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Times 25812

45 minutes for this reasonably straightforward offering. There are a few mathematical/geometrical references but nothing too arty-farty nor even any cricket as far as I can see, which is certainly a rarity. Whilst solving I invented a desert area called "Quita" but wiser thoughts prevailed when it came to blogging 3dn.

1 DISTEMPER - STEM (stop) inside DIP (hollow), Effigies, Ready
6 LEECH - LEE (shelter), CH (companion - of honour)
9 PROFUSE - PROF (academic), USE (value)
10 PEANUTS - Anagram [dazed] of ANd UPSET
11 HOIST - I inside HOST (present)
12 TOP BANANA - OP (work) + BANAl (trivial) inside ANT (worker) reversed
14 LAG - Double definition
15 BUSINESS END - BUS (transport), IN, ESSEN (German city), louDest
17 GRAVEN IMAGE - RAVE (party) inside MING (dynasty) reversed, AGE (time)
19 PAY - YAP (chatter) reversed
20 RIGMAROLE - RIG (engineer), MA (degree), ROLE (job)
22 TORUS - RU (sport - Rugby Union) inside TOSh (nonsense)
24 TWEETER - TWEE (affected), TiER (row)
26 RAPPORT - RAP (charge - slang for a legal charge), PORT (connection point)
27 MOTOR - M (miles), O (over), TOR (hill)
28 CONSTRAIN - CONS (rips off), TRAIN (part of dress)

1 DEPTH - aDEPT (expert), H (hard)
2 SHOWING - SH (quiet), OWING (due)
3 EQUITABLE - QUIT (desert) + A (area) inside ELBE (river) reversed
4 PRESTISSIMO - REST (support) + IS inside PSI (Greek letter), MO (second)
5 RIP - tRIP (false step)
6 LLAMA - Hidden
7 EMULATE - EMU (Australian runner), LATE (former)
8 HUSBANDRY - S (society) inside HUB (focus), AN, DRY (arid)
14 LOGARITHM - L, anagram of MAO RIGHT
16 SWEET SPOT - TOP (first), E (European) inside STEWS (worries) all reversed
18 AUGMENT - GaME (contest) inside AUNT (member of family)
19 PERGOLA - ERGO (so) inside ALP (mountain) reversed
21 ALTER - L (large) inside ATE (put away), R (resistance)
23 SIT-IN - Double definition
25 REC - Short for "recreation ground" sounds like "wreck" (trash)


( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:43 am (UTC)
I found this considerably more difficult...
...than Jack did, taking nearly 90 minutes. My last in was 'lag', which I was a little uncertain about, since I could not see how it could mean 'cover'. Everything else was at least clear from the cryptic, once you got the answer.

There were a number of fine clues, including those for 'pergola', 'logarithm', 'sweet spot' and 'rapport', all of which require careful unraveling.
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:53 am (UTC)
Did you get there in the end? One lags (covers) pipes to prevent them freezing in winter and also hot-water tanks to prevent heat loss.
Jun. 13th, 2014 02:11 am (UTC)
Similar time to vinyl, so this was a considerable struggle. Not helped by putting 'bag' at 19a (profit - gab reversed) and 'algorithm' at 14d.

A very enjoyable puzzle, for all that, with special mentions in despatches for SWEET SPOT, RIGMAROLE ( RE not clued by 'engineer'), REC and RAPPORT. My last two were the unknown PERGOLA, which followed the always forgotten TORUS.
Jun. 13th, 2014 11:58 am (UTC)
I had 'bag' as well, but had to erase it when I saw 'husbandry'.
Jun. 13th, 2014 06:08 am (UTC)

Ooops! After an hour or so I had blanks at BUSINESS END (good clue, now I see it) and EQUITABLE, and GRAVEN IMAGE, which I was never going to get as I mis-saw the enumeration as 8,3 and was looking for something 'age' which meant a time. That was a bit dumb.

Jun. 13th, 2014 07:38 am (UTC)
25.14, with a short diversion to re-enter about half the clues following a twitchy finger restart. Then at the end, as I submitted, the timer jumped to 40 and kept going: the site never loses its capacity for doing the unexpected. It's got my time right on the board and the clock has now stopped.
Not one for getting the answers from the wordplay, rather one for getting the wordplay from the answers, though from memory both the German bus and PEANUTS were exceptions. So ingenious was the cluing, though, that it was never enough just to enter from definition (once found) - you just had to stop and work out the wordplay.
Spent a while trying to picture a pentahedron before realising it was either a pyramid or a prism and couldn't have five identical faces. The joy of maths.
RIGMAROLE for CoD partly for being an excellent word and also, as Ulaca says, not having engineer=RE.

Edited at 2014-06-13 07:39 am (UTC)
Jun. 13th, 2014 07:52 am (UTC)
15m. Nice puzzle this, presenting a challenge without resort to obscurity. Which of course means 'using words I happen to know'. There were quite a few that I chucked in from definition, but as z8 says in most cases you had to pay at least some attention to the wordplay to be sure. I was grateful for the anagram at 14 because I always want to spell it LOGARYTHM. I know (by dint of multiple crossword failures) that it's wrong but the urge just won't go away. I have a similar problem with putting two Ls in 'accelerate'.
Jun. 13th, 2014 08:32 am (UTC)
Just snuck in under the hour, but for some reason I had EQUATABLE. Screamed loudly as I submitted, realising my mistake, but the internet shows no mercy.

Although 1dn was obviously DEPTH once the checkers were in, I took ages to see how a 5-letter word could end in DEPT. Probably should have tried running through the alphabet.

Excellent puzzle I thought.
Jun. 13th, 2014 08:36 am (UTC)
straightforward, this, I thought. Only one cup. Though had some trouble parsing 4dn, albeit fairly obvious what the answer was.
Jun. 13th, 2014 11:42 am (UTC)
I found this quite difficult, taking 55 minutes to complete it, with most of the final 10 minutes spent on the DE corner. Having determined that the Greek letter in 4 was PI, I wasted much time looking for the indication of the third S. I should have moved on, since there was no doubt about the answer.
Very nice puzzle.
Jun. 13th, 2014 05:10 pm (UTC)
I'll join you in the "Wrong Greek letters beginning with P" club, as I was looking for phi.
Jun. 13th, 2014 12:00 pm (UTC)
I thought I had spent longer than 14:39 on this one as there were several that took a bit of head scratching.
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:04 pm (UTC)
Nice puzzle. Could someone pls help me with 5d- should it not be 'for rend' rather than 'for rent'? Or does 'missing time' do dual service with rip(t) meaning rent?
Andy Borrows
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:09 pm (UTC)
Allan, "rent" can be a noun meaning a hole torn in something, i.e. a "rip", also used as a noun.
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:47 pm (UTC)
thanks Andy, that makes sense, will try to consider the different parts of speech next time.
Andy Borrows
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:06 pm (UTC)
19 mins. I was a little disappointed with this time and I was going to blame it on doing the puzzle three hours later than I normally do, but having read the comments above maybe it wasn't too bad after all. Count me as another who initially had "bag" at 19ac, and that was my FOI. I thought that I was slow getting on the setter's wavelength, and despite being fairly sure that DISTEMPER and DEPTH were that answers at 1ac/1dn I didn't enter them until I had most of the other checkers, and only after entering them did I see how they were parsed. I finished off in the SW with LOGARITHM after RIGMAROLE. An enjoyable puzzle.
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:34 pm (UTC)
I thought this was going to be quick when I had all but the NW finished in 15 minutes but after another 15 minutes I'd got no further. As is often helpful I left it for a while then came back to it at which time the NW finally yielded.

Initially I put in ALGORITHM at 14D wondering how that meant power. I should have taken the view that if it seems wrong it probably is but fortunately I saw this error quite quickly. The main things delaying the NW were having written TRP in 5D and not seeing this for ages and confusing the river with the actor Idris Elba before I'd fully parsed 3D. Together these made DISTEMPER much harder than it might have been otherwise.
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:50 pm (UTC)
45 minutes of enjoyable solving. There IS a cricket reference – 'over' in 27ac.
Jun. 13th, 2014 02:51 pm (UTC)
Done after a splendid round of golf in baking heat. You can see the water being pulled out of the ground and the greens are now in excellent condition.

25 minutes for a pleasurable puzzle that kept me thinking right the way through. As others have said both definitions and wordplays were needed - a sure sign of good clues
Jun. 13th, 2014 03:16 pm (UTC)
A tad under 40mins of enjoyable solving with no issues (once solved of course).

Meanwhile on The Times app and after yesterday's inadvertent inclusion of the answer to the Third Qualifier, the heavy-duty solution continues. There are no answers to any of yesterday's puzzles today. Stable-doors etc.
Jun. 13th, 2014 03:58 pm (UTC)
About 45m her with a short nap at some point and one wrong - lug for the now obvious LAG! Hey ho - nearly had a week of all corrects but not to be. Thanks for the blog as couldn't parse PRESTISSIMO among others.
Jun. 13th, 2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
16:06 over a coffee in the garden after a lovely day out in the Dales so the fresh air or splendid seafood lunch must have done something positive for the old noggin.

