Times Saturday 23940 (June 14th)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 13:05

Sorry this is a bit late – I had a busy weekend, but now I can’t sleep so here I am doing the blog at 4am on Monday morning!


1 IN W(ITH) A SHOUT – i.e. hit* inside IN WASH-OUT, foretelling the second ODI between England and New Zealand!
9 ER(RAT)IC – an eric is a blood-fine paid by a murderer to his victim’s family in old Irish law.
11 WERT,HER – eponymous hero of The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe.
12 MARTINU – unit,ram rev. Bohuslav Martinů was a Czech composer.
14 DE(CREME)NT – I don’t like CREME = liqueur, and that meaning isn’t given in Chambers either, other than in the names of liqueurs such as crème de cacao or crème de menthe.
16 ENAC,T(MEN)T – cane rev + MEN inside TT. My online printout has the clue starting “A bout…”, but the clue only works if that should be “About..”
21 DEB,’UNKS – “shows up” in the sense “shows to be false”.
24 YARD(AG)E – ready* around AG (silver).
25 ATISHOO – “a tissue”, excellent &lit. homophone clue.
26 MAKE A KILLING – “Hounds nowadays can’t…” – seeing that fox-hunting is now illegal.


1 INF(ERN)O – ref. Ernie Wise, the comedian.
3 TO,NB,RIDGE – a town in Kent 4 miles north of Tunbridge Wells, which confused me, as did the spelling, but the wordplay left no alternative.
5 HAR(D)ROE – i.e. D(inner) inside HARROW, with the W changed to E.
7 A,SH,WEDNESDAY – first day of Lent, and ref. the football team Sheffield Wednesday.
15 CATERWAUL – loose homophone of “cat a wall”
17 ALBERT,A – Jasper is a place in Alberta, but the wordplay was easy enough that it certainly wasn’t necessary to check that out.
19 SAS,HIM,I – I like “us together” = HIM + I
22 SLEEK – capsizes = “keels over”

3 comments on “Times Saturday 23940 (June 14th)”

  1. Collins gives “creme” as “any of various sweet liqueurs” before going on to list some examples.

    The homophone at 25 doesn’t work if one is v. posh. Imagine Brian Sewell saying “tissue”!

    I also liked HIM+I at 19.

    I wish they would sort out the extra gaps in the on-line version; they seem to occur almost daily.

  2. I’ll add my voice to those wishing they would sort the e-versions of the crosswords. Surely it can’t be that difficult and things like “a bout” can be quite confusing. This was an easy, very straightforward puzzle. They do seem to have a thing about Ernie Wise at the moment and I wonder if ERN is completely fair? No suggestion in the clue that the name is truncated so how do they justify the contraction? Would Humph do for Bogart? Jimbo.
  3. I agree that A bout instead of About in 16a was misleading – I was looking for something connected to boxing before I concatenated it and realised that it is a reversal indicator.

    In defence of the setter on Ernie Wise, Eric Morecambe DID usually call him Ern. An example of this was Eric enquiring about his oppo’s need for a cuppa – “Tea Ern”? This requires knowledge of British popular culture but this is the Times of London.

    No problem with the homophone at 25a A TISSUE (bless you) works fine round these ‘ere parts.

    There are 8 “easies” not in the blog:

    8a The stigma of additive found in rice (7)
    SAFFRON. Derived from the reproductive parts of a species of Crocus grown in the Middle East – especially in NE Iran.

    13a Flag day initially has disappointing return (5)
    D ROOP. Reason for an increase in Chugging?

    19a Worker in field not so quick, left out (5)
    S (L) OWER

    23a Be a soldier again, but not in the front line (7)

    4d A big smile across the deck (5)
    A BEAM

    10d Singer’s disc several pounds, we are told (12)

    18d Cheap material soluble (in water)* (7)

    20d African native has (a growth)* needing surgery (7)
    WARTHOG. I was messing about with growth = WART and how to get HOG out of “needing surgery” until I saw the anagram. Doh!

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