Time 26311 – The Steelers lost… so who won?

Solving time: 19 minutes

Music: Prokofiev, Alexander Nevsky, Schippers/NYP

I considered continuing to watch the golf, and not posting a time for this one. However, I decided to turn off the TV and tackle the puzzle in my usual mode, and got through it pretty quickly. I only missed a couple of holes, although it appears there was considerable movement in my absence.

The puzzle was quite easy, although I missed a number of easy ones on the first reading. How could you not think of ‘cuckoo’ when you already have the ‘c’? On the other hand, I glanced at 1 down and saw ‘cytoplasm’ almost at once, so there you go.

1 CUCKOO, double definition
9 TANSY, TA(N,S)Y, where I almost put in ‘tense’.
10 OLIVE TREE, anagram of TO RETRIEVE.
11 PROGRAMME, PRO + GRAMME. I wanted to biff in ‘propound’, but came up short.
12 NO END, ON backwards + END.
13 ARES, [c]ARES.
18 MANGOSTEEN, anagram of ON A SEGMENT. I had never heard of it, but this arrangement of the letters seemed logical.
20 THUS, THU[g]S.
23 RATTY, TAR backwards + T[rolle]Y.
24 ZINFANDEL, Z + INFAN[t] + DEL. Probably biffed by most solvers with the first letter in. No pangram, though
26 EBONY, BONEY with the ‘E’ moved forward. This derogatory name for Bonaparte is gradually disappearing from circulation as he recedes into history.
28 UNITED, backwards hidden in [ca]DET IN U[kraine].
1 CYTOPLASM, anagram of COP’S MALTY.
3 OF YORE, anagram of FOO[l]ERY, just biffed in by me.
4 BRIDE, double definition, and a very simple one.
6 CURRENT, double definition.
8 TOMMYROT, TOMMY + R[elax] O[n] T[op].
15 STERNEST, STERNE + S[tric]T. Whether Tristram Shandy is a novel or not is an interesting question…perhaps we should sit down with Walter and Uncle Toby and hash it out.
16 DISPLAYED, DIS + PLAYED, i.e. Detective Inspectors.
17 HOLY WRIT, an apt anagram of WORTHILY.
19 NOTABLE, NO(TA[x])BLE, we’re over in Swift now.
21 HIDEOUT, sounds like HIGH DOUBT, for those from southeast North Dakota.
22 CAVE IN, C[aptain] + A VEIN.
23 REALM, REAL + M[onarchists].
24 ZORRO, ZO(R,R)O, a bit easy, no?

43 comments on “Time 26311 – The Steelers lost… so who won?”

  1. I had the Z at 24ac and still didn’t biff, I think because I was working on LA as ‘the Spanish’. I wonder how many of us knew MANGOSTEEN; certainly not me.
  2. Didn’t know ZINFANDEL and MANGOSTEEN, thought they were characters out of Hamlet.

    Held up for a while on HIDEOUT, thinking of the wrong form of “retreat”.

    Otherwise a very typical (no matter what they say) Monday. Thanks setter and Vinyl.

    1. We must open a bottle of Cape Mentelle Zinf one of these days.
      No mangosteens to go with it but!
  3. 35 minutes, delayed a little by unknowns ZINFANDEL, MANGOSTEEN, and more so by the intersecting TANSY and CYTOPLASM which could just as easily been COTYPLASM for all I knew of it, but I tossed a proverbial penny and got it right.

    Considering GIVE IN at 22dn and HENRY (Wood) at 26ac also lost me time, and speaking of conductors, 27dn really needs a question-mark or a “perhaps” as “conductor” is merely one example of a MAESTRO.

    Edited at 2016-01-18 05:39 am (UTC)

  4. P.S. As usual when I have a list of unknowns I checked for previous occurrences in TftT and here are today’s results:

    MANGOSTEEN and CYTOPLASM – not found.

    TANSY came up in 25511 in June 2013 but also, rather worryingly for what it says about my diminishing brainpower, in one of the Championship puzzles blogged here as recently as 2dn December 2015 when I also said I didn’t know it.

    Not quite as dispiriting but still bad enough, ZINFANDEL came up in 24639, a puzzle I blogged myself in December 2010 and apparently it wasn’t unknown to me then. Or at least I didn’t admit to it.

    Edited at 2016-01-18 06:00 am (UTC)

    1. I sympathise Jack. When you used to have a very good memory and it starts to let you down it gets a bit scary at times. I just can’t rely on mine any more.
    2. Courtesy of grep I can tell you that MANGOSTEEN came up in No. 23,176 (3 January 2006) and CYTOPLASM came up in No. 23,361 (7 August 2006).

      Diminishing brainpower – don’t tell me about it! (If you do, I’ll only forget again in a couple of weeks.)

