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Times 27457 - As Woke as Piers Morgan?

I don't know about you, but I am especially inclined to take umbrage against people who broadly belong to what I conceive of as my side. Being somewhat right of centre (except in an online American psychometric thingy, where I turned out to be something of a pinko), this means that I have a proclivity to be embarrassed and irritated by people like Piers Morgan. But, then, I suppose you don't have to be a supporter of Margaret Thatcher to arrive at that feeling. It's probably pretty much a universal in this world of avowed relativism. Which is all my way of saying that I was introduced to the adjectival use of the perfectly good past tense verb form woke some years ago by my daughter (now 23), who is a little lefter than me, and probably more intelligent too, even if that is something I will never concede. And just the other day, on my blasted smartphone, I saw that the former editor of, what, the Daily Express, I believe [Daily Mirror, actually - ed], had been using the word 'woke' on his confounded Twitter account (how I hate that thing! I am not a member, or whatever you have to do to receive random rants). And now today, by an extraordinary coincidence (or a conspiracy, as my brother would have us believe) the phrase 'right on' turns up in the Times crossword! How long, I wonder, until the Thunderer bows to the likes of Morgan and we find 'woke' itself besmirching its pages?

30 minutes.


1 Sanction account, the thing’s getting in red (8)
ACCREDIT - um, slightly awkward wordplay, methinks, with account ACC and the thing IT getting in (i.e including, not entering) RED
6 A sign of stress, getting right into wine (6)
MACRON - R in MACON; not the French president with a taste for older women but 'a diacritical mark (¯) placed over a letter, used in prosody, in the orthography of some languages, and in several types of phonetic respelling systems, to represent a long vowel'
9 Pleased with oneself getting sweets back (4)
SMUG - GUMS reversed
10 Trader’s warm jacket (10)
WINDJAMMER - double definition; I had no clue that a large merchant sailing ship could be thus named, as unlike my bearded cousin Anthony I did not enter the Merchant Navy.
11 Travel, going around with cine projector (10)
CANTILEVER - anagram* of TRAVEL CINE; a bit technical for me but one of the definitions is 'a part of a beam or a structure projecting outwards beyond its support'
13 Truck departs with fish (4)
14 The Spanish are able to pop back for summit (8)
PINNACLE - reversal of EL CAN NIP (pop, as in 'I just popped out for an Indian')
16 Potter’s second volume ultimately is magical (6)
OCCULT - O (second letter of POTTER) CC (volume - as in 10cc - and don't forget it) ULT (abbreviation for ultimately)
18 Vessel unlikely to survive being in contact with a flying saucer? (6)
TEACUP - well, I think the idea here is that if someone (a Greek waiter, say, who hasn't read the memo about doing his bit for the environment and saving the company some money in these straitened times) hurls a ceramic saucer and it collides with a cup, then the cup (and presumably the saucer) will be smashed
20 Rubber prone to distort? Renew after stripping (8)
NEOPRENE - PRONE* [r]ENE[w]; far too scientific for me - I just saw it was Greek and plausible and moved on
22 Bog giving a home to river plant (4)
24 Sheep fly round sierra? Likely to fall down (10)
RAMSHACKLE - S (sierra) in RAM (Sheep) HACKLE (fly); if you know that a hackle is the 'parts of an artificial fly made from hackle feathers, representing the legs and sometimes the wings of a real fly', then you derive a degree of satisfaction in solving the clue; if, on the other hand, you belong to the 99% of the male population, and the 99.99% of the female population, who believe that fishing is one of the most boring pastimes ever invented, then you just chuck it in
26 Seeming old and sober — about time (10)
28 European navy — not the answer to go green? (4)
ENVY - E N[a]VY; moving along...
29 Something in wheat needs good clay with nitrogen (6)
GLUTEN - G LUTE N; now if I were to claim that I knew that LUTE meant a cementy clayey mixture, then I would be a lyre
30 Poem’s rhythmic recitation spoken thus with extremes in delivery (8)
RHAPSODY - RHAP sounds like RAP (sounds like - 'spoken' - rhythmic recitation) SO (thus) D[eliver]Y; not a massive fan of rap myself, like our Phil. At least, it’s not described as ‘music’ this time.


