Times 24,935 Vanilla Flavour

Solving time 25 minutes

As ever the pressure of writing the blog slowed solving a bit and I’m inclined to think this is just on the easy side of average. There is no strange vocabulary or particularly UK-centric devices nor, I suspect, any great debating points.

9 RECUMBENT – RE-C(h)UM-BENT; criminal=BENT (slang);
10 REPEL – RE(P)EL; without=outside;
11 TARTAR – two meanings 1=fierce person (after Genghis Khan etc) 2=dental deposit a tartar hygenist removes from your teeth;
12 SOB,STORY – SO(B)S-TORY; teenager’s excuse for coming home late;
14 SERVICEMAN – two meanings 1=(say heating) engineer 2=(Royal) Engineer; a bit weak methinks;
16 FILO – FIL(thy)-O; egg=zero=O;
19 EASE – (L)EASE; let=lease;
20 PARLIAMENT – PAR(LIAM)ENT; it’s a pity the encumbents don’t always obey their own laws;
22 EMIGRATE – EMI(G)RATE; “Qatar, perhaps” would have been good;
26 DEATH – hidden (cyani)DE-AT-H(ome);
27 PAINTBALL – P(AINT)B-ALL; Isn’t=AINT (slang); lead=metal=PB;
28 ETERNALLY – E(x)TERNALLY; X=kiss (on greeting card for example);
29 ROOMY – Y-MOOR all reversed;
1 FORETASTE – (to feaster)*; “supply” from “supple”=pliant;
2 RACER – R-ACER; harmless US snake not found in Manhattan;
3 MEMSAHIB – M(uch)-(shame)*-I-B; English tartar in the Raj;
4 DEEM – leading letters D(iscover) E(vidence) E(xplains) M(eaning);
5 FATHOMABLE – F-(AT-HOM(e))-ABLE; “in”=at home so “in short”=ATHOM;
8 TALLY – TALL-Y(orkshire);
13 SEBASTOPOL – (poles)* surrounds (boats)*; Crimean port famous for 1942 siege;
15 RUSTICATE – RU-ST-I(act)*E;
17 OUT,OF,PLAY – two meanings 1=off the field of play (rugby) 2=resting, dahling;
21 URCHIN – (L)URCHIN(G); (little) monkey=euphamism for badly behaved small child;
22 ENDUE – ENDU(r)E;
24 IMAGO – I’M-AGO; if you say so, setter;
25 LIVY – (socia)L-IVY; Titus Livius 59BC-AD17;

27 comments on “Times 24,935 Vanilla Flavour”

  1. Pretty straightforward today as DJ suggested; 15m on the nose. But much to enjoy nevertheless.
  2. This took about the same time as yesterday, so on the easy side of average, and I can’t think of much to say about it either… don’t really think much of 14ac.
  3. A straightforward solve in less than 25 minutes. To my shame, I wasn’t aware of the 1942 siege of Sebastopol: know much more about the Crimean War version. I suspect that RUSTICATE is a bit UK(Oxbridge)-centric. Thanks for the blog, jimbo: maybe some parliamentary incumbents now think they are encumbered by new regulations?
  4. Um, well I needed in-solve dictionary checks for ENDUE, RUSTICATE, RACER and IMAGO, so clearly my vocabulary is limited.
    One day I will instantly recognise “Supply” as an anagrind. Rather liked AT HOM(E) for “in” rather than the more usual “in” for “at home”, and praise to the setter for avoiding chestnuts in SERVICEMAN.
  5. Agree with the vanilla summary Jim. The 20m was just coming up as I finished. So, yeh, about the same as yesterday. (No doubt a stinker awaits me tomorrow.)

    “Rusticate” (admittedly marked as “Brit”) is in NOAD. So, the only talking point is the DBE that is Qatar. And, if we take into account the historical cases, emirates would seem to be legion.

  6. A game of two halves, with the right-hand side going in in ten minutes and the left requiring another half hour. URCHIN, RACER (last in) and MEMSAHIB from wordplay, although I had heard of the latter. Needed the anagrist to change my initial Sevastopol to SEBASTOPOL. The adverbial ‘supply’ (variant spelling of ‘supplely’) as anagrind still catches me out à la Barry.

    Nice medium-level puzzle, with geography, zoology, cookery and sport – but not cricket. Which reminds me – well done, England and long live Test cricket!

