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Sunday Times 4872 by Robert Price

7:09. A pretty easy one from Bob this week, but none the worse for that. There are lots of fun and creative clues in here, starting with a neat ‘answer as clue’ number at 1ac (which I didn’t get immediately), and then a witty device at 5ac. Nothing is particularly hard, but I found myself repeatedly thinking ‘oh well done’ as the pennies dropped in fairly quick succession. Saturday’s (12 October) was a complete beast of a puzzle so this was a welcome contrast.

My only unknown was 3dn BOOKLOUSE. I had bunged in WOODLOUSE as the only possible wee beastie that could fit, which made 1ac a bit tricky, but fortunately something in my speed-solving brain registered that WOOD didn’t really work for ‘reserve’ and I reconsidered quite quickly.

So thanks to Bob for a very enjoyable puzzle, and here’s how I think it all works.

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

1 Clue to patients’ accommodation problem
DRAWBACK - DRAW BACK is WARD, so the answer is a clue to ‘patient’s accommodation’. Nice.
5 Extravagant high-five!
SLAP-UP - because a high five is a (hand) slap in the air (up). Also nice.
9 Dry European drink in greenish-blue
10 Office equipment that is right next to PC
11 Watch heads of government in lectures on sex
VIGIL - VI, first letters of government in lectures. ‘Sex’ (six in Latin) for VI is becoming quite commonplace.
12 Disorganised leader to host a quiet venture
14 Cut down on Geordie sides to suppress incompetence
USELESSNESS - USE LESS (cut down on), NE (Geordie), SuppresS.
18 Comic accepts change to Melchester’s first daydreamer
WALTER MITTY - W(ALTER, Melchester)ITTY. How old do you have to be to remember Roy of the Rovers, I wonder?
21 Fan of old farm equipment
23 Big beast in foreign river
HIPPO - HIP (in), PO (foreign river).
24 Line showing pressure of abrasion, endlessly repaired
25 Twisting cap in hands, check clothes
SCREW TOP - S(CREW)TOP. The hands are the CREW, and STOP (check) is ‘clothing’ them. A lovely clue where the surface is completely at odds with the wordplay.
26 Part of plant in which stewed meat is tinned?
STAMEN - (MEAT)* contained in SN (the chemical symbol for tin). Excellent stuff.
27 Painter needing frames someone locked away
INTERNEE - contained in ‘painter needing’.

1 A case of Garland’s last musical making a comeback
DATIVE - garlanD, reversal of EVITA (musical).
2 Exact payment for archdeacon’s time touring
AVENGE - A(VEN)GE. I know from doing these things that VEN (venerable) is a title given to an archdeacon, but I don’t really know what an archdeacon is.
3 Tiny animal reserve close to small river
4 Doctor clears them around hotel in case a nut goes inside
CRASH HELMET - (CLEARS THEM)* containing H (hotel).
6 Creamy mixture tipped on a sponge
LOOFA - reversal of FOOL (creamy mixture), A. I went through a phase of making FOOLs a few years ago. You can make them with cream or custard. The former is a lot easier.
7 Minister mostly collects tax for servicemen
8 Spectacle that moves around is promised land
13 Travelling to Peru in car from San Juan?
15 Power over Lancashire? That makes me smile
SAY CHEESE - SAY (influence, power), CHEESE. Mmm, Kirkham’s Lancashire...
16 Singular couples taking in little darlings
17 Request that God divides wealth
PLETHORA - PLE(THOR)A. Other Avengers are available.
19 Perfect time to interrupt kiss and cuddle
SPOT-ON - SPO(T)ON. SPOON for snog, or something similar, came up the other day and triggered some discussion.
20 Rug to go under end of bureau
TOUPEE - TO, bureaU, PEE.
22 Native American wanting horse with speed


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 20th, 2019 12:07 am (UTC)
thanks keriothe, and Mr Price of course, too. I went slowest in the upper left, otherwise about 2/3 of the way through I thought: "what kind of a person thinks TOUPEE immediately on seeing "rug" or APACHE when hearing Native American or... but you get the point

Oct. 20th, 2019 12:23 am (UTC)
Actually, I've been trained by these cryptics to think CREE when hearing 'Native American', but the point is taken. FOI 5ac, although I hadn't thought of SLAP-UP as extravagant; but then it's not in my dialect. I liked 'disorganized' being the definition not the anagrind. A number of lovely clues, but COD to SCREW TOP.
Oct. 20th, 2019 05:08 am (UTC)
35 minutes enjoyable solving. I looked twice at 'foreign' in 23ac thinking for a moment that it was cluing the HIP in HIPPO before realising that it was describing the river.

