ST 4217 – Copper-bottomed

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Solving time: 4:58

No significant gripes this week, a good and accurate puzzle of about average difficulty for the Sunday Times. Favourite clue was probably 11ac, which reminded me that there are loads of slang words for ‘policeman’ (e.g. flatfoot, bluebottle, peeler) which come up relatively often in the daily puzzles and usually catch me out, and plenty more that are seen in harder puzzles (e.g. slop, bogy, bull, walloper and many others).

* = anagram.

6 MAG + US – why the question mark?
11 THE BOYS IN BLUE; (THEY NOBBLE US I)* – nice clue! I’m not sure if I think the question mark (“Policemen?“) is necessary/justified or not, but I think it’s probably ok.
14 LES + OTHO – I didn’t understand this at the time, but it turns out that Otho was Roman Emperor in the Year of the Four Emperors (69 AD) following Nero’s death.
17 SPECKLE; Gregory PECK inside SLE[epy] – ‘comatose’ can (according to Chambers) mean ‘extremely drowsy’ as well as ‘sleeping heavily’.
21 PENNY + PI(N + CHIN)G – ‘gross beast’ gave PIG; a missed chance to refer to 11ac perhaps?!
26 [pyth]AGORA[s] – a market-place in Ancient Greece.
27 GEN(E)T – refers to Jean Genet.
2 AC + TRESS – the Sunday Times has a tendency to use question marks when they aren’t necessary or even justified (e.g. 6ac today, and arguably 11ac), but this one is spot on as ‘dame’ could refer to an actress or to a pantomime dame played by a man.
3 TU(R)B + O
7 GOA[l] + HEAD
8 SEAL (double definition)
13 NEW ENGLAND; (DA GLENN)* – wordplay in the answer.
15 T(A KING)OUT – ‘nuisance close to match’ is fair but devious for ‘tout’ as ‘close to match’ strongly suggests there’s an ‘H’ in the answer.
22 CRAWL (double definition)
23 PAN + G

7 comments on “ST 4217 – Copper-bottomed”

  1. I had a query on this one.

    “In repect of” – “club” – “remarkably”

    but what’s the “joint” doing there?

    1. Not much, if I’ve interpreted it correctly – I think ‘club joint’ = DISCO, which makes ‘joint’ a bit superfluous, but that’s hardly unusual in the Sunday Times!
      1. Thanks. I did wonder if “club joint” should be read together but it seemed both awkward and unnecessary so I assumed I was missing something.


  2. Since you didn’t mention it, I guess I’m being stupid, but 20D is the only one I didn’t get. What is it? (BTW, I’m in Toronto, and this puzzle appeared in the Star today, so no answers are available here yet. So I guess I’m cheating … )
      1. I must confess that when I read this clue (“Designers bring gold into formal wear” (7)), I didn’t like it, thinking that the wordplay used the same root word as the definition (OR inside TAILS to give TAILORS), so that there was only one route to the answer. In fact, Chambers says that their etymologies are quite different: TAIL(S) from Old English tægl meaning ‘hair’, and TAILOR from the Latin taliare meaning ‘to cut’.
  3. A couple of questions about answers omitted from the blog here. In case there are any more with folk doing back numbers – here they are in full:

    9a Given time inside, lord becomes saint (5)
    PE T ER. Geoffrey wouldn’t fit!

    10a It’s (a rum do, cad)* wrecking TV programme (9)

    19a ThaT HEAT REally must limit this venue for entertainment (7)

    24a A tiny particle is beginning to trouble medical expert (9)

    28a (Sad player)*, badly hit and unable to move (9)

    4d In respect of club joint, remarkably, there’s no new find here (11)
    RE DISCO VERY. Where the club joint is a DISCO as discussed above.

    12d Sort of nurse to show exceptional (grittiness)* around hospital (5,6)

    18d Define area of ground no longer flat and treeless (7)

    20d Designers bring gold into formal wear (7)

    25d Independent politician is one likely to cause trouble (3)
    I MP

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