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Times 25704 - Not a stinker!

After so many erudite and entertaining blogs over recent days I'm afraid this one's going to let the side down with a bang because I've very little to say about this puzzle. It's a workmanlike effort but with very little variety of clue. I was on track for a sub-30 minute solve but I was delayed by 16, 20 and 28 in the SE corner and I also had a bit of a struggle dredging up 25ac from my memory. I have met it before but hadn't remembered it so I relied on wordplay and then distracted myself by thinking 'sing softly' was COO. I'm sure for most of the regular old hands this was a write in. In the end I finished in 45 minutes with everything parsed along the way. Let's get it over with...

* = anagram

4 BUMBLED - BUM (tramp), BLED (was badly injured)
9 RACER - RAC (Royal Automobile Club - breakdown organisation), ER (hesitation)
10 OMISSIONS - MISSION (undertaking) inside OS (very big)
11 PASTURAGE - UR (ancient city) inside PAST AGE (previous generation)
12 PRIVY - 1 + V inside PRY (snoop)
13 DODO - 0 (egg) inside ODD (strange) reversed
14 DISCONTENT - DIS (hell), CONTENT (capacity)
20 STOP - As in the saying 'Pull out all the stops' to make an extra effort
23 PADDY - Double definition
24 PROPAGATE - PROP, A, GATE - jocular advice
25 CRO-MAGNON - G (good) inside MAN (fellow) all inside CROON (sing softly), an early modern human.
26 ACCRA - A,CC (small volume), RA (artist), the capital city of Ghana
27 SPEAK UP - PEAK (point) inside SUP (drink)
28 BARELY - BAR (place for a drink), ELY (place for choral evensong I.e. any church or in this case a cathedral)

1 EURIPIDES - (PERUSED, I, I)*   Famous for his tragedies
2 FOCUSED - FOC (Father Of the Chapel), USED (old)
3 SPROUT - Root inside SPOUT (hold forth)
4 BRIDE - Bus, RIDE (journey). I'm not sure what 'or office' is doing here as it's surely surplus to requirements. On edit: thanks to Sotira for pointing out it's a reference to 'registry office'. Of course! I suspected I was missing something obvious. 
5 MISSPENT - MISS (girl), PENT (locked up)
6 LEONINE - EON (long time) inside LINE (policy). Definition: Pope's - There appear to have been at least 13 Popes called Leo.
7 DISHY - DI (little girl), SHY (like a wallflower)
8 DONATION - DO (party), NATION (people)
16 TIPPERARY - TIPPER (truck), A, RY (track). The place that it's a long way to.
17 PLAYBACK - P (piano) LAY BACK (didn't take a prominent position)
19 PADRONE - PA (old man), DRONE (lazy fellow)
21 TRANCHE - RAN (managed) + C (hundred) inside THE
22 CANADA - AD (commercial) inside CANA (miraculous place - where water was turned to wine)
23 PACKS - Sounds like PAX
24 PIN-UP - NIPple reversed i.e. UP


( 59 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 7th, 2014 02:22 am (UTC)
Indeed, if I ever had to blog one of these I'd want it to be like this one. I started off slow, though, and I don't think I got an across clue besides RACER on the first round. DNK PADDY=fit, and only put it in when I had the checkers. Also DNK TIPPER. And what IS 'or office' doing in 4d? It seems worse than extraneous.
Feb. 7th, 2014 02:29 am (UTC)
26:16 .. had everything except STOP in about 15 minutes. Thought I was never going to figure it out.

A lot of smiles in this one.

I assume the office in 4d is the register office

COD .. DISHY - great surface.
Feb. 7th, 2014 02:42 am (UTC)
Thanks, I have noted your comment in my blog.
Feb. 7th, 2014 02:40 am (UTC)
28 minutes, finishing with DISHY BRIDE; my COD to the latter for the penny drop moment. CRETONNE forgotten. Liked the construction type at 1 across.
Feb. 7th, 2014 02:51 am (UTC)
Quite slow for me....
....as I got the wrong end of the stick on many clues, only to see the obvious after leaving it and coming back. I didn't get the cryptic for 'focused' and still don't understand 'paddy', but the answers were fairly obvious.

I don't think this is as easy a puzzle as the early commenters think, we will see what the stragglers have to say.
Feb. 7th, 2014 03:03 am (UTC)
If a child (or adult) has a paddy, he throws the toys out of the cot, ie loses his/her temper, or has a fit.
Re: Paddy - vinyl1 - Feb. 7th, 2014 12:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 7th, 2014 03:20 am (UTC)
Throwing a paddy
My last answer in after quite an enjoyable solve. The root word for the rice field connection is spelt PADI in Malay. Had to look up CRO-MAGNON but the wordplay was scrupulously fair.
Feb. 7th, 2014 03:29 am (UTC)
Here come the stragglers....
28:59, which is not straggling by my standards, but would love to have shaved a minute off it. Just one minute.

Thanks Jack for parsing FOCUSED, too religious for me. Didn't know PADRONE or CRETONNE, but they weren't too hard.

As an aside, I think of my youth as generally misspent, but not particularly troublesome.

