Times 23781 – Pat and Patel

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
A tale of two halves. Below the belt was pretty easy but the top half was quite a struggle — the NW corner had two or three intersecting obscurities (PIBROCH, PASTEL, ELIOT). And as is my wont a couple of unexplained wordplays.

1 PI,BROCH – It’s bagpipe music and a BROCH is a kind of tower — and also of the Scots variety helping the surface. Rather tough with hard def and hard wordplay (I had to look this up).
9 ST(ONE,CR)OP – it’s a kind of plant and I suppose CR can be abbrev(“councillor”).
10 EX,PAT – PAT is usually an Irishman so nice to see the androgynous version this time.
11 ELIOT=rev(toile) – ref. George ELIOT.
17 HER(O)-WORSHIP,PER – took me some time to realize that “by” serves to define PER.
21 OM(BUD,SM)AN – likewise took me some time to realize that “writing about” produces SM=rev(MS=manuscript). BUD is our pal here. In spite of all my staring I still got the wordplay wrong (noted below by Harry and Andy): it’s O(M(BUD)S)MAN.
24 HORSE – Suffolk punch is a breed of horse from … well… Suffolk. HORSE is also slang for heroin.
25 WHILE AWAY – two meanings, both slightly cryptic.
26 O(THE,LL)O – I suppose “to tour” can indicate containment in the sense of “going round”.
27 ENTHRAL – (h[e] learnt)* — somehow somehow is sufficient as the anagrind.


1 PA(S)TEL – not my fav clue: S for Saint unlike the usual ST and PATEL is the canonic Indian surname.
2 B(O,OR)ISH – OR (other ranks) showing up as (Brit) soldiers again.
4 H,A,RUM-SC,A,RUM – awkward wordplay but I suppose marginally credible surface: “regularly sick” yields SC (every other letter).
6 NEEDS=”kneads”
7 APP[e]AR,AT=rev(TA) – this time we have volunteer soldiers (TA).
8 IN,TIM,[r]ACY – we’ve had PATEL, PAT… now TIM.
13 ELEPHANTINE – (In the plane [h]e)* – had to look up Kala Nag who’s a Kipling pachyderm.
15 I(M)PATIENT – I for “current” is from physics and makes frequent cryptic appearances.
16 CHOO-CHOO – ref. The Chattanooga CHOO-CHOO (Andrews Sisters?)
18 R(EBIRT=rev(tribe))H – ref. Dan, one of the twelve tribes. RH is “outskirts of Redditch” — another common cryptic idiom.
19 EM,POWER – I think that POWER is “product” in the mathematical sense.
20 ARGYLL – hidden rev in “hiLLY GRAssland”. Good clue and probably an &lit (but my Scots geography isn’t that good).
25 WOO[d] – deal is a kind of wood.

30 comments on “Times 23781 – Pat and Patel”

  1. …..but this one caused me a couple of problems.

    I filled in the bottom half straight away apart from taking ages to spot the hidden word at 20d. But in the top half I struggled with 1d, 11a and 7d. I’m still not sure I have 1d correct as I can’t explain how “Indian” fits in.

    Also I didn’t know that Kala Nag was an elephant until I looked it up as I’m afraid my knowledge of Kipling animals is limited to those who feature in the film of The Jungle Book, or that a “broch” is an Iron Age tower.

    Again nothing leaps out as a COD. I suppose I ought to nominate 20d as it fooled me for so long, but I think that probably says more about the state of my brain at 5:30 this morning than the quality of the clue.

  2. Yes, another easy one as it took me about half an hour.
    Nothing stands out, and can’t explain 1D, but otherwise straightforward and pretty flat.
  3. 5:33 either side of a phone call.

    Saint can be just S rather than St., so 1D is PA(S)TEL. Patel is apparently the second most common surname in India, and “the most common non-Anglo-Celtic surname in Great Britain”, according to its Wikipedia entry. 17A is my COD for a decent surface and a construction that felt new.

