Times 26187 – a game of two halves, or four quarters

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
For some reason I romped away with this one, finishing the SW and NE quarters in little time at all, with a few write-ins like 8d, 13d, 15a,20a, 16d. Then the SE fell into place, once I’d unravelled the anagram at 27a. Soon I was left with 1d, 2d and 9a. In retrospect, there’s nothing really difficult there, but it took me a good 15 minutes to get them all, especially as I’d tried hard to justify ROGER BACON for the cleric. However all was well in the end; no doubt the usual suspects found this a stroll in the park and my struggles were self-imposed due to blogging stress.

1 BORED STIFF – A row (argument) of futons could be a BEDS TIFF (groan); insert OR for men; def. yawning a lot?
6 CHOP – CH chapter, OP start of OPUS work; def. cut. That easy.
9 MINOR CANON – ON = working, alongside MINORCAN = islander; def. cleric. You wouldn’t believe how many wrong roads I went down before seeing the right islander.
10 SNOG – S small, NOG drink, def. pet. In my day petting was next after snogging, but we’ll not go into more detail.
12 ISOLATIONIST – You probably biffed this, but it’s I (one) SO (very), LATINIST (classical scholar) with O (old) inserted; def. a loner.
15 ENTRECOTE – ENTREE = starter, insert CO (firm) T (initially tender); def. steak.
17 TIGER – G in TIER (bank); def. dynamic Asian economy. Fast becoming a historical term, it seems, at least as far as China is concerned.
18 RAIDS – R for resistance leader, AIDS = helps; def. forays.
19 EXTEMPORE – an EX TEMP is an old office worker; (T)ORE is ‘ran, out of time’; def. unexpectedly.
20 BIT ON THE SIDE – witty(ish) cryptic double definition.
24 EVAN – (K)NAVE is a scoundrel, remove the K and reverse; another four letter Welsh chap, to go with IVAN and EWAN and EUAN and the rest.
25 QUADRANGLE – (S)QUAD is team, heading off; RANGLE sounds like WRANGLE = fight; def. playground. I’m sure there were times when we treated Peckwater as a playground, but it seems an odd definition.
26 KEEP – A treble (triple?) definition; PEEK reversed = look round; part of a castle, and your keep is your B&L.
27 NEOREALIST – (ONE SERIAL)*, anagrid ‘shot’, T from Technicolor; def. particular filmmaker. I thought neorealism was an art movement, so I’ve learnt something new.

1 BOMB – Pack, up, is MOB, reversed, then B is second-rate; def. turkey, a flop. Even with B*** this took me an age, although it’s easy enough and maybe a chestnut.
2 RUNT – Another little clue which took me an age; I was fixated on it ending in L (animal finally) and invented a RATL for a while; RUN = control, T = end of ‘brought’; def. small animal.
3 DORIS LESSING – Recently read one of hers, so this went in quickly; DO = achieve, then LESS inside RISING.
4 TRAIL – TR = right (rt) reversed; AI – main road, L; def. move slowly.
5 FROSTIEST – ROSTI (or RĂ–STI) is a potato dish, inside FEST for celebration, not half; def. extremely cold.
7 HUNTINGDON – double definition, one sounds like a teacher of hunting, one a place near Cambridge.
8 PAGE-TURNER – another double definition, not the strongest clue of the week.
11 COSTUME DRAMA – (ACTORS MADE)*, anagrind ‘merry’, around UM = hesitation, def. historical production.
13 HEARTBREAK – HEAR (discover), TEAK (tree) around BR (brother); def. suffering.
14 STRIPTEASE – STRIPE (band) around TE (first 2 of tenor) AS (when); def. show. Or as our titillated wizard friend Gandolf34 below points out, ‘revealing show’.
16 OPEN HOUSE – OPEN is alternate (regularly offered) letters of cOuPlE iN; HOUSE = parliament; def. hospitality.
21 SEDER – SE = extremely severe, DER = red (cardinal) reversed; def. ceremony. A Jewish dinner ceremony at Passover, apparently, I’d never heard of it.
22 UGLI – fruit, hidden reversed in ev(IL GU)y.
22 REST – RESIT is to take exam again, remove (but not) I; def. the others.

33 comments on “Times 26187 – a game of two halves, or four quarters”

  1. Definitely in the middle of a form slump at the moment. But as I’m not yet ready to do a Clarke (Rogers, Haddin, Harris…), I’ll try to do a Finn and turn it all around.

    Eventually got through this one successfully, with my LOI being one of the blogger’s write-ins, HEARTBREAK. That’s how it goes when you’re out of nick.

    Nice puzzle though. COD to 1ac. Thanks setter and Pip.

  2. Good middle of the road stuff which I enjoyed. No hold ups but application needed.

    HUNTINGDON’s place in history was secured in 1599 when Oliver Cromwell was born there.

    Edited at 2015-08-26 08:29 am (UTC)

  3. 30 minutes but could have been so much faster if initially I hadn’t put in FREE HOUSE instead of OPEN HOUSE and LOST instead of KEEP.
    Look (LO) and part of caSTle ….. well, you would need board and lodgings.
  4. 34 minutes, finishing with BORED STIFF and RUNT. FROSTIEST gave me the run-around.

    Strange I should be entering NEOREALIST (neorealism was an English art movement before it morphed into an Italian film movement, Pip) 20 minutes after receiving a plug in my Inbox for an ‘onto-epistemological’ paper called ‘Schizo-Feminist Educational Research Cartographies’ by one Jessica Ringrose of University College London. I put it into the appropriate folder soon enough.

