclipse in 1999 from there.
  11. Fouled up the SW corner badly, probably due to never having heard that ‘sub’= headline writer, so I never solved 23, 24D, nor 27. I agree with 7dpenguin on the reading of 11 as ‘where the queen is being attended’. In fact, this was a pretty tough puzzle throughout. I’ll hope my brain can operate on a better level tomorrow.
  12. 10:54 for me, with no real problems (apart from my brain working rather slowly). HELSTON is quite familiar to me from its Furry Dance (aka Floral Dance).

    I quite liked “Bowman perhaps” for LONDONER in 28A, but the surface reading was just a bit too unlikely for it to rate as a COD.

  13. As Penfold mentions above, Helston is well known to British Real Ale enthusiasts. Such is the nature of the stronger brew – the SPINGO – that REEL AIL at 25a is quite appropriate after a few pints. As I have been there on a number of occasions – the first one in 1974 during a University Geological Field Trip – 19d was my FOI.

    There are 7 omissions:

    18a Bar is closed in hotel AT Christmas (5)

    20a In an apprehensive manner? Hardly! (8)
    UN – EASILY. If it is not done easily then it might be done hardly. I did not see this straightway.

    26a Speak out, seeing bud that’s developed on part of rose? (5,4,3,3)

    3d Dept of Transport’s line is less rational (7)
    D.O.T. TIER

    17d Suffers defeat surrounded by competition, so is no longer in business (6,2)

    21d Vandalised building mother’s entered (7)
    S MA’S HED

    25d Lover of (Moore)* sculpture (5)

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