Times 24,020

Solving time : 45 minutes, making this the trickiest Tuesday I’ve come across in a while, though obviously your mileage may vary. More to do with some well-disguised definitions in the clues than obscure vocabulary in the solutions, which is the right way round in my opinion; and I expect everyone’s solving time will vary in proportion to how long it takes them to get the three long anagrams, and the checking letters they offer. 1 across would have to be my COD, with honourable mentions to 15 and 19 down. Q0-E7-D8.

Edit: Was initially unable to explain 11 across in any satisfactory way (see comments below) although the solution was obviously correct. If I’d merely been solving for my own pleasure, I don’t think I would have worried about it, but obviously when blogging a puzzle it’s nice if one can explain the wordplay…

9 NAVAL – (LA VAN)rev.
11 MORE OR LESS – MORES=customs, into which one introduces ORLES, a term from heraldry which has caused me to revise my view on the vocabulary in this puzzle slightly!
12 BOSS – (SOB)rev + S.
14 TOTTERY – OTTER replaces A in T(a)Y.
16 RAFFISH – RAF = flyers, and a chum is a type of salmon.
17 GALILEO – GALLEON without N(ewton) around I(sland).
19 JOCULAR – J(udge) + OCULAR.
20 ARGO – cheddARGOrge conceals Jason’s ship.
21 BEDCLOTHES – I tried EIDERDOWNS and BEDSPREADS before I finally got there.
24 HANDCLASP – H(ot) AND C(old) + LAS + P.
25 AMUSE – A M(o)USE.
26 CONTORTIONIST – straightforward cryptic def.
3 SALMONELLA – SALMON + c(ELLA)r, though I have to admit it seemed a slight leap to take ‘pieces kept in’ to mean ‘letters in the middle of’. Still, if what emerges as the meaning is clear, perhaps I’m just being over-picky.
4 MISPLAY – MI + SPLAY, meaning to put down the wrong card.
5 SPENSER – SER(mon) round PENS, the definition simply being “He wrote”. Spenser is most popular today with Scrabble players for the number of “variant spellings” that are allowed in the game, based entirely on his usage – he, of course, got away with spelling things wrong because he was Poet Laureate.
6 RILL – R + ILL.
7 EDITORIAL – (TIDE)rev + ORIAL, which sounds like Oriel.
8 PHOSPHORESCENT – (CENTRE+SHOP+SHOP)* which gives you this.
15 TELEGENIC – Nice misdirection in ‘tube line’ which needs to be construed separately; the anagram is of L(ine) GET NIECE, with tube turning out to be the TV in the definition.
19 JACKPOT – Another cunning definition, the better is one who bets, and for him the jackpot is more than small change…
22 HOURI – HOUR + 1.
23 SCAN – S(on) CAN.

27 comments on “Times 24,020”

  1. ORLES are the small charges around the boundary of a shield – admittedly I got the answer from the definition and retrofitted the wordplay.

    There was science in this one, and a few I jumped on quickly and I blitzed through this in 9 minutes. I have to go with 8 as my COD.

  2. “Mores” containing “orles”. An orle is a heraldic pattern (charge) consisting of an inner border to a shield. Which would have to be just about the most useless piece of information anyone could be in possession of.

    Otherwise I liked the crossword. 25 min. COD 8 Dn.

    1. Thanks to both, though I have to say this explains the answer without making it any more pleasing to my eyes. Having satisfied myself the solution was correct, I tried to retrofit by looking up “ORLES”, but, even when I saw the definition, didn’t see why that equated to “charges” (which suggests that I was wrong about the arcane vocabulary)!

      Obviously it didn’t stop me feeling confident that the answer was right, so what is the problem? I guess it just comes down to each individual’s definition of “unfairly obscure knowledge” being defined as “stuff I don’t know”, while “obscure stuff I do know” can be glossed as “a laudable attempt to go outside the obvious”.

      Obviously heraldry needs to join horticulture in my list of bugbears…

      1. As well as using strange words like orles, I think heraldry ranks with cricket as a field in which perfectly ordinary words have different meanings that can be exploited by setters – this comment includes at least three examples. If it’s a bugbear, it’s possibly worth taking a look at a short introduction such as the Wikipedia article to reduce the number of future surprises. Or in cases like orles, just guess that a word that could come from (old) French could also be something heraldic.
  3. 24 mins. Bravo to the setter for so many archly concealed definitions. Led me a merry dance, the swine. I’ll single out TOTTERY and JACKPOT for mentions in dispatches.

    QED – 0,8,7

  4. I didn’t time myself but it was well under an hour while watching a TV program (and translating some of the heavily accented english english into american for my girlfriend). Funnily enough I also picked EIDERDOWNS and when that turned out to be wrong went with BEDSPREADS before getting there, although I realized both were tentative.

