Times 26463 – what’s not to like?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I found this a straightforward test with no ridiculously easy or obscure clues, plenty of fine wordplay and some humour. It took me 12 or 13 minutes and a few more to make sure I had understood the parsing, notably of 5a and 17d which most will biff. If you can pronounce the answer to 13 properly, the French place, have yourself an extra biscuit, I did.

Across
1 DOMINATE – DO = make, then MATE = assistant, insert IN; D control.
5 STEP UP – Manipulated figures are PUPPETS, ‘heartlessly’ loses a P, reverse; D increase.
9 RAM – Double def.
10 MAKE-BELIEVE – Force to accept = make believe; D fantasy.
12 LANTERN JAW – LANTERN = light, JAW = chatter; D long feature.
13 LENS – Double def. Ask a gendarme the way to ‘Lens’ rhyming with pens and you’ll never get there.
15 BOILER – Double def.
16 TWEETER – A tweeter is the speaker which deals with your high frequency sounds; I am not on Twitter but I believe a tweet is limited to a fairly small number of characters. Hence short bursts.
18 INCISES – IN sounds like INN = pub, CISES sounds like SIZES = measures; D cuts.
20 FLORAL – FOR ALL would be available to everyone, move an L forward; D such a bouquet.
23 GURN – Insert end of triggeR into GUN; D make a face.
24 UNSUITABLE – UN-SUIT-ABLE could be impossible to dress for business, perhaps; D not fit.
26 NEW YEARS DAY – An anagram (NEW) of READY SAY give you YEARS DAY, D when bank is closed.
27 ONE – (G)ONE; D I.
28 LAY OFF – LAY = found, as in foundation stone, OFF = unsatisfactory; D hedge.
29 ANGELENO – ANGEL = investor, ENO = English National Opera, D City man, resident of LA.

Down
1 DIRELY – DI = inspector, RELY = bank; D dreadfully.
2 MEMENTO – Insert ME into MENTO(R) = wise guide almost; D reminder.
3 NUMBERLESS – If you had no anaesthetic you’d be number – less; D so very many.
4 TAKEN PRISONER – (ONE PRANKSTER I)*; D arrested.
6 TILT – D heel over; when you’re going full tilt you’re going fast.
7 PRESENT – PRE-SENT = posted earlier; D showing up.
8 PLEASURE – D fun; at HM pleasure indicates a jail term of unknown duration.
11 BEAST OF BURDEN – (STUBBORN DEAF E)*; D donkey, say.
14 /LEMON THYME – LYME is the tick-borne disease; insert E (end of acute) and MONTH = period; D herb.
17 DIAGONAL – DIANA is the goddess, insert GO for green, add L for length; D it crosses the square.
19 CARAWAY – D seed; put the CAR AWAY in the garage.
21 AMBROSE – Insert MB = doctor, into AROSE = came up; D saint.
22 VENETO – N and E are opposing players at bridge, insert them into VETO = right to forbid; D part of Italy.
25 SERF – D one’s bound; hidden reversed in RE(FRES)HMENT.

46 comments on “Times 26463 – what’s not to like?”

  1. Was nearly there, unable to get/dnk ANGELENO. COD LANTERN JAW, and a clever mention to NEW YEAR’S DAY. Thanks setter and blogger.
  2. As with yesterday, I got all but two in my hour. Today the two were the crossers of LAY OFF and SERF

    SERF I just couldn’t see, even though I looked for a reverse hidden, damn it! A few more minutes and I might have got there.

    After that I might have shoved in LAY OFF, though it wouldn’t even have been a biff — I’ll have to use the dictionary to find out why LAY OFF means hedge, and I didn’t know LAY for “found”, either.

    Glad that the rest were right, even my biffs of NEW YEARS DAY, TILT, PRESENT, BEAST OF BURDEN, LEMON THYME, DIAGONAL and my guesses of the unknown VENETO and LENS. I suppose that this means my general intuition may be improving, though it didn’t seem to increase my speed any today. Thanks for the explanations!

    1. Matt, if a bookie or punter has too much riding on a particular outcome, he can “lay off” by betting on the alternative outcome(s).

      1. Thank you; I did track it down eventually, about nine definitions down in one of my dictionaries (in a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the Leopard”, etc.)
  3. 17:31 … interesting puzzle. I’ve known LANTERN-JAW(ed) forever but I’m not sure I would recognise one if I saw one.

    I’ve been having severe hidden word-blindness lately, and today’s reversed hidden was no exception. I dismissed the possibility with 25d because the clue gave ‘up’ instead of ‘back’. After 5 minutes trying to justify ‘leaf’, I finally saw it. It works, but only if you imagine ‘refreshment’ written vertically.

