Times 24930: A Cambodian, a Lao, a Vietnamese and a Burmese try to get into a nightclub …

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 19 minutes.

So not at all difficult at this end. Which is surprising as the quack has me off the caffeine and I can’t usually do anything in the morning (let alone a blog-day crossword) sans café. Lots of answers in from the defs alone (21ac and 23ac for example).

Have to run up to the big smoke to give a lecture at about 12:00 (05:00 UTC), so may not be able to respond to comments/corrections after that. I’ll try if I can.

 1 AEON. Hidden in cApE tOwN. ‘Oddly spent’ means: remove the odd letters.
 3 THEATRICAL. THE (from the clue); C{ollywobbles} inside A TRIAL. Old word for an actor. Chambers only has it in the plural: “dramatic performances; theatrical affairs, properties or people”.
10 TANG,ER(IN)E. ERE, poetic for ‘before’.
11 G,ROOM.
12 RED TOPS. Colloquial for certain British tabloids that carry red mastheads.
13 T,ITTER. {humoris}T and an anagram of ‘trite’.
15 HIGH-MAINTENANCE. Two defs with a muffled 13ac.
18 COTTAGE HOSPITAL. Well-constructed anagram: ‘A pathologist etc’.
21 PRO,US,T.
23 NO(NAG)ON. This time the time is NOON.
26 H(OU)ND. OU can be a variety of Universities, most likely the Open one. HND = Higher National Diploma.
27 P(RE,F)LIGHT. Cropped up in an old Top Gear episode last night with J. May not being allowed to bore the other bores with the details of prefight checks.
28 IND(EL)ICATE. ‘Show’ = INDICATE, inc middle letters of rabELais.
29 Omitted. Trouble at mill?
 1 AFTERS,HOCK. Try telling the residents of Christchurch that aftershocks aren’t that massive in their effects.
 2 {fr}OWNED. The def is ‘had’.
 4 HAIR,SLIDE. ‘Barnet’ (Fair) is rhyming slang for ‘hair’. Can’t find a clip for this. Pity!
 5 Omitted. Back inside, you!
 6 {f}RIGHTEN. Archaic verb meaning to make (something) right or correct.
 7 C,LOSE-KNIT. C for chapter; anagram of ‘Tolkiens’.
 8 LI(M)O. Rev of ‘oil’. Shades of &lit.
 9 RE,FORM. Religious Education. Improvement? Anyone who knows, say, the university sector will know that most reforms may attempt to improve, but rarely do so.
14 W(E,LL)ING,TON. Wing=fly; Ton(100mph)=speed; inc E{nemy} and LL for lines.
16 GET AROUND. Can be split as GET A ROUND.
17 T(HORNI)EST. Anagram of ‘rhino’ inside TEST (try).
19 A(RUN)DEL. This would be DELL minus the final L. The home of the Mullets.
20 PANELS. Two defs.
22 TOPIC. TO and sound-alike for ‘pick’.
24 GO(GO)L. Reversal of LOG (journal). Go=success; as in ‘Tell them the project is a go’?
25 THAI. Sounds like ‘tie’. See blog title.


37 comments on “Times 24930: A Cambodian, a Lao, a Vietnamese and a Burmese try to get into a nightclub …”

  1. 21 minutes. Fortunately, I had just learned ‘barnet’, thanks to a recent puzzle, but I had never heard of HAIRSLIDE–over here, I believe it’s a barrette. Also didn’t know–or so I thought–RED TOPS, but in fact the term had recently been explained to me on the Club forum, and I’d totally forgotten; but it had to be the solution here. COD, perhaps, to 3ac.
    1. I think a hairslide and a barette are two different hair management tools. A hairslide is hinged and the decorative top piece clips over the metal bottom piece trapping the hair in between. A barette is often made of leather with two holes through which you thread a skewer. (I think the US word for a hairslide is either a hairgrip or a hairclip – but not a barette) I’ve just discovered the truth of the saying” a picture paints a thousand words”!
      1. Falooker, you may be correct, but I would refer to what you describe as a hairslide as a barrette. I may be doing so incorrectly, I grant you, but nevertheless, I do.
      2. That’s what I get for trusting my Japanese dictionary; one of my colleagues is an editor, and I’ll get on to him about that. It’s been decades since I’ve had enough hair to manage, and then the only tool I used was a rubber band.
  2. 27 minutes for this – last in RED TOPS, one of those words (like ‘section’ and ‘ASBO’) that has come into currency in the UK since I left nearly a quarter of a century ago. I’m sure COTTAGE HOSPITALS have been around longer, but it was unfamiliar to me, but then many things medical, thankfully, are.

