Times 26565 – a brief distraction, ho hum.

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I’ll try not to rabbit on too much, but no parrot has ever been as sick as I feel. Aside from any personal losses, arising first from the Brexit vote and now from the most bizarre US election result ever, I fear for the future of the Western world for the next 4 years at least. A President elect who has publicly endorsed Putin’s goings-on in Ukraine, who thinks NATO is a waste of American resources. At least the wall builders will be happy.
As far as I know, this was not the second Championship puzzle* I was expecting (nice to see the Editor avoiding the predictable as well); on a day when I was up early and somewhat distracted, a straightforward solve like this was not unwelcome. 18 minutes watching the cricket as another distraction. The only clue I’d take issue with is 5a.
*EDIT Cryptic Sue below affirms that this was indeed the second Ch. puzzle identified as such in the ‘real’ paper but not online.

1 LOVESICK – (I’VE LOCKS)*, D in a sad state.
5 JASPER – Insert SPE(D) into JAR. D porcelain (?) my understanding is that jasper is not a porcelain made from fine clay, it’s a natural mineral like marble. EDIT although it doesn’t say so on Wikipedia, there is a second meaning – Jasper ware is also a kind of hard porcelain invented by Mr Wedgwood for cameos and the like. As many have observed below, my ‘understanding’ was insufficient.
10 NACHO – NAC = CAN reversed, ‘turning tin’, H = opener to hand, O = round; D a snack.
11 ARBORETUM – A RUM = a strange, insert BET then insert OR = men; D garden.
12 SOLITAIRE – SIRE = father, insert (L)OLITA; D game.
13 PROSE – PROS = advantages, E, ; D plain speaking.
14 IMPERIL – IMPERIAL would be like the Raj, remove the A being end of India; D put at risk.
16 TINSEL – TIN = can, SEL(L) = mostly be bought; D superficial glamour.
18 PROMPT – PROM = concert, P T = Piano, head of Tuner; D call for.
20 BOHEMIA – BOHEA is a trade name for a sort of tea from China, (yes I actually knew this, I drink a lot of leaf tea); insert M I for motorway; D somewhere in central Europe.
22 LOUGH – SLOUGH = swamp, obscure the S; D what they call a lake in Ireland, e.g. Lough Neagh.
23 PRONOUNCE – ME is a pronoun, add CE for church, D say.
25 CATCHMENT – CATCH = go down, as in go down with a cold; MEN = workers, T = beginning on The; D river basin.
26 EMBER – NOVEMBER is when bonfire night is in England, begin at the fourth letter; D what keeps fire in.
27 DIEPPE – DIPPER = pickpocket, drop the end, insert E(nglish); D ferry port, on the French coast north of Rouen.
28 TRANSEPT – (PATTERNS)*, D where there may be stained glass.
1 LANDSLIP – LANDS = gets, LIP = rudeness, D cryptic for fall in real estate.
2 VOCAL – V = vide, see, (L)OCAL = pub, not large; D singing performance.
3 SHOOT FROM THE HIP – Slightly amusing cryptic double definition, my FOI, D don’t hold back.
4 COAXIAL – COAX = convince, I, A = note, L = length; D like some conductors.
6 A DROP IN THE OCEAN – Another rather soft cryptic double definition; D very little.
7 PETROLEUM – PET = particular, ROLE = part, UM = stripped-down (P)UM(P); D oil.
8 RUMMER – Double definition, one = stranger, one a drinking glass otherwise Römer, or Roemer, from Germany or the Netherlands.
9 ABSENT – AB = sailor, SENT = transported; D no longer here.
15 PIROUETTE – PI = sanctimonious, ROU(L)ETTE = casino game losing L; D turn.
17 WATER RAT – (TREAT RAW)*, D creature on the river.
19 TOPPER – STOPPER = cork, cut the top off, D hat.
20 BOOSTER – Double definition, one being the first stage of a rocket.
21 PLACID – PLAID = tartan cloth, insert C for cold; D still.
24 NOBLE – NOBBLE = steal, delete one B = half-heartedly; D gold coin, as issued by for example the Isle of Man.

53 comments on “Times 26565 – a brief distraction, ho hum.”

