Sunday Times 4235 (29-07-07)

I’ve never solved a Sunday Times puzzle before but reading the posts of my colleague Talbinho I’ve been able to surmise two things about it: it’s quite easy, and it often contains a mistake or two. This week we had the biggest mistake of all (in the website version of the puzzle at least) as the wrong grid was published. There seemed to be a few extraneous words here and there (1A,4A and 25A) and the clue to 7D is either wrong or missing something (or using part of the definition as an anagram indicator).

Solving Time: 11:23

1 DEPART – The idea here is that “angry” and DEPART together are an anagram of “garden party”. It’s a nice idea but slightly spoiled by the extraneous “you” to make the surface reading work.
4 ASS,ASS,IN – another extraneous word here: “a”.
10 D in ROLE< in MAMA – “about” seems to be doing double-duty in this clue, signifying a reversal of ROLE and the fact that it has to go around D.
14 KEY in PINE – not quite sure what the surface reading is up to here.
15 ESCAPE VELOCITY – which is “the minimum velocity required for an object to escape from the pull of the gravitational field of the Earth” according to Chambers online. The wording of the clue is curious though: “Speed taken to get out of it!”. Get out of what?
22 OLD MAID – the word “still” isn’t needed here as the clue works fine without it.
25 D,L in SWINE – the definition “do” is nicely disguised the question asked by the clue.
26 O in (CHILL NOT)* – excellent &lit.
29 (OTTERS)* – TORTES. Anyone want to have a go at coming up with a scenario in which “Otters cooked cakes” could be used in real speech?
1 MO,C in DALES – DAMOCLES was the flattering courtier in the court of Dionysius II.
3 RED CARPET – at first sight this didn’t look remotely cryptic but then it occurred to me that “sole use” is a reference to feet.
5 SCALPEL – I’m sorry to sound harsh but this is very weak. The full clue is “It’s to blame for cuts in the NHS” – I’ll say no more.
7 (DEEP SET TORY)* – STEREOTYPED. A good anagram but I think there’s a problem with the definition. “Nutty professor, say” must surely be STEREOTYPE. Unless the definition is “cast as nutty professor,say”, in which case the clue is missing an anagram indicator.
9 PAVLOV(a) – famous for his work on classical conditioning. Rather splendidly, one of his dogs has been stuffed and is now on display in the Pavlov Museum.
17 (CHEER)* in BES(t) – BREECHES. “All but” had me confused for a while but it can mean “nearly” – it’s a bit imprecise but fair enough I think.
20 OS in (PIGS)* – the defintion “rabbit” is given a misleading context by the surface reading.
21 TOM TOM – I think this must be a pun on “Nice” – the place in France rather than the adjective.
27 hidden reversed in “fasT FOod” – I liked “Western” to indicate the reversal.

9 comments on “Sunday Times 4235 (29-07-07)”

  1. “Nice words about..” => reversal of the French word for word (twice):
  2. I must say I think you are being somewhat harsh on the setter and a bit picky.

    Just two examples: In 4A the extraneous “A” as you put it makes a smooth surface. “A couple of” is an expression used every day to mean “two”.

    In 1A “make you” means “make for you” i.e. you, the solver, making words out of “garden party”

    1. I’ve just looked at the clues, not having actually solved this puzzle. Of the nine grumbles I saw from Neil, I agree with you about these two – in 4A, although ‘A’ isn’t necessary for the clue, “a couple of stupid people” seems perfectly OK. 1A is a bit of Times/Sunday Times style that Neil may not have picked up yet. On the ‘still’ in 22 and the vagueness of 5, I’d call it a draw or matter of taste. But on 10 14 15 29 and 7, I’m solidly with Neil (and would be even if I didn’t know him).
      1. On 7D: Is there a convention against a word doing double duty so to speak? In this case “cast” being both a tense and anagram indicator.

        On 15: “Get out of it” = “escape” in my book. What’s the problem?

        1. 7D: Yes – the Ximenean principles followed by most setters don’t allow parts of the clue to serve as part of both definition and wordplay, or to play more than one role in wordplay. (Exception: &lit clues, where the whole clue does two jobs).

          15: If you see “get out of it” as escape, I guess there’s no problem. I must admit this didn’t occur to me.

          1. Thanks for your explanation ref 7D, PB.

            On 15: I’d have thought “I’ll get out of it” meaning “I’ll escape (from a situation)” was in common usage.

      2. Peter provides the voice of reason (as ever).

        As regards 5D, I’m firmly on the side of the setter: this was an excellent clue of its type, and it’s a type I enjoy very much. I was able to write SCALPEL straight in without any real doubts that it was right (I had the initial S in place and briefly considered SURGERY as a possibility, but dismissed it as unlikely), though it’s possible I may have come across a similar clue before.

  3. 1A – I’m still not convinced that this works but as PB says it’s probably ST house style I’ve not come across before.

    4A – I’ll ‘fess up to being picky on this one. Maybe I was in a picky sort of mood when solving.

  4. I enjoyed this one a great deal. The technical details outlined by our esteemed Blogger and in part backed up by our venerable Founder just sailed blithely over my head …

    A Footy XI of “easies” for the bunnies:

    11a Someone invited judged on the radio (5)
    GUEST. Sounds like guessed.

    12a Shorten dog at the front and back (7)

    18a Are magazines made out of it? (9,5)

    25a Skimpy underwear’s not right for host (5)
    TH (r) ONG. As in a biblical host or throng. See almost any Cecil B DeMille film.

    28a Being sick, just of Calais? (3,2,3)

    2d Drink up, buddy (3)

    6d Old ship with new gas (5)
    ARGO N

    8d Last one in institutioN’s out-and-out loony (6)

    13d Two cakes for music (4,3,4)
    ROCK AND ROLL. A rock (cake) and a (Swiss)roll?

    19d Drink too much and (I’d lunge) out (7)
    INDULGE. Note that drinking too much is not over-indulging! Hurrah say I.

    23d Some vicAR GUEssed reason (5)

Comments are closed.