TLS Crossword 1132 by Talos – July 1, 2016

No accurate time for this but I did it in the train between Grand Central and Ossining (the tracks run right through Sing Sing) so that means under 45 minutes.  I’m biased in favour of puzzles I can do all on my ownio and this was one of them.  Blogging is another pair of shoes because I had a fair bit of guesswork.  There were a couple of clever traps for the unwary seasoned solver who may have been tempted to think – hot damn, I’m on a roll, and then found him/herself in a hot mess.  11a was one and the tricky non-Spooner Spooner clue at 18d was another.  Nice playful puzzle with a soupcon of French flavouring.  No quibbles.  I won’t be back online until Monday so won’t be able to check in here until then unless there are Friday early birds.  Definitions in italics underlined where appropriate.  Answers in bold caps.

P.S.  I’d put this together before Sotira’s blog last week, and the ensuing comments, so it will go out as is.  I’ll do some digesting and if I need to tweak the format before the next one I will, but I’m sort of used to this and it’s no trouble to load in the clues.

1.  “My heart is in the – there with Caesar” (Julius Caesar) (6)
COFFIN. Spoken by Mark Antony in Act III Scene II, at the end of his “I come to bury Caesar not to praise him” speech, with all its oratorical flourishes and heavily ironic references to Brutus as an “honourable man”.  It works – he turns the crowd against the conspirators.
4.  Very occupied by warm ham display units? (8)
THEATRES.  TRES (en Francais)=very, containing (occupied by) HEAT=warm.
10.  Mr. Chips, perhaps, forwarding a Block novel (10)
AMSTERDAM.  Mr. Chips is the [school]MASTER (from the 1930s novella by James Hilton, adapted into more than one screen version).  We advance the A to the front (forwarding) and add DAM=block and we have the 1990s novel of that name by Ian McEwan.
11. Noble with yen for Augusta’s behind! (5)
BYRON.  George Gordon, 6th baron.  Romantic poet (Childe Harold, The Corsair, the Giaour, Don Juan) of the Regency period and contemporary rock star fame.  Died in Greece aged 36.  Replace the A from Augusta’s behind with the Y=yen.  This was the fence at which some of our mightiest thoroughbreds (Verlaine, Dave Howell) fell, having stopped at “baron”, but the clever clue had a sting in  its tail.  A not-so-oblique reference to the apparently well-founded rumour of incest between Byron and his half-sister Augusta Leigh.
12.  On vacation, take Rushdie to unusual work by 6 (3,8)
THE OUTSIDER.  By Albert Camus (6d).  Anagram (unusual) of T[ak]E (having been vacated of its middle) and RUSHDIE TO.  Some of us d’un certain age had to read the original L’Etranger en Francais at school and I haven’t opened it since.
14.  Bond tale in which M’s predecessor becomes tense (3)
TIE.  Slightly convoluted but very well executed substitution clue.  I’d guess those of us not on blog duty didn’t stop to parse.  Tale=LIE and then you replace the L (comes before M in the alphabet) with T=tense.
15.  Play villain in piece possibly for Sopranos?
ARCADIA.   By Tom Stoppard.  CAD=villain contained in ARIA=piece for sopranos.  Not Tony and his mob family.  Time travel drama of two families, centuries apart, living in the same stately home and considering the ramifications of mathematics and philosophy.  I’d like to see this on stage sometime because on the page it sends me into a trance of incomprehension.
17.  He wrote of Joad and people without home (6)
RACINE. Jean Baptiste.  17th Century French playwright. Not Steinbeck and his Grapes of Wrath displaced Okie family.  Joad is the high priest in the play Athalie, set in the ancient kingdom of Judah.
19.  Dress circle to see Babbington in three act tragedy? (6)
CLERIC.  Anagram (dress) of CIRCLE.  The Rev. Babbington is a character in Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot book A Three Act Tragedy.
21.  Cipher-breaking branch that’s backed Ogilvy? (7)
COMRADE.  ARM=branch backwards contained in (breaking) CODE=cipher.  Comrade Ogilvy is a character invented by Winston Smith, the protagonist in George Orwell’s 1984.
23.  Rhyming weaver and Belvoir ultimately divides men (3)
ORR.  The last letter in [Belvoi]R (ultimately) comes in the middle of (divides) OR=other ranks (men).  James Orr was one of the artisan poets of 18th Century Ireland.  Shades of Nancy Mitford and U shibboleths (Cholmondely=Chumley and Leveson-Gower=Loosen-Gore), a tease to distract the solver because although Belvoir is pronounced “beaver” you don’t need to know that to solve.
24.  Maybe a gallery boss with son in Big Brother? (4,2,5)
HEAD OF STATE.  The director (boss) of the Tate Gallery would be its head.  Insert S=son and you get Orwell’s Big Brother.  Rather old-fashioned feel to this clue.
26. Poet wanting Jane to undergo heart transplant (5)
AUDEN.  W.H.  Replace the centre (heart) of AuSTen with a D.
27.  Look to repair mansion housing husband, a TLS reader? (9)
LOGOPHILE.  Sneaky.  Hands up anyone who wasted time looking for an anagram of MANSION plus H plus ? Yes, I did.   LO=look.  GO=repair (leaving not mending).  PILE=mansion with H[usband] in it.
29.  New curate taking religious education in Victor’s work? (8)
CREATURE.  Anagram (new) of CURATE  and R[eligious] E[ducation].  Another one you didn’t strictly need to parse.  I think the reference is to Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the creature in Mary Shelley’s novel.
30.  Reading can put ideas in a poet’s mind for one! (6)
BALLAD.  I may not have vacuumed up all the references here, am I missing something?  The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde was put in his mind by his sojourn doing time for homosexual offences (autre temps autre moeurs) after the debacle of his libel suit against the Marquess of Queensberry in the 1890s.

