Times 24966 … the word is ‘Pitch and Pay:’ Trust none …

Solving time: Not recorded.

A slow first 3/4 in one session; the rest thinking about them in the car on the way home. Suspect my head was in a mangle today because this really isn’t a difficult puzzle. There are a few bits of original wordplay (5dn, 13ac, 19dn … and maybe some I missed); and lots for the anagram fans. Hope I’ve parsed 29ac correctly. On edit: I didn’t!

Glad I didn’t get a puzzle like yesterday’s — the blog for which I couldn’t get to — apologies — that was a 52 minute slog with its abominable INDORSE.

 1 OBSCURED. The old boy (OB) is cured! The def is ‘hidden’.
 6 PA,PACY. Per annum. NB: ‘held’ ain’t indicating inclusion here; adjacency rather — unless you read the clue as ‘Every year’ (PA), ’fast held in’ (= PACY holds this [PA] in), so PA(PA)CY.
 9 I,AGO. Othello’s ancient (ensign or standard bearer).
10 VETERINARY. Anag of ‘artery, vein’.
11 Omitted, see above and 26ac.
13 AJAR. One def (‘not to’, slightly open) and two wordplays: reversal of RAJA; A + JAR (shock).
16 G,LITCH{i}. That fruit which can also be spelled ‘lychee’ or ‘lichee’.
18 H(E)AVEN.
20 RE,LEVANT. “The eastern part of the Mediterranean with its islands and neighbouring countries”.
22 EWER. Can be read either way inside ‘cREW ERratically’.
26 PEDESTRIAN. Anag of ‘a president’.
28 S,KIN.
29 P(L)AYED. ‘Put on pitch’ = payed; I’m assuming from the Shakespearean ‘pitch and pay’ (to pay with ready cash) — Henry V, Act 2, Sc. 3. See blog title. (Well … all that was caulking up the wrong barque. The answer is much simpler and nautical. EssexPerson was first to correct me. Thanks for that. And to OxyMoran who bothered to look it up.)
 2 B(O)ATH,OUSE. It’s a building on a (river) bank. Joint last-in with 1ac.
 3 Omitted. See the across omission.
 4 RIVE,R. R for ‘radius’; and x sounds like Exe; y sounds like Wye; rivers both.
 5 DOT. If I goes to lower-case, it needs one over it.
 7 PUN,JAB,I. India = I in the NATO phonetic alphabet (radio comms).
 8 CIRCA. First letters of some words in the clue.
12 CENTRAL. The letters H and E are central to the word ‘Manchester’. Not so the other two.
15 INNOVATED. Anag of ‘and vote in’.
17 CONTUSION. The T from ‘Tory’ replaces the F from ‘confusion’. A bruise.
19 VARIETY. Two defs: (1) All the same it’s not; (2) kind. A case of Kommasvergessenheit.
21 {o}VEN,IS,ON.
23 WHEE! L.
25 MANN,A. Author of Death in Venice and The Magic Mountain, inter alia.
27 ICY. I see!

37 comments on “Times 24966 … the word is ‘Pitch and Pay:’ Trust none …”

  1. Last one in AJAR which held me up for ages.

    To PAY is to caulk the seams of a ship with pitch (a horrible job – Ive done it!)

  2. Thanks to both for finding the simpler solution. Brewer, however, does write:

    Pitch and Pay
    Pitch down your money and pay at once. There is a suppressed pun in the phrase: “to pay a ship” is to coat it with pitch.

    Still, no excuse for my preference for the pun over the literal. Funny that eh?

    Edited at 2011-09-28 03:34 am (UTC)

    1. In my haste to respond I omitted to thank you for the blog which illuminated a couple of points which I had missed.
      1. My pleasure. Just looked up my big Shakespeare glossary and it seems Brewer may not be so reliable after all. It reads, inter alia:

        “… the expression originated from pitching goods in a market, and paying immediately for their standing”.

        So it’s the would-be seller who had to do the paying after pitching his goods.

      2. Agreed that this is a bit of a bugger; esp. with two wordplays. Just looked up my big crossword dictionary and there are no fewer than 46 possibilities for A?A? ALAS!
  3. MCText…thanks for your excellent analysis.

    I think that 29 across is “Payed” as in …to put on pitch in the nautical sense.

    According to Chambers …PAYED
    naut to smear (a wooden boat) with tar, etc as waterproofing.


  4. Half an hour for the rest and then another 28 minutes for 4 in the SW and AJAR, where the door definitely hit me on the way out. I scratched my head for quite a while over this one and the best I could come up with was AHAH (‘haha’ – a shock, especially if you fall into one – reversed). No ‘Asian ruler’, no ‘not’ – not much of anything, really, but better than ‘Ahab’, ‘ayah’, etc. at any rate. I even considered ‘awig’, I was that desperate.

    I thought this was an excellent puzzle, with my COD going to ICY just ahead of the well-disguised anagram PEDESTRIAN.

    1. That A_A_ was really annoying. Before I got the second A I had mentally pencilled in AFRO (a shock) being FRO (not “to”) at the back of A(sian)but unfortunately not accounting for the “ruler”.
  5. 45 minutes, so not quite a disaster but I came here not fully understanding PLAYED or DOT, so thanks for the explanations.

    With reference to 12ac I remembered a previous discussion on the subject of “to” and “ajar” and surprised myself by tracking it down at the first attempt in a puzzle I blogged last July. On that occasion the clue relied on the words being synonymous: Prince rising to applaud initially poor player (8)

    Here’s the link (the answer’s at 3dn and there’s some discussion in the comments below: http://times-xwd-times.livejournal.com/580763.html

    1. Was going to add I particularly enjoyed rereading PB’s attempt to define the overlap geometrically.

      P.S. I meant July of last year.

      1. I can see you’re having a Latin day (or should that be dies – or perhaps diem in this case). I suspect young Mr Thakkar wouldn’t be too pleased with 45 minutes either.

        I’m in the similar position to janie_l_b, having small Latin (A-level) and less Greek (O-level), so I’m grateful for your gloss on “veterinary”, a word which I too used to imagine was spelled differently (possibly “vetinary” – but it was a long time ago).

  6. DOT and AJAR on a wing and a prayer and didn’t know “ancient”. Otherwise steady solve. Taking so long to see “oddly” as an anagram indicator in 26 gets me the dunce cap, again.
  7. Yippee! First one completely complete for ages!

    Thanks for clear explanations to CENTRAL (just assumed it required knowledge of those towns, so didn’t bother trying to work it out…), PLAYED (never heard of that meaning of ‘to pay’), OBSCURED (again, it had to be that, but was stumped).

    Always find the clues with combo of 1 def + 2 wps (or vice versa) as in AJAR tricky, as they often don’t hint as to that’s what they’re doing.

    Also, was held up by being convinced the spelling of 10ac was ‘vetinerary’. In fact, I think I’ve ALWAYS believed that’s how it should be spelt! However, PARALEGAL sorted that one out.

    1. The word’s got quite an interesting etymology, originally from the Latin verb ‘veho’ meaning ‘to carry’ (think ‘vehicle’) and by extension ‘to draw’; hence, the adjective veterinus (reduced from vehiterinus) meaning ‘draught’, giving ‘draught animal’. You see, that Classical education wasn’t completely wasted!

      And, much more importantly, congratulations on the completion.

  8. Infuriatingly failed to see (or guess) ajar after an extra five on top of 26 minutes. Signed off with an exasperated agah! Otherwise a steady run, skidding a little here and there but staying on the road. Rather like gal = maid, don’t know why.
  9. Nice puzzle, 20 minutes to solve with no hold ups. Some very pleasing anagrams.

    In the daily cryptic (as distinct from the bar crosswords) any mention of “eastern ruler” should trigger you to consider the Raj and its derevation Raja and Rajah. It will often lead you to the answer.

    DOT is clever

  10. I agree with McT that this one was a not “really…difficult puzzle” disguised as a toughie: 19 minutes to solve with the additional time spent in all the advertised places.
    I thought there was some really clever stuff here, particularly DOT, RIVER, OBSCURED (CoD once I saw it) and VARIETY, the first three of these perhaps revealing why it seemed tough. The NW was my last completed section, and that’s never encouraging.
    DOT I reasoned had something to do with being on one’s tod, but couldn’t parse the clue that way, so missed the cleverness before enlightenment here.
    I had no idea about pay and pitch together in any context, so entered (as I would have to in competition) on assumed definition alone. Soaked up time getting there, though.
    As Jim says, the eastern prince has to be Raja in one of its forms, the only trick was seeing that it had to go in backwards and then accepting the plethora of wordplay.
    An educational pleasure with some fine anagrams.
  11. Thanks, mctext, for a great blog: added another layer of pleasure and enlightenment to a good puzzle. Really struggled with SW and did not understand wordplay until coming here (so thanks, too, to essex_man and oxymoran for illumination of ‘pay’). COD to OBSCURED: answer ‘obvious’ but wordplay, once I’d worked it out, was a delight.

