Times 26137 – Golden cymbals flying….

Solving time: 26 minutes

Music: Dvorak, Symphony #9, Kertesz/VPO

Once again, an easier puzzle has fallen to my lot. I wrote most of the answers in at sight, but got stuck a little at the end. Sometimes I find the simpler ones hard, as I over-analyse the clues and come up with possible answers that are esoteric – and wrong.

Maybe the cause of my difficulties is the struggle I’ve been having with the Saturday puzzle. Fortunately, I still have five more days to solve it before Andy spills the beans. Or I could just give up and print out Sunday’s….

6 TULIP, T([b]U[i]L[t])IP.
9 OWN UP, [g]OWN + UP.
10 SCREWBALL, SCREW BALL. Not exactly a Private Eye type of clue, probably just as well.
12 IN TRAIN, double definition.
17 BLOW HOT AND COLD, BLOW + HOT AND COLD. There are a number of senses in which ‘blow’ and ‘pipe’ might be equivalent, but most solvers will just write in the answer.
21 AGA SAGA, double definition; yes, it’s a palindrome, where have we heard that before?
23 OSBORNE, SO backwards + BORNE. An era of English literature that seems to be slipping away.
25 MAKESHIFT, MAKE + SHIFT, where ‘make’ is treated as a noun meaning ‘style’.
26 UNITE, double definition, a ridiculously simple one.
27 HURON, HUR[l] + ON.
2 ERNIE, ERN(I)E. I didn’t really get it, but there is a Lough Erne in Fermanagh. In any case, the answer should be obvious.
4 AUSTERE, anagram of [f]EATURES, a word on everyone’s lips with the pending Grexit.
7 LHASA APSO, anagram of A SHOP, ALAS.
8 PALING, PAL + IN + [outbuildin]G.
14 OIL TANKER, anagram of LIT KOREAN.
19 APOSTLE, A POST + L[ucrativ]E.
20 WARMTH, W[i](ARM)TH. I wasted a long time trying to make this ‘karmah’, which is a momble anyway, but couldn’t justify it.
22 ARSON, A (R) SON.
24 RAISE, R(A)ISE. I rejected this answer as too obvious until I had all the checkers.

33 comments on “Times 26137 – Golden cymbals flying….”

  1. Faster than I expected, as 1d and 13ac were proving recalcitrant. I didn’t help myself at 13 by assuming OR; and it wasn’t until I got the G from 1d and erased the O that GOODBYE appeared as a possibility, and Bob’s your etc. I thought ‘lough’ was a bit odd–and a bit odd that 2 Great Lakes appear in one puzzle–so thanks to Vinyl for the explication. I don’t mind Mr. Chips coming back so soon, but I could do without any more aga sagas. On MAKESHIFT, I took MAKE to be a verb meaning ‘fashion’ (a verb); not that it matters.

    Edited at 2015-06-29 04:36 am (UTC)

  2. This easy start to the week suited me very well. Only the dog presented problems. MR CHIPS reappears rather too soon after his last outing.

  3. 20mins, interrupted, appropriately today, by keeping an eye on the new puppy (a flat coat) so on the quick side for me today.

    Held up in the NE by getting the letters ASHOPALAS in the correct order, which meant that SCREWBALL was my LOI.

    dnk ‘lough’, but yes, the answer was obvious.

    I like Kevin read MAKE (25ac) as a verb.

  4. Probably equalled my PB but I couldn’t be bothered to get my phone out to use the stopwatch. An easy Monday R&W puzzle – just under 4 mins to complete.

    My eldest and his family live near Enniskillen in beautiful countryside in between Upper and Lower Lough Erne so the solution to that one was obvious as soon as I read the clue.

    1. Well done, Sue. That’s remarkable.

      12:24 … which now looks positively sluggish. Definitely a traditional Monday puzzle. TULIP is one of those clues which takes about 3 seconds to solve, 3 minutes to understand.

      1. A bit off topic, but when you write ‘one of those clues which takes’ it makes me twitch, because I am conditioned to ‘know’ that it’s ‘supposed’ to be ‘that’. Bogus grammar is a powerful enemy.
        1. Gee, thanks. Do you have any idea how hard I’ve worked to forget that stuff??! Now I’ll be thinking about it any time I write a comment which/that might involve it. I might not even be able to sleep tonight thinking about it!
          1. Oh dear, sorry. I know what you mean though, which was really my point. How is it that these arbitrary rules made up by pompous men 150 years ago still have such power over us?

