Times 24,039

I found this quite an easy puzzle, solving time 22 mins, with the lower half trickier than the top half with the SW corner the last I finished.

* = anagram < = reversed

9 PEN TAG RAM (sign of the Zodiac)
10 GOODY Double definition
11 SLOOP pools<
12 NEO L (N)IGHT (one)*
17 P RIM ROSE LEAGUE (miles) Tory group (historical) recently disbanded
24 BUR MA rub< Now known as Myanmar
25 PREMIE RED (empire)*
27 THE OREM (more)* A little surprised by the definition ‘achievement’ as I’d have thought is was more the proposition itself. But it would be an achievement to prove it, I guess.

1 T YPIST (tipsy)*
3 SHAR (PEN) E R share = cutting device in the sense of one’s cut, I think. (Thanks, Kurihan, below for saying this may refer to ploughshare, which seems a much better explanation)
4 PARE N THESIS i.e. the answer length 11 appears in one
5 HEM Double definition with the split at skirt/that
8 HA (Y) S TACK Surface reference to ‘needle in a haystack’, I guess, good
16 SPACE BAR From a typewriter
22 ALACK a “lach” 100,000 (India)
25 PAN it starts many words in the sense ‘all’ e.g. pantheistic

COD 8 down, also liked 25 across a lot

26 comments on “Times 24,039”

  1. Not too bad (for me) 22 min. Had to cheat with 21 Ac, and find it strange that I have never heard of them, even though I lived in England for 20 years of their existence. The Cathars were also new, but perhaps more understandably, and the rest of the clue left no room for doubt. 4 Dn was COD for me. A nice display of thinking outside the box.
  2. 38 minutes for this one with no major problems but several guesses. Two of these I’ve now confirmed as correct never having heard previously of CATHAR or SITKA. The other one is at 22 where I still haven’t understood the wordplay.
    1. Lifted from Chambers CDRom…

      lakh or lac
      n the number 100000, esp in referring to rupees; an indefinitely vast number.
      [Hindi l-akh, from Sans laku1E65a 100000]

      Mike O, Skiathos

      1. Thanks, Mike. I should have known this as it came up in a puzzle very recently. It may even have been one I wrote the blog for.
      2. Alas and alack, I bunged this one in as the only thing that would fit from the keyed letters, and meant to revisit it for confirmation, as advised by PB, but didn’t get round to it. If I had, I would have lost time without payback. Oh well, you pays your money and makes your choice!
  3. I thought this an excellent puzzle with a lot of clever, well constructed clues. I found the bottom harder than the top until the penny dropped on SPACEBAR which gave me “prim” as the likely start to 17A and hence to PRIMROSE LEAGUE. The SITKA spruce has cropped up somewhere else quite recently as has “lac” (AZED? Mephisto?). In a lot of good clues I particularly liked SHARPENER, HAYSTACK and OBSOLESCENT.
  4. A good puzzle. No hold-ups except for initially putting PENTANGLE instead of PENTAGRAM through being too lazy to work out the word play.

    COD 3D – the whole clue is both the definition and the wordplay. I think the cutting device (for wordplay purposes) is a SHARE (as in ploughshare).

  5. The enforced leisure time afforded to me by being made redundant yesterday meant I could tackle this without watching the clock… which isn’t the idea really. So I watched it anyway and came in at just over 11 minutes.

    Everybody seems to have mentioned the same little clutch of COD noms and, like others, I gave 3D the biggest tick. I’m a sucker for &lit clues anyway, but this one is class. A close second was 25D PAN (OK – not mentioned above) as it was devilishly misleading for some time; how can AIM = criticise? The PDM was a real self-kick moment.

    Lovely crossword all round.

    Q-0 E-8 D-7 COD 3

    1. Commiserations. On the bright side, you won’t have to video Trisha and Jeremy Kyle any more.
      1. There’s an up side to everything ;o)

        As I mentioned to Jim via email, this marks the start of Anax becoming 100% crosswords. I know it’ll be tough, but others have done it.

        1. I’m very pleased to hear it, Anax, and I wish you all the best. World’s first crossword baron, huh?
        2. Good luck. I’d say you had the credentials.

          Is it the photo job that has gone or is that a hobby?

  6. 16 minutes, then another 10 staring at P_I_R_S_ trying to remember the name of that blasted league. I was going to say it’s not my fault, since ‘Primrose League’ sounds more like an offshoot of the Women’s Institute than a political group. Then I recalled from being sent along as a junior hack to Tory beanfeasts in a wealthy shire that the Conservative party is an offshoot of the Women’s Institute. Silly me.

    Some very creative clues. 4d is a one-off humdinger. But 8d is stupendously good and gets my COW vote, though I’m not quite sure why the ‘-‘ is needed. Is it? UTTERER is also excellent.

