Times Saturday 23773 (Dec 1)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 15:14

There were a few difficult words in here but nothing that couldn’t be figured out from the wordplay, and I enjoyed the challenge.


1 OVERSEAS – “overseize”. It is noised??? What an odd homophone indicator!
5 STAFFS – Staffordshire are one of the Minor Counties in cricket. A tough one for non-Brits, I suspect.
15 LOOPY – I’ve never heard the aerobatic stunt called that before, and there’s no support for it in Chambers either.
16 TIPPER,A(R)Y – from the song It’s a Long Way To Tipperary.
17 CO(ALFIE)LD – deceptively tricky wordplay. I think this is my COD.
19 GIG,LI(kely) – Beniamino Gigli, the operatic tenor.
20 HEROIC,COUP,LET – presumably the sort of verse form used by Chaucer, i.e. rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter.


3 SENSORY – Y,ROS(N)ES all reversed. Very nice construction and good surface reading. Another COD candidate for me.
6 TRIT(e),ONE – musical term, meaning “an augmented fourth, an interval of three whole tones”. I’m none the wiser…
8 SURD – “sirred”. I was surprised to find that there is a verb to sir, meaning to address as ‘sir’. A surd is an irrational number, e.g. √2.
11 CREPE DE CHINE – nice cryptic definition, if you’ve heard of it.
14 LYSISTRATA (Artist lays)* – eponymous heroine of a Greek comedy who organized a sex strike to protest against the Peloponnesian war.
19 G,RUMBLE – for people who haven’t seen it, Victor Meldrew is an irascible pensioner in the brilliant comedy series One Foot in the Grave.

9 comments on “Times Saturday 23773 (Dec 1)”

  1. I think point of 15Ac is that the subsidiary indication is
    “acrobatic stunt may be” rather than “acrobatic stunt” ie. a
    stunt could be described as “loopy” rather than there being a stunt
    with the name of “loopy”. Not a geat clue though!


  2. I got to it by noting that the players in any County’s cricket squad are known as the ‘staff’, hence ‘all counties’ players’ = STAFFS.
    1. Thanks for explaining the reasoning. It’s a shame there wasn’t an alternative way to the solution for non cricket buffs. The answer was obvious but the logic of the clue certainly had me stumped.
  3. The point of “noised” is not purely to indicate the homophone. The phrase “noise abroad” means to float a rumour. John M
  4. Guessed surd and Gigli, so feeling good about this one. I got a giggle out of the wordplay for 14d.
  5. I’d always considered the Saturday puzzle to be tricky but do-able, but this was plain awful. chief culprit was LYSISTRATA. I knew it was an anagram, had all the checkers and still couldn’t begin to guess the correct order of letters. I am even more puzzled to see why it should be put forward as POW…probably people just showing off 🙂
    Greek comedy indeed !
  6. Is 19d a prophetic clue signifying the rise of Horryd in these pages (some years in the future) who will use the Meldrew as his avatar?

    Another dozen “easies” not in the blog:

    10a One running round lake, a grinding task for him (6)
    MIL L ER

    12a Taking (off proper suit)*, change into what’s appropriate (3,3,7)

    22a Tether dog after turn round middle of park (6)
    L AR IAT

    25a Sound chap, one named Old Faithful (6)

    26a Rum and (mead, rare)* mixture (8)

    1d Without fish to sell, I left, needing to be elsewhere (3,2,5)

    2d Big beast of somewhat novEL Kind (3)

    4d Hateful (itch a patient)* suffers (12)

    7d Rebel against God prostrated himself, needing a new support to get up (6,5)

    18d Holding pot, stand opposite cooker (7)

    21d Fine diary to sell (4)
    F LOG

    24d Duck’s short drink (3)
    TEA (L)

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