Saturday, 22 September 2018 – Times Cryptic No 27150. Pack round, people.

I rated this a middle of the road Saturday puzzle. Several clues referred to things I didn’t know, but not vital to finding the answer.

My clue of the day was 11ac. I found it amazingly  hard to accept that “round” was part of a definition rather than a wordplay instruction. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

Clues are in blue, with definitions underlined. Answers are in BOLD CAPS, then wordplay. (ABC*) means ‘anagram of ABC’, with the anagram indicator in bold italics. Deletions are in [square brackets].

1 25 tango in posh wedding attire? (5,4)
FANCY THAT: put T for tango inside FANCY HAT. Definition is “imagine”. I know fancy hats can be worn to race meetings. Weddings too, apparently.

6 See in comic Mr Man champion of social justice (5)
BEVAN: V for “vide” inside BEAN (Mr Bean, the comic, that is). Nye Bevan introduced the National Health Service.

9 Fed nothing, arboreal animal showing fatigue (7)

10 Feature ’ackney intellectual overheard (7)
EYEBROW: sounds like [h]IGHBROW.

11 Pack round a US city (5)
TAMPA: TAMP (pack round) plus an A. I could hardly bring myself to write this in – surely “round” had to be a wordplay indicator, not part of a definition?

12 Around fifty ain’t wise to get flabby — so watch it? (9)
WAISTLINE: (AINT WISE*) around L (fifty). A literal definition, more or less.

13 Scorer from Cape Town v Johannesburg, say? (5)
SATIE: a South African derby game, or S.A. TIE, geddit? A composer unknown to me apart from his appearances in crosswords.

14 Fasteners securing both sides of fence, huge thing pulled back (4,5)
REEF KNOTS: STONKER (huge thing) around F[enc]E, all reversed (“pulled back”).

17 All kicking off in football game? That’s rugby’s line! (6-3)
TWENTY-TWO: 22 players in a soccer game, 22 metre line on a rugby field. An odd measurement, but only because it used to be the 25 yard line pre-metrification. I’d like to see it replaced by a 20 metre line, but I digress!

18 Gathered in clumps, first bits of thread ultimately fluffier than yarn (5)
TUFTY: first letters of each word.

19 Think of putting bible class with prayer (9)
RECOLLECT: RE (bible class), COLLECT (prayer).

22 People now lost, if briefly (5)
INCAS: “if” could be IN CAS[e].

24 Sloth in a tree almost stirred, one having poked it (7)
INERTIA: insert I=one in the anagram (IN A TRE-*). Drop the last E from “tree” to make it briefer.

25 Old number picture (7)
IMAGINE: double definition. The first is the song by John Lennon, 1971. How old is “old”?

26 Skill required to load what? Massive revolver (5)
EARTH: ART in “EH?” Nicely disguised definition.

27 Appreciation of music inspiring Irish author, someone from 8 down say? (9)

1 Smoother tail of coat cut (5)
FILET: FILE (smoother, as in nail file), followed by [coa]T.

2 Ornament replaced on end of mantelpiece that’s very short (9)
NANOMETRE: (ORNAMENT*), then [mantlepiec]E.

3 What to do with new baby? Anything’s possible! (3,4,2)
YOU NAME IT: double definition.

4 Old rebel now fighting king in the clutches of death, we suspect (8,3,4)
HEREWARD THE WAKE: HERE (now), WAR (fighting), then K in (DEATH WE*). Not altogether an unknown, but until I met him in an earlier crossword, I didn’t know he was a rebel.

5 Ten heroes within? That’s not quite right! (3,4,8)
THE NINE WORTHIES: (TEN HEROES WITHIN*). Glorious literal definition. I’d never heard of them, but after guessing the first two words, the third dropped out of the anagram.

6 Source of nourishment lacking in a French port (5)
BREST: nourishment could be BRE[a]ST, whether mammalian or of chicken for example.

7 Having picked up papers, minister notes his business (5)
VERDI: ID (papers), REV (minister), all “picked up”. Another nice definition.

8 Where Princeton is top without blemish? (3,6)
NEW JERSEY: NEW (without blemish), JERSEY (top). No doubt our North American fellows wrote this in instantly.

13 With sound outside, one overcome by fright in dark (9)
SATURNINE: SANE (sound), outside TURN (fright, as in “it gave me quite a turn”), then I (one).

15 Stuff to carry round island with bird (9)
KITTIWAKE: KIT (stuff), TAKE (carry), around I (island) W (with).

16 Sense conclusion dismissed by former group (9)
OLFACTION: OL[d] FACTION. “Olfactory” is a familiar word, so this unfamiliar form must be OK surely.

20 Egg on starter of chicken, he starts to eat ramen (5)
CHEER: C[hicken], HE, E[at] R[amen].

21 Closer final at chess is gripping (5)
LATCH: well hidden answer.

23 Simple to deviate (5)
SHEER: double definition.

24 comments on “Saturday, 22 September 2018 – Times Cryptic No 27150. Pack round, people.”

  1. …since I’d never heard of Nye BEVAN (until coming to this blog, in fact, though I got that answer), STONKER or THE NINE WORTHIES.
    I hesitated forever to put in TAMPA, for the same reason as our blogger.
    Is TUFTY really a word people use?
    SATIE is one of my all-time favorite composers.

    Edited at 2018-09-29 04:47 am (UTC)

    1. You’ve done well to avoid hearing of Nye Bevan in this 70th anniversary year of the NHS, his brilliant brainchild. He belongs to an age when you didn’t mince your words, and also spoke them with great eloquence: “What is Toryism but organised spivvery? … No amount of cajolery can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party … So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.”
    2. Oh, and you’re apparently not old enough to remember the TUFTY Club (I might still have my badge somewhere) which might not have particularly referenced clumps, but did help us to cross the road in safety.
  2. I didn’t get on that well with this, taking 55 minutes. I wasn’t helped by not reading 8d properly and biffing IVY LEAGUE. COD BEVAN at least told me I was wrong about that early on but it wasn’t until much later that I remembered what Della wore. With IMAGINE being far and away my least favourite Lennon song, I wasn’t keen on 25 across. Think what we (and he) would have been spared if he’d stayed with Cynthia. LOI THE NINE WORTHIES have passed me by too, and I needed all the crossers. It was one of those puzzles that seems better in retrospect. Thank you B and setter.
  3. I spent 36 minutes getting three wrong, my last one in being LANGUOR which I can’t spell, hence my heading. My third (!) error was the noble French port of BRENT, home to le Stadion de Wembley, obviously. I think I want to amend Brnchn’s version of the correct BREST, though: source of nourishment is of course BREAST (let’s not be coy, surely human not chicken) and you’ve got to account for that missing A, so it doesn’t belong in the definition. We are lacking in A.
    I’d heard of “THE NINE WORTHIES”, but it turns out I wouldn’t be able to name any of them: I might have guessed some obscure film (2 extra Samurai, perhaps) or more likely something like the Burghers of Calais.
    Tough enough for a Saturday, well blogged.
  4. Struggled, mainly in the NW with the cross-reference at 1ac preventing an early solve which would have opened up that tricky quarter. The creature at 9ac, the somewhat obscure US city and the measurement at 2dn were all at the limits of my GK so none of them gave up their secrets easily. The only other unfamiliar answer was THE NINE WORTHIES and that contributed to my difficulties in the NW as its first letter was needed to solve the elusive 1ac.

    We seem to be having cross-references more frequently these days, and I wish someone would instruct the setters NOT to put them in. We could do the Guardian puzzle if we wanted them.

    Edited at 2018-09-29 06:35 am (UTC)

  5. This one took a while at 56:12 but I got there in the end. I know Satie for his Gymnopedies and Hereward the Wake is well known in my native Peterborough. I didn’t understand the V in BEVAN but I now realise it’s vide.

    Thanks for the blog.

    PS Is it just me or are the breast references getting a bit over-frequent?

  6. 29 minutes, but with STEER instead of SHEER for 23d. Grr. I hadn’t heard of LANGUR and didn’t know who the NINE WORTHIES were, but I do now. I liked EARTH and YOU NAME IT, but REEF KNOTS was my favourite.
  7. Totally missed the parsing of 5a and biffed BEVIN. Hopefully I’ll remember how to spell him next time. Otherwise all done in a drawn out 50:19. Didn’t know THE NINE WORTHIES, so needed all the checkers. I think that was mt LOI, or it might have been SATIE, forehead slap time! Hereward was a big help in opening up the grid. Thanks setter and Bruce.
    1. It could have been Ernest Bevin, the Foreign Secretary in Attlee’s Government. When someone said that Herbert Morrison (Mandelson’s grandfather and Deputy Prime Minister). was his own worst enemy, Ernest said, “Not while I’m alive, he ain’t.”

      Edited at 2018-09-29 09:43 am (UTC)

      1. Well, thanks for explaining that. As I worked out BEVAN, I thought to myself, “lucky they gave me Mr Bean, because otherwise I wouldn’t know whether to spell him with an I or an A”!!
  8. I found this extremely hard, coming in at two-ish hours. Much of the knowledge was obscure to me, and if I hadn’t been doing the crossword regularly for a few years, I’m not sure I’d have come up with SATURNINE, HEREWARD THE WAKE, BREST, SATIE, and many others.

    Score one for low culture, too: I knew Princeton is in NEW JERSEY because House is set in Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital (Princeton U’s First Campus Centre is the building you see standing in for PPTH in the credits.)

    FOI 1a FANCY THAT, LOI 4d the aforementioned HEREWARD. Liked 6a BEVAN, 1d FILET, 3d YOU NAME IT.

    Well done on finding this one middling, Bruce! Thanks for the many explanations I needed 🙂

  9. 58:43. I found this at the tougher end of the spectrum. Not helped by needing lots of checkers before getting anywhere near the two long down ones in the middle. I liked the scorer clue at 13ac and the “notes his business” definition of the other scorer at 7dn.
  10. A bit late coming here after spending all day watching the Ryder Cup.
    I managed to finish this puzzle over not too long a period. I did have a few unparsed and unknown. DNK The Nine Worthies but it emerged without too much trouble. I thought of Ivy League but happily did not write it in because of parse failure.
    My two problems at the end were 1d and 11a. I thought 1d was probably Filer; Pack could be Ram and insert an A etc; so time lost looking for suitable cities. Tampa was eventually bunged in after Filet seemed to fit better. Thanks for the parsing of that one. Saturnine also unparsed.
    I’m sure I remember a railway engine called Hereward The Wake.
    1. 70037 Britannia Class, David. Built by British Railways 1952 after nationalisation and withdrawn 1966.
  11. 18:20 but with a typo: NEW JERSYY. I always check my answers so I’ve no idea how I missed this. I’m making a lot of silly mistakes at the moment.
    I hesitated over TAMPA because to me ‘tamp’ means specifically to pack down rather than round. This meaning is in Chambers but not the other usual dictionaries (Collins, ODO).

    Edited at 2018-09-30 02:16 pm (UTC)

  12. I was struck by various pairs of words in the solution to this puzzle…

    # Two composers – VERDI and SATIE
    # Two US places – NEW JERSEY and TAMPA
    # Two planets – EARTH and SATURNine
    # SHEER and CHEER
    # saTIE REEF KNOTS across the middle…

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