Sunday Times 5118 by Dean Mayer

10:34. Not too many horses frightened in this week’s puzzle, but the usual very high quality from Dean. I have one query at 21ac, any suggestions welcome.

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

Across
1 Upright gets corroded after time
TRUSTY – T, RUSTY.
4 Seeing red uniform, attach sleeves
UP IN ARMS – U, PIN, ARMS.
10 Fellow stops by, promises to recompense base
NEFARIOUS – NE(F)AR, IOUS (promises to recompense).
11 Turning cheek, raised student
PUPIL – reversal of LIP, UP.
12 Somehow ended lowest — this is disappointing
LETS THE SIDE DOWN – (ENDED LOWEST THIS)*.
13 Riders may use these riding breeches?
SADDLEBAGS – a definition with a cryptic hint based on the fact that ‘bags’ and ‘breeches’ are both words for trousers.
15 Silver parts we carry on
WAGE – W(AG)E.
17 Touch and go
MOVE – DD.
18 Leader from Harlech, Wales, appointed
LECH WALESA – contained in ‘Harlech wales appointed’. The leader of the Solidarity movement, always on the TV when I was a kid, and later President of Poland.
21 It can lark about these days with little advantage
CARNAL KNOWLEDGE – (CAN LARK)*, NOW, W, L, EDGE. Is L here supposed to be an abbreviation for ‘little’? I’ve never seen that before and even Chambers (which has every abbreviation imaginable) doesn’t have it. What am I missing?
23 Are old ones tense?
EXIST – EX, IS, T.
24 Collect material for concrete
AGGREGATE – DD.
25 All women do is watch it crossing new area
HEN PARTY – HE(N, PART)Y.
26 Second son, crossing pitch, means to walk tall
STILTS – S(TILT), S.
Down
1 Yarn’s covering new golf mats
TANGLES – TA(N, G)LES.
2 Disqualified, one must accept fine
UNFIT – UN(F)IT.
3 Check the gas pedal
THROTTLE – DD.
5 Give out thing not even in transit
PASSING THROUGH – PASS, (THING)*, ROUGH.
6 Heading off one that was close relative
NEPHEWoNE, PHEW!
7 Decrease housing for villainous sort
REPROBATE – RE(PRO)BATE.
8 Still gutted, live in past
SILENCE – SI(LivE)NCE.
9 Early meeting might end firm
POWER BREAKFAST – POWER, BREAK, FAST. I was a bit puzzled by ‘end’ for BREAK but Collins has ‘to bring or come to an end’.
14 Dick reading for fun
DIVERSION – DI (detective, dick), VERSION.
16 First musical gift in case, round one
EARLIEST – EAR, L(I)EST.
17 US subject accepts award for play
MACBETH – MA(CBE)TH.
19 Never dating, wife leaves unpaid
AGELESSwAGELESS.
20 Ray set about reading sacred text
MANTRA – MANT(R)A. R here being one of the three, along with 'riting and 'rithmatic.
22 Slowly utter line at end of sketch
DRAWL – DRAW, L.

16 comments on “Sunday Times 5118 by Dean Mayer”

  1. It did not occur to me at the time that “little advantage” taken as meaning EDGE cannot account for the second L in the word. I must conclude that this clue has an error. After all, L means “large.”

  2. 21:09
    It looks like either 1) EDGE is ‘little advantage’, which as Guy notes leaves us with an L unaccounted for, or 2) ‘little’ is abbreviated L, which seems to have no dictionary support. (For what little it’s worth, my English-Japanese dictionary does include ‘little’ among the many words abbreviated L.) I liked WAGE, MOVE, HEN PARTY inter alia.

  3. DNF, defeated – quite stupidly, I see now – by 18ac. How did I not see that? I twisted myself in knots trying to work out the annagram… Also 9d (NHO) & 16d, but enjoyed the rest. 45 mins to do what I did. Thanks, all.

  4. 28 minutes, so not one of Dean’s more demanding offerings – not that I’m complaining.

    I didn’t notice the problem with ‘little / L’ when solving but now that it’s been pointed out I can’t see how it’s acceptable. I think ‘L = large’ only gets in the dictionaries as a clothing size, and ‘S = small’ on similar grounds, but I can’t think of any context in which L stands for ‘little’ even in a multi-word abbreviation.

  5. It looks as if “little” is my fault. Dean’s original clue used an indication of “ledge” that I thought was too hard, and I seem to have invented “little”=L after struggling to find an alternative to “ledge” and trying L+EDGE, and somehow convinced Dean that it worked.

  6. I was unable to finish this; having completed three quarters of it, I was defeated by the SW corner. Having company following a major party on the Saturday meant I didn’t have enough leisure to revisit the blank section, but I can’t see anything that I couldn’t have worked out. It’s often the case that a single clue in an empty section opens up the rest quickly. Annoyingly, I thought of HEN PARTY initially, but dismissed it because I couldn’t immediately parse it and that would surely have revealed MACBETH etc. Anyway, COD has to go to the delightful hidden LECH WALESA.

  7. I couldn’t see how REBATE = Decrease in 7d. It still doesn’t work for me although the answer was immediately obvious. Very enjoyable puzzle – as always from this setter. 38 minutes

    1. A REBATE is discount, or a reduction/decrease in price. See Collins: ‘a refund of a fraction of the amount payable or paid, as for goods purchased in quantity; discount’.

  8. No real problems here, though I think I’d forgotten that T can be used as an abbreviation for tense, as required for EXIST, so that went in on trust. Didn’t bother parsing CARNAL KNOWLEDGE once I had enough checkers, so I missed the issue with it.

    Thanks keriothe and Dean.

    FOI Tangles
    LOI Mantra
    COD Lech Walesa

  9. It took me 47 minutes, but it really wasn’t that hard and I enjoyed it superbly (except for the question of the L in LEDGE, which didn’t bother me while solving). Dean is an absolute genius at leading you down the wrong path while never being unfair. “US subject” for MATH, “never dating”, “all women do”, all of them brilliant. I always look forward to Sundays.

  10. You never know when you see Dean’s name how hard it will be. Today was a gentle canter unlike some previous outings.

  11. DNF in 20 and some

    Breezeblocked at the end by EARLIEST. Just about worked out that the definition was “first” but couldn’t see EAR or LEST. Nice clue. Rather liked a few of them in fact particularly the PARTY and the KNOWLEDGE

  12. Thanks Dean and keriothe
    Early morning solve for me today, taking exactly an hour from 6:30. Ended up having an error with my only partially parsed TANTRA at 20d (note to self – Dean never has partially parsed clues!).
    There were a couple of others that I had put in the answer and only in my final run-through, put together the word play – POWER BREAKFAST, DIVERSION (taking a while to see the US slang for ‘detective’) and CARNAL KNOWLEDGE (didn’t think too much about the L for ‘little).
    Finished in the SW corner with MOVE (quite a tricky dd), HEN PARTY (brilliant ‘all women do’) and the ill-fated TANTRA / no MANTRA.

  13. Yes, another delight from DM. Four I didn’t get were SADDLEBAGS, MOVE, MACBETH and CARNAL KNOWLEDGE ( should always be on the lookout in Dean’s puzzles for the hidden definition, as here.) didn’t help myself by entering DRAWLS in the space for STILTS, and as I use pen on paper, was hard to untangle. No excuses- should have stuck to it with more determination! CODs to UP IN ARMS, LECH WALESA and PASSING THROUGH.

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