Times 26732

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I needed 36 minutes for this one, which is not bad for me these days having slowed down a bit in recent weeks. Many of the clues are really easy, some are biffable and a couple perhaps bordering on the obscure but in most of these cases the wordplay is helpful. One exception perhaps is the composer at 20dn who I suspect very few will have heard of, but I happened to know of him; the alternative route to the answer is a science reference so it’s quite possible that some solvers may be stumped by both.

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

1 Plant, where cropped, eaten by horse (7)
COWHERB – WHER{e} [cropped], contained  [eaten] by COB (horse). I didn’t know this plant but I arrived at its name via wordplay and assumed it’s another name for “cow-parsley” with which I am very familiar, however it appears they are not even related to each other. The horse is thickset with short legs, apparently.
5 Left-winger is distraught, ultimately leaving party (6)
SOCIAL – SOCIAL{ist} (left-winger) [is + {distraugh}t, ultimately leaving]
8 Work of art futile ultimately — no good, mad (9)
ENGRAVING – {futil}E [ultimately], NG (no good), RAVING (mad). “Ultimately” indicating last letters in consecutive clues is a bit weak.
9 Trips from this French city? (5)
TOURS – Two meanings
11 Artist paid to pen article (5)
MANET – MET (paid) contains [to pen] AN (article)
12 I repeatedly get excited, with enthusiasm about current climate (9)
ZEITGEIST – ZEST (enthusiasm)  containing [about] anagram [excited] of I + I (repeatedly) + GET
13 Woodman’s line of business, needing fine minerals to test (8)
FORESTRY – F (fine), ORES (minerals), TRY (test)
15 Smile endlessly, repeatedly showing charm (6)
GRIGRI – GRI{n} + GRI{n} (smile) [endlessly] repeatedly. I didn’t know this word for an African talisman but the wordplay was helpful.
17 Holiday month with endless rest for one imposing hard task on hero (6)
AUGEAS – AUG (holiday month), EAS{e} (rest) [endless]. Heracles was the hero. Augeas was the guy who had stables full of dung who set him the nigh impossible task of cleaning them out.
19 Indication of very bad bruising on member who is unpopular worker? (8)
BLACKLEG – Two meanings, a literal interpretation and a figurative one with reference to a strike breaker in an industrial dispute.
22 Brewing is to cease — before these are brought out? (3,6)
TEA COSIES – Anagram [brewing] of IS TO CEASE. I’d class this as &lit or semi-&lit, however the brewing doesn’t cease before these are deployed.
23 Performer with animal has monkey around not keeping quiet (5)
TAMER – TAM{p}ER (monkey around) [not keeping quiet – p]
24 Sage in Nagpur — I shine (5)
RISHI – Hidden in {Nagpu}R I SHI{ne}. I didn’t know this one but took on trust that it was a hidden answer.
25 Expression of pain by one in ordeal most bad-tempered (9)
TOUCHIEST – OUCH (expression of pain) + I (one) in TEST (ordeal)
26 Slow movement of a retreating old island tribe (6)
ADAGIO – A, then O (old) + I (island) + GAD (tribe) all reversed [retreating]
27 You and I in style, moving in a gracious manner (7)
SWEETLY – WE (you and I) in anagram [moving] of STYLE
1 Farm tea made special with carrot cake ingredient? (5,2,6)
CREAM OF TARTAR – Anagram [made special] of FARM TEA CARROT. Potassium bitartrate, also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate, according to Wiki. It has various functions in cookery but the one that probably concerns us here is as an ingredient in baking soda products.
2 Driver in West, a fellow doomed (7)
WAGONER – W (west), A, GONER (fellow doomed)
3 Demand that performance is never to be put on again? (5)
EXACT – An ACT (performance) that is never to be put on again may be said to be an EX-ACT
4 Black reptile doubling up a bit in bad weather (8)
BLIZZARD – B (black), LIZARD (reptile)  doubles its Z-content to give us the answer
5 Just under ten short soldiers turning up to register (4,2)
SIGN IN – NIN{e} (just under ten) [short] + GI’S (soldiers) all reversed [turning up]
6 Positive guy with conceit, wealthy husband doing a bunk (9)
CATEGORIC – CAT (guy), EGO (conceit), RIC{h} (wealthy) [husband doing a bunk]
7 Comic needing an act of reflection (7)
AMUSING – A (an), MUSING (act of reflection)
10 Having nothing to worry about, / like a model in more ways than one? (7,6)
SITTING PRETTY – Two definitions, one figurative, one cryptic
14 Period home with good taste is what I provide (9)
SEASONING – SEASON (period), IN (home), G (good)
16 College room without roof — thus useless for learner to enter (3,5)
ALL SOULS – {h}ALL (room) [without roof], SO (thus), US (useless) which L (learner) enters. It’s a college in Oxford.
18 Fool overwhelmed by heartless avarice must be brought down (7)
GRASSED – ASS (fool) contained [overwhelmed] by GR{e}ED (avarice) [heartless]. “Grass” can mean to knock or bring down an opponent in sport or to shoot down a bird. I didn’t know either of these meanings.
20 Old English composer’s measure of brightness (7)
LAMBERT – Two meanings. The only English composer of this name that I could think of was Constant Lambert but as his dates were 1905-1951 I hardly think that constitutes “old”, at least as composers go. He’s perhaps most famous for his ballet music “Horoscope” which is still revived occasionally. I found  there was also an English composer  called George Lambert 1794-1880 but I doubt he’d be the  intended reference here.
21 Classical artist irritated about onset of impressionism (6)
GIOTTO – GOT TO (irritated) containing [about] I{mpressionism} [onset]
23 Apprehending end of joke, you chuckle (2-3)
TE-HEE – THEE (you) containing [apprehending] {jok}E [end]

