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Times 25688 - A bargain at half the price!

Solving time: 51 minutes

Music: Chopin, Ballades, Arrau

As you can see, this one gave me a little trouble. I had most of it filled in after 25 minutes, but two of the corners proved a bit stubborn. Eventually, I was left contemplating 1 across for about 15 minutes before seeing the obvious.

When I was in rapid-solve mode, a lot of the answers went in from the literals. This puzzle would have been a lot harder if the literals had not been so easy to spot, but it is Monday after all.

1A BON MARCHE, A BON(MARCH)E. Simple, eh? I contemplated every possible meaning of 'rib' before finally considering that it might be a bone.
6ITEM, concealed backwards in [beca]ME TI[red]. I put this in from the literal; it's becoming a bit of a puzzle cliche.
9IMPASTO, IM(PAST)O, where IMO is the texter's In My Opinion.
10DISDAIN, D(I'S D.A.)IN. The obvious answer, but I didn't understand the clue while solving. Subsequent research shows that D.A. = Duck's Arse, a formerly popular haircut. Makes a bit of a change from the District Attorney.
12BENEFICENT, BEN + E + IF backwards + CENT.
13ELM, [r]E[c]L[i]M[b].
15NASEBY, BE + SAN backwards + Y. The key battle of the Civil War.
16CORNMEAL, CO + R(N[ottingha]M)EAL. Not much of a food, but easy enough.
18HYACINTH, anagram of H + IN YACHT. I was afraid this was going to be some dreadfully obscure plant, but not so.
23RID, RID[e].
24DEBRIEFING, DEB + anagram of GRIEF IN, another one that went in from the literal.
26EMBARGO, E(MBA)RGO, not the sort of degree that is often seen in puzzles.
27BANQUET, BAN + QU[i]ET, with a useless cross-reference that did not help with 26 at all.
28SEED, DEE'S backwards.
1AXIS, A + SIX upside down. I wanted to put in 'amir' until I realized this was a cricket clue put in to deceive American solvers.
2ORPHEUS, OR(P[ublic]H[ouse])E + US. My first in, from the literal.
3MASTER BUILDER, M(ASTER BU[lb])ILDER. Also a play by Ibsen, one of the few I've heard of.
4ROOKIE, RO(OK I)E, my last in. As used in the US, a rookie is not really a recruit, but my chief problem was my belief that 'eggs' = 'ova', and that the last four letters must therefore be 'ovia'.
5HEDGEROW, HE'D G([th]E)ROW. This one gave me a lot of trouble until I thought of 'grow', and then it was obvious.
7TRAPEZE, ART upside down + P.E. + Z[on]E, very easy to put in from the literal - what else would they use at the circus?.
8MINIMALIST, MINIM + A-LIST. This is bound to fall into place once you see A-List, right?
11SAT ON THE FENCE, double definition, where the first one should be interpreted as 'Sat, On the Fence', like an accusation in Clue.
14ANCHORLESS, ANCHOR(L)ESS. I started to put in 'anchoress' from the literal, realized I was a letter short, and made a quick adjustment.
17STUBBORN, BUTS upside down + BORN, sounds like borne. They should sound alike, they're the same word, a strong Germanic verb of Class IV; the original past participle was 'boren'.
19AUDIBLE, anagram of [co]U[rt] + BAILED. In US football, this can be a noun.
21CONSUME, CON(SUM)E, a write-in.
22TIMBRE, TIM(B[ecome] R[esonant])E, where 'eventually' = 'in time'.
25STET, S(T[rainee])ET, the third person imperative singular of Latin 'sto'.


( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 20th, 2014 02:43 am (UTC)
Not a lot to trouble the clock this morning. Thought the clue for AUDIBLE (19dn) was very good.

Strange how "mild"/"milder" can change with latitude (3dn). Right now, right here, "milder" means "cooler". (Or it would, if it were.)
Jan. 20th, 2014 03:39 am (UTC)
...or DNF really, as I had to cheat for NASEBY. Didn't remember the battle (rings a vague bell now), but still should have got it. Expected remain to be ash, and couldn't parse anything from there.

Thought this was pretty tough and was pleased to get the totally unknown A BON MARCHE.

Had exactly the same thought as McText regarding the use of "milder", but then I believe we live in the same hellhole.

Edited at 2014-01-20 03:39 am (UTC)
Jan. 20th, 2014 06:16 am (UTC)
69 minutes. Unlike the blogger I had a lot of trouble spotting the definitions in a set of very wordy clues and took ages to get any flow into the solve. After 30 minutes I realised I would have been in panic mode if it had been my day for blogging.
Jan. 20th, 2014 08:07 am (UTC)
I was hoping to squeeze in under the half-hour, but it was not to be. I saw A-LIST at 8d, but was stuck on do,re, mi, etc. for 'note', wasting bags of time. I also took a long time on DISDAIN, partly because--although I used to wear my hair in a DA, it never occurred to me to refer to that bit of styling as a haircut; an afro, a conk, a crewcut, a Beatles-cut, yes, but not a DA or a mullet, say. Also, I had trouble with the definition: a slight is an action, disdain an attitude. Still, I enjoyed this one, although I enjoyed it more in the first 29 minutes.
Jan. 20th, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC)
Re: 33'
Try 'disdain' and 'slight' as verbs.
Re: 33' - kevingregg - Jan. 21st, 2014 12:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 20th, 2014 08:47 am (UTC)
Who else fell foul of the Sunday Times Cryptic marking problem with 16D yesterday? Just checked, still not resolved, stats 1-8 = 0 error, 9-100 (+ no doubt many more)= 1 error.

