Times 25447

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Solving time: 1:00:13

I feel I made heavy work out of this as I was quite tired. There were some really excellent clues in here though. In fact, the overall standard of the clues was pretty high. There were plenty of well-disguised definitions and inventive wordplay.

It’s hard to pick a COD amongst this lot as there are many contenders. I think my favourites were probably 1a & 29a, but the pick of the bunch for me was 11d.

cd = cryptic def., dd = double def., rev = reversal, homophones are written in quotes, anagrams as (–)*, and removals like this

1 SALAD CREAM = SCREAM (riot) about A + LAD (young man) – ‘leaves with this on?’ is the well hidden definition.
6 PASS = S (succeeded) after PASt (history, mostly) – the answer was obvious from the definition, but it took me a while to spot the wordplay
9 COPLAND = assembleD after CLAN (group) about OP (musical work) – another bit of wordplay that had to be disentangled after the solution went in.
12 DERAILMENT = RED (bloody) rev + AILMENT (sickener)
13 N + IT
15 MAD + RIDe
18 GETS AWAY = (A + WASTE) rev in GlitzY
23 NAB = BAN rev
24 INDELICATE = bElLe in INDICATE (show)
27 SQUID + GooeY
28 lET ON
1 SACK – rev hidden
4 RIDDLE = inspectoR + D in IDLE (trivial)
7 ALL + END + officE – Presumably it’s Salvador Allende, the former President of Chile, that’s being referred to, although I’ve never heard of him. The wordplay was quite straightforward though.
8 STRATHSPEY = YEP (definitely) + STARTS (gets going) about H all rev
11 MOTION PICTURE = (COMPUTER ON I + IT)* – I loved the misdirection involved in the natural phrase ‘switching computer on’
14 IMAGINABLE = ELBA rev after (I’M + AGIN)
17 MANDARIN – dd
21 CITADEL = “SITTER” (easy target) + “DELL” (valley)
22 ELY + SEE
25 EYED = “IDE”

42 comments on “Times 25447”

  1. I solved all but 6ac, 10ac and 8dn in 38 minutes but needed another 10 or so to complete the grid. PASS was so simple I couldn’t see it and I thought of SAMPLER quite early but taking Liberal as L I was unable to explain it so it didn’t go in. STRATHSPEY was the main stumbling block despite the prominent placing of its definition and the reversal indicator helpfully hinting at the area of dancing to be explored.
  2. An hour and 11 for all bar STRATHSPEY and then threw in the towel 15 minutes later after writing down and looking at every possible start to the word apart from, of course, STR-. Irritating, since, as Jack says, the wordplay isclear.

    Wasn’t sure what ‘for’ is doing in 9ac, though ‘taping’ as a containment indicator is obviously fine in its bind/secure sense.

    Lots to like – ticks against 10, 14 and 27. As a sports fan, I was fooled into thinking Blackburn would be B + a word for stream etc. on the grounds that the football club would be just too easy. UNREVEALED took me the longest time to see. BACONER unknown, and parsed as per Vinyl.

    Win to the setter.

    Edited at 2013-04-12 02:04 am (UTC)

  3. My subscription expired last Saturday and was not automaically renewed. When I phoned The Times I was passed from one department to another and when I thought I had cracked it found that I had been sold the newspaper sub at £234 about ten times a club sub. When I protested they told me that there is now no separate cc sub.
    I have seen no publicity about this nor did they tell me in any of the departments I visited in a 16 minute phone call!
    1. I knew there was a freeze on new CC subs but I thought it was temporary and that existing subs would continue to be renewed in the meantime. Perhaps others can shed more light?

      As for subs to the newspaper, I took one out when free access to CC members was withdrawn and I pay the equivalent of £104 per year (£8.66 per month), so you have been done.

      1. I hope this isn’t the case. I for one have no interest in subscribing to the entire newspaper when I would only use the crossword club part of it, indeed I would be unable to afford to do so. And if I had no access to the CC, I would be unable to continue blogging.
        1. Here is an FAQ from the Club site:

          Q: I became a member of the old Crossword Club and have come to the end of my annual subscription. I can no longer log in. I thought my subscription would automatically renew? What has happened?

          A: When we moved over to the new site we had to cancel all renewing subscriptions. This means when your annual subscription comes to an end you will not automatically be billed for the next year. You will have to start a new rolling subscription.

          When you do so a new Futurepay id will be allocated to you, which you will find under ‘My Profile’ – ‘My invoices’. (end)

          I’m not quite clear how one accesses ‘My Profile’ for the new id if one has lost access to the Club, but otherwise this looks hopeful, unless it’s old information they haven’t bothered to take down.

