TLS Crossword 1139 by Broteas – August 19, 2016 A cabinet of curiosities

Another fine offering, which took me heunny naimits. O all right, 79 minutes. And yes, yes, 16 seconds. 22 and 26 were the undeserving holdups, but in truth, by the time I got to them I was running out of fairydust.
Here’s some things you can do in a TLS that you can’t do in a T
Mention as clue or solution living people.
Use the “hidden” format more than once
Present a wordplay-unsupported missing word clue
Have at least one clue as a straight general knowledge clue, again without the support of whimsy
Come up with clues to rival any in the 15 by 15.
I reasoned my way through after this fashion
Clues definitions SOLUTIONS


1 Earthly delight found early in Q’s collection (4,6,3)
THIS WORLDS JOY   Before joining M16, Q was the pseudonym of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, primary author (for our purposes) of the Oxford Book of British Verse. 5th in this collection was the answer to this clue, paraphrased as Earthly delight. After the title, it’s more or less incomprehensible to anyone but English degree students.
9 “This masculine invisibility makes gods of them, / A pantheon of boots and s (Douglas Dunn)  (7)
OVERALLS Douglas Dunn is a Scottish poet living in Scotland. Not too difficult a guess from the crossing letters, this from his poem Men of Terry Street.
10 Brass played in the grasp of a powerful man (7)
SAMPSON  …Brass is a character from The Old Curiosity Shop. Samson is your strong man, so that leaves P to be short for “played”. Probably is, though not in my Chambers. On second thoughts, league tables fit the bill.
11 Many pages putting one into a kind of sleep  (4)
REAM  Around here, one can be A. Insert into Rapid Eye Movement, that state of sleep when dreams are most likely to occur
12 Tarot card shuffle? Scott’s pirate describes one (5,5)
SWORD DANCE   One tarot card suite is Swords, so if one danced it might do the shuffle (as in soft shoe shuffle). One of the Waverley novels (Walter Scott, that one) is The Pirate, in which much dancing, including ours, is described.
14 Park regulations, or a wider system of rules  (6,3)
COMMON LAW  A double definition, the first a little whimsy. Common Law is Britain’s wonderful, evolving set of principles made up by the judiciary and based loosely on what they’ve said in the past, giving lawyers much lucrative employment as they try to explain what it is, could be, or what they’d like it to be, an’ it please your honour.
16 Ways in which Sartre found liberty  (5)
ROADS   J-PS’s trilogy of three and a bit novels is Les Chemins de la Liberté, The Roads to Freedom.
18 Bosun rightly showing how to take down sails  (5)
UNRIG  I spent an unconscionable time post solve trying to find a literary Bosun called Runrig (it worked for me). Several thousand adulatory pages on Scottish Folk Rock later, it dawned on me that it’s just a “hidden”: bosUN RIGhtly.
19 Conniving Dickensian will sever arrangement (9)
SWIVELLER  Dick of that family, a name created by Dickens to give an impression of the man’s character and by us from the letters of WILL SEVER rearranged.  From The Old Curiosity Shop again.
21 Loser’s lame zilch is disastrous  (10)
SCHLIMAZEL  Looks like an anagram of LAME ZILCH (not sure what else those words could portend). If you can spot MAZEL (luck in Yiddish) the rest can really only fall into place one way. Yiddish is full of such wonderfully descriptive abusive terms
24 One of Jung’s wild creatures  (4)
SWAN  No archetype emerging from the collective unconscious, this, because this is Karl’s Chinese cousin Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China. She now lives in London, and China doesn’t like her much
26 Dives spends money unwisely  (7)
PLUNGES  Double definition, not the Biblical rich man come to judgement.
27 The kind of characters that are the same in 3 and 5  (7)
INITIAL  As you will discover, both 3 and 5 are alliterative two word answers.
28 Realist cinema’s absurd story about avoiding boredom  (1,7,5)
A CERTAIN SMILE  A brilliantly hidden anagram (REALIST CINEMA’S “absurd”) of the novel/film (Francoise Sagan) of Dominic and Luc’s love affair cynically undertaken to ward off boredom.


