Sunday Times 4791 by Dean Mayer

As usual, a most enjoyable puzzle from Dean, which thankfully (from my blogger’s perspective) was significantly less challenging than his last offering.  It’s always encouraging when 1a is a write-in, and the grid started to open up nicely thanks to both the central spine of the puzzle at 5d being an eminently gettable cryptic definition and the 14 letter 11a coming with a generous visual aid.

The use of a punctuation mark at 9a to provide part of the answer may have thrown newer solvers, but fortunately I remembered this trick of the solver’s trade from previous puzzles.  Some very nice stuff, paricularly the “show dog” bit of 19a and the neat cluing on display at  14a, 18a and 25a – to single out just a few of a fine crop of clues.  And the mysterious voice from the chemical toilet heard at 10a was a truly arresting surface in a surreal kind of way.

So, thanks as always to Dean, and I hope that everyone is enjoying their Easter break.

Definitions underlined:  anagrams indicated by *(–):  omitted letters indicated by {-}

1 Get a posh carriage (6)
LANDAU – LAND (get) A U (posh)
5 Fool getting married, can fool around (8)
MOONCALF – M (married) + *(CAN FOOL) with “around” signalling the anagram
9 Rows of bays: car in reverse (10)
COLONNADES – : (colon) + SEDAN reversed (car in reverse)
10 A voice heard from chemical toilet (4)
ALTO – Hidden in (from) chemicAL TOilet.
11 Making MONEY (14)
CAPITALISATION – The visual aid helps us get there…
12 Prince right to chase record company (4)
EMIR – R (right) comes after (‘chases’) EMI (record company)
14 Minister’s opportunity to turn round (10)
CHANCELLOR – CHANCE (opportunity) + ROLL reversed (to turn round)
16 Cold egg sandwiches denounced by Scrooge? (10)
CURMUDGEON – C (cold) + URGE ON (egg – as in to egg someone on) goes around (sandwiches) MUD (denounced), giving us the archetypal curmudgeon.  The MUD / denounced equation seemed a bit of a stretch to me when I was solving, but the more I think about it the more it seems quite neat: if it’s said that someone’s “name was mud” then that person was, indeed, being denounced at the time.
18 Settles in French country (4)
PAYS – If you pay the bill, you settle it.  And ‘pays’ is French for ‘country’.
19 Steeplechaser or show dog? (5-2-7)
POINT-TO-POINTER – Two definitions, the second being a delightful piece of whimsy (“see that pointer over there…?”)
22 I will leave worship, being brave (4)
DEFY – DE{I}FY (the I leaves a word meaning ‘to worship’). Initially the definition puzzled me as I was thinking of ‘brave’ as an adjective, but I think it is being used as a verb here as in “to brave / defy the elements”
23 Thick black line crossed by angry audience (10)
INEDUCABLE – *(AUDIENCE) – with “angry” pointing to the anagram – goes around B L (black line crossed)
24 Trapped, can’t stay awake (8)
AMBUSHED – (I) AM BUSHED / I can’t stay awake
25 Wet anorak put over companion (6)
DRENCH – NERD reversed (anorak put over) + CH (companion – as in Companion of Honour)
2 A zone with oxygen and carbon after one without life
AZOIC – A Z (a zone) + O (oxygen) + I C (carbon after one).  Vaguely recalled this word meaning “having no trace of life”.
3 Doctor’s surgery sent over theatre pipette (7)
DROPPER – DR (doctor) + OP (surgery) + REP reversed (sent over theatre)
4 This version of 15 is not seen (9)
UNNOTICED – *(CONTINUED) – rearranged “version” of the answer to 15d
5 Form-filling associated with the pre-60s? (6-3,6)
MIDDLE-AGE SPREAD – Cryptic definition based on “form-filling” meaning putting on girth.  And, Mr. Mayer, if the implication here is that middle age ends at 59 – with, presumably, old age starting at 60 – then I have a bone to pick with you, Sir!
6 Nothing the same in spring? (5)
OASIS – O (nothing) + AS IS (the same)
7 Gossip allowed to return property (7)
CHATTEL – CHAT (gossip) + LET reversed (allowed to return)
8 Removal of stone in house cat, the last of many (9)
LITHOTOMY – LIT (in) + HO (house) + TOM (cat) + Y (last of manY), for the medical procedure of removal of a kidney stone
13 Gold only found in quiet tomb (9)
MAUSOLEUM – AU (gold) + SOLE (only) ‘found inside’ MUM (quiet)
15 Went on fiddle, playing in duet (9)
CONTINUED – CON (fiddle) + *(IN DUET)
17 Unearthed sheep, reportedly still? (4,3)
MIND YOU – Sounds like (reportedly) MINED EWE (unearthed sheep)
18 Despised something which blocks leak (3,4)
PET HATE – THAT (something) inside (blocks) PEE (leak)
20 What’s visible if bottom of skirt’s lifted? (5)
THIGH – T (bottom of skirT) + HIGH (lifted)
21 In church, priest remains (5)
RELIC – ELI (priest) ‘in’ RC (church)

37 comments on “Sunday Times 4791 by Dean Mayer”

  1. Definitely an easy one, for Dean anyway, with some near-gimmes, like LANDAU, ALTO, and CAPITALISATION. LOI INEDUCABLE; ‘audience’ had me thinking there was a homophone involved. It took me a long time, after submitting in fact, to see how LIT worked, and to spot the :. I liked PET HATE & MIND YOU, but I think I’ll give the COD to POINT-TO-POINTER, a term I only dug out of memory with some effort.
  2. Not too dificile.

