Sunday Times 4978 by David McLean – better late than never

24:43. Apologies for the delay this week. I could make up an elaborate excuse involving the clocks going back or something but the reality is that I was very busy and just forgot.

I found this puzzle tricky, with some excellent clues and a few curious ones like 11dn. GENETS was the only unfamiliar word but it did ring a vague bell so no doubt it has appeared here before.

How did you get on?

Definitions are underlined, anagrams indicated like (TIHS)*, anagram indicators are in italics.

1 Gun-toting adolescent in resort
5 Drive in anger in New York
TEE OFF – DD. I had no idea this was an American expression, but the dictionaries say it is.
9 As most petrol is now in Deal?
LEAD-FREE – a reverse cryptic in which the answer is a clue to the word DEAL (anagram of LEAD).
10 Crook that’s put on British accent
12 Best act following hooligan losing head
13 A bar over top of diner with no-one in it?
14 Places drinkers might get a black eye?
COFFEEHOUSES – CD. A ‘black eye’ is a type of coffee, apparently: a filter coffee with a double shot of espresso added. It’s not in the dictionaries I checked by Starbucks sells them.
18 A meal for four?
AFTERNOON TEA – another CD. Four o’clock.
21 Set trend off with small bit of gear
23 Single or a large drink
ALONE – A, L, ONE. As in ‘one for the road’.
24 Camp man who’s good with a contrary girl
STALAG – ST (man who’s good), A, reversal of GAL.
25 Minister in party had to have control
DOMINATEDOM, IN, ATE. A Dominican is a ‘preaching friar’ according to Collins. Thanks to vinyl1 below for pointing out that this is complete gibberish. It is of course DO(MIN), ATE.
26 Contrary fellow and old females go out
NOD OFF – reversal of DON, O, FF.
27 Ancient royal on a slide messed about
LEONIDAS – (ON A SLIDE)*. A king of Sparta.

1 Like lemon chicken?
2 Island port harlot regularly visits
3 Blue or green?
OFF-COLOUR – DD. ‘Blue’ as in indecent, not sad.
4 Why more felt upset about a migrant vessel?
6 Earl embarrassed without right is offended
7 Sting and Ora played with another musician
8 Bog bowl broken by one of a wicked bent
11 Leave a crossroads and transfer from A2 to A3?
MAKE ONES MOVE – two slightly cryptic definitions. A crossroads is a point of decision, so when you leave it you do this. The second is a chess reference.
15 Blood group training helping in surgery
16 Guerrilla in a strap after being injured
17 Basic colours
STANDARD – DD, the second a reference to a national flag.
19 Country song mostly welcomed by Atlantic?
20 Drug-smuggling men can be such beasts
GENETS – GEN(E)TS. A ‘viverrine’ mammal, related to civets and mongooses.
22 Happy for one taking part in Cold War film
DWARF – contained in ‘cold war film’.

22 comments on “Sunday Times 4978 by David McLean – better late than never”

  1. ….that I didn’t enjoy it (again) and asked for help to get GENETS. Mr.McLean hasn’t much impressed me of late.
  2. I finished this,but it took me 48 minutes and I needed help with LEONIDAS. I also checked that GENET existed before submitting. Hard going. Liked COFFEE HOUSES and AFTERNOON TEA. Took ages to see MAKE ONES MOVE. Thanks Harry and K.
    It’s particularly damp in York this morning!

    Edited at 2021-10-31 09:45 am (UTC)

  3. 11dn was the first clue in years that I could not think of what I perceived to be a correct answer (there have been a fair few where I’ve thought I had the right answer, but turned out to be … wrong), leading to my first DNF for many a moon. All I could think of were paper sizes and roads for A2/A3 – my fault for not thinking of the chess reference, I guess.
  4. 23 minutes, making heroic assumptions. I was in a ‘what-the-hell’ mood. I didn’t know what New York was doing in TEE OFF. Is it really an Americanism? I just guessed that a black eye could be acquired in COFFEEHOUSES from crossers. If I’d had one of those I’d have done this in 2 minutes. Elsewhere, I presumed you could get ONE more for the road with Sinatra. I did like having COD AFTERNOON TEA though, and I did know of GENETS, although I’m not sure how to pronounce them, so maybe it’s more knowledge from Chester Zoo signage. Thank you David and K.
    1. That’s what Collins and Lexico say, but not Chambers. I would maintain that if it was once an Americanism, it isn’t any more. In my experience it’s pretty common on this side of the pond.
  5. I failed to finish because of GENETS but did enjoy many of the other clues. Could not parse POLAND.
    MAKE ONES MOVE needed all the checkers.
  6. I’m with Phil on this – not so disaffected perhaps but I didn’t think much of the BLACK EYE and MAKE ONES MOVE clues.

