Saturday Times 24263 (Jun 27)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 15:16, so back to average again, although this was fairly high on the General Knowledge index. 1A, 1D, 4A, 15D, 23A and possibly 22D and 25A might all have been tricky in that respect.

1 CERES – “series”. The largest asteroid, although it’s now been redesignated as a dwarf planet.
4 SAPSUCKER – SAP + SUCKER. One of these.
10 SPLIT – double def. Croatian city, probably better known to crossword solvers than most.
11 ENSIGN – hidden in “ChildrEN’S IGNorance”.
12 SET PIECE – PIECE (rook) next to SET (all the other men). A corner in football is an example of a SET PIECE.
14 BE DONE WITH IT – or BED ONE WITH-IT. A bit risqué for the Times. Nudge nudge, wink wink.
17 STRAIGHT FACE – (craftiest hag)*
21 ACTIVE – (Cymbelin)E after ACT IV. Presumably it’s a 5-act play – I didn’t bother to check.
23 SUPPE – SUPP(l)E. Franz von Suppé, composer born in 10A.
24 IN-PATIENT – (pain it)* + ENT.
25 HERODOTUS – HERO + DOT (hit) + US. The Greek historian known as the “Father of History”.

1 COBWEBBY – B + WEBB inside COY. Captain Matthew Webb was the first man to swim the English Channel, in 1875.
3 SWINGING THE LEAD – SWINGING (lively) + THE LEAD (a position of advantage).
4 SITE – S(p)ITE
5 PERCENTAGE – (PC teenager)*
6 UNSOPHISTICATED – (decision thus apt)*
13 SWEATSHIRT – (T wears this)*, the T from (contestan)T.
15 GALILEAN – double definition. Of Galileo, or someone from Galilee. Galileo was put under house arrest by the Church for saying that the earth revolved around the sun.
22 EPOS – first letters of E(pic) P(oetry) O(ften) S(ung). I don’t think I knew that word, so I’m glad the wordplay made it so obvious.

14 comments on “Saturday Times 24263 (Jun 27)”

  1. 19:42, with one mistake (see below).  Lots of things I didn’t know here: SAPSUCKER (4ac), a corner’s being a SET PIECE (12ac), SUPPÉ (23ac), DOT meaning “hit” (25ac), WEBB (1dn), and SWING THE LEAD (3dn).  The last five minutes went on CERES/COBWEBBY (1ac/1dn) and finally a wrong guess at KEY PIECE, where I had considered and rejected SET PIECE.

    There are two problems with 12ac.  The first is that “say” does double duty as an example indicator for both “corner => SET PIECE” and “rook => PIECE”.  The second – if linxit’s explanation is correct – is that a chess SET does not consist of “all the other men”.

    1. And I look forward very much to your comments on this Saturday’s…. Suppe is really Von Suppe which held me up briefly, also I agree about 12a. I took about half an hour I suppose, I don’t usually time Saturday as it happens in between other things.
  2. Enjoyable because first full Times puzzle I have solved on my own. It did take me a while though!
  3. Well done!  I’d never have guessed this would provide someone with their first independent solve – it wasn’t exactly easy.
  4. This was moderately demanding and had some good wordplay but was quite solvable once I had got the long anagrams I enjoyed the clues for Ceres, Cobwebby. The clue for Set Piece was, I thought, a bit clumsy. Epos was a guess and last in, also a guess was Galilean. With the benefit of hindsight this is a brilliant double definition.

    I made one mistake, misspelling Herodotus as Heroditus. I can’t find any justification for dot = hit in any of the standard dictionaries.

    1. Pretty much agree here. Went dashing back to my
      hard copy to check HERODOTUS. Sure enough had
      spelled it HERODITUS. No prize this week except
      for the sheer joy of doing it.
    2. I just found I made the same mistake. As for dot = hit, how odd that there’s no support for this from the usual quarters because I have known this meaning for as long as I can remember.
      1. DOT = hit is in Chambers as slang, but not in Collins. As jackkt says though, I’ve always known this meaning, and didn’t have to look it up to confirm.
        1. Thanks for confirming this. I have found it in Chambers now, having missed it earlier.
        2. Thanks Linxit. Looks like it’s time I replaced my 2003 edition of Chambers
          1. Or your glasses 😉

            I just checked in my 2003 Chambers – it’s in there too.

            1. It’s in the Concise too, given as “British informal”.  Collins is the only standard dictionary that doesn’t include it.  According to the Shorter, the main usage is e.g. dot him one.
  5. This was tough going for me and I took 10 minutes before solving anything. After that I mostly worked steadily away at it but was stuck a couple of times and used a thesaurus to get things going again. I eventually completed everything except 15dn in 45 minutes and then used a word-search to polish that off. Much easier fare was on offer today!

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