Times 26608 – in which I am forced to eat my old hat

Welcome to a blogger’s nightmare. I thought I had gone through this quite nicely in 9:22, then submitted and find out that I have one incorrect answer (there are two correct solutions in). I’ve spent the next five minutes or so poring through what I had and I cannot find it to save my life. Hopefully I’ll see it while writing this up, but please be warned, there is a good chance there is a very silly blunder in here somewhere.

Phew – spotted it – I bet I’m not the only one to make this mistake.

Despite not getting it all correct, there are a lot of fun clues in this puzzle!

Away we go…

6 SOLD: S(pain), OLD(vintage)
9 APPAREL: APPAL surrounding RE
10 SOMALIA: AIL(trouble) and AMOS(prophet) all reversed
12 BRIGHTNESS: the outside of B(artende)R, and an anagram of THE,SIGN’S
13 NIL: LIN(e) reversed, love in tennis is nil in footgame
15 ORDAIN: anagram of IN,ROAD – invest into a society or office
16 BLACKOUT: double definition, faint as in to lose consciousness
18 DICTATOR: ROT AT CID all reversed
20 CLOCHE: CLO(the), CHE – and not CLICHE which I had confidently and rather stupidly biffed, thinking there must be a dress that is a CLI??? – an actual hat
23 ACE: PACE missing P
26 HIDINGS: anagram of DISHING
27 BRIGADE: BADE containing RIG(fiddle)
28 WARM: W,ARM – you’re getting WARMER
29 PREHISTORY: HIS,TOR(eminence) in PREY
1 TEAM: remove the outside letters of STEAMY
2 EXPIRED: windows XP inside EIRE, D
3 PEREGRINATION: EG, and alternating letters in RaIn inside PER, NATION
5 EASTERLY: anagram of LATER,YES
7 ORLANDO: OO(spectacles) covering R(eclaimed),LAND. Funny coincidence – January 12th’s blog will be coming to you from Disney World in Orlando going there for a pre-school holiday
8 DEAD LETTER: Hmmm… spoonerism(ish) of LED DEBTOR
11 MUSICAL CHAIRS: SIC(so),AL(l) in MUCH AIRS – this is a terrific clue!
14 LORD HAW-HAW: WAH-WAH (wow, even the apostrophe works) and DROL(l) all reversed
17 COMPOSER: CO,M(agazine), POSER(puzzle)
19 CHEDDAR: hidden in lunCHED DARingly
21 CENTAVO: sounds like SENT and ARVO
22 CASBAH: CASH(ready) containing B, A(rmy)
25 VERY: CARVERY missing CAR

64 comments on “Times 26608 – in which I am forced to eat my old hat”

  1. … that this was a fair bit easier than yesterday’s Finals puzzle. I’m guessing right on the medium difficulty for a daily puzzle. So about 40 minutes while listening to some actual play in the Test Match. And particularly liked the A{r}VO bit of 21dn. (Though “avos” — as in avocados — have been in the news here lately too.)

    George … used every bit of software at my disposal to look up CLI??? for “dress”. Couldn’t find one.

    And of software: not too fond of proprietary names (XP in 2dn) in the daily. Not too fond of Windoze tout court for that matter!

