TLS Crossword 1159 by Broteas – January 20, 2017 Vamanos to the Hall at Pooh Corner!

This was a good workout which I completed a shade inside 45 minutes. Some of the references were a tad obscure: or at least stuff I didn’t know, such as the book at 1 and that at 7. I was lucky enough to see what the anagram led to for 1, but the lack of wordplay in 7, 22 and arguably 16 was rather less helpful, turning them in more of less GK clues. Researching has led me into some interesting new (to me) corners of the arts world and a couple of old favourites, and there is quite a lot of popular TV programming thrown in for good measure. Here’s my take, with clues, definitions, SOLUTIONS.


1 Vagrant we like prints an alternative to Robinson Crusoe and Lemuel Gulliver  (5,7)
PETER WILKINS  Robert Paltock’s magnum (and only) opus, published in 1751 as a cross between the two more famous earlier stories mentioned. Despite the invention of naked flying women, it is sadly monumentally dull, though it numbers Walter Scott and Robert Southey amongst its admirers. Read it here to form your own opinion. The wordplay is an anagram (vagrant) of WE LIKE PRINTS
9 Site of major work in marble and silver, by a recognized artist  (4)
AGRA  Location of the Taj Mahal, silver Ag and artist RA
10 Role no lady played in an inter-war tale of conspiracy  (6,4)
LONELY ROAD  A generously signalled (“played”) anagram of ROLE NO LADY. The novel is by Nevil Shute, Published 1932
11 Result of 5 journeys by fictitious explorer around Italy, Austria, Sweden and Portugal (8)
DIASPORA  Originally the spread of the Jewish people after the Babylonian captivity ca 587 BCE, which sure is “LONG AGO”, now also applied to their current dispersion and to other peoples’. If you have (grand)children, then DORA the Explorer is a gimme. The intervening letters are provided by the IVRs of the four nations.  Jason (and some others) managed to find an alternative answer to this one, which is doubtless very clever and was sanctioned by PB as suitable for competition entry, but I fear I cannot see it, or how it could possible match the wordplay. Just as well that bit about entry to competition is a fiction, or was last time I looked.
12 I start to hunt in small measure, creating much resistance  (6)
MEGOHM A matter of perspective, where MM is a small measure, and our answer a large one. EGO (I) and H(unt) intervene.
13 Jane’s friends of a famous detective?  (3,7)
THE WATSONS  Jane as in Austen, and this an unfinished novel. The famous detective is Sherlock, and so the Watsons would be his friends.
15 The kind of music that was very influential in China 1000 years ago  (4)
SONG The dynasty lasted from 970- 1269
16 What the prophet said, according to Nietzsche?  (4)
THUS  spake Zarathustra. I could be picky and say that it should really be ALSO.
17 Austen’s nice translation reads well  (10)
ENUNCIATES  An anagram (translation) of AUSTEN’S NICE
19 Shakespeare’s fools steal Caesar’s heart  (6)
SNIPES  Snip can give you steal if you think of bargains, and caESar’s heart provides the ending.
20 Pike’s relative swallowed fresh water – Jones remembered it  (5,3)
GREAT WAR  The GAR is the pike’s fishy relative, and fresh WATER gives you the REATW filing. Jones is, I think, Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army, though his memory was more usually of fighting the “Fuzzy Wuzzies” at the Battle of Omdurman 1898. For fans, it’s a nice touch to include “don’t tell him” Pike in the clue.
22 The colourful work that scandalized some late Victorians  (6,4)
The YELLOW BOOK  was a periodical running from 1894-7, featuring contemporary art and literature. Its reputation for scandal was primarily based on Aubrey Beardsley’s illustrations, which shocked “some” Victorians.
24 A noble prisoner or depressed earl (4)
SADE   A depressed Earl is a SAD E. The Marquis de Sade (yes, that one) spent almost half his life imprisoned in various institutions
25 American Getz’s arrangement included two versions of one note that’s long and flowing (7,5)
YANGTZE KIANG Tricky wordplay for the Chinese River of Many Spellings. American YANK has an arrangement of GETZ included, then there are two versions of one, I and AN, and a pick-any-one-from-7 note G. Phew.


