Times 26535 – putting the wind up US?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I struggled to finish this one, a touch harder than usual I felt, with a couple of words (I confess) I had to go and check out having deduced, or guessed, from the wordplay. The RHS went in easily enough but the SW corner gave me grief for a while; overall around 40 minutes to finish and parse it all.
On reflection, there’s nothing too difficult here except some obscure vocab befitting a Mephisto, and one or two clues – 1a for example – could be candidates for the Hall of Fame.

1 PALEST – Well, least affected by the sun would be the palest. I had this beginning with a S at first, although I didn’t believe it could be SUNNIS, but once the P appeared and the penny dropped, I nodded with appreciation. PALEST(INIANS), half of Middle Easterners.
4 BEFITTED – If you don’t buy off the peg, you go bespoke, and have ‘fittings’; I should know, my Dad was a proper tailor. So you’d BE FITTED. D ‘suited’.
10 STONECHAT – D bird, one most common in crosswords. Once I had the answer biffed I decoded it: STOAT = animal, with CH(eck) after NE(st) all inserted, the (st) being ‘no way’.
11 DONNE – DON = academic, N(otabl)E; D writer. John Donne.
12 AMILDAR – I started with LIMA as a four letter SA capital, and (t)RAD(e) for limitless trade. Reversing both bits in one of several possible ways gave me AMILDAR, which fitted the checkers, and Wiki told me later it was an Indian factory manager or official.
13 RESCUER – RE = on, (CRUSE)* anagram of cruise with the I removed; D one saves. My FOI.
14 LORRE – Flynn perhaps = ERROL, swashbuckling actor, reversed gives you Peter LORRE, a pre-war thespian.
15 OGRESSES – OG = go, over; RESSES = Dresses without D(aughter); D outsize women.
18 INFLATUS – I knew the word FLATUS, perhaps it’s the opposite of this word, but groaned out loud at the construction here. IN FLAT US would be among the Great Plains… D inspiration, breathing in.
20 LUCAN – Not the vanishing Lord, but an ancient Roman poet from the Hispanic end of Nero’s empire; LUC(K) = endless fortune, + AN.
23 INVITER – No VIN involved, it’s our old friend IT = wine, inside INVER(T) for ‘turn up, shortly’; D party organiser, say. Didn’t much like this clue.
25 NEWGATE – NEGATE = deny, insert W(omen), D prison.
26 DYLAN – ‘Primarily’ = first letters of, Do You Like Alternative Names; D a Welsh one (name), as in D Thomas.
27 SOLDIER ON – don’t stop. The parsing here I think is OLDIE the magazine, perhaps a bit of an obscure publication for overseas solvers, inside SR for senior and ON meaning ‘taking regularly’ as in ‘I’m on statins’.
28 ROADSTER – Insert AD (bill) into ROSTER (list); D car.
29 STODGE – S = starchy starter, (DO GET)*: D &lit.

1 PASSABLE – PA’S = secretary’s, SABLE = fur, D likely to win approval.
2 LOOPIER – LOO = toilet, PIER = supporting structure, D not so stable. Potty, perhaps.
3 SPEEDWELL – Today’s plant is made from SPEED = drug, WELL = source. Economicaly clued!
5 ENTERPRISINGLY – ENTER = go in, PLY = work, insert RISING = rebellion; D with a show of resourcefulness.
6 INDUS – Hidden word in W(IND US)USALLY, D flower, river.
7 TONSURE – TON = not, sticking up, SURE = of course; D hair.
8 DREARY – Insert R (builder finally) into (READY)*; D flat.
9 CHARLOTTE RUSSE – HARLOT is your tart, inserted into (CRUST SEE)*; D dessert, one of those with soggy biscuits in lots of creamy calories.
16 SOLO WHIST – SO LOW = very depressed, HIS = fellow’s, T = little time; D card game.
17 INTERNEE – IN, TERN (bird), EE (empty EdificE); D person held.
19 NOVELLA – NO VILLA would be a lack of holiday accommodation, amend the I in villa to an E (dirE, replaces one); D little work.
21 CHARRED – D burnt, sounds like chard, the vegetable.
22 BINDER – RED (embarrassed-looking), NIB (writer), all reversed; D folder.
24 TONUS – TO NUS = interpreted by students; D tension. Not a word I knew but it’s common medical parlance for muscle tone.

62 comments on “Times 26535 – putting the wind up US?”