    FOI 2dn AZOIC
    LOI 18dn PET HATE
    COD 19ac POINT-TO-POINTER (Whimsy?)

  3. Actually this was no battle at all, but it’s my favourite Easter hymn and I won’t get to sing it otherwise. There’s more chance of them having it at the local humanist gathering than in our parish Church. I’m feeling CURMUDGEONly. 21 minutes with COD and LOI PET HATE. I don’t think I knew MOONCALF but the cryptic was pretty clear. LITHOTOMY was also readily constructed but is not exactly on the tip of my tongue. I liked POINT-TO-POINTER too. I’m not sure that CAPITALISATION, neat clue that it is, is making money. It certainly can be investing money. In general parlance too, capitalising on something means making an asset out of it. But then I’m someone who could and did spend happy hours discussing accounting for inflation. That is a ding-dong battle. Thank you Nick and Dean.

    Edited at 2018-04-01 07:28 am (UTC)

  4. 50 minutes but with LOTTOTOMY at 8dn based on a vague association in my mind between ‘house’ and ‘lotto’ via ‘bingo’. Anyway I didn’t know the correct answer.

    I was going to write that I knew MOONCALF only because it came up recently, but a quick Google suggests this was its first appearance in the Times since 2010 and I couldn’t have remembered it from a solitary sighting that far back. I may have seen it within the past few months in an Oldie or Everyman puzzle.

    Edited at 2018-04-01 06:27 am (UTC)

    1. Although I had the feeling it’s come up fairly recently, i.e. the last couple of years, I remember MOONCALF from W.C. Fields in ‘The Bank Dick’: “Don’t be a luddy-duddy! Don’t be a mooncalf! Don’t be a jabbernowl!” (Actually, I forgot ‘luddy-duddy’.) I’ll bet we haven’t had ‘jabbernowl’ yet.
    2. I’m glad I wasn’t alone in my LOTTOTOMY! The rest done in 45 minutes.

      I may have mentioned the MOONCALF recently as a result of “space cadet” coming up in another puzzle.

      1. Thanks, but I’m sure I saw it as an answer, and if you’d even mentioned it here in a comment the Google search should have found it.
  5. 30 min and 47 secs. I see we are passing water again at 18 down. Could someone please explain to me how Lit = In at 8 down. Is it lit = landed = in, like a bird in its nest?

    Thanks to Nick and Dean. Dean recently and very kindly looked at a crossword I compiled and gave me both encouragement and constructive feedback, which was greatly appreciated. He’s a good Easter Egg.

    1. I’m another that doesn’t understand LIT. Hopefully someone will enlighten us.
    2. There was quite a lot of discussion on this one in ST 4785 (I happen to remember because I was blogging that puzzle). The comments included some heart warming old anecdotes of times gone by…

      So, if you click on the archive feature and check out that puzzle (blog was early / mid February) you’ll find it all.

      1. Tanks Nick and also sawbill. I have found the archive chat too. So a fire that is not “out” is “in” = “lit”.
        1. This is a very common expression in my family. Throughout this cold winter someone in the kitchen would ask, “Is the fire still in?”
          This translates as,”would someone* walk into the lounge to check that the fire does not require another log.”

          * me

  6. A nice puzzle, providing some good brain-teasing. 41 mins to complete.

    Really like the colon in COLONNADES. CAPITALISATION was fun, too. But COD to the dog-show clue, 19a: very witty and nice surface.

    MOONCALF makes me think immediately of Caliban in “The Tempest”, rather than The Bank Dick!

    A couple of MERs: firstly at the leak/PEE, and secondly at “thick” = INEDUCABLE. As a teacher I really don’t accept that definition!

    Couldn’t (and still can’t) see the “in” = LIT part of the 8d clue: could someone please explain to me?

    Many thanks to our Novice blogger and to the setter (with whom everyone here seems to be on first-name terms).

    1. Please see my comment above on this (under Sawbill’s entry) – hope that will help.
    2. He used to blog and contribute here as ‘Anax’ so he is an old friend of TftT.

      I’m less clear on the ‘David McLean / Harry’ connection that comes up on other Sundays.

