i Cryptic Crossword 3053 Tees

November 19, 2020

Which I raced through for the most part, and then ground to a halt for approximately the last quarter. Because yes, I put in MOOB quite confidently too, didn’t know the old Labour leadership contender, Lar, and couldn’t bring the battle victim to mind (cryptic definitions aren’t really my strong suit anyway). And, oh, 15d has got to be a made up phrase, hasn’t it? 😉 With a particularly obscure goddess in the wordplay to boot. Oh well, I still finished about par for these parts, so shouldn’t complain.

I did wonder for a while if a theme was opening up, what with REMORSE and RELATE to the SW, a girlfriend elsewhere in the grid, and I AM leading to a half-expected but non-existent “sorry”, but it appears that my imagination is running away with me.

Loads of ticks because this was a fine, inventive puzzle, my nomination for COD going to 17d – “Say you know Brad Pitt? Pardon me, but that’s ridiculous (8)”.

To a distant Thursday in 2016 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


16 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3053 Tees”

  1. Cornick said

    I can’t recall 16d either, and with BELL THE ?A? I just turned to Chambers, which has it. Was thrown by Hecate, who is surely best known as goddess of Witchcraft, being referred to in what for me was an oblique way. I blame Collins.
    Good puzzle. Given the grid, some unusual entries like ‘Ladbrokes’ (whatever next) and this being Tees, I was surprised to discover neither theme nor Nina.

    • Cornick said

      Oh, there was a theme it seems. Something topical to do with Owen Smith. Here today, gone tomorrow… was that really all just 4 years ago?

      • Guy Barry said

        Sorry, I don’t get it. What was the theme? Owen Smith was in the news when the puzzle was first published, but one answer doesn’t make a theme…

      • Cornick said

        Judging simply by what Tees said on the other side and a very quick check on Google, it seems Ladbrokes had Owen Smith as favourite to lead his party – if I understand him correctly, Tees was aghast enough to mark the fact by putting them both, and something about Guardian/ Lar in a crossword. No, not a proper theme as such, but enough to explain the otherwise inexplicably odd grid fill.

  2. Grodnik said

    Yes, still here. Finished this I record time, totally on my wavelength. The clue for 4d is priceless, surely the origin of the phrase “ that’s one in the eye for you”. Sad that readings from Aesop are unfamiliar these days, as that would have assisted with 15d, but as a lifelong cat owner AND member of the RSPB, I have carried out the necessary prophylaxis. As for lar, a brief recall of my Latin primers solved that one. 3d required research as I am unfamiliar with French Departments. I can barely remember English counties.
    Best wishes to all posters.
    Keep the faith, this too will pass.

  3. batarde said

    I take more of an interest in politics than is good for me, but all the same had a job on bringing 12ac to mind. A pushy no-account, I seem to recall, vaguely. Did anybody else really want it to be Ed Balls, on account of the “not true” bit? Matters of note: French départements – bah; bookies – haha; Brad Pitt – why him? Things learned: why that investigative website so beloved of the BBC is called Bellingcat, and that lares can be singular and separated from penates. Who knew? Happy bunny today all told, which isn’t much of a surprise since Tees invariably has that effect.

  4. Saboteur said

    Enjoyable and surprisingly straightforward. I think I was just on Tees’ wavelength today.

    No problem with French départements, or with either Hecate or belling the cat. And like Batarde Ididnt know you could have one Lar on it’s own. However – LADBROOKS! Whatever next?

    • Guy Barry said

      As a former employee I feel compelled to correct the spelling! There was always an obvious joke about leaving a “lad broke” (makes me wonder why they chose the name).

      • Saboteur said

        Sorry! Not sure whether that was me or auto correct! 😀

        When my grandad died (decades ago) Ladbrokes sent a wreath. Which explained why there was no money left. Surprised there wasn’t a catastrophic drop in the price of their shares.

  5. Guy Barry said

    My memory of politics must be better than some, because 12ac was my first one in! I suppose Tees was forced to use “not true” as anagram indicator, otherwise the clue would have been potentially libellous…

    Favourites were 9ac and 17dn (and to answer batarde, why not Brad Pitt? It had to be someone). 4dn was clever as well. 24ac was particularly easy because I used to work there. 1dn was a bit uncertain at first because I originally had “loss” as the definition and PO=”paid off”, leaving me with DISSAL (?) for “assignment” before I spotted the anagram. 3dn seemed a rather obscure piece of knowledge but I got it comfortably from wordplay.

    Having finished everything else comfortably, rather quicker than usual, I then came to a complete halt with 15dn. After much staring I looked up a list of underworld goddesses and assumed LETHE must be involved, which didn’t help at all. Eventually resorted to Crossword Solver to discover that I was completely wrong and that it was an obscure expression from Aesop that no one else seems to know either. It spoilt the crossword to some extent, but otherwise a very enjoyable puzzle.

  6. Denzo said

    First in POKER, penultimate LADBROKES, made me wonder about a theme which, as a non-gambler, I had missed, but probably not.

    Overall an accessible and enjoyable puzzle, not too easy, fairly clued and fewer obscurities than even yesterday’s by DAC

    For me the only obscurity was BELL THE CAT, which, I entered thanks to crossers and helpful wordplay, thinking it would have to do because it worked and you could indeed get a scratch from such activity but no one would make a phrase out of it. Having filled the grid, I went to 225 preparing to kick myself on seeing what I’d missed, and was pleased to find I hadn’t! I then spent a few enjoyable minutes on Wikipedia looking at the history of the phrase. This must therefore be my CoD.

    Like Cornick, amazed to think that OWEN SMITH was in the news only four years ago. Is the theme a link between 4D,12A and17D?

  7. thebargee said

    A tale of 2 sittings today, but got there in the end, LOI being 4dn, accompanied by an audible and rather rude penny-drop exclamation.

    Elsewhere, I remembered the politician and just avoided MOOB for 6dn. I guessed the answer to 15dn once all the crossers were in, because I remembered that the identities of the 2 Russians responsible for the Salisbury poisonings were revealed by an investigative website called bellingcat.com! I now know where the name comes from.

  8. OJ said

    Lovely puzzle. Not long ago I wouldn’t have known BELL THE CAT or LOIR-ET-CHER but the former came up not that long ago (in the Times, maybe?) and the Times had the latter in recent days in their cryptic. Was just able to drag the answers out to finish.

    Thanks blogger and setter.

  9. thebargee said

    Dunno what happened to my comment earlier, seems to have gone into a black hole.

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