Times 26461 – Britannia Rules the Waves!

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
What a weekend for English sport! Lewis Hamilton wins at Silverstone, Froome leads the Tour, Andy Murray reigns at Wimbledon and a Manchester United inspired Portugal beat France at the Euros. Even I got in on the act, winning a game of online Scrabble when my opponent’s internet connection failed and I timed him out.

After all that excitement, I was pleased to settle down to some standard Monday fare, reaping the benefit of the preparation I’d put in by doing the Concise first, as the puzzles share a common answer. But will my time of 27’43” be enough to stave off my perennial challengers?


1. VALE – VAL[u]E
10. GONDOLA – D in anagram* of LAGOON.
11. UPTEMPO – MET + P in OPU[s] all reversed; the adjectival form of the phrase, found sometimes in pre-modifying position, as in ‘an uptempo version of the anthem rang out’.
12. THREE-LEGGED RACE – cryptic definition.
13. LINE-UP – literal ‘where one might spot a criminal’; LINE (as in ‘band of cloud’) + UP.
17. FREELOAD – FREE + LOAD (as in ‘charge a gun’); literal ‘sponge’.
18. TEAPOT – TAP + OT around E.
21. ARCHIMEDES SCREW – officially ARCHIMEDES’ SCREW: a machine that pumps water using a screw-shaped surface inside a pipe; RICES + WEEDS + CHARM*.
23. CUBICLE – CU + BILE around C.
24. CONQUER – CON + QUER[y].
26. FEED – double definition, with Ernie Wise the classic example of the man who feeds his partner lines. The best known American feed is probably this man.


2. LONG-RANGE – L + ON + GRANGE (evidently, grange used to mean barn before it came to mean house + barn).
4. LEADEN – literal ‘dull’; LEADEN[hall]: Leadenhall is a market in the City of London.
5. STURGEON – STON[e] (‘rock mostly’) divided (‘sliced’) by URGE (‘egg on’).
6. ANTIDEPRESSANT – literal ‘what lifts’; A + N + TIDE followed by PRESS + ANT.
7. RUMBA – UMBRA with the ‘r’ moving to the front.
9. COME FULL CIRCLE – this time ‘band’ is rendered by CIRCLE.
15. IMPORTUNE – literal ‘pester’; MP in ROUTINE*.
16. CASEMENT – CEMENT around A + S.
17. FLAT CAP – ACT reversed in FLAP.
19. TOWERED – TOW + E + RED.
20. BEACON – CO in BEAN: the Lima bean is also known as the butter bean.
22. CABLE – CAB + L + [knowledg]E.

63 comments on “Times 26461 – Britannia Rules the Waves!”

  1. Nice Mondayish puzzle, a relief after yesterday’s–in my case, today’s, as I’m nowhere near finished. I think FEED was my LOI, as I didn’t know the ‘straight man’ definition. I wasted some time at 15d, sure that the word started with INTER-. Is a PORPOISE a whale? Cetacean, si, but.
      1. And according to Wikipedia, they’re not. But then ‘whale’ evidently doesn’t refer to a natural class, baleen whales being in a separate parvorder from toothed whales (and porpoises and dolphins). Anyway, as long as the clue doesn’t say ‘fish’.
  2. Very pleasing fare solved in 30 minutes but I took a little longer to parse STURGEON (thinking ON was clued by “on”), and UPTEMPO. I was pleased Andy Murray won Wimbledon and, as our blogger says, it was indeed great for English sport!
  3. Chambers doesn’t mention whales just dolphins – I spoke to one at the Shanghai Sea World Adventure Park just now. He (I am informed)had no idea he was meant to be a whale and has asked to move tanks asap!

    After all that I was all done and dusted in 33 minutes – just short of respectable.*


    COD 18ac TEAPOT I never think of tea just beer!


    *What was going on in yesterday’s David MacLean’s ‘Football Special’?

