Times 24934 – Jumping Jack Flash!

Solving time: 31 minutes

Music: Chopin, Sonatas, Perahia

I thought this was going to be a doodle, starting with the easy clues in the NW corner, but it turned out to have a few tricky bits. I was also rather tired, and overlooked some obvious ones for a while.

There are a few rather UK-centric clues, and the cricket reference had me stumped for a while before I saw it. Fortunately, most of the answers were commonplace words, many of which could be put in from the literal. It was only in the clues where the literal was well-disguised that
things got tough.

1 AESTHETE, anagram of THAT’S + EEE.
5 SHADOW, S(HAD)OW, where ‘in broadcast’ does not mean ‘sounds like’!
10 REGIUS PROFESSOR, anagram of I + FOUR PROGRESSES. An Oxbridge concept, well-known to those in the academic world.
11 SACRED COWS, anagram of SCARED + COWS, where ‘bullies’ is a verb.
13 Omitted.
15 STIRRUP, STIR(R) UP, where the literal refers to a part of the inner ear, so a bit tricky.
17 TOURNEY, TOUR + YEN backwards, where it is best to take ‘sport’ in the older root sense, rather than as referring to a particular type of game.
18 LACQUER, anagram of CLUE around QU[een] + R[ex]
19 REPLICA, REPL[y] + I(C)A. Lift and separate ‘carbon copy’.
21 AXIS, A + SIX backwards. This puzzled me for a bit, then I realized there is a cricket reference.
22 UNABRIDGED, UN(A)BRIDGED. I should have seen this more quickly, it’s quite an easy one to get hung up on.
25 SELF EXAMINATION, cryptic definition. Not my favorite clue in this puzzle.
27 Omitted.
28 INSTANCE, IN STANCE, a chestnut.
1 Omitted, this should be your first in for sure.
2 SAG, where ‘He’ is the chemical symbol for helium, so GAS upside down, and ‘flag’ is the literal.
3 HOUSE PROUD, double definition, the first jocular.
4 TOPIC, TO PIC[k], another chestnut.
6 HEEL, HE[g]EL.
7 DISCOUNTING, anagram of DOING CUTS IN, a fine &lit.
8 WORK SHY, WORK + SHY, with ‘shy’ in the sense of toss or cast.
9 HOT WATER, double definition, the second a historical allusion known to nearly everyone.
12 CHINCHILLAS, CHIN(CHILL)A’S, where ‘china’ is CRS. You should think of chinchilla right away when there is ‘cold’ and ‘fur’ in the same clue.
14 SUPPLICANT, SUPPL(IC)ANT. I admit, I just banged this in from the literal and figured it out for the blog.
16 PARENTAL, P.A. RENTAL, a clue in which the literal is well-concealed.
18 LI(A I’S)ED, where a ‘number’ is a musical number, and not ein, zwei, drei, etc
20 ANDANTE, anagram of A + AND TEN, with a misleading literal.
23 BAIRN, BA(I)R + N. I saw the literal right away, but probably some solvers did not.
24 MENU, MEN + U, where ‘old boys’ does not have its usual ‘OB’ meaning.
24 INN, double definition, one a river in Austria and Germany. Innsbruck is located in the Inn valley.

51 comments on “Times 24934 – Jumping Jack Flash!”

  1. About 20-25 minutes for me, which means it was pretty easy.

    I nearly came unstuck on AXIS, wondering for a while if AMIR could mean an alliance as well as a leader.

  2. 22 minutes and a very similar experience to Vinyl’s. Equally unfond of the cryptic def in 25ac and perplexed by INN until coming here: for which, much thanks. COD to AXIS.
  3. 14 minutes ruined by somehow typing REDIUS and SAD (appropriately). And I did actually check… well, some of the clues.

    Loved DISCUS for the sweet surface

  4. 37 minutes. ‘In’=’contemporary’? Chestnut or no, I beg to differ. Once I got the A in 21ac, I figured it must be AXIS, but that was my LOI, until I decided that it must be a cricket reference. I suppose I should be grateful for an easy Monday.
  5. I didn’t think HOUSE PROUD wss a dd. Isn’t it HOUSE (political body) + PROUD (outstanding). I think the latter sense is as used in carpentry for example, where it means raised or projecting from a surface.
  6. Ought to be graetful for an easier one after the rigours of the weekend, but still took 74 minutes on what I thought a fine puzzle. I toyed with other types of examination at 25, but the solution, I thought, was rather good and fitted the cryptic well. Was trying to get Galen of Pergamon rather than Hegel into 6dn. The NE was last to fall, with OOPS (the omitted clue) last of all. Not for the first time, Vinyl’s easy-peasy clue proved to be my toughest. COD to PARENTAL.

