Times 26637 – what the doctor ordered

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

I found this a nice, old fashioned sort of puzzle, an easy, steady solve in 20 minutes or so, ending in the SE quarter. There are a couple of words perhaps not in everyday use but credible nontheless. Some of the clues I think are only at Quickie level. No chemistry today and two easy bits of French but thankfully no poetry.

1 CELIBATE – CE (church) surrounds ELI (priest) and BAT (strike); D chaste.
5 DE TROP – PORTED = carried, reversed; D unwanted, French for too much, superfluous.
10 WATERMILL – A TERM inside WILL for final document; D driven by race. Clever definition.
11 STYLE – STY where swine lives, L E = empty life; D a way.
12 MESH – Me’s would be musical notes, H for hard; D harmonise, as in fit together.
13 ENGIRDLES – (GIRLS NEED)*, D belts, as a verb. Not an everyday word.
15 DISTRIBUTE – DI’s TRIBUTE would be a commendation from the detective inspector; D hand out.
17 SOON – OS ordinary seaman, reversed, ON = working; D shortly.
19 LEFT – Easy double definition.
20 BABY BOOMER – BABY for dwarf, BOOMER nickname fo a kangaroo, D one of seventy or so, like me, born in the baby boom after WWII.
22 SERENADED – SERENE for calm, D for days, insert AD for bill, D sang in the evening.
24 DUSK – D for Democrat, S in UK for succeeded in this country; D even. Silly little clue that took me a while and was LOI.
26 ELDER – WELDER = worker coming to join, loses its W(ife); D church official.
27 NAUGHTIER – Insert AU for gold, into (THE RING)*; D not so good.
28 TETHER – D bond; hidden word in STIMULA(TE THE R)EADER.
29 VERDANCY – DANC(E) = ball stopping short, inside VERY = extremely; D lush greenery.

1 COWL – Jersey COW, L(arge); D hood. My FOI.
2 LETTERS OF CREDIT – (FIRST L E DETECTOR)*, the I is removed: D promises to pay.
3 BURGHERS – GRUB = food, reversed, HERS = the woman’s; D townsfolk.
4 THINE – THIN = weak, E for drug; D for you, in the past.
6 ENSURE – ENSUE = result, insert R; D confirm.
7 ROYAL COMMISSION – D body that examines; soil is CLAY, reversed in ROOM = space, MISSION = assignment. RO(YAL C)OM-MISSION.
8 PLEASANTRY – (LATERAN SPY)*, D friendly remark.
9 SLIGHTLY – LIGHT = understanding, inside SLY = crafty; D only a little.
14 ADOLESCENT – ALES = drinks, insert DO = party, add CENT = little money; D youngster.
16 BOARDING – Double definition.
18 WOODSHED – WOOD for bowl, as in lawn bowls; SHED = given out; D somewhere to put your ash?
21 ENTREE – EN = Egyptian evacuated, TREE = plane, possibly; D course.
23 DEUCE – CUED = prompted, add E being the last letter of LINE, reverse all; D two.
25 ARMY – RA = artist, tipped = AR, MY! = gracious!; D host.

53 comments on “Times 26637 – what the doctor ordered”

  1. I think 1/3 or so of the time was spent on WOODSHED, VERDANCY, and DUSK (my LOI also). 5ac took a while, until I finally realized that _E was likely to be other than English. COD to DUSK, for fooling me for so long.
  2. Embarrassed to say that the one answer I didn’t get was the hidden word! I got distracted trying to fit “tie” into another word and was just re-checking that I’d not completely misunderstood the clue when my hour bell went off. D’oh!
    1. I have to own up, g matt, I had TETHER biffed in and the puzzle finished and only saw it was a hidden word when I came to write the blog and explain it. So don’t feel too miserable.
  3. 29 minutes, so another at the easier end of the scale although my last 10 minutes were spent on just 5 clues all in the SE corner.

    I needed to go back to parse several, including 5ac where I forgot to do so and missed the reversed meaning in the clue.

    I always think of the third note in tonic-sol-fa as “mi” despite Julie Andrews singing (and Oscar Hammerstein writing) “Me, a name I call myself”, but then “doh” isn’t “a female deer” etc through the gamut.

    Edited at 2017-02-01 07:52 am (UTC)

  4. I scraped home in a torrid hour.


    But I got bogged down in the south-east because of 20ac BABY BOOMER. I just didn’t equate baby with dwarf – are they synomymous? I got marooned on TINY.

