Times 26331 – anyone for French cricket?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Another one of those puzzles, for me, which was slow to come into bud but then quickly came into full bloom. I had quite a few possibles in faint pencil, helping me to get a crossing clue, before plumping for the correct answer, and the two long anagrams, once unravelled, were useful in opening it all up. Just under the half hour, to be sure I understood how they all worked. In retrospect, nothing really difficult or obscure, so no doubt the speed merchants are in single figures.

1 SICK – Sounds like SIC, Latin for so, D ill. A nice easy start.
3 IN HOT WATER – Cryptic DD, as keriothe points out, one being ‘for it’.
10 CHAMOIS – CHA for a cuppa, MO = way of working, IS; D window cleaner. Not a chap up a ladder peeping in…
11 EARNING – (Y)EARNING = wish, short of capital’ D making.
12 NEAR TO ONES HEART – Double D, one literal one meaning personally; I toyed between DEAR and NEAR until 1d was in.
13 OUTING – (R)OUTIN(E) = typical, without its cases, add G(rand); D excursion.
14 PERUVIAN – Insert UR = ancient city, into NAIVE P (simple, plan primarily); reverse it all (rejected); D South American. My LOI.
17 HARDCORE – H, (A RECORD)*; D dance music. Probably not Jimbo’s kind though.
18 TEASEL – TEASE = needle, L; D prickly plant.
21 LACTO-VEGETARIAN – (REACTING TO VEAL A)*; D non-meat eater. I had the vegetarian bit early on and took a while to make some sense of the remaining TLOCA.
23 IRANIAN – I = current, RANI = Indian queen, A, Name; D of Asian origin.
24 IN TRUTH – I (one) NT, RUTH (two parts of the Bible); D actually.
25 HALF-SISTER – (FAITHLESS)*, R, anagrind ‘rogue’; D family member.
26 HELP – HE for fellow, LP for old recording; D one by the Beatles; strictly speaking it was HELP! but never mind.

1 SECONDO – S E (first letters of stimulate English), CON, DO = party; D duettist, the other chap is the PRIMO.
2 CHARACTER – Triple definition.
4 NO-SHOW – NOSH (consume) OW (contents of bOWl); D one doesn’t appear.
5 OPEN-EYED – O = old, PEN = writer, EYED sounds like I’d; D with look of amazement.
6 WAREHOUSE PARTY – (WE HEAR YOUR PAST)*; D wild celebration.
7 TAIGA – Alternate letters of s T r A y I n G, then A = area; D where there are swampy forests. The third time this has appeared of late as an answer, so no excuses for lack of GK.
8 RIGHT-ON – Sounds like write on, D PC.
9 FORTUNE COOKIES – FORTIES were the war years, insert where necessary UN (a French), CO (company) OK (agreed); D biscuits. And it’s Chinese New Year now, so well done, setter.
15 INSTITUTE – IN = popular, STATUTE = rule, swap the A for an I; D start.
16 ARDENNES – Insert DEN (private workspace) into ARNE’S (composer’s); D French department 08, famous for its forests.
17 HELLISH – Not much to explain here.
19 LONG-HOP – Today’s cricketing clue, of course; an endless dance, and a poor ball pitching short halfway down the wicket.
20 VENICE – VERY = extremely, without its RY = VE, NICE = attractive, D city.
22 CRAWL – RAW = natural, inside CL = class; D make slow progress.

63 comments on “Times 26331 – anyone for French cricket?”

  1. 30 minutes. Much enjoyed. Eventually saw OPEN EYED and I have always preferred the lesser known Beatles track HEEP.
  2. … the half hour. Not fond of (8dn) “verbally” as a hom-indicator. Perhaps excused by the q-mark?
    HELLISH may be “very much” — otherwise … hardly cryptic.

    As for HELP!: let’s see how many 4-letter Beatles songs there are. I make it seven.

    1. As ever, usage trumps etymology. I still distinguish ‘oral’ and ‘verbal’ but I have to admit that it’s a bit silly of me, given the ubiquity of this usage. It’s a bit like insisting on using ‘data’ as a plural noun.
      1. I insist on using data as a singular noun, by the way. “The data are interesting” sends shivers down my back.
        1. Oh, absolutely. It’s just a very good example of the way favouring the origin of words over usage can come to seem silly. I think the verbally/orally distinction has got to that point, but I can’t quite bring myself to embrace the fact. Which makes me silly.

