Times 26469 – wakey wakey!

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Apologies for a slightly late posting. It would have been better if we had bedded down on a mattress in the cellar amid the racks of St. Emilion waiting patiently for me to live long enough to drink them at their best; instead we braved it upstairs with fans whizzing but unable to do more than toss and turn in 28 degrees all night (it touched 39 during the day yesterday). Accordingly, I was slow to start and sluggish at solving this, which I suspect on a cool Monday would be a piece of cake. It took me 28 minutes, of which the easy-once-you-see-it 21a and the *I*E of 8d took me the last ten.
Now it’s done, I think it’s a fair medium weight puzzle with good if sometimes clunky use of the usual wordplay tools and nothing too obscure. Jimbo would probably say ‘vanilla.’

1 CUBE – CUB for little creature, E = face of eight; D nine, 3 cubed. Well, 3 cubed is 27, not 9, see discussion below (robrolfe and linxit).
3 ESCARPMENT – EST = French for is, insert CARP for beef and MEN for pieces; D inclination.
10 MACEDONIA – AIM = end, reversed = MIA, insert ACE DON for great scholar; D land. Either a Greek province or a former Yugoslav Republic.
11 RURAL – R = one river, URAL = another river; D country.
12 TANTARA – TAN = beat, TA-RA = so long, (not TA-TA in this case); D trumpet blast.
13 EQUIPE – E E = sides from ElsewherE, insert QUIP = crack; D team, French.
15 PROMETHEUS BOUND – PRO = for, ME = Middle East, THE US = America, BOUND = certain (to): D tragedy. Greek play probably by Aeschylus.
18 STOCKBROKER BELT – Cryptic definition, London related. Do other big cities have stockbroker belts, as such?
21 PRUNED – RUN = race, inside PE = sports, D = day; D cut. Simple but it took me too long.
23 OPEN AIR – D exposed; O ! Pen air ! would be the exhortation.
26 CHEAT – C = cold, HEAT = the opposite; D sharper, as in card sharp(er).
27 WHITEWASH – WHIT = a bit, SH = quiet, insert AWE (dread) reversed; D cover-up.
28 MUSICOLOGY – O LOG = oxygen chart, inserted into MUS = SUM reversed (back problem), ICY = chill; D subject.
29 CHIP – D counter; C = one hundred, HIP = happening (it’s happening, man!).

1 COME TO PASS – CO = commander, MET= police, OP = work, ASS = fool; D to take place.
2 BACON – BAN = embargo, insert CO for firm; D meat.
4 SUNBATHER – SUN = (news)paper (not much news in it though), THE = article, inside BAR = omitting (“all bar the favourite”); D he wants to get brown, or melanoma perhaps.
5 AGAPE – AGA for Muslim military chief, PE = EP reversed; D love for Christians; I haven’t looked it up but I remember it from schooldays as the word used in Greek versions of the bible for ‘love’ as in the love of man for God and vice versa, as opposed to brotherly love (phileo).
6 PERTURB – a BRUT REP could be a salesman of dry bubbly; reversed = rebuffed; D upset.
7 ENRAPTURE – An anagram at last. (REPEAT RUN)*: D transport.
8 TILE – ‘Fin de siècle’ = E, LIT = literature, ‘revolutionary’ – reversed; D e.g. Trilby. TILE is apparently a nickname for a proper hat. It took me a long spell of alphabet-surfing to plump for it even though the wordplay suggested it.
9 IDEATE – I DATE = I see, insert E = ecstasy; D picture in the mind.
16 ODOURLESS – Anagrams like buses now. (EUROS SOLD)*, D unable to be detected.
17 UNKNOWING – D in the dark, hidden word in P(UNK NOW IN G)ARISH.
19 KINETIC – CITE = quote, reversed, supports KIN = loved ones; D moving, as in kinetic energy.
20 REEFER – Double def; ‘it’s hand crafted for smoking’ i.e. a joint; and a sort of jacket.
22 DOWEL – DO WELL = succeed, lose one L; D peg.
24 ABASH – A BASH = a party; D makes you show up.
25 SCUM – S M = case of sadism, insert CU; D nasty film.

66 comments on “Times 26469 – wakey wakey!”

