Sunday Times 4642 by Tim Moorey

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
15:27. I spent over half of this time staring at 19ac. I came up with what turned out to be the answer very quickly, but I couldn’t justify it in any way so I spent ages trying to come up with something else. In the end I looked at a list of English racecourses on Wikipedia to get the answer and bunged it in, still baffled by the definition. A very strange clue in an otherwise very easy puzzle and all in all not my most satisfying solve of 2015. I liked 3dn though.

1 After tahini spread, I put out chicken
6 Slight sound of drinking reduced
10 Volume of touching literature given precedence
LITRE – RE (touching) with LIT before it (‘given precedence’).
11 Aid heaving invalid after losing his head?
GIVE A HAND – (AiD HEAVING)*. The letter to remove is the head of ‘invalid’. &Lit.
12 Guard parking in front of special area
PRESERVE – P, RESERVE (special area).
13 Love excellent final letter
OMEGA – O (love), MEGA (wicked, sick, awesome, excellent).
15 About time to leave messy plates in sink again
RELAPSE – RE, (PLAtES)*. This is the third clue in this puzzle that is an anagram of a set of words from which you have to remove one letter.
17 Comedian Laurel maybe seen at Irish party
STAND-UP – STAN (Laurel maybe), DUP.
19 DJ coming from English racecourse, one’s heard
TOASTER – according to ODO a TOASTER is ‘a DJ who accompanies reggae with improvised rhythmic speech’. And Towcester is a racecourse in England that is pronounced ‘toaster’. If like me you don’t possess either of these rather esoteric pieces of knowledge, you’ve got a problem. A clue that appears designed to catch people out.
21 Leaves food in part
22 Writer returning, put a question after answer
AESOP – POSE (put a question) reversed after A (answer).
24 Eastern oil company cutting pay for internet content
27 Specially treated in a hostelry? They may be
THE ROYALS – (A HOSTELRY)*. A semi-&Lit in which the definition needs the rest of the clue to make sense.
28 Brave leaving hospital quickly
29 Gambling resort from which a single rupee may be brought back!
RENO – reversal of ONE, R (rupee). My knowledge of RENO comes from Dr Seuss:

On a mountain, halfway between Reno and Rome,
We have a machine in a plexiglass dome
Which listens and looks into everyone’s home.
And whenever it sees a new sleeper go flop,
It jiggles and lets a new Biggel-Ball drop.

Is it just me or does that sound like the NSA?

30 Struggled again losing millions in a racket
BATTLEDORE – BATTLED mORE. I know this term from the book The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig: at one point the three little wolves are playing battledore and shuttlecock in their garden. You should by now be developing a good idea of the kind of stuff I read.

1 Nice son giving money for Iraqis
FILS – did anyone put this in from the definition?
2 Among others, where Nato’s placed in Anatolia
INTER ALIA – because in Anatolia NATO is placed in the middle of ALIA. Not to be confused with INTER ALIOS.
3 Time to get even with society?
TEENS – T, E’EN, S. A very nice &Lit.
4 Fencing position essential to hidden garden
EN GARDE – contained in hidden garden.
5 Are topless wives out for critical periodicals?
REVIEWS – (aRE WIVES)*. And there’s another one.
7 Time off in Split, not cold
8 English racecourse favourites may be what 27 enjoy
RED CARPETS – REDCAR (an English racecourse I have heard of), PETS.
9 Wide-angle view of parents holding girl
14 Muscle shown by expert on farm vehicle
16 Accommodate patient fellow in dishonest work
PUT-UP JOB – JOB is a term for a very patient person, after JOB, noted for doing patient stuff in the Book of JOB, which is in the Bible. The old bit I think.
18 Reckless person’s turn of speed on cobbled road
DESPERADO – (SPEED)*, (ROAD)*. A DESPERADO is of course a person characterised by a tendency to ride fences and a consequent need to come to his or her senses.
20 A little fighting written up in information being analysed?
RAW DATA – reversal of A TAD WAR.
21 Take care of issue raised by neighbour?
23 Hank, one German to support limits in savings bank
SKEIN – EIN underneath (supporting) Savings banK. I’m sure I wasn’t along in putting this in from wordplay, which fortunately was clear. A HANK is a ‘coil or skein of a specified length’, according to Chambers.
25 Saw mature publicity first
ADAGE – AD before AGE.
26 Lady’s close for the present
HERE – HER (lady’s), thE.

9 comments on “Sunday Times 4642 by Tim Moorey”

  1. One wrong, but a DNF anyway, since like Keriothe I had to Google English racetracks to find Towcester, and didn’t know the DJ meaning as well; two bits of ignorance that I don’t much mind. I put in ‘the locals’ at 27ac, which fits the definition nicely but otherwise doesn’t have much to say for itself; totally missed the anagrind. And I put–perhaps even bunged–FILS in from definition alone. I’ll join Ulaca in giving the COD to TEENS. It occurred to me at the time that calling Aesop a ‘writer’ is stretching things a bit: it’s not at all clear that he existed, for one thing, and written versions of the fables all postdate him. Still, ‘Fabulist returning…’ lacks a certain je sais quoi.

    Edited at 2015-05-24 06:03 am (UTC)

  2. Re 29a, more likely to be the Chinese I’d have thought. More manpower, more resources, more focus.

    PI also thought TEENS was the pick of the crop, even though I failed to get it. Loved TOASTER, because it’s just a fabulous name for a place. Right up there with Sandy, Beds.

  3. A DNF for me, as I’d never heard of BATTLEDORE and still could not work it out with more than half the letters, and (to my shame!) missed APACE which I really should have got.

    TOASTER went straight in as I was lucky enough (depending on how you look at it) to have both required bits of information floating around in my over-cluttered mind.

    TEENS was excellent, I thought. Thanks for the crystal clear blog Keriothe.

  4. I found this light and entertaining, a good start to a pleasant Sunday morning. No trouble with the reggae/racecourse thing at 19ac. Liked BATTLEDORE and SKEIN but have to agree TEENS is COD.
  5. Like others I was completely baffled by the DJ reference at 19 but fortunately I knew Towcester because it’s not that far from where I live and it’s the only racecourse I have ever attended in my life (just the once).

    Not over-keen on 11ac where ‘invalid’ seems to be serving double duty as source of the letter to be removed from the anagrist, and as anagram indicator. ‘Aid’ also doing double duty seems to fit the role of definition quite satisfactorily on its own and I can’t see that the remainder of the clue adds anything that makes much sense if it’s supposed to be &lit.

    BATTLEDORE remembered from somewhere though I didn’t know what it was. The Iraqi money was unknown to me.

    Edited at 2015-05-24 07:40 am (UTC)

    1. I take your point on ‘invalid’. It is a bit odd. I also agree with you on ‘aid’: the clue has to be &Lit precisely because if not ‘aid’ is doing double duty!
      1. Yes, I suppose so, in which case ‘invalid’ is doing triple duty as part of the definition. Even more odd!
  6. Enjoyable puzzle in general, with another COD vote from here for TEENS. Also raised an eyebrow at 11A. I knew the DJ definition of TOASTER but had always imagined (based on no evidence whatsoever) that the first three letters of the racecourse were pronounced the same as those in “towel”. Hence this is yet another word whose correct pronunciation has been revealed to me through crosswords after years of mispronunciation – see also gnu, reveille, tapir, and others.
  7. This took me ages, too – eventually decided that DJ was a reference to the attire of the toastmaster at a formal dinner (an event I’d never consider attending). I’d never come across the reggae sense – not in my edition of Chambers.

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