Times 24964 – Beware of falling sheep?

Solving Time: 33 minutes

Not very difficult if you’re up on your arcana. The N.E. corner contributed most to my time. I have Charles Lamb’s pen name tattooed inside my eyelids, but found it has been obscured by a list of Hebridean islands. I had also forgotten the miscellaneous ana and couldn’t see how archetype worked. I hope the golfing reference atones for the literary allusions. And so, without further ado…

1 WITCH-HUNT sounds like “Which Hunt?”. Holman Hunt was the Pre-Raph who painted “The Scapegoat”, Leigh Hunt the writer and poet, famed for playing shuttlecock in prison. I’m not convinced it works, but it would be ungenerous to carp.
6 I think I can omit this one without causing too much of it.
9 DRILLED, a double definition. Tommy being Tommy Atkins
10 C for chapter beside ELIA (the pseudonym of Charles Lamb) holding E.G., for say = ELEGIAC, like an elegy, or, for the classical prosodists amongst us [de]noting a distich or couplet the first line of which is a dactylic hexameter and the second a pentameter, or a verse differing from the hexameter by suppression of the arsis or metrically unaccented part of the third and the sixth foot. Charles Lamb, “the most lovable figure in English literature”, was in Leigh Hunt’s circle and brother of Mary, who killed her mother with a kitchen knife. It’s a long story.
11 ERNST = onE superioR iN hiS arT, &lit. Nicely done. Max Ernst was a seminal Dadaist, Surrealist and Expressionist, one-time husband of Peggy Guggenheim.
12 REHYDRATE = (DRY EARTH)* around E
13 ADIEU Is that a double definition? Nancy and Nice both being French cities, of course.
17 TOMAHAWKS = TOMS employed as entrapment device for A HAWK. That would be the missiles rather than the small axe, although see Mary Lamb, op. cit.
18 BEIGE = BEE around G.I. reversed.
19 KNOTGRASS sounds like “not grass”
24 OSTRICH would be MOST RICH if placed after M for mile.
25 (SEEK LAD)* = ESKDALE, the only river valley in the Lake District not to have any lakes. When solving I naturally assumed it was the former parish of Eskdale in N.E. Cumbria.
26 A, for leading character, in K. NED for King Edward = KNEAD. As in one, two, three Neds, Richard two.
27 R for run + NOSE reversed + A + N for new + C.E. for church = RESONANCE

1 Deliberately omitted. I hope this won’t alienate me from our golfing contributors.
2 TRI ENNI sounds like “try any” + UM for hesitation = TRIENNIUM. A partial homophone, no less. I’m still recovering from Friday’s pinkos.
3 HALT for stop cradles F for following + RUTH for girl = HALF-TRUTH
4 UNDER THE WEATHER = THE (the second the) thrown into UNDER THE WEAR, for “on river bed”. The Wear is challenging the Dee for the title of crosswords’ most cited river. I’m awaiting the rise of the Todd.
5 THE THREE SISTERS, both a Chekhov play and the Weirds from Macbeth. Not to be confused with the rock formation.
6 DREAD = D for duke, has bREAD
7 ANITA = IT for Italian in ANA, which crops up from time to time in crosswords, being literary miscellanea or anecdotes.
8 ARCHETYPE = ARCH(i)E + TYPE for “produce copy”
13 ANTIKNOCK = (IN TANK)* + OK around C for cold
15 NEBRASKAN = BEN reversed + RAN around ASK
20 OUTRE, being hidden in withOUT REsistance
21 L for Liberal inside GUID = GUILD.
23 LIEGE, double definition, a city in Belgium and something to do with Lords.

29 comments on “Times 24964 – Beware of falling sheep?”

  1. 19 minutes and, I thought, an OK puzzle. Para 4 of this explains much of 23dn. (And the music’s worth a listen too — as it’s before they did UnSwarbricking, there’s some great fiddle work.)

    22ac is a bit self-referential and I’m with Koro as to whether 1ac works. (Wot, no Mike?)

  2. 25 minutes for this, but my failure to see the joke at 19ac led to me putting in ‘knowgrass’. Also toyed with ‘Alana’ at 7dn owing to my inability to spell ELEGIAC correctly despite being onto the default ovine cruciverbal essayist at once. An easy but fun puzzle with a sting in the SW tail – at least, for me. COD to said stingy KNOTGRASS.
  3. 35 minutes including a delay in the SW caused by a problem working out 13dn and needing the checking letters from this to solve 19 and 24ac.

    A welcome relief after the traumas of puzzles solved over the weekend.

  4. Yes indeed.
    Progress report. Well, after Saturday’s Times, nil. Not so much a did not finish as a barely started. Still, managed the arty Paul in the Guardian and did the Observer’s Everyman in under 10 minutes to restore a bit of pride.
    Only real problem today was never having heard of ANTIKNOCK only solved after getting the delightful OSTRICH. Oh, and that word for literary gossip proved elusive, yet again.
  5. …didn’t get KNOTGRASS, nor GUILD, and I only hesitantly put in OUTRE without seeing the hidden word – doh!

    Also the unknowns ANA and ELIA meant that the top right was completed with ?s.


