Times 23858 A Breeze In The Gale

Solving time : 20 minutes

A very easy puzzle with no particular talking points

1 BARD – On Edit BAR-(Eisteddfo)D (missed the important bit out. Thanks Peter);reference The Gorsedd of Bards who meet in pubs
3 THROUGHOUT – THROUGH-OUT; OUT=on strike in industrial sense
11 SWINDLE – S-WIND-LE; doctor is the Cape Doctor Saharan wind; do=swindle
12 STRANGLER – STRANG(L)ER; L was Roman for 50
13 AWARD – A-WARD; reference the Tony Awards; I know all about “a ward of court” from my fostering days
18 BELOW,THE,BELT – THE=article between BELOW=later and BELT=hit hard
21 ALTER – (h)ALTER; an ‘ack from ‘ackney. I swear they save them up for me
22 EIDERDOWN – (I wondered)* one of the few outright anagrams today
24 SO-AND-SO – sounds like SEW AND SEW
25 CATERER – (career)* surrounding t(ables)
1 BRASSICA – BRASS -I-CA; BRASS=money; the cabbage and turnip family
7 ORDEAL – OR(DE)AL; DE is French for of
8 TRENDY – TR-END-Y; In is the definition
10 INNER,HEBRIDES – INNER-HE(B)RIDES;HE=ambassador; The Hebrides are some 500 islands in all. Skye is best know inner one
15 BROKE,DOWN – BROKE=penniless; DOWN=depressed
20 AT,EASE – A-TEASE; to kid is to tease
23 DECOR – hidden word (bu)DE COR(nwall) where it’s very wet and windy at the moment

26 comments on “Times 23858 A Breeze In The Gale”

  1. 1A: I don’t know about the Gorsedd’s meeting places, but I read the wordplay as BAR=pub, close to Eisteddfod = D. 11A: There’s a Fremantle Doctor too – it seems to be a term for a sea breeze.

    Not stunningly quick, but never stuck – 5:54.

  2. I agree with Jimbo; straightforward unremarkable puzzle, envisaging some quick times (my 14 minutes is very quick for me). Struggled to find any clues with wow factor, but liked 1A’s &lit construction so it gets my vote.
  3. I agree it was something of a doddle but I was unable to explain “doctor” = “wind” even with the aid of the internet on arrival at work. Where would one find it if one didn’t know where to look?
    1. It’s one of the def’s for doctor in the Concise Oxford, which on this occasion beats Collins.
    2. I guess its one of those things one picks up over the years. There are lots of winds but for obvious reasons doctor is used in crosswords because of the many meanings of the word. I’ve just checked and if you Google “wind names” there is a site with a list of them. Jimbo.
      1. Thanks to both. I can’t believe I have never met this before in all my years of crossword solving so it’s probably my failing memory that’s at fault.
  4. Took less than 30 minutes to finish this puzzle. Some twenty clues were solved without putting down any answers in the grid. Last to fall were 11ac. and 6dn.
  5. More my cup of tea than yesterday’s. About 11 mins., so a bit below my average. I liked 8D, nicely concealed definition and good surface, so that’s my COD. Wasn’t there another good football surface recently – was it for APOLOGIST (‘defender’)?
    1. Indeed – and APOLOGIST was fairly close on the heels of a good clue for DEFENDER.
  6. 14 minutes! Must be a record, though the nearest I’ll get to Cheltenham is reading about it afterwards.
    Pretty nondescript really.
  7. You will indeed meet many bards in the pubs of the local town during Eisteddfod week, so the clue is quite correct! They are a big part of ceremonies in the Eisteddfod pavilion, and their rituals are held at stone circles – occasionally made of plastic!
    Oh, and the puzzle took me less time than the Concise one today!
  8. 8:11 for me, although I went completely blank when I first looked at it, and the first one I put in was 23D. Not much hesitation after that though.
  9. Barely a week after posting a PB of 18:40 I have fulfilled PB’s prophecy that I would crack the 15-minute barrier before the end of March by completing today’s puzzle in 12:35. And we haven’t even got to the ides. After 10 minutes I had just 4 empty lights but dallied over the NW corner – propbably blind panic with my goal in sight. That and a congenital fear of Welsh words.

    Agree with 8 for COD.

