Times Saturday 23599

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 13:10

An average time for an average crossword I suppose – no particularly tricky clues and no obscure vocabulary required. Not that many clues to write about really.


1 FELL,DOWN – interesting language, English! Both words for things implying lack of height, and they also both mean “hill”. Foreigners must love learning our language!
9 CHAR,A,BAN,C – originally from the French char à banc meaning “carriage with benches”.
12 L(iterati),EARNED – nicely phrased &lit.
13 T,R,AM,WAY – here A on B = B,A – quite common and one to watch out for. Relies on the meaning of on = next to, beside.
16 PRECIOUS METAL (locate impure)* – for some reason I needed a lot of checking letters before I got this.
21 SPOILER – double definition, although I’m not sure that a spoiler is the same as a flap (e.g. on aircraft wings).
23 CUR,I,A


1 F,ICKLE – “ickle” supposedly being the way small children pronounce “little”.
4 WHAT DO YOU KNOW – neat double def, one cryptic. First one I put in, as I always look at the long multi-word clues first.
8 (b)ES(SAY,IS)T – uncommon switch round here. You normally see “say = for example = EG” in clues.
10 CUT THE MUSTARD – I put in CUT THE straight away, but took a while longer to think of MUSTARD, which I didn’t know was a brassica.
22 LEDGE(r) – nicely phrased, “this” meaning “this 5-letter space in the grid”.

7 comments on “Times Saturday 23599”

  1. The one clue we couldn’t get is one you haven’t mentioned! What was the answer pls?
    1. i had RE,TRAIN though i didn’t really like “working on” –> RE.
      1. Actually, that isn’t quite right – the definition is “Be taught new skills for working”, then on=RE, public transport=TRAIN.
  2. Wow, that’s pretty quick! Actually I found this Saturday’s puzzle much easier with 9:32. If those speeds were relative that would make yours a comfortable 3:30 or so!
    1. Actually just over 7 – though I did think I should have been quicker.
  3. A bunny with a question about one of the omitted “easies”. Too late for them I’m afraid but perhaps for other learners doing some back numbers for fun – here are the answers omitted from the blog:

    5a A bit sweet (5)
    TRIFLE. A double definition.

    11a Force fails to open lock (5)

    14a Mark once converted by these people unwelcome in temple? (5,8)
    MONEY CHANGERS. Nice biblical surface with the predecessor of St Euro in Germany.

    20a Foreign character makes (one’s lip)* curl (7)

    24a Finished in warm clothing (7,2)

    25a Fiddle without piano is less spirited (6)
    TAMPER. TAM (P) ER or TAMER is less spirited. Unusual form of a letter omission clue. Normally it is the answer to be filled in the grid that has a missing letter.

    2d Animal tethered by guerriLLA MAinly (5)

    3d Sketch pad may be thus used (5,2)

    6d Be taught new skills for working on public transport (7)
    RE TRAIN. Explained in comments above.

    14d Mere mortals about to disappear, tossed in whirlpool (9)
    MAELSTROM. Anagram (tossed) of MERE MORTALS minus RE (about disappears). Sums up images of one of the “Pirates” movies. I can’t remember which – probably at World’s End?

    17d LA film shot with English celebrity of sorts (3,4)
    ILL FAME. Anagram (shot) of LA FILM with E(nglish).

    18d Account written up about old soldier (7)
    TR O OPER. Report upside down about o(ld).

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