Times 26649 – “… these are a few of my favourite things”

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
25 minutes of pleasure; the answers seemed to include a plethora of assorted things I particularly liked or with which had some personal connection; not that that makes it any easier or means much to anyone else, so apologies for rambling on. GK wise, you didn’t need to know which novel 29a belonged to (there are at least two options) and the rest wasn’t obscure. I’ll try and get the parsing all correct today instead of deliberately (?) leaving one or two half-right for the keen-eyed to point out.

1 JACOBITE – J for judge, ACE for one, insert OBIT for (death) notice; D Royal supporter. The Jacobites cunningly tried to restore the Catholic Stuart monarchy to the thrones of England and Scotland whilst most of the regular army at one point was abroad fighting in the War of the Austrian succession. But sadly they failed, finally losing at Culloden in 1746.
5 GRAVES – G for good, RAVES for parties; D French wine, red or white, from just down the A62 motorway from me.
10 FINANCIER – A FANCIER is one who likes something, insert I N for international notes being collected; D &lit.
11 AIRER – the RIVER AIRE in Yorkshire has R added; D stand, for drying (or airing) clothes.
12 DEFY – final letters of recogniseD comperE oF UniversitY; D challenge. One of my favourite things, having survived it in black & white days and gone to the pub afterwards with Bamber and the bossy lady producer.
13 REFLEXION – REF for match official, LE French for ‘the’, XI eleven, team, ON; D it’s thought. An unusual spelling, more French or Spanish than English I think, but it seems to be allowed.
15 LABORATORY – LAB(our) ORATORY would be speeches by Ramsay Mac: D place of research. Not one of my favourite places, the smelly old Dyson Perrins; I spent insufficient time there and too much time on the river, which ruined my chances of a First, but it was worth it.
17 KNOB – D boss, sounds like a NOB, which among other things means a person in a high position.
19 YURT – Delete the central parts of Y(o)U R(en)T; D type of accommodation. A big round tent of central Asian origin now seen in trendy glamping circles. Not for me.
20 RAGAMUFFIN – R(ead), AGAIN (afresh) insert MUFF for mistake; D scruffy kid. Our first Standard Poodle was aptly so-named and was for ten years one of my favourite things.
22 ROBIN HOOD – take ROOD for cross, insert BIN and HO for rubbish container and house; D forest dweller, of legend.
24 VIVA – ‘vivace’ would be in a lively manner, in music; delete the CE being French for ‘this’; D oral exam.
26 ALLEE – A L(arge) LEE for shelter; D pathway. A path or street bordered by trees.
27 SEVERANCE – SEVERE for critical, insert ANC being a South African political party; D split.
28 TISANE – TIE for obligation, insert SAN for hospital; D health drink. One of my favourite “people”, Poirot, is keen on his tisanes.
29 CLARISSA – Insert IS into (RASCAL)*; D heroine, of eponymous novels by Virginia Woolf and by Samuel Richardson. I’ve never read either, and never will.

1 JIFF – Hidden reversed in O(F FIJ)IAN, D second.
2 CANTERBURY BELLS – CANTER for rush, BURY for cover up, BELLS for clangers; D bloomers.
3 BONEYARD – (BODY NEAR)*, D cemetery.
4 TRIER – City in Germany which used to be called TREVES, pronounced like Tree-er; so a double definition not a homonyn, one who hears or tries cases.
6 ROAMED – A in ROME, last letter of fairgrounD; D meandered.
7 VERSION OF EVENTS – Well, EVENTS is an anagram of Steven, so it’s a version or interpretation of it.
8 STRING BAND – STRING for series, e.g. as in a string of racehorses; BAND sounds like BANNED; D musicians.
9 PRO FORMA – PROF for leading academic, OR MA = or postgraduate; D document.
14 PLAY TRUANT – PT for training, insert anagram of NATURAL(L)Y; D be out of form, i.e. not in school. My favourite clue today.
16 TEAHOUSE – HOU would be three quarters of HOUR so 45 minutes; insert into TEASE for kid; D Chinese restaurant. Not my kind of Chinese restaurant, I expect Horryd frequents them though.
18 QUAVERER – A QUAVER is a musical note, add ER for the monarch; D one trembles.
21 ANDEAN – A, N(ew), DEAN for cleric; D from S American region.
23 DEVIL – LIVE(R) for trimmed meat, D for daughter; all reversed; D put spicy coating on. I’ve often eated devilled bits and bobs but I’ve never actually said, “I’ll just devil those kidneys for you”, I suppose it’s fine as a verb.
25 FETA – Regular letters of F e E d T e A m, D cheese, properly the Greek stuff (another favourite) but these days copied all over the place.

62 comments on “Times 26649 – “… these are a few of my favourite things””

  1. Finished everything in 2 hours except 11a airer and 18d quaverer.

    Huge amount of biffing and guessing though today.

    I think 14d is PT with the anagram.

    I also lost time having edam as the cheese and Canterbury tales at first!

  2. I put in ‘quiverer’, and thought nothing of it even when I saw I had one error (thought it was KNOB); finally someone on the Club forum complaining that he’d been too swift at 18d led me to notice the error. Ah, well. I also put in ‘Edam’ at 25d–it works, unless you look at the clue–but CLARISSA made me see the light. I’ve seen ‘connexion’ often enough–in older writing–but REFLEXION was a first.
  3. Turns out that “regularly feed team cheese” is further afield than Northern Europe. That made the SE corner a lot slower than it probably should have been and hence my LOI was 27a
    Thank you to setter for an enjoyable challenge and to pip for the blog.
  4. 12:53 … yesterday I was Barcelona, today PSG. But that’s football, Brian.

    Like our blogger I really enjoyed this. VERSION OF EVENTS and PLAY TRUANT both terrific. Thanks, setter and blogger.

      1. I’m probably more Arsenal, flattering to deceive. At least you’re a ‘proper’ club. But then I’m not a proper fan, either. Last night’s was one of about five football matches I’ll watch this year. Frankly, if there isn’t at least one celebrity player on the field, I’m not interested. Reprehensible attitude but there it is.
      2. A cold night match against Rochdale is much better than PSG v Barca anyday. Happy to make this two completions this week with a posh version of ginnel at 26a. Alan
        1. Only been watching them 64 years. Dad’s first game was 1926. Don’t know when the Granddad I never knew first went. He was the Gardener at Sharples Hall. Were you there last night? I’ve watched the goal on YouTube three times now and I still can’t see if it went in!
          1. I live in Norwich so cant get to many games. My dad knew Nat and Big Sam, both wonderful gents. Our first house was built by Tommy Banks who used to visit us wearing his clogs. Best memory thrashing ManC 3 0 with the youngsters. Scariest being in the embankment when Leeds and ManU played in FA cup. Happy days
            1. Didn’t Garry Jones get all 3 that day? My best memory of course the 1958 Final after the heartbreak of 1953. Two years later we beat City 3-1 on Franny Lee’s debut while Nat still playing. I was on the Embankment. I used to love watching Tommy Banks, and Chopper Hartle, putting opposing wingers into the invalid cars. Anyway, I’d better stop or we’ll be blackballed. Look forward to your contributions, Alan. Why not sign up as Manny Road?
  5. Just in under the wire at 29 minutes, with half-an-hour being my target time.

    There was a feel of déjà vu about it as RAVE for “party” came up very recently, and yesterday we had DEFY and also a clue like 7dn where the anagrind was in the answer.

    Incidentally is VERSION OF EVENTS actually a saying as such?

    I’d be more likely to think of “quiver” in connection with trembling rather than “quaver” but I was paying close attention to wordplay and didn’t fall into the trap.

    Never heard of REFLEXION, nor of CLARISSA as heroine.

