24878 – Hope I’m not alone…

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
My solving time was off the scale even with generous use of aids after 60 minutes in order to get the thing finished and the blog started. I began well with 1ac and 1dn going straight in swiftly followed by 4 and 5 and 6dn so I thought I was in for a quick solve but then I came unstuck and apart from a handful in the SE almost every other answer was a battle. I didn’t even spot the hidden answer until all the checkers were in place and that was right at the end of the proceedings. I don’t know whether this was due to blogger’s nerves or if it really was a hard one. There were certainly a lot of chestnuts clueing parts of words but in many cases the definitions were devious and the wordplay almost impenetrable. I think I understand it all now apart from 2dn but no doubt others will point out anything I have overlooked.

1 TIME TRIAL – Cryptic definition
6 THROW – Triple meaning
9 S(TR)UM –  Theatre-goeR inside MUS reversed
10 T(IT, FOR, TA)T – IT = computing, FOR=pro, TA= Territorial Army, all inside TT=tee-total
11 A( FARE,WELL) T,O, ARMS – The novel by Ernest Hemingway. FARE WELL = flourish inside AT, then O = ball (!) and ARMS = weapons.
13 INFRA DIG – (rain flood)*, then DIG = mine
14 SER(B)IAl
16 Deliberately omitted. I’m ashamed to say it was my last in which makes me feel this about my solving skills at the moment
18 Vide,A MOOSE, Daughter
21 INDIAN ROPE TRICK – (park indirection)*
23 A{V(AL)AN}CHE – Two old chestnuts for one here: AL = gangster and CHE = revolutionary
26 tIDY,L,L
27 WALK,OVERS – WALK = constitutional, followed by the obligatory cricketing reference
1 Deliberately omitted
2 MUR,RAY,FIELD – This is the Edinburgh rugby stadium. MUR = rum (unusual) reversed and FIELD = contestants. I assume RAY was a photographer, real or fictional, but I can’t verify this. On edit; Thanks to Jimbo for confirming the reference to Man Ray who I’ve never heard of. I had looked at the surname RAY on Wikipedia and he is listed amongst many others on the disambiguation page, however there is no indication there of his line of work so I wasn’t able to pick him out.
3 TEMPER,drAin
4 INTREPID –  (printed I)*
5 LET FLY – Two meanings, one a bit cryptic.
6 TWOSOME – (we most 0)*  – ‘0’ = love
7 RAT – Another chestnut, RAM = sign, then change Mark to Time
12 ROBE,S(PIER)RE – SRE from SeRiEs
13 I PU(R,I) T, A,New,I – I’ve never heard of this opera by Bellini.
15 CAMP,BELL – I’ll get my song mention in here: The Campbells are comin’, Oho! Oho! by Rabbie Burns.
17 S(E)A W,ALL
19 mON TH,E GO
20 CR(AC)OW – As the crow flies = in a straight line. AC = ca (around) reversed
22 KUDOS – Sounds like ‘queue doss’
24 A,MY – MY as in ‘My!’

38 comments on “24878 – Hope I’m not alone…”

  1. 20m30s today; quite liked this one. Apart from 13D which I hadn’t heard of but it was deducible; not wild about’n’ for ‘new’.
  2. Jack, at 2D this is a reference to Man Ray 1890-1976 American artist and photographer

    About time we had a puzzle with some meast in it – I really enjoyed wrestling with parts of this for 25 minutes.

    I think UNEASY at 16A is one of the best hidden words I’ve ever seen. Pity about the obscure opera.

    We cant let the infamouse CAMPBELL’s go without recording the Glen Coe massacre of 1692 and their murder of the MacDonalds – still remembered in some northern quarters

  3. If I don’t count I PURITANI, I came in under 30 minutes: once on the setter’s wavelength (which took a bit of time), answers seemed to flow quite easily, although some wordplay details were ignored (thanks, jackkt, for spelling out the minutiae of A FAREWELL TO ARMS).

    I PURITANI (unknown to me) took some time, slowed down by not knowing whether ‘King’ = K or R. In the end, my best guess was confirmed by Google!

  4. 24:51, another one to really get the brain working. After a gentle Monday opener, it’s been a tough week!

