Times 24014 The Glossy Omath

Solving time : 50 minutes including some fruitless research to try to explain 2 down

I thought this a difficult puzzle which I had to work hard at, often reverse engineering the word play from a guessed answer. I can’t explain 2 down. I’ve guessed an answer but Google only hints at an Irish town and I don’t see the “glossy” bit. I’ll be interested to see how others got on with this puzzle.

On Edit: It was obviously too early in the morning. It’s OMAGH at 2 down – silly me!

1 TOM,JONES – T-OM-J-ONES; tones=characters; J=Jack; (in a) mo= (in a) flash; contrary=reversal indicator; a novel
6 LAPTOP – LA-PTO-P; LA=note; PTO=please turn over; P=soft; PC is definition
9 MAU,MAU – MAU(l)-MAU(l); Kikuyu activists in Kenya in 1950s and 1960s
10 TAX,HAVEN – TAX-HAVE-(mansio)N; demand=TAX; own=HAVE; Man’s one is definition ref Isle of Man
12 OBLITERATE – OB-LITERATE; OB=old boy of a school=pupil no longer
14 PALOMINO – PAL(O)MI-NO all reversed; a golden horse with a white mane and tail
16 LAYS – LA((melod)Y)S; LA = Los Angeles= place of Hollywood
19 DUOLOGUE – to some sounds like “due a log”
21 IN,TWO,TICKS – (sick it wont)*
22 TOMB – TOM-B; B=beta; MOT=annual car test; all reversed
24 ODOMETER – O-DO(MET)ER; O=love; DOER=one making; MET=satisfied; device for measuring distance travelled
26 EQUITY – E(QUIT)Y; EY= E(xtremel)Y; QUIT=part from; the thespians union
28 SIDEBURN – SIDE=left perhaps; BURN=itch; sign of rebellion amongst teenage boys in 1950s
2 OMAGH – O(MAG)H; HO=house reversed (put up); MAG= magazine=glossy; an Irish town
3 JAM,TOMORROW – JA(M-TO-MO)RROW; Jarrow is town famous for hunger marches in 1930s
4 NEUROSIS – N-EUROS-IS; N=algebraic notation for an unspecified number
7 PEA – P(r)E(f)A(b);
8 OVER,TO,YOU – OVER-TOY-(sl)OU(gh); concerning=OVER; TOY=play
13 RULE,OF,THUMB – (r=right+mouthful+be)*;
17 LOOSE,END – LOO-SEEN-D; LOO=card game; D=Duke
23 MOTOR – M-OT-O-R(oad); OT=Old Testament=Ruth and others;
25 MOP – two meanings; shock=hair=MOP; reverse is POM=Englishman in the state of Victoria in Australia

35 comments on “Times 24014 The Glossy Omath”

  1. 17:40 for this, with about 4 minutes of that caused by the idiocy of writing TOM JOMES at 1A, which was compounded by the fairly plausible MOUNTAIN at 4D (mountain of money = unspecified amount, mountain (out of molehill) = obsession). So not too much sniggering about the town of Omath from here.
    Last clue solved that wasn’t involved in this pile-up: 6A.

    Another good puzzle for subtle reasons – the answers are all perfectly ordinary words (possibly excepting Mau-Mau for those too young to remember the tail end of colonial Kenya), but not those words that always come up in crossword grids. Also enjoyed the successive but different men in 10/11A.

  2. 2D’s OMAGH, I think. Setter’s signature again? I enjoyed this a lot, lots of invention. Particular favourites were 15D and 6A.


  3. Yes, I found this a toughie and after an hour I had six unsolved clues scattered over all four quarters. As I ran out of time on my commute I decided to use on-line assistance when I arrived at the office and in the process of completing the puzzle I found I had several wrong answers: HERO at 11 and ILLITERATE at 12 for example. No wonder I had been unable to explain 12, but my answer to 11 was justifiable with only the final checking letter in place.

    26 was my COD. QED 0-5-8.

  4. Made big mistake here. Put DIALOGUE. DUOLOGUE did not occur to me at any stage. Then could not work out 17d. Had to be LOOSE END – but also unaware of game called LOO….
    1. There are two good web sites on card games. http://www.pagat.com/ covers all card games and has an alphabetical index including exotica that will never be seen in the Times xwd. David Parlett (author of umpteen card games books) has a site on historic card games – http://www.davidparlett.co.uk/histocs/ – which includes the lowdown on loo.

      Edited at 2008-09-09 08:58 am (UTC)

    1. It’s short for Theodore or possibly Theobald. There are several saints called Theodore. Broght back into fashion recently by Theo Walcott, Arsenal footballer.
          1. Theo Zagorakis, Greece’s captain for their Euro 2004 triumph and erstwhile Leicester City legend, makes four.

            I nearly nailed this one, but got stuck on MAU-MAU and NEUROSIS at the end. A 20 minute break later, I had another look and solved them both in about 10 seconds. Why does this happen? Is there any way of bypassing the “mental block” stage?

              1. And a rather important Theo – Theo van Gogh, the Dutch film director murdered in ’04 for his brave film-making (and a descendent of Vincent’s brother, another Theo).
                1. Thanks all. Kojak I should have remembered, but the rest I am afraid I have never heard of. Perhaps the the tom-toms don’t always reach these shaky islands. And (I must add with a hint of a sniff), the surnames tend to lack Britishness!
  5. It’s not just because it took me an hour to get through this that I didn’t like it. Several duff clues to my mind, maul=savages, motor=driver, for example. Not in the language I use.
  6. And a motor is a driver, i.e. something that drives = propels. Same logic as the ‘Flower of London’ being the Thames, or a number being an anaesthetic.
      1. Can’t promise a “round-up” each day, but sometimes someone says something so right that I want to underline it.

