Times Saturday 23707 (15 Sept)

Solving time 16:36, which felt slow for a pretty straightforward puzzle. I can’t remember what slowed me up now – probably just my brain not firing on all cylinders on a Saturday morning.


4 POS(TLUD(a))E – (a)dult rev. This one along with 7D were the last 2 I got.
8 THE GREAT ESCAPE (Get chase, repeat)*
10 (d)OVER,L,ADEN – I think “prow dropping” means to take the first letter from the first of the ports in the answer.
14 SHIPWORM – cryptic definition, but not misleading enough for my liking.
17 DEMURELY – Ed rev, rum rev, followed by ELY=see
22 RELIEF MAP – another cryptic definition, much better though, “up” meaning altitude here.
19 L(YR)IC(k)


1 NATIONAL DEBT (Obtain dental)* – good anagram!
5 SKEAN-DHU – this is the dagger that a Scotsman sticks in his stocking, so under the kilt just means lower down the leg, I suppose. There are various spellings for this to watch out for – I’ve seen skene-dhu and sgian-dubh before.
7 DIP,H,THONG – the “ui” in cruise is a diphthong.
9 ONOMATOPOEIC (o,piano come to)* – I wouldn’t have classed bebop or skiffle as onomatopoeia, and Chambers seems to agree. Bebop maybe, but skiffle is “Origin unknown”.
13 PIMPERNEL – ref. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. “They seek him here, they seek him there./Those Frenchies seek him everywhere”
16 CLARE,N,CE – the Poor Clares are an order of nuns.
19 FLUFFY – LUFF in F(err)Y

6 comments on “Times Saturday 23707 (15 Sept)”

  1. I tried SKEAN DOO for a while before realising that WOODWORM was wrong at 14A. I don’t remember seeing SHIPWORM before but it was the only thing that fitted with DHU.

    Are brown, purple and white the colours used when drawing a relief map? I wasn’t aware of this and haven’t been able to confirm it so perhaps I’ve misunderstood the purpose of these words in the clue?

    1. They are all colours that are sometimes used for indicating high ground – green being the norm for low ground.
    1. Because “Bishop takes reduced to perform consecration” doesn’t make sense?

      It does seem a strange construction though. Do bishops normally charge for that sort of thing? A quick Google shows that they can – here for example, if asked to consecrate a public cemetery rather than a church graveyard.

  2. Despite the fact that I work in (geological) mapping my LOI was the darned RELIEF MAP at 22a. ROLLED MOP didn’t make any sense as Herrings aren’t any of the colours listed. Bartholemews used to do beautiful coloured relief maps that rivalled the OS in quality and detail and had that sort of colour scheme.

    Quite a few omitted easies in this blog:

    1a Nick New and Old Testament given by church (5)
    N OT CH

    11a It’s swallowed by brown dwarf? On the contrary (5)
    T IT AN. Nice astronomical surface there.

    12a I.e. plant mostly seen in rocky state? (6)
    ALPINE. Anag of ie plan (t).

    18a Neglect fashion as time goes on (6)

    20a Bishop takes reduced fee to perform consecration (5)
    B LESS

    24a The quality of trifles and (fancies in icing)* is quite varied (14)

    2d Topic requiring space in an article (5)
    TH EM E. EM and EN are large and small spaces respectively in Printers’ speak.

    3d Getting tough on ship, one tries to minimise leeway (9)

    4d Paper Russian Apparatchiks Very Dutifully Admired for the leaders (6)
    P R A V D A

    6d So this would be to entreat, as permitted (5)
    (SO) LICIT

    21d Rapid elimination of candidates without weight (5)
    S W IFT. I guess you can sift through candidates for a job or something like that. As long as sifting is not equated to riddling I don’t mind.

    23d Small number entering do damage to house on estate (5)
    MA NO R

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