July 6th, 2019

  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27390 - Saturday, 29 June 2019. Out of my depth.

So, this ended the easy run of recent weeks with a vengeance! Lucky for me, I saw that early enough to concede defeat and use reference materials. A shout out to all who did it “bare hands”.

Here’s how I think it all worked. Definitions underlined, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Great old bovine pleasure-seeker (8)
EPICURUS – EPIC, URUS. I could see what was going on but didn’t know either the bovine or the philosopher, although the adjectival form of his name is familiar enough.

5 Maybe shanty hasn't finished in time (6)

9 Phaeton's alternative for this? (8)
STANHOPE – “alternative” [anagram] of (PHAETONS)*. This answer’s come up before, sometimes clued as an anagram, sometimes not.

10 Keep feature some reporter ruthlessly rejected (6)
TURRET – reverse hidden answer. Nicely disguised definition: a “keep” is a fort here.

12 We're told to look angrily for egg white (5)
GLAIR – sounds like GLARE. Not a word I knew, though I guessed it from the wordplay, after rejecting STAIR. Again, it’s come up before.

13 Heading for victory, were poor moves to create defeat? (9)
OVERPOWER – “moves” [anagram] (V WERE POOR)*, where V is the heading for V{ictory}. One could perhaps read the whole clue as a literal definition.

14 Planned designs, with atlas showing decorative feature (7,5)
STAINED GLASS – “planned” [anagram] (DESIGNS ATLAS)*.

18 Rot expressed about intriguing people (12)
PUTREFACTION – PUT [expressed, as in “well put”], RE [about], FACTION [intriguing(!) people].

21 Sharp character from abroad, a tradesman (9)
CHISELLER – CHI [character from abroad, as usual meaning from Greece], SELLER [arguably a trades-man, although possibly not a tradesman!].

23 Award frequently picked up (5)
ALLOT – when “picked up” in conversation, sounds like A LOT.

24 Bachelor enters dressed or stripped (6)

25 Person in charge locks maiden in gaol (8)
CHAIRMAN – HAIR [locks] M [maiden], all in CAN.

26 Deposing Liberal, exploit trouble for national leader (6)
MIKADO – MI{l}K [exploit], ADO [trouble].

27 Novel's plot comprehended by a lady (4,4)
ADAM BEDE – BED [plot] “comprehended” by A DAME. I didn’t know the novel. It was George Eliot’s first, apparently.

1 Kind of dash by recruit or officer (6)
ENSIGN – in typesetting, an EN dash is, as one might suspect, shorter than an EM dash. To SIGN could be to recruit.

2 Book's account, one that's surprising (6)
ISAIAH – ISA [some sort of English savings account], I [one], AH! [that’s surprising!].

3 Guide to form true with these (9)
USHERETTE – “form” [anagram] (TRUE THESE)*.

4 Vain academic welcomed by college board (12)
UNPROFITABLE – UNI welcomes PROF, followed by TABLE. “Vain” seems rather stronger than “unprofitable”, but I suppose the meanings overlap enough.

6 Provide banter for surfers? (5)
EQUIP – internet surfers might try to amuse with an E-QUIP, geddit? Becoming a chestnut.

7 Aunt Sally's blemishes brought up by bishop, say (5,3)
STRAW MAN – STRAW=WARTS “brought up”. A bishop, say, is a chess MAN. I blinked a little at the idea that Aunt Sally, bless her, would be a man!

8 Officially attest this implies pay will be no better (8)
NOTARISE – so my new salary package is NOT A RISE?

11 Leave monster concealed in famous mount (6,6)
DESERT ORCHID – DESERT [leave], ORC [monster], HID [concealed]. An English racehorse, apparently. Another unknown to me.

15 Love big and small changes in worldview? (9)
GLOBALISM – “changes” [anagram] (O BIG SMALL)*. [As usual, O=zero=love].

16 Fancy dispensing with US alcohol range (8)
SPECTRUM – S{us}PECT [“fancy”, minus “US”], RUM.

17 American writer with half-hearted work, one ruminates (8)
STEINBOK – STEIN [Gertrude, the author], BO{o}K [“work”, half-hearted!]

I got that it was a bok, and admired the “half-hearted” device, but didn’t know the beast. It seems not to have appeared before in Times for the Times. The only kind thing I can say is that STEINBOK sounds more plausible than TWAINBOK, FROSTBOK or whatever!

19 Burnt meat stored in empty fridge (6)
FLAMBE – LAMB in F{ridg}E.

20 Bearing case, abandoning home (6)
STANCE – the case is an {in}STANCE, and the abandoned home is IN.

22 Note penetrating conclusion is correct (5)
EMEND – ME “penetrating” END.

Jumbo 1388

Apologies for the slight delay on this one - no real excuse!

