Sunday Times 4654 by Tim Moorey – where’s Ralph?

I write this (or rather post it – I’ve been picking away at it all week) from Toronto Pearson airport, waiting for my flight home from holiday. So I’m feeling a bit glum, but I did enjoy this puzzle. It’s an easy one – I polished it off in 8:58 – but it’s also very smooth, with some nice surfaces. A good example of a puzzle at the easier end of the spectrum.

P.S. What’s going on with the formatting of LiveJournal? I get the new blue format (which I prefer) on my iPad and iPhone, but still the old green one on my PC. But when I’m editing a new entry even on my iPad it’s still the old format. Odd.

1 Tango indeed in a touching way
TACTUALLY – Tango is IRC code for T, then ACTUALLY (indeed).
6 Drink from well linked with case of diphtheria
SODA – SO (well), DiphtheriA.
9 Names mangled, one beginning to corpse?
AMNESIC – (NAMES)*, I, Corpse. I’m not sure about the definition here: I think it’s supposed to be an &Lit with a surface reading about someone fluffing their lines on stage, but I wouldn’t equate that with amnesia. Perhaps in the ‘humurous’ way in which some people say they’ve got Alzheimer’s every time they lose their keys.
10 Cooking oil used with Indian dish
RAVIOLI – RAVI (Indian, as in Shankar), (OIL)*.
11 Wading bird, one alongside twice
IBIS – I, BIS (twice).
12 Transformation in Middle East? Most liking things unchanged
METASTASIS – ME, TASTe, AS IS. I’m not sure where the word ‘things’ goes here: is it ‘liking things’ for ‘taste’ or ‘things unchanged’ for AS IS? It doesn’t matter for solving purposes of course. Either way ‘most liking (things)’ for TAST isn’t very Ximenean, but it was clear enough for me to get this from wordplay.
14 Cheer up a religious doctor in depression
GLADDEN – GL(A, DD)EN, where DD is divinitatis Doctor, or Doctor of Divinity.
15 Author’s introduction of Endeavour name carries Morse novel
EMERSON – Endeavour, N containing an anagram of MORSE. Ralph Waldo of that ilk.
17 Auditor’s negligible dexterity
SLEIGHT – sounds like ‘slight’.
19 Listen to part of PM’s address in comfort
HEARTEN – HEAR, TEN downing street.
20 Isolation of a country admitting falsehood
22 Failure to leave large church area
24 Rabble-rousing not started in a single programme
25 Urge daughter to give up on funny Chinese food
EGG ROLL – EGG (urge), dROLL. Writing this it occurs to me that I have no idea what an EGG ROLL is.
26 Team’s leading character put at the back for a day
IDES – SIDE with the S (leading character) put at the back. March’s is the most famous, but the other months have them too.
27 Walton’s advice perhaps succeeded for some of the percussion
CASTANET – because Izaak Walton of Compleat Angler fame (if ‘fame’ is really the word) might advise you to cast a net. My first thought here was TRIANGLE: try angling, you see? No, me neither.

1 What’s popular in jazz develops slowly in commercial areas
TRADING ESTATES – TRAD (jazz), GESTATES (develops slowly) containing IN (popular).
2 Frank’s behind topless runner
3 Bear right in the country
4 Reading stand tall at last with recent changes
5 Distance shown by say, a low truck going north
YARDAGE – reversal (‘going north’) of E.G. A DRAY.
6 Ex-serviceman, ambassador and lawyer in state avert disaster
SAVE THE DAY – SAY (state) containing VET, HE, DA. HE (His Excellency) for ‘ambassador’ appears regularly, but I’ve always found it a bit odd. Saving the day is something I associate with kids’ TV programmes. In our house Fireman Sam used to do it, but these days it’s the Paw Patrol.
7 Refuse Roger in bed
DROSS – D(R)OSS. Romeo could also have been the refusee here. This version brings to mind an old Bond film. Have you watched one recently? They’re terrible.
8 Starting with this, finish up in endless pain needing treatment?
PINS AND NEEDLES – END reversed in (ENDLESS PAIN)*. Another semi-&Lit.
13 They’d promote nice mobile in pithy words
AD AGENCIES – anagram of NICE in ADAGES.
16 Start living in new empty house with no end of joy?
18 One intact at sea? Not exactly
TITANIC – (I, INTACT)*. Semi-&Lit.
19 Loose women seen in the front row?
HOOKERS – DD, one a rugby reference.
21 One struggled with covering of creeper
23 City flag raised? Not completely
AGRA – contained in ‘flag raised’.

18 comments on “Sunday Times 4654 by Tim Moorey – where’s Ralph?”

