23,590 – Seeing double

Solving time: 12:27 – last to go in were the 5/16 crossing, then 17 which took 2 or 3 minutes to puzzle out.

Across
1 CANDLEWICK – 2 meanings – candlewick is that stuff that bedcovers are sometimes made of.
6 STOP – 2 meanings again – Principal is one of the many names for organ stops.
9 LORE,N(Z)O – An easier Shak. character after yesterday’s strife, but can’t remember which play. Turns out to be The Merchant of Venice. Oh dear – we’re rapidly exposing my weaknesses here – Shakespeare for me is Nenry IV Part 1, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Macbeth (the ones vaguely remembered from school), and anything that’s been turned into a well-known opera, like Merry Wives of Windsor via Verdi’s Falstaff. {No(h) = Japanese drama} is one for the beginner’s notebook.
12 BIRTHPLACE – didn’t understand the Boer ref. when solving, and still don’t.
13 ERK = “irk” – slang for an “aircraftman” (aircraftsman, I thought, but Wikipedia says that’s the NZ spelling), possibly seen as a “oily rag” by the haughtier pilots in the RAF – their job is/was to keep the planes well-maintained.
15 R.E.(G.I.)M.E. – REME = The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
16 DE=keys,(PORT=left,EE=quarters)
18 DEVONIAN = (naive don)*
20 BOTH(I)E(r) – also spelled BOTHY
24 SNAFFLE=steal,BIT=coin – tack = horse-riding gear
27 E(YES)H,O.T. – EH = limits of EnglisH. Def best worked out by analogy woth “earshot”.
 
Down
2 NURSI=ruins*,N.G.=no good
3 LONG TIME NO SEE – referred to in 11. Preferment = promotion, in a church context.
4 WHO,OPS – Doctor = Who is another for the beginner’s notebook. “Op” is Brit. colloq. for “operation”
5 CYCL(A.M.)E,N – not keen on “A stopping B” for “A contains B”. I think this is from {stopping = arresting = holding}, which I think is weaker than {stopping = plugging} as in “bottle stopper” or stopping a tooth.
7 TRISECT – move (upwards) the S in tries, then Ct. = court.
8 PARK(KEEP)ER – keep = tower is simple enough, but parker = bird was new to me. Post-solve, I see that it is of course “Bird” = Charlie Parker
11 SEE FOR ONESELF – referring back to 3D.
17 M.A.,LAYS,I,A – which is indeed a federation.
21 H(E)IGH,HO.
22 E,F(F)ETE – fête = charity event/sale = bazaar – slighly weak, as I can’t think of a case where fête and bazaar really mean the same thing. For me, the “fête worse then death” (laughter) is on the village green in summer with coconut shies, throwing wet sponges at the vicar and the like, and the bazaar is in the village hall in the winter with more emphasis on trade.
25 STOT = tots<=

11 comments on “23,590 – Seeing double”

  1. I think the Boer ref is to Natal, Africa being the place where they first begun?
    What happened to 1 d? I put calf for “young” and the rest?
    Adrian
      1. It’s definitely COLT. Don’t see how CALF can be justified by either half of the clue.
        I think the point about BOER is simply to refer to someone likely to have had NATAL as his BIRTHPLACE.
        After 11:17 I finally entered BRIDGE SONG instead of CRADLE SONG(!), but was relieved to finish at all as I had solved 0 clues after 2 minutes.
      2. Again, I put COLT given:

        colt n a young, inexperienced player
        Colt® n a single-action revolver invented by Samuel Colt (1814-62)

        Wouldn’t have spotted the Natal, Africa reference myself but had BIRTHPLACE anyway.

  2. what’s “presents” doing in 19D: “Legitimately presents girl without using energy” must be VAL,IDLY (I don’t really like clues that use three-letter girls or boys…)? just a link-word?
    1. A link-word that I think is meant to mean “appears as” or similar. And yes, I completely missed the Natal bit in 12A.
  3. I’m glad of Peter Biddlecombe’s explanation of 4d. All I could see was WHO for World Health Organisation–doctors, maybe, but not doctor in the singular. V. stupid of me.
  4. I enjoyed this puzzle, despite still feeling tired, and at one point had hopes of a “clean sweep” – but they were dashed by 5 dn, where (with C—A—) I couldn’t get CARDAMOM out of my mind, and would have fizzled out completely after that as I made heavy weather of several clues, particularly CUSHIER and DEPORTEE. I felt I was very slow, so am amazed to find myself faster than Peter B. again (at 11:25).
  5. A much more respectable time of 48 mins after Monday’s marathon. Having ???T for 25 down and being used to cattle=neat, I momentarily thought ‘neet’ might be an alternative spelling with young=teen. Also I thought cradlesong was one word; I guess ‘cradle song’ is just an alternative rather than something completely different.

    GUYS: I was in a restaurant on Tuesday and the waitress introduced herself with, ‘Hi, you guys. Are you ready to order?’ and later asked, ‘Everything ok with you guys?’ I suppose that address is a bit better than ‘mate’ but I wouldn’t consider it proper!

    I’m off to try Tuesday’s crossword now – I notice above that I can expect some tricky Shakespeare. Have I cheated already?

  6. Ja – nee my bunnies. A spell in Zuid Afrika can be a boon in x-word land. The reference to Natal in 12a was well noted.

    Some omitted “easies” for us:

    10a Stinking (rich, sue)* to become even more secure (7)
    CUSHIER. Open season for anagrinds here.

    23a Slippery type given general backing (3)
    EEL. General Robert E Lee of the Feds makes a welcome return.

    26a It isn’t even a peculiarity of character (7)
    ODDNESS

    28a Nowadays people of either sex make ropes (4)
    GUYS. I don’t mind that – much better than mate.

    29a Harbour (rat went for)* eccentric (10)
    WATERFRONT

    1d Young player with a hefty kick? (4)
    COLT. See above for youth teams & western revolvers.

    14d Rock music requiring vocal participation (6,4)
    CRADLE SONG. Not one for headbangers.

    19d Legitimately presents girl without losing energy (7)
    VAL IDLY

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