Sunday Times 4598 (13 Jul 2014) by Jeff Pearce

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Solving Time: 21:01

I found this one something of a gentle stroll, albeit with a couple of unusual words at 1a & 11d. There seemed quite a few anagrams, most of which were quite easy to spot. 14d was particularly good and gets my COD.

I wasn’t keen on 25a which just read like a straight clue to me, unless I’m missing something. Plus 23d seemed particularly lazy.

cd = cryptic def., dd = double def., rev = reversal, homophones are written in quotes, anagrams as (–)*, and removals like this

Across
1 MONSTRANCE = (MON + TRANCE) about S
6 SPITe
9 SUPERSTORE = (TO PRESSURE)*
10 CA + V & A
12 mARROWS
13 BULLET IN
15 WROUGHT IRON = W (Tungsten) + (OR TIN)* about ROUGH
18 STROBOSCOPE – cd
21 ANTILLES = ANTI + SELL rev
22 A SPIRE
24 BEAR – triple def, although ‘stomach’ and ‘suffer’ are essentially the same one
25 APPARITION – I would call this a cd, but I see nothing cryptic about it
26 LULU = LoUd x2
27 STA(B)LEMATE
Down
1 MISLAY = (A SLIMY)*
2 NAPERY = APER in NastY
3 THROW A WOBBLY – wordplay in solution – (A WOBBLY)* = BABY OWL, ‘THROW’ acts as an anagrind
4 ALTO – rev hidden
5 CURMUDGEON = Criticise + sURGEON about MUD
7 PSALTERY = (ALERT SPY)*
8 T + RAINING
11 BLATHERSKITE = (BRISK ATHLETE)*
14 LOBSTER POT = LOBS + (POTTER)*
16 ISTANBUL = STAN + Buy Umbrella in IL (the Italian), so the definition is just ‘city’
17 PRATFALL = TAR rev + F all in PAL (china – CRS) + L
19 baSILICA
20 S√ČANCE – cd
23 BAR + Barbiturate – Surely a better word beginning with B could be found than one that actually contains the answer! Bourbon? Brandy? Bromide?

8 comments on “Sunday Times 4598 (13 Jul 2014) by Jeff Pearce”

  1. a 14 min solve helped by the fact that I knew both 1a and 11d. I agree with your comments about 25a and 23d, but decided not to 3d about it.

  2. Well, I DO want to 3dn because I apparently had one wrong. I now find I am accused of entering “lodster pot” in 14dn. I might have accepted this if the D and B were even remotely close to each other but they aren’t. I am going to have to start taking screenshots of what I submit. [mutter, mutter]

    Not being in a forgiving mood, I also agree that 23dn is a very, very poor clue. It looks as if the setter didn’t notice the “arb” in barbiturate. Perhaps it is just oversubtle. And 25ac is missing something.

  3. I’ve stopped timing the weekend puzzles now as I fancied a different and more relaxed approach to solving just to make a change. I remember not feeling I was on the setter’s wavelength for much of this. I didn’t know MONSTRANCE or BLATHERSKITE, and I had 23 and 25 marked up as particularly feeble and 18ac too, although that seems to have escaped criticism so far. 23dn surely required intervention prior to publication.
  4. 24:26. I struggled a bit with this, and didn’t particularly enjoy it. I agree with most of the previous comments on the weaker clues: 25 in particular is baffling, unless we’re all missing something.
  5. Over on the Club page, there is no indication that anyone thinks that 25ac is other than just a straight GK clue, which is a shame. It would be good to hear that we are all missing something.
  6. I already forget what slowed me down, maybe everything. Certainly 25ac and 23d; I couldn’t believe either–especially 23d–could be the right answer, until the absence of anything else convinced me. BLATHERSKITE took me a while, too, since, although I ‘knew’ the word, I couldn’t remember it, or what it meant. ‘Harry’ as anagrind?
  7. I figured you would all find it easy, as I actually got it out in under 24 …hours albeit with the help of word finders. Remembered Harry has been used before as an anagrind but not familiar with Hawk as I am sure we had different slang growing up in Liverpool, but enough to make me ‘spit the dummy’ here in Oz.
  8. Not sure how 6ac escaped comment. I sometimes spit which upsets some but none display any spite.

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