Sunday Times 4747 by David McLean

By Harry’s exacting standards, I found this one to be at the (relatively) less demanding end of the spectrum, albeit some of the detailed parsing proved quite tricky.

2d requires some lateral thinking, and I was lucky enough to spot what was going on relatively quickly – otherwise I think I would still be grappling with it! I remain somewhat unsure of the parsing of 10a (for reasons explained in the blog), and whilst 15a was pretty much a write-in from the definition and the Nordic reference, I had an uneasy feeling that I was clutching at straws when trying to make sense of the wordplay.

Thanks to our setter for an enjoyable challenge.

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

1 One miserable squat, head off for good
GROUCH – {C}ROUCH (squat) has its first letter replaced by G (head off for good)
4 Impound E after busting dealer’s premises (5,3)
OPIUM DEN – *(IMPOUND E) with “after busting” as the anagram indicator
10 Bet you’ll get place set up as a home (9)
SPECULATE – Not sure about the parsing here, but I think it is as follows: *(PLACE SET) – with “up” suggesting the anagram – serves “as a home” for U (you’ll). I have a horrible feeling I’m missing something here, as “you’ll” for U seems a bit odd (maybe text-speak?) and “up” as an anagram indicator also seems strange. But I can’t see anything else… Better offers most welcome!
11 Some of those days for wearing tights? (5)
HOSED – Hidden in (indicated by “some”) tHOSE Days
12 I once quoted something thrilling (7)
EXCITER – An “Ex-citer” might be one who formerly quoted.
14 Support eastern lover sanctioned by the law (7)
ESPOUSE – E (eastern) + SPOUSE (lover sanctioned by the law)
15 Run into Nordic goths? They’re sweet and flaky (6,8)
DANISH PASTRIES – R (run) goes “into” PASTIES (goths) of the DANISH (Nordic) variety. “Goths” as the road to PASTIES puzzled me somewhat, but I guess the goth look is pale (i.e. pasty-faced) and therefore the plural would be “pasties”.
18 Sad result of lark blowing up in one’s face? (4,2,3,5)
DOWN IN THE MOUTH – Cryptic clue based on the somewhat grotesque, surreal image of a mouthful of feathers caused by an exploding lark. Nasty business!
22 Treasure Her Majesty — she’s a keeper (7)
HOARDER – HOARD (treasure) + ER (Her Majesty)
24 Posterior trouble, see nurse about it (4,3)
TAIL END – AIL (trouble) with TEND around it (see nurse about it)
25 Lug around boxes heartless idiots bring up (5)
RAISE – EAR reversed (lug around) wraps around (boxes) I{diot}S (heartless idiots)
26 Euro put-down wrong, BoJo finally admitted (5,2,2)
OWNED UP TO – *(PUT DOWN) – with E (Euro) also in the mix and “wrong” as the anagram indicator + O (bojO finally)
28 Irrational to cut down on babysitting? (8)
MINDLESS – DD, the second being a cryptic one based on doing less child minding
29 Welsh-supplied strain used to make beer (6)
BREWED – W (Welsh) is included in (supplied) BREED (strain), with the past tense being all important in making full sense of the clue
1 See someone regularly stayed out after work (2,6)
GO STEADY – *(STAYED) – with “out” as the anagram indicator – ‘after’ GO (work), giving us the somewhat quaint phrase from the days when people wooed and courted
2 I draw out the borders of Bucks (3)
ONE – {m}ONE{y} – take away the edges of (draw out the borders of) MONEY (bucks). Tricky stuff…
3 Star once snapped hugging posh mistress (9)
COURTESAN – *(STAR ONCE) – with “snapped” signalling the anagram – and U also in the mix (hugging posh)
5 Cops, they just get under King Edward’s skin (7)
PEELERS – DD, with the first referring to the early nickname for the boys in blue after their introduction by Sir Robert Peel, and the second cryptically referencing the King Edward spud
6 A French joint that’s out of fashion (5)
UNHIP – UN (a in French) + HIP (joint)
7 Worry one’s still into The Dandy (11)
DISQUIETUDE – IS QUIET (one’s still) inside DUDE (dandy)
8 Bolshie academic turned dumb yes-man? (6)
NODDER – RED DON (bolshie academic) reversed (turned)
9 Broadcast caught by young Afghan couple (4,2)
PAIR UP – AIR (broadcast) included in (caught by) PUP (young Afghan – as in the hound, presumably)
13 Assembly of folk brought together by crime, say (11)
CONVOCATION – Witty cryptic based on a gathering of folk whose vocation is to be ‘cons’ (criminals)
16 Balance poor in paper’s last piece, dear me! (9)
REMAINDER – *(IN DEAR ME) – with “poor” indicating the anagram – and R (papeR‘s last piece) also in the mix
17 A great many in Slough look extremely annoyed (8)
SHEDLOAD – SHED (slough) + LO (look) + A{nnoye}D (extremes of annoyed)
19 Sound nervous at first and all of a quiver? (7)
NARROWS – N (Nervous at first) + ARROWS (all of a quiver – very nice cryptic wordplay), with the definition being based on both sound and narrow being synonyms for a strait – although the singular ‘sound’ and the plural ‘narrows’ caused me a bit of consternation.
20 Having an aversion to metal, hand silver over (6)
HATING – TIN (metal) with H AG (abbrev. hand + chemical symbol for silver) going ‘over’ it
21 Sign that woman’s morning is behind time (3,3)
THE RAM – HER AM (woman’s morning) goes after T (behind time), giving us Aries
23 Live to be successful, but at love’s expense (5)
DWELL – D{O} WELL (successful but at love’s expense)
27 Where some of the flock rest, quiet sheep mostly (3)
PEW – P (quiet) + EW{E} (sheep mostly) with the flock here being the church congregation

