Times 23,810 I think it adze up

Solving time : 40 minutes

I found the down clues easier than the across and the bottom half easier than the top. I guessed ADZE and PHONEME and verified afterwards.
I’m still thinking about 1 across, should it be jumping ship? There are a number of nice clues such as 9 and 11 across. 12 down made me laugh.

1 JUMP,SHIP – cryptic definition
9 HAREBELL – HARE=rush, BELL=Alexander Graham
10 ADZE – an old axe, supposedly sounds like “ads” = commercials
11 DATING,AGENCY – (dancng + gaiety)* one left=take “I” out of dancing
13 DAHLIA – “AIL HAD” reversed, a dahlia is a “root in a (flower) bed”
14 MOSQUITO – MO-SQUIT-O low=MOO, SQUIT=a nobody, is a mosquito a fly?
15 FETCHED – F-ETCHED, F(ail) + ETCHED=cut, cost as in “what it fetched”
16 SWEETEN – SW-EET-EN, NEWS=reports, TEE=aid for drivers
23 I,DONT,THINK,SO – (into kind host)*
27 DOGGEREL – DOG+G-ER-EL, DOG=harry, GEL=set, ER=Her Majesty
2 UNDULATE – (tune+dual)*
3 PREDILECTION – PREDI(LN)CTION, L(in)E = empty line
5 PHONEME – PHONE-ME a distinct articulation according to Collins
6 TREATS – two meanings
8 PLAY,DOWN – blue=sad=DOWN
12 EAU,DE,COLOGNE – (need a goo clue)*, goo=good(short), compiler’s joke?
15 FLAMINGO – FLAMING-O, flipping=slang intensifier
18 EXCHANGE – EX-CHANGE, reference old UK coinage before decimilisation
19 ATTIRED – A-TT-IRED, TT=teetotal=dry
21 ENTRAP – PARTNE(r) in reverse
24 OVID – DIVO(t) in reverse, linesman=poet

35 comments on “Times 23,810 I think it adze up”

  1. One of the most entertaining puzzles for months. Clues not too difficult but the surface reading is spot on for almost every clue.
    A COD nomming nightmare as I ticked around ten of them! I’m hesitant to shy away from the excellent in-joke at 12D but I will:
    COD 27A – not the greatest selection of letters, but a clue with up-to-date relevance, brilliant surface and technique. “Harry” is fine for use, by the way, for those wondering about “living persons”, as it’s just a verb meaning to dog/worry/vex.
    Top marks to the setter.
  2. Very entertaining.

    On commuting days I am sort of against the clock and have no reference books to hand so I ended up with two errors, one of spelling, ADSE for ADZE, which was careless and one wrong answer at 7 where I had guessed MEAN (sounds like “mien”) in desperation to complete the puzzle before my station.

    15D amused me so it’s my COD.

    1. As it’s not included in the analysis (we’re not supposed to do every clue) in case anybody else has guessed “mean”, I think the answer is VEIN, sounds like “vain”. Jimbo.
    2. I also like 15d – perhaps the nearest we’ll come to a Coronation St reference :-). That reminds me, which two Corry characters are often mentioned but never seen?

      Flamin’ Nora and Willy Eckerslike

  3. A splendid puzzle, with lots to keep me alert.

    COD 1A or 27A, but I also loved Phoneme.

    And I had to smile at Whacking – Anax and tissues again.

  4. 10:14 here, with 15A my last answer (thinking first of the implausible F+ESCHEW), just after 20 and 21. At 26, being a trombonist had me thinking of ‘glissando’, so glissade went in easily given a few checking letters. COD possibles for me were 22, 27, 4, 12.

    14A: Yes, mosquitoes are flies – the COD def. includes “fly” in the description. Further research puts the mosquito family (Culicidae) in the order Diptera, or “true flies”.

    1A: I couldn’t understand your question until I looked back at your parsing of the clue. I think it’s not a CD but a charade of starts = JUMPS and “with it” = HIP. Then, “jump ship” matches “unofficially, leave” and it all makes sense.

    With the clue discussions, forgot to say that yes, this was a very nicely made puzzle.

    Edited at 2008-01-15 11:46 am (UTC)

  5. Thanks Peter. Your explanation makes perfect sense. If I hadn’t been posting I would have thought longer about it and eventually seen it. Apologies for the error. Jimbo.
    1. Jimbo (and other bloggers). Apologies for errors are never required. We all make them.
  6. Defeated by this, failing to get ENTRAP and EXCHANGE after 45 minutes of solving; I didn’t have time for more so didn’t continue the chase. My sheet has several ticks against nice clues: 1, 12, 15a (which initially I thought led to FETCH, not FETCHED), 23, and 27. I think I’d plump for 12 for its wit as COD.
  7. I’ve been absolutely unsuccessful in accessing The Times online — any advice, hints, best practices… who do I need to bribe? sleep with?
    1. Can only suggest continuing to hassle the “custserv at timesonline dot co dot uk” e-mail address, assuming you’re back in NYC and not able to use the phone help desk. The latter seemed to do the trick for me back in December.
    2. I was advised to e-mail them saying you can’t get in and quoting your user name, e-mail address and password. I did this and they fixed it in about 3 days (this was quite a while back) although I had to go through a re-registration process (at no cost) during which I changed my password. Hope that helps. Jimbo.
  8. …but thankfully didn’t. I was staring at two sets of three (9a, 6d, 8d and 20a,21d and 19d) for ages. I’m glad I decided to give it a few more minutes though because the answers somehow forced their way into my consciousness and I completed in just under 24 minutes. I’m going to nominate 1a as COD – only in crosswordland are the terms “hip” and “with it” still used 🙂
    A thoroughly excellent crossword. Full marks to the setter.
    1. Many setters would avoid “to” but if, in the sense of the clue, it can be read as “leading to” (which it does in this case) it will generally be regarded as fair. You’re certainly right to think there have been occasions in the past where “to” served as an unnecessary filler merely inserted to correct grammatical sense.
      1. I certainly didn’t like the “to” in that clue, in an otherwise excellent puzzle. I also wondered whether “fetched” quite = “cost”. I thought it was more in the sense of “raised” as at an auction for example.
        But no dictionary to hand to check.
      2. Not worried about “to” – it’s just ‘against’ as in “put your ear to the wall” – example from Collins. As far as I can see that makes it OK between any two components of a charade clue.
        1. “To” isn’t wrong as such. I could see why it was there and yet it somehow jarred. Just a personal thing, I suppose. I think it’s just that these little words in certain contexts can take on a misleading significance they perhaps don’t deserve 🙂
          1. I think it’s just that these little words in certain contexts can take on a misleading significance they perhaps don’t deserve 🙂

