Times 24882: The bawdy hand of the dial …

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 26m

My downfall is always the cryptic defs. — bugger them all! — and there were two together in the long across clues. Otherwise, I might have been just a bit quicker. Shaky start as well. Nothing in until I saw the obvious at 11ac. And once completed, I needed another coffee to get the conceit in 2dn.

 1 RI(SIB)LE. With just the S from SAINT in place, it was obviously going to be SON or SIS. But it wasn’t!
 5 M(IN)(I’M)UM. Should have seen this one sooner but didn’t have a clue without the terminal M.
 9 AXIOMATIC. Start with A and reverse TAX. Insert IOM into that. (In the Times, many Mans are frequently islands.) Then I and C (note).
10 TU(T)OR. Reversal of ROUT (of which Waterloo may have been an example)*; T from the last letter of ‘WesT’.
*On edit: but see jackkt’s remarks on the matter in the comments.
11 Omitted. (Drunk expression of surprise.)
12 T(ESTIM)ONY. Anagram of ‘Times’ included in TONY — The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre.
13 ANTICLOCKWISE. Our first cryptic def.
17 ALLITERATIONS. Our second.
21 P(A,RADIS)AL. That’s almost a RADIS{h} inside there mate!
24 DRILL. Triple def., the second of which is (NOAD): “A dark brown baboon with a short tail and a naked blue or purple rump, found in the rain forests of West Africa. Compare with mandrill. Mandrillus leucophaeus, family Cercopithecidae”.
25 LEVEE. A homophonic number — cf. ‘levy’.
26 FLY,W,EIGHT. Pilot (FLY); with (W); crew (EIGHT). Very tidy indeed.
27 TOLS,TOY. Anagram of ‘lost’; play (verb) = TOY.
28 DES,TROY. des is French for ‘of the’. Paris was a bloke who used to hang out in Troy.
 1 RE-ALLY. Really?
 2 SAINT PAUL. The conceit is a play on ‘paint Saul’; the chap who wrote lots of epistles but didn’t seem to get many replies. “Dear Paul, Having a lovely time. Wish you were here. The Ephesians”.
 3 BUM,BOAT. Our tramp here is the American one. Cf. the short-legged cowboy. He was a low-down bum.
 4 ESTATE CAR. Insertion of STATE (say) into RACE (rally). As with Waterloo, a whiff of (part) DBE?
 5 MACES. Two defs. The first must be a verb though I have not heard it used as such.
 6 NIT,PICK. The first part is a reversal of TIN (money).
 7 MOTTO. Reversal of {b}OTTOM. The def. is heraldic with the ‘up’ slightly dubious.
 8 MO,RAY EEL. MO (second), RAY (fish); reversal of LEE (side of boat).
14 OUTPLAYED. O (old); the quiet song is P+LAY; put that inside an anagram of ‘duet’.
15 INSWINGER. IN (batting); WINGER (attacking player); with these two including (‘collaring’) S (second).
18 TIDIEST. ‘That is’ = ID EST.
19 ODDNESS. Two defs., one alluding to the odd numbers on both sides of the clue: 19. and (7).
20 FLAT,LY. First and last letters of ‘LandladY’. (Can’t quite imagine Oxbridge dons referring to their rooms as a ‘flat’.)
22 Omitted. You can un-tangle it from the crossers.
23 SOFT{l}Y. Shades of Dennis the Menace?


38 comments on “Times 24882: The bawdy hand of the dial …”

  1. 15:18 .. I was well under 10 minutes with just 4 clues to get in the top-left… then eventually relieved to finish at all.

    Some really crafty clues, but COD to FLYWEIGHT – beautifully done.

