Sunday Times 5016 by Dean Mayer

21:33. I found this very tough for reasons I now can’t put my finger on. It all seems so straightforward now, which is often the mark of a very good puzzle.

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

1 Colleague in tie drinking a chaser?
STABLEMATE – STA(B)LEMATE, where B is an ‘A chaser’ in that it follows A in the alphabet. Tricky!
6 About to cut excellent exotic fruit
ACAI – A(CA)I. A vaguely familiar fruit that has come up before, including twice in 2018.
10 Scratching head, do something to relieve irritation
11 Face in Vogue
ITALICS – face as in typeface. This clue was published in the online newspaper without the italics, which must have made it tricky to solve!
12 Iron Maiden’s new parts to jam in time?
13 Grants wholly over the top in wealthy south
ALLOWS – ALL, O, Wealthy, S.
14 Put tiny boy in gym for break
16 Payment makes them better advisers
TIPSTERS – CD. Some of these people would require payment before divulging their betting advice.
18 “Get rid of …” shortened to be better
21 Standard of old tools
23 US city sure to secure a win
OAKLAND – O(A)K, LAND. City in California
24 Working for ages, succeeds
25 Volcano in Vietnam
ETNA – contained in ‘Vietnam’.
26 Crane that is circling hawk (March 1st)
DEMOISELLE – DEMO (March, coming 1st), I(SELL)E. When solving I thought this was a somewhat deficient reference to the crane fly, but it is actually a kind of crane, i.e. a bird. A DEMOISELLE is a damselfly, which was probably what I was thinking of.
1 Material things
STUFF – DD. Or you might say a triple definition, as the whole clue works too.
2 Noise made by a brutal gathering
ACCRUAL – sounds like ‘a cruel’.
3 Dictated what Dean will do differently
LAID DOWN THE LAW – (WHAT DEAN WILL DO)*. Neat self-referential anagram.
4 Old lady touring one capital city
MANAMA – M(AN)AMA. Capital of Bahrain, which was news to me.
5 Kitchen item, mostly to cut fish
TRIANGLE – TRIm, ANGLE. The kitchen being the percussion section of an orchestra.
7 Voucher that’s 25 per cent off against wine
8 Top of vest opens forward, showing bust
9 A baby of one’s own?
FAMILY BUSINESS – CD. A ‘baby’ is a ‘project of personal concern’ (Collins), and ‘one’s own’ are one’s family.
13 Cut the bacon up, eating one
AITCHBONE – (THE BACON)* containing I. A cut of beef taken from the rump.
15 Old novel, reading material
17 Vegetable people put under grill
PUMPKIN – KIN under (it’s a down clue) PUMP (grill).
19 Unable to get off boat trailer suitable for all in Florida
WAKEFUL – WAKE (boat trailer), F(U)L.
20 A soldier in trouble for slow movement
22 Governess keeps one in mountain retreat

27 comments on “Sunday Times 5016 by Dean Mayer”

  1. 35′
    This was tough, all right, but then Dean’s always are. (Although ETNA seems to have wandered in from a QC.) I never did figure out FOUR-DIMENSIONAL, and I wasn’t confident about TIPSTERS, as a tipster needn’t be a paid one. DNK MANAMA, somehow managed to recall (from here) AITCHBONE. I suppose I could complain that a PUMPKIN is a fruit, but then so are tomatoes and cucumbers. I liked STABLEMATE, UNCTION, ITALICS, and especially DEMOISELLE.

  2. This one seemed hard to me too. It took me (former typesetter) an embarrassingly long time to see what was going on with ITALICS (and the printout did have the font change). Not sure I’d ever heard of AITCHBONE or MANAMA. Remembering DEMOISELLE started off the second session that finally finished this. But never a dull moment!

  3. The dictionaries don’t exactly agree on tipsters, but Collins has “a person who sells tips on horse racing, the stock market, etc”.

    Italics in clues: these aren’t common in the ST crossword, but are correctly represented in the online version used by the Crossword Club site, Times and ST Puzzles app, and the newer of the two versions of the newspaper app – the one without “Classic” on the icon.

  4. 2hr 4m 34s. Phew! I had to go for a lie-down in a darkened room after that! That was as tough a puzzle as I can remember. In the end I had to use aids for many clues so I SWL. Mind you, I’ve struggled a bit recently. I had to use aids for seven clues in Friday’s cryptic.
    Thanks, keriothe for OUTWIT, STABLEMATE and PLAYTIME . In the case of MANAMA, though, I have been there on numerous occasions so that was a known known.
    I’m afraid I still don’t understand 12ac FOUR-DIMENSIONAL. You’ve underlined ‘in time’ as the definition, keriothe. Did you mean just ‘time’ or what am I missing?
    TRIANGLE was my LOI. I had forgotten about that sort of ‘kitchen’.

    1. As I read it, something that exists ‘in time’ (as well as the other three) is FOUR-DIMENSIONAL. ‘Time’ on its own wouldn’t do as a definition: that would just be the fourth dimension.

  5. 2 h 16 min (true!) but at least I made it. The only bit I didn’t properly parse was missing the percussion section sense of ‘Kitchen’, though TIPSTERS went in with a shrug (I didn’t know they were necessarily paid for their tips, but I note Peter’s comment above) and the NHO MANAMA was a hit and hope at the very end, even if it did fit the wordplay.

