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Saturday Times 25807 (7th June)

Solving time a fairly brisk 12:47, even more so as it took me a few minutes to get going with it. Some strange goings -on for the Times, more CD's than usual and the linked pair at 1 & 2 down. COD goes to 1ac I think, for the deceptively simple wordplay.

1 Ends from what you hear in revolutionary act (4)
TURN - last letters of what you hear in. Judging from comments on the Forum, a lot of people will be kicking themselves for not spotting this simple wordplay, but it was brilliantly disguised. I was looking for a homophone at first, and I bet I wasn't alone.
3 Grilling from a lot of lawyers and copper in person (10)
BARBECUING - BAR (a lot of lawyers) + CU (copper) inside BEING (person).
9 East European holding parts of film to screen, more or less (7)
ECLIPSE - E(ast) + E(uropean), around CLIPS (parts of film).
11 Friendly daughter I dressed in pink, sort of (7)
CORDIAL - D(aughter) + I inside CORAL (pink, sort of).
12 Part of table no longer needed – in short, it's a piece of wood (9)
LOGARITHM - the common abbreviation for which is LOG (a piece of wood). I didn't understand the "no longer needed" part of the definition until I looked it up in Chambers - "a mathematical operation used esp before electronic computing, to simplify multiplication and division." When I did my maths O-Level we weren't allowed to use a calculator, but a book of log and other geometrical tables was essential.
13 County taking part in meaningless exercise (5)
ESSEX - hidden in "meaningless exercise".
14 Kind of treatment one can't have (5,7)
GROUP THERAPY - cryptic definition, and a good one too.
18 Pressure in satellite wrong, leading to a lot of illness (12)
PESTILENTIAL - P(ressure) + (in satellite)*.
21 Fowl, including rook, duck, and wading bird (5)
HERON - HEN (fowl) around R(ook) + O (duck).
22 How to combine handles, for example, with short line (9)
HYPHENATE - another cryptic definition, about the formation of double-barrelled surnames. The clue contains a few common wordplay items to confuse the solver, but apart from that it's a straight definition.
24 Composer and dramatist abridged a piece of fiction (7)
NOVELLA - NOVELL(o) (composer and dramatist abridged) + A.
25 Supporting church, in a way – after short time, I object (7)
TITHING - T(ime) + I + THING (object).
26 Excelling in status, was faster than man on board (10)
OUTRANKING - OUTRAN (was faster than) + KING (man on board - chessboard, that is).
27 Holy men, being extremely selective, perform religious works (4)
HYMN - first and last letters of Holy men.

1 Studying this should help you get the next answer (8)
THEOLOGY - cryptic definition, true literally and in the context of the puzzle. Personally I solved 2dn first and it helped me get this one.
2 Faith is what’s central to belief covered by tract (8)
RELIGION - middle letters of beLIef inside REGION (tract).
4 Get older kind of contract, a factor in Scotland (5)
AGENT - AGE (get older) + NT (kind of contract). NT is short for "no trumps", a type of contract in bridge. One of the definitions of factor in Chambers is "an agent managing heritable estates for another person Scot".
5 A crime lab rebuilt, using two houses (9)
BICAMERAL - (A crime lab)*. The two houses in the def. are e.g. Parliament and Lords.
6 With maximum speed, somehow send on report as journalist (13)
CORRESPONDENT - C (maximum speed, the speed of light) + (send on report)*.
7 Here is how the French put it, with minimal friendliness (6)
ICIEST - ICI EST (here is, in French).
8 A lot of stars as well as unknowns supporting festivity (6)
GALAXY - X,Y (unknowns) underneath GALA (festivity).
10 Equipment soldier put on rickety airplane outside hospital (13)
PARAPHERNALIA - PARA (soldier) + (airplane)* around H(ospital).
15 Let out clutch and reverse vehicle (9)
HATCHBACK - HATCH (let out clutch) + BACK (reverse).
16 It's introduced before end of term merriment (8)
HILARITY - IT very precisely located inside HILARY (term).
17 Generally incomplete, with dope and everything switched, it produces nasty reaction (8)
ALLERGEN - GENERALL(y), with GEN (dope) and ALL (eveything) switched.
19 Accordingly including clue for traditional faith (6)
SHINTO - SO (accordingly) around HINT (clue).
20 Nut finally put on bolt – that’s right? (6)
TRIVET - (nu)T + RIVET (bolt). I didn't understand this one until I looked it up in Chambers, and found that there's a saying "as right as a trivet" meaning perfectly right.
23 What gets waiter angry, upset, is something upwardly mobile type hammers home (5)
PITON - NO TIP (what gets waiter angry) reversed. The upwardly mobile type would be a mountain climber rather than the social variety. Ho ho.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 14th, 2014 06:14 am (UTC)
I got there eventually though there were several answers I was unable to parse and I tend to lose interest and enthusiasm once I realise a setter is so completely off my wavelength. Mind you, this was a doddle compared with today's offering which after 90 minutes I have barely completed a third of the grid.

