September 20th, 2020

Sunday Times 4920 by Robert Price

12:33. A characteristically witty puzzle from Bob this week. I think my favourite clues were the outrageous 2dn and the brilliant 21dn, but there’s lots of fun stuff in here.

Definitions are underlined, anagrams indicated like (TIHS)*, anagram indicators are in italics.

1 Car accident in which Dan’s changed course
BANGERS AND MASH - BANGER (car), SMASH (accident) containing (DAN)*.
10 Shared territory is finished with China backtracking
OVERLAP - OVER, reversal of PAL.
11 Show to write? Something kids can’t get out of
PLAYPEN - PLAY (show), PEN (write).
12 Priest inspired by amateur’s work catalogue
13 Stay like newly laid asphalt?
TARRY - two definitions, one slightly whimsical.
14 Partly processed food set in batter
CUDGEL - CUD (the partly-processed food cows chew), GEL (set).
15 Wind up using underworld crack
DISSOLVE - DIS, SOLVE. DIS is one name for the Roman god of the underworld, and also the underworld itself.
18 Busy outlet that reordered fuel cans
EVENTFUL - (FUEL)* containing VENT.
20 Device a string ensemble musician uses
EMBLEM - contained in ‘ensemble musician’. This clue appears to break what is normally a pretty hard-and-fast rule of crosswords, which is that in containment clues, the phrase containing the answer must not have extraneous words, i.e. words that do not contain any part of the answer. Here the word ‘string’ is like that. You could argue that it’s part of the noun phrase ‘string ensemble’, but it’s still unusual. Edit: see comment from the editor below. The problem here wasn't with the clue, but with the blogger who was too dense to see a really rather nifty device. The containment indicator here is 'a string (of characters) [ensemble musician] uses'.
23 Child learner seen around a comprehensive
25 Firm hand adopted by man, mostly imprisonment
26 Loot going on new pub carpet
27 Girl keeping a diary, returning from Luanda?
ANGOLAN - reversal of NA(LOG)NA. Luanda is the capital of Angola. I didn’t know that but with wordplay and a few checkers it didn’t cause me a problem.
28 Harry Potter’s to scrap quidditch?
SPECTATOR SPORT - (POTTERS TO SCRAP)*. Quidditch being the game they play in the Harry Potter books and films.
2 Stated a word as a German might say it?
AVERRED - “a vord”. Cheeky!
3 Winger or prop overlooked by clubs
4 Average round: high point is making eagle?
RAPTOR - reversal (round) of PAR, TOR.
5 When a Greek character enters clutching axes, it’s breathtaking
ASPHYXIA - AS(PH(YX)I), A. Slightly tricksy wordplay here: it’s [AS A] (which) PHI enters, itself containing (clutching) YX (axes).
6 Outline drawing of British dictator
DRAFT - sounds like ‘draught’, which is how a Brit would spell the word meaning drawing. I found this clue a bit confusing because I’m not sure the US/UK draft/draught distinction is a hard an fast one these days, but it was broadly clear what was intended.
7 In disgust, touching garments
8 Fruit medley, one shown being mixed
9 What travelling orchestras go on?
16 What a judge will do in addition
17 Wine being revolutionary cutting grape juice
MUSCADET - MUS(CADE)T. A reference to Jack Cade.
19 European list restricting a comestible
21 More wee left? Puppies must be taken outside!
22 Do damage to India with Middlesex’s opening duo
IMPAIR - I, Middlesex, PAIR.
24 Was a jumper extremely loose fitting?
  • glheard

Mephisto 3133: Don Manley

Oh dear, I appear to have been migrated to a new posting system, which removes the colours and the spacing of the automated blog poster that I have been using. I hope it is still readable!

Yet again I am treated to a rather nice grid with 90 degree symmetry and generous crossing against the central region. This was a rather fun puzzle where a lot of the difficulty was in the wordplay.

