Times 26738

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
If I said this took me an hour because I am still not back on my best solving form it would be making excuses because on reflection I have always had ups and downs with good, bad and mediocre days. This one kept me entertained and I always felt I was going to get there eventually. My one unknown at 4dn was gettable from wordplay.

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

1 Player, one dropping to secure laced boot (10)
FOOTBALLER – FALLER (one dropping) containing [to secure] anagram [laced] of BOOT. An easy answer that turned out to be my LOI as for some reason I had it in my head that the enumeration was (4,6) and spent ages thinking the second word was going to be BOWLER. There’s really no accounting for stupidity.
6 A police department rotter? (4)
ACID – A, CID (police department). Something that rots.
10 A corporation beyond despicable at first — fact! (5)
DATUM – D{espicable} [at first], A, TUM (corporation – stomach)
11 Chief has to lead with three articles (3,6)
TOP BANANA – TO, PB (lead), AN+AN+A (three articles)
12 Win earned, synod wasted brief success (4,4,6)
14 Boat / carrying less cargo? (7)
LIGHTER – A straight definition and a cryptic hint
15 Fire this good behind a number of warmer houses (4,3)
STEN GUN – SUN (warmer) contains [houses] TEN (number) + G (good)
17 A European overshadowing British performer (7)
ACROBAT – A, CROAT (European) containing [overshadowing] B (British)
19 Do I start to complain when hugged by bear briefly? (7)
SUFFICE – I + C{omplain} [start] contained [hugged] by SUFFE{r} (bear) [briefly]
20 Might steps be taken to avoid one’s work? (8,6)
PAVEMENT ARTIST – Cryptic definition
23 Telex VIP sent with English obscenity (9)
EXPLETIVE – Anagram [sent] of TELEX VIP, E (English)
24 Tag question in potential source of irritation (5)
INNIT – IN, NIT (potential source of irritation). I didn’t know this expression for a grammatical construction that turns a statement into a question. So INNIT? (slang for isn’t it?) gets tagged on to the end of a remark as if the speaker is seeking agreement of some sort. It’s extremely irritating as suggested in the surface reading, just like the high rising terminal (HRT) aka Australian question intonation (AQI). Innit?
25 Somewhat revered, dark collection of legends (4)
EDDA – Hidden (somewhat) in {rever}ED DA{rk}. A 12th century collection of Norse poems.
26 Man United soon to control opening of game, sweeper claims (10)
BRIDEGROOM – BROOM (sweeper) contains [claims] RIDE (control) + G{ame} [opening]. Soon or very recently.
1 Fashion house’s finale, dull (4)
FADE – FAD (fashion), {hous}E [finale]
2 Boat tour without limits set off (9)
OUTRIGGER – {t}OU{r} [without limits], TRIGGER (set off)
3 Vagrant embraced by massive drinker — almost touching, though not moving? (6-2-6)
BUMPER-TO-BUMPER – BUM (vagrant) contained [embraced] by BUMPER (massive) + TOPER (drinker). Defined with reference to traffic jams. I wonder if the Americans say “fender to fender”?
4 Destiny, crowning glory for Holy Roman Emperor (7)
LOTHAIR – LOT (destiny), HAIR (crowning glory). I didn’t know this guy. Seeking the origin of “crowning glory” meaning “hair” on-line (unsuccessfully) I discovered that it is a very popular name for hair salons, a rich source of genbtle humour. There’s one in our town called Ali Barber and a unisex salon called Cuts Both Ways. Any more amusing examples?
5 Does out old bearings (7)
EXPOSES – EX (old), POSES (bearings)
7 Vegetable left too long on the barbecue, did you say? (5)
CHARD – Sounds like (did you say) “charred” (left too long on the barbecue? )
8 Exact replica / phone cut off, perhaps? (4,6)
DEAD RINGER – A straight definition and a cryptic hint
9 Niche I try at first, suitable for design of light bulb (7,7)
BAYONET FITTING – BAY (niche), ONE (I), T{ry} [at first] FITTING (suitable). Not sure if this will be known in foreign parts, but this is the type of light bulb you push into the holder and turn once to secure it. The most usual alternative is or was the screw fitting.
13 Modify harmony that sounds a work of art in church (10)
ALTARPIECE – Sounds like “alter” (modify), “peace” (harmony)
16 Furious loading keeps ship in rapid passage (9)
GLISSANDO – Anagram [furious] of LOADING contains [keeps] SS (ship). No confusion with SV today as in yesterday’s QC. This is a fast slide through adjacent notes in music.
18 African city / more stimulating for the epicurean? (7)
TANGIER – A straight definition and a cryptic hint
19 Marine plant ending in trouble in river, was surfacing (7)
SEAWEED –  {troubl}E [ending] in DEE (river) + WAS all reversed [surfacing]
21 Uninspiring short film about a piano (5)
VAPID – VID (short film) containing [about] A + P (piano).
22 Sexual attraction beginning to evaporate with married couple (4)
ITEM – IT (sexual attraction), E{vaporate}[beginning], M (married)

38 comments on “Times 26738”

  1. LOI, INNIT. Double-checked all the crossers as I couldn’t think of a word to fit I_N_T. Then realised I wasn’t looking for an actual word.

