Times Cryptic No 27048 – Saturday, 26 May 2018. Easy for some?

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
I struggled with this one, but I suspect more because of household stresses than its intrinsic difficulty. In retrospect it looks like a typical Saturday puzzle. My last ones in were the four clues around the bottom border: 18 and 22 down, and 29 and 30 across.

My clue of the day was 12ac. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. I am posting this in advance, because I may be out of reach of the internet on Saturday. I’ll catch up with the comments when I can.

Clues are in blue, with definitions underlined. Answers are in BOLD CAPS, followed by the wordplay. (ABC*) means ‘anagram of ABC’, with the anagram indicator in bold italics. Deletions are in {curly brackets}.

1 Fine south coast resort out of bounds? (6)
RIGHTO: BRIGHTON, minus its first and last letters.

4 Ecstasy bachelor extracted from plant (8)
EUPHORIA: EUPHORBIA, minus the B{achelor}. Unusually, a plant whose name (if not its appearance) I know.

10 Vessel in service yielding easy money with craft (5,4)
GRAVY BOAT: “easy money” is GRAVY, today’s craft is a BOAT.

11 Northern Irish accepting a donation, originally for the pits (5)
NADIR: A D{onation} insider N IR.

12 Weakness of Ernie Wise, say, mostly no good (11)
SHORTCOMING: Mr Wise was a SHORT COMI{c}, particularly in comparison with his partner Mr Morecambe. Then NG = “no good”.

14 Pinch St Andrews flag back (3)
NIP: the flag marks the PIN on the golf course. Reverse.

15 Oz native‘s daughter visiting European country (7)
ECHIDNA: D inside E for European, CHINA for country.

17 Island‘s top-class whiskey consumed in function (6)
TAIWAN: AI (top-class) W (whisky) inside TAN (a trigonometric function).

19 US city wife follows extra rule (3-3)
BYE-LAW: a BYE is an extra at cricket, followed by LA (the city) and W (wife). I felt uncertain recently about whether I was dealing with by-laws or bye-laws. Fortunately the dictionary allows either!

21 14 guides go back to collect paper (7)
SNIFTER: REINS backwards around FT (Financial Times).

23 Royal couple stray (3)
ERR: ER is a specific Royal, R is generically Royal. I felt a bit nervous writing this in, but the checkers confirmed it.

24 We’d decking rebuilt with a centrepiece at reception? (7,4)

26 A Republican lad’s crime (5)
ARSON: A R (Republican) SON.

27 Endless battle cramps potty game (5,4)
WATER POLO: WATERLO{o} (the endless battle) around PO (potty).

29 Maybe needing plaster, pays deposit (8)

30 Bond had failed previously once (6)
ADHERE: (HAD*) then ERE (an old word for “previously”).

1 Read about big cat leaping over son (8)
REGISTER: RE (about) TIGER around S for “son”, all backwards. On edit: re the good question raised in the comments, I think probably “leaping” indicates the reversal, “over” the inclusion.

On further edit, I am very taken by Mr Chumley’s suggestion that the parsing might be: RE (“about”), then (TIGER*) as an anagram of the beast clued by “big cat”, with “leaping” to indicate the anagram, and finally add S for “son”, with the inclusion indicated by “over”. That’s definitely a clue from the far side!

2 Waste from gulls usually, also numerous other sources (5)
GUANO: spelt out by first letters of each word.

3 Tax lovelorn politician (3)
TRY: TORY without an O.

5 Straighten out a foreign lad wanting more (7)
UNTWIST: UN (French for “a”), TWIST (Oliver of that family – boy wanting more).

6 Suspended sport‘s execution, seizing golf hat (4-7)
HANG-GLIDING: HANGING around G (golf) LID (hat).

7 Communist and German colonist no longer needed (9)
REDUNDANT: RED (Communist) UND (German for “and”) ANT (colonising insect).

8 British sport fitting screens without warning (6)
ABRUPT: B (British) R.U. (“a sport for hooligans played by gentlemen”), all inside APT (fitting).

9 Big Smoke firm acting to stop gunmen (6)
CORONA: CO (firm), then ON (acting) inside R.A. (gunmen). “Big smoke” being a cigar, not a city.

13 Flipping game having had too many knowing signals (11)
TIDDLYWINKS: TIDDLY (having had too many), WINKS (knowing signals).

16 Cry from magicians showing ropes they tangled (3,6)

18 Genuine duck is dearest (8)
TRUELOVE: TRUE (genuine) LOVE (duck, as in cricket, translated to the tennis equivalent). I’m surprised to see this as a single word, but yes, it’s in the dictionary.

20 West Indies action man eats with former husband (7)
WIDOWER: W.I., then DOER (action man) around W (with).

21 Tetchy teacher extremely touchy about height (6)
SHIRTY: SIR (teacher) T{ouch}Y, all around H (height).

22 Account of old soldiers receiving Prince Harry (6)
BEHALF: B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Force) around HAL. I think the ”of” in the clue is just a filler, since “on behalf/account of” requires the “of” either way.

25 A sprinkler and its target, perhaps, appeared (5)
AROSE: a hose might direct water through A sprinkler ROSE aimed at A ROSE plant.

28 Upended Beetle’s axle (3)
ROD: a DOR is a beetle.


32 comments on “Times Cryptic No 27048 – Saturday, 26 May 2018. Easy for some?”

  1. Pretty straightforward, although I had to take it on trust that Ernie Wise was short. And I wondered about the definition of 21ac, my 2d to LOI; having just now finally got around to looking it up, I discover that my SNIFTER (a balloon glass) is not a Brit SNIFTER. 13d and 16d were rather too biffable; I actually never read the clue for 13d. On REGISTER: about=RE big cat=TIGER leaping over= T(S)IGER, result RETSIGER; What indicates reversal?

