Times 26648

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I’ve no proper time to offer for this because after a very good start I lost concentration, became bogged down and nodded off. On resumption it came together easily enough but from start to finish, including the nap, I must have taken nearly 90 minutes. My main problem apart from tiredness was mis-biffing 5dn, and there were two other answers where the enumeration turned out not to be what I would have expected.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

1 John’s successor / does the deed (4)
ACTS – Two definitions, one vaguely cryptic and one literal. The first  refers to the New Testament in which the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are  succeeded by The Acts of the Apostles, colloquially referred to as The Acts or sometimes simply “Acts”.
3 Arduous journey one month after defeat by English (10)
ROUTEMARCH – ROUT (defeat), E (English), MARCH (one month). The Oxfords and Chambers agree with me that this is two words, but Collins has it as one.
9 Enchantress in outskirts of Troy, on edge (7)
TWITCHY – WITCH (enchantress) in T{ro}Y [outskirts]
11 Quality mark on case that should be blown up (3,4)
BOX KITE – BOX (case), KITE (quality mark). The Kite mark is a symbol that certifies the quality of a product has been approved by the BSI (British Standards Institute). The definition is somewhat cryptic.
12 Shots capturing man and wife just taken in island location (5,8)
INNER HEBRIDES – INNERS (shots) containing [capturing] HE (man) + BRIDE (wife just taken). “Inner” is a shot, e.g. in archery, that hits the part of the target immediately outside the bull’s-eye. Skye is the largest of this group of islands.
14 Bush having tip of spine inside to pierce (5)
GORSE – S{pine} [tip] inside GORE (pierce)
15 Subsidence worried crew in Lambeth periodically (9)
ABATEMENT – ATE (worried) + MEN (crew) in {l}A{m}B{e}T{h} [periodically]
17 Slim paper we sent out has the lady enthralled (9)
NEWSSHEET – Anagram [out] of WE SENT contains [has enthralled] SHE (the lady). The Oxfords and Chambers agree with me that this is hyphenated, but Collins has it as one word.
19 Early computers from America bankers rejected (5)
ABACI – Hidden [from]  and reversed [rejected] in {Amer}ICA BA{nkers}. A word more familiar in its singular form, abacus, perhaps.
21 Financial institution getting rid of board (8,5)
CLEARING HOUSE – CLEARING {getting rid of}, HOUSE (board). I’m not entirely convinced that house = board. It’s true that people in boarding houses and pupils in boarding schools are  “housed” as part of the deal, so there’s a connection, but my understanding is that “board” has more to do with provision of meals than of housing, hence the expression “board and lodgings” which covers both. But maybe there’s another interpretation that hasn’t occurred to me, so it’s over to you folks…
24 Following each reshuffle, pound is lower (7)
CHEAPEN – Anagram [reshuffle] of EACH, PEN (pound)
25 Rascal in prime condition after most of party’s over (7)
VARMINT – RAV{e} (party) [most of] reversed [over], MINT [in prime condition]. This word always reminds me of the whiskery old-time actor George “Gabby” Hayes in Westerns such as “Bad Man’s Territory”. It was one of his favourite cusses.
26 Tactfully taken apart, you might say (10)
DISCREETLY – Sounds like [you might say] “discretely” (taken apart = separately)
27 Brave US agent’s overthrown last of enemy (4)
DEFY – FED (US agent) reversed [overthrown], {enem}Y [last]
1 Harsh, like syndicate in short-term accommodation? (10)
ASTRINGENT – AS (like), then RING (syndicate) in TENT (short-term accommodation)
2 Chemical / every weightwatcher tries to get? (7)
THINNER – A straight definition followed by a cryptic one
4 Enrich air, perhaps — briefly extend yoga exercises (9)
OXYGENATE – Anagram [exercises] of YOGA EXTEN{d} [briefly]
5 King Edward possibly taking bath with Queen (5)
TUBER – TUB (bath), ER (Queen). With only the T checker in place I very foolishly biffed TATER (?) here and then went on to ignored my question mark, taking my answer as definitive. This gave me all sorts of problems trying to solve 11ac with T as its first letter. In case anyone was wondering, King Edward is a variety of potato.
6 Inapt use of words causing poet harm? (5,8)
MIXED METAPHOR – This is one of those anagrams where the anagrind is in the answer instead of in the clue; so POET HARM when “mixed” gives us the second word of the answer.
7 Yet again put out about one’s kids (7)
REISSUE – RE (about), ISSUE (kids)
8 Notice the chap had verbally required (4)
HEED – Sounds like [verbally]  “He’d” (the chap had)
10 Keen after favourites put in tender for cleaner (6,7)
CARPET SWEEPER – PETS (favourites), WEEP (keen) contained by [put in] CARER (tender)
13 Missile installed in secret using rough force (10)
STRIDENTLY – TRIDENT (missile) contained by [installed in] SLY (secret)
16 A new clothing element — metallic, not your standard yarn (4-5)
ANTI-NOVEL – A, NOVEL (new) containing [clothing] TIN (element)
18 Slow burner set off targets in field (7)
WICKETS – WICK (slow burner), anagram [off] of SET. Cricket reference.
20 Stuck behind a vehicle, this person’s defamatory (7)
ABUSIVE – A, BUS (vehicle), I’VE (this person’s). “Stuck behind” just places the components  of the answer. Hm. To get from “this person’s” to “I’ve” I’d have to start by referring to myself in the third person which seems a bit odd.
22 Get up around noon to wash (5)
RINSE – RISE (get up) containing [around] N (noon)
23 One Derbyshire opener beaten by unplayable ball (4)
ACED – ACE (one – cards),  D{erbyshire} [opener]