    THEATRICAL is a rather lovely word – up there with the bard’s mechanicals.

    1. It’s all the fault of The Independent – gutter press papers were always known as Tabloids until The Indy , closely followed by The Times and other papers, changed from broadsheet to tabloid size. Everyone thought this was brilliant, and I seem to be one of the only readers who preferred the old format. It took me years to perfect the technique of reading a broadsheet on a crowded train. Another skill consigned to history!
  3. Really liked this one: everything fell into place so a decent (for me!) 12:40 with COD to 1D
  4. 25 minutes, so my target of 30 or under was achieved for once. This hasn’t happened on a daily for a while, I think.
    1. Well done Jack – is being retired helping in that the stresses of business life have been removed?
      1. Thanks, Jim, I was only working 3-days a week for the past few years so it’s not the major life-changer that it would have been otherwise. I’m doing more puzzles now, Times and Guardian and DT daily, and the new ones usually seem quite easy by comparison with the Times.

        Progress on the Mephisto has stalled. Having spent about 3 hours in total on this week’s offering I have only 6 answers and for one of those I can’t justify the wordplay.

        1. When I first started doing bar crosswords (Ximenes circa 1962) there were of course no blogs like this. I had to wait for the solution to be published and then work through, clue by clue, trying to understand the constructions. I can’t remember exactly how long it took but I think at least 6 months until I finished a puzzle. At first I seemed to make no progress but then gradually it started to fall into place. Today the blogs should shorten this process but I reckon it still takes a while before one really gets the hang of things
  5. Yet another easy one today… I liked theatrical but I liked righten even more.. a useful word!
      1. (Well, someone’s got to say it.)

        Embiggens? I never heard that word before I moved to Springfield.

  6. 18 minutes, plus a full extra minute between clicking “submit” and the puzzle registering on the site. There are some today whose time would have been increased by 20% if this happened!
    I spent five minutes at the end trying to fit the answer for 14dn into the enumeration for 16dn, which doesn’t even have the right number of letters. DEE LANGTON? BEE LINCTON? It was only when I went painstakingly through the wordplay to get WEL LINGTON that the light dawned. Sigh.
    Otherwise a smooth and pretty straightforward solve. COTTAGE HOSPITAL was the only unknown today but the anagram was straighforward.
  7. 17 minutes, so quite gentle, though it took a while to get going and I thought I was in for a long siege. 1ac set the tone, as I started checking the letters and it was either all consonants or (nearly) all vowels and refused to compute. With no checkers, I toyed with OGIE as a potential town in the Cape. Once AFTERSHOCK (agree with Mctext on the affront to Nzedders) proved not to be a wine I hadn’t heard of it all seemed to fall into place.
    Bourton-on-the-Water (see Monday’s stuff about hyphens) had a Cottage Hospital while I was there in the 80’s, which I am delighted to see still operates. This appears to be an exhaustive list of the genre.
    CoD to WELLINGTON, espcially after watching a quiz show in which no contestants could identify this fabulous piece of Barnes Wallis trickery. For shame!.
  8. Never heard of the expression RED TOPS and the rags definition didn’t click. A steady, bottom-up, unrushed solve (not much point in being competitive at this stage of my cruciverbal career and I prefer to unravel wordplay as I go even where the answer becomes obvious)and so sub-30 minute solves are aeons away if the grey matter lasts that long.
    COD to AFTERSHOCKS for the definition and for the relief to find that I am not the last person on earth to call my puddings “afters”.
  9. Our run of easy puzzles continues with another sub 20 minute offering with no hold ups

    Very much agree with the comments about “No great shakes”. Christchurch NZ is twinned with the original Christchurch, Dorset so we have a lot of contact and know from that how bad things were (and still are). Much the same could be said of Japan. All a little bit insensitive really.

    Liked 8D LIMO

  10. I know I have improved significantly since becoming a regular visitor/contributor to this site about a year ago; but another sub 20 minute solve probably says more about the severity of today’s challenge than the measure of my improvement. I was able to complete it with plenty of time left to get to my dentist’s appointment.

