Saturday Times 24054 (25 Oct)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 12:04. Not too hard for a change (unlike today’s, which was a real stinker!). I wasted a fair bit of time looking for the wrong anagram in 6D otherwise it might have been under 10 minutes.

1 SOHO – SHOO with the middle letters swapped.
3 COMELINESS – hidden reversed in “Is senile mockery”
9 LOVE SET – my best guess as to the wordplay here is “Romantic interest = LOVE, sank = SET (e.g. the sun), “in” is a link word and “completely one-sided play” is the definition (in tennis).
11 RICHTER – T(remor) in RICHER. I couldn’t name any other seismologists though!
12 IN A BAD WAY – two different meanings of the clue and the answer make this a cryptic definition, but very easy to spot with the enumeration.
13 RECUR – CUR after R.E. I wasn’t happy with the definition at first, but it’s there in the dictionary. I only knew the meaning of it as “to happen again”.
14 ARISTOPHANES – TOP, HAN in ARISES. Ancient Greek dramatist known as “The Father of Comedy” apparently.
22 CAT LITTER – double def, one I’ve seen before fairly recently though.
25 GUNFIRE – G + UN-FIRE (hence the “could one say?”)
26 DRY MEASURE – cryptic def.
27 HYMN – H(ol)Y M(e)N – nice spot by the setter.

1 SULLIVAN – (us vanilla)* minus the a. He wrote the music to W.S. Gilbert’s librettos.
2 HAVE A FIT – F1 inside HAVE AT. Nice one – “old-style attack” as in “I’ll have at thee, knave!”
5 EARLY DAYS – straightforward opposite, although the setter might have got mixed up with the phrase “early doors”. According to Chambers, EARLY DAYS means “it’s too soon to tell” rather than “at an early stage in the proceedings”.
6 INCARCERATION – INC + ARC + ERA + (into)*. I wasted time early on looking for anagrams of “pus + t + custodial”. Tricky wordplay instead!
7 ENTICE – alternate letters of “Bernstein cues”.
8 SARTRE – (rarest)*. I knew it had to be an anagram of rarest, but couldn’t get it without the checking letters. Duh!
10 STAY THE COURSE – (out chasers yet)*. Surely “throw” is the anagrind here, so why is the def. “struggle to finish”? In horse-racing terminology, a horse that stays the course is a good thing, not a struggler!
15 PUT ACROSS – as, of course, it’s a down clue. Neat.
16 GENTRIFY – G + ENTRY (way in) around IF (provided). Another definition that had me puzzled, but Chambers sorts it out. gentrification: the modernizing of old, badly equipped property, usu with a view to increasing its value.
17 STURGEON – (Nurse got)*
23 TIGER – G (3rd letter of August) inside TIER.

6 comments on “Saturday Times 24054 (25 Oct)”

  1. Canadian expression would be “in tow” so I was left staring at the blank spots for a week.
    As for GUNFIRE….ghastly but cute. And although I guessed STURGEON I see no connection with NURSE. About 40 minutes with those two exceptions.
    Any kind words of explanation on the latter (sturgeon) would be greatly…..etc.

    Bob in Toronto

      1. Feel like Homer Simpson on that one. (DOH! that is) Too obvious on reflection.
        Thanks for that and for the solutions overall.
  2. This one started the run of gentle puzzles that we experienced last week. It had some good clues in it. I thought the hidden word at 3A and the word play at 6D were the best. Agreed 24060 is much harder – the start of a difficult streak maybe?
  3. 45 minutes with several unexplained until I came here – not that I pondered over them much having completed the puzzle to my satisafaction. Can’t make up my mind whether “church agreement” = AMEN is brilliant or pushing things a bit.
  4. All very straightforward until the longest hidden answer I have ever seen – reversed as well – at 3a and the RAREST philosopher at 8d – my LOI. I BIFD COMELINESS I am afraid and only then did I see JPS doing and being at 8d. Thanks for the blog and puzzle LINXIT and Setter – a very comely effort.

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