Saturday Times 26514 (10th Sep)

Solved (with interruptions) in the actual newspaper for a change in about 20 minutes. I’d never heard of a naseberry but the clue was quite generous with the wordplay (assuming you’ve heard of the English Civil War battle). I have a few minor quibbles below but overall a very good puzzle.

1 Composer, quiet, introducing work for four performers (10)
BARBERSHOP – BARBER (composer Samuel) + SH (quiet) + OP (work).
6 Steal / identity of chatroom contributor? (4)
NICK – double definition, the second of which is just an abbreviation of nickname.
8 Medic sounding healthier after a heavenly meal? (8)
AMBROSIA – MB (medic) + sounds like “rosier” (healthier), after A.
9 Tax, a setback for Belfast’s cultural scene? (6)
STRAIN – NI ARTS (Belfast’s cultural scene?) reversed.
10 A vegetable sent west for native American (4)
MAYA – A YAM (vegetable) reversed.
11 Going to bed on getting weary, yours truly needing good book (10)
RETIREMENT – RE (on) + TIRE (weary) + ME (yours truly) + NT (good book).
12 In battle site English bishop planted fruit tree (9)
NASEBERRY – NASEBY (battle site) around E(nglish), RR (right reverend, bishop). Another name for the sapodilla plum apparently (hadn’t heard of that one either).
14 Jeans regularly produced in dark material (5)
DENIM – (j)E(a)N(s) inside DIM (dark), very close to an &lit but it does have separate definition and wordplay. Great clue.
17 Greek king overwhelmed by massacre once (5)
CREON – hidden inside “massacre once”. In Greek mythology, the uncle and brother-in-law of Oedipus.
19 Nuts and French wine good during stirring drama (6,3)
RAVING MAD – VIN (French wine) + G(ood) inside (drama)*.
22 Shock a friend, snubbing northern highland region (10)
APPALACHIA – APPAL (shock) + A + CHINA (friend), minus the N(orthern).
23 Aware of “Pub With No Beer”? (2,2)
IN ON – INN (pub) with O (nothing) in it.
24 Office machine, one installed by 20 (6)
COPIER – I (one) inside COPER (20dn, manager).
25 About start of tutorial, university blue falls short thus after missing lectures? (8)
UNTAUGHT – U(niversity), NAUGHT(y) (blue falls short) around T(utorial).
26 English coin (not yen) for a traveller to North America (4)
PENN – PENNY (English coin) minus the Y(en). William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania.
27 Rook left before storm (10)
OVERCHARGE – OVER (left) + CHARGE (storm).

1 Born a rich man potentially, of Hindu caste (9)
BRAHMANIC – B(orn) + (a rich man)*. Of the highest caste, so another &littish clue. I thought it should be Brahminic actually, but Chambers has them as interchangeable.
2 Steaks and carrots with ends trimmed, of course (3-4)
RIB-EYES – BRIBES (carrots) with ends trimmed, i.e. losing the first and last letter + YES (of course).
3 Played again after ‘let’ call, perhaps, lacking confidence (8)
RESERVED – RE-SERVED (in tennis, after a ‘let’ the server gets another go).
4 Intermission in cinema after explosive drama (10,5)
HEARTBREAK HOUSE – BREAK (intermission) inside ART HOUSE (cinema), all after HE (high explosive). A play by George Bernard Shaw.
5 Perhaps pin-ups have no time for play-actors (6)
POSERS – POSTERS (pin-ups) minus the T(ime).
6 Maybe one lodging soldiers within grand European city (9)
NUREMBERG – NUMBER (maybe one) around RE (Royal Engineers, soldiers) + G(rand).
7 After endless punch, certainly not keen on red wine (7)
CHIANTI – CHI(n) (endless punch) + ANTI (certainly not keen on).
13 Recalling career on line? (9)
EVOCATION – E-VOCATION (career online, where putting an E in front of anything makes it to do with the Internet!
15 French shopgirl‘s dress material, so to speak (9)
MIDINETTE – MIDI (dress, presumably halfway between a maxi and a mini) + sounds like “net” (material).
16 Giving lessons, dealt with first part of play, roughly (8)
DIDACTIC – DID (dealt with) + ACT I (first part of play) + C (circa, roughly).
18 Corded material over worn carpet (7)
REPROVE – REP (corded material) + (over)*.
20 Stable fixture housing a computer system (7)
MANAGER – MANGER (stable fixture) around A. “A program or system that manages a peripheral (comput.)“, according to Chambers. I’d call that a driver personally, but what do I know?
21 Area in many South American cities, except one in Brazil (6)
BARRIO – BAR (except) + RIO (city in Brazil).

12 comments on “Saturday Times 26514 (10th Sep)”

  1. Well fortunately I had heard of naseberries, though I pictured them rather as a type of blackberry, tayberry or similar .. odd, since I have eaten sapodillas in Qatar where my daughter lives – but never connected the two before.
    Also dredged Midinette up from basement storage.

    William Penn known to me as the son of Sir William Penn, familiar from the Diaries of my beloved Sam Pepys.. Sir William was captain of the “Naseby,” incidentally, which he quickly renamed “Royal Charles,” at the Restoration!

  2. I enjoyed this one, but eventually had to give it up with a few left to solve. Thanks for letting me off the hook. Maybe I’ll remember MIDINETTE or “rep” for another time…
  3. not a problem, but 6ac still is! Why pray chatroom?

    I was tempted by HEARTBREAK HOTEL initialy for 4dn but Elvis had to give way.


    WOD BRAHMANIC COD 19ac the Hancockovian RAVING MAD.

    horryd Shanghai

    1. My guess would be that “nick” as a shortening of “nickname” is most often encountered in internet chatroom software.
  4. 31:11. I found this tricky, but very enjoyable. I didn’t know the berry, but the battle must have been vaguely familiar because I felt quite confident of the answer without consciously remembering it. I had no idea about the play, but the wordplay was manageable. Similar story with MIDINETTE, a term that is obscure enough in French, never mind English!
  5. Enjoyed this one, my print out says 20 minutes. I had heard of a naseberry but was surprised on looking it up afterwards, to find it was not at all like a loganberry or of that ilk.
    Didn’t give much thought to NICK and have never been in a chatroom (well not knowingly).
  6. I liked it, too – nice combination of good words and good clues. Midinette was difficult, not knowing the word. Didn’t know the berry, did know the battle (which I always try to get a second ‘n’ into), but am much better off for now knowing the Penn GK that Jerry posted.
  7. Quite hard work with unknowns NASEBERRY, CREON, BARRIO, BRAHMANIC and he required meaning of NICK. I’m absolutely positive that MIDINETTE has come up within the past year, otherwise I wouldn’t have known it, but a Google search of TftT reveals nothing as recent as that.
  8. We’ve definitely had MIDINETTE–I couldn’t possibly have known it otherwise– although it took me forever to dredge it from memory. Took the existence of the berry on faith (‘the substance of things hoped for’). AMBROSIA from def, afterword seeing that it is (supposed to be, for some) a homophone. Like keriothe, I found this tricky and enjoyable.
  9. Harder than last Saturday’s but with the hallmarks of typical Times setting.Ong’ara,Kenya.
  10. Got the top half of this before giving up. A number of obscurities ( Midinette, Creon, Heartbreak House) combined with difficult cluing defeated me.
    Not convinced by 17a -can Overwhelmed indicate a hidden? David

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