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Times 27,167: Joculus Riffed

Something of a disaster last night as I clicked submit to post this blog and LiveJournal instantly ate it, beyond any of my attempts at recovery. I have to dash out to catch a train right now... but there was plenty to talk about on this excellent crossword, so I promise I'll return and sort this placeholder out! In the meantime...

ACROSS
1 Goal minders do it (6)
OBJECT - double definition: to mind something is to have an objection to it

4 Rank alongside aphids, ultimately, as parasites (8)
SPONGING - PONGING [rank] alongside {aphid}S

10 Sort of tall beast that’s kept in cellar? (5,4)
TABLE SALT - (TALL BEAST*) ["sort of..."]

11 Assume that one judge must visit French city (5)
DIJON - DON [assume] that I J [one | judge] must "visit"

12 Dashed busy? (9,5)
INSPECTOR MORSE - we've talked in here only recently about how a "busy" is a member of the police force, and Morse code contains many dashes (as well as dots)... suggesting this groanworthy/brilliant pun of a definition.

14 What was taken from Samson and Lot (5)
SIGHT - double definition. Samson was blinded after being shorn; and "a sight" is a lot in some idiomatic uses as, again, I think we've discussed in here recently. "He's a damn sight more friendly than you are," that kind of thing.

16 Grabbing armband, collecting pants (9)
SNAFFLING - SLING [armband], "collecting" NAFF [pants]

18 Something said to be complete, note, within one (9)
UTTERANCE - UTTER [complete] + N [note], within ACE [one]

20 Inadequate person finally found new life, some job (5)
DWEEB - {foun}D {ne}W {lif}E {som}E {jo}B

21 MCC aim: come repeatedly for batting average abroad (5,2,5,2)
COMME CI COMME CA - (MC AIM COME COME*) ["for batting"]. Every schoolboy's favourite response to "Comment ca va?" if I recall correctly, due it being the most fun thing to say.

25 Covered on the inside with wrinkles (5)
LINED - double def

26 Girl fashioned garland, almost new (9)
MADELEINE - MADE LEI [fashioned | garland] + NE{w}

27 Further comment, often too complicated (8)
FOOTNOTE - (OFTEN TOO*) ["complicated"]

28 Beef, for example, from across the pond or canal? (6)
MEATUS - MEAT U.S. [beef, for example | from across the pond]

DOWN
1 Course books containing sign of error troubles publisher (6,4)
OXTAIL SOUP - O.T. [books] containing X [sign of error] + AILS O.U.P. [troubles | publisher]

2 After first of January, one’s having to live in digs (5)
JIBES - after J{anuary}, I'S [one's] having BE [to live] in

3 Mild Liberal getting stick all round (7)
CLEMENT - L [Liberal] getting CEMENT [stick] all round

5 Pan perhaps necessary for recipe — teriyaki? (5)
PETER - hidden in {reci}PE TER{iyaki}

6 Green light’s extinguished: then sleeps (4,3)
NODS OFF - to give someone the green light is to give them the NOD; so NOD'S OFF [green light's | extinguished]

7 Fair distance beyond home? Wrong (9)
INJUSTICE - JUST ICE [fair | distance] beyond IN [home]

8 On the way out, I dispatched award (4)
GONG - GO{i}NG [on the way out, losing its I]

9 Resistance fighter trained in Sparta (8)
PARTISAN - (IN SPARTA*) ["trained"]

13 Helicopters from Richmond bringing winning team perhaps to the Oval (3,7)
EGG BEATERS - egg beaters are an American term for copters, so this is probably Richmond, VA, not the one south of the Thames. Bring BEATERS [winning, team perhaps] to EGG [the oval]. Whew!

15 Duck excessively short tackle (3,4,2)
GET DOWN TO - GET DOWN [duck] + TO{o} [excessively, "short"]

17 One used to call a contact, briefly, before work (4,4)
AREA CODE - A REAC{h} [a | contact, "briefly"] before ODE [work]

19 Raced round like a loony, after a fast time (7)
RAMADAN - RAN [raced] round MAD [like a loony], after A

20 Director finally accepted Zola and his article (2,5)
DE MILLE - {accepte}D + EMIL [Zola] + LE [his (i.e. a Frenchman's) article]. But wasn't it EMILE?

22 Space traveller wasn’t the only one to get in contact? (5)
COMET - if you get into contact with someone you meet them, so multiple people getting into contact could be said jocularly to have CO-MET.

23 Turn out fine in the end: I’m out of Casualty (5)
EVICT - {fin}E + VICT{im} [casualty, losing it's I'M]

24 Scandinavian of note is visiting (4)
OLAF - OF, visited by LA [note]

Comments

( 85 comments — Leave a comment )
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jackkt
Oct. 12th, 2018 07:22 am (UTC)
Hard work finishing off the last 6 or 7 clues took me to nearly an hour of solving but I got there without resoring to aids other than to check the unknown MEATUS derived from wordplay. VERY annoyed that after recent discsussions INSPECTOR MORSE was my last one in even though I had been on to the 'busy' reference on first reading of the clue. SPONGING was another answer that seemed to take forever to emerge. I had no idea what Richmond was doing in 13dn as I knew EGGBEATER (though not as an Americanism) and wrote it straight in.

