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Times Cryptic 26924

At 28 minutes I found this quite an easy puzzle but there are one or two references that may prove troublesome for those who don't happen to know them. Fortunately for me, for once I did!

Can any of my fellow bloggers or LJ experts suggest a way of preventing opening remarks appearing in larger font than the blog itself. I noticed Don's QC blog yesterday appeared similarly. As viewed before posting (or saving an edit) the font sizes look the same, but after posting and saving the introduction appears two points larger.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

Across
1 Palm about to provide cover (6)
COCOON - COCO (palm), ON (about)
4 Injured captain who lost control, oddly trendy (8)
BLIGHTED - BLIGH (captain who lost control - mutiny on the Bounty), T{r}E{n}D{y} [oddly]
10 Soldier's caged bird revealing musical composition (7)
PARTITA - PARA (soldier) contains [caged] TIT (bird). J.S. Bach wrote some famous ones.
11 Standard / snooker balls (7)
COLOURS - Double definition
12 It follows a monster around (4)
ERGO - OGRE (monster) reversed [around]. Latin for 'therefore'. We have a stray 'a' here for those who worry about such things.
13 Run around after evacuation with senior politician (10)
ADMINISTER - A{roun}D [after evacuation], MINISTER (senior politician)
15 Catch ruffian seizing end of poker that lies by the fire (6,3)
HEARTH RUG - HEAR (catch), THUG (ruffian) containing [seizing] {poke}R [end]
16 Errand boy carrying article for Echo in Excel (2,3)
GO FAR - GOF(-e, +A)R (errand boy / excel).  E is echo in the NATO alphabet.
18 Old lady / who wins chess game? (5)
MATER - A straight definition and a contrived one
19 Before a fight performers search far and wide (4,5)
CAST ABOUT - CAST (performers), A, BOUT (fight)
21 A quiet dean, sadly not up to it (10)
INADEQUATE - Anagram [sadly] of A QUIET DEAN
23 Such places as Scarborough, primarily? (4)
SPAS - S{uch}, P{laces}, A{s}, S{carborough} [primarily]
26 Greek girl supplying Italian dessert (7)
GRANITA - GR (Greek), ANITA (girl). It's a sort of water ice.
27 What logger may make from trees in ground (7)
ENTRIES - Anagram [ground] of TREES IN
28 Calmly submissive, did not keep appointment (8)
RESIGNED - Two meanings
29 Savage, not sweet, with Article 50 (6)
BRUTAL - BRUT (not sweet), A (article), L(50)
Down
1 A little wood catches fire ultimately (5)
COPSE - COPS (catches), {fir}E [ultimately]. Another redundant 'a'.
2 Movie star getting award after a piercing howl (4,5)
CARY GRANT - A contained by [piercing] CRY (howl), GRANT (award). Aka Archibald Leach, born in Bristol in 1904.
3 God of love heading for disaster at home (4)
ODIN - O (love), D{isaster} [heading], IN (at home)
5 Polish bishop’s left short (7)
LACKING - {b}LACKING (polish) [bishop’s left]
6 Cotton cloaks laid up somewhere in Kent (10)
GILLINGHAM - GINGHAM (cotton) contains [cloaks] ILL (laid up). I wonder if the town's fame has spread abroad?
7 Faith bound to be heard (5)
TRUST - Sounds like [heard] "trussed" (bound)
8 Soldier or sailor turning up after leave (6,3)
DESERT RAT - DESERT (leave), TAR (sailor) reversed [turning up]
9 Butcher's / bird (6)
GANDER - Two meanings. 'Butcher's hook' / 'look' is CRS. 'Gander' is also slang for 'look', apparantly with reference to the long neck of the bird. Rambling Syd Rumpo used to carry his ditties in a 'gander bag'.
14 One of Quince's playmates realigns TV set (10)
STARVELING - Anagram [set] of REALIGNS TV. Robin Starveling, a tailor, and Peter Quince, a carpenter, are among the 'mechanicals' in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
15 Lulu longing to entertain married princess (9)
HUMDINGER - HUNGER (longing) contains [to entertain] M (married) + DI (princess). Those of us who also do the Quick Cryptic were at an advantage here as this word came up in a puzzle only a few days before Christmas. Our regular contributor, Invariant, advised that it's apparently derived from merging hummer and dinger, with all three words meaning (roughly) a good thing. I think 'lulu' in this sense came up quite recently too.
17 Profit not unusual in area taken up (9)
FOOTPRINT - Anagram [unusual] of PROFIT NOT. Defined as 'the shape and size of the area something occupies'.
19 Bottle for Brecht's mother (7)
COURAGE - A straight definition plus a reference to the play Mother Courage by Bertolt Brecht. I think by convention the 'm' of 'mother' should be capitalised here as in this context it's a proper noun.
20 Military assessment of turbulent priest (6)
SITREP - Anagram [turbulent] of PRIEST. A reference in the surface here to the saying attributed to Henry II, "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" which resulted in the assassination of Thomas a Becket.
22 Leader of assembly blocks US president (5)
ADAMS - A{ssembly} [leader], DAMS (blocks)
24 Fibre in diets is a laxative (5)
SISAL - Hidden in {diet}S IS A L{axative}
25 Move / jug (4)
STIR - Double definition, the second relying on two slang terms for prison.

Comments

( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
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vinyl1
Jan. 2nd, 2018 02:56 am (UTC)
I made unnecessary difficulty for myself....
....and barely struggled home in 45 minutes. I agree it really shouldn't have been that tough, but I kept missing the obvious and trying to make the obscure work. Maybe 11 is 'freeholder'? I confidently put in 'fortpoint' for 17, only to have to erase it several minutes later. Does 7 sound like 'tied'? Nope. I also spent ages trying to make 'cuckoo' work for 1 across, too. It doesn't!

I suspect that biffers might see 'errand boy' and put in 'go fer' without further ado, but at least I carefully examined that clue to determine what gave rise to what.
bletchleyreject
Jan. 2nd, 2018 03:58 am (UTC)
Took about 40 minutes after a slow start. Had to guess STARVELING (admittedly not hard), and GILLINGHAM went in with a flash of inspiration.

I tend to associate 'lulu' more with the very bad than the very good but I suppose either sense is OK.

Did you know there are also 2 meanings of HUMDINGER? From the OED:
"humdinger... 2. Electronics. A voltage divider connected across the heater circuit of a valve with the variable tap connected to a source of fixed potential, so that the hum introduced by the heater can be reduced by suitably biasing it with respect to the cathode."
Er...? Well, now you do know anyway.

Thanks for the reference to Rambling Syd Rumpo. Kenneth Williams at his best.

Thanks to setter and blogger.
guy_du_sable
Jan. 2nd, 2018 04:07 am (UTC)
Oh, if only this had been yesterday's!
I would have had it done well before leaving the house to pickle my brain.
Don't think I'd ever heard before of GILLINGHAM, but it was obviously going to be an "ingham" name, so not too hard to guess.
Last night I was regaling (wishful thinking) my dining companions with the fact that COURAGE and "bottle" are synonymous in UK slang and cryptic puzzles. It came up because I said I wanted to wait until I'd had a bit more wine before taking advantage of the open mic to sing with the live band (I did "The Way You Look Tonight" and "You Go to My Head," and I am never really afflicted with stage fright).

Edited at 2018-01-02 05:53 am (UTC)
gothick_matt
Jan. 2nd, 2018 07:29 am (UTC)
45 minutes. Lucky, as I missed the Brecht and Shakespeare references, despite A Midsummer Night's Dream counting for half of the Shakespeare I've seen so far. STARVELING did go in surprisingly easily, so perhaps some of it's sticking to my unconscious, at least.

FOI 2d CARY GRANT, LOI 1a COCOON (not knowing "coco" for "palm" didn't help, and like Vinyl I went a bit "cuckoo" for a while.) Biffed 15a HUMDINGER.

Enjoyed the turbulent priest, though SITREP is one of those annoying phrases used by managers in dull industries who like to pretend they're in the marines...
jackkt
Jan. 2nd, 2018 09:45 am (UTC)
I only knew SITREP because it came up once before. I thought it was recently until I just checked and found it was in December 2015!
paulmcl
Jan. 2nd, 2018 07:34 am (UTC)
Since I lived in GILLINGHAM as a teenager, that went straight in. Finished in about 25 mins. Took far too long to remember STARVELING (especially given that it was an anagram).
myrtilus000
Jan. 2nd, 2018 07:58 am (UTC)
PR or spin?
35 mins with croissant and marmalade (hoorah) - then left with the DNK dilemma of Sitrep versus Sitper. Sitrep sounded more likely. I had previously entered Stripe until Inadequate killed that off.
Mostly I liked: Article 50, Lulu and the Literary GK.
Thanks setter and Jack.
PS Well spotted on the stray 'a'.

