Times 23880 – Sat 5th April

Solving time: say 25 minutes

linxit is busy, so you’ve got me for this one. Solved in bits during the orchestral rehearsal for the South Bucks Choral Society performance of Samson last Saturday. I like to start the puzzle about 10 mins before I think we’ll start and see if I can get through it in time. This time, not. I got very stuck on 2/10/12 in the NE corner.

1 BAR,NAB,A,S – who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles.
9 CHOR(DAT=tad rev.)E = with a back-bone – very well-worded clue
10 WID(N)ES – took me a shockingly long time to see that the deliveries were ones in cricket, so major self-kick over this one.
12 (con)FESS – a fess is a type of ordinary in heraldry – watch out for bend and pile as other kinds! Really tough clue.
13 TRA(i)N,SLATED – Bottom becoming an ass in MND is a “translation”.
16 BEAN,BAG=gab rev. – there are small ones used in primary school PE, as well as big ones for hippies to sit on
17 BU(SPA)SS – curious that we had RAILCARD in wordplay recently too
20 UNDERL(Y)ING – one of those one-letter insertions like IMP(R)UDENT that come up fairly regularly
22 DANE = “deign” – minor sniff about “to” as a link-word here
23 HISP=ship*,AN,I,OL=lo! rev.,A
25 PAT(m)O(I)S – wordplay for this had me foxed until just now when I remembered that the John who wrote the Book of Revelation came from Patmos – I was trying to think of some island with a city called St John or St John’s, and getting no further than Newfoundland.
26 FI=if rev.,RESIDE
2 A,SITWE(ll),RE – a good stumper, as Sitwell was not high on my list of poets.
3 NO-NONSENSE – cryptic def.
5 S(C)ANDAL – C = constant as C is the speed of light, not an abbrev.
6 WOLF = flow rev.
7 CA(CHE(rry))T
8 H(ors)E,B(R)IDES – Muck is one of a collection of Hebrides islands with handy names for setters to mull over.
14 SOUR=turned,GRAPES=pagers*
15 ASPIDISTRA = (adapts iris)* – nice for adapts to be anag. fodder rather than indicator
16 BRUSH OFF – 2 defs, one referring to a fox-hunting tradition in which the fox’s brush (tail) was presented to the leading rider in the field.
18 S,ANCTION=(no I can’t)*
24 N(A)IL – spike as in Golden Spike

3 comments on “Times 23880 – Sat 5th April”

  1. This puzzle sent me off into waves of nostalgia. My mother used to sing along with Gracie Fields and the biggest aspidistra in the world; the Hispaniola was the ship in Treasure Island, the first “grown up” book I ever read and as an asthmatic (a condition not well understood in the 1940s) my treatment was to attend hospital twice a week and pick beanbags up with my feet (no I have no idea why). But the real clincher was Fess.

    It came up in a crossword sometime in the 1950s and I learned that it was heraldic. I never forgot it because at the time Fess Parker was playing the part of Davey Crockett and the song was everywhere. Naturally I couldn’t resist singing it bringing an urgent request for mercy from my wife. Jimbo.

  2. Tried this before bed, gave up, finished in the morning. Guessed FESS and PATOIS, so glad to see they were good guesses (I looked up fess afterwards to check). For some reason I always associate fox with Basil Brush so my twisted interpretation of 16d was that they’d offed poor Basil!
  3. Tricky number to keep us busy on the weekend. No omissions by PB in this blog – first one since the start of TfTT I reckon.

    It was very satisfying to complete this from the wordplay in the clues despite lack of requisite knowledge:

    1a I did not know that BARNABAS was a missionary but got it from wordplay.

    10a Saw the WIDES eventually once I could not squeeze OVER (deliveries) in. Statutory cricket clue?

    12a I have to FESS UP that I had no idea that FESS is something ordinary in heraldry but saw (CON) FESS so it had to be the answer.

    17a BU SPA SS. Toyed with SKI PASS momentarily but SOUR GRAPES at 14d came to my rescue. So a BUSS is a KISS? I have an earworm of “As time goes by” now. Maybe that will help me to remember the word.

    25a Like PB I think of Newfy with St John’s. No idea about the island of PATMOS but BIFD PATO I S as my LOI once I had all the checkers.

    Nice one setter & esteemed PB for the blog.

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