Sunday Times Cryptic 4841, 10 March 2019, by David McLean — A barking good puzzle!

There were no “meh” moments, just much merriment. I particularly liked the definitions so well hidden in plain sight for 1A, !0A and 21A. Definitions elsewhere were sneaky in other ways (“School of note”). I was quite taken with 28, which evokes the surreal transformation of part of a river into the bloom of a plant. Slick surfaces throughout.

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

 1 One’s really commercial, making final billion (6)
ADVERB — ADVER[T]B. Here a word meaning “commercial” changes its final letter to B(illion)…
 5 Friendly parent heading off for church (6)
CHUMMY — …and that’s “Mummy” removing her head for CH(urch).
 9 Grown men unknown to welcome a flattering (9)
ADULATORY — ”Grown” is ADULT, “men” the timeworn OR (“other ranks”), taking in (“welcoming”) A.
10 Hold on to power with son as a leader (4)
STOP — TO + P(ower) following S(on). This was my LOI, as I didn’t suspect that “to” was simply handing me half the answer (and was not part of the defintion).
11 Governments panic with last of referendums (6)
STATES — Here “panic” is a noun. “I was in a panic…” or “I was in a STATE over my test results,” with (referendum)S for the plural. Governments panicking, and talk of referendums, have been very much in the news.
12 This is a hazard for swingers, of course (4,4)
SAND TRAP — Get yourself tested regularly! CD. That’s a golf course, of course.
14 Guys curse what they might get themselves into (8)
MENSWEAR — A semi-&lit, you might say, as you need “Guys” from the wordplay to see the definition as well.
16 River one’s come across twice (4)
ISIS — I’s, two times. I must have learmed some time ago (here) that the stretch of the mighty Thames where Oxfordians row is, strangely, known by the name of an ancient Egyptian goddess, but at first I wanted IBIS (alas, there is no such river), a bird you might find on the Nile.
18 Greasy or dirty (less satisfactory) (4)
OILY — [-s]OILY 
19 Seize Yorkshire town for pearl-adorned queen (8)
ARROGATE — Sounds like Harrogate, with the Pearly Queen signaling Cockney pronunciation
21 Yo, this is the start of something! (4,4)
YEAR ZERO — The brief greeting at the beginning is an abbreviation for the answer. Brill!
22 One barking? That’s what you call me? (6)
24 Red fish you dropped (4)
26 A bad girl swiped one’s biscuit (9)
GARIBALDI — (A bad girl + I)*
27 White’s fourth blunder creates consternation (6)
TERROR — [-Whi]T[-e] + ERROR
28 White-tipped parts of a flower? (6)
RAPIDS — CD. You will find “flower”, flow-er, meaning “river” exclusively in cryptic puzzles, of course, but I like this clue a lot.

 2 Set a limit for what an angler might do? (4,3,4)
 3 Might broker do this with market finally 100 per cent up? (5)
ERUPT — &lit, with (marke)T + PURE ( “100 per cent”) <— . I originally had EXULT, until corrected by MartinP, and, although LUXE wasn’t the most obvious equivalent of “100 per cent,” I still find my answer more appropriate for what a broker might do when the market is way up. Major eyebrow raise, actually, at this.
 4 More blaring from support ship that’s close to Dover (8)
BRASSIER — BRA (“support”) + “that’s” (that is, id est, IE) + R (“close to Dover”)
 5 Clubs attempting to ban bit of tasteless shouting (6)
CRYING — C(lubs) + [-t]RYING
 6 Tipping over pint, guest must be smashed (9)
UPSETTING — (pint guest)*
 7 First of martins circles low (3)
MOO — M(artins) + O O (“circles”)
 8 School of note to rear novices in a new way (13)
CONSERVATOIRE — (to rear novices in)* …and a cryptic definition.
13 Robin could be described as one’s secret informer (1,6,4)
15 Violently strike wry author of heavenly words (9)
SKYWRITER — (strike wry)* I rather like the cryptic definition. The pilot writing, however, is often not the author of the words briefly seen in the empyrean.
17 Bit of sports equipment in Ford saloon? (8)
CROSSBAR — ”Ford” as in CROSS, “saloon” as in BAR. What makes this surface plausible is thinking that the drinking establishment might be found in a movie directed by John Ford.
20 Book creep held in hands (6)
LEDGER — L(EDGE)R, with “hands” being L(eft) and R(ight)
23 Sheep swallowing half of lily flower (5)
TULIP — TU(LI[-ly])P
25 Regret being naughty, but not bad ultimately (3)
RUE — RU[-d]E

44 comments on “Sunday Times Cryptic 4841, 10 March 2019, by David McLean — A barking good puzzle!”

