August 17th, 2019

  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27426 - Saturday 10 August 2019. Big brother is watching you.

Another neat puzzle. Some from the Style Monitoring Section (definitely not from The Ministry of Truth!) thought it might have been the work of the same setter as the week before. That thought didn’t occur to me when doing it, but the device at 17ac certainly had something familiar about it.

My clue of the day was 23dn. I loved the “up and down” device. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

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

1 Fine liqueur, very exotic, enough for several shots at The Bull? (9)
QUIVERFUL – ‘exotic’ anagram of (F LIQUEUR V*). F for fine, V for very. The bull is on the archery target, of course.

6 First and foremost in nature you may perceive her? (5)
NYMPH – ‘first and foremost’ letters of each word. A somewhat fanciful &lit. definition – see glossary.

9 More attractive class of volunteers? (7)
TASTIER – the Territorial Army volunteers or TA’S are in a TIER or class. Hard to imagine anyone but crossword setters finding the TA’s attractive today.

10 Suddenly dropped bread basket, exhausted? (7)
TUMBLED – TUM (bread basket), BLED (exhausted).

11 Come back from Peru? Certainly, heading west (5)
RECUR – the answer if hidden in (‘from’) the clue, backwards (‘heading west’).

12 Serious consequences of the boy’s going to the Head, indeed! (4,2,3)
HELL TO PAY – HE’LL (the boy’s going to), TOP (head), AY (indeed!).

13 What pre-euro Munich lived through is not progress! (4,4)
MARK TIME – double definition, the first a whimsical reference to the old German currency.

14 Ring from Lima leaving greeting (4)
HALO – L for Lima ‘leaves’ HAL[l]O.

17 Nomad’s extended round trip (4)
LAPP – the round trip is a LAP, ‘extended’ by another P. We saw a similar device the previous Saturday.

18 Drop double-U in “watch” (5,3)
BEADY EYE – BEAD (drop), YE (you, or ‘U’), and YE again (‘double-U’). The definition is as in “I’ve got my beady eye on you”. This was my LOI, and I put it in with a vague feeling of discomfort.

21 What’s indulgently led to a live CD being remade (5,4)
DOLCE VITA – ‘remade’ anagram of (TO A LIVE CD*). A 1960 film.

22 Girl’s mother meeting the First Lady (5)
MAEVE – MA, meet EVE.

24 Series of deliveries: each getting blanket (7)
OVERALL – OVER, ALL. The first cricketing clue.

25 Girl escorted outside I helped (7)
AVAILED – AVA LED, ‘outside’ I. Say not the struggle nought availeth.

26 Far from dear to the Scots, King Edward? (5)
TATTY – double definition. The first referring to cheap things, the second to a Scottish word for ‘potatoes’ – whether or not the King Edward variety. I was surprised they weren’t spelled ‘taters’ or ‘taties’, but then I’ve never been to Scotland!

27 Not post to offer professor (9)
PRETENDER – PRE (not post!), TENDER (offer).

1 Land rating following maintenance of set standards (5)
QATAR – QA (quality assurance – maintenance of set standards), TAR (sailor, or rating).

2 Flies driver away from edges of seismal epicentre, moving fast (6,9)
INSECT REPELLENT – ‘moving’ anagram of (SL EPICENTRE*), then LENT is the ‘fast’. S and L in the anagram are the ‘edges’ of SEISMAL. What a delightfully awkward definition!

3 Leave country house, heading off to get someone’s goat? (8)
EMIGRATE – the [h]ouse is a [s]EMI. Then, GRATE. As we say chez nous, no one glued ‘country’ to ‘house’.

4 Pro’s Glasgow abode that’s an embarrassment! (3,5)
FOR SHAME – FOR’S (pro’s, as in a vote), HAME (Scottish word for ‘home’). Still haven’t visited Scotland. Promise I will, next chance!

5 Added animation to story, cutting a dash (6)
LITTLE – LIT (added animation – as in ‘lit up the room’), T[a]LE (story, cutting ‘a’). Definition as in, ‘add a dash of rum’.

