Times 24877 – a gram for a pan

Solving time : 24:31, slightly distracted by texts coming in, though I don’t think it would have been much faster if I was solving in a vacuum. In the end it was knowing the letters left to get to a pangram that helped me piece together my last one in (6 down).

There’s some really tricky wordplay in here, and a few clues that I’m not sure if I’ve parsed them correctly or not, so I’m calling this a bit of a challenge.

Just like the surfer yesterday, there’s a sneaky device we don’t see often in 2 down, but I liked it a lot.

Away we go…

Across
1 AVOWED: OVA reversed, then WED (middle of the week, which we just passed, woohoo)
5 BELL JARS: ELL(measurement), J(uice) in BARS. Use one to cover your experiment, or trap gases
9 ENGAGING: double definition, winning meaning personality-wise here
10 UNCLAD: got this from definition, but now I see it – the painter is MUNCH – chop his extremeties off (that might make him scream), and add LAD
11 MAKE AMENDS: K(nowledg)E in MA’AM, then ENDS. Edit: for some reason I thought it said disemboweled rather than deficient, so the KE is meant to come from KEN. Though I rather like the idea of disemboweled knowledge.
13 PEEK: PEKE with the last two reversed
14 KISS: SKIS with the first S moved to the end
15 ACCOUNTANT: I think this is ACCOUNT(consider), A(start of Audit), NT(books)
18 REVOLUTION: very clever anagram of (INTO,LOUVRE)
20 COW,L
21 SPOT: TOPS(adds finishing touches to, like a cake), reversed
23 EXPRESSWAY: another I got from definition originally, it’s EX, then P(ionee)R and then W in ESSAY
25 HORACE: HOAR without the A, then ACE
26 VERACITY: little Americana here – ER is in Richmond, which is a VA CITY
28 CON,FUSED: I like FUSED as “liable to explode”
29 let’s leave this one off the acrosses
 
Down
2 VANDALISE: to make a case you need V AND ALISE
3 WEAVERS: anagram of (WEAR,VES)
4 DAI: hidden reversed alternate letters in pIcArDy
5 BE,GUN
6 LOUIS QUINZE: QU,IN in (SIZE)* after LOU(d) – I really only got this after seeing that we were a Q and a Z short of a pangram. Cheesy ornate furniture
7 JACKPOT: JACK, then POT reversed (I left this off originally, sorry about that)
8 READE: sounds like READ(book), as in “it’s a good read”. Charles Reade
12 MEASURELESS: more intricate wordplay – URE in MEASLES,S
16 Let’s leave this one off the downs
17 NEWCASTLE: (CELT,WAS)* in NE
19 OUT(not allowed) HALF(beer)
20 CASH COW: CA(accountant, from 15), then C in SHOW
22 PROMO: best I can make from this is OM (half of ROOM) in PRO(high point) with the definition “video”. Edit: see vinyl1 below – half of PROMOntory
24 PAVED: VE in PAD
27 (g)RUB

54 comments on “Times 24877 – a gram for a pan”

  1. DNF. Hopeless lack of parsing in the SW. Would never have got SPOT, HORACE, PROMO or OUT-HALF. Not in a million years! 18ac was pretty good but!
  2. 65 minutes with one wrong – ‘photo’ for PROMO. ‘Out-half’ (or ‘outhalf’, as it seems more normally to be styled) provides an example of quite a lot of knowledge being a dangerous thing, as I know my Number 10s in rugby union, and this Irish version of ‘outside half’ (AKA fly-half, stand-off half, or simply stand-off, and first five-eighth) was one I’d never come across.

    Too many solutions were entered without full wordplay understanding for my liking – I must thank George and vinyl for the lowdown on four clues – for this to be fully enjoyable. I very much enjoyed SPOT, though.

    1. I think only the 6 and 7 can compete with the 10 for identity confusion. Breakaway, flanker, wing-forward, loose-forward, etc.
      It’s enough to drive a rugby fan to drink. Not a long drive, admittedly.
      1. Not to mention open side and blind side, which different countries number differently.
  3. Is anyone else unhappy about veracity clued as ‘it’s true’. ‘It’s truth’ would be more veracious, I’d have thought.
    1. Veracity doesn’t equal truth but it is something that is true. That was how I justified it anyway.