  1. Guy, I’m afraid 3d is ERUPT not EXULT. “100 PER CENT” becomes PURE upwards.
    I got that one right but was marked down on 10ac and 21ac, STOP and YEAR ZERO. For the former I was completely stumped and put SHOG for want of anything better and for the latter I put NEAR ZERO. I failed to spot the significance of Yo.
    Thank you for STATES, ADVERB, OILY and RUE all of which I have question marks against in my notes.
    49m 33s with the two errors I’ve mentioned.
    1. Though I still think EXULT fits the apparent definition of the &lit better. The broker ERUPTs, like a volcano? Whatever…

      Edited at 2019-03-17 03:04 am (UTC)

      1. Well, I’m afraid I disagree. LUXE in ODO means “Expensive and of high quality; luxurious.” It doesn’t mean “100 per cent”. That is PURE. Whether or not a broker might EXULT or ERUPT is immaterial, the clue fits ERUPT and not EXULT.
        1. You might have noticed that I changed the blog. I also admitted, above, that “100 per cent” for LUXE would be a stretch. I wasn’t arguing with you.
  2. I, too, had EXULT; didn’t like it, but couldn’t think of anything better. ERUPT certainly fits the wordplay better, but EXULT, as Guy says, is much more appropriate given the clue itself. Also like Guy, I was fooled by ‘to’ in 10ac, and STOP was my LOI.
    Oddly enough, I had written ‘meh’ on my hard copy.
  3. 35 minutes. I changed EXULT to ERUPT on my final check when I saw the upside-down PURE. I then assumed it referred to a broker who’d shorted the stock after his analyst has written a ‘Sell’ recommendation. Some great clues here: COD ADVERB, MENSWEAR, A LITTLE BIRD, SAND TRAP, YEAR ZERO, RAPIDS, CONSERVATOIRE, ARROGATE. I think to invoke a pearly queen rather than a Yorkshireman to drop the aitch was probably necessary on this occasion as the residents of HARROGATE are probably the only ones in the county that don’t do that. An excellent puzzle. Thank you Guy and setter.
    Just a little tribute in my avatar to my old pal, who died two years ago today.
    1. It’s always very sad when you remember old pals like yours. Lovely looking dog!
  4. ….Good Lord preserve us. And now add ‘ARROGATE to that list !

    A most enjoyable puzzle where I was on David’s wavelength, and my only danger of being “bunkered” was in the SAND TRAP.

    I took 3D to be the usage “to erupt into laughter”, so no quibble there.

    TIME 8:59

  5. Excellent but just one query … why is close to Dover an R and not a D?
    Would like to know for future reference.
    1. ‘Close’ is used as a noun, meaning ‘finish’. In cryptic crossword language it means the last letter which in the case of Dover is an ‘r’.
  6. Mostly straightfoward. I had ERUPT because I never considered ‘exult’ but it was only at the very last minute that I was able to justify it from wordplay.

    On refelection U for ‘you’ (24ac) ought to be commonplace but it took me a little by surprise so perhaps we don’t see it very often.

    On a point of tecnicality about LJ, why am I seeing a dotted rectangle around Phil Jordan’s contribution?

    Edited at 2019-03-17 07:58 am (UTC)

    1. I don’t know! And I closed my browser and went back and now his entry is gone. Wha…?!

      Wait, now it’s back again.

      …Looks like I may have accidentally hit the “Screen” button, as clicking “Unscreen” removed the lines.
      I have no idea what “Screen” does!

      Edited at 2019-03-17 08:24 am (UTC)

  7. I was at Deepdale yesterday where for 93 minutes Preston failed to register a shot on target; and in the 94th they scored to win the game. The crowd erupted like a broker when the market is up 100 per cent …
    I too found ERUPT the least bad of the answers which occurred to me;happily I never thought of EXULT.
    Otherwise I romped through most of this enjoyable puzzle in 31 minutes; very fast for me. Quite a bit more time needed for ERUPT and my last two which were OILY and YEAR ZERO which I failed to parse at the time; thanks for that. David
    PS and Phil Jordan’s comments have now gone missing.
  8. I forgot to mark my LOI, but I imagine it was one of the 1a ADVERB/3d ERUPT crossers, as I remember having trouble with both. FOI 5d CRYING, and lots to enjoy along the way, especially the 28a RAPIDS, 21a YEAR ZERO and the tricksy “One’s really” at 1a.

    53 minutes all told.

  9. For 18A I had the far less good “limy”. Annoyed to have missed “oily” but I do think mine just about fits!
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  11. I was pleased that I spotted One’s really quite quickly. Loved the School of note clue. OILY took a bit of pondering. I also thought long and hard about ERUPT, but PURE for 100% eventually surfaced. ARROGATE was my LOI. 28:33. Thanks Harry and Guy.
  12. A DNF in 13:49. Bah! I was off like a rocket on this one and I suppose knowing that I was on for a fast time led me to cut corners once too often. So it was that not seeing the pearl-adorned queen for what she was at 19ac or really seeing how it worked I threw in abrogate which fit the checkers but nothing else, so finished with one pink square.
  13. 7:51. No problems with this here: I found this week’s, by our new setter, an awful lot harder. But more on that next week…
    1. …when I hope you’ll introduce him to us? I had expected something from Peter either here or on the club forum. His first contribution was definitely chewy, and I’m worried about my LOI.
    2. Yes, indeed! There is one that I must have right, but I cannot for the life of me see how the clue works.
  14. Over 32 minutes for this, of which several minutes were accounted for by mis-reading the enumeration for 13d as (1,4,6). No wonder I couldn’t find an answer! An initial CROSSBOW for 17D (making RAPIDS my LOI) and EXULT for 3D didn’t help either, but I got there eventually. I loved ADVERB and YEAR ZERO, but COD to TROT. Thanks David and Guy.
  15. There was going to be an announcement in the puzzles newsletter sent to some Times subscribers, but it’s been pushed back to make room for one about a new puzzle in yesterday’s Times. Here’s what I said in Friday’s ST clue writing report:

    Before we look at the other good clues, I have a bit of news for you. Long-standing contestants will remember Bob Price of York (and later, Edinburgh) as a regular winner about four years ago. When we recruited a new Sunday Times Crossword setter at the end of 2015, Bob sent a sample which was very promising but not quite good enough to get the job. Later, we needed new setters for the TLS crossword, and Bob’s sample that time was definitely good enough to be chosen. He has recently sent another good enough puzzle, this time for the ST crossword setting spot which became available when Jeff Pearce stood down, and his first puzzle appears this coming Sunday. I have no idea when we will have our next vacancy, but I like to give some good clue-writing contestants a chance to show that they can step up from one clue a week to about thirty every three weeks.

    1. Thanks, Peter. I looked at Bob’s puzzle for some time before pennies started dropping. As someone has sadi, it was quite chewy.
  16. For the record:

    DNF: for my LOI 3d I shoved in ‘EQUIT – dear me!


    COD 1ac ADVERB

    WOD 26ab GARIBLDI and his biscuits.

  17. First let me confess that I’m not in the same league as other posters on the very helpful TFTT blog. My personal times are counted in days rather than minutes. Begging everyone’s forbearance therefore, could someone please explain why “One’s really” is the definition for “adverb”?
    For a moment I wondered if “one’s” were an adverb, grammatically speaking, but obviously it’s a pronoun… I’d be grateful if any reply is expressed in terms appropriate for an utter simpleton.
    1. Really is an adverb.

      In the matter of adverbs, one example is really.

      One adverb is “really”.

      One is really.

      One’s really.

  18. Thanks David and Guy
    My average time of around the 3/4 hour across three sittings to get this one done. Started off with CHUMMY and finished back in the top right corner with STATES (which took a while to work out the requirement of ‘panic’ as a noun) and ERUPT (where, like others, I’d initially written in EXULT but couldn’t parse it satisfactorily).
    Enjoyed the clever cd’s, particularly the clue for RAPIDS.

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