Times 24,046

Solving time: 19:10

Mortification for me. I put in SETTLED for SAMPLED at 18D. I can’t now see why. Anyway that made 21A very difficult, and I was left puzzling over it, 16D, 15A and 6D for ages. It is unusual to be stuck on long clues across the board rather than a corner. I had never heard of Kilvert’s Diary, and I was slow to tackle the anagram because I was doing the interactive online version and so had nowhere to hand to scribble. Once I worked that out, the rest followed and I discovered my error.

Apart from Mr Kilvert, LUTE and END-STOPPED were also new for me. Lots of good clues, my favourite is probably NAIROBI at 20D. I am left slightly uncertain about the explanations for 10 and 13 down (both now sorted).


1 GA(M(oor))Y
3 DAM + ASK ROSE – DAM being MAD(rev)
11 SALAD IN – chief opponent of Richard the Lionheart
14 HO(RD)E
15 DEC + ATHLON(e)
17 LOSE CAS(T)E – a rather old-fashioned phrase for social decline
19 DUN(C)E – took me forever to realise that “Boy wearing cap” was the definition
24 POL + LUTE, POL being LOP(rev) – I didn’t know that LUTE meant “clay, cement … used as a covering, … seal”
25 ANY M + OR + E(agle) – clever. “Further” is the definition, and ANYM is MYNA(rev)
26 END S + TOPPED – I didn’t know this term for poetry with a pause at the end of each line
27 PICT (=”picked”)


1 GO DOWN HILL, the latter two words being two words meaning “rise”
2 MUFF + (o)L(d)E(a)R(s) – here meaning a scarf rather than a silencer
5 (b)ASSET
7 ORDINAL – two defs – a churchy book, and a type of number clued by example
8 (f)E(RN)E(t)
10 CLOSED CIRCUIT – two meanings. I can’t quite place the second. An electrical circuit is working if it is closed. Perhaps a golf course? On edit: Thanks to Kurihan for pointing out that a non-working racecourse could be described as a closed circuit
13 INTER(N)MENT – “Committal” defines INTERNMENT, and then there is the last letter of alieN in INTERMENT. Not sure why.(On edit: This is an &lit. The whole clue defines the process of putting foreigners into internment camps, and “committal” also means burial or INTERMENT. Thanks to Jack.)
18 S(AMPLE)D – ie AMPLE replaces A1 (fine) in SAID
20 NAIROBI, being IBERIAN reversed with the E replaces with an O. I started writing in TRIPOLI when I had the last two checking letters, but fortunately saw the light.
23 EPEE – reversed hidden

39 comments on “Times 24,046”

  1. About 45min, but I felt this was one of those crosswords I am happy just to finish unaided, regardless of the time!

    In 24, lute=cement was new to me. I first thought “poll” was the cut-back and was trying to work out where “ute” came from! I thought CREPITATE at 16D was a bit tricky, and liked the two rises in 1D.

    I suspect there is plenty of other blogworthy stuff in this.

    1. I wrote my note before reading Jack’s comments above; our experiences seem to have been fairly similar.

      Incidentally one clue is relevant to what I think was a mistake in last Saturday’s puzzle – I don’t think I am allowed to say any more and may already have said too much…

      1. Entries are opened today so I should go ahead and say it (though I can’t remember spotting anything amiss).
        1. I’ll have to go back and check and will comment when the puzzle is blogged, even if it involves eating humble pie (which I expect it probably will if Peter didn’t notice)
          1. I now remember having to eat some humble pie on this puzzle – I put in a hasty answer at the end and then found I needed a different spelling. The wrong answer could have implied a bad spelling on the setter’s part.
  2. 5:28 – another flying start, but should have been a bit quicker as I failed to see {down=rise} despite having told others about it many times, so just put the GO in 1D on first look.
    For 6D I just saw anag-ness and some fodder, and saw the anag. with the help of the initial K. Saw the wordplay method for 21A quickly, and once I’d thought of ‘fortification’ the rest was plain sailing – all the tricky parts where things I’d come across before.

    For poetic stuff like ‘end-stopped’ I recommend (again) Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled – a good book regardless of any xwd benefit.

  3. Got off to a flying start in the top half and solved it and the SE corner apart from 16dn and the tail of 21ac, all within 23 minutes.

    But then I ground to a halt and I spent 10 minutes trying to get restarted in the SW where I had only 10 and 17 in place. Once I had achieved this I took another 6 minutes to polish it off but I was still left with 16dn unsolved until I reached the office and looked it up. I have heard of CREPITATE before but I’m not sure I could have defined it and obviously the wordplay completely eluded me.

    But KILVERT’S DIARY was a minor victory as I had never heard of it and had to work it out from the anagram material. I think this clue might qualify for a Q-point as it seems a bit obscure and the reference to the Welsh Marches even more so. I suspect the setter intended me to waste time thinking about Louisa M Alcott, and I duly obliged.

