Times 26643 – even the antelope was easy. But Doctor who?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

After a silly error on Monday and a bit of a struggle yesterday I was expecting a hard time today, but instead found this a Monday style puzzle. I completed it from top down in a mere 15 minutes, only 3 off a PB and probably my best for a blog-day when parsing has to be done. I see nothing too obscure either for our overseas contingent, except possibly 27a for the name of an upmarket London suburb.

EDIT: It seems I was spot on with the solving, but a bit wayward here and there with the parsing, in too much of a hurry. Note to self, the first explanation you think of is not necessarily the correct one.
1a I agree, the BP for bishop is odd, but can’t see how else the P arrives.
27a – I agree, the ON comes from ‘regularly taking’, not town (but defining Carshalton as a town is a stretch).
7d – Doh! How could I forget the good Doctor, although I do have a mental block about him as I disliked the programme (last time I viewed was maybe 40 years ago) and he recently refused to lend or charter me his tardis, meaning I had to use MegaHertz.
Apologies and thanks for the corrections, there again if the blog was perfect there would be less to comment on!

1 BIPARTISAN – Bishop BP engages I, ARTISAN is a craftsman, D involved with two parties.
6 MOWN – Sounds like MOAN = beef; D cut.
8 GOODWILL – Well you’d hope to get a good will from a solicitor, if you briefed him / her properly. D friendly feelings.
9 ANCHOR – Double def.
10 TAIL – A TAMIL would be a South Indian, disheartened give you the D bottom.
11 TUMBLEDOWN – TUMBLE(R) = cut glass, DOWN = sink, as in sink a pint; D falling into ruin.
12 LIGHTNING – Sounds like lightening = becoming more cheerful; D flashy stuff.
14 INGOT – GOT IN would be entered, so IN GOT is the other way round; D bar.
17 ELAND – ELAN means dash, D = back of beyond; D large beast. One of those antelopes I remember unlike all those something-boks.
19 ESMERALDA – Anagram of LEADS MA(N), with ER (hesitation) inserted; heroine of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
22 POLES APART – POLES are Europeans, A PART = a role; D very different. Our landlady here is Polish, she’s not very different, just very tall and very good at 5 languages.
23 STOA – STOA(T) = tailless mammal; D covered walkway.
24 PASSER – PER = through, outside ASS = donkey; D team player perhaps.
25 DEADHEAD – DEAD = late, HEAD = leader; D work on plant. My LOI as of course I was looking for the daily horticultural lesson. Full marks if you didn’t do that first.
26 ADEN – MAD MEN are crazy fellows; they dump their M’s and give us the port.
27 CARSHALTON – With the checkers and the word play you can pretty much guess the answer, even if you’ve never heard of this posh bit of the Greater London Borough of Sutton which used to be in the county of Surrey. CARS are vehicles, HALT for stop, ON = regular letters of t O w N. EDIT see comments below and above.

1 BAGATELLE – BELLE is a lovely, insert A GAT(EAU); D trifle, a small thing, or a piece of cake. Ha ha.
2 PROBING – PRO = for, BING as in Crosby; D investigator’s work.
3 TWISTING – TWI(N) = double almost, STING = hurt; D bending.
4 SOLOMON ISLANDER – not an anagram as you’d think at first, but SOLOMON an Oratorio by Handel (the one which includes one of my favourite short bits, the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba), and I SLANDER for I SLAM; D a South Pacific person. I once spent 4 days in Honiara on a scuba diving Pacific tour with my son, because we’d read you could dive off the shores of Guadalcanal and sit in the cockpit of a drowned Stuka (or Zero perhaps) making gun noises into your mask; apart from that highlight the only other things to do were to have cockroach races sitting in your smelly hotel room or sit outside and melt. Don’t bother visiting.
5 NEARLY – EARL = noble, inside NY state; D just about. Surely just about is more than nearly?
6 MACEDONIA – (A COMEDIAN)*, D part of Europe. An anagram we’ve seen before, I think.
7 WHO’S WHO – WHO stands for World Health Organisation, so I guess ‘doctor’ is sort of a synonym; EDIT this was nonsense, it’s the twit with the tardis. Put it twice around S being the opening of surgery; D directory, with biogs of anyone who’s anyone. Originally a British affectation but I see now a generic title used worldwide.
13 HANGERS-ON – H = hard, ON = working, insert ANGERS a pleasant city in NW France, once the capital of Anjou. D followers.
15 TEA GARDEN – (GREAT DANE)*, D outdoor café.
16 HEAT RASH – HEA(R) = pick up, with R away; TRASH = rubbish; D complaint.
18 LEONARD – (ONE)* = one terribly, boring inside LARD = fat; D man.
20 LITHEST – This was a write in but took me a little while to parse. LIT for literature; THES(IS) for essay with IS cut, insert into LIT; D most flexible.
21 FABRIC – F = fine, A BRIC(K) is a real friend, reduced by losing its K; D material.

