July 23rd, 2019

  • jackkt

Times Cryptic 27410

This is my 400th 15x15 blog for Times for the Times, my first having been on 23rd November 2007.  I've done a few Quickies too, but I'm still some way off my next milestone in that department. I remember how nervous I was on the first occasion and a little over-awed at the thought of sharing my efforts in such illustrious company. Of course it became easier with practice and I eventually found a style of presentation that seems to be acceptable to most so I stick to that, and  apart from the commentary on individual clues I follow a fairly rigid routine which saves time. Also to be mentioned when it comes to time-saving are the template scripts developed by Mohn2 and johninterred which transformed the whole blogging experience. Prior to that, for about 200 blogs,  it had been a slow process which for me involved a lot of copying and pasting into Excel where I ran my own script written in Visual Basic to knock the html codings into shape before posting into Live Journal.

Back to today's puzzle, this is another easy one, completed just within my target time of 30 minutes, so without further ado off we go...

Collapse )

Times Cryptic 27411. We'll have Manhattan.

I did this on a Hudson Line train between Yonkers and Ossining which puts my time in the 17- 18 minute range.  The river view hasn't changed much since Hitchcock's North By Northwest but I was sitting on the other side which is less distracting.  Pip is moving (as we speak) to a small corner of the English Midlands I happen to know well because my grandparents lived just a few miles away.

Good puzzle this with a slightly old-fashioned flavour.  There are some literary and cinematic references that are definitely retro.  All very straightforward so perhaps Pip will get the controversial Wednesday one next week.....  Definitions in italics underlined.  Answers in bold caps.


1. Leave the last of citrus jam (5)
SCRAM. [citru]S with CRAM=jam.
4. Instrument company flying through sum of money (4,5)
BABY GRAND BA=company flying.  BY=through.GRAND=sum of money.  I still think of the company as BOAC and it took me several beats before I saw the parsing.  If I hadn't been blogging I just might have skipped it because the answer leapt from the page.
9.  A very boring medic and Christian (9)
ADVENTIST. A DENTIST=medic containing V[ery].  Dentists don't get no respect.  Proselytizing Adventists can't get past our doormen in the city.  In Rhinebeck they do occasionally come to the door but they're very polite and not too persistent.
10.  Adventure tale with record group of followers (5)
SHEEP.  SHE (who must be obeyed) is the classic tale by Rider Haggard, with EP=record.
11.  Perhaps make TV programme presenting no diversion? (6)
DIRECT.  Far from obvious double definition.  I needed all the checking letters before this emerged from the fog.
12.  My gold boxes free in passage (8)
CORRIDOR.  COR=my (which is becoming standard).  OR=gold.  Containing (boxes) RID=free.
14.  Wrong turns in two countries where Americans dwell (6,6)
STATEN ISLAND.  The two countries are STATE and LAND containing SIN=wrong reversed (turns).  One of the 5 boroughs of NYC but not all that many New Yorkers live there and it's closer to New Jersey.  Still there is always the Rodgers & Hart song with its salute to Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island too (and the "balmy breezes" of the subway - especially fragrant in the 100F heat we had this weekend). Here's the divine Ella's version.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJsa0OfWcGA
17.  Got in more rubbish in essay subject (12)
TRIGONOMETRY.  Anagram (rubbish) of GOT IN MORE contained in TRY=essay.
20.  Screen rebel's in post in college (8)
DEANSHIP.  That's James DEAN'S best known role in the 50s movie Rebel Without A Cause, with HIP=in.  He was also celebrated for his parts in East Of Eden and Giant and then he blew his mind out in a car at the age of 24.
21.  Criminal strategy to get apparently good food.
SCAMPI.  SCAM=criminal strategy with PI=apparently good.
23.  This person likes male and female feet (5)
IAMBI.  A mildly risque clue.  That's the poetic kind of feet.  And if you like both sexes you might say I am bi.
24.  Boiled food, fish that's tough (9)
GRUELLING.  GRUEL is a kind of thin porridge thought suitable for invalids in olden times (it was much favoured by Mr. Woodhouse in Jane Austen's Emma).  LING=the crossword fish.
25. Very sensitive with respect to going wrong (3-6)
TOP SECRET.  That sort of sensitive - i.e what's exposed by Wikileaks.  Anagram (going wrong) of RESPECT TO.
26. Return from east idly wandering around (5)
YIELD.  Anagram (wandering around) of IDLY with E.


1.  Make-up -- very little -- applied carelessly (8)
SLAPDASH.  SLAP=slang for make-up.  DASH=very little, as in angostura bitters in a rye old-fashioned.
2.  Case of rickets interrupting show is a setback.
REVERSAL.  R[icket]S contained in REVEAL=show.
3.  Serviceman spied jumping up and down (5-10)
4. Dairy product's not long-lasting, for the most part (4)
BRIE.  BRIE[f].  Shortened.
5.  Will's character: something he has to say is what matters (6,4)
BOTTOM LINE.  In Midsummer Night's Dream, Bottom speaks his lines.  Annoying bit of corporate-speak but a very nice clue.
6.  Tail of whiting hugely in fashion for foodies? (15)
7. Plan military commander keeps close (6)
AGENDA.  AGA=military commander containing (keeps) END=close.
8.  Recorded absorbing intro from radio, turning set off (6)
DEPART.  TAPED=recorded containing R[adio] reversed (turning).
13.  The digit between numbers three and five?
RING FINGER.  Fourth finger - of left hand for a wedding ring, but you knew that.
15.  Political writer accepting his own name for putrid substance (8)
PTOMAINE.  Thomas Paine, one of the Founding Fathers of the US (although he didn't sign the Declaration of Independence).  Author of Common Sense. Here he is shown ingesting his abbreviated first name.
16.  Sprayed your somewhat black clothes (8)
SYRINGED.  SINGED=somewhat black containing YR short for your.  I'd thought of a syringe as a more directed kind of squirt, as in a hypodermic, but on reflection I believe it can also be a sprinkler.
18.  Person using computers etc. after tot (6)
ADDICT.  ADD=tot.  ICT=info and communications technology.
19.  Exercise with body part raised (4,2)
WARM UP.  W[ith] ARM UP=raised.
22.  Not yet settled on time for pair-work?
DUET.  DUE=not yet settled with T.