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From the ice of 1ac to the searing sun of 27ac, there wasn’t an answer here I didn’t know, but there were lots of clever clues and quite a sprinkling of humour. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

I particularly enjoyed the parliamentarians at 2dn and 4ac contributing to the crossword community, but I think my favourite clue was the gentle humour of 21ac.

Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Answers are in BOLD CAPS, then wordplay. (ABC*) means ‘anagram of ABC’. Deletions are in [square brackets]. The blog is in Times New Roman font, as part of a gentle campaign to urge the club site to use a font in which it is easier to tell one’s stem from one’s stern.

1 House that has one turn and look inside (5)
IGLOO – I (one), LO ‘inside’ GO.

4 An MP in court. Delicious prospect? (9)
CAMEMBERT – A MEMBER (Honourable, ideally, although some might argue), inside CT.

9 Declines to drink with converts (9)
DOWNTURNS – DOWN with TURNS. The definition is a noun, not a verb.

10 More than half of Liverpudlians becoming addicts? (5)
USERS – more than half of [sco]USERS. Some local UK knowledge needed here.

11 Coppers in particularly nice bit of tree (7,6)
SPECIAL BRANCH – the primary definition (accompanied by a second, whimsical definition) is a particular subgroup of the police, and I wondered briefly whether the clue should indicate that. In the end I think it’s OK without.

14 Look hungrily around for roll (4)
REEL – Turn LEER ‘around’.

15 Refraining from bunking off, saving money (10)

18 Transported herd: all ten let loose (10)
ENTHRALLED – (HERD ALL TEN*), ‘let loose’.

19 Old painter retreats, shunning society (4)
AGED – DEGA[s], ‘retreating’. An elegant clue.

21 Trouble spending a penny? (13)
INCONVENIENCE – in Britain, you do or did “spend a penny” to go IN a CONVENIENCE. This clue had me on totally the wrong track.

24 Colonel born with foot impediment (5)
BLIMP – B (born), LIMP. Collins says Colonel Blimp was a cartoon character created by David Low (1891-1963).

25 Constant reorganisation of English lessons creates oppressive quality (9)
CLOSENESS – C is the constant, then (E LESSONS*) ‘reorganised’.

27 Stars puff on spliff around Her Majesty? There’ll be a complaint! (9)
SUNSTROKE – SUNS, then TOKE around R (Regina).

28 Feeble name for whiskey on the rocks? (5)
NEEDY – WEEDY is feeble. Change W for whiskey to N for name.

1 Dirt nieces dished up, being tactless (10)

2 Quiet “parliamentarian”, fifty, making way to top (3)
LOW – according to the traditional collective noun, a group of OWLs is a parliament. Move L (fifty) up to the top.

3 Get the better of idiot from Open University? (6)
OUTWIT – O (open), U (university), TWIT.

4 Instructions for washing farm machinery in field caught being lifted (4,5)
CARE LABEL – BALER (farm machinery), in LEA (field), then C (caught), all ‘lifted’. I didn’t know this term for the tags you see on everything, but it’s in the dictionary.

5 Swami’s erudition inspiring this curmudgeon (5)
MISER – hidden answer (‘inspired’).

6 The orator’s time for grief (8)
MOURNING – sounds like MORNING, indicated by ‘orator ‘.

7 Jumbo brought down by this? (8,3)
ELEPHANT GUN - I’m not sure this definition should be called cryptic. Have I missed something?

8 Drunkard turning on husband? Rubbish! (4)
TOSH – SOT ‘turning’, then H (husband).

12 Nice article about expert on Enlightenment? (11)
ELECTRICIAN – (NICE ARTICLE*) ‘about’. Lovely definition!!

13 Provokes Sally occasionally for no reason (10)
NEEDLESSLY – NEEDLE, then the odd letters of S-a-L-l-Y.

16 Doctor to free her thus (9)
THEREFORE – (TO FREE HER*), ‘doctored’.

17 The drugs that make you mad? (8)

20 Woman announcing she’s not straight? (6)
EILEEN – sounds like ‘I lean’.

22 Auditors guzzling half of chef’s exotic grub (5)
NACHO – the N.A.O. (National Audit Office), ‘guzzling’ CH[ef].

23 In the same place lives a creature with long legs (4)
IBIS – IB (ibidem), IS (lives). I was distracted by knowing that ‘ib.’ could also be abbreviated ‘ibid.’!

