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Times 25,707

Started slowly, but as I went on I found myself swiftly gathering speed, possibly because this grid is very friendly, thanks to the long clues around each side (assuming you get them, of course...) Meanwhile, thinking of things which gather speed rapidly, I was slightly worried to read that our man Woodsy has taken a tumble in training before Thursday's big event, though the coach insists he'll be fine on the day. Still hoping to see him produce what the commentators on the women's event called "30 metres of pure radness"; I can't be certain, but I think that's about as good as it gets. Anyway, this one was 7 minutes of pure crypticness, and another pleasant puzzle on the easy side of things.

1CZECHOSLOVAK - OSLO in double soundalike ["CHECK"=vet, "VAC"=holiday]. "Old" because it's now two countries.
8REORDER - RECORDER minus the key of C.
9DADAISM - DAIS in (MAD)rev. Famous American painter and photographer.
11COTERIE - SCOTER I.E. Teals and eiders crop up more often in crosswords, but the scoter isn't a stranger.
12SUNDOWN - Lift-and-separate the evening paper; SUN(="paper"), Democrats, OWN(="recognise").
13SEEDY - SPEEDY minus Piano; have seed cakes come back into vogue as a result of the Great British Bake-Off, I wonder? If not, I think of them as being an old-fashioned sort of tea-time treat.
14ARTILLERY - TILLER(in this less common definition, a shoot from a plant stem) replaces the teaM inside ARMY("fighting force"), to give a part of that force. Neat.
16ILLIBERAL - (BILL I)rev., (REAL)*.
19MOP UP - i.e. Medical Officer, PUP.
21NOMINEE - (ON)rev., MINE(="explosive"), Energy.
23BALLOON - Large in BALOO, Name. I am now ear-wormed by The Bare Necessities, and hope you are too.
25OBSCENE - Book in [0, SCENE].
26TRIGGER-HAPPY - one of those cryptic definitions which so divide opinion. Seems fine to me, I should add.
1CHORTLE - CHurch, Other Ranks(="army members"), (LET)*.
3HORSEHAIR - cryptic def. requiring the knowledge that horsehair is used in making bows for musical instruments among other things.
4SIDES - SIDE(="arrogance") + Southern. Northern setter today, maybe? A surface which made me think immediately of Jose Mourinho and his poor little horse.
5ORDINAL - Island in (LANDOR)*.
6ADIPOSE - A DIP, OS(as in Outsize), exercisE.
10MONEY-SPINNER - where bread=money, of course.
15TOLLBOOTH - Old LLB(law degree) in TOOTH("canine").
17LAMINAR - (MAIL)*, (RAN)rev.
18BUNTING - BUN TIN("cake receptacle"), doG. Back to the Bake-Off again.
20PROGENY - GEN in ROY, under Pressure.
22EAGLE - abovE A GLEn, nice surface.


( 70 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 11th, 2014 01:30 am (UTC)
A rare sub-30 minutes for me today. 26 in fact. Didn't know TILLER and needed the wordplay to come up with LAMINAR, otherwise it was all fairly familiar stuff and very enjoyable.

Edited at 2014-02-11 01:31 am (UTC)
Feb. 11th, 2014 02:13 am (UTC)
Forgot to turn on the iPod, still seething about Ulaca's totally inappropriate singling-out of Tasmanians yesterday. But under the 20, I'd guess.

LOI was PROGENY ... which left me wondering about the names of guys and gals convention.
Feb. 11th, 2014 02:16 am (UTC)
20 minutes, with TOLLBOOTH the standout for me. Quite a few where you didn't need to work out the wordplay, including - correctly, as it turned out - TRIGGER-HAPPY.

Excellent time, Tim: within your target, I would imagine. I wonder if mine is within mine...
Feb. 11th, 2014 05:51 am (UTC)
That depends....
Feb. 11th, 2014 02:28 am (UTC)
I found the SW corner...
...with 'nominee', 'lending', 'laminar' and 'bunting' hard to get a foothold in. As a result, my time was about 40 minutes after making fair speed with the rest of it. A lot of answers went in without bothering with the cryptics.
Feb. 11th, 2014 02:29 am (UTC)
Not rad, maybe something gnarly tomorrow ...
7:03 … which I think is a PB for me, certainly solving on the computer. Nothing too rad about the puzzle, but plenty of what I believe the Dutch (can they skate, or what?) call Gezelligheid. Nice, cosy surfaces.

