Times Cryptic No 27138 – Saturday, 08 September 2018. Tennis, anyone?

Times Cryptic No 27138 – Saturday, 08 September 2018. Tennis, anyone?

Once again I had a full weekend of meetings – don’t mention the tennis! – so I did this in bits and pieces, and have solving time to report. I would guess it rated middle of the road in difficulty for a Saturday. What did others think?

My LOI and clue of the day was 21dn. I liked that “supporter” for once wasn’t just “BRA”, even though I spent far too long trying to work out how to justify an “SS” to attach to the end of “BRA”! When the penny dropped, I loved how the setter told us to delete the excess letters.

Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

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

1 Restrain mongrel beginning to bite (4)
CURB: CUR (mongrel / B (beginning to bite)

4 See controller teasing man on board (10)
ARCHBISHOP: ARCH (teasing) / BISHOP (man on board)

9 Old volume, one to do with choppers belonging to the West (10)
OCCIDENTAL: O (old) / CC (cubic centimetre) / I (one) / DENTAL.

10 Black line that has wrinkles (4)
BROW: B (black) / ROW (line).

11 Nervous, like one about to dive? (2,4)
ON EDGE: double definition.

12 Old king rejected excess cover with trees (8)
AFFOREST: OFFA (old king) reversed (“rejected”) / REST (excess). I originally took “old” to give the “O” as the fourth letter, and then couldn’t think of any kings starting with “F”. D’oh!

14 Dairy product female disposed of, recoiling (4)
FETA: F (female) / ATE (disposed of), reversed (“recoiling”).

15 Walk, run, climb on it (10)
STEPLADDER: STEP (walk) / LADDER (run, as in a stocking).

17 Amateur poet’s written about one chap from Riga (10)
DILETTANTE: DANTE (poet) around I (one) / LETT (Latvian, from Riga perhaps).

20 Sidekick‘s scheme’s last to start (4)
AIDE: IDEA (scheme) with A moved to front.

21 Endearing expression unruly boys use around Lima (5,3)
BLESS YOU: (BOYS USE L*), with L being from Lima in the phonetic alphabet.

23 Pass left and right, initially making arrest (6)
COLLAR: COL (pass) / L{eft} A{nd} R{ight}.

24 Border on piece of 21D, taking a turn (4)
ABUT: TUBA (brass instrument, serving to confirm the still as yet unjustified answer to 21dn) reversed (“taking a turn”).

25 Chase Percy, dropping small diamonds, say (3,7)
HOT PURSUIT: HOT{s}PUR (Sir Henry Percy) / SUIT (diamond, say – as in a deck of cards).

26 Fool European collecting new trophy for parasitic plant (10)
SAPROPHYTE: SAP (fool) / (TROPHY*) / E (European). An unknown word, but the wordplay was enough, with just an easy guess between “RO” and “OR” in the middle.

27 Sound of equine expending energy nearby (4)
NIGH: N{e}IGH (the E is “expended”).

2 Incompatible peacekeepers set to tour part of UK (11)
UNCONGENIAL: UN (peacekeepers) / CONGEAL (set) around (“touring”) NI (part of UK).

3 Bravo Ted and Linda, engaged after such a meeting? (5,4)
BLIND DATE: (B TED LINDA*), with B for Bravo in the phonetic alphabet. Semi-literal definition.

4 Eternal princess’s elegance resurrected in part (7)
AGELESS: reverse hidden answer.

5 Cook to study catering for small business (7,8)

6 Bitter British beer not all drunk (7)
BALEFUL: B (British) / ALE (beer) / FUL{l} (drunk, “not all”).

7 Crowd in garden on either side of road (5)
HORDE: HOE (to garden, or at least a specific gardening activity), around RD (road).

8 Winger exercises intelligence (5)
PEWIT: PE (exercises) / WIT (intelligence). “Winger” as in “a bird”.

13 Drug becoming old hat, doing the rounds for love (5,6)
SPEED DATING: SPEED (drug) / DATING (becoming old hat). Cute definition.

16 Passed on antibody, one of forbidden seven (6,3)
DEADLY SIN: DEAD (passed on) / LYSIN (antibody). Collins gives: lysin.  A substance that causes breakdown of cells.

18 Yankee to give away clothes for children’s store (7)
TOY SHOP: Y for Yankee inside (“clothed by”) TO SHOP (to give away).

