Saturday Times 25831 (5th July) – to bean or not to bean!

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Sorry about the lateness of this, couldn’t be helped in the end. Anyway, a very easy Saturday, 9:14 for me. I missed the controversy which raged over 26ac on the forum, but had a typo in my entry anyway when I entered it online. A lot of good clues in amongst a few gimmes, and 4 &lit’s in the Downs, which might be a record of some sort.

1 How sad can it be, wasted as part of the front bench (6,7)
SHADOW CABINET – (How sad can it be)*.
8 What’s essential to thermal sock and to boot (4)
ALSO – hidden in thermal sock.
9 Divine articles about old inconclusive reasoning (10)
THEOLOGIAN – THE, AN (articles) around O(ld), LOGI(c) (inconclusive reasoning).
10 Resort data element (8)
HYDROGEN – HYDRO (resort) + GEN (data).
11 Roll over banger, having tooted regularly in corner (3,3)
HOT DOG – alternate letters of tOoTeD inside HOG (corner).
13 My medical specialism’s providential (6-4)
HEAVEN-SENT – HEAVENS (My!) + ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat, medical specialism).
16 Rate film with no leader (4)
LICK – FLICK (film) minus the first letter. Rate as in speed.
17 Punters here in big trouble after credit’s withdrawn (4)
ISIS – CRISIS (big trouble) without CR(edit). The name of the River Thames at Oxford, where punting is a common activity.
18 Clueless sailor put down fat, heading off (10)
LANDLUBBER – LAND (put down) + (b)LUBBER (fat, heading off).
20 Title accepted by the Spanish Crown Protector (6)
ENAMEL – NAME (title) inside EL (the Spanish).
22 Converse with petty officer in work place (8)
OPPOSITE – PO (Petty Officer) inside OP (work), SITE (place).
24 It’s hard at college and in Paris working with cop (4,6)
ETON COLLAR – ET (and in Paris) + ON (working) + COLLAR (cop).
26 Pulse started bypassing heart (4)
BEAN – BEGAN (started) minus the middle letter. Controversial answer on the forum, with nearly all 54 commments devoted to discussing an alternative answer BEAT (begat minus the middle letter). I didn’t even think of that personally, but even so I think begat would be very loose for started, even though the definition fits, and I would have been a bit miffed if that had been the right answer.
27 Millions consent to cross rocky deserts for an MSc, say (7,6)
MASTERS DEGREE – M(illions) + AGREE (consent), around (deserts)*.

1 When only Lassie’s broadcast? (5,6)
SILLY SEASON – (only Lassie’s)*. &lit, but a bit loose in the definition.
2 A second primitive affair (5)
AMOUR – A + MO (second) + UR (primitive).
3 A lot can go wrong with quite a few sides (9)
OCTAGONAL – (a lot can go)*.
4 Lists church houses free of sin (7)
CLEANSE – LEANS (lists) inside CE (church).
5 He’s primarily boozing, envying large companion in play (5)
BELCH – first letters of Boozing, Envying Large + CH (companion). &lit clue for Sir Toby Belch, a character in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
6 Spot near Bath accommodating 150 (9)
NIGHTCLUB – NIGH (near) + TUB (bath), around CL (150).
7 Tips of plant, the camellia (3)
TEA – last letters of planT thE camelliA. Another &lit, as the Latin name for tea is camellia sinensis.
12 Men box then criticise score (11)
ORCHESTRATE – OR (other ranks=men) + CHEST (box) + RATE (criticise).
14 Shares perhaps less fashionable clothes (9)
VESTMENTS – INVESTMENTS (shares perhaps), minus IN (fashionable).
15 Furniture supplier‘s word of disapproval about energy across border (5,4)
TULIP TREE – TUT (word of disapproval) + RE (around) + E(nergy), around LIP (border).
19 Gulls, unspecified number, lots (7)
NOODLES – N (unspecified number) + OODLES (lots).
21 Easy ladies perhaps associated with endless sex (5)
LOOSE – LOO (ladies perhaps) + SE(x).
23 Rose wobbles, clutching top of bottle, clearly not this! (5)
SOBER – (Rose)* around B(ottle). Yet another &lit.
25 Check on vehicle turning up bringing queen’s consort? (3)
TOM – MOT (check on vehicle) reversed.