  5. I knew this fruit from staying for a while in Malaysia. It’s a bit smaller than a tennis ball with a dark purple thin skin and segmented pieces like an orange.
    If you are ever persuaded to eat one, remember to wear a napkin or something to cover your clothing as the inky juice that squirts out is a b****r to remove.
    c35 mins for the puzzle…well it is monday. LOI ARES which was a wild but accurate guess.
  6. 11m, with one or two at the end trying to come up with an alternative to the unlikely-looking MANGOSTEEN.
    No problem with ZINFANDEL, which is the same as primitivo. I have never wanted a second glass of it in either of its incarnations, but I keep an open mind.
  7. … helped by knowing both MANGOSTEEN and ZINFANDEL (both yummy). But I didn’t know ARES. And I didn’t really think ‘too fastidious’ could be OVERNICE, so there was a question mark there.
  8. My memory is perfect, it is the retrieval mechanism that lets me down.. it is all in there somewhere, but accessing it can be a chancy business!
  9. Normal Monday stuff. Couldn’t recall the fruit for some time but CYTOPLASM was a write in. Red ZIN… not really to my taste either – I think they do a rose version as well in the US but can’t remember what it tastes like!
  10. Easy again today..

    I am a fan of good Zinfandel; but it is a grape that requires careful handling. Zinfandel blush however is an abomination.

  11. This seems to be back to typical Monday level. Clever and entertaining just the same. No trouble with the prog and the grog but AMBERGRIS took more than its share of my time. COD to HOLY WRIT, a neat anagram.
  12. 35 minutes.I wrote in ZINFANDEL and MANGOSTEEN without problem but got stuck on TOMMYROT (which is what you suffer from if you drink Zinfandel after eating Mangosteens?).
  13. Just over the half an hour for me, so relatively easy on therotter scale. I had no problem with ZINFANDEL as I really like a glass or two of the good stuff. I heard it is a variety that is only really grown in California, but that may be urban myth. Hadn’t heard of the fruit, but mango looked a good start, with limited alternatives for the rest of it. Unusually, the manufactured homophone I thought was rather good, so gets my COD.
  14. Never tried one but I did know the word from the Collins Gem crossword puzzle solver. If I’m sleepless I try alphabetical lists of things like fruit or authors (I’m on famous battles at the moment). And I often start in the middle of the alphabet because I rarely get beyond D or E thank goodness. I agree with Sidcuppa on HOLY WRIT. 12.21
  15. 10.56, though with the interesting vocab making it feel quite a bit harder. I find I have eaten MANGOSTEEN in Thailand, though I don’t remember it being called that, and relied on the wordplay for spelling. I can’t think why CYTOPLASM should be a write-in, but it was, as was ZINFANDEL.
    I did initially want my novelist to be the evergreen -um- Greene, and on the grounds that if crops are still green they’re not yet fruitful I was prepared to bludgeon the definition into submission.
    And in the running, I suspect, for dimwit of the day, I still can’t see where the PRO of PROGRAMME comes from.
    1. I also went down the Greene route, have read Tristram Shandy twice and never wondered whether it is a novel or not, entered ‘ectoplasm’ with an elated sense that I hadn’t forgotten all the biology Mr Chamberlian taught me 40-odd years ago, and – miracle of miracles – managed to stay up to midnight fifty last night watching United play Liverpool without falling asleep once. 25 minutes for this after everything had been sorted, before attempting Dean’s Sunday, which proved rather more resistant.

      Mangosteens are veritable repositories of ants, but dirt cheap in season in Malaysia.

      Edited at 2016-01-18 02:13 pm (UTC)

      1. I commend you. Years ago, once it became clear that we were going to form some sort of actual household, my then-girlfriend-now-wife and I sifted our books to get rid of duplicates, as well as anything else we’d decided life was too short for. Tristram Shandy was the only book we’d both tried to read, more than once, without either of us ever getting past page 80.

        People whose opinion I trust still insist it’s excellent, and I enjoyed A Cock and Bull Story, but I fear its time may have gone.

        1. It’s hard work – there’s no gettin away from that – but I find it one of those books that are enjoyable if read without too many footnotes or recourse to reference books / Google to avoid getting bogged down and losing the rhythm. Best read perhaps for pleasure rather than profit.
  16. 18 minutes.I didn’t expect such an easy puzzle, even on Monday. ‘Unknown’ and ‘the Spanish’ was enough for 24, making 24dn gettable from definition alone. I pass displays of mangosteen every day when they are in season, though I didn’t sort out the anagram until I had a few letters in place.
  17. Pleasant Monday-ish solve (i.e. a gentle opener to the week, exactly like all Mondays, except the ones which aren’t). Happily, any obscure vocabulary in this one fitted with my areas of interest, as I’ve been known to drink a zinfandel on occasion, and a curry recipe I cooked last year involved kokum, which I’d never heard of before, but turned out to be part of the mangosteen family.
  18. 21:52. Not sure how I knew MANGOSTEEN but I did nevertheless. No problem with ZINFANDEL; the name always makes me think of its rose incarnation ‘Pink Zin’. I didn’t know it was the same as Primitivo, which I very much like, so I must get some in. Thanks to keriothe for pointing this out.

