Times Saturday 23623 – the train takes the strain!

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time: 6 or 7 mins.

I solved this on the train down from Coventry to Euston last Saturday. I don’t know what it is about trains, but my solving skills are always greatly improved when I’m on one! I raced through this and had the Jumbo finished too well before the train stopped. Maybe the fact that one can’t just grab Chambers or Bradford’s focuses the mind – I did today’s with both available and still took nearly half an hour.


1 S(no)W,ITCH
5 V1,CAR(n)AGE
11 CHEAPSKATE (He’s a packet)* – liked this &lit
13 (l)IVES – I’d vaguely heard of him, but didn’t know what he was famous for.
18 BELL,YDAN(Andy*),C.E.
21 ‘S,CUT – you normally only get S=is, has etc. in barred puzzles, but it was obvious enough here.
23 THUNDEROUS – cryptic definition, lighten being used as a verb meaning “to produce lightning” (which a face can’t do).
25 CAM,ERA – another one of those incredibly useful 3-letter rivers.
28 GR,AND,EUR=rue rev. – with=AND
29 TOD,ATE – Tod is a traditional name for a fox, e.g. The Tale of Mr. Tod by Beatrix Potter.


2 WORK,HOUSE – swapping the two parts of “housework”
5 VODKA – hidden reversed in “beAK DOVe”
17 TURBULENT (blunt,true)* – I didn’t understand the reference to Becket as priest, but the anagram jumped out immediately. Looked up later – it’s something Henry II said: “Will no-one rid me of this turbulent priest?”
19 LE(THE)AN – Lethe is the river of forgetfulness in Hades in Greek mythology.
22 CHAIR – The Chair being one of the hardest jumps in the Grand National.
27 HOT – I put this in straight away, only later realising that it was referring to a hot-water bottle!

One comment on “Times Saturday 23623 – the train takes the strain!”

  1. A “Dirty Dozen” of omitted “easies” in this blog:

    9a Suddenly fail to appear so gorgeous (4,4)

    10a Obvious man in hospital has heart failure (6)
    PAT (i) ENT

    14a Purchase – there’s nothing in float (4)
    BU 0 Y

    15a Trust deed? (3,2,5)

    20a I twisted round, strong and slim (4)
    W I RY

    26a Some looker – there’s beauty in her eyes (8)

    4d Shade if very extensive not good (3)
    HU (g) E

    7d (In tears)*, drunk – on this? (7)

    8d Revolver, say, raised? This makes things sticky (5)
    GUN GE

    12d Put up with raillery, letting attention go? (5,2,4)

    16d Fish finally goes off in cask (3)
    TUN (a)

    24d Pigment not new in aggregate (5)
    (n) UMBER. NUMBER = AGGREGATE? Usually burnt in my experience.

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