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Times 25816

At first sight I thought I was going to be a rabbit in the headlights with this one; with weightier problems on my mind, the little grey cells were slow to wake up. But in due course - half an hour or so - and a couple of visits to Wiki, I struggled through. Was this quite hard, or was it just me?

1 DESIGNATE -TANG (smack) IS, back in DEE (river), DE(SI GNAT)e, def. 'appointed'.
9 VERMEER - Took me an age to parse this. VERM(IN) = nasty people, not IN, EER = ever, def. 'interior painter'.
10 LEPANTO - 'Le Panto' could be where French kids get taken. Battle of Lepanto, 1571, off the coast of Greece.
11 DRONE - 'Doctor One' = DRONE, a bee which is not a worker, or possibly a member of Bertie Wooster's Drones Club.
12 TORTURING - Nonsense = (ROT)* in TURING, def. 'really hurtful'. We seem to be seeing a lot of Alan Turing recently, although I was trying to get Babbage into it at first.
13 ROSTRUM - Remedy perhaps = NOSTRUM, replace the first letter by R.
15 MAINE - MINE (of information) with A (archive's first) inserted, def. 'state'.
17 NODDY - NY (New York) captures ODD (not even), a noddy is a seabird, it comes in a range of colours; black, white, brown...
18 ARSON - A R(SO)N, RN is the service, arson is the crime. Nice surface. Are we in for a Wimbledon series?
19 NONET - Group of nine players. Paid gross? No, net.
20 CALYPSO - Def. 'sarcastic air', CAL(L), SPY rev, O(ver).
23 REPROBATE - Def. 'sinner', RE - PROBATE. Self explanatory I hope.
25 LOWRY - LOW (base) RY (lines), def. 'artist'. Laurence Stephen Lowry, the painter chap from up Salford way.
27 KINGDOM - I'm not sure I fully understand this; there's the Animal Kingdom, and a kingdom is a big territory; is there more to it? Are lions involved?
28 BIRD FLU - BIRD = slang for prison time, FLU sounds like flew (passed quickly).
29 SAVOYARDS - Amusing cryptic def., Gilbert & Sullivan operas are known as the Savoy operas (having been supported initially at the Savoy theatre); Savoyards are Frenchmen from the bit near Italy (Savoie). What a nice clue.

1 DILATE - DI (inspector) LATE (behind), def. 'become more open'. Especially of cervixes, or cervices.
2 SUPERMODEL - (DEPLORE SUM)*, def. 'sort of celebrity'.
3 GIN RUMMY - GIN RUM = one drink after another, MY = wow!, def. 'game'.
4 AIOLI - AI = superb, (OIL)*, aioli is garlic mayo which does have lots of oil in it.
5 EVERGREEN - Amusing (slightly) cryptic def.
6 TRADES - Swaps = trades (you can trade blows), and the Trade Winds blow. Brilliant two word clue.
7 VETO - Hidden word, N(OT EV)EN, reversed.
8 FREEDMAN or FRIEDMAN - I spent a while thinking of John Milton quotes (without much success) then twigged it was Milton Friedman and he sounds like 'freed man'.EDIT see below; apparently it is FREEDMAN not FRIEDMAN although I didn't think FREEDMAN could be one word.
14 ROSE MADDER - He went to bed more sane and rose madder (groan). Chemistry time at last. The plant dye Madder Lake contains two organic red dyes: alizarin and purpurin. Rose madder is a commercial name for it; def. 'in the pink'.
16 IGNORAMUS - Reversed, SUM, A (W)RONG, I, with the W (wicket) removed.
17 NICKLEBY - NICK (edge, in cricket), L, (BYE)*, def. Nicholas, eponymous Dickens chap / novel.
18 ATTORNEY - (ENTRY TO A)*, def. profession'.
21 PAYOFF - PLAY OFF = theatre production cancelled, with the L (pounds) removed, def. 'profit'.
22 HERMES - HER(ME)S, where ME = this compiler, def. 'a god', the chap with little wings on his heels, Greek equivalent of Mercury.
24 PSKOV - I know, I'd never heard of it either. A Russian city of only 202,000 souls near Estonia, founded in 903; the wordplay gets you there, VP with OKS inside, all reversed.
26 WARD - DRAW = attract, from the south = reverse it, get WARD, where you find patients.


