TImes 26518 – flying fingers meet fat fingers.

Solving time : Well I checked it over and hit submit pretty briskly I thought – then checked the leaderboard, and I flew through this in 6:29 and had two mistakes. Gak! I loaded it up again and saw two very very very silly typos, though one phrase I knew I had to type about five times before I got it in correctly, or at least I thought.

This one is square on the nursery slopes, the clues are rather fun though, so if you have a friend who doesn’t usually do the crpytic, or anyone looking to try the daily from the quick cryptic, send them this way.

Added the morning after – seems I have overestimated the ease of this one, especially thinking that KEDGEREE, KED and MEADOWLARK would be familiar. I maintain it is a good puzzle for learning wordplay

Away we go…

1 CONFRERE: CON, then FREE containing R
6 BICEPS: sounds like BUY CEPS
9 CARESS: A with CRESS outside
10 CASEMENT: Got this from wordplay since I hadn’t heard of him – CASE(action) then MEANT(intended) missing A
11 GAIT: GAT surrounding I
12 MEADOWLARK: ME(Maine),A, LARK surrounding DOW (as in Dow Jones of the index)
16 GEEK: GREEK missing R
18 SITE: E.T.,IS all reversed – do you think it is crossword setters keeping the popularity of this film alive?
19 IRONSIDE: S in IRON(very hard),IDE – another one I got from wordplay
22 ACME: M in ACE
24 ET CETERA: TEC(detective) in ARETE, all reversed
26 RAISIN: alternating letters of aIlSa inside RAIN
28 KEDGEREE: KED(fly) then E inside GREE(d)
2 OSAKA: O(bviou)S, AKA(alias)
4 ENSEMBLE: double definition
5 EXCLAMATION MARK: EX, (book of) MARK surrounding an anagram of CON,AT,LIMA – the definition is the ! at the end of the clue
7 CAM: double definition – an eccentric cam is is an off-centre disc
8 PEN FRIEND: PEN(aquatic bird), FRIED containing N – this was one of my fat finger typos as I have entered PFN FRIEND
13 LEGISLATIVE: LEG IS then VITAL reversed, E
15 LEICESTER: (nutcas)E inside doctor LISTER also surrounding CE
17 COLLARED: double definition
20 EGRESS: OGRESS with the first letter changed to E. Somehow I made this into EGREES
23 MAIZE: I,Z in MAE West
25 EAT: how a Cockney may say HEAT

52 comments on “TImes 26518 – flying fingers meet fat fingers.”

  1. I had a typo of my own, ‘legislatine’. Biffed KEDGEREE from checkers and def, and 5d from (con at Lima); wouldn’t have come up with KED in years, and wouldn’t have twigged to the !, so these were time-savers.
  2. 17 minutes for all bar a few in the east, and another 21 minutes to grind those out, finishing with MEADOWLARK, where all I could think of for Jones’s partner was Smith! Oh, and Evans.

    KEDGEREE is tricky, given the unusual fly and the very much secondary (dictionary only?) meaning of the dish, which is usually rice, fish and hard-boiled eggs. Used to eat it a lot as a kid. 28a is made trickier by crossing with the cunning 5d, which I took ages to twig.

    So, not one I think for the neophyte – but we shall see.

  3. As so very often my solving time and experience was similar to ulaca’s with 5 remaining clues taking longer to grind out than all the rest of the puzzle. My total at the end was marginally worse than his, namely 45 minutes.

    The ones that gave me grief were CARESS and ENSEMBLE, ACME, IRONSIDE and LOI MEADOWLARK, with several biffed along the way, for example FLEET STREET which I got from principally the definition, with a little help from enumeration and a single F checker.

    George, you have a stray A at 3dn in your reference to 14ac.

    I’m very partial to kedgeree but although I’m aware of its origins I don’t tend to think of it as an Indian dish – do they actually serve it in Indian restaurants? I associate it more with breakfasts in English country houses in Evelyn Waugh novels and the like. It’s easy enough to make from scratch but I’d have expected someone would have marketed it long ago as a ready meal, yet I’ve never seen it as such.

