Sunday Times Cryptic No 5101 by Robert Price — FOUND DOG

This was great fun, albeit fairly easy—just one answer I don’t recall seeing before (with another unknown word in the clue), and a handful of anagrams. But we are given a nice variety of clue types, running the gamut from (reversed) hidden word to a very amusing &lit.

I indicate (Ars Magna)* like this, and words flagging such rearrangements are italicized in the clues.

 1 After starchy food, relatives put on stones (10)
Your American cousins sure have a problem with this…
CARBUNCLES    CARB, “‘starchy food” + UNCLES, “relatives”
 6 Asian couple in conversation (4)
THAI    “tie”
 9 Did blue pencilling after dropping red worked (5)
10 Wouldn’t drink make a mark in a divan? (9)
12 Cursory anniversary for two children’s amusement (7,6)
NURSERY RHYMES    “Cursory” and “anniversary” both RHYME with NURSERY.   All three endings, -sory, -sary and -sery, are pronounced səri, with the schwa vowel sound.
14 No more loot for renovation (8)
OVERHAUL    OVER, “no more” + HAUL, “loot”
15 Not out, in for now (6)
PRONTO    Insert (not)* in PRO, “for.”
17 Dog’s coat cut round a slub in the middle (6)
SALUKI    S(A)(LU)KIn    A tall, smooth-coated breed of hound; the name comes from Arabic and means “of Saluq,” an ancient city.    A “slub” is (Collins) “a lump in yarn or fabric, often made intentionally to give a knobbly effect”—so quite apt for the surface, but you don’t need to know that to solve this.
19 Place briefly gripped by King Kong? (3,5)
BIG APPLE    BIG AP(PL)E   &lit!
21 Tossing horse in a stew, run BBC cooking shows (7,6)
BUCKING BRONCO    (run BBC cooking)*
24 Vegetables in scabby condition to sell (9)
MANGETOUT    MANGE, “scabby condition” + TOUT, “sell”
25 Dream ladies, not entirely made-up (5)
IDEAL    (ladies)*
26 Port an Olympian knocked back (4)
SUEZ    ZEUS<=“knocked back”
27 Powerless, girl stops being impossible to ignore (10)
 1 Stuff brandy turns into (4)
CRAM    MARC<= “turns into”
 2 Train engineers unite after work (7)
RETINUE   R(oyal) E(ngineers) + (unite)*
 3 Their knee fund wasted in surgery (5,3,5)
UNDER THE KNIFE    (Their knee fund)*
 4 Two teas primarily used by country houses (8)
CHATEAUX    CHA + TEA + Used + X, “by”
 5 Paper attempted with no editor (5)
 7 One’s employed to kill game (7)
 8 New detectives put forward after one gets sick (10)
INDISPOSED    I, “one” + N(ew) + DIS, “detectives” + POSED, “put forward”
11 A broken piece on a mollusc’s very tough (2,4,2,5)
13 Fearful reaction as some pubs go bust (10)
A bad economic indicator, for sure…
GOOSEBUMPS    (some pubs go)*
16 Lots of Tw{itter bil}e about Gilbert’s works (8)
LIBRETTI    Reverse hidden   Definition by example, though there is no question mark.
18 Article in Italian material contains gaps (7)
20 Saying “Lead” captivates a dog, perhaps (7)
22 Protest disc covered by pop producer? (5)
23 Tip of carbon replacing top of stick (4)
CLUE    [-g, + C]LUE

16 comments on “Sunday Times Cryptic No 5101 by Robert Price — FOUND DOG”

  1. Vinyl and Guy may have found it “not too difficult” and “fairly easy”, but I found it a bit of a challenge. The only dog I could initially think of with ALU was a mamalute, which took me some time to realise I’d misspelled anyway and should be malamute- and didn’t fit. I got a fearful reaction to this, but the goosebumps disclosed a lurking SALUKI.
    COD to GROAN with Gran as Pop’s progenitor. Was it Myrtilus commenting on the frequent use of O as disc? If so, he has embraced the love.
    Very enjoyable solve in 31:06.

  2. I agree with Corymbia that this was not “fairly easy” and I needed exactly an hour to complete it. 17ac and 18dn gave me particular trouble, not helped by their answers SALUKI and LACUNAE intersecting in the grid.

    1. There’s evidently a SALUKI fan club in my neck of the woods; I come across various pairs of them from time to time. Beautiful dogs, with hair like cashmere, and (these ones anyway) quiet and well-behaved (except perhaps the one that lunged at me when I tried to pet what I suspect was her child).

