Sunday Times 4202 – etaerio

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Not a bad puzzle. A couple of clever wordplays. Actually I’m finding it hard to remember what I thought about this puzzle since I wrote these notes a week ago. Perhaps there’s a theme here which I missed (I don’t think the ST does themes… does it?)


1 COM(P+LAC)(m)ENT – Awkward surface reflecting complex wordplay: remove the M (for monsieur) from comment which contains P for parking and French LAC.
7 INRO – (iron)* — OK I cheated here. Had I??? and looked up the remaining permutations until I hit INRO which is a pretty Japanese box.
11 FAIR+ER – But is a FAIR a social event per se or more commercially oriented (industry or entertainment)? Oh… Elizabeth Regina makes her obligatory appearance here as well.
13 A+P(P)AL+LED – P for Phosphorus – and “got in the van” means LED in the sense of VANguard or adVANtage (tennis).
17 NURSERY MAIDS – (ny, s, married us)*. This took me forever thus the last clue solved. I’m not very happy about the surface and definition: “taking these” seems to be tacked onto the front of “tenders” for grammatical reasons. Starring “old Bob” as S(hilling). I’m pretty sure capitalizing Bob is a violation of the Ximenean “mean what you say” injunction.
21 MAY+FLY – Two Britishisms: MAY is the hawthorn tree or shrub and FLY is Brit for hip or smart.
22 PIRAC+Y – (Capri)* preceding Y=”why”. Kind of a cryptic definition of PIRACY as “burglary, in the main?” thus the question-mark.
23 ROU(LET)TE – LET also means impede (in fact that’s probably what a tennis let is derived from).
25 VICE – double meaning


2 OPERATOR – (report a, o)*. Deceptively difficult clue since “report” can indicate a homophone, all the letters of “a poor” are in the answer, “showing” could be an anagrind and finally The Ring is an opera (cycle). At one point I tried to parse the wordplay as OPERA+TOR.
3 PIE – Easy to eat.
4 A(C(up))TOR – TOR often appears in cryptic geography as a hill.
5 EYEBALL – Feels like the clue’s surface was changed from “Stare rudely with this, once the lid’s raised” to the less accurate “Stare rudely at this, once the lid’s raised” to make it read marginally better.
6 TE(LE+PATH)Y – rev(yet=however) contains French for “the” and PATH for procedure. At least that’s what the setter seems to be telling me.
7 IN+VOLUNTARY – Bet you didn’t know that VOLUNTARY is organ music played at the beginning or end of a piece – unless you’re Peter Biddlecombe.
8 R.E.+LIEF – Royal Engineers followed by (file)*.
12 REMONST(RAT)E – (store men)* contains RAT (“vermin”). Surface a bit weak since who are these ‘store men’?
16 I+DO+LATER – “not right now” produces LATER.
18 E+rate*+IO – ETAERIO was in another puzzle recently otherwise I wouldn’t have known that it meant clustered nodules on fruit.
19 BIKINI – not sure if this is a cryptic definition (but if so, should read: “What holidaymaker may assume at the beach?”) or double meaning that assumes that Bikini Island has any beaches left (after the nuclear tests).
21 MOULT – Clever cryptic definition that plays on downcast and down feathers.
24 E+LM – I admit that I assumed that there was a mistake here and that the clue should have read “English sort of lumen, then timber” – but no… LM really is “short” for lumen (unit of brightness). I can’t give the clue a sensible surface reading either way though.

7 comments on “Sunday Times 4202 – etaerio”

  1. Organ music at the beginning or end of a church service, rather than a piece of music. So when the bride and groom walk down the aisle to Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream wedding march or the Toccata from Widor’s symphony No. 5, that’s a voluntary.
  2. Sorry to tell you this Ilan, but you may have made a couple of mistakes! 13ac is actually APPLLLEE (or maybe APPLALLED, depending on whether you check the list solution or the interactive solution). Also, you probably had WISTERIA for 20ac. Wrong, the correct answer is MISTERIA!
    1. Indeed an anagram — that’s what the syntax: (ny, s, married us)* means. If you look at the “user info” link you can see other conventions that this site uses.
  3. I was also troubled by the Nursery Maids but got them eventually …

    14a (Top oilman’s co)*mpany may become international = COSMOPOLITAN – see our esteemed blogmeister’s comment above for what (anagrist)* means
    20a (Is water I)* sprinkled bringing it into flower = WISTERIA
    26a In charge of beasts that may be wild, (I’m alert son!))* = LION TAMERS

    15d Picture sunbeam coming through the doorway = PORT RAY AL – the only “easy” not to be an anagram this week.

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