    1. I think the justification sort of works the other way round, in that by writing SERF vertically you have indeed written a small part of REFRESHMENT up.

      I’m pretty sure that’s the norm (i.e. using up, North or similar) for reverse hiddens in down clues.

  4. I failed to complete this without resorting to aids. I may have got there eventually but when I’d completed all but three answers in 20 minutes and spent the same time again making no further progress it seemed the right moment to admit defeat and call it a day. I was quite pleased to work out the unknown VENETO and ANGELENO in the SE corner from wordplay but DOMINATE, NUMBERLESS and the LEMON part of 14dn defeated me. Can’t say I’m familiar with the LEMON herb, and LYME disease was another unknown.
    1. Yes; it was lucky for my biffing that I have lemon thyme growing in the garden right now! I’m surprised how much even my paltry attempts at container gardening have helped with cryptics. Lyme disease (more prevalent in the US) I know from watching House, so another +1 for my non-classical education!
      1. I suspect that Lyme disease was what was on Olivia’s mind when she sought treatment for the two ticks. Hope it all sorted itself out, Olivia.
        1. Thanks so much for the thought bigtone! Yes that’s exactly right. Negative on Lyme (phew) but I’d also put my back out in the most boring way at the same time which is why I’ve been rather silent because no one wants medical bulletins cluttering the puzzle comments … Two more weeks I’m hoping. I’ve done my TLS blog for posting July 22nd and by then fingers crossed normal service will be resumed.
  5. VETENO instead of VENETO (or for that matter VETESO or VESETO), following on from yesterday’s INVERSATE instead of INVERTASE. I’m not doing very well in this week’s guessing games.
    1. I was luckier – plumped for VENETO having rejected VESETO, and for some reason didn’t even think of the other two possibilities. 13m 57s altogether, with 6d (not my favourite clue style) the LOI.
  6. After 45 mins (much of it parsing!) I stuck in ANGELECO for 29ac thinking company was CO – but alas no!

    22dn VENETO also took time as did the SW corner.

    Re – 14dn LEMON THYME – LYME disease also features Larry David Season 7 – it is a big deal in the US.

    FOI 9ac RAM

    COD 10ac MAKE BELIEVE also liked the easier 3dn NUMBERLESS

    WOD 23ac GURN

    horryd Shanghai

  7. Nice crossword, some clever clues. COD to NEW YEAR’S DAY if forced to choose.

    Thanks setter and Pip.

  8. LOI ANGELENO. DNK but eventually worked it out. Always ask how business angels made their money. I think Bruce Forsyth and Jimmy Hill have lantern jaws but then I was nicknamed Desperate Dan in one job in honour of my chin. Nice puzzle occupying 45 enjoyable minutes.
  9. All finished in 25 minutes apart from the ANGEL bit of the city man.
    I always thought ‘at full tilt’ came from the fifth gear of Icelandic horses. Just checked and see that it does not.
  10. I too think of Desperate Dan as the archetypical lantern jaw.
    It’s a shame that Len Goodman doesn’t hail from Lens, otherwise his spot on Strictly Come Dancing might be called “Lens’ Len’s Lens”
    Nice straightforward puzzle completed in around 30 minutes – and I now know where Angelenos come from.
  11. 10m. No problems today, and I thought this was fun. I’m not sure I knew that there was a Saint AMBROSE but why wouldn’t there be?
  12. I found this pretty tough, especially the SE, with LEMON THYME being my last in. GURN was new, I missed LANTERN JAW (stupidly put in ‘gas’) and couldn’t figure out the parsing of DIAGONAL. My favourites were STEP UP and CARAWAY.

    Incidentally, talking of lantern-jawed characters, you ain’t seen nothing till you’ve seen Clutch Cargo, the hero of a charmingly old-fashioned US animated series of the same name from the 60’s – fondly remembered, by me anyway.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

    1. Ah, having searched for Clutch Cargo I think I’m now quite clear about the shape of a lantern jaw! Thank you.
  13. I remember Desperate Dan quite well but perhaps I can stake a claim for my own generation’s lantern-jawed (anti-)hero being Judge Dredd?

    A fun and straightforward puzzle that I did in the morning pre-breakfast and without even the benefit of much coffee, resulting in a time lost in the no-man’s-land between the 5 and 10 minute mark.

