Saturday Times 26430 (4th June)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
16:43, which seemed like a good time for this one as there’s plenty of trickery here. There were enough anagrams to keep things moving though, including the excellent 5D (which took me a while to spot actually, as I wanted the first word to be FEED) and also the &lit ABATTOIR (much easier but very neat).

1 Endlessly swear to maintain law that is painful when grasped (6)
CACTUS – CUS(s) (endlessly swear) around ACT (law).
5 Fat man’s collapse, shortly needing stick (8)
FALSTAFF – FAL(l) (collapse shortly) + STAFF (stick).
9 Head back where one came from, in which one appears to show geniality (8)
BONHOMIE – NOB (head) reversed + HOME (where one came from) around I (one).
10 Minister finished with soldiers (6)
PASTOR – PAST (finished) + OR (Other Ranks, soldiers).
11 Brought back battering equipment to be effective against old fort (8)
MARTELLO – RAM (battering equipment) reversed + TELL (to be effective against) + O(ld). Over 10 Martello Towers were built mainly around the SE coast in the 19th century to repel Napoleon’s invasion fleet (which never turned up).
12 Miss one spinning on old platform (3,3)
OIL RIG – GIRL + I (one) + O(ld), all reversed.
13 Hacked and left tree with some branches overhead (8)
ANTLERED – (and L tree)*. Great definition!
15 Shade is cold: any needing to move? (4)
CYAN – C(old) + (any)*.
17 Genuine cessation of hostilities about to fail (4)
TRUE – TRUCE (cessation of hostilities) without the C for circa (about to fail).
19 Book a place to sleep — woman’s coming round (4,4)
ADAM BEDE – A + BED (place to sleep) with DAME (woman) around it. George Eliot’s first novel, written in 1859.
20 Strike about to stop suddenly (3,3)
CUT OFF – CUFF (strike) around TO.
21 Daring to ignore admiral’s lead on board destroyers (8)
SCOURGES – COURAGE (daring), mius the A for Admiral, inside SS (on board).
22 Lackey regularly told to open post (6)
POODLE – (t)O(l)D inside POLE (post).
23 Presumably not appreciate the foolish in the same way (8)
LIKEWISE – definition by counter-example!
24 Fearsome people outside university. Hell! (8)
TARTARUS – TARTARS (fearsome people) around U(niversity). The deepest pits of hell in Greek mythology, where the Titans are imprisoned.
25 Wearisome, not having succeeded, doing this again? (6)
TRYING – double definition, the second in reference to “if at first you don’t succeed…”

2 Without a key, not going over a colleague’s housing (8)
ATONALLY – NOT reversed inside A, ALLY (colleague).
3 Islander using painter to secure a houseboat at the front (8)
TAHITIAN – TITIAN (painter) around A, H(ouseboat).
4 Encouraged to waste time? That’s not real (9)
SIMULATED – STIMULATED (encouraged) losing a T.
5 How to get to consume less? Prepare to enforce it? (4,4,7)
FLEX ONE’S MUSCLES – FLEX (anagram indicator for) ONE’S MUSCLES (consume less)*.
6 Say booby’s beard is ridiculous (7)
SEABIRD – (beard is)*.
7 Stranger heard supporting worker earlier (8)
ANTERIOR – sounds like “eerier” (stranger) underneath ANT (worker).
8 Iron-clad, state such a conclusion? (8)
FOREGONE – OREGON (state) inside FE (i.e. iron-clad).
14 Orbit: announced I hit it (3,6)
EYE SOCKET – sounds like “I sock it”.
15 Crazy, a little lamb beginning to push into shelter (8)
CRACKPOT – RACK (a little lamb) + P(ush), all inside COT (shelter).
16 Boar at it destroyed? (8)
ABATTOIR – (boar at it)*, anagram &lit.
17 Lout using tissue to wipe this? (8)
TEARAWAY – TEAR AWAY (what you might use a tissue to wipe).
18 Diplomat in New York, maybe, who’s airbrushed from history? (8)
UNPERSON – UN PERSON (NY diplomat perhaps).
19 Lucerne’s two halves commonly covering small area (7)
ALFALFA – ‘ALF, ‘ALF (two halves commonly) + A(rea).

14 comments on “Saturday Times 26430 (4th June)”

  1. I was so far off the setter’s wavelength that my expected 20-30 minute solve stretched out to 5 days, on and off. The problem was the bottom half and then finally the SW. Got there in the end by brute force so thanks blogger for explainng quite a few of them.
  2. How is one to know that Lucerne is a type of alfalfa ? Seems beyond obscure to me. But biffed the answer with an irritated shrug.
  3. On reflection this wasn’t a biff – it was a woc – worked out from cryptic

    Edited at 2016-06-11 10:08 am (UTC)

  4. Struggled with this beyond the call of duty but got there in the end apart from TARTARUS which on reflection I should have worked out despite not knowing the definition.

    Edited at 2016-06-11 12:50 pm (UTC)

  5. Started poorly, made good strides, struggled when I should have been pressing on, and then finished with a flourish.

    A bit like England in Brisbane today.

      1. I was rather hoping for a little free-wheeling. Will be watching the next one from Cornwall.
  6. 23m. Generally speaking a puzzle that takes me around 20 minutes is one that is sufficiently challenging to be interesting, but not so hard as to be painful, and this was one of those.
    ‘Lucerne’ for ALFALFA seemed familiar, and sure enough it came up in a Sunday Times puzzle that I blogged last year (4632).
  7. Struggled to get started on this but decided to persevere and looked at it every day of the week gradually getting more clues.
    In the end there were two outstanding: 24a and 19d.
    I am pleased in a way that these seem to have given most solvers problems.
    I thought Lucerne was a place which perhaps has two lakes or two languages -and I will now look it up.
    Never did know much Greek mythology.
    I have made a slow start to yesterday’s puzzle which also looks tricky. David

  8. Lucerne is a major crop in Australia, for silage and hay production. When reading about alfalfa being grown in the US, we were told it was what they call lucerne, so that was an easy solve here. Wikipedia says the name alfalfa is used in North America and that the name lucerne is the more commonly used name in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. However, the sprouts sold in supermarkets for human consumption are certainly called alfalfa here, maybe to distance it from stock food, maybe because the idea came from the US originally.

Comments are closed.