Times 24,050 Trench Warfare

Solving time : 40 minutes

I struggled at times with this and then found it difficult to decide which clues to omit from the blog – always a sign of a good puzzle. There are some clever definitions and some intricate wordplays. There is a Great War feel to it with Sassoon, Cavell and Housman all present. One obscure instrument and a bird I had just about heard of.

1 ABJURING – A(B-J)U-RING; B=British; J=judge; AU=gold
6 LOATHE – L(O)ATHE(r); to get in a lather is to panic
9 DADDY-LONG-LEGS – DA(DescenD)Y-LONG-LEGS; wings to “descend” is clever
10 CAVELL – C(AV)ELL; AV=Authorised Version; reference Edith Cavell 1865-1915
11 GETTABLE – (belt+tag+e)*; “e” from “mine’s latest”
13 PREMIER,CRU – PRE-M-IE-RC-RU; M=mass; IE=that is; RC=Roman Catholic; RU=Rugby Union; nice clue
15 OUDS – (p)O(p)U(p)D(o)S(o); a stringed instrument like a lute
16 SHOD – (pus)S-(DO-H reversed); “in boots” is the definition
18 PUSH-BUTTON – PU(SH-BUT)T-ON; “working with press” is definition
21 DUMFRIES – DUM(b)-FRIES; County Town of Dumfries and Galloway
22 PALATE – PAL-(f)AT-E; “liking” is the definition
23 MOTHER-OF-PEARL – (from here a plot)*;
26 NEW-FOUND – sounds like “knew”+FOUND=start (up);
3 UNDREAMED,OF – (founder made)*;
4 IDYLL – I-D(ul)Y-LL;
5 GEORGIC – GE-(OR)-GIC; CIG=cigarette=smoke; EG=say; both reversed holding OR=Ordinary Ranks=men
6 LIGHT,BULB – LIGHT-(BLUB reversed); “glower” is definition
7 AXE – A-(EX reversed); EX=one time; an alternative to a saw;
12 AMONTILLADO – A-MON-TILL-A-DO; MON=monday; TILL=work; DO=party; a dry sherry
14 EMPTINESS – att(EMPT IN ESS)ence; excellent hidden word
17 HOUSMAN – HOUS(e)MAN; reference A E Housman 1859-1936
20 ORTOLAN – ORTO(LA)N; reference Joe Orton 1933-1967; an ORTOLAN is a a bird (a bunting)
22 PAPAW – PAPA-W(inner); phonetic alphabet after Oscar comes Papa; the fruit of the papaya tree

25 comments on “Times 24,050 Trench Warfare”

  1. Had to start cheating after 20 min and about 60% complete. Many aha! moments. And still couldn’t justify “new found” until reading the blog. COD 13 Ac. Another great tuesday tease.
  2. 40 mins. An excellent puzzle and a very good blog.

    After a first run through I was still looking at an almost blank grid. Once I got a start it all fell into place, but there was quite a bit of hard work involved. Some wicked clues and plenty of entertainment! Special mentions for 9A and 16A.

    (In Australia daddy-long-legs is a name given to a spider, rather than a fly.)

  3. Made steady progress and finished in 33 minutes with several not fully explained until later. Struggled just a little in the NW and this was the last quarter to be finished when I realised there was a better alternative to Nurse Cotell.

    But what a great puzzle! COD to 22d. Q=0, E=10, D=7

  4. 23 mins – found this one really tough but liked many of the clues. OUDS was a new one for me.
  5. 24 minutes, and only by making a few lucky guesses early on, just to get some ink on the grid.

    Close your eyes, stick a pin in it, and that’s the COD. But there’s poetry in the brace of downs at 3 and 4 – the undreamed of idyll.

    Q-0, E-9,D-9

  6. Didn’t know SASSOON was a poet, and haven’t used his hair products, but a lucky guess. I started this, got nowhere, gave it a few hours rest and managed to polish it off at a second sitting. There were some excellent clues here, don’t usually jump at anagrams, but 3 is clever.
  7. 14.29. A very enjoyable workout. Slightly panicked at the beginning, when as usual I was looking here there and everywhere for an easy starter and failing to see one. Then remembered to look for long, multi-word clues, so often the best way to get going, and luckily DADDY-LONG-LEGS went in right away and MOTHER OF PEARL very soon after.
  8. Another slow solve in 45 minutes. Once again I did myself no favours by carelessly entering PEARL as PEARR, making 20 impossible to get until I spotted the error. An excellent puzzle with many fine clues. 18’s my choice for COD – it defeated me until the very end, but I also liked 6a,16, 21, 8, 12 and 19.
  9. What a beauty! Real trickiness and plenty of aha moments. Georgic and Ouds were new but both fairly gettable from wordplay. 18a and 21a are my favourites out of a whole bunch of great clues. Last in was palate – I’d persuaded myself that pasty was pie and spent ages trying to think of ?L?T for fat. Untimed but way over average.

    Thanks setter

  10. Liked this puzzle although i took ages to finish it. COD was the tricky 18 across…Also liked 22 down which is very clever…Nice one all round!
  11. 30:45, a puzzle that rewarded perseverance. Abjuring, Housman and ouds were all new to me and derived from wordplay. For a while I was left wondering who the great Don Puton might be.

    In 9 I don’t see how stages = long legs. Can anyone explain?

    Q-0 (provisional) E-8, D-8, COD 13.

  12. Very good puzzle, tricky and clever. I needed 2 sittings for this as well, getting stuck in the SE corner. I finally got ORTOLAN, which I’d vaguely heard of, then PALATE and PAPAW, as the last. Altogether, probably 45 minutes or so. My COD is UNDREAMED OF, very nice, closely followed by 13A. Regards all.
  13. Still fumbling after an hour; not knowing the ‘in’ bits of ‘av’ for bible and the phonetic alphabet indicator scuppered me.

    I’m no entomologist but don’t daddy long legs’ have a lifespan of ~ 24 hours as well? That would be neat.

    I agree it was a great puzzle.

  14. About 18 for this – should have been justy ahead of Sabine but took 5-6 minutes over PALATE at the end – most of that barking up the tree where ‘pasty’ meant PIE. Very relieved when sitting next to a guy solving the Times on the train home that he didn’t write this one in.
  15. I didn’t time this but probably around 35 mins. I suspect this was close to being as difficult a puzzle as I could solve without aids and feel sure it was correct, so very satisfying. I’m also sure I’d have given up on it with a few unsolved a few months ago, so progress is being made. bc
  16. Superb puzzle. About 6 mins for most of it, another 5 or so wrestling with ABJURING and BID FAIR (which didn’t even get a mention in the blog!). I couldn’t pick a COD: ‘DAY LONG LEGS’, ‘Working with press’, ‘thick cut chips’, 3dn in toto, ‘glower’ all brilliant. Just the most minor of quibbles over ‘well opposite’ = ILL.
  17. Brilliant puzzle – some great misdirection. COD LIGHT BULB – thought ‘well opposite’ while very unusual, was OK as an occasional device.
  18. This was a masterpiece. Some quite brilliant clues – 9ac, 13ac, 23ac, 5dn, and many more. How sad that by tomorrow it will be largely forgotten. The only criticism of any sort, and it’s a pretty mild one, is the use of the word ‘with’ in 26ac.

    Whenever there is a crossword of this elegance I suspect Monk, but the absence of Anax today makes me wonder.

  19. Well it took me three train rides but I got there in the end (apart from GEORGIC). It seems a little pointless to add a comment two days after everyone else has moved on but I don’t mind recording my appreciation for this great puzzle!
  20. I agree with everyone that this is a particularly good one. My personal favourite is:

    21a Scottish town making thick cut chips (8)
    DUM (B) FRIES. That makes me laugh – LOL in fact.

    There are just the 4 “easies” including a term at 2d described as a “write-in” by some above but I had never heard of it.

    25a Hostility UN aims to dissolve (6)
    ANIMUS. Anagram of (UN aims) – my FOI.

    2d Tender blonde shows promise (3,4)
    BID FAIR. What? Never heard of this.

    19d Poet condemning war, but quickly supporting special troops (7)
    SAS SOON. Siegfried that is. Not from Dumfries. The S.A.S. might be stationed somewhere near Hereford.

    24d Corporation, saying nothing, cut up (3)
    (e)TUM. MUT(E) upwards.

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