64 comments on “Times 26648”

  1. 21ac I thought this might have something to do with the the For Sale sign (board)being removed thus the owner was CLEARING HOUSE.

    A rather leisurely 42mins



    Edited at 2017-02-14 01:03 am (UTC)

  2. … BOX KITE. Didn’t know the BSI mark so had to guess from the def. (Now I see the mark actually contains a B and an S.)

    Equally puzzled as our esteemed blogger by HOUSE in 21ac. So also waiting for good ideas from the usual crew.

    Happy VD to all.

  3. About 65 minutes. A DNF as I missed 16, but I thought an ‘auto-novel’ fitted the def, if not the wordplay, pretty well. Held up at the end by BOX KITE which I also had to guess from the def. For 21, ? ‘board’ as a transitive, rather than intransitive, verb for HOUSE. VARMINT was good and reminded me of afternoons spent in front of the TV watching Westerns long ago.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  4. I put in BOX KITE, after finally realizing that a tater is a TUBER; but I had no idea how the clue worked, and at the last moment came up with ‘box mine’ (should be blown up). Oh, well. I think bletchleyreject has got the explanation for HOUSE. 3ac took me a while, because I tend to pronounce ROUTE as ‘root’ (Route 66, say).
  5. 10:14 – steady solve, took a minute or so at the end to dredge up BOX KITE. Everything else I thought was pretty neat, and had no problem with BOARD = HOUSE as in to put up.
  6. Well I finished the 15×15 for the first time, although with lots of checking as I went along.

    Took about 1.5hrs in total.

    Some of the parsing was a little tricky.
    1a didn’t know the biblical ref to acts.
    12a dnk inners.
    25a biffed varmint.
    10d weep = keen?
    23d missed the cards ref.

    1. Congratulations, flashman! Keen here is a verb, from the Irish, meaning to wail, actually, rather than weep, but.
    2. Well done! It will get easier.

      “Keen” is defined by SOED as: An Irish funeral song accompanied by wailing in lamentation for the dead.

      And from that there is a verb meaning to sing such a song or more generally now, to wail or lament. “Weeping” can be defined as “lamentation”, so there’s not much of a stretch for crossword purposes.

      Edited at 2017-02-14 06:20 am (UTC)

  7. At last you massacred the 15×15 on Valentine’s Day! My best wishes to Sangria, Barista et al!

    Keen/weep was new to me as well.

  8. I did this after coming back from a pub quiz in South Norwood, and I should surely have waited for the morning, as I was both a little slow and, much worse, managed to bung in a clearly unworkable BOX FILE for the dreaded 11ac, ending a long run of error-free puzzles. Oh well, I won both the quiz (hurray for “what are the English names of these Roman towns” rounds!) and a bonus free drink round for most closely guessing numbers relating to world records in the women’s high jump, rather miraculously as I later realised I was thinking of the pole vault throughout. So I can’t complain about last night too much! Happy Valentine’s Day to all puzzle lovers.
      1. That would have been excellent, but sadly we only got York, Chester, Lincoln, Colchester, Dorchester, Dover, Carmarthen and Cirencester to play with. All the Chesters basically!
  9. 15.53, though it felt quicker as nearly every clue went in with little hesitation. ANTI-NOVEL was the exception, as ANTENATAL wouldn’t go away despite having nothing to do with the clue. HOUSE as “provide accommodation for”, as Bletchley has it, cause barely a ripple, and in fact was the end of the clue I got first as I drifted down the grid.
    Being British, “quality mark” gave me the KITE bit of the clue by immediate association. The actual shape might be taken as appropriate for Valentine’s Bay.
  10. After 9 minutes I had only 26a left, and after another 10 minutes reluctantly went with ‘disposedly’, hoping for some dodgy homophonic wordplay around ‘s’posedly’ from ‘say’ — not that I actually know what disposedly means. Turns out the problem was a biffed CARPET SHAMPOO … I vaguely recall making a mental note to revisit that one but my prefrontal cortex didn’t get the memo.

