Times 24798 — Standing outside oneself

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 9 minutes

As the time suggests, a quite easy puzzle today. I was happy to see the clock stopping before double figures clicked over. (A very rare event I should add.) RESTHARROW was the only word I didn’t know but it was easily seen from the cryptic indication and the crossers. There will be chestnut-complainers today. Bring ’em on, I say!


 1 E,C,STATIC. And I surely was as soon as I saw the clue coming off the printer!
 9 HOME RULE. Homer is the poet; then the extremes of UnusuaL; E for ‘English’.
10 T(RA)UM,A. Our old friend ‘corporation’ for the belly, tum; including the standard artist (RA); getting A.
11 MINOR CA,NO,N. Minorca is the island; then NO; N for ‘name’. Hands up if you thought this was a musical work.
12 I regret having to omit this one.
13 PROVEN,AN,CE. The def is ‘Source’.
16 ARMOIRE. Anagram of ‘More air’.
17 SAMPLER. Take the I from ‘simpler’ and replace it with an A.
20 MINESTRONE. Anagram of ‘in Rome sent’.
22 LOOM. That is, ‘gloom’ minus its first.
23 REST,HARROW. Ononis repens.
25 ON HAND. Two defs with a pun-ish intimation. For any Heideggerian ex-banana growers (the set of which I may be the only member): vorhanden or zuhanden?
26 LOOKER-ON. Anagram of ‘OK, no role’.
27 TAKE|AWAY. Two defs if the word can be split. Also a New Zealand soprano.
 2 CA,ROLLER. There are several birds to choose from here. These from the Mac (US) Oxford:

• a brightly colored crow-sized bird with predominantly blue plumage, having a characteristic tumbling display flight. Genera Coracias and Eurystomus, family Coraciidae: several species, esp. the widespread European roller (C. garrulus).

• a bird of a breed of tumbler pigeon.

• a bird of a breed of canary with a trilling song.

There’s also this: ‘a broad surcingle, typically padded at the withers’. Go figure … and be grateful the setter didn’t use ‘surcingle’ instead of ‘bird’.

 3 TOUCH(S)TONE. I guess there’s such a thing as a touch-tone handset? My knowledge of the word comes from philosophy of science where it means just that: a standard for the commensurability or otherwise of competing theories.
 4 TEAM SPIRIT. Anagram of ‘part-time is’. Smells like that anyway.
 5 C(H,IN)OOK. Cook is the navigator and he includes H — top of ’hat’ — and IN. A wind experienced by those on the East side of the Rockies as winter ends. [[Thanks to kevingregg for finding my error]]
 6 E(M)IR. M for ‘male’ inside a truncated EIRE (republic).
 7 TURN IN. Two defs. Not a million miles from 27ac.
 8 RE,IN,DEE,R. RE is a headless ‘aRE’; IN (the river) DEE; last letter of (‘close to’) the word ‘bordeR’.
14 ENAMELWORK. Anagram of ‘Normal week’.
15 APPAL,A,CHIA. The friend is a ‘china’, minus N for ‘North’.
16 A(DM)IR,ALS. Song = AIR. First letters of ‘Drum’ and ‘Majors’ are inserted. Then ALSO sans O (‘too short’).
18 EGOMANIA. Anagram of ‘I manage’ including O (‘circular letter’).
19 T(OR)RENT. Our favourite men (Other Ranks, For The Clueing Of) in the river TRENT.
21 Omitted from the downs. It’s nested?
24 A-WRY. Sounds like ‘a rye’.