  1. The leaderboard says 49+, but what does it know? I had to stop after 6 to deal with a colleague, having forgotten that we had an appointment. I dithered forever about TANTARA, since I couldn’t believe ‘Ta-ra’ was a form of ‘ta-ta’; but it had to be, and I won’t quote Sherlock Holmes. Was sure it was MACEDONIA, but couldn’t think why for some time. Biffed WHITEWASH and MUSICOLOGY. Fun; pity about 1ac.
  2. One of those where I felt I knew I could finish it, and finish it I did… about 40mins or so (lost internet connection, probably died in the heat…). Got held up a bit by pencilling in stockmarket at 18ac, but now my spellcheck tells me it’s two words… ho hum.
  3. Nine is defnitely not three cubed, which is why I as a mathematician dithered and eventually put it in unparsed. Found it tough today, some very good clues. COD ESCARPMENT for its construction. 34′. Thanks setter and blogger.
    1. Yeah, I did think it was odd, but was half asleep and visualising a Rubik’s cube with 9 little coloured tiles on each face? Would be interested to hear from setter or editor in case we are missing the point.
  4. 13:31 here, with a very sluggish start (only 3 solutions in after 5 minutes), but I eventually managed to get going and it went in fairly quickly once I got the two 15-letter entries.

    Couldn’t quite believe 1ac, but it’s clearly an error (shame on you Pip for not spotting it).

  5. I fell at almost the last hurdle with 29a, but as I had ‘awake’ (which I think is pretty close) instead of the correct ABASH for 24d I was never going to get the right answer. Yes, I don’t get CUBE either, but maybe I’m missing something. Didn’t know AGAPE for ‘love’ but guessed it on the basis of the Greek first name, as in Toula, Soula, Roula, Voula and Agape. I had come across TILE before so that went in relatively early. MACEDONIA, especially including ‘great’, was my COD.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

  6. I found this pretty tough, taking about 40 minutes to finish and coming up with TANTATA instead of TANTARA. Not knowing the definition, I’d say the cryptic was ambiguous and I went the wrong way. Otherwise a nice puzzle with some answers that really needed to be teased out and limited biffing opportunity.
  7. 15 minutes and something but the Club website went AWOL as I submitted (did I break it?).

    I remembered TANTARA but would have much sympathy with anyone who went for TANTATA.

    I was entirely happy with the CUBE clue, which says all that needs saying about my maths.

        1. There are three types of crossword solver – those that can add up and those that cannot. I am the latter so also missed the non cube.

          Enjoyable crossword otherwise.

  8. 23:18, coming here to have 1ac explained to me. A shame. Thought of SPAREPENNY LANE but it doesn’t fit (and is in Kent) and liked the fin de siecle device which I had not seen before. Thanks setter and blogger (leaving aside 1ac).

    Edited at 2016-07-20 09:16 am (UTC)

  9. Really enjoyed this. One of those when on first run-through all I could hear was static and then gradually, like tuning in an old radio, the music appeared.

    However, I’m with previous posters on 1a, with C_B_ it had to be CUBE but three cubed is 27.

  10. I tried to see if it was possible to parse 1ac with eight as the definition, and CUB plus the E from nine, but no.
  11. Slight adjustment needed at 24d, where the literal must be ‘you show up’, where ‘you’ is functioning as an explicit imperative marker (cf ‘You shut up!). That would make ‘makes’ the link word. Otherwise, there are number problems not just at 1a but here too!

    21’54” for me, but would have been under 20 minutes but for my colleague seeking help. Tsk, that sort of day!

    My last in was also PRUNED, a very neat clue. I never read the Greek, but have ploughed through Shelley’s Prometheus Bound. Didn’t we have DOWEL/DOWELLING recently?

      1. Oops! CS Lewis was particularly fond of the line ‘My soul is an enchanted boat’ for the imagery it prompted.
  12. What we said to our pals at school as goodbye. TTFN was for our mothers, ta-ta for now. Saw the mistake in 1 across, but with the arrogance of a scientist, assumed it would be a mistake from a setter who’d read the humanities, and put CUBE in. Tough puzzle today, but really good. The rest of the setter’s studies weren’t wasted. LOI MUSICOLOGY. 55 minutes. COD STOCKBROKER BELT.
    1. …and consequently couldn’t have known about cubes even as a child. Great put-down.
    2. And also the housewife’s favourite, Jimmy Young, who would always sign off his Radio 2 ‘prog’ by saying ‘This is JY saying TTFN’.
      1. I think it’s from Mrs Mopp in ITMA( It’s that man again), the Tommy Handley wartime radio show. “Can I do you now, Sir?’ was another of hers.
          1. Yes, I remember how well the JY prog researched their interviews. Had frogotten that he did TTFN too. He was the first guy I remember singing Unchained Melody.
  13. 24.27. ‘It’s happening’ as ‘it’s hip’ doesn’t seem too hip. Maybe just not happening now. Liked 14.
  14. 22 minutes and small change. What fun to have something to feel superior about! 9 has the feel of a cube even though it isn’t one, so it takes an eagle eye to spot it. Perhaps His Editorship’s reefer was stronger than usual for the oversight to come to pass.
    Anyway, it is a cube. Of two and a bit. Close enough for engineering!
  15. I was oblivious to the ‘cubists’ problem. I went three threes are nine and sailed on into choppy seas.

