Saturday Times 24927 – (13th August)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving time 8:11, a rare sub-10 for me, even rarer on a Saturday. For a change I just parsed nearly every clue correctly at first look, and never really slowed down. Thinking back, I could probably have knocked another minute or two off if I’d been really trying to solve quickly.

1 DOSAGE – DO (take) + SAGE (judicious). First one in, although I quickly looked at 14 first and got the anagram, so that went in next.
4 SNOWCAP – S(econd) + NOW (present) + CAP (headgear).
9 SWIFT – SW (opposite of NE) + 1 FT.
10 RHINELAND – R(uns) + HIND (back) around ELAN (dash).
11 ON THE WANE – ONE (unit) around THE (article) + WAN (without enthusiasm, a definition not supported by any of my dictionaries).
12 FUGUE – FUG + U(nlikeabl)E.
13 IDEA – 1 + DEA(r).
14 WONDER DRUG – (drudge worn)*
18 MACKINTOSH – KIN (related) inside MAC and TOSH (informal terms of address for a man whose name is unknown). I liked the definition, “weather defence”.
20 CLUE – cryptic definition, if you can even call it that. I had the two checkers in place already when I looked at it, and got it straight away. Witty though, so I’ll give the setter a thumbs-up for it.
23 BONCE – B(ishop) + ONCE.
24 BAR MAGNET – MAG (perhaps glossy) inside BARNET (one’s hair), with another good crosswordy definition – “something straight and attractive”.
25 ABORIGINE – (go in a [t]ribe)*, &lit.
26 TRIKE – STRIKE (stoppage) without the S (barring small).
27 HOTHEAD – hidden in “ecHO THE ADvice”.
28 DAGGER – GG (Governor General) inside READ reversed.

1 DESPOTISM – SPOT (place) + IS, inside DEM(ocrat).
2 SKITTLE – (let)* after SKIT (mocking performance).
3 GUTTER – double definition.
4 SUITE – SUIT (harmonise with) + E(nglish).
5 OPEN FIRE – double definition.
6 CLANGER – double definition. To drop a clanger means to accidentally say something tactless or do something stupid.
7 PADRE – PAD (bit of stationery) + RE (concerning).
8 BREAK OUT – (f)REAK (monster blowing top) inside BOUT (fight).
15 DISCREET – D.I. (Detective Inspector = investigator) + (secret)*.
16 GUEST BEER – spoonerism for “best gear”. Guest beers are common in Real Ale pubs, the more the better.
17 LIFE-SIZE – Z (unknown quantity) inside (files ie)*.
19 CONTORT – C(onservative) ON TO (aware of) + R(igh)T.
21 LONGING – LONG (i.e. in a long glass, with a lot more mixer than alcohol) + (gin)*. That’s not the way I make ’em!
22 MANTRA – MAN (crew) + ART (craft) reversed.
23 BRASH – B(ook) + RASH (headstrong).
24 BAIRD – BIRD (porridge, slang for a prison sentence) around A(nswer). John Logie Baird, inventor of the television.

10 comments on “Saturday Times 24927 – (13th August)”

  1. I was interrupted while (unusually) solving this online, and when I remembered and went back to it I was only able to submit it in 59mins 47secs for 601 points!

    Wan, from the Oxford online: “(of a smile) lacking enthusiasm or energy.”

  2. I couldn’t justify ON THE WANE so settled for ON THE FADE which fits the cryptic but I don’t know if the saying exists.
    1. And apparently it doesn’t, so I have to count this as a failed effort.

      I didn’t find this puzzle quite so easy possibly because I tried to justify everything as I went along, a new strategy that held me up in several places and demonstrably in one case led me to the wrong answer. Back to a wing and a prayer from now on.

  3. I abandoned this after 37 minutes with the SE corner incomplete. My trouble was that I didn’t see CLUE. I had VIEW which rather messed up 16d. I had ??N?ING for 21d and was looking for word meaning “non-alcoholic” from which I could subtract the V from “very”. Chasing up a blind alley! The rest of the puzzle went in smoothly. It’s quite a long time since I failed to finish the daily cryptic.
  4. 57 minutes, always happy to get a Saturday puzzle done in under an hour. Especially this one, perhaps, which was loaded with anglicisms, several of which I didn’t know — BONCE, GUEST BEER, BARNET –that one came in handy a few days later — TOSH in this sense (thought it meant ‘nonsense’), and a couple more that I barely recalled — CLANGER, BIRD. CODs to 17d, 22d, for their smooth surfaces.
  5. 22:31 for me. I took a long time to find the setter’s wavelength, and then hung on LONGING and CLUE. (I don’t really get the “What do you think” element of the clue to the latter, but I’m probably missing something obvious.)
  6. TOSH is distinctly obscure. A lot of googling only came up with a single reference to it as a form of address. Eric Partridge’s Dictionary of Slang gives it as
    “A term of address, to male friend or stranger, as in ‘Wotcher Tosh!’: proletarian; common in army, WW2, and much affected by spivs in the imm. post-war years: from late 1930s; ob by 1960.”
    In my mind it is associated with Liverpool. (Think Cilla Black or Jimmy Tarbuck). Did it linger on there after having died out elsewhere?
  7. CLUE was last in , without conviction, but glad to see it was correct. 35mins without real holdups until LONGING and CLUE. Have to make the clue clue clue of the day.

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