June 1st, 2019


Monthly Club Special 20,224: Don't Want None Unless You Got Puns, Hun

Apols for this going out in a somewhat incomplete state earlier - I queued it up a month ago planning later improvements and of course promptly forgot about it entirely. In any case it was a good 'un - not one but two words containing both Zs and Vs in the first row indicates we're in for a puzzle that is going to be playful in its vocabulary choices, and there are all sorts of words thereafter that are both breathtakingly silly-looking and rather educational, after research. So, in short I thought this was great. Thanks setter! COD to 16dn just for being an amazing word, and quite a hard one to work out how best to clue, I'd imagine!

1 Bizarrely, bolshevized exiles belie perverted rulers such as Stalin (6)
VOZHDS - (BOLSHEVIZED*) ["bizarrely"] minus (BELIE*) ["perverted"].
The "explosion in a Scrabble tile factory" begins early this month...

5 Tool of little weight I had placed in can, briefly (8)
POZIDRIV - OZ I'D [little weight | I had] "placed in" PRIV{y} [can, "briefly"].
...and continues, with this registered trademark brand name for a screwdriver.

9 Enterprise, possibly akin to corrupt Republican’s introducing Ukrainian (8)
RUSSNIAK - U.S.S. [Enterprise, possibly] + (AKIN*) ["to corrupt"], R [Republican] is introducing
A "Ruthenian, Ukrainian or Little Russian"

10 Leisurely hack once turning in biog and a photo (3-3)
PAD-NAG - hidden reversed in {bio}G AND A P{hoto}
According to my dictionary this is an old word for an "ambling nag".

11 States that female at home should frame charcoal drawing (6)
FUSAIN - USA [States] that F IN [female | at home] should "frame"

12 Ingredient of perfumes, all blended with no oil (8)
LINALOOL - (ALL + NO OIL*) ["blended"]

14 Girl in Oz, along with French cardinal, were stripped: one posed for minister there (7,5)
DOROTHY DIXER - DOROTHY [girl in Oz] + DIX [French cardinal (number)] + {w}ER{e}
"In Australian politics, a Dorothy Dixer is a rehearsed or planted question asked of a government Minister by a backbencher of their own political party during Parliamentary Question Time."

17 I’m thinking a note well employed to stop crying game (5,7)
HUMAN BOWLING - UM [I'm thinking] + A + NB [note well], employed to "stop" HOWLING [crying]QUID [

20 Particular local tobacco Greek lad oddly neglected to bring back (8)
QUIDDLER - QUID [tobacco] + reversed {g}R{e}E{k} L{a}D
A quiddler is dialect for a "fastidious person".

22 Sikh and what he wears five of: article impressing prince (6)
KHALSA - K'S A [what he wears five of | article] "impressing" HAL [prince]
The Sikh's five worn K's are Kesh (hair), Kangha (comb for the hair), Kara (iron bracelet), Kachera (sacred underwear) and Kirpan (dagger).

23 By virtue of being German I can present cup at St Andrews? (6)
QUAICH - QUA ICH [by virtue of being | German I]
A cup in St Andrews or anywhere else in Scotland.

25 Shaft for lifting ring, say, with buckles (8)
HOISTWAY - (O SAY WITH*) ["buckles"]

26 Peak summer months, good to go west, saving for after vacation (8)
JUNGFRAU - JUN and AUG are the summer months, send the G left (west), then insert F{o}R.
The Jungfrau is a well known summit in the Swiss Alps.

27 Muse, wasting time on couple I must follow and trap in room (6)
GHERAO - ERA{t}O [Muse, "wasting" T for time] on G H [couple I must follow (alphabetically).
This is an amazing word for to trap e.g. an employer in a room and not let him out until he accedes to your demands!

