23,484 – Curate’s egg

Solving time: 8mins approx

Some excellent clues here, others I found quite strained, and two (13ac/5dn) that I still don’t fully comprehend.

Across
4 E(D/M/ON)TON
9 S/IGNORA(N.T.)
11 KID/NAP/S
12 HORUS, ref HOU/R/S
13 C/LEVEL/AND “no more” seems superfluous
14 SALMON/ELLA presumably breadbasket refers to the stomach
18 IDE/A
19 EXA/M rev
20 BRAND/YSNAP rev, loose definition I thought
22 S.CAPE/GO AT, quite nice
23 (s)HAVER
25 COPS/HOP as in the verbal sense to get a flight = HOP, bluebottle is a copper
26 NE/C/KING
27 SHORT/L/EG in = batting
28 P/L/IERS, I presume; does PIERS = PILES?
 
Down
1 POST-HASTE anag minus O: lovely!
2 LUGER = regul(ation) rev.
3 SNOW-SHOE, one of a pair, hence 50% ref: nice one
5 DUKE/(w)ELLINGTON cannot justify KE here: help!
6 (p)OODLES
7 TEA-GARDEN anag: loose def
8 NOSED = (Des on) rev – a pet hate of mine is “man”, “chap” etc. for (especially abbreviated) names: bin this clue!
10 ARC DE T(R.I., O MPH)E anag: this one, on the other hand excellent
15 LHASA (A P)SO p is heart of puppy
17 A /SPA/RAGUS = rev. of SUGAR, which (so I’m told) is another word for heroin…
18 MYTHICAL anag minus p for coin: nice one
22 (Hans) SA/CH/S, meistersinger
24 V/O/ICE

13 comments on “23,484 – Curate’s egg”

  1. 13A: I guess “no more” is in the colloquial sense “precisely”, which I think it has – possibly as a shortening of “no more and no less”. But of course this means you can add “no more” to a lot of clues …

    15D: I’m as puzzled as you are, though it didn’t bother me when solving.

    1. Trouble is that some folks speak in code around here so it’s occasionally difficult for us lesser mortals to understand what they are saying. I certainly don’t understand the point at issue here.

      Dog = Lhasa Apso (definition)

      a = a
      puppy at heart = p

      has also played = “has also” (anagram)
      outside = anagram placed outside the “ap”

      Why the query?

      1. Sorry, my “15D” was a typo for 5D. I have no problem with 15D. If you think I’m being stupid, that’s probably because I’m being stupid!

        If you think the contributors are speaking in code in their posts or comments in a way that spoils your enjoyment, please let us know. I think we all aim to be explicit, but having some contributors with long shared experience in the Times championships and the pub afterwards, and some “grapevine” communication behind the scenes with other contributors, commenters and setters, it’s easy to slip into “clique mode”. We really don’t mean to – the point of the blog is to help new solvers, as well as to allow old hands to compare notes.

        1. Thanks for your reply. Hope I didn’t sound rude. I’m afraid I often feel I’m missing something that is obvious to others around here but not to me, which was why I queried your comment on 15D when you meant 5D. I guess the Duke University reference above explains 5D but it’s a bit obscure.

          On the wider point, I’m sometimes thrown by explanations that don’t actually include the answer to the clue. This can be a bit annoying if it happens to be a clue that one hasn’t managed to solve and one is left feeling that everybody else arrived at the answer so there’s no need to mention it.

          1. I’ve asked the contributors to be a bit more explicit, especially with anagrams and “sounds like” clues, which seem to be the main cases where some of us have left out the answer itself.
      1. There a various cool geographical anomalies that a setter could play with: Miami University is in Ohio and Washington University is in Missouri (but University of Washington is in… Washington).
  2. Which, if you’re hip to current American scandals, you will know is the site of a college frat boy scandal: A Duke lacrosse player has been given the boot for the alleged rape of a stripper. Or something like that. Possibly serendipity though.
  3. Could someone explain what function “one’s” plays in the cryptic reading of 11 across? If it’s there just for the surface it strikes me as unfairly misleading. For “kids” to mean “jokes” it has to be a verb; if “kid” is a noun both Chambers and Oxford give “deception”, not “joke” as the definition. “One’s + verb” therefore doesn’t make much sense. I suppose it could mean “one has” (i.e. the solver or the solution has…)but if that’s the case the cryptic sense is very strained.
    1. I think “one has” is the idea. Not my favourite clue usage, partly because I think “one’s” = “one has” is very rare in non-crossword English, compared to other cases of ‘s = has, like the “it’s” in “it’s been lovely to see you again”.
  4. I wondered where the KE came from in Durham University K…. E …. too but it did not hamper the solve as with PB but about 10x slower!

    My take on “Steals one’s” in 11a Kidnaps was that it is part of the definition – steal’s one’s child/husband/wife etc. The rest of the clue constitutes the construction – kids about nap. The esteemed blogmeister tacitly agrees with that it would seem?

    1a Refinement leads to Pure Oil, Leaving Impurities Settling Here = POLISH

    21d Exciting sort of poker = RED HOT – clues requiring botanical knowledge often take me some time but this one really was easy!

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