Sunday Times 4748 by Jeff Pearce

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
18:08. I am writing this yesterday: I have been on holiday this week, so have not had time for the blog until now. As a result I can’t really remember much about the solve. My time suggests I found it moderately tricky, and from what I remember I enjoyed solving it. Any puzzle that contains references to both PINOT NOIR and Game of Thrones is likely to find favour with me.

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

1 Careful procedures adapted to paint old ships at sea
SPIT AND POLISH – (PAINT OLD SHIPS)*. A slightly odd clue this: ‘careful procedures’ is a bit of an oblique definition, and there seem to be two anagram indicators: ‘adapted’ and ‘at sea’. ‘Adapted’ seems unnecessary.
10 Having this benefit might one behave differently?
HINDSIGHT – CD based on the expression ‘with the benefit of HINDSIGHT’. One for David Cameron.
11 Bouncer pockets rejected journalist’s pen
RODEO – ROO (bouncer) containing a reversal of ED. I didn’t know that a RODEO is an enclosure for cattle, as well as a cowboy show, so it took me a while to twig what was going on here.
12 Go off gold part of chopper
13 Man boards streetcar with an artisan
14 Try stopping a doctor chasing a very old scientist
AVOGADRO – GO containing (stopping) A DR, all following A, V, O. I have never been happy with ‘stopping’ as a containment indicator but it seems to be accepted so I guess I’ll just have to get used to it. I had forgotten about good old AVOGADRO and his constant until I had derived the answer from wordplay.
16 Merry midget
19 City — mostly blue — about to take on limited team
DURBAN – reversal of RUDe, BANd.
20 Film naturalist finally made in cool continent
FANTASIA – FAN (naturalisT) ASIA. The word ‘made’ is a bit odd here.
22 Lover out of place in 2, say, is a glutton
WOLVERINE – WINE (2, say, where 2 is 2 dn) containing (LOVER)*. I had forgotten that WOLVERINE was a word for a glutton, which is quite impressive considering it came up with an almost identical clue on 30 March.
24 Fold fuel around tip of log
25 Rue chopping head off this heron
26 Formidable female bishop joins old PM carrying a Times?
BATTLE-AXE – B (bishop), ATTLE(A, X)E.
27 A motive for payment
CONSIDERATION – DD. A reminder of studying contract law many years ago. I also remember the phrases ‘invitation to treat’ and ‘intention to create legal relations’, but how they all fit together is a bit hazy.

2 Drink mysterious potion in heart of Meereen
PINOT NOIR – (POTION IN)*, meeReen. My first reaction to this was ‘oh, I didn’t know that Meereen was a real place, as well as the fictional city conquered by Daenerys Targaryan in Game of Thrones’. It isn’t. My second reaction was ‘mmmm, PINOT NOIR’. My tipple of choice, although as I check this through yesterday evening I am finishing off a bottle of Chassagne Montrachet that went nicely with some barbecued chicken earlier.
3 Took exam again about shocking weapon
TASER – I initially had RESAT here, which caused me problems with 1ac until 12ac showed me it had to be the other way round. I don’t know why I did this: TASER is a much more natural reading.
4 Worthless piece upset a politician
NUGATORY – reversal of GUN, A TORY.
5 Walk with a northern Afghanistani
PATHAN – PATH, A, N. More familiar to me at least as PASHTUN, which is a reference to their language. Many years ago I travelled with a group of friends up the Karakoram Highway between Kashmir and Afghanistan to the Hunza Valley, and we encountered some of these people. An amazing trip but not one I would repeat today.
6 One takes clarinets to be played
7 Plant starts to sprout eventually now there’s wet soil around
SEDUM – Sprout, Eventually, reversal of MUD. The word ‘now’ confused me in this clue: I couldn’t account for it. Turns out it’s just filler.
8 Curt stewards on the organisation
9 Lively bar briefly hosts actors performing “Jumpers” in these?
BOUNCY CASTLES – BOUNCY (lively), LESs (bar briefly) containing CAST. A reference to the play by Tom Stoppard.
15 A terrible time with tense drunk knocking back liqueurs
AMARETTOS – A MARE, T, reversal of SOT. Definitely not my tipple of choice.
17 Tyrant hasn’t time to defend challenge when backing outlaw
DESPERADO – DESPOt containing reversal of DARE.
18 Impressionist frames “A Queen’s tiger?
21 Carol’s sorry for good storyteller
SINBAD – SING (carol) with the G (good) changed to BAD (sorry).
23 Left on an ancient vessel that’s slow
14 Trial broadcast featuring religious group
PILOT – or PI LOT, geddit?

