Sunday Times 4692 by Dean Mayer – a 10ac 9dn

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
12m. An unusually gentle offering from Dean this week. No unknowns for me, and it all flowed smoothly with no major hold-ups. But we don’t need to be tortured every week and I found this highly enjoyable.

By coincidence this puzzle contains a number of echoes of things that have come up in recent puzzles. We’ve had GAROTTE recently, and HAPPY FAMILIES. The word ‘perv’ also appeared in last week’s puzzle, and confused those who either hadn’t heard of it at all or (like me) had no idea that it was of Australian origin.

There are a few good anagrams in here, and one that is absolutely brilliant.

1 Desire I offer — see nurses
LIBIDO – L(I BID)O. I always find the equivalence between ‘bid’ and ‘offer’ a bit strange, since in the financial world I inhabit much of the time they are opposites. In real life though they aren’t, of course.
4 Time printed most of worker’s dispatch
TRANSMIT – T, RAN (printed, as in a newspaper story), SMITh.
10 Still deposited? I’m removed
11 In which a river may flow, but not fast
GORGE – because if you GORGE, you’re not fasting.
12 Officer has come upon action
GENERAL STRIKE – you might ‘come upon’ oil, for instance.
14 Dipstick in part of sump initially
ASS – AS (in part of: Kit Harington as Jon Snow, for instance), Sump.
15 In prison I call out wrong answer
CALCULATION – CAN (prison) containing (ICALLOUT)*. I don’t really see how a CALCULATION is an answer, but it had to be the answer.
19 Colour of manure, mostly
20 Those glad to be at home game
HAPPY FAMILIES – two definitions, one crypticish.
23 What stops policeman going back in time?
EPOCH – reversal of COP inside EH (what). I’m sure this has come up before but I don’t understand how ‘stops’ can be a containment indicator. It seems more naturally to indicate the opposite, and I tried for a while to make PEHOC or something similar work here. What meaning of the word ‘stop’ am I missing?
24 US state with very bad form of capital punishment
GAROTTING – GA (Georgia, US state, not to be confused with GE, Georgia, country), ROTTING.
25 Imagine keeping t’privies free
SET LOOSE – SE(T’ LOOS)E. I wondered about ‘imagine’ as a definition of ‘see’, but that is precisely what it means in a phrase like ‘I can see myself now, putting my hand up five seconds ahead of Magoo in the final’. Although that’s more a case of delusion.
26 Increase a number of people for hearing
ACCRUE – sounds like ‘a crew’.

1 Drunk and topless, heading for home
2 Wine sellers predict something delightful
3 I can grind out fast food here
DINING CAR – (I CAN GRIND)*.’Fast food’, ho ho.
5 Old soldiers could be seriously frail
ROYAL FUSILIERS – (SERIOUSLY FRAIL)*. Dean Mayer is very good at discovering long, neat anagrams. I was a bit puzzled by ‘old’, but it seems that this regiment was amalgamated with fusiliers of various other flavours to form the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 1968.
6 Almost time … for bed?
NIGHT – NIGH, T. Semi-&Lit.
7 Tiny bottles are no longer for drink
MARTINI – M(ART)INI, where ‘are no longer’ gives (thou) ART.
8, 17 Tourist attraction ruined if we angle photos near it
THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA – (IF WE ANGLE PHOTOS NEAR IT)* What was I just saying about anagrams? This one is spectacular!
9 Funny man Cooper’s output?
BARREL OF LAUGHS – this one doesn’t really lend itself to strict Ximenean analysis (and so what?), but Tommy Cooper was a comedian and a Cooper makes barrels. By chance I came across an old Tommy Cooper routine on the TV a couple of weeks ago, and left it on just to see what it would be like: I had heard some of his one-liners but never actually watched him for any length of time. The audience were quite literally screaming with laughter, but I didn’t find any of it remotely funny: I didn’t even come close to cracking a smile. Sometimes (in fact usually) comedy really doesn’t age well.
13 These turn around, these crawl around
CARTWHEELS – (THESE CRAWL)*. Another neat anagram.
16 Old-fashioned article on reformed activist
ATAVISTIC – A, (ACTIVIST)*. A bit of a reductive definition, but the answer is pretty clear.
18 Pulling a face is unnecessary as you say “failure
WIPEOUT – sounds like ‘why pout?’
19 Papers one stuffed in bum
21 A husband loves chasing tail of Lily Savage
YAHOOlilY, A H, OO. Lily Savage is or was a character played on TV by Paul O’Grady, who appears more often as himself these days. I think.
22 Perv, extremely evil, shot up
OGLE – reversal of EviL, GO.

