Sunday Times 4762 by David McLean

11:30. No real problems this week, and another nice puzzle from our friend Harry. A number of neat touches but I particularly like the ‘split up’ device in 15dn.

This is another puzzle with a few political references: three in a row in 16dn, 18dn and 21dn!

With the new website we don’t know if we’re all correct until they publish the answers, and this week there’s one I’m not entirely sure of: 7dn 6dn. The wordplay works, and the checkers don’t really leave any viable alternatives as far as I can tell, but I can’t see a definition. No doubt I’m missing something obvious and someone will put me out of my misery in due course.

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

1 Renounce remit involving Di and Charlie
ABDICATE – AB(DI, C)ATE. I biffed this, I’m not sure I’d have thought of ABATE for ‘remit’. The meaning is more commonly seen in the form ‘remission’.
5 Clingy creature’s least stiff when son’s not about
LIMPET – LIMPEsT. Another easy biff. I thought of barnacles first but that was as much as this one held me up.
10 A speech daughter held in high regard
11 Muscle envy? That’s disgusting!
SINEW – SIN (definition by example signalled by the question mark), EW.
12 Regularly taking milk kept in a cask
ON TAP – ON (regularly taking), TAP (milk). Kept in a cask as opposed to a bottle.
13 General age and decay backed up juice maker
GENERATOR – GEN, ERA, reversal of ROT.
14 One in fashion shop shows self-control
MODERATION – MODE (fashion), RAT ON (shop) containing I. ‘Fashion shop’ is very good.
17 Row of attractive housing force turned over
TIFF – reversal of F(F)IT.
19 Foreign article about Liberals amounting to nothing
NULL – reversal of UN (foreign article) then two Ls.
20 Terribly nice stuff is not half enough
22 Head of school with rule you just have to hear
PRINCIPAL – sounds like ‘principle’. I managed to put the wrong version in when solving this, which made 23dn hard for a while.
24 In a familiar way, Attenborough recalled English duck
EVADE – reversal of DAVE, E. Other Attenboroughs are available.
26 Quarrel at the crease following single?
RUN-IN – IN (at crease) following RUN (single?).
27 Tory that Sir Stanley often used to run down?
RIGHT WING – Sir Stanley Matthews played on this side of the pitch, apparently.
28 Cents husband needs to play Pong
29 Silly colt, 9, and somewhat strange
CLODDISH – CoLt, ODDISH. The answer to 9dn (spoiler alert!) is ON AND OFF, which is also a way of telling you to take every other letter of the word ‘colt’.

1 He’s a polymath, like Karloff or a monster of his
A MAN OF MANY PARTS – Boris Karloff played many parts, one of which was Frankenstein, creator of a monster with many (human) parts. Nice!
2 A moral claim doctor laid on old relations
DROIT – DR, O, IT. IT and ‘relations’ in the nudge nudge, wink wink sense. I would have thought this was just a legal right, but according to Collins it can be legal or moral.
3 Might they be extremely eager and bubbly?
CHAMPERS – a reference to champing at the bit.
4 Object if leader of government supports poor
THING – THIN, Government.
6 One might be seen by hip queen in a way
INSERT – IN, S(ER)T. The wordplay appears to point to this as the answer but I’ve no idea what the definition is supposed to be.
7 Cut up rubbish suit?
PINSTRIPE – reversal (up) of SNIP, TRIPE.
8 Great support for one pulling a lorry by rope?
TOWER OF STRENGTH – one of the events in the World’s Strongest Man competition – alongside the Fridge Carry and the Farmer’s Walk – is the Vehicle Pull. The vehicle can be a lorry, but the event has also featured a tram full of people, a fire engine and an aeroplane.
9 Perhaps switch positions from time to time
ON AND OFF – the positions of an, um, on/off switch.
15 Affair that’s split up old Moneypenny and Bond?
DALLIANCE – D, ALLIANCE. If you split up ‘old Moneypenny’ you get ‘old money penny’, hence D. A neat and original device.
16 Blast unfinished lines in presidential tweets, say
TRUMPERY – TRUMPEt, RY (lines). I considered a few options for this one, most of them unprintable.
18 Reshuffle required, a decent Conservative stressed
21 Imagine! Clegg outspoken and having a striking view
SCENIC – sounds like ‘see Nick’.
23 City set on the up associated with silk business?
LEGAL – reversal of LA, GEL. The ‘silk’ here is a QC.
25 Those opening all lines in black’s Indian defence
ALIBI – first letters of ‘all lines in black’s Indian’. An ‘Indian defence’ is a chess opening, apparently.

