Times Saturday 26730 – May 20, 2017. And it’s goodbye from me for the while

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
No exotica here, but everything was challenging. Several clues where I made a note to myself to check later that some word really can mean what the clue suggests! My COD was 4dn. I also enjoyed 3dn. Congratulations to the setter.

It took me my usual leisurely time, but I expected some fast times from the usual suspects. Looking at the leaderboard I see that as I prepare to post, the 100th best time was just over 16 minutes, about normal for a Saturday.

Clues are in blue, with definitions underlined. Anagram indicators are bolded and italicised. The answer is IN BOLD, followed by the wordplay. (ABC*) means ‘anagram of ABC’, {deletions are in curly brackets}. I shall be in the air when this blog goes up, so will be slow to respond to comments. Many thanks to McText for stepping in over the next two weeks.

1. Maybe Christian returning to boring day job (10)
MONOTHEIST: OT=”returning to” inside (“boring”) MON=day HEIST=job.
6. Close to distress, better not go on (4)
STOP: {DISTRES}S then TOP=better.
10. Armistice broken by old, and later by new, tank (7)
TROUNCE: TRUCE broken by O=old and N=new. DNK “tank” = “trounce”, but it’s in Chambers for one.
11. Scrap by right boxing area in a ring (7)
ANNULAR: ANNUL=scrap, R=right, “boxing” A=area.
12. Old lady that hasn’t married prince needing female consort? (5,4)
OTHER HALF: Tricky parsing. I saw the answer from the helpers, and thought “old lady” would be the definition. But no – {M}OTHER=old lady missing M=married, HAL=prince, F=female. This leaves “consort” as the definition; at least it and “other half” are both gender neutral.
13. Number one, but not the number one in private (5)
INNER: {W}INNER=number one, minus the first letter.
14. Food shop to the left behind King’s Cross (5)
RILED: R=king, ILED=DELI backwards.
15. Hopeless politician penning chapter list (9)
DIRECTORY: DIRE=hopeless, C=chapter, TORY=politican.
17. Scottish hat salesman from the east carrying some light Arabian carpet? (6,3)
PRAYER MAT: TAM=Scottish hat, REP=the usual salesman, all backwards (“from the east”), and carrying RAY=some light. Tam O’Shanter adds to the mix of Scottish headwear; we had “Balmoral” a couple of weeks ago – I think one of them has a pom-pom.
20. It’s best the setter gives you a hand? (5)
IDEAL: or I DEAL (a hand of cards).
21. Dismissed theological study as weird (5)
OUTRE: OUT=dismissed (not only in cricket, this time), R{ELIGIOUS} E{DUCATION}=theological study.
23. Shortened lingerie, not wanting zip that’s slack (9)
25. Rebellious son and bachelor embraced by a sensual dancer, briefly (7)
ABSALOM: Annoyingly I spelt this correctly on paper then mistyped it! Memo to self: double-check spelling of proper nouns! A SALOM{E}=sensual dancer, embracing B{ACHELOR}. I was misled when I saw an S in the helpers, into thinking “son” was part of the wordplay, not the definition.
26. Sale for running shoes (7)
27. African animal’s out of delta in dash (4)
28. Head of science project accepting name for insect (4,6)
STAG BEETLE: S{CIENCE}, TAG=name, BEETLE=project (as in “beetling brows”). Another word I checked after solving.

1. Races through beastly utterance, a statement of belief (5)
MOTTO: MOO=beastly utterance, TT=(motorcycle) race.
2. Love for the recent mobile phone I trouble to bring round (9)
3. Radical grilled, but news correspondents here outraged? (9,5)
TUNBRIDGE WELLS: (GRILLED BUT NEWS*). Another to check post solved. DNK the reference to outrage, so off to the usual sources!

Wikipedia: The phrase “Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells” is a generic name used in the United Kingdom for a person, usually with strongly conservative political views, who writes letters to newspapers or the BBC in a tone of moral outrage. “Disgusted” is the pseudonym of the supposed letter writer, who is a resident of the stereotypically middle-class town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in the south-east of England.

The term may have originated either with the 1944 BBC radio programme Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh, a regular writer to The Times or with an editor of the letters page of a local newspaper, the Tunbridge Wells Advertiser.

