Sunday Times Cryptic 4833, 13 January 2019, by Dean Mayer — Think Twice, It’s All Right

This was an engaging exercise, with some fine, quite deceptive surfaces. The four Double Definitions are not scintillating, but such rarely are (and the last one’s kind of fun), but a few of the Cryptic Definitions are pretty cool.

The hidden word at 17 would be very easy, if you happen to have ever heard the word that’s hid. I wonder how many people here did.

I do (sanamgar)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.

 1 Ornament fashion designer turned into coal (9)
 6 After a year, certainly settle (3,2)
PAY UP — “After” is an unnecessary position indicator that helps the surface; “a year” is PA, per annum; and “certainly” is YUP.
 9 Diplomacy that keeps one silent (5)
10 An art form (9)
SCULPTURE — DD, with the second def. meaning either the form created or the verb “to form” (though I’d prefer “sculpt”).
11 Anxiety about minute details? (6,8)
SECOND THOUGHTSOCD? CD. I saw a headline online last week saying Theresa May told MPs to “think twice” before voting on the ill-fated Brexit deal. Sound advice, but only twice? (And how many times would that make now, in toto?)
13 Information from lawyer sought by atheist? (10)
15 Head back to get a fish (4)
TUNA — NUT<— + A
17 Feeling cold in one’s hands (4)
NESH — English dialect term, as I eventually discovered. My LOI.
18 Made to air broadcast on small wireless (5,5)
STEAM RADIO — (Made to air + S)* The now-quaint “wireless” is a nicely succinct definition. Loved this one. Could be my COD!
20 A theatre’s outgoings? (9,5)
OPERATING COSTS — CD, playing on two senses of both “theatre” and “outgoings.”
23 Being hairy thanks to a natural mutation (9)
TARANTULAHypertrichosis? A hairy being, rather. TA or “thanks” + (natural)* This is the title of Bob Dylan’s first book, which is actually quite enjoyable (and I don’t care what anyone says), impressive in its untamed creativity, though it had nothing to do with his getting the Nobel Prize.
24 Smart hotel in Welsh town (5)
25 Watery stuff he found in drink (5)
26 Fitting, this means (9)

 1 Almost simple to grab first of the food (4)
EATS — EAS[-y] eating T[-he]
 2 Single most relevant qualification? (9,6)
BACHELORS DEGREE — CD. It was hard to shake the feeling that there was more to this than the slightly jocular allusion to the other sense of “bachelor.” Why “most relevant”? But I guess if you’re on the dating scene as a single, it would be good to have that “qualification” firmly established, lest someone suspect you had merely slipped off your wedding ring for the night.
 3 Stone walls crushed into something extra? (8)
OPTIONAL — “Stone,” OPAL, encloses (“walls”) (into}* Not sure why the quirk.
 4 Given shot, daughter does shot (5)
DOSEDWill she be disqualified from competition? D + (does)*
 5 Pants are hiding nothing that’s nasty, I’d guess (5,4)
ROUGH IDEA — (are)* secreting O (“nothing”) UGH (“that’s nasty’) I[‘]D. Brilliant! Wait, this may be my COD…
 6 A piece of childhood memory? (6)
 7 It’s better to give thanks (3,8,4)
YOU SHOULDNT HAVE — You shouldn’t possess, better to bestow! A CD of sorts that blends right into the straight definition. Lovely! Definitely my COD!
 8 Media mogul to continue drinking in pub (5,5)
PRESS BARON — PRESS(BAR)ON, “drinking in” here meaning subsuming
12 Drive cook to see PR expert (4,6)
SPIN DOCTOR — “Drive” = SPIN, “cook” = DOCTOR
14 Property charge (9)
16 Used power to wrestle hooligan (3-5)
PRE-OWNED — (power)* + NED (another Britishism, but one I was reminded of here recently)
19 Bottle that may be full of slugs (6)
21 Hold good file (5)
22 Tea time gossip (4)

33 comments on “Sunday Times Cryptic 4833, 13 January 2019, by Dean Mayer — Think Twice, It’s All Right”

