October 18th, 2020

Sunday Times 4924 by David McLean

7:43. A pretty easy one from Harry this week, without much by way of talking points. Mostly familiar vocabulary although I don’t remember coming across 8dn before. I’m not entirely sure of my parsing of 16ac so any alternative views welcome.

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

1 No time for food, getting fit
4 Hopeful dance with rogue’s lamentable
9 Holidays in Split close to beaches
BREAKS - BREAK, beacheS.
10 One providing relief for engineers upset about employer
EMBOSSER - reversal of REME (engineers) containing BOSS.
11 Mess about with pint to get wasted
12 South African animal trainer?
REEBOK - I’m going to treat the second part of this clue as very slightly cryptic because while I can imagine someone referring to their REEBOKs I don’t think anyone would ever use it in the singular.
13 I handled orders badly, being chicken
16 Fine deceitful European captain of ship
FLYING DUTCHMAN - F, LYING, DUTCHMAN. I’m not sure how to parse this one. The FLYING DUTCHMAN is a legendary ghost ship, and as far as I can tell from looking at Wikipedia extensive research the phrase doesn’t apply to its captain. But if ‘captain’ is not part of the definition it has to be part of the wordplay, so it has to mean ‘man’, leaving ‘European’ to indicate just DUTCH rather than DUTCHMAN. But I can’t find any justification for captain = MAN. Hmm. Edit: see comments below: it's the captain of the ship, who is also sometimes referred to this way, including in the opera of the same name by Wagner, which I had never heard of.
20 One tip to lure in bloke with a smoke
MANILA - MAN(I, Lure), A. A type of cigar made in the city.
22 Drop swimmer as he’s short and fat?
24 Where you put flowers around four is disturbing
25 One dropping a line to get hold of Sturgeon?
26 Girls, you’ve changed in a severe way
27 Part of Dynasty elicits viewer’s complaint
STYE - contained in ‘Dynasty elicits’.

2 Bird dropping head below black fence
3 Old manuscript contains answer for tests
4 Segregate criminal that’s hunted in spring?
5 Boxes jammed with European coins
6 Brown horse possibly unseats knight
UMBER - nUMBER. Horse as in heroin, an opiate and hence NUMBER.
7 Star made off with millions in capital
AMSTERDAM - (STAR MADE)* containing M.
8 I announced a little fair
EYESOME - sounds like ‘I’, SOME (a little).
14 Rise and speak at length about one with spirit
15 Play along with a group who perform acoustically
ACCOMPANY - sounds like ‘a company’.
17 Student leader to land head of house, perhaps
18 Strip or uniform associated with northern outfit
19 Place for those with habits like The Priory?
NUNNERY - CD. The Priory is a clinic that does rehab (for ‘those with habits’) among other things, just round the corner from me.
21 A motorway turn in China
AMIGO - A, MI, GO. China plate, mate.
23 Port and a shot downed by vacuous lads
LAGOS - LadS containing A, GO.
  • glheard

Mephisto 3137 - Tim Moorey

Vinyl1 posted after last week's puzzle that he had a few questions over this one. I didn't fare too badly, though there was one abbreviation that I didn't find in Chambers and had to look up to verify a term. It might have been in my favor that there are a number of US-centric terms, and a few I run into on a regular basis.

The run of grids with 90-degree symmetry continues! There's some generous checking here which made it easier to figure out the longer entries.

With Mephisto puzzles, definitions (the first of which is underlined) can be verified in Chambers, so I will focus on the wordplay here.

Away we go....

