Times 26560 – whirled of sport

Solving time : 10:50. Greetings from New York City, where I just got back from a rather good show (Kinky Boots). It’s the 9th innings in the final game of the World Series, and Australia is off to a rollicking start against South Africa in cricket. Oh and there’s a puzzle! I have the second best time right now though I don’t think there was anything particularly obscure in the grid though I wasn’t familiar with the phrase in 11 in that form.

Away we go…

1 MATHEMATICS: THEMATIC(describing motif) in M.A.’S
7 BUS: shorten BUST
9 DIALECTIC: DIAL(face) and then HECTIC missing the first letter
10 MERGE: ERG inisde ME
11 JANITOR: TOR(n) after JAN 1
12 RUN WILD: RUN(single) W, LD(lord) after I
13 RESIN: REIN containing S
15 APPARATUS: US(American) following APP and ART containing A
17 SHIPWRECK: cryptic definition
19 CIRCA: ACC reversed containing IR
20 REFRACT: REF(official), ACT(legislation) surrounding R
22 STROPHE: SHE(a ship) surrounding PORT reversed
24 IRISH: I replacing PA in PARISH
25 BEATITIUDE: BEAT IT(be off) then (r)UDE
27 EAT: (h)EAT
28 READING ROOM: READING university then ROM(computer storage) including O
1 MAD: remove I from MAID
2 TWAIN: W, I in TIN – strange to see W=with used twice in the same puzzle
3 EVERTON: NO reversed after EVERT(to turn out)
4 AFTERCARE: AFT(back) then an anagram of CAREER
5 INCUR: everyone would be following the IN CUR
6 SEMINAR: reverse RAN (t)IMES
8 STEADY STATE: S then TESTATE containing an anagram of DAY – a theory used in kinetics
11 JURY SERVICE: cryptic definition, though here it is called JURY DUTY
14 SKINFLINT: SKINT containing FLIN(g)
16 PAKISTANI: P(layer) then an anagram of ASIAN,KIT
18 WEATHER: WE(our team) then RATHER(more readily) with the first letter missing
21 TIBIA: A BIT reversed containing I
23 PLUTO: L in PUT, O
26 ELM: MALE reversed missing the A

57 comments on “Times 26560 – whirled of sport”

  1. The stuff string players use on their bows is normally called ROSIN which I parsed as S in [G]ROIN = tackle. Works for me!


    1. Hah, that’s brilliant, though a big stretch for “part of tackle”. Glad I didn’t think of it!
      1. It’s just that having at one time played the violin I couldn’t imagine the answer as being anything but ROSIN
        1. If someone had asked me “what’s the name of the substance you put on violin bows” I’d have answered ROSIN unerringly; but this clue made me come at an answer from a different direction… fortunately for me.
    2. My first thought was ROSIN as I scrape a fiddle and have a lump of rosin in the case, but fortunately I couldn’t make it parse and went with RESIN.
    3. I thought ‘rosin’ too! Other than that it would have been my first ever finished crossword. 🙁
      1. I was a ROSIN man too, better answer and perfectly parsed by dereklam and me. Why RESIN on a bow?
        1. If you listen to John Denver singing Thank God I’m a Country Boy, he definitely informs you that he’ll “Pull out the Fiddle and Rosin up the bow” 🙂

          Edited at 2016-11-03 06:30 pm (UTC)

          1. Not to mention the old Folk Club favourite ‘Rosin the Bow’. I’m sure there must be a version on You Tube.
  2. Chicago Cubs win the World Series for first time since 1908. I don’t really have a time since I kept stopping to watch. Odd that all 4 3-letter clues had a letter subtraction. Everything went in steadily.
  3. Chicago Comeback, Trump Comeback, Wiener Comeback!

    36 minutes with no particular goats being gotten.

    FOI 1dn MAD LOI 22ac STROPHE


  4. Another on the easier side where I got all but one answer within my target 30 minutes (only just) but then spent ages (well, 8 minutes) trying to come up with the LOI. In this case it was STEADY STATE that presented problems as I’ve never heard of it but managed to find the wordplay and avoid resorting to aids.

    13ac was a bit naughty because of its first unchecked letter. The substance applied to bows is undoubtedly a resin but in that context it’s called, spelled and pronounced “rosin”. I considered Dereklam’s alternative parsing leading to the correct word but decided it wasn’t good enough so opted for what I knew to be an incorrect spelling in the given context in order to complete the puzzle correctly.

    I had to reset my zoom to 90% yesterday to accommodate the badly formatted heading at the top of the championship puzzle (will they ever sort it out?) and had expected to return it to the customary 95% today, but it wasn’t to be. I needed to rest my eyes after reading through this set of lengthy clues!

    Edited at 2016-11-03 06:25 am (UTC)

    1. I admit that I didn’t think much about it while solving, but the bridle, saddle and reins for riding a horse are normally called TACK. I think TACKLE has a much wider meaning which includes almost any sort of sporting equipment as well as ropes and pulleys.


      1. That’s a good point about “tack” but SOED has this under Tackle: 6. The equipment of a horse.

        I must admit I had rude thoughts about that and laughed out loud!