    Add me to those who have never come across I PURITANI.

  5. 29 minutes but with scrum (of theatre-goers – didn’t get it at all) for strum. The best thing about the Hemingway novel is the title in my view. I like vamoosed – just the word.
  6. Same time as yesterday (65 minutes), although this one was more enjoyed and as a result seemed easier, ‘though I still managed to get one wrong, inventing a new Portuguese opera, ‘I Lusitani’ (‘lit’ = settled – almost ‘set’ – around ‘us’ – ‘the King and I’).

    The definition of AVALANCHE as ‘mass shooting’ caught me out at first, ‘ring of tents’ was downright ugly, and INFRA DIG must be up there with ‘per se’ for most popular Latinate term.

    Liked the anagram at 4dn for its brevity, but after a tough week I’m giving COD to the marvellously cumbersome STRUM.

      1. Thanks; of course. I actually had it in my post-solve auto-debrief and then mislaid it!
  7. …but managed it all correctly without aids. A brilliant puzzle.

    Lots and lots went in from the literal, working out the wordplay afterwards (eg VAMOOSED, AFTA, ROBESPIERRE, AVALANCHE etc). I never worked out the wordplay for STRUM, my LOI, just glad to finish by putting in a word that fit the literal.

    Lots of good candidates for today’s Cod. Think I’ll go for KUDOS. Any objection to the homophone?

    A quick query: what does the ‘report’ in 25a add?

    Have a good weekend, everyone, and catch up next week! J

    PS Has anyone heard of the opera?

    1. I Puritana.
      As an opera fan (not a buff) I’m ashamed that I needed help to get I PURITANA. Subsequent research, where I was hoping that its obscurity would be confirmed, showed there to have been many recordings. So what do I know?
      The cheat lead me to the brilliant UNEASY, my LOI and COD. The experts on the blog suggest this has been a tricky week and so I am pleased to come through unscathed, and if anything my confidence on the up.
    2. I don’t think the clue would work without “report” because “red” doesn’t mean “flush”. So you have to read “ER RED” as a report that the queen is red. A report of a royal flush.
      Am I making sense?
  8. 34 minutes. I really enjoyed this. Lots of originality and eureka moments.
    Like others I’ve never heard of I PURITANI, but I don’t mind a bit of obscurity in a clue like this where the challenge is to construct from wordplay and then make a judgement as to what’s likely.
    24dn AMY is just marvellous.

  9. Not just you, jackkt.

    Solving tired in the wee small hours, I struggled with all of this. Staring at 13d with all the checking letters, I knew I’d seen this opera title before but still took ages to get it. Turns out we had it in April 2008 (No.23,896) when it was clued rather more helpfully as:

    Newly-arranged air I put in opera (1,8)

    But my downfall was another typo – ROBSPIIERRE – which led to a hopeless GALLOPED at 18a.

    I think my Player Rating just went negative.

  10. Another fantastic puzzle. Delighted to complete it without aids in 44 minutes. CODs everywhere. Some great wordplay, brilliant surfaces, thanks setter.
    And well blogged Jack, as always.
  11. By remarkable coincidence, I Puritani was on Sky Arts 2 yesterday, which probably means it’ll be on again soon if you want to catch it.
    I enjoyed this one a lot, and did it in 18 minutes feeling I was doing really well, perhaps because the cluing, while splendidly devious, seemed consistently so, if that makes any sense. It meant that I read 23a, for example, with only the briefest nod towards the telegraphed Valentines Day Massacre, and the splendidly opaque definition makes it my CoD by a narrow margin over the Byzantine STRUM.
    LET FLY was last in (would also have made CoD on another day)
    One minor quibble: I don’t buy TEMPERA as a drawing method – it’s paint and painting, isn’t it?
    1. Quite agree. I didn’t put TEMPERA in until it was the only possible answer.
  12. I think that whilst there were no stand out clues, the level and quality of this one was right at the top end. The misleading definitions and clever wordplay meant that I felt quite satisfied to finish in under 30 mins. A feeling of wellbeing on conclusion is one of the signs of a good ‘un. Some unknown GK could be overcome by well ordered wordplay, and everything felt like an achievement.

    Congrats to the setter.

