Sunday Times 4663 by Tim Moorey

Not too stretching – indeed, some pretty fast times recorded at the Club site. I rumbled merrily along at my more sedate pace, enjoying the scenery and stopping for a bit of refreshment every now and again. And a very enjoyable outing it was too.

A distinctly Sunday feel to some of the clues, and none the worse for that. Standouts for me were 26a, which I thought very ingenious, and 7d which the “Carry On…” team would have enjoyed.

Today is my 60th birthday, and I shall be engaged in unseemly (for one of my age) roistering for most of the day and evening, so I will not be fielding comments etc. until very late in the day – by which time my responses might leave something to be desired, so I should probably avoid doing that. An old mathematician friend once told me “the first rule is don’t drink and derive…” – I’m sure there is a Crosswordland equivalent.

Thanks to Tim for a fun offering.

Definitions underlined; DD = Double definition; anagrams indicated by *(–)

1 Google is used by setter as I haven’t a clue! (6,2)
SEARCH ME – To Google is to SEARCH, and ME is the setter. Always reassuring on one’s blogging day to have 1a as a write in – or is it the lull before the storm?
5 Agent dealing with Charlie has backed Derrick mostly (4)
NARC – CRAN[E] reversed – ‘backed Derrick mostly’. NARC is a term for a US narcotics agent, and my more worldly friends reliably inform me that ‘Charlie’ is a slang term for cocaine
8 Nitrogen in unopened pickle is concerning (2,2)
IN RE – N (nitrogen) inside [M]IRE (unopened pickle), giving a (predominantly) legal term which I came across a lot in a previous life working in the courts of Equity: those days of extreme tedium have finally proved fruitful in enabling me to unravel this one…
9 Boy keeping wicket tickled with it (8-2)
SWITCHED ON – SON (boy) ‘keeping’ W (wicket) and ITCHED (tickled)
11 All there outside look for a fashionable young woman (6)
SLOANE – SANE (all there) ‘outside’ LO (look) leading us to Jemima, Tara, and others of that ilk
13 No other person present in the form of 11 (3-2-3)
ONE ON ONE – DD, the second definition taking me some time to twig as I was thinking of, well, Tara and co. rather than the cardinal
14 Awfully long wait for French coach? (5-3)
WAGON LIT – *(LONG WAIT) with “awfully” as the anagrind
16 A geriatric’s true statement represented (6)
IMAGED – Enjoyable jokey cryptic wordplay – I’M AGED
17 Copper in a station endlessly? You could count on this once (6)
ABACUS – CU (copper) in A BAS[E] (a station endlessly). Base / station connection here had me puzzled for a while, until I thought of baseball and waiters
19 Scores disappeared during matches (8)
TWENTIES – WENT (disappeared) ‘during’ TIES (matches)
21 Note a leg injured – a stretcher will do
ELONGATE – *(NOTE A LEG) with “injured” as the anagrind
22 Milk producer, one in a French city (6)
BREAST – A (one) inside BREST (French city). Definition takes a depressingly utilitarian view of a thing of beauty, shall we say
23 Differing greatly from some Europeans? (5,5)
POLES APART – Not that it really matters, but I was a bit unsure whether to parse this as an overall cryptic clue, or a definition supported by additional cryptic wordplay – either way, it went in easily enough
24 Indirectly, they make waves in uproar sometimes (4)
OARS – Hidden in uprOAR Sometimes. I’m probably missing something, but somewhat unsure what ‘Indirectly’ is doing here…
26 How choice list gets to me, unlike an aristocrat (3-1)
NON U – ‘choice list’ gives us MENU, which gets reduced to ME if there is no N or U. Clever clue – I personally had not seen this device before
27 Evening without work, close to a couple of females (5,3)
NIGHT OFF – NIGH (close) + TO + FF (couple of females)
1 Those starting in school are nursed here (3)
SAN – First letters of (those starting in) School Are Nursed – in the sanatorium. & Lit.
2 Mature pudding from a long time in the past (4-3)
AGES AGO – AGE (mature) + SAGO (pudding)
3 Character keeps time in class (5)
CASTE – T (time) in CASE (character) – as in “he’s a bit of a case”
4 Sounds like bloke rejected for bulk distribution (4-3)
MAIL OUT – Homophone (Sounds like) MALE OUT (bloke rejected) – today’s gimme
6 Benign tumour on a dame needing treatment (7)
ADENOMA – *(ON A DAME) with “needing treatment” as the anagrind
7 Hit rock’s first for sergeant and privates (5,6)
CROWN JEWELS – CROWN (hit) JEWEL (rock) + S (first letter of Sergeant). Fun clue
10 Shift work scheme engages one (7)
CHEMISE – *(SCHEME + I) with “work” as the anagrind
12 First dance with nothing on may go down like this! (4,7)
LEAD BALLOON – LEAD (first) + BALL (dance) + O (nothing) + ON
15 Finals put aside, girl is permitted to meet boy in Italian theatre (2,5)
LA SCALA – Last letters missing (finals put aside) from LASs (girl) CAn (is permitted) LAd (boy)
18 Refurbished entrance not right for eatery (7)
CANTEEN – *(ENTRANCE) – (without the R – ‘not right’) – with “refurbished” as the anagrind
19 Seasonal visitors, informally those against leaving Nag’s Head (3,4)
THE MAGI – THEM AGIN – informally those against, without the N (leaving Nag’s head)
20 There’s a lot more fluctuating in this stop (7)
TREMOLO – *(LOT MORE) with “fluctuating” as the anagrind. I’m sure the musicians amongst our merry band here will explain this in more detail: I believe the ‘stop’ might be referring to a particular organ stop designed to produce a tremolo effect, but I could well be somewhat off-beam…
22 Malicious woman in scrap with child (5)
BITCH – BIT (scrap) + CH (child)
25 Person who’s taken in by centre-forward? (3)
REF – Cryptic hidden centRE-Forward. A certain incident regarding the ‘hand of God’ comes to mind, albeit I believe the malefactor was wearing the number 10 shirt (as opposed to number 9) at the time

