Times 26476: Double your Monty Python references, double your fun!

Oh silly George – I knew I was racing through this one, and as I got to the end I thought there was a chance I might be under 6:30 (and I stopped to answer a text), so I raced through to the finish and put a very silly typo in my last entry to end up with a time of 6:38, but one incorrect. D’oh! In any case, this is a very straightforward puzzle but there are some fun words in there, and two places that remind me of Monty Python – Holy Grail at 20 across, and Dennis More at 20 down.

Right now there’s a bunch of sub-10 minute times, and I’m not the only one with a typo. Phew!

Away we go…

1 DISTILLERY: This may end up being biffed a lot but it’s a clever double container – STILL(yet) inside IE inside DRY
6 BASS: take the R from BRASS
9 ALADDIN: A,LAD, (starre)D, IN
10 FURNACE: URN in(broken) FACE
12 EXPOS: remove the last letter from EXPOSE
13 OVERCROWD: two definitions, one for OVER CROWD
14 THERE’S NO TELLING: two definitions, one cryptic – since a TELLER counts the votes
20 SH,RUBBERY: we, the knights who say “Ni” demand… another SHRUBBERY!
21 ROSTI: S(erved) in ROTI
23 ANISEED: I,SEE(understand) in AND(conjunction)
24 LANTANA: hidden in pLANT A NAturalist – an all-in-one with the definition being the entire clue
25 DIGS: another double definition, one cryptic
2 S,HARP: a note that is sharp would have to come down in pitch to be in tune
3 INDISCERNIBLE: anagram of BRIDES,INCLINE – and this was my typo
4 LINCOLN: L then COL(a) in INN
5 REFLECT: R(symbol for electrical resistance), then ELECT surrounding F – hey, double Physics in one clue!
7 ANATOMIST: A MIST surrounding NATO
8 SPEED: SPEWED missing the W – sick as in throwing up – my adopted country seems to have dumped this term in favor of the rather ugly “puked”
15 EMBARKING: ME reversed, then BAR, KING
16 GERMINATE: anagram of A,REGIMENT – the biological form of “shoot”
18 TREADLE: I have this as a cryptic definition, not sure if there is anything else to it
19 IDYLLIC: D(days) in (s)CILLY,I(s) reversed
20 SWARD: DRAWS reversed… “Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, riding through the sward… Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, on his horse Concorde”
22 SNAFU: reversal of U,FANS

54 comments on “Times 26476: Double your Monty Python references, double your fun!”

  1. Can you please fully explain the meaning of the acronym SNAFU!?

    Is that Mony Python or Monty Py-THON as they say in your neck of the woods? Frinton-on-Sea famously has a (20dn) SWARD and probably a Dennis Moore or two.

    23 minutes hereabouts with nothing too taxing: DNK 24 ac LANTANA but it was all there to be extracted.


    horryd shanghai

      1. I knew the acronym but I must admit I’ve never been sure whether a SNAFU is a *departure from* the NS, or whether “AFU” *is* the NS?
    1. For music archivists check out the 1970s country rock band of same name. Great slide guitar and great vinyl album cover (first album).
    2. Hi, HS, don’t mind me, don’t mean to be nosy, but I wonder why you continue to post “anonymously,” though by now everyone recognizes your name?
  2. 29 minutes but a careless ‘adiseed’ at 23.

    I came here to find out why SHARP means ‘down a bit’ but am none the wiser!

    1. Aaaah, should have put a note in the blog, I’ll add it. Musical terms – a sharp note would have to come down in pitch to be in tune
      1. Ah, yes – I was being far too clever (read, dumb) by drawing HARP from ‘instrument for tuning’.
  3. Quite a fun puzzle with some surprising twists and turns. For Australians, LANTANA is less an ornamental plant and more a vicious introduced weed; esp. in the eastern states. I once dug up a couple of acres of the darn stuff on a property north of Wollongong. Still, it did give its name to a quite fabulous film (Ray Lawrence, 2001):

    SNAFU! “There’s no telling” what may crop up in The Times these days.

    Heads up: today is a 150th anniversary, celebrated by Crucible in The Other Place.

