Times 26575 – Drinks and canapes at four

Solving time: 38 minutes

Music: Shostakovich, Symphony #11, Stokowski/Houston Symphony

I thought this was going to be an easy one, as I raced through the top half, only to get rather stuck on the bottom. In the end, I had all but three after 25 minutes, but struggled to finish down in the southeast.

There was a fair bit of biffing in the course of my solve, and I still have to work out some of the cryptics for the blog. The only unknown was ‘jabot’, which was rather obvious from the cryptic. Some of the faster solvers may be able to post some pretty good times, but I would also not be surprised if others struggled. I felt on the wavelength for a while, before I lost the track.

6 JACOB, JA(CO)B, the piebald polycerate one, of course.
9 DEPOSIT, TI(SOP)ED backwards.
10 CABOOSE, CA + BOO + S[pars]E. In this usage, a ‘caboose’ is a cookhouse on the deck of a small vessel.
14 RYE, R + YE.
15 FAIR COMMENT, double definition.
19 RIP, R.I.P, double definition.
20 PERCHANCE, PERCH + A(N)CE, where the literal is cleverly disguised as part of the cryptic.
22 SCARF, SCAR + F. My LOI, as I was not familiar with the literal, but it turns out to be a type of joint from woodworking. Most solvers will have to trust the cryptic.
24 IWO JIMA, I + WO(J,I)MA[n]. An elaborate cryptic for a battle most solvers will biff once they get the first letter.
28 CLOSE-KNIT, CLOSE(INK backwards)T. I wasted a lot of time trying to fit in ‘toner’.
1 INDIC, INDIC[ating].
5 TEC, TEC[h].
6 JABOT, J + ABO[u]T..
8 BREAK STEP, B(R)EAKS + PET backwards. ‘Beaks’ are more usually judges.
13 ARCHIPELAGO, anagram of [g]EOGRAPHICAL, one that most solvers will just biff.
14 RECEPTION, double definition, the first a bit UK-centric.
16 MEGASTORE, anagram of MORE GATES.
19 REALIGN, RE(AL)IGN, referring to the Reign of Terror..
22 FLEET, double definition referring to the famous Fleet Prison.
25 ARC, [m]ARC[h]. I considered the hidden ’emo’ for a while, but didn’t put it


55 comments on “Times 26575 – Drinks and canapes at four”

  1. Much the same experience – although I did mange bang-on 30 minutes. I would also expect some fast finishes from the Time Lords.

    Also didn’t know the literal for 22ac SCARF.

    FOI 8dn TEC LOI 25dn ARC


  2. Four unknowns, but they weren’t the problem: doing things like bunging in ‘extraditing’ and being unable to think beyond Rio were.

    Not your average Monday, with even the great V spending an eternity on this one and then making a boob too. One wonders how the Magoos have done…

  3. Well, I biffed IWO JIMA, but from the 3d letter; I’m pretty sure I didn’t have RECEPTION yet, which I didn’t understand when I got it. ‘Knew’ JABOT, in the sense that it was lying around in the attic of my vocabulary, so that I must have come across it once. And of course I didn’t know the joint, but was sure there would be one in the dictionary if I looked. ‘like some videos?’ struck me as a feeble definition; why not ‘like some odors/neighbors/thoughts/….?’?
    1. The reference is to “video nasties”, a term I associate with the heyday of the VCR but probably still exists re other media.

      Edited at 2016-11-21 05:23 am (UTC)

  4. I was surprised to complete this in 35 minutes as there were quite a few unknowns of forgottens. “Indi” should have come to mind in connection with languages sooner than it did, but I was thrown by the C checker at the end. JABOT, completely unknown. SCARF, meaning unknown. CABOOSE, known only from Westerns in which it’s the guards van of a train and nothing to do with cooking as far as I’ve ever been aware. Struggled with ACONITE, my LOI. Really struggled to parse INCUMBENT until remembering CUM as Latin for “with”.

    14 across (For port, you must go by river) is cleverer than it may appear at first sight as RYE (one of the Cinq – pronounced “sink” – Ports) is situated 2 miles up-river from the open sea.

    Edited at 2016-11-21 05:39 am (UTC)

    1. ‘Snuff Movies’ were at the sharp end of the video nasties with Charles Manson in the director’s chair.
  5. About 45mins, but with ‘ido jina’ which seems just as plausible as IWO JIMA to one who’s never heard of the battle…

    Other dnks were less ambiguous in their wp: JABOT; SCARF; CABOOSE

    1. IWO JIMA is iconically remembered, particularly by ‘Old Trumptonians’, by the six American Marines raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi. The photograph was taken by Joe Rosenthal who won the Pulitzer Priae for it.

