Sunday Times 4980 by Robert Price

19:36. I found this tricky, but highly enjoyable as usual from Bob. This one features a handful of cryptic definitions, which is not everyone’s favourite clue type, but these are very good ones. 22ac is particularly good, and had me fooled for ages: it was my last in by several minutes and I kicked myself when I finally saw the light.

How did you get on?

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

1 Low budget gardens with chain fencing
6 Time off insufficient for study
9 Island set, out to lunch on wine and fish
RED MULLETS – RED (wine), MULL (island), (SET)*.
10 Go with Jack to reverse vehicle
JEEP – reversal of PEE (go), J.
12 Acoustic No 1 songs
LIEDER – sounds like (acoustic) ‘leader’.
13 Great film about a partner in crime
BIGAMIST – BIG(A), MIST. Great definition.
15 Entrance by the Queen, backed by ship’s siren
ENCHANTRESS – ENCHANT (entrance), reversal of ER, SS.
18 One encouraging the other
APHRODISIAC – A CD, and a good ‘un. Nudge nudge, wink wink.
21 Vessel of gold, church vault secures
22 Salt on spinach
POPEYE – another CD, and another good ’un. ‘Salt’ here meaning sailor, of course.
24 Guiding principles about fondue, regularly ignored
CODE – C (about), fOnDuE.
25 Reject fool for opening seedy club
26 Active agent safeguarding resistance
27 Direct plays with puns ad-libbed
1 Way to make a revolution constitutional
STROLL – ST (way), ROLL (make a revolution).
2 Lots of dogs but no lead
3 Music producers apply pressure over hits
4 Part of some petrol engines
ROLE – contained in ‘petrol engines’.
5 Critic in a novel finally said some corrosive stuff
7 Verse cut by priest left unfinished

Robert Price
Sets crossword puzzles that are very nice.
Solving his clues
Will always amuse.

8 Preferring your own stuffed pimentos
11 At the Sorbonne, it’s the done thing
14 Triggering a single tax in effect
16 Cushions of cloth at the back, like on footwear
17 Take on quiet, more mature university dons
SHOULDER – SH, O(U)LDER. ‘Dons’ as in ‘puts on’.
19 Glassware on a lab bench or counter
RETORT – DD. ‘Bench or counter’ is very clever.
20 Tale handed down on purpose
23 Stuff used up making brandy
MARC – reversal of CRAM.

21 comments on “Sunday Times 4980 by Robert Price”

  1. I loved this one. I’m surprised, K, that POPEYE took time; I saw ‘salt’ ‘spinach’ and immediately thought ‘Popeye’. On the other hand, I wasted time taking ‘triggering’ as the anagrind for (ASINGLETAX). It just occurred to me: Does one put a RETORT on a lab bench? Lots of inclusion indicators: fencing, secures, dons, opening, safeguarding. Lots of COD candidates, but I think I’d choose APHRODISIAC.
  2. ….which is pretty much my average completion time whenever I Set myself to monitoring my times.
    2d amused me. We used to have two Poodles and once, in Sydney, attended a rally of Poodle owners which was advertised under the heading of “Oodles of Poodles”>
    In 3d, with some checkers in place, UKULELE fitted the first word.
    In the old Richard Ingrams days, Private Eye used to have “Clerihew Corner” but that disappeared under Hislop.
    Lots of good surface readings with this puzzle.
  3. Robert Price has improved no end IMHO – he’s right-up there now!

    FOI 4dn ROLE


    COD 19ac RETORTs are found on a lab benches in the UK last time I looked

    WOD 22ac POP-EYE a write-in – spinach with salt and a little olive oyle

    8d NEPOTISM was delightful – as it usually isn’t!

  4. 48 minutes. Enjoyable with a few tricky ones. ACTIVATION was my hold-up as I too thought ‘triggering’ was an anagram indicator. I liked the APHRODISIAC, POPEYE and FAIT ACCOMPLI cryptic defs (= I managed to solve them) and the appropriately theatrical surface for UNSCRIPTED.

    Thanks to our setter and blogger

  5. I’m strong to the finish,
    ’Cause I eats my spinach!

    With much fun in between.
    FAIT ACCOMPLI is, of course, English nowadays, but I guess something had to indicate a borrowed term…

    Edited at 2021-11-14 05:27 am (UTC)

    1. If we ever have a wordplay+definition clue for FAIT ACCOMPLI, I’m sure it’ll be fine to leave out the indication of Frenchness. (As far as I can tell from searches of this site, it’s an answer for the first time in at least 16 years.)
      But as a cryptic definition clue, “It’s the done thing” or similar seems like a “bad old days” CD for which it would not be certain to the solver that there was only one (4,8) choice. Robert’s clue uses the origin to remove this possible problem.

