Times 24,797

20:42 on the Club timer. An enjoyable puzzle, I thought, with plenty to chew over.

6 WEBER – WEB + E.R. Carl Maria von Weber: not at all well, 1825. Died, 1826.
9 ADORING – ADO + RING, well disguised by the phrasing.
10 LORISES – LO + RISES; I spent ages looking for something that needed reversing, before realising that in this case “get the backing of” simply meant “going behind”.
11 ISLET – 1 SET around Lake.
13 RIVERSIDEdRIVER (=(golf) club) + SIDE.
14 GOSPELLER – SPELL in GOER. Thanks in part to Monty Python, I don’t always immediately think of energy being the primary characteristic of a goer…say no more, say no more. That sentence is lifted directly from my blog for Jumbo 912 last weekend: well, if the crossword can use the same clue so soon, I think I’m allowed to use the same explanation…
16 SLIT – SLITher.
18 MIME – I’M in ME.
22 REJOINDER – [JO in REIN] + (RED)rev.
24 THYME =”TIME” .
25 UNSWEPT – UNS + WEPT. Not sure if ‘uns (as in young ‘uns, them ‘uns) is supposed to refer to a particular dialect, or just generic country-speak – in my head I can imagine hearing it in a variety of accents, possibly sounding like it’s come from an episode of The Archers.
26 POMPEII – POMP + (1 I.E.)rev.
29 HALF TRUTH – [Fine in HALT] + RUTH.
1 FLAMING – (A Maiden) in FLING.
2 ROO – ROOf. ‘ROO, without the kanga, doesn’t actually appear in my small OED or Chambers, but presumably has become a word in its own right?
4 AUGER – A lUGER without the Large.
5 DELIVERED – i.e. DE-LIVERED. For an explanation of the fate of Prometheus, see here.
6 WAR CRY – A R.C. in WRY.
7 deliberately omitted
8 RESPECT – Piano in SECT after R.E.
12 LESE MAJESTY – A JEST in (SEEMLY)*. Insulting the Royal Family is no longer a criminal offence in the UK, which must gall Prince Andrew just now.
15 LAST DITCH – in jump racing, one encounters ditches, as well as fences and water jumps.
17 CONTEMPT – CONvict + Time + EMPTy.
18 MARQUIS – [QU + I] in MARS.
20 RHENISH – HEN IS in RusH. Rhenish wine features more often in crosswords than it does in real life – see also TENT, SACK etc. etc.
21 NICENE – C.E. in NINE. I held myself up in the SW corner by writing in NICEAN, which is wrong, and makes no sense from the wordplay, but clearly still looked right to my brain.
23 REPEL – RE: PELf. PELF is another old word that has probably dropped out of use everywhere except in cryptic crosswords, but I think it has a nice feel to it and shouldn’t be allowed to die.
27 EMU – hidden in thE MUsical.

51 comments on “Times 24,797”