    Edited at 2016-07-28 03:14 am (UTC)

    1. Spot on re the LANTANA, McT. The worst possible patch from which to retrieve errant cricket balls, footballs and tennis balls in my childhood (the neighbour’s yard patrolled by the vicious alsatian was a close second, with the canefields rounding out the top three).

      And yeah, it wasn’t a bad flick was it?

      1. It was brilliant! Lawrence’s very few ventures into feature films were all so, esp. Bliss which may be the best Oz filum [sic] ever. I wish he’d made more.

        As for DIALECTIC: I once had to teach a university course in which a whole week was given over to the concept/term, from the ancient Greeks, via Kant to Hegel and Marx. Not my most lucid hour. But at least the word contains a good name, eh?

        Edited at 2016-07-28 04:02 am (UTC)

        1. ‘Smart one in union state entrapped by short clever one making enquiry’ (8)
          1. Finding out why girl and boy twitch? (9)

            Distilling solution, I’d returned to Calcite formation (9)

            Development of thesis by Hegel finally CIA cited as revolutionary (9)

            Edited at 2016-07-28 07:28 am (UTC)

    2. Spot on about the movie, mctext. I liked the clever way in which the weed is used both literally and metaphorically in the movie. A shoe from the missing woman is tossed into a dense growth of the stuff while some of the relationships in the movie are as entwined as the weed itself.
  4. …a sloppy RECALCITRENCE. I knew how to spell recalcitrance, but miscounted the “e”s and “a”s in the anagrist and talked myself into what now looks like an egregious error.

    Otherwise enjoyable, LOI the not-really-known DIALECTIC.

    Thanks setter and George.

  5. the same typo as George; I have no idea why I spelled it that way. DNK LANTANA. Wasted time taking ‘tall vase’ as the def and trying to put something inside ‘fire’.
    1. Do you and George regard a spelling mistake as a typo? I nearly did the same thing , then ! 😉
  6. 25 minutes with LANTANA unknown. It sounds vaguely familiar but it’s not found in TftT, before today, that is. Speed was the last one in.

    Edited at 2016-07-28 09:18 am (UTC)

  7. I clearly thought this was harder than anyone else did, failing to get any kind of toehold in the top half and working from CABINET MINISTER down before creeping back up. 22.05.
    I gather Whisky Galore has undergone a remake, with Eddie Izzard starring as Captain Waggett. Is this grid a subtle preparation for its release?
  8. 9:54 … I’ll tempt fate and say we seem to be getting a lot of easy ones this month.
  9. 30mins, but with a weird ‘overcloud’. Wouldn’t be much point in having an air display above cloud level, innit?
    1. Glad to see I wasn’t the only OVERCLOUD. But I trumped you with my spelling of TREDDLE.
  10. I have to agree with Sotira – another rather easy very bland puzzle. No doodles needed and nothing really on which to comment.
  11. On 5d, we never used F for force. Small f was for acceleration. The F=ma of today lacks style. A body continues in its state of rest or uniform motion unless it doesn’t, as Newton’s laws tell us. Are all explanations tautological? Or dialectical? 20 easyish minutes today, no passes of biffs.
  12. Lots of lengthy anagrams today. dnk LANTANA. 15’15”, thanks blogger and setter.
  13. 16:16, including checking out what a DIACRITIC is, before seeing DIALECTIC. As I mention elsewhere, Chambers has FOULED as the F in SNAFU, but then mentions the ‘possible’ (but far more likely) alternative. There seemed to be an unusual number of anagrams but no complaints. Thanks George.
    1. Dennis Lillee’s nickname was FOT, because Tony Lock accused him of bowling like a “flippin’ old tart”.

      Well that was the version that appeared in cricket magazines when I was a kid, and it took me years to question its plausibility.

      1. What an excellent repository of cricketing knowledge you are, galspray! I’m wondering what nickname Lillee and cohorts had for Kim Hughes? I gather he didn’t think much of Hughes as I have heard that he used to try and knock Hughes’ head off in the nets.
  14. About 30 minutes once I got my WiFi working and could download. I was another TREDDLE, which is actually a genuine alternative spelling (at least in Chambers), and a perfectly good answer to fit both the clue and grid. It wasn’t doing any harm sitting there, so why marked wrong?

