vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times 26839 - Bird-watching statistics?

Time: 46 minutes
Music: Prokofiev, Symphony #2/Lt Kije, Leinsdorf/BSO

This was a rather odd puzzle, where both the literals and the clues required a lot of stretching.   I limped home in the end, but I will have to do a lot of research as I write the blog to figure out everything that is going on here.   At least I was sure my answers were correct, once I went through the trouble of working out the parsing.   I some cases, I was forced to play the Mephisto game, and put the words in from the word-play alone, and then try to figure out what was going on.

Whether you find this puzzle difficult or not probably will depend on your knowledge.   If you know a knot is a kind of a sandpiper, and a chela is a kind of claw, and shot is a kind of silk, you may do very well.

1 Nicking stuff, including key dairy product (8,5)
WHIPPING CREAM - WHIPPING + CR(E)AM.  It is not very clear how 'whipping' and 'nicking' are synonymous, despite various slang meanings that are in the vicinity.   Comment invited.
8 Hard time to be an Olympian queen! (4)
HERA -H + ERA, my FOI, and probably yours too.
9 Shot first of oxen with faint smell (10)
OPALESCENT - O[xen] + PALE SCENT.   If you don't remember that 'shot' can mean 'woven to give a changing colour effect', you might get the answer but wonder how it could be correct.
10 Turning tail, eager to secure pink fuel (8)
KEROSENE - KE(ROSE)NE, where 'keen' is the word that 'turns tail'.
11 A poet receiving oxygen on a train, perhaps (6)
13 Sound horse-breaker’s delaying tactics? (10)
FILIBUSTER - Sounds like FILLY BUSTER.   Originally a pirate in the Caribbean, this word came to be applied to using rough methods in the course of enacting legislation.
16 Way universities go about presenting a language (4)
URDU - U(RD)U, where 'presenting a' is pure fluff to make the literal work.
17 Eg Melbourne school briefly associated with West (4)
WHIG - W + HIG[h].   Lord Melbourne, of course, was a Whig PM.
18 Additional intelligence European leader held to be redundant (10)
20 Officers in the Spanish and the German churches, ultimately? (6)
ELDERS - EL + DER + [churche]S.
22 Cheek turned so far without advantage (8)
TEMERITY - TE(MERIT)Y,  i.e. YET backwards.
24 Fancying a kiss, I’m unable to drink? (10)
INTOXICANT - INTO X, I CAN'T.   I saw that 'intoxicant' could fit about ten minutes before I saw why it must be the correct answer.
26 A couple of bishops introducing English cleric (4)
ABBE - A + BB + E.
27 Depart after first attempt at filming the French in bar (4,4,5)

1 Required funds we used to clothe her as well (11)
2 State of house at foot of Cretan mountain (5)
3 Engage in writing of twee character (9)
PROSECUTE - PROSE, CUTE.   A really clever clue that is either very easy or very hard, depending on whether you see it or not.
4 Most dexterous action initially in Newcastle match? (7)
5 Claw caught husband, getting drink knocked over (5)
CHELA - C + H + ALE backwards.  If you don't know the word, the cryptic hands it to you.    I boldly wrote it in without any checkers, as it seemed familiar somehow.
6 Pen leaflet to be sent with letter? (9)
ENCLOSURE - Double definition.
7 Legion sending off its last soldier (3)
MAN - MAN[y].
12 Fearsome, but again open to distrust? (11)
REDOUBTABLE - Double definition, one jocular.
14 Visiting valley? Fine to gather round chimney corner (9)
INGLENOOK - IN GLEN (O) OK.   We often get 'ingle', but this is the first time I've seen this word in a puzzle.
15 Crooked Republican made a lot, getting this under way (4,5)
ROAD METAL - anagram of R MADE A LOT, with a well-concealed literal.
19 It set up time and fee to measure a solution (7)
TITRATE - IT upside-down + T + RATE.
21 Sneaky-sounding attempt to find a place in Ireland (5)
SLIGO - sounds like SLY GO.
23 Cattle-catching device in store at Abilene (5)
REATA - hidden in [sto]RE AT A[bilene].   This word is often found in US puzzles, but is usually spelt 'riata' there.
25 Something other than a sandpiper, by the sound of it? (3)
NOT - Sounds like KNOT, which is a sandpiper.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →
← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →