Times Saturday 23922

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
I was away on a walking weekend in the Malverns last week, but had a gout attack and had to sit out the 9½-mile walk the rest of them suffered through, which meant I was able to solve this without interruption in the pub garden over a nice cold pint of cider instead 😀

Solving time 12:45, with the only problem being that I put PROVOCATION in for 10A at first without properly reading the clue, but I lost less than a minute because of that.


10 PRO,VOCATIVE – the vocative case in Latin is used when calling someone by name, e.g. “Et tu, Brute”.
15 RIME – two meanings, as RIME is an old spelling of rhyme. Also ref. Robert Frost, the American poet, for the surface reading.
16 J,A,MAI(CAIN)N – the famous novel by Daphne du Maurier.
29 PARADOR (RADA pro)* – never heard of it myself, but it was easy enough to guess from the anagram fodder. A castle in Spain that’s been converted into a luxury hotel.


1 WHAT FOR – very nice double definition, although the slang term might not be familiar to non-Brits?
3 LAPS,US – Latin for a slip, as in the phrase lapsus calami, a slip of the pen.
4 WHOLESALER – sounds like “whole sailor”.
7 (f)U(z)Z,I
8 EM(b)ERS,ON – another American poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
13 U,N(IN,HABIT)E(e)D – unless I’ve misread this, INHABIT (or IN HABIT) is clued by “practice”, which doesn’t work for me. HABIT’s OK, but IN doesn’t seem to be included in the wordplay.
17 PROU(D,E)ST – the Frenchman writing is Marcel Proust.
18 IMPASTO – (top as I’m)*
20 GREENE,(caree)R – another well-known author, Graham Greene.
24 (t)ORY,X

I found the pie chart hard to judge this week, as all the literary references were well known to me, so I’m open to suggestions about the scoring. Much easier than last week’s puzzle though, which scored 13.5!

Category Score Clues
Religion 0
Literature 3 8,16,(17),(20)
Music 0
Visual Arts 0
Popular Culture 1 1D (Brit slang)
Sport & Games 0
Natural World 0
Science & Tech 0
Geography 0.5 (1A)
History 0
Other 2 3,10 (Latin)
Total 6.5

6 comments on “Times Saturday 23922”

  1. Linxit, I think this is parsed as: UNI-N(HABIT)-ED so the IN is part of UNI=university. Jimbo.
  2. I found this the easiest Saturday one in memory and polished it off in just over 8 minutes. Still plenty of good stuff though. My faves were the two 1s. As a fellow gout sufferer, I’d like to thank Linxit for his inspiration in providing me with an excuse to stay in the pub while the others do the walking.
  3. Funny this one – seeing that this was going to print as two pages, I asked for it to be truncated to one, so I missed the second line of 29a. with P-R-D-R I thought PARADOR was the best candidate and wrote it in, then forgot that I was going to go back and check what the clue was.

    This was easy but nice for a Saturday, and I think the third time I’ve seen JAMAICA INN sneak into a crossword, so wasn’t fooled. 1a made me smile and we were away.

  4. I liked the 1s, 25a STAGE FRIGHT and 2a IN-HOUSE, and my favourite, 14d MATCHING UP, which was clever and witty.

    Enjoyable enough, though I’d prefer the Saturday puzzles to be a bit tougher than this, really.

  5. Alcohol is apparently contra-indicated for gout but on the other hand cider (vinegar) is supposed to be good. If in doubt – go to the pub!

    It must have been good scrumpy as half the crossword has been deemed too easy for inclusion in the blog:

    5a (Heinous)* acts within the organisation (2-5)

    9a Maybe rifle a room (3)
    A RM

    11a Lots and lots of money (8)
    FORTUNE. Double def of lots = fates and fortune = lots of money?

    12a Look into wage reductions resulting in strikes (6)
    C LO UTS. I like “clout” nails – good descriptive name.

    19a Criminal kepT HUGe stashes (4)

    22a From the outset passengers hate being stuck on platform (6)

    25a Coach has struggle to contain actor’s latest attack of nerves (5,6)

    27a Barrel holding many gallons – a large number, you say (3)

    28a Hanging from cab, end drops off exhaust (7)
    OVER TAX (i)

    2d Being exposed to disrepute, made concessions (11)

    5d Smooth succinct summary of Reagan’s autobiography (4)
    I RON. Not Claudius.

    6d Form of restraint could make (lad choke)* (8)

    21d One wallops child held by sister (6)
    S MITE R

    26d Expert runner knows no limits (3)
    (P) ACE (R)

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