Sunday Times 5082 by Dean Mayer

13:43. Another really excellent puzzle from Dean. Top notch stuff this.

Definitions are underlined, anagrams indicated like (TIHS)*, anagram indicators are in italics.

1 Destroy everything
TOTAL – DD. As in ‘I totalled my car’.
4 Narrow container holding a big bird
9 About to enter a confined space, stretch
ACREAGE – A, C(RE)AGE. I thought the definition was a bit odd here: I think of a ‘stretch’ being a length of something (a river, say). However Collins says ‘extent in time, length, area, etc’ so fair enough.
10 Stuffy farm building opened by chief
11 At sea, pirate provided drink
APERITIF – (PIRATE)*, IF (provided). What I am drinking as I write (a Negroni to be precise).
12 Pushes bill about seizing goods
EGGS ON – reversal of NOSE (bill) containing GG.
14 I know what you have in mind even if I walk
16 It beats four of a kind fair and square
STRAIGHT FLUSH – STRAIGHT (fair), FLUSH (square, like a nail). Neat.
19 Exotic marine creature stayed out of view
20 Being a musician, time to be married
ORGANISM – ORGANIST with T (time) changed to M (married).
22 Unwell, face having turned blue
LAID LOW – reversal of DIAL, LOW (blue).
23 Irony is funny for sure
FERROUS – (FOR SURE)*. Nice definition.
24 Bends to pick up what pilot may find hazardous
25 Among disciples, I’m one
SIMON – contained in ‘disciples I’m one’. &Lit.
1 Social event but, contrarily, drinks excluded
TEA PARTY – reversal (contrarily) of YET (but) containing APART (excluded).
2 Crossing river, drink, then cook fish
3 Those starting all these angry newspaper pieces
LEADING ARTICLES – the first letters (those starting) of ‘all’, ‘these’ and ‘angry’ are all… Great clue, very clever and original.
4 Treating children with care — it paid off
5 Light speed
RUSH – DD. Rush is another word for a rushlight, whatever that is.
6 An embassy’s liaison officer?
CHARGE DAFFAIRES – CD based on the idea that a liaison is an affair.
7 In head of canine is yellow tooth
INCISOR – IN, Canine, IS, OR (gold or yellow in heraldry).
8 Activity of hen always secluded by heather
LAYING – L(AY)ING. LING being another word for erica, of course.
13 Extremely bare, thus mostly desert? No
15 Man in church joining wrong pipes up
16 A bit of dry crackers on it
17 Livery stable
18 Form of protest in grand city in North West
GO-SLOW – G, OSLO, W. To a Norwegian OSLO is very much in the south but you get the idea.
21 Pretty short online post
TWEE – TWEEt. I wonder when, if ever, people will stop referring to Twitter and tweeting as such.

16 comments on “Sunday Times 5082 by Dean Mayer”

  1. 32’+
    I biffed 3d, and never did figure it out, more’s the pity, as it’s a great clue. My last two in were ORGANISM & BE THERE FOR, which I’ll nominate for CODs. On the other hand, I had a ! at STRAIGHT FLUSH, a gimme like I’ve never seen in a Dean puzzle; well, a gimme if you know poker, anyway.

  2. Like Kevin, I neglected to parse 3d and missed all the fun there.
    But 25: unflawed &lit! A rare achievement, home-run hit!
    I’ve suggested that “tweets” should now be called “X-clamations.”

  3. All but Rush went in at my normal Dean Mayer speed. If I’d been in competition I would have written Rush in from the crossers, but not knowing the crude torch I left it blank and headed for the coffee machine with two white squares left. Thank you, dm, especially for the leading articles; ta, keriothe

  4. This went pretty smoothly for me. Several candidates for COD. I think my favourite is 3d. We’ve had a number of those types of clue in the past: BESIDE THE POINT and VULGAR FRACTIONS come to mind. Both were literally illustrated in the wordplay as 3d is.
    Very enjoyable and thanks for the explanations keriothe.

