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Times Cryptic 26804

I needed 48 minutes for this one. I thought it was going to be easy because I wrote in 7 adjoining answers in the NW straightaway but then slowed to a crawl, gradually picking off the answers one by one until eventually building up momentum again and finishing in another flurry of activity. There's nothing particularly out of the ordinary in terms of words or wordplay today, but just a solid and well-constructed puzzle

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]
1 Is he working with sampan, requiring this? (10)
SEAMANSHIP - Anagram [working] of IS HE SAMPAN. I think this has to be semi&lit to account for double duty.
7 Yarn from Times employees joining paper (4)
WEFT - WE (Times employees), FT (paper - Financial Times). Threads of yarn stretched lengthwise on a loom are called the warp and those crossing them are the WEFT.
9 Slap isn't commonly on hand, keeping right back (8)
WARPAINT - PAW (hand) containing [keeping] R (right) reversed [back], AIN'T (isn't, commonly). Two slang terms for 'make-up' are required for the definition.
10 Old doctor content to leave Indian root (6)
ORIGIN - O (old), RIG (doctor - falsify), I{ndia}N [content to leave]
11 Figure's rather heavy, not wide (6)
EIGHTY - {w}EIGHTY (rather heavy) [not wide]
13 Pressure group pocketing cash and running off (8)
PRINTING - P (pressure), RING (group) containing [pocketing] TIN (cash)
14 Foreign money, yen, accepted by no French doctor (12)
NEUROSURGEON - EUROS (foreign money) + URGE (yen) contained [accepted] by NON (no, French). Solvers in the eurozone won't view the currency as 'foreign', but this is the Times of London.
17 Helping car run in stopping place (12)
MINISTRATION - MINI (car), R (run) in STATION (stopping place)
20 Design is formerly held in vice for shaping (8)
CONCEIVE - ONCE (formerly) contained by [held in] anagram [for shaping] of VICE
21 Maybe duck attack by criminal (6)
CONFIT - CON (criminal), FIT (attack). Usually a duck or goose dish.
22 Architect welcoming return of artist's colony (6)
WARREN - WREN (architect) containing [welcoming] RA (artist) reversed [return]. A breeding ground for rabbits or the creatures themselves, apparently.
23 Go and admire translated bit of kanji? (8)
IDEOGRAM - Anagram [translated] of GO ADMIRE. I'd no idea what 'kanji' was so I trusted to wordplay and checkers. I've now learned that it's the Japanese equivalent of the Chinese ideogram.
25 Sailors on exercises in waves (4)
PERM - PE (exercises), RM (sailors - Royal Marines). Short for the 'permanent wave' hairstyle.
26 Novel twist of fate does entertain in extremis (4,2,4)
EAST OF EDEN - Anagram [twist] of FATE DOES, E{ntertai}N [in extremis]. The novel by John Steinbeck is also remembered as one of the few films to star James Dean before his untimely death.
2 Person testing ditch, climbing on digger (8)
EXAMINER - AXE (ditch - sack, get rid of) reversed [climbing], MINER (digger)
3 Cleaner Englishman is bowled over (3)
MOP - POM (Englishman) reversed [bowled over]
4 Loud individual with curious clothing (5)
NOISY - I (individual) contained by NOSY [with 'curious' clothing]
5 Rebellious warrior in stirrups to hurry up (7)
HOTSPUR -  Reversed [up] and hidden in {stir}RUPS TO H{urry}. 'Harry Hotspur' was Sir Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland. His exploits as a 'rebellious warrior' are well-documented on the web for those who wish to know more.
6 Overcharge for help when driving in wood (9)
PROFITEER - PRO (for),  then TEE (help when driving) contained by [in] FIR (wood), I was caught out by FIR clued as 'wood' very recently so it came to mind easily today.
7 Old London bigwig opening for Warwickshire, scoring century (11)
WHITTINGTON - W{arwickshire} [opening], HITTING (scoring) TON (century). 'Thrice Lord Mayor of London' and cat owner whose name lives on in the traditional rhyme and Christmas pantomime.
8 Starter of nectarine slices cooked in China (6)
FRIEND - N{ectarine} [starter] is contained by [slices] FRIED (cooked). Today's CRS clue.
12 Wasted cash consuming a drink? Another is reckless (5-6)
HARUM-SCARUM - Anagram [wasted] of CASH containing [consuming] A + RUM (drink), then RUM again (another - drink). I was pleased the wordplay was helpful here or I may have been tempted to write 'harem-scarem'.
15 Awareness one is overwhelmed by life, say (9)
SENTIENCE - I (one) contained [overwhelmed] by SENTENCE (life, say  - prison sentence)
16 Partner’s accommodated at home after refusal to propose (8)
NOMINATE - NO (refusal), MATE (partner) with IN (at home) contained [accommodated]
18 Group that is breaking glasses (7)
SPECIES - IE (that is) contained by [breaking] SPECS (glasses)
19 A lot of extra alcohol or spirits (6)
MORALE - MOR{e} (extra) [a lot of], ALE (alcohol)
21 Military leader adopting Leninist principles (5)
CREDO - CO (military leader - Commanding Officer) containing [adopting] RED (Leninist)
24 Well I never shortened anorak (3)
GEE - GEE{k} (anorak) [shortened]


