The Gold (from the 30th/31st of October)

11 across: Glaswegian tailor working order? (6)
Ya gotta love how DA twists the language: Glaswegian tailor = kilter (as in a maker of kilts) = kilter = working order.

20 across: Spooner said you (currently) can be clued by 4-down (tree) (3, 5)
Perhaps DA’s best Spoonerism: Spooner said you (currently) can be clued = Spooner said reader = red cedar = tree.

7 down: Bird in Whitechapel Bay? (3)
Brilliant piece of subterfude by DA: whitechapel bay = whitechapel howl = ‘owl (said like a cockney in Whitechapel) = owl = bird.

24 down: Consumed by dope, strongly lost to time (4)
What seems to have been the hardest for most people to solve turned out to be a goodie: dope, strongly lost to time = info f lost to t = into = consumed by.

18 across: Shot producing four prior to break? (6, 3)
An easy one, but a clever one: producing four prior to break = square prior to cut = square cut = shot.

13 down: Common article media skewed: Try Buddhism? (1, 4, 1, 5)
A brilliant clue made easy because of the odd letter arrangement of its answer: article media skewed: Try Buddhism = a media skewed do zen = a dime a dozen = common.

17 down: Somehow laundry finishes up in bigger domestic output (4, 5)
That somehow put me on wild goose chase instead of doing as follows: somehow laundry finishes up in bigger = wy up in greater = grey water = domestic output.

25 across: Fashion child clothing adults seen in bed? (6-2-3)
Another quality clue made easy by its answer’s letter arrangement. Nevertheless, masterful: fashion child clothing adults = forge tot clothing men = forget-me-not = seen in bed (a garden bed).

6 across: Retro old comic has initially cheated age (5)
I had the answer without a thorough explanation for a long time before thinking of comedians: retro old comic has initially cheated = retro Cope has initially cheated = epoch = age.

Now that I look at the explanation again, I notice it’s still not thorough: why purpose does cheated serve in the clue?

Update: I figured it was Julian Cope being referred to, but a glance at his Wikipedia page shows that, while he’s prolific in a number of fields, he’s never really done comic work.

No, the comedian referred to is Bob Hope, and the answer goes retro old comic has initially cheated = retro Hope has c = epoch = age.

7 thoughts on “The Gold (from the 30th/31st of October)

  1. Cope isn’t the comedian; it’s Hope of TV fame, returning to swallow (‘has’) C (‘initially cheated’).

  2. > 18 across: Shot producing four prior to break? (6, 3)
    > An easy one, but a clever one: producing four prior to break = square
    > prior to cut = square cut = shot.

    I agree it was easy, but … how does “producing four” = square?

  3. I would have said four = square (of 2) all by itself, with producing acting as a linking word.

  4. Yes, my interpretation was the same as haiku’s. Actually, I didn’t rate this clue very highly. OK, the cricketing flavour was maintained well throughout the clue, but the wordplay was otherwise ordinary. And in particular, I didn’t warm to “four” = “square”. Since four is only one of an infinite number of squares, I would have preferred something like “four perhaps”, “four, for example”, or “four (say)”, although this would have made the surface reading a bit clunky, I suppose.

    Re 6A: Like you, AS, I at first thought that the H of EPOCH came from the initial letter of “has”, but I didn’t know of a comedian by the name of Cope, and anyway “cheated” would have been left dangling. So then Bob Hope came to mind.

  5. “Shot producing four prior to break” is perfect surface reading, the kind of sentence you’d find on a newspaper headline in the sports section. That’s why I considered it gold.

    I thought of Julian Cope, who is one of those people who does a little bit of everything. I supposed that he must have also done some comic work, but a glance over his Wikipedia page shows that he’s never done anything of the sort!

  6. AS, indeed an excellent surface reading, but that doesn’t make it a good cryptic clue. “four” = “square”? Rubbish.

    Whilst I’m griping … is “f” = strongly kosher? “f” “forte” “loud” is standard & according to Hoyle, but “f” “strongly”? Another liberty?

  7. Square = four is fine. Granted, square could conceivably mean an infinite number of numbers, but given that in this instance it refers to 4 and not something like 81, I think it’s fine.

    For instance, I’d be upset if number = 73, but I reckon I’d be OK with number = 3. In much the same way, square = 4 is OK but square = 121 would be crap.

    Here’s more about square numbers:

    (and you’re right, forte = strongly is a bit off kilter, but for me within the bounds of acceptability)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *