Times 26,192

Two weeks in a row from me, as I’m off on my holidays from next week. In these circumstances, you feel worried in case your swap results in finding you’ve accidentally volunteered for a particularly horrible puzzle (luckily I didn’t), or, of course, that your opposite number will end up with the nasty one (ha ha, clearly not at all worried about that way round…*thinks*: good job I didn’t say that out loud). This one was a bit like yesterday’s, entertaining without being terribly difficult: while there were a couple of things I wasn’t 100% sure of, pretty much anything that was at all obscure was clearly signposted by the wordplay, and you can’t ask for more than that. Clock stopped at just under 10 minutes.

1 REMOTEST – (METEORS)*, {plane}T.
5 NOUGAT – {s}UGA{r} inside NOT. One third of your Mars bar.
8 DELIVERIES – DELI(=food outlet) VER{y}, and [(the key of) E in IS]. Best definition of the day in “labour results”.
9 KISS – SKIS with the S moved from start to finish.
11 STOMACH – STOMACH=”stand”, and an army proverbially “marches on its stomach” i.e. military might is useless without effective logistics and supplies. I didn’t really get the “more than one commander” bit of the clue, having always attributed the saying to Napoleon alone, but it turns out it may well have been Frederick the Great, or even someone else again. And when you remember what happened to the Grande Armee because Napoleon decided to march them 1500 miles towards Moscow for a decisive battle, you, too, may decide that Frederick had a better grasp of the concept.
13 CHUTNEY – PUTNEY is the SW London area, replace the P{riests} with CH{urch}. Non UK residents will at least have a chance of identifying the place if they’ve ever watched the University Boat Race, which runs from Putney to Mortlake.
15 OSSUARY – OS(=OutSize=big), (AUS)rev. R{ailwa}Y. Also known as a bone chapel: very sinister if visited alone. Am I reading this right? If so, is it a bit clumsy to have “Aussie” clueing AUS?
18 ATTAINT – ATTAIN(=win), T{ime}, “once” pointing out that it’s archaic language. Not an obvious bit of vocabulary, then, but anyone who’s studied the Tudors (or maybe even just read Wolf Hall) will have heard the noun, as used in Acts of Attainder: basically, if the monarch took against you, he might do without the trouble of a trial, and just pass a law which made you guilty.
21 FAIRY GODMOTHER – (DIMRATHERGOOFY)*; Cinderella being the working girl in question, of course.
22 DIDO – DID 0, i.e. did nothing=was idle. Bit chestnutty, but that’s not a capital crime.
23 VIBRAPHONE – BR{itish} in VIA(=through), P{iano} HONE(=polish). Most commonly used in jazz…nice.
24 TENNER – (RENNET)rev.
25 PASSER-BY – PASS(=hand over), then a DERBY hat without the D{aughter}.
1 REDRESS – [E{nglish} DR.] in RES.(as in the expression “des res”), {seek}S.
3 TAVERNA – (ARE V.A.T.)rev. with N{ew} squeezed in.
4 SCRATCH – S{econd}, [R{uns} in CATCH].
5 NISSEN HUT – N.I., [S.E.N. in SHUT]. SEN as State Enrolled Nurse is a common crossword occurrence, likewise the convention that Ulster=Northern Ireland, which isn’t quite the case. For those unfamiliar with the building, they are the semi-cylindrical steel huts which you’ll see in any World War II film which shows an RAF base.
6 UNKEMPT – M.P. in {j}UNKET.
7 ABSENCE – ACE(=expert) goes around Henrik {I}BSEN without the first letter.
12 CARRY OVER – [R{iver} goes in A R{ailwa}Y] and that goes in COVER(=insurance).
14 NEIGHBOUR – “NEIGHBOURS” is the soap, chronicling the unlikely events of an everyday Australian street and the people who live there (at least it was 30 years ago, when I last knew the slightest thing about it). Knock off the last letter to get the close person. I know the Times puzzle no longer relies on solvers knowing, say, the entire works of Spenser, and this is probably a good thing, but this clue struck me as surprisingly low-culture for the daily puzzle. Discuss.
16 SUFFICE – [F{emale} in SUFI(=some Muslims)], C.E., where the Church of England stands for the Anglicans who populate it.
17 UNICORN – UNI(=college), CO.(=business), R.N.(the Royal Navy being the senior service).
18 ANDORRA – AND(=with), O.R.(=soldiers), R.A.(=more soldiers, specifically the Royal Artillery, who are certainly men with guns).
19 TROUPES – U=superior, as in the Nancy Mitford usage, placed inside TROPES(=rhetorical expressions).

