Sunday Times 4804 by David McLean

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
13m. Nothing too taxing from Harry this week, but the usual high standard and some nice witty clues. I don’t have much more to add, and am a bit short of time this week, so without further ado…

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

1 Casting rod with a handle at the middle
WAND – W, A, haNDle. Nothing to do with fishing!
4 Sort of hand exercises, etc
9 Party after which a tot might be brought out
LABOUR – a tot being a baby here, and LABOUR in the childbirth sense.
10 Brilliant storybooks taken apart by editor
TALENTED – if you take ‘storybooks’ apart you get TALE (story), NT (new testament, books). Add an ED for ‘editor’.
11 Act I put on for God
13 Say about two sons coming out
EGRESS – EG (say), RE (about), SS (two sons).
14 What police tailors might do is serve well
FIT THE BILL – two definitions, one mildly cryptic.
16 Now try to get picked up
HERE – sounds like ‘hear’ (try).
17 One opposing article Congress rejected
ANTI – AN, reversal of IT (nookie, the other, congress, nudge wink etc).
18 Case of crescent-shaped fruit
20 One docile and subservient as a greyhound?
LAPDOG – because a greyhound does laps of the track.
21 Going out without clothes initially could be thus
EXCITING – EX(Clothes)ITING. Semi-&Lit.
23 Bad ailment? Good to get in a sheet of tissue
LIGAMENT – (AILMENT)* containing G.
24 Coin collector student relieved of capital
EARNERlEARNER. ‘Coin’ here just means ‘money’.
26 Being pressured to chuck out last posh pants?
UNDERDRESS – UNDER DuRESS. U is ‘posh’ in the Nancy Mitford sense, and the wordplay instructs you to take out the last one. The definition is by example, indicated by the question mark.
27 Network following leader with eccentric style
ELAN – Eccentric, LAN (network). ‘Leader with eccentric’ is a slightly odd form of words.

2 Bingo’s a bit of a laugh
AHA – A HA, where HA is a ‘bit of a laugh’ presumably because a whole laugh needs more than one. The surface is probably meant to be about the game but I read it as a P.G. Wodehouse reference.
3 One to mate with the queen, that’s a buzz!
4 A way to cross a flower and prune?
ABRIDGE – or A BRIDGE. ‘Flower’ here being a river, of course.
5 Refugee lock-up is a relaxing place (reportedly)
DETENTION CENTRE – sounds like ‘de-tension’.
6 Maintenance advice for metal hinges in crude container
OIL WELL – one definition, one very mildly cryptic indication.
7 Possession of drugs? Not primarily cool
8 One might slice cherries and our greenest bananas
12 Basic preferences I tear into on broadcast
15 Inferior rider that needs training
18 One with good mind to go after British egotist
BIGHEAD – I, G, HEAD (mind) following B for British.
19 Top underwear thieves?
22 Sweet child with its foot in Rhine on vacation
TORTE – TOT with it’s foot (last letter) ‘caught’ in the middle of RhinE. I don’t know when this ‘on vacation’ device was first used but I always spot it immediately these days.
25 Artist depressed by ultimately blue period
ERAbluE, RA (artist).

15 comments on “Sunday Times 4804 by David McLean”

  1. Thanks keriothe. I liked the casting rod, and I also found this mild. Probably due to just blurting the ugly out and never stooping to euphemisms, I couldn’t parse Anti. Congress indeed.

    I played lacrosse at university. When on defense players often have their back to the ball to guard attackmen, so the goalie keeps a running commentary of what is going on. “Back left, back left, pass front, BINGO!!!” Bingo, for our team, meant that a defender had been beaten or that a pass was imminent, which in turn was the instruction to whack the stick of the attacker you were guarding, and then if you thought you could get away with it to put a shoulder down and flatten him. Fifty years later if you yell BINGO in a room of my college friends you can still get a pretty good reaction.

    1. Thank you, Paul for that insight into what I thought must be a gentlemanly sport!
      1. I think very few games, especially not those involving either a ball or a stick, are gentlemanly or ladylike, Martin.
  2. 24:49.

    I continue to be outwitted by cleverly disguised anagrams. Today it was “Sort of hand” exercises. I also lobbed in Labour with more hope than expectation that is was right, not recognising the obstetric reference.

    Clue of the day: AND SO FORTH

    Tweet of the day: Don’t Cry 4-3 Argentina.

    1. “Don’t cry 4-3 Argentina”!! Oh that is VERY good! You should copyright it, if that is possible. I do hope that is an original astonvilla1!

      Edited at 2018-07-01 09:03 am (UTC)

    2. Frayed knot. It’s from twitter and appears to have many authors.

      My own original work is characterised by not usually being anywhere near as funny as I think it is!

  3. There’s not much to say and keriothe has already said it. I will just add that I had “THIRD RAIL” in 15d for a while and “OIL DRUM” in 6d.
    1. Are you still in your NZ eyrie? In the winter! Are you returning to France to enjoy the current canicule? Pip
      1. We’re on the Bay of Plenty on the North Island, Pip, so winters are mild. 12-13C today but rainy. Not planning to return to sell our house. We will be giving ‘procuration’ to our notaire.
  4. 21:09 but with a qm at 9ac where I failed to twig the maternity / tot connection until after the solve. Lots of ticks here for 10ac, 14ac, 4dn, 5dn, 8dn and 19dn. Perhaps I just saw them pretty quickly but I didn’t think the DD at 3dn or the CD at 18ac were terribly misleading (in the good sort of cryptic crossword misleading way), neither had me running down any blind alleys.
  5. 15 minutes, says my print out, not a bother. Today’s was equally gentle, but pleasing. The Guardian Prize weekend job is a touch harder and keeps me amused for longer.
  6. An enjoyable puzzle which took me 31:43. I liked BANANA PEEL, UNDERDRESS and FIT THE BILL among many excellent clues. Thanks Harry and Keriothe.
  7. I found this tough with six outstanding when I drew stumps -1a,2d,18a,18d,20a and 26a.
    On review I think 26a is a bit of a stretch, polyester probably, and Wand was difficult.
    Still mystified by the CASE at 18a- I’ll read the blog again! David

Comments are closed.