    15D for COD for a nice lift-and-separate and a nicely disguised definition.

  5. 12 mins., helped by the four long ones all dropping quickly. 4D was last in, and I wasn’t too confident about it – rather awkward wording. I liked 8D best.

    Tom B.

  6. 10:43 for me, and that felt slow! I tried to make an anagram of HE + TORY FILM UNIT meaning campaign at first for 1D, then realised there was no C in it and got the correct anagram fodder, but that must have cost me at least a minute. My COD nomination is 1A, excellent anagram &lit.
  7. A personal best: 26 minutes for me. Last six minutes spent on BEDCLOTHES. Too easy really IMHO – nothing to get ones teeth into.
  8. Another who found it pretty easy – 6:57, even after the flapping caused by ‘CHRITMAS TREE’ and subsequent correction – one of the hazards of trying to solve down clues while writing it in.

    Must admit I didn’t stop for full wordplay details on 11, 3, 14 or 13, though last two only went in with all checkers.

  9. 31 minutes for me with no major hold-ups. For some reason 2 and 9 were the last to go in. The last one before them, 8, is my COD. QED: 0-7-6
  10. I thought it was the long perimeter entries that were going to hold me up, but in fact they proved helpful once I’d got them. The four that did hold me up at the end were 7, 19a & d and 21. Completing these took the last 10 minutes of a 35-minute solve. I stuck for too long to the notion that 7 would end _ION. I must admit that I got many of the clues from the definition alone and didn’t think too much about the wordplay (e.g. the F and final O were enough to give me AFICIONADO,). Lots of interesting clues, including the &lit at 1a, 11, 14, 26, and I enjoyed the cryptic/indirect definitions.
  11. 11.17. Like a previous poster I wasn’t entirely confident about 4d (MISPLAY) and spent a couple of minutes at the end looking for other possible answers.
  12. I interpreted ‘Two shops internally’ as shopsshops internally, i.e. hopsshop, rather that the shop+shop given, which seems not to take account of the worrd internally.
    1. Ingenious. But isn’t the ‘internally’ part of the definition – ie. glowing from within, rather than illuminated from without?
  13. 45 minutes, with nothing too difficult I thought, but with one mistake – SOBS for 12ac, which I couldn’t explain, but it fitted ‘shed tears’, so? Never mind…
  14. I think – but can’t quite believe – I broke the 4 minute barrier on this one; you know how it is – you check the watch and ignore the seconds, check again when you’ve finished and very few minutes have elapsed.

    There were no pauses apart from the occasional “nope – can’t see that one – move on” but they all fell into place with a few checkers.

    A rush job, but enjoyable.

    Q-0 E-6 D-4 COD 3D

    1. Well done! I was still sharpening my pencil around the time you were finishing up. Now wipe that smug grin off your face.
  15. Like a set of sparlking christmas tree lights i waltzed through this…as i did it between meetings and in a taxi-hard to say time but probably less than 1 hour and over 30 minutes. COD for me Was 7 down. I know better than to say it was easy for Tuesday as they arent supposed to be harder on some days than others. i was impressed by how easily i got cinematography!

    (see Peter i pay attention to your messages!)

  16. My COD was 19D – “for the better” was brilliantly deceptive. Quite pleased with 9 mins for this one, after a near personal best of 5 mins yesterday for a puzzle which many seem to have found harder – different wavelengths, again, it seems.
  17. I’m among those who thought this on the easy side; my time was about 15 minutes, the end of which was spent puzzling over BEDCLOTHES, which I guessed without understanding fully. I later checked the on-line British slang dictionary I had found, and discovered that ‘kipper’ can = ‘sleep’. Thus I suppose ‘kippers’ means those in bed, right? If so, I learned something new again today. Regards all.
    1. Strictly, kip = to sleep, and kippers are those doing it – but the rest is exactly right. Watch out for kipper = tie too – the wide kind that was popular 30-odd years ago (from the smoked fish this time).
  18. Wouldn’t have known orle but the answer went in more or less automatically with the checking letters. Couldn’t get the 1a/d answers without checking letters which slowed a little but generally there were enough quick solves to keep things moving.Was puzzled by 3d at first. 21a raised a smile
    9.20 today
  19. Solved this last thing at night in bed after a couple of glasses of Shiraz and with the occasional inconsequential interjection from Mrs Penfold. Pretty straightforward and completed in 21 minutes.

    26 raised a smile as we’d been to see the Chinese State Circus on Sunday and one of the highlights was a contortionist. I’d be happy to bet that she gets more marriage proposals than the rest of the performers put together.

    Q-0, E-5, D-5

Comments are closed.