Saturday Times 26442 (18th June)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
8:09 solved online, so fairly straightforward for me. Some UK-specific GK required (e.g. 25, 26) and a bit of ornithology too, but the wordplay made them all gettable I think.

1 Abraham in square dancing finds classical position (9)
ARABESQUE – ABE inside (square)*.
6 Talk about King Sargon’s principal informer (5)
GRASS – GAS (talk) around R (king), S(argon). Sargon was an ancient Akkadian king, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the clue!
9 Root of ancient tree put back secretly (3,4)
SUB ROSA – A(ncient) + SORBUS, all reversed. Sorbus is a genus of trees including rowan and mountain ash.
10 French are to inform and answer girl (7)
ESTELLA – ES (French ‘are’) + TELL (inform) + A.
11 ‘Time line’ expression used figuratively (5)
TROPE – T(ime) + ROPE (line).
12 Stylish batsman, after ton, gets one turning sharply (3-6)
TIN-OPENER – IN (stylish) + OPENER (batsman), after T(on).
13 Container holds fifty one pancakes (5)
BLINI – BIN (container) around L (fifty), I (one).
14 Unusually good ground yields type of element (4-5)
RARE-EARTH – RARE (unusually good) + EARTH (ground).
17 Daft people collecting sailor’s jumpers (9)
WALLABIES – WALLIES (daft people) around AB (sailor).
18 Ascetic’s last to leave for European city (5)
ESSEN – ESSENE (ascetic), minus the last letter.
19 In an instant scoundrel gets a girlfriend (9)
INAMORATA – IN A MO (in an instant) + RAT (scoundrel) + A. One of those words you only ever find in crosswords!
22 Army parts? Left unspecified number in Arab territories (5)
ULNAE – L(eft) + N (unspecified number) inside UAE (United Arab Emirates).
24 Artist keeps French wine in horribly acid environment (2,5)
DA VINCI – VIN (French wine) inside (acid)*.
25 Where Avon is spanned prisoner accepts free ride (7)
CLIFTON – CON (prisoner) around LIFT (free ride). The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a well-known Bristol landmark.
26 Stream going west, then east, in general (5)
WOLFE – FLOW (stream) reversed + E(ast). General Wolfe led the British army to victory over the French in Canada in 1759.
27 Driving supporters to gather news and meet in Nashville area (9)
TENNESSEE – TEES (driving supporters) around NN (‘news’), + SEE (meet).

1 When position brings advantage (5)
ASSET – AS (when) + SET (position).
2 Brother tucks into chopped salami — it’s delicious (9)
AMBROSIAL – BRO inside (salami)*.
3 Getting best hotel price, man uncovered secret stuff (9)
ESOTERICA – middle letters only of (b)ES(t) (h)OTE(l) (p)RIC(e) (m)A(n).
4 Fourth female on a roll — one in last eight (7-8)
QUARTER-FINALIST – QUARTER (fourth) + F(emale) + IN A LIST (on a roll). Well done Wales, commiserations to NI.
5 Renovating area of O’Connell Street initially provides hobby (9,6)
ELEONORA’S FALCON – (area of O’Connell S)*. One of my last in, figured out from crossing letters and anagram fodder. So who was Eleanora? A 14th-century Sardinian queen who passed laws on bird protection apparently.
6 Goose wings on sheep in bizarre costume? (3-2)
GET-UP – G(oos)E + TUP (sheep).
7 Everyone taking part completely exhausted (3,2)
ALL IN – ALL (everyone) + IN (taking part).
8 Spiky animal chain sure is tight (3,6)
SEA URCHIN – (chain sure)*.
13 Feature of property I need vacated in Barking? (3,6)
BOW WINDOW – I + N(ee)D, inside BOW-WOW (barking).
15 Official I see gets to hang around? (9)
EXECUTIVE – I + V (vide, see), inside EXECUTE (to hang).
16 Beak elevated among judges strikes chord (9)
RESONATES – NOSE (beak) reversed inside RATES (judges).
20 Dye coats very small bone (5)
ANVIL – ANIL (dye) around V(ery). A bone in the ear.
21 Old pawnbroker shedding pound in weight (5)
OUNCE – O(ld) + UNCLE (pawnbroker), without the L for pound.
23 Man from drive-in restaurant turned up (5)
ERNIE – hidden reversed in “drive-in restaurant”.

14 comments on “Saturday Times 26442 (18th June)”

  1. I found this easier to get into than the last two weeks but impossible to finish. So many thanks for the blog.
    I was defeated by 5d even having got the letters in the right order!
    26a was impossible for me as was 6a. Could not parse 27a but got it right.
    But I have learnt quite a lot en route and enjoyed the rest of the puzzle.
    Yesterday’s was the easiest Saturday puzzle I can remember and I wondered if this was a reaction to this one. David
    1. 26a, 6a – why impossible? With crossing letters in place both are gettable (6 from definition, 26 from wordplay).

      10:24 for yesterday’s here, so I must have found it at least 25% harder than this one! Horses for courses I suppose.

  2. 12:32, but with ELEANORA. It didn’t occur to me that it might be spelled any other way. Comforting to see that you revert to the same spelling in the body of your blog Andy!
    I was decidedly unimpressed by the double-obscurity SUB ROSA, even if I happened to know the expression. Probably from a past crossword.
    1. Oops, that’s from looking her up on Wikipedia! She’s Eleanor of Arborea or Eleonora D’Arborea in the article.
  3. Sorry- it was 9a that I was stuck on; did not know Sub Rosa and did not know/think of Sorbus.
    For 26a I could not see what was needed: i.e. the name of a general. David
    PS I forgot to mention 13d which I was sure for a time was Bay (bark) Window.
  4. Well under 30 minutes for all but 9, 5 and 26 but gave up as the hour approached with SUB ROSA still unsolved. I don’t welcome double obscurities of that nature. Also failed to parse 18ac without referring to aids, although the answer had been a write-in as ESSEN must be in the top half-dozen European cities that occur in Crosswordland.
  5. I’m surprised there have been no complaints about 24ac, which is where Leonardo was born, not his name. I blame Dan Brown.
    1. 300,000 vs 700,000 vs 8,000,000 google hits .
      The Internet has spoken, and his name is Leonardo da Vinci.

      Next you’ll be telling us there’s no footballer called Pele.

  6. Under an hour, but I had to resort to help for both the falcon and INAMORATA; I’d got as far as INAMORCADA and decided that didn’t look quite right.

    Still, getting all but two in less than an hour is pretty good for me on a Saturday.

  7. Sorry but 9ac SUB ROSA’s twin obscurities are not to my taste – nor other’s by the sound of it. Neither was the WOLFE clue – how do you account for the word ‘in’? A capital letter G for General might have helped.

    No trouble with 22ac ULNAE – but ‘Army parts’!

    From barmy to tedious!

    horryd – Shanghai

  8. Just seen the blog now but happy to have completed it bar 26a for which I wrote WELLE. (ONG’ARA, NAIROBI, KENYA )

Comments are closed.