Sunday Times Cryptic No 5079 — Anchors aweigh!

At first, I stared blankly at this for some time. I didn’t much mind, as it augured an interesting outing. But I was very eager to sail through the four broad lanes traversing the grid all the way, and the clues for those were opaque. I first got the lower Across anagram (wordplay!), but was really underway only after I saw that the two Downs were both CDs (my old nemesis!), instead of either of the two-word answers’ two-word clues’ being a DD (which could have been maddening). Finished in one go after all, refreshed and with no complaints.

I indicate (Ars Magna)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.

 1 Branch backing bank’s closure (4)
FORK    FOR, “backing” + [-ban]K   …My childhood home (my only niece lives there now) was the one-stor(e)y house at 327 Back Fork Street, Webster Springs, W.Va., and the Back Fork of Elk River runs right by. The street was—is—a cul de sac with a path to a swinging bridge at the end.
 3 Footnote about each nose that may be blown (10)
10 Country squire in harbour, but heading off (9)
11 Buzz is missing from this drink (5)
12 Christmas Eve, so I shot Nipper’s picture (3,7,5)
HIS MASTERS VOICE    (Christmas Eve, so I)*   “Nipper” was the name of the dog shown in the famous painting with this title by the English artist Francis Barraud, which was appropriated as logos for, first (1899), a record label of the same name, and then “the Victor Talking Machine Company, later known as RCA Victor. The painting was originally offered to James Hough, manager of Edison-Bell in London, but he declined, saying ‘dogs don’t listen to phonographs’. Barraud subsequently visited The Gramophone Co. of Maiden Lane in London where the manager William Barry Owen offered to purchase the painting if it were revised to depict their latest Improved Gramophone model. Barraud obliged, and Owen bought the painting from Barraud for £100”—according to Wikipedia, whose entry tells us earlier, “In the original, unmodified 1898 painting, the dog was listening to a cylinder phonograph.”   …Never knew the hound’s name!
13 Mike leaves to repair piping (5)
14 Film precisely frames communist soldiers (8)
PREDATOR    PAT, “precisely” around RED, “communist” + OR, “soldiers” (Other Ranks)
16 Inevitably, man will escape execution (8)
18 Perhaps one’s best friend (5)
CHINA    You might bring out your best CHINA for your best mate or “CHINA plate” in the original CRS phrase.
20 Collection of delivery systems? Actual listing is wrong (10,5)
LINGUISTIC ATLAS    (Actual listing is)*   Cryptic definition, hence the “?”
22 Just out of bed. A bunk? Not quite (5)
ATRIP    A + TRIP[-e]    This definition is a bit cryptic too, playing on “bed,” which here is a seabed. The word describes an anchor no longer caught on the bottom. Synonyms: “tripped,” “aweigh.”
23 Lies low after taking this? (5,4)
24 In one respect possibly common knowledge (4,6)
OPEN SECRET    (In one respect)*
25 Affirmative votes, or just one (4)
 1 Is afraid to pin article down (8)
 2 Legal tender? (10,5)
 4 Are sons opening door? (5)
 5 Doctor to get dairy products delivered (3,6)
SEA BREEZE    “see” “bries”   In various countries, a seasonal cool SEA BREEZE is known as the “Doctor,” which alludes to its supposedly having beneficent effects.
 6 Cato upset by Antony’s wife (7)
OCTAVIA    (CATO)* + VIA, “by”
 7 Ground troops? (11,4)
TERRITORIAL ARMY   CD   …This clue is inferior, IMHO, to its 15-letter CD counterpart here (which I rather like), because, to deploy terms from Freudian dream analysis, the manifest sense, the surface meaning, is so very close to the latent sense, the decrypted answer. There’s nothing the least bit cryptic in having “troops” stand for ARMY. This is the kind of mildly cryptic clue you sometimes find in a predominantly non-cryptic puzzle.
 8 Military commander invading f{rom Mel}bourne (6)
ROMMEL    Hidden
 9 Disrepute among footballers — gosh! (6)
INFAMY    IN, “among” + FA, “Football Association” + MY(!), “gosh!”
14 Exploitative position adopted by soldier in charge (9)
PARASITIC    PARA, “soldier” + SIT, “position” + IC, “in charge”
15 Methane in planet has to limit gravity’s effect (5,3)
MARSH GAS    MARS, “planet” + H(G)AS   One G is equivalent to the force of the earth’s gravitational pull.   …Sometimes blamed for UFOs
17 Message about posh old man’s indiscretion (4,3)
18 After tea, tea dance (3-3)
CHA-CHA    One CHA, “tea”—and another cuppa the same
19 Border community area in windy S Pole (2,4)
EL PASO   (A[“area”] + S Pole)*   That would be “windy” with a long I.   …Could alternatively be “Border community in windy S Pole area”; I like that better, come to think of it.
21 Temper that is holding work up (5)
INURE    I(RUN<=“up”)E

34 comments on “Sunday Times Cryptic No 5079 — Anchors aweigh!”

