Saturday Times 26484 (6th Aug)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
16:29 for this fairly challenging puzzle (although it would have been a bit quicker if I hadn’t bunged in THUMB STITCH at 13D). Not sure where I got that from – it doesn’t even exist. Lots of interesting definitions rather than the usual single-word ones, and I liked the clever wordplay in e.g. 12A, 4D and 8D where part of a word is replaced to get to the solution. COD to 26A though. LOI 2D when I decided it couldn’t be anything else (and I still don’t like it).

1 With thick coat on back, plays truant from school … (8)
STUCCOED – CUTS (plays truant from) reversed + COED (school).
6 … fine school, missing my appearance (6)
FACADE – F(ine) + ACADEMY (school), with MY missing.
9 So Christmas pudding may appear following meat course at last (6)
FLAMBÉ – F(ollowing) + LAMB (meat) + (cours)E.
10 Prisoner’s alias? (8)
NICKNAME – cryptic definition.
11 God! Writer has lost one lot of gold (4)
THOR – AUTHOR (writer) minus AU (one lot of gold, as OR could be another lot).
12 Quietly happy remark: there’s room for me (10)
COMPLACENT – COMMENT (remark), with ME in the middle replaced by PLACE (room).
14 Is likely to be effective, we hear, as school subject (8)
WOODWORK – sounds like “would work”.
16 Khrushchev losing it on the way back, it’s related (4)
AKIN – NIKITA (Khrushchev) reversed, without IT.
18 Pole virtually redundant (4)
SPAR – nearly SPARE (redundant).
19 Weeds are universal in the early hours (8)
MOURNING – U(niversal) inside MORNING (the early hours).
21 Favouring country sports in spring, energy bursting all around (5-5)
GREEN-WELLY – WELL (spring) inside (energy)*.
22 Shortly pack basic food for the tropics (4)
TARO – TARO(t) (a pack, shortly). A tropical root vegetable.
24 Crime nearly pinned on psychoanalyst, one hard to get on top of (8)
JUNGFRAU – FRAU(d) (crime nearly) next to JUNG (psychoanalyst). A mountain in the Bernese Alps. I think the definition’s a bit out of date – you can catch a train to within 2000 feet of the top now!
26 Near end of play perhaps, finally lose voice (6)
ACTIVE – ACT IV (near end of play perhaps) + (los)E.
27 Prepare to sleep in wooden seat (6)
SETTLE – double definition.
28 Not liking to catch companion breaking eggs (8)
HATCHING – CH (Companion of Honour) inside HATING (not liking).

2 Cultivate slope with horse (5)
TILTH – TILT (slope) + H(orse). Wrong part of speech in the definition – TILTH can only be a noun according to Chambers.
3 Dare America to ruin this special relationship? (11)
CAMARADERIE – (dare America)*.
4 Approval for a time in warm clothing to burn? (8)
OVERCOOK – OVERCOAT (warm clothing), with OK (approval) replacing A T(ime).
5 Stick to tragedy? That’s ridiculous (4,4,2,5)
DON’T MAKE ME LAUGH – double definition, one of them cryptic.
6 Too easy, one length in front (6)
FACILE – I (one) + L(ength) inside FACE (front).
7 Tory / trick (3)
CON – double definition and contender for easiest write-in of the year I think!
8 Size of boarding house at first obscured by dark (9)
DIMENSION – PENSION (boarding house) with the first letter replaced by DIM (dark).
13 Secures dwarf that sewer may employ (5,6)
CHAIN STITCH – CHAINS (secures) + TITCH (dwarf).
15 Timely drink in old Indian city (9)
OPPORTUNE – PORT (drink) inside O(ld), PUNE (Indian city).
17 Temporary pole army just fixed (8)
JURYMAST – (army just)*.
20 Turn hastily away from wife, to hand drinks round (6)
SWERVE – W(ife) inside SERVE (to hand drinks).
23 Inhabitant of Tower fearing to be executed (5)
RAVEN – CRAVEN (fearing) minus the first letter.
25 Corporation is good for Berlin (3)
GUT – double definition, as it’s the German word for “good”.

