ST 4260 (Sun 20 Jan) – Cheesed off

Solving time: 6 mins for all but 16ac, on which I gave up shortly afterwards.

I was let down by lack of cheese knowledge. The puzzle was let down by some pretty terrible clues.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

Across
1 PISTACHIO; (COAT IS HIP)*
6 QUAIL (double definition)
9 N + U + LLA (= rev. of ALL)
10 CONTINUED; (UNNOTICED)* – one of the worst anagram indicators I’ve seen (‘Unnoticed, badger…’)…
14 DI + STURB (= BURST) – …and ‘outburst’ for (BURST)* isn’t much better; even accepting the lack of a space, ‘out X’ isn’t the same as ‘X out’.
16 SAP + SAGO – I actually considered SAGO for ‘starchy cereal’, but ‘sapsago’ looked so unlikely I didn’t put it in. In fact it’s a Swiss green cheese.
19 USE LESS
21 GRA(V)Y + BROWNING – not in any of my dictionaries, but it does exist – see here.
24 SPEARHEAD; (RESHAPED A)*
26 SHE + BA
27 DOSED (hidden)
28 FORFEITED; (EFFORT DIE)* – another anagram indicator that doesn’t make any sense (‘After frenzied effort, die…’)

Down
1 PAN (= ‘vessel’) + HANDLER (= ‘dealer’)
2 SOL + ACES
3 A + BASH
4 HUCKLEBERRY [Finn]
6 QUINTUPLE; (PIQUE U L NT)*
7 AQUARIA; (AIR)* in AQUA – awful. I think I could accept ‘tanks’ for the singular ‘aquarium’, but not ‘tank’ for the plural ‘aquaria’, plus the wordplay (‘water’ for AQUA) is just the root word of the answer.
8 LAD + Y (= ‘why’ = ‘a letter of query’)
12 MASQUERADER; (QUEER DRAMA’S)* – good anagram.
13 COASTGUARD; O before (A TUG’S)*, all inside CARD (= ‘Jack, maybe’) – complex wordplay to try to make this a semi-&lit, and it just about hangs together.
15 UN’S + CAR + RED – how can ‘A carrying B’ mean ‘put B underneath A’?
18 PIGLETS; (LEG)* in PITS
20 EMINENT; I in (TEN MEN)*

4 comments on “ST 4260 (Sun 20 Jan) – Cheesed off”

  1. Jumbo 738 put up a lot of resistance so I didn’t get round to this ST puzzle. Having read your blog I’m not sorry about that.

    I’ve certainly never heard of SAPSAGO but I’m a bit surprised that GRAVY BROWNING should prove so elusive in the reference books as it has been the generic name for products such as Bisto for as long as I can remember (back to the 1950s).

  2. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with “badger” as an anagram indicator, but in this clue it only works aa a verb in the imperative mood, which makes its placement after “unnoticed” less than satisfactory though just about defensible with the comma there. On the whole, I agree that many of the clues were dire.
  3. As well as the “Aquaria Tank” at 7d we also have an unchecked spelling variation at 11 across. This could be ALCOHOLOMETER or ALCOHOLIMETER? Both spellings appear to be listed.

    There are 6 answers left out of the blog including the booze counter:

    11a The booze counter (13)
    ALCOHOL I/O METER

    17a One shedding light on former model? (7)
    EX POSER

    5d Have now reorganised (3)
    OWN

    22d Misuse of creW AS TEmpest revealed (5)
    WASTE

    23d Exploited American journalist? (4)
    US ED

    25d One of the little folk from BELFast (3)
    ELF

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