6 Where Wellington is found touring island with German admiral (6)
NIMITZ – Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. Put NZ around I for ‘island’, and MIT (German for ‘with’). A WWII reference.

7 Pleased, somehow, with a miserly “no comment” (2,4,3,6)
MY LIPS ARE SEALED – ‘somehow’ anagram (PLEASED A MISERLY*).

8 Den is Yankee appearing in sitcom briefly on Bravo in Spain (5-4)
HIDEY-HOLE – the sitcom is HI-DE-H[i]. Insert Y (Yankee), and put it on top of OLÉ (‘Bravo’, in Spain). I didn’t know the sitcom, and guessed it might be Hi-de-ho. Close, but no cigar.

13 Inexpert whiskey promotion Ireland stops (9)
MALADROIT – MALT (whiskey), ‘stopped’ by AD (promotion) and R.O.I. (Republic of Ireland).

15 State of light, mounted and switched on (8)
DELAWARE – LED (the light of the moment) reversed or ‘mounted’, then AWARE (switched on).

16 President with trouble speaking’s brought water (5,3)
ADAM’S ALE – John Quincy ADAMS (President, 1825-29), then ALE sounds like (‘speaking’) AIL.

19 What’s left on account: variable amount (6)
LEGACY – LEG (‘on’ – the second cricketing clue), AC (account), Y (variable).

20 Stock at minimum price? That’s a boost! (6)
FILLIP – FILL (stock), 1P (or one penny – minimum price).

23 About to pass on, looking up and down supplier? (5)
EIDER – RE (about) and DIE (pass on), all ‘looking up’. Delightfully disguised definition.

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1394: Mental Callixenics

This blog is late and I am unable to confirm or deny rumours that it's because I've taken all this time trying to parse 24dn. But what a clue! One for the hall of fame, let alone clue of the day. It is sometimes the case that a Jumbo Crossword feels a bit like a cup of cold Huel when what you really want is a three-course meal but not this one, which I think was as good (and tough!) throughout as the best of 15x15s, a couple of MERs aside.

But really nothing at all to quibble about here and, if you missed this one, I strongly recommend you stop reading at this point and go catch up. Standing ovation to the setter and I'm glad I didn't get up from under the wrong side of the bed this morning (see 41ac) so I could fully enjoy this jumbo among Jumbos!

1 Still bright and fine — due to change (7)
UNFADED - (AND F DUE*) ["to change"]. Some grief was incurred by me from falling into the obvious trap of trying to anagram "fine due"...

5 Recent arrival to pack stuff by eight? Not quite (4,3)
WOLF CUB - WOLF [stuff (as in to eat ravenously)] + CUB{e} [eight(= 2^3)? "not quite"]

9 Charlie needs one for a cricket team? Correct (7)
CHASTEN - C [Charlie] + HAS TEN [needs one for a (11-player) cricket team?]

13 One on hand with the punch (6,5)
BOXING GLOVE - cryptic definition

14 Africans lost in maze saw two bishops (11)

15 Capital time to leave unspeakable German indeed! (5)
ABUJA - {t}ABU [unspeakable, with T = time leaving] + JA [German for indeed!]. I started trying for the geographically proximate ACCRA, but no dice there.

16 Match going away from City: fix! (3,4)
TIE DOWN - TIE [match] + DOWN [going away from City]

17 Sometime around four, perfect perhaps, for sweeping! (9)
EXTENSIVE - EX [sometime] +, around IV [four], TENSE [perfect, perhaps]

18 Join forces with Bob from Victoria? (4,3,6,8)
TAKE THE QUEEN'S SHILLING - cryptic def, where the bob is a coin and Victoria is the monarch not a place.

