Times Saturday 23503

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 18:38

A few foreign towns in this, but strangely enough 22ac and 16ac were the first clues I got. No one corner slowed me down, but did struggle with the last 3 or 4 entries. Apologies once more for the late arrival of this entry.


4 A,ME(RIC(h))AN – I think rolling=rich is a bit loose. It comes from the phrase “to be rolling in money”
10 BOB,BLE(H)AT – didn’t figure out the wordplay until later. BOB = Bob Hope, wool producer’s sound = BLEAT.
11 TABLA – hidden backwards in herbAL BATh, has stretched skin because it’s a pair of small drums played with the hands.
13 BUTTERINESS – interest* inside BUS
14 SIT,COM(b) – I wasn’t keen on sit=lie, and it’s not in Chambers, but I found it in Collins, which is the recommended dictionary for The Times.
16 NO(VI SA)D – apparently the second largest city in Serbia. I just knew I’d heard of it, and the wordplay was quite easy.
20 BE(RAT)E – I didn’t know this meaning of “bee”, but Labour Party refers to “a group of people who unite their labour for the benefit of an individual or family” (from Chambers).
22 A1,X,LES,BA,IN,S – not keen on male=LES, otherwise a very good clue (although I think it should have been hyphenated). First one I put in.
26 BI(B)LE – reliable work seems to be quite a quaint definition…
28 LOCH NESS – this is tough wordplay which I only just figured out. It’s LOUDNESS with the second couple of letters (UD) replaced by CH (chapter).


2 LIBR/A/RIES – nice clue. House in astrology is just one of the signs of the Zodiac.
5 MOTTE AND BAILEY (Able to dynamite)* – an old type of castle.
6 RE,TRI(p),EVER – popular dog lately. I think there was a puzzle last week with “GOLDEN RETRIEVER” as an answer (might have been in the Guardian though).
7 CABLE – I didn’t get the wordplay at the time and I still don’t see it now. Any ideas? [Explained as (rea)C(hed),ABLE(=up to it) by fgbp, thanks. Why didn’t I see that?]
8 NEARS,IDE – IDE (or ID) is probably the most useful fish in the dictionary!
15 CHA,MEL(E)ON – E = tip of camomilE. I suppose the tip of a word can refer to either end.
18 1’S(TAN)BUL(k) – I had to think for a while what could mean weight starting with BUL.
21 KEN,YAN=nay rev. – KEN = range (as in range of sight or knowledge).
23 XEBEC – alternate letters of eXpEl BlEaCh. A xebec was a Mediterranean sailing ship.
24 SCREE(n) – “put on box” is a good definition for screen.

7 comments on “Times Saturday 23503”

  1. got “inebriating” for 13A…interest=I, public transport=train, being…rich = inebriating…amusing that it came about
    1. Blimey, I had to dig this one up from the Times archive! Jan 20th 2007, a long time ago indeed. I didn’t remember the clue (unsurprisingly), but it was “For whom decline follows hype, could one say? (5)” and the answer was CELEB.

      I guess it must have been a cryptic definition, as I can’t see any obvious wordplay there. With the checking letters C?L?B though, not hard to get!

  2. A good example of the reason for completing these blogs … one of the omitted “easy” answers was MY LOI once I had all the checkers but like the two ANONS in the comments above I still don’t really follow the wordplay. Our esteemed blogmeister, on the other hand, evidently did not deem it worthy of comment?

    The “easies”:

    1a Joint interest about pound (6)
    SP L ICE. Where L=£ and “spice” = interest.
    12a Name of satellite with no sides (3)
    l( UNA ) r. Lunar = “of the moon”.
    19a Mark keeps place for four in hold up (7)
    S US TAIN. Explained in comments above on request. Four refers to the answer to 4a = AMERICAN.
    25a Rook perhaps avoiding church where blackbird sings (3)
    PIE (ce). Rook = chess piece. Church = CE.
    27a Mysterious (Lutheran)* works close to blasphem(y)* (9)
    29a Move smartly to catch rebounding skittle (6)
    TEN PIN. Nip Net back’rds.

    1d Tame reminder from membership sectretary (6)
    SUB DUE.
    3d For whom decline follows hype, could one say? (5)
    CELEB. C*L*B had to be celeb but not sure about the definition? My LOI.
    9d (Urban myths led)* to blunder about (h)ard music (6,3,5)
    RHYTHM AND BLUES. I saw this without working out the exact anagram – only just worked it out for this blog.
    17d Fixed increases bound to get market going (3,2,4)
    SET UP SHOP. Or SET UPS HOP as read from the clue.

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