      And to Vinyl1, as a matter of interest what are the ‘royal doings’ you refer to in connection with Richmond,UK?

        1. Thanks, Jimbo. As I used to live there I knew there was a palace many years ago and that a few odd bits of it survive to this day but ‘royal doings’ suggested to me there may a famous story associated with the place that I wasn’t aware of so I thought I’d ask. Alternatively it could have been a reference to Richmond in Yorkshire which I know very little about.
  4. Relatively quick for me at 34 minutes, but I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to find that my last three (OUT HALF, PROMO and SPOT) were wrong. The rugby player is so obscure that he deserves to be sent back to the sheds for good.

    There were some nice cryptics here – 2, 26 and 28 in particular – but they all had dead giveaway definitions.

  5. Well, something to celebrate at last. Took a while but finished unaided, all correct and all understood, and what’s more in a fine, gristly puzzle somewhat marred I thought by READE and OUT-HALF which I was amazed to find in COED. It is difficult to detect signs of improvement but this does it (but I’ll probably have an air shot tomorrow). Think I might just do the Spring cleaning that I have been putting off for a while.
  6. Not good. Invading for engaging and photo for promo (though thought of latter and forgot it – stuck for ever on SW). Both quite wrong. Agree with ulaca re veracity. 40 minutes. A sharp little pangram.
  7. I completed most of this in under 30 minutes but I had some gaps in the NE (painter and author) and SW (rugby player, video and pickle) which took another 15 to fill.

    No aids apart from confirming that OUT-HALF existed. It’s in Collins too. The only HALF position I knew was FLY but the French revolution did for that so it was a toss-up between OUT and OFF.

    My problem accessing LJ returned yesterday evening but seems to have solved itself over night. At least this time my ISP reported they had the same difficulty. If any contributors noticed anything, please let me know, though I imagine there would have been little traffic here by that time.

  8. I had lunch today with a friend, a brilliant professor of linguistics, and kept up my end of the conversation without any noticeable difficulties (no major contributions, mind you, but no difficulties); this was, in retrospect, a comfort, as otherwise, with my second DNF in 2 days, I’d be worrying about the onset of Alzheimer’s. I had everything done in 28 minutes, save 21, 22, and 25. 26 minutes later, I’d convinced myself that 21 had to be SPOT. Four hours later, I came crawling to this blog and found out about the remaining two. Well, tomorrow, I’m told, is another day.
  9. 25 minutes, with a disproportionate number of them spent in Devon and Cornwall, neither of whose rugby teams surely sport an OUT HALF, today’s jamais couch√© avec. Horace was not a poet that (to my shame) readily sprang to mind, and I thought SPOT was on the extreme edges of both definition and wordplay.
    COWL was last in, as I struggled to think of it as a form of protection, and I still think it’s very loosely defined thus. I couldn’t work out where the V in VERACITY came from, undone again by not thinking State (or in this case Commonwealth) capitals.
    Grumbles (or perhaps grudging admiration for deviousness) aside, I relished VANDALISE, my CoD, and was relieved to discover that I DID know a Norwegian painter after all.
  10. Another challenging puzzle with some very ingenious wordplay (e.g. VANDALISE). Quite chuffed to see that George and some of the other speedsters found this tough as I went through most of it fairly quickly before hitting the buffers in the SW corner. Was not familiar with PROMO = video (and failed to spot the “promontory” connection – thanks for explanation to Vinyl1). Also for a long time had OFF HALF instead of of OUT HALF for the rugby player, which made 21ac impossible.
  11. …as I was stuck, as many, on the bottom left. I had OFF HALF, which made 21a impossible, and failed to get PROMO (which I feel I could’ve got).

    I was also slightly held up by putting in FETCHING at 9a (albeit with a ?), and had a couple in on the literal alone, eg VANDALISE, LQ and EXPRESSWAY. I parsed 12a as Ulaca, with KE(N).

