guy_du_sable (guy_du_sable) wrote in times_xwd_times,
guy_du_sable
guy_du_sable
times_xwd_times

Sunday Times Cryptic No 4919 by Dean Mayer — Chef’s surprise

My LOI was 13 down, as I needed all the checkers… and then some. I hope and trust others will find the definition less elusive. It had to be some kind of -ISM, so what else could it have been?

Maybe I just didn’t want to face the grisly reality. In any case, as things are grisly enough, I’ll refrain from going into any detail about how a certain right-wing radio personality spoke of the Donner Party as role models some weeks ago.

It seems I’ve already been rather loquacious below, so let’s get on with it.

I indicate (gasmanar)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.

ACROSS
 1 Resist love for boy from Ireland (5)
BUCKO — BUCK, “Resist” + O, or 0, “love” I thought of Buck (loveless?) Mulligan immediately, but it’s not a proper name, just a synonym of “lad” that is used more often in Ireland than elsewhere.
 4 One showing pulse will stand in for me (9)
PROGRAMME — PRO(GRAM)ME… yes, I looked it up, and one meaning of GRAM is “pulse,” in the sense of a kind of leguminous plant, or its comestible seeds, such as peas; here poised between PRO, “for” and ME, “me.”
 9 Financial investigation involves tax (5,4)
MEANS TEST — MEANS, “involves” + TAX, “test”… MEANS in the oblique sense of “summer is over, and that means returning to school” (and good luck with that).
10 A new hair product, darling (5)
ANGEL — A + N(ew) + GEL (not the hydro-alcoholic stuff)
11 It’s my intention to like the afflicted (3)
ILL — DD
12 That’s just how Parisian put on light (4,7)
FAIR COMMENT — FAIR, “light” avec COMMENT, “how” en français
14 Tense as bloke, one with deadly wild animal (9,5)
TASMANIAN DEVIL — T(ense) + AS + MAN, “bloke” + I, “one” + AND, “with” + EVIL, “deadly”
17 A care home’s nice new menu offering (8,6)
MACARONI CHEESE — (A care home’s nice)* Comfort food, how nice indeed for the care home. I’ve usually heard MACARONI and CHEESE, over here.
19 Great author’s rule, you might say (5,2,4)
RIGHT AS RAIN — “writers” or “writas” + “reign”
21 No closer to one group of colleges (3)
UNI — UNI[-t]
22 Gathered and gutted more sheep (3,2)
MET UP — M[-or]E + TUP, “sheep”
23 New members taking part? Returning group excellent (9)
INITIATES — IN IT, “taking part” + SET + AI <=“returning,” both
24 In audible shock, boy ducks with missile around (5,4)
SONIC BOOM — SON, “boy” and then two “ducks,” OO guarded by an I(nter)C(ontinental)B(allistic)M(issile)
25 King welcomed by bloody old author (5)
GORKY — GOR(K)Y “Old” is not necessary for the definition, only there to help “bloody” sound natural in the surface, but it’s not in any way part of the wordplay.

DOWN
 1 Light upon and behind horse (4,4)
BUMP INTO — BUM, “behind” + PINTO, “horse”
 2 Steps once taken to hide reaction to comic actor (7,8)
CHARLES LAUGHTON — CHARLES(LAUGH)TON The dance “the Charleston” was supposedly, as the song says, “Made in (South) Carolina,” not the state capital of my home state of West Virginia (never such a swingin’ place, I guess).
 3 Big bird is so upset over loud music (9)
OSSIFRAGA — ISSO<=“upset” + F, “loud” + RAGA, “music” Totally unknown to me before deciphering the wordplay and checking it on Google, this is one of many names of the southern giant petrel. I’ve heard many RAGAs sung, live and on recording, by La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela and their late guru, Pandit Pran Nath. Others may think of Ravi Shankar’s sitar improvisations.
 4 Loved to conceal skin blemish—rash? (11)
PRECIPITOUS — PRECI(PIT)OUS
 5 Some of you think this is wrong (3)
OUT — Hidden
 6 Concrete mass forming sphere (5)
REALM — REAL, “Concrete” + M(ass)
 7 A circumferential line drawing? (8,7)
MAGNETIC EQUATOR — CD MAGNETIC is what “drawing” is all about here. I’m not sure I ever realized there is, like a MAGNETIC pole, a MAGNETIC EQUATOR as well, but of course there is. It’s the imaginary line girdling the earth along which a compass needle will not dip from the horizontal.
 8 A stone tool, it will cut rough hole (6)
EOLITH — (hole)* incised by IT As a dictionary term, since EOLITH was long used to signify a “stone tool,” I guess it qualifies as a crossword entry under that guise. But I find on Wikipedia that “an eolith (from Greek “eos,” dawn, and “lithos,” stone) is [merely] a chipped flint nodule. Eoliths were once thought to have been artifacts, the earliest stone tools, but are now believed to be geofacts (stone fragments produced by fully natural geological processes such as glaciation).” I saw some of these in a fascinating exhibition on the modern concept of the prehistoric at the Centre Pompidou in 2019; the display of eoliths was juxtaposed with one showing the same number of actual human-worked relics, and the difference was striking, as was a teasing similarity.
13 Likes eating (11)
CANNIBALISM — CD… your “likes” being your counterparts, your semblables
15 Upgrading inn, change cocktail? (9)
ENHANCING — (inn change)* Hereby awarded the prize for Anagrind of the Week.
16 Incorrectly, he’d say I’m avoiding publicity (5-3)
MEDIA-SHY — (he’d say I’m)*
18 Particular American name in outdoor cooking (6)
PRIMUS — PRIM, “particular” + US, “American” Wikipedia: “The Primus stove, the first pressurized-burner kerosene stove, was developed in 1892 by Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist, a factory mechanic in Stockholm.”
20 Subject for photo (5)
TOPIC — TO, “for” + PIC, “photo”
23 One occasion to create artificial language (3)
IDO — I, “one” + DO, “occasion” IDO is a constructed language derived from the more well-known(-of) artificial tongue Esperanto (in which “ido” means “offspring”). To be precise, it’s derived from Reformed Esperanto, or Esperanto 1894. The idea behind inventing a language was, of course, to foster universal understanding. Wikipedia: “As of the year 2000, there were approximately 100–200 Ido speakers in the world.” I have a friend who cannot accept that our, or any natural, language is not entirely logical and that its implicit “rules” are not pre-established in some Platonic heaven; it seems he would be more happy with Ido or Esperanto, but he would not be able to converse with many people.
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    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.
  • 21 comments