23 Unusually short but square old weapon (8)
ARQUEBUS - (BU{t} SQUARE*) ["unusually"]

25 Sitcom of one hour, back on screen (2-2-2)
HI-DE-HI - reversed I H [one | hour] on HIDE [screen]

27 We all have two payments to follow annually (7)
PARENTS - RENTS [payments] to follow P.A. [annually]

30 Back in Brazil, educating professor’s pupil (5)
ELIZA - hidden reversed in {br}AZIL E{ducating}. Spooky that the blog I blogged only the other day had DOOLITTLE in it.

32 Unimaginative artist incorporating circles in image (7)
PROSAIC - O'S [circles] in R.A. [artist] in PIC [image]

33 Miss turning to wine-based drink drained dry port (9)
KIRKCALDY - reversed LACK [miss] after KIR [wine-based drink] + D{r}Y

35 Parisian that enters to defeat Home Secretary hands down! (9)
BEQUEATHS - QUE [that, in French] "enters" BEAT [to defeat] + H.S.

36 Terms used in cricket are too long (7)
OVERRUN - OVER and RUN, two terms used in cricket

37 I refuse to go on backing everyone: that’s flat! (5)
LLANO - NO [I refuse], to go on reversed ALL [everyone]

38 Sailor briefly caught in a satellite town on the Med (7)
AJACCIO - JAC{k} C [sailor "briefly" | caught] in A IO [a | satellite]

40 Take The Sun for understanding article on woman (6)
BASQUE - homophone of BASK [take the sun]

41 Blind porter catching zeds — where you’d expect to find him? (8)
BEDAZZLE - ALE [porter] "catching" ZZ [zeds]. I personally would have expected to find him "in" BED, not near, beside or under (?) it, but perhaps it's because he's blind?

44 What have you in mind? Very little change on offer (1,5,3,4,8)
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS - a cryptic definition, 1p being the smallest amount of change there is, nowadays.

48 Resolutely deferred start of meal during visit (9)
STAUNCHLY - {L->}UNCH [meal] with its "start" deferred to the end, during STAY [visit]

50 Bits from Roman times one read in translation (7)
DENARII - (I READ IN*) ["translation"]

53 Area with which the author’s at home, reflecting his female side (5)
ANIMA - A [area], with which reversed AM IN [the author's at home]

54 Fire extinguisher taken from prison: warder finally in court subject to questioning (7,4)
STIRRUP PUMP - STIR {warde}R UP PUMP [prison | warder "finally" | in court | subject (v.) to questioning]

55 Putting together project about Times: “no gaps”, I resolved (11)
JUXTAPOSING - JUT [project] about X [Times] + (NO GAPS I*) ["resolved"]

56 Crime baron maybe going down (7)

57 Prince, not exactly that carefree (7)
HALCYON - HAL C YON [prince | not exactly | that]

58 Learner driver (7)
COACHEE - or perhaps one being coached = learner

1 Happy to attend, having finished earlier (6)
UPBEAT - BE AT [to attend], having UP [finished] earlier

2 Outdoor pursuit by horse in spring (7)
FOXHUNT - X H [by | horse] in FOUNT [spring]. Very nice, especially as the wordplay completely passed me by initially!

3 Pass request for assignment to tutor? (4,3,2)
DON'T ASK ME - or alternatively punctuated, DON, TASK ME [request for assignment to tutor]

4 Figure computer buffs do this? (5)
DIGIT - computer buffs DIG I.T.

5 Anyone occupying new home, verifiably? (8)
WHOMEVER - well hidden in {ne}W HOME VER{ifiably}

6 More or less stop, in the main to deceive (3,2)
LIE TO - double def. If a ship is lying to, it is nearly stationary with its head to the wind.

