Sunday Times 5014 by Robert Price – double dog dare

9:32. Another first-class effort from Mr Price. Not especially difficult but some lovely devious touches that meant you had to be on your guard. I thought when solving that some of the definitions were a bit loose but further inspection and/or dictionary consultation as I wrote up the blog confirms that everything is impeccably fair and the problem was just my own ignorance of some less common meanings of certain words.

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

1 Design oral exam for a setter
DOG-TOOTH CHECK – a tooth check for a dog, geddit?
10 Transported door to door in the van
ENTRANCED – ENTRANCE, Door. ‘In the van’ = in the front.
11 Cavities exposed in organ transplants
ANTRA – contained in ‘organ transplant’.
12 Last of the low-fat cream
13 One girl captivated by European etiquette
14 A tourist on vacation suffered with a partner
16 Tap dancing cue in Grease
FAUCET – FAT containing (CUE)*.
19 Layers of pastry in a small turnover
STRATA – reversal (turnover) of A(TART), S.
20 Cut fabric that’s fine grade
LACERATE – LACE (fabric that’s fine), RATE.
22 Doctor with duty to admit old lady for complex procedure
24 Precept put forward and backed
TENET – the wordplay just refers to the fact that the answer is a palindrome.
25 Packs in excitement
26 Unfit meal aroused rage
27 Pig’s ear bone perhaps
DOGS BREAKFAST – two definitions, one mildly whimsical.
2 Old hat more apt for one selling suits
3 Guy’s letters read out loud
TEASE – sounds like ‘Ts’.
4 Taken and tied up
OCCUPIED – double definition: the first as in territory, the second as in busy.
5 Meeting hospital nurse needs no introduction
HUDDLE – H, cUDDLE. I thought when solving that ‘cuddle’ was a bit loose for NURSE, but one of the definitions of the latter in Collins is ‘to clasp carefully or fondly’, with the example ‘she nursed the crying child in her arms’.
6 The girl had to accept guile beats statistics
HEART RATE – HE(ART)R, ATE. Great definition!
7 Names in pronounced positions
CITES – sounds like ‘sites’.
8 Toy sat on by officers when everyone’s out
9 Licence to flog shiny material
PATENT LEATHER – PATENT, LEATHER. I thought ‘licence’ for PATENT was a bit loose when solving but on reflection a PATENT is a kind of licence, as confirmed by the Lexico definition.
15 Hybrid car has its big release
17 Dated measures cut by dated cutting tools
CHAINSAWS – CHAIN(SAW)S. A CHAIN is an old measure of length. Or rather two old measures of length: Gunter’s and engineer’s.
18 Hailed badly, upending a shrub
CAMELLIA – CAME, reversal of ILL, A. Hailed from = came from.
21 Peter, Christ’s first volunteer
COFFER – Christ, OFFER. Another that I thought a bit loose (I know ‘peter’ just as a word for a safe) but where dictionary consultation confirms that it is nothing of the sort. Collins: ‘a safe, till, or cash box’.
23 Reptile climbing, say, with cold floor beneath
GECKO – reversal (climbing) of EG, C, KO (knock out, floor).
24 One pinches Robert’s rear if he’s fidgeting
THIEFroberT, (IF HE)*.

28 comments on “Sunday Times 5014 by Robert Price – double dog dare”

  1. I had heard of the “hound’s tooth” pattern, of course (Dylan’s suit on the last English tour before the motorcycle mishap), but not the variant here.

    I’m just amused (since I never submit) t0 see that I wrote in SOW’S BREAKFAST instead, thinking it might be a variant (probably wouldn’t include bacon). Or maybe two dogs seemed a bit much (a three-dog night is a very cold one).

    My dad pronounced “rigmarole” with four syllables, “rigamarole,” and there was a time that I thought it was spelled that way.

    The sense of “hail [from]” as CAME [from] was quite slow in coming.

    1. Gosh, you can find anything on the ‘net, can’t you! I just found photos of Dylan in a hound’s tooth jacket, obviously on that tour. I wonder, was that the ‘Judas’ tour?

      1. Yes! (The “Judas” concert erroneously attributed to the performance at the Royal Albert Hall.)
        That was a great look! (But, man, he was so thin…!)

                1. I remember seeing that on video. I think the “I don’t believe you” bit is somewhat enigmatic in a Dylanesque way!

    2. Some of my mother’s family also included the possibly optional A in rig-a-marole. They came from Kentucky, so now I’m wondering about local pronunciation.

  2. 35:37
    LOI was 27ac DOGS BREAKFAST; I finally realized that I was confusing pig’s ear with pig’s eye. I also took an unduly long time to get the CHECK to go with DOG-TOOTH. I wonder if ‘nurse’ is still used with the cuddle meaning; I knew it from 19th-century novels like Dickens’s. No clue stood out for me; just all-around good.

