Times 23881 – reaping the whirlwinds

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 38 minutes

I finished up in the NE corner, which I found the most difficult – and I spent quite a bit of time on 5D – the last to go in.
I am still quite excited about absolutely thrashing my previous personal best, doing yesterday’s Sunday Times puzzle in 7m30s!


9 REWRITTEN – anagram of WEIR inside anagram of TRENT
10 TOOT,H – I didn’t know toot=cocaine
11 WORLD – sounds like ‘whirled’ to some I guess
13 NEW,SREEL – SREEL=LEER’S reversed
24 NGAIO – first letters of ‘new growth all in olive’ – although I’ve come across this tree before, it still took a while


3 T(RI)ED – Rhode Island inside TED
5 SUNDER[land] – took me ages to get this at the end!
6 INTRANSIT[ive] – the I’VE leaves this clue and shows up in the next…
7 EMOT,IVE – TOME reversed plus the I’VE from 6A.
16 PEEK,A,B,O,O – PEEK=KEEP reversed and then various blood groups
18 W,ASSAI,L – ASSAI is a musical term meaning ‘very’ – this held me up a bit

19 comments on “Times 23881 – reaping the whirlwinds”

  1. Same here – 5D was last to go in after a long struggle. West half went in very quickly, East was a slog but ultimately enjoyable. Overall I’d guess 20-25 minutes which is definitely good for me on a Monday.
    Quite a few good clues, 5D probably deserves COD for its (fair) stubbornness.
  2. Solved in 7:15. Good start – 1A straight in, 1D in first time with a bit of thought – from ST??? IN THE ???? as very likely material. Did most of the rest at good speed and then had to deal with the tricky NE corner. The move of IVE at 6/7D took a while to work out, as did the right country for 8D, though if I’m right in guessing that only one country fits (3,11), no thought was required. 5D had me starting to check the letter possibilities – I think pondering S?NDE? did the trick. This is the kind of classic smoothly-worded clue that I think they squirrel away for use in the championship in a few years time – today’s COD for me. TOOT = cocaine was new to me too – those at the pub on Friday will know that I get enough pleasure and oblivion from one legal drug not to need the banned stuff.

    Well done on the ST time, but as this puzzle has a mostly different group of setters, you should really keep separate personal records – my ST record is about 25 secs faster than my Times one, and I don’t do the puzzle every week. That said, I did know in advance that others thought the puzzle in question was very easy.

    1. I fear you’re right about 5D and the chances of such a clue sitting innocently in a final puzzle. Here it took me more than 4m of my 10m29s. Eventually like you I pondered the letter possibilities in 4th position to get it.

      I thought TOOT meant ‘take cocaine’, which means I must have misread the clue to think it fitted OK.

  3. 5D was my last one in too, but other than that the NE didn’t trouble me much. I guessed “toot” might be cocaine.

    My real problems were in the SE with 16 and 25 putting up the most resistance.

    Having long ago discovered the books of Ngaio Marsh and the meaning of her first name 24 fell easily into place.

    Did anyone have trouble accessing the puzzle on-line this morning? I got error messages when trying to open the log-in page and had to resort to using the back door. It’s okay now though.

  4. A very good one, I thought. Off to a flying start, then progressively bogged down. My favourites were 15A, 17A and 6D, I’ll choose 6D as COD. I can’t remember where the encounter in ‘Brief Encounter’ occurs (14D), but I think it was on a platform rather than a bridge.
  5. 22 min, of which 5 were occupied with the fiendish 5d. I’m always impressed by how well-versed the setters seem to be in drug-related slang, often catching me out. It does make you wonder where they spend their evenings.
  6. 12:08. Was hoping for a sub-10 to start the week but I got a bit bogged down at the end, especially on 5d. Didn’t really understand 6 and 7 at the time, so thanks to Foggy. For some reason I couldn’t work out why 12a had to be OPERATION either, and the anagram at 26 held me up for a ridiculous amount of time. I’ve decided to have a go at qualifying for Cheltenham this year so I hope I can iron out things like this.
  7. Interrupted earlier on so didn’t post a full message.
    After completion I went back to 22 and found myself wondering about the “Having joined” bit. While it adds to the reading, is it a justifiable part of the def?
    1. Doh! Self-answered…
      Of course, it’s an instruction to change “one liner” to “one-liner”. Idiot.
  8. 25:14

    Like Anon I got off to a flyer but then got bogged down on the right hand side and also struggled with wassail and ngaio. 5d didn’t hold me up at all once I had checking letters.

