Times 24,026 An Eiffel Bloomer

Solving time : 20 minutes

A very easy puzzle with lots of chopping off of bits of words, rearranging letters within words and extensive use of slang. Quite a range of historical figures from Alban Berg to Lana Turner via Louis Armstrong and Jack Cade. One obscure meaning as we learn that FAGGOT is not just something you try to avoid eating.

1 LIMESTONE – switch L and M in “milestone”
6 SNAFU – U(nited)+FANS all reversed; slang for “the usual state of chaos”
10 ENACTED – (CANE reversed)+TED; reference Ted Heath, one time Britsh Prime Minister
12 LAUNDERER – L(ocated)+A(ccurately)+UNDER+(ti)ER(od); nice clue
17 CADE – CADE(t); reference Jack Cade leader of Peasant’s Revolt 1450
18 MALINGER – MA(L(etting)+I(nferior))NGER;
21 STRONG-ARM – (Louis) ARMSTRONG with ARM=member put to the back
22 ANNAL – LA(N)NA all reversed; reference Mrs Artie Shaw, Lana Turner 1921-1995
24 ICEBERG – I(rritate)+CE+BERG; reference Alban Berg 1885-1935
25 NEUTRON – NEU(T)RON; a neuron is a nerve cell; a NEUTRON is an uncharged particle
26 HADES – (emp)HA(sis)+DES;
27 TRAVELLER – two meanings; REPRESENTATIVE=salesman=traveller
1 LASSO – L(ASS)O; LO from L(o)O(p)
2 MY,LEARNED,FRIEND – MY=Motor Yacht+LEARNED+FRIEND=china (plate)=rhyming slang for mate
3 SPECIOUS – S-P(EC)IOUS; EC=post code for City of London
4 OUTCLASS – OUT-C-LASS; blooming as in flowers
5 EYEFUL – “butchers (hook)” rhyming slang for “look”; sounds to some (but not Pierre) like “Eiffel”
6 SHANDY – a slurred pronounciation of Sandy, typical Scots name; weak drink, weak clue
7 ATTORNEY,GENERAL – (enlarge on treaty)*
8 UNDERWEAR – UNDER-WEAR; this time “bloomers” are what my granny used to wear; reference river Wear
13 LOCKSMITH – I think a reference to a ward being part of a prison. On Edit: a “ward” is an obscure part of a lock – thanks Jack
15 TASMANIA – TA’S-MANIA; TA=Territorial Army
16 DISABUSE – DIS-AB-USE; DIS=Pluto=the infernal world; “caught up”=reversal indicator for BA
20 FAGGOT – FAG-GOT; FAG=public school slang for a junior; a FAGGOT is a bundle of iron bars (you knew that didn’t you)

35 comments on “Times 24,026 An Eiffel Bloomer”

  1. Not so hard, but I missed 20D. I liked the two legal gentlemen as pillars of the puzzle, although I never really got to the wordplay in either.

    I spent ages trying to fit “Erebus” at 5D – after “Hades” at 26A and “Dis” in 16D I thought it had to be! An opportunity missed on the part of the setter, perhaps.

    It was nice to dredge up “growler” (=an iceberg) from the memory banks! What is the purpose of “identified” in 14A? I still don’t really understand 13D.

    1. kurihan,

      First, welcome to the other side of the 6-week ‘syndication timewarp’. (kurihan is in Australia, and was previously solving the puzzles in the Murdoch paper ‘The Australian’).

      I too was tempted by Erebus (more detail below in a minute or two).

      In 14A, the main purpose of “identified” is to make the surface more plausible than “Lake Pierre’s mother”!. It’s permissible if you’re happy to think of “identifies” as “equates to” – a bit of a stretch, admittedly. There are various ‘extra’ words like this that are allowed in Times clues – I’m pretty sure that if you catch up with the puzzles in the gap, you’ll see a “Being (wordplay), (definition)” pattern or something similar.

      1. Peter, Thank you for the welcome.

        Just to add that, given its origin, it must have been tempting to clue “SNAFU” with a succession of initial letters (but of different words for obvious reasons!)

      2. Lots of us still getting the Oz for the crossword.
        Pity it’s so far behind and now on the wrong day.
        Tuesday puzzles turn out to be Saturday comp puzzles.
        Which makes Tuesday even more miserable.


