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Times 25818 - Bring The Jubilee

Hello again, it's good to be back. I must first apologise for my no-show two weeks ago today: I happened to be in a hotel room in Berlin, and was quite looking forward to getting clue-stuck over Frühstück when it came to my attention that my laptop charging cable had stayed behind in London. A true hero would have blogged that morning's puzzle on a mobile phone, to hell with roaming charges and the well-known difficulties of editing HTML markup with one's thumbs. But it turns out I am just a man, so said to hell with it and went out to look at the Brandenburg Gate or something instead.

Today's grid, which I am given to believe is the work of the New Boss himself - know him by the initials RR, the same as Rolls Royce, a mere coincidence, or IS IT? - was a satisfying puzzle for me chock full of cleverly misleading surfaces with fun words hidden behind them. (Is it just me who has an unseemly predilection for any word containing any of Scrabble's "Big Four" letters? I could roll the phrase "1D 17D" from this puzzle around my mouth all day.)

Talking of Scrabble, 19A was surely the obscurest piece of vocab in this puzzle, not a word you'll hear at many bus-stops alas, but probably part of many a tile-scrabbler's arsenal. I liked the shout out to Wodehouse at 13A and the pair of clues located in the 18th century, though sadly Louis Quatorze and George I died before the birth of the master's mate of HMS Bounty so the three of them were probably never at a party together.

I'm rarely the kind of person who can polish off one of these babies in single digits of minutes, but it passed my usual test of being pleasantly solvable between points A and B of my London perambulations, A and B being on this occasion Wandsworth and King's Cross. Last one in was I think 22A, not a term I've come across before, but easily gettable from the crossing letters. Maybe it was just that I was on the trains at the time but I wanted so badly for the "steel band" to be the Tube map's very own éminence grise, the JUBILEE LINE.

COTD probably has to be 12A, due to it encapsulating the essence of English participation in the World Cup. I drew Chile in our office sweepstake by the way, which initially filled me with a powerful existential despair, but things have definitely started looking up since then. ¡Viva Chile!

1 CLASSY - stylish: CLAY [earthenware] "drinking" SS [vessel]
4 UPSTREAM - "away from estuary": (PASTURE)* [ploughed] + M [miles]
10 COME OFF IT - "I refuse to believe": COMET [space traveller] "is clothing" OF FI [belonging to girl]
11 UTTER - unqualified: pUTTER [club with "leader dismissed"]
12 OOH - to sound excited: 0-0 [blank scoreline] + H [hard]
13 HOORAY HENRY - typical member of Bertie Wooster's Drones Club: (HONORARY)* [new] "receiving" Y HE [unknown male]
14 MUMBAI - city: MU [letter from Greek] + MBA [business graduate] + I [one]
16 ROYAL WE - sounds like Louis's "royal oui", and is also an English king's "I"
19 AGELAST - mirthless person (i.e. "one impervious to cracks"): AGE [get old] + LAST [shoemaker's mould]
20 ICE AGE - time long ago: sounds like ["to listen to"] EYE SAGE [watch + one who is learned]
22 JUBILEE CLIP - a type of steel band: a short sequence from the Thames Pageant would be a different kind of Jubilee clip
25 TUT - expression of disapproval: TUTOR [teacher] - OR [men, i.e. "other ranks"]
26 IONIA - old territory: certAIN OIl "reserves" this after reversal ["turning over"]
27 OWNERSHIP - having: (NO WISH + REP)* [getting involved]
28 TROUSERS - bags: T [time] + ROUSER [alarm] + S [seconds]
29 THE WHO - rock band: eleganT ["close to"] + HEW [fashion] + HO [house]

1 CUCKOO - double def: "hourly you might hear this" [from a cuckoo clock], and "sound? hardly!" [since "cuckoo" is "of unsound mind"]
2 ALMSHOUSE - place for poor: AL [little boy] + MOUSE [timid creature] keeping SH [quiet]
3 SLOTH - aversion to industry: SLOT [opening] + H [hours]
5 PITCAIRN ISLAND - probable [Fletcher] Christian burial site: PIT [hollow] + CAIRN [stone mound] + IS [one's] + L [left] + AND [with]
6 TOUCH-TYPE - cryptic definition
7 EAT IN - have fare [at] home: sEATINg [places to sit with "no room for case"]
8 MARTYRED - done in [i.e. killed] Apostle style: M [mass] + ARTY [pretentious] + RED [cardinal]
9 A FOOT IN THE DOOR - early opportunity: AFOOT [abroad] + (I'D NO OTHER)* [alternative]
15 BE ALL EARS - attend exclusively: B [British] + (REAL ALES)* [original exhibition of]
17 LIGHT SHOW - "series of moving beams": LIGHTS [comes down] + HOW [the way]
18 BANJOIST - musician: NAB [collar] reversed ["raising"] + JOIST [beam]
21 STOP-GO - "continually checking progress": STOOd ["briefly" tolerated] "stifling" PG [parent guidance]
23 BINGO - cry on discovering something: BIN [axe] + GO [split]
24 PERCH - double def: a fishy perch is a catch, a wooden perch a pole


( 50 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 20th, 2014 07:02 am (UTC)
Rod, pole and perch are old Imperial measures of the same length so I don't think we're in parrot cage territory here.