  1. Under half an hour for me, as I recall. I had a difficult weekend of it with ‘runners’, as ‘candidate’ was among the last in, since I was looking for the definition at the wrong end of the clue. Talking of which, I too couldn’t quite see how ‘liking things’ could mean taste – surely, ‘as is’ must be ‘unchanged’; on the other hand, since amnesia can refer to partial memory loss, I think 9 works as an &lit.

    Isaak Walton remains famous for the pubs named after his best known work, now that no one reads it. The one in Marlow was the destination of some early family Sunday lunches, unless the amnesia has got to me again.

    Predictably, having described the situation regarding the LJ formatting in the same way you do in response to an enquirer at this site earlier in the week, I prefer the old style!

  2. Easy, and not particularly memorable; at least I didn’t remember much from this. I did wonder about AMNESIC, but not a lot. I also wondered if Walton would advise casting a net in a book on angling. Didn’t understand the other definition of HOOKERS, not knowing diddly about rugby, but one D was enough.

    Edited at 2015-08-16 06:12 am (UTC)

  3. For some reason I made a bit of a hash of this one, missing some obvious answers for a long time. Possibly due to lot of other stuff going on (selling up in Australia to move back to UK) which is distracting me from the important things in life!

    Thanks for the blog keriothe, and of course to our setter.

    1. Another recruit for the Back from the Colonies Club! See you at the Championships next year, then?
      1. Served my time, caused sufficient mayhem to be granted a return ticket… Can’t wait to be back!

        Championships are a long way off for me – a pedestrian solver – but hope to engage with the folks here on less competitive occasions.

        1. The Back from the Colonies Club does share premises with the Not the Winning but the Taking Part Club. Hope to see you around somewhere, anyway, Nick.
  4. 21:34 .. while under the weather last weekend. The only thing I remember was an almighty struggle to work out METASTASIS.
  5. Somewhat distressed to find the consensus seems to be that this was easy to moderate. I was under the impression that ST puzzles are getting harder as Tim and Jeff try to keep up with Dean. I seldom finish under the hour these days.
    1. Perhaps the expectation that they’re harder is giving you the yips!
      For what it’s worth my perception is that the difficulty of the ST puzzles (including Dean’s) varies enormously from week to week, but I do agree that Jeff seems to have made an effort recently to produce some more challenging puzzles. Today’s is a case in point, although my time is quite decent after taking into account the generous jetlag adjustment I have awarded myself.

      Edited at 2015-08-16 12:42 pm (UTC)

        1. It helped to the extent that I at least knew that word existed, once I had (eventually) constructed it from wordplay. I’ve never come across that meaning in either language!
          1. I’m still struggling to fully parse (what I assume is) the word in question! Hopefully the penny will drop before I come to blog it…
  6. ……… ST 4648 comments, someone said “however many definitions invite BIFD”. What does BIFD stand for.

    (Shows how far behind we are). Jan & Tom. Toronto.

    1. Hi Jan & Tom.
      Sorry, this is a bit of silly jargon we use, and probably shouldn’t precisely because people like you won’t understand it and will think we’re a strange and/or cliquey bunch!
      BIFD stands for ‘bunged in from definition’. It was coined a few months ago, and has entered general usage here. It has also spawned the derivative ‘biffing’.
      1. Thanks, keriothe.

        In our opinion no reason why BIFD shouldn’t be used . More efficient than the long form. It is a blog after all, not a work of literature. Down the years we’ve biffed a lot, not having any notion of how to parse the cryptic part.

        If we don’t understand something we just ask; you guys are always so patient and so willing to explain stuff to us. That’s not the behaviour of a “cliquey bunch”. We think “passionate bunch” would be a better description. The passion of so many of the contributors amazes us. There should be a law against wishy-washiness.

        Strange? It’s the strange people I meet that stops me from dying from terminal boredom. Long live strange.

        Sounds like you had a good holiday on Georgian Bay. Did you encounter any Massasauga Rattlesnakes on your travels?

        Two years ago, a buddy and myself had a lucky escape in an encounter with a rattler as we portaged on a canoe trip east of HWY 69/400. Locals were amazed at a snake being so far east, seems that the small remaining population had been located much nearer the lake.

        We had planned to revisit the Magnetawan River area this year for another five day trip until we heard that snake sightings are up significantly over previous years. Just wondered if you’d heard or seen anything.

        Thanks again (and to your fellow bloggers) for all the enlightenment.

        P.S. Don’t know if it’s important: In the comments on ST 4651 has anyone noticed the plug an unfortunate woman has given some doctor who “got her lover back” for her? Absolutely nothing to do with the xword.

        1. Thanks, we’ll carry on being cliquey! Without taking it too far, I hope.

          We had a great holiday, thanks. No rattler sightings (I’m glad to say) but we did see an Eastern Ribbonsnake in the Kawarthas (the second leg of our holiday).

          As for the plug, if I see those posts on my blogs I always delete them. Nick may not have seen it (it probably depends on email settings) but at this point I don’t think it matters much.

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