Times Saturday 23868 (Mar 22)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 15:42

Bit of a rush job today I’m afraid. One day I’ll learn how to manage my time better!


10 AM(I,NO(A)C)ID – tricky wordplay here: I + CON rev with A inside it, all inside AMID.
12 P(ROB)ITY – doesn’t work for me. You rob a person, but you nick their property. You could rob a safe, but you’d only nick the contents.
13 HEAR(TSEARCH)ING – (the scar)*. Slowed me down a bit when I accidentally entered this in the space for 17A. Lots of Tippex was used!
17 S(OUT,H) AUSTRALIA – i.e. OUT,H inside (air assault)*. H for hydrogen is the explosive element.
23 BRITTEN – “Britain”.
25 S(WEAR)WORD – good surface.
26 A BUS,(diseas)E – another good deceptive surface, and an inventive definition of a bus, “one caught”.


1 PAST,I,CHE – CHE as in Guevara, a “red”.
2 NIGER – REGIN(a) reversed. Can’t remember what I put at first for this, but there’s more Tippex here!
4 I,MAGINE – this is ‘enigma’ reversed, but with the last two characters swapped.
6 PHOTO(n)
8 RED-EYE – E from last letter of programme, in “re-dye”
18 A,MOROS(e),O
22 (n)EARLY

9 comments on “Times Saturday 23868 (Mar 22)”

  1. Can anyone explain the presence of “given” in 26A? The clue suggests “abused” to me rather than “abuse” but I’m probably missing something.
    1. No, I can’t. We may be missing something but I fear this is another example of superfluous words being added to enhance surface reading. The other day we had “Circle Line” and “circle” was I think added to make sense of the reading. The answer was ARC and an arc is a curved line in the sense that it is part of a circle which is itself a line that is at all times equidistant from a central point. Jimbo.
      1. Thanks, Jimbo. Glad to know it’s not just me.

        I also made a note when solving to query the presence of “dirty” in 19D but when I looked at it again today it didn’t seem quite so bad. I don’t think it’s strictly necessary for the wordplay to work but perhaps it improves the surface a little.

        1. Glad to read that the experts also had problems with “given” and “dirty”!
          Re “abuse” though, I don’t understand the cryptic part either! Please explain?
          1. “Given poor treatment, one caught disease in the end”.

            “One caught” is A BUS, “disease in the end” is E.

  2. Now I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that, whilst of Jewish ancestry, Disraeli was most emphatically not Jewish. He was baptised, for heaven’s sake!

    Look at that, two rants in my first morning on the comments.


    1. Spot on. I’ve just checked and both his parents were Jewish but he was baptised an Anglican at age 13. Jimbo.
  3. There are XI “easies” not in the blog:

    6a Model question master? (5)

    9a See something ugly (5)
    SIGHT. As in to SIGHT something is to SEE it and a SIGHT being a term for something not very pretty?

    21a AnoTHER ETOnian’s confined to that place (7)

    27a Stop to eat a Malaysian dish (5)
    S A TAY

    28a Where acne cream applied immediately (2,3,4)
    ON THE SPOT. Ears pierced while you wait?

    5d Tourist sees topless dancer (7)

    7d Shifting (coastline)* in certain parts (9)

    14d In harmony, people needing time for reparation (9)

    16d Willingly taking exam, though most dim (8)
    FAIN TEST. Where FAIN is an archaic term for willingly. I would fain take that test.

    20d Old German coppers and shilling wanted in absence of change (6)

    24d Head of Tudor behind ruff (5)
    T RUMP. To ruff is to trump in Bridge in case you did not know?

Comments are closed.