    Edited at 2016-09-15 06:36 am (UTC)

    1. According to my reading of ODO, there are two unrelated meals, one European in origin and the other Indian (and with a more common more highly ‘nativised’ name).
      1. Yes, it’d need looking into. It’d be okay for a chilled meal with a shortish shelf-life but for a frozen meal one might need to compromise and have pieces or slices of egg as currently used in Chinese rice dishes.
  4. 12.29 but found a new (for me) way to fail by failing to see, solve or enter 25D. I like to think it wouldn’t have detained me long, unlike MEADOWLARK, CARESS and ENSEMBLE which took me 3 minutes between them. Had COAT instead of GEEK at first though I did think it a rather grand name for an anorak. I agree with George, a pleasant puzzle and a manageable step above the Quickie for the most part. Oh, and my favoured partner for JONES was DICKINS.
  5. 16:12 … very easy apart from the 4 or 5 clues that seemed to have escaped from a much harder puzzle. I was very slow on the uptake for 5d and for the definition in PEN FRIEND. MEADOWLARK is pretty tricky, too.

    I look forward to seeing jackkt on Dragons’ Den pitching his range of “Ready, Steady Kedgeree” meals. I think it’s a winner.

    Obviously the partner of Jones is Smith.

  6. I found this just a touch too hard for my hour, still going with MEADOWLARK and ACME to get. I like to think I’d have got them in the end. Glad I got EXCLAMATION MARK, at least; excellent clue.

    It was all good stuff, but I was let down by not knowing a lot of the words; not just IRONSIDE and CASEMENT, but also things like “hep” for “hip”, the fly, CONFRERE, ME for Maine (I thought it was MA, but I suppose that’s Massachusetts), arete, brut (though I think that’s come up before), and bish…

    At least I remembered Joseph Lister from the last time around!

  7. Finished in 20 minutes. I’ve always felt HIP rather than HEP. My wife though has me as a 16 across for doing this every morning. DNK KED but it had to be KEDGEREE. 19 across could have been Perry Mason in a wheelchair. Got MEADOWLARK from crossers before parsing DOW. COD EXCLAMATION MARK, although otherwise I couldn’t see why the sentence merited one.
  8. I found most of this straightforward but couldn’t see CARESS or ENSEMBLE for some time, which pushed me beyond the 20 minute mark. No official time as I had a typo.

    Perhaps Leicester appear in recognition of their return to form in Europe last night, which is more than I can say for Tottenham.

  9. 33′, at least ten spent on 12ac despite all the checkers, third alphabet check successful at W. Perhaps ME is an allusion to Me and Mrs. Jones, if so, very clever indeed. Dnk KED, and the same as most others with 28ac, unable to parse. Thanks gl and setter.
    1. I’m pretty sure that the Mr Jones of your heading was unaccompanied as he walked into the room, apart from by the pencil in his hand. No lumberjacks were with him. Neat idea about ME coming from the Mrs Jones song but I don’t think MEADOWLARKS are exclusive to MAINE.
      1. They aren’t exclusive to Maine. The “from” means that that the solution comes from the rest of the clue. I haven’t checked but I don’t think anyone has yet made the connection with Meadowlark Lemon who was one of the stars of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team.
  10. 13:24 with a high degree of biffing and sticking in from crossers. After all, what else could (11,4) starting with an E and ending with a K be? (Ok, ENFORCEMENT WORK). Knew the good (bad?) Sir Roger and Edmund Ironside and my kedgeree involves curry powder which is Indian enough for me. Slight hold-up debating HEPTAGONAL and PENTAGONAL but given my time compared to my usual 20+, I agree that this was on the easier side. I would have been quicker on treeware. Thanks George.
    1. >…
      >After all, what else could (11,4) starting with an E and ending with a K be? …


  11. 8m. Pretty straightforward, but there is a smattering of very crosswordy words in here (KED, TEC, BISH, CAM) that might slow you down if you haven’t been doing the things for a while.
    No problem with the definition of KEDGEREE. The dish is undoubtedly of Indian origin, even if the anglicised version served at country house breakfasts is quite significantly adapted from the original. In that sense it’s as Indian as Chicken Tikka Masala.

    Edited at 2016-09-15 07:58 am (UTC)

  12. 25 minutes and on the easy side.

