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IN THIS DAY AND AGE—the latter being the Anthropocene—it behooves us to take a CONSERVATIONIST stance. Realistic forecasts of imminent change give me the WILLIES. Just look at what’s happening to our OCEANS. Is that SEA TANGLE really plastic? Of course, we know whom to blame: 1 across (in another sense besides the two given there).

The disaster immediately before us is 11. Two weeks ago, there was a clue whose definition fell short of a perfect fit, and here another setter confronts me with the same sort of error, which I am duty-bound to highlight. (EDIT: See editor Biddlecombe’s elucidation below.)

Difficulty-wise, this just seemed about par for the course, though I did resort to Chambers Word Wizard for my LOI, 23, a phrase heretofore unknowne.

I do (argamnas)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.

 1 For example, the “A” of “A1” (7)
CAPITAL — DD? But the two overlap, thanks to the word “the”—wouldn’t have to, but they do. Does that make this an &lit? I say no, because you can ignore the “the” and read the first part as a straight definition in itself, without needing the wordplay (which apparent reference to paper size alludes, as I’m sure you’ve all figured out, to the word’s sense in a phrase like “Capital idea!”).
 5 Crack pan and empty pot (7)
DECRYPT — DECRY (“pan”) + P[-o]T
 9 Dying a death is an upset now (2,4,3,3,3)
IN THIS DAY AND AGE — (Dying a death is an)* Turns out there there is nothing intrinsically morbid about the answer, though I’ve done my best, above, to load it with a baleful subtext.
10 In B&B, need the whole bar (9)
11 Close to complete, so complete (5)
EVERY — [-complet]E + VERY, “so”… The closest I’ve come to making a sentence where EVERY could replace “complete” is with the phrase “take every care”; but “take every care” and “take complete care” use slightly different senses of the word “care,” countable and uncountable. (Edit: Peter Biddlecombe, below, defends this with the phrase “have every confidence in,” so OK. I wonder if this is really the only such example… and it still grates on my ear.)
12 Heading for Clacton on Sea, wasted huge amounts (6)
OCEANS — C[-lacton] + (on Sea)*
13 Mostly free ice and fizzy drink over brandy (8)
CALVADOS — CALV[-e] + SODA<= Here “free” is a verb, and when an iceberg or glacier releases a huge chunk of frozen water it is said to (like a cow giving birth) “calve.” Thanks, Dean, for another subtle reference to climate change.
16 Blushing now, playing around as you’d expect (2,6)
NO WONDER — ”Blushing,” RED + NOW, ON, “playing” <=
18 Bones in back area (6)
21 A lot of this eliminates backtracking (5)
MILES — Hidden reversed
22 In opening drink, starts to taste sausage (9)
CHIPOLATA — C(HIP)OLA + TA[-aste]… "In" being "hip," dig
23 Hand (in hand?) (6-2,7)
JOINED-UP WRITING — A “hand” as in a writing style, i.e., cursive, with a reference to the expression “hand in hand.” A phrase new to me. (I parsed this more thoroughly in the comment to Bletchleyreject below. Now it looks like an &lit.)
24 Award increased titles, oddly (7)
ROSETTE — ROSE, “increased” + TTE, odd letters in “TiTlEs”
25 Money put into West End’s opening show (7)
MATINEE — MA(TIN)E + E[-nd]… not the “opening show,” though a matinee might very well be

 1 I’m extremely bad, admits idiot making U-turn (5-4)
CLIMB-DOWN — Trump returning the US to the Paris Agreement? CL(IM)(B[-a]D)OWN, with “admits idiot” reversing the more common order of subject and verb. 
 2 Despised thing which plugs leak (3,4)
 3 Consider “sharpish” when using pins? (5,2,4,4)
 4 Like Croesus in lady’s pants (6)
LYDIAN — (in lady’s)* As in the common expression, “As Lydian as Croesus”
 5 Playing CD, nearly free of dirt (3,5)
DRY CLEAN — (CD nearly)*
 6 Green keeper? (15)
CONSERVATIONIST — DD… though just barely!
 7 Vote for break in time for audit? (4-3)
YEAR-END — YEA (“vote for”) + REND
 8 Casual shirt with New York Minute (5)
TEENY — TEE + NY (and I got this one in a New York second)
14 Marine growth behind fish (3,6)
15 Gathering around church, go through gentle song (8)
BERCEUSE — BE(RC)E + USE (“go through)… the Roman Catholic establishment, not the C of E
17 Fear leaves guards I ultimately leave (7)
WILLIES — WILL(I)([-leav]E)S
19 Adjust rule covering call centre (7)
20 Mum, with soldier’s wife, put up tent (6)
WIGWAM — MA + W(ith) + GI + W(ife) <=
21 Trouble over gold key (5)


