Times 23882 Goodfunsy

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time : 35 minutes

A reasonable and enjoyable puzzle with no particularly outstanding features

1 GARFIELD – (red flag)* US President James Garfield assassinated 1881
5 WHOLLY – W(ine-merchant)-HOLLY
8 AIM – A1 merges with M1 reversed (UK trunk roads); “end” is definition
12 INNS – I(talia)N +N+S; N and S are “hands” at bridge table; “bars” is definition
14 JACK,HORNER – nursery rhyme character who eats plums sitting in the corner
17 KHYBER,PASS – (she parks by)*; a missed opportunity to use cockney rhyming slang?
20 YOMP – last letters of “delay to farm crop”; military sland for a difficult trek
24 NO,MATTER – NO-MATT-ER; NO=Japanese drama; ER=Her Majesty
25 FLASH,HARRY – instant=FLASH, Torment = HARRY; is this just a UK term?
28 SMART,SET – TEST,RAMS reversed
2 RAMADAN – RAM-A-DAN; RAM=computer memory
3 IN,JOKE – crack=JOKE, circle=close knit group
4 LONGCHAMP – LONG-CHAMP; racetrack in Bois de Boulogne, Paris
6 OUTDOORSY – OUTDO-(ROSY)*; a new word to me
7 LUCILLE – our homophone today sounds like LOO SEAL (LOO is UK slang for toilet)
13 SUBJUGATE – (a bug just)*+E; “to cow” is definition
16 RAP,ARTIST – (ope)RA PART IS T(hought)
19 RATCHET – (chatter)*
21 OCTOPUS – OC-TOP-US; “army swimmer” is definition
22 MAGYAR – MAG-(RAY reversed); our Hungarian friends again; hope=ray

33 comments on “Times 23882 Goodfunsy”

  1. I gave up and cheated on the last one in: OUTDOORSY. I should have got it from the wordplay but failed to do so having considered it possibly starting with OUT and ending with an anagram of ROSY. Obviously I lacked perseverance this morning.

    Why “farm” in 28?

    1. ‘experiment on sheep farm?’ is ‘TEST RAMS’, I think. But ‘experiment on sheep’ seems a better surface to me, with a vague ref. to ‘Dolly’.

      I think I enjoyed this one more than Jimbo. 27A was amusing, 20A a nice (and topical) surface, but my COD is 5D, which completely threw me.

  2. I have to disagree with Jimbo on this one. I found it bursting with marvellousness and the best 16 and a half minutes I’ve spent for a long time. Very few went in easily and there was plenty of subterfuge. Like Pete, I spent a lot of time on 5,6,7 and 11 at the end, but each one of those was excellent. Lots to chhose from for COD but I’ll plump for the excellently well-hidden 16d.
  3. Excellent! Really enjoyed this one. There weren’t quite enough Js and Ks to make me think the setter was deliberately trying to cram in as many as possible but, half-way through solving, I’d begun to think that way.
    I ticked five clues, the only one not mentioned so far being 8A, another example of rising to the challenge of writing an original clue for a short answer. COD to 7D though – raised a smile.
    1D was my “sticking” point as I’d never heard of the answer.
    1. In case others are stuck, the answer is GEARSTICK where clothing=GEAR and last=STICK. The definition is “one used to select neutral (gear)”. In the US I think they refer to a gear shift. Jimbo.
      1. Pass the boots with the “my shins” address on them.
        Can you believe I put GRAYSTICK? Unable to see the very obvious (now) answer I used an internet search at Morewords; of course this, being a US site, wouldn’t find GEARSTICK would it? In fact it found nothing at all that would fit.
        I think I’m going to sit in a corner now and weep.
      2. I penned GEARSHIFT without thinking enough (and I’m not American). I’m guessing I’d made a subconscious ‘shift’ = ‘clothing’ connection. Oops! Slowed me down a tad.

        A very enjoyable puzzle with only ‘yomp’ being new to me.

    2. Have you got 1d correct? I have:

      One used to select neutral = def (though perhaps should have a perhaps)

      Never heard of GEARSTICK ? Surely not.

  4. Well I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle and thought I was on for 15 minutes or thereabouts until getting bogged down in the NE. Eventually stopped the clock at 25:13 which seems to be about my median time these days (or possibly mode).

    Lots of clever and interesting clues including 7, 17 & 16, in fact too many good ones to pick an outright winner.

    Overall, a big thumbs up to the setter.

