23,536 – reprises

Solving time 8:20

I suspect I’m relatively slow on this one – 11D took quite a while to work out, and the anag at 27 kept me fooled for a while.

9 PERM,AFRO,St. “Curly hairstyles” is very nice.
10 QUIT(e) – quite = pretty as in “quite/pretty good”
12 LONDON,DERRY AIR = “derriere” – very similar to another clue seen in the last week or two, though possibly in another paper.
15 ELLIPTIC – CIT(PILL)E – must remember that “one that’s popped” = pill (not the “question” which I always seem to think of first)
17 TERMINAL – the airport kind and the terminal illness kind.
19 i.(G,NIT)e.
22 TALK OF THE DEVIL – ref. the phrase that ends “and who should appear?”
24 APE,X
25 TORT,(b)ELLINI – it’s the artist Bellini rather than the composer one – which I’m sure we’ve had fairly recently too
27 UNWRINKLED – W in (link under)*
2 TURN-OFF – 2 mngs, inc. “exit from major road”
3 BRAND,IN(GIRO)N – not keen on “A files B” as “A contains B”. Any examples from real life to convince me?
5 E(ASTER)LY – see=ELY should be as quick as Ilan’s Norwegian play=Brand yesterday, though finding the right flower took longer.
7 COUR(AN)T – a word to go with rampant, couchant, sessile, etc.
8 NUT,CRACKER – in English this time, mercifully
11 IRVING,BERLIN – ref. Washington Irving of Rip van Winkle fame.
13 POTTY-TRAIN “go” as in “Jimmy, we’re not going to go until you’ve gone”.
16 HAWTHORN – a well-worn alternative meaning of “may”. WHAT*,HORN – but is “blow it” really a definition of “horn”?
20 IN IT,(d)IAL – ref. “You’ve got to be in it to win it”.
22 BIRD – Cryptic def. – ref. “free as a bird” as well as “bird” = prison (Cockney Rhyming Slang – bird-lime = time).

13 comments on “23,536 – reprises”

  1. Thought for a while I was going to beat my record of 15 minutes today as the LH side and part of the RH all but filled themselves in. However the lower RH corner presented some difficulty and 19A took for ever as I missed the meaning of “egg” that I needed.

    I note you haven’t commented on 6A which I thought was a bit of a dodgy clue though it was easy enough to solve.

    1. 6A: “But you pro superstar? (4)” = ICON

      “I con” / “you pro” worked well enough for me, with “but” to indicate the contrast. Only dodginess I can see is whether the surface means enough to disguise this trick from old hands – “but …” possibly indicates this kind of thing as clearly as “Spooner’s …” indicates another. But knowing the trick doesn’t always lead to an immediate solution.

      Not noted yet: the grid is a pangram.

  2. This struck me as having some rather dubious clues. Peter has already questioned “files” as a container indicator and “blow it” to indicate horn. I don’t see that a drawer, for instance, can be said to file something. I can file something, i.e place it in a container, but there’s no container relationship between the grammatical subject of “files” and its direct object. The nearest I can get to a justification is that Chambers (but not COD) defines “file” as lodge” in the sense of filing (lodging) a complaint. “Lodges” would be an acceptable container indicator, but using a very different sense of “lodge” – stretching things a bit.
    How can a noun (horn) be indicated by a verbal phrase (blow it)?
    London wasn’t winner of the Olympics, it was winner of the Olympic bid.
    And if the answer to 26 is NOES, surely that relates only to non-voters in France (to which the clue made no reference). A case of a question mark being used to justify a poorly thought-out clue in my view.

    1. I agree, and I would add 4d to your list. A1 means first-class or first-rate, not exactly the same as perfect, and in any case the convention A1 = AI has always seemed dubious to me, unless I’m missing something. Nevertheless, lots to enjoy and fairly easy once I’d corrected my initial guess of PERMANENTS for 9ac.
      Richard Saunders
  3. The recent clue was in the Times. I wondered was this clue put in to explain the reference to people who might have been mystified on the previous occasion. The answer before was DERRIERE so this was taking the idea the other way round.

    No idea how BRANDING IRON worked till you explained.
    Did think “blow it” for “horn” was OK though. I thought it a little like 1 across “Firefighters will … GO TO BLAZES. Think 1 down must be GAPE but don’t quite see it.

    1. GAPE: hidden word!

      Interesting range of views on what’s fair. Not an exact science …

    2. “Firefighters will be damned” is an unusual double definition; one side of it is a bit like those clues (usually non-cryptic) where the solver has to insert some words that complete what’s already given. In that respect “Firefighters will…be damned” seems perfectly acceptable to me; the answer completes the first part (and forms a sort of definition of “firefighters”) and is the definition of the second part. In the case of 16, however, I cannot see that any interpretation or contextualization of “blow it” leads to HORN. In some cases one might forgive a setter taking liberties if the surface reading is stunningly good; in this case I felt the surface was rather poor.
  4. I had the artist as (Benvenuto) Cellini rather than Bellini. As far as I can see either works equally well.
    Richard Saunders
  5. I had a bad time with this one … 12m49s. The most intriguing thing is that the clues I found hard Peter found easy and vice versa.

    I spent about 4m making no progress on my last 4, BRANDING IRON, TERMINAL, POTTY-TRAIN and NOES, the latter a fair guess, but BOARDING…. filled in for the first, and I didn’t like or enjoy ICON, whereas IRVING BERLIN and UNWRINKLED were pretty much instant. Good puzzle for a pairs contest?

  6. I’ve only just got round to doing this one (12:10). No problem with either IRVING BERLIN or UNWRINKLED, but I agonised a long time over TERMINAL, and made inexplicably heavy weather of ICON where I parsed the clue correctly but for some reason took ages to come up with the right answer (in retrospect I can’t think why on earth it didn’t go straight in).
  7. Mr Magoo hit the nail right on the head by pointing out that what someone finds easy (the blogger) may not be easy at all to others (the bloggee?)- especially the x-word bunnies like me.

    The “easies” for PB were:

    1a Firefighters will be damned (2,2,6)
    GO TO BLAZES. A lift and separate DD where the two parts are “firefighters will” and “be damned”. Neat – probably a chestnut for non-bunnies?

    5a But you pro superstar? (4)
    I CON. As explained by PB above – I con , (but) you pro. It took me ages to see this. Once I had the N at the end it enabled me to see my LOI which – I am so ashamed – was NUTCRACKER! Doh!

    14a Insult beyond the limit (6)

    26a Non-voters? (4)
    NOES. The point about France not being mentioned is well made but managed to get this anyway.

    1d Look stupid, in spendinG A PEnny (4)
    GAPE. The web-page auto-corrected my intentional capitalisation there – had to go back and do it again.

    18d Again suffer, consuming ecstasy for cure (7)
    RE LI E VE

    21d Good man enters mock, though his work’s funny (6)
    JE ST ER

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