  2. Damn, I went too fast and went for “cliché” too!
    LOI: Lord Haw-Haw. Only one I tried aids for, though those aids didn’t help. But I’d heard of him before, after all.
  3. Another cliche, and pretty sure I would never have figured it out if I’d been blogging, so I’m well impressed George. Similar trouble from not paying careful attention and writing Hah Hah not Haw Haw. I thought 13a was elegant. Thx setter
  4. CLICHE here too George. Everything else fine in 20 minutes or so. Totally fooled by that one. Regards all.
  5. Why *old* hat, anyway?
    “Hat” by itself would have been a typically terse Times definition. I’m sure “old” was added just to put us on the wrong scent. Yes, the cloche reached a peak of popularity in the Roaring Twenties, but there was a knitted version right here in this very apartment until recently (I don’t see it now with Laura’s other stuff). And Wikipedia says the style “enjoyed a second vogue in the 1960s. In the late 1980s, newly invented models of the cloche, such as Patrick Kelly’s version with a buttoned brim, made a minor resurgence. Cloche hats were also featured in the Fall 2007 collections of many designers; Elle magazine called the cloche hat the ‘haute accessory of the moment’ in its September 2007 issue.”
    (This reposting is an experiment. I do not know why my previous post, and its edit, were flagged as spam, and am trying it a little differently.)
  6. 11:18. Quite a lot of biffing this evening, so I’m glad I didn’t think of CLICHE or it would’ve gone straight in. For some reason my mind went immediately to actual hats.
    ‘Arvo’ is very familiar to me, and I suspect to most people in the UK. We do get a lot of exposure to Australian slang, and not just from soap operas.
  7. 20ac I initially thought of dress as a verb (CLOTHE)and then realised the ‘old hat’ was indeed a CLOCHE – thus CLICHE never entered the arguement.

    I think I’d rather die than go to Disney World. When they open ‘Trump World’ 20th January it will have a serious rival up in Washington. ‘Goofyland’ indeed.

    FOI 1dn TEAM LOI 22dn CASBAH

    COD MUSICAL CHAIRS WOD 14dn LORD HAW-HAW (William Joyce) another silly bugger born in America!

  8. The top half was easy, the lower half less so, especially the SE corner. No problems with the old hat, and Guy, isn’t it the setter’s job to try to deceive, whilst remaining scrupulously fair of course? And in any case “it’s hat” wouldn’t make any sense in the “story” or surface-reading.
    1. I wasn’t objecting to the misdirection. I found it fiendishly clever. The surface entirely depends upon the expression “old hat” with the sense of “cliché.” (Hmmph. On reflection, that should have been a tip-off that this wasn’t the hidden meaning.) Since CHE is the first (old… chestnut) answer that comes to mind for “Revolutionary,” the setter surely expected a good proportion of solvers to fall into the trap. Bravo!

      “Old” isn’t necessary to define the word, but it’s surely acceptable (“old” being a relative term). A clue without “old” would have to be a totally different clue. My tangent was partly inspired by the fact that the aforementioned Laura looks great in a cloche.

      Edited at 2016-12-29 08:56 am (UTC)

  9. Tumbled headlong into the cliche bear trap. At least I’m not alone in there.

    I did really enjoy this, especially the trickier bottom half where COMPOSER, CASBAH, CENTAVO and VERY all involved the dropping of a penny.

    Edited at 2016-12-29 07:52 am (UTC)

    1. Also fell into the cliche bear trap, which reminds me of the cartoon version of ‘We’re going on a bear hunt” shown over the holiday. I watched it with my daughter who was in tears at the end at the treatment of the poor bear. My daughter is 23.
      1. I have a few years on your daughter but I’m with her completely. I was mentally scarred at the age of 6 by being taken to see that notorious ruminant snuff movie Bambi and have tried to avoid watching such horrors ever since.
        1. Bambi – horrors is the word. It was shown at my first boarding school when I was a new girl aged 10. What were they thinking….
        2. The bear does not die. Having been befriended by one of the girls in the family he leaves his cave to be with them but the boy (obviously) panics and they run back to their house and slam the door, leaving the bear to go back to his wet and miserable cave by the sea. I am almost welling up just typing this.
          1. I can’t bear this (no pun intended). This the day after I found myself accidentally re-reading the heartbreaking death of Hazel the rabbit in a Richard Adams obituary that should have contained a spoiler alert … I swore I’d never read that again. Reading Watership Down is another childhood trauma I haven’t got over.

            Bambi’s mother, Hazel, now the sad bear in the cave … it’s all too much.

            p.s. although it does help to talk about it

            Edited at 2016-12-29 04:38 pm (UTC)

  10. 30mins, but with a careless perigrination (part-biffed). CLOCHE was biffed, too, as I never thought past the literal for ‘old hat’.