    Turns out it wouldn’t have mattered in any case as I also had Inner Henrides.

    I think I may be having a bad day.

    Edited at 2017-02-14 08:34 am (UTC)

    1. So how did you spell CLEARING HOUSE to cross with your shampoo (which I nearly biffed as well)?

      Happy unbirthday too.

      1. Ah, good question. Turns out I ended up with CARPET SHEMPOO.

        Pretty spectacular fail all round.

  11. Thanks, Sotira! I thought I was going to be the only one who’d biffed CARPET SHAMPOO as soon as I got the CARPET S… bit. Luckily I worked it out eventually.

    That and plenty more slowed me down in the south, having never heard of ANTI-NOVEL, been led up the cricketing path by 23d, and taken a very long time to think of “fed” for 27 despite thinking of “G-man” about a hundred times.

    No problems upstairs—I popped TUBER in just fine, and a BOX KITE was the first kite I ever put together. The bottom half slowed me enough to take me a minute over my hour to finish with DEFY.

    Edited at 2017-02-14 09:54 am (UTC)

  12. a typo in the first 5 seconds that went unnoticed (ACTA for ACTS when the little finger on my left hand let me down; a good fit for the definition if not the cryptic). I would have been miffed to miss out a rare sub-V but lo and behold . . Thank goodness SHAMPOO didn’t occur to me.
  13. 9:25. No real problems today, in spite of biffing TATER like others. When I got to 11ac I realised that nothing in the clue matched TAX and reconsidered.
    ‘House’ for BOARD seems fine to me. The latter implies food while the former doesn’t but providing accommodation is central to the meaning in most circumstances. People don’t get confused about what a boarding school provides, for instance. The phrase ‘board and lodging’ is unusual in this respect, and something of a historical artefact perhaps.

    Edited at 2017-02-14 11:39 am (UTC)

  14. I managed to avoid some tempting misbiffs today. I thought the rascal was going to be a villain and also fancied the King Edward to be a tater. Often I’d bung them in and stymie myself but by retaining an element of doubt I came up with another good time by my standards.
  15. All correct in 38 minutes. Had TATER for too long before finally seeing BOX KITE (not out of the window sadly, that would be at our holiday place), although I would love to blow up my TAX FILE. I couldn’t quite understand how a bath with HM could be called TAT. Got COD MIXED METAPHOR and felt as high as a kite sweeping reality under the carpet for a couple of minutes. LOI VARMINT, not a word I use, with RAVE not being the sort of party I go to. Not with this back. Good puzzle.
      1. Sorry to disappoint, Jerry. Lytham St Annes is known for its beach for flying kites, including of the box variety, but not for magnificent men in flying machines.
  16. I do the cryptic crossword online. Recently there seem to be some very obscure one word clues – or is the online version not showing all the words?
    1. The online version does not always show the entire clue for me. What I do is hit the Print and leave the print version on one monitor while I fill out the online version on another.
  17. I just discovered this site. Carpet Steamer slowed me down for a while. I was still excited to finish in under an hour.
    1. Well done, anon. A name or nickname at the end of your messages would be nice, or you could sign up for a free Live Journal account and award yourself a user-pic!
    2. Welcome to the world’s most civilised website! Please feel free to give yourself an identity (it’s free and there are no catches) to enhance your (and our) experience.

    3. Congratulations anon. As Z8 says, this is a very civilised site so feel free to give yourself a tagname or even a picture. No downsides.

      Edited at 2017-02-14 11:30 pm (UTC)

  18. Thanks very much, I thought it was me or some maverick setter. I’ll go back to printing; is there a guaranteed way of getting it to fit on one page?
    1. No guarantee, but try a different browser or experiment with different zoom levels. Also if printing use print preview along the way and adjust if needed.

      Edited at 2017-02-14 11:46 am (UTC)

  19. Recently returned from a first time all inclusive in Madeira.Drank to the max,still expecting a gin fix at 11.00am.Pleased to report the synapses have partially recovered.25 for this one with LOI 9 perhaps indicating I am in denial.
      1. Exercise.Levada walk worthwhile http://www.madeira-web.com/PagesUK/walking-uk.php

        Market:Worth a visit, go early to see some interesting fish.

        Fish restaurant:http://www.marisqueiraobarqueiro.pt/
        a bit pricey but worth it.Booking required.

        Botanical gardens:Currently not reachable by cablecar as the secondary section melted in last years forest fire!

        Sport: Moynihans bar v good, table waitress service on the terrace.Guiness not bad at all, 5e http://www.moynihansbarmadeira.com/

        Have fun!

