Times 24016 – so how’s your spelling?

Solving time : 16 minutes. Got a fast start on this and filled in a lot of the grid, then got held up on some very silly spelling mistakes – a pheromonic application and an Argentinian capital in particular. Last two to go in were 19 and 21, both words I haven’t used (or since I dusted off the golf clubs, used in the sense of the clue) for a long time, and the checking letters were less than generous.

1 SA,(=AS<=)B,BATH: the day on which one rests, though at a first reading I thought it was when you take a bath
5 WASPISH: double definition
10 NE,AR E,ASTERN(=at the back): clue was a little awkward to read, but answer pans out OK
11 LOO,K IN,TO: cute use of Ladies for LOO
15 NAAN: palindromic bread (even if written as NAN)
16 FRANC,I,SCAN: setter must know how much I like long constructions, and this was a nice one
19 DUFF: Double definition – the less-common one being a stiff flour pudding baked in a bag
22 UPSIDE: nicely concealed reversed in thE DISPUte
25 APHRODISIAC: (PICADOR,HAS,1), and not spelled APHRODAISIC as I had it initially
28 ELEMENT: Gold is element number 79
29 FORTIFY: IF in FORTY – ask me about the newness of life at 40 in a few years, OK
1 STOLLEN: L in STOLEN, my guess from wordplay a sweet German bread made with raisins coated with icing sugar. Serve with lashings of duff
2 BUENOS AIRES: (BONUS,EASIER)* – and silly George managed to write it in as BUENOS ARIES, which is a star sign for lucky people
3 A,UNTIE: tee hee
6 SYSTOLIC: (IS,COSTLY) – one of the measurements of blood pressure
8 HANGMAN: OK, that made me laugh
13 JACQUES TATI: I got this from the definition before seeing the wordplay, pity, it’s excellent wordplay – QUEST in CAT in JAI(l)
17 HARD CORE: I think the filthy here is referring to the definition of HARD CORE as road rubble?
20 FID(o),GET,Y: held up here for a while looking for a longer word for dog.
21 MERC(y),ER: also held up for a while looking for the right wird for “forgiveness”. Cute definition here, as a mercer is a textile dealer
26 HOE: HOLE without the L. Verb usage of weed. Ummed and aaahed over this a bit, Chambers gives HOLE as a difficult situation or a scrape, which would fir the tangle part

24 comments on “Times 24016 – so how’s your spelling?”

  1. 23 minutes. Clearly my spelling’s not so good, George, as I managed to get an ‘e’ into Sabbath, which took a bit of sorting out.

    Really first rate puzzle with all sorts of intriguing combinations – like breaking bread on the Sabbath in the 1s. Any number of fine clues. I’d single out FRANCISCAN and SAUSAGE (and how often do you find those two in the same sentence?).

    QED – 0, 9, 8

  2. A very enjoyable puzzle which kept me busy for 50 minutes, much of which was spent staring blankly at 3,5a, 5d, 6, 14, 16, 21, 23 and 29. The rest of it had gone in in about 25 minutes.

    My excuse, which I expect you’ll be hearing again Tuesdays-Thursdays – my commuting days,is that as of this week we have new rolling-stock on the train service I use which is delightful in every respect except that we are now treated to recorded announcements every few minutes, including a recital of every station-stop to London on departure from each station along the way. Maybe I shall get used to it, but at the moment I find it impossible to ignore and very distracting from the matter in hand.

    But anyway, back to the puzzle. I thought many of the clues were very good and some of them rather amusing. I particularly liked HANGMAN and my last one in, AUNTIE, which I shall nominate as COD because it fooled me for so long and shouldn’t have, and it raised a smile when at last the penny dropped.

    I think of STOLLEN as cake rather than bread because whenever I’ve eaten it that’s what it clearly was – a German variation on Christmas cake; but the dictionaries say otherwise.

    QED: 0-8-7

  3. An enjoyable but for me not particularly difficult puzzle – about 25 minutes to solve. Jack’s tales of incessant railway announcements took me back to my own commuting days and reminded me of one of the benefits of retirement.

