Times Cryptic No 27162 – Saturday, 06 October 2018. Parish pumps primed?

This was a struggle. Particularly horrible were the clues with obscure answers which one couldn’t construct with certainty from the wordplay. Yes, I’m looking at you, Carne Ebbas Giant (sic) and Fianne Fáil (sic). Those two I had to google, both to check they were things and to find out how to spell them. In neither case (grumble) did the wordplay unambiguously specify the spelling. Fine if you live in or near that parish, I suppose, but too bad else. And yes, I do know now that the spellings above are wrong.

The rest was tough but doable. I guess my clue of the day is 9ac, for its nice structure and echo of the wonderful TV series. Thanks to the setter.

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 It’s Let It Be that concludes this great live event (4)
STET: last letters (“this concludes”) of the last four words.

4 Fish surprises, served with chopped fruit (4,6)

9 Rumpole pays out, scrapping over sweetener (5,5)
MAPLE SYRUP: (RUMP-LE PAYS*), having “scrapped” O for “over”.

10 Irish drawn to saint excited reaction (4)
STIR: ST (saint) / IR (Irish).

11 Mountain girl in historic subcontinental region (6)

12 Always travelling west, minister in eastern capital (8)
EVERMORE: REV inside E / ROME, all reversed (“travelling west”).

14 Pass through having taken in Slovakia’s capital (4)
VISA: S[lovakia] taken in by VIA (through).

15 Support British on search for swimmer (10)
RIBBONFISH: RIB / B / ON / FISH (search).

17 Cook has minutes to find relish (10)

20 Mock Shakespeare’s ending in Tempest (4)
RAGE: RAG (mock) / [shakespear]E.

21 Letters Heather’s about to bring in (8)

23 Old Greek sailor turning in as consequence (6)
THEBAN: AB “turning” in THEN (as consequence).

24 Good to deliver in box (4)
GRID: G / RID. Chambers gives “grid” as “framework”, which seems near enough.

25 Party girl Formula One founder entertains (6,4)
FIANNA FAÍL: ANNA (not ANNE, obviously, if you know the answer you’re looking for, although in that case you hardly need the wordplay!) “entertained by” F1 / FAIL (founder, as in “sink”). It’s an Irish political party.

26 Mimicking bird, cat who looks for excitement? (7,3)
PEEPING TOM: PEEPING (mimicking a bird) / TOM (cat).

27 Connection used by school in Karachi (4)
LINK: hidden answer.

2 One to elicit pity generated in plays? (11)

3 Communications device to signal unwittingly (9)
TELEGRAPH: double definition, the second as in “he telegraphed his next move”.

4 Sovereign holds good man to be lawbreaker (7)
RUSTLER: RULER “holds” ST (saint).

5 Figure Caribbean agents may give (5,5,5)
CERNE ABBAS GIANT: (CARIBBEAN AGENTS*). The exact spelling is a punt unless you know the answer. It’s a hillside figure in Dorset.

6 Drink on tick for boss (7)
SUPREMO: SUP / REMO (another name for Riesling, apparently). I didn’t know this name for the grape, but this time the answer was obvious. On edit: forget that nonsense! A sensible parsing suggested in the comments is SUP (drink) / RE (on) / MO (tick).

7 Noise from the herd about race becomes slogan (5)
MOTTO: MOO (noise from the herd) “about” TT (motor cycle race).

8 Message sensibly delivered in this bottle? (5)
NERVE: double definition. The first alludes to signals to or from the brain travelling along the nervous system.

13 Notice eating irons wrongly placed (11)

16 Remiss to hammer out soaring German air (9)
FORGETFUL: FORGE (to hammer out)  / TFUL (reversal of – i.e. “soaring” – LUFT. It’s the German word for the air that we breath).

18 Make firm points to clinch argument (7)
STIFFEN: S[outh], E[ast] and N[orth] around TIFF.

19 Reductive substitution English man used in mass medium (7)
METONYM: E / TONY in M (mass) / M (medium).

21 Set cryptically? That brings advantage! (3,2)
LEG UP: the idea is that “LEG UP” could be a cryptic clue for GEL (set).

22 Bad blood initially denied young heroine (5)

20 comments on “Times Cryptic No 27162 – Saturday, 06 October 2018. Parish pumps primed?”

  1. I found this very tough. I needed an hour and a half to get all but 21ac and 22dn. I put the paper away and got those two on returning to it much, much later. Glad to pass the GK/spelling tests at 5dn and 25ac. The only qm I had though was at 8dn where I could see the bottle bit of the Def but didn’t really understand the rest of the clue. Whenever I see the word metonymy (or indeed metonym as here) my immediate, inner, Pavlovian response is:

    Sceptre and Crown
    Must tumble down

    Lines from a poem I learnt in school about 25 years ago which have stuck just because I distinctly remember our teacher telling us it was an example of metonymy.

    A good quality puzzle and quite a challenge.