  1. With television on, flipping between US election and cricket, and old dog refusing his morning constitutional because of torrential rain, this still fell into place in 25 minutes. I’ve never used nobble to mean steal, but it had to be NOBLE. DNK RUMMER but again it had to be. Commiserations to our US friends. Time to hibernate.
  2. 24′, had to force myself to carry on, seemed important to do so. Chambers has JASPER or JASPERWARE as a fine hard porcelain. Liked DIEPPE and SOLITAIRE. Am off to church now, to pray, and then to consider what to do. There are reasons to be fearful, but I am not going to live in fear.
  3. Easy puzzle and no problem with JASPER

    Fascinating election result particularly to a retired statistician. The media never reports margin of error in polls and once again its caught them out. When things are this close one must look at other candidates because in a tight race they matter. There was a Green candidate for instance who I’m guessing took votes away from Clinton.

    Will California now cede from the Union?

    1. Margin of error maybe. My guess is some people were reluctant to admit they were going to vote for The Donald, and lied to the pollsters. And more Democrats didn’t vote although they had expressed a choice?
    2. Actually, the media over here always stipulates the purported margin of error when they report a poll.
  4. Easy crossword, difficult world .. just in shock. Fascinating, yes Jim, as any car crash is
  5. I don’t remember much about the 2nd preliminary puzzle except for being grateful that Jasper ware had been on Mastermind the day before. I do, however, believe this is that puzzle, a fact confirmed by a message under the crossword in the dead tree version.

    Edited at 2016-11-09 09:29 am (UTC)

    1. Ah thanks C-Sue, I don’t have access to the dead tree version but did check the online one for a message although I usually print off from the Club site. Easier than last week’s I thought.
      1. I don’t normally see the paper but in view of the confusion, I went round to look at the copy in our ‘corridor of power’ waiting area to double check

  6. About 40mins or so with distractions. 18yo son put £100 on The Donald about a month ago so “at least I’d be happy whatever the outcome…”
  7. 30 minutes on the nail. SOED has Jasper aka Jasperware as having been invented by Josiah Wedgewood.

  8. is my excuse 35-40 mins not really concentrating as the US election results started coming just as my FOI in went in – 6dn A DROP IN THE OCEAN.

    It will be particulartly interesting how US/China and US/Philippines relations proceed from next year. Spratlys?

    A bad result methink but we can only hope he ‘Reganises’.

    Bohea I had not come across until I realised that this is an anglisation of pu’erh 普洱 the guandong is Bolei. This is black fermented dried tea sold in a ‘cake’, wrapped in waxed paper.


  9. As I recall, for me this was the least troublesome of the three on the day. Precisely clued, and nothing especially obscure apart from BOHEA, which is a very crosswordy sort of word, a bit like catalpa, say.

    I was absolutely aghast when I woke up to hear the overnight news: Alastair Cook wouldn’t have been out if he’d reviewed the LBW decision against him? Hard to bear.

    1. You reminded me of another Alistair Cooke.

      “As always, the British especially shudder at the latest American vulgarity, and then they embrace it with enthusiasm two years later.” Anyone for Farage?

      30 minutes for a straightforward crossword.

  10. Definitely Championship Puzzle 2 from the first qualifying round, so it seems there was a cock-up on the labelling front on the Club site.

    I think JASPER was my last in from the three puzzles, partly because I was unsure of RUMMER. This probably took me around 17 minutes all told.

    I noted at the time that after TACO in Puzzle 1 (last Wednesday) we had NACHO in this one. Viva México, I say.

  11. Got most of this except the NW and JASPER in half an hour, then stared and thought and stared and nothing seemed to emerge from my efforts. Finally threw in the towel after 55 minutes. This feels like a day for the throwing in of towels.
  12. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realise that I had done this puzzle before, but once I did I decided to push on and see how it went. I still struggled to remember a lot of the answers, but I finished it in 7 minutes (5 minutes faster than on the day) so clearly they were all in there somewhere.
    Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go and sell everything.
    1. “Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go and sell everything.”

      Heh. Probably, as they say, a day late and a dollar short.

      Don’t feel so bad (about the puzzle). I took at least 5 clues before I realised this wasn’t the first time I’d solved it.