  1. DNF
    I didn’t have a clue as to ATRIP, a word I never heard of, and spent a lot of time doing alphabet trawls, which turned up nothing. I also NHO ‘doctor’, but was able to get ‘see bries’ without knowing why. DNK the dog’s name, either. I liked THRUM.

    1. You’ve forgotten “Doctor may be recorded using this,” cluing WIND GAUGE in Sunday Times 4716 by Dean Mayer, blog posted on 23rd October 2016. You were (for a change) the first commenter on that one: “Totally clueless re ‘doctor’…” I didn’t comment there. But the “Cape doctor” was mentioned by Peter B. in the comments about Sunday Times Cryptic No 4913, also by Dean, blogged by me on 1st August 2020.

        1. *Fremantle*
          Kevin hadn’t heard of it when it came up a little over three months ago either 😉

          1. As I said (and you just made me check again!), Kevin didn’t mention that one in his comments that time. (Maybe he told you privately, though…)

            1. Without wishing to dwell too much on Kevin’s imperfect memory (we all do it after all) how do you interpret the words ‘NHO the sea breeze’?

              1. Aha! I missed that (obviously), right at the start, when I scanned. Even twice! I wish I could have slept longer this AM.

  2. Didn’t find this too troublesome. The notion of doctor = sea breeze came up a few weeks ago with Freemantle Doctor. For ATRIP isn’t part of the clue A TRIP = BUNK as in “done a bunk”?

    1. Indeed. Sunday Times 5064 by Dean Mayer, blogged by keriothe on the 25th of June of this very year. (Kevin commented, but didn’t mention that one.)
      Unfamiliar with the term “do a bunk,” so I looked it up. The definition in Collins doesn’t equate to “trip” in my mind. “If you do a bunk, you suddenly leave a place without telling anyone”…? And what would account for the “not quite”?

          1. Sorry, “bunk not quite” indicating BUNK not being exactly equivalent to TRIP
            Chambers gives Bunk meant to Flee.

            1. Really doesn’t seem worth it, trying to make that fit.
              Does Chambers give also give “trip” meaning to “flee,” then?

              1. Absolutely it does. It also gives the expression “bunk off” to play truant. Then you have the sense of trip being a jolly. To my mind that brings the two words close – one a trip with permission and the other without.

                1. Well, that’s an imaginative parsing, I’ll give you that.
                  The reference dictionaries for the ST are supposed to be Collins and, but I would appreciate it if you gave me the Chambers definition equating TRIP with “flee,” if that’s what you meant by saying, “Absolutely it does.” Now, I don’t think that’s what you meant to say; I think you meant to say that you think TRIP = flee because, besides the sense of “bunk” as “flee,” Chambers also gives “bunk off,” meaning “to play truant,” “and then you have the sense of trip being a jolly”—which it seems is in Collins: “a trip, esp one made for pleasure by a public official or committee at public expense.” I hope that trip was budgeted! The idea of “permission”—in its absence—seems intrinsic to one sense (“bunk off”), and either absolutely absent from the other (TRIP), or with its presence being implicit.

    2. My reading of it is A followed by TRIP[E], meaning ‘bunk’ in the rubbish sense – more an Americanism than a UK term, but perfectly comprehensible. Anyhow, that’s how I got the answer, so by whatever means it worked… I assumed it meant out of bed in the literal sense, which sounds quite Shakespearean, but looked up the word afterwards and was delighted to discover its correct definition, which makes the clue even better.
      EDIT: Sorry – just realised that this is Guy’s definition as well – I got a bit confused about the above thread and didn’t check his original parsing…

  3. After an hour I decided to use aids and finish this off. I had also put in several answers that were unknown or the wordplay was not understood so I needed to check up on those too.

    The Nipper reference was a gift for me as I have always known the name of he HMV dog.

    DNK the SEA BREEZE thing, but the doctor I do know in similar context is ‘Doctor Theatre’ as referred to by actors who are feeling below par before going on stage.

    I don’t have a problem with the clue to TERRITORIAL ARMY.

    I note the blog has posted with the wrong dateline and out of sequence although it didn’t actually appear at the time currently stated.

    1. Thanks. I noticed this evening that I had the date wrongly set for the 9th, and somehow overcorrected. Fixed now. It actually went live a few minutes after midnight, your time.

  4. 58m 35s
    Re 5d, cricket lovers will know the term ‘the Fremantle Doctor’, the sea breeze that used to come up from the WA port of Fremantle to cool down the cricketers and the crowd at the old WACA ground in Perth. I don’t know if there is the same effect at whatever ground they play at now.
    My COD to 2d: Legal tender = ‘registered nurse’. Typical economy from Dean.

    1. Hi Martin, sorry, coming to this a week late (I do the paper one on weekends which is a week behind), but the wind in question also cools down players and the crowd at Perth Stadium which is not that far east of the old WACA Ground. Funny thing is, growing up in Perth the only time we heard the term Fremantle Doctor was when visiting cricket commentators used it on the radio…to us it was always the sea breeze or the sou-wester. It could really wreck a nice day at the beach!

