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Times 26,801: Keep Calm And Carry On

I don't think this puzzle was quite as tricksy as yesterday's number (I haven't checked the Club leaderboard for confirmation yet though), but thanks to a few clever clues it ended up taking me approximately the same amount of time, somewhere approaching 10 minutes. I'd made life hard for myself by entering DRIVEL for 21dn - well, it *almost* works - and so that whole corner needed some extra unravelling. My LOI and my COD was 16ac - how brilliant to hide a reverse telescopic inside the type of hospital professional you fully expect to see in all crosswords anyway, and for the definition to be legitimately in the centre instead of at the start or end of the clue. I suppose if I'd been a bit more on the ball I'd have asked *why* 19 letters were being used for the professional when 6 are normal and more economical, but needless to say I am never on the ball.

Talking of balls, my ire at thinking I saw multiple sports-related terms on one day was defused when I discovered that 25ac was not actually about sports. I also liked some of the surfaces a fair bit - 4dn and 6dn, neither of which are tremendously difficult clues, nevertheless both tick all my boxes, both having cleverly misleading definitions which are then entirely bolstered by the wordplay. Kudos and thanks to our setter!

ETA: Some interesting capitalisation features worth discussing here too, as we were talking about such things at one of our New York meetups. Note how West in 10ac *must* be capitalised even though the surface suffers slightly as a result, as small-w could never suggest the actress; whereas it's not unfair that Harrow is capitalised in 24dn, as that's a perfectly good synonym of Rake... at the beginning of a sentence. Well *I* thought they were interesting anyway!

Across
1 University lacking in perception first to decline judgment (8)
SAGACITY - AC{u}ITY ["U{niversity} lacking in" perception], first SAG [to decline]
5 Disgust resulting from away goal (6)
OFFEND - OFF END [away | goal]
10 Sailor turning West across his vessel? (5)
ABEAM - AB [sailor] + reversed MAE ["turning" West]
11 Projectile from lake is found in sea (9)
BALLISTIC - L IS [lake | is] found in BALTIC [sea]
12 Unmethodical toys ruled out (9)
DESULTORY - (TOYS RULED*) ["out"]
13 Put away ball cutting forcefully (5)
HOARD - O [ball] cutting HARD [forcefully]
14 Easy-going relative given the push (7)
RELAXED - REL AXED [relative | given the push]
16 Retired medical practitioner's still content (6)
PLACID - hidden reversed in {me}DICAL P{ractitioner}
18 Pulped dessert to consume ordered from time to time (6)
PUREED - PUD [dessert] to consume {o}R{d}E{r}E{d}
20 Tinker getting last of tasty dishes perhaps (7)
POTTERY - POTTER [tinker] getting {tast}Y
22 Silent bird trapping bill (5)
TACIT - TIT [bird] trapping AC [bill]
23 Commercial breaks less fraught for singer in the evening (9)
SERENADER - AD [commercial] breaks SERENER [less fraught]
25 Force trained up, expending energy for new form of attack (3-3-3)
TIP-AND-RUN - (TRAIN{e->N}D UP*) ["force..."]
26 A chief with great strength, once (5)
AMAIN - A MAIN [a | chief]
27 Obscure female, one with two daughters to accommodate (6)
HIDDEN - HEN [female], I D D [one with two daughters] to accommodate
28 Virgin taking off after scene (8)
SPOTLESS - LESS [taking off] after SPOT [scene]
Down
1 The usual colours (8)
STANDARD - double def
2 Grand means of viewing Scottish lowlands? (5)
GLENS - G LENS [grand | means of viewing]
3 Grammar term from Oedipus's bird? (7,8)
COMPLEX SENTENCE - A jail SENTENCE is bird, and Oedipus suggests the COMPLEX.
4 Mirror for one, old and a bit cracked (7)
TABLOID - (OLD + A BIT*) ["cracked"]
6 Hostess, say, needing someone present below stairs (6,9)
FLIGHT ATTENDANT - ATTENDANT [someone present] below FLIGHT [stairs]
7 Chance to resolve deadlock that prison rioters may be given? (5,4)
EXTRA TIME - can resolve a draw in a sportsball game, or be added to the sentence of misbehaving convicts.
7 Interpret letter describing how goods may be delivered (6)
DECODE - DEE [letter] describing C.O.D. [how goods may be delivered]
8 Turn the spotlight on drama at college (4,2)
PLAY UP - PLAY [drama] + UP [at college]
15 Origin of long journey Spooner's pot boy makes (6,3)
LAUNCH PAD - Spoonerised PAUNCH LAD [pot | boy]
17 Water sources running dry in county (8)
HYDRANTS - (DRY*) ["running...] in HANTS [county]
19 Limits of destitute father's aspiration (6)
DESIRE - D{estitut}E + SIRE [father]
20 Talk up bargain veg (7)
PARSNIP - RAP reversed [talk "up"] + SNIP [bargain]
21 Output from sewer long undermining roadway
STITCH - ITCH [long] undermining ST [roadway]
24 Adventurer from Harrow died coming north (5)
DRAKE - RAKE [Harrow], D [died] coming north

