Times Saturday 23964 (July 12)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 7:58

One of the easiest Saturday puzzles for me for a long time. The clues are all cryptically sound and the surface readings all make sense, but they just seemed really easy to parse, particularly the first half-dozen or so down clues.

1 MASQUERADE – square* inside MADE
6 BATS – STAB reversed
9 INORDINATE – A(rea) inside rendition*
10 HAIL – double def.
12 CHARM OFFENSIVE – very straightforward charade.
14 TURTLE – T(ime) + ‘URTLE
15 PENITENT – PEN + IT + ten* – “about a cardinal”, slightly dodgy but required to run the surface into the next clue.
[ Actually should be PEN + (TEN inside IT), and nothing wrong with the wordplay at all – Thanks, Tom ]
17 FEMININE – FE + M + I + NINE (ten’s predecessor from 15A)
19 PEOPLE – first and last letters, i.e. “cases” of PrivatE OwnershiP LegitimisE. “Country folk” should be read as “the folk who live in a country”.
22 NOISE POLLUTION – nice cryptic definition with a bogus homophone indicator to catch the unwary.
24 RUBY – middle letter removed from RUGBY, Lions being the British and Irish Lions.
25 INDECOROUS – (O so crude in)*, &lit.
26 EDGY – hidden in “inexperiencED GYnaecologist”

1 MAIM – IMAM with the I moved down.
2 SMOTHER – S(on) + MOTHER. Too easy!
4 RANDOM – (nor mad)*
5 DUTY-FREE – DUTY + FREE. Another really easy charade.
7 AVARICE – A(nge)R inside A VICE
8 SELF-ESTEEM – L(iberal) + F(emale) inside SEES (ensures) + TEEM (fall heavily).
11 INCIDENT ROOM – C in (monitored in)*, semi &lit.
13 STAFF NURSE – STAFF + NURSE ( = harbour, as e.g. a grudge). I like the def. “tender below top level”.
16 ANNOUNCE – N(ote) inside AN OUNCE
18 MAILBAG – IL (Italian for “the”), between MA and BAG.
20 PROVOST – V (see) + OR reversed inside POST. V is short for Latin vide.
21 CLIENT – LIEN inside CT
23 USER – H removed from USHER

6 comments on “Times Saturday 23964 (July 12)”

  1. About 12 mins, certainly suggesting it was on the easy side. 6A was my favourite. I think IT is a container in 15A, so TEN’s not scrambled.

    Tom B.

  2. This was an “easy” one judging by the lack of scribblings in the margins of my A4 sheet. Just MA SQUERA DE, UNDER BLANK ET and DOURCNIOES are there.

    I had my very first RUBY MURRAY with team mates from the Hereford 2nd XV. Good to see that the B&I Lions like one too.

    No omissions from the blog – there could have been quite a few. Phew.

    1. At some stage (which you may have just reached), I stopped omitting answers completely. I always thought our reasons for omitting some were a bit spurious anyway – something to do with not competing with the Times Crossword “Helpline”, especially for Saturday puzzles.
      1. Thanks Linxit – I think you are correct – this was the second of your Saturday blogs where all answers were included. Likewise YFYAP has started on Sundays and is including everything. I shall continue with my 10 year retrospectives and comment on the excellent blogs if there is something that I can contribute. It was back to normal with the next Monday puzzle though (Mon 14th July) where half of the grid was left out of the blog.

        One thing that crops up from time to time is that the blog has been “Frozen”. It is not possible to comment on these. Do you know how this happens and if anything can be done?

        1. Some of them inexplicably became spam bait and attracted hundreds of messages advertising anything from viagra pills to knock-off Louis Vuitton luggage to spiritual advice from African witch doctors (seriously!). I think the record was over 1000 spams on one George Heard blog.

          Those are the ones that are blocked.

Comments are closed.