26 Examine pupil’s accommodation (3)
EYE – another double definition.


( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 13th, 2019 11:18 pm (UTC)
A very good puzzle (loved 20dn!) only slightly spoilt by the non-cryptic definition at 7dn. It was only ever necessary to pay a penny for use of cubicle, so roughly half the population wouldn't have needed to spend a penny in order to 'spend a penny'.
Sep. 14th, 2019 08:01 am (UTC)
The phrase ‘spend a penny’ originated in the 1851 Great Exhibition in London. This saw the introduction of the world’s first flushing public toilets. There were separate facilities for men and women, also a novelty. Your penny entrance fee also got you a clean seat, a towel, a comb and a shoeshine. They were used by almost a million people during the course of the exhibition.

Edited at 2019-09-14 08:02 am (UTC)
(no subject) - jackkt - Sep. 14th, 2019 09:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - paul_in_london - Sep. 14th, 2019 09:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jackkt - Sep. 14th, 2019 10:42 am (UTC) - Expand
OED online - phmfantom - Sep. 16th, 2019 10:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 14th, 2019 12:40 am (UTC)
7d was rather a disappointment in a good, if not difficult, puzzle. I didn't know IB or CARE LABEL or NAO. Liked 27ac and 20d.
Sep. 14th, 2019 06:05 am (UTC)
Re: 19:29
I was also a little puzzled by IB (actually ib.) which I had not seen before, although 'ibid.' and 'ibidem' were familiar and would have fitted the definition so I took it on trust.

MER to CARE LABEL which was surely invented around the same time as the 'twin-tub' but known then simply as 'washing instructions'. I wonder if there was ever a symbol for 'don't mangle'?

NAO for National Audit Office has been around since the 1980s but is still missing from some of the usual sources, most notably Collins.
Re: 19:29 - kevingregg - Sep. 14th, 2019 06:53 am (UTC) - Expand
NAO - brnchn - Sep. 14th, 2019 07:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: NAO - jackkt - Sep. 14th, 2019 07:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 19:29 - jackkt - Sep. 14th, 2019 07:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 14th, 2019 06:07 am (UTC)
An inconvenient truth
32 minutes with LOI EILEEN. Takes me back to the Children's Bumper Fun Book jokes. 'How to fall off a cliff' by Eileen Dover. I had the privilege of meeting the great trade union leader Frank Chapple before he retired, who fitted both the literal and the anagram solution to 12d, so ELECTRICIAN COD. It would have otherwise gone to INCONVENIENCE although, as Jack says, in those days for half the population that process came free. I know that we early baby boomers have been an extremely fortunate generation, but life does have a habit of getting its own back, and today's closure of so many public conveniences when I'm at the age they are most needed is doing just that. I liked the appearance of the National Audit Office too, a fine body of professionals with the luxury of criticising others in retrospect. CARE LABEL came hard but was remembered, despite my wife's claim that I don't know which is the washing machine and which the tumble dryer. An enjoyable puzzle. Thank you B and setter.
Sep. 14th, 2019 07:55 am (UTC)
Re: An inconvenient truth
Unfortunately the 'spend a penny' clue has reminded me of a childish graffito beginning 'Here I sit broken-hearted...'. I'm sure the cryptic minds here can work out the rest if they don't already know it.
RE: Re: An inconvenient truth - boltonwanderer - Sep. 14th, 2019 08:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 14th, 2019 06:31 am (UTC)
E, by gum....
....what with CRACK, POT, USERS, and toking on a spliff, there was a distinctly narcotic feel to this one !

A prematurely biffed "Imogen" was resolved once I got CLOSENESS, and told myself "Come on ! EILEEN !!".

I parsed my LOI afterwards, and assumed NAO, which was NHO ("Haudit" anyone ?).

LOI NACHO (hardly exotic - Walkers make them)
TIME 12:30
Sep. 14th, 2019 07:57 am (UTC)
I have "Groan-worthy" written on my paper copy, a tribute to the witticism on display here, with yuk or groan written against 7 clues. LOI EILEEN (one of the groans). Great fun. Thanks Bruce and setter. 15:51
Sep. 14th, 2019 08:10 am (UTC)
A member indeed
Topicalness award to CAMEMBERT I'd say, alternative synonyms also applying (IMV). Very nice puzzle.
Sep. 14th, 2019 08:26 am (UTC)
52 minutes, so I must've found this tough going, but I seem to remember feeling LOW (FOI) that morning.