          Edited at 2016-02-10 09:16 pm (UTC)

          1. We have to continue to insist. It’s spreading to “media”, “phenomena” and “bacteria”. Who knows what’s next?
    2. I had 17d as a double definition: ‘very’ (as in ‘It’s hellish cold’) + ‘much like the underworld’. Rather good.
      1. I was hoping for a bit more than “not much to explain here” as I’m not sure whether the clue divides after very or much or not at all, rendering it non-cryptic. Whichever, I think it’s hellish weak.
    3. I agree that ‘verbally’ is a bit suspect as a homophone indicator, but that goes for others, such ‘as reported’. I’m prepared to be a bit flexible with these.
  3. About 30 minutes for me too with much the same experience as Pip with a slow start, tentative answers and difficulty with 21a.
    As was politely pointed out to me 25a also includes a cricket reference.
    Can anyone explain what the crossword significance of ellipses is as in 1a & 3a. I’ve never found any correspondence between the two clues and treat them as entirely separate. Is there a subtlety I’m missing?

    Edited at 2016-02-10 09:13 am (UTC)

    1. No subtelty. These days just treat the clues as two separate ones. It’s a device for producing an overall surface reading. Not always the case in days of yore
        1. We survived thanks but chaos all around us. Things getting back to normal for roads/trains but rivers are all over the place. Work done by Environmental Ministry paid off as no houses/caravans flooded locally that I’ve heard of. Sotira may have had it worse as she lives west of us.
    2. On a few very rare occasions I’ve seen the ellipsis used where the second clue is cryptically dependent on the first. Most of the time it’s used where the setter thinks there’s a surface connection, as here.
  4. 17:00 … bit chewier today. Longest pause for me was over WAREHOUSE PARTY, though VENICE was last in.

    You’re right about Help!, Pip, which become something quite different without the exclamation mark. Same problem arises with Oliver! and Oklahoma!

        1. And here in the US it’s election season and we have Jeb! (sic). Help! is appropriate.
  5. Quite hard work this, but got there in under 50 minutes, mis-parsing CHAMOIS. Didn’t know HARDCORE as music, let alone dance music, or LONG HOP – a new cricket term on me. Can there be many more, I ask myself?

    HELP without its ! is fine in my view as punctuation, accents etc are always omitted by convention and because there’s no provision for them in a grid anyway.

  6. Much the same experience as PK – especially 12ac

    1dn was easier than I originally thought.

    Fortune cookies are a San Francisco invention – not seen in these parts!

    FOI 4 dn NO SHOW LOI 1ac SICK

    COD 25ac HALF SISTER well hidden anagram.

    27 minutes

    horryd Shanghai

  7. A solve! Formerly rare, then occasional but not yet common; I have struggled to get going so far this week but nailed this one. Undoubtedly it will be described as “easy” by certain later commenters. Put it down, perhaps, to a dose of man flu but I found it rather humourless, though HELP and VENICE raised a smile; COD to the latter as I am planning a trip. Didn’t know SECONDO and had missed TAIGA previously. LOI ARDENNES where I was looking for the composer rather than the department
  8. OK I’ll oblige. This was a 15 minute stroll in the park with some very obvious literals and clearly signposted cryptic constructions. Fun to solve but hardly taxing.

    Forgot to add Pip is correct. My dance music is ballroom – no real idea what HARDCORE is.

    Edited at 2016-02-10 09:27 am (UTC)

    1. Apparently there’s also a softcore dance music, but I needed to wipe my search history after Googling it.
  9. 11m. Another straightforward but enjoyable one, rather like yesterday’s.
    Nice to see a HARDCORE WAREHOUSE PARTY in the grid. Not really my bag, even at the time, but the crossword should keep with the times.
    I think there are two definitions in 3ac, Pip: one referring to a spa, and ‘for it’.
  10. A rare completion for me and, amazingly, in around 20 minutes (1 x coffee and still warm). I biffed loads, including chamois, outing, Peruvian and half-sister so seemed to be on setter’s wavelength. I must be improving as I quickly worked the clues also. Enjoyed “Help” as listening to lots of Beatles on ‘streaming’ services. Never heard their track In Hot Water though.

