Saturday Times 26526 (24th Sep)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
14:58 for this one, could have been quicker but I was stumped by the fiendish 13D (well, I found it fiendish anyway) for about 3 minutes at the end. Bit of a howler at 21D (unless someone can explain to me how it works?) but otherwise a good puzzle. COD to 10ac for a great anagram.

1 Problem with sheep neck mostly used with pastry dish (7)
SCRAPIE – SCRA(g) (neck mostly) + PIE (pastry dish).
5 Light grip needed on oar only after the start (3,4)
ARC LAMP – CLAMP (grip) next to AR (oar, only after the start).
9 Brilliant / one among a set of diamonds (3)
ACE – double definition.
10 An indicator master and pupil are involved (6,5)
LITMUS PAPER – (master, pupil)*. Great anagram, and very apt as the only time most of us get to see litmus paper is at school!
11 Decline opportunity to go after drink (8)
DOWNTURN – TURN (opportunity to go) after DOWN (drink).
12 Note trouble about Kyoto’s leader — this one? (6)
MIKADO – MI (note) + ADO (trouble) around K(yoto). “A title given by foreigners to the emperor of Japan” according to Chambers. Sounds suspiciously like one of their tongue-in-cheek definitions. Well-known from the G&S comic opera, of course.
15 City long ago installing king for English (4)
YORK – YORE (long ago) with K(ing) replacing the E(nglish).
16 Terrible din from low group of crows (4,6)
BLUE MURDER – BLUE (low) + MURDER (group of crows). I knew that list of collective nouns would come in useful one day (although this is a common one that I knew anyway).
18 Picture hotel suite when trashed (10)
SILHOUETTE – (hotel suite)*.
19 Laments losing new flightless birds (4)
MOAS – MOANS (laments), minus the N(ew).
22 Situation that’s confusing men in crowd (6)
MORASS – OR (other ranks, men) inside MASS (crowd).
23 Remain mostly around spies — a problem of nerves (8)
SCIATICA – STIC(k) (remain mostly) around CIA (spies) + A.
25 Confirmed single hotel nearly let go (6,5)
LONELY HEART – (hotel nearly)*. Two anagrams involving a hotel in one puzzle. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
27 Plenty disregarding opera company? I don’t like that at all (3)
UGH – ENOUGH (plenty) without the English National Opera.
28 Longing that’s not good for easily available drug (7)
ASPIRIN – ASPIRING (longing), minus the G(ood).
29 Attacked poet failing to finish end of ballad (7)
SHELLED – SHELLE(y) (poet failing to finish) + (balla)D.

1 Support traveller who may not get on flight (5-2)
STAND-BY – STAND BY (support). I was going to call this a double definition, but I don’t think it qualifies. Instead we have a one-word wordplay followed by a seven-word definition! Or is that just me being pedantic?
2 Reward rebel in revolt, one hiding in the marshes (4,7)
REED WARBLER – (reward rebel)*.
3 Rod keeps sex-appeal cultivated (6)
POLITE – POLE (rod) around IT (sex-appeal).
4 Installed as bishop — on becoming all rapt? (10)
ENTHRALLED – ENTHRONED (installed as bishop), with ON replaced by ALL.
5 Five lost to non-specific fever (4)
AGUE – VAGUE (non-specific) without V (five lost).
6 Carping is fitting following constant promises to pay (8)
CAPTIOUS – APT (fitting) after C(onstant), + IOU’S (promises to pay). I was just thinking – IOU is like txt-speak, so when did it originate? According to the OED, early 17th century!
7 Curtailed intention to climb high mountain (3)
ALP – PLA(n) (curtailed intention), reversed.
8 Room is dangerous when son’s going for run (7)
PARLOUR – PARLOUS (dangerous), with the S(on) swapped for R(un).
13 Brought up clear one in a normal style of presentation (11)
AUDIOVISUAL – VOID (clear) reversed + I (one), inside A USUAL (normal). Kudos to anyone who worked that out from the wordplay! My LOI, and it added about 3 minutes to my time.
14 Minor British composer heard slips (10)
PETTICOATS – sounds like PETTY (minor) COATES (British composer). Never heard of him, but with a couple of checkers in the answer was fairly obvious.
17 Knock out length in terse revising for author (8)
KOESTLER – KO (knock out) + L(ength) inside (terse)*. Arthur Koestler, Hungarian-British writer. I’d heard of him but haven’t read any of his books.
18 Trouble a doctor’s found up in African country (7)
SOMALIA – AIL (trouble) + A + MO’S (doctor’s), all reversed.
20 Second brew gets editor very drunk (7)
SMASHED – S(econd) + MASH (brew) + ED(itor).
21 Rook / Maiden in Dorset follows? (6)
CASTLE – definition (chess piece) + mistake? Maiden Castle is an Iron Age hill-fort in Dorset, but the clue seems to indicate it’s called Castle Maiden.
24 Title of king associated with dynasty (4)
KHAN – K(ing) + HAN (a Chinese dynasty).
26 Some spirits meaning a chill in the air (3)
NIP – double definition.

