Times 26656 – are you living up to the measure of your 11?

Solving time : 9:37 – I thought this was a rather fun and neat crossword, with everything going in on a first or second pass through the clues and no real holdups. My last in was what I’d pick as my favorite clue (just edging out 11 across) – 17 down, which managed to get two references to supporters in without either of them being BRA. Have we entered a new age of enlightenment in the Times Crossword, or are there more BRAs waiting right around the shoulder?

Away we go…

1 NEGUS: EG in NUS – a drink I have never heard of outside of crosswordland. Apparently it is sherry, hot water and spices. Sounds, umm, delicious?
4 HOSTELLER: SOH(musical note) reversed, then TELLER(bank employee)
9 IN GENERAL: IN(popular), GENERAL(officer)
11 POTENTIOMETER: IOM(Isle of Man) after O, TENT(shelter), inside PETER(safe) – crafty clue!
14 LOGO: LO(see), then GO(what is signified by green)
15 SAILOR SUIT: kind of a cryptic definition – Jack being a sailor, and a young child named Jack may be stuffed into one
18 SATIRISING: anagram of GIANTS containing the Greek god of the raibow, IRIS
19 LIFT: hidden in tilL IF Tempted
25 GARIBALDI: GI containing A, RIBALD
27 LADY’S MAID: an anagram of DISMAY after LAD
28 TEXAS: X (times, mathematically) inside TEAS
1 NAIL POLISH: cryptic definition
2 GIG: half of GIGGLE
3 SONANT: SON(young male), ANT(worker, perhaps)
4 HARRIDANS: HARRIS (one of the Three Men In a Boat) with DAN(a level of proficiency in martial arts) inside
5 SALEM: Uncle SAM containing LE – reference to the witch trial city
7 LE CORBUSIER: C(about) inside an anagram of ROLE, then BUSIER
8 ROTA: OR reversed then TA
12 TIGHTFISTED: the dukes are FISTS and they are in a TIGHT space
13 STATISTICS: STATIC(still) and S(small) containing IST(first)
16 LENINGRAD: NINE,L reversed, then GRAD(e)
17 TRUSTEES: two supports, TEE and TRUSS, one inside the other
20 TWO-BIT: TWIT containing OB
22 MAGMA: MAG, MA(g)
23 GAUL: sounds like GALL, home of Asterix
26 LAX: hide the top of FLAX

48 comments on “Times 26656 – are you living up to the measure of your 11?”

  1. I got into difficulties in the SW corner and once again lost an inordinate amount of time sorting it out. ANTRE was unknown.

    I also lost time at 26dn considering LUX (at one time it was a brand of soap flake recommended for washing wool and other delicate soft fibres, could there have been an etymological reason it was called that, I wondered?) before deciding that {f}LAX was a better option.

    HARRIDAN came up in the puzzle I blogged on Tuesday and also another towards the end of January, yet I didn’t spot it in the plural today until I had worked out the “boatman” connection, so again more time was lost.

    In the middle of all that I nodded off, I think only briefly, but as a result I have no accurate solving time to offer, which in the circumstances is probably just as well!

  2. of which the last maybe 7 minutes was devoted to 4d–at least, I’d finished the rest of the puzzle by that time. Would never have got the boatman, not having read the book; so it was just as well that I gave up and started playing with the alphabet, although if I’d been more systematic–HARB, HARC, … –I would have finished sooner. Biffed 11ac from the P and M and ‘shelter’, worked it out post hoc. 1d and 9ac struck me as Quickie-level clues.
    1. Harris the boatman came up here in June last year (One member of boating party returns to old address – SIRRAH), not that that’s a particular reason to remember it of course.
  3. is the Latin for ‘light’. 26dn LAX was my LOI as it took me a while to see 28ac TEXASas big as it is.

    31 minutes and as enjoyable as the rest of this week’s offerings. Tomorrow will be hell!

    FOI 19ac LIFT. DNK NEGUS or ANTRE but….

    16dn Ikea LENIGRAD decent clue but COD 4dn HARRIDANS which parsed all understanding..thanks G for the enlightenment.

    At school 11ac POTENTIOMETERs and rheostats bored me silly in physics – with ‘Chimp’ Edwards at the helm. Thank the good Lord for Rowntrees liquorice gums(and fly-ridden 25ac GARIBALDIs).


  4. A DNF. About 40 minutes with only 17d to go, but couldn’t get it out, mainly because I had ‘as’, not ‘so’, for 21. A few others unparsed, including HARRIDANS and FLAX, and ANTRE was bunged in from the wordplay.

    I know GARIBALDI(S) by the more descriptive name of ‘squashed flies’. And delicious they are too.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

    1. Eek… just had to come here to find out what the last one was… TRUSTEES! Well, I thought to myself, surely I should have got that, since I did consider TEE in the middle. A quick look back at my unfinished grid shows me why: a lazily filled in IN AS MANY WORDS. Oops.

