Times Saturday 23779 (Dec 08)

I forgot to note down my solving time for this, but I seem to remember it was about 16 minutes-ish. Quite good for me considering the sometimes tortuous wordplay! Doing the blog at the unholy hour of 2:00am as I just remembered I’m going to be away for the weekend with no access to a PC.


1 KALE(ID)OSCO,PIC – the KALEOSCO bit being (case,look)*, snap = PIC
8 TOFU – hidden. I didn’t spot this for ages.
9 TH(UNDER)ING – possibly my COD for the great surface, although I got it straight away.
10 INCH,ARGE=rage with the first half reversed.
11 TAG,ORE – Bengali poet. I’d heard of him, and even knew his first name was Rabindranath, but have no idea where from!
13 AT A STRETCH – I haven’t fully worked this one out. “A sample, no end” = A,TAST(e), which leaves RETCH as “nuisance, cut” and the definition “with difficulty”. I suppose (w)RETCH might be a nuisance if you were feeling uncharitable, but it’s not supported by the dictionary.
20 I,GU(A)N,A
22 GREE(NOC=con rev)K – only known to this southerner from the football club Greenock Morton, conveniently renamed in 1994 from just Morton FC.
24 ALL(EGRET)TO – ALLTO = atoll*
26 DA,FT – District Attorney, Financial Times
27 (s)PR(E,TERN)AT,URAL – very convoluted wordplay, but the surface just about makes sense!


2 LA,UGH – actually no, this is my COD. Very deceptive clue.
3 I(NT,ER,P)RET – IRET=rite*.
5 CA,DET – CA = circa = roughly, DET = “debt”
7 CA,N – CA = AC rev. (short for aircraftsman). CAN = cooler = jail. I put FAN in at first, thinking maybe AF = air force, slowed me down a bit with 1 across.
12 RESOURCEFUL (clue for sure)* – another possible COD, we’re spoilt for choice! Great anagram.
14 SIN(HALE)S,(truc)E – the language of Sri Lanka.
19 RIG,H,TON – remember ton=style, that’s become more popular in recent months.
21 AGREE – bore is eagre (tide in a river), putting the first letter to the end gives AGREE.
25 LAP – nice DD. I liked “place for small computer?”.

5 comments on “Times Saturday 23779 (Dec 08)”

  1. I’m with Jackkt on the parsing of 13a:

    A sample, no end of nuisance, cut with difficulty (2,1,7)
    A TASTER with no end of nuisancE = AT A STR and cut = ETCH.

    This must have been quite a tricky one overall with only 3 “easies” left out of the blog:

    16a DAiLy ShOw with regular features going further (4)

    17a Among people, one’s appearance? (4)
    M 1 EN

    23d Democrat in new broadcast making least successful point (5)
    N A D IR

    Finally my complete fail on the port at 22a:

    22a Fleece brought from east into Mediterranean port (8)

    The checkers gave me G ? E ? N ? C ? so naturally I put in GUERNICA.
    This is such a fail on all levels that I had to share it:

    1) Guernica is in the Spanish Basque country so is nowhere near the Med.
    2) It is not even a port – lying some distance from the coast of the Bay of Biscay.
    3) Guernica cannot be derived from that clue no matter how hard one might try.

    Linxit gives the correct answer GREENOCK and the parsing above. This is just one of a number of reasons that I am merely filling in the “easies” in these 10 year old blogs and not doing any up-to-date blogging myself.

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