Times 24,266

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 17:19, around par for me.

By now, Peter’s probably down Tom Brown’s cafe in Magaluf for the all-day breakfast, lining his stomach ahead of a night on the town (15 pints of Watney’s Red Barrel, karaoke and a fish supper – can’t be beaten).

I feared he’d leave me a monster while he was off for two weeks with the Tea Break Quickie, but this wasn’t so tough, most of the difficulty coming from unusual vocabulary, especially down south (them and their la-di-da ways). I really enjoyed some of the little by-ways down which these sent me.
Oh, happy Canada Day.

1  S,PAT
4  CHANCE,LLOR – (roll)reversed. Some hope, darling
11 C(AL)ASH – one of these
12 L,AID,BARE – .. sounds like ‘bear’
14 VERA – easy hidden word, but it’s my cat’s name and I promised her a mention
15 TOOTHBRUSH – boom, boom!
20 POOP – double def. Unusual to see the verb anywhere but in the participial adj.  (“I’m pooped”)
21 ST,ROLLER – def. is “Pushchair in US”
24 TUB,E
25 SUI GENERIS – (genius)* + (sire)reversed
27 SING(ular)

2  P(H)I,LATE,LIST – ah, philately’ll get you nowhere
3  TOP BANANA – wonderful expression coined (supposedly) by Russian born Yiddish Vaudevillian Harry Steppe, creator of one of the great slapstick routines. If you have five minutes to spare, try not laughing
5  A CHILD OF OUR TIME – Michael Tippett’s oratorio ends with the spiritual ‘Deep River’
6  C(ADD,IS)H – ‘companion’ is C.H., Companion of Honour, a crossword standard
7  LOO(F),A
13 REST,ORATION – the “to make” feels like the cart pulling the horse, but no big deal
18 P(E)LISSE – plissé being “a textile finish characterized by a puckered or blistered effect”  
19 EARNEST – double def., an earnest being a pledge or promissory token
21 S(I)TAR
22 RABAT – turn up a short tabard

28 comments on “Times 24,266”

  1. Around the 30 minute mark…not too hard although cloaks mentioned twice…
  2. Made a bit of a meal of this and took over 50 mins (roughly). I don’t like “cryptic definitions” (aka bad puns) in general — they should be banned — and I didn’t like 15ac and 3dn in particular.
    Strollers (21ac) aren’t just confined to the US. We have them too. (Cf “cheerio” yesterday which, down here, means “to wish well” — as in “If you see him, send a cheerio from me”.)
    “Calash” and “pelisse” were a bit obscure. But what else can you do with ?A?A?H and P?L?S?E ??
    Must have been a dog for the setter to get a fit!
  3. 35 mins with one wrong. Opted for PELASSE, thinking it was a word I’d heard of, but on reflection was probably thinking of palliasse (mattress = what goes on mattress = blanket = cloak – a logical progression). Some dead give aways here mixed with unfamiliar vocabulary and general knowledge e.g. PELISSE, CALASH, EARNEST as noun, the ending of the oratorio. Couldn’t think what remarkable ended in SING (imposing, bemusing, arousing?) but that seemed irrelevant.

    I’m a sucker for corn, so I liked TOP BANANA, not recognizing it’s connection with the Thtree Stooges. Oh, halcyon days! What more could be asked of life than a good poke in the eye and a pratfall.

  4. About 45 minutes whilst travelling to work with lots of distractions and lapses in concentration so I think 30 minutes would have been nearer the mark under better conditions.

    PELISSE was a complete guess based on checking letters and there had to be another E to fit with the wordplay. I knew of the oratorio A CHILD OF OUR TIME and “one of today’s kids” made it easy enough to solver but expecting one to know that it ends with a spiritual was a bit much.

  5. For me, this was an object lesson in the worth of Peter B’s oft-repeated advice: if you come to an impasse, consider whether one of your completed answers may be wrong. I was heading at a steady trot for a decentish 25-30 min completion time, when I was stymied by two or three clues in the south-west corner. It took me another 15 mins to spot that the chief cause of my travail was that I had carelessly entered A CHILD OF HIS TIME for 5dn, which made an impossibility of 17ac. Once that error was corrected, the rest fell into place quickly enough, including a successful guess at PELISSE from the wordplay (having never before encountered either the cloak or the fabric in question). All in all, an enjoyable puzzle.

