Times 26511 – it depends who you know

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
No problems with this one today, although I needed all the checkers and the wordplay to get my LOI 25a. Do I hear Jimbo saying ‘vanilla’? A few people of note feature in the answers, so I suppose there is some GK needed, although the wordplay is clear enough. I’m not a lawyer (well, we’re all amateur lawyers) so the phrase at 14a was not a familiar one, but again the wordplay leaves little room for choice.
Not much more to say, on we go.

1 SPINET – S (son), PI (very good), NET (cricket practice); D one played.
5 FLANDERS – F(ilm), (SNARLED)*, D Fleming here, where the Flemish people live.
9 NINETEEN – D 20 – 1 (twenty minus one); take all the letters except the ‘tips’ or first ones, of oN wIN bET sEEN.
10 BREACH – B(ritish), REACH = arrive at: D split.
11 WALLER – W(ife), ALLER French verb to go, D jazzman, Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller.
12 TERMINUS – TERM = period, IN = popular, US = the compilers, D last part.
14 CHANCE-MEDLEY – CHANCE = coincidence, MEDLEY = mix-up: D fatal quarrel, a legal term used for a killing during a frenzied fight.
17 NEW AMSTERDAM – (STAMMERED WAN)*, D early name for Manhattan given by Dutch settlers, although it had before that been named New Angoulême by the Italian explorer Giovanni Verrazzano.
20 ANATHEMA – Hidden word in TIR(ANA THE MA)YOR, D detested person. The Greek ἀνάθεμα originally meant just “a dedicated thing”, then something dedicated to evil, and now just means something or someone to be disliked.
22 COTTON – CON for Tory, insert OTT (over the top, too much); D material.
23 CORTES – CO (firm, company), R(uns), TES(T); D conquistador, full name Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano, Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca, apparently.
25 MATABELE – MATE = have union, around ABEL the first victim; D an African; inhabitant or language of what was Matabeleland and now part of Zimbabwe.
26 HERACLES – HE, RACES around L(ake); D hero to Greeks.
27 DEEPEN – DEE for river, PEN for submarine dock; D extend.

2 PRIMAL – PAL for comrade, around RIM for border; D most important.
3 NEEDLECRAFT – NEEDLE = to vex, CRAFT = trade members; D fine working method.
4 THE BROADS – (DEBTOR HAS)*, D wetlands area, a touristy bit of East Anglia, for our overseas solvers info.
5 FANATIC – F = funny at first, ANTIC = old clown, insert A: D zealot.
6 AMBER – CH leaves CHAMBER; D may have trapped insect; amber being fossilised resin, sometimes insects of prehistoric times can be seen trapped inside.
7 DOE – DONE = finished, remove the N = some number; D female.
8 RECOUPED – COUP = brilliant move, inside REED = grass; D made good.
13 INDOMITABLE -(MILTON IDEA B)*, the B from book; D impossible to beat.
15 MEDICATED – C = clubs inside MEDIATED = negotiated; D having received treatment.
16 BEANPOLE – Double definition.
18 ERASMUS – ERAS = times, MUS = sum reversed = raised amount; D humanist.
19 GOALIE – Anagram of AGILE with O (ball) inserted; D &lit.
21 EASEL – WEASEL = traitor, behead him; D support for artist.
24 TEA – TEAT = milk dispenser, loses its end; D drink.

55 comments on “Times 26511 – it depends who you know”

  1. Curse my biffing! I saw the N_E_L_____T of 3d and bunged in NEEDLEPOINT. Which is why I’ve been staring at my two leftovers, 14a and 17a for ten minutes. Oh well. The rest fell in the hour.

    I managed to undermine myself here. It seemed quite an erudite puzzle to me, with a lot of the knowledge either unknown or right at my limits — MATABELE, CORTES (whom I know as Cortez, and only, if I’m honest, from a Neil Young song), ERASMUS, HERACLES, SPINET, and, as it turns out, the unknown CHANCE-MEDLEY. This led me to assume that I was just looking for a couple of complete unknowns, or perhaps some Latin, rather than that I’d shot myself in the foot, so I didn’t go back and check my crossers.

    Lesson learned, hopefully! Thanks for letting me off the hook.

    Edited at 2016-09-07 08:18 am (UTC)

  2. About 50 minutes with almost half of that spent on CHANCE-MEDLEY which I’d never heard of before. Otherwise nothing too obscure or devious. I liked the ‘One played…’ for SPINET and the &lit GOALIE.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  3. My wild surmise here was seeing 19dn as -O-L-E, knowing that the definition is nearly always at the beginning or end of the clue and typing in GOOLIE, before remembering that it was a weekday and that I should look again. 22:48 of pleasant enough solving, with a nod to my fellow College alumnus at 18dn.
    1. Great title to your post. Thing is, Keats was wrong, it was Balboa who ‘discovered’ the Pacific. No matter, it’s my favourite short poem of all time.
      1. The accepted view is that Keats (and the guy Chapman he sent it to) were very aware of Balboa v Cortes but the former did not scan! A further complication is what they were actually looking at. Darien is in Panama and if you sailed out of the western end of the Suez Canal, in which ocean would you be?

