ST 4250 (Sun 11 Nov) – Crowdie house

Solving time: not taken. 1dn missing.

I helped someone solve this so didn’t take a time, but it seemed mostly very straightforward, with a couple of trickier answers, CROWDIE and SIKA DEER probably being the most likely to catch someone out; I couldn’t get the former but correctly guessed the latter.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

4 COMATOSE; (SO CAME TO) – very good anagram, though ‘but’ as a link word isn’t ideal.
8 BREEZE (double definition) – I think this is a reference to ‘breezeblocks’, which are made in furnaces called ‘breezes’, but that doesn’t mean ‘breeze’ = ‘block’. Perhaps there’s a better explanation?
9 TOTALITY; TOT (ITALY)* – another unsatisfactory definition (“all in”).
12 SIKA DEER; (I ASKED)* + ER – an Asian deer.
13 IN TENT L[a]Y – ‘hard’ has to be read as an adverb here, with ‘it’s’ meaning ‘the answer is’.
23 EXPLICIT; (LIPS EXOTIC – SO)* – this requires removal of OS (‘outsize’) from ‘Lips exotic’, despite the letters not even being in the right order, let alone adjacent; why not “Exotic lips…”, so at least the order would have been correct?
26 MAIL (= “MALE”) BAGS (= ‘trousers’) – one of those hard clues where one half (‘bags’) is easy but the other is trickier, especially since ‘Containers’ is such a vague definition with no clue as to the ‘mail’ part of the answer.

1 CROWD IE – I couldn’t fathom this, not knowing the word. Unless I have misinterpreted the clue, ‘Ireland’ gives IE which I can only justify as the Internet suffix for Ireland. I’m not sure I like this; can we expect (for example) ‘Germany’ = DE to start appearing as well?
2 HEARTACHE; (A TEACHER)* after H – ‘taken to’ meaning ‘after’? Hmm. This clue also uses ‘of’ as a link word which makes me cringe.
4 CATHERINE WHEELS – I had to check the spelling of ‘Catherine’ to be certain, but got it right; these fireworks are named after St Catherine of Alexandria, who survived torture on a wheel (see here). The wordplay here is nothing more than the component parts clued in the same sense as the answer, which is a bit of a cop-out.
5 MI TI(GAT)E – if I were being really picky I might say that ‘draw gun in’ to mean ”draw’ with ‘gun’ inside’ isn’t quite right, but the surface reading is very good. ‘Gat’ for any gun (not just a ‘Gatling gun’) is still common Army slang.
6 TILER (cryptic definition) – not quite as easy as 18dn but still transparent.
7 SIT WELL – see here.
15 SRI LANKA; (A LARK IS)* around N – I’m not a big fan of ‘here’ to mean ‘a place somewhere in the world’, but this is seen in daily puzzles too sometimes.
17 AM ERICA – a stilted cryptic reading (“…claim is to be a girl”).
18 DECIBEL – very easy cryptic definition.

2 comments on “ST 4250 (Sun 11 Nov) – Crowdie house”

  1. 12:14 for me, a good half of it spent agonising over CROWDIE, which I vaguely recall coming across in the past (perhaps in a novel by Scott or in a barred cryptic), but didn’t feel very sure about (I’d forgotten the Country Code for Ireland was IE, and agree that it’s pushing things a bit).

    This week’s errors in the on-line (non-interactive) solution are IDTENTLY for 13A and HEARTHACHE (possibly meaning “nostalgia” 🙂 for 2D (and SIKADEER and MAIL BAGS, despite the word lengths given with the clues); but (surprisingly?) this time it doesn’t seem to have broken the interactive puzzle where the solution gives SIKH DEER (well, it did say “oriental” in the clue ;-), IDTENTLY, CARHFREE and HEARTHACH.

    I’m generally less concerned about the imprecisions, since I’ve come to expect then in the ST puzzle.

  2. My penultimate one in was (I) AM ERICA at 17d which finally allowed me to get my LOI 26a _A_L_A_S completely wrong at 26a. I put in RAILCARS – which does not parse at all – instead of the correct MAILBAGS – thanks to our esteemed blogmeister for that one.

    I must try to do better next time x 100

    There are 6 omissions from the blog. Thankfully (I hope) I have those ones correct:

    10a Draw out trout, perhaps, but it’s on the small side (8)

    11a Fish retreat to fertile region (6)
    GAR DEN. Starting to smell something fishy now!

    16a Jaunty if no charge follows caution (8)

    19a (Far) and (weary)* migration for bird of passage (8)

    24a Girl has position calling for standoffishness (8)

    3d About six points for student to go over again (6)
    RE VI SE

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