Sunday Times 5080 by Robert Price

23:41. I found this very hard indeed, for reasons I can’t now remember. As so often happens, going through it all again for the blog a few days later it all seems perfectly straightforward. I remember the cryptic definition at 18ac took me forever to spot but other than that I really don’t know what the problem was! Anyway, another very fine offering from Robert.

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

1 Drink breaks announced by a drunk?
SCHNAPPS – strictly speaking a drunk would say SCHNAPPSCH, but perhaps this one sobered up half-way through.
5 Doctor embracing strike with a strong spirit
GRAPPA – G(RAP)P, A. After the first two clues I’m feeling a little tipsy.
9 Irritated about work being hurried up?
10 Ruler of Cana escapes after being evacuated
CAESAR – CanA, EscapeS, AfteR.
12 Close to resuming after a day in between
AMONG – A, MON (day), resuminG.
13 Honest pay for modelling underwear
14 River drawn by travel writer
RIDER HAGGARD – RIDE (travel), R, HAGGARD (drawn).
18 Hands seizing the result of some novel work?
WRITERS CRAMP – CD. A DBE (because the writer could be writing something other than a novel) indicated by the question mark.
21 French First Lady captivated by Irish poetry
23 Sauce bottle
24 Relative states during change
25 Nit-picking about proper evidence of liabilities
CAPTIOUS – C (about), APT, IOUS.
26 Editor-in-chief uses these in print runs
DASHES – a definition with a cryptic hint referring to the fact that the word ‘editor-in-chief’ contains DASHES. I think ‘in print’ is just there to improve the surface and mislead us with ‘print runs’. ‘Editor-in-chief’ uses DASHES in hand-written text too.
27 Worried about more than just a trifle
DESSERTS – reversal of ‘stressed’. Because a single trifle would just be a dessert.
1 Striking motion
2 Make Sacred Hearts to wear
3 Close to all right-angled triangles have this
ALONGSIDE – right-angled triangles aren’t the only kind to have A LONG SIDE but they all do.
4 Gaze on drunken reps, certain why teens act the same?
PEER PRESSURE – PEER (gaze), (REPS)*, SURE. Not just teens!
6 Bread yet not fully available
READY – contained in (not fully) ‘bread yet’.
7 Prior speaking of a cleric’s work
PASTORAL – PAST (prior), ORAL (speaking).
8 Some teachers supporting utter fools
AIRHEADS – HEADS beneath (this being a down clue) AIR (utter).
11 Like a small town career, it provides no competition
ONE-HORSE RACE – a small town being a ONE-HORSE one. Not to be confused with Beaune, which is of course a one-os town. Add RACE (career).
15 Arranges things, as couples run out of sprouts
GEMINATES – GErMINATES. I had never heard of this term but it was easy enough to deduce from the zodiacal twins.
16 Leaders in trouble who often turned to lying
TWO-FACED – Trouble, Who, Often, FACED (turned to).
17 Time in ghastly refuges
19 Mail letter beginning role in romance
ARMOUR – A(Role)MOUR. An unindicated definition by example, Ximenes is turning in his grave.
20 What Sudan’s first American vicar is up against
VERSUS – reversal of S, US, REV. The reversal indicator here is ‘what [S, US, REV] is [when turned] up’.
22 Air failing to retain oxygen

28 comments on “Sunday Times 5080 by Robert Price”

  1. I too found this week’s slow going. I have a bit a nit to pick with 3dn: all right-angled triangles have a longest side, some have two long sides eg 5-12-13. Could you really describe an equilateral triangle as having a long side? I agree with you that right-angled doesn’t really work with this clue. All you can really say about triangles is that one side is shorter than the sum of the other two sides

    I also found the equivalence of COIN to CHANGE a bit of a stretch. Chambers gives loose change as coins. But I suppose if you want to change two tanners for a bob then the bob is change for the receiver.

    1. I don’t understand the objection. An equilateral triangle doesn’t have a longest side but that’s exactly the point! Some triangles have a longest side, some don’t, but the former category includes all right-angled ones.

      1. To be really boring triangles come in 4 or 5 types:
        Equilateral – never has a longest side by definition
        Isosceles – always 2 sides are equal, the third is either longer or shorter
        Right-angled, has an (o)pposite, an (a)djascent and a (h)ypotenuse which is always longer than either of the others
        Scalene – meets none of the above descriptions – has 3 sides which are unequal so one is the longest one, another the shortest and another one in between.
        There is a fifth with no name I wot of except isosceles right-angled; a right-angled with o = a; h is root 2x as long as either.
        So to really overegg it all triangles have a longest side except for all equilateral and some isosceles ones.

        1. Thanks! So the clue could also have referred to all scalene triangles or some isosceles ones!

      2. It’s nothing more than the use of the adjective LONG instead of LONGEST. It’s not the best clue I’ve come across.

        1. Ah I see. It seems fine to me: if asked to pick out the ‘long side’ of a triangle I would understand the instruction.

  2. 73m 46s.
    I found this hard too. The one query I have is with the R in RIDE R HAGGARD. I’m obviously missing something here but I don’t see R = drawn. Sorry!
    I enjoyed ALONGSIDE in 3d but COD was definitely DASHES!
    Thanks, keriothe. I’ll also join you in never having heard of GEMINATES.

