26098 Of the Church of England in exile, and cut price warships.

A rather jolly grid, this one, which I completed in 15.19. I’d like to think the setter intended the somewhat surreal pairings scattered across the grid, two of which I’ve alluded to in today’s headline. Our Antipodean colleagues get a look in for at least the third day in a row: Perth, Fremantle and now … well, see if you can spot it. Clue: it’s not a town. Almost as if desperate to prove this is not a parochial pastime, our setter has also included a bit of probably South African and one of those scavenged words the English Language has nicked from Hindi. Or maybe Persian. I’ve been educated today (again). Some Dickens pops up, and a word I knew but had assumed from its sound and shape meant something completely different is brought into focus. I’l try to remember for future reference.
Here’s my working


1 REHAB  Should be here!
An &litish feel to this one, as you have to take the surface of the wordplay into account when working out where “here” is. EH corresponds to “what”, and a pub/bar backsliding gives you the containing RAB
4 FACETIOUS  not serious
All the vowels in the right order. I like to stick an LY on the end to be absolutely sure. Tending to split is FACTIOUS, and the back of costume is E, to be enveloped.
9 CARPENTER  Saw worker
Cutesy definition. Confined gives PENT, your embracing nurse is a CARER. Savour this little slice of life.
10 RATEL  creature of the night
Be worth is RATE, and add a less florid version of £. Something I know about ratels: other than in South Africa, they’re honey badgers. Something I learned today: The Guiness Book of Records has it as the world’s most fearless creature.
11 SEDUCE  divert.
A short pipe is a DUC(t)which you put through, ie into, SEE for spot.
12 AVIEMORE  winter sports venue
Scotland’s finest (for all I know).  Be extra competetive suggests VIE MORE. You need the A to put it “at”. Perhaps this (11/12) pairing suggests a government strategy for dealing with Scots Nats (see RECUSANT REALMS, below)
14 NATIONAL GRID  power source
A well-flagged anagram of DRAINING A LOT.
17 SPEAKING TUBE Phone predecessor
A-level two cans and a piece of string. “In full flow” I think is just SPEAKING. I wanted it to be PEAKING but couldn’t find the S. Underground (in London anyway) is TUBE.
20 ECONOMIC  cheap
A second “there you go, have an anagram” clue: ONE COMIC.
21 BIREME  craft
Sounds like (to be picked up) buy ream. An ECONOMIC one presumably uses fewer rowers
23 LUNGI  skirt.
Take the F(eminine) away from FLUNG and add 1(one). It’s a simple, unisex wrap around skirt, not unlike a sarong.
24 AS IT COMES  in no particular way
A TV Programme is A SITCOM. Place two of the four points, E and S next door. Don’t think I’ve ever been invited to a LUNGI AS IT COMES party. Shame.
25 STATELESS being without a passport
I think I’ll leave this unexplained.
26 SYNOD  meeting
A sound alike for SIN (wrong) and a reversd DO (party). Synods are ecclesiastical things: the idea of a STATELESS one is intriguing.


1 RECUSANT  Stubbornly unorthodox.
A (ususally religious) dissenter from the prevailing discipline, probably an enthusiastic attender at the stateless synod. American US is dragged into RECANT. Another appealing surface presenting a little cameo. Salem? McCarthy?
2 HEREDITY  …this
Another tidy &litish clue. HER/woman’s EDIT/alteration plus Y(ears)
3 BREACH OF PROMISE  The Bardell case
Mr Pickwick, he of the Papers, was sued by the widow Mrs Martha Bardell for breaking off an engagement he didn’t know he’d proposed. You don’t need to know that if you put R(uns) into a sandy BEACH, and add a concoction of PROOF and SEMI, but, hey, why not read the book – it’s on Gutenberg. Another very decent surface.
4 FATE  that one can’t avoid
Obese/FAT and E(nglish). From (I think) C19 Punch: Mary, the Irish maid, to her employer “Sor, what’s kismet?” “Why Mary, it’s fate”. Well in that case, me kismet’s killing me”. Antiquity is a defence against racial stereotyping.
5 CARAVAGGIO  religious painting
Well, it says religious, but it was mostly an excuse to paint naked young men and boys, and violent executions that would be an inspiration to ISIS if they ever looked at that stuff. Was there ever a more obvious anagram that A VICAR AGOG? Fabulous art, by the way.
6 THREE RING CIRCUS  Grand entertainment.
Yup, three rings at once, a forerunner of those busy CGI films where you never know quite where to look. Take two rings away from the Olympic five and make the rest up.
7 OPTION  Possibility
Being taken to a new home could be seen as ADOPTION, lose the AD/notice
8 SOLDER  join up
Take one (I) away from the private, who is one version of the SOLDIER.
13 PALATINATE  Province
Not least in England during the times of feudal lords, and nothing to do with sultans and such. as I thought (if ever I did) before now. Head is PATE, place therein A LATIN European.
15 SUPERMAN  hero
Tried to fit in some Greek until I realised it was DC. Or Nietzsche, I suppose. MA, your mother, “takes round” an anagram of PRUNES. Is OPTION SUPERMAN a section of Clark Kent’s wardrobe?
Month is Dec, got milder EASED.
18 REALMS  Areas
Significant is REAL, MS ManuScript writng. Ah, those Recusant Realms of the still technically United Kingdom.
19 GOANNA  monitor
As in lizard. Apparently you Aussie types have trouble pronouncing iguana. GO ANNA! is the encouraging worplay.
22 BIAS  partiality.
Half a prelate is a BIS(hop). Conceal A therein. Is “Caravaggio bias” a rather sophisticated way of suggesting one might gay? 

