ST 4295 (Sun 21 Sep) – Trouble shooting

Solving time: 4:59, one mistake (9dn)

A fairly straightforward puzzle with some very good anagrams, especially the &lit at 6dn. I spent a while at the end looking for possible alternatives to ‘shooting’ at 20ac, but found none; unfortunately I’d already scuppered myself with some stupidity at 9dn. My main quibble is with 19dn.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

1 SHOP (double defn)
3 STALACTITE; (ACT IT) in STALE – I couldn’t see any of the wordplay when solving and actually entered ‘stalagmite’ initially, thinking ‘performers’ might give ‘stage’. I suppose ‘perfomers’ = ‘act’ in the sense that e.g. a musical duet might be considered an act in a variety show.
10 O + MEGA
11 AUSTR[al]IANS – ‘Australia’ went in here initially.
12 PAPUA NEW GUINEA; (AN IGUANA, EWE + PUP)* – very good anagram.
14 TRINITY (double defn) – some institutions call the summer term ‘Trinity Term’.
19 PLAY + SUP – not sure exactly how ‘play’ = ‘work’, but I’m sure there’s a suitable context where they could be interchangeable.
20 SHOOTING STICKS – I was sure I knew this phrase but didn’t really understand the clue when solving. Chambers informs me that 12th August is the first day of the grouse-shooting season (hence “the Glorious Twelfth”), and that a shooting stick is a kind of walking stick (hence ’employed … during March’).
23 ABORIGINE; (BOEING AIR)* – another good anagram.
24 ERAS + E
25 CLEANS LATE – I was very slow to see this charade, which is better than many seen in the Sunday Times by virtue of not just breaking up a multi-word phrase into its consitutent parts.
26 IRIS[h]
1 SHOT + PUTTER – the online version had ‘Fifteen’ rather than ’15’ (I don’t know what the paper version had), but the cross-reference was fairly clear, and helped me write in the answer to 15ac without even looking at the clue.
2 OVERPRICE; (COVER PIER)* – spoilt a little by the superfluous ‘to’.
5 LA(SAG)NA – Lana is not a name I know, and it’s not in Chambers. Wikipedia suggests the most famous Lana might be actress Lana Turner.
6 CORNISH PASTIES; (HOT + A CRISPINESS) – excellent &lit or ‘double-whammy’, where the whole clue is both the definition and the wordplay.
7 I + RATE
8 EAST[wood]
9 CALAMINE LOTION; (ANIMATION + CELLO)* – dunce’s cap for me here, I wrote in ‘camomile lotion’ and changed it to ‘camamile’ when I solved 12ac, wondering as I did so about the spelling, but failed to check the anagram.
18 T + RIV(I)AL
19 PI(G-MEN)T – the definition in this clue (‘[become] imbued’) is faulty, unless there’s an adjectival or intransitive verbal meaning of ‘pigment’ of which I’m not aware (according to Chambers and Collins Online it’s just a noun).
21 HOOKE[r] – Robert Hooke, for whom ‘Hooke’s Law’, relating to spring extension, is named.
22 TALC (hidden)

12 comments on “ST 4295 (Sun 21 Sep) – Trouble shooting”

  1. A fun 9 minute solve with some entertaining clues – I really liked PEN PUSHERS and CLEANS LATE.

    I had a question mark against that PIGMENT, too. Websters online gives an intransitive verb as:

    1. Acquire pigment; become colored or imbued.

    So, maybe an American usage. Are the Sunday rules the same regarding dictionaries?

  2. 19a COED – works – the complete artistic production of a particular author, composer of artist. So a ‘work’ could be a ‘play.

    19d COED – pigment – v. (usu. as adj. pigmented) colour with or as if with pigment.


    1. 19ac: Agreed, thanks.

      19dn: This COED usage appears to be transitive (although I suppose ‘colour’ could be considered intransitive). Sotira’s suggestion seems to give a flaky justification; I don’t know what the Sunday Times’s rules on dictionaries are, but I’m pretty sure Webster’s isn’t included!

      1. I actually copy/pasted the wrong thing (but I am flaky anyway!). gives:

        5. to become pigmented; acquire color; develop pigmentation: a poor quality of paper that doesn’t pigment well.

        .. and attributes it to Random House (who I think are tied up with Websters).

        1. ..and I’ve just discovered that as well as ‘tenuous’, ‘flaky’ can mean ‘crazy, eccentric (US inf)’ – that isn’t what I meant, I hope you weren’t offended!
      2. I agree, ‘colour with pigment’ is transitive but ‘colour as if with pigment’ could surely be considered intransitive.


  3. 20 minutes for this one. Just to clarify, the distinctive feature of the shooting stick is that the handle can be folded down to create a makeshift seat.

    I note we have a reference to a living person at 8. I thought this was not permitted apart from HMQ.

  4. I think the most famous Lana must be Superboy’s childhood sweetheart Lana Lang. Clark (Kalel) Kent had a thing for girls with “LL” initials (Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris). Freud might say this was because his mother on Krypton was named Lara.
  5. Clint Eastwood, Robert Hooke, Lasagne and Cornish Pasties. What is not to like?

    Just one “easy”:

    15a After a time, he accepts permit from sport type (7)
    A T H LET E

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