TLS Crossword 1153 by Praxiteles – December 2, 2016

Some fast times were recorded on the Club timer for this very entertaining puzzle.  I clocked in at 23.37 which I believe is a record for me since the new regime took over at the TLS.  We are coming up on the one year anniversary for that and I know that all the regulars  are delighted to toast our setters and editor this festive season.  The quality of the puzzles has been consistently first rate and all the work is much appreciated.  There was a movie theme to this puzzle but I didn’t detect any further connection between the films featured (other than the 2 Andersons mentioned below).  Some of the movies were serialized (as were the Oz books), some ad nauseam depending on one’s taste.  Definitions (where appropriate) in italics underlined. [There are quite a few double definitions here and several where the def. is deeply embedded in the clue making it unhelpful to try to separate it out.]  Answers in bold caps.

1.  Litvak’s film has anecdotes about a secret police force (9)
ANASTASIA.  ANAS=anecdotes containing (has) STASI=secret police.  1956 movie directed by Anatole Litvak and starring Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner.
6.  Bengali on vacation has returned to Indian address (5)
SAHIB.  Empty B[engal]I (on vacation) with HAS backwards (returned). 
9.  Film actor who worked with Stone? (5)
MASON.  James.  Riveting performer with a great voice.  I was a small child when I first saw him as Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea but my favourite role of his was the villain in North By Northwest where he gives Cary Grant a run for his money in every way.
10.  Anderson’s hospital in Roman outpost (9)
BRITANNIA.  The outpost gave me this – I must confess the 1982 movie (Britannia Hospital, a satire on the NHS) by Lindsay Anderson passed me by completely.  I’m not even sure it was released in the US.  It’s part of a trilogy with “if….”  (1968)  and O Lucky Man (1973).
11.  Sarah Brown’s employer, active in confusing vanity with morals (9,4)
SALVATION ARMY.  Anagram (confusing) of A (active) VANITY and MORALS.  Excellent clue.  Sarah is a character in the musical adaptation of several of Damon Runyon’s stories about the New York underworld into Guys and Dolls.  One of the best musicals ever, practically indestructible even in high school productions, and with some terrific songs (Luck Be A Lady Tonight, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat, Adelaie’s Lament etc).  In the 1955 movie version Nathan Detroit was played by Frank Sinatra and Sky Masterson by Marlon Brando.
14.  One of which du Maurier associated with Kingston? (4)
INNS.  Not Kingston Jamaica but Jamaica Inn in Cornwall in the 1930s novel by Daphne featuring smugglers, wreckers and murderers.  Also made into a movie in 1939 by Hitchcock starring Maureen O’Hara and Charles Laughton.  [And see PB’s comment infra]
15. Koestler’s fighters elated by drunken aristo (10)
GLADIATORS.  1939 novel about the Spartacus revolt by author Arthur Koestler.  It’s part of a trilogy  (with Darkness At Noon and Arrival And Departure) but it’s not the book on which the Kirk Douglas movie Spartacus is based, that was by Howard Fast.
18.  Editorial contribution’s popular – it’s expected in May (10)
.LEADERSHIP.  LEADER’S=editorial’s.  HIP=popular.  As PM Theresa should be showing that quality.
19.  One capturing heart of Henry, England’s leader (4)
ANNE.  AN=one.  N=Heart (middle) of [He]N[ry].  With E=England’s leader.  Another signature TLS AndLit? The captivating Anne being Boleyn.
21.  Camera techniques for filming prison docudramas? (4,9)
TIME EXPOSURES.  Photographic relative of time-lapse filming.  A docudrama about prison would have revelations (exposures) about “time” presumably.
24.  12 involved with ICI, not Astra, could be a junior doctor (9)
CLINICIAN.  Anagram (involved) of LANCIN (Lancastrian in 12 d removing ASTRA) and ICI.  I’m fuzzy about the rankings of doctors and thought a clinician was a senior medic so I learned something 
25.  Part of Hiram Bond played by Stallone (5)
RAMBO.  Contained in (part of) [Hi]RAM BO[nd].  American actor Sylvester Stallone embodied the heavily muscled Vietnam veteran Rambo in a series of 1980s blood and guts revenge movies.  I’ve waged a long and fruitless search for a contemporary NY Times column by Russell Baker in which he compares and contrasts Rambo and Rimbaud – I’m sure I didn’t dream it and it was wonderfully funny.  In this looking glass world we now inhabit I have heard what passes for a reliable report that Sly Stallone is to be nominated by Trump to head the National Endowment for the Arts.  [Update – I hear he’s had the good sense to turn it down, so we’ll probably do a whole lot worse.]
27.  Variant of 19 originally childish (5)
NANCE.  Anagram of ANNE with C[hildish].  Succinct.
28.  Directions say it’s cooked with lamb and bacon, for example (9)
ESSAYISTS.  ESS=directions with anagram (cooked) of SAY IT’S.  Charles Lamb (Elia) and Francis Bacon.