    1. River=R , drawn=HAGGARD
      I knew GEMINATE as an adjective–Japanese has geminate consonants, for instance (‘motto’ vs. ‘moto’)–but not as a verb.

      1. Thanks, Kevin. I’m not sure how I managed to misunderstand how R was arrived at when it is one of the most used codes in crosswordland.

  3. I remember having a hard time seeing ALLOW as “wear,” but I eventually looked the other way around and found “wear” defined in Collins as British slang for “to accept”—Larry won’t wear that argument.
    I liked the device in 10. GEMINATE was a nice discovery.

  4. More than an hour over two sessions. I think I enjoyed some of it but I found my slow rate of progress very frustrating. GEMINATE(S) seemed new, but when it last came up 12 years ago it was clued more generously as an anagram and I let it pass without comment.

  5. I took the editor-in-chief in 26a to be using em and en dashes in a typesetting sense at work, as well as in the job title.

  6. DNF. Too clever, too cryptic, too oblique for me. Managed just under half, leaving too many blanks to list. The Robert Price wavelength continues to elude me, which means I’m chuffed to have got as many as I did. Thanks to blogger for the insight.

  7. A toughie, extended by the wordplay in WRITER’S CRAMP and trying to squeeze GERMINATES, which I knew, in to the space taken by GEMINATES, which I didn’t and presumably has its roots in Gemini. We may never see its like again, anywhere!
    Nice of Robert to invite us to get p*ssed across the top line.

  8. A very tricky one – took much longer than usual and wouldn’t have finished but for Mr Ego’s suggestion of couples being something to do with Gemini for my last in GEMINATES – obvious once one thinks of germinates, but not otherwise. My FOI was practically my only immediate and confident solve 1A – ABSINTHE – and was wrong! To say that held up the puzzle would be an exaggeration, as PEER PRESSURE was obviously right when I got to it, but found WRITERS CRAMP and DASHES particularly hard. I’m very slow at getting these cryptics and &lits. However, that’s to take nothing away from Robert Price – it was an excellent puzzle.

  9. I thought this was excellent. I like Robert Price’s tough-but-fair style, achieved with mostly familiar vocabulary, and the surface readings are so plausible. The only one I wasn’t crazy about was NERVE, in which the two meanings seem related, to me.
    Re DESSERTS, I think it’s also saying that trifle is merely one kind of dessert.

    1. I thought the close relationship between the 2 defs and the total clue made it really clever and, for me, COD.

  10. 47 minutes. Very enjoyable as ever, though tough for me too, with the hard to parse, could have been just about any ‘writer’ at 14a and the unfamiliar GEMINATES holding out longest. CAPTIOUS isn’t a word I’ve come across often before either.

    No complaints, but is it just me or has our home-grown ST setter been getting more difficult lately?

  11. Just looked and I took 68 minutes so obvs I found it hard, but unfortunately a week went by and I don‘t remember much!

  12. A lot which I liked as I figured out how they worked – Dashes, for example but there are about 15 others. thx keriothe, even more thanks robt p

  13. The nit I should like to pick is that 28ac “editor-in-chief” contains hyphens not dashes. Mostly liked the puzzle, though – probably because I was eventually able to crack it in just under an hour. Thanks for the blog. Jeffrey

  14. Way too clever for me: though I solved just over half, which pleased me…mostly the unusual synonyms defied me : SIGNAL for striking and motion?, ALLOW for wear?, etc. Of course , hadn’t heard of GEMINATES or CAPTIOUS in that sense, but the failures were offset by the PDMs : PEER PRESSURE, GRAPPA, ALONGSIDE, SCHNAPPS, FREE VERSE, TWO FACED, etc. Definitely worth the ticket, but I agree that RP is getting more and more devious…

  15. Thanks Robert and keriothe
    Curiously, didn’t find this as hard as others here for some reason (48 minutes, which is on the quicker side for me for ST crosswords)- finishing it in two short sessions early Saturday afternoon and another mop up session on coming home after a day at the races (Caulfield Cup – nearly as well known to English horse trainers as the Melbourne Cup – your English horse finished a close second this year !)
    Anyway, back to the puzzle – was very enjoyable with the only hold ups being the reparation for a hasty ONE-HORSE TOWN instead of RACE initially and needing help to look up CAPTIOUS and GEMINATES.
    Really liked DASHES when the penny dropped. Was surprised to see ‘air’ used in an almost identical way in 9d and 22d.
    Finished in the SW corner with HIDEOUTS (another clever clue), COUSIN (took a while post solve to figure out the ‘change’ bit fully) and that DASHES as the last one in.

  16. Loved the puzzle, though I don’t time myself. Price is now one of my favorite setters. Initially had CAUTIOUS for CAPTIOUS, alluring given it’s not too far away. DASHES and DESSERTS were great, among others.

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