1 Southerner’s horse securing a start in hunt (8)
SCALAWAG -  SCAG(heroin, horse) containing A, LAW(the start of a hunt)
7 Marine creature going round in shallow pool endlessly (4)
SALP - the shallow pool is a PLASH, remove the last letter
10 Two chaps prepared meat in eg Dubai (5)
HALAL - the chaps are HAL and AL, and prepared is an adjective
11 Rock tackles panic arising from gas shortage (7)
ACAPNIA - AA(rock) containing an anagram of PANIC
13 Police releasing pirates as before (9)
14 No honeyed drink brought back or spirit (6)
DAEMON - NO and MEAD(honeyed drink) all reversed. By funny coincidence, there is a meadery just around the corner from me, and I stopped in to pick up a few bottles just before solving this puzzle.
16 Scratching face, old Scotsman with a beard (4)
AWNY - remove the first letter from SAWNY(old Scotsman)
17 Emerge from fence, villain finally nicked (6)
ECLOSE - ENCLOSE(fence) missing the last letter of villaiN
18 Evil is found in trade by exchange — sign of a bastard (11)
BAR-SINISTER - SIN(evil) and IS inside BARTER(trade by exchange)
20 Molar apt to play up? Ingest one (11)
PARACETAMOL - anagram of MOLAR and APT containing ACE for an all-in-one clue
23 Neighbour swallows Liberal line pretty much (6, two words)
ALL BUT - ABUT(neighbour) containing L(Liberal) and L(line)
25 Favourite place for relatives (4)
BROS - double definition
27 An event touring Alaska shows rare horses (6)
TAKHIS - THIS(an action, event or circumstance) containing AK(Alaska)
29 Champ rallies on getting eagles (9)
ALLERIONS - anagram of RALLIES,ON for heraldic eagles
30 Work with willow is comparatively dense (7)
GOOSIER - GO(work) and OSIER(willow)
31 Skirt length one backed for dancing girl (5)
ALMEH - HEM(skirt), L(length), A(one) all reversed. Remember one = A is OK in Mephisto, but not in the daily Times
32 Troops used after ending of police protection (4)
EGIS - GIS(troops) after the last letter in policE
33 They arrange meets and after removing wheel, sort tyres out (8)
TRYSTERS - anagram of SORT,TYRES minus O(wheel)
1 Some in school went halves on leaving (4)
SHAD - SHARED(went halves in) with RE(on) removed, the school being of fish
2 Red wine catalogue taken by a Midlands soccer team (7)
CATAWBA - CAT(catalogue), A, WBA(West Bromwich Albion, midlands soccer team). I had to look up the soccer team. I live less than 100km from the Catawba river and the major growing region for this grape. I can't say I'm a fan, red wine is a stretch, it is a funny-smelling rose.
3 Nearly all changed? Only for fiscals (9)
4 The French come with volumes, no end of reading (6)
ALLONS - GALLONS(volumes) minus the last letter in readinG
5 Thorny stuff catching pedestrian jogging in a wet Beijing (11)
WAG-N-BIETJIE - anagram of A,WET,BEIJING and I was glad almost all the letters were checked
6 Fish unknown in US port (4)
GARY - GAR(fish), Y(unknown). I've stopped for a break in Gary, Indiana on my way to Chicago once, and I have a distinct memory. It is a drab port on Lake Michigan, birthplace to a number of Jacksons, and I remember seeing a beach that I thought looked nice, and then saw it was right next to a nuclear reactor.
7 Old scouts very good in shortened Latin-American dance (6)
SPIALS - PI(very good) in SALAS(Latin-American dance) missing the last letter
8 Stories about ending of human rights (5)
LIENS - LIES(stories) containing the last letter of humaN
9 Changes going round about order of birds (8)
PASSERES - PASSES(changes, as in passes down ownership) surrounding RE(about)
12 Concerned with a strong Union, unlimited state ceremony organised (11)
CEMENTATORY - anagram of the inner letters of sTATe and CEREMONY
15 Triplets, primarily accommodated in space done up, stop me moving house (9, two words)
MOTOR HOME - first letter of Triplets inside ROOM(space) reversed then HO(stop), ME.  Terrific clue.
16 Perk up Dad, and face time of being old (8)
APPANAGE - reverse PA(dad) then PAN(face) and AGE(time of being old). Perk is an abbreviation for perquisite
19 Always storing cut of meat in old conveyor (7)
ELOINER - EER(always) containing LOIN(cut of meat)
21 One born Elizabeth to become senior sister (6)
ABBESS - A(one), B(born), BESS(Elizabeth)
22 Fruit and nuts unopened (6)
ANANAS - BANANAS(nuts) missing the first letter
24 Looks good for mathematician’s term (5)
LOLOG - LO and LO(looks) then G(good). Found in Chambers under LOGLOG
26 Small fly found in cored apples perhaps (4)
FRIT - remove the middle from FRUIT(apples, perhaps)
28 Second year students issuing positive notes (4)
SOHS - in the US, second year students are SOPHOMORES, abbreviated to SOPHS, remove the P(positive)
  • vinyl1

Times 27799 - Lenehan is back!