Speaking of wordplay, since definitions (the most obvious of which is underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, this report will focus on wordplay.

Away we go!

(PS: less than a clue in to the write-up I'm finding how to force things to the previous editor)

1 Plaice due to migrate — a whole family of fish (9)
11 District ruled by Brits, mostly badly, in South Africa (4)
ZILA - ILL(badly) missing the last letter inside ZA(South Africa)
12 Duck s-somewhere in Ireland (6)
SMEATH - S-MEATH(somewhere in Ireland)
13 Silk cloth known to Scots and English (5)
KENTE - KENT(known in Scots) and E(English). I laughed a lot at this clue, because one of my favorite shows recently did a kente skit
14 On return materialised as one who would set up an idol? (7)
DEIFIER - REIFIED(materialised) reversed
16 Study hill, not one that is a feature of Italian map? (8)
CONTORNO - CON(study), TOR(hill), NO(not one)
17 Quiet drink? Not quiet drink! (5)
PERRY - P(quiet) then SHERRY(drink) missing SH(quiet)
19 Defence of island group half destroyed (4)
BERM - BERMUDAN(of island group) missing the second half
20 Musical instruction in educational institution inadequate? Certainly not! (8, two words)
COL LEGNO - COLLEGE(educational institution) missing the last letter, then NO(Certainly not)
22 A god gets older, making provisions for youngsters (8)
APANAGES - A, PAN(god), AGES(gets older)
24 Not one to put up or put down (4)
RASE - remove I(one) from RAISE(put up)
27 Macbeth an example? His status can be seen (5)
THANE - hidden inside macbeTH AN Example
28 Sage set out in one type of soil (8)
SOLONETS - SOLON(sage) and an anagram of SET
31 Use Socratic method of discussion — what could be noisier? (7)
IRONISE - anagram of NOISIER
32 Dad won a piece of fruit (5)
PAPAW - PAPA(dad) W(won, Korean currency)
33 Isn’t well — goes to doctor and bows (6)
DRAILS - AILS (isn't well) with DR(doctor)
34 European communication ignoring one head of state (4)
LETT - LETTER(communication) minus ER(one head of state)
35 Trader in drink as one who looks to get a nap? (9)
TEASELLER - a trader in drink could be a TEA SELLER
2 Jock’s more beloved one to be found in bar (6)
LIEVER - I(one) in LEVER(bar)
3 Ail badly with a run — it’s the bones (7)
ULNARIA - anagram of AIL and A RUN
4 It’s ____ that could be anti a priest getting spliced (8)
PATARINE - an all-in-one - anagram of ANTI,A,PRIEST minus IT'S
5 Bosses no longer linked to one part of the establishment (4)
EXEC - EX(no longer) and EC(established church)
6 Racing to collect old record that reveals study of subcontinent (8)
INDOLOGY - INDY racing contaiing O(old), LOG(record)
7 Goodwill shown by little woman embracing modern technology (5)
AMITY - AMY(little woman) containing IT(modern technology)
8 No longer spoil office assistant, leading to anger (5)
PAIRE - PA(office assistant), IRE(anger)
9 Gun carried by worst enemy (4)
STEN - hidden inside worST ENemy
10 Child has gone mad about gypsy in colourful material (9)
CHROMOGEN - CH(child), then an anagram of GONE with ROM(gypsy) inside
15 A record’s climbing and rides high — see it in the pop charts? (9)
SPEAR-SIDE - A, EP'S(record) reversed, then an anagram of RIDES. Pop charts referring to the paternal side of the family tree
18 People creating ruffles with request that's abrupt, short (8)
PLEATERS - PLEA(request) and TERSE(abrupt) missing the last letter
19 No longer enslave little woman slowing down (8)
BETHRALL - BETH(little woman) and RALL(rallentando, slowing down)
21 Breaking up, large icy pieces (7)
GRAUPEL - anagram of UP,LARGE
23 Like a wave from a Parisian lover? (6)
UNDATE - UN(a in French), DATE(lover)
25 Yesteryear’s well-off youngster said to get reproof from Mac (5)
SLOAN - sounds like SLOANE(well-off youngster)
26 A love with little energy, feeble and silly? (5)
ANILE - A, NIL(love), E(energy)
29 Odd Scottish soldiers, gunners (4)
ORRA - OR(soldiers) and RA(gunners)
30 Look old-fashioned delivering glib speech endlessly (4)
SPIE - SPIEL(glib speech) missing the final letter
  • vinyl1

