TLS Crossword 1179 by Broteas – June 9, 2017

I was able to get within 3 clues of finishing this on the Hudson Line train, starting somewhere after Yonkers and finishing at Garrison, about 45 minutes.  But we were missing the clue for 18D on the Club site and I was far from a complete parsing of several of the rest until back in Google range  The clue I had the most trouble with (10A) didn’t seem to bother anyone else, which is not unusual.  And there was some nice misdirection with a gent named Oscar.  In retrospect I think I should have been much quicker to see the three long down clues (2, 5 and 8) and should have started with them, saving myself a lot of time and bother.  Definitions in italics underlined.  Answers in bold caps.

July 4th falls on a Tuesday this year and we haven’t yet decided whether to stay out of town or come back – depends on the weather.  So any comments I don’t see before leaving at the crack of tomorrow morning may have to wait until the middle of next week for a response.


1.  Something with (or without) wings in Stratford-on-Avon (4)
SWAN.  Ben Jonson so dubbed his illustrious contemporary Shakespeare.  It was only when I came to write this up that I realized I hadn’t actually parsed it, but I think it must be just that the bird has wings and Will does not.  Or something.
4. Hope sometimes seen as Wilde here meets a promiscuous gentleman (5,2,3)
HOTEL DU LAC.  In the 1980s novel by Anita Brookner, Vanessa Wilde is the nom de plume of Edith Hope, a romance writer, escaping the social fall-out at a Swiss hotel after jilting her fiance on the steps of a London registry office.  It took me a while (and I see from the Club Forum I wasn’t the only one) to get the right “Hope” – I went looking for Anthony and got distracted by the Wilde possibilities, having forgotten the pen name.  The bed-hopping gentleman is Philip Neville who proposes to Edith and then is observed by her leaving a night-time rendez-vous with one of the other female guests in the hotel.  I hadn’t read any of Brookner in 1986 and was introduced to this by the tv adaptation shown by British Airways as inflight entertainment that year.  It had a spectacularly good cast ( and I’ve been on a Brookner binge ever since.
9.  Town-dweller, mostly full of oranges and lemons (6)
CITRIC.  CIT=town-dweller.  RIC[h]=mostly full
10.  A contrary Norse god grasping a notion – that’s what you want to be (3-5)
EGO-IDEAL.    Concept in Freudian theory. LOGE=god reversed (contrary) containing (grasping) IDEA=notion. This was the one that stubbornly refused to parse itself – because I’d forgotten the Wagnerian spelling of the Norse god (my brain persisted in wanting “Loki”).
11.  Most of a fabulous abbey – , or has been created by … (2.4.2)
IS DOWN TO. And the Oscar goes to DOWNTO[n] (most of).  Fictional (fabulous) abbey of tv fame.
12.  … working with the French or Spanish tiny gentleman linked with another abbey (6)
TILNEY.  Anagram (working) of LE (“the” in French in French or Spanish) with TINY.  I dithered over this because I didn’t see how LE=”the” in my limited Puerto Rican Spanglish.  There were three Tilney men in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, only one of whom behaved like a gentleman – Henry who marries Catherine Morland.  The General and Captain Frederick were not so well-disposed.
14.  What I do when I don’t want to know the murderer in a Margery Allingham mystery (4,2,4)
HIDE MY EYES.  One of the long-running Albert Campion mysteries – this one from the 1950s
16.  German politician, not necessarily convincing (4)
GLIB.  G=German.  Lib-politician.  It would have been better if I’d not wasted time trying to make “lame” work.
17.  The weakening of a literature lecturer (4)
WILT.  Double definition.  Henry is the title character in the 1970s novel by Tom Sharpe.
18.  A West African catfight, preceded by Civil Peace (5,2,3)
GIRLS AT WAR.  Short story and title of a collection by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe.  It followed Civil Peace, another short story.
20.  Player possibly striking ball poetically over surrounding fence (6)
OPENER.  OER=over in poet-speak containing (surrounding) PEN=fence.  I may have been hoping to ignore the possible cricket reference because I spent far too long looking at poet-speak for ball, i.e. “orb”, and trying to make Brando the player.  It had to wait for 2d to sort out the muddle.
21. Like speaking role, mostly, and win Oscar (8)
PARLANDO.  PAR[t]=role mostly.  AND with O=Oscar in Nato phonetic alphabet.  Music direction meaning singing in the form of speaking.  Perhaps what Rex Harrison does in My Fair Lady.
23.  Revolutionary boyfriend – left-wing journalist on the radio? (8)
MIRABEAU.  Honore, Comte de.  Homophone (on the radio) for Mirror (left-wing newspaper) beau.  Good one.  As revolutionaries go he was a moderate and died before the Terror or it’s almost certain Robespierre would have sent him to the guillotine.
25.  Illicit love’s tops among former opponents in Joyce play (6)
EXILES.  James’s rarely performed drama.  I[llicit] L[oves] (tops) contained in EXES=former opponents.


