vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,
vinyl1
vinyl1
times_xwd_times

Times 26395 - Seven years a blogger!

Solving time: 26 minutes

Music: Tchaikovsky, Symphony #6, Fricsay/Berlin Philharmonic






Yes, my first blog was just about seven years ago, April 20, 2009. I was both surprised and thrilled to get the email from our then leader, Peter Biddlecombe, that began: "Thanks to Russel and Jonathan for both volunteering for the Monday slot. I propose to share it between you, with Russel going in to bat first on Monday 13 April, and Jonathan's first posting on the 20th." So it happened that 'kororareka' and 'vinyl1' stepped up to the plate for the Monday slot, replacing 'foggyweb', who has vanished without a trace. Of the weekly puzzle bloggers from that era, it seems like only George Heard and Andy Wallace remain at original posts.

You would think that with all this experience solving and blogging would become routine, but you never know what you're going to get. I well remember the sickness-weakened two-hour solve that eventually sent me to reference books, as well as the sweltering ordeal in my brother's house with no openable windows and a malfunctioning fire alarm. Not to mention all the embarrassing mistakes - pooh sticks, shanks's mare, etc.

Fortunately, all was clear in the present puzzle, and I can promise that my answers are totally correct. At first I thought it was going to be difficult, as I couldn't get anything in the top half, but as I got a few answers in the bottom, I started to pick up a little speed. It proved surprising amenable to biffing in the end, with a few answers entered unparsed.

Across
1BLANKET STITCH, BLANKET + STITCH in different senses, my LOI.
9CHINO, CHIN + O.
10LORD MAYOR, LORD! (MAY) O.R, where 'gracious' indicates a surprised exclamation.
11SAUSAGE DOG, SAUSAGE + DOG in different senses.
12IRIS, IRIS[h], a chestnut. Experienced solvers will see 'flag' and think 'iris' immediately.
14ACCOUNT, [e]AC[h] + COUNT, i.e. 'matter' as a verb.
16TRANSIT, TRA(N,S)IT.
17DESIRED, DE(SIR)ED.
19PADRONE, P[lan] + A DRONE.
20IRON, I[n] R[apture] O[ver] N[ewspaper].
21MARTINIQUE, MAR(TI,NI)QUE, i.e. IN, IT backwards in the middle. A write-in if you get the crossing 'q'.
24EMILE ZOLA, anagram of MEAL, I containing LE(Z)O.
25ADEPT, A DEPT.
26NON-ATTENDANCE, [vacatio]N = anagram of AT ONCE, TANNED. I suppose this sort of terminology has been banned by the EU.
 
Down
1BACK-SEAT DRIVER, BACKS + EAT + DRIVER in a different sense.
2ADIEU, AD + I.E. + U (the film rating).
3KOOKABURRA, KOOK + A BURR + A.
4TALLEST, TA(SELL upside-down)T.
5TURNOUT, TURN + OUT, used by metonymy for the assembly itself.
6TIME, double definition.
7HEY, PRESTO, anagram of TYPOS HERE. Rather archaic, the kind of formula a magician in an 18th-century comedy would use.
8GRASP THE NETTLE, double definition.
13HAND IN HAND, another laborious double defintion.
15CUSTODIAN, anagram of A DISCOUNT.
18DRAG OUT, D[uck] + RAGOUT. For once, duck!=0.
19POTTAGE, P(O.T.T.)AGE, although technically speaking a 'page' is an attempt to contact someone, originally done by sending a page into the room calling out the fellow's name.
22QUEEN, double definition, since a queen is a chess piece.
23KERN, hidden in [stri]KER N[aturally]. That would be Jerome Kern, songwriter and composer.
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