Saturday Times 26436 (11th June)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
22:22 for this one, where I struggled to get on the setter’s wavelength, although as it was at the end of a 72-hour working week maybe tiredness was also a factor. Or maybe it was just a tough puzzle, and no excuses needed!

1 Attack and mug nightbird (10)
GOATSUCKER – GO AT (attack) + SUCKER (mug).
6 Fly low turning after sharp bends (4)
ZOOM – MOO (low) reversed, after Z (sharp bends).
9 Tell lies about retired copper blocking deal (7)
TRADUCE – CU (copper) reversed, inside TRADE (deal).
10 Leads with leg producing sort of tennis shot? (7)
TOPSPIN – TOPS (leads) + PIN (leg).
12 Turner’s offer to artist? No offer, ultimately (5)
ROTOR – Last letters (ultimately) of offeR tO artisT NO offeR. Took me ages to spot that for some reason.
13 Question from coppers involving couple of lines and drug (9)
CHALLENGE – CHANGE (coppers) around LL (couple of lines), E (drug).
14 Ban United playing with status that could be groundless (15)
UNSUBSTANTIATED – (ban united status)*.
17 Judge, for example, to show cases of Parisian giving inadmissible testimony? (7,8)
HEARSAY EVIDENCE – HEAR (judge) + SAY (for example) + EVINCE (to show) around DE (of Parisian).
20 Film director and I visiting extremely sophisticated set (9)
STATIONED – TATI (film director) + ONE (I), inside S(ophisticate)D.
21 Bones, unusually large and small, in trash (5)
DROSS – DR (Bones) + OS (unusually large) + S(mall).
22 Returned essay written in English with tip for poem (7)
ECLOGUE – GO (essay) reversed inside E(nglish) + CLUE (tip).
24 Newton eager to embrace a new material (7)
NANKEEN – N(ewton) + KEEN (eager), around A + N(ew).
25 Maybe Dorking’s female member of parliament (4)
FOWL – F(emale) + OWL (member of parliament – collective noun). A breed of poultry.
26 Lost test case taking a run in vehicles (6,4)
ESTATE CARS – (test case)* around A R(un).

1 Brave became less calm lassoing horse (2,7)
GO THROUGH – GOT ROUGH (became less calm) around H(orse).
2 Hope for answer with clout, say (5)
AWAIT – A(nswer) + WAIT (sounds like weight, clout).
3 Fierce criticism of the conventional / military exercises (6-7)
SQUARE-BASHING – double definition, the first a bit whimsical.
4 Man with short adorable hairstyle (7)
CREWCUT – CREW (man) + CUT(e) (short adorable). I’m pretty sure that should be (4,3) rather than one word.
5 Originally aren’t elected to board (7)
ENTRAIN – (aren’t)* + IN (elected).
7 25 men with beer functioning around midnight (9)
ORPINGTON – OR (men) + PINT (beer) + ON (functioning), around G (mid-niGht). Another breed of poultry (see 25ac).
8 Game in Spain absorbed by common team (5)
MONTE – hidden in common team.
11 Nice place for a good bop did please as an innovation (6,2,5)
PALAIS DE DANSE – (did please as an)*.
15 Naval base providing cover in South America when on run (5,4)
SCAPA FLOW – CAP (cover) inside SA (South America) + FLOW (run).
16 Relishes new singers cutting both sides of discs (9)
DRESSINGS – (singers)* inside D(isc)S.
18 Bets jerk has date set up (7)
YANKEES – YANK (jerk) + SEE (date) reversed. A combination bet with four horses in 6 doubles, 4 trebles and an accumulator. I didn’t look that up – I used to be a betting-shop manager!
19 Review covers OT book and a Hindu philosophy (7)
VEDANTA – VET (review) around DAN (OT book) + A.
20 This man appears in almost all conservative papers? (5)
SHEAF – HE (this man) inside SAF(e) (almost all conservative).
22 Love very good ending of series (5)
OMEGA – O (love) + MEGA (very good).