      1. Just kidding. I learned long ago that when I try to do something clever in financial markets I generally find I have done something stupid.
  13. As an improver didn’t quite get jasper otherwise happy to get close to a finish. But overall a dreadful decision has been made – Cook should definitely have referred the decision. There was a clear margin for error there. On the other front that will teach the liberals to nominate a corrupt elite. If California secedes perhaps we can ask to join the Union; the world is a very small place after all
  14. Still stricken with this lurgy, and keeping one eye on the election results, so I wasn’t too unhappy with my time.

    Didn’t know the ferry port, and only knew “dip” for pickpocket, not “dipper”, so that one held me up for a while.

    COD to PRONOUNCE, I think. Thanks setter and Pip.

  15. A relief to settle to the puzzle, which I found a little tricky but got there in about half an hour. It somehow tells me the world isn’t necessarily a more brutalist place. But I can’t help feeling it is. When I think of the steady growth and advocacy of humanist values… At the very least the tectonic plates of civilisation have shifted a bit, with innumerable dangers.
    I like ‘go down with’ for ‘catch’.
  16. Comfort me with apples for I am sick. I’ll have a flagon this evening.

    Still all the laws of the universe haven’t been suspended – 2 good puzzles this morning, here and in the Guardian. And I’ve got a sheaf of catalogues to plan my 2017 garden, although I have a nasty feeling that all our various contractors in the Rhinebeck area went for DT. As long as they don’t come for us with pitchforks next spring…

    I’d forgotten that NOBBLE could mean steal – I always thought of it as fixing a horse race or bribing someone. Forgot my time. 16.27

    Edited at 2016-11-09 11:35 am (UTC)

    1. Olivia, if you want comfort, then we are still here, in England, five months after a similarly ludicrous vote. A little sadder, a little wiser (perhaps), and certainly a little poorer. So will you be. But still here
      But golly, hasn’t USA gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, in one fell swoop?!
      We live in interesting times!
  17. 38 minutes, with nobble known as something you do to horses or juries.

    Not as smart as Janie’s lad, but 12 months ago on my blog I predicted Trump to be the next POTUS. A trip to the US in 2003 (Cal and Ky) persuaded me that you only needed the right candidate to unleash the vast voting power of “Flyover Country”. As a kind of modern day De Tocqueville (very lite, of course), I felt a lot of people were, to paraphrase a 1976 movie, “as mad as hell” and waiting to do something about it.

    1. Though turnout numbers were well down this year weren’t they? So, “mad as hell”, but not quite mad enough to queue for ages to get into the polling station.
  18. Didn’t twig that this was a Championship one but if I had been there, I would have been very pleased with it. 17:14
    JASPER raised a smile. Amongst other things at Cambridge I hobnobbed with a few Organ Scholars and they introduced me to the composer Alfred Gaul. His organ compositions were so bad that the Scholars vied to introduce bits into their public playing. The words were not much better. One oratorio starts ‘Like jasper glow thy bulwarks . . . ‘
    Thanks pip for the blog.
  19. unintentionally stayed up to the death..severe collateral damage to the cellar.Nodded off and awoke fully expecting to find it was just a bad dream.Found this quite straightforward but glad I didn’t know it was from the comp 21 mins.Am already drawing up some sympathetic hard landscaping to solve the Mexican issue.Plenty of dry stone walling in the mix..fancy a bash Penfold?Ps can anyone enlighten me how 16d works in yesterdays Guardian
    1. It’s part of the Macbeth theme Toff. Life – is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
      1. I just watched my favourite American, Stephen Colbert, doing his magnificent sign-off from his election marathon. For anyone who wants cheering up, I recommend it – here
  20. Thanks all.Hadn’t thought of a Ha Ha sawbill nice one on the case.

