jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 27704

Solving time: 36 minutes. This is my 450th blog of 15x15 puzzles - the first having been posted on 23rd November 2007. I remember sweating blood over the early ones but the process became much easier over time as I got used to what I was trying to do and difficulties with presentation and formating were resolved by the introduction of the template script. I'm not sure my solving times have improved a lot since those days but  I don't concern myself too much about that, quoting them mainly for the encouragment of slower solvers who might otherwise feel over-awed when seeing the times posted by our speed merchants. I found today's puzzle quite gentle.

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]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Only two revolutionaries brutally killed (9)
BUTCHERED : BUT (only), CHE + RED (two revolutionaries)
6 Shining helmet worn by copper travelling west (5)
LUCID : LID (helmet) outside [worn by] CU (copper) reversed [travelling west]. For crossword purposes 'lid' can be a hat or substantial head-covering of any sort.
9 Wanting best position in race run round (7)
ELITISM : SIT (position) contained by [in] MILE (race) all reversed [round]. I'm not sure whether 'run' belongs with 'race' or with 'round' in the parsing, but it really doesn't matter.
10 Shoot dead leaders in rally at Lusaka (7)
LATERAL : LATE (dead), then R{ally} A{t} L{usaka} [leaders]. Collins has this as 'a branch, leaf, or bud that grows out from the side of a stem or trunk' - an offshot in other words.
11 Company lacking trade at the outset in recession (5)
TROOP : POOR (lacking} + T{rade} [at the outset] reversed [in recession]
12 Home to fox, fish and one residing here? (9)
EARTHLING : EARTH (home to fox), LING (fish)
13 Ancient blubber and bone one processed (5)
NIOBE : Anagram [processed] of BONE I (one). In Greek mythology Niobe was a daughter of Tantalus whose children were slain after she boasted of them and although turned into stone she continued to weep. A rare example of anagram where part of the anagrist (the 'I' in this case) has to be deduced from the clue.
14 Serving vessel first in cruel sea about to founder (9)
SAUCEBOAT : Anagram [to founder] of C{ruel} [first] SEA ABOUT
17 Ambitious person has trouble with father over time (9)
CAREERIST : CARE (trouble), then SIRE (father) reversed [over], T (time)
18 Work in Greek island European parliament backed (5)
ILIAD : I (island), then DAIL (European parliament - lower Irish assembly) reversed [backed]
19 Modern home for Englishman in city (9)
NEWCASTLE : NEW (modern), CASTLE (home for Englishman). As in the saying 'An Englishman's home is his castle'.
22 Service in French is for an artist (5)
ERNST : RN (service - Royal Navy) contained by [in]  EST (French 'is')
24 Set aside weapon carried in E-boat? (7)
EARMARK : ARM (weapon) contained by [carried in] E + ARK (boat)
25 Schoolboy is son missed by Baltic citizen (7)
ETONIAN : E{s}TONIAN (Baltic citizen) [son - s - missed]
26 Central idea in article by this compiler (5)
THEME : THE (article), ME (this compiler)
27 Sentimental, recollected losing cat (9)
NOSTALGIC : Anagram [recollected] of LOSING CAT
1 Mariner at the end seen in worst French port (5)
BREST : {marine}R [at the end] contained by [seen in] BEST (worst - defeat)
2 Flag officer supports right one entering service abroad? (9)
TRICOLOUR : R (right) + I (one) + COL (officer) contained by [entering] TOUR (military service abroad)
3 Locks picked by those experiencing scarcity in Barnet? (9)
HAIRPIECE : Cryptic definition with reference to CRS 'Barnet Fair' = hair.
4 Self-destructive character in tale rough-sounding Poles related (15)
RUMPELSTILTSKIN : RUMPEL sounds like [sounding] "rumple" (rough), STILTS (poles), KIN (related). He's a dwarf in a German folktale who aids the king's bride on condition that she give him her first child or guess the dwarf's name. She guesses correctly and in his rage he destroys himself. (Collins)
5 Doctor reunited with slimmer problem due to withdrawal (8,7)
DELIRIUM TREMENS : Anagram [doctor] of REUNITED SLIMMER. Withdrawal from dependence on alcohol or drugs. Also the name of a rather good Belgian beer.
6 Liberal attending religious place that's closer (5)
LATCH : L (liberal), AT (attending), CH (religious place - church)
7 That's amazing soldier in Pembroke for example (5)
CORGI : COR (that's amazing!), GI (soldier). There are two recognised breeds of corgi apparently, Pembroke and Cardigan.
8 An achievement to restrict luminescence over the moon (9)
DELIGHTED : The cryptic version to be read as 'de-lighted'. On edit: I see now that my interpretation of the first bit was too whimsical and something of a stretch; it's more straightforward wordplay - DEED (achievement) containing [to restrict] LIGHT (luminescence). Many thanks to Angus Walker for pointing this out.
13 Century in midday match: result foregone conclusion? (2,7)
NO CONTEST : C (century) contained by [in] NOON (midday), TEST (match)
15 Brew infused with Australian fruit upset writer (5,4)
EMILE ZOLA : ALE (brew) contains [infused with] OZ (Australian) + LIME (fruit), all reversed [upset]
16 Finding position, drop airtight container into region at sea (9)
ORIENTING : TIN (airtight container) contained by [drop...into)  anagram [at sea] of REGION
20 More severe misery to involve vergers in Reims (5)
WORSE : WOE (misery) contains [to involve] R{eim}S [vergers - letters at the edges]
21 In the beginning Adam reported temptation as moderate (5)
ABATE : A{dam} [in the beginning], BATE sounds like [reported] "bait" (temptation)
23 Workers organised to run in short jacket (5)
TUNIC : TU (workers organised - Trades Unions), NIC{k} (run in - arrest) [short]
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Congratulations, Jack, and thanks! I hope to see lots more.
Seconded. Your efforts are very much appreciated.
Nice to see 'artist'≠RA and 'work'≠OP; not nice to be slowed down by both. I biffed TRICOLOUR, ORIENTING,1 & EARMARK, never did parse TRICOLOUR. DNK LATERAL or Pembroke. I had a MER at 6ac, which I subsequently lowered when I found that ODE gives 'bright' as a meaning of LUCID.
....and had finished 3/4 of it in 15 minutes, only to become completely stuck with nothing in the NW. Even getting 'butchered' after another 10 minutes didn't really help, but then I biffed (and then parsed) 'careerist'. Still a real struggle, coming in in 54 minutes.

Yes, Rumpelstiltskin was my LOI, as I was expecting 'stake' and not 'stilt', thinking it must end in '-staken' and mean 'related' But once you get all the crossing letters - and erase all the guesses - you have a chance to biff it.

450 going on 500


June 30 2020, 04:00:58 UTC 2 months ago Edited:  June 30 2020, 13:06:27 UTC

Will Jack become the Brian Lara of Crosswordland - fine innings Sir!

Keep it up!




WOD 4dn RUMPELSTILTSKIN terrified me as a child, whereas Strewwelpeter amused!

I never managed to parse 1dn BREST. 45mins - enjoyable.

LOI ELITISM, whose clue I thought was diabolical. POI RUMPELSTILTSKIN. FOI ILIAD.

I thought the setter was somewhat cavalier about Niobe's suffering. Guessed what was going on about the dog.

Congratulations, Jackkt!



June 30 2020, 05:05:23 UTC 2 months ago Edited:  June 30 2020, 05:17:27 UTC

"I'm just on the borders of DTs darling, and I've wasted some of my tremendous love for you on a lank redmouthed girl with a reputation like hell." —The Love Letters of Dylan Thomas

AKA (Wikipedia) the shakes, barrel-fever, blue horrors, bottleache, bats, drunken horrors, elephants, gallon distemper, quart mania, and pink spiders.
DELIRIUM TREMENS went in straight off the bat today and the rest flowed nicely from there. As Jack says a rather good Belgian beer though very strong so it wouldn’t take many to result in the DTs.

Congratulations on the 450 Jack and thank you for all your work. I’d like to join you one day when time allows and there is a vacancy so I’m glad to hear it gets easier as I imagine it taking hours to prepare.

DT from DT


June 30 2020, 06:18:27 UTC 2 months ago Edited:  June 30 2020, 06:26:32 UTC

Thanks for your congrats, Pootle

Strength has to be measured against the quantity served and consumed so the only objective comparison with other drinks is by units of alcohol in a serving. A bottle (330ml) of DT contains 2.81 units whereas a large glass (250ml) of 12% wine (almost the weakest on offer in most bars) contains 3 units, so drink for drink DT is weaker - also when compared with a draught pint of ale or lager such as Abbot or Kronenbourg at 2.84 units.

