jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 27968

Solving time: 34 minutes. Many thanks to mohn2 for updating the template script to suit my new blogging style so that I don't have to remember to press Enter after every answer.

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 Might one pass with those standards kept up? (6,7)
FLYING (kept up), COLOURS (standards - flags)
8 Country where capital's neither opened nor closed (4)
{t}IRAN{a} (capital of Albania) [neither opened nor closed]
9 For example, Tommy and soldiers, those working together (10)
COOPER (for example, Tommy), ANTS (soldiers). This word looks silly to me without a hyphen (as does 'cooperate') but some of the usual sources sanction it. Here's Tommy's famous Bottle/Glass routine.
10 Tree trunk enthusiast (8)
CHEST (trunk), NUT (enthusiast). Does anyone remember the Chestnut Tree Song? They don't write 'em like that any more!
11 Brute force said to break good man (6)
Anagram [force] of SAID, contained by [to break] ST (good man - saint). I don't recall seeing 'force' used as an anagrind before, but it's in the Chamber's list.
13 Possibly, lewd queen worried doctor (10)
ADULT (possibly, lewd), ER (queen), ATE (worried)
16 Two Georges taking a test (4)
Take your pick of VI + V (two Georges), A or V + IV (two Georges), A
17 Figures, slightly retrograde (4)
A TAD (slightly) reversed [retrograde]. Unaccountably my LOI!
18 Instrument shaken roughly about, mine inspiring ridicule primarily (10)
Anagram [roughly] of ABOUT MINE, containing [inspiring] R{idicule} [primarily]
20 Witness watching over, perhaps? (6)
Alternatively spaced as AT TEST (watching over, perhaps - attending a cricketing test match)
22 Game played with associated board, cheat and get low grade (8)
CRIB (cheat), BAG (get), E (low grade)
24 Animal seen moving around Pacific native (10)
Anagram [moving around] ANIMAL SEEN
26 Fracture   that's the same! (4)
Two meanings, the second as in the simple card game in which players race to say 'Snap!' as they identify cards of the same rank.
27 Marry and make a splash? (4,3,6)
A definition plus a cryptic hint. Something of a DBE as 'taking the plunge' might be deciding to do almost anything after a long period of uncertainty and deliberation. A more usual saying for marriage would be 'tie the knot'. Edit: Having just come across the same definition in one of the weekend puzzles (not Times or ST) I decided to investigate further and have confirmed that Collins specifies 'get married' as one of the meanings.
1 Wood terribly dry, then a water supplier on the way (4,7)
FIR (wood), the anagram [terribly] of DRY THEN A. These are points along a road (way) allowing easy access to water mains in case of fire.
2 Contrary to opinion, week appears, ultimately, a long time (5)
{contrar}Y, {t}O, {opinio}N, {wee}K, {appear}S [ultimately]
3 Party in minutes ending in government probable landslide? (2,7)
CON (party - Conservatives) contained by [in] NOTES (minutes of a meeting), {governmen}T [ending]. An easy victory or walkover.
4 Native American people almost as tribal, oddly, in European country (7)
CRO{w} (native American people) [almost], then A{s} T{r}I{b}A{l} [oddly]
5 United team is in the driving seat, reportedly (5)
Sounds like [reportedly] "leads" (is in the driving seat)
6 Kind of door finished twice? (2-3-4)
Two words meaning 'finished'. Doors providing vehicular access to garages.
7 Egyptian god, determined (3)
Two meanings. The Egyptian god 'Set' is also known as 'Seth'.
12 Redeeming quality in old batsman after keeper's job? (6,5)
SAVING (keeper's job - e.g. in soccer), GRACE (old batsman - W.G.)
14 General claims as support for property transaction (9)
LEE (General - Robert E) contains AS, then BACK (support)
15 Moving a lot, I'm one on the move! (9)
Anagram [on the move] of A LOT I'M ONE
19 Device locating companion in part of New England (7)
CH (companion of honour) contained by [in] MAINE (part of New England)
21 Message lovely and short in the end (5)
TWEE (lovely), {shor}T [in the end]
23 Creature putting leg under twice (5)
BIS (twice - encore!), ON (leg - cricket)
25 Take in tenants every so often (3)
{t}E{n}A{n}T{s} [every so often]

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10:28, so considerably quicker than the Quickie, helped by the Anglocentric trio, LEEDS, COOPERANT and SAVING GRACE.

