Times 26335 – Rebuke a Scotsman? That’s not right!

Solving time: 25 minutes

Music: Christine Primrose, Aite Mo Ghaoil

A moderate puzzle after the weekend offerings. Having tuned my brain up to the the Saturday/Sunday level, it is sometimes difficult to step down and think of the obvious. This is my excuse for poor times on easy puzzles, and I’m sticking to it.

There is certainly little general knowledge required here, and virtually nothing that you can say you’ve never heard of. Only the early French dynasty might be obscure to those who dozed off in the fifth form, as an elderly pedant droned on about Merovingians and Carolingians.

In two weeks I will be blogging the puzzle for February 29. If you find yourself bored with these rather vanilla puzzles, I’m sure we’ll see something exotic or unusual in that one. I just hope they don’t fill it entirely with words that are used only once every four years!

1 CASTLES IN THE AIR, simplistic double definition. The alternative ‘castles in Spain’ was more common in the 17th and 18th century.
9 ANNOUNCER, ANN + OUNCE + R[educed].
10 VIVID, V(IV)I + D.
11 SPICES, SPI(C[urry])ES.
12 CHARISMA, CHAR + IS + M[undane], A[cquiring].
13 SAMSON, SAM[e] SON[g].
15 DRILL BIT, a not-very-cryptic definition.
18 CAPETIAN, C(A PET I)AN, as in Hugh Capet et al.
19 TUNE UP, double definition.
21 SHE DEVIL, SHED EVIL, a chestnut.
23 USEFUL, US + anagram of FUEL.
27 UNCHAINED, double definition. This may refer to ‘Unchained Melody’ by the Righteous Brothers, but you don’t really need to know that.
1 CHASSIS, CH + ASSIS[t], my LOI, I was most annoyed when I saw it, as I had assumed that the ‘a’ in the clue corresponded to the ‘a’ in the answer.
2 SINAI, hidden in [scene]S IN AI[da].
3 LOUSEWORT, L(O US)EWORT, where the container is ‘trowel’ upside-down. No need to have heard of the plant.
4 SOCK, S[h]OCK.
5 NORTHERN, NO + R + THE R.N. Deduct points if you interpreted ‘orthe’ as a Greek adjective meaning ‘correctly’.
6 HOVER, HOVE + R. Somehow, ‘Hove’ seems very familiar….
8 REDRAFT, RED + RAFT. Is a raft really a boat? Discuss.
14 MAPLE LEAF, double definition. The leaf of the plane tree does indeed look very similar to that of the maple, and if one flew by you probably couldn’t tell the difference.
17 LATITUDE, double definition.
18 CUSTARD, CU(STA)RD, where the contents are an anagram of SAT.
22 ENDUE, E + N + DUE.
24 FUNGI, FUN + G.I. a minor alteration of the ‘fun guy’ chestnut.
25 SCOT, S + COT, the setter’s favorite tax.

52 comments on “Times 26335 – Rebuke a Scotsman? That’s not right!”

  1. Fortunately I didn’t sleep through History classes, and biffed 18ac from ‘favorite’ and ‘French royals’. I did sleep through botany, though, or rather stopped attending lectures because I’d fall asleep (read the text on bennies the night before the final), so LOUSEWORT was my LOI. I’d like to think that 27ac was referring to ‘Unchained Melody’ by Al Hibbler, but. Vanilla indeed, but pleasant.
  2. 31 minutes, ending with the never knowingly used ENDUE – so much uglier than the near synonymous ‘endow’. LOUSEWORT took a bit of working out, as did the BIT clue. Overall, not overly taxing, but not a crashing BORE.

    I took 14d to refer to the flag of Canada, but even then the clue doesn’t seem to work 100%.

  3. As easy as they get. DNK the French family or the plant, but you didn’t need to.

    I don’t care what they say, this puzzle would never appear on a Friday.

    Thanks setter and Vinyl.

  4. I completed most of this in barely 20 minutes but then became bogged down for ages with several outstanding in the NW quarter + CAPETIAN which I’ve never heard of (though I now see that I solved it without comment in 2010 when it was a partial anagram). I got it eventually today through wordplay but the one that really did for me was LOUSEWORT which has not come up before.