    I didn’t get the wordplay for 8 until coming on here and now I’ve seen it I think it’s rather clever so that gets my COD nomination.

    For Jack, curiously I tried the back door first and got nowhere, but was able to acess the puzzle straight away by logging in.

  9. Despite being aware of rhesus negative and positive the fact that two ‘O’ groups were required threw me.
  10. Much the same as most others, about 35 minutes to solve. 5D last to go in with a struggle and all because I didn’t separate “part” and “city”. Once you see the definition the rest is easy! Has to be my COD. I see we have the linked clues again at 6 and 7, very interesting. Jimbo.
  11. Took a breakfast break in the middle of solving this one, fun puzzle, septuple was my last to go in. 16d was a clever clue.
  12. Same problem finishing this as many others experienced, which was staring at 5D for an interminable time before realizing that the definition was ‘part’. Very clever clue, that. Over here in the US, ‘toot’, as a noun, commonly refers to cocaine, as does ‘blow’, as a noun. These are common terms. I don’t have any specialized knowledge, believe me.
  13. Somewhere around 45 minutes. For me, as for quite a few others it would seem, 5 dn was the last to go in – very well-disguised definition and ingenious cryptic reading – and so gets my vote as COD. Like anax (initially)I couldn’t see the point of “having joined” in 22 – so thanks to him for the explanation. As he says – doh! Another niggle: in 17, “taking a cut” doesn’t strike me as an acceptable definition of “hewing” – “making a cut” or something similar is surely required. But perhaps I’m missing the point and this will be the occasion for another doh! and/or kicking boot moment.

    Michael H

    1. “take” is one of those words with so many meanings that there’s probably one in there somewhere that does the job. No. 35 in my Collins is “to aim or direct” – he took a blow at his opponent. That seems to fit.
  14. No problem with 5D for me, I filled it without thinking once I had the crossing letters. It was the SW corner that I had problems with, partly because I didn’t know about assai and so wasn’t 100% certain of wassail, and for some reason I took forever to get plaster of paris since I “knew” that the last word was “parts” in the sense of the cast of a play, which left me with impossible letters for the first word.
  15. I thought 5dn had held me up (especially as I initially had S?D?E? thanks to an accidental ‘rewritted’ at 9ac) but reading the above it seems I spotted ‘city’ = ‘Sunderland’ earlier than I might have. So 6:53, but could easily have been 16:53 on another day.

    Every time I learn a new word for a drug, especially cocaine, I think there can’t be any more, and I’m always wrong.

  16. An entertaining puzzle. I managed to get 5d before 10a SEPTUPLE which was my LOI. The only problem was I put in SEXTUPLE and wondered how SEXT = MONTH. Numbskull!

    There are 9 “easies” not in the blog. Some of these are discussed above so may have not been that “easy”.

    1a Be in stitches, or in need of them? (5,4,5)
    SPLIT ONES SIDES. The 4 in the middle is ALMOST always ONES rather than YOUR in these things – but beware the exception!

    15a Following a track uphill (6)

    22a Having joined one liner, (I sack crew) in reorganisation (9)
    WISECRACK. The definition part is one-liner so the “having joined” is a functional part of the clue – as discussed above – and not just filling for the surface.

    23a Develop Litchfield’s first snap (5)
    GROW L. Good clue.

    26a Cast (a florist’s paper)* out (7,2,5)

    2d Philistine’s wild (blow)* starts brawl (7)

    4d Mobile (ringtone)* is a gas (8)

    21d Knotted mass of seaweed (6)

    23d Rig is to scale (3-2)

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