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Times 26325

After yesterday's struggle I was fearing the worst, but it proved otherwise; I whizzed through this in 15 minutes (probably 3 Verlaines) with most of it write-in material. 22a and 14d required a minute or two of thought to sort out the 'why'.
And my tablet SIM has suddenly decided to run at warp speed (H+) after two weeks of grinding along on E, (apparently worse than 1G) so I apologise to Senor Vodafone. Keep those shares, I'll be munching through those expensive Gigabytes now.

Across
1 BANANA REPUBLIC - BAN = forbid, (ARENA)*, PUBLIC; D weak state.
9 ENIGMATIC - (MAGNETIC)* around I; D puzzling. Not for long.
10 DWELL - D(ays), WELL = spring; D have one's home. A chestnut, quickie style.
11 DAISY - DAIS = platform, Y = fourth letter of Marylebone; D composite.
12 THE RIVALS - DD; Play by Sheridan.
13 NUGATORY - NUG = weapon, to the left; A TORY; D futile.
15 STATIC - STIC(K) = nearly all stand, around AT; D stable.
17 BODKIN - BOD = person, KIN = relations; D needle.
19 CRANKPIN - CRANK = nut, PIN = fasten; D part of engine.
22 TARDINESS - Insert DINES (eats) into TARS for sailors; D no quality in fast food, you want it sooner not later.
23 CUBIC - CUB young bear, IC(E) nearly frozen; D like solid.
24 ELFIN - Strip two words; (S)ELFI(E), (O)N(E); D charming.
25 TOMATILLO - TO MILL = to grind, insert A T(ime), O = round; D fruit from Mexico.
26 HENLEY-ON-THAMES - (HE THE MANLY ONES)*; the place for rowing, indeed.

Down
1 BREAD AND BUTTER - Sounds like BRED = mated, AND = with, BUTTER = goat; D routine.
2 NAILING - SAILING has S changed to its opposite; D tacking.
3 NIMBY - NIM is a game, that annoying one where you try to be the one to take the last bit. BY = in reserve; D one wanting to protect area, acronym for Not In My Back Yard.
4 ROTATORY - ROT (rubbish), AT, O(old), RY (railway); D turning.
5 PACKET - A PLACKET is an opening or slit in a garment, it could be the entry to a pocket; remove the L; D a lot of money. But not necessarily a pretty penny.
6 BADMINTON - BAD for offensive, as in smell; MINTON posh china; D game. Once I'd been through and past MATE and PAL it clicked.
7 INEXACT - I NEXT (succeeding), insert AC; D lax.
8 CLASS CONSCIOUS - CLASS = group of students, CONSCIOUS = reasoning; D knowing where one stands. A bit obvious.
14 TUITIONAL - Know your crossword birds and antelopes! A TUI is a NZ bird, TONAL = using keys, insert I = current; D teaching's style.
16 FRESHMAN - FRESH = somewhat forceful, and cool; MAN = staff, as verb; D first-year student.
18 DURUFLE - (FLEUR DU)*, nice anagrist 'mal'; D French composer, of whom I had heard.
20 PABULUM - (UP ALBUM)*; anagrist 'ripping'; D bland stuff. From Latin for food.
21 SENTRY - S(TUCK) = S (no tuck = without food); ENTRY = way in; D picket.
23 CATCH - CAT = lash, C, H; D problem being concealed. Topical surface, if not difficult.

Comments

( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
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keriothe
Feb. 3rd, 2016 09:33 am (UTC)
18m. I started really quickly on this, with the first few going in immediately, including 1ac and quite a few of the associated down clues. But then I got badly bogged down in the bottom half, which I found much harder. It was partly unknowns (CRANKPIN, DURUFLE, PABULUM, Minton, the tui), partly some wordplay problems (I wanted the first C in 23dn to be Conservative, for instance), partly just me being a bit dim this morning.
I'm pretty sure I've come across the tui before, actually. Presumably the travel company is named after the bird. Edit: no, it isn't. It's TUI, not Tui, and it stands for Touristik Union International.

Edited at 2016-02-03 02:16 pm (UTC)
dorsetjimbo
Feb. 3rd, 2016 09:36 am (UTC)
Easy vanilla flavoured puzzle which was a steady solve with no hold ups. Once you get 1A and 1D it opens up the grid
jackkt
Feb. 3rd, 2016 09:47 am (UTC)
I found this hard and had loads of question marks in the margins to remind myself to look things up following completion. Unknowns today were the game NIM, PLACKET (despite coming up in a puzzle I blogged myself on 5th January!), DAISY as a composite, TUI, TOMATILLO (I know there are various fruits with strange names, many of them hybrids, but I can never remember them), DURUFLE (despite my degree in music) and even CRANKPIN, though I'm familiar enough with 'crankshaft'. Toyed with CLASS AWARENESS at 8dn. Not a good day at the office.
keriothe
Feb. 3rd, 2016 09:58 am (UTC)
'Composite' for DAISY was another unknown for me, too, but it still went straight in on sight based on the wordplay and checkers (I had D_I_Y by that point).
galspray
Feb. 3rd, 2016 10:00 am (UTC)
29:45
Same hold-ups as the blogger (TARDINESS and TUITIONAL), but for much longer. Same unknowns as Keriothe and Jack.
But all fair and above board.

