Times 26702

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Quite a hard one that occupied me for 50 minutes

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

1 Hard-working boss, devoted but powerless (8)
STUDIOUS – STUD (boss), {p}IOUS (devoted) [powerless]
9 4 / checks carefully carried out for this purpose? (2,2,4)
TO BE SURE – A straight definition with reference to 4dn (of course), and a vaguely cryptic one.
10 Weapon concealed by crook riskily (4)
KRIS – Hidden in [concealed by] {croo}K RIS{kily}
11 Without hesitation, serial plot ruined after this? (7,5)
SPOILER ALERT -Anagram [ruined] of SERIAL PLOT containing [without] ER (hesitation)
13 A maiden jumping from upstairs window, finding lover (6)
ADORER – A, DOR{m}ERΒ  (upstairs window) [maiden – M- jumping from]
14 Funeral hymn by a Scotsman? (8)
ALASTAIR – A, LAST AIR (funeral hymn)
15 Wild fish, heading further east, reaching Mediterranean (7)
UNTAMED – TUNA (fiah) with heading further west becomes UNTA, MED (Mediterranean)
16 Bird β€” rail β€” currently seen near lake (4,3)
BARN OWL – BAR (rail), NOW (currently), L (lake)
20 Think there’s mention of vacancy in rowing crew (8)
RUMINATE – Sounds like [there’s mention of] “room” (vacancy), IN, “eight” (rowing crew)
22 Rock plants originally found near Bedfordshire town (6)
PLUTON – P{lants} [originally], LUTON (Bedfordshire town)
23 German writer pens long hair-raising tale (5-7)
SPINE-CHILLER – SCHILLER (German writer) contains [pens] PINE (long)
25 Employee encountered recurring pressure (4)
TEMP – MET (encountered) reversed [recurring], P (pressure)
26 Most important daytime sleep cut short … in such surroundings? (8)
NOISIEST – NO 1 (most important), SIEST{a} (daytime sleep) [cut short]
27 Fleecing customers ultimately leading to judicial inquiry (8)
SHEARING – {customer}S [ultimately], HEARING (judicial inquiry)
2 Verbally attacked fellow about inhaling pot (6,2)
TURNED ON – TED containing [inhaling] URN (pot), ON (about)
3 Police commissioner finally entering nick, after police inspector’s report (12)
DISSERTATION – DI’S (police inspector’s), then {polic}E +{commissione}R [finally] contained by [entering] STATION (nick)
4 Clearly prof ignoring PR lessons (2,6)
OF COURSE – {pr}OF [ignoring PR], COURSE (lessons)
5 Really famous 21 wearing short garment from India (7)
STELLAR – TELL( 21 – archer – William) contained by [wearing] SAR{i} garment from India [short]
6 A single live broadcast stirred up European region (6)
IBERIA – I (a single), BE (live), AIR (broadcast) reversed [stirred up]
7 Report of discharge in river (4)
OUSE – Sounds like [report of] “ooze” (discharge)
8 Relating to a part of class examination? (8)
SECTORAL – SECT (class), ORAL (examination)
12 The French can lodge in one area of Paris (5,7)
LATIN QUARTER – LA (the, French), TIN (can), QUARTER (lodge)
15 Rebellion forcing Uzbekistan’s leader to go to the front (8)
UPRISING – U{zbekistan} [leader], PRISING (forcing)
17 Wine bottles from meal Paul cooked (8)
AMPULLAE – Anagram [cooked] of MEAL PAUL
18 One hunts in forest without nomads being disturbed (8)
WOODSMAN – WO (ithout), anagram [being disturbed] of NOMADS
19 People who discriminate are gripped by extremes of stubbornness (7)
SEXISTS – EXIST (are), conrained by S{tubbornnes}S [extremes]
21 Endless stuff about female Olympic competitor? (6)
ARCHER – CRA{m} (stuff) [endless] reversed [about] HER (female)
24 Bird, one going over British Isles (4)
IBIS – I (one), B (British), IS (isles)

40 comments on “Times 26702”

  1. 7m, so no real problems here. PLUTON was unknown and there were a couple of others that I wasn’t necessary confident about, including 8dn, where I thought there might be a better word for class than SECT. LOI 14ac with a satisfying penny drop.
  2. LOI was DNK PLUTON; didn’t know if Luton was in Bedfordshire, either, but given the checkers and my limited knowledge of English geography, it seemed the best bet. I had thought of ARCHER, but couldn’t see how it worked; then biffing STELLAR forced it on me, and I saw the wordplay. COD to 23ac, although the enumeration and some checkers made it quite biffable.
  3. Held up by a few such as TO BE SURE and had to guess PLUTON from the wordplay but I found this fairly gentle and finished in about 35 minutes. I liked the ‘room in eight’ and ALASTAIR.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  4. was my LOI stab at 14 ac which of course is ALASTAIR! Ouch! A DNF in about 40 minutes.


    COD 23ac SPINE CHILLER Hon. mention to 20ac RUMINATE


    Edited at 2017-04-18 12:54 am (UTC)

  5. Submitted with some trepidation, with PLUTON and AMPULLAE unknown, failing to parse NOISIEST and, as per Verlaine, being wary of SECT for class.

    Spent ages trying to justify NOISIEST for “most important”, finally convincing myself that an important person was sometimes called “a big noise”. So in the end I entered it with the confidence that can only come from sheer ignorance. Happy days.

    Thanks setter and Jack. (Jack, your east has gone west in your comment for 15ac).

  6. 17:32 … same doubts and delays as others, SECT- in particular making me chary of hitting submit. And I made a tricky puzzle trickier by chucking in ‘spine tingler’.

    COD to UPRISING. Nicely done.

  7. A slightly dozy 22.26, one of those when you spend time pondering the many synonyms for hymn and which Olympic athletes are dead enough and famous enough to make it into the times. And like Sotira putting in the obviously correct but unparsable SPINE TINGLER, and not seeing how IBERIA worked (cheers Jack!).
    I once walked from Luton to St Albans to save the 1/6d bus fare, so I do know where it is, even if I don’t know where PLUTON is found, nor would I recognise it if I saw it.
    Smileys to RUMINATE and ALASTAIR. And a special mention for Horryd’s ABATTOIR, so nearly possible!
    1. … sounds very Hammer Horror, though probably Dr Horryd’s Abattoir (of Blood)
      1. Yes, Harvey Weinstein is interested and so I shall be looking for volunteer virgins and some group A+.

        Edited at 2017-04-18 08:10 am (UTC)

  8. 30 minutes held up by putting in TO BE FAIR early on. COD to SPOILER ALERT with ALISTAIR not far behind.
  9. Same problems as others. LOI ALASTAIR.

    Enjoyed memories of quaffing vin rouge with strong cheese in small bistros in the LATIN QUARTER – happy days

  10. 12m. No problems today, but a few clues that required a little bit of thought. I didn’t even notice the possible looseness of SECT/class though. PLUTON not known, but seemed likely. I wouldn’t have put two Ls in AMPULLAE, but the anagram fodder guided me to the right answer.
  11. After 30 mins with croissant and cherry/amaretto jam (Betty’s), I was left with the Sectoral/Alastair crossers and didn’t get any further. After last week’s issues with Eric an Al, and today’s 2dn Ted, I have resolved to ‘think name’ whenever I see man, woman, men, women, Irishwoman, etc. although Ian and Mac didn’t help with Alastair today.
    What I liked most about this one was that the surface readings were all so believable, vacancies in rowing crews, nomads in forests, women jumping from windows, profs ignoring PR.
    Good stuff setter.
  12. 45 minutes on this with LOI ALASTAIR. Didn’t really get 8d, as it’s not responding to SECTORAL analysis, but I put it in as I had nothing else left to give. A good crossword even so. COD RUMINATE. Thank you Jack and setter.

    Edited at 2017-04-18 08:25 am (UTC)

  13. Thought it was going to be a quick one, but was held up at the end by SEXIST and then NOISIEST, loi, where, like Gal, I was happy to accept that it = ‘most important’. Only as I was writing it in did SIEST(a) leap out, I had spent ages thinking it started NA(p), and I managed to parse it.

  14. Enjoyed this one a lot, despite still being rather laid up by a cold. All done in 50m. FOI 1a, LOI SECTORAL, as with others. Loved ALASTAIR, and the excellent clue for SPOILER ALERT, which must be a relative newcomer to our dictionaries…

    Took me a while to see “recurring” as a reversal indicator, or to convince myself that TURNED ON was particularly verbal, but other than than, I was happy with my parsing.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  15. A more focused solve on my first commute for 11 days, but I still needed to put it down and come back just now to get ALASTAIR. I thought for a while that the weapon at 10A was going to be OKRI because it sounded like the Gurkha knife ‘kukri’, but having realised it was KRIS I do think I’ve heard it somewhere before.

    I was helped by being familiar with Luton, but unlike z8b8d8k I’ve only ever driven from there to St Albans.

  16. Same problems as others – PLUTON, SECTORAL & ALASTAIR (which I only parsed after completion) the last three to go. Never heard of Pluton, and wasn’t sure where Luton was, so that was a bit of a gamble. 9m 54s in all.
  17. The setter managed to wrong-foot me in several quarters. And I think I forgot what day of the week it was, mistakenly tapping the TLS-solving side of my brain. I thought “amphorae” were for wine and AMPULLAE for oil and I was too clever by half in thinking we had the Judgement of Paris for the Olympic competition and Athena in 21d. Same as Janie with “nap” and I dithered over *E*TORAL. A lot of backing and filling needed. 18.23 Good puzzle.
  18. The literal “Rock” for PLUTON at 22a is a bit akin to putting “Tree” as a literal for FOREST. A PLUTON is a large body of rock – molten in its original state – that crystallises to produce a mass consisting of more than one – often quite a few – rock types.

