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I really enjoyed this, a slightly above averagely difficult Monday offering, if my performance was anything like par for the course. There was quite a lot of man and woman stuff kicking around, as well as a nice bit of kink slicing right through the middle, hardly a chestnut and a couple of neat traps for the biffer - most notably 2d ('outhouse', anyone?) and 19a (the very plausible sounding - if not looking - 'tea cosey', which engaged my interest for a while). Nice one, setter!

I came in pretty much bang on my NITCH (35 minutes), but how did you all fare?


1 Girl in lead circling till race's conclusion (6)
PHOEBE - tricky one to start with - hence one of my last; HOE (till) in PB (lead) last letter of [rac]E
5 Visionary stifling a detainee's threat, in the main (3,5)
SEA POWER - A POW in SEER; liked this
9 Charged about drug experience, having no gear (8)
STRIPPED - TRIP in SPED; liked this too
10 One going on record wants pen, mostly drunk (6)
STYLUS - STY LUS[h]; I always called them needles
11 Male with some guts shows force (8)
MOMENTUM - this kept me busy thinking post-solve for some time; M (male) OMENTUM (never heard of it - 'a fold of peritoneum connecting the stomach with other abdominal organs'). One for our resident sawbones...
12 Snippet is small, evidently (6)
SNATCH - S NATCH; NATCH threatens to become the cruciverbal chestnut of so-called street talk, get on down, man, like, you know, wicked, or wevs...
13 Swish clothing provided in catalogue? (8)
15 English penned by historian, one leaving draft (4)
LEVY - E in L[i]VY; Titus Livius Patavinus is famous for his monumental history of Rome, parts of which I translated in my raw youth
17 Perform sport, or cheat thereat? (4)
DOPE - DO PE, with the extended sense that if you dope, you are a drugs cheat. Allegedly. Do svidaniya!
19 Area roughly inside toy container (3,5)
TEA CADDY - A CA (Livy's about, AKA circa) in TEDDY
20 Clodhopper Garbo bungled lead in Ninotchka (6)
BROGAN - anagram* of GARBO N[inotchka]; a brogan is a heavy, ankle-high shoe or boot
21 Vex one briefly slowing in speed (8)
IRRITATE - I + RIT (briefly slowing) in RATE
22 Calm man's after some smut (6)
23 Place on phone record for mix of action and dialogue (8)
24 Delighted where financiers are still (8)
ECSTATIC - EC (part of post-code for the City of London) STATIC (still)
25 End of tyranny in good time in each revolution? (6)


2 Pipe outside grand garden building? (8)
HOTHOUSE - THOU (slang for a thousand quid) in HOSE; nice, innit?
3 English team needing authority, but not a crisis (8)
4 Give details of displaced person one took in (9)
5 Enjoying suffering from stomach acid is so silly (15)
6 Might copy off entertaining figure (7)
7 Our group are going to bother with a lot of funds (4-2-2)
WELL-TO-DO - WE'LL (our group are going to) TO-DO (bother); v good
8 Place for the old theorems to get renewed (4,4)
REST HOME - THEOREMS*; how long till I can stay out of one, I wonder?
14 Scoffed before pal admits "I’m not sure how country may be run" (9)
FEDERALLY - ER in FED ALLY; 10 out of 10 for effort, and a B+ for attainment
15 A lot of meat to moisten with juices in pan (8)
LAMBASTE - LAM[b] BASTE; a culinary delight
16 Very obese queen's dropped acid (8)
VENOMOUS - V ENO[r]MOUS; a lovely image of our wonderful sovereign having a chill sesh in Buck House
17 Deplorable state of poor sod — a pity! (8)
18 Slip and cloak worn by rogue female (8)
PRATFALL - my last; RAT (rogue) F (female) in PALL (cloak); cunning as Blackadder's Oxonian
19 Drawing back, holding long tube (7)
TRACHEA - ACHE in ART reversed


( 58 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 4th, 2019 01:05 am (UTC)
I started off way slow; I think I got nothing but LEVY on my first pass through the acrosses and downs. It went on like that for a while, but things finally picked up. 5d BIFD, with a quick look assuring myself that there was anagrist enough. STYLUS biffed, solved post-submission. Is PE sport?
Feb. 4th, 2019 01:12 am (UTC)
Re: 21:26
No problem with sport for PE, as, in a scholastic context, PE can take the form of sport - football, probably, though, not darts.
Re: 21:26 - kevingregg - Feb. 4th, 2019 03:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 4th, 2019 02:37 am (UTC)
I was very much on the wavelength of the setter today, 8:52. LEVY the only one I wasn't 100% sure of the definition for - OMENTUM is paying a visit from Mephistoland.
Feb. 4th, 2019 03:43 am (UTC)
No on the wavelength....
...and biffed 'explicate' as well, making the puzzle more difficult than it should have been. Fortunately, 'lambaste' is a chestnut, but both 'pratfall' and 'venomous' were quite difficult.

Those of us with a Dynavector or a Benz alway call it a 'stylus'.
Feb. 4th, 2019 03:47 am (UTC)
Re: No on the wavelength....
There's no accounting for taste: there are those who call flippers fins, and castles rooks.
Feb. 4th, 2019 04:21 am (UTC)
I gave up on parsing 11, even suspected something had gone missing in the clue. The wordplay is pretty clear, but I didn't even think to Google… What a word!
Feb. 4th, 2019 05:35 am (UTC)
Took ages to get started with 5dn SADOMASOCHISTIC as my FOI after nearly 5 minutes. Then made steady progress to complete the RH side but found myself stuck again on the LH.

