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Times 27451 - Rather meaty, actually

Time: 65 minutes
Music: Ravel, Daphnis and Chloe, Cluytens/

I definitely picked the wrong puzzle for being way off the wavelength, struggling over even the chestnut clues like 'dogma', 'epigram', and 'rapid'.     This one was certainly hard, but I should have had at least a few entries after ten or fifteen minutes.   Instead, everything came along near the end, as I got more and more checking letters and was able to see what was going on.

At least there weren't any obscure words or esoteric knowledge required, although it would help to know the more recondite meanings of common words.  I suspect that the solvers who did well might find this puzzle very enjoyable.   I confined my enjoyment tonight to setting a personal best in the Quickie, where I was on the wavelength.

1 Champion swallow in blowing wind? (11)
7 Potter character in audition? (3)
CUE - Sounds like 'Q'.   A snooker cue is used to pot the balls, so it's a....
9 Position of diamonds in one item of clothing and another (9)
SHORTSTOP -  SHORTS + TOP.   Raise your hand if you wasted time with D or ICE!
10 Northern feast to which south not invited (5)
UPPER - [s]UPPER, as in the Upper East Side.
11 Mounted on horse, fight (5-2)
PUNCH-UP - [Suffolk] PUNCH + UP.   Experienced solvers will be wise to this particular breed.
12 Language papers and course taken by day's end (7)
YIDDISH - [da]Y + ID + DISH, another starter clue.
13 Swift drop, a run in the wrong direction (5)
RAPID - DIP + A + R, all backwards.
15 King possibly finished with throne at last: warning about that (9)
SOVEREIGN - S (OVER + [thron]E) IGN.   I'm not sure if 'possibly' goes with 'King' or 'finished', and it could have been omitted altogether.
17 Pop hit me (6,3)
NUMBER ONE - Double definition, seen before.
19 Teaching honour awarded to setter, quite possibly? (5)
DOGMA - DOG + M.A.   Honoris causa, presumably, although standads have gone down recently.
20 Legal process taking a toll on fellow (7)
22 Carriage set up or dismantled (7)
POSTURE - anagram of SET UP OR.   The trick is finding the correct sense of 'carriage'.
24 Trail bikes at the back broke (5)
SPOOR - [bike]S + POOR.   I wanted to put 'skint' for a long time, but wisely refrained from biffing.
25 Fire-starter in tree, but I resolved to protect queen (9)
BRIQUETTE - Anagram oF TREE BUT I around Q.
27 Title role in "Shrek" originally recalled (3)
SIR - first letters of ROLE IN "SHREK" reversed.
28 Slight cut: little pale, did you say? (6,5)
MINUTE STEAK - MINUTE + sounds like STAKE.   A stock restaurant joke, where the diner complains that the minute steak is small, and the waiter says the description on the menu is accurate.
1 Carry vessel upside down (3)
BUS - SUB upside-down, referring to 'bus' as a verb.
2 Top money, once (5)
CROWN - double definition, although the half-crown was more commonly used.
3 Boyfriend ultimately was irritating — what was he then? (7)
DITCHED - [boyfrien]D ITCHED.
4 Starter not for pot, as in a stew (9)
ANTIPASTO - ANTI + anagram of POT AS.   I nearly blundered, thinking 'not for pot' indicated 'ante', but quickly corrected myself.
5 Twisted upward, canine has partially gutted fish (5)
GUPPY - PUG upside down + P[artiall]Y.
6 Rumblings below after those horrific starters (7)
THUNDER - T[hose] H[orrific] UNDER.
7 Upsetting process of fitting hat to head? (9)
CAPSIZING - CAP SIZING, of course, but on of my LOI.
8 Objects fired in fear, then war erupting (11)
EARTHENWARE - hidden in [f]EAR, THEN WAR E[rupting].   Most solvers will take 'erupting' as an anagram indicator, and try to do something with FEAR THEN WAR.
11 Take care of male relative as an afterthought, perhaps? (11)
14 Ritual with a morose style (9)
16 Compete to win game maintaining initially professional attitude (9)
VIEWPOINT - VIE + anagram of TO WIN + P[rofessional], biffed by many, I'm would imagine.
18 Joke in the end on animals — that's witty (7)
EPIGRAM - [jok]E + PIG + RAM, another chestnut I couldn't make anything of.
19 Plate thrown, Greeks finally talk things over (7)
DISCUSS - DISCUS + [greek}S.
21 Nation unable to carry things over? (5)
GABON - NO BAG upside down.
23 Community and detention centres contest release (5)
UNTIE - [comm]U[nity] + [dete]N[tion] + TIE.
26 Look when topless? Aargh! (3)
EEK - [p]EEK!


( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 9th, 2019 03:14 am (UTC)
39:27 but
I had no idea what was going on in 7ac, knowing less about snooker than I do about rugby; I threw in CEE. This experienced solver had forgotten all about the Suffolk horse, and just followed the checkers. I did, on the other hand, assume (FEAR THEN WAR), and biffed from the first R, still without consciously spotting the hidden; as I've said before, not spotting hiddens is my strong suit. I think 'possibly' goes with 'King', and is necessary because of the DBE; there are other sovereigns.

Edited at 2019-09-09 06:50 am (UTC)
Sep. 9th, 2019 03:38 am (UTC)
"Possibly" in 15 goes with "King," as this is a DBE, and rather de rigueur, I should think.

My LOI was CUE. Sports things are often the last I pick up on.

Since I did this and the QC over a burger and was able to return to Proust (whom I'm rereading) with my digestif, I didn't think it was very hard.

Edited at 2019-09-09 03:38 am (UTC)
Sep. 9th, 2019 05:10 pm (UTC)
Q Who?
CUE was my last one in too, With a groan!
Sep. 9th, 2019 03:49 am (UTC)
I had the opposite experience to vinyl: started steady with 10 answers in 10 minutes, then slowed down dramatically and took another half hour to get me to the last cross.