1.  Cobblers applaud reflective Simon Eyre in theatre? (8)
CLAPTRAP.    CLAP=applaud with PART backwards (reflective).  Eyre is a role (part) in the Elizabethan play The Shoemaker’s Holiday, by Thomas Dekker.
2.  Fair with a heart of saint, I’m a fool for Olivia (5)
FESTE.  Why thank you Harry.  I got the wrong end of the stick – see Kevin, infra.  [F=fair.  ESTE= the middle part of a saint’s name but I’m not sure which.  Hester, Lester, anyone?]  Feste is the fool in Twelfth Night and part of Olivia’s household.  He has some of the best lines, as in “Oh mistress mine where are you roaming” et seq.  I recall Cleo Laine doing a wonderful version years ago.
3.  Finally take Pier Pasolini to Look Back In Anger (3)
IRE.  Last letters (finally) in [tak]E [Pie]R [Pasolin]I baclwards (to look back).
5.  Buzz one gets with staff around Havana boxer? (7)
HUMIDOR.  HUM=buzz. I=one. DOR=rod (staff backwards – round).  The box for keeping your Havana cigars fresh now that we in the US are allowed to have them legally.  Many years ago in a fit of extravagance I gave my husband a silver one from Dunhills – whereupon he promptly gave up his cigars to train for the NYC marathon, never to resume the habit.
6.  In error, book smart-alec United keeper? (6,5)
ALBERT CAMUS.  Anagram (in error) of B[ook] SMART-ALEC U[nited].  The Algerian-born French writer and philosopher, author of 12a.  I had forgotten (if I ever knew) that he was a football goalkeeper.  Some of his reported prowess in the position seems to have been apocryphal.  Why is it that I think Talos is a football aficionado…
7. Land of Hope and Glory’s fourth part sanitarium endlessly plays (9)
RURITANIA.  Anagram (plays) of [Glo]R[y’s] (fourth letter) and SANITARIU[m] (endlessly).  Fictional country invented by Antony Hope in The Prisoner of Zenda and Rupert of Hentzau.
8.  “I have heard a – begin so to one’s mistress”  (Henry V) (6)
SONNET.  Act III Scene VII.  Tent in the French camp before Agincourt.  Spoken by the Duke of Orleans.  The Dauphin is boasting about his horse, Orleans gets bored and tries to shut him up.
9.  Poems associated with Sedakova’s case file? (6)
ODESSA.  ODES=poems.  With S[edakov]A (first and last letters – case).  The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth.  Set in 1960s Germany.  Less successful than Day of The Jackal but well done.
13.  Foreign articles on the web in Murdoch publicaton (5,3,3)
UNDER THE NET.  UN and DER are the foreign articles.  THE NET= the web.  Iris, not Rupert.  Enduringly popular 1950s novel.
16.  Note line conveyed by funny Geordie poet (9)
COLERIDGE.  Samuel Taylor, English Romantic poet.  Anagram (funny) of C=note, L=line and GEORDIE.
18.  Novel’s opening parts had huge respect for Spooner? (8)
REVEREND.  Setter plays gotcha.  REVERED=had huge respect for, with N=opening letter in novel coming in the middle (parts).  So we’re not looking for the usual letter/syllable switcheroo (you have tasted two worms) but the man himself, William Archibald, Doctor of Divinity of New College, Oxford.
20.  Heep’s one to take tip off careless writer (7)
CRAWLER.  Uriah, sycophant from Dickens’s David Copperfield.  Remove the S (tip) from [s]CRAWLER=careless writer.
21.  Peace protagonist found in scenic Loughborough (6)
CLOUGH.  Contained in [sceni]C LOUGH[borough].  I did not know this at all.  The reference is to The Damned UTD, a novel by David Peace about a Leeds United football manager named Brian Clough.  Hmmm football.
22.  Married pair out of unromantic kind of novel (6)
MOSAIC.  Take PR=pair out of PROSAIC (unromantic) and replaced it with M=married.  Individual short stories pieced together to make a whole.
22.  Part which we hear gets good reception in a storm (5)
ARIEL.  The role (part) of the sprite in Shakespeare’s The Tempest (storm),  Homophone (we hear) for “aerial”.  Around here a storm is just when we don’t get good reception.
28.  Vacuous prince a problem for princess? (3)
PEA.  First and last letters in P[rinc]E (vacuous), with A.  The Real Princess, by Hans Christian Andersen, proves she is the real thing by being unable to sleep because her skin is so sensitive she can feel a pea through the thickness of several layers of mattresses.

