Cryptic 27303 – Temping for Pip

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you.  I’m standing in for Pip while he attends to some personal stuff.  Normal service will be resumed shortly.  I haven’t done one of these since the Club severed its relationship with the TLS so I’m a bit rusty, but never mind.  This took me about 18 minutes, parsing as I went along except for one instance.  There was nothing unfamiliar or outre although there was one word which took a bit of dredging.  Answers in BOLD CAPS.  Definitions in italics underlined. I’ve forgotten how to change the colour code so the clues aren’t highlighted in a blue hue – apologies.

1.  Leer from monster having left for run (4)
OGLE  Change the R in “ogre” to an L.
4. Having patriotic sentiment in Rise and Fall (10)
INTONATION If you have that feeling you are “into nation”.
9.  Homes apt to be given makeover on air (10)
ATMOSPHERE  Anagram (given makeover) of “homes apt” with RE=on.
10.  Sound of French pop duo (4)
PAIR.  Sounds a bit like “pere”=pop en Francais.
11. Persuasive businessman? (6)
COGENT  The company gent.
12.  State in which goodish priest keeps house (8)
OKLAHOMA  OK=goodish.  LAMA=priest containing HO=house.
14.  Star brought back in luggage van (4)
VEGA From the Lyra constellation.  Reversed in [lugg]AGE V[an].
15.  Simple edit to revise maximum going rate?  (5,5)
SPEED LIMIT  Anagram (revise) of SIMPLE EDIT.
17.  Crooked chemist with use for printed notepaper? (5,5)
SHEET MUSIC  Anagram (crooked) of CHEMIST and USE.
20.  Heard brass instrument (4)
LUTE  Homophone.  I know not everyone does but I do pronounce it the same as “loot”=brass=money.
21.  One hundred and two swimmers finding little nipper (8)
CRAYFISH  C=100.  RAY and FISH are the 2 swimmers.
23.  Second mount carries prophetic significance (6)
MOMENT  MT containing OMEN. At first I got a bit too cute with this and thought that the definition was “significance” as in Hamlet’s “enterprises of great pitch and moment”, which would have made MO=second with MT having some kind of prophetic EN in the middle. NOT.  If I hadn’t been blogging I might have just left it at that, but as it was I had to account for that pesky EN which called for a complete re-think.
24..Alpha male causing scrap (4)
ATOM  This made me laugh.  A with the belligerent cat.
25.  Vessel comes to shore in smashing location (6,4)
26 Peripatetic dealers, coming in handy, fix disk?  (10)
DEFRAGMENT  I haven’t done this in a very long time so it took a few beats for it to surface.  DEFT=handy containing RAGMEN, the dealers – Steptoe & Son in the UK and Sanford & Son in the US.
27.  Stop heading for takeaways?  (4)
DIET  AndLIt.  DIE=stop.  T[akeaways].  And of course you cut out the fast food if you’re trying to drop a few pounds.

2.  Poor area losing hospital wants good number for meeting (3,8)
GET TOGETHER  Remove the H from G[H]ETTO and add G and ETHER=number.
3.  River keeps running at speed, being clear (9)
EXONERATE  The River EXE containing ON=running with RATE=speed.
4.  Naval mine, not large, used by American force (7)
IMPETUS  Remove the L from [L]IMPET=mine (the kind that sticks magnetically below the waterline to an enemy vessel) and add US.
5.  Bad tweet bothers chap leaving Conservative authority (3,6,4,2)
THE POWERS THAT BE Anagram (bad) of TWEET BOTHERS [C]HAP (leaving out the C).
6.  Annoyed as essential to assimilate Latin at the outset (7)
NEEDLED  NEEDED=essential containing first letter in Latin.
7.  Maybe comma adding nothing to one publication (5)
IMAGO  A COMMA is a kind of butterfly and this is its adult stage.  1 mag=publication O.
8.  Woman not completely common (5)
NORMA is NORMA[L]=common.
13.  This is to preserve ancient name in reorganisation (11)
MAINTENANCE Anagram (reorganisation) of ANCIENT NAME.
16.  Scots girl and mum reaching wicked city (9)
ISLAMABAD ISLA=girl with MA and BAD=wicked.
18.  Sent down sewer’s product Irishman picked up on corner (7)
MAILBAG  If you were sent down for a stretch in prison you might be obliged to sew these.  LIAM=Irishman reversed with BAG=corner.  I first read this as “comer” which confused things briefly.
19.  Kept appointment with fate in legendary town (7)
CAMELOT  CAME with LOT=fate.  And now I’ve got that wretched song in my head.
21.  Reportedly blackened vegetable (5)
CHARD Sounds like “charred”.
22.  Indian potato following is rather cold (5)
ALOOF  ALOO=potato with F=following.

