Times 24019

Solving time: 26 minutes

I thought this was going to be a real difficult one on first read through. I got only two of the across clues straight away (SUPERIOR and LONESOME). Fortunately the down clues seemed to come more readily and the whole thing was done pretty quickly (for me).


7 CANE – I think this is subtly pointing out that beet and cane sugar are not the same!
10 U(N(MA)S)K – was looking for another country for the answer till I realised that this country was UK.
21 FEE,BLE – BLE=regular letters of ballet – I did wonder why sub=FE before I looked at it properly!
22 M(USK)ET – I have been to (or through or past) Usk, but knew it as a town, rather than a river.
26 CHAT,ELAINE – this took a while, I could only think of Guinevere. I had to see what fitted then look it up!


2 IMPRISON – anagram of ‘minor is’+P(rison) – I did consider IMP being a criminal minor!
3 LEI[sure]
4 RO(U)GE[r] – this was last in – I had mistakenly written APTITIDE at 9a!
5 GREASER – anagram of ‘agrees’+[ca]R
6 TRUMPETER – the trumpeter is a breed of pigeon, which I had to look up to be sure!
15 BAL(LIS)TIC – LIS=regular letters of oldies. It was when I came to this that I realised I had 24d wrong – nice to have some cross-checking for once!
16 RIFLEMAN – FIR reversed + LE MAN[s]
24 SEA – I originally wrote SEE, but 15d gives extra help here.

28 comments on “Times 24019”

  1. I made heavier weather of this than it deserved and finished it in 40 minutes.

    I was held up in the NE by several I eventually guessed from the wordplay but didn’t actually know, NESTOR, TRUMPETER (pigeon) and GREASER (mechanic, although I have heard of “grease monkey”). There was also some delay in the SW where for a while I could only think of BULLSHI**ER at 12. FLAUNT and MUSKET were my last two in.

    I see Foggyweb fell into the same trap as I did at 24 until the second checking letter went in.

    Nothing really grabs me as a COD. QED rating: 0-6-6.

  2. Foggyweb says SUPERIOR was his first answer – it was my LAST. I was sure it was an anag of MOTHERIS.
    Why are no answers given for 9A, 8D, 21D, 25A? Do these need no explanation?
  3. 16 mins, last in was ALPINIST. I found this trickier than the average for Monday.

    Like all the bloggers, Foggy’s selected the clues which he thinks are most in need of explanation/most interesting. I can explain the four you mention, if you like.

    Tom B.

    1. No – I’ve done them all anyway – I was just thinking of those who might not have done. I often find I’ve failed on clues that others found easy, which could be the case for some of these, for different people!
      1. Anon – if you follow the “About this Blog” link at the top of the page you’ll see why not all clues are included.

        A quick question will usually elicit a response on any that a reader needs help with that haven’t been blogged.

  4. 7.11. Most of this went in pretty fast, leaving a few in the NE corner that held me up at the end. SUPERIOR was my last answer too.

    I’ve grumbled about the overuse of “regularly” before, perhaps unfairly, but surely using it twice in the same puzzle, as has been done in this one, is a bit much?

  5. 17 minutes, another slow start (my only acrosses on a first reading were COLLABORATED, STAR and CHATELAINE) but with checking letters the downs were a little bit more forgiving. I spent a while on my last two (of all things APTITUDE and ROUGE, thinking bent was meaning “crooked” instead of a talent).

    Nifty challenge, 7 raised an eyebrow, I’ve never been a fan of “this is one meaning in both examples of the word but not in both examples of this word” clues. I’ll go for 20 as my masochistic COD.

  6. Time – 13:30. Like Foggy, I thought from first reading that this was going to be a stinker, but lots of helpful intersections meant that, once I got started, things just fell into place.

    Is the wordplay in 2d imprisoning the ‘p’ in the anagram? I can’t quite work it out.

    What with fighting back against the crooks in 21d, locking up the hoodies in 2d and cracking down on immigration in 10a – have I wandered into the Daily Mail?

    I felt there were a lot of awkward surfaces here and nothing really pleasing. No major gripes. QED – 0, 4, 5

        1. Yes, I think so. Another instance of a definition referring to an element in the wordplay.

          Tom B.