    I’m also big on footie (Man U) but this was torture! 3 unfinished and 2 not sures!

    horryd Shanghai Aquarium

    1. Oh let us never talk of that Football Special again. I felt quite wretched throughout it.

      By contrast I tore through this one in 5 minutes, just to make a point that this is the kind of puzzle I much prefer.

      1. Yes, the football special should have come with a warning label. Now I feel free to bin it half-finished. I’ll spare a thought for next weekend’s blogger though….
        1. Thanks! As z8 points out below, though, I don’t think you actually need to know anything about football to solve the puzzle. In fact for the same reason as him (and verlaine) the very limited knowledge of the game that I possess proved less than helpful.
          1. Yes, I had same error, but without excuse of having heard of the footballer – just guessing there was someone with name of right form. I never think of looking for a Nina, which gave the game away.
            1. Aha, yes, feeling a bit silly now that I’ve gone back and seen the Nina! I was on the clock on Sunday, wife tapping her feet impatiently for us to go out and meet people for brunch, which really didn’t help…
            2. Oh, bother. Now I feel a clot. Someone mentioned a nina on the Club forum yesterday but I assumed they were confusing a nina with a theme!

              But thank you — I now know what the clue in question should have been, saving me from a week with the wretched thing niggling at me.

              edit: and now I’ve realised how the clue works, it’s brilliant!

              Edited at 2016-07-11 12:59 pm (UTC)

            3. I wish they had – would have saved me a few bob!

              Edited at 2016-07-11 04:37 pm (UTC)

    2. I quite liked the clever theme-in-the-cluing and not in the answer yesterday. I suspect it’s a challenge to put together. Of course I like football, and did it while watching the UEFA. If the theme had been plants, or varieties of African elk and lemurs, I might not have been so pleased.

      Theme-in-the-answers can be variable – unless the clues are overly tough or the answers abstract, it’s too easy once you see the theme.

  4. Damn it. Fell at the very last hurdle, having got everything but 26a in 55 minutes, then stared at it until the bell went. Can I take it that the half of the double definition I’m missing is “straight man”? Never heard that one before, and “feed” for the other definition was too much a leap for my brain to spot.

    Happy enough to get the rest in plenty of time, anyway, especially with Leadenhall and VEGETAL unknown. Count me also among those who didn’t know a PORPOISE was a whale…

    1. I’d never heard the ‘straight man’ sense before, either; my ODE gives it as someone who provides a feed [i.e. a line] to another performer. The other feed is fee’d=’paid for professional services’
  5. Surely UP TEMPO is two words or at least hyphenated UP-TEMPO. Are there any rules or can the setter just make it up? I immediately thought of ALLEGRO which didn’t parse or fit either.
    1. It’s in the dictionary (Oxford, certainly – maybe the others) so no problem at all.

      Compare, “The rendition was rather up tempo” and “The uptempo rendition stirred Welsh hearts”. Before the noun it’s allowed, even if you or I might hyphenate it.

      Rightly or wrongly – rightly, I think – lexicographers avoid hyphens as much as possible, I rather think. Even if they purport to be of a descriptive disposition, they will find sources to justify their pre-existing prejudice.

      No different from other “scientists”, in other words. 🙂

  6. 25 minutes. COD to BEACON. Not much more to say.

    I gave my thoughts on themed puzzles in response to jackkt yesterday.

    Edited at 2016-07-11 07:07 am (UTC)

