ST 4289 (Sun 10 August) – No smart aleck

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 11:45

Not very good from me – got stuck on 2dn, which was excusable as I didn’t know the architect, and 1ac which I really should have got much faster. I’ll blame it on lack of sleep thanks to an overdose of Olympics. What a brilliant day yesterday, especially the men’s coxless four – amazing race. I wonder if Our Brave Paula will get an Olympic medal this time? Shouldn’t think so, but I think I’ll stay up now and watch it anyway… zzzz….

* = anagram.

1 SMA(R + TALE)CK – it was remiss of me to assume here that the definition had to be ‘report’.
6 KEEP; rev. of PEEK
10 NARCISSUS; (GRACIOUSNESS – EGO)* – a well-constructed composite anagram.
15 AGE(N.T.)S – the organisation is the National Trust.
17 U + PRATE
19 POSITIVE (double def)
21 DEUS EX MACHINA; (MAN I HAD EXCUSE)* – this really held me up, I didn’t know the phrase and tried to construct it but it took me ages to see that the last word wasn’t ‘machine’.
24 DRIP + ST + ONE – this is apparently a projection over a doorway to keep the rain off.
25 A + NIT + A – I like the surface reading of this!
26 A + R + GO
27 LIBERTINES; (SIT IN + REBEL)* – another good anagram.

1 SEAT (double def)
2 AL(B)ERT + I – not sure what ‘No.’ is doing in this clue; I suppose ‘No. 1’ = ‘I’ is ok, but I was fooled into putting an ‘N’ in before the final ‘I’. The architect seems to be Leon Battista Alberti.
5 CUR + I + O
7 EP + STEIN – the sculptor Jacob Epstein.
11 IN + SIGN + I + F + I + CANT – long charade, in which ‘notice’ = SIGN was a stumbling block for me.
13 ABSURD IDEA; (AIDE)* – wordplay in the answer, but I don’t like this one; the answer isn’t really a dictionary phrase and ‘stupid idea’ works just as well.
20 I + TAL[k] + IAN – this is trickier because the definition could be ‘gentleman of Verona?’, but actually it’s just ‘of Verona?’ with ‘gentleman’ giving IAN.
22 MAORI; MAO + rev. of IR – I didn’t question ‘native’ for ‘Maori’ when solving but it now occurs to me that everyone is a native of somewhere!
23 PA’S + S

11 comments on “ST 4289 (Sun 10 August) – No smart aleck”

  1. 14 minutes. Sticking points were SMART ALEC (good misdirection; fooled me, too), ALBERTI (gets a ‘hmm’ from me), DRIPSTONE (just didn’t know it) and ROUSING (I’m not sure about ‘sing’ as ‘period of chanting’ – why not just “Our drunken chant…”?).

    I quite like 13d. You’re right that it could be other things, but I like seeing setters go for these self-referential clues, even if they don’t always work perfectly.

    Just been looking at today’s puzzle where some of the clue numbering is all over the place and there seems to be a ‘bonus’ clue in the printable version with no place on the grid (doesn’t appear in the interactive one, where the clue numbering is also different, but still not right). There’s also one clue that is either totally beyond me or just doesn’t make sense. Anyone else having problems?

    1. On today’s puzzle on-line, just ignore the last two clues Across and Down.

      I tended to agree with your comment about sing = period of chanting but sing = period of singing is specified in the COD so I now think it’s ok.

  2. What a weekend: more amazing performances today – not least Louis Smith for the first GB male medal on any individual gym equipment in history, and Jeanette Kwakye for being the first UK woman in the 100m final for 24 years. And you had to feel for the quad sculls girls. As an ex-athlete (nowhere near Olympic standard) I’m now wondering whether the athletics squad can get close to the swimmers’ performance. If not, swimmers with long memories might be reminding Jonathan Edwards about a famous “party animals” comment made a few years ago.

    No joy for Paula but no shame either. What the management were doing with the Kate Reed time trial I’ll never know. Back to crosswords in a mo with the Mephisto report.

    Edited at 2008-08-17 06:50 pm (UTC)

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  9. A bit of an odd one this with SMART ALECK at 1a – no-one spells ALEC with a K at the end – and an ABSURD IDEA at 13d – the answer for 1a for starters.

    There are 2 omissions from the blog:

    9a There is no clue for this on the online printed version. My offering as a substitute is given in the title of this comment and the answer is ALBUM

    12a Terrible oaf (stouter man) wilted (3,3,2,5)

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