Times 25841: When in Canada

Solving time : 23:28 for one that I found pretty tricky (and it appears I’m the first correct solution on the Club timer), though some of it could be a battle with the trickle of internet I’m getting here in the great blue North. I’m in Toronto for a few days and don’t have a great connection, so if you don’t like my explanations feel free to turn to the hive mind.

Which may have to happen because right now I’m staring at a few that went in from definition alone that may take more explaining than I can come up with right now. There’s some chewy stuff in here, that’s for sure.

Away we go…

1 DROGHEDA: (HEARD,DOG)* – for some this may be a write in as it’s obviously an anagram clue, but I needed all the checking letters to get it
5 WHIMSY: 1,MS(single girl) in WHY
9 AJA(r),X
10 REGISTERED POST: I think the idea is that POST(sign) is really after REGISTERED(entered) Edit: in comments, it has been pointed out that REGISTERED could mean “signed” so everything is in the right order
11 STAINES: the place that sounds like STAINS
13 LADDERY: double definition, one of them cryptic, in that hose full of tears would be LADDERY
18 ENCODED: CO(Conscientious Objector) in ENDED(over)
21 WILD-GOOSE CHASE: CD based on that there is a “canadian goose”
22 WIDE: double definition, one related to cricket
23 SESAME SEED: think Ali Baba for open SESAME, then the ranked tennis player is a SEED
24 HEPTAD: HEAD(leader) surrounding PT(point) and a long definition
25 SLEEPS IN: This went in from the definition (ignores alarm), and I can see S(second) and SIN(offence) so PEEL must be an old copper getting reversed, but I can’t see a definition of the sort in Chambers or Collins. Maybe a reference? Oh – just after I posted this I did one more Googly search and I guess it refers to Robert Peel, founder of Scotland Yard
1 DESERTS: DESSERTS with the middle S missing
2 ORANGEADE: anagram of EGO and ANDREA
3 HEELS(spurs),IN(at home)
4 DEEPENS: D, then P(ay) in a couple of compass points
5 WITHDRAWN: DR in WITH AWN(sporting a beard)
6 IN A WORD: I, then DROWN reversed about A
7 STARTER: double definition
12 EULOGISED: the Brussels reporter is a EU ED and he’s got LO(watch) and GIS(US troops) inside
16 RAWHIDE: HID in (d)RAWE(r). Anyone else think of the Blues Brothers?
18 ENSNARL: N,S(poles) in (LEARN)*
19 COCKEYE: (j)OCKEY in CE. At the time it went in from wordplay, but now I look up in Collins that a cast can be a squint
20 DRESDEN: double definition

47 comments on “Times 25841: When in Canada”

  1. I initially thought this was going to be a breeze, but was quickly disabused of that idea! Lots of tricky stuff as others have noted, and I was glad to finish. I vaguely remembered HEELS IN from when I used to have a vegetable garden, but couldn’t find it in either ODO or OED.

    My only query is why “not” in 9ac? To me AJAR and TO (as applied to a door) are synonymous, although I think this has been discussed before.

    1. You’re right it has come up before and I seem to remember differing points of view, but Collins, for one, has ‘to’ as ‘of a door (esp) closed’ which justifies ‘not to’ in the clue since ‘ajar’ is most definitely not closed.
  2. Another 60+ minute solve for me today with 24 as my LOI, which incidentally looks like a short DBE to me (Seven Samurai maybe) so I feel a bit cheated by it. 23ac was brilliant though.
      1. Possibly but my feather-brain is more likely to think of dwarfs, and brides and brothers, and even little girls sitting in the back seat with Fred before I’d get round to Samurai!
        1. Fair enough, but Akira Kurosawa’s film has classic status and was directly responsible for The Magnificent Seven.

          I was sufficiently intrigued by the girls and Fred stuff to Google (though not to listen!). Ripe for a spoof version with Rolf Harris driving and Jimmy Savile in the back?