7 Enclosed frames something Walton’s on about for artist (7)
CEZANNE - ENC [enclosed] "frames" NAZE [something (the Essex town) Walton's on], all reversed

8 With glasses on, watches ads for cars? (6,8)
BUMPER STICKERS - with BUMPERS [glasses (for toasting)] on, TICKERS [watches]

9 Outlet’s porch fast deteriorating (5,4)
CRAFT SHOP - (PORCH FAST*) ["deteriorating"]

10 What you’ll see on the Nile, and the Avon, typically (5)
ASWAN - or on the Avon, you will typically see A SWAN

11 Music that could have lad join tzaritza dancing (11,4)

12 Saving time in New York, say: no good concealing it (4,3)
NEST EGG - E.S.T. E.G. [time in New York | say], concealed by N.G. [no good]

19 Herald eclipse, one a long way from earth? (7)
TRUMPET - TRUMP E.T. [eclipse | one a long way from earth (though the one in the film wasn't)]

20 Single-issue college speakers get up briefly (9)
UNIPAROUS - UNI P.A. ROUS{e} [college | speakers | get up "briefly"]

21 Unfinished stringed instrument: I state you can wax it (7)
LYRICAL - LYR{e} I CAL ["unfinished" stringed instrument | I | state (the one I'm blogging this from!)]

22 A snake or two a bear tormented (5,3)
WATER BOA - (TWO A BEAR*) ["tormented"]

24 Callixenus comprehends his limits age wise (15)
QUINQUAGENARIAN - so the limits to a quinquagenarian, age-wise, are 50 and 59. Which are contained, Roman numerically, in {ca}L-LIX{enus}. Utterly brilliant, and I'm not going to pretend I saw it until long, long after submission.

26 State funds partner no longer one with place on the board (9)
EXCHEQUER - EX [partner no longer] with CHEQUER [place on the board]

28 The blue socks that are great for seeing baseball teams in? (8)
SKYBOXES - SKY BOXES [the blue | socks]. Something American sportsy!

29 Odd person, the president, one featuring in reply to children’s question (10,4)
GOOSEBERRY BUSH - GOOSEBERRY [the odd person in "two's company, three's a crowd"] + BUSH [the president].
The children's question is "Where do babies come from?" Though we grownups all know it's really by stork delivery.

31 French town one can start to like, somehow (7)
ALENCON - (ONE CAN L{ike}*) ["somehow"]

34 Romeo regularly taking money for reciting poem (7)
RONDEAU - R [Romeo] + ON [regularly taking, as in medication] + homophone of DOUGH [money]

39 How mishit croquet ball might come back ready-made (3,3,3)
OFF THE PEG - complicated double def with a croquet scenario.

42 Alias entered into by queen to see a Russian poet (9)
AKHMATOVA - AKA [alias] "entered into" by HM [the Queen] + TO V A [to | see | a]. Anna Akhmatova, strong contender for the Nobel Prize in 1965 and 1966.

43 Hormone’s harmful substance keeping husband younger (8)
THYROXIN - TOXIN [harmful substance] "keeping" H YR [husband | younger]

44 Is supporter first to abandon plucky players? (7)
ASSISTS - {b}ASSISTS [plucky players, abandoning their first letter]

45 Reference work on beer, large and so complex? (7)
OEDIPAL - OED [reference work] on IPA L [beer | large]

46 Maybe like Berkshire land one’s keeping quiet about (7)
SWINISH - WIN I'S [land | one's], keeping SH [quiet!] about

47 Jar on its lid — something often right underneath (6)
JANGLE - J{ar} with ANGLE [something often right] underneath

49 Italian architect recalled in verse — and oddly overlooked (5)
NERVI - reversed alternate letters of I{n} V{e}R{s}E {a}N{d}

51 In vain altering Schiller ode’s intro (2,3)
NO JOY - take Schiller's Ode TO JOY, and alter the first letter appropriately.

52 Child nearly sacrificed? There are differing accounts (5)
ISAAC - an ISA and an AC are two types of (financial) account.

Sunday Times Cryptic 4863, Aug. 10 '19, by Robert Price — “I can do that time standing on my head!”

This was very enjoyable, and maybe a bit harder than the last one by Bob that I blogged. My COD is 5, can you see why?

