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Times 26,705: Turtle Recall

Coming straight from a TLS puzzle as I did, I was clearly in the right headspace for this crossword: I instantly knew Sairey Gamp's signature item and likewise all the classical militaria was well known to me from my misspent teens (I had thought that 1dn was the unit wearing the armour, not the armour itself, but I could be wrong). Once you got past the slightly archaic frame of reference I thought this was actually pretty straightforward, lots of neat double defs and nothing too hard to parse, though 18dn, biffed from the crossers, did take a little teasing out. A whiff of jazzical whimsy to some of the definitions, e.g. 6dn and 26ac, but I found it all quite enjoyable.

LOI 1ac I think, with plenty of change from 10 minutes, though I note (in the approximate style of a glheard blog) that nobody else is under 12 minutes as of 8am, so this one was probably reasonably hard for non-moustachioed classicists. COD to the very economical and nicely-surfaced 10dn, another one that was only fully parsed post-submission. Many thanks to the setter!

Across

1 Drop in demand (4)
CALL - double def
3 Like Mrs Gamp’s “real ‘umble”, dissolute, daughter (10)
UMBRELLAED - (REAL UMBLE*) ["dissolute"] + D [daughter]
9 What to put, initially mistakenly, in the way of the bank? (7)
TOWPATH - (WHAT TO P{ut}*) ["mistakenly"]
11 Jazz composer our cup of tea, maybe listened to by stream (7)
BRUBECK - homophone of BREW [our cup of tea, maybe, "listened to"] by BECK [stream]
12 Feign reluctance to take part in sports complex? (4,4,2,3)
PLAY HARD TO GET - PLAY [to take part in sports] + HARD TO GET [complex]
14 Put back on TV (5)
RESET - RE SET [on | TV]
15 Arab perhaps holding large, unusual musical instrument (5,4)
STEEL DRUM - STEED [Arab perhaps] holding L [large] + RUM [unusual]
17 A bloomer, getting caught before dash to lunch? (9)
CELANDINE - C ELAN DINE [caught | dash | to lunch]
19 Not a bit lighter! (5)
ZIPPO - double def
21 Shrill coo mingled with sigh, reminiscent of a young lass? (13)
SCHOOLGIRLISH - (SHRILL COO + SIGH*) ["mingled"]
24 Some internet ad to hand about eagerly awaited appointment (3,4)
HOT DATE - hidden reversed in {intern}ET AD TO H{and}
25 Grasping English boss we have to shield, historically (7)
TESTUDO - "grasping" E STUD [English | boss], we have TO
26 Book accommodation, with second fantastic cheap flight option? (10)
BROOMSTICK - B ROOMS TICK [book | accommodation | second]
27 What follows I copy for a laugh? (4)
JAPE - J [what follows I] + APE [copy]

Down

1 Suit offering protection from big fall outside public house (10)
CATAPHRACT - CATARACT [big fall] outside PH [public house]
2 Service spoken of as slow: millions affected (3,4)
LOW MASS - (AS SLOW M*) ["affected"]
4 Teacher is welcome after parent, endlessly strict (9)
MAHARISHI - IS HI [is | welcome] after MA HAR{d} [parent | "endlessly" strict]
5 After putting up reserve, save capital (5)
RABAT - reverse of T.A. BAR [reserve | save]
6 These monitors, possibly, multi-functional but rarely working? (6,7)
LOUNGE LIZARDS - monitors are a type of lizard, which leads into a quirky cryptic definition of the human lizards of the lounge variety.
7 Supporter in a cap (7)
ABETTER - A BETTER [a | cap]
8 Requirement for boxing title (4)
DUKE double def, of: requirement for boxing | title
10 When sweaty, endless serving tonic (1,4,2,3,3)
A SHOT IN THE ARM - AS HOT [when | sweaty] + IN THE ARM{y} ["endless" serving]
13 Not a groovy weapon monsieur, in truth, once carried (10)
SMOOTHBORE - M [monsieur] in SOOTH [truth, once] + BORE [carried]
16 Powerful quote author half-heartedly recalled (9)
ENERGETIC - reverse of CITE GRE{e}NE [quote | author "half-heartedly"]
18 State quarters on the outside look all the same (7)
LESOTHO - E S [quarters], on the outside LO [look] + THO [all the same]
20 Correct, evenly placed components in nuclear plant (7)
PRIMULA - PRIM [correct] + {n}U{c}L{e}A{r}
22 Deliberate, in the course of time (5)
OVERT - OVER T [in the course of | time]
23 Fat that’s shed by fish (4)
CHUB - CHUB{by} [fat, "that's shed BY"]