52 comments on “Times 24798 — Standing outside oneself”

  1. A time in the single digits seems impressively fast. I didn’t think this was a doddle – it seemed harder than yesterday, although some went in at a glance. TOUCHSTONE, last in, took almost as long to get as Mctext spent on the whole puzzle! 33 mins.
  2. 21′ to get everything but 8 and 17; another 5 or so (I seem to have dropped off for a minute or two) to get them. I didn’t help myself by throwing in ‘on-looker’ without noticing the enumeration.
    5d: H for hard, certainly; but here? I would have said H for ‘top of hat’. There’s also a Chinook in the Northwest, evidently; not that I’d ever heard of either. Out of curiosity: does anyone in the known world still use ‘corporation’ to refer to the belly?
    1. You can find it in Dickens and similar, if you are misguided enough to read such Victorian potboilers
    2. The answer to your question is of course yes. This terminology is still very commonly used by setters of the Times crossword.
  3. Hands up anyone else who thought there must be a MAJOR CANON, and then had trouble finding a wind or a navigator to fit. Given the trouble that caused me, mctext’s 9 minutes seems ridiculously quick.
  4. I too found it tougher than yesterday’s, coming in at 24 minutes after being delayed by restharrow and enamelwork, the latter because I first had in hand and then at hand. And a major canon pushed to the front briefly, too. Still, an easy enough puzzle in its way; don’t feel at all “delivered” by the experience. (Makes one ponder the masochistic urges of a solver…)
    1. Can’t see how it was harder than 24797 which took me 52 minutes! Today we had very standard Times terminology (starting with ‘European’ and ‘clubs’ via TUM, through to OR for ‘men’); quite a few straight charades (MINOR CANON; APPAL,A,CHIA; REST,HARROW …) and some easy-to-spot anagrams (‘Normal week at sea’; ‘in Rome sent all over’; ‘OK, no role playing’). Maybe it’s a question of expectations?
      1. No expectations. Why should I have them? Something related to days of the week? Maybe this suited me me for no good reason; maybe I was more on form yesterday. Maybe one chews on the rag of a casual comment … provable accuracy is for clue-solving but not always for everything else.
        1. I’m with Joe on this one. I too found it hard today. I wasn’t helped by putting in GIVE IN at 7. But I didn’t know who Parnell was & struggled to make any headway in the NE corner. I had other problems as well, but I won’t bother detailing them all. I guess I just had a bad day.
  5. Your sub 10 sounds pretty quick to me. I had a sub 35, but felt I could have gone faster if I was somebody other than who I am. I also stuck in major canon, thinking for some reason that minorca didn’t fit (see previous observation); fortunately the J looked so unpromising I quickly abandoned it. COD to the bananas.

    I wonder if NESTOR has any special significance, it being the pseudonym of Roger Phillips, setter for The Independent.

  6. 52 minutes (or nearly 6 McTexts), but my excuse is that I was up at 3.30am to watch United scrape past Marseille. 1, 2, 5 and 17 took up the last 12 or so minutes – 4 or 5 on SAMPLER alone. Good to see the Homeric theme of last week (‘hecatomb’) continue with Nestor.

    And let me be Baldrick of the Day by asking, “Why bananas?”

  7. 53:48, after cheating to get SAMPLER. Parsed the clue correctly, but was convinced it had to be _A_PIER. Oh well.
    Also held up by MINOR CANON and REINDEER. Hardly anyone in Perth keeps reindeer. Not to mention the fact that it hasn’t reindeer for ages. (Sorry).
  8. 40 minutes here, so 12 minutes harder than yesterday’s puzzle for me not helped by my first in being GIVE UP at 7dn. No wonder I abandoned trying to solve the adjoining clues and worked from the bottom up instead.

    I never heard of RESTHARROW before which rather surprises me because I was born in and lived my first 36 years in the borough of Harrow and even went to school on the Hill (though not the one referred to in the puzzle). If I’d come across the plant name I’m sure it would have stuck for those very reasons.

    The ROLLER bird in its many and various species has also managed to elude me all my years.

    I’m afraid I attributed the “friend” element of 15dn to PAL and that brought the answer to mind.I went back after completeing the grid to work out the correct wordplay.

    REINDEER was my last in.

      1. John Lyon actually, but Downer is a name from the past and by the strangest coincidence I was reminded of it only yesterday in another context. Otherwise I might not have understood your reference. Of course Downer was nowhere near the Hill. IIRC it was in Headstone originally and then relocated to Edgware.
  9. I’m with those who felt this was much, much easier than yesterday’s, and managed to complete correct and unaided in what must be a near PB for me (maybe under 30mins, I never time it).