    1. I don’t understand your objection to 24ac (HEPTAD).

      What Ximenes objected to was clues like “Seven Samurai needing leader to accept point (6)”, since he argued that would imply there were no heptads other than the Seven Samurai. On the other hand the use of “maybe” to qualify “Seven Samurai” is exactly the sort of way of getting round this that he heartily approved of.

      If you’re saying X was wrong, then I think you need to justify it.

  3. 56 minutes, but a careless ‘septad’ for HEPTAD, which shows how much use the Greek did.

    Don’t get WILD GOOD CHASE. For those as mystified as me, HEEL[S] IN is defined in Collins as ‘to insert (cuttings, shoots, etc) into the soil before planting to keep them moist’.

    Re 7d, it was interesting after the recent debate to see ENTREE defined as ‘main course’ in the Concise yesterday. I look forward to seeing BISTO in the Cryptic by the end of the year.

    Edited at 2014-07-17 01:49 am (UTC)

      1. Maybe I’m just being dumb, but while I can see the literal, I can’t really see how the wordplay, which I take to be ‘perhaps going after Canada’, works. I guess one has to substitute ‘Canada’ for ‘wild goose’, but I would have thought a ‘Canada goose’ is a wild goose, rather than just a ‘Canada’.
    1. I had lunch in Calais on Saturday and the starters were entrees and the main courses were plats.
  4. Better than yesterday. Still disastrous, but less so. After 45 minutes I was left staring at 9ac, 24ac and 3dn, with no hope (I thought) of solving any of them. Eventually got AJAX and HEPTAD, but had no hope with HEELS IN. Even as the most likely guess, it just didn’t look right. Still doesn’t.

    Edited at 2014-07-17 04:57 am (UTC)

  5. Happy to finish in just under 15 mins. I think 10a is REGISTERED (= entered) POST (= after), which is the sort you have to sign for at the door, nowadays on a touchscreen with a laughably small stylus.
  6. Crikey: 44.38 suggests (rightly) that I found this as hard as it ever gets, so Georges’s time is impressive and Richard’s even more so.
    I’m with Richard(vg) on REGISTERED POST, and thought it a much cleverer clue than when I refused to enter it as a muddy CD.
    HEELS IN? Jamais couché avec. Wasn’t even sure about heels for Spurs (unkind to give the capital letter on that, sends the (my) brain completely down the wrong track). Entered as a last resort, though it seems Chambers gives it.
    Are END PAPERS an afterthought? Fannied around with PS and some sort of insertion for that, but didn’t work. No likee.
    And I didn’t see 1ac as “obviously an anagram” George. How about “obviously a soundalike”? So it appeared to me, and held me up for nearly ever because of that. At least I knew it – I’ve seen the head of the blessed (Saint since 1975) Oliver Plunkett (Oilibhéar Pluincéid in Irish – how/why do they do that) in St Peter’s.
    Hard graft – on the verge of a CNF for me. Shall we say a real challenge?

    Edited at 2014-07-17 07:12 am (UTC)

  7. DNF .. I wasn’t going to get HEELS IN no matter how long I stared at it. Like Z8, I didn’t really equate spurs with heels – still don’t – and obviously haven’t watched enough Alan Titchmarsh to know the gardening term (how else would anyone know it?).

    Some very clever things, but I found this one hard work.

  8. Very difficult to parse some of these with several going in based on checkers and presumed definition. 45 minutes all in to limp home

    I’ve seen the anagram at 1A before so that got me off to a flying start but I struggled after that, particularly with HEELS IN which I simply didn’t know and guessed from cryptic assuming spurs are on the heels so some connection.

    At 16D RAWHIDE immediately makes me think of Clint Eastwood and the 1960s TV series that launched him. George, early policemen were known as “Peelers”

  9. Too difficult for me today. Needed Onelook to solve most of the top half and even then couldn’t get In A Word, Laddery or Ajax. Thanks for explaining everything George.
  10. More rock solid than chewy for me. Thanks very much for the blog and all the comments. Without these I still wouldn’t understand some of them. I still don’t understand the “For the time being” bit of 3d.
    1. Ian, I think to “heel something in” roughly translates to burying it temporarily, hence to cover it for the time being.

