Times 25,450 From Kansas To Coldstream

Solving time 15 minutes

An pleasant if rather easy puzzle that shouldn’t cause too many problems

5 BANYAN – BAN(Y)AN(a); Y from (cherr)Y; national tree of India;
8 RUT – two meanings; I’m told that the annual rut also involves the does;
9 BRAINSTORM – BRA-IN-STORM; the appearance of BRA=supporter has become tedious;
11 ONIONS – a reference to the phrase “know one’s onions” to mean clued-up or familiar with Chicago;
12 LASS – hidden (vio)LAS-S(peech);
17 SHROVETIDE – (he drives to)*; Christian ritual involving pancakes;
20 CRAM – C(R)AM;
23 SAWYER – sounds like “saw you”;
24 RECEIVER – RE(CE)IVER; CE from C(ops)E; reivers made the English-Scottish border a dangerous place 13th to 17th centuries;
25 SPILLIKINS – SPILL-I(KIN)S; mind-numbing children’s game also known as “pick-up-sticks”;
26 OVA – sounds like “over”; see 8A;
27 ASLEEP – A(t)-S(even)-(PEEL reversed); reference Robert Peel 1788-1850 best known as Home Secretary who created the police force;
28 AYRSHIRE – A-YRS-HIRE; breed of cattle originally from – you guessed it – Ayrshire;
1 ACROPOLIS – A-CROP-(soil)*; landmark in Athens;
2 FATUOUS – FAT(U-O-U)S; reference Fats Waller 1904-1943 who wrote letters to himself;
3 INBORN – IN-BO(R)N(n); resistance=R (physics);
4 HEAD,COUNT – nobleman=COUNT;
5 BESPOKE – BE(er)-SPOKE; from Savile Row no doubt;
6 NEOLITHIC – NEO(n)-LIT-HIC (hec, hoc etc); the New Stoneage 10,000 to 2,000 BC approx;
7 AMMONIA – (o man aim)*; what ladies hair dye no longer contains (because they are worth it);
15 DODGE,CITY – DODG(EC-IT)Y; financial area=EC; appeal=IT; named after Fort Dodge, where Earp and Masterson ran the show;
18 HEARSES – stiff cryptic definition;
19 EARFLAP – EAR-F-(PAL reversed); useful part of a Deerstalker;
21 RAVIOLI – (olivia)* supports R=Rex=King;
22 CENSUS – C-ENS-US; the four players at bridge are N,E,S and W;

26 comments on “Times 25,450 From Kansas To Coldstream”

  1. Very easy. Under 15 mins for me which is unusual.

    Minor quibble. 21 down, (olivia)* supports R rather than surrounds it.

  2. 14 minutes with enough to think about on the way -very few answers went in without due and careful dissection of the clue.One exception was 19, where with E???L?P already in, and cover as the first word in the clue, ENVELOP went in immediately.
    Hesitation over the unchecked C in DEMARCATE, wondering whether it should be a K, the sort of brainstorm that grows in intensity. Eventually persuaded myself that the brandy version of mark is spelt funny.
    CoD to AYRSHIRE, last in and containing a penny ripe for dropping.
    Footnote: in the printed version, the announcement of the TNCC now reads “…with full details of how to enter, will tomorrow Wednesday, April 17th.” Didn’t know it was already dead.
    1. And the Club stats’ page message still promises to give us the results tomorrow. Fast work.

  3. I found this very easy today (after my DNF yesterday), and finished in about half an hour. No unknowns except for REIVER, wordplay for the most very straightforward. Not much else to say.
  4. First one I’ve found really straightforward (sub-10) for what seems like ages, but still quite satisfying. Early comments do nothing to remove my thought at the time of solving, that I wouldn’t be the only person who was left with the slightly odd looking checkers for _Y_S_I_E and had to wait for a penny-drop moment.
  5. 13m. Easy indeed, although not the absolute easiest: a couple of not-very-familiar words, and it took me a couple of minutes at the end to make sense of AYRSHIRE.
    I didn’t know SHROVETIDE was a time for confession. I suppose “pancakes at this time” wouldn’t have made much sense.
  6. Two ‘keriothes’ for me, so must be easy. Thanks to Jimbo for explaining 27, where I was a bit dopey, also 16, where my being a non-spirits drinker is my excuse for thinking the social partner was ‘mate’. Anyway, it was one of them puzzles where you didn’t have to think too hard to do good.