11 comments on “Saturday Times 26526 (24th Sep)”

  1. No particular problems with this except not keen on 21dn, partly for the usual chessplayers-never-call-a-rook-a-castle reason, and partly because as you say Andy, the clue does not seem to quite work anyway.
    You have a forward slash in the clue which is not present in my printout… but perhaps that is deliberate, to indicate the DD
    My son-in-law is a commercial airline captain, so I have fairly extensive experience of staff standby tickets .. can be stressful!

    Edited at 2016-10-01 09:31 am (UTC)

    1. Yes, I usually indicate the DD with a / if there’s no link word (as I did with 9ac too).
  2. Hard work but very enjoyable and satisfying apart from the car crash of a clue at 21d. It’s a shame our old colonel is not still around to vent his spleen re the literal.

    Eric Coates was a composer of wonderful light music and was very famous during my childhood. On the radio (and I think on TV also) there was “In Town Tonight” introduced by his stirring “Knightsbridge” march. On film there was “The Dam Busters” for which he wrote the memorable theme music, and in a more restful mood “By A Sleepy Lagoon” that still introduces “Desert Island Discs” on Radio 4 to this day.

    Edited at 2016-10-01 09:51 am (UTC)

  3. 18:31. I agree that 21dn doesn’t quite work, but I did enjoy the setter’s chess pedant trolling. 😉
    Speaking of pedants, I agree with your interpretation of 1dn Andy. You have to remove the hyphen from STAND-BY to get something meaning ‘support’, which makes it wordplay in my book.
  4. Hello all. My first post and apologies if it’s basic but I have tried to fully understand 5ac and just don’t. I biffed it but don’t get the “only after the start ” meaning to lose the O ?

    Cheers. G.

    1. Welcome to TftT, Stewie. There’s never a need to apologise for posting a query about a clue. O is the start of OAR so {o}AR “only after the start” leaves us simply with AR. Hope this helps.
      1. As in lacking the start ? That makes sense. Thanks very much. I’m better at biffing than parsing. One in today’s I biffed but don’t understand either. I’ll wait a week 😀

  5. I only managed about half of this,the NW and a few other bits. On reflection the answers are not too obscure but some of the clues were very difficult for me: 13d, 12a, 14d and 21d required a lot.
    And I did not know the crows collective.
    Today’s looks hard too. David
  6. 16ac BLUE MURDER – a dictionary of collective nouns is simply fascinating – was going to recommend … but can’t lay,my hands on it presently.

    39 minutes- COD 10ac LITMUS PAPER interesting anagram @ involved

    LOI 14dn PETITCOATS – fine composer – here-here

    horryd Shanghai

  7. The solution printed in Monday’s newspaper highlights a concealed message: IN MEMORIAM BOB HESKETH.

    Philip S.

  8. 21d comes in for criticism above but it fully works I think: in chess ‘castling’ is a special move involving the K and Rook designed to move the K to a safer position nearer the side of the board.

Comments are closed.