Times 26493 – Hamish, ye’ll have had yer tea?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
A late start this morning, owing to staying up in the wee small hours watching the farce and triumphs of the Olympic cycling. Some velo-chaps after a good liquid lunch must have sat down and decided ‘just whizzing round a wooden track is boring, let’s invent some bizarre formats to make more interesting events’ and come up with the Omnium and the Kierin. But it was dramatic and the right people won.
I digress. Once the derny bike had trundled off, I rode through this in 14 minutes without a fall, with 20d my LOI (because of its vague definition and many possibilities) and 3a needing a post solve look-up to check I hadn’t ascribed a dance form to a Scottish valley.

1 GAWP – A W = At Wrecks originally, inside G P: D stare stupidly.
3 STRATHSPEY – ARTS = cultural pursuits, reversed = STRA, THEY has SP for Spanish inserted; D dance. I hadn’t heard of it, but my local friend Alan (often addressed as Hamish in honour of ISIHAC) organises Scottish Country Dancing weekly (when the temperature is below 30 degrees) and a surprising number of ex-pats and French turn up be-kilted and do their thing. I then went to YouTube and watched a bit, and ten seconds or so was enough.
10 ABDOMINAL – (O BALD MAN I)*, the I = one, D like stomachache, maybe.
11 THICK – Double def.
12 MAN-YEAR – MANY = large number, EAR = attention; D work period.
13 WEEVIL – WEE = tiny, VIL(E) = disgusting, tailless; D creepy-crawly.
15 RICHARD THE THIRD – Insert (THREAD)* into RICH THIRD; D play. Not involving any rhyming slang, this time.
18 ACT OF SETTLEMENT – Double def, one about paying your bill, one referring to the 1701 Act, which led to George I arriving from Hanover to fill the vacancy.
21 PLANET – Insert E (first of elements) into PLANT (factory); D Mercury, perhaps.
23 NON-USER – NON-U = socially unacceptable, RE S = about son, returned = S ER; D one doesn’t employ.
26 SUSHI – US in SH, then I; D Asian dish.
27 WORDSMITH – WORDS(WORTH) = half poet, MIT H = with German, husband; D skilled verbalist.
28 UNDERLYING – Insert Y (pay finally) into UNDERLING (subordinate); D basic.
29 ATOP – A to P is sixteen letters of the alphabet, D heading.

1 GRAMMARIAN – GRAN is your elderly relative, insert M MARIA for married girl; D Fowler, possibly, the chap who wrote instructions about English Usage.
2 WIDEN – W 1 post code for Mayfair, DEN for study; D increase one dimension of.
4 TONBRIDGE – TON for heavyweight, BRIDE for woman with maids, insert key of G; D area (town) in Kent, adjacent to Royal Tunbridge Wells.
5 ALLOW – ALL for everyone, OW ! for hurt, D sanction.
6 HUTMENT – Insert alternate letters of T e M p E r into HUNT; D camp. A bit of a clunky word, but defined as ‘an encampment of huts’ so no argument.
7 PRIMITIVE – Insert IT IV (Italian, quartet) into PRIME; D simple.
8 YOKE – OK = agreement, inside YE = the old, D couple.
9 AMOEBA – A, MO short time, EBA = ABE Lincoln, reversed; D possible parasite.
14 EDITORSHIP – ED’S HIP would be man’s trendy, insert ROTI (bread) up; D press chief’s office. Or biff it.
16 CATALYSED – (SECT A LADY)*, D accelerated reaction. Chemistry lesson; a catalyst is an agent which speeds up a reaction but is itself unchanged after the process. Like platinum in your exhaust system.
17 HIT-AND-RUN – Double def, too easy to need further explanation.
19 FANCIER – A financier is your banker, drop his IN (not at home) D one with an eye for the birds? As in pigeon fancier.
20 ERNEST – ERNE is the high flyer, poetic name for eagle, ST is abbreviation for 24d when you have it solved; D male. Not a great clue, a definition such as ‘wise man’ might have been less vague.
22 TAWNY – TAW is a marble, NY is the city; D yellowy-brown.
24 SAINT – SAT = rested, outside IN = home, D virtuous type.
25 ESAU – Initial letters of Examining Students At University; D hairy man.

55 comments on “Times 26493 – Hamish, ye’ll have had yer tea?”

  1. 25dn reminded me irresistibly of this comedy classic from Beyond the Fringe. The church had no sense of humour in those days, and making fun of it got Bennett into some trouble..
    Strathspeys are more fun for the participants than for spectators, I suspect..

    1. Got me into trouble once at a very serious service, as the preacher intoned his text “But my brother Esau is an hairy man, but I am a smooth man.” Collapse of skinny party (I was then) in hopeless and unstoppable giggles. Made up for it afterwards. by taking said preacher out for a pint or two of 6X.
  2. Not too difficult and finished in about 25 minutes, although missed ATOP for which I lazily entered ‘step’ without being able to parse it. I hadn’t come across HUTMENT before. Yes, Scottish dancing doesn’t really do it for me either, but I did like the ‘Heavyweight woman with maids…’ in 4, THICK and the clue for 15.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  3. Zipped through this in under 20 minutes. Alan Bennett beyond the fringe was a staple in our sixth form days. LOI HUTMENT which still doesn’t sound right.

    Edited at 2016-08-17 08:55 am (UTC)

  4. Royal Tunbridge Wells methinks Pip – they shoot people for making that mistake in deepest Kent!

    Enjoyable puzzle. Didn’t know HUTMENT but clear from cryptic and checkers.

    All dancing is far more fun to do than to watch.

    1. Apologies to Kentish men, or indeed men of Kent, corrected; you’re all lucky I didn’t type TIMBRIDGE on this dodgy keyboard. I’ve never actually been there.
      1. As if Ton/Tun are not enough, just think yourself lucky the setter didn’t clue Trottiscliffe (pronounced Trosley)..
        As a matter of interest, whether one is a man of Kent or a Kentish man depends which side of the Medway one was born.. as the Medway passes through the middle of Tonbridge (10 miles or so from my house), a Tonbridgeian can be either!
    2. Sorry Jim I disagree. Even when I was able to dance, it wasn’t fun, and watching Camilla Dallerup on Strictly was definitely fun.
  5. 19:43, getting off to a fine start with ROUGHLY ONE THIRD and MAN-HOUR scribbled in before more mature consideration (and crossers, and reading the whole clue) led to the right answers. For reasons I do not know, TONBRIDGE is spelt with an O whereas ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS has a U. Us quaint Kentish folk! Liked ATOP but I have seen this device before. Thanks Pip.
    1. Managed this one okay 🙂 after looking up Strathspey. In fact one or two clues were too easy, eg. 11, 21, though I shouldn’t complain! FOI 15 LOI 8. Best clue: 27, partly because it’s nice to see a few more MFL clue-words apart from “un” and “la”!

      Tonbridge name-change forced on the town by the GPO, afaiaa, because of confused posties. There are several other examples around the country, e.g. Lydbury North.

  6. A rare dip under the quarter-hour. Had no idea of the atop parsing; and had to get away from towey. I think the Beyond the Fringe quartet were one and all at their finest and funniest back then.
  7. A quick, for me, 23 minutes, so the easiest one for a while. Didn’t know HUTMENT but the wordplay was clear. FOI, YOKE, LOI, ERNEST. Remembered STRATHSPEY from a previous puzzle. Liked TONBRIDGE. Thanks setter and Pip.
  8. Dnk STATHSPEY, but got it from the wordplay and back of brain. ACT OF SETTLEMENT was a write-in, as in my day we learned half-hour essays for our History ‘O’ level. Rather like the men’s Keirin, had a couple of false starts (MAN HOUR, TUNBRIDGE), but back in the swing after a slowish week, with 13’09”. Thanks pip and setter.
  9. Liked the bald and the hairy blokes (10ac, 25dn) appearing together, though had no idea why ESAU was hairy. Then … the “Man” and the “Male” (14dn, 20dn): enough names eh?

    For some, there could be a GK prob in this one: Brit. geog., church services, bible, drama, Scots dancing (at least it’s slow and in 4/4, so easy on the bass player), history, touch of chemistry, a person with strange views of grammar, the almost-obsolete game of rounders, two for the birdwatchers … usw.