    Couldn’t make head nor tail of the latter part of the SAWYER clue either, as I pronounce the character in the Twain book ‘Soy-er’, and have never knowingly pronounced the axeman character.

    Jim, I think the cow should come from Ayrshire – maybe she got a bit excited thinking about all the locking of horns this autumn…

    Edited at 2013-04-16 08:02 am (UTC)

    1. Thanks ulaca – blog amended. I have deliberately not commented upon the SAWYER clue.
  7. 23.06 for a straightforward number not without its moments. Made hard work where I didn’t have to, for instance trying to justify muddlehead. I too was mystified by the Ayrshire checkers for a time. Can’t say I like 23, if only because the triumphant cry would accentuate the first syllable far more than the woodman does. But then…it’s not always the sound, but the letters.
  8. 28 held me up and was responsible for not quite achieving my 30 minute target, otherwise it was done in 25. DK (or had forgotten) REIVERS. SPILLIKINS only met in crosswords. Great to see old Fats get a mention as he’s one of my all-time favourites.
  9. Ditto for me with REIVER, but the upfront literal gave it away. Otherwise a straightforward puzzle. Not sure why I took so long after reading today’s comments so far.
  10. As others have said, an easy (though enjoyable) puzzle. 35mins for me. 8 ac (RUT) must surely be the most obvious clue in a long while – the kind of pun/double def that crops up in the Concise from time to time and would have done better to have stayed there. Not that I’m against puns and/or homophones per se. Quite the contrary. I even liked the mildly outrageous SAWYER (23 ac), but am not surprised to see that it has caused some hackles to bristle.
    1. I usually start with 3-letter words so I tried to make this my first one in but without success. I kept coming back to it but wasn’t successful until I had the R checker in place.
  11. Easy, agreed.. this crossword had rather an old-fashioned feel to it, I thought. Not really complaining but shouldn’t it ideally be cow not cattle for 28ac? Cattle being plural, and the breed name singular.
    1. Ayrshire is a breed, as you say, and therefore the plural, ‘cattle’ is perfectly sound as a definition. Chambers gives ‘a breed of …dairy cattle’ as the definition. The same applies to any singular noun that is a genus. For instance, ‘Boa’ could be defined as ‘snakes’.
    1. Indeed. SOED has:

      Ayrshire noun. M19.
      [ORIGIN A former county in SW Scotland.]
      In full Ayrshire bull, Ayrshire cow, Ayrshire cattle,etc

  12. I found this easy on the whole, but struggled for some time to see anything other than LAWYER fitting the checked letters of 23. 32 minutes in all. Although the clues were generally very straightforward I liked a number of them, particularly 28.
  13. a ‘keriothe’ for me too. Straightforward but with stuff to smile at along the way.
  14. 31/32 today with Ayrshire missing. Unlike TT the penny didn’t drop for me when confronted with ?Y?S?I?E. Onions and Sawyer raised smiles.
  15. 17:15 .. I thoroughly enjoyed this. It had an old-fashioned feel to it, in the right way.

    ONIONS, DUNDERHEAD and AYRSHIRE all brought a smile. SPILLIKINS was unknown but the wordplay crystal clear once the checkers were in.

  16. About 15 minutes, ending with RECEIVER, from the definition. Didn’t know of the reiver until a post solve look-up, same with SPILLIKINS. I can’t explain it, but I had no trouble with AYRSHIRE. Regards.
  17. 7:43 for me, with the final minute or so spent agonising over AYRSHIRE before light finally dawned. A nice, straightforward, Mondayish solve.
  18. Five tonies for me (or three keriothes), and in my terms that’s very good. Didn’t understand ONIONS until coming here (but that’s just being dim-witted) and have never heard of reivers, but RECEIVER was still clear. LOI was AYRSHIRE and that’s also my COD.

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