48 comments on “Times 26732”

  1. I didn’t feel at all confident in LAMBENT, and for good reason. And I actually knew of Constant Lambert, albeit only as the model for Moreland in Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time. And as Jack says, ‘old’ seems inappropriate. I surprised myself by discovering GRIGRI in my memory; Lord knows how it got there. I did not surprise myself by being embarrassingly slow in filling in CREAM OF _A_T_R (LOI!). Getting the initial Z at 12ac was a big help. I didn’t know the relevant meaning of GRASSED; I just went with the wordplay and assumed that informing on a criminal is a way of bringing him down.

    Edited at 2017-05-23 06:22 am (UTC)

    1. I didn’t know that – thanks Kevin. You are the Powell expert. What did you think of the tv adaptation. I thought it was pretty good.
      1. The wikipedia article on Dance lists the inspirations for several characters.

        I thought the TV series was OK as far as it went, but with four episodes to cover twelve books, that wasn’t very far.

  2. If I’d have thought of LAMBERT, I’d have dismissed it, not being aware of either reference. As it was I didn’t have much faith in LUMIENT, but in it went.

    24:55 otherwise, pretty chuffed to have got AUGEAS. COD and WOD to ZEITGEIST.

    Thanks setter and Jack. Best wishes to all our UK friends, especially the northerners, after the awful incident in Manchester.

  3. I had a bit more of a struggle than normal with this one, around 17 minutes. Fortunately remembered both halves of LAMBERT, biffed CREAM OF TARTAR, but CATEGORIC and SOCIAL had me sitting scratching my head for far too long.
  4. I was pleased with my 51 minutes, given I didn’t know grigri or either sense of lambert. I wonder how many were in the same boat as the one I was in until a few months ago, when I first knowingly came across cream of tartar, having bought it at an extortionate rate for a bake I was doing. With Giotto, grassed and, dare I say it, All Souls, all possible tripper-uppers, I’d say this was on the distinctly tricky – if not precisely difficult – side.
  5. Same as yesterday, took about 30mins before brain freeze struck, and I was left with a blank at AUG-A-. Oh, and I had ‘lambent’, which I thought was a measure of light…

  6. I’m on a terrible run of mistakes at the moment — 3 in a week, I think. Today’s was ‘catagoric’, despite having parsed the ‘ego’ bit of the clue. And I’m having real trouble seeing my mistakes, which has me worried about the Champs qualifier I put in the post yesterday.