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Sep. 15th, 2019 01:00 am (UTC)
Re: very
I had to think about EVERY as well, but found 'complete' as one of the handful of synonyms for it in the Chambers Crossword Companion. Your G&S example works for me.
I guess the capital M in Minute (8d) makes it a reference to the Don Henley song.
MATINEE was the best for me.

- Nila Palin
Re: very - guy_du_sable - Sep. 15th, 2019 01:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: very - kevingregg - Sep. 15th, 2019 02:59 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: very - (Anonymous) - Sep. 15th, 2019 08:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 15th, 2019 12:14 am (UTC)
The last 10' offline, spent on 15d and 22ac, of all things; just couldn't remember the sausage. BERCEUSE just suddenly came to me from the E,U,E and CE; I didn't even know it was a song. I didn't get the 'free ice' part, but 13ac had to be CALVADOS; thanks, Guy, for enlightening me. I don't see how 'free from dirt' is a definition by example; DRY CLEAN is the example.
Sep. 15th, 2019 02:01 am (UTC)
Ah, you're right, I was seeing it backward. Will fix.
Sep. 15th, 2019 06:06 am (UTC)
32 minutes which surely must be a record for me for one of Dean's puzzles so I'd classify it as an easy one.

1ac went straight in and I'm glad it never occurred to me to worry about what type of clue it is.

BERCEUSE aka 'Cradle Song' is probably familiar as a title or style to budding musicians who encountered it during piano lessons etc. The one from Gabriel Faure's 'Dolly Suite' is well-known to generations of British children as the closing music to 'Listen with Mother' which went out on BBC radio for 32 years 1950-1982 although they may never have known what it was called. Are you sitting comfortably? You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aDGp2Ta85M
Sep. 15th, 2019 06:25 am (UTC)
I've heard it dozens of times, never knew who wrote it or what it was called.
Dolly good - z8b8d8k - Sep. 15th, 2019 01:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 15th, 2019 06:18 am (UTC)
I found this more difficult than usual taking 50:14 to complete. I had a MER at EVERY too, but shrugged and moved on. SEA TANGLE was new to me, and the apparently inside out CLIMB DOWN confused me a bit. I spotted the glacier calving event in our apple brandy. JOINED UP WRITING held me up for ages. BERCEUSE was my LOI. I eventually saw it from checkers and definition. A good challenge. Thanks Dean and Guy.
Sep. 15th, 2019 06:19 am (UTC)
I was down to my last clue in 15 minutes....
....but had to use aids eventually to get the unknown BERCEUSE. The glacial sense of "calve" was also new to me.


Idiot admits "I'm extremely bad".....would have read better at 1D in my opinion.

Sep. 15th, 2019 07:14 am (UTC)
No hold-ups for me with this enjoyable offering. 20 minutes with BERCEUSE not parsed, didn't clock the Catholic bit. Joined up writing the favourite.
Sep. 15th, 2019 07:25 am (UTC)
The Road to the Isles
50 minutes, and still needing a checker for BERCEUSE, so there's definitely no braggart in my step today. COD to PET HATE, which made me smile during my struggles. I liked THINK ON ONES FEET too. The S from the tangle of the Isles (sung at primary school) meant I could biff CALVADOS, and see 'Soda', but I wouldn't have guessed that sense of CALVE if I'd have been here till kingdom come. Tricky puzzle. Thank you Guy and Dean.
Sep. 15th, 2019 07:53 am (UTC)
The meaning of “every” is as in “I have every confidence in …”. Difficult, but there unless you think that kind of confidence comes in countable pieces. And I’m fairly sure that we have used it before.
Sep. 15th, 2019 10:26 am (UTC)
Is that really a proper expression? I would never say it! I would say, “I have complete confidence,” for the obvious reason.
(no subject) - guy_du_sable - Sep. 15th, 2019 03:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 15th, 2019 08:28 am (UTC)
11:39. No problems with this.
'I have every confidence in' is a strange expression, when you think about it.
Sep. 15th, 2019 10:26 am (UTC)
I have every confidence in you...
I think it often means, I don't, but I'm prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt until you fail in which case you will have let me down.
Re: I have every confidence in you... - guy_du_sable - Sep. 15th, 2019 10:28 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: I have every confidence in you... - philjordan - Sep. 15th, 2019 01:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: I have every confidence in you... - keriothe - Sep. 15th, 2019 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 15th, 2019 08:37 am (UTC)
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Sep. 15th, 2019 12:16 pm (UTC)
QC report
No problem with EVERY but plenty of problems elsewhere. This was very hard I thought. Too many to mention individually but I got tangled up in SEA TANGLE, was nowhere near BERCEUSE despite knowing the French word berceau and Croesus was not commonly known as Lydian where I have lived. I did get Chipolata and Calvados; but I doubt that's going to be the next diet fad.
Sep. 15th, 2019 01:01 pm (UTC)
One of the best of the week and I was happy to finish in just under an hour. I had to half-guess a few such as LYDIAN (thank you for enlarging my vocabulary and introducing me to an original synonym for 'rich') and SEA TANGLE. BERCEUSE needed some dredging as my LOI.

I'm probably missing the obvious, but nailing exactly how 'Hand (in hand?)' works has been bugging me all week; yes, I should have more important things to worry about. The best I could come up with is 'Hand' as def, with 'in' = JOINED-UP (as in 'joined up' or 'in', say the army) and 'hand' = WRITING. Just being thick.

Thanks to setter and blogger
Sep. 15th, 2019 03:18 pm (UTC)
It’s a bit odd. "Hand" isn't the entire definition, but just the WRITING part. The parenthesis with the question mark continues it, implicitly giving it a double purpose, in the phrase "hand in hand" (JOINED UP). I was torn between calling it an &lit and a CD. Now I’m leaning the other way… may change the blog!
Sep. 15th, 2019 02:05 pm (UTC)
"8 minutes, which currently seems to be my (extended) time for the Sundays. EVERY went in with a shrug - one of those where a parallel definition seems possible but just evades you.
The Lydian clue was a bit odd, given that Croesus has an "as...as" permanently attached to him. I figured he might just as well come from Lydia.
Sep. 15th, 2019 05:09 pm (UTC)
DNF. Bah! I became convinced that the meaning of hand required in 23ac was that of hired worker and so pencilled in ******-in-waiting thinking it would be some variation on ladies-in-waiting. I was also unable to get 15dn, an unfamiliar word with bee an unfamiliar synonym for gathering. Some excellent stuff though.
Sep. 15th, 2019 09:19 pm (UTC)
My copy has "Very Dean" written on it - lots of his trademark wit, I thought. FWIW I parsed 23A as an &lit... Walking hand-in-hand meaning joined up (as you might write it, as it were). Likewise 1A an &lit too. I'm afraid I don't understand your objection to that Guy. Whatevs. I liked both of those, and several others, with COD to my LOI, PET HATE. But as for the common expression(really?) "As Lydian as Croesus", I've never heard of it and cannot conceive of a conversation with anyone I know where it would ever be used. In fact I had to check my answer post-solve as I had no idea where Croesus was from (or who he was, for that matter). Does that make me a Philistine? Mind you, thanks to a lecture at York University Open Day today, I now understand what a laser plasma accelerator is and how it works. I think I feel rather more edified by that than learning Croesus was a Lydian. But, I concede, others' mileage may differ. 19:24.
Sep. 15th, 2019 11:05 pm (UTC)
The common expression (as you know) is "as rich as Croesus," not "as Lydian as…"
It was a joke, son!
As for 1, if you had only "For example, 'A," that would be the definition, sans any help from the rest of the clue—hence, not an &lit..
I don't see that saying "For example, the 'A'" makes that much difference. "In" is a common wordplay-definition connector.
So you can call it an &lit, if you like. As such, though, I find it a bit feeble.
Re: CROESUS - johninterred - Sep. 16th, 2019 05:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Croesus - phmfantom - Sep. 16th, 2019 10:36 am (UTC) - Expand
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