Times Saturday 23928 (31 May)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 8:46 – very easy for a Saturday, although the tricky wordplay for 1A took much longer for me to understand than the whole puzzle did to solve!


1 LA(CON)IC – took me a long time to see the wordplay here, with “lines” as a verb.
5 SCRATCH – one of the many nicknames of the Devil.
11 O,PART – wouldn’t normally have mentioned this clue, but Bridget Riley (see 10A) is one of the most famous practitioners of this art form.
24 T(HR)EE – “day unit” for HR (hour) seems a bit clumsy to me.
27 YANG,T(rust),ZE(n) – longest river in China, and third longest in the world behind the Nile and Amazon.


2 C,ARC,ASS – Bumble’s law is from Oliver Twist: “If the law supposes that,” said Mr Bumble … “the law is a ass — a idiot.”
7 T(R)ELL,IS – I don’t think I’d describe it as garden equipment though.
8 HE,LPMEET (temple*) – formed from a phrase in Genesis 2:18, “an help meet for him”.
13 PAINTED LADY – a type of butterfly, but Whistler’s Mother is a famous work of art by James Whistler.
Category Score Clues
Religion 1 8
Literature 1 2
Music 0
Visual Arts 1.5 (11),13
Popular Culture 1 5A (slang)
Sport & Games 0
Natural World 1 4
Science & Tech 0
Geography 1 27
History 0
Other 0
Total 6.5

7 comments on “Times Saturday 23928 (31 May)”

  1. After 6 puzzles the categories heading the parade are History and Geography with Literature just behind in third place. Bringing up the rear is Science and Technology.

    Agreed last Saturday’s puzzle was an easy one with no particular discussion points from my perspective. Jimbo.

    1. Easy enough to solve, I agree, but 1,24 and 10 took some thinking through to explain. I’m still not completely convinced by 10. To live the life of Riley is to live well, but if “live” is the definition, how exactly does “the life of Riley” = “well”?

  2. So, my two worst subjects in my schooldays head the list. Should have known.

    Very easy puzzle. In the debit column – 24a THREE is convoluted in the worst way. But balancing the books is 25a PLATITUDE which is a delight.

  3. My second sub-10 Saturday in a row at 9:05. I think I’d prefer Saturdays to be a bit trickier really because I have more time to enjoy them. IF I had a problem it was with HELPMEET which is a new word to me, but the wordplay and a few checkers made it very gettable. Speaking of tricky, has anybody had a go at last Saturday’s Jumbo? Sheesh! I still haven’t finished it.
    I’m off to print off today’s now and see if I can knock up my hat trick.
    1. Last Sat’s Jumbo:

      Yes, I’ve been digging away at it in short sessions all week. I’ve completed about 2/3rds but I’m bored to death with it now and can’t even be bothered to cheat on-line to complete it. I shall check the remaining answers when they are put up on the club site.

  4. I’m not discussing last Saturday’s Jumbo, but there was a slight theme going which helps. I found this one to be a pretty easy Saturday, I didn’t get the wordplay at 3, but the clue is easy enough, thanks for the explanation, linxit.
  5. Oh but that were true…

    This one was considered soooo easy that just over half of the answers have been omitted from the blog. Here they are:

    10a Live the life of Riley in pursuit of diamonds (5)
    D WELL. I’m with jackkt on this one – don’t quite understand how life of Riley = well.

    12a Dreadful (bloomer)* capturing pawn alongside knight? Don’t worry about it! (2,7)
    N O P ROBLEM. Where N and P are chess abbreviations for Knight & Pawn.

    14a The faintest star is this, to my knowledge (2,3,2,1,3,3)

    17a Principled walk (14)

    21a Fail to appreciate the earth’s greatest beauty (4,5)

    23a Passage into Indi A IS LE ngthy (5)

    25a Familiar tune from piano room (9)
    P LATITUDE. Nice one.

    26a Walker – one going on and on? (7)

    3d Turn (agent into)* intermediary (9)

    5d Chance to speak, for example (3)
    SAY. You can have your 5d as long as you don’t become a 26a.

    6d Went on back of bronco, here? (5)
    RODE O

    15d Love – how much bother can you take? (9)
    ADO RATION. More? No thanks.

    19d Attack a sailor verbally (7)
    ASSAULT. You flippin’ matelot you!

    20d Demanding split, end in divorce (6)

    22d Joyful shout of cyclist, perhaps, reaching left turn (5)
    WHEE L. I have been cycling for over 55 years now and have never shouted Whee – as far as I remember.

    25d Blow up, as standard (3)
    PAR. Or RAP backwards.

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