    I liked a lot of the clues and particulaly man of the cloth for MERCER. I’m not entirely sold on Cape Town=SA any more than say London=UK or Washington=US. Hole=tangle? In a hole could be in a tangle but it seems a little loose to me.

    Our house sitter has just arrived and I’m off now for a week rediscovering the currant bun. I shall indulge my favourite holiday game of doing the crossword and guessing what is causing hackles to rise here. See you next week.

    1. Some predictions for next week:

      Monday – much unhappiness when the fifth spear carrier in Titus Andronicus is clued with “He got the point.”
      Tuesday – Anax announces discovery of “world’s naughtiest crossword clue”
      Wednesday – a sense that the setters might be striking back when the down clues reveal an acrostic of “Stuff the lot of you”.
      Thursday – cries of “Where’s Jimbo?” when ‘past her’ is offered as a homophone of ‘pastor’
      Friday – Sotira’s head finally explodes when a double subtraction, annagramatized and reversed, proves to be the simplest piece of wordplay in the puzzle. Peter explains why it’s perfectly simple if you only look at it the right way.

      Have a lovely holiday.

  4. Solving time: 11:10

    A very good puzzle, I thought – not terribly difficult but with enough to think about, and some really good clues. Highlights for me (excluding ones already mentioned):

    • The ‘loose woman’ at 3D, my last answer too – a classic example of Mr Magoo’s “lift and separate” – a two-word phrase that has to be broken up to get (A, loose) / woman in the family.
    • Ladies, perhaps = loo – a nice alternative to the old card game we had a few days ago
    • The “hot bread” at 1D – another “lift and separate”
    • “Organ stop” at 4D – another one – great wild choose chase potential as there are many strange names for organ stops.
    • The ‘force’ / ‘on the beat’ combo at 6D (US solvers: ‘force’ = informal for ‘police force’, ‘on the beat’ = patrolling on foot)
    • 14 – the poetry (metre) of the clue as well as other aspects
    • 24 – a classic two-word phrase double def, which I don’t think I’ve seen before.

    Jimbo’s points: I took 18’s start as “Cape Town custom” = “SA usage”, rather than “Cape Town = SA”,”custom = usage”. The long phrase version makes more sense to me, but possibly because I’m used to stuff like (Nice cake) = (French ‘cake’) = gateau. HOLE: “in a hole” is a common enough phrase, and this meaning is in the dictionary independently of it. Cheeky suggestion for the holiday game: try to guess what people will like too!

    Edited at 2008-09-11 12:49 pm (UTC)

  5. Very enjoyable, 13 mins which is about one under par for me. 3D, 5D, 21D and 24D were my favourites, 24D was last to go in.

    Tom B.

  6. …and I forgot to add: Jimbo’s mention of Theo Walcott here a couple of days ago seems to have inspired him!

    Tom B.

  7. I’m rather ashamed about the 45 minutes it took me to complete this puzzle. It wasn’t hard, but the words just wouldn’t come. Even with the initial J and the final I, I didn’t see Jacques Tati for some time. I was also slow to get WASPISH, WHET, SABBATH, AUNTIE and SYSTOLIC. Lots of good clues (I chuckled at the pun in 17), but I agree with the criticism of ‘Cape Town’ for SA.
  8. 11.51. Took far too long over 12d, where I was trying to do what Peter calls “lift and separate” on “Film director”, so thought I was looking for a film. Eventually it was the technique of “If you see a U, try a Q before it” that sorted it out.

    I’ve been laughing too at Theo Walcott’s hat trick for England coming just a day after someone here mentioned they’d never come across the name before. Maybe we should look out for opportunities to repeat this trick…

  9. I didn’t get chance to tackle yesterday’s puzzle until late last night (and suffered because of that) so it was good to return to a fast time, needing a miserly 9 minutes on this one – admittedly with SYSTOLIC being something of a guess based on what doesn’t look like a Timesy anagrind.

    Another fine puzzle with lots of non-crossword answers (i.e. those which less brave setters would avoid the challenge of clueing) and clever def/wordplay link-ups. Perhaps the only oddity was 1A which you have to read a few times before you can turn it into a coherent sentence.

