Saturday Times 24658 (October 2nd)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 18:28. There was a bit of chat last week about this puzzle, and that it contained The Clue of the Century. I assume this referred to 11ac, which made me chuckle a bit and definitely gets my COD nomination. Clue of the Century though? Praise where it’s due, but we don’t want the setters to get too big-headed. 🙂 Having said that, this was a fine puzzle which I solved without full understanding of the wordplay at the time. Looking at it again this morning I think I’ve finally worked it all out, and I’m glad we won’t be getting this one tomorrow at Cheltenham!

1 MISSPEAK – MISS (pass up) + PEAK (mountain), definition “say, the wrong way”. Very misleading clue with a totally unrelated surface reading and common wordplay elements making up the definition.
9 NARRATOR – ROTAR(y) + RAN, all reversed.
10 SELF – S(mall) + ELF
11 THREW A WOBBLY – which might be wordplay leading to “the war”, a brilliant “reverse cryptic” or whatever-we-call-it. When I was growing up in Southampton, the phrase was “to throw a wobbler”, and I’m glad to see in Chambers that it’s listed as an alternative, as everybody else thinks I’m getting it wrong.
13 LIBYAN – L(eft) + 1 + [Y(ear) inside BAN]. There was an ellipsis after the previous clue, to indicate that this one’s following on. But as usual the online version doesn’t start with one (what is it with their software?). Anyway, I think the only connection is in the surface reading, and that seems a bit forced.
14 LI’L ABNER – LAB inside LINER. An American comic strip that ran from 1934 to 1977. I knew of it, but I don’t know where from.
15 BYGONES – BY (times) ahead of G(ood), + ONE’S (a man’s) – “into” seems superfluous.
16 OKINAWA – OK + IN A WA(y). One of the most devastating battles of WW2, with over 200,000 casualties, about half of them civilian.
20 SOUTHPAW – SO (very) + (up what)*. Great clue.
22 ACTING – ACING (getting a hole in one) around T(ee). Another crafty one, with “caretaker” as the definition being used as an adjective.
23 UNSYSTEMATIC – (Man City’s set)* after U(nited).
25 KIRK – (drin)K + IRK.
26 HANDSOME – HOME (in) “nurses”, i.e. contains AND (with) + S(anatorium). I put this in from the definition and crossing letters, only working out the wordplay this morning.
27 DEMERARA – A RARE MED reversed.

2 INEQUITY – QUIT inside 1 + YEN reversed.
3 SOFTLY-SOFTLY – PP is “copper’s heart”, and P (for piano) is softly. Remember the old police series on telly?
4 ESTRANGE – EST (French for is) + RANGE.
5 KNOW-ALL – KNOLL around W(ide) A(rea).
6 TROWEL – T(ractor) + ROWEL (spiked wheel, like those on a cowboy’s spurs).
7 STUB – (paymen)T in SUB. The stub is on the left of a cheque (unless you’ve got a left-handed cheque-book).
8 GREY AREA – (agree)* around RAY reversed.
12 BIB AND TUCKER – BICKER around [D inside BANTU]. Surprisingly, this was the first one I got.
15 BESOUGHT – (b)OUGH inside BEST.
17 KHARTOUM – “car” + “tomb”. General Gordon was killed there in 1885.
18 WANDERER – WAND + R(un) around ERE.
19 SWAMPED – SWAM + P.E. + D(ied).
24 SINK – double definition.

8 comments on “Saturday Times 24658 (October 2nd)”

  1. Cracking puzzle stuffed full of absolute gems that kept me amused for about 40 minutes as I recall. 11A is excellent.

    L’il Abner caused some stirrings of the memory, mainly centred on Daisy Mae. I recall that when Mary Quant(?) claimed to have invented the mini skirt Daisy’s prevailing attire was mentioned as pre-dating it by several years.

  2. I enjoyed this puzzle, overall. 11ac was a good clue, sure. Bit early to use “of the century” though. I thought 21dn on the other hand was a poor clue, vague and unsatisfactory. Not keen on 27ac either, a poor surface reading and an Americanism.. just me, no doubt, they are not technically wrong
  3. I would just like to wish everyone who is going to Cheltenham tomorrow the best of luck.
  4. Great puzzle, this. No time because it was difficult enough to require a few visits: often the case on a Saturday.
    I was a bit puzzled by the “clue of the century” comments but at least identified which clue people were talking about. There were lots of very good clues though.
    A few unknowns: LI’L ABNER, SOUTHPAW, ROWEL, General Gordon. All gettable with effort.
    Good luck to the Cheltenham crowd.
  5. I never got ‘handsome’, and now I know why. ‘nurses’ to mean encloses? Can they do that?
    I did get ‘bygones’ from the crossing letters, without a clue as to why; and although I probably never would have figured it out without the blogger’s help, I do think that ‘into’ was worse than just superfluous.
  6. Nurses meaning harbours/keeps is fine to me. Needed aids for LIL ABNER despite latching onto ‘li’l’ quickly. Enjoyable puzzle. COD to HANDSOME.
    1. ulaca, weren’t you the one who caused the excitement about the ‘clue of the century’? Should that be COC to HANDSOME?

Comments are closed.