2 Shrub of superior class planted among old beans, mostly (6)
OPULUS - U [of superior class] "planted among" O PULS{e} [old | beans, "mostly"]

3 Holding better half, win (11)
HUSBANDLAND - HUSBAND [better half] + LAND [win]

4 Fashionable new blue clothes and kid’s tight sweater (6-3)
SKINNY-RIB - IN N [fashionable | new] that SKY [blue] "clothes", + RIB [kid]

5 Rest on box, maybe, when eyeing up the local crumpet (7)
PIKELET - KIP [rest] on TELE [box, maybe], upside down

6 Village governor clown’s cut short, before magistrate intervenes (5)
ZUPAN - ZAN{y} [clown "is cut short"], UP [before magistrate] "intervenes"

7 Hamish’s pet that’s housed in pentagonal structure (3)
DOD - The U.S. Department of Defence is rather famously housed in a Pentagon. And a dod is a Scottish sulk.

8 Displays rapt attention before rival players making introductions (8)
ISAGOGES - IS AGOG [displays rapt attention] before E S [rival players (in Bridge)]

13 Doing my job for G Lansbury’s successor, dispensing tips for beef producers (5,6)
LUING CATTLE - George Lansbury led the British labour party before Clement Attlee. Therefore the setter is {c}LUING C ATTLE{e}, tiplessly.

15 Shouting that has nasty Yogi bear breaking sick Cindy’s heart (9)
YOICKSING - (YOGI*) ["nasty"] "bears" (SICK {ci}N{dy}*) ["breaking"]

16 Junior Civil Service raised with us periodically pressing hazard in S America (8)
SUCURUJU - JR CS [Junior | Civil Service] reversed, with U's periodically.
A sucuruju being an anaconda, it's very much a "pressing" hazard in the South American continent

18 NZ fish: last two removed from store (7)

19 African capital in role of spouse of pop artist (6)
ASMARA - AS MA RA [in role of | spouse of pop | artist].
The capital of Eritrea, as all quiz list-learners know.

21 Triumphant expression in the case of Labour landslide (5)
LAHAR - AHA! [triumphant expression] in L{abou}R

24 One’s grazed in places: wound, superficially, not wide (3)
ING - {w}ING [wound superficially, minus W = wide].
An ing is a meadow, oop north.

Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1382 - 18th May

Today's Jumbo continues the series of fairly easy puzzles, although there is the usual smattering of less familiar words. In all it took me about 32 1/2 minutes. Having finished describing the parsings, I can't see why it took me so long! But there's one clue, 25A, which dosn't seem to quite work. Hopefully someone will explain where I went wrong. So, on the whole, easily digestible, but tasty fare then. Thank-you setter. How did you other solvers like it?
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  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27360 - Saturday, 25 May 2019. Oh to be in England now that spring has sprung.

This was a relaxing solve for a Bank Holiday Saturday. I hope it left everyone ready to face the short week refreshed!

The top half went in very smoothly, then the SW corner slowed me down a little. There were no obscure classical references and no obscure flora or fauna, but what seemed an unusual number of clues using only the outside, or only the inside, of words. My only MER (minor eyebrow raise) was at the answer to 6dn. As ugly a word as you’re likely to see!

My clue of the day was 10ac, for the artistic way the answer was hidden! Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

Clues are in blue, with definitions underlined. Answers are in BOLD CAPS, then wordplay. (ABC*) means 'anagram of ABC'. Deletions are in [square brackets].

In support of what I hope will become a campaign to urge the club site to use a font with serifs, so we poor solvers can tell the difference between yam and yarn for example, this blog is in Times New Roman font. What could be more appropriate?

1 Overweight Florida infant burying its head (6)
FLABBY: FL (Florida), BABY (infant), with the leading B moved inside (“buried”). An inventive piece of wordplay.

4 Idiot bowled over extremely naive leader (8)
BONEHEAD: B (bowled), O (over), N[aiv]E, HEAD (leader).

10 Duck swimmer sees, partially (7)
IMMERSE: hidden answer.

11 Cutting maple branch is complicated to start with (7)
ACERBIC: ACER (maple), then B-I-C: the letters that the next three words start with.

