guy_du_sable (guy_du_sable) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Sunday Times Cryptic 4867, 8 IX 2019, by Dean Mayer — Save the day

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)
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →
← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →