Sunday Times 4822 by David McLean – everything else is obsolete

Good morning all. I have been travelling for most of the last week so I have had little time to solve, comment or write my blog. As I result I am typing this on Saturday evening after the championships, and I am in a position to report on the day’s activities.

This year’s bombshell is that Mark Goodliffe didn’t win. He made a (for him, extremely rare) mistake in one of the puzzles in the final which gave Roger Crabtree the opportunity to take the top prize. Commiserations to Magoo and many congratulations to Roger.

It was a very strong showing indeed from the TfTT team. Verlaine did brilliantly well, coming in second overall, as did mohn2 in third. I made the final for the first time (which means I have now achieved my crosswording ambition and should probably retire) as did Penfold_61. And Philip Jordan was also among the finalists. As always it was very nice to see some familiar faces and to meet a couple of people there for the first time.

This week’s puzzle? It took me 18:42, and I remember finding it a lot of fun with nothing to quibble about. Here’s how…

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

1 Pass market that has one pound off oil
DIESEL – DIE (pass), SELl.
5 Corporation strike over unlimited pay
9 Money-making drama pilot bore trashed
10 Hand bound to land with flipping force on son
SERF – reversal of F (force), RE, S.
11 Fish seen around river channel
12 Criminal is catty about husband’s celibacy
CHASTITY – (IS CATTY)* containing H.
14 It is real nasty
16 I managed land
18 Honour God’s will, so they tell us
FETE – sounds like ‘fate’.
19 Quantities of game
21 If I must steal, a thankyou’s required first
22 Upset singer regularly ignored Latvian icon
AVATAR – reversal of RAT (grass, singer), lAtViAn.
24 Mark Rothko’s first piece after unfinished study
SCAR – SCAn, Rothko. I’ve always found Rothko’s paintings mysteriously appealing. It’s nonetheless mysterious to me that this appeal can stretch to $87m.
26 Say what you want to say about wit hitting guards
OUT WITH IT – contained in ‘about with hitting’.
27 Figure you must visit New York?
STATUE – STAT(U)E. As in ‘u wot m8?’
28 Posh people experiment with dope
GENTRY – GEN (information, dope), TRY (experiment).

2 Saucy material that one male suppresses
IMPERTINENT – I, M, PERTINENT. I was a little bit hesitant about using ‘suppresses’ just to indicate that the IM is on top of the PERTINENT, but it didn’t bother me unduly.
3 Protest Congress blocking Pride?
SIT-IN – IT (the other, nudge nudge etc etc) contained in SIN. The question mark here indicates a definition by example, since other sins are available and pride isn’t really the one you’d pick, given a choice.
4 I say that woman’s involved in survey on energy
5 District making soprano a persona non grata
PARIAH – take PARISH and replace the S (soprano) with A.
6 Distressing way to increase crossword output?
7 My sort of music comes up short
COR – reversal of ROCk.
8 Chess players not allowing any middle ground
BLACK-AND-WHITE – fairly self-explanatory this one.
13 One brought in to take lead in Cheers?
TOASTMASTER – CD, and a nice one.
15 God? Time His tripe must be thrown out!
THE SPIRIT – (T HIS TRIPE)*. I’m not sure of the theological equivalence between ‘God’ and THE SPIRIT, but I’m prepared to take it on, um, faith.
17 A big band playing without any difficulties
BADA-BING – (A BIG BAND)*. I was slightly confused by this definition, because I’m not entirely sure Sonny Corleone meant anything quite this precise when he used the phrase. But far be it from me to be a linguistic stick-in-the-mud: meanings change and I never really watched The Sopranos.
20 Returns home with company and yours truly
23 When stag’s other half drained of colour
25 Dude in Bombay?
CAT – because a CAT’s the only CAT who knows where it’s at.

17 comments on “Sunday Times 4822 by David McLean – everything else is obsolete”

  1. A lot of fun, definitely; nothing to quibble about? Well, almost nothing. A POTBOILER is not necessarily a drama; it could be a novel, or song lyrics, etc. I also wondered about the pairing of stag and hen; clearly I had forgotten about parties, say. (I just looked ‘stag’ up and find that it also refers to a male turkeycock over one year old.) I don’t recall BADA-BING from the Godfather movies and associated it with The Sopranos, which I’ve never seen. (On edit: the full expression is ‘bada-bing bada-boom’. There was a New Yorker cartoon a while back showing a mafioso exec at his desk with an in-tray marked ‘bada-bing’ and an out-tray etc.) FETE was my last one in, after playing for some time with the alphabet; problem was that I pronounce it ‘fett’. Put in CAT because of ‘dude’, and assumed that there was such a thing as a Bombay cat. COD maybe to PARIAH, if only because it took me so long, way after submitting, to parse it.

