Times – 23945 – No sweat

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
This took me a little under 30 minutes. It all seemed pretty straightforward though a couple of clues highlighted some gaps in my knowledge of Geography. Nothing really stands out as COD, but maybe at gunpoint I’d plump for 26. Very lean pickings for the pie today!

5 HAT PEG – GE(P)T,A,H –  (rev)  – Derby, the North American bowler
10 LATTE(rly)
11 A(BU S)IM,BE,L – I’m afraid I’ve never heard of this former village in Egypt either by this name or the alternative Ipsambul
13 A,M,I,GO
14 UP,RIGHT – As opposed to “grand” piano
16 WEE,(e)VIL or just possibly WEE,VIL(e) –  but I’d say the setter had “evil” in mind”. I suppose this is &lit but the defintion seems a bit feeble to me
18 BA(Z,AA)R – AA=Automobile Association, less common in crosswords than RAC, I think
20 YU(CAT)AN – my ignorance of matters geographical is shown up yet again. I had also forgotten, if I ever knew, that 100 Chineses fens = 1 yuan. 10 jiao is of the same value, apparently, which may be worth remembering for another day.
22 GLYPH – Hidden word. Not sure I have met this before but knowing “hieroglyph” made it probable.
26 (all)OW,LET
28 BEANPOLE – (b+lone pea)*
2 TUT,O.R.
3 OCEANOGRAPHICAL – (o+archipelago can)*
6 ANIMATED CARTOON – (modern catatonia)* A reference to the Disney film.
15 READY-MADE – (h)(ad a remedy)*
17 UN(iversity),SETTLE
19 R(ugby) U(nion),STIC(k)
20 Y,ACHT,IE – Acht being German for eight
21 A,G(HAS)T –  Has=experiences. GT = Gran turismo, a high performance car
24 BILBO – Two meanings. I knew the Hobbit but not the sword.

“Pie Chart”

Category Score Clues
Religion 0  
Literature 1 24 (The Hobbit)
Music 0  
Visual Arts 0  
Popular Culture 0  
Sport & Games 0  
Natural World 0  
Science & Tech 0  
Geography 2 11 (Abu Simbel), 20ac (Yucatan)
History 0  
Other 1 20ac (fens and yuans)
Total 4  

31 comments on “Times – 23945 – No sweat”

  1. About 30 mins for me which is typical. At least compared to yesterday!

    Nothing too problematic but I had the situation of getting almost noting on the early acrosses before getting going and then working my way up. Once I got the two long ones it was plain sailing.

  2. 12:16 here. Would probably have been under 10 minutes if I’d made the connection between Derby and hat quicker. It took me a couple of minutes at the end to get HAT PEG for 5A.
  3. 7:18 – didn’t understand 20A while solving, thinking somehow that the answer used an anag. of ‘many’, and thinking that ‘fens’ was a bizarre anagrind. But now remember fens and jiaos.

    Struggled with the NE corner a bit, partly as my first try for Sleeping Beauty was DRAMATIC _______.

    Abu Simbel is not just a village but a well-known(?) tourist destination in Egypt – temples that would have been submerged by Lake Nasser, relocated to a new site in the 1960s.

    Initially thought a bilbo supported a sword, but that’s baldric, another fictional character…

    Edited at 2008-06-20 07:31 am (UTC)

  4. I thought this a good daily cryptic. 35 minutes of fun. A nice mix of clues with some neat wordplay but nothing too obscure or outlandish and certainly nothing unfair. I liked things such as the misleading “fens” and the clever use of “derby”. My favourite is 6D, a clever anagram. Jimbo.

    ABU SIMBAL with AL being “a lake”. Is this allowable? NB The double spellings are listed on Wikpedia.

      1. More accurately, it wouldn’t account for the B in the answer as “be” in the clue might be padding.

        I loved the clues to FURROW and CUT LOOSE

    1. The clue is Intention to grab transport to be beside lake – here? Here’s the whole story except for ‘order of execution brackets’ which jackkt has already given.

      Intention = AIM
      to grab = containment indicator
      transport = BUS
      to = next to – a concatenation indicator (Concatenation = fancy lingo for ‘putting A next to B’)
      be = BE
      beside = another concatenation indicator
      lake = L
      – here? = the def, referring back to the rest of the clue (Abu Simbel is close to Lake Nasser).

      I wouldn’t quite claim that you can account for every single word like this in 100% of Times clues, but as a starting point you should assume that you can – especially for clues other than cryptic defs – and your thoughts about each clue should be this detailed until/unless you want to cut corners for speed, at your own risk.

      Expecting you to get from “a lake” to AL would be perfectly OK, but it’s not happening here – there is only “lake” in the clue. I think this is the clearest reason why Abu Simbal cannot be the answer. Although cryptic setters play fast and loose with “a {noun}” or “an {noun}” and “{noun synonym}”, I don’t think even the most unorthodox setter would expect you to do this with abbreviations and therefore get from “lake” in a clue to “A L” in the answer.

      The {be =?=> B} issue matters too, but I wondered whether our first anon was thinking of the ‘letter name’ words, like see3 in Chambers, which is ‘the letter C’ and quite popular with barred grid puzzle setters. If that was the idea, it doesn’t work here for two reasons: B is ‘bee’, not ‘be’, and more importantly, these letter names (for B and C at least) are not listed in COD or Collins, and therefore wouldn’t be used in the Times puzzle.

      Finally, ‘Abu Simbal’, although possibly valid as a transliteration, is so much rarer in English usage that no sensible setter would use it. Although you can find “Abu Simbal” on Wikipedia, it just redirects to “Abu Simbel” where there’s no mention of an alternative spelling except ‘redirected from …’. If you Google for the two names (with double quotes), “Abu Simbel” wins by about 2,000,000 to 3,000 – and the misspelling “Abu Simbul” scores a thousand or two, suggesting that many of the Abu Simbals are simply mistakes.