          1. I can’t swear to it, but as far as I can gather from the time my subscription expired recently, existing memberships will be honoured, but it’s no longer possible to join on the same terms.
    2. All a little scary. Do keep on at them, anon, and at least aim for the lower price. I certainly couldn’t justify £234 and would have to find something else to do.

      And let us know how you get on, please.

      Even at the lower price cited by jackkt The Times subscription seems steep. Hasn’t the Telegraph just introduced a subscription to the online paper at £2/month?

  4. … probably over the hour. (I have to get out early most Fridays, so often do the puzzle in several hits.) So … much to chew on here with all the problems in the SW — as usual. IMAGINABLE took an age of looking.

    Liked INDELICATE for all the wrong reasons.

    Let’s hope Anon’s experience isn’t the new norm. If it is, I shall be most unlikely to shell out for the full newspaper.

  5. Many thanks, Dave. I abandoned this early thinking I was not at all on the setter’s wavelength. I was a bit closer on some clues than I realised but there’s no way I would have finished this … So, I’m grateful that I could come here and save myself hours of failed endeavour.
  6. 37 minutes or so on the timer, with some relatively simple clues taking ages to unravel even after a clear and “right” answer presented itself. I think you can stare all day at SAMPLER, and if you can’t rid yourself of Liberal=L, you won’t get it. MP’s in there too.
    I had most trouble with STRATHSPEY, partly because SCOTTISHER (I knew it was spelt wrong) wouldn’t go away. When you have gone to the lengths of decoding COPLAND, you start thinking any guess could be right if only you could disentangle the devious wordplay.
    Blackburn was for too long a plane even after RECOVERS looked likely. This centenarian example still flies at Old Warden in Beds.
    John Cabot might have been a Venetian at birth, but anyone in Bristol will tell you that he’s an Englishman really, not least because England paid for his most famous voyages.

    Edited at 2013-04-12 08:25 am (UTC)

  7. I gave this one an hour and a half (usually only give myself about an hour), but still had two blanks: COPLAND and STRATHSPEY, both unknowns. Glad I didn’t spend more time looking for those two. Also glad they were not omitted!

    Lots of deviously disguised definitions here, so lots of doh! moments as the penny dropped. Was a bit surprised that Liberal (with a capital L) = ample, so that took a bit of working out.

    I thought ANSWERED and UNREVEALED were two excellent anagrams, so much so that I didn’t even realise that the latter was one until coming here. For that it gets my COD.

    BACONER unknown, as was ALLENDE, but I found the wp here was more obvious than for my two blanks.

    Edited at 2013-04-12 08:29 am (UTC)

  8. This was a somewhat tricky number; I was quite relieved to finish, after spending the last three or four minutes of my 39 staring at sampler and still not seeing why. No complaints about any of the clues yet nothing to praise to the skies somehow. Or maybe I’m humourless this morning.
  9. Another tricky puzzle that took 30 minutes of hard graft to unravel. Personally not keen on “leaves with this on” as a definition of SALAD CREAM

    Puzzled by the ignorance of ALLENDE. He was famous for the Nixon-Kissinger-CIA attempts to stop him from being elected (he was an avowed Marxist and the US was trying to stop the spread of Communism). He commited suicide following a military coup led by Pinochet with whom folk may hopefully be more familiar

  10. Found this very tough and eventually had a DNF, having stared at 8D for about 15 minutes with no joy. Not heard of the word – it didn’t help that I’d discounted reel as indicating a reversal (I would have expected reels).
  11. DNF. Nibbled away at this all morning until I was defeated at the very end (Strathspey). Strathspey is the only word that fits the checkers per Onelook.com.
    Lots of very smooth surface readings today. My favourite clues were Salad Cream, Eton, Mandarin, Madrid and Eyed. I have never heard of a lapheld computer but did know of President Allende.
    My CC subscription renews in July and I hope separate CC membership will continue.
  12. Win to setter, dammit. I found this a bit hard, and DNF, even with a clear head (as opposed to Wednesday morn, when all was of a fuzz).

    I guess ‘switching’ in the context of anagram indicator must mean ‘giving a beating to’ or similar, but I’d like to hear views on that.


  13. 20m. I seem to have been on the wavelength for this, and I enjoyed it immensely. There were very few clues (one, to be precise: IMAGINABLE) where I felt confident entering the answer before working out the wordplay, and that’s my favourite kind of puzzle.
    It was a bit spoiled for me by 8dn. I don’t think Scottish dances should be required knowledge, and if you don’t know this one I don’t really see how you can get a foothold in the clue, because I don’t think you’ve really got a fighting chance of coming up with “yep” for “sure”. Fortunately the dance came to me from somewhere. Perhaps I came across it at one of those events where people dress up in silly clothes, talk to food, get drunk and fall over in time to a wailing bagpipe.

