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Times Cryptic 27488

I've no solving time to offer for this one as I was distracted and forgot to note how long I was away from it. There were a couple of answers unknown to me and an unknown meaning required for parsing, but much of this was straightforward enough. I thought we were in for a pangram but we are missing V and J.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

1 Seeks sustenance over a long time (7)
FORAGES : FOR AGES (over a long time)
5 A person barely to be seen on such a beach? (6)
NUDIST : Cryptic definition
8 Worker on drug getting advantage (5,4)
UPPER HAND : UPPER (drug), HAND (worker)
9 Money is spurned by saint (5)
FRANC : FRANC{is} (saint) ['is' spurned]
11 One has to ask about balance (5)
POISE : POSE (ask) contains [about] I (one)
12 Obscure eastern doctrine recollected (9)
RECONDITE : Anagram [recollected] of E (eastern) DOCTRINE
13 Long ago got onto small problem for horse (4-4)
SWAY-BACK : S (small), WAY-BACK (long ago). SOED has: an inward curvature of the spine or back, esp. as caused by strain or old age; the condition characterized by this; an animal, esp. a horse, having this condition. L19. Arrived at from wordplay but I'd never heard of it. The only disease I associate with horses is 'the staggers'.
15 Cheers poker challenge? (3,3)
SEE YOU : Two meanings, the first said on parting, as in 'cheerio'
17 Await half-suppressed spits (6)
EXPECT : EXPECT{orates} (spits) [half-suppressed]
19 Think right, following Tory party (8)
CONSIDER : CON (Tory), SIDE (party), R (right)
22 Composer's Swiss mug? (9)
BERNSTEIN : Two meanings, Stein being German for 'beer mug' and German is one of the official languages of Switzerland.
BERN (Capital of Switzerland), STEIN (mug). Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), the American composer, conductor and pianist.
23 Second-hand book starts to get you transported (5)
BUSED : B (book), USED (second-hand), a word that to me seems to call for double-S, but either spelling is correct
24 Drug, said to give Macbeth hallucination (5)
DAGGA : Sounds like [said] "dagger" [Macbeth hallucination]. "Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand?" My LOI as I didn't know this one of many slang words for marijuana'. Today is its first appearance in a 15x15 apparently and it has had only one outing in a Mephisto.
25 Force wife, after adjusting, to meet everyone (9)
WATERFALL : W (wife), anagram [adjusting] of AFTER, then ALL (everyone). A meaning I didn't know until I learnt it from crosswords,
26 One of seven enzymes failing out of medium (6)
SNEEZY : Anagram [failing] of ENZY{m}ES [out of medium]. No prizes for guessing the musical treat in store for you today!
27 Abashed, wait to make good (7)
HANGDOG : HANG (wait), DO (make), G (good)
1 Furniture has notice inside square base (4-6,3)
FOUR-POSTER BED : POSTER (notice) contained by [inside] FOUR (square) + BED (base). Not a very helpful definition but the wordplay was generous and the enumeration came in handy.
2 Power in sacred object and a copy (7)
REPLICA : P (power) contained by [in] RELIC (sacred object), A
3 Blood round end of fingers, after touching this? (5)
GORSE : GORE (blood) contains [round] {finger}S [end]. &lit. You might have to work quite hard for it to draw blood!
4 Rhinestone, a national symbol (8)
SHAMROCK : Alternatively spaced this becomes SHAM ROCK which might describe a rhinestone. Strictly for Glen Campbell fans.
5 Slip carelessly on treacherous surface, not a success (2,4)
NO DICE : NOD (slip carelessly), ICE (treacherous surface). I think this meaning of 'nod' has come up before but it still hasn't entered my vocabulary and doesn't sit easily with me.
6 Group under attack puts off accepting downfall (9)
DEFENDERS : DEFERS (puts off) containing [accepting] END (downfall)
7 To lacerate is frightening, if poking inside (7)
SCARIFY : IF contained by [poking inside] SCARY (frightening). In this sense I believe it's a medical term.
10 First takes this money order, revolutionary symbol (9,4)
CHEQUERED FLAG : CHEQUE (money order), RED FLAG (revolutionary symbol)
14 With some footballers, speed is key (9)
BACKSPACE : BACKS (some footballers), PACE (speed)
16 Excellent spinner cut (3-5)
TOP-NOTCH : TOP (spinner), NOTCH (cut)
18 Model piece of text shortly disappeared (7)
PARAGON : PARA (piece of text), GON{e} (disappeared) [shortly]
20 Drop mark? Managed to keep it (7)
DISCARD : DID (managed) contains [to keep] SCAR (mark)
21 River's course under the sea (6)
MEDWAY : MED (sea), WAY (course). The river that separates Men of Kent from Kentish Men.
23 Number five brought into the world, inhaling oxygen (5)
BORON : BORN (brought into the world) containing [inhaling] O (oxygen). No 5 in the periodic table.


