Times 26323 – Two English golfers

Solving time: 26 minutes

Music: Beethoven, Piano Concerto #5, Curzon/Knappertsbusch/VPO

After spending a wonderful afternoon listening to rare records on a system that costs more than a new Ferrari, I came home for a quick dinner and what I hoped would be a quick solve. So it should have been, had I not persistently biffed in the wrong answer and then erased it five minutes later. While the two long ones were nearly write-ins, I got stuck on a few that should have been easy, along with a somewhat problematic LOI.

This is a fairly vanilla puzzle that probably could be solved quite quickly by our top solvers. In many cases, the answer is obvious while the cryptic is somewhat obscure, so those who stop to puzzle everything out and confirm their answer will be slowed down considerably. This setter seems to be a bit fond of Russian-doll style clues, which will take a bit of unraveling.

1 HARVEST FESTIVAL, cryptic definition.
9 MILWAUKEE, MIL(W(AUK)E)E. Not the first city you think of, either, because it’s not exactly on the coast.
11 THYMOL, hidden in [fil]THY MOL[ecatcher]. An easily-guessable unknown for me.
12 OPTIMIST, OP (TIM) IS T[rue].
13 REGARD, RE(GAR)D. I biffed ‘remark’ and erased it.
15 PANTRIES, PANT(R)IES. No telling what the left is wearing.
21 ROSEWOOD, RO(S(EW)O)OD, another Russian doll clue. ‘Rosewood’ could be used to make furniture, although that would be quite pricey these days.
23 DOUBLE, a, well, double DOUBLE definition.
26 INANE, IN (A[ir]) N.E.
27 BOYFRIEND, anagram of BRIONY FED.
2 RALLY, R + [t]ALLY. A problematic clue. Can R or D indicate a party in a UK puzzle, where the parties are L, LAB, and C? Is a ‘rally’ really a ‘track event’? Well, maybe. It seems that the correct answer is really RELAY, RE[p]LAY, based on a specialized meaning of ‘replay’. I’m awaiting further enlightenment.
4 TAKE, double definition, where the it is verb in the first and a noun in the second.
5 EXEMPLAR, EX + E(MP)LAR, i.e. in an anagram of REAL.
6 TARSI, TARS(-us + I).
7 VIOLINIST, a cryptic definition, I believe, perhaps referring to a possible position as concertmaster?
8 LITOTES, anagram of T.S. ELIOT. Never mind the other anagram, we’ll let the Guardian have that one.
14 GRASSLAND GR(ASS + L)AND. I had biffed in UNADORNED with no checkers, so much for speed solving.
17 COL0MBIA, COL + O.M. + B. + IA, where IA is the official postal abbreviation for Iowa.
18 TORYISM, TO(R)Y + IS + M[iller].
20 OVERDID, O(VERDI)D, where FUSS ONCE presumably means that the ‘fuss’ meaning of ‘do’ is now obsolete. Or something.
22 WHEEL, WHEE + L[ocated].
24 BREVE, B + RE[e]VE.
25 BYRE, sounds like BUYER. All solvers should clearly understand exactly what is meant by a byre, a bower, a bothy, and a bawn.

54 comments on “Times 26323 – Two English golfers”

  1. Biffed MILWAUKEE–easily done with the M and K, even though, as Vinyl says, one doesn’t quickly associate such places with ports. I rather liked TAKE & LITOTES; nice surfaces in each case.
  2. Replay is as pukka as tie for match, I’d say, certainly in the UK, where draws in sporting contests are a cherished part of our sporting heritage, and replays very common. Though for how much longer, I am not so sure.

    21 odd minutes for this, with a couple of misbiffs, ‘regard’ and ‘reeve’, holding things up a tad.

    Edited at 2016-02-01 03:10 am (UTC)

  3. Me too, with unparsable Rally and Reeve, though I fixed the Reeve. I wasn’t so keen on Violinist. Not much else to say.
  4. The other anagram? That would be the archaic second-person singular of the verb “to toil”? (Which is also “T.S. Eliot” in reverse.) Can’t see why the Groan would be interested in that; except for their well-known championing of the toiling classes.

    Had to do this on line: out of toner. Slowed me up a bit. But, as V. says, no real troubles. Hesitated at REPLAY too. Until I remembered Liverpool’s recent home game against W. Ham. Yet another way to clog up the end of the season. I fear the worst.

    Edited at 2016-02-01 07:30 am (UTC)

  5. A very straightforward 26-minute solve apart from not knowing what a Panglossian type was, but in my hignorance I trusted the wordplay and arrived at the right answer. I know nothing about soccer but RE{p}LAY gave me no trouble.
  6. I meant to mention that I’d read Candide not long ago. The ever-optimistic Dr Pangloss is a send-up of the philosophy of Leibniz, as seen through Votaire’s interpretative prism, naturellement.
    1. Did it for A-level French (not long after it was written). Pangloss was right. All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. What he didn’t say is that we continually stuff it up. Voltaire seemed to get that bit right though.
      1. I only hope our setter hasn’t signed his resignation letter with this one.

        I forgot to mention that ‘glycerine of thymol’ was an intrinsic part of my childhood in the UK in the 1950s

      1. Thanks, oliviarhinebeck – much appreciated! Only just got to check out the comments back this morning.

        BTW How do I log in as a new ID – I tried but kept getting sent to some kind of archive site??


