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Times 25670 - Don Lite

Another gentle start to the week, with an ecclesiatic mini-theme but without the Don's deviousness. 35 minutes. Thanks to PB for sticking up a whole load of online puzzles on the Times Crossword Club website, idiot-proofed so that even I could do them on the iPad (well, one). And a very nice ST crossword from Tim Moorey to boot... We're a spoiled bunch.

Nothing whatever to say about the cricket, apart from a) I wish England would play some and b) does Jacques Kallis have an English grandmother?


1 TULIP TREE - anagram* of TITLE PURE; also known as the yellow poplar, this magnolia has bright green leaves that resemble tulip flowers, especially when they turn golden in the autumn.
6 VELDT - nice clue: LD in VET for Jacques Kallis country.
9 AMBER - [c]AMBER (it's the about = circa = c which must exit the camber); 'Danger! Adverse Camber' was always one of my favourite road signs as a nipper.
10 MAINLINER - MAN as in the verb 'to crew' + LINER around I[sland].
11 SEA LION - NOISE* around A + L[ake].
13 PHARMACOLOGIST - a write-in; for the record, the wordplay is PHARMA (sounds like 'farmer') + [e]COLOGIST; nothing to do with caulies or 1st.
17 BRING UP THE REAR - the sort of thing you expect to hear from Stephen Fry (who I spotted in the Hobbit II when I was awake); it's RING UP THE RE (Royal Engineers) in BAR.
21 ONGOING - slightly unusual wordplay: it's LONGING without its first letter (that's the force of 'after start') around 'round' (= O) with the literal being 'currently in progress'.
23 MONSOON - as in Edina from Ab Fab (we had this the other day); just a charade: MON ('one day') + SOON ('in the near future').
25 CONSONANT - double definition
26 AISLE - sounds like 'I'll'. More of a chestnut than a tulip tree, but having tried to write one clue recently, I'm in no position to cast stones. However, throwing stones is fun so on we go...
27 ENEMY - a virtual &lit: E + MEN reversed + Y.
28 EARNESTLY - NEST (verb) in EARLY.


1 TRANSEPT - T[hat] + RAN + SEPT (an Irish clan).
2 LIBRA - 'lines once' as so often refers to dear old British Rail (BR), which here forms the soggy lettuce in the curled-up sandwich provided by AIL reversed.
3 PERSIMMON - I have to confess I was looking for a disciple rather than a fruit; it's M[atthew} in PER ('each') + SIMON (as in Peter or indeed the Zealot).
4 ROMANIC - ODO tells me that this is a less (or as McT would say 'fewer') common term for Romance, as in languages; a bit tricky if the first letter had been unchecked - the wordplay is rather crafty: OMAN ('state') preceded by ('with' - although the ordering is left vague) R ('Republican') + IC ('in charge'), the literal being 'like Spanish'.
5 EDICTAL - like ROMANIC, not a word I use every day, but easier to get than ROMANIC: LATE reversed containing CID reversed.
6 VALVE - hidden but pops up easily enough.
7 LANGOUSTE - I was working around 'porpoise', having failed to see it was simply an anagram of A LUTE SONG.
8 TORPOR - TOO + R around RP.
14 ARROGANCE - 'side' as in the Arthur Daley sense: 'That Lucozade's got no side, Terence'. Yes, I'm watching this gloriously slice-of-life series on YouTube currently. Oh, the wordplay? It's GO reversed in ARRAN + CE.
18 UPGRADE - PA URGED*; when companies replace human beings with recorded messages, not excluding the one that tells you that this conversaton is being recorded to waste even more of your time.
19 TEMPTER - cunning wordplay once more: it's MP ('member') replacing the third letter in TEETER ('rock').
20 LOUCHE - CH for IS in LOUISE.
22 IRONY - IRON-Y. Baldric made a joke about this...
24 ONSET - [N+S (the 'poles') + E] in OT.


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 30th, 2013 02:13 am (UTC)
About 30 minutes....
....with no particular difficulties. Three or four years ago, Tiepolo was in every other puzzle, but then he was sent into exile. I suppose he has managed to escape from Elba and has come back to plague us. I just hope he is not accompanied by Beerbohm Tree.

I found both 'edictal' and 'Romanic' unnecessarily ugly and obscure, although easy enough to get from the cryptics.

