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.

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Misspelt the gnome, DELIRIUM and TRICOLOUR, but am happy to be in good company.

Biffed TRICOLORE for the flag initially until it failed to fit 17ac.

Having rectified the initial errors I cantered home in 43.37.

Thank you to setter and congrats. to our esteemed blogger for a rare achievement.

Phil is on fire today. Check out his QC time too.
And he's reminding me to get on with A Tale of Two Cites. I confess I've been listening to Johnny Cash singing Remember The Alamo (I had forgotten the details).
One wrong in this puzzle. I thought NEONE was a hidden for the unknown blubber; DNK NIOBE.
Had GRIND at 18a for a while then nearly gave up before my last two; TRICOLOUR and ELITISM.
Congrats and thanks to Jack for his efforts here and on the QC (helpful table today).

Save the Brest for last

Mike Cowking

June 30 2020, 13:51:26 UTC 6 months ago Edited:  June 30 2020, 13:51:50 UTC

Using "worst" for "best" seems a bit bizarre - but I suppose it's fair enough. Spent a while trying to think of other 5 letter French ports with an R in the middle but couldn't come up with one.
Nice puzzle overall.
Porto is a port of Corsica (apparently)
Had a very empty NW corner for a long time before the clues fell into place. TRICOLOUR took for ever to come - the question mark had me thinking that "flag" was part of the wordplay rather than the definition and that the answer was some kind of service abroad. I worked out what was going on with 3d early on but didn't see HAIRPIECE for a long time, and ELITISM didn't come until the very end, helped by finally remembering that best can equal worst so getting BREST.

That final drag aside, I really enjoyed this puzzle.

FOI Theme
LOI Elitism
COD Emile Zola
LOI by a long way was ELITISM, I just couldn't think of it, and the wordplay was the sort that only verifies a word and you are unlikely to construct the right answer from the wordplay alone. I had no idea who NIOBE was but I knew it was a word, so I just crossed my fingers she cried a lot. I biffed TRICOLEUR and then decided I'd better check the wordplay, where I found I needed the English spelling.

Congratulations on 450 blogs, and thank you (all other bloggers too).
The French spelling is TRICOLORE.
15.19 . A bit more with it than yesterday. FOI Brest and LOI elitism. In between regular process though rumpel etc took a while to decipher as did sauceboat. COD probably butchered for me.
Posted this before reading the blog. Would hate to seem ungrateful, so thanks jackkt and here’s to many more.
Congratulations, Jack, and thank you -- I always enjoy your blogs, particularly since your times are usually comparable to mine and I find, say, verlaine rather daunting.

This time I took 56 minutes, much of which was spent pondering some of my answers and being surprised they were right when I finally dared to hit the submit button. These included TUNIC (I didn't see how the NIC(K) got in it), HAIRPIECE (I didn't know the CRS involved), nor did I know what Pembroke had to do with CORGIs. LOI was ELITISM, once I realised that the M could be preceded by something other than U. And oh yes, I too still feel NOSTALGIC about the loss of our cat (although he did nearly reach the ripe old age of 20),
Didn’t quite float my boat this one but no real complaints. Favourite clue Rumpelstiltskin - had the book!
26:53. A satisfying puzzle. Sauceboat was nice. Emile Zola and Rumpelstiltskin were far too convoluted for me to work out properly so I just biffed what was likely from Def and checkers.

Congratulations on the milestone, Jackkt. A very impressive contribution to the life of this site.
450 n.o. is quite an achievement Jackkt. Thank you.
Was the elitism of the careerist etonian deliberate? Surely it's not a hairpiece?
Off the wavelength with this.

RUMPLE- instead of RUMPEL foxed me for ages preventing the EARTHLING from dropping.
I printed off a few 15x15s last week and have just nearly completed this one. I fell short on 15dn so thanks for clearing that one up. As Olivia above, I’m struggling to see how rough=rumple in 4dn - even though the answer was gettable. I’d have been happy to accept roughen.
I've also now seen your milestone for 15x15s - the appreciation I mentioned the other day just grows and grows. Thanks.
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