SaturdayTimes 24975 (8th Oct)

Solving time – at least half an hour over two sessions. Help needed still for a couple of answers, as I can’t explain 21ac and 14dn. The rest of it was tricky too, but generally enjoyable.

1 PARASITE – PARA SITE (spot where men dropped).
5 SKI-BOB – SOB (produce tears) around first letters (vans) of Kelso In Bakers’.
10 SWORD SWALLOWERS – WORD (promise) inside SS (ship) + WALLOWERS (revellers).
11 BLUEBOTTLE – BOTTLE (daring) and BLUE (navy, perhaps).
13 EZRA – Z (character at end of series) inside ERA (age).
15 GREASED – (DS eager)*
17 MUTABLE – TAB (label) inside MULE (slipper).
18 POPEDOM – POP (music) + MODE (style) reversed. There have been 8 popes called Urban, the last of whom died in 1644.
19 DIPLOMA – LO (see that) + MA (old woman), after DIP (thief, slang for a pickpocket).
21 GRAF – definition “count in German”, and obviously something to do with GRAFFITI less a word for a small girl, but I still can’t see how it works.
22 AGE-BRACKET – A(l)GEBRA + (K(indergarten), ETC)*.
25 SINGING TELEGRAM – SINGLE (matchless, i.e. unmarried) + GRAM (pulses) around (tinge)*.
27 SUDOKU – alternate letters reversed in “Luck, not drugs“.
28 TACTLESS – ACT (do) next to T(ime) + LESS (not so). The definition brought a smile.

1 POST-BAG – POST (after) + BAG (unpopular female). I thought “unpopular” was an odd adjective to use. Chambers suggests “unattractive, slovenly or immoral” in this context.
2 ROO – ROO(m).
3 SIDE-BY-SIDE – SIDE (team) + (bid, yes)*
4 TO WIT – OW (that’s painful) inside TIT (bird).
6 KNOX – sounds like “knocks”. John Knox (1514-1572), Scottish clergyman.
7 BREEZE BLOCK – BREEZE (piece of cake) + BLOCK (jam).
8 BUS LANE – hidden reversed in “Arsenal subs”.
9 SLALOMED – SALOME (stripper) around L(arge), then (Spaniar)D.
12 UNEXPLAINED – (end up in axle)*. Descriptive of some of these clues!
14 STEP-PARENT – the wordplay part is “set out for upper area of plain”. I can’t see how that works.
16 DEMAGOGY – YE’D (you’d) reversed around M(illions) AGOG (enthralled).
18 PEGASUS – PEG (picket) AS US (American style).
20 AT TIMES – SEA (waves) around MITT (hand), all reversed.
23 BREDA – BREAD (money) with AD (bill) reversed. A Dutch town.
24 PICK – double definition.
26 RYE – sounds like “wry”.

8 comments on “SaturdayTimes 24975 (8th Oct)”

  1. Oops. Just accidentally deleted my comment! Here goes again.
    About half an hour for this. Very enjoyable puzzle.
    21ac is GRAFFITO minus FI and TO.
    14dn is APPARENT with the upper A for “area” replaced with an anagram of SET. For a while I thought the plain would be STEPPE but I just bunged it in and thought about it later.
  2. Solved in two sessions with overnight break and lost track of timings. Ground to a halt more than once and used aids to kick-start. Something of a nightmare for me, this one. Today’s was much easier.
  3. 57 minutes this morning after the rugby. The slow time probably has something to do with my mood. I still can’t understand the wordplay of GRAF. I guessed the answer straight away because of the obvious connection with “graf” and “graffiti”. I can’t see any girl’s name of which “Fiti” or “Fito” could be a small version. Surely an obscure 19th century name can’t be the answer here? Am waiting hopefully for someone to come up with a feasible explanation. There was lots to like in this puzzle.
  4. 16:31 here, for a tough but fair puzzle. I wonder if that’s the sort of thing we’re going to come up against next Saturday.

    I thought of GRAF as soon as I read the clue to 21ac, but took a while to justify it, eventually coming up with the same explanation as keriothe (I remembered a couple of Fionas who shorten their name to Fi). I’m not convinced by vinyl1’s – who’s ever heard of anyone called Fiti, for Fiti’s sake?.

  5. The small girl is FI. TO is just “to”.
    One that’s written on wall = GRAFFITO
    Forbidding = excluding
    Small girl = FI
    To = TO
    count in German = GRAF
    1. Thank’s for the explanation. I can easily see Fi as a small girl (I even know Fionas who are called “Fi”) It always bothers me when I can see the answer but not the reasoning behind it. Cheers
      1. You’re welcome. I’m pretty sure I’ve come across “Fi” in the Times before but it’s more likely to be a backwards poem than a small girl!

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