  1. Worked through this, but quite a few needed v. strict parsing and even then crossed fingers: AMILDAR, INFLATUS, TONUS all unknown until today, and only the vaguest memory of CHARLOTTE RUSSE (I went out with a couple of redheads, but never one called Charlotte). Thanks for the parsing of 27 ac. Are OGRESSES necessarily outsize? 36′, thanks pip and setter.
  2. Agree at the tougher end of the spectrum, taking me well into the 30’s. AMILCAR looked familiar until I realised that this is what Hannibal’s dad was called when he visited the East End. I did not think that TONSURE was hair; in fact, the exact opposite, being the shaved bit in the middle. Some biffed so thanks Pip for the explanations.
    1. You’re right, I did think ‘hair’ was a bit off beam, but ‘no hair’ might have been a giveaway. Being follically challenged, myself, I consider my ‘hair’ to include the wispy bits on top.
  3. After immediately getting 1a for a good start, it was all downhill from there. Far too hard for me this morning, mostly because of so many unknowns—the bird, the prison, the dessert, the magazine, TONUS, INFLATUS and more—though at least I built an AMILDAR and correctly assumed the poet.

    I thought I was improving at this game but it all seems to be downhill at the moment. Perhaps I’ll try the Quick Cryptic later.

        1. I think most sources will support you Matt. I was using “Lazy Cycling” as my reference.
  4. Same unknowns as Rob, plus STONECHAT for good measure.

    Given the ongoing battle between my Celtic-skinned family and the uncompromising Perth sun, I dismissed PALEST at first on the grounds that a pale person is MOST affected by the sun. But I guess that would be most vulnerable, not most affected. Still, it held me up for a while.

    Nice puzzle I thought. Par for me today. Thanks setter and Pip.

    1. I think you can say with equal validity that pale people are most and least affected by the sun, and the meaning is unambiguous without the need for context in both cases. Ain’t language great?
  5. Quite difficult but helped by Mephisto experience to get AMILDAR and TONUS. I also thought TONSURE was lack of hair

    Peter LORRE brings back some memories – Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Casino Royale. Mrs Jimbo and I watched Casablanca for the 100th time just last week – here’s looking at you kid!

  6. Ask not for whom the bell tolls. DNF, not knowing or biffing INFLATUS or TONUS, proving yet again that physicists are totally ignorant of life science. Did biff AMILDAR successfully. Errol Flynn is my all-time favourite Robin Hood as I apparently got so wound up in the film as a kid that people moved their seats away, so got LORRE. I knew LUCAN would turn up somewhere. A bit too hard a three quarters of an hour but enjoyable. FOI CHARLOTTE RUSSE with my love of puddings, particularly those with STODGE.
  7. 26:36 .. horrible struggle for me.

    Limped home with LOI LOOPIER, having spent a very long time trying to decide if there was such a thing as a LOOTIER. Maybe I wasn’t quite with it today.

  8. 12m. A puzzle that rewards experience, I thought, with some obsucurities that require confident wordplay-deduction (AMILDAR, LORRE, TONUS) and some words that are far more common in crosswordland than the real world (CHARLOTTE RUSSE, SPEEDWELL). I’m glad I remember INFLATUS coming up before because I’m not sure I’d ever have got it from the wordplay.
    1. My first pushbike was a Speedwell and I’m pretty sure Charlotte Russe was two years ahead of me at high school, but since then they seem to have changed meaning and been banished to Crosswordland.
  9. 47 min – started well, but came to shuddering halt about half time with SW corner blank, except for possible unparsed AFFLATUS at 18ac, though wasted a little time trying to make 11ac DANTE. Eventually got 19dn (after rejecting possibilities of OP & ERG for the little work and TENT for the holiday accommodation) by expecting a V from VIN in 23ac, which made it clear that 26ac wasn’t going to be -OR–, and rest followed once I realised that 22dn’s writer wasn’t a PEN. LOI was 18ac from wordplay, as INFLATES wouldn’t parse.

    Edited at 2016-10-05 10:29 am (UTC)

  10. A technical DNF here with far too many unknowns for a weekday puzzle. I think two of them not in the usual sources though I can’t be sure now that I checked them all, or bothered enough to look again. I won’t list the unknowns because they’ve already been covered.

    The Oldie has one of the best magazine puzzles, called The Genius, a title not designed to encourage the faint-hearted to have a go. Its companion concise puzzle is called The Moron, also likely to put people off. I assume this was to indulge the SOH of the founding editor (Richard Ingrams, previously of Private Eye) but he has departed the scene now and The Oldie is under new editorship, so time for a change perhaps.

  11. This goes rather near the obscure red line in the sand with amildar and Lorre I’d have thought; perhaps why they carried extra large signposts. Got there in the end, about 42 min. Pretty neat overall on reflection.
  12. A G Macdonnell got it right.
    “A Subscription implies that the Journal will be sent to the Subscriber until one of the three expires.”

