Times 26097 – middle of the road

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
A 20 minute gentle solve over early tea and toast, for some reason starting from the bottom up as 25a was my FOI. No obscurities, I’d even heard of the writer.

1 HERETICAL – HE = the man, (ARTICLE)* = savaged article, def. advocating opposing point of view.
6 DACHA – D = finally haD, A, CHA = tea, def. where the samovar is, in a Russian villa.
9 STACK – S = second, TACK = course, def. arrangement of pancakes – usually enjoyed in USA with dried up bacon and too-sweet syrup.
10 MACROCOSM – Anagram of MOROCCA-S and M, (Moroccans ignoring N, and opening M for Morocco); def. wider world picture.
11 PSYCHIC – P(O)SY = bouquet expressing O, CHIC = stylish, def. having remarkable power.
12 EMERSON – EMBERS = remains, remove B for book, ON = active, def. American writer. Ralph Waldo Emerson, chap who banged on about transcendentalism.
13 PREVAILING WIND – P = pressure, REV = minister, AILING = feeling bad, WIND = deviate, def. expected blow?
17 PICTURE GALLERY – Cryptic definition.
21 ROUSING – RO(D) = reduction in staff, USING = employment, def. encouraging.
23 DOORMAN – OR = men, MA, inside DON = academic, def. one controlling entrance.
25 FREMANTLE – FRET = worry, around MAN = staff, LE = the French, def. port.
26 LOTUS – LOTS = areas of ground, insert U, def. flower.
27 TINGE – TINGLE = prickly sensation, remove L = hasn’t left, def. touch, as in a touch of yellow.
28 ASSIDUOUS – ASS = donkey, DUO , U inside IS, def. hard-working.

1 HOSEPIPE – HO = house, SE (PIP) E, where SEE = visit and PIP = sulk; def. something in the garden. Not sure about PIP for sulk, presumably in the expression ‘he gives me the pip’? I am not the sulky type of Pip myself.
2 READY – Amended as below: Hidden in b(READ Y)es, &lit.
3 TAKE HEART – (S)TAKE HEART would be how to kill a vampire; def. become bold.
4 COMICAL – MICA = mineral inside COL(A); def. absurd.
5 LECTERN – E C = energy conserver initially, replaces AN = article, in LANTERN = lamp, def. stand.
6 DRONE – DR ONE = first doctor; def. buzzer, bee.
7 CLOISONNE – (COLONIES N)*, def. enamelware. Needs an acute accent on the final E for correct spelling and pronunciation purposes.
8 ALMOND – (S)ALMON = fish topped out, D = last of roasted, def. nut.
14 EPICUREAN – (URN A PIECE)*, def. appealing to the connoisseur.
15 WELL-OILED – WELL = source of water, O = nothing, I LED = I directed, def. drunk.
16 HYPNOSIS – HIS = fellow’s, contains (ON SPY)*, def. going under.
18 REGATTA – R = river, EG – say, A TT = a series of races, A; def. &lit.
19 GODDESS – DOG = follow, up = reversed, = GOD, DES(K)S = news department’s ousting K(ing), def. attractive woman.
20 PROFIT – PROF = one researching, IT = perhaps form of magnetism, as in personal magnetism, def. gain.
22 IMAGE – I’M, (W)AGE = to carry on erasing first, def. picture.
24 MOTTO – MO = modus operandi, way of working, insert OTT = extravagant, def. epigram.

38 comments on “Times 26097 – middle of the road”

  1. 35 minutes – not helped by having CRUST for 2d as my FOI.
    I’d no idea of the parsing for 1d, 11a & 12a, so thanks Pip, especially for explaining pip.
    I wasn’t particularly enamoured by 17a: the clue tried to be a bit too clever and just didn’t get there. Also, what’s with the dashes at the end of 18d? I thought it was a misprint in the paper at first until I checked the on-line version.
    1. 17a was one of the weakest clues of the year, but 18d mimics a test item and I think is fine.
  2. Sped through this one in 24mins, all parsed bar LECTERN, with EMERSON as LOI, and PICTURE GALLERY with a meh! Maybe at last I’m getting closer to that elusive wavelength…
  3. Gave this one the old Freo heave-ho (that’s the Fremantle Dockers AFL club’s theme song, derived from The Song of the Volga Boatmen. I kid you not).

