Times 23921

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
This took me rather longer than it should have – a good 45 minutes. It seemed rather a let-down after yesterday’s treat but on another day it might have seemed more impressive.

1 BROAD-BRUSH – B-ROAD, B(end),RUSH – meaning lacking detail
6 THUS – THU(r)S(day)
10 TITUS – (SUIT,T)*
11 GATEHOUSE – Hope I have this right: Number attending = GATE (as at a football match), HOUSE = theatre (as in House Full). A barbican can be a fortified gateway i.e. the whole construction, but can also be  just the tower over a gateway (and possibly over a gatehouse) and it’s the second meaning we need here to account for “underneath”. But maybe its simpler than that and I have tried to over-analyse it?
14 EPISODE – EP(IS)ODE – an “epode” being a lyric poem. Not sure I have met this before.
17 AVERNUS – AVER + SUN (rev) – Phoebus being another name for Apollo, the sun god.  Avernus, apparently , is a crater in Italy believed to be the entrance to the underworld. Wasted ages trying to fit “Dis” into this one.
23 HUMBLE PIE – A reference to eating humble-pie when one is sorry
24 TROLL – T(r)OLL
25 BURN – BU(R)N
26 MONTE CARLO – MON (fr.), (de)TEC(tive), (h)ARLO(t)
1 BETA – BE,TA – B.E. being Bachelor of Education
2 OSTRACISE – OS, CART(rev.), I,S,E(missions)
4 RAGTIME – A popular form of song and dance in the early 20th century, also a reference to student rag weeks
5 SATCHEL – hidden word
7 HOURI – HO(use), URI – a beautful maiden. Uri is the Swiss canton.
9 CHARACTERISTIC –  On edit: CHAR, ACT, ERISTIC – “Eristic” means “by debate” apparently. I’ve never heard of it I’m afraid. Many thanks to Anon for putting me right. I have removed my original theory to spare you all the bother of reading such rot!
13 CERAMIC HOB – C(ham rice)*OB – Cob being a type of loaf. My COD.
16 NEIGHBOUR – A rather feeble clue referring to the Australian TV soap
19 CONGEST – CONGE,ST – Conge being leave of absence in one of its meanings
21 ORMER – (f)ORMER – a shellfish

“Pie Chart”

Category Score Clues
Religion 0  
Literature 2 14 (Epode), 17 (Phoebus, Avernus)
Music 0  
Visual Arts 0  
Popular Culture 2 4 (Ragtime), 16 (Neighbours)
Sport & Games 0  
Natural World 1 21 (Ormer)
Science & Tech 0  
Geography 2 26 (Monte Carlo), 7 (Uri)
History 2 10 (Titus), 11 (Barbican, moved on edit from “Other” following input from PB)
Other 1  23 (humble pie)
Total 10  Adjusted to 7.5

31 comments on “Times 23921”

  1. 11:06 which should have been about 7:30

    After finishing the rest in 7 minutes, had a brainstorm over 1A, eventually resolved by looking at checking letter possibilities for the second word and being inspired by BROAD ?R?SH as opposed to BROAD ?R?S?. Using ‘bend requiring cutting of final’ to get one letter in the answer, and ‘speed’ to get four, is cleverly deceptive wordplay. With eristic in 9D, we’re at a cruciverbal Avernus, on the verge of the Mephisto underworld.

    Had the same wordplay for GATEHOUSE but didn’t know enough about architecture to fret over the def. Where does architecture go? I’d say Science and Tech. for modern stuff like ‘trimmer’ a week or two ago, History for the kind of stuff that wouldn’t be built these days (glacis, barbican and so on), and Religion for temple, church and cathedral stuff – pronaoi and clerestories.

  2. After blitzing through this in about 8 minutes I was left with 17, 24, 1D and 19D at which point my brain packed its bags and went out to find someone willing to tattoo RIP on its buttocks.
    I should have got all but 17. Knowing AVERNUS and Phoebus was a leap too far for me. 19D, too, resorted to an obscurity so I don’t need to be too harsh on myself for that.
    I placed a couple of ticks, but the day’s smoothest read and COD nom was 19A CREVICE.
  3. There are some difficult but fair clues in this puzzle, of which 1A is typical and probably the best. Once again a very Mephisto type of clue.

