ST 4237 (Sun 12 Aug) – Drog star

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 5:18

A straightforward puzzle with one or two more difficult words and names, but for once I knew them so this time was below par.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

Across
1 A PRIOR + I
5 DI(AGRA)M – from AGRA I thought of ‘tangram’ initially, but couldn’t see the right answer for a while.
10 NO TABLE – as a noun, meaning ‘a person worthy of note’.
11 JOINT ENTERPRISE (plain & cryptic definitions)
12 NUDIST (double definition)
14 PROSPECT (double definition)
18 RIGGED, from DIGGER – I was unsure of this, but apparently ‘digger’ is a colloquial Australian term of address.
21 VEGETARIAN MEALS; (IS A GAL MEAT NEVER)* – this is a decent &lit which took me far too long, mostly because I wrote in ‘Valentine’s cards’ from the initial V.
24 RAILING (double definition)
25 CORDIAL; (DI CAROL)*
26 ENSIGNS; (SENSING)*
27 NOSE (= ONE’S*) + GAY (= ‘brightly coloured’)
Down
1 A + BID + JAN – the former capital of the Ivory Coast and birthplace of Didier Drogba. I can’t find any footage of his goal against Reading last weekend, so here’s a couple of crackers from last season against Everton and Liverpool.
2 REM(A)INDER
4 IN(S)ANE – ‘is’ for a standalone S is rare in standard cryptic puzzles.
5 DANSEURS; (AS UNDER S[train])*
6 AN + TIP + ASTI
7 RABBI[t]
8 MAE WEST; ([onc]E ‘TWAS ME)*
13 S(TART)LING
16 P(EER)AGES
17 DIVERS + E
19 DISPLAY; PILS* in DAY
20 CANCAN
22 G + RIPS
23 MORE + S

5 comments on “ST 4237 (Sun 12 Aug) – Drog star”

  1. “4 IN(S)ANE – ‘is’ for a standalone S is rare in standard cryptic puzzles. “

    Can you explain how it works in this case? I would understand it if an apostophe was involved.

    1. Clue: Foolish drinking is reckless (4)

      Foolish = INANE
      drinking = ‘taking in’
      is = S

      so INANE ‘drinks’ S to form INSANE = reckless.

      I think I see what you mean about an apostrophe (i.e if the clue read “Foolish drinking’s reckless”), but I’m not sure this makes proper cryptic sense – maybe in the Guardian this version would be ok. Certainly the wording as published is what I would expect in a thematic crossword such as the Listener, but I’m surprised it has appeared in the Sunday Times.

      1. Thanks for this but I’m no further forward. I still don’t see how “is” can possibly = “s” without the involvement of an apostrophe in the clue.
        1. Chambers gives:

          ‘s – a shortened form of is (and has and us).

          So in wordplay, ‘is’ can indicate ‘s where the apostrophe is dropped in the same way that “Welshman’s platform” (4) could give DAIS (Dai’s being the wordplay).

          This is just one of many slightly strange-looking abbreviations that you just have to get used to in barred / thematic crosswords; similarly ‘of’ or ‘on’ = O, ‘the’ or ‘to’ = T, ‘in’ = I, ‘and’ = N and so on. Appropriate for the Sunday Times cryptic? Probably not, but see previous ST blog entries for evidence as to the quality of the editing of this puzzle.

          Hope this clears things up!

  2. Yes – I wondered about the IS = S too but the answer to 4d is INSANE rather than me. Hooray!

    A mere 4 answers not in the blog today – maybe straightforward but I liked it a lot.

    9a Prisoners showing how chess games can end (7)
    IN MATES

    17a Relatively unproductive time perhaps in eg Dakar, capital of Senegal (4,4)
    DARK AGES. Geographically correct anagrist (eg Dakar + S) with the “perhaps” anagrind.

    3d Month starts with Elgar and Tippett for a small group (5)
    OCT E T

    15d English mad with certain artwork (9)
    ENG RAVING. Here English = ENG rather then the normal E.

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