24029 – Should have done better

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken to solve: 50 minutes. I was disappointed about this because I started very confidently, filling in most of the NW corner on first reading, and the NE came together quickly too. But I became bogged down with the lower half,  particuarly in the SW where I didn’t have the courage of my convictions to write in 18 and this prevented me from seeing 25 and 27 for ages. A very entertaining puzzle with some excellent clues and no quibbles today.

5 PAY CASH – HP (rev.) around the first letters of “Anything You Can Afford Settled”. Hire Purchase is or was a means of buying goods on credit, also known as “the never-never”. I don’t know whether this may cause problems overseas. A1 clue.
9 CA(BLE ST,I)TCH – The COD defines cable stitching as “a combination of knitted stitches resembling a twisted rope”. The Aran Islands are famous for knitwear in this style.
11 RAY GUN – RAN around (GUY)*
21 KING,FISH – “Trolling” is fishing by dragging a line behind a boat.
23 ELAPSE – E(gg)S, PALE (rev.)
25 I’LL – “I, the writer, am going to” translates here as I’LL. Very clever. It was my last but one in and I think it deserves a COD nomination.
26 T(R,ADITION)AL(e) – The middle letters come from (AN IDIOT)*
27 TERNATE – Sounds like “Turn eight”. I’m not sure I knew this word but I’m familiar with “ternary” as a three part musical form so I might have got it sooner than I did.
28 FIDGETY – An excellent hidden word
1 E(U.C.H.)RE – Not a card game I’m familiar with but I know its name well and I gather it’s of US origin.
2 EM(B,RY)OS – SOME (rev.) around British and railway but not British Railways.
3 PRE-JUD(1,C)E – JUDE is the penultimate book of the New Testament
6 YAH,O,O – I’m not sure if I have met “YAH” meaning a toff before
13 S,NAIL,S PACE – Oh what a very appropriate clue this is for me! Yesterday I at last got rid of the decorators who have been working in my living room, one week later than the estimated finishing date.
18 T,ANGLER – I saw this answer on first reading but couldn’t justify it so I didn’t write it in. This led to real problems with 25 and 26. Having eventually cracked those, the checking letters meant there was no viable alternative to TANGLER. Then at last I realised I had fallen for the old agent noun trick as discussed at great length here over recent weeks. I feel both the boot and the dunce’s cap would be appropriate.
19 EX-PUN,GE – GE is E.G. (for example/such as) reversed or, since this is a Down clue, “erect” as the setter has it
20 HEN,LEY – LEY as in ley lines. Henley-on-Thames is  famous for its annual regatta.
22 FAT,WA – WA = Washington state
24 MI,FF – MI is the third note of the scale. FF = following pages. It’s rather curious that the musical theme wasn’t pursued with an allusion to fortissimo but perhaps that might have been too obvious..

25 comments on “24029 – Should have done better”

  1. Having agonised over yesterday’s I went straight through this in 20min without a hitch. Must have just been on the wavelength.

    Some nice wordplay, but too often it wasn’t necessary to work it out, and some of the answers were so obvious that it was more like a quick crossword – 9 (my mother used to knit Aran jumpers!), 14, 26, 2, 5, 13, 22 were examples.

  2. 20 min, which is lightening speed for me. I too was totally etangled in 18 dn. It had to be what it was, but the agent noun scenario completely eluded me for about 5 minutes. This week has been much easier than the last.
  3. An excellent all round puzzle with the bottom and particularly the SW corner harder than the top. About 35 minutes to solve. There are some very good clues such as 10A, 25A, 28A, 22D (where I struggled to see “naturally solid oil” as “fat”), and my personal favourite 19D. I bet Jack struggled to know which ones to leave out when doing the blog.
  4. 15:30. In the words of Blackadder, so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel.

    Plenty of COD candidates, but I’ll go for 1a EXEMPTS. I’m not totally convinced by the definition in 2d, since embryos is surely the plural of ‘ thing in early the stage of development’ rather than the plural of the stage itself. But I may be pedanting myself into a corner there.

    Q-0.5, E-8, D-6.5 (but with tricksy bits)

  5. 11.57. Several clues in which I didn’t get the wordplay until afterwards – PAY CASH in particular took a while to work out. And like some other people, with TANGLER it was the definition I didn’t get till afterwards. I also made life more difficult for myself in that SW corner by for some reason being convinced that you start your ninth year after your tenth birthday…
  6. This is one reason I’ll never be championship material. Tried to tackle this in much the same way as yesterday’s and, at 17 minutes, gave up with 27 (perhaps understandably) and 5A/8D (unforgivably) missing.

    Can’t blame the brain, although I suspect a double interruption a few minutes in may have been overly distracting. This was just a case of not being sharp enough to make even educated guesses.

