Times 26337 – Archimedes was here, so was Aristophanes

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
For once I was seriously against the clock, needing to solve and blog this for y’all to fustigate, before collecting visitors for a day being touristy. Surprise and relief, therefore, when my timer was stopped at 17 minutes, with a couple more needed to decipher the intricacies behind one or two biffed answers. Nothing here to frighten the horses, as “Mrs Pat” (allegedly) said.

1 REPROBATE – RE (about), PAT (man or woman) about ROB (mug), E (rear of café); D villain.
6 BAKER – Lightweight cryptic D.
9 LIEGE – LIE about EG; D feudal lord.
10 CARD-SHARP – CARD (eccentric), SHARP (one on staff, as in music, flat or natural); D one manipulating clubs.
11 CLOUD-CUCKOO-LAND – CLAN (family) around LOUD (brash), CUCKOO (crazy), D(uke); D fantasy world.
13 SHAMEFUL – SHAM (bogus), FUEL has E moved to the front; D scandalous.
14 TEMPLE – Lightweight DD.
16 RETORT – Another DD.
18 TWENTIES – WENT (travelled) inside TIES (formal wear); D ten years.
21 POLYUNSATURATED – D like some fat; biffed then assembled from POLY (college), (AUNTS)*, U-RATED (for all to see, as in a movie).
23 INDECORUM – IN DEC = around Christmas, O = one’s initial, RUM = drink; D impropriety.
25 AGENT – AGE = mature, N = northern, T = third letter of acTor; D rep.
26 GOOEY – GO = try, O, E, Y last letters of TO INVITE INTIMACY and GOOEY means mawkish. Thanks to sawbill for clarifying.
27 WORCESTER – CROW (gloat) reversed, ESTHER loses her H; D city. Several to choose from, in England, USA, South Africa and so on.

1 RELIC – Hidden word in GRASME(RE LIC)ENSEE; D surviving artifact. My FOI.
2 PTERODACTYL – (A PRETTY COLD)*; D old flying reptile. When the kids were young we had a silly board game called ‘Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs’ which was enlivened by a player shouting ‘pterodactyl swoops!’ – what larks.
3 OVERDUE – O (love), DUE (directly), insert REV reversed; D late.
4 ARCTURUS – (CART)*, US around RU; D star. I know my stars, antelopes and birds. Otherwise Alpha Boötis, the brightest star in the Northern hemisphere sky.
5 EUREKA – RUE (regret) reversed, over anagram of answer to 7d. What Archimedes is alleged to have exclaimed while in his over-full bath.
6 BESPOKE – BE (half of beer), SPOKE (bar); D made to order.
7 KEA – KEATS is your poet, ignore the TS as in Eliot; D parrot. I know my birds. It’s a large burrowing parrot found in New Zealand.
8 RAPIDNESS – P inside RAID, the NESS for head; D speed. I’d have thought the better noun was RAPIDITY but I see this is also in use.
12 APPOINTMENT – A, PP (very soft), OINTMENT (embrocation); D post.
13 STRIPLING – TRIP (outing) inside SLING (member’s support); D youngster
15 TWO-TIMER – TO, TIME (date), R (another finally), insert W; D one’s disloyal.
17 RAUNCHY – RAY (bloke) insert (L)UNCH); D lewd.
19 NARRATE – ARRAN (island) reversed, T(AL)E; D tell.
20 ESCROW – ESC (key on keyboard), ROW (argument); D conditional execution of deed.
22 DETER – DEER are browsers, insert T(ime); D discourage.
24 DUO – DO (fleece) around U: D couple.

39 comments on “Times 26337 – Archimedes was here, so was Aristophanes”

  1. If today were Monday, everyone would be saying.. “You can tell it’s a Monday..”

    6ac made me laugh, with its neat reference to the homophone need/knead.

  2. The top half was mundy, whereupon my brain froze and nothing else went in for at least 15 minutes, taking my time to above 30. Strange.

  3. A 13-minute Mondayesque stroll, then came to grief on RETORT. Didn’t know the vessel and obviously didn’t fully understand the meaning of sally.

    Never would have got it without resorting to aids, so I count that as a DNF.

    Otherwise enjoyable. Thanks setter and Pip.

  4. An enjoyable puzzle I thought although certainly on the easy side of the distribution. 6A made me laugh

    The story about Archimedes and EUREKA may be a myth but the method of discovery is an interesting example of observation leading to technique.

    Charged with discovering if an object was made of pure gold or an amalgam Archimedes knew he had to somehow measure its density (mass/volume) to compare that with the known density of pure gold. Mass was easy but how to measure volume of an irregular shaped object?

    Seeing the water spilling from the bath he realised that the volume of water displaced was the same as the volume of the object – no matter what its shape – EUREKA!

  5. An early solve for me – I rattled through the north but had some troubles in the south with the city and ESCROW particularly, coming in at a shade under 40m. Thanks for explaining the fats and the city, Pip, though I had the same parsing for GOOEY as above. Thanks for the science lesson, Jimbo, a story I only vaguely knew or understood. My COD also BAKER but now Pip’s explained it the fats are also impressive.
  6. 25 minutes of enjoyable solve. Unlike Pip I am not good on stars but I can tell my Bongos from my Drongos.
  7. 9:35 … much biffing, but still plenty of smiles as half-parsed things tumbled into place. POLYUNSATURATED is ever so clever — nice surface.

    Another vote of thanks to Jimbo for telling the story that I ‘knew’ quite wrongly.

    Thanks, setter and Pip.

  8. 36 minutes but I thought there was some quite tricky stuff going on here, and quite clever, so I’m not keen to dismiss it as easy Monday-ish or similar.

