Times Saturday 23689 (Aug 25)

Solving time 35:03

A couple of early mistakes made this one harder for me than it should have been, although I think it was pretty tough anyway. Several clues had very complicated wordplay. By comparison, the Jumbo only took me 27:04.


1 HAM,PER – “player lacking finesse” = “bad actor”
9 R,EGR(O)UP – purge rev.
11 ELECT,RO(“row”) – took me ages to get this.
12 B.A.,SIC – sic is used to indicate that it was the person you’re quoting who made the spelling mistake or grammatical error, not you.
13 IT,E(RAT,1)VE
19 SLAP (pals rev) – “right” as in “slap in the middle of”, I think.
20 (s)HY,PERSON,IC – I put in SUPERSONIC without looking too carefully at the wordplay at first. That made 10dn harder, as there was a U in the anagram too.
22 PUSSYFOOT – F inside (spots you)*
25 PR(O,V)ISO(n)
26 ENCOMIA – C inside “aim one” reversed
27 EC,T(OD(d))ERM – EC is the postcode for the City of London, i.e. the Square Mile.


1 HA(REBEL)LS – Frans Hals is the artist.
3 EX(OR)CISE – OR for “other ranks”.
6 O(NEW,A)Y – sneaky using “revolutionary” and not meaning “reversed” or CHE!
8 R(HON)E – HON short for honey as a term of endearment.
10 P(RIM)ARY COLOUR – RIM inside (or cup royal)*
18 ESTANCI(a sect in)*,A(rea) – a Spanish-American ranch
21 M(YRIA(airy rev))D – I put something else in here at first, but I can’t remember what now as I Tippexed it out. I remember it was stupid and didn’t make sense though, and really slowed me down in the SW corner.
24 G(AMU(let))T

4 comments on “Times Saturday 23689 (Aug 25)”

  1. I couldn’t see why ‘slap’ meant ‘right’, and wrote into the Times bulletin board for clarification, but got no acknowledgement, let alone enlightenment. I’ll reluctantly accept it as ‘slap in the middle’ meaning right, but it’s very sloppy clueing for the Times, isn’t it?
    1. Well, it is backed up by the dictionary – one of the definitions of slap as an adjective in Chambers is “directly, straight”.

      Last time I wrote to the Times bulletin board with an answer for somebody it was over a week before my comment appeared, by which time it was ancient history. Last time I sent a complaint about something wrong with the site I got no reply or acknowledgement and it wasn’t published. I don’t even bother looking there any more.

      1. Thanks for the speedy reply – I am definitely a convert to this site. I’m grateful to Peter Biddlescombe for supplying the URL via the Times bulletin board – they did print that – maybe they are actively trying to lose contributors?
  2. I was puzzled by ONE WAY at 6d and SLAP at 19a. Very glad that they were in the blog.

    There are some that are not in the blog and (hopefully) I can explain how they are derived:

    4a Glass earlier broken by companion (8)

    16a Snake trade? (4)
    WIND. The ? indicates that other winds are available.

    23a Trouble coming from ragtAG GROup (5)

    28a Action shattered (tablet)* (6)

    2d Priest our group supports weekly? (5)
    MAG US. The ? shows that not all Mags are weeklies.

    7d Fanatic (in riot)* tossed food (9)

    15d Take time over organised display (9)
    T RAN SPORT. The literal is TAKE.

    22d Insects quietly settling on parts of oUr PlAtEs at regular intervals (5)
    P UPAE

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