Times 220170 – from 1970, in lieu of TCC Qualifier No. 2 today

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
After the puzzle from 1963 which appeared while TCC Qualifier No. 1 was published, I wasn’t too dismayed to see this one dated 1970 rather than some impenetrable pre-war offering. It’s a bit of a TLS crossover. However, all was not straightforward. I have the solution, which took me 22 minutes to complete. Providing you with logical, cast-iron explanations of why several answers are what they are (apart from the numerous anagrams) and how the word play (if any) leads you there, is another day’s work. I’ll do my best, and others can elaborate in due course.
Then I’ll make another coffee and see how long the Q2 (26415) takes me; I’ll blog that for posting once it’s allowed (Thursday 26 May).

1 RISORGIMENTO – (ROME RISING TO)*, Italian name for the 19c movement which united Italy.
8 TIMOTHY – I’m not Biblically well informed, but I think this is something to do with Timothy who was allowed to ‘put his wife away’ because they didn’t get along. A useful precedent, some might say.
9 FELLAHS – Egyptian subsistence farmers are called FELLAHS, which sounds rather like fellows, hence chaps. Is peasant now a non PC description?
11 ALL HAIL – Cryptic double def, one a greeting, one using another meaning of hail.
12 RIVIERA – (I ARRIVE)*; D &lit. They had chestnuts in 1970.
13 HERDS – HER + D’S = coppers; when pennies were still denarii. D droves.
14 IMMUNISED – Witty-ish cryptic definition.
16 NEWSAGENT – Cryptic definition.
19 SWOON – A pun on ‘passing out’ I suppose, you’re not allowed to faint when you’re on parade, passing out from Sandhurst.
21 EAST END – (A DEN SET)*, D part of London.
23 BLOTTER – Cryptic def.
24 SUICIDE – I’d heard of the Suicide Club as a Japanese film and as a book, but then found both dated from later than 1970; also the movement in San Francisco only began in 1977, so this must be referring to the three novel series by Stevenson?
25 LORENZO – I presume this refers to the magnificent Basilica di San Lorenzo which is the big church in Florence? And / or Lorenzo de Medici?
26 THREE-MASTERS – Double definition; three-masters were ships, and a fortiori would imply one priority only.

1 RAMBLER – Double definition.
2 SATRAPS – (SPARTA’S)*; D governors.
3 ROYAL LINE – A sort of &lit., with word play on two meanings of ‘line’ and ‘ruler’.
4 INFER – INFERNO = hell, remove NO, D conclude.
5 ENLIVEN – (LINE)*, then VEN for archdeacon; D make quick.
6 TRACERS – Well I suppose if you trace something with tracing paper you go over existing lines; I had several options for T-A-E-S and this seemed best, but I think it’s a bit pathetic. Perhaps I’ve missed something?
7 STRAP-HANGERS – D commuters. Hardly cryptic. Perhaps this was a new phrase in 1970?
10 STANDING ROOM – Same remarks as 8 above.
15 MOTH-BALLS – A better clue! MOTHS fly by night, BALLS are dances, and moths evade moth-balls, if you’re lucky.
17 WASPISH – WAS, PISH; D spiteful. PISH-TUSH is one of the high-up characters in the Mikado, which takes place in Titipu, so half of him is PISH. Personally I think G & S is to be avoided and the Mikado possibly the daftest of the lot, so out of ignorance of the details I had to check out who Pish-someone was, but the clue is easily biffable.
18 ALE-WIFE – Double definition; a lady who runs a bar, and a North Atlantic herring species.
19 SCOURGE – (CURES GO)*, D cause of widespread affliction.
20 OUTINGS – Cricket clues were obligatory in 1970, it seems. If you were fielding, you’d want to get people OUT, calling that an OUTING; D excursions.
22 DREAM – As in Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, so ‘noted’, much better than G & S.