  2. I didn’t have a chance to print this, so I did it online, reluctantly. Luckily, it wasn’t one of the recent ones. The leaderboard has me at 31:13, but that includes time out to put the clothes in the dryer. The secret was to just put the damn words in and worry about the reason later; it worked this time, but in reading the blog I realized that I hadn’t taken the time to understand at least half the clues. Much, much prefer to sit on the lanai with pen, paper, and scotch.
    Fortunately, I knew ‘anticlockwise’ –in the US, it’s ‘counterclockwise’. And I believe that in a fairly recent puzzle someone objected to calling Waterloo a rout.
  3. 26 minutes, so a confidence booster. A host went in from the definition alone and there weren’t too many unknowns. Worked out all the cryptics post-solve bar 25ac and 19dn, so thanks to McT for those. The baboon meaning of drill was new, but in a triple definition that hardly mattered. COD to PAMPHLET.
  4. I simply can’t do a crossword at all briskly on line – typos, a general unsureness with the medium contaminating the thinking process, the two-dimensional shift that as an old-timer I somehow dig my heels in at. Same with chess and poker (fortunately for the last). 16 minutes today. mctext, I take it your R. and J. reference was not to be thought of as completed by a description of the setter.
    1. By no means. Just a suggestion from 13ac. Rather straightforward (by Vinylic standards anyway) I thought.
  5. Never heard of BUMBOAT and such references as I can find have it hyphenated. Didn’t see the cryptic for ODDNESS and still don’t get 22 which I suppose is RAVEL? Needed a damascene moment to see our apostle, so COD for ingenuity.
  6. For me, the easiest for a while, solved in 8:52. However, I put in TESTIMONY and ODDNESS without full understanding, but I knew I was on for a quick time and just stuck ’em in!
  7. Oh for the days when Eddie Izzard was funny! I enjoyed the reminder, mct.

    50 minutes for this, somewhat hampered by starting at the bottom and working up.

    I didn’t know SIB as a word in its own right and just assumed it was an abbreviation.

    ‘Waterloo’ is now in the language as a defeat or rout, so not just an example of one. Lots of songs for this. Here’s the first one I remember from 1959 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDeOoS8b0zQ

    1. Indeed, thank you. I’d forgotten about waterloos-in-general as opposed to Waterloo-as-such. I hereby rescind all claims to Heideggerianity.
  8. Pretty easy today, which was good because I had little time to give to it anyway.

    There are c ouple of partial anagrams at 12 and 27, but I can’t remember a puzzle without a complete anagram.

  9. Vanilla flavoured puzzle that just required steady application with no flashes of insight or doh! moments. Read Waterloo, remembered the debate here, and thought “rout”. Cryptic definitions (often my achilles heel also) went in with no problem. Very unusual to have no full anagrams. All a bit anodyne.
  10. Very much on the right wavelength with this one, which led to an 8:38 time. Began by mentally querying the rout, but (as presumably was the conclusion last time it came up) if you think of it as part of the expression “meet your Waterloo”, it’s fine. Liked the SAINT PAUL Spoonerism.
  11. One wrong today: I invented MUTSO (something to do with rostrum up, very careless). Unknowns: BUMBOAT; INSWINGER
    Not full understanding: ODDNESS

    Thanks McT for informative blog, much appreciated.

  12. 36 minutes with no particular hold-ups – a very gentle workout today. Why ‘steamer’ in the BUMBOAT clue – am I missing something?
    1. It’s part of the wordplay. ‘Tramp’ = BUM, ‘steamer’ = BOAT. Any type of boat would do, but steamer works best because there is such a vessel as a tramp steamer.
  13. 11 minutes, with a nagging feeling that it should have been quicker. Hold ups caused by thinking some clues – ODDNESS and the two CD’s, for example, were more complicated than they turned out to be, and others, ST PAUL and TUTOR for example, were more interesting than at first sight – I thought the former was a clumsy CD, Paul being the only apostle with single letter name change, and the latter went in as TUTOR because spud was not in the clue.
    Perhaps again an old-fashioned type of crossword, not out of place in the 60’s. CoD to PAMPHLET for the best and most misleading of the surfaces.
  14. 24:31 – My first daily under 25 minutes in a while. I found it quite straightforward. I didn’t get either 1a or 1d at first, but 5a went straight in, and I moved steadily from there.

    COD to 28 for the splendid French/Paris wordplay. And I can’t believe there’s such a thing as a bumboat!