Just over an hour for this one. I'd already posted in the Forum that I thought this was the work of a new setter or an "old" one trying a bit too hard to be different, so I'm interested that you say this is by the hand of the new Ed himself. I'm not over-keen, to be honest, though some of it was admittedly very good indeed.

Edited at 2014-06-20 07:09 am (UTC)
Jun. 20th, 2014 07:16 am (UTC)
Re: 24dn
Oh yes, that makes more sense than my parrot-pole interpretation to be sure! I was probably on an ornithological roll from CUCKOO at 1D.
Re: 24dn - jackkt - Jun. 20th, 2014 07:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 29ac - z8b8d8k - Jun. 20th, 2014 08:57 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 24dn - mohn2 - Jun. 20th, 2014 10:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 20th, 2014 07:02 am (UTC)

Oh dear, another bad time for me (over the hour), but at least I got them all right this time…

Didn't get the (s)EAT IN(g) bit of 7dn or the 'catch' bit of PERCH, dnk PITCAIRN ISLAND or AGELAST (spellcheck doesn't know it either). Lots of clever misdirection.

Jun. 20th, 2014 07:09 am (UTC)
Nothing too troublesome here except AGELAST as vocab. (Sounds like a character in Beowulf.) But the cryptic hands it out. I shall remember it for the next puzzle without a trace of humour: "our agelastic setter"?

Not sure that (9dn) "abroad" and "afoot" are quite the same. Imagine Holmes: "the game is abroad". Poor old Watson would be thinking "Where, Brazil?".
Jun. 20th, 2014 09:35 am (UTC)
The game's abroad"
Henry V might have said it, I suppose. I agree afoot and abroad are not the same, but they share a kind of dogleg affinity via around, about, current (that meaning of abroad). None of those would have sounded convincing at Harfleur either, but then direct synonyms wouldn't. "Once more into the hole dear friends" "I see you stand like dull dogs in petticoats".
Re: The game's abroad" - verlaine - Jun. 20th, 2014 10:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 20th, 2014 07:16 am (UTC)
75 minutes for this one, which was done in many bit and bobs first online and then on paper after my computer put in a performance worthy of the England team, hitting the deck like Sturridge with a couple of assists from Gerrard.

Nice mix of the colloquial and the weird (AGELAST, JUBILEE CLIP) with BE ALL EARS getting my COD nod. My refusal to read Wodehouse cost me only a minute, which would satisfy most cost-benefit analysts, I suspect.

By the way, if you are unable to blog for any reason, you can always run it by your confrere Jack in the first instance, or, indeed, if the need is urgent or the hour inhospitable, send an LJ message to a regular on the board, such as myself, who is out east and therefore "active" in the early hours UK-time.
Jun. 20th, 2014 07:21 am (UTC)
A Scrabble player writes
Rather tough, I found, and unfortunately I had to abandon ship with my lunch-hour due to finish. But as for AGELAST, yes, it is a relatively well-known solution to AAEGLST (along with ALGATES and LASTAGE). And AGELASTIC provides a beautiful hook to the similarly useful GELASTIC, which means 'pertaining to laughter'.
Jun. 20th, 2014 12:18 pm (UTC)
Re: A Scrabble player writes
Great Scrabble words all. In the same league as the lovely OPSIMATH.
Jun. 20th, 2014 07:52 am (UTC)
Thought there were some brilliant clues here, with penny-dropping moments for CUCKOO, PITCAIRN ISLAND, STOP-GO, ROYAL WE and JUBILEE CLIP, to name more than a few.

I'm constantly amazed at the day-to-day quality of these puzzles.

