TLS Crossword 1141 by Praxiteles – September 9, 2016

A surprisingly topical puzzle with some jokes, a dodgy homophone, some science, some philosophy, classics, an obscure poison, some religion, and a trap for the unwary.  What could be better?  I got this about half finished in around 20 minutes and then did the rest piecemeal.  There were some pretty good times on the Club board but I found parts of it far from easy.  Definitions in italics underlined (where appropriate).  Answers in bold caps.

1.  He regularly created a TLS jaunt without a hint of jadedness (8)
TANTALUS.  Anagram of A TLS [j]AUNT, dropping the J (hint) from jadedness.  A graceful tribute to Donald Yerrill AKA Tantalus, for many years the “onlie begetter of these presents”.  His last puzzle was in February of this year and he died in July aged 92.
6.  Agree to return a Liberal Democrat?  Not him! (6)
DONALD.  NOD=agree backwards (to return) with A L[iberal] D[emocrat].  From the sublime to the – not.  No further identity wll be given for that [fill in the blanks] individual.  If only it were funny.  If things come out ok in November I am saving a splendid sight gag on the subject which I took with my own camera just one block from here, but it will have to wait until it’s safe to enjoy it.
9.  Fixes a Brookner title, Strangers to start with (6)
FRAUDS.  FRAUD is a novel by Anita Brookner, with S[trangers].
10.  What, according to Leibnitz, marks mostly one theory about a God, ultimately? (8)
MONADISM.  The reference seems to be to La Monadologie by the 17th/18th Century metaphysical philosopher Gottfried Leibnitz (which I’ve also seen spelled Leibniz without the T).  Philosophy is a closed book to me and I didn’t do all that much better with this clue so this is probably wrong:  I had MONISM=theory of one supreme being, surrounding (about) A [go]D (ultimately).  But then “marks” seems superfluous.  I also tried waxing philosophical with a theory involving the former German currency and a god of the underworld, but it seemed no more plausible.  Help! See Paul infra.
11.  Flood’s catastrophically daunting, gallons falling on earth (8)
INUNDATE.  Anagram of DAUNTIN[G] dropping the G from gallons, with E[arth].  A more creative clue than the usual one that includes a sister.
12.  Stylish movie – like Equus (6)
HIPPIC.  HIP=stylish.  PIC=movie.  I don’t think I’ve met this word for horsey before but it wasn’t obscure.
13.  In which a radical is found among the first of elements (5)
AMIDE.  AMID=among with E[lements].  As the great Sam Cook song says, I “don’t know much about science book”, so at first glance this was a bit daunting, but it turned out quite friendly.  It’s a derivative of ammonia in which a hydrogen atom is replaced by an acid radical or a metal.  What the book says.
14.  “Altogether –, vast/ Herds of reindeer move across/ Miles and miles of golden moss” (WH Auden) (9)
ELSEWHERE.  From the 1940 poem The Fall of Rome.
17.  “Saves Sir Francis Drake from — of Court” (Sir Fulke Greville, Life of Sidney) (9)
BLASTINGS.  Evidently Sir Philip Sidney, according to Greville, used his good offiices to protect Drake from the machinations of Queen Elizabeth I’s courtiers.  Impossible to guess without all the checking letters, and even then I thought “boastings” was more likely until I looked it up.
19. Pianist who’s good to put on after start of overture (5)
OGDON.  John, 20th Century British.  O=start of O[verture], G[ood].  DON=put on.
22.  I’d never heartlessly traduced one of Diaper’s maidens (6)
NEREID.  Anagram (traduced) of ID NE[v]ER (heartlessly).  Refers to The Nereides, or Sea Eclogues, a pastoral poem of the sea by 17th to early 18th Century poet William Diaper.  The word “diaper” connotes nappies in these parts.
23.  Sounds like brownish-grey hats worn on canal walkways (8)
TOWPATHS. Homophone of “taupe” for TOWP with anagram (worn) of HATS.  The department of dodgy homophones.  I learned to drive on a Morris Minor Traveller (what Americans call a “woody”) in a tasteful shade of taupe, but we pronounced it to rhyme with “thorpe” – TOWP sounding a bit too genteel in a Hyacinth Bucket sort of way.  And here it is!
24.  One that’s sung round about start of devotions (5,3)
AGNUS DEI.  Maybe I missed the point but this seems to be a slightly convoluted “and lit.”, except not quite because the chant doesn’t actually come at the beginning of the mass.  A=one.  Anagram of SUNG with IE=that’s backwards (round), surrounding (about) the start of D[evotions].  The answer was clear anyway and if I hadn’t been on blog duty I wouldn’t have stopped to try to unravel it.
25.  A story should have a beginning, a — and an end, according to Larkin (not Aristotle) (6)
MUDDLE.  This is the one that seems to have caught one or two of us napping, although the setter was very fair.  On a non-blogging day I could easily have slung in “middle”.   It’s a satirical reference to a dictum of Aristotle, and Philip Larkin doesn’t seem to be the only one to have adopted and adapted it.
26.  Sounds like a poet.  Like Crabbe we hear? (6)
SHELLY.  Coo, a double homophone and a cracker joke!  Excellent. Sounds like Percy Bysshe Shelley.  Also descriptive of a crab – geddit?
Chat on radio of line in Strong Poison (8)
GOSSYPOL.  Nothing to do with Dorothy Sayers.  Homophone(!) for GOSSIP=chat. OL=of line (not sure I quite get this).  It’s a toxin derived from the cotton plant (gossypium).  I see from the club Forum that our encyclopedic Dave Howell didn’t know this either.