  14. But I’d like to say, it’s when you hail a French officer with “Gendarme!” and he says “I am 90% certain that monsieur is a man, but it’s possible that I am mistaken” that you know you have pronunciation problems.
    1. 1. Pinch your nose closed between finger and thumb. 2. say ‘loss’ as in English but with a hint of an N in it, ‘lonss’. That’ll get you there. Or turn on the GPS.
      It’s easier than properly pronouncing Rouen, or Rheims. Or Caen without it sounding like ‘con’, which can cause offence …
  15. I found some clues in this puzzle easy and others quite difficult. It took me 50 minutes to complete, with the SE giving most trouble. FOI was GURN LOI ANGELENO which I eventually worked out. It took me a while to see VENETO too even though I knew it. I didn’t see the parsing for DOMINATE so biffed it. I saw most of the parsing for DIAGONAL, but failed to see GO for green. Had heard of LEMON THYME, but it took me a while to drag the LEMON part from the depths of my memory. Nice puzzle, thanks setter and Pip.
  16. 27:43. Nice puzzle, my COD going to NEW YEARS DAY. I always think it’s clever when the answer is the anagram and the anagrind.

    For LANTERN JAWs I think of Buzz Lightyear and David Coulthard.

      1. That’s a blast from the past! I don’t think he’s crossed my mind since childhood.
  17. Only finished with aids for 29a. Biffed 14d and I don’t think I would ever have parsed it.
    This was a very enjoyable and subtle puzzle with the one exception of “saint” in 21d. Is it just me but I feel “saint” is a bit of a cop out, there are after all over 1000 of them, we have had Martin recently, are there any Times rules on the subject. I realise the wordplay and checkers had to lead to AMBROSE but I think saint is just sort of messy, still, a pleasant test and nice blog thank you blogger and setter.
    1. Personally, though I’m certainly not Christian-leaning, I’d rather see “saint” than the dreaded “plant” or “fish”. At least the saints might have names I’d recognise… I had not a clue that there was a Saint Ambrose, nor have I met an Ambrose in real life, but I knew Ambrose Bierce, and that was enough!

      Edited at 2016-07-13 01:32 pm (UTC)

  18. Well maybe tonight will be better – could not come up with LANTERN JAW for the life of me and bunged in LANTERN GAS. Add in two other typos and I am in sole possesion of last place on the club board!
  19. 10:39 but another careless lantern GAS here. I did wonder how the definition fit(ted).

    Mostly straightforward stuff and whilst I enjoy punning clues very much I was left thinking this was all a bit too punny.

  20. CARAWAY instantly brought to mind the words of Ogden Nash:

    The abbe Voltaire, alias Arouet,
    Never denounced the seed of the caraway;
    Sufficient proof, if proof we need,
    That he never bit into a caraway seed.

    It seems that a lantern jaw, as well as being unusually long, can also be unusually wide, like Desperate Dan, or unusually narrow, like the comedian Tommy Trinder.

    1. Caraway always makes me think of K├╝mmel. How many international treaties were eventually signed after a glass/bottle/case of it.
      I deny all knowledge.
  21. A very similar experience to yesterday as I lost concentration badly with three to go. In all it took me 24 mins but unlike yesterday I got the last one wrong (after the STEP UP/TILT crossers), and I’m very annoyed with myself, especially as 17dn doesn’t seem to have caused anyone else a problem. I couldn’t make sense of the clue for the life of me, decided “green” was the definition, and misbiffed “virginal”. As the old adage goes, if you can’t parse it it’s probably wrong ……. After I bunged it in I resorted to aids, saw DIAGONAL which hadn’t previously come to mind at all, and realised how it parsed and what the definition was. I can’t say I’m overly impressed with the definition because a diagonal can just as easily cross a rectangle as a square, and something that crosses a square doesn’t have to go from corner to corner. Yes, that’s sour grapes.
  22. About 30mins for all but two. After agonising for some time over them, I came at it again much, much later and TILT and SERF just leapt out at me. Funny how that happens.
  23. This lasted 30 minutes late at night, not the optimum hour for solving, but circumstances dictated. Should have been quicker, but no complaints. LOI’s were ANGELENO/VENETO. Angeleno is very familiar as an American, but perhaps my mind wasn’t looking for a US city chap at all. In fact, I was for a long time looking for a city. The “O” at the end proved necessary for VENETO. NEW YEARS DAY my favorite, and very clever besides, since I was chasing after the use of ‘ready’ as money, and exploring all manner of odd possibilities. Nice clue, setter. Regards to all.
  24. 27:16. I have no idea where VENETO is but I do know the majestic Via Veneto in Rome and on the basis that all roads lead to Rome, presumably all roads out of Rome lead somewhere. COD NEW YEARS DAY
  25. I may be a day late, but I got through this one in 28 minutes, with LENS my LOI and my only NHO.

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