  1. 23 minutes.
    This was quite an easy puzzle, but I wasted an awful lot of time trying to fit the solution for 28ac into S_E_E. I even reviewed the checking letters but I was so entirely confident in LESE MAJESTE that it took 10 minutes of head-scratching before I went back and looked at the wordplay.
    Having been put on my guard, in future I will be on the lookout for je ne sais what, laissez-do, c’est la life, nom de pen, trompe l’eye and plus ça change, plus c’est la same old same old.
    1. Hmmm, now you mention it, it does appear an odd mish-mash. I worked out the spelling purely from the wordplay, so it didn’t really occur to me at the time that really you should expect it to be either “lese majeste” or “leze majesty” but not a mixture of the two…
      1. To be fair it’s in ODE in this form, and no doubt other places. If I had looked even briefly at the wordplay rather than bunging in the solution as soon as I had the first three checkers I’d have saved myself some grief. More haste, less speed.
        No harm done, other than a little damage to my amour-clean.
      2. Having arrived home and checked the usual sources Collins, the SOED and COED have the spelling as in today’s puzzle with NO alternatives. Chambers lists it as the primary spelling but offers the options that have been mentioned here today. One thing they all agree on though is that it takes a hyphen and is NOT two separate words.
  2. An easy puzzle, 20 minutes at a canter. Chambers gives ROO as a separate word and UN is always cropping up in bar crosswords as dialect for one and for him. Nothing particularly struck me as particularly good or questionable. Just average fare throughout.
  3. Most of the puzzle was fairly easy but I was slowed down in the South West as it took me a long time to get Marquis and I wasn’t familiar with Rejoinder or Lese Majesty.
  4. 18 minutes here. Agree with dorsetjimbo but a notch up on the enthusiasm. Rather liked Delivered.
  5. Took me a lot longer: just over the 50m, with no luck at all in the top left. Strange to hear that ROO isn’t in every dictionary in the world. And ta to Tim for the parsing of UNSWEPT. Couldn’t see the UNS part for the life of me. Ditto: thanks for PELF — not a word I know.
    1. I saw the UNS in 25 as French ‘ones’, (“out, in the country”): Probably no better, and certainly no worse, as the man said …
  6. 28 minutes. Guessed LORISES but even when I checked later that it was correct I didn’t see how it worked, nor UNSWEPT for that matter. Never heard of PELF.
  7. 50 minutes for me. All correct, but with quite a few question marks indicating gaps in my general knowledge. Pelf was new to me, as was AUGER. RHENISH rang a distant bell, but if I ever knew that Prometheus was DELIVERED as well as bound, I’d long since forgotten.
  8. Bit like yesterday, finished with correct grid in my own sweet time, but too many only proving correct on post-solve checking. Today it was: UNSWEPT (checking no help here actually), DELIVERED, LORISES and the PEL bit of REPEL. Find these sort of solves unsatisfying and there was nothing particulary striking or amusing to compensate.
  9. Easy one, this.. I also had to alter lèse majesté to the Miles Kington version in order to make it fit. Rhenish wine was common in Pepys’ time, but not really since. cod to delivered by a mile.
  10. Haven’t we had a mention of PELF (23d) fairly recently? Like other folk, I was fixated on “majeste” and thus ended up with the old name for Liverpool Airport for 28ac. I see a double downunder mention in roo and emu. Can we have echidna and wombat next? ANZAC Day is not that far off so we may get Gallipoli…Or even ANZAC itself. That would take the biscuit! Thanks, topicaltim, for parsing 25ac. Really liked 5d, though not the image it conjures up!
  11. Can’t say we enjoyed this one. Perhaps because it was too difficult for us. COD – or a big YUK!? – to delivered.
  12. 44:50 – Held up by 12/22 and LORISES. Probably 10-15 minutes for these three alone.

    I’m a bit confused by your comment for GOER, Tim. Do you mean Jumbo 915? I did it yesterday, and I don’t recall seeing the word GOER in it.

    1. Finger slipped on the number pad, should have been 912! On that occasion it was:

      Energetic person putting in time as zealous preacher (9)

      1. That’s a relief. I wrote the blog for it yesterday, too, and was worried that we were both blogging the same one!
  13. I guess it is the Grand National in the UK which makes that particular branch of the sport loom so large in the national psyche.
  14. 11 minutes, feeling quite spry about it. LESE MAJESTY went in immediately in Franglais thanks to the wordplay.
    Not so WAR CRY, as with debates about ironic (a bit like iron?) still echoing from not so very long ago, I hesitated over its standing in for “wary” in the wordplay, before clocking the indefinite article.

    This one felt a bit retro, I thought, with some distinctly classical stuff that every schoolboy used to know: Prometheus, creeds, nobility and Hamlet’s wine, not to mention a couple of nods towards Cheltenham an the Sport of Kings this week with FIRST HAND and LAST DITCH. Milne’s ROO was already current in the THIRTIES.

    CoD to the gruesome DELIVERED, of course.

  15. 28 minutes. Pleased to see the return of the large flightless bird, cleverly hidden after a long absence. Also liked the song and dance and the white wine.
  16. 31 minutes for this Cheltenham themed puzzle, marking the start of the four-day National Hunt festival, which culminates in the Gold Cup on Friday. (Among the acrosses, there’s ‘horse’ at 1, ‘Queen’ at 6 – the Queen Mother Champion Chase is Wednesday’s highlight – ‘gold dish’ at 19; and turning to the downs, there’s ‘jumper’ at 2, ‘final obstacle’ and ‘jockey’ at 15a and ‘queen’ again at 18.)

    I didn’t know ‘auger’ as a tool, so enjoyed visions of an alternatively-spelt ‘augur’ boring the pants off the Romans à la Senna the Soothsayer in “Up POMPEII!” (she comes in at 3:25). .

