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Times 27211 - Food for thought

Time: 32 minutes
Music: Dave Brubeck, Time Further Out

This was a trickier puzzle than you might expect for a Monday, and if you are missing a few pieces of obscure knowledge you might easily get completely stuck.   I will admit, I was pressed to the limits of what I know, but I have gotten used to that trying to work Mephisto.    Fortunately, if you do happen to have all the knowledge, it was not that difficult a puzzle.

I listened to tonight's music with a new phono cartridge, a Denon DL-301 II that I have just installed.   It's still breaking in, but the music was very lively and I bopped along as I solved.   Sometimes you need external musical rhythm to achieve that mysterious internal solving rhythm.     Brubeck was from California, but he lived in Connecticut for a long time, and there are still people around here who knew him and his family.

1 Money a laboratory’s cut for water vessel (8)
CALABASH - C(A LAB)ASH, easy if you know what a 'calabash' is - it's a tree with a gourd that can be used for a variety of purposes.
5 I work in charge of pursuing British film (6)
BIOPIC - B + I + OP + IC, a rather convoluted construction.
9 Authorise second armed conflict around November (8)
SANCTION -S A(N)CTION, where the one-letter month abbreviations come into play.   What do they do for January, June, and July where, as Pserve_p2 has pointed out, the 'N' for 'November comes from the NATO alphabet.
10 Marker on wine bottle (6)
FLAGON - FLAG + ON, deceptively simple.
12 Army commanders hurried where supplies could be had (7,5)
GENERAL STORE - GENERALS TORE, probably in a jeep driven by an aide.
15 Left that southern city of France (5)
LYONS - L + YON + S.
16 Railway diversion crucial for reconstruction after constant cancellation? (9)
FUNICULAR - FUN + anagram of [c]RUCIAL.  This should be easy because we had this one fairly recently.
18 Meat and fish for a judge in Corsican capital (9)
CARPACCIO - (+CARP -aj)ACCIO.  If you don't know that Ajaccio is the capital of Corsica, you'd better know the meat dish!
19 I fret about what might recycle junk (5)
REFIT - Anagram of I FRET, with the literal referring to a Chinese junk.
20 Disapproval of Conservative Democrat leading country (12)
CONDEMNATION - CON + DEM + NATION, a simple one.
24 Trouble with serious offence over good-looking youth (6)
ADONIS - ADO + SIN backwards, eminently biffable.
25 What will strain old spacecraft chasing the speed of light (8)
26 Fate is satisfied by king (6)
KISMET - K + IS MET, a word adopted from Turkish into multiple languages.
27 Statistics with January not showing the first three figures (8)
STATUARY - STAT + [jan]UARY, unusally explicit for a cryptic - you really do remove the first three letters!
1 Unfinished gateau gets stored initially in container (4)
CASK - CA(S)K[e].
2 Take a dive unclothed for a breather (4)
LUNG - [p]LUNG[e].
3 Cricketers dine when short of time in place close to The Oval (9)
BATTERSEA - BATTERS + EA[t].   I wasted some time with 'bats', which leads nowhere.
4 Ruling starts on this weight of cake (5,2,5)
6 Does nothing with days in French islands (5)
7 Homer’s resting place is suspect if long associated with poet (6,4)
PIGEON LOFT - anagram of IF LONG + POET.   I wasted a lot of time on Homer Simpson, trying to get a piece of furniture.
8 Devote seconds breaking into ice cream van that’s old? (10)
11 I turn rowboat around for fish (7,5)
13 Timepieces changing ring, first to one, then a different sound (5-5)
CLICK-CLACK - CLOCK with first I, and then A substituted for O.
14 Very bad men tear into unfinished home (10)
17 Funny cartoon about jolly diver (9)
CORMORANT - anagram of CARTOON around RM, giving a bird I have a hard time remembering how to spell.
21 English low-fat cream (5)
22 Nearly perfect suggestion (4)
IDEA - IDEA[l], one from the Quickie.
23 May I ask you to settle in advance when record’s coming out? (4)
PRAY - PR[ep]AY.   There have been no actual EPs for many years, as far as I know, but they are far too useful to the setters to ever disappear.


( 77 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 3rd, 2018 03:13 am (UTC)
Definitely Monday. I also spent too much time with Homer Simpson, then biffed, parsing post submission. Rather odd, isn't it, to say that BATTERSEA is near the Oval? 27ac looks rather like one of Jack's ducks; and 'statistics', for me anyway, is 'stats' not 'stat', although my dictionary does give 'stat' as well.
Dec. 3rd, 2018 11:10 am (UTC)
RE: 9:01
It's not that far from the Oval to Battersea - say 3 miles ? Seemed OK to me.

Phil Jordan
Dec. 3rd, 2018 05:10 am (UTC)
This seemed rather easy but I came in only 1 minute under my target half-hour because of a delay over my LOI at 18ac. I didn't know the capital of Corsica but I spotted the possibility of CARP for 'fish' which together with the remaining checkers enabled me to drag CARPACCIO from distant recesses of my mind without knowing exactly what it is - only something I'd heard of in connection with food.

I agree with Kevin that 3dn is oddly defined. BATTERSEA and The Oval are in different London boroughs and even measuring from the eastern extreme of Battersea (say Battersea Park) to The Oval they are around a mile-and-a-half apart. That sort of distance in Central London would give endless possibilities for what is 'close' to what. I guess the setter was keen to make the association with cricket offered by BATTERS- and this was the best he could come up with.

I also agree with everything Kevin wrote about 27ac.

