ST 4287 (27th July 2008) – You Can Leave Your Hat On

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 22 minutes, and following a common pattern with the Sunday – around 8 minutes to do all but two clues, then a lot of head scratching and uncertainty to get it finished up. Overall, a nice puzzle with plenty of clever, well-formed clues as well as the usual smattering of Sunday ‘hm’ moments. Lots of strong surfaces.

*=anagram of; rev.=reversed


1 COMES TO – (set)* inside Como (the lake, not Perry)
9 PARAS OL – LO (as in look, behold)rev.
10 REGATTA – (target)* + A
11 CONFIDENCE TRICK – (Kind of eccentric)* Terrific anagram. The ‘from’ is open to debate, but for the sake of such a good surface it’s more than forgivable.
12 DETECT – (TED)rev. + CT (court, abbr.) with E (ecstasy) inside
14 NEGLIGEE – (EEL + GEN) around GI, all reversed
17 MUSICIAN – punning definition. I spent a while looking for something really subtle in this, but it’s just a player of notes who reads scores
18 FERRIC – hidden word; of or relating to iron
21 THREE-LEGGED RACE – cryptic definition. ‘Bound’ as in tied together. It’s not all that paradoxical, but there you go.
24 DEPLETE – P + LET (p.p) inside the river DEE. Def. is the verb ‘to empty’.
25 ELECTRO – ELECT + RO (centre of ‘Verona’). Something feels a bit off here. The def. only works for the prefix ‘electro-‘. The standalone word ‘electro’ is a shortening of ‘electrotype’ which is something else altogether. The online solution (printable version) wrongly gives ‘electric’.
26 RESISTS – (sisters)*.
27 SERVANT – (taverns)*


1 CAPE COD – C (clubs) + APE (monkey) + CO (company) + D (start of ‘discos’). Clever as a truckload of monkeys.
2 MARINATES – (a.m.)rev. + (retsina)* Terrific surface. Though the thought of drinking retsina first thing makes me feel queasy.
3 SUSHI – initial letters of five words
4 OILMEN – (I + L) inside OMEN
6 BAGATELLE – A GAT (pistol or revolver) in BELLE (of the ball)
7 TUTTI – musical term meaning ‘together’. Presumably this is “cut short tutti frutti”.
8 SPARKLE – SP (starting price) + ARKLE, the great Irish steeplechaser who lived from 1957-1970, winning 3 Cheltenham Gold Cups, and much more besides
13 COCKERELS – EL (Spanish ‘the’) in COCKER’S, the old rocker being Joe ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ Cocker, who may inadvertently have brought about a change of government in Australia in 1972. This clue presumably wouldn’t have made it into the daily Times puzzle where names of the living are normally excluded. He’s not dead, just sometimes looks that way.
15 GARGANTUA – gluttonous giant in Rabelais’ “The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel – The Horrible and Terrifying Deeds and Words of the Very Renowned Pantagruel King of the Dipsodes, Son of the Great Giant Gargantua”. Clue is a pun on “fondness of course”. Gargantua was originally a giant of medieval or possibly Celtic origin. Brewer’s has it that “one of his exploits was to swallow five pilgrims, complete with their staves, in a salad.” Which is just greedy. Three pilgrims is enough for anyone.
16 NAMELESS – as in Clint’s “the man with no name” and “too shocking or vile to be specified”. This, and Gargantua, were the two that had me wavering.
17 MATADOR – cryptic pun. He avoids being gored (usually).
19 CHEROOT – CHE (the god of T-shirts and posters) + ROOT
20 EGRESS – EG (say, for example) + RE (on, regarding) + SS (steam ship)
22 ROPES – topless GROPE + S (start of ‘stripper’). Ooo, Matron.
23 DREAR – DR (doctor) + EAR (a spike of, say, wheat)

5 comments on “ST 4287 (27th July 2008) – You Can Leave Your Hat On”

  1. Thanks for the interesting blog. I’ve really enjoyed the ST puzzles over the past few weeks and think that the standard is now usually well up to par.

    I was also looking for something more in the MUSICIAN clue but it did its job effectively enough.

      1. I’ll third that. The clue for CONFIDENCE TRICK is 95% terrific (you’re right about the ‘from’). I took ages to see NEGLIGEE and then got GARGANTUA, but NAMELESS defeated me – I didn’t really know either meaning.
  2. I always associate tutti with italians yet clue said “17s play together” and 17 was Matador.

    we get crossword 3 weeks late in Vancouver newspaper

  3. 7a used “seventeens” as part of the clue. Usually when this happens the number is unique but, in this case, there is a 17a and 17d. The clue is referring to 17a MUSICIAN with an answer in Italian. Unfortunately Anon of Canada above is using the wrong 17 – 17d is MATADOR. Presumably THAT answer would be TODOS but a) this would make solving 10a and 11a impossible and b) I have not heard of TODOS FRUTAS ice cream.

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