Times 24979 – Light & Easy

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Another pleasant stroll on a Thursday morning when preparing the blog took more than double the time to solve the puzzle. Quite entertaining.

1 PROPOSES Ins of OP (opus or work) in PROSE (writing) + S (first letter of section)
9 HEADCASE To head a case is to take charge of say, a criminal investigation … somehow this word have been replaced by the more common NUTCASE
10 ONER OWNER (proprietor) minus W (weight)
11 LAUNCHING PAD Ins of A in LUNCHING (having midday meal) PAD (home)
13 PAPUAN PA (father) PU (turning up) AN (article) for a native or inhabitant of Papua New Guinea
14 LOG CABIN LOG (book) CABIN (rev of NIB, writer AC, account, Thanks vinyl1) allusion to Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe published in 1852)
15 FLAGGED F (fine) LAGGED (trailed behind)
16 FRESHER FARES (travel costs) minus A + HER (female) for a college student in the first year
20 COMMANDO COME (invitation) minus E + MAN DO (stag party)
22 CUED IN CUE (sounds like queue, line) DIN (row)
25 IBIS I (one) B (British) I’S (isles) I was stuck momentarily in this corner because I mis-parsed this as Reversal of A (one) UK’S (British Isle’s) for SKUA, also a bird
26 CALLISTO CALL (name) IS TO Callisto, named after a Greek mythological figure, is a moon of the planet Jupiter. From this batch of satellites, the best known among cruciverbalists must be Io, adopted by the great John Henderson (aka Enigmatist in Guardian & Nimrod in Independent) for his puzzles in the Financial Times.
27 ENRAGING Ins of RAG (kid) & IN in ENG (English) with stores as the insertion indicator

3 PARLOUR GAMES Ins of R (last letter of father) & GAME (prepared to join) in PARLOUS (risky)
4 SEQUENCE *(QUEENS) + CE (CollegE) College after vacation is such a unique way of indicating C & E. My COD for this clever bit of smooth clueing
5 SHACKLE Ins of HACK (journalist) in SLE (half of SLEaze)
7 CAMP Ins of M (male) in CAP (hat)
8 DEADENER Ins of A DEN (lair) in DEER (animals)
12 GLASS CEILING One of the rare cd in The Times Thanks to vinyl1, G (good) LASS (young woman) CEILING (top); so combining, we get an &lit ! Bravo !
15 FACE PACK Ins of ACE (one) in F (female) PACK (compact)
17 RECLINER Ins of C (cape) in RE (on) + LINER (cruise ship)
18 EMISSION Cha of E (last letter of terrible) MISSION (bombing raid)
19 JOHN DOE J (first letter of Jig) + *(HOEDOWN minus W, wife)
21 NODOSE A new word for me derived completely from the simple and straight-forward wordplay
24 Rev ha deliberately omitted
Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

28 comments on “Times 24979 – Light & Easy”

  1. … so neither light nor easy down here. Most trouble with the FRESHER | EMISSION | CUED IN connectors. Most solvers will have to admit there are some very good surfaces in this puzzle. My COD goes to the &lit qualities of FACE PACK. (But when did anyone last see a compact?)
  2. 30 minutes dead, but all apart from 6dn was completed in 24. Neither definition brought anything suitable to mind and there were so many words that fitted ?A?ING I had to slog my way through the alphabet letter by letter, and W is a long way in!

    I had also lost time trying to parse 14ac mid-solve before giving up to return to it after completing the grid. I’m pleased to say I worked it out eventually but along the way I was toying with ‘book’ = ‘B’ and ‘writer’s account’ being ‘login’ however I then couldn’t explain the remaining letters so a rethink was needed.

    I’m sure I have met CALLISTO before but I’m afraid planets and their moons just won’t stick in my head. Fortunately the wordplay was elementary for this one.

    RINGTAIL for ‘cat’ also seemed unfamiliar. I know the pigeon and the raccoon or possum or whatever it is.

    1. I was phased by this one too. So I looked it up in NOAD:

      1 any of a number of mammals or birds having a tail marked with a ring or rings, in particular
      • a ring-tailed cat or lemur.
      • a female hen harrier or related harrier.
      • a golden eagle up to its third year.
      2 (also ringtail or ring-tailed possum) a nocturnal tree-dwelling Australian possum that habitually curls its prehensile tail into a ring or spiral. • Genus Pseudocheirus and other genera, family Petauridae: several species, in particular the common ringtail (P. peregrinus), of southern Australia and Tasmania.

  3. 58 minutes, with COD to CUED IN and thanks to Yap Suk for the hoedown on FACE PACK and FRESHER. Never been any good with women …..
  4. In my experience, a FACE PACK is a kind of sludge which hardens when left on the skin. It can be ruinous to the contents of one’s handbag if stored in a COMPACT, which more commonly holds pressed face-powder.

  5. All ok here, with WAXING being my first and RINGTAIL being my last (didn’t realise it was an anagram till coming here!).

    Unfamiliar words from wordplay: CALLISTO and NODOSE, and those entered without full understanding of WP: PARLOUR GAMES, FACE PACK and LOG CABIN, but all quite clear from definition. Liked DEADENER for number, though I’m sure it’s come up before.

    Agree with Jane, don’t think you’d want to keep a FACE PACK in a compact!

  6. 17 minutes, despite only being able to get the two short ones in the top half to begin with. Bottom half, starting with FLAGGED and FACE something, went in pretty smoothly but with some not well understood. You know your brain is not functioning at peak capacity when you don’t spot row=din in 22a and enter it on intuition alone. Likewise LOG CABIN, where part of my “kind of sludge” which I keep in the compact space of my skull “remembered” that well known book “Log Cabin” and put it in on that basis, thinking it a poor clue. Perhaps I was thinking of Lincoln’s autobiography.
    CoD to COMMANDO, even though I read it as “com(e), man, do!”
  7. 9 minutes, without feeling I was racing through it, so I must have been on the right wavelength. Lots of good surfaces, though I also paused on FACE PACK (before concluding that it was clearly right from wordplay, and womens’ cosmetics are so low down my areas of expertise that I didn’t feel confident in challenging it…)
  8. A reasonable pace until with only 16 left I was looking at a second-letter-‘I’ word as had incliner for recliner, and…a shameful dnf. Put in hipster for female student to cheer myself up. One of those moments where one really hasn’t justified being born.
  9. Enjoyed this one, perhaps not quite up to yesterday’s, but getting there. 22 mins but mostly done in 15, with 1dn and 27ac last in and taking time to sort out. Nodose new to me but not hard.

    I think we can deduce from 15dn that the setter is male?

  10. What is the significance of ‘continuously’ in the clue [Restrict jounalist probing sleaze, half of it continuously censored]? The clue would I think be perfectly good, if not better, without this word, so it must be there for a reason. But what?
    1. I think it just means you take out a continuum of letters rather than say evry other letter?
  11. In 12d I took “what’s reportedly stopping” to mean the sound of sealing. 22 minutes and found this very pleasant.
  12. Most of the puzzle completed in 30 minutes, but then I took another 20-25 minutes to get several in the NE corner – 5, 6, 8 and 9. I went down a blind alley with 9, thinking ‘criminal’ indicated AL or LAG, the latter offering a promising ending ….LAGE. Once I had SHACKLE, HEADCASE slowly dawned.
  13. …which I was not in the least CLUED UP about parsing. Excellent smoke and some fine mirrors. BUT ALSO…

    From this batch of satellites, the best known among cruciverbalists must be Io, adopted by the great John Henderson (aka Enigmatist in Guardian & Nimrod in Independent) for his puzzles in the Financial Times

    …it would be remiss of me not to draw attention to today’s interview (by me) of Enigmatist, which mentions inter alia his excellent themed puzzle as Nimrod in today’s Indie and the lovely work he’s doing with the RNIB and 3D crosswords.

  14. 10:54, ending with WAXING (6dn).  Unknowns: LAUNCHING PAD for ‘launch pad’ (11ac) and FACE PACK (15dn).

    Wil, I’m with you on preferring 5dn (SHACKLE) without ‘continuously’, but it may just be there to camouflage the wordplay.

    In 22ac (CUED IN), you might at first glance expect ‘row’ to be indicating DIN (as a noun); but in that case the wordplay would have the structure “X to Y at the back”, which would be a nonsense hybrid of “X to Y” (strange but common, and presumably modelled on e.g. “back to back”) and “X, Y at the back”.  So unless both setter and editor have slipped a grammatical cog – quod absit! – the intention must have been for ‘to row’ to indicate DIN (as a verb), which is unfamiliar to me but attested in the OED.

    Clue of the Day: 12dn (GLASS CEILING), in which Olivia is right about the sound of sealance.

  15. 41:50 – Slow to start, only about 3 done in the first 10 minutes, but sped up thereafter. Spent about 5 minutes at the end staring at 13a before the penny dropped. Nodose was new to me, but otherwise no problem.
  16. 20:11.

    Nodose was unknown and Callisto barely remembered. I didn’t see how sequence, log cabin or fresher worked until post-solve.

    I panicked when I first saw the clue to 24 as I thought it was asking for a girl’s name that made the name of a ballet when reversed. The only ballets I know are The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Copelia (which I probably can’t spell) and Spandau, none of which would fit.

    Nice puzzle for all that, COD to parlour games.

  17. Another standard 20 minute puzzle with few talking points. All of a good standard and no real quibbles. Constrained slightly by poor knowledge of ladies accroutrements. Surprised people don’t know “node” and hence NODOSE. Agree about “sounds like sealing” at 12D.
  18. my neighbor’s mother makes $68 hourly on the internet. She has been without work for 10 months but last month her income was $7615 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read about it here 4c3.de/LpK
  19. I had answers scattered all over the grid for the first 15 minutes. It was very slow coming together but I got there in the end. The clueing to 15a definately suggested that the answer was something you’d keep in a compact. I got the FACE part quite early on but was reluctant to put PACK since, as every skoolgirl kno, you can’t keep a facepack in a compact. Otherwise some very entertaining cluing.
    48 minutes
  20. Not easy here, but not for any good reason. Done in 3 separate stabs, ending with FACE PACK, right after FRESHER and WAXING. I don’t know how much time it took, but probably nearly an hour. I just couldn’t get my arms around this, and made an awful hard row of it. In retrospect, there’s no particular reason I can see why it took so long. Regards.
  21. 45 minutes of fairly steady plodding. Didn’t catch the ‘sealing’ of 12d, but without it it’s easily solvable as a non-cryptic, which is what I did. Thanks to Uncle Y for explaining 16, which I put in from the checkers without the slightest understanding.

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