Times 24,965

Timed at 22:24; I had tremendous trouble with two in the SW corner, without which this would have been a very straightforward puzzle. Was I alone? We shall see…

9 BETHOUGHT – THOUGH in BET, as in “That would be my bet”.
10 ISLAM – Second in (MALI)rev.
11 TOPED – i.e TOP EDitor.
12 TAKEN DOWN – [A King END] in TOWN. For the benefit of non-Britons, London is obviously a city, and a large one, but even today people talk about “going up to town”.
13 DANDIE DINMONT – DAN DIED IN MONT. Another legacy of Sir Walter Scott.
21 ANTIPASTI – ANT + 1 PAST + Improve.
24 DEFER – DEFendER.
25 THANE – THANEt. I persisted in the notion that this had to be S_A_E (i.e. _A_ in the S.E.), and without 16 down to disabuse me of this, pursued it far too long. I should have thought of 1066 and All That, and Macbeth; successful invasions of Britain always begin in Thanet, according to the former, and the latter is full of assorted Thanes, of Cawdor, Fife, etc. etc.
26 REGARDING – double def.
27 RIPOSTE – POST in (IRE)*.
1 SUBITO – IT in (Old BUS)rev. The Italian for “suddenly”, often used in musical notation.
4 NIGHT BIRD – i.e. “BITE NERD” if Spoonerised.
5 BATIK – (KIT A.B.)all rev.
6 AVIGNON – [Good in IN] in AVON.
7 HELLOotHELLO without the O.T.; “Hello!” = “Look at that!”.
8 GEMINATE – (AMEETING)*, from the same derivation as the star sign.
14 DERRING DO – [ERRING in D.D.] + 0.
15 OUT OF LINE – cryptic def. referring to the anagrammatic possibilities of NEIL.
16 SPLATTER – Sink with PLATTER replacing INK, &lit. Last in, as I simply couldn’t see INK as the required liquid.
18 MOPPETS – MOment + P-PETS.
19 INDORSE – Succeeded in INDORE. As the “from America” suggests, this is an American usage, which I’ve never seen, but which was clearly explained in the wordplay.
20 WRIGHT =”RIGHT”; Orville or Wilbur were “the first to stay up”.
22 TRAMP – THE RAMP without HE.

Apologies for the late running. I had difficulties logging in to LiveJournal; not sure why this should make it disappear from my bookmarks as it has, though, which suggests perhaps this may in fact be a local difficulty…

31 comments on “Times 24,965”

  1. Done in by wright, where I went for bright, not seeing it. Also by the puzzle in general, coming in on 45 minutes even with the error. Didn’t know the darned dog but got there somehow. Similarly indorse; and SW generally okkard. A good test but somewhat on my blind side for some reason. Neat.
  2. Needed checker (OED online!) to confirm (unknown) Daniel Dinmont (misled by reference to French and hence initially had D + EN + MONT). Although I sort of worked it out, I did not like clue for SPLATTER: I’m sure experts out there have a description for this overlapping of definition/clue. TOPED, GEMINATE also unknown but easily gettable from wordplay.

    I’m still recovering from total failure on Saturday so pleased to get this more or less right. Thanks, tim, for persevering … a very helpful blog.

  3. Twenty-something minutes with 2 mistakes – a typo and then GAMINETE, which made complete sense to me.

    Total guess at the dog – if it’s not a collie, a westie or a labrador, I’m struggling.

    I’m not sure I’d ever call this one “very straightforward”. Certainly stretched my vocab in places.

  4. Done for, like some others, by WRIGHT, for which I had ARIGHT, without being able to offer any sensible explanation for it. An excellent clue, now that I understand it. Thanks also to the blogger for explaining SPLATTER. Otherwise a fairly straightforward puzzle.
  5. Enjoyed this one and completed it with only one (very minor!) mistake: having gone for the right man (den? don? dan?), I thought ‘French’ was referring to ‘in’, and so ended up with ‘dandie denmont’.

    Other than that a couple went in on a hunch: DEFER (doh!); INDORSE (never heard of INDORE); SPLATTER (same reason as Tim, I guess).

    20dn gets my COD for the penny dropping recognition of the airborne bros.

    1. I meant to mention that I hadn’t heard of Indore either. Combined with the somewhat unfamiliar version of “endorse” it made for a bit of a wing-and-a-prayer job.
  6. I can’t give a reliable time (I shan’t bore you with the details but it involved soup, microwaves, forgetfulness and a stopwatch) but I’d hazard somewhere between 25 and 30 minutes.

    I had no trouble with Thane/splatter but got terribly bogged down in the SE by scree, regarding (toyed with digesting), the horrible indorse and Wright. I had Hallo for a while at 7 (Hal + summat) but couldn’t justify it so went on a mental quest for other Shakespearean bods.

    Apropos 4d did you know that whenever the Rev Spooner visited the North of England he attempted to blend in by wearing a catflap on his head?