  5. 7D: Your comments don’t mention whether you realised that Territorial Army is the historic name for what’s now The Army Reserve – volunteer part-time soldiers, who are “ground troops” specifically as the navy and air force have separate versions. Without that meaning, it doesn’t have “dictionary status” as an answer. The clue is fairly easy, as you say, but I can’t see that as a fault in the puzzle overall, especially one by Dean. I’m now wishing that I’d thought of an alternative while editing – “Ground Force?” would have suggested a UK TV series that was nothing to do with anything military, and I’m guessing that he would have liked the idea.

    1. Ha. Of course, I recognized our old friends the TA, appearing here so very often in that abbreviated form. I took its familiarity for granted, but certainly could have pointed that out for the novice, especially others in the non-UN cohort. It’s not easy if you don’t know the term.

  6. DNF. Made decent headway over thirty minutes in the bottom half, though sent myself up the “wrang dreel” with CORGI at 18ac. “One’s best friend” – seemed logical! Then got 7d and of course the I of TERRITORIAL knocked it out. Amended to CHINA. Used aids to fill in the last gaps, the NHOs 15d MARSH GAS and 22ac ATRIP, which set off alarms about the top half, still largely empty bar 2d & 10ac. Resorted to aids again to try to get a toehold, and the first answer was 5d SEA BREEZE. I could understand then that SEA and BREEZE sound like see and bries, but, utterly unable to see how that then related to the remainder of the clue – doctor – I searched online, and the answer was so beyond my GK I never, ever could have come up with it without cheating. Which isn’t satisfying. So, on the assumption that the rest of the top half would prove similar, I gave up. This time. There’s always the next! And as usual, when I read the solutions, they seem so obvious… Thanks to blogger Guy for the entertainment and setter Dean for the challenge.

    1. I only know the doctor/sea breeze from its appearances in the crossword and subsequent comments in this blog.

      When I eventually got it this time, I made a note in my crossword dictionary and wrote an abbreviation for an offensive term on my copy of the crossword.

  7. This was a thoroughly enjoyable offering – not too fiendish, but properly challenging as I would expect from Dean. NHO ATRIP or LINGUISTIC ATLAS, but both solvable, though the anagram took a lot of teasing out. LOsI were 14A, which is a dated and rather obscure film IMO and 5D, where the ‘doctor’ aspect passed me by initially, but I do remember the recent discussions about the Freemantle Doctor. I knew the dog’s name, so HMV was one of my first in, but the brilliant anagram gets it my COD.

  8. Solved on paper (now somewhat ragged) off and on during the week. Held on to it to check how inure worked – thanks for the blog for run=work. LOI by a long way was PERFORMANCE and COD REGISTERED NURSE.

  9. I confidently wrote CORGI in for 18ac, thinking how clever I was, and Dean was … but it turned out We were too amused and when the TA appeared, I had to rethink.
    Still prefer corgi …

  10. Sorry to lower the tone.
    When I first tackled 17d I had only the U in place. I thought SOS for message (in a bottle) U for posh and PAS for fathers. I googled SOUP ASS and thought it could be an indiscretion. A bit cheeky I thought but this was Mr Mayer!
    It was only when I got the F that I realised my faux pas!

  11. ATRIP took me ages because it’s not a word I know and bunk has so many possible meanings. Once I thought of tripe and atrip I googled atrip to confirm it existed.
    Other than that pretty easy as I recall, I can see it took me 37 minutes and that was something like 20 minutes for atrip and 20 minutes for everything else.

  12. I enjoyed this very much, all the more so after settling on ATRIP for 22ac following ages of thought and finding out it was right. Everything else, though not easy, found a plausible explanation much more quickly (except for SEA BREEZE, which I never understood while solving).

  13. Another satisfied customer here, although I had PERFORCE to look up a couple to keep the ball rolling, vis: ATRIP (NHO and never would have got), LINGUISTIC ATLAS (again NHO, and too hurried to work out the anagram!).
    The first few went in quite quickly (for me) with the (obvious?) PEASHOOTER, ARGENTINA and HIS MASTERS VOICE (guessing that was the name of the dog on the HMV label) and OCTAVIA. Then slowed down significantly…very much appreciated REGISTERED NURSE, and even the more obvious TERRITORIAL ARMY, and INFAMY for reminding me of Frankie Howerd’s famous words: “Infamy, infamy! He’s got it in fo me!”

  14. Thanks Dean and guy
    Completed this over three sittings yesterday afternoon, with more than usual reliance on referential help. New terms included ‘Nipper’ the name of the dog on his HMV, LINGUISTIC ATLAS, ATRIP and MARSH GAS. Had heard of the PREDATOR film without seeing it and was familiar with the ‘Fremantle doctor’ of course, when I did follow cricket.
    As with others, thought that ‘legal tender’ was priceless (well it was Dean and not Bob’s clue !), also liked CHA CHA and the PERFORCE clues.
    Finished in the SW corner with FAUX PAS (when I finally figured out where the PA’s went), PERFORCE and the tricky ATRIP to finish.

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