13 comments on “Saturday Times 26436 (11th June)”

  1. I had a rather long senior moment trying to remember 17ac, which I was ready to BIFD. A similar memory problem with 3d, which only came to me once I got the G from ECLOGUE. 11d and 18d vaguely recalled from earlier cryptics. I rather liked 3d; lovely surface. Have we ever had a film director in a clue other than TATI (a novel other than ‘She’, a poem other than ‘If’, a film other than ‘ET’)?
  2. A puzzle of two halves with the RH going in quite easily but I struggled to complete the LH. Used aids for GOATSUCKER eventually.
  3. I found this extremely tough; no idea what my time was, split across the week, but I think “some hours” sums it up. Most of my problems were with my unknowns: GOATSUCKER, ECLOGUE, NANKEEN, SCAPA FLOW, VEDANTA, PALAIS DE DANSE. Didn’t help that I didn’t get some of the wordplay, either, like “go” for “essay”, “dan” for the OT book, or Tati, who directed his last film when I was five…

    Fair to say I just didn’t enjoy this one; I think I prefer the kind of puzzle where I kick myself having finally got to the answer, rather than just stare blankly and think, “Oh. Oh well.”

    1. SCAPA FLOW is commonly (and wrongly) thought to be the (rhyming slang) origin of the word ‘scarper’. This category (words thought to be rhyming slang that aren’t) also includes ‘dutch’ for ‘wife’.

      Edited at 2016-06-18 09:49 am (UTC)

  4. 20:40, but with PALAIS DE DANCE. This is particularly idiotic of me because I speak French fluently. And to cap it all I did exactly the same thing with an anagram on this week’s puzzle. What a moron.
      1. It seems there are quite a few of us who can speak but not write French, and can’t be bothered with checking all the fiddling little bits of anagram fodder either.
        I also thought SCAPA FLOW was spelt with an E at the end instead of a W, with the nagging feeling that there was something odd about the spelling. Fortunately for fit, I realised I was thinking about Sullum Voe.

        1. Curious you should mention Sullom Voe, Z. I worked at Scatsta airfield for 2 years in the late 70s. It serves Sullom Voe. I worked on a two weeks on/two weeks off basis. Flying at around 11000ft to and from Glasgow as the first part of the journey, you fly directly over Scapa Flow. On a bright clear and calm day (not many of those!) you can still see the silhouettes of the German fleet scuppered there.
  5. Another challenging puzzle, but not as hard as the week before.
    As last week I returned to this over several days and managed to fill all the squares. I now see a few errors so many thanks to the blogger for the explanations.
    I had Grabsucker at 1a -seemed plausible – and a few other errors.
    One error led me to a correct answer. I had Town for 25a and that led me to Orpington at 7d , a place not far from where I live.
    I had no idea about its other meaning; nor that Dorking meant fowl. David

  6. This took an inordinate amount of time evidenced by the number of pens I used to fill this in (3).

    Still, pleased with getting this all correct and happier still that some crossword chestnuts haven’t tripped me up this time (low=moo; elected=in; sharp bends=z; & midnight=g).

    I have been in Dorking recently so the big ugly concrete chicken on their roundabout made this a write in.

    This week seemed a lot easier!

  7. Late to the party. Missed out on 1a (for which I too guessed ‘grabsucker’) but didn’t mind as it made me look up the word and its quirky origin. While there in Chambers, I happened to see some other odd goat-related terms which may give setters a few ideas.

    Good puzzle which was difficult enough but not too intimidating. BIFD a few and parsed later though couldn’t work out ECLOGUE. Hadn’t heard of YANKEES in the sense of ‘bet’ before and VEDANTA was new. I liked the ‘sharp bends’ bit of 6 (didn’t realise it was a cryptic chestnut) and DROSS.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

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