  2. 53 minutes for this one with several words unexplained as I completed the grid but all now taken care of. It was a bit unfortunate that two obscure meanings were required for clues that intersected, namely cadet for younger son and ward for a part of a lock mechanism. 6ac brought a smile and 5d raised a groan and possibly one of seismic proportions in Dorset!
  3. I didn’t think much of ‘junior pupil’ = ‘fag’ in 20dn. It’s years since there was any fagging in public schools, so far as I know, and I don’t think the word ‘fag’ continued after fagging stopped. In North America a fag is something different.
    1. I think the issue, Wil, is that it’s very much in the dictionary! Agreed, the US contingent may have great fun with this and some others today!
  4. 15:57 which I’m sure will be beaten – about 4 mins at the end trying to justify 1A and see 5D. IN 1A, I was somehow convinced that the other word involved would start ‘TIME…’ so couldn’t get the worplay to make sense. Also wanted 5D to be EREBUS for quite a while, remembering the name Mt Erebus, but not exactly what in mythology it had been named after (also distracted by the coincidentally hidden ‘erebut’ in the clue, and maybe the other underworld references mentioned by kurihan). Remembered faggot as a bundle of sticks, so a bunch of iron bars seemed fairly plausible.

    Edited at 2008-09-23 10:56 am (UTC)

  5. Thoroughly enjoyable. I didn’t find it as easy as Jimbo suggests, coming in at 16:05. I only knew a growler as a pork pie at 24. The pretty easy anagram at 7d held me up, though I didn’t help myself by writing S instead of Y in my jumble of letters. 5d and 6d gave me a laugh but I’ll vote for 12a as COD.
  6. This was a game of two halves. After 10 minutes I had roughly half the answers in and went into 3-4 minutes of bemusement with only 7D offering any checkers for the NE corner and several more empties split between the NW/SW.

    I can’t remember the location of the breakthrough answer but, when it happened, it seemed to mark the point at which I joined the setter’s wavelength and everything else slotted into place in around 3 minutes. Given Pete’s time of just under 16 minutes my effort of somewhere closer to 17 feels much better than expected.

    Not overly enamoured with the homonym at 5D but it’s acceptable if you bear in mind that the mispronunciation is probably more common here than the correct one.

    11A was an interesting stopping point for me. A recently submitted puzzle of mine had to be reworked because of an answer that was deemed “uncomfortable”, but the xwd ed also pointed out I’d used a clue for OMANI that was almost identical to one which appeared some weeks after I sent it in (it was the IN A MO reversal) – but he added that the answer itself seemed to have suffered from repeated recent use. So here it is again! Nice alternative treatment though.

    Q-0 E-7 D-7 COD 1D – nice little semi-&lit.

  7. Mostly easy, but I took longer than yesterday because of 5d. I also considered EREBUS at first, which didn’t fit anything in the clue, then wondered if there was a word EYECUT. The odd thing is that when I fist looked at the clue with no letters in place,’tower’ suggested Eiffel to me immediately, but EYEFUL didn’t come until at least 5 minutes after completing the rest of the grid. Full marks for the use of ‘butcher’s’ in this deceptive clue.
  8. 10.38. I wasn’t really happy with LOCKSMITH because I didn’t understand the “ward” element, and so perhaps took rather longer to see LANGUISH than if I’d been fully committed to that leading L.
  9. I thought this was going to be an overnight solve, first across I managed was STRONG-ARM. Finally seeing OUTCLASS got the tricky hippy corner and I was done in 24 minutes. CADE had gotten me once and was to not get me again. ICEBERG, FAGGOT from wordplay, and it was a head-smacking moment at the end but I couldn’t see the wordplay to LIMESTONE before reading the blog.
  10. 27 minutes today, slowed down at the end by iceberg, faggot, traveller, Tasmania & neutron.

    Fastish time for Jimbo today – must have been on the right wavelength.

    Q-0, E-6.5, D-6.5

    1. Yes, funny how that happens sometimes. 12A for example is my sort of clue so all that juggling with bits of words really suited me. I’m also strong on slang, which very much helped with this one.
  11. 65 mins. Didn’t get CADE (I put CODY hopefully).
    Had to guess ICEBERG, FAGGOT, DISABUSE without being able to solve them properly.
    Pretty challenging and enjoyable.
  12. Favourite Ted Heath anecdote (related by Craig Brown in the Telegraph earlier this year):

    Someone told me the story of a professional orchestra that had agreed to be conducted by Ted Heath in Salisbury Cathedral. Heath was never quite as good a conductor as he imagined himself. During rehearsals, Heath was growing more and more curt in his comments.

    Eventually, the leader of the orchestra, growing increasingly exasperated, butted in: “If you don’t stop being so rude to us, Sir Edward,” he said, “We may start obeying your instructions.”

  13. Very good crossword, where I was undone by knowing neither ICEBERG nor FAGGOT with these meanings. My favourite was 25A, which works very well and chimes with the debate on detention without charge periods.

    Tom B.

  14. For those interested in the history of Britain’s weird and arcane education system, I am an old enough to have been a fag (in the British sense) at my public school in the late 1950s. My duties mainly consisted of making breakfast toast and performing one or two other menial tasks for the prefect to whom I was assigned. In my final year I was the beneficiary in my turn of similar services from a junior boy. I can’t imagine that the medieval institution of fagging survived for much more than a decade after that, but perhaps others have later experience of it.

    About 30 mins for me. I didn’t think it as easy as Jimbo found it, but definitely easyish. Lots of nice clues. 5 dn was COD for me – I liked the joke, the disguised slang meaning of “butcher’s” (tough for our N American friends), and the neat use of “here” to distinguish between the English and French pronunciation of Eiffel.

    Ward=part of a lock and faggot=bunch of iron bars were new to me (as to others in the blog) but did not pose any unreasonable difficulties. I knew, but had forgotten, that “growler” could denote a small iceberg, and it was pleasant have one’s memory jogged in this way. I see from my Chambers that “growler” can also mean a N American river fish (the large-mouthed black bass), a four-wheeled horse-drawn cab and (in the US) a jug or pitcher for carrying beer. I suspect we might see it’s reappearance fairly soon.

    Michael H

    1. A modified system was still running at my school in the 90’s. No longer did one ‘fag’ for a particular prefect, but rather different tasks were split among a number of boys for the benefit of the prefects. So one person was responsible for fetching milk from the kitchens in the morning, whilst another was responsible for fetching snacks from the shop mid-morning. As I recall the worst fag was ‘bell fag’ who was responsible for waking up all the boys in the house – teenagers being renowned for the gusto with which they welcome being told its time to rise.
  15. Whilst SNAFU might generally refer to “the usual state of chaos”, it more accurately is an acronym from wartime.
      1. One of our Buxton banger racing teams called themselves Team Fubar – they got away with it for about a season until someone worked out what the acronym meant.
  16. I cannot let someone say that a ward is some obscure part of a lock. It is the most important part, namely the thing that stops the wrong key turning.

    Don’t want to brag too much but having bought the paper at Twyford station for the morning commute to London, I did this crossword, the Killer sudoku, the Fiendish sudoku and the Difficult KenKen before I got to Ealing Broadway. It does not usually go so smoothly!

    1. >Don’t want to brag too much but having bought the paper at Twyford station for the morning commute to London, I did this crossword, the Killer sudoku, the Fiendish sudoku and the Difficult KenKen before I got to Ealing Broadway

      Delays caused by points failures can be a right pain, can’t they?

    2. Tony, I think Jimbo quoted “obscure” from my first contribution today, so I accept responsibility. I’m sure no-one now doubts that the ward performs a key function within the mechanism of the lock.

      But most of today’s contributors had never heard of “ward” in this connection before so one might be forgiven for thinking that this meaning of the word is somewhat obscure.

  17. Hello all, nice to be back, at least until I tried this puzzle. Had to return to it 3 times, held up by EYEFUL, FAGGOT, TRAVELLER, ICEBERG, DISABUSE. Fag doesn’t mean the same thing over here, a growler is a large jug for carrying beer away from a bar, got caught up as others did re ‘erebus’, who I imagined as a ‘tower’ i.e. one of those mythical ferrymen, and I’m no expert on Stevenson. Well over an hour altogether, maybe 1 1/2, but I stopped watching after a while. Tough for the Americans. Regards.
    1. Another Heath anecdote:

      In the early 90s Classic CD magazine reviewed some cds of orchestral music he had conducted. The magazine used a star system for rating discs, up to five stars, and tiny asterisks to denote footnotes. It gave Heath’s recordings respectable ratings. The notoriously thin-skinned Heath, stupidly mistaking footnote asterisks as one and two-star ratings, wrote an incredibly pompous diatribe to the editor, citing other reviewer’s opinions of his work to “prove” that the reviewer had been malicious. The mag published his letter in full the following month, the editor gently pointing out that Heath had completely got the wrong end of the stick. As far as I know Heath never apologised for his mistake. bc

  18. I have to totally disagree with the last comment – 87ty439hgg indeed! Funnily enough, though, the 439 was my bus home from school and HGG was my first employer. A bit weird.

    There are 5 “easies”:
    9a Having wherewithal to purchase water, for example? (7)

    11a Asian soldier arrested by call for attention (5)
    O MAN I. As-salaam-alekum.

    14a Lake Pierre’s mother identified (4)
    MERE. Etang de Bere is too many letters.

    19d Lacking peacekeepers, except if … (6)
    U.N. LESS

    23d Solitary individual dividing opposite sides (5)
    L ONE R

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