keriothe (keriothe) wrote in times_xwd_times,
keriothe
keriothe
times_xwd_times

Sunday Times 4908 by Robert Price - back to school

DNF. I found this very tricky, and had spent a little over 20 minutes on it when I came to 18ac. I have somehow never come across the Roman name for Ireland (if anything I would have associated it with Scotland, but it turns out the football team was founded by Edinburgh’s Irish community), and I couldn’t make any sense of (or indeed identify) the wordplay. So a fail for me this week as a result of a pretty embarrassing gap in my general knowledge.

The quality of the puzzle was, fortunately, far superior to the quality of the solver. Lots of cunning clues in this one, and some interesting vocab. 16dn combines both features in a particularly brilliant &Lit.

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

Across
1 Young lover’s house leased by top university
CAPULET - CAP (top), U, LET. Juliet’s house, sworn enemies of Romeo’s Montagues.
5 Joints provided in some prosthetic limbs feel stiff at first
SPLIFFS - first letters of ‘some prosthetic limbs feel stiff’ containing IF (provided).
9 Song, mostly fiction
LIE - LIEd.
10 Parties entertaining northern banker throws
DISCONCERTS - DISCO(N, CERT)S.
11 Men’s linen about to be arranged in drawers
UNMENTIONABLES - (MENS LINEN ABOUT)*.
13 Rent small room someone vacated for free
LET LOOSE - LET, LOO, SomeonE.
15 Pound of meat, paltry end cut
HAMMER - HAM, MERe.
17 One may hold coffee and walk nonchalantly, on a mobile
SACHET - sounds like ‘sashay’. This seems to be a reference to instant so ‘coffee’ should really be in inverted commas.
18 Ireland’s rupture brought about in Belfast originally
HIBERNIA - H(In, Belfast)ERNIA. My downfall.
20 Understanding 60 per cent of these irritate, act decisively
GRASP THE NETTLE - GRASP (understanding), THEse, NETTLE.
23 Governance by one on hand to give guidance
RULE OF THUMB - or, um, RULE (governance) OF (by) THUMB (one on hand).
24 Top firm? Not really
LID - soLID.
25 Bagpipe songs to be played amid silence
MUSETTE - SET (songs to be played) inside MUTE (silence, as a verb). 'A type of bagpipe with a bellows popular in France during the 17th and 18th centuries.' New to me but the wordplay was clear enough.
26 Look around and be curious, dear fellow
OLD BEAN - reversal of LO, (AND BE)*.

Down
1 Dreary company? Don’t scowl so much!
COLOURLESS - CO, LOUR LESS.
2 Heavy tools misspelt in a crumpled list
PNEUMATIC DRILLS - (IN A CRUMPLED LIST)*.
3 Like a full ship that’s left port
LADEN - L, ADEN.
4 Most palatable wine is covered by tax
TASTIEST - T(ASTI)EST.
5 Spies turning up in old clubs
SPOONS - reversal of SNOOPS. SPOON is an old word for a golf club. See also mashie, niblick, mashie-niblick, jigger.
6 Large copper in uniform heading for bogus judge’s study at night
LUCUBRATE - L, U(CU), Bogus, RATE. A word I didn’t know but the assembly instructions were clear.
7 Tone of Tory supporting one’s plea to be recalled
FORGET-ME-NOT BLUE - not a colour I knew, but again the instructions were clear once I had a few checkers.
8 Band’s big hit millions ignored
SASH - SmASH.
12 A jolly old fellow’s battle against evil
ARMAGEDDON - A, RM (‘jolly’ is a term for a Royal Marine), AGED, DON.
14 Disposed to shove or go too far
OVERSHOOT - (TO SHOVE OR)*.
16 Possible order for trio to hold melody back
RITENUTO - (TRIO)* containing TUNE reversed. This is a musical instruction to ‘hold back momentarily’ so the clue is a very clever &Lit.
19 Figure seen in posh country houses
STATUE - STAT(U)E.
21 Set off with no rescue boat and sink
EMBED - EMBarkED.
22 Spruce border, cut back
TRIM - triple definition.
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