Edited at 2018-01-02 08:04 am (UTC)
deezzaa
Jan. 2nd, 2018 08:25 am (UTC)
30 minutes on the nail, which is par for me, in a nice gentle workout.
There is of course another Gillingham, in Dorset - the distinguishing feature being that this one is pronounced with a hard G whilst the Kentish version has a soft G.
Thanks for parsing 1a Jack. And BTW Cary Grant's name was spelt Leach (not Leech), not to be confused with Archibald Leach who was a leading pioneer in football stadium design.
boltonwanderer
Jan. 2nd, 2018 08:27 am (UTC)
Do no murder
38 minutes. Like Myrtilus, toyed between SITREP and SITPER and decided it must be a report or representation. NW the biggest problem until I twigged COPSE. Then COCOON and PARTITA became clear. I took a GANDER at the murder bird I'd entered and decided it was the wrong sort of butcher. Apparently football fans' British geography is well above the national average but the one club they can't place is GILLINGHAM. Thank you J and setter.
topicaltim
Jan. 2nd, 2018 10:44 am (UTC)
Re: Do no murder
Not that it helps me pin it down to within more than about 50 miles, but if you're a quizzing nerd like me, the question of which is the only professional football club in Kent pops up very reliably.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 2nd, 2018 08:35 am (UTC)
10:48. No real problems today, and no unknowns, although ‘lulu’ is a term I only know from crosswords and I was grateful for the anagram in 14dn. My memory of minor Shakespeare characters probably wouldn’t have been up to the task without that assistance.
keriothe
Jan. 2nd, 2018 08:36 am (UTC)
Oops - that was me.
sotira
Jan. 2nd, 2018 08:35 am (UTC)
Sitrep: mission accomplished 13:47 … after a bit of anxiety over GILLINGHAM, one of those places that I’ll probably never get closer to than a road sign saying Gillingham 6m. Telford’s the same (except the road signs say Telford, obviously).

Satisfying puzzle.
jerrywh
Jan. 2nd, 2018 09:49 am (UTC)
Ha, that reminded me of when Dilbert tries to record an answerphone message: "Hello, this is Dilbert, I'm not here at the moment .. well, I am here at this moment, obviously..."
z8b8d8k
Jan. 2nd, 2018 09:48 am (UTC)
Another sluggish solve in 22 minutes, hampered by jumping to obdurate conclusions: I was convinced that the anagram of "Profit not" had to end in POINT, and, like Vinyl,struggling at 7d for a faith that sounded like tied. The princess in what turned out to be HUMDINGER had to be either IDA or RANI: if you follow the Express, it's too soon for a grieving nation to make the Princess of Hearts a mere fragment of a crossword clue.
I did like Bligh as the captain who lost control, though it took too long trying to take rein from captain in some sense.
My mind being what it is, I dawdled for a while wondering whether Scarborough was really a Spa town: another smart clue.
Thanks Jack for all those additional factoids.
I'm afraid my knowledge of controlling font sizes is limited to messing them up in the HTML version, then asking nicely followed by and hit and hope.
sotira
Jan. 2nd, 2018 10:02 am (UTC)
Fonts
jackkt - I had the same problem (large font appearing) with LJ in some recent posts. I think it comes from copy/pasting text into the visual editor tab of the old LJ interface. I experimented a bit and if you paste your intro into the HTML tab — rather than the visual editor tab — and then switch back to visual the typeface is as it should be. It didn't seem to be a problem when I pasted into the new editor interface.
Re: Fonts - jackkt - Jan. 2nd, 2018 10:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Fonts - sotira - Jan. 2nd, 2018 05:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
sawbill
Jan. 2nd, 2018 09:48 am (UTC)
30 minutes
A very enjoyable crossword. Only STARVELING was unknown. Almost wrote in SHRIKE for GANDER (a little knowledge is dangerous). COD to the gentle 1d COPSE.
thud_n_blunder
Jan. 2nd, 2018 10:02 am (UTC)
Twenty-eight minutes, with MATER and COCOON my LOsI. I dithered over MATER because I could only think it had something to do with "master" (as in "chess master"), and completely missed the blindingly obvious reference to "mate". For COCOON, I was convinced that it should have two C's (well, three including the one at the front).
pipkirby
Jan. 2nd, 2018 10:12 am (UTC)
26 minutes, enjoyable midde level puzzle, some nice clues (because I did them OK) and a few tricky ones with literary references, which could be biffed.

Like deezza was familiar with the Dorset Gillingham and its pronunciation being different from the Kent one.
dorsetjimbo
Jan. 2nd, 2018 10:30 am (UTC)
Fairly easy stroll in the park this one

Wiki is interesting on Gillingham Kent as against Gilliam Dorset. It says the Dorset one comes from Gylla's home and hence the hard G whilst the Kent version is from Jillingham and thus a soft G.
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