TLS Crossword 1183 by Broteas – July 7, 2017 Et in TLS ego

I managed to get through this cheerfully under 30 minutes, partly because there were not too many unfamiliar subjects, and quite a few clues where the literary connection was not marked. I’m not sure why, but I knew the unlikely-looking name at 12, though I couldn’t have given you a single detail of who s/he was (yes, that ignorant). I seem to be in good company, as noted below, because almost every facet of her life seems to be disputed. 3 was as clear a biff as can be, though it took me a while (and an astute Google) to find out what the Dead Poets Society was doing there.
Here’s my defuscation of the clues, with some extra whimsies thrown in for fun.
Clues, definitions, SOLUTIONS


1. Many colons could be found in a history of this nation (7)
ALGERIA  In its fourth entry, Chambers identifies “a colonist, esp a colonial farmer, in Algeria”. Which is what you need to know.
8. The best access for TLS Online subscribers and contributors? (4-5)
READ –WRITE  A term from computing related to memory. Probably best if we can do both.
10. Gosh! 1A’s in charge of pain (7)
MYALGIC  MY as one of the many interchangeable for gosh, then ALG for Algeria, a standard abbreviation. The IVR is DZ, as it happens. Finish off with I(n) C(harge)
11. A prop, possibly for a stock comedy character (9)
HARLEQUIN  Might help if you are familiar with Rugby Union teams , of which the ‘Quins are one, and hence the title for one of their prop forwards. And Harlequin crops up in classic Italian Commedia dell’arte, alongside Columbine.
12. Former spy who wrote an article on forced marriage (5,4)
APHRA BEHN  1640-1689. The word “may” crops up a lot in her Wiki, but she did write the play “the Forc’d Marriage” in 1670, and might have been a spy in Surinam (of all places) earlier in her life.
13. Wipe out earth, after ages (5)
ERASE E for Earth, following ERAS for ages.
15. Behaved badly, or performed in the Cambridge Footlights? (5,2)
ACTED UP  If you are at Cambridge University, you are “UP”, and at a good place to join “Footlights” the comedy/review club. The miraculous class of ‘63/4 morphed into I’m sorry I’ll Read That Again – Graeme Garden, Jo Kendall, John Cleese, Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor, David Hatch, whence just about everything funny for the next half century.
17. Writer of a particular type that identifies homes for some fourteen characters (7)
STYLIST 14 (d) is (spoiler alert) Animal Farm, populated by pigs among other creatures. Their homes would be on a sty list (arrgh).
18. Hardy’s jolliest content (5)
OLLIE  So not he of Casterbridge and Jude, but he of another fine mess, in “familiar” form and barely hidden in the middle word.
19. Aurora Scarlett, Ferber’s girl who laughed (4,5)
DAWN O’HARA, representing the Roman goddess of the dawn and “tomorrow is another day” O’Hara, adding up to Edna Ferber’s eponymous heroine, thus described. You may be more familiar with her works Cimarron, Showboat and Giant, three greats of American cinema adapted from her writings
22. Secret scheme of German and Queen with pressure group (9)
UNDERPLOT German for “and” is UND, Her Maj is ER, pressure is P and group LOT. Clever.
24. Guy holding leading role in Love’s Labours Lost? (7)
COSTARD  I think this is guy as in make fun of, which translates that way to COD as in make fun of. The lead is the STAR, and Costard is a smart country bumpkin in LLL who brings to light the word “honorificabilitudinitatibus”. A decent &lit
25. Heard frequently, a German composer who wrote operettas (9)
OFFENBACH  from the one about the two dogs and a cat, Bach, Offenbach and (of course) Debussy. Sounds like frequently, and adds Johann Sebastian et al. Wrote Orpheus in the Underworld with the celebrated Can-can, danced by men, I believe, in this version.
26. Lacking sense, one with no objectives in revolution (7)
ANOSMIA  A one, NO no, AIMS objectives reversed. Lacking specifically the sense of smell.