    I spent about 5 minutes at the end on BRONCOS/CURRENT, being hung up for some time on the ‘flower’ being DERWENT though it didn’t fit the cryptic. A trawl of the keyboard for the first letter eventually gave me CURRENT after which BRONCOS went straight in.

  19. 12:19. All pretty steady until I ground to a halt with 4 left, then I eventually got current which gave me prosecuted and thence tommyrot, finishing up with a hopeful scattering of letters to give mangosteen, which sounds too much like langoustine to sound appealing as a fruit. Still, the menu/drinks list at the TfTT Bistro is coming along nicely.

    I’m surprised that zin- was unknown to some.

    Edit to add that I imagined Napoleon’s nickname would be spelled Bony, but that might be brain interference caused by the Man City striker and Bank of New York Mellon.

    Edited at 2016-01-18 12:54 pm (UTC)

    1. Well, two of us so far. And I can’t speak for Jack, but you should never be surprised at what I don’t know!
  20. Didn’t know Tansy, so I must have not done the recent championship. Got the TAN-Y, but the – could have been either of N or S. It was a huge disappointment that 8d didn’t turn out to be SPUDS.
    I agree with everyone above regarding Zinfandel: a good one is a treasure, a bad one isn’t worth finishing even a glass of, and “white Zin”, the blush, is not a wine. It is as Jerry says, an abomination.
  21. 17 mins. I started to lose concentration towards the end, and although it wasn’t a full knock it definitely cost me an indeterminate amount of time. CYTOPLASM certainly wasn’t a write-in for me, and it was only once I’d got it that I was able to finish with the intersecting MANGOSTEEN, TOMMYROT and PROGRAMME. Even though I can’t remember ever having drunk a glass of it (which doesn’t mean I haven’t) ZINFANDEL was a write-in once I had the checker from ZORRO, and I parsed it as I was entering it.
  22. 24 minutes here, which means this must be Monday.

    No problem with CYTOPLASM, which is at about the same level of obscurity as, say, “wicket” or “batsman” would be in a cricket context. Nor was I stumped (see – I do know a little cricketese) by Zinfandel; it can be a decent drink, but frankly I find it begins to cloy somewhere after the second bottle. As for MANGOSTEEN, I’ve eaten a few and concur with that the stains are a b****r to get out. In fact, many hotels in Malaysia explicitly ban not only durian, but also mangosteen.

    My only NHO was ARES. I had some vague idea about ARES being a Greek god (or godette), but that’s as far as it went. Apart from that, all reasonably straightforward.

  23. 25 min. I remember as a child in the early ‘fifties singing along to a radio programme, Singing Together or maybe Rhythm and Melody, ‘Boney was a warrior, / Way – Ay – Ah – / Boney was a warrior, / John
    Fran-cois!’ Several verses piled up a kind of garbled version of his life, ending something like, ‘Boney broke his heart and died…’ (chorus repeat chorus). All very politically and no doubt otherwise incorrect. Loved it.
  24. Actually quite like white Zinfandel , affectionately known as ‘the pink’. Will I be drummed out of TfT?
    1. Drummed out? Shouldn’t think so. I mean, we’ve had people admitting to being Arsenal supporters on here, and apart from a discreet cough or a litle shuffling of the feet, it’s allowed to pass without rancour.

  25. Solved while listening to the very dull Swansea/Watford match on the radio.
    Worked out ‘Zinfandel’ from the wordplay, – my wine knowledge is pretty sketchy since I reduced my alcohol intake long ago. Perhaps I would do better if I cut back on the footie and increased the booze.
    1. Don’t forget the cricket!
      15:16 with no unknowns, just a steady poking at an iPad keyboard, which is much slower than scribbling on a paper.
      Faced with ‘Masked hero’ and working out that The Lone Ranger or Batman does not fit, no need to read the rest of the clue.

      Edited at 2016-01-18 11:20 pm (UTC)

  26. A clean sweep in 6:23 for me, making a pleasant start to the week. My compliments to the setter for the economy of his clues, including some fine surface readings.

    For once I had no problem with the “foodie” (in which I’ve included “drinkie”) references, but only because I’ve met MANGOSTEEN and ZINFANDEL in crosswords: I don’t think I’ve come across either in real life.

    I remember Singing Together: Rhythm and Melody (I think the title combined the two phrases) but I seem to recall coming across Bony was a warrior much earlier on a 78 of sea shanties entitled Aboard the Windjammer.

    Edited at 2016-01-18 11:25 pm (UTC)

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