Times Saturday 23665 (July 28)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 16:34

About average for a Saturday puzzle. Third blog entry of the day for me, so this will probably be briefer than usual.


1 HARRIS – double def. I was confused about the “part” of Scottish island bit, but I looked it up and found that Harris and Lewis are two parts of the same island. I’d always thought they were separate. Arthur “Bomber” Harris was head of the RAF during the war.
9 STINKPOT – “top knits” reversed.
10 SA,TURN – that old chestnut comes back again. SA = sex appeal = it.
12 OUTFLAN(fault on)*,(tan)K
17 STANDING ROOM/STAND-IN GROOM – nice idea, the groom bottles it and the next guy in line steps up to the altar!
25 GRI(MIES)T – GRIT around (semi*)
27 (w)EIGHTY – I don’t think this clue works. We’re not supposed to mention a woman’s weight, but the undoctored word is weighty.


3 REN(AISSAN(Asians*),C)E – Frenchman is usually RENE, and he’s usually embracing something!
4 SU(PER)M,IN,I – but a Supermini isn’t a tiny motor, is it?
5 S(IT,D)OWN – broadcast (past tense) = sown
13 LIP-SMACKING – double def. with two wildly different meanings! [Actually straight def, LIP=sauce + SMACKING. Thanks Richard]
16 STRAW MAN – nicely hidden reversed in “VietNAM WAR T-Shirts”. How do setters find these phrases?
19 P(R)OSIT – Latin for “Cheers!” but I’ve heard it used in Germany too.
24 ON,E – i.e. on Ecstasy.

9 comments on “Times Saturday 23665 (July 28)”

  1. Good puzzle. My only wrong step was that I briefly had LEADENLY in for 5A (Hardly speeding like a bullet (8)).

    Just a couple of quibbles with your comments.

    27A – I don’t altogether agree with your objection to this clue. As I read it, the whole second half of the clue (“Women’s shouldn’t be mentioned”) only serves to indicate “delete a W” from WEIGHTY (meaning “on the plump side”), with “figure” being the definition. Using “women’s” as an indicator for W seems a bit of a stretch for me. I suppose the justification is abbreviations like (I assume there are others) WI for Women’s Institute. But on that basis all sorts of things become possible, like “protection” for P because of RSPB.

    13D – I think “tasty” is the single def. Then the two parts of “lip-smacking” are indicated separately by “sauce” and “striking”.

    1. 27 – I didn’t explain myself very well. I’m not sure I know what I meant to be honest!

      13 – you’re right. That’s how I read it last Saturday, but I managed to reinterpret it when I wrote the blog entry.

    2. I think W for “women’s” here is meant to represent a size in women’s clothing, though I’m not sure if it’s still in use. There was also SW for “small women’s”, which is confirmed by Chambers (2003), and WX for “women’s extra large”, which has vanished from Chambers (perhaps because it’s of less use in crosswords!?) but is confirmed by John Sykes’s 1976 edition of the COD.

      (11:23 for me, which I wasn’t too unhappy with for an interesting puzzle, though for some reason it took me a long time to justify OSCARS!)

      1. That version of W is in my oldish (1999) COD, so I think that must be what’s meant.
  2. SUPERMINI – a small car, with ‘motor’ as slang for car as in Alexei Sayle’s irritatingly unforgettable song “Ullo John Got a New Motor?”


    1. 10:30 was my time. Very picky point re 1A: if his Wikipedia bio is right, Harris became Marshal of the RAF just after the end of WWII.
      1. Air Marshal Harris was head of Bomber Command, rather than the whole RAF, during WWII. He was later promoted to the rank of Marshal of the RAF but was never Chief of the Air Staff, the top position in the RAF.
  3. Superminis are certainly NOT tiny. Compare the sizes of a modern Mini or a Fiat 500 with the original models. A dozen omissions of “easies” from the blog including the Lean bird ….

    5a Hardly speeding like a bullet? (8)

    11a Get through in vehicle, dear thing (6)
    CA VIA R

    14a Lean bird, one exposed in water (6,6)

    20a Failure proving terminal (8)

    22a Awards unblemished? (6)
    0 SCARS

    23a Introduce meaning (6)

    26a Trouble (ensured)* ahead of a submarine (8)

    6d Unexpected result, winning at tennis? (5)
    UP SET

    7d Pull up, seeking spare tyre (3)
    GUT. TUG (pull) up (upside down) but the “seeking” for the surface seems cumbersome?

    8d Son given computer accessory gets one running (8)

    18d The state of America on my mind? (7)

    21d Flower opening in Ulverston, something to draw around (5)
    LOT U S

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