    LOI: LORD HAW-HAW, which was dragged from memory as a vaguely familiar name, but I had no idea as to what or who it was…

    1. Although William Joyce is the best known, the term LORD HAW HAW was applied to a number of propoganda broadcasters working for the Germans during the war. I’m not quite old enough to remember them but if my memory serves me well the film The Dirty Dozen contains a Hollywood imitation.
      1. Raymond Davies Hughes, who broadcast on the German Radio Metropole and John Amery were others – Amery was hanged for treason.

        American Fred Kaltenbach was given the moniker Lord Hee-Haw by the British media. Lord Hee-Haw was used for a time by the Daily Telegraph to refer to Joyce – creating confusion between the broadcasters.

  11. Bah homburg! Otherwise I’d have been moderately pleased with my just sub 17. Surely some Pacific island community wears the cli-cli?
  12. A touch of war time here with BLACKOUT as well as LORD HAW HAW. I do remember the thick black curtains that lasted for some time after the war was over.

    Never even thought of cliche just read the clue and thought CLO(the)-CHE and didn’t realise it was a current style – ignorance is bliss. Liked 11D

  13. Sometimes it helps not being as clever as you lot as CLICHE never even occurred to me.
    Also, being somewhat insular and not up on Aussie slang, I’d never heard of ARVO – like Guy I was expecting it to be an antipodean worthy. But unlike Janie, LORD HAW-HAW was actually my FOI.
    Nice puzzle. Lots of tasty clues. 22 minutes. Dead chuffed.
  14. 8 mins so I must have been on the setter’s wavelength. I can’t really argue that doing the puzzle at a civilised hour helped because of Monday and Tuesday’s failures. I saw CLO(THE) + CHE almost immediately and knew the hat so I never considered biffing “cliche”. BRIGHTNESS was my LOI after PEREGRINATION.
  15. An enjoyable puzzle. Went straight to CLOCHE, not being bright enough to think of CLICHÉ. Struggled with this at first but came home in 40 minutes. Penulimate in CENTAVO. We always called the afternoon AFFO in Lancashire. LOI PRE-HISTORY, aka my childhood according to my children. Unfair, even if I was living when William Joyce met his last at the hands of Albert Pierrepoint. Pierrepoint then ran the Rose and Crown along the road from us at Hoole. Last orders please.
  16. Was 20 ac ‘a bear-trap’?
    I think possibly not. I’m with Jimbo, Noddy and Mr. Borrows and his spectacular time!
  17. 27′ but wrong, invented CABASH and then couldn’t get 27ac. CLOCHE went straight in. A second straight dnf, 2017 must be better.
  18. Just shows that you can coast along almost indefinitely not knowing what a word really means. I thought it meant “bazaar”, as when Charles Boyer murmurs seductively to Hedy Lamarr “come with me to the church fete”. And I thought that DEAD LETTER meant a law “more honoured in the breach than in the observance” but I see from the OED that it has a couple of other meanings, as here. I’m another who never thought of “cliche”. A CLOCHE is also what a gardener puts over a frost-sensitive plant (or to protect it from Peter Rabbit). 16.18
    1. Interestingly, M Boyer never asked Ms Lamarr to “Come with me to the Casbah” in the film Algiers.

      However, he did say it in the trailer (for the film).

  19. After a week of disruption—much of it self-inflicted—to my solving, it’s nice to finish one within an hour for a change. 55 minutes, with most problems in the SE corner. I particularly enjoyed the penny-drop moment of CENTAVO, and for once I’m glad I watched Neighbours for a while when it first appeared.

    Also glad I didn’t think of “cliché” first, and that CLOCHE as a hat was still in my mind from an earlier appearance, I think.