      Edited at 2021-11-14 09:46 am (UTC)

      1. FAIT ACCOMPLI appeared in Times 27227 (21 Dec 2018) and in Jumbo 1408 (16 November 2019.
        No foreign word indicator either time, but the clues were of the wordplay+def type as you say. Of the three, Robert’s is by far the neatest clue imo 🙂
  6. … ‘cause I don’t eat spinach. 25 minutes and over too soon with so many terrific clues. I like cryptic clues best, I think. 10a,13a,19a, 22a, 11d, 16d all had me giggling. Robert has become a LEG END in his own lifetime. Thank you both.
  7. My COD Aphrodisiac. Clerlihew my WOD

    George the Third
    Ought never to have occurred.
    One can only wonder
    At so grotesque a blunder

    Why is WOD not in the Glossary!? Abother blunder!?

  8. One of the all-time bests. 46 minutes, so slightly above average time for me, for a nicely tricky puzzle. It is a tie for COD, a 26-way tie. The other two clues have nothing to be ashamed of, so i will not embarrass them by saying who they are
  9. I found this difficult after FOI ROLE. Just 14 clues solved after two sessions. But I limped to the finish (no spinach involved) and was able to reflect on an excellent puzzle.
    I had ACTIVATING at 14d; once again not properly working out the parsing. That caused major delays to UNSCRIPTED. In fact I finished quite quickly once I’d made that correction; RETORT and POPEYE going in late. LOI was CLERIHEW which I knew was a word but had forgotten the meaning. I’ll give COD to LIEDER as the biggest PDM in the puzzle for me.
  10. When the setter is Robert Price
    Sunday mornings turn out nice.
    Last week produced a cracking clue
    For CLERIHEW !

    I started slowly, seven clues in before getting an answer, and was held up for nearly 3 minutes at the end by 6A/7D.

    Along the way, I mused over the plural of MULLET, acquired an earworm from the Who (SQUEEZE BOX), and applauded “stuffed” as the anagram indicator at 8D.

    Plenty of ticks on my copy, and apart from my COD I particularly enjoyed SHOESTRING, JEEP, POPEYE, STROLL, RETORT, and LEGEND.

    TIME 14:40

  11. A fine crossword from Robert, with some excellent clues.

    Interested to note that for each of the last three crosswords,every clue has been on a single line. Dean is well-known for brevity and concision, but it seems to be catching!

  12. Immensely enjoyable, with a lovely whimsy to many of the clues, eg 18 & 22ac, which made me giggle. Liked the creative precision of 16d HASSOCKS. FOI 1d STROLL, LOI 19d RETORT though without understanding this one. One hour approx over two sessions.
  13. Great fun. Liked the BIGAMIST, though I tried to shoehorn ET in as our go-to film for quite some time. LOI was CLERIHEW, and spotted that this was a likely pangram so the missing W had to go in 7d, which was very helpful. Only heard of the word once before, and that was in a previous Times crossword. 31:05

    Edited at 2021-11-14 01:47 pm (UTC)

    1. I didn’t even notice that it was a pangram! It really ought to have occurred to me once I saw SQUEEZEBOXES and CLERIHEW.
  14. 35.23. Super puzzle. Really enjoyed the partner in crime definition of bigamist and the clues for aphrodisiac and nepotism.
  15. Thanks Robert and keriothe
    Always find it interesting with other people’s solving patterns, as in where they start – some seem to start methodically going through all of the across clues, then through the down clues and then come back and repeat. Personally, I look holistically and somehow zero in on one that I can solve and either build off it or then look for the next ‘easy’ one. Today it was OODLES and then ROLE.
    Really enjoyed the rest of the puzzle, especially some of the cryptic definitions as mentioned above. POPEYE was an early entry, immediately matching the spinach to that ‘salt’.
    Always takes a while to remember the euphemistic meaning of ‘the other’, but it raised a grin when I remembered. It was my third to last in, followed by HASSOCKS (which needed to be fixed from an initial CASSOCKS, which wouldn’t parse) and then over to RETORT (after looking it up for the lab version of it).
    Didn’t notice the pangram.

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