Sunday Times 5006 by David McLean

Welcome to the new home of Times for the Times. It’s great to have this brilliant new site up and running, and an honour to be one of the first to post. I have been following the development in the background for the last few weeks and I’m amazed by what our team of experts has achieved. Thank you!

So what about the puzzle? It was pretty gentle, I found (it took me 7:13) but I really enjoyed it. All very smooth and a few nicely witty clues. Lots of good ones but 19ac is my favourite I think.

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

1 My tip to thrill in headwear for Ascot?
FANCY THAT – Thrill contained in FANCY HAT. What a lovely clue to start us off.
6 Summer’s beginning, pack and go away
SCRAM – Summer, CRAM.
9 Heated issue involving small group of players
10 Be unfavourable to have another shot (extremely skint)
11 A run enlivened with changes taxes people
14 A second month in profit for energy supplier
16 Charlie had spades thanks to chap in plot
CATESBY – C, ATE, S, BY (thanks to). One of the gunpowder plotters. Interestingly the State Opening of Parliament still starts with the ceremonial Hunting of the Catholics.
17 Old sails and stuff by a Michigan craft
ORIGAMI – O, RIG, A, MI. Sails and stuff – love it!
19 Spooner delivers Trump/Brown nuclear deal
TEST BAN – Spoonerism of ‘best tan’. I generally dislike Spooner clues (too obvious) but this is absolutely brilliant.
21 What could make killer become kinder?
CHANGE OF HEART – a reverse cryptic with a very convincing surface. If you change the heart (middle) of ‘killer’ you get ‘kinder’. Very neat.
24 Being old is stressful with son turning 100
EXISTENCE – EX (old), IS, TENSE with S (son) changed to C (100).
26 Bears steal last piece from hampers
TAKES – TAKE, hamperS.
27 Father always more able to do as he will?
FREER – FR (father), E’ER.
28 Good satirist’s broadcast getting complaint
1 A Pole employed by one casting Hook?
FISHING ROD – CD. Not difficult to see through but nonetheless very neat.
2 Pointers annoy grannies ultimately
3 Agreeable blokes leaving southern state
4 Senior on drugs charged along with royal
HIGH-RANKING – HIGH (on drugs), RAN, KING. I have been hanging around in my profession for long enough to be described as ‘senior’, and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.
5 Duck left out for afternoon munchies
6 Does nothing get Satan annoyed with saint?
STAGNATES – (GET SATAN, S)*. An indirect anagram? Discuss.
7 Don’t dash as much as one out on first delivery
8 Fable teacher read out loud with a lisp
MYTH – sounds like ‘miss’ as pronounced by someone with the relevant speech impediment.
12 US tourists provided with no visa react badly
13 Those who mesmerize pythons sit uneasily
15 Doctor can treat surrounding area easily
AT A CANTER – (CAN TREAT)* containing A.
18 Dispose of popular Conservative policy
INCLINE – IN, C, LINE. If you’re disposed to doing something you’re inlined to do it, but I can’t think of an example where this works in the present tense. Can you?
20 Retirement cover void? Racketeers essentially!
BLANKET – BLANK, rackETeers.
22 Harsh critic of head of state after Panama?
HATER – HAT, ER. ‘Panama’ is a definition by example, hence the question mark.
23 Grouse and cattle reared for their meat
BEEF – DD. I love beef but grouse is my absolute favourite meat.
25 Problem with runaway soprano … go on

28 comments on “Sunday Times 5006 by David McLean”

  1. 24:57
    Once again perfunctory proofing overlooked a typo, sending me into hitherto unexplored regions of the leaderboard. Otherwise, I liked this one. INCLINE can be transitive–ODE gives e.g. His prejudice inclines him to overlook obvious facts. (Actually, I’m inclined etc. is in the present tense, but.) I liked YEMEN, CHANGE OF HEART, and COD to TEST BAN.

  2. Finished everything in just under 42 minutes . Enjoyed AT A CANTER
    and RUNLESS . Nice to see Mr Catesby achieve a sort of immortality through Crosswordland.
    Thanks for explaining what happened in CHANGE OF HEART-and for rest of blog too.

  3. 28 minutes is good for me for a Sunday puzzle. I looked twice at ‘bears / takes’ but assumed it’s meant in the context of something ‘taking or bearing a load’?

    1. I think I thought of e.g. more than I can bear/take, although I suppose that’s the same as bear/take a load.

  4. CATESBY was my LOI too. Strictly from wordplay. (The Ceremonial Hunting of the Catholics…?! OMG. I’ll look that up.)
    How wonderful that we were able to relocate to such nice new digs, and without losing anything in the move!
    There is (as I just noticed) no option to “like” or otherwise react, nor can we (so far) use different avatars at our whim. The avatars also seem a tad too small…  But I’m not complaining!

  5. 19 minutes. LOI CATESBY, COD to RUNLESS. Very enjoyable. Thank you David and K. There doesn’t appear to be a Subject bar which is as well since I think I’ve exhausted my knowledge of song titles on LJ posts.

