Times 23768: Outphoxed

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Time: 43 minutes

An enjoyable crossword in the end but I was completely flummoxed by the NW corner – and greatly hindered by a typo in entering the answer to 5D (I do the interactive online crossword) leaving me expecting 9A to end in an E.

1 PHLOX (“flocks”) – a lovely clue, took far too long over it
4 NOTE,PAPER – I’m not sure about the construction here. “Bond books” I’m assuming clues Basildon Bond notepaper so does “featured” clue NOTE (ie, “of note”)?
jackkt and cazouls point out it’s N(OT)E,PAPER (NE = north-east = Newcastle) and just “Bond” as the definition
9 NOMINATOR (to roam in N)* – I spent a while trying to construct NOMINATEE due to my typo
14 MUM,BO(y),JUMBO – I’m unhappy about “puzzle” cluing JUMBO here (presumably from “Jumbo Crossword”) given it just means “big” rather than implying a specific type of puzzle
22 COCK(n)EY,ED – not a word I typically hyphenate and, as a result, my final solve
23 POOP,ED – spent a short while trying to justify TORPID as “stern” given it’s a kind of “eight-oared, clinker-built boat used for races at Oxford University”
26 AX,IOM(=Isle of Man) – “saw” meaning maxim or proverb

3 XEN(OP,H)ON – obvious the moment you get 1A!
5 THRE(AD,BAR)E – not THEEADBARE as I inexplicably typed into the grid…
6 PETARD – I’d always wondered what “hoisted by ones own petard” referred to. A petard is a type of bomb used to breach walls and its etymology comes via the Old French verb peter meaning “to break wind”.
7 PAKISTANI (in Asia k(e)pt)*
13 SUP,PRESSED – at first I was dubious about using “eat” to clue SUP but it does indeed have a second meaning, “to have supper”.
18 IN,FORMER – “ci-devant” had me reaching for the dictionary (after looking for a possible anagram)
24 PUKKA (“pucker”)

22 comments on “Times 23768: Outphoxed”

  1. The old trade name came in handy today at 4A!

    Most RH fell readily into place but I struggled a bit LH apart from 22D and 28A which went in early. I got second wind having cracked the homophone at 1A where I had been focussing on a word starting with C (CE/CH for church perhaps), and it was then downhill to the end.

    My COD is 14A because it raised a smile.

    Note to self: Must revise the more obscure books of the OT and their abbreviations, not that the abbreviation was needed today in 15D.

  2. An easy one today, but nothing really interesting in it for me.
    I suppose the two go together, but I’d guess the setter didn’t take very long over it.
  3. I thought there were some nice clues here (12, 14 22A and 5 in particular). After sailing through most of the puzzle I completely messed up my chances in the SW corner by hastily entering DUPES (anag. PSEUD) for 22D. It took ages to sort that mistake out.
    1. Well let’s make sure of the def first. By my reckoning it’s ‘produce amended description’, where type =’to classify’ or similar. This leaves ‘military engineer?’ – an “RE type” – RE = Royal Engineers.
      1. I’d assumed “retype” as in “to type out again” (ie, “produce amended description”).
  4. Actually, dupes would be a perfectly acceptable answer to clue 22d…except it doesn’t mesh with the other answers.
    1. dyste knows this game well enough to be right when he says he’s made a mistake.

      DUPES is tempting but would not be an acceptable answer. There’s no way of splitting the clue into a def. and wordplay indicating an anag. of pseud. It looks initially like a possible &lit with dupes = victims as the basic def., but then there’s no way of reading the whole clue as wordplay. And if you want to read it as a cryptic def., it doesn’t really work that way – there’s nothing cryptic except the reason for using ‘a pseud’ instead of ‘a con-man’ or similar.

