Crossword roundup: from Waterloo to Peterloo

<span>The Peterloo Tapestry, which was unveiled in Manchester, 2017.</span><span>Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian</span>
The Peterloo Tapestry, which was unveiled in Manchester, 2017.Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

In the sample clues below, the links take you to explainers from our beginners series. The setter’s name often links to an interview with him or her, in case you feel like getting to know these people better.

The news in clues

A couple of timely images from the Telegraph. Just like last time, a clue you can’t read without getting angry again …

23a Upset postmistress? Not half! (6)
[ wordplay: half of the word POSTMISTRESS ]
[ definition: upset (as a verb) ]

… thinking about effects far worse than STRESS. Meanwhile, apart from a topical puzzle by Neo, that same paper has been leading the way in clues involving that unlovely coinage applied to a clean-air measure in London. So in the Toughie, Dutch gives us …

14d Country’s Ulez extremists head around south disrupting equipment (10)
[ wordplay: first & last letters (‘extremists’) of ULEZ + synonym for ‘head’ containing (‘around’) abbrev. for ‘south’ inside (‘disrupting’) synonym for ‘equipment’ ]
[ UZ + BEAN containing S in KIT ]
[ UZ + BEAN containing KIST ]
[ definition: country ]

… a very topical image en route to a far-off place, UZBEKISTAN. Full topical thematic material in the Financial Times is this time from Leonidas.

Latter patter

Some historical events don’t feel as if they quite belong in a puzzle. Not so when it comes to this paper and the one referenced by Pasquale:

17d Name of massacre, with safe gents maybe hiding below (8)
[ wordplay: slang word for a safe on top of what ‘gents’ is an example of (‘maybe’) ]
[ definition: name of massacre ]

The 200th anniversary of the PETERLOO massacre was commemorated here in a special Arachne puzzle and the name itself was coined in the Manchester Observer, a paper that closed shortly afterwards, leaving its readers with a recommendation, as quoted in David Ayerst’s The Manchester Guardian: Biography of a Newspaper:

I would respectfully suggest that the Manchester Guardian, combining principles of complete independence, and zealous attachment to the cause of reform, with active and spirited management, is a journal in every way worthy of your confidence and support.

The coinage combines the location (St Peter’s Field) with the then recent bloody battle of Waterloo, a name which itself could have been translated as Waterlea, since the Dutch “loo” means much the same thing. And if it hadn’t been for an act of parliament, the London bridge with that name would still be named Strand Bridge; who knows what name would later have been given to the new rail terminus.

Is the bloody battle itself suitable for use in a crossword? Certainly. Enough time has passed and it has acquired so many other meanings; so, reader: how would you clue WATERLOO?

Cluing competition

Thanks for your clues for TOTO. We have a rare split audacity award, the recipients being Chri5Miller for the cryptic definition “Garland accessory” and Jacob_Busby for purloining a format from another source of puzzling in: “Breach of etiquette, Hong Kong cops, two-way car ferry …”

The runners-up are Bartland’s plausible “Visitor to Oz from somewhere in Africa having time for golf” and Montano’s painful (and now truncated) “Broken tooth with end chipped off, canine”. The winner is the restorative “Occupational therapists shown upward-facing dog?”.

Kludos to PeterMooreFuller; please leave entries for the current competition – and especially non-print finds and picks that I may have missed from the broadsheet cryptics – in the comments.

Clue from elsewhere of the fortnight

In this clue from the Times’ quick cryptic, it’s not just the wordplay but also the definition that isn’t doing what any reasonable first read would suggest:

20d Olympian trio running faster mostly (5)
[ wordplay: anagram of (‘running’) FASTER without its last letter (‘mostly’) ]
[ anagram of FASTE ]
[ definition: Olympian trio ]

Here Felix is looking for Mount Olympus’s FATES. A delight to be deceived.

The Shipping Forecast Puzzle Book by Alan Connor, which is partly but not predominantly cryptic, can be ordered from the Guardian Bookshop