Oct. 6th, 2008

Solving time: 42 minutes

Quite a few new words today. There are a couple where I am not sure about the wordplay. Normally I get them just after hitting POST, but any help is welcome.


1 Z(1)ZZ – Clue could be read as ‘Variables restricting one is sleep’ – briefly considered ZZZs.
3 STRATHSPEY – anagram of ‘try the pass’ – I know the area for its whisky, but still took a while to see it.
10 BOB,TAILED – Bob is so often a builder. (Corrected after jackkt’s comment)
11 [car]OUSEL – I guess this is an alternative spelling of ouzel.
13 SU,LLEN – NELL,US reversed
15 INCIDENTAL MUSIC – took a while to see what this was.
18 NEWGATE CALENDAR – anagram of ‘England we trace a’ – saw calendar early on, but I’ve never heard of this.
21 PRO[s]PER – quite easy, even though I’ve never heard of Prosper Mérimée.
26 TRIER – I am not sure I would have remembered Marx’s birthplace without a hint. But reading the clue as ‘preserving’ didn’t help.
27 DR,EAM,LIKE – West Road = MAE,RD
29 O(MI)T – Old Testament around Military Intelligence.


1 ZA(BAG,LION)[ir]E – took a while to work out – glad to see it is an actual dish – not come across before.
2 ZEBRA – haven’t yet worked out why – thanks to Anonymous and jackkt, ZEBRA is ZE(BR)A[L] ie endless zeal round BR British Rail
5 AND,E,S = also east and south
6 HOOD,LUM – haven’t seen LUM=chimney for a while but I remembered it!
8 YULE sounds like YOU’LL on the radio.
14 SCORE-SHEET, I guess. I don’t know why at the moment!
17 A,WARE,NESS – WARE is Herts town; NESS is head; A is a – can’t quite see how it all fits together! Comment from anaxcrosswords: 17D doesn’t involve any mechanics in terms if things being inside/outside other things. “A Head in Herts town” could be read as “A Ware ness”.
20 EN(1,GM)A
22 R,ADIO[s]
24 O,DI(U)M
25 S(T)OW

17 comments on “Oct. 6th, 2008”

  1. About 40 minutes for all but two (20 and 27) which I got after a break from solving. 2 is ZE(B.R.)A(l).
  2. Bit of a tricky start to the week! 14 down is presumably HE (governor) in SCORES (being the incidental music’s) ET (film).

    Not sure about 17D. I spent a while trying to put “a head” in “Tring” (another useful Hertfordshire town). But Ware is in “a head”, not the other way round. Is it OK to use “in” meaning “outside”?

  3. Took off with a hiss and a roar, then totally left the rails. Finished in 35 min with some cheats, and some answers which were correct, but not understood until reading this blog. Thanks guys.
  4. A pretty quick (9 minutes) and satisfying early morning solve. No real problems, and nice to see such an unusual launch at 1A.

    17D doesn’t involve any mechanics in terms if things being inside/outside other things. “A Head in Herts town” could be read as “A Ware ness”.

    Q-0 E-6 D-6 COD 3A

  5. Just a couple of other notes.

    “Lum” is best remembered from “lang may yer lum reek” (a Glaswegian neighbourly greeting).

    The Newgate Calendar was new to me (though not hard to work out), but a Google search is edifying.

  6. 5:47 with an interruption just before the last two (20/27). Would have been quicker if happy to fling in ENIGMA without worrying about the wordplay, but wanted to make sure. Saw ZIZZ and STRATHSPEY straight off, plus ZABAGLIONE and most other top-half downs, so most of the rest was easy from checking letters. Kurihan beat me to it re the Newgate Calendar – having a soft spot for seedy London history, I’ve got a paperback facsimile kicking about somewhere.
  7. 18 mins for an enjoyable and varied puzzle. ZIZZ was last in, after much muckin’ about with ZEDS and ZEES. In the end, the ZEBRA got me there. Honestly, you wait all month for a ‘Z’ then four come along at once.

    Didn’t know Mérimée’s first name but it wasn’t hard to work out. Took a while to see the ENIGMA, too, mainly because girl cuing ‘Ena’ is so unlikely these days. I can’t see the word ODIUM (24d) without thinking of Bentley’s first Clerihew. For those not yet obsessed with them:

    Sir Humphrey Davy
    Abominated gravy.
    He lived in the odium
    Of having discovered sodium.

    Q-0, E-8, D-7

  8. I thought this was going to be an overnighter, but I scratched in STRATHSPEY after 15 minutes and hoped it was right (victory!).

    Some nifty words here – I had heard of the Newgate Calendar, which helped. I wasn’t happy about the number of guesses… apart from STRATHSPEY, I guessed ZIZZ from wordplay, and STOW, YULE and DREAMLIKE from definition without understanding the wordplay.

  9. I took thirty minutes, slowing down after a quick start, so a bit harder than I expected for Monday, but not especially tough. Like Anax I read 17 as A WARE NESS, but I think it’s pretty far-fetched, even acknowledging the final question mark. I also had a very slight reservation about the definition for 4. In the engineering world a tolerance is a permitted variation (from e.g a specified measurement).
    The clues I particularly liked were 11 for the combination of merry-go-round and dipper, 27 for West=Mae, and 28 for the clever indication of WHEE, which I didn’t spot until I got the answer from letters in the grid. There were lots of good surfaces elsewhere, so this puzzle gets a thumbs up from me.
  10. 7.36. Greatly relieved I didn’t have to guess what letter ZABAGLIONE ended with (Italian food again, always a potential disaster area for me).

    I didn’t immediately see the wordplay for DREAMLIKE but it seemed that it had to be right so I stuck it anyway – and was somewhat alarmed afterwards to find when I put this letter pattern into Chambers all it came up with was “dreamtime”. Seems strange – maybe a dictionary isn’t going to list all the things a thing can be like, but I’d have thought “dreamlike” was quite a common one.

  11. Came in wet from golf, showered, changed had some lunch and promptly fell asleep in the arm chair. As a result came to this refreshed and waltzed through in under 20 minutes. No problems or particular points of interest. I thought ZIZZ was a real giveaway for the NW corner giving me 1D and 2D without any real thought. I liked Mae=West.
  12. Regards all. A quick entry here since I gotta run. Started out a bit slow but got through in 20-25 minutes this AM. Needed all the checking letters for ZIZZ and STRATHSPEY, new to me. So is OUSEL but there seemed no alternative. My COD is 1D, just for seeing the setter take up the challenge of ZABAGLIONE. Harder than the usual Monday, but fun. See you tomorrow.
  13. I managed to solve A WARE NESS at 17d but was bleating about “this being inside that” until Anax put me right in these pages. Ta Anax. With 3 Zs in my FOI at 1a I was expecting a multi pangram but none such thing transpired.

    There are 6 “easies” not in this blog:

    12a Skilled worker becoming ultimately less industrious(7)

    23a Some emended it or subbed (7)
    EDITORS. Hidden in the last 4 words.

    4d Unusually clear note in variation (9)
    TOLERANCE. Anagram of (clear note).

    7d Enjoyed being mad? (9)
    POSSESSED. Difficult DD?

    9d Competed with rising artist in being diverse (6)
    V AR IED

    19d Clothes appear wrong length (7)

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