        Edited at 2016-09-07 11:07 am (UTC)

        1. The western end of the Panama (not Suez) Canal, as pedants know, is on the Atlantic Ocean. Darien, however, is some way from there, but allegedly it is possible to see both oceans from the highest point in Panama. Looking west and south from Darien you’d see the Pacific, looking north and east you’d see the Atlantic, so you make a good point. It’s still a great poem.
          1. Mea Culpa with Suez, obviously!
            PGWodehouse said ” I received an anonymous letter containing the words, “You big stiff, it wasn’t Cortes, it was Balboa.” On the other hand, if Cortes was good enough for Keats, he is good enough for me. Besides, even if it was Balboa, the Pacific was open to being stared at about that time, and I see no reason why Cortes should not have had a look at it as well.
    2. What! With your photo you didn’t think of COLLIE for 19d?!! I did but eventually decided on GOALIE.
      1. COLLIE came to mind but after discussing it with my very intelligent friend, we dismissed it.
  4. No need for a PRIMAL SCREAM. Zipped through today in quarter of an hour including a CHANCE-MEDLEY previously unknown. NETS is often plural but to have a NET is certainly used. Enjoyable but what am I going to do now. Cock up the Killer Deadly, I imagine.
  5. a quick solve except for the last three: 3dn, 14ac and 9ac, each of which took far longer than it should have..
  6. 17:13. COD to NINETEEN which seemed quite an original clue to me and took some time to get even with all the crossing letters in.

    LOI CHANCE MEDLEY for which I had CHANCE early on but had to wait to the last to complete this unknown.

  7. I wanted 10a to be BREXIT but at least its in a clue of the QC.
    Didn’t know the MEDLEY bit. COD to 9a for its novelty. Usual half hour.
  8. 25′, with ten spent on 14ac despite all the checkers, now know a new phrase to drop into conversation. Knew MATABELE from Joshua Nkomo and also colonial stories of my youth. Had EVE for 7d, debating Ian or Alexander for 5ac, for some time. Does PRIMAL mean most important, or does it really mean the first in time? Nice Wednesday puzzle, but would not have persevered with 14ac if I were in the pub. Thanks pip and setter.
  9. A familiar story here with everything apart from one clue solved within my target 30 minutes but failing to complete without aids. Actually I had guessed CHANCE for “coincidence” at 14ac and was left only with M?D?E? outstanding. But once again (yesterday was the same) the remaining word, or in this case expression, was one I simply knew I didn’t know and I couldn’t summon the energy to pursue it further. Given time I suppose I might have come up with MEDLEY for “mix-up” but still wouldn’t have recognised the resulting term.

  10. New Amsterdam it’s become much too much
    Till I have the possession of everything she touches
    Till I step on the brake to get out of her clutches
    Till I speak double dutch to a real double duchess

    I liked this one, which certainly had that indefinable Timesiness that I require. DNK chance-medley but fortunately there was no real possibility of finding anything else suitable. I’d probably have put in chance-muddle given half a chance, so I’m glad I wasn’t. Like our flumpy friend I think I liked NINETEEN best CODwise, write-in though it was.

  11. 15 minutes, with a few to convince myself about CHANCE-MEDLEY and the -CRAFT bit of 3d.

    CHANCE-MEDLEY seemed pretty unlikely to me but I couldn’t come up with anything else.

    Hard to find any modern uses of chance-medley, but there’s a notable one in a 1740 issue of The Champion (a.k.a. the Evening Advertiser) where Henry Fielding ‘tried’ the much derided poet laureate and infamous plagiarist (he sounded rather fun) Colley Cibber* for “Murder of the English Language”. In Fielding’s fantasy, the judge took pity and directed the jury to convict the hapless Cibber of the lesser charge of chance-medley. It seems to equate to “too daft to know better”.

    Nice blog on the whole episode here: http://flavorwire.com/510067/275-years-ago-the-man-who-murdered-the-english-language

    * Cibber was the arch Dunce in Pope’s The Dunciad.

    COD ….19 (anyone remember Paul Hardcastle?)

