Saturday Times 26292 (26th Dec)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
I tried solving this at my desk at work last Tuesday, but it ended up being a lot busier than I thought it would so I didn’t get a good run at it at all, so no idea what my solving time was. About two hours from start to finish, but that’s meaningless. Of course, I’d already solved 1ac after Sotira’s comment last week. I hope your mother’s recovered from the shock, Sarah!

1 Conservative fanatic who demonstrated his limited powers? (4)
CNUT – C(onservative) + NUT (fanatic). King of England 1016-1035, better known with the anglicised spelling Canute, who commanded the tide to stop coming in to prove he wasn’t all-powerful.
4 A set of stories about old soldier and saint — one studies the atmosphere (10)
AEROLOGIST – A + LORE (set of stories) reversed + O(ld) + GI (soldier) + ST (saint).
9 Humiliated, having difficult time, taking external knock (7,3)
BROUGHT LOW – ROUGH (difficult) + T(ime), inside BLOW (knock).
10 I had left foot chopped off, becoming unemployed (4)
IDLE – I’D (I had) + LEFT with the FT removed.
11 Woman with famous brothers, this person is on space station (6)
MIRIAM – I AM (this person is) next to MIR (space station). Miriam was the elder sister of Moses and Aaron in the Bible.
12 Manage half of answer briefly in treatise (8)
TRANSACT – ANS (half of answer, or answer briefly, but surely not both!) inside TRACT (treatise).
14 Some other god about to become a monster (4)
OGRE – hidden reversed in other god.
15 Rich man faces agony losing gold, disposing of business? (10)
DIVESTMENT – DIVES (rich man) + T(or)MENT (agony without or for gold).
17 Sweet dancer crossing street at end of journey (10)
GOBSTOPPER – BOPPER (dancer) around ST(reet), after GO (journey).
20 Rage in bar (4)
RAIL – double definition.
21 Borders of Mexico, region tricky for this chieftain (8)
GERONIMO – (Mexico, region)*. Apache leader (1829-1909).
23 One praising old / Scottish entertainer (6)
LAUDER – double definition, i.e. someone who lauds, and Sir Harry Lauder (1870-1950), music hall comedian and singer.
24 Priest gets wicked learner to come forward (4)
LEVI – EVIL (wicked), with the L for learner moved to the front. Biblical priest, third son of Jacob in the Book of Genesis.
25 Instrument of torture the opposite of what female cryptically suggests? (4,6)
IRON MAIDEN – “female” would cryptically suggest FE (iron) + MALE (man), as opposed to the answer.
26 Biscuit and the rest Biggles’s companion gets? (6,4)
GINGERSNAP – GINGER’S (Biggles’s companion’s) NAP (rest). Ginger Hebblethwaite is the pilot’s companion in the books by W. E. Johns.
27 Machine hospital lost, keeping people waiting? (4)
LATE – LATHE (machine), minus the H for hospital.

2 Residence for infirm macho men can be seen doing it (7,4)
NURSING HOME – wordplay in the answer, as “macho men” can be seen “nursing” HOME.
3 Weekday interrupted by terrible fire — fellows obscured by smoke? (9)
THURIFERS – THURS (weekday) around (fire)*.
4 Not one of the authentic journalists overcome by remorse? (7)
ASHAMED – A SHAM ED is not an authentic journalist.
5 What could that be? (8,7)
RELATIVE PRONOUN – cryptic definition. “That” is an example of one.
6 Vulgar idiot grabs maiden in church, it’s said (3,4)
LOW MASS – LOW (vulgar) + ASS (idiot) around M(aiden).
7 God ultimately involved with rain? (5)
INDRA – (D, rain)*, the D coming from the last letter of “God”, so doing double duty. Hindu god of war and the weather, so a neat clue.
8 Rubbish about to be received as special gift? (5)
TREAT – TAT (rubbish) around RE (about).
13 Prisoner given punishment encountered any number inside being locked up (11)
CONFINEMENT – CON (prisoner) + FINE (punishment) + MET (encountered) around N (any number).
16 Puma’s lair not right for another sort of animal (9)
MARSUPIAL – (puma’s lair)*.
18 This person in musical is a famous actor (7)
OLIVIER – I (this person) inside OLIVER (musical).
19 Pitch on old country fair offering pickled food (7)
ROLLMOP – ROLL (pitch) + MOP (old country fair). I wasn’t familiar with this meaning of mop, but Chambers says it’s another name for a hiring fair, which was a fair or market where servants could be engaged.
21 Sawn-off weapon prisoner used in camp (5)
GULAG – GU(n) (“sawn-off” weapon) + LAG (prisoner).
22 Bird rushed around valley avoiding a lake (5)
RAVEN – RAN (rushed) around VALE (valley), minus AL (a lake).

16 comments on “Saturday Times 26292 (26th Dec)”

  1. Thank you for raising the bar in terms of blog presentation, Andy 🙂

    I expect this setter must be a fair age, given the inclusion of Biggles and his sidekick, Harry lauder, Olivier and several biblical references.. overall there seemed to be a rather antique flavour to the grid

    Must go look at last week’s now and see what Sotira was on about!

    1. It would still be doing double duty though, as “involved” is the anagram indicator. I now think the whole clue is the definition, which makes me even more certain that the D is from the last letter of God.
      1. I saw it as a full-on &lit, the whole clue can describe the answer. Perhaps. Not knowing INDRA or who he/she was – god?/goddess? of rain? – I appreciated the clue nevertheless.

        Much more worried by PITCH = ROLL. How do they ever equate? They’re the exact 90-degree opposite in aircraft and ships, and not even close in any other meanings in the dictionaries. I guessed ROLLMOP, but only cos it fit the crossers and a possible definition. It’s an appallingly poor clue, with the *incorrect* ROLL and the obscure MOP.
        Your in a huff,

        1. I agree with you about INDRA, as I mentioned above. I suppose I should have updated the explanation too.

          I also agree with you about PITCH and ROLL. I didn’t notice it at the time, as I had enough checkers to just bung it in (and I love rollmops). I’m definitely a landlubber though, and I expect the setter is too!

          I’m surprised Chambers doesn’t even have “pitch and roll” as a defined phrase.

  2. Thank you to linxit for the best presented blogs. Would be super if everyone could (don’t have the time?) do the same.

    My q concerns J 1181 – I can’t find the blog?
    I had two questions:
    Something we go a bundle on? (7,7) Package holiday – I don’t see the cryptic part.
    Runs towards stern host (4) raft. I see R + aft but the host?

    Many thanks.

    1. It’s missing, but it was due to come out on the day after Christmas Day, so maybe fathippy2 was otherwise engaged.

      As for your questions, the first one is a cryptic definition, so doesn’t have any wordplay as such. The second definition is raft meaning “a large number of”. Chambers says it’s chiefly North American usage, but I’d disagree these days.

  3. Thanks for the parse. I didn’t know that meaning for “mop” either, but thought of our local Dutchess County Fair in NY State where rapt audiences watch displays of miraculous labour-saving mops and brooms. I get the pig racing but not that! Many thanks to Sotira’s mother for a good laugh early on Boxing Day. 16.58

    P.S. Yes it’s a very classy lay-out – I’d noticed it before. Unfortunately I can’t seem to reproduce it myself. Tried it on the quickie a couple of times (fiddling about with the colour spectrum etc) and asked Jack, but he seemed to think it was just my system that was uncooperative. In which case I can’t do anything about it so I’ll stick with the italics and underlining for the clues.

    Edited at 2016-01-02 01:43 pm (UTC)

  4. 40 minutes and thanks for the explanations re IRON MAIDEN and ROLLMOP which completely eluded me.

    As for the layout, I think it had been agreed there’s no justification for the extra work involved in having clues for daily 15x15s but it’s useful for competition puzzles at the weekend after a week’s delay during which hard copies have been mislaid and the clues are no longer fresh in the mind.

    As for colour text as mentioned by Olivia, because I am in the process of setting up a new computer I’ve realised the absense of colour on my old one is because it’s loaded with a Firefox add-on called ‘NoSquint’ which has an option to read all text in black to assist failing eyesight. When I uncheck the box your efforts are revealed in glorious technicolor, Andy.

    Now I just have to find how to turn on check as I type in LJ.

    Edited at 2016-01-02 02:09 pm (UTC)

  5. I didn’t know this meaning of MOP. Neither had I heard of an AEROLOGIST. Fortunately, both were easy to guess from the clue. I had DIVESTURES for a while because I thought the agonising bit was TORTURES rather than TORMENT. A slowish solve but finished eventually in 43 minutes. Ann
  6. 14m, despite not knowing AEROLOGIST, Harry LAUDER or THURIFERS. Or that meaning of ‘mop’. I did remember Dives from past appearances. I agree with Jerry about the old-fashioned feel. I also thought 7dn was &Lit.

    Edited at 2016-01-02 06:13 pm (UTC)

  7. Easy enough but very enjoyable just the same. The wordplay for IRON MAIDEN was unusual and RELATIVE PRONOUN was best of a quick and clever bunch. A pure soul, I didn’t see the CNUT connection until sotira commented but thanks to her and her mother for the giggle.
  8. Very quick for a Saturday, and would have been quicker if I hadn’t flung in ‘oflag’ at 21d (‘sawn OFf’, works great except for the ‘weapon’ part of the clue), which made GERONIMO a lot less obvious than it should have been. DNK MOP, of course. But I surprised myself by actually parsing IRON MAIDEN, post-biff.
  9. Thank you for doing this blog, I am trying to do these cryptics, I average maybe six myself, then I look at 1 across or 1 down in your answers and from that try and get some more etc. This one I got my closest ever, I took aerologist and brought low from your answers and got almost the entire thing after that after trying for three days! I’m glad you all agree rollmap was a poor clue, I could see that must be the answer but not the reason.

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