  5. I actually found this one quite entertaining, finishing in about 15mins. I got a bit bogged down with the SE corner, 23a being last to go in. Enjoyed 4a,17d,1d and 14a, but my COD goes to 5d. I presume that 27 across is SHOEMAKER but can’t see why other than Oxford=Shoe and manufacturer=MAKER. Where’s the cryptic bit? Does it refer to the man on an American chopper from the previous clue?
  6. 27A is indeed just a cryptic definition and, if you’ve seen “Oxford” cluing “shoe” even once, quite a straightforward one.
  7. Can anyone clarify the construction for 4A? I’m happy that the definition is “Bond books” but I’m unhappy with my version of the wordplay.
    1. I think it N(OT)E,PAPER where NE indicates Newcastle and OT = the Old Testament, quite commonly clued by “books”.
    2. I think it is BOND is a type of paper used for writing on, as in Basildon Bond, and the Journal is the daily paper in Newcastle, ie the NE. OT is Old Testament (made up of BOOKS). So books is part of the wordplay and the construction is N(OT)E PAPER.

      Harry Shipley

    1. This is the one I was alluding to in my earlier comment about books of the bible. MALACHI is the last book of the Old Testament + TE as in Do Re Mi, the 7th note of the musical scale.
  8. About 40 minutes to solve. I felt there was something vaguely unsatisfactory about some of these clues. Like growf I don’t think puzzle=JUMBO; I can’t justify the word “that’s” in 29 across; I don’t like clues like 21 down (No idea – or have forgotten – who Egeus was and guessed HERMIA based on HER-MIA=girl’s girl); at 27 across, Oxford=SHOE is so hackneyed. Perhaps I’m a bit out of sorts – missed too many puts today. Jimbo.
    1. I agree on 21D – it was the one I couldn’t do. I’m not sure how many Shakespearean characters can be assumed to be common knowledge these days for the purposes of a daily cryptic.
  9. Reminded me of that great fine-de-siecle artist, Pujol Le Petomane, one of whose acts was farting the Marseilleise at Le Moulin Rouge…
  10. Busy day today, but a quick break took care of most of the crossword in under 10 minutes, and then I hit the SE corner with a thud. I’d originally written “dogged” in for 23, and was staring at that ..k.a thinking there are no words g.k.a that come to mind, and it had to be a homophone with “contract”.

    I was just finishing up teaching a class when the penny dropped with pukka, giving me pooped as 23ac, and probably some sort of record solving time of 2 hours, 15 minutes, with a 2 hour break where that corner was nagging me. Hermia was a kind of a guess, though I thought a safe bet with the checking letters. I’m OK with obscure literary figures when there’s pretty clear wordplay.

    After it taking so long, I liked 24d as a COD. Pukka up, compiler!

  11. This may have been on the easy side but to say it lacked interest is mumbo-jumbo (14a) I reckon. The easiness is perhaps reflected in the number of omissions from the blog – thirteen in all:

    10a Nominal sanction welcomed by cardinal (5)
    T OK EN. Cardinal = cardinal number in this case.

    11a Produce amended description of military engineer? (6)
    RE TYPE. This could be to re-type the description on the keyboard or to amend the classification and therefore the type description? Take your pick.

    16a Spoils wetland, sending out horse (4)
    MARS (H)

    19a Demand ring (4)

    27a … Oxford manufacturer? (9)
    SHOEMAKER. The … from the previous clue seems a load of cobblers?

    29a Prepared to try a book that’s unknown (5)
    READ Y

    2d Restriction left one fellow bowled over (5)
    L 1 MIT

    4d Beans, or bananas (4)

    8d Roam mountains (5)

    15d Note with book identifies source of copper (9)
    MALACHI TE. I was dismayed how long it took me to see that one.

    21d Egeus’s daughter, a girl’s girl (6)
    HER MIA. DNK the characters from Midsummer Night’s but do now.

    22d People suCH A PSeud takes in (5)
    CHAPS. There are those calling for DUPES – (pseud)* – to be a valid answer to this but they are misguided. See our illustrious founder’s explanation above.

    25d Sweetheart’s disappointing score (4)
    LOVE. Zero in Tennis and Squash – any others?

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