My title is a (loose) reference to the clue to DEVIL MAY CARE, my FOI. (The date is abbreviated because there seems to be a character limit on the headline field, which I never noticed before.) I actually have spent some time in police custody, on a few occasions, after riding in a SQUAD CAR or even a (ahem) paddy wagon—strictly for exercising my constitutional rights, of course—but the longest was a(n interminable) weekend in the NYC Tombs (okay, that was for grass; I was stopped and frisked). Now, see, I thought I had nothing to say this week, but if you get me started…

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

 1 Prune fed to bird in crate (6)
 4 Cops would use this bluff around court (5,3)
SQUAD CAR — You gotta watch those cops! S(QUAD)CAR
 9 Disease social worker keeps missing (6)
ABSENT — A public health hazard! A(BSE)NT, the ailment in question being bovine spongiform encephalopathy, aka “mad cow disease”
10 Did coach, being married, stop collecting rent? (8)
MENTORED — M, “married” + EN(TORE)D
12 Left runner with right outer garment (9)
OVERSKIRT — ”Left,” OVER + SKI, “runner” + RT, “right”
13 Plant in the middle of issuing many envelopes (5)
LOTUS — LOT([-iss]U[-ing])S
14 Sniper, quiet operator, worried about silence (12)
SHARPSHOOTER — SH + (operator)* around SH, "silence"
18 Cavalier endured around 31 days custody (5-3-4)
DEVIL-MAY-CARE — LIVED<= + the merry month of MAY + CARE, “custody.” Since the clue doesn’t (and couldn’t) read “in custody,” the knight (or Royalist) in the surface meaning could be putting up with having custody of someone…
21 Stones’ backing band needs so long to tour India (5)
TIARA — T(I)ARA. Clever definition! TARA is much rarer than “Tata!”
22 Awful panic finally spread into government (9)
DIRECTION — “Awful,” DIRE + [-pani]C + (into)*
24 Fitness update is wrong to cover sex appeal (8)
APTITUDE — (update)* with IT inside
25 Flap in coat men close at the back (6)
FURORE — FUR, “coat” + OR, “men” + [-clos]E
26 Adders regularly avoided old city’s ruins (8)
DESTROYS — aDdErS + TROYS, “old city’s”
27 Barber cutting while arguing (2,4)
AT ODDS — A(TODD)S. The demon barber Sweeney of Fleet Street…

 1 Miss Brodie half concealed a terrible resentment (8)
JEALOUSY — JE[-an] + A + LOUSY, “terrible.” We actually have three-fourths of the famous fictional schoolmistress’s first name here, but that wouldn’t have made as smooth a surface…
 2 Star taking young woman around city (3,5)
 3 Blows from boxers (5)
 5 Doubt the Gospel? (8,4)
QUESTION MARK — ”Doubt,” QUESTION + the Gospel of MARK
 6 Vessel carrying poorly soldiers (9)
 7 Heel grazed on one in the church (6)
CURATE — ”Heel,” CUR + ATE, “grazed on”
 8 Vegetable starters to rival any course (6)
RADISH — R[-ival] + A[ny] +DISH, “course”
11 Nobly inclined to stop exalted lady being heartless (4-8)
HIGH-MINDEDLY — HIGH, “exalted” + L[-ad]Y, with MINDED, “inclined,” plugging in
15 Bad writer’s operettas needing work (9)
POETASTER — Hey, are you knocking Poe…? (operettas)*
16 Chap providing antique engine component (8)
MANIFOLD — ”Chap,” MAN + “providing,” IF + “antique,” OLD
17 Way to hold back ruddy snakes! (8)
19 Stockport wingers run with abandon (6)
STRAND — S[-tockpor]T + R + AND, “with”
20 French drink wine in the outskirts of Paris (6)
PASTIS — French drink wine everywhere! P(ASTI)S
23 Uneasy truce that takes bottle on both sides (5)
CRUET — (truce)* This had to be the answer, but I didn’t see the point of the last three words of the clue. (They were an attempt, I guess, to make it harder, but most of us who didn’t get it likely just shrugged and moved on.) After a nudge from Vinyl, I found out that over there in Merrie Olde “cruet” tout court can mean a cruet-stand, which you see on the tables of restaurants and which do typically hold two bottles, and maybe salt and pepper as well.