I gather ‘our Woodsy’ is doing the ice bath thing (what else would you do in Russia in winter?) so I’m sure he’ll be fit and ready, if chilly, by Thursday.
Feb. 11th, 2014 02:46 am (UTC)
Re: Not rad, maybe something gnarly tomorrow ...
Top effort, but will it be good enough to get inside 2 x Youknowwho?
Feb. 11th, 2014 05:03 am (UTC)
Club Monthly?
Do these ever get blogged? I still have questions about January's, 20160. Afraid I won't want to bother with them if there's a chance I'll be left in the dark forever about something.

(As for this daily, it seemed pretty easy. LAMINAR gave me pause, and I didn't know the definition for "tiller," and it's a little hard to believe anyone else did. Ha.)
Feb. 11th, 2014 05:21 am (UTC)
Re: Club Monthly?
Jerry blogs these when the comp is finished.
Re: Club Monthly? - guy_du_sable - Feb. 11th, 2014 05:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Club Monthly? - mctext - Feb. 11th, 2014 06:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Club Monthly? - jerrywh - Feb. 11th, 2014 09:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2014 05:49 am (UTC)
Achieved my primary target (sub-30), which is usually good enough for my secondary target. Not today, sadly.

Panicked when I saw "hymn" at 7D. Panicked further when there weren't enough letters in the obvious anagrist. Am still panicking slightly about why I could look at the word "console" at least twenty times and still be convinced it was a six-letter word.

Did I mention those beers I had last night?
Feb. 11th, 2014 06:19 am (UTC)
Re: 28:19
Belated birthday wishes! I reckon I still have a bit of residual adrenaline in the system from yesterday, which may have been responsible for the massive gap.

['Usually good enough'. That's gone in the notebook...]

Edited at 2014-02-11 07:04 am (UTC)
Re: 28:19 - galspray - Feb. 11th, 2014 07:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 28:19 - ulaca - Feb. 11th, 2014 07:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2014 07:35 am (UTC)
Can we please stop the Tasmanian stuff spilling over into another day's crossword discussion?
Feb. 11th, 2014 08:46 am (UTC)
Well said Jack. It was boring and purile yesterday - can do without another dose of nonsense.
Boring and puerile - galspray - Feb. 11th, 2014 10:17 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2014 07:53 am (UTC)

Wowser! 22m59 today on the laptop, and what is almost certainly a PB.

DNK TILLER=shoot, hesitated between limanar and LAMINAR, and struggled with the spelling of CZECHOSLOVAK (can't believe I didn't see OSLO, that would've helped…), but got there all unaided in the end. Also put in SEEDY with a shrug.

Felt the definitions jumped off the page for the most part, followed by the not-too-tricksy cryptics.
Feb. 11th, 2014 07:57 am (UTC)
At a PB of 12 minutes, I was expecting quite a few grumbles from others about how the answers were "a write in" and "unsatisfactory" - perhaps they're still to come?
I was looking forward to more of a challenge today as well, sitting at home in Somerset, in order to take my mind off the rain lashing at the windows and the view of the increasingly flooded fields the other side of the River Parrett. Fortunately they are the OTHER side of the river from me.
Feb. 11th, 2014 08:49 am (UTC)
I sympathise. There's something almost sinister in watching flood waters rise and rise knowing there's absolutely nothing you can do about it - be lucky
(no subject) - deezzaa - Feb. 11th, 2014 09:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2014 08:52 am (UTC)
I found this even easier than yesterday and was home and dry in 10 minutes. Hardly read a lot of the cryptics (14A for example). Nice enough puzzle but a bit boring in truth
Feb. 11th, 2014 09:09 am (UTC)
8 1/2 minutes, about as fast as I ever get.

Nice enough but a bit too easy, really
Feb. 11th, 2014 09:21 am (UTC)
7:10, which is my fastest ever solve on an iPad. However even adjusting for iPad conditions and the moment when a lady on my train distracted me by resting her newspaper on my head that's still 12.7 seconds short of my PB.
I don't mind an easy one from time to time. It gives one a nice warm glow of smugness to start the day.
Feb. 11th, 2014 09:39 am (UTC)
A repeat of yesterday. I agree with keriothe that an easy one from time to time has a definite feelgood effect but not if they come up every day.
Feb. 11th, 2014 09:50 am (UTC)
It must have been easy. Like Jack, I managed a rare sub-30mins. So not surprised to see some of the very fast times posted above. I couldn't for the life of me find a way to parse ARTILLERY (14A) - thanks for the explanation, Tim - but it hardly mattered because the literal was so obvious. TOLLBOOTH (15D) was neat.
Andy Borrows
Feb. 11th, 2014 10:19 am (UTC)
9 mins. I would have been quicker if I had got PROCESSIONAL straight off but I needed several checkers for it. Too many cryptic definitions for my taste.
Feb. 11th, 2014 10:24 am (UTC)
16min today - slightly delayed by entering HORSETAIL
Feb. 11th, 2014 11:14 am (UTC)
Solved in the dentist's waiting room, so couldn't have been too difficult. Whilst there, I noticed a magazine from 1933 containing a crossword with the clue "Capital of Czechoslovakia (4)".

