Sat. 20th Sep. – 24,024 – Out to lunch – nosh, fine wines and a glass of Suffolk punch

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Solving time: eternal.

I was driven to the solving aids after about 45 minutes. The north west in particular got the better of me. The devil’s own work here – infernally clever in parts.

1 MAD AGAS CAN – those crazy Agas (not the sort you find in Islington kitchens)
6 ITEM – Double def.
9 CHAMBER TIN – tin = to preserve, a Times standard
10 TURN – as “You gave me quite a turn”
15 AMENDABLE – (Bad enamel)*
18 LYING – downright dishonest
19 INSOLE N(i)CE – as Grandma always said “There’s no ‘I’ in nice.”
20 SUFFOLK PUNCH – [F(strong)+US] reversed before FOLK + PUNCH
24 O NUS – SUN reversed
25 OUT TO LUNCH – tee hee
26 NOS H – another reversal

1 MACE – one to put on your spice rack.
2 DEAD – dead good, tha
3 GOBBLED EG O OK – ‘say’ = ‘eg.’, ‘nothing acceptable’ = ‘zero OK’
4 STRAD – up with darts
5 ALI(V)EN E SS – slightly strained def. of ‘being’
7 TOURMALINE – anagram of OUT + MINERAL, to give the silicate substance
8 MIN(D-READ)ER – the ‘terror’ induced by spotting Derren Brown with his ‘witch’s heart’
11 VAL POLICE LLA – ‘lav’ backwards. Which reminds me of Rowan Atkinson’s great ‘Father of the Bride’ speech. “As for the rest of his family, I wouldn’t trust any of them to sit the right way on a lavatory seat”.
13 TABLE S(P)O ON – P=’page’ inside SO=’thus’ + ‘on’
14 PETIT FOURS – (ripest tofu)*
16 B(RICK-D)UST – ‘strain’=RICK
21 UTTER – double def.
22 ANTI – hidden word, an anti being one who is opposed.
23 SHIN – Oo, er missus. ‘Shiny’ with the bottom lopped off

7 comments on “Sat. 20th Sep. – 24,024 – Out to lunch – nosh, fine wines and a glass of Suffolk punch”

  1. I think this took 24 minutes. I remember being stuck for a very long time (maybe as much as 10 minutes) on 1 & 6 A, 1 & 2 D – one of those times when just getting one answer would probably open up the rest. I think CHAMBERTIN was the breakthrough answer.
  2. I don’t time myself on the Saturday puzzle, preferring to savour the clues as I go along. And what a savoury puzzle this was. 1ac was absolutely brilliant.

    An enjoyable puzzle for sure and I’d say marginally above average diffculty

  3. Thanks for stepping in, Sotira. My PC died on Saturday while I was half-way through writing the blog entry, and I’ve only just resurrected it!

    24:08 for me, pretty good to match Peter’s time. My favourite clue was 11D, but I also ticked 1A, 3D, 7D and 13D. I was also going to note that there were 7 double definitions in the puzzle, a few too many in my opinion.

  4. I found this hard going but eventually finished it unaided. It is probably stretching the meaning, but in 1D I also though of the mace which lies in a rack on the table when parliament is sitting.

    The Belloc quote is something like “I forget the village, I forget the girl, but the wine was Chambertin”. Must be good stuff.

  5. Thinking back, I did struggle, but madagascan and gobbledegook made it all worth while.
  6. Did this on a trawl of golden oldie Saturday puzzles and wasn’t disappointed. Two hours of man against setter, with, like Peter, CHAMBERTIN (from wordplay), pushing me over the line in the NW. Many fine clues but COD to the infuriatingly economical 2dn.

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