23897 – Winding gently down for the weekend

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I struck lucky with an easy one today and polished it off in about 20 minutes which is as good as things get for me. I can’t see there’s much that could cause others problems but possibly some will not know the references in 20 and 17 and as these intersect they might lead to some difficulty.

1 SIT-UP – 1’S (rev) + put*.  If I have understood correctly TUP is clued (by “out”) as an anagram of “put” rather than a reversal. An odd one.
4 WASHBOARD – (a drab show)* The only other skiffle instrument I can think of is the tea-chest.
10 L(earn), AT,IN
12 SPINS OUT – Two meanings
14 FRIENDLIES – (fielders in)*
16 SOAR – (o)S(l)O, (c)A(i)R(o)
20 I AM A CAMERA – “with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking.”  So wrote Christopher Isherwood in A Berlin Diary (1930). Isherwood’s writings from that era were adapted for the stage by John Van Druten under the title required here. Later still the play became the musical Cabaret.
23 R(hED Ge)UM – A type of eucalyptus apparently. I guessed this from the word play.
26 A(M)BLE – The reversal here reminded me of the palindromic “quotation” by Napoleon: Able was I ere I saw Elba.
1 SET(TLE F)OR – TLEF being “felt” reversed
2 TALUS – Hidden word
5 SC(RAP) M,ETAL – (LATE MCS) all reversed around RAP. I thought there was an issue here because “rap” is a type of music rather than a song and anyway the whole point is that one doesn’t sing it, but I looked it up and found that “rap” can also be a small amount of money so it’s “a song” in that sense. I’ve not come across this meaning before. On edit: Having read Peter’s comment I checked again and although Collins, COED and Chambers make no reference to “rap” as a song the article on Wikipedia has “rap song” in a couple of places. I don’t think I would have disputed there is such a thing as a rap song but to use “rap” on its own to mean a song seemed one step too far for me so I looked for an alternative explanation and found one. But I’m perfectly willing to accept that I need not have bothered.  
7 ASTRODOME – (or a modest)*
13 CLEANING UP – Daily as in “char”. “Here” seems superfluous and possibly misleading.
17 ROAD-MAKER – The A1 is (or was) known as The Great North Road. It runs from London to Edinburgh.
18 MANE, (p)ATER
22 CRACK – Two meanings
24 GRO(g)UP

15 comments on “23897 – Winding gently down for the weekend”

  1. 8:30 – for 20A it took a while to remember what ‘I AM’, and as a vague-ish CD to an answer I didn’t know well, 17D only went in with all checkers in place.

    At 5, I’m pretty sure ‘rap’ can mean a song in that style.

  2. Thanks for explaining the “rap” in 5D. I am not sure how to read 29A. Was the success limited because the kid only napped (as opposed to “slept”)? Vijay
  3. Certainly on the easy side. Completed in less than 30 minutes.

    4ac, 20ac and 5dn were last to go in. Of course, I guessed 20ac after penning in (who uses pencils?) the letter group I AM A and looked at the rest of the crossings. Thanks for the useful note above.

    Re KIDNAPPED. As the clue has “children’s bedtime” in it, my interpretation was that after the parent’s efforts only one kid napped, while others were still holding him/her up with “what happened next?”

    In 5dn, with the crossings S-R-P and ‘song’ in the clue, SCRAP suggested itself and METAL was added immediately with the definition in the mind. I did not work out the wordplay before I came here. Thanks again for the explanation.

  4. 13 mins, some delay over 17D/20A – not helped by ‘A-one’ in the online version. I thought 3D worked nicely, so it’s my COD. I agree that ‘out’ for a reversal in 1A is unusual, but I think it’s defensible.

    Tom B.

  5. Yippee! A tad under 10 minutes – it’s been a while. The only clue that really gave me any trouble was 18, which was also the one that made me smile. My thanks to the setter for making me feel good.
  6. I feel I should have gone a little faster than the 12:45 it took, but I got bogged down in the SW corner and stared at 15,19,21,22,26 and 28 for what seemed an age. Them ISLAMABAD shouted out at me and the rest followed pretty quickly. I liked 3d for its simplicity (is it a chestnut or a good find?) but my COD nom goes to 28a.
  7. 13 minutes, all but the SE corner was filled in quickly, not sure why the hold-up there. Guessed 20 from checking letters though once I got it in it sounded familiar.

    COD tip to 28, cute definition.

  8. 13:14, disappointed that I didn’t get a new PB. I think the sub-10 minute solve is destined to elude me. Was slowed a little by not knowing the Isherwood* work and by the misleading “here” in 13d to which Jack has alluded.

    COD to 15, Islamabad.

    * I’m more familiar with Beverley Isherwood, the gorgeous former Miss UK who used to pick out the letters on Countdown before La Vorderman started doing double duty.

  9. Managed to sail through today in 7.02 which is as good as I can ever get.I had heard of the Isherwood work and a recent first trip to Australia made 23a easier than it would have been. I did like the clue for 18d
  10. I agree it wasn’t nearly as difficult as yesterday’s, but it still took me 25 minutes; had to look up the Isherwood reference near the end; MANEATER then took another minute or two to spot, but I then liked it (isn’t it supposed to be hyphenated?). Restored my confidence after being crushed on Thursday. Have a nice weekend everyone.
  11. Happy to have beaten 15 minutes again this week – until I realised I had ‘opens out’ rather than ‘spins out’ at 12A.
  12. This one got split between two days so any solving time would probably be a complete guess; not too difficult though.
    My ticks coincidided with most other suggestions but with the addition of my favourite, 1A, which looks like obvious wordplay but I don’t think I’ve seen it before – very nice construction.
    Of other noms made above, I had a slight concern over 18D as there seems to be a parsing clash between “with” and “has” in the clue.
  13. I have heard of Blue Gums but not the Red Gums at 23a but the clue was friendly enough in this most straightforward puzzle for some time.

    There are 7 omissions from the blog:

    11a Class with fewer commitments? (6)

    19a Official register’s function under discussion (4)
    ROLL. Sounds like ROLE.

    27a Volume of visitors (5,4)

    29a More mature traveller visiting Ireland in retirement (5)
    RIPER. REP – IR backwards.

    4d Bundles of papers with advertisements (4)
    W ADS

    6d Take ages to become accepted socially (6)

    25d Repair final section of motorway (4)
    M END

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