Times Saturday 23749 (Nov 3)

Solving time 17:48

I found this quite difficult at first and it took me a while to get going – after 10 minutes I only had maybe half a dozen answers in, but eventually the penny dropped on a few all at once and I was able to finish it off quite quickly.


5 FRO(W)ST – not my favourite clue. “From” is there just to make the surface reading work.
10 JOINED-UP WRITING – I like JOINED UP = “became private”, then WRITING sounds like “righting”.
15 NON-DRIP – well, you wouldn’t call a hero a drip!
18 P,RIAP(pair rev),US
21 (s)LAVE
22 PIE-DATE,RRE(err rev) – “Evening out with dish” is great. Got to be my favourite clue.
25 MEN IN WHITE COATS – could be cricket umpires as well as asylum staff.
27 NOI(s)SES – session rev, without the middle letter.
28 LOLLIPOP – PILL in POOL, all rev.


1 SO,JOURN(a list)
2 OBI(t) – hmmm, surely a brief commemoration of death is an obit (short for obituary), so shouldn’t this be a brief brief commemoration??
3 CHERRY RIPE – a new cricket ball is called a cherry because of the polished red lacquer finish. Julia refers to the song Cherry Ripe. Music and lyrics here, but don’t listen too long or you’ll go mad!
4 SQUAT – double def: “Short, low” and “building taken over”.
8 TU(G)B,OAT – apparently TUB = pot, but I don’t like it. Sure, they’re both types of container, but I’ve checked in Chambers and Bradford’s, and neither gives them as synonyms.
12 DON GIOVANNI (no avoiding n)*
18 PULL,MAN – with ??L?M?? at one point, I was convinced LIMO had to go in there somehow. Wrong sort of car.
23 DITTO – changed ending of DITTY
24 (t)ANNE(r) – there’s something wrong with this clue. “She” is a bit vague for a woman’s name (but often used), and “wins” is there just for the surface reading again.

2 comments on “Times Saturday 23749 (Nov 3)”

  1. I agree the pot/tub clue is a bit iffy. the meanings are so close but nowhere I have looked can I find them listed together.

    On 2A: an obit can be a memorial service, funeral service or anniversary of a death and in this case, according to Chambers and Collins it is not an abbreviation if I have read the entries corectly so only one “brief” is required, to account for the missing “t”.

  2. The inter-connecting 15a and 3d gave me chance to get another take on that pair of clues.

    At 15a a HERO (13a) could be described as someone who does not SLIP to get the NON SLIP paint – on decking for example. At 3d in the poem it is Julia’s LIPS that were CHERRY RIPE and, therefore, CHERRY LIPS might fit the clue? Just sayin’.

    There are eleven “easies” left out of the blog – curious for one described as quite difficult at first? Here they are:

    1a Play to suit trophy-holder (8)

    11a Fail to revise enough; one covers part (10)

    13a One admired bird with no tail (4)
    HERO (N)

    17a Take care, as Wenceslas did (4,3)

    19a Bored, given military instruction (7)

    6d Storyteller comes up to bar (4)
    RAIL. Liar comes up – has he sworn to tell the truth?

    7d Innocent facing arrest for sort of crime (5-6)

    9d Son walked awkwardly, well wrapped up (8)

    16d Jumble: (it’s cheap)* to throw out (8)

    20d Change into top gear (5,2)

    26d Poisoner is so quiet (3)
    AS P

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