41 comments on “Times 26,192”

  1. A 21-minute biff-fest, ending in the Cornwall corner. Nearly came up with the momble ‘uffempt’ at 6d – well, after yesterday’s ‘inspissated’ anything’s possible.

    The inelegant AUS at least had the merit of helping me spell the heap of bones correctly, my first guess being ‘ossiery’. Rennet is a major ingredient of junket, my father’s favourite dessert, which I think I’ve never eaten.

    Anyone who has seen Dannii Minogue in the X Factor will appreciate that older sister, Neighbours’ star Kylie, got the family brain cell.

      1. Always been impressed that Kylie, not overly-talented, managed to maintain relevance and popularity for 20 or 30 years.
        Danii has no point; like Paris Hilton but without the rich forbears.

        Got the top half and into the bottom with no misses, giving hope of a grand-slam, but beaten by attaint. In the end had a speedy sub-20.

  2. Yes, I wonder what I’ve let myself in for by agreeing to cover next Tuesday, and thank you for your concern, Tim 🙂

    As I have an early start to a long day out today I thought it would be useful to take advantage of the reciprocal swap this week in case the puzzle was a toughie which I’d have been hard-pushed to solve and blog overnight, but I needn’t have worried. This was mostly straightforward and I was only delayed beyond my target 30 minutes by not knowing ATTAINT or how to spell OSSUARY, as a result of which I biffed OSSIARY and gave myself real problems for a while.

    Happy hols, T!

  3. … and that One Error was vibrophone, which went in unparsed. Oops. Other than that a relatively straightforward one to come home from holiday to. I took about 30mins or so, the last few spent on STOMACH.
  4. Another very easy one, fun but undemanding

    Very pleased to get NEIGHBOUR. Long standing participants may remember the day I had to admit here that I didn’t know of nor had ever watched the soap. Sotira adopted her strictest school ma’m tone and instructed me to watch it – which I did. It took me some time to recover from the experience and I still get the nightmares.

      1. I should apologise for making you sound like the wicked witch – which wasn’t my intention. No need for you to feel guilty. However, if I’d become addicted to those cardboard cutout characters spouting wince inducing lines ……
  5. 19.43, knew I’d hit my bepuzzled first year sooner or later. Don’t mind the cultural level of the Neighbour clue, just the lack of wit about it. Which could be said, to a lesser extent, for the others as well. A certain lack of snap and crackle in the air.
  6. 9m, so straightforward but all very smooth, and not very much biffing for me. I had fully or mostly understood all but a couple of the clues by the time I stopped the clock.
    The definition for DELIVERIES actually has a double meaning: I was reminded of Tony Blair’s Delivery Unit, and wondered why I have never noticed this coincidence of meaning before.
    I appreciated the discreet Fast Show reference, Tim. Brilliant!
  7. 17.06 on the clock, but that includes 5 minutes or so talking to nice man called Roger from Microsoft something or other about the fatal errors on my computer. Round here, that scam has only just started up again, and I quite enjoy (sometimes) wasting their time, on this occasion by offering to open up my MS-DOS 6.1 laptop. It did take me a little while to get going again, despite the cruise-mode nature of this crossword.
    I thought the Cinderella clue had a pretty &lit flavour and was the standout for me.
    I note mvs on the club site is trying to start a “chutney is not pickle” debate. Best of luck.
    1. Indeed: Collins defines CHUTNEY as a ‘pickle of Indian origin’ so the argument will have to be made to them.
      I didn’t think twice about it at the time, particularly as I live in the relevant SW London area.
  8. 15:11, so on the easy side. If the reference to Neighbours represents a shift towards the low brow then I might have a chance of improving!
  9. 14:54 … this was so ‘easy’ that I ended up doing a Gaitlin, trying to go too fast and half-stumbling over the line. Old maxim confirmed, vis-à-vis haste.