    I always think kedgeree is best eaten in someone else’s house.

  13. 5 under par, 2 over for the tournament.

    I agree with Sotira…very easy except for the very hard bits. In my case the very hard included the unknown KEDGEREE, and the slow-to-spot ACME.

    COD to !. I like that sort of clue. Thanks setter and George.

  14. An easier puzzle for me, with a couple of tricky clues as mentioned, taking 24 minutes with FOI GAIT and LOI, MEADOWLARK as I, Alas, struggled to get past Smith as Jones’ partner despite having the O from BISHOP which seemed to preclude it. I had a couple of Biffs, so thanks again to George for filling in the details. I remember the fly now I’ve been reminded, but couldn’t drege it up myself. I did try to find (S)EDGE in the WP but it wasn’t there. I also only got CASEMENT from the wordplay. An enjoyable puzzle. It builds confidence when some of the clues just drop into place as you read them. EXCLAMATION MARK went in with a doh! after I got KEDGEREE.
  15. 16 min, so way under par, but still beaten by barracuda. At first, was thinking of possible EX-someone for 10ac, but 5dn put me on right track when I’d a few checkers. As SMITH clearly wasn’t going to work for 12ac, I only found DOW from the rest of the wordplay for the biffed answer.
    My LOI was 9ac, as for too long I could only think of COS for a salad ingredient.
  16. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one going for COAT – in fact, I even suggested it as a clue that a non-solver colleague of mine might get. Fortunately I got 8d after a while and realised my mistake.
  17. If you’ve spent time in Sydney then the obvious partner for Jones is David, Other than that, as Sotira says, it’s Smith and…. as in Alias… or Alas (Mel and Gryff Rees)
    I wouldn’t have said it was on the nursery slopes but my time of 28m 50s puts it on the easy side but that didn’t prevent me from putting ARMY (“service”) instead of ACME (“the culminating point”) Biffed both KEDGEREE and 5d. Never heard of a KED and made the connection between the ! and the clue in 5d. I like kedgeree; my wife cooks it from time to time.
    Incidentally, does anyone use BISH in everyday speech or is it just a Crosswordland favourite?

    Edited at 2016-09-15 12:53 pm (UTC)

  18. 9:06 with a few biffs. Meadowlark was last in. Once I’d discounted Smith the next partner to Jones that I came up with was Clarke (Leeds United strike force under Don Revie).

    Kedgeree unparsed – I wondered if an edger might be a fly of the J. R. Hartley variety but that didn’t explain how the leftover KEE equated to the rest of the clue.

  19. interrupted by an unplanned trip to a friends place to get a German Film ‘Absturz in Wald’ translated after my YouTube failed early in the day.

    This was the third roughly par (30) this week – fired my caddie after yesterday’s debacle.

    LOI 22ac ACME (not APEX!)FOI 2dn OSAKA

    COD KEDGEREE an Anglicised English version of Masala ‘Khichdi’ mentioned by Noel Coward in ‘Private Lives’ and Waugh in ‘Sword of Honour’. However, KED (a wingless fly) was unparsed.


    horryd Shanghai

  20. 6:16 on this quite easy but not aesthetically displeasing puzzle. Biffed in quite a few including 10ac, 19ac, 28ac, 5dn, 15d. Almost came a cropper with PENTAGONAL, but checked myself.

    I don’t think anyone actually uses the word “bish”, but Scott Walker did release an excellent/completely bloody unlistenable [delete according to taste] album called Bish Bosch on one of our labels a couple of years back…

    Edited at 2016-09-15 01:24 pm (UTC)

    1. You are probably/sadly too young to be a fan of Anthony Buckeridge’s Jennings books – he was always making a bish of things.
        1. I do actually remember that, now you mention it, but the last time I read any Jennings was when I was Jennings’ age, so “bish” was clearly lost in the mists of time.
      1. I think I put “Jennings” as one of my favourite novelists on my UCAS application form. If they knew I meant Gary Jennings, writer of incredibly steamy and gory historical potboilers and not Anthony Buckeridge, I might not have got into Oxford…
    2. Perhaps not quite the same meaning, but I think Harry Enfiled’s Loadsamoney character was fond of saying “Bish, bash, bosh”.

