24926 – Got off lightly…

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
35 minutes for this one so yet again I failed to break through the 30 minute barrier, but this is certainly the easiest Friday puzzle for a long time. The clues that delayed me are noted below. There’s really very little to say about this in general so as I’m blogging before bedding down for the night I’ll get on with it. Any errors etc will not be corrected until the morning.

1 MA(L)CON,TENT – Two types of wine with L for left thrown in.
6 M,EGA – M for mark then AGE reversed.
8 Deliberately omitted as it’s a simple anagram.
10 ChASE
11 ENTER,PRISE – The second half sounds like ‘prize’. ‘Present’ = ENTER in the sense of putting something forward.
12 A,P,PO(R)TION – This gave me some problems in the parsing as my initial assumption was that PORT was the drink in question. However that wouldn’t have accounted for ION or ‘middle of afternoon’ which gives us the R needed in the correct solution.
17 LEITH – Hidden. The port of Edinburgh. I first met this in the expression ‘The Leith police dismisseth us’ which allegedly was once used as a test of sobriety.
19 MIR(ABEL,L)E – This was my last in. I didn’t know that ABEL was Magwitch’s first name (in Great Expectations) nor that there is a fruit called MIRABELLE from which a liqueur of the same name is made.
22 PARENTHOOD – A rather weak cryptic definition.
23 sHoE tReE – Another present.
24 SLIP-ONe – I lost time solving 21dn by putting SLIP-UP here.
25 Gardener,ROW,BAGS
26 GR,IT – Our last king was George VI, so GR + IT for (sex) appeal.

1 MU(SIC, HA)LL – SIC for ‘thus’ + half of HA-ha inside the Scottish Isle of Mull.
2 LOOKS UP – ‘School’ misspelt and reversed (hence UP). I have always thought the usual misspelling was ‘skule’.
3 NO,1,SETTEr – Does everyone know that Crufts is a dog show? I liked this one.
4 Let’s leave out a big one for a change. It’s another anagram.
5 TIM(BR)E – This is EMIT reversed about British Rail or Railways.
6 MO(TORCA)DE – I lost time on this one too. The middle bit’s an anagram of ACTOR.
7 GROSSER – Sounds like ‘grocer’. Heath or Jack perhaps?
13 ON THE SPOT – Anagram of PHOTO SENT.
15 ST(EVEN SO)N – The STN container is taken from the first letters of ‘Scotland’s top novelists’ of which R.L. Stevenson was certainly one.
16 WAR,D(R)OOM – This is the commissioned officers’ mess on a ship.
18 E,MAILER – The novelist is Norman Mailer.
20 LEEWARD – Anagram of LEADER and W for western. Collecting stamps in my childhood has come in useful yet again.
21 S(TEN)CH – More school, this time abbreviated to SCH around NET reversed.

24 comments on “24926 – Got off lightly…”

  1. Agreed, it’s an easier Friday than usual. 26 minutes. All I can think of to say is: “What was the rest of the 6dn like Mrs Kennedy?”
  2. Also DNF. No problem with Dickensian names, but couldn’t see 18dn – I’d have to dig pretty deep to think of MAILER when looking for a novelist and the definition (even with the ?) doesn’t help much.
  3. 23:45 .. didn’t find this so easy at all.

    Didn’t know the drink but did happen to recall Magwitch’s first name. Anyone ever drunk MIRABELLE? Sounds like my father’s homemade plum brandy, which was just awful. We forced him to stop making it.

    Last in: MATRON, where I was on the wrong track for a long time, looking for a musical term.

