Times 26367 – no need for a 13d

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Well, I’ve paid up for my final burst of Gigabytes from that robber, Señor Vodafone, as we’re heading back to the land of Monsieur Orange and his unlimited ADSL on Saturday. 17 gigabytes in ten weeks; it was interesting to see with how much (or how little) we could reasonably exist.
Today’s puzzle was a pleasant, rapid solve, nothing unknown, although 10a and 20a held me up for 3 or 4 minutes, making 18 in total. No antelopes, obscure birds, faux chemistry or schoolboy Latin required today.

6 BLAH – BAH! around L; D tedious speech.
9 BREAK POINT – Amusing double definition, one tennis related.
10 BETA – ABET = help, move the A to the end; D such a test; a beta test e.g. of a new software version.
12 MALEVOLENTLY – MALE = man, V(I)OLENTLY = using force, the I removed; D with hatred.
15 UNASHAMED – Insert SHAM (fraud) into (AUDEN)*; D blatant.
17 RANGE – Insert N into RAGE (strong feeling); D limit of operation.
18 ELGIN – This one may cause trouble to our non-UK solvers. EEL gutted = EL; GIN = alcohol; D what’s found in Moray. A pleasant town in the Moray region of Scotland, with a fine parkland golf course as I recall. Nice misdirection in the surface reading; lift and separate, as Jimbo would say.
19 RURITANIA – RU(H)R = German area, remove H; (T)ITANIA = queen, remove the T; D land of romance. Originally invented by Anthony Hope in The Prisoner of Zenda, as a fictional central European country, it came to be used for a genre of adventure stories as Ruritanian Romances.
20 BEND THE ELBOW – Insert D(ay) into BENT (crooked), HEEL (unreliable type), BOW (inclination, as in slight bend); D to drink too  much. Not an expression I’d ever heard used, but it does exist.
24 AJAR – A jar is a bit of a shock; a door AJAR will admit a draught.
25 CONTRIBUTE – CONTRITE = sorry, insert BU (half the bush); D throw in.
26 NILE – Anagram of (‘sort of’) LINE, D where crocodiles are found. Go to the naughty step if you biffed FILE as in single file.
27 BEFORE LONG – D soon; you’ll find ‘lone’ and ‘lone wolf’ alphabetically before LONG.

1 CUBA – RUMBA is a native dance of Cuba, we replace RUM with CU to get the country. Thanks, Sawbill, for explaining it.
2 REEL – LEER (lascivious look) is reversed, D feel giddy.
3 TAKE A SHINE TO – Double definition, one literal.
4 SCORE – SORE = angry, insert C; D state of match.
5 GUNPOWDER – GUN = arm, POW = prisoner, DER = RED reversed; D in such a plot.
7 LIEUTENANT – LIEU = French for place; TENANT = someone ‘sitting’ in a place; D he’s commissioned.
8 HEAVY METAL – Cryptic definition, where ‘lead’ is the metal, not pronounced to rhyme with seed.
11 SECRET POLICE – (LEICESTER COP)*; D a more sinister organisation. Clever.
13 SUPERBRAIN – SUPERB RAIN would be marvellous weather (of a sort!); D being exceptionally bright.
14 MARGIN CALL – (ALARMING C L)*; D money demand. Not the phone call you want to get from your broker.
16 MORSE CODE – SECO(N)D = nameless backer, inside MORE = further; D messaging system.
21 LET GO – TG = extremely tiring, inside LEO = sign; D drop it.
22 JUNO – June 6 was D-Day, so Jun O is perhaps six days before; D preparing to land here (on a D-Day beach). My CoD.
23 BERG – Insert R(oyalties) into BEG (request humbly); D composer, Alban Berg, Austrian composer who used the twelve-tone technique; an acquired taste I have yet to find tasty, except the violin concerto.

45 comments on “Times 26367 – no need for a 13d”

  1. 1a refers to RUMBA the dance substituting RUM for CU in CUBA?
    20a is BOW for inclination?

