TLS Crossword 1177 by Praxiteles – May 26, 2017 Here let us wallow

This was an entertaining if relatively untaxing grid, which I completed in 34 minutes without having to Google around, though some guess work was checked up on to confirm lest I commit egregious errors once my scholarship is exposed to my peers. There’s a lot of History of Religions around here, including cults and individuals of, shall we say, unorthodox persuasions. The hazards of having two highly significant saints of the same name but wide apart histories are well illustrated. My gleanings from History of Religions and other dusty depositaries are here recklessly displayed. I have attempted some order in the chaos with Clues, definitions and SOLUTIONS.


1. Sinner primarily isn’t commonly taken to be such (5)
SAINT  A simple enough bit of wordplay, S for Sinner (primarily and AIN’T for is not in common parlance, but a decent surface, since sinners are not usually seen as saints.
4. Month in which he ends in being 14 of 20 (9)
AUGUSTINE  Specifically the 8th month plus IN plus (h)E, the first to bear the title 14/20. Not the Hippo man, though.
9. What could be represented as sliding? (9)
GLISSANDI  True twice: an &lit
10. Work hard without being sanctimonious, returning where 1 4 came from (5)
HIPPO  Wordplay goes work: OP, hard: H, sanctimonious: PI assembled and reversed. This answer is both true and not true: St Augustine did come from Hippo (sic) or rather lived there as bishop. Hippo Regius was a Phoenician, Berber and Roman city, and a major centre for Christian philosophy and theology in what is now Algeria, fronted by Augustine. But not Canterbury Augustine: this is the earlier one 354-430.
11. Initiates in Eleusinian mysteries engaged in overthrowing last popes (6)
EPOPTS Hidden reversed in laST POPEs. They were never likely to come across popes of any kind, being part of a cult dedicated to Persephone and Demeter: see my previous blog on the story of Persephone.
12. Origen Adamantius heartlessly chastised old duffers (8)
IGNAROES  Origen, a brilliant theologian clever enough to be thought a heretic. Lived two centuries before Augustine of Hippo, but sadly contributes only his name and the A and S of his nickname as anagram fodder.
14. Cunning man, like Guareschi’s Don Candido (10)
ARCHBISHOP  Cunning ARCH, man: BISHOP (chess). Don Candido is the Archbishop creation of Giovannino Guareschi, who write the much more famous and entertaining shorts about Priest Don Camillo and his counterpart Communist mayor Giuseppe Bottazzi, “Peppone”.
16. Unwanted correspondence of priest replacing Catholic in deception (4)
SPAM Think of the stuff that clogs up your inbox. P for priest replaces C for Catholic in SCAM, deception
19. Time spent in shrine on supplication (4)
EONS Hidden in shrinE ON Supplications.
20. Where Pilgrim’s Progress ended up? (10)
CANTERBURY  So not the John Bunyan invention, but any of the Chaucer ones.
22. Liberal grasp on what The Man of Property has (8)
FREEHOLD  Simply translated from Liberal hold. The Man of Property is a bit of a red herring, since Soames Forsyte (for it is he) was not exclusively into freeholds, just stuff.
23. Dante’s guide watching while crossing river (6)
VIRGIL  A watching is a VIGIL, which “crosses” R(iver). Virgil the great poet showed Dante around the nasty bits of the hereafter.
26. Some picture featuring Spielberg’s lead in fashionable movie of his (5)
INSET  Spielberg’s lead is S, his move ET, and the rest fashionable: IN.
27. Deceive two about to be accompanied by (4,2,3)
TAKE IN TOW  Deceive: TAKE IN, TOW a corruption of TWO.
28.pleasure seekers including Quixote in robberies (9)
HEDONISTS  That’ll be DON Quixote set into HEISTS, robberies.
29. I’m cheeseparing Parmesan I grated without a pan  perhaps (5)
MISER paRMESan I, deprived of A PAN both ground up.