Good puzzle.

Edited at 2014-02-07 03:30 am (UTC)
Feb. 7th, 2014 03:37 am (UTC)
Misspent youth
Maybe the setter was taking your parents' perspective? Anything under 30 minutes pretty good, no, or are you in training for the championships?
Re: Misspent youth - galspray - Feb. 7th, 2014 05:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Here come the stragglers.... - jackkt - Feb. 7th, 2014 03:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Here come the stragglers.... - kevingregg - Feb. 7th, 2014 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Here come the stragglers.... - galspray - Feb. 7th, 2014 05:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 7th, 2014 05:23 am (UTC)
About 25 minutes to solve, but I'm discontented with STOP. I get the 'pull out all the stops' bit, but STOP as 'meeting' doesn't feel right. EURIPIDES is nice, if not very tough. DNK PADDY as 'fit' either. Regards.
Feb. 7th, 2014 05:36 am (UTC)
Kevin, I took "meeting" as part of the cryptic, not as a definition.
Stop - jackkt - Feb. 7th, 2014 07:03 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Stop - kevin_from_ny - Feb. 7th, 2014 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 7th, 2014 06:06 am (UTC)
45 mins for me.

Love it when I get 1ac on first reading, and I raced through most of the top half, but found the bottom a lot more tricky.

DNK: CRO-MAGNON, CRETONNE, FOC (not sure that the term's made it to Lincs, either), and didn't get the 'office' bit at 4d. All others ok. Thanks, Jack!

PS I read STOP (my LOI) as 'meeting demand'
Feb. 7th, 2014 08:45 am (UTC)
I guess that LEONINE is indeed 'of or relating to Pope Leo' but I admit that I parsed it at the time as a reference to Pope Leo IX. A pleasant end to what would have been the end of the working week if I was still working. LOI BRIDE.

Edited at 2014-02-07 08:47 am (UTC)
Feb. 7th, 2014 09:22 am (UTC)
Don't beat yourself up about the blog Jack. You can only work with what the setter gives you and there's precious little here. A rather easy 15 minute vanilla offering

There's some padding: "badly" at 4A; "farm" at 24A. And I too had a MISSPENT youth that involved girls more than learning without being troublesome.

I worked for a time just off Fleet Street and the Father of the Chapel was the top man when the print unions ruled the newspaper roost
Feb. 7th, 2014 09:57 am (UTC)
Misspent youth
Can't resist it - how did the girls describe your "involvement"?
Re: Misspent youth - dorsetjimbo - Feb. 7th, 2014 03:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 7th, 2014 09:27 am (UTC)
The National Union of Journalists still has heads of local union branches called father or mother of chapel. It seems rather obscure to me, too, for a daily crossword. Thanks for the blog and greetings to all. Gradese
Feb. 7th, 2014 09:31 am (UTC)
badly injured
Why is 'badly' padding? If you are injured, you might have a bruise: if you are badly injured, you might bleed. Given that there is no easy synonym for 'bleed' I'd say the setter was to be commended fro trying to be helpful!
Feb. 7th, 2014 09:55 am (UTC)
Re: badly injured
If you remove the word "badly" from the clue does it still work in the cryptic sense - not does it read well - does it work? And it does because "injured" is a satisfactory indication of "bled"
Re: badly injured - keriothe - Feb. 7th, 2014 12:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 7th, 2014 10:02 am (UTC)
Well I enjoyed the ten minutes ish I spent on this nice crossword - now for a probably not so nice journey from Kent to Wiltshire!
Feb. 7th, 2014 10:07 am (UTC)
17 minutes, so less straightforward than yesterday.
I contented myself at 2d with FC being an abbreviation for Free Church (which does mean chapel) containing Old and the used bit coming from somewhere else. Worked for me!
But then I also wrote in surplanted despite the anagrist, and only twigged when I couldn't crack 19.
BARELY was annoying for those of us who think they have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Church terms - so what else do you call a chancel? Lots of dredging time misspent for my LOI.
The clue for PIN UP smacked of a Dean Mayer ST naughty, but (and?) was my favourite of the day.
Andy Borrows
Feb. 7th, 2014 11:03 am (UTC)
29 mins with two wrong, and I was never on this setter's wavelength.

My errors were at 20ac where I didn't see the CD and I put in ATOP on the basis that if something is atop of something else it is meeting it, but that obviously didn't explain the rest of the clue, and at 14ac where I carelessly put in DISCONCERT. I also found the clue construction for 1ac a little strange, and I'm genuinely surprised that so many of you found the whole puzzle relatively straightforward. I even struggled with the BUMBLED/MISSPENT crossers, which in retrospect shouldn't have been difficult at all. Maybe I'm just having a bad day.
Feb. 7th, 2014 11:08 am (UTC)
Another error
Once again I failed to check through an anagram and misspelled 'Euripides'. Serves me right for praising literary clues. Must take Mr Gove's advice and give myself a hundred lines.
Feb. 7th, 2014 12:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Another error
Euripides sticks in my mind for the wrong reasons, namely the schoolboy connections of

Euripides? Iripidose

Iphigenea? Youphiginthere
Re: Another error - deezzaa - Feb. 7th, 2014 08:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 7th, 2014 12:20 pm (UTC)
Half Nipple Troublesome...
Going pretty well (by my pedestrian standards) until I hit the south east corner. Shot self in foot by misspelling cretonne (came up with crettone) which then meant I missed out on PROPAGATE and things got worse from there...