    I presumed it had to be LONE WOLF rather than LONE or it wouldn’t be immediately before LONG in the dictionary?

    About 30 minutes. Good crossword.

    Edited at 2016-03-23 09:25 am (UTC)

  2. … superb rain here this morning. Much needed in this parched land. Enjoyed this and had a bit of a laff at the lead-footed guitarist. Guess why.

    Before checking the parsing, I was sure 20ac was BELT THE BOOZE, a phrase used in a Goon Show or two. Not sure what Milligan’s cockney policeman was called but, having apprehended Seagoon for such, he says “I’ve a good mind to arrest you for impersonating a newt”. Oh for the days when you couldn’t say “pissed” on the BBC and had to imply it, giving a much funnier outcome.*

    Mixed feelings about JUNO. Clever if you forget the surface padding and don’t get too literal (littoral?) about the calendar. On the other hand, I like June and might now start it early by renaming May 31st.

    * On edit: it’s here:
    And the policeman in “Willium”.

    Edited at 2016-03-23 09:45 am (UTC)

    1. Then we can finish the summer with Mickey Newbury’s 33rd of August, no? Not heavy metal, I’m afraid, but still needs a good bassist.
    2. Strange calendars? My favourite month is “Undecember,” the 13th of the year, and a short story in John Sladek’s collection “Keep the Giraffe Burning.”
      Favourite short story is of course “The Hammer of Evil,” in the same collection, closely followed by “Master Plan.” “Elephant with Wooden Leg,” too, was brilliant. In fact the whole anthology is highly recommended.

      Strange puzzle, barely filled in any acrosses start to finish, but only missed 2 downs on first read – Superbrain, and Juno, where I knew neither the beach nor the date, but they both seemed reasonable. About average 23 minutes.

  3. 16:57 .. What a smashing puzzle. My compliments to whoever put this together.

    It was a bit like cracking a combination safe (of which I’ve done a lot, obviously). Took a while to get a feel for the mechanism but, once it was found, things started tumbling into place.

    Some obvious standouts, but for some reason JUNO makes me especially happy.

    1. Didn’t have you down as a peterman sotira – a protege of Eddie Chapman perhaps?
      1. Ha, I would be proud to say it were so, Jimbo. They certainly threw away the mould after they made Eddie Chapman. I happen to have a copy of Ben Macintyre’s Agent Zigzag on the bookshelf behind my desk. Have you read the book? It’s utterly fascinating.
        1. Yes. I first learned about him when doing some related research many years ago so took opportunity to both see film and read book – which is the better of the two I think
          1. Director Mike Newell is said to be working on a new film based on Macintyre’s book. If he finds the right actor it could be terrific.
  4. 15m, starting quickly, then getting a bit bogged down, the unfamiliar BEND THE ELBOW and RURITANIA leaving me with a gap in the middle. No real problems though, and a nice puzzle.

    Edited at 2016-03-23 10:35 pm (UTC)

  5. 46′ and another fan of JUNO and the puzzle in toto. No idea what a MARGIN CALL was, besides being a phrase you hear on Hollywood-has-a-go-at-Wall-Street films to indicate the negative feelings of the character/filmmakers.

    Feeling particularly virtuous for having ‘superwoman’ first at 13d. Okay, when ‘superman’ wouldn’t fit…

    Edited at 2016-03-23 09:49 am (UTC)

    1. You buy something in the future for 100 and pay say 10 now. If the market price of the thing you have bought goes up to 120, then you can sell out and your 10 has turned into 30. If it drops to 80, your original investment of 10 is wiped out and you will potentially owe a further 10. Your broker will be on to you for this missing 10, a MARGIN CALL. A tad more complicated than that but this is the principle.
  6. Started like a train with the top half going straight in and looking towards a PB but the bottom half slowed me down to 17:48. LOI JUNO which brought a smile. I wonder whether Verlaine knows about bending the elbow?
  7. Agree with previous comments – entertaining puzzle

