Times 25445: Only nine days late

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 39:12

The problem here was getting off the mark. Such tight cluing led, as I expected, to several double definitions. Six to be precise. Only one I couldn’t parse straight off, forgetting the British film classifications at 20ac. Very sluggish this morning. Perhaps because I could have slept more gooderer. Although officially autumn here, it’s still getting way up into the 30s and is humid as … a very humid place.

1 SEARCH ME. SEE, including ARCH, M (male). How I felt on first reading through the clues and getting nowhere.
5 Omitted. The first one I saw through on looking hard enough.
10 SURFERS PARADISE. Anagram: a friar dresses up. A place on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Mostly skyscrapers with a bit of beach.
11 MOLLIFY. IF inside MOLLY. Not a term I know, except perhaps in connection with ‘mollycoddle’.
12 GEORGIA. Two defs: US state and a country on the Black Sea. Always on my my my my my … mind.
13 SOMERSET. OM (Order, of Merit) and ERSE inside ST. Street, a town pretty much in the middle of Somerset. Rarely on my mind.
15 FOUND. 0 inside FUND (reserve).
18 RELIC. ELI (our crossword priest) inside RC (left-footer).
20 U,PRISING. U (for Universal, film classification = anyone can see that) & PRISING (using force). Helped here by the use of ‘using’ in both clue and answer; though that wasn’t the point of the cryptic.
23 CUSTARD. STAR inside CUD. Saw CUD earlyish but couldn’t see the rest until later.
25 PAINTER. I inside PANTER; on the assumption that a hot dog pants. Francis, an Irish painter.
26 PEREGRINE FALCON. Anagram: lone P{redator} racing free. A very good clue for its &lit-ish qualities.
27 TAWDRY. Reverse WAT (a Buddhist monastery or temple) & DRY (plain).
28 ON THE DOT. OED (the dictionary) around NTH, OT (religious book).

2 APRIL FOOL. FOOL is our pudding, going after P{retty} R{evolting} inside AIL (feel sick).
3 CHEMISE. C (cape); HEMI (half); SE{wn}.
4 MISTY. Two defs., one a 1950s jazz standard.
6 HEAD OFF. Two defs. Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre was guillotined.
7 STING. Two defs … again!
8 EYE CANDY. E (energy); anagram of DANCE inside Y,Y (two unknowns).
9 GANGSTER. {Superma}N inside GAGSTER.
14 SQUADDIE. QUAD inside an anagram of SIDE.
16 UNNOTICED. Anagram: continued.
17 CRACK,POT. Two things a drug dealer might sell.
19 CLANGER. Two defs. Surprise?
21 SPINACH. Reversal of CAN inside a reversal of HIPS.
22 BRAND,T. Willy wot won a Nobel Peace Prize. Really!
24 Omitted. See 12ac, 4dn, 6dn, 7dn & 19dn.
25 PREEN. PRE (before) & last letters of {brid}E and {traditio}N

49 comments on “Times 25445: Only nine days late”

  1. 51 minutes, last in Willy the German. Pudding and molly added spice to things – like our blogger, I’d never come across molly as short for mollycoddle, nor, for that matter, mollycoddle as a noun. (Is that Variations on a Theme by Jerrywh ‘There ain’t no noun that can’t be verbed’ I hear playing in the background?)

    Nice puzzle. Thanks to ‘Sleepless in Fremantle’ for the full parsing of APRIL FOOL and also MISTY, which I should have worked out, as the Welsh Choir had a stab at it once.

    Edited at 2013-04-10 03:21 am (UTC)

    1. Chambers has “a milksop”; though it also tells us that “mollycoddle” can be a noun meaning “an effeminate man”. Didn’t know either of these two things. The clue, obviously, requires the first.

      I am emphatically not in Fremantle!

      Edited at 2013-04-10 03:27 am (UTC)

      1. I see from Collins that molly in this sense is ‘Irish, informal’ and thought to derive from the pet name for Mary. And molly is not short for mollycoddle, but rather mollycoddle is a (later) expansion on molly.
  2. Hi everyone, please note that since the crossword a week today is to be a Championship qualifier, there will not be the normal blog here, until after the solution is available… if they publish a vintage crossword on the website as they did last year I will blog that, but not at midnight! I will put something up at some point in the morning, Maidstone time…
  3. I note we have the message about Qualifiers again and the Times STILL haven’t stopped it interfering with the layout of the puzzle when printed, and we are STILL missing the number of the current puzzle at the top of the grid. But of course they’ve only had a year to fix it.

    I struggled with this one and eventually completed it in 54 minutes. Quite enjoyed it though.

    My never-heard-ofs have already been mentioned apart from the Buddhist temple at 27ac.

    Edited at 2013-04-10 06:25 am (UTC)

    1. As I was writing the blog, I couldn’t help but mentally construct what you were going to say about the “prologue”. My only beef is that it takes up so much room and always threatens a two-page print out. (Luckily not today because of the brevity of the clues.) It could always appear at the bottom of the page and in a much smaller font. Or better: they could just whack it on the Club home-page and leave it there for a week or so. My good fortune is that Jerry scores all the Quals!
    2. Intriguingly, on the Stats page, it says:

      “Results for The 2013 Times National Crossword Championship Qualifying Puzzle No 1 … will appear on Wednesday, April 17.”

  4. All ok today, or so I thought, but of course my one with a ? was the one I got wrong… I had messy at 4dn.

    Took a bit of time, but it was one of those puzzles where I knew I could get to the end. SURFERS PARADISE took forever to get, and I’m glad I worked out the Bacon clue, I had pointer (dog) for a while.

    Assumed MOLLY was a form of mollycoddle.

  5. I struggled with this and was never on the setter’s wavelength. It became a 30 minute challenge to finish it rather than an enjoyable solve. That’s no criticism of the setter who has produced some tight clues. I also didn’t know “molly”

    I once gave a lecture to a convention of auditors at Caesars Palace at Surfers. I was amazed to see huge blocks of flats built to cast shadows across the beach. I was told this was to attract the Japanese – and 25 years later I’m still trying to work that one out.

    1. East Asian women don’t like getting a tan. Light skin colour is typically considered the epitome of beauty, which may not be unconnected with the fact that a tan makes them look like peasants working the fields. Hence the stratospheric sales of skin-whitening products in Asia, hence also the “total covering” of women who play golf in these parts.
      1. If you don’t want to get a tan, why would you go to Surfers Paradise?

        Edited at 2013-04-10 09:20 am (UTC)

      2. Thanks for that ulaca

        In response to keriothe – to gamble apart from other “attractions”

        1. Thanks – I’ve googled it now and Surfers Paradise is not what I thought it was! Must have been getting it mixed up with somewhere else.
  6. Thought this was quite tough, having to go all the way down to the SE corner before finding any purchase.

    I happened to visit Surfers Paradise during Schoolies Week a few years ago, without realising what that particular phenomenon entailed. It was only when I was looking for a quiet drink that first evening that I noticed I was twice the age of everyone else there.

  7. Hard going. 46.50. A perfectly fair puzzle though. Nothing to say on individual clues except that it’s good to look wearily upon their de(con)struction.
  8. I enjoyed this one, 19 mins and fairly plain sailing though it took time to twig that Misty must be a song/tune or similar. Was that same the one that Clint Eastwood wanted played?
  9. Difficult. Finished correctly but only with resort to aids. Molly unknown to me in the sense used here. Some very tight clueing. I particularly liked SQUADDIE – brilliant surface reading, well-disguised def and ingenious wordplay.

  10. Judging by Jimbo’s comments this is the first time ever I found a puzzle easier than he did!
    FOI Screw, LOI Brandt. No major hold ups but two I couldn’t fully understand until our guitarist enlightened me: April Fool and Uprising.
    All eyes in the sporting world are turned to Augusta, Georgia, at the moment for this week’s Masters tournament… on which note at 22dn is the setter tipping Brandt Snedeker to triumph on Sunday?!
  11. I slept good, having consumed ale, but solved awful, coming in with a 52 minutes. No fat in the clues, which sometimes makes them seem undoable, but of course once unravelled the fairness became apparent. Tight though, very tight, with SURFERS my rave of the day.


  12. 20 minutes; as others have said, a technically very good puzzle, if perhaps not the most lively. I spent about a quarter of the time on one clue, thinking “It must be MISTY, surely” but wanting to know why before committing myself, on the grounds that it just might be MESSY. Then Clint Eastwood popped into my head, and of course I couldn’t see why it had taken me so long to work it out.

    11ac put me immediately in mind of “Mother Clap’s Molly House”, a play by Mark Ravenhill which was staged at the National some years ago. I didn’t actually see it, but it’s a title which is once heard, never forgotten…

  13. …despite completely missing the devious definition “One had” and presuming that there was something I’d missed.
  14. 26m. I thought for a while it was going to be much longer but I seem to have got onto the setter’s wavelength around the 15m mark. I slept awful last night so perhaps I needed the caffeine to kick in.
    I was puzzled by quite a few of the clues as I solved this:
    > Like others I didn’t know MOLLY, and thought perhaps the mummy was M and the boy was Olly. Weird.
    > I didn’t know that Street was a place in Somerset so thought “where’s Street” was really vague as a definition (failing to notice the capital letter)
    > I was sure “half sewn” was HEMMED so thought the rest of the clue must be something really obscure
    > I’ve never heard of MISTY the song
    So for me it had a feeling of looseness and obscurity which came entirely from my own ignorance.
    A very fine puzzle but a struggle and so easier to admire in retrospect.

    Edited at 2013-04-10 09:31 am (UTC)

  15. Didn’t know the song Misty but guessed it correctly as it seemed unlikely there’d be a song called Messy! 18 mins, which I thought was going to be much longer but I got on the setter’s wavelength.

    Andy B.

