Times 26611 – Let there be music!

Solving time: 24 minutes

Music: Glazunov, Symphony #3, Fedoseyev/Moscow Radio Symphony

I thought this was going to be a really easy puzzle, as I raced through the top half, only to lose my groove as I started on the bottom. It wasn’t that much more difficult, but this setter likes to use words a little loosely, which caused me some difficulties, along with some clever definitions. I had to biff a few because I couldn’t make heads or tails of the cryptics.

Yes, there is now music in Connecticut. I have completed my move, and approximately 4000 records got transported 65 miles or so; not by me, but by very strong moving men. Each of the 35 boxes weighed 62 pounds. So far I have unpacked only the classical, but there is still plenty to play. The system sounds much better here because of lack of ambient noise, and I get much better detail at lower volumes.

So now for the blog, with a few cryptics yet to be resolved.

1 SYCAMORE, anagram of MAY SCORE, my FOI and quite obvious because the ‘ore’ is not broken up.
5 MARAUD, MA(RA)UD. Some knowledge of 19th-century English poetry is useful here, but not essential.
10 HEART OF DARKNESS, anagram of ADHERENTS ASK FOR, but I just biffed it from the enumeration and the first letter.
12 FEATHER, F(E)ATHER, a bit of obscure terminology for non-ballroom-dancers, but obvious enough from the cryptic.
15 DRAFT, D(R)AFT, a Nato alphabet clue. A ‘draft’ and an ‘outline’ are not exactly the same thing.
18 CORAL, CO(R)AL. I got this one wrong in a previous blog, and I’m not going to make the same mistake twice!
20 TOM THUMB, TOM + THUMB. It is evident that ‘hitch’ must = ‘thumb’, and ‘dogs’ means ‘comes after’, but I don’t quite see how ‘Tom’ = ‘woman of the night’. However, the answer seems correct.
23 NAPHTHA, NAP + H + THA[t]. I didn’t understand this when I solved it, but research has found that in horse race betting, a ‘nap’ is a tip that is highly likely to prove accurate.
25 SWANSON, SWAN SON[g], a bit of a chestnut.
27 SILENT, double definition, as the ‘P’ in ‘Psycho’ is not pronounced in English, although it certainly was in classical Greek.
1 SCHISM, SCH + ISM, which represents any ideology.
2 CHARACTER, double definition. I don’t see exactly what sense of ‘case’ is meant, but there are many to chose from..
3 METONYM, M(ETON,Y)M. If you biffed ‘metanym’, you should know that the Greek word for ‘name’ is ‘onymos’, and chopping off the first letter is not allowed. However, you are free to cut ‘meta-‘ down to ‘met-‘.
4 RIFLE, double definition, easy clue.
7 ALEPH, ALE + P.H., a brilliant clue with a very well-disguised literal.
8 DISCRETE, [lan]D + IS + CRETE.
9 HALF-TERM, HAL(F)TER + M. Some knowledge of the academic calendar in the UK is useful here.
14 ESTRANGE, [b]EST RANGE. Again, ‘estrange’ is not exactly ‘break up’, but they are close enough.
16 ADMISSION, double definition.
19 LATVIAN, anagram of VALIANT.
22 INSECT, IN SECT, a chestnut concealed only by a clever literal.
25 SHONA, S(H + ON)A. I never heard of it; more properly given as ‘Seonag’, which would allow you to recognize the Welsh and Irish cognates more easily.

41 comments on “Times 26611 – Let there be music!”

  1. … whizzed through this in a bit under 20m.

    20ac: TOM is slang for a prostitute. You can hear it in every other episode of The Bill.

    On that clue though: “follow” has two opposite meanings, as I’ve said here before. In this case it’s “dog(s)” which means that whatever’s doing the tailing should be behind (to the left of) that which it’s tailing. No one will agree with me on this, so I’ll shut up.

    Vinyl: glad you now have your precious LPs. Very envious of that collection.
    Our other esteemed Monday blogger (and other golfers) may like the pic here:
    Scroll down to “Best attention seekers” for the explanation.

