Times 26487 – Liza with an S

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Nothing too obscure or difficult today; if you told me it was Monday I could believe it. I made a few clues seem harder than they really were, completing the right half before the left and ending in the SW corner.

1 TORMENTOR – Of course I began looking for an adviser to be followed by TOR, then thought of MENTORTOR and realised the adviser followed the hill. D one to vex.
6 ACTON – ACT ON = performance taking place; D London district. Among other distinctions, Acton hosts the starting point of the 25 kilometre Thames Tideway Tunnel (also known as the “Super Sewer”) at the Acton Storm Tanks in Canham Road. This is being built to avoid the discharge of sewage from Combined Sewer Overflow into the River Thames. It is also the birthplace of The Who members, except Keith Moon.
9 AIOLI – Alternate letters of d A n I l O a L v I m; D garlic sauce, well, I’d call it garlic mayonnaise.
10 ASSAULTED – ASS = fool, (AT DUEL)*: D given abuse.
11 PHARAOH – Sounds like the card game FARO, D great Egyptian. If you couldn’t spell the end of the word, the down checkers would help.
12 TREMORS – T = leader of trouble, REMORS(E) = endless shame; D the shakes.
13 STOLEN PROPERTY – (STYLE NOT)*, surrounds PROPER = right; D hot stuff.
17 HIGHLAND CATTLE – Cryptic definition, amusing enough, because cattle ‘low’ and highland cattle are high.
21 AMERICA – I’m ashamed to say this the easiest clue of the day was almost my LOI, as I was going through the whole panoply of cities and states like ARIZONA, ALABAMA and wherever, before seeing the def. was simply ‘US’. M(inute) and ERIC the man inside A A.
23 INTENSE – IN TENS = perhaps with decimal, add E for point, D displaying power. I think this construction has appeared before.
25 DARTBOARD – DART = river in Devon, BOAR = animal, D = died; brilliant exact definition ‘local target in Cork’.
26 MOIST – Insert O for duck into MIST for thin fog, D slightly damp.
27 TABLE – Triple definition.
28 THEORISER – THE RISE = the upswing, inside OR = in gold; D speculator.

1 TRAPPIST – TRAT = Italian eatery, short for trattoria, insert P = quietly, PIS = sip, drink, reversed; D brother. The quiet type.
2 RIOJA – RIO = port, J A initial letters of judged acceptable; D wine.
3 ELISABETH – Anagram of BEATLES with H I; D girl, an alternative spelling of the name. Apparently Elisabeth was the usual spelling before Elizabeth I made the Z more popular.
4 TEASHOP – E = English, ASH = people against smoking, ‘Action on Smoking and Health’ a UK charity, inserted into TOP = best; D café.
5 RISOTTO – RO = half of room, insert IS OTT for is extravagant; D food.
6 ACUTE – CUT for wound, inside A and E, D penetrating.
7 TIT FOR TAT – TIT = singer, bird, FORT(E) = loud, cut short, A T(ime); D revenge.
8 NUDIST – Not very cryptic def, or am I missing a second subtlety? EDIT yes I was, apparently DIS is a supposed city in Dante’s underworld, a step too far for my science-biased education; so it’s DIS inside NUT = buff! See comments.
14 OLIVE DRAB – O = old, BARD EVIL = poet, wicked, reversed = LIVE DRAB; D stuff on soldiers.
15 ELASTOMER – (ORES METAL)*; D material, stretchy stuff made of a polymer.
16 REPEATER – REP = salesman, EATER = one dining, D Winchester for example, a kind of rifle. And the Winchester Club, haunt of Arthur Daley, was in Acton, since you asked.
18 ADAMANT – Hidden word (‘ships’) in ARM(ADA MAN T)OOK, D very determined.
19 DEIRDRE – D = daughter, EIR(DR)E = doctor in Ireland, D girl, and a popular Irish name as it happens.
20 BANDIT – B(orn), AND IT = that certain something, D robber.
22 IMBUE – I’M BLUE = the writer’s Conservative, delete the L(iberal), D inspire.
24 NAILS – N for knight in chess, AILS = troubles, D we fix.