1. A Spanish force, joined with the French in a Collins novel (6)
ARMADA  (Can’t think of another one). Wilkie Collins wrote the novel Armadale, from which you remove LE, French for, um, the.
2. Senior lady stirring up the old 1930s MGM establishment (5,5)
GRAND HOTEL Indeed a film by MGM with Garbo in it, formed by GRAN, the senior lady, and a mix of THE OLD.
3. Antihero seen on the move in early morning passages of Coleridge, Tennyson and Wordsworth? (8,6)
4. Cunning that’s shown by Weir of Hermiston (6)
ARCHIE  Cunning gives rise to ARCH, and that’s to IE. Eponymous hero of Weir of Harmiston, by RLS
5. The dearest of the dear’s woeful sin, I fear (4,4)
FAIR INES  Thankfully an anagram (woeful) of SIN I FEAR. Thomas Hood:
Were there no bonny dames at home,
Or no true lovers here,
That he should cross the seas to win
The dearest of the dear?
6. Deception over a university place (4)
LIEU  Deception: LIE, U9niversity). Simple enough
7. Mistakenly intervene, mostly to make up again (8)
REINVENT  almost all of intervene, “mistakenly” presented.
9. Library in the same place as your heart, according to Yeats (5,2,5,2)
WHERE MY BOOKS GO  William Butler Yeats’ poem:
All the words that I utter,
And all the words that I write,
Must spread out their wings untiring,
And never rest in their flight,
Till they come where your sad, sad heart is,
And sing to you in the night,
Beyond where the waters are moving,
Storm-darken’d or starry bright.
14. I’m included in very orderly work in the country that was ruled by Napoleon (6,4)
ANIMAL FARM  I’M is captured by ANAL for very orderly (in this clue), and followed by “work in the country” FARM
15. “For this description of thine honesty? him! For me, he’s more and more a cat” (All’s Well That Ends Well) (1,3,4)
A POX UPON  Uttered by Bertram, Count of Roussillon in this precise formulation.
16. Crap deal negotiated for a vehicle that should be cheap (5,3)
PEDAL CAR, an anagram (negotiated) of CRAP DEAL.
20. Broadcast viewer’s greeting (6)
WOTCHA  If you were to hear watcher, for viewer, over the radio, you might be forgiven (just) for thinking of the (Cockney?) greeting, often spelt watcher, possibly a contraction of what cheer?
21. Former French colony, a rural paradise — that’s not right (6)
ACADIA  Arcadia is the rural paradise lauded by Poussin, but without its R(ight) it’s a former French bit of Canada.
23. “Anyone happy in this age and place / Is or corrupt.” (Roy Fuller) (4)
DAFT  Guess or look up.

4 comments on “TLS Crossword 1183 by Broteas – July 7, 2017 Et in TLS ego”

  1. So far as I can remember, I biffed 3d from checkers–I had no idea what the clue was about–and Googled; once I saw the name I went back to the puzzle, and only just now found out who he was. I also, much to my annoyance afterwards, Googled 15d, having overlooked the enumeration and looked in vain for an 8-letter word that would fit. APHRA BEHN I biffed from the H and the enumeration; I knew the name, but not the details. My LOI (one of many DNKs) was READ-WRITE.
  2. That was an excellent time Z. I knew Aphra Behn only because my older daughter was in The Rover in high school. The poets in Reginald Perrin sailed right over my head and the one I couldn’t see for ages was the Fair Ines. I’d printed this in the town library and did it in bits but I’m sure my time was in the stratosphere. Acadia, when it moved South to Louisiana gave us Cajun, as in the famous cookery.
  3. I enjoyed this one and found it pretty accessible. The word play was solid enough that not even my usual literary ignorance could prevent me from making a decent fist of it. A couple of errors, had heard of Aphra Behn but unfortunately decided to spell her surname, Benn, as if she were married to the 70s kids cartoon chap who used to have magical adventures in the back of a fancy dress shop. Took a guess at the third word in 9dn and unfortunately thought of “words” not “books”. 1ac was biffed. Knowing the northern lights and Gone with the Wind meant I didn’t have to know Edna Ferber. I know the Spanish force if not the Wilkie Collins novel. I biffed Reggie Perrin without understanding the references to Coleridge et al, so thank you, blogger for explaining. Guessed correctly at 15dn and 23dn. Knew Arcadia so the French colony was not too difficult. Thanks setter.
  4. Thanks for the blog, Z8, which sorted out the numerous ones I couldn’t get. I seem to have been in a minority in getting quite stuck on this. I’m especially annoyed that I didn’t get REGINALD PERRIN, but I lacked the material for a biff there. I never did get ALGERIA and now I learn the explanation I’m not surprised. ‘colon’ in this sense quite unknown to me.

    I used to live very close to what was once ACADIA (still a university of that name there). In fact, while I was living there I got a visit from a certain Broteas!, who I’m sure toured around that region.

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