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Times 26,645: Martyred Slaves of Time

After flamethrowing the candle earlier in the week it seemed prudent to get an early night on Thursday and tackle this first thing in the a.m. My brain is rarely functioning at its most smoothly before the bottom of the first cup of coffee and this cunning puzzle didn't permit me to clock out until just after the 10 minute mark.

If the mark of an excellent puzzle is that it parses without much resistance, then allow me to observe post-parsing that this was a rather excellent puzzle: with an honourable exception for the very elaborately constructed 17dn, each clue here succumbs very readily to its cryptic interpretation. Two rather good &lits were a treat and, possibly not uncoincidentally, my Last Two In, after an abortive doomed attempt at MADDAM for 20ac, and with my clock ticking down helplessly for a long time at the end over 6dn until the &lit penny dropped, HOY being an island rather than a boat in my internal cryptic lexicon. 11dn was a write-in for this wannabe computer scientist, and others like 10ac, 12ac, and 26ac definitely went in not fully parsed, once the definition part could be correctly sifted out with the help of a few letters.

Personally as a TLS kind of guy I might have liked a bit more literary or GK in my puzzle, but no doubt others feel the opposite, and will say that 20ac, 26ac and 11dn were more than sufficient in that department thank you very much. Top marks for topicality at 5ac but my Clue of the Day goes to 4dn which just felt neat and well-surfaced. Many thanks to the setter!

Across

1 Flawless screen getting smashed (8)
AIRTIGHT - AIR [screen] getting TIGHT [smashed]
5 Reverence for Muslims sadly rejected by leaders in America? (6)
SALAAM - ALAS reversed [sadly "rejected"] by AM{erica}
9 Coach player wanting change? Not half (3)
BUS - BUS{ker}
10 He won't serve duke G&T and far odder brews! (5,6)
DRAFT DODGER - (D G T FAR ODDER*) ["brews"]
12 Sulphur rots mineral affected after being carried up? (6-4)
SADDLE-SORE - S ADDLES ORE [sulphur | rots | mineral]
13 Greek god's drawn in line drawing (4)
PLAN - PAN [Greek god] has drawn in L [line]
15 Arab from India on enemy ground (6)
YEMENI - I [India] on (ENEMY*) ["ground"]
16 Half naked, did a jig, not initially subtle (7)
NUANCED - NU{de} + {d}ANCED
18 Note flipping sharp learner in examination (7)
MEDICAL - ME [note] + reversed ACID ["flipping" sharp"] + L [learner]
20 Woman who’s all-round crazy? (6)
MAENAD - ENA [woman] who has MAD [crazy] all round, &lit
23 Grouse seriously could be a wading bird (4)
RAIL - double def
24 Halt cannon shot, showing composure (10)
NONCHALANT - (HALT CANNON*) ["shot"]
26 Where to find cash one's put in kitty for painter (11)
POINTILLIST - IN TILL + I'S [where to find cash | one's] put in POT [kitty]
27 Have time away from built-up area (3)
OWN - {t}OWN
28 Suffering around the eyes, but uncongested, we’re told (6)
RHEUMY - homophone, though some will ever disagree, of ROOMY [uncongested, "we're told"]
29 Risk money, a pound, after some light shopping? (8)
BETRAYAL - BET [risk money] + A L [a | pound] after RAY [some light]

Down

1 Attack from rising Turkish submarine (6)
AMBUSH - reverse hidden in {turkis}H SUBMA{rine}
2 It's left for all to see in lodge (7)
RESIDUE - U [for all to see] in RESIDE [lodge]
3 Understanding clue ending badly (10)
INDULGENCE - (CLUE ENDING*) ["badly"]
4 Someone must pay teacher with drink and bread (5,4,4)
HEADS WILL ROLL - HEAD [teacher] with SWILL [drink] and ROLL [bread]
6 Opener from admiral meeting boat? (4)
AHOY - A{dmiral} + HOY [boat]. A hoy being "a small sloop-rigged coasting ship or a heavy barge used for freight".
7 Sweet, posh lass detained in a jail briefly (7)
ANGELIC - GEL [posh lass] "detained" in A NIC{k}
8 To sit in liquid surrounding trailer is jolly! (8)
MARINADE - surrounding AD [trailer] is MARINE [jolly, as in Jolly Jack Tar]
11 Computer parts ruining the odd computer, theoretically (6,7)
TURING MACHINE - MAC [computer] "parts" (RUINING THE*) ["odd"]
14 Female embraced by guy in film, one with conviction? (10)
MALEFACTOR - F [female] embraced by MALE ACTOR [guy in film]
17 Person selling clothing in Miami returning skirts for not fitting (8)
IMPROPER - REP [person selling] + M{iam}I ["clothing in" Miami], reversed ["returning"], "skirts" PRO [for]. That was probably a good one to be able to biff - whew!
19 Judge admitting one religious offence? (7)
DEICIDE - DECIDE [judge] admitting I [one]
21 Physique some must cover a little bit (7)
ANATOMY - ANY [some] covers ATOM [a little bit]
22 Area with mostly lofty houses working without a key (6)
ATONAL - A [area] with TAL{l} ["mostly" lofty] "houses" ON [working]
25 Staunch, upstanding police force succeeded (4)
STEM - reverse MET S ["upstanding" police force | succeeded]

Comments

( 56 comments — Leave a comment )
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sotira
Feb. 10th, 2017 07:46 am (UTC)
Beaten by AHOY. Looking at it now, it seems so obvious what the clue in toto is getting at, but at the time I thought it must be an unknown word, like an opening bid in bridge or something. So I came here and promptly kicked myself.

