June 7th, 2021

Ulaca de Milo
  • ulaca

Times 27997 - Tantantara tzing boom and all that caper

The tum-tiddly-dee light operatic reference did for me, in spite of the fact that I knew the work. Must have subconsciously blanked it out...

The notebook at, 'ow you say, number three down may have caused a few problehms, but 'ere I was luckier, given my fondness for [some of] ze work of ze likes of Éric Rohmer, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and François Truffaut.

The dirges at 25 across likewise may have stumped one or two, but otherwise I thought this was a pretty straightforward yet elegant example of the genre albeit with a plethora of double definitions - and not a few anagrams.

Without further ado, tarumpty-thrumpty dum, trip we thither...


1 Dad, to irritate, gets into row about mending equipment (6,3)
REPAIR KIT - PA IRK in TIER reversed
6 Carbon copies for heads (5)
CAPES - C APES; geographical heads (promontories)
9 A full-bodied ale brewed by English moonlight? (4,1,6,4)
LEAD A DOUBLE LIFE - anagram* of A FULL BODIED ALE plus E; nice one, setter!
10 Bank employee hasn't entered shillings in notebook (6)
CAHIER - CA[s]HIER; the French film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma is 70 years old this year, which some of you lot may well be able to say
11 Look back, working hard, and persevere (4,2,2)
KEEP AT IT - PEEK reversed AT IT (working hard)
13 Region where Lamb's full of a singular flavour (4,6)
EAST ANGLIA - A S TANG in ELIA (pen name of Charles Lamb, essayist extraordinaire); I'm particularly fond of 'New Year's Eve', where he writes, 'I am naturally, beforehand, shy of novelties; new books, new faces, new years, from some mental twist which makes it difficult in me to face the prospective.'
14 Scrap old bank holiday (4)
WHIT - double definition (DD); Whit Monday was a holiday in Britain until 1971, when the last Monday in May replaced it. No matter, it still rains...
16 Key worker's jargon (4)
17 O for some romantic correspondence! (4,6)
LOVE LETTER - the letter O might be called the love (= nil) letter
19 Where striker stands for more pay? (8)
INCREASE - cricketing clue - the batsman typically stands inside the popping (or batting) crease, but need not if he's brave enough to take the quicker bowlers on
20 Home of the brave, made of slate, and well heated? Not right! (6)
WIGWAM - WIG (wig as in criticise, or slate) WA[r]M; I recently read Little Big Man, by Thomas Berger, a tall tale about a 121-year-old man raised by the Cheyenne, which has better claims to being The Great American Novel than many of the usual suspects, in my opinion
23 Advanced pro imagines what statistician needs (1,4,3,7)
A HEAD FOR FIGURES - AHEAD (advanced) FOR (pro) FIGURES (imagines); slightly strange to see the space between the first two words (a bit Guardianesque)
24 A racket taking in head of mafia organisation (5)
ADMIN - M[afia] in A DIN
25 Lamentations of small groups touring biblical land (9)
THRENODES - NOD in THREES; the Biblical land of Nod ('east of Eden') was where Cain was exiled after murdering Abel


1 Holy object oddly laid in playing field (5)
RELIC - L[a]I[d] in REC
2 Sweet complexion(7,3,5)
3 G&S princess has years away, very probably! (1,7)
I DARESAY - IDA (as in the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Princess Ida) YEARS*
4 Wader's granny? (4)
KNOT - DD; bird and type of knot
5 Put up policy: new cover for board (5,5)
TABLE LINEN - TABLE (put up a motion - in the UK, at any rate) LINE (policy) N
6 Poor firm pockets a pile (6)
7 Celebrate thirteen down — apt after a fashion (5,3,4,3)
PAINT THE TOWN RED - THIRTEEN DOWN APT*; not a Guardianesque cross-referencing clue
8 Heard of mark on potato publication (9)
SPECTATOR - sounds like SPECK on TATER; the mag where every other contributor must be named Johnson
12 A brick from ace with merchandise left (1,4,5)
13 Woman cuddling baby, eating a hot snack (9)
ENCHILADA - A in CHILD in ENA (as in Sharples)
15 Lunges wildly round the West Indies, displaying weapon (5,3)
LEWIS GUN - WI in LUNGES*; machine gun often used on aircraft (designed in the US but produced in the UK) - most associated with the Great War, but used right up to the Korean debacle
18 Field study is dreary (6)
21 Prophet’s artistic grandma (5)
MOSES - DD; artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses (AKA Grandma Moses) had a 23-year career that began at 78. Hope for us all...
22 Miles away from a ranch — miles away! (4)