23543 – there was no Adèle Forsyte

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time : 12:13

The top half went fairly quickly, with only a couple of gaps, but then I couldn’t see SHARPSHOOTER, and despite the easy anagram for OUTER MONGOLIA the bottom half dragged a bit.

It is (I hear) difficult to find homophone indicators that aren’t too obvious, but it seems odd to use “on radio” twice (16 and 24) in the same puzzle.

Across

5 F + A ROUT
9 MARINATE, being (A + R(un) + IN) in MATE – I was surprised by the definition, as I think of “marinate” as a transitive verb describing something a person does to a bit of dead animal. But I guess it can be used intransitively with the dead bit as subject
10 STATIN, being TAT {= THAT minus H(ospital)} in SIN – I had never heard of statins. Apparently they are new-fangled drugs for lowering cholesterol
12 SISTINE CHAPEL, being an anagram of “the sin place is” – would it have read better as “… the place is bursting [or maybe rotten] with sin”?
15 A + DELE(gate)
16 FORESIGHT (=”Forsyte”) – I was nine years old when the Forsyte Saga was first shown on television, and I still remember scenes from it. I did read a couple of the Galsworthy books years later, but didn’t find them very interesting.
17 LYME REGIS, being MERE(LY) with the last two (LY) moved to the front, followed by GI’S (sorry – can’t see a good alternative to using an apostrophe for the plural there)
19 RECAP (reverse hidden)
22 (T)OO LONG
23 STAN + HOP + E – there are lots of crossword carriages: as well as stanhope, I particularly like gig, cabriolet, berlin, fiacre and landau.
25 TH(e) RUSH – for some reason I couldn’t see the (straightforward) wordplay for this and so delayed putting it in until I was almost finished
26 PROSPE(r) + CT

Down

2 PE + (wo)R(ks)
3 TON(TIN)E – the Wikipedia article has a list of some of the many fictions using tontines to drive the plot
4 FAT + HER FIGURE – ho-ho
6 ANTIPAS, being (IN A SPAT)* – In biblical terms, Herod Antipas was the one who beheaded John the Baptist to humour Salome, rather than Herod the Great who slaughtered the innocents. In the real world I think they had eventful careers as client rulers under the Romans. There must be a temptation to clue this word as a truncation of antipasto
7 O + NTO + LOGICAL, NTO being (NOT)* – a semi-&lit, I think, as the ontological argument for the existence of God really is old and not terribly reasonable
8 GNAT (rev) – that’s “smack” in its meaning of “distinctive flavour”
11 SHARPS + HOOTER – this took me far too long. The definition is not very specific. But the word “hooter” for owl did flit through my brain early on, and I should have seen the link
13 STE(A)M + ROLLER – though I am dubious about “passing a” meaning “with A inserted”
14 STEP-PARENT, being P-PETS (rev) + A RENT
18 RATINGS – two meanings. Sadly, I spent a long time trying to make this work with a more detailed analysis, but RAGS does not mean information, and TIN certainly does not mean people watching
19 (g)RE(y) + GENTS
24 ONE (= “won”)

7 comments on “23543 – there was no Adèle Forsyte”

  1. Like you I made heavy weather of THRUSH and RATINGS, but the clue that I spent by far the longest on was 21d (Grow up fast, on leaving northern town (4) = BOLT), where I spent two or three minutes wondering if there could be another northern town that would yield a better answer. Now that I’ve looked BOLT up in Chambers (2003) and Collins (1986), I remember coming across the definition “(of cultivated plants) to produce flowers and seeds prematurely” (from Collins), which I assume is what the setter had in mind, but the fact that you didn’t consider it worth a mention makes we worried that I may still be missing some obvious alternative. (9:57, so still under 10 minutes so far this week.)
    1. Sometimes, as this morning, I struggle to identify a few clues that seem straightforward enough for me not to mention them.

      I don’t garden myself, but I have heard of people complain about plants bolting. I think it is used especially of things like root vegetables or herbs, where you want the energy to go into something other than creating flowers and seeds.

  2. Back on good form with 5:43. Years ago when I was failing to succeed as a trainee actuary, one thing that tickled me was that govt. regulations included tontines as a recognised “class of insurance business”, but one that no company was authorised to sell. Other xwd carriages: victoria and diligence.
  3. That worried me too, when I could think only of Bolton. I did not know that meaning of BOLT. I was lucky with SHARPSHOOTER though – I think it may have been used somewhere else recently. Quite a easy puzzle overall, I thought.
  4. Surely this is simply two mngs.: information about people watching (TV audience ratings) and sailors.
  5. Yet another midnight back number with just one left unfinished. The Tontine did for me. The wordplay is easy enough to get it but the darn thing did not yield. It does not help if you have never heard of such a thing. Still none the wiser about why one would take part?

    Only 4 “easies” omitted from this one including one that surprisingly gave some of the regular quickies a bit of strife. Not if you’re a Monty Python fan surely …

    1a Old officer to give a little extra to those who serve (8)
    TIP STAFF

    20a Country (outing – room) with (ale)* to be organised (5,8)
    OUTER MONGOLIA

    1d Period fixed for something to be learned in maths (5,5)
    TIME STABLE. Da de da de da, da de da de da …. I remember the tune but not the words.

    21d Grow up fast, on leaving northern town (4)
    BOLT (ON). A unit of time equivalent to ca 9.6 seconds?

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