    Excellent STUFF, as expected from Dean, with lots of stand-out clues. Best for me were the ‘a chaser’ for B at 1a and the amusing surface for INSOLVENT, especially coming after the day before’s LOW-CUT.

  6. 85 minutes for a technical DNF with three resorts to aids, one of them most embarrassingly for the LOI italics. I had all the parsing by the end of it but a query remaining over the first part of 16ac. I made a note on my printout that the lower half seemed much easier than the top.

  7. Wonderful crossword. ‘a chaser’ and ‘March 1st’ are so clever. Thanks all.

  8. I found this easy enough to get into. FOI EYRIE and two easyish long answers: LAID DOWN THE LAW and HAMMER AND SICKLE. But my paper copy is proof that I didn’t get much further. Yes, ETNA could have been in a QC but most of the rest was too difficult for me.

  9. I too found this hard taking I hour 20 mins. Stuck for a while in the NE not seeing the « kitchen » DNK ACAI or MANAMA but worked them out somehow. Bamboozled by ITALICS (very clever clue, as mentioned) and, would you believe it, CHIANTI. Doh. Great to finish and some very enjoyable moments.

    Thanks Keriothe and Mr Mayer.

  10. Well! I’m so relieved to come here and read how challenging you all found this. I hadn’t a hope really. It was too clever for me, too cryptic, too many crossword tricks I just didn’t know (eg an orchestra percussion section being the kitchen; the random selection of the first letters of wealthy south…How did you know to do that?) and words I’d never heard of (AITCHBONE, DEMOISELLE…) But as ever it’s all a learning experience, and I’ve patted myself on the back for getting around half before resorting to aids. Kicking myself for not seeing Vogue and italics! Liked the simplicity of STUFF. Well done to all you finishers. And thanks to setter and blogger.

    1. Wealthy south. The W is indicated by ‘top in wealthy’, which is fairly standard crossword fare. S is ‘south’ as in the point of the compass. K has indicated it as a deletion South but it’s actually just a standard abbreviation.

  11. Tough, but clever stuff with some nice PDMs, e.g. A chaser and March 1st. I also liked PUMPKIN, TRIANGLE and ADAGIO. I was a bit puzzled by jam = foul, which seems a bit of a stretch. Thanks Dean and keriothe. 33:58.

    1. SOED has foul as: Chiefly Nautical. Cause to become entangled. Also, make immovable; block, obstruct (a sea bottom etc.).

      I’d heard of fouling nets, fishing lines etc.

        1. Lexico has ‘(of a cable, anchor, or other object) become entangled or jammed’.

  12. I struggled for 59:29 with this, but having got VANITY PROJECT in mind for 9d, popped in the VANITY bit and didn’t rethink it when BUSINESS arrived. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway as I’d managed to mistype TISPTERS at 16a. Best to draw a veil over this one! Thanks Dean and K.

  13. Needed aids for MANAMA and AITCHBONE. Time off the scale, beyond anything clocked in the fourth dimension. I don’t think I can handle Dean in dictatorial mood. But thank you Dean for the challenge, and to K for the explanations.

  14. It was “foul” as “jam” that threw me. I bunged the answer in eventually. I hate putting in answers that I haven’t parsed. I found this very hard. Clocked out at 56 minutes.

  15. Coming to this site late after an 8.5 mile walk which has left me completely shattered! Can’t do the distances any more! I agree that this was a stinker – it took me and Mr Ego all day and more to slog our way through, and was ultimately a depressing rather than exhilarating experience, though we got all the answers in the end, but with several question marks that I had to come here to understand. My problem is that I have a horror of giving up, so with the most difficult puzzles I end up doggedly working on the last few clues when all joy has departed! Probably a failing rather than a virtue.

  16. I was chuffed to see the B = A follower quickly. I was lucky that some of the others with difficult parsings were pretty clear from the crossing letters and/or what had to be the definition. Still, close to two hours over several sittings. Thanks setter, ed, blogger

  17. Another Dean masterpiece! LOI ITALICS after alphabet trawl gave me a ‘doh’ moment.
    Loved ‘ a chaser’ cluing the letter B . I’ll try to remember that device for the future. Never heard of AITCHBONE, but with the checkers this had to be the anagram. 33:53

  18. As most have said, a typically great crossword from Dean. Especially liked the self-referential clue at 3D, and the surfaces of 5and 8d; but solving on tree ware left me nonplussed about 11a where we had no italics! I did better than I expected though, in one sitting, but still needed plenty of help in parsing…for which thanks to K. Double tick to 1d, of course!

  19. Thanks Dean and keriothe
    Took this to a cafe for brunch and after half an hour had only completed the SW corner and a couple of other clues. Took almost another hour after I got home and many aids to finally get the grid completed – was able to parse all except for 1a, missing the very clever ‘a follower’= B.
    Curiously ACAI was the second one in – known as one of the so-called superfoods and is commonly used in different shakes and health supplements here. DEMOISELLE and MANAMA were both new terms and was pleased to remember that the ‘kitchen’ referred to the percussion section of an orchestra. Took an age to realise that TIPSTERS was just a cryptic definition.
    Finished in the NW corner with that MANAMA, ACCRUAL and UNCTION the last few in.

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