Times 26373

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Placeholder – Wednesday’s blog may be a little delayed as I have to make an early morning visit before tackling the puzzle.

If a fellow blogger would like to volunteer to do Wed 13th April for me, I’d be happy to swap for a Monday or Friday of next week or the week of 18 April, or just owe him / her a return blog whenever.

UPDATE: OK Mctext I will accept your offer and let Verlaine stick with his Fridays, as there’s a lot going on here at present. Wed 13th is mctext.

OK I’m back, I see several of you have pre-empted somewhat, notably with a discussion about Irish authors. I sat down with this, a coffee and Classic FM at 9.20 CET and had it finished and (I think) parsed by 9.34, so only 14 minutes, so either it was easy or I solve faster when the clock is ticking.

1 DEBUTANTE – TUBE reversed inside DANTE: D new party girl?
6 LOCUM – Initial letters of Manchester United Called On Laughably, all reversed; D substitute.
9 MANOR – Sounds like manner = style, D House of Lords.
10 SEDUCTION – ED inside SUCTION: D that’s the art of it (pulling power) Ha. ha.
13 HEDONIST – DON inside HEIST: D sybarite.
14 LE FANU – I didn’t have a problem with this, FAN = cooler inside LEU – European money (Romanian and probably Moldavan); and I knew the writer.
16 DISCUS – DISCUS(S) = kick around, endlessly; D something to throw.
18 MARMOSET – MOSE(S) inside MART: D primate.
21 BRIGHTON AND HOVE – I see it as RIGHT ON (liberal) inside BAND (party) then HOVE(R): D city. The only one I biffed and dissected afterwards.
23 UNDERWEAR – (A NEW RUDE)*, R: D maybe briefs.
25 IMPLY – (P)IMPLY = spotted scratching head; D intimate.
26 DODGE – D inside DOGE: D device.
27 TOP SECRET – Anagram of (EPORTS ETC), the R omitted; D hush hush.

1 DEMOB – D release from duty. DEMO = march, B = the first in bed.
2 BANGLADESHI – BANG = report, (HAS LIED)*; D someone from Asia.
3 TERRAIN – ER inside TRAIN: D area.
4 NASTIEST – ASTI (wine) inside NEST (home); D most unpalatable.
5 ENDIVE – END = back, IV = four, E = heading for exit; D leaves.
6 LICENSE – (SILENCE)*: D permit, as a verb, or an American noun.
7 CHI – Double def; Greek letter, energy as in Tai chi.
8 MINOR SUIT – MINOR sounds like miner, SUIT = case; D diamonds perhaps. Clubs and diamonds are minor suits in bridge, spades and hearts are majors, ranking higher and scoring more.
12 GRASSHOPPER – G R = starts to Get Riled; AS SHOPPER: D chirpy customer.
13 HIDEBOUND – ID for passport, inside HE, BOUND = sure to; D narrow-minded.
15 PARADROP – PAR = normal amount, A DROP = a little; D delivery from the air.
17 UNHORSE – Insert H (puncH ultimately) into U NORSE (middle of moUth, tongue); D throw.
19 MIDLIFE – IF (that poem) is the mid part of L IF E: D time of crisis.
20 POTENT – TEN (figure) inside POT (dope): D powerful.
22 EGYPT – final letters (ends) of latE seeinG daddY uP discontentmenT; D mummy’s home.
24 DUD – D firework not seen, a palindrome (down and up).

72 comments on “Times 26373”

  1. All done at 7.45am (LOI 14ac)- will wait patiently for the wise owl.

    horryd Shanghai

  2. To save you both trouble I could make one of my Hendrixian slight returns on the 13th … if Pip agrees to that.
  3. Going by the time it took me to find my first answer I thought this was going to be a toughie, but it turned into a very neat and tidy solve once I was started and I finished it, all parsed, in 28 minutes.

    I was sure of the answer at 14ac and saw the wordplay but I didn’t recognise the name of the Irish writer or remember that the currency involved was Romanian. On checking whether they had come up before, I found both had done so for puzzle 24245 published in June 2009, LEU as part of the wordplay of FUEL and Le Fanu mentioned in the next clue leading to the answer (Uncle) SILAS, one of his title characters.

