4917: easy even for a Sunday

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time: 23’

Not very hard – but I was making tea and answering email while solving the puzzle. Got my first copy of Chambers yesterday – which really does make a difference. I found everything questionable there – so except for one obvious typo, a clean day. No unusual words but a couple of forced puns.


3 BARBERSHOP – double meaning: barbershop quartets sing a cappella harmonies. And you can find them on your local high street.
13 CLOSE+TED – “end” + Edward for something concealed.
22 TERMINAL – double meaning: I fly a lot through Heathrow – I always thought I was safe once I got to the terminal..
24 (l)ESSEN – Subtraction clues are hard but ESSEN is a crossword regular for German city given its v. common letters.
28 TABLE (SAL)T – “The Tablet” is a UK Catholic weekly: more here.
30 A+NON – The typo is “Elyseée” which should be “Élysée”. The clue fragment: “…Elyseée shortly” is understandably a little confusing as a result.


5 BELLOWS – double meaning: didn’t know this but also a camera attachment for a telescopic lens (probably looks like the blacksmith’s bellows).
6 (b)RIDGE – Another subtraction clue but again bridge is a crossword regular for card game.
14 WELLINGTON – Kind of a reverse subtraction clue: Duke of Wellington and Duke Ellington.
16 MOUSEPADS – Double meaning: groan… this is where your computer mouse lives and also where your mice live when they aren’t scurrying about in your attic.
26 BEE+B – Busy as a bee + b for book and the BBC is affectionately known as Auntie. All this in Chambers as well!

3 comments on “4917: easy even for a Sunday”

  1. Apart from the typo in 30ac there’s a more glaring error at 2dn, where ON AIR is clued as O(hio) + RAIN reversed – or is there some way that “coming up” can be taken as an anagram indicator?
  2. 1a It’s a mistake – whichever way you look at it = BOOB (palindrome alert – 2nd part of clue)
    10a Flexible body armour with circular letters = CHAIN MAIL
    11a Devil of a score at Wimbledon = DEUCE (DD)
    12a Move forcefully on board = BARGE (strictly a narrow boat when seen on canal)
    15a Grass found in Bible Book = TIMOTHY (X-word botany)
    17a Guess model after drink = SUP POSE
    19a Change (Renault)* gear, perhaps = NEUTRAL
    21a Fraction (claimed)* to be wrong = DECIMAL (are fraction and decimal equivalent??)
    27a Dash to back of beyond for an antelope = ELAN D (a large graceful beast revered by the San)
    29a Mean to include one unfinished drawing for hopeless type = BASKET CASE ( a sketc(h) inside Base)

    1d Small piece in support for malicious talk = BACKBITING (bit inside backing)
    2d Broadcasting from Ohio – wet weather coming up = ON AIR (except that Ohio = OH not just O and rain coming up = niar not nair – see comments above)
    4d Superior involved in some chaos = ANARCHY (arch inside any)
    7d Space in (our home so)* muddled = HOUSEROOM
    8d Look in hold on the way up = PEEK (keep backwards)
    18d (Tick peer)* off, he’s stopping work = PICKETER
    20d Type of fringe for the nut = LUNATIC (DD)
    21d French composer liberal in early letters = DELIBES ( lib inside dees)
    23d A fly seen in huMID GEorgia = MIDGE
    25d Country health resort fashionable = SPA IN

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