24986 – I, a twerp…

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Back to normal for me on this one. I completed all but three in the NE  within 30 minutes but then ran over by another 10 to finish the grid but including a cheat at 7dn because I couldn’t spend any more time on it with the puzzle still to blog. It’s a fair puzzle with nothing really to quibble about.
* = anagram

1 CEREBELLA – Hidden.
9 BAR,BARA – BAR (stop) followed by ARAB (horse) reversed.
10 SU(BED)IT – SUIT (fit) encloses BED (base).
11 TAPER – Double definition.
15 StABLE – I put TABLE first before realising that ‘second missing’ refers to the second letter.
17 TOAST – Double definition.
18 WIN(C)E
19 bUTTER – I had forgotten (if I ever knew) that ‘utter’ is a legal term meaning to put forged money into circulation.
20 RED (TAP)E – REDE (an old word meaning advice) encloses TAP (take advantage of).
23 PET,IT FOUR – PET (favourite), IT (‘s = has a square) FOUR.
25 Deliberately omitted
27 MAILBAG – Not sure if anyone sent down and in prison sews mailbags any more but that’s the reference here.
28 SILENCE – Double definition.
29 RE(LE,GAT)ED – Reversed DEER (stag) encloses LE (French for ‘the’) and a GAT(ling gun).
1 C(A,S)HEW – And this time ‘second’ is S.
2 RUBBER BAND – RUBBER as in ‘eraser’ (one wearing away) BAND (strip)
3 BUD,A,PEST – ‘Aphid’ being an example of a pest. ‘Perhaps’ may excuse the DBE.
4 L(AT)IN – This is NIL (love) enclosing TA (volunteers) all reversed. Is anyone going to claim that Latin isn’t a
difficult language? I might venture that it’s no more difficult than others I was taught at school, but I found all languages difficult.
5 ABS(ORB)ENT – ABSENT (missing) encloses ORB (ball).
7 E,ARP – My last in and I needed to cheat to get it. The lawman is Wyatt Earp late of Dodge City and Tombstone and the surrealist appears to be Jean Arp (1886-1966) of whom I never ‘eard.
8 FA(IR IS)LE – IRIS (flower) enclosed by LEAF*. It’s a knitting pattern particularly used for sweaters, hence ‘top design’.
14 LUNAR ORBIT – TRIBUNAL* encloses OR (golden). The Eagle was the first manned lunar module to land on the surface of the moon.
16 BLUE, PE(T)ER – The flag (waver) raised when a ship is about to set sail. BLUE (waste) PEER (look) encloses T (time).
17 TOR(TOIS)E – TORE (lacerated) encloses IS TO*
21 AR(RAN)T – RAN (managed) enclosed by ART (sculpture, for one)
22 Deliberately omitted
24 TA(Meal)IL
26 DO,LT – DO (trick) LT (Lieutenant)

31 comments on “24986 – I, a twerp…”

  1. I’m going to count my 18:18 even though I should probably be permanently disqualified from all crossword solving for having managed to misspel the hidden word. Clearly something amiss in my CERABELLA.

    This felt like middling difficulty. I, for one, got a giggle out of the sewer clue, but that may say more about me than the clue.

    Last in: RED TAPE, inferring the archaism.

    1. The morning after and I realise that I also managed to mispell ‘mispell’. Short of misspelling my own name, I can’t do much more in the service of stupidity.
  2. 40 minutes, with the last 10 on 7dn before I gave up and looked up the surrealist. I agree with ulaca I probably should have been able to guess the answer.

    I entered MAILBAG without understanding the clue. I certainly don’t associate imprisonment with the sewing of mailbags so I was never going to solve it.

  3. Rather more difficult than of late, with 20ac causing most trouble. Originally, I had ‘red CONe’, but it got sorted out when ARRANT fell – ‘sculpture, for one’ holding me up there. Never heard of ‘blue’ meaning ‘waste’. I thought EARP was pretty easy to derive once your had the checkers in place with the ‘point’ instruction, ‘though that’ll be no consolation to the blogger. Thanks to Jack for parsing RELEGATED and ABSORBENT. 50 minutes: COD to MAILBAG.
    1. My problem was that I thought of MP (Military Policeman) as the lawman and couldn’t see beyond that. On a non-blogging day I’d have persevered and I’m sure it would have clicked eventually, even if it meant I had to go through the alphabet letter by letter exploring the other various possibilities. But I’m afraid something akin to panic set in as I wanted to get on and blog the puzzle before going to bed.

      Having just typed the word here and seeing a red wavy line appear beneath it, it has only just occurred to me that ‘lawman’ is not a term normally used in UK English and this should have been an additional clue that the answer might relate specifically to US law and the world of sheriffs and the like.

      1. Further to my comment yesterday I now find they have taken a payment for the period 12th Mar 2012 – 11th Mar 2013 so I “can be sure of uninterrupted access to the club”. One can only conclude they are so incompetent that they can only ensure this by working 6 months in advance!
        1. And I’m sure they would have taken mine if my card hadn’t expired since their last foray into my bank account.

          On edit

          Stop the presses. I just got an email from custserv@timesonline.co.uk as follows:

          I apologise for any confusion caused. I can confirm that your subscription is valid until 13th June 2012.
          The email was sent in error, and I apologise for any inconvenience caused.
          Please disregard the email.

