Sunday Times 4648 by Tim Moorey

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
9:34 on the club timer. Tim Moorey has produced quite a lot of straightforward, ‘vanilla’ puzzles of late, and this is another. As ever though this is in no way intended as a criticism. If you think this is a bit too easy, you can have a crack at the Mephisto.

1 High fliers in resort stick firmly together mostly
6 Draw second sailing-boat
9 Recall one dense part of France
MIDI – reversal of I, DIM.
10 Sort of wine for an OAP?
ELDERBERRY – bit of a strange one this. You can make wine from these berries, and an OAP would be ELDER. Seems a bit loose somehow, which probably means I’m missing something subtle.
11 Dropping round, trio invited me to arrange entertaining pieces
14 A number on ecstasy? Prevalent in holiday island
15 Pronounced hardship for an oil worker
RIGGER – sounds like’rigour’.
16 Extremely exciting sort of poker
RED HOT – DD. The first reminded me of Zoolander (‘so hot right now’), the second of Edward II.
18 Golf in Dubai? Move abroad
EMIGRATE – EMI(G)RATE. The question mark after ‘Dubai’ signals a definition by example.
20 With wife away, quiet man works out?
QUESTION MARK – (QUIET MAN wORKS)*. One of those cunning clues where the definition is just a punctuation mark.
22 Rio ignored deterioration abroad and adjusted appropriately
24 Left port unopened
OVERdOVER. You don’t hear ‘over’ meaning ‘left’ (remaining) very often. ‘Left over’ is more common, which confuses matters.
25 Story about American behind dog
26 Member in men’s clothing

2 Elite fan griped about foul
PRIVILEGED – (GRIPED)* containing VILE. ‘Fan’ is the anagram indicator.
3 Game on board eastern auditors mentioned
CHINESE CHEQUERS – CHEQUERS sounds like ‘checkers’ (auditors). This board game.
4 Suspect Frenchman irate about ending of bus conductors
MAESTRI – (M, IRATE)* around buS. M for ‘monsieur’, bien sur.
5 Agree fellow’s shown up
NOD – reversal of DON.
6 Comparatively calm tennis champion on the radio
SERENER – sounds like ‘Serena’.
7 Give spinner more bowling? It’s blooming late!
8 Fish and beef getting praise? The opposite
CARP – a triple definition, the second and third being more or less the same thing.
12 Ultimate in desire, ’twas me bust!
MAE WEST – (desirE TWAS ME)*. The whole clue is the (rather odd) definition and the wordplay, so this is an &Lit.
13 Chaps in more effective town initially getting property improvement
BETTERMENT – BETTER (more effective), then Town containing MEN. Using BETTER as part of the wordplay for a word stemming directly from it is a little bit awkward.
17 Two articles on saving time in operations room
THEATRE – THE, A (two articles), then RE (on), the whole thing containing T for time.
19 Working, as many nuns are
IN ORDER – can you be a nun without being in an order? I’ve no idea.
21 Song in West Side Story needing no introduction
ARIAmARIA. Is ‘song’ doing double duty in this clue, or is it a clue without a definition? I suppose you can read the whole thing as a definition of sorts, which would make it an &Lit, but would you describe a song in a musical as an ARIA? And why would an ARIA need no introduction? My advice is not to worry about it: it’s perfectly clear what the answer is.
23 Measure of resistance understood to be rising
TOG – reversal of GOT. I suppose ‘resistance’ here is resistance to the cold.

11 comments on “Sunday Times 4648 by Tim Moorey”

  1. Ridiculous time for an ST for me; it struck me as too easy, and I’m in no way ready for the Mephisto. I did like 20ac, though. On the other hand, ‘sort of poker’ struck me as a bit odd; ‘sweaty’ isn’t a sort of person, for instance. Nit-picking, you may say; and I may say, too (Benchley), but still.
    1. I didn’t think twice about it while solving, but for me ‘red hot’ is a sufficiently archetypal descriptor of a poker.
      You are ready for Mephisto, you know. They take a fair bit of bit of getting used to but it’s just a question of tuning in. And having Chambers to hand.
    2. Not sure why ‘red hot poker’ is considered odd. It is a popular garden plant, aka kniphofia
      1. I didn’t know it was a plant, but I think the clue works better if you ignore the fact, because in that context a red hot poker is not actually a ‘sort of poker’.
        1. I didn’t like the flower interpretation for that same reason but, without it, how is “red hot poker” any different to Kevin’s “sweaty person”?
          1. Technically it’s not I suppose, but if you asked me for an adjective to describe a poker, I think ‘red hot’ is the first thing that would come to mind.
  2. Very easy at 6 mins but perfect for a day when one’s husband picks industrial quantities of strawberries and expects you to turn them into jam.

    Hopefully today’s puzzle will be just as friendly as it is the turn of the raspberries today.

  3. Spent about 15 minutes enjoying this neat but, yes, vanilla crossword. Most of the surface readings are smooth, however many definitions invite BIFD. Like others, I’m not complaining. A little tougher wouldn’t hurt, though.
  4. A Tog is a measure of the thermal resistance of a fabric (I never knew this, either).
    1. I did actually know that: I remember it as a measure of the cosiness of duvets, or insulation. It was the ‘resistance’ bit that puzzled me.

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