    Then there are a collection of obscurities. AVERNUS is very difficult because not only is it way out but one also has to know Phoebus is an alias for Apollo. TROLL is an unusual word for fishing; URI one of the three original Swiss cantons; eristic; conge; and even ORMER are all hardly in common usage. The setter has the use of dictionaries and the web when compiling clues and for me this setter has severely overcooked things.

    That just leaves NEIGHBOUR, which was my last to go in and a pure guess. My subsequent research reveals an Australian soap opera called NeighbourS (hence “running short”) that is broadcast in the UK on the minority channel, channel 5. Jack, I think “feeble” is being kind. Jimbo

    1. Hi, Jimbo, I’m a bit surprised you hadn’t heard of Neighbours, the soap. I wish I could have avoided it too, but no such luck. It has been running here for over 20 years and for most of that time it was shown on BBC1. It was one of programmes that started a whole cult in the UK, particularly among the young, for things Australian, including quite a lot of their slang and speech patterns.
      1. Thanks for that Jack. I had no idea – one lives and learns cobber. Jimbo.
        1. And remember, it was Neighbours that gave us Kylie Minogue. But it wasn’t all bad. After all, we can thank Neighbours for bestowing on us that delightful habit of raising the pitch of the last word or two of a spoken sentence, changing a statement of fact into something that sounds like a question?
  4. Two lucky guesses at 1a and 17a, although 1a shouldn’t have been. Agree with others that having two relative obscurities at 17a is a tad unfair. I finished in about 13 minutes but it seemed like I spent that long on my last 3 clues alone, so I can only be quite pleased. I’ll join everyone else in adding ERISTIC to my list of new words. Lots of nice clues, especially 20a (lift and separate) and 18d for the cracking “Sign of Autumn” def.
    I can’t believe Jimbo hasn’t heard of Neighbours! Wasn’t it that programme that also gave us “dork”. Where does Kylie buy her kebabs? Jason’s DonerVan
    1. Stung by my abject and inexcusable ignorance of an Aussie icon of modern culture I have this lunchtime sampled an episode of Neighbours. Afterwards I spent some time alone in a darkened room trying to get my life back on an even keel. I can assure you all that I shall waste no time watching a further instalment. Jimbo.

  5. I’ll resist ending every sentence with a question mark by way of tribute? Or not?

    13 minutes-ish here, too, which wasn’t bad given that my brain was nearly as fried as the computer hard drive which I had spent the day replacing. Don’t you just love that? But there were a few careless guesses in there that worked out okay.

    I didn’t tick any clues, but that may be because I was in such a foul mood. And I still am. I think I might pack it all in and go live in the Bungle Bungles, where perhaps they’ve never heard of Microsoft.

  6. I always thought that teachers got B.Ed. I’d originally entered IOTA thinking there was a misprint which should have said “award given BY teacher” ie 10 (out of 10). It was only when I’d exhausted all possibilites for I_O_D at 1a that I had a rethink
    1. I looked it up after I’d finished and Chambers gives both BE and BEd for Batchelor of Education. Jimbo.
  7. An odd mixture of the very easy and the very very hard. Despite getting Phoebus = sun god, 17ac still eluded me for ages. 20ac (I was convinced ‘sight’ was the last word for a long time) / 19dn / 14ac caused me the most problems elsewhere.

    Still confused as to where the ‘LAIC’ in 15ac came from, but the L at the start and prisoner = CON gave the game away?

    COD for me 5dn – straightforward enough, but a very nice surface reading.

