ST 4270 (Sun 30 Mar) – Diplomatic immunity

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 10:22

A bit slow on this, especially in the bottom left. A mixture of good clues and bad, and a couple of synonyms I’m not convinced by, but no outright mistakes that I noticed.

Sorry to have missed Sloggers and Betters 4 on Friday – hope to make the next one.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

1 DISCRETION; (DIRECTIONS)* – somehow I failed to spot that this was an anagram on first look; I think I thought ‘directions’ was 9 letters. Not a good start, especially as I’m sure I must have seen this anagram before.
6 SPAR; rev. of RAPS – quite a good clue, although the question mark is a bit dubious.
10 O + MISSIONS – ‘default’ = ‘omission’ doesn’t seem quite right to me. They’re close, but I can’t produce a sentence in which they’re interchangeable.
14 ISOTOPES; (PIES + TOO + S[ulphur])* – I’ll leave it to a chemist to comment on the accuracy of ‘isotopes’ = ‘atomic elements’.
15 CO + USIN[g] – ’employing most’ for ‘most of USING’ doesn’t work, and the surface reading doesn’t make much sense either.
19 FORMULAE; FOR + rev. of ALUM + E (= ‘key’)
21 MELLIFLUOUSLY; (FILM YOU’LL USE + L[yric])* – this was deduceable (from ‘mel’ = ‘honey’) but took me more crossing letters than it should have.
24 TRANSMUTE; (START + MENU)* – another anagram that took me too long to see.
25 ENTRY (double definition) – if you can call ‘for the bookkeeper’ a definition.
26 CH(I)EF
1 DASH (double definition)
2 SUPREMO; (SUPER)* + M.O. – jarring wordplay (‘Super sort of doctor’).
3 REACTIONARIES; (RACE INTO)* + ARIES – I thought ‘blimpish’ was the anagram indicator here for a while, and eventually spotted the answer from the crossing letters. The actual anagram indicator is ‘strange’, which really needs to be an adverb.
5 ORIBI; (BRIO + I) – ‘finds’ is a bit superfluous here.
7 PR(OF)ESS – can ‘own’ (as opposed to ‘own up to’) mean ‘profess’?
8 ROSE-TINTED (cryptic definition)
11 SCHOOLMASTERS; (THE CLASSROOMS)* – a very old anagram.
13 DIPLOMA + T,I,C (initial letters) – I had a mental block here and was looking for a synonym for ‘discrete’ instead of ‘discreet’, and this took me a couple of minutes at the end to get. I suppose ‘testimony’ = ‘diploma’ in the sense of ‘certificate’, but it seems a bit loose to me.
16 COR(O)NERS – another superfluous ‘of’.
20 LA(YET)TE – ‘first gear’ is a clever definition.
23 EYOT; E + rev. of TOY

One comment on “ST 4270 (Sun 30 Mar) – Diplomatic immunity”

  1. Just the three omissions:

    9a Wild (ape is)* brown (5)
    SEPIA. The colour of the pigment derived from the ink sac of the Common Cuttlefish – the Greek name for this creature is Sepia.

    18d Concern about letting arrangement being free! (7)

    22d See and take advantage of the bloodsucker (5)
    LO USE

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