        I’ve changed attitudes about probable answers over the years. When I was getting so few answers that most of the grid was blank, I was happy to pencil them in. But when I’d progressed to confidently inking in every answer I’d thought of, I had to change to not writing them except outside the grid, because of the kind of havoc I got from ‘TOM JOMES’ today.

        Edited at 2008-09-09 08:44 pm (UTC)

  7. I did find this harder than average but not really difficult (40 minutes, excluding two lengthy interruptons that spoilt my rhythm), but at the end I was left with O_A_E for 2 down, since I too, had HERO for 11 across, which I didn’t even think to question. I put in OHARE, thinking it might be an Irish town as well as an airport, so 2 errors in the end.
    Some nice clues – 1, 9, 12,13, 20, for example. I can see why some might object to “savages” meaning two instances of “savage”, but I can go along with it.
  8. I expressed some relief that yesterday’s puzzle, though difficult, wasn’t “one of those wordplay extravaganzas that have many of us going glassy-eyed”. Me and my big mouth. This one had me reaching for the Optrex. But I have to admit that I sneakily enjoyed it, in a Max Mosley kind of way, and found my way through it in 45 minutes.

    I especially enjoyed OBLITERATE at 12a for its clever forcing of the wrong reading. My only question mark is against 28a SIDEBURN. Is that really body hair?

    COD 12a OBLITERATE. QED – 1(?), 8, 9.5

  9. Blimey – 10 minutes. Must have been a case of being in tune with the setter as nearly all of this fell into place without difficulty, the only real hold-up coming at 19 where I too tried to justify DIALOGUE, plus a few moments of “surely not HERO?” at 11.

    Good fun and lots of imaginative deception, with only the tiniest quibble at 15 because without the ability to check I’m not sure if it’s a pukka dictionary phrase.

    Q-0 E-7 D-7 COD 24 (not for the obvious reason – I just think O DOER for “one making love” is my type of linguistic chcanery).

    3D is also worth a mention for very impressive treatment of awkward letters.

  10. Disagree with teesween both on the clues mentioned and the puzzle as a whole. I though it was an absolute belter with very many imaginative clues (only small gripe would be a few clunky surface readings). Finished in 30:55 which is fine for a toughie.

    Q-0, E-9, D-8 COD equity

  11. oooops, so I gave up after three short sittings, and some empty spaces in the hippy corner, and it was all because I put in HERO for 11 (hidden word). Never heard of OMAGH, might have been able to work it out from wordplay, but I was convinced HERO was right.

    There were some very nice clues in here, I liked 13 and 24 made me crack a smile. 21 is a phrase I haven’t heard in a long long time.

  12. If shoe plus shoe is a pair of shoes I don’t see why the same shouldn’t apply to savage.

    I think if more than one letter is to be docked then the setter would indicate it in some way. Like last week when we had to knock off all but the first letter.

  13. a little under an hour for me. I put in hero the first time through without the checking letter, but I was suspicious it wasn’t right. man as a definition for hero seemed not quite precise enough for the times. When I got the o for hero I still wasn’t convinced and it all fell into place once I got omagh.

    I was a bit unsure about mau-mau too because I couldn’t think of a word with just one added letter to get to savages, before I realized the pair of meant the s came from elsewhere.

    I liked “ruth and others” and “man is one”.


    1. “I was suspicious it wasn’t right. man as a definition for hero seemed not quite precise enough for the times”

      In other words, a weak def is a sign that your interpretation of the clue may be wrong.

  14. Struggked with this…think that lap top is two words personally…had trouble with tom Jones which went in close to last…COD 10 across Tax Haven…liked that one…Duologue was a tricky late change from dailogue which luckily didnt screw up the long 5 down
    Lets hope for an easier one tomorrow
    well over an hout for me!
    1. laptop / lap-top / lap top: The editor and setter will, I believe, have checked that at least one of the main dictionaries agrees with their version. In this case, the dictionaries all have ‘laptop’, but sometimes they disagree. Best practical advice is to be ready to consider all the possibilities.
  15. Jam tomorrow, jam yesterday, never jam today … is a quote from Lewis Carroll (ie promises, promises)- plus married(M)to(TO)doctor(MO)in Jarrow.

    But I couldn’t work out 23 dn: shouldn’t it have been ‘drive’ (for motor) rather than ‘driver’?

    1. There’s more on Lewis Carroll and jam at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam_tomorrow
      ODQ has a revamp from Tony Benn: “Some of the jam we thought was for tomorrow, we’ve already eaten”

      drive/driver = motor – see my reply to teesween – about halfway between here and Jimbo’s report.

      1. Yes, thanks – saw it after I had sent in my comment. I appreciate what you say but still think it is a rather iffy definition.
  16. I liked this one a lot. I managed to get Tom Jones from “Novel” at 1a once I had all the checkers but not a hope in hell of parsing the cryptic – top effort Jimbo! My LOI was MOTOR at 23d but no problem with driver = motor as the literal and the word play is clear.

    There are just the four “easies” left out:

    11a Man seen in the round (4)
    THE O. Never heard of the name? Theodore Roosevelt anyone?

    18a Just here for the ride (4)
    FAIR. (Enough).

    15d Any diary a mess, save for this? (1,5,3)
    A RAINY DAY. Anagram of (ANY DIARY A) and a time to be saved up for.

    20d Problem in reception is fixed (6)
    STATIC. Like the TV reception in the caravan with no wheels at the seaside.

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