Dec. 30th, 2013 02:16 am (UTC)
After slightly more than 30 minutes, left with ?O?C?E. Came here and learned a new word. Thanks, ulala, oops ulaca
Dec. 30th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
Sadly, I don't have her assets, Uncle Yap...
Dec. 30th, 2013 09:05 am (UTC)
Had to google Ulala, and discovered completely unknown territory. But then I've never ventured into Playstation land. I still like the ZX Spectrum.
Dec. 30th, 2013 12:19 pm (UTC)
As a late developer, I was happy for years with my ZX81. The cassete player broke first!
Dec. 30th, 2013 02:34 am (UTC)
16:16 .. I decided in the end that the ‘in charge’ in ROMANIC was doing double duty and putting the Republican at the top - I have no idea if that’s true but it worked out okay.

Last in LOUCHE, which I believe some dictionaries define by printing a picture of Terry-Thomas.

Edited at 2013-12-30 02:44 am (UTC)
Dec. 30th, 2013 03:22 am (UTC)
A nice way to ease back into crosswords after a few days off. And also straight through, left-to-right, top-to-bottom. Stuck then, at the end with LOUCHE and ENEMY. (Expected the latter to be a particular enemy, given that the English have had so many of them.)

Thanks to Ulaca for fewer insults than usual.

BTW: you have two 20s, one of which should be a 19.

Edited at 2013-12-30 05:48 am (UTC)
Dec. 30th, 2013 06:07 am (UTC)
Re: 17:24
Thank you, Macca. I have one...less now......
Dec. 30th, 2013 05:30 am (UTC)
32 minutes and prevented from achieving my target 30 by LOI 4dn. Also lost time over TEMPTER.

Dec. 30th, 2013 07:59 am (UTC)
I found this mostly straightforward but took an age over the Dorset corner. Like mctext I was looking for a particular enemy at 27 and took a while trying to justify BONEY and thought LOUCHE and ONGOING were tricky.

I put a question on the 28/12 Jumbo blog about the experience of non-UK solvers with Times subscriptions to replace the Crossword Club.

Any comments by LJ message would be appreciated.
Dec. 30th, 2013 08:28 am (UTC)
I'm blaming a bad cold for what now looks like a slow time.
Feeling your Ashes pain Ulaca. Geez it's got to the stage where it's not even fun to gloat any more.

Dec. 30th, 2013 08:36 am (UTC)
In the blood
No, you're an Aussie - it's in the blood. 'Now looks like a slow time' - yeah, like it's a bit slower than mine. I'm ready to do a Trott (or should that be a 'Swann'?) and retire from blogging, taking my Bradford, my crosswordpuzzlesolver and my stress-related condition with me...
Dec. 30th, 2013 09:23 am (UTC)
Re: In the blood
Ha! I must be one of those rare non-gloating Aussies. Damned colonials.

Hope you're joking about hanging up your blogging boots, you're one of my favourite bloggers and posters. Sounds like you (and Alistair Cook) just need a hug!

Dec. 30th, 2013 10:17 am (UTC)
Re: In the blood
I was getting tired of insulting McT. I would have to be dragged away from my post. Highlight of my fortnight!
Dec. 30th, 2013 09:18 am (UTC)
14 minutes, learning two new/made-up words with ROMANIC and EDICTAL, neither of which I would have got in a concise crossword.
I was tempted by TEMPTOR, probably because I was looking to replace C in a word meaning rock, rather than the generic third letter. Tector (something to do with continental drift?) looked a possibility in a grid which already had the two newcomers above. Must learn to spell.
ENEMY makes it as my CoD - very tidy. With England's proud history, I wasn't tempted to look for a particular foe - we've upset everyone in our time.
Dec. 30th, 2013 02:17 pm (UTC)
Still No.1 at something
This map has been doing the rounds showing the 22 countries Britain has never invaded -


I gather some of the claims are contentious, but even with a margin of error it suggests we're better at invading than we are at cricket.
Dec. 30th, 2013 09:38 am (UTC)
Got most of the way there in 10 minutes but took a while to fill the holes in the SW corner, eventually finishing with tempter, consonant and Terry Thomas and stopping the clock at 15:01 (WEBOG*)

Like others the tree and the sect were unknown to me. I've no idea whether or not I've come across edictal and Romanic before but they were easy enough to piece together and are clearly real words.