60 comments on “Cryptic 27303 – Temping for Pip”

  1. Thanks, Olivia, for filling in. Great to have your thoughts and the early posting. BTW, the answer at 1a should be OGLE, in line with your parsing.

    Thanks also for the explanation of MAILBAG. I put it in on faith from the cryptic. Otherwise a steady solve for me – enough challenge to keep us entertained without too many obscurities. Thanks to the setter.

  2. Hello, Olivia; nice to see you blogging again. (Wasn’t it TLS that severed its relationship with the club?)
    Things were going fairly well, until I had 18d and 26 & 27ac left. It didn’t help matters that I didn’t know BOTTLE BANK (and M_I_B_ _ _ looked unlikely), I didn’t know DEFRAGMENT, and I didn’t know about sewing mailbags. I also thought of MAILBOX at first, and the Gresham’s Law of solving kicked in. I went through exactly the same process as you did with MOMENT. COD to DIET.
  3. Thank you so much for flagging it – I don’t normally do the QC, so would have missed it.
  4. Completed so quite happy.

    Had no idea how mailbag was parsed, I see liam but bag for corner?
    Dnk comma for butterfly.
    Running for on held up loi exonerate.

    Cod pair or diet.

    Edited at 2019-03-20 05:51 am (UTC)

  5. It’s very rare that I find myself with a faster solving time than quoted by the regular commenters so far, so I feel my 24 minutes was something of an achievement. Still some way to go to catch Olivia though!

    I lost some time parsing MOMENT having thought initially along the same lines as our blogger. Really liked the SHEET MUSIC clue and the ‘sent down sewer’s product’.

    Edited at 2019-03-20 06:45 am (UTC)

  6. 9:57. I loved the definition of MAILBAG but like flashman I don’t understand how BAG equates to ‘corner’.
      1. I have never (in 25 years of working in the city) heard ‘bag’ used like that and as far as I can see it isn’t in any of the usual dictionaries.
        1. I doubt ‘bagged’ would be used in high-flown city circles as it’s more associated with rural activities such as hunting.

          ‘Bag/corner’ doesn’t seem much of a stretch to me but if necessary one might do a three-point turn to get there via ‘capture’.

          1. ‘Corner’ has a very specific meaning in a financial context and ‘bag’ doesn’t mean the same thing at all. Neither does ‘capture’ for that matter.
            1. With respect, K, I think that you are making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill. I accept of course that “corner” has a very specific meaning in a financial context which “bag” doesn’t have, but, as Jack says, both words when used as verbs can convey the sense of seizing control of something for your own use and benefit. In the case of “corner” it is control of the market, whereas “bag” can be used informally in many contexts to convey the same idea (as in ” he arrived early and bagged the best chair”). This is after all a cryptic puzzle and slightly far-fetched synonyms are part of the fun, are they not?
              1. We’ll have to agree to disagree: I don’t think this is a case of a ‘slightly far-fetched synonym’. I think the meanings are completely different. This meaning of ‘corner’ is only used in a financial context. You can’t ‘corner’ a chair, and you can’t ‘bag’ a market.
                1. Yes, I guess, we must agree to disagree; but then how boring if everyone agreed all the time. In cryptic crossword land, in my view, words do not have to be interchangeable in a specific context to qualify as synonyms; it is sufficient that they convey the same sense. If you “bag” a chair or “corner” a market, you are seizing or acquiring control of both objects for your own advantage. But enough already!

      2. I thought it was that but its still a bit tenuous:
        Today we bagged/cornered 3 ferrets
  7. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who put in MAILBAG as it was the only word that fitted. I also didn’t parse DEFRAGMENT but couldn’t see anything else fitting there. Do modern PCs need defragmenting? If so I’d presume it’s automatic.

    I toyed with Greta for the woman thinking that Gretna Green might be a common. Thankfully even I found that a bit tenuous and NORMA eventually revealed herself (so to speak).

  8. 30 mins with yoghurt and granola, etc.
    I was held up by quickly writing in OGLR for 1ac, pre-coffee. This made LOI 3dn after a few minutes thinking it started with R. Doh!
    I enjoyed this a lot – and most of all the sublime &Lit, DIET. brilliant.
    Thanks setter and O.
    (Janice Miners Marmalade sounds great, by the way, and looks to be available from Fortnum & Mason. How posh.)
  9. Very enjoyable 15.36 solve so fairly quick for me. Everything went in without any hiccups (hiccoughs?) but, like others, I had a MER at ‘bag’ in mailbag. Thank you Olivia and setter.