Edited at 2018-12-03 07:54 am (UTC)
Dec. 3rd, 2018 07:59 am (UTC)
12:06. It must be Monday. I didn't know the capital of Corsica, but I did know the thinly sliced meat or fish dish. HORRENDOUS and LYONS my last 2 in. I agree with Kevin and Jack about STATUARY being odd. As for the suggested proximity of Battersea and the Oval, I'm inclined to think we should allow our setters some artistic license. PRAY my COD not least for it falling under CONSECRATE.

Edited at 2018-12-03 08:02 am (UTC)
Dec. 3rd, 2018 08:09 am (UTC)
Actually, I was just thinking that I'd expect, ceteris paribus, to see that the Oval is near Battersea (if near it be), just as one wouldn't say that the Thames is near the Tate. I have no idea where the Oval is, or Battersea.
(no subject) - keriothe - Dec. 3rd, 2018 08:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kevingregg - Dec. 3rd, 2018 10:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Dec. 3rd, 2018 11:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kevingregg - Dec. 3rd, 2018 11:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Dec. 3rd, 2018 11:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 3rd, 2018 08:11 am (UTC)
I love, I love, I love my little colander girl...
30 mins with yoghurt, banana, etc.
Last 5 mins spent thinking of possible burial places for Homer. Pognot Life perhaps? Doh.
Mostly I liked: Colander and Pray.
Thanks setter and Vinyl.
Mike Harper
Dec. 3rd, 2018 08:34 am (UTC)
40 mins
Wide awake on Glasgow train so a breezy 40 mins. Not sure what CALABASH before hitting the blog. As a Saaf Lahndaner, I'd be quite happy saying that Battersea is close to The Oval.
Dec. 3rd, 2018 09:03 am (UTC)
7:20. Easy today, in spite of some funny words. I didn't know what a CALABASH was, or the capital of Corsica, or that CLICK CLACK was a thing, but none of them caused me a problem.
I avoided wasting time trying to think where the Homer of the Odyssey was buried by figuring that if people can't even agree on whether he existed it seems unlikely we'd know where he was buried. So I wasted a bit of time wondering where Homer Simpson might have been buried instead.
Dec. 3rd, 2018 05:49 pm (UTC)
Homer Simpson doesn’t exist either. And even allowing for artistic license to encompass cartoon characters, he’s very much alive. I saw him last night. Mr Grumpy
(no subject) - keriothe - Dec. 3rd, 2018 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 3rd, 2018 09:06 am (UTC)
Enjoyable but fairly straightforward 23m solve, last 5m spent on 18ac. Amusingly, when trying to get 3d with the B and E already there, I immediately thought of Bowlersea! Not for long, though,
fortunately. Didn't like 27ac either, rest were good clues.
Dec. 3rd, 2018 09:09 am (UTC)
42 minutes for me, but I'm tired and the coffee seemed to take a while to kick in. It was a hard start but got increasingly easy as I did a strangely backwards solve, for me, mostly starting with the longer answers and then fitting in the shorter ones around them.

I was relieved to find that CARPACCIO was right, having had exactly Jack's experience with 18a. Had a similar "well, I know it's a word..." moment with 1a CALABASH.

At least I remembered that Homer can be a pigeon. Today I'm nodding as often as the latter rather than the former.
Dec. 3rd, 2018 01:18 pm (UTC)
I just remembered Jimmy Durante saying, "Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are."
Dec. 3rd, 2018 09:15 am (UTC)
Nice start to the week. I biffed Pigeon Hole which slowed me down a bit. I didn't know Calabash or Ajaccio but I did know Carpaccio.

Dec. 3rd, 2018 09:18 am (UTC)
More funny peculiar railways
18 minutes, on wavelength. I didn't know all there is to know about penulimate-in CALABASH but cryptic and crossers were helpful. This gave LOI LUNG. Not sure what I thought about CLICK-CLACK. The sound of high neels coming down the corridor? The general knowledge required for CARPACCIO was within my range, although I did construct the capital from the meat. I can't give COD to BATTERSEA as its geography is a bit of a stretch, so the honour goes to PIGEON LOFT. Thank you V and setter.

Edited at 2018-12-03 09:18 am (UTC)
Dec. 3rd, 2018 09:29 am (UTC)
19 mins. No dramas. Ajaccio from Maupassant short story The Vendetta. Great blog, cheers.
Dec. 3rd, 2018 09:33 am (UTC)
Actually, vinyl1, I think the N = November in 9a is the Nato alphabet, rather than a one-letter abbreviation for the month.

Edited at 2018-12-03 09:45 am (UTC)
Dec. 3rd, 2018 12:58 pm (UTC)
Re: November?
You are right, it was picked up from the maritime alphabets. Previous air alphabets had used nancy, New York, and Norma.
Dec. 3rd, 2018 09:44 am (UTC)
I knew of the raw meat dish, but not of the Corsican capital. I *never* remember that a 'jolly' in Crosswordland is a Royal Marine, so I spent ages getting CORMORANT out of 'cartoon' + 'do'. FOI BIOPIC -- which I consider to be a bizarre word, and not at all like myopic or bionic.
All in all a fun solve (I particularly liked Homer's resting place) done in 28 mins.
Thanks, vinyl1, for your blogsplanation.
Dec. 3rd, 2018 09:52 am (UTC)
A leisurely 15:14 that probably should have been even quicker. I have visited the lovely island of Corsica so no problems there and the rest was fairly routine stuff.
Dec. 3rd, 2018 10:23 am (UTC)
20 minutes and no problems
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( 77 comments — Leave a comment )

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