Times 23,930 Your Diligence Awaits

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time : 35 minutes

I couldn’t access the Times on-line this morning so had to go rushing off to Tesco to get the paper. A truely extraordinary website.

This is a fun puzzle, not too difficult but requiring a lot of general knowledge and with some nice wordplay and definitions. It was difficult deciding what to leave out of the blog because nearly every clue has a feature that may be difficult for new solvers and/or overseas solvers.

This is my first pie chart, so comments welcome. I have started to keep a spreadsheet of puzzles so that at the end of the month we will have a cumulative total and perhaps some points for discussion. Jimbo.

1 KIPPS – sounds like “kips” slang for sleep; draper’s apprentice from story of same name by H G Wells
4 POCHARDS – (COP reversed)+HARD+S; a species of duck
8 PEASANTS,REVOLT – (Santa overslept)*; the Great Rising of 1381 led by Wat Tyler and Jack Straw
10 OVERTHROW – OVERT-H-ROW; worst=get better of; H=hospital
12 ENGELS – backers=angels then change “a” to “e”; Friedrich Engels 1820-1895, German who collaborated with Karl Marx
14 CRETONNE – CRET(ON-N)E; worn=on; n=end of vacation; a heavy fabric used for furnishing
17 HARD,COAL – H+(carload)*; anthracite
18 CAVEAT – CAV-EAT; “cav” is short for Cavalleria Rusticana (with “pag” for Pagliacci). My daughter is an operatic soprano who talks about Cav and Pag
20 ADAMS – AD-AM-S; US President John 1797-1801 or John Quincy 1825-1829
22 BATTERSEA – (TAB reversed)+TERSE+A; an area of South London (I went to Battersea Grammar School)
24 BIG,GIRLS,BLOUSE – UK slang for a “wet”- a feeble man
25 STINKERS – two meanings; hum=smell bad
26 ROPED – hidden reversed (nu)de por(traits); a painter is a rope
3 SMART,ALEC – SMAR-TALE-C; to swot is to cram
4 PETARD – PET-A-RD; I like the “maybe” – see 6D
5 CAREWORN – CA-(ROWER reversed)-N
6 ANVIL – AN-VIL(lager); Stoke Poges is a Buckinghamshire village near Slough – no “maybe” this time
7 DILIGENCE – two meanings; a diligence was a stagecoach
9 STREETS,AHEAD – (the dear seats)*
13 GERMANIST – (mastering)*
15 TRAVELLER – TRAV-ELL-ER(s); ELL=an old measure; reference Ben Travers 1886-1980 writer of farces
16 JAMBOREE – JAM-B(OR)EE; JAM=crowd; OR=ordinary ranks=men; BEE=gathering
19 STASIS – two meanings; the STASI were the East German secret police
21 SAGAN – SAGA-N; reference Francoise Sagan 1935-2004

Category Score Clues
Religion 0
Literature 3 1A; 15D; 21D
Music 1 18A
Visual Arts 0
Popular Culture 0
Sport & Games 0
Natural World 1 4A
Science & Tech 0
Geography 2 22A; 6D
History 4 8A; 12A; 20A; 19D
Other 2 14A; 7D
Total 13

17 comments on “Times 23,930 Your Diligence Awaits”

  1. I thought this a very lively puzzle with lots of amusing and interesting clues but I think some of the references may cause problems. I’d have finished a lot quicker if I hadn’t become bogged down in the NE corner having written GAVEL at 6. Wasted a lot of time trying to justify the first part of the clue and work out an answer at 4ac to fit round the G. I was also looking for a reference to Gray’s Elegy at 6 but concluded there isn’t one. 24 is myCOD.

    On the pie chart, do all the references deserve a full point? If not awarding halves, Peter suggested multiplying the total by .75 and rounding to nearest whole. I’m not bothered just so long as we are all using the same method as far as possible.

  2. Ditto. Lots of very good stuff here but a few instances where I put in the answers and had to make the assumption that they matched some of the slightly obscure references (diligence, cav, Kipps). Thankfully the more direct references – Adams, Sagan, Battersea – only needed a smattering of general knowledge.

    COD 26 – brilliant def to tie in with the wordplay, although I suspect some may question the definition-by-example use.

    One quick word about the new layout. It makes sneaky work-time solving more difficult as you can’t fold the paper into roughly A4 dimensions to rapidly conceal underneath office paperwork.

    Not that I’d ever do such a thing.

    1. >”It makes sneaky work-time solving more difficult as you can’t fold the paper into roughly A4 dimensions to rapidly conceal underneath office paperwork.”

      It’s easy to do that with the online version printed out on actual A4 paper. Probably.

      1. <

        [Error: Irreparable invalid markup (‘<it’s>’) in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

        <<It’s easy to do that with the online version printed out on actual A4 paper. Probably.>>

        Error 404 File Not Found can be folded into almost nothing ;o)

  3. Took a while over this one, managed to print it off last night and took it to the airport with me. 2d (which was a nice clue) was the last to go in, along with PEASANTS REVOLT – I got the REVOLT part of the anagram, but not sure why the rest took so long. Decent difficulty level for a daily.
    1. Sorry, can’t resist

      Which Tyler was the leader of the Pedants’ Revolt

  4. 10:40 for this – quite tricky in parts. Last two answers were 25 and 16.

