Times 24,989

Timed at 24:23, with everything correct (though not necessarily understood) when I stopped the clock.

1 HOMBURG – M.B. in (ROUGH)*. One of those where the anagrind and anagrist are interchangeable.
5 NABOB – [O.B. in BAN]all rev.
9 HOLST – Large in HOST (not present = gift, but present in the way Ant and/or Dec might present a TV show).
10 ALL AT ONCE – Conservative in ALL AT ONE.
11 PRAIRIE – [affaiR in PAIR] + I.E.
12 INFANCY – IN + FAN + CitY.
13 HULLABALOO – HULL + Area + BALOO gives the uproar.
15 BANG – Name in (GAB)rev.
18 PASS – The rare triple definition, elegantly executed here in three pairs of words.
20 RELINQUISH – Question in (LIEINRUSH)*.
23 PROTEST – ROT in PEST. The modern definition (pants=rubbish) has appeared before, and seems to have had wide currency since the Comic Relief campaign of 2001.
24 SCANDAL – SCAN + (LAD)rev.
25 MAJOR SUIT – O.R. in (JUSTAIM)*; the reference being to the gradation of the suits in bridge.
26 EMCEE – (E.E.C. + ME)all rev. What the EU was in a previous incarnation, and something which British politicians are literally still debating today….
27 YOBBO – (BOY)rev. + BOy.
28 KNAPPER – King + NAPPER. The knapper with a K would have been much in demand in Stone Age times while the napper without a K immediately calls to mind Peter Sellers, and his cover of Harry Champion… “Any old iron any old iron any any old, old iron? You look neat – talk about a treat, You look dapper from your napper to your feet…”
2 MATERIAL – MATE (“China plate” in Cockernee rhyming slang) + RIvAL without the Very.
3 USAGE – U.S.A. + (E.G.)rev. Chicano has appeared here before.
4 GALLIPOLI – [LIP + 0] in GALLIc Having put in the answer presuming that GALL was the sauce, I couldn’t at first make any sense of how the rest of the wordplay worked, though it clearly did, especially when 6 down provided corroboration. Gallipoli is obviously more famous as a battlefield, but is as good a port as any.
5 NOTIFY – NOT 1 + FunnY.
6 BONANZA – (NOB)rev. + ANZAc.
7 BEERY – BEE + RailwaY.
8 CHOP CHOP – CHOP=strike x2.
17 SQUARE UP – 4 is an example of a SQUARE + UP (in revolt).
19 SNOW JOB – Sons + (OWN)* + JOB. Spin-doctoring in the same vein as a whitewash.
21 INDY CARkIND + (RACY)rev.
23 POMMY – I don’t think I’m alone in generally disliking these “remove a particular letter and replace it with another, unspecified, letter” clues; but when the letter in question has a checker, figuring the change from TOMMY to POMMY is less of a challenge.
24 SUTRA – iSjUsTgReAt.

28 comments on “Times 24,989”

  1. 50 minutes, so quite a slow solve after getting off to a flying start in which I raced through the NE corner. After that it was a bit of a slog but progress was steady and I never actually felt stuck or that I might not finish without resort to aids.

    KNAPPER was new to me but it reminded me of Mitchell’s and Webb’s Bronze Orientation Day sketch which gave me a laugh along the way.

    An X somewhere in the grid would have given us the pangram.

  2. A similar tale to those above. Half an hour for all bar the SW (and KNAPPER, which eventually went in with zero understanding), 52 minutes in total. Should have got 23dn much sooner, being one myself.
  3. Thinking this was a pangram pushed me into writing KNAPPER, when I’d heard of neither the head nor the scraper. I also had AWESTRUCK for some while but couldn’t see the wordplay and didn’t reckon it meant, well, ‘dumbstruck’.

    All bar the SW was completed in half an hour, with that quadrant requiring another 47 minutes, kick-started by MAJOR SUIT. Didn’t like POMMY much either; had never heard of SNOW JOB (‘though I’m vaguely familiar with a soundalike); and wondered why ‘bag’ should mean ‘chat about’ until sorted out by TT.

  4. Like others done in by SW that tripled my 15 min. up to there. Having limey for far too long didn’t help. I don’t care for either of the contributory defs. in 23 ac. Nevertheless a sharp scramble till near the end and then satisfying at last to break through to the top.
  5. DNF. After an hour still struggling with the SW so came here for rescue! Many thanks, tim, for the blog, putting me out of my misery. I may, eventually, have got there but I’ve got too many other things to do today.
  6. I had all but the SW done in about 10 minutes today.
    After another 15 or 20 minutes I’d managed to sort out the problem I gave myself by putting in LIMEY and grind out almost all the rest.
    Then I spent ages going through every possible alphabetic permutation for 28ac before deciding that KNAPPER looked like the least unlikely and limping home in 40 minutes. I didn’t think I’d heard of either KNAPPER of NAPPER but I knew the song so I probably should have thought of it.
    I didn’t like PROTEST much, not because I don’t like the word “pants” but because I thought it was an ajective, whereas “rot” is a noun. I suppose you could say that I’m talking pants though.
    I did very much like “while away” in 18ac: it took me a while to see it.
    1. It’s interesting how many of these nouns with a pejorative meaning – pants, rubbish, shite – appear to be getting more common as adjectives, even in the very “adjectivey” attributive position: “What a pants performance from England!”, “Look at his rubbish clothes” (Gareth on Tim in The Office), etc.