After pondering 1 Across and 2 Down for another ten minutes and getting nowhere, I gave up and came to the blog. Alas, what seemed like a puzzle on track for a personal best became a DNF.

Thanks to vinyl for making everything clear!
Sep. 9th, 2019 04:21 am (UTC)
Ha! Just realized that I did think 8 Down was an anagram of FEAR THEN WAR. But after writing down the letters backwards I “saw” EARTHENWARE without bothering to realize that I had the wrong wordplay!

Edited at 2019-09-09 04:21 am (UTC)
Sep. 9th, 2019 05:16 am (UTC)
puzzle number
I think you have the puzzle number wrong and the snitch cannot thus reference your helpful blog.
Sep. 9th, 2019 12:14 pm (UTC)
Re: puzzle number
Now corrected.
Sep. 9th, 2019 05:42 am (UTC)
11:57. This was good enough to put me top of the leaderboard and ahead of Verlaine. It’s early so I don’t expect I’ll stay there, but still I must have been on the wavelength.
Like others I was looking for an anagram at 8dn and bunged the answer in from checkers and definition without registering that it wasn’t.
Sep. 9th, 2019 06:02 am (UTC)
17:29 … pretty speedy on most of this then a long delay before sorting out the SUB/SHORTSTOP pair, the latter going in quite uncertainly. Can someone clarify, is the “Position of diamonds” in 9a just a roundabout way of saying “baseball position”?

Quite meaty, indeed, for a Monday, but leavened by chuckles over DOGMA and my COD CAPSIZING
Sep. 9th, 2019 07:16 am (UTC)
position of diamonds
That was my interpretation, anyway, after giving up on D and ICE. Although maybe not so much roundabout as, well, odd.
Re: position of diamonds - sotira - Sep. 9th, 2019 09:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 9th, 2019 06:26 am (UTC)
No time to offer as I got stuck, abandoned it for the night and resumed this morning. It was a technical DNF anyway as I used aids for the unknown 8ac to kickstart myself in the NW quarter where I was firmly stuck in a ditch, missing 1ac and 1dn too at the time.

SUPPER and 'feast' seem more like opposites to me.
Sep. 9th, 2019 06:42 am (UTC)
I was pleased to finish with all correct, particularly as I think I managed to get one wrong every day last week. I’ve never associated UPPER with Northern but I guess it explains any street names with Upper in them. I’ll be checking those I know on a map later to confirm this.

Several contenders for COD today but I’ll plump for NUMBER ONE for its conciseness.
Sep. 9th, 2019 10:33 am (UTC)
Re: 23:04
Of course north is up and south is down! As in: "Chicago is a large city at the bottom of Lake Michigan."

Edited at 2019-09-09 10:33 am (UTC)
Re: 23:04 - pootle73 - Sep. 9th, 2019 11:15 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: 23:04 - philjordan - Sep. 9th, 2019 11:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 23:04 - pootle73 - Sep. 9th, 2019 12:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: 23:04 - keriothe - Sep. 9th, 2019 02:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: 23:04 - (Anonymous) - Sep. 15th, 2019 02:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: 23:04 - isla3 - Sep. 16th, 2019 03:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 9th, 2019 07:13 am (UTC)
I made very heavy weather of this very pleasant Monday crossword. After last week's struggles (continued with Dean's Sunday offering) I was hoping for a brave new week.Tomorrow's will be a PB - ever the optimist.
Sep. 9th, 2019 07:20 am (UTC)
The hour cometh!
Had a fine time in Singapore with Dr. Fu Manchu - but not on today's rather gritty puzzle.

Slow starter as I shoved in ANTIPASTA at 4dn! Careless or wot!? It would have helped me (17ac NUMBER ONE) rather a lot.





At 8dn I saw EARTHENWARE early but hesitated - and was lost. In my youth these 'hiddens' were known as 'extractions' - akin to going to the dentists?

Sep. 9th, 2019 08:06 am (UTC)
Held up at the end by BUS and SHORTSTOP. Ironically, given where I live, PUNCH-UP was the only one not parsed. I liked CUE, HEARING and DISCUSS but COD to DITCHED. 16:44
Sep. 9th, 2019 08:24 am (UTC)
Below the Thunder of the Upper deep...
40 mins with yoghurt, granola, etc.
I liked it a lot. Mostly I liked: Number One, Ditched, Earthenware, Dog MA (Ha!) and COD to the excellent Cap Sizing.
Thanks setter and Vinyl.
Sep. 9th, 2019 08:34 am (UTC)
Seemed hard for a Monday, pleased to complete accurately in 27'. My iPad seems to have corrected itself, (or was it the site?), so I am back solving online.

COD undoubtedly to SHORTSTOP, but I do hope I don't have to learn all the terminology in the American form of rounders.

Thanks vinyl and setter.
Sep. 9th, 2019 08:37 am (UTC)
Every dog has its day
47 minutes, struggling in NW with BACKDRAUGHT LOI. I was trying to make sense of 'downdraught' for far too long, with 'swallow' giving 'down' Have we got an American setter? I had the dredge SHORTSTOP from deep recesses, and in a recent Jumbo we had to see money as green. A baseball clue after such a good Test Match is not on. Congratulations to the Aussies on their deserved victory. I did put in UPPER early, but I assumed it was a map the setter had in mind and not the naming of streets, where in my experience it either means 'higher' or 'further from the centre'. COD to DOGMA for the nice picture of a smiling mutt wearing his gown and mortar board and with his certificate in his mouth. Tough for Monday. Thank you V and setter.

Edited at 2019-09-09 08:38 am (UTC)
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