Sunday Times 4736 – horseman hawk and hound

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
10:57. No real problems with this puzzle, just a smattering of slightly trickier ones in amongst some pretty straightforward double definitions and suchlike.

There are two clues in this puzzle that rely on the idea that a reversed word in a down clue is ‘up’, so PANS (in 4dn) and DEF (in 25dn) become SNAP up and FED up respectively, and then a synonym for each ‘up’ term (‘quickly buy’, ‘miserable’) is used in the clue. I’ve seen this device before, of course, but not without a question mark, which I would expect in a clue like this to indicate something a little bit cheeky. The omission felt a little naughty to me at the time, for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on, and it was certainly striking that it happened twice in on puzzle. Or is it just me?

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

1 Black cask contains blue weapon
BLOWPIPE – B (LOW), PIPE, where a PIPE (of port, mostly) is a cask with the capacity of two hogsheads. Of course.
5 Clobber retired doctor with a club
TABARD – reversal of DR, A, BAT. ‘Clobber’ as in clothes.
10 I join beak and judge to imprison a drunk
INEBRIATE – I, NEB, R(I)ATE. I didn’t know this word (Scottish and Northern English, apparently) for ‘beak’.
11 Holy man starts to use his drum and sitar to reflect
SADHU – first letters of ‘use his drum and sitar’, reversed.
12 Loach movie brought round for poet
KEATS – KES (Ken Loach movie) containing AT. AT means ‘for’ in a monetary sense: ‘it’s selling at four pounds’.
13 Briefly move in the water and turn round ship? It’s a piece of cake!
SWISS ROLL – SWIm, ROLL surrounding SS.
14 Nob quietly leaves capital to conservative villain
17 Maintain a dungeon
19 Take pay from harbour
DOCK – another DD.
20 Liven up rehashed rigatoni and serve regularly
22 Old boy’s valet is alert
OBSERVANT – OB, SERVANT. As it often does, the apostrophe indicates a shortening of ‘has’ in the wordplay, and not a possessive as in the surface meaning, or indeed a shortening of ‘is’. Here OB ‘has’ SERVANT next to it.
24 Journalist has problem about plant
SEDUM – S(ED)UM. I didn’t know this plant, which puts it in a very large category.
26 Coach some of them?
TRAIN – a sporting definition, and then a very slightly cryptic reference to the fact that a TRAIN might consist of a number of coaches.
27 I burp horribly and often – no time for medicine
28 A bit sooner
29 There’s harm done with epee but it won’t last long
EPHEMERA – (HARM, EPEE)*. This grated on my ear a bit because I always think of EPHEMERA as a plural, but I certainly wouldn’t say ‘ephemeron’. Collins has it as a singular noun meaning ‘mayfly’, in any case, so we don’t need to worry about it too much.

1 Reliable person with weapon outside Polish buildings
BRICKS AND MORTAR – BRICK (SAND), MORTAR. There is a rule in crosswords whereby you’re allowed to capitalise words that don’t require capitals, but not uncapitalise words that do require capitals. Or possibly the other way round. ‘Polish’ here is the former, so it’s either allowed or not, depending on what the rule is. The fact that this rule only applies in one direction has never made the slightest bit of sense to me.
2 Die Meistersinger is one work taking a long time
OPERA – OP, ERA. Not the hardest of clues, even though I’ve never seen this OPERA.
3 Alien is a hit, turning over unwanted guest
PARASITE – reversal of ET IS A RAP.
4 Quickly buy about fifty maps
PLANS – I thought of the answer quickly but it took me a while to realise that PANS is SNAP up. See comment above.
6 Help member of strings gives if missing intro
7 Some stars, together with lawyer, touring foreign city
8 Repeat novel in speech and end up receiving feasible complaint
DOUBLE PNEUMONIA – DOUBLE (repeat), PNEU (sounds like ‘new), reversial of AIM (end) containing ON (feasible).
9 Tire out an Ox – one for a Japanese dish
15 An insect’s work is never-ending
16 Arrest one in jail primarily smoking this?
CANNABIS – CAN (NAB, I), Smoking. Semi-&Lit.
18 Prisoner has to wait on husband
21 Start to make call in church
23 Outdo partially sincere politician?
25 Miserable and extremely obese author
DEFOE – DEF (FED up, see comment above), ObesE.

25 comments on “Sunday Times 4736 – horseman hawk and hound”

  1. I don’t know if this was a Freudian omission, K, but you left out 25d. And while I’m here, you’ve got a typo at 20ac.
  2. I got a couple of the clues (10ac, 1d) only post hoc, and didn’t get the MONIA part of 8d until coming here. Naturally DNK SEDUM. Re 4d and 25d, I felt there was something odd going on, but didn’t object at the time; but I agree that a ? was called for. CRINGE=start? Sounds odd to me. At 9d I threw in ‘yakitori’ then ‘sukiyaki’ before finally paying attention to the clue; but my first two guesses had the advantage of being names of dishes; TERIYAKI is a method of cooking dishes. I wouldn’t expect to see ‘teriyaki’ on a menu anymore than I’d expect to see ‘Marsala’ or ‘bourguignon’. But the dictionaries seem to support the setter.

    Edited at 2017-03-12 03:49 am (UTC)

  3. Just under par at 29 minutes unlike today’s monster.

    FOI 17ac KEEP LOI and COD 13ac SWISS ROLL

    TERIYAKI 照り焼き is correct as a genric header on a Japanese menu. YAKITORI 焼き鳥 means grilled Chicken. SUKIYAKI すき焼き is beef (usually)hot pot – with vegetables.

    WOD IBUPROFEN イブプロフェン

    Edited at 2017-03-12 05:01 am (UTC)

    1. I was once severely reprimanded by the great Noel Jessop for using “a piece of cake” for what could well be the whole deal. That and the clue for TRAIN would never get past his eagle eye.
  4. Enjoyable enough and mostly easily solved despite a few tricky bits along the way. Until it came to my LOI at 16dn, that is, where once again I had a mental block and ran out of steam. I looked at it blankly for 5 minutes, then looked it up and regretted having given up without more of a fight.

    Re 10ac, I believe there’s a convention in the daily Times that “I or 1” for “a” is not allowed. I know this is the Sunday Times which plays by different rules on occasion, but when an exception occurs (if this is one) it’s worth noting, I think.

    Edited at 2017-03-12 05:32 am (UTC)

  5. Watching too much American TV.
    ..banged in the actor Willem DAFOE instead of the author DEFOE in an otherwise enjoyable solve.
  6. As per usual the “naughtiness” escapes me .. it seems a perfectly valid device, and a not unfamiliar one as our esteemed blogger points out.
    Neb well known to us Heyerites, as she used it in boxing or pugilistic cant more than once. Unconnected with the Yiddish “nebbish,” I suppose..

    1. You’re right of course, it’s rather a neat device in fact. I just have a strong expectation of a question mark, without being able to put my finger on why.
    2. I thought I was word-perfect on La Grande Georgette Jerry – I knew the word from the NY Times puzzles but I didn’t remember that. Sure you’re right though!
      1. I knew this but I’m another who can’t remember it in the great works. Btw, this is the only blog I read where I come across other Georgette Heyer devotees. I think now I’ll go upstairs for a post-prandial nap and then reread “Sylvester” or maybe “Venetia”. Bliss…
      2. Ah, I’m on the spot now .. shall have to undertake some research 🙂

        There is one where a young lad and his ?sister go to a boxing match in the countryside .. carriages all lined up to watch .. might be Arabella? Frederica?

        There is also one involving a London boxing saloon .. Regency Buck? Not sure ..

  7. Managed this in 48 minutes. LOI DEFOE was biffed even though I’d worked out the same mechanism in 4d, marked as my COD. D’oh. Very fair wordplay for the unknowns, I thought. FOI 1d.

    I’ll be off to my local Sunday market later, where I may have some teriyaki, though the takoyaki is my favourite…

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  8. Found this straightforward in 11 minutes with LOI CANNABIS. Slightly puzzled with AT meaning FOR in the KEATS clue but I only know one Ken Loach film and one five letter poet with two letters inserted into that. Our garden seems to propagate SEDUMS so much that we could sell them wholesale.

    Edited at 2017-03-12 11:28 am (UTC)

  9. Thanks for parsing this – I never saw the “up” thing and concluded that “def” was some newish British slang for “miserable” that I didn’t know. 14.52
  10. I managed to stretch this out to 49:43 as I struggled to get the keyboard to enter letters in the appropriate direction, and also struggled to see some of the definitions. Can’t remember where I started and finished. I did eventually finish all correct though. I biffed DEFOE and KEATS, so thanks for the parsing of those. I liked TABARD. Raised an eyebrow at the use of a for I in INEBRIATE, but knew NEB: a favourite expression of my Mother was “don’t stick your neb where it doesn’t belong” Otherwise an enjoyable solve. Thanks Jeoff and K.
  11. Many thanks to setter and blogger.
    Did anyone else spot the following?
    I printed off the crossword from the paper last week and see that:
    in 13 ac the blogger has “turn” instead of “pass” in my version.
    and in 23 d, the clue that I had was “Endlessly sincere politician many won’t welcome”.
    As these were the only two clues I had a query about, I can only assume the clues didn’t pass someone else’s quality test. So, is that great minds thinking alike…………?
    1. How curious. I always copy and paste the clues from the club site, so this is definitely how they appeared there. I can only assume you’re right and that the online newspaper got an earlier version of the puzzle by mistake.
  12. I had been bruised and battered by the Saturday puzzle, so I put it to one side to look at this. It was a pleasure and I managed to finish it on the day. I think it’s the first time I’ve completed a Dean Mayer puzzle (I think it was him -I was so pleased to finish that I sent it in). Lots of fun clues -Ibuprofen, Trump etc . My only unknown was Sadhu which was easily derived. Thanks to all. David
  13. Well Ximenes said that you shouldn’t clue like this, because it’s really ‘I’ joins ‘beak’, so you have to say something like ‘I must join beak’. Yes I know he said this quite a while ago and we must move with the times etc. etc., but lots of people, including me, still think he’s right.

    Edited at 2017-03-12 11:16 pm (UTC)

    1. Thanks. I didn’t notice this, but I agree. Ximenean rules can be unnecessarily restrictive at times but basic cryptic grammar should work.

      Edited at 2017-03-13 12:11 am (UTC)

  14. Replying to various points above:

    Long operas – I think Meistersinger is as valid an example as Gotterdammerung – they’re both around 4.5 hours plus intervals. The Guinness World Records site has Meistersinger as the longest commonly performed one, citing a time around 5 hours at Sadlers Wells in 1968. But that must have been under Reginald Goodall, who didn’t like to rush things.

    “Noel Jessop” standards – these seem over-strict. A Swiss Roll could well be the whole thing, but if you order a part of one with some tea, I’ll place a small bet that you just ask for “Swiss Roll”. If we can’t use meanings that may not apply all the time, I think most cryptic clues would be ruled out. ON the “train” point, if we can talk of locos hauling trains, it seems permissible to count “train” as meaning the hauled coaches.

    Website version differences: a wrong file was supplied initially for this one, but I thought this had been resolved before the publication date. Best solution: right file first time.

    Ximenes and grammar in the cryptic reading: yes, I should have spotted this and agreed a different clue.

    1. Thanks Peter, very helpful.
      The trains I get in the morning are routinely described as ‘5(grr!)/8/10-coach’ trains, and there isn’t a separate locomotive. So these trains are just ‘some coaches’, one of which happens to contain a driver as well as passengers.

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