Also apologies for any typos as this was typed up in haste.

I don't recall any particular issues with this one and nothing came up as I was typing the entry.

1 SWITCH OFF - SWITCH = shoot, OFF = out
6 ACCUSED - ACCU(r)SED = doomed
10 CASTE - C(h)ASTE = immaculate
13 OPINION - ONION = possible source of tears, around PI = religious
14 TOPSAIL - TOPS = covers, AIL = feel bad
15 SANTA FE - SAFE = strongbox, around ANT = worker
17 HIT - double definition
18 OUTLAW - OUT = away from home, LAW(n) = turf
20 AFFAIR - A = alpha, F = female, FAIR = just
21 TORMENTOR - TOR = peak, MEN = soldiers, TOR = peak
23 BLACK MAGIC - BIC = writer, around LACK = need, and MAG = publication
25 NATIONALIST - NAT = TAN = brown, reversed, I = one, ON A LIST = catalogued
29 AMOUR - A MOUR(n) = a regret
30 DERISIVE - DIVE = joint, around ERIS = SIRE = father, reversed
31 TENEMENT - TENET = opinion (13), around MEN = workers
34 BOTHERED - BED = layer, around OTHER = additional
36 ALARMIST - A, L = large, ARM = weapon, IS, (sho)T
37 GRIPE - GRIP = stagehand, E(at)
39 LOVE HANDLES - LOVE = nothing, HANDLES = takes care of
41 END PRODUCT - END = last, PRO = expert, DUCT = tube
45 NUGGET - NUG = GUN = shooter, reversed, GET = acquire
47 GOLDEN - GEN = information, around OLD = outdated
49 PIP - double definition
52 THIMBLE - THE around LIMB*
53 ARAPAHO - A =area, R.A. = artist, P = parking, A = area, HO = house
54 TAKE-OFF - TOFF = gent, around (f)AKE = false
55 LATER - LATE = dead, R = right
56 SYNERGY - SYNER sounds like SINNER = offender, G(u)Y
57 LAMINATED - E.T. = alien, ANIMAL = creature, all reversed then D = departs
1 SNOWSHOE - NOW = present, in S.S. = ship, HOE = tool
2 ICING - double definition
3 CHIROMANCER - CHI = Greek character, ROMANCER = one to exaggerate
5 FATHER FIGURE - FATHER = pop, STAR = figure
6 AMPHORA - A(ccept), M.P. = representative, HO = house, RA = god
7 CHAPTER AND VERSE - C and V are the abbreviations for CHAPTER and VERSE in Bible references
9 DOSSIER - DOSSER = vagrant, around I = current
10 CONFEDERATE - CON = with in Italian, FED = scoffed, E.R. = first lady, ATE = scoffed
12 EVENTER - EVEN = flat, TE(a)R = race
19 TELEOST - TEST = river, around LEO = cat
22 SMIDGEON - SON = lad, around MIDGE = fly
26 OVERTURE - OVERT = open, URE = river
27 TETHER - hidden in frustraTE THE Racketeers
28 GAMBOL - GAM = school, BOL(t) = run away
32 EVINCED - ED = bloke, around VINCE = another bloke
33 MIDDLE SCHOOL - cryptic definition
35 ECHO CHAMBER - cryptic definition
37 GODFORSAKEN - GOD = DOG = setter maybe, FOR, SAKE = drink, N = noon
40 VIEWPOINT - VIE = tussle, W = with, POINT = fielder
42 UNDERFED - UNDER = working to, FED = FBI agent
43 CAPITOL - COL = pass, around A PIT = an enclosure for animals
44 NUMBERS - cryptic definition
46 GERMANY - G = good, E.R. = monarch, M = married, ANY = even one
48 PRO TEM - PROM = concert, around TE = note

Sunday Times Cryptic 4857, June 30 2019, by Robert Price — Fences of Eden

It’s alright, Ma… I can make it. When I worked this last Saturday, with pleasantly surprising ease, I was, mercifully, in an air-conditioned room at St. Francis College, right around the corner from my flat (sans climatisation), at the evening’s Left Forum Plenary—I must admit, though, that I was mainly there for the AC… (I was happy to know that my friend Delphine got through the previous day all right in le Gard, where the temperatures reached a never-before-recorded-in-France—in any month—45.9ºC, or almost 115ºF.)

There was only word that I didn’t know, and that was in a clue, not an answer. My biggest problem was trying to parce 7d post-solve before dispelling the hallucination that the word between the quotemarks was “Oil.”