            Quite right. Another example is “I do”

        2. I think the ‘put your ear to the wall’ example is only valid if the preposition can stand on its own without that verb as well. Having done it, can one say: “My ear is to the wall”? Well, probably, yes, but I would argue it sounds a bit strange and archaic – and that’s why I think it’s less than perfect in a broadsheet cryptic.

          For full explanation of the sourness of my grapes, see below.

    1. Having now checked COD and Chambers I am still unconvinced that FETCH can=COST.
      FETCH=achieve a particular price when sold
      COST=necesitate the outlay of a particular price when sold.
      “That book cost me a fiver” is not the same as “That book fetched me a fiver” in fact it’s the exact opposite!
      1. Collins defines it as to cost OR to sell for a certain price and that’s the definition I used when I was checking all the references. In the sentence “what did that house cost?” one can substitute “what did that house fetch?” without a change of meaning. Jimbo.
  9. A lovely crossword. I can’t quote a time due to an interruption, but less than my average, I think. Several excellent clues, e.g. 1A, 8D, 14A, 15A, 23A, but I’ll also go for 27A as COD. The only jarring note for me was 13A, where ‘of’ seems harsh.
  10. 21 minutes for me, struggled with a few of them, I think I’m having a bad brain day today. I had a question mark next to fetched, relieved to see that the consensus is in on it. I liked 1ac for the multiple indicators.
  11. A very good puzzle, tough in places esp where ACCIDENT meets ENTRAP. COD – 1 ac JUMP SHIP
  12. 10:23 here for a most enjoyable puzzle with lots of ingenious clues and even something from the world of dance (GLISSADE). I was tempted for a while by MEAN at 7D, but managed to resist and find VEIN.

    I’ll go for 1A as my COD (with 14A as runner-up).

  13. I fell into the mean/vein trap, and didn’t catch on to FETCHED or OVID until I read through the blog here. I think FETCHED is quite fair, and feel I should have thought of it. I would never have thought of ‘linesman’ to mean a poet though, but upon seeing it here, it’s also within the pale, I think. Fun puzzle, even though I was stumped by other than Cockney rhyming slang. I liked DOGGEREL.
  14. A really bad solving experience here. I guess I had all but two done in about 7m and VEIN took me another 30s or so. Then I spent about 10m agonising over 15a before eventually guessing the wrong answer.

    I did think of FETCHED, but decided that it’s monetary meaning was ‘earned’, which I then decided was the opposite of ‘cost’. It’s this last conclusion that’s erroneous (and probably arises from an accountant’s trained dichotomy between income and expense). Also I was put off the possibility of ETCHED by the use of ‘to’ in the clue, and the fact that if correct the clue was a better one to FETCH than FETCHED. Well, equal, at least.

    But still it would have been a better entry than FESCHEW! Which was all a pity as the last 3 days’ puzzles had AVERAGED under 4m30s and I thought I was on a roll. Crash!

    1. I’m still puzzled by the cost/fetch thing. Why are they the same thing? I’m quite prepared to have it explained to me but I can’t see the justification for it in the dictionary. Even if the example I quoted earlier is a bit extreme.

      Actually, I also thought of FESCHEW(!)
      I am tempted to say that a clue which fells Mr Magoo is either too clever for its own good or simply wrong. I’m veering to the latter at the moment notwithstanding the fact that it doesn’t seem to have caught out anyone else, on here at least.
      Great puzzle, I must re-emphasise, but I’m still not sure about that bit.

      1. Well, what I now think is ‘fetch’ means “to be sold for (a certain amount)” per Chambers, and ‘cost’ means much the same thing. I had previously thought of ‘fetch’ as to ‘earn (a certain amount) for an owner’ and thus equated it to earning money rather than spending it.

        Mr Magoo gets a few wrong every year, and almost never thinks the clue was duff accordingly, I can assure you.

      2. Collins (1991 ed.) has “to cost or sell for” for fetch – and AFAIK it’s still COD and Collins that are the prime references for the Times xwd, not Chambers.

        The use of two ‘invariant pasts’ (cut and cost) is crafty but fair and given word-length, FETCHED it must be – in a puzzle where answer lengths were not known, this would be a very sneaky clue!

        Edited at 2008-01-16 05:11 pm (UTC)

  15. This one was not easy to complete but it was rewarding when the tricky ones fell one by one. My LOI was the bridge PARTNE(R) at 21d where the E and N were masquerading as the bridge players for a long time.

    Just the 4 answers omitted:

    20a Fortune or disaster (8)

    25a Mob recorded by recordinG ANGel (4)
    GANG. A hidden answer but I don’t understand the surface?

    7d Distinctive quality, useless if pronounced (4)
    VEIN. Sounds like VAIN.

    17d Start to worry computer crime may become enormous (8)

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