Times 23875 – Placeholder

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: not sure, I did most last night in about 45 minutes and finished this morning in a further 10 minutes.

Last to go in were 7,8, and 12.


1 TAKE SOME BEATING – I should have got this earlier, but I forgot about carpets last night and was thinking of the town.
12 H,A,RANG(U)E – H=hothead
13 RE,BATE(s) – Norman Bates is the murderer in Psycho.
18 HAW,A,I,IAN – haw and may are alternative names of the hawthorn; A,I=’associate it’ initially. I thought IAN would probably be the Scot, but couldn’t think of any words ending in -IIAN at first!
21 SW1(M)SUIT – SW1 is postal code of Westminster.
26 EIDER – sounds like ‘Ida’ unless you are Scottish?
27 GIB,BER(I)SH – Rock of Gibraltar and I in anagram of HERBS. I didn’t work out the wordplay until just now.


2 KO,A,LA – KO=reverse of OK.
3 SPAGHETT,I – anagram of “pig that’s”+E[at]
5 BEN(JAM)IN – Jacob’s favourite son.
7 IN,AUG,URAL – couldn’t see this for a while – ‘IN AUG’ is ‘towards the end of summer’
8 GE(NOES)E – I was trying to fit in ‘gosh’ at first.
14 BOW-W(IND)OW – IND=anagram of half of ‘dinner’ – with the B at the beginning, I pencilled in ‘bay-window’!
20 W(ART)HO,G – the new series of Doctor Who starts this week!
22 SERVO – hidden in ‘cruiser voyages’ – I’d heard of the word but had to look up its exact meaning.
24 SC,IF,I – SC=extremely satiric, IF is the poem by Kipling.

26 comments on “Times 23875 – Placeholder”

  1. 6:37 for this. Two careless guesses slowed me down – INSWINGER at 7 (thinkking “cricket”, usually a pretty safe bet for ‘delivery’, instead of “speechmaking”), which I shouldn’t have put in the grid really, and BAY rather than BOW as the type of window at 14.

    21 for my COD – a bit ‘laddish’ but with no bra in it unless you count the ‘lift and separate’ in “Westminster clubs”.

  2. I think ‘not in Scotland’ is fair. The Scottish accent is rhotic, unlike RP, (but like most of the world’s English accents).
    1. Doesn’t this assume that everyone in Scotland speaks with a Scottish accent (or that all Scots do so) and that all other English speakers speak RP or some other dialect that makes the homophone work?

      And I still can’t see 24. I understand how one gets all the letters but where are the instructions to arrange them other than in the order they appear in the clue?

  3. Most of it went in without much difficulty but I was held up at the end by 7 and 15 even with all checked letters in place apart from where they intersect.

    Had to check a few things afterwards, for example the radioactive reference at 9 was new to me.

    I’m puzzled by 24 where as far as I can see the answer actually clued would be ISC-IF. Or am I missing the reversal and/or containment indicators that get us to SCI-FI.

    And what’s going on at 26? Is “not in Scotland” supposed to indicate the homophone doesn’t work if the speaker has a Scottish accent? If that’s it then I think it’s a very poor effort. Many homophones served up are bad enough without the setter trying to justify them in the clue.

    My COD is 18A.

    1. I think “Identified originally” equates to put an I at the front of (sc)(if). COD=20dn. Solved in 15 minutes, held up for 3 mins on Air(born)e.

  4. I’m happier with this than the implied alternative – to only use homophones that work for all accents.
    1. first time i’ve seen this kind of “not in scotland” exception clause for a homophone — I wonder if the setter is obliquely acknowledging all the complaints tha crop up on this blog when a homophone doesn’t work perfectly for both americans, scots and cockney.
  5. 10:07. I was held up for a few minutes at the end on 7,12 and 15. On the Scottish question at 26a, this is the sort of word where I sometimes moan “No it isn’t” when a homophone is suggested. Although I’m not Scottish, I took this as an acceptable acknowledgement that not all accents pronounce it the same way.
    If I’d stared at 18a for the rest of the day I don’t think I would have got it, so thanks to Foggy for the explanation.
    A nice start to the week with this one. I enjoyed 21a and the three that slowed me up, but my COD nom goes to 27 for “cultivated herbs”
  6. Around 20 minutes here. Not a puzzle of sparkling clues but a number of hard-to-gets that seemed to be caused by slightly unusual make-up of answers. SWIMSUIT, GENOESE, AIRBORNE, WARTHOG – all of these sets of alternating letters had to be stared at for a long time before the answers jumped out.
    COD – just – 8D for a smooth surface.
  7. 11 minutes, might have done better but in my morning fug I put INAGUURAL in for 7d, which left me staring at 12a until the error of my ways revealed itself. Guessed 18 from the definition, good find on the wordplay, foggyweb! COD, COD, hmmm, I liked 7d, clever construction, fun reading.
  8. 25 mins, also slowed by 15 and that’s the second time in recent weeks that one of my nearest rivers has failed to pop into my head at the appropriate moment.