13 comments on “TLS Crossword 1132 by Talos – July 1, 2016”

  1. I thought this was a joy to complete achieving that difficult mix of proper literary content and accessible, reasonable guess clues. BYRON was a cracker, not just for the Schadenfreude of the Biffmeistersprengfalle, but the elegance of the historical (allegedly?) content. I was caught many times by enough red herrings to fill a catering-sized tin, though mercifully not fatally.
    I didn’t get the Clough connection, even though I’ve seen the film of the book, and assumed there was a peace campaigner of the same name. Google says there were some, but none of sufficient fame – an executive of the Brighton branch of CND in the ’60s was one “Eileen Dafforn (Clough)”, for example.
    I think you have all there is in BALLAD, a decent enough CD (I might have had “one” as the definition), and I was also mystified a little by the “gets good reception in a storm” bit at 22d. I suppose an aerial gets better reception in a storm than not-an-aerial, but I’m not inclined to quibble, since the Shakespearean overly was cleverly done. It was my last in.
  2. Minor point – book title in 21D has Utd (= United). I’m sure “UTC” is just a “fat finger” slip.

    Edited at 2016-07-22 05:09 pm (UTC)

  3. I’m afraid I missed this one, and if I don’t solve a TLS around the time it comes out I’m never going to catch up with it. So I’ll throw in a couple of more or less off-piste offerings.