    On a technical note, is it possible for a marginal contributor such as myself to edit a comment once it’s been posted? I spotted an awful howler in my comment yesterday and would like to have put it right. Other than deleting the offending comment (and re-submitting a corrected comment), I can’t see any way to do it.

    1. It’s delete and re-post; or else get a paid account. The latter allows edits provided there’s no reply to that point.

      For example:

      Edited at 2011-09-28 10:22 am (UTC)

      1. Thank you. The moral is clear: proofread what you’ve actually written rather than what you think you have written …
        1. Don’t know the Windoze equivalent, but I use TextEdit on the Mac, have a look, then copy and paste. But I still stuff it up after all that.
  12. An easy puzzle completed in 25 minutes. I enjoyed some unusual and interesting clues, such as 9 (misleading use of “ancient”), 4, 5 (which I didn’t understand until I came here)12 and 19. My preference is for interesting wordplay to bog-standard words, as here, rather than straightforward or dull wordplay to obscurities.
  13. 25:18. The part of my brain that normally unravels anagrams for me wasn’t working terribly well today and I lost time through having to write out the letters of pedestrian (even with all checkers in place), veterinary and rhetorical.

    Is nobody else bothered by 4? A homophone as the definition? I didn’t like that at all. That apart this was a challenging and enjoyable puzzle.

    1. I really liked 4d as well, two homophones for the price of one – possibly the best value in the graveyard tonight. A couple of clues (including this one) smacked of Mr Greer although I am aware that the Times house style means there is a degree of convergence (even if he is still setting in the Times!).
      In any case I was flummoxed by PLAYED (although it went in) and AJAR was left hanging out after about 25 minutes.
      Thanks to all concerned.
      1. I agree: there were one or two clues that I can imagine Brian Greer coming up with.

        Another possibility might be Joyce Cansfield. 29ac (PLAYED) reminded me of one of my favourite clues of hers: “Sick pay (3)” (even quite experienced solvers may need to look up both “sick” and the answer in Chambers to understand this one properly).

  14. 34 minutes plus another 10 convincing myself that it must be AJAR and PLAYED. Liked many of these, even 4 (more so after I solved it) but COD to VARIETY.
  15. Clever and inventive puzzle. Thanks to Mctext for explaining DOT and to Essex Man and Oxymoran for the unusual definition of “payed” at 29 ac. I thought the clueing of the short solutions DOT and AJAR was particularly ingenious.
  16. I didn’t understand the clueing of DOT or PLAYED until coming here. But they went in correctly as lucky guesses. A fun puzzle. 28 minutes.
  17. I thought this a very good puzzle, which while not hard, was quite entertaining. The only thing I didn’t get was this use of ‘payed’. I got through in 20 minutes or so, ending with RIVER, and COD’s to that plus OBSCURED, DOT and RELEVANT. Regards, and thanks to the setter.
  18. Out all day: late solve, late post. I found this mostly straightforward but made a hash of the SW, putting INNOVATES and VARIENT at first and then not understanding PLAYED when I’d sorted it all out.
    18 minutes after all that but somehow I managed to type VETIRENARY. Sigh.
  19. Certainly far easier than Monday’s (still unfinished) or yesterday’s (completed correctly only this morning with a few very lucky guesses). I took 44 minutes and there were no entries I found at all obscure (IAGO having at least rung a muffled bell). Still, a number of clues which needed viewing from just the right angle (VARIETY, DOT, RIVER [x or y were really quite good as homonyms]). COD to VETERINARIAN for the superb surface reading and the discovery that it is an anagram of such a suitable pair of blood vessels.
  20. 9:11 here. What a delightful puzzle! 1ac was typical: “old boy” and “hidden” brought OBSCURED to mind straight away, but I couldn’t see immediately how the rest of the clue fitted so assumed the answer must be something else and moved swiftly (too swiftly!) on.
  21. All I can think of for 14 down is the creeps, but can’t fully work out why. The answer isn’t posted, and nobody made any reference to it, so now I’m even more bewildered. Help…
    1. You seem to be looking at the wrong blog entry! THE CREEPS was the answer to 14dn in No. 24,876 (which was blogged here).

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