    Edited at 2019-03-20 08:48 am (UTC)

  10. A pleasant early morning surprise to see who was blogging. 22 minutes with LOI DEFRAGMENT. I vaguely remember being told how to defrag my first PC, but I bought a new one soon after, so either that wasn’t the problem or I did it wrong. There were some lovely surfaces to the clues today, with BOTTLE BANK, SHEET MUSIC and COD MAILBAG outstanding. I took the BAG bit to mean ‘arrest’, which I then conflated with ‘corner’. A nice puzzle. Thank you Olivia and setter
    PS I may be posting as AFC Bolton or The Man with No Name tomorrow. On the other hand, in that case, I’ll be too hung over to post anything.
    PPS Adjourned until 3 April. There’s “a buyer in play prepared to pay off the debts.” Let’s hope that’s for real. Sorry to bore everyone, but this isn’t just my identity here.

    Edited at 2019-03-20 12:03 pm (UTC)

  11. 17 mins. Third easy one in a row; there’ll be trouble at t’mill before the week’s out. Bag = corner? I don’t think so. Nice blog, Olivia, thank you 🙂
  12. I found most of this nice and straightforward. Last two in were MAILBAG and DEFRAGMENT.

    COD – DIET.

    My absence last week is explained by being fully committed in devising different ways of impoverishing myself, while watching Cheltenham races. I was very successful in this endeavour.

  13. Gnaarf! A speedy (for me) sixteen minutes, but with a typo. Very enjoyable, but over too soon.
    1. It appears that the recently announced doubling of The Times subscription charge rankles with you somewhat.
        1. Lucky you, Thud ..they have certainly rankled me, and I was definitely born unrankled
  14. I got stuck on the last two, MAILBAG and DEFRAGMENT, taking my time to a languorous 34 mins. I really enjoyed this one. Like myrtilus, I especially liked the &lit DIET; several definitions were also very neat, I thought: SPEED LIMIT, BOTTLE BANK, SHEET MUSIC, MAILBAG.
    I certainly don’t share the expressed doubts about ‘bag’: ODE has
    “2.1 Succeed in securing (something)
    ‘we’ve bagged three awards for excellence’
    ‘get there early to bag a seat in the front row’”
    and here’s Collins COBUILD (the EFL learners’ dictionary) making it even clearer:
    “7. verb
    If you bag something that a lot of people want, you get it for yourself before anyone else can get it. [British, informal]
    ‘The smart ones will have already bagged their seats by placing cards on them.’ “

    Thanks for your excellent blog, Olivia, and for stepping up to the plate.

      1. Hmmm. For me the semantics of “take control of [sth] in order that no-one else can get it” is the essential element of both words. But I see that if you are looking for substitutability, then it’s a problem because one “corners the market” and “bags a seat” — but “bagged the market” and “cornered a seat” are not idiomatic.
        1. When you corner a market you buy enough of the commodity in question to give yourself control over the price. So you could say that you are ‘seizing’ the copper, or whatever, but to say that you are ‘seizing’ the market is just meaningless.
    1. But ‘corner’ doesn’t mean the same thing in that sense. And in your examples, you haven’t used the word ‘corner’ at all-and rightly so, because it wouldn’t fit the meaning you intend. You can ‘bag’ all the best seats and then if you choose to sell them on, being the only seller, you have cornered the market. Certainly one might lead to the other, but they are two separate things. I’m with Keriothe on this one. Mr Grumpy
  15. A very enjoyable puzzle with lots of aha moments. I opened with OGLE and got it together with 2d before looking to the star and reading from the SHEET MUSIC. Loved MAILBAG and ISLAMABAD. DEFRAGMENT(should’ve seen that sooner with my background!) and DIET were my Last 2 in. I thought DIET a brilliant &Lit. I didn’t take the time to worry about the exact parsing of MOMENT and biffed ATMOSPHERE as an anagram without noticing the need for RE=ON. 23:14. Thanks setter and Olivia.
  16. 38 minutes, with the last eight all spent on getting the final two letters of 24a—just one of those where I couldn’t come up with either definition or wordplay for far too long. Apart from that, pretty plain sailing from FOI 1a OGLE downwards. Enjoyed 27a DIET. Happy to find I wasn’t alone in finding 23a MOMENT unparseable at the time.

    Thanks for stepping in, Olivia!