Comments

( 85 comments — Leave a comment )
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sawbill
Aug. 11th, 2017 07:36 am (UTC)
30 minutes with one wrong
Put in AGAIN after an alphabet trawl thinking the chief might be AGA. I didn't know AMAIN. An excellent crossword. Toss up between PLACID and TABLOID for COD.
Relaxed and placid. Tacit and hidden.
guy_du_sable
Aug. 11th, 2017 07:42 am (UTC)
Deceptively easy
I got most of this on my fifteen-minute subway ride home, felt that was pretty good for a Friday, but just realize now that I didn't look hard enough at PLACID. Suspecting that hiding in there was some UK abbreviation for a special sort of "medical professional," I was seeing "content" as the definition, and feeling that was a bit off. I also didn't parse SAGACITY until long after completion. I had HIT-AND-RUN at first, for the simple reason that I had never heard of TIP-AND-RUN. I took SNIP as "bargain" on faith. "Coming north" is an odd way to refer to the top letter; coming from where? Here's another HYDRANT already!

Edited at 2017-08-11 07:43 am (UTC)
horryd
Aug. 11th, 2017 07:44 am (UTC)
Re: Deceptively easy
TIP AND RUN (not TAP AND RUN!) is a nursery type of cricket akin to baseball.
Re: Deceptively easy - guy_du_sable - Aug. 11th, 2017 07:52 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Deceptively easy - jerrywh - Aug. 11th, 2017 11:52 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Deceptively easy - verlaine - Aug. 11th, 2017 07:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: "Coming north" - guy_du_sable - Aug. 11th, 2017 08:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: "Coming north" - (Anonymous) - Aug. 11th, 2017 09:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: "Coming north" - guy_du_sable - Aug. 11th, 2017 03:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
horryd
Aug. 11th, 2017 07:42 am (UTC)
Friday Best
I knew 1ac was SAGACITY but for some time it 'parsed all understanding'!

FOI 12ac DESULTORY an easy anagram. LOI 24dn DRAKE with the capital H more Holmes than Watson.

Thus this was a slow fox-trot and I was out-foxed for much of this merry dance!I thought yesterday's 15x15 was far easier!

4dn and 6dn were indeed very clever but my COD was 10ac ABEAM with the capital W more Watson than Holmes.

Time - unsure as I wasn't feeling too bright.

WOD DRIVEL - why ever not!?


Edited at 2017-08-11 07:47 am (UTC)
jackkt
Aug. 11th, 2017 07:49 am (UTC)
40 minutes, but I was so near to achieving the 30 that would have been within my target. With 29 minutes on the clock I had only the intersecting 24dn and 26 unsolved, but between them they did for me for a while.