    Definitely tricky in parts, this one. It’s always satisfying to assemble something like ZEITGEIST, so COD to that. Guessed right on LAMBERT. Can’t really complain about a clue that offers two routes — one scientific, the other artsy — to the GK solution, even if I didn’t know either of them. Lambert just sounded more plausible as a composer.

  7. About 30 mins with porridge. Nice to see Heracles get an outing at the time that another strong, stable cleaner has mess to clear up.
    DNK Lambert, so bunged in Lumient. Also DNK GriGri, but what else could it be? Apart from that ok, although unbelievably spent ages on Tea Cosies before twigging it was an anagram.
    Thanks setter and Jack.
  8. LAMBERT seemed distantly familiar, likewise CREAM OF TARTAR, but I can’t say I was that sure of either, likewise GRASSED and COWHERB. At least for a classicist AUGEAS was more or less a write-in! Though I must confess I wasn’t 100% certain the ending wasn’t -US. 8 and a half minutes or so…
  9. Familiar with the unit of luminance, fortunately, though not the composer, even though there appear to be several of those to choose from. Otherwise OK
  10. I am sure his name has come up in a jumbo in recent times with virtually the same clue. Who is Mac Rebbennack? lol
  11. LAMBENT here for me. It may be a case of sour grapes, but double defs which are arguably obscure (keyword being arguably, I know) perhaps border on unfair? But all good knowledge I suppose.

    Held up by CREME DE TARTAR, not reading the anagram fodder properly, and the NW corner suffering as a result. COD to SITTING PRETTY I think, which I certainly wasn’t today.
    Many thanks setter and blogger.

    1. For what it is worth, I concur. Double defs, where (arguably) both sides are obscure and (often) proper nouns, leave no way to tackle them.
  12. As nobody has stated it, a LAMBERT is defined as the brightness of a perfectly diffusing surface that radiates or reflects one lumen per square centimetre. Watch out also for the measure “foot-lambert”. A really unfriendly clue I thought – and I didn’t know the composer

    Strange pot pourri of a puzzle that went from the banal clue to TOURS to the obscurity already mentioned. It all felt slightly unsatisfactory in the end. Well done Jack.

    1. I was struck by the contrasting positions taken by a couple of our star solvers:
      Sotira: Can’t really complain about a clue that offers two routes — one scientific, the other artsy — to the GK solution
      Keriothe: That is not a kind clue.
      Dorsetjimbo: A really unfriendly clue I thought
      I won’t attempt to adjudicate between the two positions; I will, however, note that all three solvers fail to note the really important point, viz. that I FAILED TO SOLVE THE CLUE.
  13. Pleased to get this right over 21 minutes, given then number of pitfalls and Heffalump traps.
    I was also puzzled by the “Old” in the LAMBERT clue. But I’ll temper that with what I thought the first name was, which is Constance, for whom I apparently have a spurious back history as that rare thing, an (almost) famous female composer. (Yes, yes, I know, Hildebrand von Bingen. And then?)
    GRASSED made me think of cricket and dropped catches, but they are hardly taken down, now are they?
    1. Fanny Mendelssohn
      Germaine Taillefaire
      Lili Boulangere
      Amy Beach
      Alma Mahler
      Louise Farrenc
      Barbara Strozzi
      Judith Weir
      Ruth Gipps
      Cecile Chaminade
      ….I could go on…
      1. Of course, yes, though I can’t say they’re all in my collection. But Mendelsohn, Schumann, Mahler and such would only appear in the crossword by virtue of their partners, and the range of possible answers to “female composers” reckoned as fair game would probably not embrace many (or any) of the others. Lambert himself is probably right on the edge of stuff the solvers can be expected to know.