  5. Blimey. 58 grinding minutes. I can’t remember the last time it took me so long to tune in to a set of clues. Some really good ones, just not on my wavelength at all. 5d, 6 and 7 took me forever, but are cunning. One quibble – 11ac – does the word ‘admission’ make much sense here? Wouldn’t ‘statement’ or ‘affirmation’ or something have more logic to it?
    1. The dictionary defines “admit” as to acknowledge so I think a pilot saying “I FLY” does fit the clue. Jimbo.
      1. True, Jim (though the word ‘confess’ is right next to it). And that doesn’t mean the dictionary is saying that ‘admit’ is synonymous with all possible meanings of ‘acknowledge’. I think sometimes we have to insist on some real world validity. If you heard that “a pilot today admitted to flying aircraft”, wouldn’t you wonder what was up (‘scuse the pun)? Sorry to go on, but if I try talking to my partner about this sort of thing I just get withering looks and long sighs.
        1. I know where you’re coming from on both fronts and I have sympathy on both!! As regular readers will know I’m what is charmingly called “old school” when it comes to standards in clues. However, when actually doing the blog I try not to let it show too much because I would appear to be axe grinding and that can be boring. Jimbo.
          1. Jimbo – perhaps we went to the same old school! All our other halves must be grateful for this site – saves them having to put up with us. Anyway, I’m probably just bitter because it took me nearly an hour to solve the blessed thing today.
            1. First, welcome and please don’t be so reticent in future. We have so few women making a contribution. I can’t agree with you at 11A. The dictionary defines “on” as “possible, feasible” so we have a direct connection from the clue possible=ON. It’s also much simpler than your explanation so I think Ocham’s Razor applies. Jimbo.
            2. Hi dorosatt – I’m on the east coast of Canada, and another female contributor, so we do exist. Incidentally, I usually get the crossword the night before, as it were, though I have to advance my computer clock by one day temporarily – after midnight in the UK – to see tomorrow’s crossword… er, did that make sense? It’s the reverse of the Stephen Wright conundrum – If you put instant coffee in a microwave, do you go back in time? Thanks re the avatar – it’s my own re-creation of a t-shirt I found many years ago in France and which someone pinched. Always made me smile. And yes, 1ac was the only one I saw quickly today! I think I’m with Jim on 11ac now.. but I’ve pedanted myself into a corner so I’m not saying any more!
  6. Struggled with this for a while, I need to be able to print, the online grid doesn’t do much for toying with wordplay, and today much wordplay needed to be toyed with! I laughed when I saw MAGYAR as a possibility, since it was a clue I couldn’t get when I blogged 23824. Still trying to not let a word foil me twice.
  7. Took me about 40 minutes to solve this, mostly stuck in the NE, but I waited to review the blog here before I felt comfortable that I’d solved correctly. Never heard of these: YOMP, GEARSTICK, FLASH HARRY. I also think ‘WHITISH’ is a bit of a stretch. On the other hand, GARFIELD is a bone tossed to the Americans, so thanks to the setter for that. Thanks to Jimbo for explaining the wordplay to 24 and 9, which I hadn’t caught completely. Regards all.
    1. The dictionary defines WHITISH as “somewhat white” and cream as “yellowish-white” so I think that’s OK. I think the other three are all UK terms so bound to cause you problems. Jimbo.
      1. Thank you, Jimbo. I agree ‘whitish’ and ‘cream’ indicate the same hue, generally, it was a minor quibble. The other UK-isms I was able to get from the wordplay, but they made me stop and check; ‘yomp’, in fact, made me stop and stare, but that wordplay couldn’t be interpreted any other way, so in it went. again
    2. “Yomp” reached the consciousness of the British public in the Falklands conflict, though its Wikipedia entry implies that it existed before that as military slang.

      A “flash Harry” (also “wide boy” and “spiv”) is (or mostly was) a nattily dressed shady character, quite possibly involved in small-scale crime – placing your bets when off-course betting was illegal, getting hold of rationed goods, that kind of thing. Here’s an example from that high point of British culture, St Trinians: http://youtube.com/watch?v=R_a-V4DlMDI

        1. Thanks much Peter. I didn’t realize how crosswords could expand my horizons so broadly.
  8. The ‘corrections’ that follow are not meant to discourage you from posting again. (And I can confirm that the PC clock trick works – it’s used by one or two of our bloggers to file reports from N America).

    If the definition in the clue provides one meaning of the answer, that’s sufficient in the rules of this game – otherwise, ‘President’ would not do for GARFIELD, as Garfield could be the cat. Likewise AIM at 8A could be “to direct” rather than “an objective” = END.

    That’s aside from the question of whether there’s enough in the clue to indicate that “Admission by pilot about” is “I fly” outside “no”, with only the “no” reversed. I can’t see that there is – once ‘admission by pilot’ is indicating a statement, it cannot also indicate that something is inserted into that statement.

  9. Am I being a bit picky, or is it inelegant of the setter to have the word ‘out’ in both the clue and the answer?
  10. Top puzzle. Nearly very fast, but then got stuck on the same ones as Peter (including both 5ac [my favourite clue] and 5dn), except he got slightly stuck and I got completely stuck, especially on the last three (6dn, 7dn, 11ac), not helped by having ‘Lucette’ for LUCILLE until I saw IF ONLY. In fact, I then corrected to ‘Lucelle’ – which also seems to fit the wordplay, and be a girl’s name. I wonder if there would be grounds for an appeal on this one?

    I was surprised the clue for OUTDOORSY contained ‘out’ in the clue – this really put me off (I ruled out ‘U’ as the second letter), though I can’t claim it’s unfair. A depressing 19:08 in the end.

    1. If I were the judge, I’d turn down Lucelle though I can see that the name exists. If she was in the Chambers first names list (she isn’t) that would help your cause, but my real problem is that {block => cell} isn’t justifiable, unless I’m missing something.
      1. Yes, you’re probably right. Maybe I was thinking of ‘blocked cells’, as in crosswords? Or ‘cell block’, as in prisons? Or ‘bloc’ = ‘cell’ (which is probably closer)? Not that it would have mattered anyway, given how long the top right corner took me!
  11. A real struggle here for me, never really seemed to get into the setter’s mind-set. I’m still at a loss as to where the ‘E’ came from in 13d?


      1. Cheers! Maybe by the end of the week I’ll manage to get my brain in gear.


  12. This was very entertaining. Just the 4 “easies” left out:

    26a Page greeting exotic character (3)
    P HI. Very exotic those Greek types!

    27a Exercise with Penny in the buff (6)
    EX P ERT

    1d One used to select neutral clothing last (9)

    15d One getting peckish on the job (9)
    KISSOGRAM. Trouble is I had KISSAGRAM which made my LOI at 24a a bit tricky. I had LA MATTER as in some kind of French or Italian term for DIVA or drama queen? My dodgy parsing was LATER (I’m off – sort of “who cares”) outside MAT (dull). Idiot! Thanks to Jimbo for the correct answer and parsing.

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