( 62 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 18th, 2014 08:44 am (UTC)
I think 8D is actually FREEDMAN - I got one wrong according to the club site and this seems the likeliest candidate, though the clue is not the most unambiguous of its kind that I've ever seen.
Jun. 18th, 2014 08:50 am (UTC)
Indeed? See edit above, thanks. Pip
(no subject) - mohn2 - Jun. 18th, 2014 08:53 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 18th, 2014 08:55 am (UTC)
I plumpded for FREEDMAN after checking in Chambers that it is one word. I think "to quote Miton" means "sounds like Milton". Not the best of clues.

I also don't understand 27A KINGDOM and I think ROSE MADDER is a tad obscure. I think the book/film may be better known.

The rest is straightforward enough - 20 minutes to solve
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
I know you regard Biology as stamp-collecting, Jim, but I'm inclined to count 27ac as a "science" clue (and therefore a good thing) if only to bring the tally up.
(no subject) - keriothe - Jun. 18th, 2014 10:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tony_sever - Jun. 18th, 2014 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Jun. 18th, 2014 11:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tony_sever - Jun. 19th, 2014 12:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:07 am (UTC)
It surely had to be FRIEDMAN (though I wrote in the alt. at first and "corrected" it). "Man" in clue and in answer seems wrong. Also wondered what's sarcastic about CALYPSO. Never thought of it that way. Put me down as another not understanding KINGDOM.
Jun. 18th, 2014 11:06 am (UTC)
Re: 29:17
Calypso songs were originally social-commentary-type topical squibs, back in the 40s and 50s. Then tourists came along and liked the music.
re: KINGDOM - dyste - Jun. 18th, 2014 11:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:10 am (UTC)
I think your parsing of KINGDOM is correct as a double definition - "For one animal" needs to maybe be read as "For one, animal", i.e. an example of the taxonomic rank, and the second "a big territory".
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:26 pm (UTC)
Just so. I'm amazed people found this a problem.
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:10 am (UTC)
Tend to agree about 8dn, which appears to parse either way though I did pick the right one. Couldn't move for freedmen in these parts, in Saxon times..

Didn't know Pskov. I had heard of Peskov, once part of the Hanseatic League, but didn't connect the two.

Much prefer Savoie to the Savoy
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:24 am (UTC)
WOE is me …

Took me a fair old while today, with about an hour, before taking a break, and then finishing with half a dozen or so on the rhs falling into place in another 10 mins or so.

Same ?s as others at KINGDOM and CALYPSO, and I too had 'friedman', thinking that FREEDMAN would be too much of a gimme.

Lots of unknowns today (inc PSKOV, NODDY bird, SAVOY theatre), so was happy to finish with only one error.

As an aside, anyone in New York wanting a gluten free meal should head for Friedman's Lunch, a fab diner in Chelsea Market. Of course, you'll have to pay for your lunch...
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:27 am (UTC)
A bit of (educated) guessing got me the Russian city, and if you asked me for the best adjective to describe calypso music, "sarcastic" would be a long way down the list. Still, I got there. Clearly I was helped that in studying classics, you come across FREEDMAN as a single word early and often.
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:31 am (UTC)
Far too many obscurities for one puzzle in my view. My DKs have all been covered so I'll leave it at that other than to mention 10ac which, if one didn't happen to know the spelling of the battle could just as easily have been LAPANTO, given that the French word for 'pantomime' is feminine. A poor clue amongst several others in my view.