43 comments on “Times 26487 – Liza with an S”

  1. Yes, easy one .. a couple of loose clues but otherwise enjoyable. Re 8dn Pip, it is DIS (nether regions) in NUT (buff) ..

    Edited at 2016-08-10 07:31 am (UTC)

    1. Thanks for explaining NUDIST. What a neat clue.

      If I had put in PHARAOH and DIERDRE correctly on first pass I might have been quicker.

        1. I beleeeve the rule is, “I before ‘E except when one is being generous.”

          Edited at 2016-08-10 07:56 am (UTC)

  2. Oooh, well spotted Jerry. That makes it COD for mine.

    ELASTOMER seemed the only likely arrangement of the anagrist given the crossers, and DARTBOARD (great clue) took ages.

    Also held up momentarily because of a long-term colleague with the surname Pharoah. It always looked wrong, but I must have got used to it after twenty years, because I needed the crossers today for reassurance.

    Another excellent puzzle. Thanks setter and Pip.

  3. 13:19 … held up considerably by an idiotic TRATORIA biffed at 1d. Not hard, but I enjoyed how it came together, and especially enjoyed the many nice, economical surfaces.

    Love the blog title, Pip, and enjoyed that clue, too. But COD to DEIRDRE

  4. Near-complete failure in the southwest for me, DNF with AMERICA, DARTBOARD, TABLE, BANDIT, OLIVE DRAB and IMBUE left to get. Don’t think I’ve ever used a cork dartboard, which is why they didn’t spring to mind — I wonder how many of them are actually cork? Also not sure I’d have ever got to TABLE without the crossers…

    I couldn’t stop thinking of OLIVE for the O_I__ that I had, and it’s always annoying when it’s revealed that my instincts were quite right and I shouldn’t have been trying to put it out of my mind!

    Ah well. At least I managed to spell PHARAOH right this time.

    For 28 I got there by THE O (RISE) R, with “rise” as my upswing put in “or”.

    Edited at 2016-08-10 07:54 am (UTC)

  5. Again no problems with this very straightforward puzzle. Liked the “target in Cork”

    ACTON will be known to railway buffs for its long association with Great Western Railway and also London Transport. It has a huge number of stations including Acton Central, North Acton, East acton, South Acton and West Acton – which could be unique

    1. I got the following from Wiki

      Stations in the area are:

      Acton Central railway station (North London Line)
      Acton Main Line railway station (First Great Western)
      Acton Town tube station (District line and Piccadilly line)
      East Acton tube station (Central line)
      North Acton tube station (Central line)
      South Acton railway station (North London Line, and formerly District line)
      West Acton tube station (Central line (Ealing Broadway branch))
      Acton Green tube station (now Chiswick Park, District line)

      Acton and Harrow are the only two places in the United Kingdom each to have seven railway stations bearing their names, other than London itself. Acton is also the only place in London to have stations named after all four of the cardinal points, north, south, east, and west.

      1. I can only think of 5 with Harrow in the name

        H & Wealdstone
        H-on-the-Hill (Met)
        West H
        North H
        South H

        Do you know what the other two are please?

        Edited at 2016-08-10 10:06 am (UTC)

        1. Whereas I knew Acton from work related visits I have no knowledge of Harrow Jack – never even been there that I can recall. The following is again from Wiki:

          Harrow-on-the-Hill station (Metropolitan line & Aylesbury Line)
          West Harrow Tube Station (Metropolitan line)
          South Harrow Tube Station (Piccadilly line)
          Rayners Lane Tube Station (Metropolitan line and Piccadilly line)
          Sudbury Hill Tube Station (Piccadilly line)
          North Harrow Tube Station (Metropolitan line)
          Pinner Tube Station (Metropolitan line)
          Stanmore Tube Station (Jubilee line)
          Canons Park Tube Station (Jubilee line)
          Harrow and Wealdstone Station (Bakerloo line and London Overground)
          Kenton (Bakerloo line and London Overground)
          Headstone Lane Station (London Overground)
          Hatch End Station (London Overground)
          Northolt Park Station
          Sudbury Hill Harrow Station

