Times 24960: Sei indizi in cerca d’analisi

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 54 minutes.

<—— How I felt this morning.

Had the dickens of a job getting my head around a half-dozen or so of these: 9ac, 12ac, 15ac, 20ac, 5dn and 14dn. The last was easily (?) the hardest. Was this puzzle really as tough as I found it, or was it just the relatively easy lead-up on Monday and Tuesday?

 1 IN(DEC,I)SIVE. Anagram of ‘vine is’ around DEC{ember} I{st}. Saw this right off and thought I was in for an easy time. Thanks to PaulMcL for the edit.
 6 Omitted. If you have a degree, it’s a temptation.
 9 P(I,RAN)(DELL)O. Reverse OP (work) around I RAN (fugitive’s confession) and DELL (hollow).
10 ETUI. Regular letters of ‘EhT pU pIt’.
12 BELL-BOTTOMED. BELL (alarm), BOT (‘botH’ with its H{enry} missing), TO, MED (sea). Except that the unit of inductance has a lower-case H.
15 FREE-TO-AIR. FEET (bases), O{ld}, AIR (show), including R{ight}.
17 INTRO. Included reversed in ‘f-ORTNI-ghtly’.
18 TULSA. A (blood type) after SLUT reversed.
19 OLD SCHOOL. OLD (getting on), SCHOOL (train, verb).
20 HAM,PT,ON COURT. HAM (lower-division player!), PT (training), ON COURT (maybe playing rallies).
24 N(0)UN. ‘That is itself common’ signals that the noun ‘noun’ is a common noun.
25 BEAUJOLAIS. Anagram of ‘job I (one); EU; alas’. Hands up for ‘the French bottle it’ (our def) = LITE?
26 ECHO. The E from ‘Election’ in the NATO phonetic (radio) alphabet is ECHO. Will this ever be clued as ‘•’?
27 ST BERNARDS. STERN (not giving way), including B{us}; AS (when) including RD (for ‘road’).
 1 IMPI. = I am sanctimonious. (A predicate sometimes ascribed but, I suspect, rarely avowed.) As with 10ac, the sort of four-letter word you only get in crosswords.
 2 DORM. Reversal of ROD; M{ultiple}. ‘Crash site’ … indeed!
 3 CON,CERT P,ARTY. CERT (banker; that which may be banked on); P{iano}.
 4 SHELL. Conchigliette, say, and the verb meaning to hit with a burst of bullets.
 5 V,OL(GOG,RA)D. V{ery} OLD; inc. GOG (Magog’s mate) and RA (Royal Artillery).
 7 AU,TOMAT(I)O,N. AU (gold, heavy metal); TOMATO (plant) inc. I (one). ‘Not at first’ is just N — not, this time, an initial-deletion indicator.
 8 THIRD WORLD. Anagram of ‘Lord with Dr’.
11 S(TRIP CART)OON. ‘Anon’ is SOON.
13 A FAT CHANCE. The FA run(s) the game of football; so ‘game runners’ inside AT gives A(FA)T. Some hope? I always use it ironically to mean no hope … Buckley’s ….
14 BE ALL MOUTH. The fifties doctor is LL MO. Put this inside BEAUT (peach) and add an H for Hydrogen. The def. is ‘gas only’. Don’t ask how many of the 54 minutes this took.
16 ADORNMENT. Well-hidden anagram of ‘on remand’; final letter of {attemp}T. The def. is ‘making elaborate’ (gerundive).
21 0,F USE. A plug with zero fuse might not be.
22 OMITTED. Not a blonde joke. (Maybe a blonde pun?)
23 AS IS. {b}ASIS.

37 comments on “Times 24960: Sei indizi in cerca d’analisi”

  1. Spelling it INDICISIVE rather ruined what felt like a good 21:47. Not as easy puzzle.

    Last in: AUTOMATION

    COD.. BELL-BOTTOMED, which made me smile.

    mctext – currently the title of your posting isn’t working as a hyperlink – I wonder if your putting italics in it has confused LiveJournal.

    1. Didn’t intend it to look like a link. How does it look at your end? The relevant link is at 9ac.
      1. The actual “Times 24960: Sei indizi in cerca d’analisi” bit isn’t working for me as a link as usual… tried in several browsers, same result. had to click the comments button to get in to the post.
  2. Surely ‘hit’ is the opposite of an enclosure indicator – more like a ‘irruptor’ indicator?
  3. Found this tough, finishing eventually in 100 minutes, also with AUTOMATION. Spent some time trying to justify ‘spray’, ‘strip’ or ‘spice’ for the peppery pasta before PIRANDELLO came to my rescue, the Italian being fairly ‘top-of-mind’, as I recently saw an appalling avant-garde version of his Six Characters.

    COD to BELL-BOTTOMED. One day I’ll actually spot a NATO alphabet clue straight away …

  4. Wonderful. Thank you setter.
    Difficult without ever being a slog. A fairly fruitless hour before bed and an inspired hour this morning. Help needed with VOLGOGRAD.
    COD to DORM for multiple crash site.
  5. I gave up overnight after an hour with about a third of the grid uncompleted and gaps in every quarter. I finished eventually in 95 minutes with one cheat along the way (AUTOMATION) needed to kick-start my stalled brain. But 13dn and 14dn were the real sticking points which I eventually unravelled at the very end of the second session.

    I had got off to a roaring start spotting several easy ones and I was even thinking at one point that we were in for the third consecutive easy puzzle and this did not bode well for my turn at blogging on Friday. However I was soon proved to be incorrect and I am hoping we are now over the worst level of difficulty for this week.

    Like ulaca I spent ages trying to justify ‘spray’ at 4dn and I am still not totally convinced that ‘shell’ is the same as ‘pepper’ when it comes battle. To pepper in my book is to spray with bullets whereas to shell something is to bombard it.

    1. That’s a good point, Jack. Chambers (for what it’s worth when analysing these intuitional things) has ‘pelt with / discharge shot’ (essentially) and also ‘shower liberally’. ‘Shot’ in its turn is defined anywhere along the spectrum from ‘pellet’ to ‘bullet’ to ‘cannonball'(!), so I suppose the figurative ‘shower’ can be composed of ground pepper, ordinary peppercorns and giant mutant GM peppercorns.
      1. I had the same thought on “pepper” and associate it with shot in the sense of buckshot or shotgun pellets. I would have thought that may be the sort of “shot” Chambers refers to. Even bullets seem a big big to my way of thinking.
  6. 28 minutes.
    Absolutely superb puzzle, thanks setter.
    A minor quibble about “pepper” like others. Also I wonder if these days anyone would use the word “slut” without some implication of promiscuity. At least if they did I think it would be at some risk of misinterpretation.
    However these are indeed minor quibbles, more than forgiveable in the context of a puzzle of such quality. Things like “gas only” and “crash site” are worth the price of admission alone. Tellingly very few answers today went in on definition alone.
    Thanks for explaining NOUN, mctext. Too dim to see that one.
  7. An interrupted solve of some duration and with one mistake. I had DART at 6, being a fish and a needle. What’s wrong with that? Thanks for explaining the game runners. I had no idea. And what country still puts fuses in their plugs? Oh, the UK, huh? I was also confused by hit as an inclusion indicator; is this along the lines of stop, as in stop a bullet, so the bullet has to be inside? All that aside a splendid puzzle with some masterful constructions amid very smooth surfaces. COD to BELL-BOTTOMED.
  8. Have to agree – an absolutely brilliant puzzle – best for quite some time. You can forgive the minor quibbles when they occur in the midst of such excellence. 35 minutes to solve with 10 of those spent looking at the SW corner completely unable to unravel 13D, 14D, 15A despite having all the checkers. Suddenly twigged “fifties doctor” and then “bases” to finish it off. Thank you setter and well done McText – a really difficult puzzle to blog.
  9. Pretty slow on this but glad to finish, in 65 minutes. Not too happy about ‘be all mouth’ – would anyone ever say those exact words? But what a change from yesterday – a blade-twister of a puzzle, good to come out on top.

