Times Cryptic No 27156 – Saturday, 29 September 2018. Blowing in the wind.

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Based on comments in last week’s blog, I clearly underestimated the difficulty of that puzzle. Undeterred, I’m going to call this week’s “easy for a Saturday”! I was finished in about 25 minutes. How did others go?

Many of the clues had a fresh feeling about them. There were a lot of clues with anagrams inside some other piece of wordplay – in one case, inside another anagram. But they all worked nicely for me. My clue of the day was 19dn, for its sheer elegance, with 25ac as an honourable mention.

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 [square brackets].

1 Publish charter again (7)

5 Triviality media bigwig messed up (7)

9 Realistic representation of death row cages not amended (4-2-5)
DOWN-TO-EARTH: nested anagrams! Something over-complicated about that, but the setter no doubt did it that way to make the surface smoother. It’s (NOT*) “caged by” (DEATH ROW*).

10 Bash meat loudly (3)
LAM: sounds like (“loudly”) LAMB.

11 Cabinet’s primary material for drawer? (6)
CRAYON: C[abinet] / RAYON.

12 Lovely, neutral country preparing for war (8)
CHARMING: CH (the code for Switzerland) / ARMING.

14 Drill crushing walls bare when plastered (6-7)
SQUARE BASHING: (BARE*) “walled by” SQUASHING. Is this expression used in North America? I think it’s mainly a British usage.

17 Absolute farce bungling set of measurements (8,5)
BEAUFORT SCALE: (ABSOLUTE FARCE*). Is a scale a “set” of measurements? I think it’s acceptable here, since the scale is a set of 18 values for measuring wind strength, running from 0 for dead calm to 17 for the worst level of hurricane.

21 Concerned with babies one treated in African province once (8)

23 Outline prow of sailing vessel (6)
SKETCH: S[ailing] / KETCH.

25 Report of outstanding au pair (3)
DUO: sounds like “DUE” + the French pronunciation of “AU”. What a nice move, juxtaposing “au” as a sounds-like element with “pair” as the definition!

26 Uncertain feelings of ladies perhaps back in a mood (11)
AMBIVALENCE: LAV (“ladies”, perhaps) reversed and inserted into AMBIENCE.

27 Simple cattle pens sow destroyed (2,5)
NO SWEAT: (SOW*) inside NEAT (cattle). It took me a while and some helpers to give up looking for an anagram of (PENS SOW*).

28 Tease feeble individual, one undesirable in bed? (7)
RAGWEED: RAG / WEED. A garden bed, that is.

1 Censor favouring the left turn (6)
REDACT: RED (the left) / ACT (turn).

2 What priest gives has little substance (3,4)
LOW MASS: a nice little double-definition joke from our setter.

3 Surface for playing on a run amid waves (9)
ASTROTURF: A, then TROT inside SURF.

4 Manager in old country club, once (4)
EXEC: EX (old) / EC (European Community – absorbed into the EU in 2009, but up till then a “club of countries”, non?)

5 Garrison protecting ancient city is advisable (3,3,4)

6 Guide drug addict around hospital (5)
USHER: USER around H[ospital].

7 Aligned with current film-maker (7)
FELLINI: FELL IN (aligned, as in “they all fell in/aligned with the proposal”?) / I (current). Federico Fellini, 1920-1993.

8 Size of book about excited rabble-rousing (8)
DEMAGOGY: DEMY (not a word I knew, nor am likely to remember! It’s a pre-metric paper size, approximately A2), placed “about” AGOG.

13 British go on about stray animal in stories (4,6)
BRER RABBIT: B (British), then ERR (stray) in RABBIT (go on). The answer jumped out once I had the first R to help and assumed a B would go before.

15 Special old box and trailer is part of car (5,4)
SPARK PLUG: SP (special – it’s in Chambers for one) / ARK (old box, as in Raiders of the Lost ARK) / PLUG (trailer – that thing they show before the movie in the cinema).

16 A great teacher entertains new English town (8)
ABINGDON: A BIG DON entertains N. My LOI – not top of mind as English towns go!

