Sunday Times Cryptic No 5113 by Robert Price — unexpected consequences

Another elegant, delightfully devious creation by our fellow Times for The Times regular. He seems to know exactly what we want.

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

 1 Best access to the penthouse? (3-6)
TOP-FLIGHT    With a literal interpretation of the idiom (for which you’d drop the hyphen)
 6 Game suddenly moves quickly (5)
 9 God wearing two sorts of animal pelt (4,4,3,4)
10 Being anci{ent it y}ields hoards (6)
ENTITY    Hidden
11 Strip of hot jerky mum’s brother eats (8)
UNCLOTHE    UNCL (HOT)* E   …Creative Anagrind Prize!
13 Teacher’s slimy speech about church backing ladies? (10)
14 Surrounded by a thousand in support (4)
16 One not dressed for digging? (4)
INTO    I, “One” + (not)*   …Two Creative Anagrind Prizes for one puzzle! Can I do that? (Ha)
17 Taxing period from a scary life at sea (6,4)
FISCAL YEAR    (a scary life)*
19 City businessmen carrying women’s cases (8)
LAWSUITS    LA, “City” + W(omen) + SUITS, “businessmen”
20 Mission taking soldiers back to African capital (6)
ERRAND    ER, R(oyal) E(ngineers), “soldiers”<=taken back + RAND, “African capital,” i.e., currency unit of South Africa
23 Spine of clever album torn unfortunately (9,6)
VERTEBRAL COLUMN    (clever album torn)*
24 Technology that can track both ways (5)
RADAR    A palindromic word
25 Block a play in part of Syria’s capital (9)
DAMASCENE    DAM, “Block” + A + SCENE, “play in part”
 1 English flag is placed on Scottish island (5)
TIREE    TIRE, “flag” + E(nglish)
 2 Celebrate Luton? Put a rosy gloss on it (5,3,4,3)
PAINT THE TOWN RED    With a literal interpretation of the idiom   …“I won’t tell you / While you paint the town / A bright red to turn it upside down / I’m painting it too / But I’m painting it blue / Call me Mr. Blue”
 3 Place where “posh” has replaced a mode of speech (8)
LOCUTION    LOC(-A, +U or “posh”)TION
 4 Sacks of grit (4)
 5 Disaster as artist in new trick messed up (5,5)
TRAIN WRECK    R(oyal) A(cademy), “artist” inside (new trick)*
 6 Topping of dark rum on the Parisian’s piece of cake (6)
DODDLE    Dark + ODD, “rum” + LE, “the[,] Parisian”
 7 Jumper, sensible to trap moderate warmth inside (4,11)
 8 American poet has penned something to hold up (9)
12 Without beer regularly, teams end resentful (10)
EMBITTERED    tEaMs(BITTER)EnD   …Took me a minute to realize, after putting in this answer, that it’s not the alternate letters of “beer” here that are involved.
13 Ultimately this medication left unexpected consequences (9)
Not heard among the 36 side effects listed in the TV commercial?
SPILLOVER    thiS + PILL, “medication” + OVER, “left”
15 Beautiful rug, so oil damaged (8)
GLORIOUS    (rug so oil)*
18 Filmmaker’s arrogance casting the lead (6)
21 Poet new in 1265? (5)
DANTE    DA(N)TE   A semi-&lit, taking “new” to mean born in that year, which he (as Kevin reminds me) actually was.
22 Fruit roly-poly has 1p off (4)


21 comments on “Sunday Times Cryptic No 5113 by Robert Price — unexpected consequences”

  1. 14:12
    Whizzed through this, much to my surprise, biffing RAIN, TRAIN WRECK, & ROOM TEMP, parsing post-submission. LAWSUITS was my LOI; it took me a long time to drop ‘city’=EC and ‘women’s cases’=WN. Some terrific surfaces hiding the need to lift and separate: animal pelts, hot jerky, not dressed, … It only occurred to me now to verify that DANTE was born in 1265.

      1. It’s not an &lit as “Poet” is not part of the wordplay – the clue is just definition + wordplay.

        1. Are you “our” DA? Of the tortuous Friday puzzle in The Age? If so, I welcome you to this site, fellow Aussie…

  2. Got done by DONNE. With the checkers in place I biffed the wrong poet, and didn’t look back to consider the parsing. Of course John Donne wasn’t born in 1265!

  3. 25 minutes. Nice to have an easier but still well-crafted Sunday puzzle for a change. Long multi-word answers tend to be my speciality.

  4. Spent far too long trying to make DONNE work for 21d, finally to realise it was DANTE. Nice puzzle.

  5. 15 minutes! A record, but I note from the comments that this one was unexpectedly easy. Still, I enjoyed the novel experience of understanding it. I did get one wrong, right at the last, plumping for DONNE at 21d without checking it. Thanks, all.

  6. Another DONNE. I hardly thought about it at all, but it seemed unnecessary: there obviously couldn’t possibly be another poet fitting the patter D_N_E, could there?

  7. I found this quite tricky, with the last two holding out for ages. These were 20a, where I was looking for an African capital (money, city?) and the wordplay being a mission with RO in and 21d, which I hadn’t a clue about until I got the initial letter. Luckily, DANTE came up before DONNE or I might have come a cropper! 18d and 19a also took far too long to appear. But perhaps, reading the above comments, I just wasn’t in the headspace for it. Certainly the long ones didn’t hold me up for long. I liked ‘jerky’ as an anagrind!

  8. Cheated at the end by looking at the blog for last two: LAWSUITS/AUTEUR (thanks Guy). Otherwise all fairly straightforward and very enjoyable. Liked UNCLOTHE.

  9. 32 minutes, so rather easy, but still very good. I forgot to go back and check the answers constructed from wordplay where I wasn’t quite sure, such as TIREE and DODDLE, but of course they were right (so the wordplay really was unambiguous). I especially liked the “pelt” in RAIN CATS AND DOGS. My only hold-up was an attempt to make BODY TEMPERATURE work in 7dn, but of course I couldn’t, fortunately, and M…ATURE eventually led me to the correct answer.

  10. COD 13a SCHOOLMARM for the sneaky smuttiness.
    23a wasn’t quite sure VERTEBRAL COLUMN is a thing, but happy to accept it.
    21d had underestimated the cleverness; I knew DANTE was a long time ago but not that long!

  11. Loved it! (Mainly because I romped through it mostly without cheating!) As others have said, the long clues were a big help, and having put in TOP FLIGHT straight away, I was off and running – unusual for me on a Sunday.
    Reading DA’s book “Rewording the Brain” helped enormously. Renewed confidence – not before time!

  12. Thanks B0b and guy
    Got to this one late on our King’s Birthday holiday on Monday night – taking 40 minutes in a tired single session. Got all of the long ones in the first quarter of the grid-fill which helped with later clues. Am another who originally went with DONNE at 21d and it was only in my last parsing pass through that I couldn’t parse it – opted for DANTE and then discovered that he was born in 1265 – made it my favourite of the day.
    Finished in the SW corner with LAWSUITS with a neat word play, SPILLOVER and INTO (another clever clue) as the last one in.


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