Sunday Times 4641 by Dean Mayer – Adult Themes, Occasional Nudity

Another cracker from Dean, awash with wit, some terrific clues, amusing surfaces and a splash of sauce.

Particular standouts for me were the excellent clue at 17dn, the tricky 1ac, the ingenious definition at 26ac and, of course, the highly amusing (and cunningly constructed) 3dn. But the whole thing was hugely enjoyable, so thanks – as ever – to our setter.

Definitions underlined, anagrams indicated by *(–), DD = double definition

1 Both taps drip – see variable pressure (6)
CHIVVY – C+H (both taps – cold & hot) + IV (drip – of the intravenous sort) + V (see – Latin vide) + Y (variable). If you chivvy someone along, you apply pressure to them
4 Dog meat 50% part of take-away food (4,4)
CHOW MEIN – CHOW (dog) with MEAT (meat 50%) + IN (part of)
10 Old man’s shop beginning to go forward (4,5)
PASS ALONG – PA’S SALON (Old man’s shop) + G (beginning to GO)
11 Fleet‘s power in attack (5)
RAPID – P (power) inside RAID (attack)
12 Scholars notice earth is round? (13)
THEORETICIANS – *(NOTICE EARTH IS) with “round” as the anagrind
14 Cat left in part of hotel (4)
LASH – L (left) + AS (in) + HOTEL (part of hotel). The lament of the forgetful dominatrix, no doubt…
16 Dressmaker keeps touching fabulous swimmer (3-7)
SEA-MONSTER – SEAM[ON]STER. ON (as in “regarding”, hence touching) retained (keeps) by an alternative word for seamstress. Amusing surface
18 Unique, troubled genius rejected father (3,7)
SUI GENERIS – *(GENIUS) with “troubled” as the anagrind, and SIRE reversed (rejected father)
19 Tailless bird caught small reptile (4)
CROC – CROW (tailless bird) + C (caught), giving the short form (small) rendition of Captain Hook’s nemesis
21 Fully open, as any lock can be picked (2-5-6)
NO-HOLDS-BARRED – DD, the second somewhat cryptic
24 Destination Kentucky’s old capital (5)
TOKYO – TO (destination) + KY (abbrev. of the state) + O (old)
25 More stale works of writers (9)
FROWSTIER – *(OF WRITERS) with “works” as the anagrind. Not a word I knew, but the anagram indicator was clear and the cross checkers gave a sporting chance of plumping for the right answer
26 Makes textbook for a following – weird sect (8)
PERFECTS – PER (for) + F (abbrev. of following, as used in citations in reference works) + *(SECT) with “weird” as the anagrind. Ingenious definition, I thought
27 Ordinary bag of bones (6)
OSTEAL – O (abbrev. of ordinary – as in O Levels) + STEAL (bag) giving a word meaning of or pertaining to bones. Another unknown, but relatively easy to work out from a combination of the wordplay and dim recollections of Latin classes at school
1 Beat it with very famous investor (10)
CAPITALIST – CAP IT (beat it) with A LIST (very famous)
2 Edition is, of course, not right (5)
ISSUE – IS + SURE (of course without the R for right)
3 Promoter of the other version of Sex & The City? (6)
VIAGRA – A classic. Witty, slightly risqué and very elegant clueing – what more could you want? Brilliant definition (a spot of “the other” is a somewhat old fashioned term for that which us modernists tend to refer to as horizontal folk dancing). The “version of sex” is the Roman version, viz. VI (Roman numeral with sex being Latin for six) + AGRA (city in India)
5 Embassy‘s expensive fee (4,10)
HIGH COMMISSION – A generous DD giving an entry point extending down the spine of the puzzle – and much appreciated!
6 Make-up – defect is not commonly seen (3,5)
WAR PAINT – WARP (defect) + AINT (is not “commonly”). Always liked war paint as a term for make-up: as a very young kid steeped in Cowboys & Indians stuff, I was most intrigued when I used to hear The Mother saying she was “off to put her war paint on” prior to a big night out
7 One explains old model with skimpy clothing (9)
EXPOSITOR – EX + PO[SIT]OR. EX (old) with SIT (model) “clothed by” POOR (skimpy). Yet another great surface suggesting a careworn artist fielding questions regarding his reclining semi-nude septuagenarian
8 To be a jogger’s no good without kit (8)
NUDE – NUDGE (jog without G for good) giving us the result of getting one’s kit off
9 Not to be justified on earth? How appropriate (3,3,4,2,2)
FOR THE HELL OF IT – One of those clues where the answer went in pretty much straight away based on definition, but the parsing was more challenging. I think the following is correct, but apologies if I have this wrong: FORTH (on – “go forth” = “go on”) + E (abbrev. Earth) + HELLO (how – greeting used by North American Indians) + FIT (appropriate). Phew!
13 Education through acquisition, of course (10)
PROCEDURAL – PROC[ED}URAL. Have to say this went in with fingers crossed, as I did not know Procural (although from the wordplay it seemed a likely candidate) and I was not fully confident I’d understood the definition – which I think is based on a process being a course of steps to be followed
15 Tack into wind and run this sail (9)
SPINNAKER – S[PIN]NAKE + R. Small nail (PIN / tack) inside SNAKE (as in wind around) with R (run – cricket abbrev.)
17 Queen needs him to carry the odd crown? No (8)
DETHRONE – Tricky, beautifully crafted clue in my view. DRONE (Queen bee needs him) carrying *(THE) with odd as the anagrind, giving the opposite of crowning (crown? No)
20 Arrangement of bones makes us look bad? (6)
TARSUS – Collection of bones in the ankle also derived from TARS_US (makes us look bad)
22 Put up and knock down, reportedly (5)
RAISE – Homophone (signalled by reportedly) of RAZE (knock down)
23 Extremely short work break (4)
STOP – SHORT (extremes of short) + OP (work)