26 comments on “Times 220170 – from 1970, in lieu of TCC Qualifier No. 2 today”

  1. we don’t get these any more.
    Timothy is a variety of grass, much loved by rabbits. So not welcome here.
    I had an idea that 6dn was TRADERS. But it’s anyone’s guess.

    Can someone post a link to today’s actual puzzle?

  2. Given the origin, I don’t feel so bad for DNKs in several of the clues, let alone the answers. DNF with about seven left at the end of my hour.

    I might have got the unknown RISORGIMENTO from the anagram if I’d not put TRAILER in for 1d; even if I’d got RAMBLER I still doubt I’ve have managed TIMOTHY, especially as I didn’t know “grass-widower”.

    At least I worked out the unknown FELLAHS, correctly biffed SUICIDE and LORENZO and was lucky to have been in the bass chorus for my school’s production of The Mikado for 17d. (Say what you like about G&S, the Mikado was great fun for a bunch of teenagers.) I also had some new blotting paper on my desk to make 23ac easy.

    Missed 6d, DNK either definition of ALE-WIFE, DNK the DREAM in question, DNK either a fortiori or THREE-MASTERS, so didn’t have much chance of working it out without all the crossers. Sigh.

    Still, it was quite a fun struggle, and I got the rest. I like ALL HAIL; COD to 15d for me, not too hard but nicely done, I thought.

    1. Nice to see that someone still appreciates G&S. My (all-male) grammar school did a production of Iolanthe in 1961 (still up-to-the minute political satire, esp. when it gets on to appointing the House of Lords by competitive examination). I narrowly missed being a dainty little fairy in the drag chorus, but a future Wales centre and a future England full-back weren’t so lucky – let alone the rotund twins who brought down the scenery when they collided during a dance (and unsurprisingly went on to play as props in the British Universities rugby team).
      I was fascinated by this crossword. It seemed more like a Times 2 cryptic (perhaps I was on a roll, because almost everything seemed a ‘write-in’);
      or maybe it’s because, after a 25 -year lay-off between 1990 and 2015, I’m still not fully back into the modern clueing style and as often as not depend on flashes of inspiration which I then have to hammer into place to see why they are right…
      1. Hah! No need for drag in ours, luckily. Though I was also at an all-boys grammar (a fairly rare thing by 1990) we got together with the all-girls grammar down the road for the production. As you can imagine, this was generally considered a satisfactory arrangement all round, except perhaps for the occasional overworked chaperone…
      2. I agree wholeheartedly with you and gothick_matt that G&S is highly suitable material for a school production. 😉
  3. 14 mins or so with a typo. I liked this one, especially, once the penny dropped, the slightly daunting 26a, which presumably recognises that “no man can serve two masters”.

    I share your feelings re G&S, Pip, and so WASPISH went in with a shrug.

  4. 7:55 for this one on paper, so I was obviously on the right wavelength despite being only 6 when it first appeared. I thought the correct word for Egyptian peasants was FELLAHIN, but it’s not too much of a leap to stick an English plural on it.

    Lorenzo the Magificent definitely refers to the man rather than the church. We had to do a play about him for French A-Level (the name of which I’ve forgotten). SUICIDE went in with fingers crossed.

    Edited at 2016-05-18 09:19 am (UTC)

    1. Unspammed 🙂

      There’s a link to it on the Crossword Club homepage anyway (near the lower right-hand corner).

  5. Snitched this up good and proper – not only did I have TRADERS at 6dn, perhaps excusable, I also didn’t care enough to check the letters and not put RESORGIMENTO at 1ac. Hopefully this one “doesn’t really count”! 7 minutes something if I hadn’t made such a horrible hash of things.
  6. Completed all but two, SUICIDE and TRACERS but then used aids to find them. Should have got TRACERS. Guessed FALLAHS. Didn’t really understand TIMOTHY, LORENZO or SUICIDE. Was pleased to write in RISORGIMENTO almost immediately with only the first R checker in place.
  7. Quite a straightforward 13 minute solve with, as Pip says, a TLS feel to it, though in recent weeks the TLS has become more rigorous.
    I don’t think you need Biblical knowledge for TIMOTHY, and in any case his marital status is not given – he was young when he got his letters from Paul. Timothy-grass is a common variety in most of Northern Europe, and I think the “widower” is only there to let you know you’re looking for a male name.

    Edited at 2016-05-18 11:21 am (UTC)

  8. Threw in the towel after 20 mins with only ALE WIFE left. Would not have got it in a month of Wednesdays. Kept assuming it ended in the crossword fish – ide.
  9. Finished somehow in about 25 minutes. I don’t think I’ve seen so many awful clues in one puzzle. With some of them there’s little more than a definition, maybe supported by inadequate wordplay, with poor anagram indicators or none at all. How is 12a &lit? There’s nothing that amounts to a definition as far as I can see. No anagram indication in 21a, no container indicator for 2d, but the setter very generously gave us a reverse indicator. 7d and 8d give the solver nothing to go on apart from literals. I entered TRACERS for 6d but TRADERS is just a good an answer given the general standard of clueing.

    I do wish we could be spared these dinosaurs. I didn’t bother with the last and won’t bother to print off the next.

  10. In the ipad edition there’s nothing telling you that this is an old crossword apart from the funny number which I didn’t notice. I therefore pressed on for about an hour thinking that the normal crossword had taken a strange turn. If only I’d realised, I’d have given up much earlier. Yuck!
  11. This was a pleasant change with some imprecise old-fashioned clues, eg TRACERS and SUICIDE, mixed in with some very neat ones. Particularly liked SWOON and RISORGIMENTO.
  12. Well i love these old Crosswords. .. presumably having done this one before. I like the frisson of uncertainty every clue contains, and the absence of the claustrophobic straitjacket modern rules provide.
  13. …which is probably my best result on one of these old-timers.

    Quite enjoyed the change of pace. Even though it was loosely clued by today’s standards, it clearly wasn’t unfair as I was (nearly) able to get there despite a vast number of unknowns.

    Went for FELLAUS at 9ac, but I like to think I’d have opted for FELLAHS if I’d have thought of it.

    Sometimes a setter will grace us with a comment on this page. Would be lovely if that happened today!
    Anyway, thank you setter if you’re still with us, and thanks Pip for doing double duty.

    Edited at 2016-05-18 04:04 pm (UTC)

  14. As usual with these old ones, I couldn’t finish this. I did, though, get about 75% of the way through, and should have thought of TIMOTHY but didn’t. I’ll now try the qualifier. Regards.
  15. Once I realised it was an oldie I gave up on the idea of timing this, but then got it finished pretty quickly. Somewhere around the 15 minute mark I would guess. I was surprisingly sure of all my answers, even in cases like TIMOTHY and SWOON which were hit-and-hope jobs based on the checkers and one element of the clue. The one exception was 24ac where the best I could do was STILITE: a literary club with some sort of affiliation with Simeon of that ilk? It could have been, except that he had a Y in his name.
    The other thing I gave up on once I realised that this was an oldie was any expectation of 1) normal crossword rules or 2) finishing. As a result I rather enjoyed it.

    Edited at 2016-05-18 08:17 pm (UTC)

  16. 6:34 for me, held up for a couple of minutes at the end dithering over TRACERS and SUICIDE.

    I must almost certainly have done this puzzle when it first appeared, but (not surprisingly) have no recollection of it.

  17. Having read the blog (thanks pip), oh boy am I glad that other distractions prevented me from even looking at this today. I would have got nowhere, although this is from just before I started The Times (which was free or very cheap for a while for students in the 70’s), having previously played with the Telegraph.
  18. This one beat me on numerous fronts. At one point I decided to let my G&T take control and simply biffed in several answers without over-thinking them, but this strategy failed me in the end and I was left with a baker’s seven unsolved.

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