( 54 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 22nd, 2019 01:52 am (UTC)
I parsed 22a as 'Swiss mug' = BERN (Capital of Switzerland) + STEIN (mug). I had the same comments about SWAY-BACK, BUSED, DAGGA and NOD for 'Slip carelessly'. Where I come from to 'drop a mark' means to 'spill a catch' so I found 20d harder than it should have been.

HANGDOG - such a great, descriptive word.

Thanks to our setter (from a fellow Glen Campbell fan) and blogger
Oct. 22nd, 2019 04:25 am (UTC)
Exactly right, br, and that's exactly how I parsed it when I annotated my print-out. Why I then didn't bother to refer to my notes when I came to write the blog is another matter! Thanks for the correction.
Oct. 22nd, 2019 02:55 am (UTC)
FOI 5ac, QC material. Slowed down at the end by POI 11ac and LOI 26ac--I thought of Sleepy early on, couldn't remember the correct one. Similarly, thought of 'salivates' early on, which was useless of course, but only saw 'expectorates' once I'd biffed from checkers. No problem with SWAY-BACK, although I think I'd drop the hyphen. I parsed BERNSTEIN like Bletchley. I would have thought you guys had come across "Even Homer nods" (the Japanese say, Even a monkey may fall from a tree) somewhere. Various ethnic groups in Africa and elsewhere SCARIFY their faces or bodies for one reason or another, none of them convincing.
Oct. 22nd, 2019 04:31 am (UTC)
Re: 16:57
The 'Homer nods' saying was what I had in mind when I wrote my comment in the blog although I couldn't actually think of it, so thanks for the reminder. I've never come across it outside crosswords.
Re: 16:57 - z8b8d8k - Oct. 22nd, 2019 10:03 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 22nd, 2019 03:10 am (UTC)
I solved this in 44 minutes....
...and it shouldn't have taken that long, I really messed up on some of the easy ones.

The use of 'nods' meaning 'slip up' is probably from Dryden's reference to Ars Poetica in one of his prefaces: "Horace acknowledges that honest Homer nods sometimes". This was later alluded to by Pope in his Essay on Criticism: "Those oft are Stratagems which Errors seem,
Nor is it Homer Nods, but We that Dream."

I had never heard of 'dagga', but what else could it be?
Oct. 22nd, 2019 04:01 am (UTC)
I’d never heard of DAGGA either, and this is rather one of my fields! Ha. My LOI, though, was Medway, NHO it, that I can recall.
In my book (and my employer’s house style), “bused” is preferred to “bussed,” which, after all, (also) means “kissed.”

Edited at 2019-10-22 04:04 am (UTC)
Oct. 22nd, 2019 05:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, but who ever says 'buss' when he means 'kiss'? What does your house style say about e.g. the past tense or progressive of 'travel'?
RE: bussed - guy_du_sable - Oct. 22nd, 2019 06:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: bussed - kevingregg - Oct. 22nd, 2019 06:21 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: bussed - guy_du_sable - Oct. 22nd, 2019 06:34 am (UTC) - Expand
No point - horryd - Oct. 22nd, 2019 07:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 22nd, 2019 06:53 am (UTC)
22 minutes
Apart from DAGGA I almost felt that I recognised this crossword from the past. Probably just the combination of chestnuts and 'chestnutty' bits.
Oct. 22nd, 2019 10:08 am (UTC)
Re: 22 minutes
I had the same feeling when I twigged to SHAM ROCK and got the most intense feeling of déjà résolu. Maybe we've just been doing these things too long!
Oct. 22nd, 2019 07:13 am (UTC)
Highly unenjoyable
I never really got going and the descriptive 13ac SWAY-BACK was unknown, as was 24ac DAGGA

FOI 1ac FORAGES and SOI 5ac rather simplistic but...