58 comments on “Times 26643 – even the antelope was easy. But Doctor who?”

  1. I don’t recall seeing BP for ‘bishop’ here before; but then the list of what I don’t recall is long. I was sure that ‘flashy stuff’ meant -BLING; but then the list of my false beliefs … I biffed 4d, but does slam=slander? DNK CARSHALTON, and put in ON because it seemed more likely than anything else; but if it comes from tOwN–which occurred to me post hoc– what’s the definition? On the forum it was suggested that ON=taking regularly (he’s on statins, say). And isn’t that Doctor Who, twice around S?
    1. I agree that ON is accounted for by “regularly taking”. I’m not totally averse to a bit of double duty on occasion which {t}O{w}N would involve but the deletion indicator so far removed from its target and ignoring the presence of “Surrey” on top of that would be stretching things too far for my liking.

      Edited at 2017-02-08 07:32 am (UTC)

  2. Did quite well, almost finished.

    Some parsing comments:
    For 1a I didn’t know bishop was bp.
    17a eland was in the qc today.
    19a and 4d couldn’t parse at all, so thanks for the blog.
    27a I had cars halt on (stop regularly).

  3. 14:33 … a few tricky ones, especially the HEAT RASH / DEADHEAD pair for me.

    I just crossed the Solomon Islands off my list. If sitting in a crashed plane under the sea is the highlight …

    Edited at 2017-02-08 07:25 am (UTC)

    1. When you were sixteen and an aviation fanatic, as Ben was then, that was a genuine highlight! Now he’s 38 and fixes planes or helicopters day and night, the thrill may have faded.
  4. Turns out biffing shin for Disheartened South Indian was the move of an idiot. No, I don’t know how shin means bottom either

    p.s. Who refers to Doctor Who not WHO (I think)

  5. I started in the lower half and made great progress so that I was expecting a fast time (for me), but then I found the top half very tricky, particularly the NW quarter and ended up with about 45 minutes on the clock

    I’m sure I’ve never met “Bp / bishop” before.

    Edited at 2017-02-08 07:37 am (UTC)

  6. Carshalton hasn’t been in Surrey since 1965. So I’m guessing it’s an error.
    Good college though, if you’re into designing computer games.

    McT (of Wallasey, Cheshire!)

    Edited at 2017-02-08 08:28 am (UTC)

    1. If Carshalton hasn’t been in Surrey since ’65 how come my local cricket team still play at The Oval (Kennington)?
      Chris. Bermondsey.
  7. 23 mins, so verging on PB territory for me… Didn’t get the ON bit of CARSHALTON, but I’d go with Kevin’s “on statins” explanation above, rather than tOwN.

    Also, I’d go with Dr Who at 7dn. Been in the (UK) news recently with the departure of Mr Capaldi.

    LOI – TWISTING. I was preparing to come here and argue that twisting something can result very much in hurt, rather than ‘almost hurt’. Doh!

  8. About 22 minutes for me though couldn’t parse either the P in 1a or the ON in 27. I liked the ‘work on plant’ in 25 and the ‘Disheartened South Indian’ in 10. Sorry I’m being pedantic, but a Stuka, as in a Ju Junkers 87, in the SOLOMON ISLANDS – I don’t think so. Maybe a Zero or something. Anyway, doesn’t sound enough to compensate for the cockroaches.