1.  Permitted, unlike Osborne’s evidence (10)
ADMISSIBLE.  Inadmissible Evidence was a 1960s play by “angry young man” John Osborne about the mental breakdown of a lawyer.  I didn’t see it at the time (still at school probably) but at some point I did see Nicol Williamson reprise his role on film.
2.  A Roman sculpture primarily associated with a roaring lion (3)
ARS.  First letters (primarily) in A R[oman] S[culpture].  Leo the Lion is the mascot for MGM film studios, with the legend “Ars gratia artis”.  He roars at the beginning of their movies while you are taking off your coat and scrunching the leftover popcorn underfoot. 
3.  Woodcutter cut out very small chess piece (3,3)
TIN MAN.  TIN[y]=very small, cut.  MAN=chess piece.  I must admit I’ve never read the books by L. Frank Baum, but of course I know the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie with Judy Garland, and Jack Haley in this role.  My mother for some reason had a scunner against it so I saw it for the first time in my 20s.  The woodcutting part of the story makes little impression in the movie where what I remember of  the Tin Man is his lamenting his lack of a heart.
4.  In which the French is at the foot, but it’s translated first!  (9)
SUBTITLES.  LES=the in French, following (at the foot) anagram (translated) of BUT IT’S.  Very neatly executed.
5.  Turning up in Gilbert Kane I lay hidden (5)
ALIEN.  Hidden and reversed (turning up) in [Ka]NE I LA[y].  He is a character in the movie series Alien starring Sigourney Weaver.
6.  Heavenly escalator for David Niven and Marius Goring (8)
STAIRWAY.  Innovative 1946 movie called Stairway To Heaven or A Matter Of Life And Death, depending on where it was released.  In addition to Niven and Goring, it also starred Kim Hunter (best known as Stella from A Streetcar Named Desire), Raymond Massey (father of Daniel and Anna) and Roger Livesey (best known to me in late years as the Duke of St. Bungay in the Palliser series).
7.  One of Schultz’s newlyweds, like Brown, one who wanders aimlessly (11)
HONEYMOONER.  The answer was obvious but I’m not sure I’ve divined what exactly Praxiteles had in mind.  it’s not the Charles Schulz (no T) of Zabadak’s Peanuts avatar Charley Brown, that seems clear.  Honey can be brown.  And a mooner can be one who wanders aimlessly.  There was a 2005 movie directed by John Schultz based on a vintage US tv series called The Honemooners but featuring an African-American family rather than a white working class one.  It didn’t get much traction but I think that must be it.  Or what am I missing?
8.  Stoker inflamed by 25 mostly (4)
BRAM.  Original author of Dracula.  Anagram (inflamed) of RAMB[o]
12.  Gaunt, we hear, a peculiar strain of Englishman (11)
LANCASTRIAN.  Homophone (we hear) of “lank”=gaunt with an anagram (peculiar) of STRAIN.  14th Century Plantagenet John of Gaunt (Ghent) was the first Duke of Lancaster and sire of kings.  Also a native or resident of Lancashire.  Neat one.
13.  “… vindicating myself from the — of Will Maskery” (George Eliot) (10)
ASPERSIONS.  Spoken by Arthur Donnithorne of Dinah Morris in Adam Bede.  Maskery is a moralising Methodist.
16.  “The subject is like a good sirloin which requires only to be basted with its own — ” (Sir Walter Scott) (9)
DRIPPINGS.  Scott is writing of Samuel Pepys.
17.  When “If …” took place, depicting utter revolution at the end (4,4)
TERM TIME.  TERM=depicting.  EMIT=utter reversed (revolution).  At least I think that’s it.  The first movie in the trilogy by Lindsay Anderson.  I may have seen it at some point but I recall nothing of it.  Sometime in the midst of filming the Anderson movies Malcolm McDowell also starred in A Clockwork Orange.  The movie depicts a violent uprising at a British public school.  I went meandering down the wrong lane at the start, thinking the reference was to the Kipling poem.  Managed to keep my head…
20.  “Wand’rin‘ Star”?  Yes, just like Ben Rumson goes!
ASTRAY.  Rumson was played by Lee Marvin in the 1969 movie musical Paint Your Wagon.  It also starred Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg and was based on the Lerner and Leowe 1950s stage musical of the same name. One of the critics I read some years later said Clint sings like a moose.  Anagram (wandering) of STAR and AY=yes.
22.  Leaving shortly, starts to live elsewhere – one like Richard Rowan (5)
EXILE.  EXI[t]=leaving shortly, with first letters (starts) of L[ive] E[lsewhere].  In the James Joyce play Rowan returns to Ireland after living in Rome and things get complicated.
23. One Andrew Rublev fabricated in Baltic Onyx (4)
ICON.  Contained in [Balt]IC ON[yx].  Andrei Rublev was a 15th Century Russian painter and creator of icons – his most famous one is of the three angels visiting Abraham, which is also interpreted as depicting the Trinity.  It is held in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.  There’s also a well-regarded 1960s Russian movie about him.
26.  Quickly, shortly (3)
MRS.  This certainly wins the prize for brevity!  Mistress (Mrs.) Nell Quickly is Shakespeare’s tavern-keeper who appears in 3 of the 4 Henry plays and in The Merry Wives Of Wndsor.  Her most famous lines (after she became Mrs. Pistol) describe the death of Falstaff in Henry V. 