            Edited at 2015-06-29 11:48 pm (UTC)

            1. I really do (and did) get what you were saying. I’m a victim, too! One day at a time, huh ….
        2. Actually ‘which’ and ‘that’ are both acceptable in this grammatical context. The point, however, is that the verb should be ‘take’ not ‘takes’ as the antecedent of the relative pronoun is ‘one of those clues’, not ‘one’.
          1. Yes, we both knew that which and that were just fine. As for the other point, you’re right. And I would once have been mortified by the mistake. Now … not so much.
            1. I don’t think Anon is right. ‘One of those clues’ can be read as a singular noun phrase. This is a bit like ‘the board have decided’, only the other way round.
          2. I agree that both are ‘acceptable’: that was my point. ‘Takes’ is also fine.
  5. 14.18, last in Mr Chips by some way. On about my first day at secondary school I started reading the book in the library at break…and came to, about halfway through, after missing the post-break lesson. That was 1953 and I still haven’t said goodbye myself yet. In some parallel universe it must have committed me to the classroom, ironically enough.
    Took me more than 3 minutes, post-solve, to parse the tulip. Relieved to see the dog was in order. A traditional Monday, yes, with a teasing garnish somehow – liked it.
  6. 15-20 minutes for a gentle start to the week. It looked difficult on the first run through but then everything fell into place pretty quickly. Except the dog, for which I needed all the checkers and a lucky guess. A similar experience with Shar pei a couple of weeks ago.
  7. 10 minutes for nearly all except SW corner and Mr Chips where I also assumed OR for the middle word until messing again with the anagram fodder; AGA SAGA also unfamiliar (even if we have seen it before!) and WARMTH was LOI so another 10 minutes or so to get it all done. Should have been a PB but wasn’t. Cryptic Sue 4 minutes is amazing – I probably couldn’t write it all in that time if I was copying the answers.
  8. Made rather heavy weather of this in 18.38: I think caused by the several places where indecision hindered progress. An example: I had CUPID’s BOW, but thought the CHIPS clue an anagram of “carpenter in work” so scratched around for an alternative without the B. The H at the end of 20d looked unlikely, so HURON was entered only as a possible and alternatives (of which there were none!) considered. Some clues – particularly in the SE – bordered on the trite, and I was trying earnestly to jump hurdles that weren’t there.
    I only know of two Loughs, Erne and Neagh (and I had to check the spelling of the second one!). I assume it’s an Irish alternative spelling, unless it’s the Scots who are being contrary.
    Thanks for the parsing of TULIP. I got bogged down in all the letters being unevenly distributed between plant and built and never got to the end.
  9. 7 mins. This was as close to a top-to-bottom solve as I can get with a Times puzzle, and I finished in the SW with MAKESHIFT after WARMTH. It helped that I have seen LHASA APSO and AGA SAGA enough times for them to have been write-ins the way they were clued here.
  10. 19:33 for me – held up by 21a, which I’d never heard so had to guess, and needed 13a to get the dog at 7d. I spent some time looking for a phrase with OR in the middle for 13a too, but not too hard a start to the week. 2d reminded me that I really ought to visit Northern Ireland some time.
  11. 12:01, the quickest in a while for me, though I was slow to start with nothing going in for the first couple of minutes.

    After a long period of referring to my neighbour’s dog as either a lapsang souchong or a velociraptor I finally got round to remembering lhasa apso in time for this crossoword.

  12. …despite the distraction of some noisy colleagues, so a pretty easy one. Mind you it kept Magoo occupied for a full three minutes. Three minutes!!! Unbelievable.

    And well done crypticsue for at least managing to occupy the same airspace as the great man.

    The dog was a major hold-up today, might as well have been a plant (sorry Rotter). Anyway the correct answer must have been slightly more plausible than the other possible combinations as I guessed correctly.

    All good Monday fun, thanks setter and blogger.

    1. For those without access to the club site and who might not believe it, one for the scrapbook:

      Image and video hosting by TinyPic

      Anyone remember what the record is?

      1. Blimey. Having seen that I’m going to pretend not to be impressed with Sue’s time.
  13. Should have been quicker than my 13:42 but like others I got bogged down by an assumed OR in the book and was reluctant to write in TULIP until I understood it. The second dog only became familiar after I’d written it in.
  14. 12m.
    21ac is dreadful really, but it’s an obscurity that any regular solver of these things will know.
    Amazing time, Sue!
  15. What’s really nice about Magoo’s time is that even the neutrinos probably can’t beat it. He says on the Club Forum that both he and Jason have been sub-3 minutes…. Sue’s time is pretty much a wow too. my best is to break 10 minutes which happens about 3 times a year. 10.22 today. I’d just been thinking of AGA SAGA in the context of another horrid answer – AM DRAM which we had about a fortnight ago.

    Edited at 2015-06-29 12:24 pm (UTC)

  16. Apparently the last time I went sub 4 mins was 5 November 2013 – some 19 months ago so I will have to make a diary note for January 2017 to see if it happens again!
    1. I’ve an uneasy feeling that the last time I went sub 4 minutes was in the 1980s!
  17. I thought I was going to make a meal of this one as very few across answers went in on a first read of clues, but I got almost every down first go and it was just fill in the gaps from there. Good one for beginners, all the wordplay very clear.
    1. 5:27 for me, slowed by attempting (and achieving 🙂 a clean sweep, though I wouldn’t have come close to crypticsue. I only rarely break 6 minutes these days, so definitely a good start to the week.

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