Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby

Times 27771 - Bally dancing

17a is not a place to be seen wearing green. It's Liam Neeson's home town; he was offered the freedom of the borough but the charming DUP blocked that and gave it to Ian Paisley instead. Anyway, I'd prefer to be in the Swedish university city at 10a, the fourth largest in the country. [enough politics - Ed]. This was a pleasant exercise in wordplay, sprinkled with a few interesting words; a fruit, a plant, a Greek monster, an instrument. I'm not sure I fully understand 26a, and I wasn't convinced about CO for the peace protester in 15d, but for me the rest was fine. How did you like it?

1 Ben follows drunk sailor, but not literally (2,2,5)
SO TO SPEAK - SOT (drunk) OS (ordinary seaman) PEAK (ben).
6 Blimp maybe one caught by wind condition (5)
COLIC - COL (Colonel Blimp?) I, C(aught).
9 Recalled letter by queen and one by king bearing fruit (7)
KUMQUAT - All reversed (recalled): TAU (letter) Q (queen) MU (letter) K (king).
10 Heightened pressure sadly set back Swedish university (7)
UPPSALA - UP (heightened) P (pressure) ALAS reversed (sadly, set back). Pleasant university city north of Stockholm.
11 Instrument’s one needed earlier during part of flight (5)
SITAR - STAIR being part of flight, move the I forward. Indian stringed instrument.
12 Sodium and potassium — deadly mixture — in plant (5,4)
NAKED LADY - NA (Na, sodium) K (potassium), (DEADLY)*. The Belladonna Lily plant.
13 Beds, for example, or large, heavy drawer (5)
SHIRE - double definition, a county or a shire horse.
14 Issue of spouse of Liberal visiting rebuked: should have rung earlier (9)
STEPCHILD - STEP (rung, before) CHID (rebuked) insert L.
17 Woman chasing my large dog back in Irish town (9)
BALLYMENA - MY L LAB = my large dog, reverse that and add ENA a woman. Town of 30,000 people in Northern Ireland.
18 Females opening have to cut mistakes (5)
MUFFS - MUS(T) = have to, cut; insert FF females.
19 Sort of water supply perhaps not encountered before near delta (9)
UNMETERED - UNMET (not encountered) ERE (before) D(elta).
22 Bound to be fired after penning note (5)
LIMIT - LIT (fired) has MI (note) inserted.
24 Possibly using medium of culture noire, short ITV broadcast (2,5)
IN VITRO - (NOIR ITV)*, where NOIRE loses its E (short).
25 Enrage local feeling with speech (7)
INCENSE - Sounds like (with speech) IN SENSE = feeling.
26 What keeps drawing animal home (5)
EARTH - double definition, one an animal home, and the Earth draws because of gravity? EDIT thanks to pootle73 being first to explain it, it's ART = drawing, inside EH = what?
27 Paintings have captured a horse race on island (9)
TAHITIANS - TITIANS (paintings by him) has A H(orse) inserted.
1 Lavish kisses somewhat revolting, they believe (5)
SIKHS - hidden reversed in LAVI(SH KIS)SES. "They believe" seems an odd definition for these people, lots of religious people believe in something.
2 Miler at it, for a change? (4,5)
3 A saver by nature, gentleman shortly arrives at bank (9)
4 European pays to listen to solicitor brood (3,4,5,3)
EAT ONES HEART OUT - E(uropean), ATONES (pays) HEAR (listen) TOUT (solicitor).
5 Punch with a couple of slices of bread? (7,8)
KNUCKLE SANDWICH - cryptic definition, slang for a punch in the mouth.
6 Prize presented to aforementioned boy with a bow (5)
CUPID - CUP (prize) ID (idem, the same as above, Latin).
7 Climber in a fix on the ascent (5)
LIANA -  A NAIL reversed up. One of those jungle creepers you might see Tarzan using.
8 Big Eddy’s cautious, beady eyes (listening to me) (9)
CHARYBDIS - CHARY (cautious), B D I'S (sounds like beady eyes). Charybdis in Greek legend was a monster who created a whirlpool in the Straits of Messina with another monster Scylla on the opposite side. A bit like being caught between a rock and a hard place, today.
13 Being considered in case daughter must tap into reserve energy (3,6)
SUB JUDICE - SUB (reserve) JUICE (energy) has D for daughter inserted.
15 Peace protester and politician allowed in bed together (9)
COMPLICIT - CO (conscientious objector? pacifist) MP, LICIT (allowed).
16 The latest thing? Fashionable aim of an eccentric (9)
INFOMANIA - IN (fashionable) (AIM OF AN)*.
20 One advancing with month remaining (5)
MOVER - M (month) OVER (remaining). Movers and shakers, perhaps.
21 Little one originally trained in technology can’t handle (5)
TITCH - Initial letters of T rained I n T echnology C an't H andle.
23 Lock head of state away after uprising (5)
TRESS - ASSERT (state) is reversed and then loses its head A.

