Times 24268

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken to solve: 30 minutes for all but the 14s and 27across. These added another 15 minutes to my time. The RH I found more straightforward than the LH and in particular the SW corner put up some resistance. In general I found it a very enjoyable puzzle with little or no specialist knowledge required.

1 DELIBERATE – “Reverse effects of emancipation” = De-liberate
6 (w)ALTO(n) – The composer is Sir William Walton (1902-1983)
10 SE(X)E,D-UP – The ending is PUD (rev) and “roly-poly” is the reversal indicator.
11 A,M(O.R.)IST – “Men in uniform” = O.R. (Other Ranks)
12 SENSITIVE – Anagram of “in St Ives”, then the last letter of Tate
13 RUD(G)E – With reference to Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge
14 CUT,I.E.
15 TEN,NES,SEE – SEN(ator), NET (all reversed) then “visit” = SEE
20 F(AM)ED – “Fed” meaning FBI agent is something I learned here recently
21 EIDER – Sounds like “Ida” as in “Mount Ida”. I knew it appeared in Greek mythology but until I just checked I didn’t know there were two of them, one in Crete and the other in Turkey. The duck is famous for its down.
27 T,O,RY – My last in and I spent 7 minute on this one alone! To clarify: T= time, O = circle, RY = line, as in railway line. A Tory is traditionally on the right wing in UK politics.
28 IT,I,N(E.R.)ANCY – The city of Nancy should be familiar to all Times crossword puzzlers as an indicator of things French, but here is appears in its own right
1 D(o)O(r) S(e)E(m)S – “Draught” in its medicinal sense as in “sleeping draught”
2 (f)LEXING,TO,N – There seem to be about 20 places called Lexington in the US. I don’t know if they all qualify as cities, but the most widely known ones are in Kentucky, the largest, and in Massachusetts, the oldest and site of a battle in the War of Independence, so I guess this is the one we are expected to think of.
3 BEDTIME STORIES – B, then anagram of “editor it seems”
4 RE,POINT – I discovered an error here whilst blogging as I originally had REPAINT which I think may almost be valid as an alternative. One can “dot with paint” for example, and Collins mentions “a dot of paint”. However I’m sure REPOINT is the answer intended here and on further reflection, perhaps repainting is not really a repair.
5 TRADE-IN – The idea is that it sounds like “Trait din”. The problem with this is that many people don’t pronounce “trait” as “tray”, they say “trate” and this is given as a valid alternative in the dictionaries. It seems odd that the setter didn’t start this clue with “Some” as it is needed here, whereas he did so at 21 where I think it is redundant because as far as I am aware “Ida” and “eider” actually do always sound the same. Shame Jimbo isn’t around.
7 LAI(R)D – LAID = “set out” around the final letter of motor
8 O,(a)N THE M,END
9 F(OUR)-LEA,F.C.,LOVER – Traditionally a bringer of good luck
14 COMP(l)ETE,N.T. – Another very late one in for me as I don’t associate “expert” with “competent”, I think it usually suggests something more. However, although none of the dictionaries shows a direct link, Collins Thesaurus does, and I believe there’s also a meaning in law by which a “competent” witness means an expert.
16 SUMMAT,1,ON – Hm. “Summat” is UK dialect for “something” but it’s not confined to the north and not everyone in the north says it that way.
22 DOPER – Hidden word. Collins doesn’t list it. COED does but with no definition. Chambers has the criminal meaning required here.
24 EL(E.G.)Y

32 comments on “Times 24268”

  1. Things being as they are, the anags at 12, 17, 3, and 19 helped a great deal. So slightly over 15 mins. Again, could have done without the crappy pun at 25. Liked 10 for the sheer hell of it!
  2. Looked at this blankly for 10 minutes, got going and finished with hardly a pause, so very pleased with myself. Don’t know why but found this very enjoyable.

    Look-up check for a mountain called IDA.

    I have never heard anyone pronounce trait as tray. Perhaps I don’t move in the right circles. I thought maybe this was a mischievous homophone ie. trez din, very noisy being a characteristic of a second-hand car. This is a case of manipulating the clue to meet with one’s preferred answer. Anyway, it was right.

  3. Also started slowly and finished steadily in 35mins. Much to like here with some very precise clueing. COD ON THE MEND.
  4. Started reading the across clues – first in men at arms, then realised down offered much better start and chugged happily away to finish with 16d (agree with jackkt)in 31m. No worries about trait, though I tend to sound the t if plural but not in the singular.
    1. I can see why you pronounce the “t” in the plural, otherwise you could get such as:-

      Instead of:
      …some people share the traits of their pets.

      you would get:
      …some people share the trays of their pets.

  5. 22 min. Steady progress, with the only real hiccup (hiccough?) being ITINERANCY which for some reason wouldn’t gel. Trait has always been pronounced tray to my knowledge. I think you will find that the sounding of the final “t” has only appeared as an acceptable option in dictionaries within the last 30 or so years. COD: 27 TORY. I like clever clueing of short answers, although I think I have seen a similar construction in the past.
  6. 18:56, with the last 6 minutes or more spent on 26ac (INVOICE) and 9dn (FOUR-LEAF CLOVER).  I think of accounts and invoices as different things, and likewise for mascots and lucky charms, so I don’t think this was just me being stupid.  The only thing I didn’t know was WALTON (6ac).

    I’d go further than Jack on the incompetent definition of COMPETENT (14dn): sure, sometimes a witness must be an expert in order to be competent, but that doesn’t mean that “competent” means expert – rather, it means suitable.

    Clues of the Day: 20ac (FAMED), 23ac (VACILLATE), 22dn (DOPER).

    1. I am with you about all three quibbles – and how I enjoy you picking over the crossword carcass. Over the years I have noticed many people, and this seems to include some setters, are inaccurate about which word in a big thesaurus-group is actually the one they should be using in a particular context. Not that I am never guilty of the same sin…
      1. Thanks – I’m glad not everyone sees such quibbles as needlessly pedantic.  Loose justification (e.g. from a thesaurus) is certainly tempting for a setter, and I’ve been guilty of it too.  What’s inexplicable is that it should get past an editor, who after all has no personal attachment to the clues.
  7. An enjoyable Friday work-out — some moderately tough clues, but nothing impossibly difficult or obscure. SEXED UP at 10ac was ingenious and made me laugh (roly-poly as a reversal indicator is a first for me). There were other clues that seemed straightforward enough once you had solved them, but nevertheless took a bit of working out (e.g DELIBERATE at 1ac and BEDTIME STORIES at 3dn). Only EXPRESS at 25ac , I think, would have been dismissed as “absurdly easy” by the holidaying Jimbo, from whom a snort of derision would also undoubtedly have been heard over the TRADE-IN/TRAIT DIN pun at 5dn. As a non-purist when it comes to homophones, the well-known variation in the pronunciation of “trait” didn’t worry me – it was just a question of choosing one or the other. But I agree with Jack that prefacing the clue with “Some” might have been fairer (possibly the setter thought the “perhaps” at the end of the clue did the same job?), whereas the “some” at 21ac was unnecessary. (My only problem there, at least initially, was was trying to work out how EIDER could be made to sound like EIGER – a case of barking up the wrong mountain!). No time, as I did this in spurts interspersed with other much less enjoyable household chores. Perhaps 30-40 mins in total.
    1. Thanks. Mike, for pointing out “perhaps” in 5dn and I agree it might make a difference. I had overlooked this possibility.
  8. 16:25 here, which felt a bit on the slow side. It took me ages to think of LEXINGTON (mainly because I wasted some time trying to think of the state capital of Florida), and also SENSITIVE, where I didn’t spot the anagram fodder until I had all the crossing letters. Other than that a fairly straightforward solve.
  9. 17:17 – another par score for me. I’ve managed [deleted pending verification – she looks so much younger – Ed.] years on this earth without ever noticing that anyone pronounced ‘trait’ to sound like ‘tray’. And I’m not sure I approve of such Frenchiness. I mean, what did the Normans ever do for us?

    Quibbles aside, another enjoyable crossword in a week of good ‘uns.

    1. Praise be! Someone else
      I was beginning to wonder how many other words I have been mispronouncing without anyone telling me.
      1. There was a young man from Bombay,
        Who kept switching his sounding of ‘trait’.
        Though some would berate
        This character trait,
        He would shrug and say “Nobody’s parfait”.

        1. Why is there nobody else in my life who can make me smile like this? Sotira, I think I love you ;o)

          Had to take the car for its MOT this morning so I hoped this puzzle would be challenging enough to make the waiting room experience bearable. Almost, but not quite – probably 15 minutes although I wasn’t watching the clock; sadly what I was watching – distractedly/distractingly – was utterly dreadful daytime television. I hope to God I never reach retirement age.

          The solve would have been quicker but for a lengthy delay at 14A/14D, 21A and 27A, 21A finally going in on the basis that “it fits”. Like Jack I had an absolute mare trying to unravel 27A but got there eventually.

          Another one who isn’t convinced that “roly-poly” works at 10A, but I’m prepared to let it pass since the word sort of playfully suggests a reversal even if it doesn’t mean one.

          Interesting to note FED used as “FBI agent” at 20A. A recent puzzle by … ahem, cough, splutter … featured the same device and … ahem, cough, splutter … had to admit the error (a typo).

          I ticked 11A and 9D as COD candidates – will settle on the latter as wrestling good clues out of long answers is never easy.

          Q-1 (If … ahem, cough, splutter … couldn’t get away with it…) E-7 D-7 COD 9D FOUR-LEAF CLOVER

  10. Generally straightforward puzzle with one or two nice clues, and completed in my usual time of 20-25m. But I have a couple of quibbles: the eider/ida homophone is inexcusable, and the “some hear” qualifier doesn’t make it ok, especially when Mt Ida is relatively obscure; and I can see nothing in the meaning of roly poly (which means pudgy or a type of pudding) that makes it a legitimate reversal indicator. Was the setter getting confused with topsy turvy or similar? bc
  11. “Eider” does not sound much like “Ida” if one is North American, as I am (Canadian). John
    1. Could you expand on this please as I still don’t understand the possible difference in pronunciation?
  12. I don’t think this puzzle was hardy than yesterday’s, but for some reason I took a lot longer (40 minutes), though I can plead loss of concentration for 5 minutes while someone within two feet of me was speaking very loudly on his mobile. Some of those that held me up were 14 (I agree with others that the definition is questionable), 28 (not familiar with that ending and kept thinking of NANTES as the French city), CUTIE (fooled by a deceptively placed definition) and TORY (which is straightforward enough if you’re not hooked on L for ‘line’ as I was). FOUR-LEAF CLOVER came easily for some reason, but I didn’t like the definition here either.
    I liked 16 with it’s dialect reference.
  13. 14:55 so I’m pleased to have recorded consecutive sub-15 minute times on puzzles that have casued one or two problems for others. I’ve always considered “tray” a somewhat pompous way of pronouncing trait but I’ve heard both often enough.

    I like the construction of the four-leaf c but my COD nod goes to 1a for a good spot

  14. I’d never heard of mount Ida. I put it in anyway but couldn’t help thinking of ‘The Eider sanction’! It really should’ve been a down clue. I don’t know anybody that pronounces trait as tray but then I’m from t’north.
  15. “I think you will find that the sounding of the final “t” has only appeared as an acceptable option in dictionaries within the last 30 or so years.”

    If this isn’t intended ironically, then I have found my spiritual home. Praise be.

  16. Could be an Antipodean colonial vestige, given that Kororareka appears to the only other regular user. I do remember looking it up in an old Shorter Oxford on being told at school that “tray” is correct. No other option. The dictionary confirmed this.

    Mind you, that was pushing 60 years ago, and my mother had bought the dictionary while at teachers training college many years prior to that.

      1. As it happens, that word is one I always hesitate over, because I know I should say “tray” but everybody else says “trait”. This crisis of confidence has seen the word disappear from my lexicon. One doesn’t want to appear any more odd than one already is.
  17. rosseliot wrote about being taught to say “trays” for “traits”, pushing 60 years ago.

    You were taught correctly. Teachers taught proper in those days (daits?).

    And I bet you don’t say “haitch”, either!!!

    1. For my sins, I say “aitch”, and also “an hotel”, which gets some funny looks. (If an aspirate H is dropped or downplayed, what is the name of the spurious H in “haitch” and “give us a happle”)
  18. 11:35 for this one. I must be too young to have caught any instructions on the “correct” pronunciation of “trait”.

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