Some terrific stuff, with POINTILLIST standing out for me. Thanks, V and the setter.
jackkt
Feb. 10th, 2017 08:01 am (UTC)
Hard work but mostly enjoyable. I failed to parse 9a which is rather good now that I see it. Failed to solve 20ac without resort to aids. I never heard of MAENAD or knew what it meant, despite the fact that it came up in a puzzle I blogged last May clued as "Girl inducted by crazed bacchante". Perhaps that wordplay was a little more helpful than today's.
sotira
Feb. 10th, 2017 08:03 am (UTC)
MAENAD
I meant to make a comment about that one. I happened to know it, but if I hadn't I doubt I'd have got there.
horryd
Feb. 10th, 2017 08:22 am (UTC)
SAALAM
5ac my LOI pointedly political methink!? SALAAM indeed POTUS REX! 15ac YEMENI also present.

This was a struggle that took me well over the hour but 6dn A-HOY well-known.

FOI was the blindingly simple 1dn AMBUSH.

I thought little of 4dn HEADS WILL ROLL.

8dn To sit in liquid MARINADE or MARINATE? It had to be the former. I thought -ADE was the liquid and -ATE the action (or lack of it!).

COD 19dn DEICIDE WOD RHEUMY
keriothe
Feb. 10th, 2017 08:34 am (UTC)
18m, with four or five minute of head scratching at the end before MAENAD emerged from the wordplay. I don't know if I actually knew it at a subconscious level but it certainly looked very plausible as some kind of fury or one of those other classics things.
As well as 5ac and 15ac we have a reference to everyone's favourite orange fascist at 10ac. Unintentional from the setter, no doubt, and probably saying more about the grim purchase he is has my imagination, like some kind of moronic, Twitter-based bogeyman. Sad!
verlaine
Feb. 10th, 2017 08:41 am (UTC)
I've been really enjoying the Donaeld the Unready Twitter account over the past few days if that kind of mashup is your cup of tea:

"Canute. What a loser. Can't even hold back the sea. It's just water. We're going to be so tough on the sea. Canute was too soft. Sad."
(no subject) - keriothe - Feb. 10th, 2017 09:11 am (UTC) - Expand
ulaca
Feb. 10th, 2017 09:21 am (UTC)
Odd how these things work, but at 10 across my immediate thought was of Hillary's hubby. (I trust they are still married - apologies if they've made it formal.) Plenty to like here, even the stuff I biffed, which, being a Twitter-obsessed Championship entrant manqué, was more than I could shake a selfie-stick at. Or would be, if I had a Twitter account.

48 minutes, but surely not good enough to achieve my target...
keriothe
Feb. 10th, 2017 09:32 am (UTC)
Yes to be fair the Donald's draft record is far from unique. George W Bush for instance avoided active service by joining the Air National Guard, or FANG as it was known in more mainstream military circles. Until he deliberately prolongs one for electoral advantage Trump's war record will not be the most ignominious among post-WWII presidents.

Edited at 2017-02-10 09:32 am (UTC)
(no subject) - verlaine - Feb. 10th, 2017 09:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Feb. 10th, 2017 09:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ulaca - Feb. 10th, 2017 11:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Feb. 10th, 2017 01:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - verlaine - Feb. 10th, 2017 01:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Feb. 10th, 2017 03:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ulaca - Feb. 10th, 2017 11:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Feb. 10th, 2017 12:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ulaca - Feb. 10th, 2017 12:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Feb. 10th, 2017 01:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
grestyman
Feb. 10th, 2017 09:42 am (UTC)
Over an hour on this and had to look up the mad woman and the computer before entering them. I also held myself up by having Headsmustroll until I worked out the Arab properly. A tough puzzle with some obscurities and some craftily hidden definitions. Thanks for the blog, V.
oliviarhinebeck
Feb. 10th, 2017 10:52 am (UTC)
pointillist
Thanks for parsing this V - I got stuck with a cashpoint (we call them ATMs around here but I was trying to use my UK vocab) and then, since the answer was obvious, I gave up. Nice dense puzzle 24.36. Yes I noticed the references to the orange baboon. Laughing through the nausea every day - can't say it helps.
john_dun
Feb. 10th, 2017 11:03 am (UTC)
55 minutes with the last 15 spent on two wrong answers. ELIN for 13a where I missed PAN and invented an anagram of LINE: and MHERAD for 20a which I'd never heard of. Otherwise an interesting workout. Spotted AHOY eventually. Never did manage to spot the correct anagram fodder for 11d, but knew the concept having been to Bletchley Park several times, so was able to biff from checkers. Liked POINTILLIST and RHEUMY. FOI ANGELIC, Last correct entry AHOY. Thanks setter and V.
robrolfe
Feb. 10th, 2017 11:32 am (UTC)
Defeated by MAENAD
dnk this word, have learned something. Rest in about 35 minutes. COD POINTILLIST, and enjoyed RHEUMY. Thanks v and setter. Can I please recommend today's QC and blog?
gothick_matt
Feb. 10th, 2017 11:42 am (UTC)
My dreadful hangover—I've a regular meet-up on the second Thursday of each month which tends to lead to this problem—did not make this puzzle any easier.