2 A wet alternative to BBC Alba or S4C?  (7,7)
ENGLISH CHANNEL  Alba is Scottish Gaelic for Scotland, and is the BBC’s Scottish Gaelic TV channel. S4C is Sianel Pedwar Cymru, Channel 4 Wales. So we’re looking for an alternative to these that could be thought of as wet, which rather loosely gives us our answer. I’d venture English is not an alternative for those looking for Gaelic or Welsh programming. Ach y fi!
3 The death we hear about in Under Milk Wood  (5)
EVANS Speaking of which, the prevalence of Jones and Evans as surnames in Wales has developed the delightful Welsh habit of qualifying the surname with the occupation, as any devotee of Ivor the Engine will know (Jones the Steam, Dai Station, Owen the Signal). In Dylan Thomas’ epic Under Milk Wood, the undertaker is Evans, so Evans the Death. Should have been Dai.
4 Dwarves possibly seen by Toad and Badger (6,5)
WILLOW TREES Some of which are officially Dwarf, and might be seen by Toad and Badger in Kenneth Grahame’s windy world.
5 “I have forgotten everything / I used to know so —” (Christina Rossetti) (4 3)
LONG AGO Not too tricky to guess
6 The problem found with fame and fortune  (3)
ILL  A sort of Only Connect clue, both words can be prefaced with our answer. 3 points.
7 The manuscript found in this Spanish city was written by a Pole  (9)
SARAGOSSA Count Jan Potocki (1761–1815) wrote Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse over a considerable period of time leading up to his suicide. The clue is pretty straight GK, which you’ll either know or not.
8 All I need is dispensed by a wise man – the Last Puritan’s uncle  (9,5)
NATHANIEL ALDEN  “Dispense” ALL I NEED and set it alongside NATHAN the Wise, a play by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, 1779. The Last Puritan is a philosophical novel by George Santayana, his hero Oliver, Oliver’s uncle our answer. Congratulations if you knew all that.
12 It’s clear Smike’s moved a young lady in a Dickens novel (4,7)
MISS CREAKLE  from David Copperfield, an anagram (moved ) of CLEAR SMIKE’S
14 For Christopher Robin, a place not spoken about and unknown, but Hardy wrote of exploits there  (4,5)
WEST POLEY  “There’s the South Pole, said Christopher Robin, and I expect there’s an East Pole and a West Pole, though people don’t like talking about them” (Winnie the Pooh) . Add an “unknown” Y  and you have the setting for Thomas Hardy’ s short “story for boys”.
18 Fur-lined gear for two Germans in their submarine  (3,4)
UGG BOOT Product placement, I believe, as Ugg is a ®. Place two G(ermans) in U-BOOT
21 Sound pitched by Italy’s sentimental songwriter  (5)
TOSTI The sound of tossed (pitched) gives TOST, and Italy supplies the I. Paolo Tosti pumps out the sentiment in such songs as Goodbye, here sung by the immortal Gigli. Undeniably sentimental, even if Tosti ended up being British.
23 Old-style big city novel’s rejected  (3)
WEN  Novel, New backwards for the Great WEN, William Cobbett’s disparaging nickname for London.

11 comments on “TLS Crossword 1159 by Broteas – January 20, 2017 Vamanos to the Hall at Pooh Corner!”

  1. Polished this off just now – 20 minutes would’ve been an okay time if I hadn’t plumped for SUNG instead of SONG at 15ac. I really enjoyed this despite also having, er, ALSO at 16ac and giving up on the wordplay at 25ac: plenty of entries into the puzzle but then much racking of one’s literary brains needed to complete.

    Marvellously, there’s a current indie band called “Evans the Death” though I’m not sure the crossover audience between their work and lovers of Dylan Thomas can be much bigger than myself.

    1. I found the band when googling Evans the Death, and it successfully obliterated any reference to Dylan Thomas, except to say that’s where they got the name from. To my ear, they sound a bit like Debbie Harry.
  2. I took my time over this, with several pauses, so as to be sure to ignore the infamous inauguration taking place that day (memorably memorialized here by Z’s phantom TLS blog). Is it only 3 weeks? it feels like a lifetime. It took me an age to see the Channel even with all the extra time I allowed myself. I was quite surprised to see the aptly named boot. As for DIASPORA, the discussion between Jason and PB on the Club Forum sailed far above my head. It would be nice to know what it was about. Good puzzle, and thanks for the blog Z.

    Edited at 2017-02-10 03:12 pm (UTC)

  3. Er, the alternative answer discussion I thought I was having with Jason was about 15A, where the dynasty can be SONG or SUNG, and so can the music.

    I’m waiting for my free pair of woolly boots. Joke … crossword editing freebies have so far been limited to a pen from Cross and some reference books.

    1. Is SUNG a valid alternative answer in your opinion then Peter? It’d cheer me up no end if so!
  4. Ah, well, yes, but in the club forum you were both clearly discussing 11a, and it took me for ever to conclude there was no solution that worked. There’s nearly a Sang dynasty too!
    1. Well, FWIW, I said:

      “Jason: your version of 11A is correct. I’m afraid I reintroduced a problem I meant to avoid – there is another answer, without “construction kit” wordplay, that has two possible spellings and the different letter unchecked”.

      1. I think I’d like to claim that my interpretation was at least possible, and mystifying as suggested. And we still don’t enter the competiton this way.

        1. OK – I guess “another answer” should have been followed by “somewhere else in the grid”. I’m afraid there is nothing we can do to remove the impression from the club user interface that the submission process for the TLS crossword matches those which automatically generate competition entries for other puzzles.

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