  7. 30 minutes straightforward solving brought answers to all but eight clues – four in the lower half and four at the top. Then I ground to a halt and took another 30 to complete the grid. In the end I finished with one wrong at 7ac where I had plumped for HALLO on the basis that the Shakespeare character was Prince HAL in Henry V but with no explanation for the LO. Apart from that the main problems were with BETHOUGHT, SPLATTER, INDORSE and WRIGHT, Suffering from a real crisis of confidence at the moment.
  8. Just on the hour – last in the dog, which I’d obviously never heard of. Barking up the wrong tree with my Shakespeare, where I got the definition okay but hazarded HAL- for ‘hallo’. Had better luck with SPLATTER, where I was so clueless as to the cryptic that I tried to convince myself it was an @lit. Was pleased to see AVIGNON, as I had tried to squeeze it in yesterday. Better late than never, as they say. Nice puzzle, despite the world’s sporst Woonerism.
    1. Don’t want anyone scratching their head about the French town. I was referring to LEIPZIG, which was partially clued as ‘the French town’ in Jumbo 942, which I did at lunch yesterday.
  9. Went for ‘aright’ at 20dn. Will be interesting to see how the ‘wrights’ stack up against the ‘arights’.
    1. ‘Aright’ was my first choice subsequently overwritten with ‘Wright’ but with enough ambiguity for me to claim either!
  10. Once the last 5 letters of 20 were obviously RIGHT I resorted I expect as many did to running through the alphabet. Many seem to have not got beyond A but I plodded on until arriving at W and eureka.
    Fluked a correct finish with more from wordplay than I care to count including of course the dastardly dog. Unsatisfactory and unsatisfying.
  11. No reliable time, due to interruptions, but SW and SPLATTER in particular took forever. Liquid=ink is just irresponsible. CoD (despite the Spusome Groonerism) to one or other of the aviation boys.
  12. Quite tricky this, as others have said. 24 minutes, and another with HALLO at 7dn. I wasn’t happy with it but couldn’t think of anything better. I should have persevered.
    The dog was new to me, and I’m not sure I’ve come across GEMINATE before, although it wasn’t much of a leap from the twins.
  13. Lost track of time. I had DENNIS DINMONT for the dog, with the second D for died. Seemed a bit odd at the time, but figured he could have been a minor character in the Beano. I justified SPLATTER as scupper with the cupper replaced. Thought that was a bit of a stretch too. And INDORSE totally escaped me. I thought the Indian city was DORSE which was coming after IN. Obviously not up to the challenge today, so well done setter. COD to WRIGHT
  14. I thought that this was going to be an average time of 25-30 minutes, but a couple of errors in the SW corner and difficulties in the SE corner (19, 20, 24) pushed my time to an hour. North of POSTMODERNIST was mostly plain sailing. I even recalled DANDIE DINMONT from my childhood book of dogs sixty years ago, though I’ve never seen a live one, and was able to enter that very quickly.
    My first error was to put NIPPERS for 18 dn, albeit lightly, which delayed getting POSTMODERNIST. I’m not sure what the surface of 18 is supposed to mean, but that’s by the by. My second error was to put GRAVE for 25 (from GRAVESEND). I didn’t doubt my entry, though should have realised that the loss of 4 letters from “most of” is not Times style, so I6 eluded me for ages. Actually I don’t think the clue is all that good. Dishes displacing liquid simply cause the water level to rise, as Archimedes found, not necessarily splatter at all, so for some time I though the answer was UPsomething.
  15. 19:44, finishing with a wrong guess at DANDIE DENMONT for the unknown DANDIE DINMONT (13ac).  I suppose I should add Walter Scott to my list.  Other unknowns were BATIK (5dn), GEMINATE (8dn), INDORE and INDORSE (19dn).

    This definitely wasn’t a puzzle to tackle after a long day’s work on half a night’s sleep, and I’m not done for the day yet either, despite being done for tout court.  Heigh-ho and toodle-pip!

  16. After about 45 minutes I had to resort to aids for the dog, and SUBITO. Hadn’t heard of either. As one of the Americans, I was and still am quite surprised by INDORSE. If it is a US usage (and I expect some dictionary says it is), it must be very rare, because it has escaped my attention. I didn’t know of Thanet either, but the THANEs from Macbeth came quickly to mind. COD to WRIGHT, very clever. Regards.
  17. Had an awful time with this one and had to cheat for the unheard of dog, and guess for a number of others, and ended up the wrong right, but feel that that one earns a grump. People stayed up in balloons and gliders for many more years before the Wrights happened along than the have since!
  18. 14:05 here, and failed to fall for any of the traps everyone else seems to have jumped into! I did consider ARIGHT for a second or two, but quickly saw the correct answer. The dog went straight in, although I probably wouldn’t recognise one in the street.
  19. The comments here encourage me I did better than I thought at the time, despite one wrong answer (HALLO), one recourse to Google (SUBITO), and one left blank (_R_G_T). I enjoyed it.
  20. 8:34 for me. I thought I was heading for a fast time, but I slowed dramatically in the bottom half, with SCREE (where I tried to justify SIEVE) and WRIGHT (where I too tried to justify ARIGHT, and then spent a few seconds trying to work out why WRIGHT should be right) holding me up at the end.
  21. Did anyone else plump for sarse?
    Sarse = to sift
    Sarse(n) = sandstone blocks scattered across The Downs


  22. Quite a few traps here. I was also seduced by HAL, using HALLO for 7d without understanding why. INDORSE is very well known to Scrabble players as a high-probability bingo, but I can’t say I have seen it in print otherwise. I loved the WRIGHT clue too.
  23. I had actually come up with INDORSE, couldn’t believe it or figure out how the clue could lead to it, and left that one blank when submitting. And I put in HULLO, God knows why. Like Barry, and unusually for me, I pushed on through the alphabet past ARIGHT and finally got that one; and like many others, got SPLATTER without knowing why. I actually knew DANDIE DINMONT (I imagine it as a little obnoxious terrier with its head hair tied up in a ribbon). All in all, 2 errors after 70 minutes of plodding.

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