I couldn't tell you how far over my normal hour I went, but it's a fairly moot point as I finally, in desperation, bunged in MHERAD for 20a, thinking that it might be "mad" about "her" and possibly a variation of the Irish "Mairead". Not knowing MAENAD at all, I think this was the best I could have come up with, and it's nice to know I wasn't alone—thanks John!

FOI 16a. My last two correct ones in were the crossers of SALAAM and AHOY. Loved POINTILLIST. As a CS grad, my WOD has to go to TURING MACHINE (I can't give it clue of the day as it was an immediate biff for me...)
john_dun
Feb. 10th, 2017 12:22 pm (UTC)
You're welcome :-)
boltonwanderer
Feb. 10th, 2017 11:43 am (UTC)
Unforgiveable
Did this in two parts today with wife-chauffeuring duties in between. (She has an inner ear virus and can't drive for the time being.) DNF even after about 50 minutes, giving up the good fight on AHOY and MAENAD. 'Act NONCHALANT' was always the advice to a young man when chatting up a girl, one of the many things I never mastered. I was determined that MEDICAL was CODICIL for too long and also toyed with MADDAM. I was pleased at getting POINTILLIST even though I hit it the wrong way first putting my PIN number in the cash point machine. GOT AIRTIGHT with AMBUSH but as with an AIRTIGHT alibi I feel sure it's not quite right. Needed all the checkers for SADDLE-SORE too. I would think that DEICIDE is at the extreme end of religious offences. Maybe the unforgiveable sin?
john_dun
Feb. 10th, 2017 12:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Unforgiveable
I had a virus which affected my inner ear a few years ago. Not nice! It spread to a cranial nerve and gave me double vision too. All started after doing a tax return one Sunday evening. Stood up and found myself on the floor. Got up and found myself on the floor. Spent a lot of time crawling around! Hope she gets well soon.
RE: Re: Unforgiveable - boltonwanderer - Feb. 10th, 2017 12:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
bigtone53
Feb. 10th, 2017 11:53 am (UTC)
Enjoyed this one in just under 3 verlaines. Originally put in HEADS MUST ROLL until I realised that this gave some odd crossers and that MUST is in the clue. Of course, when some sort of problem hits the BBC, they say DEPUTY HEADS MUST ROLL. Thanks S and V
Andy Borrows
Feb. 10th, 2017 12:09 pm (UTC)
17 mins, with MAENAD my LOI after ANATOMY. I get the feeling I've seen the former pop up in puzzles reasonably regularly, but it may be that it has appeared more often in other publications. I biffed TURING MACHINE and IMPROPER during the solve but managed to unravel them both before coming here.

Careful with those negative comments about that psycho in the White House. We'll have a Russian site overseer pretending to be a concerned reader dropping in once more to berate us for straying from our core activity of discussing crossword puzzles ................
verlaine
Feb. 10th, 2017 01:30 pm (UTC)
I got my first ever "your entry got to top-25 of the most popular entries in LiveJournal!" popup, which could just be the Russians letting me know that "we're watching you, sunshine"...
(no subject) - keriothe - Feb. 10th, 2017 01:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
American Jo - (Anonymous) - Feb. 10th, 2017 02:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Feb. 10th, 2017 12:10 pm (UTC)
55.30 after getting really stuck a couple of times. Stood on my head a bit with sub parsing (so to speak)- thought he was the player wanting a change so that he could get on the field, and his letters were not half but wholly changed about. Knew it couldn't be, yet had to take the bus and couldn't see why. There should be a word for veering doggedly about a dead end - maybe kobimentia. Thanks V. - joekobi
phmfantom
Feb. 10th, 2017 12:21 pm (UTC)
45 min, with about 15 min holdup in SW, having biffed MUST at 4dn - also it took a while to see 6d. 11dn a write-in without bothering to parse, as I'm a long-retired software engineer, while 20ac was remembered from previous appearance.
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