2. Aids, perhaps, ex-PM’s friend to come in in the morning (7)
ACRONYM.  AIDS is the acronym for acquired immune deficiency syndrome.  Largely curable or under control here in the US, but not so in many other parts of the world.  CRONY=ex-PM’s friend surrounded by (to come in) AM=morning.  I don’t know if there’s a specific UK political reference here but this isn’t the Guardian so probably not.
3.  Cut attributed to Rossini, for instance? (9)
TOURNEDOS.  A dish supposedly created to honour the composer.  In my Escoffier the filet mignon is to be garnished with foie gras and black trufflle and I haven’t attempted it.  If I happen to get my hands on that cut I make Julia Child’s steak Diane.  It is – immense. 
4.  Ship-mate of Lord Jim, dirty rascal!  (6)
LASCAR.  Anagram (dirty) of RASCAL.  Our statutory Joseph Conrad reference.  They were Asian or Arab seamen and also turn up in Sherlock Holmes etc.
5.  What’s seen in sheets of Wodehouse? (6,9)
SUMMER LIGHTNING. A Blandings novel, not a Wooster one. 
6.  Eats item of Indian cooking in vessels (8)
DINGHIES.  DINES=eats containing GHI=item of Indian cooking.  Also often written as GHEE. A kind of clarified butter I’ve known of since early childhood when the nursery bookshelf held certain now notorious books by Helen Bannerman.  In one of them Little __ __ outwits four hungry tigers and turns them into ghee (or ghi).
7.  Ghastly pale, swallowing choppy water, but waving (7)
ARIPPLE.  Anagram (ghastly) of PALE containing (swallowing) RIP=choppy water.
8.  Crazy about love, utterly like Dionysian flatterer (9)
DAMOCLEAN.   MAD=crazy, backwards (about).  O=love.  CLEAN=utterly.  Not Dionysis the god of wine, but Dionysius, an ancient king of Syracuse, who responded to the flattery of Damocles by hanging a sword over his head by the thinnest thread.
13.  Fooling them all the same, disguises for Guglielmo and Ferrando (9)
ALBANIANS.  In Mozart’s opera Cosi Fan Tutte, the two suitors so disguise themselves to test the the fidelity of their inamoratas.  Roughly translated, the opera title means – they’re all the same (women).
15.  In the way that a gaunt rider might look? (9)
HAGGARDLY.  Another cracker-style clue. If he were gaunt, H. Rider Haggard might look so.
16.  Burl Ives’s burly patriarch (3,5)
BIG DADDY.  In the 1950s Ives reprised his original stage role on screen in Tennessee Williams’s play Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.  He was joined by Elizabeth Taylor (memorably slinking about in a slip) and Paul Newman.  Judith Anderson (Mrs. Danvers in Hitchcock’s Rebecca) was also in the cast.
18.  What Whistler did with grey and black for his mother (7)
ARRANGE.  I just happened to have the introductory userpic (by James MacNeill W) in my portfolio from last winter when it cropped up in a QC I was blogging..  Most people know this painting as “Whistler’s Mother” but it was originally entitled Arrangement in Grey and Black.  It hangs in the Musee D’Orsay in Paris.
20.  He’ll have got too misguided about a handkerchief perhaps? (7)
OTHELLO.  Anagram (misguided) of HE’LL and TOO.  Stage business with Desdemona’s hankie.
21.  Was perhaps half mystic we hear?  They are! (6)
SWAMIS.  Anagram (perhaps) of WAS with homophone (we hear) of the first half of MYS[tic].

5 comments on “TLS Crossword 1141 by Praxiteles – September 9, 2016”

  1. A bit of a nostalgia fest for me, and an enjoyable puzzle to with some wonderfully convoluted word play in MONADISM and AGNUS DEI, both (in my book) close enough to &lits to make no difference.
    I was fortunate enough to hear John Ogdon live with Brenda Lucas and the CBSO under Louis Frémaux playing the Carnival of the Animals, a short year before his devastating mental breakdown. As a student member of the CBSO I got in for 3/6, surely one of the great bargains. A magnificent artist, and I treasure his signature on the cover of my vinyl copy.
    A little later, my neighbour owned a tortoise which they named Percy Bysshe, so 26 was pretty much a write in.
    My Big Daddy is James Earl Jones: that wonderful voice. Burl Ives is, in my book, the Big Rock Candy Mountain!
    You are right about 2d: there are two specific ex PMs in the UK who are noted for cronyism: Blair (Tony’s Cronies) and the recently retired David Cameron, whose farewell honours list was rather loaded with them.


      1. Sadly, not that sort of student member: there was a deal in the early 70s to let students in to the CBSO’s concerts at absurdly low prices. Long before Simon Rattle, Birmingham’s was a dodgy band and needed all the audience it could get. My only “instrument” is tenor voice, good enough for choral singing.

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