Times Saturday 23671 (Aug 4th)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time – 38:42

This was another brilliant Saturday puzzle, in the same league as 23647 a few weeks ago. All the surface readings were good. Some of the wordplay was fiendish, some humorous. All of it was fair when you worked it out, although I need explanations for a couple (7 & 17). The grid’s also a pangram.


1 POLYGAMIST (split may go)*
6 QUI(z),P
10 LIP-READ – just a cryptic definition, but disguised as wordplay.
11 BEEHIVE – another cryptic definition, a bit easier to get though.
12 ER(A,DICA)TE – ACID,A reversed inside (tree*)
13 RUN-UP – deliveryman = bowler in cricket here
14 DEC(lared),AF=FA rev. – definition is “cup without a kick” – this kind of clue is worth looking out for. Take a common two-word phrase, like “FA Cup”, and put one half of it in the wordplay, the other half in the definition. Not easy to spot unless you’re looking for it.
15 TOTTING,UP – totting = salvaging, up = cheerful.
17 CARTOONED – def. = “Drew”, then I can see “truck round” = CART,O but don’t understand the rest of it.
20 WEB,ER – Carl Maria von Weber. His cousin was married to Mozart.
21 SCRUB – double def. Axe in the sense of cancelling plans etc.
23 C,OC(CO rev),KINE,SS – neat = kine = cattle, a couple of obsolete words that probably only live on in crosswords.
26 BERLIOZ – “barely owes” – a pretty accurate homophone wherever you live.
27 ST,Y,X – runner makes a change from flower for a river, and fits the surface reading of course.
28 JOLLY,ROGER – a jolly is an outing or trip, usually at someone else’s expense, Roger means “received and understood” in radio comms.


1 PU(up rev),LSE = London School of Economics, which I assume equates to University College, or maybe just a university college. Pete B can tell us, as a graduate of the place. Definition was “beats reading”, very crafty. Last one I got.
3 GAELIC FOOTBALL (oblige act all of)*
4 ME(DI)ANT – very tricky as I didn’t know the word. A mediant is the third tone of a scale, i.e. half way along. DI in MEANT with “clothes” indicating the insertion.
5 SUB,JE(C)T – “guinea pig” is the definition here.
7 UNION – I don’t understand what Reading has got to do with this. I’m sure Reading University has a Students’ Union, but it can’t be that, surely?
8 PIED PIPER – excellent cryptic def.
9 REAR-VIEW MIRROR – another good one, made me laugh. The moon being the dropping of trousers to expose one’s backside.
14 DO(C)US,OAPS – i.e. “Do us OAPs”, with C=constant (speed of light) inside.
16 GIB(big rev.),BERING (Vitus Bering, the Arctic explorer)
18 NO CAN DO – i.e. “No-can do”
19 DECIBEL (bed lice)* – nice easy anagram, but I thought I’d better not leave it out as I’ve commented on every other clue so far!
22 RUG,BY – a wig collector might set a RUG BY. Ho ho.
24 SIZER – hidden rev. in “JeREZ I Sent”. A sizer is a measurer, hence a judge of size, I suppose.

5 comments on “Times Saturday 23671 (Aug 4th)”

  1. 7 UNI+ON(about)
    17 ONE D (pedlar has one, peddling has two)

    I really enjoyed this one. MEDIANT and TOTTING UP took a while at the end.

  2. The LSE is clued just by “College” in 1D. UP is indicated by “at University”.
  3. I made damnably heavy weather of this one (23:11), particularly 4D (the last to go in) which I desperately wanted to be MODISTE. Some neat clues (I particularly liked 10A, though I would guess it wasn’t to everyone’s taste).
  4. There’s something wrong. Neat is singular and kine is the plural of cow.


  5. This was such a good one that there are no “easies” left out of the blog. This is the first instance I have found of this since the start of the blog in late 2006.

    However – the lowest (pun intended) of the comments says there is something wrong. Correct – it is the second sentence of your comment I’m afraid dear Valentine.

    According to all sources I can find online – the word NEAT can be used for cow OR cattle so 23a is perfectly fine with kine.

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