    6ac seems rather unusual. A cryptic clue containing a homophone that’s not of the answer.

  9. This was the only thing to hold me up because I was dithering between that and GOOPY and not seeing how to parse either until the last minute. We were assigned The Birds for O level Greek and except for 11a I don’t remember one word of it thanks to a repellently disgusting classics master we all desperately sought to avoid. P.S. When you get a second Pip it’s AristophAnes in your heading. 10.32
    1. I had GOOFY in for a while, but recent mishaps forced me to consider all possibilities before blithely “doing a Verlaine” by hitting the submit button half-cocked.
  10. A shade under 30 minutes for me, so definitely on the easy side. However, some biffed answers. I didn’t see the u-rated reference in 21, or the last letter clue in 26, didn’t think of sally as a retort (but knew the vessel), didn’t see esther in 27, so thanks for clearing all those up Pip. My train journey is 30 minutes, so I finished and de-trained before I had a chance to go back and fill in the missing parsing. Nice puzzle though now I have time to think about it.
  11. BAKER was amusing and unusual and COD for me. GOOEY last in, because it took a while to see the OEY bit, after a quick and pleasant solve.
  12. I found it the easiest puzle for ages – barely 6 minutes. I wonder if the setter was Roger Phillips, noting 7D which I think is a pseudonym he uses
  13. A bit like Monday, ie top half a write-in, bottom half slower. My version of the Archimedes ‘story’ has him running naked through the streets of Athens shouting EUREKA. Quite a lad, with his Principle and his Screw, among other things. Thanks pip.
  14. The top half was extraordinarily easy, but I found the lower half less so, but still finished in under 25 minutes. The trouble with 6a, though it’s a nice clue, is that it’s a giveaway because ‘bloomer’ so often means bread these days not flowers. One or two tricky bits of wordplay, where I had the answer for a while before fully working it out, especially 1a and 13d.
  15. Unlike others here, I didn’t enjoy 6a at all – but it’s horses for courses, I guess. COD was probably 7d for me, just because of the unusual use of ‘initially’, which I must admit entirely passed me by at the time. One of several that I put in from definition today. 8m 21s was my time, having been slowed down a bit in the lower half of the grid.
  16. Less than half an hour which is supercharged for me.Must have been aimed at the older person.
  17. Just could not see 20d despite having ?s?r?w. Went through the alphabet several times but gave up. Shame as it would have been my first full solve of 2016. Never thought of key =esc -thought it might be a musical term. Much easier than the so called quick cryptic today.
    1. ‘Key’ suggesting ESC or ALT is one of the newer additions to the setter’s armoury. Like ‘flower’ meaning river, I now automatically think of these when I see ‘key’.
  18. 13m. I found this moderately tricky, and unlike others I didn’t biff much. Enjoyable.
    I thought the woman in in 27ac was hESTER. Either works!
    What do you call the oil that’s used for waterproofing parrots?
    1. Until I realised that you were talking about 21a, my best effort was Kea-rosene. I feel a Monty Python sketch coming on.
  19. A knock-free 10 mins with RETORT my LOI after STRIPLING. Keriothe beat me to it with his (H)ESTER comment regarding 27ac. Like a few of you it took me a while to see GOOEY and how it worked. BAKER was my FOI and I’m in the camp that didn’t find it particularly cryptic, but each to their own.
  20. Well, it was quick, but a DNF, as after trying GOOFY for 26ac, which made no sense at all, I settled on GOONY for the same reason as vinyl1: GO ON (as the attempt to invite) + Y. With the better of two bad choices I never looked for a third (well, I did look, but no ‘eureka’ for me). The rest was OK and enjoyable.

    Edited at 2016-02-17 07:16 pm (UTC)

  21. Well well well. I’m celebrating a hat-trick, with three DNFs (or at least incorrects) in a row.

    Belted through this in 26 minutes, finishing triumphantly with “goony”. Tah-dah!

  22. As a relative newbie this marks a new high with two fully completed in a row. Hoorah. Perhaps there is hope for me yet. I loved pterodactyl not least as it reminded me of my pride being able to spell it some 40 years ago….
    1. Congratulations, particularly if you managed to solve yesterday’s puzzle correctly. That’s definitely a feather in your cap.
      1. sadly, revisiting I realise that I got novenas wrong (i guessed at navenos) of course it’s obvious now but still – say so myself, not a bad effort!
  23. 7:44 for me in a combination of biffing (the two long answers + REPROBATE and WORCESTER) and dithering (GOOEY).

    I’ve lost track of the number of Listener puzzle themes I’ve eventually cracked either in the bath or while shaving (which is where the most recent one came to me). Since Archimedes is almost invariably pictured with a substantial beard, the former site was perhaps the most likely place for inspiration to strike, even without the obvious connection that dorsetjimbo relates.

    A pleasant, straightforward solve.

  24. Top half was a write-in but was held up by the clever 21ac POLYUNSATURATED COD
    44mins which was rather poor. GOOEY or GOOFY? Managed that OK.LOI
    But not too Monday for me!
    Must try harder.
    horryd Shanghai

  25. Flew (for me) through this in 30 minutes having got out of bed to find some ibuprofen for my elbow at 3am and had some cornflakes to accompany it, thus being tempted into picking up the paper. Brain stopped functioning at R-T-R- and I biffed in ROTARY for no good reason except I’d seen mash being rotated in a vat in a distillery I once visited. So a DNF. Once I saw it I knew RETORT the vessel from the chemistry lab, but didn’t know the sally meaning. No trouble with GOOEY. Had to double check the wordplay to get INDECORUM as opposed to INDECENCY. Back to bed for some more zzzz now. John

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