  6. Had to guess a bit here and glad to get round in 20 minutes. ‘Ana’ new to me; I thought she might be someone in a novel. COD 1 ac. though ‘searching’ does double duty – a kind of triple def.
  7. Enjoyed this one over a leisurely 16 minutes. 1a works well enough to have started me off with a chuckle, and probably accounts for my good mood in finding OSTRICH and KNOT-GRASS amusing.
    CoD to HALF-TRUTH for the doubly misleading use of “nurses” as a container for F, when either could have been their more usual selves.
    ERNST last in because I didn’t follow though on the plurality of ultimately until faced with no choices: a decent &lit. For once in my life, I even liked BEIGE.
      1. Nothing in Russian includes “the”. Yet we normally have THE Cherry Orchard, and Three Sisters is often rendered in English with the definite article, even by the BBC. Not Chekhov’s fault.
        1. We even have the Ukraine still, although Ukrainians apparently find it ‘diminishing’. I think you’re either jolly patriotic or undergoing the triumph of hope over experience on a regular basis if you still regard the Beeb as upholder and arbiter of English usage …
  8. 14 minutes here. Straighforward with a few minutes at the end pondering 19ac and coming close to bunging in KNOWGRASS. It raised a smile when the penny dropped, as did a few others including 1ac WITCH HUNT.
    Unknown: GUID, ESKDALE.
    ELIA and ANA are now familiar crosswordese but not exactly everyday words. Having them in crossing clues is a little tough.
  9. 23 minutes here. An easy puzzle with no tricky hold-ups at the end, as sometimes happens, though I confess that I was slow to see the hidden element in 20.

    Though easy it was an enjoyable puzzle with several nice clues, particularly the anagram in 16, and, as noted above, the use of ‘nurses’ as a container in 3.

    Re 5dn, I wonder if the definition is actually “A weird bunch?” That would justify “The”.

  10. 37 minutes, with a long delay at the end caused by the two 9-letter words in the SW. Hats off to koro for digging out the fascinating fact about Eskdale. I lived in Cumbria for 15 years but never knew that.
  11. 19:01 with the SW last to fall. I guessed at antiknock thanks to a vague (but not practical) knowledge of “big end knock”. Was able to rule out the slightly alarming killgrass when I finally spotted the blasted hidden word.
  12. 7:41, ending in the SW corner.  Back from a rather wet week in the Lakes (without easy internet access, let alone a printer) and pleased to be greeted by ESKDALE (25ac).
  13. Around half an hour, but with another KNOWGRASS. Damn. Thought at first that 9ac had something to do with nursery rhyme cats, trouts and wells.
  14. A pleasant and easy puzzle to start the week. As a non-driver, I experienced a minor hold up in the SW where ANTIKNOCK was new to me. I was trying to fit ANTIFREEZE into the grid. It’s been a while since we had Charles Lamb – there was a time when Elia used to crop up on a very regular basis. I clocked out at 20 minutes which is a fast time for me.
  15. No real problems here – 20 minute amble. Didn’t personally like 1A – but got WEDGE immediately so then it had to be WITCH HUNT and who cares who Leigh and Holman were (not scientists, I’ll wager). Likewise all that rubbish about sisters. Too much literary content overall.
  16. A pretty gentle offering today, which took me 25 minutes, even after I bungled with KILLGRASS, and WHICH HUNT (yes, very stupid), and had to correct them. Last entry was ERNST. I finished in the NW, taking a while to unravel the very nice TRIENNIUM, HALF-TRUTH, and DRILLED. I thought the parsing at 8D was an ‘arch he-type’ as the ‘model fellow’, minus an ‘H’. Thanks to Koro for all the news on the Lambs, and regards to all.
    1. Wouldn’t ‘one leaving’ to indicate ‘remove one of the letters in the word he‘ be stretching the Times crossword grammar a bit?
  17. Too much obscure literary/philosophical stuff in today’s puzzle – unknown were ELIA, HUNT, ERNST. Yet how can others not know ANTIKNOCK or ANA?
  18. 14 minutes, but something wasn’t that satisfying to me because I had a lot of entries in with question marks, fortunately all of them turned out to be correct but it meant a crossword that I was treating more as a definition puzzle…

    WITCH HUNT, DRILLED, KNOTGRASS, TRIENNIUM, GUILD, UNDER THE WEATHER all in without understanding the cryptic, ESKDALE from wordplay and keeping fingers crossed that LIEGE was correct.

    Not sure what was going on with ADIEU.

  19. 7:49 for me. This felt pathetically slow so I’m relieved to see that I wasn’t that far behind Edgar Allan Thakkar – and if I hadn’t typed in NBERASKAN so that 18ac gave me a hard time, I’d have beaten him!
  20. 26 minutes, 25 plus one to rethink ‘knobgrass’ (hobnobbing=keep in with?) before submitting. Nice to have something relatively easy after this weekend. ANA, by the way, is yet one more NY Times chestnut, although I’ve never seen ‘gossip’ as part of the definition.
  21. There’s a folk song called Adieu my lovely Nancy on an album by Tim Hart and Maddy Prior.
    John D
  22. I’ve just looked it up on U Tube. Tim Hart actually sings Farewell my lovely Nancy, but the tune is also known as Adieu my lovely Nancy.
    John D

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