    Had a few interruptions as well, so definitely found the form that has eluded me so far this week.

    Nice lively puzzle, nothing obscure, and lovely to see good ol’ Fremantle get a guernsey.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

  4. Made the bottom-left of the grid hard for myself by entering BRITISH GALLERY at 17a.

    I had 2d as &lit, hidden in ‘bREAD Yes’.

  5. When’s the last time you were in Perth? They call it Little Britain these days.
  6. After Perth, Fremantle. Who can say the puzzle’s Anglocentric?

    Interesting to have ‘minimum of unease’ as an initialiser following hot on the heels of ‘hint of Ravel’ yesterday. Enjoyed the 42 minutes (38 elapsed time) I spent on this, with the bottom half first in and EMERSON last.

  7. Another steady solve for me completing it in just under 45 minutes. Couldn’t parse 19dn though I didn’t try that hard, and still don’t really get 17ac – why ‘contemporary’? ‘Tate Modern’ might have fitted with the clue better, if not the grid.
    1. I think “contemporary” is there to indicate that the answer isn’t a historical location like Tyburn.
  8. I was on for a reasonable time, sub-20 minutes but threw in a half parsed ASSIDIOUS leading to a technical DNF.
  9. 12 mins. I agree with ShuchiU’s parsing of READY, and welcome to the site. I enjoyed this puzzle and finished back in the NE with ALMOND my LOI after EMERSON and MACROCOSM, and I admit to biffing EMERSON but I parsed it post-solve.
  10. Same here for READY. I didn’t quite understand the question mark at the end of Pip’s parsing of 13a. It seemed perfectly clear to me, or am I missing something. Oh, I now see the question mark is in the clue, so forget that.

    Nice puzzle, and relatively easy solve.

  11. Middle-of the road solve for me. Not that easy, but not that hard either. 40 minutes. I thought 17a was a nice idea that didn’t really work that well. I don’t see why a picture gallery is specifically contemporary (in the sense of modern). The National Portrait Gallery’s been going since 1856.
  12. A nice easy 15.10 solve (bottom up, like Pip) scuppered by an idiotic typo. FROFIT, anyone? Is there a word for a letter that looks a bit like another letter if the light’s shining on the screen?
    Didn’t get the “contemporary” in 17 – my best guess is that there aren’t any current places attracting people to the other kind of hanging, though that may be wishful thinking on the setter’s part.
    EMERSON is surely on that short list of authors known primarily for their silly middle name, rather than for anything they may have written.
    Liked the short, creative ones in this: READY and DR1
  13. 13:26 … didn’t query any clues while solving, perhaps because I was too busy trying to get in below 10 minutes. I failed because of a chronic inability to spell CLOISONNE and an entirely new inability to spell LECTERN — personally I think it looks that much better with a U. Messing up these two made EMERSON rather tricky, even though I thought of him and was trying to work him into my U-based parsing.

    Actually, I don’t really have any objections to any of the clues now, although I can see that the “contemporary” bit is a little vague. I’m with deezzaa in being slightly puzzled by the “fill the gap” bit at the end of the REGATTA clue, a somewhat inelegant device.

    Some nice ones, though. COD … EPICUREAN

  14. I find the clue too “one-two-clunk” – I’d hate to think of its m.o. turning up as a regular feature. Other clues fine, with a 13 as it felt, but no time as done while biffing a lesson with some year 10s. Last in Stack.
  15. 9:45 with a bit of biffing here and there. I caused a bit of a blip by starting 11 with the P at 13 so nearly mombled psycharismatic.
  16. 13m, but with MICROCOSM. This was generally a rather biffy sort of puzzle so I think I was in that mode, but even a cursory look at the anagrist would have avoided such a stupid mistake. Not to mention the definition.
    I didn’t get a chance to comment yesterday but I thought it was a superb puzzle. I knew just little enough not to be bothered by the cricket controversy.