Thanks to Jack for parsing IRAN.
Off to a very slow start, FOI 27ac. Thanks to Jack for LOI IRAN, which I never did parse. NHO Tommy Cooper, DNK where United is. I did know GRACE, the only cricketer I do know. Biffed a few, parsing post-submission.
Kevin, There are several Uniteds - so Leeds isn't always the answer:
Oxford United, Boston United, Sheffield United, Manchester United, Scunthorpe United, Newcastle United, West Ham United, Colchester United, Torquay United, Peterborough United, Southend United, Carlisle United, Hartlepools United, Rotherham etc.

They are mainly found in the Northern part of England as many of them came out of Working Men's and Industrial Railway Clubs.

A list of well-known cricketers is available on request.

There is only one Tommy Cooper!

Re: United


5 months ago

RE: Re: United


5 months ago

This seemed to all go in very easily. My LOI was also DATA since it took me too long to see it.
Likewise - needed an alphabet trawl to come up with "a tad". 27 mins overall, which is not bad for me. Helped by the cricketing references and good old Tommy C, I'm sure.
It's an old chestnut that a good man is a St. They never seem to be good women.
In 9a, I was expecting Tommy to be an example of an opera, which fitted nicely into COOPERANT, but left CONT unexplained until the man in the fez emerged from the recesses of memory.
They are not necessarily good, either. Just pleased the pope .. St Thos. More, a case in point.
....without knowing Tommy Cooper, or anything about Snap. I did see Tirana, and I had heard of Grace, so I was not totally in the dark. A middle-range, puzzle, I thought, but the Snitch shows it as easy.

32 Tuesday Minutes


May 4 2021, 03:42:53 UTC 5 months ago Edited:  May 4 2021, 03:43:57 UTC

Arose early for a change and parsed with 1ac.


LOI 20ac ATTEST (a verb!)

COD 9ac COOPERANTS - I do prefer a hyphen myself

WOD 2dn YONKS - how long is a YONK - ten years?

I prefer Eddie Waring's magnificent UP-AND-UNDER to the UP-AND-OVER at 6dn

Three card games:- 22ac CRIBBAGE, 26ac SNAP and 23dn BISON for a minor NINA!

I was well off the wavelength for the second day running so again just pleased to eventually finish. The NW corner gave me the most trouble until FIRE HYDRANT unlocked it. I enjoyed “water supplier on the way”. I was a bit worried about the Egyptian God I didn’t know, thinking that SAT could mean determined as in “sat in judgment” though SET seemed the more likely option and thankfully proved the right one.

You can’t wash your hands in a buffalo


May 4 2021, 06:56:30 UTC 5 months ago Edited:  May 4 2021, 07:10:19 UTC

I’ve been living in London too long. 28 minutes, not helped by the clue numbering being wrong for three clues in the printed edition. CO-OPERANTS held me up as I thought the opera must be Tommy until I tried ‘ants’ at the end and the parsing appeared just like that. SET was not known but then was clear. COD to ATTEST. Nice puzzle, apart from the enumeration.Thank you Jack and setter.
I solved it.
Just like that.

Thanks, jack.
...Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

20 mins, no dramas. I liked it, mostly Fire Hydrant.
Thanks setter and J.
12:27 I thought I was going to be a lot slower after a pedestrian start but I eventually got on a roll finishing with SET. COD to the shaken TAMBOURINE. Is CHESTNUT a chestnut?
FLYING COLOURS? Well only in jest
Setter 1 — Solver 0, NO CONTEST
As the start took an age
(First one in was CRIBBAGE)
Then slowly I figured the rest
Not only is the letter count wrong at 24a, but the online version will not allow me to enter the correct solution on my iPad.
I have the same weird problem.

Re: Nee technology frustration


5 months ago

24.54 but didn’t see snap and put in the ridiculous spat in desperation. In my defence- unconvincing though it is- I claim mental confusion due to the added trickery of the newspaper version I tackled.

I had snap as 25 ac, eat as 24 dn and 24 ac listed as 9 letters not 10. That really was a conundrum and meant I took ages before realising melanesian did in fact fit. Anyone else have the same issue?

Still thought it was a good puzzle though and have now calmed down sufficiently to stop kicking the wall over snap.
I now see I was not alone.


5 months ago


5 months ago


5 months ago


5 months ago


I usually start from top but struggled to begin with and settled on 27A after which the answers came thick and fast.

Thank you, jackkt and the setter

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