    Edited at 2017-02-15 08:22 am (UTC)

  6. I would have loved this one, except that it took me 6 minutes to get started, and a scrambled entry at ANDEAN negated two more clues, giving me a distinctly pedestrian 30 minutes and three errors, currently propping up the table.
    I also entered EDAM at 25d: it’s also a cheese, and does the letter skip thing if you can’t count properly. I blithely let is obliterate the last letter of CLARISSA (which I knew, if not twice) and didn’t notice until I couldn’t get anything to fit at SEVERANCE (which I might have spelt with an E but for the word play). Like others, I preferred QUIVERER*. I mention all this not just to highlight and lament my declining powers (even Barca can have an off day), but in the hope that others will see and sympathise, knowing that, on another day, it could be, has been, you.
    On edit: it’s now taken me two goes to get this entry anywhere near right, and I suspect there may be more typos and plain errors to find. First time round, I typed in *QUAVERED, wrong in at least three ways, possibly something of a record.
    Chapeau to PLAY TRUANT and VERSION OF EVENTS, the latter being a thing in my book if not in my dictionary. Perhaps a more subtle variation on “alternative facts”.

    Edited at 2017-02-15 08:56 am (UTC)

    1. You beat me to it Z. Two minds with butter… These days I go to bed wondering what on earth will have happened before I next lay head on pillow. My children are re-living Watergate, but at warp speed.
  7. “…sadly [the Jacobites] failed…”? I think your prejudices are showing a wee bit, Pip! B P Charlie would have made a dreadful king and precipitated a second civil war.
    But back to the puzzle – all done and dusted in 20 minutes with a big smile on my face.
    Didn’t know TISANE but Mrs Deezzaa also cited it as a favourite of Poirot.
    1. I’m sure you’re right, Deezzaa, I was trying to provoke (and succeeding in getting) a knowledgeable response. There again, jerrywh, a French speaking republic… not so bad. I’ll have another tisane please.
  8. Knew CLARISSA as the heroine of Silence Of The Lambs, which she’s not as it happens, but hey, look at the scoreboard.

    Great puzzle this, some beautifully disguised defs, and smooth surfaces throughout. Well played setter.

  9. Easy today – no quivering here – but enjoyable.
    I read the first ten pages of Clarissa once (the Richardson one). It was enough.
    Interesting to speculate on what might have happened if the Jacobites had won (very unlikely; the Stuarts were as bad at generalship as at most other things). Perhaps we might be a republic now..

    Edited at 2017-02-15 09:18 am (UTC)

    1. I agree with you about the Jacobites Jerry but not all the Stuarts were hopeless. I have a good deal of respect for Charles II, and Prince Rupert grew up to be rather admirable. Speaking as a dweller in the Peoples Republic of Trump (but for how long?) the Queen looks pretty good right now.
      1. Perhaps it is unfair to call Charles II hopeless. He was an intelligent and in many ways an attractive (if mainly to women) man. But he so preferred his various mistresses and his fun, that affairs of state were not often allowed to get in the way. Most dukes today are descended from one or another of his mistresses. Pepys (now there is a real hero) thought him a total wastrel. He liked James II much more but his reign didn’t go well.

        No I am sorry, imo the Stuarts are beyond redemption .. unlike, as you say, our own present dear queen who really is a fine individual. But still I cavil at the idea of being given the best job in the land for one reason, and one reason only, which is that your father did it. These days we *surely* should be able to do better than that. For every other person in Britain, it is actually illegal…

        1. Ah, but a monarchy makes just that distinction between every other person and the anointed one. Me, I prefer it to a stystem that throws up actors, sports stars, lawyers or what have you.
  10. Yes, Pip, I have ‘fequented’ plenty of cha-guan in my 20 years in China and HK. They are, I assure you, most respectable.

    I was done and dusted in 40 minutes – getting held up by the NE corner esp. 7dn VERSION OF EVENTS – snazzy anagram

    DNK 29ac CLARISSA but it was a write-in.

    FOI 4ac TRIER LOI 11ac ALLEE


  11. Curses. I was pleased with myself, having finally got the crossers of ALLEE/ANDEAN/TISANE sorted out, and correctly plumped for JACOBITE and TRIER rather than JACOBEAN and some other German city I’d not heard of, all responsible for the last fifteen minutes of my 53.