I'd never heard of AMAIN but guessed it eventually from wordplay. I couldn't think of a synonym for 'harrow' other than perhaps 'plough' which was obviously of no use and in any case, taking the wordplay at face value (not always the best option), I assumed that the synonym would have a D in it which would then get moved up the rankings to provide the name of an adventurer. I don't quite know how it all came together eventually, but it did, and I then checked that AMAIN existed and meant what it was supposed to.

If anyone's still interested in printing issues I have added a new comment to the 'Changes' discussion here at TftT which is about to be unstuck later today, and have also posted similarly in the CC General forum (topic 'New Webpage'). It's about printing from the e-paper which I don't think has been mentioned before.

Edited at 2017-08-11 07:51 am (UTC)
myrtilus000
Aug. 11th, 2017 07:58 am (UTC)
Am Ai Not lucky?
35 mins with overnight oats. A couple spent alphabet trawling for Amain (DNK but wordplay works) and 5 spent trying (and failing like Horryd) to parse Sagacity. Otherwise all good and some very enjoyable wordplay and surfaces. I don't like 'ball' as O (what, just 'cos a ball is round?).
Mostly I liked: West and COD to 16ac for (as V says) having the definition legitimately not at the end.
Also a very honourable mention to 21dn which has a surface that is so far away from the solution.
Thanks witty setter and V.
verlaine
Aug. 11th, 2017 08:13 am (UTC)
Re: Am Ai Not lucky?
I sort of like "ball" for O but I can see how it might irk the purists. This reminds me that I *don't* really like DEE for "a letter", does anyone really think of a D as such?
Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - myrtilus000 - Aug. 11th, 2017 08:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - jackkt - Aug. 11th, 2017 08:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - verlaine - Aug. 11th, 2017 10:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - jackkt - Aug. 11th, 2017 10:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - paul_in_london - Aug. 12th, 2017 12:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - verlaine - Aug. 11th, 2017 10:28 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - myrtilus000 - Aug. 11th, 2017 10:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - isla3 - Aug. 11th, 2017 02:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - boltonwanderer - Aug. 11th, 2017 08:21 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - grestyman - Aug. 11th, 2017 11:28 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - ulaca - Aug. 11th, 2017 11:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Bend it - boltonwanderer - Aug. 11th, 2017 12:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Bend it - ulaca - Aug. 11th, 2017 02:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Something else - boltonwanderer - Aug. 11th, 2017 03:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Bend it - john_dun - Aug. 11th, 2017 05:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - horryd - Aug. 11th, 2017 08:36 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - boltonwanderer - Aug. 11th, 2017 10:28 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - bigtone53 - Aug. 11th, 2017 10:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Am Ai Not lucky? - gothick_matt - Aug. 12th, 2017 08:39 am (UTC) - Expand
boltonwanderer
Aug. 11th, 2017 08:08 am (UTC)
Are you white as snow?
35 minutes with LOI PLACID. I got TIP AND RUN from the cricket variant also. Vaguely knew AMAIN solved from cryptic with crossers. All the HYDRANTS recently installed about the place helped too. COD to the SPOTLESS virgin. Maybe she/he can be on the LAUNCH PAD today. Wasn't convinced about SAGACITY at first, but crossers confirmed it and the parsing then became clear. Not too hard for a Friday. Thank you V and setter.
robrolfe
Aug. 11th, 2017 08:24 am (UTC)
Crossed fingers for AMAIN, which sounded right. With others re PLACID, brilliant and LOI. Didn't we have both GLEN and HYDRANTs this week? COD to LAUNCH PAD. Thanks V and setter. 23'17".
sotira
Aug. 11th, 2017 08:48 am (UTC)
12:28 … with ABEAM the last in after the penny dropped on COMPLEX