30 comments on “Sunday Times 4762 by David McLean”

  1. looks like the question mark is over 6dn, not 7dn. An Insert is something you might see in your morning paper for example. (That liftout advertising things you don’t want.) Best I can come up with!

    Edited at 2017-09-10 02:09 am (UTC)

    1. Yes, 6dn, sorry.
      I considered that meaning of INSERT (and in fact every definition of the word in every dictionary I could find!) but I still can’t see a definition.
  2. 6d- INSERT on a photo perhaps? Or is that inset? Finished this in 35 minutes. If 7d the problem, I certainly call my pinstripe suit by its description. If I knew the adverbial form of synecdoche, I would swank about it and then wait for someone here to tell me it’s not that at all! COD TOWER OF STRENGTH, reminding me of Frankie Vaughan’s last big hit with the words from the BCP marriage service. The record, not the service, was a cover of the US hit by Gene McDaniels. I first heard it on the crackles from Radio Luxembourg, broadcasting on 208 metres, your station of the stars, brought to you by courtesy of Clearasil. Enjoyable puzzle. Thank you K and David.
  3. I knew what an INSERT is but there still doesn’t seem to be a definition other than ‘one might be seen’ which doesn’t really cover it as anything might be seen.

    13ac is weak, having the first 6 letters of the answer as the first 6 letters of the first word in the clue.

    I haven’t found any support in the usual sources for EW as an expression of disgust.

      1. I’m not remotely surprised that it exists, but I did say “the usual sources” by which I mean the ones that have in the past been acknowledged for Times crossword purposes i.e. printed editions of COED, Collins and Chambers – I usually consult SOED and ODE too because I have them to hand and have recently taken to referring to the on-line versions of Collins and Chambers.

        Clearly from your link, Jerry, I need to include the on-line version of the Oxford too, although with three different Oxfords already on my list it seems a bit odd that none of them contains a word that their on-line edition claims has been around since the 1970s.

        I don’t ever recall anyone using this expression. EW as demonstrated on the sound-file is spoken as ‘you’ or possibly ‘yew’, neither of which sounds like an expression of disgust to me!

        Finally I realise this is the Sunday Times which sets its own parameters of what’s acceptable, and I wasn’t actually complaining about the clue, just making the point that it’s not an obvious piece of wordplay to me and I’m evidently not alone in that view or it would be in all the books.

        Edited at 2017-09-10 08:03 am (UTC)

        1. May be the first time you’ve come across it Jack, but I doubt if it will be the last as it seems quite popular these days. It doesn’t help that the spelling is flexible.. Wiktionary says “with as many Es and Ws as needed” and, helpfully, “see yuck.”
          Sources is yet another thing I never bother my head about.. if the Sunday Times wants to use a word, it will find a way to do so.
        2. I don’t really understand the relationship between ODO and the printed Oxfords, but the relevant category on ODO is ‘British and world English’, and a lot of the examples it gives have a North American flavour:
          > I have 6 more days of high school in my public school career and I’ve got to study for finals… eww!
          > They loaded me up with happy gas, told me I had an abscess (eww), drilled out some decay and took $200 out of my pocket
          > Yeah, I’m even adding in, the ‘eww… boys have cooties’ years

          So perhaps my hunch that it’s more of a North American usage is right and this explains why it’s not in the printed Oxford editions.
          Or perhaps not!

          Edit: a bit of research reveals that ODO is the online edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English. One feature of this dictionary that perhaps distinguishes it from others in the Oxford stable is that it ‘views the language from the perspective that English is a world language’.

          Edited at 2017-09-10 08:39 am (UTC)

        3. Peter Biddlecombe said a while ago in the Crossword Club forum that his primary (but not exclusive) sources for solutions he’ll allow are Collins online and Oxford Dictionaries online.