    Thanks to setter and blogger

    1. You’re correct I’m sure, it was Japanese of course, Ben would know; I was too busy watching for sharks and trying not to breather too fast.
      1. NB A single Ju87 was supplied to the Japanese in 1938, with the intent to be evaluated as a carrier borne aircraft, The Japanese eventually decided to develop their own aircraft. It is not clear what had become of the Japanese Stuka – so could it possibly be residing off Guadalcanal!?
  9. I plumped for TSVETAEVA from ‘Les Miserables’ as my answer to 19ac – rather than ESMERELDA which made 20dn LITHEST ungettable. So a miserable DNF after 45mins with ENTREAT – pathetique!

    McText, have you have not been in Surrey since 1965? I was there just last year! A shocker from the Editor! ‘Old Surrey’ would have been OK?

    As for the setter we all make mistakes.

    12ac also looked like to end with BLING to me early on.

    Has Dr. Who not been to France or is he ‘Dr. Qui’ down in Provence?

    FOI 1ac BIPARTISAN (very out of fashion in Trumpton)
    Bp. is BISHOP as per Chambers.


    Edited at 2017-02-08 08:26 am (UTC)

    1. I meant the place itself. As you’ll see from the correction.
      At the time, I was only 13 and far too young to travel there.
  10. Some clever stuff here. Cut glass,the fat man, work on plant etc. Thanks setter.

    I’m looking forward to a fast time from penfold 61 as I warned him yesterday there would be an antelope today. He was probably up all night revising.

  11. I found this hard, pushing me a minute or two over my normal hour limit. I only had GOODWILL and the first half of the SOLOMON islands to get at that point, the NW being last to fall, so it was worth extending my time, I thought.

    There was a lot here beyond or at the edges of my GK. I didn’t know the oratorio and only had the vaguest recollection of the islands, so they were my LOI. I’ve not read any Hugo, nor seen any interpretations, and didn’t even know ESMERALDA was spelled like that; good job it was an anagram! Spent far too long on the ELAND, having been distracted by thinking the “dash” might be an “el”, on the grounds that there’s an “em” and and “en” dash, so why not? In the end, thank goodness, ELOND just looked too wrong, even as an alternate spelling.

    I agree with the “regularly taking” = “on” parsing of CARSHALTON, having had to get there very carefully as I wasn’t sure it wasn’t spelled CARSHALTAN.

    On the whole, a crossword to make me feel a bit uncultured and not too well-travelled, which is probably fair enough.

  12. Common abbreviations for Bishop are: B; Bp; DD; RR

    27A very strange as “town” is a stretch and as covered above it isn’t in Surrey

    Easy artisan puzzle with no distinguishing features

    1. I’m sorry, but I was born in (1958) Downham, Bromley, Kent. Which at the time was also in the London Borough of Lewisham. I still consider my self to be a Kentishman (not a Man of Kent, wrong side of the Medway), no matter how much they say that Bromley is now a London borough.
      Chris. Bermondsey
  13. A respectable 24.20 that would have been quicker had I known bp for bishop. It caused me to revisit 1a a couple of times until the T went in and it could be nothing else.
  14. I only realised as I solved 4d that ESMERALDA was spelt that way and not ESMERELDA, and I once read the book, as well as seeing the Disney version ad nauseam when the kids were young. Like Quasimodo and Donald Trump, I could do with some help getting down off this wall of embarrassment. Assumed Handel must have had a SOLOMON oratorio once I’d cleared my brain of ‘This Nearly was Mine’ and plumped for ISLANDER. Dredged up STOA from ‘Latin for Today’, the text book issued to us in 1957 but looking like it had been printed a century sooner. A previous reader had slightly modified the title to ‘Eating for Today’, above the words ‘First Course’. I was on wavelength today at 21 enjoyable minutes. COD DEADHEAD. I refuse to admit Bolton’s in Greater Manchester, or Southport in Merseyside, so as far as I’m concerned CARSHALTON is in Surrey.