    It was a strong North Easter that held me up. LOI 3ac ESCARPMENT I finally twigged the chess connection.

    5dn AGAPE didn’t chime. 8dn TILE was horrible. 6dn PERTURB was ages coming. FOI 2n BACON

    All in all 60 mins exactly thus no cigar.


    horryd Shanghai

  16. A very much DNF for me today, despite coming back to it at lunchtime due to the Great British Internet Outage this morning. Too many unknowns for me — EQUIPE, TANTARA, IDEATE, STOCKBROKER BELT… Though I did get some of my unknowns, like PROMETHEUS BOUND. Or perhaps I’d vaguely heard of it, but at least it was available from the wordplay.

    I felt I was a very long way from the wavelength of the cluing today, too, which really didn’t help. This may simply have been the mild hangover, having had friends show up for a surprise visit as it was too hot to work on their farm yesterday!

  17. So would probably have taken a bit less than Ulaca would have taken if not for his colleague seeking help.

    Unfortunately had TANTATA at 12ac. I’m familiar with “ta-ra” (Lucy Sutcliffe used to say it on Number 96), but didn’t consider it at the time of solving. Probably should have.

    Very discombombulated by the absolute clanger at 1ac. The required answer was pretty obvious however, so we’ll let the setter off the hook on this one.

    Thanks setter and Pip.

    Edited at 2016-07-20 12:02 pm (UTC)

  18. TILE – ‘Fin de siècle’ = E, LIT = literature, ‘revolutionary’ – reversed

    I don’t understand this … and grateful for advice in parsing it

    1. ‘Fin de siècle’ is the last letter (“fin de” being “end of”) in the word “siècle” E; LIT is a common abbreviation for literature, so that gives you ELIT. ‘revolutionary’ – reversed — turn it all around to get TILE. “Tile” means “hat”; the only example I can think of from real life would be the song “Where did you get that hat?”:

      Where did you get that hat?
      Where did you get that tile?
      Isn’t it a nobby one,
      And just the proper style?

      Edited at 2016-07-20 12:06 pm (UTC)

      1. thanks matt, I thought I had explained it, but obviously not in enough detail; didn’t occur to me that the meaning of ‘fin’ wasn’t universally known, or indeed the expression itself.
        1. I have no idea where/when I picked up “fin de siècle” myself… I have a non-classical 1980/90s education somewhat mitigated by random reading and a lot of Radio 4 listening, so I have a strangely spotty collection of knowledge! Today I happily threw in AGAPE as soon as I’d got the AGA bit without a second thought, but was completely flummoxed by EQUIPE, for example…
            1. I got EQUIPE through my usual practice of trying out a Q before a spare U.
      2. Any old iron, any old iron, any any any old iron
        You look sweet, talk about a treat
        You look dapper from your napper to your feet;
        Dressed in style, brand new tile
        With your father’s old green tie on;
        I wouldn’t give you twopence for your old watch chain
        Old iron! Old iron!
  19. 13:19. Agape went in with a shrug, Prometheus Bound from wordplay, and TANTARA as opposed to TANTATA thanks to the faint tinkling of a very distant bell.

    Sunbather and musicology biffed or part-biffed, everything else solve longhand.

    Cubegate passed me by as well.

  20. Late on parade through problems with LJ and/or my ISP. Didn’t notice the cube problem, I’m afraid, though may have picked it up if on blogging duty. Worked out AGAPE but with no idea what love or Christians had to do with it, similarly got EQUIPE from wordplay, and biffed DOWEL from “pin”. A tie for COD for me, 15ac and 18ac.

    Edited at 2016-07-20 12:57 pm (UTC)

  21. Please accept my apologies for the silly error at 1 across. I really have no idea how I managed to write it and not notice.

    (Thanks to all those who admitted it passed them by as well. It makes me feel just a tiny bit less bad!)