At 19 "my" rock was "tester", a term from the diamond trade that I was "pleased" to have remembered from previous puzzles. Except it's summat to do with tapestry or embroidery, innit?

* While eating bowl of granola.
Dec. 30th, 2013 10:03 am (UTC)
I think we should welcome back TIEPOLO after his long absence, refill his water bottle, and send him off on a new adventure. I read "draw game" and had a sort of convulsion as I immediately remembered my favourite painter.

Some reasonable clues here in a light 20 minute jog whilst the wind whistles and the rain hammers down.

PERSIMMON used to be used to make golf clubs (woods not irons) before metal woods took over
Dec. 30th, 2013 12:24 pm (UTC)
I still play with a set (two sets, actually) of persimmon woods. They make a much more satisfying thwack.
Dec. 30th, 2013 11:42 am (UTC)
18.30 while not quite understanding one or two and still not entirely convinced by the Romanic parsing. Moment of panic when unable to see anything but valet in 4 ac. which was last in by a way. What a grim word edictal is, but made up for by langouste and orangery. The liqueur of words.
Dec. 30th, 2013 11:55 am (UTC)
Very straightforward, I thought, taking 25 minutes. I did have a minor hold-up after entering a dubious WHEREAT for 23 (anag. WEATHER), but ONSET quickly exposed that error. I liked 6ac and 20dn - neat and effective. I can't see any problem with the clue to ROMANIC.
Dec. 30th, 2013 12:06 pm (UTC)
27:14 with a dog interruption.
I was surprised that SEPT was derived from Ireland, although Chambers confirms this. I had always worked on the basis that a sept was a subset of a Scottish clan, in that I know for instance that the Watsons were a sept of the clan Buchanan. I live and learn.

Thanks for the blog ulaca.
Dec. 30th, 2013 12:24 pm (UTC)
10:28 - might have been a smidge quicker if (a) I had heard of ROMANIC and (b) Mr CS wasn't muttering loudly over his tricky Christmas Jigsaw. Oh and a slight hangover after lovely champagne-assisted supper at new neighbours last night.
Andy Borrows
Dec. 30th, 2013 01:20 pm (UTC)
14 mins with no major holdups. VELDT was my LOI (I also couldn't see past "valet" for a while) after the ONGOING/LOUCHE crossers. There is a TULIP TREE in next door's back garden and it is beautiful when it flowers.
Dec. 30th, 2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
One missing today (veldt).
Am enjoying solving the Sunday Times puzzles. Have done cryptic 4570, jumbo cryptic and just now finished jumbo concise. Now looking at the 11 Dec 1988 cryptic.
Dec. 30th, 2013 04:21 pm (UTC)
Back to normal
Monday fare, 18 minutes, LOI ENEMY and LOUCHE then saw it was Louise -is +ch afterwards. Still depressed after the MCG debacle and waterlogged golf courses.
Dec. 30th, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC)
Pretty much went straight through this with the only hold up at the end with LOUOCHE, a word that was only vaguely familiar. I agree that ROMANIC and EDICTAL are relatively clunky words. Regards, and Happy New Year to all.
Dec. 30th, 2013 11:26 pm (UTC)
17m 12s
Nowt to add to what has been said. Completing correctly without aids in a reasonable time is almost as satisfying as Tottenham scoring three goals in one match, but Wednesday's fixture could be as depressing as the Ashes series. Live in hope.
Dec. 31st, 2013 12:11 am (UTC)
11:07 for me. At present my crossword-solving seems to be an unnerving mixture of "not too bad" and (as with this puzzle) "pretty awful". E.g. I wasted a ridiculous amount of time assuming that "disciple" = SON in 3dn and trying to justify IMM = "Matthew originally cut". And so on in a similar vein. Plus the usual senior moments. (Sigh!)
Dec. 31st, 2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
Did this on New Year's eve afternoon in several goes in between chores. Pleasant, but over all too quickly, and too many "ugly" words - ROMANIC, EDICTAL, MAINLINER. Agree that VELDT was a peach, and smiled at BRING UP THE REAR. LOI ONGOING. And now for today's ...
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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