  1. Once again Dean impresses by the economy of his clues: this time, an average of 5.2 words per clue. And such clues! I have a bunch of COD candidates: 6ac (a niggle, Guy: it’s PA=a year, and after that YUP), 23ac, 5d, 7d, 16d. DNK NESH, but oddly enough, given my obtuseness with hiddens, I spotted it quickly. I liked PROPAGANDA too, although ‘information’ seemed a bit off as a def, but lots of pagans believe in god(s); the just don’t believe in the one with the big guns behind him.
    1. Well, I thought of that, but decided against that interpretation. A position indicator is unnecessary here, and if you’re talking about, say, “income per year,” it would the money you make in a year, or have made after a year. True, if you say “I make so much a year,” “a year” means “per year,” so that’s a possible reading too.

      But I have to leave in something you might quibble with to make sure you’re the first person to respond.

      Edited at 2019-01-20 04:00 am (UTC)

        1. Is that worse than “After per annum, certainly settle”?

          Edited at 2019-01-20 06:33 am (UTC)

          1. I think so. The clue reads, “After a year, certainly settle”, which makes sense on the surface, ‘after’ meaning ‘after’. The clue simultaneously tells us (but does not read) “After [meaning after] ‘a year’ [=PA], ‘certainly’ [=YUP]”. I see your reading, mind you; but you left me nothing else to quibble about. But I could add that ‘a year / per annum’ standardly means in a year not after a year. The committee meets 6 times per annum / a year, say. I’m paid 2 bonuses per annum / a year; etc.
            1. Nah. “After per annum” is horrible.
              That said, I’ll change the blog—just to make you happy. Not that it matters much. Ha.
              I was also thinking (if not too carefully) of how one might cite someone with a phrase like, “We might say, after Deleuze and Guattari, that ideology is nothing real,” in which “after” means “as according to” or “as per.”
  2. Well, I still don’t think 10ac -SCULPTURE- is a cryptic clue.
    Did like PROPAGANDA, which, in Cockney, means a good look at something. I also liked OPERATING COSTS and my COD, POPGUN.
    1. I agree that 10ac isn’t very cryptic, but it has two clear meanings (recognised medium of expression/physical shape made by an artist) which is enough to qualify it as cryptic in my book.
  3. I bet that’s been used before (a buncha times)!
    I agree that you have to kind of squint to see the DD for SCULPTURE as a clue for a cryptic puzzle. Context is everything.
    1. Thanks. I seem to remember “a real scandal” being included in a clue for PROPAGATE once.
  4. I had never heard the word until I met my wife, even though we both lived in the West Riding of Yorkshire 10 miles apart.
  5. I was 58 minutes on this tricky challenge, with LOI POPGUN. I can see why it’s a piece of childhood, but the memory bit threw me. COD to YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE. If all possession is theft, why doesn’t the referee penalise Manchester City for not letting the other side have a kick? As a massive lifetime Dylan fan, Guy, I did find ‘Tarantula’ proof that the mental follows no physical laws, whatever the brain scientists say. ‘Chronicles’ was a joy to read though. I gather Volume 2 might emerge by the end of this year. I’m too old ever to have used a dating site, but I thought that more physical attributes than a degree were more relevant in deciding which way to swipe. I knew and have used NESH in God’s chosen county. Thank you Guy and setter.

    Edited at 2019-01-20 07:56 am (UTC)

  6. Good puzzle though I wasn’t over-impressed by the clues to SCUPTURE, BACHELOR DEGREE and YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE. The NED in 16dn had come up only two dayes previously (clued as ‘rough Glaswegian’) so that was very helpful.
  7. fine clueing from Dean, as ever. No problem with nesh, my Sheffield granny used it daily, often addressed to me.. it meant much more than just cold, something like “milksop” was intended. Struggled more to find popgun, as a child I had plenty of gunlike things but nothing we actually called a popgun, sounds rather derogatory
    1. I don’t think I ever had one, but isn’t it a toy shotgun with a cork on a string that you stick in the barrel, and which pops out when you pull the trigger?
        1. I seem to remember Peter carrying one in (what I assume was) the Disney version of ‘Peter and the Wolf’.
  8. LOI POPGUN needed a dictionary trawl. I failed to parse YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE – thanks for the explanation. Very clever. No problem with NESH – a word my wife uses often, but meaning under the weather rather than cold. Lots of lovely clues as ever from Dean. I liked OPERATING COST but STEAM RADIO my favorite. 24:44
  9. 30:20 but with one wrong. Popout was my unconvinced guess for Popgun.

