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TIMES 25692 - Aharr, Jim Lad!

I solved all but four clues in the SE corner within 30 minutes parsing as I went, but I needed another 15 to finish it off with 17dn and 19ac accounting for the last 10 of these. I thought this was an excellent puzzle with only a few clues running into a second line - always a good thing in my book. 4dn invoked joyous memories of Tony Hancock imitating Robert Newton playing Long John Silver. Along similar lines, 1dn had me thinking of pieces of eight and 20ac brought castaways to mind, Robinson Crusoe and of course Ben Gunn.
* = anagram



Across
1 STEALTHY - ST (stone), hEALTHY (well, de-faced)
5 CHAFER - The letters from either end of 'forceps' swapped to change CHASER (hunter) into CHAFER (beetle)
9 VICTUALS - CUT* inside VIALS (bottles)
10 ITALIC - 1, T (time), ALICe (literary heroine)
12 POET LAUREATE - Cryptic definition
15 PIETY - PrIcEs TrY
16 MAKESHIFT - Double definition, one vaguely jocular
18 ROOSEVELT - (VOTE LOSER)*  FDR's presidency lasted 12 years and he was the only US president to serve more than 8, hence "long-term leader" is the definition.
19 ROUEN - ROgUE (wayward), N (northern)
20 TOURS DE FORCE - TOURS (explores), RC (Catholic) inside DEFOE (classical author, best known for 'Robinson Crusoe')
24 DRIVEL - DRIVE (road), L (left)
25 TABULATE - A + BULl ( papal missive) inside TATE (gallery)
26 YANKEE - AY (always) reversed i.e. 'from East', KEEN*
27 MODESTLY - timiD + peoplE inside MOSTLY (in the main)



Down
1 SAVE - SAVagE (barbarian) with  Ag (silver) removed
2 ETCH - fETCH (realise, as in converting an asset into cash)
3 LEUCOCYTE - (EYE OCCULT)* an alternative name for a white blood cell. My only unknown word today.
4 HALF-TIMBERED - Cryptic definition with references to 'timbers' - wooden support frames in sailing ships - and Long John Silver, the cook and pirate leader in RL Stevenson's 'Treasure Island' who had a wooden leg. Remembering the traditional but fictional saying of old sea dogs, 'shiver me timbers' helped me solve this one. Tudor-style buildings are typically half-timbered with exposed wooden beams.
6 HATER - HATtER (party man, as in Mad Hatter - our second Lewis Carroll character today)
7 FALLACIOUS - FALL (trip), AC (bill), IOUS (promises to pay)
8 RECREATING - RE (engineers), CREATING (making a fuss)
11 JACKET POTATO - JACK (forcibly lift), (TEAPOT TO)*
13 SPIRITEDLY - (I TRIED)* + L (line) inside SPY (agent)
14 DEVOLUTION - D (Democrat) replaces R (Republican) in REVOLUTION (coup)
17 STRICTURE - RICh (wealthy) replaces the A in STaTURE (height)
21 SIEVE - I inside EVES (days before) reversed
22 WAFT - Wounded, AFT (away from the front)
23 DEWY - Reversed hidden

Comments

( 36 comments )
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sotira
Jan. 24th, 2014 03:21 am (UTC)
23:29 … it took me a few minutes to get going but a steady, if challenging solve thereafter.

Last in WAFT
COD … well, HALF-TIMBERED, obviously. I’m still chuckling.
keef_lawrence
Jan. 24th, 2014 04:56 am (UTC)
4:40 and incredibly quiet on leader board (sitting 16th with longest time for a 600), here (only sotira), and the Times Crossword forum (not a single comment).

Was a bit worried about 8D, more commonly Frankenstein than Thomas Cook!

I too enjoyed yesterday's Cryptic's excellent NINA.
Today's NINA in the Concise is a good un, all the outside letters on all 4 sides are A. However, personally, I feel that the Concise's obsession with its daily NINA frequently results in distinctly substandard clues/answers, and I hope PB won't let that happen to the Cryptic.
mohn2
Jan. 24th, 2014 01:09 pm (UTC)
As far as I know, PB is editor of the Sunday Times puzzles only. It remains to be seen what changes, if any, take place in the Times once Richard Rogan finds his feet.
yfyap
Jan. 24th, 2014 05:03 am (UTC)
Slipped on 19A; otherwise a very good solve. Got WAFT but did not understand the wordplay until I came here. Thanks, jackkt
mctext
Jan. 24th, 2014 08:10 am (UTC)
25:34
Another WAFT sufferer, assuming we wanted a word for "wounded" minus its first letter (leader). Being a bit unsure about MODESTLY (27ac) helped not at all.