    Edited at 2019-03-20 10:56 am (UTC)

  17. Nearly a good day. I was on course for my third completed puzzle in a row when 26a pulled me up short. I couldn’t see the ragmen and have never heard of defragment so got completely stuck – oh well, back to the reality of a DNF. Really liked diet once i got it, and also sheet music, as one of my offspring is a sheet music specialist!
  18. 13:47, but failed to parse GET TOGETHER. I liked SHEET MUSIC and BOTTLE BANK. Count me as another who wasn’t convinced by BAG for CORNER. Thanks setter and Olivia – nice blog, or lovely job as they say in my part of the country.
  19. 20 minutes, a very good, moderately challneging puzzle with some nice definitions (MAILBAG in particular).

    Wondered about corner, but Chambers synonyms equates the two (if Chambers synonyms ever truly ‘equates’ anything) so I’m happy enough.

  20. Some good muscular clues to wrestle with, like Defragment and Diet. Loved ‘sent down sewer’s product’ – perhaps because I am currently battling with a drains problem, and so all I could think of — till the penny dropped — were the litres of Sani-produit I’ve been flushing down the loo.
  21. 10:31. I enjoyed this, it had a pleasing lighthearted feel to it.

    I thought bag and corner were close enough not to worry about.

    Thanks for subbing Olivia, I had the same thoughts about MOMENT as you did and was equally troubled by the mysterious EN.

  22. 12 minutes. Top-down, left to right solve, so I must have been right in tune with the setter. Quite a few anagrams. One or two clever and unexpected word uses (e.g. ‘scrap’ made me think ‘rubbish’ or ‘war’, hence atom my LOI). COD cogent.
  23. Just over 8 mins so quicker than normal. Excess of homophones and anagrams seemed to help. As with others, LOsI were MAILBAG (cute def) and DEFRAGMENT (whose meanings I was unaware of). DIET was an almost &Lit for me with a bit of a leap to the actual def but admirable nonetheless. COD ATOM…
  24. We used the expression ‘bagsies mine’ at school to indicate total ownership, hence ‘cornering the market.’ I don’t think the Lords Grumpy and Keriothe went to my school, which like Olivia’s marmalade, was terribly posh.

    FOI 10ac PAIR

    LOI 27ac DIET (yuk!)

    COD 11ac as per Mr. Dunlop – COGENT

    WOD 26ac DEFRAG used to do it all the time when computers ran on coal.

    Time – not so good

    1. We’d say “Bags” as in “Bags I have the window seat.” State primary school speak!

      Edited at 2019-03-20 06:45 pm (UTC)

  25. Just had to come here today to say thanks to the setter for such a fun xword which kept me buoyant all day -and not just because I got close to my ‘target’for the forthcoming year of finishing, more or less, within an hour. Due to time constraints only.

    I especially enjoyed: rise and fall; French pop; businessman; goodish priest; max. going rate; note paper; smashing location and, sent down sewer’s product.

    I really enjoyed the wit so thanks setter and please give us more, and to Olivia for filling-in.

  26. The trouble with these inter-lingual ‘homonyms’ (!) is that to one who actually understands how to pronounce the foreign word, the clue is unintelligible.
  27. Really enjoyed this crossword, some very witty clues I thought. eg 10ac, 18dn. And HOW nice to see Olivia back blogging, just like old times.
  28. 45:26 felt slow again today. Took a while to crack atmosphere in the top and aloof, atom and defragment in the bottom.
  29. A double DNF today (see QC blog). This time the culprit was ATMOSPHERE. Bring on tomorrow…
  30. Hi Olivia – you are still missed in QC land as well. I’ve graduated (part time) to the big puzzle, although they can take a couple of hours to finish if easy and DNF if difficult. Finished, but couldn’t parse 10, 23, 26 and 22 today, so my thanks for your guidance. Invariant
  31. Thank you, Olivia!
    I liked ATMOSPHERE and DEFRAGMENT. The latter was my LOI as, like you, it’s been a long time since I did that, certainly not since I moved over to Macbooks 6 years ago.
    Also like you, I was wandering what to make of EN in MOMENT.
    10ac nearly did for me as I started with PAPA.
    My comment is so late that Thursday’s blog was already up but I scrolled through it without looking, honest!

    Edited at 2019-03-21 05:12 am (UTC)

  32. Thanks setter and olivia
    Was really on the same wavelength as the setter with this one and was able to steadily work my way down from the top to the bottom. Ended up in the same corner as many others with DEFRAGMENT and ATOM as the last couple in. Also had a bit of a trouble with BOTTLE BANK (a term that I was not aware of).
    Didn’t know about the prison made MAILBAG connection.

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