    I can’t say I was familiar with LOSE CASTE or END-STOPPED. Nor LUTE with reference to cement, but having looked it up I realise I did know of “Luting” as being something other than playing the instrument.

    Q=1(?), E=8, D=8

    1. No-one should feel “illiterate” for not knowing the techie term ‘end-stopped’. You can enjoy poetry without knowing it, just as you can enjoy an &lit clue without knowing what ‘&lit’ means. End-stopped just means that a line of poetry ends where the sentence ends. If a sentence goes on to the next line, that’s a “run-on line” or “enjambment”. Examples: Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away – end-stopped, Why she had to go I don’t know / She wouldn’t say – enjambment. Or look at Blake’s “Jerusalem” – two verses of eight lines each, with end-stopped lines, and enjambments of various lengths. More locally, the surface reading of most xwd clues is end-stopped. When you get pairs of clues ending/starting with “…” (sometimes called “run-on clues”), that’s often because the surface reading of at least one clue goes across the join, so that’s xwd clue enjambment. Which suggests a fiendish self-referential clue-writing possibility for some future Times final – for an extra tease factor, E?J?M?M?N? are the kind of checking letters to kid you into thinking another answer must be wrong.

      Edited at 2008-10-16 11:46 am (UTC)

      1. Thanks Pete, all becomes clear! On fiendish clues, have you ever run into syzygy in a crossword, ?y?y?y (or even s?z?g?) would give most pause for thought.
        1. Thinking further, there’s a point where a weird pattern makes a word easy to spot (if you know it), and SYZYGY seems a good example. Try these two foreign words: ?V?V (Only one choice AFAIK, tho’ with two spellings), ?A?A?A?A?A?A (12) – definitely only one choice. If you can’t solve them, my bet is that you don’t know the words. (Answers at the end). Nasty ones for me and at least one other former champ are things like ?E?E?E – “vocalophobia” as we call it. Try ?E?E?E?E?S (two possibilities)

          The nastiest checking letter experiences I can remember were with ?A?S?R and ?E?G?E. With the first, I spent too much time thinking about ?A?SER, so I couldn’t see CAESAR – fourth letter E doesn’t look likely either! With the second, my list of candidates for the 5th letter didn’t include U, so I couldn’t see LEAGUE. Both are very easy vocab, but have little twists of spelling that tripped me up.

          Test answers: Lviv/Lvov (city now in Ukraine), taramasalata (Gk. cod roe delicacy.), sereneness/severeness

            1. Touché! We spent a long holiday in Hawaii about 10 yrs ago, but didn’t notice this, just the better known ?U?U?U?U?U?U?U?U?P?A? as well as seeing some crossword fare in the flesh – lei, nene and various others.
              1. I remember a clue where the answer was clearly the name of a capital of a country, and the letters were ???A?A. This is the opposite problem to your examples of course, the danger being that, like TRIPOLI/NAIROBI, you put in the first that comes to mind, except that in this case there are seven which fit. I’ll leave you to work them out…
                1. I like a challenge – and found 8!

                  Tirana Albania
                  Manama Bahrain
                  Ottawa Canada
                  Havana Cuba
                  Asmala Eritrea
                  Astana Kazakhstan
                  Ankara Turkey
                  Lusaka Zambia

                  1. Impressive Ross, thanks. I knew someone would rise to it! I looked at it years ago when I suspect Eritrea may not even have been a country! Near misses are Panama City and Douala (which is the largest town in Cameroon but not the capital).
                    1. Apparently Astana was only recently declared to be the capital of Kazakhstan. Something to do with it being a long way from any potential agressors. Given the political situation in the area, it may well have been a prudent move.
  4. I thought the second meaning in 10D is just that a course (such as a racecourse) which is not working may be described as a “closed circuit” .
    1. Thanks. Racecourse is much better than golf course. It still seems slightly odd to describe it as “working” or not, but probably within the bounds of oddness acceptable in crosswords.
  5. Glad to hear I’m not alone in my ignorance of Kilvert.
    I’d got the letters necessary for the anagram, but still didn’t get it. Too obscure for my liking….
  6. 15:30. Main sticking points were NAIROBI where I had pencilled in ‘Tripoli’ on the grounds that I’m an idiot, and CREPITATE, where I was looking for the wrong sort of stone.

    Kilvert’s blog wasn’t too hard to guess at with the checking letters. I’ve just been reading a few extracts at http://www.questia.com/read/23441537?title=Title%20Page. For those who can’t be arsed to go there, the following seems typical. It’s quite charming in a “Nothing much happened today. The sausages at supper were a little chewy.” sort of way, but it made me feel a wee bit nostalgic:

    1871 New Year’s Day

    My Mother, Perch and I sat up last night to watch the old year out and the New Year in. The wind was in the North and the sound of the bells came faintly and muffled over the snow from Chippenham and Kington. We opened the dining room window to ‘loose in’ the sound of the chimes and ‘the New Year’ as they say in Wales. It was bitter cold, but we went to the door, Perch and I, to hear better. I was carrying my travelling clock in my hand and as we stood on the terrace just outside the front door, the little clock struck midnight with its tinkling silvery bell in the keen frost. We thought we could hear three peals of Church bells, Chippenham, St. Paul’s, and very faintly Kington. ‘Ring happy bells across the snow.’

