Sunday Times 5094 by Dean Mayer

6:52. This was at the easier end of Dean’s offerings but none the less enjoyable for that. There’s a smattering of slightly offbeat vocabulary (AFFLATUS, SALCHOW, LARBOARD, TOW-HEAD) but fortunately I was familiar with all of it, in most cases because the words have appeared in past puzzles. I have never in my life had even the faintest interest in figure skating but I can name three of the jumps they do. Such is the otherwise useless linguistic bric-a-brac that accumulates in the mental storeroom of the cruciverbalist over the years.

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

1 Quick hugs provided calm
4 Inspiration, even when restricted by a short fuse
9 Type of gun such as Lee-Enfield
DOUBLE-BARRELLED – DD. A kind of shotgun and a kind of surname.
11 US city in gold rush area
AUGUSTA – AU, GUST, A. I wasn’t sure about ‘rush’ but Collins says ‘ a sudden rush of smoke, sound, etc’ so fair enough.
12 One’s taken many years
13 Revenge, possibly result of change of heart
TIT FOR TAT – if you change the ‘heart’ of TAT, you might get TIT. You might also get TET, TOT, TUT or I suppose TYT, or TNT, or indeed any of 24 possible combinations (assuming we stick to three letters), hence ‘possibly’.
15 Reactionary type in bachelor flat
BLIMP – B, LIMP. As in the colonel of that name.
16 Pile of snow, in essence
17 Show to be hiding papers, as Trump was
19 City street bathed in sunshine?
21 Jump, as dog chasing Sarah
SALCHOW – SAL (Sarah), CHOW. An ice skating jump.
23 Hotel location in the sticks?
MIDDLE OF NOWHERE – H (hotel) is in the middle of ‘nowhere’.
24 Left pig coated in fat
25 Without gear, beyond help
BY HAND – BY (beyond), HELP. ‘Beyond’ for ‘by’ seems a little bit loose but ‘I drove by/beyond the house’ is close enough.
1 Show online school performers
PODCAST – POD (school), CAST (performers).
2 Organ with upper note stuck
CLUNG – C (note) over LUNG.
3 Be shy and quiet after everyone enters garrison
5 Why was hero not far off?
6 City lights using extra energy
7 Gossipy, like a TV broadcast after Cheers
8 Approach empty drink bottles
10 Working with EU, Labour Party doing business?
BEAUTY PARLOUR – (EU, LABOUR PARTY)*. To ‘do’ is ‘to make tidy, elegant, ready, etc, as by arranging or adorning’ (Collins). Neat definition.
14 Trouble carving succulent rabbit
TAIL-ENDER – T(AIL)ENDER. A ‘rabbit’ is a ‘novice or poor performer at a game or sport’ (Collins again), which normally applies (in relative terms) to the last person (normally a specialist bowler) in the batting order in cricket.
15 Wife will consider talking — the nag goes on here
BRIDLEWAY – sounds like “bride’ll weigh”.
16 I’m included in transfer of ten
DECIMAL – DEC(IM)AL. ‘Decal’ is an American usage but familiar enough to me.
18 Yank had to accommodate European blonde
20 Service provider presented in pastel colours
TELCO – contained in ‘pastel colours’.
22 He grabs the tail of any retreating scavenger
HYENA – I thought at first that the wordplay didn’t work here, because the ‘tail’ of ‘any retreating’ is A (last letter of YNA), so if HE is ‘grabbing’ (surrounding) that you get YNHAE. You could read it like that, but you can equally argue that the last letter of the word ANY remains Y whichever direction you write it in, and on that basis you get HYENA.

28 comments on “Sunday Times 5094 by Dean Mayer”

  1. I loved the Mar-a-Lago reference in 17a.
    LOI was a nho AFFLATUS, but the clueing was clear and so it was entered with confidence.
    This was probably my fastest ever Dean at 18:01

  2. I didn’t pay enough attention to the anagrist at 5D and put FOR THAT REASON. Everything else correct, so annoying. I think my only unknown was AFLATUS but as said above the wordplay was clear.

  3. I forgot to note my solving time but IU remember starting very slowly before picking up speed.

    I made the same mistake as Paul with FOR THAT REASON, but must have realised something was wrong because noted I had been unable to parse it. I can see I tried to justify it as an anagram but gave up, apparently without ever considering my answer may have been wrong.

    I also noted that ‘beyond / BY’ seemed a bit iffy at 25ac.

    NHO SALCHOW, but I said that when it appeared here in 2010, 2012 and most recently in 2022. I guess I’m destined never to remember it, but at least this time I managed to construct it from wordplay.

  4. 35m 03s Like Corymbia, this has to be one of my fastest ever Dean puzzles.
    21ac SALCHOW. I knew all that time spent watch sport, any sport, on TV and listening to Alan Weeks talking about ‘triple salchows’ would some day pay dividends!
    Some excellent clues especially DOUBLE-BARRELLED, LARBOARD and BRIDLE WAY but my COD was MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.

    To be honest I didn’t think that much about it..

  6. 15:46, which has to be a Sunday PB. FOI AFFLATUS, LOI BY HAND, which I put in without really understanding. I knew axel, and it turns out I knew SALCHOW; and that’s it. Checked several clues as COD candidates: PACIFY, PRESIDENT, PODCAST, CLUNG, SIDLE UP, and the winner, HOSTAGE.