    Then I came here to find I’d made the same biffbish as others have mentioned, and plumped for “quiverer” rather than QUAVERER. I’d wondered about it at the time, but I had so many other question marks—not knowing GRAVES, “vivace”, CANTERBURY BELLS, nor knowing any CLARISSAs apart from Melissa Joan Hart—that I didn’t go back and check.

    Still, it was fun, so I suppose I shouldn’t feel too bad about having snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

  12. I finished with a bit of a biff-fest, including SNOB for ‘person of high position’ instead of KNOB. Very much enjoyed this offering though, and I join pip with PLAY TRUANT as my COD – nice sly definition.

    I was also another who looked at ‘feed team’ and saw EDAM jump straight out!

  13. I would have got COD VERSION OF EVENTS quicker if I’d not put in VOCE first rather than VIVA, thinking ‘this’ was ‘ce’. Spent a bit too long justifying JACOBITE also, though I saw the CLARISSA anagram straightaway, a glorious revolution. Getting to PLAY TRUANT was less than glorious but eventually the penny dropped. ANDEAN was easy once I realised it was a back ALLEE that used to run past our house. Those were the days when we called an AIRER a clothes maiden. But finished in 35 minutes which I think was good for me on a puzzle of this subtlety.
  14. 23:18. Luckily I stuck in CLARISSA before looking at the Cheese otherwise EDAM would have been a write-in. I liked this puzzle, especially PLAY TRUANT and VERSION OF EVENTS so a real thankyou to setter (and of course to pip)
  15. Another SNOB here – I try not to be one generally though. However my lack of knowledge of classical music let me down – even after getting VIVA and having to look it up to see what it meant.
  16. 12m, slowed down like others by a confident EDAM. It is so feasible as long as you are squinting a bit when you look at the clue.
    I have read CLARISSA in its entirety and I enjoyed it. However that could just have been in contrast to some of the other stuff I had to read.
  17. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who plumped for EDAM to begin with! Not my only sidetrack, as I also had ALLEY for a bit – thinking it was an unusual spelling of lee – but fortunately that didn’t stay in place too long. 11m 11s all told.
  18. About 12 minutes. I can’t go into any more detail without giving Don Manley a thromby. The pangram that never was helped me to get QUAVERER.

    As I put in FETA I remarked to myself that somebody would probably go with EDAM, not really expecting “somebody” to equate to “nearly everybody”.

    Very nice puzzle.

    Edited at 2017-02-15 04:14 pm (UTC)

  19. I hope the poodle was called Ragamuffin not Muff, else it would be awkward calling for the poor thing if it ever went missing.

    My aunt wanted to call her twin cats Castor and Pollux before sanity prevailed.

      1. You can call for cats perfectly successfully by making a noise like something they want to kill.
      2. The said dog was generally called Muffin (being chocolate in colour) and didn’t come back whatever embarrassing name you yelled out.
        1. A key issue in naming the collie was the thought of bellowing his name in the field. As it happens he is very obedient to whistles so bellowing is not necessary but we ended up with Angus.
  20. Yep, I too fell into the cheese trap with ‘edam’ for some time. Eventually came back after spending a couple of hours clearing the borders and realised… doh! Then the others in the SE fell quickly into place. Cunning setter to have fooled so many of us on what should have been a pretty simple clue! Chapeau.

  21. I hope the poodle was called Ragamuffin not Muff, else it would be awkward calling for the poor thing if it ever went missing.

    My aunt wanted to call her twin cats Castor and Pollux before sanity prevailed.

    1. Apparently, in the original French version of “The Magic Roundabout”, the dog Dougal was named Pollux. Fortunately it did not survive the translation by Eric Thompson.
  22. All correct in about 24 minutes. I stopped myself falling into the CANTERBURY TALES trap, the EDAM trap (very clever selection of letters for FETA to be hidden in since EDAM is all there too), and the QUAVERER trap where I stopped myself so late that I see I wrote the A on top of the I that I’d already written in. Didn’t know who CLARISSA was but seemed plausible she was in War and Peace or Bleak House or something. Also, VERSION OF EVENTS wasn’t one of those clues where the penny had to drop, which often happens with that sort of reverse anagram. I knew I was looking for something that was along the lines of “anagram of steven”.

