ST 4248 (Sun 28 Oct) – Malorodous

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 18:45

The bottom right corner here took me as long as the rest of the puzzle. I’m afraid I thought lots of clues in this were very poor.

* = anagram.

9 MANDOLIN (double definition)
10 FENCE + R
12 NOETIC; rev. of CITE ON – terrible clue; ‘it’ in the middle of the wordplay is superfluous, while ‘on’ does double duty as part of the reversed phrase and the reversal indicator (or else the indicator is just ‘withdrawal’, which is inadequate).
15 SEVER + A + L
16 COO + T
20 HOES; (SHOE)* – if this is correct, it’s awful (‘shoe-maker’ for ‘anagram of SHOE’).
21 BUCK + RAM – hackneyed wordplay but with a more difficult definition (‘stiffening’) than usual (‘buckram’ can be an adjective meaning ‘stiff’ as well as the cloth itself). My last solve, other than 19dn.
25 RAMP + AGED – as in ‘Help The Aged’.
26 FOG + ASH – another name for the pike-perch. Another superfluous link word (‘suits’).
28 S.A. + TRAP
29 COL + OR + ADO – take away the link word ‘of’, which I can’t stand, and this is a good clue.
31 SKIRTING (double definition)

2 MON(K)EY – although they can both mean ‘king’, I don’t think ‘Rex’ = K is justifiable. ‘K’ only stands for ‘King’ in chess, where the term ‘Rex’ would never be used.
3 ATOMISER; (IT’S A MORE)* – curiously I entered ‘aeromist’ here, and only realised it was wrong when I saw the answer to 9ac from the other checking letters.
7 M(AC)AROON – anyone describing ‘maroon’ as ‘red’ is advised to steer clear of any paratroopers in the vicinity.
8 CORONETS (double definition)
11 SQUAW(K)S – it was obvious how the wordplay worked, but this took me a long time to get.
17 CHARISMA; (IS A MARCH)* – another dreadful anagram indicator (“X treat” meaning “anagram of X”).
19 BAD ODOUR – is this really the answer? If so it’s a dubious answer, being a non-dictionary phrase as far as I can tell, and a hopeless clue (“Held in it, won’t come out smelling of roses!”) unless there’s something I’m missing.
23 DALASI; rev. of ‘IS A LAD’ – which is not the same as ‘Can it be a youth’. The dalasi is the Gambian currency.
24 THRONG; (NORTH)* + G – I don’t like ‘force’ for ‘G’, but I can’t quite explain why. At least it’s not as bad as ‘model’ for ‘T’.
27 ROOK (double definition) – somehow I failed to read this clue until having already spent several fruitless minutes on the bottom right corner. When I finally read and solved it, things started to fall into place.

5 comments on “ST 4248 (Sun 28 Oct) – Malorodous”

  1. In bad (or good) odour is in both Chambers and Collins and I’ve heard both expressions preceded by “hold” so the clue does seem to make sense more or less, but I agree it’s very awkward.

    27D came easily to mind because of my encounter with the colonel about the name of this chess piece only a few days earlier.

    1. I read it as “Can it be?” = “Is?” and think this just about works when it’s separated from the “A youth” = “A lad” element of the clue.

      It certainly is a strange puzzle though and I didn’t enjoy it much.

  2. This must be the worst grid used by the Times. It is, in effect, 5 separate crosswords. Each corner is only connected to the outside world by a single answer. On top of that, the remaining 4 answers that link the corners together, are each of 7 letters with 4 unches.

    Mike O, Skiathos

    1. It is a poor grid. You’ll only see ones like this in the Sunday Times. The Times Crossword (i.e. the Mon-Sat version) ditched grids like this back in 1965 and has revised its set of grids a couple of times since then. If you want an instant assessment of the likely quality of a crossword, a quick look at a few grids is time well spent.
  3. I agree wholeheartedly about the BAD ODOUR – what kind of clue is that? The other 2 that gave me huge problems in that SE corner were the connected fish at 26a – couldn’t find ANY reference to FOGASH when I Googled the Pike-Perch so I assumed that my parsing of the clue was incorrect – and the DALASI is also gettable from the clue but the currency of the Gambia??? S’pose it has now increased my GK a bit.

    There are 6 “easies” not in the blog:

    1a Plan that maybe offensive (8)
    CAMPAIGN. I don’t see that as being particularly well clued or easy.

    6a The energy displayed by a boy in charge (6)
    A TOM IC

    13a Type of leader who takes flight (8)
    SQUADRON. Captain James Bigglesworth for example.

    30a At one, getting a hungry feeling (6)

    4d Forbidding fifth refuGee to go over the border (4)
    G RIM

    22d See me get astride a horse and run (6)
    M A NAG E

Comments are closed.