    Not happy with 7 down – surely inaugural is an adjective and needs the speech bit to be added to make it a noun?

    I think the Lancashire jury may have something to say on the Ida/eider debate later.

    COD hard to pick as there were no belters but I’ll say 18d.

  9. Thanks Peter,

    There’s a lesson there somewhere about checking stuff out rather than believing that everything you know is right.

  10. A straightforward 30 minutes with no particular favourite clues and one large question mark. Which clue might that be I wonder? Down here the locals pronounce the duck to rhyme with “cider” and the woman like a cockney says “I had a”. And how is a scots speaker to solve the clue? All he knows is that the answer doesn’t sound like a woman’s name. Great – even I can set clues like that. Jimbo.
    1. The Scots speaker knows that the answer sounds like a woman’s name to some people, but not to him. That has to be an improvement on the norm, which is “sounds like a woman’s name” with the unstated proviso that a particular non-Scots accent is used. I don’t understand where “I had a” comes in except as a humorous over-correction of “I’d a”.
  11. Took about 40 minutes to solve, having to rely on wordplay only for ‘servo’, ‘Alloa’, and not understanding the reference to Axminster. I fell into the ‘BAY WINDOW’ trap at first, like others did, so that caused some delay. I can’t comment either way on the ‘eider’ homophone debate, sorry. I still don’t get how ‘sound pulse’=’been’, or the wordplay for 25D, where I have ‘OBIT’.
    1. “Sound pulse” – an instruction to pronounce a word for PULSE, i.e. BEAN.
      OBIT = O.B. (outside broadcast) + IT (sex appeal – in crosswordland, often shortened to just “appeal” since we’re British and don’t do sex). Can’t be sure, but I suspect the O.B. part may be British only?
      1. Thank you, anax. I now get 25D, ‘it’ as sex appeal or just plain appeal appears regularly, I just didn’t recognize it. Mea culpa.’O.B.’ is new to me, though. I did understand ‘sound pulse’ to mean ‘pronounce a word for pulse’, but what meaning of ‘bean’ means ‘pulse’?
        1. Pulse means the seeds of any leguminous plant so, peas, beans, lentils and so on. Jimbo.
      2. O.B. was a term I learned in Australia in radio panel courses in the 90s, and in the US I’ve seen it used at a local TV station I’ve done some work (but no O.B.’s yet) with. Hardly common parlance, but then so is “It” for sex appeal, which I believe is a U.S. term (Clara Bow).
  12. Jackkt asked “I’m puzzled by 24 where as far as I can see the answer actually clued would be ISC-IF. Or am I missing the reversal and/or containment indicators that get us to SCI-FI” and so far as I can see, despite his repeated plea a little later, lots of posts followed his but nobody took any notice.

    “With” doesn’t imply any order, so A with B is either AB or BA. Thus “identified originally with extremely satiric poem” is I with SC IF and in this case it’s SC IF I. Seems OK to me.

  13. If you really need to use words like “shite”, please make it clear what you’re talking about. (And preferably have the balls to post under at least a pseudonym rather than complete anonymity.)
  14. I quite liked this one – probably because I had enough GK to get things like MAY = HAW at 18a and the Pulse = Bean s.l. Been at 18d.

    There are 8 “easies” not in the blog including the sound pulse at 8d.

    10a Con lots at first and make money (5)
    L EARN. I DNK this meaning of Con but it has to be this from the clue?

    23a He cuts (corners)* wrongly – only one right (6)
    CENSOR (R). Leave one R out of the anagrist.

    29a You’ve broken your silence? That’s more like it (3,5,7)
    NOW YOU’RE TALKING. The ‘ does not occupy a space obviously.

    1d Robin, for one, gets part of the speaker (7)
    TWEETER. I really like the sound of a Robin’s song. It is very uplifting.

    4d Irishman turns up to deliver post (4)

    6d Permit wife to leave a Scottish town (5)
    ALLO (W) A

    18d One’s past his best, but possesses sound pulse (3-4)
    HAS-BEEN. I think that the PULSE has bean discussed enough above.

    25d Death notice abbreviated in broadcast appeal (4)
    O.B. IT

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