1 “If you like it, keep it; if not, send it to ” (John Ruskin, The Political Economy of Art) (3,6)
THE HAMMER  My first guess, ignoring the numeration, was Sotherby’s, which was alliterative and euphonious, but sadly misspelt and wrong. The correct answer is a suitably metonymic but rather less pleasing one.
2 Garment from the east rejected by Cleopatra’s dresser (4)
IRAS  reverse of SARI, with the setter kindly giving us “from the east” not as a reversal indicator but to cut down the wealth of choices. IRAS was Cleo’s hairdresser.
3 Borrow book from extravagant founder of encyclopedia  (4,5)
WILD WALES  Borrow is a name, not a verb, and our solution is one of his books, published 1862. Wordplay: extravagant: WILD, founder of encyclopedia (note spelling): (Jimmy) WALES, “sole creator” of Wikipedia
4 Rebel possibly rejected title in front of monarch  (5)
RISER I doubt if “riser” has ever been used as an alternative to rebel, but it could be, couldn’t it? Anyway, SIR backwards then ER monarch.
5 Addendum re altered nickname for Dickens narrator  (4,6)
DAME DURDEN   is a character in an antique folksong (patience, this will make sense):
Dame Durden kept five servant maids
To carry the milking pail,
She also kept five labouring men
To use the spade and flail;
‘Twas Moll and Bet, Doll and Kit,
And Dorothy Draggletail,
John and Dick, Joe and Jack
And Humphrey with his flail
As a sort of archetypal housekeeper, she also turns up in pantomime and (for our purposes) lends her name (via John Jarndyce) to Esther Summerson in Bleak House, who is indeed one of the novel’s two narrators. There you go, perfect sense. Oh, the wordplay. It’s an anagram. Of ADDENDUM RE
6 When a goddess appeared in disguised form, he helped her across the river  (5)
JASON  Pretty much a straight GkGK question. The Goddess Hera, the river Anauros.
7 Yes, banker without limits entering bets (7)
YANKEES  take off the “limits” of bANKEr and immerse them in YES. That easy. Explaining what a Yankee bet is…appears to be much trickier.
8 Long-lived medieval “saint” Eric, not initially following deity  (6)
GODRIC  The deity is just GOD, for a change, and ERIC without its initial is… Godric  allegedly lived from around 1065 – 1170. The “” around saint are because he was never formally canonised.
13 Tales of the West, where careless drivers end up in goop  (8,2)
ROUGHING IT  by Mark Twain. Careless (golf) drivers end up in the ROUGH, “in” provides the IN, and goop and GIT meet by way of a less familiar shared definition as “fool”
15 Black comedy’s original partner  (5,4)
WHITE LIES  Peter Schaffer wrote both short plays (that c should strictly be C), often performed as companion pieces, though our entry is now know as The White Liars.
17 Competent Australian novelist who was found to have stolen from Blake  (9)
ABLEWHITE   Capable: ABLE. Australian novelist: Patrick WHITE. Our entry is a character in The Moonstone, first name Godfrey, who effectively steals the moonstone from Franklin Blake.
18 Drink in do with painters, as above  (2,5)
UT SUPRA  You need to know that UT is another name for Do (as in a deer, a female deer). Drink is then SUP, and painters are R(oyal) A(cademicians). The whole is Latin for our definition
20 How to cause trouble in a frank letter (6)
RANKLE  No issues in having two “hiddens” in the TLS: a fRANK LEtter.
22 Lively one was inside out or in Norham Gardens  (5)
HOUSE  Penelope Lively wrote both A house in Norham Gardens and A House Inside Out.
23 Bozo boffo – that’s very Italian  (5)
ASSAI  is indeed very in Italian (musical notation). I think you translate Bozo as ASS and boffo as A1
25 Performance I observed in a musical, recently back on Broadway (4)
GIGI  Because I couldn’t nail down 28 across, this took me forever. But it’s really easy: performance: GIG plus I. The musical was revived on Broadway in 2015 for 3 months, carefully sanitised for the modern age, not least by increasing Gigi’s age to 18 and having Maurice Chevalier’s “Sank Evans for Liddle girls” sung by women to avoid any hint of creepiness. How times change.