WOD 16dn TOP-NOTCH (shades of Terry Thomas)

At 4dn I bunged in SWASTIKA initially! Well back in the day as a national symbol it suggested the tone of the Rhineland.

Edited at 2019-10-22 07:14 am (UTC)
Oct. 22nd, 2019 07:32 am (UTC)
38m 17s
I went to school in Tunbridge Wells but nowadays can't remember which group of men belong to which bank of the Medway.
Rhinestone Cowboy was one of Jimmy Webb's greatest songs; so poignant.
A FORCE is what they call waterfalls 'oop north' isn't it?
I've watched a few videos on YouTube recently with Bernstein conducting. I think De Niro would be a shoe-in lookalike to play him.
COD to SHAMROCK but I'm sure we have seen it before, maybe several times.
Oct. 22nd, 2019 10:06 pm (UTC)
RE: 38m 17s
Rhinestone Cowboy was one of Glen Campbell's hits that Webb didn't write, it was written and recorded originally by Larry Weiss.
Oct. 22nd, 2019 07:34 am (UTC)
When I Consider how my light is spent...
25 mins.
Neat and tidy.
Thanks setter and J.
Oct. 22nd, 2019 08:10 am (UTC)
I wasn't surprised to find myself near the bottom of the leaderboard having spent about half my time on BUSED and DISCARD, neither of which should have been that difficult. I had considered bus as the transport concerned in 23A but disregarded it as I was convinced two S's were needed. I did at least avoid one of my common pitfalls of convincing myself a wrong answer was correct; at one point I thought that DEBRAND fitted a definition of 'drop mark' so well that it had to be.
Oct. 22nd, 2019 08:10 am (UTC)
There was a load of compromisin’...
...on the road to my horizon, but I reached it in 26 minutes. LOI the unknown SWAY-BACK.With the sheltered life I’ve lived, I didn’t know DAGGA either, but fortunately did see a dagger before me once sleep had been murdered. COD could have gone to SNEEZY or BORON on another day but it has to go to SHAMROCK, though that was only seen when the siren call from LORELEI wouldn’t fit in. I guess that’s why there are no offers coming over the phone. Thank you Jack and setter.
Oct. 22nd, 2019 09:04 am (UTC)
23'32” but without DAGGA, nhoi. Seems very obscure. Nho SWAY BACK either. Luckily I've given up caring about pink squares and tables, because such clues make submission a matter of crossed fingers.


Thanks jack and setter.

Oct. 22nd, 2019 09:17 am (UTC)
8:28. I didn’t find this difficult but I was relieved to come through unscathed. DAGGA could easily have been DAGHA and SWAYBACK looked unlikely to me.
‘Nod’ from the Homer reference. Surprising he didn’t slip up more often considering he didn’t exist.

Edited at 2019-10-22 02:05 pm (UTC)
Oct. 23rd, 2019 01:59 am (UTC)
Having read both the Iliad and the Odyssey in their original language, I suspect he did!
(no subject) - keriothe - Oct. 23rd, 2019 06:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 22nd, 2019 09:23 am (UTC)
I thought I'd done quite well to come in at 40 minutes on this one, what with the unknown LOI 24a DAGGA (and I've actually smoked marijuana with a South African!) and the tough DISCARD/BUSED crosser.

However, it turned out that my SNAG-BACK wasn't the right horse to bet on. Seemed a shame, as a SNAG is a small problem and "BACK" could plausibly mean long ago. Oh well. Rather enjoyable nonetheless, especially 26a SNEEZY.
Oct. 22nd, 2019 09:40 am (UTC)
Did you inhale? I think we should know!
Oct. 22nd, 2019 09:31 am (UTC)
Times cryptic
Scarify. Keen gardeners might own a powered rake to scarify their lawns involving raking out the moss
Oct. 22nd, 2019 10:15 am (UTC)
I wasted time on my proof reading trying and failing to justify slip for nod, when I should have been revisiting my (St Lawrence) SEAWAY. MED had crossed my mind earlier but MEDWAY had failed to register. Drat! I found this puzzle tricky with the NE, SE and SW all causing me problems. Liked BORON and SNEEZY. SWAY BACK was familiar from my reading of James Herriot books. SHAMROCK had registered from previous puzzles. DAGGA was unknown but seemed likely. It wasn't going to be DOGMA! Perhaps I was less than incisive today, but this took my 51:30 WOE. Thanks setter and Jack.
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