  6. Went through horse race, china, cheese for derby, but had to look on here for the hat!
    Damn! Why can’t the Americans pronounce words correctly?
  7. About 30 minutes for me too. I thought it was going to be quicker, but 5, 9 and 11 and 16 in the NE corner held me up. I liked the the clue for FURROW, whcih then helped to get ABU SIMBEL, which was totally unfamiliar to me, as was ‘many fens’ for YUAN and ‘sword’ for BILBO. In general I like daily cryptics to be free of these obscure references that really require a dictionary to confirm, so no particular praise from me, but I’ll pick 9 as COD.
  8. A little under half an hour here, which must be my fastest time to date. My lack of knowledge of Chinese currency and German held me up with 20ac / 20d. Was pleased to get 11ac – unless I’d googled it, though, I’m not sure I would have been confident enough to put the answer in – Abu looking likely enough, but Simbel? COD 21d.

  9. By one of those happy coincidences I had watched Terry Jones ‘Surprising History of Egypt’, which dwells briefly on Abu Simbel, just a couple of hours before picking this up last night, so 11 fell easily into place. Perhaps an opportunity lost for a doubled clue with the temple being ‘rebuilt’ elsewhere on the grid. I’ve visited Abu Simbel (and that’s how my cheesy ‘real ancient papyrus’ bookmark spells it so it must be right), and got to thinking that maybe Dave Gorman could undertake another of his serendipitous travel adventures, packing his bags and heading for any and every geographical location that crops up in the Times crossword. Heck, if Channel 4 want to pay, I’ll do it.

    A little less than 15 minutes for me. I found this really enjoyable – an ideal ‘train’ solve. I didn’t know the Chinese units but there wasn’t much room for doubt with YUCATAN. File away those things Sinological ahead of the inevitable ‘Olympics’ puzzle.

    A belting good anagram for ANIMATED CARTOON. A lot of nice surfaces – I liked OWLET, and a lovely joke at 9 – FURROW.

    Good stuff.

      1. Thank you. I hadn’t realised he was a crozzie buff, though it perhaps isn’t so surprising. Who knows, then….
  10. I thought I was on for a new PB here having completed the entire LHS in 5 minutes (even wasting time on 3 as “studies of the sea” has 15 letters so could have been the fodder), but then took a couple of minutes to get anything at all on the right, eventually getting securable and working from there. Was also slowed by Abu Simbel being only half-remembered, by not knowing that bilbo=sword and by wasting time trying to justify weenie for 15.

    I liked the look of hat-peg for the Derby clue straight away but took a while to spot that find = get.

    Not as easy for me as Wednesday’s puzzle but I’d say easier than the norm, completed in 17:55

    From Milan to Yucatan every woman’s every man…

    None of today’s answers is in the Uxbridge today but as it’s Friday here are a couple that caught my eye:
    Bloater – Japanese Straw Hat
    Circumflex – to cut the end off a piece of wire

        1. Yucatan – exclamation on seeing Robert Kilroy
          Ready-made – a willing girl
          1. There’s a challenge on Derek Harrison’s crossword centre for coming up with definitions for obscure words. One of mine is in the final.

            Abu simbel: a means by which deaf people can express their displeasure

            1. Like Yucatan!

              Bilbo – a vibrator with a hare lip

              Glyph – Mel Smith’s Japanese friend

              Tutor – what it takes to tango

              1. Tutor – Egyptian gold
                Upright – a Chinese lantern directed toward the ceiling

                I thought you said there weren’t any today! These must be in the Uxbridge 1st Supplement. And I love Cartoon and Latte.

              2. Owlet – A variety of Starlet (cf 4D) who will do anything to become famous. Yes, even THAT.
  11. Started last night, finished this morning. ABU SIMBEL (never heard of it, guessed from wordplay) was the last to go in. Left hand side considerably easier than right, I think before I fell asleep I had the whole of the left side done.

    Nothing really leapt out at me, but 9d raised a half-smile.

  12. Much easier than yesterday’s steamroller, took about 25 minutes, and I agree left side was far easier than the right. The long anagram at 6D is my suggestion for today’s best clue. Have a great weekend all. Regards.
  13. As the idiot who posted this comment, I realised my error as soon as I had pressed the button. I thank the people who corrected me and I apologise for wasting the time of everyone who read my inane query.
    1. Not at all. I, for one, enjoyed reading the correspondence that followed. Hope you will stick around.

      Btw, one can delete a message just posted until such time as it has a reply tagged on to it.

      1. Not if you’re an anonymous commenter (as you could delete any other anon comments..). One reason for getting a (free) LiveJournal account.
          1. Of course, if you’re ‘Anon’, those “What have I just done? moments aren’t half so embarrassing.
  14. I wonder what that emoticon would look like?

    No need for it here though – a very entertaining offering and the opportunity to divine that 100 Fens (probably) = 1 Yuan despite never having set foot in China.

    I do remember watching a TV documentary on the moving of the Abu Simbel Temple to avoid its inundation by Lake Nasser when the Aswan Dam was built. That must have been way back in the late 1960s when I were a lad. It must have been on the BBC.

    There are 5 “easies” omitted from the blog:

    23a (Rescue)’s ruined with (lab)* having potential to be locked (9)

    25a Worker without cunning is against government (9)

    27a What boys sing is in three parts (6)

    4d Informers turning up hindered young celebrity (7)
    STAR LET. Those dirty rats!

    8d Girl learner wanting work to go quickly (6)
    GAL L OP(us)

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