11 comments on “Sunday Times 4641 by Dean Mayer – Adult Themes, Occasional Nudity”

  1. Lovely puzzle, as Dean’s always are; with the added bonus for me of my first under 30′ time for one of his, I believe. 17d definitely my COD (and LOI), but also liked 1ac, 14ac, 16ac, 27ac, 6d,13d,… That’s an ingenious parsing of 9d, Nick; it hadn’t occurred to me–I don’t recollect parsing it, in fact, but I think I took the def as ‘not to be justified on earth’ and left it at that. I bunged in VIAGRA from checkers (so I suppose it wasn’t biffing, since I didn’t have the definition); ‘the other’ is new to me, so I was at a loss for solving the wordplay (and I always forget the 6-sex connection).

    Edited at 2015-05-17 06:19 am (UTC)

  2. Wonderful stuff. I think 18ac and (in particular) 12ac are about as good as a clue can get. So elegant
  3. Phew! What a workout that ultimately defeated me in the NW & SW. Thanks Nick for unravelling some of the more abstruse clues.
    By the way, isn’t the second “V” in 1a the “Holy See of Rome”, the Vatican,i.e. “V” in the list of international vehicle registrations?
    1. Thanks deezzaa. Interesting point re. Holy See. Having checked the usual references, I think either works, but apologies if I have got that wrong.
      1. I’m sure your version is the correct one, Nick. The other one’s too much of a stretch in my view.
  4. No proper time for this, because I fell asleep half-way through (we were at a somewhat boozy wedding the day before) but it was an absolutely brilliant puzzle.
    Well blogged, Nick, and thanks for explaining 9dn, which I had taken to be some kind of cryptic definition. A couple of small points:
    > In 14ac I think ‘in part of’ is a theatrical definition for AS and H is the usual abbreviation for ‘hotel’.
    > In 21ac I think the second half is a wrestling reference, a ‘lock’ being a type of wrestling hold: if no hold is barred then a wrestler can pick any of them. Not sure if this is what you meant, but it was far from obvious to me and took a while to work out!

    Edited at 2015-05-17 08:18 am (UTC)

    1. Thanks for the corrections Keriothe, much appreciated. Annoyingly, I did have the correct parsing for LASH when I actually did the puzzle, but when (several days later) I came to write up the blog, I’d forgotten exactly how I got there! Lesson to self…

      The wrestling reference was a level of subtlety beyond me – I just saw it as a cryptic regarding the inherent pickability of any lock (which did go in with a bit of a shrug – should have known better with Dean!)

      Just in case anyone thinks I’m being discourteous, I would usually edit the blog at this point and refer to Keriothe’s amendments but last time I tried to do that, I somehow managed to make the whole blog disappear and I’m not game at this stage to try it again!

  5. Hard work but mostly enjoyable. Glad I wasn’t on blogging duty so I could excuse myself some of the more complicated parsings.
  6. Very nice stuff, even if I had to revert to aids on the crossing boney clues in the SE. My particular thanks are due to Nick the Far from Novice for sorting out 10a for me, where I couldn’t see the shop.
  7. Thanks, particularly for the hell of it and interesting to know the derivation of no holds barred here on the blog.

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