14 comments on “Sunday Times 4748 by Jeff Pearce”

  1. … got me nowhere. Bunged in ANISETTES at 15dn on the basis that it had an anagram of ‘tense’. That left nowt much at 19ac except the un-parse-able DARWIN. Must do better in future.
  2. For me, anyway, one of Jeff’s most difficult puzzles in some time. DNK SEDUM, DNK TIDDLY=midget, DNK MARE–one reason 15d was my LOI, and why I kept toying with ‘anisettes’. Biffed 9d from checkers and presumed CAST–I only know these things from these cryptics. I didn’t notice the double anagrind in 1ac, but I was dubious about the definition, as I was with RODEO, like K not knowing this other def. Wasn’t it in “How I Won the War” that the “wily Pathans” are mentioned?
  3. I put in ANISETTES too, although I realized my error later and got it right. But one I got wrong was DURHAM instead of DURBAN. I meant to go back and check since no good way that HAM was limited band struck me as I wrote it in, but often that happens with these letter subtraction clues. HAME is a Scottish word for home but doesn’t get you there, so no way the answer is ambiguous enough to feel I was almost as right as the correct answer.
  4. With the wretched news from my old stamping ground of London Bridge and Borough when working at Bankside, I don’t feel much like jollity today. But I suppose life must go on. 6.0 x 10^23 molecules per gram molecule a write- in. Also went for ANISETTES before crossers revealed AMARETTOS. SINBAD not really parsed but successfully half biffed. Never watched Game of Thrones or heard of Meereen, unlike the rest of the family, who greeted my ignorance with hoots of derision,but have drunk enough PINOT NOIR to get the answer. 55 minutes for a decent puzzle. Thank you setter and K.
  5. Another DURHAM here. Even knowing that it was DURBAN from today’s paper, I could not parse it so thanks K
  6. Yep, Durham. I did have DURBAN at one point but couldn’t parse either of them so I just picked one.
        1. Please don’t. Give it a few days and you’d no doubt be humiliating me on that too.
  7. A leisurely solve done just inside an hour and a half whilst watching an episode of Columbo. FOI 12ac and LOI the tricky to parse 19ac. Have not seen GoT so did not get the reference to Meereen but that proved no obstacle to solving 2dn correctly. 14ac vaguely remembered from GCSE chemistry as something to do with moles (he must have worked for Rent-o-Kill), that must have been the lesson I managed to stay awake for. Of the long ones around the outside only 8dn went straight in, the others took much longer to see, especially 1ac which I wanted to be belt and braces for quite a while. Thought 9dn was very good but COD to the economical 16ac which actually made me laugh out loud (or LOL as I believe the young people say nowadays) when I saw it.

    Edited at 2017-06-04 11:10 am (UTC)

  8. Only AVOGADRO beat me. Like K, I was confused by “adapted to”. Never bothered to parse AMARETTOS and therefore didn’t notice the “mare” part.
  9. After getting 2d, 8d and 4d, I hypothesised that 14a might be some old scientist who had a law. I can’t remember which was my FOI, but AMARETTOS was my last. I found this quite enjoyable and took 27:50. Thanks Jeff and Keriothe.
  10. Reasonably comfortable (though lengthy) solve for me this time, although I also fell into the Durham trap initially and only saw the light when I revisited the handful I’d flagged to myself as not fully parsed.

    Was unashamedly pleased with myself for somehow recalling “Avogadro’s number” from the murky depths, although I haven’t a clue what it is or what it does.

    Thanks for very nice blog K.

  11. Had to admit defeat on this one – after seeing that ANISETTES wasn’t going to fit at 15dn, bunged AMORETTOS in without noticing that it didn’t parse, making it impossible to find anything plausible for 19ac.
    Had no problem with 14ac, though needed wordplay to get spelling right !

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