Sunday Times 4721 by Jeff Pearce

An enjoyable solve over a few beers sitting in a pub garden in Sydney, where I’m currently doing a couple of weeks work and also catching up with old mates. Overall some pretty straightforward fare (at least by ST standards), which was a blessing as I was way too relaxed at the time to have taken on a real toughie.

Both 10ac and 14ac required post-solve research before I could parse them fully, but both were attainable for me from definition and cross checkers. Other than that, “not much to frighten the horses” as our friend Jackkt often says.

Particularly liked the homophonic Spoonerism at 5dn, although I know such clue types are not to everyone’s taste.

Apologies in advance for lack of response to comments on this blog as I will be in transit back to London on Sunday. Similarly, apologies in arrears for lack of response to the kind comments on my previous ST blog when I was in transit on the way out to Sydney…

Thanks, as ever, to our setter.

Definitions underlined: DD = double definition: anagrams indicated by *(–): omitted letters indicated by {-}

1 Hairstyle with another flipping English flower (6)
DANUBE – DA (Duck’s Arse – 1950’s haircut) + BUN reversed (another hairstyle ‘flipping’) + E (English)
4 A perfect order is a fruit tart (5,3)
APPLE PIE – DD, first one slightly cryptic
10 Candy bow found in Western river (5-4)
SUGAR COAT – ARCO (musical instruction to return to using the bow after a bit of pizzicato action – apparently) inside TAGUS reversed (river runs ‘west’ in the context of an across clue). Went in easily enough, but the ARCO part had me totally flummoxed…
11 Reveal a senior manager switched pcs etc (5)
ADMIT – A + MD reversed (senior manager switched) + IT (pcs etc.)
12 Took care of a minor issue (7)
BABYSAT – Gentle cryptic
14 Asian priest returned to school compound (7)
AMALGAM – LAMA reversed (Asian priest returned) + GAM (word for a school of whales). Gam was unknown to me: post-solve research revealed it is also slang for fellatio in Scotland. Context is everything, I guess…
15 Doctor left home-brewed ale unfinished with a part of
healthy diet
? (9,5)
WHOLEMEAL BREAD – *(L{EFT} HOME BREWED AL{E} A) with “doctor” as the anagrind
18 Suspect one might be recognised here (8,6)
IDENTITY PARADE – Another gentle cryptic
22 Displays with it need approval from CAA (7)
AIRSHIP – AIRS (displays) + HIP (with it) and an overall cryptic definition
24 A specialised soldier on the way to give support (7)
ARMREST – A + RM (specialised soldier – royal marine) + RE (on) + ST (the way – i.e. street)
25 Girl one leaves is thick (5)
26 It’s clear that around 50 I can be forgetful! (9)
OBLIVIOUS – OBVIOUS (it’s clear) goes around L (50 – Roman numeral)
28 What many pensioners have upstairs is something hard to
GREY AREA – DD, first one slightly cryptic
29 Blush wine and a joint (6)
REDDEN – RED (wine) + DEN (joint – as in “come to my den”)
1 What cellist’s cleaner might do left in depressed part of US?
DUST BOWL – DUST BOW (what cellist’s cleaner might do) + L (left). Suspect I was not alone in spending some time trying to work out how the wordplay might lead to Rust Belt…
2 Knight on silver horse (3)
NAG – N (knight – chess notation) + AG (chemical symbol for silver)
3 Short human entertaining Dadaist composer (9)
BERNSTEIN – BEIN{G} (short human) with ERNST (Max of that ilk) inside, giving us the composer and part time sage Leonard: “To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.”
5 Trap attractive letter writer for Spooner (7)
PITFALL – Homophonic Spoonerism – FIT (attractive) PAUL (he of the epistles)
6 A fastening device put up a vine (5)
LIANA – A NAIL reversed (a fastening device put up)
7 Great male ape on exotic tree (11)
POMEGRANATE – *(GREAT M{ALE} APE ON) with “exotic” as the anagrind. The precise anagram fodder took a bit of ferreting out…
8 Bury Hospital Department given eminent award by Bishop
ENTOMB – ENT (hospital department) + OM (eminent award – Order of Merit) + B (Bishop)
9 Courage beer found in this? (6)
13 Family love something on which to cook fruit (5,6)
BLOOD ORANGE – BLOOD (family) O (love) + RANGE (something on which to cook)
16 Avoid more complicated type of flick (4,5)
ROAD MOVIE – *(AVOID MORE) with “complicated” as the anagrind. Get your motor runnin’
17 Eject drunk sot in plane sitting at the front (8)
JETTISON – *(SOT IN) – with “drunk” as the anagrind – prefaced by JET (plane sitting at the front)
19 Troublemaker takes stories to press (7)
IMPLORE – IMP (troublemaker) + LORE (stories)
20 Wise, say, to include aristo in annual (6)
YEARLY – EARL (aristo) included between a couple of Ys (wise, say). Took a while for the penny drop moment here, not least because I managed to convince myself ‘Wise, say’ was pointing us towards “little Ern”. Clever clue.
21 Stretch then follow devoted supporter (6)
LAPDOG – LAP (stretch – as in part of a race) + DOG (follow)
23 Animal has endless hunger within (5)
HYENA – HA{S} (has endless) with YEN inside (hunger within)
27 Not even rum? (3)
ODD – Gentle DD to finish off the proceedings

8 comments on “Sunday Times 4721 by Jeff Pearce”

  1. Nothing, indeed, to frighten the horses; not much even to get them moving. My LOI was 10ac, which I solved post hoc; it took me a while for ‘Western’ to sink in. (as opposed to ‘Westward’, ‘Westerly’.) Some pretty blah clues: 9d, say, or 27d, or 4ac. Not your typical ST puzzle.
    1. Horryd, if you’ve written to me privately (via LJ as suggested last week) I haven’t received anything from you.
  2. Straightforward enough, but I nodded off and have no solving time.

    I didn’t understand SUGAR-COAT for “candy” at the time, but see now “candy” has to be a verb for it to match though I wasn’t aware it could be until I remembered “candied peel” which derives from the verbal sense. I thought 12ac was rather good.

  3. I put donube thinking it was a variant ; do being hair-do!!

    Edited at 2016-11-27 07:49 am (UTC)

  4. 20m. No horses were frightened in the making of this crossword, as others have noted, but I didn’t find it all that easy. 10ac was my last in: the wordplay is a bit obscure and the definition is baffling as long as you think it’s a noun. But it isn’t, and you can’t complain about that! I also struggled a bit with 24ac: the definition seemed obvious but I failed to see the on=RE bit for an embarrassingly long time.
    Thanks for the blog, Nick, hope you have a good flight back.

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