Times 23893 – eh?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 54 mins

I really enjoyed this overall. Quite a few tricky words, but generally all quite gettable from the clues. Last to go in were HASSOCK, OLID and BLACKCAP. For 29A, I wasn’t sure what peel could be until writing this up.
For 28A, I thought about all the different 3-D shapes I knew, which brings me to today’s joke… What happens when you got a prism in half? All the prismers escape.


1 CULLODEN – anag of ‘dull once’ – I knew this was the site of a battle in Scotland, but was unsure of the spelling, so I carefully checked the anagram fodder.
6 SA(FAR)I[d]
9 E,DD,A – I think I’ve come across these poems before, but it wasn’t an instant write-in for me as it probably was for some – DD=doctor of divinity.
16 CR,ABB[e]Y
18 ED(IT)OR – RODE reversed over IT (sex appeal) – I saw ‘journalist’ and immediately thought of ED, but couldn’t get any further so left it and came back later!
20 MOL(EH,IL)L – MOLL Flanders is the Daniel Defoe novel; EH is ‘what’; IL is Italian for ‘the’.
22 ICON – an icon is a religious artifact and I presume the ‘screen’ bit refers to icons on a computer screen.
24 WINCH,E(ST)ER – I wrote this in straight away but somehow thought about ‘Winchester Street’ so the wordplay came a bit later!
28 [s]OLID – again a word I had seen before but couldn’t think of immediately; I was went through a list of 3-D shapes in my mind… RISM, I don’t think so… ODECAHEDRON, too long… etc.
29 CANDID – I presume this is supposed to sound like ‘candied’ as in ‘candied peel’ but it doesn’t to my ear!
30 BLACKCAP – a black cap was apparently worn by judges in England when passing the death sentence. I just looked this up.


2 UNDER,WOOD – Sir Henry Wood was a British conductor who presumably used to conduct at the Proms.
3 L(1)A,IS,ON
5 NOD – The Land of Nod is where Cain was sent to after murdering Abel. I passed a sign to ‘The Land of Nod’ in Yorkshire a couple of weeks ago, presumably a different place. I didn’t know about the Homeric nod until looking it up just now – I guess there will be some who know that nod and not the Biblical one…
6 SATIR,I,CAL – RITA’S reversed, I=current, CAL=California.
8 RO(AS)T – AS is a Roman coin – a useful word to know as a noun for Scrabble.
15 ARROWHEAD – anag of O+HARDWARE – I didn’t spot the wordplay until writing this up!
17 B(ALL,ERIN)A – BA=BulgariA’s borders.
19 T,ANKAR[a],D
21 H(ASS)OCK – ASS in HOCK – I knew the ‘in debt’ meaning of ‘in hock’ but wasn’t aware of the ‘in prison’ meaning.
23 CANNA – either the plant or a Scottish version of ‘cannot’, although I’ve mostly seen it spelled ‘cannae’. Whenever I hear the word, I am reminded of a song taught to me by a neighbour when I was but a wee bairn – “O ye cannae shove yer grannie aff a bus”.

24 comments on “Times 23893 – eh?”

  1. I took about 15 mins to do most of this )fast for me) and then stuck for 5 or so mins on trespassers for some reason, even with all the checking letters, I have no idea why now.

    The proms are actually officially something like “the hnery wood promenade concerts” since he was the founder of them and not just an occasional conductor (a class which would include pretty much all major conductors for about a century).


      1. “Forgive us our trespassess” in the Lord’s prayer. I think they’ve changed the wording now and “tresspasses” is no longer used.
  2. Yes,a fairly straightforward solve today with one or two unknown words or meanings that I looked up later.

    I was stuck on 20 for a while but got it when 14 fell into place then I forgot to disentangle the wordplay, namely the Flanders reference.

    I never heard of OLID but worked it out. Nor has COED for some reason.

    I’m a bit puzzled by “required” in 30. Is it just to help the surface reading in which “bird” can also mean a prison sentence?

  3. About 11 mins with no major problems. I liked the 14A/20A double-act. However, I agree that ‘candied’ doesn’t really work in 29A and am equally puzzled by ‘required’ in 30A.
  4. An easy solve today – about 20 minutes. The somewhat obscure EDDA and OLID crop up in bar crosswords reasonably often. I didn’t know Moll Flanders but after solving 14A one hardly needed a clue for 20A. Chambers supports CANNA = the more usual CANNAE. There must be something wrong with my hearing too as CANDID does not sound like “candied” in any of my accents. I’m saying nothing about “required” except I was pleased to see it wasn’t an itsy bitsy bird. Jimbo.
  5. 9:46 – with about 3 mins at the end for the SW corner – 22, 26, 29, 23, 19. CANNA was the breakthrough answer. Not too phased by “candid” = “candied” but only as I’ve seen this done before.
    1. Reading through the comments, I was initially fazed by your use of ‘phased’ – I’d not seen that spelling before, but it’s in Chambers, so I guess you’re ok 😉
  6. One of the quicker solves of late for me at 30 minutes. ‘Sandman’ was also the last to go in for me; before that, ‘molehill’, where I’d failed to spot what ‘Flanders’ denoted, and third from last was ‘mountain’, which gave me ‘molehill’ immediately. Linked clues can sometimes be an obstacle, but often enough one gets both together.
    ‘Candied’ ‘ sounds close enough to ‘candid’ to me. In fact I can hardly hear the difference when I say the two words.
  7. A remarkably quick solve, stopping the clock at 6 minutes but I confess to having had a sneaky read-through first thing this morning. An entirely cold solve may well have doubled the time. Nothing really stood out but 26 gets my COD for smoothness and helped with my guess at 23.
    An unexpected work hiatus this morning gave me about 20 minutes to tackle the last four clues for the next Times COD puzzle – four clues which, I add, have been a source of torture for the past three days. And, amazingly, my brain finally found an extra gear, so they’re done and the new puzzle will be online this evening.
  8. An enjoyable enough start to the week, but not remarkable.
    How can you say “candied” without it sounding exactly like “candid”?
    I thought NOD was terribly clued as it used two obscurities, but the good clues outweigh the bad – 10a,11a,29a amd 15d.
    I always seem to thank Foggy for a clue explanation, this time for ARROWHEAD which I had assumed was just a cryptic def. Now I understand it, I’ll nom it as my COD.