And whilst on that subject I note we have what appears to be yet another Editor's comment in one of the clues or maybe it's just brackets inserted at random. What with this and different published answers (one on-line, another in the paper)to a clue in Izetti's most recent Quickie, I am starting to lose faith in the whole enterprise.
Jun. 14th, 2014 06:56 am (UTC)
Which clue, Jack? My copy looks OK so far as I can see
Jun. 14th, 2014 07:11 am (UTC)
I just looked at the facsimile and the bit in brackets is shown there too whereas previous editor's comments were only on-line, so perhaps it's okay and I haven't yet understood its relevance. I had no checkers and only managed to solve the clue by ignoring it so I assumed it was superfluous.
Jun. 14th, 2014 07:59 am (UTC)
Which clue, Jack? You are making no sense at all to me, I'm afraid..
Jun. 14th, 2014 08:58 am (UTC)
Sorry, Jerry. Maybe we are at cross-purposes. Perhaps it's not clear I was talking about today's puzzle (25813) in which the clue to 24dn contains 5 words in brackets which appear to be superfluous, or so clever that their purpose is lost on me. If you want to discuss further please send a message to my LJ account.
Jun. 14th, 2014 10:46 am (UTC)
Sorry jackkt but I do not think that the words are superfluous at all, and indeed rather clever.
Jun. 14th, 2014 12:33 pm (UTC)
Well, I had left things open that the error may be mine but I think the point is rather that until the new lax regime began a few months ago it would never have occurred to me to question whether the published clue was what was intended. There have been so many examples over recent months that I no longer trust what I read.

Whether the fault lies with the editorial staff, the technicians or anybody else is of very little interest to me as I am rapidly losing faith in the whole enterprise (which incidentally now costs a minimum of 4 times what it used to, to participate in).

The cock-up over 18 across in Quickie 69 is a prime example. Two possible solutions were identified here, SETTLING and NESTLING. The solution given on-line was SETTLING and indeed the setter, Izetti, contributed to the TftT discussion admitting the alternative NESTLING had not occurred to him but explaining why SETTLING was the original and preferred answer. Then the next day in the newspaper the answer appeared as NESTLING.

When I queried this in the Forum the editor responded that he had test-solved the puzzle himself putting the answer NESTLING and had not checked the setter's solution to ensure they tallied! And then on that basis his solution, rather than the setter's, was published in the newspaper although the setter's was put up on-line.

Further correspondence elicited the facetious remark that there were two possible solutions and both were published. Yes, they were published separately in different editions with no admission of error of process

Edited at 2014-06-14 12:35 pm (UTC)
Andy Borrows
Jun. 14th, 2014 01:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that Jack. At least there is an explanation.
Jun. 14th, 2014 06:58 am (UTC)
Enjoyed this one, it was quite straightforward except I also hesitated over 20dn, because I tend not to associate rivets with bolts. In my mind bolts are threaded, though I know dictionaries disagree.
Jun. 14th, 2014 07:48 am (UTC)
I enjoyed the 11 mins it took me to solve this one.
Jun. 14th, 2014 08:09 am (UTC)
Right as a TRIVET is another expression I seem to remember from the Jennings books.
Jun. 14th, 2014 08:50 am (UTC)
Ah yes, thanks for the memories... wonderful stuff
Andy Borrows
Jun. 14th, 2014 08:20 am (UTC)
17 mins. AGENT was my LOI from the definition alone because I didn't know, or had forgotten, that NT can mean "no trumps" in contract bridge. LOGARITHM was my last one before that, and the same word took me a long time to see in another recent puzzle.
Jun. 14th, 2014 08:23 am (UTC)
Another Saturday puzzle completed and (almost) fully parsed (missed the NT nuance in AGENT), albeit took around four hours on and off over the weekend!

Most enjoyable grapple for me - particularly liked OUTRANKING and GROUP THERAPY, and thought TURN most cunning.

Reassuring to learn at least one of the senior pros is struggling with today's offering. Can't make head or tail of it at the moment! But, enjoying the tussle...

Edited at 2014-06-14 08:26 am (UTC)
Jun. 14th, 2014 11:06 am (UTC)
17:11. I've never heard the rivet expression so that one went in with a little trepidation. I managed to overcome the urge to put in LOGARYTHM, this time without the help of the wordplay.
Jun. 14th, 2014 11:58 am (UTC)
'Quirky - much not parsed' was my comment. I originally had 'arboretum' at 12a.

On the other hand, this week's I would describe as 'A real bugger - but nearly all parsed'.
Jun. 15th, 2014 07:33 pm (UTC)
I hereby join the ranks of those kicking themselves for not spotting 1ac!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )