Times 24936: No 14s today

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: see below.

Not at my best this morning having found myself in atypical solving circumstances with the mother and father of all head-colds, the continual interruption of my 24-hour blood-pressure monitor going off and … horror! … having to get the crossword off a Windoze box. So, about half the clues during about 45 minutes and the rest waiting for the technician to remove the cursed BP monitor. And I doubt I would have done this in under an hour even under normal circumstances. So, sorry to all for the comparatively late blog.

 1 RO(TUN)D. First in and assumed the easy run was continuing.
 5 O(RD,NA)NCE. Second in and continued to be lulled. However …
 9 PE,DIG,RE,E. … first sign of failure. How could I miss a word for ‘ancestry’ that had to end in RE (concerning) E (English)?
10 D(ER)IVE. DIVE (header) including ER (hesitation). The def is ‘draw’.
11 GO,THIC. Anagram of ‘itch’.
12 I,NEX(PER)T. PER (by) inside I (one) NEXT (succeeding).
14 BREA(K)TH,ROUGH. BREATH as in ‘a suggestion of scandal’. ROUGH (general).
17 MULTIPURPOSE. Looked at the fodder (pulp,moisture) for an age. To no avail until I had more letters. Bad day when I don’t get the anagrams right off the bat. And with both 12-letter and 11-letter answers fairly difficult, it gets hard to get into the grid.
20 GLA(DNE)SS. Reversal of END (object) inside GLASS (mirror). Wracked my mucous-encrusted brain trying to think of a whole word for ‘object’ which, when reversed, would mean ‘delight’.
22 PR,AGUE. P{roportional} R{epresentation}, {v}AGUE.
23 Omitted. The Band in question is Incredible.
25 INIMICAL. Reverse the following: L{eft}, ACI{d}, MINI. Of course the ‘bitter’ had to be ALE, except it wasn’t.
26 INS,PI,RED. Anagram of ‘sin’, PI (religious), RED (revolutionary). The def is ‘caused’.
27 TETHER. Hidden answer.
 2 OCELOT. ‘beginning to End’ = E; inside O{ld} CLOT (fool). Don’t ask how long it took me to parse this even after the answer was obvious.
 3 UNIN,HA(BITE)D. The alliance devoid of love is a UNI{o}N. BITE for ‘grip’ inside HAD.
 4 DIRT-CHEAP. Anagram of ‘hired act’ and P{iano}. Cf. Going for a song.
 5 OBE,LI(S)K. Decoration = medal = OBE. LIK{e} = mostly fancy. The def is ‘needle’.
 6 DO,DGE. Odd letters of DeGrEe. “Are you doing history this year?” — OK but loose.
 7 {f}AIR.
13 P(ROLE)(T,ARIA),T. PT for ‘part’; inside this we have ROLE (job), the last letter of ‘thaT’ and ARIA (song).
15 HOOFPRINT. This time I couldn’t even see the fodder: ‘tip of horn’. Bugger!
16 BULL,E,TIN. The bull is the centre of the target/dartboard, etc.
18 RES,C,IN,D. RES{olution}; C = about; IN = wearing; D for dim-nods like myself who happened to look for a much more complex parsing when we had yet another straight charade in hand.
19 HU,MANE. To sound like ‘hew’ and ‘main’. Not easy to spot.
21 EIGER. EG and IE (reversed) before R{iver}.
24 Omitted. There had to be one easy one lurking here. (Now can I go and take some drugs?)

34 comments on “Times 24936: No 14s today”

  1. I seem to have had all the same difficulties but without mct’s distractions so I don’t know what my excuse is for taking so long to crack this one and even longer to work out allthe wordplay etc.

    The SW went in quite easily and I had odd solutions scattered around the remaining grid but the long Across answers and two of the four long Downs (UNINHABITED and PROLETARIAT) put up a lot of resistance and made it hard to open things up. The difficulty in a lot of clues today was spotting the definition amongst the abundance of words. A few more concise clues might have helped although I appreciate being helpful rather than fair is probably not one of a setter’s objectives.

  2. The BREAKTHROUGH came a bit late in the day here, ie last in, and only once I saw that I had carelessly entered FOOTPRINT for HOOFPRINT. Only major hold-up in what was a good day for me. Header for dive unknown.
  3. Very tricky puzzle. some delightful clues though such as Ocelot…thought that Dodge was as blogger says rather loose. clever clues too like Bulletin and Pedigree. thought 19 down was tricky to spot the wordplay etc but had to be Humane. 59 minutes and 48 seconds on club scoreboard so about a few minutes less for printing and entering!
    nice puzzle…at the limits though!
    Long ones were tough
  4. Today was the day I was going to come here with my excuse (sleepless night), but I see I’ve been preempted and will have to make do with saying that I seem to have fallen into all the same traps as McText and Jack, but to have taken rather longer about it, finshing in 90 minutes.

    If it’s any consolation, McT, you’ve done me a service by unravelling 2 and 18dn. COD to HOOFPRINT for leading me up the garden path.

    1. I did two sessions over night and again lost track of the time taken but 90 minutes wouldn’t be far off it.
  5. 32 mins. Agree this was pretty tough in places (rescind, inimical, humane being the last to fall) but res for resolution is new to me; is it an accepted abbreviation? Got held up for a bit when the breakthrough came along with its k which gave obelisk and inexpert then ordnance; amazing how much difference the presence of such a letter can make.Rather liked the anagram in 17A and the wordplay in 1A. Regards to all.
    1. In graphic design, we refer to an image being ‘hi-res’ or ‘low-res’ Also ‘what res should the pix be?’
  6. I found this tough going and probably took about an hour, or more, over two sessions. Much of my time was spent trying to reconcile the ‘obvious’ answer with the devious wordplay: never fully cracked BREAKTHROUGH and OCELOT so particular thanks, mctext, for a fine blog. LOI, and my COD, to HUMANE (I tried for ages to fit a ‘d’ for ‘declared’ – time we had another cricket reference – into available checkers): elegant once I’d spotted what was going on.
  7. Res. can be short for research, reserve, residence and resolution.

    A header is ‘a dive head foremost’.

    1. Whatever Chambers says a header is not necessarily a dive, and of course a dive is not necessarily a header. This struck me as a bit loose when I solved it, and it is a kind of DBE. For me the question mark made it OK but I was expecting complaints!
      1. If you’re watching or playing soccer, a HEADER doesn’t equate to a DIVE. If you’re a wheat farmer, a HEADER certainly doesn’t equate to a DIVE. But beyond those realms, one of the most common meanings of header IS necessarily a dive.
        1. So it is. I didn’t know that, so blithely assumed we were in the world of football. A case of being so ignorant I didn’t even know I was ignorant.
          Now I don’t understand why there’s a question mark in the clue but rather than worrying about that I think I’ll have a drink.
  8. I also found this reasonably difficult. I had a most unusual solving pattern for me. The NW went in very quickly as did the SE then the SW after a struggle leaving the NE to wrestle with. 25 minutes in all involving a complete 5 minute blindspot over ORDNANCE and OBELISK until the clue structure 5A dawned on me.

    Very enjoyable puzzle – thank you setter and congratulations for dedication to duty to mctext – hope you’re feeling better soon

    1. I was depending on you to complain about the obvious DBE in 5ac. So left that out of the blog. But then, I was expecting a park-strolling comment as well. Strange things crossword-solver combinations!

      Oh … and thanks for the cheer-up.

      Edited at 2011-08-24 08:55 am (UTC)

  9. Came to a complete halt in the NE before being rescued by the same k that tringmardo has already mentioned. I needed two sessions to finish it, probably about 90 minutes altogether. A good test, nothing vanilla about this one. Thanks to mctext for figuring out HUMANE, which went in with zero understanding on my part.
  10. Was pleased to solve this one without aids, but a lot went in with questions marks: Ocelot, Gladness, Inexpert, Breakthrough and Humane all from checkers and definitions. Thanks for the detailed blog mctext and for filling in the gaps in my understanding.
  11. I’m glad it’s not just me. About 55 minutes with at least 10 of those trying to get the INIMICAL/HUMANE cross. Excellent workout. COD to OBELISK over HOOFPRINT.
  12. 30 minutes.
    This was indeed quite difficult but I enjoyed it a lot. 18d was typical of the cluing, with a number of dead ends to go down before opting for the correct (and not obvious) parsing.
    Last in were 22, not helped in the least by the fact that PRAGUE is where I am at the moment, and HUMANE, which took nearly ten minutes on its own.
  13. 39:16 .. A serious work-out in which I had a lot of white space after 15 minutes.

    Well done to mctext for indeed going above and beyond, especially with the monitoring of BP while solving and blogging. I hope the results weren’t too skewed by the case of DBE.

  14. If a puzzle contained 4 DBEs on Jimbo’s blogging day, would the setter be charged with murder or manslaughter?
    1. A fine point of law which might, I suspect, all hinge on the presence or absence of a question mark.
  15. Felt like I over-achieved in completing this in 46 minutes. Confirmed by the times reported by others who are normally faster than me.
    Multiple gasps of “ah, nice one” as the pennies gradually dropped, so a superb puzzle by my reckoning. Last in HUMANE, not fully parsed until coming here. Thanks McText.
    1. That’s a standard crossword abbreviation from the Latin ‘circa’ (= approximately), also sometimes found as CA.
  16. Didn’t time it, but it was while I was at the laundromat, so a half an hour or so with breaks. Thanks for explaining HUMANE where I couldn’t make anything out of the rest of the clue, but went in on the defintion. Also agonised over DERIVE – I guess the header is in soccer?
    1. Not specifically soccer. To “take a header” is just to fall or tumble headlong. As in “She took a header down the stairs.” Or was she pushed?
  17. Excellent puzzle on the hardish side. RESCIND caused me some irritation as I had not encountered RES=resolution before (my thanks to Ulaca for a mini-crash course in other possible meanings of RES). DODGE a bit weak, I thought, both DO=study and DODGE=scheme being rather loose defs. But lots of ingenious stuff – to wit, BREAKTHROUGH, UNINHABITED, BULLETIN, HOOFPRINT and (my last in) PROLETARIAT.
  18. This took me 29 minutes with OCELOT, RESCIND and HUMANE going in on definition alone. I needed this blog to understand the cryptics. So thanks, Mctext, and get well soon. Having read the other comments here, I’m surprised I didn’t find this more of a struggle. I must have been on the wavelengh or something.
  19. I’m surprised–nay, shocked–to find that my 32′ was on the fast side. I suppose it was one of those wavelength things: I put in 7 or so words on hunches and a few checkers (PROLETARIAT because I had a P and the clue mentioned ‘song’, for instance. OCELOT was one of the first guessed, but last in, because I couldn’t parse it until I figured out –reluctantly–what ‘cherished’ was doing. COD to 12ac, 22ac, 20ac, but a number of clever clues. Get well soon, Mctext.
  20. Doh! I’m relieved to see that I wasn’t the only person to carelessly bung in FOOTPRINT, resulting in a miserable 19:14. Apart from that I made rather heavy weather of things and found too many of the clues rather tedious – but I expect that’s just me having an off day.

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