    There was a similar geo-faux-pas in a puzzle in 2007 (I am doing some back numbers) where NAPPE was clued as “Rock”. Although very different from a Pluton a NAPPE is also a large structure consisting of a number of different rocks.

    Despite this geologist’s nit-picking I really enjoyed this puzzle. Thanks setter & blogger.

    BTW – at 10a – how did the Setter know that Kris Marshall is now favourite to be the new Dr Who?

  19. 15:39 with the same knowledge gaps and qualms as others. I enjoyed “last air” for funeral hymn.

    Apologies if this has been mentioned elsewhere (I haven’t found time to do all the puzzles from the last couple of weeks so have avoided the blogs on here) but the first qualifier for this year’s championships will appear tomorrow.

  20. I enjoyed this puzzle a lot. I zipped through it in a, for me, fast time of 29:44. FOI was STUDIOUS and LOI SECTORAL, which I also agonised over. I didn’t know AMPULLAE, but did know AMPHORAE, so the small leap with the anagrist made it a write in. I’d also been puzzling over the funeral hymn, and laughed out loud when it finally struck me. I’d also been playing around with NA(p) for 26a, but when I saw SIEST(a), the parsing fell into place. I didn’t know PLUTON, but I did know Luton is in Bedfordshire. I once flew from there to Cyprus. I smiled at SPOILER ALERT too. Nice puzzle. Thanks setter and Jack.
  21. If only someone had it would have saved me watching 8 hours (minus ads) of a drama with a ridiculous ending. Don’t get me going on how far removed this is from actual policing (6 years with Norfolk Constab). Anyway I found this ridiculously easy for me putting many answers in just by the checkers. Had to be Pluton (possibly the worst rock to inhabit) and I nearly fell for Abattoir but had a final think. About 20 mins which is nuts for me. COD to above Spoiler Alert. I won’t give away the result of the coming election as it may spoil your fun. Save me from politicians. Rant over and many thanks blogger for explaining the parsing.
  22. In haste, slapped in ABATTOIR without really thinking about the clue too much. Never have approved of double unched letters so that’s my excuse. Also, not keen on “fellow” being used for any man’s name (TED in this instance in 1dn). About 13mins but with one error, as stated.
  23. DNF I think mainly due to the remnants of a migraine preventing me from thinking straight. Having filled in yesterdays Jumbo 3 times due to crashes (I know I know I should have saved it first), I thought that we can’t have the same river again. LOI NOISIEST for same reasons as above
  24. Quite tough but great fun as I made steady progress. Stopped from finishing by my (silly?) solution of ‘Racists’ for 19 dn – shd have read the clue more carefully as it foiled my repeated attempts to solve 20 ac.
  25. 26 mins, the last five or so of which were spent trying to think of an alternative to SECTORAL. It also took me a while to see ALASTAIR but I thought it was an excellent clue once the bawbee dropped.
  26. Nice puzzle. About 25 minutes, with the last 5 of those on ALASTAIR, which also made me laugh when it finally showed itself. Agreed SECTORAL caused some pausing and puzzling, and PLUTON was new but somewhat easily entered, since Luton must have appeared here before. Regards.
  27. Enjoyed this, felt like it was at the easier end of the spectrum. Took 20 mins on the train this morning and then 12 mins to tidy it up at lunch time. FOI 10ac. LOI 8dn (like others I couldn’t quite equate class with sect so I did an alphabet run at the end just to assure myself that there were no better options). Nice PDM at 14ac but COD to the room in eight homophone at 20ac with an honourable mention to 17dn.
  28. No problem with this, in 20 minutes, but with 14a unfinished. Why is ALASTAIR an answer for Scotsman? I know a couple of Alastairs and they are decidedly un-Scottish. Why is an AIR a hymn? Surely a hymn has some religious notion, an air is just a tune. Not impressed.
  29. A decent enough puzzle spoilt by the dubious clue to 8dn. I expect the setter/editor would justify it by the appearance of “a class of people” among Chambers’s definitions of SECT, but the most recent citation for this meaning in the OED dates from 1628. Anyway I spent several minutes searching for a better solution and eventually gave up and bunged in SECTORAL (even though I strongly suspected it was wrong) and finished in a miserable 16:50.
  30. Is it possible that you could change the format of your answers to the format that BIGDAVE44 uses for Daily Telegraph crosswords. So that us newbies can get some training in? That is dont give the answers but highlight the definition and give an idea where to look for the answer.
    1. I hadn’t seen that before as I rarely do the DT crossword and therefore have no reason to look at Big Dave’s site.

      But having done so I must say I find the whole format unnecessarily complicated and the comments section almost impossible to follow to the point at which my eyes began to hurt trying to do so. If that’s what the people who go there want and the blogging team are happy to provide it then good luck to them but I for one would have no interest in changing my contributions to TftT to fall into line with it. I can’t speak for others hereabouts.

      Edited at 2017-05-20 04:12 am (UTC)

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