    Edited at 2018-11-04 10:37 am (UTC)

  2. Brilliant effort by all the TftT-ers, not excluding our illustrious blogger.

    I had a sneaky feeling V would perform better cold. He tends to overthink otherwise.

  3. I had a few queries and one error. I think God/ THE SPIRIT refers to the Holy Trinity, three-in-one, God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

    Didn’t understand STATUE as I don’t use text-speak and 17dn falls into the unfair ‘anagram-of-foreign-words’ category as far as I’m concerned (in this case, American slang). If one doesn’t happen to know it, how is one supposed to choose between BABADING and BADABING? You can guess which one I opted for! The Bombay CAT has come up before, so no problems there. Quantities/DRAUGHTS didn’t seem to fit so I trusted to the other definition, but after the event I found this which seems a bit obscure: draught – The quantity of fish taken in one drawing of the net; a catch. LME. ▸ b A unit of weight of eels, equal to 20 lb (approx. 9.1 kg). Perhaps someone could suggest a more everyday example?

    Edited at 2018-11-04 07:07 am (UTC)

    1. ODE sv ‘draught’ has (2) a single act of drinking or inhaling: the amount swallowed or inhaled in a draught.
      At the time, I think I thought that eg ‘taking in great draughts of beer’ sounded fine.
      I cordially detest text-speak, but haven’t we had you=u, or see=c in the past?
    2. Collins has ‘a portion of liquid to be drunk, esp a dose of medicine’. The second half of this definition seems to match the clue particularly well but like Kevin I thought of ‘great draughts of ale’.
      I take your point about BADA-BING: it wouldn’t have occurred to me that it might cause problems. As so often one person’s commonplace is another’s obscurity.

      Edited at 2018-11-04 08:57 am (UTC)

  4. 22 minutes but with a BABADING. I’ve never watched The Sopranos nor heard the expression, but I just thought that something happening without difficulty would be accompanied by a ding and not a bing. Bong! COD to SIT IN. Thank you K and David.
    I’d already imbibed too much red wine at The George and had to be home for Mrs BW so missed the finals results yesterday afternoon. It was good to meet so many posters before then. Congratulations K on your performance, and to Verlaine and Mohn for being amongst the medals. Great stuff from Penfold and Philip too. We share this platform with giants.
  5. I simply couldn’t see 18a from its _E_E and threw in the towel on this one. Unusually, I couldn’t even see it when I had another look this morning! Ah well. Shame, as I did the rest in 45 minutes, and having watched every episode of The Sopranos I had no problem with 17d…

    Well done to everyone who took part yesterday!

  6. Oh dear! I couldn’t see how 5dn worked at all, got fed up of waiting for inspiration and threw in something too stupid and made up to now remember. I otherwise had most of this done in around 30 mins bar 1ac, 18ac, 13dn and the aforementioned 5dn. I did like the distressing way to increase crossword output. Congrats to the new champ and to all the tftt-ers for their excellent showing at this year’s event. I arrived late to the pub but did get to meet one or two.
  7. Add me to the BABA-DING club.
    I got stuck in the NE and failed to get Paunch and Pariah for example.
    A lot to like in the puzzle. COD to Upsetting.
    Great fun at The George yesterday. I will report separately.
  8. Very nice work Keriothe, both at the champs and producing the blog after your exertions. I certainly couldn’t have done either! As others I took a chunk of time over FETE, especially as a childhood memory is of my mother pronouncing it “feet” in a mock “refained” accent. I never saw The Sopranos but BADABING seems to have spread by osmosis. I wasn’t sure about DRAUGHTS either but around here people often say “rafts” meaning a lot so it wasn’t a big stretch, especially since nothing else fit. 17.08
  9. I found this tough going and had to look up BADA BING which I’d never heard of. After 42 minutes I was left with _E_E at 18a and after an alphabet trawl came up with METE. When I looked at my wrong entry this morning FETE slapped me across the face with a wet fish, but I just couldn’t see it last week. 42:55 with one wrong. Thanks Harry and K. Congrats to all who took part in the Championship. A great performance from everyone, especially Matthew and John.
  10. In a Pinch, I’ll opt for Baba-Ding
    I thought this was a bit easier than Harry’s Recent puzzles. I lost time at Cat / Statue, forgot the one, and while I’m happy with statue = figure it wasn’t a connection that came quickly to mind. Like Guy d S I wondered if money-making was needed to modify drama at 8ac.

    Well done to all our competing bloggers

    Edited at 2018-11-04 08:09 pm (UTC)

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