Saturday Times 26250 (7th Nov)

Solved in about 13 minutes online if I remember correctly, but I had one RASH mistake at 12ac (and I don’t think I was the only one). Strange puzzle, with some really good clues – I especially liked 3dn and 5dn, and 25ac is a great hidden spanning four words – but then a lot of simple double definitions and a couple of real stinkers. 1dn has a terrible surface, 7dn seems to be missing something and I’m not 100% sure I’ve explained it correctly.

There were a few other things that jarred – “fairy tale author” for LIAR; “light” for PERCH (although surprisingly Chambers confirms this is ok, whereas I thought one implies movement and the other doesn’t); “security guard” for VIGILANTE is just wrong, but I think it can be taken as a cryptic definition, i.e. guardian of security perhaps. Maybe I’m just grumpy because I made another silly mistake typing in this week’s entry. Oh well, the Listener looks quite doable this week, that’ll cheer me up if I finish it!

1 Weird hippy school’s not about discipline (10)
PHILOSOPHY – (hippy school)*, minus the C (not about).
6 Store grass up (4)
SHOP – double definition.
9 Rolling out of sight? (5,5)
BLIND DRUNK – cryptic definition.
10 Toss drink — and lose it (4)
FLIP – triple definition.
12 Charge billions to put in airline safety feature (5,7)
CRUSH BARRIER – RUSH (charge) + B(illions) inside CARRIER (airline).
15 Emphatically welcomes game after school (4-5)
HIGH-FIVES – FIVES (game) after HIGH (school).
17 Accountant stops him returning book (5)
MICAH – CA (Chartered Accountant) inside HIM reversed.
18 Not very much making sense (5)
TASTE – double definition.
19 Good of Cockney woman to instil fear in criminals (9)
GANGSTERS – G(ood) + ‘ERS (of Cockney woman) around ANGST (fear).
20 Pole, fairy tale author in German paper’s for local amusement (3,9)
BAR BILLIARDS – BAR (pole) + LIAR (fairy tale author) inside BILD’S (German paper’s).
24 Facing article and what accompanies it? (4)
AGIN – A (article) + GIN (what accompanies it, i.e. gin and it, short for Italian vermouth).
25 In Scotland, a manse abutting an expanse of water (7,3)
ANDAMAN SEA – hidden in “Scotland, a manse abutting”
26 Barb’s accommodation (4)
DIGS – double definition.
27 After ticks, issued clear ring! (7,3)
SECONDS OUT – SECONDS (ticks) + OUT (issued).

1 Where British coming up to drink rounds? (4)
PUBS – B(ritish) inside SUP (to drink) reversed. Pretty clumsily worded attempt at an &lit.
2 Flag current hazard, briefly (4)
IRIS – I (current) + RIS(k) (hazard, briefly).
3 Perhaps make time for award (5,2,5)
ORDER OF MERIT – ORDER (make an anagram of) “time for”, to get OF MERIT.
4 Maiden has gone off old designer lace (5)
ORRIS – MORRIS (William Morris (1834-96), old designer), without the M for maiden. I didn’t know this definition, but it’s a type of gold or silver lace popular in the 18th century apparently.
5 Ladies may have it in them to deliver arts degrees (9)
HANDBASIN – HAND B.A.’S IN (deliver arts degrees).
7 Stole — away but not all the way? (4-6)
HALF-INCHED – not sure how this is supposed to work. Could be using stole as part of the wordplay, i.e. stole away is INCHED, but only half so not all the way. Answer is rhyming slang for pinched.
8 Secretary’s ecstasy, embracing a light bureaucratic process (10)
PAPERCHASE – PA’S (secretary’s) + E(cstasy), around A + PERCH (to light).
11 Fresh red salmon dip is heaven! (8,4)
PROMISED LAND – (red salmon dip)*.
13 Teaching facility we put up is overwhelming success (10)
WHITEBOARD – WE + BOARD (put up) around HIT (success).
14 Attempting to find oneself online fun: e-gigs or raves (3-7)
EGO-SURFING – (fun e-gigs or)*.
16 Security guard, before following old poet, runs away (9)
VIGILANTE – ANTE (before) after VIRGIL (old poet) minus the R for runs. I think the definition is intended to be cryptic rather than straight, or it doesn’t work for me.
21 Stylish shot of duke and English battle scene (5)
ALAMO – A LA MODE (stylish) without the D and E (shot of duke and English).
22 Sailor on watch in European port (4)
OSLO – OS (ordinary seaman, sailor) + LO (watch).
23 The Speaker’s prepared case for agreement (4)
PACT – sounds like “packed” (prepared case).

