May 1st, 2019


Monthly Club Special 20,223: Don't Know Much Biology

I very much enjoyed this but there was definitely some winceworthy vocabulary to contend with in here - I suppose I shouldn't complain as while science may not really be my bag (baby), at least words rooted in Greek *look* right after I construct them laboriously from wordplay. I very much liked the RAKI REP a lot and learning a wonderful alternative meaning for the word IMPS. Thanks setter!

1 Gone in moments? Not from my recall! (9)
MNEMONIST - (IN MOMENTS*) ["gone"], semi-&lit

6 Hydrophobia clears pub and couples outside, as Perth’s wet (5)
DROOB - {hy}DRO{ph}OB{ia}. In Australia, an "ineffectual person".

9 Leaf in pool: Olympics and even parts of archery spoiled (15)
MICROSPOROPHYLL - (POOL OLYMPICS {a}R{c}H{e}R{y}*) ["spoiled"]

10 Cutting from alstroemeria in large glass (6)
ROEMER - hidden in {alst}ROEMER{ia}. First one in.

11 Foreign elements in framework overturned vote for Houses of Parliament on core of Brexit (8)
XENOPHYA - reverse all of AY HP ON {br}EX{it}

13 Notably flipping round, I hobnob in Europe with cunning (10)
EXIMIOUSLY - reverse O I MIX [round | I | hobnob] inside EU [Europe], then add SLY [cunning]

14 For commentator, top-class rowers showing natural colour (4)
ECRU - sounds like A-CREW

16 Tree frog first excluded from major taxonomic groups (4)

17 Turkish liquor seller sent over that old nuclear containment structure (10)
PERIKARYON - reverse RAKI REP [Turkish liquor seller] and add YON [that (old)]

19 Royal backing to arrest antiquer (8)
REGALIAN - reverse NAIL AGER [to arrest | antiquer]

20 Soothing voice’s last thing needed in veteran clown (6)
ANETIC - {voic}E in ANTIC ["veteran" clown]

23 Personnel wearing frilly waterproof shirt, ruined by one sweet wine (8,7)
LACHRYMA CHRISTI - HR [personnel] "wearing" LACY [frilly] + MAC [waterproof] + (SHIRT*) ["ruined"] by I [one]

24 Cheerful one leaves, returning provincial prepares for Thatcher (5)
YELMS - reversed SM{i}LEY [cheerful, that I = "one" leaves]

25 Bomb survivor greeting Azerbaijan city’s expression of triumph (9)
HIBAKUSHA - HI BAKU'S HA [greeting | Azerbaijan city's | expression of triumph]

1 Norse giant runs under noted TB-ridden sewer (5)
MIMIR - R [runs] under MIMI. "Noted" as in "musical", "sewer" as in "embroiderer" - go look up the Wikipedia entry for Puccini's La bohème, if you're still at all confused.

2 Goon evacuated into nearby pub welcomes soldier concerned with church buildings? (15)
ECCLESIOLOGICAL - ECCLES [Goon] + I{nt}O + LOCAL [nearby pub] "welcomes" GI [soldier]

3 Making mountains of rice, go on boiling (8)
OROGENIC - (RICE, GO ON*) ["boiling"]

4 Current house-sitters making repairs (for a wing) (4)
IMPS - I [current] + MP'S [house-sitters, the House being parliament]. To "imp" is a wonderful word which means "to engraft a hawk or falcon's wing or tail with new feathers in order to repair broken feathers or improve flight". I do like the idea of just randomly souping up a perfectly good falcon.

5 Note echo reduced in check for top of rampart (10)
TERREPLEIN - TE [note] + REPL{y} [echo "reduced"] in REIN [check]

6 To cover hoop, mostly taking in silk fabric (6)
DUPION - to cover O [hoop], DUPIN{g} ["mostly" taking in]

7 Scandalous hypocrisy on cost for ingrowing toenail (15)

8 Plain Philippine president shortened ceremonial canopy (9)
BALDAQUIN - BALD [plain] + AQUIN{o} [Philippine president "shortened"]. Was it in the last Times Champs that we saw BALDACHIN?

12 Garden site authority constrained by Lutheran’s half-heartedness (10)
LUKEWARMTH - KEW ARM [garden site | authority] "constrained" by LUTH.

13 Record hourly limits to testify in old magistrate’s office (9)
EPHORALTY - EP HORAL [record | hourly] + T{estif}Y

15 Artist called up fine source for Götterdämmerung (8)
RAGNAROK - RA [artist] + reversed RANG [called] + OK [fine]

18 Group for rodents and lagomorphs needing pre-euro amounts in guineas (6)
GLIRES - LIRE [pre-euro amounts] in G'S [guineas]

21 Police Department catching villain at last with a Stinger (6)
CNIDA - CID [Police Department] "catching" {villai}N + A

22 Specifically muscle in to work when others are out (4)
SCAB - SC. AB [specifically | muscle]

Times Quick Cryptic No 1342 by Orpheus


This one took me about 46 minutes, thanks to a few clues in the lower left corner which stumped me for at least a half an hour. I was able to complete the puzzle only with the help of a thesaurus to look up a synonym at 13 Across, and some Google auto-completing to help with 16 Down.

