Times Saturday 23826 (Feb 02)

Solving time 12:55

Almost a pangram, with just the X missing – which is quite surprising as it would have been quite easy to fit the X in, e.g. with NEXT at 25D, changing 28A to STEW so as not to lose the W.


1 INDECOROUS (so rude in co)* – excellent &lit. to start things off.
9 TEA LEAF – Cockney rhyming slang for a thief – one of those that’s too easy if you know it, and totally mystifying if you don’t.
12 PYTHAGORAS (graph say to)* – Greek mathematician well-known for his theorem for calculating the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle.
20 AS,SIGN – “detail” here with the military meaning of setting aside for a task.
24 LOVEY-DOVEY – I liked the use of “billing and cooing” here to suggest DOVE in the answer.
26 CHANCER – CHANCEL with the L “changing sides” to R.
27 A,N.I.,MATE


1 (sh)INTO
2 DEARY ME (a remedy)*
3 CZECH(“check”),RE,PUBLIC
4 RE(FUG)E(l)
8 GAY,(GO,R),DONS – I spent a while trying to understand the wordplay of this clue, and see it as GO(energy) and R(un) surrounded by GAY DONS (jolly fellows), with no need or use for the word “up”. It doesn’t really improve the surface reading either.
11 JUST (SO S)TORIES – SOS inside (sort Jesuit)*. This was a set of children’s stories by Rudyard Kipling.
14 GOLD,I,LOCKS – I was a bit puzzled about why GOLD is “like bull” when I wrote this in, but then remembered that it’s the colour of the bull in an archery target. I thought “one fairly shocked” was a great cryptic definition too.
21 ITERATE – hidden in “screenwrITER AT Elstree”.
22 BYPASS – “buy pass”.

4 comments on “Times Saturday 23826 (Feb 02)”

  1. I enjoyed this one very much, making a slowish clean sweep in 7:57.

    I thought “up” in 8D was OK, with “jolly up” (= “try to make cheerful”) appropriate for something you would do to “fellows without energy” in the surface reading, and “up fellows” = “fellows at university” = DONS in the wordplay. (“Jolly” is an interesting double definition: “jolly” = “very” = GAY (for Scots); and “jolly” = “merry” = GAY.)

    I’m grateful for your explanation of 22D which I hadn’t twigged, failing to spot “by … say” = “buy”. (Doh!)

    I’ll go for 1A as my COD – a fine clue that got me off to a good start.

  2. I assume 13 ac is ado. I don’t have access to the site nor the paper and, the way the T is going, I may never have!
    Ado = fuss but it’s “abandoning love” taht no comprendo.
    Thanks in advance

  3. There are 10 omissions from this blog. One of these was queried and explained at the time but here they are in full:

    6a Report precisely (4)
    BANG. I can see the report side of this double definition but I would have thought that precisely would be bang-on?

    13a Fuss about abandoning love (3)
    ADO (RE). It is the about (RE) that is doing the abandoning to leave the fuss.

    15a First goal in game is key (6)

    23a C L a I m E d regularly to be … (3)
    L I E. Can this equal BE – presumably as in LIVE?

    28a Slough’s the place for bikes (4)

    29a Endless parking (in streets)* all over the place (10)

    5d Raised demand for quality (8)

    17d Deliberately difficult for every rhyme (8)

    19d Discharge notice covering one side of paper (7)

    25d Travelled north in the rain (4)
    WE N T

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