    Edited at 2016-12-29 11:17 am (UTC)

  20. 39 mins but a cheat at the currency unit, where the Aussie slang defeated me. I’d come across it before – here, I’m sure – but had driven it from my lexicon, for which I feel rather virtuous. So a defeat that feels like a victory.
    1. Did you actually speak to anyone during any of your pilgrimages to these shores? Impossible not to have encountered the word “arvo”.
      1. Well, I spoke to Rodger Davis, who picked me up in a courtesy car on the way to the 1978 Victorian Open. When we got to the entrance he wound the window down and announced to the bloke on the gate “Player and caddy”. Became my Aussie to follow after that, of course, and always did rather well at the Open.
    2. Arvo was a complete unknown to me, perhaps because my various trips to Oz over the years only involved Sydney and its environs.
      1. Doubt that that would explain it Bigtone, as there’s little variation in usage across Australia.
        Perhaps the people you worked with were speaking “proper” to impress their colonial master!
        1. Thinking back, the main guy I used to speak to was a New Zealander but as I was paying the rest, you are probably correct!
  21. I did consider CLICHE, but dismissed it as I couldn’t get to half a dress from it. I then spotted the hat fairly quickly. Unfortunately I did the same as robrolfe and mombled CABASH at 22d, which made 27a impossible( I did try to justify ANILINE which has a ring structure, but gave up on that). I also changed CENTAVO to CENTAMO as I’d never heard the expression ARVO, and couldn’t decide between CENTIMO, CENTAVO and CENTAMO. I went with AMO as it’s PM down under when it’s AM here. The SE certainly did for me, with my 3 errors taking me to a 65 minute DNF. Otherwise a challenging and enjoyable puzzle. Thanks Setter and George.

    Edited at 2016-12-29 01:01 pm (UTC)

    1. John, you did better than me as it was a toss-up for me between centado and centamo. I did the sensible thing and cheated.
    2. 14:12 but another CABASH for 22d with a highly dubious AGITATE at 27a, so really a DNF. Not clever enough to think of CLICHE for 20a. 25d my favourite.
    1. Shortened version of “bought the farm”, meaning died. Most commonly used in a military context.
  22. …but that was with a lot of interruptions. Should have done it this arvo while I was home alone.

    Nice to have an easier one, thanks setter and George.

  23. The curse of the SE corner reared its ugly head again today. Could not work out CENTAVO within my designated hour.

    Time: DNF

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

  24. Very enjoyable puzzle (especially as it’s the first one all week I managed to complete correctly and within an hour). Never thought of CLICHE, and CLOCHE went in as soon as I discovered the revolutionary would be CHE and not RED or such, CLOTHE obviously being the dress (you couldn’t really halve any of the revolutionaries that came to mind). I particularly enjoyed PREHISTORY (after trying for ages to fit an HE for His Eminence in), but there were many other very clever clues.
  25. Back home late from foggy London, with Ryanair trumpeting “another on time arrival” … 25 minutes or so sitting in coats with a medicinal malt, trying to get the house warmed up from close to zero. Never heard of ARVO but managed all correct without understanding exactly why in a few cases, a biff-fest, although put in CLOCHE as clo- plus Che without thinking of any cliches.
    CoD 3d. Looking forward to Verlaine and normality tomorrow (if you can have those both in the same sentence?).
  26. 8:18 for me, picking up speed after another sluggish start.

    Fortunately I’d got going properly by the time I reached 20ac, and CLOCHE went straight in, helped no doubt by recalling a snapshot of my mother wearing one in the 1920s.

    I’m still waiting for someone to clue an Australian PM with reference to an Estonian composer.

  27. After failing dismerably at yesterday’s, I was quite pleased to get through this one in 24 minutes. Quite a few went in half-parsedly, and there was a little biffing along the way.

    I managed to glide over the bear-trap at 20ac without falling through the thin ice into hot water, and had no real problem with CASBAH even though, like Olivia, I thought it was a marketplace.

    As for DEAD LETTER, I’d only come across it in the context of a “dead letter drop”, as used by all the best spies to pass information to one another. I still don’t quite see how the clue works.

    Since this is the last weekday puzzle of 2017, I wish you all a Happy New Year.

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