  7. COD to this one, the Archimedes screw still important in various parts of the world such as where rice is grown. A solid Monday. Nearly biffed CIAO at 1ac, which would not have been a good start. I now understand why I have only done half of yesterday, it really is about football, in which I am not interested. 16′ today, thanks ulaca and setter.
    1. Arguably yesterday’s tour de force/nightmare wasn’t about football at all, since you needed no in depth knowledge of the sport to solve it. And if, like me, you did employ such knowledge, such as the name of a not-really midfielder from Uruguay with a penchant for anthrophagy at 19a, you got one wrong.
      1. You didn’t need any in-depth knowledge, but the whole thing was pretty saturated in a footballish musk. And of course I did exactly the same thing as you at 19ac. If it had been a tighter and more enjoyable crossword I probably wouldn’t have slammed in something so obviously dicey… #ABadSolverAlwaysBlamesHisGrids
            1. The second best part is that, before the UEFA yesterday (solving background) there was the Tour de France – and one of the domestiques on one of the teams is named… Rui Costa
  8. 16:56. Nice straightforward puzzle which gave me time to read the various articles on Murray’s great victory. STURGEON always makes me think of Nicola, who was in the crowd at Centre Court yesterday. Having followed Alex Salmon(d) as SNP leader it makes me wonder who’s next? Michael Fish? Magnus Pike?
  9. 16 minutes, slow on the starboard side again. Naturally I queried whale/porpoise, but since Chambers includes it in the dolphin family, and dolphins in the whale classification, it’s had to sustain an objection. Instead, here’s my favourite piece of film including a dolphin.
  10. 10m. Fairly gentle stuff. I didn’t know this meaning of FEED but I knew what a ‘feed line’ was so deduced it.
  11. Tackled this after a nice lie in to get over a weekend in Durham which involved my retirement party with ex-colleagues, the Miners Gala and a Van Mildert College reunion dinner, with the copious intake of various beverages that one might expect. I got bogged down in the SE and finished in 39 minutes. I had to do an alphabet trawl for my LOI, FEED, even though I was thinking along the lines of a Wise or other straight man. Teapot also held me up as I was stuck in beer goggles. ARCHIMEDES SCREW was a write in as I spent some time admiring the set of four of these devices at the Tees Barrage on one of my recent cycling trips. Failed to parse UPTEMPO and biffed it from the checkers. FOI, GONDOLA after which the NW fell like a house of cards. Thanks Setter and U.
    1. I guess we’re contemporaneous Old Dunelmians and as I recall Van Mildert inmates were typically characterised as long-haired lefties. Does that picture fit?
      PS I was in St Cuthbert’s.
      Nice puzzle. 35 minutes.
      I too have been away this weekend, so haven’t seen the Sunday crossword yet so with all the caveats above, I’ll gird my loins.
      1. I did have some hair in those days, but you’d struggle to class me as a leftie:-) Mildert had been open for 4 years when I started and had its 50th anniversary last year. One of my contemporaries, Keith Snape, married a girl who was at Cuths during our sojourn(69 to 73), Chris Geoghan. I’m still in regular contact with them.
      2. I was at Cuth’s as a very over-ripe student from 1996-1999.
        If you and John happen to be going to the Sloggers and Bloggers get together in York in October, I’ll be happy to buy you a pint.

        Edited at 2016-07-11 09:54 pm (UTC)

      1. Thanks:-) I’ve actually been retired since February and am beginning to wonder how I found time to go to work. I manage to do the crosswords now, but struggle to read the paper:-)
  12. …I shouted in my Archimedes anagram- solving moment. Or at least that’s how I’m telling it now. A tricky puzzle but I managed to float after 35 minutes displacement activity. 12a doesn’t work for me. My children never managed to finish a three-legged-race still tied together. Little Ern was more than a feed, even though Eric was the genius.
  13. A rare morning solve which I got through in 9 mins. LINE-UP was my LOI after VEGETAL. I biffed ARCHIMEDES SCREW as soon as I read the clue because I thought it was obvious with a few checkers already in place, although I did go back and check the anagram fodder post-solve.
  14. A pleasant 15 minute solve after yesterday’s one of which we do not speak (although the Crossword Club is not holding back). STURGEON did not make me think of Wee Burney, but of the chant of my youth that begins ‘Caviar comes from a virgin sturgeon’. I liked THREE LEGGED RACE. My rugby club once wanted to raise money for the treatment of a child of one of the members. Instead of a sponsored walk along the Kentish lanes, we did a sponsored three-legged walk of circuits of the village green. We were very pleased with the result but some friendships were almost irretrievably broken.
  15. Pleasant Monday fare, which took me 11m 29s – the last minute or so of which was spent running through the alphabet for FEED.
  16. Just remembered that I won’t be able to do Friday’s blog due to being in a tent at Latitude Festival… anyone fancy a swap this week or next? Or just to take over from me for a week?
    1. If you still need a stand-in, I’m up for it, Verlaine. Not bothered about swapping but will do if you prefer.