    Didn’t realise this was a pangram, but sadly this wouldn’t have helped…all the letters missed out were already in!

    Thanks for clear explanations, definitely needed it today!

    1. Spotted this was a pangram very early on – after LOUIS QUINZE, EXPRESSWAY and VERACITY
  12. Didn’t like parts of this very much.

    Got UNCLAD from definition, never heard of MUNCH. I don’t think 15A really works, it’s just obvious from general theme and checkers. VERACITY is truthfullness and comes from veracious which means truthful – “it’s true” isn’t good enough. Never heard of the rugby player.

    Liked the anagram at 18A. 25 irritating minutes to solve.

    1. I’m very sorry but I simply cannot resist the temptation to record my reaction to the news that you’ve never heard of MUNCH.
    2. I’m inclined to agree with you on 15ac, Jimbo. My Concise OED does give “consider” and “regard in a specified way” as meanings of “account'” when used as a verb, but I must say I can’t think of any context in which one might use it in that sense. But I don’t think the objections to VERACITY really stand up. Chambers, admittedly, has “truthfulness” as the only definition, but all the Oxford dictionaries variously offer as an alternative meaning “the quality of being true or accurate”, “conformity to facts” and “accuracy”, which pretty much covers it. Possibly the clue would have been better phrased as : “Truth is Queen has visited Richmond, for example”.
      1. Simply put, I felt it unsatisfactory that a noun was defined as / clued by an adjective.
        1. Yes, I agree, that was the problem with 26ac, not the definition of VERACITY. Hence my suggested re-wording of the clue.
    1. I’m sure if the setter intended the City of Newcastle-on-Tyne s/he’d be more specific. Must have meant this one.
  13. 23 minutes here. This is about par for the course for me but it felt much trickier than that. I spent about 5 minutes at the end resisting the temptation to put PHOTO in at 22dn.
    Last in was KISS, which I didn’t understand, so particular thanks for that.
    Today’s only unknown was OUT-HALF, where a complete absence of any rugger knowledge was probably helpful.
    Charles Reade has appeared very recently. My memory was aided by the lovely phrase quoted by kororareka: “unsurpassed in the second class of English novelists”.
    I had the same query about VERACITY but justified it to myself on the basis that VERACITY is “true” in the sense of “reliable”. Hmm.
  14. Perhaps the setter was referring to Newcastle-under-Lyme, the market town in Staffordshire. The definition is, after all, simply ‘town’.
  15. A very fortunate 51:20 here. Threw in PROMO with zero understanding, didn’t quite get PEEK, and wasn’t all that happy with READE, so was amazed to get an all-correct.
    Parsed SPOT as S=finishing touches, POT=rolls, as in rolls of fat, as in pot belly…??? Geez, it’s looking worse the more I try to explain it. As I said, a very fortunate finish.
  16. sorry to be a bit of a thicky, but I’m assuming the answer is CHI – how do we get CHI from this clue?
    1. Yes, I have CHI parsed as C(H)I where hard=H and British Isles means “islands of Britain” = CI = Channel Isles. You can make your own mind up on the fairness or otherwise of the “British Isles” device
      1. Ah, right, yes, Channel Islands…hhm ok…thankyou for the explanation. Not sure i like that very much, but nevermind. Cheers.
      2. I thought this was clever. Obviously couldn’t be BHI. Considered PHI, couldn’t see any logic for PI as British Isles. Then saw CHI fitted the bill. Nice!
  17. 14 mins, also held up by having OFF HALF initially at 19D. I thought there were several good clues in the SW corner, and I’d give top spot to 21A SPOT

    Tom B.

  18. 39:55 – quite pleased to finished all correct & without aids. Had all but 4 (19/21/22/25) at the half-hour mark then stared at them for 6 or 7 minutes or so with a vacant expression on my face before they started to come to me.

    I didn’t understand 15 before coming here, and I’m not sure I’m much clearer now. I’ve never heard of an OUT-HALF (my last in). I didn’t twig the painter -UNC- at the time, but twigged a bit later on. I failed to spot the pangram, as well, which might have saved me some time.