    Kala Nag was new to me, but remembered broch (and pibroch).

    Edited at 2007-12-11 09:10 am (UTC)

    1. I definitely need the boot! I looked up S meaning Saint only the other day as I hadn’t known it before or had forgotten it, and it turned up in one of the weekend puzzles. But my answer to 1d was wrong anyway as I had settled on POSTER.
  4. Funny how you get hung up on things – I couldn’t see past ST for Saint and after Id finished the grid was googling PAEL trying to find our why it was Indian!
  5. All except the NW corner went straight in and then I had the same problems as everybody else. I checked the dictionary to verify two guesses of first “broch” and then PIBROCH. I’ve read Peter’s explanation of “Patel” and wonder if this means Smith = Englishman or Murphy = Irishman? It seems sloppy to me. Solve time 35 minutes including dictionary checking. Jimbo
  6. Is it usually considered acceptable to have obscure words (such as PIBROCH and BROCH) in both the definition and subsidiary indication?
    1. I must say I’m with you. I find it poor practice and both are very obscure words. I don’t much like George = Eliot at 11 across either with no other indication as to which of the many Georges we could be thinking about. Jimbo.
      1. There is certainly a principle for setters that goes “Obscure word: easy wordplay”. I suspect PIBROCH is tough to write a good clue for – a search confirms that it was in an Indie puzzle early this year by Virgilius, who’s usually scrupulously fair. But he used a cryptic definition, probably even less helpful than the BROCH wordplay for those who didn’t know the word.
        1. I think the underlying issue here is that there should be some degree of difference between a daily cryptic and a weekly bar puzzle. Today’s 1 across would not have been out of place in Sunday’s Mephisto. The fact that some people know of these words does not mean that they are not obscure and the principle outlined by Peter is a sensible one for the daily puzzle that should be maintained.

          On a minor note wasn’t Glenn Miller responsible for the Choo-Choo from Chatanooga? Jimbo.

              1. Fair enough – unfortunately the rhapsody.com site declines to play to folk outside the U.S.
  7. This was one of those rare occasions when I completed it in 20 minutes, PIBROCH and PASTEL being the last to go in. I didn’t really like PATEL for Indian, but it’s no different from Scotsman indicating IAN or MAC, so it’s perfectly justified.
  8. If only I’d have started with the two long across clues, I would have probably got my second sub-10 in a row. As it was I struggled with the top half, got those two , filled in the bottom pretty quickly, then completed the top quite easily with the help of checkers. 11 mins in total. 4d is my COD, though I also liked 25a,17a and 12a.
    I’d heard of PIBROCH, so wasn’t outraged today. I too couldn’t see Indian in 1d, so thanks to PB. I think I probably may find this just acceptable-ish.

    I’ve joined the “sexy avatar” group today. Hope you like it.

    1. Love it.
      Although in a caption competition I might go for:
      “Listen mate, one more crack about the suit… I told you, I only have one suit. This is it. There is no other suit”.
  9. I hadn’t given 1A a second thought in terms of obscurity, even though I didn’t know the BROCH element, so seeing the comments above I wondered if it just meant I’m particularly clever. Of course not; I can put it down to no more than having encountered PIBROCH before. Just to check, I ran it through the MS Word dictionary and, sure enough, it’s there.
    Good puzzle, nothing spectacular but I’d nom 26A as COD – it would have been so easy to exploit the OT + HELLO charade but the setter has done something different to produce a very smooth clue.
    My only “Yes, but I’ll stand corrected” gripe is at 3D where I wonder if “fall” = “overthrow” – can the two words equate that way?
    1. Fall & overthrow: noun sense meaning loss of (ruling) power was my thought. In my Collins the def. for fall has “capture or overthrow; the fall of the city“.
      1. Thanks Pete. My query was influenced by not having a dictionary to hand, so I was thinking along the lines of the aggressor would overthrow while the defender would fall, but your Collins ref puts me right on that score.
  10. Doesn’t the word play have to be MS about BUD, i.e. MBUDS?

