23,752 – Championship Prelim 2, Puzzle 1

Solving time: say 13 minutes

I have 11:20 written next to this puzzle but had probably heard one or two answers being talked about. On the other hand, the prize was in the bag so the incentive for speed wasn’t quite there! No really obscure answers or references, and no major traps that I know about. Plenty of well-worded clues. 13D is one good one, especially if no-one comes along to point out that it’s been used before.

1 P(AROD=Dora rev.)IC – Dora Spenlow, IIRC.
5 FELL=wicked (old word),FOR=pro
9 ENCLOSURE – 2 mngs – envelope contents, and an area for keeping animals, or “pound”
12 DAIRY FARM = far in myriad rev.
14 FLYING SCOTSMAN – 2 def’s, one cryptic
17 APPLES AND PEARS = stairs (rhyming slang) – and now two of your “five a day”
21 B,ERNST,EIN – Leonard B was a composer as well as conductor (and a Times crossword fan).
23 NADIA = Aidan rev. I’m sure this is the saint they meant, though if you’d heard of Llanidan on Anglesey you might imagine a St Idan too. (I’m pretty sure this is also Aidan in fact.)
24 IDIOM – O=old in MIDI (southern France) rev.
25 CHAR,G(roupe)R,I’LL
26 EAST END – A in nested*
27 SOR(C.E.)RY
1 P(R)EPPY – pupil at the American type of prep school – not the same as the Brit type – I’m pretty sure the US ones are for older pupils.
2 ROCK ALL – the lump way out in the Atlantic that was the last addition to the British Empire, courtesy of a Navy helicopter and brass plaque, in 1955.
3 D(E)ODO,RISE = down – the hill kind of ‘down’
5 FEE(d) – ‘prompt’ is a verb in the cryptic reading
6 LEGGY – EGG in L(ad)Y – surprised they didn’t put in something about the Provost of Eton to make a ‘famous solvers’ pair with Lenny B …
7 F.(I,REAR)M. FM=Field Marshal was new to me but easy enough to deduce.
13 INCI(DENTAL)S(or) – one of those clue ideas waiting to be discovered
15 TWEE,NAGER = Regan rev. (a daughter of King Lear)-
22 SOMME(liers)

23 comments on “23,752 – Championship Prelim 2, Puzzle 1”

  1. I had a problem getting started today and reached 19D before writing anything in. It was at least 5 minutes before I found the next word but gradually the lower half took shape and the rest followed eventually.

    There were several words or meanings that I didn’t know, for example (St) IDAN, COD = play joke on and ALLEY = marble.

    I was surprised by “cuckoo” as an anagram indicator but it’s fair enough and makes a nice change from “mad”.

    I’m still completely baffled by “wicked old pro” in 5A and don’t quite understand 9A.

    Over all it was a good and interesting puzzle with several candidates for COD but no obvious first choice. Maybe I’d go for 5D as it baffled me for a while. It’s notoriously difficult to be inventive when cluing 3-letter words whilst not making the answer/wordplay too obvious.

    1. Having read PB’s blog I am now kicking myself for missing the double definition in 9A. I was distracted by the L in the solution which I took to be the pound in question.

      I also knew FELL meaning wicked and should hav espotted it.

      2D reminded of the Flanders and Swann song which ends:

      Though we’re thrown out of Malta,
      Though Spain should take Gibraltar,
      Why should we flinch or falter,
      When England’s got Rockall.

  2. About 20 thoroughly enjoyable minutes, having misread ‘became’ as ‘become’ in 5A and then wasted time wondering how ‘fall for’ could work. Several nice clues today, my 25D would be 9A.
  3. 8D looks like rudiment, but could anyone point out why pse?
    One of those blank moments!
    1. On with the self-kicking boots …
      (I’m turned)* – ‘off’ is the anag. indicator.
  4. I really enjoyed this puzzle, which I found quite tough at 35 minutes. I had to guess PREPPY but otherwise no problems. A lot of good clues but my personal favourite is 25 across.

    I wonder if the colonel regards 9 across and 25 down as cryptic and if he does, how do they differ from the two rhyming definitions of EVANS that as Tony mentioned yesterday were a real though rather easy throwback to times or yore. Jimbo.

  5. Lots of satisfying clues – particularly 3, 4 and 13 dn, though in the latter I’m not sure of the cryptic function of “regarding”. It seems to me the clue would’ve read better with “of” instead of “regarding”.