  2. My query is about 25ac, which I biffed, then parsed in retrospect: would you say that the “founder” bit is “Fail” rather than “Ail”? Thanks for the blog – brilliant as always.
  3. Thanks for the blog – however there is a typo in the answer to 5D (it should be CERNE ABBAS GIANT).

    I think the parsing for 6D is SUP (drink) + RE (on) + MO (tick – short unit of time).

    Paul G

  4. Uff da. Which is what they say in Minnesota (and maybe Sweden) when confronted with Fianna Fail, Metonym, Andre-the-Giant, and Ribbonfish. Thanks for the blog, brnchn

    Edited at 2018-10-13 03:28 am (UTC)

  5. Like Jack, I had GIANT and the checkers, and tried CARSE EBBAN (‘carse’ is a word, anyway), or letters to that effect, Googled and found nothing, natch, and figured the hell with it. Nothing else was a problem, although I might have gone with FIONNA if the wordplay hadn’t stopped me.

    Edited at 2018-10-13 05:00 am (UTC)

    1. Similarly re 25ac, but I’d have gone for FIENNA as I’m sure I’ve heard it pronounced that way.
      1. Given Irish orthography, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was pronounced ‘Finnegan’.
  6. Also struggled with 5dn and 25ac and having worked out that the third word of the former was GIANT I knew what was being referred to but couldn’t remember the first two words. I think I googled CARNE EBBAS and the search engine corrected me. Another one of those clues that I wasn’t going to waste any more of my time on.

    I knew FIANNA FAIL vaguely but was not clear on the spelling so I was grateful for the wordplay and checkers.

    ROCK SALMON used to be popular at fish ‘n’ chip shops at one time, but I guess not so these days as it was considered an inferior ‘product’ compared with cod or haddock.

    Edited at 2018-10-13 04:25 am (UTC)

    1. As I remember it, ROCK SALMON used to be known as DOGFISH until some marketing genius came up with the alternative name. I have vivid memories of catching one off Broadstairs in the 1950s.
  7. 55 minutes, all parsed. LOI CERNE ABBAS GIANT. Dorset is one of the few counties where I have spent little time, apart from when in Thomas Hardy’s company. I did vaguely know CERNE ABBAS, which eventually fell out of the anagram, and then the GIANT followed. I did guess that it must be a hill figure, well used to the White Horse in Oxfordshire. I’ve Wikied him since, and he’s certainly more intimidating than Michelangelo’s David in one particular aspect. I guess a stone fron a sling could see him off though. I would have thought the two main parties in the Republic were general knowledge, so FIANNA FAIL was fine by me. COD to STET, a true word of wisdom. Thank you B and setter.

    Edited at 2018-10-13 06:32 am (UTC)

  8. My notes say “like pulling teeth” and “about 2h”. I also note having to correct the final answer having put in CARNE EBBAS GIANT and then looked it up, so I’m delighted to find myself in such sagacious company…

    Enjoyed: 26a PEEPING TOM, 22d ALICE.

  9. 35:10 for this stiff workout with lots of cleverly disguised definitions. For once the GK fell kindly, making up for some of the obscure Greek deities and minor 18th century philosophers that have been my downfall in the past. Living just over the Dorset border helped with the giant, who is certainly once seen never forgotten. COD goes to PEEPING TOM.
  10. I don’t know whether it’s okay to admit knowing the CERNE ABBAS GIANT, at one point (allegedly) the only “obscene” picture you were allowed to send on a postcard. But what the hey: for me it was a write in.
    The rest of the crossword took me 31 minutes, suggesting I rather struggled through it, though I can’t really say where the hold-ups were. FIANNA FAIL was my last in, and PEEPING TOM my most-enjoyed. Arguably a crossword celebrating iconic British naughtiness.
  11. I struggled with 5d until I saw GIANT, then I knew the figure. The rest of the puzzle was a struggle too. 47:27. An enjoyable struggle though. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  12. Certainly a giant struggle for me. I had 8 or 9 outstanding at the end of Saturday but decided to keep looking at it during the week. My major breakthrough was unlocking the Cerne Abbas Giant which I had heard of. Struggled to get Ribbonfish and could not parse Supremo but no other answer seemed possible. I had Fienna Fail as the Irish party but had to correct it with the crosser and put Fianne Fail -very annoyed to get that wrong as it was my only error.
    LOI was 19d I had no idea what a reductive substitution might be -the opposite of bringing on Peter Crouch after 70 minutes? Anyway I got Metonym and looked it up afterwards.
    I did enjoy the struggle overall. David
  13. 26:06. Very hard, and I’m glad I happened to have the required pub quiz/spelling test knowledge to complete it, or I’d have been very annoyed. This sort of thing is so unnecessary.
  14. Thanks for the blog. This was very tough and took well over an hour, but surprisingly CERNE ABBAS GIANT and FIANNA FAIL went in quite easily. LEG UP wasn’t one and took me ages to see, while ALICE didn’t come to mind as a heroine.

    Just one quibble – isn’t a reductive substitution a synecdoche? A metonym refers to an attribute rather than a part.

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