    I knew PIBROCH and it was the first to go in; the PI for a Greek character left it simply as a matter of confirmation to look up BROCH, which anyway sounds like an Iron Age type word.

    Harry Shipley

  11. 12:04 for me. Like others my last two to go in were PASTEL and ELIOT, just after PIBROCH and OVERTHROW. I’d never heard of Kala Nag either, but the solution to the anagram leapt out at me right away, unlike the one for 14A, which I had to stare at for ages! My COD is 4D, and I also liked 17 and 26.

    I disagree with Ilan’s explanation of 21A. Surely it’s O(M(BUD)S)MAN, i.e. MS around BUD, all inside OMAN.

  12. 15 minutes today, while proctoring an exam, so blissful uninterrupted silence. Common theme, damn that NW corner, I had guessed pibroch from the wordplay, and was pretty sure about pastel. Apparat was a new word. 26ac was a nice clueing of a regular answer. George Eliot came up in conversation last night after going to see “I’m Not There” with a few friends – weird.
  13. About 12 mins for me, 1D cost me a couple of minutes. I’d also nominate 26A as COD. 20D would have been neat had it been an &lit, but I don’t think ‘hilly grassland’ is sufficiently characteristic of Argyll.
  14. My first posting to you; I had been doing the daily puzzle in the NY Post, lagging about 2 weeks after you, and found this page and just decided to join. Regards all. I did this in about 35 minutes, including time to look up ‘pibroch’ and ‘suffolk punch’, which I had no way of knowing, being on the wrong side of the ocean and all.
    1. Welcome aboard! In theory, solvers in NY can be among the first to do each puzzle, as they appear on the Times club site at midnight GMT, i.e. 7 p.m. EST. But it seems you have to do some fiddling about (maybe reset your PC clock) so that you get access to the puzzle before your own midnight.
  15. Nothing left for me to add. Pretty much the same problems as everyone else, and a time not worthy of comment!
  16. Nice to be back among the fold. Like Ilan I found the bottom half pretty easy, while the top half was slowly filled in. I didn’t get PIBROCH though – I looked on here after 37 minutes to get that final one. I think my favourite clue was probably 25a.
    This site is already on the banned list at work – not sure if it’ll ever come off, what with the avatars becoming sexier by the day.
  17. In 18D “Dan” indicates “tribe”; in 25D “deal, perhaps” indicates “wood”. Dan is an example of a tribe, deal is an example of a wood. Yet only in the latter clue is there the “perhaps” (or some such) that surely needs to be there in both the clues. Are people getting sloppy, or am I missing something?
    1. This sort of thing (“unindicated definition by example”) has been going on in the Times puzzle for a year or two if not more, though I suspect some of the Times setters don’t do it. I was quite shocked when I first realised, but once you know that it’s on the cards, it rarely makes solving more difficult and these days I barely notice. Take “Pomeranian” – a breed of dog, someone from Pomerania, and (AFAIK) that’s it. But start with “dog (10)” and there are about 10 choices.

      Ironically given 25D, I think {deal => wood} was a leader of this trend – deal is a subset of ‘wood’ rather than a type like oak or ash.

  18. My LOI was 1d PASTEL as I could not see saint = S and not ST so ended up wondering how PAEL = Indian – like some above. Doh!
    There are 6 “easies” to cover:

    5a Thrust in joke originally in Asian language (7)

    14a (Cast hear critic)*’s getting nasty – typical! (14)
    CHARACTERISTIC. Good anagram – easy??

    23a Thin person making recording (5)

    3d Fall concluded fling (9)
    OVER THROW. Bad cricket!

    5d How the weasel goes for such music! (3)
    POP. One for the littlies.

    22d Live with daughter in a comfortable manner (5)
    D WELL

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