TLS Crossword 1181 by Praxiteles – June 23, 2017 – 1181 and All That

A customarily splendid offering from Praxiteles, filled with some really quite ingenious &lit-type clues. The main theme is Sellar & Yeatman’s 1066 And All That, and if you have fond memories of that historical romp you should have been away to the races on this puzzle: I believe its popularity may have peaked a decade or two before my own time, but I still had enough fond recollections to make a decent fist of things. Some nasty vocab at 12ac and 2dn, combined with some obscurities that were not too forgivingly clued if you’d never heard of them (Lewis Carroll, Michael Dibdin and Carlo Ponti) increased the level of challenge, but on the whole I think this was another puzzle pitched at just the right level of difficult, tricky but really eminently doable by anyone who doesn’t actively hate books. Thanks once more to the setter, and with that I will come to a .


1 Anglo-Saxon opponent of a King coming in to occupy (6)
HAROLD – A R [a | King] coming in to HOLD [occupy], semi-&lit

4 & 29: A notable fight with leaders of the Saxon soldiers getting crushed (6,2,8)
BATTLE OF HASTINGS – (A NOTABLE FIGHT + T{he} S{axon} S{oldiers}*) [“getting crushed”], semi-&lit

10 A period to which History came at last, according to 19 & 21 (1,4,4)
A FULL STOP – double def

11 Erstwhile poem or the last part of a classical play (5)
EXODE – EX ODE [erstwhile | poem]

12 A key used in typing a letter (4)
AESC – A ESC [a | key used in typing]
Aesc is an old Anglo-Saxon rune as well as Old English’s Æ character, so another fairly thematic clue it seems.

13 The Roman Conquest was, according to 19 & 21, doing a Goth wrong (1,4,5)
A GOOD THING – (DOING A GOTH*) [“wrong”]

15 Broken bat grasped by one going round cover (7)
HATBAND – (BAT*) [“broken”] grasped by HAND [one going round (a clock)]. It seemed to me that “one going round” might be doing double duty here as part of both the definition and wordplay, but perhaps someone can enlighten me otherwise?

16 A movie one left at the high point (6)
APICAL – A PIC A L [a | movie | one | left]

19 … and 21 rehashed many real tales between them (6)
21 See 19 (7)
SELLAR & YEATMAN – (MANY REAL TALES*) [“rehashed”], semi-&lit

23 Put cocoa in mixture for what followed the 4,29 (10)
OCCUPATION – (PUT COCOA IN*) [“mixture”]

25 One of three little girls shortly coming over in Ely, say (4)
ISLE – reverse of ELSI{e}. I think the “three little girls” are Elsie, Lacie and
Tillie from the Dormouse’s treacle-well story in Alice In Wonderland.

27 Peerless playwright? Yes and no! (5)
IBSEN – cryptic definition of the Norwegian playwright who may well be without peer,
but also wrote Peer Gynt.

28 Mediterranean habit with appeal to Islamic eccentric (9)
ITALICISM – IT [appeal] + (ISLAMIC*) [“eccentric”]

29 See 4 (8)

30 Sir Arnold’s written about the old University where you’ll see the 4,29 in stitches (6)
BAYEUX – BAX [Sir Arnold] written about YE U [the old | university]. Sir Arnold Bax was “a prolific English poet, composer and author”.

1 Indian photographer according to Carroll (8)
HIAWATHA – more or less a cryptic def referring to Carroll’s merciless mockery of Longfellow’s distinctive metre:
From his shoulder Hiawatha
Took the camera of rosewood,
Made of sliding, folding rosewood;
Neatly put it all together.

2 Fruit bat to get excited about badger’s lair (9)
ROUSSETTE – ROUSE [to get excited] about SETT [badger’s lair]

3 Opera’s something impressive! (4)
LULU – double def. The opera is by Alban Berg.

5 Vase with a representative house god depicted (7)
AMPHORA – A MP HO RA [a | representative | house | god]

6 Act the liar, playing on stage (10)
THEATRICAL – (ACT THE LIAR*) [“playing”]

7 Primarily electronic manifestations of Japanese ideograms? (5)
EMOJI – E{lectronic} M{anifestations} O{f} J{apanese} I{diagrams}, &lit

8 “She noticed that he now had a thick — on his upper lip, a black, finely-shapen line” (DH Lawrence, The Rainbow) (6)

9 Get sad about being put on (6)
STAGED – (GET SAD*) [“about”]

14 Chap on top negotiated with Italy’s producer (5,5)
CARLO PONTI – CARL [chap] + (ON TOP*) [“negotiated”] + I [Italy]
Italian film producer, married to Sophia Loren apparently.

17 When a Marine is to cool off about end of fight? (9)
ARMISTICE – A RM IS ICE [a | Marine | is | to cool off] about {figh}T, semi-&lit

18 Tangle with football team when number 10 replaces last three (8)

20 Dibdin’s first experience of Zen (7)
RATKING – cryptic def – Ratking was Michael Dibdin’s first Aurelio Zen novel.

21 Field Marshal containing a second rising by soldier (6)
YEOMAN – NEY [Field Marshal] containing A MO [a |second], all reversed

22 Slavonic culture? (6)
POLISH – double def

24 Act at start of show High Society? They might (5)
CASTS – (ACT + S{how}*) [“high”] + S [society], semi-&lit

26 One I’d start to address as Ethiopian Princess (4) (4)
AIDA – A I’D [one | I’d] + A{dress}. The Verdi opera is of course well known to solvers everywhere.

4 comments on “TLS Crossword 1181 by Praxiteles – June 23, 2017 – 1181 and All That”

  1. A rare unaided breeze for me, although I mucked it up with a careless Bayeax (I always want it to be Bayeaux and I deleted the wrong letter).

    Fond memories brought by the S&Y theme, and I’m amazed how much of them came back to me decades after a single reading.

    RATKING and the other Zen novels are favourites of mine so that was a write-in, but it seems almost ungettable if you hadn’t heard of it.

    Thanks for explaining ISLE, verlaine, as I couldn’t.

    Good fun all round.

  2. I had “epode” which seemed close enough that I forgot to go back and check it when I got around to entering my answers. 1066 has always been such a prime favourite that by now I think I know it by heart so the puzzle was a pleasure. 18A was “peerless”. Very sorry not to have commented earlier. I’ve been feeling a bit weeny weedy and weaky and didn’t get up in time on Friday morning to look at this before going to the country for some R&R.
  3. Thanks for that bit of Carroll, as I had not made the connections since a) it wasn’t my turn to blog and b) HIAWATHA was so screamingly obvious.
    Enjoyed the 1066 theme, even if it took me an embarrassingly long time to remember the authors.
    Apparently 1065 is one of the most common PINS after 1111, 0000 and 1234, apparently because people think it’s unbreakable coding to go one year back from the most memorable date in history.
    1. 1065 is basically that Abba song “The Day Before You Came” but in year form…

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