    COD has to be BRIE since it caught so many of you and yet was 100% fair.

  23. About 30m today. Most enjoyable puzzle and a steady solve with no hold ups but I did pause over the x in reflection. Had no problem with FETA as Edam does not figure in my list of edible cheeses, more of a useful makeshift for a burst tyre! Thanks for the blog, Pip.
  24. I stumbled on this site a week or so ago in exasperation at my inability to progress as a solver. Having been dabbling for years, I have only ever finished a dozen or so puzzles…After inexplicably regressing again since checking in with the blog, I got within one today (’tisane’ was beyond me, despite getting ‘san’) thus, emboldened, a first post. Will try to apply the flexibilty of thought required – my main learning from the blog- going forward. How did I guess, by the way, that further decryption would be required – COD, FOI, LOI have all fallen, but ‘biff’? Guess from ‘best fit’? Would make a decent clue…Just on today’s, I was proud of solving ‘version of events’ and got ‘play truant’ straightaway. Also had ‘edam’ for ‘feta’ holding up the SE corner. Thank you to all contributors. I’ll post again when/if I finish another! T
    1. To biff means to Bung In From the definition. Welcome to the site, Mse squared. Hope to hear more from you sooner rather than later.
    2. Derived from BIFD short for bunged in from definition (ie. best-guessed without doing any wordplay). Hence BIFFED hence the verb to biff. Stick with it, it comes with practice. Pip
  25. I am Penfold’s Somebody and Keriothe’s partner in having read – and enjoyed – the, what is it?, 900,000-word Clarissa. Richardson writes this really raunchy novel, everyone loves it because it’s so raunchy, then he gets all pious and writes a book about a boring bloke called Sir Charles Grandison, which so few people read that its fate is sealed – it will one day come up in a TLS crossword. Having said that, Jane Austen loved it. 23 minutes.

    Edited at 2017-02-15 03:41 pm (UTC)

  26. Biff = to confidently put it an answer by definition alone knowing that it can’t possibly be anything else, invariably resulting in egg on face.

    Well that’s my definition.

  27. 16 mins with the excellent PLAY TRUANT my LOI after TISANE. Having read a few old novels in their original format I didn’t have a problem with REFLEXION, although I would be surprised if this spelling is much in current use. I saw FETA straight away so didn’t fall into the “edam” trap. Count me as another who thought “ley” was an alternative spelling of “lee” that I hadn’t seen before until ANDEAN put me straight. I knew ALLEE so I’ve got no real excuse for not putting it in initially. I was also going to biff “quiverer” once I had the U checker from RAGAMUFFIN, but thankfully I decided to read the clue again properly.
  28. About 25 minutes but I entered SNOB. No excuse, really, so I won’t offer one. The rest was nice, and while I thought of EDAM I didn’t enter it, and realized FETA was the required answer. DEVIL as ‘cover with spicy stuff’ in verb form is a new one on me, although it makes good sense. Still looks weird, however. Regards.
  29. Very nice puzzle (and blog). During 2016, I decided to make a real effort to ditch my habit of coming here to say I’d never heard of a word, only to then discover I’d made exactly the same comment a year earlier (by which I mean I tried to imprint such words on my mind for the future, not just to stop wrongly saying I’d never heard of them). Pleased to say that one of the first ones I noted was CANTERBURY BELLS, even more pleased that it sprang immediately to mind today. Given that I still regularly open a new tab on my browser and then find I’ve forgotten what it was I wanted to look at*, this is progress.

    *the modern hi-tech equivalent of finding yourself in the kitchen and forgetting why you went in there…

  30. 9:50 for this interesting and enjoyable puzzle.

    Like others I bunged in EDAM, but fortunately CLARISSA was obvious enough to make me alter it before I’d wasted too much time.

Comments are closed.