ST 4222 (Sun Apr 29) – Puttee-fussing

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: Gave up on 1dn after about 15 mins.

Plenty here for the purist to quibble with. If anyone has a better answer for 1dn, please let me know!

Apologies for the late posting, I unexpectedly had no Internet access yesterday.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

8 PUNTER; P (= piano) + (TUNE)* + R – dubious wordplay (‘out of tune’ meaning ‘anagram of tune’?).
10 STELLA + TE (= note) – I can’t see how ‘star quality’ can define the adjective ‘stellate’ (which means ‘star-shaped’ only, unlike ‘stellar’ which can also mean ‘excellent’).
11 YO + DELS (= rev. of SLED) – another questionable definition, “one does it in the mountains” seems to require a noun such as ‘yodelling’ as the answer.
19 OUTWEIGH; “OUT WAY” – this doesn’t really seem to fit the wordplay (“one given order to exit, say?“).
23 M + ACE + RATE
26 S + T(ARK)EST
1 PUTTEES or PUTTIES – if this answer is correct then the clue (“Old military bands“) is unsatisfactorily ambiguous, as well as being a fairly weak cryptic definition, but there may well be a better answer. The Compact OED says a puttee is ‘a long strip of cloth wound spirally round the leg from ankle to knee for protection and support’, but I can find no reference to the military in any dictionary except Wikipedia. I struggled with this for a while, trying to find some wordplay, before giving up and resorting to electronic help. Even then it took a while to find something that more or less fit.
2 STAL (= (LAST)*) + LIONS – ‘turning’ as an anagram, rather than reversal, indicator is unusual but probably fair.
14 RE + HEARSE + R – “going over the lines?” is the incomplete definition.
20 TICKET – as in ‘just the ticket’.
22 DR (= academic) + I.E. (= in another word) + R

4 comments on “ST 4222 (Sun Apr 29) – Puttee-fussing”

  1. I think we sometimes expect too much from a setter — he/she has little more than six or seven words in which to express both the definition and the wordplay, so total accuracy is going to suffer. Half the fun is deciphering what is wordplay and what is actual definition.

    For 10A the definition “star quality” can be understood as “a quality of a star” which would allow the answer that a quality of a star is that it is stellate.

    On 1D, the most common use of puttees was in the military — you see many pictures/drawings of pre-WWI soldiers wrapped in puttees. And a strip that wraps around a leg has to be classed as a band. Hence I think the clue is allowable. The wordplay on “bands” may lead some to think of bands that play music — a wonderfully misleading part of the puzzle.

    John M

  2. 1D was last to go in for me too. I looked up PUTTEE in Collins: “a strip of cloth worn wound around the legs from the ankle to the knee, esp as part of a military uniform in World War I.” So I was satisfied it was correct, but thought it a rather weak clue.

    I originally put in ‘needles’ at 7d, even saying to myself e.g. stinging needles! No wonder 9a took so long to fill in.
    I agree with your quibbles above – but it was still an enjoyable solve….

  3. A very slow clean sweep (9:10). I didn’t have any problem with PUTTEES, though I don’t recall coming across the alternative spelling before. However, I spent a long time on REHEARSER (hard to justify!) and I wasn’t terribly keen on EXERTS, where I thought the wordplay was a bit too indirect.

    On the other hand I was happy with YODELS, as I would have thought a verb was in order. What does one do in the mountains? (One) yodels.

  4. My LOI was PUTTEES at 1d – simply as the definition was a bit obscure for me – accurate enough though. I Googled puttees and found an old WW1 memorial type regimental website that showed how to tie them a la WW1 uniform. However – the boots in the example pictures were a disgrace! I suppose the RSM is long gone but you’d think a bit of polish for the pikkies?

    Quite a few “easies” my bunnies:

    4a Infallible casting of rune by group (8)

    9a Squally wind from Pluto repels (8)
    DIS GUSTS. Pluto = Dis. Nothing to do with the ex-planet.

    12a Take a break – (the tea is)* poured out (8)

    13a Doubt corrosion must follow condensation (8)

    16a Did he send notes down from the gallery? (8)
    MINSTREL. Not Jose Mourinho or Arsene Wenger after being sent to the stands again.

    21a First side led off then second brought back – though not often (6)
    S ELD OM

    3d Fleet of limb, the girl (6)

    4d Working in the mines, or not fully so? (15)

    6d Game of golf with the canon? (5)
    ROUND. Pachelbel played off scratch apparently.

    15d Right inside sepulchre, a single instrument found (8)

    17d (Nice tax)* might produce it , but it wouldn’t be right (7)
    INEXACT. It might not be far off though?

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