    Just a thanks to all bloggers as they continually help my improvement

  11. 18:16 of steady solving LOI VENICE. Is 21ac really two separate unhyphenated words or is it just the iPad edition which enumerates as this?
  12. I thought this was a superb offering and enjoyed it very much. I totally disagree with all of the vaguely negative comments that have been posted. So there.
  13. 23 minutes, thinking I must be doing the Guardian when first HARDCORE, then WAREHOUSE PARTY and finally LACTO-VEGETARIAN went in. I’d heard of none of them.

    I thought Verlaine would be in his element with this one but not so apparently, given my finishing in fewer than 2Vs – a rara avis, indeed. I look forward to hearing the story behind the “failure”.

  14. Did this at 1.00 am as my tinnitus kept me awake. I was stuck for several minutes then it all fell into place and it turned out to be one of my quicker finishes. Definitely the earliest.
  15. dnf … as I couldn’t get VENICE, even after alphabet-running a couple of times. Groan. About 45mins for all else, but found the SE corner most taxing.
  16. Pretty straightforward until I was left with the crossing 18 and 19. Just under 30 minutes until then, but a full five minutes to work those out. I should have got 18 earlier; 19 was an unfamiliar term. I thought the clues were a decent set. Initially I thought 17d was poor,but now ulaca has pointed out how it works as a dd I’ve revised my view.
  17. 13:13 (good job it’s not the 13th) with TAIGA and the veggie only vaguely familiar. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard “near to one’s H” as an alternative to dear.

    Hopefully Velaine will be along later to educate us on the difference between hardcore, garage, trance, house, acid house, hardbag and jumpstyle, innit.

  18. Just inside 35 minutes for me, slowed down a bit with 12a where I originally had GOES TO, then revised it to NEXT TO when I saw 1d, before finally seeing the rather obvious NEAR TO. I still think that any of those works (except for the crossers) equally as well as DEAR TO, which was one alternative that I didn’t try. Oh well!

    Nice puzzle for those of us still learning.

  19. TAIGA was an obscurity last week, but common knowledge this week. Was relieved that TEASEL is actually a word, and like some others I took ages to spot VENICE and ARDENNES.

    Not too many hold-ups otherwise. Thanks setter and Pip.

  20. 34 mins from start to finish but I took the knock big-time in the middle of it so I have no idea of my actual solving time. I agree with Ulaca that this has more of a Guardian feel about it. PERUVIAN was my LOI after WAREHOUSE PARTY.
  21. Zoom zoom! I think I was right on the setters wavelength, and managed every down answer at one glance. With WAREHOUSE PARTY and HARDCORE as a type of dance music (currently it means lots of distortion and screaming) the Times has finally made it into the mid-80s!
  22. Timed myself at 21m 27s, but I unaccountably failed to see ‘In hot water’ (which was perfectly fair) and bunged in ‘On top water’ in the faint hope that it might have a meaning unknown to me. I’d like to say that the false combination of 1a and 3a confused me, but I think it was just old fashioned stupidity.
  23. About 30m – RH flew in but the LH was rather tortuous but only because of my slow wittedness. Never heard of HARDCORE in a musical sense – and I really hope I never actually encounter it having read the earlier comments. The warehouse party was also new – I assume just the townie version of a barn dance? Very enjoyable puzzle and entertaining blog. I spent nearly another 30m trying to think of the 7 Beatles song titles. The joys of being retired!
  24. About 25 minutes, ending with the usual torture from the cricket clue at LONG HOP, an unknown concept. Happy to guess it, but with the checkers and wordplay, it finally popped out. No problem with HARDCORE, but no idea what a WAREHOUSE PARTY actually is. Good thing it was an anagram. Regards.
  25. No idea of time on this one, but definitely slow. VENICE was my LOI, since I took forever to see the (retrospectively obvious) parsing. My only NHO was LONG HOP, but in the end I decided that it (a) parsed and (b) was silly enough to be a cricketing term. My other only NHO was Rani (of IRANIAN origin); I am fairly certain that any four-letter combination that includes a vowel is one or other historical figure.

    In retrospect, I’m not sure why I found this such tough going. I may have just not been on wavelength, but I haven’t ruled out the differential diagnosis of stupidity.

  26. Oh dear! There were one or two nice clues in there, but this wasn’t really my puzzle.

    I’m vaguely aware of HARDCORE as part of popular culture, but I’ve a pretty shrewd idea it’s not the sort of music I’d like to dance to (and I’ve danced in various styles: ballroom, Latin, English clog (particularly the East Lancashire tradition, but also Lakeland, North-East, etc), Scottish traditional dance (rather than RSCDS), English Traditional Dance other than clog, baroque, …). Baroque dance can reasonably claim to have the best music and is a delight to do with an agreeable partner.

    I’ve never heard of a WAREHOUSE PARTY, I don’t expect to be invited to one, and I probably wouldn’t go if I was!

    Finally I was plagued by vowels: firstly in 14ac (PERUVIAN) which took me quite long enough, but then in 20dn (where I worked through the alphabet, pausing for a long time on RECIFE, only to find after simply ages that the answer was one of my favourite cities in the whole world.

    A miserable 15:59 after all that.

    Edited at 2016-02-10 11:31 pm (UTC)

    1. I am reasonably confident that the Venn diagram made up of the sets:
      > People who like WAREHOUSE PARTIES and/or HARDCORE
      > People who have a view on whether or not ‘Baroque dance can reasonably claim to have the best music’
      looks like this:
      O O

      I’m also confident you’re in the right circle.

      Edited at 2016-02-11 12:26 am (UTC)

  27. Just over an hour, but I did finish correctly. I thought VENICE was well, very nice (and my next-to LOI, the actual LOI being LONG-HOP). As for LONG-HOP, before finding TEASEL (a word very faintly visible in the thick fog somewhere on the edge of my mind) my first try at 19d was RING HOP because of the ball, but eventually I just had to choose between LONG HOP and LINE HOP and finally settled for the right one. After putting it in, I realised it must be a cricket ball they were talking about. Gets me every time, that and CRS.

    Yesterday I had a delightful time giving a one-hour talk in German! on English cryptic crosswords to a group of retired professors of the Ruhr-University of Bochum. They were quite amazed (as who wouldn’t be). The audience included three former presidents of the university, so was quite distinguished. And after the invitations to this event were sent out I received a lovely letter from a former member of the English department, of course a fellow crossword fanatic, which included a crossword he had composed according to British standards but in German, not quite Ximenean but still surprisingly well done. Languages with real grammar don’t easily lend themselves to cryptic crosswords, after all.

    Edited at 2016-02-10 11:51 pm (UTC)

    1. I’m with you on the oral/verbal thing, so I’m obviously working with more than one criteria.
  28. Me to, viz trouble with Long Hop. I imagine the Brits would have the same difficulty with baseball’s Short Hop.
  29. Long hop – a short pitched ball in cricket that bounces to a comfortable height to allow the batsman to place it delicately into the neighbouring corn-field/garden/river for a maximum 6 runs (or in my case, be caught on the boundary by the only fielder within 50 yards!).
  30. Back to a day behind with this one as I met up with two of my bosses yesterday to be relieved of my company laptop, phone and ID badge, preparatory to my final working(well, on the sick) day tomorrow. Also got taken out for a nice lunch and presented with a bottle of 18 year old Glenmorangie:-) Completed this in 45 minutes in the hospital atrium while demolishing a sandwich after another physio session. FOI 1d SECONDO, Took a while to get 3ac as I was another with WILD EYED for 5d. Had NEXT to.. until I got 2d. Totally missed the anagram in 25ac and put it in from checkers and definition. Last time I thought about HARDCORE was when I used it as a foundation for my drive. LOI EARNING after I’d revised 5d and filled in 3ac. Nice puzzle. Thanks to Pip for clarifying my missed parsing. John
  31. Surely the French insert is UNE? (Not a slow finisher, this puzzle is in today’s “Australian”).

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