    With the crossers, I fancied HOTMELT at 6dn. But it turns out it’s a glue … and two words to boot.

    5ac: SANCTION is one of those great words that do semantic backflips. Somewhere I have a list of others. But it’s not to hand right now.

  10. What about ‘Playwright with short fat hairy legs, 24, wanted by high-flyer’ (6)?

    18 minutes for the puzzle…

  11. After the past two days it was good to finish under 30 minutes (27) and without resorting to aids for this one. HUTMENT was unknown but the wordplay leading to it was clear enough. GRAMMARIAN my last one in. STRATHSPEY as a country dance came up in a puzzle I blogged on 22 December last year.
  12. Curses! Was so pleased with myself for finally twigging ATOP with five minutes left of the hour that I didn’t bother rechecking my un-parseds. This left me with by biff of WEENIE instead of the correct WEEVIL.

    Still far better than I managed on Monday and Tuesday, so I won’t kick myself too hard.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  13. 19:43, getting off to a fine start with ROUGHLY ONE THIRD and MAN-HOUR scribbled in before more mature consideration (and crossers, and reading the whole clue) led to the right answers. For reasons I do not know, TONBRIDGE is spelt with an O whereas ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS has a U. Us quaint Kentish folk! Liked ATOP but I have seen this device before. Thanks Pip.
  14. HUTMENT was a surprise, DNK STRATHSPEY (but it sort of rang a bell), confused about TON v TUN, but most bewildering was PRIME = OFFICE.

    Google tells me it’s some church service thing, which I would have thought was pretty obscure, but as no-one else has mentioned it I guess it’s just me. And fortunately the answer was obvious.

    COD to HUTMENT for daring to be a word. Thanks setter and Pip.

    1. Its all to do with the Divine Office hours of prayer – one of these obscure things you learn by doing these puzzles
    2. For me this sort of thing is like the Hebrew letters we get from time to time. One of those churchy things you’ve never heard of, does the rest of the clue fit? Bung it in.
      1. A reasonable strategy K, but it never crossed my mind that either of the words had anything to do with church services, or each other. I was looking for something to do with the office of Prime Minister, and was getting nowhere, but as you say, what else could it be?
        1. Fair point. I suppose the fact that ‘office’ is itself a churchy sort of thing must be something I’ve picked up from crosswords.
    3. The names of the offices are less well known nowadays, since many churches have rolled them together to form Matins and Evensong, or various combinations. The men of my choir sing Compline every Friday during Lent after darkness has fallen.
  15. Enjoyable puzzle, and for some reason I was on the wavelength today as it all fell into place fairly rapidly by my pedestrian standards – even the unknown dance and the unlikely sounding camp went in with an unusual air of confidence.

    Seems as though I’ve managed to live all these years without ever knowing that bovine also means “stupid” as well as simply cow-like. Ah well. Thanks for a nice blog Pip.

  16. Could some kind member help a relative beginner coming from the QC by explaining “thick” as the second definition in 11A?
    1. First def. thick as thieves (it’s said).

      Second def. – bovine (apparently – see my comment above!) means “stupid”. So, one displaying “stupid impenetrability” is being “thick”.