    1. Worse things happen at sea. It was a great puzzle. But please tell me you were senior wrangler at Cambridge.
    2. Well, as the person (“mvs”) who originally pointed this out on the Times Crossword Club Forum, let ME apologize to everyone for having caused this perfect storm in a teacup! To the setter I would like to say: If this is the worst mistake you make in your life then you are very fortunate indeed.
    3. Apology accepted.
      I still enjoyed the puzzle irrespective.
      Keep up the good work.
    4. Thanks for your comment setter. It didn’t detract from a crossword I very much enjoyed in the way it gradually revealed itself.
  22. I forgot to mention that when I got this answer my initial thought was that the ‘nasty film’ was the Ray Winstone film about life in a Borstal! It was certainly nasty.
    1. It never occurred to me that the reference was not to the Ray Winstone film.
  23. To add to the musical references (cf TILE)above: TANTARA is familiar to G&S people. It’s a chorus from Iolanthe. I won’t quote it because it’s just the word TANTARA repeated ad infinitum…
    1. I’m not a G&S person but one of my kids was in a production of the pirate one a few years back and I’m sure I got TANTARA from that.
    2. Yes. I’d forgotten the policemen in Pirates. But their trumpet call has an extra flourish. TARANTARA
  24. 16m, with a bit of a delay in the SE. Quite a lot of biffing, but rather the opposite at 1ac, which I bunged in from the wordplay and checkers without really thinking about the definition. So count me as another who didn’t notice the problem.
    AGAPE the only unknown today, although even that was vaguely familiar.
  25. This was a reality check for me after the last two days. It took me an hour and a quarter and although I put in TILE because of the checkers and because I knew it was a hat I could not parse it so thanks to blogger. There were several that I could parse only after I had worked out the word from the checkers and the definition – in particular MUSICOLOGY which was an unknown OLOGY for me. Missed the anagram at 7 down for ages although it then seemed obvious. One of the advantages of having moved to the North West after growing up in London is that TILE and TARA are both familiar. As so often happens once it was finished it was hard to see why I found it so difficult to get going. Liked PRUNED.
  26. Thank you for your sympathy, Sotira (I had TANTATA, never having heard of TANTARA). Surprisingly, that was my only mistake, having crossed my fingers about ABASH and CHIP (with HIP=happening) and perhaps a few others like TILE. Eight IS a cube, so the setter seems to be at least as confused as I am — maybe that puts us even. Solving time just over an hour, but this time without a break.

    Edited at 2016-07-20 03:24 pm (UTC)

  27. I breezed through in 15 minutes, happily unaware of the CUBE controversy, but I had CANTATA. Math and trumpet fanfares, apparently, are not my strong suit. Thanks to the setter for dropping by and letting us know we (those of us who noticed, that is, not me) were correct in suspecting an error. Regards to all.
  28. Fortunately today it only took the sum (not cube) of my previous 2 days’ times. Put me down as one who completely missed the error.
  29. Nowhere near a finish and didn’t enjoy it one little bit. I wasn’t really satisfied with any of the answers I did get, I was never on the wavelength at all, if there was one. But after a couple of weeks of success this has to happen every now and again.
  30. 24 mins. I was slightly sleepy but I think I would have struggled to get on the setter’s wavelength even if I had been fully alert. Count me as another who missed the definition error at 1ac. AGAPE was my LOI which is quite annoying because I really like the Bear’s Den song and I have the album.
  31. Thought I was going to have a tough time with this since a first run through the acrosses yielded only CUBE (with a question mark), RURAL and OPEN AIR. Made a much better run at the downs and ended it with ABASH and AGAPE which went in purely from wordplay.
  32. 13:03 for me, going through a sluggish patch at the moment, and not properly on the setter’s wavelength: for instance I wasted far too much time trying to make use of my knowledge of London geography to come up with some equivalent of Queer Street for 18ac.

    Nevertheless I enjoyed this puzzle very much, and am quite prepared to forgive the setter (and the editor, though perhaps slightly less in his case!) for the gaffe at 1ac, particularly as I failed to spot it myself despite my maths degree!

  33. I am once more a day behind, but at least I have broken my recent run of DNFs and errors.

    I was glad that 1ac’s arithmetic error was part of such a simple clue and straightforward answer. Had it not been, I would have spent much time agonising over it. I have in the past tended to assume errors where none existed, to justify a wrong answer.

    Spent 29 minutes over this one, with a considerable time spent failing to get AGAPE. Eventually, I gave up, took a break, and then spotted it when I returned. I’m sure it’s one of those words I have only encountered here, and do not expect to run into it in the real world any time soon. This sort of thing worries me: my memory is already very nearly full, yet it seems still to be filling up with useless information without my noticing. If, at some future date, I find that a Times-only word has displaced some vital piece of information (such as “green & yellow = earth”), I shall blame it all on the Times setters.

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