  10. Yes, I’ll 26ac all the positive comments above, a really satisfying solve today. Or not: I ended with two mistakes: feet-to-air and antimethod, which both, despite being somewhat meaningless, seemed to satisfy at least part of the clue. All along this felt like it was very much a solvable puzzle, as the vocabulary was for the most part pretty straightforward. Just the dastardly wordplay that held things up and made it such fun.

  11. Brilliant puzzle, brilliant blog. What more can I say except that is has taken far more of my morning than it should have done!
  12. I took two stabs at this. During my first spell I had many interruptions on the beach while I chatted to non-solvers around, then had a clear 15 minutes or so at the end of which I had solved barely a fifth of the puzzle. Then went home and looked at it again, almost gave up, then 5, 7 and 27 got me going again, after which I made slow but steady progress to the end. Last two in, BE ALL MOUTH and TULSA.

    I lost track of time, but it must have been somewhere between 70 and 80 minutes.

    I agree that it was a very fine puzzle, that was satisfying to solve without recourse to (or the need for) aids. What made it so tough was that the wordplay in many cases was open to multiple interpretations. Even on the home stretch, when I was in my stride, sort of, I was entering many answers on the basis of the letters in the grid and working out the clues later.

  13. Very testing, very enjoyable – but a fair few of the answers went in with only partial understanding of the wordplay. 70 minutes for me with a cheat at the end to get IMPI, which doesn’t seem to have troubled anyone else. But it’s a word I haven’t encountered before and good = PI always gets me.
    1. I only got IMPI as it came up last Thursday, so was fresh in my mind!

      PS I never knew you could access the comments by clicking on the title…!

      1. Aha, that explains it. In mitigation, I haven’t done last Thursday’s puzzle yet. That was the day I first found myself locked out of the site – and I still am, I have to use a work colleague’s computer to print out the puzzle. Very exasperating.
  14. Tricky and fun, needed to put it down for a moment until re-tackling the last two (BE ALL MOUTH and HAMPTON COURT) from wordplay. Relieved to get both, though didn’t know the definition of BE ALL MOUTH.

    FREE-TO-AIR, PIRANDELLO and BELL-BOTTOMED went in without understanding the cryptic.

  15. A very enjoyable, well written and clever puzzle. Took me over an hour, mostly held up by the SW corner, although my last was OF USE. I was also held up for quite a while in the NE due to originally entering ‘BARB’ at 6A, which I had written straight in, and still seems like a fine answer to me. Only when faced with the checkers for THIRD WORLD did I realize it had to be wrong. COD to BELL-BOTTOMED, although many more were worthy. Regards to all, including the setter.
  16. 17:47 for me, not helped by making heavy weather of some easy clues and taking ages to spot that I’d typed THIRD WOLRD. I’m not entirely surprised as I was feeling abominably tired after a busy day.

    Perhaps I’d have enjoyed this puzzle more another day, but although some of the clues were wonderfully clever I found them too simply too tortuous to be enjoyable and longed for the simpler style of clueing that prevailed in the past.

  17. Indeed a brilliant puzzle with a number of obscure and audacious clues — I only managed two-thirds the first time through but was able to finish it after coming home from square dancing in the evening. But I still don’t understand how I was able to finish, with a number of phrases I never use myself (so they don’t come to mind easily) and really involved and confusing wordplay as in 14dn (“gas only” indeed!). The only detail I would object to was “some hope” in the clue 13dn; for me, like for mctext, A FAT CHANCE is ironic and means no hope at all.
      1. Now I think about it, “fat chance” means “very little chance”, so the “fat” bit is already ironic as it stands.
  18. Excited – just found this! 25 minutes, but I cheated on 9ac (had Piran*e*lo). Great crossword, but who he?
    1. Greetings, and with a time like that you go straight into the Times for the Times Premier League. We look forward to seeing you as a regular contributor – with a name perhaps?

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