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Times 25339 - can you cope?

Solving time : 15:34 on the club timer - very slow start to this one, really only getting the top left corner on a first read through, and then sweeping through the bottom and finishing off on the right hand side. There's two better times than me on the crossword club already, so I suspect I was just not on the setters wavelength, as I think everything makes sense now.

I was relieved that the Y in 14 across was checked, as it is a word that is spelled one way in the US and another way in the UK, and I was unsure of which was which and also of the spelling in the wordplay.

Public service announcement, my fellow Thursday blogger Uncle Yap is gone next Thursday so you're stuck with me for a few weeks.

Away we go!
1CHERRY(one stoned), PICKER(elector): rather a fun clue to get us going, though I didn't get it until most of the checking letters were in place
8OSTRICH: alternating letters in dOeSnT then RICH
11our across omission, if you look hard you might find it
12ELITIST: SIT in TILE all reversed
13SIEVE: I in SEVE(n)
14SPARE, TYRE: TYRE is in what is now Lebanon, and I'd heard of it but I was glad I didn't have to spell it
19POLYP: Y(end of CHARDONNAY) in PLOP reversed
21TANK TOP: double def
23LINOCUT: I got this from the definition, but now I see the wordplay - it's OUT(off) with C(100) inside, and before that LIN(e). Tricksy!
24SUNBURN: end of exhaustioN, RUB,NUS all reversed
25SHAW,NEE: brave as in American Indian
26NYMPHOMANIAC: (CHAMPION,MANY) - hope everyone else smiled at the definition
3REHEARSAL: HEARS(tries) in REAL(concrete)
4PLANE: the aircraft and the tree
5COCAINE: CO(carbon monoxide - poisonous gas),CAIN(original kille),E
7COMPOS MENTIS: loved this clue - definition is ALL THERE, so it's IS under MEN in COMPOST
15ANDALUSIA: AND(accompanying),A,LUSITANIA(doomed liner) missing TAN,I
17TENANCY: TE (outside of THE) then NANCY
18our down omission, likely given away by the enumeration
20LACONIC: CON(party) in LAIC
22PINTO: NIP reversed then TO


( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 6th, 2012 01:27 am (UTC)
10 down surely should be a middle eastern bakery. Indian bread is naan, chapati etc. it is the middle east and north africa that eats pitta.
Dec. 6th, 2012 01:39 am (UTC)
Indeed, and you beat me to it. None of the usual sources supports Indian. Wiki mentions that pitta bread is eaten in parts of the Indian sub-continent, but only as an afterthought and it's not listed as a place of origin.

Edited at 2012-12-06 01:51 am (UTC)
Dec. 6th, 2012 01:27 am (UTC)
Time, 55 minutes, really not that easy...
....in my view - or maybe I just can't remember anything tonight.

I started out well enough, putting in the first 4 or 5 I clues as I read them. One of these was wrong, but soon fixed. Then I struggled in the middle stage, only to get completely stuck at the end. Only when I saw 'pitter-patter' was I able to complete the NE, and then finally pull up 'compos mentis'. I never did get half the cryptics, including the two long answers down the side.

I did like the cryptics for 'Andalusia' and 'spare tyre'.
Dec. 6th, 2012 01:37 am (UTC)
Don't think there's a genuine giveaway in the whole puzzle; and loads of possibilities for the apparently ordinary words in the clues. Thanks to George for the explanation of OSTRICH which I couldn't see for the life of me.

After reviewing a few back puzzles, have reached the conclusion that I go OK when there's lots of proper names linked to basic general knowledge. When not, not. So today, only ANDALUSIA, SHAWNEE and the city part of 14ac qualified. (Of which, what is "booted" in this context?)

LOI was PLANE (4dn). Couldn't be shifted from a favourite bird (and wine!): The Barking Owl.
Dec. 6th, 2012 01:53 am (UTC)
Re: 37:21
I presumed booted was that the spare tyre was in the boot (trunk, but then it would be a tire)
Re: 37:21 - mctext - Dec. 6th, 2012 02:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 6th, 2012 01:49 am (UTC)
I had a real struggle with this one, mainly trying to get a foothold in each quarter. Once I had some checkers to work with each section fell rapidly into place.

66 minutes was bad news though, particularly after taking an hour yesterday.

23 was a beast to parse and I didn't quite get it all despite understanding 'print', 'hundred parts' and 'business shortly'.

Edited at 2012-12-06 01:49 am (UTC)
Dec. 6th, 2012 03:09 am (UTC)
Liked this a lot, even though I crawled in just one minute ahead of Jack. The two 'model' answers, the two 1 clues, the woman who likes a bit of 'the other' (slang for sex, in case anyone's wondering), the compost heap clue, the barking flier. In the circumstances, I'm willing to overlook a little leaven in the lump.

Never heard of my LOI, edacity.

Edited at 2012-12-06 03:11 am (UTC)
Dec. 6th, 2012 08:25 am (UTC)
12:09 but with one mistake, LINECUT for 23 across after only half-parsing the wordplay. Presumably there is an appropriate authority for 10 down, but it certainly struck an odd note to my ear (the Indian cooking website I use most regularly has a recipe involving stuffed pitta bread, which adds a note that people in India can substitute naan bread, which at least suggests that it isn't considered a completely native dish by them...)

