Times 26596… or not?

Hopefully this is just a placeholder. I can’t seem to be able to log in to do the crossword. It is 9pm my local time (Eastern time in the US), 2am GMT. I’ll leave this for now and check back in an hour or two to see if it is working. If you’ve been able to do it, feel free to natter away in comments.

Update – got in at nearly midnight and finished in 10:31, but I don’t think I can write it all up right this moment. Look for a blog later in the morning. If you have a question about an answer, ask the hive mind.

Third time is a charm, right?

Away we go…

1 ST ANDREW’S CROSS: National symbol of Scotland – the Royal and Ancient Golf course of ST ANDREW’S with CROSS(bridge) beside it
9 LAYPEOPLE: anagram of ALLY,(th)E,POPE,
10 BIJOU: BOU(t) containing I,J
11 MOONS: the battlefield at MONS containing O
12 NUMERO UNO: anagram of ON,OUR,MENU
13 NAYSAYER: I think this is NAY’S(moreover’s), AYE(always), R
15 SIGNET: SIGN(as in the fish gemini pisces – learn your astrology, idiot), ET(out of this world)
17 SPIRIT: double definition – to move quickly away, and what you would put in the festive drink
19 BOOGALOO: B and then four O’s with GAL inside
22 A FAST BUCK: double definition, one slightly cryptic referring to money you might get in Lent
23 CYCLE: hidden in democraCY CLEarly
24 DOUBT: first letters in D(iners) O(ut) U(sually) B(ook) T(able)
25 LONG-EARED: GEARED(equipped), with L(large), ON(leg side in cricketball)
26 A FLEA IN ONE’S EAR: crpytic definition with the drun being the ear type
1 SOLOMON ISLANDS: anagram of LOOMS, then ON, I’S, LANDS
4 EXPUNGED: D, EG all reversed after an EX PUN
5 STEAMY: double definition
6 REBURYING: RE(soldiers) then an anagram of IN,RUGBY
7 SOJOURN: SOUR(turned) containing JO then N(noon)
8 PUT OUT TO TENDER: PUT OUT(vexed), TOT(young child), ENDER(one who cancels)
14 ARISTOTLE: ARISTO(noble) then TITLE missing IT
16 LOOK INTO: LOO(room where one can go), KIN(family), TO
18 IN A HUFF: I, NAHU(m), then two F’s(folios)
20 LUCERNE: LUC(k) then lough ERNE
21 NUCLEI: anagram of IN,CLUE

47 comments on “Times 26596… or not?”

  1. In California I could print it but not solve online. So I did. Pretty quick although I didn’t set a timer. Maybe 25 mins.

    BTW I think the fish are PISCES not GEMINI!

    1. It’s also a fairly ancient Christian symbol (Zabadak would know more about it than I do) so it works that way too. I’d forgotten about Pisces.
  2. … just after midnight GMT. Then the Club site seems to have died.

    But I enjoyed the puzzle: esp. the misleading “noble title” in 14dn signalling one of several philosophers the scientists should read.
    Could there be hints of Anax at 11ac (exhibits behind) and 16dn (room where one can go)?

    Thanks Paul … these Geminis were both about to point out our non-piscatorial nature (15ac).

  3. No problem with Club site, 6am GMT.
    About 30 mins, ending with SPIRIT (was thinking along the lines of ‘stir–‘ for a while). Had to parse SOJOURN carefully to get the first ‘o’ (not ‘e’). 5dn almost went in as ‘sweaty’ until the M put paid to that.
  4. After the write-in at 1ac I thought this was going to be easy but it turned out not to be so, especially on the east side where I took ages to solve 6dn giving checkers that opened up the intersecting answers. 50 minutes.

    Edited at 2016-12-15 07:01 am (UTC)

  5. I loved 11a, somehow made the day start on a good foot. LOI was Signet and that took me a good 3 or 4 minutes of my 24, was completely misdirected and as a Pisces it shouldn’t have. I live very close to 20d where it is locally known as Der Vierwaldstättersee

    Edited at 2016-12-15 11:18 am (UTC)

  6. A lot easier than yesterday for sure. 1A straight in and then “looms after switching” starting “s” at 1D was a second quick result. Good fun none the less. BOOGALOO a trip down memory lane – can just about manage a foxtrot these days.
  7. 18:41 … got in a terrible tangle with this, not least with a biffed St George’s Cross. Things like “room where one can go” always make one suspect the hand of a certain Sunday setter.

    Nice vocab selection in this, and it really looks as though there ought to be a message hidden somewhere around the crossing of the UN clue with MOONS and NUMERO UNO.

    Thanks George and the setter.

    1. Isn’t John Halpern (aka Paul) also known for this sort of thing? Of course this almost certainly means it’s neither of them.
        1. Indeed. I imagine them thinking ‘I wonder if I can work in couple of slightly risqué words in here, or perhaps a few arcane C of E references’.
  8. 1ac is a write in if you spot it. I didn’t, and couldn’t touch any of the top half until filling in the bottom, taking my time to 25.26. I was uneasy about both SPIRIT and SIGNET: in the latter, while I realise of course that “fish” is a plural, I’d refer to the sign as the fishes ‘cos there’s always two of them, and signet as the impression, rather than the impressor, was not familiar.
    Here is my recipe for eggnog:
    Do what you like with the eggs (an omelette would be nice), keep the cream for your pudding. Drink your preferred tipple on its own or (if of a lower quality) with a proper mixer. Yum.
    1. “Evenincks and mornincks I drink Warnicks – Advocaat!” Made in Holland since 1616.

      Do the ladies still drink ‘Snowballs’ back in Blighty?