    Do Americans really call it a ‘doodle’ rather than a ‘doddle’? Then again, I couldn’t really imagine James Cagney belting out ‘I’m a Yankee Doddle Dandy’ …

    1. Actually, we don’t say either, as a rule, although reading this blog long enough will lead to incorporating anglicisms quickly enough. Or even altering one’s favourite spellings.
  7. Another one solved in two parts overnight and I lost track of the timings but I know I struggled a bit in both sessions so this was not nearly as straightforward for me as it should have been.

    For example, for ages I missed a simple answer at 5ac by convincing myself that ‘broadcast’ indicated a homophone for ‘entertained’ that was also a breed of dog.

    I completely lost the plot trying to work out the wordplay at 18dn so thanks for the explanation, vinyl1. My theory involved a German word in its genitive form reversed! I knew after due consideration that I was wrong but failed to spot the correct version.

    With reference to your comment on 20dn I would substitute ‘inaccurate’ for ‘misleading’. The clue is simply wrong.

    1. I can’t see a problem with this, given the ‘unhurried’ meaning of ‘deliberate’.
      1. Well it’s true that one can often come up with words that mean something similar to another via a third, but speaking as the musician used to be I can say I’ve never in my life come across Andante defined as ‘deliberate’. It’s not supported in the usual reference sources either.
        1. I take your point, and I suppose every one of us would have quibbles in his or her own area(s) of specialist knowledge, but in Crosswordland ‘careful and unhurried’ for ‘moderately slow’ seems fine.
          1. Agreed on your first point, but in Times Crosswordland I would expect to find a word for word definition such as this supported in one of the usual sources (Collins, COED or Chambers). But anyway I’m sure someone may soon be along to remind me that as the answer’s clear from the clue it doesn’t matter, so I’ll shut up about it.
            1. I did wonder about ANDANTE but the answer is clear from the definition. And I’m not aware there’s any requirement for answers or clue elements to be found in any particular dictionary. In fact I think I read somewhere that the current editor prefers not to have a reference dictionary as such at all, to allow a bit of leeway. I may have imagined this.
              1. I’m sure it’s true there’s no requirement but I’m aware of very few deviations from the convention that seems to have been established. But perhaps this is the start of a new era!
                1. I’ve noticed that in the concise definitions often conform very closely to what’s in the OED, rather as Mephisto follows Chambers. I’ve never noticed a similar faithfulness in the cryptic, although admittedly I’ve never looked for it: I will try and do so for a while As a general principle though if you can accept cryptic definitions (not that I liked SELF EXAMINATION much myself) a bit of looseness in the odd definition seems OK to me.
                  1. Most concise definitions are in Collins or COED or both, to the letter, in my experience. That’s why my hackles rise when one isn’t and there’s a conflict with my own understanding of the word in question (as today, for example).
        2. Like ulaca, I’ve no problem with “deliberately played” for ANDANTE. To say that “the clue is simply wrong” is simply wrong!

          (I can’t claim to have been a professional musician, but in the second half of the ’60s and throughout the ’70s I sang with professional orchestras and had the privilege of being conducted by most of the famous conductors who were around at the time.)

  8. 25:35 but the historical reference in 9D known to nearly everyone….apart from me! Could somekind soul explain? Didn’t know stirrup as part of the ear, and wasn’t sure about inn but both gettable.
    1. Let me have a stab at this. The French revolutionary Marat was knifed in his bath, This is the subject of a famous picture, by someone I’ve forgotten.
  9. I found this moderately easy but not a gimme.. and fun to do, with some nice clues such as 5ac and generally excellent surface readings.
    However it appears 9dn is inaccurate, since Marat took cold baths to alleviate chronic skin disease..

  10. 45 minutes, and then 20 more trying to find an alternative for STIRRUP, which seemed to make no sense at all. In fact I got half way through writing a complaint about the cryptic definition before the penny dropped.

    Marat was stabbed in his bath by Charlotte Corday…I’ve been carrying this piece of trivia around with me ever since a childhood visit to Madame Tussaud’s, where there was a rather lurid tableau of the murder. I seem to recall it was in the Chamber of Horrors, but I may be wrong.