Thanks setter and blogger.
Jun. 20th, 2014 08:24 am (UTC)
29m. Tough and chewy this one. Bad characteristics in a steak, but good in a crossword. Several things I didn't know, but all constructable from the wordplay... eventually. I didn't help myself by bunging in A BIRD IN THE HAND.
I was puzzled by 7dn but I suppose the clue is saying that there's no room for the 'case' of SEATING because there is only room for five letters.
A couple of quibbles:
> Does the wordplay work in 25ac? 'Men ignoring teacher' seems the wrong way round.
> PG stands for 'parental guidance', not 'parent guidance'.
Jun. 20th, 2014 08:34 am (UTC)
I think TUT works if you think of it as 'men neglecting teacher'. I had the same thought about PG.
(no subject) - keriothe - Jun. 20th, 2014 08:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dyste - Jun. 20th, 2014 12:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - z8b8d8k - Jun. 20th, 2014 08:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Jun. 20th, 2014 08:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - z8b8d8k - Jun. 20th, 2014 09:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Jun. 20th, 2014 09:03 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - z8b8d8k - Jun. 20th, 2014 09:21 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 20th, 2014 08:41 am (UTC)
Excellent toughie, devouring 31 and a bit minutes of my time. I got caught up in the NW, where I was convinced that BEAKER was a decent enough answer, being both stylish earthenware (qv Beaker Folk) and a drinking vessel. The real answer is cleverer, if less erudite, and has the additional virtue of allowing completion of the grid.
Thanks for the parsing of BINGO, which eluded me.
AGELAST: I confess to checking before pressing submit: I couldn't think of any other solution to the wordplay. Fortunately I check in Chambers. The pronunciation guide confirms that I've never come across it before.
My fave of the day from an excellent bunch PITCAIRN ISLAND, though I think they probably threw him off the cliff if he sounded anything like as insufferable as Marlon Brando. Much prefer Mel Gibson (and more especially Anthony Hopkins as Bligh).
Jun. 20th, 2014 08:49 am (UTC)
26 minutes and still chuckling over 'done in Apostle style'. Welcome back Verlaine and commiserations on your tribulations a fortnight ago. You seem to be well informed about setters so are you able to confirm that 3dn will appear in every puzzle you blog? Even after Ulaca's suggestion I still can't see how 25ac works.
Jun. 20th, 2014 12:23 pm (UTC)
Well we won't know for sure until next time (three times in a row = statistical proof), but it does appear to be some kind of cosmic sign, doesn't it? Maybe to withdraw my life savings and bet them on Costa Rica (home of the famous 3dn sanctuaries) winning the World Cup.
Jun. 20th, 2014 08:57 am (UTC)
Another perfectly timed puzzle, taking 40 minutes with BINGO the LOI just as we rolled into Waterloo. After about 35 minutes I had a lot of blanks in the NE and SW but when ROYAL WE and BANJOIST fell into place the floodgates opened.

My COD to 27A as I always like the clues where the definition is well hidden, as was 'Having' here.
Jun. 20th, 2014 12:21 pm (UTC)
Ooh yes, I love that kind of thing to. I've seen "to", as a definition for "closed", a couple of times recently and it always seems very stylish.

Glad to see someone else measuring out their crossword puzzles in commutes!
Jun. 20th, 2014 09:07 am (UTC)
Hooray for Henry
47 minutes including a couple of interruptions for emails, during which some pennies seemed to drop on return to solving. Stuck for a while on the SE corner until the J of the clip went in and removed my first thought for 18d being BAND++++. Never heard of AGELAST and not in my dic but hoped it was correct from the wordplay. Some great clues here, Mr Setter, bring it on.
Jun. 20th, 2014 10:22 am (UTC)
Not the nightmare that sometimes appears on Fridays, but still a puzzle which had me chasing dead-ends like an England defender trying to mark Luis Suarez, so full marks for misdirection. Count me among the many who'd never heard of AGELAST; a bit obscure for the daily, perhaps, but I accepted long ago that if I don't want to come across strange new words from time to time I probably shouldn't have made crosswords my leisure pursuit of choice...
Jun. 20th, 2014 11:41 am (UTC)
I admit, this took quite a while...
...with a few wrong turns. I put in 'agelast' from the cryptic, didn't recognize it, and erased it - not very good for an experienced Greekling. I didn't see the cryptics for 'tut' and 'classy' at all, but understood everything else pretty well. In the end I struggled with the should-be-obvious 'martyred'.
Jun. 20th, 2014 11:59 am (UTC)
25:20 and most enjoyable so thanks setter.

Verlaine, if you've never encountered a jubilee clip before then you've obviously never had to attach hose A to tube B. Having the requisite knowledge didn't stop me writing in jubilee line initially mindst.

Hard to choose a favourite with so many top-notch clues in one place, but for the chuckle I'll go for the royal we.
Jun. 20th, 2014 12:19 pm (UTC)
I may have *encountered* a jubilee clip - however I would have referred to it by the technical term "hose-A-to-tube-B-thingummy-whatsit".
Jun. 20th, 2014 12:44 pm (UTC)
I found this pretty tough, taking 63 minutes to complete it. At one point, about two-thirds of the way through, I wondered if I'd finish it, but then got 22, which was a bit of a breakthrough and the rest of the unsolved clues fell reasonably quickly.
An excellent puzzle with lots of deceptive elements. Difficult to pick a best clue, but I particularly liked 1a, 1d and 3d.
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