Actually, I made up the bit about finding the magazine but I was told that this cryptic clue is one of the earliest published.
Feb. 11th, 2014 11:26 am (UTC)
And a very decent hidden clue it is too.
(no subject) - mohn2 - Feb. 11th, 2014 12:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2014 12:51 pm (UTC)
I agree with the 'nice enough' - 6:04 giving me time to fit in more puzzles before the end of lunch time (yes, I know I'm addicted, but there are worse addictions than cryptic crossword solving).
Feb. 11th, 2014 12:51 pm (UTC)
Our man Woodsy
Hopefully this will not be considered an inappropriate Tasmanianesque comment although it has nothing to do with today's crossword - can't seem to concentrate on that somehow.
Our revered blogger mentioned James' injury - so the low down is - he was taking off for a practice jump on Friday when an official ran at him with a red flag - too late to stop he crashed and bruised his hip. As Sotira says, he's been doing the ice bath on and off treatment and will be good to go on Thursday. My concern is more with the weather which is due to be even warmer than at today's ladies ski Slopestyle event where the landings became really slushy and caused many a crash. Thanks for your support.
Feb. 11th, 2014 01:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Our man Woodsy
Thanks for the update, far from inappropriate in my book.
Re: Our man Woodsy - paul_in_london - Feb. 11th, 2014 02:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Our man Woodsy - sotira - Feb. 11th, 2014 02:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Our man Woodsy - penfold_61 - Feb. 11th, 2014 04:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Our man Woodsy - chrisw91 - Feb. 11th, 2014 06:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2014 01:05 pm (UTC)
About 30 minutes. A steady solve with no real hold-ups except 11 across which I assumed started with OUT - one up to the setter - and which hampered my getting the anagram at 7 down. Wrote ARTILLERY in from the definition and forgot to check how it worked, so thanks for the explanation. Sub 10 minutes remains a far-off dream for me, I'm afraid.

Feb. 11th, 2014 01:10 pm (UTC)
Re comment deezzaa @ 07:57, an easy puzzle won't necessarily attract criticism for being a walk-over where the clues are well-written. Plus you'll hear folks say from time to time, if not all the time, that easy is harder (to create) than difficult. In fact, some of the Grauniad mob infuriate me by trying to invest their clues with difficulty by using either unfair, abstruse or arcane methods to describe subsidiary parts, I mean, gosh, one's blood almost literally boils. Mind you, this one was a bit too easy for me, could have done with a more tangy morsel.

Edited at 2014-02-11 01:13 pm (UTC)
Feb. 11th, 2014 01:18 pm (UTC)
13:10 so nothing to frighten the horsehair donors but not that quick. It took a while to get the top and left hand long'uns so that slowed me for sure. I blame getting my hair cut immediately before solving which has robbed me of my powers.

Congrats to all the PBers.
Feb. 11th, 2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
I had a slow start, but getting one answer in each quadrant made things fall into place. Didn't know TILLER, so appreciative of the blog, and didn't know that meaning of SIDE. I get the same panic when I see 'duck' that I get when I see 'plant', so was happy to scoot past the scoter.
Feb. 11th, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
Plants in particular have always been a real problem for me. Now I have the time, I really should grind through a basic gardening book. As for ducks . . .
(no subject) - paul_in_london - Feb. 11th, 2014 04:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Feb. 11th, 2014 06:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2014 02:24 pm (UTC)
I was hoping this would occupy me for the hour and half bus journey home from Cork this morning, but wrote in the last answer after a mere 20 minutes or so (a good time for me).
This was the first time I'd attempted a puzzle on a moving vehicle since the horizontal layout was introduced – so much easier than the daft previous layout. So a big thank you to whoever was responsible for this. Now all we need is for the puzzle to resume its 'proper' place on the back page (as it is on Saturdays in the Irish edition). Even better if the Times could go back to a broadsheet format, but I'm probably in a minority in wanting this, I think!
Feb. 11th, 2014 03:44 pm (UTC)
Broadsheet format
I, for one, would be very happy to see the broadsheet format return, but I fear that it's not going to happen. I think it's more likely that papers will go exclusively digital: think what it would save on printing, distribution and retailers share of the cover price. I would also love to see a return to broadsheet journalism standards instead of the fatuous features and constant fashion content with outrageously priced 'luxury' goods.
Rant over, let's hope that crossword standards are maintained, at least in the Thunderer.
Re: Broadsheet format - justinwestcork - Feb. 11th, 2014 04:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
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