    I thought the definitions at 5dn and 14dn were a bit weird though I took ‘flying across Canada’ to refer to the flag which is called the MAPLE LEAF, at least by the English-speakers.

    I think the setter is giving away his/her vintage by cluing ANNOUNCER with reference to TV personality. Where they still exist they are anonymous disembodied voices and have been for decades. For an announcer to be a TV personality one has to go back to the 1950s and the days of Mary Malcolm, Sylvia Peters and McDonald Hobley!

    Edited at 2016-02-15 06:29 am (UTC)

  5. A rather easy start to the week.

    Pretty much filled it in from 1ac downward.

    Lousewort DNK but went without a problem.

    I suppose COD was 14 dn MAPLE LEAF though nothing else to write home about.

    horryd Shanghai

  6. Scribbling in CASTLES IN THE SKY without thinking meant that I was playing around with YACHTS rather than RAFTS at 8d for too long. A gentle start to the week.
    1. CASTLES IN THE SKY caused my main hold up as well. Other than that a straightforward 16:57.
      1. Count me in for putting SKY instead of AIR to start with, which didn’t help. At least I knew 3d as Furbish Lousewort V as President of Unistat in the Schrödinger’s Cat trilogy, a somewhat bizarre, but hugely entertaining exposition on the implications of quantum mechanics. Anyone else remember Juan Tootrego, the Cuban athlete? Sorry. I digress. 18:12, and I felt I made heavier weather of it than I should. DNK CAPETIAN, but assumed it from the wordplay and biffing CHARMING for 12A didn’t help either. 11a my favourite.
  7. 9m. I thought I might be in PB territory for a while, but then slowed down in the SW corner. I didn’t know the Frenchies or the plant, but indeed you didn’t have to.
    No problem with 14dn. ‘A maple leaf looks like plane’ is a construction that makes sense to me.
  8. 12 minutes, a typical Monday whizz, with the French family and the plant from wordplay. CoD between the Canadian flag (I think it works fine) and VIVID.
  9. … the nursery slopes folder. But all the better for that. Good clues, well constructed. The Pedicularis from the Pelican State?

    Only controversy seems to be at 14dn where the insertion of “that’s” would have left none in doubt about the flag.

    Vinyl, minor typo: at 12ac, your finger obviously slipped between “[” and “p”.

    Edited at 2016-02-15 09:49 am (UTC)

  10. 18:13 but this included the mandatory iPad freeze and having to pause to receive and repeat back the instructions for the day. I thought that I was on track for a PB with the top just going straight in but was brought up short by the SW and had to grind out the knight and the dynasty. Apart from the SW, this one could have escaped from the Quick Cryptic page.

    Edited at 2016-02-15 11:31 am (UTC)

  11. The popular song that came to mind (probably incorrectly) was the Joe Cocker/Ray Charles – Unchain my heart, Baby let me be. But as Vinyl says, you don’t need to know. When I first came to NY ages ago it was hockey season, which was of no interest to me, but I sort of absorbed that the Toronto Maple Leaves were the team to beat. Except that I misheard them as the Make Believes. 9.16
    1. You must have heard it from people who weren’t really into their hockey either, because the team is known as the Maple Leafs!
        1. I’m imagining whoever it was that told you at a game, shouting ‘go leaves go!’ and getting funny looks…
  12. 24mins with LOUSEWORT and CAPETIAN u/k.

    Unchained Melody will always be the Robson and Jerome (cover) version for me!

  13. Sub 30 minutes for me today, but I was helped by having my wife sitting next to me on the rattler. Count me as another that tried SKY instead of AIR initially – at first, I thought I might have been seduced by the Les Mis song, but that was ‘on a cloud’.

    Haven’t tackled Sunday’s offering yet, but found Saturday a struggle – eventually completing in about 90 minutes, which is a record of the wrong kind for me.

  14. Completed in a gentle and unrushed 11.39, with LOUSEWORT of course being the last, eventually made up from the wordplay. I considered LOUSEROOT, because given the relative simplicity of many of the other clues, I thought “tool” itself, reversed might be the container, but then I couldn’t account for the contained. I swear there are words that only appear in my dictionary once they’ve appeared in the crossword, and in all probability they disappear shortly after.