    Q-0, E-9, D-7

  7. 9.03. I started in the SW corner with RAMEKIN and somewhat stubbornly stayed there till it was done, only to find the rest of the grid rather easier.

    Looking at S___A for 23a, I was dreading having to choose between STIKA and SKITA to be a kind of wood I’d never heard of. It was quite a relief to get that central T.

  8. Rather slower than others. I filled all but 3, 4 and 11 in the top half in ten minutes, then struggled with the lower half, where I had only 20 and 26 to begin with. After a longish pause I finally got OBSOLESCENT, which set me on the road to recovery, but 40 minutes in all.
    3 and 25 are the COD contenders for me. I read ‘share’ as ‘ploughshare’. I’ll settle for 3 because it’s a nice &lit.

    The name Myanmar seems to have little currency at the moment. In the Asian press it’s mostly referred to as Burma, and the junta is usually referred to as the Burmese Junta or the Burmese generals.

  9. This week has been a reverse of the usual pattern, with puzzles getting (so far) progressively easier. 30 mins today (fastish for me). An enjoyable puzzle with some very clever clues. I particularly liked 4 dn, where the brackets round the word length ingeniously illustrate the answer to the clue. No doubt more experienced hands will tell me that this is a hoary old setter’s device, but it was fresh and novel to me, so my COD. 3 dn is a first-class &lit, and I also liked 5 ac for the deceptive use of “bull”, its juxtaposition with other farm animals in the clue being sufficient (in my case at any rate)to delay for quite a while consideration of other possible meanings of the word. I had dimly heard of CATHARS and the PRIMROSE LEAGUE, which helped. Incidentally, Wikipedia tells me that the PL, an empire-worshipping Tory group founded in memory of Disraeli in the 1880s, was only formally disbanded in 2004!

    Michael H

  10. 16:16 so easier than average, but for that also more enjoyable than average. I thought I was on for a faster time as the 1s went in instantly and the long anagram at 14 followed immediately after.

    6 ticks for excellent clues but there were plenty of others to admire too. I liked 5&9 across, enjoyed “on soon” for appearing shortly in 2 and “inter” for “put in grave situation” in 18, liked the semi &LIt at 8d and found 3d just brilliant, but then I’m a sucker for a double whammy. Like kurihan I took share to be plough share.

    Primrose League was last in – the U from utterer made league a cert and hitting on rim/margin gave me the rest.

    Ramekin was one of my first answers but I doubted it for a while (despite there being nothing else it could be) when none of the down answers in wurzel country presented themselves to me.

    Q-0, E-9, D-4, COD 3

  11. Nothing too difficult today.I must say that I tend to appreciate clues more when I have some difficulty solving. When I have checking letters and the answer seems obvious I tend to put it in and usually don’t go back , or take time, to analyse the clue. So I am sure that there are many excellent clues that tend to go over my head.
    10.13 today
  12. Another day where I had to wait until lunch break to take a stab at the crossword – 13 minutes, last in was BURMA, actually it was most of Texas that caused me problems. Had to get PRIMROSE LEAGUE from wordplay, but once I’d gotten the LEAGUE part, the rest fell into place.
  13. Sorry to be so late today, and good luck to Anax. Many similar circumstances occurring on this side of the ocean as well. Best of luck as a full time crossworder.
    Did todays in 20 minutes last night, medium difficulty, lots of fun clues. My favorites 4D and 13D, although there is a wide variety of good ones. Primrose League was new to me, but apparently also to many of you, so no complaints. I thought ‘share’ in 3D 9my last entry) must mean a share as in ‘your cut’ of the money, but I now think those who thought ‘ploughshare’ are clearly more correct. Regards all.
  14. I had never heard of ADAMS WINE before – only ADAMS ALE but the clue was plain enough. No problem with a GOODY at 10a as opposed to a BADDY – never mind ACHILLES.

    There are 6 “easies”:

    1a Paper finished? Stop working! (5,2)
    TIMES UP. One of the dreaded sounds from school exam days now re-lived in popular reality shows on TV like GBBO.

    14a Thus ennui acts – I could become apathetic (14)
    UNENTHUSIASTIC. A long anagram but not disguised too much – (thus ennui acts I)*.

    23a Source of wood in kit as ordered (5)
    SITKA. Anagram of (kit as) the Sitka (Spruce). I was surprised that some had not heard of it.

    18d Temporarily appointed, I’m put in grave situation initially (7)

    19d Person speaking as absolute monarch (7)
    UTTER E.R.

    20d Couple working together in text and e-mail (6)
    TANDE-M. Hidden in last 3 words.

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