18 Romantic queen in a low country (7)
AMOROUS: R (queen) in A / MOO / US.

19 Agreement 3 x 10 needs no tips (7)
ENTENTE: TEN / TEN / TEN, minus first and last letters. Delightful!

20 Sharp fragment containing tungsten (6)
SHREWD: SHRED containing W (chemical symbol for tungsten).

22 Current period a lengthy one for gnome (5)
ADAGE: AD (current period) / AGE (a lengthy period).

24 State in America — Vermont? (4)
AVER: hidden answer.

14 comments on “Times Cryptic No 27156 – Saturday, 29 September 2018. Blowing in the wind.”

  1. Biffed 14ac and 26ac; DNK DEMY, but assumed it was a size of book. I thought of soldiers falling in, hence aligning themselves, at 7d. The only thing that stood out in this puzzle was 11ac; it’s strikingly, nay, suspiciously, similar to a clue in the Jumbo for that day.
    1. I have suspected for many years that some setters, mentioning no names, recycle clues.. whether by accident or design. The advent of the Internet makes the practice somewhat easier to spot. Frankly, having been solving crosswords for more than 50 years, I am amazed that there are any fresh clues left at all.. surely there can only be so many that are possible?!
      1. I think it was John Stuart Mill who worried about the upcoming lack of new tunes. Steven Pinker pooh-poohed the idea, but if one considers the last 100 or so years of ‘classical’ music, Mill may have had a point.

        Edited at 2018-10-06 10:08 am (UTC)

  2. No solving time to report but I found it a steady solve if a bit on the slow side. The 3×10 clue was excellent but my vote goes to the “au pair”.
  3. We had our wedding reception at the Upper Reaches Hotel, right by the bridge. The hotel was demolished recently. Your past disappears before you. 35 enjoyable minutes on this with LOI AMBIVALENCE followed by ADAGE. Third from last was BEAUFORT SCALE, with the answer blowing in the wind a long time. John Lennon told the world that Bob Dylan was the gear on Saturday Club back in early 1963. That afternoon the sixth-form me bought Freewheelin’ and was blown away. COD to FELLINI. Thank you B and setter.

    Edited at 2018-10-06 07:48 am (UTC)

  4. 14:10 for a straightforward solve with no real hold ups. ABINGDON famous of course to car buffs as the home of MG.
  5. 24 minutes. ABINGDON my last in: those crossing letters were unpromising even if the wordplay was not especially taxing. Abingdon Old Gaol was (is it still?) a great leisure centre where I occasionally went swimming.
    ENTENTE stood out because it was unconventional and rather clever. 3×10 is practically a railway sleeper.
  6. 29:15. I rather enjpyed this too. DEMY unknown and, oddly, took ages to see SHREWD, my LOI. I loved DUO and ENTENTE.
  7. Also DNK “demy”, and sadly didn’t see the clever (LOI) ENTENTE parsing at the time. Thanks for that, Bruce. Apart from that, all straightforward, starting with 1a and finishing in 33 minutes. Which is about the quarter of the time today’s took me!
  8. Didn’t know DEMY but assumed it was a size of book. I once house sat for my sister-in-law’s parents-in-law in Abingdon. I noticed 11a was also in another puzzle. No problems otherwise, 22:58. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  9. 28:45. Couldn’t get started for some reason. None of the crossing entries seemed to give easy access. Eventually got under way with 5dn and slowly filled the grid from there. I also noted the similarity between 11ac and the other clue elsewhere. DNK demy in 8dn. Liked the au pair and the three tens.

  10. thanks for the blog brnchn… I agree, a mostly easy offering, and very pleasant, half an hour during the Ryder Cup, not as taxing as today’s for example (finished it in 2 sittings but not the usual MOR Saturday).
  11. A bit late coming here as I have been in Cambridge all day including a visit to the Museum of Zoology where they have a dodo, a moa and an auk, at least skeletally. I’d only seen these birds in crosswords before.
    As to the puzzle I did pretty well on this. My last three were 20d, 8d and 4d. I managed to get Demagogy, a guess, but couldn’t crack the other two.
    After referring to my solve of a recent Dean puzzle as a Fellini, he appears in this puzzle, and of course I solved the clue quickly. David

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