      The Iwo Jima Memorial, at Arlington nr. Washington, is supposedly the largest bronze statue in the world.

      1. I’ve got to lower the tone. Surely the first time most people of my generation ever heard of the place was from watching John Wayne in The Sands of Iwo Jima on b/w TV?
      2. One of the soldiers was Ira Hayes who later died in abject poverty——his fate was explored in a Johnny Cash song.

        The photo was apparently posed.

        1. It was indeed stated many times that the photo was staged but Rosenthal repeartedly denied the charge until his demise.
          Three of the six marines died within the the following two weeks of the event. Iwo Jima was simply horrific.
          1. Without wanting to star another war, a consideration of the losses that US troops had to sustain against an implacable foe sets the dropping of the atomic bombs in their rightful context.
  6. 21m. A bit hard for a Monday mourning, particularly in the absence of caffeine. Numerous unknowns to slow me down: INCUMBENT, CABOOSE, SCARF, ACONITE (although that rang a vague bell), JABOT. Mind you I had more trouble with some familiar words like COMPLAINING and PERCHANCE.
  7. 17:24 … just the right amount of tricky and a couple of traps for the biffer — I was itching to throw in ‘staff’ at 22a but got the better of the demon this time.

    I’m very familiar with the idea of IWO JIMA but can never remember how to spell it so I appreciated the crystal clear wordplay (even though it made for a bonkers surface).

    COD to the penny-drop moment and surface in EXTRADITION

    1. Hmmm… I chose ‘Donna’ for ‘female’. Could it not have been Mandy, Janet, Fiona or any other 5 letter girl’s name with an ‘N’ in it?

      1. Point taken. ‘crystal clear’ if you more or less knew the battle. If you were starting from scratch I can see why it wouldn’t have been so helpful.
        1. Came to this a day late and was amused to see your forward reference to the rather nice 7d in today’s QC. I agree that the clue here doesn’t quite exhibit absolute lucidity – I biffed it and then parsed retrospectively.
  8. 30 minutes with two to complete. I know SCARF but failed to think of it. I was stuck earlier on with a CLIFF or BLUFF type answer. Never heard of JABOT and CABOOSE but easy to get. Fair crossword but tough.
  9. Curses. I had a feeling there would be a lot of DNK today, when I put in the unknowns JACOB and JABOT alongside BREAK STEP built from the unknown meaning of “beak”. Still, managed to struggle on through most of it, including a few more unknowns, but the crossers of the unknown FLEET prison and the unknown SCARF built from the unknown “scar” were an unknown too far.

    On the whole, I feel quite unknowing today. Still, only two left at the end of my hour isn’t bad when the vocab’s pitched quite so far out of one’s reach, I feel.

    Edited at 2016-11-21 08:51 am (UTC)

  10. Hmmm, finished then realised I hadn’t filled in SCARF, which I may well have struggled with. Lots of GK required, and dnk JABOT, went in with fingers crossed. Nice change for a Monday. Thanks vinyl and setter.
  11. Early solve today and online so I know it was 43m. Found this tough going and had to ‘guess’ JABOT and SCARF. Also only vaguely aware of the galley and the sheep. All well clued so thank you, setter, and blogger for explaining my guesses!
  12. A good start to Monday, taking 35 minutes with a couple of biffs. Gordale Scar on my favourite Malham walk made me confident of SCARF without knowing this meaning, and JABOT had to be from the checkers. CABOOSE to me is an American word that can mean whatever you want it to, once you’ve made A FAST BUCK. My children are young enough to have been in RECEPTION. IWO JIMA came late but I knew it. I was in my mother’s womb when it happened so maybe I could hear what was going on like the narrator in Ian McEwan’s latest. A very enjoyable puzzle.
  13. Too many customers in my shop to record a time under 1 hour – in any case I didn’t have any of the problems experienced above until I came to INCUMBENT which completely threw me. CUM for with – obvious but never come across it before. I think IWO JIMA has been used at least twice recently.
  14. Biffed IWO JIMA, but got JABOT and SCARF from wordplay in 12:13 which is looking pretty good so far. I also knew NASTY from the Young Ones and the Damned song (aren’t they reforming and touring this year?).
  15. I set off at a gallop but was slowed to a crawl with the NE and SW full of gaps. I did manage to grind them out crossing the line at 35 minutes. NHO SCARF as a joint or JABOT, but the WP was clear. FOI, TEC followed by INCUMBENT. LOI, RYE, very clever! An enjoyable start to the week. Thanks setter and Vinyl.
  16. Just over the half-hour, after a quick start on the RHS. Then stuck for a few minutes in SW till I saw how to parse 20ac and finished in NW after resorting to aid – I’d been trying to make something of IONIC at 1dn, and had decided ESPARTO (to go with RIO) was no good at 2dn because of 1ac, and didn’t parse anyhow. Once Bradford put me right on 1dn. which I do know, but couldn’t bring to mind, all soon became clear.
  17. …over three sessions interrupted by tradies. Not sure what effect that had on my solving time.

