ST 4230 (Sun 23 Jun) – Divine comedy

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: Didn’t record, but took ages to get CALIPASH and DIVINE in the top left, and resorted to references to get FIG-LEAF.

The preamble to this puzzle should have read: In two clues the wordplay indicates the answer with one letter missing. In three other clues the enumeration is incorrect. In several further clues either the definition or wordplay is questionable. Several clues contain superfluous words. Solvers should highlight five adjoining squares starting with the third letter of 16ac to show what they thought of this puzzle.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

4 UNDERBID (cryptic defn)
8 DIVINE (double defn) – ‘apprehend’ in the sense of ‘understand’ or ‘become aware of’, I think.
9 REIN + DEER (rev. of REED)
10 GLAD + I + OLI (=OIL*)
11 KIRTLE (double definition)
12 CALIP(A + S)H – the edible flesh of a turtle close to the upper shell (Chambers).
16 HYDROSKI; H (= ‘aspiration’) + (DO RISKY)*
21 ISOLDE; (SOLID)* [sic] – the first incorrect anagram, unless anyone has a better explanation?
23 ZOOMETRY; (ZERO TO MY (= ‘surprise’)*)
24 PINT + ABLE – but ‘can’ is not the same as ‘able’.
25 ESTEEM; E + S + “TEAM”
26 CAT’S EYES (double definition) – Cat’s-Eye is a trademark and is hyphenated, as are other meanings (according to Chambers) although the enumeration here was (4,4)…
1 FIG-LEAF (cryptic definition) – …whereas this was given as (7) but surely should be hyphenated, at least? (Chambers gives it as two separate words.)
2 PIED PIPER (cryptic definition) – ‘Coloured’ because of the clothes he wore (see here).
5 DRINKERS; (KIDS ERR)* around N – the unsatisfactorily incomplete definition here is ‘On benders’…
6 RADAR (palindromic) – …while this equally unsatisfactory definition is ‘Has a beam’.
7 ICE FLOE; (OCEAN FIELD – AND)*, semi-&lit – this enumeration is (7) but again, surely this is two words?
17 YESHIVA; (SHY EVA)* [sic, again] – the second incorrect anagram, I think; please comment if I am missing something.
18 STERLET; (REST)* + LET – a small sturgeon.
20 LOOTED (double definition) – actually one definition given twice.
22 LOT + U.S.

6 comments on “ST 4230 (Sun 23 Jun) – Divine comedy”

  1. You could maybe argue that it’s
    ISOLD=solid*,E=”partner” and the def is ‘for Tristram’.
    1. That did occur to me; at the time I dismissed it as too far-fetched but considering the definitions in 5dn and 6dn you could well be right.
      1. I suspect it’s a case of unintentional overlap of the wordplay and definition. Be nice if the ST editor and/or setter could clarify…


        1. I am unsure about whether GLADIOLI can really be ‘the plant’ singular. Would MICE be clued as ‘the rodent’ or BIRCHES as ‘the tree’?
          1. A very good point. I guess that counts as another incorrect enumeration…
  2. A few question marks over enumerations, missing letters from anagrists and a combo of singular literal with plural answer. But those clues were not the ones I had problems with. Edible bit of a turtle?? Gettable from wordplay I grant you but what kind of GK is this?

    Maybe that is what should go in the Italian dish I have just invented in the title of this comment?

    Just the 5 “easies” not in the blog:

    13a Her heart’s broken after departure of a farm worker (8)
    THRESHER. Anag of HER HEART’S without the A.

    19a Cash required here – ring bell on barrier! (8)

    4d Members of the community with no leanings towards crime (7,8)

    14d Food tossed (at the pigs)*
    SPAGHETTI. Nice anagram!

    15d Flock of frisky (lambs? yes!)* (8)

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