Australia got tuitioned by the Kiwis today, so I'll make that COD.

Thanks setter and Pip.
martinp1
Feb. 3rd, 2016 08:50 pm (UTC)
Re: 29:45
I suspect not too many "Aussie, Aussie, Aussies" heard in Auckland during that game!
ulaca
Feb. 3rd, 2016 10:08 am (UTC)
More Rocky Road than Vanilla for me, with the same unknowns as Jack, apart from TUI, so I was pleased to complete in 32 minutes, despite missing my target.

One of those days where starting at the end, as I do, probably had its drawbacks.
the_toff
Feb. 3rd, 2016 11:24 am (UTC)
Is this the way to Amarillo?
Not today,up the garden path with tamarillo,perfectly good answer to another clue.
therotter
Feb. 3rd, 2016 11:38 am (UTC)
About my average time of 40 minutes again, but this was a game of two halves, with the top being easier the easier of the two. It took me ages to see the rowing centre, or indeed the anagram, but once that was spotted, the rest came fairly easily. I never did parse ELFIN satisfactorily, and INEXACT was my LOI, and the recalcitrant exception to the top half is easier conclusion.

Vardy, wow! the dream continues. Celebrating that last night probably cost me a few minutes this morning.
ulaca
Feb. 3rd, 2016 11:42 am (UTC)
One of the great goals, for sure. I still think City will give Pellegrini a nice going away present, but we shall no doubt know more on Saturday.

The Foxes should roll over Arsenal, mind...
z8b8d8k
Feb. 3rd, 2016 12:30 pm (UTC)
Well, I've learned a bit today over 18 and a bit minutes. I had no idea why composite and DAISY were synonymous, the CRANK PIN looked a bit weird, TOMATILLO I may have seen before but not with the Mexican connection, PLACKET known only in its Latin version without the K, and the NZ bird- almost any combination of letters will do so I let that pass.
Fun to solve, though, and all the above gettable.
janie_l_b
Feb. 3rd, 2016 12:56 pm (UTC)
Took me nearly an hour, I found this really tough, but I persevered and ended up with just one wrong: I had Durlfue. But when it's an unknown clued by an anagram, it doesn't really count, does it?
keriothe
Feb. 3rd, 2016 02:07 pm (UTC)
Like Penfold (see below) I am sympathetic: with this and PABULUM I was ready to be outraged if the answer had been something else. However since I happened to get them both right I am of course satisfied that they're both entirely fair. ;)
penfold_61
Feb. 3rd, 2016 01:11 pm (UTC)
I found this a real slog in every sense. I was ready to give up with gaps in the SW corner but eventually crawled over the line in 30:11.

I went up every blind alley and down every garden path going and couldn't call to mind things I knew like tui and the play.

I though the definition for tardiness was flaky and there were some mighty clunky surfaces knocking around.

You have my sympathy Janie, I expected to have the letters in the wrong order for either (or both!) Durufle and pabulum and was ready to cry foul.
tringmardo
Feb. 3rd, 2016 02:16 pm (UTC)
Didn't really like this one at all and it was a DNF because of 24ac and 14d. Maybe it's just me but it seemed rather joyless.
oliviarhinebeck
Feb. 3rd, 2016 02:38 pm (UTC)
tardiness
I found this rather ho hum but that may be because I went completely off the rails at first. I had "tartiness" because I thought the def. was "no quality", as in "no class", the fast food was a "tartine" and the SS were the seamen. Oh dear.

Edited at 2016-02-03 02:38 pm (UTC)
paul_in_london
Feb. 4th, 2016 01:36 am (UTC)
Re: tardiness
I like that better than I like Tardiness - too bad the crossers won't cooperate
vinyl1
Feb. 3rd, 2016 03:21 pm (UTC)
My wrong spelling of 'pabulum' led...
...to no end of trouble. The puzzle was hard enough, but you can't finish if your checkers are wrong. It didn't help that I thought 'nut' and 'lash' were the literals. So solved in the end, but rather a disaster. I actually did have a vague idea why 'daisy' is a composite, and research confirms this:

http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/fieldbio/leeci_unet/composite.html
deezzaa
Feb. 3rd, 2016 03:47 pm (UTC)
This took a par for me 30 minutes but like others I felt strangely unsatisfied at the end. There were too many I couldn't parse and too many unknown words, even if I did know Durufle and that a daisy was a composite.
kevin_from_ny
Feb. 3rd, 2016 05:18 pm (UTC)
Not easy here. This took me a full 40 minutes due to unfamiliarity with many bits of wordplay, such as nim, tui, and definitions, like DURUFLE and why PABULUM seems to me to have an extra 'U'. But got there in the end after the extended brain workout, ending with PACKET, which doesn't sound like a tidy sum to me, not nearly as much as the pretty penny. I also thought NIMBY was a purely US usage. Regards.
sotira
Feb. 3rd, 2016 05:49 pm (UTC)
We we definitely use NIMBY, despite not having back yards. But then we also now routinely "step up to the plate", despite for the most part having no idea what one is.
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