Times 27775 - Vanilla city!

Time: 27 miinutes
Music: Wagner, Tristan and Isolde Prelude, Klemperer

This was pretty much a typical Monday puzzle, well-clued but rather straightforward.   I would have been much faster, but I just could not come up with corners at the end, and began to doubt the crossing entries.  That destroyed my hope of a sub-20 time, which is good for me.   The end result is a bit on the dull side, as there is not a single interesting word or controversial clue to be found. 

1 Rolling with laughter, as you may be after theatre trip (2,8)
IN STITCHES - Double definition....trip to an operating theatre, that is.
6 Display behind Low cartoon, at the back (4)
MOON - MOO + [cartoo}N
9 Sat beside old flame, defenceless (7)
10 Confirm Mark is touring the States (7)
12 Hypocritical dictator’s evil instrument (6,4)
DOUBLE BASS -  DOUBLE + sounds like BASE.
13 Chap from Helsinki out of his head here? (3)
INN - [f]INN, a rather general literal, although yes, an inn is a place.
15 Wise, having name for male disposition (6)
NATURE - -m,+N ATURE, a simple letter substitution clue.
16 Rebelliousness of French chap bound for altar? (8)
18 Has pilot somehow made for Red Cross facility? (8)
20 Rubbish teacher has qualification returned (6)
DEBRIS - SIR, B.ED. backards.
23 Drink making you sardonic in speech? (3)
RYE - Sounds like WRY.
24 Sweet wine that might shake you up (10)
26 Ticklish spots for hogs? (7)
CORNERS - A double definition that certainly should have been obvious.
27 Suggested paper fabricated report about backbencher? (7)
IMPLIED - I (M.P.) LIED, where the paper is the Independent, now just I.
28 Father and son put on payroll in Bow (4)
SIRE -  S + 'IRE. 
29 Part sentimental English left out (10)
1 Foreign woman, one drawn to Jean-Paul Sartre’s nose? (4)
INEZ - I + NEZ, a little more French than is usually required.
2 Two drinks to bring you comfort? (7)
3 Troublesome British trade union is condemned (13)
4 Club could occasionally upset member (6)
CUDGEL - C[o]U]l]D + LEG upside-down.
5 Trapped Yank nears end (8)
ENSNARED - anagram of NEARS END.   Yank is certainly a novel anagram indicator.
7 Address of old shop I must visit (7)
ORATION - O + RAT (I) ON.   Shop is rat on, not just rat.
8 Practical instruction limerick writer ignored? (2-8)
NO-NONSENSE - Double definition, one jocular.
11 Church in Palestine is remarkable place of worship (7,6)
SISTINE CHAPEL - CH in anagram of PALESTINE IS.   Another rather vague literal.
14 Whisky served in this way may be ruined? (2,3,5)
ON THE ROCKS -  Double definition.
17 Zealot engaged in pop art is antagonistic (8)
PARTISAN - hidden in [po]P ART IS AN[tagonistic].
19 One fleecing his subjects? (7)
SHEARER - Cryptic definition.
21 Lie about Chancellor’s initial position (7)
RECLINE - RE + C[hancellor] + LINE, as in the party line.
22 Actor perhaps at first welcoming resistance (6)
ARTIST -  A(R)T + 1ST.
25 Change course, heading north (4)
EDIT - TIDE upside-down, as in time and tide.