    Had never heard of RESTHARROW, or a ROLLER, and took an age on REINDEER, thinking it must have (P)ETS in it somewhere. Got wp for CHINOOK completely wrong, too, but hey ho!

    1. Congratulations! Breaking the 30-minute mark (whether timed or untimed – let’s not nitpick) is the cruciverbal equivalent of the sub-4-hour marathon. 15 months and I have only managed six.
  10. It’s a wavelength thing, must be. 15 minutes today, so 4 minutes harder than yesterday’s. Stumbled over IN/ON HAND and the dam’plant , which is another of the huge number I’ve never heard of, and which even when I guessed it, I inexplicably put in REST HALLOW – perhaps on the grounds that a plant is more likely to be famous for improving rather than disturbing sleep. It led to interesting speculation on the spate, because it looked as though the Solent might be involved.
    And I couldn’t spell APPALACHIA either, even with the clue.
    CoD (though not enthusiastically) to REINDEER, last in.
  11. I would expect experienced solvers to find this easy because as McText says its full of crossword cliches, well signposted anagrams, and so on. It lacks originality. 15 untaxing minutes.

    The REST HARROW has appeared here before, in fact I’m reasonably certain that I’ve blogged it. I was a little thrown by REINDEER as domesticated animals, thinking only Father Christmas kept them but I see that Chambers gives them as both wild and domesticated. Again today no really good clues or indeed real complaints other than ennui.

    1. Jim,
      Phew! Thanks for the confirmation. My paranoia was starting to kick in for a while there.
      1. Tell me about it! If you let it that blogger’s paranoia will stop you expressing any opinion because the contributors here represent a wide church. But stick to your guns because without opinion this would become a very bland site.
    2. Are you sure, Jim? A Google search on “timesforthetimes” “restharrow” only finds it with reference to today’s puzzle.”rest harrow” produces a few more hits but nothing that points to a previous occurrence.
        1. Many thanks for this, mct, I have bookmarked it.

          It reveals that RESTHARROW was in a Guardian puzzle 31/12/2010. Is that where you may have seen it, Jim?

      1. RESTHARROW appeared as the answer to 9ac (Weed has to stay at school (10)) in No. 23449 (17 November 2006). However, Magoo’s blog entry unfortunately ignored it.

        Interesting to see that the great man took 13:23 and finished with three answers wrong!!! I expect that hasn’t happened too often since.

  12. Came up three short today with one error. Couldn’t get TOUCHSTONE and RESTHARROW despite all the checkers and had IMAM not EMIR (on the basis of M in (S)iam), so wasn’t going to get MINOR CANON.

    Thought MINESTRONE was a splendid clue.

    Anyone who watched the recent Bruce Parry “Arctic” series on the BBC will have seen lots of reindeer. I agree with Jimbo – calling them domesticated does seem a stretch. Seeing them herded by skidoo and helicopter was quite a sight!

  13. 14 minutes, so I’m in the camp that found this easier than yesterday’s. For me mctext’s analysis is spot on: the wordplay elements were pretty standard even where the vobaculary was unfamilar, and quite a lot of it was to me. RESTHARROW the archetypal example.
    I very nearly came a cropper in exactly the same way as yesterday, but fortunately didn’t stare at 5dn for too long before questioning MAJOR CANON. Once bitten twice shy.
  14. About an hour for us, so similar to yesterday. A minor canon takes services but is not a member of the Cathedral Chapter (governing body.) Pachelbel wrote the only famous Major Canon ,in D.
  15. I’m one of the few who found this more difficlt than yesterday’s. A bit of a plod. I didn’t immediately see 1a although it’s so easy. I think I must have been still half asleep. Last in CAROLLER – I’d never heard of the bird. Remembered TOUCHSTONE from “As You Like It”. I’d also never heard of RESTHARROW but by then I had the checkers so it was obvious. Steady and slow and rather boring. Nothing to give a buzz. 40 minutes
  16. Throw my lot in with the easier side, 10 minutes almost on the dot while watching the college basketball last night (friends in the US – I help direct the band for the team that will be facing #1 seed Pittsburgh in the NCAA tournament on Thursday night – so look for me either waving my hands, or on the other end of an alto sax when they do spirit shots).
    Only one that I needed to get from wordplay was MINOR CANON
  17. 25 minutes. Made rapid progress for the first five minutes, but a constant stream of interruptions broke my concentration and I ended up taking longer than expected. Think I’ll lock myself in the garden shed to do tomorrow’s puzzle.