Like others there were quite a few that went in on def with the wordplay checked post-solve.
Jun. 13th, 2014 05:27 pm (UTC)
Did this somewhat tiredly - a case of misfits and false starts - but glad to have got there in the end. A number of clever definitions - just a touch clever-clever. But I like the animal in 28.
Jun. 13th, 2014 06:36 pm (UTC)
Ooh, pretty tough for me, about 40 minutes, ending with DISTEMPER. Those musicians among us must just bang in all those 'issimo' clues when they appear, but alas, I'm not among you, so I have to struggle. The 'solid ground near the pond' clue is so smooth it just had to be quoted in full. If there is a musical Latin term meaning 'so smooth', I would include that here, if I knew it. Nice puzzle altogether. Thanks to the setter and Jack, and regards to everyone else.
Jun. 13th, 2014 07:44 pm (UTC)
Smooth music.
I expect you already know 'legato', Kevin. 'Legatissimo' can crop up for additional emphasis.
Jun. 13th, 2014 08:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Smooth music.
Thanks much Jack, but don't assume about what I do and don't know. To everyone: 13D is legatissimo.
Jun. 13th, 2014 08:39 pm (UTC)
Enjoyable end to the week; agree with previous commenters that both definitions and wordplay were required to get to the answers, which made for the right sort of headscratching. About 45 minutes, spread over two "sittings" on a stifling hot afternoon. FOI SHOWING, LOI RAPPORT, tying up a tricky SE corner.

Clever PRESTISSIMO, also had me fixated on finding the "second S" until I remembered my O-level Greek - "phi, chi, PSI, omega". Some nice surfaces, hiding the clue constructions, such as PENTAHEDRON and PERGOLA, my COD.
Jun. 13th, 2014 09:39 pm (UTC)
9:45 for me - slightly disappointing as I thought I'd been faster, but in retrospect I made another of my depressingly slow starts so I think that must be where all the time went. Either that or I dozed off in the middle, as I finished at quite a decent lick.

Another enjoyable solve.

PS (on edit): I wasn't helped by reading "surrendering" in 10ac as "surrounding", with the result that I missed an easy win with PEANUTS (which I thought of but couldn't justify).

Edited at 2014-06-13 09:46 pm (UTC)
Jun. 13th, 2014 11:51 pm (UTC)
46 minutes here, which I thought was slow looking back over the clues. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see similar times from many of the experts here. (Tony Sever is clearly in a different category, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.)

The 1985 (?) puzzle from yesterday (or was it Wednesday) got me wondering. There's certainly a different flavour to older puzzles, but I wonder if they have got progressively more difficult over the 80-odd years. There's an interesting phenomenon called the Flynn effect, whereby IQ tests have to be made harder over time, implying (on the face of it) a gradual population-averaged increase in whatever IQ tests actually measure. It would be interesting to see if a similar effect were detectable in Times puzzles, though of course this would be confounded by topical clues and by changes in the emphasis of general knowledge versus wordplay.

On the other hand, the customer profile of East Anglian A&E units argues against any gradual increase in intelligence. Today's winner in the category of Most Foreseeable Accident was a builder who, needing a cordless screwdriver, had asked his mate to drop it down to him. His mate was forty feet up on scaffolding at the time, and it didn't end well.
Andy Borrows
Jun. 14th, 2014 08:24 am (UTC)
Thud, thanks for the ongoing East Anglian A&E version of the Darwin Awards. Very amusing.
Jun. 15th, 2014 08:58 am (UTC)
Thud it is impossible to compare today's crosswords with those of 80 years ago

The first massive change came through the adoption of the Ximenes Crossword Rules for clue writing. Just Google that to discover McNutt and his book circa 1966 - worth a look if you are genuinely interested in these things. The Times was slower than some in adopting them but got there eventually

The second has been the move away from an arts and literature based offering towards a more balanced approach. The puzzle has come a long way in that respect but still has a little way to go in my opinion

Finally as we do these puzzles we gain in experience so that what seemed hard years ago now comes easier to us. When I started solving Ximenes in 1962 it took me most of the week. Now a Mephisto or Azed equivalet takes me about 40 minutes to an hour.
Jun. 15th, 2014 09:40 pm (UTC)
Point taken about changes in the style and rules of puzzles - that would certainly obscure any other trend.

As for individual experience, yes, certainly - but my data would be taken across a range of solvers, from novice to experienced.

Ah well, another psychosocial research funding opportunity bites the dust.
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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