  13. I couldn’t get into this one at all. I was sadly lacking in general knowledge and some of the cryptic clues were over my head too.
  14. 45 minutes, a confidence-restorer after the last two disasters.I ‘solved’ several without knowing why until after; in some cases until reading the blog: 11ac from ‘weapons’ and the enumeration, for instance. I knew, and recently had heard some of, ‘I Puritani’, but it took a long time to remember it. 2d was my LOI; I never thought of Man Ray (I knew the name, thought he was a painter), but with MUR___FIELD, ‘Murray’ seemed worth a shot. Since I pronounce ‘kudos’ koo-dose (I think; it’s not a word I find myself pronouncing often; anyway, not ‘kyoo’), 22d, for me, left something to be desired. But there were plenty of great clues: AMY, VAMOOSED, UNEASY, INFRA DIG, … Great blog, Jack; but I still don’t get LET FLY.
  15. I took what seemed like ages to get started on this. Strangely enough, in view of the above comments, my first in was I PURITANI. It had to be an opera title and it became a toss-up between I PURITANI and I LOMBARDI because of the single letter first word. Have seen the Lombards on stage but the Puritans are a delight yet to come. I suffered a memory break-down with the Hemmingway. I knew the book referred to but couldn’t remember the second word and had A – TO ARMS for about 15 minutes until I got the checkers. This proved to be a very enjoyable puzzle but it felt as if I’d been struggling with it for hours. Pleasantly surprised to see that it had been a mere 46 minutes.
  16. I confess I needed aids to finish for MURRAYFIELD and the opera. Never heard of either of them. A lot of the rest went in without understanding the wordplay ay all, i.e. A FAREWELL TO ARMS, KUDOS, CRACOW, WALKOVERS. Overall though, very devious wordplay, and a very high quality puzzle. About 35 minutes before resorting to the computer. COD to the terrific IDYLL, followed by STRUM. Thanks setter, though I agree with the other Kevin re: pronouncing ‘queue’ as ‘kyu’, not ‘koo’. Regards to all.
  17. Very tricky – I PURITANI from wordplay, INDIAN ROPE TRICK from definition, and MURRAYFIELD from a complete guess at what would go in MUR-A-FIELD and sound like a ground or a photographer. 28 minutes.
  18. Like Sotira I was very tired when I started this. I saw TIME TRIAL immediately but thought it was risky to put in without checkers. After reading all the clues I was wondering if it would be the first time I would not just DNF but DNS. I eventually got a toehold in the SE and finished without aids in the NW. Excellent puzzle – I just wish I had been in better shape to enjoy it.
  19. 15:34 here for another enjoyable puzzle – except for 2D, that is, as I quite agree with z8b8d8k and wil_ransome that TEMPERA is paint and painting rather than drawing. I found this on the tough side, but I had no problem with I PURITANI which I thought of as soon as I saw (1,8).
    1. I’m afraid the first thing I thought of when I saw (1,8) was “I Gaspiri; or, The Upholsterers”, a nonsense play –skit, really– by Ring Lardner. Fortunately, the second thing I thought of was to stop thinking of the first thing.
        1. ‘Claudius’, at least, has 8 letters. On the other hand, I bet ‘I, Claudius’ doesn’t have dialogue like:
          A: Well, my man, how goes it?
          B: (Sings ‘My Man’ to show how it goes.)
  20. I started doing the Times crossword last year having not really done cryptics. With help from ‘How to Master the TImes Crossword’ book, I haven’t done too badly but what do you mean by ‘aids’. I need all the help I can get – any advice? Ta
    1. Hi, and welcome. It just means dictionaries, crossword solvers or any other method of ‘cheating’. In other words, in this unfortunate case, when I got stuck and 60 minutes had passed I started looking a few things up to get the puzzle completed in time to write the blog.
  21. I had no trouble with I Puritani because it came up only a few weeks ago, in some crossword or another..
    In this entry (and it is *not8 the one I mean, which was recent) you, Jack, inform us that I Puritani is the 76th best opera of all time! 🙂

    1. Thanks, jerry. It doesn’t really surprise me. I looked it up then because I’d never heard of it and some time over the intervening 3+ years I forgot about it. It was never more than a name on a list of operas to me.

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