TLS Crossword 1155 by Broteas – December 16, 2016

I had a bash at this on the morning it came out and got almost nowhere. I came back to it this week and, in truth, found it a real slog. The Miller book and the Smollett reference were about the only things I really knew. I also found some of the clues hard to penetrate, even with the liberal use of the solving aids to which I soon had to resort. Tough puzzle, a bit too tough for me.

I have several things only half-explained so I’m looking forward to some enlightenment.

Across9 The buttress is a PIER plus an anagram of ‘toiler’.
10 Elaborately hidden word
13 THE+aGeNtS. Giving part of the answer en clair (as ‘the’ here) always makes for a special makes for a special kind of difficulty!
16 I’m still not sure if this is a formal society .. or what? Anyway, the parsing is EXISTS around (LIB,R)
19 Commander James  …
20 .. is of course commissioned in the Navy or ‘SENIOR Service’
21 Took me ages, even though I sort of knew of Respighi’s Roman Trilogy of symphonic poems. A hint that we were in the area of music would have been appreciated
23 definition is “of a left-wing persuasion”
24 Very crafty deceptive puntuation. It’s CANTER (Travel by horse) + BURY (inter, the verb), with “faith city” as the definition.
26 One big girl for another, I guess

3 Smollet’s Adventures of … contains a novel within a novel entitled The Memoirs of a Lady of Quality
4 Sounds like ‘Q’, pseudonym of Arthur Quiller-Couch, editor of The Oxford Book of English Verse. Apparently this came up in another Broteas puzzle not long ago
5 a FRONTAL is an altar hanging.
6 Anagram of “labours suit”. This is Aristobulus of Chalcis, who was a great-grandson of Herod the Great on both sides of his family
7 CORNELIA BLIMBER is a schoolteacher in Dickens’ Dombey and Son, married eventually to Mr Feeder, BA
8 Dick Remington is the narrator of Wells’ The New Machiavelli. I don’t know about the America bit of this, though a faint bell is ringing … an advertising slogan, perhaps?
12 I think the “man” is a CAT, and the special kind of home is a Cheshire Home, one of those run by the charity once known as The Cheshire Foundation Homes for the Sick, now Leonard Cheshire Disability
15 Another question mark for me. LINGE could be a number of Germans, including Hitler’s valet. Add The RING and you get LINGERING — “protracted”
22 Irene Heron Forsyte
25 ETH is an Old English character. And you’d find -eth at the end of an old way of saying (he) plays … playeth. Clever.

10 comments on “TLS Crossword 1155 by Broteas – December 16, 2016”

  1. This took me forever, but I managed to avoid Google. No idea about CHESHIRE CAT–never heard of the homes, and ‘cat’ for ‘guy’ was never in my vocabulary. DNK REMINGTON, but it is a brand of rifle, hence ‘piece produced in America’. I’m always slow at hiddens, but this time I was too quick to find one in 22d–‘siren’–which delayed RESPHIGHI for ages; didn’t help that I could only think of two of the trilogy. It took me an embarrasssingly long time to remember Peregrine Who? And I’d completely forgotten Cornelia, although I remembered her father. Good, exhausting fun.
    1. Ah, I was missing the “piece”. That makes more sense now. I sort of knew the rifle, but I was also thinking of the shavers and the typewriters.
  2. I rather took to this one, and managed a 40 minute solve. It probably helped that I worked closely with the Cheshire homes in Hackney on disability issues. Remington typewriters also made (makes) rifles, and that was my way into that one.
    EX-LIBRISTS are defined in Chambers as any old collectors of book plates, those labels that you stuck in the front of your books, so alongside deltologists and philumimists (I did both).
    I took LINGERING to be a slightly cheeky LINE “part of opera” (well, it is!) around G for German plus Der RING, Wagner’s Monsterwerk.
    I did think GREAT CATHERINE (Whom Glory Still Adores) again a bit cheeky (maybe to the point of looseness) and as you suggest, just one big girl for another, though both are Shaw plays. Perhaps Broteas was exploiting our tendency to over complicate things: it took me a while to trust this last because it looked too simple.
    1. I think I was searching without the hyphen and got nowhere, so thank you.

      I had vaguely heard of Cheshire Homes but they had never touched on my life in any way so didn’t spring to mind the way some similar ventures would.

      For me this was just one of those puzzles where almost nothing felt familiar or even rang bells. Perhaps that’s inevitable with the TLS, that you’re going to get one now and then that’s all beyond your ken.

  3. Oh, and a round of applause for 22, since while it works perfectly as a cryptic clue, it contains that extra element of being an accurate enough summary of Kafka’s mighty and relatively accessible piece, which would have been written (I think) in Prague)
  4. Eth is also the phonetic symbol for the voiced ‘th’ sound in ‘the’, ‘either’, etc.: ð
  5. I opened this by mistake instead of the cryptic and after a quick glance decided to let it marinate for a bit. I think it took me an hour give or take when I finally got down to business and on submission I noted Z’s excellent time. The parsing got seriously skimped in several cases once I was sure of the answer, so thank you Sotira for analysis of the Smollet, the schoolteacher, the Cheshire Homes(which I didn’t know of) and the LINGERING. I was extremely slow to see Q, which was inexcusable because I’d blogged that earlier puzzle – not to mention the James Bond themelet. I’ve had to learn ETH – around here it turns up in the NY Times puzzles as “edh”. It’s impossible not to think of Ron…

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