Times Saturday 23563 – tough for me

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 28:00 (by comparison last week’s Jumbo only took me 24:15)

The NE corner gave me the most difficulty, as after completing the rest of the puzzle I had nothing in there at all. Probably over half the time was spent on those last 7 or 8 clues, although looking back on them now I really can’t see what the trouble was.


5 S(l)IGHTER – easy enough, but one of the last to go in.
10 TONS ILL,IT IS – I saw straight away that it had to be an “itis”. In the end I got the T at the start and guessed, working out the wordplay afterwards.
11 ROAD TEST (taste or d)* – good misleading surface, but fairly easy to spot anagram fodder.
12 GOO,GOO – not in Chambers or Collins, this. Would’ve expected (3-3) rather than (3,3) too. For a long time I though it was going to be ???GUM anyway.
16 WATERHOUSE – fairly obvious, but I’d never heard of him. They can’t mean Keith Waterhouse, he’s a writer (and still alive as far as I know). Found him on Wikipedia, as usual.
18 PROPAGANDA (“proper gander”)
19 (g)OSLO(w)
23 GRAP(HIT)E – took far too long looking at W(????)INE
25 GRANT,URIS,MO – URIS = Leon Uris, the writer.


1 DOGTROT – supposed to be “tort,God” reversed, but I can’t see any justification for adjectival use of “God” meaning “great”.
2 SA(as rev),USAGE,ROLL
3 I(NT,OT)O – I suppose there are 66 books in the combined New and Old Testaments. I didn’t bother to check.
4 G(ANGST)AR,A,P – “black music” = RAG(rev)
5 SPIT – double definition, but I didn’t get it till I had the S.
6 GOL(log rev),GO,THA(t) – where Christ was crucified. Calvary is just another name for it, so the word “in” is just there to help the surface reading.
8 REST,ORE – seems obvious now, but for a long time I thought the 5th letter might be M. Last one I put in.
13 GLUE SNIFFER – I got this straight away, but still thought it was a good cryptic def.
17 CAS(SET)TE – I suppose CASTE = order is just about OK.
18 PI,ROGUE – a dugout canoe. Nice to see PI=constant(π) rather than PI=devout as usual.
20 (h)ONEST,EP
24 IRIS(h) – Green, white and orange being the colours of the Irish flag.
26 (g)ASP – I think the idea is that it’s GASP before being “executed”, and now it’s ASP (cold-blooded killer). Maybe the word “being” is missing from the clue.

4 comments on “Times Saturday 23563 – tough for me”

  1. For 1d, GOD = “great being”. (I found this a bit easier than last week’s but still quite tough, taking 14:55.)
  2. My copy of the puzzle (in the New York Post, a Murdoch paper) had clue 25a cut off. All I have is “Sports car given award, …”

    What was the rest of the clue? Sports car is the definition, grant is the award, and then …?


  3. How frustrating!

    The full clue was “Sports car given award, second behind Leon (4,7)”

  4. Or God is Great. Therefore 1d makes perfect sense?

    The “easies” for the bunnies:

    1a Stylish sprinter’s talent? (7)

    9a Beast ‘eld back (3)
    GNU. (H)’ung backwards?

    15a Row with fierce individual, ripping heart out (4)
    TI (G) ER

    22a Enjoy what goes on food (6)

    27a Strong suit (3)

    28a Fast show (7)

    29a Leave sailor in retreat; might this stop his desertion? (3,4)
    RAT TRAP. PART TAR backwards. We don’t see a ; in clues very often.

    7d Rubbish which could be picked up (3)

    14d Cook (reinserted)* his tool? (10)
    TENDERISER. Never seen that done to a Turkey before!

    21d Grow right through lip (6)
    SP R OUT

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