November 28th, 2019

  • glheard

Times 27520 - who wants to bee a farmer?

Time taken: 13:12. Most of this went in pretty quickly, but there was some head scratching over the last five or so, particularly the crossing of 13 across and 5 down, which were my last in. Given my form this last week or so I was surprised to see that I had everything correct, I've had a run of typos and just didn't get its (missed LIMA yesterday).

In my adopted country Thursday is Thanksgiving, so I hope my American friends have a wonderful day and eat and drink lots. With this blog, I enter my 13th year of contributing every other Thursday to Times for the Times, so thanks as always to our fearless leaders and the other volunteers for providing a fun home for these solutions and chit-chats.

Away we go...

1 On appeal, this could prove tedious (10)
6 Get front of Turkish rug (4)
TWIG - first letter in Turkish, then WIG(rug)
9 Ray in student group returning smile (7)
SUNBEAM -  NUS(National Union of Students) reversed, then BEAM(smile)
10 Abridged great book, for example (7)
EPITOME - remove the last letter of EPIC(great), then TOME(book)
12 Strip protection from team without right back (5)
UNARM - the team is MAN U, reverse it and insert R(right)
13 Area cultivated is doubled, part for farmers (9)
APIARISTS - A(area) then an anagram of IS,IS,PART
14 Swimmers after water sport gathering in training place (9,6)
FINISHING SCHOOL - SCHOOL(of fish, swimmers) after FISHING(water sport) containing IN
17 Warmer kind of blue and white escort's coat (8,7)
ELECTRIC BLANKET -  ELECTRIC blue then BLANK(white) and the outer letters in EscorT
20 Chat about small sources of illumination (9)
GASLIGHTS - GAS(chat) surrounding SLIGHT(small)
21 Note monarch from the east is no lone wolf (5)
MIXER - MI(musical note) then REX(monarch) reversed
23 Leaders of town hall are supposed to provide idea (7)
THOUGHT - first letters of Town and Hall then OUGHT(are supposed to)
24 Involve relative wearing green the wrong way (7)
EMBROIL - BRO(brother, relative) inside LIME(green) reversed
25 Somewhat nearer a reddish pink? (4)
RARE - hidden inside neareR A REddish
26 A drug man, roughly, with tips for remedy? (10)
APOTHECARY - excellent all-in-one clue. A, then POT(drug), HE(man), CA(roughly) and the outside letters of RemedY

1 Cabinetmaker's action — one that ensures new deal? (9)
RESHUFFLE - double definition, the first referring to the maker of a parliamentary cabinet
2 Letters from Nepali centrally displaying Chinese symbol (5)
PANDA - in the middle of Nepal you will find P AND A
3 Corps of soldiers love my job getting harder, permanently (13)
THERMOSETTING - THE RM(corps of soldiers), O(love), SETTING(the job of the writer of the crossword)
4 Drums, monkey stopping to beat one (7)
TIMPANI - IMP(monkey) inside TAN(beat), I(one). TIMPANI is the plural, the rarely-used TIMPANO is the singular
5 Round figure doctor holds up in window, perhaps (7)
OPENING - O(round) then NINE(figure) inside GP(doctor) all reversed
7 Club, very familiar music venue (9)
WOODSTOCK - WOOD(golf club), then STOCK(very familiar)
8 Company hasn't time to make suppositions (5)
GUESS - GUESTS(company) missing T(time)
11 Doomed liberal America almost past saving (13)
15 King follows his noble, barking Great Dane (5,4)
NIELS BOHR - R(king) after an anagram of HIS,NOBLE for the Danish physicist
16 Departed before improvement from one side? (9)
LATERALLY - LATE(dead, departed) then RALLY(improvement)
18 This person's appealing on record for revered architect (7)
IMHOTEP - I'M(this person), HOT(appealing), EP(record) for the designer of pyramids
19 Least idle, yet nap endlessly (7)
BUSIEST - remove the last letters from BUT(yet) and SIESTA(nap)
20 Gold piece comes first for Florida resident, say (5)
GATOR - OR(gold) with GAT(piece, gun) first. There are lots of alligators in Florida, but because of the mascot of the University of Florida, inhabitants of the state are also referred to as GATORS
22 African's vote — I'm surprised about it (5)
XHOSA - X(vote) then OH(I'm surprised) reversed, SA(sex appeal, it)

Times Quick Cryptic No 1493 by Des

I think I have blogged a Des puzzle only once before, in the New Year of 2017, when I found his style entertaining and accommodating.  I have no time for you today, as several serious interruptions meant that I was unable to calculate it, even inaccurately, so please let me know how easy / difficult you found this one.

There are very concise clues here, and lovely surfaces (I’ve commented appropriately below), and despite the interruptions, I thoroughly enjoyed this from Des.


1  Fantastic sort of light: legendary (6)
FABLED – FAB (FABulous = fantastic) and LED (Light Emitting Diode – sort of light).
Important meeting with German on the whole (6)
SUMMIT – SUM (the whole) with MIT (German for with) ‘on it’.
8 Wildly boo a preacher, vicar initially blameless (5,8)
ABOVE REPROACH – Anagram (wildly) of [BOO A PREACHER] and V{icar} (initially).  Just as our current Prime Minister described the Monarchy in last week’s election debate!
10  Prestige without end, so duke reflected (5)
KUDOS – Reverse (reflected) hidden, in SO DUK{e} (without end).  Kudos comes from the Greek word for ‘glory’, and means credit, fame, renown or prestige.
11 Fail to broadcast (4,3)
GIVE OUT – Double definition.
12 Note girl, bourgeois (6,5)
MIDDLE CLASS – MIDDLE C (note) and LASS (girl).  Perfectly concise clue!
16  Adult FM broadcast for land near estuary (7)
MUDFLAT – Anagram (broadcast) of [ADULT FM].  Nice surface!
17  Strikes on the wrists? (5)
CUFFS – Double definition.
18  Inadequately organised foreign articles, pruned in advance (13)
UNDERPREPARED – Slightly tricky parsing here. I read it as UN and DER (foreign articles, French and German respectively) and something pruned in advance might be PRE-PARED.  The coincidence of pruned also being an anagram of the first 6 letters of the answer made me think for a moment or two.
19  Rather dull line in food (6)
DRYISH – RY (short for RailwaY) is the line, which appears in DISH (food).
20  Fashions in time followed by tears (6)
TRENDS – T{ime} followed by RENDS (tears – the verb to rend, rip or lacerate, rather than the noun referring to the products of weeping).

Cuts of meat, tart, starters of kedgeree, salad (6)
FLANKS – FLAN (tart) and K{edgeree} and S{alad} (starters).
In the tolerant fashion of one planning Norfolk holiday? (5-8)
BROAD-MINDEDLY – The Norfolk Broads are a popular holiday destination in the East of England.  If one were planning such a holiday, one might be described as being BROAD-MINDED.
3  Game of rugby to start late, as likely as not? (5)
EVENS – Seven-a-side rugby is a popular stripped down version of the more famous 15-man game.  If the first letter is moved to the end (starts late), seven becomes EVENS.  If a future event is as likely as not to occur, its odds of happening are said to be EVENS.
Solve value n, somehow about right (7)
UNRAVEL – Anagram (somehow) of [VALUE N] and R{ight}.
6  Warden Amos off touring plant (6,7)
MEADOW SAFFRON – Anagram (touring) of [WARDEN AMOS OFF].  If you are like me, your heart sinks when you see a clue defined as one of the millions of available plant species. In this case, though, the anagrist gives little alternative.  MEADOW SAFFRON (also known as naked lady) refers to the autumn crocus.
7  Note about a popular song in S Pacific island (6)
TAHITI – The note is TI (from doh, ray, me, fa, so, la, TI, doh).  This surrounds A HIT (popular song).
9  Eg, Great Britain consumer acquiring kitchen implement (3-6)
EGG-BEATER – EG (e.g.) and GB (Great Britain) followed by EATER (consumer).
13  Girl displaying knowledge in parties (7)
DOLORES – LORE (knowledge) inside DOS (parties).  DOLORES is a delightfully old-fashioned girl’s given name that is hardly seen these days in my experience.
14 Inspired film about Edda appearing regularly (6)
IMBUED – Alternate letters (appearing regularly) in {f}I{l}M {a}B{o}U{t} E{d}D{a}.  Lovely surface again.
15  Words from actors: like when Caesar about to die? (6)
ASIDES – AS (when) and IDES (when Caesar was about to die – the IDES of March).
17  Carbon copier for skip (5)
CAPER – C{arbon} and APER (copier).  To CAPER is to leap or skip like a goat.