    Edited at 2016-10-05 06:07 pm (UTC)

  13. Glad I wasn’t the only one to find this hard. Had done all bar the final six or seven within about 40 minutes then took goodness knows how much longer to finish it off. I counted five new words among this last lot and though I may have come across STONEHATCH before, AMILDAR and CHARLOTTE RUSSE were definitely unknown. Good to be reminded of Peter LORRE, one of my favourite actors of the ‘Casablanca’ era. Maybe Sydney Greenstreet for next week? Liked many of the clues, with the surface for TONSURE being my COD.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  14. I am an overseas subscriber to ‘The Olde’ – I used to be regular contributor before it folded – fortunatyely it’ did a phoenix’ and is still with us – good mag – weird theme-led crossword (Genius).

    DNF as I put AMIRDAR for 12ac. This was after an hour and it was the NW Front that held me up.

    6dn INDUS was not to my taste – ‘crushes’ for contains?


    FOI was 1ac PALEST which pretty neat.

    28ac ROADSTER made another appearance.

    horryd Shanghai

    1. The Oldie never actually folded although it came close to it, possibly on more than one occasion. As a result it changed from publishing fortnightly to every four weeks. It has one of the most strange subscription arrangements I have ever encountered. They charge for 12 issues yet publish 13 times a year so the month of payment rolls forward each year.
      1. Jack The Oldie offices in Charlotte Street did actually close in August 1994! After six fortnightly issues my column was terminated. John Sweeney was banned and the staff were laid off! Shortly after Naim took over and it moved to Poland Street.Its resurrection as a monthly began later that year.

        horryd Shanghai

        1. Thanks, I was vaguely aware of that but as a mere subscriber my only interest at the time was whether the magazine continued, which it did without interruption other than the change from fortnightly to monthly. What did you write about?
          1. Jack – The column was called ‘Collectors Corner’ a spoof on things philatelic. In 2000 it was released as a book – ‘The Unissued Stamps of King George VI’ (Murray Payne) a philatelic comedy. I also occassionally wrote about life in Hong Kong around the time of the handover.

            For Glug! Glug! Glug! (Malcom Gluck, when at the Guardian)I wrote a monthly blog for over three years as – Lau Fong Pi – shopping for food and wine in Shanghai.

            My philatelic column transferred to ‘Gibbons Stamp Monthly’ in 2008 and hasn’t missed a month since.

            Presently, I am almost finished writing a new book on Ian Fleming.

            horryd Shanghai

  15. I did this so long ago that I really can’t remember how it went. All I can recall is that either I was interrupted by a 17-minute phone call – and that seems more and more likely now that I’m sat in front of the PC at home with a Tetley in hand – OR I took 38 minutes and cheated to get the Indian fellow.
    1. ….. run by me again why you needed to bribe the Police Constable in your house with a pint of bitter?
  16. I did this while watching the baseball late last night so wasn’t paying super attention to it, but I was surprised to see my 14:30 still on the first page of the leaderboard this morning! Like most it seems AMILDAR and TONUS from wordplay – I thought the ERROL/LORRE reversal was a little cheeky. it’s not an unwritten rule, but I have a personal beef about clueing a reference with another reference and clueing an unfamiliar proper noun as an anagram, the former gets me on a lot of US-style crosswords.
  17. 22 mins. When PALEST went in as soon as I read the clue I thought it was going to be an easy one. Wrong. I finished in the SW with TONUS after INVITER, and I needed to trust my interpretation of the wordplay for AMILDAR and INFLATUS.
  18. All – I think you may be interested in a comment from the setter just posted on my QC blog of yesterday.

    Edited at 2016-10-05 12:09 pm (UTC)

    1. Charlie Hurley – I think I saw him play at Old Trafford in 1968 when the Holy Trinity were last together – 3-1 United. He then moved on to Bolton if I remember rightly.

      Happy Birthday Sir! And congrats to your realtive and his QC birthday special.

      horry Shanghai

    2. Thanks Chris. And while we’re on sport, I spotted on the BBC website the other day that TftT’s adopted slopestyle skier had been winning things lately. Good to see your lad is doing well.
      1. Thanks – 1.5 years to really get over the injury sustained in training at the Sochi Olympics but now up and doing, Just completed a UK tour to help inspire the next generation.
  19. I struggled for 10 minutes over the hour, finally giving up on INFLATUS, even though I’d considered it, but I was unable to see the parsing. TONUS went in from worplay with a shrug, LORRE was my FOI. AMILDAR constructed from WP. PALEST biffed from checkers as I didn’t make the connection to Palestine. Also biffed SOLDIER ON. Some tricky stuff here. Thanks to Pip for disentangling it.
  20. 18:56 so trickier than average but not a beast by any means despite the unknowns as they were generously clued (bar inflatus perhaps).