  20. DNK the kite mark and very nearly was another “mine” person. Then I invented a sort of case called a “box kit” (from Ikea perhaps) with E as the quality mark. There’s a ubiquitous tv ad in these parts for Stanley Steamer the carpet cleaner (I’m certain Vinyl knows it) so that was another hold-up. 20.55
  21. I thought I might be on for a record time today, but slowed a bit and finished in 6m 53s with 25a the LOI. Aiming for a record meant that I didn’t bother trying to parse 12a or 6d as I went, so I appreciate the explanation here.

    If I’m being picky, I didn’t much like 16d. While there’s nothing technically wrong with it, the double-use of ‘novel’ just seems a little ugly.

      1. I get what he means, I’ve complained about this kind of thing (and had my complaint rejected) before! A NOVEL contains TIN, but a second NOVEL is created by the N of tin and the OVEL of NOVEL. There’s no real logical reason why it should rub me up the wrong way but it does!
        1. Thanks for this, and to Verlaine for expanding. It’s a POV of course but I can’t share it. There’s no double-usage in the Ximenean sense so it’s simply down to the parsing which I agree is a little misleading, but surely deception and misdirection are part of the setter’s art?
  22. 11:30, no dramas (other than wondering if bag kite was a thing). Varmint for me brought back memories of Deputy Dawg.
    1. 25ac was a favourite of rascally Walter Gabriel on ‘The Archers and ‘probably used on The Beverley Hillbillies’ too.
  23. Surely one of my quickest times, well under the hour mark, without any aids as well, no time as I had to go out to find a supply of Piccolo Star seed potato, and was successful. As tasty a spud as I have had in many a year. Piccolo Star comes with mine and Mrs Tim’s, and she’s a farmer’s daughter, full recommendation, if you grow potatoes you’ve got to try them.
  24. QC improver here. I fear for whatever relationship our setter is in as there is a distinct lack of loving words here (abusive, astringent etc.). I found this pretty easy for an improver and biffed many of the answers. So i am sending my love to all in this blog (one day offer only ends 12pm). Thank you blogger and hope you have a quiet night (ahem).
  25. 26:37. I’m another one who tried hard to make 5d TATER, but I eventually saw the light when I found the word to go with KITE as the quality mark. 6d my LOI. Anyone else try to make ENIAC fit for 19a? doh. ANTI-NOVEL my favourite – my elder daughter loves sparkly clothes.
    1. No, but I’ve realised that I completely misparsed the clue, thinking that ICAB must be some banking organisation I’ve never heard of (which would be surprising as I have to deal with the feckers every day).
  26. 25 mins with no extenuating circumstances, so I was clearly nowhere near the setter’s wavelength. I struggled the most in the NE. I’ve never seen 3ac as one word before and I’d always spell it with two, so it took an age for it to occur to me. I’m another who was toying with “tater” for a while, and when I couldn’t get “tat” or “tate” to be synonymous with “bath” I then wasted more time wondering if the answer could be “Tudor”. When I finally saw TUBER I could have kicked myself. BOX KITE was my LOI and it probably took me 5 mins at the end. I was toying with “box file” but wasn’t happy with it, and an alphabet trawl for the second word eventually led me to the correct answer. If “kite mark” hadn’t been misfiled somewhere in my memory bank my solve would have been considerably quickly.
  27. Just crept in under the 20 min mark, even with a ‘yes dear’ distraction so happy with this. Never thought of TATER (tubers are a regular serving in Crosswordland). DNK ANTI NOVEL so LOI but put in with a prayer.
  28. Same deal as others by misbiffing TATER, which held things up for a while. When I finally saw that it was TUBER, I took another few minutes before biffing BOX KITE, as the quality mark thing means nothing to me, but at least it can be ‘blown up’. Overall probably 25 minutes or so. Happy Valentine’s Day and regards.
  29. A steady if plodding solve without recourse to any aids. I biffed just two. 19ac ABACI was a write-in although I failed to parse it via the clued ‘rejection’ and expended much time considering the possible reversal of numerous acronyms once familiar to me from the realm of UK banking e.g. BBA / CIB / CIBS / ISDA / BACS etc, while at 26ac I struggled somewhat with the clued homophone.
  30. What a surprise that there really are such things as ANTI-NOVELS and ROUTEMARCHES and quality marks called KITES, none of which I knew before solving this puzzle, in about an hour (10 seconds short) and to my great astonishment correctly. My intuition about what unlikely words might actually turn out to be real seems to be improving.
  31. If the kite mark is still a thing, why do toasters blow up after a week and the hands of wood screws turn into plasticine as soon as you try to undo them?
  32. I wrote in DISCOUNT HOUSE, being able (foolishly) to convince myself that “getting rid of” could be DISCOUNT.

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