    Q-0 E-8 D-7 COD 18A

  10. 50 minutes, with a lot of that stuck in the SW corner. In particular, 18ac / d. 2d is my COD, for the imaginative anagram indicator, which fooled me for far too long.
  11. Agree that this was a super puzzle, polished off in 22:30 but with one error – I had puff rather than duff, on the basis that a cream puff is the sort of thing you might have for pudding, but I now see that puff in other usage is more akin to lack of substance than lack of success.

    I also fell into the Argentine star sign trap, but soon corrected it when I sussed that none of the knights of the round table was called SKI something. Disappointed that George didn’t take the opportunity to post a Monty Python clip for this one, so allow me:


    Auntie, sausage and look into have alreday been mentioned so I’ll pick the Galahad clue as my COD.

    George – I think “filthy” is a reference to hardcore porn!!

    Q-0, E-9, D-6

    1. D’oh, if I had included Sir G in the list of answers I would have made at least a reference, call it a not-quite-senior moment last night.

      What is this hardcore porn of which you speak, and more importantly is it in Collins?

  12. This brought back memories of a fine folk-rock group of the 70’s, Newfoundland’s own Figgy Duff.
  13. 1hr17min for me. Didn’t get JACQUES TATI.
    Didn’t like FIDO – spent a long time trying to think of dog breeds with an “O” in them.
    COD’s for me were NEAR EASTERN and AUNTIE 🙂
    I also spelled BUENOS *ARIES* wrongly which delayed me finding SIR GALAHAD.
    7d IRE – what’s the “message not beginning”? WIRE?
    1. … (which I forgot to say yesterday), and like the pic – ready for a comment on FEATHER IN ONES CAP, tho’ that needs a Jumbo grid. Missing M Tati is understandable – J?C?U?S ?A?I could easily lead to the “there can’t possibly be a word that fits” feeling (likewise ?Y?Y yesterday).

      Spellings of foreign phrases: I could bore you with a few tales of how these have made hay for me in the championship.

      Fido: example of the canny setter’s “use something other than an class member to fool them” trick. A synonym is the commonest way – Animal (5) = BEAST, rather than CAMEL, OKAPI, etc. etc.

      Message not beginning: as Penfold says, with the additional note that normally this kind of trick only drops one letter, so a quick run-through from AIRE to ZIRE does the job.

  14. Hello everyone. I’ll tiptoe in to report that this took me nearly an hour, with the SW area holding me up. I doubted ‘hole’=tangle, and saw ‘element’ very early but thought it too simple as well. Last entry was ‘sausage’, insofar as it was quite a while before I considered that Cape Town could = ‘SA’, but that clinched all 3 of these for me. COD for me is “Franciscan’. Regards all.
  15. What a cracker! The best for ages. I was quite surprised at some of the pretty quick times. This one took my whole lunchtime and then a few sneaky afternoon peeks to complete. I vote for a change of spelling to Buenos Aries as it seems that everybody spells it that way! So much good stuff today it’s difficult to plump for just one, so I’ll pick the whole lot.

    Excellent job Mr(s) Setter.

  16. A Grail that is – you silly English k-nig-hts.

    Another very entertaining offering.

    A footy XI of “easies” on the bench:

    9a Person taking ecstasy (3)
    ON E

    12a Preserve on record, deadlock (3,3)

    18a Extrodinary as Grail held – by him? (3,7)
    SIR GALAHAD. Anagram of (as Grail) + HAD = held.

    23a Son with hair – tearing it out? (8)

    27a Head lacking carbon copy (3)
    (C) APE

    4d Organ stop causing grief (10)

    5d Arouse husband during dip (4)
    W H ET

    7d Message not beginning to show fury (3)
    (W) IRE

    14d Doctor thinks a fee a nicker? (5,5)
    SNEAK THIEF. Anagram of (thinks a fee).

    18d Cape Town custom, serving meat (7)
    SA USAGE. Not a case of Kaapstad = ZA. A custom in Cape Town would be a SA custom ja-nee? Cape Town is easier to spell than Johannesburg or Vereeniging and most likely even easier to spell than what these places are called nowadays.

    24d Sweet packet (4)

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