This puzzle was originally published in The Sunday London Times on March 21, 2010
The puzzle today was probably a bit easier than the typical Sunday London Times fare. However, I was perplexed by 18d and was relieved to learn that I was not alone.
On Times for the Times, Tim Moorey (the setter of today's puzzle) confesses that there is a mistake in 18d. While he could not recall what he had originally intended, he suggests this alternative wording:
18d Rock, I'd say, in case of "winehouse" is not middle of the road (7)
Here "winehouse" would be a reference to British rock singer Amy Winehouse, with "case of winehouse" indicating the first and last letters (i.e., case) of the word "winehouse".
Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle
all over the shop - [Brit. (almost certainly)] colloq scattered everywhere; in numerous places [equivalent to the North American expression "all over the place"]
breeze block - noun Brit. a lightweight building brick made from cinders mixed with sand and cement
Sir Simon Rattle - English conductor, since 2002 the principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic
Links to Solutions
A review of today's puzzle by talbinho can be found at Times for the Times [ST 4373].
Most of the discussion on the blog today concerns the error in 18d. Some correspondents suggested that the clue should have said "warehouse" rather than "garage", while others debated whether the solution might be GAYSIDE rather than WAYSIDE.
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
11a Squeeze former partner, tense by the sound of it (6)
This is one of those homophone clues that doesn't travel well across the Atlantic. The definition is "squeeze" with EXTORT being the solution. The wordplay is a charade of EX (former partner) + TORT which sounds like (by the sound of it) - at least to the British ear - TAUT (tense).
To the British, this is probably a perfect homophone; whereas, to North Americans, these two words sound nothing like each other. You can compare the British and American pronunciations of these words for yourself at the Free Online Dictionary site (taut, tort). It is not unusual for homophone clues that work in the U.K. to totally miss the mark in North America. In fact, due to regional differences in pronunciation, homophone clues often do not work well even within Britain.
I'm not sure why talbinho shows the solution as "EX + 'TAUGHT'". At first, I supposed that taught might be a British (alternative) spelling of taut. However, based on a look at a few U.K. dictionaries, that does not appear to be the case.
19a Rash aggressive youth losing his head on crack (8)
This was the last clue to be solved. I had convinced myself that the solution must start with OUTH (YOUTH losing his head). It was only after I had found the solution and began to reverse engineer the wordplay that I realized that I was, in fact, looking for a LOUT (aggressive youth) losing his head.
23a Puritan rather backing off before adult catalogue (8)
Here "rather" means MORE (in the sense of "Emotions were rather tense following the argument"). "Rather backing off" indicates MORE with the last letter deleted (i.e., with the "backing off").
6d Jumper's on back to front? Have a rest! (5)
In this clue, "back to front" indicates the last letter (back) of the word "front".
Signing off for this week - Falcon
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 — DT 28339
21 hours ago