Sunday Times 5112 by Dean Mayer

21:13. A tricky one from Dean this week, of the usual high quality. I think my favourites are the extremely pithy 12ac (BOAT), the remarkable anagram (something of a Dean speciality) at 24ac and the cunning wordplay in 23dn. How did you get on, and which were your favourites?

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

1 British parts in Man of La Mancha?
4 On which toll booths are appropriate?
RING ROAD – CD with a play on the ringing/tolling of bells.
10 Cabbies really don’t need their tips
11 Cartoonist from N. Am. that’s so funny
THOMAS NAST – (N AM THATS SO)*. I had never heard of this cartoonist and somehow managed to avoid putting in NASH, which was my first thought, and seemed the obvious answer, but has too many Hs.
12 Transport from A to B
BOAT – (A TO B)*. A very well-disguised anagram!
14 He thinks of what he or I served
THEORISER – contained in ‘what he or I served’.
16 Around Spain, a sheep’s devoured
17 Twice in contact with cattle
BISON – BIS (twice), ON (in contact with).
18 Not worthy, as one covering Debussy subject
UNMERITED – UN(MER)ITED. Debussy’s famous companion piece to Le Momble.
20 Fish spreads from innards?
RAYS – DD. ‘Spread from or as if from a central point’ (ODE).
21 Slap bottom?
FOUNDATION – DD. ‘Slap’ is a slang word for make-up.
24 Harry Houdini’s pet cats, to be crude
25 Concealing a gun, he had stepped on it
26 Why bride, unclothed, is cross
HYBRID – contained in ‘why bride’.
1 Where to live a little in Derby?
2 Like Rambo’s coat – hot, with zip
MACHO – MAC, H, O (zero, zip).
3 Wanting calm ambience, books somewhere to eat
5 Daughter is cutting grass, sweeping
6 Purchase good saw
GRIP – G, RIP. RIP is both a type of saw (short for ripsaw) and a verb meaning to saw.
7 Bear with lost fish pieces found in books
ONE MOMENT – N(NEMO, MEN)T. A reference to the film Finding Nemo. ‘Bear with’ is a colloquial shortening of ‘bear with me’.
8 PC sat up with entrance of knight
DESKTOP – reversal of POSED containing KT.
9 Mix igneous rocks in fabricated mineral
13 It doesn’t need manpower, as a rule
15 Lamb etc? Tries sandwiches first
ESSAYISTS – ESSAY(IST)S. A reference to Charles Lamb, who was one of these.
17 Bishop takes over grotty urban area
19 Exposed debt collector back in action
DENUDED – reversal of DUN in DEED.
22 Bury FC?
INTER – INTER Milan being a football club.
23 Bob to take off clothes in part of church
APSE – APE (take off) clothes S (shilling, bob). Cunning wordplay!

18 comments on “Sunday Times 5112 by Dean Mayer”

  1. 19:18
    Fast for me for a Dean puzzle, and only one biff. I imagine NAST isn’t too well known in the UK, but he was a pioneer of the editorial cartoon in the US; creator of the Republican elephant, and famous for his attacks on New York’s Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall.
    My LOI was APSE; it was clearly the solution, but I could find no way to get it, and finally gave up and biffed it. Now knowing the parsing, I’d give it my COD. But I also liked BOAT, UNSOPHISTICATED, inter alia.

  2. I have a question mark next to RAYS but remember that I finally came to terms with it, just as is done here.
    Thought of THOMAS NAST as soon as I saw “cartoonist”!
    I’ve never heard/read anyone say simply “Bear with!” before.

    1. Bear with I regret to say was obvious to me have been subjected to many episodes of Miranda by my daughter. A very British ideom.

      Rays I didn’t have a problem with having studied Projective Geometry where a (geometric) pencil is a set of line radiating from a single point.

  3. 46m 11s
    My notes say “Good Anax puzzle”.
    I particularly liked BOAT and MATRIARCHY. My other podium place goes to HOMBRE. “British parts in” was, for me very clever and very Dean.
    I did wonder if Thomas NAST might have been related to the publisher Conde Nast but I can’t find a connection.
    Like Kevin, I thought APSE had to be the answer in 23d but couldn’t parse it.

  4. DNF until after an hour I resorted to aids for the last two in, HOMBRE and MACHO. I know nothing about Rambo.

    I got BACKSEAT DRIVERS but was disappointed there wasn’t more to it than a somewhat loose cryptic.

    NHO the cartoonist but given that THOMAS was obvious the anagrist and checkers didn’t leave room for doubt about the surname.

    Failed to parse APSE and DENUDED

  5. Done! Which is always very satisfying to say of a Dean Mayer. Trickiest ones for me were 7d since “lost fish” didn’t instantly lead my brain to think “Nemo!”, and 1ac HOMBRE – wasn’t sure I’d parsed it correctly. Oh, and I couldn’t parse 23d APSE and 19d DENUDED. NHO the debt-related meaning of dun. Anyone else notice we had HABITAT last Sunday, too, clued very similarly? Very enjoyable crossword. Thanks, all.

    1. Yes, I noticed the HABITAT – one of those moments when you check the heading to make sure you’re not doing a previous one by mistake printed on the other side of the paper!

  6. Too tricky for me, in the end, having spent ages on it. I failed to see FOUNDATION (that sort of slap!) and the crossing MATRIARCHY, despite knowing from the start where this was going. However, my disappointment was tempered by the realisation that I made a mistake anyway with the cartoonist. Having belatedly realised an anagram was indicated, I bifd NASH, and then didn’t notice with THOMAS that I’d doubled up the H. Obviously, never heard of… Like Keriothe, I was in awe of 24a and delighted with the simplicity of BOAT. HOMBRE was also a favourite.

  7. Got there in the end but didn’t understand the second definition for RAYS nor how APSE worked although the answer was obvious. Thanks for the clarifications. Pretty satisfying to complete this one.

  8. really enjoyed this although I struggled with the Harry Houdini clue. However I’ve just realised that I didn’t get the anagram and now obviously it makes sense. good job I didn’t ask for help as I would have looked like a real dimwit.

  9. 7d Spent a LONG time trying to justify Captain NEMO in N_T with chess pieces (MEN) when I suddenly realised if a film was called Finding Nemo then Nemo must have been lost. DOH! PDM. I had never thought why the film was so called and guessed, wrongly, a link to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which I remember from a fifties book published by Disney, based on a film I assume.
    Also surprised by HABITAT being a virtual repeat.
    NHO Thomas NAST as far as I can remember (about 25 minutes usually.)
    Not a clue reading the blog what was going on in 18a UNMERITED….
    DOH, I’ve suddenly remembered that I did parse it a week ago, with Debussy painting La Mer in Un_ited. Tricksy.

    1. Well, the Disney film was based on the science fiction/adventure novel by Jules Verne. The movie made quite an impression on my boyhood chums and me(giant squid!) but I’m sure we would judge it differently now.

  10. Strangely easy (35 minutes to solve), though brilliant as always. Maybe I am just getting better at these, but I did see what the setter was getting at most of the time. I needed the checkers for UNSOPHISTICATED, but only because the anagrist was 15 letters, after all. MAGNESIUM OXIDE came more quickly. Lots of wonderful witty and efficient clues, like RING ROAD, ONE MOMENT, MATRIARCHY, but actually I liked them all.

  11. Thanks Dean and keriothe
    Did this one first thing this morning in a single sitting (49 minutes) and was able to steadily work my way through it – unsurprisingly with HABITAT the first entry. Appreciated the usual Dean-tricks, especially liking the ‘lost fish’ NEMO, the tricksy word play of HOMBRE and the clever APSE (only seeing how good it was when coming to the blog – had gone down the path of -APSE- with no success). Didn’t know the cartoonist, but was able to piece him together after realising he was THOMAS somebody with a surname of a mixed NATS and then confirming with a quick look up.
    Finished on the right hand side with FOUNDATION (only seeing the ‘slap’ on the final parsing run), UNMERITED and that ONE MOMENT as the last one.

  12. Not so clever as my compatriot in Aus, brucew@aus, I only managed about half of this before I had to look up in order to commence. HABITAT first in (seen recently), but failed with MACHO, as I was convinced that the “zip” was GO , having worked out THOMAS NAST previously. As usual, each of the clues was concise and clever: unfortunately too clever for me!

  13. 18 Not worthy, as one covering Debussy subject
    UNMERITED – UN(MER)ITED. Debussy’s famous companion piece to Le Momble.

    Apart from an Irish monk named Momble who proselytised in France, I can find no references to Le Momble. Can someone please explain.

    Thanks to all the setters and bloggers. You are much appreciated.

    Tom and Jan

    1. Apologies Tom and Jan this is just a silly inside joke. If you look at the glossary at the top of this page (or the bottom if you’re on on a phone) you will see that MER (Minor Eyebrow Raise) and Momble (a non-existent word constructed from wordplay) are both terms that have been coined on, and are exclusively used in, this forum. A bit daft and rather self-indulgent, sorry again!


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