Saturday Times 26538 (8th Oct)

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
12:31, so a bit easier than the last few weeks (it was for me anyway). Plenty of really good clues in this one, but my COD is 14ac, closely followed by 22ac I think. TOD (Turkey of the Day) to 17dn, as I’m pretty sure the first word should have been “Woman’s”.

1 It comes off with cloth initially? (8)
COSMETIC – (it comes, C)*, anagram &lit.
9 A dreamer, withholding name, giving out bouquet (8)
AROMATIC – A + ROMANTIC (dreamer), minus the N(ame).
10 Last to leave side dish (4)
FLAN – FLANK (side) with the last letter removed.
11 Could it be cheap later on? Not this house (7,5)
ANOTHER PLACE – (cheap later on)*. UK House of Commons euphemism for the House of Lords (and vice versa).
13 Make last European king veto cult, ignoring the odds (3,3)
EKE OUT – E(uropean) + K(ing) + even letters of (v)E(t)O (c)U(l)T.
14 The Spanish cross about one New Zealand port (8)
ELSINORE – EL (“the” in Spanish) + SORE (cross) around I (one), N(ew). Danish port in the province of Zealand, better known to us as Hamlet’s hometown, and better known to the Danes as Helsingør. New Zealand itself is named after the Dutch province of Zeeland, so there’s a lot of misdirection in this clue!
15 Harnessed mount runs into rock (7)
TROTTER – R(uns) inside TOTTER (rock).
16 They pinch what’s close to me, coming round the night before (7)
THIEVES – THIS (what’s close to me) around EVE (the night before).
20 Relief worker, abrasive, short, guvnor roped in (8)
EMBOSSER – EMER(y) (abrasive, short) around BOSS (guvnor).
22 Censor advocates touring square without one (6)
BANNER – BAR (advocates) around NINE (square), minus the I (one).
23 Stoker’s place in rail van: nasty when shunted (12)
TRANSYLVANIA – (rail van nasty)*. Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. I don’t think I need to add any more details!
25 Got rid of water / plant in the wrong place? (4)
WEED – double definition.
26 Pair row, following poles — more stuck up (8)
SNOOTIER – O,O (pair, cricket term for scoring nothing in both innings) + TIER (row), after S,N (poles, South and North).
27 Mint drink, with note in it (5-3)
BRAND-NEW – BREW (drink) around AND (with), N(ote).

2 Witness royal couple perhaps after using smallest room (8)
ONLOOKER – K(ing) + ER (royal couple perhaps) after ON LOO (using smallest room).
3 Island on the brink of success ejects one socialite (3,5,4)
MAN ABOUT TOWN – MAN (island) + ABOUT TO WIN (on the brink of success), minus the I (one).
4 Suppress, informally, finished Times article by its Paris correspondent? (8)
THROTTLE – THRO (informally, finished) + TT (times) + LE (article, in French).
5 Till operator / to take out of service (7)
CASHIER – double definition.
6 Designer’s month in Paris, hosting bishop (6)
MORRIS – MOIS (month in Paris) around RR (Right Reverend, bishop). William Morris, influential 19th century designer.
7 Address to Athenians using Zeno’s place (4)
STOA – hidden in “Address to Athenians”. I wondered what Zeno had to do with it, but Chambers defines it thusly: “in ancient Greece, a portico or covered colonnade; esp the public area, Stoa Poikilē (the Painted Porch), in Athens where Zeno gave his lectures.”
8 Bond’s nemesis all but capturing revolutionary plotters (8)
SCHEMERS – SMERS(H) (Bond’s nemesis, all but) around CHE (Guevara, revolutionary). SMERSH is the acronym of Spetsialnye MEtody Razoblacheniya SHpionov, meaning “Special Methods of Spy Detection”. Apparently they actually existed, although in a different guise.
12 Left Janet dancing with Andrew, prominently featured? (7-5)
LANTERN-JAWED – (L, Janet, Andrew)*.
15 In plane maybe a model picked up paper (8)
TREATISE – TREE (plane maybe) around A + SIT (model) reversed.
17 Women’s entertaining a bar with a dance (8)
HABANERA – HER (women’s – I think that should be woman’s) around A BAN (a bar) + A.
18 Astronomer looks into this segment of big wheel? (8)
EYEPIECE – i.e. a PIECE of the EYE!
19 Lead choking dog? Make haste slowly, perhaps (7)
PROVERB – PB (chemical symbol for lead) around ROVER (archetypal dog’s name). Blatant definition-by-example, but deliberately so and perfectly ok for me.
21 Small time criminal cases rear of factory block (6)
STYMIE – S(mall) + (time)* around (factor)Y.
24 Scrap half the alphabet (4)
ATOM – i.e. “A to M” (letters 1-13).

13 comments on “Saturday Times 26538 (8th Oct)”

  1. Definitely an easy Saturday for me. I did wonder about the OO pair; should have known it was yet another cricket term I didn’t know (OO is, come to think of it, a good approximation to the number of cricket terms I do know). I made 21d much harder (my LOI) than necessary by thinking ‘spiv’ was involved. I think I’d agree with Andy on 14ac for COD, although I did chuckle at 25ac.
  2. Enjoyed this one .. I thought it had lots of good clues, 14ac and 25ac especially.
    I think you meant 17dn not 22dn, Andy ..
  3. COD 25ac WEED tee-hee!

    14ad ELSINORE excellent mis-direction


    17dn HABANERA typo – Woman’s

    27ac I at first thought the drink was BRANDY -alas just a BREW

    Otherwise a straightforward 30 mins.

    horryd Shanghai

  4. A dnf as just could not get a sensible word for HABANERA, given the wordplay, should surely as stated have been ‘woman’s’.
  5. I enjoyed my weekly attempt at the main crossword. Some reasonably easy clues got me started and then I came back to it over the week. My goal is to complete without aids and I had three outstanding at the end: 7d, 22a and 18d. For 22a I had the unparsed Banner but rejected it to fit in my invention of Eosphere for 18d (allowing Banish at 22a).
    I put in Etna at 7d for want of something better. I think that Stoa is in the realm of wilful obscurities and should have been rejected (because I had not heard of it!).
    Today’s is the easiest for some time I think. David
  6. I have no solving time for this, but a note to say I ran into finishing-off problems in the NE corner, so nothing out of the ordinary there at the moment. 00 as a cricketing term was lost on me despite thinking I had them all covered by now. I don’t understand TROTTER as “harnessed mount”. I get “mount” as a horse, but why particularly “harnessed”?

    Edited at 2016-10-15 04:22 pm (UTC)

    1. According to ODO a TROTTER is ‘a horse bred or trained for the sport of trotting’, which in turn is ‘racing for trotting horses pulling a two-wheeled vehicle (a sulky) and driver.’ So in that context the horse would certainly be harnessed, but then it wouldn’t be a mount!
      1. In ‘The Music Man’, one of the things Harold Hill inveighs against is horse racing: “Not a wholesome trottin’ race, no!/But the kind where they set right down on the horse!”
  7. 12:41. I found this fairly straightforward. I didn’t notice the problem with 17dn but it does look like a mistake. A couple of unknowns but all fairly indicated: I didn’t have a clue about Zeno, for instance, but it was a hidden so I didn’t worry about it.

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