15 comments on “Saturday Times 25831 (5th July) – to bean or not to bean!”

  1. This has to be my Saturday pb; I seldom get in under the half-hour. I almost blew it, too, with ‘beat’, but couldn’t justify the wordplay, fortunately. And I agree with Andy (and disagree with most of the Forum posters, I think) that ‘begat’ is a poor second choice. COD to 22ac.
  2. Looking at the piece of paper now, I can’t really remember this one but apparently I wrote 6:53 and the word ‘splendid’ so I must have really enjoyed myself at the time. Add me to the list of people who never even considered begat, as began was so obvious.
  3. 10 mins so definitely on the easy side for a prize puzzle. LICK was my LOI. Could me as another BEAN/began for 26ac and I didn’t consider beat/begat at all.
  4. Unfortunately I have lost my print-out but I think this was a straightforward solve for me. I also couldn’t understand all the wrangling about 26 as the intended answer seemed quite clear.
  5. Fell victim to the BEAT / BEAN issue (though now it is parsed on the blog, I absolutely see the BEAN result as correct). It was my LOI with a major question mark against it…

    Other than that, this was a PB for me for a Saturday offering – just under two hours in one sitting (usually it spreads right through the weekend).

    Still a bit unclear on 19 down. Got NOODLES from N + OODLES, but struggling to relate this to gulls. I am familiar with the herring gull, common gull, black headed etc. but not a Noodle Gull. Sorry if I am missing something obvious.

    1. One of the definitions of gull is an easily deceived person or fool. A noodle can also be a fool or an idiot too.
      1. Aha – thanks very much for that. Had no idea about either usage!

        Much appreciated.


  6. Another here who never would have thought of begat, and who is glad I didn’t get pulled into the vortex on the Forum. Knew gull (as a verb and as a noun its one of Nero Wolfe’s favourite words) but had to make an assumption at the noodle connection; thanks for clearing that up. Same for belch. I liked many of the clues, and did so for a long hour.
  7. Saw both beat and bean and went confidently for the former. On reflection I was wrong. Also failed to parse 9a and went with theologise which made 7d tricky but I had in the back of my mind that ti is something botanical. It is but sadly not a camellia.
  8. If you saw BEAT first, it would not occur to you (did not occur to me) that it could be “wrong”, which I why I raised a fuss. I agree BEGAT/started is a bit of a stretch, but much less of a stretch than others we get, and definitely a possible. As it turns out, it was also an acceptable, and quite right too.
    It’s very rarely that this kind of situation arises, but on this occasion, I believe it was the right thing to do to accept both answers, and while I can readily accept that BEAN is correct, I will not concede that BEAT is wrong. It just isn’t, and unlike others here (who I would urge to proudly stand up for their inspiration, creativity and crossword-solving skills) and on the club, I refuse to repent me of my sin.

    Edited at 2014-07-13 02:02 pm (UTC)

    1. Yes, it is rare for there to be two acceptable answers. However, in a puzzle elsewhere recently there were actually three. The clue was a CD based around the sound made by “stock”, and the checkers were ?O?I?G. The “right” answer was MOOING, but LOWING and COOING (from the stock dove) also fitted the wordplay.
    2. I’m entirely on your side on this. I really don’t see how BEAT can possibly be regarded as unacceptable, and if I had thought of it first I’d have put it in with complete confidence. The fact that BEAN may or may not be better is entirely beside the point: if we come across a valid clue we consider a little inelegant are we supposed to waste time trying to find a more felicitous alternative? Of course not.
      1. I think the difference for me is that if I’d thought of BEAT first and put it in, I wouldn’t have been so upset to be marked wrong. If the right answer had been BEAT for this clue, I’d have been more justified in being annoyed. Having said that, I think RR’s done the right thing in allowing both answers for checking purposes.
        1. I agree with that, but I don’t think the existence of another (whether better or worse) can invalidate any valid answer. As you say, RR did the right thing so all’s well that ends well!
  9. Same with me – entered BEAT on first read through, and didn’t consider any possible alternative before submitting. (I agreed that BEAN was a better answer as soon as I saw the published solution.)

Comments are closed.