          So I also make that short of 7 – perhaps some have changed their names

          1. Many thanks, Jim. Yes, that’s six wityh Harrow in the name, and I think Sudbury Hill Harrow is revised name of what was known as simply as “Sudbury Hill” in my day. There was also a “Sudbury Town” and if that’s been renamed similarly to include “Harrow” it would make up the seven. I was born in Stanmore, went to school in Harrow and lived within the borough until I was 30 so I knew the area pretty well.
  6. 18:13 despite FYI being a confident TOKAY for 2 dn. Can you still get cork dartboards? They seem to be a sort of compacted bristle these days which unlike the cork ones, do not have to be soaked periodically. Biffed ADAMANT and did not see the hidden so thanks Pip.
  7. A slower solve today, about 32′. Time spent parsing 1d, dnk TRAT for TRATTORIA. Also dnk OLIVE DRAB, which I now see is an American term. Like others, COD to NUDIST, pleased to have correctly parsed. Thanks pip and setter.
  8. Another quick start which got bogged down in the bottom half. 47 minutes. I think I solve better later in the day. FOI ACUTE. LOI, STOLEN PROPERTY where I was trying to find a food that went with SMOKED for some time. Please can someone explain why DIS = Nether Regions. Like Pip I missed the subtlety in this one. Liked 25a and DEIRDRE. Thanks setter and Pip.
    1. John, it’s a city in hell, in Dante’s Divine Comedy. (I learnt that from crosswords, though my workmate is currently reading it and delights in giving me his favourite bits from each layer of hell).
      1. Ah, thanks Galspray, my science orientated education missed out on that one. Another day another bit of knowledge 🙂
  9. I put in ‘olive gray’ for 14 (which sort of works, ‘Gray’ being a poet) so I ended up wondering what on earth ‘thyme’ for 27 had to do with ‘board’ and ‘schedule’. Otherwise not too bad, though I missed the subtlety of NUDIST – v. clever. Same as blogger with AMERICA. I went through all the states and cities I could think of before the much easier answer jumped out.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  10. 44 minutes, with OLIVE DRAB proving resistant, though I’m sure we’ve had it before. 25a and 28a my favourites; NUDIST clever, but biffable.

    Appropriate to have the -IS spelling of Bess in a Times crossword.

    Is Phelps a monster or what? And I bet he never threw his cap back into the pool…

    Edited at 2016-08-10 08:21 am (UTC)

    1. Never mind that. The question of the hour is who weed into the diving pool, as it has turned green.
      1. The Chinese are blaming the Australians. Things turning very algae…

        Edited at 2016-08-10 12:45 pm (UTC)

  11. Great title to your blog, Pip. Found it easyish today at 20 minutes with ELASTOMER LOI when all checkers available. I’d never heard of it before but I guess it was bound to exist. I liked the puns in 17 and 25 across, and many clues produced that inner smile once realised.

    Edited at 2016-08-10 09:25 am (UTC)

  12. I found the top half apart from STOLEN PROPERTY very easy and I had a foothold in the lower half with HIGHLAND CATTLE but then I slowed to a crawl with only ADAMANT and NAILS springing to mind on first reading. The SW corner had me almost ready to give up but I battled home eventually taking over an hour in all.

    I also liked the blog title with its twist on the Kander & Ebb song title (written for Liza Minnelli).

    Edited at 2016-08-10 09:01 am (UTC)

    1. Eighties music kids like me may have first heard the phrase as the first line of the intro to Liza’s cover of Tanita Tikaram’s Twist in my Sobriety, from Results, her album produced with the Pet Shop Boys…

      Edited at 2016-08-10 09:21 am (UTC)

  13. Getting steadily drunker as the week goes on, as is the verlaine custom, but I did manage to finish this inside of 10 minutes last night at least, post boardgames night; feeling appropriately rough this morning. I used to date a DEIRDRE so that was a write in (and easier for me to spell than it might otherwise have been).
  14. As per Pip I took the non-cryptic route for 8dn NUDIST and thought no more about it – ignorance dis bliss!