      Edited at 2016-07-11 01:11 pm (UTC)

      1. Very good, I don’t mind that much either, but perfectly happy to do either the 12th or the 19th if you fancy a day off!
        1. Hi, V,

          Just to confirm cover for this Friday and I’ve sent a separate message to your LJ mail box.


  17. 19.16. Not too keen on line as band, despite the proffered ‘of cloud’. Otherwise adequate fare. Vale ill-starred Leadsom. Now a race of one leg. (Etc.)
  18. I forgot to comment on the “English” sporting successes mentioned above. Murray’s a Scot, Froome was born in Kenya, Hamilton, while born in England, now lives in Monaco after having lived in Switzerland for many years and he drives a Mercedes, while the Man Utd/Portugal connection is an old Portuguese connection to Old Trafford rather than the other way round. Unless I’m missing something.
    1. Andy, you’re not missing anything except Ulaca’s impish(?) sense of humour.

      He’ll be disappointed that it took 40 comments to get exactly the reaction he was looking for. God love him.

    2. I was going to counter with Heather Watson (whose win gave me a lot more pleasure than Murray’s) but she was born in Guernsey and her mother is from Papua New Guinea.
  19. 11:50 with a bit of biffing in the case of UPTEMPO and STURGEON. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered predestine in the present tense and that E at the end just looks wrong.
  20. Nice crossword. Was delighted that LEADEN turned out to be correct, had no idea of the parsing.

    COD to ARCHIMEDES SCREW. Thanks setter and U.

  21. Thirty-two minutes for me, which means this must have been a fairly easy one. My only holdup was 18ac (my LOI) which I really should have got a lot faster.

    Regarding Andy’s comment that Murray’s a Scot, may I gently remind him that Scotland voted to remain part of England not so long ago?

    1. “Scotland voted to remain part of England”

      Oh, goodness, don’t say that kind of thing in their earshot, or they’ll be out of the union before you can say “William Wallace”!

      1. I have a huge admiration for William Wallace. His portrayal of Mel Gibson in that film was flawless.
        1. Rumour in this part of the world (hint 20 000 km away) is that scotland is going to secede from england and rejoin Europe.
          Had no idea about feed, even after using aids, so DNF. otherwise straightforward.
  22. My first treeware solve for ages – it is definitely easier than the IPad especially for anagrams. Around 15 mins so not too strenuous. LOI was FEED at which Ernie Wise sprang to mind.
  23. Thanks to the setter for predicting I’d have a hangover and providing a gentle one. 31′.
  24. About 20 minutes, ending with FEED which I didn’t really understand, but seemed to be what was required. Glad it’s correct. Based on comments above I revisited Sunday’s 4702, which I have 75% done but find myself utterly stumped on those last remaining ones. Can’t see the referenced nina and remain stumped. I suppose I’ll actually wait for the blog next week, which I never do re the weekend puzzles, but this has me intrigued. Regards.
  25. I don’t actually know what my personal best is for a Times solve, but this must be pretty close.
    For my money, anyone who competes in a sporting fashion under the Union flag reflects credit on all parts of the U.K. Conversely, those competitors or ‘supporters’ who act disgracefully shame the lot of us.
  26. 14:51 for me, just managing to stop myself dropping off to sleep at the end of a busy day. Despite which I found this a delightful puzzle, making a most enjoyable start to the week.
    1. I have just discovered that I was 2 seconds faster than Magoo (two blue moons in one year!) so he may have been sleepy too…

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