In the end, I was disappointed with this puzzle. And that's a shame, because most of it is an excellent introduction to the sort of wordplay found in the 15x15 puzzles. I imagine many beginners will find this puzzle frustrating. Try not to be discouraged, and learn what you can!

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Times 27339 - East meets west here and there.

I really enjoyed this one. Sadly I don't have a time for it, as I was interrupted three times by the postman and two phone calls. I'd guess it would be around the half hour on a clean run. I liked the somewhat geographical and river-related theme. 7d seemed an obvious biff but it took me a while to see how it worked, and I'm unconvinced about the definition of 9a. I particularly liked 3d (once I saw it) and had a MER with 6d.

1 Room for messing with Cuban a bit in communist/capitalist divide (6,7)
BAMBOO CURTAIN - (ROOM CUBAN A BIT)*. This smelt of anagram, just a matter of getting the right 13 letters to fiddle with.
8 Dropping head, insignificant English artist (4)
ETTY - PETTY loses its head. William Etty was an English 19c artist.
9 Gas container about right for heavy-duty machine (10)
JAWBREAKER - I don't understand this definition, although the word play is clear. JAW = gas, chat; BEAKER = container, insert R. I thought a jawbreaker was a hard sweet or a word that's tough to pronounce.
10 Dissident heading for jail in October, following revolution (8)
OBJECTOR - J inserted into (OCTOBER)*.
11 Take for a ride to see river beyond field (4,2)
LEAD ON - LEA = field, meadow; DON the river in Aberdeenshire, for one.
13 Opener managed to bag hundred initially in draw (4,6)
DOOR HANDLE - RAN = managed, 'bags' H, then is inserted into DOODLE = draw.
16 Bear, little one, last of three (4)
TOTE - TOT = little one, E = last of threE.
17 Tease to the right of second slip (4)
SKID - S(econd), KID = tease.
18 Discuss where continents meet? Get serious! (4,6)
TALK TURKEY - Self explanatory, I hope.
20 More than one couple stays (6)
BRACES - Double definition.
22 Producer of Asian music includes piano in strategy (4,4)
GAME PLAN - a GAMELAN I knew was an Asian instrumental band; (well I said instrument but Kevin corrected me below). Insert a P into it.
24 Bring down the sardine to cook (10)
DISHEARTEN - (THE SARDINE)*. Another whiff of anagram, if not fish.
26 On the phone, try to get hold of someone in India? (4)
SIKH - 'On the phone' = sounds like; SIKH sounds like SEEK.
27 Innings sees cricket side getting better by miles (5,5,3)
KNOCK SPOTS OFF - KNOCK = innings, SPOTS = sees, OFF = opposite to ON side in cricket.

1 Happen upon label stuck on key drug (4-7)
BETA-BLOCKER - BE = happen, TAB = label, LOCKER = something that locks, a key.
2 West? Northbound via the interior, perhaps (5)
MAYBE - The West referred to is MAE, we insert BY (via) reversed i.e. northbound.
3 Stream bisecting rivers, beautiful thing? (5,4)
OBJET DART - Or objet d'art. My LOI, as I forgot the possibility of an apostrophe being disregarded in an answer. JET = stream, bisects two rivers, the OB (the world's seventh longest, in Siberia, as you no doubt knew) and the DART, one of the prettiest, in Devon.
4 By the sound of it, poltroon looked fearful (7)
COWERED - sounds like COWARD, which is what poltroon means.
5 Country river, one in Russia (5)
RURAL - R for river, URAL another one in Russia.
6 Smooth and white, a plant undergoing tests? (9)
ALABASTER - I think the plant undergoing tests is an ASTER being tested in a LAB, hence A LAB ASTER.
7 Born in the nude first of all? No! (3)
NEE - Well, NÉE means born in French, if you're female. The word play, I think, is to take not the first but the last letters of iN thE nudE, which spells NÉE.
12 Riding close behind (2,3,4,2)
ON THE BACK OF - double defintion. At first I had UP the back of ... and so an UP in 11a, which was temporarily a problem.
14 Salad ingredient broadcaster eats cold with over half of chips (9)
RADICCHIO - RADIO is the broadcaster; insert a C for cold and CHI being more than half of CHIps. Radicchio is the purple-tinted lettuce I try to leave behind when I am forced to eat salad, which is seldom.
15 Men sit and eat nuts in bistro (9)
19 Crossword answer done, cheer! (5,2)
LIGHT UP - A LIGHT is a word for a clue, UP = done.
21 Heap — time bagged? (5)
STACK - If T for time is 'bagged' it is in a SACK.
23 Ingredient of recipe, stonking Ligurian food (5)
PESTO - Hidden inside RECI(PE STO)NKING.
25 Roof blown from church, upset (3)
IRK - KIRK = church loses its roof i.e. top letter.