Sunday Times 5068 by Robert Price

14:52. Another excellent puzzle from Robert, which I found quite tricky. Lots of great clues but I thought ‘paper clip’ was particularly clever as were the use of ‘bolted down’ and the ‘barrels’ misdirection. How did you get on?

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

1 Flip a little battery out of the radio
SOMERSAULT – homophone (out of the radio) of ‘some assault’.
6 Kitchen items break when overturned
PANS – reversal of SNAP.
9 Hope, former film star, mostly thanks to clubs in New York
EXPECTANCY – EX, PECk (Gregory of that ilk), TA, N(C)Y.
10 Expert university runner, retired
GURU – reversal of U, RUG.
12 Lover, once clear, not entirely free
EXEMPT – EX (lover once), EMPTy.
13 Cooper finally cuts trees to make parts of barrels
BREECHES – B(R)EECHES. Gun barrels, in this case.
15 More veal rib frantically bolted down
IRREMOVABLE – (MORE VEAL RIB)*. Very neat definition.
18 Puzzle supporter rallied trainees
21 Eg Panama’s food imports programme
22 Working musical boxes about to be sent back
ACTIVE – reversal of EVIT(C)A.
24 Make agitated, like a prince by a reporter
ROIL – sounds like ‘royal’.
25 Mime doing a turn, simple clothes make possible
FACILITATE – reversal of TATI in FACILE. I didn’t know that Jacques Tati was a mime, but equally I didn’t know that he wasn’t.
26 Female’s effects
27 Special vehicle race in this country grass
1 Country garden in Cornwall?
2 Dimwit ran into stores at Oxford, beginning to panic
MUPPET – M(UP, Panic)ET. ‘At Oxford’ indicating UP at the university.
3 Priest nice to troubled hotel worker
4 Open a bit of a conflict
5 Tearing up my carols, he improvised
7 A sprout addiction leaving time for port
8 Drinks made of fruit and vegetables
11 Trying brass on shelved storage
14 Scrap part of parachute jump to protect soldiers
16 Pupils no longer put right out of sight
OBSCURED – OBS (old boys), CURED.
17 One might be tucked in a paper clip
MAGAZINE – DD, the first a reference to a colour supplement, the second to ammunition. Very cunning.
19 House infiltrated by a shrew
20 Deprived fellow in limp headgear
23 Half promoted website? It will never take off
KIWI – WIKI with the second half raised to the top.

20 comments on “Sunday Times 5068 by Robert Price”

  1. If memory serves, the homophone was my LOI.
    I marked several as BIFFs, parsed after.

  2. Another terrific puzzle from Robert, although I do wish he’d avoided BRA=supporter. I was rather pleased with myself for having got the putative homophone at 1ac early. I liked the way Robert disguised verbs as seeming nouns: imports (21ac), boxes (22ac), clothes (25ac), stores (2d). KIWI took me forever, and I’m not sure why I put it in. I especially liked CHAT SHOW, ACTIVE and MUPPET.

  3. I needed 65 minutes for this. I wrote on my copy that the lower half was much harder than the top but I also note that I had two wrong answers in the first row that needed to be realised and corrected before I was able to proceed with the intersecting answers.

    One of them was POTS as 6ac which parses perfectly both with the definition (kitchen items) and wordplay STOP (break, when overturned).

    The other was TIDDLYWINK at 1ac which works with the definition (flip – SOED: Flip like a counter in tiddlywinks), and perhaps a little whimsically with wordplay, ‘a tiddly wink’ being interpreted as ‘a little battery’. Of course this takes no account of ‘out of the radio’ but I had been amused at the wordplay as I had read it and managed to overlook that problem. Also it was the first clue I had looked at and I was keen to get on.

    1. Shame about POTS – sometimes we’re lucky and my test-solve includes seeing an alternative. Maybe I should pay extra attention to 4-letter words,as they seem the most likely for this kind of problem.

      If a clue needs an SOED-only def, I’m reluctant to use it unless it seems a mistaken omission in the smaller ones. And that’s a principle I would expect to use in Mephisto rather than STC.

      1. Thanks. I wasn’t aware that the ‘flip’ definition of ‘tiddlywink’ was SOED only; it just happened to be the first source I looked for it.

  4. I enjoyed this too. Got a bit stuck for a while on the bottom right. Loved KIWI my COD possibly because it took a long time for the penny to drop. BERET and MAGAZINE were great clues as well. Biffed 2dn. Didn’t sort out the parsing on that until much later.

  5. 15m

    I used the old oh-it’s-a-pangram-isn’t-it-which-letters-are-missing trick on LOI KIWI, which was very effective for once

  6. Excellent crossword as always from Robert. I put in RILE instead of ROIL at first thinking that he was stretching the homophone a bit. Doh!

