Times Saturday 23575 – better late than never!

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 13:32

Sorry for the lateness of this posting – I was away for the weekend at very short notice, although I should at least have put up a placeholder message. Not too hard, but there were a couple of words I didn’t know.


1 ON STRIKE – supposed to be a double definition, with the second referring to industrial action. The way the English one-day side has performed in the World Cup though, it could be taken as a straight clue.
10 E(n)CLAIR – shame they couldn’t use the Chambers definition of this: “a cake long in shape but short in duration.”
12 SIG(GI’s rev),NATURE + TUNE
16 SATYR PLAY (say partly)* – never heard of this, I had to wait for all the downs to be absolutely sure of it.
19 PRIO(r),N – another new word for me, but the wordplay was pretty straightforward.
22 ORISON – not sure how to categorise this clue, but I liked it.
25 O,F(Y)ORE – as in the phrase “in days of yore”. Never seen it on its own though.


2 SUN (“son”) – a bit of an easy “filler” clue, something you’d expect to see in the…SUN crossword! However, when I see a phrase like “Nice weather” in a Times clue I instantly think of temps, pluie, neige etc, so maybe it’s a double bluff.
13 GRANULARITY – (triangular)* + Y – Particular in the sense of “consisting of particles”.
14 H(eav)Y,P,NOTISED(side not*) – nice clue, with the definition merging seamlessly with the wordplay, and a totally misleading surface reading.
21 KO-KO – the Grand High Executioner from The Mikado. The previous Saturday he appeared in the clue to SHORTLIST. Popular guy – who’d have thought it!

3 comments on “Times Saturday 23575 – better late than never!”

  1. Can you explain please? “Bishop still alive”. PRIMATE, I think, but why “still alive”?
    1. Actually it’s PRELATE, i.e. still alive = pre-late.

      Sorry for the very brief notes on the downs, but I was trying to do it at work and it got too busy.

  2. One query on the omitted “easies” where the Anonymous Bunny had BIFD the wrong answer. Here they are including the PRE-LATE Bishop:

    5a Fail to penetrate court secret (6)
    C LOSE T

    9a Prisoner wants to run away over constant struggle (8)

    15a Like an egg, One Very Attractive To Eat for starters (5)
    O V A T E

    17a Drinking competition one’s likely to lose? (1,4,4)
    A MUGS GAME. I initally pencilled in A BOAT RACE as one person drinking 8 pints in the same time or quicker than 8 people drinking one each would be doomed to failure and probably no small amount of reflux. The checkers were OK for RACE but the BOAT got ruled out and I had to look for another avenue of reason.

    20a Break in transmission (13)
    ADVERTISEMENT. Commercial break I suppose? Glad I hadn’t BIFD the PRIMATE else this would have been ADVERTISIMENT.

    23a Amorous moves, like holding very tight in waltz? (8)
    A D V ANCE S. Where like = AS holding the (V)ery in the DANCE.

    1d Table may be irregular (10)

    3d New film not a proper comfort (7)

    4d Promote rebel away from servants’ quarters (4,8)

    6d He doesn’t have to speak, given protective cover (7)
    LACQUER. Not witness protection – sounds like (SL) lacker.

    7d The highest in the land (feel sick) with (lap)* dancing (7,4)
    SCAFELL PIKE. The second summit in the 3-Peaks challenge which ever way you do it. Afterwards you need a pint or two and then some serious sleep – no time for lap dancing!

    8d Right play is to capture rook (4)
    TO R Y

    11d Understand one’s being teased, and become nervous (3,3,4,2)

    18d In taste, detect one preservative type (7)

    19d Bishop still alive? (7)
    PRE – LATE. The still extant Primate.

    24d Wretch runs away from race programme (3)

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