Sunday Times 4203/no sour grapes this time

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
No sour grapes this time. Nice selection of clues with not much to complain about. Some surprisingly well-hidden wordplay (20A, 21D) and some good &lits (16D).

Across

1 SUNGLASSES – cryptic definition.
7 BASS – Almost an &lit double definition: BASS voices are deep and the fish is found in deep water.
10 UN+REAL – French article followed by Spanish coin. I’d seen REAL recently elsewhere fortunately.
13 HACIENDA – (had a nice)*. “Doctor” providing his faithful anagrind service.
14 PETER SELLERS – One good thing about having parents who liked The Goons is knowing who they are – The Goons I mean. I’d know my parents anywhere. PETER is a type of safe (only in crosswords!).
17 HUGGER-MUGGER=”hug a mugger” – Brit for on the qt.
20 HOGSHEAD – Pretty good clue: “Like a pig, eats froth on barrel”. Needs to be parsed as: “Like a pig eats” (HOGS) and HEAD is “froth”. Took me a while to see this – probably in violation of some Ximenean punctuation rule
22 RE+PORT – Another simple but good clue: the question-mark indicating that “Rio” is an example of a PORT.
23 RANCHERO – (new chore)* — “managed” is the anagrind not “new”.
25 DOVE(r) – Another port: this time Dover. I assumed a leading “S” with the whole word meaning “port” since I’ve never really thought of DOVEs as particularly small as pigeons go, but they are.
26 D(ISHW)ASHER – (wish)* inside of DASHER. I would be lying if I claimed I knew all of Santa’s reindeer (e.g. Blitzen and company).

Down

2 U+P(MARK)ET – I saw the answer UP MARKET long before I understood the wordplay which is made complicated because “University” can be U or UP. MARK is a “book” in some Christian tract (OK… the New Testament) and of course PET is “cherished”.
3 GNU – the odd letters of “Genius” which oddly enough is an animal (though we all know that it really just stands for “Gnu’s Not Unix”).
4 A(BET)S – Another good and simple clue: “back” isn’t a reversal indicator – really means to BET.
5 SAT+CHE+L – Two idioms in a single clue: CHE the “revolutionary” and L the “student”. Actually I think CHE was both (did he finish medical school??)
6 S(OUR) CREAM – I liked this clue because it brought back memories of “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream”.
7 BARLEY-SUGAR – (a s, large ruby)*. The only clue I’m unhappy with due to the awkward Araucarian surface. I mean: Ruby? Sugar? Large?
8 SH(AND)Y – Probably missing a question mark or perhaps since SHANDY is an example of a drink.
12 STETHOSC+O.P.E. – OK maybe another clue I’m a little unsure about: almost an anagram+initials &lit, but the surface reading itself is v. awkward. (to chests)* with “if sick” as the anagrind and initials of “Old Physician’s Ears”.
15 SEGMENTED – In Britspeak, “bitty” means in little bits, i.e. SEGMENTED, but I think this is one of those clues in which the answer is used in the wordplay. I.e. substitute SEGMENTED for “This”, anagram the result (with “bitty” as the anagrind ) and then concatenate “air” and anagram the result to get “disagreement”. Kind of cool. What’s the name for this trick?
16 GENDAR+ME – Another &lit. (danger)*+ME and the whole thing means the guy who keeps you out of danger over there.
18 ENDURES – Not sure what I think about this: seems like a triple definition but all the defs are variations on the same theme.
21 SINE+W – Deceptive clue; I didn’t see the “with” for ages. SINE is the trigonometric function.

2 comments on “Sunday Times 4203/no sour grapes this time”


  1. I was also fascinated by the composite-type clue at 15d where you add the answer – SEGMENTED – to AIR for the anagrist “which could lead to” (the anagrind phrase I think) DISAGREEMENT. Sadly no-one commented at the time in answer to our esteemed blogger’s question – what do you call this type of clue?

    There were some “easies omitted”, they are:

    9a Cheeky and unwise to ignore the right = IMP (R) UDENT
    11a Clutches good files = G RASPS
    21a Walked around (Dorset)* = STRODE – have been doing so recently round Swanage and on Brownsea Island – not that it helps with spotting an anagram

    19d Jacket displaying what Ravel wrote = BOLERO – conjuring up memories of Torvill & Dean in the Sarajevo Winter Olympics
    24a Owns a lot of dope = HAS (H) – more druggie stuff!

    1. I think the clue type in 15D is “compound anagram” — some people call these subtractive clues.

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