60 comments on “26098 Of the Church of England in exile, and cut price warships.”

  1. Flung in ‘govern’ at 19d–I fling too much–despite the voices in my head telling me, ‘But Vern’s a man’s name, twit!’; I suppose I figured if Lindsey, why not Vern? Anyway, the voices convinced me and I came up with ANNA at long last, although I couldn’t recall what a goanna was or where. I was rather chuffed to have got AVIEMORE (DNK) and LUNGI (ditto) from wordplay alone, and BREACH OF PROMISE, although I couldn’t place Bardell; thanks, Z, for reminding me. But REALMS was beyond me; seeing the parsing now, I’m not that disappointed, as I don’t think I’d ever have got the significant=real connection.
        1. Yes, it does seem to be one of those three point turns in a Thesaurus – running it through mine I found only “material” in common. I pinged from “writing” straight to MS, and with LMS at the end of the word there weren’t many possibilities. I was happy enough with the two words being interchangeable, perhaps with subtle differences in real worry, significant difference and so on.
          I see Deezzaa put the attractive and possible TRACTS in first. Glad I didn’t.
          1. Mind you, I didn’t say the clue was inappropriate, only that I’d never have got it. On edit: And now I see that this chain of replies now has Ulaca agreeing that I’d never get it.

            Edited at 2015-05-14 08:23 am (UTC)

  2. Seconded! I couldn’t see it at all.

    This one dragged on for far too long and ended with gridlock in the SW corner. After the “Maid of Perth” and “Fremantle”, I should have spotted the GO-ANNA (go, go, go — Anna be good?)

    Is there an Australian setter lurking at News Corp?

  3. Nice puzzle, with quite a few unknowns. In the end, tripped up on the ski slopes, expecting somewhere in Europe or other areas where it actually snows a lot for a long time. 50-odd minutes before resorting to aids.

    Thanks to Zed for the parsing of OPTION.

  4. Specifically–and this is how I knew the term–recusants were people (mainly Catholics, I’d guess) in England and Wales who refused to take part in Anglican services, etc.
    1. Recusants feature quite a bit in Scott’s Old Mortality, both in the guise of Catholics and Covenanters (Presbyterians), as I recall.

      Bellini’s Italian opera I Puritani was based on a French play which was based on Scott’s novel – which of course mixed Lowland Scots with English.

  5. A bad day at the office for me! Like Kevin above I was unable to solve 18dn but I resorted to aids. At 9ac I carelessly biffed FORRESTER without considering that of course it doesn’t have a double R. That left me with REFUSING as the only possibility at 1dn, and although there’s half a connection with stubbornness I didn’t really believe it.

    If I’ve ever come across RECUSANT before I have completely forgotten it. I didn’t know the Bardell case but I now suspect it has come up before and I also wasted ages considering how CARAVAGGIO could be a painting rather than a painter. I see it now.

  6. Around the hour mark to complete this rather good puzzle, albeit with a wee bit of help.
    Like others 18d gave me problems, but then I had confidently bunged in TRACTS early on. It was only when I got 20a that I saw the error of my ways. So it was not only my FOI but also my LOI!
    The Bardell case was rattling around the back of my mind. I’ve never read the book itself (it’s not one of Dickens’ more riveting reads) but I do remember Harry Secombe in Pickwick railing against the injustice of it all.
    Nice blog, z8, by the way.
  7. 21:30 … mostly smooth sailing, despite some gaps in my GK now filled and augmented by Z8 et al. Thanks, all.

    Becalmed for a while at the end with PALATINATE, where I started out looking for something inside CA .. PE.

