Saturday Times 24012 (Sep 6th)

Solving time 20:15. Another slowish time for me in a crossword that had a few “difficult” words, but nothing I didn’t know. There were a lot of very good clues here though, 25A probably being the best of the bunch.

1 LET THE SIDE DOWN – having said the above, I didn’t like this one much.
10 MARAT – MA + RAT. Jean-Paul Marat was a French revolutionary who was stabbed to death in his bath.
11 NO JOY – hidden rev. in “TokYO JONah”.
12 COOK’S TOUR – (crooks out)* – from the original Thomas Cook, a tour that takes in as many attractions as possible in the time available.
15 GENTOO РGENT + O,O. Not quite the same as my Linux penguin (which is roughly based on an Ad̩lie penguin, apparently), but also the name of a Linux distribution.
17 MOVING – O,V inside MING. Definition by example there, tut tut.
19 HONEYPOT – HONE + Y(outh) + P (quietly) + TO rev. One definition of honeypot is “anything that attracts people in great numbers”.
22 BANDOLIER – (broad line)*
23 SHONA – “shown a”. An African language.
24 LEONA – ON (legside in cricket) inside LEA.
25 LOONY LEFT – N,Y inside LOO (e.g. ladies) + LEFT. Brilliant definition, I thought – “politicians out to lunch”.
26 THE LONG GOODBYE – (Ode by Gogol, then)*. The book was by Raymond Chandler, the film by Robert Altman.
1 LA DONNA E MOBILE – AN rev, E inside LAD ON MOBILE. Terrific construction with a great surface reading. The song is from Verdi’s Rigoletto.
2 TOBY JUG – TOBY (i.e. Sir Toby Belch from Twelfth Night) + JUG (can). Definition is “figure in cup”.
3 HAIRY – straightforward double def.
4 SEED-CORN – D, COR inside SEEN. Last one I got, took a while to see how it worked.
5 DESPOT – another double def. one for DE-SPOT, as in Lady Macbeth’s “Out, damn’d spot!” speech.
6 DAMASCENE – R removed from DRAMA SCENE. “A sudden and dramatic conversion to a cause, such as that experienced by St Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9)
8 STORMONT CASTLE – M inside (state controls)*. Seat of the Northern Ireland Executive government.
18 VAN GOGH – VAN = lead, GO = part, lead part of Gandhi is G, + H.
21 VIOLIN – oil* inside VIN (Bordeaux being French wine).
23 SAY-SO – SAYS 0.

15 comments on “Saturday Times 24012 (Sep 6th)”

  1. I passed up “Fat Lucy” standing stock still and badly synched, and chose Nicolai Gedda, who I reckon sings it just as well. You also get some cartoon animations illustrating “Woman is fickle” – see if you can spot all the famous paintings and possibly other images being ripped off …

    1. 17:05 for me – tough but most enjoyable.

      I managed to recognise a number of the images, but very far from all of them!

  2. Thank you for explaining 2d TOBY JUG, which I got, but for the life of me couldn’t explain. It never occurred to me that ‘Belch’ was a name (fooled by the initial capital).

    Is there a definition in 14d? I don’t quite get it.

    This took me 50 minutes, not helped by taking most of that time to catch on to the very clever 1d.

  3. ‘Lobby for this?’ must be the definition in 14D. I think it was Talbinho who objected some time ago to this type of cross-ref (and, in this case, overlap) between definition and wordplay. This one took me 13 pleasant minutes. 5D was good – I don’t know if the de-spot gag has been used before – and 20D too, though I guess that may not be original.

    Tom B.

    1. Thanks, Tom. I suppose my question is ‘lobby for what?’ If it’s ‘board game’, I don’t think bingo is one. Oh, well. It was perfectly gettable. Just not 100% satisfactory.
      1. Alternatively, it’s an &lit., ‘this?’ being what’s lobbied for after the scrapping of the board game (in the surface). A bit tenuous.

        Tom B.

  4. …just saw Peter’s comment about Saturday times below. I think my average time is a bit lower for the Sat. puzzles – which may have something to do with the circumstances in which they’re tackled!

    Tom B.

  5. Thanks for the GENTOO tidbit, that I didn’t know. I’ve used suse, debian, mandrake, slackware and redhat in the past, one more to the ever-growing list.
    1. It’s basically Debian under the hood, but the user gets to select which bits they want and compile the lot from scratch. Not for the faint-hearted (or the impatient!) but it gives you total control over what goes onto your PC.
    2. Try Ubuntu(Gnome)/Kubuntu(KDE). Very slick and stable.You get to choose the windowing interface at sign-on. Excellent software installation and update support.
  6. I do not like answers where there’s an apostrophe. The clue should read: Hurried round to throw cooks out (4’1,4) NOT (5,4). Just being pedantic.. because Cook’s Tour did not occur to me at any stage.
    1. I don’t think the daily/weekly Times puzzles include apostrophes in the answer lengths – they does include hyphens.

      Mephisto and Listener up the ante by not giving away hyphenations and when there’s more than one word in an answer they just give the number of words in the answer.

      1. I don’t think any of the broadsheet cryptics now show apostrophes. There was a time when some did, but I think it ended about 15-20 years ago. Personally I’d favour upping the ante in the same way for daily papers – some patterns can give too much away, like (1-4) = E-MAIL or U-BOAT most of the time, or (4,2,2,5,2) = TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT – and nothing else according to an old Chambers crib for phrases.

        Edited at 2008-09-14 02:46 pm (UTC)

        1. I agree Peter – it’s a shame when word lengths can effectively give the answer away. Certainly including apostrophes is an example of where the letter of the law is also its ass!
  7. There appears to be some confusion in the comments above about the parsing of the clue of 14d BINGO HALL.

    Linxit has shown that it is BIN, GO, HALL – exactly so.

    14d Scrap board game and lobby for this? (5,4) where Scrap = BIN, board game = GO and lobby = HALL. The definition is an &lit where you are giving up the board games at home and getting on down to the BINGO HALL instead? Lobby is not a verb in that clue except in the surface.

    Swarming to the Mecca Bingo like bees around the honey pot is one thing but to equate Mecca for the purposes of pilgrimage as a “honeypot” seems a bit disrespectful?

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