        Edited at 2016-11-03 07:22 am (UTC)

  5. 16:04 … it would have been under 10 minutes had not this member of the TLS blogging team taken 6 minutes to think of TWAIN … my resignation is in the post.

    Most of the rest pretty much bunged in with, um, impressionistic parsing.

    1. I saw can = tin as a possibility straight off, but still took ages to get poor Mark, one of my favourite writers. His autobiography is more entertaining than any of his novels.. the only biog. I’ve seen not written chronologically..
      1. Yes, I’ve no idea why I had such trouble with this one, either. If I’d gone away and come back with fresh eyes, I’m sure I’d have bunged it in in a second or two.
        1. Yes it is .. hadn’t meant to imply that it wasn’t! But in general i do prefer fact to fiction anyway
          1. I read Part 1 of his autobiography not long ago and enjoyed it a lot more than, say, Pepys, your favourite(!). The Italian sojourn showed him at his best, I thought.
            1. Finally, I discern that you are just trying to tease me by puffing absurdities .. but I will not rise to the bait 🙂

              I too have only read Twain Part 1 .. my favourite bit was when he told President Grant to get a grip and pull himself together .. I will read part 2 the moment my county library obtains a copy, which so far it has not. Actual expenditure, is of course reserved for Samuel Pepys Esq.

  6. Had a go and got most of the answers, through a lot of biffing I admit.

    Did not know:
    ERG for unit of energy.
    Ld for Lord
    She for ship
    EVERT = to turn out

    Im not sure what the definition is in 14d skinflint. &lit?

    1. By my reckoning, if the clue contained only the first sentence, it would be an &lit – the whole clue being both the definition and the wordplay. But here the second sentence amplifies the clue, so it’s a sort of an &lit lite.
  7. Like Jack I finished all within my 30mins, but was held up by (MERGE and) STEADY STATE, which I’d not come across. Unlike Jack, RESIN went straight in, and any alternative never crossed my mind…
  8. 28 minutes, with nothing too much to frighten the horses and a fair amount of what Sotira calls impressionistic parsing, although ‘aftercare’ held me up as I was basically all over the shop there. In the right shop, but just not in the right section.

    Edited at 2016-11-03 08:32 am (UTC)

  9. We call it jury duty over here, and I don’t think I’m familiar with AFTERCARE, so those two took a while. But not many hold-ups elsewhere, and no complaints.

    19 under par for the week so far, but Friday’s have a habit of bringing me undone, so let’s see what tomorrow brings.

    Thanks setter and George.

  10. A little harder than yesterdays (forgot the timer) .. about 15 minutes; horses skittish but not frightened. Familiar with ergs, obsolete unit though they be, more usually joules these days.
  11. With no string to my bow, I happily put in RESIN, though eldest son’s violin phase of fifteen years ago did stir some memory of bow rosin. I’d have preferred it if he’d used a saw. Finished in under the half hour, delighted with the references for those of us who took the science stream:MATHEMATICS, REFRACT, ERG, STEADY STATE, APPARATUS along with a philosophical spot of DIALECTIC, all available in the READING ROOM. And FOI was TWAIN, but no, I don’t think I’m quite up for the TLS puzzle. Blessed are the meek, for they won’t get found out.

    Edited at 2016-11-03 09:39 am (UTC)

  12. Defeated at the last, with STROPHE still to get as my hour bell rang. It’s come up before, once I think, but certainly isn’t one of those words that springs to my mind even with all the crossers. Don’t recall seeing “she” for ship before, either, though living in a port city I’m happy enough with the wordplay now I’ve seen it…

    At least there was a nice balance of art and science here, with STEADY STATE being a write-in for me. Happy to have (eventually!) remembered DIALECTIC from a previous puzzle.