    Ah, now I’m feeling homesick.

  7. I did this very stuffy-headed last night and crept through it, then woke up again afterwards and correct silly mistakes like NAY MORE at 25 (I liked that clue a lot). END STOPPED, CREPITATE (after fixing 25), KILVERT’S DIARY were all new. On a fresh reading, 21 is excellent as well.
  8. A good 45 minutes on this, with progress similar to jackt’s. CREPITATE was a guess – one of those words that I knew existed but I couldn’t remember its meaning. I thought the wordplay to 17 suggested LOSE CASTE, but it sounded so strange I rejected it for ages, as I did ICE UP (because the definition was so vague). I also entered WILLOW POTTERY for 12, so made it impossible to get 7 until I’d sorted out the error. I was also unfamiliar with KILVERT’S DIARY. So I got there in the end, but felt a bit of a 12.
  9. !Committal” defines INTERMENT, I think. Is “having” perhaps the containment indicator and “confined” the definition? If so I still can’t quite make it work.
    1. Thanks. I see it now. The whole clue is the definition. I had forgotten that committal could mean something like burial as well as something like imprisonment.
    2. Committal can define both INTERMENT and INTERNMENT. So the whole clue seems to be wordplay for INTER(N)MENT, using the first meaning. Then the initial Committal is also the def, using the second meaning – which give us some kind of &lit variant.
      I think there’s also play on the N (OK, one of the N’s) in INTERNMENT being ‘confined’ in that word (i.e. ‘in internment’).
      1. Richard’s right – whole clue does define INTERNMENT as in WWII. So, a proper &lit plus maybe some extra bits.
  10. I am afraid I don’t understand where the “IN” comes from in the wordplay. And for 13dn, Google informs me that “committal” refers to “the end of the funeral ceremony” so that sort of explains INTERMENT (or does it?!)
    1. This is just a silly joke – one’s “condition after light lunch” is “SALAD IN”.

      So now you can deal with things like:

      Chubby garden bird’s condition after eating small boy (5).

  11. 45 mins here, most of that spent in the SW corner! Got particularly snarled up with 26ac / 16d / 10d. Relieved to finish in the end, with lunchtime about to come to an end…
  12. 11.58. Took a couple of minutes at the end looking at answers I wasn’t sure of in the SW corner; I was seeing “cut-back” in 24 as POLL (as, e.g. in polling a tree) so couldn’t figure out how the clue worked. I wasn’t completely sure of ICE UP, and though END-STOPPED seemed like a reasonable guess at 26 I hadn’t heard of it, and thought it would turn out to be a musical term (like double-stopping).

    Needed far too many crossing letters to get KILVERT’S DIARY, thinking as I acquired more letters of the second word that it was DRIVE, then DAISY (maybe one of those March girls was called Daisy…) before eventually arriving at what should have been fairly obvious.

  13. 29:30, not particularly entertaining, lots of wordplay I didn’t see at the time.

    Q-0, E-4, D-7, COD, no chance.

  14. A game of two halves, as they say. I found the NW and SW corners very straightforward although LOSE CASTE was new to me. Then came the trouble, even though I had DAMASK ROSE. Looking back I can’t quite see what the problem was. I was eventually left with just the long anagram, having ground my way through the rest. I then saw “diary” which only left “Kilvert” as a possibility. A new work to me and having read the extract it’s likely to stay that way. About 40 minutes all told for this one.
  15. LOSE CASTE, END-STOPPED, KILVERT’S DIARY. Pretty tough stuff and their spread through the grid caused some grief in getting other answers and I eventually rolled in at a shorter-than-it-felt 10 minutes.

    In some places a bit of a slog, then, but enjoyable nonetheless for some finely worked clueing that put the emphasis on creating themes and maintaining them.

    Quite a few COD candidates but I’ll go for 1D, a very clever exploitation of the DOWN/HILL link.

    Q-0 E-8 D-8 COD 1D

  16. The Welsh Marches that is – where I am from. Kilvert lived and wrote in Clyro – just across the border from Herefordshire in Radnorshire. I am surprised how many of these erudite contributors had not heard of Kilvert’s Diary before but perhaps I am being a bit parochial. No I have not read them – first experience was from Sotira’s extract above – thanks for the enlightenment S.

    There are but the 3 “easies” left out of the blog:

    9a There’s something lacking if edict has to be put out (7)
    DEFECIT. Anagram of (if edict).

    12a Markings on bat from China? (6,7)
    WILLOW PATTERN. The compulsory cricket based clue?

    4d The exact opposite, as pointed out (9)
    ANTIPODES. Anagram of (as pointed) – where all those Aussies and Kiwis hang out waiting beat the Pommies at their own games.

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