        1. Four, but I eventually sorted it out, unlike a recent puzzle where I misspelled Khmyr Rouge because I didn’t know the spelling and failed to work through the anagram fodder. I made a mental note not to do that again, but seem to have mislaid it.
  5. Just under 2 hrs: Got everything except 10a ascot and 8d rota.

    Finally caved in and cheated for ascot, after which rota was easy, so frustrating as ascot was probably the easiest clue in retrospect!

    Didn’t know antre, negus.

    For the parsing
    1a, eg is that “for one”, ie as an example?
    11a, I didn’t see IOM for man.
    15a, I wasn’t sure why jack was little.

    So thanks for the blog.
    COD to 1d or 7d.

    I need to get faster or I might be out of work…

    1. In the days when the Royal Navy was around 3 million tons of heavy metal and brute force, it was customary to dress your children in something mimicking sailors’ uniform, which was the “sailor suit” (so not what the grown up sailors themselves wore). Also accounts for the “habit once”, though a quick Google reveals they’re still available, if not so ubiquitously worn.
  6. 14:52 … which I’m pretty thrilled with, given that I had little clue what was going on in either HARRIDANS or SAILOR SUIT.

    After yesterday’s ont for oat I did a proper check on this one — just as well or today I would have had gag for GIG.

    George — you’re right, we do see a lot more setters going braless these days. On the other hand, I’m starting to get a bit tired of tees! Never happy. Who’d be a setter?

  7. About an hour for me, though I certainly wasn’t racing the clock today. Very pleased that I decided to read Three Men in a Boat last summer after it came up here, and usefully remembered it today. That’ll never happen with the Bible, but maybe I’ll get around to watching some Shakespeare at some point…

    FOI 5d, LOI TRUSTEES, or technically ANTRE, as that was pencilled in first and more firmly penned once I was sure it wasn’t likely to be anything else.

    Enjoyed GARIBALDI. POTENTIOMETER came easily to me as I’ve only recently finished putting together a kit with seven of them in

  8. Pretty well sailed through this one in 20 minutes, despite a slight diversion with ANGUS at 10a even though it just had to be LE CORBUSIER at 7d. Also had GAG for 2d until better sense prevailed.
    Struggled for a while with a BRA in 17d (story of my life really).
    Never heard of ANTRE but we live and learn, don’t we?
    Glad to see another outing for one of my fave books at 4d.
  9. Easy again today, though antre went in with shrug.
    Negus well known to all G. Heyer fans, in Regency days they couldn’t get enough of it apparently..
  10. No problems here either. Just a steady solve.

    I always find concoctions like NEGUS far inferior to drinking the base ingredient – sherry here – on its own!

  11. 18.16 with HARRIDANS unparsed but fresh in the mind from Tuesday. Fingers were crossed for ANTRE but it couldn’t be much else. Any time under 20 minutes is worth celebrating for me so Storm Doris can do her worst.
  12. I’ve got a lovely photo of my Dad in a SAILOR SUIT from about 1920 which gave me a smile. Then I was taken to the Clarendon Laboratory in the sixties with POTENTIOMETER. I was back in the pack today, finishing in 22 minutes, after slow times the last two days. The soaking walking the dog first thing must have woken me up. DNK NEGUS but thought Arthur’s family had the sort of genes to have a drink named after them. Also never heard of ANTRE, biffable once GAUL was in one part. Liked the HARRIDANS clue. (If Peg Leg Wakefield in the fifties hadn’t made us read Three Men in a Boat, I’d frequently be nowhere on the puzzle.) COD NAIL POLISH. The clue for Le Corbusier wasn’t constructed on minimalist enough lines to win that! Enjoyable, despite the wet collar
  13. 13 min – nearly best ever, with TRUSTEES LOI, as was distracted by trying BRA at start. (I did know NEGUS & ANTRE – the latter as a regular stand-by for barred puzzle setters. )
  14. Another really good crossword – hopefully tomorrow’s (or its blog) won’t prove an anticlimax for this excellent week. I was at a leaving do for a work colleague last night, with the tab paid for by the company, but fortunately I had the presence of mind to wait until the morning to do the puzzle, with the result that I’m sitting just underneath Magoo on the leaderboard for now, rather than 7 pages down. COD to POTENTIOMETER as I thought of it quickly but then was impressed by the crafty construction. I also quite liked 12dn which came with a real PDM… some great setting going on here!
  15. I seem to have got it all right but on the leaderboard it reckons I got one wrong. Tears.

    Enjoyable solve all the same

    1. Sorry anon, the leaderboard doesn’t lie. If you go back into the puzzle on the club website, your mistake will have been replaced by the correct solution, which often makes solvers think they’ve been robbed.
      Amended letters will be in black instead of blue, but that’s not always easy to spot, depending on your device and its settings.
      If you click “print progress” you’ll see the answers that you actually entered.
  16. 12m, with quite a long pause at the end over HARRIDAN and SAILOR SUIT.
    Nice puzzle, with some unfamiliar and unusual words that required attention to the wordplay.
  17. Probably half of that spent in the south-east corner. GAUL, ANTRE and LADYS-MAID took longer than they probably should have, but TRUSTEES was the last to fall. Like others I was hooked on “bra”. As soon as that was unhooked, all was revealed.