    Edited at 2013-04-12 11:29 am (UTC)

    1. However, once I’d decided I needed reel to indicate reversal, STARTS kind of insisted on being seen, and with STRATHS.E. in place, I figured I couldn’t pronounce it with a double S…so plumped for the YEP.

      Sure, all that took me two weeks, but I really enjoyed getting it in the end!

  14. 28:18 … mostly enjoyable, if chewy fare.

    STRATHSPEY for me was a case of writing out the skeleton of it with an ‘H’ underneath then plodding through all the options until something plausible came up.

    COD either SAMPLER, for the misleading capital L …. or SQUIDGY, just because.

  15. 19 minutes – when I see ‘reel’ in a clue I find it nearly always is the STRATHSPEY that fits. One of those that took a lot of teasing away at the wordplay before the pennies dropped. While I do realise that the Native Americans must have spoken APACHE, it wasn’t the first, second or even umpteenth language I tried to fit in there before the light dawned.
    1. Of course in this case “reel” isn’t the definition, which is rather clever.
  16. I never felt that I was on the same wavelength as the setter and it took me 39 mins, but there is nothing in the cluing to quibble about. I thought the “leaves with this on” definition in 1a was excellent, although it took me a while to see it. Like a lot of you, 8d was my last in.

    Andy B

  17. 20 minutes to get all but 8 and 10, then another 2 or 3 to see why sampler was right, then another 3 or 4 to hoist the white flag on Strathspey. If the dance is as complicated as the wordplay I’ll be sitting it out, thank you.

    Unlike Jimbo I quite liked the definition for salad cream. I knew neither Allende nor lapheld but had come across baconer before.

    I agree with Sotira that squidgy deserves some form of accolade just for being itself.

    1. Or for being Princess Diana’s nickname used by an intimate of hers…I am not making this up.
  18. This should be on 9th mar, however the blog for 2nd feb appears there. Would be grateful if anyone could point me in the right direction. Thx
  19. The convention does not discriminate between upper and lower case, thus allowing the possibility of misdirection.
    1. …except that you can’t de-capitalise. So you could use Heath for grassland but not heath for Ted, say.
  20. Tough, but no complaints aside from Liberal with a capital L in the middle of a sentence. In my view, this rules out any meaning other than the party.
  21. Is that right? I’d have thought that theoretically it’s a two-way street. A notedly cultivated Prime Minister may not have relished identification with such a tract of land.
    1. To quote Edmund Akenhead (Times crossword editor for many years): “‘Hamlet’ can mean a small village, but ‘hamlet’ cannot mean the Prince of Denmark.” – perhaps not his exact words, but those were definitely the examples he always gave.
      1. Fair enough. Seems illogical though, a bit arbitrary. Perhaps the demeaning of the personage behind a proper noun is at risk. Makes a kind of sense I guess.
  22. About an hour of hard work before hitting a wall at 8D. I had to look it up, and upon finding STRATHSPEY, well, I never had a chance. Prior to that it just felt like hard work, the only enjoyment brought forth by SALAD CREAM (sorry Jimbo). And in case the Times people ever read this blog, for what it’s worth, if I had to buy a subscription to the full paper to continue in the Crossword Club, I would have to bid you all an affectionate farewell. Thanks to Dave especially for the heavyweight blogging duty today, and regards to all.
  23. Over the hour – I nodded off mid stream! – but a pleasing all correct. Lots to admire and nothing to quibble about from me. Knew Allende via his offspring Isabel and her very enjoyable ‘The house of the spirits’. Very grateful for the blog today as I did struggle to see how a number of clues worked but it feels like progress at last!
  24. A sluggish 13:27 for me. I clearly need some kind of automatic frequency control since I started off quite well, before losing the setter’s wavelength for a few minutes, but then eventually finding it again.

    Rather ashamed that STRATHSPEY was my LOI since I must have danced a few in my time.

    Another very fine puzzle.

  25. An hour and twenty minutes, says the timer, but I did finish (getting to be a rare event these days), with STRATHSPEY as my LOI (and like Tony, I have danced some in my time — not likely to have gotten this clue otherwise).

    The reports about the renewals are somewhat disconcerting. My payment will renew in October (although the subscription runs until February). At the beginning of this year my credit card had just expired and I wrote to Customer Liaison asking how to update my payment information. A reply did eventually come (five weeks later) so I hope the subscription will renew all right.

    Since I don’t live in Britain, I had only sporadic access to crosswords until the club came into existence. But I have no interest in the full paper and no time to read it. It is hard to understand why the Times would want to close the service and lose customers.

    Edited at 2013-04-12 10:40 pm (UTC)

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