    1. I assume some people say “candeed” for “candied” though I’m not sure I’ve ever heard it said that way.
  9. May be just Mondayitis, but I made a real slog of this, could be a non-Brit thing. Never heard of CULLODEN, but guessed once I had some checking letters. Never heard of WOOD either, but figured it had to be UNDERsomething. Had question marks next to CANDID and BLACKCAP – couldn’t quite see the wordplay leading to it. WINCHESTER took a while too, thinking that the ST part had to be at the front of the answer. I knew it was a cathedral, didn’t know it was a city. Three sittings, so no straight-off time. So far as good clues, I liked 15 – I’d spotted it as anagram and &lit, but couldn’t work out the anagram until I had the checking W. Enjoyed the challenge, though.
  10. Pretty easy one – apart from two or three sneaky clues. I was all done bar 7 and 8 dn in just under 20 mins, but these two blighters held me up for another 9 mins. In 7 dn I wasted much time trying to configure the zip code initials for Alabama and Georgia into the answer before spotting the much simpler solution (did anyone else do likewise?), and I’d forgotten that “as” was a Roman coin, though Im sure it’s cropped before. Thanks to foggyweb for pointing out the ingenious and well-disguised anagram in 15 dn, which I hadn’t spotted, simply taking it for a quirky definition. That makes it my COD.

    I’m with those who cannot see anything to object to in the CANDID/CANDIED homophone. Perhaps those who do could tell us in what strangely contorted way they pronounce “candied”?

    Michael H

    1. I don’t recall the last time I said ‘candied’ out loud before today, but I have said it a few times reading through this thread. I pronounce it differently to ‘candid’ – somewhere between ‘candid’ and ‘candeed’.
      I was chatting to my dad on the phone and he says the same. I wouldn’t say it was strangely contorted, it is just the way we speak.

      I just found this thread on Google Groups that may be of interest…

    2. I think it’s Cul-LO-den, but I could be wrong.

      15 mins today, of which about 10 on ICON & TANKARD. Hopeless.

      1. I visited the battle site as a kid on holiday and Cul-LO-den sounds right.
  11. I also breezed through most of this in about 15 minutes, but got stuck on 2, 21 and 30. I guessed correctly for 2 and 21, but I admit failure on 30. Never heard of the cap wearing custom, nor the bird. I’m very familiar with birds, but I now understand (via google)that the blackcap is a N European variety bird, so we don’t hear of them on this side of the ocean. Hoping for better luck tomorrow.
  12. Thanks for pointing me to the “this thread” website, foggyweb. Fascinating read. But I’m not sure I’m much the wiser!

    Michael H

  13. Another vote for candeed here. The ‘scottish plant’ also gave me some grief, for similar reasons. But all in all, a fairly easy solve…
  14. Started this late last night with a tired mind after a hard day at the coal face followed by domestic turmoil (sick wife, dead livestock, lost homework etc etc). Finished over breakfast and was surprised it only took 26 minutes – it felt a real slog with too many obscure words and wordplay I didn’t quite get.

    Probably won’t get to look at today’s until later either.

    In case anyone’s counting, I say candeeeed, so for me that ain’t no homophone.

  15. I am in the candid = candied OK camp.

    Nine “easies” not in the blog including a COD and a query about the Lord’s Prayer. Other religions are available.

    11a Intruder – one of a number praying for forgiveness? (10)
    TRESPASSER. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. The second bit is harder than it sounds. Have the words to this really been changed?

    13a Knowledgeable about some vaIN TOpic (4)
    INTO. With a bit of &littishness about the perceived uselessness of some peoples’ interests? The Times Cryptic for example?

    14a One of a range exaggerators make out of 20? (8)

    26a Like some animals, lacking capacity to digest fresh meat (10)
    UN TAME ABLE. Nothing to do with herbivores after all.

    4d Tragic situation of medic with a master’s degree (5)
    DR A MA. Aren’t comedies drama too?

    7d Ruddy area bordering Alabama and Georgia (7)

    12d It took some grit for him to get the kids to sleep! (7)

    25d One spotted laughing in sub-Saharan Africa (5)
    HYENA. By inference the Spotted Hyena only occurs south of the big desert?

    27d Your uncle’s hairstyle? (3)
    BOB. Bob’s your uncle and …. You probably wouldn’t want your aunt’s hairstyle?

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