    Edited at 2016-02-15 12:20 pm (UTC)

  15. Straightforward 29m today, thanks to a flying start with 1a – a great song by Don Maclean as well. Slowed in SW and another who guessed the French royalty. Unchained melody always brings Jimmy Young to mind, my mum’s favourite and she played the record regularly. I liked the surface for 18d. Thanks blogger and setter.
  16. Pretty easy today. Unchained melody was no problem for this old timer, as I remember Jimmy Young’s version best. The Righteous Brothers didn’t so much nail it as crucify it.
  17. Five minutes ten seconds, somewhat hampered by the same fat-fingeredness which caused me to submit the Concise with ARBITRAAY as one of the answers. I bet Jason has a pianist’s fingers.
  18. Prompted by some of the comments above I googled UNCHAINED Melody, and according to Wikpedia it has been recorded over 1,500 times by 670 different artists including (to pick a few at random) Elvis, U2, Leo Sayer and LeeAnn Rimes. It has been No. 1 in the UK four times by four different artists (Jimmy Young, The Righteous Brothers, Robson & Jerome, Gareth Gates).

    Edited at 2016-02-15 01:39 pm (UTC)

    1. I think the use of the Righteous Brothers’ version for the potters’ wheel scene in Ghost has cemented that in peoples’ minds as the “definitive” version.
      1. Always give it a go on Mondays. Have avoided Fridays every since the “RENE’S LIP / PILSENER” clue gave me the willies.
  19. The emblem of Air Canada immediately came into my mind, adding another layer to 14d, adding to the tree and flag references.
  20. Enjoyed it, but held my breath over ‘capetian’ and ‘lousewort’, even though the wordplay seemed pretty decisive. Biffed ‘Maple leaf’ hoping for an even better time.
  21. 13 mins. CAPETIAN and PALADIN both took longer to get than they should have done, and like a few others I finished with LOUSEWORT. An enjoyable puzzle IMHO.
  22. Toughened by the seemingly impossible Saturday Times Crossword, I had a go at this after a gentle QC today.
    Like my fellow QCer above I managed to finish it. My last two in were Capetian (which was a guess from the clue) and Latitude (which I happily corrected from Laxitude). David
  23. Enjoyable solve. DNK Capetian or lousewort but the wordplay clear. Wanted 18d to be passata for a while, giving papetien for 18a – well I said I didn’t know it! – but the anagram at 28a wouldn’t work. Once I got that it all fell into place.
  24. Oh dear! 12:41 for me making miserable start to the week. I began quite briskly, but then seemed to lose the thread and struggled with LOUSEWORT (pondering the possibility of LOUSEROOT), CAPETIAN (no problem with the CAPET part, but somehow I missed “one” in the clue and couldn’t think of anything beyond CAPETAGE, which didn’t sound at all right) and UNCHAINED (completely unknown – popular culture is not my strong suit – and I was worried that I might be missing a better alternative, even though none sprang to mind).

    I’m hoping for some high culture later in the week to give me more of an edge.

  25. Well, this is embarrassing. DNF, having failed at 18ac. I missed the “one”, and hence ended up with “Capetell”, which didn’t help much with 17d. If this were a negligence case, I would by now have come up with an elaborate yet plausible excuse.
    1. That was my downfall too! I also tried CAPETAGE but in the end CAN eluded me and I looked it up and that gave me my LOI LATITUDE. Didn’t start this one until this morning, as I was catching up with Saturday’s paper and crossword yesterday, having been told to pack a bag and then being whisked off to an unknown destination for retirement and 65th birthday celebrations by my elder daughter(who’s birthday it also was on Sunday) on Saturday morning. Having finally landed at Sheffield train station, I was tapped on the shoulder by my younger daughter, who normally resides in Cheddar! A convivial weekend ensued and I came off the nefopam to facilitate the intake of beer and G&T. After an excellent meal in the Red Deer in Pitt Street, I managed to walk back to the hotel opposite Snig Hill nick. Back to reality now and more physio this afternoon. Managed the rest of the crossword without any difficulties. Got Castles in the AIR from the Don Mclean song which I have a copy of. John
  26. Didn’t find this easy & have to disagree with some that the wordplay made 18ac clear. Glad to see I’m not the only one to have invented Capetage. That then made 17d impossible.

    25d also unknown in terms of either the tax or the rural dwelling.

    Finally, why does song = strain (albeit that one was correctly biffed)?

Comments are closed.