10 comments on “Saturday Times 26250 (7th Nov)”

  1. I’m going to be a real gusher about this one – I thought it was a beauty. So many good clues to pick from but my favourites were FLIP, HANDBASIN, PAPERCHASE and in a tie for COD, ALAMO and SECONDS OUT. My only beef was HIGHFIVES which to me means more to ‘celebrate’ than to ‘welcome’.

    Good stuff. Looking forward to more of the same.

  2. I enjoyed this one too. I rather liked ‘fairy tale author’, for instance. I thought the idea with 7dn is that if you INCHED away, you would be away, so if you’re not all the way away you have HALF-INCHED away. A bit oblique but it works for me.
    I don’t mind the definition for VIGILANTE either: as you say I think it’s cryptic. Unfortunately I didn’t read it properly when solving and put in VIGILANCE. Really annoying, particularly after avoiding the bear trap at 12ac.
  3. 24 mins, but I was another with “crash barrier” rather than the correct answer because I didn’t bother to parse it once I had a few checkers. My time wasn’t helped by initially entering “touch” at 18ac and I didn’t go back to it until I couldn’t make 3dn and 14dn work.
  4. I never thought I’d get started on this one, but the unknown ANDAMAN SEA derived from anagrist and the adjoining PROMISED LAND anagram got me started and I chipped away from there finishing eventually in 48 minutes.
  5. Count me as another fan of this puzzle – very nice, I thought. Agree with Andy that 7dn is a bit odd, albeit clear enough from definition. However, other than that I thought the hidden at 25 was a ripper, 3dn was elegant, with COD to ALAMO – cleverly constructed and great surface.

    Thanks to setter and to Andy for a pleasingly grumpy blog 🙂

  6. I’d be interested to know if this was a new setter; it seemed like it at times. Some really good clues,
    PHILOSOPHY, ALAMO, SECONDS OUT and some stinkers as identified by linxit, the surface of PUBS, the definition of VIGILANTE and the strange HALF-INCHED. Much more good than bad, though.
  7. Agonizingly long, with DNKs all over: 4d, 14d (not that much of a problem), 20ac, 27ac, and 7d barely recalled from a previous cryptic. Coming from San Francisco, where calling the Vigilance Committee ‘security guards’ would have been a poor joke, I had major trouble with 16d until checkers forced my hand; and even then I thought it must be a UK meaning I didn’t know. And I put in CRASH, too, of course.
  8. I was the first to reply here, cutting and pasting what I had already written after doing the puzzle last week. I apologise that I therefore did not make any reference to the atrocity in Paris yesterday. A truly horrific action against innocent people. My thoughts are with the victims’ families and friends. Vive la France.
  9. I always think a puzzle with a mix of duff and excellent clues is better than a solid and accurate one. I wrote in andaman sea from the definition only realising it was a hidden as the letters m a n s e appeared before my eyes. A bittersweet moment! Avoided the trap at 12ac but ultimately a DNF as 24 ac left blank. Still not sure how agin means facing. Didn’t see the drink reference. Also had touch for a while at 18ac. Time: the whole weekend and some more …

    Jonathan Calverley

Comments are closed.