Times Saturday 23856 (Mar 8th)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 20:11, one mistake (2D)

I found this quite tricky and got stuck for a while half way through, then finally got one of the clues I was stuck on and suddenly the rest all fell into place. It goes like that sometimes.


1 ONE-TO-ONE – tricky wordplay here: O (sport centre), then ET inside NO-ONE, with the indication for NO-ONE referring back to the rest of the surface reading.
5 PRO,PUP – “new setter, perhaps” for PUP is easy enough to spot here, but in another clue might have indicated N,I.
11 PA(RE)R – definition is “one prunes”, with the rest of the clue an instruction to put RE inside PAR.
10 UNI,CORN – the unicorn represents Scotland in the Royal coat of arms.
16 SOLOMON GRUNDY – MO in SO LONG + RUN + D(odg)Y. “Died on Saturday/Buried on Sunday“, so only lived for six days. Here‘s the full nursery rhyme.
20 ADELPHI (Helipad*) – big theatre on The Strand in London, currently showing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
21 TAN,KT,OP – OP (work) “on”=next to TAN (leather, as in to thrash someone) + KT (abbreviation for knots – nautical mph). At first I thought TAN was “work on leather”, but that left OP unaccounted for.
23 GI JOE – first letters of “greater interest jealous of Europe”.
26 S,KEG,NESS – seaside resort in Lincolnshire, site of the first Butlins holiday camp.


1 O,C(CUP)Y – the CY being a hollow C(avit)Y
2 EMOT,E – TOME rev + (scen)E, &lit. I originally had EVOKE for this and only spotted the correct answer when I was trying to figure out the wordplay for the blog.
3 OF SORTS – can’t really understand the wordplay here. I assume group=SORT, but how does “circulation following orders” give OFS? At least the definition’s OK, unlike in the T2 crossword on the same day, where it was defined as “of a somewhat inferior kind”. After a couple of wrong guesses from Bill and myself, “Anonymous” came up with the right answer – O=”group in circulation”, i.e. blood group, F=following, SORTS=orders. Brilliant clue!
7 PURP(OS,E)LY – E = the drug Ecstasy, i.e. tablet.
14 KILN,ER,JAR – ER is RE rev. (mounted on). A Kilner jar is a glass jar with an airtight lid, used for preserving fruit and veg.
15 ESCARGOT – cryptic definition, but not a great one.
18 NAN,KING – ha ha!
22 THOLE (hotel*) – a thole is a pin in the side of a boat to keep the oar in place. Hard word, easy clue.

5 comments on “Times Saturday 23856 (Mar 8th)”

  1. Not sure about this, but how about…

    circulation = reversal indicator
    following = F
    orders = standing order(s) = SO

    => following orders = FSO
    => circulation following orders = OSF


    1. That almost makes sense – I didn’t think of standing order(s), but that still gives OSF when OFS is required. I think there has to be another explanation.

      I’ve looked at it again and come up with an idea:

      in circulation = anagram indicator
      so ORTS = sort*

      That is following OF’S = orders, as OF can be Oddfellow, i.e. a member of the Ancient Order of Oddfellows, and the Order is just known as “The Oddfellows”.

      A bit of a stretch, but everything comes out in the right order! Still not convinced though.

      1. My take on this was “Group in circulation” = “O” from a reference to the blood group type. “following” = “F” does not seem unreasonable.
        1. Seems more than “not unreasonable”, sounds like the answer – well done, Anon.
  2. I managed to twig to EMOTE at 2d as my LOI. I too was tempted by EVOKE but could not parse it. Having said that OF SORTS at 3d had to be “after a fashion” but I am having difficulty following any attempts to explain the wordplay.

    There are 9 “easies” left on the bench:

    9a Is showing off bottom a sign of age? (5-4)
    CROWS FOOT. This was obvious once I stopped trying to fit MOON into the answer!

    12a Membrane’s energy conserved by more than one (7)

    14a Be reconciled after brush with constitution (4,3,4,2)

    24a Excess, I sense, not easy to shake off (9)

    25a Abuse sort of winds around one (6)
    T 1 RADE

    6d After accepting a little money, remains a model (7)
    RE P LIC A

    8d Old man runs and trips over roots (8)

    10d Vehicle rumbles above, so one can’t speak? (13)

    17d Crude (poem had)* one shocked (7)

Comments are closed.