    2. I read the clue to give “makes impression” as the definition. I agree about the eggnog. Cherry brandy, anyone?
  9. Simply forgot to time myself – a senior moment?

    Would guess around 45 mins so only just easier than yesterday for me. FOI 10ac BIJOU LOI 2dn ANYBODY.

    1ac was never going to be ST GEORGE’S CROSS – with Sandwich a tad obscure.

    COD 11ac MOONS (I thought it would be WIPERS!) WOD BOOGALOO

    Can’t smell Christmas Turkey?

    1. As another who misbiffed St George’s surely Sandwich is the location and the course the Royal St George’s or have I missed your point?Don’t think a club that hosts the Open would appreciate even a hint of obscurity.

      Edited at 2016-12-15 12:08 pm (UTC)

      1. Royal St George’s at Sandwich first came to mind but St Andrew’s and the Saltire (the oldest European national flag)had to be the answer and was in early.

        I know St George’s well, as it was Ian Fleming’s favourite. I think Goldfinger was shot there or was it Hunterscombe?

        1. I’d have guessed St George’s but having googled it was Stoke Park only a stone’s throw away from Pinewood.
  10. A relief to finish after managing a mistake on Monday and not finishing Tuesday or Wednesday. I’m still not sure whether the puzzles are getting harder or I’m getting denser. Anyhow, an enjoyable solve today with MOONS my COD for raising a smile.
  11. I had similar problems accessing the QC today. For some reason, it won’t download on an iPad until around 3:30 to 4:00 in London, and trying to log on to the Times on-line version caused problems (I started to solve and blog at about 3:00 am). I eventually got there, but it slowed me down, and it was about 4:30 before I got back to bed. As a consequence, I didn’t start this until I was on the train, and was about 75% completed by Waterloo. Total time about 40 minutes, which is average for the 15 x 15.

    Enjoyed the challenge. Thanks setter and George.

  12. Thought it was NAYSAYER straightaway but couldn’t quite parse it. Took my time PUTTING OUT TO TENDER too, always preferring to do things in house. We’d save pennies in a special envelope in Lent, not bucks! 35 minutes all in. COD BIJOU.

    Edited at 2016-12-15 09:56 am (UTC)

  13. I enjoyed the six minutes it took me to solve this crossword, not least because no 1 son got married beside the (lower of the two lakes with this name) 20a Irish lake back in October.
  14. Back to a more reasonable 40 minutes today. A bit slow getting going but then gradually hit the wavelength. FOI, STEAMY. LOI, MOONS which made me laugh out loud. Was held up with SOJOURN as I had carelessly biffed NUMBER ONE for 12a. Doh:(note to self, read the clue!). I was saved from entering ST GEORGES CROSS by already having EXPUNGED. Thanks setter and George.
  15. Took me 5 mins to put 1 answer down, then all went in very quickly until left pondering with (as above) SIGNET and SPIRIT
    As an avid golfer, fraid to say I just biffed 1A and didn’t parse it. At least I made it in about 45 mins. Nay for moreover a bit dodgy…
  16. 15m, slowed down by another bit of carelessness: a bunged-in NUMBER ONE. I think the B in ‘best’ somehow made it into my mental anagrist. The J in SOJOURN helped sort that out: a word starting S_J and ‘visit’ in the clue is only pointing in one direction.
  17. 50m all correct – pleasing after yesterday’s failure. Lots of good clues – last 25m spent on the NW where neither of the 1s wanted to yield. But eventually – osmosis perhaps? – the islands leapt into mind and I was away again. Struggled and still do to make NAY into moreover in any sentence I can think of. Correct solve all the more pleasing as completed on busy train to London KX where I’m off to see my lad’s latest offering at the Almeida press night – always a very nervous night for me! Thanks George and setter today.
  18. Late in the day, after a short round of golf and long lunch, took a gentle 40 minutes or so on this falling asleep at times. So much good stuff here, but signet held me up, I keep forgetting about zodiac signs. Not sure what a boogaloo was but either a dance or a Tolkien beastie seemed fair. Will save the turkey for tomorrow!
  19. No time to report because I started to drift badly almost immediately and then I fell asleep with only about a third of the grid complete. I finished it fairly quickly once I awoke, and like a few others SIGNET and SPIRIT were my last ones in.
  20. No time here either, since I finally got it off the Club site late last night US time, did some, but had to sleep. Finished in the AM with SIGNET, then SPIRIT. Even in the AM my mind wasn’t firing correctly, because the only way I could parse SPIRIT was WHISK(Y), ‘you’ needed, and what’s needed for eggnog. Bonehead attempt, but it convinced me anyway. MOONS made me laugh, I confess. Regards.
  21. 43 minutes with ST ANDREWS CROSS and SIGNET the last ones in. I took a few minutes to parse the course in 1 ac before I remembered that St Andrews is a golf course. Otherwise no real problems.
  22. I’m a day behind, of which 59 minutes were spent finishing this one. Given that most of you found this one to be only moderately difficult, I can only conclude that the damp weather has short-circuited my neuron and left me with a case of winter dumbth.

    I spent a long time with “St George’s Cross” at 1ac. On reflection, I have no idea if there is a St. George’s Cross nor (if there is one) whether it is any kind of national symbol. Nor (again) do I know whether there is any kind of a course known as St. George’s. Only after the north-left corner ground to a halt did I reconsider.

    I seem to be in good company in having SIGNET as my LOI. Is “fish” really a good indicator for “sign”? The astrologial sign is pisces, and “fish” (as a translation of, or graphical sign for, pisces) seems one step too far removed, at least to me.

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