    Top line went straight in, although I then had to spend a few seconds convincing myself that DISTILLERY did parse OK. I knew the word but not the meaning of DIALECTIC, my mind confusing it with another dia-something-tic which is something to do with osmosis or water retention or something – so I learned something today.

  15. 18m with a few unknowns – the plant and the acronym fro example – but today I was able to work them out : a rare treat these days!
  16. I didn’t realise my OVERCLOUD was wrong until I saw Janie’s comment. Ah well.

    Did anyone else try to force FIRGUME into 10? If misdirection was intended (broken mug in kiln = tall vase) then I was well and truly duped until I got ANATOMIST.

    I thought the clue for SPEED was a good’un.

    1. I thought a kiln might be an OAST… surely the Ancient Greeks had OAGMUSTs in addition to their amphorae, craters, kylixes etc…
  17. …a blazing (for me) 18min, but I was held up by a typo at 16d, which made 24ac impossible. Spotted it eventually, for a total time of 28 minutes.

    Never heard of LANTANA, but otherwise fairly straightforward, I thought. A DISTILLERY is always a welcome sight, and nice to see the motto of the MDU at 14ac. Failed to parse FURNACE, but now I quite like it – hadn’t come across that particular structure for the wordplay.

    1. I’m lovin’ it.

      I mean “There’s no telling”, that is.

      Edited at 2016-07-28 01:46 pm (UTC)

    2. I dont know what the going rate for the MDU is these days but my father and his new wife in the early 1950s agonised long and hard before shelling out £27 which they did not have for MDU cover. One off payment for life! My Mum has just told me that this was at a time that £5 was expected to cover a full week’s household expenses.

      Edited at 2016-07-28 06:57 pm (UTC)

      1. Do you mean to say that it doesn’t today? I shall have to check with Mrs. Thud on that one.
  18. Again well within the hour, but needed two goes, interrupted by a visit to a B&Q that’s closing down, 80% off, nothing I needed but still managed to spend a few quid, I’m sure all those angle brackets will come in handy one day.
    SNAFU a write in mainly due to Captain Beefheart’s Big Eyed Beans From Venus.
  19. A PB at 15m 30s!! I kept thinking that the grid would get harder as I went down the page, but no! I echo mctext’s comments about the movie Lantana. A superb movie with the weed doing double duty: it was literally the repository of a shoe belonging to a woman who had disappeared and, metaphorically, it described the complex web of relationships in the movie. I had no idea that, in some places, lantana is regarded as ornamental.
  20. 13 mins. I was wide awake so I didn’t find it as easy as some of the recent ones. Like Penfold I had been interpreting 10ac the wrong way, although once I got the final checker (the F) the penny dropped. LINCOLN was my LOI after DISTILLERY.
  21. Started with DISTILLERY, a place always close to my heart, and finished with ANATOMIST after 33 minutes. No particular hold ups. Liked SHRUBBERY and FURNACE.
  22. 10m. Rather a lot of biffing today, and no problems, even with the unknown LANTANA.

    Edited at 2016-07-28 05:12 pm (UTC)

  23. I too tried to shoe horn mug into fire and got my fingers burnt ….21 mins so I guess ….snafu sums it up.
  24. 36 minutes for me. COD was SHRUBBERY, which made me laugh. Why are shrubberies inherently funny?
  25. I agree that this wasn’t the greatest challenge, but enjoyable nonetheless. LOI was SPEED, because that kind of illness/symptom isn’t referred to over here as ‘spewing’. No other hold-ups at all that I recall. My comments here haven’t been very pithy of late, but once again I don’t have much to say today. Thanks to George. Best regards.
  26. Very easy, just under half an hour, with no unknowns but LANTANA. COD to 1ac. What else is there to say?

    Edited at 2016-07-28 09:21 pm (UTC)

  27. I don’t agree that 24ac is an all-in-one clue. The definition is I think simply the word ‘ornamental’. Chambers gives this as a noun meaning ‘ornamental plant’.

    Wil Ransome (too much hassle to sign in as I’m using a smartphone)

  28. 8:53 for me, not really on the setter’s wavelength. If the editor has an upper limit for the number of anagrams in a Times crossword – and I seem to recall that he does – then I suspect this puzzle could well be at that limit.)

Comments are closed.