Times 26491 – Almost a lip-out on a two-footer

Solving time: 24 minutes

Music: Old Blind Dogs, The World’s Room

I finished my catch-up solving yesterday, doing about seven daily puzzles and Mephisto in two days. I found some of them quite difficult, although I was eventually able to finish all the dailies. I need to think about the Mephisto a little more before I give up, however.

So I was greatly relieved to have a relatively easy daily puzzle for my blogging turn. It might not have been so easy if I were not a long-time solver, as a number of the clues or answers have come up before. I even blogged the one that had the Ashmolean in it, Times 24671. This certainly facilitated tonight’s solve, although I got stuck for quite a while at the end in the SE corner.

Congratulations to Justin Rose for his fine victory today. Appropriately, there are two golfing clues in today’s puzzle, neither one of which I saw immediately, in part because they have not been seen before in these puzzles, and the clues don’t give away the subject-matter.

6 CELEB, C[osmos] E[xplained:] L[arge-scale] E[volution] B[rings]. I nearly bunged in ‘Deneb’ before reading the clue carefully.
10 TRASHY TR(ASH)Y. It’s very tempting to see ‘hear’ and think this is a homonym clue.
11 MISTITLE MI(TITS backwards)LE.
14 PELF, backwards hidden in [tri]FLE P[romptly].
16 SEAL, double definition.
17 STROKEPLAY, anagram of ROYALS KEPT, the first golfing clue.
19 ANIMATED, anagram of MADE with A TIN.
20 HATPEG, HA(T[hree] P[retty] E[legant])G. Surprisingly, ‘clockroom’ is not a euphemism for a loo, but refers to an actual cloakroom.
24 ISSUE, double definition.
1 ADEPT, A DEPT, I think we have seen this one before..
3 CATCH-ALL, CAT-C(H[ardly])ALL.
4 OVID, O + VID.
5 SUBMISSION, SUB MISSION, another chestnut.
7 LIKE THE CLAPPERS, double definition, one contrived.
12 ALL THE BEST, anagram of L[ose] + BATTLE HE’S.
13 RAS TAFARI, RA + S(T)AFARI, last seen in a 2012 Saturday puzzle.
15 DENATURE, DEN(A)TURE. Even more recent, from a couple of weeks ago, I’m surprised the editor let it appear again.
18 CAPOTE, CAP(OT)E, i.e. a headland.
21 GIMME, MIG upside-down + ME, the second golfing answer. In strokeplay, of course, there are no gimmes..
22 IN ON, I[n]N + ON IN(O)N, with a very well-hidden literal, at least for me.

51 comments on “Times 26491 – Almost a lip-out on a two-footer”

  1. and all because it never occurred to me that stroke play was written as one word.
  2. Might have made this tougher than it needed to be, but not having heard of the ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM didn’t help. Didn’t really know RAS TAFARI either, but AUTOCROSS was the LOI because OVID took too long to come to mind.

    Happy to finish after all of that! COD to ANIMATED. One of the easier ones, but very smooth.

    Thanks setter and Vinyl.

    On an unrelated topic, I’ve been arguing for years that Usain Bolt is the greatest sportsman of all time. The argument will continue, as it should, but I enjoyed cheering the big fella home this morning.

    1. There is no-one on the planet I would rather see win gold. So much talent, so much fun, so much for Gatlin and all the cheats.
    2. I couldn’t agree more! Greatest athlete of all time and CLEAN! No one had won TWO 100m meter Gold Medals in succession until Carl Lewis “won” in 1988 when Ben Johnson was disqualified. To win THREE 100m races, in an event where one’s physical peak lasts barely two or three years, is phenomenal.

      Watch again Bolt’s win in the 200m in Beijing in 2008 — he won by SIX METERS! Astounding! MVS

        1. I thought I might get that hot potato thrown back at me! How about C B Fry? International at cricket and football, joint world record holder at long jump and for good measure turned down the throne of Albania. For all his talent, all Bolt does is run a short distance very fast on the flat in a straight line or round a slight bend, occasionally having to receive or hand over a baton. Let us take Sir Bradley – a winner of what is probably the most gruelling endurance event in sport (TdF), brilliant in the mountains, Olympic time trial champion on the road in 2012 and also able to win numerous gold and other Olympic medals at sprint events on the track. That is versatility!
          1. I don’t think the cycling fraternity rates Wiggins as the greatest cyclist of all time, so I think he would fall well short of greatest sportsman.

            Fry is a fascinating nomination, from the amateur days when it was possible for an individual to make a mark in more than one sport. I think a modern-day equivalent is South Africa’s A B de Villiers. Extraordinary all-round talents, but of course in the age of professionalism you pretty much have to pick-and-stick, so he’s only made an impact as a cricketer. Still I doubt that even he could match Fry’s party trick of jumping backwards on to a mantelpiece!