1. “ him, and he is no fool. But let him loose among his fellows, and he is lost” (Max Beerbohm, Zuleika Dobson) (9)
SEGREGATE  Recall from memory or Google.
2. What he says on entering the Whitehall Banqueting House? (5)
INIGO  As in Jones, architect of Banqueting House and feature of old and erudite cracker jokes.
3. Go underground perhaps in experimental equipment (4,4)
TEST TUBE Go becomes test via “have a go”, “try out”. Underground is the London TUBE.
4. Giovanni Signorini painted it on artist’s return (4)
ARNO  a reverse on ON R.A., your ubiquitous artist. And this is GS’s take:
5. “His is from the end of the heaven” (Psalms) (5,5)
GOING FORTH  Psalm 19.2, Authorised Version. It’s the Sun.
6. Was going to school to acquire neutral vowel sounds (6)
SCHWAHS  Strictly from Hebrew vowel sounds, an indistinct noise.  WAS goes to SCH(ool)
7. I’m put out about short BBC concert that’s unprepared (9)
IMPROMPTU  I’M plus a construct of PUT set about a PROM, technically an abbreviation of Promenade but now BBC speak for their phenomenal summer concert series.
8. Sounds like you’ll see them in the river at Oxford (5)
EYOTS  Islands in the Thames, because they’re pronounced eights, as in boats.
13. Old people suffering set back after PM loses the head (10)
ISRAELITES  SET backwards after D’ISRAELI loses his D’
15. Broadcast second coming about first part of festival, as 1 4 did (9)
CONFESSED  The first part of festival is rather cheekily FES, and broadcast SECOND provides the fodder for the enclosing anagram. This is the ST AUGUSTINE of Hippo, whose magnificent and detailed Confessions contain the line beloved of any aspiring saint in possession of a delectable cuddle bunny: “Lord, make me chaste – but not yet”
17. On which Pilgrim’s Progress was obtained? (9)
MAYFLOWER  Again, not John Bunyan’s, but (of course) the Pilgrim Fathers.
18. Entering University Dr Freud’s instinct is to master religious doctrine (8)
DRUIDISM  Recollect U(niversity) DR, ID (Freud’s supposition foe instinct) IS and M(aster). Phew.
21. Purify while ingesting it (6)
WHITEN  Wile: WHEN plus IT inserted.
22. One of the things 1 4 wrote about it in a note (5)
FAITH One of the many subjects the Hippo man discoursed on, and IT in the note FAH.
24. Information about them is obtained from headings in Hervarar Saga (5)
GOTHS The saga contains legends of Goth on Hun wars, but really only needs its capitals to be tagged on to GOT for obtained. Pretty clue, though.
25. Manages with difficulty to make some earnings with a Ken Loach movie (4)
EKES You only need the E from Earnings and the immortal film KES.

2 comments on “TLS Crossword 1177 by Praxiteles – May 26, 2017 Here let us wallow”

  1. I was getting on rather well with this one, albeit I did not know the quote from the Psalms and had to look it up (I didn’t know the 1dn quote either but biffed from checkers). The range of knowledge felt reasonably within my ken, or at least better remembered than so many other references that appear in TLS puzzles: Chaucer, Bunyan, Dante, The Confessions, er Spielberg. Had to leave the grid with one blank though, disappointingly it was the perfectly gettable reverse hidden at 11ac, where the initiates in Eleusinian mysteries remained, well mysterious until coming here for enlightenment. 25dn, isn’t that how Brian Glover referred to the bird? Oh no, that would have been ee Kes, not eKes. I’ll get me coat. Thank you setter and thank you blogger.
  2. Sometimes I have time to look at your blog on a Friday and sometimes I don’t. This time around I was held up that morning by TLS 1180 and had to dive out the door before getting the elusive clue that got everyone in hot water. I don’t envy you the assignment and still think that clue was unfair – the definition was hmmmm.

    Anyway, to the matter in hand – 1177. Thank you for the Augustinian elucidation. I get pretty foggy about just who was who with that pair. The ones I had trouble with were the EPOPTS and the IGNAROES, not knowing either, but at least the road map was clear.

Comments are closed.