    Re “preppy”: used both as a noun and an adjective, I think “preppy” is roughly the US equivalent of the British “public school” [boy/girl] – i.e. someone attending one of the better known fee-paying private (secondary)schools that “prepare” their pupils for university (college in the US) – and implies, like its Brit equivalent, the values, mores, dress, manner of speaking, class background etc supposedly exhibited by such young persons. Confusingly, a “preparatory school” in Britain, of course, denotes only the primary stage of a (private) public school education. How treacherous are the distinctions of transatlantic parlance! As Oscar Wilde put it: “We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language”.

    1. Well, if that’s definitely Wilde, who said, of Britain and the U.S., “two nations divided by a common language”? I’ve seen the phrase attributed variously to Wilde, Shaw, and W.S.Churchill. I think it’s Shaw, but if someone knows the source, I’d be grateful for a definitive answer.

      1. Just looked it up in ODQ, which has it entered under Misquotations, and notes “attributed to George Bernard Shaw, but not found in Shaw’s published writings; cf. Wilde 817:11” (which is the Wilde quote above).
        1. Many thanks for that. My ODQ (second edition) has neither the real Wilde nor the fake Shaw.
  6. 5D was the last one in for me, justifying the comment above about it, but I think I will go for 5A as my clue of the day – it was obvious what the answer was going to be at an early stage, but it still took me a while to see why because of the strong surface reading. I didn’t time myself, which was a pity, but I was in the bath. With my laptop. Which has survived. Jason J
  7. I hadn’t worked that one out but I think that is a good candidate for 25d. (Incidentally I notice that that is the clue Peter left out of his blog out of respect for the Times phone-line but I don’t imagine this will cost them too much.) Otherwise 10 would get my vote with 4 a close second.
    Got 1a, 3d and 11 and then got gruesomely bogged down before bits of the SW corner started to emerge. 40 mins all told.
  8. Three fairly short sittings to get this one out, and I’m done much earlier in the day than I usually am (back to Listener 3952 with one corner almost filled at lunch then… anyone else a Listener attempter in the US?).

    One of those odd crosswords that played to my upbringing (Australia -> Canada -> US). I’m with jackkt that Rockall is memorable from the Flanders and Swann piece, and I found the construction at 21ac clever.

  9. 15 minutes but one wrong.
    As others have pointed out, there is much to praise in this one. However, I’m a little parrotlike to have got 16d wrong. I guessed MAY BRIDE. After OneLooking, I’m presuming it should have been WAR. I really must allow myself to get to the end of the alphabet when I’m trying to get that last, elusive answer! Since Peter chose to leave this clue off his blog, and nobody else has commented on it, I can only assume I had another senior moment. Never heard of TWEENAGER. Difficult to choose a COD today, because I liked so many, but I’ll plump for 13d or 10a.
    1. Oh dear, it’s just occurred to me that 25D is not a bad candidate for COD today.

      I’ll get my coat.

  10. 22D: this clue for SOMME is far superior to a v. similiar recent Araucarian effort which left in doubt how many letters to remove from sommelier.

    I’m going to vote for 11A as my fav clue simply because PIANO was so very well hidden (from me!).

  11. I’m a bit behind on my puzzles with four days away and an urgent dash to the dress shop yesterday morning.

    Came in at 53 minutes all correct and gave my favourite to 16d.

  12. I liked the cryptic part, but I think the definition is off. I don’t think of “rudiment” as an early part of some process, but as an early part of some set of information or skill one has to learn. I don’t think that a rudiment happens, but rather that you acquire it.

    And since when is rudiment singular anyway? Can you have a rudiment of something?

    1. If you take a look at the entry for rudiment in a dictionary, such as this one, you’ll find that yes, it can be plural. You’ll probably also find a range of meanings wide enough to mean that the clue’s def. makes sense.
      1. Yes, I see it can be a thing as well as a skill, but Webster seems to agree with me that it generally isn’t singular. I’ve never in my life heard of “a rudiment,” have you? Or do I not have even a rudiment of word sense?

        Valentine (sorry I forgot to sign the last one)

  13. There are 5 answers missing from this blog:

    11a ThesPIAN Occasionally keeps quiet (5)

    8d (I’m turned)* off stage at the start (8)

    16d One getting married after action-packed engagement? (3,5)

    18d Celebrates average score at matches (7)

    25d Play joke on swimmer (3)

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