Times 24988 – Not as able was I…

Solving Time: 37 minutes

Following an unusually flaky solve on Saturday, even by my standards, I approached today’s with trepidation, and indeed managed to make hard work of some of the easier clues. Still, I got there in the end, which is all that matters, unless you’ve decided to risk public humiliation in an international forum. Speaking of the Championship, congratulations to all those who did this blog proud on Saturday and especially to Simon Hanson, who came a close second. But now, back to more mundane matters…

1 DEVIL = LIVED reversed
4 ALBATROSS, a double definition, the second a golfing reference
9 FINANCIER = IN for “at office” in FANCIER
10 LITHO, hidden in noveL I THOught; short for lithograph
11 LISTEN, L isn’t 10, but 50.
12 BEG + INNER = BEGINNER, the boxer being a dog
14 ELBA reversed around CT for court and IONA = ACTIONABLE
16 Deliberately omitted. Think bonsai. (Hint: tree that’s minute.)
19 THIN = THINk, THINg and insubstantial
20 CHANGELESS = ANGEL for “source of funds” in CHESS
23 S for son + IN FULL = SINFUL
26 AMEND, AMsterdAM has AM at both ends
28 (A YES)* + ONE for I in MY = EASY MONEY
29 STRAD = DARTS reversed

1 Destructive + (IT ON LEAF)* = DEFOLIANT, for a very nice semi-&lit
2 VisiblE + SUN reversed = VENUS, a self referential semi-&lit?
3 LANCELOT = L for left + O for ring in LANCET
4 ARIA = MARIA. My LOI and one I made very heavy weather of.
5 BORDERLINE = ORDER for organization inside B for British LINE for policy. My SLOI and ditto.
6 TALKIE = TALE about K and I
8 SCOUR = SOUR containing the key of C.
13 WASHINGTON, cryptic definition
15 TRITENESS = INTERESTS*, with the anagrind “special” in the sense not usual.
18 GENIUSES = GEN for information + I USES
24 FLOOR, double definition
25 Deliberately omitted. Sounds like Christmas’s coming.

29 comments on “Times 24988 – Not as able was I…”

  1. … and an interesting mix of simple and complex, with some of the simpler ones defeating me on first pass — e.g., the anagram in 15dn. And trying to get EMEND out of 26ac. I have to give my COD to 1dn (after several heavy weeks in the garden). (Better than 28ac which reminded me of filling in tax returns!)

    Strange to find two wordplays in 19ac but?

  2. Started with an ALBATROSS and finished in 34 minutes, which makes me the equivalent of the club pro who always leads the Open for a couple of hours on the first day.

    I seem to remember the Championship puzzles were available from a link last year.

    1. We were told the 3 final puzzles would be reprinted in the paper today, so I would have expected a link to them on the Club website. I’ve written a blog entry for the first of them, which is about to go up. I’ll do the other two after work tonight.
  3. Something went awfully right today: 14’40”, a PB. I’d never heard of a golf albatross, and thought the clue was some sort of reference to ‘The Ancient Mariner’; whatever works. In general, the checkers made the choice of word inevitable, even when (as in 12) I couldn’t see the parse when I wrote the solution. Is 13d even cryptic? It looks like something that could show up in, say, the NY Times. I’ve got a bad feeling about tomorrow’s puzzle.
  4. 44 minutes, but forgot to go back to 4dn, where I had thought about ARIA but not entered it because – unbelievably, in retrospect – I had failed to get past chopping the ‘C’ off the surname. Liked the double ‘Q’ clues at 22. Not sure if I’ve ever come across OSTENSIVE.
  5. 27:50 which seemed like rather a long time after such a quick start. I spent far too long looking for an anagram in 17dn, and I really don’t know why it took me so long to see 5dn, 8dn and 15dn.

    The break between the wordplay and definition in 28ac made it my COD.

  6. I had AHEAD instead of AMEND, as a sort of 3 definitions thing: What Amsterdam has “A-head”. More than = ahead (in scoring in sports for instance) and “one of” = “a head”.

    But I think AMEND seems a tighter fit to the clue.