    My wife, who is from Sheffield, sometimes uses Nesh but, as others have said, in the sense of weak, feeble, limp or cowardly rather than cold.


    1. I gathered from a quick Googling that it meant something like ‘sensitive to cold’, and thus extending to weak, wimpy, etc.

      Edited at 2019-01-20 11:06 am (UTC)

  10. ….NESH, but it’s an age thing. In pretty regular usage in Northern England, and parts of Scotland. I seem to think it’s from an Old English word meaning “weak”.

    Did this on my phone and submitted it with an answer missing – didn’t get the paper, so it’s a DNF when it shouldn’t have been.

    1. I’m with you on this Phil and The Villain – My Yorkshire (Carcroft) grandmother used Nesh rather a lot and (I agree it was used as ‘weak’ – ‘spineless’ but not cold.)

      Popgun was a doddle as Davy Crockett was all the rage in my early days. Soon moved on to air rifles.

      FOI 1 dn EATS

      LOI 3dn OPTIONAL

      COD 6dn POPGUN

      WOD 17ac NESH

      Time not noted- about 40 mins.I would estimate

      Edited at 2019-01-20 03:47 pm (UTC)

  11. 37:30 a good testing puzzle with some really nice clues. FOI 9ac. I got a bit stuck on a couple at the end particularly LOI popgun and also attribute I think, both of which merit COD nominations from me, though there were quite a few candidates. Nesh known from a previous puzzle (27075 where it was clued as “feeble”: Feeble bridge pair blocked by opponent leading hearts).
  12. 24:03. I obviously found this hard, for reasons I mostly can’t remember as usual. I do remember being completely stuck for ages at the end on POPGUN. Eventually I got there by trying to think of alternative meanings for the word ‘piece’.
    I don’t think I knew what NESH meant but it was vaguely familiar as a word so that one didn’t slow me down at all.
    In many cases the answer to your question at 11ac appears to be ‘none’.

    Edited at 2019-01-20 01:33 pm (UTC)

  13. A good workout which kept me on my toes for 48:08. Didn’t know NESH, but it helped that it was a hidden. Needed aids for my LOI, POPGUN. Liked STEAM RADIO and OPERATING COSTS. Thanks Dean and Guy.
  14. Unlike you persistent types, I was stuck on POPGUN for so long I gave up. It hadn’t helped that I’d slowed myself down severely in that corner by confidently throwing in STATUETTE instead of SCULPTURE for no particularly good reason! Ooops.
  15. Last Sunday we were out and about in Primrose Hill, a very smart part of London, so I only had time to look at this on the train. I did not get very far with the puzzle;too difficult for me.
    I did not see NESH and I don’t recall ever hearing the word; my father was from Sheffield and his family never used it. David
  16. It’s far too late for any useful comment. As usual Dean provided us with a lovely puzzle. 31 minutes – I was held up by having to do an alphabet trawl to get POPGUN at the end. Ann
  17. For what it’s worth this late, we read “of childhood memory” like “Valentino of silent movie memory”.

    Jan and Tom, Toronto

  18. Thanks setter and guy
    Only got to this one yesterday and although it only took just under 40min (a little under average solve time), it has beaten me hands down as it turns out. Had POPOUT at 6d (although realistically not too many of us are going to have remembered that!) and NOSE at 17a (did find a meaning for ‘feeling’ for it and ‘unconvincedly’ convinced myself that somehow it could be an anagram of ‘one’s’ – obviously had never heard of NESH).
    Lots of lovely economic clues throughout that provided plenty of grist to chew through. Finished in the SW corner with SPIN DOCTOR (which took longer than it should have), PROPAGANDA (which was my cod, when the penny dropped) and that NOSE/NESH one.

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