ST 4246 (Sun 14 Oct) – Plenary session

Solving time: 15:10

After a quick start in the top left and the two long anagrams I struggled with this one, especially in the bottom left and on the two central down answers, both of which had just 3 out of 7 letters checked.

Explanations for PLENARY at 14dn (and possibly PRELATES at 17dn) would be welcome. As a footnote, Chambers defines ‘plenary inspiration’ as “inspiration which excludes any mixture of error”. Any explanations as to what on earth that means would also be welcome.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

5 TRIP + OD (= rev. of ‘do’)
10 [g]ROUNDS – a misprint in the online version (‘toestate’) made this clue harder than it should have been; I initially guessed it was supposed to say ‘to state’.
12 EX + HALE – ‘hale’ as in ‘You are hale Father William, a hearty old man‘.
23 DEL(I)VER + [happ]Y
24 FINALE; IN in (LEAF)*
26 OUT CRY – ‘following’ is superfluous here which is somewhat unfair. I was looking for a word starting ‘IT-‘, ‘SA-‘ or ‘F-‘.
27 SACK RACE; SACK (= ‘the push’) + rev. of CAR + [th]E
28 MUSTER (double definition) – luckily I managed to dredge up this collective noun for peacocks, otherwise the bottom left corner would have been even more tortuous.
29 FOUNDERS (double definition)
1 DR + A + PER – nice misleading definition (‘man of the cloth’).
3 NATALIE; rev. of TAN, + A LIE
4 TWIG (double definition)
7 PENT + AGON[y]
8 DIS + P[rince] + ERSE – ‘from’ used to mean ‘placed afterwards’ is unjustifiable, as far as I can see, but it’s used fairly often in the Sunday Times.
11 MACRAMÉ; RAM in (CAME)* – ornamental knotted threadword, apparently. A guess for me, but the wordplay couldn’t really lead to anything else once the crossing letters were in place.
14 PLENARY (double definition?) – another guess. This word does mean ‘complete’ but I can’t explain ‘book of epistles’ – maybe an obscure religious reference?
16 WARDROOM (= ‘mess’); (DOOR)* in WARM – a very stilted cryptic reading (‘X Y in’ meaning ‘put Y in X’), ‘being’ is superfluous and I can’t see how ‘open’ can be interpreted as an anagram indicator.
17 P + RELATES – I’m not sure I have the correct interpretation here: ‘leaf’ = P (via ‘page’) is too indirect, and I don’t like ‘chronicles’ = ‘relates’ either. When solving I thought ‘leaf over’ was LERP reversed, although it turns out that lerp is a secretion on a leaf rather than the leaf itself.
19 DIVER + GE (= rev. of ‘E.G.’) – but I don’t like ‘taking off’ (along with ‘flying’ etc) as a reversal indicator in a down clue.
20 CHIC + KEN (= ‘Scots know’)
21 FACADE (double definition) – after a bit of Googling I managed to discover that Façade is a ballet by Frederick Ashton, based on William Walton’s musical setting of poems by Edith Sitwell.
22 TENETS; TEN + (SET)* – not the best definition (‘Conviction?’).

5 comments on “ST 4246 (Sun 14 Oct) – Plenary session”

  1. 14: Plenary, in Collins but not Chambers, is “a book of the gospels, epistles and homilies used at the Eucharist service” (homilies are “plain explanatory sermons”). So “book of epistles” is about as accurate for this as it would be for “bible”.

    17: I can’t see any version, and don’t like either part any more than you do.

    1. 17: for “version” read “other explanation”. Wish I could edit my botched comments…
  2. I agree that this crossword had a number of unsatisfactory clues. It took me until today (Tuesday) to solve it, starting on Saturday.

    Why is “dis” a place down under? I think I’ve seen this before in the Times, and as a Canadian, I find it baffling.

    1. In Roman mythology, Dis was the god of the underworld or the underworld itself, hence ‘place down under’.
  3. I suppose the common modern usage for 14d PLENARY is in conferences where all delegates attend a PLENARY session. I have never encountered it elsewhere but managed a lucky guess for the correct answer from “Complete” in the clue and ?L?N?R? crossers.

    Just the 5 “easies” here:

    1a Set off for assignation outside college (8)

    9a A final song from him? (8)

    13a Spectators follow dog and drive too close (8)

    2d Attempt to retain the wood? It’s worthless (6)
    TR ASH Y

    25d Drop round for the pudding (4)
    SAG O

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