    1. LAIC = ‘of the laity’ – which I think you’ll see again.
  8. I think there’s enough relatively easy stuff to make each right answer possible to work out. With Avernus for example, maintain=AVER is routine, so N?S is very likely a reversal of whatever Phoebe means, and SUN seems a better bet than SAN/SEN/SIN/SON. 7D is probably the hardest of the others – without knowing the canton, you have to remember HOURI as the only HOU?I option, but that’s a fairly common Times answer – it was in Jumbo 740 in February, for example.
  9. 21 minutes for this one, and a lot of them agonising over 1ac. I agree that 13d was an excellent construction, and took me a while as well. Another day of guessing from definition but not being 100% on wordplay (CHARACTERISTIC, BROAD BRUSH, EPISODE, CONGEST), and wordplay for new words (AVERNUS – which kind of surprises me, AVERN-S seems to hint that Phoebe means SON or SUN, and SUN seems more likely, CERAMIC HOB).

    Given yesterday’s Nina, I’m tempted to reverse engineer one for this crossword… here’s the lyrics to the as-yet-not-on-youtube song “Laconic Avernus”, by George and the Cruciverbalists.

    Titus on the crevice
    Eating humble pie
    The harpsichordist burns the troll thus
    Broad-brushing the sky

    Laconic Avernus
    Ragtime in your spectacles
    Ostracise that houri

    An episode of Neighbours
    Filmed in Monte Carlo
    Tape it on your beta-max
    Watch it in one’s own right

      1. Seconded, with just one minor quibble. He forgot to add a question mark after each line?

    1. Fabulous!

      And you know, it really works to the tune of “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (and makes a lot more sense). Hire a recording studio, quick, George. Fame awaits.

        1. You appear to be doing respectably well, George. Over many years I can recall three periods when I’ve taken The Listner seriously as you are doing. I don’t recall ever getting better than about 70% success ratio and in the beginning far worse than that. Each time I eventually gave up because it just took up too much of my time and some of the themes were just too way out for me. Press on mate and never forget my old school motto “Nil illigitimo duo carborundum” or something like that. Jimbo.
  10. Note to self. Don’t click on “Post Comment” when you’re on a train, connected up to t’internet via wi-fi, and in a tunnel.

    Anyway, to summarise the brilliant comment I just lost, 30 minutes, fave clue 5d, a neat conatainer which had me (and doubtless Anax) thinking of “ladies”.

    Thst’s me done until June as we’re off to Cyrpus for a week. Enjoy the long weekend all in the UK and I’ll catch up on all the goings on in Ramsay Street when I get back?

    PS, I’d have said Kylie was the only good thing to come out of Neighbours.

  11. I don’t mind saying I was stumped today by 1A and 4D. My mind couldn’t unravel all the wordplay in 1, and while I thought of ‘ragtime’ I couldn’t connect it at all with ‘students raising money’, which I see now is a UK-ism. I went with ‘beguine’, because it has ‘beg’ in it. I overcame the American handicap by somehow solving ‘neighbours’ and ‘ceramic hob’, which are unknowns over here. But, ‘Eristic’? ‘Conge’? Good grief, I think we might be drifting beyond the pale. On the good side, though, I liked 18D and the short ones at 6A and 22D. Enjoy the weekend, all.
  12. Tackled this a day late, having been sick yesterday. Took me 45 minutes, getting all the long entries very quickly and stalling over some of the shorter ones. Lots of good clues, including one that floored me; at the end I had nothing for 19dn, so slapped in CONSENT for ‘leave’ – didn’t see the wordplay but had no more time to ponder.
  13. Another excellent puzzle with varied and interesting subject matter. Avernus at 17a was my LOI as I did not know it – thought it was a model of Toyota?

    There are 5 “easies” omitted although they are in GLH’s song lyrics:

    19a Opening chapter, Revelation I, read before church (7)
    C REV I C.E.

    20a (Shooter winning)* spoils by virtue of personal power (2,4,3,5)

    3d (Pity odd spaniel)* turning out with a sad manner (14)

    18d Sign of autumn as (crop is)* threshed before ending in silo (7)

    22d A l L u S i O n’s regularly taken further (4)

    1. Thanks again for your continued efforts. I was intrigued to find that I actually participated in the pie-chart categorisation project that was later (thankfully) dropped from the blogs. I was never keen on it and had no recollection of ever taking part in it, but 10 years is a long time in TftT blogging!

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