Enjoyed 21 INCONVENIENCE—charges for use of the toilets in stations had risen to 40p in some places, before Network Rail announced that they would be scrapped this year. Chief executive Mark Carne was quoted as saying it was "quite wrong to penalise people when they are in discomfort", thus clearly demonstrating that he's never actually caught a train in this country, otherwise he wouldn't be piddling about with the toilets...

I didn't record my LOI, but I have a feeling it was somewhere in the SW, having also tried to crowbar "ibid" into 23d rather than the bird for a while...

Edited at 2019-09-14 08:27 am (UTC)
Sep. 14th, 2019 08:29 am (UTC)
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Sep. 14th, 2019 08:42 am (UTC)
I started with IGLOO and finished with either IBIS or NEEDY. Didn't know ib. Liked CAMAMBERT. The rest of the puzzle didn't cause me much INCONVENIENCE, apart from having to change my TACHO(sic) to a NACHO and I was done in 30:19. Thanks setter and Bruce.
Sep. 14th, 2019 08:44 am (UTC)
A gentle trundle over 18 minutes, like others wondering if the GUN clue was more complex than an uncryptic definition.
My Tesco's divides has a special aisle for foreign or exotic stuff, which includes Polish, Kosher, Sub-Continental, Japanese and (it's true, I tell you) American, but you won't find NACHOs there. They're just called tortilla chips and fill out the crisp section.
Sep. 14th, 2019 08:59 am (UTC)
QC report
I got through most of this quite quickly but came to a halt on two in the SE. At 28a I wondered about WEEDY and at 20d I had a number of girls in mind -Di,Vi,Fi even Liz-but Eileen failed to appear. And at that point I gave up.
An enjoyable puzzle but I'm still a bit mystified by the "on the rocks" in 28a; I know that's how whisky can be served. David
Sep. 14th, 2019 09:02 am (UTC)
On the rocks
Chambers has as its first definition for “on the rocks”: penniless.
Re: On the rocks - davidivad1 - Sep. 14th, 2019 09:12 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: On the rocks - brnchn - Sep. 14th, 2019 09:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: On the rocks - davidivad1 - Sep. 14th, 2019 09:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 14th, 2019 12:31 pm (UTC)
Saturday Cryptic 27456 14 Sep
I am aware it is not done to discuss the prize crossword before the closing date for entries but I believe there are two clue errors (one a word omission and the other an inappropriate word). Not sure where else to mention this.
Sep. 14th, 2019 01:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Saturday Cryptic 27456 14 Sep
I'm not sure what you're thinking of--although I do have a ? at one clue--but in any case, submit a comment to the club forum by starting a thread in the General category. I'm curious to see if you get any responses.
Re: Saturday Cryptic 27456 14 Sep - tringmardo - Sep. 14th, 2019 01:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Saturday Cryptic 27456 14 Sep - keriothe - Sep. 14th, 2019 01:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 14th, 2019 12:44 pm (UTC)
20:19 I thought this was a fun puzzle. COD and LOI 21ac. Impossible for me to hear the name Eileen without thinking of Dexy's Midnight Runners. I assumed 7dn was meant to make us think about grounded jumbo jets but like everyone else, for me, the other type of jumbo immediately came to mind making it barely cryptic or at least not so cryptic as to detain me for any length of time. DNK Colonel Blimp was a cartoon but saw the Powell and Pressburger film not too long ago so knew it from that.
Sep. 14th, 2019 09:37 pm (UTC)
For brnchn and anyone else remotely interested [cue tumbleweed], Eileen was the solution that I indirectly referred in last Saturday's blog as having a legitimate alternative. I've known three women called Aileen - one pronounced it Ay-leen (long A), and two pronounced it the same as as Eileen. (Clearly won't have tripped up many solvers, but still!)
Sep. 14th, 2019 09:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Eileen
^ Sorry, should have been "referred to", and I omitted my moniker. - Nila Palin
RE: Re: Eileen - brnchn - Sep. 14th, 2019 09:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Re: Eileen - (Anonymous) - Sep. 14th, 2019 10:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 36 comments — Leave a comment )

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