    Agree with reservations about ‘no great shakes’; otherwise plenty of pleasing clues with RED TOPS both my LOI and COD. Thanks for the blog, mctext: enjoyable typo (I presume) in 27ac. The reference to Mullets was puzzling until I consulted Google: I then wondered if the term might equally apply to Barnet…

  11. 13 minutes, but a good part of that agonizing over HAIRSLIDE (I looked it up in Chambers afterwards and it’s given as two words there, I presume it’s one word in Collins).

    RED TOPS from definition, hadn’t heard of COTTAGE HOSPITAL but once HOSPITAL came out of the letters COTTAGE was easy to see.

  12. Thought I was heading for a record with all but one (14d) done in 16:30, but I was expecting it to end in RY like artillery because of the ‘lines’ so had thrown in PLOY at 29 as some sort of shortened form of employs which held me up for an annoying ten more minutes or so. Eventually unpicked the error and finished in 28:11.

    Lots went in from definitions alone. I used to live just down the coast from Arundel so that went straight in. Also familiar with Red Tops, and being from the Southeast, I’m quite familiar with rhyming slang. In fact, I’m sure I’m guilty of accusing someone of “‘avin’ a dodgy barnet” quite recently!

  13. I thought this had a good set of clues apart from the unsatisfactory definition for AFTERSHOCK. Thirty minutes to complete, but I made a stupid error with 6dn; despite seeing the wordplay and the answer correctly, I entered RIGHT ON.
    1. The definition is “demanding” then the cryptic is substantial=high; amount of money from former spouse=maintenance

      So hardly difficult but no, not a cryptic definition

  14. Smooth solve. No major hold-ups. 21 minutes. This is a good time for me so I suspect the puzzle was easier than usual.
  15. Another circa 30 minute solve, being only substantially held up by HAIRSLIDE at the end. Can’t say I’ve heard one called that, but my alternative of HAIRSPIKE didn’t quite ring true and pike probably doesn’t have the quasi-decline sense it has in Oz. Never heard of a RED-TOP either, so thanks to McT for the explanation. Oh, what it must be like to have a choice of newspapers.

    I see nobody else is worried by 7’s “Chapter introducing [fodder] assorted characters…”? Is something not quite right there?

    1. Not quite sure what you’re querying, koro. C = chapter is in Chambers (but not COED or Collins as far as I can see, so perhaps it’s that?)then TOLKEINS as anagrist and ‘assorted characters’ as anagrind. Perhaps you’d like to clarify?
      1. Sorry for the late reply, Jack, but it was already well past my bedtime when I posted. I should know better than to pose questions at that time of my night, your afternoon. My problem was with “assorted characters” as anagrind needing an “of” in the cryptic grammar, which appeared to be implicitly part of the fodder in the ‘s. I’ll put it down to a mild case of perisomnolent pedantry on my part and entreat no further communication.
  16. Another straightforward puzzle, as nearly all have said. So just on 30 mins for me. I didn’t care for GO=success in GOGOL at 24dn. My Chambers, I have grudgingly to admit, does offer “success” as one of the colloquial definitions of GO, but I can’t think of any context in which I would use the word in that sense. To my ear the illustration offered by Mctext – “tell them the project is a go” – doesn’t mean the project is a success but rather that it has been given the green light and can go ahead. But then again who am I to quarrel with Chambers? Forgive me for being insensitive Jimbo, but I am with the minority who liked AFTERSHOCK, my candidate for COD. It’s true, of course, that aftershocks can be very powerful and destructive, but they can equally well be very weak, a dual possibility which for me the setter satisfactorily allowed for by having a ? at the end of the clue.
      1. Thanks Ulaca. A convincing example of “go” as “success”. I withdraw my objection.
  17. About 25 minutes, ending with the HAIRSLIDE and RED TOPS. I don’t have much to say today, other than I agree that success=’go’ is a tad suspect, and that I’m in the group that liked AFTERSHOCK. I don’t think it’s insensitive to use the word, any more than it would be to use ‘tornado’ or ‘tsunami’, and I doubt any ill motives were involved in its inclusion. Regards to everyone.
  18. Haven’t had time to tackle this one until tonight. DNF after 29 minutes with THEATRICAL remaining. Relatively untroubled by the other 29 clues. This is my first post from my iPad!
  19. Hound was LOI at 19mins, so fast for us. We parsed it as U (University ) inside Hon D ( honorary doctorate) , which we prefer to the McText version. 12a RED TOPS rang no newspaper bells, and wondered whether military police were somehow ‘ rags’. Thanks for the explanation.

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