Sunday Times 4735 by David McLean

After the rigours of the previous Sunday’s offering from Dean, this one from Harry came as a bit of light relief – and I for one am not complaining! A very accessible puzzle by Sunday standards, but neatly put together and fun to solve.

2d required specific knowledge of football conventions pre (roughly) 1966 – which, luckily, I happened to have – although the answer was pretty clear even if the underlying logic of the clue remained impenetrable. 5d was an unknown word for me, but given that we were clearly being pointed to an anagram and had 4 out of 7 checkers from the across answers, it was a fairly safe bet albeit my LOI.

I remain slightly unsure about the parsing of 19d, but I’m sure the assembled crew will help out here if I have gone astray. Other than that, not much else to say – other than thanks, of course, to our setter

1 Rubbish description of a bootmakers’ union? (1,4,2,8)
A LOAD OF COBBLERS – DD – the second mildly cryptic
9 Poisonous American incessant talker topped (7)
RATTLER – {P}RATTLER (incessant talker loses its first letter – i.e. is ‘topped’)
10 E-security feature about to get a new patch (7)
CAPTCHA – *(PATCH) – with “new” indicating the anagram – is included inside CA (about), giving us the term for those irritating blurry letter combinations used by some web sites that supposedly ensure that it is a human (rather than an automated program / robot) filling out an online form. I often struggle to decipher these, giving further credence to the theory of some of my pals that I am actually just visiting from another planet…
11 This marijuana will get you gone! (4)
WEED – I think the idea is that WEED (gone) is the past participle of WEE (to “go”). Hmm – let’s move swiftly on.
12 Sot’s confession asserts nothing? Er, ok (1,7,2)
I SUPPOSE SO – I SUP (sot’s confession) + POSES (asserts) + O (nothing)
13 A second impression, perhaps, about kids (7)
REISSUE – RE. ISSUE (about kids)
15 Wave degree student group in IT returned (7)
TSUNAMI – Inside TI (IT returned) we reverse MA (degree) + NUS (student group)
17 Thankless sort angry over nothing on vacation (7)
INGRATE – IRATE (angry) goes around (over) N{othin}G (nothing after being vacated)
19 Holdall graduate opens to get woolly (4,3)
TOTE BAG – BA (graduate) inside (opens) *(TO GET) with “woolly” pointing to the anagram
20 Very shocking squeal enveloping milliner (10)
SHATTERING – SING (squeal – both being terms for what a police informant does) ‘envelopes’ HATTER (milliner)
22 It’s a meat-eating wild animalgulp! (4)
25 Rotten son pinching bottom hurts feelings (7)
OFFENDS – OFF (rotten) + S (son) take END inside (pinching bottom)
26 I don’t believe a chap who thinks God exists (7)
ATHEIST – A THEIST (a chap who thinks God exists)
27 I won’t tell sleepers I’m a lady in disguise (2,4,3,6)
MY LIPS ARE SEALED – *(SLEEPERS IM A LADY) with “in disguise” indicating the anagram
1 East End school, one found near Bow? (5)
ARROW – {H}ARROW (school as pronounced by the aitch dropping cockney)
2 Where one used to see 7 or 11 in flight? (2,3,4)
ON THE WING – DD. The first of the two definitions may have been a bit of a mystery to non-football fans, or indeed to footy people who were introduced to the game after the traditional 2-3-5 formation became somewhat passé. The key to the definition is that 7 and 11 were the shirt numbers of the right winger and the left winger respectively – Matthews and Finney come to mind…
3 Benefit of turning wheel? 0 dents! (4)
DOLE – Reversed (turning) hidden in wheEL O Dents
4 Court in support of warning witness in advance? (7)
FORESEE – SEE (court – as in Holy See) comes after (in support of) FORE (warning – on the golf course)
5 Cop cut badly around one bit of the bonce (7)
OCCIPUT – *(COP CUT) – with “badly” pointing to the anagram – going ‘around’ I (one)
6 Side effect of what junkies often do, I’m told (2-7)
BY-PRODUCT – Sounds like (I’m told) BUY PRODUCT (what junkies often do)
7 Music Cher initially mentioned to host (5)
EMCEE – The letters MC as spoken (Music Cher initially mentioned)
8 Shanty written about fashionable salt? (9)
SEASONING – SEA SONG (shanty) goes around (written about) IN (fashionable)
13 Minor star snapped in a power shower? (9)
RAINSTORM – *(MINOR STAR) with “snapped” suggesting the anagram
14 Drink drinks chaps without skill make neat (7,2)
SMARTEN UP – SUP (drink) has inside it (drinks) MEN (chaps) going around (without) ART (skill)
16 Moral bias, in a strange way, is delicious (9)
AMBROSIAL – *(MORAL BIAS) with “in a strange way” as the anagram indicator
18 Orwell’s state overturning first-rate appeal with regret (7)
EURASIA – AI (first rate) + SA (appeal – as in ‘sex appeal’) + RUE (regret) all reversed (overturning), referring to the super-state of that name in Orwell’s 1984
19 Old news in Times: Queen Elizabeth’s weight? (7)
TONNAGE – Not sure of the parsing here, but I think it goes like this… O (old) + NN (plural ‘new’) in T and AGE (two instances of ‘times’) giving us the possible unit for measuring the weight of the liner rather than a monarch.
21 Topless constitutional? Horrific! (5)
AWFUL – {L}AWFUL (constitutional with its top removed)
23 Stinking US agent pulling in upset relations (5)
FETID – FED (US agent) with IT reversed (upset relations) inside (pulling in)
24 Where a dealer stashes a pack in Oxford? (4)
SHOE – DD. A shoe is (apparently – had not come across this before) a “box like device for dispensing playing cards” and an Oxford is also a type of shoe.

24 comments on “Sunday Times 4735 by David McLean”

  1. 1ac was my FOI and a write in for many. fyi LOBB & Co in St. James Street are ‘Cobblers to the Queen!’

    6ac is BI-PRODUCT, not one word.

    The unit of tonnage is tonne.

    4dn FORSEE – I read -to SEE – as -to court – (verb not a noun).

    LOI 10ac CAPTCHA I used to have to use KEY-CAPTCHA to enter this programme with a strange little jigsaw-puzzle.

    No COD. WOD COBBLERS. Time 40 minutes

    Edited at 2017-03-05 02:07 am (UTC)

  2. Did this on the bus returning from a rehearsal at our “Cultural Centre”, aptly described by HRH Charles as a public convenience, with acoustics to match. Since I had it done by Yaumatei, it can’t have taken any longer than 12 minutes.

    I’m with Nick on illegible CAPTCHAS. Only a nerd could think such things up and think they are good.

    Difficult to hear load of cobblers without thinking of Benny Hill’s Chinaman, who had a disturbing likeness to Jiang Zemin – currently in a cryogenic sleep somewhere in China before the time is deemed auspicious to declare his demise.

  3. Jimmy Jiang is alive and well and has been seen recently out and about!

    Edited at 2017-03-05 04:14 am (UTC)

  4. Sub-10 solve, but had OCCUPIT. Not sure whether I thought that was correct at the time, more likely didn’t think at all.

    SHOE was one of my old tools of trade, so no problem there.

    2dn would be a better clue with “11 or 14” (or “2 or 5”!) instead of “7 or 11”.

    Thank Harry and Nick.

  5. Mostly straightforward but I misplaced the remaining vowels incorrectly when deciphering the anagram at 5dn, never having heard of OCCIPUT. Incidentally when I searched TftT just now to see if it had come up before it didn’t even return it for today’s blog, so something’s amiss.

    I worked out CAPTCHA from wordplay. I knew the irritating device but not its name, nor even that it had one.

    Until I read the blog I hadn’t realised that 11ac was being quite so literal in its second meaning. I thought I might have heard WEED used as a slang expression for being out of one’s brain either on drugs or alcohol so I was thinking “gone” in that sense.

    Edited at 2017-03-05 05:57 am (UTC)

    1. It comes up now, for today only.
      Google updates are often not instant, you just can’t get the staff these days ..
  6. I had a very lazy start last Sunday, so did this in two sessions of twenty minutes either side of The Archers.

    Hearing people talk about occipital lobes in shows like House led me in the right direction for OCCIPUT, but I was glad it was an anagram. Baffled by the footballing definition of 2d, so just had to take a leap of faith there. Apart from that I think I was all fully parsed…

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  7. 7:25. OCCIPUT seemed vaguely familiar but OCCUPIT looked at least as feasible so I looked it up to be sure. I honestly don’t understand how a clue like that gets through the setting and editing process.

    Edited at 2017-03-05 11:29 am (UTC)

  8. This was my first attempt at solving on the Club site, so I was quite surprised to finish all correct in 26:04. I did the following week’s Sunday cryptic just afterwards and took almost twice as long. My efforts at various other puzzles to try and get used to the site went downhill from there. Give it time! The answers seemed to fly in for this one with no unknowns. Those CAPCHA things really annoy me. When I was in Fuerteventura last month and my phone got destroyed in the pool by a faulty waterproof wallet, I had to try and decipher them to recover my access to various sites using my daughter’s phone. A frustrating experience! 1a went straight in. No problem with OCCIPUT. Missed the reference to the old shirt numbers in 2d. Clever. Took the second meaning of WEED with a shrug. Thanks setter and Nick.

    Edited at 2017-03-05 11:42 am (UTC)

    1. You’re a braver man than I am, John. I’m sticking with Treeware. I can’t do anagrams without writing them down. And my success rate on iPad keyboard is certainly less than 95% so there’d be a typo every day.
      1. I still have a pen and piece of paper by me for the anagrams. It’s really easy to make typos though, as the grid sometimes seems to have a life of its own and things get overwritten. Some times you think you’re doing an across clue but it’s doing the down one. When I’m tired it’s worse. Got to keep up with the Times though:-) I’m using a laptop at the moment as I’m still waiting for my ipad to arrive. There will be a lot less trips to the recycling bin now I’ve binned the treeware too, and there’s a definite cost saving and access to more puzzles.
  9. A regular now on weekdays, I’ve not done the Crossword on Sunday before, but I saw A LOAD OF COBBLERS as I turned to the Sudokus, so carried on. All was done and dusted in quarter of an hour. I guess it’s usually harder from other comments. I thought TONNAGE parsing to be as per Nick. I reckoned the SHOE stash reference alongside the Oxford brogue must be a reference to the habits of my 3 year Physics compatriot in the Clarendon, Howard Marks. He didn’t walk with a limp but did carry a guitar case, on the odd occasion he showed up, that is.
  10. I had finished the Saturday puzzle on the day so had time for this.
    Like others, 1a went straight in so off I went. This was clearly a puzzle on my wavelength- I saw the meaning of 7 and 11 as I read the clue and confidence grew. Also I’ve known Occiput since boyhood so that was in quickly too. Knew the shoes etc. And logging into this site I have frequently navigated Key Captcha. Could not remember my Orwell but the clue was helpful. A very enjoyable hour for me. David
  11. 19down TONNAGE
    Queen Elizabeth { present Queen’s mum } lived to be 102. TON { 100 ] AGE !!
  12. ………..couldn’t parse the clue. Even though I know a bit about Soccer (England’s win in 1966, Maradonna handled the ball, that sort of stuff) I think it’s a bit much to be expected to know the numbers on Soccer jerseys from a bygone age. I’s a bit like expecring someone with no scientific background to know about Q
  13. ……… expect someone with no scientific background to know something like Quantum Tunneling.

    Still managed it in less than an hour, third time ever. Thanks again to all the bloggers.

    Tom (and Janet) Toronto.

  14. ……… expect someone with no scientific background to know something like Quantum Tunneling.

    Still managed it in less than an hour, third time ever. Thanks again to all the bloggers.

    Tom (and Janet) Toronto.

  15. Also got captcha, but differently: c. short for circa (about) + a (word in clue) + new (anagrind) patch = ptcha.
    from Phyl, Toronto, Canada

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