TLS Crossword 1178 by Myrtilus – Twice Knightley

Ridiculously good crossword from Myrtilus, with the trademark pun across the top and a couple of tour de force &lit clues. A really enjoyable mix of references, too, from Lorenz Hart’s lyric for Manhattan to Conversations with Goethe.

I found this solveable but challenging throughout. The parsing for MAN FRIDAY and the full explanation for the ALL BLACKS clue took a long while for me to twig. Very well worth it in the end, though.

I don’t think they get much better than this.




1 TW,ICE – a short ‘two’+ bits of frost (ice). Def. is “Times 2”

4 KNIGHTLEY – sounds like ‘knightly’ i.e.. ‘valiant’. This is George Knightley, of Jane Austin’s Emma

9 MAN FR(ID)AY – &lit., Isle of MAN + I’D (I would) inside FRAY (conflict) – not sure if Robinson Crusoe ever called his buddy Man Friday. Usually, I think, it was just Friday

10 GOUDA – second letters of egg noodles, but add Parmesan”

12 ALL BLACKS – a team, and the novels Black Dogs (McEwan), Black Beauty (Sewell) and Black Mischief (Waugh)


18 RAM,E(a)SES

20 P(LA)UT,US – the note is ‘la’

21 (b)ECKER,MANN – Johann Peter Eckermann, author of Conversations With Goethe. (Thomas) Mann after a timely reference to Boris Becker, who has just managed to be declared bankrupt, something he mostly blames on “5 seconds in a broom cupboard” with a Russian model

23 GILD,A – Rigoletto’s daughter

25 CELIA – Alice*, an As You Like It reference

26 PROSELYTE – writing (prose) + a beheaded Flyte (Sebastian in Brideshead Revisited). Def. (an) initiate

27 DESDEMONA – another &lit., with 0 (love) amid an anagrammatised “man’s deed”


1 TO(M,SAW)YER – WAS + M(mark) reversed inside TOYER (one playing)

3 E,RR,OR,LESS – the LESS is given by ‘without’

5 IDYLLIC – anagram of “periodically” minus the letters of “opera”

6 HE,GEL – LEG (‘on’ in cricket) + EH (what?) reversed

7 LA(UN)CELOT – UN (‘a’ to the Parisians) inside an anagram of “to a cell”

14 NUM,SKULLS – sounds like ‘sculls’ after abbr. for the book of Numbers

16 PLAY,GOERS – play as in tolerance, leeway

19 S(HAM)POO – ”oops” reversed around HAM

21 EL CID – the Elevated railway (EL) + the police department

22 READE – hidden word. Charles Reade, author of The Cloister and the Hearth.

11 comments on “TLS Crossword 1178 by Myrtilus – Twice Knightley”

  1. Ah, yes .. 4ac .. I thought it was an odd thing for Keira to be 🙂

    I agree, this was exactly the sort of crossword that attracted me to the TLS variety in the first place. A real challenge but not an insuperable one; and witty, erudite, educational as well

    Poor Boris B has many fine qualities, but I suspect intellectual prowess may not be one of them.

    1. Maybe so, but he’s always had an impressively shrewd perspective in some ways. Whenever I think of him, I think of that brilliant press conference following a surprise Wimbledon exit, when the journos were on the verge of spontaneous combustion and he said “It wasn’t a war. Nobody died out there.”

      And he doesn’t look like a man with many regrets. I get the feeling if you asked him if the five seconds in the broom cupboard were worth it, he’d have to think about it.

  2. Agreed, a cracker, especially now I’ve been led into the Becker reference which I think I missed first time round – court favourite went right over my head. I might say that if 5 seconds in a broom cupboard was the cause of his bankruptcy, he was massively overcharged.
    1. You got in ahead of me on Boris Z but I’m glad to be in good company.
  3. My train had just whizzed through the station here when I came upon this clue! Great song that – I love the “balmy breezes” from the downtown subway, especially after my son-in-was stuck for 2 hours recently in a dark sweltering F train in a tunnel near Delancey. Oh THAT German court favourite – I’d completely forgotten about Boris until the recent news so the clue sailed right over my head. Nice timing Myrtilus, and nice puzzle. As for timing I did this in pieces so I can’t give one.
    1. How cool that you were actually there! I love that song, too, and it always makes me yearn to visit New York. One day I’m going to have to make the pilgrimage and “do” the song, place by place. I have a lot of NY locations from books, movies and TV shows I really want to visit, too.
  4. Thank you for the kind comments. I’ve only been to New York once and thought I would find it too busy. But I absolutely loved it. It was November. The food was great wherever we went, especially seafood. And it feels like you are in the movies. The idea of a tour based on ‘Manhattan’ sounds like a winner.
    Today is the last day of our hols in Ile De Re. This is a fantastic place too. I’ve been reading The House That Nino Built by Giovanni Guareschi (of Don Camillo fame). I highly recommend it. There is one story called ‘Age Forty’ that is guaranteed to make you laugh and also, probably, cry.
    1. Thanks for dropping by, Myrtilus, and for the “Lives of the Setters” insight and the recommendations.

      Now I’m really going to have to plan that Manhattan tour. And I also have a longstanding thing about doing a coast-to-coast noir/detective road trip, which would probably have to start in Boston and end up, naturally, in LA. Manhattan might be easier.

      1. As an ex-resident of Manhattan, unfortunately I have little to offer musically (other than that the building on the front of Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti” is on St Mark’s Place), but I did very much enjoy Pete Hamill’s “Downtown: My Manhattan” (48p used + P&P on Amazon) if you’re looking for some general background reading.
        1. Nice. Thank you. Looks like a good read. And I had no idea the Led Zep album cover was a New York building. Never even thought about it.
  5. I’ve had a couple of forays into these TLS puzzles, but I find I need every bit of help I can get from Google and The Crossword Solver. Even with those aids it’s a challenge to make progress. I do find that the research extends my knowledge though, so it’s a useful and enjoyable experience. I did manage to complete this one, even if I screwed it up at the last hurdle by sticking the Wine bar instead of the poet into 8d. That spoiled my cheese at 10a too. Rats! More proof reading required. I was however very pleased to remember Sebastian from Brideshead! I visited Castle Howard last year and bought the book:-) 1:41:18. Thanks Myrtilus and Sotira.

    Edited at 2017-06-23 11:51 pm (UTC)

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