    Ingenious puzzle all round.

  8. Entertaining puzzle (and blog). The ‘tricky’ words, i.e. the GOANNA and LUNGI, were lurking somewhere in the back of my mind when prompted, which suggests I’ve come across them before, but only in crosswords (and possibly more than once, as otherwise I would inevitably have written “Never seen this word before” before discovering I’d said exactly the same thing six months ago).
    1. “.. as otherwise I would inevitably have written “Never seen this word before” before discovering I’d said exactly the same thing six months ago.”

      What Donald Rumsfeld would presumably have called unknown knowns.

      1. Precisely. I think Rumsfeld gets unfair stick for this bit of psycholinguistics, which I recognise completely. There again, he did say that Bin Laden was “alive or dead. He’s in Afghanistan or somewhere else”, so it’s possibly unsurprising he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt.
  9. Eeek! Nowhere near that wavelength today, as it took about an hour or so and I then gave up with two blanks: REALMS (surprise!) and the unknown PALATINATE (where I had PATE, but was somehow trying to get an S in there…).

    GOANNA I assumed was a bit like an iguana? Dnk of Bardell and don’t think I’ve heard of a 3 RING CIRCUS, so it took an age to get the two long downs.

    Thanks for the explanations, Z, much appreciated today.

  10. My ‘Areas of significant writing’ was biffed in as TRACTS which caused chaos in the SW for quite a while. Elsewhere, I could see what was happening in 7dn but was trying to take the AD away from ADDRESS. Some nice clues though.
  11. 20 mins. At one point I thought it was going to take me a lot longer, but I started to make a bit of progress and once enough checkers were in place the answers started to flow. REALMS was my LOI after GOANNA and STATELESS. If I had come across the lizard before I had forgotten it, and I was relieved to find my interpretation of the wordplay was correct. I’ve read Pickwick a couple of times but not recently, so I needed some checkers and the wordplay before 3dn fell into place. Today’s answer that took me much too long to see (I’m going to have to come up with a word for this because it doesn’t lend itself to an acronym) was NATIONAL GRID. I also might have got RATEL sooner than I did had I known it was nocturnal.
    1. Ditto on RATEL and on NATIONAL GRID which may have been a “gift” – Got It Finally Then.
    2. We share a building with National Grid so I see the phrase all the time which may have helped subconsciously.
    3. How about a ‘Wally’? Or a ‘Waldo’, for our North American friends.
      1. OAF – obvious answer failure
        OAP – obvious answer problem
        GOSH – glaringly obvious solution hiatus
  12. Nice time Z. The (almost) weekly lunacy of the TLS pays off. I read Pickwick – once – not a fan of picaresque novels generally. Got stuck being too clever by half looking for a Greek in 15d. I also spent time trying for “forester” and “refusenik”. Alevel study of the Stuarts finally kicked in with “recusant” and “palatinate”. 19.41
      1. Interesting. I’ve never thought of Pickwick as a picaresque novel – probably because the man himself isn’t my idea of a picaresque hero.
        1. Picaresque, Pickwickesque, surely the near-homophony cannot be mere coincidence…
          1. Hm! I’m not convinced. Under “Pickwickian” the OED has: “When applied to a person, usually used to suggest plumpness, joviality, benevolence, or innocence”, reflecting the characteristics of a very unpicaresque hero! Jingle is picaresque, but he’s not enough to make the book a picaresque novel.
        2. It doesn’t really fit the “rogue” part of the meaning but it certainly fulfills the “episodic adventure” part.
          1. Since the word “picaresque” comes from the Spanish picaro, meaning “rogue”, a novel surely cannot be picaresque without the “rogue” element. And, as I’m sure you know, Dickens’s novels were naturally episodic since most of them were published in instalments.
  13. 12:36 with quite a bit of dragging things from the back of my mind (goanna, lungi) although the wordplay was clear.
  14. 24:53. I found this tough, but rewarding. I had a bit of trouble with unknowns like the Bardell case and the lizard, but the real problem was the LUNGI/REALM pair. I didn’t know the former, so was unsure of it, which made the latter tricky. I got there in the end by assuming the skirt was right and doing a systematic alphabet search. On a little piece of paper next to me I have written:

    [and so on until]

    Nice blog as usual, z8, but perilously political. The grid also contains an ECONOMIC BREACH OF PROMISE. I wasn’t going to point this out for fear of controversy but then I realised it’s actually a point of agreement.

