Times Saturday 26754 – June 17, 2017. Crazy as an Ottoman.

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
For me this was my easiest puzzle ever on a blogging day. I barely stopped working through the grid. It seemed that either the wordplay or the definition took me straight to the answer.

The exceptions, and so the last ones in, were 4dn, 2dn and 14ac. 4dn in particular would have been hard from the wordplay if I hadn’t eventually dredged the answer out of my memory looking at the helpers. With 14ac I knew what the definition would be but had to crack the wordplay to find it. 2dn I think was just a nicely constructed clue.

The clue of the day is probably 6ac, which I biffed confidently, intending to leave the wordplay to the blog, but when I submitted I discovered that even our colleague Verlaine hadn’t understood it at first pass! Thanks to the setter.

Clues are reproduced in blue, with the definition underlined. Anagram indicators are bolded and italicised. Then there’s the answer IN BOLD CAPS, followed by the parsing of the wordplay. (ABC)* means ‘anagram of ABC’, {deletions are in curly brackets}.

1. Signal to setter, to follow when crossing road (3,7)
DOG WHISTLE: DOG=follow, then WHILE=when, around ST=street=road.
6. Crazy Ottoman leaving large island for cliff (4)
SCAR: Your crazy Ottoman might be a MAD AGA, so your large island is clearly MADAGASCAR! Take one from the other and there’s your cliff. I expect many biffed it, like me. I would normally then go to the blog to find out the wordplay, but this time that’s my job! Got there in the end, long after submitting.
9. Germaine regularly intimidates relatives (5-5)
GRAND AUNTS: GRAN=Germaine oddly, DAUNTS=intimidates.
10. What’s found in school in West Coast states (4)
ORCA: OR{egon} + CA{lifornia}.
12. Pianist sees red when playing and bans traffic from street (14)
14. Constant publicity about Dior’s last perfume (6)
CHYPRE: C=constant, HYPE=publicity around R=Dior’s last. The word comes from the French name for Cyprus. I looked in Wikipedia, but it was altogether too precious for me to include! If you want to see for yourself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chypre
15. Perceptive of you to have lamented housing (4-4)
KEEN EYED: KEENED=lamented, around YE=you.
17. Millions type, millions help; this female works in dairy (8)
MILKMAID: M=millions, ILK, M, AID.
19. They happen to make smooth talkers “discontented” (6)
EVENTS: EVEN=smooth, TS=talkers “discontented”!
22. Splendid manure ruined? Don’t despair! (3,11)
24. Blackguard besieging hot country (4)
CHAD: CAD around H.
25. Undernourished chap, very embarrassed at first, tucked into bird (10)
STARVELING: STARLING around V{ery} E{mbarrassed}.
26. Swimming pool image back to front (4)
LIDO: IDOL with the L moved to the front.
27. Talk with woman, mistress of big house (10)

1. Heartlessly trick old Venetian (4)
2. Seriously rough sheds start to lean (7)
3. Exceptionally, Mr G E Meredith means to cut the privet? (5,7)
4. Butcher’s fine cuts secure introduction to Ike (6)
SHUFTI: F=fine inside SHUT=secure, then I{ke}.
5. Endless coffee, chilled, with decorative pattern (8)
7. Bob is brusque and revolting, I agree (7)
CURTSEY: CURT + YES “revolting”.
8. Perhaps ODIs totally enthralling Gershwin? (10)
RHAPSODIST: very elegantly hidden word. Wikipedia: Rhapsody in Blue is a 1924 musical composition by American composer George Gershwin for solo piano and jazz band, which combines elements of classical music with jazz-influenced effects.
11. Equable pair mentioned in Genesis kneel awkwardly (2,2,4,4)
ON AN EVEN KEEL: ONAN + EVE + (KNEEL*). Onan is not someone I knew.
13. Cook dropping round coeliac menu to further Christian unity (10)
16. Gully containing source of water for expedition (8)
18. Laughing out loud over fat idler (7)
LOLLARD: LOL=the modern text abbreviation for “laughing out loud” + LARD.
20. Duck heard on lake intercepting two army swimmers (7)
NAUTILI: NAUT=sounds like “nought”=duck, II = Roman numeral for two, containing L=lake. I’m no expert on nautili, but it seems that some of them at least have tentacles, or in other words are arm-y (groan). To be fair, we’ve seen this device before, on Feb 21, 2017 for example, when an octopus was defined as an army type.
21. Conservative way to reverse decay (3,3)
DRY ROT: or TORY RD reversed.
23. Leer at yogi and flee, unclothed (4)
OGLE: Drop the four outside letters of “yOGi fLEe”.