        Of course I was also being a bit flippant.

  14. 17′ but with the invented LAMPERT, not knowing either half of clue. So with GRIGRI and RISHI that made three words with crossed fingers, which is three too many. Thanks jack and setter.
  15. Finished correctly but taking 55 minutes, with fingers crossed for RISHI and GRIGRI. No jokes today, just solidarity with Manchester. Thank you J and setter.
  16. 14m. This felt like a bit of a lucky escape, coming very close to the edges of my knowledge without quite going over. AUGEAS, for instance: I knew the stables but I don’t think I knew that ‘Augean’ derived from someone’s name. And ?A?? for ‘rest’ is the kind of pattern that could throw up lots of possibilities.
    Somehow I happened to know the measure of light. That is not a kind clue.
    GRIGRI and GRASSED were completly unknown, but with very helpful wordplay.
  17. Indeed an eclectic mix today. I have a print out of the 12 labours in my previously unknown Times notebook and can’t wait for the stymphalian birds to crop up. Never saw the anagram at 22. 25 with at least 3 teasing out cosies… doh!
  18. 18:07 with an interruption. DNK GRIGRI (grass of home?) but extracted it from the wordplay. Have never seen TE-HEE before, always TEE-HEE. Otherwise pretty straightforward.
  19. I don’t know much music by Constant Lambert, but I should have thought that the Rio Grande was his most famous. Don’t know.

    And as for ‘old’, well I suppose he is old to some. I once clued ‘Oasis’ as ‘an old pop group’ in a definition-only crossword for children.

    1. I knew the unit but not the composer. I seem to remember something about ‘on the banks of the Rio Grande, they dance no saraband’ at school but can’t even remember if it was in music or poetry.
  20. 49:34 but with LAMBENT. I had typed LAMBERT in but then changed it. Ho hum. I found this really hard work with loads of unknowns that had to be teased out of the wordplay. Can’t say I enjoyed it. Thanks for the explanations Jack.
  21. Much the same experience as everyone else. I began with a speculative CHICHI, though even as I wrote it I couldn’t really see how a CHIN could be a smile apart from a vague geographical proximity. Still, as other clues went in, it was pretty clear what it had to be, which wasn’t necessarily true of LAMBERT.
  22. Terrible performance here, completely off the wavelength. A DNF in two sessions totalling 1h 45m, with 5a, 7d, and 15a yet to get, though I’d pencilled in the unknown GRIGRI.

    As it turned out I’d have failed anyway, as I’d heard of the Augean Stables, and “ean” is “lean”—rest—with one end missing, so in “Augean” went.

    My least favourite type of crossword: mostly tough because of gaps in my knowledge rather than anything else. I knew neither the plant nor the horse, the French city, the charm, Augeas, the unpopular worker, the sage, the tribe, the college, the meaning of grass nor that spelling of “te-hee”. I suppose this means I’ve learned a few things, but that doesn’t seem to be improving my mood…

  23. 20 min: no problem with 20dn as my late sister was a Mrs L, though I don’t think her husband was any relation of either of the composers (or the physicist) – and I agree that Constant was hardly ‘old’, his lifetime falling within that of my father.
    The plant at 1ac was new to me, but the wordplay was clear, as was the meaning of 18dn used. I originally thought the stable-owner at 17ac ended -US, but 14dn put me right on that, enabling me to see the appropriate wordplay.
  24. I managed to make a mistake in each of this weekend’s ones and I can’t see either of them. Bummer.
  25. I knew this from the neat little Collins Crossword Solver under composers, otherwise I’d have gone for “lambent” like others. I thought GRASSED was what fellow cons did on each other but the answer was clear. We’ve had GRIGRI before so I managed to remember it. 20.19
  26. All correct for me, although I don’t really have a time. I was doing it on my computer in a bar in Mexico City and also talking to an English guy who was also there.