  7. 39m 41s
    Once again, as Kevin G. has pointed out, our setter has used BRA for supporter. Similarly, in 22ac I saw ‘musical’ in the clue and immediately thought of Evita.
    In 9ac why is it ‘clubs’ in the plural in the clue when only one C is involved?
    LOI: MAGAZINE. As keriothe says: very cunning.
    CODs DOES and SWEDEN….who have just beaten South Africa with a very late goal in the Women’s World Cup!

    1. It’s the ace (king, six) of clubs not club, no? (I’m assuming that C stands for the card suit.)

      1. I hadn’t thought of that. That would explain it but in the past I have seen D clued as ‘daughters’ in the plural, so I was a bit dubious about ‘clubs’ in this case.

  8. No problems other than not knowing the TATI part of FACILITATE so the ‘mime’ bit was assumed. Also LACHRYMOSE was a matter of using up the leftover letters and luckily putting them in the right place, I did check after.
    I didn’t parse KIWI even though I had written WIKI next to the clue.
    An enjoyable exercise with CHAT SHOW marked as a favourite and I have no solving time but would guess a couple of hours.

  9. Completed in a leisurely 90 minutes over two thinking sessions. Steady progress without any real problems. Most enjoyable. I did jot down a wee exclamation mark at 1ac, the homophone, which I think you guys would call a MER. Was proud of myself for getting everything WITH parsing (not always the case) and that is entirely due to the writers of this blog, so thank you.

  10. I found this hard, as Keriothe says, but very enjoyable, until the end, when I was left with 17D and 21A unsolved. I hate seeing the word ‘programme’ in a clue, as it almost always causes me grief. Luckily, I had remembered ROIL, after initially considering ‘rile’ and rejecting it as not worthy… So at least I had the correct crossers. Eventually, Mr Ego was called in to help and came up with the fiendish MAGAZINE to put an end to me looking for things in beds! And then LOI CHAT SHOW was suddenly obvious. It doesn’t help when Panama can be defined as ‘cigar, country, canal, isthmus, hat’ and probably other things, and Robert’s habit of disguising the definition cunningly had left me looking for an example of Panama rather than a programme. The other really tricky one was SOMERSAULT. No problem with KIWI once I had -I-I, since luckily it was the first non-flying thing that occurred to me, and was then post-parsed. COD EXPECTANCY. Thanks to Robert and Keriothe.

  11. All but FACILITATE and KIWI done in around 25 minutes but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t see them. Thought of WIKI DODO and RHEA but not the obvious answer, whilst numerous desperate alpha trawls failed to deliver FACILITATE.

    Usual excellent standard from Robert and Keriothe for the puzzle and blog

  12. Took me 74 minutes to get this one out. Not a chore though and just the thing to occupy the mind on a Sunday pm. Glad to have missed the potential POTS trap. SOMERSAULT, MUPPET and finally MAGAZINE were the ones to take me over the hour mark; I admit, seeing the possible pangram and the missing Z saved me even more time.

    Favourite was FLYING BOAT; I remember seeing one taking off from Rose Bay in Sydney for Lord Howe Island back in the late 60’s.

    Thanks to Robert and keriothe

  13. 2d Muppet took a lot of parsing and 24a ROIL was a bit devious, but I struggled through with all parsed.Took a while. Good puzzle.
    I’m glad I missed the 6a POTS trap.

  14. Slightly miffed that I didn’t spot the pangram, though I don’t think it would have helped getting me to less than my 34.34.
    I’m relieved, I think that the whole of the top line wasn’t clued with reference to what dried up lakes might be. Perhaps in the future?

  15. I didn’t miss the 6a POTS trap: so that held me up for a short while until I worked out the cryptic for the devious ABU DHABI! Typically forgot the “if you see a U, think of Q” for 8d, so that remained a mystery until the last. Thought I was off to a good start by getting 1a immediately (by applying the ‘sounds-alike’ rule), then trundled happily through the top half (except for a hiccup over thinking that larches were the only trees which ended that way…). So, on my usual time limit (especially today as the family are kindly visiting their aged grandmother) I ended up after the hour with a few missing: CHAT SHOW, MAGAZINE (though one of this kind is sitting here in front of me!), ACTIVE (couldn’t get past HAIR for the musical), and FLYING BOAT – too complex. But not unhappy with what I did manage. As usual, great cluing by Robert.

  16. Thanks Robert and keriothe
    Did this one on the Saturday – starting over coffee in my usual cafe, getting most of it done with a mop up of the bottom when I got home a little later – all up a tick over the hour. Thought that the misdirection in a number of clues was beautifully disguised, no better than the ‘paper clip’ of my last one in – MAGAZINE. This was a rare time that I was able to spot the pangram in time for it to help me with that last clue. Have met M. Tati in other crosswords and that helped with the tricky FACILITATE. ROIL was a RILE gone wrong, which did finally assist to solve that MAGAZINE.

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