Saturday Times 24981 (15th Oct)

Just a quick run-through for this one as I need to get to bed, and I forgot to do it earlier. Off to London early tomorrow for the Championships, where I hope to see a few of you. Solving time was around 15 minutes I think – I forgot to make a note of it, but there weren’t too many hold-ups.

9 SWIFT – double def.
10 EXTRACTOR – not sure, wordplay seems to lead to EXTRA TRACTOR. Must be missing something, but it went in OK last week…
11 PIANISSIMO – PP (middle two letters of “shopping”) is an abbreviation for this in musical notation.
12 TERN – sounds like “turn”.
14 RAMEKIN – RAM + NIKE (Greek goddess of sportswear victory) reversed.
16 SPEED UP – UP with SPEED.
17 TALENTS – AL(l) inside TENTS.
19 BROADER – ROAD inside BER(lin).
20 WICK – double definition, the first as an old word for a hamlet rather than any particular place.
21 TETRAHEDRA – (hard)* around (cov)E, after TETRA (a fish familiar to anyone with an aquarium).
24 YACHTSMAN – (shanty, cam(e))*.
25 BALTI – ALT (key) inside BI(g).
26 DEMONSTRATION – DEMON (ace) + STATION around (Ap)R(il).

1 GO SEPARATE WAYS – (stagey opera was)*. I wasted time looking for a character rather than a phrase.
2 TAIGA – hidden in “BogoTA I GAthered”.
3 NITPICKING – double def.
5 ISTHMUS – (this)* + SUM reversed.
6 OMAN – WOMAN beheaded, like Anne Boleyn.
7 FAT-HEADED – FADED (bleached) around A, THE (articles).
8 TRANSPORTATION – ART (style) reversed + NATION around SPORT (fun).
13 XENOPHOBIA – (Phoenix, A)* around O(ld) B(ritish).
15 MALIC ACID – MALI, then CI (Channel Islands) inside CAD.
18 SHERMAN – R between SHE, MAN.
19 BARONET – BA(ss) + TENOR reversed.
22 DELHI – D(ecaying) E(ast) L(ondon) + HI
23 ITEM – I + MET reversed.

9 comments on “Saturday Times 24981 (15th Oct)”

  1. This was, or should have been, my fastest Saturday time, at 31′, a 3 Biddlecombe achievement, but I spoiled it by a stupid typo at 7d: J for H. Feh. I think I’d give a COD to 8d. TAIGA seems to be establishing itself in these puzzles, after some fairly strenuous objection to its presence a while back.
  2. A trouble-free 13mins for me.. I don’t remember the fuss, and am curious to know what was so controversial about TAIGA – google seems to indicate at least six previous appearances for Taiga in TFTT
  3. Didn’t know RAMEKIN or MALIC ACID, and didnt’ think I’d have to when I had ‘rafekin’ crossing with ‘folic acid’. Okay, I’d never heard of ‘Foli’ as a country either, but ‘RAF’ for force fitted well – apart from the repetition of word in both clue and solution.
  4. Just under 40 minutes with MALIC ACID the last in. I missed the wordplay completely in 19 having decided it must involve a reference to ‘baritone’.

    At 10ac I assumed the vehicle surplus to requirements was to be considered an EX-TRACTOR (cf the Norwegain Blue parrot).

  5. 9:35 for me. The EX in EXTRACTOR can be justified if the farmer scraps his surplus TRACTOR rather than selling it (perhaps because the bottom has fallen out of the used tractor market).
  6. I found this quite tricky: 25 Minutes. I slowed myself down a bit by putting in ITHSMUS
    I was one of those who disliked TAIGA the last time it appeared. I can’t remember why exactly but it was something to do with a somewhat uncommon word being clued without a readily accessible alternative way in. This sort of thing is my personal bugbear I’m afraid. I don’t mind cheesy homophones though…
    1. I think the last one went something like “Area sounds like one of its inhabitants” – definitely not that wording, but that sort of logic. This was disappointing as I recall because of a dodgy homophone with TIGER and also the lack of preciseness in the definition, plus questions as to whether it was an obvious place that TIGERS lived ??
      1. For the record, the precise wording was “One maybe heard in this forest” (25ac in No. 24,806 from 25 March this year, blogged here).

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