    Edited at 2016-03-30 03:37 am (UTC)

    1. I’m hoping it turns out that I’m the only one who biffed LE FANU. I’m currently reading his Carmilla at the behest of one of my Honours students who’s working on 19th century queer lit. As 23ac has it, a slightly “rude novel” if you’re into teenage lesbian vampires.
  4. I know you’re not a Help Desk but most grateful for some assistance if possible.
    With the Times’ new layout this morning, I don’t see how to print the crossword (and Sudoku). I have always printed from the desktop but it appears that the new layout is only (?) for tablets (I have an iPad). The iPad sees the printer but the Print instruction remains grey/inactive. And it doesn’t look as though you can print the clues anyway.
    Does anyone else have these problems?
    This is fast becoming similar to my Windows 10 experience. I foolishly agreed to download it but it prevented my desktop from connecting to the internet. Eventually it was removed and I stick with Windows 7!
    Thank you in advance.
    1. There are three bars in the top right-hand corner where you’ll find print option. p.s. Tried that ; got chequered arrangement of grid and some clues then lots of flashing and my computer froze!!

      Edited at 2016-03-30 09:13 am (UTC)

      1. barracuda3 – thank you. Were you on a desktop or tablet when you experienced that?
      1. jackkt – thank you. I now see that the link you sent is also in the r/h column on this page. If that continues to work for all the week-end crosswords then that’s much better than nothing!
        How did you print today’s cryptic – from that link or from the online paper?
        1. I printed just after midnight from the Puzzles page but at that time the format and layout had not changed to the new look. The new layout is no problem for desktop printing via the “hamburger” menu that barracuda mentioned.

          As far as I’m aware there are no immediate plans to change the Club pages though it’s in the pipeline.

          1. The hamburger does not respond for me when I click on it.
            I wonder what I’m doing wrong.
            I’ve written to the T – waiting on a reply.
            Thanks for your time – and thanks to barracuda.
  5. 26 minutes this morning, top half very quick. ‘right on’ for liberal? Must get used to ID for papers, passport etc., held up by 13d. Have not seen 15d as a word before.
    1. I thought this was excellent: the sort of thing a person who lives in Brighton – and likes it – would say.
  6. Lucky biff at 14 ac, where the unknown Irish author was unfortunately clued using an unknown currency.

    Still don’t really get how 1dn works…

        1. Oddly enough, I only saw the right parsing when typing the blog, I was wrestling with M O inside BED reversed, and wondering where the O came from. March the 0th?
    1. Turns out there isn’t an Irish author called LE CANU. Shame – can for cooler worked after a fashion…
      1. Oh but there is a famous Irish author Le Canu. Otherwise I wouldn’t have put him in.
        Otherwise easyish, a tad under 20 mins. Liked both UNHORSE and GRASSHOPPER.
  7. 28 minutes for this mother and father of biff-fests, though I managed to be a bit of a damp squib myself and thumbed in ‘ddd’ at 24d.

    Last in and COD to 17d, since it might be a cumbersome clue but it’s a fine word, cleverly hidden.

    A number of Le Fanus went to my old school and still adorn the boards around the place, so that was no problem.

  8. Fairly easy today with Le Fanu (author 2,4) known from crosswords and a number of easy definitions such as condiment (8,7) and city (8,3,4)
  9. I didn’t know the author, didn’t know the currency and guessed that cooler = prison = can. Hence I came up with DE CANU. Otherwise fairly straightforward.
    1. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one with DE CANU. Otherwise not a tricky puzzle: it took me 8m 56s with that error.
  10. Eek… just seen the blog … I had confidently written in midwife at 19 down, thinking that one is found in time of crisis! Was quite pleased to have got that one…Oops…
      1. Well I had {d}APPLE at 25ac for a while. As in dapple-grey (horse) and apple of one’s eye. Not better but (just) possible.
  11. 12:18 … more clues biffed than parsed, I suspect, but good fun.