It may be worth mentioning that a loofa is not a sponge, one being 'vegetable' the other 'animal', although both can be used for the same purpose when it comes to personal hygiene so there's some room for crossover in dictionary definitions.

Edited at 2019-10-20 06:58 am (UTC)
Oct. 20th, 2019 05:39 am (UTC)
Agree with K that this was at the easier end but still a joy to see such clever devices and smooth deceptive surfaces. Thanks K and Robert.
Oct. 20th, 2019 06:10 am (UTC)
For my dessert on Thursday lunchtime....
....I had a gooseberry fool. An hour later I finally got round to this puzzle, and LOOFA was therefore an early write-in.

I went on to Mephisto when I finished, and almost immediately spotted a massive coincidence. Not only is SLAP-UP in both puzzles, it's in exactly the same position on both grids ! I wondered whether Bob had been out to dinner with Don Manley recently. This clue was the cleverer one in my opinion.

Apart from parsing VIGIL post-solve, I had no problems.

TIME 10:44

Oct. 20th, 2019 07:15 am (UTC)
The stuff of dreams
32 minutes. I could say I remember Roy Race’s first game in 1954, K, but I read The Wizard (stories without pictures) and not The Tiger. We had Bouncing Briggs, the goalie who never let in a goal, and Wilson the wonder athlete who at the age of 200 ran a mile in three minutes, living as he did on a diet of herbs.What with Popeye and spinach, we suffered veggie propaganda then too. Another very good puzzle by Robert. LOI was BOOKLOUSE, with DRAWBACK being necessary to stop my desperate attempts to make sense of WOODLOUSE. COD to DATIVE, with the Judy Garland reference masking Evita, every compiler’s musical of choice. I liked SCREW TOP, SAY CHEESE and VIGIL too. Thank you both.
Oct. 20th, 2019 08:04 am (UTC)
Re: The stuff of dreams
I don't remember where I know Roy of the Rovers from, but I do remember it. According to Wiki it was going until 2001 but I wonder if it was prominent enough in its later years that boys growing up in the 90s would remember it in the same way.
Nov. 10th, 2019 05:05 pm (UTC)
Re: The stuff of dreams
Wilson always carried a shovel over his shoulder. When, for some reason, he had to trim a hedge he just sharpened one side of his shovel and used it like a billhook. He probably then went on to catch the other runners and win a marathon. I suppose it was no more fanciful than someone walking on water. The quality of my childhood life went down by orders of magnitude when The Beano and The Dandychanged to all pictures.


Oct. 20th, 2019 08:24 am (UTC)
Roy of the Rovers
Lived on in a few comedy sketches and pub quizzes -

Q. Who was the only player ever to come on as a sub in the last minute and grab a hatrick - and save a last second spot-kick to win The Cup Final.
A. Roy of the Rovers! The stuff of legends! Nat Lofthouse was close!

FOI 21ac EXTRACTOR (chestnut flavour)


COD 18ac WALTER MITTY of Melchester


Time unrecorded for posterity
Oct. 20th, 2019 08:36 am (UTC)
An enjoyable puzzle which took me 33:07. I can't remember where I started, but I remember DRAWBACK coming late in the solve. Liked DATIVE and SAY CHEESE. NHO BOOKLOUSE, but wasn't tempted by woodlouse as I already had 1a by then. HAPHAZARD and CRASH HELMET were my last 2 in. Thanks Bob and K.
Oct. 20th, 2019 12:18 pm (UTC)
QC report
I remember enjoying this puzzle very much but I cannot remember where I put my physical copy with any notes.
I did finish it eventually and I think TOUPEE was LOI because I had put INTERNED at 27a. Sloppy. I had tried to fit in WIG.
FOI was ISOBAR - I randomly read the clues until I find one that I can possibly solve -and my favourite was CRASH HELMET.
A plethora of privates in a Puerto Rican paradise.
Oct. 20th, 2019 06:26 pm (UTC)
16:42 a spot of light relief after the Saturday puzzle but a delightful solve nonetheless. I loved the screw top, the crash helmet, say cheese and the toupee.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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