February 4th, 2021

  • glheard

Times 27892 - you can't pass heat from the cooler to the hotter

Solving time: 9:59, which is pretty close to my target time, so I feel good about this one. It isn't simple, but not too tricky.

It is very rare that a Times daily puzzle has a theme, and I don't recall in my time here having the luck of blogging one with a theme.  Today the setter has managed to sneak in a number of references to the muscial comedy duo Flanders and Swann, who can be found in symmetrically-opposed entries and that makes me extremely happy. I teach thermodynamics almost every semester and subject students to the First and Second Law song.

Given the answer to the first clue in today's QC, I wonder if Joker wrote this one as well?

Away we go...

1 Female is drunk, engaging another female in tussle (9)
FISTFIGHT - F(female), IS, TIGHT(drunk) containing F(female)
6 More than one picket comments on website (5)
POSTS - double definition
9 Love family vacationing perhaps in Scotland or Japanese city (7)
OKINAWA - O(love), KIN(family), AWA' (Scots form for away, vacationing)
10 Produced a lot of revolutionary dry wine (7)
MADEIRA - MADE(produced), and then ARID(dry) reversed, missing the last letter.  F&S song "Madeira, M'Dear"
11 Moved twistily, heading off out of cover (5)
NAKED - SNAKED(moved twistily) missing the first letter
12 Trace European policy in time (9)
DELINEATE - E(European), LINE(policy) in DATE(time)
13 Awkward study with a run bagged in Test (8)
CONTRARY - CON(study) and A, R(run) inside TRY(test)
14 Part of the world, mostly unchanged area (4)
ASIA - AS IS(unchanged) missing the last letter, A(area)
17 Tubing that is partly interfering with pianos? (4)
PIPE - I.E. (that is) messing with P, P(pianos).  Swann did the piano playing.
18 Footwear placed outside toilet when giving display (8)
SHOWCASE - SHOE(footwear) outside WC(toilet) and AS(when)
21 Take on chief leading all-English league at last (9)
CHALLENGE - CH(chief), then ALL, ENG(English), and the last letter of leaguE
22 No remorse, ditching University bridge player (5)
NORTH - NO, then RUTH(remorse) minus U(university)
24 No flights for me? East of Germany well-supplied (7)
OSTRICH - OST(East, in German), RICH(well-supplied).  Another F&S song... peek a boo, I can't see you...
25 Omnipotent in general (7)
OVERALL - double definition
26 Silence covering revelation of resignation (5)
SHRUG - SH(silence) and RUG(covering)
27 Ready-to-wear accessory? (5,4)
MONEY BELT - cryptic definition
1 Admit being kept under by father displaying severe expression (5)
FROWN - OWN(admit) under FR(father)
2 Item in first-aid kit: splint, say, and gear with splint, possibly (8-7)
STICKING-PLASTER - STICK(splint, strip of wood), then an anagram of GEAR and SPLINT
3 Location in Europe’s fine planetary vehicles? (8)
FLANDERS - F(fine), LANDERS(planetary vehicles)
4 £1000 getting a lot of rubbish wine (5,3)
GRAND CRU - GRAND(a thousand pounds) then most of CRUD(rubbish)
5 Critical comment about origins of Manchester United likely to produce uproar (6)
TUMULT - TUT(critical comment) surrounding the first letters of Manchester United Likely
6 Particular person in prison will be visited by US lawyer (6)
PEDANT - PENT(in prison) containing DA(District Attorney, US lawyer)
7 One ascending by twisted means will aggravate a satirical press (6,9)
8 Computer programs to do some running battle in London area (9)
SHAREWARE - HARE(to do some running), WAR(battle) in the SE(London area)
13 Extensive international lying not admitting of remedy (9)
CAPACIOUS - CAP(international), then MENDACIOUS(lying) missing MEND(remedy)
15 Squeeze garden into trimmed surroundings (8)
SHOEHORN - HOE(garden) inside SHORN(trimmed)
16 Is this a pen-supplier? Answer (Y/N) after review (8)
SWANNERY - anagram of ANSWER,Y,N and a pen is a type of swan
19 Travelling overseas? There’s romance about the unknown (6)
FLYING - FLING(romance) surrounding Y(unknown)
20 Articles on source of music, church music? (6)
ANTHEM - AN and THE(articles) with the first letter of Music
23 Composer’s vacation close to forest (5)
HOLST - HOLS(vacation) and the last letter of foresT

Times Quick Cryptic No 1803 by Joker

This took me just inside my 15-minute target to solve, but looking back on it as I write the blog, I wonder why it took me so long?  Typically Jokeresque, there is nothing unusual, obtuse or difficult here, but unravelling the parsing for some of the answers whilst solving slowed me down.  It took ages to justify 4d and to juggle the 6-letter anagram at 15a, which should have been easy.

