May 18th, 2020

  • vinyl1

Times 27667 - Linux, of course!

Time: 31 minutes
Music, Prokofiev, Symphony #7, Martinon/PCO

Another easy Monday, you might say, although as usual I put in most of the answers and then hit a bit of a slow patch in the brazenness/zillionth/singsong area.  I was solving briskly until then, biffing answers and then working out the cryptics.   There is nothing here that will be terribly obscure for the usual well-read crew, and fast times are certainly possible - if you can get over the hump.

On another topic, here's a summary of the latest computer glitch at The Times.   As many people are aware, both the Crossword Club and the puzzles section of the online version of the Times are generated by an automated content-management system, with a queue of puzzles waiting to be published.   On Friday, there was some sort of problem with the Quickie.   While Quickie 1614 correctly appeared on the Crossword Club site, Quickie 1615 was posted to the online newspaper.   Our Friday blogger, Curarist, went to the newspaper site, solved the puzzle and wrote the blog - it's not his job to check if the Times has published the correct puzzle!   Later on in the day, Quickie 1614 did appear on the Times web site, but as an additional puzzle, wtih 1615 still present.   While I was sleeping in Conncticut, my able colleague Jackkt spotted the problem and provided an improptu blog for Quickie 1614, the official Friday Quickie.

Now the Times has gone ahead and published Quickie 1615 as the Monday Quickie.   Anyone who wants to see the blog will have to look back to the Friday entries, as there was really nothing we could do and I had to allow Cuarist's blog to stand.    Normal service should resume shortly.

1 Return game? It’s played with strings attached (5)
STRAD - DARTS backwards.  
4 Meeting team at last after my opus is broadcast (9)
SYMPOSIUM -  anagram of MY OPUS IS followed by [tea]M.
9 Strange athlete, one breaking the law with spirit? (3-6)
10 Basic concept of drunkard about to secure work (5)
TOPOS - SOT backwards around OP.   It is more likely to occur if you're conversing in Attic Greek, but I'm sure the English usage is attested.  
11 Twist Nikolai Gogol originally employed in literary work (6)
TANGLE - TA(N[ikolai] G[ogol]LE. 
12 Drink that went to one’s head once? (8)
NIGHTCAP - Double definition, and one that I did not immediately see even though it's probably some sort of chestnut.
14 Catch hooligan pinching head of Repton’s floor-covering (9)
16 One working as judge in German city? (5)
TRIER - Double defintion, the first one somewhat jocular rather than representing a common usage. 
17 Desperado finally banished from district backing African river (5)
NIGER - REGI[o]N backwards.
19 Tiny part of Jerusalem sheltering sick Thai leaders (9)
ZILLIONTH - Z(ILL)ION + TH[ai].  I had biffed 'millionth', and had to rethink.
21 Err seriously at first, dividing award for informal musicmaking (8)
SINGSONG - SIN + G(S)ONG.   The UK meaning, not used in the US - we would say a singalong.  
22 Yankee at home finds sleeveless jacket (6)
JERKIN - JERK + IN.   This clue probably should have used Yank instead, which may have been the setter's intent.
25 Film about police department overturning decree (5)
EDICT - E(CID backwards)T, the only film we ever get, it seems.
26 Group of nations thus abandons song: it backed oil producers (9)
EUCALYPTI - EU + CALYP[so} + IT backwards, biffed by me and then analyzed.
27 Way English archdeacon’s supported by Scottish writer (9)
STEVENSON - ST + E + VEN'S + ON, another justified biff.
28 Long story about Eeyore’s tail (5)
YEARN - Y([eeyor]E)ARN.
1 Take a walk? Procrustes would sometimes do it (7,4,4)
STRETCH ONES LEGS - Double definition, one allusive.
2 Stomach certain sporting blokes required? (5)
RUMEN -  RU + MEN.  
3 Old garment seen in Quetta, but not in Quito? (7)
DOUBLET - DOUBLE T, of which Quito has only one.
4 Function popular in the Home Counties (4)
SINE - S(IN)E, a Quickie clue.
5 Money young lady invested in horse’s strap (10)
MARTINGALE - MAR(TIN, GAL)E.   Since a martingale is actually a horse's strap, the clue gives something away....unless, like me, you don't have a clue what a martingale is!
6 Excelled on range, though not in photo (7)
OUTSHOT - OUT + SHOT, where you have to lift and separate.
7 Collision involving current member, one visiting part of W London (9)
8 Reportedly escape arrest? It’s a fallacy (15)
13 Audacity of woman about to destroy notes (10)
BRAZENNESS - B(RAZE NN)ESS, an easy biff once you have the Z.
15 South American bloke at home in most of district (9)
ARGENTINE - AR(GENT IN)E[a].   A very common chestnut.
18 What we learn by accepting established award (7)
ROSETTE - RO(SET)TE, a word that seems to occur rather frequently.
20 I trade extremely lucratively — in theory (7)
IDEALLY - I DEAL L[ucrativel]Y.  
23 Greek character in dark apparel (5)
KAPPA - hidden in [dar]K APPA[rel].
24 Investigation primarily conducted in hospital (4)
SCAN - S(C[onducted]AN, just a touch of an &lit, but not really.  

Quick Cryptic 1615 by Tracy

Nothing to scare the horses too much here. Inspired by Templarredux's feat from my last blogging day, I have decided to try and do all QCs as 'clean sweeps', i.e. do all the clues strictly in order. It's a fun twist which forces you to think harder about each clue (the acrosses, anyway). I would recommend it to anyone who has long since got the hang of the quickies. It does play havoc with your times, though.

I very nearly succeded today, foiled only by an inability to see 20ac. Clue of the day probably 23ac.

1 Dolt? One male celeb, I suspect (8)
IMBECILE - anagram ('suspect') of I + M + CELEB + I
5 Father and son, second to qualify (4)
PASS - PA + S + S
9 Hoodie in area next to recreation ground (5)
PARKA - PARK + A for area
10 Generally a game may be found in auction (2,1,4)
AS A RULE - RU inside SALE with A on the front
11 Part of domain name for hostelry (3)
INN - hidden word: domaIN Name
12 Performance of editor in broadcast about foremost of newspapers (9)
RENDITION - anagram ('broadcast') of EDITOR IN + N
13 First-class spinner following helpful hint (6)
15 Overlook smithy, first in town (6)
17 Have something to do with act? (4,1,4)
PLAY A PART - double definition
19 Presumably contains a quantity of money (3)
SUM - hidden word preSUMably
20 Course race official (7)
STARTER - double definition
21 Furious, judge on island (5)
22 Old writer ready to entertain new ideas? (4)
23 Wife moved out of Twin Peaks, dreadfully dangerous place (8)
SNAKEPIT - anagram ('dreadfully') of  TWIN PEAKS minus W

1 Popular photograph published (2,5)
2 Captain of industry in public house, working (5)
3 Psychics at vicar's, only in disguise! (12)
CLAIRVOYANTS - anagram ('in disguise') of AT VICARS ONLY
4 Pick up knight after king (5)
6 Funny, a reflection (7)
7 Small aquatic bird in rear of vessel (5)
8 Exaggerate the advice of one who loves lots of butter? (3,2,2,5)
LAY IT ON THICK - cryptic definition
14 A host at last in position to calm down (7)
PLACATE - A + T inside PLACE
16 Agency worker set off in violent storm (7)
TEMPEST - TEMP + anagram ('off') of SET
17 Ring after annoying person gives one sauce (5)
18 Expert wearing a new protective garment (5)
APRON - PRO inside A + N
19 Onset of shower affected little monkey (5)