Saturday Times 23970 (July 19)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Just got back from an impromptu weekend away, where I attended a cousin’s wedding and got engaged myself! Unfortunately there was no time to do the blog entry in advance or let anyone else know. Blog entry will go up later this morning if I have time, or more likely tonight.

Edit (over three years later): it’s just come to my notice that there’s a message in the diagonal of this puzzle, which nmsindy briefly mentioned in the comments. WELCOME LIAM ARBY, announcing the birth of the setter’s son, so belated congratulations are in order.

1 WRAP UP – double def.
5 CARDAMOM – CARD=tease, A MOM is American spelling of A MUM (i.e. at Flushing Meadow, where the US Open tennis is held).
9 TELESEME – hidden in alternative letters of “the Fleet’s men meet”; new word for me.
10 JOB LOT – so they do!
11 HEN ROOST – (on others)*, &lit.
12 TECHIE – hidden in “corporate chief”
13 STEERAGE – E’ER in STAGE, the location of the cheapest seats on a passenger ship.
15 BELT – double def, one of which is cryptic. Bags (e.g. Oxford bags) are a type of trousers.
17 CLAY – C(old) + LAY. In this clue the wordplay seems to be in reverse order, but “on” in this case just means “next to”, so it could be either side.
19 WADE INTO – D(am)E, I inside WANT O (have no desire = want nothing)
20 YOGURT – G in YOUR, T
22 OPORTO – PORT inside 0-0
24 MISSPENT – MISS + PENT, another one with wordplay reversed but again, “by” just means “next to”.
25 MEDLEY – MED (large expanse of water) + LEY (alt. spelling of “lea”).
2 RE-EMERGE – RE (= on) + E + G in MERE. Great surface (pun intended I’m sure!)
3 PIECRUST – ECRU’S inside PIT. Écru is the colour of unbleached linen, i.e. greyish brown. I needn’t mention the nursery rhyme?
4 PHENOMENA – HE + NO MEN inside PA. Pretty cryptic wordplay, and I saw HEN for all-girl, which confused me at first.
5 CHESTER-LE-STREET – (Settlers etc here)*. Saw this straight away, as I’m a big cricket fan. It’s where Durham play (nowhere near Chester).
6 DIOCESE – 0 C (i.e. zero degrees Celsius) inside DIESE(l). Last time I went to church in winter I was still at school, but it was pretty chilly inside, so this clue’s surface reading is probably accurate!
7 MOLEHILL – Spoonerism = “whole mill”.
8 MOTHERLY – OTHER, L inside M(ilitar)Y
14 GYNAECEUM – (Menace guy)*. Got this from the anagram and crossing letters, plus knowledge of Latin spelling. My B-grade Latin O-level has served me well over the years, and it’s a shame most schools no longer teach it.
15 BABY BOOM – BA + BY + BOOM. “Increase in arrivals” is a nice definition.
16 LIP GLOSS – (spills go)*. A shoo-in for me – I get covered in the stuff every morning these days kissing her goodbye!
17 COMBATED – MB inside COATED. My natural instinct makes me think the English spelling should be COMBATTED, but for once I’m wrong. Chambers doesn’t even mention it as an option.
18 ANAEROBE – (bone area)*
19 WIRETAP – WI + PATER rev.

11 comments on “Saturday Times 23970 (July 19)”

    1. Thanks. Wasn’t planning on this weekend, but sometime in the near future. The lady saw a ring she liked though, so that was that!
  1. I half-raised an eyebrow over “seats” in 13 because I’ve always thought of steerage as accommodation i.e. cabins, rather than seating and I don’t know whether I’ve been mistaken all these years. All the dictionaries say it’s accommodation and don’t mention seats but then I have to ask myself whether seating = accommodation? A very good puzzle though.
    1. Chambers avoids the issue with “the part of a passenger ship with lowest fares”, so I suppose it could mean seats or accommodation.
  2. Congratulations, linxit. Advice from the old fraud Oscar Wilde: “A man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.” Hope you’ve got one of those covered.

    I enjoyed this puzzle – the sprinkling of tricky words was well-judged for a Saturday. I had the most trouble with CARDAMOM, before the logic finally dawned on me. Really good hidden word in 12a. The biblical characters at 10a also raised a smile, as did the surface at 24a. Can’t recall just how long this took, but it was somewhere around the half hour, I think. Some devlish wordplay, as at 19a, held me up, for sure.

  3. Thanks, sotira. Reminds me of another quotation: “He knows nothing and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.”

    I’ve got no time for politicians, but the first sentence sums up what Sue thinks of me sometimes!

    1. Sounds like you’re in good shape. So long as Sue remembers to let you think you’re in charge sometimes, you ought to be fine. Should we all be buying a hat yet?
  4. Nobody’s mentioned the diagonal in this puzzle, I think – maybe Linxit will have some a similar thought in the future.
  5. I thought that this was a cracker.

    Totally missed the diagonal NINA though.

    I DID manage to get 2 words that were new to me from the clues without any help from Madame Onelook. Hurrah!

    9a TELESEME – very fairly clued as alternate letters. Just as well as it appears to be a VERY obscure word. I cannot find any more detailed description than an “old electrical messaging system”.

    14d GYNAECEUM. Clued as an anagram of (Menace Guy). This time no complaints about an obscure word being clued as an anagram because knowledge of other words such as Gynaecologist and Lyceum enabled correct spelling. All this despite being sadly lacking in any Latin instruction whatsoever.

    My COD is 15d BA BY BOOM. Increase in arrivals – another excuse for chaos at the airport – no doubt announced indistinctly over the PA!

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