6 comments on “TLS Crossword 1153 by Praxiteles – December 2, 2016”

  1. 14A – maybe I’m not understanding your phrasing, but as far as the clue logic goes, Kingston is the link to Jamaica and therefore no other Kingston. As a SW England moorland place, Princetown might possibly be a cause of confusion, but that’s where Dartmoor prison is, so on the wrong moor (Bodmin for Jamaica Inn). I wondered briefly whether there was another Kingston in the book, but an instinct tells me that if there was, I would have seen it used in a TLS or other xwd by now.
    7D – you’ve found the right reference (the 2005 movie)
    1. No I didn’t mean anything other than Kingston Jamaica as the link, which seemed clear to me. Very sorry to have you chasing red herrings though. I’ll leave it as is for now but with a footnote.
  2. With access being patchy today I’ve struggled to make a comment, but I’ll trust all is now fine, as was this puzzle. There are some simply brilliant examples of the &lits that the TLS delivers so well: ANNE the best one, but SALVATION ARMY running it very close. The If… clue is again one of those that manages to be a succinct precis of the entire film, which does indeed end with McDowell letting loose with a sten gun and grenades at the Founders’ Day great and good crowd. It’s also the one where Anderson ran out of Technicolor stock and filmed the more daring scenes in B&W. I think the TERM comes from “the end”.
    Don’t think I twigged the full gen on Gladiators: I was thinking the Russell Crowe film and didn’t take it further. Thanks for all the careful research.
    My favourite government commissioned movie as well, and the Rublev Icon that has a special place in my Church, a proper copy. So much to make you feel good. And then…
    I have to say that my favourite, and very high on my all time list, was MRS. Having tried any vowel that might fit and coming up with nothing, the penny drop elicited an genuine gasp of surprise and delight. Genius.
  3. Is it me or are they getting a tad easier lately? Managed to finish this on the train, with only 2 or 3 to double-check later. Same experience as Z with regard to 26D.

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