12 comments on “TLS Crossword 1139 by Broteas – August 19, 2016 A cabinet of curiosities”

  1. I can’t remember what I did with this one, but I think I failed to get SCHLIMAZEL and a couple of others, and looked up the Ruskin. I’ve never seen ‘schlimazel’ spelled that way, although that shouldn’t have stopped me. The old joke defines a schlemiel as the waiter who drops the soup in the customer’s lap, and a schlemazel as the customer.
  2. I didn’t get around to this one, having been busy arranging festivities for my parents’ 60th anniversary at the time (highlight of the day undoubtedly the message from the queen). But I’m trying to drop in on TLS blogs, regardless, as a show of solidarity. Bad penny and all that.

    I doubt I would ever have got the unknown SCHLIMAZEL, another brilliant word that not for the first time makes me envious of those who grew up with Yiddish (and there’s probably a Yiddish word to describe people like me). Kevin’s comment sent me off around the web where I found an extended version of the story with a schlemiel, a schlimazel, and a nudnick!

    I guess the late Gene Wilder was a professional schlimazel, having been cast 5 times as a man wrongfully accused of a crime?

    1. Well, there’s ‘shikse’ (female Gentile). On the basis of our blog acquaintance it would be presumptuous of me to say so, but I suspect ‘mensch’ would apply, too.
      A message from the Queen, yet! Mazel tov to your parents (I bet she didn’t say that).
      1. Heh, she didn’t but I’m sure she was thinking it!

        Obviously I would take mensch any day, though klutz would likely be closer.

        Edited at 2016-09-10 08:20 am (UTC)

    2. Indeed, to the parents Sotira! Our 40th comes up 2 days before election day. It better be good!
  3. Thanks for the kind words about the clues. There’s one more for your list: at least sometimes, you can misleadingly use a lower case initial letter in a word that you’d expect to start with a capital letter.

    In puzzles that only allow deceptive upcasing, like “Peter” turning out to be a safe, the usual excuse is that practically any word can be seen with an initial letter in print, possibly when it starts a sentence. In the TLS world where practically any word appearing in a book title gets an rather arbitrary initial capital, it somehow seems fairer to do this than in other crosswords.

    That said, I don’t think we’d use “marsh” = an author of detective stories, “boxer” = the horse in Animal Farm, or “if” = a poem. Other rules may emerge over time, but may be kept secret – although I probably get a big share of the blame for such things being discussed in detail on blogs, I don’t like the idea of people deciding what the best answer is on the basis of whether they think the puzzle is one that follows sub-clause iii of rule 27(b), or what the crossword editor said about a particular clue in the past.

    Other point: there’s a bit more in 6D – “in disguised form, he helped her across the river” might also suggest “he helped Hera cross the river” if you didn’t worry about the h/H change

    PS: Yankee bet: a combination of 11 bets on 4 horses – 6 possible doubles, 4 trebles, and one bet on all four. The same idea gets a new name as you increase the number of horses, the best being a Heinz for 6 horses, as the possible bets number 57.

    Edited at 2016-09-09 10:21 am (UTC)

    1. I stared at 6d for ages, thinking there has to be more to it that that, and it was the one that nagged at me after posting, since a straight definition clue is unlikely, and the wording was not quite flat enough to be just a definition. To my list of the TLS’ cheerful nonconformities it seems I must add another: word spacing may be misleading, especially when it says so.
    2. Thanks, your explanation makes much more sense that the online betting companies make it. I did once put a fiver on the Grand National. It lost, the fun stopped, so I stopped!
    3. I do seem to recall seeing IF more than once as a poem but it’s possible it was in the Guardian and it hasn’t been recently. I’ve a comment about MARSH as detective writer too but it will have to wait a bit longer.
  4. No trouble with the Yiddish (I’ve a NYC pal who is a walking dictionary), but I had a complete mental block with ABLEWHITE until several days later so I never actually submitted. Thanks as ever for the blog Z. P.S. I’m in the city for once this weekend dealing with my back troubles which have turned out to be more of a “thing” than first appeared. Hope I don’t get roid rage next time I get stuck on a puzzle ….

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