October 8th, 2020

Linus van Pelt
  • z8b8d8k

27790 Thursday, 8 October 2020 Dinner dinner dinner dinner

A mid range puzzle for me with the top section, especially the NW, giving most trouble with 1ac for a long time being the wrong but possible REPOST partly because I read changes as charges. The whole thing took me close to 21 minutes but included a pink typo at the bottom. The return of the Mephisto-ish antique at 3d (different tense) was rather more fairly clued this time, so if you can remember a week back should not really cause any trouble.
No hidden clue today, but a decent set of anagrams to play with and the sound-alike clues are pretty good. I know rhotic is the often smeared sounding of a R, but don’t know if there’s a similar word for a sounded W, here ignored.
The clues are in italics, the definitions underlined, and the SOLUTIONS in bold capitals

1 Countermand second set of changes? (6)
REPEAL Hinges on the campanologist’s version of changes, a complicated sequence of bell ringing. Do it a second time, and you RE PEAL the noisy things (gloriously, of course).
4 Rush bedding that should keep camper drier (3,5)
FLY SHEET So rush converts to FLY, and bedding to SHEET.  I thought it might be the same a ground sheet, but Chamber reports (in one word form) “a piece of canvas that can be fitted to the roof of a tent to give additional protection from rain”
10 Sensible planet's responsibility? (4-2-5)
DOWN-TO-EARTH In which, without the hyphens , it would be the earth’s responsibility. Gaia will be pleased.
11 Regularly removed attire? (3)
TIE Take out the even letters of aTtIrE, pretty much an &lit.
12 Boxer's reported range (7)
ROCKIES Sounds like what belongs to Rocky (Marciano or Bilboa)
14 CGS unit formerly included in dictionary (7)
OERSTED Not helped by forgetting what CGS stands for (centimetre-gram-second – that set of units) ERST used to be English for once, formerly (still is, of course, more often met in erstwhile). Stick it between the pages of the OED(ictonary)
15 Authorised airing, just what the doctor ordered? (14)
CONSTITUTIONAL Two definitions, the second “a walk for the benefit of one’s health”
17 Male radio geek's broadcast runs flawlessly (4,4,1,5)
GOES LIKE A DREAM “Broadcast” screams “anagram”. Apply to MALE RADIO GEEK’S
21 Abrasive pair of bachelors feeling sorry for nurses (7)
RUBBING Feeling sorry for, RUING, “nurses" two B(achelor)s
22 Tied up, held in college perhaps on large island (7)
LIGATED GATED is what educational establishments do to punish infractions of the rules, equivalent to being confined to barracks, currently a very common experience for a different reason in many universities (Students might mix in such a way as to pass on the Covid-19 virus – who could have guessed?). The L I comes for the standard abbreviations for Large and Island
23 Comrade's drink knocked over (3)
PAL Simple: LAP for drink reversed
24 Ineffectual vocal work almost stops popular musical returning (11)
INOPERATIVE OPER(a) for the almost vocal work bungs up IN (popular) and EVITA the musical backwards (returning) Not that that’s going to happen any time soon.
26 Smoked meat I added to previous stuff (8)
PASTRAMI Stick I on the end of PAST (previous) RAM (stuff)
27 Joined the line and collapsed (4,2)
FELL IN A double definition, the first military

1 Socialist stalwart of certain universities? (8)
REDBRICK Mine was Birmingham with the magnificent Old Joe Tower at its centre.  Socialist is, of course. RED (except confusingly in America), and a stalwart is an absolute BRICK
2 What’s exclaimed when striking inmate in conflict (3)
POW Think TV series Batman with Adam West. The definition is cute
3 Outlaw historically needing to gain time (7)
ATTAINT Whodathunkit? A week ago we had the past tense of this antique word, occasioning much youwhattery and here it is again. To gain ATTAIN plus T(ime)
5 Doctor foretold extremes of Holmes' life in novel (4,2,3,5)
LORD OF THE FLIES Once memorably clued in (I think) ISIHAC as “’ullo ‘ullo, coo, coo, zip zip". Here it’s more prosaically an anagram (doctor) of FORETOLD H(olme)S (extremes) and LIFE.
6 Music beloved of the French, with variable piercing note (7)
SCHERZO Beloved of the French CHER plus variable Z in the note SO (a needle pulling thread)
7 Man of property, possibly China's James Bond? (6,5)
ESTATE AGENT I like this one: a Chinese James Bond would be an E(astern) STATE AGENT
8 The latest goal in test (6)
TRENDY Goal is END in TRY for test, as in one’s patience
9 Journalist leading session in sweeper's compact quarters (10,4)
BEDSITTING ROOM Since 1969, a fabulous absurdist film with a stellar cast, in which Ralph Richardson mutates into the title structure. Your ED journalist heads up a SITTING session, and is encapsulated in a BROOM or sweeper.
13 Priest cries out loud for ammunition (11)
CANNON BALLS I had tea with a delightful lady canon today, so was not in any way incommoded by the association, though she’s not actually a priest. Souns like (out loud) canon bawls.
16 Small fly found in child's trifle (8)
SMIDGEON Fruit fly (our local winged pest with a diurnal breeding season) didn’t fit, but the MIDGE did. Place in SON for child and you have your trifle, or maybe just a little bit of it.
18 Some people primarily colder or hotter? (7)
SPICIER The primarily apples both the Some and People, and ICIER is colder
19 Double trouble for plant (7)
DOG BANE Both words which can also mean trouble, one as a verb, the other as a noun
20 Rising whale and youngster emerge (4,2)
CROP UP Shall we have the ORC as a reversing whale and the PUP as a youngster
25 Harmful tablet, quietly disposed of (3)
ILL Just knock the musically quiet P from the tablet PILL