    Edited at 2015-08-26 08:15 am (UTC)

  5. 12 mins and no biffing, so very much on the setter’s wavelength. My LOI was NEOREALIST and it took me a little while to sort out the anagram fodder because it didn’t spring readily to mind.
  6. Fair average quality with a couple of good anagrams and particularly good clueing for ISOLATIONIST and MINOR CANON, last in after about 25 minutes.
  7. 23:28. Nothing too difficult but I didn’t find many write-ins. SEDER and NEOREALIST were new words to me too and my last two in and I also struggled to find the island. Several enjoyable clues: 23d is quite seasonal with the results all in, 20a made me giggle, but 1a is my favourite.
  8. 23d [rest] and 18a [raids] wouldn’t look out of place in the quick crossword in Titbits [if that still exists].
  9. 28:45 … wavelength, what wavelength? Struggled with everything and, like galspray, ended with (in) HEARTBREAK.

    But I didn’t care at all because BIT ON THE SIDE was worth the price of admission. Thank you, setter.

  10. 25 min – was expecting to be really quick, but NW was recalcitrant, with only 3dn entered. (She presented no difficulty, as a Nobelist I had met once.)
    1ac eventually biffed, so thanks for parsing.

    Edited at 2015-08-26 10:11 am (UTC)

  11. Yes 1a and 20a were real cracker jokes of clues, and all the better for it. Those of us who live in the NY area know the seder very well. Same as Pip in the quadrangle/playground definition. 20.21

    Edited at 2015-08-26 09:43 am (UTC)

  12. 18 and a bit on the side minutes. The club has temporarily (?) locked me out for not having a sub, which is erroneous. Good stuff this, plenty to chew on and some clever wordplay whether you reverse engineered it or used it to construct the answer. MINOR CANNON, ISOLATIONIST and BORED STIFF in the former category, but unlike yesterday, felt compelled to fully understand the clues.
    BIT ON THE SIDE excellent fun, (or so I’m told).
  13. 9:11 with the film maker taking an age to work out the anagram even with all the checking letters.
  14. 48 minutes. A bit chewy, this. I struggled to get 13 and much of the NW, but should have seen BOMB much earlier.
    Good stuff, especially 20. 1a definitely groan-inducing, but actually it’s rather nice, given the neat surface.
    Minor issue – isn’t ‘removing hat’ (24) more appropriate to a down clue?
  15. 20:28 but I’ve never heard of SEDER so under the new rules (see yesterday’s comment from crovig) I can’t claim to have completed the puzzle on account of not fully understanding everything.

    Huntingdon is probably my least favourite place on earth on account of having spent 9 months there living away from the family during the week doing a job I hated.

  16. Straightforward apart from 27ac which delayed me for ever trying to fit TATI around the -A-I checkers. Oh, and the religious ceremony at 21ac, though I’m sure I have met it before and forgotten it. Add ALED to the list of Welsh names as it turned up in Monday’s puzzle.

    Fans of Greyfriars and Billy Bunter will have no problems with QUAD(rangle) for ‘playground’.

    Edited at 2015-08-26 12:33 pm (UTC)

  17. Not difficult, but rather fun – I liked the clues for BORED STIFF, STRIPTEASE and KEEP a lot. Everything in with both parts understood for a change, woohoo!
  18. Just worth a mention that the definition for 14dn is actually ‘revealing show’..


  19. 12.45 for a very enjoyable puzzle. Quadrangle and don were not certainly not terms familiar to me during schooldays but our blogger reminds me that I celebrated my 18th birthday in a friend’s rooms in Peckwater. At about the same time that a song about Richard II being an 8d was current.
  20. Doris Lessing – needed some electronic help on this one. It’s always the same for most names from the world of art and literature.
  21. About 25 minutes. I confess I continue to biff when required, today at 1A. Everything else was understood. My LOI was the very devious (to me) HEARTBREAK. Regards.
  22. 39m with most going in steadily and I was on course for a sub-30m but… Along came the NW corner with only Doris in place. Eventually the short down clues fell with not a biff offered and then I did biff 1a with no idea how it worked. Now it has been explained I see the cleverness. LOI was the cleric – is there no end to the variations? Minor canon so presumably a major canon somewhere and perhaps a middling canon to look out for. Thanks for the blog!
  23. Third 20 min effort in a row. DNK SEDER. I agree with Pip that snog certainly did not = pet in my day – merely the aperitif.
    1. I’ve never been sure exactly what it means, but for me ‘petting’ will always be a forbidden activity in the same category as ‘swimming in diving area’.
      1. Without wishing to lower the tone of this blog (but as usual succeeding), I think the breaststroke sums up petting quite nicely.
  24. Rather slow tonight, but I plead in mitigation that the match on the radio between Man. United and Bruges commanded a bit more attention than previous offerings. I don’t know whether it is bad form to speculate about the identity of the compiler, but the style of this one reminded me of someone in particular who regularly appears in the Grauniad.
  25. 10:36 here for this interesting and enjoyable puzzle.

    I agree with you (and others) about SNOGging as a prelude to petting, and about QUAD. Peckwater, eh! That somehow invariably calls to mind members of the Buller baying for broken glass. My rather more ordinary college contented itself with a just a “front quad” and a “back quad”, though the front quad is considered quite attractive – good enough to appear on a first class stamp a few years ago anyway.

  26. Post-war grammar school so no quad. But we did have a head who thought ‘playground’ insufficiently serious, and would refer to the ‘asphalt precincts’
    1. PS – Peckwater may have a fountain, but did it have a well that chaps threw up into? SEH did
  27. I don’t often tackle the crosswords in the Times these days but this kept me amused on a train journey yesterday. Didn’t get the last 2 (seder and neorealist) until the return journey. I’m way behind all you cleverdicks.

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