2 Bell tower in quiet area between two rivers (9)
CAMPANILE - P (quiet) A (area) in CAM (puddle in the fenland somewhere) NILE; I had a lot of trouble dredging up the second stream, having obviously been discombobulated by mention of the first
3 Fashionably liberal resort repels British (5-2)
4 Fixer needs to prosper, mainly (5)
5 Turning obsessive over a barrel (3)
TUN - reversal of NUT
6 Mother and girl finding way round doctor and chief steward (5-4)
MAJOR-DOMO - charade of MA JO RD O (round) MO
7 Amusing fellow worker who may be out of practice? (7)
COMEDIC - yes, well, I think what we have here is the idea that if you were medically qualified in some shape or form then if your colleague came from the same surgery or clinic (or however it is they have rebranded them now) then he (or she) would be your co-medic
8 Oval game unfortunately is last of the series (5)
12 Millions supporting newly-formed native country (7)
VIETNAM - M following NATIVE*
15 Fine covering swindle involving key capital (9)
17 Very old pine, something difficult to climb (4-5)
LONG-LIVED - LONG DEVIL reversed (John Henderson has just produced another devil of a puzzle)
19 Fancy musical performance, one for queen (7)
CONCEIT - I replacing R in CONCERT
21 Supporters missing the first game (7)
23 Support rent getting left at the lowest level (5)
EASEL - L dropped in LEASE
25 Carnivore long among the last ones in South Africa (5)
HYENA - YEN (long) in final letters of [sout]H [afric]A
27 Prohibit nude, cancelling end of performance (3)
BAR - BAR[e]; e is the final letter of PERFORMANCE


( 55 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 16th, 2019 01:14 am (UTC)
I found this more difficult than average...
....although the SNITCH doesn't think so. I just biffed 'comedic', 'major domo', and 'occult', my LOI. I wasn't sure exactly what a 'macron' is, but it seemed likely enough, since it is just the neuter form of 'long' in Greek. I wasn't too sure about 'accredit', either, but then I realised that 'sanction' is necessarily negative.

Time, 35 minutes.
Sep. 16th, 2019 02:51 am (UTC)
'Woke' is most annoying as is Piers Moron, Donald J Trump and Sebastian Gorka; what exactly is he a doktor of? I haven't heard POTUS Twitter 'woke' yet awhile.

Time 34 minutes. Just slightly tougher than an ye'r average Monday.


LOI 20ac NEOPRENE (synthetic rubber from DuPont)

COD 12dn VIET-NAM (all one word!? Not in my stamp album!)

WOD 24ac RAMSHACKLE (Derby County)

I don't think MACRON's taste is necessarily for older women, he once had a bromance with the aforementioned LUPUS.

Edited at 2019-09-16 02:55 am (UTC)
Sep. 16th, 2019 04:31 am (UTC)
I did indeed just put in RAMSHACKLE with little thought—and I would never have thought of “hackle.”
Sep. 16th, 2019 05:12 am (UTC)
Gave up overnight with about half completed but discouraged by the amount of answers that had gone in with a query in the margins because there was some element of the clue, answer or wordplay that I didn't fully understand. Much the same on resumption this morning but I got through it eventually and on checking after completion all my assumptions proved to be correct.

I still don't understand the TEACUP clue though, and unless there's something we've all missed I don't think much of it.

I can't get myself too exercised about RIGHT-ON as it dates back to the 1910s in some cultures before being taken up by hippies and radicals in the 1950s and 60s and coming into more general use. I might draw the line at 'woke', but we've had 'wicked' for 'good' so I fear the barbarians are already through the gates.

Edited at 2019-09-16 05:20 am (UTC)
Sep. 16th, 2019 04:42 pm (UTC)
TEACUP seems like a curious clue, but I think getting too exercised about it would be a storm in the proverbial.
Sep. 16th, 2019 05:26 am (UTC)
9:31. No problems today, and a fair bit of biffing. I didn’t know MACRON but it seemed the only option.
I’m not sure about your fishing statistics, u: it is the most popular out-of-home leisure activity in the UK.
Sep. 16th, 2019 05:55 am (UTC)
Well, I think it’s boring.

On reflection, I can see how it might be more popular than darts down the pub and escaping to the allotment, as it keeps you away from ‘er indoors longer.
(no subject) - topicaltim - Sep. 16th, 2019 10:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - penfold_61 - Sep. 16th, 2019 11:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ulaca - Sep. 16th, 2019 02:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - isla3 - Sep. 16th, 2019 12:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - boltonwanderer - Sep. 16th, 2019 01:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Sep. 16th, 2019 06:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Sep. 16th, 2019 07:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Sep. 16th, 2019 08:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 16th, 2019 06:24 am (UTC)
About 51 minutes today, which puts it on the tough side for a Monday. Mostly this was down to a lack of GK, not knowing the wine region, the ornamental horse covering, the hackle or the bell tower. 10a, my LOI, was especially difficult, as I didn't really know either meaning, but once I had all the crossers I managed to conjure it up from somewhere.

The NE would've been much harder had I not started a beginner's Latin book this year, which at least taught me what a MACRON is...