On the lost blog, I take the precaution of always preparing mine elsewhere (using the free Mozilla web editor KompoZer) and then paste it into LJ. I may then do a bit of tweaking in the final edit but it's always useful to have the local version as back-up.

Edited at 2018-10-12 07:29 am (UTC)
dorsetjimbo
Oct. 12th, 2018 07:59 am (UTC)
Yes, I do the same with my blogs. LJ has a habit of losing entries so its a simple and sensible precaution
(no subject) - verlaine - Oct. 12th, 2018 08:14 am (UTC) - Expand
gothick_matt
Oct. 12th, 2018 07:22 am (UTC)
After a very slow start, I was surprised to finish in 51 minutes. At some points I thought I'd never get to the end, but I sped up as the crossers went in. FOI 27a FOOTNOTE, LOI the unknown 28a MEATUS. I also didn't know that Samson was blinded, so spent far too long trying to arrange his hair in an appropriate way.

Enjoyed this one, with some nice misdirecting word combinations and good surfaces. 12a INSPECTOR MORSE, 16a SNAFFLING, 2d JIBES, 20d DE MILLE and 22d COMET all stood out for me.

Sorry to hear about the swallowed blog, V. I hate it when that happens.
myrtilus000
Oct. 12th, 2018 07:26 am (UTC)
I thought that I heard Olaf in, I thought that I heard you sing...
30 mins with yoghurt, granola, banana, etc.
I liked the wittiness of this one.
I sort of get why distance=ice, but it is a stretch.
Mostly I liked: S ponging, Snaffling, Comme Ci/Ca, Oxtail soup and COD to Dashed busy.
Thanks setter and V.
isla3
Oct. 12th, 2018 07:54 am (UTC)
Re: I thought that I heard Olaf in, I thought that I heard you sing...
Ice works for me in the unfriendliness/reserve sense.
pootle73
Oct. 12th, 2018 07:51 am (UTC)
17:42
All fairly straightforward, though there were a few I couldn't fully parse. I presumed EGG BEATERS meant helicopters, but why only in a part of West London was beyond me so thanks to Verlaine for steering me across the pond. COD to RAMADAN - great surface which obscured the definition well.
kevingregg
Oct. 12th, 2018 07:52 am (UTC)
23:11
Like Jack, I had no idea what Richmond was doing in 13d; the G checker suggested EGG, which reminded me of the vaguely known EGG BEATERS. I also didn't know that PONG was also a verb. Isn't 1d ungrammatical? Nice clue otherwise. 12ac from checkers, 21ac from the 2-letter words, C_ and _A. MEATUS my LOI; I knew the word--in the sense of knowing that it's a word-- but realized finally that I didn't know the meaning; I thought it was some kind of tissue. I was puzzled by 20d, as it is indeed ÉMILE.

Edited at 2018-10-12 07:54 am (UTC)
ulaca
Oct. 12th, 2018 01:05 pm (UTC)
RE: 23:11
Why ungrammatical?
Re: 23:11 - kevingregg - Oct. 12th, 2018 01:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: 23:11 - ulaca - Oct. 12th, 2018 01:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: 23:11 - mrchumley - Oct. 12th, 2018 01:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: 1 down - (Anonymous) - Oct. 12th, 2018 02:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
isla3
Oct. 12th, 2018 07:53 am (UTC)
Indeed...
...Emil looked wrong, shrug and carry on. Richmond left me nonplussed, also ice which I couldn't parse at the time but on reflection works perfectly. Meatus LOI as never heard of. Otherwise a very enjoyable offering with its wit and occasionally low-brow vocabulary. A bit longer than average, but not much.
sawbill
Oct. 12th, 2018 07:55 am (UTC)
35 minutes
Excellent crossword. Some great surfaces. CODs to RAMADAN and the "average abroad".
I took Emile's article to be l'.
guy_du_sable
Oct. 12th, 2018 08:27 am (UTC)
l'article
But then it would be missing a containment indicator, non ?
La Débâcle - sawbill - Oct. 12th, 2018 09:06 am (UTC) - Expand
z8b8d8k
Oct. 12th, 2018 08:03 am (UTC)
The nation's favourite
Fast through the top section, slow through the bottom for a total of 22 and a half minutes.
Having said that, SPONGING resisted to the end even when I began thinking rank=horrible rather than lance corporal, and like Myrtilus I had INJUSTICE in without getting the ICE bit (I'm still working on it via coolness).
AREA CODE was my last in, both the literal and the wordplay proving strangely elusive. MEATUS on wordplay alone and hope.
I presume the setter at 13d was acting on the belief that all of us diverted into thinking of the oval ball game would be associating Richmond with Twickers to compound the illusion. I'm afraid I was thinking sausages and a full English.
Once again I rather wanted to put he squiggly bit under the Cs in the COMME clue, but then ÇOMET would look odd.