Today shot myself in the foot - having had "Murphy's Law" recently, I dug my own grave trying to make it a food "A -O- Murphy" - perhaps something like the disgusting potato "scollop" that chip shops sell.

Enjoyed the rest.

Edited at 2014-01-20 08:48 am (UTC)
Jan. 20th, 2014 12:42 pm (UTC)
Will have to look back at yesterdays ST. I thought that it all went in quite easily so I must have missed something.
(no subject) - sotira - Jan. 20th, 2014 01:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - melrosemike - Jan. 20th, 2014 04:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 20th, 2014 08:50 am (UTC)
Quite straightforward, no question marks today but three exclamation ones, for 18ac, 29ac and 19dn which I thought excellent clues indeed. Some very good stuff in this.
Oh, to live in a climate where milder might mean cooler!
Jan. 20th, 2014 09:16 am (UTC)
You'd probably change your mind after a series of +40˚ days.
Jan. 20th, 2014 09:00 am (UTC)
Thought this was quite tough, with the first minute or so trying to find a clue I could answer, and the last couple of minutes spent trying to parse TIMBRE even if the answer looked obvious. Slowed down in between by wanting to put in munificent instead of BENEFICENT.

Like the blogger, also considered amir (and apil) for 1D before seeing the light (the surface was more helpful than I initially realised). Unlike the blogger, 27A gave me 26A straight away. D.A. was in a Guardian puzzle a few months ago. I'd always thought milder was a relative term, i.e. warmer after a cold patch or cooler after a hot spell.

Jan. 20th, 2014 10:55 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who spent the last couple of minutes trying to parse TIMBRE - even though I must have seen that use of "eventually" several times before!
Jan. 20th, 2014 09:46 am (UTC)
Tough going at 28 minutes, and a spookily similar experience to Vinyl, with French cheapo and ROOKIE my last two in and toying with ???OVIA for ages.
At one point, I gave up altogether on the hard frost of the northern latitudes for the milder south, where TIMBRE was my CoD for that in time device.
Good stuff, much more challenging than any of last week's gentle series.
Still waiting for Peter to fix the ST scores!
Jan. 20th, 2014 11:11 am (UTC)
The thing I found bizarre about yesterday's ST incident was the number of people whose one mistake just happened to tally with the mistake in the solution - of all the words in that puzzle, I wouldn't have picked that one as the likeliest to be misspelled.
(no subject) - keriothe - Jan. 20th, 2014 10:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - z8b8d8k - Jan. 20th, 2014 11:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 20th, 2014 10:18 am (UTC)
A bit of a 25 minute trip down memory lane for me. BON MARCHE was a shop in Brixton High Street when I was lad and sporting my DA (I know, it's hard to believe but I had a large quiff at the front as well)

Nice puzzle with ANTECEDENT, AUDIBLE and TIMBRE all top class
Jan. 20th, 2014 12:55 pm (UTC)
In my childhood, a trip to the Bon Marché department store in Gloucester was quite an event. We referred to it as the “bon marsh”, showing proper British disdain for those fiddly foreign accents.

There’s an interesting little history at the link below, jimbo. Turns out your Bon Marché was owned by Selfridge’s and classed as a “provincial store”.


[on edit: I had thought the Gloucester and Brixton stores were part of the same enterprise but have just been reminded that the family who founded and ran the Gloucester store before selling to Debenhams used to live down the road from us. Same name, different business]

Edited at 2014-01-20 01:07 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - dorsetjimbo - Jan. 20th, 2014 03:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Andy Borrows
Jan. 20th, 2014 10:33 am (UTC)
19 mins, and I thought this was an excellent puzzle. Count me as another whose last two in were A BON MARCHE and ROOKIE. For some reason I have a mental block over the spelling of BENEFICENT because I always think it should have an "I" after the "C", and for quite a while I was fixated on "benevolent" but obviously couldn't parse it. I thought the clue for TIMBRE was top quality.
Jan. 20th, 2014 11:50 am (UTC)
i struggled a bit with this and spent almost an hour over it, despite some giveaways such as 13, 23, and 25. I found the NW corner the most difficult, finally getting 1a when I had the M from 3d. I also it found it difficult to get away from RUDDERLESS for 14, even though RUDDERESS did not sound like a female recluse, so 15 and 18 were slow coming too.

Enjoyed the clues; some of the anagrams were very well disguised.
Jan. 20th, 2014 12:58 pm (UTC)
Rookie mistake
One mistake in my 29:46. Trying to duck under the 30 minute barrier I had no time to check the grid and missed my half-baked ‘distain’. Aw, 20a.
Jan. 20th, 2014 01:06 pm (UTC)
25:10 for me so certainly much tricker than any of last week's puzzles. (Either that, or the "dry" January pattern of abstaining Sunday-Thursday and caning in on Friday and Saturday is taking its toll on Monday's brain power).

My last pair were Naseby and anchorless, with "out of" being a tad misleading in the former and anchoress being totally unfamiliar.

I considered rookie for 4 early on but thinking that the eggs were the Os I couldn't justify the rest.

Good challenge.
Jan. 20th, 2014 01:11 pm (UTC)
Definitely trickier 20 mins with Tippex - my last two being the Bon Marche and the Rookie.
Jan. 20th, 2014 02:17 pm (UTC)
Definitely tricky for a Monday offering. Thanks to Vinyl for explaining fully how DISDAIN and TIMBRE worked. Had completely forgotten about haircuts and "duck's arses", let alone the DA abbreviation for same. Excellent puzzle with many good clues, all mentioned above.
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