  3. 28:32 WOE
    WOStupidE: I dithered for some reason (two stupid errors) between X and S at 4d, and for another, which I can’t remember but would no doubt be too embarrassed to tell you, went for S. I had something of an MER over singular CARB. COD to GROAN. Gilbert wrote lots of verse (his ‘Bab Ballads’) as well as libretti.

  4. Somewhat bemused by the apparent criticism of the LIBRETTI definition, especially in a field where “novel” can define SHE, and “poem” can define IF. Gilbert’s works were not the only libretti in history, and like every librettist I can think of, he wrote other kinds of literature. But his best known works were libretti and he seems to have been the first librettist/lyricist to get joint billing in the style of Rodgers and Hammerstein, so as a definition it’s perfectly OK unless you really want definitions like this to include final question marks and/or words like “some of”.

      1. Me neither! Just a remark.
        Oh, well. At least Peter’s comment adds to the number. So few today!

  5. Steady solving saw this one almost complete in 25 mins. A short break to refresh – tea again! – and the final four fell into place. How satisfying! Time around 35 minutes overall. FOI 1ac CARBUNCLE, LOI 26ac SUEZ. Thanks, all.

  6. I agree that this was on the easier side for an RP, but still contained his trademark brilliant surfaces and wordplay. FOI SALUKI from following the wordplay, though the ALU gave it away. LOI LACUNAE, which held me up for quite a while and I still failed to parse! The other non-parse was NURSERY RHYMES, luckily bifd with crossers. I thought I’d twigged the ‘for one’ ruse, but still managed to miss ‘for two’! Loved the BUCKING BRONCO anagram, particularly with its misdirection using cooking as part of the anagrist. COD the fiendish ‘pop producer’. Is Corymbia right, I wonder? A brilliant clue and PDM. Thanks, Guy, for unravelling the secrets I failed to, and thanks to the excellent Mr Price.

  7. The usual pleasant offering from this setter, who is the one of the three I really look forward to, not that the others are too bad. But I couldn’t see why someone whose clues generally read so smoothly, with well-known words, decided to use the word “slub” in the SALUKI clue. I’d never heard of it. It’s a daily broadsheet crossword, not Azed. I see know that it did indeed fit the surface, but if people (and it may just be me; perhaps people know this word) don’t know what it means then what’s the point? He solves other setting problems so elegantly that one wonders why he didn’t do so here.

  8. Completed but with one error. I had CHATEAUS, I think even if I had read the clue with more care I may still have made the same mistake.
    Needed the blog to fully understand the parsing of NURSERY RHYMES which I should have seen also, had question marks against ACTED, LACUNAE and GROAN but I had the correct parsing.
    I didn’t know the dog but WP got me there and googled after.

  9. Thank you for the information about “slub” in 17ac. I tried to look it up later, but must’ve mixed up/forgotten the word, and couldn’t find it. So I am grateful to have that all cleared up.

    Thank you very much to you and all the “weekend bloggers”.

    Understandable that the delay between prize puzzle and blog reduces the number of comments, but I’d hope that the number of “page views” shows the appreciation for all your work on this.

  10. An hour and a half (with a break to read my wife a bedtime story), so not at all easy, but quite as delightful as the Sunday cryptics always are. Fortunately, just before submitting I realized that US was not the “country” in 4dn and that “primarily” before “used” must be there for a reason, so I did have CHATEAUX rather than trying to convince myself that CHATEAUS was, well, the English spelling of the French plural. My COD would definitely be NURSERY RHYMES.

  11. Another delightful start to a Sunday for me, primarily because, although I didn’t finish it , what clues I did solve successfully gave me satisfaction. I entered CRAM without parsing (forgettting to follow the cryptic “turn” and spending time trying to find an association of brandy and cram!) However, the PDMs made up for all the bad decisions, with GROAN being my favourite (though I thought BIG APPLE outstanding as well.)

  12. Thanks Robert and guy
    Completed in 50 minutes across a couple of sittings, the first in a cafe as per normal of a Saturday morning. Missed the parsing of NURSERY RHYMES and BIG APPLE, the latter purely through haste. A couple of new terms – MANGETOUT as a vegetable and ‘slub’ in its surface capacity.
    Had seen SALUKI enough times in crosswords to remember it for the definition and then work out the rest of the word play around the LU. Agree with GROAN as cod – and there was one when the penny dropped – it was my last one in.


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