      Of course, when Harry E allegedly went bankrupt The Sun, originator of ‘that’ hamster headline, came up with “Bish, bash, bosh, I’ve lost all me dosh”.

      1. If my feet were held to the fire, I would associate Bish Bash Bosh with a youthful Jamie Oliver.
        Funny how things go. I probably have not thought about Jennings for 40 years but earlier today I had to explain why Mr Carter (Buckeridge himself) was nicknamed Benedick, from his closing Grace ‘benedicto benedicatur’.
  21. Yes, not too hard, about 20 minutes, ending with KEDGEREE, which was somewhere in a dim mental recess. I certainly didn’t parse it. And I’d say that only experience doing these things led me to see the ! right away, and the latest appearance of MAE clued as WEST. Not much else to say. Regards to all.
  22. A few seconds under 8 mins, which surprised me somewhat as I was late getting to it after working longer than usual to finish something off. Like several of you MEADOWLARK (with a nod to the Harlem Globetrotters) was my LOI, in my case after ENSEMBLE. Through many years of doing these puzzles words like KED, BISH, HEP and CAM came to mind immediately, and I had the required GK to help me get KEDGEREE, CASEMENT and IRONSIDE quite quickly.
  23. Please could someone kindly explain what ‘Worry’ is doing in 25 down?

    And thank you once again to all who post here – I’m gradually getting faster and generally more successful at solving.


    1. Worry can be a synonym of ‘eat’ and is the definition in this clue.

      “Something was eating him and he couldn’t sleep” and so on.

  24. Thanks for explaining KEDGEREE (Delia’s recipe is good), and CAM. I failed on ACME, bidding in ARMY (service).
    If I remember, CASEMENT had false evidence brought against him to over egg the case. Conan Doyle tried to help him.
  25. Mixed feelings about this one. At first look, all very opaque except a few: ACME, OSAKA, MAIZE (unparsed though) and COAT, though since 13d looked like it had to start LEG- there was summat up there. In the end much biffing was required, with LOI BRUTUS.

    The COAT/GEEK clash makes me wonder whether it’d be possible to make two different grids that used the same clues… Hm, maybe not 15×15, but 7×7 might be possible.

    1. Donk managed an amazing feat along those lines in the Indy a couple of years ago where identical clues with different answers were paired.

      The 225 blog is here and is worth a look: Donk blog

      1. Aha – thanks. Can’t find the puzzle/grid on Indy website – wonder if anyone has it so I can have a go.
  26. 7:23 for me, with the last minute or two spent trying to come up with MEADOWLARK, a word I found extraordinarily difficult to see from the checked letters (like others, I had difficulty partnering DOW with Jones).

    Nice puzzle – much more enjoyable than yesterday’s.

  27. I’m past 60 and rediscovered a Jennings in the loft. Highly recommended, a sort of PG wodehouse for children and has anybody better understood the mind and logic of a child which leaves an adult completely baffled? Started on Biggles too; action non-stop and Biggles was so shrewd nobody else stood a chance.
    Haven’t posted before, the site is great for improvement when i’ve not been doing xwords for long
  28. Once again I am the last here, and can only plead travel as an excuse – I find myself once more in Washington. I have to say that I am favourably impressed with the place, on the whole: it has several districts which are very civilized, and the people are friendly. Perversely, the exceptions are those people in what is demeaningly titled “the service sector”: their rigid adherence to corporate protocols of friendliness and courtesy make them quite terrifying. I would, just once, like to meet an honestly grumpy waiter or concierge.

    But I digress, possibly to defer mentioning that I DNF’d thanks to MEADOWLARK. As Tony pointed out, it’s fiendishly difficult to spot from the checkers (although insultingly clear now that I know the answer), and I wasn’t helped by assuming that Maine was “MA” rather than “ME”. Nor did I twig to the Dow-Jones connection; I could only think of Dad’s Army.

    CASEMENT was an NHO, and although I’d heard of IRONSIDE, I hadn’t appreciated that Edmund II’s son was named after the Raymond Burr character. Odd choice but that’s royalty for you.

Comments are closed.