Sunday Times 4718 by Jeff Pearce

Well I did this in exactly 6 minutes, which didn’t put me anywhere near the top of the leaderboard, so I think it would be fair to say that this puzzle was easy. I don’t mind that though: it gave me a nice little Sunday morning ego-boost and meant the dog got a slightly longer walk, so everyone was happy.

As you might expect with a puzzle like this there isn’t a huge amount to discuss so I’ll just get on with it.

Definitions are underlined, anagrams indicated like (THIS)*.

1 Gaoler is transforming women’s quarters
5 Man backing daughter in charge of Scandinavia
NORDIC – reversal of RON, D, IC. Strictly speaking this is a definition by example, since the NORDIC region also includes Finland, which is not part of Scandinavia. Close enough though.
9 Go along and give graduate lines
PLAY BALL – give = flexibility = PLAY, BA (graduate), LL (lines). ‘Give’ in this sense can also be defined as ‘freedom of movement’ but let’s not go there.
10 Old Harry about to return ancient weapon
ONAGER – O, NAG (harry), reversal of RE. I knew that an ONAGER was an ass (from past crosswords, naturally) but not that it had given its name to ‘an ancient military engine for throwing great stones’.
12 Left memo lying around to give the game away
LET ON – L, reversal of NOTE.
13 A performance during function is dismal
SATURNINE – S(A TURN)INE. A word that always makes me think of Gordon Brown.
14 Business type gets runs after rotten prune entree
ENTREPRENEUR – (PRUNE ENTREE), R. A word for which the French have no equivalent, according to George W. Bush.
18 Moderately rich — like Elsie, Lacie and Tillie?
WELL-SITUATED – I put this in without a clue who Elsie, Lacie and Tillie were. It’s a reference to Alice in Wonderland: ‘Once upon a time there were three little sisters,’ the Dormouse began in a great hurry; ‘and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well.’
21 With no preparation old secretary starts to organise Rubens exhibition
EXTEMPORE – EX-TEMP (old secretary), Organise Rubens Exhibition. Another DBE, strictly speaking, since a TEMP isn’t necessarily a secretary. Like the last DBE it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
23 Means to close a small bag
PURSE – I think this is a triple definition – the public purse, pursing your lips and a small bag for money – but I’m not entirely sure.
24 Fine joke is hilarious from the start
PUNISH – PUN (joke), is, Hilarious. Another unindicated DBE, this one more questionable than the previous two for my money.
25 Some sudokus are finished incorrectly
26 Approve of plug on sink in bog
ADMIRE – AD (plug), MIRE (sink in bog). MIRE is usually seen in a figurative sense in sentences also containing the words ‘controversy’ and ‘e-mail server’.
27 Try more than once — we like that
HEAR HEAR – much the best way to express approval of something if you want to sound pompous.

1 Drink then work in store
SUPPLY – er, SUP, then PLY.
2 Has a go at traditional Sunday food
3 Show enthusiasm for chops and fruit
GO BANANAS – GOB (chops), ANANAS (pineapple, fruit).
4 The Italian has passionate desire to share artwork
ILLUSTRATION – IL (the Italian), LUST, RATION (share).
6 Proprietor heading off for barbiturate?
7 Artful Dodger pockets it — but upset and exhausted
DOG-TIRED – (DODGER)* containing a reversal of IT.
8 Might it transport you to Spooner’s distant Irish county?
CAR FERRY – of ‘far Kerry’ according to the Reverend.
11 Check a prison sentence — its length to be determined by fourth official
STOPPAGE TIME – STOPPAGE (check), TIME (prison sentence). Presumably in football or some other sport the amount of extra time at the end of the match is determined by a fourth official.
15 It’s revealing to watch Boycott?
EYE-OPENER – I didn’t know that Boycott was an opening batsman, but I didn’t know that he wasn’t either.
16 After pudding exercise with a climber
SWEET PEA – SWEET (pudding), PE (exercise), A.
17 Precious metal symbolically carried by Egyptian in the middle
PLATINUM – the symbol for PLATINUM, Pt, is in the middle of ‘Egyptian’.
19 Supporter is English cook
BRAISE – BRA (supporter), IS, E.
20 At heart polite, the rector shows restraint
TETHER – contained in ‘polite the rector’.
22 Leaders of monetary institutions show emotions resembling Scrooge?
MISER – Monetary Institutions Show Emotions Resembling. This time the DBE is indicated by a question mark, but doesn’t really need to be, since ‘Scrooge’ can mean MISER in its own right.

13 comments on “Sunday Times 4718 by Jeff Pearce”

  1. I wouldn’t GO BANANAS (3dn) but this offering from Jeff Pearce was ‘Keriothe’ easy. I crossed the line in 21 minutes and as I don’t have a dog was, like Tillie & Co, WELL SITUATED to have an early breakfast.

    However, with clocks going back in UK and not in China (they never alter),breakfast was an hour later.

    Einstein explains this for folk having breakfast in dining cars, on trains, heading in opposite directions.

    It all ends up the same and is known as intercity; so I might just get a dog instead!


    1. Horryd, I think you’ve outdone yourself. Not a single sentence I get there. Please, more goats!
  2. Agree that this was a relatively easy one. One of my faster times, and a precursor of my PB the next day (just wanted to mention that again).

    I see now that I wasn’t even close to parsing GO BANANAS, but that didn’t matter much.

    Thanks Jeff. Nice blog Keriothe.

    1. Me too, re parsing bananas. I have begun to realise that not only do I need to know all the plants, but probably need to spend a year living in the North to pick up some of the slang. The beer in the north would make that more worthwhile than memorizing plants, I’m thinking.
  3. Not quite as easy for me as for others so far, but 38 minutes counts as good for a Sunday Times puzzle chez Jack. I had three unknowns or forgottens, namely the well-dwellers, the required meaning of ONAGER and the first meaning of ROASTS.

    Edited at 2016-11-06 05:18 am (UTC)

  4. This one was so easy I filled in all the clues around the outside first, then all the acrosses, then the downs .. nothing more to say, really, except it was a bit of a surprise since I am used to thinking of Sundays as one of the harder days
  5. Of course I didn’t know the other ONAGER, or who the 3 girls were (which made 18ac my LOI). I thought 10ac was an allusion to some Harry Regan I didn’t know; never got the right parsing until I came here. Nor did I get GO BANANAS, settling for a BIFD. I slowed myself down at 8d by only coming up with Clare and Sligo for a good while. Nice, I suppose, to have an easy ST, but I felt rather disappointed afterwards.
  6. Not much to add to other comments – trusted the wordplay on 10ac and hadn’t a clue about the well dwellers – but just wanted to thank K for neat blog and our setter for a confidence booster!

    Today’s offering is, however, distinctly trickier…

  7. After an easy Saturday puzzle I had time to look at this -and it was easy even for me.
    So I filled it in and sent it off hoping to win a prize.
    Does anybody know why the prize for Saturday is a £20 gift voucher from WH Smith and for Sunday a 10 carat rolled gold Cross Century II fountain pen worth £210?. The runners-up get prizes worth £110!
    1. It’s the result of a sponsorship set up quite a few years ago – my understanding is that we don’t pay for the pens, and Cross decide which ones they’ll be – from memory, the fountain pen changed models a few years ago. I can’t say for sure why Cross chose to sponsor our crosswords, but my guess is that it was more related to comparative “quality newspaper” sales than any judgement about the crosswords.
  8. Only knew ONAGER as a donkey so had to google to find the other meaning.A gentle one as opposed to Jeff’s of two weeeks ago.Ong’ara,Kenya.
  9. I was proud that I got my first under thirty minute Sunday solve. Then I found out I wasn’t the only one that found it easy. A slow down for the usual soccer clue – that was my stoppage time.

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