  10. 10 minutes here, agree with most of the comments so far. Bard was the last to go in. Australians (and particularly cricket fans) will know of the Fremantle Doctor, the breeze that picks up just about every afternoon around the city of Perth. I liked 22a, not difficult, but a fun reading.
  11. 17 mins for me, which confirms the general view that this was a very easy one. If all the qualifiers are as undemanding as that, I might even make it to Cheltenham. Kicking myself for not seeing doctor = wind in 11 ac, the more so as I lived for 7 years in the 1980s in South Africa and became well acquainted with the Cape Doctor. I initially had SHINDIG down as the answer, interpreting DO as a party or revel of some kind, even though it could not possibly explain either “doctor” or “the French”. As a result an unprofitable minute or two were spent trying to find an answer for 8 dn from T-G-D-. Only when TRENDY presented itself as the only possible answer to 8 dn did SWINDLE fall into place, though even then I failed to spot the wind/doctor connection. 6 dn is my COD – not difficult but witty.

    Michael H

  12. I have several reasons for being happy today:

    I’ve beaten my own PB time, coming in at 5:20 !
    I’ve beaten PB’s time for the first time ever

    Added to that, today my wife and I are celebrating 10 gloriously happy years of marriage. Mind you, we’ve been married for 19.

    If only I hadn’t taken so long over 18a, I might have slipped under the 5 minute barrier. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

    1a gets my vote for COD

  13. easy today , I think was about 7 minutes which is as good as it gets. The clue for ‘trendy’ rang a bell of some kind otherwise I might have spent a minute on that one.

  14. Very simple puzzle today, went through without holdups ( except the 11A ‘doctor=wind’ clue)in 15 minutes or so; I then figured ‘do’ couldn’t mean anything here but ‘swindle’, so that was it. Regards all, congrats to all you personal record breakers.
  15. Well done PB-beaters of both types. The 5 and 10 minute barriers await you …
  16. 22 minutes — not a personal best, but pleasing all the same. I wasn’t sure about HALTER, but was sure I’d seen it before. 11A got me thinking – I briefly considered SPINDLE, thinking of a spin doctor.
    I did the crossword in the newspaper today but somehow didn’t notice the announcement at the bottom. I think my only recent ones under 30 mins were today’s and last Wednesday’s – so I’ll probably wait before entering!
  17. 8 and a half minutes, having got in through the back door of Club 404 again, I hope this isn’t a permanent relapse…

    SWINDLE was the last in, and like so many I was drawing on winter nights listening to crackly Long Wave commentaries on Test matches from Perth, and discussion of how the Fremantle doctor would affect the game. It’s in crystal-clear stereo on the DAB these days, which isn’t quite the same. Even if England’s capacity to provide a last-day collapse remains alive and well.

  18. I turned to today’s crossword to discover that, for only about the third time ever, someone else had had a go (EIDERDOWN was filled in). Sod’s Law dictates that this would definitely have been a PB otherwise, by a good 25 seconds, but sadly it doesn’t count.
  19. 6:57 for me. I was worried for a moment about RECOURSE/RESOURCE for 16D, but fortunately the wordplay seemed clear enough.

    A straightforward puzzle, but I particularly liked 1A and choose that as my COD.

    (Commiserations to talbinho on missing a PB – how annoying!)

  20. Not surprised to see some fast times here. 9m48 for me, which is my second fastest. Got a bit bogged down in the top half, but the bottom half was very easy.


  21. At 11a the WIND = DOCTOR is correct – viz the Cape Doctor and the Freemantle Doctor that supply relatively cool winds from the south to otherwise too hot places in the southern hemisphere. But I’m afraid that I have to disagree with our esteemed blogmeister on his definition for the one at Kaapstad. The Cape Doctor is a south-easterly wind and so therefore not Saharan at all. The Saharan wind in the north-west of Africa is the Harmattan which brings choking conditions filled with sand and silt and is certainly NOT a doctor.

    Despite being nearly everyone’s PB above there are only 4 “easies” not in the blog:

    9a Name a soft extremity (7)

    27a Study back of policy, then repudiate (4)
    DEN Y

    6d How stoically to suffer the unwanted paparazzi? (4,3,4,2)
    GRIN AND BEAR IT. Although we are discouraged from smiling in photographs these days – at least for passport purposes.

    19d Ignore sexual advance at university (4,2)

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