    Edited at 2017-01-02 04:27 am (UTC)

  2. I too went quickly through the top half but staggered into the south east corner in 33 minutes.
    10ac is Joseph Conrad’s HEART OF DARKNESS originally a three parter in Blackwoods at the turn of the Twentieth Century.

    Re- 5ac MARAUD Come into the Garden Maud was written in The Vine Inn in Skegness by Tennyson.

    20ac TOM was Victorian Lunnon for women of the night – prossie – this is the London Times afterall!


  3. There’s quite a lot of tricky stuff going on here so I was surprised to find on completing the grid that I was within my half-hour target by 2 minutes. After my disaster on today’s QC (my first ever DNF), I needed this to restore my confidence. I didn’t know the militarist, the book or the dance step.
  4. Oh, dear. A new year but the same old brain. A perfectly respectable 15 minutes and a perfectly idiotic ‘Swannee’ at 11ac. SHAWNEE is quite familiar so I’ve no idea what was going on in my head unless it was interference from Gloria at 25ac.

    ALEPH is an absolute cracker.

    1. I, too, put in SWANNEE although I an well aware of the correct answer.

      I finished in 35 minutes after what seemed like a war of attrition.

      That’s one New Year’s Resolution broken already.

      1. On the plus side, I’m thinking we don’t have to worry about making that first mistake of 2017 any more. Pressure’s off.
    2. Loved Aleph …got it right off. I’ve always wanted to ask where you got your avatar,Sotira.
      1. I photoshopped it. But it’s a copy of a T-shirt I bought on a skiing holiday in France back in the 80s. I loved that T-shirt, but I lost it somewhere between the ski chalet and home.
        1. Whew! Just getting back after two Christmases (Eastern Orthodox as well) to say best of the new year to you and thanks for the explanation. The little guy in the jammies and nightcap really sums it all up. Nice job on the photoshop. Cheers.
          Bob in Toronto
  5. 10m, one mistake. I suppose ALEPH is either brilliant or not, depending on your knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet.
    A rather retro feel to this, with the long-forgotten screen star and old-style Tennyson quotation clue. I suppose ball-room dancing is bang up-to-date again these days though.
  6. 35 minutes with SILENT last to be parsed although already entered from crossers. A neat clue, a bit upmarket from ” …silent as in bath.” I couldn’t leave it thinking that our setter had mixed up his Anthonys, Perkins and Hopkins. I then went from Norman Bates to Norma Desmond in 25a. I’m giving COD ALEPH though, vaguely known but got through cryptic. LOI NAPHTHA from a mix of crossers, cryptic and the smell of mothballs. Really enjoyed this one.
  7. 16.09. Amiable offering. Good to be reminded of ‘H. of D.’, and my favourite tree.
  8. A twenty minute run through, sitting at the doctors waiting for Madame to emerge; no problems although didn’t twig the excellent parsing of SILENT until I read the blog.
    Just over a tonne of vinyl, vinyl1, that’s impressive, enjoy the tranquillity.
  9. Well, I found this quite tricky and managed one wrong to boot in my 45 minutes. Enjoyable puzzle – and anyway wasn’t Shakespeare the Swan of Avon? The Democrat in me demands a recount..or at the very least a good whinge.
  10. DNF with a desperately-bunged-in “harald” for 5a in my last thirty seconds. I knew neither MARAUD—though it seems obvious from “marauder” now—nor the Maud in question. Ah well.

    Still, pleased enough that I conjured up the rest in my hour, including the unknown General and the Hebrew letter, which was an excellent clue, I thought. Luckily I dredged it up from vague memories of infinite set theory.

    1. I tried Harald, too. My OED says “he, she, it harries” and I couldn’t convince myself that the ‘ignore the punctuation’ rule extended that far.

      Edited at 2017-01-02 11:34 pm (UTC)

  11. Completed in 26′, half the time of my QC dnf, would welcome input from others to the editors, do have a go.

    I have read, indeed studied, HEART OF DARKNESS, did not and still do not see the attraction. It became the source material for Apocalypse Now. ALEPH Is familar from mathematics, aleph null being the countable infinity, aleph one the first (?) uncountable one, and so ad infinitum. SHAWNEE good, didn’t we have PAWNEE recently? TOM is all over the Bill, as noted, but research indicates obscure, contested origins. Maybe it has grown through the medium of television, like much of the language in the Sweeney. ‘Come into the garden, Maud’ is as much of the poem as I know…

    Thanks vinyl and setter.

