Times 26439 – no, The Donald isn’t there yet!

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I enjoyed this one, although I suspect Jimbo would call it ‘vanilla’; certainly it’s MOR for difficulty but I did learn a new French word (for 12a) and was prompted to look up a couple of obscure origins of things (3a and 15a) to retain for next time. 20 minutes saw it done. See 13a for the relevance of the headline.

1 MOPE – O, P initial letters of ‘on people’, inside ME; D look down, as in down in the dumps.
3 DUTCH UNCLE – DUTCH for wife, UNCLE(AR) = not convinced dismissing A R, D critic. I knew this phrase but not its origin; as often, there seem to be two possible etymologies, one related to the England v. Netherlands wars in the 17C, one based on the idea that the Dutch ‘talk straight’. Certainly my friend Maria who is Dutch, says what she thinks and never wastes words.
10 DINING-CAR – I thought this was going to involve the people who hereabouts are called Romani, but it’s a straightforward cryptic definition (if that’s not an oxymoron).
11 SATIE – SATIRE for scornful comments loses its R, D composer, Eric, one of my favs.
12 LUTHIER – Martin LUTHER has I inserted; a luthier is a chap who makes or mends instruments with a sound box; from the French for lute, luth.
13 TRAUMA – I saw T _ _ _ M _ and thought, which President are we messing with? Surely The Donald hasn’t yet been accorded Presidential status by The Times? But it is not he, it’s a real Democrat, Harry S. TRUMAN; remove the final N and insert A. D shocking event.
15 BINOMIAL THEOREM – Anagram of HOLME RE AMBITION; HOLME being Holmes mostly; apparently the fictional Moriarty wrote a treatise on this theorem. I did the anagram before making the link.
18 OF NO CONSEQUENCE – Biffable, but explained thus; OF for old female, NO(C)ON for C inside twelve noon; SEQUENCE for series. D trivial.
21 ASPECT – P inside A SECT: D view. Seen before?
23 ASSUMES – OASES are watering holes, drop the initial O; insert SUM = everything; D expects. See 20d, which I did wrongly first.
26 GROOM – G for good, ROOM for hotel accommodation; D expectant honeymooner?
27 BADMINTON – BAD = poor, ON = playing, insert MINT = new; D game.
28 GREENHOUSE – Insert RE (about) into GEN (information), HOUSE for parliament; D climate change term.
29 FEEL – FEE for charge, L for left; D atmosphere. My LOI.

1 MIDDLEBROW – MIDDLE ROW is centre of stalls, insert B; D without elevated tastes.
2 PINOT – O in PINT; D grape variety. A regular appearer.
4 UNCERTAIN – Anagram of TUNA RICE N(OT); D dubious.
5 CARAT – A inside CART: D weight.
6 UPSTAGE – U for university, PAGE for servant, insert ST for stone; D away from the audience.
7 CATAMARAN – CAN is an amount of film; insert A TAMAR being that Cornish river (once again); D vessel.
8 EDEN – Hidden in DETERMIN(ED EN)DEAVOURS; D Utopian vision.
9 INFIRM – Cryptic def; IN FIRM = hired by company; D unfit.
14 IMPERSONAL – (MALE PRISON)*; D lacking the individual touch.
16 NINE-SCORE – NINES are squares, CO, RE = about; D highest return. I assume this refers to ‘one hundred and eighty’ in darts.
17 THEM AND US – THE DUS(T) = the debris, mostly, insert MAN; D opposing groups.
19 CREWMEN – CREWE is your Northern town, insert M(arina), add N the end of Whitehaven. D sailors.
20 UNSAID – I found this a bit strange. Initially I wrote in UNPAID, parsed as ‘UN PAID’ for funding from many countries, and UNPAID meaning not yet in my account. But 23a became impossible as A_P_M_S, and was clearly another answer, which left me amending here to UNSAID; meaning not yet in the account, story, but why the funding part? Is this a CU? EDIT as anon points out, it is UN’s AID, which sort of works but not as well as UN PAID.
22 TABOO – TA ! for cheers, BOO for critical comment; D not acceptable.
24 METRE – MET by RE = encountered by soldiers; D what involves stress.
25 AGOG – AG = silver, insert GO the board game; D curious.

47 comments on “Times 26439 – no, The Donald isn’t there yet!”

  1. Yes it is UN’s aid I think as anon says.
    Re 3ac, your first etymology is pretty certainly correct; see this article from the wonderful world wide words. The OED has an entertainingly long list of phrases starting “Dutch…” which are helpfully divided into descriptive (dutch tile, dutch oven..) and pejorative (dutch bargain, dutch uncle..)
  2. Have learned a new word! Also knew the binomial theorem, had no idea re Moriarty, thought it might be something to do with false names. COD to 16d. 26′ today, back in the saddle after yesterday.
  3. Curses! This would have been one of my best times ever, but for choosing BUFFET CAR instead of DINING CAR. (I’ve never been on a train with an actual dining car.)