( 66 comments — Leave a comment )
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Aug. 15th, 2017 01:28 am (UTC)
I did not find this that difficult....
....but had to think carefully about each clue, so 30 minutes total. Looking back, it doesn't seem that difficult, although definitely UK-centric.

Can we call Royal Marines 'sailors'? While they are technically part of the Royal Navy, sailing the ship is not their primary duty.
Aug. 15th, 2017 01:35 am (UTC)
Home early, which was good as this took a good while. I particularly liked Hotspur, but didn't know slap so opted for the almost parseable pawprint. I'll check back later for the friend/mate/China discussion. Thanks jkt
Aug. 15th, 2017 02:01 am (UTC)
Quite happy ...
... with the 29:13 outcome, given my continuing struggle with on-line solving on the Times site. Might do better without the continual reminder of the clock running in the corner. Suggestion: let's have the option of turning it off in the Settings?

Also held up by MORALE (so many possibilties here) and the two 21s. COD? Hard to say. MINISTRATION perhaps?
Aug. 15th, 2017 04:32 am (UTC)
Re: Quite happy ...
Mct, there's a Timer On/Off option via the cogwheel (RH above the clues) in the Club. In the on-line newspaper it's on the hamburger menu in the same position.

Just thought, is the cogwheel new since last week? I thought there was a hamburger menu on both sites.
Re: Quite happy ... - mctext - Aug. 15th, 2017 04:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Quite happy ... - jackkt - Aug. 15th, 2017 05:53 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Quite happy ... - mctext - Aug. 15th, 2017 06:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Quite happy ... - jackkt - Aug. 15th, 2017 01:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Quite happy ... - falooker - Aug. 15th, 2017 02:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 15th, 2017 03:00 am (UTC)
HI all. Like Jack I started fast, but sloes, and then picked up again and mopped up. Well constructed puzzle altogether, around 25 minutes here, ending with PERM. Didn't know kanji either, but after a couple of crossing letters it had to be. Regards.
Aug. 15th, 2017 05:33 am (UTC)
26' for all bar 19 & 20 and another 13' for those two. Liked PROFITEER a lot, even if my skills in that department could do with some honing.
Aug. 15th, 2017 06:25 am (UTC)
DNF 'cos I got hung up on 21ac being CANARD - 'fake news'!
CONFIT or COMFIT -a sweetmeat and not just duck but liquorice too, if my memory serves me well. Pontefract fare. I don't know how the daffy duck got involved!

So although I had 16dn NOMINATE I didn't put it in - complete and utter brain fade.

FOI 1ac SEAMANSHIP which illuminated itself at the print-out stage.

COD 8dn FRIEND with 9ac WARPAINT close.


Mood Meldrew

Edited at 2017-08-15 06:30 am (UTC)
Aug. 15th, 2017 09:31 am (UTC)
RE: Ouch!
CONFIT in this context is a dish made by cooking a duck or goose in its own fat.
Aug. 15th, 2017 07:20 am (UTC)
Warp aint weft
40 mins of enjoyment with overnight oats (and macadamia nuts). A friend recently visited Japan and had explained the peculiarities of the written language - but it still took me a while to fathom the ideo-anagram. Mostly I liked: Mini-Station, Hitting ton, help when driving. COD to 2dn for simple elegance and surface. Nice to see Steinbeck not in the TLS.
Thanks 'just the right degree of difficulty' setter and Jack.
Aug. 15th, 2017 07:27 am (UTC)
Usual half an hour
Reminded by 26a by EAST OF EALING - the third of nine novels in The Brentford Trilogy by Robert Rankin. You can probably see why I don't do the TLS.
Aug. 15th, 2017 07:36 am (UTC)
We're going to a movie not a masquerade
A line from WARPAINT, an early sixties single from the Brook Brothers. Anyone else anal- retentive enough to remember it? I doubt if 9 across would have been spotted without that. I was 40 minutes overall, with the SE the problem. Not only did I not know what kanji is, I'm not too sure what LOI IDEOGRAM is either. But I am partial to CONFIT of duck and once Steinbeck and James Dean reminded me of EAST OF EDEN, I was there. Turn again COD WHITTINGTON. Thank you Jack and setter.
Aug. 15th, 2017 08:26 am (UTC)
RE: We're going to a movie not a masquerade
"You're not going to fight a war / You're only going out with the boy next door".
Aug. 15th, 2017 07:37 am (UTC)
Origin of the Species
Almost exactly an hour for me today. Looking back, doesn't seem v. difficult but I was sucked in by a few including 'China' and 'wood' and the parsing of others such as NEUROSURGEON took some working out. I liked the 'Cleaner Englishman' and 'shortened anorak'.

No Darwin that I could see.

Thanks to setter and blogger
Aug. 15th, 2017 07:42 am (UTC)
13:49 … in hindsight easy, at the time not so much.

I did 'pencil' in harem-scarem so it’s as well I had an attack of diligence and went back to consider the wordplay.

Lots of nice things here. I really liked the surface for FRIEND, and had some fun misunderstanding 21a and wondering what a “duck attack” would look like.

COD to PRINTING, though.
Aug. 15th, 2017 08:47 am (UTC)
Duck attack
Anyone who has witnessed some of their mating habits won't need to wonder about this!
(no subject) - penfold_61 - Aug. 15th, 2017 12:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Duck attack - sotira - Aug. 15th, 2017 01:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Duck attack - penfold_61 - Aug. 15th, 2017 05:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Duck attack - sotira - Aug. 15th, 2017 06:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 15th, 2017 07:46 am (UTC)
...but lacked Sotira's diligence.
Aug. 15th, 2017 08:27 am (UTC)
...and unlike yesterday, a solid effort against a strong attack, with most deliveries met with the full face of the bat. A couple of half-parsed thick edges down to third man, including the biff'd MORALE. COD to WARPAINT.

Edited at 2017-08-15 08:38 am (UTC)
Aug. 15th, 2017 08:31 am (UTC)
Turn again, jolly sailor
<19 minutes for this enjoyable puzzle. Like boltonwanderer, I remember Warpaint, an early introduction to popular music. Once saw some of Henry IV, was Hotspur in that? COD to MINISTRATION. Thanks jack and setter.
Aug. 15th, 2017 09:26 am (UTC)
No problem with this - very straightforward

Hotspur (Harry Percy) is indeed in Henry IV. One of the good things my grammar school did was to encourage amateur dramatics and aged 13 I appeared in Henry IV (part one) as - wait for it - Mistress Quickly! A week before the public performances to a paying audience my voice started to break, leading to a unique portrayal of the lady in question.
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