        1. I’m sorry I don’t know the answer to this but I’m blogging Thursday’s Quick Cryptic and I’ll ask then and see what answers I get and get back to you. Or an even better idea may be for you to get in touch with Linxit who runs this site. He’s got a post up at the moment requesting blog volunteers (you’ll see it when you open the site). Good luck!
  7. Started in the NW, put in RALLY and saw ANAX. Excited about the prospects until I got to the bottom of a middling crossword after 30 minutes. Never went back to parse RALLY – that will teach me.
  8. All very straightforward and quick (15mins), until I got to my last two: took some minutes to parse MILWAUKEE, and then I threw in the unparsed ‘rally’, thinking of car rallies. Bah.
  9. I had RALLY as well. But worse, I had ZOMBIE at 23a, having managed to convince myself that ‘to see zombie’ might feasibly mean ‘to be extremely drunk’.
  10. At just under 10 mins, this approaches PB territory, at least for an iPad. As mentioned, the long ones were write-ins and the others just flowed in, some unparsed. I took the LEADER reference to be to the first violinist on the conductor’s immediate left, traditionally the Leader of the orchestra.
    1. Can you enlighten me on how to complete the puzzle on ipad? I have been unable to, and the Times themselves were unhelpful.


      1. I have The Times app, from which I can read the paper each day. I can also do the crossword and the app tells me my time if I have it correct and points out the error(s) if I have it wrong. What is not possible though is to submit entries via iPad to the Crossword Club.
  11. 11m. No problems. There are a few relatively unusual words in here – THYMOL, BYRE, TARSI, BREVE, LITOTES – but I happened to know them all except THYMOL.
  12. I’m grateful that Vinyl managed a plausible explanation for RALLY, as I gave up on finding one and couldn’t see an alternative filler. I actually thought “track event” for RALLY rather good. Doubtless this would be another example of the editor’s decision being final and immovable on appeal. but I (obviously) think the two answers are as possible as each other. Well done, V!
    Otherwise I thought my 17.53 rather good for a testing puzzle – I failed to spot the “gimme” at 1ac which would have made things quicker.
    I was pleased to discover there’s a more upmarket anagram for good ol’ TOILETS, and a kind way of being reminded what LITOTES is (are?)
    “We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.”
    1. Besides being difficult to parse, I don’t think ‘track event’ works as a literal. A rally typically takes place on roads (metalled or unmetalled, or a combination of both) or over rough terrain (Paris/Dakar), but not on rough paths or [farm] roads of the kind generally encompassed by ‘tracks’.
  13. 20 minutes. A gentle start to the week, but I stupidly entered RALLY as well. I should have spent a few more minutes on that clue.
  14. A 22-minute failure, after carefully taking my time to be certain that there were no feasible alternatives to ZOMBIE. Well done me.

    Thanks setter and Vinyl.

  15. 11.55, but I made the same mistake as our blogger today, biffing RALLY as my LOI. More haste less speed, as they probably say at rallies and relays.
  16. The top half went in really quickly on the rattler, but I was struggling with the bottom half when I arrived at work. Having left it alone for a couple of hours I returned to it over a cup of coffee and the intransigent answers came to me equally quickly and easily, making me wonder why I couldn’t see them when I first looked. Strange thing the human mind!

    I slowed myself down by feeling sure that 18d was MARXISM (Max being Miller’s first around Republican – alright, I couldn’t explain the play and the other M). I eventually realised my error when TRAPDOOR revealed itself.

    Otherwise, straightforward in the end.

  17. 11:10 so no real issues. Thymol my only unknown but easy enough to spot and rally not considered.

    We “did” Candide for French ‘A’ Level and 36 years on I can still remember “Si c’est ici le meilleur des mondes possibles, que sont donc les autres?”. Sad.

  18. 23 minutes here, with COLOMBIA as my LOI for no better reason than something had to be.

    I made the usual mistakes (reeve and rally), but fixed them both in due course. I was a bit lost at 12ac, having only the vaguest recollection of Pangloss and no real idea of what he was known for.

    LITOTES would have given me trouble had the anagrind not been so clear, nor the anagram so inevitable. It is another case in point for my theory that the number of terms for linguistic constructs exceeds the number of such constructs by a wide margin.

    No CoD for me, though I enjoyed them all apart from 7d, which seemed rather feeble.

  19. A rally isn’t held on a track. The relay is a track event as in Track and Field.
  20. 26:09. With hindsight I felt I made heavy work of this particularly with LOI BYRE. I couldn’t get pyre out of my head, thinking that it might be a very dodgy homophone for payer with neat somehow meaning dead hence pyre as neat accommodation.

    I was familiar with Panglossian from the song Mason on the Boundary by The Duckworth and Lewis Method: “Fading in the evening sun, hopelessly Panglossian”.

  21. I’m assuming the two English golfers referred to in the title of the blog are Rose and Wood (although not the Tiger variety)? Or were you linking Eddie Bullock with the neat clue?
  22. About 15 mins but I’m not exactly sure because a phone call interrupted the solve. I’m also full of lurgi at the moment and I’d like to think that if I wasn’t my time would have been a lot better. MILWAUKEE was my LOI after TAKE. I almost biffed “reeve” and I’m glad to see I wasn’t alone, and without reading the clue properly I confidently started to enter “example” at 5dn until I realised it didn’t fit. Eejit. At least I had no problem with RELAY.
  23. About 20 minutes, but I had ZOMBIE for 23A, which as I entered it thought was rather good. A ZOMBIE is actually a rum based drink/cocktail. The correct answer is rather more in line with the clue, but my answer isn’t bad at all. Regards.
  24. I did this in 12 minutes with RELAY never an issue and the rest flew in. Must have been in the zone, I just thought it was another easy Monday. Late blog as Senor Vodafone keeps letting me down. Off to Orange.es as soon as my miserly Gigabytes are gone.
  25. A rather sluggish 9:07 for me, making heavy weather of some easy clues – as happens all too often.

    I failed to spot the topical reference in the clue to 3dn until I came here, so am grateful to Anon for pointing it out.

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