  6. 6D: You can count the wordplay as (GET SATAN)*,S so I don’t think the minor indirectess needs to be an issue. But in cases where a single letter abbreviation is used, is this indirection that really bothers people? I have a fairly hazy memory of starting to notice this being used, maybe about 20 years ago, and I think I was happy with it as a trading of minor difficulty for some better surface reading possibilities. Underline “hazy” – the new thing might simply have been me actually noticing it.

    18D: I can’t remember whether reading this was my reason for deciding that dispose=incline was OK, but here’s a Collins def for “incline” – “cause to be disposed” seems surely close enough to plain “dispose”:

    when tr, may take an infinitive to be disposed or cause to be disposed (towards some attitude or to do something)
    → he inclines towards levity
    → that does not incline me to think that you are right

    [And that text confirms that although we seem to have lost some of the fancier editing facilities, you can use bits of HTML for formatting.]

    1. In cases like this (where the ‘indirect’ part is a standard abbreviation) it doesn’t bother me at all. It’s just one of those ‘rules’, like definition by example. But as you say you don’t even need to treat the saint as part of the anagram.

    2. Peter there were no fancy editing facilities (if you mean toolbar shortcuts) in Live Journal when writing a comment, only when creating or editing a blog. Or if there were I’ve missed them and have been using bits of html for the past 15 years!

  7. My first entry here and it’s great. Thanks to all who worked so hard to achieve it. Enjoyed this one from DMcL. 30 mins so definitely on the easier side. I liked the long clues and FANCY THAT.

    Thanks K and setter.

  8. Just over 29 minutes with 7d and the plotter holding me up for ages at the end. Otherwise a pleasant romp. Thanks Harry and K.

  9. Well, my first proper comment on the new blog, and it’s to confess my terrible ignorance! Here’s hoping I’m not starting as I mean to go on. I didn’t know CATESBY, and eventually bunged in CATESTY, even though I thought “TY” for “thank you” was the kind of textspeak that the Times might frown on. Oh well. (It’s possible someone did teach me about him at school, but it’s been a long time…)

  10. An enjoyable puzzle which I solved in sessions. LOI was TAKES. BLANKET prior to that.
    I realised some time ago I needed to learn the names of traitors for crosswords. It worked as CATESBY was somehow familiar.
    Well done to all on this new site.
    I will now see how to find an avatar etc.

  11. Commuting to London for 30 years often meant several minutes standing on Charing Cross underground platform while changing lines, and this proved a boon to my GK, as named drawings of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators were on the tiled wall, so Robert CATESBY came to me as soon as I realised where the clue was going. In fact, no unknowns and a very enjoyable solve.
    Love the new site – could we have the option to ‘like’ comments at some point? Seems unfair that a brilliantly witty comment doesn’t get due recognition.

  12. 33 minutes. Held up by CATESBY at the end. Thought FANCY THAT and HEARTLESS were especially good.

  13. 35 minutes and of course CATESBY was also my LOI. Not very difficult, but it was a David McLean puzzle and therefore nonetheless very clever and very enjoyable. Thank you, setter, and also many thanks to the organisers of the blog for the magnificent escape from Russia that you have effected.

  14. Catesby was my LOI. Very vague memory from the recesses of the cobwebs in my skull, but mostly just the wordplay. My vague memory was that he was GATESBY but Charlie was never going to let that happen.

  15. To echo horryd…..sorry, Meldrew, “Ah there you are!”
    All but 5 clues were solved in 15 mins but I needed another 24mins for those.
    Well done keriothe and thanks for TEA(L)
    Onwards and upwards!

  16. Really just testing. I only ever do the Sunday cryptic (by which I mean I take the Times only on Sunday (occasional forays into Mephisto with occasional limited success)) but it is my favourite crossword. I only ever approach it on Sunday night in bed and am happy to solve just one clue before snuffing out the candle; thereafter I rely on it for late night entertainment for the week. If I solve it all in one go I feel profoundly cheated. I got full value from this one – mainly due to ignorance of CATESBY and his machinations.

    Personally I love a spud goonerism.

  17. Thanks David and keriothe
    Took just over the hour on and off across another rainy Saturday in Queensland and appreciated many of the fine clues (all of which have been called out already) of this puzzle – 1a and 19a would be my favourites.
    Had to piece CATESBY together from the word play and then check to see what plot he was involved in – only knew of Guy Fawkes – it mustn’t have made it in detail in our history classes here.
    Finished with HIGH-RANKING, FANCY THAT and NAG (which I’d left unnoticed till last).
    P.S. Nice to see a bright shiny new site on which to comment now – congrats to all involved in setting it up.

  18. Thanks David and Keriothe. New to this blog and like Bruce-in-aus working on a another wet Queensland day. Nowhere near the speed level of you experts but still enjoy my slow slog on the puzzle and at this stage happy to complete correctly

  19. re: Catesby

    Game of Thrones fans might be aware that Kim Harrington (Jon Snow) is a direct descendant of Catesby

Comments are closed.