          – Nila Palin

    1. EW is in ODO. I didn’t think twice about it (or look it up for the blog) because in my experience it’s commonplace. I think it may be more common in North America.
      1. I believe I learned it from American TV shows (Friends, Buffy, etc.) so I think that makes sense. Certainly SINEW was a quick write-in for me because of its familiarity.
        1. I probably learned it from being married to a Canadian! But I’m pretty sure my daughter says it too.
  4. Re 6dn I think the def. is “one might be seen by,” ie adjacent, which is fair enough provided the crossword is in a newspaper, which of course for many of us here it isn’t..
    1. Thanks Jerry. I guess that could be it, although if that’s the intention I can’t say I’m desperately impressed.
  5. 50 minutes for me. FOI 5a, LOI 6d, INSERT with a shrug, so it was nice to come here and find other people shrugging too.

    Got to 2d from dieu et mon droit; I’m assuming it means a moral right there…

    COD 23 LEGAL for its nice definition.

    Edited at 2017-09-10 09:39 am (UTC)

    1. In French DROIT certainly has a broader meaning but I would have expected the English equivalent to have a narrower legal sense, like ‘lien’.
  6. About 45 mins with pancakes.
    Mostly I liked 3dn, 8dn.
    Struggled to understand 6dn.
    I have heard ‘Ew’ from the mouths of young American sit-com persons – but usually sounding to have several more Es and Ws.
    Strangely, I was held up on 21dn racking my weary brain to think of a famous Clegg. How soon we forget.
    Thanks all.
  7. I agree on sources: if there is usable wordplay to help those who don’t know them I see no reason for not using new-fangled words before they make it into dictionaries (which have an understandably conservative bias).
  8. I was also perplexed by the 6dn definition (or lack thereof), and for some reason I struggled to parse ON TAP. Other than that, an enjoyable stroll, taxing enough but not exhausting.

    Liked the idea of eager people being ‘champers’ – rather cute.

    Thanks for the blog K, and Harry for an enjoyable puzzle.

  9. Late to the party today after meeting an old friend. We did have tickets to the fourth day of the Test at Lords but ho-hum, plan b was a few beers. I solved this in 52:22. Usual fun puzzle from the other DM. Not phased by ew but paused to wonder if a sinew was a muscle, I suppose figuratively it means strength? I also had a ? at the vagueness of the def in 6dn. COD to 8dn, I love a bit of World’s Strongest Man over Christmas, Fingal’s Fingers, the Atlas Stones and of course towing preposterously heavy forms of vehicular transportation.
    1. There are worse reasons for a plan B!
      Yes, I think SINEW/muscle is figurative, Collins defines it as ‘a literary word for muscle’.
      I must say I particularly enjoyed the reference to the World’s Strongest Man. I was only very vaguely aware of it (and got the event names from google) but the wordplay is fair, the checkers are kind, and it makes a nice change from biblical patriarchs!

      Edited at 2017-09-10 10:54 pm (UTC)

      1. Thanks Keriothe. Typical, the one time I hope the opposition might bat out the third day so I can see some action on the fourth…Ah well the weather wasn’t that pleasant, maybe it was nicer to be sat inside a pub all day. I think GK should encompass both high and low culture. There are limits to quite how high or low one should go but where those limits lie will differ from one solver to another. Habbakuk was not too high for me and WSM not too low. Their relative obscurity and the fairness of the cluing in proportion to their relative obscurity is an argument which I don’t think can ever be resolved.
    2. “Stiffen the sinews, Summon up the blood. Disguise fair nature with hard favoured rage.” Shakespeare seems to use it that way.
      1. Thanks BW, I was pretty sure I had seen it used that way but couldn’t call any examples to mind.
  10. All correct in 33:11. Just back from Lakeland and can’t remember much about the puzzle. EWs and things haven’t stuck in my memory so I must have just charged through, biffing where appropriate. Thanks David and K.
  11. Could this be all about middle age spread? It harks back to the time when your trousers expanded with your hips with the aid of strategically placed gussets.
  12. I think it has something to do with an insert being a pin put into a broken hip? So it would be seen there.
    1. Possibly, although I can’t find that particular meaning in any of the usual dictionaries. It would also mean ‘hip’ was doing double duty.
  13. Ew is as common in Canada as maple leaves. My partner introduced me to it thirty years ago when my Irish habits disgusted her ……………peanut butter on apple slices and other treats like that.

    Tom (and the disgusted Janet) who finished this one in about an hour without aids. Most unusual. Thanks to all bloggers and setters.

Comments are closed.