    LOI 18dn WOODSHED WOD but cold comfort.


    1. Definitely something nasty in the WOODSHED, horryd and it held me up for ages too. It was no comfort, cold, or otherwise, to have missed TETHER as well. Thanks for the reminder of the book / TV adaptation which really spooked me when I saw it as a young ‘un years ago.
  5. I always thought I was a BABY BOOMER, but 70 or so? Not yet, M’lud. And still agile enough of mind to run this to earth in 13.10, a third low time (and second all correct) of the week. And that’s despite two (pretty dire) biffs at 16 BUILDING (putting up) and 29 DELIVERY (ball).
    1. Collins says “between 1945-55” which fits me and I guess you too, Z.. “70 or so” being towards the upper end but never mind, we will be 70 soon enough!
  6. This felt moderately challenging so I was surprised when I finished in my quickest time for a while. I suppose what made the difference was that I didn’t have any stragglers holding me up at the end.

    BABY BOOMER my COD for the sly definition.

  7. I always thought I was a baby boomer too, Z, but ONS use 1946 as the start date so I’m 3 months too old. It was the navy’s fault for giving my Dad Christmas leave. But then all the boomers’ heroes were also born too soon. Struggled today and limped home in 45 minutes, becalmed for too long in the SE doldrums. I thought of WOODSHED much earlier but had the wrong sort of ash setting fire to it before the penny finally dropped. Got DUSK early too, singing ‘fast falls the eventide’, the nearest I’ll get to the Cup Final. LOI VERDANCY. COD WATERMILL.
  8. Rather easy puzzle that caused no problems

    Trying to remember when I knew about these things I think the post WW2 baby boom lasted from 1946 to beginning of 1960s when contraceptive pill really came into widespread use

    1. Collins says 1945 – 1955 Jim but I’m not sure there is a precise technical definition.. we were lucky, I know that much
  9. Enjoyed this very much. I had ANON and DELIVERY for a while. I smiled at WATERMILL as I am staring at a mill race as I write but it still took a couple of minutes to register.
  10. Thanks for the blog.

    10a definition: why is a watermill driven by race?
    24a why does dusk = even?

      1. Is there a word for the cobbled descending channel which returns the water to the main river when it is not passing via the waterwheel/sluice gate? I have one immediately outside my kitchen window.
  11. Very steady progress but took an age at 5/6 have never thought of ensure as a synonym for confirm and blanked it even though the cryptic was obvious.Otherwise an enjoyable 25.
  12. Have we got no Yorkies on the site today? They’re always happy to share a joke. Always the same one too, ending in the punchline, ‘E, she were thin,’ a good fit for 4d.
    1. I don’t know if I count, being a Yorkshire resident but not a native, with one of two children born here. But as requested:

      Great news for insomniacs…

      Only 4 more sleeps until Christmas.

      A native American introduced me to his wife…
      “This is four horses…..”
      I said, “Wow, that’s a beautiful name, What does it mean….?”
      He said, “nag, nag, nag, nag”.

      A man takes his wife to a nightclub. There’s a guy on the dance floor giving it his all – break dancing, moon walking, back flips, the works. The wife turns to her husband and says: “See that guy? 25 years ago he proposed to me and I turned him down.” The husband says: “Looks like he’s still bloody celebrating!”

      I’m here all week.

      Edited at 2017-02-01 01:25 pm (UTC)

  13. 8:48 … one of those that flew in with more biffing than thinking going on, but some fun moments.

    Some interesting word pairs floating around the grid today …. burghers as an entree? Serenaded at dusk, and can you be slightly celibate (presumably while being naughtier behind the woodshed)?

    1. Yes I got a flavour of that there is also an unfortunate juggle of boarding,adolescent,engirdles,baby boomer.

      Edited at 2017-02-01 12:20 pm (UTC)

  14. I’ve been caught out in the past by MILLRACE as a crossword answer so this caused me no problems!
  15. 10:10. No problems today. I’m not sure I knew the word VERDANCY existed but it looked perfectly feasible.
  16. 8m 42s, so a fairly easy one for me today. I spent a bit of time at the end trying to work out if ‘bowl’ could really mean WOOD, and decided in the end that it had to, somehow. Also wasn’t familiar with the kangaroo nickname, but it couldn’t have been anything else.
    1. From the game of crown bowls where the large black balls are referred to as ‘woods’. The little white one is a ‘jack’.

