Times Saturday 23814 (Jan 19)

No time recorded last week, but it felt quite straightforward with no major holdups, so I’d guess around 10-12 minutes.


10 BURIAL – “berry’ll”, scraping the bottom of the barrel, but it works!
15 STROP – ports rev. Wobbly = strop = fit of bad temper
20 REP(LENISHM)ENT – i.e.(L in hems)* inside REPENT.
23 ANIMATOR – cryptic def. Chambers also gives ANIMATER as a possible alternative spelling (chiefly US), but I wouldn’t allow it if it was up to me!
25 GIMLET (GT lime)* – a gimlet is just gin and lime (and possibly soda), no tonic.
26 GREY,NESS – ref. Lady Jane Grey, who was queen for 9 days in 1553.


3 D(A,Y(ach)T)RIP
6 O,CUL(IS)T – I don’t know about old-fashioned though. Chambers doesn’t give it as such.
7 TRIANGULATE (rule T T again)* – took me a while to work out the anagram fodder for this one.
13 PERI,CARD,I,UM – this is the sac around the heart.
19 DA(HOME)Y – former name of Benin in West Africa.
21 FROG – not really a cryptic definition, more like a riddle.

11 comments on “Times Saturday 23814 (Jan 19)”

  1. Linxit’s copy was left behind chez Biddlecombe after last week’s course. I clocked 5:41 for this, so pretty easy for a Saturday puzzle. Didn’t have the watch on him but he could quite well have been under 10.
    1. It comes from the first word – “Are”, which in the cryptic sense is the metric unit of land area rather than the verb.

      Actually you’ve got a good point. This abbreviation is regularly seen in advanced cryptics, but it’s not very common in the normal Times crossword and I’m surprised to see it. I assume it must be on the setters’ list of acceptable abbreviations though.

        1. No, but this is what Peter Biddlecombe has to say on the subject on the tips & tricks page here:

          The Times puzzle does not let setters use all the abbreviations in any dictionary. For one-letter abbrev’s in particular, there is believed to be a fairly short list of acceptable ones.

  2. Pretty quick for me as well, although I had to look up GIMLET to verify. I thought 10A was OK – at least it’s a genuine homophone, even if the sense is strained.
  3. So today is saturday, january 25, and i just did the times puzzle in the NY Post from friday, jan. 24, and I see it’s the same puzzle as the times of jan. 11. Does anyone know if the NY Post always prints the puzzles two weeks after they’re printed in the Times?
    thanks for your help if you know,
    1. As far as I know, the time lag is constant and within a day or two of two weeks. But in our country today, Saturday, is the 26th!

      I’d guess that the same delay applies anywhere the Times puzzle is syndicated. To use this blog without seeing notes about puzzles still in the pipeline, you might want to start from a page like this: http://community.livejournal.com/times_xwd_times/calendar, noting that Mon-Fri reports normally appear on the same day as publication, and Sat. ones a week later.

  4. I didn’t keep time, but I remember this being an amusing Saturday morning. And since I’m rather fond of them, many thumbs up for the excellent clue for gimlet.
  5. Thanks to Peter for explaining the syndication delay. The Australian newspaper is somewhat behind in this respect — in fact, more than a month. Today’s (23 Feb) puzzle in the Oz is No 8001 which equals the current puzzle (No 23,814, 19th Jan). So I guess only Australian readers of this forum will be looking. The Saturday delay in Pommyland is explained, perhaps, by the fact that it’s a prize puzzle in the Times? Anyway, a rough rule (that doesn’t always work) is, if in Australia, add 15,813. And while we’re on the subject, we really ought to send the awful (so-called) “Sunday Times” puzzle in the Oz to a few of the dedicated Times solvers here. Then they’d know what utter rubbish we have to put up with!!


  6. … and Gambian Sidling Bush.

    So goes my favourite Botany section in Monty Python.

    This was apparently quite an easy one with 12 left out of the blog:

    5a Apt to talk impudently and storM OUT HYsterically, somewhat (6)

    12a (Reason I’m top in)* criminal identity theft? (13)

    16a Prisoner’s faithful daughter understood (9)

    17a Periodical about flow of electricity (9)

    19a Plymouth bowler that might be after a duck? (5)

    22a Painter appeals to trendy sultana, say (6)
    R.A. IS IN

    2d Frantic mother flipped (3)

    4d (Alf’s once even)* played with an ex of Henry’s (4,2,6)

    8d Painful sound from the obsolete recording (4)
    YE LP

    11d Portray with less abundance, yet solvent (5,7)

    14d Are false teeth holding against exciting experiences? (10)
    A(re) D V(ersus) ENTURES. See above for explanation of A(re).

    24d Finish level or nearly level (3)
    TIE (R)

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