    Lots of great clueing in this one, although I’d offer the gentlest of quibbly bits to 5A where “up front” feels loose and 13D only because I don’t like the easy-get-out final “S” indicator – that is, I emphasise, wholly a matter of personal taste.

    But the big ticks went to 1A, 11, 25, 27 (a little begrudgingly as it beat me!), 8 (same again), 18, 19 and 24.

    Q-0.5+0.5 E-8 D-8 COD 19

  7. I filled three-quarters of the grid in about 25 minutes and spent another 25 minutes getting the rest. The trouble was I couldn’t break into the SW corner apart from TANGLER, which, like others, I didn’t enter because I couldn’t see the definition. Eventually FATWA confirmed my tentative TERNATE for 27 (unfamiliar) and I completed that corner, but still took some time to get 5, 6 and 8 in the NE corner.
    This puzzle had some of the best clues of the week. I particularly enjoyed 1, 12, 8 and 19, but there’s no doubt about which of these is COD for me: 8
    I see that I need to reach for the dunce’s hat, having entered TIFF, not MIFF for 24. It felt wrong, and had I been more punctilious I’d have considered alternatives to T.
  8. A super puzzle completed in 23:20. NW and SE went in fairly quickly with SW causing most trouble at the end, not least because, like those who have gone before me, it took me an age to see “matter” as “one who matts”.

    Lots of clever devices and COD contenders.

    Q-0, E-9, D-5.5, COD 23 (elapse).

  9. Like others, I thought this was going to be easy, and like others I was disabused. Top half easy, bottom half hard especially SW corner.

    But, while I wrote in TANGLER (it couldn’t be anything else), I still don’t really understand why. The comments so far haven’t helped since I don’t understand the term “agent noun” in several comments. Is it because “matter” in the clue means more tangled? But TANGLER is not the comparative of “tangled”-that would be “more tangled”. But there is a ? at the end of the clue. Clarification would be greatly appreciated.

    My two CODs are ILL and TERNATE.

    1. A “matter” is somebody who “mats” ie “tangles” things – is thus a tangler. It’s the cunning and misleading use of the word “matter” to lead you to think of “stuff”. Hope that helps.
  10. Does Miff mean “wind up”? They don’t seem quite the same to me. I think of someone who is miffed as being a bit annoyed, for one reason or another, while winding someone up is deliberately trying to make them angry or exasperated. Or am I misinterpreting the clue?

    Steve W.

    1. Steve,

      Many is the time I’ve complained on here that a definition is a bit loose, and pretty much every time I’ve been shot down by dictionary corner. If the dictionary definition fits then regardless of usage it’s fair game for the Times crozzer.

  11. Like others, got off to a heavenly start and then got a bit tangled. Many clues yielded only after hard thinking. Another enjoyable puzzle though – making five 80p’s well spent.
  12. Sorry for the late entry, but too much work was actually expected of me today. I did this in about 35 minutes, except for 17, which I saw when I picked it up again later, and kicked myself. However, I confess 2 mistakes: TERNATE, which I never understood til coming here, and MIFF, for which I guessed TIFF. I didn’t know whether ‘wind up’ was meant as a noun or verb, nor what it meant, so I decided it could be a noun synonymous to a ‘dust up’ and went for TIFF. Oops. See you next week, regards to all.
  13. I’m a late commenter too – didn’t time myself, I solved this while proctoring an exam, liked a lot of clues, I’d go for TANGLER as COD for the cleverly-hidden definition
  14. 10:25, one mistake. Failed to remember ‘miff’ = ‘annoy’, and chose the wrong note, putting TIFF.

    Quite liked “HEAVENLY HENLEY” as a pair of answers in the eighth column.

    Edited at 2008-09-27 01:53 pm (UTC)

  15. The final comments by NESTOR say there is a NINA in the corners of this one but, despite exhortation from Penfold, we have no further clues and it appears to have escaped everyone else’s attention – including mine. Happy with your little secret N?

    I was pleased to complete this one un-aided particularly with some of the stalwarts of this site having failed to finish. Wow.

    There are 5 “easies” left out of the blog plus 10 across has no clue in the online version:

    10a (3)
    GOA. The checkers are G?A so that’s what I put in.

    14a Son securing weight with back foot on treadle operated machine (8,5)
    S PINNING W HEEL. Trouble wi’t’ treadle at t’Mill?

    17a Among range of smokers’ equipment under development? 2,3,8)

    4d Eats out, getting Indonesian food (4)
    SATE. Pronounced and oft-times spelled SATAY.

    15d Energetic person’s quick dance : twist (9)

    16d Service personnel on this are not registered well (4,4)
    SICK LIST. Is that an official term in the Armed Services?

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