    Edited at 2015-05-13 01:34 pm (UTC)

  17. Eventually bunged in PICTURE GALLERY and came here expecting to be corrected, so a relief, but I’m not that fond of CDs so eh. Enjoyed the rest of it, I thought there were nice clues for EMERSON and HYPNOSIS
  18. A steady 25 mins not helped by having originally misspelled CLOISONNÉ which I dredged up from my memory bank of Antiques Roadshow terminology. Thus my LOI was the great Waldo.
  19. bout 20 minutes, ending with LECTERN where I thought the definition was well hidden. I liked HYPNOSIS, and agree that ‘contemporary’ is no help in figuring out 17A. Not much else to say, everything parsed without the need for biffing, except ‘pip’ as ‘sulk’. I see your offered explanation for pip, Pip, but it must be a UK thing. Regards.
  20. With more time and a glass of wine in hand, I explored pip in dictionaries. So far no sulk, but at urban dictionary.com I found about 79 overlapping entries, most of which were far too rude to repeat but often amusing; go and read. Perhaps the setter could explain the parsing??
    1. I had thought “he gives me the pip” was an Americanism but maybe not. In the first entry for “pip” as noun, the shorter OED has its jocular and colloquial secondary meaning as ill humour or bad temper. Not you of course!
      1. And I always assumed –and I think, correctly– that ‘give one the pip’ was an Anglicism.
  21. I often read this blog after completing The Times crossword to read the comments. I have The Times paper delivered at about 7.15am and take it back up to bed with me (B&B guests permitting – I don’t serve breakfast before 8am!). I always plan to complete it within half an hour. Occasionally, there is a clue that I need to return to after ‘doing’ B&B guests. Once or twice I have added a comment as “Anon”.
    How do I become a bone fide member, so that I am not just be “Anon”?
    1. Hi Currently Anon,


      You don’t need to join this site as such. You just need to join LiveJournal.

      It’s free.


      Once you have a username, just come back here and log in.

      p.s. Do we get a discount on the B&B?

      Edited at 2015-05-13 06:34 pm (UTC)

    2. P.S. Kirkby
      I have heard of ‘to have the pip’ , as to be miffed…
      From ‘Anon’ above…
  22. Dear Satira,
    LiveJournal will not accept my request to join. Will try again tomorrow.
    Anyone using this site will be welcome to a !0% discount on B&B here (www.crockshard.com) – I would love to meet other crossword freaks in person. But breakfast not before 8am.
    1. Unspammed.

      Anon – sometimes putting URLs in a post will cause it to be marked as spam.

      Crockshard looks lovely! A little far for me to go, but you may get some takers from London and the SE.

      Re Livejournal. Some people seem to have problems signing up, although in theory it should be straightforward. If you’re still stymied tomorrow, post details on here of what’s happening when you try to sign up and I’m sure someone will be able to help.

      By the way, if you want to meet other crossword freaks, it’s not too late to enter for this year’s Championships. Or just turn up for the pub part of the day.

    2. Just to mention, you can simply sign comments (eg) crockshard so we know it is you.. Livejournal membership is optional
  23. My previous ‘Anon’ comment has been marked as spam…don’t know what I did to disobey the rules…
    1. Do not worry, anon. The ‘marking as spam’ phenomenon is a function of live journal, not this forum.
  24. 7:55 for me, proceeding reasonably smoothly once I’d got going.

    Nice puzzle. I rather liked 17ac (PICTURE GALLERY), a good old-fashioned Times cryptic definition.

  25. 4.5 Severs for me, with HYPNOSIS being my LOI. I was trying to get a second don in there as the fellow, and got the “struggling” and “going under” parts completely farce about ace (taking the former as a literal and the latter as an assembly instruction, rather than vice versa). I even spent a while trying to coerce “Dionysus” to fit the checkers (at least it had my ‘don’ in there….) by means of creative spelling.

    Failed to parse 1d – I thought to “have the pip” with someone meant to be irritated by them (as in, “he gives me the pip”) rather than to sulk. I quite liked 17ac – I’m sure I’ve seen “art critic” clued as “hanging judge?”

    FREMANTLE held me up for a while, not least because I can’t spell EPICUR[I/E]AN, and FRIMANTLE seemed even wronger than FREMANTLE. It really looks as if it could use an extra E, and one can normally count on the Australians to adopt a relatively down-to-earth approach to spelling. However, a quick Wikipede shows that the place was named after an English captain who suffered from a congenitally missing vowel, so I suppose we can’t blame them.

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