24DN triggered troubling images and more troubling lack of solutions. I had always thought - maybe naively - a nipple was not susceptible to division (I wait with bated breath for Thud and Blunder to recount a tale of a Norfolk lass that... but hey, let's not go there). I now see NIP, but still fail to see any indicator in the clue regarding reversal (or UP for that matter).

Any enlightenment appreciated!

And thanks to all who sent such friendly welcoming messages to me yesterday on my debut here - you really are a lovely bunch of folk.

Feb. 7th, 2014 12:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Half Nipple Troublesome...
The Half Nipple Troublesome sounds like one up in difficulty from the Triple Misty Octograb or whatever it was mentioned yesterday.

I’m now following the Facebook page of TfTT’s official Olympian, Woodsy, which includes one of the funniest pictures I’ve seen this year. I would pay serious money to know what’s going through the mind of this Russian policeman …

Re: Half Nipple Troublesome... - jerrywh - Feb. 7th, 2014 01:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Half Nipple Troublesome... - sotira - Feb. 7th, 2014 02:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Half Nipple Troublesome... - jerrywh - Feb. 7th, 2014 02:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Half-pipe - paul_in_london - Feb. 7th, 2014 04:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
An explanation - vinyl1 - Feb. 7th, 2014 12:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 7th, 2014 12:23 pm (UTC)
I can only remeber the tailor's shop joke with EURIPIDES? EUMENIDES? but that's not too relevant.

Not sure about this week's fare really. No real blinders.

Feb. 7th, 2014 01:01 pm (UTC)
16m. Plain vanilla, as others have said, but nothing wrong with that. I didn't know CRETONNE or FOC but I didn't need to.
Feb. 7th, 2014 01:36 pm (UTC)
17:39 so not a stinker but not a doddle either. I'll add my gratitude to those thanking Jack for parsing focused as I was completely in the dark.

I could have done with some of Sue's tippex as my first confident answer to 1a was SELFI, at which point I discovered that the printers hadn't left me enough white squares. I hope the FOC has had a stern word.

Cro-magnon was my LOI as, like Jack, I got fixated on COO and wasn't overly familiar with the term.

One across film club: Paddy Cretonne in The Elfish Padrone.
Feb. 7th, 2014 01:51 pm (UTC)
Easy today though mystified by 2dn til enlightened by Jack. FOCs are not as common or as influential as once they were, thank heavens.
Also agree with the comment above, that 6dn is a reference to pope Leo IX specifically, and not to Leos generally. Leonine means "like a lion," which Pope Leos manifestly are not

Feb. 7th, 2014 01:58 pm (UTC)
But 'Leonine' also means 'connected with one of the popes called Leo' (Collins), which makes more sense as a literal given the apostrophe, I reckon.
Leonine - jackkt - Feb. 7th, 2014 02:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 7th, 2014 01:59 pm (UTC)
Things went smoothly here, though it took a while to bumble through the NE. As with Ulaca and z8, I liked the elfish and pin-up constructions. Didnt know PADDY or FOC, now I know both (though i expect paddy to be more useful). Thank you, Jack et al
Feb. 7th, 2014 02:41 pm (UTC)
Livejournal tells me it is Tony Sever's birthday today.. so happy birthday, Tony! I think we know him well enough to be sure he will turn up here later, birthday or not..
Feb. 7th, 2014 03:01 pm (UTC)
I wonder if he has anything else in common with Garth Brooks ...
Feb. 7th, 2014 03:07 pm (UTC)
Enjoyed this crossword, nicely clued. Glad that quite a few others hadn't heard of FOC either.
Feb. 7th, 2014 04:34 pm (UTC)
The only conext I've heard it in is Friends of Carlotta in the brilliant Steve Martin film Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.
Feb. 7th, 2014 04:15 pm (UTC)
Technically a DNF - albeit a very quick 20 minute DNF - as I could not parse three apparently correct answers, PADDY (=fit?), FOCUSED (did not remember Father Of Chapel, now thankfully ancient history), and BRIDE (of a generation and mindset which does not associate registry office contracts with "proper" weddings).

The -A-E-Y at 28ac was so strongly suggestive of Naseby that it obscured a quite pretty, and straightforward, clue!

Unaccountably held up in the NE until PRIVY unlocked the rest.

Nice to see the return of Ur as the ancient city. 11ac would not have worked with Rawalpindi.

24dn had me reminiscing about the late Vivien Neves, and the storm caused by her appearance as the first ever nude model to grace the pages of The Times back in the pre-Murdoch days of 1971. It prompted a memorable letter: "Sir, ... I hope this delightful picture has the same effect on The Times's circulation as it does on mine."
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( 59 comments — Leave a comment )

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