Saturday Times 26364 (19th March)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
20:43 for this one, held up by DUFFEL confidently written in at 6ac! In fact there seemed to be a mini-theme based on 1ac going on here, what with SPENSERIAN (the master of mis-spelling) and then an insistence that a non-word like BRRR has to have three Rs! Probably just coincidence – I only spotted this while writing up the blog. Despite my grumblings about 6ac I enjoyed this a lot, especially as I discovered a new (to me) humorous definition in Chambers. Also found here in a convenient list.

1 Avoid being caught in rain with wrong letters (8)
MISSPELT – MISS (avoid being caught in) + PELT (rain).
6 Folios left bound with proper thick cloth (6)
DUFFLE – FF (folios) + L(eft) inside DUE (proper). Hmph, this is 1ac to me, although the wordplay doesn’t quite work with the “correct” spelling.
9 See hip or nearby cut (4)
LOIN – LO (see) + IN (hip) with “nearby” as a superfluous word, or maybe it’s a DD as “hip or nearby” / “cut” with “See” as the extra word.
10 Drinks Earl Grey etc, keeping tip of finger miles closer to mouth (10)
DOWNSTREAM – DOWNS (drinks) + TEA (Earl Grey etc) around (finge)R, + M(iles).
11 Morsel eaten initially with healthy beluga (5,5)
WHITE WHALE – WHIT (morsel) + E(aten) + W(ith) + HALE (healthy).
13 Twist suture to enclose front of knee (4)
SKEW – SEW (suture) around K(nee).
14 It’s freezing mostly across eastern area and the rest (8)
BREATHER – BRR(r) (it’s freezing mostly) around E(astern) + A(rea) + THE. Yes, BRRR should have three Rs, according to Chambers.
16 On that single occasion, with nothing lost consequently (6)
THENCE – THE ONCE (on that single occasion), minus the O (nothing lost).
18 Enclosure on edge of illicit plant? (6)
HEMPEN – PEN (enclosure) next to HEM (edge).
20 Avoid paying for platypus? (8)
DUCKBILL – DUCK BILL (avoid paying for).
22 Fever that if tied to place would show widespread contagion (4)
AGUE – add PL(ace) to make PLAGUE (widespread contagion).
24 Sons write work in instalments, forgetting last name of English poet (10)
SPENSERIAN – S(ons) + PEN (write) + SERIA(l) (work in instaments, forgetting last) + N(ame). Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), English poet whose idiosyncratic spelling are still lovingly preserved in Chambers and the Listener Crossword!
26 Say enough after Foreign Office meets king (3,7)
FOR EXAMPLE – AMPLE (enough) after FO (Foreign Office) + REX (king).
28 Somewhat unfortunate choice for sashimi? (4)
TUNA – hidden in fortunate.
29 Endlessly talk nonsense, without a care (6)
BLITHE – BLITHER (talk nonsense) “endlessly”. A trap for the careless as the unchecked third letter of the truncated word could also be A or E. Luckily the other two words formed don’t exist.
30 Crotchety plucked instrument with piano backing colonist (8)
PETULANT – LUTE (plucked instrument) + P(iano) reversed, + ANT (colonist).

2 Press support framework that coaches used to follow (4,5)
IRON HORSE – IRON (press) + HORSE (support framework). Look it up in Chambers, as it has one of their famous humorous definitions. OK, I’ll save you the bother: “a worn-out circumlocution for a railway engine”.
3 Doing headstands individually is an art; singing was his (7)
SINATRA – IS, AN, ART all reversed in turn.
4 Stop old women’s grant (5)
ENDOW – END (stop) + O(ld) + W(omen).
5 Urban centre’s unfinished drag (3)
TOW – TOWN (urban centre) “unfinished”.
6 With onset of pain for one, what spicy diet might make you? (9)
DYSPEPTIC – (spicy diet)*, but with P (onset of pain) replacing an I (one), &lit., or maybe borderline semi-&lit?
7 Declaration of 4C to make a psychic bid? (7)
FORESEE – sounds like 4C. Strange clue. The homophone’s fine but what’s 4C supposed to be?
8 Channel port cancelling every third departure (5)
LEAVE – LE HAVRE (channel port) with every 3rd letter (i.e. the H and the R) removed.
12 A wedding participant drinking gallons is to cut down. (7)
ABRIDGE – A + BRIDE (wedding participant) around G(allons).
15 Northern shad swimming among other fish and seal after informal deal? (9)
HANDSHAKE – (N shad)* inside HAKE (other fish).
17 Officer with artillery serving in Irish mess? (9)
COLCANNON – COL (officer) + CANNON (artillery). A dish of potato mashed with cabbage.
19 Donation dispatched in advance? (7)
21 Force out of apartments to steal, turning up in juvenile prison (7)
BORSTAL – FLATS (apartments, minus the F) + ROB (steal), all reversed.
23 Become Liberal or express displeasure (5)
GROWL – GROW (become) + L(iberal).
25 Labour constituency carrying weight (5)
SWEAT – SEAT (constituency) around W(eight).
27 Try / old man / with general appeal (3)
POP – triple definition.