16 comments on “Sunday Times 4663 by Tim Moorey”

  1. Definitely not too stretching (I just went offline on today’s after a half-hour, and will try later over drinks; at least I’ll have had the drinks). I was wondering what the abridged pickle was; ‘MIRE’ would never have occurred to me, so ta Nick. DNK ADENOMA, but with ‘tumor’ the letters were easily arranged to good effect. I was a bit thrown off by ‘once’ in 17ac; people still use abaci.
  2. Agree about a walk on the beach. Still, I don’t understand either of the dd’s at 13ac. I’m sure I’m being dense, but can someone help out?
    1. I assumed at the time that it was 1) no 3d party present, just you and me; 2) eleven, 1 placed next to (on) 1. But then I didn’t really think about it, what with the enumeration and all. Who’s Tara when she’s at home?
  3. I didn’t notice first time through that it’s your birthday. Many happy returns and all. Oddly enough, today’s mine as well, although I’ve been trying to keep that fact from rising to consciousnes.
  4. Nick, I’m sure it’s only a typo as you have 6dn correct, but 13ac is ONE TO ONE. I considered ‘on’ and ‘by’ too before the checker clinched it.

    I also enjoyed this one and managed to work out several unknowns or forgottens such as MAIL OUT (I’d say ‘mail shot’), IN RE and ADENOMA.

    There’s a good case for an alternative answer at 22ac, especially north of the border where BREIST is a valid spelling, along with ‘breest’, and Collins confirms this. If one happens to know it as I did that’s exactly where the wordplay leads.

    Edited at 2015-10-18 08:47 am (UTC)

    1. I’ve told the people who do the draw that BREIST is an acceptable answer, but I doubt very much that they’ll see it. If a better-known and non-regional spelling fits the clue equally well as it does here, we would have slipped up very badly if BREIST had been the official answer. [The ST does not follow the Times xwd rule that “one” can indicate I but not A.]
      1. I now understand why BREAST had to be the official answer as there would have been howls of protest if solvers who put that were judged wrong for doing so, but for those who took the wordplay at face value (and in accordance Times xwd rules) allowance has to be made, and I’m encouraged that you have acknowledged this.
  5. 13:13 … really enjoying the Sunday puzzles these days. Another entertaining one with plenty to smile about.

    If the clue for WAGON-LIT is an original, it’s a great one.

    Happy birthday, Nick. Take the rest of the day off with pay.

  6. 10:36, so no problems here.
    I specifically remember someone on TMS (Aggers, probably) saying ‘ooh, it’s got him right in the crown jewels’, but I thought it was a one-off witticism. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it anywhere else so I had no idea that it was a more generally-used expression.
    Happy birthday Nick and Kevin.

    Edited at 2015-10-18 10:12 am (UTC)

    1. More generally used among a certain set; junior high school boys, say.
      Thanks, and thanks to bigtone.
  7. I thought at the time that this one had a ‘Dean’ feeling to it. Perhaps it is contagious amongst the setters.
    Happy birthday to the birthday boys, at least one of whom is still a mere stripling!

    Edited at 2015-10-18 07:03 pm (UTC)

    1. Correct solution must be ONE-TO-ONE, as Kevin alluded to earlier: “TO (ON)”
      Easy and enjoyable enough; but couldn’t parse NARC, NON-U or ONE-TO-ONE and guessed the wrong letter placement in ADENOMA.
      Heard of Sloane Rangers, but never of Sloanes.

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