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Times 25,815

Pretty straightforward 11 minute solve without being detained by anything in particular for very long (I think it helps that this grid, especially if you spot the long words early on, is quite a user-friendly one). My general knowledge, especially natural history, proved up to the task, and the wordplay all seemed pretty clear. A couple of quibbles which didn't amount to more than a slightly raised eyebrow; all in all, a nice puzzle.

1BUBBLE GUM - BUBBLE(="scam"), +[MUG]rev. First eyebrow raised as I wondered if a bubble was really a scam, and not just something which happens in capitalist economies without any evil intent, even if lots of people end up poorer at the end of it; but Collins has it as "an unreliable scheme or enterprise", so I guess it can accommodate both.
6BOUND - double def.
9PULL ONE'S SOCKS UP - [ONLUCKLOSSES]* in PUP(what you get sold proverbially in a bad deal).
11OAK APPLE - A KAPPa in OLE! I vaguely recalled this having something to do with a wasp, which is indeed the case.
13HOW DO YOU DO - double def.
14MIRO - reversed in interiOR IMage; Joan Miro, noted painter from Barcelona (also, not a woman, as I thought when I first saw his name, and knew nothing of matters Catalan).
17ISRAELITES - (REALISEITS)*; suddenly leaps out when you realise you're looking for the name of a people of old, not a synonym for "pensioners".
19BEEFIEST - a party with lots of buzzing might be described as a BEE FIESTa.
20MASCOT - MA'S COT, after I'd discarded PASBED and MUMBED and other mombles.
23KEEP ONE'S SHIRT ON - appropriate at World Cup time, where the shirt-swapping is currently being screened three times a day; I'd naturally say "keep your hair on" rather than shirt, but now I think about it, the shirt makes much more sense.
24DISHY - double def., one coming from the playful observation that a dish could be described as dishy (see also the old joke "What's brown and sticky?", answer: a stick). My only quibble would be that I'd already noted and enjoyed the same device at 18dn, so it seemed a little odd to be using it again so soon...
25TAILENDER - where the Bangkok banker is a THAI LENDER, who then loses his Hard.
1BIPED - P.E. in BID.
2BOLTON WANDERERS - [ON WANDER] inside BOLTERS gives the XI probably most famous for not winning the FA Cup in the Matthews final of 1953.
4GLEE - double def. Glee singing has a whole new life these days because of the eponymous TV show.
5MUSTARD GAS - [STAR("leader") in MUD("damaging allegations")] + GAS("talk"). Even when the answer became pretty clear, I spent a while trying to work out who on Earth was this Mustard who was a leader in making allegations...Colonel Mustard? Someone else who was keen as mustard? Luckily the penny dropped.
6BUCCAL - (CUB)rev. + CALM. "Cheeky" as in "relating to the cheeks". There it is again...
7UNSOPHISTICATED - (NUTSRED,PISTACHIO)*, jumbling up NUTS RED without the Right, and PISTACHIO to match the definition "green".
8DIPTEROUS - (SPIDEROUT)*. A specialist zoological term, but some combination of O-level biology, knowledge of Greek and ability to concoct convincing anagrams should make this gettable.
12CONSISTENT - SIS in CONTENT. One of a number of very concise and elegant clues.
13HALF-BAKED - where the "bloomer" is a loaf, which would not be terribly tasty if only half-baked.
18SIMONY - I'm guessing this is the most obscure element in today's puzzle; I spotted it from the very clearly highlighted definition, and then chuckled at the clueing, i.e. if you were like Simon the Zealot, you could be described as "Simon-y".
22ASTI - using both the crossword staples of S.A. (sex appeal) and "IT" (likewise) written in reverse to get the Italian wine.


Jun. 17th, 2014 01:16 am (UTC)
About 45 minutes for me....
....as I nearly put the 'Boston Wanderers' before re-checking the cryptic. A strange name for a team, I would think - do they wander off the field in the middle of the game? Maybe they can't find the stadium?

Of course, I saw 'simony' and 'dipterous' right away. I vaguely recall some Greek drama where a series of epithets starting with di- were stuck together in a single line; there is probably some technical term of rhetoric for this. 'Buccal' was also pretty good.

My last in was the apian gala, a very clever clue.

Jun. 17th, 2014 01:51 am (UTC)
Ok if you can get the long answers quickly. Liked the parallels between 9ac and 23ac — could the former have been clued with reference to avoiding cramp towards the end of the second half? That would have been nice.
Jun. 17th, 2014 02:56 am (UTC)
DISHY my LOI; I didn't notice the parallel with SIMONY. Which went in on definition alone. Never parsed BUCCAL, just went with the 'cheeky' and a B _C. 11ac mainly from 'gall' & enumeration, although it took me a while to remember the apple part. Although I did know that MIRO was a he, I didn't know that he was Catalan. Nor did I know the pup phrase; where I come from, one is sold a pig in a poke. Liked LYNX and BEEFIEST.
Jun. 17th, 2014 04:06 am (UTC)
An enjoyable puzzle, although rather too many went in on definition alone.

BUBBLE both as a noun (a fraudulent scheme eg. the South Sea Bubble) and as a verb (to defraud) occurs regularly in 18C and early 19C literature.
Jun. 17th, 2014 05:00 am (UTC)
Another slow but steady solve that took longer than it seemed at the time. There were several unknowns for me today including the painter and BUCCAL. Dragged up DIPTEROUS from somewhere but was unable to think of SIMONY though I knew from the definition that I knew the word. LOI was FLEABITE which in my mind is two words (as in the Oxfords) or hyphenated (Chambers) but once again it's Collins that comes to a setter's rescue.

Edited at 2014-06-17 05:01 am (UTC)
Jun. 17th, 2014 05:09 am (UTC)
Unknown BUCCAL last in from wordplay after unknown OAK APPLE. The unfamiliar DIPTEROUS and the unexpected ISRAELITES made sure that the NE corner was the hardest.

The LYNX is certainly not an endangered species in Crosswordland.
Jun. 17th, 2014 06:41 am (UTC)
From ?A???T at 20A, my "Parental sleeping accommodation" went in as PATENT, assuming the rest of the clue referred to some definition of PATENT that I didn't know. I then wondered if MATENT was a word. Fortunately UNSOPHISTICATED put both of these to the sword.
Jun. 17th, 2014 06:54 am (UTC)

Another DNF for me today, as I was left with blanks at the two unknowns OAK APPLE and DIPTEROUS. Knew 8dn was an anagram, but wasn't confident on the order of letters.

BOLTON WANDERERS went in unparsed. Glad O-level biology comes in useful on occasion (BUCCAL)…am trying to persuade the 15yo that a few hours put in revising can reap plenty later on. Not sure he's convinced...
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:01 am (UTC)
11m. BUBBLE in this sense has come up before. I raised an eyebrow that time but remembered it this. Seeing BID defined as 'offer' is also odd for me because in my world they're opposites.
I knew 'Diptera', so 8dn was no problem. I have a notion in my head that they are 'true flies', although I don't have any kind of notion what an untrue fly might be.
I've never heard of Simon the Zealot. That could be a nasty clue for those unversed in the matters ecclesiastical.
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:08 am (UTC)
But if you bid at an auction, say, you're offering to pay the amount you bid, no?
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:58 am (UTC)
Re: bid
Oh yes absolutely. I realise that in most circumstances they are synonymous. It's just an immediate reaction I have because City jargon is so ingrained.

Edited at 2014-06-17 08:59 am (UTC)
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:10 am (UTC)
I don't think that I knew Simon the Zealot either (although it rings a faint bell) but I did know SIMONY. The artist went in from the cryptic, as did BACCAL. An enjoyable solve though
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:31 am (UTC)
Re: 18:27
buccal.. hopefully the typo is only here and not in the grid :-)
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:23 am (UTC)
Like others no great problems with this. Knew SIMONY by definition but not the zealot and the fly by fodder and checkers.

Not keen on "eleven" as the definition at 2D. B-W is the name of the football club which has a staff and a playing squad from which a selection of about 16 represent the club on match days, only 11 of whom are allowed on the pitch at any one time.
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:35 am (UTC)
Surely even Bolton will have a "first eleven"? Not a first sixteen?
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:44 am (UTC)
Not so Jerry. They all have first team squads these days. The big clubs succeed not just because they pay more for transfers and bigger wages but because they can afford larger squads and thus can cope better with injury and tiredness. On any match day from the whole squad they select and publish a playing group to include potential substitutes - never just 11 players
Jun. 17th, 2014 03:38 pm (UTC)
I'm sure you're right technically, Jim, but for xword purposes "eleven" seems to me perfectly adequate as indicating a football (or for that matter cricket) team or club.

I enjoyed this puzzle. The two slightly out-of-the-way words, BUCCAL and DIPTEROUS, were eminently accessible via the cryptic parsing without knowledge of the literal refs, always a sign of a good cryptic. A childhood spent going to too many G&S operas came to my aid at 13A. Here's Yum Yum from The Mikado:

"Here's a how-de-do!/If I marry you,/When your time has come to perish,/Then the maiden whom you cherish/Must be slaughtered, too!/Here's a how-de-do!"

Jun. 17th, 2014 08:39 am (UTC)
Not too difficult, though I didn't find it quite as easy as some, probably because only one of the long clues went straight in.
Bit of a football theme? Since Englend have to do both 9ac and be more 12dn and 23ac if they are not to be a 25ac. I blame the 20ac, obviously not working for them..
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:48 am (UTC)
12.58, once I'd realised that the constellation was not an 8-letter one I'd never heard of but a 3,5-letter one I'd also never heard of but could easily construct. it's so little known that Leo doesn't have to be Major to avoid confusion.
On Simon the Zealot, does it help to know that he's not actually the same Simon that gave his name to Simony - that was Simon Magus? Thought not.
Are there flies that aren't dipterous?
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:58 am (UTC)
OT - Times Qualifier 3
Don't know if this has already been mentioned, but in the Crossword Centre newsletter I got yesterday it said that last Wednesday's third championship qualifier had been nullified because the solution was accidentally posted in the iPad version of the Times. Another qualifier will supposedly appear this coming Saturday.
Jun. 17th, 2014 10:27 am (UTC)
Re: OT - Times Qualifier 3
Haven't seen the newsletter Mohn but there was at least one thread on the Club Forum on this subject, speculating that there would have to be a do-over. See thread for Times Cryptic 25811 (the 3rd qualifier) on the 2nd page of the cryptic Forum.
Andy Borrows
Jun. 17th, 2014 09:49 am (UTC)
19 mins. The LHS side went in quickly but I struggled a little on the RHS, although in restrospect some of the answers that I was slow in seeing, such as OAK APPLE, ISRAELITES and FLEABITE should have gone in much quicker. BUCCAL was my LOI and a potential momble.

I have no problem with a football team being defined as an eleven, in exactly the same way as I would have no trouble with a rugby union team being defined as a fifteen, because they are the numbers of players that start a match for a team irrespective of the number of substitutes allowed.
Jun. 17th, 2014 10:42 am (UTC)
After a breezy start - the long ones went in pretty quickly - I ground to a halt and in the end had to ignominiously look up BUCCAL, so a DNF. Entered DIPTEROUS on the basis that it couldn't have been much else, but had to check the answer, so a double DNF. And have to say that LEO MINOR, as constellations go, is rather, well, minor.

Other than that, my lord, parts of this crossword were excellent.

I don't know what the setter drinks, but anyone giving me a glass of ASTI immediately diminishes their sex-appeal by 50%. Mind you, it's probably mildly more palatable than Babycham ...
Jun. 17th, 2014 11:20 am (UTC)
32 mins. Fairly straightforward despite the unusual BUCCAL, which was my last in. I came across SIMONY very recently so that went in immediately. I too was a bit dubious about 'scam' for BUBBLE but I see Chambers defines it as a fraudulent scheme, which is a better justification than the Collins one above.
Nice puzzle.
Jun. 17th, 2014 11:28 am (UTC)
Thanks, I didn't have Chambers at hand when writing the blog and forgot / didn't bother to check later on. I should have pointed out that when I come across a slightly funny or unexpected definition, I usually think "I bet that's in Chambers", and I'm usually right...
Jun. 17th, 2014 11:29 am (UTC)
Didn't know LEO MINOR, BUCCAL, DIPTEROUS, OAK APPLE, MIRO or SIMONY, but when has that ever been a problem?

No problems with ELEVEN, which has always been synonymous with a soccer or cricket team, regardless of the size of the squad.
Jun. 17th, 2014 11:52 am (UTC)
20:31 but with 2 phone calls fielded. I'm catching up on a couple of crosswords and discovering that doing them while waiting for a delivery and having to answer the phone just in case is not conducive to rapid solving. And one of these fine days BT will actually turn up and I can stop using my ropey 3G connection. They promised, so it must be true.

Nice crossword, and pleased to find that I remembered SIMONY. Really liked the clue for LYNX. Clever.
Jun. 17th, 2014 11:58 am (UTC)
10:50 with a good couple of minutes spent deciding that the wordplay for BUCCAL meant that a word I hadn't heard of had to be the right one.
Jun. 17th, 2014 12:18 pm (UTC)
23m aided by the long answers going in early. I knew neither dipterous nor simony but went with them on the dubious grounds that the former sounded like diphtheria and the latter like parsimony. I doubt either reasoning is etymologically sound.

Jun. 17th, 2014 12:35 pm (UTC)
I used to go to a dentist who administered nitrous oxide to his jumpier patients (me). While definitely awake your mind tends to wander a bit and I heard him saying something about "buccal" to his assistant and thinking - oh no, my tooth has buckled. So when I was capable of coherent speech I asked him what he meant.

20.5. I'd have been a bit faster but had never heard of "bloomer" as a loaf of bread.
Jun. 17th, 2014 12:49 pm (UTC)
An old fashioned puzzle, so right up my street and I was able to finish in under half an hour. Enjoyed the humorous word play.

BUCCAL Knew this because years ago I had a dentist who, during the examination, called out descriptions of my teeth to his nurse, who wrote them down. One word he regularly used was BUCCAL, which at the time I thought was spelt “buckle” and must have something to do with twisted or even buck teeth. It was only years later that a dentist friend used the term and explained its meaning to me.

Delighted that the puzzle has returned to the back page of the paper; I hope it stays there. Now, if they printed it sideways on, that would really make me a happy old gentleman!

Interesting that the qualifying puzzle is to be re-set. I thought last Wednesday’s might cause aspiring entrants to underestimate the difficulty of the competition: if I could solve it in under 15 minutes it must have been very straightforward.
Jun. 17th, 2014 12:50 pm (UTC)
Sorry; Olivia's comment appeared while I was typing mine.
Jun. 17th, 2014 05:29 pm (UTC)
Back page
I too can't believe that after all this time the puzzle has been restored to its rightful place. Long may it stay there. I no longer have to do the crossword on the train to work but I well remember my frustration when it was moved inside the paper. I've also thought of a great way of making the paper stand out from the competition – publish it as a broadsheet!
Jun. 17th, 2014 01:03 pm (UTC)
13:22 with concerns that all or any of buccal, dipterous and Simony might be wrong.

Dishy, Simony and cheeky could all have come out of the Uxbridge English Dictionary, speaking of which, I'm off to see a live recording (if that makes sense) of ISIHAC tonight. I'll report back if there are any noteworthy additions to the UED.
Jun. 17th, 2014 04:42 pm (UTC)
Delighted to see that you (and that Mouse) are returning to our TV screens soon. :)
Jun. 17th, 2014 03:27 pm (UTC)
Well well well everyone appears to be speeding through, but I was held up mightily by this rather fun crossword. I know SIMONY had appeared before but it slipped my mind until right near the end - needed the wordplay to put together OAK APPLE, DIPTEROUS, BUCCAL and LEO MINOR. Tricky but fair wordplay. Needed two bites, about 30 minutes all up.
Jun. 17th, 2014 06:31 pm (UTC)
Definitely a football flavour
Had to check 'simony' my LOI and never heard of the zealot chap, apart from that it was good fun and a 20 minute pleasure, the 4 long clues went in early and made it easier. Mrs K knew a bloomer was a loaf, so she gets a mention.
Jun. 17th, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
8:57 here - which, considering that I spent the first few minutes getting absolutely nowhere before eventually finding the setter's wavelength, perhaps isn't too bad. So in the end a straightforward, pleasant solve, though I did have a moment's panic wondering whether the "banker in Bangkok" was going to be some Thai river I'd never heard of.

(Surely Don Manley is the only setter who'd clue SIMONY with reference to Simon the Zealot!?)
Jun. 17th, 2014 11:21 pm (UTC)
19m 21s
I seem to have got accidentally signed out again. Anyway, nothing to add to the previous comments except, like John, I thoroughly enjoyed another traditional type puzzle, and in its proper location.
George Clements

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