        1. No problem – as you will have seen from my comment, I was also scratching my head about this one as I wrote it in from the first definition, and needed to check the meaning of “bovine” post solve.
  17. Jacob tricked his father Isaac (whose eyes were failing) into giving him a blessing, which was his elder brother Esau’s by right. He did this by covering his hands and neck with hair goat’s skin.Genesis, 27: 10
  18. 13:18, continuing my quick form from yesterday. Took me too long to see SETTLEMENT for ‘Process of paying’ considering I work in settlement! Last two in were STRATHSPEY and HUTMENT, both unknowns where I had to have faith in the cryptic.
  19. I doubt I can do better than 12 minutes these days as my keyboard skills disintegrate. So this is as good as I get. Or as easy as the puzzle gets, perhaps.
    I hesitated over Prime as others did, but I think it’s in that collection that includes nones, sixt and compline.
    I think I might prefer my Strathspey as a golden liquid. If any distillery cares to send me a sample (I’ll need about a litre or so, for accuracy) I’ll venture an informed opinion.
  20. Somewhere around the 10-minute mark (whilst trying to increase my exposure to classics by eating a Caesar salad at the same time). I was slightly puzzled by thick as above and I’m with Galspray in not knowing the PRIME / OFFICE connection.
  21. So what is going on? A number of us seem to have suffered with double posting of a single message, which is great advertising but a bit tedious to readers.
  22. ….but I was born in the spa town and brought up in a village only 6 miles away. I also went to school there but we only ever referred to it without the Royal. Tunbridge Wells, is, of course, superior to Tonbridge, just a few miles up the road! However the latter is a town and not an area. It is, though, the home of Judd School, sporting rival of my old school, The Skinners’ School. Both were founded by The Worshipful Company of Skinners. Tonbridge is, I believe, also the home of the great Olympian, Dame Kelly Holmes.
    My, I’m learning some new words! Yesterday we had rarefaction and contumacy; today we have hutment.
    I wonder if others looked at Fowler and thought first of birds rather than grammar.
    As show-jumping commentators might say of my performance today: “A respectable time, 19m 41s, but spoilt by a mistake at the junction of two clues thus giving 8 faults.”
  23. Solving at an unaccustomed time of the day and on an unfamiliar keyboard (a curvy ergonomic number that I *might* one day find faster) I suppose I should be happy enough with 8 minutes ish. But I remember a time when I sometimes came in faster than just 2x Magoo/Jason… Heavy sights heaved.

    3ac has come up loads in crosswords, and I knew I was looking for it long before I actually brought it to mind this time around. 18ac likewise…

  24. 18:53 so felt like a Monday. 1dn went in as soon as I saw Fowler. DNK TAW or HUTMENT but never doubted that they were correct.
  25. 9.00 and would have been in PB territory but for having to retype quite a few of the answers. I’ve previously used the iPad version a lot but I’m coming to prefer the method of entry on the club site.
  26. HUTMENT – another word disinterred from the archaic words graveyard. Is there an example of this word ever appearing in print other than in a crossword.
  27. 12 mins. I was off the wavelength to start with but sped up towards the end. I was too slow to see ACT OF SETTLEMENT and I may have been able to take a couple of minutes off my time if I’d seen it as quickly as I should have done. HUTMENT was my LOI after STRATHSPEY.
  28. 7m. On the wavelength today it would appear. HUTMENT unknown, and last in.
    Fowler wasn’t really a GRAMMARIAN of course, but we had ‘chest’ for TORSO yesterday so what the heck.
  29. If I remeber rightly, were not the Brownlowe’s of Hemel Hempstead something to do with the Strathspey Diamond Country Dancing?

    I was done in exactly 30 minutes with 1ac GAWP FOI and LOI 7dn PRIMITIVE.

    I was surprised that HUTMENT was not widely known.


    horryd Shanghai

  30. About 15 minutes. I solved GRAMMARIAN from wordplay, being unaware of the fellow, and the same sentiment for TONBRIDGE. HUTMENT appears clunky, and LOI was ATOP, nice clue but a device we’ve seen sporadically enough to jump out after only a little head scratching. Regards to all.
  31. Oh no! 40 minutes today (a breeze in my world) but at the last minute I replaced TONBRIDGE by TUNBRIDGE (since I’ve been in Tunbridge Wells but was quite unaware of the other place and above all of the other spelling). This was really something I couldn’t know, so I don’t mind too much, especially as everything else fell into place rather easily. Even though it was my LOI, I had no problems with STRATHSPEY since a long time ago I did do some Scottish dancing. Now I probably also prefer the golden liquid variety.
  32. 8:14 in a clean sweep, held up for a couple of minutes by FANCIER (with only the F in place to help me.

    No problem with STRATHSPEY as it brought back happy memories of my days with the Reading Traditional Step Dance Group. I totally agree with Jim that “all dancing is far more fun to do than to watch”.

  33. I managed to spin this one out for 31 minutes, held up after a flying start by TONBRIDGE (I hadn’t realised that there were _three_ towns in Kent – they really are coming on by leaps and bounds), ACT OF SETTLEMENT and ATOP. I spent a long time trying to see how ATOP could be related in any way to 16d.

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