2.  Travelling miles with spirit in Spenser’s work asking one to make haste (6,2.2.5)
WHILST IT IS PRIME.  Anagram (travelling) of MILES WITH SPIRIT.  The title of, and a line from, Edmund Spenser’s sonnet.  The poem is best known for “taking time by the forelock” and is in the Oxford Book Of English Verse – Quiller-Couch (great name that !) edition.
3.  Drug agent’s denial about section of ring (5)
NARCO.  NO=denial containing (about) ARC=section of ring.
4.  Recently exhibited painter of one horse’s joint and another, we hear (7)
HOCKNEY.  David.  I didn’t know about any particular recent show but his work is exhibited all the time in London, Paris or NY so it wasn’t much of a guess.  I believe a HOCK is a horse’s knee – or NEY, by way of homophone (we hear) here.  I’ve been having a few troubles with my own left hock lately, and this also reminded me of a Thelwell cartoon of the so-called “points of the horse”.
5.  Article on translation of absurd poetry that was written by Jules Romains (3,5,7)
THE BODY’S RAPTURE.  THE=article, with anagram (translation) of ABSURD POETRY.  Philosophical erotica by mid-20th Century French author.
6.  Lot seen in distress, as one whose wife became immobile (7)
LEONTES.  Anagram (in distress) of LOT SEEN.  Not the pillar of salt from Genesis here but Hermione, wife of the pathologically jealous Leontes in Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale, who is presented to him in the last act in the form of a statue (immobile) which comes alive.  Very good clue but a rather unpleasant play.
7.  A bean or a bean product, though not at first (3)
URD.  I didn’t know this name for what I think of as a black lentil.  I also don’t know if this is the same root as the language Urdu.  The bean product is [c]URD aka tofu.
8.  A controversial serialisation with a title, limitless price, and about 500 pages (2,8,5)
AN AMERICAN DREAM.  1960s novel by Norman Mailer originally published in serial form in Esquire magazine.  Controversial because of its misogynist depiction of women.  I picked this up from a couple of crossing letters and the enumeration but it parses as follows:  A NAME=title, [p]RIC[e] (limitless). AND REAM=500 pages.
13. A match that failed for Kipling (5)
LIGHT.  Early novel by Rudyard.
15.  Kiss in a place near Windsor – one that destroyed a monarch (5)
EXTON.  X=kiss contained in ETON.  The postal address for Eton College is Windsor, Berks.  In Shakespeare’s Richard II Sir Piers Exton murders the imprisoned Richard prompted by a remark from Bolingbroke, now King Henry IV.  In a line reminiscent of Henry II, speaking of Thomas Becket (“will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”), Henry IV says “have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?”.
18.  “Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring / Your Winter — of Repentance fling” (Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam) (7)
GARMENT.  From III – Oblivion, as translated by Edward Fitzgerald. If you had all the crossing letters it was quite possible to guess this but it certainly made things more difficult to have a blank clue from the get-go.
19.  A winner of many races and writer of books involving horses (7)
SURTEES.  Double definition.  Motor racing and cycling are a closed book to me so I didn’t know of John Surtees, an exemplar of both.  I did know of Robert Smith Surtees, the 19th Century sporting writer and author of the Jorrocks fox-hunting novels.  That didn’t stop me from trying to wedge Dick Francis (jockey and mystery writer) in there for longer than I should have.
22.  Girl after a novelist’s not quite right (5)
AMISS.  A with MISS.  Also Amis’s=belonging to Martin or Kingsley the novelists.
24.  An exercise in parody (3)
APE.  A PE=exercise.

7 comments on “TLS Crossword 1179 by Broteas – June 9, 2017”

  1. If it’s any consolation I had exactly the same problem you did with 10ac Olivia, for the similar reason that I’d never heard of the alternative spelling of Loki at all.. on the other hand, 19dn a write-in, having once met the man in my youth
    I don’t think urd and Urdu are closely connected etymologically. Urdu is from Persian, urd (another unfamiliar word) from Hindi
  2. Replies/comments:

    1A The other Swan thing was intended to be the Swan theatre in Stratford on Avon – a theatre without wings, it turns out.
    21A – LAND(=win) rather than AND
    4D – There was a recent Hockney exhibition at Tate Britain – Mrs B went on a spare ticket, and Mr B had a look at the freebie parts of the gallery.
    18D – apologies for the missing clue – if you forget to “romanise” text in italics for the club version in a clue with italics in the print version, the whole clue vanishes. I remember to do this most of the time …

    Edited at 2017-06-30 08:37 am (UTC)

  3. Found this one rather difficult, with many wordplay-based guesses that too often turned out to be incorrect (e.g. SHUT MY EYES in 14A, any number of combinations of RE/RA/OR/TA/etc and N/S/E/W in 26A, etc). SURTEES was my LOI, having only heard of the motorsport guy.

    I took the wordplay in 12A as meaning it was an anagram of TINY with either LE (French) or EL (Spanish), as the only meaning of le I know in Spanish is as an indirect object pronoun.

  4. Why I put HACKNEY in at 4d I have no idea, especially after an extended (but not that extended) solve. It would be nice to find a devious justification for an alternative answer, but I guess stupidity will just have to do.
    Apart from that, a pretty good crossword to work through with loads of lit and art to unearth. And just a frisson of the old times, with a missing clue. I did spend a bit of fantasy time wondering if the absence linked to the answer through the Emperor’s new clothes, but that turned out to be altogether, but altogether wrong.
    Many thanks for the comprehensive unveiling.

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