Please let me know how you got on.


Wallower in trendy popular music, returning to entertain endlessly (12)
HIPPOPOTAMUS – HIP (trendy) with POP (popular music) TO (returning = reversed, OT)  and AMUS{e} (entertain endlessly).  One of my favourite animals!
Soon Canterbury’s leader must abandon church rule (4)
ANON – {c}ANON – after C{anterbury’s) leader has been abandoned or dropped.  A CANON is a law or rule, especially in ecclesiastical matters.
9  Small Building Society, say, is barely sufficient (7)
SLENDER – S{mall} and LENDER (Building Society say).  One definition of SLENDER is meagre, or barely sufficient.
11 Admired woman taking two types of drug (7)
HEROINE – HEROIN (type of drug) and E{cstasy} (another type, I am led to understand).
12  Jack, king gets new ace, five and three finally (5)
KNAVE – K{ing} gets N{ew} and A{ce} with a V (five in Roman Numerals) and {thre}E (finally).  KNAVE is an alternative title for the Jack in a deck of playing cards.
14 Something said about old German currency (6)
REMARK – RE (about) and MARK (old German currency).
15  Develop a translation of Proust (6)
SPROUT – Anagram (translation of) of [PROUST].
18  Degree thus simple? (5)
BASIC – BA (degree) and SIC (Latin for 'so' or 'thus').
20  Taurus and Leo overlapping?  That’s great fortune, almost certainly (7)
BULLION – Taurus is the sign of the BULL, and LEO the sign of the LION.  If they overlap, such that the last letter of the first becomes the first letter of the last, they give BULLION.  The ‘almost certainly’ is an escape clause – one piece of BULLION would not necessarily give a great fortune.
21  Swell cheese creation, ultimately something cheddar is famous for (7)
ENGORGE – {chees}E and {creatio}N (ultimately = last letters) and GORGE (as in Cheddar GORGE, a famous visitor attraction in the Mendip Hills, Somerset, near the village of Cheddar).  The GORGE is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest called Cheddar Complex.
23  Bird feline has found hard to eat (4)
CHAT – CAT (feline) ‘eating’ H{ard}.  The CHAT is a small songbird of the thrush ilk.
24  Not satisfied with intended cost being fluid (12)
DISCONTENTED – Anagram (being fluid) of [INTENDED COST].


Stupid person or amusing eccentric? (9)
IGNORAMUS – Anagram (eccentric) of [OR AMUSING].  COD for the smooth surface.
3  Quiet orphan girl runs carrying basket (7)
PANNIER – P (quiet, pianissimo} with ANNIE (orphan girl) and R{uns}.  Orphan Annie began as a daily US cartoon strip in 1924, since when she has spawned a radio show, multiple film titles and a Broadway Musical show.  I have never seen any of them!
Soft shade initially put around some troubling electric lamp (6)
PASTEL – First letters (initially) of the rest of the clue – Put Around Some Troubling Electric Lamp.
Twist is feeble after tango (5)
TWEAK - T{ango} (phonetic alphabet) and WEAK (feeble) afterwards.  There are various situations where TWEAK and TWIST are synonymous.
6  Putting up a barrier across river is insane (3)
MAD – A DAM is a barrier across a river.  When ‘put up’ or reversed, it becomes MAD.
7 Dark green mineral Newton discovered in rocky pine trees (10)
SERPENTINE – N{ewton} ‘discovered’ inside an anagram (rocky) of [PINE TREES].
10  Not having enough money for a biscuit (10)
SHORTBREAD – SHORT (not having enough) and BREAD (slang for money).
13  Detest what’s in boa meat, cooked (9)
ABOMINATE – Anagram (cooked) of [IN BOA MEAT].
16  Bird, large one in nut tree (7)
PELICAN – L{arge} and I (one) inside PECAN (nut tree).
17  Aim of article (6)
OBJECT – Double definition.
19  Vehicle run for freight (5)
CARGO – CAR (vehicle) and GO (run).
22  Cut short talk (3)
GAS – GAS{h} – cut, dropping last letter (short).

Times 27,893: Here's a 1ac... Wear More Toppers

I didn't race through this *or* find it particularly onerous for a Friday, though there were a few unknowns and MERs that slowed me down a tad. I mostly liked the classicksy references to Homer, Norse and Egyptian myth, the excellent "boy quivered", the New Testament letters and the Roman fountain, all good stuff in my particular book (not that there weren't a couple of sops for the scientists in here too). Thanks setter! I've just gotten round to blogging last weekend's Times Jumbo too so I'm a bit shagged out and shall retire early therefore, but go check that one out if you were wondering what happened to it at the weekend, puzzle was a good 'un!

1 Acknowledgment hard bread must be sent back (3,3)
HAT TIP - H + reversed PITTA

5 Rehearse chapter at start of Thessalonians during worship (8)
PRACTISE - C(hapter) + T{hessalonians} "during" PRAISE

9 Vicar’s adequate stipend? (6,4)
LIVING WAGE - not 100% sure I completely get this unless it's just a weakish cryptic definition. Obviously a LIVING WAGE is an adequate stipend and we all know from our Jane Austen etc that a vicar was a salaried clergyman. But perhaps there's a little more to it yet

10 Times has often run leaders as “The Thunderer” (4)
THOR - T{imes} H{as} O{ften} R{un}. FOI

11 Giant man comes in to pour tea without hesitation (8)
BEHEMOTH - HE "comes in to" BE MOTH{er}. Sure I've seen this one before, didn't stop me from getting mixed up over it again this time round!

12 Stand for body keeping our people in additional employment (6)
BUSIER - BIER "keeping" US. SOI

13 Half of capital being lost is a nuisance (4)
PEST - {buda}PEST

15 Don’t budge, being too drunk to stand up? (3,5)
SIT TIGHT - a whimsical reading of SIT TIGHT where you might be doing it because you're sitting there, tight!

18 Got nurse cooking large fish (8)

19 Modest offering from overseas university: English (4)
MITE - M.I.T. + E. Whaddya mean, "overseas"? It's you lot that are overseas

21 Nothing missing from a different part of plant (6)
ANTHER - AN{o}THER. The anther and the filament are part of the stamen, and the stigma and style part of the pistil, as any kwizr kno.

23 Boy quivered, intermittently showing filthy greed (8)
CUPIDITY - CUPID [boy with a quiver] + {f}I{l}T{h}Y

25 Sort of glass construction in the sea (4)
PIER - double def: I was (much) less familiar with the first one, but it checks out as some kind of mirror?

26 It gets people mixing cocktail ingredient right into tumbler (10)

27 Physicist’s unusually strong backing graduate receives (8)
ANGSTROM - (STRONG*) "received" by reversed M.A.

28 Reasonably decide to reverse charge, one set in stone (3,3)
SEE FIT - reversed FEE + I, in ST

2 Assistant keeps son out of the way (5)
ASIDE - AIDE "keeps" S

3 Examiner buttons lip for a term (9)

4 Homer perhaps with good information about Odysseus’s origin (6)
PIGEON - PI [good] + GEN [info] "about" O{dysseus}. Classical kudos from me

5 After exercise, painful, take top off lotion for such lovely skin (7,3,5)
PEACHES AND CREAM - after P.E. [exercise], ACHE [painful?] + SAND [take top off] + CREAM [lotion]. I think "painful" might have been better rendered as "pain" in the clue, but what do I know, may well be I've just parsed it wrong. I just biffed it in from "lovely skin" and the enumeration, anyway

6 Sharpness was effective cutting very fine line (8)

7 A pastoral letter: some felt it useful (5)
TITUS - hidden in {fel}T IT US{eful}. ETA: "Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus are known as 'pastoral letters' because they give instructions to Paul's fellow-workers on the pastoral care of the young churches."

8 One chirping adds some weight to conversation (9)

14 Building work noise dealt with next (9)

16 Just over three foot channels, note, are direct (9)
IMMEDIATE - IM = 1 metre = just over three foot + MEDIA [channels] + TE [note]

17 More white people in the leading position before (8)

20 Electrician is avoiding risk in baths (6)

22 God takes a long time turning over ancient city (5)
HORUS - take HOURS [a long time], and invert its internal UR

24 Fountain: in it tossed up clergyman (5)
TREVI - in reversed IT, REV