  7. 20 minutes including a hold-up in the SE where 17, 20, 24 and 25 required a bit of thinking through. Prior to that I had been steaming through it without bothering to work out the wordplay in some clues such as 11ac and 14ac. In fact at 11 with L????? in place I didn’t even bother to read past “Pay attention” before writing in the answer. Not sure I knew of LANCET window before but otherwise there was no unfamiliar vocabulary.
  8. 22 minutes after a final stutter with Washington and changeless. Five consecutive vowels in 22 is something isn’t it? Used to like seeing Aidrieonians on the football results for the vowel rush. (And I guess somehow it’s a lovely word.) Nothing too testing here though didn’t know (or had forgotten) the lancet window.
    1. Strangely, Airdrieonians are back in the news, as, after Alex Ferguson said the 6-1 reversal against Manchester City was the biggest drubbing he’d ever been on the wrong end of as player or manager, the anoraks came out to remind him that 40 years ago his team Falkirk lost 7-1 to the vowelled wonders.
  9. 20 minutes today. My last in were ACTIONABLE and LANCELOT, and I didn’t understand the wordplay in either case, so thanks for clearing that up. OSTENSIVE was new to me.
    I wondered for a while about “badly shot” for MISPLAYED thinking it was a reference to film-making.
  10. 18 minutes, admiring the good ones (particularly DEFOLIANT as an &lit, LISTEN and AMEND for cheeky devices) and groaning a little at the dodgy ones, WASHINGTON and ALBATROSS being barely cryptic.
    I initially picked the wrong pacifists for 22d – the Shakers also had that honourable distinction – which made the waiter in 22a rather interesting.
    OSTENSIVE has the distinction of being a known word with an unknown meaning, at least until today. It’s the sort of thing John Prescott would come up with (like “hypothecation”) to demonstrate his grasp of posh English.
    CoD to LISTEN
    1. I was surprised to see ‘…hypothecated to…’ on the back of autorickshaws in Kolkata. Mortgaged to. Not too sure Two Jags meant that though.
  11. 15 minute stroll in the park with no issues. Liked DEFOLIANT

    For non-golfers the “birds” are: one under par=”birdie”; two under par=eagle (a hole in one on a par three say); three under par=albatross (that’s usually a score of 2 on par 5 hole)

    1. 13 minutes, and looks like I wasn’t the only one left stumbling at CHANGELESS and WASHINGTON, my last two and what seemed like an eternal stare at the grid. CHANGELESS first and then, embarrassingly, WASHINGTON.

      I guess it’s technically a double definition as both “state” and “capital” are definitions.

  12. Today’s blogger was correct to omit 29 across. Strad is not a famous violin, Stradivarius is. How many were waiting like me for the penny to drop with Queueing?
    1. “Strad” is fine. It’s in Collins and Chambers. Any complaints should go to the dictionary editors, not to the Setter.
  13. Another initially opting, wrongly, for ‘indictable’, rather than ACTIONABLE (if only India was an island the clue might have been bludgeoned into submission)! WASHINGTON seemed too straightforward, scarcely cryptic. Otherwise no serious hold-ups; about 25 minutes overall.

    I enjoyed the wordplay for LISTEN – albeit not using it to get the answer.

  14. Did anyone else produce DEFLATION instead of DEFOLIANT? It could be seen as desctructive, couldn’t it? As could a million other things for that matter. Having got that wrong, it meant I couldn’t find answers for 11,14 and 19 across. Plus I also went for the Shaers instead of the Quakers, which meant that 22ac was impossible. Ho hum
    1. Absolute same for us. Deflation and Shaker – both possible. Very enjoyable puzzle however, with a COD going to 11A LISTEN
  15. Its nice to know that I wasn’t the only one with deflation….and exactly the same problems resulting therefrom…
  16. 8:33 here for a pleasant start to the week. I’m still feeling a little numb after the exertions of Saturday, and enjoyed solving in a more relaxed frame of mind!
  17. No trouble with 1d because it reminded me of my late father-in-law’s not-so-funny joke re the 1964 U.S. presidential election that Goldwater lost in a landslide to Lyndon Johnson. The Democratic party line was that if you vote for Goldwater you vote to escalate the SE Asia war and to defoliate the jungles of Viet Nam. So he voted for Goldwater…..
    1. Hello Olivia, I’m very sorry for your daughter ,it must be awful. I got your message thanks but can’t reply because of your security settings. Yes, I do work in aviation but I have no special knowledge of FoF therapy. I work for an American all-cargo airline (Evergreen. Flying on our venerable B747 Freighters as I do from time to time as a Loadmaster and, latterly as a QC Auditor, one gets used to all manner of creaks, groans and other funny noises; and that’s just the pilots! I do have a friend in California who’s ex-husband used to suffer badly. I e-mailed her and she says that there was a programme at her, then local, airport Seattle. I think Qantas has a programme in Sydney so maybe a major airline may have one in NYC or even, say, JFK Airport itself may have one. My friend did, however, Google “fear of flying New York” on my behalf and says she found several useful sites. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Martin
      PS, I have also posted a message for you on my L.J. page which, apparently, can be read by friends.Too much technology addles the Over-60s!
  18. 34:39 and I’m quite pleased with that, but either I’m starting to get better at these or it was a very easy puzzle. Last in were LANCELOT (never heard of LANCET=window) and BEGINNER (I thought “boxer, say” was producing B+E.G. but I couldn’t quite understand why, so thanks for the explanation in the blog). I found WASHINGTON rather dull (I suppose it could appear in the New York Times — I grew up on American puzzles but it was a revelation and a whole new world to discover cryptic ones in the airmail edition of the (London) Times at the Graduate College in Princeton). Some very good clues, my favourites being AMEND and LISTEN, both a bit easier than I would have expected from the wordplay.

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