    Edited at 2018-06-01 11:55 pm (UTC)

    1. “Leaping” to indicate inclusion, “over” for reversal. Or vice versa. Take your pick.
      1. I think it would have to be vice versa, as you suggest in the blog; ‘leaping X’ doesn’t work in my grammar, anyway. But ‘over’, especially in a down clue, for ‘including’? I can produce (re+tiger reversed), but that ‘over’ S gives me ‘retigers’. But you’re probably right; at least I can’t think of a better parsing.
        1. I took leaping to indicate an anagram of tiger, so no reversal needed, but “going up” is probably more likely.

          I made hard work of this and finished in 50:41, not helped my mental tour of south coast resorts taking me straight from Eastbourne to Worthing.

          Thanks as usual for the blog.

          1. But ‘leaping’ can’t indicate an anagram of ‘tiger’, since ‘tiger’ isn’t in the clue.
          2. Thanks – that’s a very attractive explanation. As Kevin comments, it’s a first to have to use wordplay on “big cat” to find that TIGER provides the anagram input, but then we’re in the Premier League here, are we not!
            1. It’s not a first, it’s a never. If you want to produce SLAP, say, you could say “wild pals”, but not “wild mates”.
              1. I thought I’d seen what I suppose you could call “indirect anagrams” before, but I couldn’t cite an example so maybe not.

                Leaping = going up it is then.

                1. Years and years ago, in one of my first attempts in the clue contest, I did something like ‘wild mates’=(PALS)*=SLAP, and was told in no uncertain terms by the judge that that sort of thing was out.
    2. Morecambe and Wise were arguably the funniest double act of the later 20th century, although I realise their brand of humour was too British for American audiences. However, the running gag that points to this usage was Eric Morecambe’s repeated observations on Ernie Wise’s ” short, fat, hairy legs”.
  2. I agree with Kevin about the lack of indication of reversal in REGISTER. I did wonder if he might struggle with Ernie Wise and with RIGHTO as they are both very British.
    Thanks, brnchn, particularly for the explanation of both CORONA and EUPHORIA.
    Wasn’t Dennis Thatcher fond of the odd SNIFTER, at least in the “Dear Bill” letters in Private Eye?
    HAL used to be a regular but I don’t recall seeing it in quite a while.
    My favourite was 30ac. I liked “had failed”.
    1. As a long-time Wodehouse reader, I had no problem there, other than expecting a hyphen before the O.
  3. Hi Martin, sorry to be a wet blanket. I know we try not to leak info about current answers to prize crosswords (even tho I’m not eligible!), so I think it better to hold your very apt comment over to next week.
    1. I thought I was just making a general comment but, fair enough.
      PS…I’m not eligible either as I live in NZ.
  4. 41 minutes on this pleasant puzzle. COD to SHORTCOMING. How’s it going so far? Thank you B and setter. I trust the household stresses are manageable.

    Edited at 2018-06-02 08:08 am (UTC)

  5. About an hour here, with the last ten minutes or so spent on the 22/29 crossers of BEHALF/FOOTSORE. As with Guy, befuddled by BEF, so biffed. Enjoyed the short comic reference and the sprinkler and its target. WOD TIDDLYWINKS, obv. 😀
  6. Nothing too tricky here, so why it took me 27 minutes I’m not sure.
    Until johninterred mentioned it, I hadn’t spotted the shorty, tetchy teacher connection with real life, but I’ve go one of those too. Spooky
  7. 20:29, with a reasonably steady solve. I can see I had to overwrite something wrong for GRAVY BOAT (nice clue) but can’t see what my original wrong answer was. Like others I was slightly puzzled how to parse REGISTER, wondering how the TIGER was going upwards. Thanks for the explanation. COD to SHIRTY as my wife is short and a teacher and…
  8. 18:41. I don’t remember much about this. I remember finding 1dn a bit puzzling, but it was obviously the answer and I didn’t have to blog it so I didn’t worry about it too much. ‘Leaping’ is an unusual reversal indicator, and wouldn’t work at all in an across clue, but in a down clue it counts as a rather nice touch in my book.
  9. I think “about” is doing other duty, giving the “RE” at the front of the answer.
  10. I suggest it is perverse not to have at least a hyphen in the middle, (some) dictionaries notwithstanding.
    Garden Mole (having lost his identity when the computer was replaced).
  11. Scraped in under the half hour at 29:47 for this enjoyable puzzle. Like others I was confused by REGISTER but shrugged and moved on. I also liked SHORTCOMING. Nice puzzle. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  12. 24:04, plain sailing for this pleasant solve. 1dn reminded me of a hike I once took through the scenic Tiger Leaping Gorge in South West China. The peace and tranquility disturbed only occasionally by the odd bit of dynamiting from the locals.
  13. Managed to solve this enjoyable puzzle on the day.
    Started with 4a which came to me immediately; I remembered the plant from somewhere.I then got 7d so I had plenty to work with.
    At the end I needed 22d, 21a and 29a. LOI was Snifter when I finally twigged the definition;clever clue.
    I did not know Dor for beetle but nothing else looked likely. David

  14. DNF in 30 mins. Couldn’t get BEHALF, despite thinking Hal would be in there somewhere, or FOOTSORE.


  15. I spent a quarter of an hour trying to get the SE corner. All the rest had gone in smoothly enough but I came to a complete standstill on 18d, 21a and 21d. Got there in the end and now can’t see why I had problems with SHIRTY and SNIFTER. 37 minutes. Ann

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