That aaaargh moment when everything disappears is horrible: I sympathise, V. I do mine in Word and paste (without formatting) into LJ's visual editor for prettying, which might explain why my blog takes a while to appear but does provide safety nets.
dorsetjimbo
Oct. 12th, 2018 08:04 am (UTC)
Very enjoyable puzzle with some excellent and clever clues

I knew EGGBEATER but like others was mistified by Richmond and am certain its EMILE ZOLA so that looks like a mistake

Thanks to setter and V

chloe54x
Oct. 12th, 2018 08:34 am (UTC)
Inspector Morse
I found this a witty and enjoyable challenge, surprising myself by completing it in under 45 mins. LOI 12a - took all the crossing letters before the copper dropped.
boltonwanderer
Oct. 12th, 2018 08:36 am (UTC)
Eyeless in Gaza...
...clueless in Hadley Wood. 65 minutes and still didn't get AREA CODE or DWEEB. I guess I've known all the digits for the area codes for so long that I'd forgotten that's what they were called, so the cryptic remained opaque. I think I once knew DWEEB but it's not in my present vocabulary bank. Biffed COMET, MEATUS and EGG BEATERS. I guessed it must be a US term for helicopter, so perhaps that was a full solution. A minor triumph from a poor performance. Thank you V and setter.
philip jordan
Oct. 12th, 2018 11:25 am (UTC)
RE: Eyeless in Gaza...
DWEEB is an excellent tool to have up your sleeve for Scrabble, Words with Friends, GrabbyWord etc.
guy_du_sable
Oct. 12th, 2018 08:46 am (UTC)
This was nearly perfect. But then there's 20 down knocking the score down a bit. I wonder if the paper edition has anything different. Not that I can imagine what… As Sawbill points out, the article can be simply L, but to add, say, that Zola is around 50 or was pocketing a pound would be both too obvious and too wordy.

For no good reason, the wordplay for COMET eluded me. And I'm not sure we've yet fathomed the reference to Richmond. Is there no US burg with a more exclusively American moniker where one would see helicopters or what else is going on there? My own neighborhood has at times been up in arms over chopper noise. But Z's explanation, admittedly, which is beyond my ken, perhaps makes it crystal clear to others.

Edited at 2018-10-12 08:52 am (UTC)
jackkt
Oct. 12th, 2018 09:02 am (UTC)
The facsimile edition of the newspaper has the same clue as the club, but it's a poor state of affairs that two on-line mistakes in as many weeks now have us mistrusting the clues that we read.
(no subject) - keriothe - Oct. 12th, 2018 02:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - verlaine - Oct. 12th, 2018 02:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Oct. 12th, 2018 02:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - guy_du_sable - Oct. 12th, 2018 03:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Oct. 12th, 2018 03:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - guy_du_sable - Oct. 12th, 2018 03:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Oct. 12th, 2018 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - guy_du_sable - Oct. 12th, 2018 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - paul_in_london - Oct. 13th, 2018 04:09 am (UTC) - Expand
chloe54x
Oct. 12th, 2018 09:11 am (UTC)
The style of this puzzle reminds me of David Mclean's Saturday crosswords. I often wish weekday setters did not remain anonymous!
verlaine
Oct. 12th, 2018 09:26 am (UTC)
There are a few setters in the Times stable with this kind of cheeky wit about them... I wouldn't like to bet money on any of them, but I do definitely have a lineup of usual suspects :)
(no subject) - jackkt - Oct. 12th, 2018 04:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chloe54x - Oct. 13th, 2018 01:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
harmonic_row
Oct. 12th, 2018 09:15 am (UTC)
32 mins. LOI SPONGING. Slowish solve, but enjoyable - nicely clued. Didn't parse 22dn: this co- plus a bit is getting to be a regular feature. Great blog, V, cheers.
oliviarhinebeck
Oct. 12th, 2018 09:29 am (UTC)
Same as others with "ice" and Richmond. Milton to the rescue with Samson. Commiserations on the lost work V. Once upon a time I posted the TLS puzzle a week too early and went blithely off for a long weekend sans internet while PB and Linxit had to step in and remove it. My punishment was having to re-write the thing from scratch when I got back. 22.25
kevingregg
Oct. 16th, 2018 01:45 pm (UTC)
Hi, Olivia;
I can't reply to you via Live Journal because you're blocking messages, but thanks so much for yours! I'd love to see the puzzle, too, if there's a way to let you know my address.
(no subject) - oliviarhinebeck - Oct. 16th, 2018 07:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
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