October 3rd, 2020

  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27780 - Saturday, 26 September 2020. Lazing on a weekend afternoon.

Ah Saturday. Another accessible puzzle. Every answer was from the known universe of discourse, and no clue was trivial. Just how I like it! My favourite was 5ac, with its delightful self-referential qualities. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. Let’s take a look.

Notes for newcomers: The Times offers prizes for Saturday Cryptic Crosswords. This blog is posted a week later, after the competition closes. So, please don’t comment here on the current Saturday Cryptic.

Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Deletions are in {curly brackets}.Add your introduction here
1 Funny character securing lids, I forget the name (7)
WHATSIT – WIT ‘securing’ HATS.
5 Singular, small flower pots for flower (7)
BLOSSOM – the first flower is a BLOOM, which holds S for singular, and S again for small, all producing BLOSSOM.
9 Checked out bottles all the same, such as whisky? (9)
DISTILLED – STILL = all the same, bottled by DIED = checked out.
10 General entitlement (5)
GRANT – double definition. General, later President, Ulysses S. Grant.
11 Insect in river adjoining lake (5)
LOUSE – L for lake, OUSE is the river.
12 Game not applicable: is English dance? (9)
POLONAISE – assemble as instructed: POLO is the game, N/A, IS, E for English.
14 Battle ground (8,6)
STAMFORD BRIDGE – double definition. The battle was in 1066 and all that, the football ground is still in use. For non-British readers, it's the home ground of Chelsea Football Club.
17 Insincere old eccentric packaging up a book token (14)
INCONSIDERABLE – ‘eccentric’ (anagram of) INSINCERE OLD + A B{ook}.
21 Second cracking title surprisingly providing theme (9)
LEITMOTIF – MO (second) ‘cracking’ (inside) an anagram (‘surprisingly’) of TITLE, all followed by IF = providing.
23 Straying inside Cairo guesthouse (5)
ROGUE – hidden inside CaiRO GUEsthouse.
24 After heart transplant, females returned to conscious state (5)
WOKEN – WOMEN become WOKEN after a ‘heart transplant’, ho ho.
25 Turn of the prince to be very agitated, once (9)
PHRENETIC – ‘turn’ (anagram) of THE PRINCE.
26 Waste time in oubliette (7)
DUNGEON – DUNG is waste, EON is a (long) time.
27 Yours truly repelled by the golden rule (7)
THEOREM – THE (literally in the clue) OR (gold), EM is ME (yours truly) reversed.

1 Buffalo (as American might say) following with clumsy gait (6)
WADDLEChambers says “buffalo” is a North American expression for “bewilder”. So, W for ‘with’, followed by ADDLE.
2 A matelot, reportedly offensive (7)
ASSAULT – ‘reportedly’ sounds like A SALT (sailor, or matelot)
3 Character whose skin breaks to make silk (6-3)
SPIDER-MAN – DERMA or skin, breaking SPIN or make silk. Aficionados will know, that’s not how he makes silk! He has a technological solution.
4 “Stop! The line's busy”, might one say? (11)
TELEPHONIST – ‘busy’ anagram of STOP THE LINE.
5 Malicious smear turning up (3)
BAD – DAB ‘turned up’.
6 Official publication that's stopped (5)
ORGAN – double definition: a State newspaper, for example, or a church organ.
7 Pull up towels, bandaging a black cormorant, say? (7)
SEABIRD – DRIES (towels) ‘pulled up’, ‘bandaging’ A B (black).
8 Welcomed into government department, comforting word appeared caring? (8)
MOTHERED – THERE (a comforting word, especially when repeated: there, there), ‘welcomed into’ MOD (the Ministry Of Defence).
13 If sister wrongly following boy — what should he have said? (6,5)
LADIES FIRST – IF SISTER ‘wrongly’ (an anagram), following LAD.
15 Switch back on cooker (9)
REARRANGE – REAR (back), RANGE (cooker).
16 Dollar maybe, outstanding, surged (8)
BILLOWED – a dollar BILL, is OWED if outstanding.
18 Well-dressed boy in yellow (7)
CHICKEN – CHIC (wel-dressed), KEN.
19 Boat now free of freight? (7)
LIGHTER – double definition.
20 After uprising, imperial award stuck in throat for online observer (6)
WEBCAM - CBE in MAW, all ‘uprising’.
22 Meat that’s new devoured by rodents (5)
MINCE – N for new, devoured by MICE.
25 Fastener that’s long made slightly shorter (3)
PIN – PIN{e}, shortened.

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1460 - 19th September. Bad news ...

Hello all, from a murky and moist Surrey.  As Storm Alex blew in I realised that the last storm season has passed without reaching K, which I had been rather looking forward to.

I plodded through this in about an hour which isn't really that slow for me, but there were too many "why on Earth didn't I see that sooner?" moments to count.  The most notable of which was failing to think of the right kind of Somali in 18a, resulting in a last entry most embarrassing for a kitty!  There were a couple of components which were unknown to me, but nothing which hindered me unduly or left me in any serious doubt of the answer, which is how I like my obscurities served.  Thanks, setter.

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