  7. Is that 7ac you’re not happy with, George? It was one of the few clues I liked! Different strokes (‘scuse the pun), I guess.
  8. An easy start to the week (23 minutes here. ALPINIST was my last entry. Nice puzzle, good clues. 9, 13 and 20 were a touch better than the others, I think. 9 gets my vote for COD for misleading use of “Bent” and neat blend of surface and cryptic elements.
  9. At long last, a real “Aaargh!” moment – I seem to have escaped these recently. Not fully understanding 14 I entered CORROBORATED, so I didn’t have the pleasure of considering the non-Timesy possibility at 12. In turn this held me up at the criminally easy 22, so my overall time of just over 20 minutes is a pretty disgraceful performance on my part.

    Some nice clueing in here, several deceptive moments, although I’m not sure why “oldies” was used at 15 instead of “Allies”.

    2D came close to COD but I went for 20 – brought back climbing memories (although I was a rock man, never dared to try ice).

    Q-0 E-7 D-7 COD 20

  10. Either this was reasonably difficult, or I haven’t started thinking this week, but I struggled somewhat, staggering in at 55 minutes. Lots of good stuff here, with some well disguised anagram indicators. For that reason, COD for me 7d, with 17ac a close second.
  11. I seem to have been on the same wavelenghth as Jack today. At 30:56 this took longer than it should have, I, too, saw bullshi**er at 12d and I, too, finished in the SW, where answers that had evaded me earlier went in very quickly once the K from sticker opened things up.

    Really not on form today missing the anagram at 2d and taking too long to get self-portrait, superior and others.

    Nice to see 24 coming up as a number in the online version for 15d.

    I Wonder if George will pick up the Python references at 1 (John Stuart Mill from the philosophers song) and at 26 (another Holy Grail-seeking knight following last week’s Galahad).

    Q-0, E-6, D-6.5, COD 10

  12. Hello all. A reasonable start to the week, which I got through in about 25 minutes. My holdup was the SE area, and I still can’t see why fee=sub, but I entered it anyway, which allowed me to get my last entry, RIFLEMAN. I agree with those thinking 20 was a very fun clue, it’s COD for me. Oh, wait a minute, is ‘sub’ short for subscription?
  13. Like a few of you I thought this was going to be a stinker having only two clues solved after a couple of minutes.It was getting started on the SE corner that eventually got things going and finished fairly quickly. 12.21 .What did I learn today? A trumpeter is a pigeon of sorts.
  14. I enjoyed this Monday crossword and worked through steadily from start to end in 90 minutes. UNMASK went in first and RIFLEMAN last. ALPINIST…a HEEL is a LIST?!
    1. A heel is not a list, but (a,heel) is (a,list) because heel and list have verb meanings which match – to tilt to one side, of a ship in both cases.
  15. 6:05 for this one – a rather barren start, as 14 was my first across answer, but this with three routine wordplay elements and 17 with a big leg-up from ‘(4-8)’ were both easy and led to a good number of downs so the rest was plain sailing.
  16. Nice crossword, but I don’t like it when the setter covers up for a pretty weak clue (in my opinion, anyway) by sticking an exclam at the end of it. Absolutely no justification for doing so.
  17. A very entertaining little number here. I was interested to see that the omitted bit (SURE) was larger than the answer (LEI) at 3d.

    There are 10 “easies” left out including the bloke to be prosecuted at 12d. I was interested to see how many of the regular contributors were tempted by BULLSHI**ER here – a perpetrator of a process very dear to me – but I was not likewise tempted in this instance.

    9a Bent way of thinking, given power for first time (8)
    A(T)=>P TITUDE

    11a Agile medic dives into river (6)
    NI MB LE. Look out for the crocodiles doc.

    13a Mother is sometimes so condescending! (8)

    17a Number one representation in art (4-8)
    SELF PORTRAIT. An oily selfie?

    25a Shiner makes us gawp endlessly (4)
    STAR (E)

    7d Read a crime novel about a mutual trust (11)
    CAMARADERIE. Anagram of (read a crime) and (a). Not sure I would have spelled it correctly without the anagrist.

    8d Sage kept in online stores (6)
    NESTOR. Hidden in onli NE STOR es. Did not know about his sageness but saw him lurking there.

    12d One may help publicise a man’s watch (11)
    BILL’S TICKER. BULLSHI**ER? Really – what cynicism about the advertising industry – surely unfounded?

    19a Show off, following relative across lake (6)
    F L AUNT

    21d With blade, fight criminal (5)
    FENCE. The misleading comma seems to be in open season in The Times clues. The answer reads as “With blade fight – criminal”.

    Now just off to a “Free Bill Stickers” rally.

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