Times 23,996 – Double Science

Solving time : 16 minutes, for a very amiable puzzle, with nothing especially demanding to detain most solvers, I’d have thought (and a couple of clues which raised a chuckle from this one, at least).

1 PUSHCHAIR – “urge president” = “push chair”, though I tried to over-elaborate when my first thought was that the Pres might be IKE, and form the end of a sort of BIKE.
6 VISTA – around S(eries) we have VITA (Sackville-West), who might be familiar to solvers for any one of her various enthusiasms, including literature, gardening and ahead-of-their-time sexual relationships.
9 POISONED CHALICE – POISED CH(urch) ALICE carries ON. Best of the four long ones, I thought.
13 EXTINGUISH – EX + TIN (can) + GUSH around I (the letter used to represent electric current in physics equations).
16 EWES – which sounds like “use” (though I know there’s generally someone ready to dispute the accuracy of any given homophone).
17 STRIDENTLY – SLY around TRIDENT, and the source of much protest indeed.
19 EVERYMAN – VERY inside (NAME)rev. The everyday hero of much literature through the ages.
23 SPECIFIC GRAVITY – this took me back to school and Combined Science O level. I must admit I know even less now about specific gravity and its neighbour, relative density, than I did then.
24 SATIN – well, what are chairs for if not to be sat in? First one I chuckled (or possibly groaned) at.
25 NORTH WEST – WE in NORTH’s T(ime); for a change, an English Prime Minister who might be just as familiar to those taught history from a North American perspective.
1 PIPIT – songbird made by 1 P in PIT.
3 CLOTHING – CO around L(ake) has a THING for dressing up, in drag or otherwise.
6 VIABLE – AB(le seaman) in VILE: it can take a second to realise it when “sound” is the definition instead of a pointer to a homophone.
8 ABERRANCY – ABE = Lincoln, + RR = the British bishop’s style “Right Reverend” + C(aught) in ANY.
12 LUSTRATION – I very much liked the idea that one’s share in concupiscence is just an elaborate way to describe one’s “lust ration”.
13 ELEVENSES – ELS(i)E’S round EVEN; hmmm, do people outside the UK have a mid-morning cup of tea and a biscuit and if so, what do they call it? I like the Hobbit idea of “second breakfast” myself…
18 SYRIAN – R(ailwa)Y rev inside SIAN. I started off trying to make the Welsh girl be Nerys, which doesn’t work…
22 AGAR – the fish is the GAR, though AGAR actually comes from seaweed rather than a literal fish. Once more I am back at school: as I recall, any biology experiment which involved studying microbes started with agar in a petri dish (and ended with me getting a low mark…)

A noticeable amount of church-based knowledge, and more science than literature, which will please some people. If I may hijack anaxcrosswords‘s QED scoring system, I’ll give this a Q0-E7-D3.

18 comments on “Times 23,996 – Double Science”

  1. 20 minutes could have been reduced if I hadn’t been determined to go “with the flow” for 7dn.
  2. 21 minutes. I found most of this easy, but then took forever to see LUSTRATION (was looking for one word inside another), PRIEST and REPROACH.
  3. 20 minutes to complete all but the SE corner where I spent ages trying to solve 12,15,17 & 20 and then I ran out of time on my commute to work.

    I now realise I shot myself in the foot by going for speed as I do when I get off to a flying start, as I had not bothered to justify every last bit of the wordplay at 8 where I had written ABERRANCE instead of ABERRANCY. This scuppered my chances of solving 17 even though I had at one stage considered TRIDENT as the missile reference but had dismissed the thought because I couldn’t see how _E might follow it.

  4. I seem to be maintaining good times recently, coming in at just over 8 minutes for this one. Helped enormously by one or two clues which – especially in the case of 2D – were written into the grid by about the same time as I’d finished reading the clue. Hadn’t heard of LUSTRATION but knew “concupiscence” as one of those words you imagine Stephen Fry delighting in.

    Q-0 E-6 D-5 COD 10A

  5. Some brain-dead time before coming up with the last two entries – priest and reproach, so a long 30 minutes.
  6. Never heard of this before – but not helped by not knowing what concupiscence is. Would not have worked it out given the clue….Rest of the puzzle straightforward…
  7. A mixture of science and theology reminiscent of Newton’s ramblings. I’m not sure he would have approved of a lust ration or of Vita S-W! A straightforward 25 minutes to solve with nothing of particular note – just a good standard pleasing puzzle.
  8. 33 minutes for this – made very heavy weather of 9, 10, 11, 17, 20, 13D, 12, 6, and most of all, 15. Tmes for some serious practice when the sports-fest is finished on the box.
  9. 12.56. I had FILTRATION stuck in my head for 12d, and took absolutely ages to get POISONED CHALICE – even when I had every crossing letter I could only see the first word as PRISONER.
  10. I liked this puzzle but I was far slower than anyone above, going 8 minutes over the hour. Like a previous solver I could see only PRISONER at the beginning of 9, and took ages to get the answer. 19 was another one that stumped me for a long time and LUSTRATION was the last to go in, a wild guess since I didn’t know the word, though I’m sure I’ve encountered it before. Even REPROACH gave me a bit of trouble, because after ‘greenback’ for ‘draws’ earlier in the week I thought we had a similar setter using ‘upholding’ as a container indicator in which the contents are reversed, so I was concentrating on C_ _R_A_H.
    There are lots of good clues, but my vote for COD goes to 17.
  11. I struggled badly with this, giving up after almost an hour with only 11 clues filled in. Looking at the blog, all seems sounds, so perhaps just my own dimness.
  12. I’m surprised that no-one else has objected to the reference to Chemistry in this clue. The reference should be to Physics (or perhaps Science).
  13. Lustration was a clever clue but i didnt know the meaning of concupiscience…so that stumped me fro a while. Odd puzzle…75% easy and the rest quite tricky
    1. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know what the word meant. I have heard it before and I’m sure I would have understood it in the right context, but to define it cold was beyond me.
  14. Like yesterday’s, I seemed to find this more of a struggle than others did. Both days I ran out of patience with three or four still to solve. Even when doing the puzzles I just knew that they were full of clues that didn’t suit me personally for reasons difficult to explain even to myself, but would strike others as relatively straightforward. bc
  15. I was not on the same plane as the setter today, and gave up after quite a while still missing 9, 13, 19, 18, 15 and 20. After reading here I can excuse myself for ‘elevenses’, we don’t have such things, and for 18 also, since we do not encounter Welshwomen often over here, but I should have seen the others. A bit of adversity builds character, though, so I’ll be back at it again tomorrow. Regards all.
  16. Could not get lustration – concupiscence a word I’ve heard of but no idea what it means. I thought that because I solved late tonight after x glasses of merlot I had an excuse for not getting it.
    Not sure if I was pleased to see that ignorance rather than alcohol was the reason for my failure.
    Also was delayed for a bit by putting in aberrance in the first instance, typical careless stuff

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