4. ‘La couleur de la mer’ in translation (7)
EMERALD: (DE LA MER*). Beautiful &lit.
5. Stick with royal newspaper employee? (7)
STAFFER: STAFF=stick, ER=royal. A bit precious to think only newspapers have staffers, surely?
7. One hooked on bird from Barnet, a Londoner (5)
TALON: hidden word.
8. Drawing fish into harbour with a line (9)
9. Diamonds one’s put in frame for sweeping (14)
14. Discount housing for criminal (9)
REPROBATE: PRO=for inside REBATE=discount. I caused myself needless delay by thinking this might be REPRODUCE, even though that obviously had nothing to do with the definition! I was trying to convince myself that this was yet another clue where “criminal” might have some obscure meaning, until I finally decided to take some time to actually think about the clue.
16. English monarch seen in public, showing strain (9)
OVEREXERT: E{NGLISH} REX=king, inside OVERT=public.
18. Provide workers for two universities for free (7)
MANUMIT: vaguely knew this refers to freeing slaves. MAN=provide workers, U=first university, MIT=the second.
19. Follow uninvited, ignoring Northern Pacific islander (7)
TAGALOG: or TAG ALO{N}G. I knew it was the language of the Philippines, so of course it must be the name of the people too.
22. Inventor almost fully ready to bounce back? (5)
TESLA: AL{L} SET=fully ready, backwards.
24. Sense country must demote leader (5)
TASTE: STATE with the S moved down a couple of letters.

14 comments on “Times Saturday 26730 – May 20, 2017. And it’s goodbye from me for the while”

  1. Finished in 55 minutes, so a bit if a slog for me. TAGALOG unknown but cryptic clear, STAG BEETLE unparsed as DNK that meaning of BEETLE. COD MANUMIT, a word I did know. Enjoy your break, B and thanks to you and setter.
  2. I don’t know my time, having done this offline for some reason I can’t remember. I liked 1ac and 18d especially. Disgusted of TW always reminds me of Graham Chapman as a conservative radio panelist ranting, “I think the British people are SICK … AND … TIRED of being told that most British people are fed up with being sick and tired. I’m not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am.”

    Edited at 2017-05-27 07:19 am (UTC)

  3. An hour and seven for me, with the last ten oddly spent on MONOTHEIST, which I just couldn’t see for some reason. Happy to have conjured up ABSALOM, glad I just biffed OTHER HALF. FOI NEOPHILIA, COD TUNBRIDGE WELLS. Have a good trip, B!
  4. A note just popped up on my computer calendar saying “comment on last Sat’s excellent puzzle”. I always do what my computer tells me so here I am.

    Of course, I can now barely remember solving this at all, and thanks to the problems on the Club site I don’t know my solving time, but I do know I thoroughly enjoyed it. I suspect 1a MONOTHEIST was the main reason I was so impressed — how good is “boring day job” to indicate an insertion between MON and HEIST? If it’s original, it’s genius.

    Really like the RILED clue, too. Nice surface, delightfully concealed definition.

    Enjoy your hols, brnchn.

    1. Same for me, time-wise. This glitch has been there for weeks now, you’d think someone would sort it out. And I don’t remember much about the solve, either.
  5. 54 minutes with unknowns TAGALOG and MANUMIT solved from wordplay. I’ve heard the expression “beetle-brows” but would never have worked out “beetle” meaning “project”.

    Edited at 2017-05-27 08:46 am (UTC)

  6. A 57mins 57secs solve for me. Enjoyed this one. Liked disgusted of Tunbridge Wells, the Christian, the deli behind Kings Cross and the economical running shoes clue. FOI 10ac (despite not being entirely sure about trounce for tank) LOI 17ac quite a wordy clue which I think I avoided grappling with until I at least had a few checkers. I noted that 12ac was my COD though looking back it seems very convoluted. Perhaps I was just pleased to have parsed it correctly.
  7. Mrs K seems to have binned my printout, but I remember liking this and think it took 35 minutes. MANUMIT from wordplay DNK. The rest clear enough.
  8. Came across MANUMIT in a Wilbur Smith novel years ago.This one was of average difficulty for me.
  9. This puzzle felt rather above my pay-grade. I managed a few clues on Saturday and nearly gave up. However, getting Tunbridge Wells early was a big help and a session on Sunday led to a number of breakthroughs.
    The more I looked the more I could see the direction of the clues. So in went Neophilia, Absalom and the completely unknown Manumit and Tagalog. Finally I put in an unparsed Stag Beetle.
    A very rewarding puzzle I thought; well worth the effort. Many good clues but I’ll pick 4d as the standout. David

  10. I liked it too. I was particularly pleased to find REX as the king at 16D- I was told when I began working the puzzle that king is always rex; it took me a while to learn that it most usually isn’t, I guess because the rex letters just don’t come up that often.
  11. This one took me 51:14. I quite enjoyed it as lots of the clues dragged out dimly remembered bits of knowledge from the depths. FOI was MOTTO and LOI MONOTHEIST, which made me laugh out loud. Late commenting as I spent Saturday at the Great North Folk Festival at Botton Village, which is between Middlesbrough and Whitby(and is going on all weekend). A great day out with lots of great performers. Thanks setter and Bruce, and have a great holiday Bruce!
  12. About 45 mins – and managed to blag these two odd DNK words. Enjoyed it. Thanks setter and B.

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