26 across certainly raised a smile, though as I'm up nice and early to watch the cricket, I was smiling already. No mention from Sir Geoffrey of his lunch yet; I wonder what sort of bread it contained.
Dec. 6th, 2012 09:52 am (UTC)
All in all a challenging and enjoyable 25 minutes with the bread the only real black mark. It didn't really slow me up because I had P-T-E as initial checkers so then solved from definition. What happened to the quality control department on that one?

There are some excellent clues here and some slightly "unusual" words like CHERRY PICKER but the definition at 26A is excellent and made me laugh out loud. That meant I had to provide an explanation for Mrs Jimbo who gave me that special female "men!" look
Dec. 6th, 2012 09:59 am (UTC)
16:39 on the club timer. This was my kind of puzzle: some quite tricksy wordplay, but nothing I didn't know other than EDACITY. I think indifferent general knowledge is the thing that slows me down most or (as was the case yesterday) defeats me altogether. Fortunately the more I do these things the better my GK gets. Sometimes I think that if I didn't do crosswords I wouldn't know anything at all.
It seems to me that putting pita bread in India must just be a mistake, because putting it in the right place wouldn't do any harm to the surface.
Dec. 6th, 2012 12:09 pm (UTC)
42.57 so a slow one for me with the NW holding me up for 15m plus! Still don't really understand 1ac - is it just high as in up a tree or is there some link to one who only chooses the best I'm missing? Otherwise agree with comments on 10d and also that 26 was amusing and my COD.
Dec. 6th, 2012 12:15 pm (UTC)
A cherry-picker is a type of crane with a platform on the end of the arm, used for inspection of (say) streetlights. Hence a worker would be high when on it.
(no subject) - grestyman - Dec. 6th, 2012 09:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 6th, 2012 12:42 pm (UTC)
Right up my street this - a speedy and enjoyable 10:03.

Edacity was unknown but couldn't really be owt else and I didn't know Shawnee but threw it in on the basis 1) that I've come across Pawnee in crosswords and 2) that the paywright is Shaw 99 times out of 100.

I, too, had a big QM against the pitta/indian thingy.
Dec. 6th, 2012 12:47 pm (UTC)
Found this easier than yesterday’s despite Compos Mentis being LOI which meant I had to work hard to solve the left hand acrosses without any helpful starting letters. FOI Shawnee.

Years ago on my gap year between school and university I spent three months in Israel working on a kibbutz near Beersheba. One of many farming jobs I did was picking avocados. After we’d handpicked the low hanging fruit we took to cherry pickers to reach the higher ups.

Re: pita, naan and chapatti. Devotees of The Great British Bake Off will be interested to hear that Paul Hollywood has his own series (“Bread”) starting in the New Year.
Dec. 6th, 2012 01:10 pm (UTC)
Yesterday's shaw
Was just catching up on yesterday's blog and was surprised to see so many claiming no prior knowledge of shaw as a wood. It came up as recently as September this year and before that we had it in March 2011 (once as copse and once as thicket).

Must be one of those words that dwells in the blind spot of many solvers.
Dec. 6th, 2012 01:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Yesterday's shaw
I see that I did the puzzle but didn't get a chance to read the blog properly or comment when it came up in September. I probably just bunged in the answer on definition. Just goes to show how useful this blog is when you use it properly, although of course I might still have forgotten it.
Dec. 6th, 2012 01:54 pm (UTC)
Sign-up problems
tried to sign up today without success. Apparently my user name conflicts with my password, no matter how different they are! Or they contain invalid characters (which they don't, of course).

Am I stupid, or is the sign-up form?

Chris Gregory.
Dec. 6th, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Sign-up problems
Is this Live Journal or the Crossword Club? If the latter, nobody will be surprised, if the former, that doesn't sound like a problem others have had...
Dec. 6th, 2012 02:33 pm (UTC)
About 23 minutes but with the regular slapdash typo (PINJABI today).

Really entertaining puzzle but I got myself in a terrible mess by deciding that 7d had to be 'corpus' something and spending a long time trying to think of plausible complements.

Must admit I didn't notice the PITA placement problem (should it be Middle Eastern or Greek bakery?). Probably too busy smiling at NYMPHOMANIAC, for which many thanks to the setter.
Dec. 6th, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC)
I was another CORPUS person. I felt so stupid when the penny dropped. I also boobed badly on ANDALUSIA by spelling it with a "C" (Presumably thinking of Santa Lucia) in spite of the fact that I recently did a tour of the place! I wasted ages looking for a playwright C??? to go with the NEE at 25a. Finally pegged out in 36 minutes. (Btw,Sotira, am currently reading Robert B Parker's take on Philip Marlowe "Poodle Springs". Not Chandler but entertaining nonetheless) Ann
Andalucia - (Anonymous) - Jan. 9th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 6th, 2012 02:40 pm (UTC)
Again a slow lumbering trot round in 44 minutes. The definition for 19 ac. is painfully light, no pun intended. I wonder when edacity was last used naturally? I too love the other champion, as a subsidiary part of the surface.
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