  12. Quite tricky, and what a lot of H’s. 21:09 with the same one wrong as Matt – thinking LAND girls for 5a. Rats! And I have even sung the song referred to in the right answer. At least I’ve learned something : “The Larand series consists of deep, well drained soils that formed in glacial till or glacial outwash materials derived from granitic and metamorphic rocks.”, as found in Jackson County Colorado.

    Edited at 2017-01-02 11:18 am (UTC)

  13. 12:58 and a big tip of the hat to the setter for the Leeds United reference at 1 across.

    Here’s hoping top scorer Chris Wood can bag himself a few against Rotherham today as it’s going to be a cold afternoon.

  14. A slow start before RIFLE prodded me into a spurt of inspiration and the NW filled up. After 33 minutes the job was done, with even the plant known and going in from the crossers from NAPHTHA and HUNTINGDONSHIRE! Didn’t appreciate the cleverness of SILENT until coming here. Smiled at ALEPH. Very good. Shrugged at the second meaning of CHARACTER. Liked MARAUD, being familiar with the song. Nice puzzle. Thanks setter and Vinyl.
  15. 7 mins. I must have really been on the setter’s wavelength for this one judging by some of the comments above. It was also the proverbial top to bottom solve with MARTINET my LOI after SHONA and INSECT.
  16. I was far from the setter’s wavelength and made a couple of initial fluffs until limping home in 17:08. Might have been a different story if MAUD and the title of the book sprang to mind after seeing the letters in the anagram, those were two of my last in and should have gone right in. Bring better brain tomorrow!

  17. Brain melt-down today. I think my parsing skills have departed with 2016.

    Got there eventually but it was like pulling teeth.

    Time: Forever.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

  18. 41 min, so not bad for me.
    Maud brought to mind Joyce Grenfell’s splendid riposte to Tennyson’s request. It begins:

    Maud won’t come into the garden,
    Maud is compelled to state.
    Though you stand for hours in among the flowers
    Down by the garden gate.

    Google it for the full version.

  19. Congrats on the move, vinyl.
    I found this tough, due to tricky clues, and my lack of complete confidence that I had the right meaning of all the definitions. 2nd January, and already one up to the setters.
  20. After another horribly slow start, I finally got going and ambled home in 8:59. The slightly old-fashioned flavour meant this was very much my sort of puzzle, so I should really have been a lot faster. Still, not a bad start to the year.

    HUNTINGDONSHIRE always reminds me of Sir Michael Redgrave reading the names of Huntingdonshire cabmen in The World of Beachcomber on TV many years ago.

  21. A late in the day solve in around 25′, held up at the end by the obscure (to me anyway) 7d. ‘Tom’ for prostitute has its origins in Cockney rhyming slang as a contraction of tom-foolery for jewellery, which they supposedly wore.
  22. Late to the party having been out all day but I just want to mention my melancholy at the loss after 900 years of that fine English county, Huntingdonshire. Now an anonymous part of Cambridgeshire thanks to the crass butchery of Edward Heath, may he rot.
  23. Hi, the Times Crossword appears in South China Morning Post 6 days out of 7, but for some reason it’s always a few months behind. (Sent out by slow boat, I guess.) There is also no match between the days of the week: today is Tuesday but this crossword was from Monday 2 Jan.

    So 27 minutes on a very jerky very fast bus is above average for me.

    COD was NAPHTHA: a coherent story, with multiple misdirections. Honourable mention to SILENT.

    Worst clue: CHARACTER: No-one even here seems to have any idea what that was about. Just a sinking feeling when one knows the answer, but has no idea why it’s right.

    Dishonourable mentions: HALF-TERM: the story confused me. How to parse it? I don’t know what’s going on, but it doesn’t sound very nice. ESTRANGE: not quite equal to “break up”. Maybe “separate” is better?

    Final point: HoD is an enigmatic book. I would prefer if the adherents were asking for a “travel book” instead. There is more misdirection and it’s fresher.

    Edited at 2017-03-21 05:07 pm (UTC)

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