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Saturday Times 25664 (21st December)

Solving time 14:42, again I had to wait two weeks before doing the blog due to the extended closing date, so can't remember too much about it now. I loved the long hidden reversal at 10ac though.

1 RAREST - R.A. (artist) + REST (holiday).
4 ABU DHABI - HABI(t) (practice endlessly) next to A BUD (a shoot).
10 COD LIVER OIL - hidden reversed in "Svengali - or evil doctor". I spotted this quickly but it's still brilliant.
11 SIR - first letters of "Son Is Required"
12 UPSTAGE - UP (hike, as in price) + STAGE (mount).
14 DRIES UP - double definition - the first about talking, the second suggesting the setter doesn't own a dishwasher!
15 STRIKE A BARGAIN - BAR (local) inside STRIKE AGAIN (make further impact).
17 AT DAGGERS DRAWN - (get grand awards)*
21 ETHICAL - HIC (what you might hear from drunkard) inside ET AL (and others).
22 FAN BELT - A + N.B. (nota bene = note well), inside FELT (experienced).
23 IDA - AID (charity), with the first letter moving to the end.
24 INSECTIVORA - (Race on ITV is)*
26 HEDONISM - DON (assume) + IS (one's), inside HEM (boundary).
27 SKERRY - SKY (the blue) around ERR (are out).

1 RECOURSE - RACECOURSE (sporting venue) minus AC (air conditioning).
2 RED - double definition.
3 SKI MASK - SKIM (take top off, e.g. milk) + ASK (request).
5 BLOOD SACRIFICE - (bar so cold)* + IF (provided) + ICE (something much colder).
6 DELVING - L,V,I (Roman figures) inside DENG (old Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping).
7 ASSASSINATE - AS SIN (so ugly, perhaps) inside ASS (silly) + ATE (used).
8 IRRUPT - first letters of "In Transmission" around PURR (sound content) reversed.
9 TELEVANGELISTS - (settling leaves)*
13 SCRATCH CARD - SCRATCH (expert at golf) + CARD (club perhaps).
16 UNSTEADY - (N, Tuesday)*, the N as the first letter of "next".
18 AUCTION - CAUTION (amusing chap), with the A and U rising to the top.
19 DUNKIRK - DUNK (dip) around KIR (alcoholic beverage).
20 DELISH - RELISH (pickle) with a new first letter.
25 OAR - BOARD (food) without the outside letters.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2014 09:13 am (UTC)
The only thing I can remember about this was that I was surprised to see ABU DHABI defined as a "country". But I figured that if a constituent kingdom of the UK is a country, then so is a constituent emirate of the UAE.
Jan. 4th, 2014 09:32 am (UTC)
Can't remember much except Across clues seemed easier than the Downs. I agree 10ac was the most notable clue.
Andy Borrows
Jan. 4th, 2014 11:39 am (UTC)
34 mins but my notes say I was full of cold at the time and I was falling asleep halfway through it, and to prove how poorly I must have been I had "upscale" for 12ac, which was my LOI. Looking at it again I don't know how I missed the obvious answer.

I agree that the hidden reverse at 10ac was very good, and I liked the clue for TELEVANGELISTS, although I seem to remember there was a similar clue recently.
Jan. 4th, 2014 02:06 pm (UTC)
This took me about 30 mins on a very crowded train to London on my way to the centenary celebrations.

The only notable thing I can remember about it all this time later is the splendid hidden reversal at 10a.
Jan. 4th, 2014 04:40 pm (UTC)
A tricky one that I remember caused me some annoyance due to having to dig out a pen and paper for a couple of the long anagrams (the hardship ...) Raised an eyebrow at ABU DHABI being defined as a country, as well as ICE (in 5D) being "something much colder".
Jan. 4th, 2014 05:21 pm (UTC)
I thought it was referring back to BLOOD in which case ICE would be something much colder.
Jan. 4th, 2014 06:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Ice
I think that was the intention, but it doesn't really work for me because blood doesn't exist in isolation in either the surface or cryptic readings. In the surface reading, the "something much colder" can only be referring to the "bar so cold", and in the cryptic reading it would be referring to the answer as constructed up to that point, i.e. BLOOD-SACRIF, which isn't a word. It's entirely possible that this train of thought makes sense to no-one except me.

Another alternative is that it's some vaguely &littish reference to the entire answer, but I'm not keen on that either.

Edited at 2014-01-04 06:40 pm (UTC)
Jan. 6th, 2014 12:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Ice
"Something much colder" refers to "bar so cold", in both readings of the clue. I don't think there's an issue with that, other than that the "bar" in question is assumed to be warmer than ice (!)
Jan. 4th, 2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
Well, I did it and have the handwritten thing in my hand but I do not remember much about it . It is bad enough having to wait for a week before discussing, let alone a fortnight.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )