September 3rd, 2020

  • glheard

Times 27760 - rumour and 26

Well I hit the submit button at 8:53, feeling very good about this one, but I didn't check carefully enough and I had a typo in 26 across, so there goes what I think might have been a very good time. There's some difficult stuff here, two entries that look that they are paying a visit from Mephistoland, and some tricky wordplay.

However today is a good day to beat your blogger!

Away we go...

1 Overheard to whimper like a baby, being cross? (4)
MULE - sounds like MEWL(whimper like a baby)
3 Podginess of English male with good French cape (10)
EMBONPOINT - E(English), M(male), BON(good in French), POINT(cape). Got this from wordplay
9 Fairly sour press employee caught dipping into grant (7)
SUBACID -  SUB(press employee) then C(caught) inside AID(grant)
11 President at bar, next to a flower arrangement (7)
IKEBANA - President IKE Eisenhower then BAN(bar), and A
12 Fellow in doorway — painting, possibly? (9)
PORTRAYAL - RAY(fellow) in PORTAL(doorway)
13 Man following retired woman’s turn of phrase (5)
IDIOM - IOM(Isle of Man) after DI(woman) reversed
14 It’s measured along a meridian, in the main (8,4)
NAUTICAL MILE - cryptic definition
18 Accord Henry a new position in church (12)
21 Crane-like bird Turkish commander found by main road (5)
AGAMI - AGA(Turkish commander) next to the M1(main road).  Another one from wordplay
22 Unemployed debt-collector bitten by ruddy insect! (9)
REDUNDANT - DUN (debt-collector) inside RED(ruddy) ANT(insect)
24 Measure of liquid bridge-player put in large vessel (7)
GALLEON - GALLON(measure of liquid) containing E(East, bridge-player)
25 Person investigating an American man on board? (7)
CHECKER - double definiton. Where I live draughts is called checkers
26 Stupid aspersion in speech, gradually losing force (10)
DIMINUENDO - DIM(stupid) and sounds like INNUENDO(aspersion) for the musical term. I put an extra E in there
27 Concept everyone associated at first with papers (4)
IDEA - first letters of Everyone Associated next to ID(papers)
1 Wasted time supporting unmarried female writer (8)
MISSPENT - T(time) under MISS(unmarried female), PEN(writer)
2 Work with miners cutting top of oak tree (8)
LABURNUM - LABOUR(work) and NUM(National Union of Mineworkers) with the first letter of Oak removed
4 Naval officer, one with two daughters in motor yacht (5)
MIDDY - I(one) and two D's(daughters) inside MY(motor yacht)
5 Touring Rhode Island, old lover carries minute scarlet flag (9)
ORIFLAMME -  RI(Rhode Island) inside O(old), and FLAME(lover) containing M(minute)
6 Entice police chief initially developing freedom in lines (6,7)
POETIC LICENCE - anagram of ENTICE,POLICE and the first letter of Chief
7 One demonstrated a crystalline compound (6)
ISATIN - I(one), SAT IN(demonstrated). I remember there being some controversy in the histrory of chemistry as to whether this or Mauvine A was the first ever synthesized dye.
8 Union leader in public vehicle getting over a shock (6)
TRAUMA - first letter of Union insie TRAM(public vehicle) then A
10 Woman runs business, one conveying messages by air (7,6)
CARRIER PIGEON - the woman is CARRIE, then R(runs), PIGEON(affair, business)
15 Loyalty from a duke thus, protecting queen (9)
ADHERENCE - A, D(duke), HENCE(thus) containing ER(queen)
16 A French vessel in sea, lacking identification (8)
UNMARKED - UN(A, in French), ARK(vessel) in the MED(sea)
17 Uncontrolled emotion blowing up this year (8)
19 Barbed prong finally penetrating judge of advanced years (6)
JAGGED - last letter of pronG inside J(judge), AGED(of advanced years)
20 Pounds invested in women’s area in New York district (6)
HARLEM - L(pounds) inside HAREM(women's area)
23 Took risks — kicked bucket across entrance to crescent (5)
DICED - DIED(kicked bucket) surrounding the first letter in Crescent

Times Quick Cryptic No 1693 by Teazel

A good, but chewy QC from Teazel that took every second of my 15 minute target to solve and submit, but with TOILE parsed after submission.  Some general knowledge is required, but nothing too obtuse I hope.

My FOI was AGOG, LOI TOILE as I was barking up the wrong tree even after seeing the answer, with COD going to 18a for a lovely surface.  Thanks Teazel, and good luck to you all.


Small team specially tasked to take the back off? (6)
DETAIL – In the military, a DETAIL is a small body set apart for special duties.  If one were to DE TAIL something, one would be taking its back off, possibly.  In my last blog, I had curtail!
Very excited in the past by golf (4)
AGOG – AGO (in the past) and G (golf in the NATO phonetic alphabet).
9  Cook slowly, throwing in a bit of lard?  Less fat (7)
SLIMMER – SIMMER (cook slowly) containing L{ard} (a bit of).  Who else started by looking for an anagram (cook) of [SLOWLY] containing another L?
10  An entrance in stone (5)
AGATE – A (an) and GATE (entrance).
11  Meaningfully I get close to den (2,7)
IN EARNEST – I (I) NEAR (get close to) and NEST (den).
12 Distinctive theory is mathematician’s first  (3)
ISM – IS (is) and M{athematician’s} (start).
13  County is grand nearly the whole time (6)
GALWAY – G{rand} and ALWAY{s} (nearly (drop the last letter) always, the whole time).
15  Pair with vision looked for victims (6)
PREYED – PR (pair) and EYED (with vision).
17  Some Syrian drowned valley (3)
RIA – Hidden (some) in {sy}RIA{n}.  I can’t say I was absolutely aware that a RIA was drowned as such, but I was aware of the word at least.
18  By its very nature top fiasco is disastrous (4,5)
IPSO FACTO – Anagram (disastrous) of [TOP FIASCO] to give IPSO FACTO (Latin for ‘thereby’).
21  Produce bypassing a Mediterranean island (5)
CRETE – CRE{a}TE (produce), bypassing A.
22  Data about popular drugs (7)
STATINS – STATS (data, short for statistics) surrounding (about) IN (popular).  Statins are familiar to those of us with heart problems.
23  Even I find this creature fantastic (4)
YETI – YET (even) and I (I).
24  Garment, new, shoplifted? (6)
STOLEN – STOLE (garment) and N{ew}.  The question mark is because other types of theft are available.


Wiping light cover (7)
DUSTING – Double definition, the second as in a DUSTING / light cover of icing sugar.
Thin dress material poet picked up (5)
TOILE – This one caused me a headache as I was looking for a homophone (picked up) even after I got the impossible to pronounce TOILE.  It wasn’t until I became aware that there was no poet with a name that sounded like ‘twaaarl’ that I looked for an alternative and realised it was an instruction to spell it backwards, and ELIOT / TOILE emerged.  The poet is, of course, T S Eliot.
3  Crazy old-timers aim to be long remembered (12)
IMMORTALISED – Anagram (crazy) of [OLD-TIMERS AIM].
Seriousness of natural attraction (7)
GRAVITY – Double definition.
Glow, good meal being cooked (5)
GLEAM – G{ood} and an anagram (cooked) of [MEAL].
7  Shortly advise dairy product (4)
BRIE – BRIE{f} (shortly is to drop the last letter).  To BRIEF someone is to advise them.
Prosaic concern, not on law (6-2-4)
MATTER-OF-FACT – MATTER (concern) OFF (not on) and ACT (law).
14  Very thin ale sent for replacement (7)
LEANEST – Anagram (for replacement) of [ALE SENT].
16  Abjure wickedness, as casual visitor does (5,2)
DROPS IN – To abjure wickedness might be to DROP SIN.
17  These mountains tending to shake? (5)
ROCKY – A cryptic &Lit referring to the Rocky mountains in North America.  (Someone will tell me it isn’t an &Lit, as I always get these wrong).
19  Very, very indifferent (2-2)
SO-SO – SO (very) repeated.
20  Relax, unwell after church (5)
CHILL – CH(urch) and ILL (unwell).

Times 27,761: I Could Be Bounded In A 15x15 And Count Myself King Of Infinite Space...

If this turns out to be the hardest puzzle of the week I think it'll be mostly accidentally, Monday to Thursday having held nothing TOO strenuous, if memory serves. This had a couple of interesting clues, far and away my favourite being 23ac just for its unusual cryptic device. Writing up the parsings for the down clues just now put me in mind of some of the more straightforward Jumbos I blog though - just enough cryptic to get the job done and not much more, resulting in fairly pedestrian clues like 9ac and 13dn. But feel free to launch into a spirited defence of anything that tickled your own fancy today! Ta setter for Fridaying us up, it's a tough job but somebody's got to do it...

1 Room for preparing all we know, longing to intervene (7)
KITCHEN - KEN [all we know], with ITCH [longing] "intervening"

5 Ghastly horse going without its carriage? (7)
MACABRE - MARE "going without (as in outside)" CAB

9 Person running on track's the one I report to (4,7)
LINE MANAGER - MANAGER [person running] on LINE [track]

10 Solution for washing all dirty people's backs (3)
LYE - {al}L {dirt}Y {peopl}E - FOI

11 Island's housing inspector books those behaving stupidly (6)
IDIOTS - I'S "housing" D(etective) I(nspector) O(ld) T(estament)

12 Syndicate with one pound investment maturing (8)
RIPENING - RING [syndicate] "investing" I PEN

14 Kind but uncouth fellows nourish mad dog on the loose (5,8)

17 Grub favoured by Hell's Angel? (13)
LEATHERJACKET - a cranefly larva or, differently punctuated, something a Hell's Angel would wear

21 In army officer's wake, I join up with good humour (8)
GENIALLY - in the wake of GEN(eral), I ALLY

23 Boat that has fortified wine, heading 90 degrees off course (6)
WHERRY - {s->W}HERRY: take SHERRY [fortified wine], and rotate the initial direction "S" 90 degrees clockwise so that it is now "W".

25 Regular occurrences of racial trouble (3)
AIL - {r}A{c}I{a}L. Sadly topical, at least where I am.

26 Briefly cavorting in sun at hotspot (2,1,8)
IN A NUTSHELL - (IN SUN AT*) + HELL [hottest of hot spots]

27 Partially divide ten territories, lessening hostility (7)
DETENTE - hidden in {divi}DE TEN TE{rritories}

28 Make case to hold note that's repeatedly folded (7)

1 Seaweed that is being found in Scottish waters? (6)

2 Comparatively thin, metallic bar running through deck (7)
TINNIER - INN "running through" TIER

3 Who, ditching wife, dated girl? I'm ashamed to hear it (4,5)

4 What mustn't be done with two legs elevated (2-2)
NO-NO - the ON side being the leg side in cricket, elevate that twice.

5 Part of Evensong, graduate facing it fearfully (10)

6 Victor in trouble, cut deeply (5)

7 Investor number one set up gold reserves, perhaps (7)
BULLION - BULL [investor] + reversed NO.1

8 Motivate last pair of men before besieging foreign fighters (8)
ENERGISE - {m}EN + ERE "besieging" G.I.s

13 Expanse of sand and desert a bonus for sailors? (5,5)
SHORE LEAVE - SHORE [expanse of sand] + LEAVE [desert]

15 Kind son gripped by aversion to speed (4,5)
MAKE HASTE - MAKE [kind] + S "gripped by" HATE

16 Conservative faction left in party raised barrier (3,5)
OLD GUARD - L in reversed DO + GUARD [barrier]

18 Do away with hollow effect round moulding (7)
ANNULET - ANNUL [do away with] + E{ffec}T

19 Troops engaged in uphill jog suffering (7)
TORMENT - MEN "engaged in" reversed TROT

20 Extremely cocky, continental journalist passed through revolution? (6)
CYCLED - C{ock}Y C{ontinenta}L ED

22 Fiction penned by an incomer (5)
ALIEN - LIE "penned by" AN

24 All that's left of prime steak? (4)
RUMP - double def