          The person who signed the email seems to be the person ultimately in charge of payments and invoices. Could be worth a shot?

          Edited at 2011-10-21 07:53 am (UTC)

  4. … which I felt was a pretty good time for this puzzle. It seemed hard, especially as I slowed down a bit in the TORTOISE corner. (Appropriate?) But the clock said 7:33 (after a 7:02 start) to my pleasant surprise.

    The “Golden Eagle” lift-and-separate in 14dn was my COD; though the def in the next clue, “Waver before leaving”, was also excellent.

    Two different meanings of “Peter” in two days. How far can this go? Would I be safe in expecting another one?

    Edited at 2011-10-21 04:49 am (UTC)

  5. Once more I’ve been lucky and seem to have been absolutely on the setter’s wavelength: finished in under 20 minutes. For some reason, the definition in most clues seemed obvious and the wordplay fell quickly into place, except for the excellent ABSORBENT (my COD). EARP (or, rather, ARP) was a guess; US connotations of ‘lawman’ (see jackkt) helped.
  6. Must have been about 40 minutes when I finally penned RED TAPE & RUBBER BAND, which had been holding me up for… but enough of my postprandial pursuits. Actually EARP was my first in (sorry Jack) with Arp being well known to me, mostly because he also goes by the moniker Hans. Once heard, never forgotten. A bit like that rambunctious composer Carl Orff, the Wild, who I was going to mention earlier this week in response to Sotira’s comment, but thought better of it. COD to BLUE PETER
  7. 24 minutes here.
    I found this a bit of a mixed bag. Some very good clues but quite a bit of arcane usage that made some of them feel a bit of a stretch. 16dn about sums it up: “waver before leaving” is very good but “waste” for BLUE is a bit out there.
    All perfectly fair though. The only thing I really didn’t like was 22dn – rather an unpleasant little clue.
    And I’m probably missing something but I didn’t see what “my” was doing in 23ac.
    1. I also wondered about ‘my’ when blogging but decided to dismiss it as padding that adds to the surface of the clue. Possibly a bit generous to the setter but I liked the puzzle as a whole so I didn’t raise the issue. Perhaps we are both missing something?
  8. 26 mins for me, so happy days. Agree blue and utter are a bit “out there”, so cod to the Golden Eagle.
  9. Yet another in what feels like a long run of DNFs…

    20ac left blank, as I plumped for errant at 21dn. Lots of good clues today, even thought I didn’t understand all of them before reading the blog: ABSORBENT, MAILBAG, eg, so thanks for the explanations, Jack. Hadn’t heard of ARP, nor that particular meaning for BLUE or UTTER.

    Have a good weekend, everyone. Let’s hope I manage a few more Fs next week…

  10. Another relatively easy offering with a strange grid – lots of 5 and 6 letter words. No comment other than the padding at 23A

    I think sewing mailbags is now as frowned upon as breaking rocks – rehabilitation is the current flavour and that means lessons and so on.

  11. Sorry but blue for waste seems to me to be a perfectly common usage – “don’t blue the lot” was a normal parental instruction on handing over funds.
  12. I seemed to have no particular problems today though I’ve never heard of UTTER in this context. An enjoyable 26 minutes.
  13. Oh, and good luck to all those competing in the Championships tomorrow.

    Top tip: invest in a good quality jeweller’s loupe and hope you’re sitting next to Mark G or Peter B. I would.

  14. About 35 to 40 minutes for what seemed to me a more difficult puzzle, which highlights a lot of language differences. DNK: blue as ‘waste, BLUE PETER, the MAILBAG reference, FAIR ISLE, rede, UTTER in this sense. So a lot of ‘by guess and by golly’ entries here, and some extended time. On the other hand, no problem with EARP or Arp. I don’t usually cotton to the double def.’s, but my COD today to TOAST, which raised a smile. Good luck to tomorrow’s contestants, and regards as well.
  15. Did this in dribs and drabs and was not on the wavelength of the setter, but I got through OK. Four that went in as complete guesses – FAIR ISLE, BLUE PETER, RED TAPE and MAILBAG. Usually I flub up when I have to put that many in from checking letters alone.
  16. Didn’t get to time this but found it rather a treat for some reason. The Utter meaning is far out though; I don’t get the red, particularly, in red tape; and the My in 23, that gets in as part of a colloquial surface, is pushing the envelope as a red herring. (Something else for the old lags.) Yet found the whole thing jazzily entertaining, almost like a Scott Joplin rag. Maybe it’s the mood you’re in.
    1. I was thinking of jazz too because of EYE OPENER at 12 across, a tune I associate with the great American stride pianist Ralph Sutton. He put out a fabulous CD in 1990 with this as the title track.
  17. 8:40 for me – slow by the standards of the fast brigade but perhaps the best that can be expected for an old 17dn like me. The fact that I’ve had a reasonable week (so far) makes me all the more nervous about tomorrow.

    See you in Wapping.

  18. As Jackkt suggets, why is Latin to be seen as a difficult language? It’s no more difficult than any other language. Some would say it’s easier.
  19. 31 minutes, with mental question marks for several, like BLUE PETER & MAILBAG; thanks to Jack for the various elucidations. (In US prisons, the cliche job was making license plates; for all I know they still do.) EARP was easy, both because the name’s well known in the States and because Arp keeps showing up in NYT puzzles.

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