    ELGIN cropped up not long ago and does indeed boast a good golf course with another right opposite across the Moray on the Black Isle

  8. Really sorry, but I don’t get JUNO! I understand the cleverness of June 6-6 = Jun O, but what’s the definition?

    After an hour I resorted to a solver. Got CONTRIBUTE, but still had a blank at 22ac …

    1. Yes… Gold, Juno, Sword, Utah and Omaha. My next door neighbour landed on Gold on D Day, my father landed on the same beach a few days later with anti-aircraft batteries
      1. Yes, my father landed there on DDay with others of his commando unit. He wrote about it and what happened after with their group (30 Assault Unit) in The Hazard Mesh re-issued by Faber in 2011.
        1. Wow, your father did some living, Olivia. Great piece of family, and world, history there.

          If I buy a copy of the book, do you get a royalty? If so you can buy me a drink!

          1. I do own his copyrights but royalties – hmmm. But you can have the drink anyway Sotira!
        2. Impressive stuff indeed, Olivia. I’ve just downloaded it to my Kindle, but I’m not sure quite when I’m going to find time to read it, though it could be that it turns out to be un-put-down-able.

          (Despite being christened John Anthony, I ended up being called Tony because my (much) older brother and sister took to singing “Oh, Oh, Antonio (and his ice-cream cart)”. I’m assuming that John Antony Crawford Hugill ended up being called being called Tony for a more refined reason :-).

          1. Thanks Tony. The book sat in the bookcase in my bedroom all through childhood and I never opened it – no pictures! And like so many of them, my father never talked about any of his experiences.
  9. DK MARGIN CALL but there were some good clues here with 1ac alone being worth the price of admission – the &lit summing up the bones of the story that gave rise to the expression, and managing to incorporate an anagram of the answer too. Brilliant! I’m less enamoured than some with 22dn although I solved it and got its point. Maybe my mind’s in flat literal mode this morning but I felt it was like a conjuring trick that falls a bit flat when you realise how it was done. Elgin is famous for the Lord who saved or stole the marbles depending on one’s pov.
    1. I think that Elgin’s error was buying the Marbles from the non-rightful owners . I’ve tried three times over the years to get that simple fact past the Letter’s editor but to no avail !
  10. A curate’s egg of a morning. Enjoyed the puzzle while watching England’s woeful batting. Took less than the innings, and I’m hopeless at multitasking.
  11. Thought I was on for a sub 10 but then hit the SW corner (again). Couldn’t get MARGIN CALL as I was sure it was some kind of MAIL, even though there was not enough room for Nigerian E. Self administered kicking when I finally realised there was no way to organise the rest of the letters into the remaining spaces and got the phrase which (guilty pleasure alert) induces Don Ameche to use the F word in Trading Places, one of the very few films I will never grow tired of watching. Please don’t tell me how wrong that is. I know, I know.
    Nearly sunk by the JUNO clue: for some reason I got temporarily beached on MAYO. Now that is clever.
    1. One day too late z8. As mentioned, I almost got creamed by MAYO yesterday.

      Edited at 2016-03-23 12:56 pm (UTC)

  12. I thought this was a toughie so I was a bit surprised to come here and find out how slow, relatively speaking, my 20:33 is. Must just have struggled to find the wavelength. Last in was contribute.

    I took Juno just to be Jun 06 without the 6 but that’s probably not the intention.

  13. In direct contrast to Penfold, I did this late in the day and came here expecting a rash of sub-10’s.

    Not sure why this one suited me, perhaps it was because there were no plants (unless you count half a bush). Will doubtless come crashing back down to earth tomorrow.

    LOI and COD BEFORE LONG. Thanks setter and Pip.

    Oh, and I’m stunned that BEND THE ELBOW was unknown to some distinguished solvers. Thought it was in common use universally, which shows how much I know.

  14. All done and dusted on the rattler, which means sub 30m for me, which is a good thing. I didn’t struggle with any of this, except I couldn’t see 24 for what seemed like ages (LOI). Could have kicked myself when the penny dropped.