    Edited at 2017-02-08 09:56 am (UTC)

        1. Nah, Pontypool’s in Ontario and the City of Sebastopol California is 50 miles due north of San Francisco – apparently

          Edited at 2017-02-08 11:57 am (UTC)

    1. Ah yes. We had the Shortbread Eating Primer, which required more alterations and additions but looked pretty convincing.
  15. Flying today, 13’37”. ELAND is even more ubiquitous than normal. I also thought it was ESMERELDA. In 6d do we mean the FYR or the bit of Greece? Does it matter? And if Carshalton isn’t in Surrey where is it? Thanks pip and setter.
    1. It’s in the London Borough of Sutton not far from Croydon. Used to boast a decent Young’s Pub as I recall.
    2. It does to the Greeks! When I lived there in the nineties there was graffiti all over the place declaring Η Μακεδονία ήταν, είναι και θα είναι Ελληνική! (.. was, is and will be Greek!). They even had it printed on the currency. You might call it a sore spot.
      1. I’m not quite getting this, S. Was Carshalton placed in Macedonia in the nineties, when the residents wanted to be Greek, with Ouzo on tap in the Young’s pub?
        1. The people of Carshalton maintain the affectation that they live in Surrey, on the basis that the official postal designation is still Surrey. I suspect it’s something to do with house prices!
          Unlike Bolton, where I grew up, which is forever in Lancashire at heart
          One day I’ll get a tag and stop lurking, but till then thanks to you all for these blogs and the help they’ve been to me
    1. On its own web site and Facebook page it describes itself as a village, which I suppose is plausible if you can have a village entirely surrounded by a built up area. Wikipedia says it’s a suburb of London.
  16. We (and I suspect many others) used the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from the oratorio at our older daughter’s wedding – much nicer than Here Comes The Bride! It’s also part of the theme music for 4 Weddings And A Funeral. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TGKJ9MgCOQ

    Same as others on BP=bishop. We had it in the TLS recently and it took a while for me to realize it meant Baden-Powell not British Petroleum. 14.23

    1. My elder daughter had The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba played at her wedding. The younger daughter turned up to her wedding riding on a horse at Black Down near Bristol. It was a mile trek from the nearest car park so we didn’t have any introductory music:-)The greyhounds carried the rings on their collars. The groom wore wellies! At least it didn’t rain!
  17. I somehow got through without noticing the BP for bishop, and being ignorant of the current location of CARSHALTON, for which the ON had to come from somewhere but failed to worry me. On pills looks convincing.
    Whether or not Carshalton still counts as a Surrey town is surely moot. There isn’t a Sutton County Cricket Club, so I bet most true Carshatonites support Surrey as their cricketing county. I lived in Enfield once, so for cricket purposes we were, of course, Middlesex. Ditto Bristol, which maintains the Gloucestershire County ground. Boundary maps often bear little relation to bureaucratic reality.
  18. 13 mins with PROBING my LOI after GOODWILL. If the first A in ESMERALDA hadn’t been checked I’d have probably entered “Esmerelda” without looking at the anagram fodder too closely. As far as CARSHALTON is concerned I lived in the general vicinity for many years in the 80s and I used to go to a gym there regularly. As far as I can recall most people still counted it as part of Surrey back then, but that attitude may have died out by now. I like Z8’s cricket analogy. Having grown up on Merseyside I wouldn’t dream of supporting anyone but Lancashire even though the majority of the area hasn’t been part of Lancashire for a long time.
    1. i understand that the old counties were not abolished when that philistine Heath introduced the new administrative regions. So Liverpool and Manchester are still in Lancashire as well as everything else. In 2011, when Old Trafford cricket ground was being redeveloped, Aigburth gave Lanky that championship I’d been waiting nearly all my life for. It’s drier than Manchester! Unless playing my beloved Wanderers, I always support Lancashire football teams, including Liverpool and Everton. United present the most difficulty!
      1. I’m glad you understand it, BW, because I don’t. But I’m from down south, Bournemouth, which used to be in Hampshire and now isn’t.
  19. In order to give Magoo a chance (yeah, right) I did this after coming back from a night on the boardgames and beers, leading to a more fallible time of nearly 7 minutes. Still on for maybe a PB average for the week, though, if I don’t blow it tonight or tomorrow.

    I had ANDAMAN ISLANDER in at 4dn for the longest time, which I think proves I was quite drunk. On the plus side, only a couple of years ago I lived in Wallington, right next door to Carshalton… I’ll take all the write-ins I can get after a night on the sauce!