      Congratulations on a sterling debut at the Championships!

      1. Indeed. In my experience “pants” in the sense “rubbish” is almost always an adjective, but “talking pants” sounds more or less like something people might say. The really interesting thing about words like this is that you can’t rely on dictionaries to arbitrate, because of necessity they’re playing catch-up with usage.
        And thank you. It was a very pleasant surprise: either I was lucky with the puzzles or the nerves helped.
  7. A bit harder than of late and welcomed for that, with some nice clues. I think too many easyish puzzles on the trot mean that a harder one is made that little more difficult by being out of practice. 30 minutes for this which felt as if it should have been quicker.

    Like others I’m not enamoured of clues like 23D but can’t see where folk are getting limey from – just guessing on the definition plus M and Y checkers presumably without understanding the cryptic. Doing that nearly always leads to trouble!

  8. 25:49 .. but it felt faster! A good five minutes or so at the end sorting out the 23s.

    COD WEIRDO … a while since I’ve heard ‘queer fish’. I Googled the term, wondering where it came from, but found only this advice to learners of English:

    Note: This is a very old-fashioned idiom. You might hear it in old movies, or read it in old novels, or you might even hear elderly people using it, but you probably shouldn’t try using it yourself.

  9. I fell into the LIMEY trap (though there was a question mark next to it). 23 minutes with my last in being KNAPPER, didn’t know NAPPER for head (strange though, as there’s a racial slur here based around it) or KNAPPER but figured it was the most likely word with the checking letters.

    Strange grid – pangram less X? 26 could have been made EXCEL and 24 and 16 changed to make it a pangram.

    GALLIPOLI from definition.

  10. Just under an hour and correct, although there were a number of clues I didn’t completely understand before coming here (HOST = present, PASS, and the parts contributing to PROTEST, although nothing else would fit, and NAPPER in 28ac). For the triple definition, PASS deserves to be COD (although MATERIAL is rather neat, too).
  11. Tricky indeed. 33:16 while waiting for my daughters to have their hair cut so slightly distracted by tales of where old ladies are going on holiday.

    Caused myself problems in the NW by throwing in PALTRIER at 2d (PAL + TRIER). Resolved that with Hullabaloo.

    Like others I guessed at knapper at also had most difficulty with the wurzel corner.

  12. Like many others, I spent more than half my time on the SW.
    KNAPPER went in very easily, and brought back memories of seeing flint-knappers building walls in Broadstairs during long-distant holidays. But they were doing it behind the Lord Nelson, not the King’s Head.
  13. Host for present was too much of a stretch for me. Having said that with L for Large and five letters, answer could only be Liszt or Holst. Did anybody else write in Slap Bang for 9 down, particularly having been conned into a false sense of security with Prairie going in at 11 across? Feel COD was Yobbo. Today, after all, was a tough solve. Well for some of us.
    1. >…
      >Having said that with L for Large and five letters, answer could only be Liszt or Holst.

      Don’t be too sure. How about:

      Old king touring hospital to find composer (5)
      Retro jazz piece by the French composer (5)
      Composer puts brief pause before end of symphony (5)
      Composer dropping first part of movement (5)
      For composer, what inspires rhapsody? (5)

      all from the Times crossword? And there are others I’d regard as fair game as well.

        1. I take it you’ve cracked No. 3 (otherwise, think French baroque).

          For No. 4, try this earlier clue that’s a bit more specific:

          French composer’s timeless movement (5)

          Or there’s:

          Composer wasting time in tourism (5)

          Or (from a Jumbo):

          Musician left after loud party (5)

          1. Yes, I had got 3, but only with aids. Not sure I’ve heard of him. Duped by ‘movement’ at 4! It should certainly have rung a bolero.
  14. About 45 minutes, but I admit resorting to the aids for KNAPPER at the end. I had everything else, and it was getting late, and I had no idea what the answer or wordplay was on that one. I also fell into the LIMEY trap, although Jimbo is clearly correct in that there’s no justification for it. Finally corrected that, but it took a while. Overall, though, a nice puzzle. Regards.
  15. 15:30 for me, with tiredness a contributing factor. Another who wasted time trying to justify LIMEY. And not helped by typing NABOB into 9ac (only spotted when I found N‑B‑B appearing in 5ac). Some tricky clues.
  16. Something over 40′, most of it at dinner. Glad to see that quite a few others didn’t know KNAPPER, which I put in because I couldn’t think of anything else, and I had finally figured out how AWESTRUCK worked (one of my COD candidates, along with 4d, 25ac, 23ac, among others).

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