And as for the sarcastic song, that's not quite justified in any of the usual sources though I suppose Collins mention of 'satire' might just cover it. But my earliest memories of calypso come from the time of the Coronation where there were several popular ones celebrating the occasion without any satirical or sarcastic intention whatsoever.
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:36 am (UTC)
My earliest calypso memories are of Lance Percival in TW3, back in the days when no-one questioned the ethics of a very British singer adopting both Caribbean style and intonation. At least he didn't black up!
I would have used the word "satirical" for the stuff he produced on a weekly basis.
Jun. 18th, 2014 09:53 am (UTC)
Enjoyed the light-hearted feel of this and finished, so I thought, in 25 minutes. Alas, I had written LAPANTO and am convinced that 8 could just as easily be FRIEDMAN. Definition: Milton? Word play: “This man at liberty (to quote)”.

Never thought of a calypso as sarcastic: the ones I know are joyful, celebratory songs: “London is the place for me” and "Those two little pals of mine, Ramadhin and Valentine" from Lord Kitchener and Lord Beginner respectively.

The puzzle initially put me in a very good mood, particularly as it is still printed on the back page; but these couple of niggles have taken the edge off a little.
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:00 am (UTC)
Well, I enjoyed this quirky number, although calypso I've typically associated with the song about Ramadhin and Valentine, spin bowlers who shook England up in the 50s. I even had FREEDMAN as my one ticked item and therefore COD! Seems unambiguous to me, given one is looking for a Milton Friedman soundalike. I'm surprised I'd never come across PSKOV. Perhaps they'll play a World Cup game there in 2018...
Andy Borrows
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:12 am (UTC)
21 mins, all correct and all parsed. The TRADES/DRONE crossers were my last ones in. I've seen FREEDMAN spelled as one word more than I've seen it spelled as two, so I didn't have a problem with that one and I don't think the wordplay was that ambiguous. Similarly, I read part of the clue for KINGDOM as "for one, animal" so didn't have too much of a problem with that one either once I'd decided that there really must be a Russian city called PSKOV. The "sarcastic" in the clue for CALYPSO threw me but the answer couldn't have been anything else once all the checkers were in place. Finally, I knew LEPANTO so wasn't tempted by "Lapanto", and I also knew the Savoy G&S reference so SAVOYARDS wasn't a problem. Having said all that, this was one of those puzzles where having the correct GK definitely helped, and if I hadn't had the requisite GK I'd have been with those of you complaining about it.

One quibble I do have now that we're three days into the reintroduction of the puzzle onto the back page of the paper is that the font used for the clues seems to be smaller than it used to be.
Jun. 18th, 2014 11:55 am (UTC)
>The "sarcastic" in the clue for CALYPSO threw me but the answer couldn't have been anything else once all the checkers were in place

If you have the correct checkers, maybe (see below)
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:20 am (UTC)
Whilst Titian was mixing rose madder
His model climbed up on her ladder
Her position to Titian
Suggested coition
So he leapt on the ladder and 'ad 'er

(I believe he discovered rose madder - hence the flesh tones)
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:26 am (UTC)
21.21 with Milton, not the Emancipated One. Like others, I wondered what "man" was doing both clue and answer, and was worried enough about the correct spelling of the economist to change it from FREEDMAN because otherwise it wouldn't be a soundalike, so little chance of getting it right. I think the balance of the clue tends toward E not I, but I feel a strong appeal coming on.
Otherwise same quibbles, really. I keep imagining there's more to the KINGDOM clue than there is.
For CoD, I'm a suceur for Franglais, and am fortunate enough to remember the spelling of the battle so could forgive le wordplay ambigu.
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:35 am (UTC)
I can sympathise with those who complain about the amount of fairly obscure GK today. However since I knew it all with the exception of the Russian city, I'm not joining them!
Nice amiable plod after an initial panic.
Also thoroughly approved of 17a!
Jun. 18th, 2014 11:06 am (UTC)
My standard approach (complete ignorance) paid off here as I wrote in Freedman without a second thought (apart from surprise over a double dose of MAN), invented Pskov from the wordplay and scribbled Kingdom without knowing why. Thanks for the blog Pip.

Edited at 2014-06-18 11:07 am (UTC)
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