As Easy As 1ac-2ac-3ac

A simple race to the finish this Friday, with almost every answer being one of the first things you'd think of once you've located the definition. FOI 1ac, LOI 3dn. I preferred the slightly more deceptive clues, 9ac and especially 25ac where I didn't see the cryptic part until after submission; honorable mention too to 19dn for its ever-pleasing use of AN. Thanks to the setter for a gentle one for American residents in the throes of Thanksgiving!

1 Charlie in impasse organised retreat into fantasy (8)

5 Adventurous rascal dumping one motor in river (6)
PICARO - I CAR dumped into PO

8 Author is Pound (3)
PEN - double def

9 Scot on hill changes into middle gear (10)
LOINCLOTHS - (SCOT ON HILL*). Gear worn around the middle, that is.

10 Ruler over Laks is initially good, then roguish (8)
OLIGARCHS - O{ver} L{aks} I{s} + G + ARCH

11 Two shorter men someone killed? (6)

12 What occurs in tub at home (4)
BATH - hidden in {tu}B AT H{ome}, &littishly

14 Orchestrate popular support to billet troops (10)
INSTRUMENT - IN + STRUT, "billeting" MEN

17 Undecided around environment girl occupies (10)

20 Rat on boat one dislodged by duck (4)
SHOP - take SHIP [boat], then dislodge its I [one] with an O [duck]

23 At home, cool temperature delivers baby (6)

24 Busy worker eating cold meat left sauce (8)
BECHAMEL - BEE eating C HAM; plus L

25 Policy for those who are moderate or poor (6,4)

26 Ridicule piece Joplin would compose (3)
RAG - double def

27 Ale supplier having bartender empty pitcher (6)
BREWER - B{artende}R + EWER

28 Communication system Number Ten backed (8)
ETHERNET - ETHER [number, as in that which numbs] + TEN reversed

1 Transport going around British plant (9)

2 Tories, first, are composed (7)

3 Level crossing the writer will support (6)
PILLAR - PAR [level] "crossing" I'LL

4 Chaplains at sea making way for sailors (4,5)

5 Commotion in state to China's south (7)
PALAVER - AVER [state] to the south of PAL [China = China plate = mate]

9 Animals having a search inside underground tunnels (9)
CATACOMBS - CATS having A COMB inside

7 French on about Welshwoman showing tongue (7)
RUSSIAN - reversed SUR [French on] + SIAN

13 Might one succeed with a real burst? (4-2-3)

15 Most gentle incline with replanted trees (9)
TENDEREST - TEND [incline] with (TREES*)

16 Champion in Great Escape (3-6)
TOP-FLIGHT - or take the parts separately, TOP [great] + FLIGHT [escape]

18 Staff regularly argue and run for supervisor (7)
MANAGER - MAN + A{r}G{u}E + R

19 Nocturnal creature needs attention after an illness (7)
ANTBEAR - EAR [attention] after AN + TB [illness]

21 Poet, northern one, huge hit for Yankees? (4,3)
HOME RUN - HOMER [poet] + UN [northern "one"]

22 Grouse fly east, retaining height (6)
WHINGE - WING E, "retaining" H