Times Saturday 23719 (Sep 29)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 17:16

I thought I’d made hard work of this until I read that Pete Biddlecombe took an hour and talbinho a whole day! Shame this wasn’t one of the Championship puzzles in Cheltenham!
I’ve also finally caught up and blogged puzzle 23713 from the previous Saturday, which can be found here.


1 BOUNDARY (your band)* – an obvious anagram that took me ages to see.
5 BOW WOW – refers to the old music-hall song “Daddy Wouldn’t Buy Me a Bow-Wow”.
10 CA(I)US(e) – one of the Cambridge colleges I think.
11 FRANC(HIS)E – Anatole France was a French author. I’ve always remembered his name since I saw in the Guinness Book of Records when I was a kid, that he had the lightest brain ever recorded!
12 SUSTAINED – “s-stained”. Nice clue idea, but if you heard a stammerer who had trouble with S’s, it would be more like “ssssssss-sss-sssss-tained”.
13 SALM(on),I – a ragoĆ»t of previously-cooked game.
14 ABE(TT,(stov)E)D – dry = teetotal = TT, retired = ABED.
18 PIN,(h)EAL
22 1,MAG,O – e.g. the comma butterfly. IMAGO is the final stage of an insect’s metamorphosis.
23 M1,D(ST)REAM – unusual definition (unless you fall off your horse while crossing a river).
27 LUSTRE – “luster”
28 FREE,BASE – cocaine for smoking


1 BAC(cab rev),KSEAT(takes*) – nice definition!
3 DE(SCANT RECORD)ER – “does” is a noun here, not a verb.
6 OCCASIONAL TABLE (so allocate cabin)*
7 W,RIT,LARGE(Elgar*) – RIT is short for ritardando, a musical term for slowing of tempo.
15 EPIDAURUS (used up air)* – this was a guess once I had all the checking letters. It was an ancient Greek city famous for its open-air theatre, which is still in use today.
19 LIMP,ID(ea)
21 FIT,FUL(flu*) – last one I got, probably wasted a couple of minutes on it.
24 ER(I)CA – I inside ACRE rev.

2 comments on “Times Saturday 23719 (Sep 29)”

  1. In my defence, the majority of that day (around 23:50:00 I think) was spent wondering if FREEBASE was the answer to 28ac. The clue is “Cocaine at zero charge, or low”, which I don’t like at all as I can’t come up with any reading which justifies the word ‘or’. That said, this clue did make me realise how many synonyms I know for ‘cocaine’ (and drugs in general), regrettably mostly from crosswords rather than a rock-and-roll lifestyle…

    23ac: I think this is an allusion to the proverb “Never change horses midstream”, which (so my maths teacher once told me) was invented to assist with integration by parts (something to do with not changing the variable of integration at the intermediate stage).

    10ac: The college is Gonville and Caius, almost always shortened to Caius (pronouned “keys”).

    5ac: I’ve often said that I hope old music-hall songs are well-represented at Cheltenham tomorrow. All together now: “Oh, Mr Porter, what shall I do?…”

  2. I have learned ALL my drug slang from the Times X-word. Freebase at 28a (Cocaine at zero charge, or low (8)) = FREE BASE – was LOI after checking it online. Well, I couldn’t get Arsenate or Creepage to fit the clue. Like O Senhor Talbinho I still can’t figure out how the “or” in the clue fits in with the solution?
    Perhaps “Cocaine at zero charge, then low” might be better?

    Some nine “easies” to complete the blog:

    16a Notice about pig on deck (6)
    A BOAR D

    20a Twin cats? (7)

    25a Shot by stream in emergency exercies (4,5)

    26a Small mistake by bachelor – what to kiss? (5)
    B LIPS

    2d Measures of alcohol for military teams (5)

    4d Elegant but penalised again (7)

    9d Beach artist, is she? (6)

    17d Hm, sit down in fron there! (3,2,3)

    20d Not so happy keeping in line – he’ll offer you a seat (7)

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