Times Quick Cryptic No 1718 by Teazel

I found this a very different type of solve to yesterday's QC, despite a fairly similar time: with that one I chugged along at an ok pace before grinding to a halt for the last couple of clues; with this one the grid was less than half complete by the 8 minute mark but was all wrapped up a bit over three minutes later. So a bit quicker than yesterday, but another tricky enough affair that had me stumped in a number of places while solving, all of which appear straightforward after the fact: definitely the mark of a fine puzzle (rather than any dimwittednesss from me), so many thanks to Teazel!

1 Fail to make joke, say, for periodical (6)
DIGEST - Sounds like ("say") DIE (fail) and JEST (make joke)
4 Prisoner’s popular with friend (6)
INMATE - IN (popular) with MATE (friend)
8 An approving gesture about girl (5)
DONNA - AN NOD (approving gesture) about = reverse.
9 Small snacks in romantic films (7)
WEEPIES - WEE (small) PIES (snacks)
10 One detained by senior teacher (3)
SIR - I (one) detained by SR. (senior)
11 Stairs to attic? Excellent (3-6)
TOP-FLIGHT - and the top flight of stairs would lead to the attic.
12 Rise of a pleasant aroma (6)
ASCENT - A SCENT (pleasant aroma)
13 Girl seen in vest here (6)
ESTHER - "Seen in"  vEST HERe
16 Instruction to make dirty photo? (9)
BLUEPRINT - BLUE (dirty) PRINT (photo)
18 It’s shortened notes (3)
TIS - double definition: the first as in 'tis; the second as in more than one TI (note: do, re, mi, etc.).
19 A long pace with one leg each side (7)
ASTRIDE - A STRIDE (long pace)
20 Am turning to leave dog? Tough (5)
STIFF - MA (am, "turning") to leave maSTIFF (dog)
22 Artist’s prize returned (6)
DRAWER - REWARD (prize) returned/reversed.
23 Horrible story about European seafood (6)
OYSTER - anagram (horrible) of STORY about E(uropean)
1 Druid regularly seen as useless (3)
DUD - D r U i D "regularly seen"
2 Non-specific information on Morecambe? (7)
GENERIC - GEN (info) on ERIC (Morecambe?)
3 But it is actually the bookies’ final offer (8,5)
STARTING PRICE - cryptic-ish definition: the last odds given at the very start of the race, not when the bet is initially offered.
5 Of course, seasoned style is flowing (8,2,3)
NEEDLESS TO SAY - anagram (is flowing) of SEASONED STYLE. Evidenced by a very stylish clue with a flowing surface.
6 Could you say flying is frightening? (5)
AWING - if one is a-wing, one is fluttering about or flying. Very nice again.
7 Credit cushy schooling? (4,5)
EASY TERMS - EASY (cushy) TERMS (schooling). Not a term I knew, and it's not in Collins, Lexico or the OED, but is defined elsewhere as paying for something with a series of small payments. Sounds rather euphemistic.
9 We must keep one little coin clean (4)
WIPE - WE must keep IP (1p, one little coin)
10 Famous person to take lodgings right on the sea (9)
STARBOARD -STAR (famous person) to BOARD (take lodgings)
14 Top ten perhaps, the ones to be done away with? (3,4)
HIT LIST - double definition, the first whimsical.
15 Sensible questions read out (4)
WISE - sounds like ("read out") WHYS (questions)
17 Some useful traditions for extremist (5)
ULTRA - "some" of usefUL TRAditions
21 In favour of class losing marks (3)
FOR - FORm (class) losing M(arks)

Times 27,791: Still Not Quite A "Vintage" Blogger, Then

Happy birthday to me! According to the very helpful web app https://myk.ninja/deathlist, I have now outlived Georges Perec and Rocky Marciano, so I must be doing something right.