    There’s a Doctor Le Fanu who writes for The Telegraph. Great grandson or something, no doubt.

    I did enjoy EGYPT for that “Mummy’s home late …”

  12. 18:03 and as ulaca and sotira have pointed out, Biff Central. A number of clues to like but COD to 1dn for being so misleading, leading to a fine DOH moment. Thanks setter and blogger.
  13. Did not get the Irish footballer. Everything else done after 30 minutes. Stupidly wrote APPLY at 25a which made 19d MIDPAGE (mid-age crisis?) even though seeing Kipling in a clue always means IF.
  14. I wasn’t aware of this meaning of right-on but a quick check in Collins confirmed it. One to remember. I found this tough enough but no complaints. Some nice wordplay especially DEMOB and EGYPT.
  15. 14m. I found this tough, and felt like I was making heavy weather of some of the clues, so I got a pleasant surprise when I stopped the clock.
    I happened to have the knowledge for LE FANU but I don’t think it’s a great clue. When I am king setters will be asked to have another go when this sort of thing happens.
  16. Another one here who doesn’t understand why “right on” is liberal. As a fan of ghost stories I knew LeFanu. He’s also the writer Harriet Vane is doing research on in Gaudy Night. It must have been the spooks that made me put in “crypt” instead of EGYPT – which held up Brighton etc. 14.07
        1. Right-on came up in the wordplay for righto in my debut Jumbo blog a few weeks ago. Kevin in Japan queried it and I did this bit of digging: depending on where you look right on or right-on can mean “having or supporting liberal or left-wing beliefs and opinions about how people should be treated” or “modern, fashionable, and socially aware or relevant: right-on green politics.”
          1. So let me get this straight, you’re right on if you’ve left off being right wing and gone off to the left?
        2. Yes. For me the combination evokes a wealthy Islington couple, fans of Jeremy Corbyn, who bake their own focaccia and let their kids smoke weed in their bedrooms.
  17. Could only be Balsamic Vinegar in Brighton and Hove. What’s worse is I like the stuff. I’m stuck inside of London with the Lancashire blues again. Forty minutes, LOI Le Fanu.
    1. I just bought my first bottle of balsamic vinegar the other day and it’s sitting unopened in the kitchen cupboard waiting for a right-on vegan from Brighton to visit.

      In the meantime, I will look up what balsamic means. Can’t be “made of balsa wood”, like those planes I used to fly…

      Edited at 2016-03-30 11:18 am (UTC)

      1. I think you’re meant to drizzle it over sun-dried tomatoes and rocket, or something like that. Don’t ask for it in a Blackpool chip shop, a bit the apocryphal tale of Peter Mandelson at a party conference viewing the mushy peas and asking for the guacamole.
        1. Balsamic vinegar poured into olive oil as a dip for bread is common in Italian restaurants, or at least those in England.
        2. Rocket must be the biggest con pulled on customers heavy on wallet and light on brains since all the “organic” palaver began.

          1. That’s why I’m worried about being in the south too long. I’ve sold my soul. I quite like the stuff. It goes well with a pork pie.
      2. Yes, I looked it up too and was relieved to find that although it looks rather the same it’s not actually made the same way as Friar’s Balsam, the old-fashioned inhalable cold remedy.
        1. indeed, Wiki article says
          Balsamic vinegar contains no balsam. The word balsamico (from Latin balsamum, from Greek βάλσαμον) means “balsam-like” in the sense of “restorative” or “curative”.
          Personally I hate it but my daughter uses excessive amounts on salads (i.e. on rabbit food). I’ll eat my pork pies with chutney, no rocket.
      3. I seem to remember that there are lots of appearances by “oily balsamic” fluids in Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure), but you’d want to keep those well away from your sun-dried tomatoes and rocket.
  18. Fun puzzle, but unhorsed when went (desperately) for De Canu with everything else happily done and dusted. Need to bone up on my Romanian currencies I guess…
  19. 35 minutes. I made a slow start but suddenly things flowed smoothly, with 21 biffed from three letters in the grid. Found a few bits of wordplay puzzling but didn’t spend much time fully parsing. 25a, 1d, 22d were particularly appealing.