    The spelling of 11ac PHARAOH and 19dn DEIRDRIE caused mayhem and it took me a dogged 40 mins after sweeping through most if it in half that time.

    Had heard faintly of 15dn ELASTOMER before but DNK – biffed.

    FOI 5dn RISOTTO LOI was 25 ac DARTBOARD – DEIRDRE was to blame!


    horryd Shanghai

  15. Well over the hour for me mostly on the part below Highland Cattle. Top two thirds seemed very straightforward though I did not parse NUDIST so thanks for the explanation. Had never heard of ELASTOMER but it had to be.
  16. 15m. I found the top half of this very easy, and the bottom half very hard. I’m not really sure why: there were no unknowns for me and quite a lot of it was susceptible to biffing. Just a bit slow this morning I guess.
  17. Thanks for the blog, Pip, and especially the title. An inspired (or perhaps imbued?) choice. Thanks also to Jerrywh for decoding NUDIST. Does that qualify as an &lit? I’m never sure off these things.
    I hear that Manchester City have bought AIOLI from Corinthians for £73m….
    True Solving Time of 41m 18s
    1. I don’t think 8dn quite qualifies as &Lit, since the word ‘one’ is not part of the wordplay, and an &Lit is a clue in which the whole clue is both wordplay and definition. Structurally ‘one’ is the definition in this clue, but it requires the surface reading in the rest of the clue to make sense. I think this is what Don Manley calls a ‘semi-&Lit’.
  18. Wow, looks like I broke in on a game of Mornington Crescent. I did this in the dentist’s waiting room and found it pretty fun, though I didn’t bother getting the wordplay for NUDSIT which is a nice clue, and I can never spell PHARAOH correctly the first time.
  19. 19 mins. I can’t blame taking the knock and my relatively slow time was purely down to my not being anywhere near the setter’s wavelength. Like Pip I was initially looking for the hill/TOR in 1ac to be at the end of the answer. My LOI was IMBUE, mostly because I’d been reading “Conservative, not Liberal” as a C for L replacement indicator, and the penny didn’t drop until I got DARTBOARD. It also took me far longer than it should have done to get AMERICA, and I confess to being another who biffed NUDIST.
  20. Probably too late for anyone to see this, but there are two stations on the Chiltern line into Marylebone, namely Sudbury Hill Harrow, and Sudbury and Harrow Road. Added to the five Underground stations (H on the Hill, North H, West H, South H, H and Wealdstone) that makes seven.

    Jim (a former North Harrow boy)

    1. Thanks, for clearing that up, Jim. So there are four stations in the Sudbury part of Harrow, two main-line and two Underground. That does seem a bit excessive! It’s not a part of the borough I ventured into all that often in 30 years of living in Stanmore and Hatch End.

      Edited at 2016-08-10 10:14 pm (UTC)

  21. 9:02 for me, still off the pace, but at least faster than verlaine in his cups! My hopes of a clean sweep were scotched by 13ac (STOLEN PROPERTY), which turned out to be my LOI.

    ACTON was an easy win as I have several connections with the place, including: an ancestor who was a doctor there in the 19th century; working there myself (in Minerva Road) in the early 1970s; and being married there (in the register office in Acton town hall) in 1976 (ruby wedding anniversary coming up later this year). I passed through Acton Town underground station twice today on my way to and from the National Gallery.

    Another pleasant, straightforward solve.

  22. Liked it. Just scraped into the top 100.

    Currently in the Cairngorms so liked HIGHLAND CATTLE. Also TEASHOP where I constructed according to instructions but still couldnt immediately see the word even with TEASH__. Nice PDM

    Thanks Pip and setter (not that anyone is going to be reading this…)

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