    I was intrigued, Olivia, by your mention of a rail line that runs through Sing Sing. I looked it up and came across a fascinating website that I’m sure you would enjoy:

    There are some wonderful pictures on that page, including a thought provoking one of four gentlemen in a train carriage being “sent up the river” to the electric chair, a fate which the author suspects they avoided.

    Re your mention of Arcadia, it sounds like you know your Tom Stoppard. I have tickets for a production of Travesties the night before the crossword Champs in October. I don’t know the play but from what I’m reading it’s somewhat notoriously dry. I’m looking forward to seeing what the irresistible Tom Hollander can do in the lead role. I’m banking on him and dry being incompatible. Have you ever seen that one, Olivia (or anyone)?

    1. I’ve never seen ‘Travesties’, Sotira, but have read it, and loved it and–except for Cecily’s lecture on Lenin, which I see was greatly cut for a revival–certainly didn’t see anything dry about it. I did see ‘Arcadia’ ages ago in Sydney–can’t remember now if before or after reading it. I’m a bit surprised at Olivia’s reaction; but then it may be that watching the play gives one less time to think about the philosophy bits, which may be an advantage.
      1. Thank you, Kevin. I had already thought it might be wise to read this one before seeing it and you’ve entirely convinced me. I’m looking forward to it even more now, especially as it’s in a little theatre I’ve wanted to visit for a while, The Menier Chocolate Factory (who could resist?).

        Incidentally, if anyone else is heading for the Champs this October, that theatre is just around the corner from Times HQ.

      2. I can report, Kevin, that the production of Travesties I saw the other night was utterly brilliant. I’ve rarely seen a group of actors work so hard or so well, really nailing all the verbal fireworks and making the whole thing zip by. I’m very glad I saw it.

        And for anyone interested who might happen by, the Menier Chocolate Factory theatre in Southwark is a real treat. Very much worth a visit for a meal and a show.

    2. Thank you for the Sing Sing link Sotira. Yes, that’s quite a pic of the convicted felons! The best film representation of our familiar Hudson River train ride comes in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest where Eva Marie Saint seduces Cary Grant on the 20th Century Limited. The passing scenery looks exactly the same now but alas no more dining cars.

      I saw Stoppard’s Jumpers on Broadway with Diana Rigg eons ago but that’s the only one I’ve caught. When it comes to abstract thought (mathematics, philosophy)I’m tone deaf but I certainly enjoyed it. I’m envious of your seeing Travesties (and of being at the champs).

      1. How strange! We’ve recently delegated one night each week as Old Movie Night, and we already have North By Northwest picked out as this weekend’s oldie. I shall be watching out for seduction on the 20th Century Limited.

        We seem to have a pretty poor count of Tom Stoppard plays actually seen around here. Maybe that’s the lot of the ‘straight’ playwright these days.

        I do feel rather lucky getting the chance to go and see that up in the Big Smoke, especially combined with another tilt at Championship glory (= finishing all three puzzles in the time without any daft mistakes). Wish you could be there.

  4. This has been bugging me–I even checked to see if there was a St. Hester or Lester, and there isn’t–and it finally came to me: it’s FETE (fair) with S (saint) at its heart.
  5. Wilde was not imprisoned for homosexual offences. The Marquis of Queensbury called him a “somdomite” which is not necessarily homosexual (not many people know this but girls have bottoms too) but illegal from time immemorial until the 1980s. Wilde sued for criminal libel. The Marquis had to defend hiself but since the allegation if taken au pied de la lettre is impossible to prove he showed that Wilde was bad news generally, in the habit of consorting with under-age prostitutes. The fact that some of these prostitutes were boys was immaterial. Wilde’s sentence of two years is extraordinarily light by modern standards. Autre temps autre moeurs indeed!
    1. Thank you Anon. I was relying on my memory rather than google for that one, and you are correct. Do you have a name?

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