I do (sarmgana)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.

 1 Remaining? No more! (4)
 4 Live tennis shot in advance (10)
BEFOREHAND — ”Live” is BE and the stroke a FOREHAND. We had a similar tennis clue earlier that week, if memory serves.
 9 Men fed horse first to enrage another equid (6)
ONAGER — ”Men” being the old standby, O(ther) R(anks), which swallows a “horse,” NAG, and E[-ngage]
10 Sales for everyone wearing suits (8)
AUCTIONS — A(U)CTIONS, U being the rating Universal, “for everyone,” and the kind of ACTIONS here being legal ones
11 Short bloke with hair styled something like a cabbage (8)
KOHLRABI — Serge Gainsbourg, peut-être ? (blok[-e] + hair)*
12 Discard top of swimsuit? See, that’s disgusting! (6)
SLOUGH — Prude! S[-wimsuit] + LO + UGH
13 Keeping Status Quo waiting on the phone (7,3,4)
HOLDING THE LINE — DD. I guess the capitals could mean this is supposed to be a reference to a Brit rock band I’d never heard of before.
16 Damaged enamel? It’s mints being too sweet (14)
SENTIMENTALISM — (enamel? It’s mints)* In 1932, in an essay about Joyce’s Ulysses, Carl Jung wrote: “Sentimentality is the superstructure erected upon brutality.” (Just thought I’d throw that in…)
20 Several footballers going to the ground, needlessly (6)
DIVERS — DD. I had to resort to Wikipedia—“In association football, diving is an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by falling to the ground and possibly feigning an injury, to give the impression that a foul has been committed” (but most of y’all probably know that!)—because I suspected that my first thought (a dishonest player might “take a dive”—throw a game—for a payoff) missed a football-specific sense.
22 Yet to lock in support for Notre Dame? (8)
BUTTRESS — Very timely, as just a couple weeks ago it was announced that only 9 percent of the funds pledged for restoring the cathedral have been received. “Yet” is BUT, next “to” TRESS, or “lock” (with “in” just a connection to the DBE).
24 Mixed veg and Brie covering a waffle (8)
VERBIAGE — (veg + Brie + a)*
25 Country houses start to confiscate gum (6)
CHICLE — CHI(C)LE. Whence the brandname Chiclets.
26 Six-footer women not allowed to scamper (4,6)
STAG BEETLE — STAG, “women not allowed” + BEETLE, “to scamper.” (The top result on the Google search page offers the definition “make one’s way hurriedly or with short, quick steps.”)
27 The first habitat lacked enough fences (4)
EDEN — To keep the serpent out? Hidden. As paradise so often is… or even must be.

 2 Painter very excited about new hotel (3,4)
VAN GOGH — V(ery) AGOG around N(ew) + H(otel). A rusty revolver thought to be the one with which he killed himself was recently AUCTIONed off in Paris, for the ungoghly price of €162,000.
 3 Uplifting beverage fit for the Queen (5)
 4 Uncivilised nature of pub is shown in yeasty froth on liquor (9)
BARBARISM — BAR (“pub”) + IS (‘is”!) are inside—a new one to me—BARM, “yeasty froth on liquor”
 5 Worried about fine jewellery losing its centrepiece (7)
FEARING — F(ine) + EAR[-r]ING
 6 Stacks of wrenches (5)
 7 God alters intro to “Oi!” in greeting commoners (3,6)
HOI POLLOI — H(OIPOLLO)I, Apollo having dropped “A” for OI. Literally, “the many.” “Oi!” is an exclamation meaning various things in various languages, including several varieties of English—most relevantly here, perhaps, working-class and Cockney slang.
 8 Twelve having bother getting in shape (7)
NONAGON — NO(NAG)ON. With the word-insertion clue disguised as part of the def.
14 Puppies annoy one leaving droppings (9)
LITTERBUG — ”Puppies” being a LITTER and “annoy” meaning BUG… If I really must spell it out!
15 Suffering? Try toothbrush, perhaps? (9)
HEARTACHE — ”Try” is HEAR, and “toothbrush, perhaps” is, uh, (mus)TACHE. I’ve never grown one, for precisely this reason.
17 Obvious occasion to carry a passport? (7)
18 Nut in case most generous (7)
NOBLEST — ”Nut” is NOB and “in case” LEST
19 Maureen’s in Alsace, she makes wine … (7)
MOSELLE — MO’S + ELLE (“in Alsace, she”)
21 … but without love for wine (5)
SOAVE — A job’s a job… S(O)AVE
23 Approval to demolish the front and rear (5)