      Edited at 2017-02-01 12:31 pm (UTC)

    2. Jimmy Savile’s partner in crime used to sing of Six White Boomers pulling Santa’s sleigh through the Australian sun.
      No unknowns or holdups, 16:27.
  17. Was awaiting Jimbo’s comment today – surprised he wasn’t more dismissive. Only held up by 12a trying to put 3 different notes in front of H my scrabble dictionary gives me EECH…
  18. 14:38 and 2-3 minutes of that must have been spent puzzling over my LOI, the blasted hidden. Like others I became fixated on TIE being bond and trying to put it inside or outisde something else. Tithee? Totier?
  19. About 30mins, then another few for ENTREE and TETHER (darned hiddens), then I gave up with 25dn left blank. Did try alphabet-running, but alas, galloped straight past it.

  20. Never thought of myself as a baby boomer – more of a mistake really. 38 minutes for this, but did it so long ago I’ve nothing to report, save my disappointment at celibate being defined as chaste yet again. Why have two words if you collapse the meaning? Chunter, chunter…

    Edited at 2017-02-01 02:31 pm (UTC)

    1. I had the same mild irritation about this but decided to keep quiet but since you started it….I agree!
  21. Went through this in quick bursts of productivity followed by long periods of scraping around for the next answer, eventually finishing in 39:30. FOI COWL. LOI DUSK, which took me ages to see. Lots of clues sent me galloping in the wrong direction until I reined myself in and reassessed the wordplay. I also was fixated on T_TIE_ until I saw the definition and then saw the hidden. 5a and 6d kept me guessing until a guess at ROYAL for 7d gave me STYLE(which I had been looking at from the wrong angle for far too long) and then ENSURE. There were lots of clues where I saw half of the wordplay straight off but had to wait for more inspiration before the penny dropped completely. An enjoyable offering. Thanks setter and Pip.
  22. About 45 mins for me. Raced through and then like others spend perhaps half my time in the SE on woodshed, verdancy, and army.

    Despite it being on the easier side (mostly) there were some nice clues and not a lot of crossword-ese.

  23. Not too happy with “thine” for “you”. I would take the former to be the possessive form, thus corresponding to “your”.
    1. I think it’s clued as ‘for you’. “Whose present is that?” ” It’s thine.”
  24. 19 mins. With the exception of TETHER I found the LHS straightforward, but for some reason I struggled with the RHS. ENSUE was my LOI after DE TROP, and it had taken me a while to see BABY BOOMER because I couldn’t think of the meaning of “one of seventy or so” for ages and my brain had misfiled the boomer/kangaroo connection.
  25. About 20 minutes but not much else to say today. ‘Bowl’ as ‘wood’ is new to me, but I see from comments whence it comes. LOI was TETHER because I didn’t see the hidden for the longest time, and the lure of fitting ‘tie’ in somewhere had me wandering in the darkness. But it came through eventually. Regards.
  26. 37 minutes, so quite easy, but with a few nice clues nevertheless. LOI was WOODSHED, as I couldn’t place the WOOD, but managed to convince myself it must have something to do with golf clubs. Thank you, horryd, for elucidating it. It also took me ages to see the hidden TETHER in 28ac. COD to DUSK, for “this country” and especially for “even”.
  27. DNF: had all but NE corner done in about 20 min, then with …R.P at 5ac, somehow got the idea that the enumeration was (4,2) and spent over half an hour failing to find anything to go with UP that made sense. Eventually made a guess, which resulted me in biffing ASSERT at 6dn and submitted, forgetting to check for typos, so a double-error one elsewhere. Not a good day.
  28. About 30m but all correct for once. It felt as though it was going to be more of a challenge on first pass but in fact I had no major hold ups. I thought there was some very good terse cluing in this so thank you, setter and of course our esteemed blogger.
  29. 26 minutes for me, which is about my annual average, but fast for these dark months. Someone, somewhere must have the wherewithal to create a plot of average solving time versus time of year – it would make for an interesting analysis.

    The south-right corner held me up for a good ten of those 26 minutes. I kept wanting to write in VERDANCY but didn’t see the parsing, and wasn’t convinced it was a word. WOODSHED was, I think, my LOI.

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