    I’ll echo keriothe’s sentiment, Tim. Tersely Tenner on vibes? Nice …

  10. This week I have mostly been finding it easy. Finished at 0930, which is early for me. Must be being in annual leave at home.
    Liked the VIBRAPHONE clue.
    Andrew K
    1. Do I detect another reference to the Fast Show? (I must say I was vey, vey drunk at the time)

  11. 25 minutes (without a word of a lye) but realised I hadn’t parsed Neighbour – now I’m glad that I didn’t.
  12. An 18-minute stroll in the park. Once I had a few entered, much of the time I was barely reading the clue, just filling in the blanks with half an eye on the definition. ‘Biffing,’ I believe it’s called, but I’m a bit old-fashioned and hate modern jargon.
    In some ways it was a pity it was a fast solve, because when I reviewed some clues after completing the grid I thought there were some rather nice ones.
  13. 42 minutes, so pretty easy by my standards, and very good fun. Just a minor correction – I think “working” in 21 is an anagrind, rather than part of the definition.
  14. 14:47, hampered somewhat by (a) trying to keep half an eye on something else while solving and (b) not even looking at 1a on first pass thereby missing a quick start.

    As for the clue for neighbour being “surprisingly low-culture for the daily puzzle” that’s my excuse for completely failing to parse it.

    I thought fairy G was a rather pleasing anagram.

    Thanks for the entertaining blog.

  15. Mostly pretty easy, but not knowing “sufi” or “rennet” didn’t help.

    Loved Tim’s little joke about non-UK solvers watching the University Boat Race.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

  16. No real time to post as I was watching American baseball while solving. But not very taxing, the only thing that held me up was my LOI, NEIGHBOUR, which we spell differently and because I naturally had no idea what was going on with the wordplay. Seeing it explained here as referring to a long ago UK soap opera, I find my ignorance forgivable. A straight biff, that. By the way, we call the metal half cylinder building a Quonset hut. Regards to all.
    1. It’s Australian, and still running. We have it to thank for launching several acting and musical careers, including that of Russell Crowe.
      Having said all that, I’ve never actually watched it and I put the answer in without understanding the wordplay too.

      Edited at 2015-09-01 06:27 pm (UTC)

  17. Late in the day, as is usual on Tuesdays, breezed along in 12 minutes then another 5 or so to finish the KISS / ABSENCE / UNKEMPT trio. Am still smiling at the idea of a DIDO VIBRAPHONE, but can’t really explain why.
    Hope tomorrow’s is as easy and maybe wittier.

    I would like to propose the thesis that all chutneys are kinds of pickle, but not vice versa, e.g. pickled onions are a pickle but not a chutney…

  18. An unexpected need to commute again today meant that I had to buy the paper at Twyford and it was finished by Slough. I keep forgetting how much more pleasant it is to solve on a real newspaper (I have forgotten sotira’s name for this – treeware?). Liked the Cinderella one.

    Edited at 2015-09-01 06:01 pm (UTC)

  19. A disappointing 5:44 for me after yesterday’s far superior time. I expect Sue will have managed it inside of 5… Well, I did it in the office where the radio is always cranked up to a distracting full blast!

    Under 6 minutes twice in a row is okay really. I’ll take it.

  20. 11 mins. I had the NW quandrant completed very quickly but slowed down a little after that. TROUPES was my LOI after I decided to trust the wordplay for ATTAINT. Whenever I see OSSUARY I am reminded of the huge one at Verdun which I plan to visit one day.
  21. 8:33 of me, but I felt old and slow while solving it, and feel even older and slower now I’ve seen verlaine’s time. Pleasant, straightforward stuff, though.

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