    No trouble with the literary ones – remembered that Kipps is an HG Wells character (but not that the book was made into Half a Sixpence with Tommy Steele – thankyou Wiki), and Sagan’s 1958 Succès de scandale Bonjour Tristesse was still common in bookshops in my student days 20 years later. Both of these are blasts from the past that may make the puzzle much easier for older solvers than under-30s. Ditto Ben Travers.

    jackkt mentions Gray’s Elegy, which some Times setters still expect you to know bits of. Gray is buried at Stoke Poges and it’s claimed that this was the churchyard where the elegy was written. Hence better known than your average village.

    Jimbo is the only volunteer so far to work on making the pie charts into regular reports to show any trends. I’d prefer not to rely on one person, so if anyone else is willing to share the work, let me know. I think I’d have used half-points here for Travers (author name only and better-known than Sagan I think), 4A, 22A (the Dogs’ Home and Power Station mean people are fairly likely to have heard of Battersea as compared to say Wandsworth), the history ones which all seem fairly easy, and 7D as this double meaning is a stock cryptic clue though the wording varies.

  5. 1a and 4a illustrate exactly my problem with the liberties some setters take with literary clues which other categories aren’t afforded. 1a is defined as “draper’s apprentice”. Without reading the book, how the hell are we supposed to know it? 4a, although maybe a little obscure, is defined as “ducks”. Fair enough I reckon. If the same liberties were taken, it could just as well have been defined as “lowlander”, which would be highy unfair. Similarly CRETONNE is defined as “type of cotton fabric” – that’s what it is, it’s fair, if you haven’t heard of it, tough titty! ENGELS is defined as “socialist” – fair. CAV is short for “Cavalleria Rusticana” but is clued as “opera” – yeh right, but hang on, it’s in the old music category so it’s ok to do stuff like this. I think the pie chart would be more useful if it only counted oblique references. Then we’d see “Literature 65%, Old Music 35%, everything else 0%”
    Rant over

    Some good stuff but KIPPS and CAV spoilt it.

    14:20 to finish. 2d gets my nod – as with Penfold, it took far too long to spot.

    1. I think you protest a notch or two too much.

      Cavalleria Rusticana was premiered in 1890, so if it’s “Old Music”, Kipps (1905) must be close to “old literature”. It’s 21st on a list of the most performed operas 1998-2000, just slightly behind its usual partner Pagliacci. And ‘Cav & Pag’ is what they’re usually called when done together – that’s why ‘Cav’ or ‘Pag’ is OK for ‘opera’ as a change from Aida, Tosca or Norma. And Kipps is available from film too, so “draper’s apprentice” seems more helpful than “Book by HG Wells”. (Same as for Trilby a while back, which used a def you could understand from the film version.)

      1. I don’t think I protest enough

        Being 21st on a list of most performed operas is hardly praiseworthy. I didn’t even realise there were 21 operas to choose from – I got stuck at five (though I didn’t try too hard). Norma? never heard of her (except being Penfold’s mum). I seem to remember that “trilby” caused a bit of a stir all round when it was clued. Kipps – if it was me I would have shuffled the words a bit so it wasn’t included – too arcane.

          1. Tell her it’s instead of a card (and a present). Happy birthday Norma
  6. Sagan? The only one I know is Karl, the boffin who sounds like Kermit the frog. Cav? What? Travers? Who he? Kipps? Come on. Add to that pochards, cretonne and diligence and it’s all getting a bit silly.

    Anyway, I solved this in about 35 minutes with 2d last to go in – I really need to spot things like PE ace much more quickly, and I didn’t immediately think of still as a noun except in the moonshine sense.

    Apart from all the silliness there were some nice clues, expecially 26 and 5 but my COD nod goes to 24.

  7. Beaten. I couldn’t get 16 JAMBOREE. And I messed up at 1a – apparently KNAPS the draper’s apprentice was from one of Dickens’ unpublished works. I should have got that, really, since Half a Sixpence was the first movie I ever saw at the cinema (which dates me). If I’d seen 2d I imagine I’d have clicked on KIPPS, so no complaints.

    I was happy enough with the general knowledge here, all of which I felt could be arrived at without necessarily knowing it in advance. Must admit I had no idea what Stoke Poges was – sounded like something out of PG Wodehouse to me.

    Top marks for 24a and 26a.

  8. Yes, the older solvers may have found it easier, cos I did this much faster than usual. Thanks for PE ACE which I got right but did not understand till I came here.
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  10. No problem about the obscure (to some) references from this end. To discover new GK through the Times Crossword is one of my main reasons for doing it. Time to complete is not a major factor in my world – sometimes the longer the better!

    Just the 2 “easies” not in the blog:

    11a Not having full load, aircraft doesn’t start off (5)
    (F) LIGHT

    1d Thus spared from guillotine, remained cool and collected (4,4,4)

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