    1. Haha, good stuff.. if I happen to see “Auger” in the 2.30 I will put a fiver on it!
  17. This was a steady solve, though not particularly fast. Passed the post in 30 minutes. The only bit I didn’t understand was UNSWEPT. The answer was obvious but I couldn’t see the UNS bit. I still don’t like it much. It says a lot about Times Crossword afficionados that so many of you are unfamiliar with PELF. I learned the words of “The Red Flag” at a very early age and seem to remember the lines:

    It suits today the weak and base
    Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place
    To cringe before the rich man’s frown
    And tear the sacred emblem down.

    I asked my father about “pelf” and he explained it all to me – and a lot more besides. I had no idea that I was living in such a confrontational world!

    1. Thanks for placing PELF in an interesting context, falooker. I shall try to commit it to memory. In return I offer you aficionados…
  18. I disagree with the blogger in this one respect: pelf should be allowed to die, and good riddance.
    1. True. It’s more or less dead already. Actually, I’ve never heard it used in any other context (apart from in crosswordland)
      1. But if PELF goes, what next? All those rare antelopes? The novels of H. Rider Haggard? A shipload of miscellaneous sailors? No, let us conserve all these oddities in the etymological garden that is The Times crossword.
        1. People will be saying they’ve never heard of Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree next 🙂
          1. Just thank your lucky stars that Owen Nares isn’t still around. I remember his coming up (as NARES) in a Championship final in the 1970s or 1980s with the wordplay coming down to N + a god, and agonising over whether NEROS or NARES was the more likely. (In the end I guessed correctly 🙂
  19. 30′, slowed down by 28 because, like many others, I had put in ‘lèse majesté’. The reappearance of ‘gospeller’ and ‘pelf’ so soon (so soon after the reappearance of ‘La Bell Dame sans Merci’ and others) makes me wonder whether the setters are trying to top each other; or perhaps themselves. Thanks to the blogger for enlightening me about LORISES; but I still don’t see ADO + RING. CODs to REJOINDER & HALF-TRUTH; DELIVERED was clever, but too easy. I wouldn’t mind if, just once, ‘jumper’ didn’t mean ‘roo’.
      1. Oh, for heaven’s sake. It’s times like these I recall a friend’s Texas grandfather’s comment: ‘Boy, you’re so dumb you couldn’t pour urine out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel!’ (Needless to say, he didn’t say ‘urine’.) Thanks, Tim; I needed that, alas.
        1. Kevin, you’ve made my day! That really tickled me, and I fair near wet myself laughing! 🙂
  20. A couple of unknowns left gaps for me: AUGER, (and LUGER) and LORISES. MARQUIS also left blank…couldn’t get past ER for ‘queen’ – doh! Had never heard of PELF or RHENISH, but these went in on definition.
  21. PELF was not in my range, but it couldn’t have been anything else, so in went REPEL. LORISES also from wordplay.

    I did my usual trick around this year of printing off the crossword without checking the time, and ended up with another nice white copy of yesterdays. Oops.

  22. I made heavy weather of this one, finishing in a miserable 10:30. Worst was LORISES, where I not only misinterpreted “backing” but also took far too long to realise that “rebels” was a verb rather than a noun.
  23. 20:13 for me today, but I have a good excuse for the slow time. I solved it on the 5:51 train (rather than the 7:52 I usually catch), so I was still half asleep. COD to 5D for me, although you have to know the Greek myth to get it. Only a couple of complaints about it above though, and another COD nomination. Then again, it is a subject Times solvers have traditionally needed to know about in order to be successful. Not necessarily the full details, just the association, as I’m sure it’s come up many times before over the years.
  24. Catching up after a week away. Didn’t know pelf, rhenish, weber, lorises or lese majesty, but got them all from wordplay. But had to cheat on mime before I could get the south-west to fall.
    As an aside, if insulting royalty is (was) a crime, then why do they leave themselves so open to being insulted?
    1. One of the wisest thoughts my father left me was to never confuse wearing expensive headgear with intelligence.
  25. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway this is the first puzzle I was able to complete for several days, getting all but 20, 23 and 26 very late last night (or very early this morning) and completing it more or less under the shower this morning. RHENISH was last in and done only on wordplay, to find which it helped no end that not much other than a vowel (leading nowhere or at least not to any female I know) or an H would go between the R and the E.

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