Sunday Times 4206/Carnauba

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Not a typo in sight and nary a bad clue. One new word that had me guessing and quite a few doubled-letters (SSx4, BB, DDx2, EE, TT, RR, LL).


1 D[own],RIBBLE – “River” Ribble in Yorkshire/Lancashire (thanks to Paul below!)
5 BIRCHES – used for flogging in corporal punishment and some BIRCHES are “silver”.
11 A+S.S.+IS+T – Not sure why “called for” is called for – unless it’s to make the surface a bit smoother.
12 BEFUDDLE – (ed, bed, flu)* — which is a slightly indirect anagram since need to substitute ED for ”newsman” in the fodder first. This is considered a Ximenean transgression but rather mild since it’s such a common idiom.
14 NUMBER+LESS – Not a bad double definition with one part being slightly cryptic: “they cannot be counted”.
19 R+EIMBURSED – (bruised me)* following R[ing] (“ringleader”). Which of course brings us back to the discussion of whether e.g. “redhead” can indicate R.
22 CARNAUB+A – (a cub ran)* followed by A: CARNAUBA is indeed a Brazilian palm tree. Obvious anagram (well, almost: “around” is the anagrind rather than indicating containment) and with some crossing letters and checking in The Big Red Book you can get there.
26 IS+LET- LET as an obstacle or “hindrance” crops up frequently in cryptics since it’s almost the opposite sense of its usual meaning.
28 HOS(I)E+RY – Not a great surface but I liked the clue nonetheless since the wordplay is meticulous: “Piping I put inside” is a case of “X Y inserted” to indicate “insert Y inside of X”. RY=abbrev(railway ”lines”) and HOSIERY is what you put on only “some” of your “members”, namely the lower extremities.


1 DISDAIN – (dad is in)* — “agony” is the anagrind: oddly enough this was my last clue solved since I’d fallen in love with Pa and C for cold.
4 ETON – rev(note=”Mark”). Leading capitalization misdirects towards proper name. It’s been done before.
5 BURDENSOME – cryptic definition (though you’d think there’s a related clue having to do with Eric Burdon and the Animals).
6 REFLU+X – (refu[e]l)* followed by X for “cross”. The perennial question is whether “losing energy” should mean “remove all the Es from the fodder or just as many as you need to make the wordplay work”?
7 HE+ADDRESS – nice charade and definition is cryptic: “capital cover” for HEADDRESS..
13 ELDERBERRY – jokey cryptic definition for a kind of berry.
17 QUESTION MARK – not a bad cryptic definition.
18 PECKISH – (chips, e, k)* — another slightly indirect anagram (E for “oriental” and K[ing] for “monarch”). I think these are OK since they are so familiar.
20 DIGESTS – double meaning: quite different. The question-mark indicating the shift in meaning of “condensation” from moisture.
21 BATTLE – military “encounter” and a town in Sussex.

3 comments on “Sunday Times 4206/Carnauba”

  1. Surely it’s D (=heading down) and RIBBLE (the river Ribble in Lancashire). Defn “trickle”

    — paul

    1. yes of course. thanks! I just realized that my comment (that I wrote last week) “cryptic definition?” was note to self to check the wordplay.

      i’ll update…

  2. 17 & 25d has been awarded a “not bad” accolade. It could equally refer to “Question Time” – both a weekly parliamentary fixture (Prime Minister’s) and a long standing TV prog. It was only when I was struggling with the anagram at 27a and the family = “(K)or(E)IN” at 29a that I realised that it was an ambiguous clue. Maybe this ambiguity earned it the “not bad” for being a trap that I, for one, fell into boots and all?

    The “easies”:

    9a Grandeur of (Len’s proud)* turnout = SPLENDOUR
    10a Faculty honest about money = F £ AIR – this one was my LOI as I was stuck on 5a, 7d and 10a at the end. I even got “Faculty” = F and “lair” = “Rial” back’rds before I saw the correct parsing. Doh!
    16a Girl indicating a meadow hard by = LEA H
    18a Kind of needle that’s long = PINE – DD.
    23a Demanding a second royalty = A S KING
    27a Promptitude with which th(e) last (sardines)* disperse = READINESS – leading me to Question Tame at 17 & 25d. Seeing the light and changing “Time” to “Mark” enabled me to then solve 29a.
    29a Sparks off relative riding rickety (sled)* = KIN DLES

    2d (L)eft (side)* is wrong – doesn’t work = IDLES
    3d Is he in the gang, or excluded? = BAN IS HE D
    8d Outcry when loose rocks descend on church = SCREE CH
    24d I find wood that’s perfect = I DEAL

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