  15. 11 minutes. Very straightforward. BUMBOAT was the only unknown. Like Jimbo I immediately remembered our discussion about Waterloo and 10ac went straight in. Like mctext I wondered what “up” was doing in 7dn.
  16. 10:45 but didn’t understand ‘oddness’ until seeing the excellent blog. Trouble is, I was trying to think about it without looking at the clue so the 19 and the 7 didn’t speak to me! (That’s my excuse anyway).
  17. 15:44 online (sandwich-encumbered).

    Without bothering to pause to consider alternatives I thought that 25 was a dodgy backwards homophone of evil (love of money being the root thereof) and that 19 should have been an even-numbered clue with odd numbers hence either side.

    Agree that the surface for flyweight was spot on and that the Paris clue was a great spot by the setter.

    1. Thank the gods we didn’t have that again!

      Edited at 2011-06-22 08:01 pm (UTC)

  18. Gentle, soothing exercise which was a pleasure to solve in about 30 minutes; I particularly enjoyed 2dn – insufficiently demanding to be a COD, but enjoyable. Thank you, setter.

    Thank you, mctext, too for a great blog, in particular the explanations of ODDNESS and DRILL (my route to this answer was obscure – for some reason I was thinking of the use of a drill [bore] in a dental practice).

  19. I took a while to get started but after that it was steady, though not particularly fast, solve. I particularly liked PAMPHLET,FLYWEIGHT and the smooth misdirection of the French city in 27a. Like Kevin I knew BUMBOAT immediately from Little Buttercup in “Pinafore”. I didn’t know that a drill was an animal – I assumed it was some sort of reference to “mandrill” and put it in without full understanding. I’d never heard of INSWINGER but it fitted the cryptic and sounded like it could be one of those cricket terms so beloved by crossword setters. 31 minutes
  20. About 20 minutes, despite not knowing BUMBOAT and INSWINGER, so on the easier side. I thought ‘up’ in the MOTTO clue referred to the family motto usually (always?)appearing at the top of the cost of arms. At least that was my ‘well’ it must mean that’ reasoning. COD to the misleading DESTROY Paris reference. Regards.
  21. 6:25 for me. But I seemed to have one senior moment after another, so I expect the fast brigade would be posting quite decent times today.
  22. Late comment, but actually I solved the puzzle hours ago and in just 38 minutes, close to my best time ever. So I found it rather easy, except perhaps for INSWINGER, which I had never heard of but sounded more reasonable than INSLINGER. COD to DESTROY, which I found rather clever.
    1. Congratulations on the near PB. Other types of medium-paced balls/deliveries which swing in the air include outswinger and away swinger. The slang terms inducker and outducker might possibly crop up too.

      Another type of medium-paced ball (and in this case also the bowler who delivers it) is a seamer, one which deviates off the grass upon landing. The most common types here are leg cutter and off cutter. (Watch out for variant punctuation/enumeration!)

      Slow deliveries include leg spinner (also the bowler), leg spin and leg break, and off spinner (ditto), off spin and off break. Other types of slow ball include googly and, especially in an Australian context, Bosie or Bosie (capitalised, as it is named after the player Bosanquet).

      There’s a pretty good list here, to which one might add ‘arm ball’.

      1. A steamer relies on the ball being delivered with the seam upright by dragging his fingers down the back of the ball. A cutter is the result of the bowler dragging his fingers down the side of the ball as he delivers it. The resulting rotation of the ball will most often produce an off cutter like a fast off break which is not a seamer.
  23. Speaking as a (former) mathematician, I thought I’d just point out that axioms certainly can be and are questioned. The most famous example being Euclid’s fifth axiom also known as the Parallel Postulate. Indeed it was questioned by Euclid himself and continued to be questioned for nearly two thousand years after. Today it stands as one of several alternative axioms that could be used in its place, with each of the alternatives leading to different types of Geometry. In modern mathematical logic, there is an axiom known as the Axiom of Choice, which is hugely controversial – interested parties can google it at their own leisure. A modern (mathematical) definition of an axiom would be a statement that stands on its own without proof, rather than one which is self-explanatory.

    What a completist nerd, me? Oh, OK then.


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