Saturday Times 26358 (12th March)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
9:39 for this one, solved online for a change (which always seems to knock at least 5 minutes off my solving time). Unfortunately I’ve run out of time to complete my blog so will have to come back to it this afternoon. Tried to finish it last night but was too tired and only got the skeleton of it done.

Okay, here it is. Strange puzzle in some ways – didn’t feel very Times-like with all those DD’s and CD’s, a wrong part of speech in 16D and that weird clue for 18A. Still enjoyable for all that, and it didn’t hold me up for long.

1 Illegally dispose of / end of antenna? (3-3)
FLY-TIP – double definition, the second a bit “tichy”, as Uncle Yap used to say.
5 Surprise, abandoning a revoke (4,4)
TAKE BACK – TAKE ABACK (surprise), minus the A in the middle.
9 Weapon of British soldier, good one (5-3)
TOMMY-GUN – TOMMY (British soldier) + G(ood) + UN (one). A suppose an argument could be made for this to be an &lit, but as the wordplay doesn’t have to be part of the definition I’ve decided against it.
10 Diarist’s / criticism of thin wine? (6)
NOBODY – double “tichy” definition here. The first refers to George and Weedon Grossmith’s brilliant The Diary of a Nobody, the second as in “Hmph! No body!”
11 Opening this could be problem on farm: cows will wander (3,2,5)
CAN OF WORMS – (on farm cows)*. I love this expression and probably use it too often.
13 Join prison to be executed (4)
LINK – CLINK (prison) “beheaded” as it were.
14 One put in large order (4)
FIAT – I (one) inside FAT (large).
15 Head drops Irish briefly for very simple subjects? (2-8)
NO-BRAINERS – NOB (head) + RAIN (drops) + ERS(e) (Irish – the language – briefly).
18 One or two authors: O and MR? (5,5)
HENRY JAMES – strange clue this, not really cryptic. One that might have been resurrected from a puzzle from 50 years ago? Take O. Henry the short-story writer and M.R. James the ghost-story writer to get HENRY JAMES the American novelist.
20 Ride / roughly cut (4)
HACK – double definition.
21 Somehow obtain pounds to put in purse (4)
BLAG – L (pounds) inside BAG (purse).
23 Neither too fat nor too thin for TV, say? (4,6)
MASS MEDIUM – so too fat would be MASS LARGE and too thin would be MASS SMALL I suppose!
25 As it were, “unendorse” plan? (6)
26 Powerful sort of shift that may enthuse the CID? (8)
TECTONIC – i.e. TONIC for a TEC.
28 Succeeded the ruler of Hanover, say? It’s his choice (8)
SELECTOR – S(ucceeded) + ELECTOR (the ruler of Hanover say?)
29 I may enter game with less room to manoeuvre (6)
POKIER – I inside POKER (game).

2 Ladies enjoy receiving two honours: double! (9)
LOOKALIKE – LOO (ladies) + LIKE (enjoy) around A,K (two honours, i.e. Ace and King)
3 Give up waiting for / magazine (4,3)
TIME OUT – double definition, the second a free weekly entertainment magazine, available from most London tube stations.
4 Limit certificate assigned to film about drug (3)
PEG – PG (certificate assigned to film, stands for Parental Guidance) around E (drug).
5 Material for printer part that one replaces (5)
TONER – hidden in “that one replaces”.
6 In morning, asks for change: a lot of money (5,6)
KING’S RANSOM – (morning asks)*.
7 Very young capital abandoned by teacher for very old one (7)
BABYLON – BABY (very young) + LONDON (capital), minus DON (abandoned by teacher).
8 Absence of medical man upset genetic unit (5)
CODON – NO DOC reversed. I’d never come across this before, but it looked right. A triplet of three consecutive bases in DNA or in messenger RNA, which specifies a particular amino acid in protein synthesis, apparently.
12 Be unreasonably dissatisfied with bread and butter? (4,3,2,2)
WANT JAM ON IT – cryptic definition.
16 Begging, get no end of a jolt (3)
BUM – BUMP (jolt) minus the last letter. I don’t think the definition works just for BUM. “One begging gets no end of a jolt” would have been better. [Edit: the editor has put me right – definition is “Begging, get” and it all makes sense.]
17 Solitary park hard to find without lead (9)
RECLUSIVE – REC (park) + (e)LUSIVE (hard to find, minus the first letter).
19 I’m into great dancing, to this? (7)
RAGTIME – I’M inside (great)*.
20 On top of pier, ate fish (7)
HADDOCK – HAD (ate) on top of DOCK (pier).
22 Large investment has eroded capital? Lord! (5)
LIEGE – L(arge) + (s)IEGE (investment, minus the first letter).
24 One interrupting top performer and music producer (5)
SITAR – I (one) inside STAR (top performer).
27 Sort of cake / competition (3)
CUP – double definition.

* tichy was a word made up by former blogger Uncle Yap, short for tongue-in-cheek.

11 comments on “Saturday Times 26358 (12th March)”

  1. I also thought this was an oddish puzzle, and had the same sort of reservations as Andy expresses. I think, though, that ‘begging’ can pass, given e.g. ‘on the bum’=begging. On the other hand, does one ever refer to a mass medium? ‘Knew’ CODON; that is, it’s one of the thousands of words I recognize as words, without being able to define it. DNK BLAG, but it was pretty inevitable.
    1. That’s partly what I was getting at though – the definition (but not the wordplay) would be fine for ON THE BUM, but not BUM on its own.
  2. I enjoyed this slightly quirky puzzle a lot and was pleased by a rare sub-30 minute finish on a Saturday (by 3 minutes). CODON was the only unknown, but clearly obtainable from wordplay.

    The most famous Elector of Hanover from a British POV was the one who became George I and founded our House of Hanover.

  3. I liked this one.. 26ac raised a smile and I thought of 18ac as more inventive than weird.
    I was very glad it had MR and not EL, author of one of the worst-written books I’ve ever laid eyes on.. managed about four pages in all
  4. Would just note that this (HENRY JAMES) was topical as the centenary of his death was just a week or two earlier with some publicity. Thanks to blogger and setter.
  5. Could it be that the definition at 16dn is “Begging, get”? That thought last week satisfied me that all was indeed OK, and stopped me from writing to the editor!

    And perhaps 18ac is a slightly naughty variation of a “treble-definition” clue, to wit a “single-explicit-plus-two-implicit-definition” clue?

    1. Sorry for not crediting you with the explanation to 16dn, but spot on. I saw Richard Rogan’s confirmation first.

      As for 18ac, I disagree. I see what you mean, but to my mind “O and MR” would have to mean something in another context to qualify it as cryptic (in the modern sense). Anyway, I have to say something controversial to generate any comments at all on Saturdays! 😉

  6. I thought it was quirky, too. Some very easy, and some very very tricky, and the odd couple which didn’t quite work for me. Made an error (or fell into a trap) sticking LIST in for FIAT, and never coming back to figure out why an LST is or isn’t large. Apparently it isn’t. Thanks for the clarifying blog
    1. Thanks Richard, that makes sense. How could I have doubted you? Fiendish definition where “get” looks like an innocent link word.

      Edited at 2016-03-22 11:06 pm (UTC)

  7. Thanks for the suggestion to have a crack at this puzzle. Once I got going I managed to finish it off very gradually. Some time on Sunday I finally got 22d and bizarrely 27a (so obvious once you see it).
    On 5 March I had the help of a friend who provided at least half the answers.
    12 March was a very enjoyable puzzle and a good challenge for the aspiring QCer. I posted it to enter the competition. No sign of a prize yet. David

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