    1. Those odd pairs were simply irresistible, M’lud, though I concede I may have to go to facetious rehab before long. Wouldn’t it be great to revive the term PALATINATE just for the Scots? Independence in everything but sovereignty, as I (badly mis-) understand it.
      Imagine the protest mobs marching through Glesga, chanting “What’s oor fate? Palatinate! Whan du we wunt it? Noo!” How we’ll laugh.
      Now if only I can find a woodworking South African badger…
  15. 16:17 with a hopeful stab at palatinate my LOI. I was surprised to find that that, lungi, goanna and recusant were all correct.

    The fact that B of P was a literary reference went way over my head. I just assumed that Bardell v Bardell was one of those actual cases everyone is supposed to know, like Donoghue v Stevenson, Carlill v The Carbolic Smokeball Company and the State v O.J. Simpson.

    1. I thought exactly the same. Gould v Gould is the other one I remember. That and the fact you’re supposed to say ‘and’ instead of ‘v’. Such valuable knowledge.
    2. As an ex Tax guy (white hat), I go along with Ayrshire Pullman Motor Services v Inland Revenue (1929)

      “No man in the country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other, so to arrange his legal relations to his business or property as to enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel in his stores. The Inland Revenue is not slow, and quite rightly, to take every advantage which is open to it under the Taxing Statutes for the purposes of depleting the taxpayer’s pocket. And the taxpayer is in like manner entitled to be astute to prevent, so far as he honestly can, the depletion of his means by the Inland Revenue”

      A forgotten thought these days.

  16. GOANNA was a write-in. Everything else was a write-off.

    I had Jack’s FORRESTER and Sotira’s CA…PE, and struggled with LUNGI and never got RECUSANT.

    Just like when the truck full of terrapins rolled over, it was a turtle disaster.

  17. And thanks to Penfold, I’ll be the first to claim a Dean Martin, at 1ac.
  18. With apologies to Olivia for “gift” and keriothe for “wally/waldo”, both of which are excellently succinct, I think the prize has to go to Penfold’s superb suggestion. Galspray seems to agree.
    1. Well Olivia’s certainly made me smile. Maybe the D in Dean should stand for “depressingly” to capture the feeling more accurately.
  19. Just over 30 mins which I was happy with for this puzzle. I too wasted time by bunging in “tracts” thus really screwing up the SW. The correct REALMS was my LOI but which was biffed on a wing and a prayer.
  20. Finished in 45 minutes, had to go to check GOANNA and find out why 3d was what it was, after getting the wordplay.
    Good to know there is still a National Grid in these days of British electricity being owned by the French, EdF et. al.
    Some fine clues in a good puzzle with those political undertones of more recusant realms up north in Aviemore. An economic three ring circus indeed. Make it a Palatinate?
    1. EdF sold the electricity distribution businesses in London, the South-East and the East to the Hong Kong Chinese in 2010 (for £5.775bn according to the lucite whatnot on my desk).
      1. et al was right then… thanks. Here I have no choice in the matter but to pay EdF their 12 cents or so a unit, and hope they take on the probably poisoned chalice of the UK’s next generation of nuclear.
  21. Well, we’re a light-hearted crowd today. Except perhaps for me. DNF, having to surrenedr and go to the aids to find AVIEMORE, LUNGI and GHOANNA. Didn’t know them at all, but like Tim, afraid to say ‘never’ lest someone point out to me where I’ve said the same before. While I appreciate all the efforts above for coining a new phrase, I’m voting for Dean Martin. Everybody loves somebody sometime. Regards.

    Edited at 2015-05-14 08:07 pm (UTC)

        1. Which, if I may contend ;-), brings us back to AVIEMORE. Don’t know how I couldn’t get that one. And LUNGI and GOANNA defeated me too.
  22. DNBF, thanks to REALMS (which I should have got), OPTION (likewise) PALATINATE (where I had no hope), LUNGI (ditto).
  23. This was a two-pinter, while I waited for a band to finish before a comedy show last night. Glad I wasn’t solving and blogging because there was a fair few that went in with a shrug and wordplay and I had all sorts of types of TUBEs and GRIDs before finding the right ones
  24. 11:13 for me.

    LUNGI and GOANNA are both familiar from years of crossword-solving, but I’m not entirely sure I’ve come across either of them (GOANNA particularly) outside crosswords.

    Interesting and enjoyable puzzle, though. And blog entry – thanks!

    1. It is mentioned in the film Crocodile Dundee. I think he catches one, cooks it and then doesn’t eat it as it ‘gives him gas!’
      1. yup, that’s where I got it from too: “You can live on it, but it tastes like…”


      2. Ha! And I did see the film when it first came out. Clearly that particular scene didn’t register.

Comments are closed.