  6. a middler for me too, now that i have found a source of the times in greece rather than jotting it off the computer onto paper. (A snip at E3.50 !!)

    one question arose though which might be sunstroke on my part – what is the exact definition of CATCH IT (it had to be from the word play/checkers) but didnt quite get it completely.

  7. 12:42 for me, which was a pleasant surprise as I felt it was going really slowly for a while. I had to make a few guesses along the way too, but they all turned out to be right. I didn’t know A CHILD OF OUR TIME, but it “sounded” right (as opposed to THE or HIS for the 4th word), nor did I know PELISSE – that was a complete guess as I didn’t get the wordplay either.
  8. 16:09, with one mistake: PELUSHE for PELISSE (18dn).  Buggered if I was ever going to get a clue where both definition and wordplay involved clothing (or similar).  Also unknown were CALASH (11ac), CATCH IT and CHIT (4dn), A CHILD OF OUR TIME (5dn), and RABAT (22dn).  At 20ac, POOP took a while to emerge (so to speak), as PROP and PROW are also parts of ships.  I was caught out by “flower” at 8dn (RHONE), which feels like losing to fool’s mate; was convinced for far too long that 21ac (STROLLER) would be an anagram of “US street”; and rashly wrote in RATE at the end of 16dn (RAPIDNESS).

    3dn (TOP BANANA) isn’t a cryptic definition: “Boss” is the definition, and the whimsical “best of the bunch?” is the cryptic part.

    Clue of the Day: the close-to-the-bone 26ac (RETIREMENT).

  9. An utter disaster for me. I’m guessing it could have been a reasonable time but entering what seemed a perfectly reasonable TOOTHPASTE at 15A utterly banjaxed the SE corner. I suppose that’s the difficulty with some CD clues; have to consider other possible answers. These aren’t really quibbles, but I placed tentative question marks by them:

    27A SING Maybe I’m just being grumpy, but not too keen on half-answers where the wordplay def isn’t very obvious.
    8D RHONE “With” really threw me – I thought I’d negotiatied the wordplay but this little filler gave me unwarranted doubts.
    18D PELISSE The answer is on the obscure side, which is OK except that PLISSE is too.

    22D RABAT nearly defeated me to the extent that TABARD has modern (as opposed to “old”) use as a sleeveless overjacket of the type worn by officials at sporting or other events.

    Q-1 (the combined trio) E-6 D-7 COD 5D A CHILD OF OUR TIME

    1. I would dispute that TOOTHPASTE is a reasonable answer at 15. ‘One will clean things up’ implies a noun that can exist in the singular. One toothpaste?
      1. Quite right. The difficulty, though, is “crosswordese”, in which the nuances of words are often unreliable, abbreviated etc etc. You could say that Aquafresh is “one (brand of) toothpaste” for example and, rightly or wrongly, see the overall wording as valid.
        You also have to bear in mind – vitally important, this – that I get confused easily.
  10. Gave up after about 45mins, after having all but four done within 25. These last four were 16, 18, 25 & 27.

    I’ve never heard of PELISSE or PLISSE, so it was always going to be a struggle, especially without the S from 25. I’ve never come across SUI GENERIS either, and kept trying to start it with UNI. I also got stuck trying to fit REPUDIATE in at 16, meaning criticise (sort of). I thought SING was most likely at 27, but failed to spot what the longer word might be.

    COD 4a – something this neat must surely have come up before, but it’s new to me.

  11. I found this relatively easy, taking 25 minutes. One uncertainty was PELISSE, but PLISSE was vaguely familiar. Another was STROLLER, but the wordplay was pretty clear.
    I wasn’t keen on the otiose ‘single’ in 23 across. Setters could stick ‘single’ or singular’ all over the place in front of singular nouns just to enhance the surface, if this were to become the norm. I think I’d have preferred ‘signal’, which at least would have been cryptically useful, and would also fit the surface.
  12. Was I alone in thinking that the carol in question was DING DONG merrily on high, and that DING DONG (à la Leslie Phillips) can mean REMARKABLE. Chop DING DONG in half and you get DING…..
    Does anyone else consider this a reasonable interpretation..?
    1. I had that carol in mind first then saw the other wordplay which I agree with others is not the best. I think ding would have been a bit tricksy though. Just under 20m, last in bottom right corner, didn’t like rapidness, my word for this is rapidity so took ages to get it. Pelisse gave lovely memory of Kate Greenaway books, and I have met calash somewhere recently so they were in quickly.
    2. Can’t really buy DING as an alternative answer, because (a) I can’t see a definition for DING, (b) there’s no reason to believe that “not half” applies to both “carol” and “remarkable”.
  13. I found this quite an unsatisfactory experience. I managed to finish and, on checking Sotira’s blog, I was surprised to find that it was all correct. Calash and Pelisse were guesses from the wordplay. It seemed reasonable to me that Plissé would be French for crinkly fabric. I chose Sing over Song on the basis that the remarkable word would be something like imposing or pleasing. Thanks to Sotira for the correct explanation. I was also unhappy about Tube for valve. In my Chambers this meaning is not given under tube but under valve it does say: “(loosely) a thermionic device once commonly used in electronic apparatus as rectifier, amplifier, oscillator or otherwise (also (US) tube)”.

    Like Anax, I was delayed in the SE by confidently entering Toothpaste although I agree with Dave that “one” rather than “it” does tip the CD in the direction of Toothbrush.

    I got off to a flying start with the Tippett even though, as it is possibly the most tedious oratorio of the 20th century, I have never managed to make it through to hearing Deep River at the end.

    1. Um! It takes a brave man to dismiss publicly anything, let alone something from the established repertoire; one might live to regret it… But what the hell, it is a bit of a stinker.

      Late comment from me as called away this morning. I too found some of the clues indefensible, PELISSE/PLISSE of course, but also A Child… even though it was first in for me.

      1. I assumed your late comment was a result of having to lie down in a darkened room after hearing the divine Renée. Maybe it’s just a personal thing between me and Tippett. His Knot Garden is the only opera that I have ever walked out on. Even so, I reckon the fault was in the production rather than the composer’s.
  14. I was heading for a fast time and then shuddered to a halt with 18 and 25 left. Like Dave Perry I thought 25 must be uni- something and I’ve never come across sui generis before. I sorted that one out with aids and then had to do the same to get the ridiculous pelisse. I hate it when answer and wordplay both rely on obscure elements.

    There were some bright spots though, with top banana raising a smile.

  15. Average time for me of around 25m but with pelisse not completed: I couldn’t see much point in entering a final answer that would have been a complete guess. Agree that “sing” was unsatisfactory and that there were too many obscurities. I think the challenging parts of a satisfying puzzle should not arise from the probability that most solvers won’t know the word being defined. If it’s a word that most reasonably well-educated solvers know but I happen not to, that’s a different matter. bc
    1. Different spheres of knowledge have different obscure words – and most reasonably well educated people admit to lacunae in some subjects. I know very few computer words, maths or composers but pelisse was not in the least obscure to me – it was rapidness that was the new horrid word to add to my vocab.
  16. I managed a rather astounding botch-up by inventing not only a new word but unfathomable wordplay for 18, entering ASS in PILE as PILASSE. My recently-acquired other half runs a clothing store and I should be ashamed.

    Felt pretty good after dredging SUI GENERIS, CALASH and RABAT from wordplay, but not to be.

  17. Rocketed through most of this, but the fogs descended with 16 dn 20 ac 23 ac and 27 ac missing. Returned after a session in the kitchen to find that the mists had cleared. Had been completely thrown by finding that “rapidity” did not fit, and abandoning this line of thought. If the horrible RAPIDNESS is good English I will be very surprised. SING was simply an awful clue.

    While in a grumpy frame of mind: WHERE IS MY KILLER SUDOKU. I am fed up with “new and improved” as an excuse for inferior quality and service.

  18. Solved in 11:55 at Gatwick or on the plane. Can remember struggling a bit with pelisse and calash.

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