    There might be a few chestnuts, but I thought some clues were very neat: ticked 11, 23,25 and 14.

    I’ve met RESTHARROW before, and can’t think where else it could have been other than in the Times puzzle; I’m sure I recall a discussion about it in the crossword corner of our common room.

  18. Oh dear,there’s got to be one hasn’t there! Me sir, I don’t quite understand 21d, sir, especially “provided with magazines”.
    As for “domesticated animals”, excuse me while I take my reindeer for a walk. And in the “you-learn-something-new-everyday” category, there’s restharrow. And yes, my hand is up, mc text, I was thinking minor canon was a piece of music.
    Wasn’t there a Jack PARNELL, a racing car driver?
    1. Nestor is hidden.

      Jack Parnell was a drummer / band leader. The racing driver who became a band leader was Billy Cotton. Not sure if any of this is what you are thinking of.

      1. Thank you! I was getting my Parnell’s mixed up. But I didn’t know that Billy Cotton had been a racing driver. You learn so much from this blog!
        1. “You learn so much from this blog!”
          So here’s a little more for you. Neil Postman in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death cites the example of the Lapplanders postponing their annual reindeer hunt
          so they could find out who shot J.R.
          No need to explain who J.R. is, is there?
          1. Good to hear from you, colonialboy. Trust you are feeling bionic after your op to replace your pacemaker. Does it include a defibrillator? Mine does.
            There’s a TV programme coming up this weekend here in Sydney on life in the Arctic so I’ll be doubly interested. Wonder how many folk above the Arctic Circle do The Times Crossword? With this message I’ve used a photo of our two “reindeer” (who masquerade as poodles!)
            As for Dallas, I never watched a single episode is my boast! Same with Dynasty and Melrose Place. I believe there is to be a remake of Dallas. As if we didn’t have enough to put up with in respect of all this reality TV nonsense.
            1. Defibrillator included. I think that as the technology improves I’ll have it make my morning coffee and jump-start the car in the garage on cold mornings.
              Only watched half an episode of Dallas. That was enough. Have performed in a number of TV series and films myself… a journeyman actor…not a star and tend to agree with you on the reality TV stuff.Now back to wrestle with Friday’s puzzle ..a real corker. Best of health, Martin.
              Bob in Toronto
              p.s. It’s true. The Brit’s can’t spell ‘curb’ correctly.
              1. Thanks, Bob. Yes, Friday’s was a corker, wasn’t it! “James Joyce” indeed! Liked your comment about kittens “helping”. Ours has been “helped” by having it’s front claws clipped!
                As the Germans say, “Hals und Beinbruch!”
    2. Racing driver was Reg Parnell, 1911-1964
      Reg competed in seven F1 Grand Prix driving Vandervell, BRM and Alfa Romeo amongst others.
  19. I’m among those who found this a bit harder than yesterday’s, 30 minutes as opposed to about 15 yesterday. But, when I came to this site late yesterday, I found I had 3 wrong! I’m belatedly fessing up. Today, I am all correct, but was held up by not knowing of the roller bird, which at Wiki appears to be a very handsome specimen. We don’t have them over here. So last 2 entries were CAROLLER, and then SAMPLER, both as semi-guesses from the checking letters. My knowledge of embroidery is nonexistent. And, no, I didn’t know of RESTHARROW either. Regards to all.
    1. But you Kevin, as an American, would be familiar with the chocolate box cover bearing the image of a cross-stitch embroidery design…a sampler.
  20. 7:10 for me – but I’d have been about a minute faster if I hadn’t switched to the downs immediately after 1ac and so missed the next three easy acrosses (easy for old hands like me, at any rate) and then rashly bunged in GIVE IN for 7dn.

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