    Some good clues – 2 stands out, but COD to 18 for the neat anagram.

  19. I was unusually piqued by the cluing of VERACITY, and, despite having grown up surrounded by rugby (in a part of darkest Gloucestershire where football is regarded as the devil’s work), I’d never heard anyone say OUT-HALF.

    All of which, I submit, your honour, is why this normally most conscientious of solvers (look, I’m being a lawyer – that lot define ‘veracity’ as ‘keeping a straight face’) bunged in PHOTO without bothering to think about it.

    Otherwise, around 21 minutes for a good puzzle with dodgy bits.

    1. Didn’t know you were a Gloucester lass. In my youth I lived at the foot of Cleve Hill in a small village called Woodmancote. Knew I was out of my natural habitat when I discovered my next door neighbour kept a horse in her garage

      Returned about 20 years after leaving only to find said village had become a huge modern housing estate – very sad indeed

      1. Born and raised, jimbo. I lived, as my folks still do, within sight of Coopers hill, further along the escarpment from Cleve, and went to school in Cheltenham. I do know Woodmancote – it was already being eaten up by the urban sprawl when I was in those parts. Sad, indeed. Incidentally, I used occasionally to play a disastrous round of golf up on Cleve Hill – surely one of the toughest golf courses known to man (and sheep). My golf was woeful, but the views were spectacular. I shall be checking that the place hasn’t been entirely ruined when I make a rare return visit in the autumn.

        Horse in the garage? My work would sometimes take me down to parts of ‘the Forest’ (of Dean) where the answer to “Why is there a goat in your living room?” was “Kitchen’s full.”

  20. I am probably moaning because I also put OFF HALF and couldnt fill _P_F, but….

    ….surely KISS and EMBRACE are different things. Even if we are talking figuratively ie pool balls or things touching, I cannot see that the concepts overlap. One has an element of enveloping the other of slight touching.

    It was however a fairly high quality puzzle so thumbs up.

  21. No explanation for 7 down (not even “let’s leave this one out today”)
    1. ooops – well it took over 12 hours for it to be spotted that I missed 7 down… JACK then TOP reversed, I’ll put it in.

      And I’ll fix KEN too – the state I was in while writing last night made me read it as “disemboweled”

      1. I quite like “disemboweled knowledge”. It describes quite accurately the majority of the stuff that’s rattling around in my head.
    2. It’s jackpot , jack (male eg jack rabbit) with a reversal of (picking up) top (first).
  22. Agree with Ulaca
    Range of knowledge = ken : deficient = short : thus ke.
    ‘Deficient’ wouldn’t instruct me to disembowel ‘knowledge’.
  23. Not really on my wavelength. I am glad I gave up when I did as I really don’t think I would have completed this one.
    Louise
  24. 16:52 for me. I made particularly heavy weather of the SW corner – I hadn’t heard of OUT-HALF before, and I was worried about PROMONTORY being clued as “high point”. I wasn’t too keen on NEWCASTLE being called a town (I’m not entirely convinced by the Newcastle-Under-Lyme explanation), but I’ve no objection at all to “it’s true” for VERACITY.
    1. Ah, but then it specified town, and there are quite a few Newcastles. If it meant Geordieland, shouldn’t the “-upon-Tyne” be included for clarity, when I’d agree it was wrong. Newcastle Co Down is in the NE section of Ireland, doesn’t get qualified with -upon-anything, and is definitely a town with Celts in it.
      Incidentally, in researching other Newcastles, I googled Newcastle Down. Lots of football related results came up.
      1. In this country, Newcastle (unqualified) almost invariably means Newcastle upon Tyne (with or without hyphens). Only if you lived in Staffordshire would you refer to Newcastle-under-Lyme as Newcastle. And I would guess that most people outside Northern Ireland have never heard of Newcastle Co Down – and anyway if the Celts are already there, I can’t see any reason for one of them to invade it. It’s not a big issue, but I just find the clue slightly unsatisfactory.
  25. Two things I didn’t like: a kiss is not the same thing as an embrace, as has already been said; and you can have promos that aren’t videos. I’d have expected Dorset objections to this.

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