    11d gives me an excuse to mention the Foxes continuing good fortune. The dream is still alive!

    Edited at 2016-03-23 01:48 pm (UTC)

  15. One wrong in 45 minutes. Just couldn’t see AJAR and came up with ATAP instead. A Tap would let a draught beer into a glass and can also be described as a shock of palm leaves used for roofing according to Wiki. I think I over thought that one:-) Found the rest of the puzzle challenging but enjoyable. Didn’t twig the parsing for 27ac, so thanks to Pip for explaining that. FOI REEL followed by CURATES EGG and CUBA. LOI the wrong answer for 24ac.
  16. Well, I took slightly longer (50 minutes, to be precise) to get the same one wrong. I had “alar”, which I think is a very near miss. It means “relating to wings” (hence, sort of maybe perhaps, admitting a draught), and is a bit of “alarm”. No? Oh well.
  17. About 20 minutes, held up by the crossing SUPRBRAIN and LOI, AJAR. I didn’t know the former as a stand alone word. When I finally saw the superb rain I decided it must be the answer despite my not knowing it. It then took another couple of minutes for the alphabet run to find AJAR. Altogether nice puzzle, really enjoyed BEFORE LONG. Regards.
  18. My jet lag and being back to work finally caught up with me and I took 40 mins from start to finish, with an indeterminate amount of nodding off in the middle. Like Penfold CONTRIBUTE was my LOI after I finally saw JUNO, which I thought was a cracker of a clue once the penny dropped. My father was part of the first tank regiment that landed on Sword beach on D-Day.
  19. Didn’t get to do this until a late lunch, but I enjoyed it. JUNO gave me a head-scratching moment and I’ll admit I had no idea when D-Day is but I remember JUNO being a code for a beach so put it in with a shrug. Very much liked the device in RUMBA
  20. Spent an age looking at 14d. Having never remotely needed the services of a stockbroker, and having missed the references mentioned by others, ‘margin call’ was what the good Doctor Thud might call a NHO for me. I had sussed the anagram fodder, but was trying to work out a solution with C and L as the first and last letters respectively, which the clue seemed to demand. Pleased, in the end, to have a correct grid despite the time taken.
  21. DNF as I messed up on 24ac ALAS!

    I really struggled for some reason with 10ac BETA.

    Four letter words all round!

    I also thought that 20ac DEND THE ELBOW enjoyed universality.


    horryd Shanghai

  22. Just over an hour (as usual there were two words I just couldn’t get without a break before finishing). This time they were BREAK POINT (I needed SCORE to get the O) and AJAR, for which I was thinking of ARAB (maybe a draught horse? but I suppose not; and RAB not a bit of a shock either, which I thought would turn out to have something to do with hair).

    Of course JUNO has turned up in crosswords before, with somewhat more dire consequences, namely in the Telegraph BEFORE D-Day, along with UTAH, OMAHA, OVERLORD, MULBERRY. The composer of those crosswords was subjected to some unpleasant interviews by MI5 but managed not to be shot as a spy. He was a teacher who had his schoolboys suggest words for his puzzles, and they picked up interesting terminology from the American GIs posted nearby whom they used to hang out with (it was all very easygoing — they were even allowed to drive tanks!).

  23. To my shame I didn’t know the date of D-Day nor the names of the beaches, so I failed to get both ‘Juno’ and the crossing ‘Contribute’. On the upside, I did manage to guess ‘Bend the Floor’, which is obviously what happens when you get drunk.
  24. A disappointing 14:14 here. After a desperately slow start, I suddenly found the setter’s wavelength and plodded quite happily through almost all the clues (JUNO for instance went straight in without the need for checked letters). However, I’d never heard of MARGIN CALL, and although it seemed plausible, I somehow managed to ccnvince myself that it didn’t fit the letters of the obvious anagram. (Doh!)

    Apart from that, an interesting and enjoyable puzzle.

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