  11. Lots to like about this one, completed here in 18 minutes. I agree with essex man (we have to stick together anyway) on HOUSE-PROUD, a clear wordplay with definition.
    I remember the days when liaised would have been routinely rejected by spell-checkers, bothersome when compiling a CV. Plus ça change.
    CoD to STIRRUP for misleading in so many ways, and special mention to OOPS, also my last in, for amusement. I wasn’t too upset by ANDANTE, though I accept that it takes a couple of extra steps (!) to get there. Deliberate suggests plodding, rather than walking.
  12. I was held up for a long time in the NE corner. I couldn’t see SHADOW and, like others, was looking for some sort of homophone and a breed of dog. I was left with 7d and had all the crossing letters but I didn’t spot the anagram and ended up putting DISJOINTED and a large question mark. I meant to return to it after the household chores but forgot.(I’m not HOUSEPROUD but there’s a limit to how much I can get away with by lowering the wattage of my lightbulbs!) I’m another person who wasn’t happy with the definition of ANDANTE as “deliberate” though the answer was quite obvious. I would have thought that “ostinato” is the musical term that could be defined that way. 45 minutes with 1 wrong.
  13. I filled the left-hand side far more quickly than the right, where most of the clues gave me trouble and TOURNEY was an unknown. A longish phone call interrupted, making 55 minutes overall. I guess 35-40 minutes solving time.

    Here’s another one who almost entered AMIR on a wing and a prayer for 21, but the light dawned eventually. I do have a blind spot where cricketing terms are concerned (hours of boredom at school).

    A nice challenge in the end, though I’m less enthusiastic about 7 as an &lit, with “in” spoiling the surface of the literal.

  14. 15 minutes, most if it going in pretty quickly, then agonizing over STIRRUP (only saw wordplay), INN (one definition) and LIAISED (from definition).

    I got a laugh out of Marat in the bath, I’m not sure if that was the intention. That’s why I prefer showers, at least you’re a moving target.

  15. Far be it from an unknown to quibble, but should this not read

    anagram of A CLUE around Q[ueen] + R[ex] ?

    Thank you for the blog.

  16. 35 minutes with at least 5 staring at A-I- wondering, like others, in what sense AMIR could be a political alliance. Otherwise an enjoyable solve, although I’m still wondering how the Republican got inside the STIR UP. Also liked the Marat clue despite immediately thinking, like Jerry, that it probably was a cold bath. You can’t let the facts stand in the way of a good clue.
    1. In case you’re still wondering, koro…it doesn’t need a containment indicator. Just switch off your crossword brain and read it in normal English: get Republican excited = STIR R UP.
      1. Thanks for thinking of me in my bewildered state, rich, but it occurred to me to do just as you suggested some time after posting and of course I saw the awful chagrining truth of my stupidity. I should have posted an “it’s OK, I’ve caught up now, let’s proceed with the blog” entry, but somehow I just couldn’t. The clue gets my belated COD, by the way.
  17. 19 minutes here, which is about par for me.
    Thanks for parsing LIAISED – I didn’t get it. And for confirming my assumption on INN.
  18. Rather UK-centric? Please bear in mind that this is a crossword published in the UK aimed at a British audience. If, as a foreigner want to solve it, you’re welcome, but don’t complain about cricket, British spelling, and GK that a British person would be expected to know!
    1. As a British person myself, I object to the suggestion that I’m expected to know anything. We didn’t build an empire by knowing things.

      I can’t say I detect any note of complaint in the blog. Please bear in mind that this is an internationally available blog aimed at any bugger who wants to read it.

  19. LIED is a song in German (also used in English ie LIEDER) around A for Area and incorporating I (0ne)
    meaning cooperated.
    1. …thank you v much. Had no idea about Lied…you wont know if you dont know!


  20. Completely dehydrated after golf in the sun so had to partake of the necessary liquid which slowed me down a tad I think. 20 minutes for what I think should have been 15.

    I’m with Jack and others on ANDANTE – the definition strikes me as wrong. I thought 2D SAG was rather a good construction. No real hold ups and solved top to bottom, right to left.

  21. Sorry to be a complete thicky, but I don’t get the parsing of this. Would someone kindly explain to me please?
  22. REPLICA, REPL[y] + I(C)A. Lift and separate ‘carbon copy’

    Isn’t ‘copy’ the def here?

  23. Speaking for this American only, the more uk-centric the better. I find it a painless way to expand my knowledge about things British.
    For example, today I learned an entirely new (to me) definition of”six”.
  24. 8:40 for me. I too had high hopes of a fast time, but they were dashed by a few clever clues which nudged me in the wrong direction. A most enjoyable puzzle.

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