Comments

( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
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<<[1] [2] >>
sawbill
Apr. 21st, 2017 07:39 am (UTC)
Sadly took longer than 5
35 minutes and very clever. Never saw CATARACTS. Couldn't see what "multi-functional" was doing. Have I missed something? COD (among many candidates) to ZIPPO. Thanks setter and V.
kevingregg
Apr. 21st, 2017 07:52 am (UTC)
Re: Sadly took longer than 5
I wondered about 'multi-functional' too, (and 'These', for that matter); all I could come up with is that the LL hangs out at various functions.
askival
Apr. 21st, 2017 07:41 am (UTC)
44:28
Skipped along nicely (FOI: RESET, got CALL pretty early on funnily enough), and then stuck for a good twenty minutes. Today the brick wall was built in the north-east: Mrs Gamp required Googling, and that only left me searching for a synonym of drunk, I couldn't get RILL out of my head for that stream, and I had ______LIZARDS written in the grid until the end. COD: 12A for me, beautifully economically put together. LOI: HOT DATE, but only because I'd convinced myself that FLAB was as a fish. Lots of new vocab, entertaining clues and a real workout generally.

Question to the floor: I paused the puzzle today, and it appears I've had roughly 20 minutes added to my solving time, although I'm sure I was away for longer than that. Can anyone explain, or point me to a link on the site which might help?

Many thanks setter and Verlaine.
z8b8d8k
Apr. 21st, 2017 09:57 am (UTC)
Re: 44:28
For reasons only the Times knows, pausing the puzzle does not stop the clock, at least not for your final time, I suppose it stops people solving the puzzle while on pause, and presenting a fake time.
Re: 44:28 - verlaine - Apr. 21st, 2017 10:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 44:28 - askival - Apr. 21st, 2017 10:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 44:28 - verlaine - Apr. 21st, 2017 10:21 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: 44:28 - keriothe - Apr. 21st, 2017 12:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - z8b8d8k - Apr. 21st, 2017 09:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: 44:28 - kevingregg - Apr. 21st, 2017 12:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
myrtilus000
Apr. 21st, 2017 07:43 am (UTC)
Cata what?
About 55mins pre breakfast. Liked the Lizard and Broomstick. DNK the protective suit, but did know the big fall. Very enjoyable and nice to see Mrs Gamp get an outing. Thanks all.
kevingregg
Apr. 21st, 2017 07:47 am (UTC)
15:13
Oddly enough, 1ac was my FOI, 1d my LOI. Never heard of CATAPHRACT, which my ODE tells me, in support of our learned blogger, is a soldier all armored up, not the armor. I did a fair amount of biffing, eg LESOTHO, which would have cost me untold minutes had I tried to parse it. 'Deliberate' struck me as something of a stretch for OVERT.
bigtone53
Apr. 21st, 2017 08:22 am (UTC)
RE: 15:13
Collins has

cataphract /katˈə-frakt/
noun
1. A suit of mail
2. A soldier in full armour (old military)
deezzaa
Apr. 21st, 2017 08:07 am (UTC)
My heart sank when the first pass yielded only four and several half answers, even with 3a being my FOI. However things very gradually picked up as I tuned into the setter's wavelength, though I took over the hour all told.
In retrospect some nice concise clueing. Respect! (as these youngsters say).
dorsetjimbo
Apr. 21st, 2017 08:32 am (UTC)
Like others don't understand 6D. Remove "these" and "multi-functional" and the clue works

