vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times 24814 - Suitable for beginners?

Solving time:23 minutes

Music: Symphony #4, Horenstein/LSO

This was an unusually easy puzzle that only caused me a little trouble. I couldn't see a couple of obvious ones in the SE, and got held up a little bit after racing through most of it in under 15 minutes, a good time for me. I mostly didn't bother with the cryptics, and may have to figure some of them out as I write the blog.

As indicated, rank beginners might be able to solve a substantial portion of this one, or even finish.

One hour later

After writing the blog, there are two cryptics I am not entirely satisfied with, even thought the answers are absolutely certain. I am not sure if I am obtuse, or the puzzle is not well-clued, or the real clues got mangled in the typesetting. Well, that's why we have comments here, so go at it.

1SIGMA, middle letter of Aesop, but not really. His name is spelled alpha, iota, sigma, omega, pi, omicron, sigma, so the middle letter is actually omega. The setter must have thought he was third declension, but he is second.
4PROTOCOLS, PRO + TO(C)OLS. PRO is indicated by 'for', since a drill is not a pro tool, but is used by amateurs everywhere.
8CROCODILE TEARS. CROCODILE(TEAR)S. I suspect there is an allusion to a children's game or rhyme that I don' t know, so I open the floor to our erudite commenters.
11DREAR, DR + EAR. The cryptic is a little awkward, with 'demanding' not serving much of a function.
12TROPPO, OP + PORT backwards.
14FORGIVEN, FORG(IV)E + N[ote]. I never liked N = 'note', but there you are.
17NEONATAL, N(anagram of ONE)ATAL. The answer is telegraphed by the literal, no need for the cryptic.
18VESSEL, double definition, where a bark is a ship. I was expecting something a little fancier.
20NURSE, triple definition. I got it from the fish, and only then realized that Florence Nightingale was meant.
22ECCENTRIC, E(C + CENT)RIC. Another clue where 'fellow' can indicate any male name.
24WESTERNISATION, anagram of STEW IN ORIENT, AS. Why westernisation would improve the cuisine is not clear.
25PSALTERY, PSALTER + Y. Not the first book you think of, but reasonably fair.
1Omitted, need I say?
2GROOM, G[iven} + ROOM.
3APOCRYPHA, anagram of HAPPY, CORA. One of the most well-known books in that disputed seuuence.
5OVERLOOK, OVER = deliveries in cricket, LOOK = butcher's hook in Cockney rhyming slang.
6OREAD, O + RE + AD. The Royal Engineers, however, do not in themselves constitute a whole army, so a little weak.
7OURSELVES, anagram of LOVERS SUE, a classic lift and separate, where 'us, emphatically' is the literal.
9TRANSLUCENCY, TRA[i]NS + ???. It ought to be a 'C' inside a particular city, but I don't see it. Suggestions? OK, Sotira has it. The crytic is LUCE inserted into TRA[i]NS, N(C)Y. My problem was taking 'Filmy quality of fish' as the literal.
13ODOURLESS, [p]O[p]S[y] around DOUR LES, another arbitrary man's name.
16CAREFREE, CA (chartered accountant) + REF[e]REE.
21EXTOL, hidden in [middles]EX TO L[ondon]. This meaning of 'crack up' is mostly used in negative phrases, e.g. 'not all he's cracked up to be'.
23REIGN, sounds like rain, i.e.CATS AND DOGS!
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