Didn't recognise BROGAN but guessed at it with B???AN in place - turned out it has come up only once before (last August) when I also didn't know it.

The top RH was something of a battleground, but having eventually worked my way through it I came a cropper at 16dn where I ran out of steam and resorted to aids to find VENEMOUS. I had been put off by thinking I was looking for a scientific term beyond my ken.
Feb. 4th, 2019 07:18 am (UTC)
54m 32s
Quite a bit of time spent on PRATFALL and TELEPLAY.
Thanks, ulaca, for MOMENTUM. I biffed that but didn't fall for the other biffs you mention, OUTHOUSE and TEA COSEY. I figured OUT(side) was in the clue so it wouldn't be in the solution and I believe it's cos(e)y.
Like vinyl1, I thought of EXPLICATE but thought better of it.
When I had a record deck I used to use Shure cartridges.
Feb. 4th, 2019 07:20 am (UTC)
Completely messed up by biffing 'explicate' and 'tea chest' before limping home in 41 mins. EXPATIATE is one of those words which seem familiar but, when challenged, I realise I have no idea what they actually mean. Never heard the word TELEPLAY though the meaning is obvious. Does it have to involve both action and dialogue? The definition of LEVY is quite obscure. Never heard of BROGAN. And I didn't think LAMBASTE was spelt with an E. All up, I didn't enjoy this one.
Mike Cowking
Feb. 4th, 2019 09:05 pm (UTC)
With you all the way. My dictionary does not have "teleplay" and as for "omentum" .....
(no subject) - gothick_matt - Feb. 4th, 2019 10:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Mike Cowking - Feb. 5th, 2019 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 4th, 2019 07:57 am (UTC)
Federally dystopia? Is that a hint?
Rather a lot of words in the misty borderlands of vocabulary, with opportunities for inventing additional ones: mine was BOGRAN which looks at least potentially clodhopperish, but didn't survive revision.
I made a fast start and briefly wondered whether I might do this as a Quickie, attempting to get all the across answers in (lasted all of three clue).The PRATFALL/TELEPLAY crossing was testing and my LPI. 15.30.
Feb. 4th, 2019 08:10 am (UTC)
Got off to a good start with FOI 1a PHOEBE, but slowed from there onwards by unusual words and tricky definitions. In particular I didn't know BROGAN, NHO "omentum", wasn't sure whether exigency was crisis, tried to crowbar in both TEA CHEST and TEA CRATE, never knew you could spell "lambast" with an "e", and knew-but-couldn't-recall-for-ages the historian...

Finally finished in 48 minutes with a biffed 18d PRATFALL after spending most time on the SW corner. It all seemed quite fair in the end, and very well put-together. Thanks, U.

Edited at 2019-02-04 08:13 am (UTC)
Feb. 4th, 2019 08:15 am (UTC)
It's easy to trace the Trachea tears...
40 mins with yoghurt etc.
No way to parse Momentum. And DNK Brogan, but do-able.
LOI was Pratfall. Mostly I liked: 'copy off' entertaining figure.
Thanks setter and U.
Feb. 4th, 2019 08:16 am (UTC)
11:47. I seem to have been on the wavelength for this one, but I wasted ages at the end puzzling over MOMENTUM. I thought 'some guts' was indicating TUM so like Guy I thought something might have gone missing. In the end I couldn't think of anything else so I bunged it in and crossed my fingers.
I don't remember seeing BROGAN before but it's an easy enough anagram.

Edited at 2019-02-04 08:17 am (UTC)
Feb. 4th, 2019 10:30 pm (UTC)
I also entertained the thought that "some guts" could be OM.
Re: MOMENTUM - keriothe - Feb. 5th, 2019 05:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 4th, 2019 08:51 am (UTC)
Quicker than I thought
38 minutes with LOI PHOEBE. I had no idea where I had acquired the necessary MOMENTUM from, never having heard of omentum. I knew BROGAN from somewhere. COD to PRATFALL, one of the more modern words which has reached my ancient vocabulary. I found this tough and was surprised I hadn't taken longer. I saw SADOMASOCHISTIC straightaway. That's what doing this puzzle each day is. Thank you U and setter.
Feb. 4th, 2019 09:01 am (UTC)
Total pig!

All over the place and SE doldrums!

15ac LEVY I goy as far as Pliny

15dn LAMBASTE! Dreadfully tough meat

20ac BROGAN As eaten by Chaplin?

16dn VENOMOUS obese = enormous?

18dn PRATFALL not in my vocabulary - does PRAT = bottom in this instance?


FOI 17dn DYSTOPIA - very apt




Feb. 5th, 2019 01:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Total pig!
Same here, who the hell has heard of Livy? Apart from some smug Oxford or Cambridge gits who don't realise they are supposed to be doing crosswords for the masses (plebs) not just for their own self gratification!
Feb. 4th, 2019 09:02 am (UTC)
22:00. Some lovely clues in this with several taking me a while to see. PRATFALL my LOI, like several others and I had to change EXPLICATE I had wrong at 4D to fit MOMENTUM. OMENTUM was vaguely familiar. Like George I thought it might have been from a Mephisto, but it turns out it was in the Boxing Day Jumbo a few weeks ago. I liked PHOEBE, HOTHOUSE and TRACHEA best.
Feb. 4th, 2019 10:02 am (UTC)
Tricky in parts, or maybe it's just Monday morning. Last two in were Pratfall and Teleplay, both of which had to be deduced from the cryptic bit. Very easy long anagram at 5D had my hopes high for a quick finish but it was not to be. Vaguely remembered Omentum - is it one of the cow's stomachs? And I am pleased to learn Lambaste is spelled with an E. Or can it be without as well?
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