21 comments on “Sunday Times 4692 by Dean Mayer – a 10ac 9dn”

  1. Like Keriothe, I was struck by the (relative) easiness of this. And like him I wondered about CALCULATION. And about ‘stops’; the only thing I could come up with is that the including letters prevent COP from being expanded (backward) to ‘copper’. Which doesn’t seem too convincing. I’d never heard of HAPPY FAMILIES, but luckily it had appeared shortly before. I’d also queried ‘old-fashioned’ in my marginal notes, but I suppose as a definition it’s good enough for government work. Never heard of Cooper the comedian or Lily Savage, but of course didn’t need to. COD to the tour de force 8d.
  2. Getting Tommy and Lily into the same puzzle. What a pair. At an earlier point in my life, I happened to be dossing — not quite in the 19dn sense — with Lily’s dressmaker. As I was about the same dimensions as Paul (a fellow Birkonian), I got a gig as a suitable dummy for fittings. Just hope there are no extant photos.
  3. Straightforward. 33 minutes.

    Isn’t the answer to a sum a calculation?

    Edited at 2016-05-08 06:58 am (UTC)

    1. Calculation is the process by which you get the answer, surely? 2 + 2 = 4: 4 is not a calculation.
      1. calculation: The form in which reckoning is made; its product or result.

        The last bit seems to cover it. Anyway it’s good enough for me.

        1. Yes, like the Collins entry it would seem to justify the definition. I still don’t like it but I will have to write a sternly-worded letter to the dictionaries, not Dean. 😉
          1. Good luck with that! The first OED source for that meaning goes back to 1646!
  4. No problems with stopping.. Collins for example:
    (transitive) to block or plug, esp so as to close” ⇒ to stop up a pipe”
    (transitive) to fill a hole or opening in” ⇒ to stop up a wall”
    (transitive) to staunch or stem” ⇒ to stop a wound”

    .. and for calculation:

    the act, process, or result of calculating …

    You will do well, to catch Dean out with a definition 🙂

    I never did find Tommy Cooper particularly funny, so no change there then..

    1. In all of those examples I would say that ‘X stopping Y’ indicates X inside Y: that’s my point.
      I guess the Collins entry lets Dean off the hook for ‘answer’, but I still don’t think it’s right.

      Edited at 2016-05-08 09:36 am (UTC)

  5. What is the role of “see nurses” in 1A?

    Why does “worker” mean “smith” in 4A? Is it refering to a blacksmith? Or Adam Smith?

    Why does “something delightful” mean “gas” in 2d?

    1. Hi Anon.
      > In 1ac ‘nurses’ is a containment indicator, and LO is ‘see’.
      > In 4ac I think ‘goldsmith’ or similar fits the meaning better. See Collins: ‘a person who works in metal, esp one who shapes metal by hammering’.
      > Something (or someone) which is ‘a gas’ is a hoot, great fun, a delight.
        1. You’re welcome. It’s sometimes hard to know how much detail to go into in the explanations so if there’s anything you don’t understand don’t hesitate to ask.
  6. Collins has: ‘(transitive) often foll by “up”, to block or plug, esp so as to close ⇒ to stop up a pipe’.

    The blocking part of the definition would correspond to Dean’s usage, since it can refer to ‘outfixing’, to coin a phrase, as well as to ‘infixing’.

  7. A “stopper” in a bottle keeps the contents inside (the bottle). Or put another way, to “stop” something is to bottle it up, ie: contain it.
    That’s how I saw it at the time.
    1. Thanks Anon. This is the same sense as ‘stop up a pipe’ mentioned by ulaca above, and I still can’t see how it makes a containment indicator. The restraining effect of a stopper only happens in one place, so it seems to me that the (metaphorical) ‘restraining’ effect of EH in this clue is something quite different.
  8. I think stop can be used to mean contain, as in: the fire was contained (stopped from spreading.

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