  7. Trivia of the day: LARBOARD is, of course, called port today. The right hand side of the boat (looking forward) is starboard, which comes from steer-board. For a right hander (most people, but not me) the natural way to use a steering oar was on the right, so that coming against the port the oar did not get in the way. When commercial flights started, it was seaplanes and so naturally people got on from the left. We still do that today on commercial airliners. So two thousand years after the invention of the stern rudder, we get on planes from the left so that the steering oar is not obstructed.

  8. 22D HYENA: it’s certainly true that if you turned around a cat (or any other critter with a tail, like a hyena), its tail would still be the same body part.

  9. Did well at this. First read-through, thought there was no hope, but slept on it, came back refreshed, and made satisfyingly steady progress until left with two for which I had to resort to aids. NHO 4ac AFFLATUS. Doubted the word though it seemed what the clue was telling me to do. 25ac, BY HAND, for something so simple, stumped me. I felt sure I needed to include AID for “help”. And I would never use by for beyond or vice versa. By = beside. 15d BRIDLEWAY: had to say this aloud a couple of times to get it! NHO the crickety tail-ender/rabbit thing at 14d but figured it out. Oh, and although I got it I hadn’t known that was how you spelt SALCHOW at 21ac; heard it but never seen it written before. The sheer simplicity of 23ac appealed to me. Really enjoyable crossword; thanks to Dean and my mentors!

  10. Thanks Dean and keriothe
    A more challenging puzzle to me than others here – completed in two sittings (the first in a half hour cafe stop which produced not much at all) and then a second half hour session at home that did). Many charade-type clues, with a lot that were hard to piece together. Didn’t help matters by writing in SINGLE-BARRELLED at 9a (after doing a lot of reading on Lee-Enfield rifles, and it took a pdm to realise that it had to do with the hyphenation to justify DOUBLE-BARRELLED after 1d disproved the original entry).
    Needed to check on SALCHOW after constructing it. Loved MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (both the definitions and the clever wordplay). Finished in the NW corner with PODCAST, that corrected DOUBLE-BARRELLED and CLUNG the last one in.

  11. I was on the slow side apparently compared to the rest of you taking 35 minutes. LOI was SALCHOW which I remember taking several minutes over and then googling to see if it was correct, turns out it’s a jump in figure skating. At the time I thought I had done quite well on a ‘Dean crossword’ !!
    Thanks everyone

  12. Differently coloured pens suggest that I did this in two sessions, with all but the SW corner going in initially. All present and correct, but I did have several question marks, unusually, where I was unable to parse the answers. NHO TELCO, not sure of AFFLATUS, had forgotten the ‘transfer’ meaning of decal and the main query – no idea of the given meaning of ‘rabbit’, though aware what a TAIL-ENDER is in cricket. I remember thinking that I was finding it easier than previously for a Dean Mayer – sadly, that appears to be because it was, rather than because I’m getting better! Thanks Dean and Keriothe.

    1. Apologies for a slow reply – I’m busier than usual at present. “for what reason” is actually in both the Collins and the Oxford dictionaries, but as part of a definition for “why” like “for what reason or purpose”. And if you search for [“for what reason” phrase] I think you’ll find far more explanations than for [“green paint” phrase]. For one or two clues among 30-odd I can’t see why a phrase like this shouldn’t be used. So far, the number of comments about this definition in the feedback mailbox is zero.

  13. 9a DOUBLE-B, Lee-Enfield was deceptive I thought, see from Wiki:
    “The Lee–Enfield takes its name from the designer of the rifle’s bolt system—James Paris Lee—and the location where its rifling design was created—the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield.” So not a double-barrelled name then.
    19a sunshine=CHEER? I suppose so.
    25a BY HAND I agree a bit loose and I never saw beyond=BY, and didn’t notice help=HAND. Fair enough though.
    I agree with Corymbia the ref to Mar-a-Lago makes 17a PRESIDENT excellent. My COD.

    1. 17: Me too. I usually don’t like to be reminded here of his mere existence, but this clue indicts him and I enjoyed it very much.

  14. I liked Larboard (not sure I completely follow Paul, above’s, trivia though) and the doing business. This one just shows that a puzzle doesn’t have to be double black diamond with ice difficult to be good fun. Thanks, anax, keriothe

  15. This was easier than most of Dean’s puzzles but no less delightful – especiallyafter the joyless slog of the previous Sunday. 26 minutes.

  16. Exactly 30 minutes, so very easy for a Dean Mayer puzzle, but up to his usual excellent standard. PACIFY went in right at the start, but then things got a lot slower, but never completely came to a halt. MIDDLE OF NOWHERE was very good, but my COD would probably be BRIDLEWAY. I found Paul’s background for LARBOARD absolutely fascinating above — I had never actually taken notice of the fact that we always board aircraft on the left, but of course the picture in my mind of boarding an aircraft quite definitely shows that.

  17. I always find it hard looking at blogs for previous week’s puzzles. I never remember the time nor what baffled me (often a long list to be fair). But I do remember this as a reasonably straightforward puzzle with some nice clueing. There were a few I didn’t fully parse, such as BY HAND and BRIDLEWAY and a couple of NHOs, AFFLATUS and LARBOARD, but all were fairly clued. Thanks Keriothe and setter.

  18. 28.27

    Quick to begin with but slowed up with a few including AFFLATUS and trying too hard to justify BY HAND rather than just bunging it in

    Lovely puzzle

    Thanks all

  19. 12:10 apparently. So not as tricky as usual.

    Good to see Dean referencing his previous career as a figure skater. I recall he was quite good at it.

    1. LOL. This prompted me to google and I learned that 24 million people in the UK watched their Olympic effort in 1984. 24 million.


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