13 comments on “Times Saturday 26754 – June 17, 2017. Crazy as an Ottoman.”

  1. For some reason I typed in LODI at 26ac, and never noticed. A pity, as this was indeed an easy Saturday puzzle. Like Bruce, and Verlaine, and I bet a bunch of others, I biffed SCAR, and only saw the light after submitting. Definitely the COD. Biffed 11d also, parsed post hoc. ‘Onanism’ is an old term for masturbation, based on an evidently incorrect interpretation of Onan’s sin. Dorothy Parker named her parrot Onan, because he spilled his seed.
  2. 47 mins 51 secs for me. FOI 9ac. LOI 16dn. I thought that although there were quite a few gimmes like 17ac, 22ac, 24ac and 26ac, there were enough bits of unusual vocab or wordplay to make it quite tricky in parts, 14ac was unknown, the use of discontented in 19ac made a nice change from on vacation, starveling an uncommon word at 25ac, 20dn I thought half known possibly as a specialist dive unit of the armed forces (I now see that I had army completely wrong and the definition wrong too). As for scar at 6ac, I biffed it and would never have twigged the parsing so thank you for unravelling that one. 18dn sprang to mind from its recent appearance in a religious rather than idler guise. I liked the hidden at 8dn, further disguised by the capitalised ODIs but COD to 4dn: nice vocab nicely clued.
  3. Bruce, you have SAFE instead of SHUT in your explanation of 4dn.

    Re 1d, compare and contrast with 3ac in yesterday’s Quickie:
    Old magistrate imprisons Duke for trick (5).

    I’ve no solving time for this one as I lost track after interruptions, but it was a technical DNF as I wrote something I can no longer make out nor remember why I wrote it at 4dn, completely missing the point of the clue. If there’d been a reference to Del Boy or Cockerneys more generally I’d have been on to it like a shot.

    I’m ashamed to admit that the hidden answer at 8dn was my last one in (other than 4) despite the reference to one of my favourite song-writers and perhaps his most famous composition.

    Didn’t know CHYPRE, but worked it out.

    Edited at 2017-06-24 04:44 am (UTC)

  4. One of my faster Saturdays, at 39m. FOI 1d, LOI the unparsed SCAR, so thanks for the explanation! NAUTILI my next-to-last-one-in, but at least I managed to parse it…
  5. 13:33 with a significant proportion of that staring at 14ac and failing to come up with the required synonym for ‘publicity’. I got there eventually.
  6. 36:08 for me, so definitely on the easier side of the spectrum. Didn’t know CHYPRE or manage to parse SCAR. Took ages to see PEDESTRIANISES. FOI DOGE, LOI DOG WHISTLE. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  7. This went fast here, too, except I never saw the Mad Aga, and didn’t know the meaning of either Shufti or Butchers. I think I say that every time butcher’s comes up.

    Thanks for a nice blog.

    Edited at 2017-06-24 02:10 pm (UTC)

  8. I managed to solve this on the day so it was definitely quicker than usual for me.
    A couple of long clues were quite accessible 12a and 22a -and this opened things up. 3d also gettable.
    Of the others,I got Scar fairly easily and at the end bunged in Lido without being able to parse it. Chypre was unknown but well indicated and I had to work out Lollard and Nautili which were also clear from the wordplay. Favourite 4d.
    Thanks to the setter for this enjoyable test and ,as ever, to our blogger for explaining everything. David
  9. Parrot’spilled his seed’?He he,Kevin,very funny.A fairly gentle one,this.Could not justify SCAR until l came here,though it was obviously the answer.

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