    Similar unknowns to others, JABOT, SCARF and ACONITE, plus the required meanings of RECEPTION, FLEET and CABOOSE. Must have been clued fairly though as I got there in the end.

    Hopefully we’ll get Monday’s puzzle tomorrow. Thanks setter and Vinyl.

  18. I also finished on SCARF, not helped by the fact I’d gone for the unlikely REDEIGN at 19d. Fortunately S_D_F was so clearly nonsense, I didn’t waste too much time trying to fill the gaps. 9m 44s in all.
  19. 20 minutes to get all done except 17a and 18d, in the SW corner. For some reason was hung up on 17a including LIP for sauce, inside an advent word. Doh. Was so obvious once I saw 18d but took 10 minutes and a stroll around the garden.
    Liked RECEPTION as a DD, my daughter and son in law are both primary teachers so the meaning was well known.
    Really good puzzle, better than usual Monday job.
  20. Those with a taste for Turkey may want to watch out for an announcement tomorrow. Is all I’m saying.
  21. 17:27 and having failed to parse either of the 1s I was surprised to be all correct, particularly given the other “unknowns” dotted about.

    I biffed IWO JIMA from the last letter, thanks to the film.

  22. A hard Monday for aspiring QCers. Biffed (and crossed fingers) on several clues, mainly as per above. Guessed Aconite from my mathematics background. I’m sure it’s not unusual but it’s the first time that I’ve seen “cum” for “with”. Reminds me of Cockshott cum Petton in Salop (but I may be on sticky ground here). Excellent puzzle that has given me some new techniques. Thanks B and S.
  23. Yes, I didn’t find my way onto the wavelength for this one at all, sailing waaaay past 10 minutes and then ending, and coming a cropper on SCARF. The idea that a scarf could be a joint didn’t come anywhere near to the top of my mind and I ended up plumping for the deeply unsatisfactory STAFF as a “joint force”, with the rock perhaps being connected to the rocky isle of Staffa somehow.

    If you have to squint that much for something to look right, it definitely isn’t, but it was one of those puzzles where I wasn’t 100% sure about a few other things I’d put in; and when that happens I tend to just go for it. I don’t think I’d have put in something so tenuous in a puzzle where everything else had been to my complete satisfaction; I’d have trusted in the wavelength then.

  24. 17 mins and I’m glad I was wide awake for it. I had to put my trust in the wordplay for the same answers as others have already mentioned, and SCARF was my LOI after REALIGN (which I should have seen much sooner). I don’t mind relatively obscure answers/definitions as long as they’re fairly clued.
  25. Yes, Andy, I don’t mind obscure answers that are fairly clued either, which is a good thing because this one included several: JABOT, SCARF, ACONITE (LOI), this def. of RECEPTION (to the Americans, anyway) and CABOOSE, which to me is the last car on the train. No time to post due to distractions, but I think it was in the normal range. Regards.
  26. Correctly solved in 43 minutes after taking a chance on JACOB, SCARF, ACONITE, FLEET and RECEPTION for that matter, but I won all bets. They all seemed plausible enough (and usually that means they’re wrong). But I did successfully avoid all the traps, eventually at least. For EXTRADITION I first had EXPORTATION (after all, transPORTATION to Australia or so is no longer the done thing), but of course EXTRADITION besides being right is also much better.

    Edited at 2016-11-21 06:51 pm (UTC)

  27. This one took me an unconscionably long time, which I am therefore not going to disclose. I don’t even have the satisfaction of looking back at hard job done with perseverance, because in retrospect it all seems fairly straightforward. I suspect, though, that that is the mark of a great setter.

    My only NHO was JABOT. My first thought (sans checkers) was “well, it obviously can’t be ‘jabot’ because that would be silly, and I expect many solvers will have flirted with ‘jabot’ before seeing the right answer.”

    Still, I got there in the end. Given the deciduous nature of my brain, I’m glad to have finished.

  28. If you have never heard of it it is a damnable OCO – obscurity clued by obscurity.

    Edited at 2016-11-22 09:16 am (UTC)

    1. “In battle, I judge one captured by female that withholds name”.

      Sorry, but where’s the obscurity in the clue?

      1. Well, it’s fine in hindsight, but I wasn’t the only one who failed to parse it. Also, it’s only just excusable to use &lit styling (i.e. “in battle” rather than “battle”) for a straight clue.

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