    Must learn to recognise that when an empty area has just the one word striding through it, then that stride may have been a misstep.

    Still, within my hour, at least, so good by my standards, even for a Tuesday. LOI NINE-SCORE, though if I hadn’t scuppered myself it probably would have been UNSAID; thanks for the parsing.

      1. Oh! So it is. These are the perils of being up unusually early and being self-employed. Still, makes my result even better 😀
        1. I judge when weekends have arrived by how many people are at the beach when I walk the dog.
          I found the NW quite tricky DUTCH UNCLE/SATIE/TRAUMA/UPSTAGE/CATAMARAN (Tamar is a SE river, in Tasmania, though no-one ever refers to Tasmania as the SE – it’s Tasmania) and of course BINOMIAL THEOREM. Had to go away and come back, so nearer an hour than the usual 20-30 minutes.
  4. My usual 30 minutes. Just above Vanilla on the scale (don’t know what that would be?). On Mohs it would be Gypsum.
      1. You may be right about Apatite which “is derived from the Greek word απατείν (apatein), which means to deceive or to be misleading”.
  5. Bottom half fairly flew in, but was massively held up in the NW, particularly my last two: could it be LUTHIER the instrument maker, or Mr Lutheir, some composer or other…? Took an eternity to see INFIRM (LOI), not sure why now.
    1. Looking at the comments, it seems I was quite lucky to have done a bit of binomial theorem at university and also to play the guitar. I’ve met quite a few luthiers.
  6. I was bowling along quite nicely until I tried to get to grips with 15ac and with only 16dn to contend with I was fairly convinced it was Bohmemian something or other.
    I was in shorts when I last read Conan Doyle and thus not a flicker of recall regarding THEORIES – BINOMIAL or otherwise.

    After an hour I looked it up – dear me what a disappointment. As for 16dn NINE SCORE……….darts in the jolly Old Thunderer!

    What a simply rotten clue – an anagram too far – the work of a rotter and scoundrel – the setter is probably MORIARTY himself!

    I hope for further protests.

    horryd – Shanghai

  7. How can an ex-CEGB man not see this straightaway? The only defence I have is that I spent a career ignoring it. DNK LUTHIER but the reformer was bound to be LUTHER, much written about this weekend after a new biography. I’ll now spend the rest of the day trying to remember the expansion of the BINOMIAL THEOREM. About 35 minutes, no passes.
  8. As per blog, I was also left at the end needing to correct the raher convincing UNPAID before I could make sense of 23ac. I didn’t recall the Holmes canon ever mentioning the theorem in particular, but knew that Moriarty was a professor of maths (Conan Doyle only specifies that he held the chair at “one of our smaller universities”, leaving the door open for plenty of places to claim him as a distinguished alumnus).
    1. Eton, Oxford & Bullingdon I expect, like most of the other master criminals hereabouts…
    2. Tim,
      Read the sentence before the one you quote from The Final Solution. He had written a treatise on the binomial theorem by the age of 21, which in turn got him his chair. This was a write-in for me as a) I read mathematics and b) my name is Watson.
  9. At first I thought this to be like a ‘Monday’ crossword finishing three quarters in about 10 minutes. However it then took me about half an hour to get to the finish. No official time as I’d typed NINN SCORE.

    I’m always pleased to hear I’m in good company having been tempted by the BUFFET CAR and strongly drawn to UNPAID.

  10. Another Bohemian here, but “motlier” really didn’t cut it. Please, Pip, do not mention that orange baboon whose apartment I can unfortunately see but a few blocks South of here. 15.15
  11. Delayed big-time by what to put before THEOREM and was unable to parse BADMINTON so just biffed it, but otherwise this was quite enjoyable and satisfying.

  12. Like others, I had UNPAID for quite a while. Didn’t know much about Moriarty’s background, but BINOMIAL THEOREM was a pretty easy anagram with a few checkers in place.

    Spent ages agonising over LUTHIER, thinking the “re-former” could be a “lather”. Then got Martin mixed up with Lex and almost went for LUTHIOR.

    Survived all that, only to find I had inexplicably entered SATRE at 11ac. That’s three out of three for the week.

    Oh well, thanks setter and Pip.

  13. I thought this was an excellent puzzle with some well-clued answers – certainly not vanilla. 18a was my first long entry and I just built around that. 15 came shortly after with only N, T and M in place, though I didn’t know (or couldn’t remember) the Moriarty connection. I also put UNPAID initially for 20.
    35 minutes, so about my average for a mid-week, middle-difficulty puzzle.
  14. What a numpty I am. I spent 10 mins looking at A-P-M-S, checking many times that the crossers were correct and finally threw in the towel. So a miserable DNF. Must remember, if it looks wrong it probably is wrong.
  15. 16:13 … I also rather enjoyed this. Last in the fiendish BINOMINAL THEOREM.

    I must just mention today’s Telegraph cryptic. I often smile at clues but almost never laugh out loud. Today I did. I can’t tell who set it from the online version but the clue in question is certainly in Anax territory.