    Enjoyed the nicely-hidden def for SUFFICE.

    Thanks setter and Jack.

    1. It’s more of an actual word than a good percentage of the other words in the dictionary.

      Good puzzle, not too hard but quite clever.

  2. That would have been more like 18 minutes, but BAYONET FITTING (DNK) and SUFFICE slowed me down, to put it mildly. Had the FITTING, had to play–a lot– with the alphabet to get the BAYONET. English tag question formation is unique among the world’s languages; where, say, French has a simple n’est-ce pas?, German nicht var?, Japanese ne? or na?, English has agreement, auxiliaries, positive-negative reversal, a major pain for foreign learners. COD to SUFFICE.
  3. I took 45 minutes with quite a few entered from the def and parsed later. Liked the ‘Do’ and ‘Does out’ defs for 19a and 5d and the ‘Man United soon’ for 26a. VAPID is a good word, one of those put-downs that makes you feel a bit superior.

    Thanks to setter and blogger

    From a skilled practitioner of the AQI and (not particularly) proud of it.

  4. As Jack notes there is no accounting for stupidity.
    My FOI was 1dn TON-E and very quickly in went 1ac as TROMBONIST! It worked well with 2dn OUTRIGGER and 3dn BUMPER-TO-BUMPER. I raced through the bottom half but then ended up with 4dn and 5dn in limbo, but obviouisly LOTHAIR and EXPOSES respectively. After 32 mins I gave up and went to Jack’s blog. 1dn FAD-E and 1ac FOOTBALLER!!
    Ye gods and little fishes! I can’t even name a famous trombonist! Footballers aplenty!
  5. Remember him well. The instrument is surely given to a certain kind of comedy.
    But who can forget Jack Teagarden as a serious player?
    1. Indeed, and Jimmy Edwards used it a lot in his act when he wasn’t on the euphonium. You can have lots of fun with a slide!

      But another proper player I admired for decades without ever knowing his name was John Bennett, a founder-member of the Kenny Ball band and still there until Kenny died.

  6. I Corinthians 11:15: But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
  7. 18:00 … loved this clever and interesting puzzle. Like jackkt, I always felt I would finish despite staring at some clues for a long time without any glimpse of daylight. You get that kind of confidence in a setter when you’ve unravelled something like TOP BANANA and gone from “is this a mistake?” to “ah, yes, PB=lead”.

    No problem with ‘tag question’ after spending many years in the world of English as a Second Language, where the term is standard.

    But I really struggled with BAYONET, even after I’d got the FITTING. Last in SEAWEED, which was easier than I’d realised.

  8. About 40 mins with porridge. Like others, stared at a few for a while but always felt the answer would emerge. Hadn’t a clue how 2dn was going to work until all the checkers were in, then Trigger became clear. Similarly COD Pavement Artist: it had to be a cryptic definition, but what? Until it dawned. Enjoyed the vagrant bums and the Pb. Thanks to setter and Jack.
  9. On the wavelength this morning, and all done in 35 minutes. Glad to see that LOTHAIR was right. FOI ACID, LOI SUFFICE, which also gets COD for its well-disguised definition.

    Lucky I got the BAYONET FITTING quickly, it seems. I imagine our American cousins will be much more familiar with the Edison screw.

