Times Saturday 23952 (June 28)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 13:10 – should have been quicker but it took me a couple of minutes to get TIPCAT at the end. Some bits of obscure knowledge may be required, but I don’t think there’s anything that can’t be worked out from the wordplay.


1 R(A,BID)ITY – RITY being (I try)*
5 T(1,PC)AT – I convinced myself early on that rubbish = ROT, and almost invented the game RIPCOT!
11 F,REYA (Ayer reversed) – Freya is the Norse goddess of love, and who we get Friday from.
12 ELECT,RA – Burlington House is the HQ of the Royal Academy, Electra was the daughter of Agamemnon in Greek mythology.
13 NIR(VAN)A – NIRA being rain*
14 DERMATOLOGIST (Old timer’s got a)*
20 (p)ADDED UP – one for cricket fans!
21 A,M,OR,O,SO – OR = Other Ranks = soldiers, AMOROSO in this sense is a musical term.
23 U(NAP)T – NAP in ‘UT
25 E,CH(eat),OED


1 RAPPER – “wrapper”. I disagree with the definition “musician” though…
3 DOGS,TAR – another name for Sirius, which is in the constellation Canis Major.
4 THOMAS A KEMPIS (to make mishaps)* – a medieval theologian, made easy because of the enumeration. I only checked the anagram fodder later.
7 C(H)EVALIER – H(orse) inside (vile race)*
8 TE(A PART)Y – APART in YET rev.
10 PINHOLE CAMERA (car phone, email)* – I put in CAMERA straight away, but it took a minute to get PINHOLE from (phone,il)*
15 IMM(AT)URE – AT = TA rev.
17 LA(DET)TE – TED rev. I love the definition of this in Chambers: “a lively young woman who enjoys social behaviour of a kind associated with young men”.
19 GO(O)GOL – 10100, Chambers says it was coined by Edward Kasner, but I remember reading somewhere that his nine-year-old son made it up. The Russian writer is Nicolai Gogol, author of Taras Bulba (which has also been seen as a clue answer in the Times in the last year or so).
22 ORI(s)ON

6 comments on “Times Saturday 23952 (June 28)”

  1. Also around 30 minutes.

    Good puzzle. I liked DOG STAR and ADDED UP, ECHOED and 15d IMMATURE (for reminding me of a rare and lovely word – immure’). AMOROSO has a lovely surface.

    I guess ‘rap musician’ is a common enough collocation, which probably makes 1d okay, but it took me ages to understand the clue.

  2. I read the ‘Am’ as just ‘amateur’, ‘am dram’ being a common term in the UK to describe those charming, and so very numerous, productions of The Importance of Being Earnest at the village hall.
    1. I sidetracked myself. I meant to add that I think it’s often capitalized as ‘Am Dram’.
  3. Who’d have thought that “pinhole camera” would turn out to be an anagram of “car phone email” ? Googol was the answer to the £1,000,000 question when the coughing major made tv history. See here
  4. I am surprised that the “anti cluing obscure words and names with anagrams” brigade have not been out in force.

    I was tempted by Thomas A Mekpis at 4d as in “Makepeace” but, despite this, I did get the correct combination from the checkers and the anagrist. Was this just luck or is that name lurking in the far back reaches of my cranium?

    According to Wiki:The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis is a Christian devotional book. It was first composed in Latin ca. 1418–1427. It is a handbook for spiritual life arising from the Devotio Moderna movement, of which Kempis was a member.

    Yeah right – required reading for all Times X-word solvers – best read in the original Latin?

    There are 7 “easies” not in this blog:

    9a Gathering of the very young in Am Dram Soc? (9)
    PLAY GROUP. Sotira I see your Importance of Being Earnest and raise you Blithe Spirit (the musical version with 6 songs added) in 2003 by New City Players.

    16a One may find copper in underground operation (5,8)
    METAL DETECTOR. I’m not clear on the validity of the clue? Surely these devices are operated overground in order to find the buried metal?

    24a Getting across winter terrain? It’s killing they say (9)

    2d Support church gives couple (5)
    BRA C.E.

    6d Reckon only a small number will be in hell (7)
    INFER No.

    14d Labour excessively – it’s murder (2,2,5)
    DO TO DEATH. With Slaying at 24a I’m getting a bit nervous about this one.

    18d Yet little time is needed for deliberation (7)

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