  5. DNF around 30

    Very much enjoyed this but just couldn’t see ACREAGE even with A_REA_E.

    Some excellent stuff here – FERROUS was brilliant imho

    Thanks Dean and Keriothe

  6. Judging by the blog and comments so far I am completely out of step regarding level of difficulty as I found this very hard indeed and needed more than an hour to complete it. And even then I had a number of unresolved matters to check, one of which (LEADING ARTICLES) remained a mystery until today.

    Aside from that one, they were the NHO WIND SHEAR and the definitions of ACREAGE and RUSH.

    1. Don’t worry about that. There have been many weeks where everyone says it’s been an easy ride when I’ve been on the point of giving up having spent several days battling it. I’m thankful I was on the right wavelength this week and that there were no clues requiring knowledge of popular music of which I have very little.

  7. I was held up by confidently entering TEA DANCE for 1D, not thinking of the more obvious ‘party’. This made 14a impossible, and delayed getting it until the end, despite being a very obvious definition. LOI was ORGANISM, where I failed to make the connection of switching T and M for too long. NHO TORPEDO as a fish, so that was POI. My COD would have been the amusing FERROUS, but now that K has explained the mysterious and brilliant 3D, I’d have to give it to that. Another great crossword, thanks Dean and Keriothe!

  8. Steady solve but held up by writing tea dance for 1dn.. when I finally corrected that and parsed it, I thought it a fabulous clue. One of several in this, including the leading articles and the organism..

  9. Very much enjoyed completing this in the usual hour or so. I marked an exclam at 23ac as my COD. So concise and clever. The trickiest ones for me were 2d because I still fail to remember that tope = drink. When will I learn?! And 5d since NHO rushlight. A very satisfying puzzle, though. Thanks to DM and blogger.

  10. There once was a setter called Mayer
    Most unlike the grids that were greyer
    His puzzles were lit
    By much charm and great wit
    In sportsmanlike terms – “What a player”!

  11. As others I had Tea Dance for a while. Loved the Uxbridgy IRONY, 3d LeadingA was brill. 16d SECTION was good. I thought I could remember poker hands, but I don’t so it took a while.
    Good puzzle. COD prob to 25a SIMON.

  12. At 33 minutes I found this exceedingly easy for one of Dean’s puzzles, which are always a delight. The one clue I thought not quite up to his usual standard was CHARGE D’AFFAIRES (ha-ha), but it was more than made up for by LEADING ARTICLES, which like many others I did not fully parse but which is absolutely brilliant. Thank you, Dean, for another lovely Sunday.

  13. It’s all been said: Dean to be lauded for yet another brilliant crossword, which took me over my usually allotted hour, but worth every minute. I too failed to see the brilliance of 3d, but at least it aided my struggles with its crossers. The equally clever FERROUS was one of my first in, having scanned the clues for a foothold, and helped with 13d and later the poker clue, which I was happy to recall, as I haven’t played it much. Particularly enjoyed GO SLOW, THOUGHT READER (which I should’ve got far more quickly!) and PAROCHIAL, which paid off building bit-by-bit.

  14. Thanks Dean and keriothe
    This setter never fails to deliver with an excellent crossword – all of his clues are well-rounded and crafted so that it is not always self-evident that there is more – for example, happily entered STRAIGHT FLUSH without twigging to the additional parsing instructions provided at the end. Similarly, it took a second look to see that one needed to parse THOUGHT READER and CHARGE D’AFFAIRES as well.
    Didn’t twig to the excellent device for LEADING ARTICLES (bravo!) and needed the blog to see the parsing of TEA PARTY.
    Ended a very enjoyable time, after 50 minutes, mainly in the NW corner with TOTAL (taking a while to remember the car wreck aspect), TORPEDO (which was recalled, but needed to check what sort of fish it was) and RUSH (with visions of intrepid adventurers using one to walk through dark caves or pyramids).

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