Times 23906 A Weatherfield Setting

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time : 40 minutes

I enjoyed this puzzle, which I found quite difficult in parts but completely fair. There are some unusal usages such as SETTING at 1A, some very UK oriented references (CORRIE, John of Gaunt)that overseas solvers will struggle with and a sop to our US friends with Yonkers. Our Cockney china, who has been missing of late, makes a reappearance at 20D (presumably a nod to the BBC’s EAST ENDERS to balance CORRIE) whilst the homophones all work for me – and I hope for you. Jimbo.

1 SETTING – two meanings; a gun dog’s SETTING indicates the presence of game
8 LANCASTER – LAN(CAST)E-R; J of G was 1st Duke of Lancaster 1340-1399 and a key Plantagenet
13 NOTECASE – (seance)* + OT=Old Testament=book; it means a wallet
15 DIKTAT – (KID reveresed) + TAT
19 THANKFUL – T(H)ANKFUL; a tankful geddit?
22 LEVIATHAN – LEVI-AT-HAN(d); LEVI=3rd son of Jacob
23 JUROR – cryptic definition reference jury box or witness box
24 YONKS – Yonkers losing “er”; NY is the state here; YONKS is slang for a long time
25 NUTRITION – NUT-RITION; Hazel=NUT; allowance=ration and then replace “a” with “i”
26 BETRAY – BE TRAY; more humour
27 COTERIE – COT-ERIE; a COT is a shelter for doves or sheep
1 SILICONE,VALLEY – SILI-CONV(ALL)EY; high tec area south of San Francisco
2 TANGENT – TA-N-GENT; TA=Territorial Army; a line that just touches a curve
4 GATEPOST – reference silly saying “between you, me and the gatepost”
5 CORRIE – two meanings; slang for TV soap CORONATION STREET, the opiate from the north and a Scots cirque or cwm
10 ZERO,TOLERANCE – cipher=ZERO + (clear note)*; the Rudy Giuliani treatment
14 CANVASSER – cryptic definition; standing=standing for a parliamentary seat
16 PHONETIC – (poet in + c(zec)h)*; hands up those who looked for the name of a poet within CH
20 FARRIER – F-(h)ARRIER; F=following; a harrier is a runner who today comes from London’s ‘oxton area
21 WHINNY – WH-INN-Y; watering hole is slang for a pub
23 JOIST – JO-(l)IST

16 comments on “Times 23906 A Weatherfield Setting”

  1. I agree with Jimbo that this was quite difficuilt in places, but I made steady progress and never at any point felt really stuck. I wasted time at the end trying to reason that a furrier might well make shoes, perhaps slippers, on occasion (f + (h)urrier – geddit?) before spotting the more satisfactory and correct answer.
  2. 6:17 for this – steamed through three corners, then needed a couple of minutes to sort out the SE – 23/25/27 and 16/23/20. I think I was helped by some standard xwd vocab – TANGENT, INAPT, EMINENT, LEVIATHAN, REVENUE and COTERIE all feel like frequent visitors to the grid.

    For 1A I also wondered about “setting” and game, but now see what I needed to think: if there are dogs called setters, they must set, just as pointers point and retrievers retrieve, and it almost certainly has something to do with hunting.

  3. 20-ish minutes (I forgot when I started – memory of a goldfish). Some tricksy clues and a few answers that I had to check afterwards – NOTECASE, SPITZ, LANCASTER, ZERO (as ‘cipher) – but they were just gaps in my knowledge, so no complaints.

    A nervous giggle at 18 – how topical! And 26 just made me laugh outright, partly because it reminded me of the chap who ran an experimental theatre group I was once in: “Be trays, people. Be everyday household items. I want to feel utility.” was just the sort of thing he’d say.

  4. Feeling very tired at the end of the day, I took over an hour to do this. A number of indirect definitions made for a fairly difficult puzzle, but nothing really intractable or unfair. I found the right-hand side far easier to fill than the left, though even on the right it wasn’t all straightforward; I could only guess at corrie, not knowing the word and not knowing if it was a common abbreviation of ‘Coronation Street’. Since the only clue I’ve ticked is 19 I’ll nominate that for COD, but there were plenty to choose from.
  5. 17 minutes – for me it was the NW corner that was the holdout, 15a and 6d being the last two in. A few guesses from wordplay (LANCASTER, CORRIE, FARRIER, NOTECASE). I’m with sotira on laughing at 26 – unfortunately my other giggle this morning comes at the expense of dorsetjimbo, you’ve added an unfortunate E to SILICON. Silicone valley is a little farther south, where inflation is not just in house prices.
    1. Well spotted! I think ‘Silicone Valley’ featured heavily in Baywatch.
  6. 20 minutes but all a bit stop-start with no real fluency, either in my solving or in the surface reading of the clues.

    Not too hard but a lot of clues made me think they were only just acceptable (e.g. the “definition by example” use of hazel for nut in 25, “us” in 23 and river clued by stream in 12).

    No real COD contenders for me.

  7. ‘Yonkers’ was a real bone-toss to me, in that I lived there during my youth, and my parents still reside there. Thank you, Setter. I am very surprised to see it in a UK xwd puzzle, thinking it too obscure an Americanism (it’s actually of Dutch origin). My subject line quotes a real lyric from the song ‘I’ll Take Manhattan’. Otherwise, took about 30 min.’s, much easier than yesterday’s, although I had to look up ‘corrie’ at the end, that’s new, and I hadn’t known the meaning of ‘yonks’, either. Regards to all.
    1. For some reason (distinctive name, like Hackensack?), Yonkers hasn’t caused any complaints – it was OK for me but I’ve made a few visits to NY and its suburbs.
      1. There’s a multi-award-winning play by Neil Simon called “Lost in Yonkers” later made into a film. That’s where I know it from, as I suspect do many other solvers.
    2. My dad was a great one one for singing to my mum and he used to serenade her with a song about Susie (Oh what a girl!), somebody having to walk and Yonkers came into it. I thought it meant “a long way” until I went to NY and discovered it was a place! Jimbo.
  8. All too true. And Yonkers is the birthplace of the elevator – the ‘lift’, to most of you – and home to Ella Fitzgerald, and the site of the first golf course built in the US, fittingly called St. Andrews, which is still operating.
  9. Can somebody please explain the use of AP=game in 3D (assuminging I am reading the clue correctly).

    Thanks in advance,
    Stuart D

    1. The game is Nap (trick-taking card game). Current is I (Physics abbrev./symbol – electric current) rather than “in”.

  10. Trying hard not to be tray despite 26a!

    Just the 4 omissions here – a couple discussed above:

    9a Little dog splutters audibly (5)
    SPITZ. So Mark Littledog was the greatest Olympic swimmer?

    11a Clubs remaining divided (5)
    C LEFT

    17a Publicity for excursion (6)
    AIRING. Have I got that right? Not keen on airing = publicity nor excursion.

    3d Current game thought originally unsuitable (5)
    I NAP T(hought)

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