    Can’t be too unsanguine, though, after staying up to watch Australia v England. Got to bed forty minutes earlier than I was expecting, too. Thanks, lads.

  7. Quite a lot of strange stuff here and a couple of unknowns already covered above, but I got though it without resorting to aids. I didn’t note my time but I think I was way over my target half-hour.
  8. 20dn GENETS did for me too!

    FOI 1dn YELLOW

    SOI 1ac YARMOUTH – Marcus Garvey’s first ship (Black Star)

    (LOI) 5ac TEE-OFF!?

    COD 18ac AFTERNOON TEA with Mussolini

    WOD 21ac TENT DRESS – a big girl’s blouse?

  9. 47 minutes so about the average time for me, and I liked it, because I always feel well disposed towards the ones I can do by overcoming some tricky stuff. But I never understood 11dn; derailed however I came at it, eg by paper sizes being SI units and SI is one’s backwards… No. That leads nowhere. I expected pink squares. Thank you keriothe for the blog
  10. GENET: a furry animal occasionally seen in crosswordland, most recently just over two weeks ago in QC1982, hidden in strange nettles

    Edited at 2021-10-31 12:37 pm (UTC)

  11. A ‘black eye’ is also known as – ‘a shot in dark’/’double shot in the dark’ (Colorado) and is an expansion of a single ‘Red Eye’ or ‘Dead Eye’ (topped with cream).
    Threeshots is a ‘Hammerhead’ or ‘Green Eye’
    Portland, Oregon a ‘Stink Eye’
    Northern California is known as a ‘Train Wreck’
    Parts of the Northeast Coast a ‘Mondo’ or LA ‘Devout’
    Alaska a ‘sludge cup’. In Kansas an ‘Oil Spill’
    Vancouver a ‘Canadiano’ or ‘Double Drip’/’Doppio Drip’

    Wellard Coffee – an ‘Eastenders’ canine reference (UK)

    I venture, some of these will be in the dictionaries of the future. My COD 14ac.

    Edited at 2021-10-31 01:31 pm (UTC)

  12. Away for a week to top up my tan – have fun!

    Edited at 2021-10-31 03:35 pm (UTC)

  13. I like the Setter’s style and generally liked this — even quite a lot, but after 35 mins I decided I wasnt going to get the crossroads clue and came here. I play a lot of chess and the reference didnt cross my mind as almost universally the letters are not capitalised so a2 and a3 is much more normal. I’d almost go as far as saying in 40 years I’ve never seen A2 and A3. Clever idea but mebbes didnt quite work.

    Biffed the coffee and NY clues successfully but couldnt get the parsing for DOMINATE and didn’t fancy the inevitable _E_E_S checkers for the animals.

    Thanks Keriothe and Mr McLean

  14. A steady solve beginning with FOI 4d THE MAYFLOWER through to LOI DOMINATE at 25ac. That makes it sound easier than it was since it took around 70 minutes, with much puzzlement until the pennies dropped. Figured out most for myself but biffed LEAD FREE and MAKE ONES MOVE. Not sure of the oblique wordplay there until this blog illuminated. I think oblique characterised this one, challenging for the beginner, but fair enough. Thanks to setter and blogger. Still learning!
  15. Thanks David and keriothe
    Did struggle with this. one across most of Saturday whilst watching the final day of our Melbourne Cup week. Ended up missing TEE OFF (and shame having played a bit of golf) – had started with GET OFF and finally settled on SET OFF (which does both mean ‘drive away’ and is a term ‘to make someone very angry – don’t know if it is US based or not).
    Unlike a few others here, enjoyed the challenges that were laid out, with some quite tricky word play and misdirection to be negotiated.
    Took ages to see the chess relationship in 11d, which was my last in and became my favourite when I eventually saw what he was doing. GENETS was second last in and again thought that it was clever when the penny dropped with it.

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