            The main reason I plump for Bolt is that he is the best there ever was at an endeavour that almost every human on earth has attempted at some time….to run fast over a short distance. The fact that he makes it look like so much fun is an added bonus.

            But fair play for putting up a nomination. That would earn you a pint from me, thus extending the argument deeper into the evening, which is usually the reason for raising it in the first place!

            1. I think it is the very British concept of admiration for the all-rounder that drives my suggestions. As you point out, I could run 100/200 metres – just not as fast as Bolt. There is no way I could even complete one stage of the TdF except possibly a time trial stage (and they would have turned the lights off by the time I got in). No one has a record in cycling (as far as I am aware) that matches Wiggins over his long career for a combination of velodrome speed and road endurance. He is almost Bolt and Farah rolled into one. I have often wondered how high Fry’s mantelpiece was!
              1. Farah, what a champion. But at this point I’d stop buying the pints until you at least considered the outrageous possibility that the greatest sportsman of all time may not in fact be British.
                1. OK – for the sake of a pint I will admit that the Dutch have a very good darts player in Van Gerwen!
    1. The literal is “party to”. Empty pub is IN (inn with its middle gone). Not quite sure how the “on” works.
      1. The on doesn’t need to work. It’s INN with nothing (0) in it, “suggested” by empty inn. Ulaca (above) has it right
      1. Thanks Ulaca. Now I can sleep well. Though why “it’s suggested?”?

        Almost as problematic as Paul in the G. Weekly. The clue required Dandy, Stanley and Douglas (7). Could I see the connection? Nope!
        About to hang up my boots then.

  3. Music Pure Prairie League – Dance

    55 mins and still didn’t finish as 22dn has IN-ON just come to me – I was stuck in DO( party)-land.

    SW corner was sticky area 13dn RAS TAFARI caused trouble – as Saturdays in 2012 but are a bleak memory.

    Now Man U are back in the ascencdancy; Old Vineger Face got whupped by the ‘scousers and Usain is still ‘de’man!


    horryd Shanghai

  4. 25 minutes for this, with RAS TAFARI (not known as two words) last in.

    I did this after catching up with the sporting news, having declined to stay up till 6am with my vacationing daughter. A Super Sunday indeed for the Brits – was especially pleased that Rose won the golf, as he didn’t succumb to the Zika viral excuse and had dreamt of winning this since the schedule was announced in 2009.

    Bolt on another planet (the drug-free one) but hats off to the Saffa for his brilliant 400 metres.

  5. Another technical DNF here as I had to look up STROKEPLAY which is not a word I have any reason to use. But even apart from that I found much of this quite hard, especially for a Monday. At 16ac I saw the intended double definition once I had the answer but actually I solved it (with the A checker in place) from wordplay: SEA (marine), {mamma}L [close].

    Edited at 2016-08-15 05:35 am (UTC)

  6. 18:07 … nicely tricky. IN ON was too clever for me but happily that didn’t stop me solving it.

    I’ve always assumed RAS TAFARI was a single word, hence Rastafarian, so I am enlightened.


    Olympic performance of the day to Max Whitlock. I couldn’t give two hoots about gymnastics, but two gold medals in two hours in a sport where his country has a distinctly modest history is some going.

  7. When solving, I thought that 16ac was actually a triple def, with reference to US Navy SEALs, but maybe that was a stretch too far.

    Nothing too difficult, given that there is a lot of crossword-land familiar vocal today. Exception being 13dn, which I had to look up. Got as far a RAS, but couldn’t see how Maiawi fitted in (the only African word I could think of that matched the checkers).

    Does video still exist?


    1. My SKY+ box packed up last week and the installer who arrived with a replacement was probably no older than 25. When he came to wiring it up he had to ask what the strange-looking device was that’s also in my TV configuration and when I said a VCR he said he’d heard of them but had never actually seen one before!
    2. Nice idea and would make a good triple, except that US Navy SEALs are not Marines and are probably already on their way to “correct” your suggestion with extreme prejudice.
  8. After some fairly generic-seeming puzzles, I thought this was just lovely, full of cleverness and fun… or maybe I’m just lightheaded from waking up before 6am this morning. A little over 7 minutes on the timer. I wish I hadn’t spent a long time thinking that 23ac was an address in Oxford Street… I’ve been in London and away from the hallowed cloisters of Magdalen College way too long it seems.
  9. 19.35, working my way round this enjoyable set of misdirections, such as the not-soundalike TRASHY and the I-can’t-believe-it’s-an-anagram film.
    Ras Tafari (as enumerated) is essentially a title and proper name, Ras meaning head (as it does in many Semitic languages), which Tafari Makonnen adopted when he declared himself Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Conquering Lion of the Tribe Judah in 1930. How it got from there to dreadlocks in Jamaica is an exercise for the student.
  10. Only got just over half of these before I surrendered at the end of my hour. A lot of unknowns didn’t help. No hangover excuses for me today; I started after a good full night’s sleep and still didn’t get into the swing of things. Ah well.

