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23,427 - easy enough

Solving time 6:12

Didn't take long, but quite a few clues to explain. I'll try to expand my explanations a little, given the comment's on Mark's style while I was away.

1D=500,I,STRICT - quarter as in "Latin quarter"
11SACK,C,LOTH (answer to 19 = TO BOOT = sack)
12RUDD=fish,I,GORE=spear - Ruddigore is a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta
13NAEVI - rev. of I've,a,N
14SPUTNIK - anag. (Included just in case younger readers don't know the word ...)
16DRIVE-(i)N = the cinema
18E.(SCOR = rocs rev.)T.
20JACK,T.A.,R - slang for a sailor
22(c)RURAL - crural = relating to the leg or thigh
27CUD,GEL - batter = verb in this clever wordplay
28GRA(DIE)NT - die (singular of "dice", which is sing. or plural) = gambling equipment

1DEF(ORES)T - showing dexterity = deft, rocks of econ. interest = ORES
2SWORD - seems to be a plain definition, but SWORD = anag. of "words" too.
4C,A,S,SOCK - footwear not being SHOE or a type thereof fooled me for a moment
6SECOND,INCOME(e),MAN,D='finally demoted'. Not madly keen on "to" between def'n and wordplay but it makes a good surface reading.
7A(TONE,ME)NT - soldier = ANT, me = ME, so Wolfe must be TONE. Turns out post-solving that Theobald Wolfe Tone was an early Irish republican. "is to make" is a rather epic def'n / wordplay link, but seems a fair one.
9S,CREED = articles as in Henry VIII's Six Articles of 1539 (good thing I've read a fair amount of Tudor history lately).
15UN=one (as in "The Pink 'Un" for the FT),SCRE(W)ED - with the ellipsis (...) at the beginning indicating the use of the answer to the previous clue, rather than an overlap of clues or (as most commonly) a combined surface meaning.
20JAN.,ITOR=rev. of roti, yet another kind of bread you can get at the curry house.
21T,RAGIC = cigar rev.
24AWARE - hidden word, with "for trapping" as a rather novel hidden word indicator

Indie 6246 - Tees
Took 5:59 - mostly easy, but a pause at the end to conclude that 1D had to be NAIL SET, which is indeed a tool - some kind of cold chisel thing. Some very nice clues, such as 1A, 7, 14, 16, 24, 6, 15. 1A as a sample: Lack of interest shown bu Nixon, in a word (7,5) = NOTHING DOING ("nix on").

Weekend non-Times round-up
Guardian 23,903 (Pasquale) 8:43 - Nice thematic puzzle of a kind that the Guardian used to do more often - a gentle introduction to the sort of tricks you get in more advanced puzzles.
Indie 6245 (Monk) 39:20 - Very tough thematic puzzle, but came out in the end.
Times Jumbo 665 41:10 - Should have been quicker but carelessly wrote OLIVER TWIST at 34D in the grid, instead of next to the clue as something that happened to fit and tied in with a word or two in the clue. Correct answer was a new word for me.

Azed not yet tackled


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 23rd, 2006 01:11 pm (UTC)
Welcome back ...
.. Mr B.
Re 15D it's nice to see the ellipsis being used in this way, rather than merely to dress up the surface sense.
I was surprised to see Wolfe Tone as well. If it's his debut mention in a Times clue it comes later for him than Saturday's unexpected debut for Blair (!)

Oct. 23rd, 2006 01:29 pm (UTC)
15D: I rather liked the (intentional??) assocation of unscrewed to wife (to be? or of too long??)..

Is NAEVI very familiar? (perhaps in xwdland?). I sort of worked it out from the wordplay given N???I but had to use the dictionary to convince myself.
Oct. 24th, 2006 07:33 am (UTC)
Re: unscrewed
NAEVI is a bit of a crossword special - probably the only choice for N?E?I, and an alternative to the fairly overworked NAOMI for N???I. I think the first time I saw it I mentally confirmed it via "birthmark" and words like "natal" and "née", which brings back memories of a Latin teacher asking "What words do we get from this?". I've never heard it in real life.
Oct. 24th, 2006 08:06 am (UTC)
Naevi etc
Naevi is a bit like yashmak, which I've only ever seen in crosswords, dictionaries and pub quizzes. Of the many different types of Muslim veil, I've never seen or heard of a real-life example of a Y-S-M-K !

Oct. 24th, 2006 11:58 am (UTC)
Re: Naevi etc
I'm fairly sure I first saw YASHMAK in a Jennings story where he and Darbyshire were dressing up as masked gunslingers or some such. I now wonder whether Anthony Buckeridge picked up the word in turn from the Times or Telegraph crossword ...

(I quickly found out how deeply uncool Jennings was among Croydon grammar school boys and girls when an English teacher asked us to read a bit of a favourite book, some time around 1972.)
Oct. 24th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
Welcome Back
this is my best Times crossword to date with 17 clues completed!

Please do keep as much info coming as possible, for instance the info about dead = D not being allowed in the times and I think I read that only dead people and the Queen are allowed(although the comment about Blair has left me doubting this now).

These will all help us that are starting out and who are learning these rules.

Peter W.

Oct. 24th, 2006 07:43 am (UTC)
Re: Welcome Back
Blair is not Tony! Further explanation on Friday with rest of Sat puzzle.

Will try to include snippets for newer solvers, but best advice is to learn by observation, and ask about any clues that puzzle you when you see the solution but aren't explained here.
Oct. 24th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
October 23 5 across = Island
Please explain wordplay. Island = key but "I tried for this" eludes me. The first failure on my part to understand a clue for some time.
Many thanks and thank you also for this site which I much enjoy.
Barry J
Oct. 25th, 2006 03:31 am (UTC)
Re: October 23 5 across = Island
From memory, I think the clue actually says "I used for this" or similar.

On maps, "I" is used to indicate island - Trowlock I. for example, or even IoM, in the same way that River = R is used in crosswords as in R. Thames.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )