Times 24796 – Ginger & Fred by the seaside

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving Time: 45 minutes

Not a stinker, but a thorough workout for my besieged little brain on a Monday. 6ac went in almost immediately and then nothing but a tentative MAT? for several very long minutes until ROTA started the deluge, or more like the steady light rain, until I was left with 14 and 26 for some 10 minutes of gut-wrenching turmoil. Excellent puzzle all round, which brought a smile to my face on more than one occasion, and that’s not to mention the seemingly effortless clue constructions. Take it away, Fred…

1 PIQUE for “resentment” about CARES for “concerns” = PICARESQUE as in Tom Jones’s The Ginger Man; nicely setting up the tone of this puzzle.
6 Deliberately omitted, despite what ill might wind it’s way through the comments
9 OVERLAY = plOVER for “no place for lapwing” next to LAY for “produce eggs”
10 BANSHEE = madE place by, in this case behind, SHE for “woman” after BAN for “bar”
12 FORESHADOW = FORE for “sportsman’s warning” + HAD for “taken in” around SOW for “broadcast”.
13 MAT, double definition, as in “I, say. I, say. I, say. Feel this mat. There, it’s felt.”
15 USANCE = US for “American” + ACE for “champion” around N for “(north) pole”.
16 DEBONAIR = DEB for “society girl” + ON AIR for the remainder. A classic.
18 E for “English” + MP for “politician” + HAS for “owns” + IS for “island” = EMPHASIS
23 DON, triple definition, “fellow”, “put on” and “one of several rivers”
26 PIERROT might have been brought down by pier rot. Your worst nightmare? Not by a long chalk.
27 ILL-BRED = R in BED for “Republican retired” placed by, again behind, ILL for Illinois.
28 ROTA = A TO R for “eighteen letters”, reversed
29 CRANKSHAFT = CRANKS for “nutters” + Fitted inside HAT for “Derby, perhaps”.

1 Deliberately omitted, although it snookered me for a time.
3 ROLLER for “wave” placed on top of COAST for “shore” + RE for “about” reversed = ROLLER-COASTER
4 CHEST* about Y for “unknown” = SCYTHE
5 B for “bishop” in DUNEDIN* = UNBIDDEN
7 BOHEa on top of AIM for “train” reversed = BOHEMIA. Another classic? Bohea tea would be familiar to all lovers of literature.
8 ELECTORATE, a cryptic definition
11 NEWS for “information” + OUT for “released” on top of (LAW HE’S)* = NEW SOUTH WALES, which, now you mention it, is in the grip of election mania as I type. Follow all the excitement here.
14 SUPER-DUPER = SUPER for “police officer” written down the page, on top of DUPER for “perpetrator of hoax”. For a minute there, what with the NSW connection, anti-modernists (see 26ac) & my own personal avatar, I thought it might have something to do with Angry Penguins, but I was wrong.
17 DIMETER for “poet’s line” about A = DIAMETER
19 P for “pressure” above UN for “a Parisian” and GENT for “bloke” + PUNGENT.
21 ILLYRIA = ILL for “badly” + AI for “road” and “RY” for “railway” reversed. Somewhere in the Balkans, not all that far from Bohemia. Yet another classic?
22 BENIGN = Goverment in BENIN.
25 ADIT = D for “departs” in AIT for “island”. Perhaps not a classic but certainly a campfire favourite. Didn’t I have adit last time I blogged? I’m not sure if “taking” is in the sense “obtaining” or “deriving” or if it’s part of the definition, in the sense of “intriguing”.

44 comments on “Times 24796 – Ginger & Fred by the seaside”