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... stop picking on me. Puppy walking took precedence today, so I’m a late arrival. 38 minutes. COD to CHARYBDIS for its cleverness, with many other good clues in this meaty offering. LOI was the absolute LIMIT. Thank you Pip and setter.
Lots not fully parsed.

KUMQUAT - got that with just M and T checkers but couldn't work out all of the reverses.
EARTH - no idea what was going on here - I thought it was something to do with gravity.
CHARYBDIS - understood the CHARY, missed the BDIS trick.
TRESS - biffed with checkers in place.

Honourable mentions:

BALLYMENA - biffed from the A checker and worked backwards.
UPPSALA - vaguely remembered - didn't know it was a university town though.
INFOMANIA - MER at definition.
Took far too long to get the Beds especially as I grew up there. Just my level of obscurity without being impossible. The other one that held me up was the INFOMANIA anagram which wouldn’t come without a lot more checkers than I had. Concur with the MER at the definition.
I made reasonable progress until I was left with CHARY_D_S. I assumed it would end IS, but failed to see the rest of the wordplay and looked it up. Having done so, it rang the very faintest of bells, but I wouldn't have known what it was. 33:21 with that one cheat. Ejoyed the puzzle otherwise. Thanks setter and Pip.
Slowish solve today in 26.19. I completed the entire RHS in short order without getting anything on the left.

I do believe the setter was trying to get us into trouble googling some of the answers: NAKED LADY, of course, the positively wicked MUFFS, and KUMQUAT also has "naughty" uses.

I failed to parse both TRESS and EARTH, the former because head of State is S, of course, and SERT doesn't mean anything useful, the latter because it's just a bit too clever for my limited brain and I settled for the unsatisfactory gravity version.

BALLYMENA took a while to parse, as I tried to work out which of the burgeoning number of MYs was involved with Irish towns, I rather feel I need to be sure of the wordplay because Irish towns can be any collection of letters illogically arranged.
Dear Zed, I am very fond of the KUMQUAT and have made marmalade from them more than once - quite exotique!
But please do let us into the 'naughty' uses of this little fruit (gently) as there is no hint of this in 'The Song of Solomon'. Meldrew & Myrtilus?


4 months ago

... of the world for ever, it seems.
No time as completed in fits and starts but only a few needed. Surprised at the single squirrely l. It'll be a shame if a race can no longer be the people of a place, loosely defined as such by the sense of a cultural DNA ... but the language and its development seem likely to be put on choke-hold. Liked infomania though it was not a thing I knew about.
Pleasant reminder of Flanders & Swann whose Orpheus and Eurydice were SUB JUDICE. I saw the Irish town was going to be Bally, but what? If the race that lives there prefers Paisley to Neeson then I don't need to bother with it anyway. A sluggish 22.15
Sadly, a technical DNF as I entered "Charybdus", sorry to say.
Spent about 15 minutes staring at S_I_E before putting that one to Bed.
Good puzzle though.


September 16 2020, 12:56:59 UTC 4 months ago

CO was Conscientious Objector in my youth. In those days, PP stood for Pretty Poor...
CO is conscientious objector in this puzzle, too; the question, as Pip suggests, is whether a CO can be defined as a peace protester.


4 months ago

....where I found it a chore.

Thanks to Pip for COMPLICIT and TRESS.

TIME 21:41
peaceful protester perhaps?
by this one. I could not fathom the SE corner at all. Thought TRESS but could not see why. NHO INFOMANIA and didn’t get the anagram, etc. Traumatic morning at home today with broken door locks and internet conking out. Perhaps that upset my concentration. That’s my excuse anyway. Thank you Pip for the light-shedding.
But one of my finest performances. I was absolutely chuffed to have all but one in 23 minutes. But 20 more minutes of brain-straining didn't help me get SHIRE, which was really beyond my capabilities. I knew 'Beds' was probably not referring to the ones we sleep on or garden beds and the like, and that it was probably short for something, but not sure how I could have guessed it. Didn't know the other meaning, either. Of course, a quick search for 'beds' in Collins turned up the answer immediately.

Am I the only one who thought 'heavy drawer' was going to be RUBEN?
I didn’t know Charybdis and went with Charyades.



September 16 2020, 15:39:57 UTC 4 months ago Edited:  September 16 2020, 15:40:47 UTC

Nice wordplay for an enjoyable puzzle and I pretty much liked them all - if the definition wasn’t clever, the cryptic was, and vice versa (and often both).
I don’t have a problem with crossword reference to an identifiable group of people - Tahitians, eg - as a race.
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