I like to think of myself as something of a connoisseur of fine beers - especially enjoying the infinite variety of Belgians - but they are to be savoured like a fine brandy and are not intended for those whose only concern is drinking as much as possible in terms of pints consumed.

The formatting of the blog takes seconds but explaining the clues can be time-consuming depending on how much detail one goes into.

RE: DT from DT


2 months ago

Re: DT from DT


2 months ago

As with Horryd I entered DELERIUM TREMENS straight off the bat, just as I had the last time it appeared. Then I wondered and thought I'd better check the anagram fodder, which made me correct mine. Hope he corrected his.

Loved the DT quote above.
Congratulations Jack, your stamina is very impressive. As I remarked yesterday on another subject, perhaps more Sir Geoff Boycott than Brian Lara but just as impressive, or even more so.

Quite quick doing this and would have been quicker still if I had not confidently written ELITIST initially, which made 4dn my LOI rather than FOI as it seems to have been for others..

The Accountant as Artist


June 30 2020, 06:50:02 UTC 2 months ago Edited:  June 30 2020, 06:52:36 UTC

Congratulations Jack on passing your latest milestone. I was quite quick today at 22 minutes, as I also got the DTs straightaway and then RUMPELSTILTSKIN immediately followed. LOI was ABATE. I did have a slight pause over the notion that the author of Germinal was the love child of Emile Heskey and Gianfranco Zola, and then the regret that the artist in 22a wasn’t clued as an accountant, but managed to keep reasonable momentum. Enjoyable. Thank you Jack and setter.
Congrats, Jack! That's quite some stretch of blogging...

41 minutes here, carefully avoiding the potential spelling mistake in 5d as I've got DELIRIUM wrong a couple of times in the past.

TV came to my aid yet again, as my current exercise-bike-fodder is Once Upon a Time, where 4d RUMPELSTILTSKIN is played delightfully by Robert Carlyle in full camp scenery-chewing mode, so I managed to biff that one.

FOI 1a BUTCHERED, LOI the vocalophobia-inducing A_A_E of 21d. Enjoyed 9a ELITISM most, once I finally figured it out.
I very much enjoyed this, right up to seeing the dreaded 576 thanks to DELERIUM. Such a long anagrist to double check!

I found this pleasingly chewy, finishing in about 38m and having plenty of fun along the way. COD for me the SAUCEBOAT for its lovely surface, one of many.

Thanks setter and congrats Jack on an excellent innings. Long may it continue!


June 30 2020, 07:24:06 UTC 2 months ago Edited:  June 30 2020, 07:25:08 UTC

11:11, but I can't spell DELIRIUM. I'm sure this has happened before and I'll learn one day.
The definition of ELITISM seems a bit loose. What do you call it when you're governed by a small group of people who think they're the elite?
Congratulations jackkt that's quite the milstone! Have a DT to celebrate. It's nice but as you say not a session beer.
Unfortunately my local that sells it is closed until the 15th but I have a bottle or two of Duvel in the fridge awaiting my attention. One of them is a Tripel Hop Citra which I am saving for the return of really hot weather - it's so refreshing!


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...And the soul wears out the Brest.
25 mins with toast and strawberry jam.
MER at Rough=Rumple.
Mostly I liked: No Contest.
Thanks setter and J and congrats.
I agree. Doesn't "rumple" equal "roughen" not "rough"?

As I finished I said to myself 'that feels about 11 minutes', so was almost spot on, not sure what that means. Anyway, enjoyable today with some nice definitions (e.g. ancient blubber). Amusing that worst means best (1dn).

Congratulations jackkt! I slightly disagree with your analysis of 8dn, though, I think it is LIGHT (luminescence) in DEED (achievement).

COD: ILIAD, liked the join between Greek and island, and the misdirecting wordplay.

Yesterday's answer: the Alamo can be found in San Antonio, Texas.

Today's question: the element niobium was so-called because it was related to which other element, named after Niobe's father?
Thanks for that Angus. Much better.

Re: 10:59


2 months ago

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