    There used to be a hairdresser just down the hill from me here with the name Sui Generis. I always assumed this was an erudite pun on “a cut above”…

  10. INNIT LOI from wordplay alone, have learnt a whole new way of speaking. The first president of Zimbabwe was on a game show last week. COD BRIDEGROOM, v. good indeed. Thanks jack and setter, 30′.
  11. 30 minutes with LOTHAIR LOI. Enjoyed the “Man United soon …”, “Fire this …”, “Do I start to complain …” but COD to the artist.
  12. Not a happy bunny today, struggling with a (temporary?) vision defect which blurs out random bits of text, among other things entering a B for a P in BUMP/BER for my typo in a long 35 minutes.
    Also struggling with this setter’s quirky definitions. Not sure why, but I didn’t associate ACID with rot. Lots of other hard to see definitions: do for suffice, fire this for sten, the very clever Man United, does out for exposes, come to that POSES for bearings, and others. The HRE was new to me, and went in on squeezed out wordplay (destiny/LOT?).
    A disjointed and not very happy time, I fear.
  13. I was foxed by STEN GUN as I thought the answer was SHOT GUN reasoning HOT and G in SUN. This made BAYONET FITTING a puzzle until I cheated and realised my mistake.
  14. With the checkers _A_O_E_ I was certain the first word of the light bulb would be HALOGEN, so that wasted a huge amount of time.
    My wife tells me that her local hairdresser in a small Italian town was called Robespierre, who suffered a really drastic cut. I wouldn’t be tempted to take my custom there.
  15. 40 minutes and then it all fell into place with EXPOSES followed by TOP BANANA as LOIs. Not being a Londoner but married to one, INNIT and its more correct cousin “isn’t it” drive me to distraction. I always try to answer even though an answer isn’t wanted. COD BAYONET FITTING although Lance Corporal Jones might have clued it more pithily. Knew LOTHAIR more from the former German 1a captain Matthaus than the Holy Roman Empire, which failed the Trade Description Act on three counts. Thank you J and setter.
  16. At one time my hairdresser daughter wanted to set up a salon in New York. I suggested an Aussie-themed salon called “Hair Down Under”. Apparently I’m the only one who thought this would work.
    1. Well, there would no doubt have been copyright problems. When I was a boy in San Francisco, there was a beauty parlor–as they were called back then–that even then struck me as pretension misplaced: Clyde’s of Barcelona.
    2. Years ago I saw a salon on Long Island called New Heads On The Block (with a nod to Gradese’s Robespierre perhaps).
  17. Well, I need a halogen fitting, which I threw in in desperation (though knowing the needed term). Otherwise trundled through OK. Expletive innit?
    1. Yup, I almost went with halogen too. Saved by the sten gun, association of ideas.
  18. After 45 minutes I was left with _A_O_O_ FITTING, at which point HALOGEN sprang to mind and encouraged me to alter SHOTGUN to STENGUN. After not being able to parse HALOGEN, I finally had the lightbulb moment and stuck BAYONET in. Total 49:00. Great puzzle Innit? Took a bit of perseverance though! Too many great clues to single one out. Thanks setter and Jack.
  19. 13:35. I thought this was mostly relatively easy with the odd tricky construction (e.g. STEN GUN) and well-disguised definition (e.g. EXPOSES) thrown in to sort the weet from the bix.

    My LOI was INNIT, partly because I didn’t know the term “tag question” but mainly because I misread the last word of the clue as “irrigation”.

  20. I have Herr Kuts and Sweeny Todd’s within 200 yards of where I live. And my niece,Donna, who was a peripatetic hair stylist called the business Donna’s Mobile (for Verdi fans only!)
  21. 13 mins so pretty much on the setter’s wavelength. It helped that the HRE was vaguely familiar. BAYONET FITTING and TOP BANANA were two of my last three in (the other was EXPOSED), and while both were biffable I wanted to parse them first. I don’t recall having seen “tag question” before, but INNIT seemed like the obvious answer from the WP.
  22. 15m plus a few more to retype all the answers. Lost internet connection, innit.
  23. About 20 minutes here, ending with the unknown BAYONET SETTING, after fiddling around trying to find a short synonym for ‘niche’. I wasn’t overly convinced that ‘bay’ fit the bill, but the answer looked right once I lit on it. Jack, thanks for the blog, and Americans say BUMPER TO BUMPER all the time, far too often in fact, especially around NYC. We never speak of fenders in that context. Regards all.

    Edited at 2017-05-30 05:47 pm (UTC)

  24. I had this one all completed on the train this morning in 27 mins, which is pretty quick for me. I think I must have been on the wavelength and appear to have biffed stuff a bit on autopilot – I missed the lead in 11ac for example, just saw “chief” and “three articles” and thought “an”, “an”, “a” – must be top banana. FOI 6ac. LOI 9dn where I also had the word halogen in mind for a while. Minor hold ups at 15ac where first I thought of shot gun but could not parse it, then I thought of stun gun but could not parse it and then finally thought of sten gun. I also wasn’t sure of 4dn so the wp helped there. A similar term to 16dn appeared in another puzzle recently so that helped. Tag question was pretty much a write in without having to read any further. Some nice stuff in here but I didn’t really stop to smell the roses.

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