While I lament my lack of knowledge for crosswords, I'm extremely happy to be as ignorant as I am of Piers Morgan, and hope to maintain that lack of interest in the subject.
Sep. 16th, 2019 06:37 am (UTC)
Piers of England
God is rotting most of the Piers of England!
A Latin Primer - now there's brave! I threw mine into the 'fires of infernum' in 1966, after five years of merciless punishment from Mr. Wortley.
Sep. 16th, 2019 07:43 am (UTC)
Re: Piers of England
I had a few enjoyable years of off-colour jokes and skiving with Mr. Clarke in the Portacabin shanty town of Ilford County High, and while I only learned enough to pass the GCSE, it at least didn't put me off for life...
RE: Re: Piers of England - verlaine - Sep. 16th, 2019 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 16th, 2019 06:56 am (UTC)
21 minutes
Almost done in 15 minutes but the 'not gluten free' corner resisted. The 8d cricketing reference was timely. NHO Macron but knew the wine (rather too intimately). Thanks U for the blog (especially the lyre reference).
Sep. 16th, 2019 07:00 am (UTC)
End of the line
14.10, noting a few trap for biffers along the way.
COMICAL at 7d produced CHAD at 12a (no, Idon't know how CHA is a truck, but then I still think DRAY for truck is a bit loose)
The C at the beginning of 19 plus the musical fancy produced CAPRICE and then CHIMERA before I got sensible.
But then RAMSHACKLE needed biffing, as hackles are usually those vague things that are raised on my planet, occasionally at the mere mention of Piers Morgan et al. And I'm convinced that I once read something called The Windjammer, though I can't verify it.
Credit to Ed (presumably) for perfect timing on the OMEGA clue - it has been an excellent Ashes series.
Entertaining, opinionated blogging (that's a compliment!). I went fishing once, and managed to hook my own lip when casting, after which it seemed a bit unkind to fish.

Edited at 2019-09-16 07:01 am (UTC)
Sep. 16th, 2019 08:38 am (UTC)
The House of Windjammer - V A Richardson
All about the tulip craze in the 1630s?
Sep. 16th, 2019 07:23 am (UTC)
14:10 … a very lively vocab. selection made this not quite so straightforward. I wasn’t totally sure macon was a wine, and looking it up now I see that it’s apparently pronounced quite differently from what I’d expect. Glad I never tried ordering it.

tbh I thought we had already seen 'woke' used in wordplay but I may be imagining it. I like the word and would have no problem seeing it pop up here. ikr
Sep. 16th, 2019 07:41 am (UTC)
We’ll be in real trouble when ikr starts popping up.

[Yes, I had to look it up.]
Sep. 16th, 2019 07:39 am (UTC)
25:57. Becalmed with the NE corner undone. DNK MACRON so took a while to give up on MERLOT for 6A. NHO a WINDJAMMER jacket either, but sort of remembered it was a type of trading vessel. Got there in the end. LOI OCCULT. Nice topical surface reading at 8D even though today's fifth day wasn't needed.
Sep. 16th, 2019 08:20 am (UTC)
Missing words
Printed version of the clue for 6 Down lacks the words "doctor and".
Sep. 16th, 2019 09:54 am (UTC)
Re: Missing words
So it does!
RE: Re: Missing words - Mike Cowking - Sep. 16th, 2019 04:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 16th, 2019 08:32 am (UTC)
I wasn't woke this morning, so I had an extra half hour in bed and then an extra quarter of an hour on the crossword. I took 35 minutes. The NE was the problem area, apart from NEOPRENE of course which was constructed with crossers. I'm more of a red wine person so losing my Merlot for a MAC(r)ON took some persuasion. We always called what many call Windcheaters WINDJAMMERs in my youth, and I still call anything remotely resembling one that today. CO-MEDIC was very clever but I didn't solve it that way round, so COD to RIGHT-ON, which I can't be as I had to look up ikr. I liked OMEGA too. Cricket withdrawal symptoms are about to show, but there are two more county games yet. The sun will be overhead in the other half before it's finished. Trickier than it looked. Thank you U and setter.

Edited at 2019-09-16 08:33 am (UTC)
Sep. 16th, 2019 08:55 am (UTC)
I couldn't parse RHAPSODY which seems obvious now. New ones were LUTE (lyre, very good) for 'clay' and my last in MACRON. I think HACKLE for 'fly' has appeared recently elsewhere. I disagree with the sentiment expressed in 8d; just in time to prevent another big loss as far as I'm concerned.

Finished in 35 minutes.

Thanks to setter and blogger.
Sep. 16th, 2019 10:20 am (UTC)
Wasted some time trying to squeeze "maitre d'hotel" into 6d but otherwise I had the frequency. So far as I know I've never heard Piers Morgan as he is spoke and it sounds as if I should keep it that way. Speaking of things spoke, the French president's name is pronounced as if spelled McCrone by most news types around here. I knew WINDJAMMER from a long-ago film about a Nordic tall ship. That was in the days when you watched a newsreel, a cartoon and a documentary as well as the main feature - how my mother got me to sit still that long remains a mystery. 12.33
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