19 comments on “Saturday Times 26484 (6th Aug)”

  1. Found this straightforward except for 22ac, which took me a long time to find, given I’ve never heard of it ..
    The OED has tilth as a verb:

    tilth, v.
    Etymology: < tilth n.
    Obs. or rare.
    trans. To till, cultivate.

    .. so the COD, which I don’t possess, might have it too.. in the ODE and Collins online it is a noun only.

  2. TILTH is also in SOED as a transitive verb “now rare or obsolete”.

    A DNF for me as I didn’t get STUCCOED or TARO without resorting to aids. And how have I lived this long without knowing of PUNE? I thought perhaps it was called something else previously but apparently not.

    Edited at 2016-08-13 06:55 am (UTC)

    1. Apparently yes: we colonial types knew it as Poona, in the great tradition of spelling Johnny Foreigner’s funny words the way we heard them, especially if he couldn’t be bothered to use proper letters.
      1. I think you get Poona rice? I had certainly heard of Pune/Poona, though i would not want to be quizzed on it in detail.
        I observe that Collins says that “Pune” is pronounced “Poona” .. so johnny foreigner clearly is somewhat spelling challenged
    2. Same DNF here after two hours, sadly. I never think of “coed” for school, and “cutting” for playing hooky didn’t spring to mind, either. I *sometimes* remember Tarot for “deck” or “pack”, but not this time, and DNK TARO.

      Perhaps because I didn’t know “tilth” at all I was happy enough putting it in….

  3. Those substitute clues made this a delight, needing that bit extra of the Edward de Bono stuff.
    Does it say something about the Times that we are expected to know dead Russian politicians of the 60’s (with shoe bashing tendencies, “losing it”, nice touch) but not sexy spy television of the 2010s?
  4. Dnk the mountain, got it from the wordplay, then by translating it and letting imagination go…nice allusive clue.
  5. I think I remember from the guide book that the railway up the Jungfrau was built in the 19th century. (Such an amazing fact that I actually remembered it) So not a recent development. Btw, there’s a window half way up cut into the North Face of the Eiger!
    1. Fans of Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate” will know this lyric from the song “Wunderbar”:

      Gazing down on the Jungfrau
      From our secret chalet for two
      Let us drink, Liebchen mein in the moonlight benign
      To the joy of our dream come true

      Wunderbar, wunderbar!
      What a perfect night for love
      Here am I, here you are
      Why it’s truly wunderbar

  6. 22 ac TARO is fairly common hereabouts and recently taro chips have been popular in local supermarkets – travel broadens the waist-line. Dasheen is a mash made from taro.

    I was home in 30 minutes flat which for me made this reasonable for a Saturday.

    17dn JURYMAST was new to me so LOI.


    horryd Shanghai

  7. My print out says 22 minutes, don’t remember any unknowns, except jurymast which was obvious enough once I thought of jury rig.
  8. Did this offline, and it took quite a while as I recall. TILTH seemed both inevitable and impossible, but I finally went with inevitable. Still seems wrong OED or no. TARO no problem–having lived in Hawai’i, where it’s the source of poi–although getting the right sense of ‘pack’ took a long time. GREEN-WELLY was a problem, though,, as I’d never heard of it, and still don’t know what it means. Remembering ‘Titch’ took some time. Several d’oh moments as the various pennies dropped, as at 1ac and 4d.
  9. A bit of a slog which did however repay the effort. Couldn’t parse 12 or 27 and TILTH was new to me, though possible from the wordplay. My last in and favourite was STUCCOED, a word I can’t recall having come across in a cryptic before.

    Thanks to setter and blogger

  10. Got the answer from the wordplay, but I have no idea what it means.
    Can someone please enlighten me? Barbara
    1. Well off people living in the country are often known as the Green Welly brigade, as their green wellington boots are the upmarket version of a farmer’s black wellies. You’ll find lots of them at country sports venues….

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