19 Bar to discharge about 150 (7)
EXCLUDE: EXUDE (discharge) “about” CL (150).

21 Supporter that is about to leave money (5)
BRASS: BRASS{iere}, where the letters “leaving” are IE (that is) and RE (about).

22 Stock web joke? (5)
EQUIP: A web joke might be an E-QUIP, geddit?

11 comments on “Times Cryptic No 27138 – Saturday, 08 September 2018. Tennis, anyone?”

  1. A biffed ENFOREST at 12a led me to disaster as I failed to notice that COTTAGE INDUSTRY, my LOI, changed it to ANFOREST, which if I’d noticed, would have caused a rethink. Rats! Otherwise, a snappy for me, 24:42. Thanks setter and Bruce. I finished off last week’s Jumbo cryptic earlier tonight and was most surprised to be presented with the solution. I thought the submission deadline was next week! Thanks setter and Bruce.
  2. DNK SAPROPHYTE, of course, and pretty much DNK LYSIN, but no worries in either case. Once again I was thrown off by enumeration, where I would write TOYSHOP as two words. Biffed 25ac, parsed post submission. I was also tricked into thinking ‘supporter’ was BRA, only to discover that it was! COD, although I also liked STEPLADDER. Today’s puzzle is a stinker, especially compared with the last couple of Saturdays.
  3. 22 minutes, so found this on the easy side, B. DNK SAPROPHYTE or LYSIN but the answers were clear. LOI SPEED DATING. COD to HOT PURSUIT for the Harry Hotspur reference. We read Henry IV Part 1 in the third form before I discovered girls and decided that tilting with lips may be more fun than being a professional northerner, or at least that the two didn’t need to be mutually exclusive. I’ve always spelt it PEEWIT and usually called it a lapwing, but was aware of the shorter spelling. Pleasant puzzle, though it left a lot of Saturday morning for other things. Thank you B and setter.
  4. I managed to get most of this but was defeated by 8d and 10a. For 8d I had Peart pencilled in.There are lots of birds I haven’t heard of. I do know the Peewit. But without a double E,by gum whatever next?
    The bird problem made 10a impossible for me. Now I see Brow, it is very clever and obvious.
    I enjoyed this puzzle; managed to guess Saprophyte (did consider Saporphyte). Also Lysin unknown but clue solved. David
  5. A 15 minute whizz through, and as Kevin says, a contrast to this week’s.
    I’m sure it’s not, but “Ted and Linda” looked like an excessively parochial clue to me, real, close friends who married on the same day as Mrs Z and me.
    I thought it was odd to have two closely related forms of matchmaking in one puzzle: I get enough of both with Mrs Z’s compulsive watching of the TV genre. Too much hot pursuit.
  6. 21:20. I mostly breezed through this straightforward puzzle although the parasitic plant had to be worked out. I didn’t parse 21dn properly but the reference to it in 24ac meant I was confident that it had to be brass. An enjoyable, smooth solve.
  7. Thirty five minutes (and I echo Kevin and Z—that’s about half what today’s took me!) with steady working from FOI 1a CURB to LOI 26a the unknown SAPROPHYTE.

    An interesting collection of words. Some friends of mine are currently AFFORESTing their land with help from a Forestry Commission grant, so perhaps I can work that one into conversation at some point…

  8. Finished without resorting to aids (despite the unknown SAPROPHYTE) which in view of the difficulties I’ve had finishing off puzzles during the following week, now seems like something of an achievement.

    I wasn’t 100% sure of BALEFUL/bitter and still can’t find either as a direct definition of the other, but the dictionaries have a number of synonyms that could be taken cover both so I guess it’s okay.

  9. DNF. Well 23 mins with two wrong and I knew they were wrong. Baleful and Afforest.

    I’ve not come across full meaning drunk before. Is it, “full of alcohol” = drunk?

    I’ve just taught myself the phonetic alphabet as I’m often tripped up by Bravo, Lima and their relatives when they visit crossword land. I knew quite a few already but was surprised how many I didn’t know. I spent years watching the TV series Juliet Bravo – and only now has the penny dropped!

    Edited at 2018-09-15 10:46 am (UTC)

    1. I was surprised that “full” meaning “drunk” isn’t universal, but SOE says it’s chiefly Scots, US, Aus and NZ. So, that explains my surprise, and probably explains your question!

      Edited at 2018-09-16 01:46 am (UTC)

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