    7 over par for the week. Need a speedy Friday solve to break even. Don’t like my chances.

    Nice puzzle again. Thanks setter and George.

  18. I struggled with this one taking 72 minutes to cross the finish line. Like Bletchleyreject I was held up by carelessly biffing IN AS MANY WORDS which made 17d impossible until I had a rethink just before giving up. The annoying thing is that TRUSS as a support occurred to me quite early on, but the A from AS prevented me making the jump to the answer. I also DNK NEGUS, ANTRE and SONANT, failed to parse 4d which now George has enlightened me is a great clue. I should have at least spotted DAN. I have read the book, but not since I was a teenager. As it was I was sure of the answer but wasted ages trying to parse it. Only after SAILOR SUIT (there’s a few pictures of me knocking around in one!) went in did I write it in. Was pleased to eventually finish with all correct. A bit of a challenge for me anyway. Thanks setter and George.
  19. 9m 52s, with the last two minutes or so spent on 4d / 11a. LE CORBUSIER & ANTRE came from wordplay but without too many concerns, and I managed narrowly to avoid throwing in GAG at 2d.
  20. My first thought for “boatman” was CHARON but then the clue ended in an S so that put paid to that. A few DNKs today: ANTRE, NEGUS and SONANT but others seem not to have known those three either. SAILOR SUIT reminded me of Visconti’s “Death in Venice”, so wonderfully satirised by the Pythons.
    On edit: SONANT isn’t in ODO but it is in Chambers, so that’s OK then. 35m 15s

    Edited at 2017-02-23 05:07 pm (UTC)

  21. This extended to 30 minutes or so, since I was held up by HARRIDANS, where I had no idea of any part of the wordplay, ANTRE, and my LOI, TRUSTEES. I’ve also probably seen NEGUS before, but forgot it, a fairly typical happenstance for me. Regards.
  22. 15 mins. LENINGRAD was my LOI after the SAILOR SUIT/HARRIDANS crossers. I would have got the latter a lot quicker had I known that Harris was one of the three men in a boat. I quite liked the clue for GARIBALDI because he was a soldier as well as having a biscuit named after him.
  23. Spent a long time at the winter ales festival in Norwich yesterday. Woke up slightly later than normal; went into the garden to find myself staggering around. It was either the Old Stoatwobbler (really!) or Storm Doris. Yet another puzzle where, as an improver, i struggled to get into until I managed gimmes such ad Texas, Logo and Gaul then managed to reverse engineer Garibaldi. Loved 1d and 12d. But my first DNF of the week as I stupidly entered “in as many words” which stumped me on 17d. Another beer session tonight so I will probably submit my Friday entry on Sunday.
  24. I’m another one, along with John Dun et al, who was held up by a careless “as” in 21ac, leaving me with 17d to go by 21 minutes. In the end, I got there in 25min, which is OK for me.

    ANTRE was an NHO, but otherwise it seemed like a perfectly reasonable, in fact good, puzzle.

  25. For the 3rd day in a row, another cracking puzzle! On first read-through nothing leapt out & I was beginning to think: Oh dear, this is going to be a DNF. In this situation I tend to focus on the short ones and LOGO was my FOI quickly followed by TEXAS and then LAX. All of a sudden a steady solve was under way albeit a couple of hours work. DNK NEGUS or ANTRE but the wordplay was adequate to biff both. Fortunately I’d read TMIAB so 4dn was easily parsed. I keep meaning to read Three Men On The Bummel but never quite seem to get around to it.
  26. After a week of having to come back to the puzzles after a break, but managing to finish them in a little over an hour, I didn’t quite manage this one entirely. My bitterness in 23dn was bile (and the Middle Eastern Roman era country I invented was BAAL); why couldn’t I think of GAUL? The rest was something of a struggle (ANTRE, NEGUS, HARRIDAN again) but at least correct. Good puzzle.
  27. Damn! I’d have posted a much better time than 11:13 if I hadn’t carelessly bunged in IN AS MANY WORDS, particularly as my first thought was to use TRUSS for one of the supports in 17dn. Perhaps it’s as well I kept coming back to it because after several minutes I finally realised my mistake. I’m relieved to find I wasn’t the only one (I think I bring the number up to six).

    Another interesting and enjoyable puzzle.

  28. Yes, I remember it well from schooldays. Are they still around?

    21.50 of enjoyable solving. Cannot ask for more.

    1. Yes they are. For me they are in the same category as MORTADELLA: food that is mediocre by any objective standard, but which I love for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on.

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