Times 23886

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Had to lookup ALICE BAND to check it as well as GRASMERE. Other than that, I thought that this was relatively easy for a Saturday. Probably finished it off in about half an hour.


1 A,LICE,BAND=”banned” – it’s what Alice in Wonderland wore on her head.
6 [g]AMBLE[r]
9 ON SPEAKING TERMS – (pregnant Eskimos)* — the fodder was quite obvious as was the anagrind.
10 TH(RAC)E – RAC is the useful Brit drivers org.
11 GRAS[s],MERE=”just” – with GRAS???? I had to look up De Quincey who lived there.
14 CL=”class”,OD – where OD is rev(DO=”achieve”)
16 NOE=rev(eon),L – ref. NOEL Coward.
17 NOT,ABILITY – nice double meaning, one cryptic.
19 TOO RIGHT – good clue indeed!
20 P(H,LEG=rev(gel))M – “set” is gel. PM is our elected leader.
23 BRIGHT (AS A BUTT)ON – I usually panic when I see specific Brit geographic refs — but I did vaguely associate BRIGHTON with Sussex somehow.
24 NO,YES – ref. Alfred NOYES, Brit poet of the last century.


1 ALOFT=float*
2 INSURANCE POLICY – (couples in car)* in I,NY
3 EX(ER)CISE – ER (King Edward) is our “ruler”.
4 AL,KY – two states (Alabama and Kentucky) and ALKY is an alcoholic.
5 DONE(R KEBA)B – baker* in DONE,B[urnt]
6 [sl]ATTE[rn],ST
7 B,ORDER, LEICESTER – the three words “queen”, “favourite” and “animal” had me thinking of course about corgis for the longest time. Ref. Queen Elizabeth I’s favorite who wasn’t Essex I suppose. And BORDER LEICESTER is a sheep breed.
8 EAS(TER DA)Y – trade* in EASY
12 [h]ARROW,HEADS – ref. headmasters of Harrow.
13 MAN,IT,OBAN – OBAN is a Scots port.
15 HIGH JUMP – cryptic def or two meanings with one cryptic: ref. “being for the HIGH JUMP” when one is in trouble.
18 WI,SHES – Though I don’t understand how WI is produced by “the original Calendar”.
21 MANDY – hidden
22 CAV=rev(vac=holiday),A – my last clue — clearly I need to drink more. It’s a sparkling wine.

9 comments on “Times 23886”

    1. I’m pretty sure that’s right. The WI as ‘calendar girls’ cropped up in the Listener a few weeks ago. How things have changed! With ref to 23A, Brighton & Hove was given city status a few years ago, so ‘town’ is out-of-date.

      Tom B.

  1. I agree on the Women’s Institute calender but wasn’t quite sure about the word “original” in the clue. The clue works without it and they certainly weren’t the first calendar girls. I suppose what they did was original in the sense of new but is that qualification really required? I also noticed the City of Brighton described as a Sussex town. It’s just along the coast from me and its inhabitants will not have been best pleased! Jimbo.
    1. Yes, I should have mentioned that we live about 15 miles from Brighton, and nobody around here would refer to it as a ‘town’. It dwarfs the county towns of Sussex, Lewes and Chichester.

      Tom B.

  2. I have been filling in the missing answers in the TfTT blogs since the start. This is the first blog I have encountered where nothing was omitted. Is this the beginning of the end of my mission?

    I’m with pros958 on ER = Elizabeth Regina as Her Majesty is the current ruler. The most recent ER gave up after a very short time – poor form.

    1. thanks npbull for your sterling work! I wonder too if this was the beginning of complete solutions. don’t remember

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