Saturday Times 26562 (5th Nov) – not many fireworks here though

Solving time 11:04, which felt a bit sluggish at the time, and proved so when I saw the online stats – Jason was under 5 min, Verlaine just a fraction over 6 and 100th place was 8:08. So, a very easy puzzle (let alone for a Saturday) with mostly very clear wordplay, almost like a QC in places. In fact I’ll be looking forward to seeing David’s QC report.

1 Cold soup I’d prepared for old vegetarian (10)
DIPLODOCUS – (cold soup I’d)*.
6 Electric Light Orchestra’s final minute cutting record (4)
LAMP – A (last letter of Orchestra) + M(inute), inside LP (record).
10 Fungus: see tons by us on tree trunk (7)
BOLETUS – T(ons) + US next to BOLE (tree trunk).
11 Honest old maid with sort of milk round (7)
UPRIGHT – PRIG (old maid) inside UHT (sort of milk).
12 Fruit supplier given pear with a difference (9)
GRAPEVINE – (given pear)*.
13 Rich food is stuff packed with energy (5)
CREAM – CRAM (stuff) around E(nergy).
14 Pass out roly-poly with cool filling (5)
FAINT – FAT (roly-poly) around IN (cool).
15 Most eager welcome outside fizzles out (9)
GREEDIEST – GREET (welcome) around DIES (fizzles out).
17 Able to manage carrying medium-sized camping gear (9)
COMPETENT – COPE (manage) around M(edium-sized) + TENT (camping gear).
20 After martyred bishop, I’m for the chop! (5)
LATER – LATIMER (martyred bishop), without I’M.
21 Grouse hiding head in wild plant (5)
VETCH – KVETCH (grouse) minus the first letter.
23 Relative of extinct bird having tail clipped by National Trust (5-4)
GREAT-AUNT – GREAT AUK (extict bird) minus the last letter, + NT (National Trust).
25 Large money-making scheme seen in The Apprentice (7)
LEARNER – L(arge) + EARNER (money-making scheme).
26 What baker might make with shortening, each going in stomach (7)
TEACAKE – EAC(h) inside TAKE (stomach).
27 Journalist contracted with start and finish of eleven PM (4)
EDEN – ED(itor) (journalist contracted) + E(leve)N. Anthony Eden, British Prime Minister 1955-57.
28 Mushrooms in dessert backed after resistance in review (10)
RETROSPECT – CEPS (mushroom) inside TORTE (dessert), all reversed, after R(esistance).

1 Remove insects from grand university flower patch being planted up (5)
DEBUG – G(rand) + U(niversity) + BED (flower patch), all reversed.
2 Heavy metal / venue (9)
PALLADIUM – double definition.
3 Where southpaw may prefer a broken finger, alternatively (2,3,5,4)
ON THE OTHER HAND – I can’t imagine a boxer preferring a broken finger on either hand myself!
4 Expelling son disrupting excursion (7)
OUSTING – S(on) inside OUTING (excursion).
5 UK and USA’s first redesign of Elle – it may feature a G-string (7)
UKULELE – UK + U(SA) + (Elle)*.
7 Dispute over EU subsidies being cut in half (5)
ARGUE – EU + GRA(nts) (subsidies cut in half), all reversed.
8 Vessel with innovative remote device for measuring water uptake (9)
POTOMETER – POT (vessel) + (remote)*. New word for me, but the wordplay made it fairly obvious.
9 Around middle of March, company twice lied about rents put on waterworks (9,5)
CROCODILE TEARS – R (middle of March) inside CO,CO (company twice) + (lied)* + TEARS (rents).
14 Apparent worth of portrait? (4,5)
FACE VALUE – cryptic definition.
16 Rent our agency’s accommodating escorts (9)
ENTOURAGE – hidden in rent our agency.
18 Eastern end of green space raised and prepared for fencing (2,5)
EN GARDE – E(astern) + GARDEN (green space) with the end raised (i.e. the N moved up in front of the G).
19 Speaker‘s wife in wobble near the edge (7)
TWEETER – W(ife) inside TEETER (wobble near the edge).
22 Mock sporting supporters out loud (5)
TEASE – sounds like TEES (sporting supporters).
24 Newspaper taking offence (5)
THEFT – THE FT (Financial Times, newspaper).

7 comments on “Saturday Times 26562 (5th Nov) – not many fireworks here though”

  1. I was definitely sluggish; went off-line (I assume, after the half-hour; I can’t remember) with half left to go. Slowed myself down by bunging in ‘plutonium’ at 2d, without any justification other than the number of letters, and that meant DNK 10ac was all the harder to work out. On the other hand, once I had CREAM and UPRIGHT in, suddenly I saw, and biffed, CROCODILE TEARS, parsing later. DNK 8d, of course. And DNK UHT. I was a bit surprised to see ‘kvetch’ used; didn’t realize it was that general in the UK.
  2. 36 minutes, so not bad at all for me, especially considering there were three unknown words in DIPLOCODUS, BOLETUS and POTOMETER where the fairness of the cluing let me in with a chance. Biffed 21 as I knew the plant that fitted but not the word for grouse required to understand the wordplay.
  3. Not sure of my time, as I was doing it around a breakfast table with a couple of onlookers interested in how cryptics worked. As such, it was great for my teaching (and my ego!) that this was a pretty easy one, as I worked most of the answers out so quickly after reading them I could give hints and lead my “class” in the right direction… (They *said* they were interested and enjoying it, honest!)

    Certainly under an hour, even with the tutorial, and I’m very glad I had company last Saturday rather than the Saturday before, where it took me a good few days to get to the final answer…

    DNK BOLETUS but the wordplay was clear; WOD DIPLODOCUS, COD THEFT, which I presume is a chestnut, but one of those chestnuts I’ve not seen before.

    Edited at 2016-11-12 09:58 am (UTC)

  4. 10:50, but with a brain short-circuit at 27ac, where I saw how the wordplay worked, mis-typed EVEN and then managed somehow to forget the wordplay immediately and completely and move on thinking that EVEN (evening) was a reasonable definition for PM. Quite amazingly daft.
  5. At first this looked on the easier side for a Saturday- my weekly attempt at the main cryptic. 1a went in very quickly and 3d would not have been out of place in a QC. I made pretty good progress until a number of clues held me up:10a ,21a, 28a and 8d.
    I feel I am getting better as to get so far on a Saturday was a rare event.
    But a little knowledge does not always get you there. For 8a I had Ely (see) plus tus which led to Belytus (as Debug had to be correct).I had never heard of Bole which I had to look up. For 28a I had Ceps and Sweet and R but could not arrive at anything -and I was never quite sure what the clue wanted. I did guess Vetch. Potometer unknown.
    So an honourable defeat. David
  6. I assumed 1ac DIPLODOCUS was known to one and all via the Hocus Pocus Diplodocus Howson/Daubney book.

    This Saturday job must have been incredibly easy if over 100 souls logged in times under or around 8 mins!

    I dawdled home in 33 mins somewhat off the pace.


  7. 2.5 hours for me. Which beats my previous best of 6 days by some margin. The first time I have actually enjoyed the whole process.

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