Fortunately I was not disappointed by my birthday present from the Times this year: a good and chewy Friday puzzle that kept me battling well over the 10 minute mark. I had quite a few clues stubbornly holding out against full comprehension: 17ac was hard to see, being furrin an' all; 26ac is just a hard clue especially if you've forgotten what SUPERSEDE means (I'm grateful enough to be able to spell it!); and 7dn, my LOI, caused problems because I didn't really get the "in books" part. I'm sure I still use "sunder" in everyday speech.... okay, maybe not. But I use it as least as much as many other words in Times crosswords that are not so flagged!

COD probably to 1ac, a nice "showstopper" of an original cryptic device, earning its place at the head of the puzzle: but I also really like the breadth of general knowledge required here, taking in Sontag, O'Connor, HH Munro and the Pierian Muses... possibly the ideal guestlist for my birthday party, right there.

Shout out to Frank Paul's quiz which saw not one but two 6-man cruciverbal teams competing this week, the Cream Biscuit Solvers AND the Bar Circuit Solvers; modesty forbids me to reveal if the team I was on did well, but let's just say that my birthday is not yet ruined. Same time and place next Thursday, hopefully!

1 It’s not important, ballroom dance’s repeats both being foxtrot (5)
CHAFF - Take the CHA-CHA-CHA, and replace both its "repeats" with F(oxtrot): CHA-F-F

4 Sontag maybe framing small criticism about once sacred mountain (9)
PARNASSUS - SUSAN (Sontag) "framing" S(mall) + RAP [criticism], reverse the lot to find a mountain sacred to the nine Muses

9 Route for deliveries of sort run in barrow? (4,5)
MILK ROUND - ILK R [sort | run] in MOUND [barrow]

10 Duct conveying liquid tin and other metal (5)
CANAL - CAN [tin] + AL(uminium)

11 Perhaps sly male’s function: steer around girlfriend (3,3)
DOG FOX - DO OX [function | steer] "around" G(irl)F(riend)

12 Isolated inside pit with collar to wrap throat (4-4)

14 Lord ruined in Great War, returning to get married, provides many pages with connections (5,4,3)
WORLD WIDE WEB - (LORD*) in WWI, plus "BE WED" reversed

17 Fighting words in Chirac’s resignation statement? (4,2,6)
C'EST LA GUERRE - a Francophone double definition I think. It's war! Or: What can you do? It's the war.

20 Clubs justify storing case of labels for identification of station (4,4)
CALL SIGN - C(lubs) ALIGN "storing" L{abel}S

21 Surreal essay across issue’s front pages (6)
TRIPPY - TRY "across" I{ssue} P P

23 Dominant peak has shortened (5)

24 Drop weapons and relieve force to stop constant fury (9)
CEASEFIRE - EASE F "to stop" C IRE. Is ceasefire a verb as well as a noun?

25 Highly sensitive time for prayer, situation that’s awkward in retrospect (3-6)

26 Demolishing cored pears, set aside fuzzy skin (5)
SUEDE - SU{pers}EDE, where the PERS you're dropping from SUPERSEDE [set aside] is PE{a}RS.

1 Jokes, mostly personal, causing degradation (8)

2 Ecstasy within completely horrific symbolism (8)

3 I’m impatient and always drink to stay bluff (3,8,4)
FOR GOODNESS SAKE - FOR GOOD [always] + SAKE [drink] to "stay" NESS [= headland = bluff?]

4 Boxer receiving left punch (4)
PLUG - PUG "receiving" L

5 Fundraiser set up over there involving an O’Connor, say (3,4,3)
RED NOSE DAY - reversed: YONDER "involving" A DES

6 Air-traffic control is unsuccessful at keeping fourth in proximity (2,5,8)

7 Second subject to split in books (6)
SUNDER - S(econd) + UNDER [subject to]. "In books" because SUNDER is "archaic or poetic".

8 Hound satirical writer penning piece central to column (6)
SALUKI - SAKI [HH Munro] "penning" {co}LU{mn}

13 French wine label to tear up, which was driven from interwar years (7,3)
VINTAGE CAR - VIN TAG + reversed RACE. To a real connoisseur of such things, a "vintage" car is from the very specific time period 1919 to 1930, NOT to be confused with an "antique" or "classic". YLSNED!

15 Jar containing letter that is covered in pencil (8)
GRAPHITE - GRATE "containing" PHI

16 Stuff that’s fabricated and somewhat obscenely retold in turn (8)
TERYLENE - hidden reversed in {obsc}ENELY RET{old}

18 Soldier possibly supporting old court sector (6)
OCTANT - ANT "supporting" O CT

19 First-class society to delight in (4-2)
SLAP-UP - S(ociety) + LAP UP [delight in]

22 Fort Washington is on top of travel by air (4)
WAFT - F(or)T, that WA(shington) is on top of