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Times Cryptic 26966

I needed 31 minutes for this one, so another puzzle at the easier end of the spectrum methinks. And only one unknown word or meaning which presented no problem at all.

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

1 Sign of error with repair makes one irritable (10)
CROSSPATCH - CROSS (sign of error - as opposed to 'tick'), PATCH (repair)
6 An element of unknown, batting first for change (4)
ZINC - Z (unknown), IN (batting), C{hange} [first]
9 Record for auditors comparatively feeble denial (10)
DISCLAIMER - DISC (record), LAIMER sounds like [for auditors] "lamer" (comparatively feeble)
10 Flipping onion making you cry! (4)
BLUB - BULB (onion) reversed [flipping] with onion being one example of a bulb
12 Issue of accident-prone doctor being raised with others? (6,8)
FOSTER CHILDREN - Cryptic definition. The accident-prone medic is Doctor Foster (of nursery-rhyme fame) who went to Gloucester all in a shower of rain. He fell in a puddle right up to his middle and never went there again.
14 Frenchman landing place with royal backing (6)
PIERRE - PIER (landing place), ER (royal - HMQ) reversed [backing]
15 Everyone’s awake early, evidently, and readily available (2,1,5)
ON A PLATE - If everyone’s awake early, then none or 0 NAP LATE
17 Hardly surprising, snow on Derry’s walls (2,6)
NO WONDER -  {s)NOW ON DER{ry} contains [walls] the hidden phrase
19 Slips tailored with oriental fabric (6)
PLISSE - Anagram [tailored] of SLIPS, E (oriental). I didn't know this word but having established it was mostly an anagram and having worked out all the checking letters it wasn't hard to arrive at.
22 Chap is, note, visibly embarrassed after getting important letter? (10,4)
REGISTERED POST - REG (chap), IS, TE (note), RED (visibly embarrassed), POST (after)
24 Briefly, Louis XIV ruined (4)
SUNK -  Louis XIV was the Sun King or SUN K[briefly]
25 African no longer in sin bin, say, fouled outside area (10)
ABYSSINIAN - Anagram [fouled]  of  SIN BIN SAY containing [outside] A (area). I wouldn't claim to have more than a passing knowledge of the subject, but I suspect some Africans still regard themselves as Abyssinian.
26 Put out / someone to grass (4)
NARK - Two meanings. As a verb it's to annoy,  and as a  noun it can mean 'informer' - hence 'grass', another slang term for the same
27 Partner no longer can pour drinks one put out (10)
EXTINGUISH - EX (partner no longer), TIN (can), GUSH (pour) contains [drinks] I (one). I'm not getting into the recent tin can debate.
1 Hand over ear’s observed incorrectly? (4)
CEDE - sounds like [ear's] "seed" (observed -  incorrectly, as it should be 'seen' or 'saw')
2 Leg needing support to land (7)
ONSHORE - ON (leg - cricket), SHORE (support)
3 Sir sits alone, sadly, in this? (12)
4 Group in circulation taking train where air travel the norm (6)
AVIARY -  A (group in circulation - blood), VIA RY (taking train)
5 What Italian repeated in front of Poles and people in Russia (8)
CHECHENS - CHE (what,  Italian) + CHE (repeated), N S (poles)
7 Ancient place not well ventilated, on reflection (7)
ILLYRIA - ILL (not well), AIRY (ventilated) reversed [on reflection]
8 Rambling in Feb stopping potholer’s winter depression? (5,5)
CABIN FEVER - Anagram [rambling] of IN FEB, contained by [stopping] CAVER (potholer)
11 Film excerpt left in capturing sound of horses’ hooves (4-8)
CLIP-CLOPPING - CLIP (film excerpt), L (left) contained by [in] COPPING (capturing - it's a fair cop, guv!)
13 Cooler, more easy-going (4,6)
OPEN PRISON - Cryptic definition
16 Contest broadcast on TV — in which case something valuable? (5,3)
JEWEL BOX - JEWEL sounds like [broadcast] "duel" [contest], BOX (TV). Batten down the hatches  in readiness for complaints about this one!
18 Trucker’s wife doomed? (7)
WAGONER - W (wife), A GONER (doomed)
20 Ham is twice mistaken for fish dish (7)
SASHIMI - Anagram [mistaken] of HAM, IS IS [is twice]
21 One skims the drink: Black Russian, amusingly? (3,3)
JET SKI - JET (black) + SKI (Russian, amusingly?). 'Ski' is one of the suffixes common to a lot of Russian words and as such can be added to English words for humorous effect to suggest they may be the Russian equivalent.
23 Rum for one to steal (4)
INCH - Two meanings. 'Inch' is a Scottish or Irish term for a small island, so the Isle of Rum may well qualify for that epithet although I'm not aware of it ever being referred to as such. It also means to move stealthily.


( 76 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 20th, 2018 02:28 am (UTC)
A very enjoyable puzzle. I particularly liked 23d, 18d and 24ac but, despite Jack's explanation, I still don't understand how via ='group in circulation' in 4d. 27m 58s
Feb. 20th, 2018 03:00 am (UTC)
It’s (blood type) A that is the “group in circulation,” going by train.

(not at home with the browser that knows my password)
Feb. 20th, 2018 03:25 am (UTC)
Took me a while to remember the doctor (or the word FOSTER; I actually tried 'orphan' at first). I don't bet, but I rather suspect there are no self-styled Abyssinians left; it's not, so far as I know, the name of an ethnic group. Speaking of ethnic groups, although I enjoyed JET SKI, the conventional transliteration for Russian names is -sky; -ski for Poles. And the only people I know who pronounce 'duel' 'jewel' are not RP speakers. Not complaining, mind you!
Feb. 20th, 2018 03:34 am (UTC)
In what quaint dialect does "J" sound like "D" and "jewel" like "duel," eh? I'm jying to know!

CEDE and JET SKI are groan-worthy, but give no ground to object.

Had never met the good Dr. Foster, but shrugged and wrote it in. And if I've ever come across the term CROSSPATCH before, it must have been here; the wordplay was downright explicit, though.


I don't know if any Africans still consider themselves Abyssinians, but it's clear that certain cats do.

Enjoyed this very much. I confess that I neglected to parse a couple. Just forgot.

Edited at 2018-02-20 03:35 am (UTC)
Feb. 20th, 2018 04:50 am (UTC)
The Routledge Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English has both ˈdjuːəl and ˈdʒuːəl for ‘duel’ as spoken in British English. You’ll hear it widely in England.
(no subject) - guy_du_sable - Feb. 20th, 2018 05:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Pretty PLISSE - kevingregg - Feb. 20th, 2018 06:21 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Pretty PLISSE - (Anonymous) - Feb. 20th, 2018 07:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Pretty PLISSE - guy_du_sable - Feb. 20th, 2018 07:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 20th, 2018 04:46 am (UTC)
Russian interference
Might I suggest that 21dn would have been a little less groan-worthy had the word amusingly not been included in the clue? The question mark would surely suffice. Did the Ed. add it?

WOD 25 ABYSSINIAN- the Abyssinians do exist- huge reggae band in Jamaica since 1969 use Amharic (Ethiopian) in their songs. Probably not welcome in America presently.

Feb. 20th, 2018 07:13 am (UTC)
RE: Russian interference
Sure beats ‘runner’, nyetski?
Re: Russian interference - horryd - Feb. 20th, 2018 08:16 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Russian interference - (Anonymous) - Feb. 20th, 2018 10:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 20th, 2018 04:47 am (UTC)
13:28. I’m in New York for a couple of days this week so I will be doing some evening solving. No problems with this one even after a long day.
The word ‘dual’ is certainly often indistinguishable from the word ‘jewel’ (in the phrase ‘take the dual carriageway’ for instance) but I’m not sure this is true of ‘duel’, which is a bit odd actually.
Feb. 20th, 2018 12:31 pm (UTC)
I recommend meeting up with the NY solver crew if you can roust any of them out... terribly nice chaps, for rebellious colonials.
(no subject) - keriothe - Feb. 20th, 2018 12:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oliviarhinebeck - Feb. 20th, 2018 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Feb. 20th, 2018 02:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - paul_in_london - Feb. 20th, 2018 03:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 20th, 2018 04:55 am (UTC)
23 minutes, finishing with an unparsed AVIARY after the ‘unknown’ CROSSPATCH.

It’s amazing what RP speakers get up to in rapid connected speech. Even I have been known to say ‘jewel carriageway’ and ‘a jewel at ten paces’. And I am seriously posh.

Edited at 2018-02-20 08:06 am (UTC)
Feb. 20th, 2018 08:24 am (UTC)
Seriously posh!
No you ain't!

Posh folk would understand jewels OK.

But dual carriageways - heaven forfend - are for the hoi polloi and their little oiks!

The seriously posh have fruit on the sideboard which they never eat!

Edited at 2018-02-20 08:25 am (UTC)
(no subject) - keriothe - Feb. 20th, 2018 10:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ulaca - Feb. 20th, 2018 11:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Feb. 20th, 2018 11:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ulaca - Feb. 20th, 2018 12:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 20th, 2018 07:46 am (UTC)
Back to squeezing just inside an hour today; 58 minutes for this one, never feeling on the wavelength. FOI the hidden at 17, LOI 23d, after finally seeing the definition and assuming the unknown Rum, but it was the NW that caused the most problems, with 9a DISCLAIMER and a lot of its crossers remaining blank for most of my time.

On the plus side, loved 15a! Thanks to setter and Jack.

Feb. 20th, 2018 08:12 am (UTC)

... ending with ONSHORE. Those pesky cricketing refs. Thanks for enlightening me on INCH... was thinking steal was sommat to do with 'half inch'. And AVIARY, which was part-biffed.
Feb. 20th, 2018 08:37 am (UTC)
Half inch
My first immediate thought too!
Re: Half inch - kevingregg - Feb. 20th, 2018 09:49 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Half inch - john_dun - Feb. 20th, 2018 12:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 20th, 2018 08:24 am (UTC)
14:45, so pretty quick for me. 23d my only hold up as I struggled to parse it. I'd never thought of Rum as an inch, which I thought was usually an island in a loch, but I appear to be wrong.
Feb. 20th, 2018 09:11 am (UTC)
You may be thinking of Inch Island which is in Lough Swilly in Donegal
(no subject) - johninterred - Feb. 20th, 2018 01:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 20th, 2018 08:32 am (UTC)
Abyssinia in all the old familiar places
50 mins with yoghurt, compote, granola, etc.
I struggled to get any foothold at all in the NW and eventually did a NE/SW pincer movement to get there - except the LOI Inch.
FOI was ZINC! (the element of surprise).
IMHO 1dn is bizarre. Fair but bizarre.
Mostly I liked: Jet Ski, Nark and Inch.
Thanks setter and Jack
Feb. 20th, 2018 10:52 am (UTC)
RE: Abyssinia in all the old familiar places
I thought 1dn was a bit strange too. After all there are any number of incorrect ways of saying ‘observed’. A reference to children would have made it more precise, since this is exactly the kind of error they make before they master irregular verb forms (which of course they do astonishingly quickly).
Feb. 20th, 2018 09:15 am (UTC)
Nothing to frighten the horses here - just a steady plod from top to bottom. Didn't know PLISSE but no problem once checkers in place. Quite liked 12A
Feb. 20th, 2018 12:41 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed 12a too - once I’d finished smacking myself in the face for not seeing it sooner. Especially having had 3 of the little sods darlings since last June. Had worked out the doctor very early as well. Just not one of my days I guess.
Feb. 20th, 2018 09:30 am (UTC)
Waski itski youski sneezeski? Oh p-lisse!
31 minutes, and a real struggle as I frequently hit incomprehension and recalcitrant memory.
So, for example, 8d where I was looking for a hole in the snow or something, and despite knowing that there was an anagram of IN FEB in there somewhere, spent way too long trying to conjure that funky word for a potholer from my decaying memory. When I finally recalled SPELUNKER (sic) it was, of course useless as was my supposed definition.
DUEL/JEWEL likewise evaded capture until LOI even though I had the box.
Add me to those who thought there should be a half in 23d, though now Jack's explained, it's perfectly OK as it is.
AVIARY never understood, and on a toss-up very nearly APIARY, since neither AIVA nor AIPA made any sense as words to be "circulated".
The onion in 10a I assumed was the setter being clever with slang terms for head. Wrong again.
A clever setter, then, who knew exactly how to make me flounder in overcomplication. And respect to Jack for not letting it faze him.
Feb. 20th, 2018 09:52 am (UTC)
I completed this one with more hope than expectation that I had everything correct - both AVIARY and INCH were unparsed though like others I thought the latter might have something to do with the rhyming slang half-inch.

I liked SOLITARINESS for the quality of the surface, but my COD to OPEN PRISON for being a cryptic definition that I particularly liked - not normally my favourite clue types.
Feb. 20th, 2018 09:57 am (UTC)
Abyssinia, in all the old familiar places
29 minutes with LOI SASHIMI vaguely known after PLISSE put in as the only answer available. I'm not that fond of Sushi, probably because I'm useless with chopsticks. Lots of enjoyable clues today with CABIN FEVER, OPEN PRISON and JEWEL BOX all COD contenders, but FOSTER CHILDREN scooping the award. I also was a bit dubious about Rum being an INCH, but there was no other answer. ILLYRIA was a write-in after the RSC Twelfth Night we watched last week, and CLIP-CLOPPING similarly after the Hopalong/ Jurgen discussions of a few weeks ago. Enjoyable. Thank you Jack and setter.
On edit, just seen that Myrtilus beat me to the headline. From a Private Eye cover?

Edited at 2018-02-20 10:04 am (UTC)
Feb. 20th, 2018 10:15 am (UTC)
Your mention of Hopalong reminded me of another Western connection, the song Mule Train (clippety-clopping along) as sung by many famous performers with Frankie Laine's amongst the most popular, but none more eccentric than this by Bob "The Tray" Blackman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNLLT00AFU4
Salmon chanted "evening" - myrtilus000 - Feb. 20th, 2018 10:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 20th, 2018 10:27 am (UTC)
25 min 28 secs.
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( 76 comments — Leave a comment )

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