    As others have said, some obscurities:
    LAMBERT I’d vaguely heard of the science meaning and it was certanly a plausible name for an old English composer although I’d never heard of him
    AUGEAS took far too long since I knew the Augean stables that Hercules diverted a river through, but didn’t see “ease” for ages
    GRIGRI I knew as a belay device for climbing, maybe a trademark, but that was enough to make me put it in confidently
    RISHI never heard of him but was fairly sure it had to be that
    ZEITGEIST went straight in since until recently I lived near a famous bar with that name in San Francisco
    SEASONING was my loi for some reason, I knew how the clue worked but the word didn’t come until I finally saw the name of the Herculean stable-owner

  27. Wrong by one letter in AUGEAS and LAMBERT and invented ‘Old Souls’ college, so a DNF in 55 min. Helpful wordplay for a few others I’d never heard of such as GRIGRI. I liked ZEITGEIST, one of those words which makes you sound like a pretentious so-and-so when used incorrectly. I speak from experience.

    Thank you to blogger – hope your recovery continues – and to setter.

  28. 19 mins. It took me a while to get on this setter’s wavelength, and as others have pointed out some GK was needed. AUGEAS was my LOI after SEASONING when I finally saw EAS(E). I was fairly sure the clue related to Hercules and the Augean stables but if I’d ever seen who they belonged to I’d forgotten it. Like others GRASSED went in from WP alone, and I was lucky that LAMBERT as a measure of brightness rang a distant bell.
  29. Having finally decided that enough was enough and that lambert was not the answer I looked up lambent to find it was something to do with light. So in it went. Shame really as I’d been so pleased to complete the rest of it without much incident
  30. This one took me 27 mins on the train this morning, 22 mins at lunchtime and a further 11 mins after work and I was pleased to stumble across the finish line all correct given various unknown bits of GK. The cowherb, Grigri and Gad were all unknowns. I also thought lambent, lumen, luminosity etc at 20dn but none of them sounded convincing as the name of a composer. Luckily Lambert did ring a faint bell as a composer (quite possibly from a recent puzzle somewhere) so it was entered with fingers crossed.
  31. Thanks for the link Kevin – interesting. I didn’t see the tv series here in NY either but after finding a clip on youtube I was curious and bought the dvd set. Miranda Richardson is excellent as the fatal Pamela and Simon Russell Beale gets Widmerpool completely. It even succeeds in making the weakest (final) part of the story work, and has a splendidly surreal coda. P.S. For some reason Kevin’s comment appeared in my inbox but not here – spammed perhaps and unfortunately I can’t seem to unspam it.

    Edited at 2017-05-23 06:07 pm (UTC)

  32. Not too surprised to find I had a mistake, but it wasn’t the one I was expecting: I knew about the Augean stables, so AUGEAN rather than AUGEAS went in (EAN being an endless LEAN, the front end being missing. It doesn’t work that way? Really?). But COWHERB, GRIGRI, GRASSED and even LAMBERT were right, although I have never heard of any of them.

    Edited at 2017-05-23 09:48 pm (UTC)

  33. 12:15 for this most interesting and enjoyable puzzle.

    No problem with LAMBERT other than the word “Old” in the clue. (If there is an “Old English composer” LAMBERT, then I’ve either never heard of him or forgotten him.) I know about Constant Lambert for all sorts of reasons: as composer of The Rio Grande, one of my favourite works ever since I sang in performances of it with the East Riding Youth Choir; as the inspiration for Moreland in A Dance to the Music of Time, probably my favourite work of literature; as principal conductor ot the Vic-Wells Ballet (where he had an affair with Margot Fonteyn); as the author of Music Ho!, whose ideas I cribbed blatantly for an essay I used in at least three exams (A-level Music, General Paper and Oxford Entrance); as the son of the artist George Lambert and the father of Kit Lambert, sometime manager of The Who. (See The Lamberts by Andrew Motion if you want to know more).

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