Times 23,973 (Wed 23 July)

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I found this a very easy puzzle with an old-fashioned feel. Solving time, just under 15 mins, very fast for me.

* = anagram < = reversal

1 ANTE LOPE stake = bet
5 T (b)AND EM Met< London Metropolitan Police
9 RIA Hidden – a crossword favourite
12 COLLECTIVE Col (Colonel) for e in elective
13 SCAB BACS< Bankers Automated Clearing Service
20 T (Barnaby) RUDGE When verifying, I learnt clump (vb) = trudge
23 CHAP Double definition
27 LOT One of the French Departments
28 T(U)REE N That actor Tree from way back that you see a lot

1 (b)ARRACK(s)
2 TRAWLER Double definition
6 A (area) NON (French for no) Definition: mystery writer My COD
11 HAVE NOTHING ON Strip tease actress (d. 1970)
19 FLAPPER Double definition
21 GO (RILL) A
22 GE (NT) RY (grey)* New Testament (books)
25 BRIE (fly)

13 comments on “Times 23,973 (Wed 23 July)”

  1. Another fairly straightforward one today. I finished in about 30 minutes with another 10 spent disentangling some of the wordplay, 12ac being the final one to be explained. Not sure about Barnaby Rudge being clued as a halfwit but then it’s a long time since I read the book, and I thought “ENTRY” appearing in adjoining clues in the SE corner was a bit weak. COD 24ac.
  2. No problems with this one, finished in 30 minutes. I liked “it makes one spit” for ROTISSERIE at 24A and hadn’t noticed the intersection of GENTRY and ENTREATY until Jack mentioned it. What one might term a vanilla puzzle? Jimbo.
  3. I agree that this was another easy one, though for some reason it took me 6 or 7 minutes longer than yesterday’s to finish, possibly because I was a bit slow to work out the wordplay to 12 and then to get ARRACK. I thought 1a was neat, though perhaps it’s appeared before. I’ll pick it anyway as COD.
  4. 7.18, which is about as fast as I can do except on those occasions where the first ten or so answers go in really quickly, and I make a conscious decision to go for a record, and to hell with checking the wordplay. Even so, I never thought I’d get under 5 minutes until last year’s 4th qualifier puzzle came along and I did it in 4.22. (I always wondered if they were a bit short of entrants after the first 3 and stuck this puzzle in deliberately.) I’ve never got near that time again and doubt I ever will.
  5. 20:50, a few tricky patches but nothing unfair. I took too long to spot arctic and inquisitor and wasted time unravelling the wordplay to tandem, antelope, debacle and paperweight before having the confidence to write them in.

    Oh, and being a nice clean boy I though Gypsy Rose Lee was a fortune teller which didn’t help much with 11 down. I was also trying to make it something to do with tea.

    I, too, liked rotisserie but I’ll give my COD nod to 1ac. Finding synonyms for ante and lope to produce “bound to stake” was very clever I thought.

    A side note on BACS. In a previous job a colleague produced a paper on revenue collection which made reference to BACS. They helpfully listed the words making up the acronym but managed to get 3 of the 4 wrong (something like banking automotive clearing system).

  6. 11 minutes, three breezy ones in a row which means tomorrow is probably going to be the stinker to end all stinkers (sorry, Richard).

    There was still some guesswork involved and the non-Britisher folk could be with me. Didn’t recall RIA, but obvious from wordplay, never heard of BACS, but definition blisteringly obvious, TRUDGE obtained from wordplay, someday I’ll remember those blasted French departments, ARRACK a guess from wordplay.

    COD-wise, 8D rocks my world, what an evil clue!

  7. 15 mins. Fairly easy going once I got into it. ARRACK took me a long time. I’d forgotten the word and the extra step in the clue fooled me for a good while. I really enjoyed BEACHCOMBER, so I’ll make that my COD.
  8. 10.02 today. I now know what BACS stands for (but will have forgotten by tonight). Once more we have the hardy perennnial ,actor=tree, which is probably the most obscure usage of a person’s name, and one of the most commonly used, to occur in the Times?

  9. So Gypsy Rose Lee was a stripper then!!
    Like the man above, I thought she was a fortune teller, and when that got me nowhere I looked in vain for things to do with “rosie lee”.

    That’s what a sheltered childhood does for you!

    An easy puzzle, but I enjoyed it 🙂

  10. Looks like I’m alone in having struggled with the 1D/9A pair, the latter answer not being as familiar to me as to others. I should have got ARRACK as it was a regular nighttime tipple (from a bottle on which I think it was spelt ARAK) when I spent a month touring Sri Lanka some 15 years ago.
    Other than that, a very straightforward solve – SPIT=ROTISSERIE has appeared in a recent puzzle – over about 11 minutes.
    I’m with George on COD 8D; nice image.
    Did anyone object to the technique at 11D? As an implied double meaning, splitting it into two parts meant def 2 was “Like Gypsy Rose Lee ultimately”, which doesn’t fit the tense at all. The solver is required to leapfrog “B” and attach it to “like Gypsy Rose…” which I suppose is OK if no-one else is troubled by it.
  11. 8:55 for me, which surprised me as it felt like my mind was wading through sludge as I solved it. Not that I blame the setter, I just had too much gin last night!

    Re 11D, does nobody remember the film Gypsy?

  12. I suppose it doesn’t really matter in the least, but it frequently happens that (in the paper, at any rate) the line down the right-hand side of the crossword is missing. I know why I sometimes, in an obviously far simpler DTP system, do this – the right-hand border of the frame is too close to the graphic that it contains – but whether or not this is the reason for this it’s inelegant and they jolly well should do better.

  13. Count me as another one who didn’t know what 11d’s Gypsy Rose Lee was really famous for. I do now – thank-you Times Cryptic setter.

    This one was rated easy by the blogmeister and there are 10 omissions:

    15a Lorry crossing cold region up north (6)
    AR C TIC

    16a Material granny used, having a penetrating mind (7)

    18a Denial from judge meeting American gangster (7)

    26a One secures documents: soft copy’s correct, we held (11)

    29a Appeal to dine in hall (8)

    3d Deviser of book (title Brits)* adapted (10)

    4d A gag that’s effective in action? (9,4)

    7d Plot upset clubs in drink fiasco (7)
    DEB A C LE. Plot = BED upside down followed by C in ALE.

    8d Bone tossed into pile on the way out (8)

    17d Mad, taking two illegal drugs! (8)

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