  1. Hi Koro. Not easy, by any means. About 50 minutes, ending with PIERROT, which was a pure guess. Some clever trickery from today’s setter. I had ASSYRIA at first, before correcting when I twigged the crosser. Very good puzzle, so thanks to the setter. COD to PICARESQUE, very well done, you rogue! Regards to everyone.
  2. There are two abbreviations I don’t understand. Why is “departs” D, and why is “fitted” F?
    1. The “F” is “originally fitted” or “fitted originally”, being the first letter of “fitted”. D for departs is probably from train timetables.
  3. Jaunty start to the week, coming in with the same time as the blogger. Might have been quicker had I not been looking for a six-letter word starting ‘pun-‘ and meaning bitter. Thanks to the setter and to Koro too for explaining BOHEMIA, which went in from the definition after checkers had ruled out Assyria. Last in ADIT, largely for the reason Koro alludes to, viz. ‘Wherefore “taking”?’.
    1. … getting my ancient and mythical countries mixed up. BOHEMIA went right in; it was ILLYRIA that ruled out ‘Assyria’, pace Kevin.
  4. 29 minutes, chipping away bit by bit until I was left with 14, 15, and 26. They took a hefty chunk of time, and then suddenly, like within 5 seconds, I saw all three. Now if I could only figure out how to get those 5 seconds at the beginning. Are UK beaches particularly infested by mimes?
    1. My favourite Goon Show contains the following exchange:
      Seagoon: “Moriarty, I’ve made myself a peer!”
      Moriarty: “Good, I’ll get down the end of it and start a concert party!”
      It just occurs to me, Kevin, that you just might not be familiar with the Goons….
  5. Found this a fun, fairly straightforward solve once I got a toehold, in spite of some obscurities – AIT, BOHEA, ROTA and USANCE. 35 mins.
    1. Agree about the obscurities. Had the same issues. Never heard of BOHEA tea, so I guess my taste in leterature isn’t wide enough. Never heard of ADIT or USANCE. Had to wiki ROTA (Can one wiki, or is that taking grammar a bit far?). As for AIT, there are aits, or eyots on the Thames, something I think I learnt years ago from watching the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race.
  6. Went like a train on this but hit the buffers on 28 and 22, not knowing the court or seeing the reasoning (and going for rite, knowing it was wrong) and simply not seeing benign and throwing in region for state. So two wrong in 12 minutes – should’ve sat back and thought a bit. Still, enjoyed the ride even though I fell off.
  7. 31m and a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle: but then any daily Times would be after last week’s drought (= a certain E. Australian tabloid that came free with the lodgings).

    The ornithologists might have knotted underwear over “plover” for “lapwing”. Our very own Masked Plover (Vanellus miles) became the Masked Lapwing but a few years ago. There was no consultation with the birds themselves, of course. And … it was nice to see one for the first time in a while last week. All this apropos of the fact that they tend to lay their eggs on the ground: hence not OVER it (e.g., in trees) and that’s how I got the answer even if it wasn’t intended.

    COD: equal firsts to that clue then and to PIER-ROT.

    1. We have a pair of lapwings who frequent our local park here in Sydney. I’ll ask them tomorrow which they prefer. Down the coast they have Hooded Plovers. These are endangered because they lost their nesting marbles some time ago. They nest just above high-water mark in sand, with no cover at all. Local protection societies try their best to keep predators (dogs, foxes, hawks and crows) away but the poor little plovers have to have an extended breeding season to compensate. Thought you might like to know!
      1. Ah, Thinornis rubicollis; we get those too in WA.

        Edited at 2011-03-14 08:46 am (UTC)

  8. 35 minutes which is not bad for me but it felt a bit of a struggle because there were quite a few things I didn’t know or knew of only vaguely.

    In the first category were ROTA, the Catholic court, USANCE and DIMETER and in the second was PICARESQUE which I had heard of but had no idea what it meant.

    Things were not helped by boldly writing in HELTER-SKELTER at 3dn, guessing it only from the ‘R’ at the end and without bothering to think about the whole clue.

    Loved PIERROT.

  9. Liked this one – everything seemed to click so 12m 55s which I am pleased with.
  10. What a splendid blog, korororeka! Not sure about the level of enthusiasm here in NSW. The general feeling is that Labour is, after 16 years, onto a hiding. Had I the vote, I would NOT vote for my local Green candidate. She is also the mayor of Marrickville and the local council there devotes much time to passing motions boycotting Israel and supporting the people of Western Sahara and Tibet rather than worrying about garbage collection, parks and sewerage. Still it’s nice to get a mention in such an august organ.
    Think I might prefer Bohemian Rhapsody to Illyrian folk songs (Shades of Peter Sellers!).
    Picaresque describes, we Sydnesiders believe, the sort of behaviour you find in Melbourne but the prizes for “Your learn something new everyday” must go to Usance and Adit. Loved Debonair and I feel that the citizens of Brighton, Sussex must know all about Pierrot! Either/or are my CODS. My time would have been 73mins, 15 mins less than posted, had it not been for my Netbook freezing twice and giving me a blue-screen error on another occasion. There, you can have your blog back now!
  11. About 45 minutes. A quick start but then slowed down because I struggled with the same unfamiliar words (notably ‘Bohea’ as ‘tea’) and distractors (e.g. ‘Assyria’) as others: wordplay made most accessible but never fully understood 9ac or 7dn until coming here. Thank you, kororareka, for an admirable blog.

    PIERROT was first in: it certainly helped that this appeared in one of yesterday’s crosswords (not the ST)! A strong candidate for COD but this goes to ROTA.

  12. Those old mine entrances are staples of the NY Times weekend crosswords or I wouldn’t have known the word. Had to wrestle pierrot to the ground – clever one. For the next few months I’ll be time-traveling back to the era of land lines and dial-up internet so although I’ll still be doing puzzles I’ll be an infrequent visitor here. Many thanks to all the bloggers and contributors – this is a gem of a site. Speaking of gems, on a valedictory note I’d like to nominate a COY (clue of the year). Sometime in the last 6 months there was an absolute corker having to do with the lady who presides over a House of Congress. Still makes me grin weeks later. Abyssinia
    1. Bon voyage, Olivia. Yes, I remember the House of Congress, too! An absolute cracker!
  13. The rest of the world is probably just as enthralled as the good folk of NSW, but that map of currently held seats in my second link is remarkable in its demonstration of the North vs South of the Harbour divide that is quintessentially Sydney.
  14. Phew! Another tricky one, quite a lot to wrestle with on a Monday morning, particularly as I left early and had to tackle it without coffee, which is not advisable. 45 minutes in the end in two goes.
    I didn’t know that a lapwing is also a plover. I hadn’t heard of USANCE, TIMBER WOLF, ROTA or bohea (in spite of a love of, and indeed degree in, English literature!). I didn’t know that Stradivari was from CREMONA. ILLYRIA was a vague bell-ringer but no more. And I thought I knew what PICARESQUE meant, but I find I didn’t really after all.
    To complement these handicaps of ignorance I added a smattering of incompetence. I wasted a huge amount of time on PIERROT by getting the enumeration mixed up with 27ac, so I was looking for a 3-4 solution. As has already been noted, this solution appeared in a crossword yesterday so it ought to have been a lot easier. And exactly like vinyl1 it took me ages to look for anything other than ‘n’ for ‘nutters’ or an anagram, having seen the hat immediately.
    On the plus side, neither the ADIT nor its constituent AIT troubled me, both being obscure in the real world but not in Timescrosswordland. It seems I do occasionally retain some of the things I learn here.
  15. 28 minutes. Very enjoyable Monday puzzle with ticks for TIMBER WOLF, PIERROT and CRANKSHAFT, and, because it took me so long to see it, a double tick for ROTA.

    Thanks to Kororareka for a particularly entertaining blog with its link to the Music Hall. Charles Coborn was born in 1852 (a year after Henry Mayhew published London Labour and the London Poor and a year before the Crimean War, just to set that in context) but was still performing well into the 1940s.

    I remember seeing a Pathé film of him singing The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo in half a dozen different languages but as I can’t find that, here he is in 1934 at the age of 82 singing it in English and French in the film Say It With Flowers.

    1. The song was written in 1892, inspired by a real person. I particularly like the line “Yes, I’ve now such lots of rhino, I’m a gent.”, demonstrating conclusively that, at least in the 19th century, “rhino” was popular currency.
  16. 14 minutes for this, so I thought it was an “easy Monday” sort of puzzle, except it kept tripping me up and (because it was “easy”) promoting rash entries: OVERLAY had several stabs until it couldn’t be anything else and I didn’t see the plover. Others, like all of the geographical locations, went in rashly but happily correctly.
    USANCE unknown, but I assumed blithely that it must be linked to usury (Chambers gives no encouragement for such assumption).
    ROTA not known here as a court – clever clue though, which would also have given “vote” if supreme Catholic courts did such a thing. Otherwise, seems a strangely excessive means of deciding whose turn it is to make the tea.
    Easy CoD to last but one in, PIERROT
  17. It is a rare event that I get to do the crossword in the morning these days however this was a slightly more involved monday offering than the usual which is appreciated.

    Amongst some good clues was 3D which i thought was too obvious – I think anyone who has never done a cryptic would look at it and answer it. the word play was ok, but more should have been done to obscure it.

    My clanger came on 28A where I got the cunning part, but then (as an embarrassed mathematician) failed to count properly. My immediate thought was A=1, 1+18=19, letter 19 = S, so the answer must be SOTA! This left SUPER –P-S for a while before that twigged and my error twigged.

    All in all a pleasant 20 mins or so.

  18. Pretty hard at first sight – I got as far as 23ac before writing anything in – but it was the sort of puzzle where one or two letters seemed to make all the difference in finding the answers. 35 minutes for me, despite being stalled for 10 minutes near the end in the NE corner.

    A good start to the week – congratulations to both setter and blogger, that’s why we keep coming back for more.

  19. A challenging, but enjoyable solve, with same problems as others (BOHEA tea, CREMONA, eg). Managed to finish it, throwing lots in on a wing and a prayer, which, for the most part, proved successful. Two didn’t: ROTA (I had RETT?), and ADIT (thought the island was spelled EIT).

    Thanks for clear blog, much appreciated, as I needed explanations for several.


  20. 20:48 here.

    No problems with bohea – I know it from Wodehouse:

    “So Jeeves very sportingly shot Cyril out into the crisp morning air, and didn’t let me know of his existence till he brought his card in with the Bohea”

    I once set a tea-themed puzzle, with bohea clued as “Some mumbo-jumbo health drink”.

    Usance and Illyria, on the other hand, I had to get from the cryptic.

    COD to super-duper.

  21. It was a great help spotting PICARESQUE straight away. After that everything went in smoothly. The only unfamiliar vocab was USANCE and ROTA but I got them easily from the cryptic. Last in 14d for which I needed all the checking letters. 20 minutes, a fast time for me. Thanks, Koro, for the link to the old music hall song. I’d forgotten who sang it but I used to play it for my uncle to sing at family parties. I still have my copy of the “News Chronicle Book of Music Hall Songs”. Does anyone else remember the “News Chronicle” music books? (or the “News Chronicle” itself?) COD PIERROT which raised a laugh.
  22. 13:02 here after a slow hangover-induced start. In fact I only had three answers in the first 5 minutes, but luckily the fog cleared and it turned into quite an easy one. I didn’t know the court meaning of ROTA but no problems with the rest.
  23. Nice puzzle after golf on a sunny day that’s neither cold nor windy. The cherry blossom is coming out – Spring has arrived at last. And a good puzzle to match. No problems and stolled home in 20 minutes.
  24. Much as I would love to share everyone’s enthusiasm for PIERROT, using the oft repeated injunction not to be afraid of asking stupid questions, why is Pierrot specifically a seaside performer? Is it simply that he sometimes might perform on a pier? Not entirely happy that this scans unless someone can put me out of my misery.
    It occurs to me today that in my entire life I have never had to know how to spell SUPER-DUPER.
    1. A pierrot (no capital) can be a seaside performer – Chambers has it. The question mark at the end of the clue takes care of the possible definition by example.
  25. 9:47 online. Didn’t click re Bohea but easy enough with the checking letters. Liked ROTA and SUPER-DUPER among others. Didn’t fathom out the DIAMETER clue either Glad to hear you have spring away down there Jimbo – up here on the North Sea coast we’re still waiting for the daffys to bloom, and it’s blooming freezing or “Baltic” as we say up here
  26. Still fumbling with the on-line solver which keeps turning corners when least expected. Happy to finish in 25, but with one lazy error – my quick speculative emphaTIC. It didn’t interfere with anything else and I forgot to go back. Liked DI(A)METER, but my COD to 8 dn ELECTORATE. Wasted a lot of time searching my car for a 29 ac ??????RACE. A very fair and pleasant start to the week.
  27. Didn’t get to this until after lunch, but very much enjoyed it. Many many many many many thanks to the setter for putting in SUPER-DUPER (and with a nice clue). I’ve been trying to set a trend of adding -duper to anything that starts with “super”, and it’s slowly catching on amongst my friends. You can play along too – pay into superduperannuation, enjoy the superduperbowl in Febuary, what’s that up in the sky? well it’s superduperman and you can report to your superdupervisor (or the superduperintendant).
    1. Do you order soupa-doupa-da-day in restaurants? (Or even sing it to the tune of The Camptown Races?)
      1. Not related to -duper but, reputedly, after Inverness Caledonian Thistle, then a non-league club and known as “Caley”, had beaten Celtic in the Scottish Cup one year, a headline the next day in a Scottish newspaper read:
        I’ve always wanted to type that!
  28. Finally, through aids. Loved PIER ROT. Off and on about an hour with, oddly enough, CRANKSHAFT right off the bat.
  29. 6:05 for me – but I suspect the fast brigade would have taken around four minutes. (There was a time when I would have done anyway.)

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