  13. I have to enjoy any puzzle that starts with MATHEMATICS and contains STEADY STATE, REFRACT and APPARATUS. An evolutionary mutation for the Times perhaps? We should be so lucky – we’ll be back to poets tomorrow!
  14. 17’12” today, improving through the week. STEADY STATE as a theory of the universe breaks down not least because there would be light everywhere if the universe were not expanding. Championed by Fred Hoyle, who also originated BIG BANG (which he opposed) meaning it as a contemptuous dismissive phrase. Fred lost. COD JANITOR. Thanks for the parsing of 7ac, I had BUS(Y) i.e. as in phone lines, office machinery etc. Thanks gl and setter.
  15. Seven and a quarter minutes this morning, my kids having graciously decided not to totally sabotage me on every front as they did on Tuesday. Nothing too tricky, though I entered INCUR with a shrug until the penny dropped after thinking the clue through properly afterwards. Fortunately it couldn’t really have been anything else!
  16. A carefully-clued puzzle which required precision (not my long suit). This will be why I, like others, took an unconscionable time to see TWAIN, overlooking the possibility of that easily-overlooked “with” actually being crucial to the wordplay, and instead persisting with trying to convince myself that there might be an author I’d never read called TIANN. No excuse, especially since, as George points out, I’d already spotted it once in this very puzzle. Enjoyable.
  17. Hey, would anyone be interested in a S&B-type meetup perhaps on November 19th? Perhaps in the vicinity of Clapham Junction, which isn’t quite Putney, but pretty close? If some interest can be drummed up I am happy to start organising…
    1. Sarf of the river again!? I’ve only just put my passport away from the last time. I’m certainly interested, but can’t guarantee I’ll make it.
      1. Would be very happy to consider other locations (especially if it comes with an excellent drinking establishment)… Kitty of Telegraph fame comes in by train from Woking, I’m south and keriothe was agitating for Putney, but we are all easily overruled I’m sure.
        1. I was joking! I don’t really mind where we do it. However I can’t do 19 November anyway, unfortunately.
            1. Can’t do that either I’m afraid. Generally my time is rarely my own at weekends so I’m unlikely to be able to get away.
  18. About 20 min: when I saw I had an error assumed it was at 13ac, with ROIN indicating ‘tackle’ somehow – but it was actually a typo at 8dn, which I did know. Thanks George for elucidating parsing of several clues where I only had a partial understanding of how they worked.
  19. Thought this was the easiest one for a while. However as I do this in my shop, I had too many customers to record a nice low time. I’ve always thought shops would be much easier to run if customers didn’t keep coming in…
  20. Found this one reasonably straightforward, although I missed the parsing for INCUR, thanks George, and whilst bunging in BEATITUDE, wondered idly why “be off” equated to “be a tit”. 35 minutes in all, with FOI MAD and LOI AFTERCARE, having tried “back” as the definition and ACE as the service, but not being able to account for the F in AFTERFACE. I liked dereklam’s definition of tackle and am glad, like V, that I didn’t think of it:-)A fun puzzle. Thanks setter and George.
    1. It might have been, as I first thought, BE AT IT, but trying to fit this to ‘be off’ proved impossible.
      1. It’s amazing how something can be right under your nose but you still can’t see it!!
  21. First completion of the week for this QCer (but getting better in a steady state sort of way). Lovely puzzle for those with a knowledge of science (although I managed a BA in mathematics). As well as maths and Mr Hoyle’s steady state we have dialectic, erg, apparatus and refract. All good for the reading room. If anyone wants an excellent layman’s guide to basic physics and quantum theory then Mr Feynman’s “six easy pieces” is well worth a read but could well make you wonder what the **** is going on. Thanks blogger and setter
    1. I got my Physics degree in 1967. It all comes back to me readily enough in language, Feynman diagrams, perturbation theory, eigenstates etc, but if I go into Wiki I can’t get the Maths any longer. Either the nomenclature has changed too much or it’s a young man’s game. I could once derive Maxwell’s equations, now I can’t even read them. But long live uncertainty and entanglement. Lose them and we lose our mystique!
  22. 15 mins. I struggled the most in the NW and like a few others it took a while to see TWAIN because I didn’t see W=with for ages, something which tends to be a habit of mine. Although I know of the rosin/bow connection RESIN quite obviously fitted the wordplay so in it went. While the explanation for (G)ROIN is quite amusing I don’t see “part of tackle” as an instruction to remove the opening letter. SEMINAR was my LOI after MATHEMATICS.
    1. If “part of” can mean “remove the last letter”, why can’t it equally mean “remove the first letter”? It seems to me to be quite agnostic as to which part is meant.
  23. 50m and all correct, with 20m in the NW not seeing the pesky writer. But all fair and clear enough afterwards! Some very amusing posts today so thanks to one and all.
  24. Once again, I start my comment with “Oh dear!”. Or at least with “Once again…”.

    I managed not to slip up on the RESIN, and it’s perhaps worth pointing out that rosin is simply a type of resin (and, I guess, a variant on the same word). No problem either with STEADY STATE and, given that it’s one of only two major theories as to the origin of life, the universe and everything, there’s really no excuse for not being familiar with it.

    I did appreciate the geeky clues and, since Feynman has come up, I would recommend his two quasi-autobiographical collections of anecdotes and adventures – not a lot of physics, but beautiful insights into the brain of a remarkable man.

    I got STROPHE only thanks to having seen it here before, and DIALECTIC despite never really knowing what it means (I always thought it was another word for “insulator”).

    But to come back to my “Oh dear!” – I completely blew 4d, having parsed the clue completely farce about ace. I ended up with “alternate”, which is about as far from the correct answer as it is possible to get, given the checkers.

    What I find particularly frustrating is that the only things preventing me from entering and winning the championship are my slowness and my abundant errors.

  25. Untimed tonight, but it’s just as well as I’m sure I was ridiculously slow. Just one of those days. I also tried to think of a reason why ‘roin’ should be ‘Part of tackle’, but as I couldn’t I just accepted that ‘rosin’ is a type of resin and entered the correct solution.
  26. Despite all the friendly maths and science, I never really found the setter’s wavelength and struggled to a miserable 15:46. The main culprit was AFTERCARE, which I just couldn’t see (though with hindsight it seems annoyingly obvious). At least I managed to avoid ROSIN (the obvious first choice from the definition, as many have pointed out).

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