      Mind you, everything I know about heeling in, I’ve learnt today.

      My comment above is edited because I had originally objected strongly to the clue. Now I concede that it’s a fair clue, but very tough if you’re not a gardener.

      It’s all about the GK. One day there’ll be a clue requiring us to know the capital of Burkina Faso, and I’ll be oh so smug in my comments….come on, surely everybody knew that!

      1. See the name of the capital once and you never forget it; the sound anyway, the spelling might beat me. But known it 40 years or more, since the days before Burkina Faso even existed as such.
        1. Yes Rob, my brother had a friend for whom “What’s the capital of Upper Volta?” was a standard greeting. Strange man.

          But as you say, once heard, never forgotten.

  11. A DNF at 40 mins having stared at C_C_E_E for some time. Had parsed it correctly (eventually, after trying to think of genuflections and the like) and should have persevered. Felt the same as Jim about the parsing overall. One of those puzzles where ‘How quickly can I do this?’ gives way at some point to ‘Will I ever do this?’
  12. Ah, those days of innocence and joy. My maiden aunt bought Seven Little Girls when it first came out because it was funny. Formed part of the soundtrack to my boyhood, along with the inimitable Maurice Chevalier singing Sank ‘Eaven for Leedle Girls (they grow up in the most delightful way). I take it Two Little Boys is right off the playlist.
  13. Harder than average, and I stared at HEELS IN for some time before entering it, as the definition seemed rather vague. I associate the term with keeping roots moist, so the covering part is only half the story. I also wondered if it was supposed to be an &lit, as a spur is a root.

    On the subject of Spurs, who I supported as a child, DROGHEDA was familiar because they were drubbed 14-0 by Tottenham in a UEFA Cup tie in the ’80s.

  14. 32 mins of not a lot of fun, and I still managed to get one wrong, having entered a careless “ladders” at 13ac. I’m not convinced LADDERY is a real word in the context required (with tears, as in a pair of tights) because I would always say “laddered”. The only definition the online OED gives for “laddery” is as a nonce word meaning “like a ladder”. Of my correct answers STARTER was my LOI, and I still don’t see why the question mark at the end of the clue is necessary.

    I do have some other quibbles. The “peel” in SLEEPS IN doesn’t work for me because “Peelers” were the nickname of the police that Sir Robert Peel founded when he was Home Secretary, so “Peel” isn’t the same thing. When I was growing up ORANGEADE was the fizzy stuff, whereas “orange squash” was something that was diluted with water and was a still drink, so they aren’t the same thing either.

    Finally, count me as another for whom HEELS IN was entered as a best guess from the checkers.

  15. I’m going to have to stop relying on the online OED because my Chambers has LADDERY in the context required. What made me check was reading yesterday’s late comments by Thud. Although the online OED had “amarulence” it didn’t have “acronychal”, which I thought couldn’t be right, and sure enough it was in my Chambers.
  16. Gave up and resorted to aids after 60 minutes and two left.

    Didn’t see the anagram at 1a initially, and was looking for something sounding like (heard) a dog and ending in mad (barking) for a place in Ireland. I got there eventually though after again barking up the wrong tree.

    I should have got Staines quicker – I live in Chertsey, just across the river!

    I struggled to connect desserts with fools until just now – stupid boy!

    Lots of parsnips and blind alleys, but unfortunately no Erics. Fiendish! Well done anyone who got there unaided.

    1. I still can’t get used to the idea that a part of Surrey can be north of the river. In my day Staines was in Middlesex.
      1. Me too. In fact I only realised they had moved the County boundary when the town changed its name to the posher sounding Staines-Upon-Thames fairly recently.
        1. Living down the A30 in real Surrey, we used to turn up our noses and call it Stoins. Sacha Baron Cohen also found it detached enough to have Ali G reside there.
  17. 42min: left side filled relatively quickly, but nothing much on right till eventually resorted to Bradford to find a 6=letter word for ‘fancy’, thenceafter progressed OK. 19dn LOI, as also needed ‘manoeuvre’ beginning J.

    I don’t usually look for a NINA in these puzzles, but the slightly strange grid did reveal that the setter had had 90% success !

  18. Found this very tricky. A 40 minute commute to start then chipping away at it for the rest of the morning. Pleased to finish though.

    Reading the comments I was surprised to see no one mentioning orangeade not being the same as squash until I got to Andy. Perhaps for some people they are the same?

    Now to get back to yesterday’s… I found that even harder but haven’t yet conceded defeat.

  19. 32 minutes but with a desperate HEATED for the samurai clue. I had no idea what was going on there at all, except that the point was E. Yeah right.

    I agree that orangeade is fizzy but squash isn’t. I took the copper in 25 to be Peel himself. There’s a statue of him in Bury where he was born and I lived for 10 years. Never heard of heels in.

    George, yes I thought of the Blues Brothers (my favourite fillum). Talking of films, is the Asheville Picturedrome showing Monty Python live on Sunday?

  20. 50m, with long periods in which I couldn’t solve anything. On a number of occasions I wrestled a difficult clue into submission to find that the resulting checkers didn’t help me in the slightest. I got there in the end, my last in being DROGHEDA, which seemed marginally the best place to put all the letters.
    Some of this is excellent: 5ac WHIMSY for instance had me fooled for a long time even though it’s a very simple clue (incidentally George MS is indicated by ‘possibly single girl’, the whole point of ‘Ms’ being that you’re not supposed to know). 5ac REGISTERED POST is also very good.
    Some of it is less excellent though. I don’t mind obscurities, but I prefer it when they come with clear clues, and the very loose ‘spurs’ for ‘heels’ fails this test IMO. Another way of making clues difficult that I’m not keen on is to define one word (ORANGEADE, say) using a word that means something completely different (‘squash’, for instance). Throw in a non-word or two (LADDERY) an unindicated DBE that shows why these things are frowned upon in some quarters, and an anagram for a small and awkwardly spelled town, and you rather spoil things, for this solver at least.
  21. Over an hour to leave two unsolved – COCKEYE and HEPTAD. Both fair, though, which is more than I can say for HEELS IN which I wrote in but still think the gardening definition (which I hadn’t heard of) is tenuous at best. WHIMSY and SESAME SEED my favourites.
  22. A tough one, which I got through in 45 minutes but like Andy, with LADDERS, not LADDERY. HEELS IN from wordplay only, ditto COCKEYE, my LOI. I thought the succinct AJAX was pretty good, and WITHDRAWN and DRESDEN pretty clever, although the latter reference feeling a bit unsettling. No comment on the cricket reference which I had to assume existed on faith alone. Regards to all.
  23. 18:21 for me. There was a lot of good stuff in this puzzle, but I was left with a slightly sour taste.

    In particular 25ac seems on the face of it to be downright wrong: I can’t see any way of justifying PEEL = “old copper” (for the reasons Andy Borrows gives above).

    And there’s a time-honoured convention – at least in the Times crossword – whereby “half-hearted(ly)” in wordplay is only used when the letters are the same. I haven’t looked too far back, but I suspect this has only been broken in exceptional circumstances. For instance there was “Wander in memory if half-hearted, either way (4)” (= ROAM), which I consider an acceptably ingenious departure.

    Chambers and the OED support HEEL = “spur” and ORANGEADE = “squash”, even if ODO doesn’t.

    1. If you’re referring to desserts/deserts they are the same. Or am I missing summat?
        1. Just so. This is one of the cases where I follow Ximenes in demanding that “middles should be exact middles”.

Comments are closed.