    1. According to the blog on Big Dave’s site the setter is Jay. I assume 1a is the clue in question?
      1. Thanks. And yes. Maybe you just had to be there but it tickled me (as it were).
        1. Ah, no aspersions cast, it tickled me too, and as I figured that must have been the one I didn’t read any further down the blog.
          1. I quite liked today’s Toughie but not so much 1ac, which I just rolled my eyes at! Either I have no sense of humour or it’s the perils of being a mostly-vegan.
              1. Aha! That makes a lot more sense. I’ve done 5 cryptics already today, I can’t believe there are still more out there…

                Edited at 2016-06-15 03:40 pm (UTC)

            1. I was trying to work out why being mostly vegan made 1a in The Telegraph unamusing to you and I can tell you the mind was boggling!

              Now I’m going to have to solve the Toughie — which I do irregularly — to find out what that was about. As you say, so many crosswords so little time ….

  16. 17m, feeling extremely thick and groggy after a very poor night’s sleep exacerbated by flying to Helsinki and losing two hours in the process. At least the weather’s nice here.
    I’ve never been a Conan Doyle fan (that’s the diplomatic way of putting it) so I had to work out 15 from the anagram. And like others I got stuck at the end as a result of having UNPAID and struggling mightily with 23ac as a result. DUTCH UNCLE the only unknown.
    Nice puzzle I thought.
  17. 19:33 so I’d put this on the trickier side of average. !a was almost my last in as the way just the O of ON was snuck in was very sneaky as it looked for all the world like ON was part of the def.

    I think I’ve only ever come across Dutch uncle as an alternative to monkey’s uncle as in the phrase “If he’s good enough to play for England than I’m a…”

    I was completely oblivious to the connection between Moriarty and the theorem. It might just as well have been the one from The Goons or even Welsh rugby player Ross. I can just imagine him expanding the power (x + y)n into a sum involving terms of the form axbyc, where the exponents b and c are non negative integers with b + c = n, and the coefficient a of each term is a specific positive integer depending on n and b, while rolling away from the ruck.

      1. Probably. I’ve certainly heard “…or I’m a Dutch uncle” from my Dad as he invariably followed it up with something like “hurgen flurgen nephew”. Maybe he inadvertently made a portmanteau expression out of the Dutchman and the monkey’s uncle.
  18. Took 42 minutes to complete this enjoyable offering. Didn’t suffer from BUFFETing as I got PINOT as my second entry after MOPE. Also had ASSUMES before working on 20d. Took a while to see the parsing of BADMINTON after I’d biffed it, but saw it eventually. Paused briefly over LUTHIER but was happy enough with it. LOI GREENHOUSE. Liked MIDDLEBROW. Nice puzzle. Thanks setter and Pip.
  19. I must have been on the wavelength, ripped through this one, and only had a moment over BINOMIAL THEOREM and MIDDLEBROW which went in together and last. LUTHIER from wordplay alone. Let’s see what tomorrow brings (especially since I will be blogging after a theatre opening with complimentary beer, whee!)
  20. About 20 minutes. I had no idea of what Moriarty was expert in, but solved the anagram from ???… T?????M, somehow. How many theorems are there anyway? (Don’t answer that). My LOI was UNSAID; I already had the ‘S’, so UNPAID wasn’t a temptation, I just was thick re the parsing. Regards.
  21. 15 mins but with a stupid mistake at 11ac, where I had all the checkers, saw the correct wordplay (take “r” out of “satire”), and somehow wrote in “Satre”. Eejit. I’m another who had to construct BINOMIAL THEOREM from the anagram fodder. Of my correct answers TRAUMA was the LOI after CARAT.
  22. Another best today with 9 clues right. Didn’t know the term Dutch for wife, and never heard of a luthier. But encouragingly, was kicking myself for missing a few of the others after I saw the answers. My challenge is to get one half-completed before England get knocked out Euro 2016, something I would have said was impossible just a matter of two weeks ago
    1. Hang in there, Stefan. It does get easier with time but whether that good before England get the boot . . . ? All best though!

      Edited at 2016-06-15 08:38 pm (UTC)

    2. Cockney slang, abbr., for ‘duchess’. Not C. rhyming slang, as has been mooted (Duchess of Fife / wife) as the term was in use long before the first Duchess of Fife appeared. Made popular in the lyrics of the song by Albert Chevalier in 1893… join in now…
      We’ve been together now for forty years,
      An’ it don’t seem a day too much,
      There ain’t a lady livin’ in the land
      As I’d swop for my dear old Dutch.
  23. if it is any consolation i also put UNPAID and than had to scratch head again when assumes came up. i at first thought ASPIRES for 23. for “expects” would be ok but i could not parse it and then metre made it assumes. unpaid only being ok if ASPIRES. like you, i eventually settled for UNSAID although i think it is a poor clue. unpaid definitely sits better
  24. A DNF bottom half just about complete and was working my way uphill when I had the brilliant idea that wine would help. It didn’t. Enjoyed it though and the puzzle as well.

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