    DNK: AUTOCROSS; FLUSH for “drunk”; PELF; STROKEPLAY; the “litter” meaning of ISSUE (still not sure about that one); RAS TAFARI. I’d heard of CAPOTE, and the Philip Seymour Hoffman film’s on my “to watch” list, but I didn’t know he was an author. Must add THE LADY VANISHES to my list of films that I know of only from crosswords…

    Thanks for putting me out of my misery, as ever!

  11. It’s nice to be IN ON the clue for once. Short of writing the answer in, for an Oxford man ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM was a GIMME, although I guess it could have been the Oxford Playhouse. Steady progress, no biffs apart perhaps for PELF, under 20 minutes. What about Boltonian Jason Kenny for weekend performer? And Wanderers won again too. Shame about the cricket.
    1. Bolton winning away for the first time in over a year is easily the best sporting achievement of the weekend. Some lovely anagrams here made it quite easy to get going but I missed the short putt on 22d and putting Waste for 24a didn’t help the SW. COD 19a which raised a chuckle.
  12. 47 minutes with IN ON unsolved, so thanks to all who explained that one. DNK PELF or RAS TAFARI, but managed to work them out. Had to get all the checkers before I stopped trying to make a word from (HASTWICE)* for the film and the penny dropped. FOI OVID. Thanks to setter and Vinyl.
  13. As others, found this a bit harder than usual Monday job, and educational. I learned ras tafari is 2 words, and pelf is a word for dosh. The golf and the museum easily seen. 25 minutes, with IN ON now understood, very clever.
    Well done indeed Justin Rose and Henrik stenson, but arsenal are as bad as ever.
  14. This was a DNF for me. I have never heard of the film or RAS TAFARI as two words although I am now better informed. PELF was alao a complete unknown. Finally, as a Fenbog Tech guy, I needed many crossers before I hit on the Ashmolean. Lets hope that a setter uses the Fitzwilliam one day. So enough of today, roll on tomorrow. Thanks vinyl
    1. Another Cambridge guy. Once I twigged it was MUSEUM from the checkers, I thought “this would be so much easier if it was Cambridge”. Had to work it out from the anagrist.
  15. Surely the two boys in 13ac are Roy and Alf (rather than Al), leaving “lush” (rather than “flush”) for “drunk”?

    25 minutes for me, with PELF my only NHO and ANIMATED my LOI.

  16. 22 min – was held up on top half because I was sure that 1ac had to be …RALLY from ‘motoring. I agree that Alf gives better parsing of 13ac.
  17. FUn puzzle – 14 minutes with a few text message breaks. I thought ANIMATED was a cunning clue with the anagram well hidden.
  18. Ah, now *that* makes sense, and explains why I didn’t know “flush” for drunk!
  19. 17m, but with ODIN at 4dn. The four-letter poet beginning with O was on the tip of my mental tongue at the beginning of the solve, so I moved on, and he somehow became a four-letter god beginning with O by the end. Perhaps the god in 13dn interfered, but whatever the reason it would probably have been a good idea to have another look at the clue.
    Other than that I found this pretty tricky but very enjoyable.
  20. 10 mins, and from the other comments it seems like I must have been on the setter’s wavelength, especially as there were no biffs. ADEPT was my LOI after TRASHY. I had no problem with RAS TAFARI as two words because it was something I learned about years ago when I really liked Bob Marley’s music and I read up on the whole Rastafarian movement.
  21. Nice fun puzzle. Other than not knowing of PELF, everything else went in OK. IN ON was LOI, and required a few mental pirouettes to parse. And I don’t know how the Rastafarians got themselves ensconced in Jamaica, either.
  22. 10:16 for this delightful start to the week.

    I had a similar experience with 6ac, working out that the initial letters spelled CELEB and then wondering briefly whether this was the name of another star like DENEB (before light dawned).

    In my third year at Queen’s when I was living in digs in Worcester Place, I used to walk along Beaumont St every day. I noted that OXFORD PLAYHOUSE would fit the 15 letters available, but discarded it quickly enough when I spotted the anagram.

    Dr Thud is absolutely right about ALF + LUSH. During my check through the clues after I’d finished, I actually looked up FLUSH to see whether it offered “drunk” as one of its meanings, but then realised there was an easier explanation.

    1. I had quite a few friends at Worcester (and an Old English tutor at one point) so I used to walk down Beaumont Street all the time, but I had completely forgotten it! A memory like mine really is a handicap in this crossword game.
  23. Re 9 across: If one uses an electric blanket as a cover, one is deploying it wrongly.

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