Sunday Times 4669 by Tim Moorey

Solved in a beer cellar in Prague with a plate of sausages and bread for sustenance – most enjoyable interlude. Several straightforward anagrams and double definitions got me off to a flying start, but then things got quite a bit stickier (or the local brew started kicking in).

Thought 6d was an excellent anagram and cleverly constructed clue, as also was 12d. The lexicographer was unknown to me, albeit readily guessable from the definition and checkers. 1a was also unknown, and more of a challenge to deduce from the wordplay, but got there eventually after spending a fair amount of time staring at it and growling occasionally. Thought 4d was a very nice cryptic, and always good to see Sid James getting a run out.

Thanks, as ever, to Tim for an enjoyable puzzle. Looking forward to meeting whoever shows up at next Saturday’s do.

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

. Or maybe I’m overcomplicating things… </td>

1 Speed measurement for some circuits showing vehicle’s a failure (8)
GIGAFLOP – GIG (vehicle) + A FLOP (a failure). Unknown to me, but thankfully the wordplay and crosscheckers allowed a reasonably confident guess. A gigaflop represents a billion floating point operations per second, and is an indicator of the virility of a computer, apparently. More impressive than a megaflop…
6 Army corps on the wagon right away? That’s correct (6)
REMEDY – REME (army corps) + DRY (on the wagon, R removed)
9 Order new Apple for friendly writer (3,3)
PEN PAL – *(NEW APPLE) with “order” as the anagrind
10 Solid complex houses odd liquid containers (3,5)
OIL DRUMS – *(SOLID) with “complex” as the anagrind, with RUM (odd) inserted
11 Trendy Nick providing pouch for personal keys? (3-6)
HIP POCKET – HIP (trendy) + POCKET (nick – i.e. steal). Found the definition a tad strange and was left wondering if I was missing some further subtlety.
13 Impression made by TV lexicographer? (4)
DENT – Susie Dent is, apparently, the resident lexicographer on the TV show Countdown. Unknown to me, but with the definition and cross checkers it couldn’t really be anything else
14 Old airline’s slimmed down? It was once (4)
TWAS – Found this tricky to parse, albeit the answer was clear enough. I think we have three routes to the answer: the definition “once” (as in “in the past”), or from the wordplay TWA’s (old airline’s), or ‘slimmed down’ IT WAS
15 Box set (10)
17 Denied Lord’s official a tip (6,4)
REFUSE DUMP – REFUSED (denied) + UMP(ire) (Lord’s official)
19 Casual woolly, back of which has faded (4)
AIRYHAIRY (woolly) without the last letter (back) of whicH. Airy for casual had me scratching my head briefly, until I thought of a cricket commentator saying “and Gower played an airy sort of cover drive and got a nick through to the keeper…”
21 Measure of substance by the sound of it (4)
METE – Sounds like “meat”
22 Injured fore and aft at sea, one adult jumping off (9)
AFFRONTED – *(FORE AND AFT) with one of the A’s being removed from the anagrist (one adult jumping off). “at sea” is the anagrind
24 German relative allowed to give punishment (8)
GAUNTLET – G (German) + AUNT (relative) + LET (allowed)
25 End part of sentence (6)
OBJECT – Straightforward DD
27 Ruddy strong winds ending in tragedy (6)
BLOWSY – BLOWS (strong winds) + Y (ending in tragedY)
28 Call James East to get good seats (8)
RINGSIDE – RING (call) + SID (James – the wonderful comic actor) + E (east). The story goes that Sid James’ ghost still puts in the odd appearance at the Sunderland Empire theatre where the great man died of a heart attack.
2 Who’s going to support reserve performance? (3,4)
ICE SHOW – *(WHOS) – with “going” as the anagrind, I guess – ‘supporting’ ICE (reserve).
3 Something put in Christmas pudding is poisonous (3)
ASP – Hidden – signalled by ‘put in’ – ChristmAS Pudding
4 Dean’s flower lady? (4,2,3,6)
LILY OF THE VALLEY – Delightful cryptic revolving around ‘dean’ meaning a valley. I’ve clearly been doing this stuff for too long, as I was initially trying to work out something based around the esteemed Mr Mayer…
5 Some wine put down (5)
PLONK – DD. Plonk the plonk here please…
6 No value in report scrapped, which could be this (8,7)
RELATIVE PRONOUN – *(NO VALUE IN REPORT) with “scrapped” as the anagrind. “which” is an example of a relative pronoun, so ‘could be this’
7 Inmates trod carelessly in cooler (4,7)
MORE DISTANT – *(INMATES TROD) with “carelessly” as the anagrind
8 Tenor in party getting Chinese duck (7)
DOMINGO – DO (party) has MING (Chines) + O (duck – cricket usage) added to it, revealing Placido, one of the Three Tenors (albeit these days he’s generally singing baritone, I’m told…)
12 Doctor wept as nurse gets a more promising situation (8,3)
PASTURES NEW – *(WEPT AS NURSE) with “Doctor” as the anagrind
16 Endlessly flashy man (3)
LOU – LOUd without it’s end
18 Look closely” I shout aloud (7)
EYEBALL – Sounds like “I BAWL” (I shout)
20 Discounted wine leader brought in (7)
REDUCED – RED (wine) with DUCE (leader) ‘brought in’
23 Pro restricts French and creates a stink (5)
FETOR – FOR (pro) surrounds (restricts) ET (French and). Unknown word to me, but the wordplay was very generous and I assumed it had some connection with fetid
26 Only 20 down sauce (3)
JUS – JUST (only) is ‘reduced’ (answer to 20 down)

5 comments on “Sunday Times 4669 by Tim Moorey”

  1. Like Nick, I had some DNKs that had to be, so no prob: GIGAFLOP, DENT. Another DNK was DEAN; I only now realize that I never parsed the clue. A couple of weeks ago we had GERMAN WINE, which I objected to as not being a lexical item in its own right (like, say, ‘German measles’); and here we have MORE DISTANT, to which I also object. Peter defended this practice last time, so I expect we’ll see more of the same in STs, but still. (I might add that, judging from the forum last time, I’ve got Magoo on my side.) Nick, I’d say that TWAS is “old airline’s”/”slimmed down ‘it was’ once”, is what I’d say. With a rather misleading ? .

    Edited at 2015-11-29 01:57 am (UTC)

    1. Strictly speaking, the wine was in 4660, nine weeks or three Tim Moorey puzzles earlier. Will this continue, or be adopted by other ST setters? We’ll see.
  2. Didn’t know FETOR or GIGAFLOP. Didn’t understand LILY-OF-THE-VALLEY. I’m glad I’m not alone in objecting to the inclusion of MORE DISTANT though I can’t say I felt as strongly about ‘German wine’.

    Edited at 2015-11-29 07:05 pm (UTC)

  3. could be an answer, for which “more distant” could be the definition. Ditto for “German wine” and “hock.” I hope PB isn’t suggesting this kind of thing may become more common here.

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