  16. Excellent puzzle, though it took me 55 minutes; feel a little happier now I read that others found it tough too.

    Thought the vocabulary eclectic, and supposed initially that the setter was quite young – the puzzle contained words and phrases that seem to belong to a younger generation (SURFERS PARADISE, EYE CANDY, the drug references) but then came SQUADDIE and BRANDT, sending it straight back to earlier times.

    Knew MOLLY as a male homosexual from Molly House (must have read a review of the play that Tim mentions above); and somewhere on my shelves is an old vinyl of Barney Kessel (or is it Charlie Byrd?) playing MISTY, so no problems there.

    Pleased that Che Guano was referred to as a terrorist, but that’s just a bee in my beret, and “hot dog” gave me a chuckle; so although the setter gave me a hard time, I congratulate him or her for a first rate puzzle.

    1. That was my first thought too, and although I share your bonnet, it is of course a hidden, in case you are still a bit misty about that.
        1. And I just realised it was a hidden. Thought it was a homophone in solving: a bad guy – such as a terrorist – is chased by authorities.
          So there you go.
  17. 8 minutes with the NW taking the longest to fall, probably because I was diverted by the thought of a nice bowl of custard!

  18. 25:25 .. very entertaining puzzle. And an even more entertaining blog and message board, what with the daily sleep report from down under, curious facts about Japanese sunbathing and the startling revelation that auditors hold their conventions in casinos.

    Re mctext’s “.. and is humid as … a very humid place.” Most of us suffer from this, either occasionally or routinely, this reaching for a simile which isn’t quite there. Is there a word for it? We’ve had a few references to The Meaning of Liff lately (which I’ve never quite gotten around to) – did Adams & Lloyd have any suggestions? Does anyone else?

    LOI – GANGSTER … COD – SURFERS PARADISE (for being so hard to see)

  19. Street is famous for Millfield School (Gareth Edwards – best ever Welsh rugby player) and Clarks Shoes. Surfers paradise was a difficult anagrind for me.
  20. This proved to be a mammoth 56 minute struggle. The puzzle was quite fair but I didn’t enjoy it at all and felt no particular satisfaction when it was finished. Some difficult puzzles can be hugely enjoyable but this one just didn’t cut it for me. Ann
  21. Solved late in the day (local time) and surprised both to be Orl Korrekt and as high as 32 on the leaderboard with 22&some minutes. Molly I (mis?) remembered as a Regency/Dickens term for an effeminate/homosexual man, potentially insulting several special interest groups and, of course, mothers.
    MISTY took ages, because old, number and unclear have a wide swathe of thesaurus entries, and there are too many possible fillers for M?S?Y. Clint seemed to be the point where they all met, but “Misty” is not as old as (say) Greensleeves. Messy, by Gabriella Cilmi was released in 2008. I expect some people count that as practically stone age.
    CHASTE I took to be a homophone for chased, which a terrorist might be. I liked it, but a smacked forehead on coming here.
    I liked this one, even if I didn’t solve anything at all for what seemed like a fortnight. CoD to CRACKPOT, with a side serving of APRIL FOOL for the “one had” definition.

    Edited at 2013-04-10 06:25 pm (UTC)

  22. Loved it, didn’t get SURFERS… until all the checkers were in, so LOI, with a smile. 45 minutes.
  23. Sorry for the late posting – I’ve been to that London on the train which means I solved the puzzle in the old fashioned newsprint version so the comments about qualifiers and print settings have no resonance.

    26 and a bit minutes and I thoroughly enjoyed this chewy one. At 10 I was playing with “seaside” something but obviously got nowhere and at 4 I though the number was an anaesthetic so didn’t understand Misty (or, for that matter, chemise, falling into the same hem trap as others).

    Loved the def for April fool and the wordplay for squaddie.

    I amused myself on the return journey but doing the cryptic puzzle in the Evening Standard. Horrible. Just horrible. The clueing is looser than a thrift store turtleneck (to quote one of the options that comes up when you Google “looser than”).

    1. It never occurred to me to Google such things. Presumably soon, when we’re all wearing Google Glass, the wretched things will notice a pause after ‘as’ or ‘than’ and whisper an appropriate simile in our ear.

      The end of asimile?

    2. If you google “more humid than” the favoured options are “a dog’s breath,” or “a sauna.” I know which I prefer 🙂
  24. 13:02 for me. Rather disappointing, since after a slow start I suddenly found the setter’s wavelength. But I was horribly slow getting SURFERS PARADISE (never heard of the place, and assumed the answer just meant any good spot for surfers) and agonised for simply ages over MISTY before vaguely recalling the film Play Misty for Me. (I’ve just listened to the first part of the original piano version (Erroll Garner) and the song (Johnny Mathis). Absolutely NOT my kind of music!)

    Apart from those two, all very enjoyable.

    1. My mother is a rabid Johnny Mathis fan, to the point where the dozens (hundreds?) of times I’ve been exposed to this song have cemented the lyrics into my brain. However I hadn’t realised (until this puzzle) that it was the same track in the film title.
  25. Great Errol Garner classic. Better than the film but this time of night is of course appropriate for the post. Apart from that, dry = plain?

    Tony D

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