I had a question mark against TIP-AND-RUN, not knowing the 'attack' meaning. The Chambers dictionary app only has it as an adjective for the military sense:

adjective
Denoting a raid in which the raiders make off at once

SAGACITY was biffed and parsed with some difficulty after submitting. Very clever. Much to enjoy.
z8b8d8k
Aug. 11th, 2017 08:51 am (UTC)
25.07, completing a foursome this week all around the same time for me, but placing me wildly up and down the leaderboard. This new stats-heavy system is captivating.
SAGACITY I only parsed shortly after submission by bludgeoning it into shape. Judging by other comments, I think it qualifies as Most Opaque Clue of the week.
I agree 16 is a cracker.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 11th, 2017 09:09 am (UTC)
A tad surprised by ballistic as noun, desultory as unmethodical, serenading as an evening pursuit, tip-and-run as anything but juvenile cricket, but you live and learn. 21.12 for a standard piece of pottery. - joekobi
verlaine
Aug. 11th, 2017 10:32 am (UTC)
Is "ballistic" a noun? Projectile weapons = ballistic weapons. Serenading seemed to imply the evening when you think of "buona sera", but perhaps that's a false friend! A desultor in ancient Rome was an artiste skilled at leaping between horses and chariots, and I bet he had to be anything but unmethodical!
a little evening music - guy_du_sable - Aug. 11th, 2017 03:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Desultor - keriothe - Aug. 12th, 2017 12:31 am (UTC) - Expand
sotira
Aug. 11th, 2017 09:09 am (UTC)
btw, I'm now an enthusiastic convert to the new online solving system (not the print-out, which definitely needs work).

So it's taken me a week to do a complete about-face. I should go into politics.
topicaltim
Aug. 11th, 2017 01:01 pm (UTC)
Part of the problem with politics is that if you admit to changing your opinion, even if it's a very reasonable response to the facts changing, or being persuaded by logic, you get noisily accused of doing a weak-willed U-turn :)

Resign!
(no subject) - keriothe - Aug. 12th, 2017 12:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - boltonwanderer - Aug. 11th, 2017 01:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sotira - Aug. 11th, 2017 04:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - john_dun - Aug. 11th, 2017 05:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - paul_in_london - Aug. 12th, 2017 12:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Aug. 12th, 2017 12:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sotira - Aug. 12th, 2017 05:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Aug. 12th, 2017 01:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gothick_matt - Aug. 12th, 2017 03:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
paulmcl
Aug. 11th, 2017 09:11 am (UTC)
Another AGAIN here since I decided AMAIN was unlikely, even though it obviously fitted the wordplay (which AGAIN didn't really, at least the IN bit). So DNF. Also took forever since I went to bed with AMAIN still blank and put in AGAIN in the morning when no new inspiration had come to me during the night (which happens surprisingly often, funny how brains work).
ulaca
Aug. 11th, 2017 09:23 am (UTC)
36 with time wasted by putting in 'added time' at first - and me a sports nut. Sometimes a lot of learning is a dangerous thing. Thanks to the setter and our best-looking blogger....
verlaine
Aug. 11th, 2017 10:37 am (UTC)
Alas, my gorgeously moustachioed avatar is not actually me, for any ladies (or gentlemen) who have been all aflutter...
(no subject) - paul_in_london - Aug. 12th, 2017 12:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ulaca - Aug. 12th, 2017 02:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
rinteff
Aug. 11th, 2017 09:35 am (UTC)
22:48
Steady progress until I, too, hit the 24/26 roadblock. Finally saw DRAKE but don't like the coming north device and then plumped for AMAIN with everything crossed just because it seemed such a Timesy sort of word.
eniamretrauq
Aug. 11th, 2017 11:06 am (UTC)
Just commented on the complaints site that I am still solving on the main Times site - I seem to be the only one now, so maybe my setup is wrong for it.
A propos this crossword, a steady solve if a bit on the slow side. 3d solved by running through Tom Lehrer song in my head (because he loved his mother...). Most chuckleworthy clue goes to 7d. LOI AMAIN (unknown)
keriothe
Aug. 12th, 2017 12:47 am (UTC)
You're not the only one: I still can't use the puzzle site on my windows laptop. Fortunately I have an alternative (iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard) which works well enough.
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