Sunday Times 5066 by David McLean

18:47. I found this difficult, for reasons I can’t now remember. Going back through it all to write the blog it seems mostly straightforward. This is often the mark of a good puzzle, which this was. I do remember that 4dn caused me some difficulty at the end: it took me a long time to figure out the rather cunning wordplay.

How did you get on?

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

1 Drive newly-wed out of head
RIDEbRIDE. An extremely easy clue to lull you into a false sense of security.
3 Play’s producers admit star’s awkward
10 Cardinal put factor 50 over area
ELEMENTAL – ELEMENT (factor), L (50) containing A (area).
11 Brown logs American left to rot
12 Motorway network in city abroad
MILAN – MI, LAN (Local Area Network).
13 Not imbibing wine or cream?
OFF-WHITE – definition and cryptic hint.
15 Car parts Cockney sailors spoonerised
TOWBARS – ‘Bow tars’.
17 My only right that’s official
19 Attack group winning over knight
21 Group of devout dudes in rubbish skirts
BORDERS – ORDER (monks, devout people) contained in BS (bulls***, rubbish).
22 Flyer fair editor edited
ADJUSTED – AD (flyer), JUST (fair), ED.
24 Animal one’s kept in German city mostly
27 What chef could cook in pan
28 Flower I planted in garden or wild?
29 Restrained lag walked with head dropped
30 Drugs detective put on yours truly
MEDS – ME, DS (Detective Sergeant).
1 Hear summit overturned joint complaint
2 Live shows in Northland, Wellington
DWELL – contained in ‘Northland, Wellington’.
4 Singers touring flipping big record stores
RATIONS – RATS (singers) containing a reversal of NO 1 (big record). My last in by a distance.
5 Harmful men’s tales, as labelled in bookshop?
6 Feeling hurt, ultimately I’m in pain!
7 Drug sent up transport line
SUBSTANCE – reversal of BUS, STANCE (line).
8 Red Maxim broadcast on radio
SORE – sounds like ‘saw’. Cue protests from rhotic speakers.
9 Gaslight and lean on bent politician
14 Log hidden amongst iron anchors
16 Private pulled back from the front?
18 Unusual sort of bar rider jumped
20 North-flowing brown river free of chemicals?
NATURAL – reversal (north-flowing) of TAN, URAL.
21 Ailment the long-term retired can get?
23 Complete, say
25 Because of transgression, going to church
26 One basks in sun in docked vessel

33 comments on “Sunday Times 5066 by David McLean”

  1. 30:01
    LOI 8d, of course, after some time. Aside from that I don’t remember much. I do have ‘dudes’ queried at 21ac; seemed rather gratuitous.

  2. I thought ‘dudes’ was just a little playful – aside from the alliteration it implies stylishness, so men who are more likely to be wearing skirts, perhaps.
    I didn’t understand the significance of Red Maxim with the capital M. Probably something over my head.
    My faves were Elemental, Rio Grande and Withdrawn.
    Really enjoyable puzzle with succinct clues.

    1. Maxim rather than maxim suggests a name, and red Maxim suggests a Russian; all totally irrelevant, of course.

    2. On Maxim, what Kevin said, but it’s worth remembering that there is a Times convention (which I believe also applies to the ST puzzle) by which words in clues that require capital letters must have them but the setter is permitted to insert capital letters where not needed in order to mislead the solver and/or (as with Maxim) to improve the surface reading. It’s sometimes referred to as ‘deceptive capitalisation’ which makes it sound like something that might be of interest to the Fraud Squad!

      1. My understanding (for want of the correct word) is that the capitalization rule is not in force in the ST.

        1. Thanks Kevin. You may well be right and I can’t recall it. Peter B, if you drop by today, perhaps you would confirm?

          1. I don’t really see this as a rule so much as a matter of logic, so I would assume it applies.

              1. Yes. Any word can be written with a capital, but proper nouns are never written without. So ‘Maxim’ is a legitimate way of writing the word for a saying, but ‘maxim’ is not a legitimate way of writing the name.

                1. Exactly so – deceptive capitalisation is permitted (for the reason stated) – but deceptive failure to capitalise is not – “Peter” can indicate a safe, but “peter” cannot indicate a saint. AFAIK this applies in all the “broadsheet” cryptics.

      2. Ah. I stupidly didn’t make the connection with Maxim being a Russian forename, instead fixating on ‘Red Maxim’ being a singer or a band or a play I’d never heard of. Maybe the setter had the Russian chess player Maxim Matlakov in mind.
        I think the ST policy is that deceptive upcasing like that is fine, but not the other way around.

        1. There’s also Maxim Gorky. Your statement of ST policy is, as Jack indicates, policy for the daily puzzles; I’m pretty sure the ST allows both. But that’s my ‘I’m pretty sure’ against your ‘I think’; it would be nice if Peter came along and set us right.

    3. I too thought dudes was playful. So much more entertaining than a prosaic people, group or set.

  3. 93m 14s I found this very hard and I was surprised that my effort was all-correct.
    I agree with Kevin that ‘dudes’ seems superfluous, nay, misleading in 21ac.
    Thank you, keriothe for PRESENTERS, UMBER, BORDERS, SUBSTANCE and CROC.
    My LOI by some margin was PRESENTERS.

  4. I didn’t mark my LOI, but it could very easily have been SORE.
    Funny, I don’t often have any trouble understanding an English dialect in real life, but it seems I tend to mentally filter the anomalies to render the words as I’d normally hear them, without noting how different they may really sound.

    1. It’s not understanding the dialect that’s the problem, it’s coming up with the relevant example; given the way I pronounce ‘saw’, ‘sore’ was not likely to come to mind, although once I finally got it, I had no problem (if a little irritation) seeing how it worked.

      1. If I had all the crossers and had connected “Red” with SORE, the remaining problem would be seeing how that connected with “Maxim.” That’s when I had to consider a dialectical pronunciation. It seems that you thought of “saw” first.

        1. I think I turned up ‘sore’ along with ‘sure’, ‘sort’ and probably some others, then thought of its non-rhotic pronunciation, then saw how ‘Maxim’ fit; but I don’t really remember.

        2. I didn’t have a dialectical issue with this to me SAW and SORE are identical in sound. But then my own dialect is an admixture of Suffolk, Norfolk with a smattering of Hull and Hampshire.

  5. 38 minutes with no workings-out or queries on my copy other than a faint question mark indicating that I looked twice at ‘American’ in 11ac. I’ve been aware of LUMBER meaning timber since childhood and had no idea that it was especially American, although I now see that Collins and SOED qualify it as such.

  6. I didn’t time this just enjoyed the challenge. My FOI RHEUMATISM I got from the definition seeing the anagram after.
    I drew a smiley face against 28ac RIO GRANDE as this type of clue would have stumped me once. I now look at ‘flower’ and think beyond pretty growing things.
    RATIONS I didn’t parse so need the blog to understand even though I wrote the word backwards I didn’t see NO 1. And MALEFIC I also question marked but did parse correctly.

  7. Done! Thoroughly enjoyed this once I found the groove. The clues mostly made perfect sense – which, for me, isn’t always the case! – even when I’d NHO the resulting answer, as in 5d MALEFIC. Oh, and now that I’ve come here I find I had 8d wrong. SORE and SAW are nowhere near each other in sound for this Scot. I had SERE – a total non-comprehending punt. Everything else was fine. Good one, thanks.

  8. Once more, no unknowns, which always helps! My LOI by some way was 4D. I dislike No 1 being clued as big record, but it appears often enough to have to swallow it and remember for next time. Also a big MER at the clumsy ‘logs American’ indicating lUMBER. I had no problem getting the answer, but couldn’t understand the clueing. It would have made perfect sense without ‘American’, as lumber is well understood elsewhere, and not as an Americanism. CsOD the witty 5D and 28A.

    1. I remember having a ‘lumber wagon’ in my Hornby wind-up train set around 1955 and you can’t get a more British make than that! Then there were lumber jackets, all the rage at one time, not forgetting the Monty Python Lumbjack Song.

        1. The term lumberjack may be specifically North American, but not the word lumber to refer to cut wood. We also have lumber yards where you buy logs or cut wood.

  9. DNF, as SBeginner above; at 8d I had an unparsable SARD (which is a red and a mineral). I had considered maxim lower case but SAW didn’t spring to mind, drat! FWIW Maxim capitalised in the dictionary is a gun, an early implementation of a machine gun.
    As alto_ego above 11a “logs American” is deceptive. Looking at it a week later I was totally unable to parse it, but last week I did. Short term memory…
    “Doctor, doctor, I have this terrible amnesia”
    “How long have you had it?”
    “Had what?”

  10. Started off well with the deceptively easy RIDE, DRAMATISTS and RHEUMATISM, then things turned a tad chewy…
    Thrown off course a little by entering RHINO instead of BISON ( I inserted in most of RHONE?), and by forgetting the other meaning of the word ‘pan’, but got almost there eventually, with PRESENTERS, BORDERS and ROAST missing. Good, enjoyable crossword; CODs to good definitions in OFF-WHITE and RIO GRANDE.

  11. Thanks David and keriothe
    Entertaining puzzle that I was able to finish in a single sitting of just under the hour after returning from brunch.
    Started off with RIDE at 1a and was able to basically move around the grid until finishing in the SE corner with BISON (which needed to be fixed from an unparsed BEAST), that allowed the clever PRESENTERS and SINCE. MEDS (changed from an unlikely DIME was then the last one in.
    Took a while to get BORDERS, was pleased to parse the tricky RATIONS but had no problems with SORE (after spotting ‘saw’ straight away).

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