    I went down a few blind alleys on the way, trying to come up with a food course for the tonsure clue, a cathedral city instead of a pudding (see was the last word) and immediately thinking of Errol Flynn but not reversing him. One of the baddies in Stingray always used to remind me of Peter Lorre.

    1. Ha ha! Just found this on IMDB:

      “Surface Agent X-2-Zero is modeled on Claude Rains but his voice is imitative of Peter Lorre”.

  21. For the second time in about a week my ipad edition failed to render the crossword so I was reduced to a paper based lunchtime solve. As such, no timing but I did find it pretty tough. In particular, OGRESSES and INFLATUS were a long time coming. To my mind it feels like there have been quite a few of the swap one letter clues lately, NOVELLA being another example. No bad thing – these always seem clever to me.

    Good to see the setter deliberately use IT for wine again after someone moaned about it on here very recently!

  22. Yes, played 3 years for us with distinction and could have become Manager but his wife wanted to move back south. We got Jimmy Armfield instead.
  23. Ah! How I long for those days when the crossword was filled with honest clues about Boolean Logic rather than obscure medical terms and Indian managers.
    You may deduce I got a DNK today.
  24. About 45 minutes, but DNF because I’d never heard of INFLATUS, and looked it up. I considered the correct answer from the wordplay, but today it looked to me so nonsensical that I surrendered, especially after using wordplay only to reach AMILDAR and TONUS. I didn’t know them either, and a third total unknown seemed out of the ordinary. Better luck tomorrow, I suppose. Regards to all.
  25. Well this, as they say, is embarrassing. Having avoided “arigdar” at 1ac on the grounds that I had a vague notion that Riga was perhaps not in South America, I threw in “inflates” at 18ac.
  26. Yes, quite hard, but at least I finished after a slow start and (unusually) in under an hour (just). Lots of unknowns (STONECHAT, AMILDAR, INFLATUS, LUCAN, STODGE, SPEEDWELL, even SOLO WHIST) but also lots of good wordplay to help out.
  27. 11:22 for me, helped by knowing all the vocabulary.

    I can’t say I enjoyed it all that much (not much humour). However, as Casablanca is probably my favourite film of all time, I did like the LORRE clue, which I don’t recall coming across before).

  28. A very DNF today – not enough time or energy. Managed SE corner and not much else. Thanks for/to the blog though I was able to spend a few minutes appreciating some fine cluing and one or two very obscure words. 🙂

    Edited at 2016-10-05 11:07 pm (UTC)

  29. Will someone please put me out of my misery. Why is “the Great Plains” “flat” (in the singular too!)? (It’s good to be able to say “Why is the Great Plains”!)
    1. It’s a very clunky clue for the required definition of INSPIRATION. The whole phrase “Among the great plains?” is interpreted as “In flat us?” ie we are in the flat, we are among the great plains. I couldn’t see it until Pip pointed it out in the blog.

      Edited at 2016-10-06 09:03 am (UTC)

      1. I understand the explanation but don’t get the mechanics of the clue. “Inspiration among plains” I can just about see (but don’t like), but not “among the Great Plains”. I was surprised there wasn’t more discussion of this in the blog.
        1. I parsed it slightly differently, with US capitalised. My understanding is that the Great Plains (proper noun) is an area of USA, basically all the bits between the Mississippi and the Rockies. So you’re in flat US when you’re in the Great Plains.
          Very hard, and failed on the last TONUS.
          1. Aha – yes I see now. Thanks. (Didn’t know anyone looked at the blog after all this time!)
  30. PS can someone tell me why “Interstate” is appearing as the subject of every post I make – I put Inflatus in the “Subject” box. Thanks
  31. The amildar was under a lot of tonus at being unable to complete the crossword but then inflatus -and relief- arrived with the application of a cold compress infused with essence of speedwell.

    Edited at 2016-10-06 11:05 am (UTC)

  32. DNF today, outfoxed by the SW corner – INVITER, ROADSTER, BINDER and TONUS. On reflection, BINDER was the only one I was cross not get. Too many obscure words today – AMILDAR, INFLATUS, TONUS and one rather weird one INVITER (well, I ask you …)

    I expect to reach for Chambers when doing the Spectator, but not The Times, which I always insist (to myself) should be within the reach of reasonably well-rounded person, without resource to aids or even subsequent dictionary look-ups.

Comments are closed.