Had to use the cryptic for the armour and the shield. Some well constructed clues here - decent end of week challenge
boltonwanderer
Apr. 21st, 2017 08:59 am (UTC)
I think the multi- functional refers to their always being at functions, sidling across the room with their gin and tonics.
From the setter - (Anonymous) - Apr. 21st, 2017 09:03 am (UTC) - Expand
boltonwanderer
Apr. 21st, 2017 08:32 am (UTC)
Rock 'n' Roll Music
That was tough but here in 50 minutes. DNK CATAPHRACT but cryptic was clear with crossers, although I didn't get CALL until after that. PLAY HARD TO GET lived up to its definition. SMOOTHBORE not parsed, forsooth. COD JAPE for its simplicity, although Mrs Gamp was good too, as was A SHOT IN THE ARM, seen only after biffed. I've always had a kick against modern jazz though, they played it too darn fast and lost the beauty of the melody. Thank you V and setter.
pootle73
Apr. 21st, 2017 08:53 am (UTC)
This took me about 30 minutes but I had a biffed ZAPPO, having misremembered the name of the lighter. Otherwise I was pleased to finish with SMOOTHBORE and moreso CATAPHRACT proving tricky.
pipkirby
Apr. 21st, 2017 09:07 am (UTC)
Quite hard - take more than 5
About 40 minutes, bit of a struggle with this one, had to LU CATAPHRACT as was unknown even with all the checkers in; invented a new musical thing SHELL DRUM for a while but eventually saw the STEEL STEED thing. The bottom half seemed much easier. Nice to see Dave Brubeck getting a mention, his sax man Paul Desmond was one of the best ever IMO.
z8b8d8k
Apr. 21st, 2017 10:07 am (UTC)
18.01, so one of those that looks hard but turns out to be right on average. Very enjoyable: getting CATAwotsit from the wordplay made me feel clever, one of several "trust the cryptic" clues: others were ABETTER for the alternate spelling and TESTUDO, though Asterix fans have a head start on that one. Form a quincunx!
escaladeur
Apr. 21st, 2017 10:17 am (UTC)
It took me a little over the hour today but I got there in the end. DNK CELANDINE, TESTUDO, CATAPHRACT, RABAT or SMOOTHBORE so quite a learning experience. All were gettable from the crossing letters though with checks on google to confirm after the event.

It was also the first time I've made Mrs Gamp's acquaintance due to me having an inexplicable inability to read Dickens without wanting to gnaw my own leg off. I blame childhood English lessons spent listening to a teacher reading Great Expectations to us in a soporific monotone for what seemed like hours on end.
verlaine
Apr. 21st, 2017 10:23 am (UTC)
I think you have to get pretty deep down the Dickens rabbithole before you're likely to have read Martin Chuzzlewit. I think I learned a gamp was an umbrella by poring through Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable as a lad... (those heady rock'n'roll days of my youth, eh?)
(no subject) - crypticsue - Apr. 21st, 2017 10:36 am (UTC) - Expand
john_dun
Apr. 21st, 2017 12:27 pm (UTC)
I read through the clues with a rising sense of panic until my FOI, JAPE, came to the rescue, with the assistance of ULA from the incomplete 21d. My LOI was SMOOTHBORE. I didn't know CATAPHRACT, but worked it out from wordplay. I had _ESTUD_ early in the solve, but the TO part of the WP only became clear after ENERGETIC was revealed, and the shield surfaced from the depths of my memory. LOUNGE LIZARD went in with a smile, giving me ZIPPO and the rest of 21d. A fun puzzle which kept me on my toes for 45:16. Liked BROOMSTICK. Thanks setter and V.
ulaca
Apr. 21st, 2017 12:30 pm (UTC)
Well, I finished in 75 minutes and was pleased with that. I was ecstatic to dredge up Mrs Gamp after watching the excellent BBC series recently on DVD. (I also read the book not more than three years ago.) However, it did take me ages to get the unusual 'umbrellaed', having written out the anagrist a couple of times.

So, I'm clearly regressing, and can only marvel at the time if the mighty V - with the KG not far behind.
vinyl1
Apr. 21st, 2017 12:46 pm (UTC)
I found this quite difficult...
....and was surprised to finish in 56 minutes. It is highly likely that many solvers will not know some of the answers. Fortunately, I vaguely remembered 'testudo', 'celandine', and 'primula', so I only had to rely on the cryptic for 'cataphract'. My LOI was 'low mass', where I completely missed the cryptic, but 'millions affected' is 'mass', isn't it?
keriothe
Apr. 21st, 2017 12:54 pm (UTC)
30m. I had to get up at 4.30 this morning to catch a flight, and I attempted this on the way to the airport without caffeine assistance. This turned out to be a mistake, because I found it a bit of a beast and I think I'd have enjoyed it a lot more if I had waited until I was a bit more awake. Still, I thought it was excellent, with lots of head-scratching followed by penny-drop moments, and numerous unknowns that had to be teased out from the wordplay. In short, just the way I like it.
So thanks setter and V.
P.S. Love the blog title!

Edited at 2017-04-21 01:04 pm (UTC)
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