Like others, loved 4dn. Reminded me too of our very strange geography master ("Curly" Ellis) who had a thing about mapping building materials. His insistence on our being able to draw Tudor draw pins (inter alia) led to the whole class failing O-Level geography. The detailed information was interesting but no use when the exam asks: "Describe the main practices by which the Ibo of Nigeria sustain themselves".
jerrywh
Jan. 24th, 2014 09:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Ibo
By sending phishing emails, obviously. .. thought everyone knew that!
keriothe
Jan. 24th, 2014 08:52 am (UTC)
16m. I got a bit bogged down in the SE having bunged in RECREATION, and then WAFT, my last in, took ages to see.
No unknowns today, although if you'd asked me to spell LEUCOCYTE I'd have struggled.
Nice puzzle.
dorsetjimbo
Jan. 24th, 2014 09:03 am (UTC)
20 minutes for a quiet unassuming puzzle that barely stirred the emotions and only occasionaly moved solving out of second gear. No complaints but thought 4D rather too obvious to be considered a good clue.
bigtone53
Jan. 24th, 2014 09:31 am (UTC)
23:40
Perhaps I am just grumpy today but I am not a particular fan of clues which ask you to find a word and then do something to it. Seems like a sort of double jeopardy. 2D and 6D are in point. That aside, it was an OK puzzle today.
dyste
Jan. 24th, 2014 11:53 am (UTC)
Re: 23:40
I thought 2d was rather good with it's use of 'realise' to indicate 'fetch'. The omission of letters is a common enough device in cryptic clues; here the setter's indicated very fairly that the missing letter is F, and the definition alone in 6d is enough to suggest the answer.
Re: 23:40 - bigtone53 - Jan. 24th, 2014 12:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
phmfantom
Jan. 24th, 2014 10:19 am (UTC)
36min. All went smoothly till stuck in NE for about 15min, as only heroine I could think of was STELLA, which can't be made to fit clue at all, and makes 8dn look something like REAGENTING. Eventually resorted to aid for list of words to fit other checkers, and so could saw how 10ac works, making that LOI.
z8b8d8k
Jan. 24th, 2014 10:21 am (UTC)
16 minutes, distracted by England maybe - just maybe - making a fist of it at last.
I might try half timbered on her indoors, who is also shy one pin. There again, I might prefer long life. Easily my CoD not because it was difficult but because it was funny.
Most time spent, like others, in the SE.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 24th, 2014 11:13 am (UTC)
8 dn
I didn't understand connection between 'off-duty' and 'recreating' Help!
John Mck
jackkt
Jan. 24th, 2014 11:24 am (UTC)
Re: 8 dn
Recreation, an activity one pursues for pleasure as opposed to work or duty.
Re: 8 dn - (Anonymous) - Jan. 24th, 2014 11:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 8 dn - keef_lawrence - Jan. 24th, 2014 12:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: 8 dn - jackkt - Jan. 24th, 2014 02:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: 8 dn - bigtone53 - Jan. 24th, 2014 07:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
dyste
Jan. 24th, 2014 11:48 am (UTC)
46 minutes, almost twice as long as yesterday's. I made errors on the way which had to be sorted out (eg DELEGATION for 14). As I hadn't solved 1a I was a bit stuck on 3 and resorted to an aid; it was vaguely familiar, so I might have got it if I'd been prepared to spend some more time experimenting with permutations. I thought the clues were very good.
crypticsue
Jan. 24th, 2014 01:08 pm (UTC)
14:20 with the last five minutes of that spent on STRICTURE/ROUEN, not helped by the fact that I put ION instead of ING at the end of 8d.
mohn2
Jan. 24th, 2014 01:16 pm (UTC)
Fairly straightforward puzzle until MODESTLY and POET LAUREATE held me up for a good 10 minutes at the end - I even remember thinking while looking at the latter "I bet it's some %&*@£! poet I've never heard of". Hopefully it's just these new contact lenses.

COD to CHAFER
geoclements
Jan. 24th, 2014 01:27 pm (UTC)
Unrepresentative 49m 40s
Out of my routine today and solved at my favourite library haunt, so there have been lots of interruptions and distractions. However. I don't think my time would have been very good anyway as some of the clues took some pondering
Have a good weekend all.
glheard
Jan. 24th, 2014 01:50 pm (UTC)
The difference between my wavelength and the setters can barely be measured! After 30 minutes I was still stuck with ?A?T and nothing would come... but then I find I had HALF TEMPERED for 4 down thinking something about the way the pirate would walk being off kilter. Oh well... better luck next week!
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( 36 comments )

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