      1. Also the average score of the batsmen in any cricket team commentated on by Richie Benaud out there today. Extraordinary, that.
  12. Early solve in the Old Pier Cafe at Lamlash on the Isle of Arran as a prelude to tackling the Shiskine 12 hole course. 21m but a momble (is it?) of chance-midget so a DNF. Medley simply never came to mind and didn’t know the word anyway. I enjoyed the puzzle though as all of the other GK was in my head (though I confess to puzzling what the Bond man or the Penicillin man had to do with Flanders! Sigh!). As ever that doubt helpfully explained by our blogger, so thanks, Pip and setter today.
  13. Similar story to Jack, with a cheat on the homicide when the hour was up. Actually, I don’t know how I lasted so long. Dogged determination gets you so far, but in this case nowhere near the correct answer.

    Was it in the third round that McIlroy blew up in 2011?

    1. Don’t think so. Don’t think he shot 27 over par either.

      Now I almost feel bad about the comment I made to keriothe in yesterday’s blog.

  14. After yesterday’s obscure Shakespearean, Lord Amiens, I was rather hoping that the setter was looking for an equally obscure character – and I found him!

    Chance Madden is a 19 year old pro-baseball rookie from the Lincoln School ‘Elites’ in Kentucky – RHP 1B – for those of you who are still with me.

    He is sadly no relation of 14ac Chance Medley who I am fairly certain that Verlaine was out with, on the town in Welsh Wales, only last week.

    So DNF – rest of it as per Jack.

    FOI 20ac ANATHEMA COD 9ac NINETEEN (pity it wasn’t 19ac)

    horryd Shanghai

  15. 15:35, but I had to call a three-shot penalty on myself for looking up my LOI.

    Just froze with CHANCE-M_D_E_ in front of me. Never heard of it, but should have got it.

    That’s two under for the week. Thanks setter and Pip.

  16. The puzzle wouldn’t load for me today from the crosswordclub site with a ‘type error – cannot read property b of null’ message – then couldn’t get into the forum, getting message ‘The http://www.crosswordclub.co.uk page isn’t working’. That said ‘too many redirects’ and suggested clearing all cookies, which has had no effect.
    So I went to the copy of the puzzle on the newspaper’s site and completed it in 14:41 (half par!) but can’t submit to leader board, so don’t know how it compares with others. (I had heard of 14ac from somewhere – perhaps one of the Sunday barred puzzles – so no hold-up there.)
    1. Yes, the Crossword Club site was, and still is—I just checked—rather broken at the moment. Rest assured, it’s not just you.
    2. I got the same errors when looking at the club site earlier today and have requested investigation. Recent puzzles are also available on the website at http://www.thetimes.co.uk/ – Today’s Sections > Puzzles

      Peter Biddlecombe, Sunday Times Crossword Editor

    3. Same problem. I’ve just completed the Concise on The Times website. I’ll wait a while to see if the cryptic will come up. Till then, there’s always the flower bed that needs weeding….or a year’s worth of paperwork to file!
  17. 33 minutes with at least 10 of those on my LOI, CHANCE MEDLEY, which I hadn’t heard of, but luckily chose medley for mix up. My FOI was PRIMAL. A lot of good stuff here and I liked this puzzle. I particularly liked 25a where ABEL for first victim surfaced immediately and I already had the M from ERASMUS, and I’d heard of the tribe, so the answer went in as I read the clue. Didn’t twig the association of Fleming and Flemish, but saw the anagram and biffed from checkers. Thanks setter and Pip.
  18. 17 minutes on the Times site, with that weird message on the club site implying it’s your fault it’s broken because you haven’t supplied property b of null.
    Playing on the Times site is rather like playing at an ultra exclusive club for golfers with no scruples: would sir like to play that shot again? Perhaps sir would like the ball replaced two feet to the right?
    I did try CHANCE MUDDLE but, although it works perfectly fine with the wordplay it can’t be made to fit. Perhaps sir would like a complimentary drop? Muddle/mix-up might even be a better result outside of the 17th century setting.
    Stout Cortes/z always springs to mind when any of our brilliant robotic explorers floats a swimming planet into our ken: previously unseen bits of Jupiter this week, and a planet next door at Proxima Centauri (no pics yet) and I too am silent upon a peak in Darien. We live in a genuinely wonderful age.

    Edited at 2016-09-07 11:47 am (UTC)

  19. Apologies if I’ve missed previous mention of this – you omitted ‘indomitable’ as the answer to the clue.

    John Mac

    1. Corrected, thanks, my dodgy old laptop was in use today and deletes bits of HTML when I’m not looking.
  20. 12:45 with a ball in the water at the 14th where I, too, went with Chance-Madden. I fancied it was a famous English legal case concerning accidental homicide, wherein Arthur Chance killed Gladys Madden during an argument about the healing properties of carbolic smokeballs.

    I figured what was going on at 9 early on but had the tips at the wrong end and was wondering if wibeseet was a word.

    So one over and a 3 stroke penalty leaves me one over for the tournament and I might struggle to make it onto the course at all on Friday.