    Edited at 2017-02-08 11:21 am (UTC)

    1. My PB average for a week is a little under 6 minutes (OK, that was a long time ago!) so that’s what you should be aiming for next. Once you’ve cracked that, you can take on Magoo and Sykes, whose average I would guess could be under 5 minutes.
  20. All slotted in quite nicely until I hit the buffers with INGOT and WHOS WHO. That left me with P-O-ING which must have been an American bird? Apparently not.
  21. Did this one in the (cosy) comfort of a Tokyo hotel room after completing yesterday’s toughie, which was commenced but abandoned in Perth. I recall reading somewhere that the average intelligence is higher in Japan than elsewhere. Well it seems like mine is!

    Not high enough of course to notice the “unaccounted-for” P in BIPARTISAN, or to know that CARSHALTON is not in Surrey (or to know that it even exists for that matter), ignorance being my friend in both cases. Just high enough to skim through an otherwise Mondayish offering.

    COD to poor old LEONARD, who seems to have nothing going for him.

    Edited at 2017-02-08 01:02 pm (UTC)

    1. Maybe you recalled what I recall – something along the lines of Mongoloids outscoring Caucasians who outscore Negroids at IQ tests. With hunter-gatherers so far off the bottom as to score negative.
      But that, of course, is not a measure of intelligence. IQ tests don’t measure intelligence (which is difficult to define and measure), IQ tests measure how well you can do IQ tests.
      A failing of intelligence on my part, today. A blank at deadhead, even having considered both dead and head. But knowing that deadheading is driving hydraulics against a stalled motor, for instance; not cutting bits off plants. I was looking for unknown flora, as Pip foresaw. Otherwise speedy.
  22. Strolled through this one in 33 minutes, with FOI, BAGATELLE after dismissing SHIN for 10a. LOI INGOT after the correct Doctor materialised. Didn’t know STOA but got it from crossers and an alphabet trawl. BP for bishop, ON for Carshalton and A for Esmeralda entered with shrugs. An enjoyable session. Thanks setter and Pip.
  23. 22:07 No problem with Carshalton as just up the road from where I was incarcerated at boarding school for 5 years. As a Kentish Man, I am used to London infringing on Kentish towns but they are still Kent to me. STOA seems to pop up pretty regularly.

    Unlike pip, my Polish landlady of the 70s did not speak a word of English. It was left to Sundays when her son came round for me to hear all the things that I had done wrong in the week, including trying to have 2 baths.

  24. Yes definitely Mondayish. I don’t know about others but I allow myself to look up things I don’t know, i.e. in this case the names of Handel oratorios and the stars of books by Victor Hugo. I think that’s fair at least in the case of 4dn, which requires GK to answer at all.

    I’ve heard of Carshalton but was thrown slightly by the clue. I think that although I and many others are aware of the history of British counties, such clueing is possibly a bit of a barrier to younger and/or foreign solvers. “London district” might’ve been better here.

    And no more tea gardens, please.

  25. 9:26. No real problems today, although I didn’t know that ESMERELDA was spelled ESMERALDA. Thankfully the (diplomatically clued) part of Europe was obvious. I didn’t know that CARSHALTON wasn’t in Surrey: in fact I had no idea where it wasn’t.
  26. No problems today. Top to bottom solve, LOI being CARSHALTON, which was the only thing I didn’t know in the GK department. But I had all the checking letters by then, so it wasn’t too difficult to construct the right answer. Whether it’s in Surrey or not obviously didn’t have any influence on me. Under 15 minutes for this. Regards.
  27. 7:28, so not a disaster, but I felt I was taking ages over the last few clues for no good reason.

    I’d heard of CARSHALTON, but had no idea where it actually was so wasn’t the least bit worried about its being assigned to Surrey. Whatever has been done there or elsewhere is as nothing to the mess they made of redividing Yorkshire.

    ESMERALDA has been on my list of difficult words for decades.

  28. I was about to join our esteemed blogger in saying that NEARLY is not the same as “just about”. But “it’s just about ready” means, to me at least, that it’s nearly ready.

    29 minutes for me.

Comments are closed.