12 Surge? This does, regularly (4)
TIDE: odd letters of ThIs DoEs.

13 Surprised Oscar, about to get into bed (10)
BEWILDERED: WILDE (Oscar, that is) and RE (about), both getting into BED.

15 Student corrected Galileo and Newton on speed of light (9)
COLLEGIAN: “corrected” (anagram) of (GALILEO N*), after C (the speed of light). N is the symbol for newton (without a capital N), the unit of force in the SI system (which includes kilograms, metres etc).

16 Hard punches ruptured spine (5)
THORN: H (hard) in TORN (ruptured).

18 Followed three females leaving far-off area of Home Counties (5)
AROSE: take the F’s out of FAR-OFF, then SE (South East, aka Home Counties).

19 Green bottle's contents swirling in glasses (9)
LORGNETTE: “swirling” (anagram) of (GREEN OTTL*), where “bottle’s contents” says to lose the first and last letters of [b]OTTL[e].

21 Heartsick depression about cut foot (10)

23 Skinned shins and arm? (4)
LIMB: [c]LIMB[s] meaning “shins”, as in "shins up the drainpipe", “skinned” of outside letters.

26 Recluse just recalled sex with ecstasy (7)
EREMITE: EREM=MERE (just), “recalled”; IT (sex); E (ecstasy).

27 Chair is deep but not wide, long but not hard (7)
LOUNGER: LO[w] (deep, minus W); [h]UNGER (long, minus H).

28 Rustic couple at first laboured in silence (8)
YOKELISH: YOKE (couple), L (laboured, at first), I (in, also at first), SH (silence!).

29 Cross new wife briefly chasing gutless hubby (6)
HYBRID: H[ubb]Y (“gutless”), b[RIDE].

1 Force isn't commonly weak (5)
FAINT: F (force), AIN’T (isn’t, “commonly”).

2 I am a droll, peculiar creature (9)
ARMADILLO: “peculiar” (anagram) of (I AM A DROLL*).

3 Expose stomach, reportedly (4)
BARE: sounds like BEAR (stomach, “reportedly”).

5 Love helping in lecture (7)
ORATION: O (love), RATION (helping).

6 English blokes becoming obsolete — or improving? (10)
EMENDATING: E (English), MEN (blokes), DATING (becoming obsolete). Not a word I would ever use!

7 Kind of sleep-deprived, think back and glower (5)
EMBER: REMEMBER (think back), deprived of its REM sleep.

8 Moral decline of 1960s for example initially narked church (9)
DECADENCE: DECADE (1960s, say), N (initially Narked), CE (church).

9 Arab sheikhs finally shunning sycophants on island (6)
YEMENI: YE[s]MEN (sycophants, shunning the S at the end of sheikS); I (island).

14 Ritual involving one miracle (10)
CEREMONIAL: involving” (anagram) of (ONE MIRACLE*).

15 Whine about stock in candle shop (9)
CHANDLERY: CRY (whine) around HANDLE (stock). I didn’t realise a chandler sold candles! I only knew of ship’s chandlers.

17 Heading away, the solver set off in boat (9)
OUTRIGGER: [y]OU (the solver, “heading away”); TRIGGER (set off).

19 Lancashire's opener is lazy, small and uncapped (7)
LIDLESS: L for Lancashire, IDLES, S for small.

20 Out-and-out lies oddly cause resentment (6)
RANKLE: RANK (out-and-out), then odd letters of LiEs.

22 Elegant ships poetically capsizing (5)
SLEEK: KEELS “capsizing”.

24 Short of things to do, maybe, old dons procreated (5)
BORED: O for old “dons” BRED (procreated).

25 Gloomily disheartened, as expected (4)
DULY: DU[l]LY, “disheartened”.