12 comments on “Sunday Times 4747 by David McLean”

  1. Enjoyable enough, I suppose. I didn’t work out 10ac parsing but your version seems to cover it, Nick, with U for “you” as in texting, and there may be older examples of that particular usage, perhaps from America. Just an element of trying a bit too hard about some of the clues though, so I didn’t find it entirely satisfying.

    Edited at 2017-05-28 04:32 am (UTC)

  2. Wrote in ONE but could not for the life of me parse it.Thanks Nick.
  3. On wavelength with this in 18 minutes, with ONE parsed as per N. I also struggled to parse SPECULATE and this explanation stands up. COD PEELERS but I won’t tell my Lord Nelson/ King Edward joke again.

    Edited at 2017-05-28 08:22 am (UTC)

  4. I had most of this done in the hour but for the life of me just could not see the last three answers: 5dn, 10ac and 2dn. I had to put it aside and mull it over for a while before returning later that day to look at it afresh. Once I had taken a step back I stopped trying to break down 5dn’s component parts to work out some wordplay and spotted the double def. 10ac was next to fall, I parsed it as you’ve blogged it but also had question marks at “up” as an anagrind and at “you’ll” meaning “u” which meant that although it seemed to fit def and checkers I wasn’t entirely confident I wasn’t missing something. Even faced with o-e at 2dn I was still very hesitant because I just couldn’t see what was going on. Eventually entered “one”, correctly as it turns out, pinning it on the thinnest of hopes that the def was “I” so thanks for clarifying. Pleased to complete this one all correct. FOI 3dn. LOI 2dn. Some very intricate parsing I thought which meant it wasn’t a smooth solve but a lot of good stuff. With apologies to its denizens, I enjoyed the disparagement of Slough clue at 17dn and the bolshie academic at 9dn, I was more of a Beano man but liked 7dn, lovely word, the Happy Days-esque 1dn, 4ac, the Carry On-esque 24ac and lots else. COD 29ac with the nifty use of “used” in the surface reading versus “used to” to clue the solution.
  5. Gave up in the end with SPECULATE and ONE unfilled. With a hint from V on the club site, I eventually worked out the ONE, but I still couldn’t see SPECULATE. Just didn’t come to mind. Gah.
  6. I wondered if the “get” was also helping to suggest an anagram? You often see clues of the type “this gets that” to suggest one is an anagram of the other. Like others, I wasn’t terribly comfortable with “up” by itself to suggest the anagram.
    1. I too went down that road, but concluded that if “get” was playing that role then the rest of the clue didn’t really work. However, see below the very helpful comment from Mohn
    2. Isn’t the clue telling us that U (you) will get (PLACE SET)* as a home? So the ‘get’ is needed to tell us that U is contained in (PLACE SET)*, and ‘up’ just has to be the anagrind on its own.
  7. Found this rather harder than most of Mr McLean’s recent offerings, with a mix of clues that raised an eyebrow (e.g. 2D, 13D) and those with the excellent surfaces that I tend to associate with the setter (e.g. 7D, 17D).

    I’ve seen “up” as an anagram indicator quite a few times before, but I’m not sure if that was in daily cryptics or more in things like Mephisto. In Chambers, there are various definitions that fit the bill: “In an excited state”, “In revolt”, and “Amiss”, for example.

    1. Thanks for that insight Mohn: I now see it more clearly as a legitimate anagrind. All part of the learning process…!
  8. 20 minutes or so. I’m glad it was your turn to blog, Nick, because I didn’t understand 10ac. Thanks for the explanation.

    Edited at 2017-05-28 09:09 pm (UTC)

    1. Thanks K – but I reckon you had a much tougher one with Dean’s last offering!

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