Times 23583/Pussy Galore!

Solving time: 25’

Any time under half an hour is rather quick for me, though there are a couple of wordplays that I’ll leave for my betters to gloss. Words almost all longish (except for four four-lettered, everything’s seven or more). 11A was quite amusing.

Across

1 DETR[o]IT,US – Detroit is like Waterford: hard to spend more than a day there without trying to change your ticket.
9 ABU DHABI – rev(BA=University graduate) so it’s either AB,U DHABI or ABU DH(AB)I but I don’t see the wordplay in all its glory: ”University graduate backing race, say, in Arab state.” My betters have noted that it’s AB,U,DHABI=”Derby”.
11 BOND,MAID – A BONDMAID is indeed an unmarried female slave and also a Bond girl! Can’t imagine them getting away with naming a modern Bond girl, “Pussy Galore” or any derivative thereof.
12 ADMINISTER – (Radi[o] Times, n)* — N[ew] is substituted for O[ld] in the fodder.
14 TAB,U – rev(bat=sportsman), alt. spelling of taboo.
15 TYPE,SET – nice clue: “sort” is TYPE, “destined” is SET and the verbal def is “work as a compositor”.
17 SERBIAN – bit of a guess here given ?E?BIAN. It’s a language but I don’t see the rest: ”East End plant overwhelmed by Welsh girl’s language.” Again my betters note: S([h]ERB)IAN, where SIAN is a Welsh girl. I need to get out more often and meet Welsh girls obviously.
21 TRAP – rev(part=some) and “gin” is a kind of TRAP.
22 R(E,CONS)IDER – not a great fan of “key” indicating E (or any other letter from A to G).
23 LUKE(WAR)M[oan] – def is “apathetic” and wordplay is LUKE (for “doctor” LUKE of the gospel) and WAR for “engagements”.
25 P,[t]ETRARCH – King Herod was a tetrarch (ruler of a quarter).
26 GE(NEVES)E

Down

2 [b]ELATEDLY – another mysterious wordplay: def is “in high spirits”. I see ELY for “bishop” and LATE for “behind time”: ”Bishop leaves behind time in high spirits.” So much for Bishop Ely, my betters point out that B for Bishop needs to be removed from BELATEDLY.
3 R(O,ADS)IDE – nice &lit and surface.
4 TROW – archaic “think”
5 S(AB)BATH – AB for “rating” (could have been OS, tar, salt…).
7 NAG,A,SAKI – SAKI is H.H. Munro’s pen name.
18 B,LI(Z)ZARD
19 A,M(ERIC)AN – ref. ERIC Morecambe and Buffalo Bill Cody.

15 comments on “Times 23583/Pussy Galore!”

  1. 7:47 here – I was worried on your behalf about the town of Trowbridge, but unnecessarily it seems!
  2. 9A: Race = Derby – > Dhabi
    17A: East End plant = ‘erb. Welsh girl = Sian
    2D: Behind time = Belatedly, Bishop = B

    Dave

    1. thanks! We American rhotics pronounce Derby unfortunately to rhyme with Herbie. And what a mess I made of understanding 2D.
  3. Solving time was about 15 mins, which is good for me.

    9 Across: is a reversal of U for university and BA for graduate, together with a homophone for “Derby” as in the race

    17 Across: Sian is a Welsh girl’s name, around the East End pronunciation of Herb, i.e. ‘erb

    2 Down: is (B)elatedly

  4. Just re-read “a couple of wordplays that I’ll leave for my betters to gloss” and think I perhaps ought to withdraw my first post! About 20 minutes, having unaccountably got BUTTER BEAN from somewhere and trying to get PLUTARCH to fit…

    Dave

  5. As usual, the clue I get stuck on is one the blogger feels is so obvious it isn’t worth commenting on! In this case 24 dn – I have put in OTIC as that is ‘of the ear’ but where do the drums come in? Clue is “Description of organ and certain drums?”

    Chris

  6. Otic = relating to the ear (and ear drums, one supposes).

    Indeed the bloggers often seem to leave unexplained just the clue that I don’t understand. They also explain several as well!
    Could we ask for a “total” approach?
    Adrian

    1. There are two reasons for not giving all the answers. First, it takes longer than you might think to write the reports and try to keep them free of mistakes – a total approach would increase the time required to the point where I suspect some bloggers would drop out. The second reason is that the Times, like most other broadsheet puzzles, runs a premium rate “phone for the answers” service. We want to avoid being seen as a free alternative that takes away phone line income.

      If you ask about a clue you don’t understand, you will usually get an answer or explanation quite promptly. I can’t resist pointing out that back in the days when many of your bloggers were learning, you just got unexplained answers in the paper the next day!

  7. Another slow day (11:33), taking a ridiculous amount of time over BONDMAID, missing the obvious (I’d read James Bond books in my teens) and trying to figure out how I could get a word meaning “cat” into the answer – though I have to admit that thoughts of the well-known R. Crumb song kept breaking in (those who are easily shocked should avoid following this link, or (if that doesn’t work) googling: crumb pussy audio 😉
  8. Trow defeated me. After reading the comments I “believe” I “think” But Trowbridge is a little bit obscure for me, A Canuck.
    1. to be honest, I dropped the ball on TROW — I realized it was archaic “think” and then forgot to try and work out the wordplay which PeterB later pointed out was TROW[bridge]. Unknown to me as well (a Yank — even worse than a Canuck).
  9. I liked this puzzle a lot – especially the dreadful homophone at 9a Abu Derby (NOT)!

    One request above for a full blog with, in reply, our Maestro explaining the reasons why not. I think by now the phones will have stopped ringing for the answers to this puzzle so I can safely fill in the gaps for the bunnies doing some back numbers for practice and/or extra fun. Here are the “easies”:

    10a Pet grooming implement found outside a burial chamber (8)
    CAT A COMB

    27a Going back about church bell’s sound (8)
    RE CE DING

    6d Food item athlete eats initially in bar (6,4)
    RUNNER B E AN

    8d Snake on stream showing evidence of exposure (8)
    WIND BURN

    13d Vessel useful at beginning of a party? (10)
    ICEBREAKER. Or more likely the whole party / drinks session before a conference or similar gathering?

    15d Having a(a lute, get)* free instruction (8)
    TUTELAGE

    16d Floorboards in sketch drawn with ruler (8)
    PLAN KING. Or the trembly few minutes in Pilates?

    20d Holiday-maker holding up spades and scuttle (7)
    S CAMPER

    24d Description of organ and certain drums (4)
    OTIC. Of the ear and ear-drums as discussed above.

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