    Edited at 2016-11-09 12:38 pm (UTC)

  21. 11.53 – Made me wish I’d cancelled the trip to the family wedding, but that’s just just part of the interesting tapestry of life. After yesterday’s “the woman in white” I was looking for another oracle in the entries for this one, and maybe something can be composed out of LANDSLIP, IMPERIL and WATER RAT (Republican candidate Ted Cruz: “Let me be clear: Donald Trump may be a rat, but I have no desire to copulate with him.”) but that would probably be pushing the inscrutable Oracle a bit too far. So the best I can do is to draw your attention to the two noises across the middle of the grid: PIOTUW and POTOOET, both highly suggestive of spitting.
    I both hope and fear this is the Last Trump.
  22. Thankfully not too hard. FOI LOVESICK LOI TRANSEPT COD PRONOUNCE WOD PIROUETTE. Somehow I didn’t manage to parse TINSEL and LOUGH. Cheers
  23. 20m for this so on my easy side. No unknowns and a vague memory of JASPER from previous puzzles. Thanks for the blog.
  24. I forgot it was Wednesday but only needed to get as far as writing in LOVESICK straight off before realising I’d done this before. On the day I reckon I teased it all out in about 12 minutes in a single session.

    Bohea well known from Wodehouse.

  25. Solved this one over one coffee in a café in Cheddar Gorge in 33 minutes. Needed more coffee to combat the excesses of last night, celebrating my daughter’s birthday! FOI ABSENT, LOI CATCHMENT. Didn’t know RUMMER or JASPER, but they had to be. Didn’t notice this was a competition puzzle even though I was using treeware. Also only knew Nobble as in a jury or horse, and Dip for the tea leaf, but it wasn’t a gigantic leap to get there. Enjoyed this a lot more than finding out the news from across the pond! Thanks Pip and setter.
  26. Solved in a couple of sittings. If my ex-wife’s father had not been an executive at Wedgwood, I’d never have known Jasper. It is that usually powder blue with white upraised images stuff. In fact before I knew anything about Wedgwood, I didn’t even know they made anything else, to me it wasn’t Jasper it was just Wedgwood.

    Didn’t know that sense of NOBBLE either, but it was obvious. I thought nobble just meant to hurt a horse or a person’s leg etc.

    Bit odd to have RUM twice in both ARBORETUM and RUMMER, meaning odd in both places.

  27. 11 mins so that’s the second of the championship puzzles for which I was on the setter’s wavelength. BOOSTER was my LOI after CATCHMENT.

    I was as horrified as most of you by the election result, but I have to say that his short speech after Hillary called him was pretty good considering the drivel he’d been spouting since he started running. There again, I’m old enough to remember Thatcher’s conciliatory “St Francis of Assisi” speech as she entered Number Ten for the first time, and look how that turned out.

  28. I found this one less easy than some of you did, getting there in 35 minutes. Perhaps it was because I was tired, having been woken in the small hours by the far-distant sound of 318 million Americans smacking their foreheads.

    I was held up by LOUGH, since I (a) had no idea of the Irish word and (b) was trying to squeeze an “s” and an “l” into a word for “swamp”, which was clearly a complete non-starter. Gave up and bunged in LOUGH with little confidence – pleasantly surprised to see it was correct.

    I have decided not to comment on the US election result, as most things have been said by others already. If I were to comment, I might mention that I had a monkey on the monkey to win, to ensure (like Janie’s daughter, above) that I’d be happy whichever way it went. I would also mention that anyone who believed the polls was mad – given the demographic of many Trump voters, if the polls said he stood any chance, it was inevitable he’d win. It’s deja vu all over again. But, as I said, I’m not going to comment.

  29. Sorry to be late but stunned into silence by US election result. I was doing the puzzle as I watched, so I really have no time to report, I have no idea how long it took me. Sorry also for my reassuring forecast from yesterday – never mind, and don’t listen to me in the future. Nevertheless, regards to all here, this forum being an island of civility in a suddenly very unusual world.
    1. We’ll always listen to you, Kevin. And it’s not as if you weren’t in good company with your prediction. One of the few bright spots in the whole prospect is that the soulless business of psephology seems to have become a dead duck.
  30. Oh dear! My brain is so addled these days that I didn’t realise that I’d solved this before until I read others’ comments. I thought it seemed rather easy.

    In fact I didn’t find it too difficult on the day, despite my nerves. It has a slightly old-fashioned feel to it so that it could have appeared as the easy puzzle in a 1980s Regional Final. As far as I can remember, BOHEA appeared pretty regularly back then.

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