    1. I have actually drunk mirabelle in France many years go. I remember it as being so nearly pure alcohol that its derivation from plums seemed rather academic. There’s a reason that home distilling is illegal!
  4. A DNF for me, as I couldn’t get beyond ‘fen’ and ‘swamp’ for the marshy ground and had to cheat to get the drink. Magwitch was recalled from the book, of course, but his Christian (Hebrew?!) name was beyond me. Otherwise, 45 minutes for the rest. Thanks to Jack for the parsing of NOISETTE and STEVENSON. By coincidence, I finished reading Treasure Island this morning.
  5. Found this a tad trickier than of late and had to wiki Magwitch for his forename. Failed to parse MALCONTENT. Likewise Sotira MATRON last in also thinking music. COD to EMAILER. Somewhere recently we had pretty much the exact clue for NOISETTE.
  6. 29:17, so a good day for me. Slow to get MATRON, which then led to TIMBRE, and guessed at MIRABELLE, despite not knowing it or Abel Magwitch.
    I know my crossword skills are compromised by not having read much Dickens, but it’s a price I’m prepared to pay.
  7. Indeed, an easy one this, 11 mins. I too have had mirabelle in France, which rather specialises in sickly sweet liqueurs, often used as aperitifs. The spirit is an eau-de-vie and quite different
  8. 19:25 and found this pretty straightforward except for being held up on ‘matron’, like others. Some nice clues today I thought.
  9. 21 minutes, a lot of it on the interlinked four skewed across the top (1a, 3, 5 and 9) all of which went in eventually on guess followed by parse. CoD among them to NOISETTE, though I thought MIRABELLE was remarkably well framed as a Dickens vignette, and STEVENSON a decent &litish sort of clue. 22 barely qualifies as cryptic.
  10. As for most others, a straightforward puzzle. Didn’t know Magwitch so used Wiki to check. MIRABELLE is an awful drink and ruins the palate for everything else. I thought the long anagram to produce ELECTRONIC ORGAN was rather good.
  11. 20 minutes here, which is my median time. My average is about 25. This is something I shouldn’t really know.
    Strangely I don’t remember coming across the LEEWARD Isles before but the Windward Isles are familiar so it wasn’t hard to make the leap.
    MIRABELLE is a bit of a devil of a clue. I didn’t know Magwitch’s first name and the drink isn’t exactly the first that springs to mind. I assumed (rightly as it turns out) that it must be similar to kir or the crème de mûre I always have in the cupboard: it makes a drink like kir royale only better.
    As Barry says, NOISETTE was clued as “Champion breed at Cruft’s cut small piece of meat” little over a month ago (9 July). You can’t have too much of a good thing I suppose.
  12. I was very slow today, taking 45 minutes. It wasn’t a particularly hard puzzle (in fact some clues were very easy), but the brain wasn’t fully engaged. I Couldn’t remember Magwitch’s first name until I got the answer, a drink I did recognize though have never tasted. Last entry was EMAILER. I share dorsetjimbo’s admiration for the felicitous anagram at 4dn.
  13. I started last night but got tired and went to sleep, and finished this morning so no real time to offer. My last was NOISETTE from definition alone, and I didn’t know what Crufts is. I don’t recall the recent puzzle, so perhaps I didn’t do that one. MIRABELLE from the checking letters and ‘mire’, and assuming Magwitch must be Abel. COD to MALCONTENT. Nothing else remarkable today, so no more remarks. Regards.
  14. Certainly one of the easiest Friday puzzles in a long time — that is to say, I did it in about the same time as Sotira, which for her meant it was “not easy at all” but for me was a Jimboesque ”stroll in the park”. So it’s all relative. I agree with Jack that PARENTHOOD is weak. It suggested itself as the solution almost at once, but I hesitated to put it in for quite a while because it seemed too obvious. But there were some good things. ELECTRONIC ORGAN was an inventive anagram, and NOISETTE and EMAILER were chuckle-worthy.
  15. A sluggish 12:38 for me, not helped by wasting time trying to justify MELANCHOLY for 1ac. MALCONTENT, TIMBRE (which I thought of quickly but took a ridiculously long time to parse correctly) and MATRON did most of the damage. Very fine puzzle, though.
  16. Sorry, forget to mention: the standard misspelling of “school” really is “skool” (as any fule kno ;-).
  17. I think the word Matron is very misleading as a Staff Nurse is the first grade after qualifying as a nurse, whilst a Matron was always a very senior and experienced nurse, who had often spent may years as a Ward Sister (I keep thinking of Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jaques in the ‘carry on’ films)
    1. I think you are mistaking the definition here which is ‘nurse’, not ‘staff nurse’. ‘Staff’ is the clue to the MA…N container.
    1. Both are acceptable. Collins has the hyphen first and without hyphen as an alternative. COED has them the other way round.

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