      Edited at 2018-04-01 11:02 am (UTC)

      1. I’m not sure which is his actual name and which his nom de crossword Jack, but Harry Hoskins is his alter ego. P.S. He’s got an excellent one out today.
      2. David McLean is Harry Hoskin’s Sunday name, so to speak, and Hoskins is his nom de crossword. I met both him and Dean, as well as John Henderson and quite a few others at the York S&B in September last year.
  7. If you pull the wool from my eyes, 1ac how does ‘U’ suggest ‘posh’?
    Apologies, I’m just a beginner – although I completed my first Sunday Times last week woo hoo! (by all accounts an easy one though). Excellent blog, very helpful for us newcomers.
    1. This is a reference to the “U” (upper class) versus “non-U” categorisation of English language popularised by Nancy Mitford’s essay “The English Aristocracy”.

      Unlike some “old chestnuts” that seem to be entirely crossword-only these days (“SA” for sex appeal, say), you may still find this division referenced by people in the modern world. A quick search of the Times site finds a couple of references just this month.

      Well done on the completion, and welcome! (You can sign up for an account here for free and pick a name so people know who’s who, if you wish…)

      Edited at 2018-04-01 09:39 am (UTC)

  8. On the easy side but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from messing it up. 32mins but with the same house = lotto connection and failure to see in = lit as others leading to the obviously wrong (in retrospect) lottototomy. Frustrating because I knew the word lithography so it should not have been that much of a stretch.
  9. Much enjoyed. Only biffing LITHOLOGY almost tripped me up. How I could forget LITHOTOMY given the pain I was in before my kidney stones were removed, I do not know.
  10. 17:46, with a very significant proportion of that trying to come up with something better than LOTTOTOMY. Normally I would just follow the wordplay but it just didn’t look anything like a word so I persevered. The wordplay is borderline unfair (given how uncommon this meaning of ‘in’ is) but I got there in the end.
    I agree with boltonwanderer that CAPITALISATION does not in any sense mean ‘making money’, but that’s what the question mark’s for. It’s actually quite an interesting and fine distinction since ‘capitalising on’ something can mean making money out of it, but you wouldn’t (I don’t think) talk about someone’s ‘CAPITALISATION on’ a situation.
    1. Of course, if you are to make MONEY, you could capitalise ‘money’. I tend not to think any clue is unfair if I get it, but a) although this sense of ‘in’ was absolutely new to me a while back, it’s been used a few times over the last few months, b) we all ought to recognize lith- = stone. Just saying.
      1. Yes of course in that sense it works. But the surface reading of the clue implies a financial reading that doesn’t, quite. It’s close enough for me though, particularly with the question mark.
        I take your point on ‘in’, and I also only know this at all from these puzzles. I’m slightly uneasy with the argument that it’s a common word because it appears in the Times crossword, but I suppose we accept the same principle with numerous other things you never encounter in the wild. ‘It’ for SA for instance.
        1. This is an exciting thread. I bet you’re all glad I started it. Should we now see what Spicer and Pegler had to say on the subject and compare with Carter?

          Edited at 2018-04-01 01:31 pm (UTC)

          1. I was actually about to write a comment about interpreting the clue in light of differences between SSAP 13 and IAS 38.
        2. But surely, surely–as the late, lamented Jerry Fodor would have said–you don’t require that the surface reading not mislead?
          1. Well of course but it shouldn’t mislead by not making sense. If the clue were ‘making MOVIES’ it would make as much sense from a wordplay perspective, and mislead. The actual clue relies on CAPITALISATION meaning ‘making money’, which in fact it doesn’t. It does however mean something very close to that, which once again is good enough for me!
  11. This did not seem easy to this QCer, despite getting 1a quickly and 11a. I even managed to work out the unknown 2d.
    However, at least I am attempting Dean’s puzzles which I did not do before. He is the hardest for me of the three.
    David McLean’s alter ego is Harry Hoskins (why I don’t know). So that explains all the Harrys rather than Davids. David
  12. I did see LITH=stone but until prompted here now I’d forgotten the LIT=in conversation. I see my time was 19.08 which is fast for me with an Anax (when I see his by-line I tend to think – oh boy, here we go). POINT-TO-POINTER was very nice and timely, at least in my memory, because we used to go steeple-chasing on Easter Monday when I was a kid. Happy Easter to all!
  13. Well, 1ac was a write in here, too. LITTER, parsed as a DD: Get / Posh transport.
    After I fixed that things went smooothly.
  14. 39:11 for me. LITHOTOMY was my LOI with IN for LIT as in a fire finally coming to mind. Something similar to MOONCALF came up recently somewhere, so I didn’t have any trouble with that one. An enjoyable puzzle. Haven’t tried yesterday’s puzzle yet, too busy investigating the remote corners of Mull. My feet hurt! Thanks Dean and Nick.
  15. For 18d, rather than “that” equalling “something,” which would make double use of “something” in the clue (pet hate = “despised something” as well as that = “something”), l parsed it as “that” equalling the “which” of the clue, as the two words are commonly interchanged (e.g. The dog that l saw OR The dog which l saw).

    I had a lot of trouble with this one — needed to come here to find about half of the answers after days of coming back to it! Thanks so much, Nick, for the explanations — now l can get some rest! From Phyl from Toronto

Comments are closed.