    However, I’ve never seen the appeal of balsamic vinegar. Restaurants everywhere seem to serve it. I always send it back and ask for a decent vinaigrette made with white wine vinegar.

  20. 9:35 but Le Canu. Like others to get 1d I just bunged M(arch) inside something and moved on. I don’t quite follow the cryptic logic of DUD.
    1. Well, it’s not the most exciting of clues

      Definition is “Firework not seen going up?”; then as DUD is a palindrome “on the contrary” reflects that if you read the answer upwards you still get DUD

  21. 24 mins spent just bunging them in without in many cases really knowing why. All correct but having “expat” at 22d for a while did not help (ex = late, pa = father, t = last of discontentment – just missing a definition really!)
      1. Thanks Z for trying to redeem my idiocy. The “up” in the clue still needs some explaining – the BM is up in London I suppose.
  22. First “standard” puzzle for a while (to occupy me on the various long-distance trains I’ve been using in the last few weeks, I printed off all this year’s Listeners which there hasn’t been time for. This meant that returning to clues where I didn’t have to spot a misprint, insert/remove an extra word, convert into hexadecimal etc. would probably have felt pleasingly straightforward under any circumstances, but this one certainly seemed to flow very nicely.)
  23. About 25 minutes, but I gave up staring at BRIGHTON AND ?O?E. I looked it up. Bear in mind maybe I should have gotten it from ‘hover’, but well, I didn’t. American handicap coming into play, I suppose. I also had to (correctly) guess the Irish writer from wordplay, hadn’t heard of him. Otherwise OK, and I thought DEMOB was a nice clue. Regards.
  24. I had just offered myself a drink to celebrate finishing this one, when I spotted my error at 14ac – I had “De Fanu”, on the pretext that “Deu” might well have been a standard abbreviation for “Deutschmark”. Fortunately, I had accepted my offer just before spotting this error, and it’s too late now to pour it back in the bottle.

    All in all, I am feeling fairly dim this week. I can’t remember what I made of Monday’s, but yesterday’s left me so badly stumped that I was embarrassed to show my face (or, for that matter, any part of my ample anatomy) here.

  25. Late to the table this evening, but I raced through it in 9 mins. I agree that there were biffs aplenty, and I never did bother to try and work out DEMOB and UNHORSE. Having said that, I did enjoy the puzzle. MIDLIFE was my LOI after MARMOSET.
  26. Looked good for a finish in 11m 31s, then found that I had carelessly biffed ‘licence’ at 6d, having failed to work through the anagram fodder. Back to the naughty step.
    Re. Le Fanu, I have been struggling for yonks to finish reading ‘Uncle Silas’ – i can usually cope with C19th literature o.k., but I’m finding the style of this one rather viscous.
  27. I had LE CANU, too, although my COED says CAN for prison is N. American. Like kevin_from_ny, I wouldn’t know the difference. Maybe we should start writing novels under the pen name of LE CANU, just to confound the setter. He would deserve it.

    My LOI was BRIGHTON AND HOVE, which I didn’t like at all. But eventually I decided nonetheless that it couldn’t really be anything else. Oh well, the rest of the puzzle was not too bad.

    1. Brighton and Hove only became a city in 2001 and many (I’d say probably most) people in the UK still think of the two constituents as separate towns rather than as a single city.
  28. 9:01 here for another pleasant straightforward(ish) puzzle.

    I’ve added the “(ish)” as I came perilously close to biffing 20dn and bunging in COGENT, with GEN = “dope” providing a smidgen of wordplay confirmation. However, I’d already squandered several seconds fathoming the wordplay of the otherwise eminently biffable LE FANU, DEMOB and MIDLIFE, so fortunately I wasn’t really in a biffing sort of mood. (Phew!)

  29. In today’s South China Morning Post…..

    I had yet another Irish author…..

    EE Cacu (a bit like ee cummings).
    E = European, ECU = money, AC = air-conditioner = cooler. It is what we use here in Hong Kong!

    Jezz in Hong Kong

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