  3. 42m 37s
    Took me a while to get going but I enjoyed it once I was underway.
    10ac ENTRANCED was the solution back in 2015 in #26019 just after I started making a note of clues that I enjoyed. The clue on that occasion was: ” Where to expect fourth queue for “Spellbound””.
    A CHAIN is indeed an old measure. It’s the length of a cricket pitch.
    My only unparsed clue was 18d CAMELLIA. So thanks, keriothe. Where I live there are numerous CAMELLIA’s in the garden and they are in bloom now.
    Thanks, keriothe!

  4. 33 minutes. The multi-word answers around the edges were easy to deduce early on and quickly opened up the whole grid. A chain (22 yards) is the length of a cricket pitch between the stumps, so much more elegant and memorable than the 20.12 metres that some references insist on using now.

  5. A 52 minute DNF. Made a DOG’S BREAKFAST of 18d, thinking of every sense of ‘hailed’ except for the correct one, so came up with a nonsense word out of ‘hailed’ + ‘a(n)’ as anagram fodder. Mind you, the answer was a ‘shrub’, so almost anything goes in my book.

    I liked the ‘beats statistics’ def for HEART RATE and the surface for CHAINSAWS.

  6. 40 minutes, with LOI the rather low -key LACERATE after the CHAINSAWS had massacred. COD to DOGS BREAKFAST. I loved the military junta riding the tricycle too. Great fun. Thank you Robert and Guy.

  7. I find Robert Price the hardest of the three Sunday chaps, so it was super-satisfying to work steadily through this to completion. Most enjoyable. I liked 6d. Thanks, all.

  8. As often happens, a plant was my undoing. HAILED badly had to be an anagram so I added an A and got a little known relative of the DAHLIA.
    Otherwise lots of enjoyable stuff. ANTRA unknown but easily spotted. COD to LACERATE.

  9. A smartish 46 minutes from me!

    COD 5dn HUDDLE

    I have decided to take a sabbatical – so toodle-pip! Meldrew

  10. A nice puzzle from Robert as always, taking me 22:30. I was held up by being convinced from the G_A_ checkers that 22A included GRAN. I liked FAUCET, CHAINSAWS and THIEF best. Thanks Robert and keriothe.

  11. I struggled to get started but then it fell into place. TEASE went in first and FAUCET brought up the rear. CAMELLIA went in on the balance of probabilities; couldn’t quite see came=hailed, but thanks to the blog, I do now. Some great clues; too many to mention! I did particularly like HEART RATE though. 27:28. Nice one Bob. Thanks K.

  12. This took me 53 minutes and all parsed other than ENTRANCED.
    As I had never heard of DOG-TOOTH CHECK I left it until last even though I got the wordplay early on.
    Also NHO of my FOI ANTRA but as I guessed it was hidden and I had heard of Antrum I went for it.

  13. All (almost, but perhaps indeed all) quite excellent as usual. HEART RATE and the general’s trike were brilliant. Not quite convinced by came = hailed: OK came from = hailed from, but do we ever use the word ‘came’ in the ‘hailed’ alone sense? It seems to me rather like saying that m is an abbreviation for ‘merchant’ because of merchant navy. I wondered if there should be some indication that a faucet is particularly a North American term, but perhaps no need.

  14. Very slow going for 52 minutes, but I got there in the end, with all of the more obscure clues just slithering into place a bit surreptitiously (DOG-TOOTH CHECK, DOGS BREAKFAST, CAMELLIA, even HEART RATE and so on). OCCUPIED started off as ACCEPTED, but clearly 1 ac was going to have a tooth in it, so that didn’t fit. For HEART RATE, I was certain for a while that it would have SHE’D around the outside and ART in the middle, and I couldn’t do much with that. Not much to say otherwise.

  15. Thanks Robert and keriothe
    A slow burner taking almost the hour and a half to finish across a wet Melbourne Saturday afternoon. Held up a bit by having three wrong down clues at the top initially – ACCEPTED instead of OCCUPIED, CHART as a starter for 6d and SITES instead of CITES. Eventually the fabric design across the top remediated that.
    POLITESSE and CATHARSIS were both new words. ANTRA was the first in and CAMELLIA (very happy to finally see and parse this one, after going down a DAHLIA related path too) was last to finish off a very enjoyable puzzle.

  16. I too made heavy weather of CAMELLIA and especially DOG TOOTH CHECK (only ever known as HOUND’S TOOTH CHECK), POLITESSE and PATENT LEATHER, where I was looking for something more resembling SATEEN – D’oh! But as others have noted, an expectedly fine puzzle, which I DNF, but enjoyed.

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