  7. 17 minutes, so quicker than yesterday (just) but not as much fun. I was looking for the obligatory cricket clue in 14ac for a while, but Farokh didn’t fit. Liked his commentary on the current state of Indian cricket, though.
    How about THREAT for 11ac? It would make it barely a cryptic clue, but possibly defensible. TARTAR was my last in because of that uncertainty.
    I didn’t have any issues with Qatar=Emirate, but I can see Jim’s point. France wouldn’t clue “Republic”, nor Arkansas “state” without some secondary indication.
    There seemed a Grauniadesque number of “in” and “at homes” in this one, but perhaps that was just an impression.
  8. 29 minutes for all but 14ac which I agree was a somewhat feeble clue. I knew everything else with the possible exception of endue = supply.

    Jimbo, there’s a question mark after Qatar so I don’t think we need ‘perhaps’ unless one feels it would improve the reading.

    1. For me Jack sticking a question mark into the clue doesn’t let the setter off the DBE hook. It’s poor cluing as far as I’m concerned but I realise not everybody feels the same way – it’s a personal thing.
  9. Around 30 minutes to get all bar 14ac and another hour or so to finish. I can’t recall precisely the last serviceman to visit our home, but I think the telly had valves in it and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t an engineer. If you detect a hint of miffedness, you’d be correct. Pity, because it was going well until then. COD to MEMSAHIB.
  10. Jimbo (normally a sound and reliable critic) is talking nonsense about the emirate clue. Exemplification can be given in a number of ways –‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’, and a question mark are three. Ximenes and his followers would agree. Given that there aren’t that may emirates, I reckon ‘Qatar?’ is fine to define emirate. If the setter had used ‘country?’ that would have been too vague but he/she didn’t.
  11. An average sort of puzzle as most seem to agree. I agree with Jimbo that SERVICEMAN is weak (though as it was my last in, that opinion may be slightly jaundiced!) But I’m with Jack and A.N. Other in seeing nothing wrong with EMIGRATE at 22ac. The question mark is here performing exactly the same function as “perhaps” would have done had the setter chosen that option: in effect both are saying to the solver “this is/may be one example of the solution”. I thought RECUMBENT, RUSTICATE, TARTAR and ROOMY were all good.
  12. Nicely blogged Jimbo.

    DNF today, stumped by Across and Urchin. Resorted to Onelook to get those.

    Sense of deja vu:

    Solved puzzle 20 in Book 13 on Monday night and Rusticate came up, clued as “Ban from college game – one about to take place in New York, say (9)”

    Also, (street) urchin was a clue in today’s Times 2 puzzle.

  13. 16 minutes, nothing much to add that hasn’t been said, though my last in was the SERVICEMA/TARTAR section which needed a bit of headscratching.
  14. I agree with the prevailing view that it was a fairly easy puzzle (very easy in parts) and also agree with dorestjibo’s comment on the clue for SERVICEMAN. I thought “in short” for ATHOM quite neat in 5dn.

    26 minutes for me (I’m seldom anywhere near dorsetjimbo’s time)so makes a change from yesterday.

  15. 16:20 .. solid daily puzzle.

    For me, DBE is like swearing: it all depends how it’s done. This was just okay for me, though perhaps it should have been Dubai rather than Qatar (which is clearly full of good things – why else would it have been awarded the World Cup?).

    Last in .. TARTAR

    COD .. RUSTICATE, just for being a lovely word.

  16. I didn’t see the hidden word at 26a and was also held up by ACROSS. Otherwise a slowish but steady solve. 30 minutes
  17. Yep, quite vanilla. 20 minutes. Agree 14ac was quite weak. RACER was new to me.
    No problem with the DBE personally but I can see your point.
  18. A THREAD can be hard to brush off, so I came here to find how it could also mean a ferocious person. Unsurprisingly, in hindsight, it doesn’t.
    Otherwise straightforward. Thanks setter, thanks blogger.
  19. Just think yourself lucky you didn’t think of THREAT first – it only “felt” wrong and took some shaking. Even when I got TARTAR, I was thinking Brer Rabbit and wondered why tar got a double mention.
  20. 8:04 for me for an enjoyable puzzle with some clever clues. I suspect that 14ac seems a little weak because the rest of the clues are so good.

    I have absolutely no problem with “Qatar?” to indicate EMIRATE.

  21. Ha! beat the lot of you. Took me 26 days to finish.
    OK, it is one I found unfinished whist tidying up but all the more enjoyable for that.
  22. …is perhaps a tad extreme. But then inexplicably you miss consecutive clues:
    Contradict female opinion… this results (death).

    I liked the 26ac for having the definition in the middle of the wordplay not at start or finish. Though admittedly very much an &lit, so entire clue is definition as well.

    Am I the only one who knew neither RACER or ACER as snake and tree?


    1. Nope. Never come across the former, and forgotten the latter if I ever knew it. However, it was just possible to parse ‘on top of tree’ as referring to someone doing really well, metaphorically speaking, and still find your way to the correct answer…I assume that’s the subtle reference to Manhattan from our blogger…

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