16 comments on “Saturday Times 26364 (19th March)”

  1. According to Chambers DUFFEL is English DUFFLE is American.
    so Hmph! indeed as this was published in London and not Des Moines.
    I believe that the Presidential candidate from New York was originally named Donald Duffle Drumpf.

    horryd Shanghai

  2. Well, for this American it’s ‘duffel’ (and a random survey of my brother indicates that it’s not an idiosyncrasy of mine); it so totally never occurred to me that there was a problem here that I wound up with 2 wrong, since the fairly easy LEAVE was out of the question for me. DNK ‘blither’, so pondered unnecessarily about this one. IRON HORSE was easy, since it was (supposedly) an Indian term, learned from countless Westerns.

    Edited at 2016-03-26 03:04 am (UTC)

  3. Same problem with 6ac here and although -LE is in the dictionaries it has to be said that the material is named after Duffel in Belgium so that really ought to be the favoured spelling. Indeed last time it appeared here (November 2014) it was spelt -EL but still caused confusion.

    I enjoyed this but as I have no finishing time noted I assume I was over the hour before finally cracking it. And for all that, I missed the letter switch at the end of 24ac and wrote L instead of N. Or perhaps I thought N but wrote L…

  4. Straightforward with only HEMPEN delaying me. I thought 4C was weak unless I have missed something. In 9a I had See (Lo) + Hip (In) and “loin being nearby the hip” with “cut” the definition. Yes, you are right, I have overthought it.
  5. 15:05 .. so no problems. The other spelling of DUFFLE never occurred to me.

    Coincidence, presumably, that 3d should appear a few days after the death of Frank Sinatra Jr, who kept up the family business. A rather fine clue, I thought, with which to bid him farewell.

  6. 9:15, but with DISPEPTIC, which is ridiculously careless really. At least I didn’t have any problems with DUFFLE: seeing that the definition was probably ‘cloth’ I assumed it was going to be something I’d never heard of and set about constructing it from the wordplay. By the time I’d realised what it was it was too late to worry about the spelling.

    Edited at 2016-03-26 09:46 am (UTC)

  7. No idea about 4C at 7dn but otherwise unproblematic. I saw what sawbill saw at 9ac with the cut being near the hip. Hard to pick a COD although FOR EXAMPLE is pretty neat.
    1. I assumed 4C and ‘bid’ was some sort of chess reference. Knowing nothing about chess may have been an advantage!
      I also thought the same about the cut, and that the setter was perhaps thinking of the tenderloin, which is near a pig’s hips.

      Edited at 2016-03-26 11:51 am (UTC)

      1. The surface allusion is to bridge I think (four clubs bid) .. and psychic bidding is a bridge term
        1. Well I know as much about bridge as I know about chess, so the principle holds!
  8. Same problems as everyone else – and all quibbles rather than complaints. I assumed 4C just meant I had not been texting with teenagers enough to be hip. Or nearby to hip.
    The OED uses Duffle as the preferred spelling; I didn’t know the town (1), or the so-named cloth (2), or the forward-formation into the general kit outdoorsmen wear (3), only the bag meant to hold that kit (4) (and that bag always made of canvas, not duffle). So 4X, not 4C, removed from the origin.
  9. Yes, 4C is a bid indicating that you’re prepared to wager that your side can take 10 out of the 13 possible tricks (the first 6 don’t count), provided clubs are trumps.
  10. Thanks to you all for the bridge connection (tautology alert).
    Given the quality of the crossword I couldn’t believe there wasn’t another dimension to that clue.
    I can only imagine a setter coming onto this site and silently screaming Munchlike at posts like mine until it has been explained.
  11. Well, I have to confess this was my wake up call that ol’ blue eyes was actually, er, deceased (only 18 years out of date). Yes, I received a very old fashioned look from my new lady when I casually asked the question…

    Anyway, such local embarrassments aside, a fine puzzle which I really enjoyed. The Irish stew went in on a wing and a prayer, but the wordplay was generous enough to support a reasonably confident punt. Thanks to setter and Andy.

    1. If it makes you feel any better, I knew he was dead but your ‘sixteen years’ was a shock to me. I think I’d have said something like five, if asked.
      1. Thanks for that crumb of comfort K! The real problem is that, since this incident, I now find myself wondering who else I’ve missed: odd names of childhood heroes and heroines now float into my mind at random (Nobby Stiles, Alan Knott, Sandie Shaw in the last couple of days) and I have an immediate compulsion to check on their mortal status…

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