Time: 27 minutes
Music: Ravel, Daphnis and Chloe, Munch/BPO

Another easy Monday?   Well, easy if you follow the cryptics.    We're not allowed to use the answers in the blog titles (you bloggers do remember this rule, right?), which is too bad as there are some interesting phrases in here, such as the muntjac autocar and the taurine chianti. 

I did race through most of the puzzle fairly easily, before being slowed down by some of the more chewy parts.   But even the deer rang a vague bell, and the cryptic was very clear, as is usually the case with the more obscure words.   It was actually the old soldier that gave the most trouble, before I started to consider all the possible meanings of all the words.

1 Go, for example, outside of the cell (6)
4 A mite invading cloche possibly where a plant is growing (7)
9 Understanding directions for pen strokes to draw F on its side? (5)
SENSE - S + E + N + S + E - take your pen, and follow the instructions!   Has anyone seen this device before?
10 Highly regard including unknown trade union in amalgamation process (9)
11 Sharp reply concerning new member duke introduced (9)
12 Dangerous, like a yeti (5)
HAIRY - Double definition, one far-fetched.
13 Robin needs bravery when second flees (4)
14 Junction layout of west end of Central Line covering page (10)
CLOVERLEAF - C[entral] L[ine] + OVER + LEAF.
18 Bush to refuse to accept letter from old England (10)
BLACKTHORN - BLACK + THORN, which along with eth was one of the two letters that represented TH in Old English.
20 Brand of small vehicle (4)
SCAR - S + CAR, a Quickie escapee.
23 Many grabbing uniform: one forgot taking it (5)
24 Regularly uncertain about dodgy refit for African Queen (9)
NEFERTITI -  [u]N[c]E[r](anagram of REFIT)T[a]I[n], also, one of the better Miles Davis albums.
25 Oven I am returning — beware, bank is involved (9)
MICROWAVE -  I'M backwards + C(ROW)AVE.   Caveat solver, that is. 
26 In this year one receives no capital (5)
HANOI -  H[oc] A[nno] (NO) I.
27 Cry out, seeing loose weathered stones on front of church (7)
28 Difficult time with Yankee in boxing venue (6)
1 A grub stop when travelling? (9)
GASTROPUB - Anagram of A GRUB STOP, an &lit.
2 Deer climb where oxygen’s lacking, initially judging by account (7)
3 Statement from UK spying agency (6)
THESIS - THE S.I.S, the Secret Intelligence Service.   Nowadays, the government keeps all its intelligence secret.
4 Author O Henry turned up minutes before the Queen (5)
HOMER - O + H backwards, + M + ER.
5 Container mostly problematic for spiny shrub (8)
BOXTHORN - BOX + THORN[y].   I would have avoided two thorny bushes in one puzzle.
6 Bully, perhaps, volunteers what everyone passes (7)
TAURINE -  TA + URINE, where the literal is the tricky part.
7 Little support over location of UN headquarters (5)
8 One at the Boar’s Head pub upset old Prince Hal, initially (8)
BARDOLPH - BAR + anagram of OLD + P[rince] H[al].
15 Backed up? However if I edit that will show (8)
VERIFIED -  hidden in [howe]VER IF I ED[it].
16 Understanding what the present is? (9)
FORGIVING - FOR GIVING, another Quickie clue.
17 Badly out of skill, pole is broken here? (3,5)
SKI SLOPE - anagram of SKILL, POLE, a semi-&lit.
19 Court upset with AA and one of their responsibilities (7)
AUTOCAR - Since the magazine is not associated with the AA, this must be the archaic term for the actual vehicle.
21 Official note, mostly opposed to red wine (7)
22 Old soldier often looking for a quarrel (6)
ARCHER - CD, looking for a quarrel of arrows.
23 Puts up with masses (5)
LUMPS - LUMPS - like it or lump it!
24 Excellent American hotel down under (5)