  21. I have just completed a few tests to confirm that the problems earlier today are now fixed. Unless of course, you know different …
  22. I enjoyed this puzzle today, including the general-knowledge elements.

    I’m guessing the setter is a fan of “Only Connect”: chance medley came up on the show a couple of weeks ago, and intrigued me enough to do quite a bit of reading online about the history of our criminal courts. (See oldbaileyonline dot org – fascinating.)

    I didn’t like 1 across; it held me up for quite a while – the fact (?) that cricket practice is called netS was discussed here quite recently.

    1. It’s probably the only reason I eventually worked it out — the bell “spinet” rang was so faint I think it may have been mentioned just the once by Mr Gorman, my pre-GCSE music teacher, about 30 years ago…
    2. I’m a great fan of this too, in spite of VCM’s wardrobe. Maybe that’s why it came to mind when the checkers were there, although I couldn’t claim to ‘know’ it or consciously remember the link.
    3. I think NET (sing.) is okay in contexts such as ‘We’re having a net at 2.30pm’ (= ‘We’re having cricket practice at 2.30pm’).
  23. Considering his photo, I’m surprised bigtone53 didn’t put in COLLIE for 19d. I nearly did. They do move around a bit, especially in response to commands!
    Thanks for the blog, Pip. I had never heard of CHANCE MEDLEY but I couldn’t see what else it could be. COD for me was NINETEEN. Très amusant. True Solving Time 49m 58s, the last 20 mins taken up with GOALIE and CHANCE MEDLEY.
  24. Had never heard of a chance-medley so guessed this not quite knowing what a midden was but hoping it might be right. Not a chance.
  25. 12 mins, the last three of which were spent on the MEDLEY part of 14ac, so a very similar experience to a lot of you.

    I may have missed the recent net/nets discussion because I don’t recall it. However, as an ex-cricketer at club level I really don’t have a problem with the way it is used in 1ac. I would always refer to “having a net” when talking about my own practice, and would always say “the nets” when talking about the practice session as a whole.

  26. All pretty straightforward again today escept for the medley part of the clue. I had never heard the term and gave up and came here. It is SO great to be able to do that. Nineteen was my penultimate answer and it took ages for the penny to drop having been superbly misled into searching my memory for an obscure betting term. Enjoyed puzzle and blog. thanks
  27. About 25 minutes, but I confess that after staring at CHANCE-M?D?E? for a few minutes I looked it up. I would have gone with ‘muddle’ for the last bit had I guessed, and I am not familiar with the term or even the concept. So I wasn’t going to get it anyway. Thus a DNF, that doesn’t have me kicking myself. Regards.
  28. DNF: completely baffled by 14ac. I thought of CHANCE but not MEDLEY, and the whole formation looked so unlikely that I gave up. I should probably have persevered, with the benefit of hindsight.
    17ac raised a smile because I am in the old version at the moment.

    Edited at 2016-09-07 04:58 pm (UTC)

    1. You were smart not too persevere. I wracked my brains for 20+ minutes over it, with all sorts of blank-filling on a sheet of paper and still managed an epic fail.

      My reasoning for the clue’s difficulty? MEDLEY is associated with music and sport, but not with law (unless you are into that particular industry). Very anti-intuitive for the educated guesser.

  29. 37 minutes today. What a shame! But for CHANCE-MEDLEY occupying the last ten minutes, I would have had my best time today (but there always is that devilish little last clue, isn’t there?). I of course also thought of CHANCE-MADDEN, which would have been a far more appropriate answer, but CHANCE-MEDLEY just seemed more likely in the end. And I got MATABELE only after I realized that CAIN was the perpetrator and not the victim; but with him the checkers didn’t fit. The rest was rather easy. I liked the clue for NINETEEN (and not much else).
  30. Drat. Like several others, I was clueless (apart from the clue) at 14ac. Of the several possible alternatives, I only managed to eliminate “chance-midget” on the grounds of implausibility. In the end, I mis-plumped for “chance-midden”.

    Like Hydrochoos, I enjoyed 9ac. I also quite liked 11ac. And now I would quite like a large G&T.

  31. 5:30 here for this enjoyable puzzle with what seemed to me a slightly old-fashioned flavour. I suppose I should be pleased to post a half-decent time, but for some reason it made me even more aware how much I’d slowed over the years, struggling to come up with things I’d have thought of instantly in my heyday.

    No problem with CHANCE-MEDLEY, familiar from various crosswords over the years. I was racking my brains to think where I’d come across it recently, so my thanks to Adrian Bailey for pointing out that it was Only Connect.

  32. Howdy! This article could not be written any better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I’ll send this information to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a good read. Thanks for sharing! dfbgcdafaeeedbek

Comments are closed.